What is #100 Happy Days?

This project was started by Dmitry Golubnichy in the fall of 2013 as a personal challenge. His story is not uncommon – simply put, he was not satisfied with his life. After spending time with old friends who seemed to have unlocked the “secret” to being content, he returned home inspired. He began by asking himself, can I be happy for 100 days in a row? and challenged himself to find at least one thing he was happy for every day. He decided to take pictures to capture the happy emotions/memories/etc., and upload daily to social media [for accountability] using the hashtag #100happydays. After only a short time of seeing his posts, he had friends, and then friends of friends (and so on), asking if they could join the challenge. Since the creation of his website, over 8,000,000 people have completed the #100happydays project!

Why #100HappyDays?

I didn’t realize until I began researching the history of the project in preparation to write this post just how early I jumped on the bandwagon, but if I go back to March 2014 on my Instagram (@emt09d), I can relive some happy memories from my first round of #100HappyDays. At that time, I wasn’t a big Instagram user, and I didn’t do a lot of photos (many days I would just type about what had happened that made me happy), so I posted mostly on Facebook. However, in this case, I can’t argue with the old saying – a picture is worth a thousand words. Recently, I’ve become pretty overwhelmed with anxiety, but I’ve never forgotten my first experience with #100HappyDays. Going back and looking at pictures has really done my heart good.

An open invitation…

Did you know that 70% of people who sign up for the challenge don’t complete it because they say they “didn’t have enough time”? I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to become someone who is too busy to be able to find happiness – especially if it’s just one moment in a day! I do hope, whether you’re the most joyful person on the planet, or in a funk like me, that you’ll consider joining me for this challenge.

If you’re worried you’re not creative enough or that you’re “too boring” and won’t be able to come up with 100 different things, don’t worry – help is on the way! After scouring Instagram and the photos that are tagged #100HappyDays, Dmitry has composed a book of 100 directives to help you make it through (at least!) 100 days.

Oh, and if you do buy the book and you’re local, I’d love to borrow it! This would probably be an excellent segue to write a post about our current no-spending challenge…

Matt Chandler

DISCLAIMER: It feels kind of creepy to be writing a whole post about someone who I've never met personally, but we wanted to provide you with information on some of our favorite pastors so you can look more into their work, if you're looking for some inspiration.

Matt Chandler has been the lead pastor of The Village Church in Texas since 2002, and is easily my favorite practicing pastor to listen to. (How do I end that sentence in a grammatically correct way?!)

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but my favorite thing about Matt Chandler's sermons are the punch-in-the-gut feeling he leaves me with. I feel like he uses every sermon to hold up a mirror to make us (as Christians) look at what we need to change and/or better in ourselves; he doesn't tell you what a happy and successful life you will have if you accept Christ, nor does he focus on what the rest of the world is doing "wrong". To give you an idea of what I mean, here's a quote from his message, "A New People" (9/2/12):

"We're going to look at this idea of being a city on a hill, look at what it means to be God's people set up for the world to behold the glory of God. So we're going to talk about marriage, we're going to talk about divorce, we're going to talk about sex, we're going to talk about lust, we're going to talk about all these things and the Christian view of those things and how far we fall short of those things, and marvel at the grace of God as we seek to see Him do work in our lives to bring about greater obedience in those areas."
His voice is oddly soothing (I say "oddly" because his passion for any given topic leads to him getting so loud that I have to adjust the volume multiple times each podcast) and he does an amazing job connecting modern day issues with the Bible.

To top it all off, God is currently using the pastor to prove that He is ultimately in control, as he is currently surviving a terminal brain tumor diagnosis he received in 2009 which was supposed to leave him with only two to three years to live. As someone who continually gleans from his teachings, I personally hope Pastor Matt has many years left with us.

While iTunes' podcasts only go back about 7 months, you can find podcasts dating as far back as 2006 here on the church website.

Okey Dokey

Right before GenCon, Tasty Minstrel Games contacted me through my Instagram asking if I'd be interested in trying out one of their new releases, Okey Dokey. Tasty Minstrel has often delivered hits for me, including Scoville, Orléans, and Eminent Domain. I'm even currently waiting for a much anticipated copy of Chimera Station that I backed on Kickstarter. All that said, I thought: Why now? My copy arrived Monday, so I thought I'd share my thoughts.

Quick Overview

Okey Dokey is a light and simple cooperative game. In it, you are trying to help an orchestra filled with cute animals preform. Everyone gets a hand of instrument cards. It's your groups job to play the instruments, moving the music sequentially (starting with 1 and moving to 8). You'll play 10 rounds to win, during which you can only play in the current column you are filling. You can play a single card of a particular instrument. So, if you have a set of the piano/purple cards in your hand, you can't play your 2, ,4, 5 each time it comes to you. During the round you'll be playing a total of 4 instrument cards & letting one section of your orchestra rest. Each instrument will rest twice, placing the Panda (0) its column spot instead the instrument card itself. These rests act as a reset for that instrument. So if you've played the 4, 5,and 7, you can start playing lower numbers in that instrument's row again. This will also let you discard up to 3 cards from your hand and draw back up.

Seems easy. However, when talking to your group, you can't use specifics about what numbers you have. You'll need to figure out a way to communicate what you want to play without getting specific. So, if you have a 2 in the violin, and your friend has a 1, you'll have to learn to read each others clues. That way you can't go "I'm planning on playing the 2." "No, don't do that! I have the 1."

Playing It Solo

One of the great things about co-op games is that you can often play them solo. Okey Dokey is no exception. I'll just say it... I REALLY liked this game solo. I received this game Monday night, and was able to play a couple of games of it during my breaks on Tuesday. Is simple. It's puzzley. Most importantly for me: It's quick. I get a few 15 minute breaks, and a 30 minute lunch. So sometimes I can have a single player co-op on my desk for days. This one I can set up in a minute and play in 15. I like it enough that I might consider buying a second copy just to have at work. While you lose the nuances of talking out card play with your fellow players, there's still plenty of challenge to be had. For instance, you have less cards "out" in people's hands, so going through the deck to find that card you need takes longer.


Sadly, I did not get to check this out with a very high player count, but I was able to rope my friend Xavier into a quick game on Wednesday. Here is where we got to think about our communication and this, for me, added a whole different layer of fun. We really got into saying things like "My Piano... is severely out of tune. Also, I have laryngitis. But you should really hear my rocking drum solo!"

The Good

Things I appreciated.

  • Theme: Super cute. I mean, It's animals playing instruments. What's not to love?
  • Quick.
  • Simple. Not hard to teach, easy to learn, and easy to set up.
  • The art is simple, yet incredibly fun.
  • The cards quality is excellent. Mix this with the art, and I just fell in love. This mixture strongly reminded me of the cards in the copy of game I used to play with my grandparents, Elfer Raus.
  • Plays well as a single player.
  • Small box. It's smaller than my 6" Baymax Pop! Vinyl, making it easy to grab and go.
  • Solid gameplay.
  • Replayability. Because it's essentially a deck of cards, there's no "here is what we do." On top of that, there are several levels of difficulty you can try.

The Bad

What I don't like, or can see others not loving (even if they're part of the good).

  • Simple. You're not going to have a lot of variation to the game play. You also don't have a lot of "tough" decisions to make. Each game will play the very similarly.
  • Art. I've stated that I enjoy the art very much (most likely for the nostalgic feel it gave me), but, like the game, it's very simple. For those who love staring at artwork on cards, this won't do the trick.
  • Table-space. This game is a table hog. I don't know that there's a way to get around it, but while it's easily transportable, you won't be able to play this at a restaurant while you wait for your food.
  • A potential to break. part of what makes this game interesting and fun to me is trying to communicate in code. But like any game that utilizes this concept, people could fall into the trap of "when this is said, he means he has a 2."

Final Thoughts (7)

I'm really glad to have this in our collection. It hits just the right spot for me. When I first played it and won using all 3 wild cards. Instead of gradually increasing the difficulty, I took all three out, thinking maybe it was too easy. And I failed. Hard. Twice. So mastering this will be a fun challenge, and one I'm looking forward to. With only a $10.99 price tag on CoolStuffInc, I think this game is a steal. Go get it!