Happy Monday/Ten Happy Things #9

Okay, so I know it’s not Monday. But Monday was a Bank Holiday here in the UK, so it was all about R&R and kitties (and Deep Heat on my niggling back injury). I didn’t want to miss out on the chance to round up the week though – I love these posts. Which is why I’m joining up as ever with Katy and Jasmin (she’s currently on a brief hiatus, but I still like to give her a wave!) for a lovely, positive start to the week, albeit a little later than usual! Here are my ten happy things from the last week and the present time 🙂 

1. Phone calls

I actually loathe phone calls most of the time. I love meeting in person, I can rock the snailmail, and emails and tweets come easy…but phone calls I enjoy with a very small portion of the population. Phone calls with two of the faves, however, have made me laugh and smile a lot recently. My tribe, man. So good.

2. Books, books, books

This could pretty much be a weekly addition (and it crops up often!), but I’m really excited to read a tonne of things – proofs from publishers, books I’ve treated myself to, the long list of recommendations I received on facebook when I did a ‘what-should-I-fill-my-kindle-with’ call! Bookworm for life.

3. Pizza Club

Last week I met up with Vicky and Connie for the second meeting of Pizza Club at the lovely Zia Lucia in Islington. Great company and super pizza (full review to follow) is a wonderful way to pass an evening! 

4. Holiday planning

Matthew and I spent a good deal of the long weekend sorting out plans for our US/Canada break, and I’m officially excited! I also need to stock up on memory cards for the camera, because there are a lot of photo opportunities ahead. Usually we plan our breaks months and months out, but this time we did so with weeks to go. I can’t wait to go, and the share the fun with you guys. New York, Boston, Toronto and Las Vegas, we are coming for you!

5. Champagne, sunshine and chats

On Saturday I was invited by the lovely team at Aspers Stratford to visit their Sky Terrace, a beautiful outdoor space high above the hustle and bustle of Westfield. As a semi-regular Aspers-goer myself (love a wee bit of blackjack), it was lovely to see this new addition to the hospitality. I took the lovely Katy as my plus-one for goblets of champagne, and we were delighted to see the lovely Kelly and Grace (so nice to meet you!) there too – we whiled away a very pleasant evening over drinks & burgers.

6. Nashville is back!

I love the TV show Nashville. Big hair, big tunes and soapy drama agogo? Sign me up, fast. Shona and I watch it together and were delighted to catch the first episode of the new season together.

7. Bake Off is back too!

I don’t watch much network TV live, but Bake Off is one of the exceptions. Having Mary, Paul, Mel, Sue and a fresh crop of bakers back was a real treat! I was going to take part in the Bake Off Bake Along that Amanda and co put together, but with a recent back injury and an upcoming holiday, it wasn’t to be – but you can keep up with their adventures here!

8. Friendships that endure

I’m very lucky to have friends that I can get straight back into the swing with, even if life has conspired to keep us busy! Grateful for these women, and for the catch ups we get to have over wine (thanks, Cynthia!), lunch at Carluccios (thanks, Kaz!), or a quick hello.

9. Giving up and regrouping

When I took these two years off from teaching, the plan was to write and blog. I’ve done plenty of both, but I’ve also gone for a few jobs in other industries that I’d never had the chance to try before. It’s been fun to try, and I don’t regret it, but I think after bridesmaiding several times (my cheesey way of saying I made the shortlist but didn’t get the gig!) it’s time to refocus on what this break is all about. 

While I’ve been making marketing plans my novel has been well and truly backburner-ed. I’ve appreciated the learning curve, have met some awesome people and honestly have amazed myself with how far I’ve got in a couple of instances, but for year two it’s working on the novel, blogging away, and hopefully building my freelance portfolio even more.  All too soon it’s going to be time to start applying for teaching jobs!

10. A pause

I’ve had a sore back for almost a week now (a dull ache now, but middle of last week was horrid). While I haven’t enjoyed the pain, I have loved the opportunity for a pause. Good for the soul.

Happy Tuesday, all!


  1. The Mayfairy
    30th August 2016 / 11:03 am

    Ooooh the back injury sounds no fun, but the novel sounds super exciting! I can't wait to read it. Can you sign my first edition copy when I buy it, so I can lord it over everyone once you're super famous? 😉

    • Claire
      30th August 2016 / 1:03 pm

      I promise if I ever a) finish; b) get published, I will sign a copy for you, with gusto!

  2. Samantha Rickelton
    30th August 2016 / 12:28 pm

    What a week! I am LOVING the sound of pizza club and how cool is it that Bake Off is back! Love it x

    • Claire
      30th August 2016 / 1:03 pm

      It's been a very carb-based week! Hahaha!

  3. Louise Joy
    30th August 2016 / 12:33 pm

    I love the idea of this post, what a lovely positive way to start the week! I may have to do this too! x

    • Claire
      30th August 2016 / 1:04 pm

      Yay! I love these posts, lovely to look back on all the fun!

  4. Amanda
    30th August 2016 / 1:31 pm

    I hope your back feels better! Maybe when your back from your holiday you can link up a bake for a week or two – no pressure to do it every week! 🙂 xx

    • Claire
      30th August 2016 / 6:17 pm

      Oh, that would be lovely!

  5. Our Little Organic Life
    30th August 2016 / 3:17 pm

    The pizza and aperol spritzes look great! And what a happy post overall.

    • Claire
      30th August 2016 / 6:17 pm

      I'm always up for some positivity!

  6. Leah| Devoted To Pink
    30th August 2016 / 3:25 pm

    That outdoor terrace looks lovely – right up my street especially if they serve champagne! xx

    • Claire
      30th August 2016 / 6:18 pm

      Oh yes – we had such fun sipping Moet in the evening sunshine!

  7. Christine Dodd
    30th August 2016 / 4:35 pm

    I'm delighted that GBBO is back too – it makes me very happy indeed.

    • Claire
      30th August 2016 / 6:18 pm

      Such a simple pleasure! I have an event tomorrow evening, after which I'll be dashing to get home without spoilers!

  8. MsPretty LThings
    30th August 2016 / 5:39 pm

    Love Nashville and Rayna's hair! Cannot wait to see what happens this season as Juliet is off the rails.

    • Claire
      30th August 2016 / 6:19 pm

      I'm so excited! Juliet has me all *popcorn gif*!

  9. Nayna Kanabar
    30th August 2016 / 6:36 pm

    Of your list I love the sound of the pizza club best.

    • Claire
      31st August 2016 / 6:55 am

      It's a joy – I'm discovering so many great spots!

  10. Rhian Westbury
    30th August 2016 / 8:41 pm

    Great lists, I love holiday planning as it gives me something to look forward to and reading is one of my ways to relax x

    • Claire
      31st August 2016 / 6:56 am

      I *love* holiday planning – I think it only comes second to actually being on holiday!

  11. Life-As-Mum
    30th August 2016 / 10:08 pm

    A great list! Pizza club sounds fantastic

    • Claire
      31st August 2016 / 6:56 am

      It really is! I may have to take up a sport to balance it out though!

  12. Harriet Shearsmith
    31st August 2016 / 7:07 am

    Pizza club?! Why am I not in one of these, what an ingenious idea! H x

    • Claire
      31st August 2016 / 9:23 am

      I think we'll grow and grow (both in members, and physically, haha!).

  13. LaaLaa Monroe
    31st August 2016 / 8:17 am

    Love the idea of pizza club! I don't mind phone calls, sometimes I wonder what I'm paying for lol unlimited calls and very little calling x

    • Claire
      31st August 2016 / 9:23 am

      I know! I'd much rather get more data than loads of free minutes.

  14. Tanya
    31st August 2016 / 12:36 pm

    I love your 10 things – Pizza club looks amazing, as does the Champagne. I believe you can never have too many books or Champagne, so you have got it spot on here!!!

    • Claire
      1st September 2016 / 12:52 pm

      Books & bubbles are quite the combo!

  15. Vicky Dalton-Banks
    31st August 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Hope the back feels better soon. Am loving the look of the Sky Terrace – will have to get Dave to take me next time he goes to Aspers! Ha. Shall get my thinking cap on for the next Pizza Club! xx

    • Claire
      1st September 2016 / 12:53 pm

      So excited to hear what you devise! And yay for Aspers and a new spot for a little sun.

  16. Connie Law
    31st August 2016 / 4:40 pm

    Really enjoyed Pizza Club – the weather was just perfect for an alfresco meal! Looks like you made the most of the sunshine that week too – those giant goblets of Moet look ideal!

    • Claire
      1st September 2016 / 12:53 pm

      Goblets of Moet are amongst my new favourite things. How had I not done this before?

  17. Baby Isabella
    31st August 2016 / 8:05 pm

    We want to watch Nashville on catch-up! Sounds like you had a great time on the Sky Terrace!

    • Claire
      1st September 2016 / 12:54 pm

      We really did, and yay for catch up! Nashville is such a guilty pleasure!

  18. Leslie Hernandez
    1st September 2016 / 3:31 pm

    This is an awesome post!! I love food and I love reading. I hope you're feeling better hun, I was feeling a bit sick myself this past few days. I am feeling a bit better now 🙂

  19. Liz Mays
    1st September 2016 / 11:09 pm

    Good luck as you potentially move back into teaching again. Oh, and the Sky Terrace sounded pretty wonderful!

  20. Francesca Nelson
    2nd September 2016 / 11:25 am

    Pizza Is always without a doubt a happy thing!! and you can never do too much reading with a good book! Love the list!

  21. Melanie Ed
    3rd September 2016 / 8:01 pm

    Wow you've been busy. Another GBBO fan? I really must watch it sometime.

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