My 2 youngest children, Patrick and Erin were off school on Friday due to a teacher training day. I had a few appointments booked in so as ever my super parents stepped in a took them off for a fun filled day at the playcentre.

I then had to take Saoirse to Sligo to be picked up for a weekend away and somehow got totally lost on the way, even though I worked in Sligo for 3 years!! A one hour call to Patrick’s Psychologist and a quick call in for a cuppa with my Bestie, all meant I didn’t get home until after 7pm.

When I got home I was wrecked, all I wanted was a bath and bed. I saw little Erin’s face drop. She suffers from separation anxiety from me and a full day away had caused her to struggle. Being a solution focused person, who always wants the best for her family, but is dedicated to self care, I decided to combine the two.

Quality time with this lovely lady

I have wonderful memories of bath time with my Mum. It was one of the times I always felt closest to her when I was making potions and chatting to her as she enjoyed her bubbles. So that is what Erin and I did.

As I had my book launch the next day, we decided a full beauty package was in order. I was exfoliated with bath salts, my hair was washed 17 times with ‘the blue stuff’ – Mick’s Head and Shoulders shampoo, my entire face was moisturised with luxurious lip balm and, much to Erin’s amusement I requested a mani/pedi – now her new favourite phrase. I drew the line at letting her paint my fingernails but I did let her do my toes, and when I say toes – I do mean toes – in their entirety.

Just like learning to walk in heels, my gait was a little off as I learned to walk with my toes welded together by red toe polish, but I didn’t have the heart to undo her hard work and I am still sporting red toes today, but I did have to break the seal of nail varnish that was holding them together awkwardly.

It made me think about how we all strive to provide wonderful, fun filled experiences for our children and ourselves, but so often it’s the little things, the moments of tenderness, the smiles that create the most wonderful memories.

I went to a wedding in November, Lisa, the bride gave a beautiful speech in the church, remembering her cousin Joanna who had died tragically 2 years previously. Everyone in the church knew the story and knew Joanna, Lisa so eloquently asked us all to appreciate the daily positives in our lives, “a good cup of tea, the dog’s tail wagging at 90 miles an hour.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the church, and I think a lot of perspectives changed just a little that day with Lisa’s words. I know mine did.

Finding the sparkle in every day.

So as we all recover from the so called ‘Blue Monday’ yesterday, where the magic of Christmas is now a distant memory, our resolutions are long forgotten and it’s still over a week until pay day, when we can splurge on a fancy lunch, a cinema trip or a new book to lift our spirits, My Tuesday Top Ten is all about the little things we enjoy – they aren’t numbered and there are more than ten, so apologies for breaching the TTT idea.

My New Years Day movie of choice ‘The Sound of Music’ is ringing in my ears as I list my ‘favourite things’. I apologise to those of you now humming the song all day – but sure why not, you can’t beat songs from an epic musical to brighten a dreary Tuesday – I dare you to start a sing song.

  • The smell of cut grass on a summers day and the sound of tractors collecting it long into the night.
  • The warmth of a freshly laid egg from one of my chickens and then frying it up straight away.
  • My 6 year old daughter climbing into bed beside me in the mornings to enjoy a cuddle and 2 more minutes in a warm bed.
  • The feeling of the fizz of a newly open can of diet coke as it hits the back of my tongue on the first swig,
  • A wink from my husband.
  • Seeing ,y breath on cold days.
  • Melted cheese on toast with Worcestershire sauce.
  • Doing random act of kindness, it can be as simple as letting someone ahead of you in the Queue in the supermarket, or giving someone your half used parking ticket.
  • A long forgotten day filled with joy, that pops into my Facebook memories on a day when I need a boost.
  • Waking up at 3am and the moment you realise you can go back to sleep for 4 hours.
  • A chat with someone you don’t know standing in a Queue.
  • The smell of suntan lotion and the memories it evokes.
  • The moment your ears pop when you get off a plane and the sounds flood your brain once again.
  • Freezing cold days with clear blue skies.
  • The words small children get wrong. On Friday Erin told me about a group of Octopisses – priceless!
  • Using a towel straight from the tumble dryer that is still warm.
  • Climbing into clean, fresh sheets, the coldness, the scent, bliss.
  • Seeing your petrol tank full. Knowing that if you really wanted to, you could drive absolutely anywhere today.
  • Spending your lotto winnings in your head.
  • Writing my name in sparklers (€1.50 for a pack of 5 in Eurogiant – always fun for the young or old).
  • Licking the spoon!
  • Shiny shoes, especially patent leather.
  • A song on the radio that you hadn’t heard for ages. Especially if it’s your wedding first dance, and the little feeling of butterflies it still gives you.
  • A handwritten envelope in the post and the feeling of excitement wondering what it might be.
  • Buying stamps and enjoying the new picture they offer.
  • Pick and Mix sweets in the cinema.
  • A good glass of water when you are thirsty.
  • Mouthwash
  • Watching my dog Heidi react to other dogs on telly, especially when she goes looking for them behind the TV.
  • Chip Shop bought chips with loads of salt and vinegar.
  • Dad jokes.
  • Baby animal pictures – especially orangutans.
  • My teenager rolling her eyes at my jokes, but I know inside she is smiling.
  • The big wave and smile someone gives you when you let them out in traffic / cross the road.
  • Those people that you meet that just make you feel lifted, and you have no idea way – it’s just a feeling, an instinct.
  • New ink in the photocopier, so everything on the page is really clear.
  • The way Patrick’s eyes twinkle when he tells me about something interesting he has learnt at school.
  • Someones funny ringtone.
  • Words that you say that tickle your mouth and just feel good – ‘baboon’ for example.
  • Standing at the till in Penneys (Primark) and getting charged €3 for the top you thought was 10.
  • Green lights all the way to your destination.
  • Reading ‘just one more’ chapter of your book.
  • Knowing the answers on a radio quiz, even if you aren’t the competitor.
  • Interesting stationary.
  • Finding money in the car/back of the sofa/on the pavement.
  • Seeing a squirrel, fox, badger in it’s natural habitat.
  • Napping.
  • An email or text from an old friend (send one now to one of your friends you haven’t heard from in a while.

I love those little calendars that offer us daily words of wisdom, and for years I had one pinned to my desk reminding me ‘ enjoy the little things, for they are the essence of life.’ Please stick that in your memory desk today.

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Happy Turquoise Tuesday – a colour of joy x

Heidi feeling content after rescuing TV puppies in distress.

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