Roasted Marshmallow

 

So you live in a city where having a fire in your backyard is actually against the law. But summer isn’t complete without at least one toasted marshmallow stuck onto a shaved down stick, and sandwiched with some chocolate. And anyone who has tried can tell you that microwaving marshmallows leads to explosion. What’s a girl to do? To toast marshmallows inside, turn on your broiler (in your toaster oven if its a hot day), line a baking sheet with foil, cover in marshmallows and pop those babies in. Turn once until they’re lightly browned on all sides-about a minute. Then smush them between two chocolate chip cookies and enjoy.

 

 

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Puppies Versus Stairs

Cute things are at their cutest when they can’t really completely control their limbs. They’re still all floppy. They’re uncoordinated, and it’s just too adorable when they attempt to do things and  fail because their bodies won’t cooperate. The Huffington Post article Puppies vs. Stairs: Facing Off for the First Time. You can watch videos (VIDEOS!) of 15 puppies struggling to make it up stairs for the first time. Too cute to handle.

 

Temporary Tints

If you’re anything like me, anytime you hear a No Doubt song come up on your Pandora feed, you heave a little sigh that working in the corporate world you can’t have bright pink hair a la Gwen Stefani (or even a few neon highlights). Not anymore! Now you can have work appropriate hair Monday through Friday, and let your inner rock star out on the weekends. Hair Flairs color rub created brightly hued powders. You rub them in to give yourself ombre tips, strips of highlights, or all over color. Then spray on some hair spray to seal it in, and you’re good to go. They wash out in 1-2 washes. For $13 a tub, you’ve bought your freedom.

When You Need to Change your Attitude at Work


Fact. People are staying longer in jobs they don’t like, or don’t want than they would in previous decades. Blame it on the crappy economy all you want, but that doesn’t change the truth that there are more people in the workforce who aren’t necessarily in a position they want to be in. Does that mean the entire workforce should be going around grumbling and moping about their poor life outcomes? Nope!

Shawn Achor discusses this very subject his TED Talk, “The Happy Secret to Better Work,” see previous post. He says happiness is not dependent on achieving life goals. As you’ll have noticed in your own life, it’s human nature that once you’ve achieved one goal, to simply set another milestone. If you get a good job, then you want a promotion so it’s a better job–meaning you’ll never be happy on your little hamster wheel if your happiness is totally measured by external goal posts. If happiness =success (in career or otherwise) you’ll never get there because your brain is constantly pushing what success means “over the cognitive horizon” with the next marker to meet.

So, happiness cannot be predicted (entirely, or even mostly) by external circumstances. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, posits that happiness is 50% determined by genetics. Life circumstances (age, gender, marital status, income, occupation, etc.) make up about 10-20%. The remaining30-40% is how a person thinks and acts. For her, everyone has a tendency to be pretty happy or less happy, but they can actively try to push themselves to the top or bottom of their genetic spectrum.

According to Shawn, 10% of happiness is determined by the world around us, 90% by how our brain processes the world. Luckily for us, he and Gretchen agree that you can train your own brain to process the world in a happier way by changing the lens through which it views the world to change your educational, and business outcomes. Gretchen chronicles how to make your life generally happier here.

Shawn looks specifically at how to improve your work outcomes by being happier, flipping the formula that if you do better at work, it follows that you will be happy. Instead, be happy, and work success will follow. He affirms the belief that happy employees are more productive employees, and shows through studies that if you raise your level of positivity, the brain releases dopamine which turns on the learning centers of the brain improving every single business outcome. Happy employees are 30% more productive and 37% better at sales.

Here’s his prescription to turning your work happiness around in just 2 minutes a day for 21 days.

  • Write down 3 new things you are grateful for every day for 21 days
  • Journal 1 positive experience you had in the last 24 hours to help your brain relive the experience
  • Meditate to let your brain get over the learned ADHD of multi-tasking
  • Send one positive email praising or thanking someone in your social support network to practice conscious acts of kindness

At the end of this period, your brain is rewired to work more successfully and optimistically, no longer scanning for the negative, but looking for the positive, and in turn activating your capabilities to use your full learning and performance potential, and allowing people to be more effective and happier employees.

Animal Shaped Gadgets

Why have regular household gardgets when you can have adorable household gadgets in the shape of cute little animals? A question I ask myself now every time I look at my boring, white handled utilitarian can opener. Why, when this toucan can opener (get it? the toucan can?) is just so darn cute.

This week design sponge rounded up the most adorable animal shaped everyday items you can find. There’s panda shaped speakers, an owl cooking timer, and a mouse shaped like a whale. Check them out here, read the full article on Life Scoop, and cute-up your daily routines.