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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

happy joy smile
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

More smiles are always a good thing.

Hey there, lovely people. Let's talk about the kindness of everyday people.

A few weeks ago, I hit a deer on a dark, two-lane highway while driving a carload of kids home from a day at the theme park. In the 20 or so minutes it took to assess the damage to the car, three different strangers stopped to help me.

The first checked to see if we were OK. I said we were, but that I didn't know how to get the deer out of the middle of the road so other cars wouldn't run over it. He took care of the deer for me.

The second stopped as I was trying to figure out if the car was drivable. There was a section of the bumper that was dangling on the ground, and he helped me get it off so it wouldn't drag while I drove. He also checked the wheels and the lights and looked for leaking fluids, then said it looked like we were good to go.


The third stopped just as I was getting into the car to drive the rest of the way home. By then, everything had been taken care of so I thanked them for stopping and we all went on our way.

We often hear the stories of bad human behavior because they grab people's attention, but we don't hear as often about the average kind deeds strangers perform all the time. Hitting that deer wasn't fun, but it turned out to be a good reminder that most people really are kind.

We have some stories of human kindness for you in this week's "10 things" list, as well as some sweet animal videos, a little Jack Black and Elton John, a touching mother-son reunion, the world's most delightful hockey goalie and more. Enjoy!

1. Umm, why did no one at my high school job fair tell me 'panda snuggler' was a real job?!

I feel like this would have been a vital piece of information to have on hand when choosing a career path. Failed by the system, I tell you. Sign me up for all the panda snuggling courses ASAP.

2. Mic'd up hockey goalie delights people with his wholesome self-talk.

@nickthegoalie_1

Mine! #hockey #goalie #nhl #hockeyboys

As one commenter put it, "This is how I imagine a golden retriever's internal monologue." Yes, 100% golden retriever energy, and people can't get enough of it. See more mic'd up videos from Nick the Goalie here.

3. Baby bird hasn't figured out that the food doesn't automatically enter its mouth.

Oh, sweet baby birdie, this is so adorable and hilarious. "Why doesn't this worm get in ma bellyyyy?" This is why we teach kids to cook and clean before they leave the house.

4. Jack Black takes the time to serenade a 'School of Rock' fan.

Abraham is a 15-year-old who has a rare mitochondrial disease and is in palliative care. At a fundraising walk hosted by Jack Black, he got to meet the "School of Rock" star, and their interaction was such a pure, sweet moment. Love it when celebrities take the time to genuinely connect with someone. Read the full story here.

5. The kindness of this taxi driver and his wife is a prime example of the best of humanity.

These kinds of everyday human connections that don't make headlines happen far more than we know. Here's to people extending an extra measure of kindness just because they can.

6. Watch the incomparable Sir Elton John pull out a crumpled piece of paper and play 'Tiny Dancer' for the first time.

Wow. What a fun treat to see Elton John casually uncrumpling Bernie Taupin's "Tiny Dancer" lyrics like a high schooler pulling out a homework assignment, and then playing, for the first time, a tune so familiar to us now. The birth of a legendary song, and he makes it look so effortless. Amazing. Read the full story here.

7. People share dance moves from their homelands and it's pure delight.

Dance is such a wonderful way for humans to express themselves, and experiencing different cultures through it is just delightful.

8. The way this guy cares for his cat, Professor Pouncey, is the kind of pampering we all deserve.

@professor_pouncey

Did someone say... Heated Basket Version 2.0...? #bengal #cat #ebike #electricbike

Putting in my request for a heated bike basket big enough for a human, please and thank you.

9. Mom surprised her son when she came home from military deployment early.

And right after his sweet tribute to her, too. Dang, who is cutting all these onions?

10. Let's hippity hop into the weekend with the enthusiasm of this horse race-loving doggo.

Hope that brought some smiles to your world! Come back again next Friday for another roundup of feel-good finds. (And if you'd like to get them in your inbox each week, you can subscribe to our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.)

popular

10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

True

The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

Family

'Broke mom' gives the 'holiday gift guide' that everyone struggling needs to hear

"Maybe we should all be a little bit more honest this holiday season because you don't know who you'd be helping."

@shawtgal49/TikTok

A broke mom" explains her personal "holiday gift guide."

Almost everyone, at least once in their lives, enters a holiday season with very little money to spend on gifts. Unexpected medical expenses, job loss, everything breaking down all at once—we’ve all been there to some extent.

And yet, when December 25th makes its way into the periphery, many put themselves further into the red by buying items that no way match their budget. Or, there’s a sense of shame when telling family and friends that it simply can’t be done this year.

But one mom is perfectly unfazed about owning up to whatever financial realities exist for her and her family, and she is encouraging others to have the same mindset.

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via @behindyourback / Twitter

Maura Quint shares about men responding appropriately.


For anyone who thinks stories of sexual harassment and assault are complicated, writer Maura Quint has a story for you. Actually, she has quite a few.

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@brett.gaffney/TikTok

Brett Gaffney recalls how his grandma's Christmas gift nearly got him arrested at the airport.

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That was certainly the case for Los Angeles-based actor Brett Gaffney. Only his obedience made for some awkward moments at airport security.

In a viral TikTok video, Gaffney is seen at the airport, a large briefcase nestled beside him, as he explains how his Grandma had accidentally been trying to get him “arrested” with her surprise gift. Turns out, this gift had more than one surprise to bestow.
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An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


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Image shared by Madalyn Parker

Madalyn shared with her colleagues about her own mental health.


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Work at it every single day folks.

The best advice isn’t always obvious, or else we would have thought of it ourselves. It often comes out of left field and can be counterintuitive. When it comes to marriage, the best advice tends to be centered around keeping a focus on the long game.

One of the best pieces of marriage advice I ever received was, “Buy her a bottle of shampoo from time to time without her asking.” Now, that doesn’t mean to get shampoo specifically, but just pick up something here and there to show you care and are thinking about her.

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