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100 Happy Days Part 1

July 5, 2014

Like Gemma, I’ve been sucked into the recent notion of “100 happy days”, despite my tough exterior, I do sometimes have some pretty rubbish days so it’s been nice to remind myself of how lucky I am and of all the nice things I have in my life. Since I missed out on my 1-10 post, here’s my 1-20 of #100happydays: 1-4 1. I absolutely love Lilies – they are my favorite flower, so when I let the pooch out in the morning, the first thing I noticed was that the first of my many Lilies had opened.

2. Thursday’s are mostly reserved for Yoga – the beauty of self-employment is that I can go to the gym and take classes during the day now, which motivates me a lot more than when I dragged my sorry behind to Body Combat on a Monday after an 8 hour shift.

3. Gem and I recently signed up for 3 issues of Cosmopolitan for £3 so we could grab ourselves a bargain and received a free L’Occitane Cherry Blossom shower gel and body lotion set and behold the postman doth deliver!

4. My nail varnish collection has been getting out of hand and instead of being able to actually see which colour I wanted, I just picked from the edge of my precariously placed pile, so that I wouldn’t knock them all over. Anyway, I told my partner Brains that I wanted to make a nail varnish shelf and the same day we ended up in Wicked buying wood. This is the finished version, with space enough for a few more! My tutorial on this will be coming soon.



5. Despite doing a very stupid thing and trying out Body Pump on the Friday, a very achey and sore Gem and I, jogged our way around the Race for Life track on the Sunday. We’d raised a fair chunk of money for a great cause, and although we didn’t do as well as we’d hoped we still beat our previous time!

6. Last year I grew chillies in the conservatory and I’ve been caring for my plant very tenderly over the Winter. All that love has now paid off, because I have a bountiful crop that I used in one of my lovely slow cooked Vegan Chilli – I love being able to pop into the conservatory or garden to procure a few herbs.

7. Working from home means we have time to lavish our pooch CJ with all the love and attention she deserves. On this day, she interrupted some important coding to give me some kisses – and presenting me with the cutest face.

8. CJ was 14 around the 1st July and apart from the two years I spent in my old house away from her, as my house mate had allergies and I had to leave her with my mum, when Brains and I were looking for our own house we planned to take her with us. Our new landlords reluctantly let us have her and it was worth the wait – seeing how much she loves Brains is so amazing, in fact she often clambers over me just to get to him she’s that besotted.


9. I love cooking and so I’d preparing some lovely Vegan Chicken and Stuffing to take on our picnic the following day. It’s been ages since I’ve had such a treat.

10. Gem asked me what I was wearing on the day of our trip to Stonehenge and Glastonbury – I had to send her a picture just to make sure we weren’t wearing the same outfit. Having a best friend like Gem is kind of like having a louder more boisterous version of me – we spend so much time with each other that we often accidentally wear the same outfits, take the same makeup to places and have the ability to read each others minds and finish each others sentences.

11. I effortlessly took my behind up to Glastonbury tor and it was so lovely just sitting up there and admiring the views. The last time Gem and I went up the tor, we were very unfit, so all of those gym sessions have paid off!

12. There’s nothing I love better than a beautiful crisp salad on a hot day. Since Brains was in Northampton, I rustled up a gorgeous Harissa seasoned Vegetarian Butcher Chicken, Shallot, Mushroom, Olive and Romaine Lettuce salad.


13. You may have picked up on the fact that I am obsessed with Giraffes – as Gem is obsessed with Zebras, well Gem picked this up for me as a little present as we often buy random things for each other. It’s the cutest addition to my massive collection.

14. Never underestimate the pure joy of taking a nice cup of tea to bed after a hard days work. Okay, I say hard days work, this was my post “managing to fit all of our clothes, makeup, toiletries, airbed and duvet into one suitcase” victory cup of tea, when I’d finally finished packing for Brains and I to go to Graspop.

15. We left for Graspop at about 12.30am as our ferry from Dover was about 6am. I therefore took advantage of a few hours lying on a proper bed, watching some TV, with Brains and CJ.

16. Crabbies on the ferry in the early hours of the morning. This was the ultimate symbol of holidays. Also, I shared this with Brains to avoid the 300+ calories per bottle.



17. We finally arrived in Belgium for the Graspop Metal Meeting festival. I was pretty dubious about drinking the draft beer though because I didn’t know if Jupiler was Vegetarian. Anyway, I took a risk and drank spent the weekend drinking Hoegaarden Roséé  for the whole weekend. It was a beautifully refreshing raspberry beer, I didn’t wake up with a nasty hangover and I didn’t feel bloated and gassy because I’d been drinking beer. Winning all round.

18. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty rubbish at discovering new bands at festival’s these days. I used to thrive off watching all the bands I hadn’t heard before in my youth, but this kind of stopped over the years and I became lazy, old and more interested in sitting in the beer garden or the tent. Well Brains and I purposely went to see Civil War based on them being described as “If you like Sabaton, you’ll like these guys”. Very glad that we got off our butts to see them so early in the morning because we thoroughly enjoyed them. I mean, they weren’t the best band in the world but I’ll definitely add them to my playlist and go and see them again.

19. The last day of the festival meant we had no food left, which was wonderful news because it meant we didn’t have to carry it back to the car. So I found the Vegan and Vegetarian stand. Brains had a “kebab” made with Veggie kebab meat and I had sweet and sour noodles with some tofu and vegetables. We were absolutely stuffed afterwards!

20. This was the day we came home from Graspop, but I still had a few things to be happy about – finding the Milka version of a kit kat, picking up some Jupiler beer for my brother who kindly house sat to look after CJ whilst we were gone, the ferry having a Starbucks and the lady actually asked me if my name was ‘ie’ or a ‘y’. This never happens – people usually just put “Amy”, and returning to the wonderful English weather! Did I mention that the ferry was packed full of O.P.I, benefit, nails inc, dior and many other delightful brands that I wanted? And did I also mention that I didn’t buy a single thing? I was pretty proud of myself for that!


So those were my first 20 days of #100happydays. Have you been doing this? If so, we’d love to see some of your pics. You can also follow me on instagram via amie_dakesis to keep up with my daily posts and you can follow Gemma via gemma_dakesis. Gem’s #100happydays part 1 and #100happydays part 2 posts are also available.

Totally hellbent for reminding myself how lucky I am



100 Happy Days PT. 2

June 25, 2014

Silly as it sounds, finding something every day that makes me smile even if only for a moment really does help with the ups and downs of life. I’ll admit I skipped a few days purely out of forgetfulness, but this is a challenge I’m determined to see through so I’ve picked back up and set an alarm on my phone to remind me to find something every day!

Here is 11-20 of my #100HappyDays!

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11. One of my favourite things in the world is the simplicity of a good power walk with my best exercise buddies Amie and CJ. I’m a cat person honestly, but I just adore taking CJ for walkies. We went to nearby Cofton Park and did a few KM to burn off all the nervous energy that builds when I know my significant other in en route!

12. And here he is! Roode is now officially here for the summer, though I strongly suspect he is here to fuss over my darling Helena rather than spend time with me sometimes! The two of them are just inseparable and it’s adorable.


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13. One of the best perks of having him here is the amazing vegan delicacies he so masterfully creates. You might have seen Amie and I waxing lyrical about De Vegetarische Slager (Or in English The Vegetarian butcher!) before, it’s a delicious vegan meat substitute that is scarily realistic. It’s currently only available in The Netherlands and I think Belgium, but we order huge bags of it every time Roode comes to England to tide us over till they (hopefully!) start selling it over here.

14. So we know now that it’s all over for the England football team in this World Cup, but I was full of optimism here before the first match. It’s the agony and the ecstasy of World Cup football that I love, and at the very least I can still cheer on the Dutch team (who actually DO stand a chance of winning with the way they are playing!)


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15. Here we are right before Race for Life! We beat our previous time and did a lot more running than walking this time so it was a really big personal achievement for us both!

16. My prize arrived from the lovely Katie at Pretty For Pence! I had a nice stream of luck this week from competitions which made me feel less bad about a spending ban as I still have plenty of shiny treats incoming! You can see the review for the Bourjois Manucure Toppings here!


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17. Sometimes nothing beats a surprise visit from a friend when you’re feeling low. Simon has been like the big brother I never had since before even my teens and I cherish every moment we have together now we are sort-of proper grown-ups who can’t sit around in our PJs all day watching rubbish films and eating pizza.

18. Summer Solstice is one of my favourite events of the year and we celebrate the longest day with a trip down south to Glastonbury, Avebury and Stonehenge. Here we are at the top of Glastonbury Tor in the scorching mid-day heat! Unfortunately we couldn’t stay to greet the sunrise this year as I had to teach in the morning, but we had a great time shopping in the awesome treasure troves of Glastonbury and exploring the gorgeous landscape.


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19. Another competition prize arrived! This time from the lovely Simone at 30 Something OAP. I asked her to pick out the Models Own shade of polish for me and she chose this amazing blue velvet glitter which I adore! She also kindly sent two bonus goodies – an anti-stress mud mask (which I totally need right now!) and some Kleenex shine absorbing sheets which have been doing a great job of keeping me from looking like an oil slick in this heat!

20. I’ve been feeling like I need (another) healthy kickstart so I’ve started juicing. Yes I’m starving and craving carbs like you wouldn’t believe, but absolutely nothing feels healthier than a raw vegan diet. Let’s see how long I can keep it up!


Once again #100HappyDays has done it’s magic and I feel much more positive after this post than I did before it. If you’re interested in starting the #100HappyDays challenge to bring a little burst of positivity you can check out the website here.

Totally Hellbent for the little things making a huge difference.

– Gem



100 Happy Days PT. 1

June 10, 2014

I imagine most people see me as some excitable happy sprite who is always full of positivity and…rainbows and stuff – and I am that person most of the time. Sometimes when I’m alone things aren’t so technicolour, I suffer from a lot of anxiety in private. Couple that with a long distance relationship (always the stuff of emotional highs and lows!) and some pretty stressful dealings with work and certain former associates, and I sometimes find myself in that little grey cloud. It’s easy for me to linger there and let all the negativity swarm me, but I find a small spark of happiness can blow it all away.

The #100happydays website asks “Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?” and I’m looking forward to being able to say yes!

I’m already 1/10 of the way there!

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 1. I picked up guitar properly again for the first time in years, and have happily kept up with it this time (she says only 10 days later!)

2. Shopping always makes me happy, I found these cute shabby chic pieces in B&M for only £2.99 each!

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3.  Day three marked the end of the first 12 weeks of my healthier lifestyle, as you can see from my exercise chart I worked out a lot!

4. My Dakesis band-mates mean the world to me, I had a rubbish day but going through old pictures of our adventures cheered me up to no end!

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5. Shopping again! There’s a theme here! I found these lovely treasures in a charity shop – just look at that spotty bag!!!

6. One of my best friends cooked for me for the first time in the many years we have spent together in a band. I’m happy to say it was amazing and I’ll definitely be bullying him to cook for me more!

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7. This is Stark (the king in the north) one of my trio of feline accomplices. He’s been ever so poorly this week, but a trip to the vets and some medicine has perked him right up again.

8. Cleaning brushes, the bane of every make-up aficionado right? Well I’ve switched how I clean them and now I can do them all in under 10 minutes without getting wrinkly hands! I should really put up a post about this at some point!

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9. I’m one of those vegetarians who struggles to get by without meat replacement, so I grabbed a basket full when I spotted some of my favourites reduced in Holland & Barretts!

10. You’ve probably seen us plugging this all over our social media! Pants and I are running Race for Life on Sunday and our drummer Adam wrote a very cheerful and inspiring blog post over at IsItProg? I do like being called radiant, but I hope he isn’t actually planning on throwing tomatoes at us! If you want to sponsor us you can do so here!

So far my picture choices tell me some very obvious facts about what it is that makes me happy – shopping, music, animals and friends. Not bad things by a long shot! My boyfriend arrives from Holland on Thursday and I get to keep him for the whole summer, so expect a whole bunch of Roderick related #100happydays incoming!

If you’d like to keep up with my daily posts you can follow my personal Instagram here (I follow back!) and Twitter here!

Tell me about something that makes you smile and share a random spark of happiness!

Totally hellbent for positivity!