Fifty ways to live a more beautiful life

October 22, 2014

I love lists, don't you? Some random thoughts here, in no particular order, on ways to live a more beautiful life.

1. Take a bath occasionally, rather than a shower. Close your eyes and relax. Some of your most creative ideas might come to you here.

2. Use the good stuff now. The silk blouse, the silver, the good china. Don't wait.

3. Light a candle for dinner.

4. Re-introduce the family mealtime. If you're by yourself, set a nice table anyway.

5. Always have flowers in your house. Find something from your garden or yard, or forego something at the grocery store and buy flowers.

I love using my grandmother's rose shears.

6. Take a tech sabbath once a week. Turn off the phone, the laptop, the TV, everything. Read, think, or go for a walk.

7. Be kind to everyone you meet.

8. Give something away to somebody just because. You'll be reminded that it truly is more blessed to give . . . 

9. Figure out what colors and shapes look/feel good on you, and gradually get rid of those items that don't. Be true to yourself; I finally admitted that I dislike wearing black even though it's supposed to be so chic. Now I don't have anything in my closet that's black and it feels good.

10. Forgive people who've wronged you. This can take a long time sometimes, but it is worth it.

11. Write a handwritten letter to someone. It will make their day.

12. Try to learn something new, or do something new, every day. For instance, I just learned how to save my blog (duh . . . about time).

13. Don't drink from plastic water bottles, except at the gym. Treat yourself to a real glass. 

14. One word. De-clutter.

15. Discover your passion, and spend a little time with it every day, even if you only have a half hour. Read, write, knit, paint, tutor, listen to opera, bake . . . 

Handmade pumpkins from Celestina Marie Design. 

16. Stop drinking soda and drink water instead.

17. Stop at the recycling bin before you come in the house from the mailbox and dump all the junk mail and catalogs before you bring them in the house.

18. Learn to say no. Not every need is a calling.

19. Learn to say yes. To things that scare you a little, but you've always wanted to try.

20. Find a hairstyle that suits you and is easy to style, and a good hairdresser. In my opinion, this is worth more than clothes, makeup, and jewelry put together.

21. Smile. It's an instant facelift.

22. Practice compassion. You have no idea what someone else is going through.

23. Make your bed every day. Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project says, unbelievably, this one thing makes people the happiest!

24. Learn to cook from scratch. You will save money and be healthier.

25. Make a list of things you are grateful for each day, if only in your head. Even on the worst days, you can be glad for a hot cup of coffee or a car that starts.

26. Put on your favorite music. Dance if you want.

27. Get enough sleep.

28. Have somebody to love, whether a spouse, a beloved kitty, a neighborhood child, or a friend at work.

29. Think before you speak. 

30. And listen without interrupting.

31. Floss.

32. Take a mini-retreat every once in a while. Once when my children were little, I booked a room in a local hotel for myself overnight while my husband watched the children. I just took a Bible, some inspirational books, and my journal. I had about 20 blissful hours of uninterrupted time, and came back refreshed and ready to be a wife and mommy again.

33. Get organized. Even if you only spend 10 minutes a day on a junk drawer or the linen closet or the spice rack, you will eventually get there, and feel so much more in control of your home. Set a timer and do it.

34. Stop feeling guilty about downtime. Our American culture makes us feel that if our planner isn't chock full of Important Things To Do, we are a slacker. Just don't go there.

35. "Comparison is the thief of joy." Be yourself; you're the only one who can.

36. Worry will show on your face.

37. "Fake it 'til you make it." I'm not the person I want to be, but I try to act like her. Cary Grant once said he wished he was as debonair, cultured, and gentlemanly as the characters he played in the movies. And after acting that way for years, he eventually became that person in real life.

38. Don't try to go it alone. Be humble enough to ask for help.

39. Stop trying to change or control people. Let them make their own mistakes decisions (oops . . . gave myself away there).

40. Invest in comfortable bedding and pillows. After all, you spend a third of your life in bed.

41. Spend time outdoors, enjoying the natural world, as often as possible.

42. Enjoy a good belly laugh, one that has you gasping for breath.

43. Make a ritual for getting through mundane tasks. Light a candle, put on some music, and fix a cup of tea when you're paying the bills, for example.

44. Polish your shoes, sew on that button, moisturize your heels . . . pay attention to the details.

45. Pay someone a sincere compliment.

46. Let an offense go. Decide you're not going to react. Does it really matter?

47. Quality, not quantity, with things.

48. But don't buy into the "it's quality time that counts" with people, especially children. It's not just quality time; it's quantity; lots of t-i-m-e spells l-o-v-e.

49. Be still and breathe.

50. And, above all, love the Lord. Talk to Him often. Believe His word. He cares for you more than you know.

I'd love to hear what you would put on this list. Please share.


  1. What a great list, Deborah! Don't know that I could add anything to it, but to illuminate #22, practice compassion. . .over the years, I've found that when working with someone who is "difficult", that if I am nice to them (even when it's sometimes a challenge), that eventually that person will warm up and open up. Everyone needs a friend. Thank you for this. I agree with every one!

    1. I agree; everyone we meet is facing some sort of difficulty, and if we can ease their way by a kind word or a listening heart, who knows how it might help? Thanks for visiting Cynthia.

  2. Beautiful, Deborah. I love this post and love this blog and just love YOU - so so so glad we found one another! It's such a pleasure visiting here. Hugs.

    1. . . . smile . . . thanks, Michele! So glad you are my friend, too. xo
      p.s. I'm eyeing something in your shop right now, debating . . .

  3. Oh, what a beautiful list! I just love this! Following these suggestions certainly makes for a beautiful life! It took me a long time to learn # 18, 38, and 46, and I am still working on those. This would make a great poster or little book. <3 xo Karen

  4. I'm loving all of your 50 ways, Deborah. Your first one is something that I do everyday and where I say my prayers. Thank you for your inspirational list. I'm going back to re-read them! xo

  5. Lovely list, Deborah! I'm happy to say I'm already doing several of the things on the list, but there are a few others that I should try...excellent suggestions! I feel the same way about orange and most reds as you do about blacks... hopefully I'll find the courage to rid my closet of them!

  6. Dearest Deborah,
    Wow, I made it through but with sleepy eyes... that was very long... I'm not yet well enough to do a lot of reading, nor writing (hurts!) but I try.
    Yes, I had to unexpectedly wast 6 days and 5 nights in the hospital. Makes you realize what IS important! One thing I am grateful for that I had scheduled my blog through October 27th. Made me ponder if someone from above made me do that?!
    One day at a time and yes, bedding is so important!

    1. I'm so sorry you were in the hospital so long! That must have been a terrible bite and infection. I hope you are well mended very soon. xo

    2. Dearest Deborah,
      No it was not but the fact that I cannot even go into the garden for weeding, when I get pricked by e.g. Holly leaves, I might end up at the ER. That's how my first flareup began. It is a very rare autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself. A minor scratch can cause such a flareup; complete with fever. But I'm on the mend, happily home and we just completed a long walk in the sunshine. Very warm weather we got, you can see it on my blog...

  7. Wow, impressive list, certainly food for thought. I will have to ponder for while but I would keep a lot of your list on my own. Inspirational post.

  8. That's a great list ! With # 50 in there, it's a wrap! :)

  9. Thank you for sharing this beautiful list!! I can't think of anything I could add :)

  10. Dear Deborah, Love this post and I agree with each and every one of the 50 points. I will save this to pass on to others. I had to lol with "fake it till you make it" I've been saying this for years and passed this on to many a friend. You end with the best point of all, loving and thankful to our Lord.
    Thank you for sharing pics once again of your pumpkins and the mention. So kind of you and I love your pics.
    Blessings to you my friend and thank you for always inspiring me!!

  11. What a great list to enhance our lives! Love your blog. And thanks for the reminder to save mine. I used to do it regularly but I'd forgotten. Hugs, Beth

  12. I loved "The Happiness Project", and I love your list! You mentioned so many great ways to live beautifully and gave us all a lot to think about. The only thing I might add would be to try to live in the present, because sometimes there is regret in the past and fear in the future (I have to work hard at this one.) Thanks for a wonderful message :)

    1. Thanks for visiting Julie. I just read an interesting article about living in the present. It said it's good to visit the past *If* we do so to remember happy times. Remembrance of happy times can help us in the present. But, definitely, dwelling on "could have, should have" regrets can really drag us down. And I know about worrying about the future; I have to let that go too.

  13. A wonderfully inspiring post, Deborah. I was not surprised at how many of these things matter to me, e.g., making my bed, or having a clean house, but it does calm me, and I find I am more productive when the state of my house is organized. In contrast, some other points, I have not mastered yet, e.g., some issues regarding forgiveness, and this has had the opposite effect on me.


  14. Lovely Deborah, I'm so glad we became good bloggy friends, you are one that seems to me I've known you for years. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post and all your posts are. I try a lot to do a little of everything in your list, but hey, I have to work on a couple. I specially have to make an effort on the control situation; letting others make their own mistakes, even if I do see them coming, lol...specially to your children, no matter if they're adults!
    Thanks for your sweet and kind wishes on my B'day, I had a great week!
    Enjoy your weekend,

  15. Deborah, I really enjoyed each and every item you shared with us, excellent!
    I would love to print this and keep it handy.
    I totally agree with number 23, it seems like if your bed is made then the rest of your home looks and feels cleaner. I just have to make my bed even if I'm running late.
    Beautiful post.
    Sweet blessings, Debbie

  16. Wonderful, wonderful thoughts. My favorite--" use the good stuff now!" I'm often guilty of not doing that-- but I want too!

    Thank you for your visit-- kind words-- and support for Alicia.

    Love, love

  17. What a great list, love them all equally I think!! but I do love a made bed, nothing worse than climbing into an unmade bed in the evening when the sheets are still knotted up!!!

  18. Deborah,
    This is a wonderful post! Such great advice! There are a few suggestions on your list that I really need to focus on. Thanks for sharing this!

  19. I love lists too and my first thought was to get my journal out to write some of these down. So....write in a journal! I write every day and it helps me record important things as well as every day life....thoughts and dreams! I love your list! Sweet hugs my friend, Diane

  20. This is a great list. I strive for a number of things and practice some of them. A few are just not me. :-) No. 50 is the most important!

    I may have missed something, but I'd add to walk or exercise several times a week with a friend or family member. It really is refreshing and health-giving in more than one way. Also, I like to recommend digging in the dirt. It has been found to be therapeutic - it helps balance our electrical charge with the earth and there are microbes in soil that contribute good health benefits. Plus it just makes a person feel good to subdue a little bit of creation into something more beautiful - even if it is just a planter. For people who aren't around children, I'd also suggest making time to spend with kids. There's nothing like a kid's happy laugh to lift the heart and spirit. :-)

    I've used ideas from The Happiness Project too.


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