Sunday, 8 May 2016

Things That Made Me Happy #6

Given how sparse things have been on the blog lately I thought it was about time I did one of these again! There's a lot going on which is why I haven't been blogging much, but it's all very exciting! I'm planning to rethink (again) the way I (fail to) talk about books here, so watch this space for more on that!

This week has been warm, and we've done a lot. I generally deal with heat extremely badly, mostly because of all the ginger but also because I have a bad habit of going out in the sun without a hat, so I spend a lot of time with headaches and drinking a lot of water during the summer, but hey, we get gorgeous sunny days and lovely warm evenings in exchange, so maybe I'll just get better at remembering my hat!

On that note,

1. The Beach
Because it's warm we've obviously remembered that we live less than 10 minutes from the beach. On Friday after we picked Ben up from preschool, the boys and I took a picnic tea down to the beach and had a gorgeous hour eating our food and searching in rock pools. We all got extremely covered in wet, slightly clay like sand and more than a little bit damp, but nobody minded. And then we picked Rhys up from the bus on the way home and it was generally pretty idyllic. Must do it more often.

2. Margate 
I know, when I moved to Kent 5 years ago I never would have predicted putting Margate on my list of happy things, but honestly on a sunny day it's beautiful. We went the other day because Ben wanted to go to the arcade, and we parked a little way out of town and walked in along the promenade, and then we went and had lunch in this new little indoor market that's opened up opposite the Turner Contemporary, and after that we went into the gallery and had a browse round the shop and a little look at the awesome art. The boys particularly loved the two figures on a seesaw, which I just read up about (obviously I didn't get to read any of the info at the time, because I was too busy trying to stop Sam - who loved and adored the piece - trying to climb on the seesaw) and discovered that it's part of a World War 1 Centenary exhibition and the globes that form the figures heads represent the countries that took part in the conflict. They also have an incredible installation by the same artist which is bookshelves. Go check it out on the website or better yet, go visit yourself. It's free!

End of Empire by Yinka Shonibare, on display at the Tuner Contemporary, Margate until Oct 2016
We also had a gorgeous splash in the freezing cold sea, followed by an ice cream at the forever fabulous Melt and a quick trip to the Dreamland arcade!

3. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
So even though I don't talk about it that much lately, I do still actually read, and thanks to my wonderful secret sister (the one I've been gifting to, who has discovered me!) Chantelle I've started reading The Raven Cycle. I'm on Blue Lily, Lily Blue and just placed a library hold for The Raven King and I really love it. It's just enough magic without being too much and the characters are brilliant. I super super love Blue and Gansey. The ending had better be good. That is all. 

4. Decluttering
For a while now we've been getting rid of stuff. Not just the stuff we have that's rubbish or that we don't use anymore, but anything that doesn't actively make us excited. This isn't directly sparked by Marie Kondo, but I have been thinking about simplifying for a few months now and honestly every time we get rid of stuff we feel better about everything. I just sold a load of stuff on eBay over the weekend so we have a ridiculous pile to go to the post office tomorrow, but we've made £250 since the beginning of the year selling stuff we don't want anymore, and we're not falling over pointless things anymore. I'm excited to read all of my books, I actually cook from all my recipe books, you can see the floor in our summer house, and we can find all of our movies. It's a good time. 

5. Parcels of Joy
This makes me super joyful. This week I've been reading one of the books on my TBR with the express purpose of passing it on to one of the parcels of joy people once I'm done. I'm going to put a couple of other things in a little parcel for her and send it off this week. I'm not sure how well baked goods will travel in the heat, so I'm putting a hold on sending edibles overseas for a while, but I'll still be sending them domestically. We went to an awesome brocante last week and I got a new Hummingbird Bakery cook book for 50p so I'll definitely be trying out some stuff from that. I love planning, baking and sending these parcels, and I just got gorgeous new stickers this week that I'm going to use on my parcels from now on. In case you haven't heard, it's a no obligation project - sign up and I'll send you lovely stuff - all the details are here.


Shout out to lovely Ellie at Lit Nerd, the brains behind the sharing of the happy. Go over to her blog to check out hers and others posts on what's making them happy or link up your own!


  1. I really miss living close to the beach. Yesterday I made do with my local park, but it's not the same when you can't dip your toes in the sea. It sounds like you've had a lovely week :D

  2. Ah, it sounds like you had a lovely little evening at the beach on Friday - spontaneous trips like that definitely spell summer's imminent arrival.

    Decluttering is an oddly satisfying task, isn't it?!

    Reading With Jade

  3. Awww...reading this post made me happy! :)

  4. I really adore these posts! I feel your pain on the hot weather - I basically just have to think about sunshine to get sunburnt, while my other half never gets burnt! Your Friday sounds awesome, and The Raven Cycle books would have to go on my list of happy-making things too, I only started the series this year and I ended up loving it way more than I expected to. Hope The Raven King is every bit as awesome as you hope :)

    Your decluttering sounds like it's been hugely successful, and that's definitely a habit I should try. We've recently redecorated our bedroom and although everything is currently tidy, it's also become clear that I just have too much stuff, so I should work on getting rid of some of it.