Small Joys

Small Joys: Volume 3

Spring has sprung, days are sunny, and there’s so much to be grateful for! About time for another Small Joys post, right??

Small Joys Volume 3 - Cultivating Gratitude!  |  Trés Belle

Actually, truth be told, I was struggling with some major discontentment this morning. After wallowing for a bit, I convinced myself that the best way to snap out of it was to cultivate gratitude. So, here I am!

Here are the little things that have been bringing me joy lately:

1. Warmer weather! It is no secret that I am a summer girl through and through. I’ve been loving all of the sunshine and t-shirt weather we’ve been having lately. And, I love that it stays light outside so much later with the time change! This past week, we had dinner outside for the first time this spring, and it was glorious.

Easter Bunny Door Dec  |  Trés Belle

2. Y’all already know I love the Business with Purpose podcast. I just listened to Episode 20 with Jessica Honegger of Noonday Collection, and it is one of my favorites yet! She’s a very inspiring person.

3. Speaking of things I’ve been listening to…I finished Inferno by Dan Brown on audiobook last week. Gah! So good! I still like Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code better, but Inferno is excellent as well.

4. Birthday cards! Does anyone else have a hard time parting with cards? I am a major card hoarder. I can’t ever throw away cards right after they’ve been given to me, but I do try to go back periodically to purge. My birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and I’m still enjoying the little army of birthday cards on my kitchen counter. At what point is it no longer acceptable to have them on display??

Birthday Cards |  Trés Belle

5. Gluten-free cake from JP’s Pastry. This exclusively gluten-free bakery based in Benson, NC, makes the BEST cakes! We bought a chocolate salted caramel layer cake to share with my family for my birthday, and everyone loved it. So much, in fact, that we forgot to take a photo of it before we dived in and demolished it. It’s always nice to find a gluten-free alternative that tastes just as good as the real thing!

6. My sparkly mermaid! Wes and I spent my birthday visiting Virginia Beach and Norfolk, where the city symbol is a mermaid. We tried to go to The Mermaid Factory, a Wine and Design-esque shop where you paint plaster mermaids, but they were already booked for the day. Instead, we purchased two of their take home kits and painted our mermaid and dolphin last weekend. It was a great way to relax, and now we have fun souvenirs from our trip!

Ceramic mermaid and dolphin from The Mermaid Factory in Norfolk, VA  |  Trés Belle

7. Friends. Wes and I have been making our way through the entire series of Friends on Netflix for awhile now, watching a couple of episodes here and there. Now, we have only one season left, and I am distraught. I don’t want it to end!! Oh, and please don’t tell me how it’s going to end, unless you want to be dead to me.

8. This cornbread taco casserole. Made it this week and it is so, so good. I may or may not have eaten the leftovers for breakfast this morning. I actually love all of Mary Ross’s recipes! Most of them are gluten-free and vegan or can be modified to be gluten-free or vegan. I used regular dairy cheese on the casserole this week just to speed things up a bit, but her vegan cheese substitutes are really good.

What are y’all joyful about lately? Let’s share and keep the gratitude flowing!

xoxo Laura

Small Joys: Volume 2

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Small Joys | Trés Belle

1. Our thankfulness board. In the month of November, Wes and I wrote down something each day that we were thankful for on the large chalkboard in our kitchen. Looking at it each day made me realize just how much I have to be joyful about. Gratitude turns even the smallest things into more than enough.

2. A painted fence! We had been debating painting our fence for quite some time, and our decision was solidified when we had a gate installed and the wood turned out to be a veryyyy different color from the rest of the fence! We finally bit the bullet over Thanksgiving weekend. My amazing family pitched in to help for two full days of painting (they’re the best!). I had NO idea how much work would be involved and how sore I would be the next day! Walking was a challenge. But now our fence is oh-so-beautiful! Check out the before and after:

White Fence Before and After | Trés Belle

3. Tazza Kitchen‘s Brick Oven Brussels Sprouts. Holy shitakes, y’all. Hubs and I went to Tazza with some friends last week, and I was instantly excited when I saw that they had Brussels sprouts as an appetizer. I am a total Brussels freak. These did not disappoint…in fact, I think they might be the best Brussels I’ve ever had!

4. The Business with Purpose podcast. Molly Stillman, who hosts the podcast, is a local blogger with a heart of gold. I can’t get enough of her new podcast, which features entrepreneurs who are using their businesses to leave the world a better place. Episode 3 with Bethany Tran of The Root Collective is my absolute favorite so far. Go listen!

5. Our Christmas tree. Um, I’m a little obsessed. The lights just make me so happy! As soon as I get home each night, I put on pajamas and park myself in front of the tree.

Cozy Christmas living room | Trés Belle

6. On a related note: our Christmas ornaments. We are on Team Hodge Podge Tree. Our ornaments are all different colors and vary between fancy crystal and homemade paper cutouts from our preschool days. It is so much fun to pull each ornament out and be transported back to a particular moment in time. My all-time favorite ornament as a kid was a “pear tree” (aka a pear on a tree trunk) with a little partridge inside in his undies. I smile every time I see it. Another favorite on our tree this year is the ornament my sister gave Wes when his beloved childhood dog passed away earlier this year. The ornament is a spitting image of sweet Lola with her name printed underneath!

There are lots of other BIG things to be grateful for, especially this time of year, but I’ll leave it at these small snippets for now. Friends, what are the small things in your life that are giving you joy right now?

xoxo Laura

Small Joys: Volume 1

Small Joys | Trés Belle

Lately, I’ve been realizing how important it is to find joy and gratitude in the normal, everyday-type days of our lives. You won’t have a joyful life if you sit around waiting for big, momentous occasions to be joyful. I always love reading the “Small Joys” posts by Cristina over at Grace Like Rain–they inspire me to think about those little, everyday joys that I often overlook in my own life. I am so excited that Cristina (whose engagement photos were featured on the blog awhile back, by the way!) is letting me take a page out of her own book by starting my own “Small Joys” posts. Welcome to volume 1! I hope that these posts will inspire you to find gratitude for the small things. Here are the little joys in my life as of late:

1. Turning my office into a spa on a cloudy day. It was dreary outside, so I decided to create a mood lift by burning a spa waters-scented candle and playing spa music on Pandora. It did the trick!

Small Joys: Volume 1 | Trés Belle

2. The WordPress app. Helping me blog on the go! Thankful that this option is available for busy bees like me.

3. Cozy fall blankets. With cold weather approaching, I wanted to make sure my living room, which is decorated in mostly cool colors, feels warm and inviting to people. I found this blanket on sale at my local Target and love the cozy touch it adds to our sofa!

Small Joys: Volume 1 | Trés Belle

4. Sermons like this that leave me feeling refreshed and convicted all at once.

5. This advice on how to start your day off right. Dying laughing over the way he pronounces “Clinique.”

6. Landscaping! I’m so excited that this project is now underway, especially since we’ve now owned our house for a year (whattttt??). Big shout out to my hubby for being the leader (er…sole worker?) on this endeavor! I’ll be sure to post “after” photos once we’re done.

Small Joys: Volume 1 | Trés Belle

7. This goofball. Rufus is probably going to be mentioned on every single Small Joys post, because he brings SO much joy to our lives. He has so much personality and always gets me laughing!

Small Joys: Volume 1 | Trés Belle

What are y’all finding joy in lately? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo Laura