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Posts Tagged ‘spreading joy’

Taos Turquoise Door Doors open and close. That’s their job. They let things in and they keep things out. Using doors as a metaphor, how well do you monitor the door to your soul? Do you allow joy to effortlessly blow in to your soul like a fresh breeze? Do you allow prejudice and hate to sneak in through your door? Do you lock and bolt your door never letting anyone or anything in? You do realize, of course, that you have the ultimate power over who or what enters and who or what you keep out. Be mindful. Be present. And yes, doors are better than walls.

#1 – How A-Door-Able!
60 Ways to Upcycle Doors Creativity rules when it comes to upcycling doors. Check out these clever ways to decorate your home and garden using old doors.

#2 – Joy of Cookies
The cookie monster that resides inside of me craves as much cookie information as I can get. Watch this animated TED-Ed video on the chemistry of cookies and if you’re like me, you’ll want to bake some cookies right away.

#3 – Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest It’s not too late to enter the 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2014. The deadline is June 30th of this year. Check out your competition by looking at 30 Most Incredible Entries on 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

#4 – Beggar or Philanthropist?
When you look at this man in the photo, what do you see? Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. To some people, he may appear to be a beggar, but to others, he is an extraordinary man. What do you think? Inspirational Man

#5 – Follow Your Bliss
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
Joseph Campbell

Go Now and Spread Joy!

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Dads Dads come in all shapes and sizes, so here’s a Father’s Day wish I penned for all fathers that’s short on words, long in sentiment, and big in heart: Thanks for blowing air in our sails and anchoring us during storms. Thanks for dreaming the big dreams and making us believers. Thanks for loving us like no one else could and for sacrificing as only you would. Thanks for loving our mothers and respecting them, too. But mostly, thanks for just being you. On this Father’s Day, may the love and devotion you give come back to you a thousand times over. Happy Father’s Day!

#1 – My Dad
Remember watching the Donna Reed Show? Well, at the risk of revealing my age, I remember it. I also remember listening to Paul Peterson’s song My Dad. As a Father’s Day tribute, here’s a blast from the past.

#2 – Dadvice
Dadvice One of my sons is going to be a new dad this summer and I’m thrilled. I’m sure he’s going to be in need of some parenting advice at some time or another, so this is for him, as well as all new dads and dads-to-be: Dadvice is a collection of “90 tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, try-this’s and skip-that’s, for every stage of fatherhood. It’s the most complete, most comprehensive list available anywhere. Print it. Bookmark it. Share it. Tweet it.”

Here are some examples:

Imagine being hired as a pilot with no training. “Here’s the cockpit. Good luck getting to Houston.” That’s what it’s like coming home with a newborn. And it’s like that for everyone.

Cargo shorts are a diaper bag you can wear.

Travel with an extra set of clothes. Both for you and the kid.

If you let your kid play with the iPhone, put it on “airplane mode.”

Tell your partner “thank you.” A lot. And let your children hear you say it.

#3 – Unusual Gifts For Dad
Father's Day Gift Ideas Still thinking about that special gift for dad? What about a laser pizza cutter? Or what about an espresso maker made from an actual race car engine? To see these and more, check out 13 Food & Drink Father’s Day Gifts That Will Guarantee You’re His Favorite Child.

#4 – Miles O’Brien
Miles O'Brien TV reporter Miles O’Brien lost an arm while on assignment. Read his story Life, After and learn what he’s gained from his loss.

#5 – What Matters
“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”
Anne Sexton

Now go and spread joy!

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Santa Fe Blossoms They were everywhere, but nobody knew their name. Pretty trees covered with delicate rose-like blossoms decorated the streets of a town I recently visited. Fixated with their beauty and wanting to plant one in my own garden, I asked around for help identifying the trees. I even carried a photo of the blossoms on my smartphone. No one could tell me the species of the trees, not even people who had lived in the city for their entire lives. Many responses sounded like, “What trees? Oh, those trees. Don’t know.” Some people didn’t even realize the trees were in bloom. How could this be? How could trees that make our world more beautiful go unnoticed? And how could we take the world around us so much for granted? We see, but are we seeing?

#1 – Possibilities
Fun DIY Craft Ideas Do you throw “junk” away only to discover similar items cleverly refurbished and for sale at thrift stores, flea markets, and “vintage” stores? Do you think to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t thrown my _______ away. If I’d only known it would make such a nice _______, I would have saved it.” Where you saw lack of potential, someone else saw possibilities. If everyone could see such transformative possibilities, there would be less waste in our landfills. Use your imagination. To get your creative juices going, here are a few Fun DIY Craft Ideas. What happened to the child in you who built forts out of pillows or made cakes out of mud?

#2 – DIY Father’s Day Gifts
40 DIY Father's Day Gift Ideas Don’t take your father for granted. Show him how much you care and how much he means to you by making him a special gift. Brit + Co. provides some great ideas in their post titled 40 DIY Father’s Day Gift Ideas. Dad is sure to love anything you make, but the Whiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow, and Bacon Bark looks really good to me!

#3 – A Splash Of Sea Water
Photo of Magnified Drop of Water What’s in that gulp of sea water you just swallowed? “Not much?” you say? Well, check out this photograph of “one dip of a hand net” into sea water by David Littschwager. It’s been magnified 25 times. Read about all the aquatic flora and fauna you take for granted, too!

#4 – Being Grateful
Rainbow Thinking: What Are You Grateful For? Writing in a gratitude journal is one way of keeping life in perspective. No matter how bad your day has been, there’s bound to be something for which you are grateful. The site Rainbow Thinking focuses on gratitude by allowing people to anonymously submit entries about what they are grateful for and by posting the submissions of other people. What are you grateful for?

#5 – What Makes It Different?
“You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.”
Neil Gaiman

Go now and spread joy!

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Birds Flying High: Santa Fe Sunset The sun gives off a golden glow as it lowers itself in the sky. This glow creates a striking contrast to the mountains, turning them into a dark amorphous shape. With bright light reflecting off cirrus clouds, the sky resembles a Martian atmosphere. Birds flying by add focal points to an already interesting sunset. So, when is a sunset not just a sunset? The answer: When you take the time to notice it.

#1 – Soar
Blue Santa Fe Sunset Just minutes after selecting my lead-in photo of birds flying across a sunset, I accidentally came across the lyrics of Christina Aguilera’s song Soar on my computer. The first three stanzas of the song powerfully remind us to be true to our authentic selves, to listen to our hearts, and to forge our own paths – good thoughts to share during this graduation season.

When they push when they pull, tell me can you hold on?
When they say you should change can you lift your head high
And stay strong?
Will you give up, give in, when your heart’s crying out that it’s wrong?
Will you love you for you at the end of it all?

Now in life, there’s gonna be times when you’re feeling low
And in your mind insecurity seems to take control
We start to look outside ourselves for acceptance and approval
We keep forgetting that the one thing we should know is

Don’t be scared to fly alone, find a path that is your own
Love will open every door it’s in your hands, the world is yours
Don’t hold back and always know, all the answers will unfold
What are you waiting for, spread your wings and soar

Songwriter(s): Aguilera, Christina; Hoffman, Robert D; Holley, Heather
Copyright: © MUSIC OF WINDSWEPT
© POP FUTURE MUSIC
© UNIVERSAL MUSIC – CAREERS
© XTINA MUSIC

#2 – Sing Your Song
My Song by Kristen Jongen Here’s another inspirational interpretation of the need to “sing your own song.”
Author, speaker, and artist Kristen Jongen shares her “Courageous Poetry and Art to Feed Your Soul” on her site Soul Soup.

#3 – Birdbnb
Airbnb Birdhouse Ad Campaign Modeled after actual homes listed on Airbnb, an online platform for travelers looking to find a variety of lodging experiences, these birdhouses were featured in an ad campaign called Every Traveler Deserves a Home. See photos of the original homes and their birdhouse look-alikes.

#4 – Travel Tips
24 Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever Flying high in the sky . . . on an airplane? Wherever and however you travel, it helps to be organized and prepared. 24 Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever lists ideas, some familiar and some I’ve not seen before, that make traveling easier. You’ll wonder why you didn’t think of some of them first!

#5 – Fly Free
“Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.”
Unknown

Go now and spread joy!

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Ghost Ranch A gust of wind snatches a reprint of a famous painting away from the hands of a tour guide and forces it to tumble end over end across the dusty ground. With the wind behind it, it blows away like a dried sagebrush. It’s as if the spirit of Georgia O’Keeffe is blowing through her beloved Ghost Ranch. She drew inspiration for many of her paintings from the rugged land around her. I take it all in – the blue sky, the billowy clouds, the colors, shapes and lines of the land. Viewing the incredible geological formations, I can’t help but share her infatuation with the part of New Mexico she called her home.

#1 – Flowers and Fashion
Fashion Designs Using Flower Petals Like Georgia O’Keeffe, Singaporean artist Grace Ciao derives creative inspiration from flowers. She uses real flower petals to illustrate her fashion designs. See more of her design work on BuzzFeed.

#2 – Powerful Pairings
The Most Powerful Food Combinations Can healthy food be made even more healthy? Many nutritionists claim that when certain foods are paired up with other specific foods a food synergy is created. The Most Powerful Food Combinations, an article for Men’s Health, lists 14 examples of food synergy and explains why the combinations work. Here are the combinations, but do yourself a favor and read the individual descriptions in the article:

1. Tomatoes and avocados
2. Oatmeal and orange juice
3. Broccoli and tomatoes
4. Blueberries and grapes
5. Apples and chocolate
6. Lemon and kale
7. Soy and salmon
8. Peanuts and whole wheat
9. Red meat and rosemary
10. Tumeric and black pepper
12. Garlic and fish
13. Eggs and cantaloupe
14. Almonds and yogurt

#3 – Luxury Train Tours
Luxury Train Tours I bet touring the world by train does not conjure up notions of romance for many of us. After reading See the World Inside a Romantic Rail Car With These 6 Luxury Train Tours, some of us may change our minds. Chase the Aurora Borealis on the Arctic Explorer or visit the supposed birthplace of Dracula on the Danube Express. The fees for these wondrous trips are steep, but we can always dream. Can’t we?

#4 – Kubrick on Life
Stanley Kubrick Quote In a Playboy Magazine interview, after the release of his movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, director Stanley Kubrick discussed his views on why life is worth living. Here’s a portion of that interview as presented in Brainpickings:

Playboy: If life is so purposeless, do you feel it’s worth living?

Kubrick: The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism — and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong — and lucky — he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.

#5 – Make Your Unknown Known
Georgia O'Keeffe “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”
― Georgia O’Keeffe

Go now and spread joy!

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Homemade Potpourri When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And if life gives you six dozen red roses, make potpourri. When the heads of my birthday roses started drooping, it was time to say goodbye to the lovely bouquet. It seemed a shame to toss them in with the green garbage when only the outer petals were dried up, so I decided to use the rose petals to make potpourri. The Queen of Hearts often said in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “Off with their heads,” and that’s exactly what I did. I cut off the heads of the roses, removed their petals, and dried them in a microwave oven. After mixing in some aromatics, spices, and a fixative, I now have potpourri that preserves my lovely gift of roses and makes my home smell heavenly.

Drying Roses
1. Cut the rosebuds off of their stems, leaving about an inch of stem on each bud. Toss the long stems into the garbage. Gently peel off any unsightly outer petals and discard them. Decide which heads will remain intact for dried rosebuds and set them aside. IMG_4500 Rose Stem Text

2. Hold onto the bud and grasp the short end of the stem, twist it and pull out the center. Discard the center. IMG_4499 Twist Stem Text

3. Gently unfurl the blossom, separating the petals. Place petals in a microwave safe container lined with paper towels. I used a 9-inch by 13-inch glass casserole dish. IMG_4512 Unfold

4. When the dish is sparsely covered with petals, put it in the microwave for about 1 minute. Check the petals and if they still feel moist, put them back in the microwave for 30 seconds more. Continue microwaving them at 30-second intervals until petals feel dry. Transfer to a paper towel-covered wire cooling rack to cool. IMG_4546 Dried Petals Text

5. Set aside the dried petals if making potpourri or store in an airtight container for future use.
Homemade Potpourri

6. The same process is used to dry the rosebuds. Peel off unwanted outer layers of petals. Lean the rosebuds against the sides of a paper towel-lined microwavable dish. Microwave them for one minute. Check for pliability and moistness. Microwave again for one minute. Check them again. Microwave them for 30-second increments until they are sufficiently dried.

Rose and Lavender Potpourri
Recipe from The Book of the Rose by David Squire

INGREDIENTS
4 cups of dried rose petals, preferably red or deep pink as these usually have the strongest scent
1 cup whole pink or red dried rosebuds
1 cup dried lavender flowers
1/2 cup powdered orris root
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
Several drops of essential rose oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, sifting and mixing them well with your fingers.

2. Add drops of essential oils judiciously until the scent is strong enough.

3. Transfer into a paper bag and seal.

4. Leave in a cool dark place for six weeks to cure, shaking it occasionally.

5. Display it in shallow baskets or bowls and decorate the top with large dried rose blooms or little bundles of whole cinnamon sticks.

6. If the fragrance fades after a while, simply refresh it with a few more drops of rose essential oil.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I decided to keep some of the lavender flowers on their stalks for appearance. Otherwise most of the small lavender flowers will sink to the bottom of the potpourri.

2. Orris root is a common fixative in potpourri recipes. According to Save On Crafts, “The fixative absorbs and retains the volatile scented essences. Essential oils or fragrance oils are used to reinforce the natural perfumes and to boost the scent. Without adequate fixative the life goes out of potpourri very quickly.” Powdered orris root can be purchased at health or craft stores.

3. I recommend mixing the powdered components together first and then gently folding in the flowers. The essential oil is added last.

4. I used a few drops of both essential lavender oil and essential rose oil for a refreshing blend of scents.

5. I sealed the paper bag with clothespins, so that it would be easy to check the potpourri’s progress.

Enjoy!

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Pink Peonies Consider the proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” and then consider how it might relate to someone who appreciates beauty and tries to capture it. Thus, in my case, give me a flower and I enjoy it for days; show me how to capture its beauty, and I will enjoy it forever. Many thanks to my sweet sister-in-law for the lovely bouquet of peonies and for the beautiful memories it created.

#1 – Edible Flowers
Edible Flowers on Chilled Pea Soup Small flowers and flower petals rested on top of a chilled pea soup. The waiter said, “Eat the purple one separately. It has a wonderful oyster flavor.” Indeed it did. After tasting the unique flavors of these edible flowers, I decided to do a little research into which flowers growing in my garden were edible. If you would like to learn more about edible flowers, check out this article in What’s Cooking America. Please pay particular attention to the “Do’s” and the “Don’ts” sections. I was pleased to discover that peony petals are on the edible list. Not that I would eat my lovely bouquet!

#2 – DIY Gifts For Moms
Perfect DIY Gifts For Moms Picture your mom relaxing on Mother’s Day with a gift you made for her. From fragrant flaxseed and lavender eye pillows to soothing lotion bars, you’ll find something nice to make for your mom on Buzzfeed’s 22 Perfect DIY Gifts for Stressed-Out Moms.

#3 – Re-Inventions
10 Everyday Inventions Made Better I want this table! I love the fact that creative geniuses not only invent items that change our lives, but they also re-invent things. They take an existing idea and improve upon it. Check out 10 Everyday Inventions Made Better.

#4 – Aerial Photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Aerial Photography of Yann Arthus-Bertrand To earn a living in Africa, French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand decided to become a hot-air balloon pilot. This decision changed his life. As he viewed earth from above, he appreciated both its beauty and its destruction. 27 Amazing Aerial Photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand provides a glimpse of some of his aerial work around the world. On the flip side, his documentary Home views the impact that man has had on Earth.

#5 – Picture Perfect Quotes
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Ribou

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
― Eudora Welty

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
― Dorothea Lange

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness.”
― Yann Arthus-Bertrand

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer.”
― Walter De Mulder

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.”
― Joan Miró

Enjoy your weekend. Now go and spread joy!

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