50 Things of Happy, Like Tauntauns and Windswept Hair

The thing is, there are way more than 50 things that make me happy.

More like 50 million. There’s something to be said, though, about thinking up 50 things right there on the spot. Once you start, you can’t stop. It comes out like happy bursts of lightning, and it changes like currents. What’s making you happy right now? What’s rocking your world right now? What made you smile today? What is it that makes you smile everyday?

I was tagged in a Twitter post about Authentic Happiness and I decided to rise to the challenge. I’m accepting this challenge to list 50 things that make me happy. And let me know something that makes YOU happy in the comments!

1 – When you’re standing close to someone you love and you’re not even touching but the electricity makes you think that you are. The heat and the hair on your arms makes you imagine the heat and the hair on their arms. It’s magnetic, love.

2 – That jean jackets are always in style, and even if they stopped being in style, we’d still be wearing them, wouldn’t we?

3 – When you grin at a stranger in public and they grin back and there’s a spring in your step, and maybe in theirs after that.

4 – The smell of coconut and how it always smells like beach vacations.

5 – The way the wind and humidity make my hair wild. I used to hate it and now I absolutely love it. The wilder, the better.

6 – Drinking something cold when you’re thirsty, which probably means you’re dehydrated, but it feels so great!

7 – When your fancy schmancy toothbrushing app says you did a 100% brushing job with your fancy schmancy toothbrush.

8 – The smell of lilacs, and how they bloom so suddenly and rampantly.

9 – That I can drive anywhere I want, or take a plane, train, bus or boat ride, if I really want to do so.

10 – Rainbow everything. The rainbow colors in order, or at least the way we put them in order.

11 – When there’s cash in my wallet, and even though it doesn’t negate that there’s money in my bank account too, it still makes me feel like I’m temporarily rich and I dream up all the places I want to go to spend that “found” money!

12 – That I have a secret I’ll get to announce on Facebook next Thursday. I’m really not being secretive to be secretive. You can totally message me or text me and I’ll tell you, but I’ll swear you to secrecy from my kids. Or ELSE. (still not a baby)

13 – When your salted caramel or peanut butter sauce sinks to the bottom of your ice cream sundae and takes the sprinkles down with them. Then the end of the ice cream sundae is as exciting as the beginning.

14 – Late night silly movies with popcorn, or said ice cream sundaes.

15 – Dog parks.

16 – When wit overtakes you, and you keep making yourself laugh with rapid fire text or email responses.

17 – When there’s nothing to do but read a book in the sun.

18 – Reading Yankee Magazine in a bath with bubbles that glisten and shine.

19 – Flannel pants with drawstrings.

20 – Frolicking dogs on a dog beach.

21 – When you’re drinking an iced coffee drink with whipped cream and you put the straw at the top of the drink to get a mouthful of whipped cream and whatever wonderful syrup or candy comes with it. Best first sip ever!

22 – The soft parts of my cat’s belly, and that she lets me pet her belly! I thought cats mostly don’t like that.

23 – The character of Lafayette in Hamilton.

24 – When you’re smiling over the phone, and you know they can hear it. Or vice versa.

25 – The way Athena meets people at the park and then trots to my side as if to say, “This is my person! Isn’t she cool?”

26 – Using Alexa (Amazon Echo) to play Bruce Hornsby while I’m in the shower.

27 – Buying Rice Krispies or Cheerios just to put a splash of cream in the bowl with the milk.

28 – Going to a restaurant or movie alone.

29 – Dressing up for Halloween, or just because.

30 – Feeling physically good, nearly always.

31 – The smell of coffee even if you don’t/can’t drink it unless it’s decaf.

32 – Kid giggles that YOU caused.

33 – Parades.

34 – That Des is still so young that he thinks he’s in love with me.

35 – And that his hair hasn’t been cut in two months.

36 – When you’ve taken a picture and you know it has that IT quality – that pure moment/vision magic.

37 – It’s pretty much the same with writing.

38 – When your heart pitter patters. Even if it’s all wrong or all right, and even if it’s just a trigger or a flash of something else, or something you thought was long buried. Whatever it takes, whatever it is, it makes you feel alive.

39 – That at least one of my kids hears Laurel, like me, even if the other is Team Yanny.

40 – That Scarlet still likes to dress like me.

41 – When you’re out in public and see a local business owner or public figure and you geek out a bit to see them, AND, they know who you are!

42 – When you’re already excited for breakfast the night before.

43 – Oh, the places you’ll go.

44 – When you create your own work schedule and can take off any day, week, or month, within reason, and go on adventures.

45 – That Cassidy and I got each other anniversary gifts that have to do with Dire Straits: “Romeo and Juliet.”

46 – That Des was flattened by the end of Charlotte’s Web. I don’t want him to be sad, but I’m glad he feels things strongly.

47 – That I’m going on a staycation this weekend and have a hotel room in South Deerfield for work. There’s a pool!

48 – That there’s a hierarchy of rainbow sprinkles, and I know where to find the good ones.

49 – That my friend Tara made me 50 Shades of Grey cupcakes for work.

50 – So there’s a Tauntaun in our house. I knew it was coming. We don’t like animal heads/busts on our walls, but figured mythical or science-fiction creatures would be ok. It took forever to come and Cassidy didn’t tell me WHEN it was coming. So I brought home the kids and Scarlet’s best friend from school on Wednesday and Des had to poop. Badly. Scarlet and Ella thought it would be funny to race into the bathroom ahead of him and slam the door. Poor kid had to go! So he went upstairs to use our bathroom and came running back downstairs. Apparently he had found a “monster” in our room lying on the floor staring up at the ceiling. I went back upstairs with him to dispel the monster myth, but happened upon a Tauntaun.

Cassidy said it couldn’t have gone better! Poor Des could have pooped his pants.

What makes you happy?

25+ Ways to Have a Spring Refresh

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TeaProudly #CollectiveBias

Are you in a winter rut? Spring is a time to refresh and remove ruts in ALL areas of life! Try these 25+ tips to refresh your entire life! #TeaProudly #ad

Spring. Oh, when it’s really spring, it makes me absolutely sing.

I always compare it to getting your driver’s license at age 17, at least in NJ – where I grew up. Now, you probably got through well over 16 years without too much trouble, but that last month or so before your 17th birthday is agonizing! It’s like you rue every day that you wake up and you’re 16, and you can’t yet get yourself from Point A to Point B. It’s the longest wait of life!

What do they call it? The final stretch. And we’re in that right now because March still looks like this:

And speaking of stretching, it’s time for me (and maybe you?) to stretch, and stretch out of everything – our comfort zones, our winter ruts, and anything else we’re ready to kiss goodbye in honor of spring. Where I live, winter is so long that I get into a rut – it affects me socially, emotionally, financially, and all-around wellness-wise. However, I also get inspired by my ruts. Does that sound weird? Just as with the new year, spring is a time for me to do a full-out refresh, and get out of all potential ruts. You name it, and it’s probably happening. “The Refresh” – as I like to call it – is an Inside, Outside Spring Cleaning.

Here are 25+ ways to have your own Spring Refresh:

Are you in a winter rut? Spring is a time to refresh and remove ruts in ALL areas of life! Try these 25+ tips to refresh your entire life! #TeaProudly #ad

Time for a Beauty Refresh?

1 – Get a facial!

2 – Beauty is skin deep. Feed your body with plenty of water and leafy vegetables.

3 – You know what’s good for your skin? Sweat and sunscreen, but not always necessarily together!

4 – Try some bright lip color to brighten your face for a new season.

5 – Use a facial cleansing brush to “brush off” the drab of winter.

Time for a Fitness Refresh?

1 – Set a new goal for spring/summer. Maybe sign up for a race or challenge of some sort?

2 – Try a new thing! Take a new class, try out a new gym, or try out a new machine at the gym.

3 – Clean out your gym bag and start fresh.

4 – Get up earlier. There’s a lot of world to roam before the sun, the kids, and the heat rise!

5 – Know your numbers. Get your annual physical at the doctor, dentist, etc. and get physical assessments at your gym.

*Enlist a friend/ally/spouse to help!

(This is mine)

Time for a Home Refresh?

1 – Let light in! Nothing is better after a long winter, because we all know that more sunshine can improve our mood and all-around health. An important task of spring cleaning is to clean your windows inside and out! Or hire it out if it’s too hard.

2 – Start with a good surface cleaning – vacuuming, dusting, polishing, etc.

3 – Get rid of your winter gear! Banish it to the basement and attic! (my favorite part)

4 – Restock your fridge, pantry and fruit bowls with fresh spring produce.

5 – Add plants and succulents to your home.

*If you have a garden, start those early tasks. If you don’t, consider planting one of any size!

Time for a Wardrobe Refresh?

1 – Wear white or off-white! Mix and match your favorite separates for a wardrobe refresh for spring.

2 – Add new colors to your wardrobe. Also consider incorporating them into your lipstick, nail polish, jewelry, scarves, etc.

3 – Be creative and find new ways to wear old clothes. Tie your shirts for a more cropped and fitted look. Wear a skinny belt around a dress? Wear a winter sweater, but with a skirt instead of jeans. Add layers to a summer dress.

4 – Add a light scarf or bright accessories to any outfit!

5 – Mix patterns and prints to stand out in a crowd! (my 7-year-old does this exquisitely)

Time for a Wellness/Soul Refresh?

1 – Try a new vegetable each week! Plant a garden or join a CSA for a bonus.

2 – Go to sleep an hour earlier each night, and stretch right when you wake up each morning.

3 – Ease your stress-load and find time to lie in a hammock, read, or lie on the couch for a sun-bath through the window.

4 – Take a new class! What fancies you? Cooking? Knitting? Farming? Writing?

5 – Have a daily feel-good ritual, like a good afternoon tea.

And that’s where Bigelow Tea Benefits come in! I like them in Sleep Chamomile and Lavender Herbal Tea – a calming, full-bodied floral lavender flavor with a sweet chamomile finish. Also, I love Stay Well – Lemon and Echinacea Herbal Tea – Authentic Echinacea and crisp lemon flavor with a smooth, relaxing herbal finish. I also adore Balance – Cinnamon and Blackberry Herbal Tea – Sweet and spicy cinnamon top notes with a smooth balanced sweet and tart finish.

All of these, and more, can be purchased at many fine retailers. I get mine at Stop & Shop in the Coffee/Tea aisle:

I use Bigelow Tea Benefits to help keep a healthy, active, and balanced lifestyle. They are everyday teas that fuel our bodies with good-for-you ingredients that help us define the lives we want to live. They also taste fabulous to boot!

This new line of tea – designed to support everyday wellness – is here to taste fabulous and help support your well-being. These seven new teas combine premium quality, all-natural herbs traditionally thought to ease the everyday issues in uncommonly delicious ways. They complement Bigelow Tea’s 130+ specialty teas – that have been delighting tea lovers for over 70 years! They are imaginative and flavorful – blended and produced in the USA. Are you as excited as I am?

Which to try first?

Check out the Bigelow Tea Benefits line HERE, and tell me which variety you most want to try!

Are you in a winter rut? Spring is a time to refresh and remove ruts in ALL areas of life! Try these 25+ tips to refresh your entire life! #TeaProudly #ad