Today, I Vote For Kindness

Last night, I sat on my couch and turned on a live stream of the US election reporting. The volume was off, but red and blue light flickered in my periphery. I’d glance over every few minutes to absorb the updates, and as the results rolled in, my anxiety began to bubble up. All I could do was furiously type out my thoughts and feelings in silence, like a therapy.

I wrote and I wrote, and finally at 1am, I took a melatonin and forced myself to crawl into bed. I felt anxious, fearful, and depressed, but I knew that I couldn’t let the negative feelings percolate forever. I resolved that tomorrow, I’d wake and I’d bring a little positivity into the world. It took about an hour to fall asleep, and then nightmares danced around in my mind until morning.

While there is still a raw rumble of anxiety in the pit of my stomach, I am working on forming a feeling of hope in my heart.
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Cooking with Friends: Epic Sushi Night!

2016-04-29 21.19.19One of my favorite things to do is to get together and cook with friends. (If you haven’t already, check out my 5 reasons why getting together with friends over food is a great happiness-booster.)

I am absolutely thrilled to bring you the second installation of my Cooking with Friends series. In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know to have your own epic home-made sushi night with friends!

Sushi is one of my favorite things to eat (and make!). Not only is it delicious, but the omega-3 fatty acids in raw fish are good for your heart and your circulation, and rice is an excellent source of protein. Be careful, though — if you eat too much sushi you can easily carb overload! Everything in moderation.

Making your own sushi can be a lot of work by yourself, but with a group of friends, it’s really easy to split up the responsibilities. Everyone can bring a different ingredient, from the rice to the fish to the veggies.Read More »

Encountering Grief

Grief comes when the wind blows away something that you hold dear. You reach out, trying to grasp the beloved thing before it’s gone. You run after it, in denial, thinking you’ll manage to catch up — even though the wind blows it further and further away every second. And then it’s gone, and there’s a hole in your heart.Read More »

Share Seven Smiles… Take 2!

ShareSevenSmiles_tallimageA few weeks ago I suggested the idea of sharing seven smiles by giving a random gift every day for one week. I was really excited about the idea when I wrote the blog post… but then my week got so busy I didn’t even take it seriously myself!

This week is going to be another busy one: I am officiating my friends’ wedding a week from tomorrow (!), and the pace has picked up at work. So, I decided that it might be a good week to give myself a break from blogging and focus on preparing for my friends’ wedding in my free time. Instead of writing anything new next week, I plan to participate in the campaign to share (at least) seven smiles.

It would mean the world to me (and hopefully a lot to some people in your world, too!) if you joined me. Next week, I will be posting 7 shareable images to my blog’s Facebook page to spread the love. Here’s how you can participate:Read More »

Book Review: the life-changing magic of tidying up

“I am convinced that putting your house in order will help you find the mission that speaks to your heart. Life truly begins after you have put your house in order.”
— Marie Kondo, the life-changing magic of tidying up

978-1-60774-730-7Marie Kondo’s the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing is a fascinating book. If you ask around or research online, it has pretty mixed reviews — some people swear by it, while others say things like: “…the author is bat-shit crazy.”

Inspiring and endearing, albeit a little extreme, this book takes you step by step through how to declutter your life and make room for a little more joy. Read More »

Tip of the Week: Begin to Declutter Your Life

2016-04-18 10.31.44This week’s tip: Experience the joy of tidying up.

Everyone is talking about the life-changing magic of tidying up. I experienced it today. Have you heard about it?

It’s an internationally best-selling self-help book, written by Japanese decluttering and organization consultant, Marie Kondo. She calls her tidying process the “KonMari method”, and it’s pretty simple:

  • Tidy by category, not by place. Kondo suggests first tackling your clothes, then books, papers, Komono (miscellany), and finally, mementos. She suggests making subcategories if it is helpful.
  • Start by discarding. To decide what action to take for a particular item, ask yourself “Does this spark joy?” Trust your intuition. If the answer is yes, you can set the item aside to store. If the answer is no, it should be discarded or donated.
  • Next, decide where to store things. Kondo urges you to keep your storage strategies simple. Everything should have its own place, and similar items should be stored together. She also teaches a particular method for folding your clothes.
  • Start the next category, and repeat.

This minimalist idea of surrounding yourself with only possessions that bring you joy is not unique to Marie Kondo. Happiness Guru Gretchen Rubin often preaches that “outer order contributes to inner calm,” emphasizing that seemingly small things like an over-crowded closet can weigh us down more than we realize. Read More »

Flying

“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.” — Osho

small-image_flyingSome days, life’s windstorms can knock us over.
It can be hard to keep our balance.
Other days, the waves of our emotions
     whip us up, down, around
We crave stillness. Read More »

Tip of the Week: Spread Seven Smiles

PA160453_squareThis week’s tip: Give a random gift every day!

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Birthdays are great, aren’t they? Leading up to my birthday this year, I started to anticipate the warm, happy feelings that my birthday tends to bring, and I got to wondering — why is that birthdays make us feel so good?

Is it the fact that we are a year older? Probably not. (Unless we’re under 21 — and then it’s still really exciting.)

Is it the fact that all of our acquaintances came out of the woodwork to wish us a happy birthday on Facebook? Alright, I’ll admit… that does make me feel kinda good.

Is it the fact that we receive lots of gifts? Ooh! Bingo! I like presents! 😉

In all seriousness, though — this is the perfect time of year for me to tell you from personal experience that receiving a gift can make you feel appreciated, grateful, and happy. But why do we only tend to give each other gifts on birthdays, anniversaries and special holidays? Why not spread appreciation, gratitude and happiness on a day when someone least expects it? Read More »

Tip of the Week: Cook with Friends


This week’s tip:
 Make (and enjoy!) a delicious, homemade meal with friends.

dinner-party-tableWhether it’s a one-on-one occasion to catch up with a close friend, an intimate dinner party with a small group, or a big pot-luck gathering, getting together with friends over food is a great way to boost your happiness (and depending on the food you make, maybe your health too!)

Here are five reasons to consider putting a dinner-date with a friend on the calendar:Read More »