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Five Highlights From The Month of January

…with a book recommendation thrown in for good measure

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Erm, how the hell are we at the end of January already? Whilst I’m definitely not sad to see the back of one of the windiest, rainiest and dreariest months of the year, January has actually been pretty good to us. We’ve hunkered down, watched Friends on repeat and eaten more warming stews and soups than you can shake a stick at. I’ve popped some of my highlights down below, but I thought I’d shake up the format a little and throw in a book recommendation each month too, as one of my resolutions is to polish at least one off each month. I love reading, but I’m a sucker for the ol’ ‘I just don’t have tiiiime‘ excuse, which is complete bollocks. So I’m hoping that if I’m accountable in some way for it, then I might actually get round to hitting my goal. Have a scroll down to see what I’ve been reading this month and drop me a comment with what you think I should read next…

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New Year’s In New Zealand. When I was looking back in my calendar to see what we’ve been up to this month I realised that we actually started January off in New Zealand. It seems like a lifetime ago, but it’s a NYE I’ll never forget; drinking wine, watching the fireworks out of our window across Auckland and desperately trying to keep our eyes open until midnight. HA! It’s always the same. My sister is actually heading to NZ soon, so it’s still a hot topic of conversation in our home, but if you want all the highlights then I put together a pretty beefy travel guide for you here. Because I’m a loser who loves to work and loves routine, I’ve actually really enjoyed getting stuck in to January and I feel more motivated than ever before to GET. S**T. DONE. *Does the world’s worst Rocky impression*

Catching Up With My Pals. The best bit about coming home is catching up with all your mates that you’ve missed whilst you’ve been away. I think Lily and I spoke on the phone for about two hours upon my return. There was just SO MUCH TO SAY. We also went for dinner round Lizzy’s flat (which was stunning btw), with Lindsey which was a lovely evening. I only just made the last train home and if that isn’t the sign of a good night, then what is, eh? Mark and I headed up to London to have a proper look at Lily and Rich’s new home mid-month and I also had the chance to meet Chelsea – a YouTuber/banging business owner who lives over in San Francisco and whom I’ve followed for YEARS. She was even more ace than I expected. Last week Madeleine visited Brighton and I got to have snuggles with her gorgeous baby boy. Plus more good news, it looks like I’ll be seeing Allana sooner rather than later which I’m ridiculously excited about..

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Mark Turned 30! Last week Mark turned the big ol’ 3-0 and we had a grand time. The day didn’t start off as planned as I’d got in a nice birthday breakfast and big balloons only to realise that he had to catch the 5.57am train to work that day. Side note: the M&S frozen croissants are STUNNING. Thank you to all of you who recommended I give them a go on Instagram DM. But when he got back he opened his gifts (a group set for his bike from me – yep, I have no idea what it is either) and we headed to Etch for dinner where our friends surprised him. Second side note: Etch is absolutely delicious – book well in advance people. That weekend we entertained Mark’s family and had a second celebration the newly opened Cin Cin, which Mark and I plan on visiting at least one a week.

The Bathroom Renovation. I know I spoke at length about our hallway and bathroom renovation plans and progress in this video, so I won’t blabber on about it too much here. However, we are reaching the end of the building work and I’m not going to lie – I’m pretty ready for it to be over. We didn’t have a fully operating shower or bath for three weeks and although the facilities are my parents are lovely, it’s at least an hours round trip for me to have a wash and so I’m positively over the moon that we’ll soon be back in the swing of things and I can wash, shave, file my feet and sing my heart out without having to trek across town first. The builders reckon they’ll be out by the end of the week and after getting a company in to do a deep clean of the place (another great Instagram DM recommendation), things will all be back to normal. Don’t worry I’ve been taking more progress clips as we go and the second and final part of that reno vlog series will be coming soon.

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THE ANNA EDIT’S BOOK OF THE MONTH‘Call Me By Your Name’ by Andre Aciman. I’m an entry level chick-lit reader, but this year I fancied challenging myself with some meatier reading. Now I wouldn’t call this necessarily meaty, but it’s definitely a more poetic prose than I’d normally reach for. When I first mentioned that I purchased this I don’t think I’ve ever had so many replied on Instagram and they all contained ‘YAAAASSSSSSS/OMG/BEST BOOK EVA’ in some form or another. There were also a lot of warnings that this book may cause me to curl up into the fetal position and cry. Now at the time of writing this post I’ve yet to get to the sad bit, but it has been a read that I’ve looked forward to every night. It’s a full-on love story from the beginning and although it took me a while to get into it, I’m racing through it now and enjoying the pace. I also want to book a flight to Italy, like, yesterday. Next up, the film version of it. Will I need tissues for that too?

Photos byย Lauren Shipley

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