#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

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

Personally, I’ve developed a comfort level with dust bunnies that may not be entirely healthy. I’m honest enough to say that I have yet to master this seemingly simple system …

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.

#312

Deep clean something

Some of you may already do this on a regular basis and it may contribute significantly to your level of happiness and/or good living. I do not. And yet, it definitely IS something that ends in total satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.

I have a friend who deep cleans a room in her house each month. For years, she has committed to moving through a room – top to bottom & inside, out – re-identifying the need for and usefulness of everything it contains. With an eleven-room home, she gives herself the holidays off and then starts from the beginning – giving each room another do over. Organized drawers, filed papers, freshly caulked and painted woodwork, windows, light fixtures, etc. – once a year.

Oddly enough, one of my comforting childhood memories is coming home from school and finding my mother embedded in this process. The house smelled clean, the tidiness felt safe, and I knew she was taking pride in our home – providing an environment where we could flourish.

Personally, I’ve developed a comfort level with dust bunnies that may not be entirely healthy. I’m honest enough to say that I have yet to master this seemingly simple system but I strive to make it happen and can at least attest that the gratification of having accomplished one entire room has been amazing!

Some people I’ve known only deep clean when they move from place to place, others do a Spring cleaning annually, and my good friend found solace in creating a deep clean rotation. No matter the specific procedure or the direct timing, it always feels good once you’ve…

Deep clean something.

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

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

A poem is YOUR heart… YOUR voice… and may promote freedom of expression and emotions where they might otherwise not work. You can use metaphors or describe literally… grab a notebook

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.

#321

Write a poem

Poems stand alone in a variety of forms and sometimes, they are set to music and become song. They rhyme or not… they are rhythmic or not… they are short or not.  They cite heartache, fear, joy, and hope. They are stories and parables.

How would a poem about you begin? What about a poem of your life? Would it be silly and childish like those of Shel Silverstein? Would it be inspiring like Maya Angelou? Would it be tragic or hilarious?

Poetry can be as simple as a collection of your visions and/or inner thoughts, strung together with or without subjects and verbs or punctuation and grammar.

Photograph

I see it there, moving

Me

Reflecting time, gone now-

You

Captured e-lec-tricity,

Us

Colored memory.

Ghost

 

Or they can be more vividly representative…

 

The ONE

The day you left me long ago

The angels came to say

They would take you home to rest

You wouldn’t be far away.

 

I listened to their wisdom

I tried to let it be

And I was looking for the day

When they returned for me.

 

The days and nights are lonely

Now that we’re apart

But I have always saved for you

A piece of my heart.

 

The rest has gone to one so small

You hardly knew

He’s the apple of my eye

He has the best of you.

 

We will live without you now

And try to go on

But rest assured my dear sweet love

You’ll always be my ONE.

A poem is YOUR heart… YOUR voice… and may promote freedom of expression and emotions where they might otherwise not work. You can use metaphors or describe literally… grab a notebook or open a document and give it a try…

Write a poem.

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

** both of the poems written above were written by me – the first recently as I observed a photograph of my partner and I kissing the day of his cancer telling PET scan and the second is a poem I wrote more than 30 years ago after the death of my son’s father.

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

Regardless of whether or not you acknowledge the religious aspect of Easter, it’s a great day to begin doing something meaningful – to add a new element, a different spin – on the day.

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.

#339

Start a new tradition

Today is Easter Sunday. I hope it is a day of peace and joy for you, regardless if it is a religious holiday, or not.

It’s a great day to honor old traditions, be it finding Easter eggs and baskets, going to Church and celebrating Christ’s rise into Heaven; or drinking mimosas and eating lamb. Perhaps you dress up and spend the day with family. Maybe you have ditched all the standard traditions and wonder how to make this Christian holiday one that is meaningful for you.

It’s a great day to start a new tradition. Focus on brunch instead of dinner. Make ham sandwiches and go on a picnic. Fill plastic eggs with treats and distribute them in a pediatric ward of your local hospital. Maybe it could be a day when you all ‘unplug’ from electronics and spend the day playing games with your family.

Regardless of whether or not you acknowledge the religious aspect of Easter, it’s a great day to begin doing something meaningful – to add a new element, a different spin – on the day.

Traditionally, Christians celebrate the ascension of Christ into the Kingdom of Heaven. If Christianity is your thing – really celebrate! Throw a party. Do something in the spirit of Christ.

If you follow a path other than Christianity but find that most of the world is shut down and you have the day off… do something a little different. Celebrate your family, your faith, or your community. Begin a tradition of your own – one that takes advantage of your day off.

Take stock of how you spend the day and consider the possibilities if you were to …

Start a new tradition.

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

Photo on Foter.com

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

Perhaps the most compelling reason to change our sheets is the sense of comfort and pleasure that fresh sheets compel almost Every. Single. Time.

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.

#341

Fresh Sheets

The mention of fresh sheets brings a sigh of ‘ahhh’ when ever it is considered. Memes suggesting fresh sheets and shaved legs are heavenly experiences float through social media with happy puppy faces and satisfying smiles.

when-you-got-fresh-sheets-and-you-just-shaved-your-4140554

As I investigated people’s thoughts about sheets, I found a variety of practices as it pertains to how frequently people do change their sheets. From “weekly, duh!” to “umm…. I really can’t remember”, it seems that only some of us have a hard fast rule.

There are all kind of reasons that we might consider a more regimented protocol for clean linens but this post is not about hygiene. Perhaps the most compelling reason to change our sheets is the sense of comfort and pleasure that fresh sheets compel almost Every. Single. Time.

Have a rough day at work? Change your sheets before going to bed.

Feeling lonely? Change your sheets before going to bed.

Need to be your best tomorrow? Change your sheets before going to bed.

We are programmed to associate cleanliness with good health and/or a sign that things are ‘right’. The act of going to bed in an environment that smells and feels clean, tricks our brain – if only momentarily – to believe that everything is in place – in order – and good to go.

To make the experience as good as it can be, I strongly recommend that we all have at least one set of amazing sheets. While the experts vary in their opinion of thread count, they all seem to agree that Egyptian cotton is by far, the best.  As long as the thread count is at least 200 and European Egyptian, you will be sleeping on some of the most comfortable fabric in the world. An 800 count EE sheet is some of the most luxurious bedding to experience. It compels nudity for an entire sensate experience. Think about it tonight and treat yourself the experience of …

Fresh sheets.

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

Photo by Chechi Pe on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

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

Don’t be intimidated by paint – regardless of the modality you opt for – as the cost/benefit analysis is almost always positively slanted in its direction.

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.

#343

Paint

Paint is relatively cheap – at least to other types of hobbies and/or decorating fixes. I’ll talk about painting in three different arenas:

  • Paint as art – Painting, regardless of your ability level is good for your health and happiness. Just the act of  holding a paintbrush can spur our creative juices, help us enter a state of flow, and promote feelings of happiness. Many of us might agree that the subjective nature of abstract art allows us to be true contenders on the international art scene with the simple act of throwing paint laden brushes of primary colors against a large blank canvas. Whether it is that particular technique or a purchased paint-by-number selection from the local craft supply center – painting an art piece will lend to lower stress levels and enhanced memory.

 

  • Paint furniture – have a piece of furniture that needs updating? If not, score a bargain at a local garage sale or flea market and then go ahead and give it a new coat of paint. You can be creative and paint something ‘artsy’ or go traditional and with the flow of your existing decor. It can be a big piece that you sand down to bare wood so that you have a fresh pallet or something that needs a little scraping, a bit more sanding, and then a fresh coat of a new color. Furniture can be painted to match almost any decor at all. From country chic to glossy sleek – the painting industry has your need covered.

 

  • Paint your house – Maybe not the outside (but hey, if you’re game – got for it), but give your inside a clean fresh look with a gallon or two of new paint. For less than $100, your entire family room can have a clean, crisp feel or your kitchen can be more modern. Painted kitchen cabinets are currently in fashion and while they certainly take patience and technique, the payoff is a whole new look for pennies in comparison to new cabinetry.  Be brave with your paint selection – it’s only color and it can be changed with a little effort if it turns out to be not-your-thing. Creating a space you feel good in can make a big difference in your attitude about being there. If home is where the heart is, then let your heart show there with colors that highlight you.

Don’t be intimidated by paint – regardless of the modality you opt for – as the cost/benefit analysis is almost always positively slanted in its direction. Create a Pinterest board of ideas for inspiration and you’ll be ready when the time comes for you to…

Paint.

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

Photo on Foter.com

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

Imagine how popular you’ll be at work if you show up every Monday with a plate full of tasty goodies. No one has to know they are your the result of your personal happiness regiment.

My goal is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#346

Bake

Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked cookies and/or bread rising in the oven? For some of us, it immediately evokes memories of mom or grandma’s kitchen, holidays, and favorite recipes. As such, taking time to bake something can be a great way to induce calm, comfort, and security.

It turns out that the smell baking bread specifically, may actually make people kinder by conjuring pleasant memories.

Don’t know how to bake? Grab a cookbook or browse online and choose an easy recipe, something that makes your mouth water. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy – even boxed brownies smell and taste amazing (add a few chocolate chips to the brownie batter for double chocolate delight).

Don’t need the extra calories? Bake anyway and share with a neighbor, friend, or coworker. Imagine how popular you’ll be at work if you show up every Monday with a plate full of tasty goodies. No one has to know they are your the result of your personal happiness regiment.

In time for the Easter holiday, I am offering you this delicious (and easy)  Challah Bread Pudding recipe that is guaranteed to smell amazing and tantalize all of your happy senses.

Next time you need a little pick me up or you just want to relish in great memories…

Bake.

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