Mind, Body and Spirit : My New Year Resolutions

We take our New Year resolutions seriously here in the HFTB household.

Mr HFTB tends toward fun resolutions, his resolution to drink more champagne was a particular highlight resulting in a fabulous, lush-tastic champagne drenched year that our friends enjoyed almost as much as we did.

Mmmmmm, champagne, decadent but lovely and if you make it your resolution to drink it, you'll be surprised how many bottles will come your way!

Mmmmmm, champagne

I tend to go toward the slightly more serious resolution, last year my commitment to observe ‘Vegan Mondays’ resulted in a full conversion to veganism just three short weeks later.

This year, I decided to pick a resolution each for mind, body and spirit:

Mind : The Writing Challenge

I love creative writing. Like probably a good 90% of the population, I harbour desires to pen a novel at some stage. What I lack however, is the discipline to actually sit down and write: It’s amazing how slow progress can be when you never put pen to paper.

My resolution is not to write a novel, but to forge the habit of creative writing. Therefore I am going to endeavour to write something creative, every single day. The aim is to average 500 words a day, some days there will be more, some days less, but those words have got to get on that page somehow.

Body : Dry January

I’m not a particularly big drinker anymore, but I am a Friday night drinker. It caught me by surprise when we were doing our Crossfit induction how grumpy I got on a Friday afternoon, knowing that I wasn’t going to have my ‘well earned’ glass of wine (or four) that evening. I don’t like being reliant on things, or being weak willed. So that’s a habit that has to go.

So alcohol is out for the whole of January and will be less prevalent through the remainder of the year to follow.

Spirit : Cherish my friends

I am, officially, a rubbish friend. My friends know this and they’re still friends with me anyway, but I sometimes wonder how much longer they will put up with my total inability to respond to texts and emails, or give them a call, just for the sake of it. I don’t remember their birthdays, their kids’ birthdays, their wedding anniversaries and I rarely see them (oddly enough, I seem to see more of my friends who live further away than those who live on my doorstep).

So this will be the year of careful thought about my friends, I will make an extra effort to remember those important events and to send cards to show I care. I will send random texts, just to let them know I am thinking of them. I may even give them a call!

I love my friends and this is the year that I will let them know.

Now, I know there is a tradition of New Year resolutions being broken, but not for me. In the words of one of my favourite motivational speakers:

‘Do. Or do not. There is no try’

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Yoda : Wise he is
Photo credit : free-extra.com

Happy New Year everybody : I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013.

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Christmas Karma and a Very Berry Smoothie

Right, I believe in sharing and caring and so I am going to share a very valuable lesson with you, in the hope that in doing so, you won’t make the same mistakes that I have.

Here my friends, are three sentences you should never ever utter in the run up to Christmas: 

  1. “Yeah, work’s pretty quiet right now. I think I’m going to have a bit of an easy run into Christmas.”
  2. “Do you know what the best thing about turning vegan is? I just never get ill anymore, I haven’t had a single cold all year, even now, when everyone in the office is dropping like flies.”
  3. “I’m really proud of myself, I used to be so disorganised, but now, well I can’t even remember the last time I lost my purse, and we all remember how often that used to happen.”

Those three sentences are the reason that I spent the last two weeks before Christmas working twelve hour days and marking up documents on my weekend, spent Christmas day drowning in my own snot on the sofa and generally looking like this:

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and why I spent Boxing Day waiting to get my purse back from Central Police Station after dropping it in Tesco’s car park whilst on a mercy dash for Lemsip.

Oh Christmas Karma rocks!

How about you guys? I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas. Despite my whinnying, I actually had a lovely time: any day spent surrounded by family is a good day, even if I am snoring through my swollen nasal canals and they’re taking photos of me (thanks Sis).

Very Berry Smoothie

Its been a while since I’ve dropped on a recipe, so I thought I had better.

Now I know an icey smoothie isn’t a traditional Christmas drink for most people, but the boy and I both have sore throats from all the coughing (did I already mention three times that I had The. Worst. Cold. Ever?) and I feel the need for a lovely vitaminy hit. So if you fancy it, why not try this Very Berry Smoothie which brings back happy memories for me of Christmas spent at Bondi beach a few years ago, mmmmm, 30 degree sunshine!

Its got tinsel, it must be Christmas!

Its got tinsel, it must be Christmas!

Ingredients

Serves : a small army or two greedy guzzlers

  • 50 grams oats
  • 400 grams frozen mixed berries (I used raspberries, cranberries, blackberries and blackcurrants)
  • 500 militres almond milk

Method

  1. Throw the oats in the blender and blend until they are a fine powdery consistency.
  2. Add the fruit and milk and blend until smooth (if you have a sweet tooth, add a dash of sugar – that’s how the boy likes it, but personally, I don’t think it needs it)
  3. Drink and feel better instantly!

Happy Christmas everybody x

There are no words…

I didn’t think it would be appropriate to post without expressing both my utter horror and sorrow at the loss of so many innocent lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday.

In this era of wall to wall news coverage we can sometimes become numb to the tragedies that we see, day in day out, played out across our TV screens. But there will always be stories that, sadly, reach through the shields that we put up.

I wanted to take a moment to express my admiration for those individuals who put themselves in the line of danger, some paying the ultimate price, to protect the children in their care. Whilst I hope that I would, I do not know if I could have been as brave and selfless as you.

I also wanted to express my sorrow for those who will face not just this Christmas, but every Christmas and season to come without their loved ones.

I have taken some time this weekend to appreciate my friends and family and to acknowledge that for so many people, not just those affected by this tragedy, but those affected by the hundreds of tragedies that play out across the world on a daily basis, life is harder than I could ever imagine.

So, if you have a spare moment, hug someone you love and take a minute to appreciate the life we so often take for granted.

Brighton Rocks and Reality Bites….

…. oh I know I’ve been M.I.A. but we just had such a fabulous break that I can’t quite bring myself to apologise!

So as you know, we abandoned our (somewhat ambitious) plans to finish converting our camper van and tour the open roads in a free-spirited-hippy fashion and instead booked ourselves in for a last minute break in Brighton.

Ooooo, moody. I just love the seaside in winter

Ooooo, moody.
I just love the seaside in winter

We stayed at the Kemp Townhouse, this beautiful upmarket B&B is just a short stroll from the beach (less of a concern in the current Baltic conditions) in the wonderfully bohemian Kemp Town area of Brighton.

I loved it from the moment we stepped foot through the front door but the wow factor really kicked in when we found they had placed vegan flapjacks in our room. Then, when the chef proffered specially made vegan pancakes to accompany our vegan full-english, well, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

You had me at vegan flapjack

You had me at vegan flapjack

We had all sorts of high ideals of doing fabulously cultural things, but we ended up spending most of our time scoffing at all the fabulous eateries that had been recommended to us :

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Delicious treats from Infinity, Loving Hut, Iydea, Food for Friends and the Kemp Townhouse

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This series of photos shows us getting ‘cultural’ at Iydea, Food for Friends, Infinity and Loving Hut. A huge thanks to Mark at Herbifit and Violet at Violet’s Vegan Ecomics for your fabulous recommendations

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I like to think that I’ll get round to writing full reviews of all these places, but you know me and my blogging promises by now, so just in case the full reviews are not forthcoming, I would confirm that all of these cafes/restaurants were fab and I would have no hesitation in recommending each of them to all of you.

After three wonderful nights we hit the road for Tiverton (eugh five and a half hours in traffic). We went to Mr HFTB’s cousin’s wedding. Tip for an exciting fun filled wedding : Marry into a family with a wicked sense of humour and a penchant for impromptu performances – I cannot capture in words the absolute delight when mid-way through the ceremony the family led the congregation in an unexpected acapella version of Stand By Your Man.

And now.

Oh now.

Well, now I’ve been back at work for a week and it all seems like a distant dream.

Sigh……….