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Get Out!

Spring is the season for new beginnings. Blossoms are blooming and grass is growing—life is changing. Just as nature begins anew, so can we. We have another chance to start fresh and make some positive changes in our lives. So what can you do to feel happier not only in the spring, but for the rest of the year? Here are some Sunny Suggestions:
1. Get healthy: I’m not gonna say it, but I’m gonna say it: swimsuit season. Now that I’ve gotten the vanity comment out of the way, I want to emphasize the importance of health internally—while the external benefits are also nice. When you take the time to eat healthy and exercise often, you feel so much more energized and alive.
2. Get out in nature: With so much rain this year, there is greenery everywhere to be found. Enjoy it and get a breath of fresh air!
3. Get out the clutter: A lot can pile up over the days a little too easily. Get out of that winter hibernation by giving away or selling items that you no longer need.
4. Get social: Cold nights are no longer an excuse. Go out and see your friends—have a great time in the refreshing night air—warm jackets no longer needed.
5. Get creative: Find new ways to do things. Maybe that’s trying a new exercise method or thinking up new ways to appreciate your family. When you think outside the box, your happiness expands outside of the box, too.
I hope these ideas will help you make the most of your spring. Get out there!
Keep shining,
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Living Like Lincoln

After visiting Washington D.C. for the week, I can safely say that Abraham Lincoln was by far my favorite president.  As much as I admire George Washington, John F. Kennedy, and many other great presidents, I think Lincoln had a phenomenal sense of courage and hope that was outstanding for his era. As difficult as it was to start our nation, it was even more difficult to keep it together. And thanks to Lincoln, we are the UNITED States of America.
In honor of our 16th President, I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes by him with all of you. I hope you enjoy!
1. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.
2. It is not merely for today, but for all time to come that we should perpetuate for our children’s children this great and free government, which we have enjoyed all our lives.
3. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.
4. God bless the women of America!
5. Upon the subject of education…I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.
6. If all do not join now to save the good old ship of the Union this voyage, nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage.
7. No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.
8. The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.
9. I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.
10. Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.
May we strive to live like Lincoln.
Keep shining,
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Left Hanging?

After six hours on what felt like the longest plane ride of my life, I had plenty of time to sit with my thoughts. I thought about many potential blog post ideas and in my thinking, I realized that there are some common courtesies that, when undone, can detract from our happiness quite easily. For example, do you ever leave a comment on your friend’s Facebook page, only to get no response? I’m not trying to be passive aggressive, but it makes you wonder what warranted the cold shoulder. Or what about an IM conversation and then suddenly, the person signs off for no reason? Sure, 90% of the time there is probably a good reason why the person left the conversation, but you don’t know that sitting on the other side of the computer screen.
So I’m focusing today on issues of correspondence; how we can be more polite, friendly, and focused on our conversations and the people that we’re having them with, because, let’s face it, technology leaves a lot to the imagination. While I believe human contact is always preferable, sometimes texts, tweets, and typed emails are the only way to communicate with each other—so how do we do it right?
1. Respond back: If someone leaves you a Facebook comment, especially if it’s from a person that you haven’t heard from in a while, write them back! A good grace period is about 48 hours, but it’s never too late.
2. Apologize for tardiness: If you forgot, got too busy, or had to feed your baby monkey (aka whatever your excuse is), say sorry for your slow uptake. People will appreciate that you still considered them in your busy day.
3. It’s never too early: Everything is instant. It’s not too weird if you respond back immediately. Okay, you can maybe wait a minute but chances are that if you walk away from a read message, you’ll have a much later response than you would have otherwise.
4. Just do it: If you’re going to read your messages, be prepared to respond, right then and there. Otherwise, you’ll probably forget about the message and as weeks go by, it will be more and more awkward when you do finally respond.
5. Start it first: You don’t have to always be the responder. Take a risk and be the initiator—sometimes it can be nerve-wracking to say hi to a friend that you haven’t spoken to in years. But if they don’t respond, then they’re not worth your time anyway.
So I hope you’ll be the friend that is fast. Don’t leave your family, co-workers, or pals on the line—no one likes to be left hanging.
Keep shining,
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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