Happier Hour

photo (21)Last night I hosted my first “Happier Hour” with a group of amazing women- some I’ve known for years and some I just met this year as our boys enrolled in a new school. I’m a very social person, so I love any opportunity to get women together to network and talk about anything and everything.

The evening was focused on sharing things that make me happy. I had a table full of healthy food and juice options (see recipes and links below), and I had several “stations” set up with resources they could learn more about: A work station, personal growth station, exercise station, kids station, and a beauty station (see below for more information on each station).

Moving forward, the Happier Hours I will host through iMoveU will incorporate 30 minutes of exercise in the beginning (a combination of yoga, pilates , cardio and isometric movements), however last night was more of an opportunity to share my vision for iMoveU and explain a little more about what I’ll be doing over the summer.

One of my dear friends who attended gave me a necklace with a beautiful note inside. The necklace simply says “Choose joy”. She wrote a heartfelt letter with it that made me cry when I read it. She shared a quote with me that I would like to share: “Life can be hard…financial troubles, difficult relationships, health problems, death….but every day I have a choice: I can let these things bring me down…or I can choose joy and just be thankful that I’m here . I can choose.” Check out http://www.lilblueboo.com/choosejoy for more inspiration.

I hope you all choose joy each and every day. Some days joy comes easily. Other days it can be hard to find. But the beauty is that we have a choice. So much of what happens in our life is a direct result of our perspective. Although we can’t control what happens in life, we can control how we react.

Here are all of the resources and recipes from my first Happier Hour. I hope you find joy and happiness as you try some of my favorite things!

Click HERE to view the food and juice recipes I used. If you try them, make sure you let me know what you think!

“Work” station:

Work can be hard, so when you can lighten the mood and make people laugh it will motivate them to want to work harder. Here are some fun items my former co-workers have used:

Borrow my pen

Humorous File Folders

WTF button (not recommended around children!!)

Recommended magazines: Fast Company and Harvard Business Review


Health/Beauty/Exercise stations: 

Nerium night cream and firming cream (all natural- made from a plant extract. No perfumes, dyes, gluten free, paraben free. You can receive your night cream for free when you refer 3 friends. The new firming cream is UH-Ma-ZINg. After gaining and losing 30-40 lbs 3 times in 6 years, these products have done so much to help my loose skin, and my fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. It’s also an amazing company that is dedicated to personal growth and development. I continue to be blown away by everything Nerium stands for.)

Coffee Planet: An amazing, new independently owned coffee joint in Rolling Meadows. Well worth the trip! For fellow dairy free coffee and late drinkers, they have soy AND almond milk options.

I had a mix of exercise DVD programs and studios I’ve tried. Let me know if you are interested in hearing my thoughts on any of the following:

  • Beach Body programs: P90x 1, 2 and 3, Insanity, Focus T25
  • Kettlenetics
  • The Abs Diet for Women (has workout plans and food recipes)
  • Yoga Studios (Core Power, Pulsation, Tribalance- all in NW burbs)
  • Ripped in 30 (Jillian Michaels)
  • Yoga DVD’s (Sadie Nardini, Gaiam )
  • The Dailey Method DVD
  • Tracy Anderson’s the Pregnancy Project (AWESOME for pregnant women still wanting to work out)

Children’s Station

Personalized books and puzzles: http://www.iseeme.com/

Parent and Child Magazine (Scholastic) has AMAZING articles!

Favorite books: The Dot (Peter Reynolds), On Top of the Potty (for anyone potty training little kids!), Goldilocks and the 3 Dinosaurs and any of the Pigeon books (Mo Willems)


 Personal Development Station

Here are some of my favorite books (in no particular order):

Creative Confidence

Steal Like an Artist

Start With Why

The Happiness Project

Presentation Zen

Tribes, Poke the Box, Stop Stealing Dreams, Linchpin (all Seth Godin)

Leading with Questions

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There



Insanely Simple

Good to Great

Creating Innovators

Off Balance

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Where Good Ideas Come From

Lean In (mixed feelings about this one, but it does have some great points)

Anything You Want

A New Culture of Learning



The War of Art

A Whole New Mind

Disrupting Class

Why School?




2 thoughts on “Happier Hour

  1. This sounds like such a great idea! Great list of books, lots of those on my plan to read list once I get through grad school! Have you read 8 Brain Rules or Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain? Both great books that link exercise to brain function- I actually got to write a grad paper about this! Looking forward to meeting you in a few days in Des Moines!

    • I have read Brain Rules and skimmed through Spark- I actually had the chance to work with Naperville Central HS years ago- they are referenced in Spark and have an amazing program called Learning Readiness PE. I’m so bummed I won’t be in Des Moines this weekend- I ended up changing the Sunday morning bootcamp to Gilbert instead. But I will be back in Des Moines soon! Looking forward to meeting you soon!

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