The Joy of Small Things

It’s a rainy Tuesday and I needed a boost– so, instead of our regularly scheduled Teaser Tuesday, you’re getting A Few of My Favorite Things.

I’m not talking the big things, like birthdays or book launches, but the little things, the small indulgences that can make a grey day seem less grim. Here are a few of the small things that perk me up:

— Pumpkin spice latte with whip;

— Halloween displays in stores (I love holiday merchandise);

— Halloween candy (see above);

— chopping vegetables for unnecessarily complicated cooking projects involving lots of ingredients and large pots;

— that Jen Lancaster book I’ve been hoarding;

— Gingerbread Man bath scrub;

— doing laundry (I know, I know, but there’s something so nice about the warm clothes when they come out of the dryer);

— scented candles and rose-patterned journals.

What are your small things?


  1. Amanda on September 20, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Watching my 18 month old peacefully sleeping always helps me center myself.

    Also, nice long showers:)

  2. Angie on September 20, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Cats snuggled next to me as I read and sip coffee or wine (after noon!).

  3. Angie on September 20, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Cats curled up next to me as I read and watch an old movie, sipping tea or wine (after noon!).

  4. Angie on September 20, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Leftover Shepherd’s Pie! I couldn’t wait till lunchtime 🙂

  5. Tracie on September 20, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Okay, little things I love:

    – Returning home to my three adorable Cocker Spaniels who are always so happy to see me that they practically wag their tails off!

    – Crossword puzzles. I do four different ones every day while I eat lunch. I love words!

    – Bollywood movies. They’re so bright and colorful and fun. I only wish that in real life people would burst into song and perform synchronized dances like they do in Bollywood films.

    – Receiving flowers. I don’t care who they’re from or what the occasion is – receiving a beautiful bouquet always puts a smile on my face.

    – Buying a new batch of books from Amazon. Yes, I still buy real books and I make no apologies!

    – A cup of Earl Grey tea. I adore the smell of bergamot. I even use a hand lotion that has bergamot in it.

  6. shenandoah strojek on September 20, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Hot chocolate from starbucks

    My baby blanket

    Nancy Drew novels

    Christmas decorations

  7. Sarah on September 20, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Some things I love are surprise phone calls from England, reading time before bed, Downton Abbey being back on television, and pumpkin muffins with cream cheese icing.

  8. Jessica S. on September 20, 2011 at 11:17 am

    My husband’s smile

    My cats curled up by me as I read something fabulous

    Homemade soup on a rainy day

    Making soup on a rainy day

    A pot of Yorkshire Gold tea

    A long walk in perfect autumn weather

    Knitting a gift for a friend’s baby

    Snuggles with my nieces and nephews

    Small bites of really good chocolate

    Finding green tea ice cream in unexpected places

    Rosemary-olive oil bread

    The smell of: the coffee aisle at the grocery store, fresh bread baking, my cats’ fur, brownies baking…

    Great idea, Lauren! I feel happy already!

  9. Christine on September 20, 2011 at 11:34 am

    – My daily morning white peach and hot chocolate (I realize that makes no sense)

    – The smell of apple and cinnamon in the fall air

    – The Robin Sparkles “Let’s Go to the Mall” on “How I Met Your Mother.” It never stops being funny.

  10. Jessica Mac on September 20, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Digging out my cozy sweaters from the back of the closet.
    Putting on a pair of comfy pants and curling up on the couch reading a great book all afternoon with my cats!
    Having a pot of simmering spaghetti sauce on the stove all day to have with a big loaf of garlic bread for dinner!
    Pumpkin cake or muffins with cream cheese frosting….oohhh so good!
    Hot chocolate with marshmallow fluff!
    Wish I didnt have to work today and could be home enjoying all these great things!

  11. Antonia on September 20, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Listening to the rain on the roof while snuggled up in bed.

    Really good hot chocolate.

    The whole time of year from October through Christmas.

    A new book (also a new pair of shoes).

    Baking (trying a new recipe or an old favorite) and the smell of whatever is in the oven filling the house.

    A long conversation with a good friend.

    A walk in the park on a clear morning.

    Purple pens.

  12. Maggie on September 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

    1. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is back at Starbucks (me loooove)

    2. The rain we had on Sunday – just cool enough temp & just heavy enough rain that it was refreshing. Perfect take a walk in the rain weather.

    3. Re-reading a favorite book, it’s like visiting a treasured friend.

    4. Finding a new favorite book/author, that’s like meeting a new friend.

    5. The smell of the crock-pot bubbling away with a warm tasty dinner.

  13. Beatriz Williams on September 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    The first sip of coffee when I sit down to write

    The first sip of wine when I sit down to dinner with friends (even better if it’s champagne!)

    Finding a crumpled-up fiver in the pocket when I put on my winter coat for the first time since March

    Finding a movie ticket stub in the pocket when I put on my winter coat for the first time since March

    The smell of my three-year-old’s neck

    The smell of my husband’s newly-shaved cheek

    An email from a long-lost friend, wanting to meet for lunch

  14. Farin on September 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    –I second the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. So comforting and just the right amount of sweet.

    –Lavender soap.

    –English breakfast tea.

    –Soup with big chunks of vegetables and kale.

  15. Céline on September 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Drinking an almond-flavoured tea

    Eating cookies, home-made cookies, of course

    Reading a book under a cosy blanket, while it’s snowing outside

    Watching and listening to the sea

    Admiring the red colors of the autumn

    Indulging in a long hot bath with a Pink book

    Decorating the Christmas tree…

  16. AngelB on September 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Big bowl of homemade buttered popcorn

    Coming home to a clean house

    Getting all the bills paid and finding money still left!

    Sitting outside, drinking a beer with friends in front of a fire

    Wheat Thins, chicken broth with noodles and a good movie when I’m under the weather

  17. Pam on September 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    When I’m having a horrid day there’s nothing like a vat of tea with buttered toast (to be consumed on the couch while clad in slippers and sweatpants). Bonus if paired with either a BBC mystery (Inspector Morse/Lewis/Lynley or Midsomer Murders or a costume drama or a cozy mystery novel. Double bonus if there are furry animals that I can squeeze. Yes, I will still do this if it is 90 degrees outside and I am in a tiny European apartment with no air conditioning.

    As far as fall things go, I love spending a Saturday at the farmers’ market where I can buy an apple fritter or doughnut and some cider to consume while shopping.

    (I also admit a certain affinity for pumpkin spice and gingerbread lattes…)

  18. April on September 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    A hug and a kiss from my husband when he gets home.
    Watching a Carey Grant movie.
    Driving with the sunroof and windows open.
    Making playlists on iTunes.
    Sitting on the porch waiting for the school bus.
    Listening to my kids practice the piano (they actually play well now after 4 years)
    I also, like Lauren, love holiday decorations at the stores, and holiday scented candles. (I just bought a new one that smells so yummy)

  19. Valerie on September 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Nothing like being able to curl up on the couch with my dog beside me, a good book and a glass of wine!! My favorite way to spend the afternoon! I can also substitute a mug of hot tea or hot chocolate depending on the day.

  20. Gina on September 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Hugs, finishing all of my homework at a decent hour, playing made-up games, writing in my journal, my cat, dark chocolate (the more cocoa, the better, mmmmm), and long phone conversations.

    I also love discovering other people love the same little things as me. 🙂

  21. SusanN on September 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    >Rain (especially when I’m indoors looking at/listening to it).

    >Kitty sleeping on my shoulder.

    >Just hanging out w/ my sister and mom.

    >Hot tea any time of year. (It would be especially fine if someone would make it for me but, alas, they never do.)

    >Custard pie.

    >Soft caramels.

    >Potato chips. (Why do I have so many food items?!?)

    >Music (as loud as I like).


    >A movie/TV marathon at home (esp. w/ aforementioned sister).

    >A fresh mani/pedi. Makes me feel so put together even if I’m just wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

    >Getting at least some of the items on my to do list checked off.

    >Doing laundry (the only household chore I enjoy).

    >Reading literature and cooking blogs.

    And, like Gina, I love seeing so many of my faves on other people’s lists!

    There are so many things I love doing, even the small, mundane things. I can honestly say I am almost never bored. (Unless the electricity goes out, and then I go spare.)

  22. Heather on September 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Kisses from my son
    sweet iced tea
    momma’s fried steak
    cucumbers from my grandparents garden(saddly I will never have those again)
    the first corn of summer
    chocolate cake
    chocolate pie
    sleeping later than seven
    a great book and a day to enjoy it

  23. Heather on September 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Oh I forgot long lunches with a great friend
    the smell of baking
    great coffe
    great wine

  24. Sheila on September 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Autumn leaves

    hugging my grandson

    Sitting on my back porch watching birds at my feeders

    Clocking out from work

    Home grown tomatoes

    Finishing the Sunday puzzle without looking up any clues

    The first fireplace fire of the season

  25. jeffrey on September 21, 2011 at 5:26 am

    These are a few of my favorite things:
    * Hearing my wife’s soothing sexy voice on the telephone (never gets common!)
    * The smell of a freshly washed baby
    * The horizon-to-horizon vista of a Texas sky
    * The distinctive smell of a book that hasn’t been cracked for 30 years
    * listening to owls call to each other in the dusk
    * Freshly-brewed coffee in the morning
    * Sharing a glass of Cabernet with my wife after work at home
    * The aroma of our scratch-made whole wheat bread as it bakes
    * Sitting on the front porch in a thunderstorm daring to be struck by lightning
    * Secretly admiring the way a beautiful woman moves when she is wearing a stylish DRESS instead of pants (!)

  26. Lora on September 21, 2011 at 7:07 am

    * First crisp day of fall
    * soft kitten bellies
    * hearing my four year old grand daughter read to her newborn sister from the books I read to her.
    * watching the sun rise no matter what the weather.
    * staring up at the snow falling from a grey sky and knowing a warm house is steps away.
    * the smell of new washed wool.

  27. Virginia on September 21, 2011 at 9:46 am

    ~Watching my husband and dog play together in the backyard
    ~Playing a good word in scrabble
    ~The smell of grinding coffee beans
    ~Turning music up ridiculously loud and then dancing and singing around my house
    ~Texting my sister half a continent away during Grey’s Anatomy
    ~Looking through finished scrapbooks (mine or someone else’s)
    ~Sunday afternoons spent at Buffalo Wild Wings watching football
    ~Cool ranch Doritos and sour cream
    ~Writing in colored ink
    ~Putting on mascara and lip gloss
    ~Winning a game of mindsweeper on hard
    ~Reading or rereading a good book

    And I completely agree with Christine: Robin Sparkles music videos from “How I Met Your Mother” make me giggle every single time I watch them. 🙂

  28. Lois M. on September 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Seeing Jupiter and it’s moons in my binoculars last week for the first time… even if my favorite planet is Mars.

    And saw my first sunspot on the Sun through my telescope two days ago. The first I didn’t try until then, the second, oh yeah, have I tried before, and nothing. So accomplished something with these gadgets! 🙂


  29. Jane F on September 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Thanks Lauren! these lists are appreciated. I’ve been looking out at the grey sky and trying to focus on my thesis.

    holding a warm mug or thermos filled with a tasty beverage (tea, coffee, apple cider).

    runs in the park

    my mother’s tomato sauce

    a tidy room and a bed made with cozy blankets and duvets.

  30. Melody on September 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    1. Embroidering a handkerchief

    2. Christmas fair in Bryant Park

    3. Sleeping on my giant red couch

    4. Organizing my bookshelves

    5. Walking by the water in November

  31. Rach on September 22, 2011 at 8:39 am

    ~cuddling my face into my cats fur or watching him sleep
    ~accidentally falling asleep in a sunny spot after curling up with my sleeping, basking cat
    ~trees. anywhere and everywhere, I love trees. all types, all colors, all seasons.
    ~my husband kissing my neck while I cook or do dishes
    ~being alone in my car with all the windows down, wind whipping, music blaring, singing and smiling, driving around
    ~making memories
    ~Reading. All the time reading.

  32. Sharin on September 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    * Cold sunny days
    * Raking leaves
    * Having the house and a cup of coffee to myself in the early morning before everyone else gets up.
    * Sourdough, cheddar cheese, apples lunch at the beach.
    * When my kids make a me laugh.
    * Estate sales and finding a small treasure to give a new home.
    * Rainy days with snuggly sweaters, good books and a big mug of tea.
    * Just the right mug that fits in my hand perfectly.
    * Watching someone open a present.
    * Twinklelights. I think my idea of heaven has twinklelights everywhere.

  33. Jessica C on September 23, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    – re-reading (or re-watching)any Jane Austen book (or adaptation)

    – re-reading a favourite Georgette Heyer

    – buying a new book

    – a cup of Lady Grey tea or a Chai Latte

    – Audrey Hepburn movies

    – hearing a cat purr – the most soothing sound in the world!

    – taking a walk along the beach and hearing the waves

    – as spring starts to slowly unfold here in the Southern Hemisphere, I love feeling the breeze get warmer, the sun stronger, and smelling jasmine as I walk down the street. If I can see where the smell is coming from, I always break off a few jasmine flowers and tuck them in my hair (or in a buttonhole of my blouse)

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