Favorite things #3

A podcaster I listen to--Tsh Oxenreider--ends each of her shows with a segment called "What's Making Me Happy." I dig hearing about what's making folks happy, and I always seem to learn about something new. Here's a list of the mostly minute things that are making me happy this month. I'd love to read about what's bringing you joy--either the material or abstract--so leave a comment below if you feel inclined.

J--snarfing down some pad Thai! 
Food: Pad Thai. This has been one of my favorite dishes for quite some time, but recently I stumbled into a local, central Nebraska establishment, Suwanee Thai in Kearney. And the pad Thai...the PAD THAI! It is so good there. It's the kind of food that is best enjoyed with your eyes closed to savor every freaking bite. I'm trying to replicate the dish at home, so I've been playing with a basic pad Thai recipe...I haven't even come close, but my kids (and I) still gobble it up.

Drink: La Croix. Despite the sudden burst of winter weather we're experiencing in Nebraska today, it's spring, which always means La Croix for me. There are so many great flavor choices--but lime and coconut are my favorite. I think people either love La Croix right away, or they acquire a taste for it. I drank it once about ten years ago and hated it, but I tried it again last spring and loved how refreshing it is. It's a great pick me up during the 2:00 slump I always seem to experience at work.

Online service: Over the last few months my schedule has become more crazy as I've picked up more free-lance writing gigs and added another campus to my workload with Central Community College. Naturally, I've been looking for ways to make my life just a little easier. One of the most helpful, practical online services I've used lately is Hy-Vee's online grocery shopping and delivery service. If you spend $100, your delivery fee is waived; a family of four can easily spend $100 on groceries! While it's one of the pricier grocery stores in my community, they have a great selection of natural foods and I can wrack up some fuel saver points in the process, so I tend to order my groceries from them at least once a month. They deliver my groceries right to my front door, saving me at least an hour during the week. The other service I stumbled on is Grove Collaborative (formerly known as E-Pantry). The website allows me to order my favorite eco-friendly household products (cleaning supplies, body care, etc.) at an affordable price and have them shipped to my door. I don't have a Target in my town, but I can get Method and Mrs. Meyers products (and loads of other great brands) on Grove Collaborative. I make my own hand soap, laundry soap, and shower cleaner, but I buy my toilet cleaner, body washes, lip balms, hand sanitizers, and all-purpose sprays on Grove Collaborative.

Book: Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. If you want a book that will make you pee your pants with laughter...get 'yer fanny to your local public library and check this baby out. The book is a memoir about several moments in Lawson's life; her knack for humorous storytelling is compelling. Don't read the book in public because you will not be able to contain the laughter. (Side note: If you have a sensitivity to swearing, and if sarcasm isn't your thing--it's best you avoid the book!) Reading the book got me through some rough moments where my life felt like it was falling apart at the seams; it was a nice break from the crazy of life.

Music: Leyla McCalla. While browsing NPR's music page, I found this artist---a cello player with the Carolina Chocolate Drops (another amazing music group). Her song, "A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey" is beautiful.  One of the lyrics is, "If they take me away, I want you to pray not for me, but for the souls who have been taken like me before..." gripped me. It's a gorgeous line that, coupled with the instrumentation, moved me to tears while I listened to it. She has an album on Spotify that is just as great. The other song I'm really digging right now is an old one--"A Better Son/Daughter" by Rilo Kiley. It's actually a band I fell in love with in high school that is no longer together; the lead singer, Jenny Lewis broke off on her own solo career. This song has become my anxiety anthem over the last few years. It articulates the complexity of anxiety so well---"And sometimes when you're on, you're really f****** on and your friends they sing along and they love you. But the lows are so extreme, that the good feels f***** cheap, and it teases you for weeks in absence..." (there are a few F-bombs, so perhaps don't play it around your toddlers). It's a song that I blast from my Subaru speakers and sing along to when I'm feeling low, and quite honestly, it helps even if it is only momentarily.

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