Music gets me through. Through difficult times, bad moods or a chore I simply dread. Today was no different. My in-laws are visiting this weekend and there was so much to do. I've had a sick kid home for over a week and so many chores had been pushed to the wayside. Just turn up the music and chores are almost a joy to complete. Almost. (At least there was joy in the music!)
I was in a store today that had retro lunch boxes. The metal ones with stripes and plaids and polka dots and tv shows and music groups and cartoon characters. It brought be back. I almost bought one. I should have bought one. Because having those memories flood back was fun. Such a simple little item making such an impact. Maybe I'll go back and get one. Because we all deserve a little retro joy!
Field Trip! I love accompanying my kids on their school field trips. Today we saw Sleeping Beauty ballet. Sure the kids were a little bored - especially my boys. But there was so much to talk about on the way home. The costumes. The special effects. Who fell asleep. It was my youngest son's first field trip. So he didn't care that it was boring. He was just glad to feel like a big kid, hanging with his friends, eating lunch outside. A fun trip and a joy for me to witness.
Valentine's Day isn't just for boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives. It's for me and my kids, too. I had so much fun sneaking little boxes of candy with heart shaped wrapping paper where they would find them. And they had so much fun receiving and sending Valentines at school today. Sweet reminders of how much joy we all bring each other.
We don't have date nights (and a good thing, too, 'cause I'm not much of a night person). We have date days. And today we celebrated Valentine's with a little lunch, a little shopping. It's nice to get out and have adult conversation and dream a little together. Some early joy in an early Valentine's date day!
I kicked out a bunch of errands today. All online. Banking. Shopping. Letter writing. Sometimes my dinosaur of a computer annoys the heck out of me. But today? He was my best friend. I can't believe how productive I was today. You name it. I got it done! Now that's joy!
I've just discovered this site and saved a boatload of money on an attraction near us that I knew my in-laws would be interested in. Tickets that were typically 7 dollars were only one dollar each. What would normally cost 49 dollars only cost a mere 7 bucks. Now that's a little added joy to my wallet!
My sweet cravings typically include chocolate, coca-cola and ice cream. I'm not a big candy, cookie and cake person. And I rarely choose to enjoy angel food cake. But tonight I had a luscious piece, complete with fresh strawberries. It was simply divine. Who knew? Angel food cake could taste of joy.
I haven't lost the weight I wanted to. And I honestly thought yoga would be more helpful in that area. Maybe I'm expecting too much from one exercise practice. But I keep plugging along. I've kept at it longer than any other exercise regimen. I'm not sure why. What I do know is that yoga makes me feel so good. Yoga is joy, in my opinion.
A good read. I crave a good read once in a while. Sometime to immerse myself in. I've found it with The Book Thief. Fascinating story. Interesting story-telling. It's one I look forward to finding time for. And while the subject matter certainly isn't "joyful" --- looking forward to snuggling on the couch, getting lost in the story brings a little joy to my day.
I love Chinese medicine. I love how natural and organic it is. I love the miracles it seems to create - non-invasive, simple, pure. But sometimes, modern medicine needs to step in. My son has been struggling with high fevers and what we thought was an ear infection. We were doing all the right things but his fever had been in the 103-104 range for 5 days now. It was time to try something else. And lo and behold, after two doses of antibiotics, his temperature is normal. Overall, I think we, as a culture, overdo antibiotics. But when you use them when you're supposed to? Joy!
No news here that I'm a big Disney fan. I'll watch any movie they produce. Secretariat was no exception. We watched it today, cuddled on the couch, with popcorn and drinks and enjoyed every minute. I love how Disney creates movies both kids and parents can enjoy together. And I loved the story of this amazing horse. My parents owned a race horse once, and I never witnessed mistreatment of the animals. I did, however, witness the pure joy that horses seem to feel, being allowed to stretch their legs and move as fast as they can. Secretariat seemed to embody that joy. Plain and simple.
I wish I were more timely in publishing my daily joy. And I've explained before how I carry a little notebook with me to jot down the joy of the day so I don't forget. I hate it that I haven't made the time to regularly utilize this blog - both for joy posting and for exploring those few who check in or have a similar blog mission. I will try to do better. I truly will. But for now, for today, when I'm a little discouraged by the lack of interest in my humble blog - Stat Counter shines a little joy. It says that, yes, indeed, people are peeking in. Not many. But a few. Making it worth it to me to continue.
Turtles. Simply turtles. You know when someone laughs and then, even though you don't get the joke, you laugh too? Today was one of those days. Just the mere mention of them sent my youngest into a fit of giggles. So today's joy is brought to you by turtles.
My mother-in-law buys the kids the craziest and best gifts sometimes. Last summer they went on an Alaskan cruise and bought the boys a card game - Alaskan Go-Fish. My oldest son is home sick today and he wanted to play. Pretty soon we were playing the best out of 5, the best out of 7, the best out of 15. Yes, 15 games asking each other, "Do you have any Pink Salmon? Do you have any Brook Trout?" Hilarious and joy!
Such a simple, winter drink but brings back such good memories of snowy afternoons of my childhood. I no longer live in the snow (thank goodness!) but that doesn't mean I can't share my love of hot chocolate with my kids. Today was a rainy and bitterly cold day. Hot chocolate and whipped cream to the rescue! Chocolate joy in a cup!
I love this Facebook/Zynga game. Each round is five minutes long and the time just flies. I'm a good player but not the best player....yet. ;) Practice makes perfect, right? It's a pastime that exercises parts of my brain and allows other parts to relax. And a balanced brain brings me joy.
I have been craving this water and I hate how hard it is to purchase in bulk. I probably should just go to Amazon and try to get it delivered. I could drink this stuff all day long. And I'm trying so hard to stay away from the sugary cokes and sweet teas I succumb to all day long. I found one in the back of the refrigerator just a few moments ago and, I mean it, JOY. Truly. It's like tasting joy.
It's amazing to me what a fresh coat of paint can do to change the look of your home. We've been talking about painting the boys' bedroom and bath for some time now. And we're finally doing it. Or should I say, my husband is doing it and I'm prepping, cleaning up after and keeping the kids out of his hair. What a difference it has made! The bath is a sandy beach color that fits their seaside decor so perfectly. And the bedroom is shaping up with a gorgeous denim blue color to start. Their bedroom is going to be three colors; the blue, some of the sandy brown and a stripe of red. We'll be finishing next weekend but already it looks amazing! A color boost of joy!
I love our library. I love thumbing through the stacks. I love cozy-ing up to the fireplace (our library has a fireplace!) and sifting through my selections. I especially love it when I can come here alone and putter around without children in tow. Today's hour in the library was simple, pure, absolute joy. (Thanks, husband!)
I'm suprising my family tonight with a berry pie. They've been requesting cherry pie but I had fresh blueberries leftover, so I snuck those in, too. And because I'm hopeless with pie crust, I made a strusel topping, instead. It smells so delicious in this house right now. I can't wait to dig in. A little joy for my family and certainly joy in making this yummy dessert!
To continue an Aveda theme....I love their foot cream. A little pricey, yes. But does it work? Absolutely! I'm not very good at remembering to use it regularly. Since Christmas, I've make good progress, applying it about 3 times a week at night before bed. And what a difference it's made! No cracks. No snags. Just smooth, soft feet. This is worth continuing. Joy in foot cream? You'd better believe it!
I should be a spokesperson for Aveda. I've used their products since I was a teen - when they were first introduced. I was a competitive swimmer at the time and their hair products kept my hair shiny and healthy, despite being submerged in chlorine for 3-4 hours a day. When I would get my hair cut the stylist never believed that I was a swimmer. But I was. And Aveda shampoos and conditioners are what kept my swimming secret. Today, I adore the Shampure line. Whenever I take a break from them (which I did recently) I come crawling back to Shampure. Thank you Aveda, for a little hair healthy joy!
I sure love receiving snail mail but I love sending snail mail almost as much. Today, I was on a roll. I sent two birthday cards, a note to my sister, a magazine article to a friend and a silly card for a blogging buddy. I had intended to just sit down and send the birthday cards, as one was long overdue. But then I remembered this silly card I had and I knew just the person to send it to. It snowballed from there and before I knew it, I was putting stamps on five pieces of snail mail. It's so much fun to receive. And a joy to send!
I love to cook but sometimes I don't like lingering cooking smells. That's where my scented candles come out to play. I'm pretty picky about my scented candles, though. They can't be too flowery and I'm not fond of cinnamon or fruit smells. I typically stick with the clean scents of fresh laundry or the sea. Sometimes I allow vanilla to sneak in. Tonight, after dinner, I wanted a fresh, clean start for the day tomorrow. I scrubbed the kitchen and then lit my favorite candle that reminds me of the beach. Ahhhhh. Scented joy. I feel warmer already.
We had a luscious beef stew on Saturday. With tons leftover. I couldn't stomach another helping of beef stew. What to do? Reinvent my leftovers. I added more vegetables, more beef stock and a little flour to thicken the sauce. Then I topped it with puffy pastry. Voila! Beef pot pie. Saute a little bok choy and we had ourselves another winter hearty meal. With leftovers. See? There is joy in having leftovers!
Cardinals are such a beautiful bird. Especially in winter when their brillant color is so striking against the dull palette of winter. I cheat by stocking my bird feeder with cardinal friendly food. I just love looking out my bedroom window and watching them flock to eat. They dart back and forth from trees to feeder. A dizzy array of color on this dull, winter morning. And a moment of joy just watching them.
I just love a solitary walk with my dog. Sure, some days I try to find every excuse in the book not to take him for his walk. And some days my excuses win. But not this morning. And it was so chilly and so still and quiet that I was able to sneak onto the cart path of the golf course near us. No one was playing golf on this chilly morning. So it was just me and my dog and the birds and squirrels. It was nice to take a walk off the beaten path. And it was truly serene. A little solitary joy in our solitary walk.
Remember when yogurt actually tasted like yogurt? Yeah. Me neither. Actually, yes, I do. Way, way back in the day - we're talking 1970s - yogurt tasted like yogurt. Not this overly sweetened dessert stuff they try to pass along to you as "health food" now. Greek yogurt is the closest thing I can find to the olden-day-yogurt. And Fage's Greek yogurt with honey is my absolute fav. I actually hide them behind leftovers in my fridge so no one else finds them and eats them up. They're mine! My joy.
Disney's PhotoPass is one of my greatest travel joys. It truly is. So easy. You just get a card from the first photographer you see. They take your picture, scan the card and you're off for more fun (or more pics.) Then, when you get home, you view your pictures online and choose to purchase one, two or all. No pressure. And a great way to get everyone in a picture. (Usually, I'm behind the camera - so very few family shots in our family albums!) They also have mugs, calendars and photo books to create with your pictures. I'm starting to sound like an advertisement - but I had so much fun today viewing our pics and creating our photo book. A little extra Disney joy, even after the trip!
My boys love this series. Thank goodness they don't feel too old for it yet, because I love it, too. It's one of my favorite things to read to them before bed. Duck just cracks us up. Clever stories, funny illustrations and never scary- great bedtime entertainment. These books we can read again and again and again. Easy bedtime joy!
I inherited some of my grandmother's pretty china cups, saucers and dessert plates. And I never use them. They sit, lonely, in a pretty glass cabinet, only to be admired. While we were snowed in I wondered: What am I saving these for? Why not use them? So I did. And I swear it made my coffee and tea taste so much sweeter. It was so much fun to sip my hot beverage from such a pretty, dainty cup. It's the only way I'll drink my coffee and tea from now on. Why? Because it brings me joy.
Three hours of (relative) bliss. The boys have Kung Fu tonight. We've been trapped at home together for a week now. Count 'em. 7 whole days! My husband is taking them to their weekly Kung Fu lesson tonight and they'll be there for 3 hours. Only my teenage daughter to contend with and that's a piece of cake. Sigh. Bliss. Joy.
I've discovered a new show. Anna and Kristina's Grocery Bag. Now, the show isn't exactly new but it's new to me. They are a fun couple of women who test out products and cookbooks and share the results with the viewer. They have a fun sense of humor and they make the same mistakes I make in the kitchen, laughing at themselves the whole way. I like, too, how they're not afraid to criticize a cookbook or product. Sometimes books get their stamp of approval. Sometimes they don't. I can't wait to watch more. Anna and Kristina bring a little bit of joy to my TV viewing and kitchen experience.
Home again, home again, jiggity jig! The boys had school today. But they said, if you couldn't make it because of the weather it would be an excused absence. Good thing. Because we started out slowly, very slowly. And I planned a route that would take the most traveled road. But more ice! On top of ice! Thick layers of ice all over the road I had to take - the busiest road I could think of taking. This is ridiculous. We aren't built for this kind of weather. Thank goodness we're all home safely. Trapped again (and that's getting a bit old) but home safe? Pure and simple joy.
There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home! I feel a bit like Dorothy today. I ventured out for the first time since Sunday. We were out of milk, bread, eggs and orange juice. Little left for dinners, either. To save a few bucks, I decided to go to Wal-Mart. Slip sliding down a road where the ice hadn't melted I witnessed a truck go off into a ditch. I had to turn around (but not after sliding down the hill in reverse first) and make everyone else behind me do the same. Sorry people! And thank you to the nice young man in the white truck for helping me maneuver my car on the only dry patch of road so I could turn around. I stopped at Publix (which is a little more expensive but just outside my subdivision) and then went straight home. I'm not going out again unless I have to! Ahhhhhh, it's a joy to be home!
It's a little hard today to find joy. I'm trying. But my husband has been stuck at his office. Our snow turned to ice and he couldn't get home. For two days. Fingers crossed he can come home tonight. But we've been trapped in our home and my pantry and frig weren't prepared for this. We won't starve but we're sick of this hodgepodge of meals I've been putting together. Snuggling on the couch today with my boys was so nice though. We watched Brady Bunch re-runs and giggled and for a little while I forgot that my husband was stuck and losing business each day schools are closed and the mortgage is due, along with Christmas bills. A little Brady joy to the rescue.
Who knew I'd be at it this long? I sure didn't. My goal was to record joy for a year. One year of joy. But I've kept going. My little notebook, where I record the bits of joy to later post here, has turned into 3 notebooks. I'm on my third one and still going. This has been so much fun. Despite the fact that I have no audience and no comments. I have no idea if I'm inspiring anyone out there but I don't care. I'm inspiring me. And that is joy all by itself.
So pretty to look at. But not fun to drive in. School has been cancelled and the pantry is full. We can stay home today and play and not have to worry about a thing. (Oh, my poor husband who had to go to work today!) I'm looking forward to a day of fun with my kids today. We'll bake and play games and watch old movies. A lot of snow, a lot of joy!
My husband's patients will sometimes give him or our family a gift for Christmas. Many times they come in the form of restaurant gift cards. We received one of these - a Darden restaurant gift card. Since we've never eaten at Longhorns before, we decided to give it a try. Frankly, I wasn't that impressed. The quality of the steak wasn't that great. But hey, we didn't have to pay for it. A gift card allowed us to try something we hadn't tried before. Now that's joy.
I typically don't like cutesy stuff. But I do like the unexpected. Especially when it makes me smile. Snoopy, Woodstock and peace signs do just that. I found this phone cover and every time I pull my phone out of my purse it makes me smile. You need to fill your life with little unexpected bits of joy. And I have one safely tucked away in my purse, making me smile every time I use my phone.
I feel a little weird writing about my sleep mask. But it brings me joy more times...er, nights, than I can count. I've written about it before. And I felt just as weird then as I do now mentioning it. But I love it. Love, love, love it. I swear it helps me get a better nights sleep. And last night was no exception. So, here's to many more nights of joy with my sleep mask!
I've wanted one for a long time. A long, long, long time. I kept telling myself that I would save up for food processor. But I never did. So my dear, sweet in-laws gave me a check for Christmas to pick out the one I wanted and finally quit dreaming of one. It was enough for a 7-cup Cuisinart Food Processor. On a whim, I decided to check out Costco to see if they carried them. They did. And because it was Costco, I had enough money for the 14-cup Cuisinart Food Processor! Oh dear, sweet food chopping joy!
Take your pick. I've been cooking and cooking and cooking for a house full of guests for the past month. Ok. Only the past two weeks, but it feels like forever. Today, after school, when the boys said they were hungry I ran through the drive-thru at McDonalds. When we got home and I felt uninspired for dinner? I called Domninos. I feel a tiny bit guilty, feeding my kids fast food twice in one day. Just a tiny bit, though. It's been mom's home cooking for days on end and I needed a break from kitchen duty. Bring on a little fast food joy!
I adore my children. You know that. But after 18 days straight with them underfoot. With me being their sole entertainer, chef and maid? I'm tired. There is so much more work around the house when the kids are home creating little messes. And today, they are safely tucked away at school. I just finished picking up, all the machines are humming along and the dog is walked. It's just me, a cup of tea and my new cookbook to thumb through. For moms, there is joy when the kids go back to school.
It's my splurge. I know women spend much more on fragrance and lotions. But I'm very low maintenance when it comes to products. I'm happy with my tried and true shampoos. I don't own many perfumes and lotions. But I love, love, love my Laila fragrance products - especially the body lotion. It reminds me of EPCOT at Disney World, where I first discovered it. It's a soft, subtle scent that fits me perfectly. And for me, it's a joyful scent.
I purchased a GPS for my husband for Christmas. He didn't ask for it. So, I was really nervous about getting him one. He's a bit picky. Because of this, he always knows everything he's getting for Christmas. I wanted to surprise him. And surprise him I did. Thank my lucky stars, he loved it. So much so, we decided to go on a GPS date - tool around our area, playing with the GPS and see where it takes us. We had so much fun. So many laughs. Only one tiny argument. (That should probably be called a disagreement that got resolved quickly - great for us!) Yay! Joy!
All of the holiday hoopla is done. Christmas decorations are down (well, most of them.) Shopping is complete and the frig and pantry are full of food. Today is a lazy day here at Chez Joy. Rose Bowl parade. Football. Munching on leftovers. Board games with the kids and cramming for book club. My kind of day. My kind of joy. Happy New Year, y'all!
A friend once told me that she tries to find joy in every day. But some weeks it's hard. A whole week without finding joy? That is so sad. I find joy in EVERY day. Or so I think. So I'm testing myself. I am challenging myself to find joy in every single day. Without fail. I will post joy every single day to prove it to myself, to inspire others. Just to see if I can do it. Small bits of joy. Large, monumental moments of joy. But joy is what you will find here.