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, November 28, 2011

Positive Affirmation Challenge

So- how did everyone do with last week's Positivity Challenge? Did it help clear your mind of negativity and replace it with a more peaceful & happier mindset? Did you spend less time leaking toxic comments and more time being thankful for the good things around you? I know I did and I hope the same for you. :o)

This week I want to build on last week's challenge. If simply refraining from saying negative things improves your life- what about taking it a step further? Turn your negative thoughts into positive affirmations.

Every time you find yourself thinking a negative thought about someone- I want you to stop yourself and reverse your thoughts. Find something positive about them instead- and then share it. Pay them a compliment. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Thank them for what they do for you. Go out of your way to put some positivity back in their day and out into the world.

And if at first you're uncomfortable with verbally expressing nice things towards others- then simply smile at them. That simple action alone is worth a million words. :o)

When you find yourself seething about how your co-worker left you a mound of work- stop and remember how he stayed over an hour off-clock to help you get caught up last week and leave him a note thanking him for it. After you get home from a long day at work and notice your husband left a pile of dirty dishes in the sink- instead of yelling about the mess he made, tell him how great dinner was and how much you appreciate not having to cook tonight. The next time you find yourself thinking how rude the one lady at the PTO meeting is- compliment her on how pretty her necklace is instead.

There is ALWAYS something positive you can say or do in any situation. You just have to retrain your brain to look for the good instead of the bad. If you practice it daily, soon you won't even have to try- it will become habit. You'll automatically notice that the grumpy cashier is simply overwhelmed by the sudden rush and is trying her best- and that when you get to the counter and smile at her and tell her she's doing a great job her whole demeanor changes and she suddenly is able to handle her job better. And it's all because you took a moment's time to make your interaction a positive experience instead of a negative one. :o)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey, stuffing, rolls, pumpkin pie & load of other sweet goodies and family- what a great day it is going to be! I am off to spend the day with my parents, brother & sisters and all the nieces & nephews. It's going to be an extra special Thanksgiving this year- my sister that lives Arkansas is up & I haven't seen her in years! :o)

I hope you all get to enjoy some great food and have a relaxing & wonderful day with your loved ones.

(Hopefully we all can make it through today without eating so much that we can't fit in our pants tomorrow!)  LOL   

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Positivity Challenge

I'm starting this week off with a challenge for all of you- a Positivity Challenge if you will. HelpOthers has once again inspired me with one of their FB posts. When I was doing my morning wake-up peruse of FB I can across this post of theirs:
 Restrain from criticizing or saying anything negative to anyone this week.
I'm sure almost every one's initial response to that is a negative thought- that there's no way they could do that. Many people would claim that such a thing is impossible. And I believe that is due to the world we live in now- a place where freedom of speech is commonly mistaken for a license to say whatever bad comment you want to someone without restraint. But just because you can do or say something, doesn't mean you should. If more people simply stopped to filter what was coming out of their mouths we would see an immediate change in our world. If more people started focusing on the positive of those around them and less on the negative- our would would improve greatly.

So this is what I'm asking & challenging anyone who reads this to do:

 For one week keep all negative thoughts to yourself. Bite your tongue when you feel foul words or statements trying to creep out of your mouth. Don't criticize- empathize. If you find yourself thinking something negative about someone- shift your thoughts to something positive instead.

If going a whole week seems like a lofty goal for you- then make it a daily goal. See if you can go just one day and I'm sure you'll surprise yourself.  :o)

Oh- and this challenge does include spouses, significant others, children, in-laws & extended family as well. ;o)   So- if you find yourself stressing over the fact that you now have 5 pounds of stuffing because Aunt Idna changed her mind about she was bringing to Thanksgiving dinner without consulting you. Or you overheard your MIL remarking to your husband how much better her pumpkin pie tastes than yours. Or when your little angels and their cousins turn into Tasmanian Devils and demolish the play room in 2 seconds flat- don't blow your top and spew all that negativity out at them. Instead push it back and notice how every one's having second & third helpings of Aunt Idna's stuff and not complaining for once that there's not enough to go around. Hear that your husband didn't agree with his mother, but tactfully changed the subject and then remember how at dessert you had to slap his hand when he tried to make off with a whole pie you made. As you're calling in the bulldozer to clean up all the toys- think about how well all the kids played together and for once none of them were glued to an electronic device or screen and that great picture you took of all the cousins building the tallest lego tower ever created.  :o)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Life Vest Inside - Kindness Boomerang - "One Day"

I discovered this great video on Pay It Forward Experience from showing how one simple kindness act spurs so many more.
When you're kind to someone that kindness gets passed on & on and reaches many others.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rediscovering the "Giver's High"

I think my favorite thing about doing RAOK's is the look of absolute happy surprise on the recipient's face. When you RAOK a stranger at first they are always wary of you- they don't know you, why are you walking up to them, why are are trying to talk to them. You know in their mind what they're thinking is "What does she want? I don't have time for this- I'm not buying anything." It's always with reluctance that they give you their attention. And to watch the suspicion on their face be replaced with pure shock & joy when they realize that you are giving them something simply out of kindness- wanting nothing in return is one of the best moments to experience ever. I wish everyone could feel the inner joy you get from doing RAOK's. It's like being on a natural buzz- a "Giver's High" that just lights you up from inside and you can't help but smile and spend the rest of the day in a great mood.

I rediscovered this awesome feeling Thursday thanks to a simple kindness suggestions posted on Facebook from Help Others. When I was checking my FB in the morning I seen "Give a candy bar to a school crossing guard this morning, He stands at the corner everday with a smile. :) ---smileswithhope"   And I realized- I can do that. It was such a small, simple thing and would only take me a moment's time. I actually had the candy bars since my Tank is selling some to earn money for his State Bowling Tournament and where we live now there are 2 crossing guards I see every morning. We were running late & I had to work that morning- but I just felt that need to do it. So I grabbed 2 candy bars, a highlighter & some tape before I herded my Lil' Man to the van. I quickly scribbled a message with a smiley face on it made from the highlighter on 2 scrap papers and taped them to the candy bars. On my way to dropping my boy off at the bus stop (hoping we weren't going to miss it) I stopped at the first corner & rolled my window down motioning to the first crossing guard, He approached my van & I handed him the candy simply telling him to have a good day before continuing on. I did the same for the second guard- pulling up beside his vehicle. Seeing both their faces alight with smiles just made me feel so good inside. And I carried that feeling with me into work and for the rest of the day. It cost me only $2 and a few moments of my time to brighten someone elses day and my own as well. There's no pictures of it- no proof to share- because I did it for me & for the simple act of kindness- not for my blog.

I want that feeling- that inner happiness from giving- that knowledge that I made someone smile for no reason- more often. I let the excuses that life has gotten so crazy, that I've been so busy with kids & work & the new house, that we don't have any extra change to spare stop me from experiencing that feeling. And that's all they are-- excuses. They're not real valid reasons.- there's nothing physically stopping me. I just need to make the time, budget the change & make the effort to go out of my way to do extra kind things. And I'm going to start doing that more. When I read a simple RAOK idea- I'm going to DO it, not just save the idea for sometime when I have more time. And if I have time- I'll blog about it. I'd love to start posting a RAOK Idea to challenge everyone every day- whether it''s my own idea or one I discovered through one of my kindness blogs. But I'm not going to worry about it if I don't. Because it's passing on the kindness & making the world a better place that is most important, blogging about it is secondary.  :o)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

KarmaTube: Sounds of Kindness

KarmaTube: Sounds of Kindness

How awesome is this?!?!?! Born from a tragedy comes a great kindness sharing opportunity. I would be oh so honored if I ever came across something like this.

Video from KarmaTube

Computer Problems

Sorry for the absence in blogging- it is due to a computer malfunction. :o/

Unfortunately my main desktop pc that houses all my life within it has decided it needs a break. Hopefully I'll have it fixed or get a replacement soon. Till then the blogging will only be done sporadically on my Mini Dell. (Boy do I miss my big pc & Windows Live Writer!)

BTW- I still have been daily thinking & doing my gratitude challenge even if I haven't been able to post them.  :o) 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude- Weekend Edition

On the weekends whatever time I’m not working are devoted to spending with my family. I try not to spend much time on the computer- so no Facebook, no blogging & limited Pinterest.  ;o)   But that doesn’t mean I’m not committed to my Gratitude Challenges for this month, so here’s my belated blogged things I was grateful for this weekend. 

Day 4

Saturday I was thankful for my surroundings. I am blessed to live in this beautiful state of Michigan, in a wonderful community & now a great neighborhood. We got to enjoy a gorgeous Michigan fall day and see Mother Nature in her autumn glory. Hubs & I went for a walk in the neighborhood- letting Bell have a field day smelling the scents & playing in the leaf piles in the road. While my little salesman Tank, with his little brother as his helper, went door-to-door (within our sight) in our new neighborhood selling candy bars to earn money to go to the Michigan Youth State Bowling Tournament. Thanks to the gracious & wonderful new neighbors we have now he sold almost an entire box & was one very happy camper!

Day 5

Yesterday the thing I felt most grateful for was my awesome husband. I worked a long 10 hour shift on little sleep (my own fault) and there’s no way I could of made it through the day without his help. He brought me food to work (including a Frosty!), took care of the kids all day by himself- including taking them to do their make-up games for their bowling league, cleaned the house and cooked dinner. He even had my plate ready when I got home! I got to sit down right away and eat, then just relax & enjoy his company for what was left of the evening.            

Friday, November 4, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude Challenge- Day 3

Today I am feeling extremely grateful for having such awesome friends & family. I put out a last minute plea on Facebook asking for people to support my youngest Cub Scout & his pack by ordering popcorn. I was feeling bad for my little man- he only had 6 orders and we have to turn it in tomorrow morning- usually we fill his entire sheet & then some. I kind of felt bad asking like that on FB, especially when it seems like every time you turn around now-a-days there’s a kid asking you to buy this or that from a fundraiser. But this is truly one of the few fundraisers I’ve pushed every year since I know it’s the pack’s main source of funds that pay for the Cub Scout’s activities and if we’re lucky (which we have been the last few years) pays for the complete cost of all the boys to go to the Cub Scout Camp in the summer.


So- I swallowed my pride & the thought of how impersonal it seemed to ask in such a way and blatantly put it out there thinking maybe I’d get one or two more orders for my lil’ man and hoping that I wouldn’t annoy my FB friends too much by asking. And the response from my friends & family has humbled me. I’ve been able to add 4 more orders to his sheet- that’s helped us reach almost half a page! I know to many that might not seem to be much. But to me it means a lot. It’s not something they had to do- they could easily ignore a FB posting. But because they could help, they did out of the niceness in their hearts. That’s 4 more people willing to help me out, help Dante out, help out a wonderful group of men & women who are trying to help young boys become great men. That’s 4 people who are volunteering to spend their hard-earned money on popcorn, even in this tough economic times, because they care.

Dante & his Cub Scout LeaderDante & His Cub Scout Leader

I tell you- it’s little things like this that make my day. :o)   I’m so grateful to all of you- those that ordered & those that couldn’t. You all are great people & I’m glad to have you in my life!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude Challenge- Day 2

I am thankful for this sweet little boy who every school morning by climbs in bed and cuddles  with me. It’s the absolute best way to wake up!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude Challenge- Day 1

I am Thankful for a sweet & understanding husband that listens to me rant and supports me in whatever I want to do. :o)

My insanity: Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Another kind of Gratitude Challenge- this time from Kendra at My Insanity. This doesn’t require but a moment of your time. Take a moment and reflect on something that you are thankful for- be it something that happened to you during your day, someone in your life, or something you are grateful to have (like a roof over your head, food on your table or a job.) Then share it with your family, friends, followers, the world via one (or more) of the social tools you frequent. If you’re not on Facebook or twitter and don’t own a blog- then email it to a friend. Help us create a wave of gratitude starting with one little ripple.

Here is the challenge: Once a day think about an publish one thing you are grateful for! You can tweet, FB, respond to her FB, blog it, whatever!  Read more about it here:  Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

I’ll be posting this challenge on my Facebook page as well to encourage one and all to stop thinking about what they don’t have and start cherishing what they do. I hope you decide to join me!

I’m on simmer this morning

I know this is a nice blog about good & happy & creative things. So feel free to skip this post where I’m going to rant & come back later when I’m feeling more my normal cheerful & crafty self.  :o)

Let me preface this by saying I love my job. I work part-time at a video store and while it can be chaotic & stressful at times- I really love it. I’m a people person and it suits me perfectly. I also love my co-workers for the most part. We occasionally irritate each other with some of our work-habits (like leaving things unfinished at the end of a shift or no notes explain what this or that pile of movies is)- but that’s just normal human interaction. It’s little things we work through & deal with.

However- it’s becoming increasingly too frequent that I’m expected to be at beck & call on my days off. We’re short-staffed, so I understand that there’s times when there’s more work than one person can handle and a little help is greatly appreciated. I’ve been there myself (more often than not I’ve just dealt with it though and then stayed later than my shift to finish things b/c I respect people’s days off.)  I don’t mind sometimes going in to help out. Heck- I’ve quite often covered people’s shifts when they were unable to work them due to schedule conflict or sickness. I’ve come in to work on short notice, I’ve worked a longer shift when asked, I’ve even voluntarily worked off-clock a little bit to finish projects I was in the middle of at work & didn’t want to throw our labor hours off by not clocking out when it was time for me to leave.

I give a lot to a part-time job. So much so that it’s started to irk me when I’m sent “SOS” texts on my day off. That when I (and others) write request days off on the calendar he repeatedly forgets to look at it when making the schedule and often we are supposed to work on those days and then have to scramble to find coverage for shifts or forgo whatever plans we had. Granted- when he scheduled me to work a short 5-9pm shift this past Monday on Halloween and I told him I couldn’t work it he said they’d manage without me. (But I was the second back-up person and technically it wasn’t him that was shorted- it was my co-worker that was working that night.)

My boss is not a bad guy- I generally like him a lot. But the little things are adding up. Stuff like him leaving stacks of damaged movies unfinished, not doing inventories when he opens, leaving huge lists we’re expected to do, calling/texting on days off requesting us to work and such. Last night was kind of like the final straw. He called and left a message saying I needed to call him or my co-worker T ASAP. I figured I knew what he wanted- me to come in & work till close. I know this b/c he didn’t look at the calendar/availability when making the schedule for this week and put my co-worker L working when she needed it off. I didn’t want to work it- figured it was his mess & he should cover it. And besides- I had my own stuff to do (like go to my son’s Cub Scout meeting to help out for the first time since I wasn’t working for once on a Tues night!)- it wasn’t like I was sitting at home twiddling my thumbs! Well about 8pm I guess he called again and left another message. Which pissed me off when I heard it:

“Hi J, this is R again. I need you to call me as soon as you get this- it doesn’t matter how late it is. If not, we’re going to have to have a meeting- like you and me. So- hope to hear from you soon.”

That bold part is what set me off. EXCUSE ME?!?!?!? If I don’t call you on my day off when I’m NOT scheduled to work then you’re implying I’m going to get in trouble? How in the HELL do you think that works? You dare threaten me with a “meeting” because I’m not sitting at home by the phone on my freaking day off because maybe, just maybe I might get a call from work and have to rush in to save the day again?!?!  I was hot to say the least. That was an instant tick me off- wrong thing to say to this girl who doesn’t get angry often. It was the match to the powder keg of things that had been building up for a few weeks now.

I’m a d*mn good employee who works her shifts, does my share of the work (and then some), doesn’t call off even when I’m sick, often comes in on my days off to help out & covers other’s shifts often when needed. When he went out of town 2 weekends in a row for weddings I worked those 2solid weekends with long hours (11 hour day one day!), closed one night & turned around and opened the next. I was running on fumes- having only maybe 5 hours sleep. I also have the highest sales in my store just about every week- Heck I had the highest in my district just last week!


Sorry- this is still bubbling inside me b/c I haven’t been able to release it on the person who deserves it yet. Because I refused to call him last night for 2 reasons- 1) You don’t threaten me with anything. EVER. NOT the way to get results with me. 2) I figured if I called him last night I’d say things I’d regret- like to F off.  I thought some sleep would help calm me down- but it didn’t work. I’m still pissed off. And when I called him this morning to wake his butt up (b/c unlike this mom who no matter if I work till close & don’t get to sleep till midnight at the earliest still has to get up first thing in the morning with kids he sleeps till who knows when)- I only got his voicemail. So I’m waiting for him to call back. And he probably won’t be any happier with me than I am with him b/c I didn’t leave a very welcoming pleasant toned message. He’s going to know I’m not happy before he even calls and he better have his pucker lips on when he does. :o)


Ok- Rant over. I feel a bit better for at least completely venting somewhere. Now to get busy and get stuff done that puts me back in a good mood.   :o)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

88 Ways to Make a Stranger Smile

While catching up on my blogs through Google Reader I seen a great post by one of my favorite Nice Blogs- Operation Nice. She shared a link she found via a friend of hers and I just had to share it as well. It’s “88 Ways to Make a Stranger Smile.”  I know many people couldn’t care less if they made someone they didn’t know smile- but if you stop and think about it that’s one of the greatest & easiest thing you could do to make your day better. If you make that one little effort you’ll not only make someone else’s day brighter-  I can guarantee you’ll walk away 20 times happier as well. And that happiness will spread to those you love and those you don’t as well.

For anyone that thinks it takes money or a lot of time to spread smiles- check out these ideas off the list that don’t cost a dime:

1. Smile often.   It’s a reported fact- one smile can generate 100’s more throughout a day as it’s passed on from person to person!

2. Hold a door open for someone.   This is a simple old courtesy that isn’t seen much anymore and just about everyone is appreciative of.

6. Give a compliment about a waiter, waitress, sales clerk, etc. to his or her manager.   Think of how good it feels to hear from your boss that a customer or co-worker went out of their way to tell them what a good job you did-   don’t you want to share that feeling with someone else?

7. Compliment a stranger’s appearance.  Flatter them.  If you catch yourself thinking how pretty someone is, or that their outfit or jewelry is stunning- don’t keep it to yourself- tell them!

24. Tell your boss, teacher or professor that he or she is doing a great job and that you appreciate what they’ve taught you.   Yes- this isn’t considered butt-kissing if you’re sincere and don’t overdo it. The one’s that are teaching us love to hear that we appreciate it and we really are taking it in.

34. Let someone with only a few items cut you in line at the grocery store.   I know this has made my day better before and I was grateful to the one that was gracious enough to offer it.

37. Repeat something nice you heard about someone else.   Instead of spreading that mean foul gossip- start a niceness vocal chain! If you’re tempted to share a catty remark about someone- choose to tell about how nice someone else was instead. Not only will that give you better Karma- it will make you a better person in other’s eyes as well. Win-win!

82. If you see a couple taking a self-picture, offer to take the picture for them.   Oh how I wish someone would offer this to me & the hubs! We might actually have some more good couple pictures then! 

And to add to the above smile suggestion: Offer to take a family’s picture as well! Often the mom or dad is left out of most pictures b/c they’re the one’s always behind the camera.

My Creative Stirrings: Gratitude Challenge!

My Creative Stirrings: Gratitude Challenge!: Are you up for a challenge that will change your life ? Beginning November 1 st , say "thanks" to either the same person or a ...

Being a little more Grateful

I’m going to ignore the fact that it’s been 7 months since I last blogged and just continue on in the haphazard way that is me.  :o)  Ok? Ok!

What prompted this writing is a blog post from My Creative Stirrings- she posted a Gratitude Challenge and I think it’s just what I need to try and do in my already-crazy-busy life. ;o)  Actually- it really is. I’m really good at thanking everyone for the little day-to-day things they do for me. But I’m really bad about thanking the people I love for the larger things they do- like putting up with my non existent emails, phone calls & visits. I rarely remember to take the time to relax with my besties & family b/c I get so absorbed in my own life events. And it’s one of the biggest regrets I have, but I can’t seem to find a way around it. It’s on my “must work on to become a better person” list.  :o)

Anyways- I’m somehow going to try and fit a special thank you into each and every day of this month. If I can squeeze the time out to blog about it I will- but I’ve learned that I shouldn’t make promises about that b/c in my life there’s no guarantees.  :o)

I hope if anyone’s reading this that you make an effort to be a little more thankful for the people around you and good things you have- even if it’s only a couple times this month.