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  • Maddie LaBerge

Ten things I did this month that brought me happiness

When I am having a down month, I try my best to surround myself with people and items that remind be how beautiful life can be. The past 30 days have really been a prime example of this philosophy and everything listed below has drastically improved my mood.

1. Trader Joes Bouquet

Is there any better feeling than having a beautiful bouquet of flowers in your living space? When I do, I feel so elegant. It also always makes me feel as though I have a secret admirer, although my admirer is not a secret, it is me. I pick out a big bright bouquet with lots of greenery and a variety of flowers before carefully selecting which vase it would display the best in. I then cut the stems to the proper length and arrange them in a precise manner so that it looks beautiful on all sides.

Trader Joes Bouquet in strawberry vase on countertop

In the future, I'll walk through how I go about making beautiful flower arrangements!

2. Eucalyptus in My Shower

While I was scouting out flowers for the above, I also picked up a bundle of eucalyptus for my shower. If you haven't been seeing the Tiktok and Pinterest girlies do this, then where have you been? Essentially, you just take it out of it's plastic and hang it over your shower head. Some people have tied it with twine or ribbon for the ~aesthetic~ but I just hung it up with the green rubber band it came with.

This makes every shower you take a transformational spa experience. As your space becomes steamy, the eucalyptus infuses the air with its signature scent and opens your sinuses, allowing you to breathe deeply. In short – it's a dreamy (and cheap) way to improve your hygiene routine.

3. Filling Out My Planner

It has been a few years since I actively carried around a planner. Last year I bought a planner, which are typically where my tried and true planners come from, but it failed to take. I blame the small size. With age, I have realized if a planner is going to work for me it will need to be the size of a notebook with large boxes for every day with easily accessible weekly and monthly views. Everything else is bonus.

Anyway – I've been consistent in my planner for about 6 weeks and it has been such a significant improvement for my calendar maintenance. I had a few big calendar goof-ups a few years ago and was shamed into maintaining my phone calendar – a feature I barely had touched. I understand the necessity of it, but the time of maintaining it made me freeze. I would probably just remember anyway. (I wouldn't.)

4. Went on Morning Walks

Since I adopted Steve (coming up on two years in August!) one of my favorite small joys have been our dog walks together. As it is quickly heating up in Phoenix (it is set to hit 100º next week😬), my morning dog walks are getting earlier and earlier. The weather before 8 am is so cool in the 60ºs and make for the most perfect walks. The sunrises have been very pretty to see and it's also nice to get some sun, without that experience also coming with blazing heat.

5. Went on Afternoon Walks

Something new that has been added into my day are afternoon walks. These are also getting earlier as the days are growing warmer, which might require me to change this title as late-morning walks or pre-afternoon walks. My manager at work tries to make sure we fit in at least one 20-30 minute walk in a day, which I love. We walk together and normally get in just over a mile. The break is a nice way to reset and prepare for the last half of my day.

6. Went to the Farmer's Market

This Saturday, Max & I went to the Uptown Farmer's Market in Phoenix. It was my second time but I was able to navigate like a pro. We left with green chile cheese sourdough bread, jalapeños, croissants, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, onions, tortillas, buttermilk buns, spring mix, and more. It was a fantastic haul.

Phoenix Farmers Market PRODUCE FRESH LOCAL

Then, on my way to Trader Joe's, we ran into the Local Trade Market in the shopping center parking lot. There, Max bought a wooden ornament and a porcelain garlic grate shaped like a fish! The vendors even wrapped it in newspaper for us, os we could get the full "Seattle experience."

7. Cooked with Fresh and Local Ingredients

Of course, leaving the farmer's market with all of that delicious food and local produce had me feeling inspired so I was happy to cook breakfast and lunch with my market loot. For dinner, we cooked locally made squid ink linguine with a roasted garlic tomato sauce. Out of this world.

I can't forget my addition of fresh basil from my garden!

8. Read my Book

I've been in a bit of a reading slump, so I am happy to report that after picking up a short, bright yellow Nora Ephron book from Goodwill, I have been zooming through it and actually enjoying it. It's called "I Hate My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman." While some of the passages don't apply to me, it is interesting to read her perspective. Plus, she wrote and directed "Julie and Julia", which is one of my favorite movies.

9. Cuddled With my Dog

The highlight of my every morning is snuggling up with Steve. I then ponder what it must be like to have such an amazing charmed life. I then get up and proceed to attend to my less charmed but not altogether-charming-less life.

Cuddling my dog Steve

10. Bought New Sheets

My new obsession has been taking trips to 5Below. Everything in the front of the store is (you guessed it) $5 and below. Nothing in the store is over $30. It's a cheap haven. I recently bought a strawberry flower vase, a cherry shelf, cherry ceramic bowls, cowgirl boot ring tray, and a disco ball. They have so many random goodies and all for so cheap that I can't help it. So, I bought the $5 queen sheet set which ended up being pretty good quality! They have a cute little sun pattern that I love because it brings a little sunshine to my mornings when I wake up and evenings when I fall asleep.

White sheets with sun pattern


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