Monday, December 31

Day 366: Finding Happy in 365 Days, Plus One

All good things must come to an end. As I sit here looking around my desk, I notice many things that have made their way into my posts during the past year. Many things that have brought and continue to bring me happiness. In addition I see many new things that I've added to my collection of "Happy." This will probably come as no surprise but these additions are making my desk somewhat of a cluttered mess right now. There are Christmas gifts that I have not yet found a home for, waiting patiently to be shuffled off to their final destination, and then there are my newly glazed ceramic pieces, also sitting here and there but they do not seem as patient. Somehow they seem to be saying, "It's too crowded here, we need space!" I understand their dilemma and my aim is to find new homes for everything today.

But wait... sitting just in front of my keyboard is a pile of unusual and fun items. These too are waiting patiently for their new home. However they are to be the contents of my final Happy Package Giveaway, an assortment of things that I have been collecting over the past few months in preparation for this very moment. They have really become like friends to me, cheering me on when I felt that Happy was on the far reaches of my boarders and helping to reel me back in with their cheery playfulness. Soon they will be on their way to a new home to hopefully spread Happy and continue the work I have started this past year.

Today is actually a bonus day, as my project was to Find Happy in 365 Days. But with leap year, a small oversight on my part, I have been given an additional day to complete what was and is to be a one year project. And I am really grateful for this additional day. Happiness has been all around me today as my husband and I headed out to pick up ingredients for our celebratory, New Year's Eve dinner AND to do one of my favorite things in the world - go out for breakfast! First on our agenda was breakfast, of course. We headed over to KA's Cafe, which is a small cafe in our neighborhood on Swedenborgsgatan. We have passed by it many times. We've even looked at their menu and expressed wanting to try it but never did, until today. We both decided to go with the "Gröt Med Banan, Kanel, och Mjölk" (oatmeal with bananas, cinnamon and milk). I had a cappuccino to accompany mine and my husband had just a regular cup of coffee. Our breakfast came out steaming. They were huge bowls of hot and hearty porridge and we sat in a cozy corner in front of a window with a view of the street outside.

As I neared the bottom of my bowl, I sat casually starring out the window, day dreaming about our dinner menu. Suddenly my eye caught a reflection being cast off of the back of the car in front of me. Miraculously the sun had come out. I had just stuffed the last bite of oatmeal and banana into my mouth. As I was swallowing the last bit we hurried into our jackets and scarves and headed outside to get a dose of vitamin D and continue on our way. The rest of the day was also filled with some of my favorite things: a casual stroll outside in the sunshine, a bit of after Christmas sale shopping, and a visit to not one, but two of the indoor markets in Stockholm in search of fresh and tasty ingredients for our "party for two" this evening, three if you include Pina, which of course we do.

Here's our menu...

"Finding Happy in 365 Days" Celebration Dinner:

Pre-dinner:

Gin & tonics with a twist of lime & chili spiced peanuts

Dinner: 

Champagne

Deconstructed meatball sandwiches & princess korv (vegetarian mini sausages)

Kale salad with mustard vinaigrette

Mini savory turnovers (shiitake and forest mushrooms with garlic and Västerbotten cheese & asparagus with garlic and Västerbotten cheese) topped with a creamy onion-scented bechamel sauce

Dessert:

Chocolate panna cotta with raspberry & red current gelee

Cheese plate with brillat savarin, manchego & something stinky that I can't remember


A few photos from my last blog day...

Breakfast at KA's Cafe.

An odd little fairy, aqua-woman I saw in the snow...

A hard balancing act...

The party has started!

Pina licking her chops after devouring her shrimp "cocktail."

The spread...

Skål! och välkommen till Sverige...

A tasty plate of food.

My brilliant, deconstructed meatball sandwich idea...

Tell me that doesn't look like a bite of Happiness right there...

Mysiga ljus (cozy candles)


And now... for the drawing!

All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is to leave a comment on today's post, here or on Facebook. I would love to hear any feedback that you would like to give me on this blog project and/or feedback on what you hope to read in my future blog. I will tally all comments on January 2, 2013 so you have from now until midnight, January 2nd to comment. Since this is my last post and it is also New Year's Eve I am giving everyone an extra day to both read and comment.

So you are probably wondering what is next for Finding Happy in 365 Days...

Due to the nature of my project, I will not be continuing with the same blog but will begin a brand new one that is currently in the works as I write this. I will be posting a link to my new blog on February 1,  2013 right here. However if you would like for me to send you an email with the link you can write to me at greasyham(at)gmail(dot)com.

It is not confirmed at this time but the working title for my new blog is, "On My Bike with Scissors and a Cast Iron Skillet."

Other titles in the running include:

Greasy Ham with a Side of Happy

Finding Sunshine

Finding My Paper Moon

Amazing Grace's

Coffee, Scissors and a Dose of Happy

I Love That!

Hemma Hos Grace (Swedish - means At Home with Grace)

Fåtöljen (Swedish - means The Arm Chair)


Feel free to vote on your favorite when you comment!

A few final words... THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH for all of your support and shared laughs over the past year. This project has been an amazing journey and if it weren't for all of you I am not sure I would have kept with it. I hope that all of you will continue to look for Happy each and every day of your life. I promise that if you do, miracles will happen.

I wish you all a fantastic 2013! May it be the best year yet and may they only get better from here!

My love to you all!!!

Grace Ann


15 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh Grace Ann!!! I almost got all teared up when reading this post! You have honestly made me think differently and a few other people close to me after I told them about your blog idea. I am so happy that you will start a new blog project :o) hope it makes you happy!
    I love all the blog names especially the first because it put a funny picture in my head, but tough choice! Looks very cosy in Sweden and you remind me of all the good reasons to come back to Stockholm tomorrow from New York during this time of year and not be sad about it! I have to say it again- excellent writing and pictures! have a good new years! kram, stacy

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    1. Stacy, you have been so sweet through my entire project! Thank you for your feedback and compliments. It puts a big smile on my face to hear that I made a little bit of a difference :-D. Looking forward to seeing you again soon! Happy 2013! Kram, Grace Ann

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  2. Hi there!
    Kaley and I here... we decided we love your "working title" the best. Fits you perfectly. We ruled out all the others for various, well thought-out reasons that we won't go into here to save space. :-)
    I'm so proud of you for completing your project. That in itself is so inspiring since I have so many unfinished things laying about. And, then- as a bonus... your blog has been beautifully written, thoughtfully expressed, and has been very encouraging. I can't wait to continue following you, your bike, your scissors, and your skillet wherever they may take you! Happy Happy New Year! Love, Kimberly and Kaley

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    1. Thank you Kimberly and Kaley! I would love to hear your reasons for ruling out the others, if you want to send me a personal email. ;-) Thanks for your words of praise and encouragement. It means so much to me! Wishing you a fabulous and Happy 2013! Love, Grace Ann

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  3. Congratulations Grace Ann! And thank you for inspiring me to join the pursuit of happiness. I hope you will also be happy to hear that another 365 day blog was spawned as a result (http://musicaldiggaren.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/vem-vad-varfor-och-saratoga-2/)and so the movement is spreading.

    Wishing you all the best in 2013 and onward! /Odella

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    1. Thank you Odella! It was my pleasure to inspire you on your own journey. :-) It is a good movement, I think. Cheers to you and the rest of your 365! Kram! Grace Ann

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  4. Congratulations and Happy New Year! That food looked delicious! I loved Paper Moon, but I think my favorite title is the riding your bike with scissors and a skillet. I said it before, but I'm so proud of you for finishing your project! Big big hugs from NY!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! The food WAS delicious, even if I pat myself on the back :-p. I loved Paper Moon too but looks like the bike, scissors & skillet have won out. It was an overwhelming majority and I think it inspires fun. Perhaps some of the other "in the running" titles will find their way into posts on my new blog! Have a Happy 2013 and sending a stor kram from Sweden! :-)

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  5. Congratulations Grace Ann!! What an accomplishment! You are a true inspiration, and I look forward to reading more on your new blog :) I vote for the first title! Happy new year! xoxo

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    1. Thank you Katie! It feels great to have completed it and makes me happy to know that I have left a trail of inspiration. :-) Happy 2013! Kram!

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  6. I was inspired and entertained by you blog, but equally important to me was the connection I felt with you through your writing. I felt closer to you and paradoxically missed you more. It's being amazing following your blog and your journey and it reminded me at times i needed it, to find the happy. Thanks for that. I am also very proud of your dedication to it. I'm excited to read your next blog. As affectionate as i feel toward anything Greasy Ham, I have to say i'd vote for your working title. It makes me smile and i can so easily envision it.
    much love from both the fox sisters

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    1. Michelle! I miss you woman! Thank you for such a nice "comment" on my blog. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It is comforting to know that you enjoyed my journey and felt some of the residual happy in the process. Completing it was definitely something that gave me a sense of accomplishment. Maybe we will see you in Sweden sometime soon? Give your sister a big hug from me and tell her to hug you back even harder from me as well. Love, Greasy Ham

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  7. Monica BonDurant-BarnesDecember 31, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    I vote for "At Home with Grace" because that's how I felt every time I read your blog. Keep up the good work - it's inspiring, educational, entertaining and comforting.

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    1. Thank you Monica. You, my mom and another friend all liked this title and I have to admit it was my favorite too. While I have decided to go with the working title, "Hemma Hos Grace" is still tugging at my heart... thank you for your support and cheering! Wishing you a Happy 2013! Kram! Grace Ann

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  8. I like the finding my paper moon one, the coffee, scissors and finding happy one and I think I love the one on your bile with the scissors....my brain isn't working well enough to remember it exactly and I am tired of scrolling up. Obviously too tired to use proper capitalization! At least I am spelling correctly! Anyhoo. I love it, all of it, I love your idea. I will message you on FB to give you feedback.
    Super duper congrats!

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