During a week when I could easily bemoan the drudgery of term paper writing, I’m going to instead take a brief respite from the empty half of the glass and spend a few minutes swimming in the full half. Several moments this week have made me realize it’s altogether too easy to forget about life’s good things. So, here are a few of the things making me happy this week. And a few of the shots I’ve captured during my first three months in Boston.

1.  Taking a moment to look out the window while performing the ever-monotonous task of putting away groceries. In an instant the beauty of the sliver of a moon caught my breath. I went so far as to turn off the lights so that I could sneak a little moment of quiet and gratitude for the small things in life that can remind us of the beauty we’re surrounded by if we just pause and look close enough.

2.  Discovering this recipe for chocolate and black pepper goat cheese truffles shared by one of my favorite cheeseries*. I may or may not have had to wipe drool from my chin while reading about this combination of three of my very favorite things: chocolate, goat cheese, and freshly cracked black pepper. (*No, this is not a word I learned in foodie grad school.)

3.  Hearing Darra Goldstein speak about Gastronomica, her brilliant journal on food and culture. She finished her wonderful talk with a story about one of her most favorite food memories: a shared meal of broiled potatoes swimming in butter accompanied by hand-salted mushrooms foraged from the forests of Russia, topped off with a bottle of Vodka chilled by the cool night air. If that story wasn’t a reminder of the power of seemingly insignificant life moments, then I don’t know what is.

4.  Turning in the final for one of my classes and savoring a brief moment of pride and relief at having finished my very first class of grad school. That moment called for one seriously full glass. But I’m waiting til my second one’s done to fill ‘er up!

5.  Sharing a much-needed happy hour basking in the sun with some new friends, followed by a delicious dinner at a new restaurant in Cambridge. And then realizing that perhaps the best moment of the night happened when the cab driver blared hip hop through his own personal subwoofers. Many, many memories of life in San Francisco flooded back in that moment.

6.  Learning a new culinary treat from a friend. Blend (food processor style) unsalted, shelled pistachios with olive oil, salt, and pepper, until seasoned to your liking. Pour the pistachio blend over a beautiful ball of Burrata cheese. I’m noticing a trend with the things I’m learning from this friend…the same one who introduced me to that goats milk Gouda I mentioned earlier, and with whom I also enjoyed some Mascarpone and Italian truffle cheese this week. Notice the theme? Mmm. Cheese. Thank goodness for my daily 1-mile commute.

7, 8, 9, 10.  Realizing that as excited as I am for my trip home to California next week, I’m about as equally excited to get back to Boston to enjoy what will hopefully be a beautiful summer full of weekends at the farmer’s market, road trips up and down the coast, and many many moments of laughter and exploring with new friends. Cheers to a full glass!