It’s hard to find things to love about January isn’t it?! It’s cold, dark, often wet and for some reason, this month, more than any other, when you drag yourself out of bed in the morning it feels like every fibre of your body is screaming out that this is cruel and un-natural and making a good case for hibernation.
However, in an attempt to ‘think positive,’ I have been trying hard to look for things that make me happy at this time of year and do you know, I surprised myself by finding that there are quite a few!
I challenge you to read to the end of this post and still feel that there’s nothing good to be said for January! Here’s what we’ve been doing and loving in January…
I have been wanting these books for SO long. And finally, following some heavy hinting (and an email containing the actual link!) somebody got them for me for my birthday! These are the kind of books that I am deliberately working through really slowly because I don’t want to get to the end! They were written by the couple behind the ‘Young House Love‘ blog and having followed along with their home renovating adventures for years, I couldn’t wait to read the books. They don’t disappoint. I have spent many a coffee break curled up with one of these in my lap and mentally planning a million different ways to incorporate their ideas into our home.
Taking a break from social media
In a fit of new-year resolution-fuelled good intention, I have been trying hard to spend less time on social media this last few weeks. Some days I’m more successful than others!! I felt that I was spending far too much time getting sucked into the worlds of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and while I need to do a certain amount of ‘social interacting’ for the blog, I was spending a lot more time than was necessary getting side-tracked and would suddenly look up to find I’d wasted half an hour or more. Not good. I need each precious minute to keep up with everything that needs doing around here! I have to say, since cutting back, I feel like I’ve been given the gift of time! Give it a try and see how much you achieve!
Since the weather has been so awful, we’ve taken the opportunity to spend some lovely family time snuggling up with a film or a few episodes of ‘Modern Family’ (we’re still working our way through the series’ and loving every minute). The children have both seemed so tired and in need of a rest (they both do a lot of sport and the days they’re home, they just want to crash) and I feel like we’re all recovering from the Christmas frenzy so no further excuse required!
I’ve been working really hard in recent months to be healthier and my efforts have been paying off. However, having got a bit sidetracked over Christmas, I needed to get back on the straight and narrow. I have long been a fan of zumba but never more so than on these cold winter evenings when, instead of dragging myself out to get a bit of exercise, I just put the zumba on the Wii and dance around for a bit! I love it and the kids sometimes join in too. I heartily recommend Zumba 2 Fitness Wii. I’ve been using it regularly for a couple of years now and I still haven’t tired of the wide range of routines available. The best thing is, that the more you use it, the more new routines are ‘unlocked’. A great way to get moving even when it’s dark and miserable outside!
Hubby and I have been watching this for a while now. There are two series at present and I love the way that part of each episode is told from the perspective of a different character. The first series is just the two main characters (those having ‘the affair’) and then the second series includes the stories of their respective husband and wife. It’s got a main story running through with a background story of an event from the future which is slowly developing over time and is very intriguing. What happens? Who was the protagonist? We are kept hanging but being drip-fed just enough information to keep us wondering. The other thing I love about it is that each of the characters has an interesting and, in some cases tragic, back story which affects everything they do and feel. Definitely one to be watched when the kids are in bed though – lots of nudity and sexual content! Be warned!
My Mum, daughter and I went to the Theatre yesterday to see the Saint Petersburg classic ballet and it was so beautiful. I LOVE the ballet and my daughter takes classes so it was a really lovely thing to do together. We had a gorgeous lunch beforehand and it was a really special day. It do find that January becomes more bearable if you have some exciting plans to look forward to!
As well as making thank you cards for our friends and family to show our appreciation for their Christmas gifts, we have been busy making some pretty personalised bunting for our daughter’s bedroom door (See the full tutorial in my last post). We were pleased with how it turned out and it certainly helps to cheer up our sometimes dark landing area (we have no windows there as it’s in the centre of the house). It also encouraged me to tidy that area up – it can get a bit cluttered up there with items waiting to be brought downstairs and put away. I’ve needed to tackle it since Christmas but I just hadn’t found the motivation!
We’ve been trying hard to save our pennies since Christmas but I did have a little bit of Christmas and birthday money to spend in the sales. I found this gorgeous copper toned lantern for £6 and felt it was meant to be mine since I had spotted it before Christmas and thought it a bit extravagant to splurge on something for myself. When I walked into the same shop just after Christmas and spotted one lonely lantern left, and significantly reduced in price, I knew it was meant to be! Other sale purchases included some pretty Joules slippers (similar) for £5 and a scarf (similar) in Crew clothing for £10 which I’m glad I had during a cold snap a couple of weeks ago.
My parents bought me a tester set from Estee Lauder for my birthday earlier this month. I have always been very brand-loyal when it comes to skin care – primarily because I have such sensitive skin, I tend to react badly to any change in the routine. However, having only ever used basic, reasonably priced brands, and having been given such a high-end product, I thought I’d better give it a go to see what all the fuss was about! The pack contained a mini-sized version of the ‘Revitalising Supreme’ global anti-aging creme, eye balm, mask boost and advanced night repair as well as some mascara and a tiny pot of foundation. I have to say, having used everything (and used it all up!) I was very impressed! I even received a couple of ‘out-of-the-blue’ compliments on how great my skin was looking which was rather nice! However, the price of the full-sized versions probably means I’ll never use them again so it’s back to basics for me!! It was nice while it lasted!
I have also been having a lovely time filling up my filofax with blogging plans and goals for the year ahead. Someone asked me recently why I didn’t use my phone to plan my tasks and activities. They noted how tiresome it was to transfer all your important dates and information over from one diary to another at the start of each new year. I was confused by the comment and replied that this was one of my favourite things to do between Christmas and New Year! Yes, I’m that person! Sad, but true. I can’t quite explain the pleasure I glean from flicking through the pages of my diary or planner, perhaps it’s just something that can’t be explained! You either get it or you don’t. But there it is! One of the (surprisingly) many, things I’ve been loving lately!
I’m linking up with the lovely Emma at Life at the Littlewood to share my ‘Things I’m loving’. Check out the other blogs linking up there for more comforting January reads!
As always, you can sign up to my email feed (see sign-up box top right on a computer or below on a tablet or smart phone), and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Thanks so much for reading. Until next time…xoxo!
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