Aside from filling the house with as much heat as possible and reducing my attire to thick, fluffy socks and multiple layers underneath a permanently attached dressing gown in the evenings, there are a few a other things that make dreary January a little more delightful. The optimistic determination needed to fulfil New Years resolutions keeps my mind focused on what I want, and the chilly weather makes candles, a warm bubble bath and hours devoted to literary works an entirely guilt-free necessity. There's also the added bonus of shunning the cocktails, late nights and expensive bar tabs for a whole month and realising how lovely it is to wake up early on a sunday morning with a clear mind, relaxed muscles and an intact bank balance. Despite the lack of glitter and fairy lights, January can actually be a very productive and healthy month and a time to heal and cleanse yourself after the festive season, leaving you feeling wonderful on the inside and on the outside.
1. Fresh blooms
When the decorations have been taken down, it can leave your house feeling a little bare, and the garden isn't too colourful either. Through out January I try to keep several vases topped up with flowers, which instantly brightens up the room and brings spring a little closer. Flowers don't have to cost the earth either, supermarkets regularly reduce the price of perfectly beautiful blooms at the end of the day, simply because one or two are starting to go over. I bought these pink roses four days ago, from Waitrose at the reduced price of 45p. With a little bit of pruning and a beautiful vase, they make light work of those 'January blues'.
2. Be the healthiest you can be!
After Christmas, my body feels as though its thoroughly been pushed to it's unhealthiest state. The alcohol, the food and the abandonment of all forms of exercise contributes to a sluggish and tired physical being. It can also be difficult to break such habits, but with the help of news years resolutions, I feel optimistic about enjoying a healthier year. I purchased this Diet Doodle Diary, to help me keep track of what I'm eating and the exercise I do. It's the prettiest diet related book I've ever seen, and features pages to stick progress photos, advice about eating healthy food and motivational quotes throughout. January is not only the perfect time to ease yourself into making healthier choices in terms of food and fitness, but many people bid farewell to cigarettes and alcohol too.
I'm a big believer that a cup of tea will solve every emotional dilemma, so even better if it can be beneficial for your body too. Slendertoxtea is a herbal brew that detoxes, cleanses and aids weight loss all by simply enjoy a cup of tea! I'm lucky enough to be able to try the full 14 day teatox day and night programme, and I tried my first cup today. The taste was quite surprising, and was not dissimilar to the normal tea I drink, making it easy to enjoy. I can't yet comment on the effects, but I will be posting a full review soon about my progress with it. I am looking forward to the results!
4. Culinary Bravery
Cooking and baking are still very new hobbies of mine, and it's only been in the last year I've developed the knowledge and confidence to adapt or create my own recipes, throw together unusual ingredients and whip up something delicious in a short space of time. When I open the fridge and see the rememnents of ingredients, I can usually come up with a way to use it all up in a meal, which I consider a mark of progress in terms of culinary confidence (I could barely fry an egg before university). That being said, I still want to learn as much as I can and develop my knife skills, presentation and knowledge of basic dishes. Rainy days make the best kitchen days, so soups, chutneys (Seville orange and whisky marmalade post coming soon!) and homemade breads are the subject of creation at my house. Baking, however is being kept to a minimum for the time being, so that I can keep January as healthy as possible. But come february, I've got a baking to do list the length of my arm!
5. Step up your Beauty Regime
The cold, blistering weather doesn't do much for anyones complexion, so January warrants a little more 'me' time. Shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E are your best friends this season, and moisturising on a regular basis is essential in combating dry, flaky, splitting skin and lips.
It has been a permeant fixture in my handbag this month, not only providing me with nourished, velvety hands but also a delightful floral fragrance. A faultless winter must have for staying moisturised.
B. Energised gently tends to your eyes, ridding them of dark circles and puffiness. The cream contains caffeine, allantoin and live yeast cell extracts which awaken, cool and brighten tired eyes. This product is designed for those in their 20's, focusing on nourishing a clear and vibrant, youthful complexion whilst containing anti-aging ingredients for a head start. The range also caters for other age groups, and best of all everything is free from animal testing. I've always been quite sceptical about these acclaimed, miracle eye creams but the indoor stuffy heating of the winter months can leave my eyes looking quite puffy. Not to mention the remaining effects of the party season. But I have been using this for just over a week and I can already see a difference. My eyes look much more healthier and the dark circles which are always more visible when my skin is at its lightest are beginning to subside.
It's an oldie but a goodie, and something I wear all year round regardless of the weather. I'm not a fan of slathering my lips in anything sticky or heavy, so I've grown to love this lip balm that features both long lasting moisture and a delicate, dewy pearl shine. Out of all the lip balms I've tried, this feels the most gentle on my lips and even in the winter I only have to apply it a few times a day.
This innovative face mask cloth created by the Timeless Truth International Cosmetology Organisation contains a layer of Moso bamboo charcoal extract that has been created at a temperature of around 800°C. The result being an exceptional deep cleanse that instantly brightens, smooths, firms and hydrates the skin. It is perfect for those with congested skin who perhaps live in areas with high pollution levels such as a city, and for those who have abandoned their skin regime for some time.
I had the pleasure of using this mask this afternoon and the entire process took me by surprise. It's evident from the ingredients and the results that this certainly isn't your usual face mask and it felt a little strange applying a cloth to my skin. Once you've got it aligned in place it sat well throughout the 20 minutes I had it on. It felt incredibly cooling on my skin and instantly sent me into a state of relaxation, albeit some residue from the cloth dripping down my neck. After spending the entire duration resisting the urge to drift off into dream world, I removed the mask and massaged in the remaining liquid. It has been a few hours since, and my skin feels incredible. In the past I've found face masks to be a bit of a novelty; just a strawberry scented cream to apply during a girly night that effects your hair line more than your skin. After using the Charcoal Detox mask my skin feels noticeably softer, hydrated and thoroughly cleansed. I can see it becoming quite addictive, and at the price of £4.95 per cloth, it is definitely affordable.
6. Stay creative
After the glittery madness of Christmas, it's easy to succumb to the warmth of the sofa and you may find yourself questioning the possibility of human hibernation. Being creative is probably fairly low down on peoples to-do lists, but for me, it's my favourite way to keep myself occupied and productive until the summer and a surefire way to get myself out of any rut. Whether it's through art, sewing, graphic design, writing, crafting, creating and planning, I love to have a creative project on the go. Photography, styling, journalism and creative consulting take up both my work and leisure time but with January being such a quiet month, I'm able to let my creativity loose. I am looking forward to introducing you all to my magazine Fifi later this month and other projects that I have been working on.
7. Getting organised
January is the perfect time to get your affairs in order. Christmas is over, and apart from the odd birthday Easter is a fair few months away. Whether it's organising your paper work, finally sending off an overdue letter or spring cleaning the house, it's a great time to clear your mind, your to-do list and your surroundings ready for the year ahead.
8. Reading the classics
One of my new years resolutions is to read a book a week. It's definitely a tad ambituous for someone who likes to read, absorb and visualise every word on the page, but I'm going to try anyhow. I absolutely love literature, but last year my reading list was dominated by dissertation research, and I swapped my bed time novels for essay writing and quarter-life crisis panicking. This year, I have the time to get back into reading, and I am determined to focus on the classics that I've missed so far. Currently, I'm working my way through the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, at a far quicker pace than I'm used to, but still taking time to visualise Benedict Cumberbatch of course. Other books on my list include To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, 1984 and Animal Farm both by George Orwell, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf. If there's one must-do to get you through January, it has to be getting stuck into a really good book.
What lovely things have you been doing to make January a fabulous month?
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