Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Smile" Moments

"Happiness research" is fascinating. If I wasn't in the field of Communication, I'd definitely get my PhD in Psych and study rainbows and sunshine all day :)

In case you're curious about happiness research, this article lists the top 5 most reliable "findings" in happiness research. Powerful stuff--it's worth a read!

As #1 on the happiness research list says, "We control about 40-50% of our own happiness." It's true, we can choose our own daily outlook toward the world! I also totally agree with #5, that "Happiness is in experiences, not stuff." That which makes us happy is not always tangible. For me, it's the memories of little things that made me smile during the day.

Over the last two weeks, I've had a lot to smile (ugh, and subsequently, stress) about, but I didn't get a chance to blog about all of it. I thought I'd recap a few of my "smile moments" today. As you know, my daily goal is to delight in the "little things." The idea is that eventually, you will learn to focus on the positive so much that you will "tune out" the nagging, little negative things and become more happy.

These are the "little things" that made me smile recently...

Our "last meal" in our old apartment: Vegetarian Corn Tacos. I was trying to use up produce and odds and ends that we had so I threw some avocado, cheddar, tomatoes, onion and Black Bean and Corn salsa on a corn tortilla and called it dinner. I thought it was going to be nasty, but it turned out tasty. I was pretty impressed with my Chopped-esque improvisation :)

I'm in LURVE with wall decals. They are easy to apply and remove, and are a great alternative to paining walls (I like photography, but I'm no painter!). I got these at Meijer (which is like Walmart). I had a homemade fruit smoothie to celebrate my artistry lol.

In my typical Saturday fitness class fashion, I brought snacks for my morning weights class participants. We all need a little pick me up first thing on Saturday morning!

To congratulate me on my new job, Wes got me this super cute lunch box. It's SO me! NOM NOM NOM is somewhat of a catchphrase for me.

I filled it up with a PB and J, kettle chips, and a 100-cal rice krispie square. NOM NOM NOM!

Wes' parents came into Chicago this past weekend, so we drove up to visit in the Chi-town. After seeing all the other lovely blogger-pics from the Healthy Living Summit, I was stoked to go see the sights...albeit a week late.

Buckingham Fountain, Wes and I.

Walking to the Shedd Aquarium. It's a gorgeous building in the sunlight. There was fabulous Chicago weather that day too--not too hot with a nice breeze!

Inside the Shedd Aquarium, there's all this elaborate oceanic-inspired architechture. I've been to Chicago numerous times, but I'd never been to the Shedd, and I must say---I was IMPRESSED!

They had non-aquatic animals, too. Like these monkeys in love ;)

And this lurking little croc.

Piranha are glittery! As we were walking by the piranha tank, I overheard a woman behind me say to her little son, "Wow, that's it, huh? It doesn't look like it deserves it's own 3-D movie, now does it?" She was referring to the recent trailer for that C-grade 3-D film coming out.

This little guy was just chillin at the bottom. Freakin' cool pattern on his body!

Super Ray! Check that out that mouth!

Just gliding by gracefully.

The "show" tank at Shedd is spectacular! You could see the boats in the harbor!

Hands down, the coolest thing at Shedd is the baby Beluga whale. This isn't a good picture, but here I was watching in the mother and baby "play" together. It's neat to see how similar all mammals are. These two were just chasing each other around and the mother nuzzled the baby. So sweet!

Penguin waddles make me smile on the inside :)

Orchids at Shedd--my favorite flower.

No aquarium experience would be complete without some tropical-colored coral and anemone! It's crazy that these two sea creatures live in peace and and have evolved to co-exist with each other. If only humans could take a cue!

I hope you have a wonderfully happy Tuesday! Remember, that happiness exists everywhere--in experiences, little everyday moments and daily attitudes--we just have to work toward embracing and harnessing it :)

Q.O.D. (Question of the Day): What "smile moments" have you had today? Any little things made you smile? What's your favorite aquarium creature?


  1. My smile moments today: Dave's mother left to go back to florida, seeing that you are blogging again, my lovely kitty sleeping in the window and having that "I feel great" mood when I woke up!!

    Looks like you had fun in Chicago at the aquarium...those pictures are awesome!!! As for my favorite aquarium creature...I can't pick just one!! I love lots of them!

    PS: I love how you mentioned how two"things" evolve to coexist!! [I'm taking Evolution this semester!!]

  2. Love the smile post! Today is another rough one for me so looking at the flowers on my desk that the hubs sent me yesterday has been my smile moment(s) for the day.

  3. WOW those veggie tacos look delicious... just made me hungry :)

  4. Very uplifting post!

    Fun pics!