So... today I thought I'd do a little different kind of post. Lately, for no particular reason, I've just been filled with this feeling of complete happiness... and I have to stop and just thank God for the simple things in life... and for giving me so much joy. Do you ever feel like that? Sure, we still have struggles... but lately, just the normal, every-day life has just been good! I love it!
So... here are just some of the little things in life that make me extra happy: (and as you'll soon find out... these are not earth shattering, deep thoughts) ;)
#1 - My Keurig coffee maker
Yes, this bad boy has probably been one of my favorite purchases of all time. (I think I bought mine for $90 @ Target??? It's the b-40 Elite model.) It makes a perfect cup of coffee every single time... in about 30 seconds. We don't use the K-cups (or pods) anymore. I bought a reusable filter awhile back & just fill it with regular ground coffee. It's MUCH more economical! I just add a bit of creamer & whipped cream... and it makes every morning ROCK. Yeah, $90 is kind of expensive... but it's well worth it. I very VERY rarely go to a coffee shop anymore... and the caffeine makes me a better person to live with. ;)
#2 - Pioneer Woman's Grilled Chicken With Lemon & Basil Pasta
Oh my goodness! I made this the other day... and it's like heaven on a plate. Seriously! And... it's super easy to make. And, just so you know, food brings me a LOT of joy. I'm so thankful that I have a high metabolism, because otherwise I would be 5000 lbs. and you'd be cutting the doorways of my house to get me though. Yeah. I like food a lot. Basically, anything the Pioneer Woman makes is awesome. I've tried a lot of her recipes & they've all been amazing. Beware! She likes butter and heavy cream a LOT! ;)
#3 - E-Mealz
Speaking of food, this meal organizer is SO helpful... especially with the kiddos back in the school routine. Basically, you sign up for a meal plan. (There are TONS of options.) Every Thursday, you log in & can print off that week's recipes/grocery list. All of the recipes are things that can be made simply and quickly... which is great on days when I work & the kids have practice in the evenings. It's saved me a LOT of money & my trips to the store take so much less time. I love the way they organize it all. Tonight, we had barbecued chicken (with a homemade, super easy sauce) & my kids asked for seconds. Very, VERY rarely can I make a meal that everyone likes. Both of my kids cringe when I say I'm trying a new recipe b/c usually one of them loves it & the other one hates it. So... score Mr. BBQ! You're a keeper! Almost every meal takes 30 minutes or less to prepare.
#4 - Crate Paper's Restoration Collection
For all of my crafty friends out there.... this is my favorite collection of the season. Oh MY! It's gorgeous. If you're having a bad day, just take a look at it. Maybe it will make your heart swell like mine does. :)
#5 - Good Summer Reads
I REALLY enjoyed being able to read again this summer. No, I'm not illiterate. ;) It's just that... with 2 young, busy kids & this paper crafting hobby & work... there's just not a lot of spare time. But, I made time for a few books while we were on vacation & loved every minute of it!
#6 - Custom Dog Collars
I found this awesome Etsy shop while searching high & low for a new collar for Moses (our boston terrier). I liked the first collar so much... I had to order a second one! I love his brown leather collar with his name & our phone number embroidered on it. And... his new black collar with silver details makes him look "tough" according to my 9 yr. old son. She's SUPER reasonable (I think we paid around $12 for the embroidered collar, and shipping is free!) & she ships out amazingly fast! It took less than a week for them to hit our doorstep! She also does custom cat collars... so if you have a pet, you might want to check it out. (Oh... and if your pet is a girl... there are some really, REALLY cute colors!)
#7 - My refurbished cabinet
My grandmother (and maybe even great grandmother) originally owned this little cabinet... and somehow it got passed down to me. My husband was cleaning out the garage this weekend & asked me if he could throw it away. (In his defense, it was really looking pretty shabby.) So... I told him that I was going to bring her back to life! I gave her a good sanding & bath... and then hammered back some of the wood that was warped and falling apart. Then, I coated her with the most beautiful shade of blue paint & decoupaged her front. (The paper is wrapping paper from The Paper Source.) Now... she has a new home in my craft room & holds lots of my treasured belongings. I love her. She's beautiful.... and she makes me happy. :) (Sorry. It's late & dark... and the pictures do not do her justice.)
#8 - The Music Junk App for my Droid
Do any of you own a Droid phone? If so... did you know that you can download ANY song for free? Oh yeah. It's true. No more going to I-Tunes & paying for your music. Just download the Music Junk App & then a music player to go with it. I like the basic 'music' app, but also really love the app called "3". It downloads all of the album art for you too.
#9 - Glee Radio
Since I'm on a music kick, I wanted to tell you about another way music makes me happy. I like the music player 'Slacker'. It's basically a lot like Pandora (if you've heard of that). Just type in an artist name, song title, or genre, and you'll have a custom made 'radio station' that plays all of that type of music. It knows what other artists have a similar style & sound & will give you a good variety of songs. I love listening to Glee Radio. It's what I listen to when I want something fun and upbeat. I also love listening to Kari Jobe - who's an awesome Christian artist.. and is very 'current' if you know what I mean. Now... when I need a lot of energy and am working out (which reminds me... I should probably USE that Y membership that I have) I like listening to Beyonce or the Black Eyed Peas... that sort of thing.
#10 - Movies
I love the Redbox, It is my friend. We've been enjoying some great rentals over the summer. I really loved The Last Song with Miley Cyrus. Just make sure to keep a box of Kleenex beside you. I also just watched The Backup Plan with Jennifer Lopez. I loved it. My mom watched it and told me it was crude... so if you're super squeaky clean, you might not appreciate it??? There's a suggested love scene & a tiny bit of language from what I can remember... oh - and the couple move in together -- so I wouldn't watch it with your kids. But honestly... I found it hilarious & actually watched it twice in one day. Once by myself & later with the hubster. I also really loved the movie Date Night. I laughed SO LOUD at the theater while watching it... but everyone else was too... so I don't think I embarrassed myself to bad. ;) My boys (5 & 9) really loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It was really cute for the fam.
Well... I hope you've enjoyed my little list of happiness! I'll be back in a flash with my Unity Hip Hop Thursday post! :)