Here are five things that research has shown can improve happiness:

This is not original I copied it from:
Clara Moskowitz
LiveScience Senior Writer
LiveScience.com clara Moskowitz
livescience Senior Writer
livescience.com – Mon Feb 22, 11:50 am ET
But I loved it and wanted to share!

1. Be grateful – Some study participants were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way. The study found that these people reported a lasting increase in happiness – over weeks and even months – after implementing the habit. What’s even more surprising: Sending the letter is not necessary. Even when people wrote letters but never delivered them to the addressee, they still reported feeling better afterwards.

2. Be optimistic – Another practice that seems to help is optimistic thinking. Study participants were asked to visualize an ideal future – for example, living with a loving and supportive partner, or finding a job that was fulfilling – and describe the image in a journal entry. After doing this for a few weeks, these people too reported increased feelings of well-being.

3. Count your blessings – People who practice writing down three good things that have happened to them every week show significant boosts in happiness, studies have found. It seems the act of focusing on the positive helps people remember reasons to be glad.

4. Use your strengths – Another study asked people to identify their greatest strengths, and then to try to use these strengths in new ways. For example, someone who says they have a good sense of humor could try telling jokes to lighten up business meetings or cheer up sad friends. This habit, too, seems to heighten happiness.

5. Commit acts of kindness – It turns out helping others also helps ourselves. People who donate time or money to charity, or who altruistically assist people in need, report improvements in their own happiness.
Lyubomirsky has also created an iPhone application, called Live Happy, to help people boost their well-being.

Witches

When I came home from work today, of course, I turned the TV on, after watching the latest episode of Secret Diary of a Call Girl, I turned to Bewitched.
I loved that show as a little girl, I wanted to be Samantha, I wanted to be able to make things happen with the twitch of my nose or the flick of my wrist. Of course that never happened but it didn’t lessen my longing for that kind of power.
I started thinking about our fascination with witches and how over the centuries they have gone from revered to hated back to revered in a way in our modern culture.
In biblical days they had witches, in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, really in every society you can find a reference to witches.
It seems as time marched on being a witch became a bad thing, Joan of Ark of accused of being a witch for hearing the voice of God, she was burned at the stake. In our own America we have the Salem episodes, very shameful, children being able to accuse adults of being witches and the adults being the willing vessel, carrying out “justice” in the form of burning. For several centuries being a witch was a bad thing.
Now it is glamorized, and has been since the 1960’s when Bewitched first came into our homes. How could anyone as beautiful as Samantha be bad? Then Sabrina the teenage witch made her appearance in the Archie Comics, she became so popular she got her own comic. Then came movies, The Witches of Eastwick comes to mind. Let’s not forget Willow Rosenberg of Buffy fame, she rocked as a Jewish Witch, then there was Charmed, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch on television.
All of these women are beautiful, vibrant and fight for the good of all. It is hard to believe looking at these women that the bad images ever existed.
Some days I still wish I had the power to twitch my nose or flick my wrist and all would be taken care of. However instead of a witch I am holding out for demi-goddess…..

Wedding update

Today I want to talk about my wedding; it has been way too long since I have given an update. Well the colors have changed; they will be red and silver. Not orange based red, but blue based red. There is a huge difference. My daughters, Elizabeth and Stacy will be my attendants and my son Jeffrey will give me away. I have yet to figure out something for Alex. I have not found the venue yet, however my friend Mary, her husband works at South Fork and he is getting me prices.
I know I want a total disco reception, now this does not mean costume party, it means dancing and lights and fun think of Studio 54 without the hedonism. I would love to have a dance floor like they had in Saturday Night Fever! OMG that would so totally rock!
I have 4 little girls to get matching dresses for, Tessa, Brooklyn, Lauren and Caroline. My two grand daughters and John’s two daughters. They will look so cute!
I know I want a disco ball cake, but I don’t know what flavor I want yet. I have not decided on a caterer, or baker, not much of anything else. I just know what I want and what I don’t want.
I am now undecided on my dress, I thought I had it picked out, now am not so sure. I know it won’t be white; I want cream, maybe, oh or silver!
I am up to 900 calories a day now, off of the 500. That was purely for cleansing purposes. I did very well but it was tough. I still want a cookie so bad; I can smell them when I walk into a store. Bakeries are murder on me!! Forget about walking down the baking aisle! A lot of decisions still need to be made; I have made the guest list, baby steps!

Things I don’t understand, don’t pretend to understand and will never understand

Today’s entry is courtesy of my BFF Tammi. She suggested the topic.
I don’t understand Fantasy Nascar, Football, Baseball, Soccer, Basketball, well any of it really. What is the point? Perhaps instead of pretending to play you could actually go outside and play the game for real. Remember when we were kids and everyone was outside playing these games? So much more fun than pretending to play.
I don’t understand video games. I mean I get the concept; I even enjoy the older ones, frogger, pacman, space invaders, asteroid and centipede, but the Call of Duty and whatever the rest of them are called. I don’t get, I don’t pretend to, I don’t understand the draw. I will never understand it.
Marijuana, I don’t get it, why would anyone want to do anything that makes them fat, lazy and stupid? Oh and smells bad. So when you do this you are a not only fat, lazy and stupid you smell bad. No thank you. I would rather not be fat, not be lazy, not be stupid and I so totally do not want to smell bad.
Vegans, I don’t get Vegans. Animals were put here to eat, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy vegetables as well, however, without protein our hair falls out. So you would be bald. Not a good look on the majority of women. And some men.
Dishonesty, I don’t get it, it is so much simpler to tell the truth, be honest. I can imagine lies are exhausting. You have to remember who you told what to. Just be honest, temper it with some tact, but in the long run, be honest. Except if my behind looks big, don’t tell me after I have left the house and I can’t do anything about it. Tell me beforehand!
Not smiling. When someone smiles at you, smile back. Shoot smile at someone not smiling, you don’t know whose day you will make. Smile when you don’t feel like it, I promise it will make you feel better. I don’t understand people who never ever smile.
Those are just a few things I don’t understand, never will, have no desire to. Remember this idea came from Tammi!!

Things I have decided to give up this year

I know it is a little late for New Year’s Resolutions, however, it has taken me a while to come up with things I really want to cut out of my life, so here goes:
Gossip, no good can come of it, there is too much of it in the place I work and I refuse to be a participant.
Cuss words. They are crass and if I can’t think of a better descriptive word than the vulgar ones, I have no business speaking.
Speeding. It is dangerous not only to myself but others.
Texting and driving. If you do not hear from me in a timely manner it means I am driving and will text you when I come to a stop.
I will treat myself to candy once a week, not every day. Very bad habit I had gotten into.
Well that is all I can think of. If you can think of anything I should consider giving up, tell me. I am open to suggestions.

Random

Today my mind is a complete blank. Usually it is churning with thoughts. But today… nothingness. I don’t know what I want to do today. Will it be productive or lazy? Yesterday was incredibly productive; I got up, had coffee, played on Facebook, did laundry, and then off to my Mary Kay facial with one of my favorite customers, got to visit with her and her beautiful family, then grocery store. Then back home for a little more laundry and television watching. I watched the Frost/Nixon movie. Amazingly well done! I was in the 3rd grade when all of that happened and I remember the adults around me talking about it. But seeing it as an adult, well, truly eye opening. Tricky Dick earned his name!
Today it is overcast and rainy; a perfect day, as I love overcast and rainy. Snow would be even more perfect, I am a huge fan of winter just in case you missed it.
I need to finish the last Twilight book; I just can’t get into it, a vampire baby? WTH! Oh wait, Joss Whedon already did that, and did it very well. So is this a copycat thing? Hmmmm. I also have movies to watch. And my meals to plan out for next week, have upped my caloric intake to 900 calories a day. Did the 500 calories a day for 2 weeks, it was total greatness. However you can’t go too long on that stringent of a diet. So 900 it is for now.

Ode to Coffee and Coffee Treats

 

Starbucks how I love you, you make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You warm my senses; you surround me with a calmness that is just not found anywhere else. When we are parted I miss you. Once a week is just not enough. If only your delicious treats didn’t make me fat, we would see each other EVERY day, maybe even twice a day. I have often said that coffee is God’s way of saying “I love you Angie”. Coffee totally rocks; it makes me feel a little invincible, a little brighter, smarter, funnier, and a little more capable of taking on the day. I wonder what it would be like without coffee. A world without coffee! Now that is a truly hellish thought! Can you imagine? No more perky Angie, maybe a sullen Angie, a distraught Angie, one who wanders through the day thinking who am I and what am I doing here? Perhaps looking longingly through the looking glass wondering if other worlds exist out there that have something better to offer. Well I thank the heavens every day that I do not live in a universe that has no coffee, or is only made up of shrimp. The next time I think to myself, perhaps I should give up coffee, I shall remember the universe in which coffee does not exist and the Angie’s of that world in their stupor and listlessness and will just say no to giving it up! Everyone have a Nancy Reagan day! Remember just say no to giving up coffee and coffee treats!

What Makes Us Crazy?

I listen to a radio show every day here in the DFW area, The Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show; they have a segment on there called Does That Make Me Crazy.
People call in and state things that might seem crazy to other people. It made me think. What things do I do in my life that might make others consider me crazy?
I have an obsession with superheroes. Does that make me crazy?
I have a thing for boots, the first day of September I begin wearing them, even though it is still 100 degrees here in Texas. Does that make me crazy?
I can’t stop playing word games on my Iphone; I have 3 downloaded at this point. Does that make me crazy?
I am completely fascinated by the show The Girls Next Door, the original ones with Holly, Bridgette and Kendra. Does that make me crazy?
I talk to my pets like they are real people and have an opinion about what I am telling them. Does that make me crazy?
I can’t touch hair that is not on my head, I consider it dead hair. Does that make me crazy?
I still believe without a doubt in my heart Dean Cain is the prettiest man alive. Does that make me crazy?
I don’t want to overwhelm you with the rest of my crazy behavior; this is just the small tip of the iceberg of my craziness. What do you do that others would see as crazy?

Vampires

Confession time. I am a huge fan of vampires. I always have been. I believe it started when I was a little girl watching the old Bella Logosi movies. He was completely brilliant. I have been hooked since then.
The thing is, I don’t want to be a vampire, I mean I am not that weird. However being a vampire slayer, well that job is still on the table. I had no idea such a thing existed before Joss Whedon brought it to the forefront of society. Imagine, being that powerful that you can defeat not only vampires, but demons, witches and yes even a god.
We not only got to see Buffy kicking major ass, but we got to see Kendra and Faith pitching in as well. Then at the end of the series seeing all the potential slayers get their powers, well let’s just say I was waiting for mine to kick in as well!
While meeting a vampire would totally be a dream come true, I would only want to meet the ones with souls i.e Angel and Spike. I know two vampires with souls is a bit much, but Angel was cursed and Spike, well Spike just asked for it.
No one does vampire/human relations like Joss. The Vampire Diaries are total greatness and while showing true teen angst it just does not come close to Buffy. The True Blood series is amazingly well done, love it. Love how it shows the sire/turned relationship between the vamps. There is a bond there that just cannot be broken. The Twighlight series while enjoyable is just a lightweight compared to Joss. Where are the slayers? At least in The Vampire Diaries and True Blood people are trying to kill the vamps. Makes for great drama. As for me I will quite possibly go into training to become the next slayer, please do not tell me I am too old… I don’t believe in age….