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Category Archives: 2015

Well Hello 2016!

First of all, Happy New Year!

Whether you are a fan of going out or keeping it cosy and staying in, I hope you had a good one and welcomed in another year with your nearest and dearest.

Ian and I spent ours in London and will be staying up here for another few days for a theatre visit (my Christmas present to Ian!) and one of my best friend’s 30th birthday party.

I always write a blog post at the start of January, thinking about the year ahead. I don’t try to set any goals that are too unrealistic although there is a general theme of getting healthier and getting organised!

For 2016, I hope to:

Find a good work/life balance

I’m sure everyone struggles with this to some extent but I find I am a different person during half term and the summer holidays. I’m happier, more relaxed and eager to do a lot more. I love my job but it is hard to switch off so I need to work on finding a better balance this year.

Get fitter

A standard resolution and one that I started in November when Ian and I joined our local gym. Slowly but surely I am getting into a routine and whilst I don’t love going, I always feel glad I did afterwards…plus, there is free wifi so I can sit on the exercise bikes watching YouTube videos!

Read

More importantly, read before bed rather than scrolling through my phone to get a better night’s sleep. During the Christmas period, I rediscovered my love of reading and am hoping to keep it up and work my way through the pile of books sitting on my shelf.

Give more

I have decided that on my blog each month, I will choose a different charity to write about and then make a donation to. I think it’s easy to get caught up in buying the latest make-up and fashion trends but this money will make more of a difference and will help causes I care about.

Up my blog game

I have been blogging for almost 5 years now (!!!) and whilst I have no plans to make any sort of income from it, I do think I would like to challenge myself to take some better photos, learn to edit them properly and maybe, maybe try vlogging…watch this space!

Give blood

I am terrified of needles but have booked myself in to do this in March (enough time to psyche myself up for it!) and have heard there is a good biscuit selection to enjoy afterwards?!

I think that’s probably enough to be getting on with for now – have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2016? x

2015

On the final day of 2015, it feels only right to look back at the year gone by before starting afresh tomorrow!

January

Ian and I had a low-key start to the year at home, drinking cocktails and watching Jools Holland before a brisk New Year’s Day walk.

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I started my ‘Sunday Catch-up’ series on my blog to round up my week as well as sharing my current favourite books, TV shows and podcasts. I also started writing in my 5-year journal.

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In the kitchen, I made a pearl barley risotto, parma violet cupcakes and held a pitta pizza party!

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Finally, I celebrated 11 years with Ian and we booked our summer holiday to America…a good start to the year!

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February

February saw one of my most stressful weeks at work after getting ‘the call’ and Ian completed the Bath half marathon.

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We treated ourselves to a weekend away and managed to fit in a trip to Windsor Castle and a meal at Heston Blumenthal’s pub, The Hind’s Head in Bray, where I had the most beautiful gin and tonic I have ever seen!

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At home, I finished tweaking our new drinks trolley and cooked a salmon quiche, coca cola cupcakes and some chocolate cherry cheesecake brownies.

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March

In March, we ploughed on with the last few rooms in our house that needed decorating and I painted our spare bedroom.

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Ian and I enjoyed a fantastic 5 course tasting menu at a local pub and went on some more country walks.

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We headed to London too to celebrate our friend’s 30th with afternoon tea.

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I got a bit obsessed reading Alexander McCall Smith’s books and made some noodle soup, more quiche and ravioli from scratch.

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April

It started to warm up in April and we enjoyed our first drinks sat outside.

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I carried on with some home improvements, putting up new blinds, buying rugs and painting my window frame the brightest yellow I could find! I also got a bit obsessed with Lily Flame candles.

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We had a great time at a German beer festival at Alexandra Palace, enjoyed cocktails and schnitzels at Boopshi’s and a great meal at Wahaca.

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At home, I perfected my ‘Carluccio’s Pasta’, experimented with overnight oats and quinoa and made a very Instagram-worthy chorizo and kale hash.

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May

May was a jam-packed month!

I visited Kilver Court with my parents, Hampton Court with my school and Liverpool for a family party.

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To celebrate the year we all turned 30, my best friends and I treated ourselves to a spa day.

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I discovered two of my favourite foundations and enjoyed picnics and pizza dates.

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In the kitchen I made a raw salad, baked mini Victorian sponges, tried nasi goreng and perfected arancini balls.

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June

One of my highlights this year was a surprise weekend away in Manchester to see one of my al-time favourite bands, The Movielife. We ate Mexican food, drank cocktails and danced away reliving our teenage years!

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I went sugar-free for a week which was interesting but a real challenge.

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We helped out at our village fete and celebrated with my best friend as she turned 30 on a boat!

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Ian and I also added some vintage finds to our home and I cooked fish tacos and sugar-free banana pancakes.

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July

July was spent celebrating more birthdays and enjoying a comedy festival.

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Ian and I set off to New York to begin our American road trip. We loved our 5 days in NYC and did loads! I turned 30 too!

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August

My favourite month of the year! We spent the first two weeks in America travelling through New York, Atlantic City, Philadelphia and Washington DC. It was an incredible fortnight and we will have fond memories of it for years to come.

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As well as our holiday, we did a spot of dog-sitting, I went to watch Bristol City play with my bestie and visited Banksy’s Dismaland.

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I had plenty of time to potter about in the kitchen and made Sicilian sardine pasta, chowder, peanut butter bites, spiced chickpeas, coca cola chicken and a white chocolate chai tea loaf.

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September

I wrote about my ways to avoid the back-to-work blues as my summer holidays came to an end.

Ian and I went to Bath Chili festival, enjoyed a bonfire, spent the day at a beer festival to celebrate his birthday and had a brilliant time at Go Ape.

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On my blog, I wrote a set of Travel Guides for the American cities we visited and at home I cooked a chickpea stew, a chicken couscous salad, a prawn risotto, bakewell cupcakes and my best ever sandwich.

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October

In October, Ian and I ate at the new Burger and Lobster restaurant in Bath, had our last BBQ of the summer, went to watch Avenue Q and enjoyed a seasonal tasting menu at our local pub.

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I went for facials with my friend Cat then met friends in London for 2015 Stylist Live. In less fun news, I had root canal treatment too!

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At home, I made pumpkin pies, a sausage and beer casserole and some chocolate and cherry flapjacks.

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November

In November, Ian and I joined the gym amd are trying to keep it up. I went to Cambridge for my annual Thanksgiving with my uni friends.

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We went to see Josh Widdicombe and Chris Ramsey live and on the blog I shared our front garden makeover.

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December

A funny month this year and not filled with my usual festive posts. I made Ian an ale advent calendar and enjoyed Ciate’s latest offering.

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We had lovely Christmases with both of our families, eating great food, drinking too much and opening some wonderful gifts.

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And so another annual round-up comes to an end. I think my highlight would definitely be our America trip this summer but keeping a blog really does help you remember all those other moments that made 2015 a really good year.

Whatever your plans, have a lovely New Year’s Eve and a great start to 2016! x