Things That Make Me Happy




Happy Monday! Or, shall I say for myself, Happy Back To School After A Week Of Winter Break!

We had a terrific week, don’t get me wrong.

ferris wheel

We did A TON of fun stuff (including a little road trip to the Palisades Mall where they have a giant ferris wheel) without having to deal with homework and routines but it’s time to get back at it.

It’s possible that you aren’t as happy as I am that it’s Monday so let’s distract from that topic for a minute and look at some of the other things making me happy right now…

As much as I love Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter, I really do enjoy Trader Joe’s peanut butter with flax and chia seeds.

trader joe's peanut butter

I am pretty sure that I could stand at the kitchen counter slicing apples and spreading on the peanut butter all day long which reminds me of Carrie Bradshaw’s love for eating stacks of saltine crackers with jelly while reading magazines in her kitchen.

We all have our thing, don’t we?

We went to The Cheesecake Factory the other night and I don’t think I ever told you how much we enjoy dipping the bread in the Skinnylicious dressing which I order on the side for my salad.

cheesecake factory bread

Their sourdough bread is better than it used to be —so crispy on the top and that’s the part I like! I always leave the doughy parts over on my plate.

Oh and my salad. I just love this salad and could eat it every day for the rest of my life and be happy.

bbq ranch salad

The main reason I will never become vegan….

hershey bar cheesecake

My diet is 95% plant-based but I refuse to live a life without my favorite fudgy delicacies.

Dessert makes me smile every single time and no one should ever give up what makes them smile.

My son and I have this deal that when he is all grown up with a family, he will take his old mother every Sunday night for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory so “grandma” can have her salad and slice of cake. I am really looking forward to this! It makes old age not seem so bad, don’t you think?

I get really excited over supermarket sales.

food shopping

Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers AND steam fresh vegetables were both on sale big time. I didn’t even bother to count how many bags of frozen vegetables I grabbed. It may seem like a lot but they will be gone in flash.

Getting comfy cozy after my long runs, even if only for a few minutes, makes me really happy.

my bed

I love my long run routine, knowing when I am done that I will shower, put my pajamas back on, eat my favorite breakfast and then get back into bed to relax. I don’t like to lay down for too long because then the stiff sets in but it feels great to get under the blanket for the few minutes and even better when I fall asleep for a quick nap.

I was really happy yesterday when the owner of Red Mango was impressed by my parfait making skills.

red mango parfait

Yesterday afternoon I had a little time in between getting this parfait and going to the Islanders game last night.

I didn’t want to look at a computer screen, or my phone, or the television. I didn’t want to fold laundry, clean up, prepare dinner, empty the dishwasher or clean my closet.

I wanted to relax.

lisa frank coloring book

I may be 36 years old with a son who wants nothing to do with coloring books anymore but sitting down with a box of crayons and my cup of coffee was just the greatest feeling and exactly what I needed.

To be honest, I am glad my son didn’t want to color with me because I didn’t have to share the red crayon. Everyone always wanted the red, right?!

Have a great week!

The things that make me happy #redmango #peanutbutter #cheesecakefactory @drpraegers Click To Tweet

You still have time to enter the #NYTough P&G Giveaway (including Amex Gift Card!). Click here if you missed the post!

Do you have a specific post-run routine that you follow?

Favorite snack to eat while standing in your kitchen?

Favorite way to relax which doesn’t involve technology?





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  • jill conyers February 23, 2015, 6:31 am

    Nut butters always make me happy 🙂
    jill conyers recently posted…Layer Up and Stay Active This WinterMy Profile

  • Tina Muir February 23, 2015, 6:38 am

    I think I would definitely enjoy a day in the life of you. The things that make you happy would make me happy too! Glad you made the most of the time with the kids, and I am jealous you once again went to cheesecake factory, I very rarely go there, and I miss it! YUM! I am constantly snacking, so YES to eating in the kitchen haha….usually dropping half on the floor as its usually cereal….oops
    Tina Muir recently posted…Meatless Monday- Creamy Avocado HummusMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 23, 2015, 2:38 pm

      lately I am busy dropping chocolate chips on the kitchen floor so don’t feel bad!

  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine February 23, 2015, 8:09 am

    This is the second blog post I have seen in the last 12 hours with that title! Must be that time of year that people need to focus on the positive things.
    I love getting into comfortable clothes after my long run! Especially when its cold out, theres nothing like coming home to a warm breakfast shower, sweatpants and a blanket.
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Weekend Update and Last Week’s WorkoutsMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 23, 2015, 2:37 pm

      That’s so funny! I don’t think I know the blog you are referring to (I must not read it?) but I do love to focus on the things that make me happy!

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. February 23, 2015, 8:22 am

    I love colouring with wax crayons… and I swear that the smell of the crayons is super relaxing as well. I gave it up for a while when I couldn’t find any colouring books that I liked, but then I started printing free pages off the web and everything was well again. The amount of Disney ones I have is kind of embarrassing 😆
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. i had no idea my healthy habits weren’t healthy at all .My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 23, 2015, 2:37 pm

      I am going to agree – the smell of a box of crayons is extremely relaxing. I think it has to do with childhood memories.

  • Michele @ paleorunningmomma February 23, 2015, 8:30 am

    Cheesecake Factory just has the best of everything! Their salads are incredible and when we go there we all get our favorite things no problem so everyone’s happy. Years ago I got into a cheesecake caking phase trying to replicate their desserts 🙂
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Confused at 10am + A Promise to MyselfMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 23, 2015, 2:36 pm

      Ohhh, how did your cakes come out? Did you come close to replicating any of them? My son has a rule – if he totally loves a cake or dessert from a restaurant, I am not allowed to try to replicate it because he is convinced I will never get close to the taste. Ha! I should try to replicate Linda’s Fudge cake.

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe February 23, 2015, 8:35 am

    I wish i could send you my jar of the chia/flax PB. It just wasn’t my thing. But I do love Earth Balance coconut/pb blend and I got some more of it this weekend. SO HAPPPY. Also sweet potato nachos (last night). YAY
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Weekend Recap and Theo Chocolate Factory Tour (Seattle)My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 23, 2015, 2:35 pm

      Love sweet potato nachos and really love when I make sweet potato pizza bites.

  • Sarah @pickyrunner February 23, 2015, 10:08 am

    Umm I like the plan you and your son have! When I get old if someone isn’t buying me ice cream and rainbow cake we’re going to have problems. I used to go to cheesecake factory way more often when I lived in my old apartment but it’s less convenient downtown. I make up for it with Harris Teeter’s rainbow cake though. You’re never too old to color! That’s such a good way to relax. Sometimes you just don’t want to be on your phone. It’s kind of nice to unplug and do nothing for awhile.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…FlexibilityMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 23, 2015, 2:35 pm

      I totally need a break from my phone every single day. And the computer screen. It’s getting sad that sitting in front of the television is considered unplugging but I didn’t even want to watch tv yesterday! Love to color, I need to make sure I do it more often.

  • Suzy February 23, 2015, 11:36 am

    Aww, I love this post! Your joy of life is contagious. I love how you get so jacked up over all the simple pleasures. That’s what life is all about! We’d make a good date, because I eat all the doughy parts and leave the crust. 🙂
    Suzy recently posted…Mileage MondayMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 23, 2015, 2:34 pm

      My son eats the doughy parts and leaves the crust too! I can’t understand it but yes, we would make perfect dining partners that way!

  • Lesq February 23, 2015, 12:37 pm

    I have so much in common with you because life’s simple pleasures have ALWAYS made me happy since I was very young. The exhileration of the run and the cozy relaxing afterwards is so comforting. I love the things you find satisfying. It’s so nice to see because a lot of people have such a hard time finding contentment and happiness in the everyday. It’s a gift that makes life so good. Your so is lucky that he is being raised by someone with such an appreciation for life.

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 23, 2015, 2:33 pm

      Aw thank you. This made my day. Yes, I have always loved the little things and find joy from what some may find silly but I find it to be what keeps me happy on a regular basis.

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl February 23, 2015, 1:28 pm

    That peanut butter makes me SO happy, too! It is definitely one of my favorite nut butters of all time!
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…Weekend Wrap-Up {Beertopia Extreme BeerFest + Omaha Tap House}My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 23, 2015, 2:32 pm

      I love it too! I am always looking at the ingredients to figure out what’s so good about it but there’s like nothing to it! Maybe that’s the key!

  • Jessie February 24, 2015, 8:42 am

    I wish our Red Mango was self-serve in Kuwait. Sadly it’s not. Actually no frozen yogurt place is 🙁 It’s actually quite sad and makes me miss the frozen yogurt shops in the U.S.

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 24, 2015, 11:56 am

      Sometimes I much prefer the stores that aren’t self-serve! Red Mango always made me a nice parfait. Now, I do it myself and do it up all nice but it’s much more expensive since they went self-serve. I try to go to the remaining full serve locations as often as I can!

  • Miss Polkadot February 24, 2015, 4:56 pm

    “No one should ever give up what makes them smile. ” This!!! I couldn’t have said it any better. And if I hadn’t considered you a nice person before knowing you like colouring books and aren’t ashamed to share it in public would have convinced me.
    One of my favourite non-technology ways to relax is writing. I spent a good chunk of time traveling via train these past days and I while I obviously have my phone with me I prefer to unplug and busy myself elsewise then. Two letters are almost finished now.
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Good good links #79My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 25, 2015, 6:33 am

      I love that you write letters. People don’t write letters often enough. I used to have such a nice stationary collection! And I have no shame admitting I color! I love it!

  • Kim February 24, 2015, 7:05 pm

    I used to love to color – it’s been awhile since I sat down with crayons though!
    Love that your son has already made a deal to take you out every Sunday when he is grown!!!
    Kim recently posted…There’s a National Day for ThatMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles February 25, 2015, 6:31 am

      I need to sit down with a box of crayons and color more often. So fun and relaxing.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets February 26, 2015, 1:15 pm

    I like crawling back into bed after a great workout too (and a shower of course). There’s something so relaxing about it, much like coloring. It’s a soothing activity which can distract you from day to day stuff. I do puzzles for the same reason.