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Thursday, November 3, 2016

10 Things That Have Made Me Happy Lately

I’m not sure what’s going on with me lately, but for some reason I have been feeling almost ridiculously happy these past few weeks. In the grand scheme of things, life hasn’t been all that exciting lately – there have been no interesting travels, no special events or major life changes. But these days I just can’t help, but be content about where I am in life right now and where I am headed and after a year that sometimes felt more emotionally tumultous than anything it is great to finally feel a little bit more settled.

And while I can’t pinpoint exactly why I feel so positive at the moment, there definitely have been a few occasions that have made my heart flutter especially. The older I get, the more I am learning that life doesn’t have to be made up of a never-ending series of grand moments to be good and that finding joy in the mundane things of everyday life really is the key to happiness. And because I want to remember this time in my life right now – as common and uneventful as it might be – I thought I would share another little list of the things that have made me happy lately.

1. Celebrating our five year anniversary

My boyfriend and me celebrated our five year anniversary last month and I honestly can’t explain how thankful I am to have him in my life. I don’t talk about my relationship much on this blog, because he appreciates his privacy much more than I apparently do, but suffice to say that there is nothing quite as amazing as finding a special someone that you can share all of life with.

2. Visiting the Frankfurt Book Fair

And speaking of relationships: Two weekends ago, we visited the Book Fair in Frankfurt to learn about the newest book releases and geek out over people cosplaying as our favorite manga and anime characters. One of our first dates was actually spent at the Book Fair – which is one of the largest ones in the world, by the way, and very much worth a visit if you are into books and speak German – and so going back now felt nostalgic in all the right ways.

3. Reading

While we’re at the topic of books, let me just mention that I’ve been reading pretty obsessively these past few weeks. I go through phases where I don’t read at all and phases where I pretty much finish a new book every other day and right now I’m in the latter because I really want to finish my Goodreads Reading Challenge early this year. At the moment, I’m really into fantasy – I blame it on the weather, misty fall days make me think of mystical worlds far, far away! – but I have also been keen to read a novel by Daphne du Maurier, though I can’t make up my mind between Frenchman’s Creek and Jamaica Inn. Any other suggestions would also be highly appreciated!

4. Mimi Thorisson’s New Cookbook

I promise that this is the last book-related subject on this list, but I read Mimi Thorisson’s newest cookbook French Country Cooking last weekend and it might just be the most gorgeous and captivating cookbook I have ever gotten my hands on. My favorite kind of cookbooks aren’t just compilations of recipes, but rather collections of stories around food and life and if you’re familiar with Mimi’s beautiful food blog Manger you already know that that's what she does in spades. I'm so in love with her philosophy on cooking that I might actually write an entire blogpost on this topic in the future, but in the meantime let it be known that this book would make a fantastic Christmas present for any food lovers and/or francophiles.

5. Falling in love with a gorgeous Barbour Jacket

My mother and me went shopping in Frankfurt last Saturday – I hardly ever go to Frankfurt anymore, so it was a special treat to visit twice in two weeks! – and I tried on one of the Barbour jackets that I have been enamored with recently. I was surprised by just how effortlessly elegant the jackets were and obviously promptly fell in love and so I may or may not have added something to my Christmas wishlist...

6. A Midweek Burger Date

I love midweek dinner dates, because they somehow feel so much more special than dates at any other time of the week. I always find myself flying through the day when I have something to look forward to in the evening and not having to fix dinner in the middle of the week never hurts either! This Tuesday S and me both had a hankering for burgers and so we headed to Hans im Gl├╝ck, one of our favorite casual dining places in Heidelberg, to indulge our cravings and to also tuck into our favorite sweet potato fries and we vowed to make midweek dates a more regular occurence in our life during the coming winter days.

7. Light in the morning

I am not a morning person and always have a bit of a hard time getting out of bed and so the clock change last weekend has been a huge relief. I don’t mind if it gets dark earlier in the day as long as I don’t have to leave the house when it’s still pitch black outside and waking up has definitely gotten easier again now that there’s a little bit more light in the morning.

8. Feeling the change of the seasons

I have gone on and on about how much I love fall on the blog already and so I’ll spare you a repeat, but I do have come to appreciate seasonal living much more in the last two years or so and this fall especially I have started to realize how beneficial it is to embrace the change of the seasons rather than fight it. And while I hope that fall will linger a little bit longer, the Christmas lights are up in Heidelberg’s Old Town now and so I’m starting to feel excited for the holiday season and all the coziness that is going hand to hand with winter.

9. Organizing my closet

Just like the rest of the world, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo earlier this year and this past weekend, I finally finished organizing my closet in the way that she suggests and while I risk sounding like a grandmother now, it truly is satisfying to open your closet everyday and see everything neatly on display. If you feel unsure about the KonMari method, do use it to organize one of your drawers this weekend and see for yourself how much it could change the way you get ready in the morning! Dare I say life-changing?

10. Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Do you still remember me ranting about how you can’t buy pumpkin puree anywhere in Germany a few weeks ago? Well, I have actually made pumpkin puree twice since writing that post and I’ve been surprised by a) just how easy it is to make and b) how useful and convenient it is to always have on hand. I have made pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin muffins already and tonight I am probably going to make some pumpkin fritters with a coconut curry sauce for dinner. I am hungry already!

What has made you happy lately?

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