Thankful Thursday 17 May 2018

Ramadan Mubarak to my Muslim followers and Happy Shavuot to my Jewish followers. I am thankful that the library is inclusive of all and that they have books about all holidays and cultures. I am especially thankful that the children’s department has these books because I think it’s important for children to learn about not only differences but our similarities as well. I truly believe that war comes from those focusing on the stark differences, not realizing there is a lot more that make us all similar.

I am also thankful for friends, family, and opportunity. I feel positive about where life might take me and I look forward to the opportunities that will allow me to work toward my goals.

What are you thankful for today?

Celebrating Mom

This year I am discovering that spending time with others actually improves happiness. While I still like my solitude (I am an introvert), I am trying to spend more time with friends and family. I’m also continuing to meet people on my travels. I have noticed that has helped me tremendously (besides going gluten and dairy free).

I am thankful for my parents and I am grateful for everything they do for me. Mom cooking me gluten-free and halal meals, making sure I can eat the meals they are having. Taking me grocery shopping and providing travel tips whenever I plan my trips. I’m grateful for many other things as well.

On Sunday, I cooked mom a gluten-free breakfast, then we took her out for dinner. She enjoyed herself and we had a relaxing day.

Weekend Happiness

Last Saturday, South Street had a little spring festival and Super Cuts was holding a raffle. The Raffle tickets were free and I decided to try my luck and didn’t really expect anything. An hour after I arrived home, Super Cuts called and told me I won a shampoo/conditioner set and a free haircut. I couldn’t pick it up until Friday and sure enough, they held my gift for me. They took pictures, I requested a photo because it was my first time ever winning anything. I felt so happy and excited because this year I’m practicing self-care and this will help.



Yesterday I went to a philosophy club meeting and it was my first time going since December 2016. It was so nice seeing everyone and catching up. We discussed the free-market and how it makes up our economies today. Interested conversations, indeed. I stayed for an hour after it ended, chatted with Chad and Tim; we discussed everything from religion, politics, and technology. I am glad they agreed to a selfie with me for my Happiness Box.


I look forward to what the week brings.

Finding Gratitude in Getting Pierced

I know it’s been almost a week since I last written, it’s been a busy week. Last Saturday I had to have an MRI and had to get my piercings out. I went to the piercing parlour I frequent and they were the most helpful. I was anxious about my piercings closing up and how much it would cost me to get everything removed. Well, removing is free and I only needed an insert for my nose, which was $10. My other piercings wouldn’t close overnight. The woman behind the counter listened to my anxiety, gave me some breathing tips, and not to sweat the small stuff; most things are the small stuff. I appreciated her kindness and took her advice.

Saturday I went back and had my piercings inserted. Again, the staff was helpful. They asked how the scan went and they have their fingers crossed for me.  They understood that I didn’t remember all of the piercings I had because I had a lot of other things on my mind. I pointed to different spots on my ear and they gathered the information perfectly.

Zach, my piercer on Saturday, was awesome and he fixed up one of my piercings. It took an hour to put me back together and get a second lobe piercing, but we had fun laughing and chatting. He said I had a sick setup, he loved what I had done to my ears over the years, and the time I put into my appearance. That made me smile. I also got a second lobe piercing in the left ear. Before I left, Zach agreed to a photo that I put into my happiness box.


I am grateful for Infinite Body Piercing and how the staff went above and beyond to care for me.

Thankful Thursday 3 May 2018

Last Friday I went to the Opera and saw Carmen. I have a knack for meeting people. These two were from France. We struck up a conversation, talked about President Macron, and built a rapport. I am thankful for the wonderful experience and the kind people I met.

Yesterday, Kathleen from my full-time job made me a turtle. Her husband has a 3D printer and she had him print the turtle. It was such a total surprise. I am thankful for Kathleen and the kind people at my full-time job. I am also thankful for Mrs. Davenport at the library and the rest of my part-time library job.


On Monday I met up with Tiarra and we took a walk at lunch. On Tuesday I met up with Billy and then on Wednesday we took a full walk. It was so nice walking with friends during lunch. I’m grateful for my friends and family too.

Spreading Positivity at my Full-Time Job

Towards the end of last week, I decided that my full-time co-workers needed a morale boost. Before I started my part-time library job on Thursday, I stopped at Target and bought treats. Unfortunately, when I arrived home from the library, I realized I didn’t buy enough treats for everyone. Friday wasn’t feasible, but I could do it on Monday. Monday would most likely be better anyway since it could motivate people through the week.

On Saturday, I bought the rest of the treats and found the perfect paper to write the notes on. It was positive and went perfectly for the Happiness Box Project initiative.

Last night I wrote the notes. It took me an hour to write a different note to 15 different people. I’m a writer and it felt good to write about what made me grateful. It also felt nice to write words of encouragement.

I had an early Lyft this morning and ended up getting to work at 5:45 AM. I can’t sign in until 7 AM, it was perfect timing to place a note and treat on the desks. It took me about a half an hour to place each note and treat. As I waited to sign in, I read the New York Times but was too excited to read. I couldn’t wait to see everyone’s expressions.


Everyone loved their treats. I received thanks, hugs, and even words of encouragement. I believe when one spreads gratitude, one can receive it as well. Kindness begets kindness. My manager was pleasantly surprised as well.

At lunch, I met up with Tiarra, gave her her treat and note. It felt nice to walk and catch up. 🙂 It has been a wonderful Monday!


I might do the same for the library at a later date! It’s nice to express gratitude to the people in your life.

Thankful Thursday & Debating

On Sunday when mom had her Pampered Chef, I was chatting with Marsha about The Happiness Box Project Instagram and if I should post personal photos that I fill my happiness box with. The personal things that make me happy. She responded, “it’s your page and you can do whatever you want.” I ended up posting a poll and many wanted to see the personal photos.

Like Instagram, I’m going to post personal things that make me happy and grateful. I haven’t scrapbooked in a month; I’ve been busy with NaPoWriMo and reading for book discussion groups. I plan on going gung-ho with scrapbooking in May. I still fill my happiness box daily.

Without further ado, I’d like to mention what I am thankful for today.

Hooray for kind people! It’s been a month since I’ve last ice skated and I will admit that I hug the sides a bit. I was skating along last Friday, 20 April, and this young lady stopped to tell me I was doing great and that she loved my jacket. She wanted a picture with me, so she took a photo with her phone, then took a photo with my phone. She gave me a big hug. It was so sweet.


As I mentioned above, I saw Marsha on Sunday. It had been two years since I last saw her and it was great catching up. We will get together soon and I can’t wait. This year I want to spend more time with friends because I forgot all about them when trying to move to Canada. I am so thankful for my friends and family.



Today, someone from my full-time job sent me a nice little positive e-mail. I needed that this morning and I was thankful for that co-worker. I’m also thankful for the library.

What are you thankful for?

Treating My Parents to Days Out in the City

I don’t celebrate the same holidays as my folks since I switched my religion, but I do participate out of respect. I always try to get creative with gifts and last year I thought treating them to their own day in the city would be fun. I decided to take dad to the Jewish Museum, then lunch. I decided to take mom to the Philadelphia Orchestra and lunch on 21 April 2018.

Last Sunday, 15 April, I took dad to the Jewish Museum. It was a rainy day; we were early and had a half an hour until the museum opened and I suggested we hang out at the Red Owl Cafe. I didn’t realize the Red Owl Cafe had a sitting room where we could enjoy tea and water. We sat in front of the fire, sipped our drinks (I had tea, he had water), and caught up. It was nice.

Dad enjoyed the Jewish Museum and lunch at the Famous 4th Street Deli. He really loved his day out and gloated to his co-workers about what a fantastic day he had. His one co-worker might check out the museum. I’m glad dad enjoyed. I also took photos and I might scrapbook them for his birthday. (For Father’s Day, I’m going to get him tickets to a Baltimore Ravens game that we can enjoy together.)

Yesterday, 21 April, I took mom to the orchestra to see Peter and the Wolf. She had never seen the orchestra before, and I thought it’d be a fitting piece for her first show. I was right; the performance was lively, and mom loved not only the narration by Michael Boudewyns, but she loved the Philadelphia Orchestra as well. She was amazed by their showmanship. We will see another performance soon.

Mom also wanted to eat the Famous 4th Street Deli; the weather yesterday was sunny and warm, we walked to South Street, enjoyed lunch and even partook in Record Store Day. Like dad, mom enjoyed her day out. I took photos and will scrapbook them for Mother’s Day.

I enjoyed both days; I always love spending time with others, and I believe that is the best gift we can give to others: spending time wholly with one another.

Putting my Traveling Shoes On | Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival | 14 April 2018

On 14 April 2018, I put on my travelling shoes and ventured down to Washington, D.C. Travelling tends to make me happy, seeing new sites, meeting some new people, and adventure puts pep into my step and a smile on my face. I had never seen Washington’s D.C.’s famous cherry blossom trees before and wanted to this year.

I took off from the library; I’m trying to take more “me” time this year. I left the house at 6 AM, took Lyft to the Amtrak station and boarded the train at 7:30 AM. This was my first time travelling on Amtrak to D.C., I usually go by bus, but found that the bus was unreliable. The train was much faster!

While I met friendly people on the Mega Bus, I met more hospitable people on Amtrak. From Philadelphia to BWI Airport (Baltimore-Washington International; right between Baltimore and Washington, it’s about a 40-minute ride to D.C.), I had my iPod on and was enjoying the views. I love sitting by the window and watching the scenery go by; it felt odd not getting off at Baltimore (I usually take Amtrak to Baltimore), but loved seeing Baltimore by the train window. However, a family hopped on at BWI Airport, they were going to Charleston for a family reunion and for 40-minutes, we talked and laughed. They were sweet, and it felt great to share a moment with the family.

It only took two hours to get to D.C. from Philadelphia; when I arrived at Union Station, I couldn’t get over how beautiful the station was. I had to take photos, though, with the early morning sun, lighting was difficult. I ended up taking a few photos before I made way outside.

When I stepped outside and oriented myself with bustling D.C., I made my way to the National Mall and couldn’t get over the beauty of the cherry blossoms. My breath was taken away when I saw the Cherry Blossoms line the Capitol, the view was gorgeous! I had to walk over to the grove of trees and take photos. I laid down on the grass, looked up, and took photos as the cherry blossoms were swirling around me. Laying on the cool grass with the cherry blossom wind around me was true happiness.


As I made my way to other parts of the Capitol, I met a middle-aged woman, we walked and talked, she showed me around as where to get the best images of not only cherry blossoms, but tulips. I am grateful for her because she did lead me to perfect spots. Before she headed back home to Maryland, she dropped me off at the Tidal Basin.


The Tidal Basin was absolutely gorgeous! Words can’t describe the view, but photos can.


I ended my day at a halal, gluten-free pho shop in Georgetown. It took an hour and a half to get to by public transit, but it was worth the trip. I love pho and I was happy to see D.C. had a pho shop that matched my dietary needs. I would recommend Simply Banh Mi. The owners were also friendly and talkative. It wasn’t expensive either.

All in all, the day in D.C. was inexpensive – $50 between food, water, and postcards for friends. I’m on a tight budget, and the fact that there are a lot of free events in Washington, D.C. makes me happy. I had a wonderful day, met some new people, and chatted with a financier I was sitting next to on my way home. The photos and experiences made it into my Happiness Box.