Sept. 21: Pecan Cookie Day, Peace Day and More

Sept. 21: Pecan Cookie Day, Peace Day and More

The EveryDay Holiday column is all about celebrating life, every day. 

Happy National Pecan Day! Enjoy my simple (but AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS) chocolate caramel pecan cookie recipe. Three ingredients – no kidding!

3 ingredient chocolate pecan cookies recipe

Note: Save the recipe to your device by right clicking on the photo and hitting “save as.” 

On September 21, we are celebrating the following. 

From NationalDayCalendar.com:

Monica_Lewinsky_2014_IDA_Awards_(cropped)

Interesting Facts About Sept. 21 From the New York Times:

  • 1897 – The New York Sun ran an editorial answering a question from an 8-year-old girl that included the line, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”
  • 1931 – Britain went off the gold standard.
  • 1937 – “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien was published.
  • 1983 – Interior Secretary James G. Watt described a special advisory panel as consisting of “a black … a woman, two Jews and a cripple.” Watt later apologized and resigned.
  • 1996 – The board of Virginia Military Institute voted to admit women.
  • 1998 – President Bill Clinton’s videotaped grand jury testimony in the Monica Lewinsky scandal was publicly broadcast, showing him answering one question from prosecutors by saying, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”
  • 2001 – Congress approved $15 billion to help an airline industry reeling from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
  • 2004 – The album “American Idiot” by Green Day was released.

2008 – “Mad Men” became the first basic-cable show to win a top series Emmy award.

And according to WikiPedia, the following holidays are also observed on September 21. 

 

Oh, Fashionista: The New Yorker’s Style Files

Oh, Fashionista: The New Yorker’s Style Files

I love me some fashion, if you haven’t heard. And guess what? The New Yorker has published its latest style issue–and it’s a historic one. Time flies when you’re having fun, am I right? Check out the story, right here. A little nibble for you:

When The New Yorker published its very first fashion issue, in November of 1994, Adam Gopnik led off his comment with a question: Why does fashion matter?

One answer he gave, and we’re inclined to agree with him, is that its simply fun.

Fashion doesnt necessarily have to be about something larger than itself, and the arbitrary pleasure one derives from it can often be its own reward.

For this collection, which marks the publication of our thirty-fifth Style Issue, weve pulled together nine classic pieces on fashion, covering everything from the fashion worlds early influence on self-expression to the rise of style blogging.

See The Story: click here

 

The Gift of Freedom: Remembering September 11, 2001

Editor’s note: This piece originally ran 9/11/12. We are running it today in honor of Patriots Day.

By Angela Atkinson

“The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.” ~Rudolph W. Giuliani. December 31, 2001.

Before September 11, 2001, I was patriotic, but in an “I take it all for granted” kind of way. The idea that someone could penetrate our country’s borders and fly planes into three buildings, killing nearly 3,000 people, was unfathomable to me. As an American, I felt so secure in my country that I never even imagined that something like that could possibly happen.

I knew that tragic things had happened in the past, but I hadn’t experienced any of them firsthand, so they seemed somehow less real–and less possible. This kind of thing had never happened in the America I knew.

Where Were You?

The morning of September 11, 2001 started off like any other for me. I got up and got myself and my my then 4-year-old son ready to go. I dropped him off at daycare and made my way to work.

My company had recently been bought by another company, so that day, we were in a meeting to discuss our new benefits packages.

As the human resources company rep explained the details, the big boss in my office stuck his head in the door.

“Um, folks, there are some serious things happening in the United States right now,” he said.

When he first said it, we all laughed a little bit. I thought maybe he was about to tell us a joke.

But the punchline never came.

Tragedy Hits Home

The next few minutes are a blur–a 13 inch television was brought into the conference room and we huddled around it, watching the events unfold, unable to peel ourselves away.

Though my first thought was to leave the office and go pick up my son, our bosses told us to stay and work as usual, so I stayed–but the rest of the day was anything but usual. We brought the television into the office and took turns watching it and keeping each other informed.

A few of my friends and family members happened to be planning to fly that day, but all ended up stranded in airports–thankfully, the lesser of two evils.

When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I left the office and picked up my son. We went home, where I planted myself in front of the television to stay updated on the situation.

My brother was in the Navy on a submarine, and I received a call from him that evening. It turned out he was due to finish his trip that day. He had been under water for three months at that point, and he was ready to be back on dry land.

But that night, he had called to tell me he was being deployed again. He couldn’t give me any details–he could only say that he was going out and didn’t know when he’d be back. (It turned out that he was in that submarine for the next nine months, save a day or two here and there when the ship came up to restock supplies.)

“It’s really bad, Angie,” he said. “I’m scared.”

Scared wasn’t a word I expected to hear from him, and he could tell me no more.

I was scared too. More afraid than I had ever been before.

Everything Changed in an Instant

I cried a lot during the first few weeks after the event. Every time a patriotic song came on, I couldn’t help but cry. Every report on the news brought out the tears, and I basically watched nothing but 9/11 coverage for three weeks.

I felt a new camaraderie with every American. I saw people on the streets in a new light. I found a whole new respect and gratitude for police, firefighters, the military, doctors, nurses, the president and even the average American Joe.

I hung on the words of the president and Giuliani, as well as the newscasters. I watched the footage over and over, I watched as the fallen towers were searched for survivors.

I had nightmares, really scary ones. I struggled with my beliefs. I developed a completely new kind of patriotism–a stronger, more powerful one.

I looked around my life and though not much had appeared to change, I felt very different. I was affected on a profound level–and even though I wasn’t in New York, I felt connected to those people who were.

They were my fellow Americans, and they were real people–not just some random people I couldn’t identify with–but MY people. Regular people, like me.

I didn’t understand it, and I still don’t understand it today. And to this day, I haven’t found a rationalization that makes sense to me–so I won’t even pretend to offer one.

Time to Move Forward

After three weeks of seeing me cry every time a patriotic song came on the television, my 4-year-old son noticed. One day, he was watching one of his Blue’s Clues tapes and a song came on. He turned and looked at me and asked me if I was going to cry now.

That was the moment I decided I needed to stop focusing on the tragedy so much. I stopped watching the non-stop coverage that day, and I just caught up through a half-hour news program in the evenings, and slowly, my life began to feel more normal again.

Even so, I have never been the same, and that’s not a completely bad thing.

For me, one positive thing that came out of the tragedy was a renewed sense of love for my country. It was a renewed sense of connection to other Americans, a new perspective on what really matters to me.

And another thing–I found a new sense of gratitude for the freedom I have been blessed to have since the day I was born–and for the brave souls who fought to defend that freedom.

So, while I may never have the answers I really want about that day, I have found a way to move forward.

We Will Never Forget

I wasn’t as directly affected as the thousands of families who lost their friends and loved ones in those towers and the Pentagon, those whose lives changed completely from the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Today, I will be thinking of those families and individuals and the lives that were pulled out from under them after the tragedy.

I will be thinking of the firefighters, paramedics, police officers and other first responders who risked and in some cases gave their lives to help their fellow Americans in their time of greatest need, those whose selfless and tireless searching saved lives and answered questions for those who lost family members.

I will be thinking of the innocent men, women and children, Americans and those from other countries, who were senselessly killed just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And I will never forget.

Where were you on the morning of September 11, 2001? How did your life change? Tell me in the comments, below.

Queen Bee QT: How to Be Happier (and Hotter)

Queen Bee QT: How to Be Happier (and Hotter)

“For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” ~Sam Levenson

What actions do you take to increase your happiness? Pondering these questions will help you live your best life.

Research shows that when you increase your level of happiness, you’ll make more money and have better health. In addition, you’ll start to feel wonderful and experience an overall sense of peacefulness. Happiness permeates everything you say, do, think, and choose in life.

Infuse these strategies into your busy life to boost your happiness factor:

Engage in activities you enjoy. Although this seems obvious, it’s helpful to remind yourself that the things you love to do can bring you real happiness. Make time for activities that you enjoy each week.

Push your boundaries. Studies have shown that individuals who aren’t afraid to try new things or partake in experiences outside their comfort zone tend to feel happier.

The joys of discovery and curiosity make you feel more alive.

Create a living space you love. When you construct the perfect living space, you’ll feel at home as soon as you step in the door. With a small amount of money, you can infuse colors you love and things that bring contentment into your surroundings.
Start with one room and decorate it to your liking. Clip pictures from magazines for inspiration. Feeling at home in your own space brings deep feelings of connectedness, safety, and security. These are all necessary for happiness.

Spend less time focusing on the details. Those who take a positive approach to life, without getting hung up on the details, live the happiest lives.

When you spend time worrying about a remark someone said, a look a friend gave you, or an unsavory incident from your day, you’re subtracting from your happiness factor.

Rather than analyzing every segment of an exchange you had with your spouse or a colleague, focus on the positive aspects instead.

Bask in the success of your co-workers and loved ones. When someone close to you accomplishes something, ensure you’re there to celebrate with them. Share joy with one another.

Volunteer and give to others. When you step up to help someone, you’ll feel happy and fulfilled. It’s also true that we’re happier when we buy gifts for others instead of ourselves.

Live in the type of community you prefer. For many, the ideal community is a place where you can get outside and walk until your heart is content. Living near your friends, walking to the grocery store or coffee shop, and gathering at the local park for an evening of camaraderie will all bring you joy.

Many communities are classified as walking communities, such as New York City, Boston, Savannah, South Beach, Milwaukee, and Santa Fe.

Be flexible when you experience negative feelings. Although you might feel uncomfortable telling your best friend that she hurt your feelings, you might feel okay about sharing your disappointment with your sister instead.

Allowing yourself to feel the negative feelings can help you adjust to tough situations. When you’re well-adjusted with good coping skills, you’ll find that life is easier and more stress-free.

Boosting your happiness will enrich your life in a multitude of ways. You’ll enjoy greater mental and physical health and achieve more success in your professional endeavors. Put these happiness strategies into action today.

Boost Your Happiness With These 8 Strategies

What actions do you take to increase your happiness? Pondering these questions will help you live your best life.

Research shows that when you increase your level of happiness, you’ll make more money and have better health. In addition, you’ll start to feel wonderful and experience an overall sense of peacefulness. Happiness permeates everything you say, do, think, and choose in life.

Infuse these strategies into your busy life to boost your happiness factor:

 

1.      Engage in activities you enjoy. Although this seems obvious, it’s helpful to remind yourself that the things you love to do can bring you real happiness. Make time for activities that you enjoy each week.

2.      Push your boundaries. Studies have shown that individuals who aren’t afraid to try new things or partake in experiences outside their comfort zone tend to feel happier.

·         The joys of discovery and curiosity make you feel more alive.

3.      Create a living space you love. When you construct the perfect living space, you’ll feel at home as soon as you step in the door. With a small amount of money, you can infuse colors you love and things that bring contentment into your surroundings.

·         Start with one room and decorate it to your liking. Clip pictures from magazines for inspiration. Feeling at home in your own space brings deep feelings of connectedness, safety, and security. These are all necessary for happiness.

4.      Spend less time focusing on the details. Those who take a positive approach to life, without getting hung up on the details, live the happiest lives.

·         When you spend time worrying about a remark someone said, a look a friend gave you, or an unsavory incident from your day, you’re subtracting from your happiness factor.

·         Rather than analyzing every segment of an exchange you had with your spouse or a colleague, focus on the positive aspects instead.

5.      Bask in the success of your co-workers and loved ones. When someone close to you accomplishes something, ensure you’re there to celebrate with them. Share joy with one another.

6.      Volunteer and give to others. When you step up to help someone, you’ll feel happy and fulfilled. It’s also true that we’re happier when we buy gifts for others instead of ourselves.

7.      Live in the type of community you prefer. For many, the ideal community is a place where you can get outside and walk until your heart is content. Living near your friends, walking to the grocery store or coffee shop, and gathering at the local park for an evening of camaraderie will all bring you joy.

·         Many communities are classified as walking communities, such as New York City, Boston, Savannah, South Beach, Milwaukee, and Santa Fe.

8.      Be flexible when you experience negative feelings. Although you might feel uncomfortable telling your best friend that she hurt your feelings, you might feel okay about sharing your disappointment with your sister instead.

·         Allowing yourself to feel the negative feelings can help you adjust to tough situations. When you’re well-adjusted with good coping skills, you’ll find that life is easier and more stress-free.

Boosting your happiness will enrich your life in a multitude of ways. You’ll enjoy greater mental and physical health and achieve more success in your professional endeavors. Put these happiness strategies into action today.

     

    It’s Global Pay It Forward Day: 5 Videos to Inspire You

    It’s Global Pay It Forward Day: 5 Videos to Inspire You

    It’s Global Pay It Forward Day! You know what that means? It’s time to start committing random acts of kindness!


    “The Official Pay it Forward Day Trailer – changing the world, one good deed at a time 🙂
    We should be paying kindness forward every day – the last Thursday in April (Pay it Forward Day) is a powerful reminder of the power of giving and the difference we can all make in the community. But why wait? There is nothing better than putting a smile on someone else’s face…Thanks for joining us – we are looking to inspire over 3 million acts of kindness.” Blake Beatty, Video Producer, http://www.payitforwardday.com

    “Inspirational Video – Pay It Forward Acts of Kindness Boomerang Effect” ~U.S. Motivational, Video Producer

    “In this montage we see five simple acts of kindness. I’ve asked a few people what their favorite/most impacting one was and the answers are all different. Its pretty interesting how we bring our own impressions to what we see. Which one works best for you? Hopefully this inspires people to give some of these a try. The first two were directed by Eun Ho Lee, second two by me, and the last one by Tim Savage.” ~Chad Brownstein, Video Producer

    Random Acts of Kindness: Restoring Faith in Humanity in 2013

    Pay It Forward (Movie Trailer)

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