I finally got around to doing a post that the lovely Renee from Mummy Tries tagged me in. It’s called ’50 things that make me happy’ and I thought it was such a lovely positive thing to do that I didn’t want to pass up the chance to join in.
As it happens, Renee is also featuring me on her blog today too, for her guest series, so by default, today is all about me! Only joking, but it would be great if you could pop across to look at the post I did for her. There are some fab bloggers featuring this week, so you might just find a new blog to follow that catches your interest.
Without further ado, here is my list:
50 things that make me happy
1. My children – being a proud mum to three lovely little human beings. Of course, they drive me mad at times, but I wouldn’t change them for the world.
2. My husband – my best friend of almost twenty years who knows me better than I even know myself at times.
3. Finding somewhere that my son can have a gluten and dairy free treat – the smile on his face is always worth making an extra trip for.
4. That feeling on the morning walk to school where you know it’s going to be a lovely sunny day – not long now before we start to feel the summer warmth (at least I hope not anyway).
5. Interacting with other bloggers – I love getting comments and feedback on my posts. It’s so rewarding and makes it all worthwhile.
6. The alert on my phone that tells me I have a new comment on my blog – following on from above, my WordPress alert is the only one I haven’t switched off because I love what the sound represents.
7. Writing fiction – as hard as it is, I love creating new characters and worlds. Being able to absorb myself in these imaginary places is a pleasure in itself.
8. Creating recipes for my blog ‘A ‘Free-From’ Life’ that work and go down well with everyone – when you have to eliminate as many things as we do from your food, cooking and baking is a challenge. There are many disasters along the way, but then you strike out with a winner such as a dairy free, gluten free and tomato free lasagne that you didn’t think couldn even be possible.
9. Thinking back to and chatting about our favourite holidays – we are lucky to be forming those memories as a family now that the children are older. We all agree that our trip to New York is up there as our favourite trip so far, along with a city break to Rome.
10. A trip to the seaside – an hour’s drive takes us to Hastings and we can always guarantee a great day out: trampolines, play park, crazy golf, amusement arcades, fun fair, mini railway and fish and chips. What more can you ask for?
11. A glass of wine at the end of a busy day – I don’t drink much anymore, but there is something about that elusive glass of wine. Perhaps it’s more the thought of it or what it symbolises that’s important, I don’t know. For me it’s a case of ‘and…. Relax’.
12. My two little nieces – now aged almost 4 and 2, they’re at a great age where they are able to interact with their older cousins.
13. Having conversations with my almost teenage niece and nephew – when you can tear them away from their mobile phones, that is.
14. Listening to a song on the radio that takes me back to a certain time or place – when driving to work the other day I heard ‘One Night in Heaven’ by M People and it took me straight back to nights out with friends during the early nineties. It put a huge smile on my face and was a great start to the day.
15. Seeing how happy the children are when they are recognised for their achievements – there’s nothing like the pride you feel when your children achieve something, no matter how small.
16. People watching – always been a big favourite pastime of mine, preferably whilst sipping coffee and sitting outside a cafe of an Italian piazza, but unfortunately that’s not always possible (would be nice if it was though)!
17. Dancing – not that I get to go out dancing much these days, but you can’t beat a good old boogie for lifting the mood.
18. Spending time with my husband without the children – like I said, I love the little blighters but you need a little break now and then right?
19. Watching Dirty Dancing or Grease – two of my all-time favourite films that I will never tire of watching.
20. Musicals – I love the theatre, but especially musicals. The power of a live performance that can have you crying or laughing out loud and sends shivers down your spine or brings you out in goose bumps: it’s magic.
21. When you get to the airport – that holiday feeling, for me, starts when you get to the airport. Well, once you’ve checked your luggage in and made it through customs anyway.
22. Morning coffee and writing time – precious time when I can concentrate on my fiction work. At the moment, I have Monday and Friday mornings kept especially for doing this and I cherish these slots out of my busy week.
23. Being able to write for a living – I write everyday, whether it’s for me or for someone else. I feel very lucky to be able to do this.
24. When all three children get along – not something that happens that often when you have three, so when it does, it’s magical.
25. Watching my two younger ones playing in their own little world – this is why all three don’t always work together. The two younger ones, though two years apart, can act like twins: in a world that only they understand and sometimes with a method of communicating that only they understand. It’s annoying and wonderful in equal measures.
26. Seeing my eldest re-gain her confidence after having it reduce to almost nothing – you do what you can to help your children deal with difficult situations, but there comes a time when you have to make a decision whether to carry on trying to deal with it, or remove them from the situation altogether. I’m grateful that the decision we made worked for the better and we now have a much happier child.
27. Mojitos – goes without saying.
28. Spending time with each child individually – not easy to organise when you have three, but when we do get to do this, both of us benefit. I’m always surprised by how much I learn about my children when I spend time with them on my own.
29. Catching up with old friends from school – a rarity but I feel so lucky to have maintained such wonderful friends that go way back, even though I don’t live near my home town anymore.
30. Going out with the northern girls for a good old girly night – got to be done when we can manage to organise it: for old time’s sake and all that.
31. Knowing I have some amazing friends – I know lots of people but among them, I know I have some really good friends who are always there for me. It’s a comforting thought.
32. Being so absorbed in a book you can’t put it down – no matter how tired you are or aware of how tired you will be when you wake up the next day.
33. Photos – capturing precious memories – thanks to mobile phones being so amazing now, you don’t have to miss out on anything.
34. The lovely blogging community – without whom I wouldn’t get to do posts like this one.
3 . Lie-ins whilst the kids go downstairs and make their own breakfast – never thought that
would happen, but now that they’re older, they are able to sort themselves out on a morning and put the television on. Bliss.
36. Going to visit my mum and sister – time with family is important, especially when it’s only us three girls now.
37. A day out in London – it’s still exciting to spend a day in the Capital, no matter how old you are.
38. Skiing in Bulgaria – I feel privileged to be able to ski every year. It’s not something I did as a child and my children are lucky to have learnt to ski from such a young age.
39. Relaxing in the hot tub – yes, we have a hot tub. You won’t believe it, but my father-in-law gave it to us because they didn’t want it anymore. I have to say, it’s my favourite thing in the summer after a long day, to relax in with a glass of wine, whilst watching the sun go down.
40. Barbecues with friends – when we get around to organising them and if we get the weather, I love a good old barby.
41. Weekend movie night – this is a Sunday night special in our house. It involves dinner in front of the television, with a choice of film made by one of the kids. It’s a chance for all of us to sit down together in the same place after what is usually a busy weekend.
42. Remembering to put dinner in the slow cooker before I go to work – what joy to come home to the smell of dinner cooking in the pot and the satisfaction of knowing that you don’t have to run around making something.
43. Retail therapy – I have two girls who are now at the age where they love to go browsing the shops and trying on clothes. It’s great fun sharing this experience with them.
44. The smell of freshly baked bread – my bread maker was one of my best investments and is constantly in use. Since using it to make my own gluten and dairy free bread, I’ve never looked back.
4 . Office banter – working at home is great, however, I’m contracting for three days a week at the moment and back in an office for the first time in years. It took some getting used to, but you have to laugh at some of the things you hear.
46. Funny caption photos shared on Facebook – that someone takes the time to do them is funny.
47. When someone says I love you
48. My home – I love my house and the children are happy there. It’s a family home, full of noise and fun and life.
49. A good rib eye steak – to go with that glass of wine on a Friday night. The end of a good week for me (I know how to live don’t I?!).
50. That point in the day when the kids are in bed and you can finally relax! – As much as we love them, there’s a point in the day when you’ve had enough and look forward to a bit of quiet time of your own. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel this way.
I would like tag these lovely bloggers to do this: