• Animals,  How to Win Friends and Influence People,  Humor,  Optimism

    Paying compliments

    “Nowadays we are all of us so hard up that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments.” ~Oscar Wilde As the old adage goes, flattery will get you everywhere — and Oscar Wilde agreed. Furthermore, as reported in Medical Economics, researchers confirmed that “people respond positively to flattery, even when they know the flatterer has an ulterior motive.” But who needs science to prove that most people appreciate a compliment? When we dress up for a party or pull out the good china for dinner, for instance, we’re pleased when someone acknowledges the effort we made. An honest compliment is another form of generosity — and it reveals the…

  • Animals,  Domestic arts,  Health & wellbeing

    Getting cozy

    “It was so wonderful to be there, safe at home, sheltered from the winds and the cold. Laura thought that this must be a little like heaven, where the weary are at rest.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder The Scandinavian concept of “hygge” suggests a sense of comfort and contentment. The word possibly stems from a Danish word meaning “to give courage, comfort, joy.” Another theory suggests that hygge was derived from the Old Norse word “hugr”  — which is the origin of the word “hug.” Hygge has become a popular marketing term in Scandinavia in recent years — and we’ve embraced it here in the northern United States, especially in the cold winter months.…

  • Animals,  approval seeking,  Domestic arts,  Friendship and relationship advice

    Get comfortable

    ‘People aren’t longing to be impressed. They’re longing to feel like they’re home. If you create a space full of love and character and creativity and soul, they’ll take off their shoes and curl up with gratitude, no matter how small, no matter how undone, no matter how old.” ~Shauna Niequist, quoted in Bella Grace Some of us spend way too much time trying to make things perfect — especially when we’re getting ready to entertain. Others have been brainwashed into thinking that a living room should look like it was styled by a magazine editor in order to be worthy of visitors — and avoid sharing their homes because…

  • Animals,  approval seeking,  Health & wellbeing,  Personal growth

    The dog ate your homework?

    “When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” ~Dr. Robert Anthony, Beyond Positive Thinking It wasn’t my fault …. She made me do it …. I was raised by dysfunctional parents …. Someone gave me bad advice …. The dog ate my homework. When we make a mess of things or miss the mark, it’s tempting to reach for an easy excuse. We might try to save face by placing the blame on someone else — or outside circumstances — even when we know, deep down, that we were responsible for our own mistakes. In today’s quote, psychologist Robert Anthony shines a light on the blame game.…

  • Animals,  Civility and manners,  Kindness quotes,  Photo stories

    Social graces

    “Sometimes, to have good manners means putting up with other people’s bad manners.” ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr. American socialite and author Emily Post advised that having good manners isn’t just a matter of using a dinner napkin or refraining from burping aloud at the table. Courtesy, she said, is all about being “sensitive to the feelings of others” and putting them at ease. Civility is another word for kindness in action. I know I’m not the only one who’s noticing an increase in uncivil, insensitive behavior every day — on the road, in restaurants, in grocery stores, and on TV. If we’re not careful, it will sour our positive outlook…