Wednesday, June 3, 2015

50 Things That Make Me Happy

Well, hello there!
It’s been a while. I’m in a blogging slump. Not feeling it really. But I just got a message that sparked my interest. My blogger-friend Louise at Baby Gates Down tagged me to participate in a 50 Things That Make Me Happy post and I want to play!

I believe in signs and this is the fourth time in the last month or so that someone mentions to me making a happiness list or jar or folder. I keep saying “Oh ya, that’s a great idea.” But have I done anything about it? Nope. So I’m taking action this time!

1.       Coffee – I hate waking up. I don’t smile – not even at my children. Coffee is my happiness starter of the day. Every morning, I have two cups of Dunkin Donuts Coffee – my drug of choice. Sometimes I have a third cup in the afternoon. Shh…don’t tell my doctor.

2.       Sleeping – As I stated, I hate waking up. So, obviously the opposite of that is what I love! Sleeping is of my favorite things to do. If I could make it a hobby, I would.

3.       Staying Up Late – I love to sleep, but I don’t like to go to bed early. I’m a pretty happy camper when I get to stay up late at night, all by myself, doing whatever I please – reading, playing on Social Media, art journaling, or watching TV.

4.       Art Journaling – This is happiness at its finest to me. Two years ago, I discovered the therapeutic benefits of keeping an art journal and now I’m addicted. Recently, I spent SIX hours art journaling one day. There’s something very soothing, comforting, and inspiring in unleashing your creativity and artistic abilities. Try it!

5.       Writing – For most of my life, I’ve kept journals. Writing is my best form of therapy. Not just in my journal, but also emails to friends and family, text messages, Facebook posts, and of course blogging. When I write, I release my feelings and thoughts. It stinks to hold stuff in. Don’t do it. Let it out.

6.       Therapy – Do you see a pattern emerging here? I’m a big believer that EVERYONE needs therapy. I’ve gone a few times over my lifetime to different people for different issues but the last therapist I had was the one that made the biggest impact. It was four years of deep introspection and developing a desire to see things through a different lens. The personal growth I experienced made me very happy and I continue to reap the rewards of my hard work. It’s how I learned I have COURAGE!

7.       Courage – The word alone makes me happy. I see it and I smile because it is the word that best defines my life. I believe I have lived a life of courage. And not only does that make me happy, but also very proud. Brené Brown says the original definition of Courage is “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” She thinks “we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) is the definition of courage.” I think most bloggers have a lot of courage!

8.       Brené Brown – She has been a HUGE inspiration in my life in the last two+ years. Her e-course for her book The Gifts of Imperfection is how I learned about art-journaling. Her work has forever changed my life and has made me a much happier person. She taught me about the importance of choosing to be my authentic self over who others want me to be.

9.       Kelly Rae Roberts – Fun serendipitous story…For my 44th birthday, my BFF gave me an angel statue by Kelly Rae that says “She was learning the most beautiful thing of all…by letting her light shine brightly, she was inspiring others to do the same.” I fell in love with it immediately. I had never heard of Kelly Rae Roberts. A few days later, as I was watching one of Brené’s  video lessons, she introduced her friend, Kelly Rae Roberts. Ever since then, my home has become Kelly Rae’d out. Her inspirational art work is sprinkled throughout my house.

10.   Collecting sea shells at the beach – If I’m at the beach, you’re going to find me picking up shells. I’d rather do that than lay out any day. I display them in my home in jars and vases.

11.   Reading – I’ve been a book junkie since I was a kid. My early journals are filled with entries on which books I read and what I thought about them. I wrote about trips to the library and which books I wanted to read next. Captivating stuff, I tell ya. Reading still makes me happy, but I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like.

12.   Organizing/De-Cluttering – Kids got in the way of being organized like I used to be. Embracing imperfection also made me let go of the need to be ultra-organized, but I do get a thrill out of seeing things in alpha order or stacked by size or color-coded. When my BFF first moved to her house, my entertainment was organizing her pantry every time I visited.

13.   Re-Decorating – I really enjoy shopping for home décor and re-doing different rooms in my house from time to time.

14.   Vacation – Going on summer vacations with my hubby and kids is one of the highlights of the year. We love traveling and seeing new places. I especially love road trips.

15.   Photography – While on vacations, I usually take more than 2000 pictures. Maybe 3000. I don’t know. I just know I take A LOT. I’d also guess that about half are scenery shots.

16.   Making Inspirational Photo Quotes – About six months ago, I got the idea to make “inspirational photo quotes” with the scenery pictures I have. It makes me REALLY happy to be able to use my photography for something purposeful.

17.   Going on Nature Walks – Being outdoors, breathing in fresh air, marveling at the wonder and beauty of nature makes me feel happy to be alive.

18.   Sunsets – Watching the sun set over the Pacific is an absolute happiness trigger for me.

19.   Redwood Trees – During one of our vacations, I visited a Redwood sanctuary and I became enamored with the serenity of these giants. I was in complete awe of their magnificence.

20.   Butterflies – Butterflies are pretty important to me. They are symbolic of the transformation I’ve been through as a person. I also see them as signs from my mom and my baby in heaven that they are with me. I see butterflies nearly every single day. That makes me VERY happy!

21.   Finding Feathers – Lately, my daughter and I have been finding feathers. We’ve found six or seven in the last month or so (Four of them were in my backyard and front door step). I get happy when we find them because I read that they are from angels, letting us know they are with us.

22.   My backyard – It’s still a work in progress but it’s one of my happy places. I love to sit out there with my coffee or do art journaling or have a glass of wine and listen to music in the evening.

23.   Wine – I never met a glass of Red that I didn’t love. Cab, Pinot, Zin, Merlot, Chianti, Shiraz…It’s all happy goodness. (As a side note...another beverage that makes me VERY happy is Cucumber-Ginger-Mint-Lemonade. SO GOOD!)

24.   Cheese – If you’re gonna love wine, you gotta love cheese. Hard cheeses, soft cheeses – Yum! I especially love Parmigiano Reggiano and Fontina. They make me happy. They also make me lactose intolerant.

25.   Food – I guess food in general makes me happy. Especially Italian/Argentinean. Pasta, pizza, salami, bread, calamari, Argentine cuts of beef, empanadas…I need to stop. My mouth is watering.

26.   Desserts – Tiramisu, Panna Cotta, Crème Brulé, Cheese Cake – all little bits of happy heaven.

27.   Music – If I had to name my Top 5 passions in life, music would be one of them. Music evokes memories and emotions in me like nothing else can.

28.   Watching Music Videos – My husband and I often watch videos. It’s our kind of fun!

29.   Singing – I’m always singing. And I’m also a karaoke whore. Lastly, I’m notorious for singing the wrong lyrics. “Our Lips Are Sealed” = How Does it Feel, “Gangster Boogie” = Macaroni, “Put It Down On Me” = Put A Gun On Me, and many more.

30.   Dancing – You know that saying “Dance like no one is watching”? That’s me. Dancing has always been a part of my life. I have always surrounded myself with dance lovers – which I think are usually happy people, at least while they’re dancing. Currently, we have living room dance parties since I'm too old and tired for 'da clubs.

31.   Concerts – I’m that person that doesn’t sit down during a concert except during the slow songs. The pounding music, the screaming, the lights, the stage, the vibe…all of it…happy-making!

32.   Justin Timberlake – He’s my guy. He can sing, dance, play an instrument, write music, and act.  He’s funny, charming, stylish, and good-looking. What’s not to love and be happy about?

33.   Reminiscing – I derive great joy out of remembering old times with my hubby, family, and friends. It’s so fun to remember happy times; things that made you laugh; special moments that you shared with loved ones.

34.   Old home movies – They are always a sure way to bring a smile to my face.

35.   Talking – Deep conversations about life make me happy.

36.   Daydreaming – I’m a chronic daydreamer. I can stare out into space and envision the future for hours... I daydream about changes to my house and yard; the colleges my children will attend; the people they will become; my future grandchildren; the book I will write someday; what it will be like to meet Oprah and Brené Brown; would I change my last name to Timberlake if I was married to Justin?

37.   Reiki – I had Reiki done for the first time about 20 years ago. An ex-co-worker of mine used to perform Reiki on me in the office kitchen whenever I had a headache. I was always fascinated by it. This January, I started receiving Reiki again. I feel happy doing something for myself.

38.   Getting my hair done – ‘Nuf said.

39.   Getting facials – ‘Nuf said times two.

40.   Aveda products – I don’t know if the actual products are worth the money. I think they’re good quality stuff. But what I really buy them for are the fragrances. It’s like having a spa in my bathroom.

41.   Wearing perfume – I spray on perfume even on the days that I stay home. It’s part of my daily routine. Issey Miyake’s Summer Edition is my signature scent. I’ve been wearing it for eight or nine years. My BFF gave me Diptyque’s Eau Rose for my birthday this year and I have finally found another favorite.

42.   Dogs – I have been a dog-lover since the day I was born. My entire family consists of passionate dog-lovers. Pugs are my weakness. Just seeing a pug walking on the street makes me beam.

43.   Friends – The TV show. I watched religiously all 10 seasons from the very beginning. I’d set the VCR even if I watched it live, just so I could re-watch in case I missed a line. I never missed a single episode. I still love to catch re-runs. I’m always bound to laugh even if I’ve seen the episode 10 times.

44.   Friends – The real ones in my life – Being with friends is the best medicine and I have some of the greatest friends on earth. I’m a very lucky, happy girl because of some amazing women.

45.   Family – Creating memories for my children with my family and my hubby’s family is priceless. I get happy seeing my kids laugh and play with their grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

46.   My husband – I could write a whole separate post about why he makes me happy. I’m married to the greatest guy on earth.

47.   My children – That’s not just a whole other post, but a whole other series of posts. Maybe a book. Being a mom is all I EVER wanted in my adult life. The happiness I feel because of them is immeasurable.

48.   Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom – Like I said, this is the only job I ever wanted. It’s hard. It sucks sometimes. It’s lonely. It’s monotonous and boring sometimes. But I LOVE it.

49.   Discovering my purpose – (See #35) I’ve been on this quest for a few years and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

50.   Being me – I really do like the person I’ve become. I love her spirit and determination. I love her resilience and courage. She makes me happy. I make me happy.

And there you have it, friends...
50 Things You Never Needed To Know About Me That They Make Me Happy.
Actually, coming up with this list could be Number 51. It was fun to do! Thanks Louise!

I've never participated in one of these "Tag! You're It" deals. I think I'm supposed to tag others now. So, I'm asking the following bloggers to play. If you don't want to though, no worries at all. Fifty is a lot but I will say it wasn't difficult to come up with.

Dani @ Blooming Spiders
Chris @ The Mom Cafe
Anita @ Life Isn't Broken
Karen @ Mended Musings

House of Blues concert with
The Incomparable JT...muah, muah, muah!!!

My 40th was a Karaoke party, of course

The Redwoods AND a photo quote I did.

Art Journaling in my backyard
A Butterfly I photographed & quote I did.
Found Feather AND
the center jar has shells I collected
Art Journal page

Some of my Kelly Rae Pieces


  1. Oooh - I love #10 and #20 - sea shells and butterflies - I should add those to my list. Or do another - I haven't decided.... I also want to add naps. Because naps rock.

    I love your list - such a good mix of the little things with the big important stuff. Glad you enjoyed doing it and played along! I had fun doing mine too! - Louise

    1. HAHA!! Naps are THE BEST!! I take those from time to time too but I'm embarrassed to admit it since I'm already a sleeping machine. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, friend! I know music, nature, and Redwoods are right up your alley. I'm gonna guess you love to sleep too since you're always posting about wanting to stay in bed. LOL

  3. You had me at coffee, sleeping, and staying up late. Sounds like me! Music and reading, yes. Dogs - OK, but not when they slobber. Cats win in that category - generally not slobbery. :)
    Miss you, lady!!! This is great - as all of these going around, so many beautiful things. I love seeing what people are all about.

    1. I don't care for slobbery dogs either! haha!! I grew up with a cat but around puberty I became highly allergic! So strange. I miss you too! I've been very out of touch with blogging and reading blogs. I need summer to get here already so I can have some down-time and get caught up in writing and reading! xo

  4. Can I just say AH-MEN to number 50??!?!?!? What a blessings to read that.


    And thank for tagging me, sweetie. I'm horrible at doing these things, but honored you thought of me.

    With heart & blessings,

    1. Hi Dani! Thanks for the praise on #50! I wasn't sure if I was going to add that one since it sounds maybe a little pompous, but all that 1000Speak writing on self-compassion, self-love, and self-nurturing made me say "yes" to putting it on the list. I think of you often, Dani. Blessings to you too...

  5. Yay! As I was reading this I thought it would be really fun to do and then I saw that you tagged me! I love your list. Even if I can't make it into a coherent post, I'm going to write the list for myself. :)

    1. YAY!!!! And how lame am I that I tagged people but never got around to letting them know I tagged them. HAHA! Oops! Life gets in the way of blogging, doesn't it? So glad you (and Dani) actually read the post and saw you were tagged. Writing it put me in a great mood. It was fun to do! Can't wait to read yours, friend!


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