easter table with tulips and embroidered napkin with easter egg on the happy list
happy list

Happy List: #296

Welcome to the Happy List and happy early Easter to those of you celebrating!

This week on the blog I shared some fun gardening finds. I’m very excited to see plants blooming and the grass turning green again where we live. It’s such a welcome sight after the dreary winter.

I also reshared a funny story from the archives about the time when my kids got to throw eggs filled with paint in a park in Ireland. I’d love to know if you can relate to the parents in that story. Were you like me and wary of the whole situation? Were you the parent who planned this activity a year in advance? Were you the parent that always had baby wipes handy?

As always, I love hearing from you! It makes my day. It makes your day. It’s also part of the magic that keeps this blog running. You can always comment on this blog post or send an email here. You can also connect with us on Instagram or Facebook. I look forward to chatting.

Here’s the Happy List!


Have you ever tried making wood transfer art? I haven’t, but it looks so cool!

Kate from Centsational Style has a great step-by-step tutorial on how to do it. I love how her art turned out.

See the pictures and read the tutorial here.

wood transfer art tutorial from Centsational Style on the happy list

(image: Centsational Style)


If spring was a cake then it would look like this one! Plus, it was made with a box cake mix, which is always a win in my book.

Get the recipe for Mandarin Orange Cake at Tidy Mom.

mandarin orange cake recipe from tidy mom on the happy list

(image: Tidy Mom)

P.S. If I was going to make this cake, I’d have to leave the pineapple out of the frosting. Pineapple and I do not mix.


Can you imagine turning a 14,000 sq. ft. school into your home? Two couples in New York did that!

Each couple has their own apartment inside the former school and then they use some areas, like the gym, as common spaces. This idea fascinates me.

Read more about it in this Domino article.

photo credit tim barber 14,000 sq ft school in new york turned into residence via domino on the happy list

(image: Tim Barber for Domino)


Did you know that on average one-fifth of the land in city centers is dedicated to parking? (source)

The irony of creating more parking is that it makes city centers less vibrant. There’s less space for all the things people like to do and it makes city centers more expensive because it constrains land. It’s quite a conundrum!

The non-profit Parking Reform Network has mapped the parking lots in city centers and it’s interesting to see which cities have the most and least amount of parking. Arlington, Texas, has the most with 42% of its downtown dedicated to parking. The city with the least amount of parking does not surprise me.

I don’t know enough about this issue to have an opinion yet, but it was thought-provoking to read about. The topic also made for vibrant dinner discussions this week with our kids. See more maps and read more about the issue in this Big Think article.

parking lots in arlington texas via map from parking reform network via big think on the happy list

(image: Parking Reform Network via Big Think)


I have never once thought about patching a sofa.

Recovering an entire sofa? Yes. Patching it in a playful way? No.

Then I saw this photo in this Remodelista article.

If you look at the other photos of this architect couple’s home, you’ll see why this patched sofa meshes with their collected-over-time, colorful, comfortable style. It gave me something to think about.

berman horn harlem house photo by greta rybus for remodelista on the happy list

(image: Greta Rybus for Remodelista)


Did you know that in federally designated wilderness areas in the U.S., you cannot use mechanized devices? This means no chainsaws and no vehicles. Not even bicycles are allowed in wilderness areas due to the 1964 Wilderness Act.

Crosscut saws are used by workers in these areas to clear trails. However, they prefer antique crosscut saws over newly manufactured saws. This has created a bit of a price run on antique crosscut saws. Check your barns, folks! Your old saws might be worth a few bucks.

I learned about this in this 99% Invisible podcast. You can read a synopsis of the podcast here. The podcast goes into more depth about how work is done in wilderness areas. For instance, you can’t take in wheelbarrows, so they use dirtbags.

rosscut Saw field training by frederic rice via wikimedia

(image: Wikimedia)


I never would have thought to use IKEA counters as barn doors. Talk about a money-saver!

Based on the particular counter used in this hack, this idea would only work on a closet door or some other situation where the back of the door is not visible. I could see this idea working to hide an electrical panel.

Get the details at IKEA Hackers.

use IKEA counters as barn doors via IKEA Hackers on the happy list

(image: IKEA Hackers)

P.S. IKEA Hackers has all sorts of clever ideas on how to use IKEA products, but some of the ideas are adaptable to other brands too.


The Spruce has a great article on how to clean and disinfect terra cotta pots so that you don’t spread disease, pests, or bacteria between plants. I have never once thought about doing this but I can see how it would be a good idea, particularly if your plant died from one of those three things.

They suggest using bleach, isopropyl alcohol, or Lysol for the disinfecting part. Get their tips here.

terra cotta pots in a she shed potting shed


Chocolate Easter Bunny by Bobbie Katz

Chocolate Easter bunny
In a jelly bean nest,
I’m saving you for very last
Because I love you best.

I’ll only take a nibble
From the tip of your ear
And one bite from the other side
So that you won’t look weird.

Yum, you’re so delicious!
I didn’t mean to eat
Your chocolate tail till Tuesday.
Ooops! There go your feet!

I wonder how your back tastes
With all that chocolate hair.
I never thought your tummy
Was only filled with air!

Chocolate Easter bunny
In a jelly bean nest,
I’m saving you for very last
Because I love you best.

Thank you for reading today’s Happy List.

Be good to yourself and others this weekend.

Happy Easter!

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