Silver linings...

10 Things That Make Me Happy

I was asked by the lovely Juliย at http://www.mostlycaffeinated.comย to take part in a gratitude challenge. I loved reading her post ย about things that bring her joy and it inspired me to want to share some of my favorite things…

As I sat down to make a list of things that bring me joy and happiness, I realized quickly my list would far exceed the 10 needed for the challenge ๐Ÿ™‚ One thing I really loved about this is it made me realize how truly blessed I am and how grateful I am for so many things in my life… I hope you enjoy some of the things that bring me joy and you are inspired to look into your own life and the joy within.

** As a Mama… it goes without saying that my two greatest ย joys are my boys. ย In happy times, rough times, and all around exhausting times— they are my world and I wouldn’t have it any other way… That being said, I decided ย not to include them in my list of 10 things that bring me joy simply because that is a given!!!

My Boys

Here is my list in no particular order :

10ย Things That Make Me Happy:


1) Reading Tolkienย 


There is no greater joy than reliving adventures with Bibo Baggins, Frodo, Samwise and the marvelous Gandalf the Gray!


2) Decorating for Christmas

Our front yard at xmas ๐Ÿ™‚

I adore all things Christmas! Boo and I pull out the decorations mid October and excitedly wait for Halloween because the day after we pull out the tree and decorate!! Woot woot!!!! ย I know some prefer to wait tillย after Thanksgiving, but we find so much joy in enjoying our decor just a little longer. ( They don’t come down till the day after New Years’) I need to add here that we don’t put out the outside decorations and lights until the day after Thanksgiving— you know, neighbors… LOL

3) The freeway view in my hometown ( Pismo Beach)

central coast
Highway 101

Driving the 101 freeway along the Central Coast is simply the most relaxing blissful drive you can make. ย Blue skies, rolling hills… It’s like heaven kissed this beautiful area….

4) Fresh Tomatoes From Our Garden

small gardens

I have a small but delicious garden in our backyard and I have so much fun growing tasty treats with Boo. Of all the things we grow, these are my favorite and there is nothing better in this world than the joy of tasting a fresh picked tomato .

5) Digging My Toes In The Sand At The Beach….

beach days
Beach Bliss….

Walking alongย Pismo Beach (my hometown) and blissfully digging my toes into the sand as the waves come crashing up is the one thing I adore most in this world…. Closing your eyes and listening to the graceful crash of the waves…. breathing in the salty sea air…. sigh…. I may live in Arizona now because it’s affordable for me, but I willย alwaysย be a beach girl at heart!

6) Playdough

Find your inner kid ๐Ÿ™‚

My youngest son LOVES to play with play with this stuff and I’m quite happy to enjoy this with him. We have great fun making funny things to make the other laugh and I must admit… there is something ย relaxing about the smell ofย Play-Dohย that takes you back to your childhood…

7) Fresh Picked Strawberries


The Central Coast of California where I grew up is known far and wide for it’s amazing wineries and it’s abounding crops of mouthwateringย strawberries! When I was a kid I loved when my mom took us to the annual Strawberry Festival! She always bought us mounds of berries to take home and the best part is she always got me aย hugeย chocolate covered one as a treat! To this day, smelling fresh picked strawberries brings joy to my heart…

8) Trips To The Library

Bookworms Unite!

The library is truly one of my fave places in the world and the feeling of picking up a new book to read is a joy unlike any other… Magical places, adventures galore…. I will never ever own a kindle because to me there is no joy such as holding an old book in your hand and the distinct smell of its pages as you turn them… ย Yes– I’m a major bookworm. ย And– if Chanel put out a perfume ‘Ode de books’ I would probably buy it LOL.

9) Mexican Sweet Breads (Conchas)

comfort food
So delicious!

These tasty treats are not really ideal for a diabetic girl like myself… but sometimes I justย have to have at least part of one… ย When I was a little girl when I was out with my dad, he would always stop by a Mexican Bakery and let me pick one of these. They were so delicious and to this day I feel joy and ย happiness when I eat one of these .

10) Swimming At Our Community Pool


Being in or near the water brings such joy to my heart…. Almost everyday I’m in this glorious pool by 6:30 am and grateful for the day ahead. ย I am blessed to have this wonderful way to start my day.

So— There’s my list ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to hear from my readers what is something that brings you joy?

** Tagging my sweet and wonderful friendย Carrieย to do this challenge! ย Check our her blog atย


  1. I love this so much. Every morning when I wake up I write down at least 3 things I’m thankful for that day.

    1. Hi Tammy! What a lovely idea!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I can definitely relate to the decorating for Christmas one! Love hearing about what makes other people happy, this inspired me to make a list of my own! Thanks for sharing, awesome post!

    1. Thanks so much Sarah!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This is such a great thing to do!! I also love writing down things that make happy, my friend who is in India advised me to do it every morning ๐Ÿ™‚ and i have to say I agree with you with at least half of the elements of your list, simple, good and genuine pleasures!

    1. Thanks Linda!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Excellent list! I’m fond of Mexican sweet breads myself. Mayhaps we should have some soon? ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. LOL son!!! ha-ha! We will try and get to the mexican bakery before you go back to school ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Accepted ๐Ÿ™‚ love this idea

    1. Hi Sweetie! I’m so glad! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I love this. Couldn’t agree more! I especially love the decorating for Christmas one – that is so me.

    1. Aww… Thanks Shelby!!!

  7. I love this! Not just for a blog challenge, but as an activity we can do at home to remind ourselves just how blessed we really are.

    1. Aww thanks Heather! I try to live my life always remembering the little things because those moments are what bring me the most joy ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Fantastic list. Its so important to do things that make us happy!

    1. Thanks Crystal! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I love the hobbit and Christmas decorating too. What a fun uplifting post- loved reading all the things that make you happy โค๏ธ

    1. Aww… thanks so much Jamie!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I am a Mom of 5 children. We can attest to enjoying visits to the library, play dough and we love receiving baskets of fresh tomatoes from friends, family and patients who plant in their gardens. Especially the grape tomatoes!

    1. Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. This is a great list! Reading these “10 things” lists always make me happy as you forget about the little things that you make you happy!

  12. Love this post. So important to stop and remember what makes us happy! What makes me happy… I love it when there is fresh flowers in my bedroom and scented candles burning

    1. Hi Chandelene! I love fresh flowers too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Reading what makes you happy put a smile on my face. Thank you for your post! Christmas decor and swimming pools make me happy, as well.

    1. Hi Cara! I’m so happy to bring you some joy ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Love this list!! And always love to see positivity and gratitude floating around the internet โค

    1. Thanks Christine!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Sarah

    This is such a great idea! Decorating for Christmas would be on my list too ๐Ÿ™‚ my favorite time of year! I love how your list is the simple things in life like playing with playdough with your son. It’s so important to enjoy the simple things in life with the people we love.

    1. Thanks so much Sarah!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Things that bring me Joy are trips to the farmers market, practicing yoga, dancing with my kiddo in our kitchen, and hiking new places. LOVE this post. It reminded me that I need to do a little more of the things that bring me joy!

    1. Hi Kassi! I’m so happy I inspired you to do more things that bring you joy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Thats a really nice post! โค๏ธ You’ve great things to keep yourself happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Monish! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Very positive, I like it. And I secretly love playdough too ๐Ÿค“

    1. Thanks so much Nina! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for The Blogger Recognition Award ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Aww… thanks so much Jaclyn! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Great post! The things that bring me joy are ice cream, books and walking in the park on sunny days.

    1. Hi Safia! I love walks in the park too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. These kind of posts always make me smile. Gratitude seems easy but needs to be practised! I love fresh tomatoes from my garden too!

    1. Thanks so much Betty! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. What a fantastic list. Finding joy in all things, and especially at Christmastime! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Chantelle ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I love this list! We all need to take more time to express gratitude.

    1. Thanks Glenna! I believe it’s the little things in life that matter…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Oooo! I love all of these. Shame I didn’t live in a sunnier place as I’d love to do a few of what you listed!

    1. Thanks Sophie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. This is such a great idea! It’s always good to take a moment and think of happy things! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Ginger!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I am so excited for christmas!!! I love your lists ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Sarah!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I love Christmas too and you’re so lucky to have a community pool. Love swimming, very jealous xx

    1. Hi! I adore swimming and this pool was one of the big reasons I decided to build in this community a year ago ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I am right there with you on #4, 5, and 7! And number 10, only it can be any body of water – pool, ocean, whatever – so long as I’m in it (or on it, eg rowing or sailing) I am happy!

    1. Hi Flossie! I agree– any water is wonderful!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. I loved reading the post and I love the things which makes you happy. For me I love writing, I love sleeping and just sitting alone for sometime makes me happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Jiya! Writing and alone time is definitely nice! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. That’s a very interesting blog. Love to read your blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. What a wonderful list, I’ve got to do this one day. I have to agree that there is something special about the smell of play dough that brings home the childhoood memories.

    1. Thanks Gayle! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Shannon Sawicki

    I am with you on the decorating for Christmas, and toes in the sand. Running is also something that makes me happy.

    1. Thanks Shannon!

  33. hal

    i love excerices like this – it’s so good to remind ourselves of all we have & the things that make us happy – i can especially relate to the toes in the sand – the beach is my happy place!

    1. I agree with you Hal… I think sometimes its good to sit back and reflect on what we appreciate in our lives ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Nice to see that there are people out there who value and cherish the little joys in everyday life. Being grateful for big achievements and successes is good, but it is the little joys like enjoying play dough time and relishing a book in your hand that really turn on the sunshine in our life…nice list

    1. Thanks so much Nandita ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Great list! I find it hard to start a list, but once i do then it is so easy to continue to find things that make me happy.

    1. Hi Luzel, I’m so glad you found many things that bring you joy ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. It’s the little things that make us happy. Then as you said there are the things we can’t be without. Great post!

    1. Thanks Jasmine ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Lisa

    Agreed on “decorating for Christmas”. I just went into Hobby Lobby and saw the Christmas decorations and not gonna lie, got a bit excited.

    1. Ha Ha Lisa… I got super excited about Hobby Lobby having their xmas stuff out too ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. I really need that sign, GO AWAY I’M READING! That is perfect. I also love feeling my toes in the sand, and picking fresh fruits and vegetables from my garden. It’s the little things, right? xo

    1. Hi Danielle ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s absolutely the little things in life that add up to the greatest joy ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. I enjoyed your list and I love sweet breads, too. Your place is really awesome and love the pictures you shared.The beachsand is really amazing.

    1. Thanks!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Wow that’s an incredibly list and it’s so nice that you mentioned Pismo Beach as me and my husband did a road trip through there on way to LA. Such wonderful memoreis… Which make me think that number one on my list would be: Road trips with husband ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Zoe!! I’m so glad you had a chance to visit Pismo! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. It was fantastic there. We stayed in the most beautiful converted attic space… I would love to go again! I can totally understand why you love going back.

        1. Hi Zoey… growing up there was ideal… just lovely and I love going home to visit my family and always always have long walks on the beach ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. I always make lists like this one, things that make me happy and things I am grateful on. It makes me feel better and happier.

    1. Hi Reese! Such a wonderful idea to make lists more often like this ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Jess

    Sand in my toes make me extremely happy!

    1. Hi Jess! There’s no better feeling! ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. I can agree with you on all of these. But when it comes to me, any Mexican food makes me happy.

    1. Hi Courtney! I’m Hispanic and I agree LOL any mexican food and I am in bliss…. LOVE it anytime, breakfast , lunch, or dinner

  44. Ashley Cook

    I love digging my toes in the sand also! I love this post, just reading it made me think of the things that make me happy, and that my friend always yields good feelings!

    1. Hi Ashley!!! I’m so glad I helped bring you joy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. sian

    What a wonderful and heartfelt post! This is so inspiring and just reminds me how lucky I am to have so many things that make me happy!

    1. Thanks Sian!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Kavita Singh

    Playing dough and digging my nails in the sand is my fav too. I loved reading your gratitude post.

    1. Thank you Kavita!

  47. Love the list! Jealous of your view and the sand and water! We live in Nebraska and about as far from the ocean as you can get. Sad, I know. The Christmas decorations sound like a way fun tradition! Who cares what the neighbors think? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Mandy! It’s not the neighbors so much as its the HOA…. sigh…. they only allow decorations from a certain time to a certain time or I get a fine..

  48. Going to the library is one of my faves!

    1. Hi Brenda me too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. the sophia diaries

    those things totally make me happy as well! especially being at the beach <3

    1. Thanks Sophia! ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. Natasha

    I agree! If I sat down and created a list I would also exceed 10 things. That view of the freeway is absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Natasha!!! I love that view!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. Totally agree with 2,3,5, and 9! Those make me so happy too! This is a great post thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks Lisa!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. You had me up until playdough. That stuff is the bane of my existence. .. 4 kids can make such a mess with that!

    1. LOL yes they can… but someday when they are grown and gone with families of their own… you will miss their little messes ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Really enjoyed reading, you have such a lovely list, I get the same feeling for the fresh veggies from my garden, and yes the most important for me.. the smell of rain and getting wet in the monsoon. If you ever come to India you must experience it once, it’s life altering and soooo romantic.

    1. Hi! I love the smell of rain! We get summer Monsoons here in the Southwest but nothing compared to yours….

  54. Swimming and strawberries, I so miss that! Often times, we forget what makes us happy and we are just going through the grind in life. Nice to stop and think for a while.

    1. Thanks Vinil! It is good to remember that life isn’t just about the daily grind… it’s about the little moments in our lives…

  55. I am a beach loving book worm too.. *hugs* I love this post that focuses on happiness and postivity. Thanks for the cheerful post.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so happy I brought you cheer ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. you are so right. You cannot beat fresh home grown tomatoes.

    1. Hi James! Nothing better than homegrown veggies! ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Kat

    That’s a great idea to make a list of things that make you happy! I’m with you on the swimming part and digging your toes in the sand at the beach ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Kat!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. Ok so now I want to move to Pismo Beach. Like, today.
    Great list! As long as the play dough stays at someone else’s house, I mean. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

    1. LOL Darlene!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. I absolutely love your article. It makes me want to make a list of things that make me happy. I loved your top 10 selections. Most of the things you enjoy doing I enjoy doing as well. Some of them I wouldn’t even have thought to add to my hypothetical list, like digging my toes into the sand at the beach. I love doing that it feels so good. There is something relaxing about it. Something else I love to do at the beach, which is a new found love since it was the first time I have done it. My family went to a beach by us and found a spot with a a line of huge rocks. My husband and I sat on one and just watched the waves crash onto them and the shoreline. Neither of us wanted to leave. I enjoyed your article so much. Thank you for writing it.

    1. Hi Laila! Thank you so much for your sweet words!! And I love the idea your hubby and you have to find a nice place to sit on the shore line and watch the waves crash…. Sounds so relaxing!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. Oh wow! Reading this made me happy! It also made me think of the things that I enjoy most about my life. First and foremost, my kids are my ultimate joy! I also enjoy decorating for Christmas and holidays period, especially birthdays! I also enjoy strawberries, it’s my absolute favorite. We make chocolate covered strawberries as a family on several occasions. It’s so nice to read what others enjoy and know that I’m not the only one who cherishes the small things! They’re everything to me and that’s all that matters.

    I’m glad we could connect on how to be more appreciative and joyful.

    1. Thank you so much Torche’ !!!! I’m happy you enjoyed reading ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. We sound pretty similar, your list is me 100%! I was actually just telling the hubs how I wanted to get some xmas decorations for December. He just rolled his eyes LOL

    1. Hi Corinne! LOL we would be GREAT friends!

  62. Keep coming back to read and re-read this post. It’s such a great idea, not just for a blog post but just as an exercise. Lots of yours resonated with me. I would add, wrapping up and going for walks on the beach in winter, or even just in the woods. Smell of rain. Baking with my little one and being able to feed friends who come to visit. The list could stretch on and on. Thanks for posting.

    1. It means so much to me that my post has been such a joy for you to read….. and I love your ideas! I adore the smell of rain too!

  63. you have some wonderful things to be happy about!

    1. Thanks Jasmine ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. I love reading people’s happy lists! Tolkien makes me happy too!!

    1. Hi Emily!! Someday I want to go to Hobbiton in New Zealand!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. Decorating for Christmas is one of my very favorite things to do!

    1. Hi Chelsea! It’s just so calming LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

  66. These are some fun things to do. I do many of them with my children too

  67. Loved you list! Nice tips to try out and make yourself happy. I can very well relate my self with Play-Doh, cause me and my daughter enjoy that a lot. Brings back my childhood memories .. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy article thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Your welcome Akshay ๐Ÿ™‚

  68. What wonderful things and I agree with so many!! Especially Christmas decorating!!

    1. Thanks Lindsey! ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. D

    Great post. It’s so important to take stock and appreciate things!

    1. Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. You can I have similar things that makes us happy. I love going to a huge book store and just exploring it for a little while. And taking a nice swim is a bonus.

    1. Hi Kristal! I adore going to the used bookstore and just hanging out for a while ๐Ÿ™‚

  71. The freeway view to your place. Made me extremely happy. I am glad that you can pin point 10 things that bring you joy. I wish i had a list of things too to remind me to keep smiling sometimes.

    1. Thanks so much Jackie! I think we can all find joy in the little moments in our lives ๐Ÿ™‚

  72. Hannah

    It’s so wonderful to be grateful for the everyday things that bring us joy!

    1. Hi Hannah! I agree… it’s the little things that bring our life joy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  73. Wow, that’s lovely.. Small things also makes us happy in life, we just need to know that. You motivated me to jot down the things in my mind, even small, that makes me happy.

    1. Jhilmil thank you so much for sharing with me that I touched your heart to do this!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. I totally agree on some of these! Play dough is so much fun to play with and I cannot wait to decorate for Christmas!

    1. Thanks Vicki!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  75. I, too, am a tomato-loving freak. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is nothing that satisfies me more in the summer than freshly picked tomatoes, still warm from the vine, sliced with salt. mmmmm….

    1. Freshly picked tomatoes are SO delicious!!!

  76. Sherry

    I really enjoyed your happiness list! It brought back a lot of my own happy memories!!!!!!

    1. Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  77. Ah – I love this so much! I would decorate for Christmas every day if I could. There’s just something about Christmas that makes me so dang happy!

    1. Thanks for sharing Corey ๐Ÿ™‚

  78. Our tomatoes are toast. I already miss them! It’s just gotten too hot here. This was a fun list. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Your welcome Andy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  79. Fun list! I also love decorating for Christmas and love walking on a sandy beach barefoot.

  80. A gratitude challenge is such a great idea. You always seem to be looking for the positive in your endeavors, so I’m not surprised that it would be easy for you to come up with more than ten!

    1. Aww thanks so much Karla! That means so much to me!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  81. I think that seeing my nephew and my niece brings the most joy in my life. When I spend time with them I forget about my problems!!!

    1. Hi Elena! Your are such an awesome Auntie!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  82. I think this is something we should all do! As I was reading your post, I kept thinking of things that I was grateful for also. It’s so important to take the time to be grateful!

    1. Thanks so much Jen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  83. Thanks a lot for the share, Keep the work sharingโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  84. I love this list- feel like I could have written it myself! I love Xmas and Tolkien and fresh picked strawberries. This was such a lovely post to read- reminded me of lots of warm, happy, fuzzy feelings!

    1. Thanks Jamie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  85. Meagan

    Love that trips to the library is on your list! That is one my happy places!

    1. Hi Meagan! We are big bookworms here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  86. Such a lovely read. It’s so important to stop and think about the things that make us happy. Its so easy to get weighed down in the day to day stuff.

    1. Thanks Jenny ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. I love this post so much that I want to come up with my list too…I’m craving the Mexican bread now too. Yummy!

    1. I’m so glad I inspired you Morgan!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  88. Thinking about things I love puts me in a happy mood. Each night I like to think about 3 good things that happened in my day – good way to go end the day feeling joyful!

    1. Hi Ellen! What a lovely idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

  89. Aww I can relate to the ” reading ” one. Reading brings me so much joy as well.

    1. Thank you so much…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  90. This is a great idea. I regularly post “Attitude of Gratitude” thoughts on Facebook – and have for several years now, after starting in November one year before Thanksgiving. It really does change your outlook when you focus on being grateful.

    1. Hi Dr. K! Yes I agree… having a positive outlook and being grateful truly changes things for the better ๐Ÿ™‚

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