Abby Lacey

Ramblings of a happy camper!


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My favourite blogs

Over the last year, whilst I have enjoyed blogging, I have struggled with it as well – where to begin, what should I write about, how should I end my blogs, etc.

During this journey, I have looked at others blogs and have found some real corkers – inspiring, imaginative, creative and amusing – so thought I’d share my faves with you….

Art of Brilliance7e71e533ddf6b08ff1cc3bdb10cff0ba

Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker’s  funny and inspiring blog about generally being brilliant!

 

Bright Bazaar Blogtoplogo

If you’ve seen my home with its muted tones, you’d think I wouldn’t like this blog, but I love the bright colours – and as Will say it’s his ‘colourful, make-you-smile style world’.

 

Bad Yogibadyogi

Not only does Erin Motz, The Bad Yogi, do some great online yoga classes, but her blog is brilliant. The Bad Yogi ethos is to be inclusive and non-judgemental – plus she’s a wine, cheese and red meat kinda gal, so right up my street!

 

Elle & Co.elle

Lauren Hooker is a graphic designer and business strategist who gives superb advice on  how to design, launch, and grow an online creative business, in this beautiful blog.

Danielle Zieglerdanielle-logo-low-res

As well as being a content marketer, Danielle writes this wonderful blog on health, well being, yoga and fitness.

 

The Mindfulness Projectlogo

The Mindfulness Project’s vision is to ‘create an innovative platform for sharing mindfulness with as many people as possible’ and their blog does just that, in a simple, clear way.

 

Fabric of My Life
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Kate describes her blog as a ‘scrapbook of inspiration’ and it certainly is full of ideas for the home, travel, cookery, style – and you can even shop!

 

What I Wore Today26222057140_d1c480cb9e

Kasmira and I started chatting last year when I found her on Twitter. Kasmira not only publishes a photo every day of what’s she’s wearing, but also took part in a similar ’40b440′ challenge to me and ended up writing a guest blog for me.

 

 

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My Happiness Experiment

Last week a friend sent me an article: A Happiness Experiment: Can You Make Every Day Feel Like Saturday?

With great excitement I read that apparently we are most happy on a Saturday at 7.26pm and obviously I wanted to put this to the test – so I did my own Happiness Experiment.

As per the article, over 10 days I tracked:

  • What I ate and drank
  • How many hours I slept
  • Any major events (i.e. parties, dinners with friends, etc…)
  • How much exercise I’d done
  • A short summary of how I felt at the end of the day
  • A 1-10 rating for the day (10 being a perfect day)

I didn’t go into as much details in my results as Mikael Cho did, but I found the following:

I paid more attention to what I ate and drank. When I was out, for example on a Friday night with friends, I didn’t count my drinks, but did pay attention to what I was eating.

I sleep way more than I thought I did at weekends, peaking at a whopping 9.5-10 hours, but less than I thought during the week, averaging of 7.5 hours per night.sleep

I exercise for an average of 1 whole hour a day – not including my lunchtime walks at work.

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Plus I am not much more happy at the weekend than I am during the week!happy

The conclusion I drew from this experiment is that whilst sleep and exercise don’t have a huge affect on my happiness (although I don’t really think 10 days is long enough to show a true result, plus it was a good week for exercising), my job, a great group of friends and a wonderful family, do!

I found the experiment really interesting and whilst we can all make small changes, life really is pretty good!


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Happy New Year!

We had an awesome night with friends last night, getting home at ridiculous-o’clock and being allowed a lie-in by the most wonderful child, until gone 10am!

Suffice it to say, I’m having a lazy day in bed with the fam watching TV and eating pizza, catching up on the Twitter-verse and not surprisingly, everyone is writing about the New Year and resolutions.

This year I have decided not to have any resolutions; I’m STILL working on the 40 list, and feel that’s enough, plus I think that resolutions don’t stick: last year’s give up smoking, drinking and dieting didn’t work, so I’m trying a different tack!

This year I’m going to be happy, healthy and look after my nearest and dearest the best I can. That’s it!

Happiest of New Years! Abby x

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An audience with the Dalai Lama

Monday was World Peace Day and we were lucky enough to get tickets to Action for Happiness’s ‘Create a Happier World’ event with the wonderful Dalai Lama and friends.

After His Holiness was welcomed on stage by Director of Action for Happiness, Mark Williamson with rapturous applause and a standing ovation, we heard from the wonderful Jasmine Hodge-Lake, a lady who’d participated in the ‘Exploring What Matters’ pilot course after suffering from chronic pain for many years.

Jasmine was followed by the amazing Adrian Bethune, a teacher from John Stainer School, who talked about how the school is championing Action for Happiness. I could write a whole blog on his incredible work, but instead, I’ll just link to Brockley Central’s blog; it really is inspirational.

IDalai Lama & Richard Layardt was then time for Lord Richard Layard, co-founder of Action for Happiness, to ‘interview’ His Holiness. What followed was an amusing, touching and (that word again) inspirational insight into the Dalai Lama’s philosophy. He touched on mental health, anger (and its place), the refugee situation (which he so wisely summed up saying that the only solution is to bring peace to their country), and our global responsibility.

After a break, the Dalai Lama having left and the protestors outside quietened, Geoff Mulgan, another co-founder of Action for Happiness, chaired a discussion on with four extremely knowledgeable speakers:

Richard Davidson, spoke about the neuroscience of happiness summing up:
* With mind training we can change our resilience
* See the positive in the world
* A wandering mind is an unhappy mind – pay attention!
* Be generous!

Editor of Psychologies Magazine, Suzy Greaves, talked about how to shift our culture towards happiness and how she’d partnered with Action for Happiness to start ‘Happiness Clubs’.

Ex-Wellington College Head, Sir Anthony Seldon, I have to say my favourite speaker of the day (bar DL of course), spoke about children and happiness; how the school system is outdated; how education is fundamental in developing a whole human being; how schools have a responsibility to draw out love, curiosity and wonderment. He took us through an exercise that he ‘punctuates’ his school days with – a simple meditation for one minute – amazing!

Finally, Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk, talked about how altruism affects happiness, quoting Martin Luther King:”Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

The day was incredible; from the ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to be in the room with the Dalai Lama, who exudes love and compassion, to the other speakers. It’s definitely made me want to do the Exploring What Matters Course and just take those small steps to being much happier!


yogi - white back

#40b440 – Check out my daily updates on Twitter and Instagram, plus see the full list in pictures on Pinterest.

You can still sponsor me for the London to Windsor bike ride, here.


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One of those days!

I’m having one of those days. Not a bad day, but one where I can’t stop.

rushing-where

After a very busy week, work-wise, I could finally stop last night, so had an early night with a DVD. This morning I woke up feeling chipper and cracked on with the day – swimming with Dylan, Waitrose (the Saturday norm) only to come home and that’s when it started…

  • Washing
  • Sorting out Dylan’s toys to sell (a lot of them that never see the light of day)
  • Moving Lego from the playhouse back into Dylan’s room
  • Changing the playhouse above from Lego house, into storage-for-the-Winter/sitting room
  • Tidying outside sitting room
  • More washing
  • Showering, washing hair and defuzzing ready for a party this evening.

And now, when I could relax, I’m writing a blog. I can’t stop!

What is it about a busy week that stops you from just chilling out? Is it there a fear to stopping?

I’m off to do a little savasana and breathe…

Savasana cat


yogi - white back

#40b440 – Check out my daily updates on Twitter and Instagram, plus see the full list in pictures on Pinterest.

You can still sponsor me for the London to Windsor bike ride, here.

Carry on Camping!

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happy

So, I got to Crowborough from London, later than hoped, went on a Magical Mystery Tour on a bus and finally got to the campsite…

As I walked through the gate of the campsite, I thought how lovely it looked and prayed that Sam had managed to get the tent up without too much swearing, throwing objects around and being told, “You’re doing it wrong, Daddy”.

Alas my fears were confirmed when I saw Dylan in the car gesticulating and Sam throwing the tent around because it wouldn’t ‘bloody stand up’. I hasten to add that having had a very busy few weeks, our plan to practice putting the tent up prior to actually going camping was kiboshed so that the tent was still brand new, out of the box and stuck together! Finally the tent went up and we proceeded to unpack the rest of our car-full of gear.

The tent felt like home – it was ours and no one elses, mess yes, but ours!

The weekend went swimmingly with fry-ups both mornings, a little shopping in Tunbridge Wells (I found the most amazing shop: Jeremy’s Home Store where I bought the sign above!), a new blow-up bed for Sam and I (ours had a puncture and we ended up sleeping pretty much on the ground on Friday night), and food and booze galore!

Perhaps not a ‘real’ camping trip drinking Prosecco on a Saturday night whilst playing Ludo, but all the same thoroughly enjoyable! Suffice it to say, our next trip (after our glamping trip planned to France) is already booked and I’m thinking this could be the new thing for us – back to nature and all that… although I’m pretty sure I’m a fair weather camper and will always want a clean loo and a shower at the end of the day!

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The Great Outdoors… with a bit of shopping!

Last weekend we ventured forth and went camping for the first time.

Being a person who generally likes home comforts, my own loo and a shower at least once a day, I was naturally dubious (yet ever hopeful) that the trip would go well.

Background

tentWe decided to get into this camping malarkey a couple of months ago when our local garden centre had a camping convention on! We visited it three times, each time looking at different tents of vastly different costs, before settling for a mid-range one (which was still very expensive). It didn’t stop there, I then went into over-drive buying all the kit from camping stove to collapsible salad bowl, cutlery, tupperware salt & pepper sets – you name it, we got! Talk about ‘all the gear and no idea‘!

The Trip

So I booked a trip away for the weekend to Crowborough in East Sussex via my new Camping & Caravanning Club membership (another ‘must have’!). I didn’t really know anything about the place apart from that it would be far enough away from home that I couldn’t escape, but close enough that it wouldn’t take hours to get home! What I hadn’t factored in was that I was on a course in London until 5pm on the Friday and that Sam would have to pack the car, pick Dylan up from school and then drive down, pitch the tent and wait for yours truly to rock up.

Suffice it to say, after missing the train I should have caught, I finally arrived at Crowborough station. As Sam was busy erecting the tent, I was hoping to catch a cab to the campsite – no cabs – but there was a bus. I asked the driver if he went to the campsite; he looked at me blankly but a friendly old chap shouted from the back telling him where to drop me. The bus trundled round the town from one end to the other until finally the driver told me this was the last stop – I swear I was only 500 yards from where I’d got on the the bus – I asked him where I should go now but he was unsure and pointed vaguely in the direction of the crossroads. At this point it had started to rain – not hard, but that horrid ‘wet rain’ as I call it; a fine mist that seems to manage to get you soaked! Luckily I still had 7% battery left on my phone, so went into maps and followed the route out of town, down the hill, where eventually I found the campsite up a long drive…

More to follow