2015 has been a year I’ve tried to focus on the small things. Things that bring me joy in some small way so that when I’m feeling fueled and delighted, that spills into my interactions with my family, friends and coworkers.
Recently I attended a Christmas party where everyone brought three of their favorite things to share. Then we put our names in a bowl, pulled out the next person to choose and everyone walked away with three different things that brought joy to someone else. It was such a fun way to discover new, small treats. Nothing cost more than $10…I love simple, splendid things!
The table was filled with things like green tea, chocolate-covered pretzels, and selfie sticks. There were soaps and lip gloss and life-changing shaving cream (so I’m told…it was the first to go before my name was drawn!). Movies, essential oils, and lotions were among the items, as well. I highly recommend playing a favorite things game with your friends, any time of year!
So that got me thinking – what are some small delights that bring me joy? Whether it’s because it makes my life prettier (sucker for packaging), more fun, or provides much-needed convenience, here are a few simple things I love.
- EOS Chapstick – any of my friends will tell you I have one of these on me at all times. I love the packaging, I love the colors, and I love wearing it. Once I discovered them on sale at Walgreens (more than half price) and I bought every one they had in the store. I have given a few away, but mostly I spread them out for myself at the office, in the car, my bedside table, my makeup bag, in the kitchen, in my purse, my work bag. That way they’re always close.
- Equate makeup remover towlettes – I love the Neutrogena version, but the Walmart brand is just as great. I used to go through a whole routine with fancy face wash and a clarisonic and fancy moisturizer. I found myself dreading the makeup removing at night because of the hassle and mess. So I gave these a shot. I can buy them for super cheap and sometimes in a twin pack. They work GREAT and my skin continues to be clear. No mess, no fuss, and FAST.
- Sharpie Pens, fine tip – I love writing with Sharpie pens. And the fine tip means I can use them as a pen, not a marker. I love getting new colors – great for addressing Christmas cards or writing a note to my grandparents.
- Slivered almonds – I don’t like whole almonds. I just don’t. But trying to make a snack earlier this year, I found slivered almonds on sale at our grocery store. I combined them with craisins and I almost always have a snack on-hand. Slivered almonds can feel expensive, but for me it’s worth the expense.
- Podcasts – thanks mostly to my good friend Ann, I discovered podcasts earlier this year. Ann does great write-ups on Splendry for various podcasts she loves. I have her to thank for my obsessions with Serial and This American Life. Trust me – the TAL app is worth the $2.99! Also, check out Popcast with Knox and Jamie. They are specific to my particular taste for pop culture.
- Real half-and-half – I’m not a flavored coffee person. Sure, I enjoy the occasional mocha from the big box coffee shop. But mostly I find such great joy with regular ol’ Folgers brewed in my old-timey coffee pot (meaning pre-keurig days) and adding a shot of real half-and-half. I’m an old soul.
- Tiny purse-size notebooks – you can get these anywhere, but I love shopping the stationery section at Barnes and Noble or Target for the three-pack notebooks in various colors and prints. My favorites right now are Jonathan Adler style. To-do lists, notes to self, and lists of things I’m always looking for (wardrobe staples), Gift card balances (I’m a hoarder). It’s like an iphone app that is pretty.
- Goldfish Holiday Grahams – my aunt found these at a Big Lots one day. I’ve since seen them in a ton of other stores. It brings me much joy in a single bag that rarely lasts me 2 days.
- Browsing websites, Etsy, Hobby Lobby, etc. for beautiful paper planners. This is a freebie because I know myself well enough to know I won’t use them (I went all digital a few years ago and would have a hard time going back) but I love, love to look at them. I compare, plan, and stare in awe. If you love paper planners and can use them, PLEASE let me help you shop. Let me see it. Let’s talk about planners.
- Charming Charlie’s – though I often find it overwhelming, I love to stop in this shop (it’s a chain, it’s expanding, it could be near you!). I can always find something delightful under $10, and very often I start planning a wardrobe around a necklace, scarf, or purse I found here.
Favorite things aren’t always things. Group texts, sarcastic memes, ABC Family Christmas movies, 7-year-old knock-knock jokes, and folding laundry while watching “blackish” with my husband provide most of my daily joys. But the little things above help a lot, too!