Bring it on 2017

Every year, without fail, I sit down with my good friend Elizabeth Ruth and we set goals for the upcoming year. Having started this tradition a few years ago, we make sure to send our lists to each other so we can motivate one another throughout the year. This ritual usually begins with a bottle of Prosecco, toasting our achievements from the year gone by because, you know, it's important to celebrate what you've achieved (and any excuse for a glass of bubbles). When we live life at 100mph, it's all too easy to wrap up one project and delve straight into the next without taking stock of what we've actually achieved. That week between Christmas and New Year when we've lost track of days, have exhausted the 'recently added' tab on Netflix and support 'calorie free Fridays' every day (when you stop counting calories not eating them!) is the ideal time for such reflection and thinking ahead to the future. With a crisp new notebook freshly unwrapped from Christmas Day, the 2017 list is coming together...

What are you planning to achieve this year? (Fun stuff only allowed!)

I have to admit this has been on my 2015 and 2016 list and is still yet to be ticked off! I fell in love with the idea of juicing for three or five days following a Beauty & Wellness event at Libertys in London when I spoke with a nutritionist who raved about giving your gut a break. Using the analogy of a grazed knee (that would be our digestive system in this instance) and a toothbrush (representing the irritant of a never-ending supply of food chugging through it), once the knee has been injured by, let's say, a fall in a playground (aka. a heavy weekend, food intolerance, grabbing fast food on the go) and the toothbrush constantly rubs at the wound, it never has a chance to heal. The same goes for never-ending digestion and an inflamed gut that needs a break to heal = enter juice detox. If anyone can recommend a trustworthy brand, please comment below!

The dancing shoes are collecting inches of dust. And that's all of them; ballet slippers, tap shoes and modern split-soles. Whether it's confidence or tardiness, I love dancing and it's the ultimate fun exercise. So, I'm looking at finding a regular class to join and perhaps starting with The Dance Attic where I used to rehearse at weekends when I was in the London Children's Ballet. It's in a great location near Fulham Broadway, London, and you might recognise some of the studios for being used as a rehearsal space in Strictly Come Dancing! I once also bumped into Will Young in the corridor there who was in rehearsal for a big tour!

BLOG MY A**S OFF. is now six months old and whilst the travel days of battling wifi and writing posts on bumpy overnight buses have come to an end, now the fun of fitting it in around the day job begins. With big ambitions of 'Blogtober' and 'Blogmas' in my view, I'm hoping I can implement some kind of regularity to posting once a fortnight. It's been an eye-opening journey into the blogging community out there and I'm wishing 2017 to bring some of those connections into the Real World at Blogger events and such. Collaborations, commissioned posts, not to mention delivering interesting content are all on my 'to-do' list to build some followers!

Talking of writing, I've had a book idea for a few years now which hasn't really gone anywhere. 2017 has to be the year that I flesh out the plot of the story, develop the character profiles and map out the chapters. Whilst that's a lot of work, I'll be happy with at least one of those elements ticked off!

Oh gosh I despise the predictability of this one. The first half of 2016 was all about the 'Wedding Diet', a long hard slog to feeling great in my figure-hugging wedding dress on 1st July. The latter half of 2016 was a carb-loading and a desperate hope to avoid food-poisoning in South America by eating 'safe' food which 9 times out of 10 was pizza. Hence the wedding body has gone to pot and I'm back to eating Doritos'n'dip on a Sunday evening. I really have to crack the psychological response of 'need to do exercise' with 'crawls up in a ball on the sofa'. Two goals for 2017: 

1) Run another 10k - free to do in and around London which is a bonus! Plus something I've done (once) before so it should help knock down those mental barriers and gives me an excuse to visit Lorna Jane for some new running gear. Over the last five years in London I've done a couple of Memory Walks and an overnight 'Shine Walk' marathon, all in the name of charity. The Alzheimer's Society is a charity close to my heart so if you're looking for inspiration, check out their fundraising sporting events you can get involved with.

2) Join ClassPass - not only do gym memberships swallow up an extremely high % of your monthly earnings but I detest the soulless places which, in London, are invariably underground, window-less and blaring some techno-house rubbish which gives me a headache. Don't even get me started on the beefed-up muscle cakes groaning in the corner. Instead, I've always be one to opt for a gym class in the studios away from the foray. If I'm unable to leave the class without extreme judgement (which walking out of an hour's class will most definitely incur), it means I'm guaranteed to bust my butt for those 60 minutes. I've heard lots of people rave about ClassPass and I like the idea of being about to find studios near work and home, plus mix up the Hot Yoga with the BarreCore and Psycle. I'm sure you'll hear how I get on *crosses fingers hoping for no future embarrassing stories to tell*.

Whilst I seem to have taken a strong wellbeing direction with the above challenges for 2017, I haven't totally lost touch with my inner laziness and, to confirm that point, I want to book in some dedicated sofa hours to catch up with "current affairs". 
1) 2017 will be year people stop gawping at me when I say I've never watched a minute of Breaking Bad and didn't make it through the first episode of Game of Thrones. These two series are on my Watch List and hopefully an entertaining comfort through the cold months of the year.

2) Reading books on my travels last year plus discovering the convenience of the Kindle app has re-kindled (excuse the pun) my love of reading. With my trusty supply of recommendations coming in from Elizabeth Ruth, my Book List is literally never-ending! So, my objective for the year is 10 books minimum and it's all about maximising that commute to work for a daily hit of literature. Top of the 'to-read' pile is 'My Best Friend's Life' by Shari Low and 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' by You-Know-Who. Any recommendations out there? 

3) Getting up off the sofa is required for this one and that's to visit an exhibition, gallery or museum every couple of months. There's so much to learn out there and I'm excited to keep my 'explore' mode on. The V&A Museum is one of my fave in London and I've loved their 'Shoes through the Ages' and 'Wedding Dresses through the Ages' over recent years. A fashion steer, yes, but I'd be equally keen to explore the Tudors or Egyptians if the opportunity arose!

The kitchen is one of my favourite rooms in the house. Typically because Mr A is dishing up a delicious meal of an evening (he drew the short-straw marrying this one!). But lo and behold, receiving not one but two sets of aprons this year for Christmas is hint enough and time I take to the oven and bake something edible! When we arrived at our AirBnB in San Francisco our lovely host was just dishing up warm zucchini bread so she's set the bar. I'm hoping to bring back the empanadas recipe from Costa Rica, the incredible homemade tortilla chips and guacamole from Mexico and make sorbet for the first time a la Masterchef! If I can do these few alone it will make Ryan's jaw drop (and hopefully not make him ill!). Plus if we actually had a dinner party where I didn't leave him to do all the cooking (and he left me to do all the socialising) that would certainly be an achievement!

With hoards of beauty chests, drawers, cabinets, wardrobes popping up across Pinterest and Instagram, there really is no excuse for the fact I still use shoe boxes to house all my beauty buys. Whilst they might be organised by eyes, lips and base, it is rather an eyesore atop my dressing table. Time to invest in some Muji-style draw-friendly compartments and be the true definition of 'beautifully organised'.

Learning to contour is also on my list. The thought of it genuinely terrifies me but when I see people that do it (well), it's worth the time taken to learn the art. I'll be calling on my beauty blogger and make-up artist friends for lessons! If you have a contour set you know and love, please share in the comments box below!

Finally, they say blonds really do have more fun and whilst, as a brunette, I've had a cracking couple of years, it's time to get back to my roots (or ombre to be more specific). 


Now the hardest month of the year is done with, I can kick-start these challenges butt! After all, January is no month to be alcohol-free, at the gym or doing a detox, contrary to popular belief.



  1. I can relate to so many of these!! I definitely aim to stay motivated with my gym, I always go through lazy phases but I've been going since the new year now so want to keep at it, I do love me time too :)


    1. Ah thank you so much for reading. Oh wow, that's impressive gym action for 2017 so far! You must share your tips with me!

  2. This is a fab post :) I love the idea of a friend supporting you and keeping you accountable. Plus fizz.
    What type of books do you enjoy? I am full of *all* of the recommendations.
    One of my resolutions this year was to visit an art gallery once a month, keeping on it so far (does the same one twice still count?)
    Cora x


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