Come on, get happy

Ted Radio Hour: Simply Happy

… you know you want to!

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Lowering the Bar

While binge listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Happier by Gretchen Rubin, I came across an interesting piece of advise: Lower the Bar. Now I know this sounds ridiculously lazy, but give it a thought!

I know, for me, keeping up with this blog is the perfect example of something that I want to do, but don’t, simply because I am afraid I won’t  meet my own expectations or those of my readers. I am so inspired by and in awe of the content my role models in the blogging world are putting out there that I’ve lost sight of what my intent of writing was and is: to simply say what I need to say. So what if I don’t have the homemaking skills of Martha Stewart or photographs and layouts fit for a magazine?

One of my favorite saying lately is “Do your best until you know better. Then when your know better, do better.” Why shouldn’t I do what I can, while I can, instead of doing nothing at all? Is there an area in your life where “lowering the bar” would bring you less stress and more happiness? Let me know! I would love to hear about it!

Happy Friday

Stacy

What is this blog about?

What is this blog about?

It’s about everything that brings me happiness and the chance to share it with you! So, click away- I hope you discover something wonderful today!

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery.” ~Anne Frank

I don’t know about you, but I have spent a lot of moments looking forward to the next best thing in my life, and it is finally hitting me that there are a lot of shining moments that I could be soaking up right here, right now. Let me tell you what it took for me to figure this out…

When I finished college and got to read whatever I wanted (I honestly never wanted to read before college-YIKES!), I picked up a book that my HR co-workers were reading (I was a temporary employee wanting to make an impression and take my career to the next level) called Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, and was hooked on happiness. I read and listened to anything I could get my hands on relating to positive psychology and the science of happiness (this is real science, people!). You can see a list of the books I found and love HERE. I knew down deep that I wanted to be REALLY happy, and that with a little fine tuning of my attitude, I could learn to make small changes in my daily life to be more positive for my sake and for the sake of everyone around me (especially my husband and kids).

One concept I learned about early on is “Flow.” Flow is when you get so caught up in what you are doing that you actually lose track of your time and place and feel a sense of relaxation and control (not to be confused with “la-la land”). I’m sure you have experienced this incredible feeling of being “in the zone” when you are doing what you do best. I myself have felt this way at times doing hair (I used to be a hairstylist), running, working on homework, and now, recently, in my new-found passion, painting (among other things). When I find flow, I want more flow!

Another concept I learned was about making each day count and being grateful for what I have before asking for more. I have a favorite quote (inspirational quotes make me VERY happy, as do PARENTHESES and punctuation!!! It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want to…) which I first saw printed on the syllabus of my college marketing class:

“I have been given this day to use as I will, I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for it. I want it to be a gain, not a loss; good, not evil; success, not failure in order that I shall not regret the price I have paid for it.” ~author unknown

Here are some of my other favorite quotes:

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let us begin

The last one is my new favorite, which I have yet to paint. Please let my know if you would like to make it yours!  stacyvanegtern.etsy.com

What are words that lift and inspire you? How will you use them to make your day happier?

All the best,

Stacy

My Favorites

 

Here are a few of my favorite things

BLOGS

My Pink Life

Letter Shoppe

Elegance & Enchantment

Emily Jones Design Company

Joanna Gaines

 

BOOKS

Complaint Free World & Complaint Free Relationships by Will Bowen

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt

Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zone Way by Dan Buettner

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsich

 

PODCASTS

This American Life

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Radiolab from WNYC

TED Radio Hour

Freakonomics Radio

 

SONGS

Let’s Be Still by the Head and the Heart

I’m Alive by Michael Franti & Spearhead

Want to Want Me by Jason Derulo

Harlem by New Politics

Shut up and Dance by Walk the Moon

 

APPS

Stitcher

Etsy

Pinterest

My Plate

Nike Running

Etsy Anniversary

Wow! It has been 1 year since I sold my first sign (and since I made my first and only blog post). Maybe I’m a wanna be blogger, with potential to be a real blogger… If I could just make up my mind to sit down and do it! Anyway, so far I have completed over 30 orders on Etsy and have grown my Facebook page to over 100 likes. Since I have little to no idea how to manage this site, please hang in there as I attempt to teach myself how to make it pretty and easy for you to use. So far, I am going with a free template, so as to not totally overwhelm myself with design choices. I hope you stick around to see what may be, as I have lots of exciting and helpful experiences and insight I would love to share! Thanks for stopping by, and please check out my Etsy shop and follow me on Pinterest too!

Love Sign

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Hello! Not that I have the time, but I thought I’d give blogging a whirl, as a way of keeping track of my designs. About a year ago, I fell in love with the work of Aimee Weaver and made my first sign. Well, after filling my house with about all the inspiration a family of boys can handle, I painted my first sign to sell. It is currently located at a gift shop downtown, called Honig’s, and I am hoping someone will love it is much as I do!

I used a whitewashing technique with a mint julep house paint from Ace Hardware, and the lettering is vintage white & country red acrylic. The fonts are palace script and lucida bright, and the heart is clip art.