Thank you Mrs R at My Life After Logan for the nomination for this.
I did promise myself when I started my blog that I’d keep it ‘pure’ and simple, with EVERY post being related to something my son has said. It didn’t take me long to get sucked in, did it? But maybe it is about time I wrote a bit about myself for a change.
Happiness makes the world go round and I have really enjoyed reading about what makes other bloggers smile. So here is my list:
My Happiness List
1. My amazing hubby. He rocks my world, and is my rock. I’d be in a constant tizz if it wasn’t for his calming influence and constant love and support.
2. My gorgeous kiddiwinks. Especially my boy’s constant chatter (the inspiration for my blog) and my baby girl’s peachy lips, smile and cute coos.
3. My cat. Poor Miro – he has been rather relegated to the bottom of the pile of late in our hectic family life, but I love him so much. He is so handsome and affectionate.
4. Family in general. You can’t choose them, but I am very fortunate in this department and love my family dearly. The relationship my Mum has with The Boy melts my heart (she looks after him two days a week) and my little nephews Oscar and Rowan are a delight. I am also lucky enough to have acquired in-laws who I love spending time with.
5. Family days out. Particularly if a) It doesn’t rain; b) The Boy behaves and enjoys himself and c) Pipsqueak naps and eats something.
6. Spending time with good friends. I am blessed to have many good friends in my life, old and new. As family life ‘takes over’, I know that they are always there for me. When we do spend time together it is precious.
7. Me time. By this, I mean the new luxury (time out from the children), but also just being alone. I quite enjoy my own company and have never, ever experienced boredom when on my own.
8. My morning cuppa. Put it this way, I am not happy without it!
9. Baby yoga. The highlight of my week during this maternity leave has to be the Bibble & Bubble baby yoga class that I attend with my now 6 month-old. Life with a baby and toddler is so busy, but this is an hour where I can completely relax and focus on my baby.
10. Seeing children learn and discover. This is the reason why I became a teacher. And now I am relishing seeing my own children develop and learn. Bliss.
11. The Great Outdoors. It is just such a spirit-lifter and Mother Nature never ceases to amaze and inspire me. It saddens me so much to know that we are slowly destroying our beautiful planet.
12. Fresh air. As above. Preferably administered in big, restorative gulps.
13. Spring and Autumn. When it is sunny but crisp/fresh (i.e. no sweaty upper lip but all the feel-good vibes).
14. Tulips and daffodils. So colourful.
15. Birdsong. But not birds per se. In fact, I am terrified of pigeons and seagulls.
16. The seaside. (Seagulls aside). I love the sound of the sea, collecting shells, building sandcastles and, of course, ice cream.
17. A good stomp up a mountain. My favourite thing to do pre-sprogs was to head out, often alone, find a hill and hike up it. I still do it when I can. It makes me feel so alive: muscles and lungs burning, the sense of achievement and the ultimate reward of the view from the ‘top of the world’.
18. An exploratory cycle. I’ve loved cycling since I could pedal. I have such fond memories of being out and about with my brother and school friends, exploring the roads and tracks around where we grew up. I haven’t done much cycling since The Boy arrived. We have got him a seat, but then I fell pregnant again. I’m really looking forward to the summer when we’ll get Pipsqueak on the back of mine and head out as a family.
19. Swimming. This, for me, is the ultimate way to keep fit. I love a bit of front crawl and can get a bit competitive in the lanes if the truth be told!
20. Colour and pattern. As my current blog theme suggests, I love a bit of brightness in my life!
21. Orla Kiely. Her use of colour and pattern is right up my street.
22. Creative interiors. My mood is really affected by my surroundings and I love to be in a creative space. I am really enjoying the current trend of up-cycling and wish I could find the time to indulge!
23. Textiles. Cushions. I do love a cushion. Especially with a bit of appliqué or an interesting pattern. Ooh and buttons.
24. Notebooks & journals. I have quite a collection. I have a whole series documenting my travels when I was in my mid twenties. They are in the loft at the moment but I look forward to reading them back. I have several filled with notes about my babies. And still more where I note ‘ideas’ – for the books I will one day write, the small businesses I have thought about starting up, craft ideas. Maybe, just maybe one day I’ll have the time to work on some of these!
25. Talented friends. I have several friends who are super-talented and I am a big fan and supporter of each of them. Special mentions go to:
– My colleague Jon Senior of 60ft Chicken (@60ftchicken), a band of self-taught musicians and singers who played at our wedding and had every single guest on their feet dancing;
– My colleague Hannah Ross of Little Black Dress (@LBD_Southampton), one half of an uber talented singing duo who are a must-see if you are based on the South Coast.
– My little cousin Daisy Farris, who has set up her own dance collective and has impressed me with her passion and hard work.
– My old school friend Leigh Hodgkinson (@hoonbutton and @TheWonkybutton) who is a successful children’s book author and illustrator, maker of lovely things and all-round very clever creative who must never sleep.
– Another school friend Lisa Good AKA Chocamama, who makes delicious homemade chocolates from her kitchen.
Whoops – a long entry, but they deserve it!
26. Chocolate. In particular, Minstrels. My son now points to these and calls out ‘Mummy chocolate’ whenever he sees them in a shop!
27. My man’s cooking. Especially his lasagne.
28. Prosecco. There’s something so decadent about a glass of fizz.
29. Strawberries. They make fruit worth eating. Also good with chocolate/prosecco.
30. Coffee shops and wine bars. For the coffee and wine they sell, and for the atmosphere. I spent a lot of time in my twenties visiting friends in London. My ‘young, free and single’ days! Whenever I visit a trendy coffee shop or wine bar it reminds me of these happy times.
31. People-watching. I’m nosey. I just can’t help it. I just hope I’m more subtle when doing it than my mother is!
32. Cornwall. I am so glad our parents took us holidaying in this county when we were young. The coastline is stunning with its rugged rocks, sandy coves and rock pools.
33. Thailand. This is such a special place to me. I’ve been several times: with friends; on my own when travelling; to meet my now husband (and decide that our future was together!) when he was living in New Zealand; and twice since then with him. The Thais are so friendly, the scenery breathtaking, the food and accommodation so cheap and the massage out of this world.
34. Camping. I guess this links back to my love of the outdoors. I have now successfully persuaded Mr Don’t Say that this is a viable holidaying option, although only since we have kitted ourselves up with a super-sized tent, chairs and camp kitchen! I’m really looking forward to lots of camping adventures with my little family.
35. The smell of freshly cut grass. Lush.
36. Blue skies and cloud watching. The ultimate way to relax.
37. Trees. They are so beautiful. I always think about how old big trees are and what they must have ‘seen’ in their lifetime.
38. A long bath. Preferably listening to music or reading a book. Or (my new discovery) listening to an audio book – this way the pages don’t get soggy!
39. Candlelight. So romantic and cosy. Back to basics.
40. Clean bed linen. And the smell of freshly washed clothes generally.
41. Origins ginger body lotion. In fact the whole Origins range. And Sanctuary. That fragrance transports me straight back to South Africa where I was when I first used Sanctuary shower gel.
42. Music. I used to spend a fortune on CDs and listened to music all the time when I lived alone. Somehow, this habit has got dropped in the busyness of family life. Note to self: play more music!
43. A good book. Getting lost in another world – I love that this can happen through simply reading words.
44. Hugs. ‘Hugs and snuggles’ as The Boy calls them.
45. Memories (good ones) and dreams. Definite smile-worthy material.
46. Photographs. Photographs are so important to me, especially as I have such a terrible long-term memory. I love capturing special moments or beautiful things and being able to look at them again and re-live them whenever I please.
47. Celebrations. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Christmas. All excuses to party. All make me happy.
48. New clothes. Anyone who knows me knows that I love clothes. I am a White Stuff addict! This is an addiction I have had to seriously curb since having children due to a lack of funds.
49. A new haircut/colour. Incidentally, my hair is not red in real life: I applied a pop art filter to my blog photo.
50. New adventures. Travelling, living, working. I am not one for standing still for too long and I embrace new challenges and experiences. Blogging is my latest adventure, and so far I’m loving it.
Wow. This is my longest blog post to date. And I dare to call my toddler egocentric!
I now nominate: