The Happiness Project: Book Review

With pictures like this posted during my travels:



and this . . .



Many of you were intrigued by the pretty little book cover I had in my lap all weekend.    I actually began reading The Happiness Project, by Gretchin Rubin sometime during the holidays, but got side tracked with our busy lifestyle as of late.

That’s not to say I was not/did not enjoy the book!  Quite the opposite.  I found that I enjoyed that it took me longer-than-normal to read, because I gave myself time to let the thoughts and concepts found in the book to ruminate during that time.  While this book could be considered self-help, I found it more informational in a way that it inspired me to find ways to boost MY OWN happiness in unique-to-me ways while reading about the authors personal experiences.


The Happiness Project follows the author, Gretchen, during the development of and execution of a 12 month “happiness project.”  During this time she dedicated each month to 12 different resolutions: Vitality, Marriage, Work, Parenthood, Leisure, Friendship, Money, Eternity, Books, Mindfulness, Attitude, and Happiness.   Each chapter of the book follows Gretchen during her development, experience and changes through the year.

Something the author stresses through out the book is that she is not unhappy.  Before entering into this project, she noticed that there were elements of her life that she could intentionally work to better, work to make “happier.”   This project is a case study of sorts of a healthy, middle-ish aged family woman who is just looking to become the best version of herself that she can be, which is something I think we can all strive to do :).


As I already mentioned, it took me a little while to get through this book.  Partly due to my schedule, and partly due to wanting to give it time. 


Personally, I founds Gretchen’s experience AND her writing very relatable.   Going into it, I was a bit concerned that certain chapters would not relate to me specifically (IE: parenthood, eternity, books).  But quite the contrary, I found that even in these sections, I was having little “aha” moments of how I myself could implement some of these practices into my own life.

For me specifically, the chapters that I really loved were: Marriage (read it twice), Eternity and Mindfulness.  The vulnerability Gretchen showed by sharing the good, bad, and the ugly of her own self and experience made the entire read enjoyable while also beneficial for me as a reader.

I left my book on the plane as I finished it.  I figured I had had a challenging week or so, and the book was helpful.  I hoped that by leaving it for someone else, they, too, could get something out of it.

So, Cheer’s to Gretch on an inspiring and enjoyable read.

Pizza, A Dessert Bar And The Morning After

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday Everyone! 🙂

apologies still looking for the more creative and fun intro. . . 

It was the overwhelming favorite night in the Jara household last night!

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PIZZA NIGHT!  And we were finally able to use the pizza stone my brother and sister-in-law gave us for Christmas!  I was a little concerned that it would crisp up the crust more than I normally like, but NOPE!  It made the crust the perfect balance between crispy and soft, and kept it warm while I took my slow poke time eating :).  Success!

We also had a bit of a taste test of sorts for dessert.

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For all of my Whole Foods fans, while I was grocery shopping yesterday I decided to pick up a few of their small treats that they keep in the bakery (I believe they’re 9.99 lb).  Last night we tried:

  • Pistachio shortbread
  • Chocolate covered peanut butter sandwich cookie
  • Iced lemon cookie
  • unpictured chocolate truffle 

I love a good dessert bar 🙂

Zach and I disagreed on our favorites, but did agree that the iced lemon was our LEAST favorite of the treats.  I had high hopes for it considering I love lemon, but this one was dry and unappetizing.  I actually ate a bite than gave my half to Zach.

MY favorite was the pistachio shortbread, as far as flavor and texture goes.  Of course I am going to love me some chocolate covered PB, but the shortbread stole the show.  Zach’s favorite was the truffle, which was simply a 365 brand dark chocolate truffle they had as free samples.

It was a nice treat for a Monday night.

This Morning/Workout of the Day

I woke up this morning well rested (hello 10 pm bed time) and feeling like I could knock out a run, so that’s exactly what I did.

Workout of the Morning:  40 minute treadmill for 4.26 miles

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Todays run looked like:

  • 10 minute warm up (6.3 for 5 minutes, 6.4 for 5 minutes)
  • 20 minute pyramid from (6.5 increasing every  minute until 7.5, then decreasing every minute until back at 6.5)
  • Finished out 4 miles at 6.4
  • Walked it out until 40 minutes for 4.26 miles

This 40 minute run was followed by a 2 minute plank, than it was off to shower and get ready.

I am so ready to be back from the honeymoon, in the Spring, enjoying miles outside. . . just saying.

Question of the Morning:  What do you think YOUR favorite cookie would be?