As everyone loads up their new backpacks with crisp and untouched school supplies, I realize how grateful I am that the school chapter of my life is over. I love back-to-school supplies, though, and the feeling I get around this time of year (even though the student ID I use for free sodas at Qdoba is expired forever).

It’s not the beginning of 2014 (in fact, we’re much closer to 2015!), but this time of year brings about a sense of renewal. Clean slates and opportunity for new beginnings. I’m taking note of my goals for this year. What’s working, what’s not. What I can do to fix, improve, and grow. I wish the same for you, whether you’re going to spend this week highlighting new syllabi or not.

So besides the feelings of newness and optimism this week, I’ve kept pretty busy. I threw thirty stuffed animals a pretty baller sleepover (more on this tomorrow), made Richard a survival kit care package for his first day of PhD school (the most practical thing I’ve ever gifted), and worked a lot on business stuff.

One of the highlights of this week was seeing a free Jukebox The Ghost show at a local radio station. They’ve become one of my top five favorite bands, and they are definitely my most listened to band of the past two years (overall). Seeing them live is always a pleasure, but it was really fantastic in such an intimate setting. The best part was when Ben messed up the chords he was playing on the piano during “Schizophrenia“. He stopped, and the rest of the band followed suit. Then he laughed and said that he completely forgot the chords, followed by, “Good thing this is a live radio show! You get as many do-overs as you want!” All of it was the most endearing thing ever, and the crowd was super into it. It made me feel good not only to know that this ivory tickling god of a man still messes up, but that the entire audience appreciated the imperfection as well.

Extra Sparkle off brand party stores  hanging out at Michelle’s for a bit to give her birthday presents + seeing her wear her beard that I bought her  getting myself a gourmet grilled cheese for breakfast in the city  seeing a giant watering can on the side of Route 1 in Virginia  hiding ET style in April’s ball pit  feeling like I’m doing a hell of a lot better at vocalizing my concerns in relationships versus bottling them up (and later exploding) like I used to do  getting good feedback at my last burlesque class!  a guy coming into WaWa just to buy two packs of Fig Newtons  ska music binge  Bug rolling around in confetti  seashell earrings from Ann-Marie  drinking a pitcher of sangria with Charlotte  getting my band shirt signed by the members of JTG  seeing film from the disposable camera I left in Brooklyn  stopping my car to write with chalk on a brick building in the rain  keeping glitter body spray in my car and using it every time I get in  watching Kazaam and Sex And The City in the same day  the new cartoon “BoJack Horseman”  sending love to Pluto  colder and beautiful weather  texts about keeping one foot on the ground and reaching the rest into 100 magical corners of my mind  finding the best new bus stop in Baltimore  watching people use the installations I put up  eating a brick of fancy cheese at a stop light  postcards from blog readers

If you’re in the Baltimore area, come hang out with me tomorrow at Red Emma’s! I will be teaching a free class on guerrilla art. Sign yourself up! And don’t forget to catch up on last week’s posts: my trip to New York, 100 ways to reduce stress, and my monthly round-up or wonderful things on the world wide web.

What’s on your happiness list this week? Are you excited about back-to-school time? Tell me what’s been bringing you joy in the comments! And if you want to kick off this school year with some daily inspiration, you can get yourself an e-mail subscription!