On Happiness

happy

This blog post has been inspired by A) I finally got a job last week (obligatory happy dance) and b) A reminder for myself on how to be happy. The first thing I want to say is that this post isn’t about money as the key to happiness but I completely understand that in order for us to live in this world and be happy we need a basic amount of income to remain sane and explore our own happiness. Having been unemployed for just over 6 months, until last week, was such a struggle both financially, emotionally and physically and it is a sad truth but a real one that we all need to pay our bills, buy food and spend our money on necessities whether we have the cash or not. So with this in mind the musings below are generally for when you have the ability to pay your bills and don’t have the pressure on as much but at the same time I believe lots of these ideas can be applied for when you don’t have any disposable income either. The part B of my inspiration is because naturally I am a very anxious person and when the chips are down my anxiety can knock me for six. Though I have come on leaps and bounds when it comes to dealing with my worries and fears I still feel like I need help along the way sometimes. Having a check list or a cheat sheet for happiness may seem like a strange thing but it can help you focus on positive rather then negative aspects of your life and even change the way you think about your individual life. I hope that by writing out how I try to be happy it may help some one else as it helps me.

Anna LappeKnow why you are unhappy

If you know why you are unhappy you can fix or change it. Unhappiness can be bred from many things and with the exception of relationship problems/ loss of loved ones/serious mental health issues , which is totally understandable, I believe that changing our mind set is more important most of the time then what we are actually unhappy about.

Worry– I often worry when I am I get into bed probably because something is weighing on my mind and I can no longer do anything about it but these feelings can strike throughout the day at any time. I find that I worry more and more about something because I am putting off  a task or need to chase someone else up to resolve the problem. Procrastination is the real problem here . As soon as I do the task I don’t want to do I feel so much better

Want– Once our bills and necessities are taken care of, any money is ours to spend on what we want but if you don’t have enough money to buy what you ‘want’ then maybe it is time to re-evaluate what we want and think more about what we need.  Not living within your means is the real problem here.

Health– Now I am no way any kind of health professional but when we do not feel our best physically that can affect us mentally as well. Taking care of your health can make all the difference when It comes to illness relating to lifestyle choices and your environment which are minor but can have a bigger impact then you might realise.

Loneliness- Humans are sociable creatures and they need to interact. When I wasn’t working I found it incredibly lonely and isolating as I couldn’t visit friends and family or even go out to the pub to socialise in my new city. You cannot rely on even just the people you live with as you need interactions from different sources. Getting out there is hard but key.

happiness stop worrying

How to combat unhappiness

Worry– For me when worry strikes it can disable me. It creates such an anxious feeling, my chest can tighten, I feel sick and I can get into such a state as my worry comes in cycles. I understand that I create worry cycles and often, as I said, it’s because I am not doing the right thing to resolve the issue that is worrying me. Recognising that I am in the middle of doing this is the first and biggest step because then I can speak my little mantra.  ‘Can I do anything about it now?? ‘ if the answer is yes = do something, if the answer is no = forget it and stop worrying till you can do something about it. A simple phrase but it gives me the  control to stop worrying and get on with what I need to do.

happiness in gift from a loved one

Want– We want lots and lots of things in life but it’s not always possible. As someone who does want this and want that but is really against the rampant consumerism which is encouraged in our society It can be challenging to balance these two sides of myself. I try and step back and think whether I really need the item, whether it will improve my life, improve my happiness and what it’s effect on others could be. I know not everyone thinks about these issues when it comes to consumer goods but for me it makes me really think about what I want in life. The second point I want to make is that if you can’t afford something that is a ‘want’ rather then a need you shouldn’t feel unhappy. Instead you should look to the things in your home and life that you really love, mean something to you or just make your life easier which you already own. The big French poster we have in our living room H gave to me when he lived in France, it is a beautiful poster which makes me smile everytime I look at it, it reminds me of H obviously a lovely person to be reminded of and links the great times we have in France when we visit.

happiness in food

Health– When I am stuck in a rut I find it hard to look after myself and will not make healthy choices. If you see yourself doing this you should try and stop it but as with all good health, preventative measures are better then the cure. We all know that exercise, good diet, sleep, water and de-stressing can prevent illness and improve our happiness but we seldom stick to it. Making a conscious effort to improve at least one aspect of your health is definitely the way to start. When I am really focusing on improving a part of my life I feel so much better and it makes it easier to implement the things you need to focus on. I love food and I believe this is the easiest way to improve our health and happiness because we all have to eat. Good food=Happy people. As an added note I think keeping your house in a clean and tidy order really helps to improve your mindset, plus housework counts as exercise ;)

Loneliness– Whether you are lacking money, feel too busy or out of touch with people, you need to get up and go. Simply having someone round for a cup of tea or coffee, lunch or dinner doesn’t have to cost alot as you will be enjoying a homemade meal anyway, and means you can really connect with someone by having a really good chin wag. Make your family and friends aware that you want to see them and are feeling a bit down in the dumps. Your loved ones will always do what they can to make you feel better but they won’t if they think everything is fine. There is no need for false pretence so let people into your inner circle and enjoy them. Sharing problems and joys is part of the human life so find people you can share them with. Finding people as crazy as you also helps ;)

happiness in crazy people

I hope this has been an interesting read and has helped someone thing about happiness that we all deserve and can have. Please leave a comment of anything that helps you stay on the happy train.

Take care and smile

Lorna

x xxx

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In the World: Something Happy

Sometimes It can feel really dark out there in the world, enough to make you want to crawl back into bed and sleep till forever. The news is just doom and gloom and it can make me feel really low. At the moment news about financial crisis, the prevalence of rape culture in the UK and the treatment of LGBT people across the world especially Russia have made me really miserable and despair a little for humanity BUT and it’s a big BUT, there is good in the world and I need a little reminder every now and then that there are many people who do great thinks for people and the planet. So here are few wonderful stories and things that brightened my day a little, plus it appears the sun might be coming out too :D Click on the photos for full story.

A homeless man spent the last of his money on a lottery ticket, won and will use his winnings on a programme for addicts and women who suffer from domestic abuse.

 

This monkey hugging it’s saviour! enough said.

This guy explains how we should deal with climate whether it’s true or not. This is a scientific but simple way to display the facts that neither climate change activists or doubters can have a problem with. Worth a watch.

Fairtrade at 20. Charting the successes of this wonderful organisation but also what it’s goals for the future should be

If you’ve not seen despicable Me 1 or 2 you should! It is such a good happy family film. Me and Harry are obsessed and the best part is the minions!

Lorna

x xxx

 

DIY Decorate: Pieces of Art You Never Knew You Had

Klimt 1Klimt 2I have been trying to bring our little home together, finding a place for everything so everything can be put in it’s place but when money is tight the decorative parts you would love to add to your home fall by the way side as you focus on essentials and necessities. That said it doesn’t mean you can’t decorate at all you just have to be a little bit creative about it. I have recently brightened up a few spots on some bare walls with pieces of art I already had, no purchase necessary and they are beautiful!

Free art in the home

I had a big white wall in my living room above my bookcase/sideboard and knew I wanted some beautiful art to fill the space. My dream would be two quite large posters that had a similar frenchy feel as the huge Parisian theatre poster we have resting on our mantel piece. At the moment I have settle for four square Klimt paintings (frenchy feel, but Austrain really) which are actually from last years calendar. I have always kept my calendar to use for other arts and craft pieces so it naturally fell into why don’t I use them whole as pieces of art, I mean that’s what they were originally intended as.

Craft room art- a page out of a book

Incidentally I used the same calendar to cover the front of cardboard boxes that I use for storage in my craft room, which makes my shelves pretty and organised. (I’m sure you will see them in a craft room tour once I get it organised) The walls were a bit lacking before I added a wall hanging which I use sort of like a pin board but I managed to add extra colour with this beautiful photo of spools. This was a page in a Martha Stewart craft book and since I know I will never give it away (it’s great for inspiration) I didn’t mind cutting a page out of it. The back of the page has some acknowledgements on it, which truthfully I haven’t read so it doesn’t matter to me. Many of us have beautiful ‘coffee table’ books as I call them so why not use them to decorate your rooms, when you can enjoy them all the time out in the open.

newspaper art

Another great place to look for free pieces of art are magazines and newspapers. Sometimes they have big page spreads which you can definitely  use as big pieces but even little photo can be used in small frame. I found this nice little picture of a City of Sheffield sign and I have the perfect frame for it. Nice little edition to our new Sheffield home me thinks

Any more ideas for free pieces of art? please leave in the comments

Lorna

x xxx

Winter Wishlist

winter wish list This January has given me time to get organised around the house, de-cluttering and find a place for everything and everything in its place. The process has made me think about new items I’d like to fill my home and something I want to update. Part of organising in January is to do with improving health and de stressing. I am not ill very often but have a fair amount of problems with allergy induced asthma in day to day, so part of my January clear up was to get on top of cleaning and remove said allergens so I would really like some new fancy anti allergy pillows to help me sleep. Another tip I’m trying to employ is adding lots of house plants to help purify the air and would like a huge palm in the bedroom.  I want to add lots more art to the house too and have found some amazing  abstract pieces, like this blue one, which I would love to have in my home. Trying to be more green I would love to replace my makeup brushes with some long lasting bamboo ones (I hardly wear makeup so they would last me for years as well) and swap my glue sticks to a eco friendly alternative.  My only need* on the list is a facial exfoliator, the winter months have  made  my skin dry and dull, I would like to glow :D

1,2,3,4,5,6

Lorna

X xxx

Learning French

As part of my New Years resolutions I am attempting to learn French, mainly so that when I go visit my friend Jonas for his wedding this summer I won’t be standing around like a lemon the entire time not understanding what any one is on about. His beautiful fiancée Aline doesn’t speak English either so I really want to be able to talk to her properly and no doubt tell her how beautiful she looks on her wedding day. So far I have been very good and down loaded an App called Duolingo and stuck to it.

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It is a really good app for explaining the basics of grammar and building up vocab but I am under no illusion it will help me speak french. For that I will have to rely on speaking to Harry who is fluent and, my best mate Jade, also fluent. I think the app is really good though all the same. It builds up slowly so you can grasp each section before moving on, can revisit any lesson and it will even tell you the words you are weakest on so you can practice them. I have almost been using it for two weeks and I definitely feel like I am making progress.

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On the few days that I have missed my training I make sure that I do extra the next time I do it, which takes a lot longer but it is worth it to keep up to scratch. You have a mini owl trainer who helps you stay on track lol. He tells you how many more points you need to stay on track and emails when you miss a day (naughty) I have counted the lessons and believe the app will take me to the end of March which will give me plenty of time from then to brush up on speaking french conversationally. Hopefully by Summer I won’t embarrass myself too much and develop a accent not based on ‘Allo ‘allo!

Wish me luck
Lorna
X xxx

Happy Birthday to Me

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I will be taking a little break from the blog this week as it’s my birthday and want/need to celebrate and I am super busy preparing for my first fair this weekend at donnington park great taste food fest. See y’all next week!
Lorna x xxx

We Did It! Hull is the UK City of Culture 2017!

I just wanted to congratulate my happy hometown the City of Hull as we have just won the UK City of Culture 2017! It means a lot to me and everyone in the city as it is great to finally be recognised as a brilliant place to go. I often have to convince people what a great city it is because we always receive the worst press. Low unemployment (tell me a city that doesn’t at the moment), high car theft and shoplifting; ( another undistinguishable city trait) and grubby looking ( plenty of regeneration in the past 10 years and prettier then you think). Some people will always pick out the worst in a place and will never focus on the good. Most critics fail to mention its one of the safest cities in the UK with gun crime practically unheard of and ‘gangs’ consisting of a few teenage chavs that grow fruit mould on their upper lip. As we have won City of Culture people not from this beautiful town may start to visit now that the media will be giving us a fair voice. I hope the rest of Britain will come to learn that we are a city full to the brim with cultural events and experiences. The music and theatre scene is huge, our museums & galleries outstanding and free, our parks bountiful, the history instrumental to the story of Britain, we have a brilliant array of independent pubs, restaurants, shops, cafes and bars and it’s one of the friendliest places to be. Any one who still says Hull is crap obviously hasn’t been and if they have they didn’t get a true Hullion to show them around! Congratulations again and thanks to all involved who have put us back on the map, I can’t wait to take part in the events the city  has got planned!

Cheers
Lorna
x xxx

Goals before 2014

goalsA few weeks a go one of my favourite blogs A beautiful Mess wrote a post of four simple goals (before 2014) so as a little refresher to myself I thought I would contribute my own little goals that I want to complete before the end of the year.

  1. I want to fill my shops on Etsy and Folksy with 50 different items. I know this is a bit of a big goal but I think it will re-energise me into working on Maker’s Meadow again. I know I have missed the holiday planning stage so I am going to concentrate on making my shop great whether its Christmas or not.
  2. Stock and Style a cocktail cart- I’ve had a bar cart all this year but haven’t had the time or inclination to do anything with it but now its in my new home I want to jazz it up and get it ready for holiday entertaining
  3. Visit Leeds, Liverpool and Hull- I haven’t seen a lot of people recently and really want to make the effort to see my friends all over the country. I will be spending Christmas with family so will do my best to see people in November and December to have fun with friends this holiday coming
  4. Make a dress for Christmas-  I always like to dress up and look my best on Christmas day and making a dress will mean I get exactly what I want. I’m thinking a holiday 50s style dress, maybe with some crazy holiday fabric!

Do you have a list for the rest of the year?

Lorna

X xxx

Little House: Craft Room

This weekend felt like the first time our new home started looking like a home but there is still quite a lot needed to do when it comes to prettifying the place but the bare bones are there. I finally have a set up craft room now, I have storage and desk to work my magic on. I am planning on painting the room, changing the ugly curtains that have been left behind and as it is our spare room a sofa bed will be moved in as well. I’m looking forward to getting back on with making more items for the shop and will need to make lots more as I will be attending my first fair in early December and want to make sure I am well stocked just in case. Here are a few photos of my crafty/studio room in a bit of a mess but It means I now have some where to work. I will show it off properly when its just right, whenever that will be.

Plenty of Storagelittle ladypin lady time to get working

Btw Ikea furniture is good and pretty easy to put together but it takes FOREVER to make!

Lorna

X xxx