So...I turned 30!!! My birthday was this past Saturday and I made a week-long celebration out of it. First, I bought my traditional pumpkin pie and ate a piece every day leading up to my birthday. Then, my best friend Emily flew to Denver on Tuesday so she could be here for the festivities. We spent the first few days exploring Denver, Boulder, and Castle Rock. Then on Saturday we went to Nordstrom and got our makeup professionally done.
Here's a before and after picture from getting my makeup done at Bobbi Brown...
When we got back to my apartment my mom had put a Happy Birthday sign on my door and decorated my living room with a banner and balloons. She's so thoughtful!!
On Saturday afternoon we drove up to Black Hawk to visit the casinos and stay overnight at the Ameristar Resort & Casino.
Overall it was a great week and I'm really sad it's over! I guess now I need to start planning something else to look forward to...
My Happiness Project: Week 4
This is the end of my first month doing my own happiness project. At the beginning of the month I explained how I wanted to spend time focusing on my identity by embracing who I am and loving myself unconditionally. I'd like to end the month by working on letting go of expectations and embracing the fact that I can't continue to expect my life to be perfect, because it will never live up to that standard.
I found the quote above that says "What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be." This quote reminds me that most of the time I have a picture in my head of how my life it supposed to look, and if reality doesn't match up to that picture I tend to feel disappointed and sad. What I'd like to focus on is appreciating what I do have instead of what I don't have. Hopefully this new way of thinking will help me to be happier with everyday life.
What are some things that you can change in your thinking that would make you happier?
My Happiness Project: Week 3
"Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."
This quote reminds me that there are things happening in my everyday life that I will eventually look back on and realize how much they impacted my life. They may not seem big now, but one day I'll realize how important they really were. Far too often I breeze through my day without stopping to appreciate the small things. I tend to take them for granted without a second thought.
For the third week of my happiness project, I have decided to focus on appreciating the small joys of every day life and also purposefully doing things that make me happy. They don't have to be big, elaborate things...just little things that make my day a little brighter.
Here are some of the ideas I've come up with:
My goal will be to incorporate some of these ideas into my everyday life to add a little joy to my day.
What are some of your favorite ways to brighten your day?
My Happiness Project: Week 2
Do you ever read your friends' status updates on Facebook and think to yourself that their life must be so much better than your own? I know I'm guilty of doing that all the time. That's why I have to remind myself of the quote by Steve Furtick that says "The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel." And I honestly think that is a huge part of people being unhappy with their life. They forget that most people only show the world the good things going on in their life and usually keep the bad stuff out of sight. And then they wonder what is wrong with their own life that they don't have just as many good things to share with the world.
This is what I'm going to focus on for my second week of my Happiness Project. I'm still going to go on Facebook and be happy for my friends who have great things going on in their lives. But at the same time, I'm going to stop comparing my life to theirs and realize that nobody's life is perfect. We all have bad things happen to us, it's just a matter of spending more time and energy focusing on the good things instead of always worrying about the not-so-good things.
Can anyone else relate to this cycle of comparing your life to everyone else and then allowing yourself to feel bad about your own situation? If so, please share your thoughts in the Comments section!
Birthday Countdown: 14 days
In exactly two weeks I will be turning 30! To celebrate the beginning of my countdown, I'd like to look back at what I did for my birthday last year. When I turned 29, I decided I wanted to perform 29 random acts of kindness on my birthday. I took the day off work and headed out with my mom to spend the day doing a number of different acts of kindness.
Here's a partial list of what we did:
We had a great day and hopefully made a few people happy with the random kindness we showed them. I'd like to think that our acts of kindness had a ripple affect and trickled down to other people along the way.
Have you ever experienced a random act of kindness from a stranger? Please share in the comments section!
My Happiness Project: Week 1
I love the quote by Helen Keller that begins with "Be happy with what you have while working for what you want." It's actually one of the Words of Wisdom that I am going to follow throughout my year-long happiness project. This quote reminds me that my life is what it is for a reason and a lot of it has to do with who I am. To put my own spin on the quote, I want to be happy with who I am while working for a happier life.
For the first month of my happiness project I have decided to start by exploring my identity. I want to embrace who I am and love myself unconditionally. Part of this will be to stop comparing my life to others and realize that I have to follow my own path.
This week I am going to start out by answering the question "Who am I? and then spending the rest of the month embracing those things about myself and enjoying being me. I'm sure it will be hard to think of everything right at this moment, but here are a few key things about who I am:
Fun fact, the shortest sentence in the English language is "I am."
Now that I have highlighted a few things about myself, I am going to spend the rest of the week thinking of more things and adding to this list. I might even take some personality tests online to get an outside view of myself.
Now that I've bared my soul a little bit, tell me more about you. Who are you and what makes you "you"? Please share in the comments section!
"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
This is just one example of the words of wisdom that I plan to follow during my year-long Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin, the author of the Happiness Project, started out her year with a list of twelve commandments. Instead of giving myself commandments, I've decided to compile a list of my favorite quotes and use them as words of wisdom throughout the next year.
Here are my Words of Wisdom:
1. Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.
2. Be loving and love will find you.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.
4. It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.
5. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
6. Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
7. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
8. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
9. Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow.
10. The things you take for granted…someone else is praying for.
11. Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.
12. Worrying will never change the outcome.
What are some words of wisdom you live by?
Recipe: BBQ Sweet Potato Chips
It's been three weeks since I started eating clean and I've tried a lot of recipes during that time with mixed results. This recipe is for BBQ Sweet Potato Chips and I found it on a great blog called The Sweet Life. The brown sugar in the BBQ seasoning makes these chips not completely clean, but they're pretty healthy compared to store-bought potato chips.
Warning: these babies can burn easily, especially if you use all of the seasoning mix instead of 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp as recommended. (I didn't read closely enough and used the entire batch!). When I went to check on them there was smoke coming out of the oven and I had to rush to open the door and windows before the smoke alarm went off! Thankfully the alarm didn't go off and not all of the chips were burnt, just some on the sheet on the lower rack.
Just looking at these amazing pictures from The Sweet Life has me craving these again!
Baked BBQ Sweet Potato Chips
makes 2 large sheet trays
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 -2 tbsp BBQ seasoning mix (recipe follows)
BBQ Seasoning Mix
makes about 2/3 cup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients together until well combined.
Store in an airtight container.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
Slice sweet potatoes as thinly as possible. I used a mandolin set on 3mm.
Toss potatoes in olive oil and BBQ seasoning mix until well coated.
Place on parchment lined baking sheets in a single layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping once half way through, until cooked all the way through.
Let cool completely before devouring.
My name is Beth and I live in Denver. I am a single lady in my 30's and wanted to start sharing my awesome and amazing life through a blog.