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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hidden Moments of Holiday Happiness: Found in Redwood City's The Main Gallery

This Holiday Season find unique treasures made by some of the best local talent in the Bay Area. The Main Gallery, is an artists’ cooperative with some 23 members, and is currently showcasing an inspiring Holiday Show 2011: Season of Giving. An unforgettable collection of special original creations that renew hidden moments of Holiday hope, wide-eyed children and the ultimate happiness that comes from that perfect gift. 

Holiday Flower by Nancy Terrebonne
Uptown by Elfi Altendorfer
Mosiac Tumblers by Doris Fischer-Colbrie
Mistle Toe by Irene Carvajal

The Gallery is located at 1018 Main Street at the corner of Main and Middlefield in the historic yellow Victorian Cottage in Redwood City.  Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. For more information, please visit our website at www.themaingallery.org or call the Gallery at (650) 701-1018.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

7 Steps to Health and Happiness

Many of us have kicked our bad habits to curb, whether it's cigarettes, excess alcohol, drugs or food, saying good bye to these health zapping tormentors is never easy, especially if you have not replaced them with anything positive. Call it a new beginning, if you like, you must clean up your act by swapping your unhealthy addiction with a healthy one. Here are a few tips to jump start your new and improved life-
Move it! Exercise will be your salvation:
Don't take my word for it, try for yourself!. Whether you run, walk, ride your bike or work out at the gym, there is actually more to it than staying fit and trim, although that is not bad for starters!  For me it was having control - no longer a slave to things that made me feel bad physically, just because I thought that this was what I needed to do. I also felt guilty, so the justification process starts, denial and all sorts of little tactics that allow one to continue participating in unhealthy behavior. All your energy is spent on disguising your life instead of celebrating it.
For sanity's sake, get those endorphins circulating and you will feel a natural high like none other. You will also look great too!

Don't Resist the Urge to Rest:
It is unfortunate that some people associate naps with laziness, because these days, most of us are simply not able to get straight eight hours of sleep. Instead of feeling frazzled and unproductive, take a well deserved time out. Grab your favorite pillow, cushy throw, cuddle up and catch up on some midday zzz's.  It will seem like the greatest luxury in the world! When you emerge, you will feel refreshed, rejuvenated and will, not doubt, be more efficient at whatever it is you are trying to accomplish!
We have only just begun ~ click here to complete your journey and learn the remaining steps to improving your life. Balancing the ups and downs is something that we all confront so be proactive to get an edge on your health issues now for a happier ever after!

Hang your purple ribbon, San Jose: October is domestic violence awareness month

Hang your purple ribbon San Jose: October is domestic violence awareness month

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Furniture Forever: One of a kind quality that will be around for generations

I didn't seem to notice this when I was younger, decorating my own place and buying my own furniture but I must say that cost was a factor -- the primary factor. In fact, I am confessing here and now that my first piece of furniture was some kind of black plastic end table and it came from the local Thrifty Store (kind of like an old school Walgreens). It meant everything to me, this mass produced cube represented my budget bound independence and newly found freedom, at a discount no less...

My how things change! Fast forward a few decades and now, I savor the quality craftsmanship found in my Grandma's favorite wooden chair, reinforced to last generations reads this rocker's resume. Rhythm ready and reliable is she, a one of a kind wooden wonder - hand carved, beautifully embellished, created and assembled with the utmost care! This old wooden gal has a story to tell, a history as colorful as the lullabies that she danced to night after night.

Witness the pride and care delivered to each detail of forever furniture. It's the kind of quality that will never go out of style. Sturdy and strong, this smart decorating trend has taken hold everywhere. Antique furniture fiends actually go on estate sale outings - scheduled shopping sprees, on the hunt for the finest new classic furniture finds! Whether you like to refinish your own furnishings or buy them ready to go, you no longer have to sacrifice quality for price. You can get solid furniture for any room in your home at incredibly reasonable prices! Next time you are out and about in the Bay Area, check out the Estate Sale Showroom in San Carlos!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Evolution of Tattoos: Getting Inked

Despite the social sciences' growing fascination with tattooing, and the immense popularity of tattoos themselves, and the evolution of tattoos, there is not much of a definitive historical record. The history of tattoo began over 5000 years ago and is as diverse as the people who wear them. The process of early age tattooing was long and painful. Some of the first tools used in tattooing were made of bone, stone, or wood. There were mainly two types of tools used in the process of making most tribal tattoos: a small rake-like shaped tool, and another plain rod with a flat surface. The rake-shaped tool was used to make the design of the tattoo. It would first be dipped into its ink or dye, and then punctured into the skin by being tapped by the flat tool. Other processes consisted of scratching the skin and then rubbing in the ink.

A far cry from the more advanced tattoo parlors today.
Nowadays, tattooing is used as a form of expression, or rebellion. It is be completely voluntary for someone to get a tattoo and in fact harder to find individuals that do not have a tattoo of some kind. The cultural status of tattooing has steadily evolved from that of an anti-social activity in the 1940s to that of a trendy fashion statement in the year 200s. First adopted and flaunted by influential rock stars like the Rolling Stones in the early 1970s, tattooing had, by the late 1980s, become accepted by mainstream society. Today, tattoos are routinely seen on rock stars, professional sports figures, ice skating champions, fashion models, movie stars and other public figures who play a significant role in setting the pace of contemporary culture.

During the last fifteen years, two distinct classes of tattoo business have emerged. The first is the "tattoo parlor" that glories in a sense of urban outlaw culture, advertises itself with garish exterior signage and offers less than sanitary surroundings. The second is the "tattoo art studio" that most frequently features custom and fine art designs, all of the features of a high end beauty and "by-appointment" services only. Today's fine art tattoo studio draws the same kind of clients as a jewelry store, fashion boutique, or high-end antique shop.

My own feeling about tattoos is that unlike most fashion statements, this one is around forever. It is not seasonal or even an era, it is embedded ink that will be present when you leave this world, like it or not. Unless you don't mind scars or have the finances to get a good cover tattoo job, that fashion faux pas is there to stay, whether you are 15 or 80. Make sure that the tattoo that you have decided to get is something that you love, for better or worse, through sickness and health, til death do you part, and even then, as witnessed in several recently unearthed tattooed mummies, tattoos are quite literally forever!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Search of Serenity

We all know that there is more to happiness than finding a certain degree of serenity by reducing the stress in life, but it no doubt helps! While I don't think that I know anyone without a certain amount of chaos in their household, it does appear to me that some people are equipped with a built in madness meter which allows them to manage their lives and associated challenges in a more rational and productive manner. I always marvel at their level-headed approach to balancing such a hectic life without breaking a sweat. Do they just have a low-key relaxed personality? Do they meditate? Take Xanex? Drink? What is their secret? They must have inherited a calm, cool and collected gene, that's it, the DNA, of course.
Perhaps some of the above may hold true, because generally speaking, in life, there is usually more than one contributing factor to any state of mind or condition - including happiness! I truly do not believe however that removing all the stress in life would necessarily create happiness, boredom maybe, but stress can also act as a great motivator. Like most emotions, a certain amount of stress is vital to the supreme balance of things. How do we know what relaxed and balanced feels like if we have never encountered its frazzled foe?

The key seems to be found in the way we view our universe. I know this sounds cliche but the old adage about viewing the glass as being half full or half empty seems to ring true here, confirming that if a positive attitude can somehow overshadow its negative counterpart then you may have a stress-less era ahead. It truly is all a state of mind, not that this insight makes it any easier to realize in your own life! Some people seem to have the ability to take control of their life: as proactive masters of their own fate, rather than victims of their own self-designed failure.

Don't misunderstand - I must confess that I have never been known as a Positive Polly, and it is for that very reason that I was driven to understand why. I spent hours and days trying to figure out why God chose me to experience such challenges. Quotes such as Samuel Warren’s “Triumphs without difficulties are empty” however wise, did not really make sense until now.

Gradually, I started to take more responsibility for my misfortunes, writing in a journal each day helped me to discover how completely pessimistic I was. Sometimes you become so caught up in your own cycle of defeat that you don't even realize how you are sabotaging your life...as the years fly by. Then I had to slowly force myself to look at my actions through a more positive lens. And I do mean force! I have heard it said that it takes 21 days or so to break a habit, but I think it takes a lifetime of effort to refocus an attitude and learn to believe in yourself because it is a constant test, ongoing and continuous learning. When you view the stress in your life as a challenge rather than a threat, you tend to come up with more effective, albeit creative solutions and feel more exhilarated rather than drained as you tackle these circumstances one at a time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An Excercise in Relaxation and Control-Don't Allow Stress to Run Your Life

Spring Evening - Advantage Winter!Image by bossbob50 - via Flickr
Take a time out! When life overwhelms, and upsets your balance, find a place to relax for a few moments. No, it doesn't have to be the Hilton or even a view of the sun setting on a gorgeous beach. For this exercise, one must tap into those creative images locked away in your mind. Yes, they are there, trust me! Maybe you can use your car, a quiet place in your otherwise chaotic house or find a secluded park in your neighborhood. Get into a relaxed position and begin an awareness exercise, feeling your toes, feet, calves, knees...all the way up to your shoulders, arms, fingers--pay special attention to places that you tend to hold stress, for me I tense up my feet and my neck. If you are unable to relax these parts of your body then tense them up as tightly as you can then slowly relax. Keep this up until you feel completely relaxed. With your eyes closed, envision colors, blues-all shades and tones, greens--all shades of green. Keep your eyes closed and just allow colors and images to freely enter your mind. This complete exercise should take about 30 minutes and you should slowly begin to return to reality with a more composed frame of mind. Takes some practice but I promise you that it can work to rejuvenate you! Another thing that you can do is to write down some of the imagery that you see during your down time. Sometimes very vivid colorful pictures are present and other times, it tends to be darker black & white shapes. It is interesting to try and make sense of it later. Like a dream, the important thing is how you interpret these thoughts and images because that are originating from a semi-conscious state, and they are significant to you for some reason.
I recommend that you practice doing this each day, whether it is after work, before bed, in the morning. It allows a more intimate relationship to develop with ourselves which gives us more control over our emotions. Instead of reacting negatively to certain stressful moments, try to get ahead of them, so you are prepared and have the ability to view as a part of life--it too will pass.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Hapiness Factor:Taking the Time to Connect

Every day we ask people in passing "How are you?" "How are you doing?" with the typical response being "I am fine, and you?" But what if someone happens to engage you in a lengthy conversation, outlining a complicated series of problems? Is that really what we want to hear? Usually not, although I think that there is a time and place for more than a passing smile, however contrived that passing flash of teeth might be. But how often do we take a chance -- and take the time to really connect with people unless there is a financial incentive at work or it is with family and friends that we already know?

There are of course many variables, and I recall an in depth conversation that I had several weeks ago with a woman in Starbucks, a complete stranger, who, after a casual "hello" went on to openly discuss her own abusive relationship and how she succeeded in breaking free. I was not in any hurry at the time and having had my own series of rather complicated unions I actually enjoyed our chat. After about 30 minutes, we exchanged cards and went our separate ways.

I must say that I left Starbucks feeling glad that I took the time to make this connection and I wonder, in our fast paced world of superficial greetings, How much are we missing? I am not saying that we should start up a relationship with every conversationalist on the street but perhaps we should walk out the door each morning with a more open mind. Possibly an effort to say more than just "Hi" an obligatory greeting that we probably won't even remember is truly the time wasting culprit?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Easy DIY salsa dip for my friends and I

Guest post written by Carrie Holiday
Once I found out when the reunions for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills were going to be, I decided to invite some of my friends over who also love the show so that we could watch it together. We actually watch some other reality TV things like that together, like Jersey Shore premieres and finales.
I thought that I would come up with some kind of snack for us to eat while we watch the reunion show, so I went online to find an easy recipe. While i was online looking for that, I came across the website CLEARWIREINTERNET.COM and after I looked through it a little bit, I decided to sign up for internet service through it for my house.
I settled ! on making some salsa because I knew that would be pretty easy with my food processor. Salsa and tortilla chips is such a great snack anyway and everyone was really impressed that I made the salsa. They couldn't even tell! We’re also going to have a get-together for the second part of the reunion!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Auto Repair - No Mystery

I don't know about you but the minute I even think about taking my car in for an auto repair I get nervous. I seem to have more questions than I do answers and it seems like everyone I ask has more horror stories than they do solutions. I am extremely busy working an eight hour day, getting my kids where they need to go and then running errands all weekend. I really need my car to be running, not in a shop for a week or stuck somewhere with the kids. 
That is the reason I got a Toyota Camry in the first place. For the most part, it has been a really good car, with regular oil changes and scheduled routine maintenance. I want to keep it that way which is why I appreciate the ability to visit one website and get answers for all my auto repair needs and questions.
The other day, my check engine light came on and I was hysterical. I envisioned a major cost, not to mention the inconvenience of being without my car. Turns out, after reading the simple explanation of what the potential problem could be, I also found a great new auto repair shop within ten minutes of my job. The mechanic explained that the check engine light means that the vehicle's computer has determined that a component or system in my car's emission control system was not working properly. In my case it was simply a cracked gas cap which was replaced for about $25.00, total repair bill! Needless to say, I was very relieved and have decided to try and think more positive next time.

Try a little positive thinking for yourself, the next time you feel overwhelmed, because typically it is our fear of the unknown that causes the most stress and anxiety in our lives. If you take it upon yourself to get the information you need, it instills self confidence and power and makes success much more likely in whatever it is you have to overcome.

Please note: Hiding Happiness may or may not generate income for links/ads placed on our blog. We take great pride in what we publish and would never intentionally publish material meant to be misleading or inaccurate.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Ideal Mailbox Marketplace

I don't think there is anything more important than selecting the perfect mailbox as the finishing touch for a home. Fortunately for us, I found a huge selection of high quality mailboxes online. They carry both residential and commercial, and I consider it to be the ideal mailbox marketplace.  My initial focus was to find the most unique mail box to accentuate the design of the front of our new home.

I must admit that once I started to navigate around the site, I was more than impressed with the wide array of services offered, especially for an online venue. I guess on some level, I thought that superior selection and service was reserved only for brick and mortar establishments, by visiting a store in person. I was mistaken, indeed.

Not only did I find the most competitive pricing, I also took advantage of their online customer service department, which answered all of my product questions thoroughly and in an instant.  After reading numerous customer testimonials, I finally decided to start shopping.  I wanted one of their beautiful wall mailboxes as pictured above. I was more than pleased with the color range. It was not an easy decision however, since I really liked the look of the mailbox post, as they add such a regal touch to a home, but for our family and the style of our house, the wall model that I selected was more practical, since you literally reach your arm out the front door and conveniently grab your mail each day. They even have a locking feature that is essential for the rising identity theft occurances. I figured that we could upgrade later if needed, but for now this bestseller is find and a keeper!

Please note: Hiding Happiness may or may not generate income for links/ads placed on our blog. We take great pride in what we publish and would never intentionally publish material meant to be misleading or inaccurate.