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251 Things That Make Me Happy

For several years now I’ve maintained my own personal Happy List, first to acknowledge and affirm and then to remind myself of life’s beauty, richness, and blessings. I hope that by sharing some of the items on my list I will inspire you to slow down for a few minutes and think about the things in your life that bring you joy and contentment… and perhaps even create and maintain a “Happy List” of your own!

Oh Happy Day

251 Things That Make Me Happy

  1. rustic sourdough bread, toasted crisp and served hot spread with melting butter and blackberry jam
  2. surprise recurring characters
  3. sukiyaki with friends
  4. shower puffs and fragrant, foaming shower gel
  5. Japanese restaurant décor
  6. supportive and encouraging friends
  7. the weekly ritual of watching favourite TV shows with my husband while munching popcorn
  8. caramel steamed milk
  9. a freshly-done manicure
  10. a simple Italian salad of fresh sliced tomatos and garlic, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and freshly-ground pepper
  11. unwrapping a Mini Babybel cheese
  12. achieving a long-awaited goal
  13. a refreshing shower with nice-smelling soap
  14. the brilliant green of steamed broccoli
  15. “AHA!” moments
  16. a place for everything, and everything in its place
  17. making a fresh tossed salad that’s a medley of colours and flavours: mixed leafy greens, ripe red tomatoes, red and orange and yellow peppers, white mushrooms, shredded purple cabbage, celery, cucumber, shredded carrots, chopped green onions
  18. Nag Champa incense
  19. clear, crisp, pure, icy-cold drinking water
  20. dried strawberries
  21. satiny embroidered Asian handbags
  22. paper cranes
  23. solving all the world’s problems over multiple cups of coffee throughout an evening
  24. a lit votive candle in a clear glass holder
  25. black enamelled chopsticks
  26. the artistry and beauty and goodness of sushi
  27. Simon & Garfunkel
  28. watching a dry, thirsty plant come back to life after giving it a drink
  29. a successful trip to the library – lots of intriguing books to read, and all for free!
  30. rich hot chocolate with real whipped cream on top
  31. going blackberrying – buckets full of yummy free treats… making blackberry apple crisp and eating it hot, with whipped cream and strong black coffee
  32. glass bricks
  33. Grandma’s tiered wooden sewing box… her gift to me
  34. milk chocolate
  35. stationery and office supply stores… strolling the aisles with my sister, under no time limits or restrictions, with money in my wallet
  36. brewing espresso in a pot on the stove… heating and frothing milk… making a perfect little cappucino sprinkled with cinnamon
  37. chocolate pudding
  38. playing a game or two of Boggle
  39. Celestial Seasonings Vanilla Maple tea with milk and brown sugar
  40. the purity of clear glass canisters filled with supplies – epsom salts… coarse salt… sea salt… baking soda… cornstarch… skim milk powder…citric acid – for homemade bath products
  41. collecting magazine pictures of pretty things
  42. the smell of movie popcorn
  43. making decoupage light switch plates – mini pieces of art
  44. spiral-bound notebooks
  45. spicy chai lattes sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg
  46. William Shatner’s “Has Been”
  47. swirly designs
  48. getting “real” mail or e-mail from friends or family – not junk mail or bills or spam or mailing list stuff… but real, personal correspondence
  49. plump Shanghai noodles with stir-fried bok choy and spicy pork
  50. curling up for a mid-afternoon nap under our “How Do I Love Thee” Boyds Bears blanket
  51. paisley
  52. the feeling of confidence after having a professional haircut and style with good-smelling hair products
  53. a cat’s purr
  54. the feel of cool, creamy moisturizer on warm skin
  55. peppermint tea
  56. a sense of pride in making a good choice
  57. cooked beet greens
  58. the moment in a song where you start to sing along
  59. a special new mug
  60. the warm smell of roasting chicken
  61. listening to the comforting swish of the dishwasher running in the background
  62. cheery yellow, brown-flecked, sweet and juicy, ripe Bartlett pears
  63. hours-long conversations with friends at a local café
  64. buying fruit and veggies in Chinatown or at a farm market
  65. freshly ground black pepper
  66. cosy grey-and-red white-heeled-and-toed work socks
  67. finished projects
  68. flannel shirts
  69. little, out-of-the blue kindnesses that take you by surprise
  70. collecting pebbles… mottled, striped, spotted, marbled, smooth, weathered… while walking on the beach
  71. Sharpies
  72. weekend secondhand book store prowls
  73. vanilla
  74. sitting in a cozy café all by myself… listening to music, drinking black coffee, journalling, people-watching, reading
  75. petting a friendly neighbourhood cat
  76. cutting open a fresh bag of coffee beans
  77. sandalwood
  78. writing on black paper with soft milky-pastel-coloured pens
  79. handmade crocheted scarves
  80. enormous marinated green olives and crusty Portuguese buns with Genoa salami and havarti
  81. Moody Bee lip balm
  82. knowing how to hand-code HTML
  83. small successes
  84. Montreal-style bagels, fresh from the bakery in a brown paper bag
  85. getting organized in the fall and thinking towards the year ahead
  86. fun interior design, home improvement, and craft shows on TV
  87. ten unbroken fingernails of decent length
  88. being tired in the evening, but knowing you can sleep in the next day without guilt… then waking up in the morning with that delicious feeling of knowing that you can go back to sleep if you so desire
  89. the crisp, smoky smell of fall in the air
  90. tassels
  91. Mom’s Italian cheese ball soup
  92. staying cozily inside on a bleak, rainy day and drinking Earl Grey tea with milk
  93. sweater season
  94. fall leaves in brilliant shades of gold, amber and crimson – gilding the trees, crunching underfoot, being raked into piles
  95. the contrast of silent, still, cool night air after leaving a noisy, crowded, hot club
  96. butter soft black leather gloves lined with soft white rabbit fur
  97. perfect, intricate seashells
  98. thinking you have no cash in your wallet because there are no bills… then discovering $10 in toonies
  99. creamy, spicy pumpkin pie with rich whipped cream and dark, strong coffee
  100. sand dollars
  101. closets and drawers full of clean, mended, wearable clothes
  102. lightning storms
  103. wrapping presents
  104. Christmas oranges… sweet, juicy, fragrant, easy to peel
  105. playing “Dutch Blitz” with family and/or friends… and being really good at it
  106. chocolate-scented MAC “Desire” lipstick in a matte black and silver case
  107. getting great coupons for something you were going to buy anyway
  108. tiny brown dropper bottles filled with fragrant essential oils
  109. the Lee Valley Christmas gift catalogue
  110. old houses – coved ceilings, hardwood floors, crown moldings, wood trim, deep baseboards, filigree grilles, built-in cabinets with stained glass doors, dark wood panelling
  111. enormous black cherries, sweet and juicy and firm
  112. frothy bubbles on the top of a freshly-poured cup of strong black coffee
  113. new makeup
  114. hot ginger tea with honey
  115. the potential of a thick blank book
  116. sterling silver
  117. thick black cotton turtleneck sweaters
  118. spicy incense with lazy, curling trails of soft grey smoke… inside when it’s cold, outside on a warm summer evening
  119. White Rabbit candies wrapped in rice paper
  120. brown paper grocery bags
  121. lazy, cozy, puttering weekends
  122. cleaning a chalkboard with a shammy
  123. a win by my hockey team
  124. Body Shop eye pillows
  125. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – especially the crunchy ones!
  126. our 4-CD set of favourite music, played at our wedding reception
  127. scented tea light candles – café latte and ginger pumpkin
  128. hand-me-downs from my sister
  129. the sound of the breadmaker kneading dough… then the warm, yeasty smell of fresh bread baking
  130. Indian food
  131. flower baskets hanging from lampposts
  132. finding all the “freebies” in a handful of sunflower seeds
  133. wasabi rice crackers with wasabi peas
  134. feeling loved… nurtured… cared for
  135. thick white terrytowel bathrobes
  136. watching a glassblower at work
  137. hot, crisp buttered toast spread with Mom’s pear-ginger marmalade
  138. metal-handled Chinese food cartons
  139. laughter – laughing so hard it hurts… laughing uncontrollably… laughing until you cry
  140. toasted cheese and peanut butter sandwiches
  141. making books by hand
  142. cinnamon sprinkled over coffee grounds before brewing the pot
  143. honey pots with honey drippers
  144. Deluxe Scrabble
  145. waking up to find my love holding my hand
  146. Genmaicha – Japanese green tea and roasted rice… nutty and flavourful, with a few pieces of “popcorn” popped grains of rice included in the mix
  147. sleeping in
  148. a goosedown duvet and plump feather pillows
  149. new shoes
  150. unpacking and setting up a new home or office space
  151. perfect, seedless green grapes… sweet and firm, almost crunchy
  152. a “defined curls” hair day
  153. a perfectly straight hair day
  154. thick greenish glass bathroom counters with shiny silver fixtures
  155. the mixed-up collection of dishes at the cottage… choosing a “special” mug to use throughout your stay
  156. aromatherapy facials
  157. true freebies
  158. the way yarn comes out of the middle of the ball – magic!
  159. live theatre
  160. More-with-Less Cookbook (Doris Janzen Longacre) – more than just recipes… a whole philosophy of life
  161. A&W root beer in a frosty mug
  162. the silkiness of loose face powder
  163. watching grown men play like little boys
  164. brightly-coloured, plastic-coated paper clips
  165. twisted ropes of seaweed left on the beach at low tide
  166. old-fashioned clawfoot bath tubs
  167. a thick, clear glass bowl of ocean-polished beach glass
  168. pictures of Greece… blue sky, sparkling blue water, whitewashed houses
  169. Kinder Egg vehicles with moving parts
  170. vintage Pyrex mixing bowls and baking dishes with glass lids
  171. my love’s smiling blue eyes
  172. ocean air… salty, seaweedy, fresh, envigorating
  173. thick, fluffy, soft, absorbent bath towels
  174. warm raisin scones with butter and honey
  175. the soft trickle and bubble of a water fountain
  176. cinnamon
  177. amber perfume oil in a delicate glass-stoppered bottle
  178. pure white, silky-smooth sand
  179. organizer wallets
  180. burgundy velvet
  181. sweet and spicy freesias
  182. finding your favourite brand of anything on a phenomenal sale, and having the money to be able to stock up
  183. the greyness of the ocean on a rainy day
  184. refreshingly soft, misty rain
  185. the smell of a secondhand book store
  186. fresh flowers on your desk
  187. soft ice cream
  188. mason jar mugs
  189. old round Volvos
  190. the aroma of dark roasted, freshly-ground coffee beans
  191. basic black
  192. speckled enamelware
  193. the feeling of satisfaction when a project is completed
  194. “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil” monkeys
  195. electric trains
  196. wooden back scratchers
  197. popping bubble wrap
  198. drops of lavender essential oil in an unglazed ceramic jar beside the bed
  199. peel-and-stick postage stamps
  200. milk in glass bottles
  201. discovering a secondhand shop full of treasures and possibilities and bargains
  202. strings of sparkling white lights
  203. pretending (just for a moment) to be Amélie while cracking the top of a crème brûlée with your spoon, then letting the crisp brown sugar shards and creamy, rich smoothness melt in your mouth
  204. creating something
  205. the fragrance of lilacs
  206. games nights with friends
  207. those first few seconds when your head rests on a perfectly plumped-up pillow
  208. a heartfelt compliment
  209. vintage typewriters with round keys
  210. potluck parties
  211. learning another language
  212. jeweled chandeliers
  213. losing yourself for awhile in the beauty and inspiration of Pinterest
  214. the sensory perfection of real, live, hard copies of books
  215. the convenience, portability, and accessibility of e-books
  216. iPhone photo editing apps
  217. Mom’s melt-in-your-mouth whipped shortbread cookies
  218. wearing a pair of warm knitted slippers around the house
  219. skewers of fresh fruit dipped in a Nutella fondue
  220. Depression Glass
  221. clean eating
  222. tangling
  223. birdsong through an open window
  224. cheerful orange day lilies
  225. cats with big fluffy paws
  226. the mouth-watering smells and tastes of an outdoor meal grilled on the barbecue
  227. the ability to connect with people all over the world via social media
  228. a re-run marathon of a favourite TV series
  229. front porches
  230. the soft leather and functional beauty of my purple Filofax Malden organizer
  231. art supplies
  232. the delight of seeing the first firefly of the summer
  233. the ever-changing moods and colours of the river
  234. fabulous thrift store finds
  235. a comedian that makes you laugh until your face hurts
  236. the aroma of a freshly-mowed lawn
  237. a one-of-a-kind café with a cozy atmosphere and quirky décor
  238. friendships that pick right up where you left off, even after a long time apart
  239. the silky softness of a new makeup brush as it glides across your skin
  240. spicy Mexican hot chocolate with a cinnamon stick for stirring
  241. unexpectedly knowing the answer to a trivia question
  242. the first day of Spring
  243. exposed brick walls
  244. random oddities that add personality to a neighbourhood
  245. crisp bacon
  246. a big, fluffy cat settled into a too-small box or basket
  247. Pigma Micron drawing pens
  248. live concerts
  249. decorative wrought-iron fences
  250. a “before” and “after” photo series
  251. bright ideas

Now, I challenge you to come up with your own list of at least ten things that make you happy! Once you’ve done so, I’d love it if you’d either post the list in a comment below or write out your “Happy List” as an entry in your own blog. (Be sure to share the link to your post in the comments below so that we can all visit your blog and revel in the goodness!)

So, what makes you happy?
Please share!

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.