Project Think Positive {Week 2}

I hope everyone is having as much fun with Project Think Positive as I am. I’ve been pretty amazed at how far a little positive thinking goes, and I’m happy to hear from your responses that you’re achieving successful results, too.

Week 2 {Counter a Negative Thought with a Positive Act}

There was a time a couple years ago where I have was having a horrible day at work. Everything seemed to be going wrong. I was getting frustrated with everything, especially myself. As my frustration grew, I decided to do something positive rather than storming around or being all pissed off or sad. I wrote an Operation Beautiful note and, when no one was looking, stuck it to the mirror in the ladies restroom. I didn’t realize at the time that that’s exactly how Operation Beautiful got started, but after having that moment, it totally made sense. Sometimes the best way to counter negativity is to do something nice…not for you…for other people.

*This week’s challenge: Counter a negative thought with a positive act*

Example 1: You’re having a tough day and nothing seems to be going right for you. Rather than let your frustration set it and control your day, write an Operation Beautiful note.

Example 2: You’re feeling down on yourself for being so <insert word that applies to you here>. Instead of feeling bad for yourself, you sign up for a volunteer event.

There are so many ways you can do something nice for someone else. Can you think of some other ideas?


“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.” ~Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama


Reader Question #1: What’s a negative thought you had this week and what was the positive act you did to counter it. (if you’re too shy to share the negative thought, you can just share the positive act) :)

Reader Question #2: What are some ways you can do something nice for someone else?

Reader Question #3: What is your favorite quote on giving, love, and doing nice things for other people?

Project Think Positive {Week 1}


I have a new challenge for you dear TCL friends! And it’s a goodie!

First off, thanks so much to everyone who voted on the next challenge via Twitter and my The Chic Life Facebook page! The choices were Project Think Positive and Project Get Organized, and while votes were almost even (by one vote), I decided to go with Project Think Positive for this month. I’m going to take August to get organized for Project Organize, so look for that one next month! Side note for the organization fans: Ooh and for those of you who are interested in Project Organize, you may want to go ahead and get a planner. I ordered the Life Planner by Erin Condren (the other calendars are super cute too) and it should be arriving very soon (whee!). The EC planner (and other custom planners available online) can take a couple weeks to make and ship, so if you want to be able to use it during the challenge month, you may want to go ahead and order it now.

Challenge Origin

How would you respond when asked what you see – how full is the mug of oatmeal:


Of course this is that famous optimist/pessimist question. So, what do you see? Supposedly, if you see a half empty mug, you’re an pessimist. :( If you see a half full mug, you’re an optimist. :) Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, I think we could all use some more positive thinking in our lives. Riiiiight?

I know I do.

Challenge Details

Normally when I do blog challenges, I provide all the “rules” up front. I want to do this challenge a little different. Each week, I’ll provide a challenge for the week. But, as we progress through the month, I’d like you, if you can, to try to add the challenge for that week to the previous week. So, by the last week, you’re keeping the challenges from each week in mind.

Week 1 {Counter a Negative Thought with a Positive One}

I’ve been down a bit lately between being stressed in general and from my injury. And I’m human, I have negative thoughts occasionally. But I got pretty frustrated the other week with something random and I thought, to myself that I didn’t want to encourage all that negative energy. So, I did something to counteract it by thinking something positive. And with that, we have this week’s Project Think Positive challenge…

*This week’s challenge: For every negative thought, think a positive one.*

Example 1: If I got frustrated that I haven’t been able to teach my Zumba class in three weeks, I could counter that by being thankful that my injury wasn’t worse.

Example 2: If you’re frustrated that there’s a long line at Starbucks. You could counter that by appreciating the fact that you can afford the luxury of enjoying a Starbucks beverage (because that is something so many people in the world cannot do).

Try to find a positive way to spin your negative thought – to look at it with a more positive perspective.


Share the Love

If you want to tweet about the challenge, I would LOVE that! Please use twitter hashtag #projectthinkpositive

I’d also love it if you shared this challenge with your friends, family, co-workers, and even blog readers (if you’re a blogger). There are a lot of share buttons at the bottom of this post (even one to email the post to someone!), so feel free to use those. Let’s spread the positive vibes people! :)

Feel free to use this button on your blog:

<a href=""><img src="" border="0" width="180" height="180" /></a>


Here’s a little inspirational quote for you to enjoy:

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” ~Unknown

I’ll be sharing more positive quotes during this challenge month here on the blog, as well as via twitter and Facebook, so be sure to follow me there, too!

Reader Questions

Reader Share 1: Please leave a comment with your negative thought and how you countered it.

Reader Share 2: What’s your favorite positive thinking quote? Please leave it in a comment.

Project Veg-Up Challenge


While I have many fun challenge ideas for you guys, with summer right around the corner, I figured what better challenge to do for June than one related to all the amazing produce on the shelves and in the farmer’s markets. Like my other challenges, I want to keep this one simple – shoot to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

The Project Veg-Up Concept


The American Dietetic Association recommends consuming at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

My fave nutrition resource, Ellie Krieger, recommends eating 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-6 servings of vegetables (more exact numbers dependent on calorie ranges).

While a lot of us eat more than enough fruits and veggies, there are many, myself included, who sometimes struggle with getting enough produce in our diet. This challenge will encourage you to consume more fruits and vegetables every day.

How to Play

Goal: Try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day for the month of June. (Really you should be doing this every day, but you know what I mean. ;) )


  • General: In the interest of keeping this challenge simple, I say make the rules as detailed or as loose as you want – whatever it takes to get you eating fruits and veggies.
  • What’s a serving?: This is up to you. At it’s simplest, you can just say, did I eat some broccoli? Yes. There’s a serving. I’ll be posting details about actual servings sizes over the month, but just play it by ear. If you want to measure your servings, go for it. If you want to be more lax, then just eye ball your servings.
  • How many servings should I eat? For the purposes of this challenge, we’re saying just eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Actual serving amounts depend on many things: age, sex, activity level, target calorie consumption, etc. There are many calculators online that will tell you how many you should eat (check out the Free Tools section for one). Ellie Krieger basically says that you can’t hardly eat too many vegetables, but you should limit fruit servings to no more than 4. Check out her book Small Changes, Big Results for more information.
  • Have fun: This challenge is meant to be a positive, supportive, and encouraging way to eat more fruits and vegetables. Have fun with it! Connect with other challenge participants. Use hashtag #projectvegup on twitter to tweet about your veg/fruit intake status or share useful recipes and articles with other challenge participants. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Enjoy learning about new recipes and ways to eat your fruits and vegetables and connecting with others.



I’ll be sharing tips in many ways:

  • Blog posts – I’ll post my personal tips, my wins and losses, lessons learned, recipes, etc. Click here to get free updates.
  • Email newsletter – I’ll share daily tips, offer encouragement, address issue areas (see next list), and send out easy recipe ideas (email thechiclife at gmail dot com with subject=”Project Veg-Up Challenge Newsletter” and I’ll get you added)
  • Facebook – I’ll post updates on how I’m doing along with useful links. Be sure to check the Discussion Boards for recipes shared with each other and other support
  • Twitter – I’ll be tweeting updates on how I’m doing with the challenge, recipe links, useful articles, etc.
  • Note: There will be some crossover between information in the various locations, but check each one so you don’t miss anything. ;)

Your Challenge Areas

I’d also like to hear what types of problems you run into when it comes to consuming fruits and veggies. Here are some issue areas I’ve heard so far:

  • I buy fruits and vegetables, but I put them in the refrigerator, forget about them, and they go bad.
  • Since it’s summer and HOT, I find it hard to actually want to eat veggies because all I want is cold fruit! Other than putting spinach in my green monster smoothies, I can’t think of any other ways to cool myself down AND get my veggies in.
  • I already have a lot to do in the morning to get ready for work and don’t have time to prep fruits/vegetables to take to work.
  • Fruits and vegetables can be expensive.
  • Fruits are messy to eat.
  • Sometimes it seems quicker and cheaper to go for packaged and frozen items.
  • Um, eating my strawberries WITHOUT heaps of Nutella. ;)
  • Eating raw veggies is hard on my IBS so I can’t eat veggies until I cook them at home in the evening.
  • Do you have a challenge with eating fruits and vegetables that you’d like to share? Please leave a comment. :)

I’ll be addressing your challenge areas via blog posts, Facebook, twitter, email newsletters, etc.

Free Tools

Serving calculator: The CDC has a neat calculator that tells you how many cups of fruits and vegetables you should eat based on your age, sex, and activity level. Click here to go to the calculator (note: 1 “cup” doesn’t necessarily equal 1 “serving”)

Project Veg-Up Calendar Preview.png

Calendar Tracker: I’ve created a calendar you can print out and keep with you to track your progress. Since Ellie Krieger recommends 2-4 servings of fruits and 3-6 of vegetables, I just put circles to represent the minimum numbers for each group (feel free to draw more circles to fit your goal servings if you want). Print out this calendar and check off the circles as you get your servings in for the day. It will feel so rewarding! Just like checking something off your to-do list!! ;)

Click here to download the Project Veg-Up Calendar

The Badge

I’m working on the badge. Work has been crazy, so I’m hoping to get one created this weekend. I’ll let you know via the tip methods listed in the previous section.

The Players


Are you playing along in the Project Veg-Up Challenge? If so, leave me a comment, whether you’re playing for the whole month, a couple weeks, a single week, a couple days, etc. and your URL if you have a blog.

  • Me
  • You?

Questions? Leave me a comment on my blog or Facebook wall/discussion boards, mention me on twitter, and I’ll answer you there. :)

Who’s In? It’s never too late to join! If June is halfway over and you just found out about the challenge, feel free to join in on the festivities! Better late than never! :)

Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge 2010


It’s here! Time for my 2nd annual Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge! Read on for details on how you can participate…

The Challenge Concept

If you’re like me, you believe that every change, no matter how small, in a positive direction, helps make the world a better place. So, why not use our knowledge of healthful eating to help our friends, family, and co-workers enjoy a slightly more healthy Thanksgiving?

Many people associate the holiday season with a time for indulging in a plethora of not-so-healthy eats. We eat at friends’ homes, office parties, and family get-togethers. At most Thanksgiving dinners, whether you’re hosting the whole meal or just bringing a side dish, you can bank on being able to share your mad cooking/baking skills with your friends, family, and even co-workers. Whether you’re cooking the main dish, bringing something on the side, or baking dessert, you can help make the world a healthier place by making your contribution a little healthier. Then, all your friends, family, and/or co-workers can reap the benefits of having healthier eats, too!

Show your loved ones that Thanksgiving can be a healthy indulgence.

How to Play

The Thanksgiving Food Challenge is simple – choose a dish and make at least one small change to make it healthier. You can make as many changes as you want, but even one change is great.

Here are some examples:

  • Use an organic ingredient (sub organic milk or eggs for your famous dessert)
  • Use a local ingredient (local veggies anyone?)
  • Use a humanely raised turkey (find one at *click*)
  • Substitute a healthier ingredient (try brown rice syrup instead of sugar as a sweetener)
  • Serve a healthier alternative (steamed green beans instead of green bean casserole)
  • Give a family recipe a complete, healthy make-over (tofu pumpkin pie is tasty!)

Click here to view my healthy makeovers for my family’s Thanksgiving 2009 for ideas.

Click here to view the entries from the 2009 Challenge for ideas.

How to Enter

You don’t have to have a blog to play!

There are 3 ways to enter (1 mandatory and 2 optional if you want extra chances to win):

  1. *mandatory* Leave a comment explaining what you made and what you changed.
  2. Tweet about the contest using the following: “I’m playing in the Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge 2010 t! #healthythanksgiving”. Leave a separate comment on this post to let me know that you tweeted an entry.
  3. Link to this contest from your blog. Leave a separate comment telling me you did.

Easy Rules:

  • Each entry must be left as a separate comment on this post to count individually.
  • All entries must be received by 8pm ET Saturday, November 27th, 2010.
  • Winner will be randomly selected.
  • Shipping of prize is for US only.
  • Winner will be notified via email and so must have a valid email address.
  • If winner doesn’t reply within 48 hours of email notification, a new winner will be selected.


I’ve created a banner for the challenge if you’d like to use it on your blog or web site:

You can use the following code to add this banner to your site:
<a href=""><img src="" border="0" width="170" height="170" /></a>

The Prize

The prize is helping make the world healthier one ingredient at a time. :) Oh wait, you want something for you? Ok…

I’ll randomly select someone from the group who posts by the deadline to receive a handmade (by me) pair of Swarovski pearl drop earrings (sterling silver) – perfect for your next holiday party and just in time!


I have a couple other pearl colors and several crystal colors and would be happy to help you pick some colors to match your preferences.

Wrapping Up

With this challenge being so simple, it should be pretty easy for lots of people to participate. Let’s spread the healthy word and show people that healthy can be tasty! And if you’re wondering how changing out 1 ingredient can make a different, I truly believe that every change for the better makes a positive impact overall. I leave you with this quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead

Who’s in?!

Project Hydrate


If you’re like me, you have a tough time getting your 8 glasses of water every day. And if you are like me, then why not join in on Project Hydrate to work on getting those very important fluids in.

(Feel free to borrow the graphic above if you’d like)

What is Project Hydrate?

Project Hydrate is a little challenge I put together to try to get myself to drink 8 cups of water every day for the rest of the month of March, starting Monday, March 8, 2010.

I typically barely get 4-6 cups of water a day, but I know I should drink more.

The Goods

I like reusable, non-BPA, aluminum bottles. They’re so much more eco-friendly than throw-away bottles of water.


I got this fabulous water bottle for Christmas.


I found these aluminum water bottles at Target today – 2 for the price of one ($12.99).

My Gameplan

I plan to use water bottles to help me gauge how much water I’m drinking. If I bring 2 water bottles with the total amount of water I need for the day, then I know I just need to drink the water from those bottles by the end of the day.

General Gameplan:

  • Since I work at an office all day and I’m a germiphobe, I prefer to take my water with me during the weekdays.
  • I’m planning to use eco-friendly water bottles, instead of standard bottled water.
  • I’ll try to space out my water intake over the course of the day. It’s not safe to consume too much water at one time and your body will be better hydrated if you pace yourself.
  • I get cold at the office, so I’m planning to make hot tea part of my daily water intake.
  • I’m planning to drink extra water for fitness activities.
  • I don’t typically drink much other than water, tea, and coffee, so I’m not really focused on drinks outside of those categories. If I drank them, I wouldn’t count sodas as part of my intake, though.

Daily Gameplan:

  • Coffee doesn’t count towards total intake
  • Bring 2 reusable water bottles full of water to work – each of mine hold about 3 cups.
  • Drink both bottles, paced out over the course of the day
  • Drink hot tea (to make up for any amount missing from the bottles – about 1-2 cups for me), also paced out

NOTE: Athletes have different requirements for proper hydration, which depend on the type of exercise and of course you. This challenge is for every day water consumption. You may want to research your activity to learn the best way to stay hydrated for your physical activity.


Anyone interested in joining me for Project Hydrate? Leave me a comment or email me at thechiclife at gmail dot com and I’ll add your name (and link back to your blog if you have one).

My Recaps

I’m trying to blog about Project Hydrate every day of the challenge:

Have you blogged about your experience with Project Hydrate? Lessons learned? Changes noticed? Etc.? Email me at thechiclife at gmail dot com or leave me a comment and I’ll link to your post.

NOTE: Please join in on Project Hydrate at your own risk. It is possible to consume too much water (though I’ve heard this isn’t typically applicable for the everyday person), so please be responsible. Also, Project Hydrate doesn’t take into account athletic activities. Athletes generally require more water than the normal 8 cups a day, depending on activity. Please consult your doctor before trying any new diet or lifestyle change or to learn about the appropriate amount of water intake for your personal needs.

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