Right before we departed for Thanksgiving break, my wise fourth-grade teacher gave our class a special assignment: to write a list of 100 things for which we were thankful. I’ve repeated the exercise every year since.

Count your blessings! Here are 100 things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and every day! #gratitude From wellplated.com @wellplated

While I can’t imagine everything that my 9-year-old self would have listed, I do hope that I’ve held on to at least a piece of my childhood ability to find joy in even the smallest of things. In an effort to maintain the beautiful, innocent wonder that comes to children so easily but to adults (or at least to this adult) with greater difficulty, I’ve made a point to write down my “Thankfulness List” every single year. Four years ago, I published the list on my blog, and it’s become a tradition every year since.

In keeping with years past, I present my 2016 Thankfulness List.

1. My partner in crime, my best friend, the love of my life, and Dishwasher Numero Uno, Ben.

2. My dad, taken from us too soon. I miss him every day and am grateful for the years we did have together.

3. My mom, who I never doubt for a second is fiercely proud of me.

4. My two younger sisters, who I am blessed to call my closest friends.


5. Growing up with all four of my grandparents.

6. Still being able to call my grammy every week.

7. My stepdad. We didn’t pick each other, but I sure am happy to have him in my life.

8. My in-laws. It’s not everyone who can say they truly love their mother and father-in-law, and I am so blessed to say that I do.

9. My sister-in-law Maria. The funniest person I know and a true master chef.

10. My niece Genevieve. Just look at that face!

11. The right to vote and those who labored for generations to give me that right.

12. Our veterans, many of whom died to defend that right.

13. My education.

14. Our home, safe and warm.

15. Making a wonderful group of girlfriends in Milwaukee this year.

16. The relationships I’ve formed through blogging. I never would have imagined I’d meet some of my best friends online.

17. The ability to TRAVEL!

18. Related: The fact that this post is coming to you while I am in Thailand(!)

19. While I’m at it: the internet.

20. That time I waded into a cranberry bog.

Cranberry Bog in Wisconsin

21. My health.

22. The first run in a new pair of athletic shoes.

23. Fluffy bath towels.

24. Scoring a parking space in the front row.

25. Our next-door neighbors, most of whom have known Ben his whole life.

26. The Milwaukee skyline.

27. An empty dishwasher.

28. This stellar group of Wisconsin food bloggers.

29. My cookbook collection.

30. Apple picking.

October favorites from food blogger Erin of Well Plated

31. Dinners with Ben on our back porch.

32. Any other time I can eat outside. Bonus when the setting is this beautiful.

33. When I sort laundry and no socks have gone missing.

34. This year’s trip to Sonoma.

35. Emojis, especially this one: ?

36. Turning on the car and hearing my favorite song start on the radio.

37. Turning 30 and living to tell the tale.

38. Yummy-smelling candles that make our house feel cozy.

39. Visits from out-of-town friends.

40. Potlucks.

41. Access to clean water.

42. BOGO pizza Wednesdays.

BOGO Pizza Night at Pizzaman

43. And taco Tuesdays at our favorite Tex-Mex spot.

44. The way the grass smells after it rains.

45. Every Saturday Ben spends raking our leaves. Season-to-date: 8,400 cubic feet of leaves, according to Ben’s math. (I’m serious.)

46. Our new gas stove.

47. Hitting all the green lights.

48. Freshly brewed coffee.

49. My super-duper warm winter coat.

50. A good pair of warm socks.

51. Bright red fall leaves.

52. The extra hour of sleep when daylight saving time ends.

53. Any day I don’t set the alarm.

54. Thursday morning spin class.

55. When the seat next to me on the plane is miraculously empty.

56. My trusty, broken-in brown boots.

57. Birthday cake.

58. Indoor plumbing.

59. Finding surprise cash in a pair of jeans.

60. Farmers markets.

West Allis Farmers Market

61. Being a total tourist and not caring one bit.

62. Productive afternoons.

63. When there’s no line at airport security.

64. People who hold the door for others.

65. A photography workshop I attended this year that allowed me to take this photo and build my confidence in myself as a photographer.

66. Free music in public places.

67. Anytime someone else cooks dinner.

68. Snail mail.

69. Social media, which, for all its drawbacks, makes it possible for me to keep in touch with friends I would not otherwise.

70. Surprise phone calls from old friends.

71. Tailgating.

72. When the person in front of you at the grocery store lets you go ahead in line because you have fewer items.

73. Thunderstorms.

74. Leftovers.

75. Happy-hour drinks, accompanied by multi-hour chats with girlfriends.

Happy Hour at Iron Horse Milwaukee

76. When avocados are on sale.

77. Free shipping.


79. To Kill a Mockingbird, my favorite book.

80. Dark chocolate. Always.

81. And goat cheese. And sharp cheddar and…

82. Free samples at Trader Joe’s.

83. Tandem bikes. They just make me smile.

84. Fuzzy slippers.

85. Sunsets on the lake.

Lake sunset in Wisconsin

86. Cheesy Christmas movies.

87. Nights spent staying up too late chatting with friends.

88. Bonfires.

89. When the sky is so blue and beautiful it nearly hurts my eyes.

90. Our neighborhood deer. They drive me crazy and eat the hostas but manage to look cute doing it.

91. Google Maps.

92. The satisfying feeling that follows cleaning out a closet or reorganizing a pantry.

93. When the sun stays out until 9 p.m. in the summer.

94. Having exact change.

95. Podcasts.

96. Parallel parking on the first attempt.

97. Sunflowers.

98. Staying in on Friday night to watch movies.

99. Finding old photos.

And a very special thank you to…

100. YOU.

I am beyond grateful to YOU, my readers. Without you, my blog, this place that I cherish, into which I pour my time and my heart, and that enables me to do what I love for a living, could not exist as it does without your support. Whether this is your first time on my website or your 500th, I am sincerely grateful that you are here.

Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thankfulness Lists from prior years*

*Please note that I do not go back and reread prior years’ lists before writing my next one so that I have a clearer mind. You will no doubt see some repeats, and I am completely fine with that. I hope I stay grateful for each of these things, year after year!

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Hey Erin! I was inspired by your list last year, and I’m a 3rd grade teacher, and I had my students do a “50 things for which I am thankful” list this year! They loved it! :) I make your recipes all the time – I feel like I know you! Enjoy your vacation and thank you for all of your hard work on this blog! Happy thanksgiving:)

  2. The list was great and so many things I can relate to.   I have no idea how I found you but am very glad I did.  Enjoy your vacaction.

  3. Hi Erin!  I’m amazed you can keep your blog going at such a high standard…even when you’re traveling!  I think your blog is excellent!  It’s warm, friendly, personal, humorous, interesting, and the pictures and recipes are always mouth-watering.  I’m thankful for you today!  My husband and I are in India right now for 2 months. He’s helping set up a small bakery!  And I’m helping with some other projects. We may be in VNam next month. Maybe we’ll run into you! ?  You just never know. Thanks again for your blog. 

  4. I love reading your list each year! To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, & I can relate to many more on your list. Have a wonderful trip!

  5. The simplest things are truly the best things to be grateful for…while we may not take the time to sit and list 100 of them, we can all look at things on that level just by living our everyday lives. Like we were all told when we were little kids – just play nice! And kindness always is the number one thing to practice.

  6. Always love reading this list every year! Thankful for you and our friendship. And if we don’t see each other in 2017 I might just die. ????

  7. Wow,I’m really floored by this – many many thanks! After my fitness for which I’m determined to run rather than drive, I’ll be doing my own list for sure….already have three done easily!. You’ve really arrived just after a bad bout of empty nest depression but #4 on my list is really SKYPE and how both kids love skyping for hours every week…. Someone with my downloading your recipes I got a malware so #5 on my list really should be how I, a really dumb non-techi , managed to get my self out of the malware all by myself!!
    Will never forget you and what a real reaching out person you are!! ( And I have a thing about dangling participles and prepositions and you have “for which” rather than “for” at the end…too good!!.

  8. Thanks for sharing such an Amazing list of thanks/gratitude. In order to deepen the feeling of gratitude for each item on the list, I try to focus on focus on why I am grateful for these gift as well as how I would feel if I lost that gift (loss). Loss and benefit to be in focus, which triggers intense feelings of gratitude. When we create the sense of losing the gift we are enjoying right now, we develop more intense attitude toward that particular blessing.
    Great work. Stay blessed for this post.

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the post! It was good for me to read your comment today and remember how much I have to be grateful for—it’s easy to let a day go by and take things for granted. Thanks for sharing!