Thursday, 21 August 2014

Ice-T Makes Me Laugh

"Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day."

I heard this quote, or an approximation of this quote, on Ice-T's Final Level podcast yesterday evening.

Devo and I sat for a quiet moment in the music room (it sounds fancy but it's just a second reception room in our house that's too small to function as anything much other than a place to put Devo's guitars and our record collection) listening to an interview with James Altucher. He was speaking about 'The Mindset of Success' how you can lose everything and fail miserably yet still continue on to succeed in life by focusing on the things that really matter. 

Altucher believes that by focusing on your Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual health you cannot fail. Look after your physical health by eating well and exercising, your emotional health by being around people you love, your mental health by being creative and your spiritual health by being grateful for what you've got. 'Checking' these boxes every single day is what makes him feel successful. Regardless of financial gain.

He also recognises that there is no way to eliminate stress from anyone's life and that everybody's lives hold different challenges, but by filling our days with as much positivity as possible, those stresses will be much easier to deal with.

The whole conversation was fascinating and there is way too much in it for me to regurgitate here - you should just go listen to it. Lots of the things Ice, Mick and James discussed, especially the above quote, stayed with me and I'm resolving to try and laugh more everyday.

To not take things so seriously. To not be freaking out about what my future holds. To not care what people think about my being made redundant. To do what I love and what makes me happy and to count my 'wins'. Every. Single. Day of this one precious life I have been given.

Today, my Mother-in-Law offered to take the girls for a couple of hours (that's a win) and Devo and I got to hang out for a while (that's another win), browse in some shops (that's also a win) and have a relaxing lunch together (bonus win). Rare daytime-dates are my favourite. (win, win win) 

As we sat waiting for the food to arrive I took out the packet of pretty labels I had bought to feed my stationery addiction (win). I turned the pack over and there, above the barcode was the quote, which I later I photographed, above. 

For no discernible reason. They were just blank paper labels. I have no idea why this particular quote was randomly printed on the package.

Devo and I burst out laughing at the unlikeliness of the coincidence.

It was just the universe's way of reminding us to keep smiling, I guess.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

5 Today

Where Wishes Come From is five years old today!

Well, actually, it was officially five years old - three days ago - but I only realised the date had passed, without my noticing, late last night.

The girls and I belatedly celebrated with cake today because... well, you can't have a birthday without cake, can you?

Sábha was a little bit confused about the notion of a blog having a birthday. Not that she really understands what a blog is anyway. When I asked her what she thought it was, she just said "Blogging is when Mama is working on her computer." and she's mostly right... if we pretend faffing around on Facebook is 'work'. Or, indeed, if we consider blogging 'work'. Which I don't, because I love it more than I've ever loved any job and also, because it doesn't earn me any money! 

Yet, in another way I DO look at it like work. I put a hell of a lot of hours into it and I am very serious about doing a good job. I'm newly-redundant too, so blogging, apart from parenting, is the only work I've got. It certainly feels nicer to say 'I'm a blogger' than 'I'm a dole-blodger' if anyone asks what I do

Thoughts and plans for this space fill my head and my quiet hours and lately, I have stayed up into the wee small hours tweaking and re-arranging the pages. (I do hope you like the new look.) I am excessively proud of the crafts, parties and fairies pages - which took me staying up until 2am, three nights running, to get right - would I do that for any other job?

Looking at this space now - it is abundantly clear to me how far it's come since the early days of not having a CLUE what to even write in this space. Or how to make it look the way I wanted it to. Or how to make it not just a mish-mashed-imitation of all the blogs I admired. It took me a shockingly long time to 'find my voice' and, believe it or not, it's only a little over a year since I realised what I even wanted this blog to be about!

This past year has seen me grow in confidence in my writing. Focus my content a little more. Begin to share my posts with a wider audience and even win an award... which I still can't quite believe.

It has brought me new opportunities, a few freebies, lots of new friends around the world and is a living record of my children's early years.

That last one. That's really the big one...

Sometimes I worry that my children will hate me for sharing these days with the world, when they weren't in a position to give their consent. Other times I think about how much I would love a record of my own unremembered days. The days my Mother can only remember in a fuzzy, merged-with-my-siblings kind of way. 

I am hopeful that in the future Lile and Sábha will see the things I share here for what they really are... attempt to capture the best and brightest moments of our lives in the only way I know how and an attempt to express my endless love and devotion to my family - especially to the two little girls I am privileged enough to call my own.

Today, Sábha couldn't figure out how Where Wishes Come From would eat it's birthday cake and I explained to her that I was eating it on behalf of the blog. She seemed happy with that as an answer and even happier that she got to have cake too.

Now, I realise I was wrong in telling her that. I wasn't eating cake on behalf of the blog because the blog is me. 

I am Where Wishes Come From.

I was eating the cake to celebrate a massively important thing in my life that I have, over 5 - mostly stumbling- years created. I have been writing and photographing and making and doing and planning and geeking and WORKING here for 5 whole years of my life.

And I never even noticed because it's become an integral part of who I am. It's just something I DO.

And even if I never make a cent from this space. Or even if my kids ask me to take it all down in a couple of years time and never want to hear it mentioned again... it will still always be something I am proud of.

Something worth celebrating.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

In my Picnic Basket

The lovely Laura over at Dairy Free Kids is hosting a linky called 'What's in Your Picnic Basket?' so, I took the opportunity while I was at Powerscourt Gardens, and lugging a huge picnic basket around, to snap the above shot and make a mental note of what was in it.

I love picnics. Actually, I feel like I constantly picnic since having kids. In fact, I think most parents probably carry some sort of snack in their bags to be eaten in random out and about places while letting little legs rest and cranky kids re-balance.

One of my favourite picnic spots, of late, is in the tiny library garden in our town. We've been picnicking there every Monday lunchtime all Summer after Story & Craft time in the library. I realised pretty quickly, after the massive meltdown that occurred the first week, that I would NEED to have food with me for the girls afterwards. They use up all their energy walking to the library in the first place and then work very hard at listening to stories and gluing small bits of paper to larger bits of paper. They are usually STARVING by the time it finishes. So we hop the fence and sit on the old granite steps and have a little bite before we begin the walk home. It works a treat.

Those picnics are fairly basic, but when we're REALLY picnicking I like to put a bit more effort in. Powerscourt deserved more effort... but then again, I do stick to tried and tested things to make sure the girls will actually EAT it.

Sábha more or less lives on 'Ham Wraps' (a slice of cooked ham rolled in a tortilla wrap) and raw carrots, so that's what she gets.

Lile likes more of a tapas style affair or a 'little bits and bobs lunch' as she calls it. She gets chunks of cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, red pepper crudités and oat cakes.

I always bring fruit as it's easy to snack on as we walk. We had bananas, apples and plums on Saturday.

You can't have a special picnic without some kind of treat. The girls were delighted with themselves as I brought my Chocolate Spelt Muffins (I make a batch most weeks), some dried mango which they are crazy about at the moment and some yogurt-covered rice cakes.

For me, I tend to forget to bring anything specific and end up eating whatever the girls don't - but if Devo is with us I might bring tuna sweetcorn in pitta bread and more of Lile's 'bits and bobs' for us.

Yay Picnics!
Click HERE to check out the rest of the entries in the 'What's in Your Picnic Basket?' Linky or indeed, to join in.

So, what's in YOUR picnic basket?


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