happy list

Happy List: #131

Hey, hey!

All my friends in the Southeast have sent their kids back to school and I love those pictures! We still have a couple of weeks before school starts, so plenty of time to procrastinate on getting school supplies. Right?!

This week I shared the new and improved pictures of our backyard. I do not miss the fence we took down one bit. I just need to try to sell or giveaway the fencing material now, since Handy Husband was very careful about how he took it apart.

I also shared a neat place you need to shop at if you live in or are visiting New Jersey. It is called Smalltown Antiques and it is fabulous.

Here’s the Happy List!


This recipe from Half Baked Harvest for Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs looks delicious to me. I’m not sure if my kids would enjoy it though.

I guess that would mean more for me!

coconut curry chicken meatballs by half baked harvest on the happy list

(image: Half Baked Harvest)


There’s no good segue from meatballs to rodeo dirt, so I’ll just ask my question.

Have any of you gone to a rodeo this summer?

st paul rodeo

Did you know the composition of the arena’s dirt is really important?

I didn’t!

There should be three layers. There should be a certain composition of various minerals. It can’t be to dry or too moist. It is packed differently in different parts of the arena based on the events.

And! Most arenas store their rodeo dirt separate from all their other dirt when it isn’t being used.

This is something, as a spectator, that I haven’t given one second of thought to until now.

Learn more in this Popular Science article.


This is a clever DIY to turn an old copper heater into a lamp!

Easy tutorial (seriously, I think I could do it) can be found at Simplicity in the South.

copper heater lamp by simplicity in the south on the happy list

(image: Simplicity in the South)


If you’re still scratching your head over the lunchbox situation for the school year, this is what my kids used last year and will use again this year because they are still in perfect shape. Both are from Amazon.

My son (9) has this basketball lunchbox┬áthat is made of Neoprene. He used it 4 days a week last year and it is still in perfect shape. I like that it can fold down flat when not in use. When he has spilled yogurt of something gross in it, I’ve rinsed it out in the sink and then thrown it in the washing machine. That took care of the smell!

My daughter (12) has this insulated lunch box┬áby Samerio. It is $16.99. She likes it because there’s a shoulder strap. Her backpack was always so full, this made it easier to carry. Also, there’s a zipper pocket to put money or other essentials that are necessary in middle school.


Have you ever seen such a beautiful, serene-looking stair railing?

And no one rain on my parade asking how durable it is or how you dust it. Let’s just savor the beauty in all that natural texture.


Remind me if I ever visit New Mexico (and I want to!) to check out The Hollar Restaurant.

Look at that wood wall! I can only imagine how much time that took.

the hollar restaurant madrid new mexico on the happy list

(image: The Hollar Restaurant)


I am 100% here for this dessert cheese ball idea from Inspired by Charm!

I’d imagine the dessert is adaptable to different cake flavors too.

birthday cake cheese ball dessert from inspired by charm on the happy list

(image: Inspired by Charm)


I listened to this podcast from 99% Invisible about how data bias can affect how the streets are plowed in a place like Sweden. When Swedish researchers were studying the commute patterns of women and men, they realized that they should be plowing side streets and sidewalks before major arterial highways. It’s easier to drive in 3 inches of snow than push a baby stroller in 3 inches of snow. When they switched their snow plowing strategy, they reduced the number of injuries and reduced their healthcare costs too.

I read this article on the 24 books recommended by TED Talk speakers. Now I have some books to add to my reading list!

Thanks for reading the Happy List! I hope you have the happiest of weekends. Enjoy August before it’s gone!

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