Mulling it over: A recipe for happiness

Yesterday, when we got home from school, my 4 year old daughter said “oh it’s good to be home”. She then sighed as she shrugged off her coat (dumping it on the floor as is the habit of ALL children) and told me that “home feels nice Mummy, it’s our place”.  What’s that saying?  Oh yes – from the mouths of babes… I have never been in love with our home, to me it was always a place that I had no choice but to move to when my life took an unexpected twist.  Hearing her say that she looked forward to coming home, that she felt like we belong here gave me a new perspective.  It may not be the nicest looking house on the street, it may not be stunningly decorated, it may not belong to me and it’s definitely always messy BUT, it is our home and we make it ours. Take time to listen to the small ones around you, they can teach us so much. As I feeling all kinds of cosy after her sweet words, some might say I was feeling very hyggeligt, I decided it was time to have my hot spiced apple juice again.  I shared the photo on Twitter (I’m @faerynuff and @ShakeYourTush) and the lovely ladies at Living Hygge who run the #hyggehour on Twitter – Monday evenings 8-9pm! – seemed so interested that I thought I’d blog the recipe here. Hot Spiced Apple Juice You need; 1 litre apple juice (any, it doesnt have to be super expensive as we’re adding lots of flavours here) 500ml water 1 orange...

It only takes one…

Today started like this. Cold, richly coloured and full of happy promise. Then my ex husband happened and I had a full on Facebook style rant on Twitter. Not the best way to start a Thursday! It only takes one person to upset your day but…it only takes you to make it better again.  One of the best bits of advice I was ever given was that you can’t control how other people behave but you can control how you react to their behaviour. So, with a deep and cleansing breath I kicked some autumn leaves and headed off to Costa because it’s CHRISTMAS DRINKS LAUNCH DAY!!     Ahh, that’s better.  Two hours later and I’m still here, oops! My lovely brother and sister in law joined me for a salted caramel cappuccino  (make sure you have the crumb on top, it makes it extra special) and a toasted marshmallow hot chocolate  (too sweet for me amazingly but my brother loved it!). I’m avoiding going home so am indulging in an Amaretto latte and people watching whilst I write this. On Tuesday I was challenged to blogging more this month, with the loose theme of Hygge, happiness and contentment. Apparently I’m meant to be posting every day …! Can I manage that? Can you cope with so much of me? How much hygge can one woman share? Stay tuned to find out! Whilst you’re waiting go and visit my challenger at www.1001albums.co.uk and enjoy what he has to say. Happy November everyone, stay hygge. Ali x...

On family, coffee and doing it alone…

This is my family, they are 15, 12, 8 and 4.  Three girls, 1 boy.  All totally amazing and incredibly different in character.  They are my happiness, craziness, sanity, frustration and fun all wrapped up in a bundle of kind, caring, happy, lively loveliness. Being a single parent is hard.  Rewarding yes, but hard.  I didn’t choose to do this on my own.  Circumstances changed, I changed, life happened.  I think I do a pretty good job though (they do see their dad’s, a lot, and have a great relationship with them).  Most of the time being on my own doesn’t bother me – we’ve lived as a single parent family for over 3 years now.  It’s different now that I’m properly on my own though.  There’s no one to ring and moan, no one to give me hug on those rough days when I’m having to be the mean mum, no one to text and share those seemingly insignificant tiny triumphs with.  And that’s lonely. I’m slowly filling those gaps though – with work, crafts, home making, friends, and I plan to do more.   It’s not all doom and gloom, with these bundles of craziness around me – how could it be? So – this afternoon we took a trip to Beaulieu village.  We had a short walk along the river and popped into the new Mettricks for a drink.  I’d heard that Mettricks serve the best coffee in Southampton so it was time to try them out. I knew we were on to something good when my youngest asked for a babycino and was told that...

It’s been a while (and here’s why).

Nothing prepares you for losing someone you love.  No amount of time or forward planning can make it easier.  It hits you like a blunt instrument at the back of the neck, like sharp stabbing to your stomach, it’s as though your legs have been removed and replaced with immovable slabs on concrete.  Life continues to happen yet you look on as though you are a voyeur, not a participant.  The sun still rises every morning just as it always has but it feels different now. More intense somehow. My boyfriend had lung cancer and died unexpectedly a few weeks ago.  He’d been feeling better and was planning to play his cajon at Music in the City  (a free music festival in Southampton).  He’d been out for lunch, been driving his little red car with the roof down and had even had a beer in the sunshine.  He rang me at that afternoon, he sounded so well, we were looking forward to a weekend together.  That weekend didn’t happen the way we’d planned. Since then my life has been very different.  I’ve been concentrating on creating a new normal for myself and my children.  I’ve got a part time job for the first time in 5 years and I’m throwing my mixed up, crazy headed, distracted self into creating a happy, hygge home for my family. As for me, well, I’ve spent too much money, am eating too much and am not really facing up to what happened which is why I’m writing this. I hope this, along with the sewing I started today, will be a step towards...

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