Beauty, Fashion, Fitness, Lifestyle

Beating those January blues

2018 is finally upon us, and the gloomy shadow of January is here. New Years Resolutions have been made (some broken already!) and the glorious memories of yummy food and mulled wine are fading away, as we all trudge back to work, and the reality that Christmas is over sets in.

So as the taste of that glorious Christmas food becomes but a distant memory, and the January blues set in, it’s fair to say everyone is feeling a bit down.

So considering today is officially known as ‘Blue Monday’, I thought I’d write a post around how to beat those January blues, and make your January just as exciting as any other month!!

Dry January

For the first time EVER, I have committed myself to Dry January. I’ve tried to do this for the last 3-4 years, and every time, I have failed. However this year, I was absolutely determined to have an alcohol-free month, and having not gone longer than a week without some sort of alcoholic beverage over the last several years, this is quite a challenge for me (don’t judge, I love a glass of red, okay).

So even more so, during the first week of January I was feeling more bluey than normal. But I decided I wasn’t going to let this get me down, and in fact I was going to use this time to really take care of myself, my health and body, and also set myself up for the year ahead. So here are a few tips and ideas for making your January that little bit brighter.

A little pamper can’t hurt…

As the mornings are getting colder and the evenings are getting darker, and whatever was left in our bank accounts has dwindled away (because let’s face it, Christmas wipes us all out and it is a LONG way til payday) all I want to do is snuggle under a blanket and stay indoors. So what better than to create your own at-home spa?! I absolutely adore the spa and pampering myself, so this for me is a great idea to have some real ‘me time’ and indulge in some luxurious products.

So throw in some bath bombs and a purifying face mask, and I’m on my own indulgent journey to relaxation. I love taking the time to unwind in a nice hot bubble bath with my favourite book or relaxing music playing, whilst my Origins purifying face mask soaks in. My lovely fiancé also bought me these gorgeous and fragrant bath bombs for Christmas, so what better excuse to use them?!

Next on the pamper list – hands and nails! This may sound silly but since becoming engaged and spending endless hours staring at my ring, I’ve wanted to make sure my hands are looking their best at all times. So indulging in this glorious Champneys hand and nail spa, followed by a manicure using my new Ted Baker nail varnish (another Christmas quirk) will make sure they are looking their best. Finishing this off with a Clarins hand and nail cream, means they feel as great as they look!!!

Comfortable loungewear

As mentioned earlier, the gloomy darkness of January makes me want to snuggle under a blanket, so again to make me feel my best whilst doing this – some great and comfortable loungewear!!! I received these glorious cotton Victoria’s Secret pyjamas for Christmas, which are perfect for snuggling up in. Paired with my Emu Australia slippers, makes for the perfect evening snuggle on the sofa.

Try something new

Whether that’s a new fitness class at your local gym to sweat out those toxins, or trying out the new art class which has just opened in town, trying something new is always a great way to get something fun and social into the diary. Pair up with a friend, and this makes it even more enjoyable!!

Get organised

Now this, I absolutely love – I love having a big clear out and organising everything, as it makes me feel like I’m detoxing my surroundings as well as my body!!! So whether that’s listing all those unwanted clothes on eBay that you never got round to doing, or making the journey to your local recycling centre to get rid of all the junk and rubbish you’ve been hoarding, along with rifling through new cookbooks to get some meal plan inspiration – all of these are great ways to get you feeling refreshed and like you’re winning at life.

These are my top tips for beating those January blues – I’d love to hear how you motivate yourself during this dark and cold month, and any tips you may have!

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Health

Bank Holiday Baking…. Madeleine Shaw Banana Loaf!

So after a glorious bank holiday weekend, where copious amounts of chocolate eggs have been eaten (it’s Easter, so it’s allowed right?!) I felt like I needed to get back on track with my healthy eating. One thing I do struggle with the most when eating healthy, is resisting sweet treats, especially when I’ve been consuming chocolate this weekend like it’s going out of fashion (no shame here). So in order to keep the sugar cravings at bay, I have once again, turned to the Queen of Clean Eating, Madeleine Shaw!! Her clean treats are so yummy and an absolute favourite of mine is the Banana & Cinnamon Loaf, which you’ll find in her book Get the Glow. It’s so easy to make, the ingredients are easy to pick up in your local supermarket, and it’s downright delicious.

Book Image

Ingredients

As I have said, the ingredients are straightforward, and easy enough to pick up in your local supermarket. You might notice I have been a little naughty and snuck in a bar of Lindt 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate – I see this as ‘phasing out’ the chocolate rather than going cold turkey straight away!!  The most expensive item was the coconut sugar, which I paid about £6 for – however you only use half the bag, so you can get two banana loafs out of it which I do think is good value for money, considering the health benefits of it.

Ingredients

The Making of the Banana Loaf….

…It’s pretty simple. Chuck it all in a mixing bowl, grab your electric mixer and whiz away!! It took me about 3-5 minutes to get to the lovey cream consistency you can see in the photos below. I then broke up my bar of Lindt chocolate, popped that into the mixture and gave it one final whizz around the bowl.

Ingredients Mix

Once done, I popped it into a baking tin, baked it in the oven for 50 minutes and voila! You have yourself a delicious banana loaf. Now the recipe does say 50 minutes in the oven, however I like mine a little crunchy on top, so I baked it for 60 mins… I would say I may have overdone it slightly, so I’ll remember that for next time.

Cooked!

For more of Madeleine’s delicious recipes, I’d definitely recommend picking up her cookbooks as they are my go-to books when I’m in the kitchen and want to cook up something healthy and delicious.

I’d love to hear from you some of your favourite recipes, so please do let me know!!

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