Welcome back to the Sundaze series! And may I take this moment to say I hope you’re currently enjoying a super relaxing first weekend of 2019? I know I certainly am! In fact, I’ve had an incredibly chilled start to the year, just the way I always like it.
I feel like most of this year’s ‘New Year’ sentiments have been fairly similar, but I see that as a positive rather than a ‘not another post of the same’ — it means lots of us are seeing eye to eye and I’m bloomin’ excited for strength in numbers!
As I write this edition of Sundaze, it’s 9:54pm on Saturday and I’ve just got home from dinner with Harvey. We went for an impromptu meal at Frankie & Benny’s because they’ve just launched a new menu with lots of vegetarian and vegan options. You can also get a huge 50% discount if you sign up to the PETA newsletter! (Though let it be documented here that I’m not a massive supporter of PETA’s ethics…) I can confirm the food was delicious and I really liked that the dishes are integrated into the main menu. Will you be trying some of the new dishes for Veganuary?
Anyway, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of this week…
On Thursday I packed up my car with all the essentials (camera, pyjamas, skincare routine, KeepCup and dairy-free chocolate buttons) and drove 225km across the country to visit my best friend at her new pad in Yorkley. It was my first time in the area and I can confirm that Gloucestershire is absolutely beautiful!
The reason? A pre-wedding spa day with the bridesmaids. And a good ol’ gossip to kick-start the year. We enjoyed a cream tea (dark chocolate and orange torte for me #vegan) and a 50-minute treatment each, as well as plenty of time in the pool. I think this needs to become an annual tradition, because I’ve never felt so relaxed in my life! On top of that, we ventured into Gloucester afterwards to wander the city and have dinner in the quays. The perfect girly start to 2019.
In the morning, we woke up, caffeinated ourselves (nope, I did not make any rash decisions to give up coffee, thank you very much), and headed out to walk Ebony’s adorable pup in the Forest of Dean.
Trundling through frost-dusted mud paths, craning our necks up at age-old trees and peeking around trunks for deer, we had so much fun taking in the fresh air and admiring England’s natural beauty.
Can you believe corners of the globe like these are just on our doorstep? 7km and a very long detour later (we got lost!), we made it home for a little fruit break and one last gossip before each making our respective ways home.
New Year musings
I wanted to take a moment or two to say thank you so much to anybody that has messaged me following my first post of the year. It always means the absolute world to hear from you, and even more so to learn that you resonated so much with my goals and plans for the year.
First, my decision to transition to a plant-based diet. It made absolute sense to do so after more than a year vegetarian and a full year of only consuming plant-based milks.
Of course I don’t expect to become well-versed in this at all, so I won’t necessarily be changing my content to include this particular lifestyle change. I’ll be sharing the odd recipe here and there (we nailed our vegan party food over Christmas!) but I won’t really shift the focus of Daisybutter much!
And next, my house news! I can’t wait to document the entire process for you all. The most common question I was asked was whether I plan to share the financial side of things as well as renovations, and of course I do. I’m working on finding a minimal-crass-ness way to be open about how I’ve been able to save for a home. I was also open in my decision to potentially go back to a full-time job whilst I nab that elusive mortgage, but if you’d like me to, I wouldn’t mind sharing a post full of my thoughts in that area.
Alongside that… I created my very own Instagram hashtag! I’ve been planning to launch an Instagram challenge for months but it’s taken me a while to put my finger on something that I was truly passionate about creating content for. #seekjanuarymagic aims to help us all discover the magic in everyday, particularly in January where there is somewhat of a post-Christmas creativity lull amongst us all.
I’ll be sharing 5 of my favourite posts from the hashtag each Sunday, so be sure to join in and use the hashtag so I can see. At the end of the month, my very favourite post will win a little ‘Everyday Magic’ prize bundle!
The UK Blog Awards 2019
Last but certainly not least, I am absolutely over the moon to share that Daisybutter is one of eight finalists in the UK Blog Awards’ Lifestyle category!! All the happy tears. It means the world to have been nominated, never mind in the bloody final. I believe the ceremony is in April and will be live-streamed rather than run as an event which I just LOVE! It makes it a much more inclusive occasion.
You can browse the other finalists and categories on the official UK Blog Awards website.