The Best Things In Life Are Free

TGIF!  I am glad that the week is drawing to a close.  It’s been a busy, crazy, hectic week.  They all seem to be like that, though. I am reminded when life gets crazy that sometimes the best things in life are free.

Things like:

Blooming flowers

Blue Skies & Sunshine in San Diego

Skylar’s smile

Walks on the beach together

 

Laughter and recent meetups with friends, Here and Here

I like this little passage.  Maybe you’ll like it, too. 

Eight Gifts That Do Not Cost A Cent (Author Unknown)

1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING…

But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION…

Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and holds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER…

Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE…

It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT…

A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR…

Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE…

There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION…

The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it’s not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You.

 

Moving on…

Time to think about a snack.

Maybe Kale Chips are your idea of snacking

Or how about No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

Vegan Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chex Mix, i.e. Puppy Chow (No-Bake, Vegan, GF) makes a highly addictive great snack

From my last post about Photo Editing: Before & After, Truths & Trickery, thanks for all the wonderful feedback and your thoughts about the future of photography.  Many of you said that you believe that photography as we once knew it is gone and that everything now is generally manipulated to some extent.

And thanks for the great comments and your thoughts about photo editing, airbrushing, photoshopping, and such as it pertains to celebrities in magazines or in online photos.  Many of you do feel tricked by what you see.  As I said in the post, it takes really having your head on straight and some maturity to realize that the images we see of women in magazines and in the media are not what those women really look like in their real life.  We know this intellectually, but it’s hard to wrap our emotional headspace around it, and fully internalize it.

Thanks for the awesome feedback on the post and thanks to new readers and de-lurkers for chiming in.

Moving on to a Snack/Dessert: No Bake Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls (you can use Almond, Sunflower Seed, or Cashew Butter in them, too)

Questions:

1. Do you think that sometimes the best things in life are free?  What free things in life do you love?

Don’t worry, I know that money is important and we can’t pay our electric bill with smiles and walks on the beach.  I have always said, life is easier with money than without.

But money isn’t everything and it can’t buy and sustain long term happiness, not for me anyway.

So when life gets busy, hectic, chaotic and I am rushing around like a maniac, it’s good for me to stop and smell the roses, look at the bright blue sunny skies, hug Skylar and just watch her smile.  That’s how I decompress, ground myself, and sustain a sense of internal joy.

However, I’m not a Saint.  I admit, buying things on This List or This List would be fun, too. And those things sure aren’t free!

Also my post on Being Grateful & Thankful and remembering to take time to appreciate what we do have, most of which are free things or things that cost nothing, is a good reminder when life gets crazy.

2. Did any of the 1 – 8 items in the passage I posted jump out at you?

For me, #5 compliments!  It doesn’t cost anything to compliment someone.  I wish women wouldn’t be so stingy with complimenting each other. It’s amazing how good you can make someone else feel, and in turn yourself when you see how happy you made the person, by just having something complimentary to someone.  Not fake, of course, but just throw them a little compliment.  And watch their joy. 

Also #7 solitude.  Oh, I need my solitude and alone time and that is probably one of the best free gifts, ever!

3. Weekend plans?

I’m working, spending time with Skylar, running errands, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, working out, you know, just chillin’ and eating bon-bons on the couch.

   

55 Responses to “The Best Things In Life Are Free”

  1. #
    1
    Emmanuelle — March 25, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Hey Averie, hectic it is indeed, I haven’t commented for what seems such a long time! And now I’m back to a great post :)

    Today I love the sun. Brussels is not usually the best when it comes to nice weather (understatement) but the sun has been doning its best rays for days now, and it feels so good just walking to work in such a light. I’m a photovoltaic sunflower ;)

    I love the passage you quoted, especially #1, the gift of listening. I am a good listener in general, but I also tend to cut people off sometimes, and talk a lot too when I should be listening. I’ll remember that one.

    Plans for the weekend: a yoga workshop on Saturday morning, and a breakfast delivered at home on Sunday morning (gift from friends), some art making, some running, some cuddling, some yoga class preparing, and Monday will be right round the corner already!

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    CathyK — March 25, 2011 at 3:20 am

    that is a wonderful list, averie. for me #1 and #4 jump out. i so appreciate when someone listens to me, and i genuinely enjoy listening to other people. the best thing i learned is to talk less, listen more, a lot of the time. i LOVE receiving a handwritten note! in this techie age, taking time to write to someone is endearing. that’s why i am sticking to handwritten christmas cards and notes! (i know, the season is far off, still!)
    i’ve got a busy work weekend – all the best with your chores/tasks, too!

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    Erica — March 25, 2011 at 3:23 am

    It has been a bit of a long week. I’m ready for the weekend! Skylar’s hair is getting so long! Its very pretty. And it is a great reminder that a lot of the best things in life are free ;) Yummy eats…..you know I want to make that puppy chow- I will get around to it one of these days :)

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    VeggieGirl — March 25, 2011 at 3:34 am

    The gift of true, close friendship & companionship = definitely a “best thing thing in life that’s free.”

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    lindsay — March 25, 2011 at 3:38 am

    I agree! compliments build confidence and character. And they are so easy to give. Everyone can find at least one thing nice to say about another. I’ll start….Skylar is gorgeous, she must get her looks from you!
    :)

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    Emma (Namaste Everyday) — March 25, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Friends are the best thing in life, and they are free! they are guaranteed to make you feel good and show you a good time.

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    Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope — March 25, 2011 at 4:38 am

    I LOVE that list Averie! I’d say I really relate to the affection and laughter ones. My best memories are when I’m with people I love, laughing, smiling, and simply HAPPY. Affection because hugs can seriously turn around someone’s entire week, and they are so simple to give. :)

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    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — March 25, 2011 at 4:43 am

    The gift of affection and the gift of laughter! I love those. I am all about the free gifts that have nothing to do with material items. Who needs stuff when you can have those? I hope you get to enjoy more of that today Averie! Have a great one my friend!

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    tweal — March 25, 2011 at 4:48 am

    My fav free things are sunshine and kisses – preferably at the same time!

    I agree that women are too stingy with compliments. I have always given them out freely and sometimes I get looked at like I am crazy, or like I am hitting on them! It’s a shame that being nice is so suspect these days.

    I never retouch my photos, mainly because I don’t know how! But also because I disagree with the process on a certain level. I prefer to be as authentic and real as possible, even if it means a shadow here or there.

    I’m super hungry for kale chips now…..

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    Download HD Movies — March 25, 2011 at 4:51 am

    became alert to your blog through google, and found that it is truly informative.

  11. #
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    Elizabeth@The Sweet Life — March 25, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Your first picture of the flowers has really brightened my day–it’s cold here, still, and the flowers are so gorgeous!

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — March 25, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Oh yes, some of the best things really are free. The compliment at just the right time, the smile passed on to you, the hug, can’t pay for those.

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    Jen — March 25, 2011 at 5:29 am

    You’re absolute right! I Love the Smell of Flowers in the Spring :)

  14. #
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    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — March 25, 2011 at 5:56 am

    I absolutely believe the best things in life are free. Thank you for the reminder to appreciate the little things. :-)

    • #
      Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — March 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      you asked me a question about lightroom and i forgot what it was exactly but i do love it and if you are into photography, and want to learn, then you’d like it too!

  15. #
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    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — March 25, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Ahhhh, so jealous of your sunshine and blue skies!! Some of the best things in life are definitely free!

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    Holly @ The Runny Egg — March 25, 2011 at 6:48 am

    The ones that popped out at me were the gifts of compliments and gifts of notes — getting a ‘good job’ or ‘thank you’ goes a long way and really boosts my mood! Same with notes — I love getting letters in the mail or emails! Any type of acknowledgment like that makes me happy!

    Yes the best things in life are free — spending time with friends, family, etc. doesn’t cost anything and yet those are the best moments!

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    rebecca lustig — March 25, 2011 at 7:19 am

    i love how you bring me back to the simplest and most important things to remember in life– to our roots and foundations. thakn you.

    have a great weekend!

    rebecca
    http://fromheretothereinpurple.blogspot.com
    http://twitter.com/rlustig

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    Leslie — March 25, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for the little reminder, Averie. It’s just what I needed today. :) I do believe long term, full happiness is not about the money. It’s about appreciating the little things all around you. I read the other day that making an effort to BE grateful and practice gratitute will MAKE you more grateful and happy.

    We plan on going to our country house over the weekend so I will definitely be “stopping to smell the roses”!

    Also, thanks for the kale chip recipe. I’ve been eating way too many toffee/chip cookie dough balls lately!!! I needed another non-sweet snacking option! ;)

    I’ve said it before, but your blog is really great. It really brightens my day. You and Skylar have the biggest smiles and it makes me smile.

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    Heidi @ Food Doodles — March 25, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Yes the best things are free :) Absolutely and it’s so good to be remind of that. Everywhere we look we’re told you need to buy this or that to be happy.
    I also agree with number 5. Compliments are good for the person getting them but they’re so satisfying to give! I think it’s an awful feeling liking something about someone and keeping it to yourself! Speaking of which, I LOVE Skylars hair. Love love love. I cannot wait until my daughters hair gets long, I’m so excited already and she’s only got 1 little curl that’s down by her neck :)
    My hubby who has been away all week is coming home tonight or tomorrow morning – so excited!

  20. #
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    Lauren (Diary of a Vegan Girl) — March 25, 2011 at 7:45 am

    oh my gosh, laughter definitely! When I am super stressed with school or whatever, if I have a good laugh I can literally feel my body becoming happy!

    And my plans for this weekend? Maui! :)

  21. #
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    Katie — March 25, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I agree with that whole list, and it is so important to remember those things. The compliments and solitude are HUGE on my list, as is written notes. Especially with email being so easy, I love when someone takes the time to actually write a letter. It is so simple, yet says so much!

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    lauren @ spiced plate — March 25, 2011 at 8:50 am

    oooh, thanks for this. it’s so true. the best things in life are free, they’re the most meaningful. This is something I’ll carry with me today, for sure, as those little goodies pop up throughout the day.

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    Valerie @ FreshMutz — March 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

    “Puppy chow” is so addictive. It got me through many late night cram sessions. Can’t wait to try your recipe. Happiest Friday!

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    Amber K — March 25, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Solitude totally sticks out for me. I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever do get pregnant, I need my alone time! ;)

    I do believe that the best things in life are free, but I definitely also believe that money makes life easier!

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    Deborah — March 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Although there are lots of things out there that I’d love that do cost money, I truly believe that the best things really are free! I have the love of a wonderful man and 2 beautiful children – it doesn’t get better than that!

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    Sam @ the neurotic yogini — March 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

    The best things in life definitely ARE free! Money is just paper.. it doesn’t make or break you! It cannot define who you are! I am flat broke – but HAPPY! :D That is all that matters!!!

    This weekend I get to go see my family in my hometown! Super excited! My 4 and 7 years old nephews are having their FIRST Little League game! hehe

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    Missy — March 25, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Hi Averie,
    Thanks for sharing the free gift of Sklar’s smile with us everyday AND the free gift of your awesome spirited blog.
    This is entirely unrelated, but I have been meaning to ask you a few questions and just now got the guts.

    1. How would you feel about selling me some of your scoby for Kombucha?
    I live in South Florida…not sure that would work.
    2. What brand/type of food dehydrator do you use (I am sure you have posted about that but I cannot find)

    You have my email address (0:”

    • #
      Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — March 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      In my Shop tab, I have the dehydrator linked via my Amazon store. Under kitchen items. You’ll see it. :)

      And the scoby…emailing you…

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    susan — March 25, 2011 at 10:21 am

    What a beautiful post Averie. I think 3, 5 and 6 stood out for me. You’re right the best things in life are free. I think some of my happiest moments are when friends and family are squashed on my couch in my sitting room and everyone is laughing and just having a good time. At these times, I say to myself ” life is amazing”.

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    Christine (The Raw Project) — March 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

    No kidding about this week, I’m so ready for it to end! Here we go with the weather bragging again. :-P That’s okay, our weather will be nice soon! Great list of gifts. And great treat recipe inspiration.

    1. Sure, lots of great things are free – friends, family, natural beauty, sex, etc.
    2. Laughter, affection and listening.
    3. Not too many yet, we’ll see how our weather goes.

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    (what runs) Lori — March 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Wow, Skylar has grown up since last time I saw her. She’s beautiful, Avery! :)

    The best things in life are free: health, sunshine, warmth, love, friends, happiness. :) Great post. Makes me smile.

    LOVE the weather you’re having in SD! SO JEALOUS!

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    Susan — March 25, 2011 at 11:48 am

    .

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    Susan — March 25, 2011 at 11:49 am

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    Erin @ Big Girl Feats — March 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Every week I think, “Next week won’t be so busy” and it’s always so crazy! I can’t imagine doing this plus being a mom. I now call my mom, who had three kids, a husband, a house, worked full time AND went back to school to get her masters and say “How the HELL did you do that?!?!” Gives me such respect for you working moms :)

    I have plans to continue to move this weekend. Oy! I can’t wait until the first week in April. I’m also taking a yoga workshop and cannot wait!

    I definitely agree with solitude – love my me time. And the compliment and disposition parts. So true and easy! My dad always said “Manners are free.” Totally stuck with me.

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    Get Skinny, Go Vegan. — March 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    How quickly we forget this, that the best things are free!! Always good to be reminded!

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    Paul Strobl — March 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    The best things in life are also not measurable :)

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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — March 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Number 8 stood out the most to me. It is so easy to be cheerful and happy and positive, and I don’t know why more people don’t be that way!!!

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    Mastering Public Health (@MasPublicHealth) — March 27, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I really enjoyed that list of free gifts — too bad the author is unknown; I would like to compliment him/her. :) You are right: the best things in life ARE free. At least, money sure can’t buy happiness. It can provide a lot of luxuries but can’t fill any emotional needs or voids, which is something every human needs satisfied. Enjoy your blue skies and bonding time with your angel!

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