Make Me Joyful Care Package

MMJ_happynote

Yesterday I was gleefully informed that we’re now officially over half-way to Christmas. And to that I say: Ho, Ho, Ho…w the heck did that happen? I mean, really. WTF.

It doesn’t seem a minute since I was wrapping up January’s 31 days of joy and revealing my wonky eyebrows to the world, and now we’re just one damp squib of a summer away from telling ourselves that it’s ok to browse the Liberty Christmas Grotto in October because we really did think we were heading to the homeware section. Honest.

It occurred to me that the reason we get so worried about the speed at which the year passes is because we feel that we’re not making the most of it. When we’re still trying to find time to complete our ‘what I want to achieve in 2013’ lists even though we’re already 6 months in.

The passing of time is neither good nor bad; it’s the fear that we’re being left behind which panics us.

We can’t control the fact that time moves on, but we can control what we do with it.

Think back to what you wanted to achieve this year? What dream was at the top of your list? Now, what do you need to do to make that dream happen? There might be three steps, there might be three hundred. Whatever. Just write them all down and start doing them. What can you do today that gets you closer to what you want? Now go do it.

And would you believe that it’s now the last Thursday of the month? Which means that it’s time to spin the tombola to pick the winner of June’s Make Me Joyful Care Package. Last month’s package is bobbing across the ocean to Australia and includes the fabulous Happy Notes above. This month’s will be going across the Atlantic to America. Hoorah!

Remember, if you want to be included in the draw, you can sign up to the newsletter below:

----

Three things…

MMJ_cooking

This week the following three things are making me particularly joyful:

1. Discovering North London stationery designer Nicole Thompson of Paper Heart. Thanks to one of my favourite friends, I received the hand printed card above on my mat this weekend. It may be the best compliment I’ve had all year. Nicole’s stationery is fun, quirky and fabulous. Check her out.

MMJ_rainbows

2. Another creative discovery: The House of Whatnot. My friend’s husband had one of these beautiful embroidery hoops made to celebrate their second (cotton) wedding anniversary. Beautiful. They’d be perfect for all sorts of joyful presents. I may have spent most of the day fantasising about  gathering a group embroidered with joyful messages and hanging them from trees in the park. Craft fetishism.

MMJ_whatnot

3. Discovering this fabulous Free Cakes for Kids organisation which does exactly what it says on the (cake) tin. Groups across the UK match home bakers with families who might not be able to afford a cake for their child’s birthday. The cake-bakers create and the children get a proper birthday surprise. Wonderful idea, no? As someone who needs to give away 99% of anything she bakes lest she eat it all herself, this is something I’m excited to get involved with. Find your local group (or set one up) here.

And remember that if you’re in need of someone to send beautiful stationery to then you can email me (hello@makemejoyful.com) with your home address and I’ll match you up with a pen-pal. And if you’re in need of a slice of cake then let me know too.

----

Lambs a leaping

MMJ_smiling lamb

After last week‘s countryside Random Act of Joy, I managed to sneak in another one before heading home to the city.

As you know, the Joyful Revolution is not limited to humans and this week’s act is one for our furry friends. 

Cycling up one of the many hills near our cottage,  we noticed two lambs merrily munching grass on the wrong side of their field. Grateful for an excuse to end the torture get off my bike, we stopped to assess the situation. Two lambs roaming free and a main road close by. Holy Mint Sauce! Something had to be done.

And then they started to run.

Showing the sort of sheep-herding finesse that wouldn’t have looked out of place on One Man and his Dog, Alec sped off to get ahead of them and I was left with the not-insignificant pressure of trying to open the gate, stop the rest of the herd from escaping and block the road at the same time.

It was a high risk role and as I heard the cry of “THEY’RE COMING” from the other side of the hill, I wondered whether I was up to the job. But up to it I was. Flightened by my rugby tackle stance, they veered off the track and back into their field. Lamb rescue done.

Of course, I then decorated the gate with some crepe paper fringing and wild flowers in jam jars to make it a proper Random Act of Joy. Ok, not this time. But that would have been nice.

----