Happy New Year! Who else is stoked that we got through 2020?! I definitely am. And now, I have my first blog post of the year, as well as first post of the month. And it’s my classic first week of the month post, wrapping up last month and giving a highlight of what’s happening in January for me.
So let’s dive right in with the top 3 best and worst parts of December, followed by some January excitement and local love.
December Top 3 Best.
- The best thing for sure in December was having a two week break from school. It was nice to rest, relax and get a reset before 2021.
- Nick and I are both fortunate to have our parents in Halifax, so we were happy to spend some extended quality time with them over the holidays.
- We tried some delicious local restaurants, like Morris East and Casablanca, in December. I can’t wait to go back and try more from both of their menus!
I know it’s Top 3 Best, but I wanted to add how fun it was to participate in a few initiatives, like Christmas Music 4 Local Business and 12 Days of Local, supporting local businesses this past month! I learned about some great local businesses in Halifax, and got to work with some awesome people in our little city. So that was fun and I’m hoping to do more of those this year.
December Top 3 Worst.
- If you’re a student or a recent grad, I’m sure you can relate to the end of semester stress. The grind of all the final projects and exams is real, so I am definitely happy to be past that now.
- This is probably relatable for a lot of people, but my sister in NB couldn’t come home for the holidays due to the quarantine rules there. That being said, technology is amazing so we still got to spend some virtual time together on Christmas Day.
- Clearly it wasn’t a bad December for me, because the only other “worst” thing I can think of is that we had a green Christmas! Love a good snowfall on Christmas Day, but it wasn’t in the cards this year.
Now, let’s talk about what’s up for January 2021!
1. What I’ve been up to.
The last two weeks, I’ve been spending winter break with close family celebrating Christmas. Overall, we didn’t do a whole lot aside from eating and hanging around with our fam, but somehow it felt busy and time absolutely flew by!
As nice as the break is, by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around, I am always ready to get back on track and into routine (I guess that’s the Taurus in me?). So this last weekend, Nick and I planned some meals for the week, tidied up the apartment and got some nice walks and lazy mornings in before Monday.
Nick’s back to work this week, but I still have another week off until my classes start; however, I’m trying to get back on schedule by getting up early again and getting chores and errands done. I find it’s easier to get back on track with work or school if I ease my way in, so that’s what I’m trying to do. A lot easier this year when classes don’t start for a full week after the holidays!
2. What I’m eating this week.
Now that it’s January, this week is all about hardy, cozy meals for winter, as well as food on the healthier side. For lunches, we prepared a big batch of chickpea salad. A couple years ago, we got an Instant Pot, which makes it super easy to cook dried chickpeas (our preference over canned), so they’re very popular in our house. We also recently discovered artichoke hearts… definitely recommend adding a few of those if you want to spice up your chickpea salad. Delicious secret ingredient!
Another fun chickpea dish that we will probably make later this week is a chickpea salad sandwich in a wrap. I got the recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook. It’s similar to an egg salad sandwich, but with mashed or ground up chickpeas… AMAZING. And filling.
For dinners, we’re getting into soups, curries, chilis. I made a yummy sweet potato and chicken curry to eat with rice for a couple dinners this week (all about the big batches). And for the second part of the week, my plan is to make a hardy sausage and white bean soup using Beyond Meat sausages. Both the curry and soup recipes are from Yum & Yummer, my all time favourite cookbook.
And normally at least one meal a week is takeout, so we’re thinking Brooklyn Warehouse this week. Last month, I won an Instagram contest with Taste of NS, and received a couple restaurant gift certificates, including one for Brooklyn Warehouse. So that’s what we’re thinking on Thursday night this week… so excited!
3. What I’m loving.
SO. MUCH. I am loving a lot right now. First of all – and I will probably feel differently in a month – I’m loving the cold weather for all the fun winter activities we get to do! Nick and I got snowshoes for Christmas, so I am excited for a little bit of snow to test those babies out. I’m also going for my first skate today at the Emera Oval, which opened this week, so I’m happy to get out on the ice again.
There are also a few local products I’m loving right now. Nick gave me oatmeal tapered joggers from Ana and Zac, a boutique in the north end of Halifax. I have been living in the joggers over the holidays, and plan on living in them throughout the winter during my school semester from home. I also now want all of the comfy Ana and Zac basics in my wardrobe.
The other product I love is an olive scoop I bought from Liquid Gold as a gift for Nick over the holidays. We always have olives and pickled things in our fridge, and this little gadget is awesome for effectively getting them out of jars without using hands or awkwardly sticking a fork to the bottom of a tall jar. I thought it was such an awesome gift that I gave it to two other people as well! Definitely one of my favourite kitchen gadgets right now.
4. What I’m looking forward to.
This month, I’m excited to get back into the Halifax Brewery Market boxes! If you don’t know about them, the Brewery Market does weekly boxes of local, in-season produce (and sometimes bread) for pick-up or delivery on Saturdays. Nick and I ordered them weekly once they were available last year, and they really got us out of our comfort zone with cooking. I am also loving how easy they make cooking and eating in-season. So I’m excited to pick up our first box of the year this Saturday.
The other fun thing this month is that my dad and Nick’s dad both celebrate their birthdays! It’s actually really nice to have something to celebrate during the winter months, instead of just feeling blah after the excitement of the holidays. So looking forward to more good family time (and hopefully good food too!).
Finally, our apartment is still relatively new to us, so we’re working on making it super cozy for the winter. We got some Circle & Wick soy candles (poured in Halifax) recently, and we’re waiting on some cozy throw blankets and pillows to arrive for the couch. Nothing makes a place super cozy like throw blankets amirite. So yes, I’m very excited about some small apartment updates this month.
5. What I’m not looking forward to.
I love my school program, but it’s so hard getting back into the routine of homework after a few weeks off. So while I’m looking forward to school again and my new classes, I’m not looking forward to that ongoing feeling of “I could always do MORE reading or homework”. Makes it hard to relax for a few straight months haha.
6. What I’m trying to change.
January is such a good time to reset and make some changes! I am working on a few changes this month:
- Daily yoga or stretching. I love yoga, but haven’t done of lot of it since moving back to Halifax last fall. So I want to integrate it more into my daily routine. This month, I’m starting that habit by doing Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day yoga journey on YouTube. It’s really good and I never regret spending the time on it afterwards.
- Support local! I’ve been trying to support local more since last fall, so this is more of a continuation of making it a habit in my daily life and choices. There was a lot of hype around supporting local before the holidays, but I want to make sure it’s a year round thing that I do as well.
- Eating in-season. There are a lot of delicious fruits and veg that are not in-season for most of the year (if at all) in NS, so I probably won’t eat completely in-season; however, I’m hoping to continue ordering the Brewery Market box weekly so that the majority of produce I’m consuming is in-season… tastes so much better anyway!
- Meal planning. I hate the feeling of not knowing what to cook, so I’m trying to get in the habit of consistently meal planning this month.
7. What I’m watching.
Ending on a light note! Nick and I are super slow at watching TV – normally he falls asleep or we only have time to watch one episode of something per day – but we’re working through some good stuff right now:
- We’re currently halfway through Soul, the latest Pixar movie on Disney +. It’s really cute so far and tackles some tough issues for a kids’ movie!
- Still working on the latest season of Big Mouth on Netflix. I really like some of the issues they’re addressing this season, and it’s pretty funny. It is a bit grosser than normal though, so don’t watch while eating dinner.
- Nick and I just finished WW84 (Wonder Woman 1984) and it was okay. I really liked the first WW movie with Gal Gadot, but this one was a bit confusing so I wasn’t into it as much.
- We also watched Death to 2020 (Netflix) on January 1, and it was a super funny and cathartic wrap up of the last year. I recommend this for sure if you haven’t watched it yet; such a clever way to summarize how ridiculous 2020 was.
- A couple shows we’re hoping to start are Bridgerton and The Undoing. Getting on the hype train with those for sure!
So that’s a little look at what’s happening this January! I’m hoping it’ll be a good month for all of us, even if it’s a dark and cold one. And with this blog, I feel even more motivated to get out and explore, and make the most out of our corner on the east coast. Hopefully you do too!
P.S. What are you looking forward to this month? Share in the comments below!