Random Things – Weekday Matinee

movie theater


There’s something about going to the movies in the middle of a work day.  I feel sneaky and child-like.  It’s an excuse to get butter on your fingers and eat things my dietician would freak over if she knew.


Quotable – 1/7/13

Come Let Us Have Tea and Talk about Happy Things art by Lisa Congdon


Art by Lisa Congdon.

Last week I met a friend for tea at a local cafe.  We sat and talked for hours and giggled like school-girls.  We didn’t bitch about work or politics or relationships.  Without a set intent, we avoided negative topics.  When I got home that night, I was so uplifted.  I smiled for days.  This is something I need to do more often.

Noteworthy – 2012 Faves

This time of year you see a lot of “Best of the Year” lists.  I always enjoy reading and watching them because in doing so, I usually discover something new.  My music list includes music that I first encountered in 2012, not necessarily music that was released last year.  So, here goes, in no particular order:

“Little Talks”  Of Monsters and Men

Have you ever heard a clip of a song on a TV show and it just gets stuck in your head and you can’t get it out?  And you don’t really want it out, but you have no idea what it was?  This was that song for me this year.  It was part of the season premiere of Covert Affairs last summer, and as soon as I heard it, I wanted to hear it again.

“Somebody I Used to Know” covered by Ingrid Michaelson/Army of 3

I like Gotye’s original, but I love this version.

“The Day that I Die” by Zac Brown Band

If you don’t want to hear me singing, don’t play this song, because I can’t help it when they hit the chorus.

“Ass Back Home” by Gym Class Heroes

Another sing along that you can dance to…

“Try” by Pink

I’ve always loved the honesty of Pink’s music, going back to “Family Portrait.”  There’s such a combination of strength and vulnerability.  I love her performances too.  I’ve never seen her phone it in.

“Sweet as Whole” by Sara Bareilles

This probably is my absolute favorite song of 2012.  I’d call it a guilty pleasure, but I’m really not ashamed.  Sorry Mom.

K-Pop by a chorus of extras…

Like most people, I spent part of 2012 watching Psy do his awkward horse riding dance.  “Gangnam Style” is not on my 2012 list, but the next group of songs wouldn’t be here if Psy hadn’t paved the way.  I let Psy drag me down a YouTube wormhole, and discovered a lot of other South Korean, or K-Pop, groups because of his infectious little ditty.  Girls’ Generation, Exo-K, Wonder Girls, Super Junior, F(x)… all of the hours I’ve spent bouncing around the house this fall I owe to him.

Girls’ Generation – Oh (Korean Version) I actually much prefer the Japanese cover of this song, but I put the original Korean in this post because of the inclusion of an Iowa Hawkeye football helmet.  Doesn’t make sense, but Go Hawks!

Wonder Girls – Nobody (Japanese Version) I had trouble picking one Wonder Girls song for this post.  There are several I really enjoy.  This one made it on the list because, when it comes to the Wonder Girls,  this was my first love.

EXO-K – Mama (Korean Version) The music doesn’t start until a minute and a half in, but this is a visually arresting video.

Ok… One more K-pop girl group… F(x) – Electric Shock… just for fun…

There you have it!  Some of my faves from 2012.  If you have anything you think I should check out for the new year, let me know in the comments section.


Weighty Matters

When working on a Happiness Project, you are encouraged to look at what makes you feel good, what makes you feel bad, what doesn’t feel right about your life, and what provides you with growth.

The thing in my life that hits all of those marks is my weight.

I weight less in my forties than I did in high school, and I’m still heavy.  Right now, I’m just in the obese category.  I don’t think I’ve ever been a healthy weight.

Maybe in kindergarten.


But by the third grade, I knew I was fat.

In 2007 I made the decision to pursue bariatric surgery.  I had the surgery in 2008 and lost 130 lbs.  Over the last couple of years I’ve gained about 15 lbs. back.  One of my goals for 2013 is not only to lose those 15 lbs. that I’ve gained, but also to make a push toward a health Body Mass Index, which I’ve never achieved.

I’ve started 2013 at 184.4 lbs.  I’d like to end the year 40-50 lbs. lighter.  On Thursdays, I’ll focus on my progress.

Random Thing That Makes Me Happy

A Blank Slate

Since this blog exists in part to chronicle my attempts at expanding my joy, I thought it was appropriate to take time once a week to identify something specific that makes me happy.

One of those things is a blank slate.

I get excited by new beginnings.  Everything is possible when you have a new year, a new month, a new day.  I rejoice in the ability to recreate myself each morning.  I’m calmed by the fact that when I screw up, there’s always a chance to start over.

We can always start fresh.  For me, that is definitely something to be happy about!

Let’s Try This Again


Happy New Year!

I’m back and giving the Happiness Project another shot.

I think I got a little too excited after reading the book last spring and jumped in without enough planning.  Also, I don’t think I realized how hard it would be to manage multiple blogs.

So now I’ve taken a break, and am ready to get back into it.  Today we start Happiness Project 2.0.

You can read a little bit about what a Happiness Project is here.

For 2013, my first goal area is “self care.”

Again, I may have aimed a little high.  I’ve selected seventeen resolutions for the month:

  • 7 hours of sleep
  • 70 grams protein
  • Doodle or write 15 minutes a day
  • Less than 45 grams sugar
  • Skin Care
  • Daily prayer/meditation
  • Read for pleasure
  • 100 oz. of water a day
  • 30 minutes daily exercise
  • Flexibility work 3x/week
  • 25 grams of fiber
  • Food journal
  • Joy-filled jar
  • Happy dance each day
  • Eat with intention
  • Eat less junk
  • Weigh myself daily

I think the goals can be broken down into three areas:


I gained weight in 2012.  About 10 pounds.  I also gained inches.  15!  With the weight gain, I’ve also experienced increased fatigue, and general ickiness.  I want to turn that around.


Because my work life has been so stressful, I want to make sure I’m taking time to enjoy myself.  I want to carve out half an hour a day – just 2% of it, to do something creative and pleasurable.


Sometimes I feel I’m going through life like a zombie.  I want to stop and pay attention to things.  Build rituals.  Express Gratitude.  Slow down.

So here we go!  Hope to see you along the journey!