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Beautiful Color! Coral and Apple-Green and Lavender and Faint Orange, and Indian Blue.

From F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby: Recovering himself in a minute he opened for us two hulking patent cabinets which held his massed suits and dressing-gowns and ties, and his shirts, piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high. “I’ve got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a […]

#984 Eating the last piece of dessert somebody left in a dish at your house

Very occasionally, a kind soul will come over toting a homemade dessert made from some combination of apples, brown sugar, brownie batter, Skor bits, marshmallows, cherries, and oatmeal. They set their heavy glass dish down on our kitchen counter, and peel back the plastic bag to reveal an earth-toned rainbow of deliciosity. Show More Summary

#985 Eating things after the expiry date

I used to follow expiry dates like gospel, figuring the sour cream would sweeten, the ice cream would melt, and the rice would crumble into dust the morning after after the the block-stamped date on the bottom of the package had passed. Show More Summary

Use the Four Tendencies to Tackle Your New Year’s Resolutions (Or Not).

If you want to keep a resolution -- for the New Year, or at any other time -- knowing your Tendency can help you stick to it. This knowledge provides important clues for how to address any challenges that might come up.

More Gift-Giving Suggestions! 7 of My Favorite Suggestions from the “Happier” Podcast.

On the "Happier with Gretchen Rubin" podcast, Elizabeth and I have mentioned several items that might make good gifts. So, in case gift-finding is turning into a Happiness Stumbling Block for you, consider these: Flying Wish Paper -- this is so fun to use. You see it fly into the air, and you get to […]

The Importance of Having Hope

“When the world says ‘give up’, hope says ‘try it one more time’.” It was a pleasantly cool night in spring. I was seated on a bench facing Cinderella’s castle, which glittered as if it was just showered with pixie dust. Both children...Show More Summary

#986 When you pull up to a red light and the guy in front of you moves up a bit so you can make a right turn

Don’t you love it when you pull up to a red light in the right lane, and the guy in front of you notices and squeezes out into the intersection a bit, just so you can make your right turn a bit faster? What a great thing that is. Careful...Show More Summary

“When Writing, I Procrastinate for Weeks, Then I Write a Huge Chunk in a Few Days.”

Interview: Robin Benway. I've written many times about how I'm a huge, raving fan of children's and young-adult literature. I read these books as a child, and I continue to read them as an adult. I'm in three (yes, three) book groups where we talk about kidlit. (If you want to see my list of […]

Intent doesn’t matter - Pace Smith

Meaning well is not enough – you also need followthrough. There once was a fellow named Hal Who was honest and good for morale. But Hal always falls through. Every time. So would you Rely on this so-honest pal? Thanks for listening to The Dervish and the Mermaid! If you enjoyed this episode, please review […]

#987 Picking a perfect nacho off someone else’s plate

No two nachos are created equally. When somebody offers you a nacho from their appetizer plate at a restaurant or while on the couch at home in front of a movie, you need to move fast: First up, quickly scan their entire plate. WhatShow More Summary

Study: Measuring Aspects of Religious Experience Is Hard

Religion is an important part of many people’s lives all over the world. How can we measure the dimensions of religions experience?

Need Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas? Here are the 7 Books I Most Often Give as Gifts.

I love giving books as gifts -- during the holiday season, and throughout the year. I constantly recommend a million books, but there is a handful of books that I find myself giving over and over, because they've had such an influence on me. Here are the seven that I most often give as gifts: […]

The Alchemy of Happiness: How to Turn the Everyday into Pure Gold

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. ~ Ralph Waldo...Show More Summary

#990 Picking up a q and u at the same time when playing Scrabble

I’m the world’s worst Scrabble player. Every time it’s my turn I see other players lose interest as they get ready for a long wait. I feel bad, so I stare intensely at my pieces trying desperately to conjure up a word longer than three...Show More Summary

An Introduction to Frugal Hedonism

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Annie Raser-Rowland of The Art of Frugal Hedonism. If you are reading this blog, it is almost certain that you, like me, live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, in an age of material convenience and luxury unimaginable to 99% of the humans who have […]

Ever Get the Feeling that You Just Can’t Contain the Beauty of the World?

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!    Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!    Thy mists, that roll and rise! Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag And all but cry with colour!   That gaunt crag To crush!   To lift the lean of that black bluff! World, World, I cannot get thee close enough! Long […]

#991 Really, really old Tupperware containers

Found in dusty kitchen cupboards and dishwasher top-shelves across this wide, great land, really, really old Tupperware is as handy today as it was twenty, thirty, forty years ago. That famous Tupperware “burping seal” still holds strong,...Show More Summary

My London Color Adventure, Part II — Getting My “Color Season” Analyzed.

The other day, I wrote about my decision to have color adventures while I was visiting London. Before I left New York City, I'd made a plan to visit the Lycurgus Cup in the British Museum. As reluctant as I usually am to have spontaneous adventures (Upholder), I did have an unplanned color adventure during […]

#992 Being the first table to get called up to the dinner buffet at a wedding

Weddings can go one of two ways. Either you’re tight like twins with the bride or groom — a sibling maybe, college roommate, or grandmother. You’re on The Inside, recommending photographers, hosting showers, renting tuxes, giving toasts. Show More Summary

Looking for Holiday Gifts? Consider These Suggestions. (Warning: Blatant Self-Promotion!)

'Tis the season to buy presents, and most of us can use some good suggestions. So be warned, I’m going to make a plug for my various creations -- books, journals, calendar, coloring book, and even mugs.

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