Things That Make Me Happy

I am suffering from a serious case of writer’s block this week, y’all. The heat has given me a raging headache all week, which makes me much less than my usually delightful self, so to cheer up, I’m going to share with you all the things that make me happy in the hopes that, should you need perking up, I can help.

Of course we have the usual items- my fabulous husband, my freaking awesome family, my adorable little dog, Lola- but you guys can’t have those (we might be able to work out some kind of rental or visitation; I’m open to reasonable offers); however, there are plenty of things that I find great joy in that are easily shared. Try it, you’ll like it!

1. Hippie/friendship bracelet making

I have no idea why I have suddenly reverted back to fifth grade, but I am obsessed with making bracelets out of beads and string right now. I think it all started innocently enough about two months ago while tooling around on . The author of the blog is quite witty and her outfit stylings are things of wonder. I definitely do not have the funds or the guts to try much of what she does, but she has posted a few times about her current fascination with covering her arms in bracelets.

My arm today

Suddenly, my need for bracelets became overwhelming. On vacation a few weeks ago, I found a fantastic little jewelry store and started stocking up. When I got home, I hit Barnes and Noble to find a book to show me how to make them. Alas, I was unable to find a grown-up book, but the Klutz books for children ages 8-14 totally hooked me up. They have this one, which comes with its own loom (!) and this one, which teaches you how to make them using a crochet loop. I sit at work all day wishing I was home making bracelets. I am finding deep and calming satisfaction in tying knots and stringing beads. If you are somewhat concerned that one of my current hobbies is somewhat juvenile in nature, you may not want to see where I’m going with number 2.

2. Coloring

I think it is bullshit that coloring is reserved for little kids. They can’t even stay in the lines!! Seriously though, coloring is an exceptionally useful relaxation tool. I mean this wholeheartedly. If you haven’t colored in a long time, now is the time to get back to your kid roots. You can google “coloring pages” for tons and tons of options, but my favorite pages come from the weekly sampler from Dover Publications. If you sign up for their emails, every Friday morning you get one with the weekly “Sampler.” This link takes you to a page full of different books they are showcasing, many of which are coloring books. Mandalas, geometric designs, every week it is something different and awesome. If crayons are just too childish for you to get behind, treat yourself to the big variety pack of Sharpies to color with. My nieces know that the Sharpies are for “grown-up coloring,” and they respectfully leave them alone and use their own washable markers.

Can any parents/aunts/nannies/caregivers out there back me up on this? Isn’t coloring awesome? Isn’t it unfair that it is not deemed socially acceptable for adults to color for fun?

3. Watch Parks and Recreation

I know I am preaching to the choir a little bit here, but for those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of viewing this series, you need to do so ASAP. Amy Poehler and crew have created something magical with that show and I cannot get enough. It’s quirky, smart, laugh out loud funny, and the characters are so much fun to watch.  Netflix Instant Watch has Seasons 1 and 2 available, so get on it, people!

4. Netflix Instant Watch

This is perhaps one of my most favorite things on the planet. We have this hooked up through Jon’s XBox so we can watch whatever is available on the main TV, and it is magical. My top recommendation? Louis C.K.’s stand-up special “Chewed Up.” I have watched it at least 15 times and laugh until I am in tears every single time.

5. The Science Channel – Specifically Oddities

The Science Channel is pretty much the only one Jon and I can consistently find something we are both interested in watching. Oddities is quite possibly one of my favorite shows ever in the history of the world. It takes place at an antique store in New York called Obscura and follows the owners and customers as they travel around finding super creepy, macabre, horrifying, and just plain interesting stuff. From fossilized kidney stones to hybrid taxidermy to torturous old school medical equipment, they have seen it all. Even my mother-in-law, who watches Fox News almost exclusively, enjoyed watching this show with me because it is just. so. interesting.

So there you have it, folks. The current things that make me smile, get me through the day, give me a few moments peace in an otherwise too hectic world. All can be had for free or a minimal amount of money, so what’s the harm in trying? If you make any hippie bracelets, I want pictures!!

17 replies on “Things That Make Me Happy”

You rock. It is now taking all my will power not to do the same. I never shut my door unless something big is going down, so I could have fun coloring and cause a minor hysteria in the office at the same time. That sounds like a fun afternoon, actually…

Anyone else have recommendations for NFLX instant watch? I just got a Sony Blueray gizmo that does this and I am very excited at not having to plug my laptop into the TV!!!! I am embarrassed to admit that I have been catching up on Hotel Babylon episodes but I have Toy Story 3, Shutter Island and a couple documentaries in the queue.

I have a few more- the first season of Louie, which is Louis C.K.’s television show that was just released, 30 Rock, if you haven’t already done those, This American Life, the television series (so awesome!), and my husband really enjoyed Exit Through The Gift Shop, though I haven’t seen it yet.

Oh. I LOVE coloring. I am not ashamed to color with crayons. I have the big box with about a million different colors. I am VERY picky about the brand. I only use Crayola. Rose-Art can suck it. Its like coloring with a candle. And the crayons MUST be sharp. No dull crayons for this chick. I can’t color with a stub of a crayon either. New crayons make me happy.
Coloring sooths my troubled soul. I think I will pull out my Crayolas and coloring book, and get down to business.

Rose-Art can totally suck my butt. Those are the worst crayons EVER. Their existence offends me. Crayola FTW! Every single time I have to buy a gift for a child over the age of 1, they get the biggest box of Crayolas I can get my hands on. There is nothing better than brand new coloring implements. I am so glad I have so many coloring companions! Maybe I should do a contest…. Hmmmm….

I got an awesome coloring book at the Philadelphia Art Gallery when I was there recently. It’s all pictures of VanGogh’s paintings, only blank so you can color them (however you want). And the pages are very thin and almost clear, so when you hold them up to the light when you’re done coloring, it’s like a stained glass window!

Ohhhhh, that sounds awesome! It may actually be one of the Dover Publishing books, they have a Van Gogh one that was in the sampler a few months ago, and a lot of museums carry their books. They have other great artists, too. And tons of paper doll books! Alexander McQueen even!

There is something about coloring in the works of the masters that makes me feel so fancy, especially when I work in my preferred shades of hot pink, lavender, lime green and aqua.

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