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Ten Happy Things – January 21

The Truants

It’s the start of a new year, which I always find energising, but we’re currently in lockdown (again), it’s cold and wet… so I must admit it was slightly challenging to find ten things to be happy about this month. Still, I did and they are pretty awesome if I do say so myself. It’s amazing what you can find when you pause and reflect. So here’s my ‘ten happy things’ for January!

Bought a gorgeous salt pig

We love using sea salt in our cooking and had a plastic container that we kept refilling. Then one day my husband had the lid near where he was cooking and it melted! I thought it was high time I got rid of the ugly – and quite frankly dangerous – plastic tub and buy a salt pig. I did a bit of searching and found the perfect one from Rebecca Woods Ceramics on Etsy. Rebecca’s pieces are all individual and she makes all her own glazes.

I’m so glad I bought this gorgeous ceramic salt pig as it’s brightened up my kitchen and I love that I’ve supported a small UK business.

Unique ceramic salt pig

Read a great book

I feel like this is a regular ‘ten happy things’ topic! But honestly, with not much to do it’s no wonder that reading will feature on this list. For Christmas, the charity I’m a trustee of gave me a book token so I went to my local bookshop (when it was still open) and chose two books. One was The Truants by Kate Weinberg and the guy working in the shop told me that she’s actually a local author, which I thought was pretty cool.

Well, I absolutely loved this book! It’s a very clever whodunnit but what I really loved was that one of the main characters is South African and an Italian island features too, which made it feel quite relatable. Not the murder though, obviously! I highly recommend putting this on your reading list if you’re looking for an easy to read, gripping murder mystery.

Reading in bed with a cup of tea

Enjoyed a Made in Oldstead meal

Since we can’t go out to eat, we need to get our restaurant fix somewhere! We’ve had three of Adam Handling’s meal boxes now but we wanted to try something different so I did a bit of research and had heard really good things about Made in Oldstead by Tommy Banks so we ordered one. The food was great, although the portions were fairly small. The lamb main had the most amazing mint gel that I literally slathered over the meat. Delicious! From time to time, we really enjoy dressing up, putting on some jazz and pretending we’re at a restaurant. Sadly no one to top up the wine or wash the dishes after though!

Lamb main from Made in Oldstead by Tommy Banks

Made shakshuka

I had seen shakshuka all over my Instagram feed for, probably, a couple of years but had never tried it. Obviously with restaurants closed I wasn’t going to be able to order one any time soon so I made it myself. And boy it was delicious! I actually made it three times in January. I highly recommend it for a tasty and filling lunch.

Made shakshuka for lunch

My husband got promoted

I am so proud of my husband as he got a promotion this month! Usually they would go out for dinner but obviously with lockdown they couldn’t so they were given a bottle of champagne and an amazing box (suitcase?!) of delicious chocolate from Artisan du Chocolat.

I’m actually delighted he couldn’t go out for dinner as it meant I got to enjoy the champagne and chocolates!

Chocolates from Artisan du Choclat

A gorgeous Nelson Mandela print

As a South African, Nelson Mandela is high up there on my list of inspirational people. I thought it was high time I bought a print of him to add to my South African art collection (everything on the wall, bar the Brooklyn Bridge print, is South African art). Whilst the Nelson Mandela print was made in the UK, I just adored it as yellow is my favourite colour and this print just brings me so much joy.

Early birthday presents

It’s my birthday in February and as my mom and sister live in Canada, it takes forever for gifts to arrive. So this year I chose my own gifts here in the UK that they then just paid for. I had spotted an ad on Facebook for a jewelry brand that was sadly closing down so I sent the links of what I’d like to my sister and she bought them for my birthday – they arrived in December!

I asked my mom for a lovely Flamingo lamp so she bought that for me and I’ve already put it out – yay for early birthday gifts!

Flamingo lamp with pink shade from Matalan

I lost 2.3 kgs (5 pounds)!

So a couple of years ago I blogged about why I was never dieting again. Well, that didn’t last. I’ll be blogging about what I’m doing at a later point when I reach my goal weight but I will tell you that, yes, I am actually doing a diet. I last weighed myself on the 3rd January and then again on the 29th and I’ve lost an amazing 2.3kg (5 pounds)! And it’s not even been that challenging. I’m hoping I’ll reach my goal weight by May – fingers crossed.

It snowed!

I’m not usually a fan of snow because, whilst it’s pretty to look at, it’s a right old pain to walk in! Especially when it turns to slush and then ice. But even I got excited when it snowed one Sunday! I enjoyed watching it come down in flurries of huge snowflakes, from the comfort of my warm living room. Of course when I headed out just a couple of hours later it had already turned to slush… and by Monday it had disappeared! Still, for those couple of hours it brought me real joy.

A snowy street scene

Made Parmesan bites

My husband loves watching Italian chefs on their YouTube channels and he stumbled upon these Parmesan bites by Il Bocca TV – or perle di parmigiano – and decided we had to make them. The only ingredients are eggs whites and Parmesan so super easy to make. We made a tomato dip on the side to accompany them. OH MY GOSH. Prepare to be addicted…

Delicious Parmesan bites

So those are my ‘ten happy things’ for January! What did you get up to? What brought you joy? Let me know in the comments – I love reading them.

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • Home and Horizon

    Massive congrats on your husband’s promotion – that’s wonderful especially in these trying times. I absolutely love your salt pig, the fact that you’re supporting local businesses and your interior style. I’ve got a similar print to your Nelson one from Fy but it’s from my fave film – The Shawshank Redemption. Great post Kirsty!

    • Kirsty Marrins

      Thank you Lauretta for your lovely comment. I adore my salt pig and it’s so useful. That is a great film! I love the style of these prints. I will check out Fy!

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