Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reason #24 to Be Happy: Three Ingredient Healthy Vegetarian Dinner

I love baking but cooking? Not so much. It's not that I can't stand cooking but there are a lot of other things that compete for time. Also, I would much rather be doing something crafty or something else. So, when I find an easy dinner I am happy as can be. I am even happier to be able to share an easy meal idea with you!

These three ingredients are all that you need to make a quick and healthy meal. I bought all of the ingredients from Costco. Oh, I love Costco too.

The three ingredients are quinoa, any blend of frozen vegetables that you like, and curry.

I'm a vegetarian so I'm always looking for things to making dinners a little more exciting On a trip to Costco my husband and I found a delish curry.

We are both fans of coconut and Thai food so that's why we originally decided to try it. It's a good thing we did! We would both definitely recommend it. My husband likes to have it with this meal as well as anything else that could possibly use a sauce. 

For our meal we cooked the quinoa as normal as well as the veggies. Then just warmed up the sauce and poured some on our rice (or quinoa) bowls. 

We hope that if you try it you enjoy it as much as we did!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reason #23 to Be Happy: Seeing Yourself as You Truly Are

This morning I came across an amazing organization. I had to share it with you. I am not sharing this for money or to be compensated in any way. I am sharing because it is something that I strongly believe is important.

The organization is The I Am Project. It helps women across the United States and possibly even across the world realize what true beauty really is.

Their reasoning is because "right now you there are distorted images of women in the magazines you read the advertisements you see."

This very short video will help you to realize that a little more. In it there is a woman who is naturally beautiful. But, then her image is created into something quite different. We can all argue whether what we see next is beauty or not. But, the undeniable truth is that it is unnatural. This video was created by Dove who also have similar goals to the I Am Project.

So, what are the goals of the I Am Project? Well, they hope to first, inspire women to stop comparing themselves to what Hollywood sees as beauty or the ideal woman. Second, they want to inspire women to be confident and feel beautiful in their own skin. Third, they want to change what society sees as normal for body size and shape.

There is no normal. Often we take things lightly when saying that we wish we looked like someone else. I know that almost, if not every woman out there, has wished at least once that she had a different body. For some that is height, weight, teeth, eyes, or something else.

I have probably wished this just as much as anyone else. I know their were times when I used to make myself feel physically sick if I ate more than I thought I should. There was a point in my life when I was spending nearly 3 hours at the gym every day and watching my diet like a hawk. I might have been my thinnest. But, I was certainly not may happiest. I have gotten so much better at this. I now realize what beauty I have and am happier because of it.

 I also have friends who are some of the most beautiful women you will ever meet. However, they have struggled with these same things. I have even known some who have spent time hospitalized because they couldn't see their natural beauty.

If you look back at the picture above you see that these women look truly happy. That is because they know that they are not the world's idea of perfect. However, they can see their beauty. Because they can see it the rest of the world can see it.

I encourage you to see your own beauty. It takes work and sometimes it takes a lot of hard work. But, you can do it.

If you want to participate in the I Am Project you can find more information here.

One more thing that I would love to share with you. That' Who I Am by Jessica Andrews has been a song that I have found uplifting. It makes me feel like I am great just the way I am. I hope it does the same for you.

lots of love,

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Reason #22 to Be Happy: Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed and 2nd Activity

Last week I shared one of my favorite new children's books. It's called Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed. Basically it is about a girl who helps five people. By doing so she changes the world!

If you want to read the book for yourself it is by Emily Pearson. I definitely recommend it.

I am going to be posting five children's activities that go along with the story. Last week we made cookies. This week we made post cards. You can find a template here.

Here is the completed activity:

I hope you all are having a fabulous weekend.

with love,

Friday, August 23, 2013

Blogger Opportunity

What's On Your Wish List? Event


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Bloggers: Sign Up HERE

Reason #21 to Be Happy: Friendly Friday Guest Post- Phalon from Except Narwhals

Friends! I am so excited for today's guest post! One of my very dearest friends, Phalon, is going to be sharing her thoughts with us. I love this girl! From the moment I met her I knew that she was very unique and absolutely gorgeous in every way. You can visit her at . I'm sure she would love to hear from you!

The power of living in the moment.

“let everything happen to you—beauty and terror; just keep going. No feeling is final.”

-rainer rilke

Recently I’ve thought a lot about living in the moment. I’m currently spending my summer break from college volunteering at an organic farm in Olympia, Washington, right on the beach. We grow every vegetable you can think of as well as raise chickens and sheep that have tons of roaming space. My host family recycles everything , eats all organic, and practices meditation. I know what you’re thinking—HIPPIES! Well, sort of.

One day I spent some time discussing with them what exactly they gain from meditation. The very purpose of meditation is clearing the mind and living in the current moment.

Their responses, among others:

-better sleep

-higher patience

-improved concentration

-easier strategizing

-overall sense of well-being

-more rational decision making

Seems pretty simplistic, right? Living in the moment. Today is Thursday. Did I live in thursday today? Yeah! Sure did….didn’t I?

Once you stop to think about it, when’s the last time you’ve just thought about…the current moment? How much time do we spend worrying about the past—as well as the future—however near? Even now, as I’m writing this, in the back of my mind I’m going over my to-do list for tomorrow.  We live in the age of distraction.

Life unfolds in the moment. So often we allow precious seconds to slip away, unsiezed and untouched. How sad is that?

Although I don’t see myself becoming the next meditation guru (I am far too ADHD for that), I strive to focus more on the present moment. I recently deliberately tried to focus on and capture the present moment a few times since this particular discussion, and—for the brief moments it lasted, it felt…fantastic. But just as quickly as the clarity of the moment occurred, it left. Have our minds become computed to drift…to a completely different time?

I just turned 24 years old. It really crept up on me and there are times when I still stop and think,

“wow. am I really not a teenager anymore?”

The point is, life slips by. I hereby challenge any reader to—once a day – attempt to capture the present. In the good, the bad, the frightening, the sensual…it’s all beautiful. Because it’s all  N O W

And at some point in time, it’ll be yesterday.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Reason #20 to Be Happy: Swig Sugar Cookies

When we were in St.George a couple of weeks ago there was a place called Swig. You might remember me talking about it.

Swig is awesome! Every time we were there the line was super long. It was a little weird to me at first because it's basically just a drink place with some cookies. But, once I tried those cookies I understood the reason behind the long line. 

The best news is that I found a recipe exactly like the cookies they sale! This could be a little dangerous but also delightful.

I found this recipe on the blog Vintage Revivals. Thank you Mandi! (Mandi is the blogger.) You can view her longer recipe tutorial here.

Swig Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter 
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tspt cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
5 1/2 cups flour

Cook at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Her recipe says 8 minutes but mine took more like 10. I also didn't have cream of tartar so I left it out. They were still ah- MAY- zing!

Sour Cream Frosting

1/2 cup butter
approximately 2 lb powdered sugar (about a bag)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
red food coloring (if you want them pink like the real Swig cookies)

Frost and enjoy! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm! :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reason #19 to Be Happy: My Gas Tank is On Full (even when it might not look that way)

Please ignore how terrible this picture is. Try to see that the gas tank is actually on full! That is pretty rare for me (and probably just about any other college student).This picture is like my day today. It wasn't a terrible day but there were definitely some not so great parts. There were also better parts.

When I went to leave work this afternoon my car would not start. I just started this job so it was pretty embarrassing! I did not want to admit to some people in a wealthy area that my ghetto car wouldn't move. But, when you're in that situation you have to do what you have to do! So, I went back up to the front door and knocked. 

To make a long story not so long I will jump ahead. I ended up making it so that two of the girls missed gymnastics. I tried telling them to go ahead and I would wait for my husband. That didn't happen though. We got a neighbor to try helping but nothing would work.

So, I went back inside the house with the three girls and their mom. I waited for my husband to come and about a half hour later he was there. I was so happy to see him. We finally figured out how to get the car moving. It just needed gas... oops 

Okay, so maybe that wasn't so terrible but let me tell you what was... I lost my job. I was watching three girls (two, four, and six). By day one I could tell that something was a little off. Usually kids LOVE me but the four year old did not seem to. That was weird for me but since the other two did love me I decided to try to make it work. I tried to have fun surprises, making delicious treats, took them to the park and on picnics, and anything else that I could think of. The four year still did not love me but I knew that with time we would bond and our personality differences wouldn't matter so much. 

Tonight as I was sitting on the couch I got a phone call. It was the mom saying that we weren't a great fit. I already knew this it but something that I had been trying to make work. It was sad. I will leave it at that. 

Just to add to it and make things a little better, I got to park a block away from my apartment because the managers have decided to do some crazy work on the parking lot.

Are you ready for the good now???

When we (my husband and I) got back we decided to fill my gas tank up all the way to make sure that the same thing would not happen again! Yay! 

But, for real... 

I got my perfect fit back! You might wonder why I don't have the job anymore if it was a perfect fit. Well, I was caring for two boys who I absolutely ADORE. I still consider them "my" boys. However, they moved so that they could be closer to where their mom works. I can completely understand that but it was still really hard for me. I was super attached to my boys. I was talking to their mom today (who I love too) and we realized that it wouldn't be so bad if I would just take the front runner. So, I am going to start watching them again on Monday. Yay!!! :)

So, today there were some not so great parts. I also realized that I am very blessed though. Here are just a few reasons why I am so blessed:

1. I have the sweetest husband in the world who loves me no matter what.
2. I have a sweet baby (Belle, my dog) who gives me kisses when I'm sad (and always).
3. I have a sweet kitty (Lucy) who snuggles with me.
4. I have a mom who is one of my very best friends.
5. I have a great family. They might be a little crazy but they really are great.
6. I have friends who help me to find reasons to smile.
7. I have a comfortable bed to sleep in at night.
8. I have a car that will take me places... and a gas tank that is FULL!
9. I have all of life's necessities (and many of the luxuries).
10. I have plenty of food to keep me full and happy. Mostly, I'm thankful for the Diet Coke though. :)

Here's to the good in today and a better tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013—Be Heard. Be Happy.

Smiley 360 is a new site that I just learned about yesterday. You can review items and even recieve free ones to review. Just sign up and start the fun! It's a great site with excellent benefits. :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Reason #18 to Be Happy: Cara Box!

I got my Cara Box on Saturday! For those of you who don't know what a Cara Box is you can read more about it on Katelyn's blog at .Basically, you get assigned to two people. One is who you will be sending a gift to. The other one is who will be sending a gift to you. You get to have a chance to email and get to know your new friend. Then you are supposed to send a package of things that you think your friend would like.

This was the first time that I had participated. It has been a lot of fun! :) The girl who sent me a package is Tabitha from  She sent me the cutest package. Not only was I happy but my babies (dog and cat) were happy as could be too.

Tabitha sent treats for my dog and cat. As you can tell, they couldn't wait so one of the bones is missing. The moment that Belle (my dog) saw the bones she was begging. I shouldn't give in but I think it's too cute. Lucy (the cat) LOVES cheese so she was so happy to get some cheesy treats. Tabitha also sent a super cute apron and dishcloth because I told her that I love baking. She sent a folder, a notebook, and two pens because I told her that I'm in school. She also sent a cute little note.

I was feeling a little anxious about school (mostly math) but now I am excited because I can't wait to use that notebook and those pens! She was so thoughtful with all of the package! What makes Tabitha even more awesome is that she has been in the middle of planning a wedding. I remember being a bit stressed when trying to plan my wedding. She must have a lot on her plate at the moment. But, she was still nice and made it meaningful. Congratulations and thank you Tabitha!

Lucy (the cat) and Belle (the dog) would love to thank Tabitha for thinking of them! :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Reason #17 to Be Happy: Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed and Activity

One thing that I love is children's books. I think I have more than any person without children. It's a good thing that I work with kids or it would be even more strange!

I love finding great books at thrift stores and garage sales. A while ago I found a garage sale where a teacher was selling tons of her books. Jackpot! :) There were so many and so many good ones. I'm talking about Eric Carle, Dr.Suess, Mercer Meyer, and those kinds of books. I had to stop myself from buying too many.

Anyway, one of the best books that I found was one that I had never seen. It was a hard back and had cute illustrations. That's why I originally bought it. But, I was surprised by how great it really was.

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed is basically a book about paying it forward for little ones. Ordinary Mary who is just an ordinary girl is able to change the whole world! She does that just by sharing with five people! :) 

I decided to read this book with the girls who I watch. The activity that we will be doing with it is to share with five people. The first day that we read it we made cookies. Then the four year old took some to her friend's family. 

I will keep you posted on the other ways that we share with others.

What fun ways have you and your little ones done some service?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Reason #16 to Be Happy: Guest Blogger, Ulyth Menezes from Croppin' Spree

Art has always been an escape and a mystery to me. Every individuals perspective is different and holds a story. I chose to express myself using paint and it has worked wonders in my life. 


This is a layout I created using Shimmers, alcohol inks, paint, gesso and mists. My brother and my nephew, both boys dear to my heart.

Thanks so much Madeline for letting me be a guest blogger here! Love your work.

Thanks for looking,
Croppin' Spree

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Reason #15 to be Happy: Gorgeous giveaway from Peach Tree Designs! Also, a discount from my personal shop!

Guess what?? I have an awesome shop to introduce you to! Not only that but I have a great giveaway and a discount! You do not want to miss out on this. :)

Laura from the Etsy shop, Peach Tree Designs is offering one lucky winner a gorgeous necklace. I seriously want this for myself. I just might have to get myself one since I can't enter the giveaway...

 Peach Tree Designs is definitely a shop that you will want to take a look at. It is one of my personal favorite shops. Here are some more of Laura's brilliant items...

If you just love Laura's items like I do there is a discount that you can use! It is a discount exclusively for my blog followers. When you check out just use the code: mysaturdaysmiles15 and you will get 15% off automatically. I will definitely be taking advantage of this discount myself. Hopefully you do too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One last thing! I want to offer my blog followers a discount to my own shop on Etsy. I am offering all prints for 50% off. The code is: mysaturdaysmiles Take a look! :)

Have a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Reason #14 to Be Happy: A Little Getaway and The Most Ridiculous Selfies

I just want to let you know that I am alive and well! I know, I missed like a week of blogging! I should probably be put in the blogger jail or something. :O

But, seriously. This blogging thing is pretty serious. I was out of town for the weekend and came back with over 100 notifications for other blogs. I guess I am learning how serious it all is. ha :)

On another note, I have never been too great with schedules. If I have to stick with a schedule for work or school or something I can do that. But, I have trouble with setting and sticking to schedules I set for myself. So, my little blogging schedule? Yeah, that probably won't be happening. But, I will try my best to continue blogging reasons to be happy because we all need them!

This weekend my wonderful husband and I took a mini vacation. We just went down to St.George (about four hours away from where we live). My family was there so we spent some time playing games, eating too much, and chatting. Here are some of the pictures from our little getaway:

Just looking over the city and enjoying this awesome view...

I always laugh at people who take selfies. I decided to take an amazing selfie of myself. Here you go...

Amazing, oh yes! I was so impressed that I had Brad take one of himself. Here you go!

He said it was going to make children and puppies cry. I suggested that he take another one but he didn't want to. Maybe he wants to scare them. Hmm... (I'm only kidding)

What is this weird looking place? It's Swig! Swig is a great little drive through with great Diet Coke and delish sugar cookies. What makes the Diet Coke so special? Well, Diet Coke itself is pretty special (silly) but they have all sorts of flavors that can be added. We had coconut flavoring added to ours. They have other things too bu,t let's be honest, those are the most important. If you don't know, I am a huge fan  lover of Diet Coke and bakery sweets. 

It looked a little questionable to me at first but it is SO good! If you are ever in the area be sure to try it out. We went there twice in one weekend (something that I probably shouldn't be admitting) and the line was long. Both times it went out into the road. But, don't let that stop you! It moves really fast. 

We went to see the beautiful temple. It was nice to walk around in the sunshine and have this reminder of happiness.

We took Belle to the park. She LOVED being able to frolic in the sunshine. Since we live in an apartment she doesn't get a lot of time to play outside. 

Brad loves helping her to go down the slide. It's pretty funny. She seems too enjoy it too though.

That's all for today! I hope that you have thought of some reasons to smile. Have a wonderful day!

<3 Maddie Rose

Friday, August 9, 2013

Reason #13 to Be Happy: Friendly Friday guest post! Guest Blogger: Laurie from Created by Laurie

Hello friends!

I am so excited to have Laurie from Created by Laurie visiting today! She is a wonderful lady who lives in paradise. Literally! She lives on the island of Oahu. Laurie lives with her husband and two sons. She has an etsy shop at She sews darling little stuffed animals. Like this one!

She also has awesome dinosaurs, elephants, and other cuddly friends. Be sure to visit her at

Here is what Laurie has to share with us today!

Hi everyone, I feel honored to be a guest blogger here at My Saturday Smiles! I wanted to take the opportunity to share one of my tutorials. When I have extra time outside of being a Mother or Wife, I like to sew. This is an easy craft that can be made using some left over fabric.  :)

Whether you are a cold sissy like me, or have sore muscles- a heat pack is a great thing to have on hand! They are easy to make and last forever!

What You Will Need
Fabric of your choice
Rice to fill
Aromatherapy oil (Optional)

Start by cutting your fabric to size desired. I cut mine 17x17 inches. Your fabric will be folded in half. I made mine a rectangle so I can wrap it around my neck, over a shoulder, or lay with it under my back. You can make yours bigger/smaller in any size  :)   Sew the bottom and the side with a 1/4 inch inseam leaving the top open. Trim the one corner. (If you would like to add aromatherapy oil to your rice, do so now. Mix it up well and set to the side.)

Fold the end of your fabric down about 1/2 inch and iron it flat.

Now turn the fabric right side out and push the corner out. Measure your fabric to find the center and use a pin to mark it 2 inches in on each end. Mine was 8 inches tall so 2 inches in the width I marked it at 4 inches with a pin.

Sew a straight line down in between your 2 pins. This will help keep your rice spread out evenly.

Now fill your heating pad with your rice pouring it down each side evenly. Fill it up about 2/3 of the way full. You want it to be flexible to bend where you need it to.

Sew the open end shut close to the edge.

Heat up and enjoy  :)
(Note: Be careful not to heat too long, start with 2 minutes and test how hot it is on your skin.)

Thanks for reading!
You can find some more tutorials along with weekly giveaways at my blog Created By Laurie