50 Things That Make Me Smile

In no particular order…

  1. The opening sequence to the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
  2. The morning after a big snowfall.
  3. The Muppets singing Bohemian Rhapsody.
  4. The last five minutes of Cinema Paradiso. Best. Ending. Ever.
  5. The Italian word albicoco (apricot).
  6. The guys who sing doo-wop on the 2 train.
  7. Scratching off a lottery ticket.
  8. My dog attacking his stuffed sheep. Okay, my dog doing anything.
  9. Strawberry ice cream.
  10. Hey Abbott, who’s on first?
  11. Dr. Jane Goodall.
  12. My friend trying to get our rented Nissan Micro moving in Bath, England. “I’m just going to put the car in neutral and we’ll coast down the hill.” So you had a to be there, but  I never laughed so hard in my life.
  13. A big, steaming cup o’ Joe from Gorilla Coffee.
  14. My friend Ken Wheaton’s book.
  15. George Clooney
  16. Watching Lucy and Ethel trying to wrap chocolates. (Close second: watching Lucy trying to crush grapes.)
  17. Knowing that texting can be used for good: at last count $60 million raised for Haiti relief through text donations.
  18. “Put your lips to the world/ And live your life.” – Mary Oliver
  19. Browsing at the indie bookstore.
  20. Finding jeans that fit.
  21. The Grand Canyon.
  22. The dosa cart in Washington Square Park.
  23. Georgia (not the state) at Best Friends Animal Society
  24. The fact that I don’t work in a 1960’s ad agency a la Mad Men.
  25. Penguins.
  26. Bob Ross, the paining guy. I’ll put a happy little tree right here.
  27. The way the winter light falls across the Chrysler Building.
  28. The sweet smell of the cut flowers for sale in front of the bodega.
  29. Thinking about quitting the gym.
  30. Writing (and finishing) my novel.
  31. Helping a dog or cat get to their forever home.
  32. Making apple pie in the fall.
  33. “For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half-known life.” – Melville
  34. Yoga.
  35. The Jungle Room at Graceland.
  36. Beacons.
  37. The Peanuts Christmas special.
  38. Landshark!
  39. The way golf announcers talk.
  40. The wedding ceremony dance sensation.
  41. Will Ferrell’s rear end in Old School
  42. Wide open spaces.
  43. The smell of baby powder.
  44. Eating a blast from Sonic.
  45. Going shopping with my cousin.
  46. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Thoreau.
  47. Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson.
  48. The dog park.
  49. Waking up in the middle of the night with the perfect combination of words for a story.
  50. The ocean.

Send some things that make your list.



  1. Things that make me smile?
    1) Arriving on the platform at the exact moment the train arrives.
    2) Drivers who give the ‘Thank You’ wave.
    3) The rhythmic sound of my dog’s collar as we run down a quiet street.
    4) Rain.
    5) People who live deliberately.


  2. .a friend’s hair growing back after successful chemo.

    .listening to my cat and male companion sleep (even though i should be sleeping too).

    .the photo of my dad putting the motorcycle-sound thing on my bike x-mas morning, 1976.

    .hugging my brother–he just doesn’t let go, no matter how i struggle.



  3. Landshark!!! Hahaha. Vintage SNL is awesome.

    I absolutely love your list. Yours is so much more comprehensive than mine!!! How funny that we posted ours on the same day exactly a year apart. Jan 26 must be “National Share Your Happiness Day.” We should start a movement.

    Now, about that novel you’re writing…have you finished it? 🙂


    1. Thanks so much, Maura! You inspired me to come up with another list. Just thinking about things that make you happy, makes you happy, no?

      I did finish my novel, thanks for asking. The manuscript is now with an agent who is showing it to editors. (She types while her fingers are crossed. 🙂 )


    1. Thanks for stopping by Stef! Isn’t Bob Ross so calming? It’s like a little meditation.

      My novel is “finished,” but I’m deep in revisions now. Going page by page, line by line. I hope I’ll be really done at the end of the summer.

      PS – I love your Iyengar yogi joke! Hysterical!


  4. 1. Clean sheets – cotton in the summer and flannel in the winter.
    2. A new pencil.
    3. The smell of Play-doh.
    4. Chocolate Dairy Queen ice cream with caramel topping.
    5. The Charlie Brown dance.
    7. First spring bulb sighting.
    8. Horses.
    9. Eddie Izzard, especially his skits about flags and cake or death.
    10. This post, and thinking of all the other things that make me smile.


  5. Susie sent me over, and I enjoyed your list! I’m still looking for jeans that fit, and also love the Muppets singing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” What a classic! Have you seen Beaker singing “Feelings”? It’s on YouTube and almost as funny as “Rhapsody.”


  6. Susie sent me! Love your list–I write a lot about gratitude and journalling the things that make me happy. I love the German word for pineapple “ananas” because it’s fun to say and I once found myself in Munich at a farmer’s market and actually got to use it. Serendipity!


    1. Whenever I’m having a bad day, I take a look at my list and it lifts my spirits. I hope you get to write a list too. Stop by and post a link. I love to see what makes other people smile too. 🙂


  7. Saw you at Susie Lindau’s party. For me, I’d add:
    1. My husband’s pumpkin swirl cheesecake
    2. Watching my dogs play
    3. Children laughing
    4. A truly good cup of coffee
    5. A Dallas Cowboys win
    6. Running into old friends
    7. Singing…in and out of the rain. 😉


  8. I love your list! Great idea too. I would have to add, a good thunderstorm any time of day or night.
    Thanks for bringing it to the party! Have fun checking out blogs and introducing yourself! It should be a rager!


    1. We’re having thunderstorms right now and it’s great to hear the rumbles, although my dog doesn’t like it as much as I do.

      Thanks for stopping by Susie! I’m having a ball at your party.


  9. Dude! I LOVE this list! I was over at Susie’s and thought I would stop by 🙂 Dude I love that painting guy he’s awesome! I used to watch him all the time and if I can catch him on Sunday mornings I still do. 🙂 But I also love the Lucy and Ethel bit and the Charlie Brown Christmas 🙂 And Jack Johnson Banana Pancakes! OH! That song puts an extra giddy-up in my step. NICE!

    What makes me smile …
    The “I Need More Cowbell” skit from SNL that one gets me all the time.
    Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert … the dynamic duo giving any speech together
    Jimmy Fallon creating a rap mix using NBC anchor Brian Williams. It’s awesome.
    Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream

    OH! And I just noticed your book on the side there. A mutual blogging buddy of ours The 50 Year Project gave you a review and I totally loved your book and the premise. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much for your comment.
      TB from The 50 Year Project is coming to New York this weekend and we’ll get to meet in person. It’s always exciting when I visit with a blogging buddy. 🙂


      1. Holy Crap! That’s awesome. She said she was coming to the States to hang out. HA! That’s great! If she ever gets out to the West Coast one of these days I might get a chance to say What Up! in person. Have a great visit 🙂 Maybe you can take her to one of your favorite pubs 🙂


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