February has been a beautiful month. I’ve been feeling energised and replenished, rested and peaceful. I’ve tried to reduce stress as much as possible, and I’m proud to say it has improved my quality of life enormously already!
I’m not a winter-lover. I love snow and Christmas vibes, but once January comes to a close, I am ready for spring. I’m ready to see trees and flowers blossom and to wear lighter coats. And put my UGG boots away. But this year, I’m trying to embrace the seasons, and I suggest you try, too! Seasons come and go for a reason, and nature is constantly changing. It’s a cycle of death and rebirth, and we should honour it rather than let it pass us by 🙂
As always, my (slightly) obsessive nature has ensured that this past month’s favourites were very easy and obvious to put together in this post! Let me know what you’ve been loving, I’m dying to know! 😀
I don’t know if it’s because I’m channeling my inner Viking or trying to find a substitute for shaving one side of my head [eek!], but these side braids have been stuck to my head most of the month. Having short hair means you have to be relatively creative in tying it up, and I’ve said goodbye to The Topknot aka that shaggy pile of hair that is not-so-artfully tied up when I’m exercsing/working/doing the dishes to keep my front layers out of the way. Yeah. Not glamorous. These half french braids are way easier than they look, very functional and I always get complimented on them 🙂
I’ve been 99% gluten free over February. It just sort of happened, and I also sort of decided. I’ve been reducing my gluten intake since the beginning of 2017 and don’t really miss it. I’m an absolute bread fiend [will-travel-the-world-for-bread type of fiend] and thought I would miss all the carbs! But buckwheat has saved the day.
I’ve always loved buckwheat, my mother has a delicious recipe for Galettes Bretonnes, a buckwheat crêpe from Brittany, generally served with savoury toppings like ham and cheese. But I also love roasted groats, cooked with water instead of a gluten grain or even rice! And raw groats make both an excellent quick baguette [above] or a naturally fermented loaf (here’s the recipe I use.)
I’m really not very good at being upside down, but that’s ok. What would be the fun in learning to be upside down if there was no learning process? I’ve come to accept that I’m not comfortable upside down, and that it will take me longer than some to get into a handstand. It’s my goal for this year, but it’s been hard work! I spend around 5 minutes a day practicing wall handstands, I do a lot of core work using the TRX bands at my gym and I’ve generally been trying to find comfort in the discomfort of having my head to the floor!
I found this 28 days to handstands resource very useful.
sweaty betty merino top
My style has always been very simple, but now more than ever. I don’t own a lot of clothes, and most of them are neutral colours. I love my clothes. But come the winter I realised I had a lot of thinner tops and very heavy jumpers, but nothing in between that isn’t so bulky under a coat. This top was definitely an investment (£85, but is now on sale), but considering I hardly buy clothes, it was a worthwhile one. I have worn it almost every day, under dresses and tops and on its own. It’s breathable because it’s activewear, and super fitting. It has really long sleeves. It’s perfect!
We ALL know I love my daily coffee break. I’ll take 15 minutes off every day, whether I’m at uni or at home or in town to sit down and have a coffee. I’ll have it on my own, or with a friend. Sometimes filter, sometimes cappuccino. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a coffee break. it’s almost ritualistic for me, I look forward to it every single day! And as much as I love Starbucks (I personally think they have the best roast and milk to coffee ratio in a cappuccino), I’m also very adamant to support local trade. Buying from a small coffeeshop is a meaningful contribution to a small business’s existence, whereas Starbucks will still be standing, so I’ve been loving tasting different coffees and seeing different places! 🙂
Try to get out of your commercial comfort zone; supporting local business is much easier than you may think!
being less wasteful
I find it really upsetting to see how wasteful we are. We had One Planet Week last month and I took a sustainability quiz. I thought I was doing ok, but turns out we would still need 2 planets if we all lived like I do. I don’t find food waste to be problematic, but food packaging drives me insane. Just the other day I ordered mushrooms through an online delivery and switched from buying a case to buying loose, by the kg, and was still delivered ecxessive packaging. My bin is full of plastic trays and foils and wrappers. My goal last month was to bring my own coffee cup when I have coffee to save me throwing away a paper cup every day. Next month, I want to buy more bulk goods, like porridge oats and nuts, by going to the health food store rather than buying a supermarket bag, which is often plastic.
My biggest tip is to look out for bulk sizes and eco-friendly packaging. Stop buying the single wrapped energy bars and small bags of nuts and upgrade to bigger sizes, or to the cardboard alternative. And make sure you recycle, it’s so easy and has a huge impact! 😀
Plum money saving app
I did it. I booked a holiday to Obonjan.
I’m so excited and can’t wait to do yoga/take pictures/have a digital detox/walk barefoot on the beach. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a real holiday! And that’s because holidays are costly. I would never take out a loan or get a credit card to pay for a holiday. I know saving money isn’t difficult per se, it’s just the execution part never seems to happen. And I’ve accepted I’m kind of rubbish at it. So I’ve put my savings into Plum‘s hand, which is a Facebook robot/app that puts your money aside in the easiest way ever. It calculates how much you can spare every week, and puts away very small (about £10 for us) amounts. You can set goals, save extra if you’re feeling ambitious and you honestly won’t believe how quickly you’ll be saving. I highly recommend it!
I was going to leave this one for March but… I’m almost through the latest season. Chef’s table is just. So. Good. It’s relaxing and stimulating and emotional and beautiful and inspiring. This is truly the show for anyone who is into cooking and food, and anyone who isn’t, too, because it has so much to teach us about life and the world! It restores your faith in humanity and makes you want to spend more quality time in the kitchen. If you’re so over drama/superhero/zombie TV shows, it may be time to take a break and binge watch this instead!
Thanks for reading, and until next time! 💛