Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tater tots.

The editors of Real Simple recently asked readers to "share the little stuff that brings them joy," based on the assumption that "everyday moments and objects pack a powerful emotional punch."

Whereas Charles Schulz (the example provided by the magazine) defined happiness, nearly 50 years ago, "as a warm puppy, an umbrella, and a side dish of French fries," here are a few of my own explanations...

1. I love first getting to know someone and sensing that you would be friends. I do believe Fran Smith is one of the wittiest and most creative people I've met (or been reacquainted with) in a long time. Here are a few of the cards that she was thoughtful enough to make for me (personalized cards and stationary are a wonderful gift; if you're looking for handmade presents, always consider this a viable option).

2. Hearing the history of a dessert (the recipe creator, ingredients used, the baker) and then enjoying it without guilt. Ex. The sampling of peanut butter balls, death-by-chocolate cake, and cookie from Annie Ruby's today...Why I didn't feel guilty is beyond me.

3. Shaved or crushed ice. I love fountain drinks from Minit Mart for this very reason.

4. Watching Tucker (dog) and Sadie (cat) sleep in the living room chair together. And, watching Mom scoot over in fear she might crowd the two.

5. Tater tots.

6. Trying your homemade wine and realizing it's actually not too bad. Incredibly strong, but not bad.

7. Getting an unexpected email that simply has one, "just had you on my mind," clever or thoughtful sentence.

8. Realizing that someone really likes something that you enjoy (not a bit vague), but that you assumed few people knew about or would be interested in.

9. Being really happy with whatever you order at a restaurant (recommendation: Fish Tacos from Garcia's in Glasgow).

10. Having stamp options. I love it when I can pick between 3 or 4 designs.

11. Having someone cover you up, but first flicking the sheet or blanket a couple of times.

12. Those mornings when you put on mascara without getting it above or below your eye. Bonus: The lashes actually look perfectly separated.

13. Having lunch with your significant other.

14. When someone calls you by name, someone who you didn't imagine knew who you were.

15. Hoodies.
A great idea also in the newest Real Simple: Frame a pretty piece of fabric or paper, then write temporary to-dos on the glass with a dry-erase marker.
Semi-home made...
Start with hot cocoa mix of choice. Doctor it up...
1. Broil 3 marshmallows in the broiler or a toaster oven until just golden, about 30 seconds. Mix the hot cocoa with 3 tablespoons malted milk powder. Top with the marshmallows.
2. Top the hot cocoa with 1/4 cup mint chocolate chip ice cream and 1 spring fresh mint.
3. Mix the hot cocoa with one pinch ground chipotle chili pepper and one pinch of ground Cinnamon. Top with 2 tablespoons sweetened whipped cream. Sprinkle an additional pinch of chili pepper and cinnamon on top.


  1. This made my night, Maria. Thank you:)!

  2. I am so glad that you are back to doing your Pillow Book entries. I missed your wonderful writing..

    And let me say how impressed I am by all of your Burkesville shopping. I will admit, I did not think it would be possible...who knew?

    And while I am on a roll, go ahead and apologize for my husband. I don't even have to go in to details...you already know!

  3. What a nice thing to say, Kristi. Thank you:)

    I have had a ball with my Burkesville shopping...you should come join me next year! (And, maybe I'll put some of Tommy's "home brew" on the list next December too)

    Hope to see you all soon:)