Happiness lies between the Bitter and Sweet.

“Wherever you read this, and wherever you are, you are in the right place to begin.”

I like to think of Gretchen Rubin’s, New York Times Bestseller, “The Happiness Project” as my pair of travelling pants. It came to me when I needed it the most. Sure, in reality I picked it up in a book store at the Miami airport, waiting to board my flight to Great Exuma in the Bahamas, but what I didn’t know was that it would be the beach read that changed me forever.

Bahamas flower

Returning to our honeymoon spot for our second wedding anniversary was one of the best decisions I have ever made. In a way, the island was our first home away from home, our own little corner of the world. Everyday, Thomas and I packed up for the beach, steps away from our room. We read our books for hours, sipping lots of iced coffee and soaking up the sun. To lay side by side, on a dot on the world map, yet in separate worlds in our books, it was wonderful.

Hello there

Gretchen advises to find what it is that brings you down, what pulls you up, to get organized, take control, to make quality time, to make realistic resolutions and work like hell to keep them. My initial reaction was that it was as if I were reading my own diary, her words more eloquent than mine. She told me what I needed to hear.

Some pages made me laugh, some made me cry, but they weren’t sad tears, they were of appreciation. I thought back to our wedding day, to childhood – dancing in the living room with my mom, jumping into my dad’s arms when he got home from work, when my brother stopped being annoying and became my friend, to family, to friends who were there for me, to the coworkers/friends I get the privilege to work with, my adorable Sniper cat. They matter to me. Who cries in paradise? That’s an epiphany.

Would I say that I am unhappy? Absolutely not. Could I be happier? Sure. Could I get more out of life? Yes.

“I didn’t want to reject my life. I wanted to change my life without changing my life, by finding more happiness in my own kitchen.”

Take the time to cocoa dust the cake pans…

Cocoa dusted pans

Life is fragile and precious. It can be taken from us at any moment. We could lose someone we love. You can’t always be happy. Maybe you don’t have it all figured out. I don’t either. Life can break your heart.

Maybe happiness lies between the bitter and sweet.

I took a second look at the ocean, leaned in for an extra kiss, took it all in, moments like these are to be savored.

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I jotted down my own resolutions: “live like it’s island time”, put down the iphone, I’d love to stop taking life for granted, live a little more, pencil in me-time, get organized, make a chore chart, go on more date nights & trips like these, get more quality time with the people I love, cook more, eat better, buy less… blog consistently, photograph, become a morning person, look forward to the weekend yet appreciate the work week, “less stress more love”, Say I love you.

I’m more aware of my own happiness.

Love you

This past weekend, soon after his eighteenth birthday and baking his favorite giant “Trunchbull cake”, we moved my brother into his freshman dorm. He and my husband are friends; brothers, You could see my Dad was taking it hard. After hugging her son goodbye for the first time, the moment she closed his door, my mom fell apart. To my surprise, the moment I closed the car door, I cried. Thomas took my hand and squeezed it.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

-A.A Milne, Winnie the Pooh

We love you Doug.

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Times like these are the heartbreaking ones.

We’re going to miss him and it’s not going to be the same but we are incredibly proud of him and happy for him. It’s bittersweet….

Big Chocolate Birthday Cake – The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond

Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Birthday Cake

Check out The Happiness Project and online and my go-to chocolate cake!

7 thoughts on “Happiness lies between the Bitter and Sweet.

  1. That cake looks amazing.

    I love the wisdom in this post and it’s so wonderful you were able to go back to where you had your honeymoon.

    It’s so sweet how close you all are to your brother, I’m sure he feels so loved and safe :)

  2. The Happiness Project is a book that definitely alters you, while reading. Happier At Home, the “sequel” is good too. I like the “traveling pants” reference – agreed! Sometimes, the universe gives you exactly what you need, when you need it. Love your blog !

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