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Ten happy things – January 19

Lullaby book

At the end of each month I like to look back and reflect on ten things that made me happy and that I’m grateful for. Here’s my ten happy things for January!

Ringing in the New Year in Chicago

We spent New Year in Chicago and loved it! What a fantastic city and thank goodness it wasn’t too cold either. In fact, it was way warmer than it was in Boston last year and not that much colder than London.

We spent five nights in Chicago and explored the city, ate great food (like pancakes for breakfast) and did some shopping. It reminded me a bit of New York but with a river! I’d love to go back when it’s warmer as you can see it would be amazing in the Spring or Summer.

The Original Pancake House Chicago

The best burger of my life

On our last day in Chicago we headed to the Fulton-Randolph Market district to Au Cheval to try their famous cheeseburger. We had a 30 minute wait – and that was lucky. On the weekend, people apparently wait 3 hours for a seat! Luckily Little Goat was pretty much next door so we went there for a drink whilst we waited (and it’s definitely now on our list for next time to go to after seeing all the delicious food being served!).

I was apprehensive about this being such an amazing burger… usually when there is such hype, it ends up being disappointing. Well, I can honestly say this was the best burger I’ve ever had! It definitely lives up to the hype and was worth the wait.

Au Cheval cheeseburger Chicago

New Year, new job

I love being freelance because it means I get to work with so many diverse clients. I’ve just taken on a contract with an Early Years social enterprise, which is a sector I’ve never worked in before. I work in their office three days a week and they’re based in Pimlico so I get to explore an area of London I’m not that familiar with. Pimlico has some amazing art deco buildings, which I’m loving as the 1920s/30s is one of my favourite eras. Plus the amazing Regency Cafe is just a few minutes away.

Regency Cafe in Pimlico

Tech Talent Charter at The Gherkin

As an associate of Zoe Amar Digital, I was invited along to celebrate the launch of the Tech Talent Charter at the top of the Gherkin. The Tech Talent Charter is all about promoting diversity in the tech sector and it was an inspiring event. Plus, I’ve never been in the Gherkin – the views were amazing!

Lunch at Lina Stores

I’d been wanting to go to Lina Stores for ages and finally managed to get a booking a few weeks ago. Their iconic deli has been open since the 40s and last year they opened a restaurant to serve up their fresh pasta. We really enjoyed our meal – read all about it here.

Fresh pasta dishes from Lina Stores

Tina Turner musical

One of my Christmas presents from my husband was tickets to Tina the Tina Turner musical. OH BOY IT WAS AMAZING. I had the best time! Adrienne Warren who plays Tina is just phenomenal and her voice is out of this world. After the show we headed into Chinatown for some dim sum. It was the perfect evening.

Lunch with Holly

Holly has featured in my ‘ten happy things blog posts’ pretty often! We met at work years ago and have kept in touch. Holly was down in London for an exciting meeting and so we met up for lunch and a catch up. We went to Bonbori Izakaya in Southwark and ordered lots of food! Apart from the calamari (which was a bit chewy and luke warm), the food was great. It was also so nice to spend some quality time together. Also, Holly has zero filter which always makes catching up with her fun!

Udon noodles

South African Goodies

I’ve been living in the UK for 15 years yet there are still things for home that I miss. The lovely folks at Sanza, which is a shop for South African, Australian and New Zealand food, kindly gifted me a voucher to treat myself to some delicious goodies back home! I chose biltong (obviously!), Flings (crisps), a guava dried fruit roll, Maltabella porridge, Aromat and boerewors. I haven’t had boerewors for ages and it was delicious! I made it with polenta and a chunky tomato sauce.

South African goodies

The mornings are getting lighter

I am so happy that the mornings are getting lighter! The one thing I really hate about Winter is the dark mornings when I wake up. It makes getting out of bed so much harder. Finally it’s getting lighter, earlier!

Read a great book

I made a promise to myself to read more this year and I’ve been doing just that. A recent book I read is Lullaby by French author Leila Slimani. It’s quite a dark book and absolutely gripping. I loved it.

Lullaby by Leila Slimani

So there are my ten happy things for January! I’d love to hear what made you happy last month.




  • Holly

    I’d loved catching up with you too. See you soon my lovely friend x

    • Kirsty Marrins

      Me too! Hope to see you soon too x

      • Holly

        I love I meant to say! Typo whilst multi-tasking as usual 🙂 xx

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