Monthly Archives: June 2013

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Companionable

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “companionable”. As soon as I read this week’s photo theme, I knew which photo I would use. My kids really are best buddies. Well, at least until they start arguing. They’re best friends and don’t realize it. They play together all the time, talk to each other about everything and anything, do things for each other, and help and support each other.. My eldest even reads to my youngest on a regular basis. To a lifetime of companionship!

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Companionable - brothers can be best friends

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Companionable – brothers can be best friends

For a different type of companion (more of the furry type), you can hop on (pun intended) over to my nature photography website to see my participation in this weekly challenge.

Advertisements

WordPress weekly photo challenge: The world through my eyes

Let me start this post by announcing that you can save 50% on any poster, print or canvas in my online Zazzle store today only, June 21, 2013 by entering coupon code DEALS4PRINTS at checkout. See a photo you like on my nature photography website but not in my store? Just ask me what product you’d like to purchase and I’ll create it for you.

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “the world through my eyes”.

You can see the world through my eyes as a photographer here, especially if you like to see young birds.

This is the world through my eyes today. The laundry pile actually looks a lot better today than it did yesterday.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: The world through my eyes - pile of laundry

WordPress weekly photo challenge: The world through my eyes – pile of laundry

If I look to the side, I can see another pile on the floor. This one is a giant pile of Lego pieces.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: The world through my eyes - pile of Lego pieces

WordPress weekly photo challenge: The world through my eyes – pile of Lego pieces

But this isn’t just a huge bag of Lego in my kids’ eyes. They actually build cool stuff with these Lego pieces. Like this:

WordPress weekly photo challenge: The world through my eyes - Lego Ninjago meets Lego Star Wars

WordPress weekly photo challenge: The world through my eyes – Lego Ninjago meets Lego Star Wars

Or this:

WordPress weekly photo challenge: The world through my eyes - Lego dinosaur

WordPress weekly photo challenge: The world through my eyes – Lego dinosaur

And they put the Lego pieces away a lot faster than I fold the laundry!

WWW Wednesdays – June 19, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I started it a couple of days ago and I like it so far.

– What I recently finished reading
Running Blind by Lee Child, the #4 book in the Jack Reacher series. I’ve been reading the Jack Reacher series from book #1 and this has to be the best one yet! The very dark, disturbing plot blew my mind away, and yet I figured out how the murderer manipulated the women, yeah! I can’t believe I didn’t guess who it was exactly, even though I’d solved most of the clues on my own. This is the kind of book that will keep you up at night if you let it happen. I’d give it 5 stars if it weren’t for Jodie and Reacher’s ongoing struggle to make a decision about their relationship that was a little too present and distracting to the plot.

– What I think I’ll read next
Mennonite In A Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen, the memoir of a woman going back home to her Mennonite family after having a serious car accident and her husband leaving her for another guy. A friend of mine recommended this book as “funny” so I thought it’d be perfect for a summer read.

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading
Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael KaplanWe just discovered the Betty Bunny books by Michael Kaplan and they are hilarious! We started with Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake, in which Betty is supposed to learn about being patient and waiting the whole day to have a slice of chocolate cake after dinner. In Betty Bunny Wants Everything, Betty’s mom tells her kids they can pick one toy at the toy store, but Betty wants to buy a whole cartful! When her mom says no, Betty throws a huge temper tantrum… Betty is your typical three-year old, described as a “handful” by the strangers who meet her (and her own parents).  You should see the negative reviews for these books on Amazon. Some people think Betty is a terrible example and will have an awful influence on their own children. Whatever happened to talking with your kids about what happens in a book when the character is showing appropriate behavior? My kids love these books and Betty Bunny’s “handful” behavior and not so good choices. It makes them understand how disruptive this type of behavior can be so they can be more aware of their own behavior.

– What they recently finished reading
What To Do If An Elephant Stands On Your Foot by Michelle Robinson. If you like the Laura Joffe Numeroff’s “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” type of books, you’ll love this one! It’s based on a similar plot at the start, but the main character doesn’t follow any of the narrator’s advice and gets into a lot of trouble. “Keep calm. Panicking will only startle it!” is the first piece of advice given if an elephant stands on your foot and the first thing the boy does is… scream. A very funny and entertaining book!
The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood. Did you know there are many different kinds of quiet? This book will show you plenty of them, from “first one awake quiet” to “trying not to hiccup quiet”. I love the beautiful pencil illustrations and the various animal characters throughout the book. My kids really enjoyed this book so they could talk about the variety of quiet moments in our daily lives.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

How full is your bucket?

How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton

How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge on “curves”Hop on over to my nature photography website to view my photo contributions.

I’m not doing a WWW Wednesdays update this week because I’m still reading Running Blind by Lee Child. Instead I wanted to share a book I read about positive thinking recently. It’s a very short read and it’s full of interesting research data and useful ideas you can easily implement  and use on a daily basis. The book is called How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton (who was Tom’s grandfather and passed away before the book was published).

Positive thinking can have powerful effects on our minds and bodies, yet so many people walk around with a negative mindset. How Full Is Your Bucket shares plenty of data to explain how detrimental negativity can be to our own selves, but also to the people around us when we are negative (and vice versa). Did you know a positive environment will make you more productive? It sounds logical, yet many people and companies don’t do much to improve positive thoughts.

How full is your bucket - a positive mindset increases productivity

How full is your bucket – a positive mindset increases productivity

Now, when it comes to the bucket filling principle, it’s as easy as pie. Imagine you walk around the whole day with an invisible bucket over your head. Everytime something good happens to you, a few drops go into your bucket. With every negative emotion you feel, a few drops come out. The key is to walk around with your bucket as full as possible.

But wait, it gets better! Did you know that every time you do something positive for someone else, you not only put a few drops in their bucket but you also deposit drops in yours? That’s the power of a positive attitude. On the other hand, you can drain drops from your bucket and other people’s buckets when you are being negative, so nip those negative attitudes in the bud!

The principle of filling your bucket

The principle of filling your bucket

How Full Is Your Bucket For Kids by Tom Rath

How Full Is Your Bucket For Kids by Tom Rath

How simple is this concept to understand and implement? Very simple, and everyone can do it. The authors give you a lot of practical exercises to help you focus on the positive.  I also read How Full Is Your Bucket For Kids by Tom Rath with my own kids a few weeks ago. At first, they were puzzled by the bucket over the head idea, but once they understood the concept, they embraced it. We use the bucket filling principle on a regular basis, especially when the mood tends to be tense. I ask my boys about their bucket and how full or empty it is, and then we discuss what we can do to fill it up. Not only it helps them find a solution to their temporary problem, but it also quickly distracts them for staying in the negative. And it makes them feel more empathetic towards other people, as they understand they can drain someone’s bucket with their own actions. Pretty powerful stuff, especially for little ones who are still learning what empathy is.

The end of the book summarizes the five strategies you need to follow to encourage positive thinking in yourself and the people around you. Make sure you reverse the golden rule by treating others as THEY would like to be treated, not the way you like to be treated. It makes a lot more sense that way, since not everyone likes to be treated the same.

The five strategies about filling your bucket

The five strategies about filling your bucket

I also recommend is The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, which focuses on positive psychology (you can read my review of The Happiness Advantage here). The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven is another short, easy to read and understand book on the power of positive thinking. You can read my full review of The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People here.

Have you read books on positive thinking or happiness that left a positive (pun intended!) impression on you?