Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Shark Week!

Sharkweek begins today!!! 
SQUEE!! How are you going to celebrate Sharkweek?? Are you going to watch all the shark shows on the Discovery Channel?? Or go swimming with the sharks at your local aquarium? Or adopt a shark?? As for me, I'm going all out for shark week! This is definitely one of my geekiest times of the year, but I love it all up! I have had all of my toy sharks out on display for at least a week, and I've watched nearly all of the shows from last year's Sharkweek. I'm obviously a little bit too excited for my favorites, Airjaws & Into the Shark Bite! I drew you a shark coloring sheet which is enclosed below. ALSO, I wrote a poem about sharks:

A Shark Haiku by Jacque 

Darting like an arrow
Beedy eyes and pointy teeth
Sharks swim in the deep.

Sharks above drawn by me for coloring!

Have a happy day & a fantastic SHARKWEEK!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

20 Ways To Put The Sparkle Back When Life Gets You Down

Many people often comment on my positive & cheerful attitude...I have even had some ask me if I have any bad days at all or ever let life get me down. Recently I received an email asking that very same question & about the methods I employ to start feeling better again. I thought it was the perfect excuse to write a little blog post about the ways I get over my crummy days. And let me tell you...yes, I do have bad days just like everyone else. Also, I often let the stress of life get to me. I actually have these awful, monster-sized bad days sometimes. 

 I'm not always cheerful and inspired. Many friends and readers read my blogs & hear my advice and decide that I'm a super positive girl covered in glitter & sunshine. I believe that being positive about life is a choice. Life is never going to be predictable or picture-perfect. I struggle with the same doubts, fears, insecurities, and self-hate as everyone else. 

I've been criticized before by some readers who feel that being happy about life is more than cupcakes, bubbles, and sprinkles. Of course, I know all about the dark & stormy parts of our lives. I have lived through my share of crappy situations & impossible circumstances. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since my teens, and I have been managing a chronic autoimmune disease for two years. The only way I can live happily is to work towards positivity & celebrate all of the amazing things in my life, big & small. The best way to deal with the whims of life is to live everyday with a positive attitude, cherish the present moment, and appreciate all of the small things in your wonderful life. 

With that in mind, I came up with a small list of the ways I cheer myself up when life gets me down.

20 Ways to Put the Sparkle Back When Life Gets You Down 

1. Put yourself first for a while. Focus on all of your own needs rather than tending to everyone else in your life. We are all guilty of putting others in our lives first and pushing our own needs aside. If you realize you're struggling with something, it could be a sign that things in your life are out of balance. Are you neglecting some importance aspect of your personal life? Give yourself the attention you are craving and take stock of what you really need to live happily. 

2. Talk to someone unbiased & vent. We all need someone to talk to, and it's best to vent to someone unbiased. If you can afford it, counseling is a wonderful way to work out some of your problems. Just remember that whomever you talk to is still a human being with their own issues. We are all working towards something & on our own personal journeys. No one is perfect and it's unrealistic to think that one person has it all figured out. 

3. Do all of those simple & silly things that make you smile. Take a walk. Bake cookies. Write poems. Sketch birds. Sing in the shower. Eat spaghetti. Talk to your pets. Watch old movies. Color in coloring books. Make fruit smoothies. Do 50 jumping jacks. Listen to your favorite band and sing along. Read library books. Visit a petstore. Give out a sincere compliment to a stranger. Smile and mean it.

4. Start keeping a journal. I truly believe in the power of the journal. It is such a personal & creative outlet. Create a safe place where you can escape from the pressures of daily life. While writing in your journal, you're allowed to be imperfect, frustrated, angry, disappointed or any number of negative emotions. Fill the pages with whatever comes flowing out of your pen. Don't stress out too much about being organized or forming complete sentences. Sometimes I just doodle or scribble. Other times,  I write out my grocery list, jot down phone number, or record an inspiring quote. Instead of approaching my journal like it's this prim & proper diary of fascinating thoughts, I view my journal as a place where I can just be me.

5. Do something nice for someone else with no expectations of anything in return. No will make you feel like a million bucks just to make someone smile. 

6. Channel your energy into things that make you feel accomplished. Start taking a yoga or pilates class. Finish some of your old projects. Start learning Spanish or French by memorizing a few phrases. Check out a library book on origami. Put more energy into your blog. Blogging is one of my biggest outlets for stress & anxiety. I started my blog two years ago after I learned about my autoimmune disease. It has been an incredible tool to help me stay positive and focus my energy into something worthwhile. 

7.  Surround yourself with inspiring objects and images. Cover your walls in pictures, posters, and artwork that make you feel positive and happy. Every so often rearrange your space to give it a new look and get rid of things that are no longer inspiring. You are constantly changing as a person, and you should replace the old with new things that represent who you are right now.

8. Distance yourself from negative influences and surround yourself with positive & encouraging friends.Spending too much time around people who are constantly complaining can be very draining. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Seeing others enjoying life encourages you to have a more positive outlook on your own situation. People who are successful are motivated, hardworking, and positive. Being around people with these qualities will cause you to feel an urge to match their vivacity. Make friends with people whom you admire, follow celebrities who inspire you on twitter, and read the blogs of positive and life-loving individuals. It will rub off on you!

9.Change your scenery. Go for a walk. Take a trip somewhere. Rearrange your furniture. Just give yourself a break from your problems & stressors. I'm not encouraging you to avoid your problems, but I do believe that a change of perspective can do wonders for your attitude. 

10. Read your favorite books (or blogs)about positivity & living life in the present moment. One of my absolute favorite authors is SARK. She has several books about living life fully, embracing your creative side, and healing for the splendidly imperfect. She just released a book called Glad No Matter What that I'm dying to get my hands on. 

11. Listen to your body. Never deprive yourself of the things you need to feel healthy. Make sure to eat plenty and often! Low blood sugar is the biggest culprit of a crabby mood. Make sure to get enough sleep (most people need at least 7-8 hours!) Rest when you feel drained and relax after you have worked hard. Drink lots of fluids, especially water. Being dehydrated can cause headaches, misinterpreted hunger, dry skin, fatigue and nausea. Keep a bottle of water handy and sip on it often. Love yourself enough to give your body what it needs to function & be healthy.

12. Spend an afternoon watching all of your favorite movies. I love to watch Disney & Dreamworks movies whenever I'm feeling particularly blue. Put on your coziest pair of pajamas & slippers, grab a bowl of popcorn, and relax a little. Escape from reality for a short time and indulge in some lazy lounging. 

13. Don't beat yourself up for feeling down. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling blue. We all struggle with depressed moods. It can be very frustrating when you try to cheer yourself up and fall deeper into despair, but that is not a reason to belittle yourself or force yourself to just get over it. Embrace your emotions and be honest with yourself about how you are feeling. There is no need to act or pretend. If you're sad, be sad. Don't put any more pressure on yourself to be happy or cheerful. Owning up to your emotions is the beginning of trudging through some of your deeper issues.  

14. Choose love & kindness more. Fill up your world with love. I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but I believe we could all use more love in our lives. It does our souls good to be kind to others. Fight your inner demons with self-love. Kill your enemies with kindness. 

15. Stop putting so much importance on money. We all stress out about money, but it's something that we put way too much importance on. True, money is a big part of our lives, but I believe our perception of money affects us in even bigger ways. We have to live our lives fully regardless of the status of our wallets. It's ridiculous to let money dictate our lives. Maybe you disagree and that's okay. I know tons of people who live their lives around their money. Money is their life. I'm not saying that I don't need or want money. I just don't want money to be the most important aspect of my life. 

16. Make mistakes, be imperfect, and embrace your uniqueness. I have a small red Moleskine journal that I use to document my quirks, imperfections, and unique qualities. I call it my self love journal. It's a wonderful outlet to explore self acceptance and work through some of my issues with perfectionism. What do you do to celebrate and discover your own uniqueness?

17. Stop worrying so much about what other people think & start doing those things that make you truly happy.Don't let other people impose their expectations and ideals on your lifestyle. You will live a much more enjoyable life if you just do your own thing and shrug off the judgment and criticism of others. Yes, people are always going to open their big mouths and make you feel that you owe them an explanation for your decisions. But that is simply not true. At the end of the day, the only person who needs to feel convinced is you.

18. Get wrapped up in something you are passionate about. Have you ever had one of those moments where you realize you've been working non-stop for hours on something? What do get wrapped up in? What makes your heart soar? Those little moments of passion in your life are incredibly important when it comes to discovering what makes you truly happy. 

19. Try hard not to compare your life to others.Stop comparing your talents to others. Especially those who have more experience than you. While it is inspiring to see someone who has developed their skills, you shouldn't feel discouraged just because you have a long way to go. Everyone starts in the same the beginning!!

20. Choose happiness & positivity! I know that sounds a little bit like an episode title for Carebears. I believe that living with positivity is a conscious decision that we all have to make. It is a constant challenge and a never-ending journey. But I think it's worth it.  

Sending lots of positive vibes your way!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Life Lately Through iPhone Pics!

Sunsets, Hello Kitty lunch boxes, sunflowers, black bean & zucchini enchiladas, dates with my fella, emergency vet visits for our toy fox terrier, hair-trims, stain glass windows, Mount Scott in Oklahoma, spoiled kitties begging for more attention, boating & inner-tubbing in Oklahoma, and roses in all my favorite colors!

That's what I've been up to!

What have you been up to lately?

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Week Full of Happiness!

Hello, Lovely Friend!! I just got home last night from a very busy weekend in Oklahoma with my boyfriend & his family. I had an amazing time, too!! We spent most of Saturday afternoon out on a boat, swimming and riding an inner tube. I also got an excellent tan! What kind of adventures did you have over the weekend??

My birthday is in exactly ONE WEEK! Ah! I really super duper want to go to Sea World and see all of the sharks & Shamu! We're trying to put together some plans to celebrate my birthday before the summer ends. Do you have any suggestions for a whole batch of birthday adventures??

 I just wanted to wish you a week full of happiness!!

♥ Jump for joy & celebrate all of your little accomplishments! ♥ Go out and have adventures! ♥ Soak up the last little bits of summer! ♥ Get excited about life! ♥ Smile more, love more, and live everyday for yourself!

Sending you lots of positive energy!

p.s. I just started a new sponsor opportunity on my blog! If you would like to advertise on A Quirky Girl's Thoughts, please check it out! I would absolutely love to help promote your blog, shop, or website! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Self Love Journal Entry

Dear Jacque, 
I'm writing this letter because I know how hard things have really been on you lately. You always try so hard to be brave and put on a happy face for everyone else, but you can't hide all of your struggles & pain from me. I just wanted to remind you that when things start getting rough, you need to love yourself the most. When plans fall through, and they will as life goes on, you shouldn't blame yourself or punish yourself for life's whims. There are times when you can be so strong. You stand up for yourself & what you believe in. You can shine brightly and fill up the entire room with your marvelous presence. But other times, you let snide comments and jealous people steal your confidence and you allow yourself to be torn down. It really hurts to see you fall down. 

I just want to remind you how amazing you are when you just accept yourself...and love yourself despite all of your quirks & flaws. I know that you think self love is this complicated process of learning and challenging yourself, but I think it's much more simple than all of that. I think self love is just a simple decision that you make every day to cherish your flaws, give yourself what you need to be healthy, and to celebrate all of your accomplishments, big & small. I think that true self love is accepting the fact that you may fall down and fail completely, but you will get back up and try again tomorrow. It's knowing that you are worth the effort. 


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

30 Things To Do Before The End of Summer!

I just glanced at my little Hello Kitty calendar and realized that the summer is nearly over. le GASP!! I've been horrendously busy with all kinds of summer randomness, and it feels like the days are flying by at the speed of light! The tail end of summer also means my birthday is nearing on the 1st of August! I'm excited & nervous about my upcoming see, I've never been very good with birthdays. I tend to get the birthday blues for a few days before my actual birthday. But I just have this wonderful feeling that my birthday is going to be amazing this year. 

Now, there is still plenty of time to cram in a few summery activities! I came up with some of my own ideas & summer favorites!!

30. Cook breakfast for someone very special! Surprise them while they are still in bed if possible! 

29. Stay up really late watching old episodes of your favorite television show! My favorite late night shows are Friends and Sex and the City.

28. Rent or borrow a bicycle and have a day of adventures without your car! Try to rent a bicycle with a basket so you can tote your backpack or purse around as well!

27. Plant a tree or some flowers! Gardening is very therapeutic!

26. Organize your closet! I definitely need to clean out my closet & organize all of my shoes!

25. Go to a zoo or aquarium! Take lots of pictures of all your favorite animals!

24. Buy a notebook in your favorite color! Start collecting clippings from your favorite magazines and flip through the pages anytime you need inspiration.

23. Ask a friend to recommend a book & read it from cover to cover! Suggest one of your favorites books to them in return.

22. Go to a local cafe when you're not pressed for time & spend your afternoon just enjoying your own company.

21. Take a dance, yoga, or pilates class!

20. Have a check-up at the eye doctor & dentist! Summer is the best time to get appointments out of the way. It's also easier to get an appointment because a lot of people are on vacation.

19. Attend a midnight premiere of a movie you've been looking forward to! My friends & I just geeked out last weekend and saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.

18. Write out little hello cards to all of your friends & mail them! What a lovely little surprise!

17. Start a self-love journal! Write yourself delicious love notes & detail all of your wonderful accomplishments.

16. Spend an afternoon with your pets or pet-sit for someone with pets! Spending time around happy animals does wonders for the soul! 

15. Grab a big stack of magazines and read them all! I love to spend an afternoon just reading the latest editions of my favorite magazines!

14. Go through your closet and put together a few outfits! Arrange the outfits in the front of your closet for those days when you're running late! And honestly, I'm usually running late! Eepp!!

13. Paint your nails in a bright & outrageous color! I want to paint my nails neon orange or pink or both!!

12. Bake cookies, brownies, or lemon bars and have some friends over for a tea party! Tea parties are always more fun with lots of sweet friends & treats!

11. Learn more about photography and practice taking pictures of your family & friends! Borrow a fancy camera from someone if possible. I really need a better camera!!

10. Go on a day trip and have a day full whimsical adventures! Explore & have fun!

9. Buy some bubble guns, grab a couple of friends, and take some wacky photos! Bubbles are SO much fun!!

8. Create an inspiration board! I'm working on my own inspiration board right now! Pictures soon to come!

7. Clean your entire house from top to bottom! 

6. Go out to your favorite restaurant with a group of friends and have dinner on the patio!

5. Get moving!! Do everything & anything that requires activity! I've been dying to go hula-hooping!

4. Grab a snow-cone! Or make some at home!!

3. Have a retro-style pool party! Some local pools will actually let you rent their facilities for parties!

2. Bake cupcakes for your co-workers or your next-door-neighbor! The easiest way to make friends is to spread a little bit of sunshine! 

1. Spend an entire day only doing things that make you smile from cheek to cheek! You deserve it!

What do you have planned for the remainder of your summer??
Sending you lots of positive energy!

all images borrowed from pinterest

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Favorite Accessory!

Do you like my lovely fur wrap???
Apollo is such a camera-hog!!

Hope you're having a happy day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekly Resolutions: Starting Off With Positivity!

Happy Monday!! The beginning of a brand new week is like a blank canvas!    I can just imagine a million possibilites for fabulous adventures & whimsical happenings. Mondays have never been my favorite day. I've been known for having these super awful monster Mondays where everything that could possibly go wrong does. Ever since I started blogging, I've made a strong commitment to making all of my Mondays marvelous. Now, I'm not saying that all of my Mondays include blue birds, sunshine, and musical numbers, but I do try my best to start off every week with a positive attitude. 

As you all know, I'm all about lists & planners! I obsessively list-make in my sleep, on my iPhone, and in my time.mine planner. Lately I've been making little weekly resolution lists every week in the small margin of my planner. I write down all the little things that are important to me for that particular week. It's sort of like a to-do list to keep you inspired, happy, and healthy. I've really been digging my weekly resolutions, and I thought it would be a fun segment to blog about. It would definitely give me motivation to stay on track. I also think it's such an amazing way to start the week! 

Weekly Resolutions: 

★ Clean & organize my closet: My closet has become a very scary pit of lost clothes, handbags, shoes, more. I really need to grab a shovel and clean it all out. I'm sure I have a few garbage sacks worth of clothing that I could donate. I absolutely love the feeling of cleaning out the old & unused and making room for new things. Especially since the fall is nearing.

Eat more natural & healthy foods: I've been so busy lately, and my diet hasn't been stellar. My poor skin has been sort of yucky lately, and I know it's because I've eaten a lot of garbage. I really want to devour tons of fruits & veggies this week. My body responds with glowing skin & a radiant complexion when I feed it lots of natural foods.

★ Read one book: because I have a small stack of books waiting to be read on my nightstand, and I really want to make a little time to read all of them before I start back to school. 

Other little resolutions...

Read my favorite blogs on a daily basis ★ Make more alone time ★ Take more photos ★ Clean the house ★ Play with my pets once a day ★ Bake cookies ★ Stick to my budget ★ Be more active ★ Drink Water ★ Stop stressing out about the small stuff.

What are your weekly resolutions??

Sending you lots of positive vibes & happy wishes!

images from pinterest