Link love

Rainy June Day Link Love

June 14, 2024

Day 2

This week I went to the beach for a couple of days to visit some family members who had rented a condo there. And guess what? When I got there, it rained. All day. After months of drought. Oh, well. That’s what books, games, movies, and the Internet are for. (And the sun came out the second day—yay!)

If you’re stuck inside because it’s too hot, too wet, or otherwise too unpleasant to be outside, here are a few links for you to check out.

Need ideas for your Summer Fun List? Gretchen Rubin’s Happier app has a new “Spin the Wheel” option which “will suggest something to add to your summer bucket list, an idea to spark a new tradition, or an activity that will help the season feel distinct.” As she writes, “If every month is exactly like the month before, time speeds up and blurs—so by doing lots of summery activities, we’ll make that part of the year stand out.”  

I love this—a baguette-scented, scratch-and-sniff stamp!  

Sometimes I feel more tired than I think I have any reason to be—maybe it’s because I’m doing some of these things

A Sunday reset that could be just the thing we need to get our weeks off to a peaceful start. 

Style blogger Alison Gary writes about the disturbing way Google has been leaning into AI to provide answers to search questions. How does this affect you? This practice influences traffic to websites and blogs like Gary’s, which impacts revenue for those bloggers, which means they struggle to bring in enough money to continue their work. It also helps determine the information you find when you have a question—and sometimes that information is flat-out wrong.

Gary suggests several ways to help any sites you care about (like Catching Happiness, perhaps?), including sharing articles on Facebook, Reddit, Threads, and/or Pinterest; following creators on our social platforms; subscribing to our newsletters, opening them and clicking on links; and leaving comments.

On a happier note, check out “The Vorfreude Secret: 30 Zero-effort Ways to Fill YourLife with Joy.”  

This song is just sassy and fun: 

Have a fantastic weekend!



good life

Link Love: Tips for a Good Life

April 26, 2024

Good morning and happy Friday! Today I’ll be working on a new writing project (yay for freelance work), practicing some yoga (yay for gentle exercise), and cleaning my house (yay for…having a house to clean). I have lots of fun links for you to check out today—hope you enjoy them.

It’s easy to think you have to make big changes to boost happiness, but “22 Small Things That People Say Made Them Drastically Happier” shows that sometimes the little things can be just as effective.  

More tiny habits to help you feel happier. 

In “5 Lessons from a Conversation with a World-Renowned Happiness Expert,” Sahil Bloom shares what he learned from a recent conversation with Dr. Robert Waldinger, the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest-running study on adult life, health, and happiness in the world. Spoiler alert: These five lessons all have to do with the importance of relationships for good health and happiness. (See below for link to Dr. Waldinger’s TED Talk about what makes a good life.)

Since relationships are so important, how can we strengthen ours? Check out “50 Ways to Show You Care Without Spending a Dime” for tips! Number 50 just might be my favorite.

I absolutely love this young man’s passion for libraries and books as well as his openness about mental health issues. His Instagram posts are a delight. 

While writing “For Your Listening Pleasure,” I stumbled on this website, where you can listen to the sounds of forests from around the world. 

In “On really, truly enjoying things” the Frugal Girl reflects on the fact that, “If you go through life only halfway observing what you experience, it stands to reason that you would not extract 100% of the joy that life has to offer. So, then you’d need twice as many joyful experiences in order to reach the joy level of someone who is more observant.” 

If you’d like to become more observant, click here to join writer and teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn on May 8 (via Zoom) to learn how to “befriend your mind” and live your life with more mindful awareness. Dr. Kabat-Zinn is the father of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a modern, secular form of meditation, and the author of several books, including Wherever You Go, There You Are. This free event is hosted by Action for Happiness.

And finally, here is Dr. Waldinger’s TED Talk about what makes a good life:

Link love

Post-Thanksgiving Link Love

November 25, 2022

In the U.S., yesterday was Thanksgiving, a day not known for its moderation. So if you’ve indulged in a little too much “festivity,” (and even if you haven’t) here are some happy, peaceful links to check out while you’re (hopefully) enjoying a day off from the normal routine.

Check out “25 Ways to Take Care of Yourself During theHolidays” for ways to stay healthy and sane this year. Most of these fit in really well with my word of the year, simpler

Just when I think that people are the worst, I read a story like this.

“5 Anxiety-busting Activities to Try This Weekend.” I’ve been trying to make joy a priority recently.

The sweet joy on these faces is pure magic.

“18 Easy Things to Do Today to Make Yourself Happier.” Number 9 is my favorite.

The holiday season can be difficult for highly sensitive people—it’s so full of stimulation. This article has good information on how to care for yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially if you’re highly sensitive—and how to help if someone you love is.

And here’s your laugh for the day. Welcome to the Squirrelympics!

Happy weekend!


A Cup of Comfort Link Love

July 29, 2022

Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

As I gathered the links for this post, I found a definite theme emerging: comfort. Whether it’s looking at (or listening to) lovely things or pondering ways to protect our mental health, these links offer both an escape and ways to protect ourselves from an onslaught of terrible news. (Plus, I think they’re fun!) Hope you enjoy them, too.

There are some excellent suggestions in Happiful’s “10 Things to Do Instead of Doomscrolling.”   

Click here for The Guardian’s 50 Cheeriest Social Media Accounts.

And speaking of Doomscrolling, click here for a summary of “33 Problems with Media in One Chart.”

For those of you who want to do a jigsaw puzzle without the cat knocking the pieces onto the floor, give one of these a shot.

Look—baby tigers!

For anyone who has always wanted a card catalogue of their own: “It’s All in the Cards: How Organizing My Library Is Helping My Brain.” Not everyone would enjoy this, but I think it would be extremely satisfying.

These are exquisite.

I will always have a place in my heart for Paris, so I loved seeing Georgianna Lane’s “Early Summer Moments in Paris.” 

How to make the most of a mental health day.

Guilty as charged: “Why Women (and Men!) Love the Hallmark Channel.”

Just wow:

Have a happy weekend!

P.S. To round out today’s links, for anyone who hasn’t already heard, here’s a piece I wrote for the 2022 Tampa Bay Official Destination Guide.


Cheer up

Link Love—Cheer Up Edition

February 11, 2022

Photo by Ahmed Zayan on Unsplash

The Internet can be a mixed blessing. It can entertain us, teach us, and keep us connected with our friends and family—and it can deal our self-esteem some crushing blows and contribute to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Today let’s concentrate on how it can brighten up our lives! Since many of us have been struggling either with winter blahs or various other challenges related to staying positive, I thought I’d devote a Link Love post to some links I’ve found uplifting and encouraging lately. Be sure to share any of your discoveries in the comments below!

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s annual “10 Things Saving My Life Right Now” post is always a comfort. Be sure to read the comments, too.

I’ve listened to this piece several times since I read this story. It’s so beautiful and calming, and what an amazing accomplishment.

100 Ways to Improve Your Life Without Really Trying. The simpler the better! I do #20 several times a week, working on #57, and #78 is genius!

“The One Habit to Break to Find More Joy.” Ingrid Fetell Lee always has something thought-provoking to say.

Stories like this one help me remember that there are kind people in the world, and that small gestures can make big differences.

The “How Not to Be Grumpy” episode of the Soul + Wit podcast came at the perfect time. I picked up some suggestions to help me cope with the days that I feel less than *happy*. 

More music. Stunning cover of Stairway to Heaven performed by Heart:

Have a happy weekend!

Link love

Link Love--May 2021 Edition

May 14, 2021

What a lovely spring we’ve had here in Florida—walks and barn visits are so much more pleasant when I’m not dripping sweat immediately after setting foot outside (TMI?). All good things must end, however, and it’s starting to get hot and humid, so I’m spending more time in the air conditioning—and more time at my computer—than I have for the past few months. Here are a few fun links I’ve discovered recently that you might enjoy. 

I love these “10 Ways to Start the Day on a Joyful Note.” Right now, I’m especially enjoying fresh flowers. I have some in my breakfast nook as well as in my bedroom.

Three words: Funny pet photos.

Since I can’t go to Paris any time soon, I’m bringing Paris to me, via “How to Pretend You’re in Paris at Home.” Starting with eating a Trader Joe’s chocolate croissant for breakfast…

My friend Kerri told me about the free Smile newsletter from, and I’ve really enjoyed having happy news pop up in my in box. Subscribe here (no affiliation).

Many of the ideas in “25 Small Ways to Improve Your Life” resonate with me.

Advice I need: “How to Do Things You Keep Avoiding.” 

More help for doing things rather than putting them off: “7 Habits That Are Scientifically Proven to Help You Beat Procrastination and Tackle Your To-Do List.”  Anyone sense a trend here?

Thirty of country music’s most famous singers released one song together in honor of the 50th anniversary of the annual CMA (Country Music Association) Awards. Read about it here, and watch the music video here.

Watch and be amazed by this high school dance team’s homecoming assembly:

Have a very happy Friday and beyond! What discoveries, online or otherwise, have you made lately?

Feeling overwhelmed

January 2021 Link Love

January 15, 2021

Things continue to be slow around here. As expected, not much has changed since we turned the calendar from 2020 to 2021. In case you need a little encouragement or food for thought during these strange days, here are a few links I’ve found interesting lately:

The Year That Must Not Be Named was hard on everyone. Still, nothing is all bad. Here are “35 Good News Stories From 2020 You Might Have Missed.”

It’s not too late to make your “21 for 2021 List.”

I LOVED this short and simple story about the nature of happiness.

Sometimes it’s hard to feel like our creative efforts and personal needs and desires matter in the face of frightening and unsettling world events. Jennifer Louden addresses this in “How Do You Balance the World’s Horror With Your Calling?” (Don’t be put off by the word “calling”.) This point especially resonated with me: “Sharing our voices, our ideas, our wisdom is actively building the world we want.”

I love the backpack analogy in this post about coping with overwhelm. Use these tips to unload some of your burdens.

Some habits to drop, some to pick up for 2021 (and beyond).

I wrote this back in 2018, but the advice still stands. 

I love this song, and this was such a fun video:

Happy Friday, and may we all dance into the weekend!

Link love

It’s a New Month—How About Some Positive Links to Love?

October 02, 2020

Photo by Alex Geerts on Unsplash

Well, we made it through September. Fall is sort of here. This weekend I expect to be sweeping off our lanai and helping my husband in the yard. I’m doing my best to feel optimistic (see below) in October, and as I mentioned in September’s Happy Little Thoughts newsletter, I’ll also be looking for the small positive actions that can boost my mood and energy. (Didn’t get the newsletter? Click here to subscribe.)

If you have some extra time and feel like reading something inspiring, here are a few links I’ve found interesting and encouraging recently:

Access the (free and printable) Action for Happiness “Optimistic October” calendar here. Today’s action is: “Look for reasons to be hopeful even in difficult times.”

The Positive Lexicography Project combines two things I love: happiness and words. Read more about it in “The Glossary of Happiness.”

I miss traveling a lot—I haven’t felt it was safe or appropriate even to visit my mom(s) in California, or take a road trip with my friend Kerri. In “How to Take a Vacation Without Leaving Home,” Ingrid Fetell Lee offers a few suggestions for adding a little adventure to your staycation.

After 10 years of writing a health and well-being column for The Guardian, Oliver Burkeman has learned a few things about happiness. In “Oliver Burkeman’s last column: the eight secrets to a (fairly) fulfilledlife,” he shares some of them. For example: “There will always be too much to do—and this realisation is liberating. Today more than ever, there’s just no reason to assume any fit between the demands on your time—a l the things you would like to do, or feel you ought to do—and the amount of time available. Thanks to capitalism, technology and human ambition, these demands keep increasing, while your capacities remain largely fixed. It follows that the attempt to “get on top of everything” is doomed. (Indeed, it’s worse than that – the more tasks you get done, the more you’ll generate.)”

There’s nothing notably new in the advice found in “10 Waysto Find Stillness in Turbulent Times,”—just good, solid advice for quieting an anxious mind.

And speaking of an anxious mind, according to researchers, elevated stress and worry can actually change brain chemistry. “Coronavirus:the pandemic is changing our brains—here are the remedies” offers some suggestions for coping.

That’s all for now. I’m off to take the dog for a walk before it gets too hot (it’s cooler, but not cool). Have a great weekend!


A Handful of Happy Things (Link Love)

July 24, 2020

I’ve spent more time than usual with my computer over the past months, and I have a handful of happy things to share today. So here goes:

I so much want to travel somewhere, but until I can I’m finding ways to visit places virtually. I’ve watched Will Greene’s time lapse video of Acadia National Park twice already—and I only discovered it yesterday!

A St. Petersburg, Florida couple is turning old newspaper boxes into little free libraries. Especially helpful when libraries are closed or offering limited services.

Scroll to the bottom of this post by Jen Louden for an explanation of why so many of us feel angry, and an exercise to “Prevent the Blast” when you feel like you’re about to snap.

You NEED to see this Squirrel Ninja Obstacle Course.

I feel like what David of writes in “Most Accomplishments Are Invisible” is even truer in July than it was in December when this post went live:

“So if you feel inadequate whenever some form of the ‘achievement Olympics’ comes up, don’t. We live in a society that assesses people by what their lives produce, not what it takes to live them. Inner work is ignored unless it explains some outer work.
“That says a lot about society, and nothing about you. Rest assured that many millions of us know the immense value of changing your inner world, or even just surviving it, because we’re doing it quietly alongside you. Most of what the human world accomplishes on any given day is very hard to see.
I wrote this piece for a local county’s visitor’s guide. Click here to see the entire downloadable guide. 
There’s a new baby giraffe at Busch Gardens in Tampa. I love giraffes!

Hope you have a safe and happy weekend!


Time to Listen Link Love

June 05, 2020

It feels inappropriate, to say the least, to write about the things I was planning to write about this week—simple pleasures, everyday adventures, my summer fun list and summer reading list. The protests taking place all over the United States, and the world, have filled my mind and heart to bursting, made me appropriately uncomfortable, forcing me to think about concepts and experiences of which I’ve been largely oblivious.

It shouldn’t have taken multiple publicized deaths and nationwide protests to wake me up to what life is like for people of color in this country. It’s time to examine my own biases and beliefs and how they’ve been influenced by the culture I’ve grown up in, as well as educate myself about underlying structural racism.

Since I’m still at the beginning of my learning—where I should be listening rather than speaking—I thought I’d share a few links to material written by people who have eloquently and usefully examined this topic, as well as links to a few anti-racism resources I’m exploring. I hope they prove helpful to you. (And please share in the comments any resources you’ve found helpful.)

“For those of you who are tired of reading about racism, I’m tired of black and brown bodies being killed by it. I’m tired of watching some white people be more upset by those who are protesting racism as opposed to the racism itself. Being numb is characterizing what happened to Floyd, Cooper, Ahmaud Arbery (who was hunted, shot and killed by two white men while jogging), as unfortunate, disconnected anomalies. Feeling is understanding they are not disconnected at all but, rather, the reason why James Baldwin once said ‘to be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.’”

With Liberty and Justice for All. In this thoughtful piece, Gretchen Rubin shares part of a speech John F. Kennedy gave on June 11, 1963 after the Alabama National Guard had to enforce a court order requiring the desegregation of the University of Alabama. Here’s a part of the quoted speech:

“I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened….

“The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark…cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content...[to] stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay? …

“Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise.”

I ask myself, as Rubin does at the end of her post, “How can I, in my own life, live up to my country's highest ideals?”
Jen Louden suggests in “White People, Please Don’t Give In to Despair,” that we “Start from wonder and love and steady effort. ‘I wonder how I can learn today? I wonder who I can help today?’ Don’t make it about what you haven’t done cause that’s making it about you. ​Make it about now.” She continues, ‘Stop believing the Hollywood version of change you see in movies. That’s not how real change has ever happened or ever will. Real change happens because of millions of small acts by millions of people. What you do matters! Start today.’”


I’m Not Getting It Together, or Prepare Yourself for a Long and Rambling Post

April 24, 2020

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

I’ve been trying to figure out why I seem unable to get anything of note accomplished. Could it be because the world has gone mad? For instance:

  • Our local weather has been see-sawing between the 90s and the 70s with violent storms in between. 
  • I haven’t been to the library since March 14.
  • I go grocery shopping wearing a mask.

You’d think I would have extra time on my hands since I can’t pick up a few things at Target or meet a friend at Panera for coffee—or do any of the other little things that seem to suck up more time than you’d expect. Since we are so very, very fortunate to be safe, healthy, and comfortable during this stay-at-home time, I thought I’d be reading more books, creating art, and writing like mad.

I’m not.


Guess it’s not just “lack of time” that keeps me from doing the things I say I want to do. What have I been doing? I really don’t know. I’ve spent some extra time with Tank because he was due for vet and farrier visits recently. Though honestly, since I’m still doing all the household things I did before lockdown, I don’t have as much additional free time as those who are home from their regular jobs. I’m still doing most of my “regular job,” so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at my lack of increased productivity. The good news is that this week has been better than last week, which was in turn better than the one before.

I see that many other people are struggling with the same mood and motivation issues during these strange days. If you’re struggling too, you’re not alone. Here are a few things that have helped me with the disconnect/anxiety/overall strangeness:

  • Dressing rather than staying in pajamas.
  • Checking in with one or two people every day.
  • Checking the news briefly, choosing the least incendiary headlines to click.
  • Writing in my journal.
  • Going outside for a few minutes to water the plants and seeds, and watch the dog run around.
  • Completing one or two small (I mean miniscule) tasks each week. This week I cleaned up some spots on the carpet in the master bedroom and cleaned and conditioned the boots I wear to the barn.

I also found this piece really interesting—the variety of things people are doing to stay sane. For example, “To guard against lethargy, despondency and slovenliness, structure feels important: appointments, schedules, achievable goals, regular activities.” (Simon Armitage)


“It’s important not to beat ourselves up. You don’t always have to do stuff. Or achieve stuff. You don’t have to spend your time wisely and productively. You don’t have to be doing tai chi and DIY and artisan bread-making. Sometimes you can just be and feel things and get through and survive. It’s OK to just exist.” (Matt Haig)

I’ve spent a good amount of time online, but not reading the news. I’ve gravitated towards music and happier types of distractions, including:

70 West End stars perform Les Misérables’ Do You Hear The People Sing

Cast of Beautiful sings “You’ve Got a Friend”

(Can you tell I miss my shows at the Straz?!)

I’ve been listening to this almost every day.

John Krasinksi’s SGN (Some Good News) episodes are lots of fun. Episode 2 continues my personal musical theater theme with an appearance by Lin-Manuel Miranda and other Hamilton cast members.

If you’re more into operatic/classical music, click here for Andrea Bocelli’s performance at the Duomo in Milan.

Meteorologist Jeff Lyons of Indiana has been shooting his weather forecasts at home, with a little help from the family pet, who has now been dubbed Betty the Weather Cat. Click here to see them in action.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, or next week, or next year. This situation is unprecedented on every level. I’m simultaneously terrified and hopeful. I’ve heard about so many generous acts, such grace and kindness, and I choose to focus on those things rather than the actions of those who for whatever reason allow their baser instincts to take over. I’m trying to overcome my own fear and shyness to reach out to see how I can help others, and I’m doing it imperfectly and awkwardly and often missing the mark altogether. And I’m especially grateful for grocery store employees who never imagined they might be risking their lives to check me out at Publix.

I hope you and your loved ones are still safe and healthy, and that you’re about to enjoy a weekend of simple pleasures and everyday adventures. Let me know how you’re doing in the comments below. And if you’ve heard any positive stories coming out of this crisis, please also share those in the comments!


So What Do You DO With Yourself Now?

March 23, 2020

Are we there yet?

With much of the US (and the rest of the world) either “social distancing” or “sheltering in place,” all you extroverts and work-outside-your home folks must be going crazy. While my day-to-day life hasn’t changed that much (I admit I miss the library), I can certainly sympathize with the frustrations of having your schedule turned upside down, and having to fill hours of the day productively rather than stewing and worrying uselessly. Yes, of course, you can binge watch TV or movies, or read, but here are a few more simple pleasures and everyday adventures for while you’re sheltering at home:

Bake something. Blow the dust off your bread machine (do people still have those? I do!), mix up a batch of your family’s favorite cookies, or use up the over-ripe bananas in banana bread. I find baking very calming, not to mention yummy.

Take a walk in nature. Obviously, you should only do this if you can do it safely, but there really is something so uplifting about getting some fresh air and sunlight. (Plus, you probably need the exercise—see first suggestion.) 

Take an online art class. Laure Ferlita’s online watercolor classes are fun, accessible, and reasonably priced. She just launched a new one last week, Spring Wreath. (No affiliation except friendship!)

Doodle with Mo Willems, Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence. Primarily aimed at kids, but still fun for adults! As he says, “You might be isolated, but you’re not alone. You are an art maker. Let’s make some art together.”

Watch and listen to the Berlin Philharmonic in their digital concert hall, free for 30 days, if you register by March 31. So soothing.

Participate in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Stay At Home Book Tour. The first event was today, but there’s one every day this week, and if you can’t join live, there will be replays available. Learn about it here.

Fill your mind with positive, encouraging, and uplifting things, like:

This post, by Dani DiPirro of Positively Present.

This interview with author Rebecca Solnit. Her book A Paradise Built in Hell, “describes how in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters…human beings tend to respond by banding together, not tearing apart.”

No doubt this is a hard and scary time. Let’s get through it together. Share the things that are helping you in the comments below!


Staying Positive in the Face of Coronavirus Fear

March 17, 2020

Luna and I are working at home

Here in the U.S., things are getting weird. Fights are breaking out over toilet paper, businesses and schools are closing, and a new term has entered our vocabulary: social distancing. The COVID-19 coronavirus is wreaking havoc all over the world.

And my library just closed. Now it’s getting serious.

I don’t mean to make light of this situation—it’s the strangest, scariest thing that’s happened in my life, except for 9/11. I’m not especially worried about catching the virus—I work from home and don’t spend much time with people other than my family and close friends—but I do worry about my husband and son, who work with the public, and my older family members, some of whom have health issues. I’m also deeply concerned about what will happen to the economy after this is all over.

Following the news has made me anxious and depressed at times. But I remind myself that living is risky. Virus or no, any one of us could be struck down at any time—we just don’t think about it that often. Our attention turns to the fragility of our way of life, and life itself, when something like this happens.

We always have a choice, however. We can let the coronavirus bring out the worst in us, or the best. This is our chance to work together to reduce the spread of the virus and help each other along the way. As usual, our attitudes are key: can we remain positive in the face of fear and uncertainty? Can we pause and notice the simple pleasures we’re usually too busy to see and savor? Can we use this time to become more thoughtful and real?

While we’re walking this hard road, here are some things we should remember:

  • Follow instructions from authorities regarding social distancing—if we have the virus but don’t realize it, we can spread it.
  • Don’t hoard. Buy only what we need and leave the rest for others.
  • If possible, help those in our community who may be dangerously isolated, especially the elderly.
  • Remember that this won’t last forever.
  • Try to stay in the moment and avoid “awful-izing” about the future.

We can also remember those who are being hurt economically by this shut down: small businesses, authors’ whose book tours have been postponed or cancelled, artists and crafts people who make a portion of their income through teaching or shows, performers who may not be paid when their productions go dark, servers who miss out on tips, parents who can’t afford childcare for kids who are unexpectedly out of school. Keep your eyes and ears open for ways to help if you can.

And take care of our physical and mental health by finding positive ways to release fear and tension. I stress cleaned my closet and dresser this weekend, a job that has needed doing for months. I’m eyeing my office next—it would benefit from a deep clean. And I think working out would be a better way to cope with stress than eating barbecue flavor potato chips, which I don’t really like that much anyway but they’re salty and crunchy and…well, you get it.

When the weather and situation permits, step outside for a breath of fresh air. Wash our hands more than usual (and apply hand cream after!). If we find it’s getting to be too much for us, set limits on checking updates and avoid inflammatory articles. And every time we read something scary, look for a positive story—such as “Coronavirus sparks an epidemic of people helping people in Seattle.” 

While we wait for world to settle down, here are some links you might find helpful:

Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project has some excellent suggestions about how to stay as happy and calm as we can be in this situation here.  

Modern Mrs. Darcy (whose own book tour has been cancelled) is hosting a Stay at Home Book Tour. Sign up for this free series of events, which will take place over the week beginning March 23.

Working at home? Click here to download Jamie Varon’s Work From Home Survival Guide.

How to Touch Your Face Less (since touching your face is one of the main ways you can infect yourself).

And from Catching Happiness:

I sincerely hope you’re all healthy and safe. If you feel like sharing, let me know in the comments (or hit reply if you’re receiving this via email) how you’re coping with coronavirus fears. 


Labor Day Weekend Link Love

August 30, 2019

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the progress of Hurricane Dorian this weekend. It’s not supposed to reach us until Monday, and as I write this, we don’t yet know where it will make landfall. Some models show it crossing from the Atlantic over us into the Gulf of Mexico, so keep Florida in your thoughts. Other than last-minute hurricane preparations, this weekend we’re expecting a visit from my mother-in-law, celebrating our son’s birthday, and my husband and I are attempting to repair something on my car—wish us luck! I might do some baking—maybe chocolate chip cookies or some type of muffin. We’ll see.

Just in case you have some free time on your hands this weekend (a three-day holiday weekend for most of us in the U.S.), here are a few items of interest I’ve come across recently. Enjoy!

“How to Manage Your Energy to Get More Done” was a timely read for me, as I’ve been dragging lately. Going to pay more attention to renewing my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy.  

Have you ever tried to “Follow Your Jealousy”? As Sheila Devi writes, “Jealousy tells you what you want more of. What if you listened to it?”

Check out Modern Mrs. Darcy’s “Rom-Com Syllabus” if you’re looking for something fun and light to watch over this long weekend. There are some great additional suggestions in the comments, too.

This long essay by Roy F. Baumeister examines the differences and similarities between happiness and a meaningful life.

I totally understand and identify with “Pet owners share 55 hilarious rules their animals have made.” The animals are clearly in charge.

What do you think about research that shows that trying to be happy can result in feeling less happy? “Quit Doing 1 Thing Today, and Science Says You’ll Feel a Lot Happier (It's Counterintuitive)” is worth a read.

This is an oldie, but still hilarious. My husband showed this to me again this week, so I hunted it up on YouTube for you:

May you have a safe, relaxing, and happy Labor Day weekend!


Lazy Summer Link Love

August 10, 2018

Well, it’s August. What more can I say? I’m feeling about as lazy as is possible while still being conscious, just marking time until the weather cools off. But my fingers still work and I have an internet connection, so here are a few links I’ve loved recently:

I’m not the only one struggling through summer. Apparently, according to at least one study, your brain really does slow down during hot weather. Read about it here: “It’s Not Your Fault If You Can't Get Anything Done in the Summer.” 

Laura Vanderkam’s posts are always full of common sense. In “Every Yes Is a No, Every No Is a Yes,” Laura writes, “The upside of keeping this phrase in mind is that it reminds you that expectations are infinite, and time is finite. You are always choosing. A choice to do one thing is a choice not to do something else, and therefore a choice to disappoint someone. So the question is who are you choosing to disappoint, and why?”
“Reclaim Your Weekends” looks at the importance of scheduling time for restoration: “We all need rest and rejuvenation. Without deep, restorative time, we power through jam-packed weekends (or aimlessly surf the net), only to wake up on Monday mornings feeling tired and dissatisfied.”
I’m still exploring Julia’s Bookbag, but so far I’m enchanted. How lovely it would be to receive one of her book boxes! And wouldn’t it be fun to create them?
Read “10 Things to Keep You Going When Everything Goes Wrong,” because it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond to what happens to you. Numbers 3, 7, and 9 especially resonated with me.

I just finished reading Quiet Girl in a Noisy World, and checked out the author's Tumblr, “Where’s My Bubble?” The book reminded me that I haven’t been allowing enough recharging time for my introverted self. 
To continue with the theme of doing less and enjoying life more, have you heard the acronym “JOMO”? It’s FOMO’s (“Fear of Missing Out”) cousin, the Joy of Missing Out. Read about it at “FOMO vs JOMO: How to Embrace the Joy of Missing Out.” 
And for the times when it requires too much energy to go to the beach, here’s a video of waves crashing on the beach...

Hope you have a relaxing, restoring, and very happy weekend!

Link love

Rainy Holiday Weekend Link Love

May 25, 2018

This is Memorial Day weekend in the U.S.—time to remember the fallen, and mark the unofficial beginning of summer. We’re hosting out-of-town family, and the forecast is for rain, rain, rain. Hopefully the weather will cooperate enough for us to spend time on our lanai. Luna is looking forward to meeting some new people and demonstrating her (questionable) swimming skills.

If your Memorial Day weekend proves rainy, or leaves you with a little extra time on your hands, here are a few links you might love:

I hate to tell you this, but the first half of 2018 is almost over. Yeah, I know, where did it go?! It’s a good time to evaluate how 2018 is shaping up, so check out these “10 Questions for Mid-year Reflection.”

“Four Things Procrastinators Need to Learn” was outstanding. I am a big-time procrastinator (and yes, I have several items on a to-do list that are more than a year old, much to my chagrin). 

Subscribe to free e-magazine Happiful here, or if you prefer, buy print versions here. Happiful aims to provide “informative inspiring and topical stories about mental health and wellbeing. 

You don’t have to consider yourself in midlife to learn from the suggestions in “8 Ways you Can Survive—and Thrive in—Midlife”. Number five helped me understand why setting goals is such a major production in my life.

I so much identified with “What If All I Want is a Mediocre Life?” For example, in one passage, the author writes: “What if I am not cut out for the frantic pace of this society and cannot even begin to keep up? And see so many others with what appears to be boundless energy and stamina but know that I need tons of solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy. Body, spirit, soul healthy. Am I enough?” A question I often wrestle with. 

And speaking of wrestling with feeling not good enough, in “Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember RAIN,” you’ll learn four steps to stop being less hard on yourself.

This baby elephant doesn’t want to stop playing in the mud:

There will be no post Monday due to the holiday weekend, but the Happy Little Thoughts newsletter will go out as scheduled on Sunday. (If you’re not already receiving the newsletter, click here.)

Hope you have a beautiful weekend, rain or shine!

Action for Happiness

If It's Friday, It Must Be Time for Link Love

March 23, 2018

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad it’s Friday. I have some writing to do today, and then my husband and I are going to the movies tonight! And then…ah, the weekend. I hope you have some fun weekend plans in store. And if you have a few spare minutes, here are some links to love. Enjoy!

Just because it’s almost the end of March (already?) doesn’t mean we can’t use the prompts on Action for Happiness’ Mindful March calendar. So many great and simple ways to become more aware of the happiness all around us.

I know this isn’t in the usual Catching Happiness wheelhouse, but Shakespeare’s Top 50 Insults made me smile. (“Thine face is not worth sunburning”).  Be sure to scroll to the bottom for the Shakespeare Insult Generator. (If you don’t, you’re a spleeny, onion-eyed foot-licker!)

I adore solitude. If you do, too, you’ll probably recognize these “23 Things Only People Who Love Spending Time Alone Will Understand.” So many of these resonated with me.

If you’re in the market for an everyday adventure, consider trying something for the first time. Dani DiPirro at Postively Present has a list of some possibilities here. Pick something and do it!

Speaking of adventure, my friend Laure Ferlita just announced the possibility of an art retreat in the south of France, in addition to her already-scheduled Blue Walk tour in Paris. This sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any artists out there.

Gretchen Rubin’s “My Best Advice for Graduates: 12 Tips for a Happy Life” is worth reading, even if your own graduation, like mine, is far in the past.

Cats and yoga. Namaste.

Have a happy weekend!

Action for Happiness

Happy Friday Link Love

January 26, 2018

Hurray for Friday! This has been a busy and happy week for me—how about you? Just in time for the weekend, here are a few links I’ve loved lately:

Do you listen to podcasts? I rarely do, but would like to do so more often. Action for Happiness has some that look good. (What are your favorite podcasts? Suggestions welcomed.)

This post (and this one) would have been perfect last year, when my word of the year was “deeper”. They’re still really great reads for those of us who want to live with depth and intention. Some tidbits: “What a discovery it is, to suddenly see the wealth buried in your own house, or even lining its walls.”


“Do we need more and better possessions, relationships, homes, hobbies, skills, and opportunities, or do we simply need turn our efforts towards cultivating our land, rather than prospecting for more and better places to dig?”

If you want to be happier, think like an old person! According to this New York Times article, “When the elders described their lives, they focused not on their declining abilities but on things that they could still do and that they found rewarding.” The author of the article, John Leland, wrote a book about his experiences with six New Yorkers over the age of 85. Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old was published this week.

Stop by the Good News Network when you’re fed up with bad (or “fake”) news. This was one of my favorite stories, and so was this one.  

Some good advice in “This Is What ‘Self-Care’ Really Means, Because It’s Not All Salt Baths and Chocolate Cake,” including: “If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with ‘treating yourself’ and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.”

I found this article about headwinds and tailwinds thought-provoking. As the article points out, we tend to remember the struggles we’ve had (headwinds) more than the advantages we’ve been given (tailwinds). How can we help provide tailwinds for more people?

I think Tank would be willing to give Prudy a ride, but I don’t think Prudy would be as happy as this cat is:

Art to Self

February Link Love

February 24, 2017

It’s time once again for Link Love, a round up of links I hope you’ll find as entertaining and thought provoking as I did.

Bloggers are an opinionated bunch. We offer stories and advice, hoping to connect with readers and make their lives better. But as Courtney Carver writes in “I Don’t Know What’s Best for You”:

“Use the information you find on the internet, in books and courses, on this site, and anywhere else as pieces of the puzzle, but not as the end all be all. It’s not. No one know what’s best for you but you.”

A skill I need to develop—learning how to be comfortable with other people feeling uncomfortable.

Overwhelm. It happens to the best of us. Here’s one way to stop it from derailing your day. 

I enjoy many of David’s posts on his blog, Raptitude. In this one, he shared “4 Absurdly Easy Things I Do That Make Life Disproportionately Better.” What four things would make your list? One of mine: Put the coffee pot on a timer so it’s ready when we wake up!

I read a lot of non-fiction, but I’m embarrassed to say my memory of what I read is often spotty. I’m thinking of trying Michael Hyatt’s ideas from “How to Make Your Non-fiction Reading More Productive.” 

Just discovered the website Art to Self after hearing a podcast interview with artist Steph Halligan. What a terrific idea! I’ve been back several times. One of my favorite “notes”: “It’s Meant to Fall Away.” 

This made me laugh:

Have a happy weekend!

End of the year

2016 End-of-Year Link Love

December 23, 2016

I typically take a break from blogging during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and I’m doing just that next week. For me, this time of year is a time of reflection and planning. I’ll be reviewing 2016, working on setting goals, and choosing a word of the year next week, as well as spending a little extra time reading for pleasure, and resting up after hosting the family for Christmas. I didn’t want you to have Catching Happiness withdrawals (haha) so I prepared this Link Love for you to enjoy while I’m gone.

I loved Marie Forleo’s three-question end-of-the-year review process.  Simple, yet powerful.

For a more in-depth review of 2016, try Sandra Pawula’s 18 questions. There’s a free downloadable workbook, as well. 

I find choosing a word of the year a helpful practice (though I didn’t write about it on the blog, 2016’s word was “Quality.”) Here’s an article by Liz Smith about choosing a guiding word for 2017. As she writes, “Once you have your word, let it light the unknown path for you next year.”

I rarely listen to podcasts, but it’s something I would like to do more of in the coming year. I just discovered the Beaks and Geeks podcast, thanks to an email from Penguin Random House. Here’s a link to a round-up of “10 Best of Books Author Podcasts.” I’ll probably listen to some of these next week as well.

I would love to try this monthly art and inspiration subscription from Holstee. I’m adding it to my list of treats/rewards. (No affiliation.)

If you’re looking for a way to improve your habits, you can try this habit-tracking calendar. (No affiliation.)

And on a less introspective note, I’ve spent far too much time watching Simon’s Cat videos on YouTube. Why don’t you join me? Click below for the Christmas Collection:

I truly hope your 2016 was a stellar year, and that even better things are in store for you in 2017.