Pictures either taken by us or from… amazon.co.uk / idealhome.co.uk / Pinterest
- Eating… Our kinda takeaway from The Health Hut in Rawtenstall. It’s a Kings and Greens dream with salad boxes, protein shakes and build-your-own stir fries. I feasted on the halloumi burger and sweet potato fries last weekend. It ain’t so bad not having a kitchen after all! Highly recommended if you’re in the Rossendale area.
- Wearing… our faux-fur jackets now the weather has finally got cold enough. If you have enough season matching outfits there ain’t no weather you can’t face (I even don’t mind the rain since I was bought an amazing cloud umbrella a few years ago). I got Ali hers in the Topshop sale last Christmas and my multi-coloured unicorn inspired one is from M&S Kids last year – a good place to look for something slightly cheaper and that not many other people (despite actual kids) will have.
- Detoxing… with a shot of apple cider vinegar every morning. I’m not a fan of shots at the best of times but the health benefits of this far outweigh the interesting taste. I bought mine from One Planet in Accrington (other suppliers are available) and I was the third person who’d bought one that day, so it looks like it’s a popular way to kick start that January detox.
- Barking… orders at our new Amazon Echo Dot. Alexa got a bit of a beasting at our NYE party with a whole room of people screaming her name and demanding she play certain songs. It’s the perfect way to play music easily and allow party guests to contribute to the playlist, although Alexa won’t be responsible for any arguments that ensue over varying music tastes.
- Sipping… English country garden cocktails. This was the main culprit of my New Years Day hangover but it was worth it. It feels quite summery with elderflower cordial, pro pro, gin and strawberries so it’s the perfect antidote to the cold weather. If you’re after something more wintery try a dark and stormy (another NYE tipple of ours). Nice try, dry January.
- Dusting… off our dancing shoes and trying our hand (feet?) at ballroom dancing. We’ve been fans of Strictly for years so it was only a matter of time until we gave it a whirl for ourselves. Stay tuned for some awkward/embarrassing attempts (add us on Snapchat for the outtakes – alikingkong and charliequeso).
- Punching, lifting and jumping… our way to fitness with the launch of the new Les Mills classes at my gym. We are huge Body Attack and Body Combat fans and I’ve recently started Body Pump. My gym has an open weekend for the launch next weekend so I’m taking Ali along so we can re-live the days when we were Les Mills fangirls. Out of all the types of exercise I’ve ever done a Les Mills class is by far the most fun and leaves me feeling like I’ve worked the hardest. They have low impact options if you’re a newbie but once you know the routines you can’t help but give it your all. Faye and I even got Alexa playing one of the Combat tunes and did a routine on NYE. If that doesn’t make you a gym geek I don’t know what does.
- Trying… my hand at a bullet journal. I’m not the most organised of people and I’m still living in the past with my diarising and refusal to put it all on my iPhone (although apparently one of Alexa’s functions is to tell you your daily schej like a PA). I also have loads of funky notebooks I’ve amassed over the years so I’m going to try and start a bullet journal. Let me know if you have any tips for this, it looks quite easy but I do get confused by the simplest of things sometimes…
- Lighting… up my life (well, bedroom) with this lamp with marble and copper (both very in RN) from Aldi of all places! I spied this on someone’s Instagram so hot footed it down to my local store and snapped one up. They also do a floor lamp in the same style but Ric has had enough of my copper and marble obsession for the time being. My next purchase will have to be much more subtle so he doesn’t notice.
And now for some 2017 plans….
Dressing… to impress. My wardrobe is full of amazing clothes, yet I seem to throw the same things on all the time. I have good intentions of putting together a great outfit then turn all basic bitch and end up in leggings and Uggs. With living out of a suitcase the past few months after packing my wardrobe up I’ve really missed having a big selection of clothes to choose from so my NY res is to dress fancier and make the most of all the clothes I have bursting out of my wardrobe. Which will also help with…
Decluttering… the clothes I don’t wear. I’ve recently opened a Depop shop (find me here) and have decided that anything I don’t wear on a regular basis needs to be sold or taken to a charity shop.
Meeting… up more with friends and family. This has got to a great start with a cousin catch up in early Jan, meeting up with a former colleague this weekend and the revival of the original gang being discussed via whatsapp. I make this resolution every year then life gets in the way but it’s something I’m determined to stick to this year.
Enjoying… a proper sit down family meal (preferably a good ol’ roast) once a week. Ali wants to get Q into good eating habits and get into a routine of chatting together round the table rather than staring at phones or sticking Netflix on. It’s also a good excuse for her to crack open the wine before baby bedtime, so win-win!
The roastess with the mostess. THE best Sunday lunch I’ve ever had
Blogging… more! The end of 2017 saw blogging take a back seat for us with new houses, busy work schedules and a teething baby but it made me realise how much I actually miss doing it! It made more sense when we were marathon training and had a specific thing to write about so it’s time we got our mojo back and got back in the game. My NY resolution is to blog once a week so let us know if you have any ideas on what to blog about or want to let us know what things you like reading about.
Happy New Year to all our readers. I love the fact that you take the time to actually read our mumblings and here’s to a blog-tastic 2017!
- Awaiting… the next seasons of some of our favourite shows. Fingers crossed 2016 brings back new instalments of Grace and Frankie, OITNB, Catastrophe and The Affair to name but a few.
- Visiting… some new eating hotspots we’ve been meaning to try. Number one on the list is Lolo’s in Ramsbottom, a vegan restaurant that opened its doors a few weeks ago.
- Booking… a challenge of some sort. Currently scrolling through Spring marathons and half marathons to get the training up and running (excuse the pun).
- Researching… into nutrition courses to get more clued up on things. Anyone know of any decent local ones?
- Dusting… off our dancing shoes and watching our 2015 faves in the Strictly Come Dancing live tour. Looking forward to getting our Gleb fix since he left our screens last month.
- Clocking… up the calories on my new Jawbone I got for Christmas. We also got Sandy a Fitbit so along with Ali’s Nike+ Fuelband we’ve got most fitness trackers covered.
- Juicing… with this new Philip’s juicer I got Ali for Christmas. No better way to beat the post-Christmas blues than a nutrient packed homemade juice.
- Wearing… our superfoods on our chests with this jumper that Ric bought Ali for Christmas.
- Smelling… our new Diptyque candles that Sandy got us for Christmas. Now she’s a dab hand at online shopping she’s excelling herself in her choice of gifts.
Photos taken from Pinterest, Lolo’s website and Etsy.com
1. Discovering… new haunts. This weekend we had an amazing deli salad feast, vegan tiffin, orange and cardamom cake with matcha green vanilla lattes and golden turmeric and coconut milk with our mum at The Bear in Todmorden.
2. Reading… A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I’ve just finished this and absolutely loved it, easily one of my favourite books of the year.
3. Binge-watching… Narcos. Netflix takes us through the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, the don of the Colombian drug world during the 70s and 80s. Crazy stuff.
4. Cooking… lots of leek and potato soup to use up the millions of potatoes from the allotment – my freezer is getting seriously stocked up for the winter.
5. Booking… tickets to go see Rob Delaney in March (pic: www.theguardian.com). Chaz has snapped these up to go with Ric in March thanks to our obsession with….
6. Revisiting… Catastrophe (pic: www.theguardian.com). We’ve re-watched the entire first series to celebrate the return of Sharon and Rob and pick up some much-needed tips from our parenting role models.
7. Listening… To this Spotify playlist I found on Goop – great for Sunday batch cooking sessions.
8. Delving… into Anna Jones’ new cookbook after Chaz bought me it last month for my birthday. So far I’ve only had chance to make one recipe out of it – the sweet potato chilli – but it was so good I’m excited to get stuck into more.
9. Waking… up to this spiced apple porridge recipe on Women’s Health website (pic: http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk). Chaz tried this last month and I’ve just got round to copying today. Perfect way to start a wintery Monday with a smile.
1. Seeking… another dose of zen at Woodland Spa at Crow Wood Leisure. I got a voucher when I left my old job so I’m taking my favourite spa partners, Chaz, Sarah and Terri, along for the day.
2. Wearing… our hearts on our chests with our new slogan tees. I bought Chaz (and myself) an Avocado Toast one for her birthday and she returned the favour (to us both) with the Blogging > Jogging one from ASOS for mine.
3. Ordering… from Ocado. I’m a month into this exciting new relationship and could not be happier. All my favourite healthy treats in one place and the friendliest drivers ever – so long, weekend traipse around Accy Tesco!
4. Basking… in the scent of this Bella Freud Loving candle Chaz bought me for my birthday this month. I’ve been buying expensive candles as gifts for years in the hope someone would return the favour so finally my not-so-subtle hints have worked!
5. Watching… Doctor Foster. It’s kept us gripped for the last five weeks. Has anyone else been watching??
6. Dining… at 1847 in Manchester for a birthday treat – the seven-course veggie and vegan taster menus deserve a post of their own so watch this space…
7. Zapping… up even more smoothies in the brand new Nutribullet I got from our mum for my birthday after coveting Chaz’s for an entire year. My BlendActive served me well but being used an average of three times a day for the past year has seen a dip in productivity so I’m excited for my next blender adventure.
8. Revisiting… The L Word on Netflix. I watched this in its entirety years ago and it’s taken Chaz a long time to come round to it, but with a Bake Off and Dr Foster shaped hole in her life it fits the bill perfectly.
9. Debating… marathon options. Sarah has suggested the Manchester Marathon next April, Chaz is leaning towards Paris… Either way training starts soon!
1. Pampering… at Champneys Springs. We’ve been planning a long overdue spa break with our friends Terri and Sarah for ages so to celebrate Terri’s 30th this month we’re finally taking the plunge into indulgent treatments and plenty of Prosecco.
2. Spectating… the Grand Tour of Skiddaw ultra marathon up in the Lake District. Jak’s taking part for the second time and aiming to smash last year’s time in this 46-mile adventure spanning some of Cumbria’s most spectacular views.
3. Reading… Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? We both read this in a day on holiday and it is pure lolz (I read it on a coach trip while Chaz read it on the plane home just for maximum public embarrassment).
4. Watching… The Great British Bake Off, which starts up again tonight. I used to pretend I only watched this to keep up with Chaz and our mum discussing it but I will admit I am a fan. I could never resist Mel and Sue.
5. Eating… DIY caprese salads after working our way through (at least) one a day on our recent jaunt to Italy.
6. Checking… into the Artist Residence in Brighton. Chaz is taking a recommendation from one of our favourite bloggers, Fashion Me Now for a trendy seaside jaunt.
7. Visiting… the new café at Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington. We grew up living just across the road from this place and rarely went, so we’ve been meaning to check out the recently opened eaterie in there.
8. Shopping… for prams. Struggling to get excited about this but have my eye on the Uppababy Vista (mostly because the basket is huge).
9. Dining… at Angel’s in Ribchester. Chaz is taking Ric for his birthday after we had a great midweek meal there with our friend Amy last month.
1. Travelling… to Sri Lanka. Chaz has been given an amazing opportunity through work to visit this country for 10 days – she’s there as we speak so stay updated on Instagram and see what she says about the experience with a post on it v soon.
2. Wearing… & Other Stories. We may be late to the game but after spotting this online store cropping up on all our favourite fashion blogs for the past year we decided to investigate. Simple Scandi cool, their understated and ethically sourced dresses and separates are available at prices that won’t clean you out for the month (the pom pom dress pictured is my most recent purchase).
3. Blitzing… the plentiful kale and spinach growing at the allotment into green smoothies with frozen bananas for a summer cooldown.
4. Reading… In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. Out at the end of the month, this crime debut is pipped as the big summer read and tells the chilling tale of a hen do gone awry. As we’re the age to be attending hen dos a-plenty (though none so far resulting in murder) this should be an interesting take on our favourite genre. If you’re going away next month, get it pre-ordered sharpish.
5. Soaking… up some rays as we plan to jet off on holiday for a week in the sun with Sandy B at the end of this month (image from professionalphotoss.blogspot.sk)
6. Missing… Grace and Frankie. We binge watched series one of this Netflix hit last month so had to include it in case you’ve missed it so you can catch up and discuss with us – good news is season two has been commissioned so hopefully not too long to wait for the return of our favourite girls. If you haven’t heard of it, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin play poles apart 70-somethings whose law partner husbands leave them for each other so they’re forced to live together and deal with the upheaval.
7. Reuniting… with our girl Down Under Claire who is home for a visit and coming to stay for a few days this week. We had an eventful evening with Gregg Wallace on our annual reunion two years ago… this one is set to be slightly more low key.
8. Sampling… the smoothies, vegan cakes and plentiful veggie and vegan options on offer at our new favourite hidden gem, Potters Barn in Ribchester.
9. Watching… good old Wimbledon as it returns for 2015. Strawberries and cream at the ready!