halloween turkey vulture in cemetery on the happy list
happy list

Happy List: #232

Hello, hello, and happy early Halloween! Welcome to the Happy List!

This week on the ol’ blog I shared the Star Ring Story. It was one of those moments in life that just seemed to stick with me in all the right ways. I also shared the inclusion of my Halloween mantel on the U.K. magazine Living Etc.’s website. That was a lovely Halloween treat!

If you don’t follow along with us on Instagram or Facebook stories, please join us there! That’s where all the stuff in between the blog posts happens.

Also, here’s your weekly reminder if you create something that makes you happy however big or small, please tag me! I really do love to see what you are making.

Now, here’s the Happy List!


Textile artist Polina Laamanen makes the most gorgeous embroidered bird brooches. The detail on them is exquisite.

She’s based in Finland and I believe you can order directly from her site. You can also follow her on Instagram.

polina laamanen textile artist bird brooch on the happy list

(image: Polina Laamanen)


My family likes things a bit spicy when it comes to food, so this Creamy Buffalo Chicken and Rice Soup from Gimme Some Oven is on my list to make the next time I make chicken soup, which is usually once a month or so.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever made a creamy soup using sour cream for the cream part, but I can see how it would work. I just used sour cream instead of milk in scrambled eggs and it was DELICIOUS.

gimme some oven creamy buffalo chicken and rice soup on the happy list

(image: Gimme Some Oven)


Five kids started biking to school in Barcelona and now it is large enough of a grassroots movement that the kids have a weekly published route for their “bike bus” and a police escort.

It would be neat if this idea spread to other cities. We’ve been to Barcelona and it was such a cool place. We basically walked around the city for two days and my kids sampled all the neighborhood playgrounds.

If the Twitter thread has trouble loading, view it here.


How do you count to 5 using your fingers? If you grew up in the U.S., you probably start with your index finger and finish with your thumb.

That’s not how everyone else counts! Some countries start with the thumb. Others start with the pinkie!

Read more about it in this BBC article. FYI, this topic made for a great dinner conversation around our table.

P.S. I needed a hand picture. This is all I had on file. Me wearing thrift store jewelry finds. If you’re a robber, these aren’t real. Although, that’s what I would tell a robber, right? But they really aren’t. Real diamond bracelets aren’t stretchy. Ha!


I already shared these Sorel Out ‘N About™ III Classic Duck Boots, but I finally got to start breaking them in this past weekend and I’m excited all over again!

Don’t they look cute? This is my 4th pair of Sorel boots and you can’t beat the quality. I do wish boots in general didn’t have to be broken in, but it is what it is.

sorel out and about III classic duck boot on the happy list

I always wear a size 8 in Sorel, but if I wanted to wear thick winter socks instead of normal socks with these boots, I’d need to size up a half size.


I’ve been casually looking for ovens online lately and dying a little inside over the cost. $10,000 for an oven? Why?!?!

One thing I DO like about these expensive European-style ranges is that many of them do not have a window in the door. Have you noticed this?

There has not been one time where I’ve turned the oven light on, looked through that dirty window, and said, “Yep! Looks like my cookies are done!” Not one.

I always crack the oven door to peer in, which is probably a good clue that I’m not a professional chef or baker. I’m just a mom who wants whatever I’m baking to be done already.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

Would you give up your oven door window?

In other news, we need to save a lot of money for new appliances that look old.



I highly encourage you to listen to or read the transcript of the TED Talk titled “What Really Matters at the End of Life.” It was beautiful and poignant. I thought it carried good advice for those of us who aren’t at the end of life.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Probably the most poignant room in the Zen Hospice guest house is our kitchen, which is a little strange when you realize that so many of our residents can eat very little, if anything at all.

But we realize we are providing sustenance on several levels: smell, a symbolic plane. Seriously, with all the heavy-duty stuff happening under our roof, one of the most tried and true interventions we know of, is to bake cookies.

As long as we have our senses — even just one — we have at least the possibility of accessing what makes us feel human, connected. 

Imagine the ripples of this notion for the millions of people living and dying with dementia. Primal sensorial delights that say the things we don’t have words for, impulses that make us stay present — no need for a past or a future.”

BJ Miller, hospice and palliative medicine physician

Thank you for reading today’s Happy List.

Be good to yourself and others this Halloween weekend. 

I’ll see you back here on Monday for the first day of November! Time flies.


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