a perfectly blissful day

loving the little things in life

The Gift of Giving

A simple pleasure: giving something meaningful

Your holiday shopping is still not completed. It’s not that you can’t find anything, it is just that nothing is good enough for your family. Your family already has every updated model of the iPhone, iPad and every other electronic. Don’t stress.

Everyone gets caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season and forgets that the best gifts come from the heart. Gifts don’t have to be expensive and high-tech. They should be simple and thoughtful. By lending a helpful hand or by making a special gift for someone means more to a person than anyone could imagine.

Not only do you make someone else happy, but you make yourself happy, too. It is almost impossible to feel anything but happy after you give something meaningful.

Stop your holiday shopping. Think a little bit. Begin to create something personal and meaningful for that special someone. There are thousands of ways to make your own unique gifts. Martha Stewart also provides several creative and unique ways to make homemade gifts for the holidays.

A personal favorite of mine is to make a Fleece Tie Blanket. The blanket is very easy, inexpensive and makes the perfect gift for anyone at any age. Everyone can use a soft, cozy blanket to curl up with during the winter season.

On Christmas morning, instead of watching everyone open gifts that they may or may not use in a few months, give them something personal. Watching their face light up with appreciation will make you have a perfect day.

Let giving be part of your perfectly blissful day.

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Life is a Highway

A simple pleasure: road trips

You’ve checked the weather for the next day or two. You’ve packed your bags and loaded them in the car.

You pick up your friends at their houses. Next thing is to stop at the nearest gas station. The car is ready to go.

The road is open.  The windows are down. The radio is up.

Let the adventures begin.

Taking a simple road trip can be one of the greatest pleasures. Road trips add a feeling of excitement and adventure to your life. The scenery and memories created during the travel can be some of the best.  The best things for a road trip are friends, music and lots of laughter. Don’t forget a camera either!

Trips don’t even have to be long and costly, either. Taking day trips to the nearest large city, a national park or just somewhere you have never been before are simple pleasures to a perfect day.  Road Trip America offers routes, planning and overall inspiration for an American road trip.

Let taking a road trip be part of your perfectly blissful day.

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A simple pleasure: reminiscing about old times.

You pull a box down from the shelf of your closet. Not expecting it to be as heavy as it is, you let go of the box and jump back.

The box is now on the floor along with all its contents. Yearbooks, ticket stubs, photos and notes are scattered on the ground. To some, all this would be called junk, but to you, all those things are memories.

You haven’t looked at your old high school stuff in years. You forget what you were looking for in the first place and sit down to look through everything.

As you pick up the photos and yearbooks, you realize how young you and your friends looked. You can’t help but laugh. You remember all the stupid, crazy times you all had. From cheering on the boy’s basketball team at state to celebrating your 16th birthday to your first serious boyfriend, every memory brings a smile to your face.

You grab your cell phone. You call your high school best friend. Talking and laughing for an hour, you both reminisce about high school memories.

Reminiscing can be beneficial to your health as well. Fiona Macrea says in “Why reminiscing about old times can boost your health,” that reminiscing about old times activate parts of your brain that are otherwise dormant. Not only does reminiscing make you feel great, but it is also good for your health.

Let reminiscing with friends be part of your perfectly blissful day.

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Simple Treats

A simple pleasure: desserts

You enter your childhood home. The warm, comforting smell of your favorite homemade dessert begins to make your mouth water. Your mother sure knows how to bake. You wonder why the skill was never passed down to you.

Even you can bake like your mother with delicious, yet simple recipes. Kraft Food’s website is an incredible source to find easy to make dishes. Also, blogs are another great source for easy recipes. The blog, Picky Palate, posted a very simple recipe for No-bake Chewy Cookies and Cream Bars.

After finding a few great recipes, destroying your kitchen and setting your smoke detector off once,  you realize that baking is actually fun and simple, once you get the hang of it.

Now, it is time to invite your mother over for dessert. As she walks in, she says, “It smells delicious in here. It smells like home.” A smile instantly appears on your face.

Let baking simple treats be part of your perfectly blissful day.

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Happiness is Working Out

A simple pleasure: the feeling after a good workout

Just one week of cold weather and you are already feeling sluggish. You’re curled up on the couch. You’re in sweatpants. You’re eating Halloween candy. You realize this can’t become a habit.

You jump up. You have to start moving. Two big holidays are coming up: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just thinking about all that food makes you feel ten pounds heavier.

It is important to start your exercise with a good warm up. Marianne McGinnis with Prevention magazine offers five great moves to warm up your body. The warm up includes step-hop kicks, rotating lunges, stork flies, pillow throws and back twists.

After your body is warmed up, the next step is a good cardiovascular routine. Whether it be running or playing your favorite sport, it is important to increase your heart rate. About.com offers a variety cardio workouts from outdoor exercises to exercises at the gym.

Finally, it is time for a cool down. Netfit advises that you slowly decrease your heart rate by walking or cycling. It is also important to stretch to prevent injury. Netfit offers several stretches to help during a cool down.

After you finish your workout, you realize something. You feel happy and surprisingly, energized. Netdoctor explains, when you exercise, it stimulates the production of endorphins in  your body. Endorphins make you feel happy and exhilarated. To feel this good is enough reason to exercise everyday.

Let working out be a simple pleasure today.

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Special Delivery

A simple pleasure: receiving a letter in the mail

You send and receive text messages constantly. Your email inbox fills up in a blink of an eye. Facebook never fails to notify you at least five times a day. Even though people are constantly in contact with you, there is something special about receiving a letter in the mail.

You flip through the day’s mail. Each day less and less mail seems to be delivered. Today’s small batch includes bills, junk mail and more bills. Then the last envelope is different. It is handwritten and addressed to you. You recognize the return address. It is from your grandma.

You open the envelope anxiously. The card is unexpected. It is months away from your birthday, and a holiday isn’t in sight.

Inside it a sweet, Hallmark card with a message about “just thinking of you.” Your heart melts a little, yet you are filled with joy. Better yet, just as grandmas always do, she hasn’t forgotten to put some money inside the card. What a perfect day!

A simple card or letter can easily make someone’s day. Yet Randolph Schmid, a reporter for the Missourian, says, “The postal services is facing losses up to $8 billion this year.”  People aren’t sending mail like they once were. Don’t let technology completely absorb you, just as much as letter can make your perfectly blissful day, sending a letter to someone else can make their perfectly blissful day, too.

Let receiving a letter in the mail be part of your perfectly blissful day.

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Carving a Creation

A simple pleasure: carving pumpkins

You look outside. The leaves have changed colors. Shades of browns, oranges and yellows fill the great outdoors. Fall has finally arrived.

There is not a better way to spend a perfectly blissful fall day than to carve a pumpkin.

To carve a pumpkin you only need a few simple things.

  • A pumpkin
  • Knife
  • Marker
  • Candle

Cut a circular lid out of the top of your pumpkin. This way you can clean it out. Later, you will need the lid to place your candle inside.

Now you must dig out the guts of the pumpkin.  Grab a handful of the gooey insides and seeds. It’s a texture you can hardly describe. If you must, using a spoon works and helps, too.

At last, let your imagine wander. Decide between a scary jack-o-lantern or a goofy face to greet trick-or-treaters. Ehow Home gives great step-by-step instructions and helpful tips on how to carve a pumpkin for those who need more insight.

As night comes, you light the candle inside your pumpkin. Glowing is your perfect creation. It’s the end to another blissful day.

Let carving a pumpkin be part of your perfectly blissful day.

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A Beauitful Scene

A simple pleasure: a beautiful sunset

You are driving home on the same road you drive on every day. It is not a busy road. People would say it is a country road with fields filling most of the landscape.

For no particular reason, you look at your side mirror. You catch a glimpse of a beautiful sunset. You take a longer look to make sure the mirror wasn’t fooling you.

Realizing that you are driving away from the beautiful scene, you pull over to the side of the road. You become calm. You become appreciative of the day.  You watch the sun set to another perfectly blissful day.

Being at the perfect place at the perfect time to watch the sun rise or the sun set is not very likely to happen. Busy lives preoccupy us from the world’s natural beauty. However, use programs such as Calendar Update to  find the sunrise and the sunset times for where you are. Take some extra time out of your day and enjoy the scene. You will be happy you did.

Let watching the sun set be part of your perfectly blissful day.

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Treat Yourself

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A simple pleasure: ice cream

It is a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining. You cannot sit inside any longer.  Why not treat yourself with some ice cream.

You take just a few minutes out of your day to spend time with family or friends. You visit the nearest ice cream place like Bruster’s Real Ice Cream in Bowling Green. Of course, you choose your favorite ice cream. It has been your favorite for as long as you can remember.

You sit outside at the picnic table. Eating your ice cream in crunchy, vanilla cone, you laugh and cherish these simple, sweet moments.

You don’t hesitate. You eat every single bite of the delicious treat. You end with a smile on your face.

Treat yourself to a perfectly blissful day.

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Forgotten Money

A simple pleasure: finding money

Desperate times call for desperate measures. All your laundry is dirty. You dig into the laundry basket. You pick the pair of jeans that look and smell the cleanest.

You venture into the deep unknown inside of your closet. You select the pair of jeans that you have not seen in years.

Dirty or outdated, you now have something to wear. It may not be the greatest day. Just wait.

You place your hand into your back pocket. You pull out $10. Being a little bit richer puts a big smile on your face.

Your money is lost and waiting to be found. CNN offers ways to find your hidden money. However, if you have never had payroll checks, stocks or utility refunds, you should stick with searching in the couch cushions for some simple pleasures.

Let finding a few extra bucks be your perfectly blissful day.

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