Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Happiness Project: March 2015 (part 4 & 5)

The Happiness Project

March 2015: Aim Higher

-WORK-
{part 4}
Work Smart
-Boost efficiency
You can at least  make your day feel calmer if you feel you have enough time to do all the work you want to do.
Don't be busy. Just be productive.
Since I don't work out of the home full time, I am using examples of "working smart" geared more to those who stay-at-home or work-at-home.
-Have a plan
There are numorous websites and blogs that share tips for time management. I followed FlyLady for years and developed a few routines that stuck with me over the years. One of the best ways to manage time is to have a morning and evening routine. This list will be your list of things to do every morning and every night before bed. It is amazing how by just doing these few things a few minutes each day can make you more efficient. And by being more efficient, I am always happier.
Daily to do pages with pre-printed daily tasks (including cleaning routine) and space to fill in other to do items - this site also has links to printable cleaning checklists!!
Don't make your lists complicated. Just basic things that make starting and ending your day easier.
My list is something like this:
MORNING
-make bed
-breakfast
-get dressed
-read/computer
-start a load of laundry
-phone call(s)
-make a to-do list for the day
-take out something for dinner
-empty dishwasher
My evening routine isn't as structured since I don't have little kids anymore. When I did, I did as much as possible before bedtime to make the mornings run smoother (like fill out paperwork, prepare lunches/snacks, pick out clothes, etc.).
I find that being efficient with my time puts me in a much better mood!
- 15 minute rule
Retro aqua kitchen timer
In my case, it's usually 10 minutes. I often clean the house by setting the timer to 10 minutes and just go through a room cleaning and putting things away. It is amazing what you can do in 10 minutes! I can get sidetracked easily and the day gets away from me before I know it. Just spending 10 minutes in each room allows me to accomplish so much, yet frees up time to do other (more fun!) things.
You don't even have to do the thirty minutes all at once! Usually I end up doing a few minutes here or there throughout the day."
- consider getting up earlier
This is one thing that I don't think I'll be doing. I love to sleep and I am actually still working on getting to bed earlier! It probably would help to give a jumpstart on my day, but sleep is just so important to me.
{part 5}
Enjoy Now
Literally the most profound thing I've seen in a long time. Be in the moment with the people you are with. Put your phone down, and stop waiting. Make the most of of right now.
Enjoy now....not "when this happens" or "when that happens".
If you're always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you're in?
"In the book Happier, the author describes the "arrival fallacy" the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you'll be happy."
Enjoy Life Now Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter
"The arrival fallacy is a fallacy because, though you may anticipate great happiness in your arrival, arriving rarely makes you as happy as you anticipate. Also, arrival often brings more work and responsiblity. It's rare to achieve something that brings pleasure without added concerns. Having a baby, getting a promotion, buying a house: you look forward to reaching these destinations, but once you do, they bring emotions other than sheer happiness. And of course, arriving at one goal usually reveals another, yet more challenging goal."
The challenge then, is to take pleasure in the "atmosphere of growth", the gradual progress toward a goal, in the present.
reminders. this week's DIY project... post reminders that you need to hear. these are mine.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Simple Woman's Day Book: March 2015

 
 
 
For Today...March 28th
 
 

Outside my window...it was COLD today....bitter cold....and windy. Spring, where are you???

 
I am thankful...for the powerful messages we heard this week during revival.
I am wearing...jeans and a white shirt. 

I am creating...I guess I am doing more decorating than creating. I found a few things at the antique store and my trip to Hobby Lobby this week, so I'm finally adding some finishing touches around the house.
 
I am going....to start a food blog! I have been wanting to do this for awhile now and finally started working on it. This blog will always be my first priority and I will continue to post regularly, but I am very excited about doing another blog! It's called Taste & See and you can link to that blog here.
 
I am reading....nothing, other than The Happiness Project which I'm keeping up with here on the blog. I have a couple of sections left to post about for March.
(re-reading 2015) The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun... by Gretchen Rubin
 
I am learning....not to react too quickly. I have a problem with committing to things instead of thinking about. 
 
In my kitchen....I made (Olive Garden) Stuffed Mushrooms tonight for dinner. I posted the recipe on my new food blog!
 
In my garden....I have (one) bloom so far! The tulips and daffodils are a little late and only about half of what I planted last year have come up.
This is from last year - my very first Instagram pic! :O)
 
A favorite quote of the day....
Have Courage and Be Kind Cinderella Free Printable
 
From the board room (Pinterest)....
white v-groove @ bottom/ dark color @ top.......bathroom idea
I really like the look of a dark paint at the top and the white beadboard (shiplap maybe?) on the bottom. My current bathroom (p)inspiration.
 
One of my favorite things....
I love odd measuring cups....
Mom gave me these and I love them! <3


 
I really want these measuring cups... so cute!
 
here are a few others I like....
Mason Jar Measuring Cups. - too adorable for words!
@ worldmarket.com
 
Charming Dots Measuring Cup Set 14.99 at shopruche.com. This darling set of colorful ceramic measuring cups is finished with a charming polka dot design. This stackable set looks lovely on any kitchen counter and features an orange 1/4 cup, a yellow 1/3 cup, a red 1/2 cup and a blue 1 cup...
@ shopruche.com
 
crowned leaf measuring cups #anthrofave  http://rstyle.me/n/tg4yepdpe
@ anthropologie.com
 
temp-tations® Floral Lace Sentiment Measuring Cups :: temp-tations® by Tara
 @  temp-tations.com
 
cucina measuring cups
@ anthropologie.com
 
 
Ombre Nesting Measuring Cup Set of Four - Coral and Pink Summer - Hand Painted - Made To Order
@ etsy.com
 



Saturday 9: Thinking Out Loud



Saturday 9: Thinking Out Loud (2014)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This week's featured artist, Ed Sheeran, was discovered by Elton John. Tell us your favorite Elton John song.
I have many but Candle In The Wind, Circle Of Life, Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Island Girl, and Crocodile Rock are a few of my faves!
Day 19: Favorite soundtack. The Lion King Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, Elton John and Tim Rice


2) Ed's arms are covered in tattoos, so clearly he doesn't suffer from trypanophobia, or the fear of needles. Do you get nervous when the doctor gives you a shot?
No, not really (I do not like giving blood though!!!)
 
3) One of his tattoos depicts a Heinz Tomato Ketchup label. What condiments are in your kitchen right now?
Lots of condiments: ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, worcestshire sauce, steak sauce, bbq sauce, sweet & sour sauce, hot sauce....and lots more.
 
TIP: I use this idea when grilling- a lot easier than carrying all those bottles ouside.
Grilling Tip - Put condiments in a muffin tin. No more toting bottles & jars to the picnic table!

4) Spotify named Sheeran the most-streamed artist in the world for 2014. Do you use Spotify? Pandora?
I have Pandora, but don't listen to it as much since getting my iPod.


5) Ed celebrated his success by purchasing a farm near Suffolk, England. Would you prefer to live in a rural, suburban or urban area?
I live in a rural area, but prefer the suburbs.


6) In this song, Ed sings about kissing "under the light of one thousand stars." Were you able to see the stars last night? Or was it it too cloudy or overcast?

No stars, it was cloudy/rainy all day.
Love mornings like this, full of mystery and promise.

7) Ed is a natural red head, a trait he shares with only about 2% of the population. Does red hair run in your family?
Not really, although I do have 2nd cousins with red hair.
 
 8) One of Clairol's most popular shades is a red (Nice 'n Easy Natural Light Auburn). Have you/would you dye your hair?
I have highlights. :O)

9) Random question: Look at the windows in the room you're in. Are they covered in curtains or blinds?
All of our windows have curtains and blinds. The windows on the front have bamboo roll-up shades, the rest of the house has white wood blinds.
Value Line Faux Wood Blinds White - Stock Sizes
 
Bamboo Outdoor Roll Blinds4

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lewes, DE

For Peter's birthday last summer, in lieu of gifts, I gave him a get-away weekend. We did Inner Harbor and an O's game in Baltimore, spent the next day in Ocean City, and finished up the trip doing lunch and a visit to a dairy farm with Lindsey on the third day. We both enjoyed it so much, and decided to make birthday get-aways an annual thing. Fast forward to March, it's now my birthday month and I'm wondering if we'll be able to fit in another trip so soon after our big trip to Disney last month. Peter had an appointment in Baltimore coming up, so we decided to make it an overnight stay for my birthday. I was hoping Peter would surprise me and plan something, but he said if I wanted something different, then I better do the planning myself. :O) Okay!

Since we were only spending the night and didn't have much time, I had to keep it local. I have been wanting to go back to Lewes, DE since spending a night there a few years ago on our way to Cape May. I started searching hotels and food options and quickly decided that's where I wanted to go! On our last visit there, I remember very little details. I wasn't blogging then, so no posts to look back at. I have no idea where we had dinner that night, but I do remember our awesome stay at Inn at Canal Square ( rated #2 of 7 hotels in Lewes). However, this time, another hotel sparked my interest.

{Tuesday, March 24}

We passed Nathan's tug on the way to Crisfield. :O)


 
We made a really quick stop to see Logan and Lindsey before driving to Baltimore.
 
They gave me my birthday gift which I love!!!
My second Alex & Ani bracelet.....
and Philosophy Raspberry Sorbet Bubble Bath. :O)
philosophy 'raspberry sorbet' award-winning ultra-rich 3-in-1 shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath | #Nordstrom
 
 
After Peter's appointment in Baltimore, we headed to Delaware, stopping for lunch at Five Guys followed by dessert at Sweet Frog.
 
 
 
I hadn't made a hotel reservation, but had called a few days prior to ask a few questions. I can usually tell if I'm going to like staying somewhere by first impressions on the phone, and the girl I spoke with was very nice and helpful. I read lots of reviews before deciding on places to stay and always check TripAdvisor for ratings, reviews, photos, etc.
 
I chose Hotel Blue, a 16-room upscale boutique hotel. We loved it! Our room was very clean and nicely decorated. It had a fireplace and a balcony, and a gorgeous (huge) bathroom.

 




I love the blue sinks!!
 
 
 
After checking in, we drove around town, stopping at Cape Henlopen State Park.



I was hoping to climb the observation tower (Peter...not so much)!

A hunter's paradise! :O)
 
 

 
We don't look super happy (LOL....but it was freezing!!).
 
 Back in town, we went to Striper Bites for dinner.
 






 
There are so many dining options in Lewes, it was really hard to choose. I was very happy with my choice....dinner was d-e-l-i-s-h!!
 
Peter ordered the Seared Tuna app....




and Blackened Halibut w/Lemon Butter Buerre Blanc,
mashed potatoes and salad.

 
 I got the Crab Bisque
 
and Lobster Roll w/a side caesar salad.
 
Of course, we were too stuffed for dessert!
 
We called it a night and headed back to the hotel.
 
The fireplace was nice on this cold night!  
It wraps around to the bedroom and there is also another tv on the wall facing the bed.
Hotel Blue is rated #1 of 7 hotels in Lewes and is well-deserved. We would definitely stay there again in the future.
 
{Wednesday, March 25}
 
We headed to Salisbury early the next morning since we had some shopping to do. The hotel doesn't offer breakfast, so I had decided on Honey's Farm Fresh - it had great reviews and was rated #3 on the best restaurants in Lewes list. Unfortunately, it is closed on Wednesdays during the off-season. :O( I was a bit disappointed, but remembered my other choice, which was a little further up the road.
 
 
 
 
This place was hopping!!! The staff was super nice and the food was sooooo good! We both ordered the scrapple, egg, & cheese bagel w/iced coffee and OJ.
 
It is worth the drive to Lewes, just for this! :O)
 
It's no wonder that Surf Bagel is rated #2 on Lewes' best restaurant list!
 
After a little shopping, we spent some time with Logan. Allie is getting so big!


 
Lindsey was at work, so we missed seeing her today. Hopefully, it won't be too long before we can visit again.
 
Even though this was a short get-away, we had a great time and once again found some great places that we hope to return to again someday. :O)