diy rope planter on the happy list
happy list

Happy List: #158


I truly hope you are all staying healthy. We have had an interesting week with everyone at home, but still trying to do work and school.

While I am very much aware of and sensitive to what is going on in the world, the blog will continue with business as usual. This is my happy place. I come here because I enjoy writing, sharing our projects and engaging with you. I need that more than ever and I hope you do too. We’ll see how long I can keep things up if we run out of DIY supplies.

This week I shared some updates we’ve made on cleaning up our property in preparation for summer. I also finally wrote down all of my tips for painting a ceiling. If ever there was a time for my inner sarcastic self to shine, it would be on this topic.

As always, I love to connect with you here, on Instagram and Facebook too. Thank you for all of your comments, likes, shares, etc. It keeps this blog humming along.

Here’s the Happy List!


Have you ever been traveling and were the recipient of an act of kindness from a stranger? National Geographic has ten heart-warming stories of such acts that will warm your heart.

Their story from Ireland doesn’t surprise me one bit. The people are BY FAR the best thing about Ireland.

In fact, I have a doozy of an act of kindness story from when we first arrived in Ireland. If you missed it, you can read the post I titled “Humans Kindness is Overflowing” here.

bray irish sea on the happy list

Yes, people do hang out on the beaches of Ireland! I’m not going to say the water is warm, but I have waded in up to my knees. That’s as far as I was willing to go. Ha!


This is an extra important time to support small businesses.

Plus, scouring the depths of Etsy is a great way to kill time when you are home. Ha!

This flower watercolor by Macaela Made is pretty. It comes with a white and black background. I love how striking it is on the black background.

sunflower watercolor by macaela made via etsy on the happy list

(image: Macaela Made via Etsy)


John Steinbeck wrote a letter to his son in 1958 that contains such thoughtful advice on falling in love. If you’ve never read it, it’s worth your time. While Steinbeck might best be known for The Grapes of Wrath, he also wrote many letters and they’ve been compiled in a book: Steinbeck: A Life in Letters. Here’s the letter:

New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.



When he said “the other is an outpouring of everything good in you,” it made my soul yell, “YES!”


I have no words for this window/trim situation.


A collection of animated letters by designer Robert Lomas is the definition of bright and happy. I’m partial to the letter J, so here’s this one. It’s so satisfying to watch!

You can read more about this project and see other letters in action here. You can learn more about Lomas here.

(image: Robert Lomas via Creative Boom)


I want to try making chicken soup with quinoa instead of rice or pasta because it should be healthier. Plus, I bought an extra bag when I was stocking up recently.

This recipe from Culinary Hill has a surprise twist with the addition of lemon juice and cilantro.

chicken quinoa soup with lemon juice from culinary hill on the happy list

(image: Culinary Hill)

I’m regretting buying limes instead of lemons the last time I was at the store! I do have cilantro though. If you store cilantro in the refrigerator in a glass of water with a plastic bag over it, it lasts longer.


If you are curious how many people in the U.S. share your name, this website is a fun way to kill a few minutes. It uses 1990 and 2000 census data to give you an estimate of how many people have your name. It’s not totally accurate because it depends on how good the original data was and name information was not collected the same during each census.

My name (maiden and married) is not common. When I use my maiden name, I might be the only one in the U.S. When I use my married name, I’m supposedly one of 8 people. Not too shabby!

sentimental gift tag on the happy list

I learned about this website after listening to this RadioLab podcast about a reporter who shares his name with a Guantanamo detainee. It ended up being a very thought-provoking story.


So few grains of happiness
measured against all the dark
and still the scales balance.

– Jane Hirshfield, poet (The October Palace: Poems)

I hope you have peaceful weekend. If you have any suggestions for what you are reading, watching, or listening to, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading the Happy List! Take care.



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