21 May 2012

Fill a Box with Happiness

Happy Monday Lovelies! I'm back from my break where I did a bit of travelling, and spent time with family. I think family time is always TADA!, don't you think? 

Have you read the book "The Happiness Project" and its accompanying blog by Gretchen Rubin? All of us strive to be happy. Happiness is a choice and having it in our clutches requires some effort. In the book, Miss Rubin suggests ways on how to be happier, all these based on her experiences and scientific research.

One of her suggestions it to create a Happiness Box, which she describes this way:

I started a "Happiness Box" in which I'd collect all sorts of little trinkets meant to trigger happy thoughts and memories. I had the perfect box - a box I loved but that had never really been suitable for any purpose. My college roommate had given it to me. It was old, with a lid decorated with two panels painted with roses and two panels of cloudy mirror. It bothered me to have it sitting around, unappreciated; now I had a special plan for it. I put in an ancient, tiny Snoopy memo pad that reminded me of my sister when she was little. I added a miniature china teacup from my grandmother's teacup collection. I put in a figurine of Dorothy to remind me of home and Eliza's {her daughter} early love of ruby red slippers. I put in my last pair of Coke-bottle glasses, made before they had the technology to make the lenses thin -- they're hilarious, now that I don't have to wear them. A small cloth Little Red Riding Hood doll reminded me of all the times I'd read the story of "Little Red Riding Hoodie" to Eleanor {her other daughter}. A tiny Lego cone-shaped tree stood for all the Christmas trees of my childhood. I put in a New York Public library bookmark -- a reference to my favorite New York City institution. I put in an old, worn set of dice, to symbolize chance. I put in an American Girl miniature card featuring a bluebird.

I thought this was a brilliant idea. First because an old, blah box was being transformed into a TADA!, and second, it was a perfect project for a sentimental gal like me. I was making a treasure box of sorts, but the value of the treasure was priceless only to me.

I started by deciding on the box I was going to christen my "Happiness Box". Clearly, any box can be used. But I wanted the even the box to have some significance.

I thought about using an old confectionery tin that I owned as a little girl. These ones in the picture are a little too vintage. The one I had was a yellow M&M's peanut tin. It's where I would put my stationery, gathered as gifts or exchanged with classmates. Because some of the stationery were scented, a floral fragrance emerged every time I opened the box.

I also thought about using an old metal lunchbox. It brings back so many recess-time-at-the-playground memories. However, I no longer had the candy tin or the lunch box. I had to buy someone else's. Until I found this:

It's a plastic box with my favorite Sanrio characters, Little Twin Stars. It was a gift from a well-traveled aunt, a Christmas present from Japan.

It became a pencil case, a crayon box, and a sewing kit as I was growing up. I found it in the back of a closet, ready to be used again.

I've filled it with more childhood paraphernalia.

Like these hair clips. I wore one or a pair to school everyday. The yellow clip in the middle reminds me of corn cobs. The white clip with flowers was something I wore during my first communion. These are still in good shape, I don't see why I can't wear them today.

More favorite barrettes and colorful hair ties.

Accessories for braids.

Hair pieces I wore as a teenager. 
The gold one {now faded} was my mom's.

I put in a few time pieces, too.

This was one of my first wallets. When I learned how count and discovered what money was for, all my precious coins were kept here. 

A deck of Little Twin Stars cards reminds me of card games and magic tricks my older cousins taught me.

All these treasures go inside my "Happiness Box". A memory is attached to each one and they tell a story of a safe, happy childhood. When I'm having a rough day, all I need to do is to open the box!


  1. I just purchased The Happiness Project book, but haven't started to read it. What a wonderful idea!

  2. Happy Monday Lori! Once you start reading the book, you'll discover many ideas, some which you can use for crafting. I know crafting brings you a lot of happiness! :)

  3. What a sweet concept…I had a lovely, happy and safe childhood. Some traumatic things happened to me in adulthood (a relationship that turned abusive)!!! He is long out of my life but the fear, trauma and stress stayed on a long time and I do not think it is completely gone till this very day. He lost me most of my sweet things such as these from childhood, but a few remain to this day that were at my Mom's. I cannot get rid of these items and one big happy place like this would probably be the answer! :-) Thank you for sharing!



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