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are we happy yet

Come on, get happy

Merriam-Webster defines happy as enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment.  There is a lot going on in the world that makes happiness seemingly harder to find, but what if I told you happiness is a choice? Despite all of the crap going on and the many WTF moments we are facing, it is still possible to find contentment and well-being.

Yes, I am veering away from my usual content to share with you a new book that just came out this week. Lisa Cypers Kamen’s book Are We Happy Yet? is a guide to finding joy in our lives. Lisa is a positive psychology coach and expert in life-crisis recovery. In the book, she discusses her eight keys to unlocking joy in our lives and through exercises, she provides the reader with the skills to up their happiness factor.  As she points out, happiness is an inside job.

are we happy yet

From time to time life throws us curve balls, whether it’s a job loss, the death of a loved one,  a divorce or the odd feeling that we are trapped in an alternative universe. We all face adversity at some point in our lives. We can allow the adversity to keep us stuck and miserable or we can chose to rise to the occasion and find contentment. It all comes down to how we react, think and feel about our circumstances and ourselves.

For some, the path to contentment in the face of a crisis is easy. For others its fraught with challenges thought to be insurmountable. It’s easy to wallow in the negative and find a safe place among poisoned thoughts, but after awhile those thoughts become too unbearable and something snaps. It either snaps us out of the funk or drives us deeper. The search for inner peace and a sense of happy is a journey.

I’m on that journey right right now, reading everything I can get my hands on to help guide me.  My reading list is a litany of self help books by authors Gabby Bernstein, Brendan Burchard, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Lisa Nichols. It’s because of this journey that I am looking forward to adding Are We Happy Yet to my reading list.

 

“Positive psychology focuses on what’s right with life here, now and tomorrow, rather than ruminating on what’s wrong with it and what happened in the past,” says Cypers Kamen. “Are We Happy Yet? helps readers embrace the absolute best parts of life, each and every day.”

Through the pages of Are We Happy Yet?, Cypers Kamen teaches readers how to:

  • Accept the past for what it is—a reference point, not a destination
  • Embrace the truth that, while life is tough, you can be happy
  • Transform your relationship with yourself from enemy to ally
  • Appreciate why less is often more
  • Focus on what’s right with your life, not what’s wrong
  • Control the only person you can—yourself!
  • Invest in yourself to become more mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually fit
  • Use your newly discovered joy to become a more positive and productive influence in the world

We chose our reactions to life’s dramas and traumas. I know from experience it’s easy to let curve balls knock you out of the game. Negative past experiences can derail your life if you allow them to. My hope is that Lisa’s book will guide readers to learning how to be brave and let go of the baggage that holds one back.  I know I could use another tool in my box.

*this post was not sponsored and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thoughts on the decorated planner

The thought of using a decorated planner with stickers, colored pens and other embellishments never crossed my mind, until recently. I have always used a planner of sorts, usually it was the professionally stuffy Covey planner. It worked and seemed very corporate ladder friendly.  Every weekend I would take a pencil and write in what I needed to accomplish the following week. It kept me on task, but was rather dull.

The Blue Sky  Day Designer Collaboration

The Blue Sky Day Designer Collaboration

 

Then about a year ago, I discovered the Day Designer by Whitney English through a couple of creative entrepreneurs I met on line.  I was accustom to uber dry professional planners and the DD, as it’s affectionately referred to,  sounded so much hipper.  I bought my first one last August, introducing me to a completely new world of planners.  On the surface it’s a basic format to scheduling your day, listing your to do’s, noting your dinner menu, and giving you a spot to note what you are grateful for that day.  It is so much more in tune with how most of us live our lives these days outside of Covey’s A-D priority way of planning.  I joined the Facebook group of Day Designer users and realized there is a movement a foot. The Day Designer, Erin Condren, Plum Paper Planner, Kate Spade and a host of others all have users that embrace the concept of a decorated planner. Each of these planners become so much more. They are part planner, part scrapbook, part inspirational tool and way of life.

These decorated planner enthusiasts use everything from colored pens to washi tape, to stickers and 3M plastic pockets. The decorated planner transforms into a visual feast of your life, dreams, plans and hopes.  I am a visual person, but was reluctant to decorate my planner as I thought it would be perceived as frivolous. My experiences have been corporate and it’s a different world from the creative self-employed bloggers, etsy shop owners, and stay at home moms that sing the praises of the decorated planner.  There are few professional corporate women in the tribe and more free-spirited entrepreneurs.

Washi tape, scrapbook stickers and paper were not widely available in my twenties and only became popular within the last fifteen years or so.  I have not found much reason to walk the scrapbook aisle, although I am a sucker for pretty paper, until I purchased my DD.  I walk a thin line between professional corporate ladder climber wanna be and free-spirited entrepreneur, so I am cautious but slowly giving in and decorate my planner subtly.

PicMonkey Collage_DD

I’ve collected washi tape, stickers and expanded my collection of colored pens. Each of these elements helps me to decorate each of my days. My life is broken into several key areas, job searching, blogging, projects, and appointments.  So,  I break my to do list into sections with washi tape, then color code each section to correspond to the area I need to focus on.  Right now, I love the slim washi tape, my gold stars and itty bitty frog stickers I found on esty. (more on that later) Each of these elements just bring a bit of color and personality to my day. It sure beats looking at columns of black & white with no other allure.

Next week I will walk you through the best parts of having a planner and show you the tools I use to plan each month strategically.

 

 

Summer Color: anything goes with your toes

So, what do you do on a rainy Saturday morning?  You play around with nail polish colors. Earlier I mentioned that pink is my go to for my nails. Yet, sometimes it is fun to mix it up.  After all, it’s summer time and anything goes with your toes.  Although I question whether colors that I wore in junior high are still acceptable some thirty years later, I have decided YOLO. (yes I went there)

Your toes are a perfect spot to infuse color all summer longer.  Hanging out by the pool, bar crawling with friends in chic summer sandals or digging your feet into fluffy sand at the beach having your toes peak up at you sparkling with happy colors just makes one smile, doesn’t it?

Admittedly, I do not go to great lengths with my own pedicures and my favorite brand Essie holds up for a week or two allowing me to cheat a little. Other brands I have tried are not as durable. Since I live in my sandals and flip-flops all summer, durable is important to me.

This summer’s colors are a mix of amazing pastels, vibrant pinks, and bright oranges, with most being a variation of past summer trends.  Currently, I adore  Orange, Its Obvious; Saltwater Happy;  ModSquare; and Mojito Madness. As it turns out, Mojito Madness is the top pinned color on Pinterest.   A girl can’t be wrong if so many others adore it too.

 

essie_summer_colors

And the Winner is…..

tlc_cookbook

My apologies. I have procrastinated on the TLC give away, hoping that others would enter.  With only three entries everyone had a very good chance of winning.  I used a random number generator to  chosen  a winner.

Congratulations to Nikki on the win!  Nikki- please email me your address so I can drop the cookbook into the mail for you.

 

 

Five Must Haves That Make My Life Easier

The blog has been sorely neglected lately and for good reason.  I recently took a job as an inside sales person for an on line retailer with ties to the interior design industry.  Just as I was adjusting to the new schedule family descended for an after holiday visit. My home is finally getting back to order and regular posts will resume.

With all of the craziness, it got me thinking about the little things that make my life so much smoother,  less chaotic, easy to manage and, well, happier.  So I thought I would share with you my top five must have’s for 2013….

evernote-logo

Evernote

Top on my list is a good planner…. I have a great little calendar and use it in tandem with the online app Evernote.  It is incredible for tracking everything from meal planning to Doctor’s appointments and random blog ideas to the name of that great lipstick I spotted at M.A.C.  Evernote is really an all in one organizer.  I love that I can create notebooks, and then individual notes within each notebook.  Evernote is a godsend for this crazy busy person….

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BB Cream

Some mornings I am just too on the run to worry about going all out with the face, but BB Cream makes it easy to walk out the door polished and pulled together with little effort.  I love Dr. Jart’s. It’s perfect for my 40 something skin and the mild case of roscea I have. I just apply it, swipe on some eyeliner, dab a bit of gloss and run out the door.

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Old Fashion Espresso 

When I was out in California last summer my aunt would make us lattes every morning. Now, I have always been fond of my lattes, but rarely have I made them at home.  Well, Santa came through and bought me my very own stove top espresso maker.  It’s fabulous because it saves me money by not stopping at everyone’s favorite corner coffee shop.  I whip up a cup of joe, pour it into an oh so cute travel mug , cover with steamed milk and out the door I go.  I love simple indulgences that can be created in no time.

pearls

Signature Jewelry

Having a signature piece to wear, whether it’s a necklace or earrings, makes accessorizing on a busy morning much easier.  It’s a no fuss no muss approach to pulling a look together in a crunch.  My go to pieces are my Grandmother’s pearls. They are a classic that can be dressed up or dressed down.  Over the years I have become synonymous with pearls, so much so that friends if I’m ok when my neck is not graced with them.

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A Great Tote Bag

I tend to carry everything except the kitchen sink, so a great tote is a must.  My favorite is my monogrammed LL Bean Boat Tote.  It’s sturdy and holds way more than it appears to.  Of course, being that its one big bucket, things can get lost easily.  To keep things organized I rely on uber cute cosmetic bags and adorable clutches. The great thing about the clutch is that it’s easy to grab and go for a night out with friends without a bigger bag swung over my shoulder.

As long as I am armed with these five must have’s this year will be on an roll.