Tag Archives: happiness

Happiness all rolled up.

I feel it is my civic duty to share a very important diary date…Sunday 4th October is Cinnamon Roll Day.  Really! Now that is my kind of day of celebration!

It’s a Swedish thing, as cinnamon rolls – Kanelbullens to give them their Swedish name – are a big thing there.  Very wise people the Swedish, clearly! To my mind, a decent cinnamon roll is truly a thing of beauty.

Although the locals have a distinctly sweet tooth, sadly Bruneian coffee shops are nowhere near close to serving cinnamon rolls, let alone great cinnamon rolls.  So I’ve resorted to making them myself. They’re a special treat because they are more fiddly than my usual baking repertoire, but wow are they worth the extra effort!  I use a recipe from the wonderful blogger Minimalist Baker, who, as the name suggests, keeps things simple but delicious.  I can highly recommend her recipe for cinnamon rolls.

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Home-baked deliciousness!

I think I like cinnamon rolls at least in part because you can almost kid yourself that they are healthy, if you focus on cinnamon’s health benefits.  It genuinely is a spice with a lot going for it.

Amongst a long list of beneficial uses it has anti-oxidant, antiseptic, anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), and carminative (anti-flatulent) properties.  Not bad for a little bit of tree bark!

It also helps to regulate blood sugar when consumed, as well as stimulating brain activity when smelled.  Powdered as a spice for flavouring both savoury and sweet foods, or used therapeutically as an essential oil, cinnamon really is super-powered.

So like I said, it’s a health food.  A superfood even.  Just this once ignore the fact that all the other ingredients in a cinnamon roll are distinctly not health-foody.

I’m looking forward to a morning in the kitchen tomorrow, baking cinnamon rolls with my girly.  She loves helping me to make cakes, almost as much as she loves eating them.  Definitely a girl after my own heart!   And you?  You should be kind to yourself on a Sunday.  Go bake a batch, or get out and treat yourself to one.  Savour every mouthful, and thank the marketing genius who came up with the concept.   Happy Cinnamon Roll Day!

‘I really don’t think I need buns of steel. I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.’

(Ellen DeGeneres)

Good Day Sunshine!

When life is feeling a little flat, and you are in need of something colourful to lift your mood, yellow is the colour to do it, I’d say. Flowers and sunshine. The freshest pineapple and mango fruit salad.  The impossible cuteness of a fluffy duckling.  The beyond comical expression on a tiny yellow spotted boxfish?

What more can I say? Yellow is just a happy colour.  Or perhaps I am just in a happy mood, having just done a very yellow post previous to this one?  If colour can lead to infectious happiness, I am very happy with that!

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The flowers (and the sunshine!) are long gone, as these are snaps from a glorious English summer, but I find them uplifting nonetheless.

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And then of course the lyrical mastery of The Beatles springs to mind.  The jolly, happy sing-a-long that is unavoidable with ‘Yellow Submarine’, naturally!  But even better than that, ‘Good Day Sunshine’.  It is my ultimate feel good song, and a welcome soundtrack to my Friday evening. Colourful in essence, even if not name:

Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine

I need to laugh, and when the sun is out
I’ve got something I can laugh about
I feel good, in a special way
I’m in love and it’s a sunny day

Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine

We take a walk, the sun is shining down
Burns my feet as they touch the ground

Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine

Then we lie beneath a shady tree
I love her and she’s loving me
She feels good, she know she’s looking fine
I’m so proud to know that she is mine

Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine

Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine
Good day sunshine

Good day sunshine
(Good day sunshine)
Good day sunshine
(Good day sunshine).

(Good Day Sunshine, Revolver album, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

I’ll leave you with those happy, colourful, sunshiny thoughts.  HAPPY FRIDAY!

No more chasing butterflies.

Mondays are usually a hectic start to the week, that makes me long for the weekend before the last one has even fully had time to disappear from memory. I know I’m not alone in that…there is a reason for the phrase ‘the Monday blues’!  But today has – so far – been lovely. It feels like it has been one of those days where there has been a snowball effect of positivity.  I woke up refreshed, my daughter has been unusually angelic all morning, and I’ve spent a lovely couple of hours playing with her and catching up with some good friends and eating cake.  A pretty good start to the week if you ask me, and all the better for being totally unexpected!

‘Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder’.

H.D Thoreau

I know the theory is that negativity and stress attracts more, and the mind is a powerful thing, so I can well believe it.  But it isn’t always easy to shake the (Monday) blues off, once they have kicked in, is it?  And endlessly striving to be chirpy and smiley when that is the last thing you feel like can be exhausting and deflating in its own way can’t it? Still, I am naturally inclined to see the bright side (most of the time!), and I do try to be a ‘glass half full’ kind of person.

So for today at least I am enjoying the rare serenity and happiness of a chilled out start to my week. I’m not going to force it, and I’m not even going to think about tomorrow or what the rest of the week may bring. I’ll just hope for more ups than downs, and not borrow trouble in the meanwhile. For now I’m just going to get a cup of tea and sit for five minutes, to enjoy the moment! Happy Monday for me, and here’s hoping yours is a good one too!

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May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.

Irish blessing.