Happier at Home

Gretchen Rubin has written a few books on happiness, but I figured everyone could use a few of her tips on being “Happier at Home.”

Here are some of Gretchen’s quotes from her book “Happier at Home”

They say that research is “me-search.”  -Gretchen Rubin     I like this thought because it truly resonates with the idea of taking time to figure out your own personal needs. I don’t think we take the time to do this, to truly understand ourselves and our needs on different levels.  We have needs on a personal level, home level, work level, relationship level, etc. Those areas become better when we take the time to figure out what we need from the various situations of life.

“In particular, I’d realized that although I possessed all the elements of a happy life, too often I took my circumstances for granted and allowed myself to become overly vexed by petty annoyances or fleeting worries. I’d wanted to appreciate my life more, and to live up to it better.” -GR     I think this quote is true for each and every one of us. There are times when we allow things to push us to surrender. We become vexed by the petty and allow things to shadow the beauty in our lives.  When we are able to see the happy things, to have a heart of gratitude for the little things that make life better, we begin to come from a place that is good for everyone.

“Certainly I had paradoxical wishes for my home…What would be true for me? My home should calm me and energize me. It should be a comforting, quiet refuge and a place of excitement and possibility. It should call to my mind the past, the present and the future. It should be a snuggery of privacy and reflection, but also a gathering place that strengthened my engagement with other people. By making me feel safe, it should embolden me to take risks. I wanted a feeling of home so strong that no matter where I went, I would take that feeling with me; at the same time, I wanted to find adventure without leaving my apartment. My home should suit me, and also suit {my family]. But as I considered this list, I saw that these weren’t, in fact, contradictory desires. My home could be both wading pool and diving board.” -GR          What would be TRUE for you? What desires do you have for your home and the feelings within it?     “To ‘feel right,’ I’d look for ways to make my home more closely reflect my values, to make sure that the life I’m living is the life I ought to be living. My ordinary routine should reflect the things most important to me.”


306ea9dbda414961dd286db61c563312“We need to project ourselves into the things around us. My self is not confined to my body. It extends into all things I have made and all the things around me. Without these things, I would not be myself.” -Carl Jung     

“Some research suggests that spending money on an experience brings more happiness than buying a possession” -GR     Think back on the experiences with your family–the trips, the plays, the spontaneous adventures. They are priceless. I think everyone would agree that you will always remember the walk on the beach with your Dad over the writing pen he gave you. You will remember the quality time over any possession. One idea to tie things together for memory sake–Maybe you purchase something that reminds you of your amazing trip to the Canadian Rockies. “I read a fascinating study about people’s relationships to their possessions, and in particular, what made a thing ‘special.’ What the researchers found was that usually it wasn’t the object itself that was so special, but the important memories or associations invoked by the thing.”-GR

“There is no one right way to happiness, but only the way that’s right for a particular person–which is why mindfulness matters so much to happiness. To be happier, I have to notice what I’m doing, and why, and how it makes me feel. Research suggests that mindful people tend to be happier, are more likely to feel self-confident and grateful and less likely to feel anxious or depressed, and have heightened self-knowledge.” -GR


43.-CLUTTER-QUOTE-4It only makes sense to surround yourself with beautiful things that inspire creativity and growth, love and harmony. Look around you. How do you feel?

“I knew that people who travel to new places and try new things are happier than those who stick only to the familiar.” -GR     I am sure everyone can relate and understand this quote. When you travel to any new place you have a sense of awakening. It is as if a new door has been opened and their is a spring of newness to enjoy.

“Research shows that people who remind themselves of the excellence and beauty in their lives have a greater sense of meaning and happiness.” -GR     A grateful heart has no bounds.

“Benjamin Franklin observed of his own happiness project, “On the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the Perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was by the Endeavor a better and a happier Man than I otherwise should have been, if I had not attempted it.” -GR     As we are always striving to become better we will find opportunities to grow. Wisdom comes in all we strive to learn from.



“My home was a reflection of me:It would be serene, festive, loving and welcoming only if I brought that spirit to it. To feel more at home at home, I must carry my home, my treasure, within me. A happy home wasn’t a place that I could furnish, but an attitude of mind I must develop.”  -GR       Hold forever in your heart that happy place.

“Now is now. Here is my treasure.”-GR     This moment and every moment is a gift. enjoy.

Thank you Gretchen Rubin for your thoughts and inspired work.

Peace to all of you today. May it be a blessed day.  -H




I just watched a great documentary on HAPPINESS, called HAPPY. Here is the trailer. Go out and watch it!! You will definitely be better for it. You will learn so much. I am going to give you a few thoughts and ideas that I took away from this great show, but I am not going to tell you everything because you need to see the show. FYI-On Amazon in has over 430 4.5 star ratings.  Enjoy!


“The constitution only guarantees the American People the right to pursue Happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”                   -Benjamin Franklin

What do you want?? Most people say…to be HAPPY. Happy has undergone a revolution. It seems everyone is in search of HAPPINESS. Look at Coke’s marketing “Open Happiness” the numerous books on the subject (Happiness Project, The Happiness Advantage, Stumbling on Happiness to name a few) and Harvard’s biggest class that has thousands of students each week attend, a class on Happiness (Positive Psychology).  Here is the link for professor Tal Ben-Shahar who is teaching this course (the largest course at Harvard). Make sure you check out his quick  Five Steps for Being Happier Today. There are some great links and videos on this site. http://bigthink.com/users/talbenshahar

Happiness helps you achieve your other goals in life. What is interesting is you are born with a 50% genetic set point OR range of happiness, BUT what is astounding is that your CIRCUMSTANCES account for only 10% of our happiness. WOW!! that is so small. That leaves us with 40% of things that we can do on a regular basis that are intentional activities that will bring us happiness. That is HUGE!! This 40% leaves us with options to add variety, add changes, seek out experiences that increase happiness triggers like dopamine (our bodies natural happiness chemical in the brain). A big activity that increases dopamine—EXERCISE. Also, activities that get you into a natural FLOW, like playing music, something you enjoy doing that has a specific rhythm that makes you happy. It gives you a sense of control over what you are doing.

The WRONG Assumptions of outcome. People believe if something good happens (they get married, win a championship…) they will feel SO HAPPY & they do for a short time. The same is when something bad happens (car wreck, divorce…) some sort of devastation & for a short time they are devastated. THe fact is…People actually do really well even when things go bad.  Scientific research does not support adversity as a bad thing. You have to have pain to have pleasure.

Can MONEY buy Happiness? They literally looked at 50 years of income vs happiness and even though the income level went up. People were no more happier living in their bigger houses, more cars, etc. then they were 50 years ago. The happiness levels were stagnet despite the increase in income.  The ONLY time money brings happiness is when you are homeless or are not having your basic needs (water, food, shelter) met, after that it doesn’t make you any happier. Between the income of $5,000 and $50,000 there is a difference in happiness levels, but between $50,000 and $500,000 there is no difference.

Extrinsic vs Intrinsic motivations: Let’s look at Extrinsic (external) motivations–getting stuff, getting money, concerned about your image, your status VS Intrinisic (internal) motivations—personal growth, friends and family, helping your community, something bigger. People who were more extrinsically motivated were less satisfied with their life, had less energy, were depressed and more anxious. The people who were intrinsically motivated were happier, had less depression, had a sense of meaning in their life.

This movie then took a look at different countries who were the happiest (Denmark) and least happiest (Japan) and looked at the circumstances and stories of why. It was a great show that has so much more and I would highly recommend. Go out and buy it, rent it and enjoy it. It is definitely worth the time.

Here are a few personal tips to take away: Exercise, write down 5 things you are grateful for each night or at the very least once a week, invest in relationships, learn to meditate on compassion, get out into nature, smile, share love, do things you enjoy, be grateful for where you are at…and happiness will follow.

Peace and Happiness to you. -Heather


Summer Mix

“Hey! It’s Summer! Be free and happy and fanciful and uninhibited!”  -Terri GuillemetsImageSummer is a fun time to mix-it-up with something new…try some new music, read a new book, find a great vacation spot, something new to make for a family picnic…I am going to shake it up and start doing some Mixing. Here is a fun SUMMER MIX you will find at my house. Enjoy!!


“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”  -Jeannette Walls

ImageA few books in my collection that are good reads: The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin: Why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun. This was a great book with wonderful perspective. It helps you see someone else’s life perspective, how to insight and good anecdotes for real life. A Good SUMMER read. She also has a new book Happier at Home. I may read it this summer.

A few more from my bookshelf: Dr. Wayne Dyer, has many amazing books, but Being in Balance is a pick for this summer  –  Andy Andrews has numerous inspirational books, The Traveler’s Gift, The Butterfly Affect & The Noticer are just a few good ones I have read  –  Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea is one I have been saving for a summer time read  –  Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements  –  Loved the fable by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist – Robin Sharma also has some great books including, The Monk who sold his Ferrari   Hopefully something here will spark an interest!! Happy Reading.


“Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer’s year–it brings to the harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul.”  -unknown

ImageSummer is a fun time to do an outdoor bbq, make some yummy, cold pasta salads, toss up a fresh garden salad or step out and try something new to MIX into your summer routine. I came across this great recipe for fish tacos—looks good, something new I want to try.ImageFood Network Fish Taco with Watermelon Salsa—sounds delicious!  Here is the link to make the yummy dish. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/fish-tacos-with-watermelon-salsa-recipe/index.html

Here is the link to their other yummy sumer recipes   http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/fresh-healthy-summer-recipes/pictures/index.html

I came across another good site that has 100+ summer recipes. Here is the link http://www.theurbanbaker.com/100-great-summer-recipes/

Good SUMMER MUSIC          

“In Summer, the song sings itself.” -WCWilliams

ImageDemi Lovato has a new album out & this is a good song to dance to called Neon Lights. I also love her new song Nightingale—beautiful.

Other fun SUMMER songs you’ll find in my playlist include:

Of Monsters & Men, Little Talks and Yellow Light  –  Lana Del Rey, Young & Beautiful from the movie The Great Gatsby  –  Jessie Ware, Wildest Moments  –  Ellie Goulding  –  Katie Melua, Just Like Heaven, Thank you, Stars, Nine Million Bicycles, If you were a Sailboat  –  Calvin Harris, I need your love, Feel so close, Sweet Nothing  –  One Republic’s new album – something mellow Carinthia….hopefully you will find something in this list you like.


ImageHere is a collection of top vacation spots according to different sources:   the first has a whole listing for Best Vacations around the world   from travel.com http://travel.usnews.com/

the next comes from familyvacationcritic.com   http://www.familyvacationcritic.com/10-best-vacation-bets-for-2013/art/   (Fyi #4 spot is near my home in Utah)

the 10 Best Budget Destinations for 2013 listed here from budget travel.com   http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/best-budget-destinations-for-2013,12651/

and don’t forget to…

Image“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” -John Lubbock

Image“Find Joy and BeWILDerment!”   Step out of your comfort and be free, a little more WILD in your day! Get out in nature, notice the little details, see the wonder in all you do.

ImageEnjoy Summer! Enjoy every moment. Seize the warmth, the sunshine, the cool lemonade, the starry nights, the sandals, the memories you make with those you love.