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

0

Five things I love about “actual” spring

I started to write this post last week when the sun was shining, and it felt really mild, verging on warm. Then, as if I tempted fate, it rained so much I thought I might need an ark to get home from work, and on Saturday we had a bit of snow. British weather, eh?

Today the sunshine and milder temps are back, and I’m starting to believe I can actually pack away my winter jumpers. This makes me happy.

Spring

In my head I start calling spring as soon as the sun shines in February, mainly because I cannot wait for winter to be over, but in truth it’s not until April that it feels like the season has begun and I can acknowledge that I don’t live in an eternal tundra.

Here are 5 things I love about about spring.

Not wearing a jacket
I love jackets and how they can really add to an outfit, but there’s something liberating about knowing you don’t need one after a winter of being wrapped up from the elements.

Driving with the windows open
Even just a tiny crack to let in that fresh spring air makes you feel all vibrant and refreshed.

Sitting on my balcony when I get home
Admittedly at the moment it’s only for a brief 15 minutes, but it feels good to relax al fresco after a day cooped up in the office.

Blossom trees
Pretty. Pink. Look like confetti. Nuff said.

Open toed shoes
Again it’s a liberation thing, shedding those socks and boots, painting those toenails, and exposing those tootsies to the world.

What do you love about spring?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

0

My current favourites

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts. Here are the things that are currently dinging my dong.

Favourites

ASOS 70s clogs
Do these need any words? They’re just lush. Which is why I got both colours! I’m hoping they’ll work with thick tights so I can wear them through winter too. They’re my favourite addition to my shoedrobe this year.

ASOS black clogs 2

ASOS tan clogs 2

Voucher websites
I’m perpetually skint right now, all my own fault (and with lots of good times to show for it!) so anything that helps me save cash is good. I have a couple of Groupon and LivingSocial deals in the bag that will help me on those weekends where it’s still forever until payday but I don’t want to stay home.

Ebay
More specifically, selling on ebay. I’m all for giving stuff to charity, but when there’s potential value in that stuff I need to at least try and sell it first. Especially when it’s never been worn. I have a credit card bill to pay, doncha know!

Pie
It’s rare that I eat pie due to the calorie content, but last weekend I bought these beauties which we had with mash and onion gravy. They’re from Higgidy – feta cheese, spinach and pine nut on the left, and chicken, ham and leek on the right. I’m going to make a pie at some point, with filo pastry to make it more healthy.

Higgidy pies spinach feta pinenut chicken ham leek

Higgidy pies spinach feta pinenut chicken ham leek

Substituting rice for cauliflower rice
Beat the carbs – lower fat and lower calories means you can eat more of it! (that’s how it works, right?) Plus it opens up more mid week dinner opportunities where you just need that type of accompaniment (I try not to eat carbs in the week).

Blue cheese
I used to hate this stuff as a kid. But now I love it! On it’s own, on crackers, on burgers. Yum. Check out this lamb recipe which it works with too.

Tesco flavoured sparkling water
Such a nice mixer for vodka (you didn’t think I meant to drink on it’s own, did you?!)

Tesco sparkling peach and passionfruit water mixer

Pansies
Now that the leaves on the trees are not long for this world, it’s important to have some colour through winter. I planted these pretty pansies on my balcony yesterday; they’re such cheerful little flowers that always look like they’re smiling!

Purple pansy balcony pot

What are you loving right now?

0

50 things that make me happy

I saw this on Confetti and Curves and the lovely Karen invited everyone to get involved, so here’s my list of 50 things that make me happy!

(it’s easy to forget sometimes, especially on Monday mornings)

Waterfalls

Swallow Falls

Rainbows

Cheesecake

Driving with the windows down on a sunny day

Painted toenails

 Painted toenails

My Mom’s beef stew and dumplings, with boiled potatoes, lashings of Worcestershire sauce and fresh white bread for dipping

Getting a new tattoo (not the process, ouch, but the final result)

Having a nap on my reclining sofa when the sun’s coming through the window

Sitting on my balcony

Balcony view

Looking at the night sky

My husband. Just being with him (apart from when he’s a pest!)

Singing power ballads really loudly (even though I’m a terrible singer, that almost makes it even better!)

Easter egg chocolate straight out of the fridge (Easter egg chocolate is the best chocolate ever, fact).

Cheese and crackers

Sparklers

Sparkler

Glowsticks

Watching Californication

Californication

Freshly washed, dried and straightened hair

Immersing myself in a chick lit novel, and even when you pretty much know how it’s going to end after the first chapter you don’t care because it’s so much fun getting there

Picking scabs, even if they’re not mine (gross, I know)

Blowing dandelion seeds

Dandelion seeds

Aeroplane food (I’m probably in the minority here!)

Blowing bubbles

Blowing bubbles

Chopping things in a food processor

The Volvo adverts on the radio with the Scandinavian guy who says “you Brits love a pairing”

Tropical fish tanks

Paddling in the sea

The singing moose at the German Christmas market

Chris Moose Birmingham Christmas Market

The sizzle when you add stir fry vegetables into a hot wok

Wearing bright lipstick

Staying in a caravan

Being by the sea

Keema naan dipped in madras sauce

Exploring castle ruins

Caernarfon castle

Candles

Eating outside

Writing

My zebra print slanket (blanket with sleeves)

Slicing a kiwi fruit open and seeing how pretty it is inside

My bed

Being in North Wales (specifically Betws-y-Coed)

Picking wisely from a menu when we go out to eat

Watching Benidorm

Benidorm

Watching Pretty Woman

Putting Haribo rings on my fingers

Fairy lights

Fairy lights

Open fires

My favourite place in mainland Greece

Stoupa beach

Squirty cream

The glug sound that you get when you first pour a glass of wine (which also means I’m getting wine, two favourite things for the price of one!)

What are your 50 favourite things? I’d love to read them (because I’m nosy!) Be sure to tag me in your posts so I can see them.

0

My weekend in pictures

I’ve had a stunning weekend of doing very little. Weekends like that are few and far between – we seem to have so much on this year. We were supposed to be out for a birthday on Saturday night but we were both feeling pretty burnt out from work and family stuff and just life so we made the decision to stay home for some much needed R&R. It was a good decision.

Here’s a pictorial round up!

Baked lamb with potatoes and stilton – I’ll post up a recipe for this, it’s so so good.

Baked lamb with stilton and potatoes

Breakfast on the balcony

Breakfast on the balcony

Enjoying the view

Balcony view

Reading chick lit in the sunshine

Reading on the balcony

Still on the balcony, even in the dark, just add hoodie and burner!

Balcony by night

Popping to the local shops, wearing straw and stripes

Me in straw hat and stripes

Owl spotting – check out the Big Hoot (most of the owls are in the city centre and I haven’t had chance to get there yet but there are the odd few dotted around on the outskirts, these are in Kings Heath).

The Big Hoot Owl and the Pussycat

The Big Hoot Owl of Athena

The Big Hoot owl selfie The Big Hoot Athena owl selfie

Sunday papers (yes I read the tabloids, no I’m not sorry – it’s all about trash and escapism at the weekend!)

Sunday papers

Pruning my bushes (fnar!) – a bit of a tidy up of my balcony pots which I’ve shamefully neglected somewhat this year

Watering can and gardening tools

Pink petunias

Purple balcony flowers

Sunday roast – one of my favourite meals to cook

Sunday roast

Strawberries and cream!

Strawberries and cream

0

Officially unemployed

Today, after 3 weeks of “consultation”, I’ve been officially made redundant. I feel relieved, resentful, angry, frustrated, elated, exhausted, mentally weak, mentally strong, excited, scared, hopeful. So many mixed emotions. Even though I’ve known it was coming since the end of last month, it’s still an odd sensation. Not that I was hoping the company would change their mind – indeed I’d have been disappointed if they had – but even when you’re content with a turn of events, its still an upheaval.

The sun is shining and I can see the rudiments of spring on my balcony. It feels like a sign.

Hyancinths ready to flower / a cute pansy face popping out from the undergrowth

2 year old snap dragon which keeps fighting back / spring berries

New shoots on my strawberry plants / pretty blossom tree

<<end of Spring watch!!>>

0