The little big things

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It is Sunday evening and I am soaking up the last few hours of my holiday before I return to work. I booked last week off with no plans, no actual holiday or destination to jet off to and no real reason for my work absence at all, expect to have some time to myself.

It has been the most joyous week.

I’ve written, read, eaten and done some wonderful things this past week and I’m really feeling refreshed and ready to get back into my routine. But before I do, I wanted to offer my own take on Emma’s “Small(ish) Things That Make Me Happier” which I just read and was the perfect little rounder-upper to my week off. (Is it just me who has to read something uplifting on a Sunday evening to set me off on the right foot?) So here’s my take on the small things which make happy.

  1. For starters, grooming. I’m sat here now in my dressing gown, tapping way on my laptop with freshly washed hair and that post-sunshine glow that I can actually feel. I’ve slathered on body oil and used a favourite face serum and I feel like a new woman. If I’m ever in a rut I will wash my hair. Call it cliche but I like the time in the shower to mull over any thoughts.

 

  1. Good coffee. If anyone who knows me will know, because seriously I will never not jump at the opportunity to mention it, I used to live in Spain and I grew very accustomed to a strong cup of coffee.

 

  1. Scrolling through my Twitter feed. Yes now and then you’ll stumble upon some idiot with 140 characters too many but mostly, my feed is full of wonderful writers and people I admire who share some amazing articles and often point me in the direction of someone new.

 

  1. Chatting to IRL friends online. I have one or two friends who I haven’t seen since University but I chat to them on a weekly basis online. I love the internet for how easy it is to keep connected (what an understatement) but these women who I chat to exclusively online I feel comfortable discussing all sorts of topics and share with them some things I might not with friends I see and live near.

 

  1. Plants. Ever since I’ve been a homeowner I’ve become very proud and like to keep a tidy home (I’m sure my fiancé would disagree with that statement) and I’ve discovered that the very best thing to do to make a house look… well… like a home is to add lots of plants. I’m forever taking pictures of my plants and admiring all the green goodness scattered around the house.

 

  1. Pinterest. Yes, it’s a fictional land with largely unattainable interior decor inspiration and it absolutely gives me #weddinggoals but sometimes I like that escapism.

 

  1. Cocktails. Call me a Basic Bitch but I love mojitos and anything with passionfruit and I’m there.

 

  1. Woman’s Hour. My god, this is often a highlight in my week. When I get in from work and I’m preparing the dinner I will put on Woman’s Hour and often nod furiously along to whatever is being discussed.

 

  1. Big knickers. Comfort is key and I have no shame in my love a good brief.

 

  1. A good bra. On the note of good lingerie, last year I finally admitted defeat with my ample bossom and went shopping in M&S, bypassing Rosie For Autograph (sob) and straight to the department where my mother shops. I bought lace, non-padded bras and I thought they would be so unattractive and completely not what my 25 year old body would be after but I can honestly say that I will never go back to trying to squeeze myself into Deep Plunge bras in an effort to wear something I feel like I should be wearing.

 

  1. Booking a trip. Even perusing Secret Escapes and Air BnB, which I’ve yet to try actually gives me such pleasure to look at different beds and bathroom setups and subsequently fantasising about local cafes that might be around the corner or what brand of mini toiletries I’ll find on my stay.

 

  1. My landline ringing. When we bought our house we didn’t bother to buy a landline phone because Hello 2016 but my mum pleaded with me to buy one so she could phone me for long chats and today she is the only person who phones our house phone so whenever it rings I know it’s my mum who is calling for a chat and to see what I’ve cooked for tea that evening.

 

  1. Rediscovering clothes. Only today did we do our bi-annual up-the-loft-what-goes-up-must-come-down wardrobe change around and I’ve washed whole bags of clothes and have practically a whole new wardrobe to rummage around in tomorrow morning.

 

  1. Hanging laundry on the line. My defining moment of being a home-owner was when I put my first load of laundry on the line to dry in the fresh air. Yes the clothes are every so slightly crispy but you can’t beat the scent.

 

  1. A face mask. Along the same vein as grooming, I love nothing more than taking 10 minutes with a face mask and the ritual of wiping it off and inspecting your reflection in the mirror.

 

  1. Posting a motivational quote on Instagram. Yes it’s cheesy. And I do not care.

 

  1. A new handbag. Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy with clothes. I’m forever buying new garments, most of little quality and bought on impulse but with a handbag I consider my purchase. “Where will I wear you?” I ask and I dabble between a few work bags and weekend bags and I enjoy having this one thing in my wardrobe I really consider.

 

  1. Going through Notes on my iPhone. So many ideas, so many moods.

 

  1. My baby nephew. My big sister had her first child in December and I am absolutely besotted with my little nephew. My camera roll is full of pictures of him (as is my Instagram feed) and his little face and arm rolls never fail to make me smile.

 

  1. Having multiple WhatsApp groups. I have one with my family, with my in-laws, with my bridesmaids-to-be… You are never lonely or lost for conversation when you have so many conversations going on.

 

  1. Having a hour to myself every morning. My fiancé commutes and I have an hour or so every morning before I have to leave for work where I enjoy pottering around, eating breakfast and basically doing anything I please in a quiet, calm and empty house.

 

  1. Walking. I drive to work every day and on my lunch break there isn’t anywhere close enough for me to get out and stretch my legs so I tend to eat my lunch at my desk (*not recommended if you can avoid it) so at the evenings and weekends I like to get out of the house and go on a walk. Sometimes that’ll be the 3 mile circuit around the canal where we live and sometimes that does mean walking around a shopping centre but do you know what? Each are equally as pleasing when you’re in the right frame of mind.

 

  1. Going on a solo shopping trip. I have never been of those girls who go on group shopping trips like you see in Mean Girls – “get in loser, we’re going shopping” – is anyone like that for that matter? I find it quite therapeutic to wander around without the pressure of having a “strategy” to navigate around the shops to fit in everyone’s hitlist of where and what they’re shopping for.  

 

  1. Baking. I enjoy cooking but when you’re doing it every,single.night it does get laborious (come on, IT DOES) but baking. Well I would bake every day if that didn’t result in me having a surplus of cake that I’d feel obliged to eat.

 

  1. Re-reading a favourite book. Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones was one of the first books I remember thinking “oh wow” about and that I literally couldn’t put down. I recently re-read Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson which I adored as a ten year old and it was so interesting to read it now, 15 years on where those school girl characters are unidentifiable but still so reminiscent. I RECOMMEND TO ANYONE, GO AND READ YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD BOOK AND TRY AND REMEMBER HOW IT MADE YOU FEEL THE FIRST TIME YOU READ IT.

 

  1. My dressing gown. I make no apologies to the fact that I remove all my makeup and change into my dressing gown and/or pyjamas every single night when I get home from work. Why the hell not?!

 

  1. Being kind and polite. I take absolute joy in being polite and kind to people and it never makes me feel bad to be kind or good or helpful to someone else.

 

  1. Finding a new series on Netflix. Next up, The Good Wife.

 

  1. Having a good lunch. It’s far too easy to pass off lunch as an in between of work tasks but I feel so lousy when I have a naff lunch. Spend some time making a delicious salad, try and include something more in than just lettuce, tomato and cucumber or go and treat yourself to some fresh bread, ready-sliced just sometimes doesn’t cut it; for a bloomer or a tiger loaf.

 

  1. Seeing something that reminds you of a person in your life. If it’s a cute card that is just so them- buy it and send it their way. If you see the perfect personalised registration plate that spells out your mate’s name- take a picture of it and WhatsApp it to them. It’s nice to know when people are thinking of you.

 

  1. Taking photos. I am by no stretch of the imagination a photographer but I’m known amongst my friends and family for always having my phone in my hand, but they always thank me later when I’ve captured a few moments. So what if it’s an iPhone camera?

 

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