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happy list

Happy List: #284

Hi! Welcome to the first Happy List of 2023! I’m so glad you are here.

This week on the blog I shared how I transitioned my holiday wreath to a winter wreath. I enjoyed figuring out a new way to use and display decor that I already own, especially the bird I put on the wreath.

I also published a blog post about our new bench for the sunporch. Handy Husband built it last month and I love how it functions out there.

As always, I like connecting with you! It makes this feel more like a conversation and less like a monologue. Please feel free to leave a comment or share this site with your friends. You can also connect with us on Instagram or Facebook. Thank you!

Here’s the Happy List!


This hollow core door transformation from A Beautiful Mess is fantastic! It never ceases to amaze me what a little paint and trim can do.

New hardware doesn’t hurt either! Check out all their door tips here.

hollow core door transformation a beautiful mess on the happy list

(image: A Beautiful Mess)


The Portland District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a free 2023 calendar featuring Oregon landmarks and cats. Hahaha!

I love the playfulness of this. You can see pictures from the calendar in this Good News Network story. You can also download the calendar for free on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

cat on dam 2023 calendar Portland district us army corps of engineers swns on the happy list

(image: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Portland District via Good News Network)


Did you hear that there’s a honeybee vaccine? Dalan Animal Health, Inc. was granted a conditional license from the USDA for vaccinating honeybees against American Foulbrood disease caused by Paenibacillus larvae.

The bees don’t get a teeny tiny shot. The queen is given a tiny bit of the vaccine in a candy. Bees like sweet things. The queen’s larvae then are born with immunity to the disease. How cool is that? Bees are critically important to our food supply, so this is exciting news.

You can read more about the vaccine on the USDA’s websiteBusinessWire, or CNN.

western honey bee on a honeycomb photo credit Matthew T Rader, https://matthewtrader.com, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
A honey bee on a yellow honeycomb

(image: “Matthew T Rader, MatthewTRader.com, License CC-BY-SA“)

P.S. I’d like to take my next vaccine in the form of candy too. Who can make that happen?


I made this Buffalo Chickpea Salad from Peas and Crayons last week. The kids did not eat it, but Handy Husband and I really enjoyed it.

I’m learning that chickpeas take on the flavor of whatever you cook them in or coat them with. I served the salad with naan bread and it was plenty filling enough for our dinner!

easy buffalo chickpea salad recipe from Peas and Crayons on the happy list

(image: Peas and Crayons)


The U.S. Postal Service will be releasing several new stamp designs in 2023. I thought it was very neat that 4 new stamps will feature skateboards!

The skateboard stamps were created by 4 different artists.

art of the skateboard USPS skateboard stamps 2023 on the happy list

(image: USPS)

Cinnamon Sugar Chex

I made the Cinnamon Sugar Chex recipe from One Little Project over the holidays and oh my gosh was it addictive.

Imagine Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal but 100 times better. In fact, I’m surprised one of my kids didn’t try to eat it in a bowl with milk.

cinnamon sugar chex recipe from one little project on the happy list

(image: One Little Project)

P.S. 8 cups of rice Chex is basically a whole 12 oz box of cereal.


I found this short video about how Roman roads were constructed to be very interesting, especially the security twist at the very end. If the YouTube video doesn’t load, here’s the direct link.

Now I’m wondering which is faster to build. A modern road or a Roman road? Because some of the road construction in our area lasts YEARS!


This gorgeous desk by Amsterdam-based designer Robert van Embricqs folds flat against the wall and looks like a wood art piece. You have to go see how it transforms. I was transfixed.

What do you think Handy Husband would say if I asked him to build me something like this?

Amsterdam-based designer Robert van Embricqs custom folding wood desk via This is Colossal on the happy list

(image: Robert van Embricqs via This is Colossal)


Did you know Lego Art is a thing? Some of the Lego Art sets that you can put together have an accompanying audio track so that you can learn about the art you are recreating, like this one recreating Hokusai’s The Great Wave.

Lego Art seems targeted at the 18+ audience, which I think is cool. If you enjoyed Lego as a kid, why should you stop as an adult? Play might keep us young or at least young at heart!

lego art world map via amazon on the happy list

(image: Amazon)

P.S. This Lego world map has almost 12,000 pieces! I could never.


Salute from The Really Short Poems of A. R. Ammons @w.w.norton, 1990.

May happiness
pursue you,

catch you
often, and,

should it
lose you,

be waiting
ahead, making

a clearing
for you

Thank you for reading today’s Happy List!

Be good to yourself and others this weekend.

I’ll see you back here on  Monday.


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