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3 Inspiring Books & the Happiness Project!

The Happiness Project

i always find it funny when you pick up a book and can’t get into it. but then come across it again a few months later and adore it! that happened with me and the book the happiness project by gretchen rubin. 

i’m reading lots of memoirs these days to help me write my own book on my creative journey this year, so i picked up the happiness project again to research writing i don’t like. i’m not quite sure why i didn’t like the book initially, but something i can never get enough of is hearing other peoples’s stories, especially when it’s a journey of healing and figuring out ways of better being. and that’s just what the happiness project is all about. 

the book is divided into chapters that each focus on a different section of life (work, relationships etc). and something it propelled me to do is create my own list of 6 Things I’d Like To Better Balance In My Every Day…

wellness (walking, yoga, meditation)
service and kindness to others
leisure/ down time
it always seems like one of these things (or more) falls short in my every day. and for me, they’re all really a priority. so making this list and being conscious of including a bit of each thing in my every day has helped me find and maintain more balance.

the bluebird effect
i’ve also loved reading the bluebird effect

this book is like spending a day in the flower garden. it completely brought relaxation and peace of mind. and, as a bird lover, i learned so much behind the scenes details about caring for birds! 

there are lots of illustrations too. so, if you have a bit of a short attention span like me, you can move through this book slowly, reading each section as a short story and enjoying all of the pictures too!

made from scratch
made from scratch is one of the most inspiring stories i think i’ve ever read. 

i’d never heard of sandra lee before, but read a short article about her current life in a magazine and the hook that caught me was that she’d gone from rags to riches in a few short years…then lost it all and made it back again! 

i wanted to know more about this woman…and her story is incredibly inspiring. not just from a business perspective (i learned so much from this book about making deals with big companies and product launches), but i also fell in love with her perseverance and incredible story. 

What Inspiring Books Have Your Read Lately? I’m always looking for a new read and would be delighted to know what you’re loving too! AND if you have any questions that you love to know about people or think would be fun to see answered in my own book…please let me know!


ps. both HOW TO PAINT AN OWL and HOW TO PAINT A GIRL will be available as self-paced, instant-access classed this summer! sign up for my newsletter for details! i can’t wait to paint together!


  1. Love this post, especially since “the happiness project” has been sitting on my own nightstand for close to a year now. I, too, had a hard time getting into it. Perhaps I need to dust it off and give it another go. (maybe I just wasn't open to it at first!) lately, I've been absorbed I “the pulse of mixed media”. I love hearing the whats and hows behind artists and their stories!

  2. I must pick up both these books:O) Love reading and like you about peoples journeys. I am always trying to take care of me but that chocolate always throws me off:O) Have a great day!!!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your favorite books. You posted about The Blue Bird Effect and reading it has been the most amazing journey for me. Can't wait to pick up The Happiness Journal.

  4. Really enjoyed this post Juliette. Memoirs are my favorite types of books to read..I think because we can all relate to the human condition and draw strength from other people's strength…I really wish there were more memoirs out there..
    I took have wanted to write a book for a very long time, possibly a few..I'd like to do a book that incorporates poetry with photography and art. always love hearing about great books to check out so thanks for sharing! Would love to read your story! 🙂 Keep us posted!

  5. I love book reviews, especially from folks that have similar interests as I do. I just bought The Happiness Project, so your review has inspired me to break into it. The other two are intriguing as well.

  6. that's so fun to hear! i think when i picked up the happiness project last time i was really into business books and mysteries. this is much more practical, slow and every day…which is what i'm all about these days 🙂 i've been wanting to pick up the pulse too…thanks for the reminder! it might be good research for my book too 🙂

  7. that's so nice to know you're interested too in others' journeys. lately, i've been wondering if i'm the only one and maybe my book is a bit silly in intention (that's all of the doubt talking, but in my heart i know to keep going). So thank you…i LOVE chocolate too 🙂

  8. so excited to hear you loved the bluebird effect…lmk what you think of the happiness project 🙂

  9. ah, be still me heart…you too have inspired me to keep writing my memoir. thank you!

  10. hope you enjoy the happiness project…i have a few others i'm reading now too that i'll post reviews of in coming weeks 🙂

  11. Like looking at your list and that Sandra Lee just rocks girl. I will check out the others also. Good to get a thumbs up on books.

  12. Thank you for sharing! I adore memoirs! My mother wrote a collection of essays for our family and had it printed, we have little moments, big family events all recorded with love and attention to detail. It is such a treasure. Cannot wait to read of your journey Juliette!
    I have just recently started reading for pleasure again (3.5 year old and 20month old boys… I usually fall into bed dead tired). I just finished This I Know by Susannah Conway her beautiful story and gorgeous photography is so touching and inspirational.
    Before that I read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. A totally motivating, kick in the creative pants.
    I am heading over to Amazon now to order a title or two you told us about. Thanks again!

  13. Hi Juliette I too picked up that book and could not get into it. I think I will try again. I have done that many time. Started reading a book and it just was not the right time in my life for it to resinate. The book I just got done reading was the Fire Starter Session by Danielle Laporte. Loved it! Check it out.

  14. If you haven't read “tolstoy and the purple chair”,by nina sankovitch, it is amazing. One of the best books I have read this year. Also “just one thing” by rick hanson. Its good to have as reminders about taking care of your being.

  15. I've been wanting to read the Happiness Project forever. Now I really must pick it up. And most of my reading lately has been fiction, and I just read a great new Indie novel called Easy by Tamara Webber. SO good. 🙂 Your blog is great, very inspiring.

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