Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Monday #18

It's Monday, it's the start of the week, which means it's time for a lovely, positive start to the week. Katy and Jasmin inspired me with their cheery posts each week, and now, when schedule allows, I join in with a happy Monday of my own. Originally I updated weekly, but as the year has progressed and life has changed (and will continue to do so as we move into 2017), I will be doing these on a more ad hoc basis - when I've time and things to share I'll be here :).

1. A very happy birthday

On Saturday I turned 36 (36, man!) and had a lovely, lovely day. Cards and cakes and messages and wine and wonderful people meant I entered a new year on the planet feeling happy, lucky, and surrounded by love. I'm so fortunate to have the people I have in my life.

2. Gifting

I love organising Christmas presents and treats for people, so I am going full on elf at the moment. So lucky to be able to share the season!

3. Gilmore Girls

I both adored the four new episodes and had opinions about it all. I was very glad that both my favourite characters (Emily and Paris) were still awesome as ever, and still wanted to have a word with Rory (trust me, that's a whole other post!). I think I'll rewatch the quartet over the next few weeks and will no doubt spot plenty of new things to enjoy!

4. Northumberland fun

I had a nasty bout of stomach flu at the end of last month, which unfortunately meant that Matthew and I had to cancel our Christmas visit north to Scotland. I was heartbroken, but with a fever and poorliness I didn't want to be the person who got on a flight and made everyone ill! So Matthew and I will be planning extra visits north to my family next year instead! 

I was grateful to be well enough by the next weekend for us to be able to visit Matthew's side of the family in Northumberland. We ate fish and chips in the sparkling cold of a Whitley Bay afternoon; saw a castle and enjoyed a splash of history in Bamburgh; and I braved the shopping crowds in Newcastle on a bustling Saturday to catch up with one of my dearest friends from my last school, Jo. It was so nice to be up north!

5. Yorkshire adventures

After a few days in Northumberland we drove down to Yorkshire to stay with our lovely friends Emily and Adam and their sweet doglets, Cooper and Digby. The visit was full of long chats, exploring, catching up with friends and delicious food. So good for the soul!

6. Visiting my new school

I'm very excited to be starting a new job in the new year. I rarely write about my work here, but I'm always open about the fact I'm a teacher and that I love teaching! If things get a little quieter on the blog in January it will be me readjusting to the teaching/writing/blogging/life balance. I am beyond thrilled to be returning to the classroom, I've really missed it!

7. Christmas goodies

When we lived in Germany, the Christmas goodies were a big part of the celebrations. So whenever I spot Bahlsen products in stores I have to pick up a few. We nibbled on Lebkuchen over the weekend and have a beautiful stollen to enjoy with tea next weekend. Yum! 

8. The Shires

Last night Shona and I went to see The Shires in concert at the Shepherds Bush Empire. They were amazing! If you like good, soulful country, they are well worth a listen.

9. #TodayImGrateful

The divine Katie started the #TodayImGrateful hashtag on twitter a few weeks back, and it's truly a thing of beauty. It's so lovely to share the things I'm thankful for, and to see what's making everyone else happy too!

10. Christmas cheer

This part of the year is just magical. Twinkling lights, festive films, curling up...I love it. I hope you're enjoying the start of the festive season too!

Have a great week, all!


  1. I've learnt some things about you in this post. Happy belated birthday, never would of guessed 36 lol I thought you was in your late 20s. Good genes. Good luck on the new job next month :) x

  2. I'm so glad you're feeling better!

  3. Happy 36th birthday you look amazing, you look so much younger . Good luck with the new job that is terribly exciting!

  4. Happy belated birthday! Glad to hear you're feeling better and good luck with the new job! x

  5. First of course, Happy Birthday! It sounds like you had fun on both of your trips, and the pictures from your Northumberland trip are beautiful. Congratulations on the new job!

  6. Happy Birthday Claire I hope you had a lovely day. Congratulations on the new job and have fun!!!

  7. Aw Happy Birthday, I'm pleased that you had such a lovely day! xxx

  8. Those flowers are gorgeous! I hope you had a lovely birthday! :-)

  9. Such a lovely positive post. Happy Birthday, those flowers are gorgeous and very festive x

  10. Belated birthday wishes and congratulations on the new job.

  11. Happy birthday! Hope you had an awesome day. I absolutely love buying presents too so my flat looks like santa's grotto x

  12. Happy Birthday! What a nice age, enjoy the festive season and I am also excited by Gilmore girls!

  13. Happy belated birthday and good luck with your new job much be exciting

  14. My mummy turned 36 this year too! Good luck with your new job in the new year!

  15. Belated birthday wishes , wishing you lots more beautiful years ahead.

  16. Happy belated Birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day!

    Emma - UK Book, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  17. I need to confess I have never seen the Gilmore girls! Apparently that needs to change!

  18. Happy belated birthday! I'm glad you had such a great day and nice trip.


  19. Looks like you've had a great week! Happy belated birthday, catepillar cakes are just the best! x

  20. Wow what a fab round up! Those flowers are stunning and you can't beat a caterpillar cake!! Happy belated birthday xx

  21. happy belated birthday! :) this is such a happy post and good luck with your new job in the new year

  22. Happy belated birthday turning 36 years! That must be a big achievement! I love reading about other people's life and this is a very positive post. Wishing you best of luck with your new job xx

  23. everyone is about gilmore girls and i started watching one episode and fell asleep on that. not my type!

  24. Oh happy birthday, hun! Mine is coming soon and I'm just a few years behind you.
    You've done so much. I loved the photos from your Yorkshire adventures xx

  25. Happy Belated birthday! I can't believe Rory either, if I knew her in real life I'd be having words too.


Thank you for your comment - I do read them all but it may take me a little while (a couple of days) to respond during busy times. I love reading what you have to say!

Have a wonderful day!

Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is:

Please note that on occasion affiliate links may be used in this blog. All items received for review or paid posts will always be disclosed.


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