Happy Shopping List

Day 54 – #100HappyDay Challenge

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Pop over to visit Camellia’s charming blog, Camellia’s Cottage, to read her recent post “Cheerful Cherries” which is an artfully crafted and informative post about one of my all time favorite ingredients – cherries. Here you will discover a little history about Maraschino Cherries and a grownup recipe that will make you want to run down to the local grocer to pick up the ingredients to make your very own cheerful cherries! I’ve already made my shopping list.

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Speaking of another happy discovery that is on my shopping list  (which I mentioned before but it’s worth repeating) is a box of  Trader Joe’s croissants. Bake a few up to enjoy with your favorite cup of tea.  You can find three varieties in the freezer section; plain, chocolate and almond. I think my favorite is the almond. And, yes, I’ve indulged in all three. I know, I know, but it is the holiday season and I figure a little indulgence is good for the soul.

If baking up a whole box is a bit much at a single time, then take out as many as you like, store the others in a friendly freezer bag and toss them back in the freezer for another time. Honestly, my freezer is a godsend as a single person. Now these do have to raise overnight so remember to pull them out the night before, place them on a cookie sheet uncovered overnight and bake when you’re ready

Voila, croissants for one lovely breakfast.

Sending you happiness.

💕

April

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Deck the Halls – Writing Prompt

Day 53 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Today I’m playing along with a writing prompt – Deck the halls.

Christmas, for the most part, makes me happy. How about you? Do you enjoy decorating for the Holidays?

I typically decorate for the Holidays the day after Christmas and tend to put everything away the day after Christmas. I know. I’ve done this for years.

But not this year. This year things have changed a bit. I’ve moved. It’s a new house and It’s the first time I was traveling over Thanksgiving so decking the halls had to wait a bit. But most importantly, my granddaughter wouldn’t be here until the week before Christmas to decorate the tree with me.

What to do?

The Compromise…2 trees!

I decided to go ahead and decorate the tree downstairs and would wait to decorate the game room tree until she got here. I tucked a few of her “friends”, which I borrowed from her room, beneath the tree just for some cuteness. I am a little behind on gift wrapping. I’ll have to work on that.

I took the opportunity this year to go with pink glam for downstairs since It’s just the girls this year. And we like pink!

But Snowmen and the traditional holiday colors will reign upstairs. I’ve began to get the game room in order but I’ve made sure to keep the majority of the “decking” limited. It’ll have to wait for Miss R’s magical touch to finish the rest of the Christmas decking.

Hope you are having as much fun as I have in decking the halls.

Ho Ho Ho!

April

Tips to Keep Your Sanity During the Holidays

Day 49 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Hello December!

Are you ready? I mean really ready for the bustling chaos that’s about to burst wide open in a confetti of mixed emotions?

Yeah, I hear you. This can be a tough time for some of us especially when our lives aren’t the picture perfect hallmark card we strive to present to the world.

It’s ok to feel what you feel.

Give yourself permission to embrace each moment as they come. Some days can be really shitty. Things happen. Life gets hard. That’s when it’s important to take care of yourself. Even if it’s carving out 5 minutes of tears, shut away in the bathroom, water running to hide from your kid.

The sun will come out.

When you are feeling like the Grinch get outside. Breathe in the December air. Breathe out. Walk. Move your feet, focusing on your breath. When grinchy thoughts percolate return your focus to your breath. Just a few minutes of this walking meditation will clear your mind and those calories you just burned are an extra bonus!

Don’t isolate yourself.

Too much alone time is not good for the soul. We humans need other humans. It’s all good to curl up with your device, connecting in the virtual world as long as you don’t forget about the real world. Get out. Meet a friend for coffee. Volunteer. Connect. When you connect with others you’re experiencing the present moment. And in the present moment is where sweet spot of existence is.

Forget about buying a bunch of crap.

The pressure to buy, buy, buy is everywhere I turn. I don’t think it ever stops. Have you ever surfed the web and have an advertisement follow you from site to site for something you looked up? I think a pair of really cute boots followed me around for months, their shiny new leather always floating to the right side of whatever site I was on. They even haunted my email! But it’s ok to ignore the pressure to buy. It’s ok not to buy a bunch of crap that’s just going to be forgotten about before Christmas dinner is even over. Save your wallet. Save your sanity.

Just say no.

That brings me to the last sanity saving Holiday tip. Just say no. No thank you is a perfectly good answer if your gut is telling you to skip an activity or a last minute request. Don’t have time to bake those cookies for work? Just say no. Or offer to pick a pack of Oreos up on the way. You don’t have to be super-mom-wife-coworker-daughter-aunt or any other hat that is forced upon you. Do what you can. Do what feels right.

Hope the few sanity saving tips help. Just remember that this month will pass quickly into a memory. Let’s make some good ones!

As always, reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.

Love, April

💕

Three Little Things

“While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary.” – Matt Bevin

Day 44 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Happy Cyber Monday💕

Are you still shopping? I had to give my budget a break so figured I’d focus on a few of the little things that brings pleasure with little to no cost. But trust me, I’m thinking about shopping for shoes… so many pretty shoes that never let me down. But that’s not for today’s post. Focus. Focus, April.

ok. Where was I? Oh yeah – little things.

Do you have small things that make you light up? You know, like that singular moment when you wake up ready to jump out of bed to face the work day, and then realize you don’t have to go to work? Your body melts back into your warm, cozy bed and all is right in the world again.

Here are a few of my little, happy things that cost nothing but bring me high value emotional returns:

  1. Pajama days! There is nothing better in my world than spending a lazy day at home with nothing scheduled. PJ days are there to recharge from the hectic pace we typically set for ourselves. Especially during the holidays. For all of you Type A personalities go ahead and calendar a Pajama Day. Set aside your coziest PJs, stock up on yummy treats, movies, books, magazines, bubble bath in your favorite scent. The sky’s the limit. This works even with a family at home. It’s a fantastic time to reconnect. Some of my favorite memories with my kids happened on Pajama Days. But plan nothing. Just let the day unfold. Bonus points if you disconnect from technology!
  2. Sharing a hug, a kiss, with your favorite person. Treasure these little moments. Because someday they will disappear. The older I get the more I treasure these microseconds of connection. It means more and more to me as I move through life’s stages. Kids grow up. People leave, either willingly or due to passing on. This is life. Embrace those hugs while you can.
  3. An unexpected card or letter in the mail, a text message just because, a phone call or a comment in my posts, always lifts my spirits and makes me smile. I think life is about connection. And connecting makes me happy.

I’ve shared three small things that bring me joy at little cost, now it’s your turn. What three little things nourishes you? What brings you joy?

Cheers!

❤️

Turn A Light On

Day 43 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Sunday errands complete, I arrived home with a happy find – guest room lamps! I braved HomeGoods this morning for a rolling pin since I haven’t found mine since the move and decided I needed to replace it. Anyway, as I wandered the store I discovered a pair of lamps that will work upstairs.

That being said, it’s time to buckle down and review my budget (which I’ve decimated with travel and the Holidays). All these little extra finds are adding up. Does that ever happen to you? I try not to wait until the new year to revisit my budget. By then I will need a stern talking to and banned from shopping for the foreseeable future. Who am I kidding. I think I’m there right now. It’s time to put my wallet away. Thank goodness my holiday shopping is done.

Cheers!

❤️

Des Moines Airport – heading home

Day 42 – #100HappyDays Challenge

I’m going home. I’ll be happy – eventually. Only right now I’m a little sad at leaving the guys and Mr. Abraham. The Des Moines airport is quiet here in the early hours. The comparison between Houston and Des Moines can be summed up by their airports.

But Houston is calling and I have things to get back to. Like work. I checked my work email a few days ago and ran through things, sorting them into actions or deleting the junk. It should make catching up a bit easier later today.

Talk to me about Black Friday…did you shop? I am watching the news scroll by with a story about Amazon opening brick and mortar stores. They already have Whole Foods but this goes beyond the specialty grocery store. It’s just fascinating to me how company’s shift and change to capture more and more of our dollars.

Home.

Cheers!

❤️

Take A Walk On The Spicy Side

Day 38 – #100HappyDays Challenge

It’s Tuesday. Already. The days are slipping by here in the heartland. At least for me. Beau had today off which we spent together shopping. He took me downtown to this wonderful spice shop  All Spice, where you can find just about any seasoning you can think of. We picked up this smokey salt that smelled like it might work great with the maple glazed turkey planned for Thursday. I’ll let you know how it goes. But if you cant get to Des Moines check out all the spices you could ever want here.

The day was bright and sunny but the wind was bitter, cold. I was grateful I brought my warm coat with me for the walk downtown. It was a balmy 35 degrees. Bbbrrrr

I’m horrible at selfies but it doesn’t stop me from trying. LoL. My kid is so patient with me. He’s a good sport while I try.

Next stop was the greatest store in the universe. Really. The sign even said so.

I almost forgot to mention popping into this gourmet kitchen shop. It had beautiful things at beautifully expensive prices. It’s a fantastic shop for inspiration but a bit beyond what I can afford. Needless to say, I’m so grateful for HomeGoods where I can purchase a mug for under $88 dollars. 😳

What can I say… it was a good day. My whole day – this whole week – has been happy. I’m grateful for the time I get to share with my family. I just hope I’m not driving them too nuts.

Cheers!

❤️