What Makes You Happy?

Yesterday was one of those stressful days, so today I’d love to ask you: What are three things that make you happy? When I asked you years ago, your answers included baby cheeks, the cool side of the pillow and a good fudgy brownie. (Also, “pee shivers.” Ha!) My list right now is: clean sheets with freshly shaven legs, a new episode of Mad Men, Belgian beer. And you?

P.S. Also, peonies. And baby swans that ride on their mother’s back.

  1. good and kindly post,welcome to out good quality but cheap price Coach Factory Outlet website.

  2. bonfires, fresh caught crab, san juan islands, perfectly made toast, barbecues, feeling after a long run

  3. When I was younger and worked nights, if I was having a bad day and need to cheer up, I would get candy and small toys from our local toy store, and go to the library across the street. I would read Dr. Doolittle and surreptitiously eat my candy until I feel like smiling again. I’ve never done this without leaving with a big smile on my face, and wondering what I was so upset about.

  4. Sarah says...

    4 year old son getting the giggles and laughing uncontrollably, other 4 year old son’s sleepy eyes and Greek summer evenings…

  5. also, winnie the pooh books. they make me laugh all alone when i read them before bed. at age 25. shrug.

  6. reading my book on the swing seat in the garden, wearing a dress, and walking through the river with my dog

  7. evening drives in the summer. windows down and good music playing.

    surprise visitors

    smoking pipes

    outdoor showers at the beach

    climbing into bed after just shaving my legs

  8. port and dark chocolate
    the smell of sizzling garlic
    being home for the holidays

  9. Right now they are: new bedlinen, savings on a purchase, the color yellow.

    I find the color yellow difficult to wear myself, so it makes me happy to see yellow in Nature and in Design. Weird right?

  10. Anonymous says...

    a good hair day! family time with laughter, entire family lunches, fresh baked cookies

  11. Loving this list! So many things I want to add. I’ll try to restrain myself to a cool breeze on a warm day, painted toenails, the first cuppa of the day, falling asleep in my boyfriend’s arms, a song that speaks to my heart, baby giggles and The Muppets!

  12. dandelions
    whir of my camera shutter
    samba bands
    random acts of kindness

  13. Carol says...

    Oh my god, yes! Totally agree about the shaved legs on nice sheets. I thought maybe that was just me! haha

    As it’s almost winter here in Australia at the moment, my current 3 things are:
    1. Putting on soft flannel pyjamas after a long hot shower
    2. Drinking red wine while watching Downtown Abbey
    3. A lazy Sunday morning in bed with a cup of tea and a good book

  14. Peonies, Mad Men and Belgium Beer are also my “happy list”. Another would have to be reading a book so good you can’t put it down even when you’re so sleepy, and watching babies when they first start to walk and fall in their bums and giggle, or dogs, in general. The one thing guaranteed to turn my frown upside down in a hurry.

  15. Reading my favorite books from my childhood to my kids, Lemonade, my daughter playing piano.

  16. Girly dance mixes (including Walking on Broken Glass, Call me Maybe, I wanna dance with some body, and a little Mylie), fresh flowers, shadows from the sun through trees, and Ray Allen making 3s.

  17. A clean kitchen, fresh pancakes and classical music on a Saturday morning, picnicking in our sunny backyard while watching our chickens peck around, sending and receiving packages in the mail, Trader Joe’s chocolate, and cuddling with my husband at the end of a long day.

  18. Anonymous says...

    classic rock radio and singing along with a good friend, especially if it’s something ridiculous like Foreigner or Air Supply!


    Watching Parks and Recreation on my laptop in bed on a Saturday morning with coffee

    The Girl from Ipanema Pandora station

    John Roberts ‘The Phone Call’ video on youtube…it instantly cheers me up and makes me laugh.

    Summer in the city! Sundresses, iced coffee, strolls, beer gardens, outdoor concerts!

  19. An ice cold glass of water on a hot day.

  20. Anonymous says...

    A good laugh

  21. Asturias, mangos from Baní (Dominican Republic), the laugh of my toddler, the hugs from my hubby, watching downton abbey, reading your posts…and the list goes on, I have so many things that makes me happy :)

  22. Annie says...

    Three things:
    The month of May (in England)

  23. Rachel C. says...

    Making pictures, falling asleep to the sound of the rain in someone’s arms, cooking/eating a good meal

  24. Outdoor seating on early summer nights, fudgesicles, moleskine notebooks, raspberry iced tea, eno hammocks :)

  25. vanilla honey greek yogurt with granola

  26. Sarah B says...

    Baby giggles, a new post on Kelly Wearstler’s blog ‘My Vibe My Life’ (or your wonderful Friday posts on cool stuff you’ve found), and a sweet dessert (doughnut! brownie! cinnamon roll! ice cream!) after being really healthy for a while. :)

  27. ice cold water, my little maltese named biggles, elephants, clean bedding, and my best friend Scott.

  28. Anonymous says...

    My cat who always comes to great
    me at the carpark, very happily, when I get home from work.

    The endorphines after a long run

    A compliment by a friend or stranger

  29. dancing…

    champagne, oysters and shrimp cocktail on a sunny day…

    and those days when you put together the perfect outfit, just exactly what you were in the mood to be wearing, and you’re having a great hair day, and you just feel special…


  30. I think right now what makes me happy is to see friends and to get hugs. I haven’t seen friends in a long time (moved away) and it’s hard making them to be close enough to hug.

  31. Admittedly cheeky of me to suggest on the one hand but on the other… I sort of collect these as a profession so I couldn’t not comment. We collect these sorts of yummy thoughts and reflections inside the pages of Spoonful. I will send you one very very happily if you’d like to peek inside ;)



  32. hearing my husband laugh
    getting packages in the mail
    hanging with my dog

  33. a cold beer in the shower

    poached eggs, diners

    holding small things and pretending I’m a giant

    the first 5 minutes of exploring in a new hotel room

    loud baby burps

    the rare times when my husband and I are the only ones in a place -a restaurant, a museum, a bus, a movie theater – its like we’ve romantically rented it out for us (his hope is that it would happen at the zoo on a rainy day and we can pretend we own the whole thing.)

  34. Class it out for summer. Little girls playing in the yard. Thinking about sharing a bottle of wine for someone special’s bday tonight.

  35. Anonymous says...

    Lost, watching my parakeets play with each other, waking up thinking it’s Friday but it’s Saturday. :-)

  36. New socks! Ditto to the freshly shaven legs, Joanna. Also- naps in the park, sleeping kitties, and walking to work with great music in my earbuds. I’m happy just thinking about it!

  37. 1. Spending time with and cuddling my husband
    2. Knowing that our baby boy will be born in about 6 weeks!
    3. Taking walks in the sun
    4. Squishy baby cheeks
    5. Homemade bread with real butter

  38. Starbucks Sumatra coffee, new yellow Saltwater sandals, infectious laughs from my children indicating summer break is here, the smaller numbers on the scale, and balmy temperatures in Kansas. :)

  39. Peonies, a really really amazing meal with a friend, when my boyfriend squishes his face right up against mine just to make me laugh…it does! Every time :)

  40. -The New Girl
    -my husband’s sweet face
    -Haggen Daz Caramel Cone Ice Cream (you should certainly try it!)

  41. Ahh! I love this game! Mind if I ask folks on Lovely Indeed, too? I’ll shoot you a link if I do. :)
    taking photos outside at sunset.
    stuffing myself with cold watermelon.
    the sky clearing after rain.

  42. incredibly cute baby swan picture! doing laundry on a sunny spring day, getting paw massage from my cat and thunderstorms!

  43. That is the cutest photo ever.
    Milo and Maltesers.
    And a hug from my husband and my boys.
    Ronnie xo

  44. In retrospect, things today would be:
    – repeating Games of Thrones quotes to one another and giggling beneath the covers
    – making a coconut jam slice for my love
    – planning surprise birthday presents
    – looking up pictures of puggles
    – 1960s fashion

    Oh, Joanna, thank you so much for posting this today. I really needed it xx

  45. Anonymous says...

    ooh and Annick Goutals l’eau d’hadrien
    Jane xx

  46. Anonymous says...

    ooh and Annick Goutals l’eau d’hadrien
    Jane xx

  47. Anonymous says...

    Strawberries and cherries, oaky white wine or a provencal rose, interiors magazines, woody allen and almodovar films, vintage and craft fairs, modern and contemporary art exhibitions, the coast in any weather, seeing amazing actors on the stage, great food, my teenage daughter being in a good none door slamming mood!
    Jane xx

  48. 1. The way the air smells right after an afternoon torrential downpour.

    2. A fresh baguette and some yummy cheese, maybe some fig jam, too!

    3. A crisp linen dress.

  49. Fresh sheets, yes! and a friends episode and favorite book+coffee+rain :)

  50. Anonymous says...

    rainy days
    dinner with friends and family

  51. frozen yogurt and my husband going out to get me frozen yogurt when i’m home sick.

  52. Anonymous says...

    – Driving home from work on a sunny Friday evening
    – Riding bikes to the ice cream shop with my kids 
    – Dreaming up new life adventures with my husband
    – Stealing a rare few minutes to myself

  53. my boyfriend’s beard, green tea, riding the ferry on the way home.

  54. A productive day, warm sunshine, and wearing bright lipstick.

  55. 1) When my daughter (almost 4) rubs my back as she gives me a hug, 2) When I hear her giggle in her sleep (it just sounds like it bubbles out of her and is so cute), 3) The smell of fresh cut grass on a hot day.

  56. Driving home in the morning after a night shift, with several days off to look forward to…open windows in the evening with a candle and Ray Lamontagne…and daydreaming about not working night shift anymore to spend more time with my husband. Just daydreaming in general!

  57. Driving home in the morning after a night shift, with several days off to look forward to…open windows in the evening with a candle and Ray Lamontagne…and daydreaming about not working night shift anymore to spend more time with my husband. Just daydreaming in general!

  58. Watching milk mix with my ice coffee on a warm day.
    A refrigerator full of fresh groceries.
    A cool shower on a humid day.
    A new book and time to read it.

  59. Anonymous says...

    Iced coffee, summer thunderstorms, reading books for fun, pancakes, kittens and/or puppies, fresh flowers and farmer’s markets. And spending my last undergrad summer with my wonderful boyfriend and the best friends a girl can ask for.

    Loved reading everyone’s comments!

  60. Rereading a favorite book, strawberry pastries fresh from the bakery, and a hot mug of tea (combine all three for the best day ever).

  61. Three things that make me happy.
    Smile. Home. Crafts.
    Just by saying them out makes me happy too. :)

  62. Raspberries, fresh mint, hugs (always), and summer rain

  63. A big cup of coffee in the morning, barefoot walks on the beach, and warm cuddles in bed with my boyfriend on a cold night.

  64. Kerry W says...

    Sitting beside an open fire when it’s cold outside.

    A good hair day.

    Breaking into a chocolate fondant and watching the goey insides run all over the plate.

    The smell of bread baking.

    Borrowing my fiances hoodie

    Not being at work on a weekday.

    A well packed dishwasher.

    When you split the disposable chopsticks perfectly down the middle.

    Driving in the country as the sun goes down.

    Giving a dog a belly rub.

    Going out for brunch in the weekend and spending ages with a flat white and a weekend paper.

    Choosing the perfect gift for someone.

    Finding a bargain at a shop, and then when you get to the counter, being told that it’s reduced even further.

    Getting home from work and changing into ‘home clothes’.

    Laughing until you cry.

    Random acts of kindness.

    When you look at someone the exact time they look at you and you know they are thinking the same thing you are.

    Inside jokes.

  65. Three day weekends, drinking outdoors and getting invited to a party :)

  66. 1- Being by a beautiful body of water. Breathing it in and breathing out all of my worries.

    2- The perfect sunshine-y, breezy and warm (but not hot) day.

    3- The overabundance of snuggles and purrs my cat gives me when I wake up.

    4- Walking into my childhood home and feeling enveloped like a wonderful hug.

    5- Watching my favorite shows curled up with my husband (especially when we do silly things like theme song dances!)

  67. clean sheets! coffee, sleeping in, rainy days, sushi date with my man, naps with my dog and kisses from my 15 month old. :)

  68. Reading the things that make other people happy, makes me feel good.

  69. I’m always pushing green tea. Specifically gyokuro style green tea, which is raised in the shade making it super high in theanine, a brain chemical that helps smooth things out.

  70. Anonymous says...

    So much inspiration…
    mine are
    -def walking my dog, esp watching his face and tail when I go to get my sneakers
    -the expression on my day face when she realises I have made waffles for after school snack (once every blue moon)
    -flowers for no reason
    -a nap in the middle of the day

  71. there are many things that make me happy, but lately my tops are:
    -books and mags
    -rays of sun on my face as i’m walking home and
    -a nice warm smile by someone :)

  72. Thanks so much for this topic…. so simple yet so wonderous :)

    on my list?
    the perfect fluffy white bed with tons of pillows
    christmas lights in the window
    fresh made almond milk
    beauty in everything

  73. Yesterday (and today) was a stressful day for me too! It helps to think of happy things. Mine would include: a delicious orange, receiving flowers from by beautiful sister and a hot cup of coffee. A friend of mine and I used to make “happiest things” lists. I might need to start doing that again :)

  74. when my crush tells me i’m cute and pretty and kind :), bike rides during that quiet time before sunset, the smell of freshly cut grass, soft hair, wintertime

  75. when my crush tells me i’m cute and pretty and kind :), going for a bike ride during the quiet time before sunset, the smell of fresh cut grass, being warm and snuggly in bed when the rest of the house is freezing…

  76. Haha. “pee shivers!” my friends and I call that a “peegasm.”

    I love bursts of bold-colored rhododendrons, fluffy blankets, and the way my dog runs with her tongue flapping out the side. :)

  77. reading (and loving) a book, singing in the car with the windows down, watermelon, and pooltime. love.

  78. I’m just trying to discover what makes me happy.
    Saramago said “Now that you are young, you just dont want to be happy, but when you grown up you will want it and so you won’t have”

  79. Fresh summer fruit, nice weather, and new lipstick!

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. It is good to think about positive things.
    For me right now: eating cherries up in the tree and flying to the UK tomorrow to visit friends!

  82. Leah says...

    Feeling down lately so I’m attempting this as a challenge to myself-

    listening to those few songs that resonate so deeply every time i hear them.

    walking in the spring rain.


  83. goooood food makes me really happy, and I mean really delicious-i-might-choke-from-eating-too-fast-it’s-so-good kind of food :)

    and I sound like a fatty ;) HA


  84. 1.A moment of clarity that hits me like a sunbeam when I remember that life is good and God is love.

    2. An unexpected kiss from my 2 year old son.

    3. A glass of wine with my husband or a good friend.

    Thanks for this! I linked to your post in mine today.

  85. I agree with you – clean sheets with freshly shaven legs are one of my favorite things in life! Simple pleasures… :)

  86. Lemons, the clank of wooden bangles on my wrist, Chanel No. 5, peonies, freshly-painted walls, iced tea.

  87. Emily says...

    Hawaii, Gordon Lightfoot, classic drama films.

  88. Enjoying a meal outside, cuddling with my boyfriend in the morning, & long bike rides.

  89. my guilty pleasure watching real housewives, kate spade bangles, cooking with natural light streaming through the window

  90. I love this post, sometimes people forget to just be happy and today was a day like your yesterday for me (you know what I mean :) so I needed to remember, three things for right this minute:

    1) Being outside with my husband and two young ones.

    2) Planning short summer trips with kids and girlfriends, I’m addicted to planning trips.

    3) Cracking open a beer with my husband after the kids lay down on a rare night of nothing to do.

  91. pass the CPA exam, have a job, be with JJ :)

  92. Lap swimming, grape nuts with cinnamon and my husband’s smile!

    PS: And your blog!!

  93. Oh! This is a good one.

    Putting the AC on full blast then getting cozy under the covers.

    Cracking the shell of a soft-boiled egg. Yum.

    Eating cheese with a baguette and some wine on a picnic blanket. A plus if it’s done in Paris. :)

  94. My three things…a yummy lunch at work to break up the day, snuggling with my one year old labradoodle, and long weekends with family and my husband. xo

  95. 1. Elephants
    2. Gin Gimlet (preferrably with Miller Gin)
    3. Being outside with the sun shinning
    I could use a little of all of those right about now!
    Much love,

  96. e says...

    reading a book under a shady tree in the backyard

    hearing all the birds’ cheery voices in the mornin

    enjoying dinner on the patio with my husband – esp. when the majority of the ingredients come from our garden

    (i see a theme – i guess my backyard brings me great joy!)

  97. Erika says...

    my children’s smiles, reading the next great book. thinking ways of telling the man i love that i love him. haven’t figured that one out yet.

  98. the huge hugs my nine-month old son gives me.

    air conditioning.

    flip flop season. finally.

  99. Quitting time on Friday! :)

  100. Julia Madeleine says...

    The moment of anticipation before you’re reunited with someone you’ve been away from for a long time, freshly churned gelato and walks in the woods.

  101. Suzanne Fletcher says...

    Hot-as-I-can-stand-it shower before bed; great book; and my three children laughing together instead of arguing.

  102. I am happy when i smell:

    I am extremely happy when I smell lilacs. This smell remind me of when I was little playin outside in the spring with my sister. Also the smell of rosemary reminds me of my father which is always comforting.

    I am happy when I eat: plain yogurt with maple syrup! This was moms little midnight treat.

    I am happy the moment I wake up before my alarm clock and lay in silence taking in the beginnings of a new day!

  103. This entire thread gives me warm fuzzies. As if the picture wasn’t enough. Cuddling with my boyfriend and just being in love makes me happy :)

  104. Garage sale finds that I didn’t even know I needed! A book I can’t put down. Naps. Long skirts and flip flops.

  105. Feet massage and the shivers that go with it, a thunder storm, the smell of a fireplace, my sister’s goat cheese toasts, a good glass of red, lattes, hot wind on naked arms, cedar smell and when my scripts work!
    and thinking about what makes me happy.

  106. Chocolate.

    New Shoes.

    Quality time with my husband (never, ever enough of that).

  107. MJ says...

    1. The smell of my toddler’s head
    2. Freshly threaded eyebrows
    3. Iced tea on a hot day

  108. Fresh frozen yogurt on a sunny day, kitty cuddles, and a drink with friends at Sunset.

  109. Pimms! I had my first glass today and I think summer is finally here!

  110. Mikki says...

    nail polish as always, receiving post, leaving work in the sun.

  111. Reading a good book, hearing anyone else laugh- it instantly makes me laugh and nutella with strawberries is pure joy. Sometimes I combine the first with the last and man is it wonderful.

  112. Flying ducks, chamgpagne and bike rides along the coast.

  113. Summer break, chocolate shortbread cookies, and old reruns. <3

  114. just made beds with clean fresh sheets. bright nail polish. soft pink strands of hair.

  115. Love this list. Really makes you appreciate the little things in life :) thank you Joanna! Love your blog as always. Xx

  116. God, painting and being a mom!

  117. Waking up to kisses from my husband, making my baby niece smile and giggle, and a sunny backyard with a glass of rose.

  118. Ah reading this makes me all happy!
    – seeing someone on the street being nice to a stranger (as in helping an old lady cross the street)
    – a stack of unread books and magazines
    – fresh laundry
    – baby animals
    – the smell of summer

  119. breastfeeding my son. laughing with my husband. Otis redding. cherries.

  120. reading these comments
    picking my long distance boy up from the airport
    playing music with my siblings
    the ocean
    the moon/sun/stars

  121. Sun, tulips, and ice cream!

  122. Early morning at the farmers’ market, my Granny offering me her “soft chair” when she thinks I’m tired and brunch.

  123. Bright pink, the absentminded hair stroke from a loved one, well-illustrated children’s books, a swanky grocery store that inspires me to cook & the thrill of an unexpected package in the mail! I love this game!

  124. I love peonies too, but tulips make me happy! and vibrant people, my friends and family, inspiration for anything, blue sky and sunny mornings, and relating to your picture, I really love giraffes! :)

  125. New Pillows on my Sofa. I’m obsessed! I might need to seek help for this problem as it oddly brings maybe too much joy.

    Problem is the joy doesn’t last long enough and I need new Pillows often to feed my addiction.

  126. a good run, a clean home, sweet conversations with my 3-year old daughter, and a night of reading after the little are in bed.

  127. Morning mochas from hubby

    Funny and insightful commentary from darling 7 yr old daughter (i.e., why boys are so loud, how cheetahs can’t retract their claws, etc).

    Saturday afternoons in Summer.

    FRIENDS (the tv show)

  128. Unexpected acts of kindness from strangers. Über fresh bread with salty butter. An unsolicited cuddle from my friend’s two year old daughter.

  129. The sweet hug that every day I received from my fiancé when he comes home, a dinner made by my fiancé, a good movie, a good rest, a nice meeting with the family and friends.



  130. 1. The way I feel after a bikram or hot yoga class
    2. Almond chocolate chip blondies
    3. Being the little spoon

  131. Spending time with my parents on Sundays and enjoying delicious meals with them, laughing with my boyfriend and having “me” time after long weeks at work.

  132. Lot says...

    Baking a cake
    A glass of wine with great friends and family

  133. Ashley says...

    Doing a Kerestase hair mask and reading a magazine!