9 little things I’m loving right now

I like to keep a little list in my bullet journal of the little, everyday, and inexpensive things that are bringing me a disproportionate amount of happy. 

It’s been a while since I shared that list with you, so here goes …

1. Keep Cup. Will and I stumbled upon this unusual travel “mug” at a Southern coffee shop this summer and instantly fell in love. I haven’t used travel mugs much in the past, because the mug quickly takes on the smell (and worse, the taste!) of whatever’s been in it, no matter how carefully I wash it. The Keep Cup is glass, which makes it easy to wash. It’s also easy to drink out of.

We got ours back in August, which would be more than enough time for most travel mugs to take on a funky smell, but ours is still scent-free.

2. Grey pens. Apparently I gushed about grey pens for a full two minutes in my Bullet Journaling for Book Lovers class! I hadn’t intended to—I just got carried away with how much I love them!

For my bullet journal (and pretty much all my other writing) I’ll take a pen over a pencil any day. But I do love how a pencil doesn’t “ghost” in my bullet journal—that is, you can’t see any traces of your writing on the back side of the page. But a good fine grey pen feels like a pen in my hand, but looks like a pencil on the page. And it doesn’t ghost.

My favorites right now are the grey Staedtler fineliners (my old love) and the grey Stabilo 88s (my new crush). Both brands make two shades of grey—a light and a dark. (I prefer the dark.)

If you want to try the grey pens without buying a giant multi-pack, keep an eye out at Target. My local store sells a Staedtler 4-pack of “nature colors” for less than $8. You get burgundy, mustard, forest green, and dark grey.

3. Genius Scan for IOS. In February we bought a house; in March we’re selling a house. Both transactions involved an enormous amount of paperwork. This free mobile app made my life so much easier, by letting me sign and scan the parade of documents that came my way on the go. I’ve loved this app for a long time but the recent update made it even better—now it’s easier to get crisper, cleaner scans without as much effort.

4. Bare Minerals mascara. I’m a sucker for a good makeup kit. You know the kind: the ones who’s packaging says “$98 worth of product for $19!!” I recently stumbled upon a great little set online at Ulta. (It was One Hot Mama, but I can no longer find it available anywhere!)

I bought it because the kit included the Well-Rested Face and Eye Brightener, a product I’ve used off and on for over a decade. I’d never tried Bare Minerals mascara before, but the Flawless Definition mascara included in the kit was a winner.

I’m not a huge makeup person—I don’t own a lot because I don’t wear a lot. But I wear mascara close to every day, and this one works for me.

5. Coral. Spring is here—according to the calendar, if not necessarily the forecast—and nothing says spring to me like this cheerful color. (I tried to order a coral sweater though, which made me realize that I may love the color, but that doesn’t mean I want to wear that much of it. That sweater, though lovely, has been returned, and in its place I found this perky, pretty pop of color.)

6. Good coffee. A few weeks ago, our newish coffee grinder broke, which suddenly meant no more freshly-ground, freshly brewed coffee at home. We were only grinder-less for two or three weeks, but that experience has renewed my appreciation for great coffee at home. (Another thing I’m loving right now: a good warranty!)

7. Deodorant in a jar. I know, I know, this sounds totally weird, and maybe TMI. I’m a longtime fan of Dove Clinical, except that it makes my skin super irritated after wearing it two or three days in a row. So I went searching for gentler alternatives and am really happy with one of my finds: Schmidt’s deodorant jar. Mine is lavender and sage, and I found it at Grove Collaborative. Putting it on is a tiny bit of a pain but it’s a much more pleasant experience over all.

8. Good tea. I’ve been drinking a lot more of the stuff lately, and am really enjoying it. My little wire mesh tea balls all broke at the same time, so I spent a whopping $15 on this little Rishi tea maker. One of the reasons I’m drinking more is that it’s so easy to brew.

I’m a longtime fan of Rishi—I especially love their turmeric ginger—and I’ve also been drinking a ton of new-to-me Plum Deluxe. I found them when they reached out to sponsor the podcast, and have been drinking multiple cups a day of Meadow Walk, a caffeine-free blend. I also like their Self-Care and Reading Nook (I mean, obviously).

Because they are a podcast sponsor, they created a special offer for you guys: try the $10/month Plum Deluxe tea of the month subscription by April 6th and get a free Reading Nook blend tea (or any other kind you’d like to try). Just enter “Friend of Modern Mrs Darcy” in the “how did you hear about us” box when you join and your bonus will be applied after your signup is processed.

March is also Caffeine Awareness Month. All month long, when you add $28 or more worth of low caffeine teas to your cart and use the code DECAF, they’ll take $7 off your order. You can even combine these promotions so order before the month is out!

(I’m not obligated to mention this here; I’m sharing as a fan and tea-drinker.)

9. OK Go. A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old was losing his mind in the waiting room of an after-school appointment gone horribly, horribly wrong. (When I scheduled they assured me we’d be out of there by 4:30, and at 6pm he was melting into a puddle, poor kid.)

I had a burst of inspiration and loaded a random OK Go video on my phone … and it was magic. (Airplane + zero gravity + paintballs.) And then we watched it again. And again and again. No matter your age, this is super cool, and to really appreciate it don’t miss the behind the scenes video. Incredible.

What little, not-hugely-significant things are bringing YOU a disproportionate amount of happy lately? I’d love to hear in comments.


Leave A Comment
  1. marijo storm hinton says:

    A new pair of scissors really lifts my spirits.(you said little things). I have sewing shears, pinking shears, applique shears, embroidery shears, etc., etc. I have no idea why, but I love my shears and look forward to finding yet a different kind of shears.

    • Jennifer N. says:

      I agree with this wholeheartedly! New pair of scissors, new socks – all simple things that just make my heart a little lighter when I have them :-).

  2. Do you have tea flavor recommendations you’d recommend? I gave up coffee for lent in the hopes I’d develop an affinity for tea, but so far, no luck. I’ll happily take any suggestions for flavors for a newbie tea drinker.

    • Andy Hayes says:

      Hi Julia! Plum Deluxe has had pretty good luck with coffee drinkers with their hazelnut orange tea called “Oregon Breakfast” – the hazelnut kind of reads like coffee. (There’s also a blackberry hazelnut tea called Breakfast in Bed that is similar.) Try it and make it like you make your coffee, see what you think. :0

    • Lisa Z says:

      You might like Traditional Medicinal’s Roasted Dandelion Root tea as a coffee substitute (other brands might have a similar tea, like Mountain Rose Herbs online–not sure about Rishi though). Don’t expect it to taste like coffee, but it is dark and rich kinda like coffee. There’s also a powdered product called Dandy Blend, which to me is the closest sub. for coffee I’ve found. I like that particular product with almond milk creamer, though if I have coffee I always drink black coffee.

      • Cris says:

        I’ve been a coffee lover for years, but every once in a while I would find myself needing to detox (addicted and grumpy). I always got myself past the debilitating headaches from the lack of caffeine with green tea. I can’t remember when I decided to try the Traditional Medicinals Roasted Dandelion Root, but over the past year or so, I’ve completely lost my taste for coffee (to the extent that I kind of miss the experience.) I use one bag of the dandelion root and one bag of Bigelow green tea in a biggish mug. I don’t know why I like it, but I do! I still love the smell of a person who just walked out of Starbucks, though!

    • Anne says:

      I’m mostly an herbal tea drinker (Rishi turmeric ginger and Unity, Plum Deluxe Meadow Walk and Self Care), although I do love a good cinnamon chai. And old school Constant Comment remains a favorite.

  3. Caitlin says:

    I love my Keep Cup. I’ve had one of the plastic ones for a couple of years and haven’t had a problem with it smelling strange (though my tea does stain it, I find putting it in a bowl of warm water with some Milton for half an hour cleans it up).
    My favourite thing about my Keep Cup is that when the seal broke on the lid (user error), I didn’t have to buy a whole new cup, I just bought a replacement for the part that was broken. The same goes for all of the parts I believe, so no filling landfill with perfectly usable things due to one broken part! (Sorry, I could go on for ever about how much I love them!).

    The little thing I am loving at the moment is my fountain pen. I had been using a ballpoint at work for ages (not even a good one, just whatever was sitting in the bottom of my work bag) and got frustrated with it leaking and so pulled out my Lamy fountain pen with turquoise ink – I’ve had ever so many compliments!

  4. Jennifer N. says:

    Thank you for the OK Go video recommendation. My youngest usually gets pretty bored during his oldest’s appointments, even when toys are available. This should help with the next one, just 4 hours away now!

    I will have to look out for gray pens. Ghosting doesn’t bother me TOO much in my bullet journal, but I am always down for new ink colors. (I’m a picky pen person, too – my favorites right now are the Pilot G5s in black – RT of course because I can’t keep track of pen caps.)

  5. Lazyretirementgirl says:

    Thanks for the genius scan suggestion. I do my scanning with a horrid old H-P 5 in one printer which I hate, so the app is transformative. On a positive note, my daffodils, and the morning light on them and the small golden onyx fountain near them.

  6. Karyn says:

    Schmidt’s Deodorant is my favorite!!! I used the cream at first but now I’ve been using the roll on and love it. I used to have issues with regular deodorant causing irritation and I tried a lot of natural ones. Schmidt’s is the only one that keeps me smelling fresh all day! I love the Cedarwood and Juniper and Lavender and Sage! They have a new charcoal magnesium one that I’d like to try. Seriously I could go on and on about these! Who thought deodorant would make me giddy!!!!

  7. Kristy says:

    Did you know Schmidts makes deodarnt in a stick? That deodarent is one of my favorites and I was so happy to see they’d started making it in the stick too. And it’s on Amazon!

  8. Mary says:

    Spring always means new life…..that makes me happy in itself! And the crocuses and daffodils and hellebores blooming makes me giddy. Once in the ground, they just arrive every year! Love bulbs.

  9. Abby says:

    Yes! I switched to Schmidt’s deodorant and while ago and was so impressed with a natural deodorant that actually works, feels, and smell great! My target started carrying the bergamot and lime in a stick version and I love it- way easier to apply and replace when I run out.

  10. Gina Elder says:

    I use grey Staedtler fineliners in my bullet journal, too. But I use them for titles so they aren’t too distracting. I’m loving my Pilot Vanishing Point (retractable fountain pen) & Noodler’s Heart of Darkness ink. I don’t mind ghosting in my bujo. I gave up coffee this year, so I’m all about the tea. ?

  11. Sarah D. says:

    Just curious if there’s an advantage to using the Schmidt’s deodorant in jar form rather than the stick (which is what I’ve been using).

    • Angela says:

      I’ve had that tea brewer for about 2 years now. It’s amazing. It’s a perfect size for one cup. I guess you could compare it to a french press although you don’t press down you pour out but the rim prevents the tea leaves from coming through.

  12. Mary says:

    I thought I was the only one who had an affinity for a grey pen above black or blue! I’ve been enjoying the Staedtler too.

  13. Jennifer says:

    JetPens.com has Stabilo pens in various shades of grey available for purchase one at a time without having to buy an entire pack of colors you may not need. They run $1.00 each!!

  14. Suzy says:

    Any pen recommendations for left handed folks like me, who live with a black hand and a smear?
    My simple thing is my Neutrogena Color Stick, particularly since I just found it after it went missing for three days. (it was Indy jeans pocket).

  15. Dana says:

    New underwear ( I always feel so pampered when I do this) and new low profile socks ( that actually stay put) for wearing with my Converse sneakers.
    Scones! I am loving a good scone as my go-to treat. I do not like really sweet things like donuts or cake. Scones have just enough sweetness. Love a cinnamon or dark chocolate chip scone. Need to find a good recipe so I can make them at home. Clean Snax Almond bites. They are tiny bit sized treats made with almonds, flax seed. chia seeds and a little honey. Crunchy and small. They go great with Earl Grey tea! Lemon-lime sparkling water. I do not drink soda, but occasionally I want something with fizz. Just a hint of flavor and very refreshing when cold. Makes a good wine substitute, too, if you are counting calories. My new purse which is large enough for a book, a sketchbook and a bag of pens and pencils, plus everything else I need!

  16. Becky says:

    Lollipops! A few weeks ago I was buying candy for some treat bags. So ended up with a bunch of leftover lollipops. I am a snacker, and overweight but have lost several pounds the last few weeks and I “blame” this on the lollipops. I have been keeping a small condiment cup on my desk with my current lolli on it. And just take a few licks from time to time. Have not been going to the snack cupboard nearly as much!!

  17. Heather says:

    I ordered some tea after your Instagram post and I’m excited to give it a try! Also, OK Go videos are a favorite around our house! I think our favorite is I Won’t Let You Go. Incredible! All of their videos are so fun and creative!!

  18. Tara says:

    I love Genius Scan! Oh, my gosh! After my old computer died, I refused to buy new equipment (printer, scanner, etc.) to match the updated operating system, etc.; I’m so thankful for easy technology!

  19. Grace says:

    Schmidt’s is the deodorant I use regularly as well! I have had issues getting rashes with so many different deodorants. Also, I was given a Melaleuca Herbal Deodorant at Christmas time, and it’s been wonderful too. And it’s in a normal twist tube if you prefer to go back to that you could try it out.

  20. Angela says:

    So I love your #7 and #8 although Schmidts has a great stick deodorant. I was using Native which is wonderful but since I have a standing Grove order I’ve found it easier to transition to Schmidts since that’s what Grove’s carries and it’s easy on my skin. Win win. AND I LOVE that little tea pot. It makes a cup that fits perfect in one of my things I love – my starbucks YAH mugs that I collect from cities I’ve traveled to. We just moved and I’ve replaced all of my dishes so we have white plates, bowls everything. But instead of buying the white coffee mugs that go with the places I’m using those starbucks mugs.

  21. Janice says:

    Honestly. ..your our book lists. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading for personal enjoyment for years and years but this is my year and your lists are my information, inspiration and delight. I happily wander around the library finding titles written in my journal. I love the evenings when I read. ..and then I talk about the books to anyone who will listen. Your emails, book lists and blog are my happy right now! ! Thanks.

  22. Sarah says:

    The Dollar General in our town carries this little off-brand chocolate bar called Five Bites (or something like that. I eat it so fast the wrapper is out of my hands before I get a good look at it). The truffle bar filled with milk chocolate is SO good, it reminds me a little of the butterscotch squares at See’s Candies—though not quite the nirvana experience. Anyway, they’re 50 cents a pop, so I feel no qualms about the cost:happiness ratio. 🙂

    Also, I love Post-It Tabs. I recently streamlined my menu/recipe binder with them, and put a couple in my bullet journal to quickly find often-referenced pages instead of using the journal’s bookmarks, because I’m that lazy.

  23. Was it the set producer for the OK Go videos who Laura talked to on Smartest Person in the Room? I think I watched one of the videos and it was so fun! I will have to show my big (8 and 6) kids.

    I’m having a love affair with Harmey and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea. It is divine! Also Aldi has a seasonal cinnamon spice coffee that is totally different but really good.

    Right now I’m loving my new (from eBay) FitBit, Spotify premise playlists, and baking cakes.

    • Hey, there, Jessie Weaver! I haven’t seen you in awhile! I should probably work on my coffee addiction and that Aldi blend may not help, it sounds yum!

      I’m just loving one thing the most at the moment–the memory foam topper on our bed. 8 days in a different bed brings out a whole new appreciation for my own!

    • Anne says:

      Oh my goodness, that is STILL my favorite episode of Laura’s show. (I’m not sure if he is always their set guy but he produced the video they shot in a Brooklyn warehouse. That interview gave me even more appreciation for the skills and work of EVERYONE involved!)

  24. Ginger says:

    I’m a little older than seven, but my go-to short video for when I want a little smile is the Pixar short “La Luna.” It gives me all the feels.

    • Caitlin says:

      Mine is the either the Disney Paperman animated short or (from quite a few years ago) the T-Mobile “Welcome Back” advert. They both make me smile.

  25. Wendy says:

    Already warm in North Texas so I am enjoying my homemade cold brew decaf coffee with cream. Sleeping with no blankets, light out at 7 and 8 pm, avocados with everything, slaw made with lime juice as the dressing and gelatin smoothie poppers! And my Dutch iris have bloomed! A bit too soon but they are beautiful! Oh, and a field trip to a new store tomorrow with a friend, an Indian bazar……..I am sure this will make me happy!!!

  26. Diana says:

    Blue will always and forever be my favorite color but I’ve had a color crush on coral for the last 2 years but, like you, I haven’t found a shade that works with my hair and skin tone to wear! I’ve had to settle for random home items and nail polish. =) Love that necklace!

  27. Judy H. says:

    Every “color test” or “color consult” I have ever been through has always indicated that coral is a NO for me. Yet, I am terribly attracted to it, I three coral sweaters, a coral blouse and a coral athletic wear 1/2 top. I never get as many compliments as I do when I wear coral!

  28. amanda june says:

    Thanks for the app recommendation!
    I love coral too and have been looking for a coral crossbody bag to replace my cheap falling-apart one, but alas, all is neutrals and blush pink.

    Little things for me: a fun manicure that’s totally different from anything I’ve done before (Pinterest-inspired via a blog, randomly: https://photo.stylegawker.com/wp-content/uploads/style/2015/02/219560.jpg), good coffee (always) and roasting it too, winding down for bed slow and early (not working/staying busy until right before bed), Homeland’s plot finally picking up. 😉 Oh, and speaking of apps, I used a mind-mapping app (XMind Cloud) for the first time this morning to organize my thoughts before a meeting. I’ve done this sort of thing on paper before, but I liked this app a lot — convenient for the subway.

  29. Leigh says:

    I’m currently loving that both my Florida Gators and my kid’s Baylor Bears are still alive in the NCAA Basketball tournament. I’d be watching all the March Madness even if our teams were out but it’s lots more fun with them in.

  30. I love Ok Go! Their music is so fun and the videos are memorizing.
    I recently bought my first wood cutting board, and wow, cutting veggies is such a better experience. I would still love for someone to do it for me, but if I have to do it, it is going to be on the wood cutting board.

  31. Nan says:

    That is a nice list. My list usually includes a book and knitting. These two are a must everywhere I go. Thank you for sharing your list. I recently discover your site via someone else’s blog about favorite reading list. I get so excited when I see your email in my inbox. Thank you again.

  32. Melanie says:

    Geese make me very very happy. It’s a relatively new development too. Last summer the pond near my church housed 2 sets of parents and babies and I would just stop and watch them. They make me practically giddy and it embarrasses my kids.

  33. Adrienne says:

    Well, I signed up for one tea a month with Plum Deluxe and entered the code but did not see any option to select the bonus tea as stated above. Did I miss something?

  34. Karenlynna says:

    I just have to say how I love this community of readers because all of you, like Anne, are so interesting to me. If I catch a MMD post early I always check back later to read all the wonderful (wonder-filled) comments.

  35. Shelly Akins says:

    Phone lanyard. I work at a church and rarely have pockets in my skirts or dresses (but dresses with pockets is another thing to LOVE!). Enter phone lanyard! I can carry my phone around with me all the time in case I have a parent or volunteer emergency (I work with kids and families). I can also listen to my favorite podcasts or audio books as I’m wandering around the church campus during the week. It also keeps me from setting my phone down and forgetting where I put it. However, this does still happen.

    • Christa says:

      Hi Anne! Give meow meow tweets’ deoderant a try. Goes on easier than schmidt’s and they have an awesome baking soda free version for sensitive skin. Lately enjoying my slipper socks during this last push of winter.

      • Shelly says:

        It is amazing! I got mine on Amazon. It’s a silicone phone case holder. That’s what they call it, but there are several different kinds. Mine has straps that go around my phone and criss-cross on the back. Honestly, it’s a lifesaver!

  36. Anna says:

    I’m going to be *really* honest.

    1. Chocolate bars
    2. Coffee with 1/2 & 1/2 (more than one cup a day)
    3. My two girls’ faces and expressions
    4. Reading a Psalm every day
    5. Homeschool Sisters podcast
    6. Educating Well by Alicia Hutchinson blog
    7. Salad and Vegetables
    8. Whole milk Fage yogurt mixed with Brown Cow maple yogurt; Strauss maple yogurt
    9. Ikea 10 year anniversary special deals in my city. Some as low as 10c or 25c on really neat different things each week!

    Okay there’s nine, while two people came in the room talking loudly, breaking my concentration! But maybe this is accurate.

  37. Byrd says:

    My new bookmarks from carrot top paper shop! (Thank you!)

    The occasional weekday lunch with my husband, kid-free

    Friday afternoon goal setting/check-ins, with monster cookie from nearby deli

    Little pile of Persephone titles that I just got in the mail (I just want to pet them)

  38. Sheilah says:

    Holy Hannah! If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, be prepared to be flattered. From the NYT Book review email I get: “And something completely new: The NYT BR is pleased and excited to introduce Match Book, our new literary advice column….Tell us what you like reading, what you dislike, and what you’re looking for.” They then have a columnist answer one letter per week with “literary advice.” Or as I like to call it, total WSIRN RIP OFF!

  39. Jill D says:

    Uniqlo room shoes. They are $15.00 and extremely comfortable and are helping to preserve our wood floors. We have multiple pairs and they are tucked all over the house.

  40. Carol says:

    I’m going to nab that tea deal. They both sound divine. The rishi pot is only one cup? I’d like it to be at least two cups. I make my tea rather stout and refill hot water a few times. But I’ve been seriously considering a press pot for my teas. I use one for coffee. So I am going to look into it a bit more. Love these suggestions. Grey as an all purpose writing color isn’t something I would have ever thought of trying.

    • Mary Ann Garcia says:

      Right now I am loving my collection of spring bulbs bloom. I purchased around 200 bulbs when I went to Holland last spring and almost a year later I am finally enjoying the show. (And for all you loose tea lovers, I couldn’t get through the day without my Teavana spring release tea brewer. Check it out.)

        • Mary Ann Garcia says:

          Yes! I purchased the bulbs in Holland just outside of Leiden. While visiting the Keukenhof Gardens, I had the distinct pleasure of perusing their catalogue of bulbs and made my order. In October I received my shipment of bulbs. And voila, six months later beautiful tulips, crocuses, hyacinth, muscari and loads of daffodils. Happy Spring.

  41. Love all these little happies! I’m going to have to check out that glass coffee mug. I wonder though–does it work to keep your coffee hot longer? I’m a slow drinker and my coffee tends to get cold if it’s not in something that will keep it insulated.

    Also great idea about the OK Go videos! Everyone is out of school tomorrow for bad weather, so I may have to pull out those fun videos when my kids are going berserk sometime early afternoon!

  42. Rebecca says:

    I printed out your reading journal in January and have been tracking the books I read for the first time. I’ve always thought I ought to keep a list of the books I read, but I did not realize how much joy it would give me to look back over the list! Thank you!

  43. Cheri says:

    I’m excited about the Keep Cup. I do not like the taste of metal (and plastic is out, of course). Now I need a glass water bottle, for now I use a canning jar!
    I’m loving the Purely Elizabeth granola’s at Target. They’re GF, Non GMO, low glycemic…in other words they have all the politically correct initials. But they also taste good. The Cranberry Pecan is my favorite. And because it’s Target they are a good value. I keep a bag on hand when we are on road trips.

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