Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

You Should Read This: The Happiness Project

November 27, 2011

{via google image}

I’m a traveler and a bookworm, which means I spend a good chunk of change on airport reading material.  If I’m about to get on a flight without at least two books to read I go into panic mode.  It’s weird, I know.  I’ll work it out later.  I was browsing the bookstore in some random city airport when I stumbled onto The Happiness Project.  I’m working with a 50/50 chance of random book purchases being worth it when I buy blindly, without knowledge of what’s inside.  THIS was a great purchase!  I LOVED it.  Maybe because I’m a pretty happy person and maybe because it’s about a lady who studied the theories and principles of happiness for an entire year or because it’s full of great quotes or because Gretchen Rubin is a blogger.  Whatever it was, she had me at the first page.

{print on Etsy, found here}

Here are a few of my most favorite lines from the book:

-The days are long, but the years are short.
-Studies show that each common interest between people boosts the chances of a lasting relationship and also brings about a 2 percent increase in life satisfaction.
-What you enjoyed as a ten-year-old is probably something you’d enjoy now.
-Fun is energizing.
-I can do anything I want, but I can’t do everything I want.
-Taking the time to be silly means that we’re infecting one another with good cheer, and people who enjoy silliness are one third more likely to be happy.
-Everyone from contemporary scientists to ancient philosophers agrees that having strong social bonds is probably the most meaningful contributor to happiness.  

Intrigued yet?
You can purchase the book here!
You can also check out Gretchen’s blog, The Happiness Project, here.
An entire study on happiness.  I like.

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Mark Twain Was The Coolest

January 17, 2011

I’m sure all of you have read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or Huckelberry Finn at some point in your life.  I was in third grade the first time I stumbled upon the mind and imagination of Mark Twain.  His life and works have fascinated me ever since.  Plus, he’s got one heck of an award winning mustache.

{google image// check out that stache!!}

A few years ago, while in Hartford, CT I visited his home and took a tour to learn more about this man that outraged and won over so many different people during his life.

{Mark Twain’s house// google image}

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because I’m a huge nerd and totally geeking out about the Mark Twain autobiography which was just released.  He didn’t allow it to be published until he had been dead for 100 years…which is now.  That’s how you build some intrigue!  I’m currently reading his biography but will start the new one soon.  You should check it out, if you’re into that sort of thing.  I’ll leave you with some of my fave Twain quotes.  Who doesn’t love a good quote every now and again? Exactly.

{We Heart It}

A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.
-Twain

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.
-Twain

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
-Twain

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
-Twain

Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.
-Twain

Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
-Twain

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
-Twain

Love is the irresistable desire to be irresistibly desired.
-Twain

//i could go on forever but i’ll stop here.

CS Lewis Is My Hero

December 20, 2010

{We Heart It}

Sometimes there are authors you run across who seem to speak right into your soul with every word you read.  CS Lewis does this for me.  The man had a creative, beautiful and awe inspiring imagination as well as a profound view of God.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite Lewis quotes because his words have changed my life.  Words are powerful, ya know? 

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
–CS Lewis
Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
CS Lewis
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
–CS Lewis
You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
–CS Lewis
Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
CS Lewis
We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
–CS Lewis
Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.
–CS Lewis
It was when I was happiest that I longed most…The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.
–CS Lewis
Oh goodness….beauty and truth with every thought he chose to share with the world.  I love it.  Want some of his books?  Easy…go here.

Follow Me To Freedom

September 12, 2010

I was in Philadelphia, PA all weekend and realized (once it was too late) that I had been within a few miles of Shane Claiborne’s community, The Simple Way.  Total fail on my part.  I’m wishing now I would have planned ahead and made a trip over there.  I’ve read a few of his books and have a huge amount of respect for his way of life. 

I recently finished Follow Me To Freedom: Leading and Following As An Ordinary Radical.  It’s a great read on leadership and what it takes to be a leader full of wisdom and compassion for others.  Shane Clairborne wrote the book with John Perkins, another great man.  Below are some of the many quotes from this book that inspired me:

If we cannot be reconciled with people that look different than we look, then what is reconciliation?  And there will be no true freedom for any of us unless we are first reconciled to each other and to God.

You can’t be a great leader if you can’t guide your own family with love and honor.  The basis for leadership and the greatest environment in which to develop leaders it the family.

We have a God who is continually interupting us.  We don’t want anything to alter our course, even if we know there is something beautiful on the other end of interruption.

We can learn that vulnerability is a value, not a threat.  It’s something that good leaders know well: they need other people.

The content of your character will determine the caliber of your relationships.

Courage is fear holding on for one minute longer.

I am convinced that Jesus did not just come to prepare us to die; He came to teach us to live.

Seems as though too many leaders have been soloists, and I guess that’s why so many of them are lonely people.

We need a holistic teaching – we need to be concerned about the body, the soul, the experience, the quality of life of people within the community.

The Christian life is about surrounding ourselves with people who look like someone we want to become, people who may be a few steps ahead of us on the journey.

Leadership books about vision can help.  But they can also mislead.  If we take a personality test, make a list of goals and get motivated, but it is all out of our own willpower, then ultimately, if it succeeds, it will only result in self-gratification, not in real change.  If our leadership is designed to satisfy only ourselves, ultimately we will not have many followers. 

Ok, I’ll stop now! All of that goodness was in the first 59 pages alone which means there are about 200 more full of helpful content.  Read it!! Read anything…period.  So many great books and so little time.

My Weekend in Pictures!

July 26, 2010

Camera ready….like always!!

Friday:
My sweet Jessica’s bachelorette party!! Loads and loads of sugar + lots of pretty little flirty things for Jessica (soon to be Douglas).

Saturday:
Pool time with my girls!

My parents and little sister came in town that afternoon so we could go out on the town for birthday festivities!! Mexican food and Pinkberry!! My friend Amy came along.  I opened my presents before we left and guess what the coolest parents ever got me??! A skydiving jump!!! I’m going with one of my close friends the last weekend in August.  I’ve been once before and I LOVED it.  How cool is my family? Seriously.

That night, I came home to find my dad destroying my old/broken television.  It was too huge to carry out of the house so they broke it down.  Disaster!!

My little prego sister helped.

And then promptly fell asleep.  Awww…..

Sunday:
More pool time!!

I was showered with some major love all weekend.  I also got my Happy Mail packages from the sweetest ladies ever!! If you aren’t familiar with Happy Mail, please check it out here.  It’s a fun way to  meet other bloggers and get beautiful packages in the mail.  Like this one from Lindsay.

Look at the cute things I got this weekend from my family and Happy Mail!!

My sweet blog/Happy Mail friend Jamie made this especially for me and I LOVE it!!  She also started the Happy Mail thing so check out her adorable blog and show her some love. 

To make the weekend even more perfect I got a free Starbucks treat on the way to church.  Mmmm…. Iced caramel macchiato! Delish!!

A lovely weekend indeed.  *smile*

Kill Your TV (or at least tame the thing)

July 13, 2010

(google image)

Television has proved that people will look at
anything rather than each other. 
 –A. Landers

What is being lost is the magic of the word.  I am not an image person.  Imagery belongs to another civilization:  the caveman.  Caveman couldn’t express himself so he put images on walls. 
–Elie Wiesel, 1995

I had a pleasant surprise tonight!  My mom and dad came through town and invited me out for dinner.  They only live about two hours from me but I travel so often that I don’t see them as much as I’d like.  We had some yummy mexican food and Pinkberry (of course) then ran a couple of errands which included (uh oh) purchasing a brand new flat screen for my birthday to replace my old television that broke a while back.  Um…yea.

I’ve been without a television in my apartment for the past few months and I absolutely ::loved:: not having one.  Even when I had a working TV (which was a super old one donated by a dear friend) I would never pay for cable or some fancy upgrades.  I’d decided not to replace the TV for fear that I would resort to watching movies in my spare time instead of reading, creating, talking to friends, blogging, cooking, journaling, etc.  However, I did miss the convenience of watching a movie on a late night or extra lazy afternoon.  My parents asked me a million times if I wanted a replacement TV for my birthday because they knew how much I enjoyed not having the tempation.  So…I decided that I would take them up on their generosity and receive the brand new pretty shiny flat screen which is now staring at me.  Oh gosh. 

You know what else is staring at me?  Eight beautiful books just waiting to be read by yours truly.  I’ve already started five of them and cannot wait to finish.  You may recognize some of the authors: CS Lewis, Shane Claiborne, John Perkins, Anne Lamott, Elizabeth Gilbert, David Sedaris, Eric Schlosser, and Shauna Niequist.  *happy sigh*

All that to say…yes, I now have a brand new TV thanks to the loving kindness of my mom and dad but I am putting the little guy on major lockdown.  When we were small, my parents never let us watch more than 30 minutes of television a day.  Thank goodness for that!!! My imagination was outrageous and I spent every spare minute outside in the woods behind our house or riding my horse.  Hehe.  Yea….it was a perfect world.  I will always be thankful to them for that.  Putting a leash on your TV is a good thing.

And now, because of this, I’ve made some guidelines for me and my new friend. 

1) No watching TV alone.  I don’t want it to be a time waster when I could be doing other things. 

2) When friends are visiting, I will not let it take the place of real life conversation.  I want TV to be my last resort, not the first.

3) No cable or TV stations…ever.

(We Heart It)

So there you have it.  Call me crazy if you like but it’s what I gotta do for me.  This means that instead of finishing The Office DVD, I am choosing to read Eat, Pray, Love instead.  Yep, I’m happy with that. 

Love you, mom and dad!! Thank you for teaching us what is good in the world and that sometimes the best way to find it is turning off the TV.