23 things to make you smile. Right now.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I've been making more of an effort to spread cheer and optimism over there. I don't really know what started this, but for some reason lately, I've been trying to broadcast happiness on a grand scale. Maybe it's because the headlines lately have been exhaustingly sad and rageful. Or maybe it's just because I like happy things and I honestly don't think the world can have enough happiness. Either way, yesterday, I asked people on twitter to only tweet about the good stuff happening and using the hashtag, #HappyTweets. Now, I'm not a person with a ton of followers, so this didn't take off quite as much as I'd hoped it would, but that's okay. I still managed to tweet happy things, and I'm going to keep this going, even here on the blog. So... in the event that you just need a reason to smile, here is a list of things to be happy about in spite of what the news tells us:

  1. Puppies. I tweeted about this yesterday, but how incredible is it that we live on a planet on which puppies exist? Puppies, possibly the cutest things ever, happen all the time. They're just all around. And then, on top of them being cute, THEY LOVE EVERYONE. Have you ever met a puppy that didn't want to snuggle or play? Many books have been written on the love that dogs give us, but I think puppies deserve an extra boost right now because we are so lucky to live in the same universe as them. Just soak that incredible fact in.
  2. Artists. Okay, so I'm also floored by just how amazing it is that we are living at a time when people like Jenny Lawson, Hank Green, J.K. Rowling, Hannah Hart, Ben Folds, Rainbow Rowell, etc. all create stuff that we get to enjoy and learn from. Every day, there are amazing artists of all types creating things that we just get to sit down and be like "THIS IS A THING I ENJOY" and then we get to walk away feeling inspired by those people and things they do. Especially now. Now we are in a time when content is just constantly available to us - and often for free. This brings me to the next thing...
  3. The Internet. Okay, I know: The Internet can be full of terrible people, but you know what? It's also full of amazing people and amazing communities. Before the Internet, the only people available to you were just the ones physically surrounding you. If they weren't into the same stuff you were, that was just the pits. Now? Now you get to go online and log onto some forum or social media account and say "HEY, I'M REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT FAKE LIZARDS MADE OF SAND AND WAX." and someone else could be like, "OH MY GOD, ME TOO!!" and now you have a new friend who is in a totally different country. The Internet is an amazing place for people in search of community and friendships. I met the love of my life because of the Internet. I'm able to write and have a small group of readers because of the Internet. I'm currently listening to music because of the Internet. All the jerks out there? They are nothing in comparison to the awesomeness that I find on the Internet.
  4. Books. THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES OUT THERE TO READ. FAIRY TALES AND REALISTIC FICTION AND MURDER MYSTERIES AND SCI-FI AND HISTORY. IT'S ALL OUT THERE JUST WAITING FOR YOU. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?
  5. Flowers growing through cracks in the sidewalk. This doesn't need any explanation. Tiny, delicate, beautiful things emerge and break through the toughest of materials. As cliche as it is, this metaphor is wonderful and we should all remind ourselves of it daily.
  6. Music. No matter your taste, music is out there for you to fall in love to and with. Perfectly timed melodies and beautiful lyrics come to us in all sorts of ways and we get to apply them to moments in our lives as though someone is building a soundtrack for us. I just love it.
  7. Coffee. 
  8. Your ideal weather. For me it's 77 degrees and immediately following rain. I love rain, too, now that I'm thinking about it. Sure, weather can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but when it's also kind of amazing. Just picture your perfect day, weather-wise.
  9. Details in architecture. This one comes from my bestbian, Leah. She loves walking around the city with her headphones in and just looking at buildings and trying to notice their unique details. She's the best.
  10. Having a best friend. Many of us can think of our best friend(s). That person is someone who we can call whenever and just vent to. Best friends are the people who like you anyway. They're the best.
  11. Riding trains. I'm sure many of us have different feelings about train travel, but there is something so very classic and, as Leah puts it, "British" about the experience. She and I love British things, so this is in our happy column.
  12. Good television. We are in an age of amazing television right now. Shows that are beautifully written and make us think. This is awesome. I, personally, love great dialogue. Great dialogue is great.
  13. Crawling into a made bed at the end of the day. Oh man, is there anything more relaxing?
  14. Wearing an outfit that you know you look really, really good in. Admit it. You know what outfit this is and it is the thing you feel best about yourself in. Because you are really ridiculously good looking in it and you can do anything in that outfit.
  15. Pajamas. Duh.
  16. Making other people smile. 
  17. Rivers, lakes, and oceans. Bodies of water always seem to make me happy. I don't know why, but they're lovely. I've always really liked that line from Pocahontas where she says "my favorite thing about rivers is that you can't step in the same river twice." That has always made me smile.
  18. I know I said puppies already, but let's just give a shout out to all baby animals. Baby animals are just the best.
  19. Hugs. Good hugs are great. Even if you're not a hugger, somewhere out there is a hug that you love. I believe in that.
  20. When everything is where it should be. I personally hate cleaning, but I love when everything is clean, so I force myself to go through the grueling process of getting it there because I know the reward is worth it.
  21. Checking off everything on your to-do list. I rarely get to do this every day, but man isn't it awesome when it does happen? Yes. Yes it is.
  22. Live shows. In an age of digital everything, there is something even more amazing now about seeing something live. Last night, Fiance and I were lucky enough to see Ben Folds in concert and I'm still on Cloud 9.
  23. Love. This will be my last one, because ultimately, it is the most wonderful thing in the world and it is everywhere. Sometimes we struggle to see it clearly, but at the end of the day, when you're feeling really crappy, I think it's nice to remember that love is out there. Even if you're not feeling it, I think it's nice to know that it's there. It's nice to think about what you love and who loves you in spite of yourself. I think it's nice to love yourself. It's nice to remember that there is a puppy out there who will love you. Love, as a noun and a verb, is something that constantly amazes me. The fact that we are able to love and feel loved is something truly remarkable. Random acts of kindness are random acts of love and if you really sit back and think about it, isn't that just the most lovely thing of all? I think it is.

So that's my list as of this very moment. It's incomplete and constantly changing and being added to, but I invite you to write about what makes you happy in the comments. Tweet at me with happy things using #HappyTweets. Don't let the crappy headlines win. Flood the world with joy whenever possible.

Ready? Go.

That's it. NO MORE PANTS.

It's official: The entire Pants population is against me. Allow me to explain.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that my favorite pair of jeans had a hole near another hole, thus making them slightly inappropriate to wear in public. This happened soon after I had already declared that I needed new pants to wear to work.

So I went shopping for pants. <Please imagine your montage music here>

First stop: The Thrift Store: The thrift store had pants. Many, many pants. None of these pants fit. Eh, what are you gonna do? Thrift stores are always hit or miss. Moving on!

Next up, The Consignment Shop: Alright, here we go, nice pre-owned pants. Wait, why are they all so wide-legged? Seriously, I have a tiny waist and these all fit around the hips, but MY LEGS ARE NOT TREE TRUNKS, PEOPLE. Is this the fashion now? Are we hiding our legs behind giant flowy curtains? I do not approve. I trip easily and this is not going to help me.

And finally, I saw what I needed. Right across the street I saw - I kid you not - The Pants Store: Yes. That was the name of the store. The Pants Store. And it was a big store. This was good. They would have ALL THE PANTS. The Heavens had opened up and angels sang as I ignored all traffic and made my way across the road to enter this beautiful gift from God. I walked in and saw racks and racks and racks of shirts. "WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?" I whisper-yelled. "WHERE ARE THE PANTS???" Finally I found them. Two small round racks of white-washed, pre-ripped capri-jeans.

So, I still have no new pants.

BUT, I do have some pants, so I'm not walking around Daffy-Duck style or anything, don't worry.

Except...

The other day, it was pretty cold here in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, so I decided to wear some leggings underneath the only pair of appropriate work pants I own. I only mention the leggings because I honestly blame them for giving me a false sense of security later on.

After work, Boyfriend and I headed to the grocery store, but first, of course, I needed to pee. So I did and then we left. We got out of the car in the parking lot of the grocery store and as we were walking in, well...

Me: What is happening?

Boyfriend: You okay?

Me: Yeah, I think - is my purse hoola-hooping itself down my body?

Boyfriend: Excuse me?

Me: I feel something - did the belt dislodge itself from my jack-- OH MY GOD MY PANTS ARE FALLING DOWN.

Yup. That happened. You know that cliche story about women who walk into the grocery store with their underwear static-clung to their pants or something?

THIS WAS NOT THAT. THIS WAS PANTS AROUND THE KNEES, PEOPLE.

Now, thank God I had the leggings on, right? WRONG. Had I not had the leggings on, I might not have felt so secure in my pants that in my haste to pee and then leave, I would have realized that they were not fastened and zipped properly. Or at all. Okay, fine, apparently I forgot to button and zip my pants when I left my bathroom. IT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE.

...right?

 

 

Get ready. This is a Nerd Style Giveaway.

So, it's no secret that I'm a bit of a nerd. My staircase is decorated like a game of Space Invaders and I have Undesirable #1 Wanted posters from Harry Potter hanging up in my living room. My books are stacked everywhere and my TARDIS blanket keeps me warm during my Netflix marathons. And I wear this nerdiness with extreme pride. I don't leave it at home for people to discover, should they ever come over. In fact, I take it to the work place. I usually walk around with my TARDIS to-go coffee mug and sporting my Gryffindor scarf in the cold weather. (When I was a kid, I wore The One Ring on a chain around my neck because I obviously was just passing through class on my way to Mordor.) All the while, though, I try and keep my nerdiness trendy and stylish so that if you didn't know what the reference was, it wouldn't be distracting or take away from the professionalism that I also need to maintain in the workplace.

This is why I was really excited when I was approached by JordanDene to do a review and giveaway. This shop creates some of the most gorgeous items to wear that will keep you feeling both stylish and like a true fan throughout your day. They're shirts that you can dress up or down. For example, this is how I wore my Harry Potter shirt to work the other day:

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This shirt is absolutely amazing. The fabric is so soft, and yes, I've washed it a few times now, and it has maintained its shape and feel. I love how it fits because it doesn't make me feel like I'm showcasing my body, but it also doesn't make me feel like I'm hiding anything either, which is the perfect balance, in my humble opinion. Even my super trendy, never nerdy sister approved of this outfit and she basically looks like she's always walking out of a Calvin Klein ad, so... woohoo!

Anyway, enough of my yammering because here is where the fun begins! I GET TO GIVE ONE OF YOU LUCKY FOLKS A FREE SHIRT OF YOUR CHOOSING FROM THE JORDANDENE STORE! (See, this is why it's important that you stick with me).

Normally when I see these giveaways, the giver is asking for you to follow them on every single social media platform in existence. I'm not going to do that because I believe that if you're following me, it's because you want to be, and not because I teased you with free merch.

SO, instead of that, I'm going to ask you to have some fun with this. Send me a photo that shows how you let your Nerd flag fly in the workplace. You can do this using any ONE of your preferred social media platforms (ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON). Just tag me (links to my profiles are at the top of the right sidebar) and use the hashtag #NerdyWorkPlace and I'll pick my favorite to WIN A FREE SHIRT FROM JORDANDENE. If you enter at all, you will get a discount code to use at the Jordan Dene shop, too, so there's really no downside to this.

This is especially fantastic if you have to do any holiday shopping for your friends who are also nerds. Just saying.

This contest ends at 11:59PM EST on December 15th, 2014.