A new job, more brownies and another 10k done!

Hello friends, how are you this fine Monday? I had such a brilliant weekend – I spent time with lovely friends and family, ran a 10k (whoop!) and then had some festive fun. So brilliant all round! How was yours? And how’s your week been? I’ve had lots of fun stuff going on in the last few days, so let’s get down to the smiley happy things from the last week. Don’t forget to share yours if you fancy, I’d love to have a read!

So last Wednesday I started my new job, hooray to me! It’s so exciting to start a new job isn’t it – well if you ignore all the butterflies!? I’d forgotten that because it’s been over five years since I started a job, but I have to say I kinda enjoyed it! Thankfully everyone’s been so lovely to me in the three days I’ve been there – there’s lots of nattering and coffee breaks and no one’s had a go at me for asking too many questions, phew! Plus my lovely new colleagues took me out for lunch on my first day – so very kind of them! I’m also really enjoying finding out about what I’ll be working on and starting to develop some ideas for these lovely new books. I’ve also had loads of new books to read, which is one of my favourite things! The other thing about my new job? A new desk that needs personalising with lots of lovely new stationery, my Disney Pixar desk calendar and a new mug – hooray to that! So far I’ve added: colourful pens, an owl mug for said pens, pink post it notes, my new badger mug, photos and of course a new notebook and weekly planner . So far I’m loving my new desk, especially as there’s a window and everything!

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Another things that’s made my week is that I did another 10k! Whilst I didn’t beat my PB I did at least complete the distance, which is most definitely a positive as it was freezing on Saturday. I’ve also done for so few runs recently that I wouldn’t have been surprised if I hadn’t managed it. Another good thing about the 10k was that it was through the Nottingham Forest, which was absolutely stunningly beautiful. I really wish I lived closer to it so I could go for walks there every week, it’s just amazing.

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To balance out the exercise from the weekend I made sure to treat myself this week too! First up with multiple coffees in my new Starbucks mug – yes I know it’s Christmass-y but I couldn’t say no to something featuring ice skates or that was free, come on now! The second big treat of the week? Homemade chocolate, raspberry and biscuit brownies, which were absolutely diving. I can’t believe I’ve not mixed those three things before. I will most definitely be mixing them in the future, that’s for sure!

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My final smiley happy thing from the past seven days was having a couple of days off of work with nothing planned. Why was this good? Well it meant that I got to spend two days doing nothing other than drink coffee and read new books, talk about bliss. Plus the weather seemed to be on my side as I was able to sit outside in the sunshine for three hours on Monday and read my book and watch the world go by. Another reason why I wish I could win the lottery, I would thoroughly enjoy spending my life doing that let me tell you!

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A fantabulous send off!

Smiley_Happy_ThingsThere was only one thing I could write about this week in my smiley happy things post and that’s the wonderful people who I used to work with as this week they gave me the best send off ever. I really am eternally grateful to them for being such amazing stars and for spoiling me so much. Even though I no longer work with them I know that I’ve made a good set of friends in these people and I’ll be forever grateful to them all for making the last five and a half years bloody brilliant! On my last few days at my old job I was thoroughly spoilt by my lovely colleagues friends with homemade biscuits, beautiful flowers, rocky road, lunches out, multiple coffee trips, a sensational personalised card, a plethora of perfect presents, a lovely evening of nachos, drinks and nattering and some wonderfully kind words. I really was massively spoiled and it really did make the end of an era something special. It was great to ignore the scary parts and all my nerves and focus on the lovely things. I really will miss my old job and I’m very thankful that I’ve made some pretty awesome friends there that I know I’ll see numerous times in the future.

Merry times away and happy things

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Yesterday I got back from four days in the Peak District where I had a whale of a time with my family to celebrate my younger sister’s birthday. Most of my smiley happy things from the past week relate to this trip as it was so much fun – oh how I wish I was still there and not at my desk in Central London! Even though the weather was mainly cloudy and a bit drizzly it didn’t seem to matter as we were staying in a lovely little cottage and having a ball – more on the weekend tomorrow in my Travel Tuesday post. So let’s get down to these smiley happy things!

Super cute animals – whilst in the peaks we stayed in Bakewell where we just happened to be overlooking the river and a lot of really cute ducks and even a few swans, so sweet! We also spent Saturday at a nature reserve full of owls and otters, which were absolutely adorable, I could have spent hours there watching the otters splash around in the water. Cuteness!

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Family – I spent the entire weekend with my family and it was so good to be all together again, even if for such a short time. I think the last time all six of us were together for longer than ten hours was in Wales in August, so it was high time for another get together! We got up to all sorts; from walks and meals out, to lazy times on the sofa and late night game playing. Not to mention hours in the car ranting at the radio or singing along to the radio – I loved ever second and I need to start planning the next trip.

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Good food – Whilst in Bakewell we did of course treat ourselves to the obvious – a proper Bakewell Tart, but we also consumed a LOT of other things including: GBK burgers (and fries with satay sauce), cooked breakfasts, cocktails, curry, pub lunches featuring the most delicious chicken liver pate ever, chicken, leek, ham and mushroom pie, birthday cake and lasagna. Yummy, yum, yum! A good reason why I need to go for a run. Good food also extends into the rest of the week with sausage casserole, hot chocolates, breakfast at Le Pain, triple chocolate cookies and an obscene amount of marshmallow brownies.

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Non Peak District related good things from this week include a trip to Costco. I don’t know why but something about that place makes me so happy. I think it’s the combined fact of being able to buy yummy things in bulk (hello 48 packets of peanut m&m’s or 3 litres of sweet chilli sauce) and wandering between aisles of books, then TVs and then crisps. Such fun!

Autumn love – I’m so pleased we’re completely in the throes of Autumn as it’s my favourite season. I found the perfect leaf when briefly in my parents garden and I just love shuffling through the leaves each morning and the click clack of winter boots in the paving slabs.

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Sisters – Sort of related to point two above (as they are my family after all) but over the last week my sisters have proved they’re pretty awesome through a number of ways. Firstly through comedy Snapchats and tweets, then with lovely surprise presents to say ‘well done on your new job’ and finally when Bex gave me one of her rings, well a set of three matching ones, that no longer fit her – how awesome are they! I’m super lucky to have them in my life!

Pretty printed paper – I love wrapping the gifts I give in beautiful paper and with lovely ribbon and this week I found some gorgeous brown paper in Paperchase that had lovely patterns on. As soon as I saw the three designs, I had to buy them all – I mean look, swirly text, cute colourful birds and interesting animals. How could I not buy these?

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What about you, what things have made you smile this week, I’d love to know! x

Smiley Happy Things

Smiley_Happy_ThingsThis last week has mostly been awesome, apart from a day of illness which I could have done without, but hey what are you going to do when that happens? There’s no point fighting it, you just have to fold yourself into bed, sleep and recover and then treat yourself to cake and hot chocolate accompanied by a good book or episodes of Glee – or is that last bit just me? Anyway despite my depleted health I have had a great week with lots of lovely things to natter about and be thankful for this week. I’m so glad to have such brilliant things in my life, especially when I’ve had a rubbish day or feel ill, so I’m glad I have these posts to remind myself of the good stuff.

Catching up with friends – I caught up with two old friends this week, separately – the first was for a Tuesday evening natter and the other involved a lovely day out in Rochester on Saturday. It was so lovely to catch up, get all the gossip and reminisce about all sorts. There was a lot of reminiscing on both occasions, particularly on Saturday as we discussed the fact we’ve known each other for ten years and we laughed over some of the best times we’ve shared, including our fabulous travelling trip in 2007. I love that I have friends like this. Where all you need is a coffee, cake and to be together for a lovely day. I need more of these days booked in I think.

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Crafting – I’ve seeing my little sis later this week for her birthday celebrations up in the Peak District, which meant I needed to finish start and finish the item I’ve been planning for ages. It really is ridiculous that I’ve only just got round to it as I’ve had all the materials I’ve needed for ages (three weeks minimum) so hooray that I’ve finally done it. Despite a few stressful moments with the sewing machine (I must have threaded that needle twenty times in the space of an hour) it’s now almost done – hooray and fingers crossed she like is!

Starbucks’ new Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate – To be honest I was a little skeptical when I saw this drink as I wondered if it was possibly going to be one ingredient too many or that maybe I’d given it very high expectations. But on Tuesday during the aforementioned nattering session the chance of a shared lemon cake and a salted caramel hot chocolate was too good an opportunity to miss and it surpassed all my expectations. It really was absolutely delicious with the perfect combination of all ingredients. The only problem? I’m going to struggle not to want one every single day and I don’t believe that would be a wise thing – hello four more dress sizes!

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Getting my bake on – Marshmallow Brownies and a Chocolate Loaf Cake have both been made this week and they are both delicious, you need to give them a try asap. The recipe for the brownies may well make an appearance on this here bloglet soon, but the chocolate loaf cake, can be found here, should you want to give it a whirl! I love that I can be calmed or made to feel happy again purely through the combination of ingredients and that smell.

Football Fun – The last week saw another trip to Wembley to watch England and I loved every second of it – the game was brilliant, it was tense, stressful and exciting. The best England game I’ve watched in ages and thankfully the result was the right one (for me anyway)!

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Running in the leaves – I seem to love running in the leaves, I think it’s the crunching sound, so I’m very pleased that I was able to do that a couple of times this week – hooray!

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What about you, what stuff has made you smile this week or what are you particularly grateful to have in your life right now? I’d love to know so share below. And here’s to another fabulous wek of lots of happiness and fun times. xx

Hooray for Friday!

It’s Friday and I’m very glad this week of crazy is over, what about you how have you fared this week? To top of my not so wonderful week I got given the wrong drink at Starbucks today – total disaster as I didn’t realise until it was too late. Nightmare scenario I think we can all agree?! Today’s post is going to be a collection of rambles and links, just to warn you if you’re expecting something sophisticated or in-depth – that’s just not happening today. My brain just can’t handle it!

First up there’s this trailer for Glee’s Finn memorial episode, which I made the mistake of watching on the bus this morning. Talk about rookie mistake as I got very teary and over emotional. It looks like they’ve made a lovely episode and I can’t wait to see it (with tissues in hand obvs). Although I do wonder how they were able to make the episode, it must have been incredibly difficult and hard for all of them to get through.

On a different note, I saw the below quote from Harold Pinter this week which I really liked. I definitely agree with this and often wonder how I would cope without so much wonderful writing out there, be it blogs, newspaper articles or books.

“Good writing excites me, and makes life worth living.”

Other things I’ve loved this week are Jennifer Lawrence and this jumper and bag from Joy. My love for Jennifer Lawrence is well documented on this blog but I just had to share this article about her response to being told to lose weight – how amazingly brilliant is she. I really do think we could be very good friends, in a non stalker way obviously! As for the jumper, it’s snuggly and has a deer on, how could I not love it?! And isn’t the colour, shape and clasp of that bag simply divine. The only question is cam I justify £45 for a bag – I’m not really sure I can to be honest.

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Is anyone else a massive fan of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, or is that just me? I can’t wait for the final book in the trilogy to be out later this month and I was fascinated by this interview with the writer. How did I not know she was so young when she wrote it – what exactly have I done with my life, apparently I’ve achieved nothing in my 28 years compared to her!

On that high note I best get down to some of this Friday madness – hope you all have fantabulous days of wonderment and enjoy the weekend. xxx

Peace, culture and good reads

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Hello my little blog readers, how are you this Monday afternoon? I hope your week has started how you would like and long may it continue. Over the last week I had the below things in my world and they really made my week! Somehow they were the beacons of joy interspersed with the bad stuff. What about you, what are the things that really made your last week?

  1. New books – no matter what’s going on in my life new books cheer me up. So having a bit of a spree in Waterstones on Saturday was wonderful, these four books all sounds wonderful so I can’t wait to get stuck in to them all. Hooray.
  2. Half an hour to just do nothing – I was at a conference on Thursday which was fascinating (and apologies if you saw all my tweets about there’s the possibility I got a smidge carried away!). It was also good because it meant I could have a calmer start to my day than usual. Before the conference I managed to slot in forty minutes prior to the conference for a quiet breakfast, pick me up coffee and a read of the latest Simple Things magazine. It really was wonderful.
  3. Shakespeare how it ought to be viewed – I was lucky enough to watch Macbeth being performed at The Globe on Tuesday last week and it was phenomenally good. I really cannot explain how brilliantly good it was. The actors were all amazing and the director and staging team had done a phenomenally good job at making it even more brilliant – I highly recommend it.
  4. Baking – I’ve baked quite a lot of stuff this week (pinwheels, oat and banana bites and triple chocolate cookies) and it’s often the best medicine for a bad day or a moment of crazy. Plus all the things I made were scrumptious, which always helps!
  5. Supportive people – Last on the list but most definitely not last in my eyes as they have been so wonderfully great this week. Everyone in my life has been amazing this week, both friends and family. Many of them have gone above and beyond on the support and kind words and really have made me so much more confident, happy and able to make a big decision which now it’s made I fell 100% better than I did before. I promise that as soon as I can explain more I will, but its super top-secret at the moment – annoying blogger moment I know.

Wise Words #1 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Greetings chumlets, how are you all today? I wanted to share this lovely image (humble aren’t I!) that I created using the wondrous site that is PicMonkey. Can I just say this site is totally revolutionising my life right now. I’m having such fun using it! Check out my first image over on the latest ‘Smiley Happy Things’ post, as you can tell I was inspired by a school chalkboard! Anyway whilst playing around I created the above image using one of my photos from a recent Portugal trip. I’m quite proud of it to be honest!

Anyway back to the actual sentiment behind the above image. I stumbled across this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote last weekend and it really made sense to me and captured exactly what I’ve been trying to channel recently. I like the idea of putting the past behind you at the end of the day and just focusing on the positives before starting the new day with optimism and enthusiasm. After all optimism and a positive outlook never killed anyone and looking on the bright side of things can’t hurt anyone. This quote also reminds me a little of the sentiments in The Silver Linings Playbook, which is about there always being a positive side to things, no matter how small. So really I just wanted to share this image with you as a reminder that we should take each day as it comes, face it with enthusiasm, give our all and then at the end of the day put the bad bits behind us and learn not to dwell on things.

Phew, that’s a lot of waffle for one day, especially for a Friday! Go forth and enjoy your last day of this work week and have an epic two-day weekend, huzzah!

Brilliant supporters, neon and giggles

Happy Monday you lovely beans, how is the world treating you this fine and furry morning? I don’t know about you but my past week hasn’t been the easiest. I suppose any week post holiday will be tricky but this week has been made infinitely worse thanks to an epic amount of work stress, big life decisions, food that disagreed with me and the stinker of a cold that I’ve STILL not shifted! So yes a bit of a rubbish seven days in all honesty. But let’s not dwell on the bad, this post is meant to be about the good stuff. And thankfully there were some lovely things that made this week so much better. I’m not sure how I’d have handled this week without some beacons of joy mixed in. So this week I’ve been cheered up no end by this week’s…

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  • Lovely lunches with brilliant friends – twice last week I was joined by good friends for lunch and it was lovely. Sometimes you just can’t beat a good old gossip.
  • Coffee and catch ups – More lovely friends this time teamed with good coffee. Ideal during a hectic day to just take ten minutes for a good dose of what’s actually important.
  • Someone going above and beyond – Sometimes people do far more than they need to and this week one such lovely person did that for me and whilst we didn’t resolve the problem I am really and truly grateful for that extra bit of love
  • Hysterical laughter  – What can I say that’s one of the best things that can happen. Laughter that turns into hysterics with a good dose of tears!
  • Making a breakthrough on one element of a campaign – That feeling you get when you hit on the idea that solves that one problem you’ve been stuck on for weeks, what joy!
  • Celebrating with family – It was my Dad’s birthday last week and it was a joy to catch up with my family and natter away, giggle a lot and eat scrumptious food. Baked avocado is my new favourite thing.
  • Surprise American sweets – My lovely friend surprised me with dark chocolate peanut m&m’s from a recent trip to NYC. What a star she is, so kind!
  • Appreciation at work – Most work places are a bit rubbish at showing appreciation so it was lovely to get some brilliant feedback this week on one project that appears to be taking over my life – very rewarding and almost worth all the pain
  • Comedy trailer footage – My Thursday was made infinitely better when I watched footage for an upcoming work trailer – the footage just cracked me up.  Sometimes my job is aces.
  • Two more new neon necklaces – no more explanation needed!

Comfort to me is…

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I love that today’s Blogtember prompt is to react to the term comfort as it seems quite apt to where my head is currently at right now.

Ever since I returned from Portugal last week I’ve been feeling the autumn love due to the summer having seemingly disappeared for another year and the appearance of autumn essentials in the shops – I’m talking about you Mr. Unicorn jumper. Autumn is possibly one of my favourite seasons and it definitely beats the sunshine in the summer. My love affair for autumn is most definitely due to the obscene amount of comfort I find during that stage of the year. I’m talking snuggly knits, patchwork quilts on the sofa, mittens, hot chocolate with marshmallows, 100 denier black tights, meaty casseroles, walks in the country in many many layers, crispy autumnal leaves of glorious oranges, reds and browns, warming soups, film nights, darker evenings, woolly scarves, lit fires, Starbucks red cups, bonfires and fireworks and so, so much more. Ah Autumn how I’ve missed you, I’m glad you’ve finally made an appearance.

Why was last week so brilliantly good?

Over the weekend I came across The Musing Blonde’s ‘High Five Fridays’ post and I really loved the sentiment behind it, it’s such a good point that we tend to focus on the bad things rather than the good. No matter what our day/week/month has been like there’s always something to be grateful for, happy about or thankful for. That was the original concept behind my ‘Smiley Happy Things’ posts, but I’ve been a bit lax at posting them recently so I had a rethink and I’ve come up with a solution. From now on I’m going to post about my recent ‘Smiley Happy Things’ every Monday as a way of reflecting on the good things that have happened over the past week – so a replacement to my ‘Lately’ posts. I like the idea of doing this on a Monday to remind me on the worst morning of the week that things aren’t always bad and that they will most definitely get better as the week goes on!

So here’s the first of the new look Smiley Happy Things posts. What about you, what are your favourite things about the last seven days?

Sitting on the beach enjoying this view

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The first coffee after a week of no caffeine

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Pulling on a snuggly jumper and winter boots to combat the rain outside

Curling up on the sofa with coffee and my patchwork quilt

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A Law and Order marathon

Bright summer flowers

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Reliving wonderful Rome through my little sis’ Instagram pics

Treating myself to new magazines for the flight

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Reminding myself how delicious a simple snack of yogurt and banana can be

New nail varnish

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Arriving back from holiday to a delivery of essential items for my upcoming Christmas card project

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The joy of your own bed after a week away

Pretty flowers to brighten up the flat

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Visiting favourite holiday spots

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