Happy List: #154

Here we are at another Friday. Feels good, doesn’t it?

This week I shared finished pictures of our kitchen’s mini makeover. Thank you for your feedback on that space! This week I saved some behind-the-scenes of the makeover to my Instagram highlights. The phrase “don’t do what I do” was probably uttered more than once in those videos.

I also shared a quick DIY – a wood planter with leather handles. Note to self: go water the plant in that planter!

In other news, I ordered the fan for our music room. Hope I like it! I might end up ordering more than one fan from that list because we have two bedrooms that are sporting ceiling fans from the 1980s.

Here’s the Happy List.


As a relatively tall person (5’9″), the idea of a party where everyone is the same height is intriguing to me.

This is actually an old photo by Hans Hemmert from 1997. He created shoe extenders that made everyone 2 meters tall.

I also feel nervous for the lady in the center of this photo.

hans hemmert same height party 1997 on the happy list

(image: Hans Hemmert)


I made Half Baked Harvest’s 30 Minute Vietnamese Beef and Crispy Rice Bowl last week for dinner and my kids both said it tasted like real restaurant food.

That’s the pinnacle of praise from my kids.

30 minute vietnamese beef and crispy rice bowl via half baked harvest on the happy list

(image:  Half Baked Harvest)


If this doesn’t warm your heart…


I’m very into found art lately. It’s fascinating to me the amount of time that artists put into this and how they see beauty in everyday objects.

Land Artist Jon Foreman uses rocks he finds on U.K. beaches to create land art. You have to go look at all the pictures here…it’s amazing. Yes, the art washes away each day, but he says that makes it all the more special.

jon foreman stone art via my modern met on the happy list

(image: Sculpt the World Jon Foreman via My Modern Met)


It’s probably a good thing that airbags aren’t actually macarons.

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A post shared by Tatsuya Tanaka 田中達也 (@tanaka_tatsuya) on


This might seem boring, but I saved SO MUCH MONEY on printer ink this week. On the list of things that annoy me, the cost of printer ink is in the top 10. Why is it so expensive?

On the Staples website right now it would cost me $72.39 to buy new ink for my inkjet printer (Canon Pixma MX922).

I just bought 4 packs of replacement ink for $19.75. That’s FIVE DOLLARS for all new inkjet cartridges compared to $72.39.

They are not the brand name…I have a Canon printer, but the reviews for the Arthur Imaging ink were excellent, so I risked it. I did freak out at first because the printer didn’t recognize the ink, but then I pushed the cartridge in again and it seemed to recognize it and we’ve been printing ever since. PHEW!

So if you have an inkjet printer, it might be worth seeing if there are Arthur Imaging cartridgesthat will work in your printer. I got mine on Amazon.

Then we can all do our happy to save money dance!


I can’t quite figure out how this map wall was done, but it sure is impactful!

More inspiring pictures can be found in Tyler Karu’s interior design portfolio.

map wall tyler karu interior design on the happy list

(image: Tyler Karu)


“Everything carries me to you.
As if everything that exists;
aromas, lights, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.” – Pablo Neruda

Thanks for being here today! It made my day and I hope it brightened yours.

Happy Friday!


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Happy List: #153

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Do you celebrate this holiday? Handy Husband and I don’t really celebrate, but I’ll probably make something fun for dinner tonight.

This week I shared progress photos of our kitchen. On Monday I’ll wrap this whole melodrama up with some finished photos of the cabinets.

I also asked you all to help me pick a ceiling fan for our music room. Summer is coming, after all. Probably. Hopefully. Please let summer come soon. I miss complaining about how stifling the heat is. When I went through the various places people left comments, the votes were split pretty evenly between fan #1 and fan #5. So…thanks? I think?

No, seriously. THANK YOU to everyone who weighed in. I enjoy hearing your thoughts…especially since none of you said I had lost my marbles.

Here’s the Happy List!


A rare handwritten note by Martin Luther King, Jr. is for sale for $42,000.

I think his message is priceless.

martin luther king jr handwritten note meaning of love on the happy list

(image: Via Cnn)

St. Valentine’s Remains

Fun fact! St. Valentine’s remains are in Dublin. I wrote about this a couple of years ago while we were living there. If you missed that post, you can catch up here.

The church where his remains reside has a St. Valentine service every year on February 14.

st valentine shrine white friar church dublin

(image: Whitefriar Street Church, Dublin)


I love how this table connects to the island in this home from the 1800s.

More pictures of this home can be found at Cottages and Gardens.

A Former Sea Captain’s Home via cottages and gardens on the happy list

(image: Photography by George Ross for Cottages and Gardens)


Reader’s Digest has the best short stories. I loved this one about how U.S. presidents met their wives.

Two former presidents proposed on the first date! A couple of presidential spouses met when they were little kids.

My favorite story was when Grace Coolidge first saw Calvin. He was shaving while wearing long johns and hat! It must have been a ridiculous sight because Grace burst out laughing and I guess the rest is history.

calvin and grace coolidge via library of congress on the happy list

(image: Calvin and Grace Coolidge via Library of Congress)


I spent the weekend with a friend recently. We’ve known each other since we were twelve. As I reflected on our time together, I was so proud of us for positively changing in all of the ways that result from maturity, time, experience, love, grief, etc. But in not changing in the ways that made us friends in the first place: unconditional love and acceptance and lots and lots of laughter.

Perhaps that’s why I like the lyrics to this John Mayer song. Here are my favorite stanzas.

I am not done changing
Out on the run, changing
I may be old and I may be young
But I am not done changing
Some of us stopped running
Some of us went home
Some of us don’t got one
So we’ll build one of our own
Friends behind their fences
Looking at me strange
Wondering when I’m gonna come to my senses
But I’m still changing
And I can’t change my ways
Also, at the end of this video John Mayer does a guitar solo that made my jaw drop. It’s not obnoxious and ear-piercing. It’s beautiful and his finger work is amazing.


I liked how this woman celebrated her 50th birthday by asking people who she was grateful for to send her a written note (email, card, letter, etc.) sharing a memory about how they met or know each other.

You can read how people responded to her request here.

turning nine and twelve happy birthday cake with sprinkles

Our wedding anniversary reminded me that I WISH we would have started a tradition on our first wedding anniversary to reuse the same anniversary card year after year.

And it’s only partly because I think cards are ridiculously priced.

It would be so neat after 50 years to see your spouse’s signature and maybe a little note each anniversary. I’d imagine the card would need to have some pages added, but how sweet would that be? A little book of love.

We might just start this tradition now.


This article struck a note with me this week.

Here’s a quote from the article…

Quit doing things you hate to impress the faceless people among us. Decondition yourself from culture, quit suppressing your uniqueness, travel to places that frighten you a bit, learn to embrace silence and solitude a few times a week. And most importantly — you must awaken from your culturally-induced slumber and try to find simple joy among the sacred.” – Erik Rittenberry from the article “The American Life is Killing you” in Medium

I hope you feel very loved and appreciated today and everyday.

I certainly appreciate that you shared part of your day with me!

Happy Friday!




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Happy List: #152

Hello, hello!

Fun milestone around here. This week Handy Husband and I celebrated 21 years of marriage. I should probably follow that sentence up with something sentimental, but if I start down that path it will become a whole blog post and that’s not why you came here today. Suffice to say, he’s my person. And to borrow from Alistair MacLeod, “All of us are better when we’re loved.”

This week on the blog I shared before pictures of our kitchen. Next week I will share some progress pictures. I also shared the most critical system in our house right now – the wifi connection. Only sort of kidding, because I realize water and electricity are important too. But seriously, this blog is only possible due to great wifi.

If you missed any of my riveting stories on Instagram this week, you’re in for a treat because I’m 77% certain I saved some of them in my highlights. I did play the piano this week – a song that was in our wedding. The piano stories are under ‘music room.’ I’m also pretty sure I saved a story about these genius nail in felt pads that won’t fall off our chair legs.

Now, here’s the Happy List!


See that interesting skylight ceiling situation? I’d love to do something like that in our kitchen.

Many more pictures of this home can be found at Imperfect Interiors.

skylight kitchen imperfect interiors on the happy list

(image: Imperfect Interiors)

From what I’ve observed, this type of roof/ceiling construction seems to be much more common in the U.K. and Ireland than it does in the U.S.


I. Am. Flabbergasted.

Simon Beck walks in snow to make art. His designs usually take him 12 hours of continuous walking.

Go read the whole story. There are so many gorgeous photos and he explains how he creates the patterns.

Did I mention his footprints made this design? Still flabbergasted.

simon beck walking snow art on the happy list

(image: Simon Beck via My Modern Met)


If you haven’t made my Whiskey Cake yet, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to make it FOR YOURSELF. Fine, you can share it with your Valentine.

I’m not even a huge fan of cake, but there’s always an exception to the rule.

whiskey cake on the happy list


I dare you to try and listen to this song without clapping, snapping your fingers, or tapping your foot. It’s impossible!


Car Headrest Hangers are such a good idea!

I could have used these for all those times grocery bags have tipped over in the back of the car. Or my purse has flown off the front seat.

I’m a good driver, I swear.

I wish I would have thought of this idea.


I fully admit to watching a 26-minute video of a cobbler restoring a pair of shoes. It was fascinating to see how they take apart and put back together a shoe. I had no idea.

Handy Husband and I have both become fans of having shoes re-heeled. If you have a pair of shoes or boots that you love, it is much cheaper to have this done and less wasteful too.


“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.” —Nicole Krauss, The History of Love


How do poets say hello?

Hey, haven’t we metaphor?

Go spread that joke far and wide, friends. Far and wide.

Thank you for reading today’s Happy List and for all of your likes, comments and shares. I see each one and am thankful you took the time.

Now, go forth and have the best weekend!



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Happy List: #151

It’s almost February! We’re so close to making it through what feels like the LONGEST month of the year. Go us!

If you need a pick-me-up this weekend, go to the grocery store and treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers. It doesn’t need to be the expensive bunch – just something bright and colorful. You need it for slogging through January! I bought myself some flowers this week and it was my favorite purchase in awhile. It sure did brighten up my house and my mood!

This week on the ol’ blog I shared the reveal of our built-in computer desk space. I haven’t mentioned this yet, but eventually, we will build another desk up there for Handy Husband to use.

I also wrote about how your home could be the setting for a movie or tv show. In other words, how to become a potential filming location. Still no calls for my home to be famous, FYI. I’ve been waiting ten minutes already.

Last, if you enjoy reading this blog and feel so inclined to tell others about it, I would so appreciate it! My favorite part of blogging is laughing and chatting with you all. So, thank you for brightening my day.

Here’s the Happy List!


I’m thinking about making fondue for Valentine’s Day because, let’s face it, I’m not going to join the hordes at a restaurant.

I’m looking at this recipe (pictured below) from Pinch of Yum that uses a regular pot, not a fondue pot or this recipe from The Pioneer Woman that uses a crockpot.

swiss fondue from pinch of yum on the happy list

(image: Pinch of Yum)


This space is a 2020 Kitchen of the Year Winner from Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

That vent hood sure is pretty and I wish I had ceilings tall enough for something like that.

2020 KITCHEN OF THE YEAR WINNERS atlanta homes and lifestyles on the happy list

(image: Emily Followill for Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles / Contractor whiteoakfinehomes.com / Cabinetry Designer kingdomwoodworks.com / Architect harrisondesign.com / Interior Designer thedesignatelier.com)


We all missed the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada! It happened this week.

The poem that me laugh out loud and reminded me of my dad was Good Clean Fun by Rodney Nelson from Almont, ND. (If you click on that link, scroll down the page to his poem and you can hear him read it aloud. His delivery is THE BEST. I also like Denial by Patricia Frolander.)

Here’s one of the musical performances from the gathering from a few years ago and it made me laugh too!


I don’t want to brag, but I’m kind of a dried mango connoisseur. Also, I had to look up how to spell connoisseur.

I spend a ridiculous amount of money on dried mangoes all in the name of trying not to eat cookies, candy and ice cream. It’s working. I can’t quit these things.

The best brand I’ve found so far (and I’ve tried a lot of brands) is Anna and Sarah. I don’t know who Anna and Sarah are, but I’d like to be their friends.

anna and sarah dried mango on the happy list

P.S. I know you’ve missed my hand modeling, so this picture is for you.


Dr. Robert Parry of Akron Children’s Hospital draws a custom surgical dressing for each of his pediatric patients. He estimates he’s drawn 10,000 drawings over the years from SpongeBob to Elsa and everything in-between.

It seems like a bright spot for these kiddos in an otherwise scary situation.


I am SO going to try this.

According to this article on The Kitchn, Bobby Flay adds toasted panko-style breadcrumbs to his pasta dishes and salads to give them more pizazz.

bobby flay headshot via bobby flay on the happy list

(image: Bobby Flay)


This is an excerpt from a past blog post because if felt particularly appropriate this week. 

howth head ireland boy looking at irish sea on the happy list

Here’s what my son tells me. In all of his 6-year-old wisdom.

Son: The sun is so bright mom, because it takes in all of our joy and shines it out for everyone to see.
Me: I like that idea.
Son: And do you know what Heaven is like?
Me: No, what’s it like?
Son: It’s like the airport. You know when you have to give them your suitcase and then when you get someplace new your suitcase comes out on that belt?
Me: The conveyer belt in baggage claim?
Son: Yes! Heaven is like that. You give them your suitcase full of sadness. Then when you get there you get a new suitcase filled with joy and happiness and you get to see your mom again.
Me: I think that’s the best description of Heaven I’ve ever heard.
Son: I know.

Isn’t kid wisdom the best?

Alright, that’s it for me! Thanks for reading the Happy List! I hope you have a fabulous weekend.

I’m sure I’ll be posting stories in Instagram and Facebook this weekend, so I hope to see you there.

Happy Friday!


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Happy List: #150

Well, hello there!

I hope your week went well. Mine wasn’t too shabby!

One of the most random things I did was take my son to try out speed skating. That’s a thing. Imagine really large rollerblades that you wear to race around a regular skating rink. Do you know the 2-second rule when driving? Basically, maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you? THAT DOESN’T EXIST in speed skating. One wrong move and everyone goes down. He had a great, but I think he just likes skating for fun and isn’t too serious about being competitive with it.

This week on the blog I shared tips for parents if your kid wants to wear contacts. I also wrote about The Case of the Closet Mystery because I am Nancy Drew. The funny thing about that closet is that I can’t get anyone in my family to use it. Therefore, I’ve parked a plant and a coatrack in front of it. The plant gives us oxygen and the coatrack, well, you’d think it was functional, but mainly it just looks pretty.

In case you missed it, I also shared some of the progress I made working on my daughter’s room on social media this week. The orange walls are gone, but painting all the trim is now testing my patience. I saved that story to my Instagram highlights under kid spaces. Thanks for hanging out with me here, there and wherever else our paths cross.

Now, here’s the Happy List!


This bathroom tile undeniably made me smile.


This 9-year-old boy with dyslexia (that’s an important part of the story) can make portraits out of Rubik’s Cubes.

If you want to read the story and not just watch the video, click here.

I’m completely amazed and encouraged by this story! I showed it to my kids too. There could be kids in their school that struggle academically and in that environment you never get to see the moments where they really shine.


This window and door situation situation stopped me in my tracks.

More pictures of this Scandinavian home can be found here.

window wall via the nordroom

(image: The Nordroom)


The U.S. ratified a treaty at the end of 2019 that was signed by the U.K. in 2003 to protect the Titanic shipwreck. The treaty mainly allows the two governments to control who can access the shipwreck and remove artifacts.

What we learned by visiting the site where the Titanic was built in Belfast is that a metal-eating bacteria is slowly consuming the ship. The video in this story that reported the treaty ratification makes mention of that bacteria. Basically, the ship won’t last forever.

If you have a chance to visit the Titanic Museum in Belfast, it is a really moving experience. I wrote about it in this post.

titanic museum belfast on the happy list


Speaking of political matters…don’t worry, I’m not going THERE. This is the Happy List and politics doesn’t seem to make anyone happy.

It did amuse me, however, to learn that the U.S. Senate has a candy desk. It is these little quirks and traditions that remind me of the human side of politics. And perhaps, there is a metaphor in there somewhere about finding common ground.

senate candy desk via wikipedia on the happy list

(image: Wikipedia)

The Senator from Pennsylvania currently sits at the Candy Desk. This is a tradition that has been carried on since 1968. You can read more about it on its own Wikipedia page.


Chris Kenny is a British artist and I am obsessed with his found twig art. It looks to me like stick figures from actual sticks.

This work is titled ‘twenty saints’ and has been sold, but some of his other work seems to be available. So many of his pieces made me smile and I don’t think I’ll look at twigs the same now!

twenty saints by chris kenny on the happy list

(image: Chris Kenny)


For a gal who doesn’t wear hats, I sure do love a hat wall. Also, a tile wall. That tile is pretty fantastic. By the way, this picture is from a hotel!


as you are | you are the prayer

‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘after…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘before…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘when…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘how…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘why…’ you answer.
you are happening now.
right now.
right at this moment
your happening
is beautiful.
the thing that keeps me alive
brings me to my knees.
you don’t even know how breathtaking you are.
as you are.’ says the universe through tears

Nayyirah Waheed from her book of poetry: nejma

That’s it for me, folks! Thanks for hanging out with me today. It makes me happy that you were here.

Have a fantastic weekend!


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