Gems of Happiness!

PaperMoon Dance Center General

Dear Friends,

There are a few things bringing magical amounts of happiness into my life these days, and I thought I’d share a few of them, just in case someone out there needs a pick-me-up!

I spend as much time outdoors as possible. I love to work on projects that will improve the “curb appeal,” as well as the backyard, of our house. There’s so much pride in seeing something beautiful that you’ve created, and so much joy in being able to share the projects (and their success) with your family or friends! I also can’t think of much that cannot be cured, or at least improved, by fresh air and sunshine! The girls and I love to find a variety of other things to do outside as well – take a walk around the neighborhood, jog beside who ever is taking a turn riding the hover board around the school track, tromp through the woods, play with jump ropes, scooters and skip-its, ride the zip line in our backyard, visit the animals and pick some fruit or flowers at Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, MA or find a new playground to explore! Our family also LOVES to ride our bikes on the Nashua River Rail Trail.  You can find the beginning of this if you take the Everett Turnpike to exit 5, take West Hollis Street (route 111) west for about 3 miles, then make a left onto Country Side Drive. Follow that street for 2 blocks and it will put you right into the parking lot for the Rail Trail! The Trail is wide, flat and paved, with only a few street crossings. The best part is, after just over 4 miles, you’ll hit an ice cream stand and a ‘50s diner in Pepperell, MA – perfect for refueling for the trip back! Friends have said that Goffstown has a lovely rail trail as well – we’re looking forward to checking it out!

We love to get active, even if the weather isn’t too agreeable. We love ice skating at Conway Arena in Nashua, roller skating or blading at Roller Kingdom in Tyngsboro, MA, playing Archery Tag at Battle Games in Hooksett, NH, or enjoying unlimited climbing at the Reading, MA Jordan’s Furniture BeanStalk Adventure Ropes Course for just $15pp!  We also love to play Celebrity and Minute-to-Win-It games any time we have a group of friends together!

The girls and I love to read!  My all-time favorite book is The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holliday. I have read this multiple times, and listened to it on Audible even more. No matter what obstacle I am facing at the moment I am reading this book, it helps me to find ways to flip the obstacle to my advantage. Ryan Holliday is an amazing person with some ideas I’d truly never heard before. I recommend this book to absolutely everyone!

The book I’m sort of obsessed with right now is Heal Your Hunger by Tricia Nelson. I have previously learned SO much about nutrition and weight loss; it wasn’t more information about what I should be eating that I needed, it was the understanding and strategies to solve the problems that send me into binges, during which I eat everything I intellectually know I shouldn’t be eating. If you are someone who has ever eaten naughty things in secret, I highly recommend that you check this book out. Any book that can shed light where there was utter darkness before is worth the read!

Looking for a feel-good book that will draw you in and uplift your spirit? Check out Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. In the words of the School Library Journal, “Readers will miss Doug and his world when they’re done, and will feel richer for having experienced his engaging, tough, and endearing story.” Even though this is a “young adult” book, every “old adult” I know who has read it has loved it and been moved by it. The issues it tackles are tough and messy. You’ll alternately cheer for the characters and feel spitting mad for them. It will hit you right in the feels.

Yet another one of my current obsessions is Zentangle!  It’s an “easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.”  My mom got this book for Dara a few years ago and I fell in love with it!  I’ve been practicing and enjoying it, and I recently treated myself to this book, which I’m really loving as well!  I find it to be so calming and enjoyable, and even though I would never consider myself an artist, the finished product is quite beautiful.  Secret: you may see a bit of my Zentangle-Inspired Art around the studio at some point

Last guilty pleasure confession for the day: I get a massage about every 2 weeks at Massage Envy in Manchester.  Frances is my favorite massage therapist.  She uses firm pressure and as a pleasant personality but doesn’t expect you to keep up an entertaining conversation the whole time!  Massage Envy has a monthly membership fee, and then offers a substantially reduced price if you get a 2nd massage in the same month.  Massage is a wonderful treat and releases so much tension from my body! I highly recommend it!

I hope you will find at least one idea in here that makes you stop and say, hey, that sounds great, I’m going to try it!  I’d LOVE to hear from you guys as well – what places, activities or objects bring you gems of happiness?

Wishing you a peaceful, joy-filled day!!!