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

The little things cheering me up this week

Morning lovely people, how is Monday treating you so far? Hopefully it’s been incredibly kind to you and maybe even treated you to something lovely, like new shoes or a scrumptious warm coffee. Here’s hoping. I’m very excited this morning as it’s my little sis’ birthday – hooray to her! I’m sad not to be celebrating with her (that’ll happen in a few weeks) but I can’t help but feel excited for her as we all know how wonderful a birthday can be. Here’s hoping she eats cake, cake and more cake and enjoys celebrating with all her lovely friends! As it’s Monday it’s customary for me to share some of the things that are really making my life wonderful at the moment. So here goes!

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First up we have something really simple but it’s really cheered me up and that’s sorting out my bookshelves. I know that sounds crazy cats but they were such a mess, there was no logic to them, I couldn’t see what was on them and there were three bags of books on the floor waiting to be added to the mess. So anyway on Sunday morning when I wanted to do anything but go for a run I sorted them out and now they are so lovely and ordered and I heart them. I’m still prone to smiling when I walk into the room and see them, which definitely means it was worth the faffing and also I’ve realised I cannot buy another book for at least six months as I have an entire shelf of unread books. Oops, a sure sign I’m a bit of a bookworm I think!

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My brilliantly organised bookshelves – so pretty!

Aside from books and organising things I’ve become a bit obsessed with Friday Night Lights recently, over the last week we’ve watched about 15 episodes and I’m now seriously hooked. I can barely wait to tuck into the next series and find out what happens to Riggins, Street, Landrey, Julie, Coach, Smash et al. It really is a great piece of TV and I can see what the fuss is all about. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!

I spent a night in Bath last week for work and I had such a brilliant time, it was lovely to spend a few hours away from London and enjoy the beautiful countryside surrounding Bath. We drove through some really picturesque villages and stayed in a beautiful hoteloverlooking a gorgeous valley. It really was spectacular on a foggy morning. I really must go back soon and see more of the town than I did last time I was there. Talking of going away I’m in the process of planning a last-minute trip to the coast for the end of this month. It’s all come about very randomly but now I need to get organised. I can’t decide where I want to go other than somewhere near the beach, that’s only a couple of hours from London, which won’t be full of kids (it’ll be half term after all). Any suggestions? I love planning trips like this when it’s entirely up to you and you don’t have to pacify/compromise with anyone else. Hooray!

The final thing that’s got me all excited this week is that it’s official Christmas is on its way  and I’m going to be talking about it a lot over the next few months. The way I know it’s on its way? The fact that John Lewis have their Christmas department ready as well as their Christmas decorations hanging in the store but also there are tonnes of Christmas chocolates around the supermarkets. Whoopee! The best time of year is making an entrance, now we really must get decking the halls and buying the mistletoe as Christmas is coming!

What about you lovely lot, what’s got you smiling away over the last few days?

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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