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 REARTH Ringke Leather DISCOVER Case

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

Continue reading STOLEN RECIPE…oh my!

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.

Continue reading Homemade Soft Pretzels

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.

Continue reading Crock Pot “FATAL” Mac & Cheese

Blackberry? Blessings? Back?

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I’ve truly been blessed by the relationships that Blackberry has brought into my life over the years, and the perks that those friendships bring.

Take this new unlocked Blackberry passport. It arrived on my front porch last week, unannounced. I hadn’t ordered it…but there it was…a beautiful, powerful, sleek device. PERFECT!

This gift had come from my closest BBM friend. Let me talk about BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) for a moment. BBM is so much different than whatsapp or any of those other newer messaging apps, even though they were all based on the platform originated by Blackberry.  For starters, it is THE ORIGINAL. Not an app, but an intregal part of the Blackberry Operating System. Although it is now available as an app on all other operating systems. (hint, hint folks, if you havent already tried it you should!) The friendships I have formed through BBM are real, and wonderful.  I’ve met many of the people that I know through BBM in real life, and I have met and befriended people from all over the world, which has allowed me to be exposed to different cultures as we all share our experiences with each other.

And then there is…well lets call him BOB. BOB is THE guy that I met on BBM two years ago but soon realized that I’d actually met him before, back in 2007 when we both had Blackberry Storms (that phone is a whole other discussion for another time!) Since reconnecting with Bob, I have always told him everything and never hidden a single detail…we have had the longest and best conversations and talked about the craziest stuff! It’s so awesome to have a friend that I don’t have to keep ANYTHING from. I can tell him even the CRAP about myself that I don’t want anyone else to know, and BOB does the same with me. Do you know how fabulous it is to have a person like that in your life? Yet…Bob and I have never met face to face. But that’s okay because it gives me something to look forward to, since Bob, myself and a few other BBM friends are all planning a meet up in Vegas this summer!

Bottom line? I received this phone because Bob just happened to have an extra one. Because BlackBerry users are unique…different. They prefer to pay it forward and offer devices to each other, or share what they are blessed with. They are rarely selfish, they are giving and generous..like “Bob”

So here I am, back on BlackBerry with what I can honestly say is the BEST device I have ever used. Buh-Bye Samsung Galaxy Note IV, you were fun at times, but mostly…you were annoying. Lol!

Hello BlackBerry Passport! And thank you Bob! :)

EASY CHEESY Egg Omlette Muffins

 

EASY CHEESY Egg Omlette Muffins
EASY CHEESY Egg Omlette Muffins

I’ve seen all kinds of little breakfast muffins online so I decided to try out one today, I didnt follow any recipe, and just used the ingredients that I had on hand in the icebox.  So here’s what I came up with.

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Dice up one large potato

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Chop 1/2 of a large onion

Continue reading EASY CHEESY Egg Omlette Muffins

Day Seven thru Day 30…ugh.

I suck.

Yup. Totally suck.

I have ASPIRATIONS to accomplish things, but I don’t always meet the challenge.

So, as per my usual, I got totally busy and wrapped up in this thing called “LIFE”, and I completely ignored my poor little blog for 24 days.  But not just a regular 24 days…oh no.  I ignored it for 24 days when I had made a commitment to myself to post something I was thankful for every day.

I am an EPIC FAIL.

Now that I have sufficiently scolded and publicly berated myself, I am going to attempt to right my wrong.

Thus…this combined post.

I won’t waste any more of your time, I’ll just get right to it.

Day 7: Restore Church, my pastor, Jess Bousa and his amazing wife Elizabeth. Not just the church or the pastor, but the church family, the wonderful friendships I have developed through the church, my small group, and especially, the ladies that all support each other and help each other to stay on track, focused and joyful every day.

Continue reading Day Seven thru Day 30…ugh.

Day Seven

MUSIC.
They say it calms the savage beast.
Babies in NICU’s are proven to grow stronger when exposed to music than those without.
Relaxing music induces sleep.
Music is used in therapy to aide in cronic pain, depression and high blood pressure.
Music along with physical activity produces better overall results.
Music has been proven to be an aid in preventing violent behavior in prisons.

Ever heard a song you haven’t heard in awhile and feel it put a smile on your face, or well up with tears because it pulls emotions from your inner most hidden places?

Music leaves a permanent indelible mark on our souls and sometimes we don’t even realize it.

Music….is….wonderful.

I like so much, musically speaking. So many genres capture my attention! Everything from Joni Mitchell to Enimen. I rarely find music that I dislike or can’t tolerate, although “gangster rap” and “screamo” are definitely not on my favorites list.

The thing I like most about music is its ability to completely CHANGE your mood and transport you to an entirely different place than you were just a moment ago.

I wanted to insert a video clip for you all to watch but I’m not that skilled with blogging from my mobile device….so I’m just going to insert a link to one of my favorite musical pieces. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it brings a smile to your face!
Click here to see the video

MUSIC. Number Seven on my list.