Life isn't always a cup of tea. It can be stressful and busy and messy, but that's why it's so important to find little things that make you smile every single day.
One of my things is a tiny army of brilliantly colored silicone snails.
The adorable, little snails are designed to add a little bit of happiness to each cup of tea. They perch at the edge of your cup, and their shells are tall enough that you can loop the string of the tea bag around them to keep it from falling into the hot water as it steeps.
While it's rare for me to enjoy a cup of tea (coffee, please!), the teeny snails are among my favorite things. Instead of using them to hold a tea bag in place, I often grab one and set it in the edge of a water glass or coffee mug, simply because the colorful cuteness makes me smile when I look at it.
Yes, it's a very little thing, but it's the kind of thing that can help to turn around otherwise stressful day.
My nearly 4-year-old son thinks they're pretty great, too. Sometimes, he asks to have one placed on the rim of his cup. Usually, though, he uses his imagination to incorporate them into everyday play. They've been passengers aboard his wooden Thomas and Friends engines and have joined Mickey, Donald and Goofy for a pizza on the moon.
Truly, the magic of the product is not in its most functional purpose, but in the everyday ways it adds a little sunshine to the day.
And, for a few bucks on Amazon, it was exactly the kind of sunshine I found impossible to pass up.
Erin Pustay Beaven is the online content editor for Rubber & Plastics News. She is an appreciator of life's littlest treasures, a reader of great books and supporter of the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Indians. Erin is an advocate for libraries, arts education and PBS. Follow her on Twitter at @EBeavenCrain.