Project: Happy Mail

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Don’t you just love it when you receive something totally unexpected in the mailbox? There, nestled in between the bills, credit card offers, and catalogs, you catch a glimpse of familiar handwriting on a plain white envelope. It’s a letter! A real letter! You run back to the house, gently tear it open and read it right away. After you’ve read it a few times, it goes in that box where you keep your letters; the box you come across every few years and rifle through like a well-worn scrapbook.

When is the last time you received *real* mail? Not e-mail. Not a birthday or anniversary card. Not a pre-printed holiday greeting. An actually note: filled with news, a funny joke, maybe a recent picture or article or just a quick “thinking of you.” My Grandma Mary is the only person I still receive letters from and I’ve not been as good at returning the favor as I’d like to be.

But we’re all really busy, right? We don’t have time to write letters properly. We shoot out an abbreviated, barely thought out e-mail when we catch a few free moments (or usually simply by necessity). Well, that’s about to change!

Introducing Project: Happy Mail. You (yes, you!) can take 15 minutes each week to brighten a loved one’s day… and most likely your own in the process. The key is being prepared (isn’t it always?). By making a list, assembling your supplies in one place and having a pre-made arsenal of letter-writing ideas, you’ll be on your way to making more of those connections that make everyday life so special.

Here’s how it works:

• List 52 friends and family members in a random order. You may want to list some people several times if you’d like to reach them more than once per year – husband, kids, special friend.

• Add “Project: Happy Mail” to your calendar for the rest of the year, once per week on the day you think will work best for you.

• Put together a Happy Mail kit and keep it where you have a nice spot to write and reflect… at your desk, on your kitchen table, in your bedroom, next to your comfy chair.

• Set aside 15 minutes, write it, stamp it, make someone’s day!

Check back tomorrow for more specific details on getting everything put together.


C'mon! Get Happy!

>> Sunday, February 28, 2010

I've been reading Gretchen Rubin's blog for some time now, and I finally received my copy of The Happiness Project last week.  I'm so excited to get started on this project!

If you're not familiar with The Happiness Project, Gretchen spent a year studying the many paths to happiness.  She settled on 12 areas that she would like to improve in her life in order to achieve happiness and focused on a different area each month.  She set specific resolutions for every month, the idea being that once one month's goals are mastered, you're ready for the next set.

Following along with the book, I've set my 12 Personal Commandments.  A couple of these are adapted from Gretchen's list, some borrowed from others participating on the website and some wholly my own:
  1. Be Ginny.
  2. Act the way I want to feel.
  3. Do what ought to be done.
  4. There is only love.
  5. The law of Karma is real.
  6. Be present in the moment (pay attention!).
  7. You can't unring a bell.
  8. You are living a healthy lifestyle NOW (not starting on Monday).
  9. Be grateful everyday.
  10. Celebrate family and friends.
  11. Good enough is good enough.
  12. Say "Yes" to what matters. Say "No" to what doesn't.
I've also got my first month of resolutions ready to go.  March's focus is on Energy and Vitality; without these, I won't be prepared to take on the next 11 months.  I practiced a few of these resolutions last week (getting up early to exercise, tidying up every evening) and feel like I'm ready to start the journey.

Also borrowed from Gretchen, I listed my March resolutions in a table and will be checking off my progress each day.  If you'd like to join in, I'm happy to share my Resolutions template with you:
March Resolutions

Energy and Vitality, here I come!


Can't miss photos to take in March

In like a lion, out like a lamb.  Be sure to capture all the March Madness!  Some memories to keep an eye out for this month:
  • The first signs of spring (flowers sprouting, baby animals)
  • March Madness events
  • Loved ones playing in the mud puddles from leftover snow
  • St. Patrick's Day festivities featuring green
  • Flying a kite
  • Windmills (to catch those crazy March winds)
  • Umbrellas and rain gear
  • Four-leaf clovers
  • Your lucky things
  • Short sleeves
  • Bird on a feeder
I'm so excited to have winter get on its way, that I'll be photographing evidence of the melting snow every chance I get.


Hooray! A giveaway!

>> Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two of my favorites: Simple Mom and Ali Edwards!  To celebrate the launch of Simple Living Media, Simple Mom is giving away a package of 365 photo overlays from the fabulous Ali Edwards (among other cool prizes).  I'm excited to learn more about the new Simple Living Media sites... let's all head on over and check them out!  Simple Living Media


Free Downloads

>> Tuesday, February 2, 2010

WORKSPACE INSPIRATION: Monthly downloads for your desk

HAPPINESS PROJECT: Monthly Resolution Templates


Can't miss photos to take in February

Ah, February. The month of love!  In these parts, it's been the month of snow.  Lots and lots of snow.  There's nothing like 2 feet of snow though, to give one a good excuse to hibernate.  And take lots of pictures!
  • Kids in pajamas
  • Favorite indoor games and gadgets
  • A romantic night out (or in!)
  • Valentines you receive
  • Mardi Gras decorations and parades
  • Children creating their valentines for school
  • Valentine's Day cookies, candy or cupcakes
  • Winter sporting events (basketball, gymnastics, etc.)
  • Winter Olympics celebrations
  • Feet propped up by the fire in your favorite toasty socks
  • Frost on the windowpane
Celebrate winter while you can; it will be spring before we know it!


Brighten up that boring old mini-van

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My sister got me the cutest little car accessories for Christmas. I had some colleagues in the car with me this week as we were driving across town for a meeting and my buddy in the backseat squealed and said, "is that a tissue holder?" Yes, yes it is. And it's pretty darn cute. One had to blow one's nose just to demonstrate that it was cute AND functional. AND, [get ready for this] you can get a totally awesome trash holder, too.
Admit it: your car interior is drab, a little dirty, and might even have a Cheerio or two on the floor in the backseat. I hereby give you permission to add a little burst of fun! You can grab a set for yourself here:


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