Friday, 8 January 2016

My January Plan

It's January, and I am not starting a diet, I am not giving up alcohol and I am not making resolutions.  That doesn't mean I'm not planning on making the most of January as a time to re-assess.  Last year I posted about 'How to Make January Cheerful', because the winter gloom was getting to me.  This year's post is in a similar vein, but without the 'challenges' bit, because quite frankly I have enough of those to be contending with already.  Instead, I am making sure this year to fill my time outside of work and the PhD with things that I like to do, and those that simply need doing.  This means both enjoyment and achievement are high, it's a win-win situation!

Take advantage of indoors time
I like to get the important, organisation things out of the way.  I buy a new calendar for the kitchen, and take time to transfer birthdays to it, and other important dates such as when my car tax is due.  It's time also to look at finances, so I check my budget and set savings goals.  The final thing that really needs doing ('achievement' not 'enjoyment'!) is always de-cluttering and cleaning.  January's great for getting a head start on the Spring cleaning, and if your budget has left you with a deficit, then a good clear out and listing items on Ebay can help to recuperate some cash.  I've also taken a few bags to the charity shops, and have been getting around to clean things that normally get a bit overlooked.  If I have any spare time left after all of this effort, then I plan to catch up on some sewing alterations, as the sewing pile is more of a sack.  I've had some help from a good friend with some of my more ambitious projects - in the picture below we're working on a mid-century dress that was several sizes too big for me.

In Hollie's sewing studio.  The dress still isn't finished yet!

All of these shoes went off to the charity shop.  The moral of the story: never buy cheap shoes.

Eat well
Firmly in the enjoyment category, I really do mean eat 'well' not less!  This is returning to my usual, lower carb, full-of-veg lifestyle that I follow throughout the year.  I find cooking is one of my indoor pleasures at this time of year, standing over a cosy stove when it's really cold outside, and taking the time to try out a few new recipes (I did get that Kitchen Diaries book for Christmas).  I also stock-take in the store cupboard (after it's been cleaned!), and replace what's missing, or add something completely new to try.  I was so pleased with the Casa Rinaldi olive oil and balsamic vinegar that the lovely people over at Italia Regina sent me, all the way from Milan.  I have to admit over Christmas that I did weaken away from my low-carb lifestyle to enjoy some warm foccacia dipped in the oil and vinegar - absolutely delicious, and you can really taste the difference that a good brand makes, full of flavours not normally present in a lot of the oils and vinegars so common in our supermarkets.  Now that I'm back to refraining from bread, I've been using olive oil and balsamic to simply roast some chunks of veg in the oven.  The bottles have spray tops, which are perfect for using less.  Anyway, their website is full of delicious sounding and authentic Italian produce, which if you're a foodie like me you'll enjoy browsing very much.


The good stuff.

Book exciting things to look forward to
This one's really important, to stop the weeks going by in a grey haze of drudgery.  So far for January I’ve booked a ghost walk, a Japanese tea ceremony, and I have been asked by a friend to be their date at an awards ceremony.  Let's also not forget that it's Burns Night on 25th January, when there's the excuse for a wee dram and maybe some haggis and neeps if the mood takes you!  January’s looking pretty good for fun stuff.

New Year
I may wear this Amanda Wakeley dress to the awards ceremony.  Not much breathing room though!

A fine single malt.

Take advantage of the sales
This one does preclude a bit of forward planning (i.e. saving) so that you’re not completely spent out by Christmas, and actually have a little money stashed away to spend on treats in the sales afterwards.  There's also a certain level of restraint needed, in terms of focusing on things you know you need, rather than buying yet another pair of the same brogues but in a different colour (gulp, yes, that's me...).  I'm going to dedicate another post entirely to my sale purchases, as there are many to discuss, and there's an overall success rate of 50% in terms of items I've had to return.

A sale Lindybop dress that fits like a dream and was snagged for just £8.99.

Tara Starlet Molly Dress
An unsuccessful Tara Starlet sale purchase, you can read my review here.

So there's my January plan.  Enjoy being indoors.  Eat well.  Plan adventures.  And shop.  That doesn't sound too bad after all, does it?


  1. Sounds like a good plan to me! You are very organised. I've been sorting out my finances too, it seems to be a good time of year for that sort of planning. I'm trying to eat more veg too, purely for health reasons (though I won't be cutting down on the carbs, I looooove my carbs).

  2. I think it's something about this time of year that makes you want to take stock. I tend to do the financial overhaul when the new council tax bill arrives, I then work out the new budget for the year.

    I've been busy trying to organise some fun things for January too, sadly Himself has scuppered my best plans because he's too skint after Christmas *sigh*

  3. I'm doing a lot of what you're doing, so we're both onto something, hopefully ;) I'm not sewing though, no siree... Learned my lesson with that one! Your Jan plans sound fun - love a ghost walk. Looking forward to seeing your award outfit xxx

  4. Seems like you are off to a good start... in my head I have no plans... Seems as if it's still 2015.

  5. You already seem much more organized than I am! I really need to set up a financial plan for myself as I have two trips tentatively planned for this upcoming year and need to save up. It is good to have things to look forward to though, even if it means saving up for them!

  6. Not in the slightest! Great plans, dear gal. I completely agree about the importance of booking things to look forward to. I swear, I just said something in the same vein regarding travel to Tony all of about three hours ago.

    Have a fantastic weekend!
    ♥ Jessica

  7. I really, really like this attitude. I keep coming across these articles that seem to be saying that you were a really terrible, fat, spendthrift person last year, but this year you can turn it all around if you just follow these 10 simple tips! I mean, I did make a couple of resolutions, but overhauling your entire life just because it's a new year has never made a whole lot of sense to me. Taking stock and making sure you're well set up for the rest of the year is much more practical, and much easier to actually do!
    I'm really intrigued by those fun events that you mentioned. They all sound so cool and different. I hope we get to hear a little bit about them here, my January isn't likely to be nearly as exciting.

  8. I do the same exact thing with my new year calendar as well even down to putting when car insurance is due! :p

  9. The Lindy bop dress would you say it is true to size? I normally have to size up from a 10 to a 12 with Lindy bop but haven't tried the Audrey ones yet

    1. Hi Lily - in that pattern I am my usual size 12. However, I tried the velvet version too and whilst the right size, the fit was not good. Hope that helps x


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