7 not terribly exciting things that are making me really happy these days

7 not terribly exciting things that are making me really happy these days

Today I’m sharing some summer favorites, though not quite the traditional way. Some are free, one is a little pricey, but all are very, very simple, and making me irrationally happy on a near-daily basis during these hot hot summer months.

1. Lucy’s Cons

Converse All-Stars have always struck me as happy shoes, and my 10-year-old’s new color seems like the happiest.

2. Cold cans of sparkling water

This is embarrassing, because we have a Sodastream (this one) and I really like it. A lot. But what I really like is to be able to grab a can of something on my way out the door, especially if it’s flavored with grapefruit juice or raspberry and lime. So basically I’m addicted to Spindrift.

You can find it in some delis, and at Costco, and my local Trader Joe’s just started carrying it. But what made me REALLY happy was stumbling upon a great Sprindrift deal when I was at Costco last week. They’re replacing the variety pack I buy with a new flavor combo. Long term, this is bad news, because the new pack includes orange mango and I am allergic to mango in the way most people are allergic to poison ivy. But short term, the old variety pack was on clearance for dirt cheap, so we bought them all. That would be 5 packs x 24 cans. My kids thought I was crazy but seeing my fridge stocked with grapefruit Spindrift makes me really happy.

3. Instant Pot eggs

I’ve never minded making hard-boiled eggs (or soft-boiled, which I like even more but don’t have the patience to make every morning). Fill your pot, boil your water, set your timer … it’s no big deal.

But peeling them is another story: that part is a big deal, or at least it was until I started making them in the Instant Pot. There’s something about cooking under pressure that makes the eggs super easy to peel, which means we’re making—and actually eating—lots of hard-boiled eggs this summer.

I do mine for 5 minutes at low pressure, but if you want an in-depth tutorial (and more science on why it works) I like this one.

4. tiny star fields

It’s a twitter account that tweets tiny constellations throughout the day, injecting some serenity into my twitter feed (which I am checking less and less, because I can’t stop thinking about this TEDx talk).

Related accounts I love: tiny astronaut, tiny gardens, and infinite deserts.

5. Desk drawers …

aka “organization.” I haven’t had a desk with drawers in years and because of the way this file cabinet is positioned, I have drawers again. (And another thanks to this computer stand, a Target impulse buy.) Plus now I have easy access for filing papers, which means it’s actually getting done.

One of my back-to-school resolutions—even though I’m not the one going back to school—is to keep things organized, so I don’t waste time looking for my stuff. To a large degree, I just need to do it—but having the right tools sure makes it easier.

6. My steamer

Back in April, I shared 6 mini-resolutions for spring, including completing the cycle more often. Specifically, the laundry cycle. Dozens of you commented to say some version of the same thing: get a steamer! So I did. And it’s amazing.

None of you told me which steamer I should get, and it turns out there are a bunch out there, so through a combination of reviews and dumb luck I landed on this one and I really like it. Will and I both use it a ton. It’s so much easier than an iron, but what I really love is our clothes don’t pile up on the ironing board like they used to. Instead of using it in the laundry room, we keep it in our bathroom, near our clothes closet. If anything needs freshening up before we get dressed in the morning, we plug it in and it’s ready in one minute. It’s also easy to pack for trips, so you don’t have to look rumpled even if you’re living out of a suitcase.

Readers, thanks again for the hot tip!

7. My 5-star stamp

First, the bad news: you can’t buy this. My friend (and MMD team member) Katie had it custom-made, by her husband, on his new toy aka 3d printer. I LOVE IT. I use this to stamp a 5-star outline (in my reading journal, of course) and then color in the appropriate star rating.

If we ever add new products to the Modern Mrs Darcy shop, this will be one of them. In the meantime, a similar stamp is available on Etsy (although you’d have to ink carefully to use this in your reading journal), and if you have access to a 3d printer, this is the link to print the same stamp, courtesy of Katie.

Do you have any current favorite things that are bringing you irrational amounts of happiness right now? I’d love to hear about them—particularly if they’re of the not-traditionally-exciting variety.

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  1. I am in our small rented summer cottage. In the village nearby there is a candy plant. As i am a diabetic i am so happy as they sell at least 12 differents sorts of sugerfree candy. The price is awesome and the taste is 5+. They also sell sugerfree icecream cones. This is so hard to find in my hometown. So happiness is my little 1room and kitchen cottage and to be here during summertime

  2. Mary Ann Garcia says:

    My go to drink this summer is an iced Mandarin Mimosa made with loose tea from Teavana served in an very tall insulated travel cup. It puts a smile on my face as I walk outside into rising temperatures.

  3. Steph says:

    I just found one of my favorite childhood books on ebay for about $7. It arrived at my house today, and I, in a flurry of happiness, exclaimed to my sister, “Look! It has a library punch card in the back from 1985!!” She thinks I’m nuts. I guess libraries are just my thing.

  4. Susan says:

    I love Instant Pot eggs! We get farm-fresh eggs from a neighbor and even they are incredibly easy to peel after a steam bath in the IP.

    On Sunday my 6 year old asked me to make deviled eggs (while I was elbow deep in a different project, of course). I had two hard boiled eggs in the fridge (I usually make a half dozen once a week and keep them in the fridge for quick breakfasts or snacks) and I told him that I would talk him through making them himself. He was so thrilled to mash the yolks, add mayo and mustard, and refilled the whites. He even insisted on sprinkling on paprika, and is now hounding me to make more hard boiled eggs so he can “devil” them.

    I guess I know what he’s going to take for lunch this school year!

  5. Lisa Z says:

    My favorite things this summer:
    1. I just discovered matcha lattes with hot water, a bit of almond milk, coconut oil, a scoop of bone broth powder, and a little maple syrup. Really tasty and more sustainable energy than coffee. Plus, really good for me!
    2. Grantchester on PBS. A swoon-worthy season this year.
    3. Keeping a journal of the wildlife we see visiting our backyard pond (we just moved into this house last December so seeing Great Blue Herons, owls, otters, deer, etc., is still very new and exciting to us).
    4. Your blog, Anne, and all the book recommendations from both you and your readers. I’m reading the Jane Austen Project right now and it’s so intriguing. Thank you!

  6. Deborah says:

    Water cups. How dumb is that? We spend a lot of time in the car over the summer. I got myself a few tervis cups with straws and just love the ease of sipping water while driving. However, no matter the amount of nagging, my kids never take anything and then always want to drink mine.
    I have finally gotten each of them a similar cup. Now, whenever we leave the house, I fill up four cups and out we go. Our drives are so much nicer now. The little things!

  7. Renee Brooke says:

    Your picture is lovely of your new filing cabinet under you desk and your new computer monitor riser. But, can you tell me where you got your desk? I love the sleek design and it goes perfect with that filing cabinet.

  8. Sophia says:

    Setting up my 4th Bullet journal. A 900+page book on my Kindle that I’m loving, recommended by you. Also those coins are a great color but I’m more interested in the rug they are sitting on. Those colors! Care to share?

  9. Nicole H. says:

    FYI: My costco told me they stopped carrying spindrift. I haven’t tried it yet, but am headed to TJ’s today. Sounds just my style. For those without an insta-pot you can steam eggs in a steamer basket with the same results – science courtesy of Cooks Illustrated.

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