Saturday, 25 January 2014

January Girl

January has been jam-packed so far. From a night in Hotel du Vin, to trying out some of Newcastle's new food joints to my birthday, it's been a brilliant beginning to 2014. Here's some of the best bits so far.

1. Cotton Post calendar to keep 2014 in check / 2. Chanel Le Vernis Rouge Rubis - a gorgeous Christmas present / 3. Joe representin' at the match / 4. We lost the battle / 5. Obsessed with all things black, white and yellow at the moment / 6. Seeing my pals in action in Vice Canada's Guides to Newcastle / 7 & 8. A night in the unreal Hotel du Vin in Newcastle. Look at that room! Brilliant food, exceptional cocktails and a little bit of a sore head the following day. All signs of a brilliant Friday night. / 9. Favourite blend from OCC / 10. Going button-up in Celia Birtwell for Uniqlo / 11. Hangin' with my two of my favourites; Oliver and Bella / 12.  Happy birthday to me! Treats from Dover Street Market (underneath the wrapping was an unreal CDG wallet which has been on my wishlist for some time / 13. Gifts from my gorgeous team at work - my favourite espresso martini and a delicate gold necklace / 14. New kicks. / 15. Checking out Coop in Newcastle - just one of the many new food joints which seem to have popped up over night / 16. Perfect patisserie from the Pet Lamb girls / 17. An unreal birthday present; personalised hip-flask *inserts heart-eyed emoji* / 18. Unreal bait at North Shields Fish Quay's latest establishment, The Staith House (on the plate is slow cooked pork belly with langoustines, spinach and cauliflower puree). 


Saturday, 4 January 2014

The New.

The start of the year for me is the time to reboot and refresh.

I tried to stick to some of my 2014 goals before Christmas to ease me in gently and so that when 1st January hit, everything didn't feel like a real uphill struggle.

For the most part though, I relaxed my exercise and healthy eating over the holiday and indulged in more than my fair share of all of the cheeses and more red wine than I care to remember (it tasted damn good at the time though).

I've made a list of not so much resolutions, but just goals for this year which I can work towards over X amounts of weeks or months depending on what they are.

I think some people fall at the first hurdle with 'resolutions' because they go full pelt in January and then their enthusiasm wanes and motivation goes out the window.  For some of my goals, I'm keeping these to six-weekly targets - this keeps things a little bit more achievable.

Here are some of my targets/goals/stuff I want to do in 2014:

- Money detox
I think this is usually the top of everyone's lists but this month particularly, I'm having a total budget overhaul. I already keep a monthly budgeting spreadsheet (sad I know, but canny interesting to see what all of your dollar goes on - £20 here and there in Space NK all adds up...) and need to try ad keep on track with this.

For January at least, I'm curbing unnecessary spending and focussing on planning my budget and how I can make this work in my favour in 2014.

Another thing is credit cards. If you overindulged a bit in 2013 (for me, our big American bonanza holiday really broke the bank, and I wouldn't change it for a second, but still have a bit of debt to pay off on in!) then January is the ideal time to take advantage of balance transfer offers.

The best thing I ever did was to consolidate all of my spendings on a 0% interest balance transfer credit card, which I'm paying off monthly. I'm also making a cull on credit card purchases in general unless I pay it off straight away. Difficult, but definitely needed to help me feel in control of my money again.

- Buy less, buy smarter
A girl I follow on Instagram put this lovely little resolution on from her resolutions last year, as this really resonated, I want to adopt this gem of a resolution this year.

For me it's buying less of things I don't need and buying things I know will last a long time, even if they are a bit more expensive immediately but will benefit me in the long run. For example, really great skincare (I'm obsessed with all things Origins at the moment), a new designer handbag - things with longevity.

- Keep active and healthy
I'm pretty good at doing the above in any case, what with healthy eating, running and personal training, but this year is all about improving my running (stamina and pace), continuing to eat clean and concentrating on strength and toning. I never really let these up in 2013, but I did have a bit more of a relaxed December (which was MUCH needed) so now's the time to get back on track.

What are your plans for 2014?

*beautiful diary above by Marjolein Delhaas (image from byaprilandmay) / Flip clock image by AMB
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