Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Wonderful Wednesday 34

A little break from the Wonderfulness-recording over the last few weeks as things reached peak busy at work, with coursework and more reading for my course on top of that. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do and working until 8 each night does not make me want to even look at a screen when I get home! These things happen...but it's good to be back :)

I've still been keeping track of all the wonderful in my heart though - once a Wonderful Wednesday-er, always a Wonderful Wednesday-er. Here are a few of my top snippets...


♥ Spa day... I had been looking forward to this for weeks and it really didn't disappoint. My mum and I spent a day at a local spa at the end of February and it was bliss. We began the day with a back massage and facial, before having some lunch and then relaxing by the pool with our books for a little while and then swimming and steaming away the remainder of the afternoon. I may have had a wee snooze at one point, I was so very relaxed! My only criticism? There was oodles of water, water with lemons, water with cucumber but where was the caffeine?! We may have headed straight for a coffee shop as soon as we left the spa building...but in a very relaxed way of course.

♥ Not working at the weekend...Sorry to sound like a broken record but honestly, it's such a treat!

♥ Catch-ups with your oldest friends... Nothing beats them really! Last weekend, to make not doing any work even more special, we invited one of my closest friends over for lunch. Roast dinner - good! Cheese afterwards - good! Lots of laughing and reminiscing - goooood! It was so much fun and went all too quickly, and every time we promise each other that we'll do all of that more regularly. Stupid life getting in the way.

♥ Spring blooms... London has been so sunny recently (granted, usually only during the week but still) and it's really encouraged lots of glorious blooms to pop up and brighten my walk to the station in the morning. Bright mornings are also a lovely treat - roll on lighter evenings too (although not necessarily the initial earlier hour wake-up...).

♥ Nature spotting... When I left work on Monday evening, I almost ran into a skittery little creature that was trying to make its way down the drive. It was about the size of a fox, which was what I thought it was at first, but I got a better look when it tried to vault the wall and then dashed along a quiet path - it was the cutest little muntjac! I clearly don't work in London, you'd never see one there, which was probably why I thought it was a fox at first, but I've spotted one previously in my mother in law's garden in Norfolk, chomping on her roses! Super cute.

♥ More trip planning... This year is filling up rather nicely with little treats to look forward to. In my last Wonderful Wednesday, I mentioned that we've planned a summer holiday in Sicily. We've also arranged a week in North Norfolk in the Autumn and I'm really excited for some English seaside-town adventures. A few of the bloggers I follow have been describing recent North Norfolk trips which have whetted my appetite even more. Any recommendations of things to do/places to visit in the Cley area?

♥ Little moments of happiness... As I said at the top of this post, I've been trying to find little moments of happiness to keep the Wonderful Wednesday spirit alive and well over the last few weeks even when I didn't have the time to sit down and write a post. Sometimes they really were as simple as painting my nails, finding a packet of gluten free HobNobs (at last!) or baking some glorious little fairy cakes but they helped all the same!

What have you all been up to since we last spoke?! It has been an AGE! Do share the happy - as big or small as you like!

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoSamanthaKerri, LauraSarahPetaElLauraSarahMimmiJasminMartinaLynseyKatieDebbie and Kelly (I think that's everyone - shout at me if you're not on the list!) - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Wonderful Wednesday 33

It's approaching 8pm on Tuesday evening as I type this. I've just left work and I'm finishing this post up as I try to stop myself from dozing off on the tube home. Thank goodness for that mid-week feeling and for some lovely moments of happiness over the last week to keep me going, including...

♥ Weekend brunches... Oh this weekend was full of tasty treats, including not one but two fantastic brunches. We had to head into town relatively early on Saturday for an appointment and decided to pay a visit to Beyond Bread, my favourite gluten free café which has graced these pages on several occasions. Honestly though, the thrill of being able to order absolutely anything from a menu full of deliciously-tempting options never gets old. I opted for the toasted banana bread, which arrived with a generous helping of Greek yoghurt, all drizzled with honey and scattered with juicy blueberries. I could have eaten three. Yums. We then decided to walk to the Wallace Collection and spent some time looking at the gorgeous art on display (and the armoury, for the hubby). Excellent day, more of those please.

But back to the brunch...not to be outdone, lovely husband prepared a splendid brunch of pancakes, crispy bacon and fresh coffee on Sunday morning, which was so good that we managed to squirrel some extras away to have on Monday morning too. Now *that's* how you start the week.

♥ Having a weekend off... This weekend I did no work at all and it was wonderfully refreshing. Granted, I stayed at work until 7pm on Friday but it was worth it to be able to completely switch off when I got home and I put it all to one side for the whole weekend, coursework too. A much-needed break.

♥ Reading... I've been doing my best to keep the thought of 'balance' at the forefront of my mind over the last few weeks, and reading (for pleasure!) has been a great help with that. I've ploughed through a few books already, which I'm planning to review here in a separate post when I finish the one I'm currently reading. I was always the child with her nose in a book and I've missed just sitting down with a book, as I've either been too tired to focus or had a long list of other things to get done. There's a time for to-do lists though, and a time for just curling up and losing yourself completely in a good story and your imagination.

♥ BBC 6 Music as much as possible over the weekend and loving every moment of it. I particularly enjoyed Katie Puckrick's show on Saturday morning, when she was sitting in for Huey Morgan. The Shins, Interpol, Television...SO many favourites. I also discovered the wonderfully haunting 'Prepare the Lake' by a Danish group called Lowly - you can find it here, if you fancy a listen. Their album has been added immediately to my Amazon wishlist and I'm sure I'll be treating myself to it before too long. It's a song that I want to listen to again and again and again, love discoveries like that.

♥ Wedding album... This is something that's taking us a long long time but I'm sure that this year will be the year that we finish it! We whittled down the photos again after another sitting this weekend, and now have a selection ready to print. Next step will be to organise them in their album, although that might be a little longer process again as we'll have some of the photos slightly larger than others. It's very much a labour of love when you put it all together yourself and something I know we'll treasure...when it's finally finished!

♥ The Great Pottery Throw Down... Does anyone else watch this?! I'm so pleased that it's back on TV (on BBC2 on Thursday evenings, for the uninitiated) providing a lovely dose of creativity, charm and innuendo (teehee!), that have been missing since the last series of the Great British Bake Off finished. 

♥ Holiday planning... Last but BY NO MEANS least, we've booked a summer holiday! After some to-ing and fro-ing, we've decided to visit Sicily again, where we spent our glorious honeymoon back in 2015. We're going to the other side of the island this time though, to Palermo which is variously described as flamboyant, feisty and slightly scary. I can't wait...and that's primarily based on the food for now until I research the place further, but hey I'm comfortable with being ruled by my tum on holiday (and always, see 'weekend brunches' above). Have any of you visited Palermo? Do let me know your top tips, if so!

A little snap from our trip to Ortygia on honeymoon.

Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoSamanthaKerri, LauraSarahPetaElLauraSarahMimmiJasminMartinaLynseyKatie and Debbie (I think that's everyone - shout at me if you're not on the list!) - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Wonderful Wednesday 32

Hello, hello and hello to you. I'm doing my best to keep up with all things blog-related but coursework is taking precedence at the moment and you know what, I'm actually enjoying it! It's a lot to take on, on top of everything else but it's an area that I'm loving focusing on a little more and am so pleased to have made the decision to study for this.

Here are a few of the other highlights that have made me smile in recent weeks...


♥ Birchbox... I decided to treat myself by signing up to Birchbox a few weeks' ago. Each month, you receive a wee box with a selection of (usually) beauty-related treats. Sarah of (Mostly) Yummy Mummy blogs about her Birchbox each month and each month I think, that looks tempting...and then do nothing about it. January was the month I finally did something about it! I'm such a make-up novice that I'm hoping this will introduce me to some new techniques and unusual products, and dammit I just needed a treat to get me through this coursework!

♥ Weekend with my parents... I spent the weekend before last with my parents and my goodness, it was just the refreshing break I needed. We had no plans whatsoever, save for a pub lunch on the Sunday before I went home. I didn't have my work with me so I had no choice but to relax completely. On Saturday morning, I caught up with all the delicious new posts in my Bloglovin feed, painted my nails, sipped coffee and read the new issue of the Simple Things from cover to cover, before going on a walk in the grounds of a local country house with my Mum and Dad. Just look at those glorious skies (below and at the top of this post!)

♥ Post-coursework plannings... During the above weekend chez happygoluckyparents, my Mum and I also booked a little spa day for the day after my coursework is due. I can't wait!

♥ Yoga... My mister was up and out early on Sunday morning at a driving lesson, and rather than burrow back into the sheets, I decided to get up pull out my (dusty) yoga mat and do a 30 minute session of Yoga with Adriene. Granted it was instantly negated by the roast dinner and red wine that followed later in the day (also highlights for this week's Wonderful Wednesday), but I felt so great for doing it. It put a real spring in my step for the rest of the day. Here's to keeping it up? (Spoiler: I managed to on Monday, Tuesday not so much...)

♥ Deactivating Facebook... Oh my goodness, this felt SO good! I've been spending less and less time on Facebook recently and when I did go on, it was such a time vacuum but not in a helpful or productive way. I haven't deleted my account completely, that felt like a step too far for now but I've deactivated it to see how that goes for a little while. So far, so very good.

♥ London wanderings... When do these ever disappoint?! I stayed at home to work on Saturday and so I was going a little stir crazy on Sunday, so the mister and I headed into the centre of town to stretch our legs. It was quite a grey day, no sign of the stunning skies from the previous weekend, but we spotted the buildings below, which were set off a treat by the sombre skies and buildings around them. I don't think I'd ever spotted them before. London's great like that, isn't it?!

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoSamanthaKerri, LauraSarahPetaElLauraSarahMimmiJasminMartinaLynseyKatie and Debbie (I think that's everyone - shout at me if you're not on the list!) - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Wonderful Wednesday 31

It's been a busy start to the year! Between work and life and a professional qualification that I've decided to study for on top of everything else, last week's post didn't happen. But I managed to accomplish what I needed to do and felt better for it without feeling like I'd stretched myself too thinly - it's all about balance after all. (Shameless new year post plug).

But wasn't this weekend wonderful? The sun shone and it really felt like spring was on its way. Granted by the time the sun went in, I felt like I was going to lose my fingers to the cold but still, the glorious hope of spring remained fresh in my mind and it felt good!

Of course, the views over the last few mornings haven't been quite as glorious...but still beautiful in their own hauntingly eerie way.

So what else has been making me smile over the course of the last week?


♥ Gilmore Girls... I've been marathoning all of the Gilmore Girls series over the last few months (can't actually remember exactly when I started!) and last night I bawled my way through the final episode of series 7, which now leaves only the recently-aired special to go. I've loved working my way through this - what on earth can I start when it's over?!

♥ Planning a university reunion weekend... After a flurry of weddings over the last few years, there has been a flurry of babies and general life shenanigans, which has got in the way of a proper catch up with my close group of university girls for a couple of years. With one of the girls having a second baby on the way this summer, we've decided to have a meet-up in advance of that and use the opportunity to meet one of our friend's little twins who arrived on the scene shortly before Christmas.

♥ Porridge... As the weather has got colder over the last few weeks (and the lovely Miss Sally continues to extol its delights on a regular basis with some awe-inspiring combinations of flavours), I've been craving porridge's comforting warmth and finally tracked down some gluten free oats this week. Despite the fact that my mornings tend to be a blurry haze with little more than 5 minutes to wolf down my breakfast, it's been so lovely to start the day with some porridge again - a little warm glow before I brave the morning chill. Apple and cinnamon is my current favourite :)

♥ Women's Marches... I couldn't join in the Women's March on London on Saturday because I had to work, which I was really sad about but just seeing all the photos/news stories/tweets roll in made me smile so hard. Seeing that amount of people come together so peacefully filled me with optimism and sheer joy, despite the knowledge that one of the major things being protested about is still very much an on-going issue.

Family lunchings... On Sunday, hubby and I joined my parents,and my brother and his girlfriend for a lunch to celebrate my brother's birthday. They may have been slightly hungover after celebrating the night before as well (I'm all for making the celebration last as long as possible!) but we enjoyed a lovely few hours catching up...particularly as we hadn't all been together since Christmas. More get-togethers please 2017, love them!

♥ Caitlin Moran on Desert Island Discs... Oh my goodness, this was absolutely wonderful - a feast for the ears, both musically and anecdotally. I adore Caitlin Moran any way, I think her 'How to be a Woman' should be read by everyone, but this made me love her even more. Apparently they recorded over over 2 and a half hours but it was whittled down to just over 30 minutes of pure joy as Caitlin whizzed through her life from a childhood of home schooling and living with her parents and 7 siblings in a council house, to writing her first novel at 13 and becoming a journalist. "Life isn't about surviving" she said at one point, "it's about cramming in as much joy as possible". Abso-bloody-lutely! Kirsty Young really had a fight on her hands trying to get Caitlin to pause on certain topics and dwell on things that she perhaps would have been tempted to gloss over and poke fun at. One particular moment had me in tears, it resonated with me so completely...not ideal in the middle of a bus on my commute home but still. Go and listen to it immediately and, if you haven't already, read 'How to be a Woman'. I'll leave you with another favourite quote:
"I believe in giddy, deluded, intoxicated optimism because that's the fuel that will keep you going long after anger, righteousness and fear have burned out. I look everywhere for things to make me optimistic."
And if that doesn't perfectly sum up what this Wonderful Wednesday experience is all about, I don't know what does!

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoEmmaSamanthaKerri, LauraSarahPetaElLauraSarahMimmiJasminMartinaLynsey and Katie (I think that's everyone - shout at me if you're not on the list!) - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Wonderful Wednesday 30

Found via Pinterest, which sent me here

Happy Wonderful Wednesday and an even happier New Year to you all! I didn't manage to get my act together at all last week, completely lost track of my days and left it a little too late to deliver any Wonderful on my Wednesday - apologies for that!

This time of year is hard. I love the pre-Christmas Winter build-up, when the nights draw in but everywhere else is so full of light. January and February...not so much. It's a struggle and therefore so so important to notice the good times. I missed this last week, even though I wasn't sure what day it was half the time! No chance of that this week, welcome back my old friend 5 day week.

So without further ado...


♥ New wardrobe... It's only taken us 9 months or so since we moved to the new place but at last, I have my wardrobe o'dreams! I broke during the Christmas holiday, as the hanging rail we had bought as a temporary measure got ricketier and ricketier, and I couldn't see one item of clothing from another, and dragged the husband to Oak Furniture Land where I was adamant that we would be leaving with a wardrobe. And leave with one we did, although not physically, but with the promise that it would be delivered in the near future. It was delivered on Friday and I don't think I've ever been as excited about something in a long time (oh yes). I may have hugged it. And then proceeded to organise and unpack things that have been sitting in boxes for far too long.

♥ Proud wife moment... My husband was contacted by Open Doors Gallery just before Christmas about doing a takeover of their Instagram feed and some of his photographs made their way up on to their page around the beginning of the new year. The first image from his takeover can be found here and then just follow the arrows.

♥ Joining the library... As I said in my first post of the new year, I want to read more this year - fit it into a slightly more balanced life. I had been planning to join the local library for a while and this weekend, I finally crossed that off my to-do list. My first Saturday job, when I turned 16, was in my local library and you could only take out 6 books at a time. You can now take out 25! What the what?! I'll plough through my Goodreads book challenge for the year in no time with that allowance!

♥ Catch-up dinner... On Friday, I went for dinner with the lovely Laura (who also joined the Wonderful Wednesday brigade last year over on her blog) for the first time in far too long! Over pizza, extra mozzarella in the form of mini caprese salads and tea, we caught up on the last few months and our plans for the year ahead. You know what they say about not seeing a good friend for a while and picking up just where you left off? All of that. But that's not to say we're leaving it that long next time - last year was a blip!

♥ Taboo... It's been an absolute age since there's been something watchable (in my view!) on Saturday nights! I was quite intrigued when the trailers for Taboo popped up over the Christmas period, thinking it must have been based on a Victorian novel that I'd never heard of before. Turns out it was written by Tom Hardy and his Dad, and parts of it are a little dark in a hilarious "look at how dark this is" way but it's really enjoyable and we'll definitely be tuning in for the rest of the series. Tom Hardy's presence doesn't hurt too, even if the Guardian review described him as "a man who has rarely encountered a piece of scenery he didn't want to immediately chew". I may have lost a large amount of tea straight out of my nose reading that.

♥ Getting organised... Despite (or perhaps because) the weekend was damp, cold and grey, we achieved so much over the 2 day period - furniture building and moving, final unpacking and sorting, a big post-new year clean, joining the library and hanging a clock (never mind the fact that it fell down again a few hours later). It felt really excellent to get on top of things and continue planning the year ahead. Spring cleaning before spring, almost!

I hope you're having a wonderful week - what's been your highlight so far?

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoEmmaSamanthaKerri, LauraSarahPetaElLauraSarahMimmiJasminMartina and Lynsey - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Hello 2017.

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."
 - Neil Gaiman
I've never been a great one with new year's resolutions. I would sit down, think hard and write a long list of things, which I would valiantly abide by for about a week, then spend the rest of the year feeling ever so slightly guilty that I just couldn't manage the life overhaul I'd imagined for myself at the beginning of the year.

A few years ago, I decided instead to give myself a word for the year, which I find a far less oppressive solution. You see, I like the idea of a new year being a fresh start and a chance to make some important changes or set out some goals, but without all the pressure that a list of resolutions imposes.

I've been thinking about what to choose for this year's word over the Christmas period and I've decided that my word for 2017 is 'balance'. The last few months of 2016 were exhausting and, until I had a little time off in December, I felt as if the weeks were racing by and I was struggling to focus on anything apart from work and a series of seemingly never-ending to-do lists. I love my job and I really feel like my career is going in a direction that I'm proud of but I want to make time for other things too, which I know will only help me to be more focused and balanced in all aspects of my life.

So how to bring more balance to my life? This year, I'm planning to really set aside some quality time with my husband and friends, exploring more of this amazing city/country of ours and putting my phone to one side as much as possible and really give all my attention to these moments, which can be so fleeting. At the same time, part of the balance I think I need will be learning to say no when necessary - that may take some work. I want to pay more attention to my health and focus on some me-time, by reading more, getting back into yoga and taking some time for crafts and baking (which I loved doing during my days off over the last few weeks!). I think it'll be an important lifestyle change for me but one I can implement gradually and which will make me happier, healthier and more productive in the long term. I'm excited!

Starting as I mean to go on...with tea and a good book.

What are your plans for the new year? Have you made any resolutions or chosen a word to live by over the coming months? Whatever you've decided to do, I hope you have wonderful, peaceful starts to 2017. Here's to the year ahead!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 29 - ☆ Highlights of 2016 ☆

I joined Sally's merry little bunch of Wonderful Wednesday bloggers in March this year knowing that it would be a good exercise to push myself to blog more regularly and look for the happy moments in a week. Some weeks have been easier than others (and I know that some weeks I haven't managed at all) but it's been a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to all the snippets of wonderfulness I'll find over the course of next year. This week, joining in with Sally, I'm documenting my highlights of the year. In a year with so many national and international low-points, I'm looking at the wonderful moments closer to home because, in the wise words of Albus Dumbledore, "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light".


Moving house... As tiring and stressful (and dusty!) as moving house can be, moving house back in March was one of the best decisions we made this year. We had lived in our old flat for almost four years and although it was a shoebox, it was a delightful little box (the first place we lived in together) and we loved the area, which probably made us stay there for longer than we should have done. I had a 4 hour commute to and from work each day which was not good and I was exhausted constantly. My new commute is about 40 minutes (nothing in London terms!) and only one train rather than 4. We've also got more space and a garden, and the glorious thrill of having more time in the morning and evening still hasn't worn off. Granted I had huge plans for the garden which didn't even get a look in this year but next year, I'm looking at you to get me more organised. Bring on those home-grown veggies.

Discovering tasty gluten free cafés... Visiting the Gluten-Free Shop and Café in Norwich is such a highlight from last year and I can't believe I haven't made it back since. The shop was full of so many gluten free treats and bread that tasted like I remember it tasting! There was also an amazing café and, as I said before, it's still a thrill to be able to go into a restaurant and have your pick of the menu. You can find my review here if you're thinking of popping along yourself.

Another highlight was Beyond Bread bakery in Fitzrovia, London, which I have been back to a few times already this year. It's the perfect brunch/lunch spot with an array of delicious items to choose from - the pastries are a particular favourite.

Being a little thriftier... Helped by the fact that we moved away from an area filled with tempting little coffee shops, places to eat and a rather large M&S food store, the latter part of the year has felt slightly thriftier as we've really worked to make our shops go further. We pulled out the slow cooker as the evenings drew in and it's been lovely coming home to a tasty stew after a cold commute home. Hopefully next year will be even better on that front (particularly if I put my money where my mouth is where our vegetable patch is concerned!).

Holidays... Both of our holidays were family-filled this year - Germany at the end of May to visit my sister in law and her husband, and Ireland in August for a family wedding with some additional days to discover a little more of a country that means so much but that I haven't visited in years.

We're not sure what we're going to do for our holidays next year but I'm looking forward to sitting down and planning them, and discovering some exciting new places.

Lots of family time... Since I moved back home from Japan in 2008, I've lived quite close to my parents and a lot of other family members, which has been a lovely treat. I've enjoyed getting to know them as adults, if that makes sense, and this year we've enjoyed lots of meals together, trips and time just talking. Bring on more of that next year please.

London adventures... As frustrating as London can be, as crowded, dirty and expensive, it's still a wonderfully exciting place that we're not ready to leave just yet. There are still so many places to discover, which we've been able to do this year, new exhibitions to enjoy as well as taking in old favourites. This year's highlights have been watching Top Hat at the BFI on Valentine's Day, the Harry Potter extravaganza at the House of MinaLima in Soho, Taming of the Shrew at the Globe, the Lambeth Country Show, Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds exhibition at the British Museum and today's visit to the Geffrye Museum - the museum of the home in Shoreditch.

London itself was looking pretty beautiful itself today too - look at that mist!

Christmas 2016... Christmas gets an entry all to itself, as I expect it would every year because I love it so. This Christmas has been slightly different as the day itself was just spent with my mister and his mum. It was lovely to plan and cook our own meal, and it was a wonderfully relaxing day...but just a little quieter than usual, when you're used to the noise of a big family Christmas! We made up for that though by having all of my mum's side of the family over for a buffet on Tuesday evening and that was enormous fun. In previous years, working right up to Christmas has meant coming down with whatever bug is going round that year, so this year I saved some annual leave to ensure I could have a couple of days off leading up to the holiday period to rest, plan for Christmas and get the house ready, including time to bake and do a few crafty things. I feel thoroughly relaxed - here's hoping that I can carry that feeling well into 2017!

Happy New Year to you all and I hope you have splendid New Year's Eves, whatever you have planned. The mister and I are at home this year with a dear friend, planning a fabulously special meal and cocktails to welcome in 2017.

See you next year!

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoEmmaSamanthaKerri, LauraSarahPetaElLauraSarahMimmiJasminMartina and Lynsey