Looking at everyone’s #savouringhappiness shots on Instagram is rapidly becoming my favourite thing to do on a Friday. It’s just so lovely to see what brings a smile to your faces! It’s v easy to join in #savouringhappiness – each Friday post a photo on Instagram of something that brought a smile to your face during the week with #savouringhappiness and tag @hollyphotobooth and @thegreengable so that we will be sure to see your pic. On Friday mornings Holly and I each post a few of the photos from the previous Friday, and here’s the latest selection:
Stationery lovers and letter writers, do I have a treat for you?! Absolutely I do! Let me present to you a book that focuses entirely and wholeheartedly on the happy subject of snail mail.
When the publishers asked me (by email, would have been even better if they sent me a letter) if I’d like to review a copy of Snail Mail by Michelle Mackintosh and start off the Blog Tour celebrating the publication of Snail Mail, I jumped at the chance.
It’s no secret that I think all our lives are cheered with a piece of real post, actual hand written mail, popping through the letterbox of a morning. If you would like to leave email alone on occasion, and pen a note, card or letter to someone instead, this is the book for you.
It is packed with ideas for why to write a letter, prompts for what to write, ways to embellish envelopes, projects to try, ideas for making up care packages and creating postable art, and what to do with the gorgeous post that you create and receive. I particularly like how Michelle suggests what to write in difficult letters, to give you the confidence to get in touch with a friend in need, rather than shy away from it. There are even make your own envelope templates and sheets of stickers at the back of the book.
As well as being packed with information, ideas and tips, Snail Mail is a visual feast for the eyes, as you can see by the shots I’m showing here. If a flick through the pages doesn’t make you want to raid your stationery stash I don’t know what will!
The message that comes through loud and clear to me from Michelle Mackintosh’s book, is not the importance of a pretty envelope or the length of your letter, it’s to just put pen to paper and get in touch by post. A letter written from you to another has great value and meaning to that person. It doesn’t matter how fancy your penmanship is, what matters is that you took the time to write a message on paper, address it, fix on a stamp and post it in a letterbox. The recipient of your post, whether it’s a short note on a postcard or a lengthy letter, appreciates the effort you went to, and will be thrilled to see a piece of proper snail mail among the usual bills and junk mail.
Because I know you’re going to be super keen to get your hands on Snail Mail I have one copy to give away to you! For your chance to win simply comment below telling me your favourite way to send mail – by postcard, letter paper, a greeting card – whatever you use! When my eldest brother was travelling around Australia many years ago he made postcards out of beer mats and posted them to me, I received them all!
The giveaway ends midnight GMT Friday 22 May so be sure to leave your comment before then! I’m sorry the competition is only open to UK readers.
Snail Mail was sent to me by the publishers for review, and they have donated a copy for the giveaway, but all opinions are my own. All photographs featured in this post are my own.Snail Mail by Michelle Mackintosh (Hardie Grant, £14.99) Photography: Chris Middleton
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Thank you a million times over to everyone who joined in posting pics of what made them happy for our very first #savouringhappiness challenge on Instagram! Holly and I are thrilled with the response and can’t wait to see what’s posted today.
If this idea is new to you, let me explain, it’s super easy: each Friday post a photo on Instagram of something that brought a smile to your face during the week with #savouringhappiness and tag @hollyphotobooth and @thegreengable so that we will be sure to see your pic.
On Friday mornings we will post a few of the photos from the previous Friday, and here’s the first selection:
So you’ve booked a holiday. You’re sure you’ll have a fantastic time when you’re there, but what about in the lead up to it? Do you think you would be happier if you had two months to wait for your holiday or two days?
Research has show that anticipating an event, like a holiday or a concert, increases your happiness levels. Deciding on the spur of the moment to jet off on a city break won’t diminish your enjoyment of the city, but if you give yourself more time to look forward to it you could make yourself even happier. And, while surprising a loved one with tickets to an event makes for a great reaction, if you give them a wee bit more notice their excitement and anticipation will build as they near the big day.
The hubbie and I just booked a little break away for our tenth wedding anniversary. We’re going to stay in a woodsman’s wagon (a bit like a shepherd’s hut I think) in a field in Dorset for a few days. We’re taking the dog, of course, and I’m super excited! We’re not going for another few months which means I’ve got time to plan what to take, research what to do in the area and imagine how lovely it will be to stay somewhere out of the ordinary. Since we made the booking I’ve been thinking about what books to take, perhaps the blanket I’m crocheting (and have ignored for the last year), wondering what to cook over the camp fire, hoping for clear nights for star gazing and imagining the sounds we’ll hear as we drift off to sleep in the wagon.
There’s heaps going on in our lives before we motor off to Dorset but every time I think about our break I feel a little fizz of happiness. I’m sure if we booked this holiday only a week in advance we’d have just as good a time there as we will do with several months’ notice. But there would be so little time to look forward and plan and imagine and get excited! Plus trying to get organised with work and planning everything we need to take could actually raise our stress levels in the lead up.
Not everything in life should be planned, we can all recall times when we set out for a day or night without a plan and end up having a brilliant time. But for the bigger stuff in life giving yourself time to anticipate an event will enhance your enjoyment all round.
And, interestingly, studies by Thomas Gilovich at Cornell University have found that we get greater enjoyment looking forward to an experience rather than a tangible possession. It’s well known that experiences make people happier than material goods, and now we know that anticipating going to see a favourite band perform makes us happier than looking forward to buying their album.
So if you look in your diary and see there’s nothing planned in for the next few months, get something booked! Whether it’s dinner with friends, a day out with family, a trip to the theatre or a holiday, having an experience or event on the calendar gives you something to look forward to and will raise your happiness level.
Do you like to plan ahead of time or are you all for spontaneity? I’d love to know what you think so do leave a comment below.
Stay in the know and get a free set of printable stationery
In a never-ending mission to help raise happiness levels I’m super excited to announce Holly Booth and I are launching a weekly Instagram challenge, and we’d love you to join in!
On Instagram each Friday share a photo of something that made you happy, brought a smile to your face, in the past week, with #savouringhappiness and tag @hollyphotobooth and @thegreengable. We’re so looking forward to seeing how you’re all #savouringhappiness and we’ll each post a selection of the pics shared on our blogs on the following Friday morning!
Happiness levels rise when you stop to notice and savour the little (and big) things that are good in your day, and snapping a photo records it forever.
So, hop on over to Instagram and share a #savouringhappiness snap!
PS If Holly Booth is a new name to you do check out her website and, of course, Instagram feed. She’s a hugely talented photographer and I find her Instagram snaps super inspiring.