Make these.
Go to Target, walk back to the holiday baking section.
Buy every single pouch of Betty Crocker snickerdoodle mix that they have.
Trust me.  It is the unicorn of cookie mixes.  Difficult to find, but so magical when you do.

Then rush home.
Preheat your oven to 375º

White chocolate cranberry cream cheese snickerdoodles.
(Long title for a simple cookie!)
1 pouch Betty Crocker snickerdoodle cookie mix
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Open cookie mix.
Set aside cinnamon sugar packet.

Add water, egg and cookie mix to cream cheese mixture.
Stir until soft dough forms.
Add in cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Cover & refrigerate 30 minutes.

After that horrible 30 minutes is over, drop rounded spoonfuls of dough into cinnamon sugar.
(Have I told you lately how much I am in love with my cookie scoop?  How did I wait so long to finally buy one?)
Roll to coat.

Place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake a 375º for 8-9 minutes until edges are set.
Cool one minute then transfer to cooling rack.

Cool completely then gobble them up.
Or share them with your neighbors and friends.
Totally up to you.  But I won't judge you if you don't.
Because it is super hard.  They are way too good.

{adapted from my fave Betty Crocker.}

*When I run out of my snickerdoodle stockpile I am going to try making these with the easier to obtain sugar cookie mix and cinnamon sugar.  I'll let you know how they compare.

Want to make a yummy pasta salad that will be the talk of the next get together?
My needs-a-food-blog-friend-Richelle (she's on instagram @richelleparis) has one of my favorite recipes.
So easy.  So yummy.
Bring it to your next potluck.  
You better believe that I will.
It's just a cook, saute, chop, and toss type of thing.
You can't mess it up.  You can't stop eating it.  Good thing it makes A LOT!
Plus you can make it ahead.  It tastes even better the next day.

So Jeannett and I wanted to be all stealth and ninja like when we asked you to link up your Happy Day recap posts.  But we are just too excited to not tell you why!  You see, when some of our amazing talented friends heard about what we were planning they wanted in.  Not just in, but IN!!!  They wanted to share happiness just like you shared happiness.
I love that!
I love them!
So whether you completed one task, or all seven, please share.  We love to read and celebrate the little bits of sunshine scattered all over the world.

One of you super sunshiney linkers will get all of this rainbow happiness.
Winner will be drawn on Saturday November 26th.

Doing good is always worth it.  Always.
1.  $25 shop credit at Rags to Stitches.  2.  You Are My Sunshine print by Blossom and Vine.  3.  ABC Sampler print by Little Bit Funky.  4.  Camera painting in color of your choice by Paint Me a Picture.  5.  Print of your choice from Songs Kate Sang.  6.  White Rose Earrings by Ragamuffin Beauties.  7.  Pearls and Knots Necklace in Houndstooth by Ragamuffin Beauties.  8.  Peach Mum Earrings by Ragamuffin Beauties.  9.  Chevron table runner by Knitty Bitties.    10.  Brick Red Rosette Earrings by Ragamuffin Beauties.  

Thanks darling friends.
Sparkles and unicorns all around.

 Hello edible.
So good you don't even need chips.  Just a spoon.  Make it.  Now.
Hello Jedi Training Academy at Discovery Science Center.
Hello happy husband.
Hello Boba Fett's gun.
Hello Star Wars exhibit that we will visit 1,000 times.
 Hello cupcakes.
 Hello hoodies at the beach.
Hello craft fairs.

Goodbye house guests.
We miss you.
Come back soon.

Hello Thanksgiving break.
You are going to be fun!

{Say hello to Monday with the lovely Lisa Leonard.}

This girl.
This joyful, delightful, charming, little girl.

Each and every day she wakes up with a smile.
With a request for a pretty dress.
Preferably this yellow pretty dress.

Here entire life is one big happy day.

But sometime in the future, that will change.
Sadly, inevitably change.

I don't want it to.  I want her whole life to be filled with opportunities to give, to serve, to help, to see those who need a smile, a treat, an encouraging word.

That is what I loved most about the Happy Day Project.
Taking time out of what was a CRAZY TOWN week, to think of others first.  To work together as a family to spread sunshine.

To notice ways that we can help.  Share.  Give.  Love.

Thank you for taking this journey.  Thank you for taking time to love those who needed love.  Thank you for taking the challenge and then making the week more than we could ever had imagined.

I don't want this to just be one week.  I want this to be something that we continue to do.  That we come back to.  In fun and surprising ways.  Are you with me?

Share your stories, your tears, your experiences spreading sunshine.
Whether you did one day or all seven.  I have a feeling that your heart was changed in some way.
Let's celebrate and encourage each other together.

After Leslie from Top of the Page shared her idea of Blessing Bags last year, and assembling them with my family during Thanksgiving, I knew that they would be a great project to wrap up The Happy Day Project.

I just happened to be co-hosting a Pinterest party with no-blog Alicia, and decided to rope my friends into the shenanigans.  Crafting plus giving?  Yes please.
The Evite potluck list option made it really easy for each of us to sign up for items, and mid-projects, we took a break, spread out everything on the island and began putting together our bags.

During assembly we chatted about how much we take simple things for granted, like Chapstick or cough drops.  It might not be much, but each item in the bags will hopefully bring some comfort and hope to those who need it most.  Now each of us have bags full of basic daily necessities to pass out when given the opportunity.

(Download today's printable here.)

Leslie and I brainstormed as to what the printable to tuck into the bag should say.
It is not easy.
What is appropriate?  What is meaningful?

Inspired by this song, she came up with Love knows your name...

To many the homeless are nameless.

To God they are not.

Let them not be nameless to us.

Share a bag, ask their name.

Let them know that there is love, and love does know their name.

Consider assembling Blessing Bags with your loved ones this Thanksgiving.
We have so much to be thankful for, and it means even more if we are able to share it.
Read more about what to include here.

I am thankful for you.  So thankful for taking this challenge.

Think of how many people spend their lives making your life better and easier.
I bet you could fill up an entire sheet of paper, just listing the number of people each day that in some way serve you.

Who comes to your mind first?
Maybe that is the person who needs it the most today.
Try it.

Let's surprise someone who takes care of us in some way with a little sunshine today.

Stephanie from Homegrown Hospitality (who I know in real life EEEK!!!) made this set of hand drawn doodles, to help celebrate those who make our days full of happiness.
Download the cuteness here.
 One of our students is across the country, freezing cold, missing home, at Army basic training.  We are so thankful for his heart to serve our country, and extremely proud of him.  We thought a little care package of treats would brighten his day.
Who doesn't love happy, yummy, mail?

As an extension of Veteran's Day, we would like to highlight The Wounded Warrior Project.

"With the mission to honor and empower wounded warriors, WWP is the hand extended to encourage warriors as they adjust to their new normal and achieve new triumphs. Offering a variety of programs and services, WWP is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury – from the physical to the invisible wounds of war."

They are there when our soldiers need them the most.  Just as our soldiers are there for us when we need them the most.

Consider donating as an act of thankfulness for all that our military and their families sacrifice for us each and every day.

Happy Friday friends!
How is your week going?

Today is all about refreshment.

Amy from Living Locurto made a super cute set of water bottle tags.  Seriously, super cute.
Download your own printable tags here and here.
Take a bucket of waters to a local park, on a walking loop, hey, even in front of Target.  Shopping makes one thirsty right?
Who wouldn't want to be greeted with a cold water?

But I got to thinking... these little tags cold fit on say...
A cranberry-strawberry-lime slushie from Sonic?
An iced coffee from Starbucks?
A fountain Diet Poison?
But wait, the goal isn't to get my favorite drinks...  but I could roll through Sonic during happy hour, and do a little ding dong slushie-ness to my friend's porches.
Or pay for the car behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru and leave a tag for the barista to slip on the unsuspecting caffeine addict behind me.

Who needs a little refreshment in your life today?

If you know me, I can't talk about water, without talking about WATER.

Clean water specifically.  It is the desire and passion of my heart that every single person on this beautiful planet has access to clean, safe, water.
I will keep fundraising, keep advocating, keep talking about it until the day comes when I don't have to.  Oh, how I look forward to that day.

My friend jenny, whom I adore, has the biggest heart for the needs of this world.  She was able to travel to Kenya this summer and drink from one of the wells funded by our church.  For her birthday this year she chose to help Charity:Water fundraiser for their September campaign.  All of the September campaigns are going towards funding another drilling rig.

Dare you to watch this video explaining it.

The 2011 September Campaign. Our 5-year-anniversary video from charity: water on Vimeo.

I'd love for you to visit Jenny's campaign and think of how many people lives you could change with even a small donation.  About how you could help refresh thirsty people all the way in Ethiopia.

I love water.  I love Jenny.  I love your heart to help.

Happy day four!
Who doesn't love a good book?
Surprise someone with one of your favorites today.
Head to your local bookstore (if you still have one), Amazon, or even shop your very own bookshelf.  I love passing on my books.  I love having books passed on to me. If someone I know loved a book, chances are I will too.  As soon as I get a new one, I'll sneak off to bed early, curl up and get lost in it's words.  Dreamy.

Heather from Life Made Lovely created these sweet little bookplates for you to tuck inside the books that you share.  {Click here to download.}

My sweet Halley chose to celebrate her seventh birthday by collecting books for The Joyful Life Library.  It is a project that is near and dear to our family.
Read about the story behind The Joyful Life Library, and consider purchasing a book to donate to one of the participating hospitals through their wish lists.  Send the simple love, comfort and escape that can be found in the pages of a happy little book.

Next up: refresh someone.
happy day

I live in a land of excess, gated communities, and real housewives.
Yet hidden in this land are the broken, the hurting, the needy, the unemployed, the homeless.
Each and every time I see them I am undone.
Undone because nobody else seems to see them.
They turn away from them on the corners.
They impatiently will the stoplight to turn green on the freeway exits.
They act as if they are invisible.
They are not invisible.
They have names.
They have stories.
They have dreams.

I do not care how life brought them to the street corner.
What I do care about is THEM.

They exist.  They are not invisible.
They were created by God, and they matter to Him.

Something that matters to God, matters to me.

While I cannot change their circumstances, I can give them a hot meal and a snack.
I can look them in the eyes and let them know that I see them.
Actually see them.
That I care about them.

It might not be much, but it is something.

Tuck a handful of gift cards into your glove box.
When the opportunity arises, hand one out with a warm smile.
See those the rest of the world doesn't.
Change their day, if only for a few minutes.
A whole lot of hope can be contained in a few minutes.
Download your printables created by Smallbird Studios here and here.

Want to take today outside of our borders?
As our newspaper and mailbox fills with holiday catalogs advertising the latest STUFF, I wanted my kids to see beyond toys and the latest American Girl outfits.
I wanted them to see what the rest of the world is wishing for Christmas.

Yes, Kit's new holiday dress is adorable.
Rebecca's kittens are super cute.
But for the same price guess what we could buy...

We browsed the Compassion Christmas Catalog, they were brought to a whole new reality.
Suddenly they were more excited about giving gifts, than asking for them.
Give your kids a chance to do the same.  I bet their hearts will surprise you.
I know I was.

Acknowlege the invisible.  Be the only sunshine someone sees today.  Buy a gift from the Compassion Catalog.

Come back tomorrow as we share a book with a friend.

happy day

How was day one?
I loved that my Instagram feed was filled with people making treats and spreading sunshine.
It is a beautiful thing to be a part of, my heart is so full and happy.  Keep the sunshine stories coming!

Are you ready for today's challenge?
Pencils sharpened?
Do you go to ye olde mercantile to pick up ink for your quill pen?
Because today focuses on spreading sunshine through words.  Words written the old fashioned way with your hand.
Crazy right?

This one isn't easy for me.
I can sit and type all the live long day, but I am a colossal failure when it comes to writing out a simple card.  I don't know why...  Perhaps here I can ramble, let words randomly fall out of my brain, but to craft a meaningful paragraph to thank or encourage?
Super hard.

During a creative writing class in college we were required to write a note to someone each and every day of the semester.  I bought a huge stack of postcards and worked from A to Z in my address book.  Some days it was hard, but it is the most memorable project of my college career.  I'm sad that I have become so far removed from that simple habit.  I treasure handwritten notes that come my way.  I have a dedicated bin that I tuck them into.  I love to go back and re-read the words that have been shared with me.  I want to write again.  Tangible words.

Could there be a more perfect way to send written sunshine than with these adorable note cards beautifully created by Emily from Hope Ink?
{Click here to download your own set.}
Pennants are my love language.  Pennants that my girls can color in, even better.  We all agreed who our cards would be sent to, and gathered up our bucket of markers and got to work.
It was a great time talking about the recipient and how much they mean to our family.  It was great to sit down and just write.  Not type, not text, but really, write.  Writing with a bit of coloring, that is...

As we addressed our cards, we chatted a little bit about Wren.  She is a wife and mama to two boys and an itty bitty girl, who is fighting the fight of her life against stage four cancer.  We don't know her, but we are praying for her and her family.  Praying that she will be healed.  Praying that she continues to keep strong and keep fighting.  What do you write to someone battling cancer?  I have no idea.  Not a one.  But that is not going to stop me from trying.  It is not going to stop me from tucking a Target gift card in to a little note and send it off to Texas, in hopes that it shines a bit of sunshine to a deep and dark valley.

Will you do the same?  Send love to the Horn's.  Pray for the Horn's.  Beg for healing in Wren's body. Send a gift card to help with daily expenses.  Follow updates on their journey HERE.

Send your notes of hope and encouragement here:

Harris Creek Baptist Church
c/o Wren Horn
401 Stageline Drive
Mc Gregor, TX 76657

{Next up: Giftcard to homeless.}

happy day

It's here!
It's here!

How excited are you to start spreading sunshine?

Today we are focusing close to home.  
Our neighbors.
Whether you know them, or just would like to know them, know that they will be surprised and delighted by a thoughtful treat.

It doesn't have to be fancy.
Who has time for fancy?

It could be a little stack of Pillsbury break and bake cookies, stacked in a jar, finished off with a cute tag.
Preferably delivered by a trio of girls in their pajamas.

Did I have dreams of making my favorite pumpkin bread?
Plans to deliver it during the daylight hours?
Did I find myself lacking both the pumpkin and the daylight?

Maybe.  Because sometimes plans don't always go the way you think that they will.
You know what?  My plans don't matter.  My neighbor matters.

The darling neighbor, who fetches our mail while we are away, who dotes on my littles like they were her own grandchildren, was happily surprised when those same littles, came smiling and bearing cookies to her doorstep tonight.

Perhaps she is sitting down under a cozy blanket right now with a glass of milk and her jar of cookies.
Warmly knowing that we care about and appreciate her.

Who needs a treat in your neighborhood today?

Mique of 30Days made this lovely tag, reminding us to delight in the little things.
{click HERE to download a printable set and HERE for another adorable version.}

Isn't it the little things that often get overlooked?

Isn't it the little things that when noticed can really get us through the big things?

Today I will choose to delight in them.

Mique's dear friend Sharlie delights in them daily as she fights a hard fight.
We wanted to highlight and support Sharlie's Angels as they help raise money for this wife and mama who is awaiting a heart and double lung transplant.

You can learn about sweet Sharlie here.
Shop for Sharlie here (so many goodies to be had!)
Donate directly to her fund here.

May your find delight as you bless a neighbor today.
May you send love by donating to Sharlie's Angels or by shopping for Sharlie.

{Next up:  Handwritten note day.  Sharpen your pencils.  It's time to get old school.}
happy day