February 27, 2016

Happiness Diary #6

Every day I share:
1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something that made me feel grateful

Saturday (2/20/16)

1) Photo: The textbook for my molecular class. I got a little bit of studying in today which makes me feel less of a slacker.
2) I made some lovely tea at work. (they have a coffee maker hooked up to a water supply and hot water is always at the ready! So nice.)

3) I got a ton of steps in today! Over 15,000!
4) It's so nice to have a shorter drive to and from work every once in a while. I'm especially grateful on the weekends. 

1) Photo: See #2
2) I picked up salmon on my way home from work and as usual (thanks to our meat thermometer) it was cooked to perfection. 
3) I worked on my final exam for my molecular class. It feels good to at least have it started.
4) I am currently grateful for Brian putting in a load of my laundry so I can sit here and write this entry. :)

1) Photo: Booo..it was super good too. :(
2) I think my favorite thing to eat today were my dried figs. They are a slightly better alternative to candy. 
3) Brian and I made a plan to get some more painting done in the office and we stuck to it!
4) I am grateful for having friends at work. :)


1) Photo: At lunch I went on a neighborhood walk with these two. 
2) Brian and I ordered breakfast from a  restaurant near our house and my ham and mushroom omelet was wonderful. 
3) I filled out the application for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I know the process can take quite a while between the time an applicant is interviewed and the time they are matched with a "little" but I am hoping it doesn't take super long for me. (I've been reading forums online and I also hope I don't get rejected!)  I am really looking forward to doing something meaningful and I am ready to commit to this thing for at least a year. I know it will take a bit of time, patience and planning but I know it will be a positive change in my life and hopefully I will be making a positive change in a child's life as well.  
4) I am grateful for my desire to work to improve myself and my life. It's a lifelong process and I'm learning that I need to focus on others as much as I focus on myself in order to be the most happy and feel the most fulfilled. 


1) Photo: My application for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program which is currently in the mailbox with the flag up!
2) One of my coworkers recently won a million dollars in the lottery and she bought everyone lunch from the Olive Garden. :) It was the most carby and delicious lunch ever. 
3) I had a huge instrumentation failure at work and it was definitely not ideal but I refused to get stressed out because I know in those situations there is not much you can do but deal with it and hope for the best. And at 3:30 I always get to leave it all behind. For a day anyway!
4) I am so happy my foot is starting to feel better, I might try to start running again once the snow disappears. I should never take for granted when I am healthy and my body is working properly.
It's such a gift! 


1) Photo: Puppy in a blanket. I think Zuzu gets cold in the middle of the night. She will wake us up by growl-whining and trying to jump on the bed and then, after we tell her no, she will head to the couch and nestle herself among the many blankets. <3
2) We made chicken pesto pasta for dinner and it was pretty good. We are getting better at this dinner making thing!  Well, I am.
3) Brian did something kind today. He spent two hours shoveling our driveway and our neighbors driveway after getting tons of snow last night.
4) It was the worst drive to work I've had since moving across the city and I am grateful for my four wheel drive and being able to get to work safely and on time this morning (relatively stress-free).  


1) Photo: The banana bread we received yesterday from our neighbor who came over with with her three kids and thanked Brian for shoveling. We dug in before they even made it back to their house and now it's half gone! đŸ˜†
2) I got pizza AGAIN at work! I love free food especially when it's delicious.
3) I decided to be on the Lab Week committee at work. I've never been on it before but I thought in the spirit of giving I would give a little bit of my time this year to honor my coworkers.
4) I am grateful for an activity filled (but not too filled!) weekend coming up

February 23, 2016

Mail Goodies: Candy Club

It's already been a month since my last Candy Club unboxing! Actually longer because I'm quite late in posting this. I still have a few sour belts and strawberries left but the octopus candy is long gone. Good thing this box arrived before I completely ran out of candy! (Ha that would never happen.)

I changed my candy package from CLUB Sours & More to CLUB favorites and so I was excited to see what candy I would receive.
Inside the Candy Club package were the three containers of candy and a surprise splash of assorted toffee:

The three candies I received were Gimbal's Orange N' Creme Soft Chews, Sour Patch Cherries and Sour Gummi Poppers from Albanese. 

Can't wait to dig in!
Individual reviews coming soon. (I know you can't wait.)
Order a box of your own here!
This post contains affiliate links but I am not sponsored by Candy Club and this box was purchased with my own money.

February 20, 2016

Happiness Diary #5

Every day I share:
1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) An event that happened or task I accomplished 
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy


 Saturday (2/13/16)

1) Photo: Dessert!  The best part of the meal.
2) My favorite thing I ate today were the pound cake pieces dipped in chocolate but the whole meal at The Melting Pot was pretty epic. We had the Valentines Day special with our friends Mike and Sara. Probably a once in a lifetime thing. :) 
3) Brian and I learned how to play Ticket to Ride, the game we won last night. It's pretty fun and easy to learn and will be great for our next game night.
4) Zuzu has been getting in the habit of waking us up at 530 and I am grateful Brian was the one who dealt with her this morning so I could get a few more hours of sleep.  


1) Photo: Making progress in the office!
2) The Asian chicken salad I ate was my favorite meal of the day. 
3) Brian and I have three walls left to put a second coat of paint on and we will be done! We still need to do a few touch ups with some white paint, the built-in needs another coat of paint and we need window treatments etc. but everything will be accomplished in time.
4) I am grateful for Brian's help with painting. He actually really enjoyed it and after seeing what a difference a coat of paint made, he's motivated to paint the rest of the house too! Yes!


1) Photo: About to marinate this hunk of beef for dinner tonight. 
2) While the cooked hunk of meat was quite delish my favorite food today was the strawberry chew I ate that helped me finish my workout strong. (I don't normally take candy breaks while working out but I had to run upstairs for something in the midst of exercising and they were just sitting there.)
3) I didn't have the best start to my Monday.  I was totally not ready to wake up to my alarm this morning, I couldn't find my badge, I didn't grab my new shoes and I had to rush on snowy roads to get to work on time. Even though it was stressful I didn't let it get to me because I realize there are always things to be learned in stressful situations (ie. Be more prepared next time!) and in the end today really did turn out to be a great day because:
4) Not having to work ten hours today like I was expecting = a great day!! :)


1) Photo: Another day at the dog park.
2) Someone left Valentine's Day candy in the break room at work and I had an orange AirHead. Obviously my meals lacked a little luster today.
3) Brian and I painted at the library this evening and it was quite enjoyable.
4) I am grateful I have a husband who is open to trying new things with me.



1) Photo: The view at the top of the stairs. It's hard to tell but it's a beautiful sunny day today!
2) I made taco salad for dinner tonight and it was yum as usual. 

3) I feel like I've been enjoying blogging more lately. It's always easier and more enjoyable when I actually have things to write about! Also I'm getting into a flow with these Happiness Diaries and writing my daily entry is becoming a highlight of my day. 
4) I am grateful for my new work shoes. They seem to have good support and I hope they help to heal my foot which I hurt a while ago.


1) Photo: 50% off box of Godiva I purchased from Target today. Happy late Valentines Day to me!
2) My burrito bowl from Qdoba was perfect for lunch.
3) I'm researching possibly becoming a Big Sister. I know it would be a big time commitment but I feel like I want to do more meaningful things with my life and I would love to make a difference in a child's life...
4) I am grateful for a warmer day.


1) Photo: A walk in the park.
2) My supervisor bought pizza for lunch today and we all very much enjoyed/appreciated it.
3) I had my last training day at the new office and this weekend I'm on my own! I hope it goes well.
4) I am grateful for non-stressful work days. 

February 18, 2016

Library Canvas Painting

I find it kind of interesting how I haven't painted much before last week (and Brian probably never), but in the past few days we have both painted THREE things! Brian's office, a painting at the Children's Museum, and now these, the paintings we made at the library on Tuesday night.

Canvas painting classes have never really appealed to me, probably because the popular ones are offered with wine (which I don't drink) and the paintings usually aren't anything I would want to hang up in my home. This class, however, was free-ish (I suppose we are paying with our tax dollars) and so I decided to sign the two of us up. 
I signed up over a month ago which was good because apparently the class was very in-demand. The library even called me the day before to make sure we were reeeally coming because there was "a very long wait list". Don't worry we didn't forget! 

The canvases were tiny,

and they still aren't anything I would want to hang up,

but I always love doing different and creative things together.  Also it was interesting to see how the classes were run and it was fun to paint alongside Brian and the elderly women of Grand Rapids.  ;)

February 16, 2016

Mail Goodies: Amazon

The main reason for this purchase was to order more Reach flossers (gotta love bulk pricing on Amazon) but of course I couldn't just buy one thing!

I discovered these Sunsella silicone pop molds when I was looking for the Zipzicle's on Amazon.  The six silicone molds were two dollars more than the 36 Zipzicle bags but I thought the better quality and the ability to reuse the molds justified my purchase.  Also they are much cuter!

I'm planning on freezing some smoothies in these, I have lots of berries and bananas in my freezer that need to be used up and they will be a great snack option to have when my sweet tooth starts acting up. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Speaking of my sweet tooth I thought it would be fun to try this liquid flavored stevia from SweetLeaf. I'm planning on using it in my tea and my oatmeal. There are about five drops per serving so this bottle will last me quite a while.  Maybe I'll try a different flavor with my next bottle!

Until next time. :)

February 13, 2016

Grand Rapids Children's Museum Grown Up Play Date 2016

On Saturday, Brian and I attended the Grand Rapids Children's Museum Grown Up Play Date with our friends George and Deb.  The event was a fundraiser for the Children's Museum and although it was only their second annual event it was well organized and a lot of fun. 

When we arrived we each received three drink tickets (the food and pop were free) and wandered around sampling the food and drinks including lasagna, pizza, ice cream, candy(!) and craft beer and wine.

There were activities available like laser tag, super market sweep, painting and a scavenger hunt to complete throughout the night. 

We created art:

Did some building:

Made some bubbles:

Played super market sweep (which Deb and I won and received the grand prize!!):

And did a few more activities before the night was over:

All in all it was a really fun night and I'm glad we got our tickets before they sold out!

I think we would all be happy to attend this event again in the future only next time we would get in line for laser tag early and I would definitely hit up the gummy bears before they ran out. :)

Happiness Diary #4

Welcome to a new week!

Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) An event that happened or task I accomplished 
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

Saturday (2/6/16)

1) Photo: It was a great day at the dog park, Zuzu had lots of friends to play with although she got so dirty she needed to be rolled up in a towel for the ride home and then rinsed off in the shower.
2) My favorite things to eat today were chips and guacamole from Qdoba. By far. :)
3) Brian and I went out to breakfast after I got home from work. We had a jolly time and had a lot of important things to talk about.
4) I'm grateful for having the next eight days off work!


1) Photo: Brian. :) We were waiting to have breakfast with Jamie (bro-in-law) and the kids (at the same place we had breakfast yesterday). Gretchen was doing a long workout at the YMCA while we all stuffed our faces.
2) The Super Bowl is always a good excuse for an hors d'oeuvre night. My favorite was the small spinach and garlic pizza from Digiorno. Brian's cheese dip was pretty delectable as well. 
3) Brian and I went to Lowes to get some paint samples for his office. I'm excited to get a home project started!
4) I am grateful for 40 degree winter days. They make running errands so much more pleasant.


1) Photo: Zuzu got groomed today! Brian doesn't love it (edit: It's since grown on him) but I think the shorter fur will be so much nicer because: no matts! 
2) We had garlic noodles and veggies for dinner, delish!
3) I downloaded Sketchup which is a program where you can create 3D plans of your home to help you decorate/ renovate etc. We will see how useful the free version is. (Edit: not so useful)
4) I am grateful for naps. They are such a luxury. :)


1) Photo: Dessert! Mine was Green Tea Tiramisu and Brian's was Korean Coffee Cheesecake. Mine was good, Brian's was kind of dry and odd.
2) I reeallly wanted to get sushi this week and tonight we decided to try out a sushi restaurant we have never been to before. We loved it and will definitely be going back!
3) Thanks to BrenĂ© Brown I'm trying to remind myself that people are generally doing the best they can in life.  It gets me out of negative thinking patterns and helps me to not be so easily annoyed.
4) I am grateful for books that help me grow as a person.


1) Photo: Chilling at the library. We are such thrill seekers. 
2) I had a veggie pizza from Subway. One of my favorite pizzas ever TBH.
3) I did my laundry (and folded it) today.  Hey it's something.
4) I am grateful for a soft puppy who always wants to sleep in my lap.


1) Photo: Office progress. We chose the color Foothills by Sherwin Williams but unfortunately the sample was much lighter than the actual paint we are using. (Probably because I wanted wo go with an Olympic no VOC cheaper paint. My bad.) Hopefully it still looks acceptable when we are finished painting.
2) Brian and I had breakfast at his parents house this morning and we had apple fritters, a quiche with hash brown crust and fruit. It was so nice!
3) Zuzu woke me up at 5 am but I tried to make the most of it and did some painting while waiting for Brian to wake up.  It's always nice to get something accomplished early in the morning.
4) I am grateful for people who inspire me. I loved the post Liz Gilbert wrote on her Facebook this morning. Especially the part where she writes "And I believe there no is gentler or safer place to stand on this earth than in a place where you can say to yourself, "I love every bit of you, you beautiful freak."


1) Photo: The current scene behind me. It was practically a blizzard half an hour ago but now it's calmed down a bit and looks quite peaceful out there.
2) My favorite thing to eat today was the pizza that was served when:
3) Brian and I went to an "adult play date" at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum with our friends George and Deb tonight.
4) I am so grateful my horrendous headache went away (with a little Tylenol and lots of water) so I could fully enjoy the evening. More about the event later!


February 6, 2016

Happiness Diary #3

Welcome to another week!
Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
Something I ate that was delicious
3) An event that happened or task I accomplished 
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

 Saturday (1/30/16)

1) Photo: The things I have to watch on Saturday nights. :) MMA is not my thing, luckily I have my phone to distract me.
2) The batch of apples I bought recently (photo in previous diary) have been delicious! Gala apples are sometimes a hit or miss and I'm glad this time they are crispy, flavorful and sweet. 
3) I finished working an entire 40 hour week today without using any PTO. It can be hard not to leave early some days so I'm always happy to have an entire work week under my belt. I need to save PTO for fun things!
4) I am grateful for alone time.  Brian works from home which is great and I love having him around but I do relish having the house to myself sometimes.


1) Photo: Terrible lighting but this is the painting I am currently working on. I love being creative but I am not very talented so I usually stick with abstract art.
2) I loved eating my crockpot cashew chicken with veggies tonight, not really because it tasted the greatest but because:
3) Making a new recipe always feels like an accomplishment.
4) I am grateful for working my last weekend at the hospital. My weekends from now on will be at an office closer to where I live and I will be working alone. I'm looking forward to being on my own though I'm sure there will be a few disadvantages!


1) Photo: I am currently reading Daring Greatly by BrenĂ© Brown and I love this page. 
2) I ate a ton of candy today which was super delicious but also made me feel tired and achy. Never again!  (Yeah, right.)
3) I organized our pantry and went on a walk with Brian and Zuzu and that was pretty much the extent of my productivity today.
4) I am grateful for lazy days and try not to take them for granted or feel guilty about them. 


1) Photo: Getting ready for the day! I can't remember the last time I woke up and it was somewhat light outside. I woke up at 525 so it was super dark. 
2) My green tea (with loads of honey) was the best. 
3) I trained a student today. I don't love training but the more experience the better and I'm always happy and feel accomplished when the day is over.
4) I am grateful for sunny winter days. They are so beautiful and welcome. 
1) Photo: Brian was under the weather today and had to take half the day off work. :( Luckily he was still able to entertain Z. 
2) I had a cookie at work today, I just couldn't resist and I loved every bite.  :)
3) I got home from work early and got in a workout, folded laundry and tidied up the house. It's always a nice feeling to have everything in order.
4) I am grateful for having lots of energy for my workout today. Sometimes I start working out but call it quits after a few minutes because I'm just not feeling it, but today was not one of those days! 

1) Photo: The bean soup I made for dinner.  It was very good except for the pieces of ham which I've been trying to remove because they turned dark brown and taste kind of nasty.
2) A pathologist at work bought everyone pizza today and it seriously hit the spot. Could have eaten four slices instead of my two but wanted to save enough for everyone else. :)
3) I feel like I haven't accomplished much today but at least I hit 10,000 steps on my Fitbit which doesn't happen as much as it should!
4) I am grateful for sleep. One of my true loves. 

1) Here are some of the temptations available at work every so often. I'd say I partake in a treat about 50% of the time.  
2) Chobani Chocolate Haze Craze yogurt is so good it's like a dessert. I ate one at break today, yumm.
3) Brian and I haven't been grocery shopping in quite a while and since he was feeling better we decided to hit up Costco tonight. I love having food in our house!
4) I'm so happy it's Friday!!! I do have to work tomorrow but only for a few hours in the morning and then vacation can start! 


February 4, 2016

Mail goodies: Sephora


I was pretty excited to receive my package from Sephora about a week ago. It's been quite a while since I have bought anything from Sephora. I used to be obsessed with makeup and would frequently buy new products but lately I've been trying to cut back on my purchases and use and keep only the things I love. This Sephora spree (well, I only bought two items) was a Christmas gift from Brian. I usually get some kind of shopping experience for holidays or birthdays which I love because it's a great excuse to buy something I've really been wanting for a while.

It's always nice to shop in store at Sephora and try out products before buying them, but shopping on their website is also fun because you get free samples and can usually find codes for extra goodies. I received a load of samples with my Sephora order:

I also received a deluxe sample of bareMinerals Skinlongevity serum (which I bought with 100 of my Sephora reward points) along with my main purchases:

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade
I used it before I took pics! I'm so not a beauty blogger.

I have used Anastasia brow powders for a long time and liked them but I wanted to try something new and more long lasting. It took me a long time to decide which shade to buy because I wasn't sure if I should get the Ebony shade which is slightly more brown or Granite, which is a true black. I know the rule is if your eyebrows are dark you should go a couple of shades lighter, so I chose Ebony but with reservations! 
First impressions after a few days of use: While the Ebony is definitely warmer toned and lighter than my eyebrows, it looks okay if I blend it through my entire brow because it somewhat matches my hair which has some brown tones. If I wanted to draw individual hairs I think I would want the jet black Granite but I really don't have time for that precision every morning so I'm sticking with the Ebony.

Laura Mercier loose setting powder:

I have heard so many great things about this powder and it's been on my wish list for quite a while. I love using a powder to set my foundation (and mattify my bare skin) and help create a smooth canvas for application of my blush or bronzer. I heard this one is also good with controlling oily skin, something I need especially for my t-zone area.

First impressions after a few days of use: I like! The powder is super smooth and doesn't seem to cake in my fine lines. I love using it with a small soft brush for my undereye area but I really need to find a better powder brush for my face, maybe in the next haul!