16, 17 & 18/365 Joy in the Mundane

A much needed cut and colour was had this week, I had to put my book away and make do with the salon’s trashy mags though, reading Caitlin Moran’s Moranthology had me snorting behind the pages, if you haven’t read her comparison of David Cameron to a Gammon Robot I urge you to do so with haste! Not the best selfie, not the best blowdry either but then who can repeat the perfect locks that the hairdresser seems to be able to create?


This was followed by two foodie treats, a slice of really good bread with loads of butter for Joss and slightly less for me (museli bread, absolutely amazing stuff) and joy in the mundane for Joss, taking a biscuit off to eat in your favourite lazy chair whilst swinging your legs back and forth…note the sticky finger marks on the wall that I keep scrubbing at, nothing better than getting your greasy paws all over the house post-biscuit.



13, 14 and 15/365 Joy in the Mundane – Busy

A busy, nay manic few days so here’s a quick rundown, quickly folded towels represent joy at reaching the end of the washing basket (really?! not happened for a loooong time), a picture from Joss at the childminder’s house is always a joy to return home from work to, and a calendar created at baby group by her own fair hands, I loved the way she got the paint on her palms and slapped them down on the paper shouting ‘wow wow wow’ and later saying thank you to another little girl for sharing her fruit with Joss (very proud Mammy moment right there)




What’s the Story


A hastily taken snap on the local Metro, and Joss’ first journey without being sat in the pram or buggy, I guess it marks that she’s a big grown up toddler and I’m a more confident Mam!

We took the sling and she asked to jump down when we were waiting at the station, how nice to be 20 months old and inspect every seat carefully peering at folk before deciding the seat nearest the door was just right for drinking a bottle of water, clacking your boots together happily and shouting ‘door open!’ ‘door close!’ with every stop!

A review and overview of Do Happiness

Late last year I had been doing a lot of reading around parenting and mindfulness and realised there were aspects of maintaining a positive outlook that I found quite difficult. For a lot of years I have been an avid follower of the Action for Happiness movement, particularly their excellent information leaflets and posters for developing a happier outlook.

It was with interest that I read about their Do Happiness tool kit with Do Something Different, a 32 day happiness programme designed around your own needs to guide you through a range of actions via email or text to explore and boost your own happiness.

At £15 for a 6 week programme and the option of joining a waiting list if you cannot afford to pay, and the option of buying as a gift there are a range of accessible options for getting started.

I have just completed my six week course. My personal programme was designed around anxiety, and the programme is clear it is not a clinical intervention but a complementary one, it was a good time for me to start as I have been receiving some therapy in this area.

Each day I received two emails, a daily DO activity and an appropriate quote to guide and encourage.

do q


Each day I logged into my personalised Do Zone and left feedback on the activity, I was asked if I completed the Do activity, to rate how different it was and rate my enjoyment, leaving some personal feedback with the option of sharing with others.


I thoroughly recommend getting involved in all aspects including sharing and reading the feedback left by others as it gave new perspectives I hadn’t considered, and as people shared their interests and things they enjoyed it sparked new ideas for me.

The daily activities were varied and enjoyable, from turning off the TV for an evening, or replacing a chore with an enjoyable activity, to complimenting a friend or asking someone what had gone well for them that day, the tasks were achievable and bite-sized but pack a punch when followed on a daily basis.

I found that towards the end of the programme I opened up more when others asked how I was doing, and was more interested and less self-involved when talking to others.

I also realised that I found it challenging to do the tasks that were focussed around letting go of unhelpful habits, for example I found it difficult to replace a chore as I have been finding it difficult to relax lately, and the programme helped me recognise this and try to ease off a little.

Six weeks was a good chunk of time in which I’ve made some really positive changes and I enjoyed the new challenges and interests that the programme sparked each day, I’m feeling a bit more reinvigorated and have learned a lot about myself, positive outcomes considering I had been feeling more than a little flat and feel that with the guide of the programme I’ve achieved much of this for and by myself.

So why not Do Something different today?

The programme entry page can be found here

Disclaimer – I received a complimentary sign up to review the programme

11/365 Joy in the mundane – a sunny freebie


Popped into Pret for a cuppa on our way home from town, they were just closing, Joss wanted a biscuit so one of her fave oat and apple cookies made its way into a paper bag, when I got home I unpacked our shopping and found two of these in the bag, a random act of lovely kindness!

10\365 Joy in the mundane – Nice post

Bills, junk, uni letters to be actioned, bank statements etc it’s not often I get ‘nice post’ so it was a treat to receive my prize from Janine at The Birth and Baby Network’s brilliant advent book giveaway.

The book is Wonderful Wildlife and is a gem for my little animal lover.

Enclosed was a treasure, a fab Where’s Wally postcard, I just love how busy and colourful it is, can you spot him?!


Music to work to

Took a canny little trip through youtube today, and realised that my eclectic taste comes out most when working. Today’s musical assortment was a bit more dance than I’d go for, but it started with the Girls soundtrack (Hannah and Elijah dancing to I Don’t Care kills me) but I like a bit of bass when I work:

Icona Pop – I don’t care (I love it)
Rudimental – Feel the love
The Knife – Heartbeats
Calvin Harris – Feel so close
Swedish House Mafia – Don’t you worry child
MGMT – Time To Pretend
Hot Chip – Ready for the floor

Somehow Youtube suggested Voodoo Child which I love and so that took me off onto a more laidback vibe taking in The Fugees, Goo Goo Dolls and onto Audioslave…

And so it was that 13,000 words of dissertation emerged over two days solid working, my reward? Am rationing episodes of Girls as I’ve almost finished Season Two so I may have to afford myself a sneaky peek at the next episode tonight!


The New Granny’s Survival Guide by Gransnet


As a researcher with an interest in the lived experiences of women and families Mumsnet books are a goldmine of secondary data to analyse in the first instance, and a source of great humour, advice and support in the second!

It was with great interest that I read about the new Gransnet book The New Granny’s Survival Guide, as the role of women as both mothers and grandmothers is something that has come up in my research, and interested me in my personal life.

I remember sitting down with both my own mother and mother in law in the early months following Joss’ birth and telling them about how I found it hard to know what to say when people asked me about becoming a mother, people would ask me ‘is she good?’ ‘are you enjoying it’ all the right things to ask I suppose, but their questions didn’t help me to navigate how I was feeling, instead talking with more experienced mothers gave me a better frame of reference; I guess I wanted them to say I was ‘doing it right’!

I was lucky to receive a copy of The New Granny’s Survival Guide, by Gransnet, to review.

I suppose I read this book through the lens “what’s different about being a gran to being a mam, and what can I learn from this journey that the older generation are on, in relation to my daughter?” When Joss came along her Daddy and I became aware that although we had just become a family of three (plus dog) we had a much wider family for Joss to gain support, love and wisdom from, not just here in the UK, but from our family in Holland too.

Having my grandmother, her great-grandmother here for the days following her birth made the occasion all the more special, my little girl shares a name that’s very close to that of her great-grandmother, and she is looked after a day a fortnight by each of her grandparents, so we were all navigating new relationships in a way none of us had probably anticipated amidst the excitement of the arrival of our precious girl.

I suppose Gransnet’s Guide for Granny’s is akin to what Mumsnet’s “Why did Nobody Tell Me” was for me, a tongue in cheek look at the collective wisdom of Grans, and support to navigate a new role, with lots and lots of ideas for play and supporting childcare at all ages. It recognises that especially in relation to health and wellbeing some of the guidance about care for children has changed a lot over the years, and raises the importance of trying to ‘go with the modern flow’ – yes spoon fed weaning was de rigeur, now baby-led weaning is encouraged, babies were encouraged to sleep on their front and now it’s feet to foot on their backs, and it’s easy to say ‘it never did you any harm’ but urges caution and encourages letting go and enjoying a relationship with grandchildren without worry, let the parents do that!

A fun read and good reference tool for some of the ‘sticky issues’ that might arise when providing care either informal or on a more regular basis, I’d think this would make a lovely gift for a new Gran (or Grandma, or Nan)!