Torie & Tristan, Out & About

It’s been a busy last few weeks. Here’s a mini photo journal.

A friend invited us over for Moscow mules at her “carriage house.” I didn’t know what a carriage house was, either. But now, I’m obsessed – it’s basically a mini party house that lives in the backyard:


Upon quick research, they appear to be universally charming. And this particular carriage house is shabby chic fabulous. The lights on the wall spell out BE NICE. And look at these Moscow Mules all lined up, begging me to take a picture (and drink one):

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Now that Tristan is advocating for local, organic food, I initiated him into the granola world that is the Ballard Farmer’s Market. If you’ve seen my recipes lately, you’ll know I’m already a fan.


We made the mistake of going at lunchtime and so naturally, everything looked and smelled delicious. We made a pit stop at the Market Minis stand for some powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar fresh mini donuts.

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Then we opted for fresh tamales and veggies:



And look at this!

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Later, using some of our veggie purchases, I created one of my first-ever “I think these ingredients should all taste good together” recipes: roasted red pepper, sauteed mushrooms, chicken, chestnut fettuccine, cucumber, basil, garlic…


And, yay!


Another night, when Tristan was in charge of dinner, he continued to confirm that he is a WAY better photographer than I am. I received this picture message on my phone:


He just has an eye for photography which I try to fake. And I even have a better camera phone. Oh well, that’s why we’re a team! And the dinner was yummy, too :).

We also tried out two raw “healthy” cookie dough ball recipes – chocolate chip and peanut butter butterscotch. LOVED them both, and they lasted us all week and completely satisfied our sweet tooth (teeth?) while being a great protein boost.



This weekend, we are having my aunt and uncle over for fondue (our fave) and I will be able to finally debut my Easter tablescape and new gold flatware. Pictures to come next week!





March 8, 2014

It’s finally starting to feel a bit like spring in Seattle. Which doesn’t mean much; maybe just less frost in the morning. Occasionally the smell of grass wafts by. It does mean that there’s a new occassion for which to decorate – Easter!

I am slowly adding new holidays to my decorating stash each year. Halloween/Thanksgiving was an easy first, since all of my belongings were black, white and rust anyway. Christmas came next (chronologically) and I forced myself into a metallic color scheme so that I wouldn’t be tempted by all ornaments ever. Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Day were added in 2013. This year, I’m exploring Easter and potentially 4th of July. St. Patty’s Day is more of a 2015 project, I think. Any holidays I’m missing?

Anyway. Here are the ideas I’m looking at to inspire my Easter decor this year:

Torie and Tristan - 4 Spring Decor Trends - TREND 1- Burlap

Easter is about the only occasion where I will permit myself to use this material, likely because burlap is actually used in springtime activities such as gardening.

Clockwise from top, L-R: Shabby Chic Easter Bunny; Rustic Burlap Easter Bunny Sign (cute dollar store DIY here!); Bunny Burlap Runner; Easter Carrot Glittered Burlap Banner

Torie and Tristan - 4 Spring Decor Trends - TREND 2 - Hanging Eggs

A fun alternative to a bunting sign – embrace it! Top: Top Dreamer Bottom: DIY Showoff

Torie and Tristan - 4 Spring Decor Trends - TREND 3 - White Ceramic Bunnies and Moss

White ceramic bunnies JUST got added to my thrift store hunt list. How chic next to greenery, and for those of us who love bold contrast? Of course, these could also be quite subtle against a white backdrop. And, you can even spraypaint them brown and they look like chocolate bunnies!

Top: Setting for Four Middle: Martha Stewart Bottom: Martha Stewart

Torie and Tristan - 4 Spring Decor Trends - TREND 4- Candlesticks and ClochesI have built quite a collection of apothocary jars, candlesticks, cloches, and glass platters from – I know, broken record – thrift stores. For $10 at Michael’s, you can buy kraft eggs and “nesting branches” (? I just made that name up) and create a beautiful Easter-themed vignette. I know this because I just bought these two items at Michael’s today and it was $10.

Clockwise L-R: Easter Eggshell Votives; Glittered Egg Candlesticks; Apothocary Eggs; Speckled and Guilded Easter Eggs; Apothocary Eggs 2; Purple Easter Scape


I am feeling excited for my Easter/spring decor this year! Are there any other trends you’ve noticed that I’ve missed? I will probably incorporate garden creatures such as bunnies and birds so that I can keep the decorations up throughout spring, but will incorporate phrases such as “He is Risen” and perhaps some crosses for Easter itself. I’ll be sure to share my results with you!



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Valentines Day Treats - torieandtristan


The longer you follow this blog, you’ll note that topiaries and wreaths are the only decorations in my wheelhouse. I am a one-trick pony! Wait, and candles.

My favorite topiaries and wreaths are made of boxwood, and after I made the initial investment, no holiday is except from their presence. I was inspired by this Etsy wreath. Hobby Lobby is likely the cheapest place to purchase boxwood wreaths and topiaries, but definitely check online retailers such as Amazon in case there’s a door-buster deal. I also stumbled upon this garland from Paper Source which is cute sans-wreath as well.

Playing off of the XOXO theme, I love this project from Amy Sue I Love You – simple and easy to display.


Call me a scrooge, but I just don’t have the motivation to make Valentine’s Day cards for my friends and loved ones. I expect this motivation to come back when I have kids, and need to compete with other moms for Best Valentine in the Class. When the time comes,  I’m sure the cards will be one of these 12 Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids.


I found the Dating Divas website a while back, and though the sappiness factor makes me puke a little bit in my mouth sometimes, they do have some really cute ideas. Also, I found the website because I realized I needed to work harder at my marriage, and I respect the fact that these ladies are actively working at it.

I love their date night idea with the theme Love’s Laboratory, which includes a few simple G-rated science experiments and printables for added charm. Add vanilla vodka to this recipe; call it Love Potion No. 9.

Not G-Rated: February Love Calendar << If Tristan or I call you mom, do your self a favor and SKIP THIS ONE.


I have spent far more of my Valentine’s Days as a single adult versus in a relationship, but that doesn’t mean I was alone on Valentine’s Day! I always went out with a girlfriend or had a dinner party. My cousin just threw a Cocktails & Conversations party for ladies only – how cute would that be on Valentine’s Day?

One fun activity could be a lipstick or lipgloss exchange – each gal brings her favorite drugstore lipstick or lipgloss (wrapped and unused, of course) and each gal leaves with a new one. Take a group pictures at the end with each lady sporting her new shade. You could also buy some cheapie canvases (one for each guest) and have each gal kiss the canvases. For a fresh take on this trend, outline the lips in black a la Andy Warhol.

Lipstick image from Stephanie Louise.


Oh Em Gee, I’m obsessed with Macarons. Totes the new cupcake. How darling are these ones, which come embossed with a Sweetheart-eque phrase?

Tristan loves his popcorn. I love making everything more complicated. The perfect marriage: Valentine’s White Chocolate Popcorn.


I hope you’ve loved these ideas! Let me know what you think and of any other good ideas I need to know about! 🙂



Seahawks Chic

This might be the ex-cheeleader in me, but I’ve always loved planning and wearing spirited outfits. I think it’s the challenge and creativity involved in being color-constrained. I loved gearing up for Husky football with a new headband and socks this year, and while I didn’t purchase any new Seahawks gear for tomorrow’s Superbowl game (we invested in jerseys this season), I can sure plan ahead to next year! Here are the best new/cute/fun items I’ve seen that I would love to add to my spirit gear stash:

TorieandTristan SeahawksChic

Seahawks Superbowl Outfit - TorieandTristan.com


1 – This beanie has just the sporty yet chic look I love. Plus, when worn with a black leather jacket, black pants and gold accessories, it could totally translate outside of football.

2 & 3 – These nail decals and nail polish colors are the diamond in the rough of all Seahawks manicures I saw. As I mildly freak out about later in this post, the Seahawks logo is very intricate and peopleshouldnotpaintitiftheyaren’tabsolutelyamazingbecauseitwillsuck! GAH!

4 – His and hers sweatshirts that say “12th man” in French… très  Seahawks chic! More info here.

Two notes on Seahawks shoes. I saw so many Seahawks-y heels. I would like to know – who actually wears high heels to the games?! I wouldn’t even wear them to a bar to watch the game. But they are cute! I’m more interested in tennis shoes, though. Which brings me to my next point. I have seen several hand-painted Seahawks tennis shoes on Etsy for eleventy million dollars, and I’m struggling. The hawks logo is very intricate, so perhaps a simple NFL logo such as the Chicago Bears would’ve been fine… but I found some serious proportion/line issues with all of the Seahawks ones I saw. Yes, I’m probably overly passionate about this.

5 – Some shoes on Etsy aren’t hand-painted. These are pricey but I know the logo is official, and who doesn’t love Cons!? Obviously simple navy blue Cons with lime green laces would be darling as well and one-fifth the price. Maybe even these cute laces from American Apparel!?

6 – LOVE THESE PANTS which mimic our football player’s uniform. What girl wouldn’t want to lounge around in relevant leggings on the weekend? And best yet, these are for sale on Facebook.

7 – These are my coworker’s feet yesterday. Sheer brilliance to wear neon yellow/green shoes and make them Seahawks-y by adding blue leopard laces. Similar shoes available here, which I in fact own myself. Too bad I couldn’t find navy laces in time!

8 – Another non hand-painted Seahawks shoe. Pricey but fun.


At this point in time I feel it would also be appropriate to mention something related to a Seahawks viewing party, this being a lifestyle blog and all…

I have had this Pin stored away for quite some time now for a future game watching party. I will preface it with this: In my mind, this darling display is the single remaining acceptable use of mason jars that I know of. Click on the link below the photo for more fun ideas and printables.



From Flamingo Toes.




NYE Smorgasbord Party Pics!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thought I’d share some pics of the NYE Smorgasbord Pre-Funk last night before the Three Crowns Gala at the Swedish Club. In case you missed it, here was my round-up of inspiration pictures.

I had the day off, so I was able to putz around all day and decorate. I put together some signage, made stir sticks, and tinseled everything. It was really fun to get to finally use some of the platters we received as wedding presents… but there was one casualty in the dish-washing process :(. Here some set-up shots:

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It wouldn’t be a party post without pictures of the bar! Normally, we are more beer/wine folk, however we have a fully stocked bar right now thanks to some Christmas presents from work vendors.

Jan. NYE Smorgasbord Party - www.TorieandTristan.com

NYE Smorgasbord Party - www.TorieandTristan.com

NYE Smorgasbord Party - www.TorieandTristan.com

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We had eight friends over, though some of them managed to dodge the camera. Say hi!

NYE Smorgasbord Party - TorieandTristan.com

NYE Smorgasbord Party - TorieandTristan.com

NYE Smorgasbord Party - TorieandTristan.com

NYE Smorgasbord Party - TorieandTristan.com

NYE Smorgasbord Party - TorieandTristan.com

NYE Smorgasbord Party - TorieandTristan.com

NYE Smorgasbord Party - TorieandTristan.com

After some light imbibing and bites, it was off to the Three Crown Ball to watch fireworks at the Space Needle, and rock out to some ABBA –

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NYE Smorgasbord Party - TorieandTristan.com


They even had a Swedish pancake breakfast at 12:15 a.m. to cap the evening off.

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And that’s a wrap!

It’s been a year of major milestones, both good and bad, giving me the sense that 2014 is bound to be less stressful than 2013. In the coming days, I’ll share some of the organization ideas I’m hoping will jump-start a less stressful lifestyle. But we are off to Lake Chelan this weekend, so I’m putting off re-entering the real world just a bit longer :).





NYE Smorgasbord Party


New Year’s Eve is generally annoying in the Seattle area. This is my blog, so my opinion is fact. You can either spend $100+ per ticket to attend a gala with hundreds of ostentatiously dressed drunk people, or buy your way into a private, deluxe dinner at a restaurant. Or, one of your friends can host a party, which gives you an excuse to dress up in a far more low key environment, with people you actually like.

This year, Tristan and I discovered that the Swedish Club behind our apartment building is hosting a mid-century NYE “ball” with live ABBA music and Swedish pancake breakfast at 12:15 a.m. for a mere $25 per ticket. SIGN. US. UP.


We have put together a group of friends to go with us, and are hosting a prefunk party at our house just in case our destination is filled with 400 old people. The prefunk party will be Smorgasbord themed in honor of our Swedish destination. Not literally (no herring and beet salad), just in the fact that I’m throwing everything together and hoping it works, both in decor and menu. I don’t have time to go unearth my gold shimmery tablecloth or striped runners from the storage unit, nor do I feel like spending a ton of money on creating some perfectly paired menu with signature cocktails. We bought chips and guac (the essentials), some mixers, and I made fudge. My friend – bless her heart – informed me that she’s bringing cheese…YAY! I bought a really cute garland and hats from Metropolitan Market yesterday. But other than that, we are using what we already have (including a very well stocked bar, thanks to some of Tristan’s work vendors!).

Here is the garland I purchased, to give you an idea of the color scheme I’m locked to, seeing as I have no color in my apartment (unless you count leopard).

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NYE Garland

It’s by Meri Meri, a super cute vintage-style party supplies company.

I don’t want the look to be a tidy tablescape; I want it to be jam packed with knick-knacks, sparkles, festive-ness and yummy treats. I love this bubbly bar from La Mia Vita:


I love this tablescape from Tiffany Pratt in Rue Magazine:

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And tell me you don’t love this party hat from A Subtle Revelry:

Tulle Poof Hat

Here are some other “crowded” tablescape pics that tickle my fancy…

Studio DIY:

NYE Inspiration 1

Green Wedding Shoes:

NYE Inspiration

Kelly Lee for Rue Magazine:

NYE Inspiration 4

Also Rue Magazine:

NYE Inspiration 3

If I’m lucky, I’ll figure out a way to create cute stir sticks for this party in the next 8 hours! 🙂 As mentioned on this post, I get such fulfillment from re-purposing items and materials I already have. And I’m CONVINCED I won’t be running around stressing out all day. If I can prove to myself (and Tristan, ha!) that I am capable of a low-cost, low-stress party, then it is sure to be a happy new year, filled with lots more parties. 🙂



header image via Studio DIY

Christmas Cocktail & Cookie Party for Two!

Since August, I’ve dreamed of this post. I was glancing through my copy of Sips & Apps by Kathy Casey and came across the Douglas Fir Sparkletini, which uses a Douglas Fir Branch-infused gin. I thought, how darling would it be if I made the gin with a branch from my Christmas tree and then drank the cocktail whilst decorating the tree?!

A few weeks ago, we went and got our tree, and then the REAL work started.

Torie and Tristan to Tree Farm!

I pruned off a branch and some garnish twigs and gave them a rinse in some Trader Joe’s produce wash. You know… so as not to contaminate the hard alcohol with anything bad for my body…

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After they’d dried off a bit, the longest branch went into the gin bottle for 24 hours – festive, no?

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As it turned out, my gin got extra flavor infusion, since I wasn’t able to decorate my tree for a full week after purchasing it… long story. I was REAL ready for that cocktail when we finally had everything we needed for the in one place. #storageunitjoys

I gathered the ingredients, and per usual, I made it as complicated as possible for myself by wanting to make homemade simple syrup and lemon sour.

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I had also purchased some adorbs cookie cutters at an event earlier this winter, and at 76 cents each, they were right in my price range:

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Sooo “on brand” … how could I not?!

I didn’t exactly want to make homemade cookies, but did want a little nosh to accompany our cocktails. I purchased a Pillsbury break-and-bake package and attempted to meld the scraps together and roll it into another dough ball to try out my new cookie cutters. Not the worst idea, however my shapes kind of blurred in the baking process :(.

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Whatevs! I believe the pros would pipe the edges with icing and then flood the center to get the clean, sharp edge effect. And, they’d probably have a less ghetto way of baking than my strategy :).


I doubled the cocktail recipe and it was exactly enough for two shooters and two small glasses. Oh yeah, and I lost the garnish sprigs I had set aside a week before, but those would’ve been a fun touch, or perhaps some sugared cranberries.

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Bon appetit and cheers!

Here are the recipes:

Douglas Fir Sparkletini

makes one drink

  • 1 5-6 inch sprig of fresh-picked Douglas fir branch; rinsed
  • 1 750ML bottle gin (note: this bottle would make 16 drinks)
  • 1-1/2 oz. Douglas Fir Infused Gin
  • 3/4 oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1-1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Sour
  • Splash of brut Champagne or dry sparkling wine (but let’s be real, I bought a huge bottle and drank the leftovers!)
  • Tiny sprig of Douglas fir or fresh/frozen cranberry for garnish

To make the infused gin, put the rinsed fir branch in the gin bottle and cap; remove branch after 24 hours. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Measure in the infused gin, cranberry juice, and lemon sour.  Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and top with a splash of Champagne. Garnish with a fir sprig and float a cranberry in the drink.

Fresh Lemon Sour

  • 1 c. fresh lemon juice (this was about 6 lemons)
  • 1 cup Simple Syrup

In a medium pitcher, combine ingredients. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Simple Syrup

  • 2 c. water
  • 2 c. sugar

Mix the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil 1 minute, them immediately remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature before using. Store in a clean glass bottle or container at room temperature for up to two weeks, or refrigerated up to three months.

Stay tuned for my next post for our TREE REVEAL! 🙂






From the Island to the Stadium to the Tree Farm!

Here are some shots from our whirlwind 4-day weekend.


Headed to Camano Island, Wash. on Wednesday evening. The tradition is to eat at the Mexican restaurant the night before Thanksgiving. The next morning, my cousin Danielle made everyone lefse, a Norwegian flatbread, which she buttered and cinnamon-sugared.

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After lefse and some pumpkin liqueur coffee, I left Tristan on a chair watching football and went on a hike with my mother-in-law and aunt around Camas Beach. It was beautiful!


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We stopped at the most charming bed and breakfast on the way back to search for my father-in-law rumored to be enjoying a bloody mary at the bar.

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After we got back, I saw that Tristan was exactly where I left him. So I took his lead and parked myself in front of the fire with a magazine and fresh cup of coffee.

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Before we left for the hike, Danielle and I had collaborated on Ina Garten’s mulled wine recipe. I know I married into the right family because they just so happened to have vintage gold-embellished mugs AND festive glass stir sticks on hand. It was the perfect stress reliever as I made …

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… my first-ever stuffing! Talk about grown up. Last year I brought a salad.

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On the table it went:

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After dinner and a power nap, some of the gal cousins and I went into the hot tub, and decided to paint our nails and watch a Christmas movie. When there’s teenagers involved, the color quota goes up by like, one million:



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Lots and lots of glitter. Stay tuned for my DIY Manicure #3 post with the sparkly results.

The next morning, we left the island bright and early to head to the annual Apple Cup between University of Washington and Washington State University back at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

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Here’s our stadium’s view. As I mentioned in my last post, we are never far from water and/or boats. When he was a kid, Tristan’s dad used to bring him out on their boat  next to the stadium and they’d listen to the game on the radio.

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The next morning, we met some friends at Trinity Tree Farm, where we picked out (and chopped down) our very first tree as husband and wife.

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Ta Da!

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We will be decorating the tree this upcoming weekend because I only grabbed one of my Christmas boxes from storage, and apparently it wasn’t the one with the ornaments. So, I can’t get very far without them!

Does anyone else feel majorly behind already since Thanksgiving was so late this year!? I’m trying to be so festive but there’s NO TIME!




Torie’s Fave FREE Things


Image from This Is Glamorous

Every Christmas, I come up with a list of my Favorite Things, clearly inspired by Oprah. I give different combinations of these gifts to my friends and family for Christmas. Since I was busy this week “building content” for the blog (AKA too busy to blog!), I wanted to post a Thanksgiving-inspired list of my favorite FREE things – experiences and items that are free which I’m thankful for.

1. Looking at photo vignettes including some combination of the following: coffee in a mug, wine in a glass, book or magazine, laptop, a cozy couch, soft blanket, roaring fire. Bonus points if a Parisian dessert is featured. I think it just transports me into the relaxing moment, wherever I am. My favorite blogs that frequently include these pictures are The Mannequin and Classy in the City. Instagram usually has something, in particular, follow Paris In Four Months (also has a blog).

2. The smell of salt water. As a Seattle native, I grew up going on boats and have lived within walking distance of a marina for the last several years. It just smells so fresh and so clean clean!

3. When the house smells good. I am partial to amber/spice/fig type scents, but this time of year, I’m all about the pine needle smell and orange cinnamon. I am currently using an amazing Glade plugin that makes the house smell of Christmas trees, though ironically called Fall Walk or something like that (can’t find a link – bum bums!). I am eager to try this new DIY Clementine Candle as well. I also love the way dinner in the oven makes the house smell – doesn’t necessarily have to be a candle involved.

4. Walking through Watson Kennedy. See entire blog post devoted to this subject here. I’m sure you all have some destination that just tickles your creative fancy.

5. Google Image baby animals. Do it. It’s a great 3 p.m. mental break at work – I do this at least twice a week.

6. Re-purposing old furniture or doing crafts using supplies I already have. A simple example of this would be taking an old picture frame, painting it another color, and putting my new wedding pictures in it.

7. Sleeping in and waking up to cool, crisp air. So often (especially now that I permanently share a bed), the air ends up a bit… stuffy. I love cracking the window just a tad so that my face feels refreshed the rest of me is engulfed in layers of fuzzy blankets and down, especially if it’s past 9 a.m.

8. When someone brings in treats to work, or if there’s lunch leftovers from a meeting.

9. Laying out on the beach.

10. Free sites online. Laughs at BuzzFeed, Some Ecards and Happy Place. Many new artists found through Pandora. And DUH – Pinterest  (please-stay-free-please-stay-free!).

11. Making Lists. Didja see that coming?!

I started building this list when I did a women’s group study on One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. The premise is that you write down at least one thing you are thankful for each day – “embrace and chronicle everyday blessings” – so that you can find moments of joy in the midst of our chaotic lives. At times it got a little artsy fartsy for me — sorry, I’m just not going to get that excited about wind whistling through a mountain top accompanied by the smell of fresh moss (this is an example I made up, but perhaps you get the idea). The book comes with a free app where you can record your own moments of joy, and once those moments are your own versus reading the author’s, it becomes a lot more fun.

What are your favorite free things? Have you read anything that inspired you to be grateful?