What I loved this month: January 2018

The start of a new year is always a refreshing time, but equally January and February are two of the most grim months of the year! All the Christmas joy and cramming in seeing as many friends as possible has passed with December, and everyone is skint and adjusting back to normal busy lives in January.

I always enjoy focusing on what holidays I want to plan in the next year and what I want to achieve. I decided I wanted to share more on my blog as I enjoy writing, and thought I would do a more personal blog once a month on what I have been enjoying. So here goes…

  1. Veganuary 

I started phasing in being vegetarian and vegan into the last half of 2017, but completely fell off the wagon over Christmas (blaming cheese mainly and my love of it). However, I went straight back on track in January. For some reason, it’s felt way easier – possibly because in the last few months theres been so many new products in the supermarkets, and restaurants have introduced vegan menus. I’ve still been caught out a bit.. we had a Chinese takeaway this month and I happily ordered what I thought would be a vegan meal.. veggies with cashews and a side of pineapple rice. The pineapple rice turned up with heaps of egg in it… I had to laugh, it seemed so absurd. Lesson learnt! Some places make it way easier – My new fav restaurant is 90 Degree Melt in Stepney Green. It serves vegan friendly cheese melts and American grub. I am obsessed with their Buffalo Cauliflower wings and Mush Blush melt. YUM. I also had my first vegan takeaway pizza last night.. thanks Papa John’s. It was divine!

Follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration. I got two great recipe books for Christmas, so these and Pinterest are my main sources of vegan food ideas.

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2. Reading 

One of my new year resolutions was to read more. I’ve always been a book worm but taking time out to read got replaced last year by social media, life admin and general busy-ness. This year I am putting my phone down a bit, slowing down and reading more.  Books I read this month:

  1. A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara. This took me a while to get into as it was so long but I couldn’t put it down in the end. Spanning the lives of a group of friends from their college years, this book followed them through the struggles, high points and low lights of life. The book was so relatable as the characters progressed through their decades, and I just wanted them all to be happy. It explored so many dark themes, but at the same time was a life affirming read. 4.5/5
  2. All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr. Following a teenage Nazi and a blind French girl, this book traveled through the war years, following both characters as they followed their hearts to achieve good in a broken world. This was a heartbreaking and eye opening account of war, but it left me wanting a bit more. 3/5

I’m now reading Shantaram, which has been on my reading list for a long time. Don’t expect me to finish it anytime soon as it’s HUGE! I picked up this while on a random walk  through Wanstead and found it in a charity shop there.. it’s the first physical book I’ve read in forever!

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Let me know what you’re reading in the comments below – or leave your suggestions on what I should read next 🙂

3. Hygge 

January is definitely a clear excuse to make your life ‘hygge’. A trend that has swept the UK in the last few years, it encompasses enjoying the simpler things in life and creating a sense of wellbeing. Instead of working every night, I’ve given myself time out to snuggle up under a blanket and read, surrounded by candles. I’ve also taken to making homemade bread every Saturday morning and gardening (any one following my Instagram will know my cacti collection is starting to take over). Sundays are for walking and exploring the local area – I normally wander to Wanstead and look round the charity shops for books, or head into Epping Forest. Generally, attempting to live in a slightly slower way has been lovely! I feel super mellow, and whilst this has made me a little lazier on the work side, there is definitely a good balance to be struck 🙂 More on Hygge principles here

4. LDN Muscle 

I’m a bit addicted to my fitness, and over the space of a year and a half completed a few rounds of LDN Muscle’s Bikini Guide. Having got an injury last summer, I had to stop weight lifting and spinning to let my body recover. I ended up exploring low impact alternatives and have become a huge fan of Yoga with Adriene’s youtube workouts, but being someone who gyms every day, I found it really frustrating not to be lifting or doing anything super intense. After 6 months I’m back in the game and getting strong again! I tried 2 weeks of BBG by Kayla Itsines, but after it flared up my injury, I decided to go back to my faithful bible: The LDN Muscle guide. Yay for lifting weights again! I’m still doing Yoga with Adriene – I can’t recommend her enough! Her videos are usually my pre-bed wind down 🙂

It’s also been a super fun month as I went to my first ever Essex Wedding Breakfast Club, a monthly meet up for wedding suppliers. It was great to meet everyone, and see some friendly faces! I came away feeling really inspired and pumped for a great 2018.

Let me know what you’ve been loving (or hating) in January!

Caroline x

 

 

 

 

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