Happy January lovely people! 2020 is a really big year for me, what with a wedding and all!! So I wanted to focus on putting some changes in place to ensure I’m happy & healthy in 2020. New year, new routine is a common thing amongst us humans, but it’s not always easy to stick to.
Back in November I mentioned on my Instagram stories that I wanted to start putting plans in place for the new year, to give myself time to adjust. New routines don’t happen overnight, and I didn’t want to start a fresh in the new year, I wanted to go into the new year having already started.
Well, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet but what a beyond brilliant idea that was. Honestly, it’s the best decision I made in 2019! Instead of putting pressure on myself with the whole new year, new routine business, I’m simply carrying on with what I started a couple of months ago. Which has meant I’ve also got more headspace to focus on some other goals for the new year…
New Year, New Routine – The Low Down
So this routine of mine; what am I actually talking about? Mainly it’s my morning routine, but I guess a few ‘life’ adjustments too. The main aim is to keep me feeling my best and keep my head in a good place. As well as increasing motivation & productivity!
Most days (usually week days) I will get up at 6.30am, and go straight downstairs to wash my face. This not only wakes me up but also stops me from looking at my phone first thing and wasting 10 minutes lying in bed.
Next up I do a very short workout. Usually nothing more that 15 minutes, but often a lot less. The type of workout I do varies, but I like to focus on toning exercises that will put my mind & body in a good place to tackle the day ahead. *Note* this is not a weight-loss thing. Too often exercise is linked with wanting to lose weight (for obvious reasons). But, what we forget is we should be exercising to feel good and keep our bodies moving as much as anything else!
Then it’s time for my shiny new skincare routine (more on that later). I find that if I get my face ready at this time in the morning, it’s not a chore. I’m doing it to look after my skin, rather than because I’m getting ready to go out. If that makes sense… Whilst I’m getting my face ready, I’ve been listening to a number of motivational/educational podcasts. They’re amazing and I would highly recommend fitting some into your day wherever you can!
I then will sit down for 30 mins or so and do some work. Whether that’s blog writing, content planning, replying to messages/emails, goal setting… It varies each day! Having an extra 30 mins or so is super helpful and really sets you up for the day.
At this point, Euan will usually emerge and it’s time for breakfast & getting on with whatever lies ahead for that day!
Other Day-to-Day Changes
A few other bits I’ve been slotting in are:
Evening yoga, anywhere between 20-40 minutes depending on the day I’ve had. I won’t do this every evening, but it really helps me to unwind if I’ve had a particularly stressful/bad day.
Weekly meal planning, 3 meals a day. This is a relatively new change but one I’m really hoping to stick to. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve rediscovered my love for cooking, and I’m determined that it’s here to stay!
Just doing it! Finding excuses to not do something is so easy. Staying in bed past your alarm is easy. Not going for a run is easy. Not getting ahead of tomorrow’s workload is easy. But I am sick to death of easy. Instead, I have been making a conscious effort to fight through those feelings of ‘I’ll do it later/tomorrow’ and Just.Getting.On.With.It!
As this post is already long enough, I’ll chat through some of my 2020 goals in another post. I’ve got lots of content planned for January & already some of February, so make sure you’re checking in regularly. And don’t forget, you can also subscribe!
Congratulations! You are engaged. How incredibly magical, and no doubt you are both over the moon! Now it’s time to kickstart your wedding planning, right? Obvs. But (as I’m sure you’ve gathered) it’s not quite as easy as that.
The most common question I get asked as a wedding planner is ‘where do I start?’. And it’s a good question too! Wedding planning can be so exciting, but it’s also a complete minefield. So many choices, so many decisions, and – more often than not – you’ve never done this before; how on earth are you meant to know what to do?
Obviously, you could hire a qualified wedding planner (aka, me…). Which is something I would absolutely suggest doing, if you’re able to. Having someone who knows what they are doing is actually priceless, and can relieve so much stress. At the same time, you might just want a quick answer to know where to start… I’ve got you covered.
Kickstart Your Wedding Planning
If you are thinking of having an extra pair of hands, whether thats just for some supplier recommendations, on-the-day co-ordination, partial planning, or the full works… I’m your gal. Let’s have a chat – no obligation – and see how I might be able to help. Honestly, it’s not as expensive as you might think. Plus, not only have I spent my whole adult life working in the wedding industry, I’m actually qualified in it too.
You might not be able to hire a wedding planner, and that’s fine too. As a blogger, I love giving information away for free (lucky you…). I’ve recently added a resources page to my website where you can access graphics I’ve created to help you with your wedding planning… Hooray! I’ll be adding to it fairly regularly, so keep your eyes peeled!
The first graphic in the resources page is a guide to help you kickstart your wedding planning, or at least know where to start. The second is a fun ‘guestlist manager’ to help you decide who you should and shouldn’t consider inviting… Enjoy!
Christmas Day is almost here, and how utterly fabulous has this festive season been?! Today (as it’s almost Christmas) is just a super chilled post with some Christmas Table Setting inspiration. You all know I love a bit of festive decorating, and that includes the table setting.
Maybe you’re in charge of your Christmas table this year. Or perhaps you’re not bothered by setting your own table, but like looking at other peoples (I am totally with you on that one). Either way, here are some pics of the setting I did for our early Christmas meal with Euan’s family before his parents left for Australia earlier this month.
I’ll be styling our Christmas Day table the same way too, but don’t have pics of that yet (obvs!).
Christmas Table Setting – Golds & Ivory
You’ll know from my Instagram that my general decor theme for Christmas in my house is red, but not for the table styling! This year I’m going for golds & ivory, with a hint of green. And lots (and lots) of candles!
When styling a table (or anything for that matter!), I always stick with one metallic and work the colours around it. So in this case I went for gold, and matched it with ivory/marble/greenery. I never mix metallics as you can lose the overall ‘look’, and it just doesn’t flow as nicely!
Do you make an effort with your Christmas table? If so, what colours are you going for this year? Let me know!
In case you liked the look of some bits from those pics, I’ve linked most items below… All very affordable!
Earlier this month I chatted a bit about having an eco-conscious Christmas & sustainable gift buying. I wanted to build on that with a bit about my goal for keeping my Christmas shopping as local as possible, and how it has gone this year!
*I live in a lovely market town with many super-cute independent shops. Not everyone is as fortunate to have so much on their doorstep, so this really is for the people who are able to shop locally! Everyone & their situations are different, and I’d never want to make anyone feel bad for not shopping locally this Christmas. So – as always – if you’re able to implement what I’m chatting about into your life, please do! But if you aren’t able to, then don’t feel like I’m preachin’ (’cause I ain’t!).*
Christmas Shopping Locally – How did it go?
So, y’all know I love shopping locally & using independent companies as much as possible. And with so much literally outside my front door, I thought it’d be a sin to not make the most of it this year!
I made a pact with myself that I would only shop in my highstreet shops this year (or as much as possible), and do you know what? I’ve done pretty bloomin’ well. All the gifts I’ve bought for my parents & brothers (apart from one little thing for my youngest brother) I bought in Tavistock. My other brother will be especially pleased about that as he’s very eco-conscious. I’ve also bought everything for our friends (and children of friends!) in Tavistock as well – yay!
Where I fell down was with presents for Euan – why are men so hard to buy for?! The shops we have in Tavistock are wonderful, but they do lack a bit when it comes to Euan’s taste. However, his entire stocking are gifts from shops on my highstreet, and I’d say 40% of his presents. That’s pretty good, right?!
The Importance of Shopping Locally
So why is it actually important to shop locally? There are many reasons, but these are the ones which resonate the most for me.
Firstly, the environment. In the grand scheme of things, Christmas shopping locally won’t make a huge impact on the crisis. But every little helps! Items in highstreet shops are already there. They have already been shipped, so you’re not adding to your carbon footprint by having things delivered! And if – like me – you live within walking distance of shops, that’s even better! No need to drive to get your Christmas shopping done.
Secondly, supporting local businesses. This is done by both shopping in their stores and shopping along the highstreet, even if that’s a chain. How? Well, a highstreet only thrives if it’s desirable. It’s only desirable if it has a wide range of shops, and shops that people have heard of. If we don’t shop in our highstreets (chains, independents, or otherwise) then shops will close – including the big ones! Highstreet chains are equally as important as independent shops, because without the chains you wouldn’t have the footfall for the independent shops!
In turn, that also means more jobs for the town. The more shops we have, the more employment there is. The more employment, the more people stay living here. The more people living here, the more money gets spent in the town… and so on. You get the picture anyway!
Lastly… It’s fun! And festive. Nothing gets me in the mood for Christmas more than a stroll down a christmassy highstreet, popping in & out of shops, and eventually stopping for a coffee (or maybe even something stronger…!).
Let me know if you did any local Christmas shopping this year! What is your favourite thing to do to get you in the festive mood?!
If you’re needing a bit of festive inspo to help get you in the mood, check out some of my previous posts…
I know, sounds weird (super weird), but I promise it isn’t as weird as it sounds! I wanted to make an effort to do some Christmas baking this year. Of course gingerbread men & mince pies are next on my list, but I fancied making a cake. But not just any cake. A festive, gluten-free, kidney bean cake, with raspberry & white chocolate. What could go wrong?
So I originally wanted to post the method as an IGTV, but sadly Instagram won’t let me… But instead I’ve uploaded the video clips to my stories & I will save them in my highlights. Head over to my Instagram page to have a watch!
Kidney Bean Cake – The Ingredients
You will need…
1 tin of kidney beans (400g)
100g of gluten free plain flour
50g of cocoa powder
75g of coconut oil (if you aren’t a fan, butter is fine)
125g of brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
250g of raspberries
1 bar of white chocolate
Icing sugar & other items to decorate
Kidney Bean Cake – The Method
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line a 20″ baking tin.
Use a blender to blend the kidney beans into a smooth paste-like texture. Then, measure out the rest of your ingredients (apart from the chocolate & raspberries) and add it all into a mixing bowl.
Mix well until all the ingredients have combined, then add the raspberries. Gently stir the raspberries into the mixture, and add around 3/4s of the white chocolate (breaking it into small chunks as you add).
Pour the ingredients into your baking tin and bake for 25 minutes.
Leave the cake to cool for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, melt the rest of the white chocolate.
Roughly coat the top of the cake with the chocolate (I found a teaspoon the easiest way to do this), and add your decoration!
For my cake I used edible sugar holly leaves & berries and lightly dusted the top with icing sugar. But you can be even more creative, or just leave it with the melted chocolate!
Of course, this cake will work just as well with ordinary plain flower. You can also use butter instead of coconut oil, and milk-free chocolate if you want it to be dairy free too! Why not get creative and try different berries, or even dark chocolate?
Are you doing any Christmas baking this year? Tempted to try this cake? Let me know!