11 In Gratitude

30 Things That Make Me Smile

It's friday

I had such a shitty day for a Friday. Which sucks, because generally Friday’s are awesome!

It started off pretty positive. I listened to a fantastic mindfulness podcast whilst getting ready and during my drive to work, got served a coffee by the friendly barista who remembers my coffee selection and name already, and looked forward to a productive Friday. The tides turned quickly and I was rapidly reminded of why I hate working in an office and of why I work part-time. Fatigues a bitch, and office work isn’t exactly conducive to it. Emotions, sitting down all day, personalities…

So as I sat down this evening to write it was the perfect time to reflect on 30 things that make me smile.

1. Miss K. She turns 13 at the end of the month, which I’m not going to entertain the thought of now. She fills me with so much joy and has been my saving grace.

photo 2-2_Fotor

2. My man, D. He’s such a treasure. We’ve been through so much together after 9 1/2 years. He saw me through a few bouts of deep depression and he survived a near-death experience. Having been engaged for almost 2 years now, we’ve finally set a wedding date to step forward in our new chapter together.

3. Cartoons. My personal faves are How to Train Your Dragon, the Toy Story series and Monsters Inc. Oh, and then there’s Despicable Me. I love those minions! I could so do with some myself! I can’t wait for the Minions Movie (check out the trailer – it just made me cack myself).

4. Road trips. The open road, a full tank of petrol, the windows wound down, balmy air blowing in my hair, and the music up loud. Perfect.

5. Puppies. There’s just something about puppies! I’ve never met a puppy I didn’t like, and I so love giving them raspberries on their little pink bellies! A side note: I find people who don’t like puppies very suspicious.

6. Travel. There’s nothing like hitting the pavement in an unknown city, exploring the sites, sounds and beyond by foot. Man I have itchy feet and the thought of not going anywhere until sometime in 2016 is unfathomable!

7. My nieces. Such beautiful little ranga girls who are growing up way too fast. Hugs from my nieces make me incredibly happy, and the mere thought of them brings a smile to my dial!

8. Writing. Especially writing and reflecting on something satisfying like this.

9. Bubbles. Oh bubbles. Bubbles make me too happy, so I’ve cut down to only drinking bubbles on special occasions 🙂

10. Hugs. Last year I learned the power of the 12-second hug, where you hug someone and really connect at the heart level. Try it sometime. Try holding someone for 12 seconds and just feel the love.

11. Good music. Especially music that makes me feel, move or sing out loud. My latest discovery, which breaks me out into a serenade every time I hear it, is Lay Me Down by Sam Smith.

12. Animals. Gosh I love animals. I could not imagine a world without them, and the thought of any of them becoming extinct is heartbreaking. Still I take joy from seeing birds flying around or sitting in the trees out back – from mudlarks, to magpies and crows, and my personal favourites, the black cockatoo, all the way through to lizards, frogs and even crickets.

13. A good book. A good book is like discovering a new best friend. Connecting with well-developed characters, getting swept away in an adventure, or being entranced by a timeless love story. Ah, books fill me with joy! There’s the feel of the paper between my fingers, the sound of the pages turning, the smell of books – both new and old. I will never be an e-book kind of girl. I can tell you that much. There’s nothing like kicking back in winter under a cozy rug, with the fire cranking, a glass of red wine (or a cup of tea), whilst devouring a good book. Nothing.

[Tweet “A good book is like discovering a new best friend.”]

14. Good movies. Oh man, I was once considered a movie snob. As I was a film student, I took my movies choices very seriously and am ridiculed by my brother about it to this day. In saying that, I have relaxed as the years have progressed – although I admit I am still a bit anal. I can’t stand wasting $18 on a ticket or even a few hours to watch a crap movie. If I’m going to spend money on a movie I have to FEEL excited or curious about it.

15. Superhero movies. Movie buffs around the world are probably going ‘but you said good movies Janine!!!‘ And yes, I did! Come on superhero movies are AWESOME! I am so incredibly excited about the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron movie! And I have the latest issue of Empire magazine to help me through it…it arrived in the post yesterday as was one of the highlights of my Friday for sure! If you love movies, I urge you to subscribe to Empire magazine. You can expect a lot of quality and many teasers of movies to come (plus realistic reviews that help people like me, choose what they will and won’t see).

16. Good food. It’s hard to believe that once upon a time I was a borderline anorexic. I thank D for helping me to love food again, and to discover a whole other world of multicultural cuisine. He has even helped me to like cooking (even though I will never surpass him in the kitchen – which is officially his domain!). What a man!

17. Laughter. Laughter is guaranteed to make you smile. Which is why I cannot understand the woman who says she hasn’t smiled for 40 years to prevent wrinkles…To be honest, I think she looks incredibly unhappy – and I can’t believe HOW she hasn’t smiled. I mean, surely she has laughed, which brings on a natural smile? Try laughing without smiling…how is that even possible!?

Laughter is the best medicine

18. Meeting lovely strangers. Whether it’s in the shop, walking down the street, in a cafe, or over the phone, don’t you just love it when you meet someone who exudes niceness and happiness? The thought that there are lovely people in the world brings warmth to my heart, especially when we are surrounded by so much badness in the news and on the internet. There are so many wonderful people out there – we so need to focus on recognising and championing the positive over the negative!

19. Good times with good friends. Yes, we could have eloped or chosen to have a small, exclusive wedding, but personally I cannot wait to celebrate our wedding with our good friends.

20. Yoga. FINALLY, after an 8-month break, I eased myself back into yoga last week. This was thanks to a 2-day migraine. It felt so good to relax, stretch and just be, and was a welcome reminder to my mind and body of what it had been missing and why it is so good for me.

21. Elderly people. They generally make me smile, which makes them smile. I miss having a wise, beautiful soul in my life.

22. Summer. I love summer. I love the warm balmy nights, summer storms, and the fact that I don’t have to rug up or suffer from the cold and night sweats – which for me is what cooler temperatures bring. Even with the extreme heat and intensity of the sun in Perth, I have changed from being a pasty, morbid teenager who loved winter to a true summer lover, sun kisses and all. My dream is to spend my life chasing the sun, with the occasional foray into snow just for kicks (and snowball fights).

23. Feeling good about myself. After a lifetime of body bashing and self-loathing, feeling good about myself definitely makes me smile. The fact that I can look into the mirror and like what I see more often than not is a real personal achievement.

24. Getting back to nature. Whether it’s the beach or the countryside, there is something so calming AND invigorating about getting back to nature. Soaking up the beauty of the surrounds, the fresh air, the peace…We have a big craving for this at the moment and are entertaining the thought of moving to the countryside…somewhere…someday…

25. Wedding planning. Now this one is very unexpected. As someone who never wanted to get married, man am I enjoying investigating and planning! Who would have thought?!

26. Feeling at peace. I have always been an incredibly anxious, restless person, and for the longest of times have felt like I was running out of time, which is why the feelings of peace and the craving for a simple life surprises me. It is unexpected and feels lovely.

27. Meditating. Admittedly, I’m not the best meditator in the world. I’m actually pretty terrible BUT I’m trying and that’s all that counts (along with the pleasant feeling I get from actually meditating…). Over the last year I have discovered, through instruction, that smiling whilst meditating is a great way to relax your face. Try it some time! (There’s a lesson in that woman who doesn’t smile!!!).

28. Randomness. If you hadn’t worked it out by now, I’m a big dag and love nothing more than randomness and foolishness. I like acting like an idiot, dancing like a fool, and being a dag. Life is too short to be serious or worry about appearances or what people think! Embrace your inner dag I say!

29. Smiling.


30. Coming home after a long day to my dog and my man. It’s just what I need on days like this.



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  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    March 14, 2015 at 10:25 am

    It makes me smile that we picked the same prompt again! We are funny like that. Great post, sorry you had a bad day, but this post was worth its wait. Love number 18!

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      March 14, 2015 at 10:31 am

      Great minds think alike! Im just about to read yours. The bad day – ugh it was bad…but today I feel better and yes, it was worth it 🙂

  • Reply
    March 14, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I enjoyed reading your post today. It’s good to reflect on the happy things when our week is just seems so full of challenges. I love a lot of what you mentioned, but I really love animals. They make me so happy so I’ve booked the kids and I into the Meow Cat Café for a session of cat loving on Monday! You can’t beat cat cuddles….when the cat likes you that is…. 8)

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      March 14, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Wow let me know how that goes! I’d personally like a puppy cafe – obviously hehe. I hope all is going well over there!

  • Reply
    Patrick Weseman
    March 15, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Nice post. We must always reflect.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Loved this post Janine, and I noted that you and I share a lot of common things that make us smile. I am a Minion lover too…can’t see them without smiling. Have a great week and thanks again for allowing me to participate in this blog prompt. 😀

    • Reply
      Janine Ripper
      March 15, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Loved yours too Cathy. We must have been reading each others at the same time! I too noted we have a lot in common 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in. You’ve definitely made me smile 🙂

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    March 15, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    What a lovely idea Janine! 🙂 I’ll participate tomorrow! I just published a post on my blog and then saw my bloglovin’ feed to see your post – and headed over to see what made you smile! ♥ I love your list – mine would be so similar! Family and friends for sure – elderly people make me smile too!

    Looking forward to linking up tomorrow!

  • Reply
    Corinne Rodrigues
    March 15, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    First of all, congratulations! Nothing quite like living with the man who loves you enough to save you from yourself! Ask me, I know.
    We have a lot in common, it appears, Janine, and doggie-love tops it!

  • Reply
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    […] 30 Things that Make Me Smile […]

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