happy 75th dad girl on horse with dad
happy list

Happy List: #304

Hello! Welcome to this week’s Happy List. I’m absolutely thrilled that you are here.

Also, happy early Father’s Day to all the dads, dads-to-be, and father figures out there. I have a fantastic dad and the picture above is me and him when I was a toddler.

This week on the blog I shared 10 tips for building an outdoor ping pong table. Ours is getting used every day and I couldn’t be happier about it!

We also celebrated our 4 year anniversary of buying this Colonial Farmhouse! Time flies when there’s always something to do around here. Thank you for following along on our journey.

In addition, thank you for all of your comments, support, likes, shares, etc. here and on social media. Your engagement really does matter to us! If you want to connect with us, you can always comment on this blog post or send an email here. You can also reach out on Instagram or Facebook.

Now, here’s the Happy List!


I really love the staircase in this home designed by Jennifer Miller Studio! It’s not your usual spindle situation and it caught my eye. Also, it looks easier to paint than traditional spindles.

See more photos of this home over at Rue Magazine.

butterfly house montecito home tour by jennifer miller studio photography by James Michael Juarez via Rue Magazine on the happy list

(image: Interior Design: Jennifer Miller Studio | Photography: James Michael Juarez | via Rue Magazine)


Now I know what to do with one of these curved baskets if I ever see one at the thrift store. I also know exactly where I’d put it – in front of the metal grate I have hanging on our dining room wall.

See how Sarah gave this basket a subtle sheen and where she finds realistic-looking faux succulents over at Sadie Seasongoods.

succulent wreath in a curved basket by sadie seasongoods on the happy list

(image: Sadie Seasongoods)


Scientific American is reporting that for the first time ever in the U.S., wind and solar generated more electricity than coal in the first five months of 2023. Bravo!

Read the whole story here.

identiflight wind turbine cameras on the happy list

(image: Identiflight)


I know this anatomy stamp set is probably for kids but look how cool it is! I’d be all over the Halloween crafts with this set.

kikkerland anatomy stamp set on the happy list

(image: Kikkerland)


Photographer Paul Thompson gets up very early in the morning to photograph empty ping pong tables in London. He finds them in all sorts of places like parks and even under roadways.

We have ping pong tables on the brain since we recently built one, so his work definitely caught my eye. You can see more of his photos in this Creative Boom article or at London’s Wren Gallery.

paul thompson empty ping pong table london via creative boom on the happy list

(image: Paul Thompson via Creative Boom)


Thanks to this recipe from Peas and Crayons, I just realized that lentils can be seasoned to have a chipotle flavor and can be used in tacos and burritos instead of meat.

Lentils are SO good for you and I should cook them way more often than I do. Adding this recipe to my “to try” list!

chipotle lentil burrito bowls from peas and crayons on the happy list

(image: Peas and Crayons)


This photo of two gigantic rubber duckies floating in the otherwise grey waters of Hong Kong made me smile.

These rubber ducks by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman have been on tour since 2007. I’d love to see them in person. Learn more about it here.

giant rubber ducks floating in hong kong 2023 photo by SWNS via Good News Network on the happy list

(image: SWNS via Good News Network)


This pretty craft from the House of Hawthornes caught my eye for 3 reasons.

First, I didn’t know you could glue pressed flowers to glass.
Second, I did not know there is a dishwasher-safe Mod Podge. Did you?
Third, I did not know that you could buy pressed flowers. You don’t have to press them yourself!

I learned so much from this tutorial! Check it out here.

pressed flower glued on a glass jar craft by house of hawthornes on the happy list

(image: House of Hawthornes)


Everything Must Be Paid For Twice by David Cain.

Here’s an excerpt from a thought-provoking essay by David Cain.

“One financial lesson they should teach in school is that most of the things we buy have to be paid for twice.

There’s the first price, usually paid in dollars, just to gain possession of the desired thing, whatever it is: a book, a budgeting app, a unicycle, a bundle of kale.

But then, in order to make use of the thing, you must also pay a second price. This is the effort and initiative required to gain its benefits, and it can be much higher than the first price.”

Cain goes on to say…

“But no matter how many cool things you acquire, you don’t gain any more time or energy with which to pay their second prices—to use the gym membership, to read the unabridged classics, to make the ukulele sound good—and so their rewards remain unredeemed.

I believe this is one reason our modern lifestyles can feel a little self-defeating sometimes. In our search for fulfillment, we keep paying first prices, creating a correspondingly enormous debt of unpaid second prices. Yet the rewards of any purchase – the reason we buy it at all — stay locked up until both prices are paid.”

It is well worth the 2 minutes of your time to read the whole essay by David Cain at Raptitude. It will definitely give you something to think about. I think this is why I like reusing and repurposing items…both prices have been paid and it multiplies the rewards.

Thank you for being here today.

Be good to yourself and others this weekend.

I’ll see you back here on Monday.








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  • Jenny Young

    Actually most of us pay for things three times…..1) pay in time/work to earn the money 2) then we pay in actual dollars, giving up the money we earned & 3) then we pay to maintain the thing we bought

    It’s like the old folk saying about firewood warming you three times: 1) when you cut the tree 2) when you cut it up & 3) when you burn it but even that saying leaves out all the extra time to split & stack the wood between cutting the tree & burning it.

    • annisa

      That’s a good point! I think the “paying to maintain the things we bought” part costs more than people realize. Cars are a good example of this…They cost so much to maintain.

  • Nancy Baker

    Your happy list is always a good read, things to make, look at, inspire, and ponder. Raptitude is a long time favorite blog of mine, too. Lentils! I just saw a crispy lentil salad somewhere. They are cooked then chopped and roasted if I remember right. They become the “croutons”!

    • annisa

      It might been on another Happy List. LOL! Crispy lentils sounds familiar. Or maybe crispy chickpeas. Either way, I need to eat more lentils. P.S. I’m so glad you enjoy the Happy List.

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