The Happiness Cake – Step 1

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You MUST start with an empty bowl.

This is the most important step in baking your cake.
If there is anything already in your bowl, it can and WILL effect the cake.
It can cause it to be bitter, or sour or flat.

“What might already be in the bowl?” you may ask.
The answer: Any number of things.
People, things, places, etc… ANY thing that brings negativity.
It could be a person who has hurt you, a place that holds bad memories, a song that you associate with a negative experience, an item that you own.
Whatever it is. Discard it.
Throw it in the garbage.
Empty your bowl.

Set boundaries for the people who hurt you. No matter what, do not allow them to cross those boundaries. Stand strong and fight for your boundaries.
Do NOT go to those places that hold bad memories.
The only exception to this rule is, work. You have to go to work.
There is no other place that you HAVE. TO GO that can’t be worked around.

Go into your itunes, amazon music, pandora accounts…whatever music services you use, delete ALL music that doesn’t make you smile or sing along, or create a positive emotion.
Delete anything negative. Just get rid of it. Toss out the CD, delete the songs on your SD card or phone hard drive. If the song comes on the radio, CHANGE THE STATION!!!

Items that make you sad, bring a feeling of negativity should go in the trash can, or be given away. No its, and or buts. Stuff is just stuff. if your stuff has negative emotions attached to them, you can’t simply wash it off.
Get rid of that stuff.
These steps can’t be accomplished instantly, but you can complete then in a relatively short time
if you are firm and strict with yourself.
When you are finished with these steps, you will have an empty bowl.
When you have an empty bowl, you are ready to move on the the next step.

Check back for Step 2.

The Happiness Cake

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“Joy, how do you do it?  How do you stay so happy? How do you smile all of the time?”

I literally, can not count the number of times I’ve been asked these questions.

I’ve always had the lamest reply… “I dunno”. I say. Not because I didn’t want to share some big secret that I was hording to myself, not because I didn’t want to divulge the answers, but because I genuinely did not know.

I’ve always been happy after all, most of my life, its something I always simply took for granted. Then, things changed.  For the first time in my life, I went through some real struggles, some losses, some pain, some depression. I was NOT happy.  I did NOT smile. I didn’t like it, but it was what i woke up to and what I went to sleep to every single day. As time went by, I came to the realization that I wasn’t just going to wake up happy again one day…I was going to have to work my way back to happy. I realized that it was high time for me to discover the REAL answers to those questions, to begin researching and realizing what it is that makes and keeps ME happy, and more importantly…to share that information with others.

This has resulted in my metaphoric “Happiness Cake”. Over the next week I will be posting a short series of ingredients for this recipe. I’ll say in advance that this is the recipe that works for ME. I don’t guarantee that it will work for you.  You might try my cake and hate it. However, you might also try my cake and think it’s the best cake you’ve ever tasted! You may want to switch out some of the ingredients for others, GO RIGHT AHEAD!  Whatever works to make YOUR cake taste the way you like it!

Join me tomorrow for “The Happiness Cake: INGREDIENT NUMBER ONE”.

Olfactory Nerve VS Ralph Lauren Romance

Have you ever caught a wiff of a scent that instantly transports you back in time? Maybe the smell of fresh baked cookies reminds you of your grandmother, or the scent of saltwater transports you to a childhood trip to the beach.  Sometimes the scent brings back a pleasent memory, other times, not so much. Take my perfume for instance, Ralph Lauren Romance, I have worn this scent for many years and have always loved it. However, there are now bad memories associated with my favorite perfume, so my bottle has sat, unused, for over a year.

This is all thanks to the lovely olfactory nerve, which is located very close to the amygdala, the area of the brain that is connected to the experience of emotion as well as emotional memory. In addition, the olfactory nerve is very close to the hippocampus, which is associated with memory.

Olfactory Diagram

Olfactory Diagram

When you smell something, the olfactory nerve transports the scent to the limbic system.  The limbric system supports a variety of functions including adrenaline flow, emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction. Emotional life is largely housed in the limbic system, and it has a great deal to do with the formation of memories.

It’s a fantastic system really, when you think about it, how the brain ties all of these nerves together to form so much of what truly makes a person who they really are. Without this amazing set of nerves and structures, life would most likely be QUITE BORING.

About the perfume, while I am very happy that my limbric system is functioning well, I still can not return to my old perfume.  I do believe it is time for me to make a change and find a NEW favorite perfume.  I’m open to suggestions and would love to see comments with specific perfumes that I could go test out!

I’m looking forward to creating a new POSITIVE memory for my olfactory gland to process!

 

 

 

REARTH Ringke Leather DISCOVER Case

Today I received my much awaited Ringke Leather Discover Case for the Blackberry Passport.

I was ordering one of the awesome REARTH Ringke Fusion cases when this “Discover Case” caught my eye. So I decided to give it a chance.

I had been looking for a folder or “diary” style case for awhile now.  Everyone had suggested the Stilgut Case, but it didn’t have all the features I wanted. In fact, none of the diary cases I had seen had all of the features I wanted, until I found this RINGKE case and I finally found ALL of those desired features in the “DISCOVER“.

So lets get right to exploring those features. Continue reading

STOLEN RECIPE…oh my!

creamygarlicpastaThe first thing I NEED to say in this post is basically a disclaimer. I have NO IDEA what the original origin of this recipe is. It was found on facebook where it was copied and pasted from Pinterest which was probably linked to a website that may or may not have stolen it from food network, or some other recipe database. The point is….its not MY recipe. Anyway! Despite the fact that the original origin of the recipe is unknown…it is still a DELICIOUS comfort food that MUST be shared!

Therefore I bring you….

Simple Garlic Spaghetti

2 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade Baked Soft Pretzels

Homemade Baked Soft Pretzels

Fewer things make a person nostalgically reminisce of their childhood than home cooked food, especially when it’s something that was traditionally made in your home, by the people who cared for you…mom, grandmom, whoever that special person was.

So, it is a glorious moment when we recreate those recipes and find ourselves swimming in happy memories of days gone by.

Take these homemade soft pretzels.

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Crock Pot “FATAL” Mac & Cheese

Joy's "FATAL" Mac & Cheese

Joy’s “FATAL” Mac & Cheese

I’m trying, oh so hard, to watch my carbs, sugar and caloric intakes so I can lose a few pounds in accordance with my NEW YEARS RESOLUTION!

But….

Some days…..

I just want to eat fattening, carb filled, COMFORT FOOD!

Like this recipe that I made up last summer….Fatal Mac and Cheese.

Its a dump and go crock pot recipe, buit its sooooo rich and delicious and….I think it could kill me, hence the name I gave it.

If you like RICH, CREAMY, BUTTERY, CHEESY mac and cheese with a little bit of crunch to it, this recipe is for you.

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