Happy First Day of Spring & International day of Happiness!

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Today is the first day of Spring.

Considering it’s raining cats and dogs outside, and it is my idea of freezing, I had no idea Spring had sprung until I saw it come up in a tweet.

But… today is another exciting day as well! While you might have already known that today marks the first of spring, you probably didn’t know that it’s also the first annual International Day of Happiness!

A day dedicated just to happiness… I had no idea such a day even existed!

But apparently, it does!

The day, which has its own website and hashtag (#HappyDay) was created last June, at the suggestion of Bhutan (a country who takes happiness very seriously) and once decided upon, the U.N. General Assembly declared the following:

“Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal,[…] Recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples, Decides to proclaim 20 March the International Day of Happiness, Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities…”

The happiness day is hoping to encourage us all to ACT, as in

  • Affirm the happiness pledge to bring more happiness to others
  • Cheer the Happy Heroes who bring happiness to others and tell us why
  • Take part on the day by doing something at home, work, school or in your community to bring happiness to others.
    (the website has lots of ideas and events)

Kind of awesome, right?

To learn more and jump on the happiness bandwagon, head on over to dayofhappiness.net!

Happy happy day friends! What are you going to do today to create some happiness?

Are you taking the pledge? (I am!)

P.S. I think this happiness day is already working, because today at lunch I forgot my wallet,
and the restaurant told me I could come back and pay tomorrow!
And that made me very happy.

JessicaMarch 20, 2013 - 3:20 pm

I never would have known. I will start getting happy now…it’s never to late, right!?

StephanieMarch 20, 2013 - 6:50 pm

I had no idea it was happiness day but I met up with the fiance for a coffee date and said it would be my treat when he ordered. Then the lovely starbucks barista said since I was being nice and treating my fiance, he would be nice and treat me so I got my latte for free! Maybe he knew it was International Happiness Day…

Camille | Planning PrettyMarch 21, 2013 - 12:00 am

So bummed it was raining today too! You should definitely include this post in Artsocial’s be happy link up on Thursdays! Just check her site for instructions tomorrow 🙂

JadeMarch 21, 2013 - 7:23 am

Hey! Lovely post! I could use more happiness in my day. I just went to the Day of Happiness website and I do feel more happy! I’ll have to remember this for next year.

-Jade (found you on BBN!)

MargaretMarch 21, 2013 - 10:52 am

Oh what I wouldn’t give for rain right now (we’re under a winter weather advisory right now…)!

The Day of Happiness sounds pretty awesome too- random acts of kindness really are the best.

JessMarch 21, 2013 - 12:16 pm

Makes sense to me that this would take place on the first day of spring! I guess the first day of summer should be something like The International Day of Even More Happiness Yay! Hahah

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Louise EduMarch 21, 2013 - 5:17 pm

Hi Serena, so nice to meet u thru the be happy linkup! I think it’s so important to choose to be happy! not only for yourself, but for those around u =) Happy Spring! xo

alyssaMarch 22, 2013 - 9:46 am

Welcome! I’m so excited you joined the linkup this week! Thank you so much for sharing that it was the International Day of Happiness! Kind of perfect for us that it happened to be a Thursday. 🙂

Attention San Francisco Bloggers…

My blog friend Stephanie and I have put together a small
Bay Area Blogger Meetup
on Thursday, April 11th, in San Francisco!

Care to join us?

My most favorite thing about blogging has been developing relationships with other bloggers.
A handful of the bloggers that I read happen to live in the bay area as well,
and for a few months I’ve been thinking to myself
how fun it would be to meet some of them in person.

To finally put real people behind the stories and photos
whose lives I follow along with online.

Because while I feel like I know these people,
I’ve never actually met them.
It’s like You’ve Got Mail!
But with friends.

I figured that I couldn’t be the only one
who was ready to take our cyber friendships to the next level,
so I asked my blog friend Stephanie if she would be interested
in putting together a little bay area blogger meetup with me.
And she was!

So we reached out to our other blog friends,
and now we’ve got a pretty awesome little group of SF bloggers
all getting together on April 11th.

An official blogger meetup!
Woo hoo!

It will be like our own Alt Summit!

Image Source

Ha! Just kidding.

This is a very casual meetup.
As I mentioned in my invite email,
there will be no crafty name tags or Bash Please type party decor
(although that would be awesome, I am just craft handicapped).

Instead, it’s just some girls getting together
for boozy beverages and tapas and conversation.

(Well, I don’t know if they’re all planning on the boozy part, but I am!)

This is no way an exclusive event,
so if you’re a blogger in the bay area and want to join us,
please email me (or Stephanie) and I’ll send over all the pertinent information.

I was going to post all the details here,
but then a fear ran through my head…

What if a crazy person reads this
and because we all so fantastic and fabulous,
decides to show up and stalk us?

I know that’s absolutely ridiculous,
but hey, better safe than sorry, right?

So instead I’m leaving you with vague info,
and if you want to join us,
just leave a comment below or shoot me an email
and I’ll get back to you with the details.

Who: So far a small but awesome group of bay area bloggers!
What: SF blogger meetup!
Where: Email me or Stephanie to find out.
When: Thursday, April 11th, 7-9 pm.
Why: Why not?

Happy Monday friends!

Joy | Frock FilesMarch 18, 2013 - 7:27 am

Oh, I wish I could make it to this meetup! Thanks for linking back to the post about Justin. He’s amazing, isn’t he? xo

MoMarch 18, 2013 - 8:00 am

I’m so excited about this!

MargaretMarch 18, 2013 - 3:28 pm

This makes me seriously wish that I lived in San Fran! Actually, just one more reason…husband and I have been strongly considering moving there for a year or so!

SarahMarch 19, 2013 - 12:21 am

Yay how fun! I already got the info from Stephanie, but I just wanted to leave a comment and say how excited I am. I’m originally from southern cali, but just moved up in the bay area not too long ago so this is perfect timing!!!

LaurenMarch 19, 2013 - 10:28 am

SO excited!!! Yay!

MegMarch 19, 2013 - 3:52 pm

what? you get to hang out with stephanie in real life, that is awesome. i want to meet her some day, i know we would be great friends. wish i lived in SF i would totally come

Happy Friday! | SpillerenaMarch 29, 2013 - 11:32 am

[…] The SF blogger meetup that Stephanie and I put together is turning into a real legit thing! Not that it wasn’t a […]

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[…] The SF Blogger Meetup is just a few days away! If you’d still like to come but haven’t RSVP’d, let me […]

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[…] is the San Francisco blogger’s meetup. We currently have over 20 lovely ladies attending (!!!). Our venue can hold even more, so if […]

[…] Thursday night the SF bloggers meet up that Stephanie and I put together took place, and it was […]

It’s Friday!!! Fridaaaaaay!

Happy Friday lovelies!

Anyone else feel like this has been a looooong week?
My Monday felt like Thursday.
(I’m sure losing an hour of sleep didn’t help either.)

Fortunately though, I’ve got fun things in store for me from here on out.
I’m heading to Tahoe for a girls weekend.

(that is not me or my friends, but you get the picture)

You’re probably thinking to yourself I’m going up
to ski or snowboard or do some other snow related sport.

And you would be wrong.

Despite going to college in Boulder, Colorado
(a school in which skiing is a way of life)
I’ve never gone enough to actually get into that.

So while all my friends would go skiing or snowboarding,
I’d be kicking back at the lodge drinking some baileys.

And that’s basically what I plan on doing this weekend.
Except this time I have a partner in crime!

While the other girls are killing it on the slopes,
My friend Erin and I will be cruising around Squaw,
making the occasional snow angel, and getting a little boozed up.
I mean, it’s St. Patrick’s day after all…

And I can’t wait.

Do you have any fun weekend plans?

JustineMarch 15, 2013 - 6:29 am

This sounds like a blast! I live pretty close to a couple of mountains here in Oregon, but I never really got into skiing or snowboarding. I’m too paranoid of getting hurt! I would love to try snow shoeing though! The lodge sounds like it’s going to be equally enjoyable!

nancy @ adore to adornMarch 15, 2013 - 10:38 am

that sounds so fun! That would be me too btw…I don’t know how to ski or snowboard so I’d be the one kicking back with some drinks. =)

MoMarch 15, 2013 - 10:45 am

That sounds waaaaay cooler than weekend of packing. I can’t wait to live closer to Tahoe!

Have a great time and enjoy some Baileys and a hot tub for me!

AliceMarch 15, 2013 - 2:08 pm

Yeeah, I’m not a skier either. In my defence, this is because I do not live anywhere remotely near snow. But if I did ski, I think I’d still prefer to sit in the lodge drinking Baileys…!! Have a lovely time! xx

RIP Google Reader

(warning: this is a very melodramatic post)

Yesterday blog readers around the world learned some sad, sad news.

Google Reader is retiring.

As of July 1st, it will be no more.
Gone. Retired. Dead to the world.

Alas, I love my google reader,
so I was heartbroken by this announcement.

I’m embarrassed to admit it,
but upon hearing this news I went into a slight panic.
For years I’ve been following along my favorite bloggers adventures
through the lens of google reader.

So what am I supposed to do now?
Actually visit the blog itself?
Subscribe via email?
Switch to a new platform?
Woe is me!

Oh the drama!

Anyway, in all seriousness, this news did bum me out.
I’m sure plenty of people out there are already working on new reader alternatives,
and I’m sure bloglovin’ is thrilled at this news.
All will be fine, but I’m still sad to see it go.
Insiders are also saying that this means
no more google friend connect as well,
which makes sense since it was a feature of google reader.

That news doesn’t mean much to me since I’m on wordpress,
but I’m sure all you blogger ladies are not too happy about it.

Oh google, why do you have to torture us so?

Are you as devastated as I am by this news?
If not, how do you read your blogs?

ChelseaMarch 14, 2013 - 1:26 pm

Personally, I use Bloglovin’. I prefer it over the Google reader.

Brianne HeapeMarch 14, 2013 - 1:34 pm

I’m still at a loss myself. I’m not sure what I will do now, although Blog Lovin’ is looking like my next option. 🙂 I’d love to find out what you decide to do!

Allison @ Lawfully LostMarch 14, 2013 - 2:01 pm

Uggggh, worst news ever, eh?! I’m so bummed. Like you, it’s where all my blogs are, and I’ve been using it for years. I have my finger’s crossed that Google is coming up with something bigger and better…otherwise, why would they just kill it off?

SerenaMarch 14, 2013 - 2:48 pm

@Brianne – It seems like everyone is moving everything to bloglovin, which I just don’t love as much as other readers. Right now, it looks like engineers are working on http://theoldreader.com/ which should function identical to google reader. That’s probably the direction I’m moving in.

nancy @ adore to adornMarch 14, 2013 - 3:29 pm

well, to put it frankly, this news actually kind of…just…pissed me off.
I mean…why after all these years force your readers to switch platforms? Why make the hassle? It feels so obnoxious to me. I know tech always changes and moves and yes, we should all just keep up. But…seriously? GR.
Perhaps I don’t need to be this aggravated by it but it’s still…SO. FRUSTRATING.

Ugh I was so annoyed when I found out that its nonexistence happens this summer. I used Google Reader for subscribing not just to Blogger blogs but WordPress, Typepad, and other domains. I already had a Bloglovin account and I must say that I love it so far. I like the layout and it wasn’t too difficult to upload all of the blogs I already follow 🙂

StephanieMarch 14, 2013 - 5:29 pm

I was devastated by this news. I’ve switched to feedly since this morning and I’m starting to like it. It’s really easy to important everything you have in Reader, it literally took less than 3 minutes.

I’m really bummed about that Google Friend Connect news!

MoMarch 15, 2013 - 10:48 am

I am sooooo blogger unsavvy , so all of this confuses me. I actually can’t even figure out how to follow you, that’s how bad I am. So I’m pretty sure this will take me months to figure out. Bah.

8 Things I Decided Are Just Not Worth the Stress

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There’s a series going around on Huffington Post about stressing less, in which multiple HuffPo writers have shared a list of things that they have decided are just “not worth the stress.” Some of them are serious, like “worrying that I’m overreacting or having irrational feelings about something,” while others are less so, such as stressing over their disdain for brown rice, “I can’t get on the brown rice bandwagon, and I’ve decided to just allow myself the periodic pleasure of white rice,” or worrying about how much cheese they eat.

One thing I’m very very good at is stressing out about things that are either out of my control, or that in the grand scheme of things just don’t matter. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon and make my own “stress less” list. There are plenty of things that are worth stressing out and worrying about…. like what goes into your body, staying active and healthy, making bad financial decisions, being a good friend, etc… but I’m pretty talented at stressing myself out about a whole slew things of things that are just not worth the time, energy, or, well, the stress.

So here you have it…

8 Things I Decided Are Just Not Worth the Stress

1.  Feeling guilty (or weird) about my blog. This is something I’ve been working on since this post. If you don’t have a blog, you might be thinking to yourself, “you stress out about your blog? How stupid is that!” but the answer is yes, I do. Am I posting enough? Am I growing my readership as fast as others are? Do I even really care about growing my readership? Why did that post only get two comments? Did my tone come off wrong? Do people in real life think I’m narcissistic for having a blog? Do I share too much? Am I not sharing enough? Am I turning people off by throwing in the occasional bad word? Along with many more, these are all thoughts that go through my head on a weekly basis. Sad but true. I love my blog and because I love it, sometimes I worry about it. I feel bad when I don’t give my blog the attention I think it deserves, and I sometimes worry about coming off wrong in my posts. But, for those of you that said “that is stupid!” you are right! It is stupid! I blog because I like to, plain and simple. While I should continually aim to post content I’m proud of (which admittedly doesn’t happen all the time), I shouldn’t care so much about everything else. Which leads me to the next thing…

2.  Worrying about what people think of me. Okay guys. I have a confession to make. Try as I might not to, I care about what other people think of me. I know admitting that makes me sound insecure, but it’s true. And.. gasp… I want people to like me. I do. When I find out someone doesn’t like me, it hurts my feelings, and sometimes I take it too personally. This one is easier said than done, and it’s a work in progress, but I’m a lot more comfortable in my own skin than I used to be. I can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and there are plenty of people out there who like me and I think I’m awesome, so why worry about those that don’t? Not worth the stress.

3.  Getting irritated when someone tags me in an unflattering picture on facebook. The other morning I signed on to facebook and saw that I been tagged in a photo from Hawaii.  I was in a bathing suit, in a very unflattering position. I looked like I had some major thunder thighs, and I was NOT happy that I had been tagged. I  immediately untagged myself, but it had already accumulated quite a few likes (wtf?), and for a good 30 minutes I was annoyed that that picture of me existed on the interwebs and that so many people had seen it (mostly because I am particularly insecure about my thighs).

But seriously? Who do I think I am? It’s a picture. Not life or death. I mean…. there are really no words to describe what a waste of my time focusing on something like that is. Totally not worth the stress.

4.  Our small 70s style apartment. Kevin and I have lived in our apartment for over three years. When we first moved in, I don’t think either of us thought we would be here this long. After we got married I was adamant about moving, but it was right around that time that the SF rental also went nuts (check out this infographic for context). For us to get a bigger or nicer place, we would have to pay a good $1000 more a month, and well, a nicer place wasn’t (and isn’t) worth that to us. But, I get incredibly jealous when I visit friends who live in huge remodeled SF apartments, and I start to feel like our remodeled-in-the-70s apartment isn’t nice enough, and I start to stress about everything we should be doing to make it better. When in reality our place is pretty great. We have a two-bedroom apartment in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city, and other people in our building are paying $700 more than us a month for the exact same thing. So the fact that our kitchen looks like it was straight out of the Brady Bunch? Who cares. Not worth the stress.

5.  Feeling bad about how much TV I watch. Kevin and I watch a lot of television, and I feel like non-tv watchers are always being all judgy and giving us crap about it, telling us what a waste of time it is, how it’s rotting our brains, etc. etc., and then I always feel bad about it. But you know what? I love TV! There are a lot of great shows out there right now. Walking Dead. Breaking Bad. Downton Abbey. Game of Thrones. Girls. Homeland. Dexter. Modern Family. True Blood. And I love them all. Watching them brings joy to my life, and it’s something Kevin and I enjoy doing together. Do I need to watch the Kardashians because I’m bored or hungover on a Sunday? Probably not. But does that mean I should feel bad about it? No. I have a very active and busy life, and TV happens to be a part of it. Not worth the stress.

6.  Wrinkles. It seems like everyday I find some new sign of aging. From random sunspots to cleavage wrinkles to my first gray hair, it’s something new all the time. I don’t know if I’m just hyper-aware of everything now that I’m 30, but I’ve been less than pleased with these new developments. However, wrinkles and whatnot are a part of life. Other than taking care of my skin as best I can, there’s not much I can do about it, so I might as well just age gracefully and stop stressing out about it. Plus, doesn’t stress just cause more wrinkles? Sooooo not worth the stress.

7.  My lack of baby fever. I feel guilty that I don’t yet want kids. I want to want a baby, but right now, I just don’t, and that worries me. I stress out about my fertility and all the “what ifs” that come along with it.  And that is dumb. It will happen when it happens. Not worth the stress.

8.  Letting myself get riled up by random people on the internet. Oh man, I don’t even want to admit how often I’ve found myself sitting behind my computer with steam coming out of my ears, just because some random person posted something online that was a big fat lie. When people post stupid ignorant things, I tend to get way too emotionally involved. When Sandy Hook happened and people on twitter and facebook would make comments saying that the answer was more guns, I’d get upset. When people would post things about our heath care system that were blatantly false, I would get angry.

But what a waste of energy! Why should it bother me if someone I went to high school with but haven’t spoken to in years thinks Anne Coulter is awesome? Not worth the stress.


What are some things that you’ve decided just aren’t worth the stress?
Please share in the comments!

Or better yet, if you have a blog,
write a post about it and we can start our own “stress less” series!

P.S. Check out my friend Margaret’s stress less list here!

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MargaretMarch 13, 2013 - 6:19 am

Definitely agreeing with you on 1,2,5 and 8. Especially 8…as it normally ends up with me wanting to unfriend most of my high school friends because they are the ones posting ignorant shit.

I’ll have to start thinking of my own post for this!

Michelle LimMarch 13, 2013 - 6:53 am

You have a TWO bedroom?!?! Can I move in?

We just spent the last hour looking up tiny little STUDIOS to rent for an arm and a leg! 🙁 sigh….

But good news……..and you’re the first to know: WE WILL BE IN SAN FRAN ON MAY 17th!!!! GET EXCITED WOMAN!

jessicaMarch 13, 2013 - 7:29 am

1-3 stress me out a lot too. It’s really hard to let them go. But I always jus think- in the scheme of life does it really matter. I’m I even going to remember this in a year. And then I loosen up a bit! Great post, S!

Shanan BMarch 13, 2013 - 7:38 am

Stress is really never worth it, right? I really feel you on 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7. Another one of mine I just let go of is being embarrassed at how filthy my car always is. I live in my car and I really can’t seem to keep it cleaned out. It always has random articles of clothing, books, papers, cd’s, garbage, climbing gear and dog toys…after 8 years of feeling embarrassed and stressing about “what the state of my car says about me”, I’m ready to say I REALLY DON’T CARE! It ain’t changing unless I get a car housekeeper. 🙂

Shanan BMarch 13, 2013 - 7:39 am

*Figuratively, I live in my car. Not literally. I thought it was important to clear that up. 😉

JessMarch 13, 2013 - 8:11 am

Stressed IS desserts spelled backwards! My mind is actually blown LOL, why did I not realize that before?!

Some Snapshots Blog

nancy @ adore to adornMarch 13, 2013 - 9:03 am

dang…can I say that I just about stress over most of the items on your list (with the exception of FB…I just gave up on that one haha).
It’s so weird stressing over things out of my control. I do it ALL. THE. TIME. My husband even has to remind me to stop because I just obsess. Even now…I’m thinking about all of the same things you are.
I know I shouldn’t worry about what others thing, but I kind of feel like I “have to” in order to “improve.” I don’t want to be stagnant! Yet, why should I adapt to what others are thinking of me? Isn’t that the exact opposite of being me?
Yup…that’s me…being overanalytical about everything.


AngieMarch 13, 2013 - 9:34 am

On FB require approval on anything you are tagged in that’s what I do. I’ve taken an eighth of your stress away ;).

nicole marieMarch 13, 2013 - 12:36 pm

you are so right. so many things that are not worth the worry… i definitely need to make a list like this.

and totally can relate to the apt situ. our apt in sf is like a dungeon and so run down and the kitchen and everything is kinda nasty. but the location is incredible, big enough and we have a backyard and a landlord who doesn’t really care what we do… oh and if we move we’re looking at $500 a person increase in rent! not happening.

AshMarch 13, 2013 - 1:13 pm

YES! i so needed to read this today (: gah.. i can relate to almost ALL of these points, in more ways than one..

the issue i seem to have is wanting people WHO ARE RELATED TO ME and play a HUGE role in my life, to like me… shouldn’t that just come naturally? ugh..

growing up… so hard not to stress over things, and yet, sometimes it can be so easy… i guess that’s what yoga, runs, exercise, and green tea/red wine are for?

StephanieMarch 13, 2013 - 6:22 pm

Girl, I am with you on every one of these, except I stress about our 1 bdrm with kitchen tile from the 1950s.

Allison @ Lawfully LostMarch 13, 2013 - 8:54 pm

Ok, seriously, did I write this? ‘Cause I could have, no joke. Every single thing (except maybe the baby thing, cause I don’t want any and don’t feel guilty about that yet…) is me to a T.

I was even talking to a girlfriend last week about many of the things you listed and we were coming up with strategies about how to not stress about them. Good luck! We both need it!

Camille | Planning PrettyMarch 13, 2013 - 10:59 pm

I hear you on this stress thing! I stress like I’m 40 and I’m only 25. The first half of my twenties were filled with way more worry than they should have. I’m inspired to make my own list 🙂 And i so want that print from Etsy!

SerenaMarch 14, 2013 - 2:50 pm

@Stephanie – ha! I have the 1950s tile in my bathroom. 70s in the kitchen. 50s in the bathroom. Awesome.

CaraMarch 15, 2013 - 1:40 pm

We could be twins. I worry about these EXACT same things.

PenelopeMarch 16, 2013 - 9:02 pm

Just started reading your blog, and just wanted to say that I LOVE this and totally agree on all counts, especially #5 – I hate feeling bad about how much TV I watch, but it’s the best/easiest way I’ve found to relax

MargaretMarch 18, 2013 - 4:05 pm

By the way- I did my stress less post and linked to yours! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂


Alicia / JaybirdJuly 24, 2013 - 3:59 pm

Serena, I’m so glad to have found your blog! It’s refreshing to see someone talk about the stress and insecurities that sometimes accompany blogging, even when your blog is small like mine. Everything you described in #1 here and in your earlier post reflect things I’ve felt too. One recent change that helped with blogging overwhelm (am I posting enough? why wasn’t this post popular? etc.) was reminding myself that blogging is a choice and a fun hobby. I’ve split my “to do” list into “want to do” and “need to do”, and blogging falls under wants–not needs. Such a small thing helped to make me remember why I’m doing it!

LoraAugust 12, 2013 - 10:29 am

I love TV. I love that you love TV.
Zodor hates people who don’t love TV, so clearly Smallwoman Onbus mistook you for someone else.