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The Good Stuff

This week has been a little rough around the edges. The unexpected, the unfeeling, the difficult, the stressful, the general blech. So to wrap it all up, let’s focus on the good stuff. Your own lists in comments always inspire me to keep on making my own happies, so this Friday I’m stoked to spend the day reading through all of your Good Stuff too.

Splurging on a fan that is so quiet I can sleep with it on.

The magic of technology.

The indulgence of a toasted bagel with cream cheese and jam.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.

Receiving 6 rejection letters but enjoying the fact that at least someone besides Margaret and I read something I wrote.

Clean towels.

Finding clothes that are both comfortable and on sale.

Drinks with straws.

Sunrises. Always with the sunrises.

Singing, “Hey! I just met you!” when Kamel answers the phone and having him respond, “And this is crazy!”

A big slice of pizza.

Apples and peanut butter.

Watching Bob Ross’s The Joy Of Painting before bed every night.

Seeing someone with my same tennis shoes for the first time on the train yesterday.

Being able to spill the beans.

One year ago today I was talking about my experience living with Kamel before we were married.


  1. My puppies.
    Not having house projects.
    Working outdoors.
    Completely a project with my husband without arguing.
    Feeling good about what I eat.
    Getting a free haircut.
    Loving the new haircut.
    Being happy for friends.
    Summer haze in early evening.

  2. Evenings at the cabin with Forrest talking about life.

    Long car rides in the middle of nowhere.

    Unexpected awesome conversations.

    That perfect amount of sore muscles.

    Cuddles with my puppy.

    Summit days.

    A good glass of wine.

  3. Apples and peanut butter (TWINS!).

    Homemade cookies from my mom in the mail.

    Planning a solo weekend in Europe after the conference.

    Having a huge argument and then making up.

    Realizing that sometimes the arguing means you care.

    My first day back at the gym in months.

    A dancing baby video.

    Long, slow weekends spent reading.

    Re-committing to my blog.

    Cuddles on the couch.

    The Olympics.

    Cuddles on the couch while watching the Olympics.

    • Making up is really the best est.

  4. I love reading these too!

    A nearly-empty bus on my ride home.
    Weekend visit from friends I haven’t seen in years.
    And meeting their daughter for the first time!
    Evenings on the patio.
    Feeling hope in the search for greener pastures on the work front.
    Peach iced tea.
    Tomatoes starting to turn red in garden.
    Finding a cat lounging in the backyard (I REALLY like cats).

    • I don’t like tomatoes but my dad always grew tomato plants in our backyard and the feel of a warm, ripe tomato right off the vine is the BEST. My mom used to make fresh tomato sandwiches with toast, a little mayo, cucumbers, sliced tomatoes still warm, and a little pepper. It always made me wish i loved tomatoes.

    • Peach tea. That is happening this weekend. Yum.

  5. a new cookbook to read like a novel

    working from home

    buying (and using) new crayons and coloring books. Because I’m a child.

    tealights and iced coffee on the 3 season porch

    fall weather and football

    • I read “Dinner: A Love Story” cover to cover and loved it! Most of the time I just look at the recipes but DALS had an amazing flow and connection.

      • How had I never heard of this book?? It looks incredible!

    • I thought I was the only one who read cookbooks like novels! :)

    • LOVE me a new box of crayons.

  6. Similar week here. But, this made me laugh because we have to buy the cheapest fan possible, otherwise SO cannot fall asleep (he needs the noise).

  7. -An impromptu weekend trip: we’re hopping in the car tomorrow morning and driving down to Lille. Only now do I start getting a real summer is here feeling.
    -A huge watermelon waiting for us in the fridge, and tzatziki, oh tzatziki.
    -Finally being able to unmould a bundt cake without breaking it yesterday.
    -A new cat in the neighborhood that waits for me every morning (or so I like to think), greets me, walks with me for a square and then we part ways while I continue walking to the train station.

    • So many happy cat stories today! <3

  8. -Discovering that all 7 seasons of the West Wing are now streaming free on Amazon Prime.
    -Sun Tea.
    -Good sleeping weather.
    -Making my wife happy by cleaning.
    -Pictures from daycare.
    -Learning that my brother is going to visit in September!
    -Movie night with my neighbor.

  9. – Being able to text Ry that I miss him & have him show up at my apartment 20 minutes later. Finally!!
    – Cool enough weather that I don’t feel sweaty seconds after I shower or step outside.
    – Perfect Mariela-sized watermelon
    – Internet (is it sad that i really suffered these past 2 weeks without it??)
    – Apple TV/Netflix/Hulu while I unpack
    – Living 18 steps from the best milkshake place I’ve ever been to.

  10. Roasted Garlic

    Rediscovering PC Gaming

    The Mexican divers’ family going nuts in the nosebleeds in the Olympics.

    Finding my lost parking ticket on the floor right before leaving the lot. Avoiding the full charge.

    Earning a free sandwich at safeway

    Successfully making plain popcorn on the stove

  11. Nice idea. :)

    – Having some time to catch up on blogs (and being reminded by yours to be grateful)
    – My too-aggressive kitty learning to pretend-pounce me instead of pouncing me for real
    – A friend stopping by to say hi at work
    – My husband being super sweet all week
    – A Minecraft marathon last night
    – A haircut scheduled for tomorrow (mine’s in an awkward growing-out stage too)
    – A competent and kind new co-worker
    – The temperature dropping enough to wear socks and sleeves (almost sweater weather!)
    – Two balls of homemade cookie dough waiting for me in the fridge at home

    • Good co-workers and COOKIE DOUGH BALLS? I want your life. :)

  12. -the olympics

    -long summer evenings

    -new friendships

    -catching up with old friends

    -living close to my family again

    -being filled with inspiration and new ideas

    -chocolate with salted toffee pieces

    -a fridge full of fresh produce

    -being in walking distance to many places i love

    -green trees that line my street

    -gratitude for dreams manifested

  13. -homemade pizza
    -cresting hills in harder gears
    -wine on the porch
    -enjoying my single lady week but being really excited to pick C up at the airport tonight
    -sleeping in tomorrow after a week apart (or not sleeping, ha!)
    -drinks with a friend visiting from Chicago this evening
    -meeting said old friend’s new (to me) boyfriend!
    -hatching birthday party plans for a friend
    -my James Brown pandora station for slow days at work
    -9pm twilight

    • cresting hills in harder gears for the badass award of the week!!!

  14. – Filling out the marriage license paperwork, and knowing I have time to actually file it next week
    – Cuddles on the couch.
    – Discovering that they made a sequel to “Faster” (Ewan MacGregor + motorcycle racing? Amazing!)
    – My new job, because it’s pretty alright and I’m getting some sweet performance reviews
    – flea market vegetable samosas
    – Puppycuddles!
    – Knowing that the new season of Doctor Who is coming up
    – Rye bread
    – Lo mein noodles and bags of snap peas. Because that’s bound to be an awesome dinner sometime.

  15. finding out (in the comments above) that the west wing is streaming free. I’ve been waiting for that addiction to begin.

    that more than half my conversations today have been about cheese. and my boss bringing me a slice of some really good white cheddar.

    going to target with my mom

    discovering all the different flavors of triscuits

    my pertty sweet consistent tan

    pay day

    responses to late night emotional flashback lonely insomnia texts

    being on top of my shit at work

    the book I’m reading getting better and better

    talking shit about the stupid olympics announcers

    buddies at work that love me

    trying to catch the bus and MAKING IT

    swimming! and in general my new athletic club membership that is rocking my socks

    • Oh my goodness I am so excited for you that you are about to watch The West Wing for the first time.

  16. watching the Olympics and seeing the USA medal count growing..

    USA Womens Soccer and Water Polo win Gold!

    Going on bi weekly swims to unwind, get in shape and tan (outside pool in Menlo park)

    fitting in my old clothes–wooo hooo!

    getting a grip on the madness of my job-although im sure this only temporary

    hot date this weekend!

    haircut tomorrow, im looking like a monchichi

    the weekend!

  17. Lauren, so many of these could be mine! Except that I haven’t been so wise as to watch Bob Ross lately. The Joy of Painting is such a wonderful gem. It’s like the epitome of everything I love about public broadcasting. Here are some of my own:

    Getting into a Jane Austen-reading phase.

    Finding a friend through public transit.

    Indulging in a cupcake and coffee on a Friday afternoon.

    Watching so much Olympic gymnastics that I could practically perform a lot of the routines now (assuming I was physically capable of such).

    Re-learning about photography, this time in the digital age.

    Curating a new Pandora station to feature Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge, Wicked, Michael Buble, and Disney music.

    Going on a date tonight to a place I read about in a national magazine that happens to be right here in town.


    • Natalie! You found a friend on public transit?! That’s like an excellent platonic love story! :)

      • Yes! Well, I don’t know if *she* would say we are friends yet, but I have high hopes, haha :) We live in the same complex and take the same bus most mornings. Platonic destiny!

  18. Mid-week date nights
    My dog acting as a hot water bottle on my lap (it’s cold in Australia right now!)
    ASOS birthday present order arriving in time for my cousin’s birthday
    Good news from friends
    Reading new books
    Apple pie (or planning to bake one)

    • PS. Sorry you had a rough week x

      • Thanks lovey! Seeing your comments always put a smile on face. And I can guarantee that next week will be better. :)

  19. Blood tests coming back negative for arthritis, so yay?
    Having a whole lot more good days than bad days lately.
    Date night.
    Doggie wrestling with the husband.
    A 4 mile and 10 mile run in the same week.
    Slightly cooler days! Hooray for the humidity going down.

  20. First of all: hooray for rejections! 6 in and it’s time to send those stories out again. (I’ve gotten a few in the last weeks, too.)

    And my list is somewhat bittersweet since my grandfather died and we are up on the farm for the memorial and burial, etc, but it has been nice

    -to see family
    -to play with the farm dogs
    -hear stories about my grandfather I didn’t know before

    And unrelated to that in particular:
    -finding out I will have a NIECE in January!
    -good coffee
    -discovering new music

  21. my new house in Corrales, NM
    sharing bourbon and a cigar with my husband
    green chilis growing in my garden and going in my breakfast burritos
    getting a new job, starting it next month after my vacation
    spending a week in California later this month
    I bought a sander this weekend! I’m refinishing a dresser and a shelf in our… GARAGE

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Who the hell is she?


Seattle/Writer/Adventurer/Married to Kamel/Maker of many mistakes/Mom of 1 Gabriel and 1 TBD/Baker of things/Roaster of Vegetables/Maker of videos/Normal life photographer/Romantic/Irreverent/Honest

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.