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)


Swallow Falls



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




Watching 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


Eating outside


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


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.

Waterfalls, forests, rivers and lakes – we’re not in Birmingham anymore Toto

One of the attractions of going to North Wales is, without doubt, the scenery. Stunning views wherever you look; the contrast between dense forests and sparse mountains, rivers that flow powerfully all year round due to the high rainfall (luckily only happened during the night while we were there, the weather was fantastic), lakes, bridges, waterfalls – it truly is a place of immense natural beauty.



I’m not much of an outdoorsy person – not that I don’t like being outdoors but there isn’t much outdoorsy stuff to do where we live and so we tend to spend our weekends going to the pub for lunch or chilling on the balcony. Certainly nothing particularly energetic. But just being surrounded by such beauty made us want to see and do as much as possible.

Swallow Falls

I can’t see a time when I will ever visit this part of the world and not go to see the Falls. They’re around 2 miles from the centre of Betws-y-Coed, right off the main road. We walked up, forgetting the incline and the heat before we started, it was harder work then we thought! £1.50 entrance and through a turnstile and you’d never believe that such a sight exists just metres from the road. The power of the water gushing down is immense.

Close up of Swallow Falls

Swallow Falls in full flow

There are various viewing points at differing heights. Nature at it’s best.

Me looking over Swallow Falls

Gwydyr Forest and Llyn Parc

There are lots of different signposted walks in and around Betsy, with colour coded signposts to keep you on track. Some of them can be combined into longer walks, or cut down into shorter ones. The landlady at our guesthouse recommended the yellow walk to us, which cuts up through the forest and across to Llyn Parc. The walk continues all the way around the lake and back down, but as we had other plans for the afternoon we decided to get as far as the lake and then come back down.

Maybe (probably) we’re naïve, but anything that’s described as “a walk” sounds pretty civilised. And yes, we knew we were going uphill so expected there to be some level of energy needed, but we weren’t quite prepared for just how hard going it would be, at times. There was no path, fallen trees and boulders along the route.


On the ascent we were right in the middle of the forest, no-one around, sheer drops off the side of the hill and 30 meter tall trees surrounding us. Oh, and no phone signal! We were walking 50 metres and stopping to rest our burning lungs! Us city types, eh! But we powered on, and at times found ourselves on an actual path which levelled and widened out and we were treated to hedgerows of bracken and foxgloves, with butterflies flitting in and out of the undergrowth and birdsong all around us. The isolation and sense of achievement was fabulous.

The walk back down was easier, although still treacherous in spots.

Gwydyr forest path walk Betws y Coed

This house is literally in the middle of nowhere. It has no electricity. Sanitation comes from collected rainwater. Incredibly it’s a holiday home! I like getting away from it all, but that’s just too much.

We could hear the waterfall through the trees way before we reached it. It started from a little babbling brook.
Pretty freaked out by what looks like a dungeon built into the rock!
Hidden hidey house Gwydyr Forest Betws y Coed
This weather worn rock looks like a face.
Rock looks like a face Gwydyr Forest Betws y Coed

Back in civilisation (!!) our wanderlust was well and truly awoken and we couldn’t wait to see more.

Pont-y-Pair bridge and the River Llugwy

The bridge in the middle of the village is a big attraction, with people always to be found looking down to the river and the rocks below.

Pont Y Pair bridge Betws y Coed

Rocks off Pont Y Pair bridge Betws y Coed

Again you’re struck by the sheer power of the water. Over the bridge and at the side of the river there are picnic tables and you can walk upstream, along the side of the river, back up towards Swallow Falls (I think you can walk all the way along, but it gets rather gnarly underfoot the further you go, and we’d already been to the Falls the day before anyway).

The river is very shallow in places and my feet were burning from the walk, so I had a cheeky paddle!

Paddling in the River Llugwy Betws y Coed

You can see a wizened old face in this uprooted tree.

Face in uprooted tree Betws y Coed

Llyn Elsi

The landlady suggested we do this in the afternoon, after the Gwydyr Forest mountain hike (I swear it wasn’t a “walk”) so again we assumed it would be easy. Wrong! The path was clear and well established, so we weren’t negotiating tree routes and forest growth but it was bloody steep. The type of steep that burns your calves. At times I was holding onto trees purely to stop myself from sitting down and not getting back up.

Gwydyr forest path Betws y Coed

We were both puffing, red faced and sweaty, but kept going thinking that the lake must be just around the corner. When we finally reached the top I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to see an expanse of water!

Buoyed (geddit?) by our perseverance we decided that we would walk all the way around the lake as well. The  guide book said it was mainly flat. The guide book lied. Still, we powered on, resplendent in our newly found status as true mountaineers. The views were fantastic.

Husband’s phone pedometer recorded an amazing 11 miles walked in one day! Not bad for someone who jumps in the car to pop to the local shop for milk.

Well earned glass of wine Betws y Coed

It’s fair to say I’d earned the glass of wine (or two!) I rewarded myself with at the end!