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Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

June 5, 2015 Edition
Dear Readers,

Due to circumstances beyond my control (lovely warm day, beautiful blue skies, and adorable granddaughter), the writing of Friday’s Fresh Five! lost out to the joy of the moment. Check back next week for a new edition.

Have a wonderful weekend and remember:

“Happiness, not in another place but this place . . . not for another hour, but this hour.”
Walt Whitman

Now go and spread joy!

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Joy: Book Letters Everyday, moments of joy exist in your life. How many of them do you recognize and acknowledge? Joy doesn’t always hit you over the head and scream, “Hey you! This is what joy feels like!” A joyful moment does not have to be a profound moment. It can be as basic as sitting at the kitchen table with your family, as delightful as listening to a baby coo, or as serene as watching a bird soar overhead. As you go through each day, stop and identify things and moments that bring you joy, and be grateful for each and every one of them.

#1 – Kick-start Happiness
Don't Wait for Happiness Don’t wait for happiness to come to you. You must instigate your own happiness. There is no better way to start your week or everyday, for that matter, than being happy to be alive. In Kick-start Your Week With a Happiness Regimen, author Beth Kuhel suggests “easy ways to increase your happiness that don’t require anyone else’s input.”

#2 – Choose Wisely, Read Labels
If you are like me, after you read this infograph on fruit stickers, you’ll go into your kitchen and read as many fruit stickers as you can.
Information You Can Get From a Fruit Sticker

#3 – Cityscapes
McNabb Wood Cityscapes Sculptor James McNabb is familiar with wood-working. He used to make furniture. Now he’s into “sketching with a bandsaw.” He collects leftover scraps of wood from other artists, pieces them together, and saws them into intricate shapes to create fascinating wood cityscapes.

#4 – Sugar and Cookies and Bars, Oh My!
Can a delicious cookie bring you joy? Depends on just how delicious that cookie is, right? Maybe you’ll find a recipe for one on Tidy Mom’s post 10 Favorite Cookie and Bar Recipes. 10 Favorite Cookie and Bars Recipes

#5 – Choose Joy
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen

Now go and spread joy!

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Sewing Projects That Help Others Making dresses for Dress A Girl Around the World, fleece blankets for Keaton Raphael Memorial (supporting children with cancer), and wheelchair/walker bags for residents living in senior care facilities, leaves me feeling “sew” good. These sewing projects bring me joy and relieve my stress. Even though I was a so-so student in my junior high school home economics class, I think my teacher Miss Kister would be proud of my work now. My only regret is I wish I had paid more attention in class.

#1 – Sewing for Charities
Sewing for Charities If you currently enjoy sewing or want to dust off your sewing skills and sew for charities, do a Google search for projects or check out this Sewing Charity List from Cyberseams. Whether it’s making receiving blankets for babies, chemotherapy turbans for cancer patients, or toiletry kits for shelters, there’s bound to be a project that tugs at your heartstrings. And if you don’t know how to sew, don’t let that limit your ability to help.

#2- Happiness
Happiness: 10 Fascinating New Psychology Studies I often write about joy and happiness, because I think in our busy lives we undervalue those states of being. PsyBlog shares highlights from recent psychology studies on happiness in Happiness:10 Fascinating New Psychology Studies Everyone Should Know. An easy read with interesting information – now that makes me happy.

#3 – Nifty Fifty
50 Milkshake Recipes Seeing Food Network’s recipes for 50 Milkshakes reminded me of a tiny burger place in a nearby town. This little place has a milkshake menu almost as large as the restaurant itself. If a Lemon Meringue or a Toasted Marshmallow milkshake sound tempting to you, check out the recipes.

#4 – Scotland
15 Reasons  Why Scotland Must Be On Your Bucket List Although the descriptions are persuasive, the photos in 15 Reasons Why Scotland Must Be On Your Bucket List will get you packing your bags. Need someone to carry your bags? I might be available!

#5 – The Consequences of Your Actions
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there will be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Now go and spread joy!

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Flower with Bee During the time it took my camera lens to focus on a vermilion-colored blossom, a bee landed on it, dove into the center headfirst, and then flew off. Hurriedly, I pressed the shutter button. “Did I get the shot or not,” I wondered. On playback, I was pretty happy about getting a decent photo of the flower, but capturing the image of the bee made me even happier. Happiness comes into our lives in different degrees. Grab and appreciate every bit you can get.

#1 – The Science of Happiness
Called “An Experiment in Gratitude,” this video of a project from SoulPancake depicts the relationship between expressing gratitude and feeling happy.

#2 – Genius Ideas
Genius Decorating Ideas Discovering clever new ideas, especially those that involve upcycling, makes me happy. Check out these “31 Genius Ideas For Reimagining Home Decor.” It may be too late for me to build a Lego wall for my kids, but there’s still time to do so for my grandkids!

#3 – Just Peachy
Crab Salad With Peaches and AvocadosMaking homemade peach ice cream is a fun summertime tradition for my family. But after drooling over 62 Fresh Summer Peach Recipes, I’m going to make my family even happier. I’m shaking up my peach recipe repertoire. How does a Crab Salad with Peaches and Avocados sound to you?

#4 – Quiet, Please!
10 Most Beautiful Places to Read Books If you love to find quiet places to read, you’ll appreciate the Top 10 Most Beautiful Places to Read Books. They include both quaint and impressive libraries from around the world.

#5 – Your Choice
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go now and spread joy!

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Sunflowers What is it about sunflowers that make people feel happy? Is it their bright sunny color or their large happy faces? Is it their petals that resemble rays of sunshine? Or is it their unassuming and friendly demeanor? Some things in life like sunflowers, puppies, and babies just automatically push our happy buttons. What else makes you happy?

#1 – What is Happiness
Best Friends What would your answer be, if someone asked you, “What’s the one thing that’s shown you what happiness is?” Read the answers from 18 people of all ages on Thought Catalog.

#2 – Harmonious Packaging
Creative Packaging When content and packaging come together, as in 25 AWESOME Packaging Designs Guaranteed to Delight You, the world is a happier place. Creative packaging can show off the fun side of almost any product.

# 3 – Armchair Bucket List

The Armchair Bucket List

Shampoo Your Hair in the Rain

“How many of these simple life experiences have you been lucky enough to enjoy?” reads the introduction to the Armchair Bucket List from List Challenges. How many activities can you check off?

#4 – Incredible Wood Carving
12-Foot-Long Wood Carving Chinese Artist Zheng Chunhui spent the last four years copying a famous Chinese painting. The difference between his piece of art and the original one is his choice of medium. Using a twelve-foot tree trunk as his canvas and carving tools, he painstaking carved an intricate replica of the painting, complete with buildings, boats, bridges, landscaping, and “more than 550 people.” Click here to see photos of this work and note the video link at bottom of the article.

#5 – This Is Harmony
“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” Mitsugi Saotome

Now go and spread joy!

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Trays of Persimmons An outing to a local farm provided me with photographic inspiration. Trays of plump and shapely persimmons, waiting for distribution to food banks, caught my attention. Too bad I didn’t think to bring my camera! Knowing that I was seconds away from jumping in the car and driving back home, my husband suggested, “Why don’t you try using the camera on your cell phone?” While photographing the smooth-skinned beauties, I yelled over to him, “You’re SO smart. Guess I’ll have to keep you around for awhile!”

#1 – Feed Your Brain
165 Photography feeds my brain, but so does watching foreign films. Doing so, I’m forced to read subtitles quickly and I learn about different cultures. Lately, I’ve been watching movies from one particular country and, as a result of that, I’m learning a new language. When I read, 17 Simple Skills Which Can Be Astonishingly Good For You . . . , I discovered a few more ways to feed my brain. How many of these activities do you do?

#2 – The Ever Versatile Muffin Tin
31 Fun Treat You Can Make in a Muffin Tin Can brain food be made in muffin tins? Give that concept some thought and, in the meantime, check out 31 Fun Treats to Make in a Muffin Tin. Clever and tasty-looking!

#3 – Ways to Happiness
Little Ways to Find Happiness Surprisingly, to some, but maybe not to others, the first thing listed on Little Ways to Find Happiness is to “own at least two bubble machines.” Reading the other nine suggestions might make you feel pretty happy, too.

#4 – 500 Years
See female images throughout the ages morph together during 500 Years of Female Portraits. It’s amazing!

#5 – The Only Thing
“I do not care what car you drive. Where you live. If you know someone who knows someone who knows someone. If your clothes are this year’s cutting edge. If you are A-list or B-list or never heard of you list. If your trust fund is unlimited. I only care about the words that flutter from your mind. They are the only thing you own. The only thing I will remember you by. I will not fall in love with your bones or skin. I will not fall in love with the places you have been. I will not fall in love with anything but the words that flutter from your extraordinary mind.”
― Andre Jordan

Now go and spread joy!

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Yellow Pilgrim Rose Through my camera lens, leaves and a stem frame a single yellow bloom. In fact, it’s the only blossom blooming on an old woody rose bush called The Pilgrim.  Mother Nature did everything she could do to make sure I didn’t miss this beauty.

#1 – Let Go, Be Happy
When I first stumbled across this article, I thought to myself, “Not another self-improvement list!” But when I actually took the time to read the 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy, I was glad I did. Some of us get set in our ways and fall into negative thought and behavioral patterns. The points in the article serve as good reminders of ways to keep life in proper perspective.

#2 – The Wheels on the Bus

Old School Bus Transformed Into Mobile Home

Justin Evidon

The wheels on this old bus still go ’round and ’round thanks to architecture student Hank Butitta’s efforts. After purchasing an old school bus on Craigslist, he renovated it into a mobile home – complete “with beds, tables, storage and social areas, and a working sink and toilet.” He’s now taking it on the ultimate road test, a 5,000-mile cross country trip!

#3 – A Bit of Whimsy

William Kass

William Kass

Combining food with miniature toys would seem to result in an odd art form, but not in the hands of photographer William Kass. In his photo series Minimize, his choice of materials inspired him to create whimsical scenes. It’s an imaginative way of viewing the world.

#4 – Villages
Whether or not you believe in the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” you will still enjoy taking an armchair stroll through some of the Most Beautiful Villages Around The World.

#5 – Know Your Worth
Know Your Worth

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!

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