Awesome Nuggets: It’s Been a Minute Edition

a candle can help anyone relax

by Angela Noel

March 13, 2018

I won’t blame you if you’ve forgotten what an Awesome Nugget is. Or, if you are one of the new subscribers to the You are Awesome blog (Hi!) you may have never heard the term before. Either way, I owe you an explanation.

Awesome Nuggets make the day better. Big or small, these things surprise and delight me. I’ve talked about moths before, or about my wonderful former co-workers who honored me with all kinds of tongue-in-cheek insults. By opening my eyes to the wonder of the moment, these little bits of awesome make me feel good. Sharing them makes me feel better. Knowing they might inspire others to see the wonder around us. . . well, that’s the best of all.

We all need some good. And it’s been a minute. (I just love that phrase.)

Without further ado:

  • First: Mangos. It’s a REALLY fun word to say. Seriously. Try it.
  • Puzzles have entered my life. Puzzling is a family-friendly alternative to the towering dual menace of TV or video games. I believe we adults are enjoying it more than the smaller human living in the house–but whatever. It’s fun.

    Star War Puzzle
    This one, 1,000 pieces, took some time. Paul was the primary architect. (You can guess who is picking the subject matter.)
  • My new job fascinates me, but I have some trouble getting out of work-brain when I come home. I posted this plea for help on Facebook:

    SO MANY GOOD SUGGESTIONS! Here’s a rundown:
    • Candles: Light them, breath in the scent, enjoy the flame.
    • Take a bath
    • Take a walk in nature
    • Watch a favorite (or find a new favorite) TV show
    • Play music (more on this below)
    • Yoga
    • Tea
    • My friend Angela didn’t comment on the post, but she actually called me on the real-life phone to tell me her suggestion: Have a get-home ritual. Including an indulgent face wash, lotion, and getting into comfy sweats etc. Make it deliberate. Make it personal. Close the door and tell everyone to stay away until the door opens to “home me.”
    • Also, pet the dog (I added this one because my dog deserves a few pets and he’s soft and makes appreciative noises when I’m nearby.)

      Ace the Golden Retriever, and Angela Noel
      Ace and I. Seriously, he’s a good, good boy.
  • I was short thirty-four cents recently when I went to buy a salad in the cafeteria at work. A colleague I don’t know immediately offered to cover it for me. Love that.
  • With pride and rapt attention I held my breath for the forty seconds it took for Jackson to play his first-ever piano recital piece. The little satisfied smile on his face as the sound of the last staccato chord faded will forever live in my memory.

    A happy child satisfied with his work
    My boy’s happy smile.
  • I’ve been wrong a lot. A few examples: when I prejudged the barista at Starbucks, or became a sarcastic lizard at the waterpark, or promised I’d break up with perfection but insisted on recording my presentation ten times until I got it right . . . I’ve also learned a lot. These are good things.
  • I am having a love affair. . . with kale.

    You have to massage it–that’s the key to excellent kale. I know–Mind. Blown.
  • I noticed a woman and her young daughter ahead of Jackson and I at Starbucks. The woman wore the most amazing magenta tights with leg warmers. Such a riot of color, and so great to see on winter’s gray day. I told her I loved the color and we chatted for a minute or two. Apparently, my friend Julia tells me, I talk to strangers more than most. I’m okay with that.
  • Lastly, the Barenaked Ladies make me smile. I don’t mean actual naked ladies. I mean the Canadian band that sings about snacks, having a million dollars, erasers, and other mostly non-love song randomness. Additionally, when several people responded to my “simple pleasure” plea with the suggestion to play some music to unwind, a gong rang in my head. WHY was I not listening to music more? I love playing the weekly playlist from Just Another Blog From a Woman(in her 40s).  Lord Huron, Betty Who, and The 1975 are also making me happy right about now.

That’s it for this edition of Awesome Nuggets. I hope you enjoyed this walk down a lane of goodness. Now I’d love to hear from you.

Your turn: What’s on your Awesome Nugget list lately?



Author: Angela Noel

On a quest to become a better human, I write about parenting, leadership, and personal development. I tell my stories so you can find your own.

55 thoughts on “Awesome Nuggets: It’s Been a Minute Edition”

  1. Oh yay! Thank you so much Angela. I’m glad you enjoy the playlists. I love making them so much. That would be on my Awesome Nugget list. Plus my husband just being an amazing husband of late. That might sound a bit gushy & smug, but he’s been so supportive recently whilst I have a few things to sort through. Plus we had the loveliest afternoon tea on Mother’s Day where I was greeted with a bunch of flowers on arrival and given a free bag of shortbread when I left. It was such a lovely place that we’d never been to before & it was the little touches that made it so special.

    1. That sounds so amazing! Hooray for your awesome husband who knows how to treat a great mom right! I love that those little touches were the things you noticed. They really do make the ordinary extraordinary. It’s the little touches I notice in your music posts too–the time you take to bring us the events of the day and the music favorites of your youth melded together. It’s the very definition of how to see both the forest and the trees within. Because, history isn’t just about the big stuff, its also our personal histories that matter. They are what make us. The big stuff might form the backdrop, but the little stuff makes the story. I just love what you do.

  2. So many wonderful things! I wonder what mangos and kale would be like together… hmm…

    1. Interesting question! I wonder. I bet a baby kale and mango salad with some sort of nut would be really good–maybe a pistachio.. oh nuts, now I’m hungry. 🙂

  3. My after-work reward: a half hour on the spin bike watching Walking Dead. It also helps to transition my brain from work to home.

    1. That’s an excellent plan. I’m afraid of the Walking Dead, but other than that, I’m totally on board with a nice 30 minute stationary ride.

  4. Awesome Nuggets is such a short and sweet, get right-to-the-point post! Love them! My current awesome nuggets are cross-country skiing with the family, making little bits of progress on our basement, a new contact sending me the hot-off-the-press children’s book for girls she just wrote, and painting. Life is good right now. 🙂 Thanks for this awesome, thoughtful post!

    1. Ooh! Ooh! I love this game!
      1. My dog talking to me
      2. My other dog’s magnificent tail plume (so lush! So elegantly held aloft!)
      3. Daughter playing ‘Fur Elise’ on piano.
      4. Other daughter totally obsessed by guitar we found in loft. Currently trying to build up her finger callouses with practising chords.
      5. Seed catalogues (swoon).
      6. Friends to accompany one another to scary scan.
      7. And to boring car MOT. There’s a Costa nearby, which makes any trip worth it.
      8. Birds singing.
      9. Mud.
      10. Your post.

      1. I wished I had a better word than “love” to say when I read your list! They’re all awesome, but I think 1 and 9 might be my favorites. I’ll admit to a tear in my eye when I read 10. It means a lot to me that you like the idea and joined in! Your daughters and dogs sound so lovely (and chatty and playful.) I’m absolutely delighted by your comment. 🙂

    2. I love the pictures of you and the family skiing! (I just wish I could get a handle on it myself.) Good for you on the basement. And the book! I hope you share more about it on your blog or through some venue. That sounds awesome. And YEAH painting. I love your painting.

  5. Try a 5 min meditation sitting in your car before going inside, or sitting on the potty when you get inside. Let your mind go to: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things.” Clear your head of the logic and look forward to the love that awaits you when you step in the door.

    1. I think you’re right. A few minutes to build anticipation for the love I’ll find inside is a great way to switch mindsets. Even if it’s only the dog that’s overjoyed to see me, every little bit helps!

  6. I’ve just discovered the power of candles! I can’t wait to try my getting home beauty routine. Time to break out those facial masks I haven’t found time to use!

    1. I’m so glad you like the idea! It really is the simple pleasures that can help relieve stress. I hope you have a nice relaxing evening tonight!

  7. Love your awesome nuggets, Angela. And now I want to listen to Bare Naked Ladies. Music is a great way to lighten up one’s mood and switch gears. Changing into my comfy clothes is my go-to for transition from work to home. And I do enjoy my glass of wine, too.

    1. The comfy clothes transition is an unsung hero I think. My husband immediately puts sweats on the moment he comes home. Like it’s not home if he’s wearing proper pants. I have renewed appreciation of his sweat pant love with all the good advice I got! Thank you for sharing your simple pleasures!

  8. I love that list! My awesome nuggets would be hearing almost daily from my granddaughter who proudly tells me when she pees or poos, it’s exciting stuff to be potty trained! Cathi

    1. I read this and just couldn’t stop smiling. I wish we all had some simple and important things to report to the ones who love us most. Thank you so much for making my day!

  9. what fun little nuggets of happy! Because I work at home (and write at home, duh) that “home me” boundary is all but gone. Still, I know I could use the alternative to sugar and alcohol for a hard day’s work done. Time seems to be the ultimate luxury, because I’d LOVE to award myself with some reading time. Maybe when the kids are in school all day…
    A lovely post!

    1. I can relate to that. Time truly is the ultimate luxury. I sometimes wish that was my super power–stop time for just a little while to catch my breath. Because I don’t want to miss out on my family, friends, or even work. But, sometimes I think we all just need a minute. Thanks for reading!

  10. Saying something nice or doing a kindness without being asked and without telling anyone else is just such a wonderful feeling. What goes to make you a better you. This I act upon myself and have done for the past eleven years. I try to carryout twice a week as a minimum, a selfless act of kindness. I love your blog and this post keep sending them.

  11. Nuggets rock ☺ creme eggs on Friday night. Ten minutes peace. The first coffee. Blog joy. !

    1. Oh gosh! The first coffee really is the bee’s knees. (I love that phrase. I have no idea what it comes from. But, it’s great. Thank you for sharing.

  12. I’m retired, so this doesn’t apply any more, but I always took my shoes off as soon as I got home. That was the signal that work was done with for the day.

    1. So simple, but any deliberate act can help make the transition. I still need practice! I tend to come home and do MORE work. Like clean something or make dinner right away. Not always the best practice.

  13. Sounds like Hygge moments!
    I’m planning on taking a hot tub, then going to Boulder to seek out St. Patrick’s Day fun!

  14. I love taking time to appreciate all the awesome nuggets in my life. Thanks for reminding us to do so!
    *Lutheranliar’s blog – funniest line of the week, she described something as being like “catnip for math nerds.”
    *playing fetch with my daughter’s new cat (most cats I know could care less….)
    *candles from Bubble Shack Hawaii – I am not a candle person, but when I discovered these, I was a convert!

    1. AWESOME! I love that line from Alice. That’s absolutely fantastic. Nerds are some of my favorite people. I never had that term applied to me, but now I think it’s something to aspire to.

  15. What an awesome post, Angela! I love your nuggets. It’s another form of a gratitude journal. 🙂 And your dog is so sweet! He looks so loving and happy. 🙂

    1. He is a really good boy–though he does like to dine on poopsicles in the winter, which I could do without.
      You’re absolutely right about this being another type of gratitude journal. I always feel happier and lighter when I write down and focus on all the goodness.

  16. You got me thinking:
    #1 Nuggets for me would be: After work each day, getting in my car, and while waiting for it to heat up (just been through a cold winter) then I have 2+ minutes to turn on my Iphone and just check my social media for the day and tune out of work mode. Simple but effective for me.
    #2 Once home, the next nugget for me, as mentioned above would be to kick off my shoes, hang my coat and get comfy with a coffee and catch up time with hubby (semi retired and working from home).
    #3 After our evening meal, catch up with all you awesome bloggers and reading a post like this one.

  17. My awesome little nugget or something I do that is indulgent is play 7 little words. It gets me thinking yet helps me unwind.

      1. It gives you a hint such as “NOT FLEXIBLE” then x amount of dashes to indicate how many letters are in the word. Below the 7 lines are tiles of clumped together letters that somehow make words. You have put the tiles together. It’s hard to explain but you would get it in a heartbeat if you played it.

          1. You play angry birds? Have you seen the movie yet? Theres a scene in it that I laughed so hard that I cried. I don’t think I’ve ever done that for an animated movies.

          2. I don’t play it a lot. But my son has the Star Wars edition, so I’m an excellent spectator. He’s been trying to get me to watch the movie. Maybe I will if it’s really, actually worth it.

  18. My awesome nugget this week is getting back on my bike. I’d had a cold for a few weeks and not felt up to cycling, so it was soooo fun to zoom down the hills in the sun. Going up the other side of the hills is another matter…but I’ll remember the fun moments to make an awesome nugget!

    1. That’s awesome! It’s overcast today in Minneapolis, but we saw plenty of people testing out their bikes on the almost-clear paths. We went for a walk, but thought it would have been fun to get the bikes going today! I’m so glad you enjoyed your zooming!

  19. I talk to strangers quite a lot! I massage the kale too. I love kale; cooked and raw! But my new favourite pastime is dancing to Abba in my kitchen – every day. 😁 It’s great on all levels.

  20. Fab post Angela, I love all your suggestions and awesome nuggets. I remember my daughters watching the Barenaked Ladies play once and they were very impressed 😊 keep up the good work at making us smile. 😂

  21. I want to love kale too, but I do not. I keep trying, but no love for me. I do love the first coffee of the day, and a good snuggle from Newt, the cat.

    1. The first coffee of the day really is the best. I like to have it at home in a favorite mug before I start the day. And a good snuggle with Newt sounds amazing. Even though I’m allergic to cats, they are hard to resist.

  22. Love this! I think it’s easy to fall into the comfort drinking and eating habit so you’ve got loads of great ideas of other better things to do after a hard day at work!

  23. Walking around the countryside near my village inspires me greatly, especially if the sun is shining!

I love hearing from you! Please share your thoughts.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.