#100HappyDays

#100HappyDays intro

Last month on Facebook a friend of mine posted something about a challenge she was doing called #100HappyDays. I was intrigued so I asked her what it was. She told me it’s a challenge where you write about something that makes you happy every day for 100 days. It sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, so I was curious about where it would take me.

I headed over to the challenge website where they explain what the challenge is and why it was developed. The idea behind it is that it’s an avenue for you to take time out of your day to write about anything at all that made you happy that day. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, it could be catching up with a friend, having coffee at your favourite café, or spending time with your pet. The ultimate goal is for you live more in the moment, which will ultimately lead to longer term happiness.

The websites emphasises that it’s not about showing off, making people jealous, or making out like you have the best life ever and nothing gets you down. It’s about taking time out of your day to reflect on that one moment that made you happy, to realise that there is a lot of good in your life even if it’s just one moment during the day. Whatever the moment, it’s important to acknowledge it as it makes you appreciate your day /life more.

I undertook some further reading on the challenge and saw comments by the media and Psychologists stating that the challenge is impossible and unrealistic as no one can be happy all of the time.  I’m under no illusion that the challenge is about being happy 100% of the time for 100 days, that’s impossible.  For me, it’s about appreciating the small moments of each day that make me happy. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes, or 5 minutes, or even just a thought. It’s about appreciating the good with the bad, acknowledging that life’s not all bad, and each day brings different emotions and experiences, some of which are great.

I’m excited and a little curious on how I will feel after this.  I will be posting a summary of my days on the blog so stay tuned.  If you’re feeling inspired to join in here’s the challenge website http://100happydays.com/

Here goes….

Since writing this post I’ve completed this challenge. Here’s the remaining days:

#100HappyDays days 1-30

#100HappyDays days 31-60

#100HappyDays Days 61 – 90

#100HappyDays Days 91 – 100

#100HappyDays final thoughts 2 months on

 

 

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A simple breakfast

Recently I decided to start making my own muesli as the store bought ones just weren’t doing it for me. Sure they tasted great, but they weren’t fulfilling.

So after much experimentation I have concocted what I think is the easiest breakfast to make, which also tastes great. It takes about 5 minutes to make and 20 minutes to bake.

The ingredients are:

  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • ½ cup of honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Mixed nuts and dried fruit

A simple breakfast ingredients

Step 1
Preheat oven to 180°C

Step 2
Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper

Step 3
Spread oats evenly over the baking tray

Rolled oats

Step 4
Drizzle honey / maple syrup evenly over the rolled oats then repeat with olive oil

The Creative Canvass a simple breakfast

Step 5
Bake for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the nuts and dried fruit in at the last five minutes

Just add nuts

There you have it super simple. You can add natural yoghurt, milk, fresh fruit or whatever else you feel like. Enjoy!

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Garden overhaul

Completed frontyard

Completed backyard

I’ve never understood why people like gardening. All the weeding, watering, raking, and long hours in the great outdoors wasn’t ever something that appealed to me.

A few years ago I moved in to the house I currently live in. The previous owners had spent a lot of money on landscaping, which I was very grateful for. At the back there’s a gorgeous two level deck, an area with fake grass (bonus!) and another area with trees and real grass.

The front was also landscaped, but honestly I can’t tell you how as I never enter the house through the front, which is the exact reason why the front became a jungle. As I never looked at it, it became overgrown and full of long, long, long weeds.

Every time my parents came over the first thing my mum would say was “your garden’s such a mess, you need to do something about it”. So one day I had enough of my mum’s nagging and the massive garden overhaul began.

Operation clean up commenced October 2013 and was completed May 2014, that’s 7 months of digging out rose bushes and agapanthus (those things are evil bitches, they don’t budge easily), tree removal, tree cutting, mulching – a lot of hard work.

At times I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe that I was doing it on my own. Colleagues were questioning why I was doing it without help. Neighbours would say “he’s done a good job on your garden” which was annoying. There was no he, it was all she, why can’t girls dig and carry large trees without getting any credit?

Anyway, now I can see why people like gardening. The process of the jungle before to the mulched non jungleness (I’m making this a new word) has been really rewarding.

Here’s all the front before and afters

Frontyard before and afters 3

Frontyard before and afters 4

Frontyard before and afters 2

Frontyard before and afters 1

  Here’s all the back before and afters

Backyard before and afters 7

Backyard before and afters 6

Backyard before and afters 5

Backyard before and afters 3

Backyard before and afters 2

Backyard before and afters 4

Backyard before and afters 1

Backyard waste2

My wall of trees before and after, two walls were removed and the snails found a new home

Tree burial

Mountain of mulchMountain of mulch there were 6 cubic metres of this delivered!

There’s still so much to do, which I’m actually looking forward to. This was definitely a hobby that I never thought would grow on me, but one I look forward to continuing.

Since writing this post I’ve done some more on my garden, which you can read in my post titled Garden overhaul an update.

I’ve also learn’t heaps, which you can read here what I’ve learnt so far about…gardening.

 

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One little word Create

Create

The story behind the birth of this blog stems from setting my New Year’s resolutions. After going through the process of determining what I wanted to achieve this year, I realised that the whole New Year’s resolution process wasn’t working for me. I always had so many resolutions, which I’d usually forget by February.

So after going through the same process this year, and having 11 resolutions that I knew I’d never do, I thought why don’t I set a theme for my year instead?

The process of setting a theme started with researching how to do this, making lists, getting ideas, and getting my head around this new way of goal setting.

This is when I discovered that many people were already doing this. They were exchanging New Year’s resolutions for a yearly theme. However, they were taking it one step further by defining their year by a single word. One word that would define how they acted and what goals they would set for the year ahead.

So the process of choosing my one word began.

From all the resources available, the one that I most closely resonated with was a workbook to use to define your year by Martine Holston. As I worked through the workbook many questions were asked, pondered, and evaluated.

The process started with choosing five words that could be my word of the year. I selected these words based on what other people who had already undertaken the process selected. These words were:

  1. Create
  2. Focus
  3. Habit
  4. Decisiveness
  5. Choice

I researched the meaning of each and thought about each carefully.

No matter what word I considered create kept leaping out. As a further sign that create should be my word I remembered that when I initially thought about defining my year I thought about the things I love doing and how I could implement these into my word. The one thing I loved doing from the year before was making envelopes to house candy canes and attaching them to the Christmas gifts I was wrapping. I loved the creativity it involved and initially thought, before even realising that people were defining their year, that this year could be the year where I’m more creative.

Candy cane envelopes

 

My inspiration from the year before

The word create just kept popping up, it was instinctive. So I decided that create would be my word, it just felt good.

Now that I had chosen the word create I had to formulate three goals identifying how living a year of create would influence them. I used my list of New Year’s resolutions to assist me.

My new create oriented goals became:

  1. Create moods that affect those around me positively – become the person I want to be around
  2. Create a healthy lifestyle for a healthy mind, body, and spirit
  3. Create a life outside of work. Start hobbies that express my creative side, that fulfill me, and take the focus off finding the perfect job

The final step was deciding upon one big goal for the year. I decided that my third goal was the most important. Finding something outside of work that fulfilled me would ultimately lead to better moods and a healthy mind, body, and spirit. So after researching hobbies that I may enjoy I decided that my one big goal for this year was to start blogging, to write about my experiences, document my crazy ideas, and get things out of my head and in the world.

And that is how this blog was born. I hope it has a long life.

If you’d like to find out how this theme worked for me, please click here.

To find out what one little word of the year this process led me to for 2015, click here.

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The birth of a blog

The Creative Canvass the birth of a blog

For a long, long time I’ve been trying to find something that would take my focus off finding the perfect job (do they even exist?) something that would make my life a little more interesting, and something that I love.

I’m a big list person, and every year make New Year’s resolutions. This year I was hoping to resolve to find this something. I researched resolutions that people make to inspire my choice, I researched hobbies that may be this something, I did quizzes, made lists, and spent way too long perfecting and streamlining my resolutions.

After the whole process I had 11 New Year’s resolutions – too many in my opinion. They ranged from the typical break bad habits, stop talking about food and body issues, stick up for myself, have more me time, and stop skipping the gym. I also listed hobbies that I wanted to start which were:

  • Baking
  • Blogging
  • Cooking foreign food
  • Exploring Melbourne
  • Exploring online forums

When I looked at my large list of resolutions I was overwhelmed, there was no way I would remember them throughout the year. I realised that I needed to change this process somehow. I needed to be more focussed, so I thought why don’t I set a theme for my year, one theme that would guide my actions for the year ahead?

So in true Lisa style I researched how to do this and discovered that many people were already on to this concept. However, instead of a phrase they were theming their year by using a single word, one word that would dictate how they acted for the whole year. One word that would form a few resolutions for the year instead of the 11 varied ones I had come up with, which I knew would be forgotten about by February.

So the process to find my one little word to define my year began. The word I came up with was Create.

What does this mean? How did I come up with this one little word, and how and why has it led to the birth of this blog? To find out more click here.

To find out what one little word of the year this process led me to for 2015, click here.

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