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?

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Did you happen to see the 10 Days of Random Acts of Kindness Challenge? It started July 8th and ran through July 17th and was run by the One Love Movement, started by Kim Bauman to help at-risk & homeless youth.  It was so much fun to see each random act of kindness and what participants decided to do. Even though the challenge is officially over, I thought you might want to do the challenge on your own and start now! If you’re posting on Instagram, be sure to use #theonelovemovement #b_inspired & #imahappster (to be featured on the @happsters instagram).

Below are the details on what to do each day:

Day 1 Warmth: Give food to someone in need, hand out hugs all day long, tell someone you love them.

Example from @beulahwellness: “My daughter and I made a snack pack to hand out to someone in need, and she wrote YOU ARE LOVED on the outside.”

10 Acts of Kindness

Day 2 Love: Send someone a secret love note, leave a thank you for your mailman, write a nice message for your server on your receipt.

Example via @_daydday: “Day 2 of the #randomactsofkindness #challenge Left a letter for my mailman thanking him for getting our mail to us consistently and on time! Thank you for your hard work”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 3 Abundance: Pay for someone unexpectedly, the person behind you in line, put money in parking meters, put $10 in a gas tank

Example via @sugarheartlife: “In giving, we receive. This morning I surprised my sister and parents with coffees and a little note on each. My parents have been selflessly giving to me for 30 years. It felt good to do something small and loving for them.”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 4 Wisdom: Speak positively out loud, hand out compliments, learn about someone, ask them their story.

Example via @doctordribble: “Today at the supermarket I noticed a man using an electric wheelchair/shopping cart so I offered to lend him a hand. His name is Alvis and he appreciated the help but even better we enjoyed talking to each other. He told stories of being captain of a dive club in the Caribbean, working in an emergency room while earning a degree at West Virginia University, and playing high school football on a state runner up team! I had no idea what to expect from Alvis. I just wanted to perform a random act of kindness but got more than I bargained for. He inspired me to continue to work hard and do what I love.”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 5 Pay it Forward: Donate your professional services for one hour, donate time to help someone move/clean/babysit.

Example via @yogini_omdre: “So for the past week or so this street has been filled with garbage. When I first saw it it made me really sad and angry that someone would do that. Now I don’t know how it got there, coulda been an accident but either way it wasn’t getting cleaned up. I found myself getting even angrier that no one has cleaned it up yet! So for day 5 of #randomactsofkindness (pay it forward day) I decided to clean up this street. It is my neighborhood after all. It took me about an hour and I even had one lady thank me as she drove past. Lesson to be learned today… If not me, then who?”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 6 Connection: Meet 5 new people, introduce yourself, no phones just real conversation.

Example via @thesusiekara: “I ran the #costumepartyhalfmarathon this morning (that’s me as Waldo). Before the race started, my niece Maddy and I went to up to 5 strangers and handed them energy gels with a special message “you are beating everyone behind you” for inspiration. “Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging. -Deepak Chopra”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 7 Non-attachment: Give away something material that has meaning to you, gift a friend who you know loves something you own, donate to goodwill.

Example via @lp21385: “So happy to gift these pretty bracelets to one of my favorite ladies. Now our wrists match always. (Shout out to @eluscomb for the beautiful wrap bracelets we both rock too!). And to top it off, I was the surprised recipient of a beautiful token of hope from the one and only @smatthews1010 at #runlululj tonight. Definitely feeling the love.”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 8 Patience: Slow down, drive safely, listen carefully rather than thinking about what you will say back.

Example via @offroadpursuits: “Instead pushing the pace on today’s run I backed off and ran with a good friend. Not only was it a great run but the conversation, scenery, and enjoyment was fantastic. Sometimes the kindness you show is as much a benefit to you as those around you! “

Random Acts of Kindness

Day 9 Motivation: Tape an inspiring quote in a random place today, bathroom stalls, bus windows, drive through windows, someone’s coffee cup.

Example via @happydasha: “Today I put up quotes in public telephone boxes and bus stops”

10 Random Acts of Kindness

Day 10 Purity: Spend time today cleaning up something selflessly, your sidewalk, beaches, the side of the road, your work place kitchen, someone else’s house/space.

Example via @runnerjen1: “Instead of weeding our own garden today, we went over to the neighborhood garden and spent some time cleaning up weeds from around the corn. Filled a huge bucket and didn’t take much time at all! “

10 Random Acts of Kindness

 

I love that so many people got involved for this great cause and shared their experiences. Are you going to try it out yourself? Let me know in the comments!

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk

It’s normal to be in a bad mood every now and then. You may even feel like you want to hide like this kitten at times:

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of A Funk

But if you notice that you aren’t snapping out of your funk for a few days, try these 5 tips to shake your bad mood:

1) Journal

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk

Writing down your thoughts is a great way to let go of something you’ve been holding onto. Another one of my favorite things to do is to write down 3 things I’m grateful for. If you don’t want to write them down, just think about them. It’s surprising how effective it can be!

2) Watch something that will make you laugh

Laughter reduces stress and releases endorphins into our body.

3) Hang out with a friend

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk

Spend some quality time with a friend. Bonus: Give them a bear hug! Hugging someone releases oxytocin (also known as “the cuddle hormone”), making us feel better.

4) Go for a walk

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk

Researchers at Cal State Long Beach found that there was a clear and strong relationship between the number of steps people took and their overall mood and energy level. 

5) Lend a helping hand

5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a FunkPhotography by Jack Bates

Help someone out or pay them a compliment. It’s helpful to take the focus off of yourself so you can get some perspective.

What do you normally do to get yourself out of a funk? Let me know in the comments!

5 (More) Happiness Movements You Need to Know About

Last year I posted about a few Happiness Movements I was loving at the time, so I thought it would be fun to make an updated list because there are so many amazing ones out there! Here we go:

1) The Chalk Project

5 Happiness Movements You Should Know about - Chalk ProjectSource


I stumbled upon Chalk Project on Instagram and have been a fan ever since. Their purpose is to spread messages of kindness and inspiration. They “create uplifting messages with chalk on neighborhood sidewalks, with hopes that this anonymous message will collide with the person that needs it most.”

Learn more about Chalk Project here: http://www.chalkproject.com/ Continue reading

Awesome Things Thursday

Happy Almost Mother’s Day! We are getting together at my parent’s house for brunch. Do you have any fun plansa? Here’s what I’m loving this week:

1. The Happiest Facts To Make You Smile (I always love a good BuzzFeed video)

 

2. This granola I made the other day. I got the recipe from Billy’s mom and it’s heavenly!

Delicious Granola

3. My experience paying it forward in the first week of the Happy Explosion. It gave me such an adrenaline rush. I’ll post more about it on Saturday!

Buying Someone Coffee- Pay it Forward #happyexplosion

4. Hanging with IDEA World BlogFest presenter, Gina. I haven’t blogged about BlogFest yet, but I’ve been helping to work on it behind the scenes for months. I can’t wait until it’s here! I’m especially excited to see the Keynote, Jillian Michaels :). Hope to meet you there! 

5. This new flower I got for my adorable pot that Ashleigh gave me. Thanks Ash!

Spring Flowers

6. The 25 Best Pieces Of Advice A Mom Can Give

7. @golden_budweiser on Instagram. You will not be sorry you followed this adorable pup!

Instagram Puppy

How is your week going? What are your plans for Mother’s Day? Let me know in the comments!

Weekend Pics + Happy Explosion Reveal

Hi friends! Happy Cinco de Mayo! Any fun plans? We are going to lay low and maybe have a margarita or two. I was supposed to go to Chicago for the weekend, but I ended up staying home and having a really busy weekend! Funny how that happens isn’t it? It was crazy hot here in San Diego, so I ended up near the beach 90% of the weekend. Here are a few pics from the weekend:

Lunch timeLunch time


Del Mar BeachCan you believe that view?

 

MazeWe made our way through a maze! It’s a miracle that we weren’t stung by bees.

 

LouisI got to meet my friend Maggie’s cat, Louis and fell in love ♥

 

Queen Bee Market

Cute signsMaggie and I went to the Queen Bee Market where I bought lots of cute Mother’s Day presents!

 

Beach dayI went down to the beach with Billy and caught up on my SHAPE and Fitness mags.

 


Partner YogaI got to see some cool yoga moves at a festival called Yoga Disco!

 

Yoga DiscoNamaste

 

Yoga Happy NotesI had to hand out a few happy notes of course. Get yours mailed to you for free by clicking here.

 

I also wanted to thank you for all of your sweet comments about Happy Explosion! If you missed it, you can check it out here. This week, the top voted act of kindness for Happy Explosion was A) Buy the person’s coffee behind us. If you’re participating, you can choose to do that or any other act of kindness that you want. I’ll be posting about my experience buying someone coffee on Saturday and starting a link up so that you can share your post that day too. I can’t wait – I hope you’ll join me!

 

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Happy Weekend Pics

Hope you had a beautiful weekend! Here are a few snapshots from mine.

SurfingEnough work. Time to play.

 

Succulent Pallet GardenPallet succulent garden we made from an old pallet.

 

Beach TimeBeach fun.

 

Beach LifeBilly checking the waves – “Look at those lefts!”

 

San Diego The beach down the street from us.

 

Street FairHuge pieces of art at the Little Italy Art Fair.

 

Home Sweet HomeBought a cute “home sweet home” sign with a heart over San Diego. Now I just need to decide where to hang it!

 

Living WallCouldn’t pass up the living wall photo op.

What did you do this weekend? Did you have time to hang out with friends and family?

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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

Happiest KidsSource

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

Spend money on THIS to be HappierSource

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

Bhutan- Happiest Place on EarthSource

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.

#MyHappyBoard Project

My Happy Board Project

Ever since I was little, I’ve loved making inspiration boards. With the rise of Pinterest, I have been on creative overload with so much virtual inspiration that I don’t know what to do with it all. Unfortunately, I find that I rarely go back to the boards I’ve created even though I spend hours trying to find the perfect images to pin. So, I’ve decided to go back to the old-fashioned real-life inspiration boards of my youth and I want you to join me!

What do you think about making an inspiration board based around our favorite topic? Happiness! I’m going to make a different Happy Board every month, starting with February.  Continue reading

15 Random Acts of Kindness That Take Less Than 5 Minutes

I hope everyone is having a wonderful 2014 so far! I wanted to share with you some simple random acts of kindness that everyone has time for. All of the suggestions below take less than 5 minutes! I hope to knock these all out in less than a week. Are you with me?

15 Random acts of kindness

Are you going to do any of these random acts of kindness? Do you have another random act of kindness that isn’t on the list? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Receive an email each Friday featuring something to make you smile as you go into the weekend here: http://tinyurl.com/heyheyfriday