April · Children · food diary · friends · Healthy eating · Looking back · making memories · Parenting · positive thinking · Thankful · Uncategorized

7 things that made me happy week 14!

 

Hi everyone, well it seems this week has flown by and it has been overall a great one with lots to feel happy about. Here are my 7 things that have made me happy this week;

  1. A great Saturday night spend at a friends house eating pizza while the kids played outside. This was such a nice evening, we managed a fair amount of actual conversation before the kids got bored and wanted us to play with them and it really was great to catch up. 20180421_191821108984665.jpg

2. Cooking healthy food. This week even more so I have really focused on healthy eating in our house. With Scott training for a marathon and just a month until we go away on holiday we could all do with cutting out the sweet treats and focusing on healthier living. This week I tried a recipe from a great blog tweedandthebeard of prawn, veggie and egg rice with chilli flakes and soy sauce. It was so quick and easy to make and I managed to prep lots for the freezer too and with the most expensive ingredient being the prawns this is a real budget friendly meal! I have also introduced Rye bread into our diet because I had heard it has great health benefits such as extra fibre and doesn’t bloat you like regular bread can. I have found it a taste that has grown on me and after making Scott toasted Rye bread with quark, chopped banana and cinnamon I think he has come around to it too. The sunshine also re-ignited my love for salads and I have made us a couple this week with eggs for extra protein.

 

3. Spa day! For Christmas my best friend and I decided to buy each other a spa day voucher and this week we got to use it! With it being at a local gym we started the day off with a 30 minute workout before using the sauna and Jacuzzi before our treatments of a mini back massage and facial. Afterwards we picked T up from school and went to watch her ride before having a film evening in together. It was so nice for us to spend the day together and T really enjoyed the time too.

4. Tiana received an honours award at school! Throughout the year 10 honours awards are given in each class at school. The school call you up and tell you that your child has been selected for one and the assembly is the following week, you are not to mention anything to your child as all the parents of the children receiving awards enter the assembly together while the children are singing. If the child spots their parents they know they are getting an award. The excitement nearly kills us when this happens and we all say bye to T, have a nice day, see you later, the usual, then walk round to the school reception where we wait to go in. The awards are given for all different subjects and this one was for concentration. The children one by one are called to the front of the hall where they are given a sticker and a certificate and a hand shake from the head teacher. Their teacher then proceeds to read out a paragraph explaining the reasons they have been given this award. It really was a great assembly and T was so happy to be up there, very proud parent day!20180427_0939241674965484.jpg

5. A long overdue catch up with a friend. Sometimes life just takes over, its no ones fault, people are busy, things like moving house, stress at work and changing jobs mean there is little time for socialising and so it happens that months pass before you see each other again. T actually really started to miss Kali and Kaleb, my friends two children and so it was really great to see them again. We were lucky to become Guideparents to Kaleb last year and so we know that he will always be a part of our lives, more so if T had her way as she wanted to take him home!20180428_1139271043211323.jpg

6. Cheese and Prosecco evening! This evening at my friends house had been planned for a little while and turned out to be a lot of fun. We were treated to ham, olives, peppers, tomatoes and so many different types of cheeses! After a fair few glasses we ended up giggling the evening away. An extra workout and a 2 mile walk today and I’m feeling the cheese may be a small way to being being burned off!

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7. Flowers. Scott surprised T and I with flowers this week and these are mine. I think they look so pretty in one of the jugs we used on our wedding day.

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I hope you have had a great week, thank you for reading,

Lou x

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April · Cockapoo · Family · Husband · lucky · making memories · Marriage · Parenting · positive thinking · reflection · step parenting · Thankful · Uncategorized

7 things that made me happy week 12

1. Cooking for my Nan. My Nan has lived on her own a long time and doesn’t have anyone cook for her much so I was really pleased to be able to make dinner and get all tidied up without her having to do anything.

Here is the chicken, garlic and thyme traybake I made with squash, tomatoes and new potatoes. Served with soft fresh bread it was so tasty!

2. Seeing the bond between these two. T and Poppy are best friends. They adore each other unconditionally and there is nothing that could replace this bond. T won’t ever have a brother or sister so she treats Poppy very much like a baby at times cuddling her and carrying her around but she has also had a big part to play in her training and is great at telling Poppy what to do, I don’t know where she gets that from! The responsibility of having a pet is something I am so glad we have been able to give T and she has developed this and not only has a dog but also a companion for many years to come.

3. Watching T and Scott’s together. T is very much a Mummy’s girl but if we have a week off she will often end up a lot closer to Scott by the end of the week. This week has been no different. Yesterday Scott bathed her and washed and dried her hair while showing her how to use her new snorkel in preparation for holiday and I washed my car. They were completely fine without me and got all cuddled up together on the sofa watching tv in the evening. I love their bond and feel blessed they have been able to get so close up until now. Here is a photo of them back in 2014.

4. Spending time with my Nan. It’s no secret I’m not close to my Mum and often think of my Nan more as my Mum. I ring my Nan a couple of times a week,She’s the one I text if anything is wrong or one of us has had an achievement. She is a massive part of our lives and knows what we are all doing because she involves her self. The only thing is she lives 2 hours away so we don’t see her anywhere near as much as we would like. I often envy Scott being able to go and see his parents on a day off as I would love to just pop to see my Nan but have to make do with video calls. Spending these few days with her was really great and I now can’t wait to take her on holiday with us in June.

5. Feeling closer as a couple. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this but life is busy, tiring, stressful and sometimes hard work. We all need time away to unwind, relax and remember why we chose to spend the rest of our lives together in the first place. Having this time together makes us feel more connected because there is no rush to get things done before going to bed early to get up for work, we can take the time to just enjoy being together as a family and as a couple. Things are so often all about being parents that it’s hard to make time to appreciate each other but this is important. Just for a few days to put aside all the stress makes the world of difference and before you know it you have fallen in love all over again.

6. T’s innocent and funny little mind. A few days ago we were all watching TV and someone said ‘if there is something you want to do you should just go and do it, don’t let anyone stand in your way’, She sat up and said ‘ Well that’s not right because I want to be a unicorn but I can’t can I!’ 😂

Yesterday she was eating breakfast when she dropped her toast in her beans and just said ‘faceplant!’ 😄 I didn’t even know she knew that word.

7. Attending a Christening. Today was our friends little girls Christening and it was a lovely little ceremony. T loves Sienna to bits and enjoyed giving her a little cuddle afterwards. It was really nice to see so many people showing love towards this little girl and I was very impressed with how brave she was when the water ran down her head during the ceremony! I always get a feeling of security after a Christening, It’s like you know that little person will be alright now, They have Godparents to help guide them through life too.

This is one of the reasons I decided to give T Godparents even though she wasn’t Christened. It’s nice to know she has people in her life who she can turn to should she need them that aren’t her parents.

T and Sienna

I would love to hear something that has made you happy over the last week, looking past the obvious usually makes me realise there is so much more to be happy about than you first think.

Thanks for reading

Lou x

Adult braces · aniexty · April · Birthday · family time · friends · homemade · Husband · Long distance families · making memories · Marriage · Parenting · reflection · Uncategorized

9 things you didn’t know about my weekend

1. It was Scott’s birthday yesterday 😊 Me being me we had his presents bought several weeks ago and wrapped two weeks ago. Along with some clothes we got him a mug with Tiana’s hand print on, me and a few family members have had these since she was tiny and It felt really special to get him one. We also did a cookie jar where her hand prints made all 4 of us into elephants and Poppy a dog 😄

2. I have been to bed at 9pm the last two nights in a row. Not only have I been super tired due to a few awful nights sleep but the golf has been on so Scott has been left to watch it on his own until midnight! (Sorry any golf fans, It’s just not my thing!)

3. Saturday T and I went to our friends where we did arts and crafts and made cornflake cakes. We had a great afternoon.

4. I replaced the Christmas tree T got from father Christmas last year, I left it too long before planting it and it died, bad Mummy. She also got 3 free bunches of daffodils as it was in a layby local to us and towards the end of the day, She was so pleased and they are sitting on her desk in a jar.

5. My braces have been cutting into my mouth all weekend and every morning I wake up I pop my cheeks off the wires, ouch indeed. It’s crazy how I can go weeks without any pain then wake up one morning covered in sores and lumps before it all disappears again about a week or two later.

6. My Mum travelled to see my brother in Japan yesterday. He is there for a year at uni as he is studying Japanese. The only reason I know she went yesterday was because of Facebook. We haven’t spoken in months and haven’t text in weeks and even when we did she never mentioned she was going I found out from family. This is just the way things are with my Mum, I haven’t seen her since Christmas and I only live an hour away. It’s something that bothers me deep down but mostly I try to forget about it. I just know when T is older I will be on the phone all the time and will never go months without seeing her of my own choosing.

7. Yesterday we spent a couple of hours with my best friend and her partner at a bar we haven’t been to before. It was really nice just chatting and catching up because we don’t see the both of them that much since they live an hour away and both lead really busy lives.

Apart from a minor meltdown on the way to the bar because I knew one way to go and was happy to drive because I knew the way then Scott suddenly telling me to go a different way- I am not a confident driver and if I don’t know the way I generally don’t drive somewhere. I also don’t deal with change well at all, if things aren’t planned to perfection I get panicky and last minute changes really stress me out. Anyway we sorted it out and got there fine and had a really nice time.

8. I was really happy Scott’s son took the time to message him and post a picture of them both as he is on holiday with his girlfriend at the moment and is your typical 18 year old with keeping in touch usually. Scott was thrilled and it meant a lot.

9. Yesterday marked the start of our week off as a family. Ok we only spent a couple of hours together just us three but the main thing was Scott had a great day. Now I’m looking forward to having a week where we actually spend some time together. It’s been tough on us over the last couple of weeks with Scott working every day of the Easter bank holidays and I worked his day off in the week this week as extra. It’s ok to say it was worth the money which it was but it always takes it’s toll on us and really towards the end of a period like this we end up distant and unappreciating of each other. Anyway we have recognised this and it’s clear this week could not have come at a better time. T has been all over Scott the last day or so having hardly seen him so it’s clear she is going to enjoy this week just as much as us.

Anyway guys thanks for reading all that and I hope you had a great weekend!

Lou x

Children · Friendship · happy · love on the rocks · making memories · March · positive thinking · Uncategorized

7 things that made me happy week 9!

1. Hiding love rocks with these two. Sunday was bitter cold, There was snow on the ground and after playing inside for a few hours these two were desperate to walk Poppy so off we went and hid a few love rocks we had collected over the last few weeks. Even though it was freezing the girls had fun hiding the rocks and posting clues online so they could be found.

2. T going off on her first residential super happy and excited. Not only did she go off excited she came back having had a brilliant time! She has memories she will treasure forever and took part in some great outdoor activities along with filming in their little film studio. Apart from being completely shattered she loved it and so I’m so happy she had the chance to do it.

3. Playing monopoly. What’s the best way to cheer yourself up when you are missing your little person? Monopoly of course! Just because Scott beats me every time we play scrabble it doesn’t mean he is going to beat me at this right? Wrong! Turns out I’m no property tycoon and end up winging my way through each round but still losing in a big way! What a giggle though.

4. A mini spa day! Friday my sister in law and I went for a spa treatment at a local spa. We both had vouchers to use and it was such a lovely morning finished by a spot of lunch at the nearby pub it was a perfect way to spend a Friday morning and I would like to do it every Friday please! 😁

5. Finding a bargain body warmer for T. I always like to get T a little present for Easter rather than a really expensive Easter egg and this year in particular I thought she deserved something nice after our 40 acts of kindness are drawing to a close. She’s been after a bodywarmer for a while and after searching around a whole load of shops I finally found one for a bargain price and I’m thrilled to bits with it. I can’t wait to give it to her next Sunday now.

6. Booking in lots of dates with my best friend. Now my best friend, who is probably reading this, is ditzy to say the least. The last two dates we have said we will visit her she has double booked us and cancelled and with her living 1 hour away now we don’t see each other anywhere near as much as we used to. Last night we actually booked in more than one date where we have plans together and with T also which is great as she is T’s godmother and T loves spending time with her. Now I’m not holding out much hope that all of them will happen but I’m hoping for at least 2 out of 3 so fingers crossed! 😂


7. A coffee date with a friend. This morning I met up with a friend for coffee at a new Costa near us. It was great to chat and enjoy a vanilla latte for an hour or so and the amount of sugar in the coffee gave me enough energy to come home and walk Poppy for 3 miles! 😂

I hope you have all had a great week and I’d love to hear what you have got upto!

Thanks for reading,

Lou x

Children · Family · family time · feeling proud · food diary · happy · Healthy eating · Kindness · Lent · making memories · March · positive thinking · Random Acts of Kindness · Uncategorized

7 weeks of 7 things that made me happy!

So I’ve been appreciating the little things in life, for 7 weeks now! I know we all appreciate little things but writing this weekly post really helps me focus on the great things I have going on when I’m feeling flat or lonely. It’s just my little way of telling myself, and you guys, what how much little things can make you happy and how often spending money has very little to do with happiness.

1. Date day! Saturday we had the day together so we decided to do something completely out of character and walked to the local pub for lunch! We had such a nice time once we had walked to through the snowy woods, which was actually really pretty, to get there and enjoyed ourselves so much that with no deadlines and no T we decided to walk to the next one! It was like we were on a real date and was so fun 😊 Two alcoholic drinks before 5pm is only ever a thing on Christmas day in this house! Sometimes you just need to let your hair down, remember we only live once and play some scrabble!

2. Being a proud Mumma/Wife! Sunday T took Grade 1 ballet and Scott ran a half marathon. They both did so well and I spent the day being super proud.

3. T playing with her cousin. Sunday at Scott’s parents a few people decided to go for a walk to the nearby lake but T hadn’t brought a coat as I didn’t think we would be going anywhere so we stayed behind and she played with her little cousin Millie who is nearly 4. They built this tower and were very pleased with themselves.

4. Healthy eating. This was dinner Monday night, paprika chicken with jacket sweet potato and sweet corn and olives. It was so tasty and we all really enjoyed it. There have been a few meals this week where we have all said ‘that was a really healthy dinner!’ But so as not to bore you here is proof that we do have treats also with our breakfast one day this week of waffles with fruit and honey!

5. 40 Random Acts of Kindness. We are still enjoying this challenge so much and at the end of this week have undertaken two acts that I think have to top the list by far! One T and I completed together and one Scott did on his own. I will keep you guessing until my update next week but they have to be the most proud we have been so far in this challenge and will make the biggest impact for sure.

6. Wildlife! Ok so that might sound a little strange but today has just been a day for it,we have today been able to sit in our conservatory again thanks to the warmer weather and so have seen bluetits and a robin feeding from our bird feeders which is so lovely. Then this morning just pulling out of our road a small deer ran across in front of us and this afternoon driving home I saw another deer feeding next to a different road! I really do feel so lucky to see these rare little creatures and love living so close to the local country park. Here is a little squirrel having a nibble on the bird food!

7. Watching the six nations rugby with T! This weekend we got T back early because she wanted to watch the rugby with us so we got set up with crisps, drinks and even some Twirl bites which T let us have one each every time Ireland got a try! 😄 It was great fun cheering on Ireland with her.

Have a great weekend everyone, thanks for reading!

Lou x

feeling proud · happy · kids activities · Kindness · Lent · making memories · March · positive thinking · Random Acts of Kindness · Spread It · Uncategorized

40 Random Acts of Kindness- still giving!

Another week down in the 40 Random Acts of Kindness we are doing for lent this year and here is an update on what we have got up to! I’ve also added some acts of kindness that we have had done to us this week at the bottom!

18.Talk to the check out worker about his day.
So I actually made the effort and asked him how his day was! Don’t get me wrong I would normally say ‘Hi but to actually have a full blown conversation about the snow and how he was felt a little strange. I hope he left feeling it was nice to have someone make an effort for once.

19. Make hot chocolate for your family on a cold day. So with the ‘Beast from the East’ bringing us a lot of snow last week we had plenty of cold days to choose from but we chose Sunday for this treat. Yes it was as good as it looked 😊


20. Leave a loving post it note in your partner’s car. Monday T left this cute note in Scott’s car so when he went out to help his Dad with his Nans garden he saw it. He was really pleased 😊


21. Do not complain today!! Now I’m going to admit this was a toughie! All you have to do is say ‘phew I’m tired’ or ‘Wow it’s cold outside’ and you have failed! By the end of the day I had turned it into being maybe a teeny bit sarcastic with Scott and T and T found it hilarious. Scott on the other hand was not so pleased at me saying ‘I know I asked you to take the bin out last night but I know you must have been so tired from work and this morning you probably just forgot because you get up so early so if you could possibly manage it now I would be so greatful my darling husband’ 😉 I don’t think we realise just how much we love a good moan! Maybe it’s just us Brits or maybe it’s the same worldwide but I did find this one hard.

22. Make gifts for your neighbours. Tuesday morning we left these cute little parcels on our neighbours door steps. We knew one would be found during the day and another was slightly more hidden so it hopefully stayed safe until the evening. T loved making and hiding these.


23. Tell others you are spreading kindness and encourage them to do the same. Today I received my bracelet from Spread It. I found these guys on Instagram a few weeks ago and they share stories that just make you happy and have a motto of ‘Be Kind, Do Good, Show Love!’ They have a small range of merchandise and I got sent a bracelet which I love and as well as sharing it on my Instagram I’m going to tell everyone that asks about it. 😊

Acts of Kindness towards us!

  • So this week so far I have had an elderly man let me go ahead of him in the shop as I only wanted one thing, I said thank you and as I left told him to have a good day!
  • Yesterday 4 more books were left in our community library that we set up in a little shed next to our house at the start of our acts of kindness! I’m so happy people have taken to the idea and I’m fast collecting plenty of reading material!
  • T made something secret for me at her after school club and when she went to collect it to take it home she found another child had taken hers home! The after school club were so great they actually rang the parent of the child and it was brought back into school the next day! 😊

Anything you can do to help someone, however big or small can make a difference,imagine if everyone did just one thing today how much happier everyone would be!

Give it a go, Make someone smile! 😁

Lou x

Book fairies · challenge · Childhood · family time · February · feeling proud · Friendship · Kindness · Lent · making memories · mood · Parenting · positive thinking · Random Acts of Kindness · Uncategorized

7 things week 4

This week started really well but with a little dip in my mood smack bang in the middle I’ve had to work hard to pull myself around, although it might not look like I’m working hard on the outside I promise you I am trying Mr M.

So here are my 7 things that have made me happy this week, it’s weeks like this I need to focus on this list even more!

1. Pancake day! As is tradition in our house we had nothing but pancakes lemon and sugar for dinner on this day and finished up with tummy aches vowing to not eat another pancake for 12 months! I was super proud of the pancakes I managed to flip and only a small amount escaped the pan and was eaten by Poppy!

2. New water bottles! So I am really awful at keeping hydrated, some days I can go all day and only drink about an inch of my water bottle! Recently my work colleagues have been reminding me to drink and I’ve been doing much better but still no where near as good as them. Tuesday Scott came home with a new water bottle and travel mug for us both! There is no way of escaping how much I’ve drank with this bottle and even though it is a lot bigger than my old one I love the design and vow to one day finish the whole thing!

3. Valentines Day– so we did cards Tuesday evening as T isn’t here on a Wednesday and I was so lucky to have not just a handmade card from T and a card from Scott but also a cute little woollen heart she had made for me at holiday club! I got them both a little chocolate cake and decorated the plates with hearts left over from our wedding day. It was a lovely evening.

4. I got 1000 likes on my blog! When I started this blog in Oct 2016 I wondered if anyone would even read it so to think people have pressed that like button 1000 times is really quite something and made me really happy 😊

5. I became a book fairy! So while searching online for a book club or something similar I came across The Book Fairies. They are a worldwide group that spreads the love of reading by leaving free books for people to read and pass on! You simply sign up on their website and order some stickers for your books then share your book drops on social media. My stickers came on Thursday and it made me really excited to start!

6. We started on our 40 Random Acts of Kindness! So far we have donated 2 games to holiday club, left a love rock in the swimming pool changing rooms, left a note on a random car and today I set up the shed library for my street! It’s really felt great to do and T has enjoyed it too, I’m looking forward to seeing how it works with us being back at school and work next week.

7. Flowers from my best friend. Friday night she came to watch T ride then we had a night in and I cooked us chili while we sat and caught up on each other’s lives. She brought me and T flowers to cheer me up after reading my previous post which really made me smile. The card is one T made at a little club we went to with our friends this week, I thought it went well on the window.

8. I know it says 7 but this week there are 8 and hey it’s my blog so I make no apologies 😋 Date day– Scott and I went to the cinema to watch the Greatest Showman! Wow what an amazing film! We both loved it from start to finish, the soundtrack is amazing, the storyline, even though at times you can tell what is going to happen it doesn’t matter because it’s a story of how love and friendship is all you need and in the end how everything you need is usually right in front of you. If you haven’t seen it I completely recommend you do because you cannot leave that theatre in a bad mood, it’s just impossible!

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend, thanks for reading,

Lou x

challenge · Children · February · fun activities · homemade · kids activities · Kindness · Lent · love on the rocks · making memories · Parenting · positive thinking · Random Acts of Kindness · Uncategorized

40 Random Acts of Kindness in 40 Days

So it’s with thanks to fatdormouse that I can say that T and I are going to complete 40 Random Acts of kindness for the 40 days of lent!

We have decided to write our own ideas down so we could choose between things that cost money and things that don’t, things that take time or can be done without any prior planning and things that can only be done on a weekend compared to those we can execute on a work/school day.

These acts can be done by either me, T or both. Scott will also take part but mostly on his days off because of his hectic job he doesn’t have a lot of free time at work to execute some of these plans but I’m hoping his running will mean random acts of kindness can be left in places me and T wouldn’t normally visit.

The idea of this is simply to spread a little happiness and show T that giving can be just as much fun as receiving. She has already had experience at this from when we got really intolove rocks last year. We made several of our own and left them out for people to find then also found a lot of other people’s rocks which we in turn re hid. She also loves giving presents to other people and expects nothing in return so I’m hoping she will get just as much satisfaction from this too.

This is something we are doing on our own as far as I’m aware so I’m not expecting any random acts of kindness back but if we happen to encounter one along our way I know it would make T’s day. If we don’t I’ll be sure to remind her she has made 40 other people happy with her little acts, even if some of them were members of her family, and I’ll be sure to get her a little treat for Easter.

So our acts of kindness start on Wednesday and each one will have a small card left with it to clarify it is a gift meant to be taken and not something left by mistake. This is going to push my comfort boundaries greatly, I am really quite a quiet person around people I don’t know and so is T, some of these acts will involve me talking to strangers, neighbours I’ve only smiled at before or people I’ve never seen before in my life! I can only hope it improves my confidence and shows T that speaking to new people and spreading kindness can only be a good thing!

Wish us luck on our challenge and I’ll keep you updated!

Lou x

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Our random acts of kindness prep so far, the little boxes are for gifts to be left in.
Children · February · hobbies · horse riding · Husband · Hygge · kids activities · Lykke · making memories · Marriage · Parenting · positive thinking · reflection · thoughtful · Uncategorized

7 things – Week 3

Wow where did this week go! I feel like it’s passed in a week of work and workouts with some quality time squeezed in too. I hope you have all had a great week, now I have time for my blog here are my 7 happiest moments from the last 7 days. I would love to hear what has made you happy this week!

1. Meik Wiking the author of The Little Book of Lykke liked my tweet sharing my favourite parts of the book! I was thrilled to bits that he even noticed my little review let alone liked it 😁

2. Cooking healthy meals. Saturday I was on my own for dinner but made it a healthy one of grilled chicken, Jacket potato and salad.

3. Watching the six nations 2018. Ok so I’m not the most committed rugby fan in the world, I don’t keep up with the team changes, or watch local teams but I do love a good Six Nations! I support Ireland as my Grandfather was Irish and I picked up an Ireland rugby shirt about 10 years ago when I visited Dublin for the weekend. Scott jokes I’m only Irish when the rugby is on but T has now started following Ireland too which makes me happy 😊

4. Spending the morning with a friend talking about her wedding plans and making rocky road ready for T’s school bake sale. We had such a lovely morning eating crossaints, waffles and strawberries then catching up on her wedding prep, It was so nice to just hang out and chat about the weeks worries! The kids all had great fun mixing up the rocky road and squishing into dishes ready for the fridge too!

5. When the snow came down and T looked at it falling out of the window and said “wow it looks so beautiful like it’s just falling and making the world a better place!”

6. Date night. Wednesday I came home from work to candles, a fire, prosecco in the fridge and dinner cooked for me. It’s amazing what taking time to really appreciate each other even just for a few minutes every day can really do for a relationship. Once you take that leap to make the other person happy it’s like a domino effect, it just keeps happening back again and again and all of a sudden you are reminded of why you married each other.

7. A teacher training day for T. This meant a day off work, school and a day at home 😊 T had a friend round to play for a couple of hours in the morning then we popped to some shops for a little browse before I painted her nails for half term week and she had a riding lesson. It was a happy day, until she fell off her pony! Luckily she was fine and got right back on but we did have lots of lovely cuddles when we got home.

Depression · February · fun activities · goals · happy · Hygge · Lykke · making memories · Mental Health · mood · philosophy · positive thinking · thoughtful · Uncategorized

The Little Book of Lykke

I got this book and the first book of Meik Wiking’s “The Little book of Hygge” for Christmas and this week have finished the second book. This really is such a lovely little book which reminds us what is important to be happy and gives us an insight into how happiness is shown all around the world.

During the book he takes us on a treasure hunt to unlock the doors to the good life. From how we spend our precious time, to how we relate to our neighbours and cook dinner, he gathers evidence, stories and tips from the very happiest corners of the planet”

I’m going to share with you some of favourite parts of the book and what I’ve learnt from it.20180126_145933978707812.jpg

This is one of my favourite pages, I am a lover of social media to connect with family, with a sister in New York and a brother in Hong Kong not to mention family in 3 different counties in the UK it is simply the easiest way to share with them what we have been doing. Where my love ends is the endless stream of time wasting videos, the nonsense posts that friends of friends like that somehow end up clogging up your time line. Everyone has an opinion on social media, for some its about the amount of likes, shares, comments, others think its better not to post pictures of your children. Then there is the matter of how much we post, is twice a week too often? Which platform do we use? Is Instagram safer than Facebook because its private unless you accept the followers? Do people care how many years it was ago since they went for that picnic in the park? The amount of time spent on digital devices scrolling mindlessly through unimportant information really has risen to a crazy amount. But as you can see about its proven that people are happier when they don’t use Facebook!

I have now set myself a mental limit when on social media, if I don’t see something I want to connect with within about 10 seconds I close the app. I know scrolling mindlessly for half an hour won’t make me happy, it usually just makes me frustrated that I’ve just wasted all that time doing nothing when I could have been doing something.

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Another way to prevent yourself from being sucked in to the “time stealers” are to use apps like the “Freedom” app which prevent you from using the internet for a period of time. Next time you find yourself well and truly stuck to that screen just think what else you could be doing, do you have long enough to read a chapter of that book you have been meaning to read? Or even just a few pages? Could you fit in a few burpees, for those fitness lovers out there! Write a meal plan for the week? Or if you must scroll, let it be through something productive. Can you say after 2 hours of looking at your phone you have planned Valentines day or researched cheap home make over ideas rather than simply gone up 52 levels on your latest game.

In this book Meik Wiking goes on to say that the richest countries are not necessarily the happiest and that we often look for happiness in all the wrong places. He says “I have yet to discover a more powerful force to explain human happiness than the fulfilment of our longing for love, friendship and community. So, people want to belong but they are not exactly sure how to make it happen.”

Five ways to plant a community Meik gives are;

1. Create a directory for your street or stairway. Knock on your neighbours doors or post a sign up sheet in their letter box saying you are creating a directory for those little emergencies. Do people know a good plumber, electrician, handyman? Add some questions like would they like their dog walking once in a while or are you prepared to look after their garden while they are away for two weeks in the summer. Who knows how to change a tyre or who owns a sewing machine?

2. Establish a book lending cupboard. A simple way to start conversation in your community is to create a mini library built on the take one leave one book principle. The library doesn’t have to be anything fancy just a few shelves with a few different books available for those who fancy trying them. I have a shed next to my house which isn’t locked so this could be somewhere I could leave books for my street, I just need to clear it of all the junk first! This is definitely on my list of things to try though.

3. Use the soft edges. Front gardens and porches are called the soft edges. Few people would dare come into your kitchen but if you are in your front garden you are more likely to start a conversation with your neighbours. The more your get to know your neighbours names and their stories the more noise from them ceases to be annoying.

4. Build a community garden. Your home may not offer any soft edges but there may be a strip of land in your neighbourhood that could be used to create a small community garden, a time tested way for you to not only grow a bunch of veggies but also for you to bring a sense of community.

5. Start a tool sharing programme. The average power drill is used for only a few minutes per year so there is no need for us all to have one, the same with hammers, screwdrivers not to mention leaf blowers and ladders. This is another good excuse to get to know your neighbours.

Another great idea is volunteering, you may be passionate about politics or love the outdoors in the UK the website do-it.org lists more than a million options and enables more than 200,000 people to donate their time every month.

If that isn’t your thing what about random acts of kindness? Here are 5 ideas of things you could do that are guaranteed to lift your mood and that of the person on the receiving end;

1. Leave a gift on someones doorstep.

2. Learn the name of the person on the front desk or someone else you see every day and greet them by name.

3. Make two lunches and give one away.

4. Talk to the shy person who is by themselves at a party or at the office.

5. Give someone a genuine compliment. Right now.

These are all so easy to implement and i’m planning on trying as many as I can in the next week, I will let you know how they go.

Now for something that has been brought to our attention by the media throughout the last year and continues to be a much talked about subject as it should be. When is the last time you asked someone how they were and actually listened and cared about the answer? I’m not just talking about 20180126_2143122142971200.jpg

family but friends, colleagues, parents at the school gates. We are all in so much of a rush all of the time do we really even listen to each other much anymore? How many people do you know that you see on a daily basis and can say you know if they are ok or not? Mental health is still so often overlooked as a taboo subject and having worked with young people that had been through some extremely traumatic times I know that these experiences leave their mark and sometimes rear their head again later in life. The next time you hear someone is off work with depression instead of judging them think what circumstances could have brought this about. Is there anything you could do to help the next time you see them? Not everyone will want to talk about their problems openly but there is nothing wrong with them knowing that someone is there should they need it.

This book has really opened my eyes as to what can make you truly happy and how happiness can be found with what is around us and without many of the things people often associate with happiness in this modern world. Its a great read and has its place in my reading nook where my husband has actually started reading it and he is not a reader!

I’d love to hear what you think of it if you do decide to read it. 

Thanks for reading

Lou x