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  • gretchenrubin 17:01:32 on 2017/10/31 Permalink
    Tags: , celebration, , , , ,   

    Setting the Table for a Halloween Holiday Breakfast–For One. 


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    In my book The Happiness Project, I write about my resolution to "Celebrate holiday breakfasts." And this morning, I set the table for a Halloween holiday breakfast.

    I do these holiday breakfasts for all minor holidays -- it's festive, and also fun and easy.  I always use food dye to color some food or beverage in a holiday-themed color (this morning: black peanut butter). I re-use the same decorations every year, so I don’t have to spend money or do errands. I have a very precise place in the kitchen where I store my holiday-breakfast decorations, so I don't have to scramble to find anything.

    Studies show that traditions are important to family happiness. Family rituals encourage children's social development and boost feelings of family cohesiveness by 17%. They help provide connection and predictability, which people--especially children--crave. Without traditions, holidays don't feel much different from ordinary life. Holiday breakfasts give a big happiness boost, without much effort.

    But this year was a little different. Instead of setting the holiday breakfast for two daughters, I was setting it for one daughter. Now that Eliza's in college, it's just Eleanor at the breakfast table.

    And that was bittersweet.

    One thing I decided, when Eliza left, was that I wanted to make sure to maintain fun family traditions for Eleanor -- that I didn't want to skip the effort, or decide that Eleanor was too old to enjoy it (unless she truly has outgrown something), or forget to create these little moments.

    Time is passing so quickly; I worry that I won’t remember this time of life, what it’s like to have children this age, or that because I'm busy, I won't take time for celebration.  The days are long, but the years are short.

    In fact, of everything I’ve ever written, my one-minute video, The Years Are Short, is the thing that resonates most with people.

    One challenge of Eliza leaving for college is figuring out how to adapt traditions for the new situation. I want to maintain, but also evolve.

    Do you have any little traditions that help you celebrate the holidays in a manageable way? Have you had to figure out how to adapt traditions, as your family changed?

    If you want some tips for creating new family traditions (oxymoron alert!), here are some ideas.

     
  • gretchenrubin 16:10:37 on 2017/04/19 Permalink
    Tags: birthday, celebration, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Podcast 113: Reclaim Your Dump Zones, a Hack for Making Tough Decisions, and Is Your Birthday Important to You? 


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    Update: There’s an official launch date of May 18 for Elizabeth’s great new podcast with her writing partner and old friend Sarah Fain. Yes, Happier in Hollywood launches in a few weeks. I’m counting down the days!

    The Better app, all about the Four Tendencies, is now free. If you want to learn more about Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, or Rebels, join the discussion on the app. Or if you want to use the framework at work, with your health clients, with your family, with your students, you can find a lot of focused discussions there, too. And you can start or join an Accountability Group. (Don’t know your Tendency? Take the Four Tendencies quiz.)

    Try This at Home: Reclaim your dump zones. I reclaimed the little table I describe — above, you can see it pictured in its naked glory.

    Here’s one of my all-time favorite podcast episode — #10, live from Elizabeth’s messy closet.

    If you’re intrigued by the subject of clutter-busting, you might enjoy my book Happier at Home. For many people, outer order is a very important for happiness at home.

    Happiness Hack: Turn on the subtitles when you’re watching TV.

    Know Yourself Better: Is your birthday important to you — or not?

    Listener Question: Danielle asks, “My family constantly debates whether we should stay in New York City, or move to the suburbs, and it makes me feel constantly unsettled.”

    The book I mention is Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness.

    Demerit: I made the mistake of “treating a gift like a burden,” when I was working over spring break to get The Four Tendencies ready for publication.

    Gold Star: Jack’s nanny Cynthia made lots of special plans to make spring break fun for him.

    New feature: Each week, at the end of the podcast, I list “Two Resources for You.”

    1. To get every new episode of the podcast by email, sign up at happiercast.com/join.
    2. Every Tuesday at 3:00 pm Eastern Time, I do a Facebook Live video about the most recent episode. Join the conversation with your questions, comment, and insights. If you miss the live conversation, you can always see the archived version on my Page.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

    As mentioned above, I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

    Also check out StitchFix, an online personal styling service with real stylists who handpick clothing for you — your taste, your schedule, your lifestyle, your budget. Sign up at StitchFix.com.

    Also check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial,  including postage and a digital scale — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

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    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” The first shows are Side Hustle School and Radical Candor. Elizabeth’s show with her writing partner, Sarah Fain, will be Happier in Hollywood, so stay tuned for that.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 113: Reclaim Your Dump Zones, a Hack for Making Tough Decisions, and Is Your Birthday Important to You? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 16:45:21 on 2017/04/01 Permalink
    Tags: April Fool's Day, celebration, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Do You Pull April Fool’s Day Pranks? I Pranked My Daughters–But Not for Long. 


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    In The Happiness Project, I write about one of my favorite resolutions — to celebrate minor holidays — and Elizabeth and I have also talked about this a few times on the Happier podcast. I’ve been gratified to hear that many people also have fun celebrating these little, colorful-yet-not-much-work occasions. (I love it when people send me photos.)

    Today is April Fool’s Day, and I played a trick on my daughters (my husband is traveling for work). It’s a Saturday, and they’ve been on spring break, so I went into their rooms at the time when I wake them up on school days, and went through the whole morning routine as if it were Monday morning.

    For a few minutes, I managed to fool them in their grogginess, but pretty quickly they realized what I was up to.

    Reflecting on my last few years of April Fool’s Day pranks, I’ve learned something about myself: I do better with a sight gag, like the time I dyed the milk in the carton bright green, and then poured it over my daughter’s cereal (see image), than I do when I’m misleading them. I’m a terrible liar and can’t fool them for long.

    I love these kind of easy, fun traditions. They build happiness because they mark the passage of time in a special way, they’re memorable, they’re light-hearted, they contribute to a sense of group identity.

    Do you play April Fool’s Day pranks? What are some good ones? I’m already collecting ideas for next year.

    The post Do You Pull April Fool’s Day Pranks? I Pranked My Daughters–But Not for Long. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:06:56 on 2016/12/21 Permalink
    Tags: celebration, crafts, , , , , , , , , , shared work,   

    Podcast 96: Set Your “Holiday Intention,” the Fun of Making Graham-Cracker Houses, and the Problem of Holiday Shared Work. 


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    grahamcrackerhousegretchen

    It’s time for the next installment of  Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Elizabeth’s young-adult book Flower is ready for pre-order! As promised, here’s the cover. It sounds so good, I can’t wait to read it! (In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking–why didn’t Elizabeth send me an advanced copy? I need to remind her.)

    To start the new year in a happier way, we’re doing a fun project on Instagram. Every day, for the month of January, Elizabeth and I will post a photo on Instagram of something that makes us happier (by giving us a boost, helping us stick to good habits, reminding us to feel grateful, etc.).  Join in! Use the hashtag #Happier2017 and tag us — I’m @gretchenrubin and Elizabeth is @lizcraft.

    Try This at Home: Set your holiday intention; in other words, figure out what you intend to get from your holiday experience.
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    grahamcrackerhouseawningHappiness Hack: To make a graham-cracker house, you build the “house” out of graham cracker sheets, use tub frosting to glue it together, let dry for several hours–then cover the house with frosting and decorate with candy, sprinkles, pretzels, marshmallows, licorice, etc. So easy, so fun!

    Happiness Stumbling Block: During the holidays, shared work can become a problem. (Here’s my post about shared work, which is one of my all-time favorite posts.)

    Listener Question: Jenny asks, “I’m a librarian, and I want to give gifts to my volunteers — but I don’t have a big budget. Any ideas?”

    Demerit: Once again, I left my gift-buying too late. I knew what I should do, but I just didn’t do it.

    Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to her in-laws for making handmade tamales each year. It’s a lot of work, and they do it each year.

    Don’t forget: Elizabeth’s young-adult book Flower is ready for pre-order!

    flowercraftolsen

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out BlueApron.comWish you cooked more? Get all the delicious, fresh ingredients you need to make great meals, delivered to your front door. Check out BlueApron.com/happier to get your first three meals free.

    Also check out Texture. Get access to all your favorite magazines — including back issues and bonus video content — in one super-convenient place. Try the app Texture for free by going to Texture.com/happier.

     

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    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 96: Set Your “Holiday Intention,” the Fun of Making Graham-Cracker Houses, and the Problem of Holiday Shared Work. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:29:39 on 2016/11/02 Permalink
    Tags: celebration, , , festivity, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Podcast 89: Control the Cubicle in Your Pocket, Mail an Actual Invitation–and What Habit Would People Change? 


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    cubiclewithchair

    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.”

    Try This at Home: Control the cubicle in your pocket.

    Happiness Hack: Mail an actual invitation, say, to a family gathering.

    Know Yourself Better: If the people around you could change one of your habits, what would they change?

    Listener Question: Kristen asks, “What is the origin of our Tendency?” Again, to take a quiz for the Four Tendencies, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here. If you want to know when my new book The Four Tendencies hits the shelves, sign up here.

    Elizabeth’s Demerit: Because of her renovation, Elizabeth didn’t water her trees.

    Gretchen’s Gold Star: Curriculum Night! I love getting the chance to hear what my daughters will be learning and to meet their teachers.

    1pixMugObligerHappierUpdate: Mugs! We have mugs for sale. A Happier mug, or you can also buy a mug specifically for your Tendency. Just scroll down here.  (Want to take a quiz for the Four Tendencies, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here. )

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast. To join the conversation, check the schedule. 

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    And check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 25% off window treatments and a free in-home design consultation.

    And check out The Great Courses Plus today and you’ll get a month of unlimited access to thousands of fascinating lectures taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Try it for free for one month when you sign up at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier.

    1pix

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    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 89: Control the Cubicle in Your Pocket, Mail an Actual Invitation–and What Habit Would People Change? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:44:51 on 2016/10/26 Permalink
    Tags: celebration, criticism, dairy, , , , , , , , , , record, relationiships, , , ,   

    Podcast 88: Celebrate holiday breakfasts, Keep a Medical Journal, and the Challenge of Handling Criticism. 


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    halloweenbreakfastours2013

    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Try This at Home: Celebrate a holiday breakfast. (Pictured is a photo of last year’s Halloween holiday breakfast.) I write more about this tradition in The Happiness Project.

    Happiness Stumbling Blocks for the Four Tendencies. If you want to take a quiz for the Four Tendencies, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.

    If you want to know when my new book The Four Tendencies hits the shelves, sign up here.

    Happiness Hack: Buy a journal for each member of your household (including pets) in which to keep medical notes.

    Happiness Stumbling Block: Helle pointed to the stumbling block of handling criticism — even constructive criticism.

    Listener Question: Julia asks, “I lose my sense of smell when I eat dairy, but I rebel against this dietary restriction.” You can read more about the Abstainer/Moderator distinction, here’s a post.

    Gretchen’s Demerit: If you want to listen to Eliza’s podcast, it’s Eliza Starting at 16.

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth give s a gold star to her writing partner Sarah, who, after she discovered that she shouldn’t eat gluten for health reasons, has been able to give it up.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, check the schedule. 

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 25% off window treatments and a free in-home design consultation.

    Also check out Texture. Get access to all your favorite magazines — including back issues and bonus video content — in one super-convenient place. Try the app Texture for free by going to Texture.com/happier.

    And check out The Great Courses Plus today and you’ll get a month of unlimited access to thousands of fascinating lectures taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Get a free month when you sign up at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier.

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    1pix

    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 88: Celebrate holiday breakfasts, Keep a Medical Journal, and the Challenge of Handling Criticism. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 23:52:10 on 2016/02/29 Permalink
    Tags: celebration, , , , , , ,   

    Why I Celebrate Leap Day, and Other Minor Holidays. Do You? 


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    February 29

    One of my favorite resolutions — and I write about it in my books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home — is to celebrate minor holidays.

    Celebrating minor holidays is fun, it’s low-stress, and it helps make memories.

    And today is Leap Day! Last Leap Day, I took my daughters to Ripley’s Believe It or Not and to Dylan’s Candy Bar.

    But this year, our lives are different. After school, my older daughter has lacrosse practice, and she also has to study physics, so she didn’t have time to go on an adventure — even a minor adventure.

    But I wanted to do something. So I’ve told them, “At about 9:15 tonight, when we’re usually winding down for the evening, we’re going to go out! For a fancy dessert!”

    For me, Leap Day is a variation of Opposite Day. It’s a day when unexpected and crazy things can happen. I’m usually very focused on family members being ready for bed on time, and while I don’t enforce my own low-carb rules on my family, I usually don’t go out of my way to seek out high-sweets situations.

    But that’s the fun of Leap Day, and the thing that will make it memorable. It’s so different from what we usually do.

    Did you do anything special to celebrate Leap Day? Or to celebrate any other minor holidays?

    The post Why I Celebrate Leap Day, and Other Minor Holidays. Do You? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 23:33:56 on 2016/01/20 Permalink
    Tags: audio-books, celebration, , , , , , Sunday blues, ,   

    Podcast 48: Create a Temporary Photo Gallery, and Do You Suffer from the Sunday Blues? 


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    Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin

    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Update: We’re thrilled! Our first live show is tomorrow! And it has SOLD OUT. Yowza. If you’re coming to the Brava Theater on January 21, when we record an episode live, want a chance to be on the show? Email us with your New Year’s resolution, and maybe we’ll get to talk about it on stage. Send an email to podcast@gretchenrubincom, with the subject line “New Year’s resolution.”

    Update: Henry joins us to tell us some fascinating listener responses to the question about New Year Rituals.

    Try This at Home: Create a temporary photo gallery in your house. I mention this behind-the-scenes video from Happier at Home where I show the photo gallery I put up only for Valentine’s Day.

    Happiness Stumbling Block — with Special Guests. Laura Mayer and Sarah Bentley from Panoply join us to talk about the happiness stumbling block of the Sunday blues. Do you suffer from the Sunday blues? How do you deal with it?

    Listener Question: Brett asks, “Does maintaining relationships with unhappy friends and family  have to be toxic to your own happiness?”

     Gretchen’s Demerit : I keep tinkering with the parts of my book draft that are already good, instead of focusing my attention on the Introduction — doing what’s fun instead of what matters most.

     Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to the Harry Potter audio-books. So good!

     

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid post-office pain, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a no-risk trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out The Great Courses Plus for a wide variety of fascinating courses taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Special offer for our listeners: free access to one of their most popular courses! To get The Everyday Gourmet for free, go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier Limited time.

     

    We love hearing from listeners

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    1pix

    Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Listen to this episode at Happiercast.com/48

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

    HAPPIER listening!

     
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