Tag Archives: happiness jar

Impressions from January & February : a personal project

I find myself drawn to comparison photos of the girls lately; photos taken in the same places but months/years apart. When I look back and compare, it really shows how fleeting these early years are and how fast our girls are growing up!

Here’s a glimpse into our January and February..

[1] Writing notes for our Happiness Jar
Our Happiness Jar is filling up with notes and the girls have been happily adding to it with pictures they’ve drawn! (After sharing a photo of our 2016 happy notes on Facebook and Instagram over the New Year, I received a lot of questions about how it works. I try to write at least one thing daily that made me happy, date it and put it in the jar, then we read all the notes on New Year’s Eve. You can read more about how we do it over here.)

[2] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
Not only is Rebekka growing taller but she’s also suddenly looking so grown up! It’s amazing to compare this photo of her to the last one I shared, or how about the first one!

[3] Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam
And now here’s Lea looking all grown up! Where’d my baby go?!! See the same photo taken a year ago, here!

[4] ‘Little Lego’
Duplo still gets a lot of play-time but lego is increasingly making an appearance. The girls both love it! Rebekka was at school so this time Lea had the lego all to herself.

[5] Snow Day!
We had snow at the beginning of February, and on a weekend too. The girls were so excited and couldn’t wait to go outside to play! Rebekka told me her favourite season is Winter – because of the snow! 

[6] Snow Day!
Look carefully and you might notice that Lea is still wearing her pyjamas! She couldn’t wait to go outside and there was no convincing her to get dressed first ;-) :-)

[7] Reaching higher
I photographed Lea up to mischief in this spot almost a year ago, you can see it here. (She’s emptying the cupboard of tupperware much less these days. Now she goes straight for the cookies in the corner cupboard!) She seems so little and so big all at the same time, and I notice that her hair is getting so long lately! Before I know it she’ll be able to reach and wash her hands in the sink all by herself! 

[8] Sisters
Watching them play together makes me so happy they have each other!

Impressions‘ is a creative project by an eclectic group of female photographers from around the globe. We aim to share the inspiration behind what we do through our bi-monthly posts.

Every other month, we will be sharing 8 images that tell the story of what inspired us in the previous weeks: our families, nature, weather, or maybe even work itself! We are free to explore the meaning of ‘impressions’, and it is likely to change month to month.

Say hello in the comments below and then hop on over to see what Antonina Mamzenko in London, UK is sharing this month :-) Then continue clicking through the circle till you make it back here – I hope you enjoy all our posts!

With love,
~ Natalie

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Our Happiness Jar


Have you heard of a Happiness Jar?

On New Year’s Eve, my husband and I took it in turns to read my happiness notes from 2016. It was the first year I kept a Happiness Jar (putting memories and happy thoughts in it almost daily throughout the year). It was fun to recap the year this way and we’re definitely making this an annual tradition :-)

I shared the following photo on Instagram and Facebook. Several friends were curious about it and asked how it works. Some already had a Happiness Jar of their own, and others were inspired to start one. I thought I’d share it here in case you’d like to start one too!


I first came across the idea of a jar of notes while browsing Pinterest. Brooke Reynolds, the author of this article, used a jar to record notes of funny things her children said. I loved the idea and bookmarked it.

However, it wasn’t till I came across Elizabeth Gilbert’s idea of writing daily notes of happiness that I thought, yes – I’m going to do that, and I immediately found myself looking in the kitchen cupboards for a suitable jar! I didn’t bookmark where I originally came across it, I must have been too busy looking for a jar of my own ;-) You can read about it here on her Facebook page though!

I found a coffee sized storage jar which I’m still using today. I keep it near our dining table so that I see it every day. I was intentional about choosing something transparent so that I could see it filling up with notes :-)

I keep a box of square note paper and a pen next to it and try to write at least one thing daily that made me happy, date it, and put it in the jar.

Some days I write a few notes, some days I forget to do it. That’s okay.

Over the past year, there were many difficult times, moments of sadness, and energy-draining days. Only memories that made me smile were allowed in the happiness jar.

When it feels like the year was a tough one, it is truly wonderful to read so many happy memories as the year comes to a close.

Try it for yourself!


This is our 2017 Happiness Jar. As you can see, it is filling up quickly! I empty it into a large envelope once in a while and like to save all the notes to read on New Year’s Eve. Other’s use a much larger jar and dip into it throughout the year to read a happy note.


The girls both love to draw on the little note paper. Last year’s collection of notes included quite a few drawings from Rebekka :-) Lea’s getting in on the action this year, as you can see!

Do you have a Happiness Jar? Are you thinking about starting one? I would love to hear about it!

With love,
~ Natalie

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