Monday, January 31, 2011

The Happiness Project: Chapter One

Welcome to the Chapter One - blog post!
Better late than never right, sorry for the delayed post, I have been a little busy the last couple of days with my new long term teaching job.

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This week I would like for us to reflect on how we can accomplished these tasks for ourselves:
How can you sleep better?
Sleeping better was a big part of Rubin's 1st chapter and I have to say it rings true in my life as well. I have been working really hard on sleeping better to increase my own energy and productivity. My methods for sleeping better include going to bed early regardless of whether or not I am tired. Sounds easy right? Wrong it is so hard, I have become quite the night owl and I do not like going to bed early but I do love being able to wake up in the morning not feeling like a I need toothpicks to hold up my heavy eye lids.

What can you do to improve your workout routine?
Workout, what is that? No just kidding! But really I have been a total slacker about working out lately. I was getting back on track for running and then I came down with a cold and have not found the motivation to get back into it. But what I need to do to improve my workout routine is to have a schedule. I have decided that I will wake up early on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and workout for a minimum of 20 minutes before getting ready for work. As Rudin explains "even a quick ten minute walk provides an immediate energy boost and improves mood - in fact exercise is an effective way to snap out of a funk."
Wish me luck =)

How can you get organized in your life?
Taking some advice from Rudin I started in my closet and begin organizing every part of my house. I know this sounds quite crazy but opening my kitchen cabinets and seeing organiztion has made me happy =). I have also begun trying to pick up after myself as Rubin says "Do it now! Don't postpone any task that could be done in less than one minute." And as silly as it sounds this one rule has been so helpful to me in organizing my life.

What is a nagging task that you need to complete?
(Post it, and tell us a goal for when it will be completed.)
Hmmm...when reading the book I thought it would be easy to come up with a nagging task but I think because it is a nagging task I have filed it away in the back of my mind in order to forget it exists. One nagging task I need to complete is organizing our home office, complete with filing system, pictures and scrap-booking supplies, realistically it probably won't get down until this summer when school gets out.

How can we get our energy levels up?
Energy energy levels have actually gone up just by doing all of the above things but one more thing that has really helped bring my energy levels up is just a "fake it till you make it" approach to energy!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


My life is about to become just a little bit crazier. Starting Monday I begin a long term substitute position at Arbuckle Elementary School, the elementary school located in our home town. I am so excited! Not only will my commute change from more than 100 miles per day down to less than 5 miles per day. I also love teaching, it touches a part of my soul that no other job has been able to fulfill but at the same time it was hard to leave my old jobs. Aside from my time off for student teaching I have worked for both my mom and my dad at their respective businesses since I graduated from college. I loved working with both of my parents and I enjoyed those jobs as well, Thursday and Friday were exciting and sad days as I said goodbye to those jobs for the time being.
I will be teaching 4th grade until the end of April and then will move to 2nd grade until the end of the school year. Wish me luck, I know I have a lot of work ahead of me but I also know I have a lot of fun ahead of me! I know many of my students because I had them last year in the 3rd grade class where I did my student teaching.
Hopefully my desk doesn't end up looking like this:

I am crossing my fingers for a full time position next year!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Shout Out

So one of my friends from high school, Meghan at Forever Young, has always had one of the most breathtaking voices, I have ever heard. And not only does she have a beautiful voice, she is beautiful inside and out. And she is super crafty and an adorable, new mother!
Take a listen you won't be disappointed! And then go and check out her blog, she always posts the most adorable projects

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blog Giveaway

One of my favorite bloggers, Tracy @ Then I got to Thinking, is doing a fabulous giveaway on her blog, if you haven't already seen it you should check it out:
Happy Thursday!

One more work day until the weekend!
Image found here

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My 12 Commandments!

Inspired by Gretchen Rubin author of The Happiness Project, I decided to write my own 12 commandments:

1. Always be true to myself
2. Do not take things personally
3. Act the way I want to feel
4. Do not procrastinate!
5. Live in the moment
6. Always find the silver lining
7. Jealousy is a waste of time and energy
8. Money doesn't grow on trees
9. Surround myself with people who make me happy
10. Do not gossip
11. Do not judge, you never know what someone else is dealing with
12. Remember what's important, LOVE

You can find more information the blog book club being hosted by Elizabeth @ Musing Experiences.

A Woman Should Have... A Woman Should Know...

While pursuing blogs this evening I came across this fabulous email on Kelly's blog @ Kelly's Avenue:

A Woman Should Have .....

Enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to...

A Woman Should Have ......

Something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

A Woman Should Have .....

A youth she's content to leave behind....

A Woman Should Have ......

A past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age....

A Woman Should Have .......

A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

A Woman Should Have ......

One friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...

A Woman Should Have ......

A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family....

A Woman Should Have ......

Eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honoured...

A Woman Should Have ......

A feeling of control over her destiny.

Every Woman Should Know .....

How to fall in love without losing herself.

Every Woman Should Know .....

How to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship...

Every Woman Should Know .....

when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...

Every Woman Should Know .....

that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

Every Woman Should Know .....

that her childhood may not have been perfect...but its over...

Every Woman Should Know .....

What she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

Every Woman Should Know .....

How to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...

Every Woman Should Know .....

Whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally.. ..

Every Woman Should Know .....

Where to go, be it to her best friend's kitchen table, or a charming inn in the woods; when her soul needs soothing...

Every Woman Should Know .....

What she can and can't accomplish in a day...a month...and a year...

The Happiness Project: Getting Started

For those of you who missed my last post, I have the honor of being part of a blog book club, being hosted by Elizabeth @ Musing Experiences. You should check it out too:

Please copy and paste it on your blog!
Happy Reading!
The day after finding this exciting blogging book club, I downloaded, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin on ibooks using my iphone. I read through the first section, Getting Started, in no time flat. From the opening, A Note to the Reader, I was hooked. Rubin's book The Happiness Project, explains to readers her definition of a happiness project is "identifying what brings you joy, satisfaction and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom and remorse," (pg.7). Rubin then explains that you must take this information and make resolutions with concrete actions to boost your happiness. Rubin's book goes in depth about her own happiness project in hopes that others can learn from her journey. I enjoyed Rubin's openess and honesty, I felt as if she was speaking directly to me, as if we were friends sharing a cup of coffee. Rubin shares with readers her twelve commandments for Happiness:
1. Be Gretchen
2. Let it go
3. Act the way I want to feel
4. Do It now
5.Be polite and be fair.
6. Enjoy the process
7. Spend out.
8. Identify the problem
9. Lighten up
10. Do what ought to be done
11. No calculation
12. There is only love
Rubin also came up with a more comical list, the Secrets of Adulthood:
People don't notice your mistakes as much as you think.
It's okay to ask for help.
Most decisions don't require extensive research.
Do good, feel good.
It's important to be nice to everyone.
Bring a sweater.
By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
Soap and water remove most stains.
Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.
If you can't find something clean up.
You can choose what you do; you can't choose what you like to do.
Happiness doesn't always make you feel happy.
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
You don't have to good at everything.
If you're not failing you're not trying hard enough.
Over-the-counter medicines are very effective.
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
What's fun for other people may not be fun for you - and vice versa.
People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts on their registry.
You can't profoundly change your children's natures by nagging them or signing them up for classes.
No deposit no return.
(Pg. 46 - 50)
While Rubin's list of twelve commandments seems very broad, and slightly overwhelming for someone like me, who is seriously considering coming up with their own happiness project, she explains that she will be breaking down her resolutions into smaller pieces each month in order to accomplish her more broad commandments.
Rubin explains that she wants to "change her life without changing her life" (pg. 52). Rubin also explains that "contemporary research shows that happy people are more altruistic, more productive, more helpful, more likeable, more creative, more resilient, more interested in others, friendlier and healthier. Happy people make better friends, colleagues and citizens," (pg. 59) sounds like someone I would like to become, how about you?

I can't wait to dive into chapter one of Rubin's book, check back for updates.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog Book Club

As I was browsing blogs today I came across a blogging book club, being hosted by Elizabeth @ Musing Experiences. With her permission I will be part of this exciting new group. You should check it out too:

Please copy and paste it on your blog!
Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wedding hints

So tonight I was working on a wedding binder for a couple of friends and I realized that the information I put in it would make the perfect blog.

Congratulations on your engagement! Don’t stop staring at that beautiful ring! Oh and use the word fiancĂ©e as often as you can just because you can AND it’s fun to say =).
When I got engaged a friend of mine gave me a wedding planning binder and it became a bible to me. I hope it’s just as useful to you.
I also thought I would share some of my wedding planning knowledge from my special day. I really hope it’s helpful to you!
The location: pick a place that speaks to you. Also the more the location takes care of the easier it will be on you the day of the wedding (tables, chairs, dishes, food, cake). My mom and I were very thankful that we didn’t have a lot to do the day of the wedding as it is already a stressful day. Also make sure you like the people who work at the location, you will be working with them a lot over the course of your wedding planning.

THE DRESS: try lots and lots of them on and enjoy every moment of it! Take pictures, make memories and cherish this special time. Drink champagne; bring your mom and your friends and whoever you want to be there when you find THE ONE. And I know it sounds cliché but you will just know it when you find the right dress.

The photographer: If you are going to splurge on anything this is the place to do it because they make the mementos you will keep for your lifetime. Also pick someone you love because you will be working very closely with them on your special day. If I can make a recommendation call Rebecca @ Ford Family photography, she is absolutely incredible to work with.
The flowers: pull lots of pictures out of magazines, look at pictures on the Internet, attend bridal showers and take photos. All of these will be helpful when you meet with florists. If I can make another recommendation call Melissa @ Floral Creations, she is very talented and has visions you could not imagine. Helpful hint if you pick flowers that are in season it is less expensive.
The DJ: Good music makes for dancing and dancing makes for a great party. Last recommendation I swear but call Joe @ SJ’s Disc Jockey. He’s great to work with and plays awesome music. Also he can bring a photobooth, which is so much fun and makes for great memories to look back on. If you do get a photobooth make sure you put it in a location where people have to pass by it multiple times throughout the night, that will ensure you will get lots of great pictures.
Of course I am sure there are a million things I have missed. But just remember to have fun and enjoy every moment of the planning and the big day because it really will fly by. And most importantly remember that this day is about the two of you celebrating the commitment you are making to spend the rest of your lives together as husband and wife, make it special and make it yours!

My sister in law gave me one of the most important pieces of advice after we first got engaged and I would like to pass that piece of advice along to you, “Remember that no matter what happens at the wedding at the end of the day you will be MARRIED!”
Photos compliments of Rebecca @ Ford Family Photography