#173 Refresh the Photos in Your Frames

Additionally, your brain has become accustomed to the photos currently in place – after awhile they become almost invisible to your senses.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#173

Refresh the photos in your frames

We frame favorite photographs of people we love or of great memories so that we can keep the moment alive and in front of us. While the snapshots of the kids in preschool are adorable, there’s a good chance that they have had a number of memorable moments since.

Digital Age

I am personally guilty of and have heard consensus that since the onset of the digital age, fewer and fewer photographs actually get printed. This may be one of the reasons that we aren’t updating the photos in our household frames even though many photo printing services make it exceptionally easy.

Get Organized

Grab a piece of paper and make a list of the frame sizes around your home. Many of them are typically 4×6 (the standard print size) or 5×7. Some of us may have special occasion photos that are the larger 8×10. Once you have a list, spend some time going through your phone or your online photo storage app (Google photos, Facebook, Shutterfly, etc…) and pick out a few to print. Most of the time, all you have to do is copy the photo so that they are all on the device you intend to transfer from.

Print

Once you know which photos you want, use a printing service such as Shutterfly or Snapfish. Of course, most box stores (Target, Walmart) and drug store chains also offer printing services. Simply download the photo to their online app, select the size and finish, and then pick them up when you are ready! It’s that easy.

Memory

Changing photographs is another activity that can help keep your memory strong. By stimulating our recall abilities, we engage memory in a way that keeps it moving… kinda like greasing a cog. Additionally, your brain has become accustomed to the photos currently in place – after awhile they become almost invisible to your senses. Changing the pictures will stimulate your brain as it notices something new as you move from room to room.

New Look

Replacing the photos in existing frames also protects against excess clutter as the years go by. Obviously, the longer we live, the more moments we capture and want to remember. Yet, continuing to add frames and photos can become overwhelming as time passes. As you go about this project, you may wish to update your frames as well but it’s not necessary to replace them. A fresh coat of paint, some embellishments or simply moving them into a different room may be all you need for the overall look to be updated.

Add this task to your master to-do list to keep it on your mind and the next time you need a ‘rainy day’ activity – consider the novelty and pleasure you’ll experience by taking an afternoon and …

Refreshing the photos in your frames.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#174 Change the Knobs on Your Kitchen Cabinets

When we have the feeling that we are ‘with the times’ it settles that FOMO sensation; it helps us connect to the universal need of belonging.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#174

Change the knobs on your kitchen cabinets

Want a quick pick-me-up? An updated look? It can be as easy as changing the knobs on your kitchen cabinets. Designers agree that a ‘dating’ element of design can be easily identified by the metal finish of knobs throughout a home. With a drill and screwdriver, the current decade can be introduced to your homes’ cabinetry.

It may be as simple as changing from knobs to handles.

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Or changing everything to a metal/look that is current or popular.

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Or mixing it up a bit – adopting a more eclectic look.

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Depending on the size of your kitchen, changing knobs can be pricey.  A new knob can run from $.99 to over $5.00 apiece depending on the quality and look you’re going for. Specialty knobs can run as much as $10.00 each from places like Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn. But they don’t have to… a can of spray paint can make a huge difference.

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A fresh look helps you feel better about your environment. When we have the feeling that we are ‘with the times’ it settles that FOMO sensation; it helps us connect to the universal need of belonging. We are less timid about socializing at home – any sense of ‘not being good enough’ dissipates; at least in terms of our ability to live in modern conditions.

Novelty+Knob

Whether it’s a can of spray paint or a shopping spree for unique and/or some kind of novelty knob, the look of your kitchen can change significantly with the quick and easy effort of …

Changing the knobs on your kitchen cabinets.

#175 Convert your Light Bulbs to LED

They dim on demand, change color as bedtime approaches to increase melatonin production, and can even notify you if a message is pending.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#175

Convert your light bulbs to LED

If you haven’t been introduced to LED lighting in recent years you probably haven’t left the house or turned on the television. We’ve been inundated with information about the energy savings available by using LED as well as products that utilize the technology for at least a decade now. Yet, I’ve noticed that incandescent lighting is still the preferred choice for many simply by noticing what’s available in the grocery/home store isles.

Cost Effective

The Department of Energy states that “Residential LED’s – especially ENERGY STAR rated products – use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.” They are more cost effective over time than any other method of producing light. This chart offers a nice comparison of the various options available to us. Even though a LED bulb costs more initially, you won’t be buying another light bulb for years!

Out with the Old

Overall, incandescent lighting is being phased out in most consumer products. This suggestion is meant to encourage you to begin phasing them out in your home. It’s true that it can be expensive to make a decision for an entire overhaul in one sweep. Instead, replace two bulbs each time you go to the grocery store!  Begin with the lamps/lights that you use most often; those kitchen lights, the bathroom and Den.

Smart Technology

You might also consider using ‘smart’ bulbs. This is new technology that integrates with smart home systems like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. They dim on demand, change color as bedtime approaches to increase melatonin production, and can even notify you if a message is pending. Of course, it’s controlled via a smartphone app which, means it is at your fingertips whether you are at home or not. These bulbs are reported to last 20 years or more! (I imagine the technology will change before the light bulb wears out.)

For now at least, you can immediately start saving money and energy with the simple task of …

Converting your light bulbs to LED.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#176 Record Your Dreams

I know this postulation gives many of us pause as we recall some of the more bizarre dreams that when remembered – seem to come out of left field.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#176

Record your dreams

Sleep experts tell us that everyone dreams. Do you remember yours? Psychoanalyst Jeffrey Sumber suggests that dreams are the communication avenue utilized by our subconscious and our conscious selves. He posits that dreams are quite meaningful and will often help us process complicated or confusing emotions in a state that is safe and private.

Ditch the dream ‘dictionary’

I know this postulation gives many of us pause as we recall some of the more bizarre dreams that when remembered – seem to come out of left field. Why in the world would I dream about…. ? We’ve all wondered that question. Dream analysis isn’t a fixed science even though many representations are made as such. While it may be common for people who dream about drowning to be overwhelmed in some area of their lives, it is an inferred meaning – not a ‘fact’.

Currently, all things that happen at an unconscious level are still mysteries and psychologists are only making best guesses at the origin, purpose, and meaning of unconscious events. Clearly, there is a growing body of commonalities yet with dreams especially – it’s a personal event that is as unique as the individual him or her self.

First Step

If you are seeking information about your dreams, the first step is to keep a dream journal on your nightstand. Why there? Many of us forget our dreams within moments of waking unless we wake in the middle of or right after a dream. If we don’t take steps to implant the memory of the dream, it disappears because our brain doesn’t’ consider it necessary information. (Similar to noticing the people next to you at dinner but unable to describe them hours later.) Immediately upon waking… breathe deeply and recall your last known imagery and then write down as many details as you can recall. Generally, as we write we will remember more.

Meaning

Pay particular attention to ‘feelings’ in a dream. If you are engaging in an activity – consider what meaning you give that activity. Who is with you? What is their roll in your life? As it relates to the meaning of your dream – YOU are the expert. You’re the only one who can ultimately decode the messages as they are being sent to you -via imagery – from your subconscious to your consciousness.

After you’ve recorded elements from a number of different dreams – look for commonalities. Identify the events during your conscious day that may correlate to elements in your dreams.

Self Awareness

In this manner, you’ll begin to decode messages or processing strategy that your subconscious mind is working with. It’s fascinating to discover another layer of your psyche and promotes an even deeper level of self-awareness — always a great thing. If you’re curious, get a notebook and begin by…

Recording your dreams.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

A letter to H-man – One Year Later

I am indulging in a brief digression from 365 ways to be happy to pay respect to a man that complimented my life in the best way.

Hey Harley Man,

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of your death… September 11th – you and  and whomever else checked into the Afterlife on that date; an infamous date. You did it like you would… coming in on that Christmas birthday and going out on a day where it would never be just about you. You know, I’m not very big on Anniversaries. I won’t miss you tomorrow any more than I missed you today or last week. I suspect I won’t miss you less on Wednesday or next week.

I’ve had thoughts beginning with something along the lines of “I can’t believe it’s been a year since…” pretty much from the time you left. I couldn’t believe a year before you died we were riding bikes in Cape Cod. I couldn’t believe it had been a year since your last birthday as we sang to you on Christmas evening. As I sat by the fire – alone – on a cold January morning I was recalling the year before when we talked about how to spend our snow day. When Spring came I remember thinking “this time last year you were in so much pain” and as summer grew hot I remembered how long you had been in the hospital and then last month I was recalling your steady decline and this week… your time at the Hospice unit.

Harley, I won’t be thinking of you any more or less tomorrow or the next day as I’ve thought of you each day that you’ve been absent from our home.  You are still a part of our stories – the ones we tell with joy and laughter when I’m with the girls or with friends. You’re part of the story I tell clients when I am talking about how to learn from your partner and when I’m teaching about acceptance. You’re part of the story I tell people who say they’ll never recover from grief as I share how I’ve incorporated your departure into my daily existence.

At the risk of sounding crazy… I can feel you holding my hand at times. I hear your voice in my head at the most necessary moments. I can sense your warmth against my back when I am most lonely at night. And, I can see you in my dreams, reminding me how present you still are no matter where I go. Tomorrow may be designated as the day marking a year since your last breath, but I know you are still here – or there – on another plane, in a different reality.

I am doing what you asked… I am living a life full of the dreams we shared. I am not stopping to let grief hold me but instead, allowing it to move with me and I know that it is waning. It is less painful these days when I come home to a dark house; as I get acclimated to your transformed spirit. I know you don’t need lamplight or doorknobs now. My tears today are more often a result of the gratitude I feel for the comfort, wisdom, and guidance that you provided over those ten years than they are for the absence of your physicality. Those elements have been woven into the energy that I feel every time I walk into the house or bring you to mind.

I have to assume you are able to be a part of the ‘knowing’ now – exactly in the way you wished and consequently can see how very loved you have been… they – all those that love you – have honored you with kindness in the world, in so many different ways. I want to believe that you see it… and that your soul can absorb the love exerted from this vibration. You are as alive in our hearts now as you were when you were walking and talking with us and yet… we miss the walking and talking.

Tomorrow may be the day that marks a year but today… and each day… rolls around without your breath against my neck or your kiss on my temple yet they are days where the memory of you lights my path. It moves me; guides me; inspires me; and motivates me to be better.

You… are missed and remembered EVERY day – regardless of clocks or calendars yet you are with me; with us. Stay if you can… go if you must – it won’t matter because a part of you is always available here… the vibration of your existence lives here and I feel you.

Loving you still.

With love, gratitude, and honor…

Les

#177 Dance

Our social interactions can be enhanced and our overall sense of well-being is likely to be elevated.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#177

Dance

If you were ever a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you’ll remember that Meredith Grey liked to ‘dance it out’. It was her way of being emotionally expressive. The truth is, dance is fantastic for emotions – it’s great for your body – and it may help you live longer. Indeed, There was a woman on this year’s America’s Got Talent that took Ballroom dance classes when she was in her sixties and today, after more than 10 years of honing skill… at the age of 71, she is dancing on national television with the grace of a swan.

Benefits

When we dance, we burn calories. We release endorphins. We stretch muscles. We build strength. We build aerobic capacity. Our balance, agility, flexibility, and coordination are improved. Our social interactions can be enhanced and our overall sense of well-being is likely to be elevated.

Something for Everyone

Dance can take so many different avenues that there’s an option for just about everyone. You can disco in the comfort of your living room; take ballroom dancing lessons, spend Saturday afternoon Country line dancing at a local venue. You can enroll in ballet, tap, or modern dance classes at a local studio or community college. Dance by yourself, with someone you know, or with a complete stranger. There really aren’t limits except those that you apply to yourself.

Motivation

Think about your motivation to dance… what is your goal? Fitness? Flexibility? Social connection? Would you prefer a partner? Private Lessons? Potential for competition? Do you want a work out or simple fun? Are you seeking to develop strength, coordination, or flexibility? The answer may dictate the style of dance you may enjoy and the intensity you dive in with.

At the very least, allow yourself to take the opportunities when they arise, to move to music that you enjoy. Whether it’s a series of hip wiggles or spins around the kitchen… when you hear tunes that motivate you to ‘get your groove on’ – let the spirit move you and…

Dance.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#178 Clean Your Underwear Drawer

Even white cotton that meets those criteria is more pleasurable to both wear and look at than the alternative I’m discussing.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#178

Clean your underwear drawer

Who’s laughing? Are you laughing because you think this is a ridiculous suggestion or because you’re sure that in following this suggestion, a comedy would ensue? Perhaps you’ve been exposed to someone recently who really needs to follow this advice!

In all seriousness, this is one of those ‘areas’ that is typically at the bottom of most to-do lists. We rotely get dressed each day without much thought as to the condition of our undies unless we are expecting to be seduced later in the day. And… the less seduction in your life… the worse condition your personables are likely to be in.

I wasn’t aware of this phenomenon until as a young widow, someone suggested going shopping to replace my undies collection. I was not yet in a state where that need could be recognized but after some time I was appalled at the state of my scanties. I had been married a few years and I was a new mom… the condition of my undergarments were definitely not prioritized and there were far too many stretched out, worn out, or faded out undies that qualified as only ‘period or post pregnancy’ panties (you know what I mean ladies?) Some went into ‘that’ pile and many others were simply tossed.

Today, as a marriage counselor, I can attest to a common frustration – mostly attributed to men – that indicts a lackadaisical attitude against female partners when it comes to their unmentionables. I’m not specifically speaking about seduction lingerie but more about the everyday wearables that are frequently worn and washed. The proverbial tee-shirt bra and boyshort undies along with the little lace thongs that after too short a time – stretch and fade – losing their overall attractiveness.

Women aren’t the only culprits! Men may be even more culpable with respect to boxers or briefs that get stretched and stained to the point that they are downright repulsive. I understand there’s a strategy to letting the jewels get some air but when they are flapping in the wind also… what’s the point?

You’ll feel better about yourself when you start with an attractive, clean, and well-fitting skivvies. Even white cotton that meets those criteria is more pleasurable to both wear and look at than the alternative I’m discussing. Long ago a friend taught me the trick of buying a couple of basic colored bras and then I could choose any combination of colors in my panties and it would look like a ‘set’…. One doesn’t have to have hefty finances to underlayer nicely.

As you get dressed today, or ready for bed… open the drawer that contains these items and quickly assess the additional lifespan of each piece. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll have addressed a personal care item with the simple gesture of …

Cleaning your underwear drawer.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below