Wednesday, June 27, 2018

11 Things to Make You Smile


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Everyone deserves to smile.  There's just not enough of that in the world anymore.  Wouldn't it be grand, if each person smiled at someone as they walk past?  It's a sure bet they would smile back.  Smiling is contagious for most people.  There is a multitude of things to make you smile.  Pick up some tips here in my post on 11 Things to Make You Smile.

#1 Tell your local grocery clerk to have a nice day

Why should I do that?

Believe it or not, it is entirely possible that your local grocery clerk could be having a bad day.  Just smiling and saying to them "have a nice day", can make the rest of their day better! Just knowing that you took a few seconds out of your day to show you care, can uplift a person's spirit in a big way.

#2 Hold the door open for someone

What if I end up holding the door open for a lot of other people?

Well, the object here is to think of it as a giving gesture.  This is a small selfless act of kindness.  And the odds are the stream of people will slow down and you can finally let go!  If that doesn't happen for a few minutes, then think of all the people you can give free smiles to while you're at it!

#3 Let a co-worker know how much you really appreciate them

Why?  Isn't it their job to help me out when I need them? 

Well, that's not entirely true.  Among the list of things that make you smile, some co-workers will help you out of the goodness of their heart.  That's the time to let them know their time and effort is appreciated.  It will make their day to know that you notice and appreciate their hard work.

#4 Do some volunteer work in a retirement home

When am I supposed to fit this in with my busy schedule?

Sometimes it really helps to make the time.  Volunteer work can really be fulfilling when you see the elderly smile.  Some of them do not have any family that visits, so knowing you took the time to spend with them is something they will really appreciate.  You'd be surprised at the interesting stories and information you can glean from an older person.  I have done this with my grandmother in past years.  It was interesting to hear about how she grew up back in Missouri with her family.  Things were very different back then, and it was interesting to hear how they adapted to everything they were up against.

#5 Welcome the new neighbors

But what if I'm nervous about meeting new people?

Trust me, it will only take a couple of minutes of your time.  All it takes is a batch of brownies or a plant to welcome them.  It'll definitely elicit a smile from them, that you took a few minutes out of your day to introduce yourself.  Being the new person in the neighborhood is not an easy thing.  They don't know anyone, and maybe they're nervous about being in a new place.  Your short visit with a small token of welcome and a smile will make them smile and feel more welcome as well.

#6 Tell your children how proud you are of them

They already know I'm proud of them, so why say it again? 

A child needs to hear that more than once in their lifetime.  It continues to validate to that child, that you love them.  It lets them know that you are always proud of them for everything they do and accomplish in life.  It also helps raise the confidence level that they can do whatever they set their mind to.

#7 Forgive someone when they apologize

Why do I need to forgive them when they are the one in the wrong?

Because, as the great Alexander Pope once said, "To err is human, to forgive divine", in  "An Essay on Criticism".   We should always find it in our hearts to forgive people when they are willing to step forth and admit that they were wrong.  This can be easier said than done, but it will get a smile from both the person apologizing and you as well!

#8 Give your spouse a spontaneous backrub at the end of the day

Isn't that a lot of work and energy when I'm just as tired?

At the end of the day, if your spouse has had an especially hard day, just a two or three-minute backrub will do the trick.  It will instantly relieve whatever stress they've had going on in their day, and it'll help he or she relax a lot faster and be able to enjoy the rest of their evening with you.

#9 Surprise someone by doing a household chore they usually do

But why should I do more work than I already do around the house?

Because it's a nice thing to do It's not like you have to do it every day.  Just pick one day, and do one chore.  The person you are doing the chore for will definitely appreciate it.  Especially if they've already had a rough tiring day.  It's just one more thing they can smile about.

#10 Leave a joke on someone's answering machine

How do I know they won't be offended by it?

Most people won't be offended by this, as long as the joke is a fairly clean one.  And it's a really fun thing to do just for a change of pace.  And among the things to make you smile, you will have as much fun doing this, as the person who receives it.  And that makes two of you smiling!

#11 Send a thank you note to someone 

Why do I need to do this when  I already said thank you?

People appreciate thankyou notes.  It takes just a few minutes of your time and lets the other person know that you value and appreciate what they did for you.  It's extra special to get one of these, even if you've already told the person thank you.  And they'll appreciate that you were thinking of them, and took the time to write it.

There are several other things to make you smile.  But the best and easiest thing you can do for others is to just give them a smile as you walk past.  This small thing can brighten a person's day, and most will smile back at you!  It's a free gift that we can give others each day as we are out and about.   A smile can have healing power for a lot of us.  So get out there and SMILE!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

5 Tips for Planting Your Garden

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Have you always dreamed about planting a beautiful garden in your yard, but had no idea where to start?  Get some tips here as I give advice on the 5 Tips For Planting Your Garden!

#1 Shop for Plants that are indigenous to the area you live in

How do I know which plants will survive in my area?

I was new to this whole planting a garden in my yard thing.  I always wanted to do it but had no idea where to start.  Start by making a visit to your local home improvement stores, such as Lowe's or Home Depot.  Their gardening departments have all kinds of plants here.  Most garden plants that will survive in your area, will be sold there.  This makes your choice of plants a little easier at least.  So far I have found from experience, that plants with underground bulbs are the best.  This is because they will come back up the next year, relieving you of having to replant a lot of your garden again.

#2 When digging holes to plant, use potting soil

Why use potting soil if there's already dirt in my garden?

The reason for this is because the potting soil has minerals in it that feed your plants, helping them to flourish once planted.  The potting soil helps your plants adjust in the new soil, once taken out of their containers.  Some places just don't have good soil (like my backyard!) and it makes it very hard to keep plants alive.  The potting soil assists with this, which will give your plants a fighting chance to get strong and survive in your yard.  I use this every year that I need to plant new plants, and it's never failed me yet.

#3 Add water in the hole before adding the plant

Why not water AFTER I put the plant in the ground? 

The water you add to the hole before putting the plant in, helps the roots adjust to the shock.  Plants need to get used to being out of their containers and in the ground.  The water around them (just as with the potting soil) helps lessen the shock.  This way the plant adjusts better and is able to flourish without dying on you.

#4 Once the plant is in the ground, add additional potting soil

Why do I need more potting soil when I can just use regular dirt?

As stated previously, when planting your garden, using potting soil helps reduce the shock for the plant.  It feeds the plant and gives it a fighting chance while it's trying to adjust to the new surroundings.  Add more potting soil around the plant, and push it down so as to tuck the plant in tighter.  This will help to cover any roots from the sun and outside weather so the plant can adjust better.

#5 Water newly planted plants at least once a day for a couple of weeks

Why do I need to water so much?

When planting your garden, and your new plants are settling into their new surroundings in the ground, it is best to water them at least once a day for the next two weeks after planting.  This will help the roots adjust and grab onto the underground better.  Plants really need that extra moisture the first couple of weeks to give them a fighting chance.

Once you get your whole garden planted and watered, just stand back and marvel at your great work.  Practice definitely makes perfect!  I am in my third year of spring planting in my backyard, and it does get easier.   The work is not easy, but you reap the benefit of having a very colorful backyard this spring and summer for sure!  So grab some enthusiasm, put on some good music and get to work!  You'll be done before you know it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

7 Kid-friendly Vacations

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Traveling on your vacation sounds like a sweet deal right?  Getting a great all-inclusive vacation sometimes involves a lot of research to find a good one.  Below are a few great vacation packages that I found in my Kid-Friendly Vacations.

#1  Disneyland & Disney's California Adventure

How much will I need to spend?

There are good deals to be good deals to be found here for both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure.  For both parks, housed in Anaheim, have reasonable enough ticket prices.  Both Disneyland and Disneyland Adventure Park tickets start at approximately $105.00 per person depending on your age.  Disneyland has plenty to do with its acres and acres of nothing but fun! The younger kids can enjoy rides such as Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, and the Tea Cups just to name a few.  Older kids will be more of the thrill seekers, looking for rides such as Splash Mountain, The Matterhorn, and many more exciting roller coaster rides throughout the park.  Disney's California Adventure park has seven distinct areas to visit, including Hollywood Land, and Paradise Pier.  The best areas in this adventure park for younger kids are A Bug's Land and Cars land where they will enjoy both the rides and the animated scenery.

#2 Universal Studios

Where is this park located?

Universal Studios is located in the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood, CA.  Tickets can be purchased online for approximately $113.00 per person for kids 3-12 yrs, and approximately $119.00 per person for adults.  This kid-friendly vacation features thrilling movie-oriented rides such as Transformers, Shrek 4D, and Jurassic Park to name a few.  The kids will love all the excitement of these rides, as well as the water features throughout the park.

#3 Knott's Berry Farm

What can I expect to see here?

Located in Buena Park, CA, this 160-acre park will wow the kids.  Camp Snoopy, houses the entire Peanuts gang and offers at least 20 kid-approved rides.  This park is best known for its many thrilling roller coaster rides and also bodes a real live Ghost Town featuring authentic 19th-century buildings, and a real live gun-slinging show!  You can also run into the Wild Water Wilderness area to see waterfalls, soaring geysers, and a raging white-water river as well!  Tickets run approximately $49.99 per person.

#4 Six Flags Magic Mountain

What kinds of kid-friendly rides are here?

Located in Valencia, CA, this amusement park has several rides and attractions to accommodate your entire family.  These include rides for the younger kids such as the Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers Mini-Coaster, as well as the Roaring Rapids White-Water River Ride.  This is one of the great kid-friendly vacations available to you and your family!  Tickets are approximately $131.00 per person.

#5 LEGOLAND California

Are there things my kids can build here?

Located in Anaheim, CA, in this amusement park your child can let their imagination run wild!  With this pass, your child can build, play and explore all day.  They will have 60 attractions to choose from, including Mini-land USA with all kinds of LEGO art!  And with a 1-day resort hopper upgrade, they can also visit next door at SEALIFE Aquarium, in addition to LEGOLAND Water Park. Tickets start at approximately $99.99 per person.

#6 Knott's Berry Soak City Water Park

Are the water slides here safe for my younger kids?

Located in Buena Park, CA,  this water-themed park has every water feature imaginable for your kids to enjoy.  They can swim and splash all day with unlimited use of the water slides and activities available.  Your passes will be good for all-day admission to the park's rides and activities.  The younger kids will have a ball at Gremmie Lagoon splashing down the pint-sized water slides and wading in the children's pool.  Tickets start at approximately $44.99 per person.

#7 Sea World San Diego

What kinds of aquatic life will my kids see here?

Located in San Diego, CA.  Tickets run approximately $61.99 per person.  The kids will love this 200-acre adventure park with its great variety of shows, and many learning adventures of dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, and many more.  Your kids will love the underwater tunnel, which brings them into a face-to-face encounter with polar bears in their arctic habitat.  They will be wowed by the Penguin encounter as well, enjoying watching over 250 of these little guys in their constructed enclosure of the Arctic they normally live in.

So what kind of kid-friendly vacations will you decide on this year for your kids?

Whatever kind of kid-friendly vacations you decide on, your kids are sure to enjoy it.  After all, kids enjoy new adventures when they're growing up don't they?  I know I sure did!  So give your kids a break this summer, and treat them to an all-day amusement park!   Choose an amusement park of your choice.  They are sure to have a lot of fun and adventure wherever they go!