I’m not overly sentimental when it comes to things in my home. And I’m definitely not a hoarder. Just ask my husband. He’ll tell you that I can be pretty ruthless when it comes to decluttering and throwing away unwanted items from around our home. In fact, he hates having me around sifting through his belongings during a clean out as he has a lot of trouble letting things go whereas I believe if I haven’t used it in the past year and it isn’t truly special to me or doesn’t bring me any real happiness then it’s time to let it go.
I’m a big believer that it’s not ‘things’ that create happiness in your life; it’s the stories behind them and the memories they evoke that make them important to keep.
Today, I thought I would share with you 10 of my favourite things that bring me great happiness, not just because I like it but because they hold fond memories or stir up strong feelings within me. They make me feel grateful and blessed for what I have. That’s what makes them truly special.
This gorgeous little bird feeder hangs on my deck and brings up some bitter sweet memories. I picked it up on a day trip in the Dandenongs a little over a year ago. At the time, I was working full time and had taken a couple of days off work during the school holidays to spend some time with my eldest daughter. My family was experiencing high levels of stress as my work-life balance was totally out of whack. The day provided plenty of much needed laughs, hand-holding and conversations I will never forget, as we slowly explored the boutique shops in Olinda, enjoyed delicious lunch together at a cafe and stopped at the playground on the way home to soak in some sun and have some fun. It was only a couple of months later that I made the decision to leave my job to be with my family. It was the best decision I ever made.
Himalayan rock salt lamp
I love the relaxing glow of this Himalayan rock salt lamp. It provides such a lovely atmosphere to our home and offers a calming guiding light for my girls if they get up during the night. It also has health benefits by improving indoor air quality. This is the reason I originally bought the lamp, after researching more natural ways to alleviate my allergies after we bringing home a new kitten. I had never suffered allergies to our previous cat, but after being a cat-free home for more than six months, I started sneezing and suffering a stuffy nose and itchy eyes. It may have been a massive coincidence, but not long after I switched on the salt lamp my allergies dramatically reduced and have now completely disappeared.
I absolutely love the smell and mood that lighting a candle can bring into my home. I have one burning on most days of the week. One of my favourites is soy wax candles from Scented Soy Lane Candles. These are hand poured and made locally to me. Right now, I love burning Burnt Fig and Cassis as it is such a gorgeous warming, winter scent. Sweet Vanilla is another personal favourite that I just don’t think you can go wrong with.
My coffee machine
Yes, I have an attachment to my coffee machine, not only for the caffeine fix but for the opportunity it provides each day to take a few minutes to reconnect with myself and enjoy the simple things in life. This practice has become very important to me since leaving my work to spend more time with my family. To enjoy a coffee without interruption can bring me so much peace as I take a moment to just breathe.
Night light bunny
This little fellow is not only a cute addition to my baby girl’s nursery but provides a soothing glow during those middle of the night feeds. He reminds me of one of my favourite sayings: ‘The days are long, but the years are short’. As I shuffle bleary-eyed into my daughter’s bedroom, I try to look beyond the tiredness and enjoy the snuggles that await and soak in the peacefulness of the ever so quiet house. Sleep deprivation can be hard to cope with but I try to remember that these are special times to savour – I only have to look at my two older girls to realise how it all goes by so quickly.
These affirmation cards from Happy Mama With Amy are a recent acquisition, but I totally adore them and think they will be with me for a long time to come. They form an important part of my morning routine as a way to set a positive, powerful intention for my day. It grounds me and I often return to this intention throughout the day, particularly when I feel a little stressed or things don’t seem to be going to plan.
Rolling out my yoga mat brings me such a sense of peace. A time to breathe, reflect and reconnect with myself. I discovered yoga during a time of great stress and anxiety in my life and it helped me to refocus on the important things. I haven’t been able to fit in as much home practice as I would like of late, but when I do I certainly notice the difference. The feelings of contentment I experience during yoga now extend into my everyday life and I feel stronger in my body, mind and spirit.
This photo frame sits on our mantle and brings back many, many memories, both happy and sad, that I don’t even know where to start. George is our gorgeous golden Labrador Retriever who passed away three years ago at 12 years of age. He was one of a kind and I still miss him terribly. From the day my husband and I collected him from the animal shelter at four months of age, he became a member of our family and touched the hearts of everyone who met him. There was just something ever so special and gentle about his nature, yet he was also extremely cheeky. I could write a whole book about the crazy antics he got up to! Let’s just say I can relate to Marley and Me a lot!
Books, books and more books
“My name is Erika and I am a bookaholic”. I have a pile of unread books next to my bed and The Book Depository, Booktopia and Bookworld are among my favourite websites. While I try to borrow what I can from the library I really don’t like feeling under pressure to read a book just because I need to return by a certain date. I much prefer to be able to take my own time, re-read sections and just let the words sink in. I guess slow reading kind of goes with my slow living lifestyle right now. While I own an e-reader, I haven’t really fallen in love with it, but I can see the advantages when going on a long holiday. I much prefer hard copy books, there’s just something about the smell of the paper and the turn of the page. At the moment most of the books sitting on my bedside table are books on positive parenting, wellbeing and slow living as that’s what I’m most focused on and enjoying right now. But recently I have also enjoyed quite a few good fiction books including several by Liane Moriarty.
Fijian wooden masks
My husband and I picked up two gorgeous wooden masks while holidaying in Fiji more than 10 years ago. We were there to attend a friend’s wedding and it was such a happy, sunny fun-filled holiday. It was just prior to having kids, in fact we discovered upon our return that we had conceived our eldest daughter while we were … sorry, too much information! These masks work perfectly on a wooden feature wall on our back deck. We have tried to make the area quite tropical and relaxing, particularly with the sound of the hanging box waterfall. As I was taking the photo for this post I thought how lovely it would be to do some yoga out there when the weather warms up … I don’t know why I have never thought of it before!
A bonus …. my little bird
OK, so this actually makes 11 favourite things, but a little while ago my mum gave me this cute little bird just because she thought I might like it. So I thought I would add it to the list just because I really do like it!
What special objects do you have in your life? Why are they important and what kinds of feelings do they raise inside of you?