Friday, March 21, 2014

Can People Change?

I say YES!

People can change. Even a negative person can change. 

If you asked me that question a few years ago I would have said yes but only hoped it was true. And that was probably because I didn't know how to make those kinds of changes.

Now I not only know how a negative person can change to an optimistic one, I also know why? Do you?

Sure optimistic people are more fun to be around but what other reasons are there?

Lucky for us, more research is conducted all the time and those brainiacs have the answers. 

Are you ready for the answer? Here it is. Being optimistic will make you happy. 

It's that simple and isn't that what everyone wants out of life. To be happy. 

Don't believe me? Go ask some random people. I'll bet they will all say that they want to be happy.

Sure they want a million dollars, a new car, a fantastic home but it turns out that they want these things because they think it will make them happy.

But wait there's more. Optimistic people aren't just happier there are two more benefits. They are also healthier and wealthier.

I'm not saying that optimistic people don't have problems. They do. They just look at it differently than a pessimist. You know that whole glass half full half empty thing.

You might come back to me and say, hey Darlene, that's just the way I am. I can't change that.

I'd have to say to you that you can change that. And I'll tell you how.

You choose how you think. You can control your thoughts. Don't just let your brain run on auto pilot otherwise it will always respond in the same old way. With negativity.

I know, I know, I know, your thinking how can I stop thoughts from popping in my head. The answer is at first you can't but eventually with practice an persistence you will notice a change in how you think.

I know this is true because it has worked for me. I wouldn't say at one hundred percent optimistic but there is a marked improvement. If you want to read more about making the change to optimism you might want to check this post out HERE.

I don't wake up in the morning with that thought popping in my head. The one that kept saying, I hate my life. I believed that I had no control over my thoughts but I do. Now I wake up and think it is a beautiful day. I am so very lucky. (Even though I am homeless and living out of a suitcase.)

In the beginning you have to stop and consciously beware that a negative thought has just entered your mind. Then you can stop yourself before the thought is complete and switch it up with an optimistic thought. 

The next step is stopping the thought before it enters your brain and you think of something positive. 

Eventually the negative thoughts are few and far between and you suddenly wake up one day and say HEY! I haven't had a negative thought in a long time. Am I an optimist now. Well you're definitely on your way.

If you continually practice optimistic thinking, you’ll reprogram your brain to automatically respond in a positive manner.  

But remember. It takes time. It takes patience. It's like quitting a bad habit. It takes work. But it is worth it. You are worth it.

We're all a work in progress. Let's banish all those negative thoughts starting right now and be HAPPY!

Have an Amazing Day!


Stacey chose this post as her favorite. “This is such a great post! I would also have to say yes, but I think the most important key to the change is to recognize the negativity. I used to always see the glass as have empty, until I finally realized that something needed to change and that was me.”

Thank you Stacey. To see the other featured posts please click HERE.


Monday, March 10, 2014

How Does Your Hobby Benefit You?

I've always thought it strange that someone could go through their whole life without a single hobby.

I actually know a couple of people who don't have one. 

Maybe it isn't necessarily that they don't have a hobby, but they don't have any particular interests to occupy their time and minds. Nothing that they like to do that helps them clear their heads and rejuvenate their souls.

What Are Your Hobbies?

What is it that you enjoy doing. Perhaps it's running, baking, sewing?

I personally have to do something. Through the years my interests and "hobbies" have changed but there has always been something.

I use to love reading and went through all the Anne Rice and Stephen King books I could get my hands on. But then I found it difficult to find quite time with three girls bouncing around around.

I use to love painting - in acrylics - landscapes and portraits. But it also turned out to be a difficult hobby with children.

At this point in my life crocheting is my fav. I can crochet just about any where at any time. Unfortunately right now all my crocheting gear is in storage. 

I was feeling a little lost and needed something. So of course I went online - just browsing. Then I came across some pretty pictures - doodles - tangles - in black and white. 

I immediately knew that I found something I would love to do. 

All I need is a sketchbook and black markers. A hobby that doesn't take up much space or cost much money. I could get these items at a dollar store. It cost three dollars for the book and one dollar for the marker. 

Mind you I realize that at some point I may want to invest in better paper and markers. But for now I found my creative outlet. I found something easy to learn, relaxing and fun. 

The Benefits of a Hobby

Physical activities have obvious benefits. But what about the other kind like crocheting?

There are some very wonderful benefits of having a hobby. Hobbies are a means to finding happiness, an overall sense of well being and reduce stress.

Positive psychology is a relatively new branch that studies what makes life worthwhile. They discovered that activities which bring fun into your life is a good way to relax and to live in the moment which provides an over all sense of well being and happiness.

Good Stress

Hobbies promote Eustress which is a positive kind of stress created at times of great enthusiasm. Hobbies are a great way to create Eustress because you are doing something you love to do and it makes you feel excited.


Gratification is also a part of positive psychology. If you are like me, I enjoy activities that make me feel productive - like I have accomplished something other wise I feel like I am wasting my time. Knowing that I will have a completed project of some kind gives me a fantastic feeling of achievement which equates to happiness.

Staying In the Moment

A hobby can engage you in a sense of flow, which can put you in a near-meditative state. 

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. It's the kind of activity where you lose track of time and before you know it hours have passed by. You are concentrating so much in what you are doing that everything else (including stress) disappears. The end result is feeling less stressed out and feeling over all pleased with life - happy.

Hobbies Help Prevent Burn Out

What is burn out? It's the result of stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, a hobby gives you something non work related to look forward to and it relieves stress. Your hobby may be the one thing that reduces the impact of chronic stress. 

Health Benefits of Hobbies

Hobbies are great for the body. Research has found that leisure time fun activities are associated with lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference, and body mass index. 

Hobbies are great for the mind. There is also a relationship between enjoyable activities and an increase in a positive outlook -reducing levels of depression.

Hobbies Promote Socializing

Hobbies can bring people together. Even if your hobby is meant for one person, there are groups out there  composed of others who also enjoy that activity. Connecting with people in a fun way relieves stress and contributes to your overall happiness.

Now we know why I have been so desperate to find a new hobby. I need something to to get me in the zone - flow (refer  Mihály Csíkszentmihályi's concept of "flow") - to decrease stress and depression - to increase my positive outlook -  - to make me feel HAPPY.

So next time someone you know is feeling stressed or down, ask them what is their hobby. What do you do for fun? Then tell them to get out there and get a hobby!


I would like to thank Maz Kwok at Crafting Along Blog Hop for featuring my post. I am extremely grateful.

This post was one of four most clicked at the party. To check out the other features please click HERE.


Well thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed reading this post. 

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Make Your Pics Pinteresting - Part 5 - Make a Collage

Hi, this is the last of a five part series. 

So far we have learned how to:

  1. Format a photograph in Microsoft Word
  2. Remove a photograph's background,
  3. Added text to a picture
  4. Crop a photo.
And now we are creating a collage. Which actually is a great way to end the series because we will be using what we have already learned to complete this project.

So here we go.

Make Your Pics Pinteresting -  Part 5 - Make a Collage

Why would I want to make a collage?

The simplest answer is I need an image to represent my blog post and my post just happens to be a round up. 

Here is another example of a collage. Check it out HERE.

Do you have a few pictures in mind for your collage? I do. Insert your pictures. Do you remember how?

Format Pictures

I want all my pictures to be the same size. So I am cropping them to size. 

I also want a simple frame around each picture to give them a finished look. 

Creating the Collage

This is where you get to have fun and be creative.

Once I have all the pictures the same size with the same border, I place them together in the order that I want them to be.

Now I need to Group them. See the tutorial for grouping HERE.

For this collage I started with a grey background. I don't know what I was thinking. I am not a huge fan of grey so I switched it to blue. What was the purpose of the background? All the pictures are so different, I wanted an element to pull them together as one. This is created by inserting an object with no border filled in light blue.

Even with the blue background I was still not impressed. It looked humdrum. 

I changed the borders to white so they would pop instead of fizzle.

Then I deleted the hat picture and switched it up with a picture of my granddaughters wearing the hats. So much nicer looking at their pretty little smiling faces. Don't you think?

Oh, plus I made the girl's picture bigger to add more visual interest.

How is your collage coming along?

Don’t forget to insert your blog title and post title. 

See, so, finished. An expression my Mom uses.

So how did you like testing your knowledge from the four previous posts to put your collage together?

I hope your imagination is inspired because you now have the tools to make some very pinteresting images for your blog!


Thank you Linda for featuring this post on your blog. I always look forward to joining your party.

To see the other featured blogs please click HERE.


Well thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed reading this post. 

And don't forget to stop by my Etsy Shop, Little Shop of Treasures or check out a few other posts.

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I look forward to reading your comments. Make my day and leave one! 
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