A Year of Smiles – Day 362

Reason to SMILE #362: A COZY FIRE

The colder air has finally reached my neck of the woods in southwest Georgia. It’s only in the forties but I can’t seem to get warm. And wouldn’t you know it. The weatherman says we may get snow next week. Snow! Real snow (for us, anyway). Two to four inches. I know a bunch of children who are praying the weatherman’s prediction is correct because just a hint of flurries around here means no school.

Though it would make me SMILE to see snow blanketing my lawn and covering the trees, I do not want to go out in it. I will freeze before I even get to my car! And it’s extremely hard to SMILE when your face is frozen stiff.

No, I’ll be much happier if I can sit by a warm fire and enjoy the view of the snow from my window. In fact, that’s what I’m doing right now. Except, my view is not so white – more like gray and dreary.


Well, at least I’m nice and cozy by the fire. 🙂


A Year of Smiles – Day 333


Adobe Spark (43)

“Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as CURSING.”

Proverbs 27:14 ESV (emphasis added)

See there. Even God thinks all you overly animated morning people need to bring it down a notch! At least give the rest of us grumps time to have our seemingly excessive but completely necessary eight cups of coffee.

Hehehe! I couldn’t resist this one today.

SMILE! But please do it quietly. I’m only on cup number three. 😉

A Year of Smiles – Day 331

Reason to SMILE #331: DRESSING UP

Adobe Spark (1)

I’m pretty sure I’ve thoroughly established that I am not a morning person. Give me til 10 or 11 o’clock. By that time, I should be a fully functioning human being.

Should be. (That may depend on the available supply of coffee.)

The problem is I don’t have the luxury of waiting til mid-morning to start my day. I have a 9 to 5 job so I simply must face those early morning hours. Facing them with a SMILE can be a challenge.

But there are all kinds of ways to begin the day with a SMILE even if the day begins too early. You can start by remembering that waking up is a blessing. (That was yesterday’s SMILE!) If you’re still dragging after counting your blessings, though, I have another idea for you. Get yourself dressed up! Yep. Find you’re cutest outfit. Style your hair differently. Wear your favorite shoes. Whatever clothes, makeup, accessories you have that always make you feel good about the reflection in the mirror, wear them.

I know what you’re thinking. It does seem a little shallow, doesn’t it? Nah. When I think I’m looking particularly good, it helps me to feel good, too. I’m sure there’s some psychological explanation for this but I don’t know it so you’ll just have to trust me. Better yet, go try it. The next time you’re feeling discouraged or you’re dreading the day ahead, make yourself look your best. It’ll help. I promise.

And remember: no matter your outfit style, color scheme or choice of shoes, your best and most beautiful accessory is always your SMILE! (Yep. Betcha knew that was coming! 😉)

And, by the way, guys, this goes for you, too!


Adobe SparkThanksgiving is only 2 days away. I can’t wait for that delicious turkey and dressing! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! (Unh – I need to go find some food! 😉 )

I really do love this holiday so I thought I’d take a cue from my friend over at Brandi’s World and begin a countdown to Thanksgiving. Oh, but I only have three days (including today). That’s not much of a countdown, is it?


I’m five days behind on my SMILES. That means I have eight SMILES available to include in a Thanksgiving countdown. I can cram eight SMILES in three days.

Really, I can!

So get ready for a Thanksgiving Countdown – A Couple of Stars and a Happy Face style.

A Year of Smiles – Day 319


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I love, love, loooooove (D’ya think that’s enough empasis?) receiving likes on my blog and social media posts. Finding notifications from WordPress or Facebook on my phone in the mornings puts a huge SMILE on my face and a spring in my step. And, oh, how I need that extra boost in the mornings!  (True story.)

I’m pretty sure if we’re all being honest, we’d agree that seeing those seals of approval from our friends, family and even strangers makes us feel good. Maybe that’s why so many of us gravitate to social media. Where else can you post a picture of your breakfast and get 50 approving reactions in 30 seconds or less? Where else can you comment about current affairs and find a whole group of people anxious to discuss (though maybe not all agreeably) the issue with you? Where else can you post pics of your babies and have people share in your pride of those precious kiddos? Where else can you brag about accomplishments, whether big or small, and find a whole world ready to applaud for you?

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Yep. Seeing those “thumbs ups” is pretty awesome. But how much more awesome would it be if we gave those stars and hearts and likes in “real” life? What if we slapped a Heart Sticker on the shirts of our friends every time they told a funny joke or showed us a picture of their kids? What if we gave out shiny Star Stickers every time our co-workers did a good job or completed a difficult task? Or what if we passed out Thumbs Up Cards to strangers on the street or in the grocery store just as a way to brighten someone’s day? Could you imagine the looks on people’s faces? Could you imagine the SMILES?

Okay. Okay. The more I think about covering people with hearts and stars and thumbs ups, the more I realize how silly it would be. But it does’t change the powerful impact of these little signs of approval. They really do make me SMILE!

P.S. I’m seriously considering getting some Thumbs Up Stickers printed. You don’t know how badly I want to see the expressions on people’s faces when I slap one on those stickers on their shoulders! (Hahahaha!)

A Year of Smiles – Day 318

Reason to SMILE #318: CREATIVITY

Once upon a time, I was a crafter. I loved to create all kinds of things – cards, picture frames, topiaries, wreaths, Christmas ornaments and more. I would spends hours toiling away on projects intended for gifts or just for fun and I wouldn’t stop working until the project was complete. Oh, how I enjoyed those times!

Alas! Those times were cut short when I began a family. Raising kids takes a lot of time and effort. Who knew? (😉😉 Hahaha!) Priorities change when babies arrive – as they should. Hours spent on crafting became time spent rocking, reading, changing diapers, bathing, playing, cleaning. After all, children come first but…

There’s nothing wrong with encouraging your kids to be creative! Finger paints and crayons may not be your medium of choice but fostering a child’s imagination and ingenuity is a great way to challenge your creative skills. Besides, when your kids are creating, you have time for your projects, too! It’s a win – win for everyone.

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to be creative just for the sake of creating but I decided to make time today. After all, Christmas is coming and my tree needs a few more decorations. I chose an easy project but I gotta tell ya. I’ve truly enjoyed my crafting time today. It put a SMILE on my face and, believe it or not, a peace in my heart.

Wow! I’m lovin’ these pom-pom ornaments I’m making. They look almost as good as the ones I saw at Cracker Barrel! 😉 And saving money by making these myself – well, that’ll put an added sparkle to my SMILE any day!

A Year of Smiles – Day 314

Reason to SMILE #314: HOT SOUP ON A CHILLY DAYsoup

I can make soup!! This was my first attempt at homemade soup and I am proud of myself. Yes, yes. You read that correctly. Usually I open a can. Don’t judge me! Campbell’s soups are “Mmm-mmm-good.” (Haha! Remember that jingle?)

Anyway, I gotta tell ya, folks, this soup was pretty darn scrumptious. So much better than canned soups!!

I found the recipe for this Cheeseburger Soup on Pinterest. (You can check it out here.) I didn’t add every ingredient (like the celery – my family is not a fan) and half way through, I realized I needed to double the recipe in order to end up with enough soup for everyone but I actually pulled it off! In fact, I think I now understand exactly how God felt during creation. I chopped, diced, browned, boiled, sauteed, mixed and stirred for almost two hours (Yes, yes. It takes me forever to cook anything!). Then when it was finally ready, I looked at – and tasted! – my culinary creation and said, “THIS. IS. GOOD.”

And four out of five family members agree! That’s worth a great big SMILE as far as I’m concerned. (My younger kid doesn’t like anything so I’m claiming this one as a win! 😉 )

Hot and yummy homemade soup on a chilly Fall evening – we’re all going to bed with full bellies and warm SMILES.



A Year of Smiles – Days 306 and 307

Reason to SMILE #306: THE DRIVE HOME

driving-918950_1280Sometimes you have those days when you can’t seem to catch your breath, when the work hits you as soon as you walk in the door and it doesn’t stop ’til, well – it doesn’t stop. You simply have to get to a point where you say, “Enough. This will have to wait until tomorrow.” So, you dog-ear a page, turn a document sideways in the file, save your open computer files, grab your purse and run.

No! Don’t answer that ringing phone. Don’t look back at those unopened emails. Just go! Get in your car and go.

Ahhhh! As you drive away, the stresses of work grow smaller and smaller. Your headache begins to fade and your attitude gradually adjusts. Although your stomach is loudly reminding you of your missed lunch break, you still cannot help but SMILE. You are on your way home.

And when you get there, you can sit back, relax and enjoy…


After supper, of course! 😉 coke and nb

Yep. Sometimes you just need an extra jolt of sugar and caffeine to bring out that SMILE!!

Don’t worry.

After my busy day, not even this could keep me from sleeping tonight.