Joy List Monday and Love, Love, Love

I've admitted it before and I'll admit it again. I'm a bit of a sucker for Valentine's Day. (I've written about it here,  here, here and here).

hearts, heart rocks, joy, love, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The world always needs more love. Always.

Really, I'm up for any excuse to celebrate. Especially in the depths of winter. We all need cheering up. We all need something special in our days.

But we need don't need a date on a calendar to tell us when and what to celebrate.

Any day can be a cause for celebration, an "excuse" to bake some cupcakes or make special dinner or send a love note or wear something that makes you feel pretty. Just because.

lilies, sunshine, home, houseplants, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Truly, every day can be cause for celebration.

And isn't that the point of keeping Joy Lists? To find something to celebrate every day.

Like noticing surprise flower stems on a houseplant

begonias, houseplants, indoor garden, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

and discovering that the flower buds look like tiny, polka-dotted hearts.

eyelash begonia, flower buds, hearts, begonias, houseplants, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Or reveling in a string of sunny, sunny days. Or finding gardening catalogs tucked into the mailbox. Or taking a sip of tea and realizing it's the perfect temperature.

Are you with me on this?

It can be so easy to be overwhelmed by the ugliness of the news or the heaviness of the weather or the heartbreak of personal disappointments or even just the (all too sudden) arrival of Monday morning. Yet while all those things are happening, beauty is happening, too. Wonder. Joy. Magic.

Let's not let the ugliness win. Fight back with love. With beauty. With celebration. With joy.

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

Here's my list today:

  • a fabulous day out with Matthias and my mom including the most wonderful lunch (where they brought my tea in the perfect teapot)
  • spotting four bald eagles on our drive
  • a bunch of lilies perfuming the whole house
  • my indoor garden
  • some lucky thrift store finds
  • inspiration, beauty and light found here, here and here
  • beautiful, delicious eggs from my parents' chickens
  • getting my closet purged, cleaned and organized (best feeling ever)
  • the response so far for the Joy Exchange
  • garden dreaming and planning
  • embracing imperfection and playing in my sketchbooks
  • a fun lunch at my parents' house
  • making connections with other artists online for Sketchbook Conversations and Artist Interviews
  • dog snuggles
  • some exciting projects
colored pencils, sketchbook, cardinal, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

What's on your list today?

p.s. I still have a few calendars in my shops (here and here). They're on sale now if you want to snatch one up before they're all gone.

watercolor art print set, watercolor calendar, 2017 Calendar, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry, sale


  1. Is that a cardinal Anne? Great sketch! Your houseplants are beautiful Anne! I may have a go at growing some turmeric and ginger as indoor plants. It will just be an experiment but great fun if it works! I am glad that you have willing participants for the Handmade Joy Exchange - something for us all to look forward to.

    Joy list:
    A beautiful sunny day after days of gloom!
    A scheduled trip to somewhere new for Wednesday.
    Cooking and eating lots of lovely food.
    The anticipation of the arrival of a seed catalogue.
    Plans for the garden.

    Have a lovely week!

    1. Lovely list, Simone!

      And yes, that is a female cardinal. We have a pair that nests in the bushes behind our back fence and they're often at our feeder. Such bright colors in the dreariness of winter!

      Hope you're having a good week!

  2. Lots of sunshine today, and that makes me happy.
    Steak, sweet potatoes and asparagus for dinner.
    Blooms on my indoor geranium.
    Christmas Cactus is beginning to bloom.
    A walk to the library and a chat with Debbie, the Librarian.
    A country drive with Dennis to a coffee shop for a hot beverage (mine hot chocolate).
    And it's our 7th anniversary today. :)

    1. What a wonderful list, Nancy! Happy anniversary!! :)

  3. Oh my, I just love your Joy List Monday!! I missed you during January. Your lists make me smile.

    Surprise treats from a friend
    A lovely "feels like Spring" walk with my husband
    Playing board games with my boys

    1. Thank you, Carla! :)

      Your list is lovely. Aren't these "feels like spring" days a lift during our Wisconsin winters?! Spring isn't that far away!

      Hope you're having a good week!


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