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January Jollity: Monthly Round-Up

Life Lately: January, is ‘new year, new you’ for many people. We make resolutions, stick to them for a couple of weeks and then often fall back into bad habits…well back in December I started Kayla Itsines exercise guide and I was determined to see it through. If you haven’t heard of her, she’s a personal trainer from Australia who wrote a series of guides and has become famous due to her huge Instagram following and the transformation photos of people using her guides. I have to say, it’s the toughest work out plan I’ve ever done but I love it! I’m now eight weeks in with four weeks left and I’ve seen some great changes in body composition and definition. Kayla’s program is perfect for me as I love getting fitspiration from Instagram and the photos that she posts are so motivational.DSC_7118
And with exercise comes healthy eating and it was rather timely that I was sent a copy of Hungry Healthy Happy by Dannii Martin. I strongly disagree with fad diets and I think moderation is the key. I thought Dannii’s book was ideal in illustrating this idea and she shows you how to create some of your favourite recipes in a healthy way using nutritious substitutions. Who knew that you could make chocolate mousse more creamy using avocado! DSC_7122
The book is divided up to give ideas for all meal times including breakfast, lunch and more hearty meals as well as healthy snacks and drinks. There’s a whole section devoted to one of my all time favourite foods: porridge! DSC_7123 DSC_7128
I also love the idea of using quinoa in sushi if rice makes you bloated, the recipe is super low calorie and I’m looking forward to *attempting* to make it! With beautiful photography throughout, the book is an ideal resource for a healthy lifestyle and the recipes are relatively quick and easy.

Despite (mostly – I did drink in Paris) sticking to dry January I’ve had some fantastic meet ups and events this month and I loved meeting some of my favourite bloggers at Mr Foggs in Mayfair for cocktails / soft drinks for me. I went to a really fab dinner with the CEO of Hamilton Island, to learn more about the current developments on the Island and relive my experience there with their virtual reality head set. The dinner took place at Sexy Fish in the private dining room, which was the perfect setting for a dinner honouring the great Barrier Reef as we sort of felt like we were inside a fish tank. DSC_6872
I wasn’t blown away by Sexy Fish when I went for my birthday but I much preferred it this time and really enjoyed the set menu of seared beef followed by miso salmon. DSC_6876 DSC_6881
It was a really lovely night and it inspired me to write a bit of a throwback post about our trip to Hamilton Island three years ago. DSC_6947
I also spent a sparkling night at the beautiful Connaught Hotel for Hélène Darroze annual Galette des Rois party. I met some of London’s finest foodies as champagne and canapés were passed around before the Galette was brought out to celebrate the festival of Epiphany. IMG_6189
It was a total honour to meet Hélène Darroze herself, chef at the two Michelin-starred restaurant at the Connaught and with restaurants in Paris and Moscow too. And last night I went to the press preview of Frenchie in Covent Garden, it was absolutely incredible and on soft launch tonight and tomorrow with 50% off.

Restaurants of the Month: In London I enjoyed a Michelin-starred Indian feast at Quilon, beautifully presented classic food at Bernardi’s and top notch sushi at NobuDSC_4028-2
The restaurant of the month has to be the wonderful Alain Ducasse au Plaze Athéneé, a totally incredible meal for our five year anniversary at our favourite hotel in Paris. We also enjoyed more rustic Parisian fare at Benoit and a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower from Les OmbresDSC_6414
Travel: Our trip to Paris staying at Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal and Le Meurice was absolutely beautiful and the perfect way to celebrate five years together. We had a really fun tour around Paris which also involved drinking champagne and eating macarons…which are both always a good idea…DSC_6360
I also really enjoyed writing about my FOMO and I was glad to see I’m not the only total weirdo that worries too much about not seeing and trying everything while travelling. Also if you happen to be heading to Las Vegas anytime soon check out my top tips for romance in Sin City. Coming up I’ve got a little special trip at the beginning of February which I’m really excited about and I’m making a few plans for our weekend in Cornwall in March.

Blog Love: A super useful post from Josie on how to start a blog and grow a following and I’m incredibly envious of her beautiful Instagram pictures of her trips to Costa Rica! Also check Kiki’s wonderful blog, Unlocking Kiki, it’s pretty much half the reason I want to visit Iceland – her pictures of her adopted home country are just beyond beautiful. Kiki is also this month’s co-host for our travel link up, running 1st – 7th February, the theme is something you love and you can pretty much write about anything – a person, a country, your favourite jumper or the best breakfast you’ve ever had. Just add your post to the widget on Emma, Jessi’s, Kiki’s or my blog from the 1st.

And on Instagram I’m basically obsessed with Kayla Itsines