create your own happy book

 

One compliment can keep me going for a whole month. — Mark Twain (Author)

Compliments always make me feel a bit out of my comfort zone – someone has said something nice about me that I wasn’t expecting and although it makes me squirm a little, it’s in a good way. I am chuffed that person took the time to share that thought with me.

Would you agree with that statement? How do you feel when you are on the receiving end of a compliment?

I also like to give compliments especially to my friends and family or my work colleagues. I think a compliment can really help you, it’s like a turbo boost to your morale and on a bad day it can be all you need to get you through.

YOU, dear reader, are the kindest, nicest person I could wish to have here on my little old blog, thank you for passing by. — Marianne Weekes

Why are compliments good for us?

There have been studies into the effect of giving and receiving compliments. Researchers have found that to the brain, receiving a compliment is as much as a social reward as being given money.

In fact, focusing on and noticing the good qualities in the world around us gives our moods a boost all by itself.

create your own happy book

Create your own happy

Do you know where I found that information? In an awesome book called Create your own happy. Written by Penny Alexander and Becky Goddard-Hill and Illustrated by Clare Forrest.

The book has been written for children aged 7 – 11 and is full of activities that help them to learn to be happy no matter what is going on around you. They teach you to be resilient, positive and optimistic, three qualities that are sure to help everyone in life.

The activities are designed to boost happiness and emotional wellbeing with information on why each activity is worthwhile and how it can help change your mood.

The book is split into three parts, Part One is about making yourself happy, Part Two is about making others happy – like giving out compliments and Part Three is about making a happier world which would benefit us all.

Create your own happy teaches kids that they are in control of a huge part of their own happiness, it also reminds them that if they are happy then it’s so much easier to make other people happy.

create your own happy book

Happiness fact

Did you know that happiness is made up of?

50% genes and upbringing
10% life circumstances beyond you, (money, where you live)
40% of things you can control yourself (attitude, relationships, hobbies and activities)

The book has a wonderful collection of quotes that are inspiring and great reminders of what is important in life like this one

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, have enough. — Oprah Winfrey (Actress and TV show host)

create your own happy book

Find Create Your Own Happy on social media

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/cyohappy/  and we use #cyohappy

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CYOHappy/

Twitter https://twitter.com/CYOHappy #cyoHappy

Where to buy Create Your Own Happy

Here is  the link to Amazon  https://amzn.to/2NEeljs

Create Your Own Happy website

Create Your Own Happy

Find out what others think by following the Blogger book tour

Create your own happy blogger trail

www.herecomethegirlsblog.com     Create Your Own Happy Jar 6/9

www.diaryofthedad.co.uk     Create a Laughter Kit         7/9

www.emmaand3.com   Be a Happiness Philosopher    8/9

www.marisworld.co.uk   Give Compliments   9/9

www.goingonanadventure.co.uk  Learn to relax 10/9

www.growingfamily.co.uk  Create New Life  with  Seed Bombs 11/9

www.theanamumdiary.co.uk Use Music to change your mood 12/9

www.amummytoo.  Learn about another culture 13/9

www.muminthemadhouse.com  Making a calm down jar     14/9

www.science-sparks.com  Invent a solution   15/9

www.pennyreads.co.uk   Saying thank you 16/9

www.boorooandtiggertoo.com     Snail Mail 17/9

www.rainydaymum.co.uk  Reduce,  Reuse, Recycle 18/9

www.redtedart.com   Upcycling!   19/9

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of the book for the purpose of this post, all opinions are our own.

A dozen roses in watercolour markers and black pen

I got a B in my O Level art, I painted a magpie in a bird’s nest, I think the prompt I chose was ‘an intruder’ and I remember being mightily pleased with my efforts. I often wish I had taken art further but truth be known, at 17 I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted to do.

Although being creative has never left me, I never really settled down to paint or draw again and always found myself saying, ‘Im no good at art.’ This gave me the perfect excuse to not even try. Plus it seemed, everyone was so much better at it than me, I would just ridicule myself if I tried, I would be uncovered as a dud artist the minute I put pencil to paper.

For years, my desire to draw and paint was squashed and forgotten, stuffed in an unused filing cabinet in the recesses of my mind.

Then a couple of Christmases ago I was given an adult colouring book. I was delighted and treated myself to a lovely set of pencils with a drawstring holder to keep them in. I spent time filling in the intricate designs and confess to still having lots of pages to complete! I quickly realised that I loved colouring in but, halfway through the picture I was getting bored with the repetition and blankness of mind. Although great for thinking time, the only creativity I was getting was choosing colours or blending them to my own choice.

I needed something more.

The following year I bought a copy of The Year Of The Doodle… 365 pages with a daily prompt to doodle. I didn’t get very far. Something was missing and I wasn’t getting much enjoyment from the book.

draw every day draw every way

Whilst surfing the internet for the umpteenth time towards the end of last year in search of novelty stocking fillers, I came across an intriguing book called Draw Every Day Draw Every Way. A book that focused monthly on different areas and gave daily prompts for pictures to draw. What’s more, each month uses different materials so you get to use a lot of different techniques and discover your own art.

I bought two copies, Alice said she didn’t want one, and Bessie and I sat down to have a go at the first section in the book – a month of nature.

To start us off I find some images online and screenshot them to use as a reference for shape and colours. By the time we were halfway through the chapter Alice asked if she could have a book too seeing how much we enjoyed the process.

dragonflies - Bessie

It hasn’t been plain sailing, I have had a couple of prompts I really disliked and Bessie cried a bit over ‘A dozen roses’ … “A dozen?” she yelled at me making clear they were way too many. I told her to just do one and cross out the prompt which she did and she was happier with that, her confidence restored until next time.

I think we may have found something good here, I see others showcasing their work on Instagram and we take a look at them for inspiration too @Joglassjo for example has shown us how to add fabulous backgrounds to our images. Even though we don’t draw every day, this book with its lovely prompts have got us drawing more often and trying things we would never have thought of, like a dozen roses or one…

Watch out for our work on our Instagram channel too.

draw every day draw every way

Best books for children

Books are always the best gift for anyone. If you’re stuck for somebody’s present there will be a whole shelf of books to choose from that they will thoroughly enjoy. Reading has always been very important to us as a family and right from the start books have been present in the girl’s lives. As babies, they had fabric books and as they have grown, so has their passion for reading – something I am keen to continue to encourage. I make sure they always have a choice of books of all different types to choose from and encourage them to read at every possible moment.

Harper Collins sent through a collection of their top books for children and asked the girls to make a video including their thoughts on each book which you can watch below…like most 9-year-olds my two want to have their own YouTube channel which I shall be setting up over the Christmas holidays for them but in the meantime, you can watch their first work on my YouTube channel.

Books for children

I think you will agree that there are some fantastic titles which are sure to intrigue even the less focused children by pulling them into some great stories and taking them on an unforgettable journey. I must admit, I shall be dipping into some of them myself!

Here is a handy list of the 2017 best-selling books for children included in the box, all of which you can find on the Harper Collins website and all of the best bookshops.

Books for under 5s

Bing’s Christmas Wish – Amanda Hepworth

Kevin – Rob Biddulph

Sunk – Rob Biddulph

Boogie Bear – David Walliams

Here we are – Oliver Jeffers

Books for children 5 – 7

Paddington Movie books

The Grotlyn – Benji Davies

Books for children 8 – 12

Geek Girl – All Wrapped Up – Holly Smale

Toto – Michael Morpurgo

Paddington 2 – Anna Wilson

Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy

Birthday Boy – David Baddiel

Bad Boy – David Walliams

Here are our other children’s book reviews as we’d thoroughly recommend any of these too.

Kaspar Prince of Cats

Top books for tweens

The Grinch who Stole Christmas

Disclosure – We were sent a box of books for the purpose of this post, all opinions are our own.

how the Grinch stole christmas

‘Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more’ 

There is a tiny part of me that completely resonates with the Grinch. Like him, I too raise my eyebrows at people who put their decorations up way too early (the first of December is early enough) and people who seem to buy every single product out there to give their loved ones at Christmas, overkill. In fact, the Grinch is one of my favourite Christmas books and films that I enjoy watching on the run-up to the big day.

This year, The Grinch is celebrating 60 years of being one of literature’s most iconic seasonal characters and Mari’s World has been chosen to be one of the Grinchmas bloggers – an accolade I am incredibly proud of.

Harper Collins has put together a fabulous Grinchmas hub full of wonderful Grinchy ideas and I decided to make a Merry Grinchmas door wreath to add to their pot of Grinchmas fun. Don’t panic as it really is quite simple, you should know by now that if I can do this – then anyone can!

How to make a Merry Grinchmas door wreath

merry grinchmas door wreath

What you’ll need

1 polystyrene ring
Dark green tissue paper
Assorted coloured ribbons
1 large green bauble
Red Felt stars
Light green deco mesh
LED lights
Card for the sign
Red and white pipe cleaners for the candy canes
Box of pins

  • Start with the polystyrene hoop and cover it with dark green tissue paper.
  • Wrap a red and white ribbon around the hoop until you are back where you started.
  • Wrap a string of LED lights in the same way and secure the battery pack with a tight knot that will enable you to get to it and change the batteries as and when required.
  • Glue on the felt stars and add bows made from assorted ribbon (mine are in gold). These can be pinned in place.
  • Take the large green bauble and draw on the features of the Grinch with a permanent marker. I started with the nose and eyes. There are plenty of drawings online to work from. The yellow eyes were painted using a nail varnish! Hang the Grinchtowards the top of the hoop and pin the ribbon or string in place to prevent it moving.

merry grinchmas door wreath

  • Cut large strips of the deco mesh and roll holding it tight in the middle, tie the middle with two kinds of ribbon to hold firmly in place. I used the red and white ribbon plus a snowflake version. Pin your deco mesh bows across the top.
  • Using red and white striped pipe cleaners form a couple of candy canes and glue into place.
  • Lastly, take a piece of cardboard and with a pencil, draw on the Merry Grinchmas and the small arm with the bauble. I found lots of examples online and copied directly from one of them. I then painted it and glued it in place on my door wreath.

merry grinchmas door wreath

What do you think?

I am really pleased with it and I shall hang it in our classroom from the 1st December.

Talking of classrooms, I’ve taken a look at the Grinch Classroom Lesson Plans too on the Grinchmas hub and I think we can have a lot of fun with them. Do pop by and take a look, you can have endless fun Grinchifying yourself like this…

Mari Grinchified

 

There are some wonderful ideas on how to grow your heart three times bigger, activity sheets to download and a 12 days of Grinchmas to join in too.

Oh the excitement in the house with the release of the new Paddington 2 movie, we have yet to see it but have pencilled in next weekend – maybe Friday night if I can work it out. Paddington has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, I have read his books, watched the cartoons and passed on the joy this little bear brings to all of my children. I am especially loving reliving it all over again with the twins.

We loved the first Paddington film and have recently been sent the Paddington Pop Up special edition book for Movie 2, (if you happen to spot one in the shops – buy it as they are quickly running out). It’s one of those books that will be a collector’s item and always a joy to look through.

Harper Collins have very kindly given us a bundle of 5 Paddington books to give away to one lucky reader, take a look at what is included…

Paddington 2: The Story of the Movie – £5.99

Paddington 2 story book

Alice is currently reading this book and says she is really enjoying it, she has only a chapter or two to go and said it was ‘un-put-downable’.

Paddington Little Library – £4.99

paddington books -  movie 2 books mini set

This would make the perfect gift for younger Paddington fans.

Paddington 2: The Movie Storybook – £6.99

Paddington books - movie story book

This is the perfect version for early readers as each page is accompanied with lots of lovely pictures taken from the film.

Paddington 2: Sticker Activity Book – £7.99

Paddington books - movie sticker activity book

For interactive kids who love stickers and playing games, quizzes and all sorts of fun that is included in this book.

Paddington: Sticker Scene Book – £4.99

Paddington books - sticker scene book

This book is the perfect follow up after seeing the film as each page or double spread has an image taken from the film and stickers to add in acting as a great reminder of the film. A great stocking filler or gift under the tree!

If you are as big a Paddington fan as I am then you might like to visit his website which is full of fun activities and information. He even has his own Facebook page!

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