Sunday, January 31, 2016

January chic list

Hey guys, how is your weekend going so far? I'm signing in on an odd day to update one of my favorite blog series: the highlights of my month. Even if I have to admit that this time, putting together my list was a lot harder than usually.

January was hard. Really hard. After the glorious weeks of Christmas & New Year's farniente, I had the hardest time getting back into the swing of things, and adjusting once again to our crazy work schedule. Then, in mid-January, someone very very close to me had a health scare that left me terrified and worried. I was constantly feeling like I was spinning my wheels, and being pulled in so many different directions, I was unable to find a clarity and focus necessary to move forward. And to top it all off, just last Thursday, I finally mustered the courage to end something that had been eating away at my usual patience, bringing me too much worry and self-doubt. It was both heartbreaking, but also kind of liberating. For the first time in weeks I feel like so much of my brain power has been freed to focus on all the things that truly matter to me!

All in all, I'm not really sad to see January go - quite the contrary. I'm pretty excited about what February has in store, and I'm prepared to take full advantage of its 29 days - anyone else as excited that we get to enjoy one extra day in 2016? I have some great things lined up on my February editorial calendar, but before I explain it all in my tomorrow's post, let us have a look at all the things that made me happy in January. Due to the reasons listed above, it took some serious digging through my iPhone photos and journal entries. But in the end, I managed to find quite a few highlights that made this first month of 2016 more beautiful and enjoyable.

Images via: one // two // three // four // five

So without further ado, in January I was...

...making some huge changes to this blog. This little space of mine has got a major overhaul. Macarons and Pearls were laid to rest, and the red carpet was rolled out for The Charming Avenue, and its new content and focus. I couldn't be happier with the results, and I'm also extremely thankful for all your words of encouragement and kind comments. I really hope this blog will continue to be the source of inspiration to us all.

...buying my first car. After investing in my apartment, buying my own car was the next logical step in my quest for personal independence. And I'm beyond happy to report that this month I've become a proud owner of a lovely little Skoda Fabia. It's the perfect city car - small enough to fit even in the tiniest parking slots, but also lively enough to make my occasional long business trips more enjoyable. I'm already looking forward to all the amazing travels we'll go on together! I think I'm in love :)

...working out daily. Seriously, guys, I haven't missed a single day, which, to me, is really huge. I used to get all excited about exercising, work out for ten days, and then promptly move on to something else. This time however, I'm making conscious effort to put my fitness on top of my list of priorities, and I can already see the positive effects it has on my mood and my energy levels. Cheers to keeping up with my new routine!

...drinking smoothies. Together with my new workout routine, I've also been trying to make more healthy choices when it comes to food and nutrition. And I fell completely under the spell of smoothies. Fruit smoothies, green smoothies, smoothie name it, I love it. I've been experimenting with various kinds of fruit and veggies (persimmon and pomegranate were a huge hit, and on the contrary, mango was the biggest fail) and I'm having so much fun coming up with a different flavor combo for every day!

...listening to Life lately podcast. I've already raved about it here, but I have to repeat myself: if I had to choose just one podcast to listen to till the end of my days, it would be this one. Yes, I'm that hooked. Clara and Brooke are among the most intelligent and inspiring women I have discovered in the blog world, and each and every episode is filled to the brim with thoughtful advice, healthy dose of humor and so much inspiration for your life and career! I just wish there were a new episode every day!

...baking orange cranberry muffins. I haven't baked muffins in forever, and when I finally decided to make them again, I couldn't pick a better recipe than this one. It's seriously the best flavor combo I've tasted this month. I just wish I could have fresh cranberries on hand more often to experiment with them even more.

...journaling daily. This was one of the habits I've wanted to develop for a long time, and I think I've finally found the perfect stride. Each morning, after my stretching and yoga routine, I make myself a cappuccino and sit down with my daily log to record all the highlights and lowlights of the previous day, transferring my random iPhone notes on paper. It's been a fun exercise for my brain, but also an exercise in gratitude, since I always make sure to write down at least three things that I'm grateful for that day.

...reading Divergent trilogy again. I picked it up from my bookcase on a whim, and reread it with a great pleasure, before the last movie in the series comes out later this year. But I have to confess that I still hated the ending, just as the first time I read it. I'm really curious to see how they will spin it in the movie version!

Now it's your turn: tell me about your January highlights! What made you happy? Do spill the beans, I would love to know!

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