Thursday, March 21, 2013

22 Things Happy People Do Differently

This was a fun read that I saw on facebook.  I hope you enjoy!
22 Things Happy People Do Differently

By Chiara Fucarino
There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, walking around with a spring in every step. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.

The question is: how do they do that?

It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do things differently. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they …

1. Don’t hold grudges.
Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.

2. Treat everyone with kindness.
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.

3. See problems as challenges.
The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.

4. Express gratitude for what they already have.
There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.

5. Dream big.
People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.

7. Speak well of others.
Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.

8. Never make excuses.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.

9. Get absorbed into the present.
Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.

11. Avoid social comparison.
Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.

12. Choose friends wisely.
Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.

13. Never seek approval from others.
Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.

14. Take the time to listen.
Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.

15. Nurture social relationships.
A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.

16. Meditate.
Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.

17. Eat well.
Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.

18. Exercise.
Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your Self Improvement and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.

19. Live minimally.
Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.

20. Tell the truth.
Lying stresses you out, corrodes your Self Improvement, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.

21. Establish personal control.
Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.

22. Accept what cannot be changed.
Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.

This article was taken from this blog.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

STORIA ~ A free APP that you'll love.

I love reading. I love books. I love the look and the feel of a book in my hands. I love seeing books on the shelf.
I have a kindle and still prefer to have a "real old fashioned" book in my hand. But "Storia" offers the Young reader several things that a "good old fashioned book" doesn't.

Story reads aloud, it highlights words, it encouraged vocab development with activities. And I enjoy the convenience of not having to carry a library around with you! I love that we can have books with us even when we are on the go!  When I learned about "Storia" I was intrigued, when I down loaded the APP, I was in love!

The kids read books and played reading oriendted games with it today and loved it!
If you have an iPad, Android OS, or Galaxy OS, or Tablet/Note you will love this new APP for your littles.

When you download the APP you will get 5 free books, and each month you will get a free book. When you download the books, you can put them on several devices at no charge.

The Beauty in these books is that they act like a book and a buddy. The voices that read along with the early learner books are engaging and fun. The activities that are intertwined with the story are fun and educational. So when you are looking for a fun and entertaining app that will help your child to learn and stay entertained. Try the "STORIA" APP from scholastic.

A cool bonus is that you can have a "bookshelf" for each of your children, so when you download books you can assign them to the child who's age is most appropriate for the book.

The app is easy to use and very enjoyable.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Get Your Babypants On!

Have you ever sung about going to the country and eating a lot of peaches?  Well, whether you have or haven't, whether you have heard of the Seattle band, "Presidents of the United States of America" or whether you haven't (really?, REALLY?), you will love hearing the fun, rock songs for children sung by their lead singer AKA Caspar Babypants. 

I first heard Caspar Babypants at a free concert at a library in Tacoma.  Most of his concerts are free at libraries, parks, etc.  He plays for the 0-6 year old audience but I'm telling you these songs are ones that are fun for adults too.  My boys and I have been to many of his concerts in the last few years and they are always fun.  Whether the band is using an apple, a banana or a washboard for percussion, whether Caspar is jumping off his stool or calmly strumming his guitar, he can get the kids up and dancing. 

There are 19 tracks on his newest album, "I Found You".  It is such a fun, carefree album full of music for the family to enjoy.
He sent me the music to check out so I did a little mother music review. Here are my thoughts on his new CD...

"Baby of Mine" makes you want to hold your little one in your arms and dance around.

"Golden Sunset" is relaxing, whimsical and reminds me of playing outside late on gorgeous Washington summer nights.  It is a song that I can imagine Caspar Babypants writing with the Beatles and David Bowie--it just has the feel of being inspired by those artists-to me. 

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star are fun twists on the classics.

"If I was a" let's a child's imagination go wild as they can gets answers to some of those questions they all ask.  What if I was a snail?  What if I was a worm?  "Just Wondering" is another song that lets children ask those questions they love to ask and in a fun way! ; )

"Woods Behind My Home" is another chance for children to let their creativity go crazy as they can imagine playing in the woods.

I think the title track, "I Found You" is my favorite song on the album.  It has such a fun melody--we can't help but sing along. (check it out for yourself!)

But who am I kidding?  We sing along the whole time.  This album is fun.  It continues our love of Caspar Babypant's music.  He had us with "Googly Eyes" and "Mister Rabbit" and many more on other albums, but this album just keeps the love of his music going strong.

And we want YOU to love it too! 

We are lucky enough to have a concert going this very weekend where you can bring your littles and groove with this local artist and his family-friendly music!

Saturday February 23rd at 10:30 AM
Meet us at the Renton Landing's Top Pot Doughnuts. 
 Check out this and other concert dates HERE
Make sure you stop by our Seattle Sister Swap Meet either before or after this great concert--but make sure you go!

Check out his website HERE as well and you can listen to the newest album for free!

And he's generously donating a signed copy of "I Found You" to one of our Seattle Sisters!  In order to enter our giveaway check out our rafflecopter! And leave a comment!
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 18, 2013

Love what you eat! -Shannon Ellis

February Health Tip – Love what you eat!

February is all about the love.  And I’m not afraid to admit it – I love food.  While some people’s love of food is more like lust or turns into addiction, I believe it is possible to have a totally healthy love affair with food.  It doesn’t have to be a fling (or a binge) that leaves you feeling guilty after.  Follow these 5 tips for a relationship with food that can go the distance: 

 Only eat foods you actually like
This does not mean you should let your kids skip their vegetables or that you should never try new things; it means that you shouldn’t take in extra calories if you don’t enjoy them.  To quote Anton Ego, famous food critic from the Disney movie Ratatouille, “I don’t like food I love food.  If I don’t love it I don’t swallow.”  At a party I’m often over by the food table and while some of it will be very good, some of it will not be that great but for some reason I keep eating.  My husband is much smarter.  He knows what he likes so he may eat that one thing that he really enjoys but then he leaves the rest alone.  His way keeps him satisfied and is much healthier in the long run.  Don’t mindlessly eat just because food is around. 

Use portion control.  
More does not equal better.  The law of diminishing returns comes into effect.  I know this is a principle of economics but it definitely applies to food.  Basically the law of diminishing returns means that adding more of one thing (all others being constant) will at some point yield lower returns.  For example that first bite of chocolate ganache is amazing – a true delight to your taste buds.  And it is wonderful in your mouth for the next few bites.  But as you keep eating each bite is incrementally less delicious.  At some point it does not taste quite as good to you.  It becomes too rich.  And if you keep going you will feel gross and sick.  Isn’t it better to really enjoy something and then quit while you are ahead, while you still love it?

             Find ways to enjoy healthy foods. 
Some people don’t like vegetables or other healthy foods.  Sometimes it is because of the flavor and sometimes it is because of the texture.  Challenge yourself to prepare vegetables in different ways until you find a way that you like.  My son doesn’t like raw carrots but he will eat them if I cook them.  Peppers are just the opposite.  You can try roasting, grilling, boiling, sautéing, par-boiling, steaming and many other ways to cook the same things.  Don’t write off something that could be good for you without trying it.

  Plan ahead. 
Take the time each week or month to plan ahead.  Consider breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks with your schedule in mind.  By planning ahead you are in control of what you eat and you won’t find yourself trapped with nothing but fast food as an option.  Plus you can plan something that everyone in your family will like. 

   Slow down and savor.
Try not to eat on the go but take the time to sit down.  Look at your food.  Smell it.  Chew each bite and let the taste fill your mouth.  Appreciate it.  Not only will you enjoy it so much more, but you will likely eat less.  People who eat slowly are more likely to maintain a healthy weight then people who chow down quickly.  Eating slowly gives your brain time to realize that your stomach is full.


In this month of hearts and love don’t make food the enemy.  Commit to following these steps and enjoy a great relationship with food.  Love what you eat and take care of your body at the same time.
I hope you and all the loves in your life have a wonderful month. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Freebie - Redbox- Happy Valentines

For Valentine's day Redbox is giving about a free rental.
Promo Code: SWEET
Happy Valentine's DayGrab a new flick for you and the hubby, or a kids flick for the kiddos so you can get that Valentine's Cake you pinned done, or your coupons cut and ready if you have waited till the last minute... or maybe take an afternoon tub, and shave your legs :) What would you do with an extra hour?

A Big Valentine for the Mini love in your life.

Just a little printable for a last minute valentine that will be something the kids can look forward to.
My kids adore getting to spend one on one time with mommy, which is very rare. So I always take this special valentines occasion to make a fun memory with them.
I give them these coupons, with 3 dates specially chosen to be something that I think that they will love to do. They Circle the date they choose and give me back the coupon. I make sure the date happens in the next 2-3 weeks. They know what the date is and I make sure it happens. 
These Special dates are something that they look forward to each year. They love getting them, and choosing for themselves.

It sets them apart from other coupons because:
  • It's a 1 time event. 
  • A mom with a busy schedule doesn't have to be redeeming coupons at inconvenient times.
  • I planned the activities ahead of time
  • I know they are all under $10 (and many much less)
  • They are one-on-one dates
  • The Child gets to choose, which is very important to a child.
Here are a list of the options that I gave my little men:
  • Sundae at Red Robbin
  • Swimming at Lindbergh
  • Going to the Kids Quest Children's Museum
  • Fries at McDonalds
  • An Ice cream cone
  • Bike Ride
  • $3 Theater ($1 store treat)

I doubled up and offered some of the boys the same activites if they applied. The most important part is that it's just one on one time when they are redeemed.

These are made to be easy on your printer, they won't take up a ton of ink! Print them on Cardstock for a more sturdy coupon. To use these Coupons simply print and cut and paste your activites in the Circles. You can also use clipart in word to place a picture in the appropriate place. You can Personalize with their names and put them in an envelope addressed to them!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers

During the time I was slowly reading this book (because who has time to devour books anymore, right?), Shelbi told me about her idea for this blog. I loved the idea of sharing resources and getting to know women in our community. The blog and the ideas in this book team up perfectly. We need each other. Meg Meeker is a doctor who has worked with families for 25 years, mothered four children and written six books. This one talks about the 10 Habits of Happy Mothers but I think that all women can benefit from her words. I had several aha moments. Do you ever have those aha moments even if it's something that you knew before and it's just common sense? No? Well, okay, it's just me. ; ) I loved those little epiphanies!

 The Habits Summarized:
Win a copy for Mother's Day!
1. Understand Your Value as a Mother (and I'm adding--as a woman)
2. Maintain Key Friendships (you do have a community, a network)
3. Value and Practice Faith
4. Say No to Competition
5. Create a Healthier Relationship with money
6. Make Time for Solitude
7. Give and Get Love in Healthy Ways
8. Find Ways to Live Simply
9. Let Go of Fear
10. Hope Is a Decision--So Make It!

Check out her book at the library (I will turn it in, I promise).
Here is her website too.