SweetTalk from Sweetlife Adventures

Posted on Tuesday July 10

SweetTalk from Sweetlife Adventures is our new blog

We’ve taken our same sweet blabber and prettied it up on a more interactive platform.

Check out SweetTalk here for recent blog posts and other sweet nothings.

How Sweet is Your Lemonade

Posted on Thursday June 28

For those of us in Colorado (and many other places in the U.S.), this summer is on fire. Literally. With record heat waves and extreme dry conditions, our sweet hills desperately need Mother Nature’s tears. ASAP.

Rain dance time.

In an odd twist, I spent last week in Playa del Carmen in a torrential downpour. A solid half of the annual college roommates getaway was enjoyed in the spa waiting area while Tropical Storm Debbie strapped on her dancing shoes.

With the greatest respect for the sweet souls whose homes are being threatened by flames or whose dream beach wedding was hastily held in a crowded hotel lobby, these are the times when true character shines.

The outpouring of positive thoughts, donations, and offers of places to stay for evacuees seen on Facebook and Twitter remind us of the beauty of community and the innate goodness of people.

Similarly, although by no means life threatening, the couple in Mexico who threw on their rain ponchos with a smile and explored the beach hand in hand were shining examples of a (margarita) glass being half full.

It’s empowering to acknowledge that although life will keeping giving us lemons, it is entirely up to us to make the lemonade. The sweeter the better.

Sometimes we even add vodka.

 

The Happiness Challenge

Posted on Monday April 30

Congratulations.

You are registered for the Sweetlife Adventures Happiness Challenge.

Your happiness training begins tomorrow, May 1. It will last 21 days.

The goal is to develop the habit of happy and rewire the brain to be positive.

happiness challenge, sweetlife adventures

Here’s how it works -

A few sweet notes -

  • We are on this adventure together. We are just as curious as you to see how this happiness training works. Let’s rolls with it.
  • Need a reminder what this is all about – (re)watch Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk.
  • We are training our minds to have the “Happiness Advantage” (details below).
  • Invite friends and family to take the Happiness Challenge with you. (For example, in our house this will be a family adventure. Each of us will have a small notepad and pen by our beds. We will write our list each morning and share it as a “ticket” to get breakfast.

The Happiness Advantage

The background behind The Happiness Advantage -

“Our most commonly held formula for success is broken. Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be happy. If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow.

But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that this formula is actually backward:

Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.

When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe.

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, who spent over a decade living, researching, and lecturing at Harvard University, draws on his own research—including one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard and others at companies like UBS and KPMG—to fix this broken formula. Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.H

History of the Happiness Challenge

Experts in positive psychology say research shows we can train for happiness like we train for a 5k; we can rewire our brain to see things more positively by incorporating simple daily exercises.

We decided to try for ourselves with a 21 day adventure in happiness through positivity and gratitude. Join us to see if your brain becomes more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, healthier, resilient and productive.

Get all the sweet details here.

 

 

Sweet Yellow Dots

Posted on Thursday April 26

There’s a great Jerry Seinfeld quote ~

“Life is truly a ride. We’re all strapped in and no one can stop it. When the doctor slaps your behind, he’s ripping your ticket and away you go. As you make each passage from youth to adulthood to maturity, sometimes you put your arms up and scream, sometimes you just hang onto that bar in front of you. But the ride is the thing. I think the most you can hope for at the end of life is that your hair is messed, you’re out of breath and you didn’t throw up.”

I love this.

But as it goes, sometimes we find ourselves hanging on pretty darn tight. Thinking only about the bumpy part of the ride. Thinking about what huge drop might come next. Thinking the ride isn’t perfect.

Jerry would be so disappointed.

This morning I remembered something a very wise friend once shared with me. Riding in her car, I noticed a yellow dot on her rear view mirror. When asked why, she explained that she liked to stick yellow dots in all sorts of places as a reminder that it doesn’t have to be a perfect day to be a great day.

It doesn’t have to be a perfect day to be a great day.

Wow. That’s good stuff.

Image 1

 

It’s time to get some sweet yellow dots. And stick them everywhere.

And remember to enjoy the ride we are on.

And maybe even let go of the bar, put our hands up, and scream.

Get ready for great sweet friends!

 

(30) Nine is So Fine

Posted on Tuesday March 27

Last Friday night was full of birthday shenanigans. Our daughter Hudson turned 9 and my lifelong BFF Andrea was 39.99 with her big 4-0 the next day, St. Patrick’s Day.

Andrea and I have been friends since just about Hudson’s age. She is pure and kind and has made me a better person for over 30 years.

Having a (now) 9 year old in the house, I can’t help but notice how much of my 9 year old self still lives. Last Friday night confirmed it.

The evening was spent listening to Hudson and a few buddies’ giddy birthday chatter. There was belly laughing, running around, and occasional whispers.

Late night was spent meeting a few Leprechauns to celebrate Andrea with some giddy 9 year old style fun. Sneaking into her yard at midnight armed with 40 clovers, there was belly laughing, running around, and occasional whispers.

The full circle of it all left me with an exciting realization. Even at 39.99 we’ve got a big dose of 9 in who we are. I’ll (hopefully) be feeling this way about 49.99, 59.99 and beyond.

Thank you Andrea, Hudson, and friends whose yards I TP in the future in an effort to keep this reminder fresh.

Viva the 9 year old in each of us!

*This photo from Hudson’s first birthday with Andrea holding her newborn first daughter made me smile. So much and so little has changed.

Early Empowerment

Posted on Thursday February 23

Last week we received a 6 slide powerpoint presentation from our nearly 9 year old presenting her case for a Kentucky Spring Break trip with her BFFs grandmother.

We weren’t sure if we should be scared or proud.

Here is slide 1 ~

Empowering girls, Miss Representation

The next day, I saw Miss Representation, the documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom exploring “how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.” 

The enormity of the situation presented in the film is heavy. It “exposes how American youth are being sold the concept that women and girls’ value lies in their youth, beauty and sexuality” and examines the effect this has on all ages & genders. The film encourages viewers to be part of the solution with specific calls to action. Your heart rate goes up while tears go down your cheeks. It is a must see leaving you with a must do feeling.

*Learn more about the movement and find a screening near you here. Gather a group – you’ll want to download together afterward.

As I lay in bed the night of the film, I couldn’t sleep thinking about all I must do with what I learned.

Must be sure to tell girls how smart they are more often they how cute they look.

Must stop reading celebrity crap.

Must make sure our son knows the definition of a successful woman does not include bra size.

Must allow kids to make empowering decisions.

And just as I was falling asleep ~

Must let Hudson go to Kentucky.

Smartly planned (powerpoint slide 3 addressed the “how” & slide 6 the “why”), our naturally cautious girl is already seeking empowering experiences.

We must not let the voices around her change that. It won’t be easy and it will take the village, but isn’t that true of all things that matter?

A Tour & Tea in the Land of Sweets

Posted on Monday December 19

Moms & Daughters gathered at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for a private backstage tour of Colorado Ballet’s Nutcracker.

Front row – the only guests in the theater – we watched 50+ dancers warm up for the matinee performance.

Backstage, with the Land of Sweets pushed to the sides, the graceful and uber-talented dancers continued working their magic.

Props and the Wig Room.

  

Our sweet day was complete with a private tea at Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House.

 

Huge thanks to Ann & Phoebe at Colorado Ballet for making this adventure happen. Learn more about Colorado Ballet and all the incredible work they do on & off the stage.

Share the High Fives

Posted on Friday December 16

At our son’s hockey game last weekend, I watched rink side. With my husband helping coach and the girls sleeping at Grandma’s, I was (happily) alone.

As the first big play went down, I heard my cheers echoing off the glass. Without realizing it, I quickly turned to the folks around me, hungry to share my excitement with other fans.

My response caught my attention.

Given that our little hockey players couldn’t even hear us from the other side of the glass, why did I have an overwhelming need to clap and yell and high five the strangers next to me? Why did this collective cheering feel so great…?

It felt great because sharing an experience is what connects us to the experience and to each other.

It’s the camaraderie and community of a synchronous “GOOOOAAAAALLLL” for which we as a species have an affinity. We don’t just want it. We need it. We thrive in it. And yes, we high five in it.

Whether on the dance floor celebrating the birthday girl, in the audience when the school choir asks us to join in for Deck the Halls, or huddling around the goalie at the end of the game, it’s these shared experiences that nourish the human spirit.

This holiday season, let’s share experiences. Sing together in the car. Chat in line at Target. Play cards until midnight with Grandpa.

We all know that long after the ball drops in Times Square, those metaphoric high fives will be the gifts that keep on giving.

The Happy of the Season

Posted on Wednesday December 7

Yesterday I came home to find some letters to Santa on our kitchen table. This was page 2 of our 3 year old’s, as transcribed by her patient big sister ~

A quick scan — glow in the dark eyes (odd), a real bunny (not), wii remote (practical), American Girl accessories (standard), a piece of paper (uh, sure) a happy family (wait, what??)…

A happy family. Right there on the same list as toys and fuzzy animals and superpowers. That simple. That important. A happy family.

A few tears welled. It’s just that straight forward. We must do all we can to make our world happy. Not perfect. Not problem free. But happy. It comes in all flavors, shapes, and sizes, but we can identify what our happy looks like and go big with it. We can make it a priority. In good times and bad. Through holiday hooplah and beyond. The choice is ours. The effect is theirs.

Oooh that message was well timed.

To top off the moment, I turned over the list to find this ~

Let the happy of the season begin.

The Sweetness of 48 Hours

Posted on Wednesday October 26

I recently spent 48 hours with four of my favorite people on the planet ~

We all have these people in our lives.

People you have known for years (16 for this group). You travel together (Charleston, SC this time). You have “remember when” stories (since we met as Peace Corps Volunteers in Senegal, West Africa, we have a few darn good ones). You have outside differences. And inside jokes. You debate, dissect, and analyze the big stuff. You laugh hysterically about the little stuff.

When you are together, you feel good. You share. You learn. You are 100% you.

These are the friendships that feed our souls.

In 16 years, very little has changed.

Perhaps we are a bit cleaner, don’t often wear handmade clothes, and communicating via postcards in the mail has been replaced by text, email, facebook & twitter - but the love and respect continue to run deep.

Thank you Doug, Kelli, Peg & Ryan for making me 48 hours better of a person.

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