Kids have it made. Thoughts of recess, cartoons, and candy fill their heads, while words like taxes, jury duty, and morning alarm clocks might as well be a foreign language. But those times we find ourselves thinking, “Those were the good ol’ days,” or, “What I wouldn’t give to be young again,” we aren’t fantasizing about the sugar highs that made us feel sick or the purple bruises we earned from playing dodgeball. We’re dreaming of the naïve innocence of childhood and the simple pleasures that resulted from it. Although we think that’s lost forever, it’s actually easy to rediscover.
5.) Color a picture.
Restaurants hand out kid’s menus to color on while waiting for food to arrive, but that doesn’t mean crayons are only meant for kids! Pull out an old coloring book or print a coloring page off the internet, and buy a box of crayons for 89¢ at Office Max. You don’t even have to color inside the lines!
4.) Swing on a swing set.
Feel the wind blow on your face as you pump your legs and fly high into the sky. On a beautiful day with the sun warming your skin, the liberating freedom of a swing will whisk away all of your stress. Jump off if you dare!
3.) Wish on a dandelion.
Close your eyes, think of something good, and blow! Watching the seeds dance in the wind will bring that innocent smile to your face. It’s even better if your wish comes true!
Not just one circle. That just looks like a dog settling down for a nap. Full-on twirling—spinning so fast until you get dizzy and fall to the ground—will leave you giddy and giggling. Just like a little kid!
1.) Celebrate the “firsts.”
We throw celebrations for every “first” imaginable in a child’s life—first steps, first tooth, first word, first real food—even up through the first day of school five years later. Yet as the years slip by, we gradually stop celebrating each precious moment, and we find ourselves too busy to marvel at the simple events we previously cherished. This is the easiest thing to change. Celebrate the first time you wake up before your alarm in the morning, the first day you hit every light green on your way into work, or the first evening you make it home before the first pitch of the baseball game. A small smile to acknowledge the moment is all it takes.
Over the weekend, I celebrated a “first”: I baked my first cheesecake! Sinfully luscious and deliciously decadent, my taste buds loved every bite, from the first forkful to the last. And I’ll even celebrate the second time I make it, and the third, and the fourth…
modified from CL’s German Chocolate Cheesecake
Be sure to let it chill the full 8 hours. I was too impatient, but I realized that the crust firms up a bit so it doesn’t completely crumble to pieces when you try to serve it. Top with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce for an extra delicious treat.
8 honey graham crackers
¼ c. sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
½ c. Dutch press cocoa
½ c. hot fudge sauce
¼ c. skim milk
20 oz fat-free cream cheese, softened
8 oz ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1½ c. sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 9” springfoam pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Process the graham crackers in a food processor until they turn into crumbs. Combine in a bowl with sugar and butter, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Press into the bottom of the springfoam pan and bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°.
- In a small bowl, combine cocoa, fudge sauce, and milk, stirring until smooth.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheeses with a mixer until smooth. Add the sugar, flour, and vanilla, mixing well. Add the eggs and whites, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the chocolate mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour filling over graham cracker crust. Bake cheesecake at 325° for 1 hour 5 minutes, or until the middle barely jiggles when the pan is touched. Remove and run a knife around the outside edge. Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours before serving.