Category Archives: Share the love

10 Habits to Live a Happy Life

I believe living a happy life is a choice…

There is so much going on in the world and negativity screams at us from our tvs, radios, cell phones and computers.  Social media has really changed our levels of anxiety, stress, and even happiness.  How many times have you been on social media and seen someone posting [bragging] about something? I know for women, we often fall into the comparison game.  We compare out lives to the lives of those on social media and around us.  We must realize that those “glamorous” lives we see on social media, are not all that perfect, happy or wonderful.  We all have good days and bad days.  We all deal with the same situations, disappointments, highs, lows, stresses, and etc. Some just choose to only show the good.  I guess it’s better than those who turn to social media to only complain about everything in life.

But seriously, social media can make us miserable.  It can really exaggerate life.  You have to learn to tune it all out. You have to know that being happy is a choice.  You can choose to be happy no matter what life throws at you, what you see on social media, hear on the radio, read in the newspaper or see on tv.  I think of myself as a happy person [thus the name of my blog].  I’d like to share with you a list of 10 habits I do that inspire me to live a happier life.

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  1. Pray ~ I give it all to God.  I pray about everything.  I trust in Him & I have faith in His plan.  No matter what life throws at me, I trust that it’s all a part of God’s plan.
  2. Move your Body ~ I’ve been working out regularly for about 3 months now and I feel so much better.  I like what I see in the mirror which has given me added confidence.  My body can do things I never dreamed I would be able to do. I have met knew people and created lasting friendships because of a common interest.
  3. Eat Healthy ~ I have learned that eating healthier choices makes you feel so much better.  I do have days when I might have a cheat but for the most part, I eat healthy foods.  I try to eat organic and natural. And I drink plenty of water daily [half of my body weight in ounces].
  4. Ignore Negativity ~ People who feed on negativity bring me down to a place I don’t like to be.  It’s really hard for me to not let negative energy and thoughts get to me.  So, I’ve learned that I just have to separate myself from negativity.  If someone in my life is negative and just zaps the life right out of me, I’m moving on and pushing them out.  I just can’t do it!
  5. Laugh ~ I laugh a lot! My kids make me laugh. My husband makes me laugh.  My friends make me laugh.  Heck, some days I laugh at myself.  I have a bit of a sarcastic side…
  6. Listen More ~ When you listen to what people are saying and I mean truly listen to them, you become a much better friend to them.  They will appreciate you more.  So many people want to talk, talk, talk and never listen.  Just listen to what those around you have to say.  Also, I’ve learned that in certain situations, it’s best to just not say anything.
  7. Do What You Love ~ Find what really makes you excited & happy to be alive.  Take that passion and run with it.  Because our “work” takes up most of our lives, you must love what you do and if you don’t, maybe it’s time for a change.
  8. Read ~ Reading is what keeps me going in a positive direction.  I love to read books centered around personal development.  If I find myself in a slump or in a place where I maybe don’t feel so positive about things, it’s usually because I’ve not been reading. I do enjoy reading books for fun too but personal development is what I typically read these days.
  9. Breath Fresh Air ~ Get outside and soak up the Vitamin D [but don’t forget the sunscreen]. Take a walk. Breath the fresh air. Feel the sun on your skin. It does the body and soul good!
  10. Live Fearlessly ~ Don’t let your fears hold you back in life.  No one wants to look back on life and say they wish they would have done this or tried that but didn’t because they were too afraid.  I’ve done many things in my life that scared the crap out of me but in the end those things ended up being the best thing for me. I’m not talking about skydiving or anything like that [although that is on my bucket list]. I’m talking about life decisions…switching careers, moving out of state, walking away from an unhealthy relationship, going back to school, etc.

I truly believe that being happy in life is a choice that we make.  If you’re not living your happiest life, then maybe it’s time to make some changes.  You deserve to be happy.

Happy Life

Have a happy, healthy day!!

~ Michelle

10 Clever Tricks For Taking The Perfect Selfie

As we all know, social media is the big thing these days! Everyone is on some form of social media…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Myspace, etc. One thing you’ll see is lots of pictures of people.  These photos that people take of themselves are called “selfies” in case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know that.  🙂 A selfie is defined as a” photograph one has take of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared on social media”.  Many people struggle with selfies. I for one, get paid to share my selfies so I take a lot of them and I’ve discovered some very clever tricks to take the perfect selfie.  Want in on the secret?

If you have obsessively clicked your own picture tyring to get at least one to come out right, you are in the right place! I’m going to share my 10 tricks and have you taking pictures like a “selfie queen”!

1. It’s All About You

You gotta work that camera! Excude confidence, sass, show some sense of empowerment and just be comfortable in your own skin. Make those eyes twinkle! See through that lens, don’t just look at it. Flirt with the camera a bit. It’s ok…no one is watching!

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Can’t you see the confidence in her?

2. Lighting is Key

One of my biggest tips is to take your selfies in natural light.  You want to face the direction of the light.  So stand fakcing a window when you click that pic.  Using filters is ok too so that you can accentuate color & give your photos more contrast. Mayfair is popular one because it gives you intense color which people love!

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I always take my selfies facing a window.

3. Holding the Camera

Holding the camera too high can make your head look like a lollipop because it looks bigger than the rest of you. Hold the camera perpendicular to the floor at about arm’s length. I like to hold my phone so that it’s about level with my head & I’m looking up just slightly…we don’t want double chins!!

 

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Tyra Banks took this pic but it looks like a photographer did. Right?

4. Your Stance is Important

Models pose with a 3/4 angle of their bodies facing the camera.  Your face should be straight on and your chin slightly down.  You should stare straight into the camera lens. You can also try taking selfies so that no one will know it’s a selfie.  Stretch out your arm ad bend your elbow so you don’t see your arm in the picture.  Try to pose so it looks like someone else took the picture.

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She is standing at an angle to the camera which gives a much more flattering photo.

5. Hold Your Phone Upside Down

Try holding your phone upside down the next time you snap a selfie.  You will be surprised at what it does for your face.  Your lashes will really pop and it might even thin down your face a bit.

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I took this pic with the camera upside down.

6. Your Expression

Share a sense of playfulness & fun.  Don’t be too uptight.

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Just showing of my Tyra Beauty “Hater Blocker” Lip Model lipstick. Having fun of course!

7. Confidence in Front of the Camera

When you look great, you feel great! So click pics on days when you love your outfit, hair or makeup (which is daily for me). I love taking selfies after I leave the salon…don’t we all feel amazing after a fresh hair cut & color?

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8. Signature Smile

Did you ever notice that celebs have the same smile & stature in all of their photos? That’s because they’ve perfected their signature smile.  Go ahead and grab your smartphone and start snapping some selfies to find your signature smile. Practice makes perfect here! 😉

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What do you think? Do you think Tyra Banks has a signature smile?

9. The Rule of Thirds

This is all about composition.  Instead of putting yourself dead center in the picture, put yourself on the left or right of the photo.  It makes for a much more interesting & compelling photo. You can get this effect by cropping your picture afterwards.

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10. The Two-Handed Selfie

You generally have two options when taking a selfie: hold the camera with one hand or two.  Using two hands is easier because you an hold the camera with one and snap the photo with the other but you have to be more careful not to cover up the lense.  If you use both hands and pull the camera away from your body, your arms can act as the frame which gives a cool effect.

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I hope you loved my clever tricks for taking the perfect selfie! I’d love to hear some of your tips if you have some to share.  Feel free to comment below or drop me an email at happycleanlife@gmail.com.

Have a happy, healthy day!

~ Michelle

My secret to living a happy life…

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Happy March!! It’s hard to believe the winter months here in Indiana are almost behind us! I’m not a big fan of winter, however I really do love the changing seasons and the pretty white snow after a big snow storm is beautiful.  It’s just too cold and messy! 😉

Today I want to share with you something that is truly important to me and makes me who I am.  I was recently invited to be a part of a Christian blog talk radio show.  After much prayer and thought, I decided to go for it! Yes, my plate runneth over with far too many commitments and responsibilities, but I felt like this was not only a huge challenge for me that’s way out of my comfort zone but it’s also a great way to reach people who are seeking spiritual health as well as physical health and wellness.  So, I will be talking about my Christian journey along a path to better health and wellness.  Hopefully I can inspire a few people…at least that’s my plan!

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Someone asked my husband recently if I was, “Always so happy!” This person is someone I have met in person only once but she sees my posts on social media.  I apparently exude happiness on Facebook which is awesome! Now, he told me that he told her that yes, my wife is always happy for the most part.  I have my moments…trust me! But he’s right! For the most part, I am a very happy person these days.  I haven’t always been happy and I’d say it’s been a struggle over the last 5 years or so.

You see, 5 years ago my family of 6 moved from the area where my husband and I grew up in Illinois to central Indiana which was 3 hours away.  We left behind our parents and siblings and of course friends, coworkers, neighbors and etc. for my husband to pursue a new career.  It wasn’t easy but yet it was something I was so excited about! I wasn’t happy living in our small rural community.  I was bored.  I was lonely.  I just needed more out of life.  We had a great small church community but this church was not “my type” of church.  Singing hymnal music just doesn’t get me as hyped up and happy as singing “I Will Follow You” by Chris Tomlin.  Anyway, back to our move…it was hardest on our family’s to see us move away because over the past 5 years, we’ve built ourselves a pretty amazing life.  We’ve struggled a lot! We’ve had financial burdens that we should never have had to deal with.  We’ve had family drama.  We’ve had disappointment and sadness.  We’ve had to make new friends and meet new people which has helped me get over my shyness a bit.  The best part about this move is that my husband and I really had to rely and lean on each other.  We also found a church home we love and our family is more centered around God.  I’ve found over the years that just when you think you can’t possibly take any more, God steps in and comforts you.  He’s always there for us.  He’s pushed us to almost our breaking point but in doing so, he’s brought us closer to him.  We pray and we know He’s got our backs.  I think what helps me to remain so “happy” is that I’ve come to accept that everything happens for a reason and that God has a plan for me.  If something doesn’t go the way I hoped it would or thought it should, I know that it’s because He has a plan.  Everything always works out exactly as it’s supposed to.  I don’t worry or stress about stuff like I used to.  I also don’t get offended as easily as I used to.  I pray a lot and I’m thankful for all that God has given me.

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We’ve been through some crazy stuff over the past 6 months.  Our home we were renting was hit my lightning which resulted in a fire.  At the time, we were looking to rent an apartment until the home we were building was finished.  The guy who owned the house we were renting had put our house up for sale so we were going to have to find a temporary place to live while our home was being built.  In the mean time, the entire process of fixing and repairing the rental we were in took way longer than it should have and we were able to stay there until our home was finished and we got to move in a week before Christmas.  It’s amazing how it all worked out!! It worked out exactly as God had planned for us.

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My secret to living a happy life is simple, stop stressing and worrying about the things you have no control over.  Reach out to God and let him lead you where you are supposed to go.  He has a plan for your life.  You may struggle before you find peace.  You may think you can’t take anymore pain, disappointment, sadness, etc but you can and you will come out on top.  Trust that He has your back and that He will lead you on an amazing journey.  He never gives us more than we can handle.  Going through those tough times is what brings us closer to him.  Knowing that He has a plan for my life, makes me happy.  Knowing that I’m exactly where He wants me to be makes me happy.  Turn to God and just be happy with all that He’s blessed you with.

Have an amazing Tuesday!

~ Michelle

Are you sharing the love?

Recently, my family and I found ourselves in a situation that I never saw myself dealing with or at least always prayed would never happen.  Our house was hit by lightning which then caused a fire in our garage/attic.  It was almost dreamlike sitting in my husband’s truck in the pouring rain with our 4 kids and the dog watching the 5 fire trucks pull up and go to work to save our house.  The fire and electrical damage was minimal compared to what could have been however we were left with a destroyed garage and rooms in our home with no power.  We had to live in a hotel for 10 days and I’m so thankful we have a safe place to go and that we had a home to go home to and no one was hurt.

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I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason but I can’t quite explain why this happened to us when my kids ask.  My youngest son asked if we made God mad and I had to explain that it doesn’t quite work that way.  I think I know why it happened…and believe it or not, I think God did us a favor.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I do see the blessings.

My reasoning for sharing this story is this… Through all of this, it’s made me really stop and think about what others are going through.  Everyone we meet is dealing with stuff that we know nothing about.  When someone saw my family and I eating dinner out or having breakfast in the hotel every morning just a few weeks ago, they have no idea what our story was.  We definitely weren’t vacationing in Indy in September.

With everyone I come into contact with, I start to wonder “what their story is”.  We never know what someone is dealing with or kind of pain they may be going through.  We need  to stop and think about others more. Just a smile or a simple “Hi” or even a kind gesture can make all the difference. Be there to support those who are going through a difficult time. It’s really changed how I see others. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling blessed knowing there are countless others dealing with way worse situations than we are. Before you snap at someone for something trivial that upsets you or annoys you, remember that they might be going though something that you know nothing about. Respect each other and share the love.