Happy Habits

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I love Gretchen Rubin’s books (they speak to the “questioner” in me!).  She is smart, creative, dives headfirst into her research, and has lots of valuable stuff to say.  I have been listening to Gretchen’s podcast (which also features her sister, Elizabeth Craft), Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and I’ve got a running list of takeaways.

In my favorite segment of the podcast, Gretchen and Elizabeth share a “try at home” habit that listeners might adopt to feel happier.  Here are a few of my favorites so far:

The One-Minute Rule
I am the queen of putting off the tiny jobs that would make me feel so much better.  I leave my shoes out instead of putting them in the closet.  I leave clean laundry in the dryer for days at a time.  The one-minute rule puts an end to all of that.  The idea is that, if a chore can be done in less than a minute (or even five minutes, if you ask me), you should do it without delay.  Get sh*t done.

Set a Bedtime Alarm
I really need my sleep, but sometimes I have a hard time actually sending myself off to bed.  If I’m absorbed in a household job or a TV show, sometimes I’ll look up and be shocked by how late it’s become!  A bedtime alarm is the reminder I need to prioritize getting to bed early enough to get the sleep I need.

Have a Weekly Power Hour
Some things are easy to put off until another time; changing light bulbs, cleaning the windows, reorganizing the file box are just a few examples.  Setting aside an hour a week to dedicate to those easily deferred tasks helps get those items crossed off the list before they’ve spent months languishing there.

What habits do you have that make your life happier?

Happy Belly – Part 4

Oh, it’s been a while since we talked about food.  That’s just unacceptable, so let’s take a walk down food memory lane, Instagram-style.

 

two delicious margherita pizzas were devoured during date night.

A photo posted by Lucy (@lucyyy_j) on

 

mmmmmmmmm. celebrating the best part of the #ajcprr with my boo, @iveymj4.

A photo posted by Lucy (@lucyyy_j) on

 

chicken piccata thanks to momma

A photo posted by Lucy (@lucyyy_j) on

 

eggs, burrata, and ciabatta

A photo posted by Lucy (@lucyyy_j) on

 

And just in case you missed them, here are a few recipes that have been popping up in my kitchen recently:  Mexican Rice CasseroleChicken Salad with Warm Purple Onion VinaigretteSlow Cooker Salsa ChickenNaan Pizza Three Ways.

You can find more of what’s made my belly happy herehere, and here.

Currently – The August Edition

August has got me feeling like I need to chill …

Friends wanna party but you're like… #tbt

A photo posted by Remix the Dog (@remixthedog) on

 

Lately I’m …

Wearing:  Distressed denim, eyebrow crayon, and this super-comfy bra (everyone on the internet is raving about it, so I’m sure this is not news).

Hearing:  Podcasts galore!  I’m devouring Happier with Gretchen Rubin.  (My mom, sister, and I are speaking in “Gretchen” all the time now — identifying habits, asking what Gretchen would say, etc.)

Eating:  noosa yoghurt.  Their blueberry is my favorite so far, but I’m loving the plain vanilla with some fruit and granola added (or some mini chocolate chips for a treat).

Sipping:  Still loving on rosé.  Shout out to The Chicken and AKP for our w(h)ine night yesterday!

Using:  This to-do list print-out and my new Sugar Paper planner.  I love a good, detailed to-do list — these are great options for organized rolling lists like the ones I make.

Trying:  This tinted dry shampoo.  Dry shampoo usually makes my hair look a little chalky, no matter how much I work at it.  But this slightly tinted version is undetectable in my brown hair — I love it!

Enjoying:  This breakdown of breaking up.  “9 AM hair appt.” — so, so, so funny.

What have you been digging lately?

Real Life

So sometimes real life things happen and we don’t mention them on blogs.  That’s really a shame because, in hindsight, most of them are actually kind of funny.  For example …

Fun fact:  I like to dance in the car.  Obnoxiously, with big giant gestures that shake the entire car.  Several times in the past few weeks, I’ve been caught and it made my audiences laugh and smile.  It was the best, even though that’s always a little embarrassing.

After a day that seemed like it would never end, I sat down on my couch to eat dinner and watch Gilmore Girls (my ninth time through, no joke).  First, I dropped food onto my lap.  And then, in a knee-jerk response to catch it, I tipped my entire plate onto the arm of my couch.

Last week I walked all the way to the train station before I realize that I didn’t have my ticket card.  That’s always fun.

Three times in the last couple of weeks I have gotten on the elevator at work and pressed “Lobby” instead of my office floor.  I bet people are starting to think I just ride up and down in the elevators all day.

Cheers to real life, ya’ll!  And remember, when things get tough, these SnapChat filters will make it better.

Getting Over the Sunday Scaries

Design Sponge Sneak Peek: Julie Pointer

There’s a point during most Sunday afternoons when it hits me that Monday is coming.  Again.  Meaning that work is coming, and a packed schedule is coming, and weekend rest and relaxation is on its way out.  Just the idea gets me anxious — my weekly bout of the Sunday Scaries.  But there are a few little things I like to do to help make the transition from weekend to weekday less painful …


Meal prep isn’t something that I have completely mastered yet, but I find that it is so much easier to enter the week when I know what I’ll be eating on Monday (at the very least).  I aim to grocery shop during the weekend so I’ve got a full pantry of choices.


But after all the meal prep, it’s important to clean the kitchen!  Waking up on Monday morning to find that all of your plates, utensils, and coffee mugs are dirty is really irritating.  I try to get all the dishes in the dishwasher, all the counters wiped, and all the groceries put away before the kitchen “closes” for the night.


I have a pretty streamlined skincare routine during the week, but on Sunday nights I switch things up with a face mask.  I keep a few options (1 / 2 / 3) in my apartment.  Using a mask feels like a treat, but is easy and at-home.  And I often do other things while I let my mask sit.


Putting away laundry is one of those things that is so easy to put off, but that makes such a difference to my peace of mind.  In fact, one of the habits I’m trying super-hard to break is the way I build a pile of worn work clothes in the corner of my closet throughout the week.  On Sunday nights (often with a mask on my face), I make sure all of my work clothes are hung up and all laundry is put away.  It makes Monday morning dressing easier and does wonders to make my space feel cleaner.


I always make sure to check my calendar (work and personal) before my week begins.  I’m a planner, so it helps keep me calm when I have a chance to mentally prepare for whatever is coming.  Of course, I don’t delve too far into anything — I just take a general look at meetings, appointments, deadlines, etc.


Now, I’m not saying that Mondays will ever be easy, but they can be made easier.