happy list

Happy List: #176

Hello! Welcome to another edition of the Happy List!

How is August treating you?

As you know, we live on the East Coast. On Tuesday we were pounded by rain from Storm Isaias. We’ve been without power all week! Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, the power will be restored.

This week on the blog I shared the new chandelier for our music room. I love it more than I love temperatures in the 70s. (But don’t ask me that question on a 90 degree day.)

I also shared my Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition. One of the items on that list is celebrating the little things. That’s why we celebrated my daughter’s accomplishment of one year in braces. I was also going to mention that she hasn’t broken any brackets, but I can’t mention that without jinxing it, so I’m not going to mention it. Ever.

Good talk, guys. Good talk.

Here’s the Happy List!


This house and my house could be friends. Doesn’t that wood floor look just like the floors in our house?

This remodeled home in New York is gorgeous. You need to go see their mudroom door. I love it a lot.

dutchess county ny farmhouse via remodlista on the happy list

(image: Remodelista)


The pandemic has really changed working from home, hasn’t it? Case in point, Alanis Morissette perfumed on the The Tonight Show holding one of her kids.

I have no doubt she’d be the consummate professional at her concerts that you bought tickets to see. When you’re watching a free show on tv, well, I rather like seeing this human side of famous people.

And…her new song Ablaze seems to be a song written for her kids.

Here are two of my favorite stanzas:

To my boy, my precious gentle warrior
To your sweetness and your strength in exploring
May this bond stay with you through all your days
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze

To my girls, all your innocence and fire
When you reach out, I am here hell or high water
This nest is never going away
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze


I really, really appreciated Kate from Wit and Delight‘s blog post titled, “Ode to Outdated Kitchens.” She encourages her readers to embrace the unique style of our homes and one of the places to do that is with a kitchen.

As a person with a dated kitchen (even after I did some updating to it), I could relate to the sentiments she expressed.

Parts of my own dated kitchen are growing on me! I think that’s because I stopped apologizing for it. Instead, I started embracing its quirks and challenged myself to put my own spin on it right now.

In full disclosure, I also cross my fingers a lot hoping that nothing catastrophic happens in here until we are ready to remodel. After all, I did use construction adhesive to glue my granite countertop back together!

Go see the awesome examples of dated kitchens she put in her blog post. I loved seeing how people were rockin’ their dated cabinets and counters.

colonial farmhouse kitchen black cabinets on the happy list


Speaking of kitchens, Japanese women used to spend HOURS each day making rice for their families.

The story of how the automatic rice cooker was invented involves a race between Japanese companies, men not thinking it was important, and a woman who saved the day. It was fascinating! Read about it in this Atlas Obscura article.

I don’t have a rice cooker right now. Anything that plugged in when we moved to Ireland had to be sold or donated and I haven’t replaced it. My kids usually scrub the pans after dinner, so that might be why I haven’t replaced it yet.

kamado oven wikicommons on the happy list

(image: Kamado rice cooking oven in Japan via public domain)


Would you sleep in side by side beds with your partner? Or do you think that’s weird?

This Domino article explores the sleep “divorce.”

I’m of the opinion that sleep is sleep. How we best sleep is no reflection on our commitment as a couple. In fact, I know MANY couples where one ends up getting up in the middle of the night to sleep in a recliner, a couch, a kid bed (because the kid got in their bed), etc. It’s just that no one talks about it for fear of some sort of judgment.

I also know couples that rarely sleep in the same bed because one of them works nights or travels for work.

I’ve shared before that Handy Husband and I have a middle approach to this idea. We do have separate twin xl beds because we realized we each needed a different mattress support, but they are pushed together and held together by a king-sized sheet. (Two twin xl beds equals a king.)

The game changer for us is separate covers. We sleep so much better now because we can regulate our body heat better with separate duvets. We also get up at different times and having separate covers helps avoid disturbing the other when waking up.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLE FRANZEN; DESIGN BY STUDIO ROBERT MCKINLEYsleep divorce double beds via domino on the happy list

(image: Photography by Nicoloe Franzen; Design by Studio Robert McKinley via Domino)


Two songs in one Happy List post! What kind of crazy list is this?

I’ve been humming this upbeat tune from Jamestown Revival all week because sometimes I need the reminder that this too shall pass!

Here are a few of my favorite lyrics:

I tell you, my brother, if you only knew
Beyond the horizon’s a beautiful view
And if you keep moving, you’re gonna find
Maybe you’re doing, you’re doing fine, doing fine

You see, I’ve been in your shoes
Just another day, got to pay your dues
Hard times won’t be your last
Trust me when I say this too
This too
This too
This too shall pass


This is what we teach our kids and try to emulate ourselves, but it is hard some days.

It is okay to respectfully disagree, but make sure you are taking the time to research issues, learn from others’ experiences, and grow as an individual.

The full context of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s response can be found in this Upworthy article.

arnold Schwarzenegger snowflake response via upworthy on the happy list

(image: Upworthy)


If you haven’t tried making s’mores with Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies you need to drop everything and get yourself to the store RIGHT. NOW.

The ratio of chocolate, cookie, and melted marshmallow was just right, in my opinion.

I made these on a rainy night and melted the marshmallows in the oven on a piece of parchment paper. No campfire necessary! Just heat them until the point they start to puff up and then mush the melted marshmallow between two cookies. YUM!

My kids had never had this type of cookie, so it was fun to take them on a walk through my childhood memories of eating these cookies at my grandparents’ house.

keebler fudge stripe cookie smores


“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”  ― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

That’s it for me! Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and if you have free time, come check out what we are doing on Facebook or Instagram stories this weekend.

Take care!

I’ll see you back here on Monday.



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