Fancy vacations and hot new cars are nice, but sometimes it's the little things that put a grin on our faces.
Maybe your day starts with a perfectly toasted piece of French bread for breakfast, or ends with a few minutes of reflection handwritten in a leather-bound journal.
Or perhaps you're loving just the right pair of stylish boots, or some new ink for creating more colorful tattoos.
All these things and more make up our next installment of Things We Love, featuring responses from the community. See if any of these favored items tickle your fancy, too.
You might catch Doug Russell loafing around the Walmart bakery at least four days a week. That's where he buys his favorite French bread, at just 98 cents per loaf.
"It's a weakness of mine," admits Russell, who says he loves the flavor of this store's fresh-baked bread over all other varieties he's tried. Even those fancy artisan breads that run $5 to $6 per loaf.
"I was surprised it was so good," he says. The French bread is now a staple in his North Ogden household, to the tune of four loaves per week.
In the mornings, Russell toasts a slice of bread and eats it with his coffee. In the evenings, he'll brush it with olive oil, sprinkle it with "a hint of garlic powder or garlic salt and parsley flakes" and broil it to serve with dinner.
"It's delicious with any meal, it doesn't matter what," the real estate broker says.
Even his 1-year-old granddaughter is a fan of eating "Grandpa toast," he says.
Russell says he's had a lifelong obsession with bread: "I'm sure it started with my mom's homemade bread; I loved the raw dough," he explains in an email. "Now I satisfy my bread craving cheap and easy."
Carrie Monnier signed up for the popular new website Pinterest only a few weeks ago, but she is already a fan.
"It's totally awesome -- I love it," she says.
For the uninitiated, Pinterest is a social photo-sharing website. Folks share things of interest they find online by "pinning" them to an online board -- everything from clothing and hairstyles to quotes, videos and pictures.
There are lots of ways to use Pinterest, Monnier says. Some enjoy the social aspect of sharing things they like; husband, for instance, pins photos of cool cars and motorcycles. But Monnier is more practical, selecting only information that will serve a purpose in the future.
"I'm a homemaker and I love to cook, so I use it more like an online bulletin board," says the new mother of a 5-month-old daughter. Her pinned recipes are just like having a traditional binder full of printed recipes, except it's all-electronic.
A recent find was a recipe for bread baked in a Dutch oven; "I'm totally trying that recipe next week," the Ogden resident says.
Monnier's board also includes such categories as home-decorating ideas or fun activities to do with children.
Users of Pinterest can follow or see what others post, or allow others to see their own posts. Monnier looks at the site every day and explains, "I get inspiration from what other people have pinned."
Be they black or brown, these boots are made for walking -- everywhere.
"I plan my entire wardrobe around these two pair of boots, and I wear them into June if possible," says Neka Roundy of Kaysville.
The community development specialist for Davis County says she picked up the classic leather footwear a couple of years back at a local department store's seasonal sale. The great deals she snags at this sale give the items even more appeal.
"I just buy things that I would never in my life buy," she says. "I enjoy them the most because I got them on sale."
The $200 boots were a steal of a deal at just $47 a pair. Last year's great find: green trench coats for Roundy and her daughters; this year, she scored a black skirt entirely covered in sequins and a couple of tops with sequin trim.
Sequins certainly aren't in her day-to-day wardrobe, but Roundy says she plans to wear some of these items to a gala in the fall.
As for those boots, Roundy says that everyone who knows her is aware how much she loves her boots: "I make a fuss over them every time I wear them."
A New Year's resolution has landed Andrew Ravelle a new pastime: journaling.
Several leather-bound journals were Christmas gifts so that Ravelle could keep track of his travels in his new home in Utah.
One is a small pocket notebook, another is a larger journal with an elastic strap to keep it closed. Yet another is a one-sentence-a-day journal, to sum up the day in brief.
"I just like the idea of kind of recapping at the end of the day. I think it kind of helps me relax," says Ravelle, who moved to Ogden from Maryland a month ago to become a teacher-naturalist at the Ogden Nature Center through the Americorps program.
The new journals remind him of the books his hero Indiana Jones used to carry in films that were favorites during Ravelle's childhood.
Ravelle says his New Year's resolution was prompted by wanting to do a better job of keeping a collection of thoughts and pictures and "just kind of keep track of my life." Although he's an avid Facebook user who posts photos and observations there, he says the journals are different.
"It's important to have something concrete that you can hold in your hand and reflect back on," Ravelle says.
And Ravelle says he's discovered, "It's pretty good for personal growth. It helps me look back and think about things I did well and things I can improve on."
Black Veil Brides
Nothing like some tunes to brighten Ivy Gibbons' day, and right now she's grooving to the heavy-metal sound of Black Veil Brides.
The 19-year-old says she's been a fan of this California-based band for years, even before the group started becoming more widely known.
Their music is great because it "actually has a meaning behind it," unlike a lot of music today, says Gibbons, of Ogden. The songs tell a story and have a motivational message "to pursue your dreams, to be whoever you want."
Last August, Gibbons enjoyed seeing Black Veil Brides live when the 2011 Warped Tour stopped in Salt Lake City.
"It was exciting; it was my 19th birthday celebration," says the conductor of the miniature train that runs in Ogden's Newgate Mall.
For sentimental reasons, one of her favorite songs is "The Mortician's Daughter," from the group's first album, "We Stitch These Wounds."
"It's a love song," Gibbons says, "and it pretty much describes everything that happened between me and my boyfriend the first year we were together."
So listening to a daily dose of Black Veil Brides it is, on Gibbons' iPod, her cellphone, her laptop -- "anywhere I can."
Kuro Sumi isn't a new ink, but tattoo artist Xavier Mendoza has only recently discovered it. The Ogden resident says he loves the vibrancy and long-lasting nature of these colors.
"They're ridiculously amazing," says Mendoza, adding, "They hold their color well. When they're in, they're in, and they stay very vibrant."
His favorites are the purples and greens used in floral tattoos.
"Flowers are very colorful anyway, and they're super bright with (this ink)," says Mendoza, a cellphone salesman who has created tattoos in his spare time for seven years.
His own body is adorned with designs on his arms, chest, stomach, back and sides, but they're all done with other types of tattoo inks.
"My color's faded out really bad. (Kuro Sumi) hold their colors differently."
Mendoza says he enjoys tattooing, "It's a way to express your art forever."
And clients who get tattoos are usually pleased with the outcome, he says, so, "Making other people happy is definitely a plus."
Kittens with mittens
Scooter was one sick kitten when Sheila Love nursed him back to health after a neighbor found him on the street outside their house.
That was nearly four years ago, and now the gray and white cat is a joy in Love's life, from his playful antics to his white-mittened paws.
Forget that old song lyric about "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" -- this Ogden cat lover is a much bigger fan of mittens on kittens.
"They look like Mickey Mouse and I don't know, it's something about when they're playing, it draws attention to their little paws," says Love, a self-described "crazy cat lady."
The mittens are on Scooter's front feet; on his back feet, the cat has white "socks" that come up to his "knees."
Scooter is a gentle cat who loves to sleep in unusual positions, sometimes on his back with his feet up in the air, sometimes sitting almost upright, leaning against the sofa. But Love says this feline can also be a big tease and has a bit of an attitude.
Sometimes, she says, "He'll slap my husband with his little mitten, but he doesn't put out his claws."