The sun has set beautifully on 2015

So I’ve been AWOL for quite some time. 

Basically 2015 was a whirlwind, amazing year. Well a few initial hiccups then amazing for the majority before turning a bit shitty in December but I’ll get to that. 

First I want to tell you why I’ve been quiet for so long. I’ve covered off the first half of the year during previous posts on my #100daysofhappiness so I’ll just give a whistle stop tour of the second half. 

In June, myself and 4 of the best ones completed our new year challenge. We ran a half marathon. When I say ran, I actually ran. The entire way. I never ever thought I would be able to do it and with actual blood, sweat and tears through training we managed to achieve it, together. The dream team! 

To reward ourselves, we headed off to Ibiza shortly after. God I love that island. The weekend was full of laughs and memories that will last a lifetime. I want to share the places we visited but I’ll save that for another post! Sunning myself with my best girls, partying to Kisstory at Ocean Beach and experiencing how the other half live at Blue Marlin were definitely highlights for me! 

  

In August my parents celebrated 40 years of marriage. What an achievement! They are a shining example of true love, married at 18 and still having fun together 40 years later. My aim is to share the same kind of true love with someone myself one day. If I can have even 10 years experiencing the same depth of love they have for each other then I’ll be happy. I don’t want to settle for anything less. 

A reoccurring event in my annual calendar is V Festival. Those who have read my blog know about my love of music and I am so lucky to welcome some of the worlds best bands and artists to a festival on my doorstep every August. 

The following week I headed off to one of the most anticipated events of the year… My friend’s wedding in Rome. There were many things going through my mind prior to the trip as it was my first time in Italy, I’d never experienced a wedding abroad before and the thing that was making me most apprehensive was that these friends (and all the other people going) were people I had met through Mr Long Term, so he himself was going to be there too. I was nervous but I needn’t have been.  

Rome turned out to be everything I wanted and more. The city and food were amazing, the wedding itself was INCREDIBLE and I laughed until my face hurt every moment of every day there. Most coined phrase ‘when in Rome’ made almost any behaviour acceptable. I also met someone, who I’ve named Mr Nice Guy, you’ll hear more later. I’m so honoured to have been given the opportunity to celebrate with the happy couple and experience the love surrounding them, something that I will never forget. 

  

After four days at home, I jetted off to my happy place in Majorca where I spent two blissful weeks with my family. Sunbathing, eating, drinking, repeating. 
  

On my return to the UK I wasn’t met with the usual horrendous blues I have when I leave there. Many reasons for this included dates with Mr Nice Guy, one of my girls getting engaged, another two giving birth to their beautiful babies and one of my closest friends asking me to be her Maid of Honour next year. 

The final few months of the year sped by with lots of nights out, weekends with Mr Nice Guy and work being so busy heading into the festive season. 

So, Mr Nice Guy. Who is he? He is exactly that. He’s fun, good-looking, so kind, adores his family and is loyal beyond words. I made some great memories with him which made it all the more difficult when things didn’t work out for us just a few days before my birthday and Christmas. It was a bit of a shock as things seemed to be great during my visit to see him the weekend before.

I’m not really sure what happened. I questioned myself (and still do occasionally) wondering if it was something I did wrong. Did I say or do something wrong? What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t he want it to work? Why is this happening to me again? Feeling so sad at a time when you are meant to be full of Christmas spirit is really hard. So I got drunk a lot with my friends. 

But now, I’ve focused on the fact that everyone crosses your path for a reason. His reason? To show me the sort of person I’d like to be with and that there are actually some decent single guys left out there. I’m really happy we met and that I had the opportunity to get to know him. 

What now for 2016? 

Well even though we are only 10 days in, it’s shaping up to be quite some year already. 5 weddings plus 3 hen weekends, a new baby in the summer (not mine, obvs), 2 wedding cakes to make and 10 days in Majorca in the Autumn. But I have also felt the need to make some big changes to my own life so have been focusing on self development. 

I’m going back to uni to complete my marketing diploma, I’ve never been more focused on saving money to achieve my goal of buying my own home, I’m going to learn Spanish and I am determined to shift the last 10lbs that has been lingering during 2015. Basically, I’ve chosen some things to achieve that I am solely responsible for so basically my happiness has no reliance on other people. If I don’t achieve these things, I can only blame myself. On the flip side, when I do achieve them, I’ll be able to feel immensely proud. 

I hope 2016 is the happiest yet for you all and that your hopes and dreams come true x

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The Effect Of #100HappyDays

The final stint #100happydays has been and gone….

Day 94 – Picked up the parents from the airport and although running in the terrible wind made me feel I was standing still at times, I managed my fastest 5km.

Day 95 – Purchased a new dress for Ibiza AND Chase and Status announced and Ibiza residency!!

Day 96 – Got a lovely new pair of suede boots in the River Island sale for £20!  Bargain!  Oh and Camilla made my day by sending me a link to the best mugs ever!!

Day 97 – Fab away day with work today, brushing upon Harrods history!  #Geek

Day 98 – 4 day weekend started with drinks in Adventure Bar….Fave!!

Day 99 – Nice evening seeing the best one and her little monkeys!

Day 100 – Well it’s been emotional, but here we are again!  Today’s happiness is bought to you by some random at Westfield telling me I was beautiful.  Always nice to hear!  Thanks everyone for putting up with my 100 days, good luck to those I’ve inspired and sorry to those I’ve annoyed along the way!!  Thanks for your support.  Love you all long time xxx

So we all know why I began this blog and embarked on my second round of #100happydays and it appears that I am not alone.  I thought I was a *little* crazy, the only one that thought doing this would make a difference but it appears I’m not the only one…I’ve been in touch with some other people who have also undertaken their own #100days and there are such similarities.  Knowing that everyone else has experienced the same feelings during and after completing their #100days is comforting – feel more normal now!

The situations that have bought on the need to seek some positivity in life have varied from depression and anxiety to splitting up with a husband, loss of a loved one and one the same as me… going from being a glass half full girl to feeling negative and unhappy.  Each person had been inspired to do #100days because they had seen a friend do it on social media and felt that it was worth a try.

It absolutely is worth a try. They have all. said how some days it can be a struggle to find a happy moment but as every day goes by it becomes easier…. perhaps because finding happiness each day actually starts to alter the way that you think eventually.  One person who was dealing with multiple heartbreaking and life changing situations said,  ‘I truly believe that life wasn’t getting better on its own, it just wasn’t seeming so bad anymore as I was having a shift in attitude.’  And I completely agree.

Everyone has challenges, problems and situations to deal with and whilst you may think that what’s happening to them is small, insignificant and unimportant it can be all-consuming and affect them in ways that they never felt possible.  It could also be one of many things that have happened to them – the final nail as it were – but talking to the other ladies that have undertaken this project has showed me that no matter what the challenge, happiness and positivity is always the answer AND you are not alone.

Coming soon – Marriage, What Happiness Is To Me and More Dating….

Love Katie xx

 

The home straight of happiness… 

I’ve not written about my #100daysofhappiness since Day 56.  I’m now on the home straight of the 100 days (today is day 94) so thought now would be a good time to break my silence on the happy days. 

Day 57 – special memories made tonight in Liverpool with one of my bestests xxx
Day 58 – walk on the beach, shop at Cheshire Oaks followed by curry and wine. Perfect!!
Day 59 – love doing something nice for something when it’s unexpected
Day 60 – After 20 years, I finally got the photo…
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Day 61 – afternoon tea booked with my bestest, can’t wait for next week now xx
Day 62 – excited as today felt like spring is on its way! Woo!
Day 63 – out of the blue phone call from a lovely friend made my day!
Day 64 – really fun work night out
Day 65 – surviving work with a rather bad hangover thanks to Pizza Hut Express and a Reese’s Krispy Kreme
Day 66 – a year ago today my life changed completely.  The last 12 months have been a roller coaster but have been incredible at times.  Happy today because of my wonderful family, friends and everything I’ve experienced since that day xxx
Day 67 – V line up announced.  Can. NOT. WAIT.
Day 68 – enjoyed a little bit of baking
Day 69 – had a fab ‘Christmas’ day out with the best one.  Afternoon tea, shoe purchasing and then a few drinks with a new friend! Great day! X
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Day 70 – so happy that I created a beaut cake for a friend! No pics yet until it’s been given to the recipient.
Day 71 – evening of bubbles and lols with some of the best ones.  And my shoes were christened!
Day 72 – so happy that my 100 days have inspired Jo to do the same.  There you go, you finally got your own day!!
Day 73 – did a decent 5km run in the sunshine.  Happy days!
Day 74 – Sam Smith and John Legend.  Just amazing.  If you haven’t heard their Comic Relief single then get it in your life!!
Day 75 – picked up my spring coat from the dry cleaners.  Winter coat will soon be banished!! And while looking for something else I found this pic of me and a special girl x
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Day 76 – so thankful to be in my bed with fresh sheets
Day 77 – so much love for my best one Flamingo Monroe for speaking up about thyroid issues.  What an inspiration.  Proud is not the word! Check it out www.flamingomonroe.com
Day 78 – amazing fashion shows at work always make me happy!!!
Day 79 – fab night at Mangetout, highly recommend!
Day 80 – don’t know how, but managed to avoid a hangover!
Day 81 – found a way to laugh off a very ‘cringe’ situation
Day 82 – another happy cake delivery today, my very first Tiffany box cake! Bad picture. And I FINALLY got my eyebrows done!
Day 83 – a tough one today.  5am start, not a very nice experience in a meeting, looked at Christmas grottos, train delayed on the way home AND got a parking ticket.  BUT still smiling thanks to my gals and Thai noodles with fishcake dinner!
Day 84 – lovely wagas with my amazing friend Camilla.
Day 85 – today was apparently #InternationalDayOfHappiness – I am not so sure.  All I can say is thank god for my amazing friends and the strength I have learned throughout my life.
Day 86 – yes, the day is not over yet, but there is only one thing to say today.  I am so thankful that in my life I’ve learned when it’s time to step up and do the right thing.  Honesty is always, always the best policy.
Day 87 – finally, Mr Grey was ready to see me tonight. He was worth the wait!
Day 88 – feeling motivated in all aspects of life today
Day 89 – only one more sleep until I get to see the incredible Sam Smith! Excited is not even the word.
Day 90 – Sam Smith took my breath away tonight.  Incredible talent, what a voice!
Day 91 – lovely catch up with Mrs Hills tonight!
Day 92 – had a visit from a couple of dear friends at work and a fab night out in Covent Garden.  I do love that place!
Day 93 – had a fabulous night with the girls last night (including FaceTime with Vic in HK) after having the most chilled out day!
Rewriting just these 36 days has made me realise how quickly life can change sometimes for the better and sometimes not.
1. I looked back at how much my life has changed in the 12 months since Mr Long Term and I parted company
2. Two of my closest friends have told me they are expecting babies later this year
3. Mr (not so) Perfect’s deceit and lies were uncovered and realised by his wife
4. I heard about a friend’s plans to travel the world next year
Life changing situations for all those involved.
All I want to say is that life is short, you don’t know when or how things will change but they inevitably will.  So live life to the full, chase after your wishes, hopes and dreams, be honest, be kind and above all do what makes you happy.
Katie xx

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…

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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

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.

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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