For 2017, I want to try something a little different over here on the blog...
During the second half of 2016 I dabbled with sharing some snippets of my day-to-day life over on Instagram Stories, but ultimately I realised that I'm just way happier and more present in my life when I have no social media apps connected to my phone. As much as I know that social media just isn't for me, I also know that I do want to share a little bit more of my life online as I don't want things to be all business, business, business without actually sharing the more personal and life-related stuff too. So my plan is to end each month this year with a more stripped back blog post than usual with some photos and highlights from the month that's just come and gone and also some intentions for the new month ahead too!
A big part of January was just about getting back into the swing of things in work and life after taking a couple of weeks off at the end of December. Alongside days spent working on my business and on calls with my awesome clients, we also filled our month with some mini UK city breaks and day adventures too to help ward off the January blues and start the year off as we mean to go on - with as much living as there is working!
So to kickstart today's post, here's a little snapshot of some of my highlights from January...
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden
A few days into 2017 Alex and I decided to drive a couple of hours up north to Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden in Yorkshire and it did not disappoint. Spending our afternoon wandering around the gardens and exploring the ruins was the perfect way to spend a cold winter day. I'm sure we'll be back later in the year to see what it looks like in the Summer or Autumn!
48 Hours in London
Halfway through the month we took the 2 hour train ride down to spend a couple of nights in London. We've been down many times before both together and separately, but there is always something so special about visiting and this time around we were big tourists and wandered around all of the usual hot spots like Buckingham Palace and Westminster and explored the British Museum too! It may have been cold, wet, and windy but it was lovely just to break up the first month of the year with a little trip down to the capital.
We've been meaning to head up to Lancaster for a little nostalgic day trip ever since we got engaged a few months back, so we carved out a day for it this month and it was so nice to wander around the place that we used to call home. Lancaster is where we went to university and where we first met and spent the first 3 years of our relationship together so it will always be a place we're very fond of and it was super fun to spend an afternoon just wandering around some of our favourite places. It'll be four years this summer since we graduated and every time we head back up and visit it's always just an awesome reminder of how far we've come since then and how meaningful our time there was to us!
One of my favourite things about working for myself is just taking a weekday off to go explore somewhere that is usually super busy come the weekend. So on a cold and frosty Tuesday near the end of this month we drove to Cheshire for a winter walk around Tatton Park. I haven't been since I was much younger and I had completely forgotten how beautiful it was. We pretty much had the gardens to ourselves to wander around and it was just the perfect way to spend our afternoon. As much as I love living in the city, having places like this just a 30 minute drive away makes me so happy as sometimes I just crave being away from all of the hustle and bustle that city living brings!
As much as I'm usually always counting down to our next trip or planning something fun to do with our days off, I'm also the biggest homebody in the world and sometimes nothing makes me happier than just curling up at home with our cats and a good book and enjoying the peace and quiet that only home can bring. I've also been enjoying city living much more this month after December, when the Christmas crowds can be a little intense and I try and avoid them as much as possible. It was so nice this month for everywhere to quieten down and get back to normal again, and some of my favourite moments from this month just have to be weekend brunches with my best friend or afternoons spent with Alex just wandering around some of our favourite spots here in Manchester.
48 Hours in York
To wrap up January we spent a couple of nights in York and it was so nice just to explore the city together and relax and slow down a little too. I haven't been in years and Alex has never been so it was really fun just to get to know another northern city a little better and most of all have some quality time together too! Unfortunately I got super sick the day we left and since getting home I have not been feeling my best (currently writing this while I'm curled up in bed feeling a little sorry for myself) but it was still such a fun way to end the month together.
Overall, January was a pretty awesome month...
January is usually a pretty grey month here in the UK, and this year was no exception, but it was really nice to break up the month with some days out and mini breaks away and also just enjoy the quiet and slowness that the first month of the year can bring. I started the year feeling very restless and itching for adventure, but January has also reminded me of how much I love home and cosy nights in with the cats and to never take the simple things in life for granted, as they're also some of the best things too. I've also had so much fun getting back into the swing of things with work this month - it's an absolute joy to work with my clients, and I've just been feeling extra grateful this month for the life my business has helped me to build, and for the awesome work I get to do each week with awesome people.
Looking ahead to February...
As much as January has been filled with lots of fun mini adventures and awesome days working in my business too, I've also been battling quite a bit with my health and my biggest intention for February is to just prioritise taking care of myself and also be patient with myself and the season that I'm in with my health right now.
I have a couple of work projects that I want to wrap up and set live in February, and as always a whole lot of coaching calls with my clients that I want to show up wholeheartedly for too. More than anything, I'm hoping that February is another month of being focused in my business, present in my life, and that I continue to show up fully each day and that I continue to choose less stress, more joy in work and life too.
What about you?
What are some of your highlights from January?
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