One of the only blogs I read on a regular basis is Peanut Butter Fingers, run by a woman named Julie. She is a new mom, a personal trainer, a full time blogger and she has a cute dog - so I am always entertained by her posts. I was recently clicking around on older articles on her site when I came across one inspired by The Happiness Project, a book written by Gretchen Rubin that has turned into a Podcast and has a worldwide following. This particular podcast, which inspired the blog post, discusses making a small “splurge” that leads to greater overall happiness. The splurge can be monetary or something that takes up your time that you normally wouldn’t do, etc. You take stock of these things that make you happy and try to incorporate them into your life more often.
I was reminded of this idea last night. I was home alone, doing laundry in my underwear and sweating my butt off, when someone walked in the house. I was like “uhhhhh….hello?” - my boyfriend’s voice floated back up the stairs. He surprised me by not only coming over unannounced, but bringing popcorn and A DOZEN ROSES. And they were such beautiful roses, somewhere between red and pink, because he knows that I like flowers that are not yo’ average shade. Having beautiful flowers to wake up to this morning made my day, and made me think about how easy and inexpensive it would be to pick some up now and then when I’m at the grocery store. I also love buying flowers for other people; I once surprised my best friend with flowers just for fun and she could not believe I bought them for her, which made me super happy in return.
Here are a few other “little” things that truly make me happy:
Coffee in my favorite mugs:
While anything coffee related brings me sheer joy, I especially love fun and cute mugs from which to drink my coffee when I make it at home. I’ll spend 10 minutes looking for one of my favorite mugs before I’ll use any ol’ thing. This is even better in the fall and winter, because waking up on a cold morning and sitting down to a mug of hot coffee is the only way I ever want to start my day. Right now I only have 2 that I really love, so I need to check out Etsy and find which one I want to gift myself next!
I used to love taking baths, but then our drain broke and I guess no one ever fixed it, so the water would just go straight down instead of filling the tub. Also, there were so many people in my house I was always bound to be interrupted. Now I feel like I can get back to taking baths more regularly, with dim lights, candles, and James Taylor playing in the background (*prayer hands*). When I stayed in an Air BnB in Pittsburgh recently, they had a huge spa bathtub and I seriously used it 5 times in 3 days. I was so relaxed. And so clean.
Getting my nails done:
I started getting acrylic nails because my nails always seemed to break and chip no matter what, and I absolutely love them. Getting them refilled at the nail salon and walking out with a fresh manicure that I know is going to look nice for the next two weeks makes me feel so much more put together and confident. Plus it’s nice to get a little pampering while you’re at it with hand massages and all that. And it’s only $15 bucks!
Walks with my Mom:
Sometimes I will randomly feel the need to get up and get moving a little bit before calling it a night, and I’ll ask my mom if she wants to go for a short walk around the neighborhood. It’s a nice way for me to get off my phone (which doesn’t help my sleeping habits), get fresh air, and talk with her about both of our days. It’s something that happens very sporadically, so I definitely want to try to do it more often. We used to go in the early morning sometimes too, which is probably the best time to go during the summer before it gets insanely hot (this heat wave in Philly is killing me. I think I got sunstroke walking 3 blocks today).
Going to brunch on the weekend is seriously the beeeessttttt. Trying to eat healthy and make my own food all week makes sitting down and inhaling a plate of pancakes that much more enjoyable. Plus the atmosphere is always nice too. It’s usually groups of friends, or families, or couples, chatting away and enjoying each other’s company (and each other’s food). I feel like there’s never the distraught waiters, or people complaining about wait-times, or crying babies during brunch like there are during dinner hours. It’s a magical time.
I spent every summer of my entire life going to the Jersey shore until my Grandpa sold his house a few years back. Last year, I think I only went to the beach 4 times. Being in the ocean and drying out in the sun is like, the greatest combination of activities ever. It’s exhausting and rejuvenating at the same time. This summer, I have one weekend under my belt, and I’m going to try to make a conscious effort to get down there as often as I can, even if it’s just for the afternoon.
Obviously there are a ton of other things that make me happy, like going to the gym, spending time with my friends, Christmas, my nieces and nephews, and beyond. These were the ones I felt like I wanted to highlight as they are “little” things that are either cheap or free, and they are things I love but don’t do every day.
What are some of the “little” things in your life that make you seriously happy?