Exciting Updates!

Hi happy friends!

Happy *almost* Thanksgiving! I wanted to share with you a few things that have been happening lately:

Snapshot 11:24:15 1:53 PM

1) $250 WHOLE FOODS GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY: I’ve teamed up with some incredible Instagram friends to bring you the best giveaway I’ve ever run. All you have to do is click on this like to enter. It will just take 30 seconds. Think of all the delicious food you could buy!


2) INTERVIEW ON WHATSHAPPYNING.COM: The other day, I had the pleasure of chatting with Jessica from whatshappyning.com about the importance of social connections as they relate to happiness. The interview just went up! Check it out here.

new happiness podcast

3) I’M STARTING A PODCAST: I’m hooked on podcasts and loving them so much that I’ve teamed up with my friend, Gina at fullonhappiness.com to create one! We will interview all kinds of people, from happiness experts to happy people we look up to, about their happiness secrets and their definition of happiness. Do you have happiness questions that you want us to ask our guests or suggestions on who to interview? Comment below or email me at happsters@gmail.com. Launch date coming soon!

That’s all for now! As always, you can keep up with me on a daily basis on Instagram. Tell me: Do you ever listen to podcasts? What are some of your favorites?



More Love Letters

More Love Letters

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a website called “More Love Letters“. The title intrigued me and when I dug deeper into what it was, I was sold. The concept? To leave letters of encouragement throughout your community and mail letters to strangers who send in love letter requests. You can visit this page on their site to find requests from people who need a little cheering up. They give their story and an address where you can send them a note.

So I decided I had to send some out and called one of my favorite blogger babes, London to do it with me!

More Love Letters

We wrote to Rosie, who is just going off to college and broke her arm right before leaving. Three weeks in a cast, but I know she’ll bounce back!

More Love LettersMore Love Letters

And we sent notes to Victor, whose friend wrote in asking for us to make his birthday extra special by sending in a fun card.

More Love Letters

More Love Letters

We had lots of fun writing these cards and I can’t wait to mail them out. Hopefully it brightens their days a little bit. My challenge for you this week: Grab a friend, pick up some stationary and write some love letters to strangers!

P.S. While I’ll be updating the Happsters blog a little less frequently, I’m still very active on Instagram, where you can get daily Happsters inspiration.

Take 31 Happy Photos This August

Are you up for a photo a day challenge this August? Join my #HappyAugust Challenge and get happy! All you have to do is:

1) Accept the challenge here

2) Invite your friends to join you (optional, but recommended :-))

3) Post a photo to the challenge page each day for the month of August

4) Follow along on Twitter and/or Instagram by posting your photos there as well with #HappyAugust @happsters

Here’s a look at the photo prompts for each day:

#HappyAugust Happsters Challenge

Will you join me in making this August the happiest one yet?

Summertime Happiness

Hi guys! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve checked in. I’ve just been enjoying the long days, warm weather, family and friends. Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to:

Billy was an actor in the Environmental Research Advocates video (will post the link soon!). He got to surf and talk about his love for the waves.

Environmental Research Advocates

If you haven’t heard of the Environmental Research Advocates, their goal is to bring worldwide recognition to noteworthy projects that will sustain the environment. Check ’em out!

Speaking of water…I went paddleboarding for my third time and loved it!

Paddleboarding Adventures
 I got a chance to attend the  Lorna Jane Del Mar Launch Party. I went to an event at their La Jolla location a few months back (read about it here) and had a blast. This time I went with London and Ashleigh with a store credit that was burning a hole in my pocket!

Lorna Jane Launch

It was really fun to see their Active Living Room, where they offer free classes.

Lorna Jane Active Living Room

I ended up getting some crops and a cute sports bra. Success!

Lorna Jane ClothingPhoto via London

This weekend I had fun at a BBQ with lots of family, games, and food. 3 of my favorite things :).



What did you do over the long weekend? What are some of your favorite summertime activities? Let me know in the comments! I’ve missed you guys :)

Q&A with Dr. Happy

Today I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Timothy Sharp, better known as Dr. Happy!

Q&A with Dr. Happy

I was fortunate enough to be able to interview him on his thoughts regarding happiness and positive psychology. Below are his answers. Enjoy!

First of all, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

My background is in clinical psychology and specifically, in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I completed an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Psychology, then a Clinical Masters Degree and then finally, a PhD. So I started off specialising in stress, depression and misery before I’d even heard about happiness!

I worked in and thoroughly enjoyed my career as a therapist for many years but then when I discovered positive psychology (some time around 1999 or 2000), it was like a life changing epiphany; it was literally as though a light went on and I had to follow the light!

So for the last 15 years I’ve dedicated my life and my work to promoting the principles of positive psychology.

Can you describe positive psychology in a nutshell?

The simple answer is that Positive Psychology is “the science of happiness”. But more accurately, it’s the science of thriving and flourishing because living our best lives involves more than just experiencing positive emotions such as happiness. Positive emotions are very important and valuable but to thrive and flourish, to be our very best, the positive psychology research also points to the importance of engaging fully with our strengths and with the world, building and fostering positive relationships, creating meaning and purpose in all we do, and setting and working towards meaningful goals for us and those around us. In addition, it’s important to take care of our physical health by eating well, exercising and ensuring adequate sleep and rest.

What originally got you interested in happiness as a subject?

Like most people it was always something I was interested in but as a clinical psychologist it just wasn’t, unfortunately, something we focused much on. Thankfully, positive psychology came along and set out to redress the imbalance. In some ways what Positive Psychology was saying is that for too long we’ve focused on what’s wrong with people and with life but what if we were to focus on what’s right? Accordingly, I began to focus much more on strengths and successes and happiness and gratitude rather than just faults and weaknesses and distress and problems.

Are there certain habits that you think are essential for maintaining happiness?

For sure. At The Happiness Institute we advocate that happiness is something you choose; check out our core model here.

Consistent with this there’s much research to support the following happiness boosting behaviours. You can find those here.

Can you tell us about The Happiness Institute that you founded and what goes on there?

The Happiness Institute is a positive psychology practice; that is, we deliver a range of services and produce a range of products all designed to enhance happiness and wellbeing in individuals, couples, families, organisations/businesses/teams and even schools. We do this via, for example, coaching, small group programs, workshops and seminars (as well as by giving away and selling self-help products based on empirically proven methods).

If you had to give one piece of advice for living a happy life, what would it be?

 I’m always reluctant to say that there’s “one” answer; because there’s not. And even if there were one answer for me it would be different for you and every other person out there. Instead, I recommend people CHOOSE to be happy and then develop their own unique “recipe” that works for them. That being said, I very much encourage people to remember that happiness isn’t just feeling good, it’s also doing good so don’t ever forget that other people matter!

Be the reason someone smiles today

What is your favorite quote about happiness?

 Achieving happiness requires nothing more than practising a few simple disciplines each and every day.

Happy Quote

A huge thank you to Dr. Happy for the interview! You can find out more on Dr. Happy here and learn more about the Happiness Institute here.

Question of the day: Have you ever heard of positive psychology? What do you think about it?

5 of the Sweetest Mom Quotes in Honor of Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms – You rock! And a very special Happy Mother’s Day shout out to my mom (I know you’re reading this)!

Here are a few other my favorite quotes about moms in honor of Mother’s Day:

#1: “Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

Most Mother's are Instinctive Philosophers - Mother's Day Quotes

Continue reading

Awesome Things Thursday – May 1st

Hi there! How’s your week going? I’ve decided to start a weekly column called “Awesome Things Thursday”. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It will include things I’m loving and finding awesome this week. Hope you enjoy!

1. The Encinitas street fair with huge strawberries, to die for cookies like the Churro & Chocolate Covered Mint cookies from the Cravory, a juggling family performance, and a raffle ticket to win a car (fingers crossed!).


Delicious Strawberries

2. The most epic mother-son wedding dance you’ll ever see. 

3. This tiny book I ordered that includes pictures from my birthday party. It’s really tiny, but I still love it!

Tiny Photo Book

Tiny Photo Book

4. No-bake energy bites like these

5. Finally updating my phone to the new iOS so I can download new apps. I just downloaded a meditation app called “Stop, Breathe & Think” as suggested by Katy. Excited to start using it!

6. This “K” map I got from my friend, Shelley as a birthday present! You can see it on Etsy here.

Map of California

7. This article – 35 Things to do Instead of Spending Money. 

I’m off to work and Zumba! What are you loving this week? Let me know in the comments!

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Tips for a Great Morning, Every Morning

What are some of the first things you do each morning when you wake up? Recently, I’ve been really conscious of what I choose to do when I open my eyes in the morning.

I go through phases of reaching for my phone on my bedside table to see the time and then getting sucked into reading work email and checking social media while still in bed. Since I’m a social media manager, I look at the Twitter and Facebook accounts that I manage at work and then check my own personal ones. Sometimes I would center myself with some morning mantras or meditate, but it wasn’t a daily routine.

Three weeks ago I made a rule for myself that I would leave my phone in the other room and commit to some new morning rituals. Note: I am a fairly early-riser so I have about an hour of extra time before I need to get ready for work in the morning.

Tips for a great morning, every morning

Here are the rituals I try to do each morning. I get to about 5 of the 6 each day.

1. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for.

2. Meditate

3. Read a few pages of a book. Right now I’m reading The Power of Self-Healing by Dr. Fabrizio Mancini.

Morning Rituals

4. Do some stretching exercises/yoga.

Morning RitualPhoto of me and Billy at the Wanderlust Festival

5. Go for a morning walk around my neighborhood (and sometimes down to the beach!).

Morning Rituals

 6. Eat breakfast

Morning Rituals

What does your morning routine consist of? Let me know in the comments!

Your Happiness News for the Week

Happy Saturday, friends! I thought it would be fun to do a round-up of all the best articles about happiness that were published in the last week. Enjoy!

1) 12 Ways To Be Happier At Work In Less Than 10 Minutes

In this article, Sharon Salzberg breaks down the key to workplace happiness. One of my favorite suggestions is to find ways to “break down the momentum” of the day. Read more here.

2) 43 Of The Happiest Little Kids In The Whole Wide World

The cutest and happiest kids you’ll ever see. You are guaranteed to smile while browsing through these photos. See them here.

3) 9 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Feel Happier Today

9 Simple Ways to Feel Happier Today

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California Riverside, suggests simple things to do to increase your happiness. A few recommendations including smiling, expressing gratitude, and walking outside. Read more here.

4) Spend Your Money on THIS to Be Happier

A new study found that while Americans tend to believe that material goods provide better value, buying “life experiences” actually makes Americans happier than buying material possessions. Read more here.

5) Discover a kingdom where happiness rules

A look inside Bhutan, where “Gross National Happiness is more important than “Gross National Product”. I especially enjoyed this excerpt from the article: “The concept is evident in the day-to-day life of the people, from the regular meditation and reflective gardening that’s built into the school curriculum, to the charming road signs that line the main roads. These run the gamut from encouraging (“Life is a journey! Complete it!”) to paternal (“This is a highway, not a runway!”). Even the graffiti is upbeat: In Thimpu, I read a white scrawl that read, ‘Life is not a race.'” Read more here.

Have some happy news to share? Leave a comment below!

P.S. Get daily inspiration at http://www.instagram.com/happsters.

Top 14 Physical and Psychological Benefits of Meditation

Hi Happsters!

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately! I hope you’ve been as happy as ever!

Today I wanted to share some fascinating meditation facts with you. If you’ve never tried before, I highly suggest giving it a shot. I used the free app “Headspace“, which was created for beginners, and I can’t say enough good things about it. I love it because it starts you out with meditating 10 minutes a day for 10 days. They talk you through the whole thing and make it very easy to get started.

I’ve found that meditation helped me significantly reduce my stress levels. Meditation actually “activates the ‘rest and digest’ part of our nervous system, helping with stress management. Our heart rate slows, our respiration slows and our blood pressure drops. This is often called the ‘relaxation response.'” (Source)

I’ve compiled some of the physical benefits, as well as the psychological benefits of meditation below:

Physical Benefits of Meditation(Source) Photo by Jack Bates Photography

Psychological Benefits of Meditation(Source) Photo by Jack Bates Photography

Do you meditate? If not, are you up for giving it a go?

P.S. Get daily inspiration at http://www.instagram.com/happsters.