Falling in Love with Farmhouse Style

Farmhouse style decorating is so popular right now and I love it. The simple, rustic, back-to-your roots feel just speaks to my heart. When I see farmhouse style decor it makes me feel like the homeowner is someone who would welcome me in, let me kick my shoes off, and we could laugh and gossip over some homecooked yummys. I picture someone with this style to be down-to-earth and not take themselves too seriously. That is my kind of friend.

Farmhouse Style Inspiration

You just can’t talk about Farmhouse style without paying homage to the king and queen: Chip and Joanna Gaines. I seriously have a mad crush on this adorable couple who star on the show Fixer Upper. The couple combines their talents to fix up homes. Chip is in charge of the construction and he is hilarious. Joanna is the creative genius in charge of design. Her style is very homey and yet impeccable. She is as sweet as can be. I just find her to be completely adorable.

How to Add Farmhouse Style

Porches

The charm of a farmhouse porch is sure to draw you in and make you want to site a spell. Even better, a wrap around porch! The decorating ideas are endless. Fall conjures up images of pumpkin lined steps. Christmas could not be more beautiful than gorgeous pine wreaths hung upon the windows and door with a plush red velvet bow. In the summer, I would picture myself sitting on the steps watching the kids chase fireflies. Oh! I adore a big old porch.

Check out this positively devine porch. (Actually, you will want to hang around a while because her blog is gorgeous!)

Farmhouse porch
LLhdesignsblog

While on vacation recently in New Orleans we spent some time in the beautiful Garden District. So many gorgeous old homes! This was one of my favorite.

Farmhouse Style Porch
Beautiful home in the Garden District of New Orleans

Continue reading Falling in Love with Farmhouse Style

Rainy Day – It is a great day for pluviophiles.

rainy-streetI love a rainy day.  The sound, the smell, the easy excuse to wear a messy bun and more casual clothes. My commute this morning was complicated by the rain, but nonetheless….I smile. singing-in-the-rainrainy day

I wish I was home with a cup of tea. rainy day

Oh! How about we add a good book to the mix?

rainy-day-tea-and-book

bibliphile
rainy-cat

rainy-ducks

smell-the-rain

rain-swing

rain-cat

shh-rainlord-thank-you-for-rain

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

From my heart to yours,

Jen

Dan Dennett: Cute, Sexy, Sweet, Funny

Why do we find cake sweet? Why are babies cute? What makes a joke funny?

I need to laugh, so today I am sharing this Ted Talk by Philosopher/Scientist Dan Dennett that discusses why we find cake sweet and babies cute. Enjoy!

From my heart to yours,

Jen

Transcript

0:11

I’m going around the world giving talks about Darwin, and usually what I’m talking about is Darwin’s strange inversion of reasoning. Now that title, that phrase, comes from a critic, an early critic, and this is a passage that I just love, and would like to read for you.
0:28
“In the theory with which we have to deal, Absolute Ignorance is the artificer; so that we may enunciate as the fundamental principle of the whole system, that, in order to make a perfect and beautiful machine, it is not requisite to know how to make it. This proposition will be found on careful examination to express, in condensed form, the essential purport of the Theory, and to express in a few words all Mr. Darwin’s meaning; who, by a strange inversion of reasoning, seems to think Absolute Ignorance fully qualified to take the place of Absolute Wisdom in the achievements of creative skill.”
1:09
Exactly. Exactly. And it is a strange inversion. A creationist pamphlet has this wonderful page in it: “Test Two: Do you know of any building that didn’t have a builder? Yes/No. Do you know of any painting that didn’t have a painter? Yes/No. Do you know of any car that didn’t have a maker? Yes/No. If you answered ‘Yes’ for any of the above, give details.”
1:38
A-ha! I mean, it really is a strange inversion of reasoning. You would have thought it stands to reason that design requires an intelligent designer. But Darwin shows that it’s just false.
1:54
Today, though, I’m going to talk about Darwin’s other strange inversion, which is equally puzzling at first, but in some ways just as important. It stands to reason that we love chocolate cake because it is sweet. Guys go for girls like this because they are sexy. We adore babies because they’re so cute. And, of course, we are amused by jokes because they are funny.
2:31
This is all backwards. It is. And Darwin shows us why. Let’s start with sweet. Our sweet tooth is basically an evolved sugar detector, because sugar is high energy, and it’s just been wired up to the preferer, to put it very crudely, and that’s why we like sugar. Honey is sweet because we like it, not “we like it because honey is sweet.” There’s nothing intrinsically sweet about honey. If you looked at glucose molecules till you were blind, you wouldn’t see why they tasted sweet. You have to look in our brains to understand why they’re sweet. So if you think first there was sweetness, and then we evolved to like sweetness, you’ve got it backwards; that’s just wrong. It’s the other way round. Sweetness was born with the wiring which evolved.
3:32
And there’s nothing intrinsically sexy about these young ladies. And it’s a good thing that there isn’t, because if there were, then Mother Nature would have a problem: How on earth do you get chimps to mate? Now you might think, ah, there’s a solution: hallucinations. That would be one way of doing it, but there’s a quicker way. Just wire the chimps up to love that look, and apparently they do. That’s all there is to it. Over six million years, we and the chimps evolved our different ways. We became bald-bodied, oddly enough; for one reason or another, they didn’t. If we hadn’t, then probably this would be the height of sexiness.
4:38
Our sweet tooth is an evolved and instinctual preference for high-energy food. It wasn’t designed for chocolate cake. Chocolate cake is a supernormal stimulus. The term is owed to Niko Tinbergen, who did his famous experiments with gulls, where he found that that orange spot on the gull’s beak — if he made a bigger, oranger spot the gull chicks would peck at it even harder. It was a hyperstimulus for them, and they loved it. What we see with, say, chocolate cake is it’s a supernormal stimulus to tweak our design wiring. And there are lots of supernormal stimuli; chocolate cake is one. There’s lots of supernormal stimuli for sexiness.
5:19
And there’s even supernormal stimuli for cuteness. Here’s a pretty good example. It’s important that we love babies, and that we not be put off by, say, messy diapers. So babies have to attract our affection and our nurturing, and they do. And, by the way, a recent study shows that mothers prefer the smell of the dirty diapers of their own baby. So nature works on many levels here. But now, if babies didn’t look the way they do — if babies looked like this, that’s what we would find adorable, that’s what we would find — we would think, oh my goodness, do I ever want to hug that. This is the strange inversion.
6:03
Well now, finally what about funny. My answer is, it’s the same story, the same story. This is the hard one, the one that isn’t obvious. That’s why I leave it to the end. And I won’t be able to say too much about it. But you have to think evolutionarily, you have to think, what hard job that has to be done — it’s dirty work, somebody’s got to do it — is so important to give us such a powerful, inbuilt reward for it when we succeed. Now, I think we’ve found the answer — I and a few of my colleagues. It’s a neural system that’s wired up to reward the brain for doing a grubby clerical job. Our bumper sticker for this view is that this is the joy of debugging. Now I’m not going to have time to spell it all out, but I’ll just say that only some kinds of debugging get the reward. And what we’re doing is we’re using humor as a sort of neuroscientific probe by switching humor on and off, by turning the knob on a joke — now it’s not funny … oh, now it’s funnier … now we’ll turn a little bit more … now it’s not funny — in this way, we can actually learn something about the architecture of the brain, the functional architecture of the brain.
7:24
Matthew Hurley is the first author of this. We call it the Hurley Model. He’s a computer scientist, Reginald Adams a psychologist, and there I am, and we’re putting this together into a book. Thank you very much.

 

 

Nic Marks: Happiness is a Serious Business

In this Ted Talk, Nic Marks challenges us to think of happiness as serious business.

We tend to think that “when I am successful I will be happy” but Marks challenges us to think of ways businesses can have happier employees which will result in more success.

According to YouTube

Does success lead to happiness? If we work hard first, will it pay in terms of happiness Later on? According to statistics presented by Nic Marks (nicmarks.org), we should first look towards happiness in order to achieve success and then build on that to support a virtuous cycle. Nic also shares some secrets on how we can build on happiness in our everyday working lives.

World-renowned for his work in happiness and application of statistical methods to measure wellbeing, Nic is perhaps best known for his trailblazing work on the Happy Planet Index, a global index of human well-being and environmental impact. A ‘statistician with soul’, he believes that a happy life does not have to cost the earth, and that happiness and contentment are not the result of the accumulation of material wealth or unfettered economic growth, but it rather comes from connecting with others, engaging with the world and gaining a sense of autonomy.”

about_nic-marks
Nic Marks

About Nic Marks

According to Nic Marks website:  “He is perhaps best known for his trailblazing work on the Happy Planet Index, National Accounts of Well-being and the Five Ways to Well-being which is used extensively within health and education institutions as well as within governmental policy. Nic is the founder of Happiness Works, an organisation that changes the world of work for the better through online tools and services and is a fellow of nef (new economics foundation) and on the board for Action for Happiness.”

“Nic is an engaging speaker full of passion and purpose. His work on happiness in the workplace has been at the forefront of explaining why happiness is a serious business.”

– Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos

More Ted Talks: