What’s been making me happy: January

Outdoor sink, hose reel watering can and potted plants at Cadell Place in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.

Hello! It’s nice to be back writing after a slightly longer than expected break. Christmas and New Year didn’t quite pan out how I had expected, with a rather debilitating virus and a couple of cases of conjunctivitis forcing our little family into hibernation mode. Apart from hospital, doctor and pharmacy visits, we did little over the festive period apart from rest and recover. I won’t lie, it wasn’t the merriest time but we’re all happy and healthy now and for that I’m very thankful.

It’s hard to believe we’re three-quarters through the first month of the year already and I know for many – particularly those in the U.K. – it’s been a pretty tough start to 2021. Now more than ever, it feels important to celebrate and appreciate the small things in life, so on that note, this is what’s been making me smile in January…

MORNING WALKS

Undulating farmland near Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.

Adam and I are making a concerted effort at the moment to get moving a little bit more. I’ve written countlessly about my love walks, but it’s often an activity I do in waves – I’ll go for six days in a row and then skip a day or two for whatever reason, and then fall out of the habit for weeks on end, before the cycle repeats itself. Living with a toddler means we wake up at a fairly consistent time every single day, so when I’m not working, as soon as Paul wakes up we’ll give him breakfast, get him dressed and then head out straight away for a walk. It sounds easy enough and I’m hoping with consistency, Adam and I keeping each other accountable and a pleasant weather forecast for the foreseeable future we can entrench this walk into our morning routine.

READING FOR LEISURE

Book, candle, tea cup and small print on a round timber tray set on a white coverlet beside a blue and white stripe cushion.

I’ve been a voracious reader all of my life but after Paul was born reading for leisure became something that slipped by the wayside. It’s a situation I’m sure many mothers can relate to. I’d read countless articles on my phone about teething, developmental milestones, or breastfeeding but setting aside time to just sit and immerse myself in a chapter of a physical book was suddenly no longer a priority. Knowing I wanted to turn that situation around, I requested a couple of books off Adam for Christmas. I’m almost through the first novel and while I’m not reading every day, I am picking up book most nights before bed now. Last week I jumped into bed as soon Paul had fallen asleep, the sun still high in the sky outside, and read for a couple of hours uninterrupted. It was blissful and a really good reminder (especially for a first time mum) that you need to make time for yourself too. Like the walking, I’m going to be trying really hard to make this an activity I keep persisting with so it becomes a habit once more.

UPCYCLING

Dried flowers and grasses in a painted grey Raynham shell vase.

I was gifted a vintage vase over Christmas. It’s a rather retro, light pink, shell shaped piece by pottery house Raynham and it came with advice as to how to modify it, should I so desire. While I appreciated the original hue I’m very much a black/white/grey/navy gal and they’re the colours you’ll find me wearing most days, and decorating my house in. I picked up some steel wool and a tiny pot of water based enamel paint in a matt grey and gave my old vase a new lease on life. The exterior of the vase is quite textured, so it took a good three coats of paint to fully cover the original colour, but I decided to keep the glazed, more vibrant pink that bathes its interior. I liked the contrast of the two colours and I’ve got enough paint left so that if I change my mind, I can easily paint the vase’s inside. I love the vase’s flat shape – it works well for flower arrangements placed against a wall. It was a quick and inexpensive DIY project and I reckon it turned out pretty well.

What’s been making you smile this month?

Have a wonderful week.

M.

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