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Cookie jar December 30, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Smiley, The Great Enabler.
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Cookie jar. A gift from The Great Enabler.

Cookie jar. A gift from The Great Enabler.

I’ve been wanting a smiley face cookie jar for just ages. I haven’t made much fuss about it because there are so many smiley face things out there I love and this is just another one on the list. But man, have I wanted one of these things for a long time.

I don’t know if my excellent mother-in-law, The Great Enabler, knew that about me or just assumed that if it was something smiley I would love it (both are true!), but this was her Christmas gift to me this year!

And you better believe it’s already full of home-baked cookies: gingerbread, sugar cookies, peanut butter “kiss” cookies, brownie bites….

Mmmm.... Delicious happiness....

Mmmm…. Delicious happiness….

Merry Christmas! December 24, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Decor, Holidays, Smiley, The Great Enabler.
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Two years ago, for this blog’s first Christmas post, I shared my plush smiley santa ornament.

Last year, I received a new smiley Santa ornament, this one painted glass with my name on it. It was a gift from (you guessed it) my dear mother-in-law, the Great Enabler.

So this year, I’m happy to share it with you on Christmas Eve! 🙂

Smiley Santa ornament. From my personal collection.

Smiley Santa ornament. From my personal collection.

And whatever your religion or your holiday practices, I hope you have a very, very happy season.

Reader-submitted smiley stickers (and a cartoon!) July 9, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Decor, Kitchen & Bath, Reader submission, Smiley, The Great Enabler.
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I was all set to post a completely different smiley today, but then I checked the mail and discovered an envelope from my dear sweet mother-in-law, aka The Great Enabler. Inside were these stickers!

Smiley stickers. New to my personal collection.

She’s given me these before — long-time readers might recognize them from my luggage post when I moved back to the States from overseas. Of course, I used up that set, so it’s great to have a new set!

Also, seeing them reminded me of another set of stickers from The Great Enabler. These live on my fridge, next to the stove, among all my smiley magnets:

Smiley kitchen stickers. From my personal collection (and from my kitchen).

You can tell they’re right over the stove because the bottom row has some spatter on it! 🙂 I love these things, though — they always make my smile.

FYI: My favorite recipe is a killer vegetarian “Autumn chili” I make every fall.

And, as a bonus for you and for me, I’ll also share the cartoon my mother-in-law included in the envelope, from the Saturday Evening Post (of course it’s labeled, even down to the page number — The Great Enabler is also a librarian!).

From the Saturday Evening Post, May/June 2012, p. 66.

Freezer pucks February 6, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Smiley, The Great Enabler.
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Freezer pucks. From my personal collection.

A lot of my smiley collection is just that: a collection, stored all together in bins. But a few pieces live with us in our daily lives because they have such practical value. These freezer pucks, for instance, often accompany my wife to work in the lunches I make her.

At least one of these came from the Great Enabler, but I’m not sure where the other came from.

What’s really strange, though, is that I’m not sure where to get more. Both pucks are “Fun Ice” made by Munchkin Inc, but the website on the back of the big puck (www.munchkininc.com) redirects to Munchkin.com, which does sell “Fun Ice” items but seems to focus exclusively on babies (their “Fun Ice” items are teething rings).

I checked SmileyStore.com, too, and they have loads of delightful kitchen items, but still no freezer puck. Sur la Table? No luck. Random internet searches? Nothing.

Any clue, happy readers, where we can track down more of these in the future?

Smiley domino keychain January 26, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Decor, Holidays, Smiley, The Great Enabler, Toys.
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Domino keychain. New to my personal collection!

The Great Enabler has further enabled me! And this time she has an accomplice!

A couple of weeks ago, this domino keychain arrived in the mail. A long time ago, my father-in-law received this as a fun little Christmas gift — it is green, after all! And so for years, my in-laws had been hanging this as an ornament on their Christmas tree. But after dismantling and packing away the tree and ornaments this year, my in-laws decided to pass along this joyous game piece to me.

It actually is a domino piece, too — a double five:

Thanks, Enablers! 🙂

Horse with cage ball, in People magazine September 5, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Books, Smiley, The Great Enabler.
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Horse with cage ball, in People magazine, 4 July 2011. Photo by Karen Kuehn. (Click the photo to read the article online.)

Animals need happiness, too!

My mother-in-law, the Great Enabler, sent me this page from a recent issue of People magazine. The article is about the ways abused or neglected animals and traumatized children can help each other emotionally deal with their pasts. It’s a beautiful story, and what better lead photo than a giant, horse-sized ball with smiley face!