Sep 30, 2009

Homegrown


Homegrown, originally uploaded by deedoucette.

Look on the Bright Side: How to Find Happiness When Life is Making you Miserable



 (image: HaoJan)

Sometimes, life throws a lot of crap at you. Maybe you're in a job you hate, you're fighting with your spouse/mother/best friend/kid, and you're not getting enough sleep. Perhaps you're having major money troubles or you're sick. Maybe it's all of that as well as any other number of terrible things that can and do happen.
When things are going wrong and falling to pieces all around you, it's hard to keep a positive attitude. But there are things you can do that can help you on your way to a happier life.

Gratitude Lists

I know. Every person out there that is touting the power of positive thinking tells you to write gratitude lists. And all the skeptics out there roll their eyes. I know I did (and sometimes still do when I'm feeling cynical). But the reason that they push it so hard is that it works. On days when I'm feeling particularly miserable, I take some times to write down all of the things I'm grateful for, looking forward to and that just make me smile in some way. I always end up feeling at least a little bit better. Every little bit helps! Don't worry if some of the things on your list are silly or superficial. You don't have to share it with anybody if you don't want to (although, if you do feel like sharing, I recommend participating in Gala Darling's Things I Love Thursday - You could start tomorrow!). You'll quickly realize that even when your life sucks, there are still good things about it.

Learn Something New

Or take up a new hobby. Sometimes, you're miserable because you're stuck in a rut. Same thing, day in, day out. Why not sign up for a wood working class, join a unusual sports team or buy a book about bird watching? Anything to shake up your routine a bit. Maybe you'll find that thing that's missing from your life. Even if you don't, it's something to distract you for a little while. Which brings me to...

Distract Yourself


Read a book, watch a movie, hit the gym, blast some music, go for a walk, have coffee with a friend...just do something to get your mind off whatever it is that's making you miserable. You make think this is a temporary fix - and it is - but string enough of these small distracting moments together and you'll be living a richer, more interesting life, which is key to finding happiness.

Treat Yourself

If money is not the cause of your discontent, then a little retail therapy may be just what you need. Buy yourself that new espresso maker you've been eying, or perhaps you need a new jacket for the coming cool weather. You're worth it - just don't go overboard or spend outside your means. Even if you're low on funds, there are still plenty of ways to treat yourself. If you've got a sweet tooth, you're in luck, because there are tons of inexpensive things to treat yourself with. Think ice cream, your favorite chocolate bar or a single cupcake from a local bakery. If you're looking for something a less...caloric, check out second hand stores or clearance racks (ps: I LOVE clearance racks!) to find something awesome that's more in your price range (at the very least, some of the truly horrific things that get pushed to the clearance racks are good for a laugh!). If free is closer to your price range, don't fret! You can still treat yourself. Maybe you like bubble baths or bike rides. Also, check out free local events for a little pick me up. For example, a vineyard/winery near me has free wine tasting events. I've never been, but it sounds like fun!

Help Someone Else

Give and you shall receive. Or something. Whatever, one thing is for sure, helping other people makes us feel good about ourselves. I'll bet there is some sort of scientific, psychological reason for this, but I'm sure I don't know what it is. It doesn't really matter though, what matters is this is a win-win situation - someone gets the help they need, and you feel better. You don't have to go out and build houses for the homeless or feed the hungry- but those are certainly good ideas! Something as simple as watching a friend's kid so they can get some errands done, or helping your dad rake the lawn will work, and I know they'd appreciate it.

Smile

Does smiling really make us feel happier? Who knows. But it can't hurt, right?


This is just the beginning. There are a million and one ways out there that you can choose to start feeling happier today. What are some of your tricks and suggestions for finding a little joy in life?

Sep 29, 2009

8 Incredible Views

This world we live in is full of some breathtaking beauty. One of the best ways to witness this is to get up high and look down on the rest of the world.








 
from  B℮n










from maistora

Sep 28, 2009

Blue Jays


Blue Jays, originally uploaded by deedoucette.

Sep 25, 2009

4 Great Cat Videos

Who doesn't love cat videos? Here are four that are sure to make your day.



Kitty Catches Food.



I don't know why a cat dunking it's head under a tap makes me giggle so much, but it does.



Cat finds new, innovative way to come down the stairs.



Claims to be the best cat video you'll ever see...I don't know about that, but it is very awesome.

Sep 24, 2009

Cracked Canoe


Cracked Canoe, originally uploaded by deedoucette.

Things I Love Thursday



Coffee, trips to a farm, Scottish Highland Cattle and fluffy chickens, deep red, green, purple, yellow, deep turquoise, pulled pork, ice cream bars, irises, NCIS, gardening, Birthdays (tomorrow is my Mom's!), writing, reading, long sleeves, dreams (last night I dreamt that  I was reading a magazine where all of the articles were written as poetry...weird. Also, who dreams that they're reading a magazine?!) moments of intense inspiration, swirls, vines, flickrista, hot tea, english muffins, rotate mania, strength training, dragons, weird flavored potato chips, vanilla scented hand cream, pure cold refreshing water, beer, peppermint, umbrellas, frosting, glue sticks.



Sep 23, 2009

Things that Make me Giggle: Kitty Wigs



Kitty Wigs have been around for awhile, but that doesn't stop me from giggling wildly every time I encounter them. Kitty Wigs! WIGS for your KITTY! Seriously, if I had the extra cash, I'd buy one for Memo (and I'm sure he would be just thrilled about it too).


"You are NOT putting that thing on my head."

Now, there is also a book! A book full of kitties wearing wigs. Is there anything more incredible then that? If there is, I don't want to know about it. You can buy the book on Amazon.

Sep 22, 2009

Wrinkle


Wrinkle, originally uploaded by deedoucette.

Choosing between Yesterday and Tomorrow

If I had to choose between yesterday and tomorrow, I would choose tomorrow. Tomorrow give you hope and possibility. Hope of what might be. Yesterday only gives you memories of what once was.

Which will you choose?

Sep 21, 2009

Look Up


Look Up, originally uploaded by deedoucette.

Nature is Awesome: Honey Badgers

Mellivora capensis or Honey Badgers are a nocturnal badger that lives throughout most areas of Africa, Eastern Iran, Southern Iraq, Pakistan and Western India. Also, they're pretty awesome. In fact, The Guinness Book of World Records has named them the most fearless animal. Their reputation was earned by their tendency to attack animals that are much larger then they are. According to Wikipedia, their prey includes earthworms, insects, scorpions, porcupines, hares, ground squirrels, meerkats, mongeese, and larger prey such as tortoises, crocodiles up to one meter in size, young gazelle and snakes (including pythons and venomous species). Emphasis is mine. A documentary team once saw a Honey Badger steal some meat out of a puff adder's mouth, and then ate it's stolen meal right in front of the poisonous snake. After finishing, the honey badger was still kind of hungry, so it attacked the puff adder. He won the battle, but not without being bitten. Just after he began eating the snake, he fell over, and the documentarians presumed he was dead. Apparently he just needed to sleep it off. He awoke after two hours, and finished his meal. Don't believe me? Check it out (the part about the snake starts at about 2:18, but the whole video is worth watching):



I told you. Honey Badgers? Totally awesome.

Sep 20, 2009

Sep 19, 2009

Lily (2)


Lily (2), originally uploaded by deedoucette.

Sep 17, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

Coffee, creativity & inspiration, fall, heels, trees starting to change color, toasted tomato sandwiches, popcorn, deep breaths, the prospect of seeing Scottish Highland Cattle this weekend (shaggy cows!), stew, sales, anything with a hood, kitty wigs, seabreezes, reading, walks, NCIS, Battle for Wesnoth, blankets, tomatoes, feeling stronger, photography, stretching, free stuff, contests, Monetizing the Hate, pay week, pasta, good ideas, writing, laughing, sparkles, singing, wind chimes, earrings,  pet stores, Defying Gravity, chunky watches, polka-dots.

Sep 16, 2009

Evening


Evening, originally uploaded by deedoucette.

Quotes to Get You Through Wednesday

Mondays and Wednesdays are my too least favorite days of the week. Monday, well, that's pretty obvious. Back to work, the weekend is over. Wednesday...right in the middle. The weekend seems impossibly far away, and all I want to do is sleep in. Or at least not go to work. I know I need help to put a little oomph in my Wednesday. How about you? I was saving these four motivation inducing quotes for just such an occasion. Enjoy!

"Intelligence is real, it's lasting, and no one can take it away from you. Ever. And take it from me, nothing can take the place of the confidence that comes from developing your intelligence - not beauty, or fame, or anything else "superficial"." -Danica McKellar

"If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity. You can be busy without a purpose, but what's the point?" -Rick Warren

"Over achievement is aimed at people who want to maximize their potential. And to do that, I insist you throw caution at the wind, ignore the pleas of parents, coaches, spouses, and bosses to be "realistic." Realistic people do not accomplish extraordinary things because the odds of success stymie them. The best performers ignore the odds. I will show that instead of limiting themselves to what's probable, the best will pursue the heart-pounding, exciting, really big, difference-making dreams--so long as catching them might be possible. -Dr. John Eliot

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What are some quotes that make you feel motivated? 

Sep 15, 2009

From One to One Hundred: The Begining

For anyone not familiar with the One Hundred Push Ups Challenge, it's a six week program designed to, as the name suggests, train you to do 100 push ups.

This is my third attempt at the challenge. The first time was at the end of June 2008, and the second was in August the same year. I failed miserably both times. You know how it goes: Life gets crazy and blah blah blah, bad excuse, bad excuse. So I'm giving it another go. Although the program is for six weeks, but if my previous attempts are any indication it'll likely take me between 10 and twelve weeks (if I'm lucky and consistent). I had to repeat several weeks because I was struggling so hard. I could probably do it in six if I did modified push ups, but I want a real challenge. Something to really push me. I'm in it for the long haul this time. I'm more determined then ever to complete the plan. Let's get this show on the road.

The days below are all training days, not actual days.

initial test
- August 11, 2009

I did my initial test and did about as well as I'd expected. I did one whole, full, real push-up. This was exactly the same as the very first initial test I did back in June of last year. Sad. Very very sad.   

Day 1

My sets today were supposed to be 2, 3, 2, 2 and a maximum set. Seeing how my initial test went, you probably guess that I was not able to accomplish that. In stead, I did 5 sets of 1 push up. And that's not bad, considering.

Day 2

I gave myself 3 days rest, because that the tiny amount of push ups made me sore. Again, attempting Day 1 sets of 2, 3, 2, 2 and a max set. I managed 2, 1, 1, 1, 1. Improvement - already! This gives me hope that soon I'll be able to start following the actual plan.

Day 3

Giving it Day 1's sets another shot. Not surprisingly, I fell short. Today I did 2, 2, 2, 2 & 2. That is a HUGH improvement over day two, which was just two days ago. I'm feeling pretty good about myself, right now. You better believe it.

Day 4

Today I did 2, 3, 2, 2 & 3. Success! Finally, I was able to do The actual plan. I'm actually really surprised how quickly I'm progressing. I thought It would take much longer for me to get to this point. Ether way, I'm totally stoked and feeling pretty good about myself.

Day 5 - September 4th, 2009

It's been more then a week since my last training day(I was in Alberta for my brother's wedding), so I'm going to do an exhaustion test, rather then try to figure out if I should strive for Week-One,-Day-One's sets, or move on to Day-two's. It's easier this way. I surpassed my expectations, I did five! Only 95 more to go.

Day 6

I'm restarting with Week One, Day One's sets. That means I need to do 2, 3, 2, 2 and a max set. I've already done this once, so I should be golden. And I am, although that isn't to say that it was easy. In my max set I was only able to get to the minimum (3) after all was said and done. I think I went too many days (three instead of two) between training days. At this rate, I'm never going to get anywhere. I need to step things up a notch.

Day 7

Today: 3, 4, 2, 3, max (4). I actually did 3, 4, 2, 3 and then didn't do the max set because I got distracted by other things and never got back to it. Oops. Oh well, something is better then nothing.

Day 8

Okay, even though I skipped on the max set, I'm proceding on to Week 1, Day 3. Which mean I'll be doing 4, 5, 4, 4, max (5). I was really shaky and struggling by the end. That max set...it was rough. I somehow pushed my way through it, and got myself to 5 push ups.

September 15, 2009: It took me just over a month, but I finally completed Week One. Stay tuned for more updates.

LIFE: If You're Bored, You're doing it Wrong

Sep 14, 2009

Ork Posters: Gotta Have Heart


I love this print from Ork Posters. It also comes in red, but I like the Tan/Black combo better, I think. Not sure why. It's just a little more...something. I don't know. Anyway, I find it incredibly creative and interesting. I love anatomy based decorating, and would love to have this hanging in my house.

Sep 10, 2009

Things I Love Thursday


1. Sushi, 2. Classic Daiquiri, 3. mmm cream soda, 4. 295/365: I made a tutu!

Sunrises/Sunsets, Coffee, strawberry-flavored-anything, encountering new words and learning the definition, starfish, squid, nachos, sushi, Chinese buffets, honey badgers, sunflowers (especially that grow in my garden that I didn't plant. Surprise!), My New Crown Tail Betta fish - Parker (RIP Mason fish :( ), kitties & puppies, learning how to make new cocktails - even if they're not very tasty (We made Classic Daiquiris, they were TART!), webcomics, photo challenges & inspiration, scavenger hunts, fall weather, hot pink tutus, Vitamin Water (I've tried XXX and Energy), boots, skulls, sapphire, peacocks, booster juice (I wish we had it in Nova Scotia..), NCIS, Jone's Soda Candy (Cream Soda Flavor), CREAM SODA!, Hydrangeas.


Sep 9, 2009

Dollar Store Review: Pretzels and Coffee Beans

I love buying food from the dollar store. It's kind of like cheep gambling. Will it be good? Will it be terrible? Who knows. But it's only a dollar, so what the hell. Throw caution to the wind. Or whatever.

Chocolate is always more of a gamble then other products. I mean, you can't really screw up a bag of mixed nuts, but bad chocolate can often have the consistency of chalk or the taste of cardboard. And that's if you're lucky. Sometimes it's much, much worse. And the odds are stacked against you: More often the not, it's awful. Even though this is something I know this from experience, I'm still more likely to grab something chocolate then anything else.

I bought these Chocolate Covered Pretzels, hoping for the best. Sorry, I guess they're actually Chocolatey Covered Pretzels. Chocolatey. That word makes me nervous. It's like the manufacturer was thinking, "No false advertising here! Haha, fooled you! We never said it was CHOCOLATE covered. Read it again! It's clearly marked chocolatey. Whew boy, we are ever so clever!" As I opened the bag I was preparing myself for something terrible. Or possibly worse the terrible, since even terrible chocolate usually refers to itself as chocolate, doesn't it? I pulled the first pretzel out of the bag. Looks like a chocolate covered pretzel. Good, full coverage of the chocolatey coating. I sniffed it. It smells as you'd expect a chocolate covered pretzel to smell. Finally, I took the plunge and took a bite. It was...actually not bad.

Now, don't get me wrong. They're not the best chocolate covered pretzels I've ever eaten. I mean, come on, they cost a dollar. But the chocolatey coating was acceptably chocolate-like. Creamy consistency, not at all cardboard tasting. Overall, pretty good, and definitely worth the price. I'd buy them again.


At the store, I also grabbed some chocolate covered coffee beans. Oh, wait, sorry, chocolatey covered coffee beans. Sorry. There's that word again. I'm no longer regarding that word with complete dread, as my previous taste test proved that "chocolatey" is not a synonym for "awful". Even so, I'm still not filled with a sense of confidence when a company chooses the word chocolatey over chocolate.

They smelled of coffee and chocolate, which is a good start. The chocolatey coating is not as shiny as it appears in the picture on the pouch, which is also a relief (shiny chocolate often means it'll have a waxy consistency). I popped one in my mouth and let it sit there for a minute. The chocolate was creamy and chocolate like. Actually, it was better then the pretzels. I crunched into the bean, and was greeted with a pleasantly strong coffee taste. If you've ever eaten non-gourmet or bulk chocolate covered coffee beans, then you know what these were like. Much more then I expected from something from the dollar store that describes itself as chocolatey.

So, my gamble payed off. This time. Do you ever buy food/snacks from dollar stores? What kind of experiences have you had with it?

Sep 7, 2009

Three Things

Three Beautiful Things I saw this week
  • The Sunrise from the air. On Wednesday, in the wee hours of the morning, I was in an airplane, on my way home. The sun began to rise as we were flying over New Brunswick, and it was absolutely stunning.
  • Harvest Moon. Last night, the boyfriend and i were driving home, and I looked out the passenger side window to see a giant orange moon beginning to rise. I'm amazed by the harvest moon every year. Beautiful.
  • The ocean. I love the ocean. Whither up close or from a distance, I always find is stunningly beautiful. It was the far away viewing this time, as there is an incredible view from the highway on the way home from Halifax.
Three Colors I love right now
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Pink
Three things I want to learn
  • To speak German
  • To knit and sew
  • To play guitar

Sep 6, 2009

Delicate


Delicate, originally uploaded by deedoucette.

Sep 3, 2009

I have returned

I've been away for the past week. I went to Fort McMurray, Alberta for my brother's wedding. Other then the flying, which took forever, I had a great time. Got to see my big brother and new sister-in-law, the wedding was beautiful, and got to travel further west then I've ever been. All in all, a great week.

The flight out was the worst. We left our house at 4:15 am to drive to the airport. Our flight left halifax at 6am, 2 hours to Toronto (where we didn't get off the plane), then 3 Hours and 45 minutes to Calgary. We switched planes in Calgary (after a 40 minute stop), then flew to Edmonton, which thankfully was only 35 minutes. We then rented a car, picked up the wedding tuxes and drove to Fort McMurray, arriving at 7pm local time. In case you were wondering, that's 10pm, Nova Scotia time. Needless to say, I was glad to be there and done traveling.

The wedding, as I said, was beautiful. The bride was gorgeous in her dress (and us bridesmaids didn't look too shabby, if I do say so myself!), the ceremony was short and sweet (seriously, it was only 15 minutes long), the food was good, and there was lots of free wine and champagne.

There's not a huge amount of sight seeing to Fort McMurray, but I saw the part of the oil sands and the reclamation ponds, and I learned all about the mining and processing of the oil sands the the Oil Sands Discovery Center. I did not see any Buffalo, which I'm still a little sour about. I wanted to see a Buffalo!

The flight home was not nearly as bad as going out, even if we did have a 3 hour stop over in Edmonton and an overnight trip home. We flew Fort Mac to Edmonton, which only takes an hour, then Edmonton straight to Halifax (4.5hrs). As we flew over New Brunswick, the sun was beginning to rise, and it was probably the most beautiful site I've seen in a long time. Brilliant pinks and oranges and a hint of blue over the darkened landscape. It was truly a sight to remember. We landed in Halifax at 6:30 am, tired but glad to be home.