Marshmallows on potatoes and feeling thankful

thankful

 

I may not be American, but I’ve always been a big fan of the Thanksgiving holiday. What’s not to like about gathering with loved ones to carve turkey and eat pie? Even before I had any American friends, I’d host a Thanksgiving dinner party where I’d serve bemused Brits sweet potatoes with marshmallows, just because ‘that’s what you do’ (apparently).

The best bit of the meal would be the moment that we’d go around the table and say what we were most thankful for. When the guests protested, I’d tell them that they had to do it because it was ‘tradition’ and that’s what all Americans did on Thanksgiving. Since then my US friends have revealed that none of them in fact did this, and I must have picked up the idea from some schmaltzy film or, perhaps. The Waltons. Whatever. It’s still the most special moment of the meal.

So, today, wherever you are in the world, I urge to play along. Even when we’re at our lowest ebb, there’s still something to be thankful for. And when we notice it, we notice more and more and more. Gratitude compounds.

And if you feel like sharing what’s filling you with joy, leave a comment below.

Artwork by Kory Woodward

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Renegade round-up

The weekend before last, I went to the Renegade Craft Fair, London. And it was pretty amazing.

Growing up I used to go to craft fairs with my Mum. They’d be in clammy marquees and there’d be lots of pottery knick-knacks for sale and wooden plaques with names burnt into them. Those and lavender bags. There were always lots of lavender bags. The Renegade Craft Fairs are a little less chintz and a lot more cool. From the beautifully decorated booths to the amazingly creative sellers, they’re craft fairs re-done. And pretty much every other stall sells stationery.

Although I was manning a stall for work, I still managed to sneak around to do some stealth purchasing. So, for your notelet buying pleasure, here are my four favourite new stationery finds.

1. Prickle Press

I love letterpress. And seeing Rachel’s press in person was a real pleasure. Tactile printing on 100% cotton makes me happy.

MMJ_PricklePress

2. Cotton Post

How cheery are Laura’s printed calendars. I especially loved my birthday month – ‘September is all about stationery’ – why, yes it is.

MMJ_CotttonPost

3. Lucy Driscoll

Hello atmospheric and slightly Nordic Christmas cards. Or should that be “Hei”? Lucy’s Christmas prints are really evocative and made me feel a little mournful. In a good way.

MMJ_LucyDriscoll

4. The Compartment Store

Imagine for a moment that you travel with beautifully crafted steamer trunks (rather than ratty roller cases with one wheel missing) and these trunks are full of drawers and in those drawers is stationery. This vision is made real by the girls at The Compartment Store. Loved their chic uniforms and loved their even chicer stationery.

MMJ_Compartment

If you’d like to see who else was at the show, take a look here.

Where are you buying beautiful stationery at the moment? Let me know any favourite finds in the comments below.

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Happy World Kindness Day

BeKind2

 

As you well know, I’m a big fan of doing Random Acts of Joy as often as possible rather than waiting for a specific moment. But there’s something even more exciting about doing them on a designated day. It’s the same reason why, no matter how regularly you enjoy a slice of cake, the piece you eat on your birthday always tastes better.

So what Random Act of Joy can you do to celebrate World Kindness Day today?

You can read my perspective in the here, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

Smile at someone. Leave a lovely comment on someone’s Facebook photo. Tell a colleague why you think they’re great at their job (even if they’re normally really annoying and leave all the work to you). Make everyone a cup of tea. Buy sweets for the team. Pick up a piece of litter. Give up your seat. Hold open the door. Send someone a postcard. Start a conversation with a stranger (not in a creepy way). Carry someone’s bag. Buy someone flowers. Call a friend and let them talk all about themselves. Pay someone a compliment. Hide a note for a stranger. Leave a treasure trail for your family to come home to (preferably leading to something nice rather than the washing up). Introduce yourself to your neighbour. Volunteer. Pat a pet.  And on and on and on. 

Let me know what you do or what some other lovely person has done for you in the comments below.

 

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