Strength…

There’s lots of happy days to update you on…Life has been pretty full on over the last month so I’ve not been blogging BUT today I come to you from a very happy place! Not literally, I’m in my kitchen… but just generally. First, an update on my happy days…..

Day 43 – Had a visit at work from a lovely friend

Day 44 – An evening of lols last night with my girls to celebrate Miss Laurian’s birthday

Day 45 – Little visit to see my faves today even if I wasn’t the usual fun Auntie Katie due to a LOT of booze last night

Day 46 – Went upside down with no hands at pole tonight! Whoop!

Day 47 – Lovely catch up with friends and their kiddies

Day 48 – Free Boost because my name came up in their social media campaign, lovely catch up with Trottski and came home to a really lovely card from my Auntie Susan

Day 49 – This time next week I’ll be packing my bags to head off to Liverpool! Excited!!

Day 50 – Worked with a lovely group of young girls today. Giving back to the local community makes you feel good!

Day 51 – felt good to get back out on an outdoor run

Day 52 – had a lovely evening with some lovely ladies

Day 53 – Just finished a pretty awesome cake and went upside down with no hands again tonight

Day 54 – PANCAKES

Day 55 – packed my case ready for my weekend in Liverpool!

Day 56 – Found this forgotten photo from Thailand

Thailand
This doesn’t take us to today (I am on Day 77) but I’ll post the rest of the days later.

Now, I want to say, I dread to think how I would have been feeling over these 77 days if I hadn’t embarked on #100daysofhappiness. It’s been tough but I’ve found that forcing myself to see the positives each day has really helped and I was beginning to feel loads better about life.

Then, out of the blue I got a text from Mr Not So Perfect to ask how I was. I had ALL the intentions of not replying but then 3 days later I got drunk. So at 4am, I stumbled through the front door and had the genius idea of responding. Good one Katie. It resulted in a bit of back and forth, no niceties from my side and obviously, the next day fear set in and I knew I had made a big mistake. When he then text again a few days later fishing for me to tell him I still cared for him, I told him to never contact me again and he agreed he wouldn’t. I was really proud of myself. But I regressed and suddenly went back to feeling the same way I did in the days after I found out the truth and it was really horrible.

BUT slowly over this last month I have been trying to put things into perspective. I’ve been through worse in life, I really have. It’s not something to talk about here but the love and strength my family and I had got us all here today so I thought, if I got through that, I can get through this. And it got me thinking, I have been devastated, sad and heartbroken over this numpty whilst other people in my life have been dealing with much bigger challenges, battles and heartbreak, suffering much more pain, worry and sadness than I have had to deal with in the last few months. I’ve just been too self-absorbed to think about it before.

Someone asked me this week if I’m happy being single and truthfully, I said I am. I am getting to know me and what I want in life. I love my life, I enjoy living it the way I do and it’s going to take someone special to become a part of it.

Something has worked though… Mr Not So Perfect stuck by his word for almost a month. Until earlier this week. He contacted me to again say he is sorry, he still thinks of me and that I will always be in his thoughts. I’ve not replied. I’ve actually found it laughable and it’s made me more determined than ever to keep smiling.

Lots of Love

Katie xx

A blessing or a lesson?

You often hear that the people who come into your life are either a blessing or a lesson.

A month or so ago, over a *few* bottles of prosecco with one of my best girls, we were chatting about life.  Since I found Mr (not so) Perfect, conversations about Mr Long Term dwindled but that evening there was a rare mention.  I think I’d said something about being with him so long was a mistake… I think (my memory is slightly cloudy due to the bubbles).  But then I corrected myself.

We had some great times together and made some very happy memories.  We were a good match and yes, it wasn’t meant to be but I can look back on the majority of my time with him and smile.  Yes we don’t love each other anymore but that really doesn’t make him a bad person and yes, he can be stupid a lot of the time but he has a kind heart.  He is/was most definitely a blessing.  Ms S told me how happy that made her and that one day she hoped I would be able to say the same thing about Mr (not so) Perfect.

I’m going to be honest (as always), I didn’t believe his story about his wife being pregnant.  I didn’t know what to believe.  But this week the wonderful world of Facebook confirmed that it was in fact the truth.  They will be adding to their family.  I’m not going to lie, it was like a punch to the stomach.  I thought it was another lie so that I wouldn’t spill the beans to her about his extra curricular activities.  It made me really sad for her, the poor girl thinks she has the perfect life, husband and family and all the time he has still been texting me wanting to see if I am ok.

What annoys me is that he gets to carry on his life as if nothing ever happened, he gets to go home to her, if he needs a cuddle, someone to talk to or to feel loved unconditionally, he has that.  I have to deal with what he’s done and live with a disgusting secret.  I have to pick up the pieces on my own, questioning why he did this and why to me?  What annoys me the most though is that I can’t understand how it’s possible to miss somebody so much when they are quite clearly one of the worst human beings on the planet.  Why is it not just possible for your mind to go ‘He’s a dickhead, you are not permitted to think about him anymore.’

I’m not sure yet whether Mr (not so) Perfect was a blessing or a lesson.

A blessing maybe because aside from being a massive liar and a cheat, to me he was perfect.  He did know how to romance a girl and make her feel special.  He did take me to some great places, give me the ability to feel something I never thought possible and we did make some amazing memories.  He became one of the most special people in my entire life.

A lesson maybe too though.  A lesson in trust, faithfulness?  A lesson to not be a free with my heart?  A lesson in what’s acceptable and what is not?  A lesson to always hold back 5% for you?  A lesson in how to be strong?

Or maybe it’s possible that he was both?

I don’t know, I am not there yet.  But maybe one day Ms S (and all my other readers) I will look back and be able to smile on this situation too.  Until that point though I will continue to put a smile on my face, embrace life and take each day at a time.  Nothing lasts forever, not even your problems.

Love Katie xx

PS – I had a message of concern from someone very special after she read this post. She said ‘your blog’s supposed to be about happiness and this made me sad’. This is NOT meant to be a sad post people. The moral of the story is that when Mr Long Term and I split up, I was so sad. Then some months down the line I was able to look back and smile. That’s my aim about Mr Perfect too, I’m just not quite there yet! I am ok though. Life is good xxx

Catching up on happiness…

It’s been a while since I updated you all on my #100daysofhappiness so thought I’d let you all know my smile moments from the last few weeks…

Day 24 – I know some people don’t believe in fate but I definitely do and love when little things happen to prove to me I am right to believe

Day 25 – Really enjoyed doing something nice for everyone at work #BrewMonday

Day 26 – Nice little eve watching the football with the fam

Day 27 – I know some people hate it but knowing that my 100 days brings happiness to some other people as well as myself

Day 28 – Being the person that someone turns to when they need something sparkly to wear #QueenOfSparkle

Day 29 – Sam Smith tickets finally on way to be reunited with their rightful owner (me!)

Day 30 – Absolutely amazing cake course today. Created this beauty…

cake

Day 31 – Had a lovely day with my family celebrating my Nan’s 83rd birthday. Love.

Day 32 – A good day! The tickets arrived in one piece, I booked train tickets to visit a special someone in Liverpool and have also booked the Anfield Stadium tour after almost 20 years!

Day 33 – had some good feedback today which shows that hard work does pay off

Day 34 – Glad that my 100 days are having a positive effect on others!

Day 35 – Productive planning day followed by a lovely dinner at The Bell

Day 36 – Lovely wine, wagas and Jessie Ware with the best one!

Day 37 – Jack Whitehall’s sketch about why the Lion King is NOT just a kids film… Ha ha!!!

Day 38 – Feeling really positive today! Acknowledgment from someone special that each day I am taking a step in the right direction! Also an unexpected act of kindness from someone made me smile xx

Day 39 – Love that Camilla can put up with my cray-ness about outfits #crazymoron but she still loves me

Day 40 – Nice few drinks tonight

Day 41 – Happy with how lessons in life can change your feelings and actions for the better!

Day 42 – Massage and nails booked for Saturday morning!

Reading back over these last few weeks has again made me smile. I think that the above reasons for happiness really show my true colours as a person and about what makes me tick…. Friends, family, happy work life, music, football, cakes and pampering. Almost all the things I love the most in life!

I think the days of happiness also show that it’s not always material things that make you happy. Yes, buying shoes, handbags and clothes makes me happy. Yes, holidays make me happy but there are also lots of things that money can’t buy which make me the happiest.

One particular thing I’ve discovered this week is the kindness of others. On day 38 I mention about an act of kindness that made me smile. A really old friend of mine has recently left Essex for the great city of Liverpool. During the period where we were both single we partied together and she introduced me to some of her other friends. It was those girls that made me smile on day 38. We’ve not seen each other since that night out really and then, knowing that I have been through a tough time, they messaged to invite me over for dinner to catch up. It’s a really small thing but honestly, I just thought it was so kind of them and I am sure they don’t realise how touched I was.

The other act of kindness was in repayment to something nice that I did. There’s a guy in my office, really laid back kind of guy. Nothing ever bothers him, everything is water off a duck’s back to him. He never gets down, never gets annoyed, never lets anything get to him. I was standing at the printer and heard him sigh which is unusual so I asked him if he was OK. Turns out that something had annoyed him so he ranted and I listened. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time to be honest.

Then later he was sorting his cupboard out and there was a bottle of Veuve Clicquot in there, I mentioned in jest that I was eyeing it up as it was my favourite champagne. He then walked over and gave it to me. He said ‘You have it. You are the only person today that’s asked if I am alright, no other f*cker has’. I was taken aback that obviously something I felt was nothing actually made a difference to him.

So don’t ever underestimate being kind to someone. It’s not about being over the top and super friendly all day every day. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.

Keep smiling

Katie xx

Digital dating

Dating is fun, so everyone tells me…..

When Mr Long Term and I parted company, I was like a rabbit in headlights.  I had absolutely no idea what to do.  I hadn’t been on a first date for 10 years and now I was faced with starting from scratch.

Although to some I appear confident, bubbly and a total extrovert, I am most definitely not.  I am rubbish at making small talk, have low confidence and have a ‘unique’ sense of humour which doesn’t appeal to everyone.  Recent test results (Myers Briggs profiling) show that I am actually an equal measure of extrovert and introvert.  In addition to all of this, I know I can be very hard to please.  Good luck to the potential suitors out there!!

So anyway, back to dating.  Because there is absolutely NO chance of me approaching a hot guy in a bar myself, I decided that I would follow the advice of friends and join Tinder.  Wow.

Full of men, on your doorstep (or further if you wish).  You select the ones you like the look/sound of and if the feeling is mutual then it’s a match and you are free to chat away.  Here’s my breakdown of the guys I matched with:

  • 85% – match with you and then NEVER talk to you
  • 10% – Wanting hookups only
  • 3% – Those who want a penpal only
  • 2% – Normal people

But you know, it saved me from having to talk to people in the real world and end up tripping up, knocking their drink flying or saying something completely ridiculous without being able to hide behind my phone so I went with it.  I was then also recommended to Plenty of Fish, another dating site. I know a few people (in real life!) who have had success so thought it was worth a try.

Since joining these sites I have been on a few dates.  Most of them with guys I had met online.

The first one, well, I was sooooo nervous it was horrific.  The guy was actually really sweet but WAY too enthusiastic about everything.  Too excitable for me.

Then there were a couple with different guys, all difficult as chat was running dry at points.

Then I met up with a guy in London and we went for a drink (I was driving so just one for me).  He was really nice (bit short) but we got on well.  Then we went to a comedy club in Leicester Square which was great.  Except my date got completely hammered and kept heckling the comedians (REALLY not the one when you are on a first date) whilst stroking my neck and playing with my hair.  Anyone who knows me knows I can’t bear to have my personal space invaded or be touched by people I don’t know.   Last time I drive when on a first date.

Then on a night out at a gig, and thanks to my wing woman Anna, I met Mr Perfect.  It was normal-ish (after Anna pretty much saying ‘my friend fancies you’).  We chatted, it was clear we got on, we exchanged numbers and the rest was history.

Since Mr Perfect turned into Mr (not so) Perfect, I have only had one date.  He was a sweet guy but young, too keen and not for me.

Tonight I have another date (with someone else who is uber keen) and again I suspect, not for me.  That isn’t where the similarities end though.  For the 48 hours leading up to both dates, I have not wanted to go.  Like REALLY not wanted to go, mainly because I’m apprehensive and nervous. But, I will of course go because you never know.

Tomorrow I have my third date since Mr (not so) Perfect, with a guy I met in a pub this week and I am really looking forward to it.

So what’s the difference?  It’s most definitely the Chemistry.  Ridiculous as it sounds, you can feel whether there is a spark instantly when you first meet someone.  So when you meet someone for the first time under normal circumstances (i.e. not online) you already know whether it’s worth giving them the time for a first date.

As a result of this, I have deleted all online dating apps from my phone.  I can’t be doing with having to turn up on a date wondering whether they are tall enough, know how to hold a conversation, they will think I look better or worse than my pictures and ultimately, whether we will have that spark.

Bye bye Tinder, PoF and Happn.  Hello having to practice approaching guys in public, making small talk and hopefully some more comfortable first dates!

Katie xx

A Recipe For Happiness!

It’s been a while since I updated you all on my #100daysofhappiness (the point of this blog!) so here we go….

Day 14 – Saw some old faces at work today from my secretarial days at Head Office.  Reminded me that when I want something enough, I can achieve it!!  Never give up!!

Day 15 – 3 bottles of prosecco with the lovely Anna!

Day 16 – So….. this happened.  Eeeeek!

GBBO

Day 17 – Sunday’s are for pampering!  Had a lovely lie in, did a hair mask, face mask and soaked myself in body cream!  Bliss!

Day 18 – A few things today.  Ibiza flights are BOOKED!!!  Someone said I looked like a Barbie (LOVE him!) AND I did a one handed spin at pole!

Day 19 – Good discovery today!  Tapas Tuesdays at All Bar One!  4 Tapas dishes and a bottle of wine for £20 xx

Day 20 – Got my annual charity quiz night invitation today! Love a quiz night! xx

Day 21 – Ran 5k at the gym tonight!  Love our little motivational Whatsapp group ‘Team Beefa!’ xx

Day 22 – Lovely, lovely evening with beaut friends xxx

Day 23 – Had such a fun night with fab friends xxx

Something potentially massive happened on Day 16.  I sent off my application for a place in the BBC’s Great British Bake Off this year.  Eeek!

I am under NO illusions that out of the thousands and thousands of applicants, I will get picked.  I know it’s highly unlikely and I have no expectations whatsoever.  I am not nearly good enough, and I don’t think that I have the experience they will be looking for.  But do you know what, I decided that I have absolutely nothing to lose so I just went for it!  Every year, people always tell me that I should go on it and I always say ‘oooh I don’t think I’m good enough’ or ‘I don’t think I could take the stress’.  All the excuses.  Well not anymore, at least I can now say I applied, regardless of what happens.

Ever since I can remember, I have loved baking. The stand out toy from my childhood was my A La Carte Kitchen, I baked cakes for family members birthdays, at the age of 12 I cooked a 3 course dinner for my parents anniversary – there are many memories.  My ‘speciality’ is baking and decorating cakes.  I’m not claiming to be amazing (I’m definitely not amazing), but I feel proud of the creations I’ve made to date.  I’ve had one 2 and a half hour cupcake decorating lesson and a 3 hour Macaron making lesson, the rest is completely self taught and just came from practice, practice and more practice!

I find baking very therapeutic – iTunes on shuffle, zoning out into my own little world and you can’t beat the smell of cakes or bread baking in the oven, it’s so homely.  Then finally, I love seeing people tucking into the tasty treats that I’ve created!  It’s a real sense of achievement and also a great honour when someone asks to you make them a cake for an occasion that is very special to them.

Here are a few examples of some of my bakes…

Baking

Everywhere I look lately, there is something or someone talking about happiness.  I’m not sure if it’s always been that way or whether I am just noticing it more now because of the blog and my #100daysofhappiness.  One of the things I saw was a little plaque entitled ‘Recipe for Happiness’ – I have most of the ingredients in my store cupboard, just one I need to nurture and perhaps once I have all the ingredients, every day will become 100% happy again!

Recipe For Happiness

Ingredients

1 Bag of Smiles
2 Cups of Sharing
2lbs of Positivity
1/2 Cup of Good Humour
1 Cup of Self Esteem
2 Spoonfuls of Simplicity
1 Dash of Goodwill
4 Drops of Easy Going
and
1 Packet of Life Loving!

So there you have it, a recipe for happiness, which hopefully will be the best thing I ever create!

Love Katie xx

PS – Coincidence that my mum and dad have just returned from a weekend in my other ‘happy place’ – Swanage, Dorset – with this little gift…

BakePlaque

 

 

Music to my ears…

I promised I would blog some more about my happy things and nothing makes me happier than music. I love music. REALLY love music! I love listening to music (rather than watching TV), love going to listen to live music and even like playing it.

I am so lucky to have seen many incredible artists live. It’s one of my most favourite things to do, always has been. From The Killers to Katy Perry, Bastille to Britney Spears, Rod Stewart to The Rifles…. You will see I have a very eclectic taste in music. But really, I just love to listen to it all live, no matter who it is.

I’ve also created lots of very special memories at gigs and festivals. Bonding with my family, just the four of us, at The Roundhouse watching The Twang. Pulled my Killers tickets out ready for the gig the next night only realising I should have been at the O2 right then (luckily I got some production seat tickets last minute). Having Tinie Tempah pop up at the back of the crowd, just where I was standing (see pic below). I saw a guy propose to his girlfriend at a Kings Of Leon gig (this spurred a drunk Mr Long Term to say that if Oasis ever reform, he would propose… awkward). 30 year old me realised I may still ‘have it’ when I snogged a 24 year old at an Arctic Monkeys gig and then meeting Mr (Not So) Perfect watching The Enemy (how apt) in Camden. There are so many more but really, you would get very bored.

Tinie
Musicians, songwriters and bands never cease to amaze me. They write a song and/or perform it and I don’t know if they always realise how much of an impact it has on people in that very moment. Those thousands of people are there to watch and listen to them. What a feeling, I can’t imagine.

What I love the most though is the way that a song can immediately take you back to a moment in your life like it happened yesterday, reminding you of a person, a place, a special occasion. Amazing.

Think about people’s first dances, every time they hear it they must be taken straight back to that very moment in their life, like being transported. You can remember the feeling, the smell, how things looked. Every one of the senses alive and all because of a song.

I wonder if songwriters know how many people in the world have or will experience that exact feeling or emotion that they have just written about? As you all know by now, I love a quote. But I am also a fan of lyrics! That’s why when Mr Not So Perfect told me in the beginning that the words of a song summed up what he felt about me I was smitten…. Cue Latch (Acoustic) by Sam Smith.

I’m so encaptured, got me wrapped up in your touch.
Feel so enamoured, hold me tight within your clutch.
How do you do it? You got me losing every breath.
What did you give me to make my heart beat out my chest?’

Then after everything that happened I found it too painful to listen to that song, in fact, the whole album. Trouble was I’d bought some tickets as a birthday present for Mr Not So Perfect and me to go and see him live later this year. I said I didn’t want them (because in truth I thought I would stand there sobbing my heart out.)

BUT last week, iPhone on shuffle, and on come Latch. And guess what? I didn’t cry. Yes it reminded me of him but I was fine. I sang along, thinking about how talented this guy is and then I decided I wanted the tickets back. As if HE deserves to get the privilege of seeing Mr Smith live and I don’t!!!

Later, whilst still on shuffle, on came the Queen, Beyoncé. Best Thing I Never Had. And that’s when I realised I am going to be ok….

‘Thank God you blew it
I thank God I dodged a bullet
I’m so over you
So baby good lookin’ out

I wanted you bad
I’m so through with that
‘Cause honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had
You turned out to be the best thing I never had
And I’m gonna always be the best thing you never had
Oh yeah, I bet it sucks to be you right now’

And because I felt unbeatable, I asked for the tickets back (a bit cringe, I know). I don’t want to miss adding Sam Smith to the list of legends I have seen live and now I know I can go without shedding a tear, that makes me very happy. I’m annoyed that I let a douchebag almost take away something that I feel so passionate about, he nearly made me stop listening to an awesome record and that my friends, is not cool.

To quote one more lyric…. Don’t worry, Be happy.

Love Katie xx

Felicidad (That’s Spanish for happiness!)

When I started my blog, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t being all self righteous and let’s face it, annoying. No-one wants to hear me harping on about the meaning of life and so on. With that in mind, I decided that I would use some posts as a way to share the love about things that make me happy! A bit of an education, but also therapeutic for me to write about something I feel passionately about.

We all have that place; the one place that you know you will always be a happy place. The sort of place where you have already made so many memories but you know there will be so many more, the place that you know no day will ever be the same, your second home in the world, where you feel comfortable and where literally anything goes.

My number one happy place in all the world is Puerto Pollensa. A small fishing village in the north of the beautiful island of Majorca. It’s hard to explain to people why it is amazing, and how once you visit you will also hold it dear in your heart so I won’t try, you will just have to take my word for it and see for yourself!

Puerto-Pollensa-Beach

The beaches have white sand, the sea is turquoise blue and warm like a bath, there is a stunning backdrop of the Tramuntana mountains, the mood is laid back, friendly and you are always made to feel so welcome by the locals. Public transport is fantastic and because the island is relatively small, it gives you the opportunity to explore some of the other amazing places dotted around and if you hire a car, well, you can go anywhere!

Here are just a few of the things I would suggest doing if you are ever planning a visit to my happy place….

1 – Get the bus to Palma for a day trip

The capital has so much to offer, really something for everyone. Great architecture and art plus fabulous shopping, bars and restaurants. Don’t miss seeing the Gothic cathedral (La Seu) and the Almudaina Palace too. The bus ride will take around an hour and half so don’t forget to take a book.

Palma

2 – Soller

I can highly recommend this trip, it’s something else. Hire yourself a car and drive to Soller. There’s a lovely square where you can have a bit of Tapas and browse the quaint shops. Once you are ready, hop on the tram which takes you down to the port. It’s a beautiful ride and although technically you aren’t supposed to, at times you can reach out and grab lemons or oranges off of the trees as you pass. Once you get to the port, you can relax on the beach or perhaps enjoy a drink while taking in the views and if you prefer, you could eat in one of the restaurants here rather than in the town.

Tram

3 – Lluc

Again, you will need a car for this but it’s something very special. In the mountains sits the ancient monastery of Lluc. The monastery is a very peaceful place and is still run by monks of the Sacred Heart. In the 16th Century the boys school on the site formed a choir, The Blauvets, to sing at Mass. This choir still exists today and if you visit on a weekday, you may be lucky enough to hear them.

Lluc

4 – Formentor

A beautiful secluded beach which can be reached by car, bus or boat (I suggest the boat trip). If you do decide to drive be warned – it’s VERY mountainous but you will be rewarded with the absolute best views of the island. Formentor is an exclusive area, one very expensive hotel (frequented by the rich and famous), a sandy beach and not much else so I recommend taking a picnic. If you are taking a trip by boat, you may spot Michael Douglas’ house in the mountains!

Formentor

5 – People Watching

One of my favourite activities. And Puerto Pollensa is the perfect venue. I would say take a seat at the Daina Bar on the front, or at Bony’s in the square and just sit back taking it all in. You won’t believe some of the things you see!!!

Daina

If you have ever been to Puerto Pollensa you will understand its attraction and will indeed hold some of your very own memories. It’s truly a special place but you will have to see it for yourself to believe it!  I can’t wait to go back in September.

Let me know if you have visited and your favourite memories, it will feel good to reminisce!

Katie x