April 06, 2023

E - HappEEEE (Happiness Jar & 100 Happy Days) + BONUS


Happiness Jar

Another technique I did for a couple of years in a row to help me focus on the good was a Happiness Jar. I found out about this on Facebook around 2010. A Happiness Jar is a jar that you fill with notes whenever something brings you happiness. On New Year’s Eve, you empty the jar out and read each slip of paper to remember the good things that happened and brought you happiness throughout the year.

I took an old jar, which I believe had been for pickles, and repurposed it for my Happiness Jar. I glued a piece of dark red velvet around the outside of the jar to hide the contents and added some cute embellishments to dress it up. If you Google “Happiness Jar” or “Happy Jar,” you will find many inspirations for how you can decorate your jar. You can even purchase a special, personalized jar from places like Shutterfly.com or Zazzle.com and customize it to say “Happiness Jar.”

Back when I had my Happiness Jar, I put notes in it that said things like:

- I went to the zoo with my sister, nephews, and mom.

- I talked to my best friend on the phone for hours.

- Beach day. Collected shells.

At the end of the year, when I re-read these notes, I reflected on those things that had brought me joy, even in the midst of depression and tough times.

I kept this jar, small cuts of paper, and a pen on my nightstand to remind me to put a happiness inside it. I didn’t do this every day, though. My life then was difficult. Many days were not good days, where nothing made me happy. Unlike with the gratitude journal where I could at least come up with general, everyday gratitudes, on a day that wasn’t good or nothing made me happy, I didn’t insert a note into the jar. Even on normal days, boring days, blah days, I didn’t. Instead, I used the jar only when something genuinely made me happy.

You could use your jar every day, though. Especially if you feel you need to focus on the happiness in your life more than the negative. This jar is yours, so use it as you wish.

As you see the jar fill up with notes, you’ll start to realize that there are good things in your life, that you can find happiness even in the darkest of times. That’s why this jar is so powerful. At the end of a year you deem “bad,” that you can’t wait to put behind you, when reading those notes again, you’ll be able to see that even a bad year can wield moments of happiness. We need those reminders.

100 Happy Days

On May 16, 2014, I started a photo challenge called 100 Happy Days. Since this was pre-Instagram, I posted my pictures to Facebook and created an album titled “100 Happy Days,” so I could revisit those memories later.

As you can probably tell by now, I am a big fan of challenges, especially if the challenge is just for me, like this one and sharing three gratitudes a day for three weeks. I think those kinds of challenges are the best, because you’re competing against yourself, no one else. The rewards are better…impactful. They are thought-altering…life-changing. If you don’t meet the goal, it doesn’t matter as much. What matters is the effort you put into it and what you get out of it. Whatever you manage counts and makes a difference to you and your overall well-being.

When I did the 100 Happy Days photo challenge, I was going through the agonizing process of trying to get disability benefits. This challenge really helped me to find at least one thing, no matter how microscopic, that made me happy each day—even on the worst days when my money dilemma was brutal and I could cry at the drop of a dime at how fragile my life felt.



E - Emerson and Evony

Emerson and Evony are twins in my "Secret Book Baby Series" universe. We do not meet Emerson in Universal Killer or Cocky Killer, but we do meet Evony, who has a special role in Avrianna Heavenborn's life; she provides Avrianna with her undercover disguises.

Excerpt from Universal Killer:

Avrianna drove to Evony’s beauty shop in a strip mall. Only one other car was in the usually-packed parking lot. Evony got out of a small teal-colored car. She wore skin-tight white pants, knee-high lace-up boots with three-inch heels, and a black long-sleeved shirt with a deep scoop neck that showed off her cleavage. Today she had styled her hair into a single long, thick braid. Her wide lips were painted a glossy nude to compliment her tawny skin tone. For having been pried out of bed extra early, Evony sure didn’t look it. She looked amazing. Next to her, Avrianna felt rather frumpy in her jeans and plain black T-shirt and boots that needed to be shined.

“I have all the wigs and makeup and nail polish you could imagine inside. I also have a little closet of clothes and shoes to complete a client’s look. We should be able to find what we need. Follow me.”

Avrianna followed Evony into her shop. Rows of chairs for hairstyling, a beauty bar for cosmetics, sinks for hair washing, dryers with large hoods, and tables for nail art filled the space. In the back, there were changing rooms, mirrors, and a walk-in closet with wardrobe options for clients looking for a head-to-toe makeover. When it came to Evony's skill, most of her clients wanted the full treatment because Evony was the best, and she owned the best beauty shop in New Vida.

That’s why Avrianna knew she was the best person for this task.

You can read Universal Killer, Cocky Killer, and all future Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.


  1. I love the Happiness Jar! I want to adapt it into a memoir technique / prompt.

  2. The 100 Happy Days photo challenge sounds like a good idea.

    Ronel visiting for E:
    My Languishing TBR: E
    Earth Mother Demeter

    1. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you like photography.

  3. I love the idea of a happiness jar! We tried one at home a couple of years ago, I think I'll bring it back over Easter!

  4. Oops, sorry, forgot to sign in!

    1. Thanks for commenting again do I knew the anonymous comment was you. ❤️

  5. If you put in a happy note in the jar every day, that would be a lot of notes on New Year's Eve. Probably better to not use it every day. I try to think of three things I'm grateful for every time I brush my teeth. It's a great exercise.

    1. Yes, obviously 365 notes will be a lot. This isn’t really meant for daily use but truly special happy moment, especially if you’re going through depression. For daily use, a journal is best.

  6. Long ago I read about a happiness jar in a book. It's a lovely thought.


  7. This is a good idea. While I don't do it, I do write things that made me happy in my journal and before my prayers at night, think about over the day and things for which I was grateful

    1. A journal is an easy way to keep track of and collect all of your happy moments.

  8. What a special way to record the good and happy times in life. Taking the time to do so is a habit that is worthwhile for a lifetime. I know from experience that looking back at those times can be good for one's soul and happiness in the moment. Thanks for your visit to A Dig Artist's Diary. CollectInTexasGal

  9. I've done a happiness jar before, but it's been years. I should do that again. Glad you wrote about this.