As I could never be accused of being in any way consistent with my blog posting, I’ve decided to bring in a monthly wrap-up of what I’ve been up to between my posts.
I almost feel a bit sorry for January as it gets a fairly bad rap for being the most depressing, horrible, penny-pinching month following on from the celebratory vibe at the end of December. This January did feel pretty long to me though, partly I think due to the fact that I had the entire festive season off for the first time in about 3 years (yay no more retail work) and it did seem full of kind of horrible news (RIP to David Bowie, Alan Rickman & Terry Wogan, all people who have figured large in my life). However, there were also plenty of good bits throughout the month too.
I finally caved and bought some little prints to fill my Ikea frame that has been empty for the past…six months. This addition means that my living space is finally finished which is cool (although if anyone has any tips on how to keep a rug clean when you don’t have a hoover, you will become my favourite person).
I also treated myself to Nigella Lawson’s cookbook and there are just so many different types of delicious sounding food in it, one of which being these Chai Muffins which I definitely overcooked slightly but are delicious straight out the oven and surprisingly filling.
Also, like everyone else I became hooked on Netflix’s Making of a Murderer (though I haven’t watched the last couple of episodes as I get into a proper rage whenever I watch it) and I’ve also been seriously loving the BBC adaptation of War & Peace starring Paul Dano, Lily James and James Norton which has got to be one of the most stunning looking television adaptations I’ve seen in ages.
January isn’t always the best month to attempt to be really social as everyone tends to be keeping one eye on their bank balance, but I haven’t been a total hermit this month.
My parents both have their birthdays within a week of each other, so I popped home to do some present-giving and cat snuggling. We headed to the Exeter Arms at Easton-on-the-Hill, which is a family favourite and just does really good pub food (I had a burger and it ticked all my burger craving boxes-although my Mum’s fish dish looked lovely too). We also had a really nice breakfast at Frothys, a really cute independent coffee shop in Stamford, a nice alternative to the chain stores on the High Street. Before I returned to Birmingham, I also had coffee with a friend at The Picture Cafe in Grantham; again a really nice independent choice (although they could do with being slightly speedier and…friendlier when it comes to their service).
On the Birmingham side of things, my work friends and I headed to Boston Tea Party for a long(ish) lunch. Whilst BTP is a chain, their massive selection of food and great coffee mean its somewhere that never really disappoints. Plus their Birmingham store is perfectly situated for some real people watching due to the variety of people who work and play around that area. I also finally visited The Jekyll & Hyde, a bar on Steelhouse Lane which I’ve wanted to visit forever, and I definitely need to go back and sample their delicious sounding cocktail menu.
I ended the month heading to London to catch-up with one of my old uni housemates who I hadn’t seen in an age (well, a year), and it was so lovely to catch up with her. We went to somewhere called Joe’s for brunch, a place that is best known for fried chicken but did a mean Eggs Royale (yes I did have poached eggs twice in the same week…fight me). We also headed up to Primrose Hill, which offers some stunning views across to the City, where you can see Canary Wharf, St Paul’s and many other London landmarks.
My January posts were:
My favourite books I read in 2015
My 2016 Resolutions
The books I’m excited for this year
The 12th Clicklist
On why I’m choosing hope over hate
The books I read in January
So, traditionally everyone has probably given up on an targets they’ve set themselves by the end of January. However, I’m pleased to report that I’ve generally made good progress. I’ve got a little obsessed with Money Dashboard, a really great budgeting website that I head about via Bookish Blether, which means that I finally know where my money is really going. I’m currently on track with my 50 book challenge, and I’ve been writing in my diary every few days. I have, however, broken my book buying ban. I forgot to take anything to read with me down to London and none of the magazines on offer appealed, so I picked up Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test but as I’ve read almost all of it I’m not angry at myself as it’s not just sitting collecting dust!