Watch your mouth.

Everybody’s been the victim of behind-the-back smack talk, whether it’s an unfounded rumor that you pick your nose or a mean comment about your sweater. When you hear someone’s been gossiping about you, there’s only one thing to do: stand tall and continue to rock on.

But there’s always that awkward moment when you’re the one caught up in the nasty conversation about someone who’s not there to defend themselves. What do you do? Join in? Just listen? Pretend to have an important appointment elsewhere?

Here’s a challenge for all you ladies and gents: curb the hate. That’s right. Next time you’re swapping stories over lunch and your conversation partners start cutting into whoever’s face they don’t like that day, why not bring the conversation up to your level? No one will be mad. Use the double conversation-change. First change the topic to the positive attributes of the person currently on the chopping block. Then change the topic to something completely different. Like your cats.

Seriously, though, no one will ever get sick of your cat stories. Or pictures. Right, guys? Guys?

When we say bad things about other people, it more often points toward a flaw in us–not the person we’re attacking. Not to mention that it fractures friendships and wrecks communities. Next time you feel the need be snide, think about taking a look inward and considering what in you is closed off.

How do you handle gossip-sessions? What do you do when conversation crosses the line?


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Happy Independence Day!

I’m no photographer, but I just can help myself.  Enjoy some gratuitous pictures of the Lake Champlain fireworks from last night:

The display was beautiful, and it’s always amazing to see how many people turn out down at the waterfront. What an awesome community we have!

I myself am celebrating America’s birthday with a corn muffin breakfast and afternoon kayak trip. How does it get any better than this?

How are you celebrating today?

Smile for America,


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Tipping the Lazy Balance

Lazy days are pretty much the best days ever. Yes, I love my friends and going downtown and staying up late and stuff, but I really love staying in my pjs all day and running through books and TV shows like it’s some kind of marathon for total bums. Bonus points if I get to run it with a cat in my lap.

My lazy cat totally gets me.

Here’s the deal: I’m busy. Probably you are too. Just about every time I have a day off and no errands to run, I opt to spend it puttering around at home just because it’s such a rare opportunity and I feel like I need to take advantage of it, because who knows when I’ll get to do this next?!

It’s always exciting when I end up making plans with other people on my days off, and it’s always a fun time. But then I don’t get to end my week with a lazy day after all, and inner turmoil ensues. I almost never reject an invitation just so I can have a day to do nothing, but I sometimes wonder if I value my laziness too much.

That’s why it’s important to have a balance. When it’s go-go-go every day all day long, a do-nothing day sounds really awesome. But just because there’s an opportunity for one of those doesn’t mean you have to take it. At the same time, you don’t have to go out just because you feel like you should. Sometimes it’s good to go out when you don’t feel like it; sometimes it’s better to decline invitations and recharge for a day.

Not to be completely corny and gross, but every day is an opportunity. Thinking about what you need out of each day ensures that you’re living fully. Raise your hand if you don’t want that.

What do you like better: lazy days or busy days? Do you feel guilty saying no to plans?



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Patience and 50,000 Red Lights

You guys, I am not patient at all. I can’t wait for anything, I hate re-doing things, and when stuff doesn’t go as planned, I immediately go to the stomping-around-angry place. Usually I just deal with it and wait for the feeling to pass, but I was looking back over the Happiness Pledge, and now I’m like, “This is not okay. I should be more patient.” So my new project is: do that.

There are loads of different ways to develop patience. In the long-term, picking up hobbies like baking, knitting, or reading–or any activity that takes time to complete–can help you relax and enjoy the journey as well as the destination. So sneaking a little raw cookie dough would probably help you do that. Yes, these are the kinds of things they tell parents to do with their kids to teach them a lifetime of good patience, but I think we adults can still totally benefit here, in lots of different ways. So there’s that.

But if you’re in a situation where you’re feeling really impatient and frustrated and you just need to deal with it right now, the number one easiest way to diffuse that is to stop and think about it. Obvious, yes? Maybe not. When negative feelings start to set in, sometimes it’s really tempting to feed them when it would be more productive to press pause and deal with them. Your impatience might seem less necessary in the light of rational thought.

Real life example: I hit a lot of red lights on my bike this morning. Like, maybe every red light in Burlington. And then part of the road was all torn up. It took me almost 30 minutes to get to work this morning when it should have taken maybe 15. But I was sitting at one of those red lights and I thought, “This is fine, I still have plenty of time to get to work. I’m in no rush.” Then, I did some deep breathing and put on my biggest, brightest smile for the rest of the ride.

Just kidding. I was totally pissed. I actually didn’t stop being pissed until just now, because it’s true: I did have plenty of time, red lights or no, and I got to work with several minutes to spare. Maybe if I really had thought about that when I was sitting at the red lights and hating my life, I would have had a much more pleasant ride. Next time!

What saps your patience? How do you deal?



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Welcome to the present.

So last night, my boyfriend and I finished our rewatching of the third season of Glee. This was immediately followed by a 30-minute meltdown.

The content of the last episode isn’t that important, but it’s the graduation episode, and one of the characters has to say an early, tearful goodbye to all of her high school friends. It’s sad.


I absolutely hate goodbyes, you guys. At the end of the summer right before we all went off into the world, my high school girlfriends and I had to do the “goodbye” thing, and it was bad. I was completely bawling, much to the surprise and possibly horror of my friends, who had never seen me do such a thing. Yeah, no, I don’t handle things like well. Of course, since that summer, my relationship with my high school girls has definitely changed, but not for the worse. We don’t talk as often and only see each other a couple times a year, but I still count them as my best friends.

Now going back to last night. At first I was sad because the show reminded me of my own graduation, which was obviously a traumatic moment in my history. But then I had a second, even more terrifying thought:

Oh no. I have to do this AGAIN.

Yup, I’m entering my senior year of college soon, which means that I’m less than a year away from having to part ways with yet another set of good friends. Cue the waterworks. You might be thinking, “Seriously? You let an episode of Glee throw you into free-fall?” Or you might be riding the freak-out train with me.

Graduation is a good and necessary thing that will enable me to get a job and not have to live in my car (I don’t even have a car). I get it. And really, if you have something that makes you so upset to say goodbye to, then I guess you’re pretty lucky, right?

Just me and a few of the coolest people I know, enjoying our last night of freshman year.

I guess where this is going is, I don’t want to spend my senior year freaking out over the ending. I want to spend it soaking up every moment and not thinking about the next one, because that’s an easy way to drive yourself crazy really, really fast.

Whether you’re coming up on a graduation–or something like it–or not, why not try living in the right-now? We’ll all live longer that way, probably.

Do you have saying-goodbye anxiety? Or are you going with the flow? Tell us!

And, of course, smile,


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Lofty Goals

Reasons why I haven’t updated the blog in over a month:

  1. I realized my summer goals were far too lofty and I didn’t want to disappoint anybody by completely not following through with them at all.

Yeah, that’s actually pretty much the only reason. Don’t get me wrong: I would absolutely love to complete every last one of those goals. If I wasn’t also working 37 hours a week and maintaining a relatively active social life as well. The point of my “summer goals” list was to keep me from letting myself get lazy over the summer, which has been the norm in the past. This summer, however, is perfectly active without the stress of trying to keep up with such strict goals.

Of course, I haven’t let my goals go completely to pot. I’ve been crocheting, writing a bunch, and even doing a little experimental cooking. There’s a fine layer of dust accumulating on my piano keyboard, but hey. Nobody can do it all.

See? I leave the house.

I still stand by my “don’t get lazy” command, but maybe it’s better to have softer goals. Maybe “don’t get lazy” should be my new summer goal. That, plus a more active blogging schedule, and we are go for an awesome couple of months.

What have you been learning this summer? Have you made/kept/lost any resolutions lately?



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We are blogging superstars, you guys.

Thanks to Jocellyn over there at Peel (an excellent and informative wellness blog–seriously, pay her a visit!), Smileloft has been honored with the Liebster Blog award!

Now here’s what happens next:

1. Choose 5 up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers to award the Liebster to.

2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blog so they know about the award.

4. Share 5 random facts about yourself that people don’t know about you.

5 Liebster-Worthy Blogs to Definitely Check Out:

  • eat.laugh.craft is a wonderful blog worth visiting, full of yummy-looking recipes and unique but totally do-able DIYs.
  • Great Wide Somewhere, likewise, is very crafty, with a focus on parties and events, an inspiration for the party-planner in all of us!
  • Pretending to be a university student… is a sometimes funny, always thoughtful blog out of the mind of, you guessed it, a university student. Whether or not you’re in school, surely there’s something to relate to in each of her posts.
  • Lovely Healthy is, as its name suggests, a health blog… but not just for your outsides! The blog features healthy smoothie recipes alongside tips for becoming a better listener. Certainly worth following!
  • The Sixth Letter is a wellness blog/documentation of the author’s personal journey. It’s full of surprises and welcome insights, and, once again, worth clicking that “follow” button.

5 Random Facts About Me:

  • I’m absolutely ashamed to admit it–especially with all of the healthy-food blogs I follow–but I love Taco Bell. Never will I ever admit that out loud. I know all the food there is basically dog food… but it’s really delicious dog food.
  • I still don’t know how to drive. Probably I’ll learn after college is done but even then, I don’t see myself actually owning a car anytime in the near future. In Burlington, cars are superfluous.
  • Fish completely gross me out. In the ocean, in a tank, on my plate… I want nothing to do with them. They look like they’re inside out and they smell bad.
  • I wanna go to Alaska. Really bad.
  • When I was little, I was really afraid of fire. I had those little glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling as a kid, and I thought they would catch fire and burn my house down. I did not understand science.

Oh yeah, I also like to smile,


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Meatloaf: It’s what’s for dinner.

In my quest to expand my food horizons, I have begun my new-meal-each-week adventure with (drum roll): meatloaf and asparagus!

Okay, so those are two pretty basic things, but I’ve never actually cooked either of them by myself before. The asparagus was simple enough (toss it in a pan with butter & garlic), and the meatloaf was almost impossible to screw up. I didn’t use a recipe–just kind of grabbed whatever sounded good and tossed it in. Before I started, I asked my step-dad if there was anything that would taste bad in meatloaf.

And he said, “Well, yeah….”

But here’s what ended up going into my loaf:

The package that looks like beef? It’s not beef. It’s “meatloaf mix.” I don’t know what that means.

And while it was cooking, it looked positively obscene. Raw meat is a problem for me, but meatloaf is just so good.

Look at that ethereal glow.

Add garlic asparagus:

And you get one home-cooked meal, crafted by moi!

Okay, so it’s not beautiful… but it was tasty!

My roommate thinks it’s weird to eat meat in loaf-form, but not me! I cannot get enough meatloaf. I ordered it at a fancy restaurant once and everybody made fun of me. No regrets. And now, when I go back to Vermont, I have one more meal in my arsenal of easy college food!

What are you cooking tonight?



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The 3 Most Rainy-Day Spots on the Web

It’s sort of a dull, wet, inconsistently-rainy day here today. Soggy leaves are stuck to the sidewalks, muddy puddles populate the roads, and the sky is looking positively cranky. In other words, it’s yucky out there. It’s the fourth day of summer vacation, but it’s not very summery. What’s a girl to do?

Well, I’ve already had a few cups of tea, did some indoors exercises, watched a little TV, and lost several hours in my new Jodi Piccoult book (Sing You Home, if you’re curious).

Perhaps now is a good time to browse the internet! If you’re in need of some relaxation on this lazy, dark day, check out 3 of my favorite sites!

1. Orisinal

Orisinal is a fun page full of cute little games to play online. Each game is simple to play, full of sweet graphics, and accompanied by light, relaxing music. If you’ve got a rainy day on your hands and nothing pressing to do, Orisinal is a lovely way to spend a few minutes!

2. Cute Overload

If you haven’t already heard of Cute Overload–or perhaps you haven’t paid a visit in a while–pop on over for some mind-numbingly adorable photos of animals being silly. It’s an instant pick-me-up for those of you in the throes of finals, stuck at work, or cooped up on this dreary day.

3. Rainy Mood

I know, I know, it’s a rainy day and here I am advertising more rain. But seriously, Rainy Mood is one of my most-visited websites. It’s just a page… that sounds like rain… and that’s it. At school I use it as a nap soundtrack, and at home I use it to drown out the eerie silence that is my house at night. (Never thought I’d miss sleeping directly under a flightpath!) Sometimes you just need a little white noise, and this is my favorite place to find it!

Do you have any go-to websites for your stuck-inside days? What else are you up to on this un-sunny day?



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Ribbons and flowers and scones, oh my!

Today, I helped my mom throw a bridal shower for my lovely aunt, who’s getting married at the end of the month. It was a beautiful day of family and friends, and a very successful party, if I do say so myself. Plus, it was nice to see my aunt again before she becomes a married woman!

One of my biggest flaws as a wannabe-photographer is that in the middle of the action, I can’t keep my mind on the camera. As a result, I don’t have many pictures of the actual party, but I do have some behind-the-scenes snapshots of the food and decor! Check it out:

Bad Cat and I making the party favors. She was only in it for the ribbon.

Easy-peasy banner of the wedding date, hand-crafted by yours truly. Idea stolen off Pinterest.

Get off of there, cat. I need that for crafts.

Party favors! The m&ms have the bride's and groom's names on them.

We had everybody write little messages for the bride-to-be to read at home after the shower. Sweet, right?

Cherry scones on top, cheddar scones on the bottom. SO GOOD.

This, plus an entire table of desserts, and my mom was afraid we wouldn't have enough to eat.

We ladies had a pretty fun day, I would say! It was a nice little brunch, and a nice little group of women, and a perfect way to spend my Sunday.

Have you ever helped throw a party? How did it go?

Smiling, of course,


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