Are You Smiling Yet? If not- You will be!

No one's looking, it's safe. Go ahead- Smile & have yourself a little giggle as you read about my life and the thoughts that come spilling out of my head. (Watch out for flooding though- my head's not as near as empty as my husband claims it to be!) If my ramblings don't make your day a little brighter nothing will! I promise I won't be offended if you laugh at my expense- I consider it an honor to spread happiness. Besides- if I can laugh at myself you certainly can too!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another Successful GFTAS Day

Today is the 27th of the month which means it’s Give Flowers to a Stranger Day! I’ve been looking forward to this day ever since I discovered & celebrated GFTAS Day last month. Once again I headed to my local Krogers hoping to score a marked-down pretty bunch of flowers. There were many available this time that were nice, but my eyes kept returning to another pink bunch of flowers. They weren’t that much more so I got them instead. I figured if I liked them so much, than so would the lucky recipient.  100_0438

I printed a small card tag I downloaded for free here from Whisker Graphics. I wrote a little message on the inside and taped it onto the bouquet wrapping. I also picked out one of the Kindness Cards from Kind Over Matter that I downloaded & printed to use for card drops. I tucked it in between the flowers- it said “People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”100_0441

I had been thinking all morning on who I wanted to give the flowers to today. I thought a nice elderly lady would be great and I knew I wanted to find someone somewhere other than a store parking lot. I decided I’d drive to another neighborhood and simply pull over and give them to the first person I seen. Being it was a fairly nice day & middle of the afternoon I thought it would be a cinch to find someone outside. (Easier said than done I soon found out.) The first two people I seen were guys and when it comes to flowers I figured a woman would appreciate them a whole lot more. So up & down the streets, around the blocks I kept driving slowly looking for a mom outside with her kids, a woman taking groceries inside or an elderly lady sitting on a porch swing. But I had no such luck- I only seen 3 people total and all were men. With my time, and gas, running out I changed tactics and headed downtown where I knew there had to be people. I spotted a young woman coming out of the post office and quickly parked, grabbed the flowers & hopped out. I thought I was going to miss my opportunity because she was getting in her car by then, but I got her attention and handed her the flowers simply telling them they was for her. She thanked me with a slightly stunned smile and I quickly walked back to my still-running van with my own happy grin.

I’ve been happy & smiling ever since. GFTAS just makes me feel so good- I’m so glad I get to celebrate it monthly instead of just once a year! If you’re new and want to know more about this Kindness Holiday- click here to read more about a wonderful lady and the kind act that started it all.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hoping to Win My Dream Machine

A momentary interruption from my normally scheduled posts:

Crafty Crow is having a giveaway for a Silhouette craft machine. I’ve been drooling over one of these babies for many months now. There’s soooo many awesome things I could with this craft cutter- it’s like the MacGyver tool of the craft world. You can enter for your own chance to win one by going HERE and leaving a comment before Sept. 30th on what would be your first project with it.

Click HERE for another chance to win one at Living Locurto.

4 entries between 2 giveaways so far- I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reasons I’ve Smiled- Sept. 24th


  • My Favorite show ever came back on Monday with the season premiereprince_house_poster-v2
  • Because I discovered Chunky Monkey Pancakes
  • Hearing my Lil’ Man talk with the cute lisp from his missing front tooth 
  • I seen this:  100_0299
  • My friend M stopped by for an unexpected visit 
  • I wore my Fraggle Rock T-shirt
  • We took Bell to play at the school’s playground
  • Seen a guy being affectionate to his lady by rubbing her back and caressing her shoulders as they walked into Wal-Mart
  • Dropped off this surprise package for a friend
  • Eldest brought me a butterfly shaped clover 100_0413
  • Watched a flutterby while outside enjoying a beautiful day
  • Noticed a guy more interested in checking me out than driving
  • I wore my rockin’ “Pimpette” hat 100_0388-1

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

I’m creating a new feature called "Thoughtful Thursdays" where I can post quotes and pictures I find by other wonderful individuals that are uplifting and encourage people to think about the good things in their lives. My goal is to brighten your day and make you realize that the world can be a more cheerful place if you choose to make it.

My first ever featured picture is from a talented embroideress (my own made up word) xperimentl. I found this one day when I was browsing on flickr and instantly loved it. It’s a darling piece embroidered from an illustration in a vintage coloring book with an added happy quote.

think, act, be happy xperimentl flickr

Think Happy, Act Happy, Be Happy- happily shared by xperimentl

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tasty Tuesday- Chunky Monkey Pancakes

Since I love to cook & bake and trying new recipes is one of my favorite things- I thought every Tuesday I’d start sharing a new recipe I’ve recently tried. I’ll give you my reviews & any revisions I made and maybe you’ll find a new family favorite to add to your menu rotation.

Today’s recipe comes from Our Best Bites- one of my “go-to” recipe sites. The two gals that run it are great at coming up with awesome recipes that are usually easy to make and their posts are not only witty, but have great pictures too! Anytime I’m looking for something new to tempt my kids taste buds- Our Best Bites is one of my first stops.

In keeping with my pledge to make breakfast at least 3 days before school (and therefore saving my cereal stockpile from being devoured within a week)- I decided to treat my Littles to these: 


Chunky Monkey Pancakes,

by Our Best Bites

These Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes are good by themselves, but what puts them over-the-top and turns them into incredible is the Peanut Butter Maple Syrup. The kids were raving how good they were, but I figured they were just happy they got to have chocolate in some way before noon. Then I took a bite. OMGoodness- I literally was amazed and couldn’t stop myself from shoveling a few more bites in. These are one of the best flavored pancakes I’ve ever had. You MUST try these- but be forewarned that they are irresistible. If you find yourself taking some of cooled extra ones you made for the freezer and dipping them in the leftover PB syrup at lunch & snack time and I-just-wandered-into-the-kitchen time- don’t say I didn’t warn you. (Not that I did that!)

As far as the making of them- I took it easy on myself since I knew in the morning I would only be half awake & way too tempted to skip making the pancakes in favor of just cracking eggs in a pan. I prepared as much of the recipe as I could the night before: I mixed the dry ingredients in my mixing bowl and tossed the chocolate chips with the flour in a small container (a great tip I learned from the recipe- it stops them from sinking to the bottom of the batter). Then I mixed the wet ingredients in a small bowl and mashed the bananas in a separate bowl and put them both in the fridge. When morning came all I had to do was dump & mix, no measuring, it made making breakfast a breeze! The batter was thinner than I usually like, but the pancakes cooked up nice & fluffier than I.expected. I really loved the texture of them too. This recipe is a keeper for our family and will definitely be made again.

Pick-Me-Up Gift for a Friend

My friend MB is an awesome upbeat & happy person and one of the nicest people I’ve been blessed to know. She is an assistant teacher that works in our public elementary school with the kids that need a little more special attention than others. The powers that be at the school have changed things around this year- so MB is in a new classroom, has other different EA’s (educational assistants) that she has to learn to cope with and quite a few new difficult children to deal with. And on top of all that they’ve changed rules & procedures a few times already! Suffice it to say she’s been very stressed these first two weeks of school.

So when I read on her Facebook status that they’ve changed her schedule yet again & she’s struggling dealing with some hard people at work- I knew she needed a pick-me-up. Luckily with some things I had on hand & a quick stop at the dollar store I was able to put together a surprise gift to lift her spirits. I took a Milka Bar of Chocolate, a can of her favorite pop & an encouraging teacher book and wrapped up them all in tissue paper & tied with curling ribbon. I added some happy messages to the packages by attaching some Kindness Cards I downloaded for free from Kind Over Matter.

Missy's Surprise

A quick trip across town and my anonymous surprise gift was delivered- with assurance from the wonderful school’s secretary that the giver will remain a mystery. I can’t wait to see how much of a happier FB status MB will have tonight! :o)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Reasons I’ve Smiled- Sept 17th

  • Having the tooth fairy visit our house again because of this little monkey DSCN2795-1
  • Watched the original Wizard of Oz with the family- the Scarecrow is my favorite!
  • This video I seen on Kind Over Matter in their Friday Lovelies post:

    Rachel's Birthday Video from Kristian Anderson on Vimeo.

  • Reading about this sweet mission and this pretty sunflower mission on SAL’s Kindness Blog
  • Doodling with my new colorful pens 100_0263
  • Reaching a nice, helpful & english-speaking customer service person on the phone
  • Rode in the new Ford Flex (way awesome) and Eldest’s band got $20 for it
  • Spiky-haired little boys 100_0251-1

Monday, September 13, 2010

Loosen up, Have Fun & Improvise!

I wish I lived in New York for this reason: Improv Everywhere. They are a group of people that stage “missions” that make people stop whatever their doing to watch them in amazement. They do it simply for fun and to make people smile & laugh at what the “agents” are doing. I found this wonderful group via this post by Color Me Katie.

Here’s a video from one of their most recent missions- Black Tie Beach

I don’t know which part is my favorite- the guy with the swim floaties on his arms, seeing all the ladies in their beautiful evening gowns running into the water, the guy in a tuxedo & scuba gear or the guy at the end of the video so simply happy because of this improv!  The baffled look on witnesses faces & the genuine smiles is just so great to see. I hope some day I can participate in something totally awesome like this!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sitting Here Remembering…….

I still remember turning on the TV for some random reason that day, though I rarely watch TV during the daytime. I remember wondering why the news was on so early in the day and standing there in confusion trying to figure out what was going on. I remember being in shock once I realized what was happening. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, what I was hearing. How could this be happening?!?!?  It was so unimaginable to think, but all to real to watch.

There are a lot of songs about 9/11 but “Where Were You” by Alan Jackson is the one that really makes me stop and think about that day. Even to this day, every time I hear it my eyes still fill up with tears and I feel an overwhelming sadness within me as I remember.

That day and those following were dark days for our country. So many were taken from us, so many families were torn apart, so many brave souls lost. But out of the tragedy and darkness came a uniting in our nation and an outpouring of support that still amazes me. A reinforced pride was forged that made our country stronger. I don’t want all that goodness that was born from the pain to be lost. I haven’t forgotten and I will do my best to make sure those around me haven’t either.

I send out a prayer to all that was affected by the 9/11 tragedy 9 years ago. And I pray that everyone remembers and pays honor to the individuals that sacrificed so much that day.

America- Stay Strong, Stay United, Don’t Ever Forget, but Carry On With Your Head Held High.

To everyone that reads this- please take a moment and go HERE to read a really touching post Thrifty Decor Chick wrote about 9/11. She has pictures from the Ground Zero Museum that everyone (like me) who hasn’t been there needs to see. This one really touched my heart: 146[3]

Friday, September 10, 2010

Reasons I’ve Smiled- Sept 10th 2010

  • This ice cream topping:100_0076
  • Having a blast at Michigan’s Adventure and remembering what it was like to be a kid when nothing stopped you from having fun- not even cool weather!Michigan's Adventure 2010-26
  • Finding a small RAOK someone else did- they left a stack of quarters on the vacuum/air pump at a gas station
  • A holiday weekend full of Campfires, S’mores & Family September
  • An adorable black & white kitty I spotted when driving- he was so happy just rolling around in someone’s driveway
  • Walking the Littles to the their first day of school this year100_0203-1

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Weekly Post: Reasons I’ve Smiled

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately and thinking more & more about my life goal. To reach it and to be completely happy, one of the things I need to do more of is add up all the wonderful stuff in my life. I think about all the things I have to be thankful for a lot, but it’s so easy to forget & let some of the tiny things go uncounted. I believe writing them down will make me fully realize how many reasons I really do have to be happy every day. 

So- I’m going to start a new weekly post. Every Friday I’m going to make a list of things that have made me smile that week. It could be anything- from a simple piece of chocolate I enjoyed to a phone call from a friend to a song I heard. Basically any random thing that I think of that brought me joy during my day to day activities. I’m not going to set a number of items for my list since some weeks I’m sure I’ll have more reasons to smile than others. I am going to try to write things down daily, but life (or my own forgetfulness) might get in the way of that.  ;o)

Reasons I’ve Smiled This Week:

  • Walking out of Wallyworld with children in tow- Eldest says out of the blue “It smells like ladybugs out here.”
  • I was inspired by a fellow Kindness Blogger to do this RAOK to a complete stranger
  • A baby Robin in our yard DSCN2895
  • A dear friend told me of a dream she had in which I started a movement based on my Pollyanna Principle
  • An awesome dad at the free matinee movie with his kids stood up and boogied in front of his seat to a 50’s song playing during the credits
  • Having my extended family together at our first Family Reunion and getting to see my aunts & cousins that I haven’t seen in many years.
  • Getting family pictures of everyone at the reunion- including my own small one!


  • A phone from my good friend M telling me that she missed me and she called just because she forgot to send me a Facebook message before she got off the computer & decided to call instead.