Good company

Happy Friday!!

I wanted to share what the view from my desk was like... and how fantastic Katie is for company!

Hope your Friday has been a blast so far and more happy things are on the way!


What do you get when...

Here's a fun game for us....

What do you get when you combine a ....

A brand spankin' new pair of orange and leather gloves...

French vanilla coffee in a travel mug...

A big pair of clippers and a saw thingy....

... and a shiny red wheel barrow on a sunny Saturday morning? hmmm?

Any guesses?


yup, you know it... the answer is coming up... in a different post *evil laugh*

Inspire me

You may remember that I have moved recently.

Which means I get to create some new exciting design for the room that will be my office slash craft room. I'm excited to have my own space. Mr. Happy has given me the green light to do anything I want (like a little out there paint -- squee!!) and I am drawing a total blank.




So, everything I have read has said that I need to start with a theme or something to design the room around. I was looking at the furniture in the room.. and it's mainly hodge-podge.. stuff from college... stuff that works.

I have had to think about where to get inspiration for a theme. I came up with a few ideas like an ode to hiking room, a clean line Japanese theme, or even something that lends to a huge mural on the wall.

I'm not really 100% sure which way I am leaning yet, but I was at Pier 1 Imports last weekend and saw all sorts of cool things. One of which was this painting...

"Follow Your Dreams" butterflies... orange... antique feel... inspirational!

I'm not sure if I am any closer, but it's still been fun to day dream about what I can turn the room into!


Cleaned that fish

I cleaned that fish! (finally)

Man that feels good to get that done.

Making that goldfish wiggle with happiness again ... really makes me happy too!

Your welcome Titan! Glad to see you aren't green any more!

Fall Cupcakes

I did promise to show you what the final mini cupcakes looked like... and here they are!

The chocolate ones are yellow butter cake with milk chocolate-cayenne pepper frosting.

The other ones are pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon-vanilla frosting.

I did the swirly decoration on all of them. And then sprinkled these cute little sugar leaves that I found on etsy. Have you heard of Etsy? If you haven't you need to go.. NOW! Click here.

The fall sprinkles were from this shop here on Etsy: BakeryBites

I wanted to display the cuppies on a table and didn't know what to use.. so ended up using a pizza pan which worked out wonderfully!

I bet you want a cupcake now, don't you? I know I could go for one!


Teddy Bear

Driving is pretty much an everyday part of my life.

I think Mr. Happy would argue that driving does make me happy, but I am going to say that driving to work -- commuting -- ain't that fun.

Couple that with the fact that I've been quite the grump lately... especially in the mornings.

I can hear Mr. Happy laughing already as he's reading this. (We commute together, so he has the pleasure of hanging out with me in the car before I am really awake and ready to face the world).

What I am trying to get at... is that even when you think you are in a funk and doing something you don't think can be fun... make sure you are still open to the possibility that happiness really is all around us ... if only we are at the ready to receive it.

This is what happened to me yesterday.

I was driving to work with Mr. Happy.... traffic, my grumpiness... looking for a good tune on the radio... not feeling all that up to going to work.

And then it happened.

Mr. Happy spots a teddy bear. On a big truck.

A cute teddy bear I might add. Even Mr. Happy thought so.

I smiled and said, shucky darn... I don't have my camera handy to grab a shot. Mr. Happy said, no problem and snapped a few pictures with his blackberry for me. Well, for you... for the blog! (I love that he's embraced my blog. He encourages me in the sweetest ways. And I grin ear to ear every time he asks me if I am taking a picture for my blog. He's sweet isn't he?)

But getting back to the teddy bear. You can't help but smile and feel happier after seeing him.

Made us wonder about the truck driver too... the teddy bear looks like it's travelled a long way. It looks deliberately placed. Comfortable almost.

I wonder if that truck drive put the teddy bear there to make people smile?

Teddy bear truck driver, if you are reading this.... thank you! Thank you for making my Monday morning start off in an awesome way!

My lesson. First off I need to stop being a grump.

Second of all I need to remember that happiness comes in all forms and in strange places.

Decorate them

Ok, that was completly wrong of me!

Yesterday I began to tempt you with yummy baked goods and then left you hanging. Truth is I ran out of blog time yesterday and I really did feel bad about that all night. Really!

But, if you came back today....

... then it kinda worked ... didn't it?

And I promise this was worth the wait!

Just one look at these golden mini cakes evokes a sense of euphoria for me! I can almost smell them coming out of the oven!

I decided to have a little fun with these and decorated them a little fancy. And fancy lookin' doesn't have to be hard. Here's what I did to get those sweet swirlys...

  1. Take a regular can pre-packaged frosting. I used milk chocolate for the yellow butter cake cuppies. And I used vanilla with cinnamon mixed in for the pumpkin spice cuppies.
  2. Dump, scrape, and plop that frosting in to your mixer.
  3. This step is optional. I added a bit of cayenne pepper to the milk chocolate frosting. Gives the frosting a hint of heat. You see, I'm from Texas. And I add heat to everything I can. Makes life more interesting and who couldn't use a little heat in there life?
  4. Now, mix the frosting on a high speed. This adds air into the frosting, makes it fluffier and lightens the color a bit.
  5. You know your frosting is whipped when ... well, I don't think you can over do this, so whip away until you start to notice that color change.
  6. Using a spoon, put the whipped frosting in zippy sandwich bag.
  7. Seal the zippy bag.
  8. Cut off the tiniest corner on the bottom of the bag
  9. Squeeze frosting through that tiny corner and apply to mini-cupcake deliciousness.
  10. Create your own fun design or try the swirls like I did!
  11. For the swirls I started at the outter edge of the cupcake and ended in the middle with a crown (you know, like they do on the swirly ice cream cones :)

And voila!

Fancy looking cupcakes...

yummy tasting cupcakes...

crowd pleasing cupcakes.

And yes, I am going to wait one more post to show you the final cuppies. You can wait one more post, right?


Make a batch

Happiness for me is baking.

The idea of taking a bunch of things that don't seem like they go together, putting them in a bowl, and then whipping them around is just magic to me.

You're laughing... I mean magic!

Come on! Once you've whipped all these ingredients together you are left with a glop-slop in a bowl. Is this really going to turn into something that's yummy? (Now, if it's brownie mix, then that looks like black gold, but the mixture above is a yellow butter cake, dyed orange, and spiced up to taste like a fall pumpkin pie.)

Really doesn't look all that appetizing does it?

But, you put this mixture in to the teensy-weensy mini cupcake cups and pop them in the oven... you see that's where the magic happens.

In the oven.

And, yes this is where we leave the baking adventure for now.... come back to see how it turned out!


Sweet goodness I have been absent again from adding happy to my blog. Can I be forgiven? I hit a point two weeks ago (YIKES... has it been that long?) that I had to drop some things to fit in some other things. And yes, sadly the blog and ironing is what took that hit. That and my poor little goldfish Titan who has been living in a green world. I have already made a major dent in getting all my ironing in order and I vowed to Titan this morning that I was going to clean his tank up tonight.

So, now that I am back I have to tell you that I have a TON of cool photos and happy things to share with you. In fact, I have quite a back log of happiness just waiting to poor through this page and into your life! Well, at least into your eyeball.

What do strawberries have to do with my return? Nothing really. Honestly, I think I had something sensible to say about them at some point, but that thought no longer is a resident in my brain.

I do remember eating them.
I do remember drowning them in sugar.
And I do remember how it felt like a bit of a treat to have them off season.

That must be it.

I think I was going to ramble about how eating something can remind you of a special time of year or memory. I will take that as my homework this week... to go and eat something that has a special memory for me and report back.

What I was going to say however, is that since we last spoke I've made mini cupcakes, gotten that delivery of wood I told you about, stacked the wood, worked around the house with Mr. Happy, played with Katie -- that's really a daily occurance, and had a lot of fires in the fireplace! And better yet, I have pictures of most of the craziness... so without further delay I am going to go get a happy post up for you.


Free Hope

I was curious what I was up to 4 years ago around this time.

(Confession.. I actually didn't have any other new photos to share today since I've been distracted by this whole buying a house thing.)

But, it was pretty fun to look back in the years around October and see what I was taking pictures of.

These were taken in 2005... which means I would have been living in upstate NY. Well, more technically it was central NY, but from where I lived before in more southern NY... any thing north was considered upstate.

Actually it's funny when I talk to people who are from NYC.. and when they talk about upstate they are talking about where I live... and I have to tell them there's a more north upstate than that. Crazy when you stop and think about how big NY is.

Anywho... these are pictures taken from a fishing outing Mr. Happy and I went on. We did that a lot when we lived more north... picked up our poles and headed for a nice lake or pond.

You see fishing for the most part is one of the free things in life you can enjoy. We may have spent a few dollars on some worms and at some point it helps to buy a pole, but I bet we had a blast!! Good bang for the buck and good economics for a couple of poor college kids.

And how cool is that grass growing between the rocks? Like a stray ray of hope amongst a trying environment. A reminder that the tough really do survive. A hint that if you try really hard, no matter what, you will reach what ever goal you are striving for. I may be stretching it a bit, but you get what I mean!

Take that hope with you today and go and be that fresh, beautiful, strong grass amongst the rocks of your life!

Happy Friday!


View from the Couch

The new house has a fireplace which we ooohhed and aahhhed over when we first looked at it. So naturally, now that we've moved in, we took the first chance we could once and had ourselves a nice little fire!

Feels sinful, but we got one of the small bundles of wood from the grocery store that ends up costing you probably $1 per log... told you... sinful!

Having that fire has sparked our interest... (get it? sparked... hahaha!)... in getting a delivery of wood to the house.

When you purchase wood you are buying a unit called a cord. I was curious and had to look up what the heck that meant. Looks like a 'full' cord measures 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. That's a big pile of wood. Figure the little bundle we used was a mere maybe 1 ft x 6 in. x 6 in (4 log chunks).... I think you get the point, right? It was small!

So at a rate of using let's say 5-10 pieces of wood for a fire... and having a fire every night for the next six months... that's 172 days.... with an average of 7.5 pieces of wood used per day... and at that rate I don't think we'll even have made a noticeable dent in the pile.

My point is that's a lot of happiness, right?

Fire's are intriguing, relaxing, warming, and delightful! I could seriously stare into a fire and let my imagination go for hours! I am looking forward to curling up under a blanket and reading a book or five by the fire. I will enjoy spending time playing in the snow with the dog and then running inside to stand by the fire to warm up only to run out again and play some more. My other favorites are roasting marshmallows over a fire, making pudgy pies, and drinking wine by firelight! Oohhh... and popcorn and movies by fire!

Do you get the impression that you will soon start to hear a lot about things we have done by the fire?

If I was to tell you that I was going to give you a cord of happiness.. err I mean logs ... you now know that's A LOT of happiness!

I will be sure to snap pictures of that big pile of happiness when it's dumped on our drive way later this week!


Rainbow Spotting

On my way home yesterday and I spotted a rainbow!

Well it was less of a full rainbow... and more of a colorful spot in the sky.

Now, don't tell anyone, but I took these snaps while I was driving... I know -- shame on me! But I promise I just turned the camera on (which can do with one hand) and then just pushed the shudder button and hoped for the best.

No real aiming or anything. Not back for pictures from a moving car while driving!

When I see rainbows I automatically think of good luck, leprechauns, and pots of gold. Even at that I can't 100% put my finger on why, but rainbows do make me happy and I always feel special that I was able to see one!

As I kept driving home I started to loose the view of the rainbow because the sun was getting lower and the trees started blocking my special colorful friend.

I found myself day dreaming about colors. What color should I paint my craft room walls? What color should my kitchen be painted to compliment the red tile floor?

I still have no clue, but wouldn't it be cool if their was a color called rainbow? Then every time I saw those walls a big grin would come to my face!

Folks coming to the house may not get it, but I bet it would still make them smile!


1 Year is coming

Being a married lady is awesome!

And, it's fun to think back on the details of my dress.

How nervous I felt when I was waiting for the ceremony to start as we drove over -- my white rose bouquet in my lap.

How complete I felt when we were finally married!

How big a smile I had pasted on my face for the ENTIRE day!

And of course how I still get goosebumps calling Mr. Happy my husband or when he calls me his wife. *contented sigh!*

So, what has prompted this trip of memories? Our one year wedding anniversary is coming up FAST! Like, just a bit over a month fast... and I want to come up with something sweet, memorable, or just plain fun to celebrate our first married year.

It's been a great year. Our dog turned two. We went to the Bronx Zoo, many aquariums and saw beluga whales, toasted with tasty drinks, saw the Giants at a playoff game, changed jobs, got promotions, bought a house, and learned that a whole lot can be thrown at us and that no matter what it is ... we'll survive it.

Ok, so enough mushy stuff. I need your help! Leave me your ideas, or stories, or links with ideas on how to make a one year anniversary celebration really nice.

(pretty please, with sugar, and whipped cream, and cherries, and sprinkles on top!)


Big Tree

Above my deck I now have a really big tree. Well... to be more specific, the big tree has been there this whole time, but the deck is newly mine. I'm in awe of big trees... and when we were looking for house my list of features included a big tree. Mr. Happy would always just tell me that I can plant a tree... but how cool is it to have this big tree already grown and looking magnificant?

So, as I was saying it's above the deck off the back of the house. When you sit there you almost feel like you are in the tree. Actually, not so much any more... Mr Happy chopped a bunch of low hanging branches... so now more sunlight comes through to the deck and the view of the stars from the deck is ah-mazing!

This darling big tree is already showing major signs of fall. Yellow leaves are dropping through the sky like a shower of fresh fall all around you. It's inspiring, it refreshing, it's messy. I have swept the leaves a few times and have a feeling it will be a regular work out for me.

But, sweeping leaves or not sweeping leaves.. I really like this tree and hope I get many years of enjoying it!


The Back Yard's BIG!

So, all's been quiet on the blog front as I have moved, cleaned, unpacked, and settled in to the new home front. It's been tiring... but really rewarding!

I can hardly believe it's been 2 weeks since I have made sure my camera is charged and taken it out for a few snaps. It felt so good to see the world again through a camera lens. I haven't been on any out of the way adventures... it's been house this and house that. So walking around I snapped a few shots and will bring them to you this week.

Can't think of a better way to start the week than with pictures of Katie in the new back yard (or as Mr Happy calls it... the side yard). You can see in her eyes how much she loves the place. First few days were a little rough for her, but she is smitten now. Almost like she's never known any other place than this one.

Oh, and one last thing. I always knew Katie was fast; when she opens up her speed she can really move. We've even previously nicknamed her lightening and gave her the Cake theme song that goes like this, "she's going for distance... she's going for speed...." (you know how that one goes). Well, her speeds have more than tripled!!! INCREDIBLE to see her move at those speeds, cornering, and loving life. Makes me happy to see her doing so well!
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