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I finally finished The Happiness Project while on vacation. Even though I loved the book and took tons of notes, it took me 3 months to read it. I’d pick it up, read a chapter and set it down and not touch it for weeks. Overall, it’s a book I’d keep for my shelf to read again and again down the road so I give it 4 stars!

I learned a lot from The Happiness Project about how to be more grateful for the ordinary day and have already come up with five of my own {with the help of Gretchen} happiness resolutions {in no particular order}:


1. Don’t Save Things for Special Occasions because life is too short to save your good anything for later because truly, later may never come! I guess that means it’s time to drink that expensive bottle of wine, send notes on my monogrammed stationary, spray the perfume, wear the heirloom jewelry, serve dinner on the china, burn the candle, etc. etc. My list could go on.


My new motto – “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” 


2. Be More Forgiving, Generous and Lighthearted
. This also includes cutting people slack even when they are rude. You never know what’s going on in their life.


3. Be Present


4. Remember Birthdays
. I know how much I enjoy receiving birthday calls, texts, cards and emails so I am making it my mission to do the same for others.


5. Six Second Hugs. Matt and I love this new resolution and swear by it. Six seconds is the minimum time necessary to promote the flow of oxytocin and serotonin, mind boosting chemicals that promote bonding! No more quick or half-hearted hugs!

 I recommend reading this book even if you consider yourself a really happy person. You will definitely learn a thing or two!

Okay, so now I need a new book preferably a trashy romance! I’ve already read Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, The Expats, The Paris Wife, The Happiness Project, Little Bee and a few others I can’t remember. I’m looking to stock up on a few page turners for the rest of summer! I don’t really enjoy super girly novels but I do love suspense and mystery! 

What do you recommend?!



  1. Tess
    August 14, 2013 / 3:03 pm

    It's taking me a LONG time to get through the Happiness Project too – but, I've come away with very similar take-aways. I'm all about not saving things for special occasions. Life is a special occasion, and we should eat on the china and burn the good candles!

  2. Pamela N Heather
    August 14, 2013 / 3:08 pm

    I finished The Happiness Project last year, and keep it in my desk at school between teaching and love to still reread parts of it. While staying at my mother-in-laws, I read her copy of The Ten Best Days of My Life: is SO good! It's a girly book (because she is all about this hot guy, and always worried about wearing the latest fashion trends), but also has a great moral to the story about appreciating what you have, and that materialistic things aren't so important.

  3. Laura | Our Life in the Queen City
    August 14, 2013 / 3:13 pm

    I've been wanting to read The Happiness Project!!! I'm glad to know you liked it – the reviews on Amazon were kind of extreme (in both directions). Might try to snag it at Target before vacation. PS. when I see you tomorrow, I fully expect a 6 second hug! hahaha!

  4. Caitlin
    August 14, 2013 / 3:26 pm

    I loved this book and I loved what I learned! I like your new motto to use it or do without. I try to use things as well, but I save things for no reason at all! I really need to stop and just wear that new shirt.

  5. Kristin
    August 14, 2013 / 3:46 pm

    Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan is good. It was my beach read, nothing too heavy.

  6. Elizabeth @ Southern Color
    August 14, 2013 / 3:57 pm

    We read the Happiness Project last year in my book club. It was definitely an eye-opener for being more present and appreciative – I'm glad you liked it! My book suggestions: The Fault in Our Stars, Orange Is the New Black, The Mountains Echoed, and Here I Go Again = happy reading!

  7. Laura-Hyde
    August 14, 2013 / 4:03 pm

    I would highly recommend Time Traveller's Wife and Me Before You if you're looking for romance-y novels. If you're open to reading something really different, I cannot recommend Wonder by RJ Palacio enough! xx

  8. Ellen
    August 14, 2013 / 4:12 pm

    I just finished The Kitchen House. I couldn't put it down. Another good read was Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Even as a stay-at-home mom it was good to read.

  9. Jenn @ West Sac Honey
    August 14, 2013 / 4:12 pm

    Just bought it for my kindle!

  10. P!nky
    August 14, 2013 / 4:15 pm

    Have you read the Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn? Mix between James patterson and Tom Clancy.

  11. April of A. Liz Adventures
    August 14, 2013 / 4:32 pm

    I agree about this book — it was a pleasure to read for me but not necessarily engaging. Good pointers though! Have you read The Glass House by Jeannette Walls?

  12. Michelle
    August 14, 2013 / 4:46 pm

    I've seen so many people review this book; I think it's time that I pick it up 🙂

  13. Rachelle @ Inner Loop Adventures
    August 14, 2013 / 4:57 pm

    I read The Happiness Project a couple years ago, and one of the things that has stuck with me is the "don't save things for special occasions." You're so right, life is too short, and you never know what tomorrow will bring! Have you thought about reading the follow-up book "Happier at Home"?

  14. Bri Buzali
    August 14, 2013 / 5:01 pm

    I'm going to have to read this book! I just finished reading Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet, both by Shauna Niequest and I highly suggest them! They are FANTASTIC!

  15. Laura {happily ever} Parker
    August 14, 2013 / 5:14 pm

    I have never read that book but always been intrigued by the title. If you love romance and scandalous books my favorite is The Other Boelyn Girl (if you saw the movie it's terrible, book is AMAZING!) It's an old one but you breeze through it and it makes you want to know all things King Henry IIIV and his wives!

  16. Maran (HeyHawleywood)
    August 14, 2013 / 5:23 pm

    I'm reading the Divergent triology- compared to Hunger Games but different. I cannot put the first one down!! Oh and for suspense and mystery, Mary Higgins Clark.

  17. melissa
    August 14, 2013 / 6:08 pm

    Reconstructing Amelia was a fun mystery-ish read, in the same vein as Good Girls. Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall was good, if you don't mind reading YA. I loved The Fault in Our Stars, if you haven't read that one yet. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett was great. And if by chance you haven't read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, you have to pick it up. It's hilarious.

  18. Courtney W.
    August 14, 2013 / 6:17 pm

    I've recently read nearly all of the books on your list – I'm just getting to the good parts of The Paris Wife now! I also read Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan and highly recommend it, as well as American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. I know they're not trashy beach reads, but they're really good, I've read them both twice!

  19. Nicole {Appalachian Charm}
    August 14, 2013 / 6:34 pm

    You should read anything by Mary Kay Andrews or Dorthea Denton Frank!! They are so good and most of them have a series to go with them!

  20. Becca
    August 14, 2013 / 6:42 pm

    I second American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield. She also has a new book out called Sisterland that I can't wait to read. I just finished The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan also and I enjoyed it as well!

  21. Colleen Sullivan
    August 14, 2013 / 7:56 pm

    This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for months! I guess I really should be reading it!!

  22. Nicole
    August 14, 2013 / 8:00 pm

    I fell in love with the Stephanie Plum novels (One For the Money, etc.) by Janet Evanovich. They're fun, fast reads. A little romance among page after page of suspense and mystery. I'm on the 7th one already and have even got a few girlfriends hooked on them now too. Highly recommend.

  23. ~The Neaves Nest~
    August 14, 2013 / 8:47 pm

    Girl, I am the queen of saving my good stuff! In fact, I pulled out a fall candle I hadn't burned yet and let it fill my house with its yummy goodness, because I needed it! I also hoard my favorite bath and body hand soaps because I don't want to run out. I can't enjoy them if I don't use them! So lately I've been using the "goods". I just picked upy copy of gone girl from the library. Only problem, I reserved the Spanish copy online instead of the English. Back to the waiting list I go! I'll have to put this book on my to-reads list!

  24. Sarah
    August 14, 2013 / 11:41 pm

    Still Alice by Lisa Genova is amazing. Everyone I know who has read it has loved it. I wouldn't consider it "light" reading though!

    August 15, 2013 / 2:57 am

    I just finished reading Crossing the Borders of Time by Leslie Maitland. It is a true love story about her mother who is torn away from her true love in France because of WWII (complete with love, war, sex, drama, and reunions…it was so good).The other book I just read was Orange is the New Black. Not a drama, but a memoir written by a woman who spent a year in a federal women's prison…there is a Netflix series now too!

  26. Lauren @
    August 15, 2013 / 1:17 pm

    You never know what other people have gone through, love that point! I have been loving the book Rurally Screwed. It's pretty fun, a quick read and I can't put it down.

  27. Penny
    August 15, 2013 / 2:16 pm

    Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? It's a great book!!

  28. Danielle
    August 15, 2013 / 2:51 pm

    I love your happiness statements! I think I will try reading the Happiness Project myself, it sounds great. I'd recommend Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, was recently made into a movie but its a pretty unique book/story. I read it last month and really enjoyed it. Easy, teenie-bopper type read and fun.

  29. Ashlee
    August 15, 2013 / 7:35 pm

    Since you read Gone Girl and Sharp Objects you need to go ahead and read Dark Places (I liked it the second most of the 3…)

  30. Classic Collins
    August 16, 2013 / 2:35 am

    I read the Happiness Project too!! It was so good! I flew through it but that's just I've been on summer vacation… Such a fun and happy read! & with soo many good ideas 🙂 I love your new motto too! Gretchen tweeted me back & I was so excited! Here's my post about it:

  31. Liza
    August 16, 2013 / 3:05 am

    Love your happiness resolutions! Did you mean oxytocin and serotonin? OxyContin is a long acting prescription narcotic pain medicine! Ha! It would likely make your feel really good, though!

    • Carolina Charm
      August 16, 2013 / 1:24 pm

      I 100% blame autocorrect for those!! oxytocin and serotonin!!!!!! So glad you caught that! 🙂

  32. Maggie
    August 19, 2013 / 1:10 am

    I just started "Where'd you go, Bernadette?" and it's pretty funny! I'm only 1/3 into it but I think I could probably go ahead and recommend. A quirky page turner so far!

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