Rawr!

Unintentionally, I took another break from My Bit of Happiness. Why?

It has been less enjoyable to continuously blog about what makes me happy. Instead I have been experiencing things  without having to talk or think about them. I am  content. So my apologies for not updating, but my heart has simply not been in it.

Sometimes, I think it is important to just live without thinking about it or focusing on it.  Those may be the moments we will remember the most.

I’ve also  been thinking about beginning a completely new blogging project for a fresh start–but it is still in the works. In the meantime, check out this website that I have just started up again.

RAWR!

Enjoy! http://littlerex.com/

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Who says macaroni and cheese has to be boring?

"Orange Macro Macaroni" and Cheese by D Sharon Pruitt

Yesterday, my friends and I went to a small restaurant in Monroe, Connecticut called Mac Daddy’s. If you live in the CT area, I highly recommend checking it out. Here’s what it’s like:

The entire menu–other than cookies and potato chips– is only macaroni and cheese. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no selection. For the little kid in you, you can get mac n cheese mixed with hot dogs. If you want an adult twist on the child favorite, try it mixed with spinach, mushrooms, onions, or even lobster. Really, this place is ingenious.

It was my second time there, and I opted to get the same option as last time, the pulled pork mac n cheese. My friend, who’s tried about six of their flavors, said this was probably the best one so far, and I love it–a perfect blend of BBQ sauce, cheese, meat, and noodles.

I mean, mac and cheese is awesome anyway. Most kids love it, and even if they won’t eat anything else, you can always rely on this staple. College kids eat it because it’s quick and delicious. In fact, whenever I had to go to a potluck dinner, I usually prepared this dish, because it’s so yummy and so easy!

But then you add in some crazy ingredients, creative combos, cute names such as “Mac Gobble Gobble”, and you’ve got a great business idea. Yes, the instant Kraft stuff is cheap and easy, and these prices range from $5 to $13 for a small–but it’s worth it. Great novelty idea, and good to return to try other flavors. And don’t let the small “snack size” fool you. It’s enough…and comes out actually in the pan for you to eat right away. mmmm.

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Does this undermine the whole concept of my blog?

I love cracked.com. Great humor, generally great writing, and random-but-interesting topics. When I read  5 Scientific Reasons Your Idea of Happiness is Wrong, I couldn’t help but both laugh and  agree with much of the article. Basically, the article is saying that “happiness” is just a human invention, and don’t bother focusing on it–because the more you try to be happy, the less you’ll be.

If you’re looking for an answer to “How can I be happy?” then the response from the experts is, “You’re asking the wrong question.”–Kimmy Dee, cracked.com

There’s a lot packed into this article, and some really good advice. One of the tips I liked was:  if you’re going to spend money on happiness, spend it on an experience, not on material goods. I definitely do this. Many posts in my blog are about memories, times with friends, or holidays.  The money I do spend is usually going out to eat, catching up over a cup of coffee, going to a concert, or on trips. Experiences last longer in your memory, after all.

But then, my last post is a quote, supposedly from John Lennon, where he says that happiness is the key to life and success. This cracked article completely disagrees with this point, basically saying, hey, it’s not possible to be happy all the time, so living a life trying to be  is not going to be rewarding. First, once you reach a goal, then you must move on to the next hurdle. Second, if it comes a time where you’re not happy, you’re going to feel like a double failure.

So, then, why have this blog, right? Obviously, I’m kind of focused on being happy.

Should we really just forget about the concept altogether? I don’t think happiness really has to be this perfect ideal that we will never reach, and I don’t believe we can always feel it. Maybe it’s more about a peace of the soul–accepting the hardship that comes along with life–but still striving  to overcome the obstacles and working to positive relationships and other goals. And overall, focus on the positive, not the negative. That’s the point of this blog. No, I’m not always happy, but if I look to the moments, people, and things that are positive, I can stick it through even in the tough times.
What do you think? Do you agree with the cracked article? What does happiness really mean?

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Just do what makes you happy

“When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.” (By John Lennon, according to this source)

 

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Not worrying

Don't worry. Be Happy.

Fact: I worry too much, and I probably shouldn’t.

When I found this image on StumbleUpon, I saved it to my favorites to remind me NOT to get all upset about things. The picture I originally stumbled on was deleted, so did Google search, because I wanted to share this anyway.  This saying is so true and this picture inspires me–it’s so simple.

So to you- don’t think about that test that you maybe failed, or the money that you are tight on, or that relationship that you lost. Or that friend that may be mad at you. Or whatever it may be that’s got you down. It’s not worth freaking out about :) Life goes on.

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Beautiful Song

I just discovered this song on Pandora and I’m obsessed.

While this song’s  lyrics can be depressing, I also find it deep and meaningful. I also love the video–it’s nice to know at least some artists put some creativity into their music and videos.

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The wonder (and danger) of bookstores

Just SOME of the books that I wanted to buy

Soo the latest escapade in my travels has been to West Chester, PA.  On Monday, I walked into the charming downtown area, filled with shops and restaurants. I almost never left, because I walked into a discount bookstore called Armadillo Book Co. Discount bookstores are the best for a literary lover who also happens to be a bit strapped on cash. Or, they also can be the worst.

I spent an hour in the two-leveled but small shop. Crosby Stills & Nash was playing in the background(songs like Long Time Gone) –which made my browsing experience all the better.

I found soo many books that interested me—SciFi,  journalism, and more.

But, alas, I didn’t want to spend too much, so I only bought three books as a gift for my boyfriend’s birthday (happy birthday to him today).  Again, great thing about stores like this one is they’re cheap.

But even if a bookstore isn’t cheap–say Barnes & Noble or the late Borders– there is still something wondrous about the smell of paper, the rows and rows of literature and knowledge, the relaxing, studious quiet. (And in many cases, the even more awesome addition of coffee).

Yet, more and more people are going to this e-reader nonsense. Their logic? It’s cheaper in the long-run, it’s portable, it holds more books in a small space, it’s a new fad-gadget that you just MUST have, it’s progress…

And yet, none of this makes sense to me.

If you can’t afford pleasure-reading books (I’m not talking about student textbooks here), check out your local library, or find a corner bookstore akin to the one I found above. And if there is a book you MUST read, what’s so awful about paying full-price for a few books?

Maybe I’m old-fashioned or stubborn, but I like having pages to turn, printed words to look at, and in some cases, decades-old books in my hand. I’m reading Lolita right now (positively disturbing book), which I checked out from a Connecticut library. The pages are worn, and it’s not “pretty” but I like knowing I have something from the past, that others have held and read before me, in my hands. Meanwhile, I personally believe an e-reader would just be another addition to my cell phone, ipod, laptop, TV… you get the idea.

Reading should be a way to unplug yourself and immerse yourself into another world or new knowledge.

I guess, what I’m trying to say is, take some time and relax. Go to a bookstore or library, and spend an hour just looking. Buy or check something out. Read it. This is something people aren’t doing as much anymore, as shown by the sad demise of Borders, and I believe reading physical books and spending time in an atmospheric bookstore is something important to humanity that shouldn’t be lost.

 

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Family vacations, nature, sans computer

I’ve been slacking in posting, I know, I know. I didn’t post mostly because my keyboard and mouse touch pad broke, and so I sent out my laptop for repair. The good news? I have a new keyboard, touch pad, laptop casing, and LCD display. Way to go HP!

Also, I went on vacation to Lancaster, New Hampshire to visit family. As this small town is located in the mountains and I was at my grandmother’s house much of the time, the cell phone reception and computer availability was limited. But that’s ok. Some time away from constant internet and more time in nature and family is a good thing. We had several family dinners and barbeques, stopped for ice cream (I had butter pecan flavor), and spent a lot of the time in the car. My brother is looking at a few colleges in the Vermont and New Hampshire areas.

We also spent a day kayaking in a beautiful lake brimming with nature. The lake is a nesting ground for the loon, and we also got a glimpse of an osprey that caught a fish. Most exciting of all? I saw my first black bear! It was an adolescent bear, found eating out of a tin bowl by a lake house. (Maybe they feed the bear–or it was left over dog food? who knows).  Sadly, I didn’t want to get my camera wet out on the kayak, so I didn’t have a chance to snap a picture.

The view of the New Hampshire lake.

I would highly recommend renting, buying, or borrowing a kayak and heading out on the water. It’s a workout–but well worth it!

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July 4th

Last night's fireworks.

Did you know? The first fireworks were actually green bamboo, used by the Chinese to ward away evil spirits, explains a video by The Middletown Press.  And while we like our light and color shows, the Chinese preferred loud noises (source, About.com). Most recently, these brilliant displays are lighting up the sky in celebration of America’s independence. Yea America!

Fourth of July hasn’t even actually rolled around yet, and already I’m having an awesome weekend. Last night, my hometown put on a great display of fireworks. A group of friends and I met up early, found a spot to put our blankets, and enjoyed some pizza while we waited for it to grow dark. Finally– at about 9:30, my town and the neighboring town began their shows. To the right was my town, Shelton, and to the left was the neighboring town, Derby. For those that aren’t familiar with the area, the two places have a longstanding “competition” where they try to out-do one another. I was growing nervous because Derby was off to a beautiful start, but Shelton really kicked into gear halfway through. And beating Derby wasn’t enough…we just HAD to shoot off a second finale and late fireworks for the final say ;)


But fun competitions aside, it was an enjoyable evening. The weekend is just beginning…for there will be more family and friend time, grilling, parties, and  more fireworks to come!

I’d also like to wish my mother  a happy birthday today :)

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The Future

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned.
Sometimes, things take a little longer than expected.
Sometimes, you don’t get what you want right away.
Sometimes, it can be hard to be positive when things are more difficult than expected.

Today, a friend of mine posted this quote online: “If you ever feel stuck, look up. the sky is an endless valley of freedom.”

I want to remember this. I still have control over my life. It just takes time.

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