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Holiday cookies December 17, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Holidays, Smiley.
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Holiday cookies. Aunt Smiley on the left; Uncle Smiley on the right.

Holiday cookies. Aunt Smiley on the left; Uncle Smiley on the right.

Last weekend, my wife and I made sugar cookies for the holidays. I baked them — she helped decorate them.

We did a lot of holiday standards: Santa, stockings, snowflakes, trees, ornaments, snowmen…. But I had to make a smiley cookie, obviously. What I didn’t realize was that my wife had made one, too!

And, would you believe it? Her smiley is better than mine! 🙂

Smiley holidays, happy readers.



Reader-submitted syrup cap October 8, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Hungry Jack syrup bottle cap. Submitted by Kristi DC.

My friend Kristi sent this to the Smile! Facebook page yesterday. “We made French Toast for dinner,” she wrote, “and we were surprised to find this under the cap of the Hungry Jack syrup! Thought about you and had my husband take a picture.”

There’s something about breakfast that makes a person happy, isn’t there? Yesterday morning my brother launched a long conversation about breakfast with a Facebook post about how happy pancakes make him, and then maybe seven hours later Kristi and her family are sitting down to French toast.

Thanks for the smiley, Kristi! Hope you enjoyed your syrup! 🙂


Leftover Frosty label July 23, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Food.
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The other day, my wife and I got a couple of Frosties from Wendy’s, but we only at half and put the rest in the freezer for later. I needed to label them so we’d remember whose was whose, so I covered them in plastic wrap and used a Sharpie on the plastic.


This was my wife’s:

And this was mine:


Of course. 🙂



Smiley simulacrum: ginger iced tea June 11, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Simulacra, Smiley.
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Smiley in a ginger iced tea. Noodle House Thai restaurant, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

This one is tricky and I almost didn’t see it. A few years ago, Jennifer and I were out to dinner with some friends of ours, Heidi and Rodney and their daughter Maeve, at a Thai restaurant in Abu Dhabi. One of us (I forget who) ordered a ginger iced tea with dinner, and when the waitress set it on the table, she placed a straw in front of the slender glass.

And then I saw it.

Two ice cubes were pressing against the inside of the glass, creating two tiny dark spot in all that gingery beige. And below them the curve of the glass reflected the white straw…. And viola! A smiley face!

Seriously, I see smileys everywhere! 🙂

Reader-submitted eggs May 14, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Holidays, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Eggs. Submitted by Heather Steele.

My friend Heather Steele — who sent in our very first reader-submitted smiley back on the blog’s second day online — sent me these smiling eggs on Sunday. “Smiley eggs!” she wrote me. “I guess they were happy to be sacrificed for blue pancakes. Thought about your blog, Sam.”

Thanks, Heather! I saw these and realized how often eggs get turned into smileys (two sunny-side up with a grin of bacon, anyone?), but they almost never land raw in a bowl like this! What a fortuitous moment. 🙂

(Also, I’m curious: Sunday was Mother’s Day and Heather is a mother. I’m hoping her husband was the one making the pancakes! Don’t moms ever get a day off? Thanks for being awesome, all you moms — including Heather and, of course, my only smiling mom. 🙂 )

BONUS: More smiley Easter eggs! April 7, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Holidays, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Not to be outdone by my own childish silliness, my sister’s kids decided to make smiley Easter eggs, too. As my sister wrote when she sent me the photo, “The kids made smiley eggs and wanted you to see them!”

Smiley Easter eggs by Zoey (the yellow on the left) and Aidain (the middle and right), my niece and nephew!

Thanks, kiddos! These eggs are awesome! I suspect a certain rabbit will like them, too, and might reward you with much chocolate and sugar…. 😉

Happy Easter! April 5, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Holidays, Smiley.
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I know, I’m a little early. But when my wife and I dyed eggs last weekend, I made this happy little smiley egg that turned out so great I’ve been dying (get it? wink wink groan) to share this for days and days! And like all kids whose families celebrate the giddy, sugar-encrusted holiday of Easter, I just couldn’t wait for Sunday morning.

Smiley Easter egg. That I made myself, because I'm just a giant kid.

Of course, a good Easter basket needs variety, so between the two of us, we also made a sunny day egg, a blue jeans egg, a speckled egg, and couple of “I love you” eggs, and a whole bunch of abstract art:

But let’s face it — the smiley is the happiest egg in the basket! 🙂

Enjoy the day, smiley (marshmallow) peeps!

Sonic smiley tot March 29, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Sonic smiley tot. On an order menu at a Sonic in McMinnville, OR. March 2012.

I love this happy little tot. At least, I assume it’s a tot. It looks a bit like a marshmallow. A golden, red-footed marshmallow.

But whatever. He’s happy, and I’m guessing he’s on the menu to make kids smile, because he’s in the kids meal section of the menu. So whether he’s a marshmallow or a tot, I love him — he makes me smile too! 🙂

The snack that smiles back! December 5, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Kitchen & Bath, Smiley.
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When I was a kid, I always enjoyed giving gifts to my teachers at the holidays because my mother was a teacher and I marveled at the piles of small gifts she brought home each Christmas and each summer. But grade school kids are cool about that. College kids aren’t always so thoughtful, and when I began teaching college I certainly didn’t expect to receive gifts myself. But sure enough, once in a while a student will get generous and bring me a Christmas card or a coffee mug or flag from his home country.

Today, I got a giant Goldfish cracker.

Goldfish cracker container. New to my personal collection!

A few weeks ago I caught a student nibbling Goldfish in class. I don’t mind food in the classroom, but I mock-scolded her for not sharing her crackers with me. I wound up revealing to the whole class that I love Goldfish crackers, partly because they’re addictively (and probably unhealthily) delicious, and partly because I love smiley faces. Plus, I take a macabre pleasure in their bizarre slogan, “The snack that smiles back — until you bite their heads off.”

One of my students remembered that conversation and today, after she finished her final exam, she gave me this Goldfish snack container and a couple of tiny boxes of Goldfish crackers!

Goldfish cracker container (opened). New to my personal collection!

Thanks, my student, for thinking of me! That was genuinely awesome. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving! November 24, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Holidays, Smiley.
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Pumpkin pie. And yes, I made it myself.

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans!

I hope everyone has had a chance to be with family and/or friends, to eat too much, and to fall asleep on the couch. And above all, I hope everyone is happy.

Of course, not everyone can be with family, not everyone has enough to eat, and not everyone has a home, much less a couch, which makes the falling asleep part hard. Thanksgiving is all about feeling grateful for our own good fortune, however much or little we might enjoy; but the way I see it, part of feeling grateful is also feeling obligated to extend our good fortune to others. So this Thanksgiving, if you can afford it, share your meal — even if it’s just your leftovers — with someone who needs a friend; send some food to someone who could use a little more to eat; support an organization that provides shelter for those who need a place to stay. (This year, we donated to an organization that provides meals for a senior center, which is good any time of year.) And if you’re on the receiving end of any of that, share a smile with your new friends.