20 Things That Made Me Smile In March

Today is International Happiness Day which could not come at a more needed time! It’s been a testing few weeks and I thought I would lighten the mood with a list of things that have made me feel so much joy amongst the recent uncertainty.

I’ve written a post similar to this before and had a lot of positive feedback (thankfully!). Although I don’t keep a gratitude journal, I really enjoyed writing this post so perhaps now is a good time to start? Have a little read of the things that made me smile this month (so far…!)

  1. My Grandmother laughing hysterically when we found a very old feather boa in her house and got her to wear it
  2. Hearing my next door neighbours singing Ghost’s Unchained Melody to soothe their crying baby
  3. Looking back on my Californian Vlogs as I edit them
  4. Feeling great after exercise and sticking at it consistently as my New Years resolution
  5. Getting positive feedback and recognition at work for the hard work I have been putting in
  6. Making the effort to spend quality time with friends (pre isolation)
  7. Watching videos of Spanish and Italian communities singing to lift their spirits whilst in isolation
  8. Baking brownies that didn’t burn (hurrah!)
  9. Humour from colleagues that have arisen from sad working from home meals
  10. Getting an extra hour in bed and feeling so rested
  11. Saving money by not commuting in (London travel is ridiculous)
  12. Enjoying my current TV series This Is Us, where I feel all the feels!
  13. Starting my podcast (slowly!)
  14. Having a delicious meal out with my boyfriend (pre isolation again haha)
  15. Preparing to celebrate my 8 year anniversary with my boyfriend (go us!)
  16. Enjoying long walks on the rare British sunny days
  17. Game nights with friends (pre isolation)
  18. Reading books which were gifted to me for my birthday, even if it’s just for 20 minutes – it reminds me how much I enjoy reading!
  19. Seeing that the penguins at an aquarium in Chicago were allowed to freely wander around during this quarantine period!
  20. The breathtaking sunsets even on the cloudiest of days reminding me that tomorrow brings another day that has not yet been lived

Wishing you a positive international day of happiness! What things have made you smile this month? Take a moment to think of one thing a day that brought you joy!

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Finding Happiness in Being Alone

Winter time is often the season for nights in. The long dark evenings lead us to hibernate indoors with the excuses of saving money (or trying to do so) and the dreary weather at the forefront of our reasoning for this. Friends may even cancel plans on us, leading us to feeling secretly happy as we can now stay in guilt free and save even more money! As great as this can be on occasion, Winter time can also cause many of us to feel rather lonely. As human beings we are innately social creatures, regardless of whether we are introverts or extroverts. We instinctively crave the company of other human beings. In fact, being comfortable in our own company is possibly one of the most difficult things that I myself have had to work on. In the past, I really struggled with enjoying my own company and would do everything I could in my power to keep my social plans from been rescheduled or cancelled. I would feel quite distressed in even anticipating an evening in on my own, for when these hours approached, I knew I would feel both lonely and simply bored of my own company. As dramatic as it sounds reading this back to myself, I think this is such an important lesson we each should learn and with the first month of the New Year over, there is no time like the present.

Since my late teens and throughout my early 20’s I have learned (at times the hard way) how important it is to be happy with our own company. Often in relationships or friendships we find ourselves baffled when we realise that at times our partners or friends know us so much better than we know ourselves…something that I have definitely experienced in the past! It seems a very strange thing to comprehend, how someone who isn’t us, can actually predict or understand what’s going on in our own minds before we can.

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In between studying or working, I always viewed time that I spent not doing something as time wasted. If you read my blog post The Magic Statement you’ll know that I went into some detail about how I re-discovered what my passions and interests were. Since doing so, I can truly say that I have had such a better relationship with myself. I have also done a complete 180 degrees in my thinking and behaviour, in comparison to me at 18 years old. Now six years on, I actively seek time alone and what’s more, I really enjoy it. So from the fun to focused, I thought I’d share some of the things I really do when I’m home alone!

  • Doodle – From adult colouring books, doodling designs to drawing a rose in my notebook for the 1000th time, when I’m on my own I “try” to draw. I by no means, am good or talented in drawing … and I’m really not just saying that! At school, my art teacher and I both mutually agreed that unless abstract art was an official A-Level, I wouldn’t put my energy into it. However, the child within me still really enjoys colouring and finds it therapeutic. P.S. I still have to try really hard to stay within the lines.
  • Pamper – I feel like that us girls have 3 types of showers. The quick body shower, the slightly longer hair and body shower and finally the pampering shower. This is in effect, a collection of at home spa treatments. Exfoliation, face masks, hair masks, hair removal, moisurising, painting nails, you name it, it’s the full nine yards of pampering. When I’m alone, I love to spend a couple of hours just doing this. Not only do I smell good but I get the most rested sleeps afterwards too.
  • Try on clothes in my wardrobe – I love fashion. I love clothes. If I’m perfectly honest, I have found ways of cleverly storing them in my bedroom, to make space for all the completely essential items in my closet. Occasionally I like to dress up and give some TLC to these items that I simply just don’t wear enough. Say what you will, but I find clothes as a great way of expressing the different parts of my personality and style. Even if I’m just putting outfits together in my bedroom!
  • Watch interviews – I thoroughly enjoy listening and learning about other people’s stories. As a teen, I was a drama enthusiast. As I got older my love for the arts and entertainment shifted a bit, but I still can’t get enough of watching interviews.
  • Read the news – Every night before bed I read various news articles. At University I found that although I was studying at a higher level, I became cut off from the real world, the more engrossed I became in my little bubble. I try to work daily on being more consciously aware of the world around me.
  • Be active – I love a good walk and the fresh air.
  • Write – Blog posts, love letters, notes on my phone, schedules and to-do lists for the week, future business ideas no matter how adventurous as they may seem, I write as much as I can in many different forms. It helps focus my thinking and is very cathartic.
  • Podcasts – On my commute into and on my way home from I work, I listen to various podcasts. Please share with me any recommendations!
  • Sleep – When I am alone and have no weekend plans, I take advantage of an early night. During the week, I tend to average about seven hours sleep a night, however I love to get somewhere between eight to ten hours sleep if I can on the weekends. I am an early bird and I know I feel my best after an early night’s sleep.

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As cheesy as it sounds, being happy in your own company gives you the opportunity to build strength, confidence and to really get to know yourself. Whether it’s doing something silly and embarrassing like your own fashion show in your room, or actively participating in a hobby, you only have one life and the relationship you have with yourself, is the most important one of all. You speak and listen to that person all day, every day; it’s worth giving yourself the time and energy in figuring out how to be happy by yourself.

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10 Things That Made me Smile Last Week

We all feel like some days everything is going wrong, however I always find that Monday is a reflective, positive and motivating day of the week for me. I definitely had a few moments last week where I felt life’s little struggles, from not getting enough sleep, technical problems with my computer at work, silly and pointless arguments with family members. All those unnecessary negative things can leave me feeling infuriated all day, so much that it is easy to overlook the good things that happen. I for one try to find happiness as much as I can, because life is too short to sweat the small stuff. So if you suffer from Monday blues or like to reflect like me, here is my quick recap on 10 things that made me smile last week.

1. Decluttering

I decluttered my bedroom last week which included sorting out my wardrobe and getting rid of all of those random bits and pieces you collect and hoard over the year(s) (why do I have so many post it notepads?!) As well as decluttering the random items in my room, I decluttered my wardrobe. I began by moving over my Winter clothes into a vacuum pack bag and took out my Summer wardrobe. This allows me to see the clothes I will actually wear over the coming months, and helps me to re-evaluate what I actually wore last Summer and determine if I am going to realistically wear it this coming season. If it’s a no, I always make sure that I donate my unwanted belongs to charity, waste not- want not and all that! What I love about doing this, is that along the way I always find some outfits that I forgot about. Whether they were a fashion favourite or a faux paux, there’s something so exciting about rediscovering old outfits!

There is also something so freeing about decluttering resulting in mental health benefits of less stress and anxiety, more peace and even a better night’s sleep. Through my decluttering I have also found that I now only reach for things I need and use, and those little moments of frustration frantically searching for that top in the chaotic mess has diminished. I can also testify to my mind feeling more organised. Just knowing that everything is tidy and in it’s place is so satisfying and definitely has brought me more peace of mind.

2. Clothes, Clothes, Clothes!

Following on from the declutter this meant that I could actually see how many clothes I have and actually wear. This left me with about ten tops for summer (for both causal and nice) meaning that I had a bit of space to get some new items! All of you fashion lovers can relate to this right? You don’t have to justify to yourself where your hard earned money is going that month, because it was clearly fate for you to get that top you have been eyeing up in Zara! Therefore last week I made the most of the Summer deals and purchased some new high waisted shorts from Missguided, a couple of Bardot tops, and a pair of causal trousers from Pretty Little Thing, as well as a couple of tops from Zara. I swear there was room in my wardrobe! Ah, who cares I absolutely love Summer clothes, and this little joy definitely made me smile. Keep up on my Instagram this Summer to see these beauties in action.

3. Pilates

This isn’t a shock if you follow my blog posts, but Pilates always calms me as well as gives me a good workout. Last week I devoted parts of my evenings to it, making sure I did 30-40 minutes workouts. I tend to follow Pop Pilates/ Blogilates on YouTube but after following it for the last year and a half (on and off) I was impressed with myself to see that I could create a whole routine on my own. This left me feeling energised and those achy legs from too much sitting at work disappeared! I’m genuinely happy that I have found a form of exercise that I actually love. Although I don’t devote as much time to it as I have liked to (using the “I’m too busy” excuse) the fact that I incorporated this into my routine last week made the world of difference to my whole week. Exercise has the reputation of being such an effort, but when it’s something you genuinely enjoy, it shouldn’t be an effort! In a dream world I would start every morning before work with some Pilates, but I also like my sleep too much!

4. Chasing the Sun

I don’t know what has been going on here in the U.K but what beautiful weather we have been having! I’m a big sun worshipper and I walked around with a huge smile on my face like the Cheshire Cat (but not creepy!)

The glorious sun also makes for some beautiful sunsets too

5. Connecting with Bloggers

I love discovering new people on here and across social media,who inspire me with their photography, blog posts, Instagram feed and Youtube videos. Similarly I’m astounded every time to see how far in the world a post on mine may go. Thanks for having a read, your support means a lot!

6. See That Line Where The Sky Meets The Sea It Calls Me…!

I know, I know. I have jumped from working adult life straight back into my childhood joy for Disney. I am just going to say it, I have no regrets. Moana is a must watch! Everything about this film is so nostalgic for me, with subtle references to other Disney films which were so poignant in my (actual) childhood some 20 years ago! If you’re gonna do one thing this week, just watch it.

7. Innocent Laughter

There is a reason that children’s laughter lights you up so much. On one of the sunny days last week I took my lunch to the local park and saw a group of the sweetest little kids playing in the park. Funnily enough they were just laughing their heads off by pushing each other. Then before you know it the youngest one, maybe a year old was making a run for it with his little wobbly legs!

8. Appreciation from Work

I am soon to be leaving my job to go on a new adventure (more on this to come!) and have felt an overwhelming amount of appreciation from my co-workers. It’s a really great feeling to have your good work be acknowledged and valued. As sad as it is to be leaving a place you feel comfortable, life is all about new adventures and growth. On that note, if you notice any of your colleagues do something noteworthy, a little compliment goes a long way!

9. I’ll Be There For You

I’m a huge fan of Jess Glynne and am loving her new song! It’s a huge friendship anthem, ironically also giving some definite Friends vibes. If anyone wants to send me a concert ticket, I won’t say no!

10. The Royal Wedding

I mean come on this had to be on your list too! From the love between Harry and Meghan, the love of the supporters, the sweet bridesmaids and page boys, the dresses, the nationwide tea parties, the scones that were baked, the Prossecco that was popped as well the universal “Aww”, that was exclaimed when the new married couple shared their first kiss as husband and wife. I loved everything about this. I even visited Windsor the day before to get a glimpse of the action where I spotted many a celeb presenting from the Queen’s favourite castle. I couldn’t help but feel the buzz of excitement throughout the town; there was almost a Festival feel to it all. Also it was sunny! Britain sure does a Royal Wedding well; this was a well and truly fabulous occasion to my week!

I feel like it is so important to take a moment to reflect on the small things that make us smile. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything that is wrong, difficult or frustrating, rather than finding the light in our daily lives. Although there may not be another Royal Wedding around the corner, I hope that you too can find the joy in the little things; because it’s the little things that matter too.