Train Your Brain To Make You Happy

Have you ever noticed that you have a harder time hanging on to the good things that happen to you, and that instead it’s the bad or scary things that your mind just can’t let go? Well, it’s not just you, virtually everyone has this problem, and it’s actually a finely-honed result of evolution. Think about it: the humans who survived the most often were the ones who remembered dangerous or frightening situations and replayed them over and over in their mind, because they were more likely to recognize similar situations when they came up again, and thus avoid the danger.

This skill doesn’t translate well into modern life, however. Now, the only day-to-day dangers we face are jay-walking and speeding in traffic, and yet our brains are constantly searching for dangers to identify and re-live. This is why, when you’re lying in bed about to fall asleep, you might suddenly start replaying all the embarrassing or bad things that happened to you over the day. It’s never the good things that replay automatically, because that’s not evolutionarily valuable.

Before you give up all hope of being able to banish these thoughts, there is good news! Recently a study was conducted at Harvard labs and others, which suggests that the brain’s extreme plasticity (its ability to adapt and perform tasks) enables people to train their brains to new (and more beneficial) habits! This means that we can actually make our brains work for us, provided we give them a little training at first. If we make a habit of thinking positively when those negative replays come on, the brain’s plasticity makes it easier and easier to do so each time. Soon the habit is effortless, and instead of falling asleep to a replay of your disappointments and fears, you can be rewatching all the moments that make you happy! Of course it takes work, but so does every habit!

Design Tips From Retro Kitchens

Let’s face it: with all the hubbub about vintage and kitschy details in homes, sometimes they can be downright tacky. We’re not about to argue that everything was better way back in the day, but they did have some pretty fun ideas, design-wise. (Whole kitchens in “avocado”? Maybe not.) While the whole picture might be too much, checking out vintage ads for inspiration might just give your kitchen remodel that je ne sais quoi it needs to put it over the edge!

 

For instance, this all-blue kitchen is a little absurd (and we’re pretty sure that’s carpet, which is a terrible idea unless your kitchen is just for show), but that lazy Susan countertop is an excellent addition to a quirky kitchen with some extra space! Imagine being able to slide out a breakfast table, eat, and tuck it away again! It’s cute and cosy and super versatile.

 

Or what about a two story window/garden planter area for your kitchen? Sure it requires some real estate, but we imagine the second story outlook can be used to brighten up a loft or dark hallway. Plus, if you have the gift of the green thumb, you might be able to get vines to grow from one story to another and really bring a verdant, lively feel to both spaces!

We know, we know, this whole image looks really outdated, but what’s really giving you that impression is the wood panelling and the striped curtains. Take those out and maybe add a white marble countertop, and those retro blue appliances suddenly seem fresh and fun! Tip: if you’re going to go for the two-toned look, make sure the lighter one is on top; it’ll make the room feel higher and more open.

Alright, this one might seem like a bit of a pipe dream, but wouldn’t it be fun if you could customize your refrigerators like this? You could be chopping away, and then could reach right up to grab the next ingredient or put one away! Gone would be the days of lugging every ingredient out and then putting them all away again! The convenience is almost mind boggling! We don’t think you could get this for anything less than many pretty pennies, but it’s still nice to look at and wonder, right?

Pick Up A Picture of Water!

How many times a week do you hear it? YOU NEED TO DRINK MORE WATER!!! Some people, however, find drinking water is a chore. So, how do you make that plain water more palatable so that you are able to get all 8 glasses in each day? We give it FLAVOR!

Ok- we do not mean adding packages of flavored drink mix. Regardless of what the packaging says, adding artificial color and flavoring is detracting from the healthy water that your body needs. So- what now? How do we make that glass of water tasty without adding things that our bodies do not need? We infuse it!

Infusing water with the essence of fruits, herbs, spices, or veggies will help you to meet your hydration goals without the addition of additives that your body does not need. Using the proper ingredients can create a refreshing drink that you will be craving after your workout!

Use what you have! You don’t always have to run out to the produce market and pick up tons of fresh ingredients to add to your water. Recycle! When you are preparing your meals throughout the day, before you toss anything into the compost heap, think about adding it to your water. Do your research, find recipes that let you mix flavorful ingredients to create a healthy drink.

 

No recipes or step by steps to follow. Just fill a pitcher or large jar (glass is preferable) with water. Add your herbs, fruit, veggies… Now let it sit out for a few hours while the infusion takes place. If you would rather have your water cold, just put it in the fridge for a few hours. Infused water lasts 2-3 days depending on the ingredients. You can keep adding ingredients through that time, and when you are ready- wash out your container and start again. Simplicity!

 

Modern Day Teasure Hunt In the Rockies

Those of us who grew up on movies like Goonies and the Indiana Jones series have always wanted to go on a modern day treasure hunt. We scoured our attics for long-lost maps and pretended to fight Nazis for the holy grail in our backyards, all in the name of adventure and never growing up. Well, now we’ve grown up (mostly) and there’s a real-life treasure hunt for real gold in the Rocky Mountains!

Millionaire Forrest Fenn must have been one of these adventurers-at-heart, because the eccentric older man, in an effort to relieve financial malaise after the great recession, hid a chest filled with $2 million worth of gold, precious stones, and expensive artifacts somewhere in the Rocky Mountains in 2008. Fenn isn’t crazy, his friends say, nor is he one to create a wild hoax; for what it’s worth, everyone who knows him says the hunt is real. The only clues he’s given to the public about where to find this chest can be found in a poem written in his self-published book, “The Thrill of The Chase.” He estimates that about 65,000 people have gone treasure hunting over the last 6 years as a result.

Two of those people have died in the pursuit, unfortunately. Randy Bilyeu and Paris Wallace went missing two years apart. Their bodies were found days after they were reported missing, of undetermined cause. Though some have called on Fenn to call off the hunt after the deaths, he has only expressed regret and respectful concern for the families of the deceased, and urges anyone who goes hunting for his treasure chest to take GPS, a buddy, and to wait for the snow to melt fully.

Bilyeu and Wallace’s demise haven’t stemmed the tide of treasure hunters and adventurers who are positive that they can crack the poem and unearth the chest in the wilderness somewhere between New Mexico and Canada. And though none have come back with the treasure yet, they often do return with a newfound respect for the outdoors. “You go out, you look, you don’t find it, you come back home, you go through your clues again,” says adventurer (and retiree) Cynthia Meachum. “And you go out and you do it again. And I have actually seen some of the most spectacular scenery because of this that I ever would’ve seen.” We think Fenn would be pleased about that at least.

Chiropractor Has Life Hack For Parents

New parents are all about simplifying their lives, and with good reason. They now have a whole other life depending on them for every single thing, and that means they don’t have a lot of time (or spare energy) for anything else. Well, a chiropractor (and new mom herself!) from Texas is looking out for new parents everywhere with this new life hack she just shared on youtube!

Dr. Emily Puente specializes in a type of chiropractic specialized for pregnant women called Webster’s Technique, which helps position the woman’s pelvis for optimal comfort while she’s carrying. That, coupled with the fact that Emily has a young family herself, means that she’s been thinking about the needs of pregnant women and young mothers, and the physical challenges they face every day.

And every new parent knows the terrible back pain brought from lugging a car seat from location to location because the baby has fallen asleep in it. They’re awkward, they’re heavy, they have an inconveniently placed handle. Basically they’re the bane of parents everywhere, but Dr. Puente has the ideal solution to carrying the seat in a way that won’t kill your body and allows you to cart other things around as well. It may look a little awkward at first, but the good doctor swears by the method, and you can actually see how much straighter she’s able to stand up in the video. If you have a car seat-bound baby (or one on the way!) check it out! It could be the difference between a happy mamma and one with killer back pain!