ways to feel happier

April 29, 2009

Feeling a little blah, blerg or yuck? Well, summer is just around the corner and life is about to get a little brighter! We found this list of easy ways to find the sunny side of the street, even on the worse of days…

Simple Pleasures

Once something becomes familiar, we stop paying attention to it – even if it’s pleasurable. Ever had a piece of chocolate that tasted gorgeous, but then you didn’t notice the rest of the bar disappearing down your throat? Start making a note of the simple things that bring you pleasure as you notice them. This way, you heighten the experience and focus on the positive feelings they inspire.

Yellow Happiness

Random Kindness

Positive psychologists have found that one of the most effective strategies to lift people from depression is for them to help others. As social beings, we’re hardwired to get a reward of feelgood hormones in return for a positive act towards others. It’s easy to forget this in the day-to-day chaos of life, but if you set yourself the goal of performing an act of random kindness for the benefit of a stranger, it will leave you feeling better about yourself for hours.

Count Chimneys

It sounds odd, but it’s harder to feel unhappy while you’re looking up. Obviously, don’t do this when there’s a danger you could fall down a manhole, but otherwise give yourself an incentive to look up. There’s a reason for the saying “you’re looking down” when someone seems unhappy. Try it – and things will really look up.

Sky For Two
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oh happy day

April 19, 2009

22 years ago today, a beautiful baby girl was born into this world. Little did the world know what a spectacular young woman that baby girl would grow up to be.

BirthdayGirl

That baby girl grew up to love cardigans, pineapple gum, and hot dogs. She grew up to have millions of freckles and the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen. She grew up to be clumsy, forgetful and slightly spacey. She grew up to love indie music, dance parties and girls nights.

That baby girl grew up to be the best friend a girl could ask for. She grew up to be the perfect shoulder to cry on, the most excellent partner-in-crime and the most supportive, most caring, most loving young woman.

BirthdayBalloons

And I know that in a few short months, this young woman will be the best teacher a student could ask for. She is going to make a difference in the life of every child who is blessed enough to be in her class. She is a remarkable young woman today, and she only gets lovelier as the days and years go by.

To my housemate, best mate and soul mate: happy birthday.

BirthdayCupcake

Amo-te,

Nuxa

change

April 13, 2009

More beautiful pictures for this Easter weekend. My mom went back to the Lincoln Memorial yesterday afternoon to see a concert honouring Marian Anderson, who sang there in 1939.

 

lincolneaster

 

Marian Anderson, a woman of colour but more importantly, a celebrated opera singer, had performed in major concert halls in Europe, Philadelphia and New York– even for royalty. But when she arrived in Washington, she found herself barred from Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution. She wasn’t even allowed to move her concert to a school auditorium.

Instead, she sang at the Lincoln Memorial– in front of 75,000 concert-goers, both black and white, 70 historic years ago.

 

lincolneaster3

 

Since then, Washington has stopped being a segregated city. It has seen countless marches for civil rights, influential lobbyists of every colour, and the nation’s very first (but not last!) black President. 

 

lincolneaster2

 

My mom put it best: “I love my last shot – these 2 children were playing away at the top of the Memorial, oblivious to the significance of the event. Their play symbolizes the changes that have occurred in 70 years…”

 

lincolneaster4

 

-Coco

here comes the sun

April 12, 2009

My parents went to the Lincoln Memorial this morning for the Easter sunrise service and they sent along some photos. My mom is a really talented photographer with a great camera– I like to think I got my tiny bit of photography skill from her.

 

reflectingpool2

 

reflecting pool

 

memorialcrowds

 

lincoln

 

They’re not edited yet, but you get the idea. I’m so looking forward to being in DC for the summer, stealing my mom’s camera until I save up for a new one, and popping into random tourist spots at dawn/noon/dusk/whenever to get some good shots.

-Coco

As Coco mentioned in the previous post, I am home for Easter this weekend. And the best part about being home this weekend? My family’s Easter traditions.

My family is Portuguese and Catholic, so Easter is KOBD (kind of a big deal) around here. We spend the morning and afternoon of Good Friday baking Portuguese sweet bread (folare), and then spend the evening distributing it.

Folare1

My mama makes sweet bread every Easter, and she tends to make anywhere between 15-25 loaves. Everyone, from friends to neighbours to family, loves folare. So she has to make enough to go around.

Folare 2

It’s one of my favourite family traditions. Folare is absolutely delicious, and it makes the house smell heavenly.

Folare 3

And making it with my family is always fun. Mainly because Mama makes it, and the rest of us act as taste-testers. We all know our roles and we play them quite well.

So in light of Nuxa sharing one of her family traditions, we now ask you: what is your favourite family tradition?

posts pending…

March 22, 2009

Today we are neurotic meninas.

We spent all our free (read: procrastinating) time on designing our blog and now we can’t get our spectacular first post done til tomorrow.

Soon!

City Menina