Monday, 25 August 2014

Happiness Is... (vol. 81)


I know I said I wasn't planning on blogging much, but I honestly, didn't expect to take a full week off without even thinking about it. As I said last week- it just currently isn't where my priority is, and I am sorry about that. I've barely even read any one else's posts- the odd flick through Bloglovin on my phone, but no long blog reading sessions like there used to be.

I'm really really hoping that I'll get back into the swing of it soon, but until then- thank you for bearing with me, those of you who still are. 

This week, happiness is...

... lie ins. I'm terrible at them. I mean truly, truly terrible- my idea of a lie in is 8:30am. In fact, I would say 85% of the time I actually set an alarm, even at weekends. I hate the idea of sleeping the whole way through a morning, and cherish the time I can potter around the house alone before anyone else is awake. But this weekend, I've needed the ability to just sleep- even if I did still wake up at 9am.

... exciting news from friends. One of my best friends from school got engaged this weekend! I'm so so happy for her and her new fiance- just slightly baffled as to when we all got to be so grown up.

... Honest burgers. Seriously my favourite burgers in London (so far). They're just so bloody delicious!

... seeing people you know do awesome things. My housemate's sister was in a play in the Camden Fringe this weekend, and on Saturday afternoon we headed up there to see her. The play was so much fun, and she was so great in it. It's so lovely to see the people you know doing the things they love!

... being in London. Despite the fact that I did have my first massive London wobble yesterday, I really am so happy to be here. 

What's making you happy this week?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Happiness Is... (vol. 80)

I'm struggling a little with blogging at the moment. I've had internet access back for the best part of a week, and I've written what- one post? I used to write every day. I used to feel guilt about missing a single post. And now? Psh. Nothing.

It's partly a lack of time. With the move, the new job, catching up with people, exploring- I've had far better ways to spend my time that cooped up behind a computer screen. But it's also been a lack of inclination to do it, or even to take pictures of the things I've been doing- I mean, I've done some great exploring recently, visited all sorts of new places, and done some lovely things- but my priority hasn't been anywhere near taking pictures of it to share with the internet. Instead, it has been on just enjoying the time I'm spending with people. It feels like a bit of pressure has been lifted from my shoulders, actually.

I'm going to keep it up though. I'm going to blog as much as I can, or rather as much (or indeed, as little) as I feel. I'm planning to keep up with these posts, though- they help me to focus on the little things that have made me smile, particularly when I'm exhausted, emotional, and feeling a little queasy at the thought of a new week. 

So here we go. This week, happiness is...

... good food weekends. Particularly ones that leave you in need of a serious detox after the weekend.This weekend included ridiculous peanut butter cupcakes, breakfast sandwiches, Byron burgers, ice cream, and the epic fish finger sandwich above (which I'm still thinking about). If anyone sees me instagramming anything other than healthy food this week, shout at me.

... snapchats of my youngest two siblings. Oh, how I love and miss those two. E babysat for Little L this weekend, and the pictures he send me melted my hard heart and made me smile through Saturday's hangover.

From here
... dogs on the tube. On Saturday, we saw the most BEAUTIFUL cocker spaniel puppy on the tube. Honestly, I'm becoming more of a dog person with every passing day. Betsy, I am so sorry.

... animal print clothing. And by that I do not mean clothes patterned with impressions of the skins of animals- no, I mean my new stripy top, which comes complete with a picture of a whale (I'll show you soon), and the £3 fox-print scarf I picked up at Old Spitalfields market on Saturday. Adorable.

... the prospect of a long weekend coming right up. My my, I'm excited about it!

What's making you happy this week?

Friday, 15 August 2014

Columbia Road Flower Market

Last Sunday, Z and I braved Hurricane Bertha for a coffee in Shoreditch and a little trip to Columbia Road Flower Market.

I am perpetually early- honestly, it's almost a problem (and nearly was on my first day at work, but that's a story for another day). So while I rocked up at Paper and Cup about ten minutes early, Z was about 20 minutes late (pesky buses)- giving me half an hour to sit in the window with a flat white and people watch. Honestly? People watching in Shoreditch is my new favourite hobby- I saw two people with pink hair, one with a Proudlock-style haircut, and three in '80s style leggings while I was waiting. I would strongly recommend Paper and Cup- with second hand books and hilarious staff, it was a haven of calm so close to the market. Honestly, go.

I love catching up with Z. We've known each other since we were five years old, and can go months and months and months without seeing each other or even really talking. But every time we do catch up, it's just like we saw each other only the previous week, and I love her dearly. 

Once we'd had our fill of coffee and boy gossip, we made our way to the market, and I was in heaven. I've often said that if I wasn't doing what I'm doing now, I'd love to be a florist (and maybe own a florists/ bakery/ coffee shop type place), and at this time of year, flower markets are just wonderful. 

The hydrangeas were clearly the star of the show (I mean, just look at them!), but the sunflowers and lisianthus stole my heart. Z picked up a pretty bunch of lilac and white lisianthus, and we spent some happy time discussing all things floral and listening to the traders screaming "Two for a fiver!".

And then I got lost trying to find Liverpool Street Station but hey- some you win, some you lose!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Happiness Is... (Vol. 79)

Sorry for the almost radio silence- as I mentioned, we're currently sans Internet, which makes blogging a wee bit difficult. To be honest though, I've been so busy having fun and enjoying my first week in London that I probably wouldn't have blogged much anyway. And while we'll be all connected up by Wednesday, I've barely taken any pictures this week so god knows what I'll be writing about when I'm back!!

But anyway! I'm tapping this out of my phone (again) while lying in bed on Sunday morning, cup of tea on the bookshelf next to me, and listening to the world outside my window. It's very peaceful. I know I've banged on a lot recently about being happy/ content/ whatever, and if am a bit sorry about that- I'm sure some of you out there are busy rolling your eyes going "yeah, right, she's only showing us what she wants us to see"- which is true, because I actually want to share that I'm happy right now. It's far more fun that being miserable. 

Anyway. I promise not to go on about it too much this week. But for now- this week, happiness is...

... bizarre London moments. On Saturday, I caught up with some old uni friends for a coffee. We hung out for a good couple of hours before the others all had to dash off to various afternoon activities, so I took myself off for a stroll. And strolling down the Southbank, I ran into three people I've known since pre-school! It was so bizarre, and we kind of hijacked each other's afternoons. It was so much fun to catch up with them, and it turns out two of them live really very locally to me. For a big city, it sure is a small world. 

... adorable voicemails from Little L. Oh my god, that girl steals my heart constantly. On Wednesday night, I got a voicemail from her telling me she had exciting news, to call her back, and "I love you, bye!!". Turns out, her exciting news was that she'd been to the dentist that day. It's fun being five, it seems!

... drinking tea in bed. If I haven't said this one before, how not?! It's just blissful- and that's coming from a girl who really isn't good at getting back into bed once she's got out in the morning.

... sunny beer gardens. We spent HOURS in one on Thursday night- they're my favourite way to spend an evening. Next time though, I won't have quite so many glasses of wine. 

 ... the return of The Great British Bake Off!! Seriously, in a good week, this was the cherry on top (excuse the pun).  I am SO happy to have this back on my screen- I'm already a big fan of the older Scottish man- he's so cute! It's already made me want to make a swiss roll and some sort of miniature layer cake. Yum!

What's making you happy this week? 

Friday, 8 August 2014

At This Moment...

On Thursday, instead of going home and going for a run, I let my boss and my colleagues drag me out for drinks, where I learnt all sorts of things, got to know my colleagues a little better, drank a little more than I should have, and managed not to make a fool of myself. I'm pretty pleased about that last bit in particular. 

It was a really good idea. I learnt a bit more about why they hired me, I was thoroughly flattered by some things that were said, and I feel like I have the potential to be really good at what I'm doing, if I have the confidence to do it- which I know I will. I know I've already impressed people, by pure virtue of the fact that I moved on Sunday night and started work on Monday morning. 

I am so happy that I'm a little scared. 

I feel like I should be unhappy. I should be regretting my break up, regretting my move, scared of it all. But I'm NOT. Even in the slightest. I'm really pleased about the way my life is at this very moment in time. I feel so happy I could sing from the rooftops,  and like every big decision I've made in the past two months was a really, really good idea. I like my job. I like my flat. I like everything about the tiny corner of a life I've built myself in the last five days- because that's all I've been here for, though it does feel like a lot longer. 

I know that things won't always be as peachy as this week has been. I know sometimes I'll be scared, I'll be exhausted, I'll be bored, I'll be unhappy. But right now? I'm so happy.

And isn't that marvellous?!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Happiness Is... (Vol. 78)

I'm currently experiencing slight internet issues, so I'm typing this on my phone from my bed in my new London home! I arrived around 7pm on Sunday evening, and I'm straight into the new job first thing this morning, so forgive me for the brevity of this post. I know you get it though!

So this week, happiness is...

... flowers fresh from the garden. These hydrangeas were just too pretty to be left outside!

... wonderfully supportive people. My family, friends, and this whole incredible blogging world have been so amazingly supportive about this move. From Papatron who drove me up yesterday, to Mama who helped me out in so many ways, to everyone's lovely kind comments and tweets- Honestly, it's been so overwhelming how lovely and thoughtful and helpful everyone has been. Thank you all SO much, you have no idea how much it means. 

... Blackberry picking! Doesn't it seen too early to be picking blackberries?! Well, I thought so too until Saturday afternoon, when I managed to pick enough to fill a small ice cream tub. I'm so happy I got to do it, I thought the move would mean I missed out this year!

... family weekends. Save for Christmas, it's rare to get my little family together. On Friday night, my two brothers, soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Lila the Puppy, Betsy the Cat, Mama, and I all gathered for food and a catch up. It was SO lovely just to be surrounded by them. And topped off with a visit to the grandparents on Saturday? Lovely stuff!

... Suppers with the boys. As much as I love girly suppers, I had so much fun at dinner with A and J on Thursday night. More to follow on the evening, but safe to say I love catching up with my guy friends!

What's making you happy this week?

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Tapas at Deli Rouge

Deli Rouge has long been one of my favourite places in Cardiff to grab lunch. In my second year of university, I lived just around the corner from it, but didn't even discover it was there until my last week in that house. Fortunately, this former-Cardiff-Local thought it was always worth walking up to the top end of Roath for a bite.

I forgot to take a picture of the exterior. From here
I took Mama CupandSaucer here on our way home after our little trip to Castell Coch. At lunchtime, they do amazing soups, salads, and sandwiches, all freshly prepared from the deli counter in the shop, and they're open from 8:30am for breakfast and brunch (get the eggs benedict).

. But on a Thursday and Friday evening, they keep their doors open until 9pm and offer a delicious menu of tapas and light bites, all washed down with thoughtfully sourced wine. And once I'd finally located M, slightly later than planned, we high tailed it up to the Deli.

We wasted no time in ordering a baked camembert, harissa topped hummus, stuffed vine leaves, panfried chorizo with mushrooms and tomato, and halloumi with sundried tomatoes. And a bottle of a rather delicious white wine which has completely escaped me.

Everything was unbelievably delicious. The camembert was perfectly baked, and came with delicious balsamic onions and a tasty chutney. The halloumi was salty and squeaky and everything anyone ever wants from halloumi (seriously).

Personally, I love stuffed vine leaves- I don't know that M enjoyed them as much as I did, but I thought these ones were great. The hummus was chunky and the harissa was just spicy enough for my liking. And the chorizo? Well, we all know I bloody love chorizo, and this just rounded everything off wonderfully. 

But for me, the food wasn't the highlight of the evening. Don't get me wrong- the food was so delicious I'm now sad I'm living nowhere near it, but in fact, the thing that makes Deli Rouge so special is its feel. The staff are that perfect level of attentive without being there every thirty seconds, and made us feel so welcome (particularly given how we zoomed in an hour late, rushed and slightly flustered). The Deli was due to close at 9pm, but we were there until nearly 10- we asked the guys to kick us out when they needed to close, but they were quite happy to wait for us to finish up in a leisurely fashion and leave when we were ready. It was so lovely!

So yeah. If you're in Cardiff perhaps visiting uni friends in the Cathays/ Roath/ Heath area, or are taking a trip up to Roath Park, definitely think about stopping in here.

Deli Rouge, 73 Pen-y-Wain Road, Cardiff, CF24 4GG
Open 8:30am-6pm Mon-Wed; 8:30am-9pm Thurs-Fri; 8:30am- 5pm Saturday, and 10am-4pm Sunday