Get your kicks on Route 66!


Next week, I will be starting the trip of a lifetime. Travelling over 2000 miles on the historic Route 66, my parents and I will cover off 8 US states and go through 4 different times zones – eek!

We start in Chicago and end in Las Vegas, both cities I have wanted to visit for a long time. In between, we make overnight stops in the 8 states we travel through and have so many things to see I don’t know even where we will start.

The thing I am most looking forward to is being in Chicago and seeing ‘Cloud Gate’ the sculpture by Anish Kapoor, the Ozark Mountains in Missouri, driving our convertible on the second leg and, of course, the Grand Canyon and Arizona. There’s plenty more in-between!

The USA has seen some extreme weather this week, Tornados in Texas and severe flooding in Missouri, but I am hoping it will have all calmed down for our trip. The forecast looks good, so I’ve packed the shorts! But if anyone has any insider knowledge of issues on my route, do let me know!

At Magenta, we often talk about having a bucket list and looking to pursue those dreams in your lifetime, after all we only get one shot at it…… Well, this was one on my list, so I can’t wait to start.

I’ve brought a new camera and selfie stick to document our adventure and I hope to get some new cowboy boots along the way!

First up in Chicago…. some American pancakes for breakfast I think….

More soon…

I am sorry this is the first blog in over 4 months. Work and life is busy, but I will try and update my blog when I get back and share some of the experience.

 

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Surround Yourself with Positive People

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This time of year is dreary …. Dark mornings, dark nights and a long time till the holiday season.  Life also throws us curveballs, maybe unforeseen illnesses, unexpected costs, hard decisions, tricky conversations…. life can be tough and there’s no manual!

It can be hard to stay positive, manage your emotions and find the energy to do everything you need to.  To manage the ups and downs, we need a support network of people to help us – the ones who remind us to be positive.

In my mind these people are those who can help you make sure the voice in your head is more Angel than Devil (more positive than negative).

It’s really important for your own sanity and personal growth that you choose positive company and get rid of those who drag you down each time you meet or talk.

I am really lucky to have some wonderful friends and family who help me see the light when it all feels gloomy.

So here are my thoughts about why surrounding yourself with bright, positive, happy, determined and genuine people is so important.

With positivity comes authenticity – Those with a positive outlook on life will look out for your wellbeing, instead of trying to destroy it. They genuinely want a friend, not an enemy.

A support system – Having a positive person in your life brings comfort. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on or guidance with problems, you know who to turn to. Instead of keeping you down in the dumps they will try to raise your spirits, even if it’s just listening, pouring the wine, helping you make a plan, or lightening up the mood a bit.

Drama free zone – No one likes drama and I can’t stand it. Those who practice being positive don’t have any time or energy for drama. If you want to avoid these negative incidents, then avoid the drama queens.

Motivation – Being around positive people will motivate you to stay clear of downward spirals and hopefully encourage you to make good and healthy decisions in life. Life is all about moving forward and it’s important to be around those who help us aim towards our success.

They have your best interests at heart – Positive people are genuine. Usually because they care about you, as well as themselves. It is important to them that you are feeling happy about yourself or that your goals are met.

 So, if you don’t have a resolution for 2017 yet, make it that you will spend time with the people who support you and help you stay positive and happy.

Get some Hygge in your life!

My latest read has been “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking. He is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. What a great job!

Anyway, I’ve always thought that Hygge or ‘Hooga’ was just about having less clutter and stuff – which any of you who know me and have been to my house will agree – is not really me!

Us Betts ladies love nic-nacs, books, ceramics, plants, Christmas decorations, art and photos. We can’t help ourselves! So, when I started the book I wanted this concept of Hygge, to be more than about that.

I’ve not been disappointed! The book has some great ideas about Hygge being about an atmosphere and experience, and just being with the people we love.

“A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”
(Page 6  – The Little book of Hygge)

I wanted to focus this blog on some chapters at the latter end of the book, that really got me thinking – about the dimensions of Hygge.

Whilst Hygge can be an intangible and abstract concept, this is the idea that we can also use all our senses to detect Hygge – our Happiness. Wiking introduces the idea that Hygge has a taste, a sound, a smell and a texture and that we should be able to see Hygge all around us and that this should make us happy.

So, I have thought about the things that give me a happy experience, feel at home, safe, loved ….. My Hyggelig things….

The taste of Hygge – “Is almost always familiar, sweet and comforting”

My Hygge food is a Croissant. They are warm, flakey, delicious. I like them with jam or lemoncurd. But also, my Granny used to love them and now I have them when I’m with family.

The sound of Hygge – “many sounds can be Hyggelige… Any sounds of a safe environment”

My Hygge sound in country music. I just love it. It calms me and I can’t help but sing along. Life seems better with a little Dolly.

The smell of Hygge – “something that provokes strong feelings of security and comfort”

My Hygge smell is incense. It reminds me of the German ‘smoking’ man mum and dad have, who comes out at Christmas and burns incense cones. It reminds me of family time at Christmas and lazy days together doing jigsaws and eating too much.

What does Hygge feel like? – “the rustic, organic surface of something imperfect or something that has or will be affected by age”

My ‘thing’ that I think feels Hygge is drinking from a hand made mug. Not mass produced, crafted by someone’s hands and fingers. Tea tastes better. I feel better. They make a living.

Seeing Hygge – “Hygge is very much about light. Too bright is not Hyggeligt. But Hygge is also very much about taking you time”

This one I think is the hardest. In my life everything happens quite fast and I’m usually multitasking. However, a few weeks ago I was at mum and dad’s and I woke up and looked out my old bedroom window. The sunrise was beautiful and then I saw a fox!…. Quietly running across the back field. I watched him until he disappeared into the undergrowth and watched the sun come up too. That was quite Hygge.

Finally, the sixth sense of Hygge:

Hygge is about feeling safe. Hence Hygge is an indicator that you trust the ones you are with and where you are. Hygge can be tasted, heard, smelled, touched and seen. But, most importantly, Hygge is felt.”

So, thankfully, to have some Hygge in my life I don’t have to throw out half my stuff!

I think Hygge is about being comfortable…with yourself, with your surroundings and with others.

Reminiscing, sharing, entertaining, having good relationships with family, friends, pets, spending time by yourself, lighting candles, dimming the lights, reading, laughing…. Eating croissants! They are all ways to increase your Hygge!

So let’s have more Hygge this Christmas everyone! Focus on the things that matter, make you happy and comfortable.

Xx

p.s. I won’t get to blog again until the New Year, so Merry Christmas one and all.