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First of all let me apologise for the lack of photos on this post, January has been a bad month for photography and the photo above is actually from my trip to Croatia last year! However, this doesn’t mean that January has been a bad month full stop. It’s been up and down like most months. Started off a little dark and dreary, but then mid-way through I took a vow of positivity with one of my work colleagues and suddenly everything seemed a bit happier. I’m learning slowly, it’s all in the brain… If you haven’t read my new year’s resolutions post, have a look here. I’m pretty proud of it and it’ll give you a better idea of my day-to-day January. Here’s a little look at the highlights reel…

1.My terrarium

My next post is about this so I don’t want to go on too much, but I do really love my terrarium. I got it from my boyfriend for Christmas, made it up last weekend and every time I look at it it makes me smile. Is that sad?

2. Silo, Brighton

I bloody love this place, it has a zero-waste policy and it’s got a quirky, yummy menu. It’s tucked into the North Laine in Brighton but a little away from the hustle and bustle. The coffee is great, the food is great and the staff are great. When you’re next there, try it.

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3. La La Land 

I’m such a cliche I know but I loved it. Yes yes they’re not the best singers. And yes maybe it’s not quite worthy of the Titanic number of award nominations. But it’s feel good and SO what we need this month when the news has been so grey. Also I loved the songs and I’ve been listening back to the soundtrack nonstop, perfect way to start/break up/finish the day. That and Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill are permanently on my Spotify.

4. Water Log app

I touched on this in my NY Resolutions catch up but I love this app. I don’t want to jinx it but this may have broken my dry spell (dry as in I drink so little water!) I’ve drunk at least 1.5 litres a day (not counting my millions cups of teas) and have noticed a massive difference in me actively getting up and filling my water bottle (oh and in my trips to the loo). The app is really simple to use and just the action of noting reminds me to drink which is the main reason I kept failing. I can’t recommend it enough.

5. Tea Tourist 

The lovely people at Tea Tourist sent me their January subscription box and as a tea addict I have been loving trying all the new flavours. A particular favourite is the Matcha Tea which has been giving me a nice little boost at work. It’s also helping me up my water intake (see point above!) Win Win!

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6. Death in Paradise 

I always wonder why I don’t talk more about TV on this blog. It’s a passion of mine and yet I rarely talk about it, I guess that’s partly because it’s part of my day job. I actually interviewed the star of Death In Paradise Kris Marshall back in December and confessed what a huge fan I was. It’s the only thing my whole family sit down and watch together and the Caribbean sunshine gives me a right good January boost.

7. Sending people flowers

Bit of a cheat, I’ve only sent one person one bunch of flowers this month. But selfishly it made me feel SO good and I’m pretty sure it brightened her day too. Be more spontaneous with your kindness, it gives you and the receiver the feel good factor.

8. Small Batch Coffee 

I gave my boyfriend a couple of packets of this for Christmas to go with the coffee bean grinder I bought him. And I don’t know whether it’s the grinding your own coffee or the Small Batch beans in particular, but this has turned out to be the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. The other day he said to me he’d pick me something up from Costa and I said ‘no thanks I’d rather make my own Small Batch’. Trust me, I’m as shocked about that sentence as you are!

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BE WARNED – This is a very long post, maybe grab a cup of tea? Sorry!

Writing this post, I’m not really sure if anyone other than me will be that interested. It’s funny that there’s a flurry of posts about New Year’s resolutions on the 1st January, people talk about them for about two weeks and then never utter a word about them again. But this year I was doing that thing where my resolutions were ‘aims’ rather than ‘resolutions’ so I can’t fail – I talk more about it more here. So even if no one else cares, I’m really keen to revisit them each month for me. Just to make sure I’m staying on track and to remind me what still needs work. Let me know how you guys are getting on with your resolutions too? Let’s keep talking about them and we’ll stay motivated! So here we go, let’s see how I’m getting on so far (I’m actually kinda nervous about this!)…

Exercise – Well I’ve made a start, I’ve only missed one pilates class so far this year (and that was due to a delayed train that was out of my control, I promise!). I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ve also picked up a Fitbit equivalent and have been trying to do my 10,000 steps everyday – I haven’t made it always but I’ve been actively trying. Not got anywhere with yoga and dancing yet but I have ordered a Davina McCall DVD to try and kickstart my journey to fitness so completing her five week plan is my aim for Feb.

Mindfulness – Woop, I started my mindfulness course last Sunday and I’ve been a good girl and done the 15 minute homework (a body scan for week one) every single day since. It’s an eight week programme so will take me through to March but I just need to make sure I continue with this. I’m loving it so far, and will definitely blog more about it *if* I keep going.

Self-care – Oh I started off so well but I’ve begun to slip with this one, it’s a classic resolution that lasted a couple of weeks. And I always have all my other resolutions on my to do list keeping me busy and shoving fun things off the end. Must try harder for Feb, this is one that needs a lot of work.

Getting my business going – This was always going to be a slow burner but I’ve made a start, we’ve opened a joint account for business transactions and I’ve ordered Starting a Business for Dummies. Not read it yet but it’s a start. For Feb, I want to start reading, sort out the account and transfer money across, and design our logo/label (I promise I’ll fill you in some more on this venture when we’ve got a little further).

Novel – I was about to write ‘This is doomed to forever be on my to do list’ and then remembered I was keeping positive about being able to get going with these resolutions at any point through the year. Fair to say I’ve done nothing towards this but I’ve just got to start writing so one day it will happen…

Water – Probably the thing I’m most proud of, I’ve drunk at least 1.5litres of water (not including any tea or coffee – and I drink a lot of that stuff) every day since January 1st. It’s all thanks to the Water Log app I’ve been using, I’ve filled it in every single day. Not going to lie, haven’t noticed all that good skin, nails, hair etc. I’ve been promised but I’m hoping they’re just around the corner! Just got to continue with this one now.

Blog – Well it’s been a bit of a mixed bag. I’ve ‘just kept writing’ which was to be my mantra for 2017 and I have stuck to posting 2-3 times every week. But I haven’t been feeling all that motivated, I haven’t been getting an awful lot of love and I’m not sure my more regular posting has been paying off. I’ve also completely failed with Instagram so that’s my main aim for Feb. I’ll keep ploughing on and hoping I enjoy Feb a bit more.

Travel – 2017 has had a bit of a slow start for travel but I’ve got plenty of ideas and I’m kind of just waiting for pay day to put them into action. I hope February is going to be the month of booking, fingers crossed!

Volunteering/Charity – Again, not one I’ve done much about. I’ve been thinking about this more and haven’t really taken much action. I’m sure it’ll happen soon. But this month I have gone out of my way to do little actions of kindness for my friends and family and I think that’s always a good place to start. 

Food – I’m also pretty proud of this one, I’ve been eating more and, more importantly, making time to cook some lovely lunches for work every Sunday. Lunch was my downfall, I’d grab something quick and often small and easy and never enjoyed it. This month I’ve roasted veg, I’ve made potato cakes, I’ve had veggie balls. Recipes hopefully coming to this blog soon…

Split

This post is a long time in the making, I actually went to Split last October but was on a bit of a blogging break back then and never got round to writing this up. My trip to Split was part of a 10 day adventure across Croatia – taking in Hvar and Dubrovnik too. I have posts about both of those to come! But the whole trip completely left me falling in love with Croatia and although I usually tell myself I should always try somewhere new for my next holiday – I really want to go back. We spent only two nights in Split but I would say it’s the perfect place to begin your Croatian tour – its more of a city than a beachy place so you can tire yourself out squeezing in lots and lots knowing you’ve got the relaxing bit to come. 

Where we stayed…

I know I always rave about Airbnb (believe it or not I only stayed in my first one last year), but honestly this place is worth shouting about. We decided to start off our holiday in a little apartment knowing it would be more of a base in Split and then splashed out on hotels for the remainder of the trip where we thought we might want pools and spas and breakfast! But we struck gold with this particular Airbnb. It was only small, just a bedroom and a little kitchen but it was a short walk from both the port (meaning we didn’t have to lug cases far or fork out on a taxi) and from the town. The owners were so lovely and gave us tons of recommendations and they made checking in and out super easy too. I would say this was my best airbnb experience yet.

What we ate…

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Cheese and wine

I think we ate better here than we did on the rest of the trip (definitely better than in Dubrovnik but that’s for another post…) We stumbled across Bepa! for the first night and huddled under blankets in a beautiful square. I had a great veggie burger. Other food highlights have to include the most amazing mojito ice cream I’ve ever tasted from Luka (I would say even better than Italian ice cream!) It’s a little tricky to find but persist because you will be rewarded. I also can’t recommend enough getting cheese and wine from Paradox. The waiters seriously know their stuff and Croatian cheese with jams and bread was the stuff of dreams. 

What we did…

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We really crammed it in from the moment we arrived. On the first evening we climbed the Cathedral and Bell Tower of St. Domnius – we did get scared about half way up but the views were just beautiful especially during the sunset. After dinner we sat on the steps in the square below with a drink listening to the live music. The atmosphere was amazing and we ended up doing this the next night too because we loved it so much. Kids danced to classics like John Lennon’s Imagine, the crowd joined in with every chorus. It was honestly magical and one of my fondest memories of the trip – and you didn’t even have to buy a drink to sit on some of the steps so it’s free too. 

The next morning we woke up bright and early – attempted to make breakfast ourselves and burnt it! But after that slight disaster, we explored the Diocletian’s Palace in the sunshine. It was great for my history buff boyfriend but I have to admit that I did get a little bored by the 15th Roman stone room! In the afternoon we hired bikes and rode round the whole of the Park Šuma Marjan. At first we had planned to cycle to the top of the hill (the views are supposedly beautiful) but after seeing how steep they are we decided to go round instead. Nowhere really makes it clear how long it will take so at times we thought it might never end but the cycle is definitely manageable and takes about an hour and a half. We stopped a few times on the way to lie on beaches (though they weren’t brilliant) and explore the forests. 

Then the evening was spent drinking wine and cheese, eating pizza and returning to the square. We had a bright and early start the next morning to head to Hvar so that ended the trip to Split. But I really loved starting the holiday here, it was jam packed but peaceful at the same time and we really felt we got a proper feel of the city in only two days. Definitely visit if you get the chance.

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We’re a few weeks into January and one week from Blue Monday. It’s about now that that ‘yeah let’s get to it’ January motivation disappears and is completely taken over by that rubbish feeling. We dread going to work, it’s dark and cold and miserable. And those go get ’em new year’s resolutions are out the window. So I thought I’d give you that reminder that you can still make it all happen. Even if you’ve failed all your resolutions. You’ve got approximately 342 more days to put them into action. So you haven’t failed after all.

Instead remember three little words, one of my favourite phrases ‘Just get started’. That’s all you have to do. Just. Get. Started. Take little steps at first, one foot forward. Break them down into chunks and get going with them. I haven’t started that brilliant fitness regime I meant to start on 1st January so last week I ordered Davina McCall’s DVD today and I’m going to get started with her five week plan. It wasn’t the original idea but it will still help me get started towards fitness. And from there I can continue with my original plan to start a dance class and find a yoga class.

You see as long as you keep moving and don’t completely give up and sit still, you’re getting there.

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After Friday’s events I felt we could all do with some cheering up and that little reminder that all is okay and there is some good in the world. So consider this it – we, the bog standard normal people, that is – can sometimes be pretty extraordinary and do amazing things. Ignore all the so-called big, important people and remember that it’s us that chooses the direction and spirit of the world. It’s all going to be okay.

To kick us off, I love a good pet story! A hero dog saved the life of her paralysed owner by lying on him for 24 hours in sub-zero temperatures to keep him warm long enough to be rescued. Kelsey the Golden Retriever saved his life after he slipped in the snow and broke his neck. What an amazing doggy!

A homeless man was flooded with job offers after a woman shared his cardboard sign on Facebook. She spotted the man in Perth, Australia and wanted to do anything she could to help. A few days later he’d been offered jobs and accommodation and had an amazing six interviews lined up!

#GoatYoga is a thing! Goat Yoga classes at an Oregon farm now has a 1,200 person waiting list because people are enjoying it so much. People practice yoga poses in a pen with a load of goats who happily walk all over them. Bizarre but lovely!

Thousands of protestors took part in the Women’s March in London and all over the world. I particularly liked the selfies the Mayor of London (who I love anyway) took in the crowd! But how brilliant that so many people can unite and peacefully protest together.

If you ever need motivation to get to the gym, read up on this story. Sister Madonna Buder has earned the nickname ‘The Iron Nun’ having completed more than 40 Ironman races in the past 30 years. And she’s 86 and completed her first in 1985, aged 65. Amazing.

And finally, this is sure to bring a tear to your eyes. These twin sisters, each adopted from China by different American families, meet in person for the first time on Good Morning America and it is so gorgeous…