#90 Plan a Surprise Getaway

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.


Plan a Surprise Getaway

I’ve written about Surprising someone but this suggestion is just a bit more specific and has a tendency to crank up the appreciation scale significantly.


Your partner may be the most obvious choice for this suggestion as they are the often the most deserving of your unannounced benevolence. It’s a great way to spice things up; to let them know how important they are; how much you appreciate their contribution to your life together, etc… It doesn’t matter if it’s only an overnight at a local Holiday Inn or a week away in Sedona – the fact that you thought of and planned for his or her absence (leaving no detail unchecked) will garner points for months – if not years – to come.


Next to your spouse, for many of you it’s your parents that have devoted themselves to your success. If You’re going to plan a surprise getaway for someone, why not a spa weekend for mom or a golf outing for dad? Maybe they’d enjoy a weekend at the beach or a chalet overlooking a ski slope. It could even be a camping cabin with a fire ring all set to light. Surprises don’t have to be fancy to be meaningful. If money is tight – try AirBnB or call in a favor from a friend who has a place that mom and/or dad may like.


One of the best gifts I ever received from a friend was when she surprised me by taking my kids for a weekend. She came and got them, left me a big pot of soup and left me in my own home – alone – for the whole weekend. It was a great reprieve at a difficult time in my life to have a ‘staycation’ without any responsibility. It was – in it’s own right – a surprise getaway even though I only ‘got away’ from responsibility. I’ve never forgotten how good that felt.


The key element here is that a big part of the surprise is not having to plan – a thing! I’ve heard some stories about how a even a suitcase was packed and in the trunk of the car – almost like a love kidnapping. The babysitter was arranged, the meals were planned, responsibilities covered, etc…. It’s a true escape for the recipient.

If you can’t think of anything to get your loved one this year for the holidays – consider a way you might…

Plan a surprise getaway.

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

#143 Plant Your Mother’s Favorite Flower

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.


Plant your mother’s favorite flower

I cannot see a yellow rose without thinking of my mother – it was her favorite flower. I would buy a birthday card months in advance if I saw one with a yellow rose so that I was acknowledging her with perhaps a little more intent. There is a yellow rose bush planted in the corner of my flower garden in her memory and each time a bud pops up, I am reminded of the comfort she provided in my lifetime.

Cop a Glance

It’s nice to glance out my window and capture a quick glance at those roses. In that split second my mind automatically moves to thoughts of my mom, even if for a nano-second. It’s similar to what happens when I brush past a person and catch the aroma of Old Spice… a flash of my father’s arms embracing me in support is instantaneous.

It’s often tradition to plant a tree in memory of someone we’ve lost which, is a wonderful tribute and long lasting for sure. There were two amazing Willow trees in the rear of the yard at a home I lived in when my step-dad passed. He directed the planting of those trees and frankly, it was the one thing that I regretted leaving when I left that house. If the idea of leaving the plant behind is uncomfortable, it may be better to use a large container. Certainly, that may be the only option if you don’t have a yard in which to plant.

Someone you Love

If your mom isn’t available to ask about her favorite flower, think of one that reminds you of her. Fall is a good time to plant bulbs so that they will bloom next year. Certainly, you can plant something and start it indoors, transferring it outside when the weather is warmer. If, you don’t necessarily want to be thinking of your mother on a regular basis (acknowledging that some people have distant or no relationships there), think of someone who inspires you or reminds you of love (grandmom, a friend’s mother, an aunt, or mentor).

Happy Feelings

Flowers are generally beautiful. Sometimes they smell good. As such, they ignite endorphins in our brain that connect to happiness and overall feelings of good. They do this even if we have allergies as long as we’re admiring them at a distance. When we couple those good feelings with thoughts of someone that reminds us of love – it’s a double happy.

Today is a good day to do something that has the potential to bring a smile to your face. Why not…

Plant your mother’s favorite flower.

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

#173 Refresh the Photos in Your Frames

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.


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.


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.


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

#195 Hug People

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.


Hug people

Why do hugs feel so good? Have you ever wondered? Of course, as in many other things… hugging causes the body to emit oxytocin – the feel good chemical. In addition to producing feelings of calm and relaxation… it lowers blood pressure and and stress on your heart. Hugging is good for your stress level and your physical health.

Take a look at this video of a girl who handed out hugs to people in line for communion. Not only is she adorable but you can almost see the oxytocin production in the faces of people who approach her.


Hugs help us feel safe. In addition to oxytocin, levels of serotonin and dopamine also increase when we are firmly hugged. Both of these body chemicals promote a sense of well-being; of belonging. When we experience a sense of safety and belonging, our entire world feels better. Our perspectives are balanced.


Hugs educate us about giving and receiving. They promote equilibrium in our day to day life. When we hug people there is an energy exchange. Some people believe that the interaction seeks to equalize the vibrations in the union… taking from one and giving to another. After a firm hug we may automatically feel more harmonious and peaceful.


When you have a little extra energy, why not share a little? The hug you give someone may be just what they need to push through the rest of their day. If you notice a person with low energy and you feel comfortable – offer a hug. You’ll likely make a difference in that individuals day and all because you made a decision to …

Hug people.

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

#234 Wear a Bold Color

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.


Wear a bold color

Take a good hard look in your closet. What colors do you see? Is the majority of your closet black, navy, grey, and white? Do you have a little pastel mixed in? Out of all the items, how many pieces are Bold?

I’m talking about your day to day wardrobe? How much color is really there?

Psychological hiding

Many of us don’t wear bold on purpose as it may highlight features we prefer to downplay. Others may simply not want to draw attention to themselves, although I rarely find this is a conscious decision.  Others still, may believe that a more modest, sterile combination is preferred in a business environment. Truth is, when we make these choices, we could be seeking to be background players, unseen by the masses, and blending into the crowd more often than not. We unconsciously choose clothing that will not draw attention to us.

Stand Out

Ironically however, it’s those times that we stand out appropriately that we tend to get the most compliments, the most accolades, and the most romantic interest. One of the ways that we can stand out without speaking, moving, or over performing, is to wear a color that is complementary to our skin tone but bold in contrast.

Choosing colors

First, you must know if you have warm or cool skin tones… look at the veins in your hands. What color are they? If they are blue or purple, you have a COOL tone. If they appear greenish, you have a WARM tone. Cool tones run in the turquoise, purple, and pink pallets while warm tones are reds, oranges, greens, and yellows.


I’m not suggesting that you don a St. Patrick’s day green suit so that you are bold from head to toe but a deep green blouse or tie may make a great statement to your business ensemble. Carrying a bright red bag and wearing matching shoes creates a dynamic look with an otherwise boring grey suit. A casual jeans and sweater evening can be taken to another level with a deep turquoise cardigan. Pick a few colors from your tone range and seek to add those colors in the add-on part of your wardrobe. Perhaps including a bold dress or polo shirt for those times when it’s important to be remembered.

The next time you want to quietly stand out or be noticed, do it with your clothing and …

Wear a bold color.

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


#315 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Splurge on an outfit

If you’re on a tight budget, a mom, a dad, tightly focused on the future, or following a similar trajectory, there is a good chance that you fail to treat yourself once in a while. And, while I am the champion of practicality and budget focused financial achievement, there is a time that splurging on an outfit that helps you feels strong, beautiful (or handsome), and confident – is totally warranted.

Do it for your next job interview, or the next wedding you attend. Imagine the sensation of standing a little straighter or smiling a little brighter because you feel empowered by attire that is flattering, well constructed, and in fashion.

It doesn’t matter your budget. At one time, buying a pair of sandals that weren’t rubber was an upgrade for me and I felt confident in my stride. I splurged on a classic black dress by a well known designer at another point in my life and it was my ‘uniform’ whenever I had a cocktail event to attend for years (It’s still a classic and dresses up or down with jewelry accessories).

While classic purchases are the more practical consideration, an occasional splurge on something you may never wear again can be an uplifting accomplice for a very special occasion. When I finally earned my B.A. in midlife, I treated myself to a bright red patent leather belt and matching shoes. They were the perfect compliment to my black and white outfit and I just never had another occasion to for that combination. The accessory combination was more pricey than that designer dress I’ve worn dozens of times but my confidence that day was out the door and the belt was the icing on the cake.

This is not to say that what we wear is how we construct our personality or the basis of our identity but psychologically speaking, what we wear affects our mood. When we wear quality clothing that fits well, we feel better so treat yourself and …

Splurge on an outfit.

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