Guest Post: Utilizing the Color Spectrum in Your Garden

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always grown flowers. From having individual potted blooms around my apartment, to window boxes, to flower beds, and finally, full-fledged flower gardens, I’ve had flowers in basically all styles. I definitely go through phases when it comes to my design preferences. I’ve gone through monochromatic phases where all I like all my flowers to be the same color, sometimes even the same shade. But other times, like currently, I prefer to surround myself ...

Floral Clock

“Spring ahead, fall behind.” If this phrase means anything to you, you are one of the many people in the northern hemisphere (including Canada, USA, UK) that observed Daylight Savings Time (DST) today and got an extra hour of sleep! DST was implemented to make use of the precious daylight in the evenings by setting our clocks one hour ahead during the summer and moving it back again in the fall. Benefits of DST include: reducing energy use and increasing outdoor activities. To ...

Reflections: Stand For Something…

“Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” Rosa Parks Reflections: Stand For Something... Oak framed interior of St Girons Church in Monein, France While I’m not an advocate for reckless rioting or joining every placard carrying group on the street, I believe we should vigorously defend our position on issues that matter dearly to us. At some point in our lives, we must have clear boundaries; a line we draw ...

Picture This: Moments In The Snow…

“Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into, the mind.”  Samuel Taylor Coleridge Picture this: Captured Snowy Moments via eof Picture this: Captured Moments in the Snow #1 via eof The call came at 5:30am one morning, school will be closed and the kids can stay home and indulge in whatever their hearts desired. “Can they come stay at your house for a change?” Phina asked the recorded female voice… “I mean, with all the school ...

Tips and Tricks for Planting Roses

I love roses! I would like to think that no garden is complete without a rose bush or two. Roses are undeniably beautiful and vibrant! The garden seems to come alive when there are roses around! And the best part is that there are thousands of different varieties to choose from, ranging in colour, fragrances, size and form! Moreover, rose breeders are constantly  creating new varieties that are long-lasting, hardy and disease-resistant. Roses are generally available year round at local garden ...

Reflections: Defending Our Friendships…

“But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine.”  Thomas Jefferson Reflections: Defending Our Friendships... Walk by my side... Ralph Waldo Emerson said it well when he suggested that a friend is a masterpiece of nature.  “A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.”  Throughout our lifetime, we form all kinds of friendships; some intimate, some close and lifelong, ...

A Killer Case of the Hickeys

Update: Grandma Chatterbox had her surgery yesterday and all appears to be well. The doctors had to remove a foot of damaged bowel and my mother claims they dropped her on the floor after surgery while transferring her to the gurney for the trip to the recovery room. The doctors say this never happened and that drugs can play games with your imagination. Mom believes there’s a conspiracy afoot and she’s demanding an investigation—sounds like the old Mom, full of ...

Inspiration: God’s Rosebud…

“God will not let you go through more than you can handle. If you have a big challenge today, that just means you have a big destiny.”  Joel Osteen Inspiration: God’s Rosebud… GOD’S ROSEBUD A new minister was walking with an older, more seasoned minister in the garden one day. Feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he was asking the older preacher for some advice. The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud ...

Table Talk about Books

Photo copyright by Meredith Rutter (not taken in Maine, but pretty, no?) My husband and I had a wonderful dinner with friends the other night at Ports of Italy restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The weather had turned summerlike for a few days, and we were thrilled to be given an outdoor table overlooking Commercial Street on this, one of the last nights the town would be catering to the general public before closing most places for the season. (This isn’t ...

Question About Parenting...

We recently got the end-of-year report cards for our two girls and they were both very good. In the past, we've typically rewarded them with a special treat or toy for their efforts for their academic performance. Last year they each got an American Girl doll. The question is should we be doing that type of thing? I had a discussion with some parents this past weekend who do not reward their children in this manner. Their rationale is that they want ...

Oooo! Oooo! Oooo!

Teacher: “Okay class, put down your pens. We're going to have an oral pop quiz! Who can define the meaning of living an authentic life?” Oooo! Oooo! Oooo! I feel like a kid raising my hand with the right answer. When I get full of something you know it’s going to overflow into my writing. So, here goes…. I am my authentic self and I am living an authentic life. It’s a funny term when you think of it…authentic self, authentic life. ...

Cleverbot talks New Year resolutions and Apocalypse

Last year I discovered Cleverbot, which is a web-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) application that supposedly has the ability to learn by conversing with humans via an instant messaging platform. No one in their right mind would call Cleverbot intelligent but interacting with this particular “thinking” software can be mildly amusing. I thought it was about time to talk with Cleverbot about its New Year resolutions and the Mayan Apocalypse - here’s an unedited transcript of our conversation this morning. =============== User: It’s been several weeks since our last ...

Weekly WeightWatcher Whatssup....

It's Wednesday, so here's my weekly WeightWatchers weigh-in update.  Due to travel and unavoidable scheduling conflicts, I missed weigh-in for the past two weeks. So I wasn't really sure what to expect when I stepped on the scale during lunch break today.... I'm pleased to report that I was down - 2.4 lbs. for a total loss to date of -33.6 lbs. since I rejoined the plan this past December. The common sense theme of today's meeting was "me first." As selfish as that sounds ...

The Infectious Nature of Inspiration

Tebowing - courtesy Wikipedia The idea of  ”inspiration” is intriguing. The actual word has several meanings including “…to breath in…” as well as “…spirit or muse indwelling…“, and it’s that intangible “spirit breath” that’s believed to be the core for all creative endeavors. Whether it’s writing a song, a novel, blueprinting an invention, launching a business or nonprofit – the initial motivation starts as inspiration. And yet, inspiration can also surprise you. This weekend I saw two news stories that proved that point. The first ...

Fighting the Good Fight – Against Myself

Boxing Glove Cake – Not the “Fight” I Need to Make I recently shared about a sobering emergency room visit involving a cardiac issue I had. As a result of that visit, I’ve made some lifestyle changes  regarding how I eat and how I exercise to ensure healthier outcomes going forward. I’ve been on WeightWatchers for three weeks now and went to weigh-in this morning. As of today I’ve lost another -2.6 lbs for a total loss of -9.2 lbs. So far so good. Additionally, ...

Tough to Say “Happy Easter” After Reading This…

Many people ignore or take for granted the idea that Jesus was crucified more than two thousand years ago. However, the barbarism  of that mode of death was and is one of the most cruel means of tortured death. I came across this Medial Description of the Crucifixion by Dr. C. Truman Davis. These types of readings have been around for years, but if you’ve never had the chance to read – it’s enlightening – however, the phrase “Happy Easter” seems wildly ...

Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation
May 30, 2012, 3:00 am

Inspiration: Smiling Is Infectious…

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia

Inspiration: Smiling Is Infectious… Have you smiled today?

Inspiration: Smiling Is Infectious…

Smiling Is Infectious attributed to Karen McLendon-Laumenn/Matthew John Fraser

Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!


Have you smiled today? Sometimes we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives, and a smile is the furthest thing from our minds. If your day has been stressful, blissful or uneventful, take a moment to smile anyway, it will help shift your mood. Then, spread some joy around. By now, we know there’s a ton of research on the subject. Smiling increases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin to help our immune system. It helps us relax,  express our feelings, elevate our mood and increase our confidence levels. Hey, it might even help uslive longer…

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”  Joseph Addison

Inspiration: Smiling Is Infectious… Smiling is universal

Inspiration: Smiling Is Infectious…

Smiles by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Smile a little, smile a little,
As you go along,
Not alone when life is pleasant,
But when things go wrong.
Care delights to see you frowning,
Loves to hear you sigh;
Turn a smiling face upon her –
Quick the dame will fly.

Smile a little, smile a little,
All along the road;
Every life must have its burden,
Every heart its load.
Why sit down in gloom and darkness
With your grief to sup?
As you drink Fate’s bitter tonic,
Smile across the cup.

Smile upon the troubled pilgrims
Whom you pass and meet;
Frowns are thorns, and smiles are blossoms
Oft for weary feet.
Do not make the way seem harder
By a sullen face;
Smile a little, smile a little,
Brighten up the place.

Smile upon your undone labour;
Not for one who grieves
O’er his task waits wealth or glory;
He who smiles achieves.
Though you meet with loss and sorrow
In the passing years,
Smile a little, smile a little,
Even through your tears.

via famouspoetsandpoems

What puts a smile on your face? Hugmamma and I had a funny exchange on her blog that started with the question – How do you make a laughing face? Answer – Use the punctuation mark : so it’s – Colon lol colon. It got me thinking about the beauty and power of a simple smile…  and it put one on my face. Whether we share a Duchenne smile or a Pan American smile, some keybenefits are that it helps us connect, DE-stress, even improve our attitude. More below!

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. Thich Nhat Hanh

Inspiration: Smiling Is Infectious…

Inspiration: Smiling Is Infectious…

Keep On Smiling by Alexandra Skiathitis©

If at times you feel you want to cry.
And life seems such a trial.
Above the clouds there’s a bright blue sky
So make your tears a smile.

As you travel on life’s way
With its many ups and downs
Remember it’s quite true to say
One smile is worth a dozen frowns.

Among the worlds expensive things
A smile is very cheap
And when you give a smile away,
You get one back to keep.

Happiness comes at times to all
But sadness comes unbidden
And sometimes a few tears must fall
Among the laughter hidden.

So when friends have sadness on their face
And troubles round them piled
The world will seem a better place
And all because you smiled.


What would you do if you couldn’t smile anymore?  Imagine never being able to smile again and it might help us appreciate the friendly smiles we get from others and the chance they give us to smile back. Remember the blessing/grace that gives us opportunities to put a smile on another person’s face; our child, a friend, loved ones, strangers. If we could no longer do so, it would surely make us sad. Smile!

Stay Inspired! What are your thoughts? Have you smiled today? What puts a smile on your face? What would you do if you couldn’t smile anymore? Do share! Thank you.

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience!

Positive Motivation Tip: A smile can brighten a dull day and help us shift our mood. When others give us things to smile about, don’t forget to share the goods.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos smiling dogSmile is universalNepali womanVietnam girl,  smile tooBangladeshi woman, viaWikipedia and/or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

Motivate. Elevate. Laugh. Live Positively… I am a mother of two, sister to many and a card-carrying certified optimist. My family and friends are golden because our love and trust is unequivocal. I've traveled, I've lived, I've had my share of happiness and hurt and I remain grateful for God's grace in my life...

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