Creating Positive Vibes

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Lifestyle

About one year ago, I posted a similar piece about small positive changes that make big differences in your day, and I thought we all probably needed a friendly reminder. Right? Ok, ok, I really just needed to be reminded that these few tips really help my day stay on a positive track.

Maybe these small changes will truly impact your day in a positive way too.

purple sky 1
1. Try waking up one (1) hour earlier than you normally do to start your day. When I say get up, I don’t mean use that hour to check your Instagram feed or answer emails either. Want more? Click to continue reading!

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Self-Care Staycation at Hotel Monaco, a Kimpton Hotel

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Before I go any further with my staycation post. I have to be honest… for the last two years, I’ve always said to others that I’m the laziest blogger EVER. Truth is, I’m not. I mean, I was starting to think something was seriously wrong with me because I have a million awesome ideas written down and I would never execute! I’d start writing post and either I’d complete it, never post, and it would just sit in my draft box or I’d start a post and never finished it. Why do I do this to myself? I’d post basic content just to having something on the website but nothing really that great. I’d often ponder vblogging or starting a podcast, but my procrastination I knew would just bleed over. Well finally, I came to the realization that I am just procrastinating on not taking the next leap. I’m not sure if I am scared or what’s holding me back from making the next move. Am I nervous? Probably so… I mean I like where I am now, BUT I know I am supposed to be doing something bigger. It’s starting to keep me up at night. Who knows where I will end up? Only the Big Guy Upstairs knows the ending to my story. I just know I have to commit and the TIME IS NOW. So from now on, my mind set is to treat at my blog as my personal diary that I want to share with anyone who is willing to read.

So, on to the post that hopefully will be the beginning of many more….

There’s something about staying in a hotel room that puts me at ease. My mind becomes un-fucked and I can finally relax. Checking into a nice hotel just puts my mind at peace. I immediately feel calm, and unbothered. Even if it’s a hotel in the same city in which I live, it doesn’t matter, it works. That’s why staycations are so important to me and should be to you also. Self-care is so critical to our health and we tend to forget about it. I understand you may not have the time for a full-fledged vacation, but you still need a “vacation” & staycations can be the next best thing.

Hey, some people don’t get it, but I say “don’t knock it until you try it.” Trust me, do yourself a favor, book even just one night at hotel you’ve been eyeing around your city. Personally, I suggest you find a Kimpton Hotel.

I had my eye on Hotel Monaco for quite some time now… What a beauty, and recently I had the pleasure of staying at this incredible hotel. Ya’ll, I’ve been wanted to stay in this hotel since the first time I laid eye on the building when I moved to Baltimore. 

Listen, my pictures CAN NOT and NEVER will be able to capture the beauty of this building, but I tried my best to capture it as a non-professional photographer. Shout out to all the REAL PHOTOGRAPHERS out there. Much respect!


Besides its beauty, Kimpton Hotels just know how to do it right! Their standards are high and they try to meet your every need. I know I tend to look for Kimpton Hotels whenever I travel because I don’t want any problems!


 Food

Of course we needed to eat, and lucky for us there is a restaurant called B&O Brasserie at the hotel. I’ve eaten at B&O Brasserie a couple of times before my stay at the hotel. I am a fan. I do suggest you dining there during your staycation. It’s just an easy ride down the elevators to the front door of the restaurant. Why deal with the hustle and bustle of the city while you’re trying to relax? It’s a very cozy restaurant with good service, craft cocktails (a plus) and tasty food. Aaron and I ordered quite a bit and just shared everything so that we could taste most of what they had to offer.


 Location: 

When choosing Hotel Monaco you’re choosing to stay in the best location in the city. It’s in the heart of Baltimore on Historic Charles Street. Seriously, walk out the front door of the hotel, turn left, and you’re only a few blocks from Mt. Vernon. You could even take a VERY SHORT ride on the FREE Charm City Circulator bus which can take you almost anywhere in the city, like dropping you off directly in front of the Washington Monument, where you can go eat at Dooby’s and then explore The Walters Museum. If you turn right, then you are steps away from the Inner harbor, or an inexpensive Uber/Lyft ride to ANY WHERE in the city.

The room:

So after dinner…back in our room, I wanted to do like a mini spa treatment without actually having to go to a spa. I packed facemasks for Aaron and I and a special hard scrub. We set time aside before bed to actually do the facemask. They were awesome and the process was super relaxing for less than $20. We put calming music on and sat in silence… Well, Aaron fell asleep with the mask on, ugh! BUT I needed the silence actually… I didn’t know I did…but I did. Something about the silence forced me to listen to myself and begin to sort out the things that were tugging at your heart. Finally, Aaron woke up from a quick 30 minute nap, we played Uno (I carry Uno cards almost everywhere), laughed, finished a bottle of wine, and just enjoyed each other’s company alone. It was perfect!





The next morning, I slept in of course (sleeping in to me is like 7:30-8am), grabbed hotel coffee and watched morning talk shows in the seating area. I purposely didn’t rush. Aaron had to leave early so I had the whole morning to myself. 

This short mid-week staycation was exactly what I needed to refresh. 

Click the link below to watch my instastory of my stay at Hotel Monaco in Baltimore, MD.

 https://youtu.be/eJtnHfBbaH8

Until next time,

xoxo

-Alysha

@discovercharmcity

Last Minute Shopping Guide: Historic Charles Street Edition

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adventure / Baltimore / Christmas / Family / food / Foodie / Friends / Gifting / Holiday Season / Lifestyle / Uncategorized

You did it again after you promised yourself last year you’d do better… you’ve waited until the very last-minute to complete your holiday shopping. Last-minute or not, don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Below are few thoughtful gift ideas that all can be found within the Historic Charles Street Corridor.

Schola

schola

1005 N Charles St

Cooking classes at Schola are the perfect gift for your foodie friend or the friend who has no cooking skills but loves food. This is a small intimate environment where people can come together, put on an apron and learn about where food comes from and how to cook it. You are able to purchase a gift card or purchase the class in advance and surprise the recipient.

FRS

FRS

515 Cathedral St. Baltimore, MD 21201

For the sneakerhead in your life, surprise them with a pair for shoes and gear from FRS. FRS specializes in carrying tennis shoes, clothing, and accessories that are exclusive to the area. These items can’t be found at your average shoe store. FRS is something special

Sotto Sopra

sotto sopra

405 N Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21202

This is a unique gift that offers an experience like no other in the city. Purchase your friend or family member two (2) tickets to the Opera or Broadway nights at Sotto Sopra. Tickets will include the show and a 5 COURSE Italian meal for about $60 per ticket. If you really want to do it big, purchase a gift card to go along with the tickets that’s loaded with money to purchase a bottle of wine.

Collectors Corner

collector corner

403 N Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21201

For the collector in your life this store is a dream. Collector Corner provides comic book readers and collectors with a wide variety of comic book related merchandise. Collectors Corner is known for the largest selection of new comic titles in the area, plus a huge selection of organized and alphabetized comic book back issues, retro video games, manga, DVDs, t-shirts, posters, new & vintage toys/action figures, related collectibles and much more. The Charles Street location is beautiful and packed with awesome collectibles. If you purchase a gift card or a specific item, the collector in your life will be ecstatic.

The Peanut Shoppe

peanut show

222 N Charles St

We all know that one person who loves to snack! For me, it’s my step-dad. Every year I get him an assortment of nuts, chocolate, and dried fruit. Discovering The Peanut Shoppe on Charles Street has been the best thing ever. They have EVERYTHING! Plus, the history behind this shop is really awesome. The contributions that this shop has provided to Baltimore City over many years makes me want to continue to support this gem as much as possible. Stop in and visit Bonnie, the owner, and her 105 year peanut roaster!

Studio 7 Salon 

studio 7

800 N Charles Street

You can never go wrong with getting someone a spa treatment. This gift is simple but so thoughtful and something every person should experience at a few times a year!

                 An Die Musik

409 N Charles Street


For the music lovers out there, concert tickets to see the best in jazz and classical music at a world class venue is an awesome gift. With their events calendar packed with different shows, you should have no trouble picking the perfect night! 

GIFT CARDS:

Some people think its impersonal to give someone a giftcard! Whatever, they dont know what their talking about and you dont need that negativity in your life! Here is a list of gift card options that anyone would love to recieve!

Doobys

802 N Charles St

Cazbar

316 N Charles St

Bushelers of Baltimore

11 W Chase Street

Lyft

1501 St Paul St.

Cafe Poupon

225 N Charles St

Ceremony Coffee

520 Park Ave

 

Until Next Time,

Alysha

xoxo

@discovercharmcity

 

 

Roam Fitness at BWI Airport

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Roam Fitness BWI Airport Location

To be honest, I really wasn’t sure how I felt about this new concept of working out at the airport before take-off … but now, after touring Roam Fitness it totally makes sense to me. This gym was amazing, super modern, and exactly what BWI airport was missing.

If you don’t have work out clothes with you, it’s all good! You can rent gear including shoes when you arrive. This accommodation is included in your gym fee.

 

Roam can provide you with everything you’ll need to workout. Lululemon workout clothes to rent (included in your membership), all the modern equipment you’ll need to get your sweat on, & beautiful bathrooms to get fresh before your flight. One of the coolest things, something I would have never thought of, they have a vacuum seal station where your sweaty clothes can be sealed. This makes it easier to travel and elimates any concern about your sweaty clothes ruining anything in your carry-on! 

Vacuum Sealer! Your sweaty clothes don’t have to funk-up your carry on!

 

I have a feeling you’ll feel very comfortable showering in the Roam Fitness bathrooms. Why? The restrooms are private and feel like home.

Roam Fitness has you covered!

Locker Room


So, instead of rushing and becoming frustrated at the airport during this crazy holiday season; why not plan to arrive a few hours early, check out Roam Fitness, and then have a lovely meal at one of the many restaurant options in the airport! 

ROAM Fitness has an awesome holiday offer going on right now. For the remainder of 2017, anytime someone purchases a day pass from ROAM Fitness ($25), they can purchase an additional day pass gift card for someone else (could this also just be for you!) at 40% off ($15). Do you have a frequent-traveler friend? They probably would love this as a gift.  Visit https://goo.gl/Hj1QEV for more details! 

Let me know how you feel about having a gym option available in the airport. Comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time,

xoxo

Alysha 

@discovercharmcity

Thankful…

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adventure / Baltimore / Friends / Holiday Season / Lifestyle / Love / Thanksgiving

To be honest, I’ve been struggling lately. Everything in my life just seems to be going downhill! I’m trying to stay positive, I keep praying, and stopping myself from allowing negative vibes to take over. We’ve all been there & I know that this feeling is just temporary.

So today is much needed… I NEED to reflect and focus on what I’m thankful for in life.


I love this time of year. 

Thanksgiving is the best! It means I will be seeing a lot more of my family and friends for joyous occassions, and as you already know, I love social gatherings & #TisTheSeason for all of that goodness! 

I Am Thankful…

1.) I am thankful to have an amazing family! I love my parents so much, because they accept me for who I am. They are my rollie’s and have my back. 

Special shout out to my Mom…she is wonderful. My mom has overcome so many obstacles in her own life. A very special women she is. One of the most understanding people I know. She is a Mom I can tell anything … & without judgment, she is there to listen. I don’t have a lot of friends who can do that with their mothers. I am lucky to have a Mom like her. #FamilyFirst 

2.) I am thankful for my 14 year old sister. Yep, I know in the end she will help keep me young and hip to all that’s going on in the world. She inspires me more than she will ever know. #Sisterlove

3.) I am thankful for my boyfriend, Aaron. He’s my forever person. My soulmate. My greatest friend. 

4.) I am thankful for Baltimore. Moving to Baltimore was the best decision of my life. I’m blessed to be able to call Mount Vernon home. Best of all, I have the opportunity to discover more about Bmore everyday and appreciate all it has to offer. #Discovercharmcity

5.) I am thankful that God is opening doors for me with my new position with Historic Charles Street Association. I’m able to discover and explore more of the talents the Lord has given me. It’ time to step out of my comfort zone. #GodsLove

6.) I am thankful for my friends. I love you all so much! I truly have some of the most encouraging, inspirational, supportive women in my life. My friends inspire me to do more everyday! #WomenSupportWomen

7.) I am thankful for good health! I’m trying to get my life back in order and take better care of my temple. #Werk
8.) I am thankful for my sweetheart of a pup : Madonna* She brings so much joy into my life. #RescueDog

9.) I am thankful for laughter. I laugh throughout my days even when things are hard. I’m blessed to have awesome people in my life. A tribe of people who are uplifting. I’m thankful for laughter because even though I may feel like shit just ain’t working out… I get to look up at the sky everyday, feel the sun on my face, & know that everything is going to be alright! #LaughOften

10.) I am thankful for my DiscoverCharmCity fam. You all are the best. Y’all are half the reason why I continue to explore baltimore and beyond. I am thankful to be able to work with awesome local brands, artist and business owners to bring you information about what’s happening in Baltimore. I appreciate the love and support y’all give me everyday.
Until next time,

xoxo

Alysha

@discovercharmcity 

Open Letter to My Sister!

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   This is a letter, well more like quick blurbs, for my sister who has just completed her first week of high school! I know what you’re thinking: BIG age difference…yep! My mom is bad-ass and had Madison just a few weeks before her 41st birthday! So here it goes Sis…

Madison, 

I love you so much girlie! I look at you and see greatness. This is going to sound so cliché but seriously, you can do whatever you put your mind to…& when you do, I know you WILL kick ass at it! Baby girl, you can become a real #bossbabe. I see it! 

Please, understand that you have a support team like no other around you! I will be your number one cheerleader, ALWAYS. I want only the best for you! My biggest hope: Believe in yourself and let your light shine through no matter what! The world is ready for you and all your talents!

 I know that some of the advice I give you below will be like, “duh!”, but as your big sister, I have to say it. As always, I’m going to be blunt with you because you deserve real ness not fluff. I want you know exactly where I stand, I have your back, I’m an open book, and you can talk to me about anything!


So here is goes…. Welcome to High School!

My first advice:
1.) Don’t have sex in high school. You won’t remember it when you’re 30. It’s not worth it. Save yourself.

2.) Ask me anything … I’m here for you. I’ll NEVER judge you.

3.) Don’t do drugs… you don’t know your body well enough yet! I never did drugs in high school, and I was still considered “cool”…whatever that means lol… I didn’t drink either & no one ever pressured me. They may have asked but I’d always say no. No biggies, they’d just walk away. REMEMBER most High Schoolers are selfish, so the less they have to share, the better. It was very easy to say no and move on. Never feel pressured, but if you do, text me and I’ll come get you. Plus, give you a bad ass excuse to give to everyone on why you have to leave. No one will question you.

4.) If it’s not me you call when you are in a jam… then give our parents a little credit and call them. They love you and would do anything for you.

 5.) Save your money. Spend our parent’s. SERIOUSLY…. SAVE YOUR MONEY as much as possible during these next four years and even into college.

6.) Don’t limit yourself to hanging out with just one group of friends in high school. Have as many friends and associates (learn the difference) from as many cliques as possible. Be cool with everyone… even the people you think you have nothing in common with… Be kind.

7.) Don’t give attention to people who are negative. You don’t need that drama in your life!

8.) Remember: HATER’S GONNA HATE

9.) Try as many new things as possible.

10.) Life is damn good! It won’t always feel like it, but I assured you it will always get better. On the days that seem like life sucks, remember that. Give thanks to the Lord for waking you up every day and appreciate your blessing.

11.) If you tend to be shy, try your best to overcome your shyness. Take it one step at a time, but work on it. It’s a gift to get to know new people, especially those who are different from you. Get out of your comfort zone. Doing this may feel weird at first, & you probably won’t want to do it, but believe me the benefits are everlasting.

12.) Work your ass off in school. Make the best grades possible… but still have FUN!

13.) REMEMBER: God made no mistakes when he made you!

14.) Mom is almost always going to be right…#FACTS

15.) Don’t worry about getting a boyfriend. They’re worthless and quite frankly a waste of time in high school! Have fun with your girlfriends. Guys should just be an accessory/used for pure entertainment. Entertainment that you and your friends allow around sometimes for giggles.

16.) Be yourself. Do what feels right to you. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing

17.) Baby girl, keep reading. Don’t stop being a bookworm… I love that about you.

18.) Learn how to do your own hair and makeup in under 20 minutes. This is a skill every women should master!

19.) Take lots of photos and record as many videos as possible. Save and print them, because soon these moments will just become memories.

 20.) Love yourself. Respect yourself. Educate yourself.

Madison, you rock. Now, it’s time to really show the world who you are and what you are capable of. Some people will be able to hang and others will wont, and you know what; that is ok! I want you to stay humble, be kind, get involved, make new friends, try new things, slay in fashion, be a #bossbabe, and be too busy to worry about anything but enjoying life!


Love you little sister!

You’re big sis,

Alysha

xoxo

@discovercharmcity

Date Ideas: The Day Date

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Baltimore / Dating / food / Foodie / Friends / Lifestyle / Love / Uncategorized

day date pic

Tired of the hearing or saying the same ole line- “Hey lets meet at…or Let’s grab a drink at…” insert bar or restaurant name when it comes to going out on a date? Don’t worry you’re not alone! Are you finding yourself looking for something fun to do on a date or even just something different to do with your friends but having a hard time? I know it can be difficult to come up with a unique date ideas on the spot, I struggle with it too, so I decided to come up with a short list of date ideas (today I will give you 3, I have many more and will post again soon.) These are dates that I’m even going to be checking off my to-do-list. Read the date description below, and I’m sure something will catch your eye.

History Lesson
1.) Head over to Fort McHenry  for a tour and then a picnic out by the water. The tour is actually very interesting. You learn a lot about Baltimore and how involved our city was in helping gain our Independence. It’s pretty cool. You and your date will have a lot to talk about as you walk through the fort and then the picnic to end the date will be awesome. Grab a blanket, maybe a card game, and something yummy to eat, and I guaranteed your date will be impressed.

AVERAGE COST OF THIS DATE: Fort McHenry Tour: $20 ($10 per ticket) Picnic ~ Whatever you buy/make will determine that cost.

Be a Tourist
2.) Make a day of hanging out in Mt. Vernon. My next date is going to be just this: Start a Spirits for champagne or a bottle of wine & some chit-chat. Spirits has a cozy sofa perfect for that. The staff is very helpful and can steer you in the right direction if your looking to pick something special! After getting a little bubbly in your system, then I suggest walking to The Walters Museum. It’s one of my favorites in the city. You will have a lot to talk and laugh about if you keep it light and fun while looking at all the artwork. Once you’re over touring the museum (you’ll know when your over it), head over to Dooby’s for lunch. If it’s nice out, grab your lunch and walk back to the park “the square” under The Washington Monument  to eat outside. Don’t get to full because then your going to work that lunch off by walking to the top of the Washington Monument! It will be worth it. The view is beautiful. You may even get a kiss at the top if your lucky! If not a kiss, at least you will be able to snap a few great pics of the city. FYI check out the Mount Vernon Place website because they have tons of events that would make perfect date nights! After you have come back to solid ground, if you guys aren’t ready for the day to end you can always walk over to the The George Peabody Library  . Click the link and you’ll see exactly why I say to go visit the library. It’s breathtaking. Hours are interesting for the library, so definitely check the website for hours of operation. You may have to switch and go to the library first and the museum last depending on what day your date will be.

AVERAGE COST FOR THIS DATE: Spirits ~ Depends on what bottle you choose. The Walters Museum ~ Donation Based (please make a donation) The Washington Museum ~ $12 ($6 per ticket) Dooby’s ~ Lunch for 2ppl ~ $30 Peabody Library ~ I believe Donations (If so, please donate)
3.) This next date in my opinion should be done early on a Sunday morning… #easylikesundaymorning Grab breakfast at Dovecote Café  You will enjoy food, atmosphere, and beautiful artwork displayed on the walls. You can either take the short walk over to The Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanical Gardens or drive. The building is gorgeous and the plants are equally as gorg! Play around, talk about the plants and take tons of pics! When you go early, you’ll probably have the place to yourself which makes it even better. After your fun roaming around the conservatory, you can head over to the zoo (short walk)  and kick it with the animals.

AVERAGE COST FOR THIS DATE for 2ppl: Dovecote ~ $25 (coffee and breakfast) Peters Rawlings Conservatory ~ Donation (please donate) Maryland Zoo ~ $40 (plan for extra if you plan to purchase anything inside the zoo)

I hope this helps you with your upcoming date!

Until next time…

xoxo

@discovercharmcity

Alysha

15 Things You May Not Know About Me!

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15 things about me

Ugh ok, so I know this post is like the most basic thing ever, but most bloggers do something like this on their page, so I guess it’s time for me to knock it out too!

 Let me start off with the fact that I love when I meet new people and they say things like “ I feel like I know everything about you” because they may follow on IG or the blog… but little do they know, I’m so much more that my social media and don’t post everything. I mean really, I don’t, because I would hate to bore you. If I did, you all would be disappointed because you’d see a lot of napping and crazy dog shenagians!

 Well on to it…below are 15 things about me you may not know.

        1.)    I love tortilla chips and any type of dips! I am a huge dip fan. I’m the girl at the party standing by the  food holding deep conversation, but never taking my eyes off the dip!

2.)    Guilty Pleasure: I love celebrity gossip! I don’t subscribe or buy gossip magazines, but sometimes I’ll pick the longest line in the grocery store to stand in so I can get my fix and flip through all the trashy mags!

3.)    I barely watch any new tv series. I am stuck in the past. I’m a Frasier, Golden Girl, Seinfeld, Old Black Sitcoms, family 80’s-90’s television kinda girl.

4.)    I am a Scorpio. I am very loyal, passionate, and stubborn when it comes to certain things.

5.)    I love spicy food!

6.)    I have a little sister that is 17 years younger than me! I was a senior year in High School when she was born! My mom was turning 41 years old! My mom is a #BadAss

7.)    I love watching and reading anything that deals with food and travel!

8.)    I cry a lot during movies and tv shows. I have a problem with putting myself in the person’s shoes. I get all emotional. I am glad Aaron (my bf) doesn’t poke fun. He just comforts me even though it’s not real and there’s no reason for me to be crying lol.

9.)    I am a savory girl over sweets. I can do without dessert.

10.) Deep down I am a messy person, but I force myself to keep things tiddy.

11.) I have a weakness for Royal Farms Chicken.

12.) I am weird about sauces. I am very particular about how much sauce can be on any given thing I eat. My bf use to look at me crazy but now he totally understands and just goes with the flow. He even knows how to order food for me now!

13.) I love to sing…but I’m bad at it. That doesn’t stop me though lol *Kanye Shrug*

14.) I believe I only have one good side… and it’s my left side. So if we are every in a situation where we have to take a picture together, just know I am going straight for the left side!

15.) About six months ago I wanted to delete DiscoverCharmCity all together…but I didn’t.  I’m glad I decided to continue pushing through and embraced it. I finally am accepting that DiscoverCharmCity is important, and hopefully helping people get out and explore Baltimore even more. #StepOutOfYourComfortZone

 

Until Next Time,

 

xoxo

 

Alysha

 

@DiscoverCharmCity

 

D.I.Y Gift Ideas Using Mason Jars

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Baltimore / Beautiy / DIY / Family / food / Friends / Gifting / Lifestyle / Uncategorized

Gifting D.I.Y Mason Jars are my favorite! They’re fun, personal, affordable, and totally adorable!

You don’t have to be a super creative, crafting wizard either to complete this DIY project. These jars are very simple to assemble. All you need is a mason jar, ribbon, and maybe a label. These may look fancy, but I assure you, there’s nothing fancy happening over here!

My favorite: THE SPA KIT

KARENS

Want more? Click here to continue reading!

Don’t Sweat the Small Things…My Happiness Project

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For the second time, I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This time around I am actually implementing a few tips she learned along her happiness project into my everyday life to help me feel happier, and not get as irritated about the little things. Understand, I am very happy with my life…but just like Gretchen, she just believes she can be happier and more appreciative of the awesomeness around her. Want more? Click to continue reading!