Let’s keep it light.

Today is sponsored by my smart, insightful friend Maggie- enjoy this one!

Thanks Nikki for having me over to share some thoughts with your readers!

The United States of America is having a hard week, and that type of thing tends dragging effect on folks’ moods. To combat that, in lieu of a post about just one thing or story, I thought I’d collect a few things that are Making Me Happy This Week (with full credit to NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour for the idea). Maybe they’ll make you happy too, or just get you thinking about what’d be on your list.

So, in no particular order, here are three things making me happy this week:

  1. Pure Heroine by Lorde. I was thrilled by the sass & originality of “Royals” when I first heard it this summer, but one (albeit impressive) single doesn’t necessarily mean a great album. Discovering new music is a lot like dating—most of the songs or albums you hear are going to bore or disappoint. But when you find that love connection, it is magic. I’m in love with Pure Heroine and I encourage you to give it a listen.
  2. My 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge. Remember your childhood library’s summer reading program? You’d keep track of books read over the summer with stickers, paper flowers, something like that? 8 year old me crushed it at the Dole branch of the Oak Park public library, and adult me is crushing it on goodreads: check out these sweet stats. Boom. Making me super happy.
  3. Sriracha shrimp spaghetti. This is one of my favorite stupid-easy recipes. Here’s what you do: Boil some water for pasta. While that’s happening, throw some minced garlic (like a lot) and butter (like a lot) into a medium-hot pan and get it sizzling. Throw in a bunch of frozen shrimp (like however much the pan will hold). The shrimp will be defrosted/heated up in the pan while imparting their tasty shrimpyness into the butter and garlic. Throw in some sriracha to add the the saucy flavor situation. Drain your pasta and then put it in the pan with the (by now totally heated up) shrimp. Let it all hang out/get tossed a bit in the pan, then serve with Parmesan cheese. So yummy and takes like, 15 minutes.

There’s a lot else making me happy this week too, like blue skies, people on Divvy bikes, and the fact that I now see Lake Michigan from the train every day. The change of seasons always carries a sense of possibility, which seem to me particularly pronounced this year. Let’s make it count!

PS I have a Tumblr which is almost exclusively a collection of Things Making Me Happy: http://maggiecassidy.tumblr.com/

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