#reasonsforbeinghappy – Week 5

It’s been a testing week! Long work days have left me feeling drained and weary, and mornings have seemed as brutal as the uprooting of long-established shrubs, who’s roots are firmly planted in their bed. Winter is a natural hibernation period for many species (Even the birds stop singing in Winter!) and so we must, in order to preserve our health, learn to take it easy and switch off this season. Although there have been lows this week, it is still possible to see the highs and I live for these moments. My goal is to make more of these moments and to savour them!

1. Clear home, clear mind
I have been reading lots lately about breaking free of the mundane, everyday ‘cycle’ we all live. More on that later! For now though, to work towards this freedom we all need to downsize our lives – stop buying ‘things’ and clear cupboards of their ‘stuff’. I have given away two bags of clothing this week – most items had not been worn for several years and the breathing room they leave behind is far more beneficial than saving them for ‘that’ day. Now just to work on Hubby’s side of the wardrobe…

2. Seasonal suppers
The foodie highlights this week have all been seasonal delights; Parsnip gratin, beetroot soup (A staple in our house!) and a gorgeous roast squash and leek risotto. Winter tummies favour the warm and the filling so dig out that slow cooker and stock up on seasonal roots this Winter. Featured image is of a beautiful Crown Prince squash (Fondly known in our house as a ghost pumpkin!) My all-time favourite squash; it’s sweet with firm flesh and delicious roasted whole with a filling of cream, thyme and Parmesan cheese. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

3. A bloggers chat
I finally caught up with my bestie and fellow blogger this week and what began as a quick catch up, turned into an epic chat about everything from world travel to teaching, and everything in between. We talked lots about the blog; she really is my go-to-girl for advice on the technical stuff and I came away from our chat with a new sense of determination and inspiration. I have dusted off my laptop and dug out my notebook – I can’t wait to share lots more posts with you this year!

#reasonsforbeinghappy from around the globe:

 

I love hearing good news! Congratulations @KaraWillow, good luck in your new position! Do you have any good news to cheer up this final cold winter month? Share your happy stories below!

Jaime xx

#reasonsforbeinghappy – week 4

I can feel it.  We are almost through January and Spring is not too far now. The evenings are getting lighter and in the garden, crocuses are beginning to peak above the leaf-mould canopy, to warm their growing stems in the ever-low  sun. The threat of snow still looms but with the longer days comes hope, a sense that all will be well and that good is coming.

1. Bulbs-a-springing

Crocuses, daffodils and snow drops, all beginning to appear in my garden. The fruit of last year’s labour when I planted what felt like a tonne of bulbs.

2. Birds-a- singing

Two homemade bird boxes (courtesy of a very handy hubby and the local wildlife club!) one pretty fresh water-holder, a peanut feeder, mealworm feeder, seeds and a fat-ball holder. Plus a big compost bin and lots of year-round green foliage have all helped to bring birds back to my garden. I just love slow weekend mornings spent watching the birds out the window, feeding and enjoying our garden wares. The excitement felt by my children last weekend when a blue tit explored one of the bird houses was just immense. We even have a resident robin! Stay tuned for a new post about how I brought nature back into my urban garden.

3. Baby arriving!

January can be a tough time of year. The highs of the holiday season seem like distant memories as we fall back into our daily routine and try to give our bank accounts a break. So nothing could warm my heart more this month than the news of a new baby! Congratulations to one of my dearest, oldest friends, we can’t wait to meet her!

#reasonsforbeinghappy from around the blogosphere:

@KitchenGoddess3: #reasonsforbeinghappy I’ve been on a fantastic long weekend to Edinburgh.The perfect chance to recharge my batteries

What are your reasons this week? Let us know below!

Jaime xx

#reasonsforbeinghappy Week 3

Ok, so it’s not strictly week 3 but thanks to a busy start-of-term, I’m only just catching up on the blog! Anyway, labels, timekeeping and routine have never been strong points of mine! I’m here to champion the chaotic, the spontaneous and the late. Spend your time having the fun, rather than being punctual in documenting it. That’s my blogger motto anyway!

Here are my latest happy things:

1. Wildlife Walks
It’s been a gorgeous start to January here in Kent. Mornings lay heavy with grey-white mist and afternoons soon warm with low Winter sun-beams, penetrating the cold air in long, golden strands. We’ve had some lovely walks this week and have explored some new beauty spots in our local area; like Bedgebury Pinetum and our local favourite; the Ashford Community Woodland. Boots thick with mud, red noses and misty breath, all synonymous with glorious Winter walking.

2. Young Poet in the Making

My eldest daughter stood up in front of the whole school this week and impressed us all with her poem about the colours of Mexico, beautifully read and wonderfully written. I love poetry and I’m so pleased my children are also inspired to write; it’s good for the soul! Huge proud mummy moment!

3. Saving Orphaned Rhinos
On Monday, I had the pleasure of introducing a speaker from conservation charity OSCAP, at school assembly. She spoke of the imminent threat to South Africa’s wildlife, particularly the rhino, and what we could all do to help. In response to this we have begun a colouring competition at school and have also been selling beautiful rhino pins and bracelets in order to raise money for a new rhino ambulance. These ambulances are specially designed to pick up orphaned rhino calves in the wild who tend to stay close to their murdered mothers and then invariably die due to starvation/dehydration or predation. I am so pleased we can help this wonderful cause. If you would like make a donation or purchase a pin/bracelet please get in touch!

What are your #reasonsforbeinghappy this week?

Jaime xx

#reasonsforbeinghappy

Week 1

Welcome to my new weekly feature! I have begun this weekly treat, to encourage us to seek out the positives in our lives and to show gratitude for the things, people and experiences we already have and value most. It carries a catchy hashtag as it’s title, which I will use to discover the happy-making events shared on twitter and the blog’s Facebook page, and will include some the best ones in the post each Sunday.

Here are mine this week:

1. A beautiful, fun, relaxing half-term week with my girls. As a busy primary school teacher I rarely get to spend quality time with my children during term time. I am however, lucky enough to work at my children’s school, so during those long busy days I at least get to snatch hugs and waves as we cross paths throughout the day. Although nothing beats being ‘mummy’ during the holidays.

2. My brother’s home! After seven long seven years away my wonderful younger sibling has now returned. It’s been really special getting the chance to catch up in the flesh and having him spend some time with his nieces. They adore their ‘Uncle Dan’ and as a wondering spirit, no matter how far away he may again go, we’ll always treasure the bond we have.

3. My amazing husband returned home with delicious chocolates on our third ‘monthiversary’ this week! We were lucky enough to have had a beautiful summer wedding in July and it still feels as though we are on that same high we felt many weeks ago. He’s a very special man, I have a feeling his name will be making regular appearances on my #reasonsforbeinghappy list.

#reasonsforbeinghappy from around the globe:

@JessLMontgomery:

getting to spend some quality time with old friends this weekend #reasonsforbeinghappy

@_SugarRose_:

spending the day decorating cakes and working on marshmallow recipes- veggie option too! #reasonsforbeinghappy

Amy of Amy Loves:

#reasonsforbeinghappy – I’m surrounded by love & support, every single day which makes me very happy x

Did your #reasonsforbeinghappy appear this week? Thank you for sharing with us and spreading the joy!

From the most dazzling sunrise, the bluebells in Spring or reading bedtime stories with your children, showing gratitude; taking stock of how lucky we really are, is a one-way street to wellness, enlightenment and most of all, happiness. So tell me, what are your most precious #reasonsforbeinghappy this week? Please share your lists below, with as many reasons as you like, and spread the gratitude!

Jaime x