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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Red Roses Dozens of long-stemmed red roses sit on my kitchen table. The gift of these magnificent flowers symbolizes love, but for me they also represent a passage of time. I am a firm believer that every birthday is special and should be celebrated without hesitation. With another big milestone birthday under my belt this week, I remain philosophical. Getting old does not scare me, but the mere thought of not being true to myself, of living an unauthentic life, does. I may no longer be “younger than springtime,” but there’s still plenty of spring in my step, enough curiosity to keep me engaged in the world around me, and an immeasurable amount of space in my heart with which to welcome love and joy.

#1 – Never Stop
25 Things You Should Never Stop Doing For Yourself No matter how old you are, you need to strive to be true to yourself. Along that line, Marc and Angel’s list of 25 Things You Should Never Stop Doing for Yourself, is an excellent reminder for all of us.

#2 – Simple Beauty Tips
Beauty Tips Some of the best beauty products are right under your nose and in your kitchen. According to InStyle, “Honey has exfoliating natural enzymes and is loaded with humectants, which reduce the loss of moisture.” Check out InStyle’s 20 Timeless Skin-Care Tips to learn about other simple beauty tips.

#3 – Art and Our Inner Child
Javier Perez Ecuadorian graphic designer Javier Pérez, brings out the inner child in all of us when he combines everyday objects with a few touches of his own to create whimsical scenes. Check out his fun Instagram Experiments series.

#4 – Wonders Around The World
Iguazu Falls View breathtaking wonders around the world in spectacular high resolution by taking 360° virtual tours at AirPano. Scroll through the selection of sights at the bottom of the page and select which attraction you would like to “travel” to. For maximum enjoyment, watch in full screen mode. Listen to the enchanting background music as the camera pans through each scene. Click on different icons that appear on the screen to enter rooms or to view scenes from different angles. Simply incredible! To see the complete list of virtual tours, click here.

#5 – The Fountain of Youth
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Sophia Loren

Enjoy your weekend! Now go and spread joy!

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Lizards fighting Posturing and positioning themselves, two blue belly lizards eye each other contemptuously. Using my deck as their battlefield, they crawl around in a strategic circle formation. In a flash the battle begins: one lizard lunges at the other and chases it away. Retreating, but not far away, the second lizard charges back towards the other. Charge and retreat; charge and retreat; charge and retreat; the battle continues. Studying these two rivals, I recognize that they are not only fierce competitors, but also survivors. Each sports a regenerated tail. Given a particular threatening situation, some lizard species have caudal autotomy, the ability to self-amputate their tails. Equally amazing is the fact that they can also regenerate new tails. This ability to shed or let go of an integral part of themselves in order to survive fascinates me. I ponder how this concept might apply to humans. Not in the physical sense, of course, but in the spiritual and emotional sense. What do we need to let go of in our heads or in our hearts in order to survive and regenerate?

#1 – Japanese Philosophy and Art
Kintsukuroi Comparing the kintsukuroi pottery process to trials in life, metaphysical teacher, author, and spiritual guide Carrieanne Fonger says, Take a moment to remember all of your own broken places. Instead of filling the memories with shame, guilt, sorrow or regret, fill those broken spaces in your life with gold. Think about how each circumstance changed you for the better, helping to shape your character and make you who you are – “more beautiful for having been broken.”

#2 – Backyard Fun
Outdoor Summer Fun Spending time in the outdoors can regenerate the spirit. There’s no need to travel far, either. Just step into your backyard. To that end, here are 31 DIY Ways to Make Your Backyard Awesome This Summer. What fun!

#3 – Easter Peeps Flower Vase
What if you stuck a slightly chipped or ugly vase inside a clear larger vase and used the in-between-space to place decorative elements? You would be giving new life to the smaller vase and creating something beautiful at the same time. Easter Peeps and Flower Centerpiece

#4 – Out of the Mouth of Babes
“There’s plenty of reasons to dance; you just have to look for them,” says this wise young soul. Watch this video and feel renewed and invigorated.

#5 – Let Go, Evolve, and Change
Kintsukuroi

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”
Joseph Campbell

“Life is a gift, and should be cherished, lived and experienced. Though experience often reveals itself as pain in this world, it is still purposeful, it still has its place in the evolution of our spirit.”
Michael Poeltl, Revelation

“Change always comes bearing gifts.” Price Pritchett

Now go and spread joy!

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Hummingbirds A dumpling-shaped hummingbird perched on a feeder and uncharacteristically took his time sipping nectar. After every sip, he looked around leisurely. When another hummingbird frenetically approached the feeder, the first hummingbird remained calm and shared the feeder with the newcomer. The plump little bird said to the busy bird, “Hey dude, what’s the hurry?” The other bird did not pause and continued to feed. The plump bird made another attempt at communication and said, “Whoa! Slow down dude. There’s plenty of food for both of us. Life is short. You gotta take some time to savor the moment.” The busy bird stopped and, without a word, he flew to a perch and sat down. He looked across at the plump bird and replied, “Thanks. Thanks for the reminder.”

#1 – Bird’s-Eye View
Bird's-Eye Views of the World Have you ever wished you could be a bird soaring through the sky? Imagine having a bird’s-eye view of the world and, if you did, how spectacular Niagara Falls would appear from above. Check out the photo series How Our World Would Look If You Were a Bird and see some pretty incredible landscapes.

#2 – Crocheting for Tortoises
Now, I’ve seen it all. I don’t know whether tortoises really need sweaters or not, but since I have been flexing my new crochet skills to make things for my upcoming grandbaby, I appreciated these clever and funny attempts at trying to keep tortoises warm.
Crochet for Turtles

#3 – Gift of GIFS
Nature Gifs A “graphics interchange format” or GIF (pronounced jiff) is a compressed image file format, which allows images to be transported quickly over the Internet. This technology allows us to see limited movement or animation on websites. Lucky for us, because we can view funny bloopers or cute puppies on Facebook or watch impressive nature scenes from 14 Reasons Why Nature Gifs Are Your New Favorite Thing.

#4 – Organic Foods
Organic Foods Fact or Fiction If you’ve ever questioned whether it’s worth spending extra money to purchase organic foods, you may find answers to some of your questions in Organic Food: Fact or Fiction from YOU Beauty.

#5 – Pooh, Piglet, and A.A. Milne
A.A. Milne Quotes

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’”

“Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

“What day is it?” asked Winnie the Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

Enjoy your favorite day! Now go and spread joy!

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California Poppies A morning stroll leads me past a bend of wildflowers. Small spikes of purple lupines contrast beautifully with rounded mounds of orange poppies. One by one,  the tightly-wound poppy buds gradually unfurl as the morning sun warms them. Larger petals catch the breeze and flutter about like dancers with capes. They dance to the sweet melodies of birds, adding perfection to the moment. The day is young, but this day holds promise. How can it not, with such a beautiful beginning?

#1 – Making Napkin Roses
Making Napkin Roses Beautify your home by bringing fresh flowers indoors and make these napkin roses to add a lovely touch to your spring table. Written instructions here.

#2 – Fruit Hacks
Fruit Hacks I can vouch for some of these hacks and am curious to try some of the other 21 Fruit Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier. I’m game for anything that makes life easier, aren’t you?

#3 – The House on the Hill

Behind a Little House

Manuel Cosentino

Italian artist Manuel Cosentino visited a little house on a hill, over a two-year period, to photograph it against dramatic natural elements. Although the little house stands small in stature compared to the vastness of its backdrop, it acts as an anchor to the perpetual motion of time and weather. To see more of Cosentino’s Behind a Little House project, click here.

#4 – Would You Stay Here?
Giraffe Manor in Kenya If eating breakfast with giraffes sounds like an interesting way to start the day, then you need to plan a visit to the Giraffe Manor in Kenya. I’m not keen on any type of “before you die” wording and I can’t figure out why people don’t just say “while you enjoy life.” That being said, after viewing 48 Epic Dream Hotels to Visit Before You Die, I added a few more places to visit while I’m enjoying my life!

#5 – No Matter What, Wildflowers Still Bloom
“No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”
Sheryl Crow

Have a lovely weekend. Now go and spread joy!

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Phalaenopsis Orchid Image A miracle happened. A magnificent flower blossomed under the care of a person who has two brown thumbs. Yes, that person is me. Several years ago a friend gave me an orchid for my birthday. Acknowledging my inability to keep plants alive, she said something to the effect, “It’s pretty to look at now.” I believe in miracles, because not believing in them would mean I have no hope. Despite witnessing the orchid’s flowerless years, I always hoped it would bloom again. Knowing what little care I give to it, it’s a miracle to me that this plant has flowers at all and that, in itself, gives me hope that it will bloom again. Hope and miracles perpetuate each other.

#1 – 21 Questions About Yourself
Marcel Proust When I want to get to know a person better, I ask him questions. Following that logic, why not ask questions of myself to, perhaps, learn something from my answers? French writer Marcel Proust answered a questionnaire in a friend’s confession book, a type of autograph book popular in the late nineteenth century. The questions and subsequent answers were meant to reveal one’s innermost thoughts. Selecting questions from a Proust Questionnaire on Wikipedia and from Marta Randall’s Proust’s Character Questionnaire, I present you with 21 questions to answer about yourself. By answering honestly, you might learn something new.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
2. When and where were you the most happiest?
3. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
4. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
5. Where would you like to live?
6. What is your favorite journey?
7. What is your most treasured possession?
8. What is your greatest extravagance?
9. What is your most marked characteristic?
10. Which talent would you most like to have?
11. What is it that you most dislike?
12. What is your greatest fear?
13. If not yourself, who would you be?
14. What is your greatest regret?
15. On what occasions do you lie?
16. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
17. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
18. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
19. What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
20. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
21. What is your motto?

#2 – Light Up Your World
Easy Mason Jar Luminaries Here’s a project that will have you saying, “Why didn’t I think of that!” Buy new mason jars or, even better, repurpose glass jars you already have sitting in a kitchen cabinet and cover them with glass “pebbles.” The easy instructions are here.

#3 – Keeping Avocados Green
Keeping avocados fresh and green This isn’t a miracle, but if it works, it’s a great kitchen tip. According to The Kitchn, the best way to keep avocados fresh and green is to store the cut avocado in an airtight container with a chunk of onion. Put the lid on the container and place it in the refrigerator. I plan on testing this tip out this weekend. Have any of you had success with this method?

#4 – Avoid The Lines
Lines at the Eifel tower Wouldn’t it be a miracle if you could just walk up to the Eiffel Tower and get to the top of it immediately without having to wait in line? For those of you who are planning vacations right now to a major tourist destination, this article How to Beat The Queues At The World’s Busiest Attractions may be of help.

#5 – Miracles Happen Everyday
Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.
Jon Bon Jovi

Now go and spread joy!

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Goldfinch acrobatics “And for my next trick, I will perform a double rotation with a half-twist . . . ” That’s what I imagine a Goldfinch hanging on a nearby wire is saying. As other birds wait patiently for spots on the bird feeder, this particular bird preens and performs acrobatics. He (I believe it is a male, because of its brilliant color) sports a showmanship flair and a touch of attitude. My creative juices recharge and I feel inspired as I stroll through my yard. My garden hums with vibrant energy as baby squirrels scamper from branch to branch, as blossoms flutter in the breeze, and as birds fly about and fill the air with song. Where do you go to recharge and gain inspiration? (Click on the photo if you want to see this little bird up close).

#1 – Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness Kindness lives in all of us. For some of us it’s always on the surface of our hearts. For others, it may require a direct tug of a heart string. Acts of kindness rarely make the news, unless they are on a grand scale. But in my opinion, every act of kindness is significant, because small ripples of kindness create big waves of good. Check out Moments of Human Kindness and you’ll instantly feel better.

#2 – A World of Hope
A World of Hope March 8th is International Women’s Day. CNN asked women to complete this sentence: “Build a world where I can . . . ” Click here to read answers from men and women around the world and see what kind of world they want to build.

#3 – Repurpose! Repurpose! Repurpose!
28 Creative Ideas for Repurposing Old Items My husband will confirm that one of the most frequent phrases he hears me utter is, “You’re not going to throw that away are you?” Being big on repurposing and upcycling, I always like to share any repurposing inspiration that I come across. Here are 28 Creative Ideas for Repurposing Old Items that just might save a few things from being discarded.

#4 – Inspirational Quotes
Miles Davis Quote If a walk outdoors doesn’t inspire creativity in you, maybe reading 10 Quotes To Inspire Your Inner Creative will help.

#5 – What Do You See?
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity . . . and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.“
William Blake

Now go and spread joy!

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Ellie's Belly “Arggh! Who put the baby fat back on my body?” I exclaim as I peel off another shirt and toss it on top of the “No-Longer-Looks-Good” pile of clothing. I hate cleaning out my closet. Standing in the middle of my closet with my midriff showing, while in the midst of spring cleaning, I think it would be fair to say that I’m experiencing a midlife crisis. I know exactly who put the baby fat back on my body. Chastising myself for allowing it to happen, I vow to get on the treadmill and lift weights today and I might even do it again tomorrow.

#1 – Get the Hang of It
Closet Organization Cleaning out a clothes closet is a task for the decisive. Don’t assume that things fit. Try on everything, because, not only do styles change, bodies do, too. As you come across clothes that haven’t been worn for a while or items that “kinda” fit, you need to make decisions. If you haven’t worn an item of clothing for a year or more, there must be a reason for that: too small, too large, wrong color, bad style, poor condition, needs to be altered, sentimental attachment, or whatever. Honestly, just get rid of the item. Yes, get rid of it even if it still sports a price tag. It’s taking up valuable real estate in your closet!

If you don’t have a clue which clothes you wear regularly, load all your hangers in one direction on the rod – the necks of the hangers either all facing the front or all facing the back. When you wear something, turn the hanger around and put the item back on it. In a year’s time, after all the seasons have passed, take a look at which hangers haven’t been turned around. Eliminate those clothes from your closet.

The items of clothing that “kinda” fit, ones you would definitely wear if you lost 5 pounds, get a six-month reprieve. Put them on specific-colored hangers. Place a sticky note on the backside of your closet door indicating the date for the final judgment. When that day arrives, try on everything on those hangers and make an honest decision whether they go or they stay.

#2 – Simplify Your World
Clever Tip Looking for ways to organize or simplify your world? Read 40 Clever Life Hacks to Simplify Your World and decide which ones you want to try. Being skeptical about some of them, I did a little online sleuthing and found these amusing “Life Hacks Debunked” videos from Mental Floss.

#3 – Swapping Clothes
Spring-Autumn by Qozop Would you be willing to swap clothes with one of your elders? In his photo series Spring-Autumn, photographer Qozop asked his models, pairs of young and old, to swap clothes. Scroll through the intriguing before and after photos and ponder Shakespeare’s paraphrased line “clothes makes the man.”

#4 – Wall Art From Upcycled Magazines
Upcycling Old Magazines Three words describe wall art made from rolled-up magazine pages: clever, colorful, and customizable. Imagine all the design variations you can make using this technique. I knew I saved old magazines for a reason!

#5 – Clean Your House
“We are used to cleaning the outside house, but the most important house to clean is yourself – your own house – which we never do.”
Marina Abramovic

Now go and spread joy!

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