Forcing the Bloom

Happy, Healthy Mommy Blog


Free, Non-Fat Happiness Boost in Two Minutes

Thank you for all of the book recommendations!  I’m so excited to try new authors.  All the recommendations made me think of one of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin.  She has written three books about HAPPINESS, “The Happiness Project”, “Happier at Home”, and soon to be released “Better Than Before.”  But what I most enjoy are her 2-minute YouTube videos on happiness.  Whenever I’m roaming on the internet, I almost always navigate to a new video of hers.  And she has so many that I’m never bored.  It’s a quick pick-me-up without calories or caffeine.  They make me motivated to reach out and hug some happiness.  It’s not touchy-feely.  They are stories, resolutions, and things that you can do in five minutes or less to make yourself happier.  Here are a few of my favorites…

Now I’m Free from French Fries

What am I Really Complaining About?

Guess: Who Never Confuses Identical Twins? – this one brought tears to my eyes!

I Can’t Organize my Mail

I wanted to share these with you because YOU deserve a free, non-fat, two-minute happiness boost too!

Do you have a secret source of happiness?  A favorite author?  Watching your child sleep?  Looking at photos?  Chai lattes?


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Book Review: “Happier at Home” by Gretchen Rubin

Summer reading!  I just finished reading “Happier at Home” a week ago.  Then I plowed through the 3rd book in the Divergent series, “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth.  Next on my reading list is “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv.  Here is my review of “Happier at Home” from

I actually enjoyed this book more than “The Happiness Project”, Gretchen’s first novel. I sped through it, so I must have REALLY liked it. It blows my mind to think of how many books Gretchen must read. I can’t image where she finds the time. Then I think, “Well, she did go to Yale!” I thought all her suggestions and tips where applicable in my life, even though Yale would never let me near their campus and even if I couldn’t figure out from the book how she had time to clean and cook meals like a regular mom. Maybe she doesn’t. She still inspired me to doggedly pursue my resolutions. I might have different goals than her but the “how to” is the same.

I think it’s frustrating to read books that remind us it takes time and hard work to accomplish our goals. Sort of like reading books that remind us that eating right and exercising are the best (and probably only) ways to get in shape and be healthy. We would rather read short-cut books that don’t work. Keeping that in mind, I sidestepped the minor frustrations that arose during the book (such as when and if she actually cleans or cooks) and allowed myself to be inspired. Instead of trying to figure out how many hours she actually spends with her daughters each week, I thought about how dedicated she was to her family in addition to having a thriving literary career.

I WAS little disgruntled after finding out that Gretchen’s father-in-law is Robert Rubin. When I told my husband, he said it was like one of Bill Gate’s kids writing about how difficult their lives were and how they became happier. When you put it that way, I not so sure how honest she was in the book.  BUT…I still liked the book.



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Resolve Resolutions

Happy New Year!  I LOVE New Year’s!  Well, I love crafting New Year’s resolutions.  I don’t know why I get such a kick out of resolutions!  Resolutions to me are fascinating and powerful.  It’s amazing what can be accomplished if you work at it everyday.  Consistency is the key and also the biggest challenge.  I love slow and steady change so making yearly resolutions is right up my alley.  For the other half of the population, resolutions may not be your thing.  It’s not how you are motivated.  Before you give up too quickly or decide not even to try thinking of a resolution, check out one of my favorite author’s suggestions about keeping resolutions.  Gretchen Rubin wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home.  She is basically the closest thing to an expert on keeping resolutions!  Her conclusion – you can be happier through small changes in your life!  Check out two of her vlogs about New Year’s resolutions for inspiration on creating and keeping your resolutions this year: 1.) Hold Yourself Accountable and 2.) Preparation is Essential.

A few of my resolutions for 2014 are 1.) not to lose patience or raise my voice at my dogs (ever since B was born they drive me nuts), 2.) read three books a month (1 for book club, 1 for church, and 1 for work), 3.) dress for success (my nemesis – I’m completely void of style), 4.) post gratitude stickies in the bathroom and around the house, 5.) read a Bible verse to B everyday, and 6.) kiss and hug my spouse everyday (it’s surprising how many days I miss).  My plan for keeping my resolutions this year is to write them down and keeping on my computer, check them daily, and put reminders on my calendar to check my progress.  I live by my calendar so reminders will be helpful.  What are your resolutions for 2014?  How do you plan to keep them?

The best of 2013!

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The Secrets of Happy Families

Here is NPR’s weekend story covering Bruce Feiler’s new book “The Secrets of Happy Families” entitled Control the Chaos which was previously covered by the Wall Street Journal.  It is interesting that NPR approached the book from a different angle.  NPR stressed the aspect of “controlling chaos” in order to improve family life.  The Wall Street Journal pointing out that Feiler used successful business models in the home.  I think the attention given this book shows that most folks are looking for ways to improve family relationships.  We also like easy answers.  Not that little changes can’t make a big difference.  Another book that came out recently is Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.  I relate to Gretchen since she is an attorney turned writer.  I’m not sure how I feel about either self-help book and what they mean about parenting these days.  Just thought I’d share what’s out there.