Even if you aren’t one to make new year resolutions (I haven’t put any in writing myself this year), no one can deny that January is a great time for new beginnings and adventures (with a fresh diary and calendar to plan them all in!). Here are a few things about January:
After the excess of Christmas I always begin craving salad and water at this time of year (yes, really!). Of course you can eat and drink whatever you want to but if you’re giving Dry January a go (I’ve already “failed” at this by having a drink on New Year’s Day!) then take a look at Alcohol Change for ideas and advice to take part in this month’s booze free challenge. Club Soda is another great community to help you go alcohol free to to practise mindful drinking (which is my aim of the year).
Veganuary gets more and more popular every year. Three years ago after completing Veganuary there was no way I could ever go back to adding dairy and eggs (I was already vegetarian) to my diet again. If you are going Vegan this month sign up to Veganuary for daily advice and to take the pledge. As a”full time vegan” I’m enjoying all the special offers on vegan foods and new vegan foods released in celebration of Veganuary. I’m shocked at the anger and negativity from some non vegans though. I respect other people’s views so wish mine could be respected too (as I eat a Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll!). The Vegan Society have a great VeGuide to help start you on a vegan journey. Check out my vegan recipe blog too.
If like me you’re craving vegetables then cook a soothing soup. I love traditional vegetable soup full of hearty leeks and potatoes but if you’re already all vegetable souped out (surely not possible?) then try a new soup recipe such as (Vegan) bacon, Cabbage and Cannelloni Bean Soup, serve with bread and vegan cheese (also known as Gary!).
Back to School
January means a return to school. We’re going to find it such a struggle getting up early again! It will be nice to get back into a routine though. I need to check all their coats, uniforms, bags and stationery this weekend!
Feed the Birds
You may have noticed that it’s starting to get nippy this winter. Remember to feed the garden birds. The kids have been given a few garden bird inspired Christmas gifts such as a new bird table and bird house to paint and put in our garden. The RSPB Garden Bird Watch takes place from 26th- 28th January so sign up now to get your pack in time. You may like our Hanging Bird Cake Feeders Recipe. January is a lovely time of year to go for a walk and feed the swans (and ducks).
Red Squirrel Appreciation Day
Monday 21st January is Red Squirrel Appreciation Day. Red Squirrels are now only found in certain areas of the UK, which is why The Wildlife Trusts are working to protect and raise awareness of them – and encouraging you to get involved too.
The red squirrel is the only squirrel species native to the UK. But be aware that as red squirrels have disappeared from much of the UK you’ll need to be a in special place to see them. Red squirrels have now retreated to forests in Scotland, Northern England, the Isle of Wight, islands in Poole Harbour, and a few places in Wales and Northern Ireland. Red Squirrel Appreciation Day is all about celebrating and raising awareness for our red squirrels. We saw lots of red squirrels years ago when we took Danny to Centre Parcs in Cumbria. You can see red squirrels in the UK here.
There are lots of ways to get involved, including volunteering, donating or surveying – through coordinated community action there has been an increase in red squirrel numbers in and around these stronghold areas, and together we must ensure that continues. You can adopt a red squirrel here.
See Tim Peake’s Space Craft
Tim Peake’s Spacecraft is at the National Museum Cardiff until 10th February 2019 and I can’t wait to bring our kids to see this important piece of space history. The display of the iconic craft will be accompanied by Space Descent VR supported by Samsung, a unique virtual reality adventure using Samsung Gear VR technology. Take your seat in our exclusive VR lounge to experience the incredible 250 mile journey back to Earth from the ISS in a Soyuz capsule. The seats will even twist and turn to give you the most realistic experience of space travel and it’s narrated by Tim Peake himself. Space Descent VR is available to visitors 13 years and over. Tickets can be bought on the day for £6 per person (the Space Craft exhibition is free).
Richard and Judy Book Club
Years ago (while it was still a part of their TV Show) I used to follow the Richard and Judy Book and always “read along”. Last year I mainly read books passed onto me or sent to me to review. I’ve been itching to walk into a book shop, browse the new paperbacks section and choose some new books to read. While running for a train I spotted a wonderful bundle of books (of which every title appealed to me) available for half price. It was the Winter 2019 Richard and Judy reads. You can buy the bundle of six books including The Woman In The Window, Let Me Lie, Dear Mrs Bird, The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder, The House on Half Moon Street and Love, Iris. I have already read Dear Mrs Bird and The Woman in the Window. I’m currently enjoying Love, Iris. I will write reviews soon and link up to the podcast and discussion forums for each book. Let me know if you’re joining in this book club too!
National Storytelling Week
National Storytelling Week takes place between January 26th to 2nd February. Every year there are hundreds and hundreds of events during National Storytelling week- keep a look out for events in your area.
I’m looking forward to reviewing Jersey Boys at Wales Millennium Centre this month.
The West End phenomenon Jersey Boys returns to the Centre for January 2019, by popular demand.
This smash hit musical has won 55 major awards worldwide, including the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
Jersey Boys tells the true story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs, invented their own unique sound and sold 175 million records worldwide.
Featuring hit after legendary hit including Beggin’, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Oh What a Night, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Bye Bye Baby and Big Girls Don’t Cry, Jersey Boys is a story full of heart, humour and “sheer musical razzmatazz” (The Sunday Express).
Jersey Boys will run from the 16th to 26th January at WMC.
(Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical is still at WMC until 12th January.)
Mary Poppins was released last month but it’s still going strong! My girls are off to watch it again tomorrow with Girl Guides.
This month I’m looking forward to watching “The Favourite” (released 1st January), starring Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone)and Stan and Ollie (which will be released 11th January) starring Steve Coogan, John C Reilly, Shirley Henderson.
Two of my favourite shows are coincidentally releasing their 8th series this month! Call the Midwife will come back to our screens on Sunday January 13th at 8.00pm, BBC1. Coldfeet will return to ITV with six new episodes on Tuesday 8th January 2019. I love cosying up and watching winter TV!