colonial farmhouse barn spring on the happy list
happy list

Happy List: #196

Hello, friends! Welcome to this week’s Happy List. 

This week on the blog I shared pictures of my newly revamped coffee table. The new-to-me base definitely kicked the table up a notch or two style-wise. 

I also shared the new electronic lock we installed on our Carriage House door. So far, we are liking having a bit of technology on this old building! 

Now here’s the Happy List!


I like this dining room setup. It reminds me of a restaurant.

However, if this was my house, there would be no pillows because I live with the cutest savages. Perhaps built-in, wipeable, indestructible cushions instead. 

See more pictures of this gorgeous home over at Lonny.

Photographed by Jenna Peffley for Allprace; Staging by Kirsten Blazek. via Lonny on the happy list

(image: photographed by Jenna Peffley for Allprace; Staging by Kirsten Blazek. via Lonny)


My favorite podcast of late is No Stupid Questions by Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth. Among other qualifications, Dubner is the co-author of the Freakonomics book series and Duckworth is the author of Grit.

no stupid questions on the happy list

This is an excerpt from the podcast description:

“In each episode Stephen and Angela take turns asking each other a question like:

  • Why is it so hard to predict success?
  • Can charisma be taught?
  • Does familiarity really breed contempt?
  • Wouldn’t it be better to have funerals before people die?
  • What’s the best advice for being alone in public?
  • What’s so good about friendship?
  • Are ambitious people inherently selfish?”

It is such a refreshingly smart, thoughtful conversation between Dubner and Duckworth that’s peppered with research and personal insight. Every episode gives me something to ponder and Handy Husband and I have the most interesting discussions when I ask him some of these questions.


If you need a new workout idea for 2021, might I suggest Irish dancing?

If the video doesn’t load, here’s the direct link


I made a new dinner dish for my family on Monday night!

*and the crowd goes wild*  

This Crunchy Roll Bowl recipe from Pinch of Yum was a big hit with the family. 

I did use teriyaki chicken instead of tofu.

crunch roll bowl via pinch of yum on the happy list

(image: Pinch of Yum)


I’ve been idly searching for bathroom vanities that feel traditional, but not too frou-frou. Classy and timeless, but not too fancy. Do you know what I mean? I also want the vanity to be stained, not painted. 

Basically, I’m Goldilocks looking for the perfect bowl of porridge. 

This vanity from Home Depot has the most potential right now. I asked Handy Husband if he could build it and he didn’t say no. 

home decorators collection aberdeen vanity from home depot on the happy list

(image: Home Depot)


I knew it! You knew it! We all knew it! 

Now there is scientific evidence our kids can give us grey hair. I mean stress. Stress can give us grey hair. Silly slip of the tongue there. 

My over-simplified understanding of the study is that stress, particularly physical stress, causes the part of the hair follicle where pigment is housed to become hyperactive. When that well of pigment is depleted, it cannot be replenished and grey hair is the result. This study was done in mice and, for the record, mice stress me the heck out. 

Read about it in this Popular Science article

best friend sayings on the happy list


Woah! I learned something random this week.

Pen caps have holes in them for a reason! It is to save your life if you choke on one. Don’t chew on pen caps, folks. The world is risky enough as it is. 

BIC lead the way with this design feature and now it is an international safety design feature of pen caps. Read more about it in this article

You’re going to go check your pen collection now, aren’t you? I did it too. 

pen caps on the happy list


Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.
All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.
Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.
We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.
I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.
Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?
Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.
In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,
praise song for walking forward in that light.
(Alexander wrote this poem for Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.)

Thanks for being here for today’s Happy List. If you want to check out what we are doing this weekend, please follow along on Facebook or Instagram stories. 

Have a great weekend. Be good to yourself and others. 

I’ll see you back here on Monday. 


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