6 (mostly) little things I’m loving this spring

6 (mostly) little things I’m loving this spring

I like to keep a list in my bullet journal of the (mostly) little, everyday things bringing me a disproportionate amount of happiness these days. A recent sampling:

1. (Actually drinking my) water.

Somehow this winter I’ve finally gotten in the habit of carrying around a water bottle. (I have one of these, and I really like it.) I have to fill one up for my 6am workout, and I’ve been keeping it filled throughout the day. (I know some of you have been doing this your whole lives, but for me this is a big change.)

I told you all many moon ago that I’m a big fan of lemon water, and you heartily recommended True Lemon. I bought some immediately but only started using it recently, dumping a packet in my water bottle when I fill it. THANK YOU. (And what took me so long?) It makes that water bottle so much more appealing.

My kids love it, too, and are begging to try True Lime. And I just noticed the True Grapefruit, and I LOVE grapefruit. (If you have any experience with either, would you tell me in comments?)

2. Target plastic organizers.

Like many of you, I have mixed feeling about Marie Kondo’s advice, but I’m grateful for her advice to organize your drawers with Apple boxes. She’s right: the shapes and sizes are wonderful for corralling pens and makeup and post-its and bookmarks. When I ran out of Apple boxes (almost immediately, let’s be honest), I moved on to Birchbox boxes, which are also pretty great.

But I finally reached the tipping point where I wanted more organization and less cardboard, and was delighted to find these organizers near the bathroom stuff at Target. They’re simple, not terribly expensive, and available in two sizes. I sprang for several of each, and now they’re doing a great job sorting my makeup and toiletries in the bathroom and my tea and odds and ends in the kitchen, because I love being able to see what’s in my drawers at a glance.

3. Mario Badescu skincare.

I discovered Mario Badescu a decade ago, when a local shop gave me samples and packaged them up in a branded bag. I left said shop, bag in hand, and walked next door to the stationery store, where three different customers, seeing my bag in hand, stopped me and said Did you get that in town? Tell me where! I’d never heard of the brand before, but clearly people loved it.

I’m a convert: their stuff is easy to use, smells good, a good value for the money, and works great for my sensitive skin. I’ve been delighted to see it pop up recently in more-trafficked places, like Anthropologie (which is doing a stellar job of late curating a nice selection of beauty brands). This $14 enzyme cleansing gel is a favorite.

4. The Chompers podcast for kids.

This two-minute twice-daily podcast is perfectly timed for kids to brush their teeth. My littles ask to listen to it while they brush, which means they brush—for two whole minutes. Genius.

5. New leggings, finally.

I wear leggings to work out; my daughter wears them nearly every day to school. (She has a uniform, and she sticks to it!) We both needed new ones: me because I had none, and she because hers were trashed.

We took stock of our needs and our options before we went shopping, and realized this: my lululemon yoga pants are still going strong after 9 years of wear and hundreds of washes, and her Target and GapBody leggings are trashed after less than a year. (So many holes!)

And so we decided to spring for the good stuff. I found some new lululemon leggings I love and adore (the In Movement tight) and she loves the adorable Athleta leggings she got for her birthday. They’re a splurge, but if I can avoid going shopping for another few years, it will totally be worth it. (Do you have any favorite workout/athleisure brands or items? Please tell me in comments, we could use your recommendations!)

6. My cute little teapot.

“Little” being relative of course. I adore my simple single-cup tea brewer, but sometimes I want to make more than one cup—for myself or to share. I’ve been looking for the perfect tea pot for a ridiculously long time but always got bogged down in the copious adorable options.

I finally decided to just pick something and am so happy with my choice. I don’t know if this is The One Perfect Tea Pot for All Time but right now I am loving the Curve teapot, in aqua, although if I could justify owning six identical teapots I would buy one in every color. It’s pretty and practical, doesn’t spill, has a terrific diffuser, and is basically getting me through our string of rainy/snowy/sleety spring days.

I bought mine from Harney and Sons (stock up on tea when you order!), but Amazon carries the same model.

What (mostly) little things are bringing YOU a disproportionate amount of happy lately? I’d love to hear in comments.

P.S. Previous editions of little things I’m loving: 5 late fall/early winter favorites, 7 little January favorites, 9 October favorites, and 7 not terribly exciting things making me really happy these days.

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66 comments

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  1. I cannot stand lukewarm tea, so I finally started using my Teavana tumbler at work instead of a mug. It keeps tea hot for hours, which is helpful when I get distracted and don’t drink it right away. I’m also thoroughly enjoying the glimpses of sunlight starting to peek through at 6:30am when I leave the house in the morning. Driving to work during a sunrise instead of dark skies is a complete mood booster.

  2. Kat says:

    I like the basic leggings Express has. They are thick enough to wear on their on but I also wear them under jeans. I had to patch a knee on one after losing a fight with a bush while decorating for Halloween, but, other than that, they all have been holding up great.

  3. I simply adore my Ember mug that keeps my coffee at the perfect temperature for hours on end. It charges and is controlled by an app on my phone. It was a Christmas gift from my husband that brings me joy every single morning.

  4. SMG says:

    I stumbled upon True Lemon and True Lime a few years ago. I prefer to squeeze a whole real lemon into my water (I love sour, so eating an entire lemon is no problem for me) – but when I travel it’s nice to take packets with me. I am on a very restricted diet, so when I had to do a colonoscopy prep I used the lemon packets to flavor the gallon of “stuff” I had to drink.
    However, I read the fine print on the Real Lime box – and the stash that I have contains soy, which is a no-no for me. So out those went. Just the true, real round limes for me! 🙂

    • Nichole says:

      Thank you! I also can not do soy (I’m genuinely allergic to it…not that there’s anything wrong with just choosing not to eat it!) and obviously I always read labels, but it was good to know to lookout on this!

    • Brandyn says:

      I’ve tried other beverages that use Stevia as a sweetener and always find them to have an awfully bitter aftertaste. Does anyone have that issue with the True Citrus varieties?

      • Jo says:

        Their limeade/lemonade varieties might have some kind of sweetener, but I have never tried those before. Their crystallized lemon and lime products don’t have any sweetener.

  5. Jenna says:

    I love the Zella Live in Leggings sold at Nordstrom. They are usually part of their annual sale as well. I’ve never had lulu, but some of the reviews say they are just as good as lulu.

    • Amy says:

      I was coming here to write about Zella. I read somewhere they’re actually made in the same factory with LuLu Lemon and it’s a little inside secret. I have four pair that I rotate through daily, wearing them to workout as much as to go about daily life, with a long sweater and boots. They HOLD UP. I’ll say that I have Gap leggings too, the athletic ones. They’ve also held up well, and I get a lot of compliments when I wear them. Old Navy and Target have been a total waste of money for me. Zella for the win. $54 a pair is reasonable, I feel, for how long they last.

  6. molly says:

    We loooove the True Lemon brand packets!! I buy the citrus sampler on Amazon (lemon & lime & grapefruit) and it’s the best!! Grapefruit is my fave:)

  7. Whitney says:

    I live in my old navy yoga compression pants – I wear them as leggings, but they’re a bit thicker and more substantial, which I really like. Plus there’s always clearance and a big selection. Mostly I just grab the black ones in different lengths. They’re great for when it’s a bit colder and layering, but I also wear them when it’s warmer with a tunic.

  8. Kar says:

    I love Zella leggings. Have had them for years. The style gets old before they do. Available at Nordstrom and the Rack and I usually get a pair or two at the anniversary sale. I also fell in love this winter with fleece lined leggings. I found my first pair at LL bean. $75.00 Pricey but I love them. Living in New England I wore them a lot so it was worth every penny I did find a less expensive brand called avalanche at TJ Maxx that I also have enjoyed this winter. So Cozy!! I use my Contigo leak proof mug for my Yogi tea. Steps and keeps it warm for a long time. Throw it in my bag to bring it to work and no mishaps. Thank you for all the great ideas

    • Brandyn says:

      I bought a pair of Zella sweatpants during Nordstrom’s annual sale and I LOVE them. I’ve dropped 30 lbs and need to size down, but the price increase since the sale is over is holding me back. I should probably suck it up since I love them and put them on every day after work.

  9. Kar says:

    I love Zella leggings. Have had them for years. The style gets old before they do. Available at Nordstrom and the Rack and I usually get a pair or two at the anniversary sale. I also fell in love this winter with fleece lined leggings. I found my first pair at LL bean. $75.00 Pricey but I love them. Living in New England I wore them a lot so it was worth every penny I did find a less expensive brand called avalanche at TJ Maxx that I also have enjoyed this winter. So Cozy!! I use my Contigo leak proof mug for my Yogi tea. Steeps and keeps it warm for a long time. Throw it in my bag to bring it to work and no mishaps. Thank you for all the great ideas

  10. Ioana says:

    I didn’t even know there was a cosmetics line called Mario Badescu. That he’s a fellow Romanian is an even greater thing I learned today!

  11. Cindy says:

    I had the opposite experience with lululemon leggings. I bought my daughters and I leggings and tops for Christmas and we all commented on how bally and almost sticky they were after a few washes (in 3 different machines and dryers). My Champion leggings and track pants from Target last for years. And I can get 3 or 4 pairs for the price of one lululemon pair. Taking a sip of water with True Grapefruit now 🙂 Cheers and thank you for your blog!

    • Lisa Zahn says:

      Same here! I “invested” in Lululemon yoga pants a few years ago and can’t stand the fabric. It feels so weird and pilly and lint sticks to them like crazy, and if their fabric means I have to take special care to wash them, forget it! I also much prefer the Target C9 leggings, as well as some REI running leggings I got secondhand–much nicer fabric feel and so far they’ve lasted me for years.

    • Megan says:

      Your mistake might have been the dryer. Care instructions for Lulu Lemon leggings clearly state that they should be hung to dry and not go in the dryer. Not a bad rule for most clothing, it will last longer. My daughter’s Lulu leggings have lasted for years. If they get a hole etc, you can take them into the store and they will repair it for free!

      • Cindy says:

        My daughters may have dried them in heat, but I wash mine on gentle and put them in the dryer on “No heat” to fluff them a bit (a minute at the most) and they still got pilly and stuck together. Not a fan for the price.

  12. Kate says:

    There are a couple things I can think of bringing me joy right now. We had a Solatube skylight put in our kids’ bathroom and it makes what was a dark hole of a room into a much more pleasant place to be. And it came with a solar-powered nightlight, which is also delightful. I’m also really enjoying Thredup right now. I’ve been working on creating my own uniform – mostly focused on a narrowly defined color palette – and my last order contained five shirts that perfectly fit in my plan. I’m actually wearing one of them right now!

  13. Kathleen says:

    I love the leggings from Girlfriend Collective. They fabric is just the right thickness and they hold their shape forever with a super comfortable and wide waistband. They also are made with environmentally friendly, recycled materials and celebrate women of all body shapes in their advertising.

  14. Denise P says:

    Does anyone know of good leggings/yoga pants with a longer inseam? Athleta’s “tall” is 27″. I need 31″ for them to reach the top of my ankle, 32″ is better. The trials of longer legs are real!

  15. Laura J says:

    Another vote for Zella leggings. Not quite as nice as lulu but half the price. I’ve had some for 4-5 years and they’re still great

  16. Amy says:

    I love Lululemon and the Zella line at Nordstrom. My biggest disappointment in workout gear, years ago, was GapBody. I take very good care of my clothing, following instructions, and everything from GB looked crummy within several months. 🙁

  17. Kristian says:

    My favorite teapot was a gift, so I have to hope it never breaks because i’ve no idea where is came from. But it holds enough for two mugs of tea and has a lip on the spout so it doesn’t leak down the side. Oddly, all my current favorites are tea related. I got a mug from The Ideal Bookshelf and it makes me smile when using it, to see all these favorite books lining the sides. Also, a favorite tea got restocked at Pheonix Tea in Red Lodge (this place makes a lot of their own blends and are amazing). Earl Greyjoy (GoT reference, though not sure why it is called that) is an Earl Grey with lemon and lime zest.

  18. L says:

    My mother-in-law gave my three year old a pair of Gap Body yoga pants for Christmas, made from some sort of relatively substantial synthetic fabric–and after several trips to daycare (where they were probably treated to a hard life in the sandbox), they are a pulled, pilled mess. BUT–I bought myself two pairs of mostly-cotton blend yoga pants from the Gap about a decade ago, and even wore them up through nine months of pregnancy, and they’ve been champs. The grey ones still look nearly new, the black have faded a bit, and they’re not the least bit stretched out.

  19. Traci says:

    Been getting into drinking the recommended amount of water for a while now too! I’ll have to try the True Lemon packets, they sound great. I have an app on my phone tracking how much water I’m drinking. I really like to make the number of ounces go up. It’s the little things, you know. 🙂

  20. I’m a big fan of Lulu’s leggings…I’ve gotten years wear out of mine. My only issue is that once I find a style I like, I want to go buy like 5 more pairs of the exact same style…and Lulu phases out their styles so quickly.

    One thing bringing me joy right now is a little tea concoction I picked up from Tim Ferris’ Tools for Titans…3 tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 tbs honey, and I throw in a 1/2 tsp of tumeric. Keeps me from wanting a snack before bed and gets me the anti-inflammatory benefits I desperately need!

  21. Alison says:

    Athleta for the win! I haven’t gotten my 7 year old leggings from there yet, but I want to now that they have Athleta Girl line. They are a bit more pricey but last and are so comfy! I love that their Metro Joggers and Street Tights are great for a little more polished look, but the yoga pants are all fantastic and last for years! I also am really happy with their sustainability efforts and use of recycled materials. Worth the extra $$ to support!

  22. Hannah B says:

    I’m also going to recommend the Zella leggings. I bought my first pair a few months ago b/c I live in leggings, and they are the BEST.

  23. Lazyretirementgirl says:

    Interestingly, a couple tiny daily happinesses come from this post a few months back. Anne and commenters praised Mrs. Meyers fragrant hand soap in Bluebell. I got some, decided I liked the honeysuckle best, and am delighted with it. Not only does it smell lovely, it solves a small but annoying problem: my husband bought me a beautiful ring of intertwined infinity loops, which jam up with bar soap. I had to take the ring off and use a toothpick to get the soap out every freaking time I washed my hands. 😠 The Mrs. Meyers pump eliminates that issue. And it is on subscribe and save. Yippee!

  24. Gabby says:

    I love Athleta leggings! So far, I’ve found they hold up very well…I love them so much, in fact, that I’m willing to pay full price for them more often than not!

  25. Eva says:

    I found a new pair of jeans that I absolutely LOVE. They fit me so well and it just brightens my day so much putting them on. They don’t make me feel like I’m squeezing in, and they have a super high waist so I feel all tucked and cute! I feel like it has been such a long time since I really found a great pair of jeans!

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

  26. Taina says:

    Living in a Caribbean island I don’t go anywhere without a water bottle. I’ve tried them all in every size. I don’t really use plastic so mines are BKR’s, Klean Kanteens and HydroFlasks. If you want cold water as I (our weather is crazy) stick to the Hydro Flask!!!

  27. Michelle Wilson says:

    OMG! Thank you so much for the True Lemon/lime/GF! Didn’t know such a thing existed and if it did, thought it would be made of weird chemicals. I use Splenda-that’s enough weird chemicals.
    I have discovered a company in Maine called Angelrox. They have fantastic leggings and lots of other stuff. The material is made from bamboo and feels like buttah’. A little pricey but worth it to me.

  28. It’s always the little things isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your list! I can relate to the simple pleasures of drinking and actually enjoying water. It took me a minute but now I can’t go a day without consuming at 2 liters. Some simple things that have made me happy lately is getting back into blogging, getting my home together by making little here and there installment purchases for necessities, getting back into for pleasure reading, and long walks.

  29. Hannah says:

    I love my lululemons but recently found a new love in ptula leggings which are about 40-50 bucks cheaper than lululemon! Truthfully, I like my ptula leggings better because they are slightly thicker, don’t show sweat, and just feel amazing on. Definitely check them out!

  30. Esther says:

    I cringe when I think how much my lululemon leggings cost, but they hold up beautifully! I bought my daughter both Athleta and Ivivva leggings, and although the Ivivva ones are ridiculously expensive, they have held up amazingly well.

  31. Renee says:

    I’ve been loving the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish. It dries super fast and goes on with one coat. I’ve never been a nail polish person because I am impatient waiting for it to dry. This works great and comes in fun colors!

  32. Lorraine Bachand says:

    I bought the flat top version of the little teapot you have, also in aqua, and just love it. It makes me happy every time I brew a pot of tea. https://www.amazon.com/FORLIFE-Stump-Teapot-Infuser-18-Ounce/dp/B003F6OJX0/ref=pd_sim_79_12?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B000FLG8XC&pd_rd_r=AWA097KQJXZ0715N7PMB&pd_rd_w=1IOlE&pd_rd_wg=Xzvcj&refRID=AWA097KQJXZ0715N7PMB&th=1
    To further my recent tea obsession, I bought an electric tea kettle that has temperature settings for different types of tea. It was an impulse buy at Costco (it was displayed right at the entrance, so clearly I was meant to have it ;)) and I love it.

    • Julie D in TX says:

      I love my electric tea kettle!! I have been a tea drinker for close to twenty years, boiling water on the stove. Bought one of the electric kettles two years ago and wondered what took me sooooo long!

  33. Andrea says:

    The Zella ‘live in’ full length black high rise leggings from Nordstrom are THE BESSSSSST. Same as your lulus – so many years, so many washes, still such good quality – but at a better price point and a brand/company with integrity.

  34. Julianne says:

    Where can I get a nice bullet journal without breaking the bank? I’d like to check out a few and then make a choice. Any recommendations?
    Also, what are apple boxes? Birchboxes? Never heard of these?

    • Laura says:

      Apple boxes are the boxes where iphones or ipads come. I did not know Marie Kondo talked about them, but have been using them for a few years now. They are the perfect size and very sturdy. Have not heard about birchboxes, may be another brand?

      • Julianne says:

        Thank you, Laura. Laughed when I realized which “apple” was referenced. I’m an android girl, so it didn’t come to mind. Imagine what I found found I googled “apple boxes”. Any ideas on bullet journals?

  35. Sheryl Esau says:

    My favorite leggings and workout clothes are the Tangerine brand at Sam’s. It’s unusual for me to actually prefer a cheaper brand but these are great and the price is right!

  36. Judy H. says:

    I remember when my sister loaned me her copy of Marie Kondo’s book, “It’s WONDERFUL,” she said. “I can’t believe how much better I feel having my home so organized!” I’d never heard of the book, so I gave it a read. About a quarter of the way through the book, I realized my body tensing up, my chest felt tight and I noticed I was holding my breath. When I felt myself clenching my teeth, I closed the book, never to open it again. I felt so liberated! But, Anne, I have to hand it to you, those little organizer trays from Target are going to be so much fun for me, I’ve got so many ideas of what to put in them. Target run tomorrow!

  37. Jo says:

    I just recently started using cystrallized true lemon and true lime (not the lemonade/limeade products) I was going through so many packets that I “graduated” to their shakers (on amazon). Not as portable, but I think it’s more economical and cuts down on the packet waste. I do have packets for on the go, but I use the shaker size most often. I have not tried the grapefruit, but that is next one my list.

  38. Julianne says:

    help! Where is the special “kit” I saw on MMD about a bullet journal and all the fun stuff that goes with it? Thought I saw it in the blog, but I cannot seem to find it again. I’m going on a vacation in a week and want to take time to get my journal underway. Ann? Anyone?

  39. Nicole says:

    I love the landsend yoga pants for women (I haven’t tried the legging fit) and leggings for kids. Such nice fabric! Love all flavors of True Lemon (and drink mixes). Some have a tiny bit of cane sugar with stevia. I just checked all my boxes (6 varietie)s and none of ours have soy (we are also a no-soy household) so that’s really weird that some had soy. I will have to watch my next order. Walmart used to carry lots of varieties, but usually I just order from Amazon.

  40. Catherine says:

    I don’t wear them every day, but I love Gapfit leggings. Not Gapbody- these are more athletic. The ones I have have lasted for almost 2 years and still going strong. Athleta is great as well.

  41. Marlizette Badenhorst says:

    I love having the sun up in the mornings when I drive to work, it really makes a difference at 6am not to have to drive in the dark. I love that I don’t have to wear 5 layers of clothing anymore to keep the cold at bay. I love that I’ve painted my toenails a gorgeous shimmery blue and I can show them off in pretty sandals – those boots and socks have been put away! Most of all I love the smell of my garden when I walk out the door, all those amazing little flowers that combine into a floral feast for the senses 🙂

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