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International day of happiness. My life, My loves, My 10 reasons to be happy!

international day of happiness

The 20th March was ‘International Day of Happiness’ and the lovely Lucy at Real Mum Review asked me to take part in a 10 reasons to be happy post. Of course I was more than happy to join in the fun. I have lots of reasons to be happy, so I thought I would share them with you all.

It is a troubled world we live in, I’m always thinking about wanting something more. Bigger house, better car, new clothes, new shoes……………… so many material things. But when I sit back and think about what really makes me happy there are so many things.

♥ My wonderful Husband. I am so lucky to have a hard working Hubby. He provides for us all, so I am able to work part time and be at home as much as possible with our……

♥ Children. We are blessed to have a wonderful Son and beautiful Daughter. They are completely different in their personalities and attitudes towards life. However they brighten up lives and we are super proud of them both.

♥ My friends. I have a group of amazing friends. Some who I rarely see or hear from, but when we need each other we are a there for each other at the drop of a hat. My 2 closest friends Charlie and Becky along with my my sister have been my rock over the last few years. I love them dearly.

international day of happiness

♥ I’m going to be an Aunty. Just before Christmas I found out my sister will be welcoming her first child in the summer. I cannot wait. I love babies and I can’t wait for cuddles with the new addition to our family. I’m excited to be part of this little ones life, just as my sister has been to my two.

♥ My Family. I came from a traditional Mum, Dad two children family. I have a wonderful Aunty, Uncle and cousins that I have remained close too even though they are now living 200 miles away. My Hubby’s family is very large, with 2 brothers, 3 step brothers and 1 step sister. Plus 2 nieces and not forgetting partners. So, family events around at the Father-in-laws is always a lively occasion. Although we don’t often see each other, when we do get together it is alway a happy event.

♥ Fresh Flowers. They make me happy, very simple. At the moment we have an abundance of beautiful daffodils in our garden. My little girl loves to pick them for me, well she loves to pick any flowers. Sometimes ones that are not even from our garden…… haha.

♥ Afternoon Tea. The Hubby and I have had a fare few afternoon tea’s in our time. Although we haven’t been for a while now. It is something we both really enjoy doing together and also with the children. Tea, tiny sandwiches and cake. I mean …… hello, who doesn’t love tea, sandwiches and cake.

international day of happiness♥ Champagne and Cocktails. I’m not sure I need to explain this but I love them both and even more when it’s a champagne cocktail. An evening out with the girls drinking a few cocktails and having fun always makes me happy.

♥ Woodland walks. We love to get out on the weekend for walk in the woods with the children and the dogs. We have 2 crazy cocker spaniels and they drive me mad, numerous times a day. However they love the children and the children love them. Taking the family out for a nice walk is always good fun for us all.

♥ My blog. Although it might be small but I think it’s beautiful and I love it.

It wouldn’t be international day of happiness without sharing some blog love. So, I’m tagging these lovelies to see what 10 things make them happy.

Lucy : Each Peach Pear Plum

Roxanne : Every Cloud, Mummy

Jo : Intrepid Bebe

Stephanie : Renovation Bay-Bee

Laura : Mumma & Co

Amy : The Mommy Hideout

Dreaming of a Home Office Space …

Home Office Space

I currently work in a comfy chair or in bed curled up with the laptop on my knee. Having note books all over the place, I hand-write all of my posts before I even open up the laptop. I love a note book, I keep one in my handbag, one on my bedside table and numerous ones on the dresser. Each one is part used which drives my Hubby mad!

My regular readers will know we are dreaming of moving to a home in the countryside. I know when we do we won’t have a room that I can use as an office, but I would love to have my own home office space. Something that will help to inspire me, that I can go to and get creative. And to store my note books. Not that I have told my Hubby this yet…..

I have found some great inspiration over on Pinterest and pinned a few too many ideas to my boards. I thought I would share with you some of my loves.

Rose Gold and Copper

Home Office Space

I love the light spacious minimalist look. Clean lines, white furniture, modern, with an airy feel. I would have a white desk and chair, but use pinks, rose golds and copper shades to add that chic, fashionable style. I would add to the area using copper wire baskets with a matching desk lamp, pens and all my note books. Not forgetting a big comfy cushion to finish it all off.

Trestle Table Style Desks

These trestle style desks, are just lovely. My brother-in-law has a contemporary home, with a glass top trestle table in his office. It really shows off his work area. As it is clear glass it doesn’t appear to take up much room but still provides a good sized work space. I’m drawn to the light wood, with accents of pastel colours that it give it a feminine touch. I could see my home office space looking just like this, however it wouldn’t suit our vintage country living feel that we love so much.

Bureaus

Home Office Space

I’m a sucker for vintage furniture. I have managed to gain a beautiful old walnut french dresser, a small walnut and glass cabinet. I also have my eye on a lovely dark wood sewing table at a local vintage shop. So I think a bureau would fit in perfectly with the style of home we are looking for. I’m not sure if it would be up cycled or left in its ordinal state. A bureau would sit in the living room, with all of my note pads and all the rest of my work things. I would still love to add the more modern elements like the rose gold stationery and a beautiful table lamp.

I can’t wait to find our forever country home and get my home office space, it will make my blogging life so much easier.

*Images from Pinterest*

What is Hygge Living?

what is hygge living?

Everyone is talking about Hygge living, but what is this Danish concept that we all need in our lives?

Hygge pronounced ‘hoo-gah’ in English simply translates as ‘cosiness’ although it means so much more. Think, cosy home, candles, soft lighting, lots of natural materials, wood, wool and leather. The Danish are known as some of the happiest people, they believe it is down to their firm belief in Hygge living. Believing it contributes to their psychical and mental well being.

what is hygge living?

The concept behind Hygge is to make the ordinary things, such as a cup of tea, special or meaningful. Enjoying your surroundings and the company around you. For you to benefit from Hygge you need to disconnect from your phone or lap-top and turn off the TV and other electronic distractions  Start to enjoy and embrace the simple things. Things that happen around you everyday yet you just don’t enjoy or see. Light some candles to create a cosy atmosphere, purchase some flowers to bring the outside in, or drink some tea from lovely china cups. All very simple things that help to lead to happiness.

Hygge is all about simplifying your life, a feeling of comfort and cosiness. Being aware of the good moments as they happen. Enjoying time with friends and family. Stopping and thinking about the simple pleasures in life.

what is hygge living?

With all of the cosiness that comes with Hygge, it would seem very much like a something to get through the winter months. Which I guess it is designed to do, as in Denmark their winters are long and very dark. However, the concept of Hygge can be applied through the rest of the year. Grab a bike and head out into the countryside and enjoy the sounds and scents that are all around you.

what is hygge living?

Helen Russell moved to Denmark from the UK, she wrote the book ‘The Year of Living Danishly’. She describes Hygge as ‘Complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming’ with ‘a focus on togetherness and prioritising the people in your life’ Sounds so simple when you think about it. It’s what we should all be doing, with busy lifestyles it’s not always easy.

Your Hygge living essentials

  • candles
  • open fire
  • warm socks
  • books
  • hot tea
  • cosy blanket
  • snug bedding
  • calming colour scheme

Having these few items in your life, will lead you on the way to a happier more relaxed lifestyle. Or so the world of Hygge believes. On a Sunday evening we light the log burner, get a nice hot drink and sit together reading. It is just lovely. It helps us both to relax after a busy weekend. So perhaps Hygge living is a style that suits us. So grab a cup of tea, light some candles and snuggle down with a good book.

What are your thoughts about Hygge living?

Valentines date with Just Us Box

Just Us Box

‘Just Us Box’ is a monthly subscription date night box company. They are revolutionising date nights. Just Us Box want you to spent some quality time with your partner each month. Where you both put down your phones and spend some time reconnecting with each other. Each month Just Us Box will send you a themed date night box straight to your door. So, all you have to do is pick a night that suits you and enjoy a date. I have been working with Just Us Box over on Each Peach Pear Plum since they first started back in July 2016.

Our date night

just us box review

Our ‘Lovology’ date night box arrived in perfect time for Valentine’s day. This box was all about cocktails and gin, two things we both love. It contained 3 mini bottles of gin, a cocktail shaker, a spin the bottle game, a small hip flask and various herbs and flavourings for the cocktails.

As the Hubby and I met while working in a bar that specialised in cocktails, I already had an idea of how to mix a mean cocktail.

Just us box review

Luckily I had opened up the box before the date night and had a read of of the date night plan. If I had not have done, I wouldn’t of known about infusing the dry gin or making up sugar syrups. Having read how to do this in the date night plan, I found the sugar hiding in the cupboard and made up the thyme sugar syrup and the lady grey sugar syrup. Leaving them both in the fridge overnight to infuse. I then opened up the dry gin and added the lady grey tea leaves and left to infuse over night.

On Valentines day we started our date by cooking a meal. It’s something we do every Valentines day. I set about making the first cocktail while our starters were cooking.The first one we sampled was a ‘Lady Grey Mar-tea-ni’. Reading the recipe, I wasn’t too keen when I saw I needed to use the white of an egg. I have a thing about stuff not being cooked properly. Particularly eggs… haha! However I made it up as per the recipe:-

Lady Grey Mar-tea-ni

just us box review

Ingredients

  • 50 ml of Lady Grey infused Anno Distillery Gin. (I had infused the Gin over night, basically just tipped the lady grey tea leaves into the Gin and let it infuse for a good couple of hours)
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 25ml simple syrup (which I made up the night before)
  • 1 egg white

Instructions

  • combine your lady grey gin with lemon juice, sugar syrup and the egg white in your shaker.
  • shake well
  • add ice and shake again – this will chill the cocktail down.
  • strain into your cocktail glass. We used Martini glasses but if you don’t have any then any glass would do.
  • add lemon peel to garnish.
  • ENJOY

It was a yummy sweet cocktail, with hints of bergamot and citrus flavours. Followed by the warming feeling of gin. I wish I had enough to make another. We had this along side our starters of seafood.

While the main course was cooking I made up the ‘Cranberry and Thyme G&T’.

Cranberry and Thyme G & T

just us box review

Ingredients

  • 50ml of Anno Distillery Cranberry Gin (this smelt amazing on it’s own)
  • 25ml of thyme sugar syrup (made up the night before using the instruction booklet)
  • Tonic water
  • Cranberry sugar
  • Lemon Juice

Instructions

  • Rim your glasses with cranberry sugar and fill it up with ice.
  • place the gin and thyme sugar syrup to your cocktail shaker.
  • add ice and shake
  • add in the tonic water
  • strain into your glass.
  • ENJOY

I made this up in a martini glass as, just because I love they way cocktails look in these glasses, although a long glass would have been perfect.

First tasting this cocktail at first was very very sweet, but delicious. That cold sweet cranberry flavour which a hint of thyme was really lovely. Quite a surprisingly nice combination. We had this along side our main course of turkey poulets and vegetables.

On to the final cocktail, which I have to say I only made for the hubby as I don’t like the flavour of cloves, it reminds me too much of mulled wine which I cannot stand.

Gin Skin

just us box review

Ingredients

  • 50ml of Anno Distillery Sloe Gin
  • Long squeeze of lemon juice
  • 3 cloves
  • spoonful of honey
  • boiling water

Instructions

  • place your honey into a warm heatproof glass or mug (this is IMPORTANT)
  • add the cloves and lemon juice
  • top with boiling water and stir until the honey is dissolved.
  • allow to cool before adding the the sloe gin.
  • stir and add your garnish
  • ENJOY

I followed the instructions, more or less, however disaster struck when I heard a crack and my lovely glass mason jar split in two. The honey and hot water went everywhere. Clearly, my glass jars are not heat resistant like I thought. Luckily I had some more honey in the cupboard and hadn’t used any of the sloe gin already. The hubby loved the ‘Gin Skin’ cocktail said it reminded him of winter nights in front of the fire.

Sloe Gin and Prosecco Cocktail

I’m a Prosecco lover, so with the left over sloe gin (I wasn’t giving my half up for the hubby) I made up a lovely Prosecco cocktail. It’s simple, just put the sloe gin in the bottom of a champagne flute and float the the Prosecco over the top. Using a little tip I learnt in the bar; Pour the Prosecco over the back of a teaspoon which is held just above the Gin.  The Prosecco floats on top, giving you a lovely layered effect.  It tasted amazing!

just us box reviewWe didn’t play the spin the bottle game that was included, we opted for an early valentines night instead……

As we both love cocktails this was a great date night for us. I enjoyed that I made up all of the cocktails and the Hubby enjoyed drinking them. He did help clear up the mess I made when the glass broke though. I usually make a mess so i think he was prepared!

This month Just Us Box helped with a marriage proposal, so if you have any special requirements they will go out of their way to help out as much as possible. The March date night box is ‘Wilderness’ I have no idea what to expect but I can’t wait for it to arrive.

If you fancy trying next months ‘Wilderness’ box, then make sure you place your order by 15th March, you can use the code EACH10 to give you a 10% discount on your subscription.

*Thank you Just Us Box for sending me out this fabulous date night box!*

 

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