Tag: sunshine

The Happiness Tag

Now that my head has stopped rebelling against happiness (so dramatic!) I thought it was time for something lighthearted to lift the mood. That’s not to ignore the terrible stuff that has happened since (RIP Jo Cox) but sometimes humour is needed in the depths of despair.

On that note, I  was tagged by the lovely Dannii Jane at A Beautiful Thing to talk about things that make me happy. So here we go!

Happiness!

The rules for this tag are simple. List 5 things that make you happy, 5 songs that make you happy and then nominate 5 bloggers to complete this tag.

5 things that make me happy

  • Sunshine. Instantly lifts my mood and makes me a nicer, happier person (and easier to live with too!)
  • A really good meal. That sense of yummy enjoyment when food is speaking to your very soul.
  • Holidays. Planning them, but more so going on them! Seeing stuff, visiting places, taking photos, lying on a beach – I love everything about getaways.
  • My balcony in summer. I love planning colour schemes and potting new plants, watching them grow.
  • Singing along to powerful songs – the likes of Mariah and Whitney – trying for (and missing!) the high notes and doing the whole fist grab warbly diva thing!

5 songs that make me happy

  • Chris Isaak – Wicked Game

This song reminds me of my husband, we used to listen to it loads when we first got together and it reminds me of that time.

  • Motley Crue – Smokin in the Boys Room

This was always the first song I put on the jukebox in the many nights we spent in the Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood, LA. It’s so fun!

    • Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

I loved this song from the first time I heard it. When we were at the Rolling Stones Hyde Park gig a few years ago I was running round trying to find some friends who’d travelled separately (Hi Cookie and Sadie!) We kept missing each others calls and texts and struggled to get in touch due to poor signal and then I found them when this song was playing. I will always always remember it for that.

  • Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime

The ultimate summer song and one that never fails to make me stop what I’m doing, smile, dance and singalong. I truly believe it’s the best summer song ever! You know I’m right!

  • Finally, a very unseasonal one! Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You

I can’t listen to this without singing. I sing it so badly and I don’t even care, that’s part of the fun! It’s the ultimate Christmas song that I also do a weird hybrid pirouette dance when I hear it at home to make the husband laugh. For that reason he plays it on purpose when I’m doing other stuff, because he knows I’ll drop everything and come and dance in the lounge!

I’m actually not going to nominate anyone specific because I don’t want to put anyone on the spot, but if you’re reading this and it sounds fun then please get involved! And don’t forget to leave me a note in the comments with a link to your post so I can check out your answers.

Happy Friday and thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Holiday stress (first world problems)

It’s rather ridiculous that something that’s supposed to be fun, something to look forward to and something to relax you should be stressful. But my head is about to burst this year!

I’m very much of the “let’s use our annual leave to see stuff and go places” school of thought. Husband would happily spend a week at home. I think that’s a ridiculous waste of time. I usually always win.

This year we’re a bit short on annual leave, as we both started new jobs in April and so our holiday has been pro rata’d accordingly. Hence why we found ourselves sitting down with a spreadsheet, no less, to carve up our annual leave. That kind of ruins the fun straight away.

We’d planned on a short break to Europe, 3 or 4 nights all inclusive where we could lounge in the sun, read books, eat and drink loads. I would have shoe-horned in a daytrip somewhere too, just to satisfy my wanderlust. We were all priced up and researched and ready to go to Majorca.

I mean, look at it. Why wouldn’t you?

Majorca

Then, in true us style, we faffed. Not because we didn’t want to go, but because life happens. And by the time we did come to book it, the price had gone up by over £100.

Arse.

I then suggested Greece. Loads of bargains to be had, and as long as you’re all inclusive and paid up front you don’t need money, right? Husband was reticent – pointing out that the hotels may run out of money to buy food. I poo-pooed him and would have booked but I have to say now, with events of yesterday, that I’m glad one of us has a sensible head (I hope he isn’t reading this).

And so we decided on Wales. Now that might seem rather a departure (pun intended) from beach and guaranteed sunshine. But North Wales is one of my very favourite places in the UK – so green and atmospheric and mountainous and just generally ace. And we had plans of going on sunny walks, searching out waterfalls, eating lamb (of course!), sitting in beer gardens and generally chilling out.

North Wales

Our plans were nearly scuppered when the only guesthouse we wanted to stay at was showing no availability online, but a quick call and some jiggery-pokery meant that the owner was able to accommodate us.

All well and good.

Until today when the bloody weather forecast has turned and is now showing a rather unseasonal 14 degrees and rain for next weekend. And husband’s colleague has just come back from North Wales and didn’t see any of last week’s heatwave.

What to do? I have revisited Majorca plans in a mad panic, as the thought of spending precious annual leave in a sodden sulk fills me with dread. And the cost of keeping ourselves occupied will no doubt boost the Welsh trip into the realms of European spend anyway. But am I being a brat? Should I accept my fate and make the best of it, whatever the weather?

Don’t even start me on how we’ll agree on the rest of our leave. I had grand plans for Hong Kong, even offering to pay for us from my redundancy fund, but husband has little desire to go East.

That week at home that he so desires may be closer than he thinks…

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The summer tag

I saw this on haysparkle’s blog via Twitter. I’m a definite summer person and because no-one is likely to tag me (violins, please!!) I thought I’d nominate myself!

1. What’s your favourite thing about summer?
The weather. No doubt. Going bare legged, not needing a coat, sitting in the garden until late at night. Love it.

2. Do you have a favourite summer drink?
It has to be chilled white wine – sometimes as a spritzer with lemonade. Slurp.

White wine in summer

3. Is there a special place you like to visit each summer?
When the better weather comes we tend to do a pilgrimage to Weston Super Mare as it’s the closest beach resort to Birmingham. It’s become something of a habit. We were there in May this year, but it was so windy we couldn’t really spend any time outside!

4.What’s your favourite make up look for summer?
My absolute favourite is when I’m abroad and my freckles come out and I tend to just go for a pale eyeshadow, smudgy eyeliner and mascara, maybe with a touch of lipgloss or balm. It’s the epitome of laid back summer wear.

5. Dresses or skirts?
Dresses all the way – they’re easy to wear, don’t require any matching and keep you cool; no bunching up round the middle or sweaty waistbands! I’m currently waiting delivery on this pretty floral number.

Peacocks floral dress

6. Festivals or vacations?
Always vacations. I love love LOVE getting away from it all and seeing something new or experiencing different cultures. Plus if you go abroad you’re pretty much guaranteed good weather, whereas UK summer festivals are hit and miss (this year’s rainy Download Festival being a case in point).

7. What’s your signature summer hairstyle?
I don’t really have one, although I do go for a messy bun quite often, especially at home, when it’s very hot. I’m trying to experiment with plaits but my hair’s slightly too short since I cut it off last year.

8. What’s your signature summer scent?
I tend to wear the same fragrances year round; I’ve always got about 5 different ones on the go. My current favourite is D&G L’Imperatrice which has citrusy notes and is very summery.

D&G L'Imperatice

9. Favourite music for summer?
I have very eclectic music tastes whatever the time of year and can find enjoyment in many different things. But of course Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince is a summer favourite (because it’s the best summer song EVER – remind yourself by waitching the video, if you don’t believe me!); Don Henley Boys of Summer and happy bouncy music that makes you smile.

10. Pool or beach?
I love to be by the beach to see the sea, but for sunbathing I’m more of a pool girl. At the beach you just get sand EVERYWHERE, and it usually burns your feet as you run from your sunbed to the sea for a dip, and I hate the feeling of sand on wet feet. HATE it. Our pool in Greece last year was lovely, but then the beach – with it’s sparkling crystal sea and mountain backdrop – was amazing too. So I’ll take both please.

Stoupa beach Manis Rose pool Stoupa

11. BBQ or seafood?
Probably BBQ because of the whole atmosphere and experience; al fresco, the smell of the coals, avoiding the burnt sausage. There’s nothing that says summer dining more than a BBQ.

I tag anyone who would like to get involved…while summer is still here!

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Nice is more than just nice…it’s bloomin’ beautiful

A 4 o’clock alarm is a wicked wicked thing. Although it is slightly easier to get out of bed when you know you have a flight to catch!

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It’s been an age since we flew from Birmingham airport. Considering Birmingham is the UK’s second city (supposedly) we seem to get less choice, higher costs, and general short changed-ness when it comes to air travel.

Unusually, Nice was an exception. A 7.45am Saturday morning departure and an 8pm Monday night return meant making the most of pretty much every moment of the long awaited bank holiday weekend.

The day started (of course) with a holiday breakfast (yes, a 2 night break counts as a holiday)…a sausage, egg and bacon bagel and a glass of rose. Tea drinkers were definitely in the minority, even at 6.30am.

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Uneventful check in, boarding, flight, arrival and transfer meant that we arrived in Nice Ville (town) feeling stress free and ready to go by 11am. 5 hours door to door (accounting for the 1 hour time difference) is pretty good going, especially when you consider the contrast between home and away.

Too early to check into our hotel room, we stored our bags in the lobby and set off on foot to explore. Our driver from the airport had told us that Nice was an easy city to get your bearings in and get around, and he was right. It’s large enough to feel cosmopolitan and spread out, but not so much that you fear never finding your hotel again. There’s a good vibe about it.

Nice is the fifth most populous city in France after Paris, Marseilles, Lyon and Toulouse.

Heree come the photographs…

Stunning architecture, fountains and wide open squares

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Churches

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A bright, clean and spacious promenade

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Boutique shops, along with some UK high street flashbacks

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Wonder why the region is called the Cote D’Azur? Wonder no more! These are the views from the Promenade de Anglais. The sea is bluer than a camera can capture. It’s definitely one for the most developed lens in the world – the human eye.

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As planned we decided to get our bearings by taking an open top bus tour. At 22 euros each and lasting 90 minutes, the tour started on the seafront and meandered along the coast, out to the port and then back up into the hills. Fabulous buildings were everywhere – from neoclassical styles and colours through to the modern art museum and the very quirky blockhead; La Tête Carrée (the first habitable sculpture in the world).

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Considering we had such an early start, at an ungodly hour, we more than did justice to the city on our first day. We were left tired, but looking forward to more…

 

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