3 things that make me smile

Part of enjoying life is taking time to reflect on moments or things that bring you happiness. Each week, I’m excited to start sharing things with you that are currently making me smile. From clothing and trendy coffee shops to outings and delicious food, it’s easy to find happiness in everyday life. Enjoy!

Fresh snow with a hot cup of freshly brewed morning coffee.

Image via Pinterest

A shaggy yellow coat and sunny disposition of the model wearing it. Gets me excited for warmer days and provides new style inspiration! I love yellow - it has always been my favorite color.

Image via 88 Acres

Have you tried the pumpkin seed butter from 88 Acres? A swirl of creamy deliciousness! I first discovered this at Whole Foods (now also available at Costco) about a year ago and have been hooked ever since! It’s great on toast, waffles and with apples or a banana. I even eat it with a spoon straight from the jar - so yum! It’s nut-free and perfect as a school snack too. 88 Acres recently also came up with roasted watermelon seed butter that I’m excited to try!

What's making you smile today?


Watching Movies Solo: Embracing these mini adventures


What are your thoughts on going to the movies alone? Ten years ago, I went to the theatre by myself for the first time. My husband was away that weekend, none of my friends were around, and I was eager to watch Eat Pray Love, so I thought why not? I marched to the theatre, bought my movie ticket and a glass of red wine (yes, that theatre served wine!), and had a thrilling experience!

While I had a great time, I somehow never thought of repeating the act of solo movie watching until a few months ago. My husband and I used to love going to the movies before we had the girls. Now, in our time together sans kids, we like to dine out, catch up with friends or occasionally attend concerts. Watching movies isn’t really on our radar since we can always enjoy them at home later on. But it’s not the same, there’s something unique about viewing a film in theaters.

There’s a cute little old school theatre within minutes of our house, that always tempts me to go in and get lost in an interesting movie. One day this past fall, I decided to give it a try. A movie called Puzzle was playing and I really admired the work of the lead Indian actor Irfan Khan and Kelly Macdonald of Boardwalk Empire fame. I waited for my husband to get home in the evening to be with the girls, and went and watched the 6 p.m. showing. There was only one other person in the theater and it was perfect.


My usual go-to activities to enjoy alone are window shopping or long walks in the city. I don’t have the patience for crowded stores anymore, and I’m really enjoying catching up on some of the independent movies instead. Colette is the next one I watched. Followed by A Star is Born. I had been warned about the tear-jerking nature of the movie but I decided to brave it anyway. Lucky for me, the movie started much later than scheduled and I missed the ending (I know!) as I had to pick up my daughter from a birthday party. I finally finished watching it this last Friday at home right in time for the Oscars!

I also ended up watching Kusama:Infinity at the MFA in Boston this past weekend, and I’m still in awe of Yayoi Kusama -- her incredible work and life story.

I’ve truly been enjoying this solo ritual lately, and it has given me a chance to explore some independent, foreign films. I don’t care for recliner seats or dine-in theatres. I’m just happy to get away and have a little adventure on my own. I do miss the ‘shared experience’ aspect of it and post-movie discussions with someone but independent movie-watching has been liberating in its own way, and I wonder why I waited so long.


February Staycation Week!

February School Vacation Week is right around the corner! We’ve managed to escape Boston during February break for the past two years. This year though, we’re switching it up and having a Staycation Week! Unlike our intensive summer bucket list, we plan to keep it simple and enjoy more low-key days together this time. We’re not the type to waste free time, however, so I’ve made a list of potential activities; we will play it by ear and decide what we feel like doing as the week goes by!

  • Museums - The girls have been asking to visit the Museum of Science for a couple of weeks so we will try and spend one afternoon at the museum. We have also been meaning to check out William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects at the ICA, and next week is the last week of the exhibit so we might have to take advantage of that!

  • Movie & lunch date - A low-key afternoon of movie watching and lunch date is always a favorite! We don’t really have any particular movie in mind at the moment but we’ll check and see what's out there that week!

  • Indoor energy burn - We’ve been meaning to check out Urban Air Trampoline Park. This week, we have a playdate setup and are eager to enjoy this experience with our friends.

  • Theater - The girls have never been to Puppet Showplace Theater so I’m thinking a puppet show might be fun and interesting!

  • Swim at our local health club - A family favorite and total body workout -- win-win for kids and adults.

  • Ski - The girls have a ski lesson scheduled and are looking forward to that!

  • Curl up with a good book - Curling up for an afternoon by the fireplace and reading a book together is always enjoyable, especially if snow is in the forecast.

  • Impromptu play dates & catch up with friends - When schedules align, it’s wonderful to use down time to meet up with friends we haven’t seen in a while.

As you can tell, I do have some activities already planned, but it’s nice to have an overview of what we could do. Then again, staying home and relaxing is sometimes just as needed. I like a healthy balance of eventful and low key days. How do you plan on spending your February vacation with your kids?