These are happy circumstances; life is wonderful. This phrase is often used ironically, as in My husband is about to get laid off—life is just a bowl of cherries, right? Originating as the title of a song (1931) by Lew Brown (lyrics) and composer Ray Henderson, this term expressed the idea that everything was going very well. However, its ironical use was established by the 1970s. Also see bed of roses.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.