happy list

Happy List: #142

Hello, everyone!

This has been a weird week schedule-wise for our family. Half days for school conferences will do that!

On Monday I shared the story behind the thrifted art in our master bedroom. I also revealed our navy blue sunporch on Wednesday. It has been a fun blog week! With the sunporch painted, I have now painted almost every room on our main level. The only room left down there is the bathroom, but it is covered in wallpaper and I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle that yet. How much wallpaper removal can one person take?

This week’s Happy List is less about the home and more about the awesomeness in the world. I needed that this week!


This is a sculpture made out of toothpicks. Thousands of toothpicks. My mind is blown!

It is amazing what artist Chris Soal can make out of ordinary objects.

chris soal toothpick sculpture via moss and fog on the happy list

(image: Chris Soal via Moss and Fog)

Closeups of his work can be seen here in a story by Moss and Fog.


For the first time, the top five winners of the Broadcom MASTERS National STEM Competition are girls.

The top winner, Alaina Gassler, is 14 and she developed a way to remove a particular blindspot inside a car to improve automobile safety.

I won’t even tell you what I was doing at age 14.

You can read more about all the students’ inventions and research in this Forbes article. You can bet I read this to my kids!


Sometimes Handy Husband makes a blog suggestion for you all and this is one of those times. I had to veto his other suggestions, by the way. Unless you are interested in a drill bit that can drill through stone walls 2-feet thick. Then I’ll reverse the veto.

He is so serious about the new barbecue cover we ordered that he’s writing a review. He’s one of those people. The cover cost about $23 and fits WAY better than the one that came with our barbecue. I wish we would have switched to this one a long time ago.

I also can’t figure out why Handy Husband likes his barbecue so much. He doesn’t use it! I do. Oh…that’s probably why he likes it.


I hope this Instagram video plays for you because it is the funniest and most relatable thing I’ve seen in awhile.

These little kids are trying to jump over hurdles and I feel their pain!


In case there are any men reading this blog post, please be advised that fancy department stores often have couches in the women’s restroom.

It turns out there is an ENTIRE history of why those couches are there. It goes back to the time before indoor plumbing. It also has to do with all the garments ladies had to strap themselves into back in the day. Did any of you ladies have to use the restroom while wearing your wedding dress? That’s the kind of tricky situation I’m talking about.

Do yourselves a favor and read about the history of these couches in this Citylab article.

couches in women's restroom via library of congress on the happy list

(image: CityLab via Library of Congress)


Read this entire post by the L.A. Fire Department. It will give you all sorts of warm fuzzies.

I love serendipitous moments.

View this post on Instagram

You really need to read this story. #unbelievable + In 1961, 484 homes were destroyed by the Bel Air Fire. This past week, some of those same (rebuilt) homes were again destroyed in the #gettyfire. + On October 30th, Engine 89 was working at the fire and found a small ring box out in front of the only home destroyed in that section of the street. Sitting there all by itself. When they opened it and saw the beautiful ring inside, they just knew this would be very important to the homeowner. They delivered it to the Command Post. + A few days later, once residents were safely able to return to their homes, a couple LAFD officers set off on their mission to find the ring’s owner. + They found her. That ring belonged to her mother…who lived in the home when it was destroyed in 1961 and this ring – it was the only thing that survived. Her mother was with her in the home when they had to evacuate last week. And now, the ring is again the survivor…finding it’s way to a spot where firefighters ‘rescued’ it. #wow + The resident was speechless and beyond happy to have the ring back. + Among the stories of heartbreak and devastation, these moments lighten our hearts. + We hope this beloved family heirloom continues to bring joy and smiles to its family. . . Image: A ring box being held open and reveals an antique looking wedding ring . #thelittleringwhocould #familyheirloom #crazystories #lifeisamazing #lafd #brushfire #losangeles

A post shared by LAFD (@losangelesfiredepartment) on


The creator of the Roomba vacuum has made a vacuum of sorts to capture lionfish.

I didn’t realize lionfish are such an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean. The problem is they voraciously eat other fish – up to 70 different varieties!

Read about the solution to catch lionfish here.

guardian mark3 lionfish vacuum via RSE on the happy list

(image: Robots in Service of the Environment)

That’s it for me today. Thank you for reading the Happy List!

If we haven’t connected yet on Instagram or Facebook, I’d love to see you there! This week I sat down at the piano and played some ragtime music on my Instagram stories. That little diddy is saved under “music room.”

Always keeping it random.



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