What Makes You Happy?

It’s Friday! I have to admit that I’m still on a bit of a high after last night’s Blogging With Success event – I had so much fun and met lots of lovely people. I’m so pleased that people came along and enjoyed themselves. I woke up with a smile on my face today, for sure!

I have been thinking recently about the little things that can turn a meh day into a YEAH day and, even though there are lots of things that I share with you guys, I really wanted to hear your views this time! So I took to Twitter and Instagram to ask the simple question, What makes you happy? and I was blown away by the response.

Sometimes the world can overwhelm us, so choosing to find a little nugget of joy whenever you can is so important! I loved reading your answers and really want to share what everyone had to say, just in case you need a little pick-me-up today…

what makes you happy

What Makes You Happy?

When it rains all day, but when I leave the house the sun comes out : )  (@emma.mcr on Instagram)

Real, handwritten snail mail letters (@sheandherbrightness on Instagram)

Watching my husband build Lego whilst drinking a cup of hot chocolate (@vintage_tookie244 on Instagram)

A cup of tea when I wake up makes me happy (@msmezza on Instagram)

Sleeping in clean sheets after a hot bath (@zynpgur on Instagram)

Cuddling up on the couch with a fluffy blanket & my husband, watching Drag Race! Small things (@_ejand_ on Instagram)

Food, hugs from my husband and dog, getting a sense of achievement from something (@teacakeandmake on Instagram)

A day at home on the sofa and in pyjamas with lots of movies, snacks, tea, blankets, warmth, @pamela_graham and the dug (@jamesvsburger on Twitter)

Food, wine, friends, family and Eddie! [her sunglasses-wearing dog!] (@laurafromaura on Twitter)

My cat [having seen a further photo of the cat, I can confirm he is ADORABLE!] (@jemmasaid  on Twitter)

Travelling. Head butts from my cats. Big Skirts. Ordering dessert. A really good book (@lastyearsgirl  on Twitter)

Happiness is being surrounded by those you love, preferably with coffee, cake and your furry friends (@ananyah  on Twitter)

Reading, watching or speaking to someone inspirational! Always gives me a pep in my step. Also: cooking/ eating (@glasgowfood on Twitter)

Being content. I’m happy when I’m not trying to be bigger, better or like someone else. Being happy being me works! (@bigcitylilnurse on Twitter)

That moment when you step off an aeroplane knowing you’ve got x amount of days to explore and enjoy a new place (@TheSundayGirl on Twitter)

The sound of the sea, fresh air in my lungs, wellies on my feet and chatting about life n’ stuff with someone I love (@HouseOfHerby on Twitter)

what makes you happy

When I’m in a good headspace where I can genuinely say I do not give a toss about anyone else’s opinions and I’m not comparing. Also, when my cat smooshes her face against mine because that is a pure, golden moment (@rosekeats on Twitter)

Good wine, good food and good friends & family. What more do you need? (@Glasgowfoodgeek on Twitter)

Food – seriously and genuinely, it’s the only thing that makes me properly happy! Not great, but it’s the truth! (@LPearsonSmith on Twitter)

Someone taking the time to ask me how my day was (@AforAmbs on Twitter)

Feeding people. Love having a full table of friends or family passing food, sharing stories and complaining that they’ve eating too much (@sarahmacp on Twitter)

Time with my boyfriend, friends and family – if there is cake and tea involved, even better! (@frocksfairycake on Twitter)

Making other people feel happy and cared about, whether that’s making them laugh, being supportive or a gesture of appreciation (@papercutpanic on Twitter)

A good chin wag full of hearty laughs, putting the world to rights and positive girl plans always makes me happy (@letsdostuffs on Twitter)

Stormy weather. Makes me feel so calm, and that is not something that happens often at all (@lydipop on Twitter)

When my crush pinches me when I say he’s gorgeous! [um, cutest Tweet award!] (@AngieLoveDesign on Twitter)

what makes you happy

Sleep (@CandelleCo on Twitter)

Cuddling up to the person you love and feeling cosy and safe in their arms. This includes cuddles from animals too (@hellorogue on Twitter)

Sunday afternoon adventures, discovering new places (@misslinnyo on Twitter)

Sunsets (@yazminaaa on Twitter)

Good food, family, friends, and of course, make up (@Saskiasumakeup on Twitter)

Being able to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Happiness for me is warmth and comfort (@fromfiona_ on Twitter)

Making other people happy and serving others! (@HstlandHrt on Twitter)

A stodgy dessert and a good yap with my mum (@MaverickBaking on Twitter)

What an awesome list! Thank you to everyone who got involved by sharing what makes you happy – proof that social media is still a positive place, if you ask me!

I’ll be back here on Monday morning with details of a fun giveaway to kick-start your week – so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend…

 

 

 

Images: things that have been making me happy lately – hot off the presses of my Instagram

Five Things I Learned on Our American Road Trip

This year’s American road trip wasn’t just the biggest holiday I’ve ever been on, it’s also one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever done, period.

As well as seeing seven states’ worth of towns, cities and wilderness, spending nearly three weeks on the road with my favourite people was massively exciting! It was a totally new experience for me and it’s safe to say I learned a few things along the way…

Research is everything

From rest stops, to must-do activities, to the restaurants you REALLY want to avoid, doing your research before this kind of adventure really pays off. When you only have one day in a town, you want to make the most of it (and not waste any time Googling things to do when you get there!). Prior to our trip, we had a group access spreadsheet showing our timeline in each location and a Pinterest board to get all our ideas down. On reflection this was probably one of the smartest things we did and I would highly recommend it!

Expect the unexpected

You can plan as much as possible (see above), but sometimes you will still be surprised at where the road takes you. For us, it was up the side of a mountain on a dirt track on the way to Aspen (thanks a lot, road closure!), to a cabin in the middle of the woods in Utah (which Gary thought was a ‘rustic themed hotel’ when he spotted it online, haha!) and uh, Roswell generally (!) to name a few. These twists and turns are what made parts of our trip super memorable, and I wouldn’t want it to have went any other way.

Keep your camera charged

A bit of an obvious one, but when you’re using your camera so frequently (I don’t think mine was ever more than a few inches from me at all times…) it’s really easy to let the battery run out. Pack your charger, and make sure you use it regularly! Keeping my camera and phone charged meant I could freely capture the cities, the ghost towns, the insanely beautiful views and the odd selfie whenever I wanted.

The more you buy, the more you need to carry

…so go easy on the souvenirs! During our American road trip we visited more tacky gift shops, malls and gas stations than I can keep count of, and the temptation to buy things was REAL. But, when you’re having to transport everything around with you (there was a lot of car boot Tetris, you guys!), the novelty of shopping wears off fast! As some of you will remember, I picked up very small enamel pins as souvenirs as they were cute and easy to store!

Pack multipurpose clothing & accessories 

Partly to save suitcase space, also because you’re never quite sure what the weather is going to be like from one place to the next. I don’t think I’ll ever truly be a ‘capsule wardrobe’ type (surprise!) but I definitely brought a few things that I could get good use out of. My most-used item was this huge leopard print scarf (£2 from Primark about ten years ago!!), which I wore in my hair, as a wrap on chilly evenings and even over my face when we were in the windy desert.

These are just a few things I learned on our road trip, and I’ll be keeping all of them in mind for future holidays. If there’s anything I haven’t covered here, or if you have a question about something I’ve mentioned, feel free to get in touch or tweet me!

Here’s to adventure and the open road!

I Launched My Rebrand and Disappeared for 3 Weeks… Am I Crazy?

It’s been about six weeks since I officially launched my rebrand (you may pass GO, you may collect £200 – figuratively, of course…) and over the weekend, I reflected a little on how things have went and what I’ve learned.

The first thing that sprung to mind? The timing. Going live on a Sunday morning wasn’t exactly my dream plan when I first set out to do this and, as I tweeted my news, I felt like I was going against every digital business article I’d ever read.

All of a sudden, it was looking like all behind the scenes work was ready – the links, the post titles, the new social media handles, the archived stuff…it all WORKED. But it was a Sunday morning, and who the heck launches something new at that stage in the week?!

I was too excited to hold off. I just wanted to put it out there – because sometimes you just have to jump and do what your gut is telling you (in my case, my gut was looking at me with a manic grin while nodding vigorously). I had originally planned to build up momentum and to let people know well in advance that at a precise date, and a precise time, things would be ready. I’d be Little Miss Slick, launching this digital rebrand like a pro (WATCH OUT, SILICONE VALLEY, eh?).

Instead, I did a final check, uploaded a fresh blog post and threw open the door! And it felt good. Like, REALLY GOOD. I had a celebratory dance around the room and then I had to move onto my next task: I had to pack a bag because I was leaving for a three week road trip across America a few hours later. And the chances of me being able to post anything else to my shiny new site was going to be slim to non-existent.

Which I guess brings me to my main point! Three weeks in the fast-paced world of blogging and social media might as well be a lifetime and I’ll admit I was a bit nervous to be swanning off of the grid literally as I launched something new. I was worried that it would just sort of disappear – and I would disappear along with it!

I took a risk and hoped that it would work out. And you know what? It did! While I was away, I wasn’t online as much as usual (what can I say? There’s no wifi in the desert, you guys!) but when I did manage to check in, I was totally blown away by the lovely support and encouraging messages I was getting. Readers, PRs, brands, friends and creative folk that I really respect had noticed the rebrand and had taken the time to let me know how much they liked it – and I was super grateful for the feedback. I even felt silly for worrying!

So, here’s what I’ve learned: sometimes you need to go against convention and just do what feels like the right thing for you. You will be FINE, trust me! Because when it comes to you, your projects, your hustle, your passions, your rebrand, whatever it may be – there is no convention. It’s your playground and your ball and you get to decide what’s normal and what isn’t!

Planning is good, but pressure to be perfect? Not so good. Just be you, and the rest will work itself out. I hope that if you’re planning something awesome soon, you enjoy every crazy moment – even the unexpected ones!