Book Review: In the Garden of Happiness by Dodinsky

Dodinsky has possibly some of the best quotes these days.  I picked up the first book, In the Garden of Thoughts last year and was completely inspired and motivated.  You can see the review HERE!

When the second book was announced, I had it on my list of books to get for 2014, except this time I didn’t get it in the ebook but a physical copy. The moment I got the package, I pulled it open and read all of it while my dinner was simmering on the stove, reading it out loud.  I do that a lot..when I’m really into a book.

IN THE GARDEN OF HAPPINESS

by Dodinsky

IN THE GARDEN OF HAPPINESS

In the Garden of Happiness is even better than the first one.  Maybe its because it takes my lifelong goal: to be happy and just gives me a whole lot of inspiration and thought about my own life and where it is now.  Its refreshing and positive.  Everything is really thoughtful and motivational.  There are really no words at how I finished the book in one sitting (which isn’t hard) and wanted to read it all over again a few hours later, then the next morning.  You get the idea, right? Its just so pick-me-up and feel good.

If I had done this review before the holidays, I’d say that its a perfect gift book.  Which it still applies because we still have a million events we can give gifts, like birthdays 😉 Plus, it works for any age (maybe not kids, unless they just look at the illustrations).

Now that leads me to the second part of how awesome In the Garden of Happiness is.  Its pages are full of colorful illustration to match every quote.

There isn’t much to say about quote books like these and really not much to review.  Its a winner if you want to gift it.  Its going to release your mind, bring a wave of positive and hopefully make you reflect a little to improve your thoughts.  I did that for me and brought a smile on my face.  And I’m already a relatively positive person even if I sometimes have to grasp to hold on to it on the extremely bad days. Its always refreshing and motivating to have little reminders like these 🙂

I went searching for the book trailer so you could get an idea.  I’m not exactly sure I’m doing it any justice.  Here it is:

 I thought this was a great book to end the year with.  I highly recommend it! 🙂

Where Do I Start? The Secrets of Happy People :)

Happy Saturday everyone! 🙂

How was the past week for you?

Mine has been a bit all over the place.  It was calm for the most part, which is good.  Yesterday (Friday) turned out to be quite hectic and nerve-wracking.  Our plans had to be swapped around and I went for the “x” amount of times this year to check up on another emergency. As I type this, I’m on call if I need to go out to help out and waiting on the news which we should get some time today.  Its never good to be caught in these sudden situations.

But hey, you know me? Its the weekend after all! There’s lots of stuff to do and I survived another week, didn’t I? There are so many things to do today and I just don’t know where to start? How about changing it that negative I started out with and putting in a positive by sharing a video I just watched last night when I got home from all the chaos from PopSugar TV called The Secrets of Happy People?

I’m sure we can all use some of that! Amazingly, I do agree with every bit of that and I try to do most of what they say.  Granted, I don’t write down what I’m grateful for but I think about it every time something bad happens.

With that said, if you have been following me, I’ve been in the 90210 binge watch phase and you can read about that frustration I had THIS silly post! On that same night, I stayed up late and finished up the series! Totally worth it because for once, it was such a feel-good vibe. As empty as a lot of these teen drama series are, they are a coming of age and nothing gets better than watching one which  made me feel that they all grew up and wraps up everything nicely. They even had some awesome quotes like this:

naomi 90210

And when we aren’t sure if we can keep fighting? Here’s we do:

90210 dixon silver finale

You reach deeper until you find the strength. That’s all life is. Its just one big fight after another….you fight and you keep fighting until you can’t fight anymore and when you can’t, we’ll be there to lift you up and carry you.-Dixon, 90210

You know what I love about these series is that solid friendship even through all the crazy.  It can get touching but thats probably because I’m tired and sappy.  Plus, I got hormonal imbalance all the time! Oops, wasn’t supposed to say that, right? Anyways, I am going through the normal process of withdrawal from a series ending…maybe in another 10-15 years, they’ll give us a spin-off but with the same cast with their families with with more focus from the adult cast also 😉

Moving on! I have a good number of movies lined up this weekend to get a lot more recommendations reviews ready for next week 🙂 I already finished two and just need to write the actual reviews! I’m going to leave which ones for the surprise element  😉 Plus, I have to get a movie watched and reviewed for a blogathon! Busy weekend, right? AND BAKING hopefully 😉 I just bought this awesome recipe book and I can’t wait to try it out!

Betty Crocker's The Big Book of Cupcakes!

Betty Crocker’s The Big Book of Cupcakes!

Well, on the note of new acquisitions, I’ve been waiting for this new scarf at my favorite shop, Dynamite and they didn’t have the scarf I wanted, but I fell in love with a new one and at the same time, bought a new top that looked totally adorable!

20130824_162417 20130824_162514

Now I’m all ready to go out for a night out with my girl friends 🙂

Before I end this, you know what else I love? Public proposals! I’m going to share another very happy video of Phil DeFranco’s surprise proposal.  That was totally awesome!

These videos always make me smile.  I can sit there all day and watch this and it’ll just make me so happy.  Since I follow his YouTube show, it feels even more familiar and making this even happier moment 🙂 I don’t know him personally but hey, as weird as it may be, thats just how I am.

So much rambling in this post but thats my secret to being happy also 🙂

Hopefully something there put a smile on your face! 🙂

Are you already doing what they said about the secrets of happy people?  Getting ready for fall clothes yet (even if its still early)? What TV series are you obsessing over or just finished?

HAVE AN AWESOME WEEKEND WITH LOTS OF SMILES 🙂 🙂 🙂

Weekly Writing Challenge: Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

I’m finally back with one of these.  The past few have been a bit not my cup of tea or I’ve been too busy with other posts to do it.  However, this one involves pictures and I fully intend on checking out the March Phoneography but since I only have a dumbphone still.  I will be using this to learn a bit more about my tablet.

For this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge, they kick off this March Phoneography with a picture…

For this challenge, we want to see a photo of someone looking truly happy. Not “I’m-smiling-for-this-photo” happy, but really, deeply, twinkle-in-the-eyes happy. When we’re smiling a genuine smile, our whole faces get involved — our whole bodies, for that matter. There’s a light in our eyes. We look relaxed; there’s a forced tension in a fake smile. Then we want to know why: what’s going on in the photo? What are you (or they) thinking about at the exact moment? (And if you really want to get into it: what happens next?)

I hunt through my old pictures as they requested to look for one of me.  I also had to put in my loved one, my boyfriend, because I captured that shot.  Its really hard to capture myself truly happy although most of the pictures I take, I am genuinely happy but to catch myself giggling to myself spontaneously is hard.  The most genuine is when we don’t realize..like when I’m baking…but then my hands are kind of full with hand mixers, spatulas, flour, butter, etc…Enough rambling on my part and let’s go!

My absolutely favorite and natural picture of my boyfriend giving off all kinds of natural happiness in his expression:

natural smile

This was in the summer of 2011 when we went on our Niagara Falls trip at Bird Kingdom.  That place is super beautiful and we went into this area with these little birds flying and chirping away in their mocked natural habitat.  They were all so adorable.  I don’t exactly remember what my boyfriend was looking at. My guess is probably some kids or some conversation going on while he was patiently waiting for me to chase or sneak up on birds and take millions of pictures before I got it right.  That is a natural smile right there.  He had no idea I was taking pictures of him until we got back to the hotel and I was checking out the pictures.

The other picture is full credits to my friend, if they see this post via Facebook, they will know who they are so thank you to my awesome friend or else I wouldn’t have these memories:

2012 party2

It was hard to choose which one for this but the one before is of me holding the actual gift I got.  Why not? I was asked to put one and then here’s two, why not three, right?

2012 party

Wait wait, back track…

Last year, I held a huge duo birthday party for two friends and also it was a huge party in general to gather everyone together.  What I didn’t know was that they had planned out a surprise for me.  Making me get a lot of attention that night.  One of my friends somehow snuck in two shots of me.  I think this is me really happy from actually holding a guitar that they all chipped in for me and then (they don’t know this) tearing up…I was really touched.  I don’t like attention but I do like feeling appreciated and loved by my friends.  Surprise, right? And that card made me laugh a lot too, because its pretty much cats meowing to the tune of Happy Birthday.  Whenever my cat hears it, she just starts sniffing the card, biting and meowing at the card to get those cats to reveal themselves.  Its pretty hilarious 🙂

Sometimes, its really these moments that you look back and you really smile.  I look back and I had a hard time choosing the moment to use. A lot had to do with the one party that I have a year for my birthday which I stopped doing huge.  This one was in April, well past my birthday but they all remembered, so that was really sweet.  Point being, I’ve been very fortunate to feel genuinely happy throughout the years and I have tons of pictures to show for it.  That thought makes me even happier.

Whats a moment that comes to your mind that makes you smile right away?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

Who can really achieve simplicity in their life? To me, I’m simple.  Perhaps, its because I’m ordinary, but then its the fact that I don’t desire so much that I stress myself.  I have one goal in life and that is to be happy with myself.  If that is your ultimate goal to be happy with what you have, then you are simple.  In my mind, aside from reality pushing me like those 300 Spartans (previous blog), money is not a big issue.  Having lots of money doesn’t equal happiness to me.  I’m not materialistic and I enjoy what I have and savor every moment I spend with the ones I love and care about deeply. To me, that is a simple life.

Here I present to you my interpretation of SIMPLE in a very simple drawing (that’s the extent of my drawing skills).

The words: Simple (簡單)written out by hand in English and Chinese.

Simple is such a subjective term.  What may be simple to me may not be simple to you.  The only time when  I feel everyone will feel (almost) equally simple is when we are surrounded by nature.  The clouds, the sky, butterflies and flowers (and other living things), flowing rivers to great oceans, are all things we cannot control but when we are looking out into oceans (rivers and seas), we find inner peace.  When we look at the sky and the moving clouds gently pushed by the wind, we feel relaxation.  When we look at butterflies fluttering and flowers blooming (even budding), we feel wonder and natural beauty.  These feelings are natural, simple and come from our hearts.  But still, these are my interpretations and how I view it, but not necessarily  you or the next person to stop and read this blog.

An actual picture of what I mean:

Simple blossoms of a flower we call “String of Gold” in Chinese.  We have these flowers around the house slowly going into full blossom as it welcomes the Year of the Dragon.