Happiness vs gratitide

From the "Science for Raising Happy Kids"

Researchers have found that people who practice gratitude feel considerably happier (25%) than those in a control group; they are more joyful, enthusiastic, interested, and determined.

Grateful people not only feel good, but they act good, so to speak; their joy and enthusiasm is palpable to others. Studies show that people who have been taught to practice being appreciative offer more emotional support to other people. Grateful people are more likely to be both kind and helpful. And the spouses and friends of gratitude practicers report increases in energy, excitement, and attentiveness.


The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Four hours of baby play

Four hours of baby play compressed into 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

I'm exhausted just watching it!

[h/t: Neatorama]




The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Happiness vs friendships

From the "Science for Raising Happy Kids"

The upshot of 50 years of happiness research is that the quantity and quality of a person’s social connections—friendships, relationships with family members, closeness to neighbors, etc.—is so closely related to well-being and personal happiness the two can practically be equated. People with many friendships are less likely to experience sadness, loneliness, low self-esteem, and problems with eating and sleeping.

The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Win a trip to BlogHer '09!

Are you itching to get to Chicago for BlogHer'09, but can't come up with the change? Would you give your eye teeth to spend a weekend with Julie Cole of Mabel's Labels fame?

Now's your lucky chance to do both at the same time!

Mabel's Labels is having a contest to send a blogger to BlogHer '09. The winner will also be the event's chief correspondent on the Mabel's Labels blog!

Visit Mabel's website for contest rules and regulations.


New mom bliss

What are the ingredients for your bliss? How often to you take advantage of them when they present themselves? Do you give yourself permission to relax? If not, who do you think is going to give it to you?


The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


If you offer it for free, they will come and pay

It seems to work in some situations. Remember last year, when Monty Python opened it's official YouTube channel?

Apparently, as of Jan 21, Monty Python’s DVDs sales climbed to No. 2 on Amazon’s Movies & TV bestsellers list, with increased sales of 23,000 percent.


[h/t: BoingBoing]


NFB.ca launched!

From Drawn.ca:

NFB.ca is the National Film Board of Canada’s new online film site that puts hundreds of animated films, documentaries, and experimental films back in front of the people that created and paid for them.

One that always drills deep into my psyche:
The Cat Came Back
Cordell Barker, 1988, 7 min 39 s
This hilarious Oscar-nominated animation is based on the century-old folk song of the same name. Old Mr. Johnson makes increasingly manic attempts to rid himself of a little yellow cat that just won't stay away... Also won the 1989 Genie Award for best animated short film.

[h/t: Drawn.ca]


How Inspiring

I was excited to discover that Brigindo, nominated my Doodle Blog for an Inspiration Award! With recognition comes responsibility. Specifically, rules.

Mel's rules:

  1. Please put the logo of the award (see right) on your blog if you can make it work with your format.
  2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
  3. Nominate 7 or more blogs.
  4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog.
  5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

My award recipients:
  1. Falling down is also a gift - Moreena tells her story of mothering a youngster who has required multiple liver transplants. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, her posts are thought provoking and straight from the heart.

  2. Postcards from the Mothership - Dani writes about the trials and tribulations of being the only double X chromosome lifeform in her five person household. Whether it's the quest for the perfect nanny or the latest highlight of raising three boys, Dani's sure to put a smile on my face!

  3. Martinis for Milk - Nadine keeps us informed of the ins and outs of the balancing act required to be a mom of two, a wife and a career woman. Her posts are often humourous and never dull!

  4. zoopolis - Andrea has been a professional environmentallist for over 15 years. I'm bound to get an education as I read the knowledge that Andrea imparts!

  5. Non-Stick Plans - Michael is an awesomely talented illustrator with a wicked sense of humour!

  6. Daily MVillos - Another Michael. This one shares the thought process around his ideas, the process and often the internal struggle inherent in his artwork.

  7. Dead Things on Sticks - Denis, a Toronto based television screenwriter, toils day and night to make the Canadian television industry a better place. He has thought provoking insights into an industry about which I know very little.


My lucky stars have been twinkling

When we're busy, stressed or tired (or a combination of all three) it's easy to find things about which to complain. It takes effort to remember the good things that happened. Recently some good things have happened to me. Here they are (in no particular order):

Are you feeling lucky? Head over to skeet's where she's offering a chance to win a full version download of Hidden Expedition: Titanic ™ from Big Fish Games (makers of hidden object games).


December surprise from Alli's Originals

Shortly after the holiday chaos subsided in December, I went out to check the mail and found this:


I always get excited to get oversized envelopes in the mail. Bills rarely come in oversized envelopes!

Case in point, lookie what was inside:


What a pretty package!

See who it's from?


What's inside, you ask?



A beautiful reminder for me!


Alli's Originals specializes in made-to-order hand stamped, personalized sterling silver jewellery. Alli is an at home Mompreneur who began making jewelry as a hobby over 9 years ago. You can read more about Alli at her blog.

I won this beautifully hand-crafted piece through an internal draw for Mabel's Labels agents.

Thank you Mabel! Thank you Alli!

I love it!


Awesome ambigram

Check out the ambigram on the cover of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the Princess Bride DVD.

[h/t: BoingBoing, image from BoingBoing post]


Have you delurked?

Apparently, the second week of January is traditionally Delurking Week!

This week is all about the folks who read blogs, but don't comment. Simply leave a comment so we know you're there!

Who: You!
What: Leave a short comment.
When: Sometime this week.
Where: Any post on any blog.
How: Using the comment form or by e-mail.

Regular commenter? Always happy to hear from you too! Feel free to start the ball rolling so the delurkers don't feel so conspicuous.

Not up to delurking? That's ok. Thanks for stopping by!


Logically speaking

How logical are you? Find out by taking this 15 question logic test.

Here's my score. I was duped by the last question.

[h/t: Neatorama]



Vivian Quiring once said:

"Saying you don't have time to revitalize is like saying you don't have time to get gas because you're too busy driving."

Or as Sydney J. Harris put it:
"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."

So what are you waiting for? Make time to relax!

The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Family literacy day - Jan 27

From the ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation website,

In celebration of Family Literacy Day (FLD) 2009, be part of something big – really BIG!

ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation and Official FLD World Record Attempt Sponsor Oxford Learning are asking Canadians of all ages to help us break the Guinness World Record™ for “Most Children Reading With an Adult, Multiple Locations.”

Please join us in the attempt to break the current record of 78,791, set by the U.S. in 2006, by either hosting or attending a public FLD World Record Attempt event on January 23 and/or 24, 2009. Don’t forget to download the free FLD World Record Attempt poster to help promote the event in your town!

Reading is fun! [colouring sheet] ~ [Download the PDF]
[originally published 2007-05-24]

If you're happy and you know it, read a book!
[originally published 2007-02-12]


Stained glass light catcher


  • scrap tissue paper
  • 2 sheets of construction paper (letter size printer paper shown)
  • scissors
  • tape
  • white glue

  • take one sheet of construction paper and fold it in half lengthwise


  • cut out the centre piece (which includes most of the folded edge), leaving a 3cm (1.25") frame


  • open out the frame


  • take the second sheet of construction paper and cut several 2cm (0.75") strips lengthwise


  • begin arranging the 2cm strips over the frame, cutting as required to fit your design


  • tape the strips down to secure them to the frame and to each other (this is the back side of the frame)

  • cut tissue paper big enough to fit over each of the holes in your frame, dry fit them (overlay them on the back side of the frame to make sure they're the right size, but don't glue them until you're sure they are!)


  • glue the tissue paper to the back side of the frame


  • let dry overnight
  • hang on a window and enjoy!
As you can see from the photo below, if you use lightweight paper such as printer paper, the frame will be translucent. For best results, use thick opaque construction paper for the frame elements.

An advanced method (for adults) of doing this, would be to use a single sheet of paper for the frame and an X-Acto knife to cut out the "window" parts of the decoration.


The instructions for creating this Stained Glass Light Catcher are cross posted at Craft Day.


Do you play to your strengths?

It seems like a simple enough question. Let's look at a definition of strength:

strength - forte: an asset of special worth or utility; "cooking is his forte"
Many people translate that into "something you are good at doing." Not so, says Marcus Buckingham.
"—just because you're good at something doesn't mean it's a strength. If what you're doing completes you, it's a strength. If it depletes you, it's actually a weakness."
Something to think about.

The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Ode to Joy

I can't think of a better way to set the tone for the New Year.

I give you, "Ode to Joy" as done by Beaker. (Yes, the Muppet.)

[h/t: Neatorama]