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Things that make you happy

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      10.03.2014 14:33
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      mmmm...... More makes me happy than I thought!

      I'm a miserable bugger and I'm never happier than when I'm moaning about something, but to be fair it doesn't take much to make me happy; I have simple needs!

      When the kids are happy then I'm happy, and I'm always happy when they arrive home safe.

      Listening to music, but I have to be mindful because favourite songs played too much, are soon not favourites anymore....which disappoints me......

      Box sets- I love a Box set, I got Game of Thrones for my birthday and am very happy with that! I don't know what's wrong with everyone in this house but they groan when I get a Box set out....especially Alien 1, 2, 3 and 4....

      Looking up interesting facts makes me happy, I can't even watch tele without googling what's on, it's ridiculous really and a shame I forget most of the interesting facts I've looked up..

      I'm always happy to see my sister, nieces and nephews..

      Judge Judy and Modern Family make me happy.

      Pot Noodle for my tea makes incredibly happy, as does a bag of Salt and Vinegar crisps- having both for tea followed by a Caramac or a Walnut Whip is my idea of a three course meal..

      Museums and Stately homes make me happy, I just love the quiet atmosphere of these places.

      The sea makes me happy, it's just so tranquil looking at it; and I love the smell of it. I could quite happily mess about in rock pools for hours, days even; infact thinking about it I'm never happier than when I'm using the boulders on the beach to walk out to sea.

      Saving money makes me happy, I'll probably be buried with it.. I just hate spending it (especially on myself), if I won the Lottery I'd be the poorest millionaire with the most expensive stuffed mattress....on the other hand I love buying things for the kids that I know will make them happy...

      Bargains or finding that elusive item on the Christmas list- especially on sale, I love it when Christmas comes together and I never think it will but it always does! I also love giving pressies particularly when I know it's something a person wants..

      When the car is running properly, I feel very happy when I don't have to worry about breaking down..although there's always a chance.. likewise it's always a relief to get the MOT done and the tax disc sorted for another year.

      Not having to get up on the weekend, I can't lie in anyway because it gives me a headache; even so it's nice to know I don't have to get up if I don't want to. A sneaky kip on the sofa makes me happy too.

      Thunderstorms and heavy downpours make me happy, snow- I love the snow but only if I'm not driving anywhere and it doesn't stick around for too long, I soon tire of it. I like the early dark nights but they're not really convenient as life's easier when it's light; nevertheless I do love cosy dark nights..

      ...and of course when everyone is happy and well.

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        27.02.2014 13:27
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        A few of the things that make me happy..

        I recently noticed that I was approaching my 1000 review 'landmark' on Dooyoo, and was inspired to write something a little different to mark the occasion, so today I want to discuss some of the things that make me happy.


        1. Family.

        My family are very dear to me, and we are very close. Over the years, we have all had our ups and downs, there have even been some falling-outs and arguments, but I do think this is probably quite 'normal' in most families. My parents and I and my husband, and my sister and her family will occasionally go on trips away together, perhaps for a weekend at the seaside to get some fresh air and a change of scene. We all meet up very regularly too, usually congregating at my parents' house for a family meal or a Sunday Roast.

        We've had a lot to deal with, as a family. I don't want to get into it all here, as this review is supposed to be focusing on things that make me happy, but it's fair to say that we've all had our fair share of heartache over the years, and have lost some (extended) family members that we still miss massively. Over the past three years or so, we've had some extremely tough times to deal with, as my health has declined and I've had to rely on my husband and my parents to help me out. My mum too, has had her own health issues to deal with, as she had to battle Cancer last year. She's not fully recovered yet, but I can see some of the 'old sparkle' returning, now that the worst is (hopefully) behind her.... Small (but positive!) steps.

        Over the past four years, my sister and her husband have added to our little family unit by the addition of my two glorious nephews. I am particularly close to my eldest nephew who is only four years old, as I used to babysit for him every week when he was growing up, so we formed a special bond in these early years. He's at nursery now, so I don't get to see him as often as I used to, but he never fails to lift my spirits. He's a big boy, he's loud and he's full of fun and mischief... he often has me in stitches at his antics and is like a breath of fresh air to me at times, especially when life can feel a little bleak. I adore him and his brother, and cherish them always.


        2. Marriage.

        I know it's a cliché, but I was extremely lucky, and married my best friend.

        What else is there to say? Our partnership is just that; an equal partnership, where I always feel loved, cherished and respected. I'm a very lucky girl.


        3. Pets/Animals

        I've loved animals since I was a little girl; my mum has several stories about me being a small toddler in a buggy, trying to escape to chase after some cat or dog or pigeon! I have always had pets... and probably always will. In actual fact, for me, the addition of pets is what makes my house a 'home'.

        I know that a lot of people feel differently, and have no desire to keep animals at home and of course I respect this opinion - but for me, I just can't stand to live in a house that has no animal 'company' in it.

        There are some sacrifices to be made in our home, in order that I can keep my animals, but I never grumble or complain as they are part of my family. My elderly cat (who was put to sleep at my request in October of last year) suffered with ill health for the last four years or so of her life. In that time, she had major surgery, regular blood tests and monthly check-ups and prescriptions at our local Vets to be paid for each month... I really shudder at the thought of how much we actually spent on my old cat, and I have no doubt that we spent several thousand pounds on her, but my old darling Tiger Cub was truly, truly, worth every single penny. We had eleven wonderful years together and I still miss her every day, and probably always will.

        Yes, there is really no doubt that my pets make me happy and I love them. I'm one of those people who always has a stray cat hair lurking on my jumper, whose house has several tell tale signs of being a house with some much-loved pets within it; it contains a 'sprinkling' of hair/fur on the floors and carpets, irrespective of how often they are cleaned. Also, there are various bowls of water and little furry beds dotted around, and you have VERY little hope of entering my house without my furry friend running to greet you at the door.

        True, my house would probably be a bit cleaner, and my purse would certainly be a bit fuller if I had no pets sharing my home, but I have no doubt that my heart would feel heavier, and my days would be emptier.


        4. Holidays

        My husband and I are quite lucky, in that we are able to have at least two holidays throughout the year. We usually go abroad in January/February and around October, with perhaps a couple of breaks or long weekends away within the UK in between. We need to be mindful of our budget, as we have a limit on how much we can afford to spend on our breaks away together, but this doesn't stop us, and we've bagged some excellent 'last minute' deals over the years. We can often have a week abroad for only £50 or so more than what we would spend on a few days in the UK... crazy!

        I really look forward to our breaks together, and we are lucky to have had some really special holidays together and been to some amazing places. We had a luxury cruise for our honeymoon back in 2010, which was just fantastic, and something that we'd both love to do again some day. We've also been to Las Vegas, Florida, Mexico and Los Angeles, as well as other places closer to home, mainly in Spain.

        Holidaying together is something that both my husband and I really enjoy doing, and going on holiday really makes me happy as I feel so relaxed. We have holidayed with my parents, as well as with my sister and her family and we do enjoy going away in a small party like this. I can't really imagine not going on trips or holidays if I'm honest as we both enjoy it so much!


        5. Surprises.

        It's true - I LOVE surprises! Only nice ones of course.

        Sometimes, my husband will present me with a small - but thoughtful - gift. This is often some of my favourite chocolate, or a bunch of cream-coloured roses. At other times, he will have purchased something from The Body Shop or bought me a scented candle. These little gifts are rather thoughtful, I think, and are purchased for no reason at all, other than the fact I've obviously been in my husband's thoughts when he's seen something he thought I would like.

        Another example is when I receive something unexpected through the post. This can be a postcard, letter or small gift from a friend or loved one, and in actual fact I recently received a lovely gift from an online friend that was very much appreciated as I had been rather down in the dumps about health concerns and stresses. For me, it's not about what something cost or where it was purchased from - I'm just chuffed that somebody has cared enough to remind me that I'm in their thoughts. This is true too of emails, and even the shortest message from a dear friend can be enough to brighten my mood on a dark day.

        There have been many occasions too when I've received a delivery of some lovely flowers from a friend or family member, and this is just such a lovely surprise that it instantly lifts the spirits. My friend sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers a few months ago and it meant the world to me at a difficult time, which is something I'll always appreciate and never forget.

        I do really love surprises, and they definitely make me happy, but of course, only if they are the nice kind!.. I can't say that the surprise of our recent (huge) energy bill was particularly welcome!


        So there you have it; these are some of the things that make me happy, and although I could easily list a couple more, the first three on my list are the most important to me.

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          15.07.2013 23:23
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          Without being too cliched, it's definitely the little things that perk me up. Of course something fantastically amazing happening to me will obviously lift my mood to the clouds, for example, when I got the phone call saying that I'd been offered my first full time nursing post I was thrilled but it was the cuddle from my very proud mum that made it. I spent over £100 on my niece's second birthday this year and it felt great seeing her little face light up, but I thought I was going to melt with pure pride and love when she said: "I love you d'auntie" when we were singing the peppa pig theme tune at the play park.

          I hate cliches. I hate the cheesy, over processed falseness that accompanies all of these movie style moments that people force because Hollywood tells us that every moment in our lives must have a soundtrack. What I really love is people expressing themselves in a way that no one else might understand, only their friends and family would be able to piece it together such as indescribable tattoos, poems, music, humour and those tiny little things that get you through the day. Want to know some of mine? I'll just go ahead and tell you anyway :D

          I have the hungry caterpillar tattooed on my back to symbolise how amazing my childhood was. It represents my beautiful siblings who started out as hungry little caterpillars and transformed into unstoppable, glorious butterflies!
          I LOVE IT when bus drivers wave to each other. One time, a bus driver passed another bus driver a biscuit through the window when they drove past each other and it was at that moment I knew it was going to be a good week.
          My boyfriend isn't an overly affectionate person, so those little moments when he kisses my forehead in the middle of the night in his sleep are just that little bit more special.
          When my niece throws tantrums and tells people "NO!" I feel like I'm going to burst with pride that she's growing up to be an independent, strong, confident little lady.
          When I was a student nurse, just weeks into my first year, my Granda had severe water retention in his legs and had to have cream then pressure bandages applied to his legs. I was the only person who was allowed to do this for him because he was so proud of me choosing to be a nurse. Thinking of those moments still bring tears to my eyes.
          I collect bus and train tickets, I still haven't found any value in doing so but I like to think that my future grand kids will find it and think "wow these tickets are so old! Granny is crazy for keeping these!"


          There are many things that keep me going through the day. It was really fun thinking of all the little things, and every day I like to note down the small things that made me smile and somehow that nagging bill or stressful situation at work doesn't work my blood pressure the same way that it did before.

          :)

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            14.07.2013 23:35
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            yeah

            Things that make me happy, what are they? Surprisingly it is hard to think of single things.
            My family make me happy but only when we are all getting on.

            I feel really happy when my girls are smiling and laughing at something that one of us has said or when the weather is nice and we have the paddling pool out and they are splashing around in it.

            The weather has a lot to do with my mood especially at a weekend if the sun is shining it makes me happy as you can do lots of things and children can play together.

            Christmas - although I don't like Christmas as in going out with work and having secret santas, it is a great time for families. People get together which is nice. They should have probably met up more in the year but Christmas is a good excuse.

            Manners - I can't stand bad manners so when I hear please and thank-you and see people holding doors open and just generally being nice to each other it makes me feel hmmm nice and happy.

            It makes me happy when my family go for a day out - it can be a simple picnic or a meal in pizza hut.

            Basically I am happy if my family are, I like to spend time with them doing things, a simple card game makes me happy but also spending time with my friends away from my family sometimes makes me happy although I do think of my family a bit until I get in the mood.

            Being on holiday and relaxed make me happy as my husband is always more chilled after the first day he starts relaxing and getting more involved in stuff.

            What actually made me happy this week came from a very bad situation. I live in quite a quiet area but there is a house that is rented out, to cut a long story short the neighbourhood was woken up by idiots; a coping stone was taken off a gate post and smashed into someones car and smashed the window. The neighbours started talking about it whereas previously we hadn't really spoken. And my husband rebuilt the damaged gate post for the people and a neighbour helped put the coping stone on top. What made me happy was people pulling together and helping out; it was a bad situation but it was good to see people pulling together. A good community spirit.

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              30.05.2013 11:46
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              Just a little of what makes me happy

              As I have gone through life I have found that different things make me happy. I used to be happy when shopping but I now hate larger retail outlets and have only bought a few new clothing items in the past couple of years.
              Nowadays, it is mainly the little things that make me happy.
              I love the first stretch in a morning, the one that gets all the kinks out of your muscles from the nights sleep.
              The feeling you get when someone buys something you have made, even better when they buy it because they love it.
              A heart-felt compliment, the ones when someone says something nice to you just because they are a good person.
              When it is cold and you bring the warm clothes out of the dryer (my other half sometimes likes to tip this on my head!).
              Hot baths on cold days and refreshing showers on hot days.
              My partner works away during the week so it makes me happy when he gets to leave early and we get an extra half day together, or even just the feeling of seeing him again after being apart most of the week.
              Finding money in your pocket/purse, especially when money is tight and you need to go food shopping or pay a bill.
              There are many other things that make me happy but these are just a short-list of them. I hope that there are plenty of other people out there that can find happiness in the small things in life.

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              14.12.2012 19:14
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              things that make me happy

              I'm not really a materialistic person and don't really need fancy items to make me happy. The are a bonus but there not something that I count on to be happy.


              I don't really have many friends if any friends really just people that I talk to every now and then but not anyone that I feel I am close to and can have endless conversations with and go out with when I'm bored. This leads onto the first thing that makes me happy. I get quite lonely when I'm not at work or college and it's makes my day when someone asks me 'how I'm doing', 'what I'm up to' or just attempts to make a conversation with me. I notice that I'm always the one to start a conversation with most people and it gets a bit repetitive and makes me feel like I'm bugging people so when someone decides to speak to me it's a great feeling because if I'm quite honest it doesn't happen very often. Also when I'm asked to go out or something like that it's a nice feeling that someone wants my company with no intention behind it. It sounds a bit silly what I'm saying but after thinking about this question deeply this is something that truly makes me happy.


              An extension from my first thought of what makes me happy is the feeling that people need my help and I'm needed weather it's in my family/college/work. I like when helping people and it's nice to know that people want my help every now and then. I also feel when I do a good deed it makes me feel so proud of myself because I like seeing people happy and that truly puts a smile on my face.


              Accomplishing goals is something that makes me happy also. When I achieve something that I have worked hard for it makes me really happy and proud of myself because I put my all into most things I do and it's great when it pays off. I think this is were most of my happiness comes from because I spend majority of my time trying to make my future something to look forward to by doing lots of things to ensure success in the future.


              A good nights sleep makes me the happiest person alive because as long as I have a good nights sleep I am going to have a great day ahead of me. There is nothing like waking up from a great nights sleep and being fresh, ready and energetic for the day.


              Another thing that makes me happy is spending a day out on my own exploring and just having a think and a peaceful day. It's something I like to do when I have spare time or when I am stressed every now and then. It's quite relaxing and makes me happy because after a day on my own I always come back refreshed and ready to get back into action the next day.


              That's all I can think of that makes me happy there are other obvious things like family and other stuff but these are the main things really.

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                27.04.2012 17:44
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                Try and be happy, sadness sucks!

                I suffer from an anxiety disorder so I have focused quite a lot on how to make myself feel happy and relaxed during my lifetime. Here are five things that make me feel happy:

                1. Move!

                I find that I can make myself feel happier just by changing the way I'm sitting or standing. Having a little stretch or sitting straight up and getting energy into the body makes me feel alert and at ease.

                Taking this notion even further I find that exercise is a great way to feel better. I run quite often and feeling this achievement of just putting on a pair of trainers and moving is great for me. I remember my PE teacher yelling at me back in the day that I'd have a heart attack before I was thirty if I didn't jog in my lesson! Infact I run now because I enjoy it, not because I'm trying to lose weight or have a keep fit target or anything.

                I also think yoga is a great exercise to make you happy. It can be as challenging as you want it to be physically or just a gentle routine. Stretching out the whole of the body and pumping blood into your organs feels fantastic.

                2. Get Outdoors

                I have known a few depressed people and when they feel bad they often won't leave the house or get out of bed even. I personally used to be so anxious that I did not want to go outside. Then I realised there is a whole natural world out there waiting to be discovered. Finding out about local areas of natural beauty made me feel so happy and made me want to do something rather than just sit around. I love watching bees, insects, birds and other wildlife. Identifying species can be a distraction if you are feeling at all sad. Feeling the sun on your face and the wind in your hair is fantastic too. Don't shun rainy days either - just get a rain coat and get down to your local woods or park and see what's out there!

                3. Pay It Forward

                I have often heard this phrase and have often been told that a life of contribution can make you content and happy. I'm not really a people person so I contribute in areas that mean something to me - animals and nature. Whatever you are passionate about find a way to do something useful in this area and do it! Volunteer, campaign, even just doing something small scale can make you feel proud and happy.

                4. Celebrate With Family/Friends

                One of the best things in life for me is to celebrate whenever and however you can. What I mean by that is I make sure that I try and value my life and to mark it with celebration. I like to see life as meaning something special no matter what I'm doing. I like to get family together and take pictures and videos of our times together. Doing things with likeminded people in your community can also give you a sense of happiness and worth. Parties, fetes, fayres etc. are great fun.

                5. Learning

                I like to feel like I'm constantly learning something new - this makes me feel happy. Reading new books, learning about culture and politics, viewing new artists or watching films. It's good to feel like you are progressing and becoming a better person.

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                  27.04.2012 17:11
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                  What puts a smile on my face.

                  After seeing another reviewer writing a review on this topic, I felt inspired to write down the Top 10 things that make me happy and hopefully those of you that read it will get to know me a little bit better. These are in no particular order!

                  1. Music: It is really my first love and will always be high up in my happy list, I think. I started playing piano at the age of 6 and guitar at the age of 7. Since then I've dabbled in various other instruments with varying degrees of success and play piano, guitar and trumpet relatively well while I can dash some simpler things off on the flute, clarinet and drums. I've played around a little bit with violin and cello but decided to take pity on my neighbour's ears and stop! I love playing music but also love listening to it and don't think anything can make me happier than music can. I love Classical music but will also listen to rock and pop just as easily.

                  2. My family, friends and fella: As much as they can all drive me nuts at times, spending time with the important people in my life (nearly) always puts a smile on my face!

                  3. Coins: Nope, I'm not a money hungry banker but I am a keen numismatist (a posh word to describe the kind of person who gets excited by a rare coin). As hobbies go it is pretty niche, pretty sad in it's own way and pretty much like a far more expensive version of stamp collecting but there's nothing gets me going in the same way as a cheeky Roman or Greek coin!

                  4. The Ancient Greeks and the Romans: I'm doing a PhD in Classics so if the Greeks and Romans didn't make me happy, then I guess I'd be in the wrong place. Again, what can I say, I'm a geek and proud of it!

                  5. Lego: Just in case you had any doubt about how sad my life is, I also love Lego. I collect minifigures and love building Lego, admiring it or just anything to do with it really!

                  6. Travelling: I love seeing the world and new places (at home and abroad). It's a cliche, I know but travelling really does expand your horizons and I love learning new things through it.

                  7. The Gym: This one even surprises me as I used to HATE the gym but am now a complete gym addict and nothing makes me happier than a wee trip there.

                  8. Martial Arts: Unfortunately I don't have time right now to practice them any more but I love my karate and one day soon I'll manage to find time to slot it back into my life somewhere

                  9. The Toy Story Alien: That little guy is just so cute and cool! I am not ashamed to admit that I have two cuddly toys of him, a small figurine and a Lego set with him in it. He always makes me smile!

                  10. Monkeys: Again, just so darn cool. I always watch the monkeys at the zoo for ages and if I ever was reincarnated as an animal, I think I'd like to come back as a monkey!

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                    27.04.2012 16:50
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                    Smile now =)

                    I love this discussion topic! Being happy and sharing things that make you happy, isn't it great?

                    So what I think can make me happy? Rather than writing a lengthy article (which is not my style anyway), I would just list out them in point form.

                    1. Smile
                    Smile when you are happy, and smile when you are not feeling happy too! You can pretend smiling at first, but sooner or later, you will find that you are actually smiling...

                    Smile to everyone you meet, starting from the moment you wake up until you go to bed. Smile to your neighbour and your colleague, you may brighten up their day!

                    2. Sunshine
                    What's better than having a day with nice sunshine?

                    3. A short walk
                    Feeling stuck? Feeling down? Take a walk outside and you will feel better! It's even better if you walk under sunshine!

                    4. Keep a log of your happy things
                    I kept a little book with myself and I would jot down 3 things which make me happy that day before I go to sleep. It may not be significant but just simple things which I feel grateful for. It may be that I saw a beautiful flower today, had a nicely baked bread or things like that. Whenever I feel unhappy, I will take out that little book and remind me of my happy moments!

                    5. Music
                    Playing music is a great! You don't really have to good at it before you start playing it. You can just sing a song in the shower, play a short piece on your kid's toy "piano".

                    I found myself much happier after started learning ukulele. It's very easy to learn and I have a lot of joy playing and singing along. It's very easy to pick up and if you want to look for something to start with, see my earlier review on Mahalo Ukulele Starter Kit =)

                    6. Donate to a charity
                    Make a donation to a charity. I like the feeling of being able to help someone. In fact, I am helping a charity in Hong Kong which is helping to rebuild the ruined schools in China. It always feel great to be able to help someone, especially to help the kids to have a better place to learn.

                    The list can go on and on. But I guess what is important is to discover for yourself what will make you happy and most importantly, SHARE the joy with others!

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                      27.04.2012 16:01
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                      The arrival of spring makes me very happy - warmer days are finally here and I start to feel better

                      The Spring Sigh of Relief

                      One of the things that is making me especially happy at the moment (in spite of all the rain!) is the arrival of spring. I love the first day of spring - not the official date that is on calendars and diaries, but that glorious first day when the air suddenly feels warm, soft and gentle, almost as if nature is giving you a hug. I breathe a huge sigh of relief then, because although it doesn't always last, and the chill winds and rain inevitably return for a while, I've been made a promise. The worst is over, and there is lots to look forward to.

                      Even though my health is not good, I seem to be able to manage to maintain a fairly optimistic and cheerful outlook on life. However, this does get tested rather during the dark days of winter, when I suffer from a mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder. As the days lengthen at the end of autumn, I tend to dread the cold and dark months ahead, so I try to devise ways of keeping my thoughts positive - and one of these is to think about any treats that might be on the horizon.

                      The first is Christmas, which I really enjoy. I love the planning - choosing gifts for people I love, writing Christmas cards, getting together with my family, and - most important of all - the fact that my husband will be on holiday and at home with me. For my husband, one of the great treats of autumn and winter is the American Football Season, which we both love but which he positively devours. He's been a fan for decades, and spends many happy hours curled up on the sofa watching this fascinating sport. When spring comes, he leaps off the sofa and on to his bike, and spends many happy hours enjoying the exercise and fresh air.

                      For me, once Christmas is over, the months of January and February are tricky, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. There aren't too many days to go now. The next treat I look forward to is our wedding anniversary towards the end of February, and then my husband's birthday in early March. Although we usually celebrate these quietly at home together - a nice meal, a bottle of wine and a DVD suits us fine - these are events we treasure. And by the time we've reached those dates, then spring is almost upon us - bringing the return of sweet air, blue skies and birdsong, and golden yellow tulips.

                      I love the longer evenings and no longer having to huddle under winter clothes. It's bliss being able to open the French windows so that I can enjoy the fresh air and watch the rather tame bit of wildlife that takes place in our garden. Blackbirds nest every year in a shrub close to the house, and whenever they fly in and out they always catch my eye. They seem to choose the same spot in the shrub each time, and I am delighted that their annual nesting site is in use again. We also get a lot of sparrows who enjoy having a dance and hop about on the patio - they're a joy to watch, and always make me smile. I also smile when I see the various neighbourhood cats, who stroll past with a brief glance at me as if to say 'Hello, who are you and what are you doing in my garden?' before they decide on the best sunny spot for their next nap.

                      One of my health problems is a lung disease that leaves me prone to catching a lot of chest infections. The most recent bout has been nasty and protracted, and has meant that I have occasionally been confined to bed - although I'm usually accompanied by my trusty laptop and a pile of library books, which keeps me content. One of the things that I have enjoyed during my most recent bout is the fact that whenever I look out of the bedroom window, I can see a number of trees coming into blossom. I've always called them 'bridesmaid's trees', because the blossom reminds me of little girls in their pink or white bridesmaid's frocks.

                      So, although summer is my favourite season - I thrive in warm sunshine - spring is the promise that the worst of the weather is (hopefully!) over, and that lovely long days are on their way. Spring is the year's first gift. And that makes me very happy indeed!

                      (A slightly revised version of this review is also on Ciao, under the same user name.)

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                        27.01.2012 21:14
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                        Happiness is the key to a longer life.

                        I remember reading one of these recently and I enjoyed reading it even more than product reviews, so I figured I would write my own. Plus after a lovely, relaxing end to a massively long week, I feel I have achieved an appropriate mindset for such a review. The heavenly glass of Bordeaux that I have just drank has no influence on the following content. Honestly.

                        1) Family and Hubby to Be
                        I felt these had to be grouped together as they are one and the same. I get along SO well with all of my family and we speak almost every day, we have such a laugh. As for the fiance, I met him when I was au-pairing in Rome 2 summers ago and a whirlwind romance led to finding the love of my life. I feel blessed. Between my family and him and his family, I consider myself very, very lucky.

                        2) Dogs
                        People who have dogs will understand....I have an Italian Spinone and a Tibetan Terrier who I generally miss more than my family when I'm abroad. One is little and cheeky and the other is HUGE and thinks she's a lapdog. They have the best personalities and I can always count on the best cuddles.

                        The rest are in no particular order.....

                        3) Friends
                        Who can live without their friends?? They make me laugh, are there for me when I need them and they know me so well it scares me. They're in various different countries so sadly I don't get to see them all the time but I appreciate them just the same and we're pretty good at staying in touch.

                        4)Cookbooks
                        I adore cooking so naturally I spend hours looking through cookbooks. I love the fantastic photography, trying new and interesting combinations of flavours and reading the little stories and anecdotes that the chefs include.

                        5)Food
                        Pretty obvious given the above. That said I am skinny! Sometimes nothing beats sundried tomatoes in seasoned oil, buffalo mozzarella and ham. Or equally, some good cheese, baguette and a good bottle of red. Living in France and Italy has really made me appreciate the variety of food we have available to us a few short hours away.

                        6) Wine
                        Nothing beats it after a long and stressful day. Or just because my watch hit "wine o'clock". I have now passed this little phrase onto my German and French friends, it's catching :)

                        7) Books
                        I love chilling with a book - or my new favourite gadget, the Kindle. No particular favourite genre, mainly fiction and crime/thrillers though. I love a good guessing game! I also LOVE second hand book shops, never know what you will find!

                        8) The Beach
                        Back at home in the North East, I live 2 minutes from the beach and I go there every chance I can get, often with my doggies. I love the sea air, the sound of the waves and the endless sand, along with the sense of freedom I get when I walk/run there.

                        9) Home
                        No matter where I end up travelling, living or staying for a few months, I always love that feeling of being Home Sweet Home with my family, dogs and that sense of familiarity.

                        10) Clean Bedsheets
                        I adore that cotton fresh smell so much!

                        11) LUSH Baths
                        Showers are the everyday preference due to quickness and a busy schedule, but on a Sunday I love having a huge, hot, sweet-smelling bath wit some LUSH bath-bomb or bubble bath bar or suchlike. It makes me so happy lying there until my skin is super wrinkled.

                        12)Languages/Travel
                        If I had ordered my list by preference, this would be a lot nearer the top! I speak 4 languages and hope to learn several more when uni is over and other things are not my focus. That said, I speak 3 of the languages that I already know fluently and on a daily basis (obviously English being one of them!) and I love it. I also adore travelling, especially to new place with new people, new languages, new cultures, new sights. Life is too short to stay in the same place for your entire life without seeing the world!

                        13)Fashion
                        I love buying clothes way too much and I have 3 wardrobes in 3 countries. I like my money where I can see it, hanging in my wardrobe, as Carrie Bradshaw would say!

                        14)Sushi
                        Healthy and absolutely delicious!!

                        I hope you enjoyed this and it made you a little bit happy :)

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                          13.01.2012 00:03
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                          These are a few of my favourite things....

                          The things that make me happiest are:

                          1. Family
                          Hubby and two grown up sons. Have lots of happy memories of the two boys when they were young - I was a stay at home mum to give them all my attention and I loved spending time with them.

                          2. Friends
                          Lovely to keep in touch with people and nothing better than having friends to share the good and bad times with.

                          3. My Cats
                          They ave all been strays but have adopted me and are now part of the family - and the two poor ones no longer with us.

                          4. Nature
                          Love being out in the countryside - the smell of earth and flowers.

                          5. Having Energy
                          Having M.E. I am often weak and in the house so a good day is being able to get out on my scooter round the village - a simple pleasure but it means so much.

                          6. Housework
                          Sounds silly but if I have been able to get a little chore done around the house it does make me feel happy - so long as I am not too shattered afterwards.

                          7. Post & Parcels
                          Love seeing the postman coming with some nice parcel or letter.

                          8. Bargains
                          Not having much money I enjoy picking up bargains from tips I get on the Money Saving Expert website.

                          9. Community
                          Living in a small village it is good to feel a part of it all - I do the Newsletter and it is good to feel in contact with everyone else.

                          10. Ancestors
                          I enjoy doing my family tree on Ancestry and it is very exciting when you make some amazing discovery - one being that an ancestor of my husband was deported for attacking Queen Victoria!

                          11. Smells
                          Angel perfume
                          Teabags
                          Moss
                          Hay
                          Tar
                          Ozone at the beach
                          Bread baking
                          Fresh cut grass
                          Bluebell woods
                          Lilies
                          Honeysuckle

                          12. Photographs
                          I have a huge collection of family albums - all taken before I got a digital camera. Lots taken of my sons and the cats which are great to look back and as they evoke so many happy memoires.

                          13. Christmas
                          I just love Christmas - all the build up - wrapping presents, writing cards and letters to people.
                          Decorating - we have four trees but I would love more - you can never have too many decorations at Chrisrtmas. It always feels a magical sort of time.

                          14. Laughter
                          Nothing beats a good laugh - whether its having a joke with friends or something funny on the TV.

                          15. Woods
                          love woodland - but not too well cared for. Especially if there is a lovely stream trickling through it with fallen branches on the ground and mossy stones and perhaps even a little waterfall.

                          16. Birds
                          The wild variety. We feed loads in our garden and have woodpeckers etc. Also at night you can hear the tawny owls from teh nearby wood calling to each other.

                          17. Night Sky
                          I love to go out at night and look at the stars and moon - it is magical. The heavens are so huge it is mindblowing. Makes you feel a part of it all and at the same time shows us how insignificant we are in the huge scheme of things.

                          18. Snow
                          Not when its been around for ages and the roads are dangerous but when it first starts to fall and it turns the whole world into a winter wonderland. Its magical - just like in Narnia and always makes me excited and happy - like a little kid I suppose!

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                            29.09.2011 16:57
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                            Things that make me happy :)

                            I could probably go on for quite a bit about things that make me happy, but I have chosen some of my favourite things which are also the top things which make me happy.

                            ***MY NEPHEW'S***
                            I have 2 nephew's one whom is 4 years old and the other is about 6 months old. I am a big fan of children/babies anyway and there's something about them which just makes me feel happy inside. I love spending every minute with my nephew's and playing with them. My older nephew say's some really funny things sometimes which makes me laugh. I see him weekly and we go out and do different things together like go for a walk or feed the ducks. I'm very grateful that I have 2 such beautiful nephew's and I get to see them regularly. I love making my younger nephew laugh as he lies or sits on the play-mat, his smile and laugh are just adorable.

                            ***MY SISTER***
                            My sister is 2 years older than me and we have gone through a lot of things together, espicially family problems/issues. Ever since we were younger we have always been very close. Luckily she doesn't live too far away from me so we see each other regularly. Every-time I see her and spend time with her I love and feel as though we are getting some proper family time together and chance to chat and find out what has been going on in each other's lives. I do ring her regularly as well, about 4 times a week to see how she is and to see how my nephew's are. My sister is one person whom I'll always be really close to and she's one person whom always make me smile and be there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on, or just for a chat.

                            ***A NEW DRESS***
                            This always makes me feel happy as it's a nice treat and I can never wait to go out on the town to show my new outfit off. Buying something new to wear makes me feel good about myself and makes me feel as though I look good as well as feel it. Although it may not be an expensive dress, it still makes me feel great because it's new and I've never worn it out before. Any clothes make me feel happy/good, but it makes me even more happy when I can show it off.

                            ***WHEN PEOPLE NOTICE I WORK OUT***
                            I work out regularly and have quite a toned body with some good muscle definition. I work out about 5 times a week and eat all the right food. It makes me really happy when people notice I work out a lot and when they comment on how good my body looks, which could be my legs or my stomach. (I don't go out naked!!!). I often get a lot of comments on how flat and toned my tummy is which makes me happy, espicially the amount of effort I put into working out and trying to stay in shape to look good.

                            ***MY BOYFRIEND***
                            I love spending lots of times with my boyfriend, and he makes me feel very happy. Whether it's just cuddling up on the sofa or going out for a nice meal he always makes me feel special and wanted. It's been a very long time since I have been with someone whom has made me very happy so he's doing a very good job of it. He has some hobbies, which he gets me involved in which makes me feel happy knowing that he wants to involved me in with his hobbies and other things. I don't think there has been a time where I've been sad/upset with him. (I'm pretty sure there won't be either . . at least I hope not!!).

                            ***MICHAEL BUBLE - HOLLYWOOD***
                            This is really random and some of you may think it's quite strange. This song just makes me feel so happy inside. It's a really catchy song, which I hear about 2-3 times on the radio and as soon as I hear I feel as though I have more energy and a smile creeps over my face and I hear myself singing to the song. I think it's just one of those feel good songs!!

                            ***FAMILY OUTINGS***
                            These don't happen very often as my family never have and never will be very close. If it's a special occassion such as my nephew's birthday we may take a trip to the zoo or to a theme park for the day. I really enjoy these as it's a great way to spend a day out with the family and although I feel tired at the end of the day I feel happy, knowing that we can still have family day's out like this and that we can enjoy ourselves as a family still.

                            Thank you for reading.

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                              12.09.2011 21:57
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                              Do what makes you happy, its such a wonderful feeling!

                              I truely believe that smiling is contagious, if you give someone a big cheesey grin, 9 time out of 10 they will smile back at you; it may only be out of politeness but I bet it made them feel good, especially if they were having a bad day, Smilig and laughter are natural pick me ups!

                              With this in mind, heres a brief insight into the things that make me happy...

                              *Cheesey pop music (especially stuff from the '90s), not because it's inspiring, thought provoking or even good quality music but because it just makes me want to dance around my house like an idiot and a lot of it is so catchy and upbeat that even in my darkest of moods I can't resist dancing and singing along. A lot of it also unearths great memories that I had long forgotten!

                              *My lizards. Well, technically they aren't my lizards, they belong to my other half, but since I love them just as much, if not more than he does I class them as mine too. I was never that keen on reptiles until I bought my boyfriend his first Lizard about 4 years ago, it was what he wanted for his birthday and I just can't resist getting him what he wants. Since then our little Lizard family has grown and we now have Seth (an Argentinian Black and White Tegu) Panzer and Zeus (Leopard Geckos) and Echo (a Crested Gecko). Seth is my favourite and when he was a baby we used to play 'chase the grape' where I would throw a grape and he would chase it, catch it and eat it, he was a speedy little guy as a baby and I have 'fond' memories of him chasing me around my bedroom trying to bite my toes. Thankfully, he has out growth the toe biting, as I imagine that with him now being a big 3ft monster that it would be quite painful if he were to catch me. We play 'chase the egg' now instead, as grapes are too small for him :). The leopard gecko have great little characters too, one is really active and quick, the other so lazy he can't even be bothered to shed properly. The newest edition to our family is Echo, who is tiny and very adorable. She eats baby food and will just sit there for ages licking it off your finger. They all have such funny little characteristics that I can't help but chuckle when I see them.

                              *Shopping. I love shopping (what girl doesn't) and fully believe in the benefits of retail therapy. If I'm feeling down, you can guarantee a trip to the shops will cheer me up!

                              *Holidays. There is nothing like a good holiday to help you relax and de-stress. Personally, I love to explore when I go on holiday and try and make the most of my time in another country and experience the local culture, but I have to admit I do also love a good beach holiday! I like to try and get away twice a year if I can. So far this year I have been to Djerba in Tunisia with my girlie friends and have some great memories that never fail to make me smile, especially when I hear some of the cheesy pop we were dancing to while we were there!

                              *My friends and family. Without them I would be mardy every day, especially my other half he is such a comedian and makes me laugh all the time!

                              *Summer time. I LOVE summer time. There is always so much more to see and do, the days are longer and I love not having to pile on hundreds of layers of clothing to stay warm. Although the summer in the UK this year hasn't been great, I still tried to make the most of it and spent much more time out of the house. The days always seem happier and more positive when the sun is shining and I nearly always wake up in a good mood if the sun is shining through my window. Summer days just make the world seem like a better, happier place than when it's raining, everything looks so much brighter and more beautiful. I love it.

                              *Christmas. I have always loved Christmas and I am lucky enough to celebrate it twice in one day thanks to my family eating christmas dinner early in the day at around 12pm and my boyfriend's eating in the evening at around 8pm. I think this helps to make the day last longer. I have to admit that I probably like the run up Christmas just as much as the day itself, it's such a magical time of year and I can't help but watch lovely, heart warming christmasy films such as Miracle on 34th street, one of my favourites!! Plus it's also the perfect excuse to go shopping!

                              I could go on forever talking about the things that make me happy but at the risk of becoming boring I think I will leave it at the few listed above.

                              Have a good day my dooyoo friends! xxx

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                                16.06.2011 23:39
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                                A trawl through my happy place.

                                After reading a few lovely 'reviews' including Absinthfairy and Lak11's lovely pieces about what makes them happy it inspired me to sit my self down and put finger to button and share my happy thoughts. I'm sure I won't convey it as eloquently as they did, but here goes anyway.

                                "Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens" (Sound of Music), ... I'm not talking about the song itself, I don't particularly like it; but it has always made the hairs on the back of my neck tickle, as despite being a bit saccharin it pretty much encapsulates many of the things that make me happy. Particularly the whiskers on kittens, oh god kittens, and cats, I could just surround my self with kitties and die of happiness, not to mention a good few claw 'strokes' and 'nibbles' and a massive asthma attack.

                                The things that make me happy are mostly little things, like my daughters spending some time with me chatting, sharing funny stuff they've found on you tube, 'expanding' my musical knowledge and generally shooting the breeze, and in the eldest's case politically indoctrinating me.

                                The husband's not a bad old stick either, and can still make me laugh, he has quite a dry wit, and sometimes surreal sense of humour, one of the things we share I suspect, as it was 'the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy' that got us together 26 odd years ago. He would also come under the heading of 'Things that make me angry'.

                                Sharing time with the extended family and close friends is also high on my happy list, we all get on pretty well and accept each others foibles and eccentricities. We have our spats, but we usually resolve them without any bloodshed. I grew up very physically close to a large family network, both sets of grandparents and many 'sets' of uncles, aunts and cousins all within several hundred yards of each other, I would describe it as the Waltons' (If anyone is as old as me and remembers that show), but with much more swearing. It's left me both loving being part of a big network and also loving locking myself away alone for a while, the only way to get any peace in a big extended family. So being sociable, and having time on my own both make me very happy... If I'm honest locking myself away with a DVD or book and large bar of chocolate probably has the edge.

                                I went through a belated goth/heavy metal stage about 5 years ago and one of my friends sent me a Barbie birthday card, when people know you well enough to also know the antithesis of you and take the Michael it makes me laugh.

                                Being with animals and nature makes me extremely happy, I love all animals not just the pretty cuddly ones, and can (if I've got the time) spend a happy half hour watching a fat garden spider repair it's web, and spend hours in the dark trying to 'relocate' a bloody wasps nest rather than exterminate it. Not knowing if the girly screams were coming from me or the husband (we recently had a colony set up right by our back door).

                                A memory that still makes me smile happened on a walk through a disused former peat works near my home. I saw a rustling in the leaves of the path, when I bent down and moved the leaves there was a young mole busily rummaging for worms. He was tiny, though obviously weaned and had left home. I gently picked him up, and the feel of his beautifully soft fur was something else! I found him a worm (which I would never normally harm, always stepping around them on wet pavements, or even moving them to a grassy/earthy spot) and laid it on my hand in front of him and watched as he greedily wolfed it down, before replacing him to the same spot to continue his life long quest for grub.

                                Some of my happiest moments have been spent knee deep in a pond getting to know newts, or rummaging in a Victorian dump (on the outskirts of my home village) finding lovely glass bottles, and bits of dangerously sharp tat etc.

                                These days though, I'm more sedentary and rarely happier than when snuggled up on the sofa with a can of Pepsi Max and an episode of Dr Who, or CSI playing on the telly. I also love comedy, I prefer stand up but also like programmes that incorporate humour naturally into them rather than contrived 'situation' comedies, like the abysmal 'Life of Riley'. Though two of my favourite comedies ever were situational, albeit unusual situations, Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy, and Red Dwarf, smegging awesome.

                                Watching a burst of my favourite comedians or comedy can make a gray day seem better. I love Louis C K, Frankie Boyle, and the marmite of comedians Stuart Lee at the moment, but not averse to a bit of Michael McIntyre and Sarah Millican. My favourite classic comedian was Dave Allen, the first person outside of my family to make me cry with laughter. Amongst the first people to make me cry with laughter inside my family was my 4ft 10inch mother, who when reaching for something at the bottom of a deep freezer in KwikSave (now deceased - the shop not my mother) toppled in head first, all that was visible were two frantically windmilling little feet. She's a feisty type, and the 'it wasn't funny don't you dare laugh' look in her eyes combined with frost bejewelled standing on end dark hair was a gem.

                                Dr Denzil Dexter, arguably the Fast show's greatest creation, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UhC04okll0 Of course Dave turned out to be a chimp, somewhat like the government wot we (mostly) didn't vote for.

                                YouTube.

                                I love weather, not the raging horror stories of weather that some nations suffer, but the normal spectrum of British weather. I don't care whether it's raining, blowing a gale, snowing, or sunny - bring it on. There's something in all of it that hits my happy spot. The variety is what gives us our gorgeous green and pleasant land. Let's hope the dust bowl developing in some areas of England and ruining the crops soon gets thoroughly sodden as per a normal glorious wet British summer.

                                The smell of wet woodland in autumn, or the olfactory haze matching the visual blue haze of a bluebell wood in spring, mmmmm I could almost fly on the endorphins that creates.

                                Cats... did I mention cats... Tom cats, scrawny elderly cats, mischievous kittens who poop under the welcome mat and eat your hair while your sleeping, moggies of all descriptions and heritages. Happy, happy, happy.

                                River dance, no really... come back no one knows your reading something so uncool! I wouldn't go and watch it live, but when I catch a snippet of the music, and that gorgeous red head of the early days gets her groove on I can't help but smile, and wish I could move without falling over phantom objects and sometimes even myself.

                                Music and lots of it, preferably live and all sorts of genres, I'm loving 'Foster the People' at the moment, and Cosmo Jarvis, I'll always love Placebo, Linkin Park and Idlewild, and I'm not averse to a bit of classical too. My youngest has a great big wide scope of stuff she listens to, and often gets me hooked on bands long before they're signed. I swear she could be a talent scout, she'll start listening to stuff two years before they hit mainstream, and hit they will (mainstream in a niche way if you know what I mean..- alternative, indie, folk-rock), she's a guru.

                                I used to love photography, in the days when you had to hide in a dark room with smelly chemicals that broke your watch if you say... accidentally dropped a negative off your peg thing, and had to fish around in a tank for it, forgetting you had your brand new 21st birthday present on! Sorry dad! I liked the whole process of framing a shot, using shutter speeds and different films for different effects, plus the big bag of lenses, and filters and god knows what, and then dodging and burning etc to get the final effect you wanted... Ahh the simple concept of a deferred pleasure, having to wait to see what masterpiece, or disaster you've created. A bit like having a baby really; what am I saying! Bring on digital that's what I say! I do enjoy sharing old pictures with the kids though, spending a happy half hour showing them pictures I've taken of various newts I have known, it never ceases to amaze them (or perhaps that should be horrify them).

                                Anyway, I don't want this to become too interminable, indeed if you've managed to read this far thank you. Basically the things that make me happy are manifold and too many to enumerate here. From a bee drunk on pollen rolling around in a dandelion to the birth of my little niece; they all have their place and make for a life worth loving.

                                Oh and did I mention cats!...

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