Joy List Monday

We had a snowstorm overnight. About five inches and it's still snowing a bit. Before this all the old snow had melted. We had rain and thunderstorms last week. I'd been spying the greenery of tulips and daffodils starting to peek out of the ground. But this is March (in Wisconsin) and snow isn't unexpected.

amaryllis, striped amaryllis, flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Inside, though, I have flowers blooming. More and more each day. I think I'll have to get going mixing up some paint to capture them on paper. I have a vision in my head of my next painting.

orchids, moth orchids, phalaenopsis, peach orchids, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Diving into a project, especially a joyful project, helps shoo away my Monday morning crankiness. Lighting a fragrant candle and plugging in my twinkle lights help, too.

orchids, moth orchids, phalaenopsis, yellow orchids, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

And in case you need a little extra boost for your Monday morning, I thought I'd share some joyful, inspiring and fun things that I've come across recently:

  • This little video snippet from the Possibilitarian Podcast mentions how the beauty of nature can help anchor us to the present moment and it also shares how the (untrue) stories that we tell ourselves, that create the rules that we follow, don't need to hold us back. I'm not sure about you, but I'm constantly confronting these untrue stories and challenging these "rules". 
  • Have you seen the newest issue of Blossom Magazine? I haven't yet taken the time to read through the whole thing, but what I've perused so far is as gorgeous and inspiring as the other issues. Not familiar with Blossom Magazine? It's a publication by Amy Butler with this mantra: "Create Love, Be Kind, Express Beauty".
  • Kayla Haupt, part of the mother-daughter team I interviewed earlier this month just published a post on the Willow and Sage website sharing instructions and recipes for all natural make-up. Truly lovely.
  • And speaking of artist interviews... the lovely Lisa Estabrook (whom I interviewed in February) is clearing out the last of her 2017 Journal/Calendars by giving them away when you purchase her gorgeous Plant Spirit Oracle Deck. Simply put both a Journal/Calendar and an Oracle Deck into your cart and use the code: FREEJOURNAL at checkout. I just received my order and both are so lovely. I'm planning on using her oracle cards in my morning meditation and journaling practice (something that is so easy for me to skip, but which I'm determined to re-embrace). The calendar/journal is the perfect size to slip in my purse (me not being a digital calendar sort of gal).
  • Last Friday was the 20th anniversary of the airing of the first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, I admit, I love Buffy, though I never watched the show when it was on air (I made fun of it, actually, thinking it was cheesy and fluffy -- which it is not). Strong women, good vs. evil, word play, vampires... what's not to love?
  • At some point in the last few months I noticed frozen Gino's East pizzas in the grocery. Pizza is one of my favorite foods, and although both Matthias and I love to make our own, it's nice to have a tasty option that doesn't take much effort. Being able to get a Chicago style deep dish pizza here in rural Wisconsin (that I don't have to make myself) is a bit of a dream come true.

What have you discovered lately?

greyhounds, rescued greyhounds, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Now, in case you're still feeling like curling up with quilts and pillows*, how about a Joy List?

orchids, moth orchids, phalaenopsis, white orchids, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

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

orchids, moth orchids, phalaenopsis, yellow orchids, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

My list:
  • Getting a big (and exciting) painting commission finished and mailed out
  • Receiving the photos of the handmade joy being created for the Handmade Joy Exchange and imagining all the packages that are beginning to travel the globe
  • Cheese
  • More and more orchid flowers opening on the plants in my studio
  • Our vet and all the people who work in her office -- they're caring and skilled and we trust them (which sadly wasn't the case with one we had in Cleveland)
  • Kindred spirits
  • Trying new recipes, even when they don't quite work out the way I hoped they would (like this one, which when made for me I really liked, but when I made it didn't turn out quite right...)
  • Kitty snuggles, kitty antics, kitties shadowing everything I do (yes, I'm completely smitten)
  • Knowing that spring is just around the corner
  • Taking the time for a quick road trip with my sweetie which mostly involved lots of food
  • Farkle
  • Listening to the audiobook version of this book and reading about E. B. White in this children's biography of him

What's on your Joy List today?

Anne Butera, cats, black and white cats, adopt don't shop, My Giant Strawberry

*Since we brought the cats home, Jude has been sneaking up to snuggle on the love seat in the living room. We know that the dogs get up on the furniture when we're not home, but they don't usually do it when we are. Somehow I just can't shoo him down.


  1. I like all your recent discoveries Anne! Thanks for the link to the Blossom magazine - I am looking through and find that it is very much my kind of thing! I am glad you found the pizza you wanted in the grocery store. I had shop bought pizza twice this week adding my own toppings and it was very yummy. The photo of Jude tells a story I'm sure! Do you think he seeking attention now that he has the kitties to compete with? Great joy list and I like the sound of playing Farkle! My joy list today must include a bright and beautiful day, hanging washing on the line (again!), discovering a new caramel wafer biscuit. I hope your week ahead is bright and beautiful Anne. :)

    1. Hi, Simone. So glad you're enjoying Blossom Magazine. Isn't it so gorgeous!!

      Adding toppings to shop bought pizzas can make all the difference. So many of them are a bit bland.

      I know that hanging wash on the line isn't so far away for me. I'm looking forward to it!

      Jude and Charlie were both a little jealous that we brought the cats into our family, but they're all getting used to each other. Quin is so sweet with Jude, standing on his hind legs with a little leap so he can rub against Jude's face (or try to, it's a long way up!).

      Hope your week was lovely. Have a great weekend!

  2. Amy Butler is an inspiration. I'm looking at the orange lilies with the turquoise doily and thinking, "What a gorgeous color combination!" So beautiful! Glad you found a good vet. I love the photo of you and the kitty. Have a lovely day, my friend! (Crocus are blooming in my garden. . .that's at the top of my joy list today!) xo

    1. Those lilies are actually amaryllis flowers! They were too heavy for the plant/bulb/pot which was tipping over, so I cut them and put them in that little pitcher. Sure brightened my week!

      And yes, I love Amy Butler. Her Midwest Modern book is one I turn to whenever I need a bit of a pick-me-up.

      Hooray for the beginning of gardening season. Our snow is melting today and I noticed how the buds on my roses are starting to swell. Everything will be growing before too long.

      Hope your week was wonderful, my friend!


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