With such an unusual title, Peanuts and Eggcups, I couldn’t wait to be part of the launch celebrations for Sara Mendes da Costa’s debut novel. Peanuts and Eggcups was published in e-book and paperback on 28th June 2016 by Clink Street Publishing and is available for purchase from Amazon UK.
Today, Sara has kindly provided a guest blog all about happiness and just reading it cheered me up!
Peanuts and Eggcups
For Maggie Parsons there’s only ever been one man: the stunningly delicious Luke Henderson. Unfortunately, he left her, without explanation, after their ‘first night’ together …breaking her heart in the process.
Now ten years on, without any contact, he’s back and going to her school reunion. Great! And, to confuse matters…so is his suave, sexy, brother Tony who makes a major play for Maggie, then turns up with his insufferable – supposedly ex – fiancée!
Via the reunion, a black eye, getting the sack (as a result) a madcap girlie holiday and juggling her confused emotions around the two alluring brothers…Maggie starts to build a picture of what she really wants in life.
Trouble is, Maggie’s a pawn in a game she doesn’t even know she’s playing …and things are about to get a whole lot more complicated.
How I Feel About Happiness
Some Of My Favourite Things
A Guest Post from Sara Mendes da Costa
My protagonist, Maggie, is journeying to what and who she truly wants in her life and as she goes along she realises the aspects of her life and work that she loves and doesn’t love and ultimately begins to understand that she doesn’t want to settle for second best. She is on a journey to what matters to her, what’s really important.
I must admit I consider life like that. If something isn’t making me happy and I can’t seem to get to a place where it does, I look to change it. Life is short…certainly the one we’re living, so we might as well be happy and feel good! Positive thoughts, being happy, feeling good means the endorphins fly and the better you feel the more positive stuff and good feelings seem to be attracted to you. A wise suggestion I was given once was: just ask yourself: ‘how do I feel; what do I want?’ Meaning in order to improve the quality of your life, just keep asking yourself, ‘How do I really feel?’ and be truthful about the answer. If you’re feeling good…great! How can you feel even better? If you’re feeling bad, great! (OK, well…great, ish!) but it’s an opportunity to realise what you’d like instead. So once you know how you feel, ask yourself what you want, what would help you feel better. It could be taking a break, having a cuppa, sitting down, getting fresh air, having a bath (even if it’s the middle of the day) or something more lovely like treating yourself to something, having a massage, meeting a friend, booking a holiday…making a positive life change.
The idea is if you’re feeling naff, staying there isn’t doing you any good but it does serve as a great motivator – if you let it – to say ‘What do I want instead?’ By taking little steps away from what you don’t want and moving towards what you do want, and by choosing good thoughts instead of bad, you’re on the road to happiness. You’re on the road to feeling good all the time – and that sounds great to me.
So, that’s my overall happiness and wellbeing ethos but there are many things that make me particularly happy.
Laughter is a HUGE one! Probably why I like to inject a good dose of fun into my novels. Laughter is such great medicine and so very good for all round good feelings. I understand it burns calories too! And that’s gotta be a plus.
I love my three large male cats: Bootsie, Muppet and Mozart. They are a constant source of amusement and love, and a good cuddle with them is wonderful. They’re very silly too. Although I’m not quite so enamoured with them when they jump on me at four in the morning!
I love to create. That can be writing, painting, designing my home or garden. I love colour and surrounding myself with colour that excites me. I had my colours done once and I’ve never looked back – very inspiring. I guess you could sum it up by saying I love transformation – going from an idea to completion, pretty much like writing a novel. Painting and decorating transforms a space and I find it wonderful to see a blank canvas, a space, a wall, a page, a room – open for anything – and then designing it – filling it with whatever the mood takes me. And then, using whatever ingredients needed, I love to get to work and watch transformation happen; not always so practical when I start transforming more than one room at once! (my house only has small rooms, so clearing one room to decorate another means everything from one room lives all over the house!) But hey, it all comes good in the end – even if I do end up with boxes full of stuff, previously in a room, that I now don’t want to put back! The charity shops do pretty well out of me.
I LOVE to travel and want to do a whole lot more – particularly taking my work with me. Currently, travel seems to take one of two forms: either I’ve worked hard and am completely exhausted so need a rest i.e. a good quality all-inclusive resort with a fabulous pool and the company of my best friend Annie (along with cocktails, books, food and loads of belly laughing) or it’ll be something a bit more active and outdoorsy with my lovely man. Camping, walking, cycling and great pubs! In amongst both options I love sunshine and beautiful vistas. For me an amazing view is unbeatable and if I can get somewhere up high to drink in the surroundings, hills, mountains, lakes, sea, fields…wonderful! Total bliss. This is a seriously beautiful planet we live on if you know where to look.
I’m really beginning to enjoy exercise again. I used to love it but for various health reasons it had to take a back step…now I’m feeling better than ever and I’m loving the fact that slowly but surely I’m feeling fitter and healthier than I have done for years.
And then there’s people watching! Sitting outside a café bar and watching the world go by. It’s fascinating looking at what people wear – particularly where I live in Brighton – how they are, how they talk to each other. And when I witness a moment of emotion, of joy, of kindness…that’s the icing on the cake – it makes me glow from head to toe.
Ooh, now I do love cocktails and making something that tastes delicious. I love cooking but don’t do lots. I think cocktails have the edge, especially if I’m sitting on my garden swing – with my man on his own special chair – on a summer’s evening and swinging back and forth and letting the dreams flow through me.
Something that brings me great happiness is seeing someone do something lovely. It can be anything from lending a helping hand, giving someone a hug, checking someone’s OK, being inspirational, doing something well or doing something not so well and getting up and trying again. I particularly love watching someone being happy. Happiness breeds happiness and weirdly enough, seeing joy makes me cry! But in a good way…
I love the love of friends, family and my gorgeous man. Having a small circle of people who really know me and who I know and love right back, makes me happy. Laughing with them, experiencing life with them, sharing things, building a history – being there for each other. I feel blessed to have such special people in my life who are sharing this path.
Basically, I’m a bit of a spiritual hippy I think! I’m all about the fluff but I do have my head screwed on – though it’s very therapeutic to take the lid off sometimes. I can get joy from the smallest thing. Life can be tough – jeez we all know that! Life can dish out lemons but I choose to mix them with sugar and make lemonade (or, as the other saying goes…Tequila shots!) I believe happiness is a choice. From wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, there’s always a choice to be happy…even taking the tiniest step in the right direction. If being happy takes a little time, a little journey to get there, just keep going – keep moving in the direction. The journey will get easier and the destination will truly be worth it.
About Sara Mendes da Costa
Sara Mendes da Costa is the voice of the BT Speaking Clock; the fourth person to hold this prestigious title since 1936.
A successful, world-renowned voiceover artist, her dulcet tones are easily recognisable on television, radio, film and across countless media.
Never far from the press, she’s known for her appearances on BBC Breakfast, ITV This Morning, Children in Need, Wake up to Wogan and The Today Programme, and balances her prolific voiceover career with her passion and commitment as a novelist.
Peanuts & Eggcups, her debut novel – hotly anticipated by the industry – is “The perfect & highly addictive reading companion for women’s fiction fans”.
A lover of laughter, creativity, great storytelling and a wee dram, Sara adores writing novels and seeks to entertain, uplift and inspire.
Her upcoming novels: Time & Time Again & Maggie Ever After, are expected in 2017.
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