Monday 15 February 2021

February 2021 78 Months #TBCSmiles

It's February. I don't know about you, but for me this year January seemed considerably shorter. Usually it's my quietest time on the blog, I get about 3 months before Spring toys start coming in, to recuperate after the pre-Christmas madness. This year it's different. The pre-Christmas madness was massively subdued. The post-Christmas lull is bringing as much COVID news (possibly more) as before, and there's a danger it all feels a bit of a samey blah... 

Image of daffodils growing up through grass at the side of a road. No buds yet, but life

It's too easy to just roll through the days, tick, tick, tick, without having things to enjoy, things to try, things to create. Just because we are in lockdown, doesn't mean you should sleepwalk through it until the end. If you do, you miss a million opportunities to actually create any memories, and all you are left with is the mundane... tick... tick... tick...

1. Create a living room den and sleep in it.
2. It's been nearly a year, people are getting really clever at entertaining us at home, so why not have an evening of live theatre, comedy or music? Here's a list
3. Plan a virtual trip out on Saturday afternoon. Make a fancy milkshake and have a Danish, and go to the virtual museum, or browse the 'shops'. 
4. Get to know your own local area as well as a teenager would, by walking around it a couple of times a week. 
5. Have coffee with a mate - we might not be able to dedicate an hour for a zoom call, but 10 minutes with a coffee is much more 'normal'. 
6. Step outside and smell the flowers. Okay, it may not yet be flowers, but they're on the way. Spring is definitely coming. 
7. Take a day OFF. A proper day off. And use it to do something you really want to do, but never really have the time. Book it in.  
8. Do something special at weekends. It doesn't matter what, but mark the days. We have a cooked breakfast and a movie night with nibbles every weekend. And it's the only time we drink 'pop'... Monday to Thursday are alcohol and fizzy-free. 
9. Have a fancy meal. Wear something nice. Candles, quiet music, cook something special, or get something delivered (use real plates). 
10. Go on holiday somewhere really REALLY exotic. Virtually. You don't have to worry about insects, snakes, spiders, terrorists, humidity or anything else, so go for it. Mount Ararat, the Caverns of Sonora, the North Pole, Angkor Wat, the International Space Station. The world is your oyster. Explore, choose your accommodation and look at the local sights, landmarks, beaches. Eat and drink foods local to your destination. Think of it as a practise... 

You lot aren't mundane. You've created a multitude of smiles over the past month! My Instagram/Facebook app. updated a couple of weeks ago and since then has been pretending to comment and not really posting them, which obviously has been oodles of fun. I will go back round and comment on your photos again, because they really do brighten my month. There is nothing like a smile to crack even the grumpiest of frowns. 

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who joins in, and everyone who comments and looks at each other's smiles. ANY smile is welcome - especially those which were hard won. They are ALL treasure... 

Here are just 9 of the biggest smiles from the last month (which fit best into a collage and didn't get too small to see, or cropped off the edge!). Everyone can join in, just tag any smile on Instagram with #tbcsmiles - which is where you'll find over 8,000 fabulous examples... 

TBCSMiles 78 months Feb 2021 Collage showing 9 of your smiles

Thank you to the following Instagrammers for sharing these smiles:

Twin.Mama.Mo / Superbusymum / MarvellousMrsP
Playroomblog / TobyGoesBananas / Haylee_Louise
LiveLaughGo / Mini_Travellers / JaimeOliverUK

We did make lots of smiles of our own, but I admit to being utterly rubbish at taking photos of them! Here are a few I captured, mainly due to walks in the 'blown in the wind' snow we had, and my 10 year old taking part in some school challenges - which clearly is a great prompt to take pictures!

TBCSMiles 78 months Feb 2021 our smiles

Smiles are the reason we do anything, and they're the reminder that we can. They are why we carry on. If you can't find yours, they are always there, but sometimes you need to give them a nudge or two. 

I started collecting smiles after the loss of one of our children to suicide. It would have been her 23rd birthday on 12th February, but Elspeth will always be 16. Double cake day. She'd have liked that. Oven was a bit high, but we caught them in time... 

Double cake day


  1. I just love the smiles. These brighten anyone's day. Sending love & hugs always. I know Elspeth is proud of you all xxx

  2. Is that Elspeth in your pictures? What beautiful hair you have in your family. So sorry this happened to you, and as always a massive thank you to you for all you have done to inform us through this crisis, and given us humour to keep us going. Brilliant work. Thank you x

  3. Thank you Candy :) It isn't Elspeth, those are all photos of my 2 youngest boys - who do have crazy hair :)
    She was my step-daughter, but so incredibly like her brothers -


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