These Placemats Make Me Happy

When I was a little girl, I remember my mom being so excited when she got new dish towels. Remember, this was before Bed, Bath and Beyond and before online shopping, at a time when the acquisition of material things was more difficult. About once a year, she’d treat herself to new towels, always in a bright, fun color. Seeing something so new and bright in the kitchen gave us all a little joy. “Mom, nice dish towels.” “Aren’t they?” she’d respond with a smile. Back then, it truly was the little things in life that made us happy.

My situation is different. I am in an better financial situation than my mom and in 2014, things are simply easier to come by. I had Pottery Barn placemats for about 6 years. They were cork backed and perfect because you could wipe them down. I liked the pattern, and they were sturdy. But, they started to peel, and peeling them further became addicting to my kids, like picking at a scab. I checked all the usual stores for new ones, but could only find ones with Italian store fronts, grape scenes or gaudy flower arrangements.

Another year went by and I was hoarse from yelling, “Stop destroying my placemats! They are irreplaceable” Then, I used my brain and checked I ordered these, and they came a day later. Simple.

these placemats make me happy

Why didn’t I just do that in the first place? I’m not sure, but I’m glad I didn’t. If they were easy to find, we might not appreciate the new ones. Tonight, before dinner, my eight year old said, “I love setting the table with the new placemats.” While we were eating, my twelve year old said with a huge smile, “These placemats change the whole dynamic of dinner.” About two minutes ago, my eleven year old looked over my shoulder at the title of this post and said, “Me too! I love those placemats.”

Seems Amazon and superstores can’t take away the simple truths in life. It will always be the little things in life that make us happy.

Oh right! I set out to do a product review. They are really light, easy to clean, come in different colors and on, cost about $11/each.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.