This Week in Happiness {Week 19}

It’s a new week, let’s talk Happiness!

This pin describes my taste in music exactly, and it makes me smile each time I see it.

My Taste in Music on Pinterest


So much happiness to share with y’all this week.

FIRST!  June 6th marked ONE YEAR since my mom finished Chemo & Radiation.  Monday, my mom had surgery for a non-cancer related issue, and even though the surgery was more involved than they originally thought, she was released yesterday to go home!  The surgeon said she looks amazing, everything looks great!


I saw Maile wearing a shirt that I had to have, so I followed the link and was introduced to Farrah Braniff, a phenomenal photographer who just happens to live in Houston.  I met up with her at the Archery Range where she does Archery (yes, she is that bad ass) and got a shirt of my own 🙂  I want to take more pictures of our lives, more pictures of the kids, the every day moments – because those are what life is made of.  Farrah has a book all about that.  It’s subtitle is:  Real Life Photography Techniques for Capturing the Wonder of Family Life. Last week, I ordered Farrah’s Book – it came this week!  I can’t wait to lay out on my hammock and dive in, I’ve skimmed it, and it looks wonderful.

Farrah Braniff's Photography Book


I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m mentioning it again, because I think everyone needs Karen’s e-book on Photography: Beginning Focus

Beginning Focus: a Photography e-book by Karen Walrond


I’m pinning all things photography on my Photography: Tips, Tricks, and Miscellaneous pinterest board – you should check it out!  If you’re on pinterest, leave your pinterest URL in the comments so I can follow you!


Back in College, I discovered The Outlander Series: Diana Gabaldon, and I fell in love with Claire and Jaime, and their travels.  They’re a mish-mash of Time Travel, Historical Romance, War, Family… It is one of my top 5 series of all time books, and just this past week the very long awaited, highly anticipated Written in My Own Heart’s Blood was released.  I got it on Audiobook and it’s what I’ve been listening to  pretty much non-stop – while running, walking, doing laundry, cleaning, cooking, organizing… etc…

Tsh from The Art of Simple has put together the ultimate summer reading list for tweens:  I’ve pinned it, saved it, and printed it.

I adore Amy, she’s probably one of the sweetest rays of sunshine around, and I always love her book recommendations!  She’s put together an Amy Recommends Summer Reading List  and an offer for a 3 month free trial to Scribd!!!


This Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka from Foodie with Family sounds phenomenal, and super easy!

Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka | Foodie With Family



Summertime means grilling time, and I can’t wait to try this Southwestern Grilled Chicken with Lime Butter recipe from She Wears Many Hats!

I received my copies of the Mango Board cookbook,  my recipe for Mango, Avocado, Strawberry, Habanero salsa, is in there! That salsa is the most delicious combination of sweet and heat, Nathan couldn’t stop eating it.  I’m going to be giving away a signed copy of the cookbook, but it’s going to be an email subscriber only giveaway, so I sure hope you’re subscribed!

These Oatmeal Buttercream Pies from Kevin and Amanda have me wanting to jump in the kitchen with the kids and make a mess, and then devour them all!



Princess and Monkey are having an absolute blast at Camp Invention, and the fact that they’re willing to get up at 7 AM during the first week of Summer Break speaks volumes to how much they’re enjoying it.  I can’t wait for Parent time tomorrow afternoon so I can see what they’ve been inventing!  Today, the kids came home all excited because their had been a “blind” spice smelling game and they were both able to identify 4 of the 8 spices by scent.  Princess’ team won the game.  They informed me that dried mint exists and “smells funny” (they’ve only seen/tasted fresh mint), and that the dried jalapeno pepper mixture was “weird”  Tomorrow is the last day, and while they are both excited for me to come see what they’ve been creating, and getting to bring their projects home; they don’t want camp to end!!!

Kids posing before Camp Invention


Father’s Day is this Sunday, and my kids will be keeping up tradition by filling out these fun Father’s Day Printables to give Nathan with his breakfast Sunday morning.


What’s bringing you happiness this week?

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  1. Love reading Diana Gabaldon too! Been a Cub Scout day camp range master all week helping the cubs shoot bulls eyes. Nice when everything just clicks 🙂 Have a great weekend.

  2. Oh Rachel! Thank you for including my strawberry basil infused vodka in your happy list! I just wish I could serve you some myself! ❤️

  3. Morning Rachel. Good to learn about your blog. Great to have seen you again last night and get to know you better. Love the blog. Just wanted to stop by and show some love! Have a great week!

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