5 Days Until We Open Our Happy Jar!

I mention the origin of the name Our Happy Jar on my About page, but it seems like a good time to share the full story: on Monday, it’ll be a year since we started our “real” happy jar!

Happy Jar

The OG! 😉

When our first wedding anniversary came around, Matt and I had just recently purchased and renovated our current home (fun fact: this is our 5th place together in 9 years!). So to save a little money, we decided to make each other paper anniversary-themed gifts.

Matt stepped up his origami game and made monogrammed 3-D paper diamonds (my birthstone!):

Matt’s pretty crafty!

I decided to start a happy jar to store all our happy thoughts (based off of pins like these ones):

Where it all started!

At the time, it seemed like just a cute idea, but it’s turned out to be pretty great. It sounds silly and cliché, but appreciating the little things has made it easier to not sweat the small stuff (which is still a learning process for me). More importantly, it’s expanded into this blog! As I’ve said, it’s an extension of the physical mason jar—somewhere to document all the good things and good times (and the silver linings of not-so-good times) in my life.

Monday is our wedding anniversary, so we’ll be opening our happy jar to read all the notes we’ve made since last year. I’m sure there have been many moments (big and small) to be happy about and grateful for this past year… can’t wait to revisit them! ❤

International Day of Happiness: All the Good Things

In Grade 8, when Chicken Soup for the Soul was all the rage, one of our teachers decided to try something that was in a story called All the Good Things (Snopes outlines the story, which has been proven to be true).

We were told to write something we liked about each of our classmates, which would be kept anonymous. Our teacher then compiled all of these things into one list for each person and printed them out for us to keep.

To this day, there are 2 things that I always keep with me in my wallet (aside from the essentials): an old Polaroid photo of me with my parents and that list from more than 15 years ago.

All the Good Things

It’s a pretty sad-looking piece of paper now, and I don’t read it all the time, but I keep it there as a reminder of something really special: a memory of a time when we all stopped to think about all the good things we saw in each other.

It sounds really cheesy, but the concept is pretty much why I started Our Happy Jar. To me, being happy is about appreciating the small things and about seeing the good things in other people—even those who are different from you—and in life.

This brings me to the event that sparked this post: March 20th is the International Day of Happiness! I love Pharrell (and everything i am OTHER stands for), who is partnering with the UN Foundation to celebrate happiness and to raise funds for the Central Emergency Response Fund, so support the cause!

If not, then at least celebrate Happy Day: do something that makes you or someone else in your life happy!

Where Our Happy Jar’s Been: Our My Places Map of Toronto

I absolutely love My Places on Google Maps (Lifehacker has a good article on this topic). I was first inspired to start creating/using personalized maps a few years back when visiting our friends G & M in San Francisco; M had created a map of all the places they’d been, which was super helpful for visiting friends like us!

I now use My Places almost every time Matt and I travel to a new city. That way, the eateries, landmarks, and points of interest I’ve earmarked are at our fingertips! I’ve been putting off creating one for Toronto because it was pretty daunting, but I finally took the plunge and started one.

Access the map via my Where Our Happy Jar’s Been: Toronto page!

map

You can also access the map by clicking this image!

So far it’s all food (surprising, right? 😉 ), and I’ve only made a dent in the places we’ve been, but I’ll continue to add more restaurants, places we love in Toronto, and points of interest. If you have a map to share (Toronto or otherwise), I’d love to hear from you!

Basketball + Greek Yogurt Smoothie Bars

The two statements I’m about to make are completely different, but both make me happy:

  1. A new NBA season is starting today… YAY!
  2. President’s Choice Blue Menu Greek Yogurt & Yogurt Smoothie bars are AMAZING!

As you can see, today’s post is going to be a bit random…

Continue reading