Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

March 29, 2016

A Day’s Worth of Simple Pleasures

Grace Notes | A Day's Worth of Simple Pleasures

Words: Ella Wilson
Photo credit: Brent Cumminger, Bella Grace Issue 6


“For the great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together.”

—Vincent van Gogh


A text from my college girl — my daughter — got me thinking about how I find sunlight in my day, no matter what the weather forecast is.


Daughter: Good Morning Mama! sun is not out, but I am. @class lu xo

Me: Find sun in your day — an Iced Mocha, try something new @lunch, sing lu xox


I texted my girl a list of ideas and then thought about my own go-to list of simple pleasures. No matter what type of weather Mother Nature has in store, here are a few ways I add sunlight to my day.


I love to start my day by adding Orange Marmalade on my toasted English muffin. I smile, as the muffin’s craters fill with butter and the citrus jelly dribbles and spreads. It tastes like sunshine on a muffin, which resembles the moon.


I wash my face with a fruit infused soap. The lather and perfume are rich with the scent of berries and cream. I imagine I am walking a path in the forest and plucking wild berries, as the sunlight gently pats me on my head.


Grace Notes | A Day's Worth of Simple Pleasures

(Photo credit: Lumina, Bella Grace Issue 6)


I gather herbs and put them into little vases on my windowsill. Their perfume entices me to find new recipes to try and plan a party. A pinch of their flavor brightens and adds magic to everything it touches.


I get my snail mail ready and write a quick note to someone I love. I add a quote. This one is a favorite:


“You are so much sunshine to a square inch.”

Walt Whitman


I grab pouches of tea and tuck them in my purse. Earl Grey tea calms me. Midday, I have a cup of quiet reflection. It has become a daily ritual I enjoy.


I keep a book with me at all times. Inside, I mark special passages with polka dot ribbons. Words connect my spirit and spark memories. When I need a bit of joy, I open the book and find a passage that moves me.


If I follow through with my fitness plan, two or three squares of a uniquely delicious chocolate I found is my reward. This chocolate is dark and rich with a hint of crystallized ginger. The sweet n’ hot combination is a surprise and awakens my senses.


Music connects my heart strings to my father. Recently, I had his guitar restrung. I sit and strum his cherished Madera, feel his presence, and hear his laughter. It warms my heart to sing a song he loved.


Grace Notes | A Day's Worth of Simple Pleasures

(Photo credit: Evan Schneider, Bella Grace Issue 6)


Late afternoon, I take a nature walk with my puppy, Maggie. I notice signs in nature, the formation of the clouds, how moss looks like a galaxy of green stars, and the joy of a bird perched on a branch tweeting a song. I snap photos with my phone and try to capture my puppy’s joy, or take a picture of a special rock, a ladybug, or a flower getting ready to bloom.


In the evening, I color. I gather beautiful colored pencils, an adult coloring book, and arrange the colors by theme. Today, I color flowers with a sunset theme: peach, poppy, mango, and lavender. It is a simple pleasure, which makes my inner child smile.


When I watch TV, I apply a rich moisturizer to my elbows, hands, and knees. It is a thick, almond, bee-scented cream. It reminds me of a candy I loved as a child called Bit-O-Honey. 


Weather permitting, I go outside for a walk and say goodnight to the moon. If the moon isn’t out or the weather is stormy, I glance at a timeworn copy of Goodnight Moon on my night stand. I cherish the cozy and warm moments shared with my kids, reading stories.


Finally, I text my son and daughter goodnight. I know love is what warms my spirit and makes my heart shine. The energy of hope, joy, and love offer me the most pleasure in my day — no matter what the weather patterns in my life have in store.


Ella Wilson is a mixed-media artist who tries to find calmness and beauty in various facets of her day.  Visit her blog at, find her on Twitter and Instagram @ellasedge, and visit her Etsy shop at

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Comments ( 17 )

  1. Suzanne

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    This made my heart sing —
    or maybe I should say,
    S H I N E !

    So many joys to be
    captured, every day,
    if we pause and notice.


  2. Carol Halesworth

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I relate to most of the Posted notes perfectly.

    Thank you

  3. Andrea

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you for always spreading joy into my life Ella! I love your writing and art style! I always get so giddy when I see any post of yours. Thank you 🙂

  4. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    Thank you~ I love the word SHINE! You are right there are so many simple ways to find ways to add joy to our day- I visited your blog and your neighbors post touched my heart~ We need to pay attention to the bigger circles in our lives. Be more expressive and open we those we share the fence with and wave to as we mow our lawns or drive past~ I love your words pause and notice-thank you @>——-xo

  5. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Carol,
    I think we all can add extra light to our day. Simple things that makes us smile-sometimes playing music, writing or snapping a photo can illuminate our view of the world. I hope you can find more ways to warm your heart and let your spirit shine~
    Thank you~

  6. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Your kinds words illuminated me~
    Thank you!

    “It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

    I think daily pleasures lift our spirits like a warm embrace~ It is a way for us to collect sunbeams and add rays of light to our day.

    I hope you find ways to fill your world with simple joys and let your heart shine~

    Thank you~

  7. Diana Foster

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Really enjoyed your words. Just beautiful. Great way to live your days.

  8. Marilyn

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    How I love this. In some ways this is the purpose of my blog, but have in so many ways missed many of the things pointed out in this article. I will be saving this as a reminder. Thanks, m

  9. Frances Peets

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Dear Ella, To share and illuminate as you do spreading joy about the little things, right in front of our noses, is what reaching the intangible is all about! Beautifully crafted and written. Thanks.

  10. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you~ Most days, I can’t do all of the pleasures on my list, but fitting a few-helps my spirit feel grounded. My list has helped me through stressful times, too. I hope you make a list of simple things you love to do, as well~

  11. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm


  12. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I just visited your blog-I am thrilled you have rekindled your friendship-how wonderful for you both!! I think you are sharing your list-with photos and thoughts. Blogging is like a living journal and yours is lovely~
    Thank you

  13. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    You touch my heart~ I think my list helps me cope with being an empty nester. I honestly did do little things for myself when my kids were under my roof, too. I often of these simple moments as ways to restore my soul~
    Thank you, Frances~

  14. Marcoantonio Arellano

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    beautiful blog, wonderful thoughts, lovely soul

  15. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    So, wonderful to see you stop by~ It is beautiful, so are your words!

  16. Christie Leigh Babirad

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Your writing ignites the senses! I love what you wrote. The simple pleasures are often what make your days better. They are usually the most profound. Beautiful!

  17. Renee Zarate

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    This article is SO Ella! I love my dear friend and all the moments she makes special every day

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