Simple Changes no. 6

Image at An Itinerant Poet

Writing about simple changes always makes me feel happy and motivated for some changes in my life.  Especially in light of recent bit changes that are happening over here.  I was just hired as the scholarship coordinator at a local high school as well as a free-lance writer for the local newspaper.  That means big changes for me and my family in every possible way.  Things like early bedtime, an office wardrobe, meetings, workshops, deadlines, interviews, a daily commute, coworkers, presentations, conferences, advertising, and lots and lots of organizing are rapidly becoming part of my world.  And so far I love every minute of it!  It is definitely going to be a learning curve, but it is also a challenge that I have been hoping for.

I’m not sure how any of this will affect this blog, but I’m hoping to keep plugging along as regularly as possible.  This space is on of my happy places and one that I’m not ready to leave behind just yet.  I’ll be here, so I hope you’ll stick around, too.

It’s a new week…are you ready for some simple changes?

Discover what 200 Calories Looks Like via A Cup of Jo.

Try Printed Denim. (I had the most awesome pair of printed denim jeans in college…very muted and subtle polynesian men in canoes with palm trees!  Also, when are you too old to wear printed denim?)

Organize your Linens & Loo.

Create your own Spring Salad.

Make an Ice Cream Cone Garland.

Read one of the Best Books of March.

DIY Painted Stones…simple and beautiful.

If you have any simple changes you’ve tried or are thinking about, I would love to hear about them here.

 

Chasing Ice

We held our annual family Oscar Awards party on Sunday night…nothing fancy, just the show and a popcorn bar and by the end of the show, Joe and I were the only ones watching.  We love movies at our house and one of our favorite parts of the Oscars is discovering new movies to add to our viewing list.  We’ve got several we’re planning to watch now, but at the top of our list is the documentary Chasing Ice.  I’m sure it is environmentally and politically charged, but we’re a bit environmentally and politically charged so it appeals to us.  The cinematography looks amazing and we are always up for watching extreme adventure (just not for participating).  Embarrassing to admit because it’s a bit shallow, but what really grabbed us was the original song from the movie.  It is hauntingly beautiful and I had the original version downloaded within minutes after hearing it at the Oscars.  The next day I downloaded the version featuring Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell and that version is my favorite…Joe likes the original the best.  If you’re interested, here is my favorite version from YouTube…

Did you watch the Oscars Sunday night?  Any new-to-you movies you are dying to see?

Simple Changes no. 5

Tree Guardians by Threadweavle

Do you love this image as much as I do?  The lighting, the contrast, the sheep…they are all amazing!  Wouldn’t it be fantastic as a large canvas hanging above a bed?  I can imagine lazy afternoons gazing at those sheep and naming each one…and then forgetting all their names and getting to rename them again and again.

I’m sorry there were no simple changes posted last week.  Hopefully the extra week gave you time to knock out an extra two or three.  I was in southern Utah enjoying the sun and by the time I got back the week was almost over.  So this weeks list will be a bit longer because I’ve found so many great ideas to share.

It’s a new week…are you ready for some simple changes?

Turn your Instagram images into Stickygrams…great gift idea!

Take the 21-day challenge…we are working on this here which means I’m constantly nagging everyone to put their phones away.

Give your Office Tacks a Springtime Makeover…another fun gift idea.

Adopt a Minimalist Mentality via Design Mom.

Paint some Sticks…endless possibilities for any age.

Add style and organization with Washi Tape Cords.

Welcome your guests with Coat Hangers.

Make the easiest garland ever! A DIY Knotted Rope Garland.

Update your plain white tennis shoes to Amazing Oxfords.

Catch some rays with this beautiful DIY Sun Catcher.

Try this grown up version of Green Eggs & Ham…Green Egg Skillet Bake.  I made this for Sunday breakfast and it was a hit with the grownups.

If you missed this post, go directly to it and click on the link to Brené Brown’s Ted talk.  It is life-changing!

 

Happy Life Tip 2–The Price of Invulnerability

hl tip 2

I think that Brené Brown has changed my life!  Her Ted Talk on The Price of Invulnerability has created the biggest paradigm shift I’ve ever had, and one that I’m sure will lead to greater happiness in my life.  I had never really thought about vulnerability vs. invulnerability and the role it plays in my happiness, but as I’ve listened to her words again and again, I’ve realized that most of my life I have been shielding myself from being vulnerable.  And I’ve been using the exact tools that Brené describes:  disappointment as a lifestyle, low-grade disconnection, perfection, extremism, and numbing.  Like many of you, I fear vulnerability because it often leads to fear, anxiety, shame, and guilt.  But as Brené points out, vulnerability is also at the core of joy, love, belonging, creativity, and faith.

Brené also talks about scarcity and the constant messages that we receive that there is never enough and that we are never enough, or not extraordinary enough.  Do you ever feel that way?  I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t struggle with some form of these emotions and it always gives me such comfort to be told that it isn’t true.

In closing, Brené offers these two solutions for embracing vulnerability in our life:  practice gratitude and honor the ordinary.  What beautiful, yet simple reminders of what we need to do to be happy.

You can find more about Brené Brown on her website.  She has also written several books…I just ordered this one and can’t wait to read it and share some thoughts.

Happy Life Book Club–February

book club-febDon’t Forget:  Happy Life Book Club tomorrow night, February 21, at 7:00 p.m.  Come and share your thoughts from the February chapter of The Happiness Project  and the beautiful Bel Canto.    And if you haven’t read the books, come for the discussion, the refreshments, some intellectual stimulation, some socializing, and a shot of happiness on a cold winter night.  I can’t wait to see you…or hear from you if you’re joining the book club virtually.

 

 

Dreaming of a European Vacation

roman holidayJoe and I have a big anniversary coming up this year and we are hoping and planning and working hard towards a vacation in Europe.  Neither of us have ever been and we are dying to make this dream come true!  One of the first steps towards making this dream come true was to put down a deposit on our trip…a big step.  Now, I’m trying to put little reminders around the house to keep us focussed on our goal.  Last month I bought some mugs that feature cities we hope to visit on our trip.  They are in our kitchen windowsill as a constant reminder.  This week I saw these mint oxfords at Target and am hoping to add them to my inspiration collection.  I will probably need sturdier shoes for all the walking we will be doing, but I’m thinking these would be fun to wear on the train or out to breakfast.

What about you?  Planning any big trips this year?

 

Happy Life Tip 1–Disruptive Innovation

hl tip1

In conjunction with the Happy Life Book Club, I’m going to be sharing some great happiness tips that I find along the way.  If you have tried these tips in your life, feel free to chime in with how they worked for you.  If not, give them a try and see if they lead you to a happier life.

This first tip comes from Whitney Wilson Johnson, a BYU Alumni whose goal is to “help people–especially women–identify and achieve their dreams.”  She encourages “disrupting the status quo” in order to create a happier life.  Her message and the title of her new book is Dare, Dream, Do.  Isn’t that a simple, but great mantra.  I especially like that she is inviting us to take action.  I have learned over the last few years that I am much happier when I’m actually acting upon something.  It might not work out, but at least I’m making an effort to make my dreams come true.  I’ve also found that the older I get, the more daring I become.  Age and wisdom definitely have their benefits.

For more information on Disruptive Innovation, here are some links to Whitney’s website, book, and a speech she gave at BYU.