Can You Find Your Happy?

A recent study found that individuals who started each day with 3 happy thoughts or positive affirmations were on average happier than those who did not. So…what are your 3 ‘happys’ for the day?

I’m happy today because I’m currently sitting outside on my balcony in beautiful 75 degree weather, it’s flip flop season, and my bike should be ready at the bike shop on Thursday!

If you are having trouble thinking of 3 simple things that bring you joy than maybe it’s time to re-evaluate other things in your life. Are you happy in your job, your relationship, in the life you’re building? Are there things you think need improvement? Well then make that your happy thought! For example if your relationship has you feeling down you could say, ‘I haven’t felt as connected to my spouse lately so I’m going to plan a date night for this weekend.’ Presto, happy in the making! Sometimes all you need to do is tweak one thing to improve your mood. Don’t try to climb the mountain until you master the mole hill. 

This is a picture from one of my happiest moments: Plainville Hot Air Balloon Festival

Morning Self-Care

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Mornings are rough. Period. Your bed is warm, you have to get out of it. Your dog is staring at you, he has to be walked. Your Keurig broke last week and you forget to replace it every day until it’s morning and you’re stuck in the 16 car line at Dunkin…again. But, mornings can also be the perfect time to relax and set up your mind, body, and soul for the day ahead. The important thing to remember with morning self care is to play to your strengths. Hate working out? Then a 6am spin class isn’t for you. Love nature? Take your dog on a long walk and breath in the fresh air. Below are 5 options for morning self-care to help you get up, get moving, and feel relaxed throughout the day.

  1. Get up 30 minutes early, make a cup of coffee, then get back in bed and use those 30 extra minutes to read a book or magazine, stalk people on social media, or snuggle with your hubby.
  2. Exercise. Go for a walk or run. Hit the gym. Or Daily Burn in your living room. You’ll feel energized, productive, and set yourself up for not feeling guilty indulging when the baker at work brings in brownies for the group.
  3. Watch one of your favorite shows on the DVR. Put your feet up, relax, and enjoy some down time before the chaos.
  4. Get the house in order. Do a load of laundry, finish the dishes, or de-clutter. You’ll feel accomplished and come home form work with less on your to-do list.
  5. Have a conversation with a friend or family member. Not the friend or family member that never has anything nice to say. The one that makes you laugh and puts you in a positive mood.
Self care is important. When you spend your day working, caring for your kids, and/or running around like a maniac it’s important to have that time in the morning to yourself. I’m a morning person, but sometimes mornings are just a downer. I make an effort every morning to do something that helps me feel relaxed and centered before I take on the day. For example, this morning I’m sitting at my dining room table in my pajamas with a cup of coffee and my hair in a messy bun writing a blog post about self-care. To each their own.

Adventures at the Book Barn

If you are a lover of reading, used books, and/or cats than the Book Barn in Niantic is the place for you. I went over the weekend for their 30% off sale and came home with way too many books, a smile on my face, and the need to purchase yet another bookcase. The Book Barn has 4 locations all on the same road: Downtown, Midtown, Main Store, and Store #4. The Main Store has various outside carts and sheds with books as well as a big old house stacked to the brim for your reading pleasure. The other 3 stores are smaller, but are also chock full of good finds. On this trip I got 3 Wally Lamb books, a biography of Bozo the Clown, the Cake Doctor Chocolate cookbook, and various others that I can’t wait to get into. If you have books to sell they do buy backs during certain hours of the day. You just have to head to the main store and take a ping pong paddle with a number. The stores are open daily from 9am-9pm except on Thanksgiving and Christmas and all of the staff are very knowledgeable. The moral of the story is go to the Book Barn, love yourself, love the books, and pet a few kitties while you’re there.

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Date Night Basket

When our best friends got married last November (at the BEAUTIFUL Copper Beech Inn in Ivoryton) we felt like we needed to do something extra special to help them celebrate their big day. We decided to create a ‘date night basket’ and had an absolute blast putting it all together.   Here’s what we included in the basket:

Movie Night In: Cozy blanket, classic movie, gourmet popcorn
Movie Night Out: Gift card to AMC Theaters
Breakfast in Bed: Beignet mix, bride and groom coffee mugs with hot cocoa mix, decorative dessert plates
Wine Night: Bottle of red, bottle of white, and J & A wine bottle stoppers
Joe’s Night In: 2 bottles of fancy pants bourbon
Amy’s Night Out: Gift card to Ticketmaster 

The Posh Pear: Consignment Store and More

I am constantly on the hunt for a good consignment store. A place with quality items, variety, and price tags that don’t make me say, “Who are they kidding?” When I moved back to CT I started following a bunch of local businesses on Facebook one of which was The Posh Pear in Plantsville. I stopped by their sidewalk sale yesterday and had a great time wandering around and got a few great items.  One of my favorite parts about the store is that they feature items from local creatives! Jewelry, bath items, and more were on display from other local small businesses with their business cards available. I LOVE to see women supporting women! 

I spent less than $50 and got all of the items above. The shop consigns name brand clothing, has beautiful furniture, glassware, and jewelry for sale, and offers chalk paint workshops. Check out The Posh Pear if you’re in the area!

You Are The Only You

Here is something I’ve learned recently. You will find other people that have the same opinions, hobbies, likes, dislikes, or experiences as you, but you will likely never find another person that has the exact same opinions, hobbies, likes, dislikes, and experiences as you all balled in to one. Am I the only person on the planet who loves Harry Potter, has a rescue dog, or struggles to keep succulents alive? Individually, no, because let’s get real: everyone loves Harry Potter, rescue dogs are the new pet rock, and succulents are hard as f*** to keep alive despite all of the articles and blog posts claiming otherwise. But, the combination of things that makes me who I am, although the individual qualities are likely shared by others, are specific to me and me alone.

My point is friends, figure out who the fuck you are and fucking own it because who you are is 1. amazing 2. unique and 3. the only real thing you’ll ever have in this world. The sooner you find yourself, the sooner you’ll find your passion, your people, and your happy.

Is the person that you put out into the world a reflection of your true self? Do the people that you know actually know you, or do they know who you want them to know? If your friends were to describe you to someone else, would you agree with that description? These are the questions you should be asking yourself because if you can answer yes to each then you are just one step closer to finding your happy and your YOU.

Now, I’m not saying to run out there today and show the world all of your crazy, some things are meant to be kept to yourself. But, your aura, your YOU, is something the world deserves to experience.

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The Fix For Springtime Work Day Blues

Spring is here! It’s warmer and sunny and flip flops are now an acceptable footwear option for the next 5 months! And yet, here I sit at my day job in my office in the basement of a 5 story building in Hartford. It’s during times like this that I regret not being a forest ranger or construction worker or beach comber…pretty much whatever job lets me be outside soaking up Vitamin D. That being said, I have found 5 ways that help me get through the work day without feeling down, unmotivated, and jealous of everyone that is outside enjoying the beautiful weather.

  1. Keep your sunglasses on your desk. Yes, it sounds silly. But, it’s a constant reminder that when I leave it will still be light out (#thankyoudaylightsavings) and I’ll need those bad boys as I cruise down I-84 with my windows down blasting classic rock.
  2. Try to get outside to eat lunch at least 2-3x a week. As I stated, I work in Hartford and not in a great area. We don’t have a patio area or a designated outside eating space. So, sometimes I’ll sit in my car and read or out back on a bench just to get some sun time.
  3. Make plans for an outside activity after work. My husband and I love taking long walks on the Rails to Trails path with the dog or we’ll find a local restaurant with an outside patio to go for happy hour.
  4. Brighten up your office! Bring in a plant or indoor flower pot, colorful picture frames, or fun office/desk supplies (Home Goods is calling my name already). I’ve been slowly upgrading my desk decor and my current favorite items are a gold owl mug that I keep my pens in and the photo booth picture from my wedding of me and all of my bridesmaids.
  5. Spend 30 minutes outside before work. Sit out on your desk/patio/balcony with a cup of coffee or take a jog. You’ll get to work feeling like you at least won’t spend the WHOLE day indoors. It also gives you a chance to start working on your tan.

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