Wednesday, 29 February 2012

100 Happy February Day 29.

Today is a.) The last day of Beat the Blues on a Budget February (hooray! Spring is tomorrow!)

and b.) 29 February which means that we're living outside time and space and logic...

...and therefore it's time to be a Superhero.

Of course.

So, here are some last February tips for cheering up for cheap, as well as some super hero themed joyful things:-

- Make a cape and mask and pretend to fly around the house. Or jump off a wall so your cape splays out behind you. A low wall. And definitely not the roof.

- Make up your own superhero name and theme song. Use this superhero name generator to help you. My super hero name is The Extraordinary Mariner. Awesome work.

- Take the Which Superhero Are You? Quiz. I am The Green Lantern. Hot headed but full of will power with a good imagination.

- Save the world with The Green Marine.

- Create your own super hero courtesy of Marvel. I created the Extraordinary Mariner. She looks like a pirate.

- Think of ways to make the world a better place. Then implement them. Start by listing stuff that makes you happy. Do it every day. It's called 100 Happy and it's not bad, you know...

Inspiration is Everywhere

Friday, 24 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Twenty Four.

A 'Beat the Blues on a Budget' tip for Friday:-

Friends are free. Take them to lunch.

(Lunch is not free but today is payday for a lot of us. Oh, and also - Subway do a meal deal for £3. How can you resist?)

Little Italy


And We Don't Know Just Where Our Bones Will Rest.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Twenty Two.

Today's tip for beating the February (it's nearly over!)blues comes from Chris Frost:-

'There's walking, doing summat to help people, going to museums, reading/libraries, board games, people watching...'

And in the spirit of this advice, here are some things to try:-

Grab an ordinance survey map from your local garage or newsagent, get a big stick and go on a hike. If you get bored, you can always pretend to be Gandalf and use the big stick to ward off a Balrog.

Volunteer for a charity. This being a blog about mental wellbeing, let me point you in the direction of SANE but you could also volunteer as a steward at a music festival for Oxfam or get on a plane and go and work with elephants. Why not eh?

Go to a museum you've never been to before. If it's got dinosaur skeletons, even better. If you have kids, get them to make some dinosaur skeletons our of Playdoh and set up their own museum. I used to do this as a kid on rainy days. Hours of fun. Entrance fee was 20p.

Books never go out of style. Turn off your Kindle (grr) and dig out your favourite book and curl up with it for a while.

Old Books.

Get some friends together and have a board game night. My favourite board game at the moment is Dixit.

And people watching never gets old. Just don't, like, stare. I people-watch on the Tube, and give the other passengers prizes in my head. Prize for the best hair, prize for the biggest fashion mistake, prize for person who looks like a character from any science fiction get the idea.


Saturday, 18 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Eighteen.

Beat the Blues on a Budget day 18:-

It's Saturday. Wear your pajamas and drink tea...

Nice Cup Of Tea

And look at some nice, tea related things:-

UK Tea Council featuring as much news and information about tea as you could ever wish for.

98% of people take their tea with milk, but only 30% take it with sugar...

(I take tea with 3 sugars. Don't judge me.)

Send someone some retro biscuits

Today's last budget cheer-up tip: if things get really tight, rig up a washing line in your kitchen, pin up your teabags and use them again. Your tea won't taste of anything and your kitchen floor will become a drippy mess but it's all in the name of recycling.*

*Probably don't do this. Teabags don't cost much.

Friday, 17 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Seventeen

17 days of gloomy February gone, and here are some more cheap or free ways to make life more fun, brought to you by 100 Happy and our friends and relatives.

Sometimes, when there's nothing going on in your area that interests you, you gotta make your own fun.

My friends Leon and Helen, realising that a.) we're not all made of money to go to the cinema and b.) there's nothing better sometimes than staying in watching movies with friends, came up with The Heleon Movie Club for their friendship group. And now, twice a month, we all vote on what film we want to watch and then get to spend an evening together eating crisps, catching up with one another, and getting to see a film that maybe we haven't seen before. It's a great idea. Plus, it's got us all talking about film. Plus, all it costs is Leon's stipulated entrance fee: snacks. The simple ideas are usually the best.

Also, here's a site called The Bad Film Club for your entertainment.

Another of my friends, Roisi, well into her roller derby but disappointed in the lack of a team in her area, set up the Surrey Roller Girls and in a couple of short months, it's snowballed and the interest has been flooding in.

Like doing something, can't find an outlet for it? Find likeminded people and organise your own fun. (Not applicable if you count 'fun' as killing kittens etc)

Basically, as some tiny sports brand once remarked - just do it.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Fourteen

Another 'cheer up for cheap' tip for another grey February day:-

Some days are for remembering how lucky you are and this definitely doesn't cost you any money.

And here is the first photograph I took after I decided I was going to be a photographer (2005).

Pink and Blue

Happy Valentine's Day.

Or, as my friend David Davis has renamed it - Happy Sexy Rumpus Day. Enjoy.

Monday, 13 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Thirteen.

Today's free happiness fix comes in blog form.

First of all, here are Jude Claybourne's Reason's To Be Grateful - an ace example of listing happy things. She's on Day 120. And there are puppies wearing coats.

Second, read some Letters of Note. Who doesn't love a letter? Incidentally, sending and receiving actual mail from friends and other people you don't hate (note to my bank: go away, I don't want a loan, a mortgage or to pay back my overdraft)is one of the nicest things there is. Write a couple of words on a post card and send it to a friend. They'll like it, I promise (as long as the words are not 'hello, I secretly hate you'). Also, writing complaint letters is fun because sometimes you get free stuff. Another 'cheer up for cheap' tip for you there. Yell and be rewarded. Possibly.

Second to last-ly, here is a nice blog about tattoos, if you are in to that sort of thing.

Is There a Ghost?

And lastly, I typed 'design your own shoes' into Google and these are the web sites that came up:-

Create your own Chuck Taylors

Vans custom shoes

Milk & Honey Shoebuilder (this one's just for girls, or guys with fetishes)

Customise your own Timberland boat shoes! Who wouldn't want to do this??

Hours of free fun. Unless you click 'buy'. I take no responsibility for making you do that (PS buy me some shoes)

Feet On Display

Saturday, 11 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Eleven

Here is a free happiness tip from Emma Frost:-


Sunshine is actually free. And light is important. There isn't enough of it in February, so make the most of it when it appears.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Seven

So, lots of people automatically think of comfort food when times get tough. A lot of my 'cheer up for cheap' tips come from hungry friends.

'Stay in the warm, wrap yourself in a blanket, eat some chocolate and then eat some more!' - Helen Cole

'Eating cake and chocolate always cheers me up!' - Heather Dockerill

'Baking raspberry crumble and sharing it with hungry friends!' - Sarah Jarrett

'Fridge cake - unbelievably easy to make!' - Douglas Rathbone

And so, for your cake-related enjoyment, here are some simple, cheap and delicious recipes to make you happy and fat until the cold weather goes away:-

Fridge Cake

Raspberry Crumble

Cherry Bakewell Cheesecake

Monday, 6 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Six.

Today's happy tip comes from David Davis, and is simple:

'Geeking out'.

Everyone's different, but for me, this means wedging myself on the sofa between cushions and snacks, picking up my XBox 360 controller and not moving until my eyes go square.

Here's a blog by Kelsey Smith about childhood gaming. Enjoy, and savour the memories of the first time you encountered a Space Invader, Sonic the Hedgehog or Solid Snake.

Other budget Geek Out ideas:-

- Grab your copy of your favourite trilogy (Star Wars, Matrix, LOTR) (the extended edition of course) and watch the films back to back. The ironing can wait til later.

- Dig out your old original Game Boy, get some batteries and find out if it still works.

- Make a geek-themed mix CD. Full of songs like Mr Spock by Nerf Herder and DJ Kid Carpet's Jump remix.

- Get a gamer tattoo. (Link courtesy of Lucy Blakeley)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

100 Happy February Day Two

2nd February top 'cheer yourself up for cheap' tip by Christie Knox:-

'Make up photobooks for yourself or other people. Photobox are doing them free with £3 delivery.'

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

100Happy February Day One

February is a short month but it can also be the most depressing month. It's still pretty dark, the weather is bad and a lot of us are still suffering from post-holidays lack of cash. I had to spend £800 I do not have this month on fixing my car, and being broke for the rest of a month that is decidedly NOT very pleasant made me think - what free/cheap ways are there to cheer oneself up and keep oneself occupied until March arrives, and with it payday and (hopefully) spring?

So I asked my friends. And so this month, 100 Happy brings you their top tips for how to fight the blues on a budget...

Day One - by Kirsty Palmer

'The best tip I know is to randomly try on all the clothes in your wardrobe in silly combinations that make you giggle. Take (and post if you like) photos of the combinations. Costs no money and can be done in the comfort of your own house. That, or stick some really cheesy music on and dance round your living room. Enjoy!'