Don’t Worry…Be Happy

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The Queen and I are always finding out new ways to be happier people. We travel, we have hobbies, we enjoy a few TV shows and we play around a bit on social media.

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram – we like scrolling through feeds and pictures to see what other people are doing to make themselves happy.

I get a kick sometimes when I’m scrolling through my feed and I see those words of encouragement posts or ones that get me to laugh out loud. The Queen and I both have this one printed out and pasted at our desks to remind us that:

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It’s certainly true and we’ve seen it first-hand. You may be filthy rich – doesn’t mean you’re happy….although I would like to personally put that one to the test.

Another favorite (This one is true, in my case):

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But one came across my feed the other day that got me pondering (and chuckling)….

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Not a single one of us has arrived yet. We all have our faults, our weaknesses and our areas of improvement.

Love and Compassion are valuable traits to have. Sometimes though, that love and compassion without boundaries can open us up to thinking we have to fix everyone’s problems on our own. That’s a fast track to heartburn, baby!

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I’m not saying we ignore our friends and family who are struggling. But other people’s problems do not have to become your problems. I’m not so black and white as the above picture, but the idea is pretty spot on.

So here are a few ideas to help bring happiness to your life – and maybe you can encourage your friends and family who may be struggling to try these tips:

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1. Forgive - Just because you forgive someone doesn’t make you a weakling.   Forgiveness means you’re strong enough to know that people screw up from time to time. Bitterness only leads to unhappiness and science has shown that people who carry unforgiveness are more susceptible to illness.  (Gosh – this one is difficult for me and I struggle mightily with it)

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2. Think Positive – Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Negative thinking only brings pain and hurt. Try to see the good side in all things. Smile when you want to frown. It takes effort, but it will make a difference.

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3. Don’t worry about what the world thinks of you – People are going to judge.  It’s human nature. Be satisfied with who you are. If you’re not happy with who you are or where you’re going, make the necessary changes. Don’t seek the world’s approval because you’ll most likely never get it. Be around positive people who pour good things into you. If one person doesn’t like you, there are probably two others that love you. Go be around those two people.

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4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – Remember the cookie pizza from Domino’s?

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Don’t regret the mistakes you made in the past. They are why you are who you are today. If you didn’t make mistakes, you wouldn’t be the person you are now. We all make mistakes. The thing to remember is to learn from them and use those lessons to improve yourself. I’m going to make mistakes today. It’s ok.

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5. Get out in the world! Get out and enjoy nature. Plan a trip. Take a walk. Enjoy the sunshine. Visit a beach. Fill up the tank and take a nice drive. Whatever you choose to do, go out and do it! Get into something that forces your mind to work. Sitting in front of the TV won’t do that. Neither will Lumosity. Go make some memories. Ever been sitting around and said to a friend, “Hey you remember that time we were watching TV and….”?

Me neither.

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Stop worrying.

Go be happy.

A Weekend in Boca and Delray

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 As we’ve come to quickly learn here at SK dot com, carefully thought out and meticulously organized plans should always be accompanied by an equally thought out and meticulous backup plan. Unfortunately, the backup plan wasn’t meticulously organized but turned out to be just what we needed.

The plan was originally supposed to be a two beach (and possibly a three beach stop if time allowed) weekend. Friday, we would go to Red Reef to snorkel. Saturday would be Atlantic Dunes for some shelling, as we heard it was a hot spot for really cool and larger shells. Sunday, donuts on the way out and maybe a quick stop at Seagate Beach to check out the water.

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We decided instead to start out Friday with a hearty breakfast at Nick’s 50′s Diner with the Queen’s brother and hit one of his favorite beach spots – Singer Island in Riviera Beach.

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It was a good suggestion. The beach is quiet, peaceful and private. Parking is free (yes!) and it’s very close to a string of eateries and shops. So if you get hungry and thirsty or just need to slip into some A/C, it’s a couple hundred yards away.

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It’s not really what I would call a shelling beach, however we did find about a hundred very cool Spectral Bittersweet Clams, some sea glass, a large lip of some sort of helmet or cowrie and some mini shells in the surf.

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The water was sparking blue and clear and teeming with marine life. Great if you wanna strap on a mask and snorkel and just enjoy the show.  I had a run-in with a teeny tiny little squid, who thought I was some giant plaything. He was about 3 inches long and inquisitive as can be. I think he was a Caribbean Reef Squid. He hung out with me for about 5 minutes or so until I tried to hold him in my hand. Then he decided he’d had enough!

After a long Friday, we decided to skip the fireworks festivities around us and retire to the hotel for some much needed rest.

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Saturday, we wanted to hit Atlantic Dunes Park for some shelling. Unfortunately, we woke up to a torrential downpour. So…no beach. Since it was raining, we decided to instead to hit the Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, which was about 35 miles to the North.

If you haven’t been to Lion Country Safari, you need to make the trip. The Queen and I visited here once before not long after we got married. It is a drive-through safari that is a MUST see if you are in the West Palm Beach area….and the animals love to come out when it’s raining.

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It’s $29.95 per person plus $6 for parking (for the walk-through Safari, which is at the end). When you get your ticket, they give you a ride-along CD that narrates as you pass through the park (at 5-7 MPH).

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The preserve is divided into seven sections – each section containing animals that would be in their African counterpart. You coast through the park in your car (windows up please) and the animals quite literally walk beside and in front of your vehicle.

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I bet by now you’re looking at the pictures and going, “Where’s the rain?” Yeah, there wasn’t any. Welcome to Florida. Could be nasty rain outside but drive 35 miles North and there’s not a cloud in the sky. Weird, huh?

Oh yeah, Lion Country Safari has lions.

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The drive through is 4 miles long. You can make it through in about an hour, but we recommend that you slow down, take pictures and enjoy these truly majestic animals.

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There’s something really cool about being literally 10 feet from one of the baddest animals on the planet.

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As I mentioned before, there is also a walk-through Safari called Safari World.

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The walk-through portion is an all-day event if you have children. Once they see the rides and the 4,000 sqft water park, they’ll be at it all day.

Safari World contains some of the smaller land animals like birds, tortoises, snakes and alligators.

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There is also a Giraffe feeding exhibit where you really get up close and personal with these guys.

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We had an awesome time!

So upon leaving, we decided we’d try and hit Atlantic Dunes on our way back and see if we could squeeze in some beach time since the weather was completely clear. Good thing we’ve learned our lesson about always packing the beach gear!

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Unfortunately, another front was coming through and we didn’t have much time.

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It’s another one of those quiet, semi-private beaches that on a sunny day would be perfect.

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After about 20 minutes in the warm but murky water, thunder started clapping and the lightning started crackling. The front came through quick! Time to go!

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The Boca/Delray/West Palm area is one we will certainly visit again. The water is just as beautiful in spots as you would find in South Beach. Unfortunately we struck out on our search for some keeper shells. Never the less, we filled in our time well and had a great weekend getaway.

We definitely recommend the area to visit if you’re looking for a slower pace with slower traffic and a break from the hustle and bustle. Lots to do and good things to eat (make sure you hit BurgerFi for some great cheeseburgers)….with beaches that will have you salivating.