It's the Little Things


Happy Thursday – TGIAF! (Thank Goodness it’s Almost Friday!!)

So today everyone in my department is going out to lunch to celebrate the upcoming wedding of someone in my department. Knowing this, this morning my head said to me – “Hey, since we’re going out to lunch today, why don’t we go with something a little lighter for breakfast? Maybe a Lara Bar or some Cheerios, and a piece of fruit?” My stomach replied with “Can it woman! I’m starving!” Since I never disobey a hungry stomach, I had a nice, big, warm bowl of oatmeal. :) Today’s mix included:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium (very ripe) banana
  • Cinnamon
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Maple syrup
  • Maple Cinnamon Almond Clusters!!!



Thank you Hungry Yogini for such an amazing almond idea!!! Her recipe is actually Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter but I only had sliced almonds on hand so when I roasted the ingredients in the oven, they came out as sweet, cinnamony, almond CLUSTERS that I just couldn’t bear to take a food processor blade to! So, clusters they remained and in my oatmeal they went! So crunchy and sweet and maple-y!! Usually I eat my breakfast with a small spoon so it lasts a long time and I can savor every delicious bite, but today I ate with GIANT spoonfulls…it was fun :D

Recently I read an article on about the U.S.’ happiness index:

“The Happiness Index, which looks at household income, debt, employment and foreclosures, is a fresh take on the old and tired Misery Index, made popular in the 1970s. The Misery Index takes into account unemployment and inflation rates and seeks to identify the most financially miserable places to live.”

Guess who landed the number two spot – IOWA!! Yeah! I’m seriously knocking on a giant slab of proverbial of wood right now, but Ben and I have been largely un-effected by the current bad economy in our country. We’ve both got stable jobs, a house that we can make our payments on, bills that haven’t gone up and gas and food prices that have remained relatively stable.

This got me thinking about my own happiness index. I’m pretty happy, I’ve got no reason not to be. Of course, I have bad days – everyone does – but at the end of the day I’m a pretty content lady. My happiness index is based around my good health, my family’s good health, the time I get to spend with Ben, the time I get to spend with myself (I’m an introvert ;) ), good food and exercise. When these items are abundant, I’m happiest. My happiness index rose a little this morning when on my morning walk with my mom we saw new buds on trees, heard the little birds chirping their little bird heads off and I noticed that my day lillies and daises are starting to shoot their little green sprouts up…it’s the little things people :)

Where does your state land on the happiness index? Would you agree with its ranking? What affects your personal happiness index?

That’s all I’ve got folks – talk to you lata!

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  1. Oooh yum what a good idea!

  2. VeggieGirl 04.09.2009

    Fabulous breakfast!! Love Hungry Yogini’s ideas.

    My state is #45, haha!! Embarrassing :-D

    Enjoy the lunch outing today!!

  3. eatlivelovedream 04.09.2009

    I just found your blog! Love it! Have a great day:)

  4. scoop 04.09.2009

    I live in California and it’s not looking very good for us. We ranked 49. Not surprised though – lots of unemployed professionals, housing prices have dropped rapidly, cost of living is relatively higher, etc. But like you mentioned, I monitor my happiness meter based on the quality of life I live and my interactions with the people closest to me.

    You have a fun blog to read. I will be sure to return soon.

  5. Anne L 04.09.2009

    Hi Kristin, I am so happy to discover your blog–I love it! I am currently trying to decide where to live when I am done with graduate school this spring–Chicago, Iowa City, or the Quad Cities. That happiness index article definitely resonates with the issues I’ve been weighing between these three areas. If I moved to the QC, it would be on the Illinois side, but I still consider that area to be more “Iowa-like” as opposed to Chicago, which is probably the main component of Illinois’ score.

    Thanks for blogging!

  6. cleanveggiex3 04.09.2009

    your oats are rocking my socks girlie!

  7. Alison 04.09.2009

    Hey Kristin,
    I just found your blog. Looks great! I’m in the state to your north. But I guess it’s too cold to be as happy as Iowa. :-) Only #26. Your breakfast looked tasty.

  8. iowagirleats 04.10.2009

    Scoop: I was so bummed to see Cali so far down there too…hope it never gets in my way of hopefully moving there someday!

    Anne: All three are really great options. SO much to do in Chicago, a great college campus feel in IC and the Quad Cities are perfect for settling down!

    Eatlivelovedream, cleanveggiex3, Alsion: Thanks guys – so glad you’re reading!

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