the happy girl guide to: using it's, its and its'

I realized this morning that I was about to use its' in a sentence and I had to look up the proper use of the word. It turns out its' is never correct. Like spelling the word 'vacuum,' if you're still a little confused as to when you should use each of these phrases, here's a handy graphic.

happy video: the baby seal moment

My friend, Sara Baker, is one the most brilliant people I know. She's smart, thoughtful and she can read people well. Today, she posted this video to my Facebook wall. I watched it and immediately felt joy, little bubbles of joy popping in my soul. It's a wonderful thing when a friend drops a happiness moment on you.

So, from Sara to me to you, enjoy this happy video of a reporter who unexpectedly finds himself cuddling with a couple of baby seals on a beach. I've been lucky enough to travel the world interviewing celebrities as a reporter for MSN but I would have given it all up to have one moment like this. To have the open kind of heart that attracts baby seals? Well that, that would be just about as good as it could get, I suppose.

Enjoy this wonderful bit of happy.

happy video: figure skater jason brown in his happy zone

There is something about the Winter Olympics and especially the ice sports that makes people happy. When I was a little girl my mom would make hot chocolate and popcorn and we would curl up together to watch figure skating and hockey. Even now I'm giddy with excitement thinking about the upcoming Olympics in Sochi. Watching athletes do what they love, what they have trained their entire lives for is an incredible thing.

When I saw this video of Jason Brown in his Free Skate at the the 2014 US Figure Skating Championship, during the first three minutes I thought "He's a great skater, sure." Then at the three minute mark, as soon as the music changes and he begins his Riverdance routine, you can see the change in him, in the way he skates. The first three minutes were just a warm up. At 3:04 he is perfectly dead center in his zone. He has the rapt attention of the crowd but my guess is that isn't what matters to him. What matters is that he is doing what he loves. There is really nothing happier than someone following his dream and being in that perfect moment. Watch and get ready for Sochi!

what a girl wants: the look

I have a friend named Jack. He's single and just an all around nice guy. Our group of friends all adore him. He has a demanding job, travels often and just hasn't found the time to settle down. Recently he has made it his mission to find "The One." A few weeks ago he asked me "What does a girl want? What is it that you (womankind) are looking for? What makes a girl happy?"

I tried defining it. I said "Well, a girl wants someone who makes her feel like she is the center of the universe. She wants to be the one to make him laugh. She wants to be the first person he calls when he sees something funny. The One--for her-- will walk on the outside of sidewalk, protecting her. Chivalry goes a long way. Be kind to your mother and to animals.  Know how she takes her coffee and have a positive outlook on life. Smile from your heart."

He looked at me baffled.

Later that night, I started flipping through some of the movies on our DVR and I fast-forwarded to my favorite scenes. I realized every single one of my favorite scenes had something in common. It was the look. It's hard to put into words, so take a look at the images below. It is that moment when the boy looks at the girl he loves and in that millisecond his look conveys that there is no one else in this entire universe that matters except for her. He's lost in her. Sure these are actors but in real life you can't force this look. It comes from your soul and bubbles up, intoxicating you.  I remember the first time Larry looked at me this way. It was on campus on a cold December night and he so disarmed me with that look that said "I can't help how very much I love you at this moment" that I smiled and thought "This is the man I will marry."

This morning I texted Jack and I said "I have your answer. Read the blog tomorrow. What a girl wants? Well, all she wants is the look. And when she's the right one it will just happen. The end. Or perhaps, the beginning."

Do you remember the first time you saw this look from someone you love? 

My favorite "look" in any film 
Rob Lowe in "About Last Night"

"Dirty Dancing"

"Love Actually"

"The Bridges of Madison County"

"Say Anything"

"Sixteen Candles"

"The Breakfast Club"

"When Harry Met Sally"

"The Way We Were"

soda, pop or tonic?

When I was growing up here in Massachusetts, we called lightening bugs, fireflies and grinders were known as subs. It was interesting when I moved to the west coast that highways were known as freeways and rotaries weren't something that you drove around. Caramel was pronounced in two syllables, not three and a Coke was known as soda and not pop. So, when I saw the NY Times geographic dialect quiz I wondered if I would skew more east or west coast. After 25 questions, it was pretty clear. It had pegged me right to Boston. I sent this quiz to other friends around the country and the Harvard Dialect Survey correctly identified where every one of us was from. 

Try it yourself and see how much your dialect growing up has affected your language today. 

Have a wonderful weekend!