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My List of Things to be Happy About
It's the simple things in life that make us truly happy
There is a book I remember my sister had by Barbara Ann Kipfer called: "14,000 things to be happy about" and I've always thought it was a really cool book. The author started keeping a journel of all the little things in life that made her happy. Over the years she had complied a list of over 14000 things and decided to published it.
I remember what made the greatest impact on me was most of the things she wrote about had nothing to do money, wealth, or possessions. They were about the little things in life that bring us true joy. It was an accounting of simple blessings that so many of us overlook or take forgranted. With the media constantly bombarding us into thinking that getting a new "Lexus" for Christmas will make us as happy as the best gift we ever got as a kid, I would like to suggest that we already have everything we need to be truly happy. Abraham Lincoln once wrote: "Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be" I believe in that sentiment wholeheartedly.
The good news is that we always have a choice whether so see the glass as half empty or half full. This is what inspired me to create this lens and celebrate those special gifts that God gives us every day filled with grace and free of charge. So this is my own personal Lens of things that make me truly happy!
#1 Napping with a Friend
#2 Giving Away the $250.00 Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe for Free!
I stumbled upon this Cookie Recipe from Neiman Marcus, and it also had a story that was included with it. So here's how the story gos, there was a woman who had dined at the Neiman Marcus cafe and really liked the Chocolate Chip Cookies they served. When she asked the waitress for the recipe the waitress said she could buy it for "two fifty". Assuming she mean't two dollars and fifty cents, she told her to go ahead and put it on her Visa. A few weeks later when she got her Visa bill , Neiman Marcus had charged $250.00 dollars on her card for the recipe. Assuming is was a mistake she tried to get Neiman Marcus to refund her the money, they said no, $250.00 is the price for the recipe. She explained the situation and still asked for a refund, because she felt the waitress had mislead her. Neiman Marcus refused, so as a way to get back, she started posting the recipe on the internet, and asked everyone else who got a hold of it to post it and pass it on as well. (Now here is my question, to anyone who knows, is the really a true story? I have never heard of it before until now, and I figure that there are others out there who know, so post a comment if you know the story on it! Regardless of the story, it sounded like a really good recipe, so if you want it enjoy, and if it really is a true story enjoy a very expensive recipe!
The Neiman Marcus $250.00 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Serves: 112 Cookies
2 c Butter
4 c Flour
2 ts Baking soda
2 c Granulated sugar
2 c Brown sugar
5 c Blended oatmeal (Powder
Oatmeal in blender after
24 oz Chocolate chips
1 ts Salt
1 8 ounce Hershey Bar (grated)
2 ts Baking powder
3 c Chopped nuts (your choice)
2 ts Vanilla
Instructions:Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanila: mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on acookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
#3 Taking Pictures of Butterflies
#4 The Movie It's A Wonderful Life
Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" is definitely one of my favorite movies. I can't count the number of times I've watched it over the years, but I never tire of seeing Jimmy Stewart as "George Bailey" and Donna Reed as "Mary". There is also one requirement that I insist on when watching this movie is that it MUST be viewed in black and white. When Ted Turner colorized this movie it just really took something special away from it in my opinion. Frank Capra directed this movie to be filmed in Black and White and this was his vision. I think that it's important to keep the original intent in mind and not tamper with a brilliant movie! Just my humble opinion...
#5 Charlotte's Webb by E. B. White
This was one of my favorite books as a child. It's definitely a must read with your kids too!
#6 Having Tea Time
"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. " ~C.S. Lewis
#7 Building A Snowman
#8 Flying A Kite
#9 The Recipe to McDonald's Big Mac Secret Sauce
"Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun!" Do you remember that? When I was a kid the Big Mac song was all the rage and all the neighborhood kids would try to say it as fast as they could.
It was also the big thing as to what was actually in the secret sauce? Many speculated that it was just Thousand Island Dressing but here is the real recipe for McDonalds Famous Big Mac secret sauce!
1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/3 cup sweet relish
1/3 cup French dressing
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
1 teaspoon Dry minced onion
Directions: Combine all ingredients. Chill in refrigerator for one hour (at least) for flavors to blend.
makes 1.75 cups
#10 The Smell of Freshly Popped Popcorn
I can almost smell it now as I type....mmmmmmmmm
#11 Making Origami Cranes
Origami is a cheap and fun way to spend time playing with your kids! It's also therapeutic for you too!
#12 Going to Flea Markets and Yard Sales
This is truly one of my favorite things to do. There is nothing more fun than finding some wonderful treasure and getting a great deal for it. I think that's why the show Antiques Road Show is so popular on PBS. It's really exciting to hear a story about someone dumpster diving or paying 2 bucks for a painting at winds up being an original Jackson Pollack! My best find is a vintage Mickey Mouse Alarm Clock that has brass bells and feet and it's in near mint condiion. I'm guessing it's probably from the late forties early fifties. Actually I don't really care what it's worth because I would never sell it but I did pay only $5.00 for it about 25 year ago. I have a feeling it's probably worth a little more now.
#13 My Purple Iris
My Purple Iris in my garden is very special to me. When we bought our house I dug up some bulbs from my mothers garden who had in turn brought them from our nice landlady's garden where we lived when I was 4 four years old. I remember she had the most beautiful flower beds, all around the Apartments where we lived. I loved playing in the huge back yard filled with beautiful climbing red roses, Lily of the Valley, all different colors of Iris, tulips, and beautiful yellow daffodils, she also had huge hedges of forsythia, and big lilac bushes. To a four year old it was an enchanted place and every time my Iris bloom with their familiar sweet smell, it takesme right back to that innocent time when life was worry free and dandilions were beautiful yellow flowers and not weeds!
#14 Cobalt Blue Glass
Unfortunately with two very active boys, I have had to put my Colbalt blue glass away until we reach a point when they will not be at risk of getting smashed by a random baseball flying about the house but I still love it and look forward to someday collecting it again.
# 15 Raindrops on Petunias
I am always amazed when I take the time to look and see the smallest miracles all around me. To be able to see the universe in a single raindrop is a precious precious gift from God.
#15 Cats that will Sleep Anywhere
I am always amazed when I find a new and funny picture of where a cat has chosen to sleep. I frankly think I need to put a lens together about how cats will sleep anywhere!
#17 More of Cats Will Sleep Anywhere
# 18 Van Gogh's Starry Night Painting
Even though I have to admit that Van Gogh was not a very happy soul for the most part, his art makes me happy. I have been lucky enough to see "Starry Night" in real life, In my opinion it's quite different from what you see in a print. The canvas was not primed with gesso before he painted his most famous painting, and you can actually see the raw canvas coming through in many places. You can also see the build up of paint along with the bold brush stokes. I'm so glad that I can check this one off my things to do and see before I die.
#19 Knowing what Success Really Means, by Warren Buffet
In a interview/article by Alice Schroeder Warren Buffet shared 10 Key Stratedgies he has used to become one of the richest people in the world, I wanted to share #10 since it really brings home my message I want to share with this lens. One other footnote in the Photo included here Warren Buffet is enjoying a Hot Fudge Sundae from Dairy Queen. I definitely think that needs to be included as a favorite thing too!
10. Know What Success Really Means: Despite his wealth, Warren Buffett does not measure success by dollars. In 2006, he pledged to give away almost his entire fortune to charities, primarily the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He's adamant about not funding monuments to himself -- no Warren Buffett buildings or halls. "I know people who have a lot of money," he says, "and they get testimonial dinners and hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. When you get to my age, you'll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That's the ultimate test of how you've lived your life."
#20 Playing Frogger on the Original Arcade Machine
This makes me smile before I even type a word because I can't think of this game without thinking about one of my best college friends from West Virginia Wesleyan. Lisa and I used to go to the game room and spend hours wasting our laundry quarters playing Frogger trying to beat each others high scores. Now over 25 years later and living on opposite coasts, we still exchange little frog trinkets remembering our fun college days. I recently visited the college campus for the first time since 1983 and our beloved video arcade has since been made into an internet cafe. A stupid internet cafe I tell Ya! Alas we will always have the memories of Frogger in our hearts!
#21 More Proof that Cats will sleep anywhere!
#22 This Quote about Happiness
#23 The Sketches of Leonard Davinci
The Italian Renaissance was one of the most creative periods of all time, and my dream someday is to be able to visit Italy and see in person many of the incredible works of art created during that period. For me Leonardo Davinci is the epitome of this incredible time and I love to study his sketches. I have only had the opportunity to see his horse sketches in person, it was almost a religious experience to see them. With the exception of Michangelo, I have never seen drawings as amazing. So this is why I choose Leonardo's sketches as #23 in my list of things to be happy about.
#24 Godiva Chocolate
OK I'll be the first to admit that this particular form of happiness does not come cheap but hey, it is Godiva! 'nuff said.
#25 Baby Chicks AWWW How cute!
#26 Going to the Drive In Movies
This has to be one of our favorite family outings. Our local Drive In "Bengies" in Baltimore offers a triple feature deal of the current movies out. We can take our entire family of 4 to the movies for well under $30.00. We bring our lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks and campout for the entire evening. Good Times!
#27 Going Fishing
#28 Beachballs are just so colorful and FUN!
#29 Take a Picnic lunch to your favorite park
What a great way to get the kids out from in front of the TV and have some quality time at the park. Load up some sandwiches, apples, grapes, and juice boxes, and have a wonderful afternoon, completely FREE!
#30 Rocking out to your favorite song in your underwear!
If you have never done this, I would suggest you add this to your bucket list. Everyone needs to let it all out and go wild at least once. If Tom Cruise can do it on the big screen, you can do it in your house by yourself and "Dance like noone is Watching"
#31 Build a Sandcastle at the Beach
#32 Take time to enjoy the Daffodils they only bloom once a year!
#33 Planting and Growing a Vegetable Garden
#34 Watching the sun rise over the ocean
#35 Going to a Great Jazz Festival
#36 Picking Wild Raspberries When They Are in Season
#37 Playing UNO with your Kids
#38 Finding a Favorite Place to go Hiking
#39 Watching the Fireworks on the 4th of July
#40 You Need to Be Happy About Ladybugs because They Are So Darn Cute
#41 Baby Toes!
#42 Having Breakfast for Dinner
#43 The Boardwalk at Rehobeth Beach in the Summer
#44 Learning to Play the Piano
#45 Easter Bonnets
#46 Blowing Bubbles
#47 Maryland Blue Crab Feast
#48 Opening Day of Baseball and your Team Wins! How Bout Them Os?
#49 OK You know I had to put this one on the list. Puppies
#50 Going to your Favorite Ice Cream Stand. Our's is called: The Cow
#51 Heirloom Roses
#52 Peanutbutter and Jelly Sandwiches
#53 The Recipe for Amish Friendship Bread
This even includes the recipe for the ever secret "Amish Starter Batter Recipe"
This is the Amish Friendship Bread that gets passed around from friend to friend. It includes the recipe for the Amish Friendship Bread starter, and gives complete directions for how to make it once your starter is ready. When you pass the starter on to a friend, make sure they understand that they will need to follow the instructions beginning at day one then will use the Amish Friendship Bread Recipe (with the oil, eggs, vanilla, etc.) on Day 10.
Amish Friendship Bread is not just a delicious and sweet bread, it’s also a way to bond friends by sharing countless loaves of bread baked in different kitchens that all began from the same bowl of simple ingredients. Choose a few friends and start this wonderful tradition, they’ll thank you for it!
Amish Friendship Bread Recipe
Day 1 - receive the starter (the recipe for the starter is below)
Day 2 - stir
Day 3 - stir
Day 4 - stir
Day 5 - Add 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk.
Day 6 - stir
Day 7 - stir
Day 8 - stir
Day 9 - stir
Day 10 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and the following recipe for baking the bread.
After removing the 3 cups of batter, combine the remaining cup of Amish Friendship Bread starter with the following ingredients in a large bowl:
2/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Using a fork beat by hand until well blended. You can add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup nuts (optional).
Grease two loaf pans with butter, sprinkle with sugar instead of flour.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour (individual oven temperatures vary). Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Makes two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.
Amish Friendship Bread Starter
This is the Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe that you’ll need to make the Amish Friendship Bread (above). It is very important to use plastic or wooden utensils and plastic or glass containers when making this. Do not use metal at all!
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110Â°F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110Â°F)
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.
2. In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.
3. Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.
For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions above for Amish Friendship Bread.
To see the original link this recipe came from here is the url:
#54 Fortune Cookies
55# Baby Penguins Sleeping! Now if that doesn't make you happy I don't know what will
#56 Tropical Fish
#57 Beachcombing for Seashells
#58 Painting! I must always have paint and brushes to be happy! oh and paper too!
#59 Peacocks at the Peter Pan Inn in Urbana, Maryland
Fried Chicken, Hush Puppies and Peacocks. But don't get upset yet, the peacocks were not on the menu!
One of my favorite memories as a kid was going to this eclectic restaurant called the Peter Pan Inn in Urbana, Maryland. The food there was great. They would start you off with a wonderful relish tray with their wonderful applebutter along with bread You could get a T-bone or Fried Chicken, and they had these wonderful corn fritters rolled in confectioners sugar called Hush Puppies. The restaurant had around 5 dining areas including outside garden dining. There were lots of fountains and all kinds of statues. But the most wonderful thing of all were the Peacocks and Peahens that roamed around the grounds. I don't believe they had access to the actual dining area but they had a huge area where they roamed free. It was so exciting to see them when they would spead their feathers their full glory. I thought they were the most beautiful animals I had ever seen. Unfortunately time and chain restaurants claimed the patrons of the Peter Pan Inn and it was forced to close in the early 80's. A few years later it reopened as a Seafood Restaurant called "The Cracked Claw" The restaurant also features off site betting and much of the Restaurant area is dedicated to that. They still have some of the same décor, but no peacocks. Unfortunately for me it will never measure up to my childhood memories of the Peter Pan Inn.
Vintage Postcard of the Peter Pan Inn Garden Dining Area Urbana, Maryland
#60 The Wall Says it All
#62 Cute Little Baby Hampsters
#63 Taking a Stroll Around Baltimore's Inner Harbour
#64 Watching a Baby Deer get through a Cat Door! Hysterical!
#65 Going to a Hot Air Balloon Festival
#66 The Spermhead Guys, What more can I say?
#67 Susan Boyle's Audition for Britian's Got Talent
#68 The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun
- The Eight Principles of Fun
Very uplifting video about having fun and keeping a positive perspective on life. It's a really cool creative piece, and fun to watch too!
#69 Sculptures Made from Toilet Paper Rolls! Fun and Green at the same time!
#70 Going for a Bike Ride with a Friend
#71 Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones!
#73 Reading a Favorite Book
#74 Strawberry Season & Going to the Strawberry Patch to Pick them
#75 Rubber Ducky Races sponsoring a good cause ofcourse!
#76 The Sidewalk Art of Julian Beever
I am absolutely amazed and in love with Trompe L'oeil Sidewalk Art Style of Artist Julian Beever. The only not happy thing about his work is that it washes away with the first rain. :(
Click on this picture to view Julian Beever's Official Website
# 77 Having Lunch at Don Pablos with a $5.00 off Coupon!
#78 Feeding Baby Kittens
#79 (Rainbows) This rainbow was over our house on Tues. April 21,2009 I was even more beautiful in real life
#80 Going to the Kinetic Sculpture Races in Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland
#81 Ten Reasons You Are Rich
I found this list on stumble upon and thought it really was telling how much many of us have and take forgranted.
- 10 Reasons You are Rich
It's always important to count our blessings
#82 Words of Wisdom for Living A Happy Life
The Following Poem Called Leave the World is from Poetic Expressions Website. I think it offers great advice for living a Good and Happy Life
Leave the World
Give people more than expected and do it cheerfully.
Marry someone you love to talk to. Conversational skills will be as important as any other.
Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
When you say, "I love you", mean it.
When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.
Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
Believe in love at first sight.
Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt, but it's the only way to live life completely.
In disagreements, fight fairly. No name-calling.
Don't judge people by their relatives.
Talk slowly, but think quickly.
When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
Spend some time alone.
Leave the world a better place than when you found it.
#83 Getting The Catch of the Day!
# 84 A Beautiful Night Star Gazing into the Universe
#85 Yellow Happy Faces
#86 Balloon Animals
# 87 Dew on the Grass First Thing on a Spring Morning
#88 Enjoying a Bowl of Edys Ice Cream at the Kitchen Table with the Family!
#89 Lily of the Valley (May's Flower and my birthday Flower)
#90 Your favorite Teddy Bear
#91 Honey Bees! They make honey and pollenate the world!
# 92 Getting a Handwritten Letter in the Mail from a Friend!
#93 Blast from the Past Bonne Bell Lipsmackers!
# 94 Smores! Yum Yum Yummy...
#95 Taking Whites Ferry across the Potomac River to Leesburg, VA
# 96 Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomatoes (They are Delicious!)
#97 Stained Glass Windows
# 98 Feeling the Sand Between your Toes
#99 Little Baby Hedgehogs! This can't help but make you smile!
#100 The Day you Child is Born!
#101 Visiting the Outer Banks North Carolina!
#102 Sunflowers from my Garden
#103 Furry Woodland Creatures
#104 A Baby Bunny!
#105 Odd Creatures That you Can't Name but are Still Cute!
#106 Hershey Kisses!
#107 Dogs Dressed up for Trick or Treat
#108 Watching It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown with your kids
#109 Hot Apple Cider
#110 Your little Monkeys wearing their Monkey Jammies
#111 The Double Rainbow Man on Youtube
I just saw this today and it made me laugh so hard I cried...hope you enjoy it!
#113 Soft Kitty
#114 Visiting The Doodle Place to Get FREE Graphics and Images!
A Bit of Shameless Self Promotion
But creating my art does make me happy so I think I can still include it here on my list
Well I know I'm stretching this a bit but I want to include my cafepress ornament shop on my list of things to be happy about. However, I do enjoy making art so here's my shop. Click on the snowman ornament to visit my shop!