For the whole month of January, I ate vegetarian - mainly to prove I could to myself, but also because ethically and personally I have trouble with how much meat gets consumed in my household. My boyfriend is huge compared to me - taller, more muscular, and basically runs on protein from animal meat. I, however, used to be more or less veggie at uni and was eager to see if I felt a big change going back to my old habits for a while.

So I guess I should start there - did I feel a change, and the answer? Yes. Hugely. In short and more flattering words, my digestive system took a while to... adjust. I was suffering with tummy aches and, for want of a more pleasant expression, trapped wind, for the first two weeks of eating no meat. Some days, this would get quite painful, and the tummy gurgling? DNW!

Having said that, I did feel a lot less lethargic, and a lot more HUNGRY. I was absolutely ravenous at mealtimes and this led to me eating more carbs and fats than I probably would have if it wasn't the depths of winter. 3 Cheese pasta and kale, anyone?

Another thing that struck me was how lonely it was, and I say that as a part of a couple and also considering social outings too - basically, if you're the only veggie at the table during a mealtime with more than one person, it can be weirdly alienating. I didn't think this would still be the case in 2017, but the question I got asked the most throughout the month was: 'Why?' - as though I were putting myself through a hardship! That was sometimes irritating, and I know that not being able to share meals as we usually would was a hard adjustment for my partner.

All things considered - would I do it again? Yes, absolutely, I would. The pros outweighed the cons and, as much as I missed meat towards the end, it definitely made me want to cut my intake down to once or twice a week max. So I've put some helpful hints together if you're thinking about going for it yourself - and good luck!

1. IF YOU'RE A LAZY MEAT EATER, YOU'LL BE A LAZY VEGGIE - basically, preparation is key. If you're not a meal planner, it might be time to build that life skill as a habit, because being a lazy vegetarian can get same-y and quite fattening - fast. Bread, pasta, cheese and potatoes can form the base of a lot of convenience veggie meals, so if you're eating out or picking up ready meals a lot, it can be a quick way to gain weight, or get bored. 

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH - if you don't have a solid reason or passion for going veggie, chances are it won't stick. Because even now, even in 2017, it can be hard finding vegetarian options. For example, did you know that some cheeses, like Parmesan, aren't veggie? Which then also rules out a lot of pesto, which is traditionally made with Parmesan. Gelatine is also not veggie, and is included in a lot of desserts. Get passionate and informed about your choice to go veggie and then do the homework on exactly how much this is going to impact your life. 

3. DRAW ON YOUR RESOURCES - chances are you know a vegetarian or vegan friend who probably have an arsenal of good recipes to draw from, or you follow Minimalist Baker, or you've got a pristine copy of Deliciously Ella. There's no need to go out and buy a spiraliser and raid Amazon cookbooks with the word 'Glow' in the title - just ask around, do a little browsing of blogs and Pinterest and you'll have plenty of inspiration to get you started.

4. BABY STEPS - I went a little H.A.M going 0-100 for a whole 31 days with no prior prep. Realistically, if I wanted this to be a longer term change, I should have eased myself into veggie living by slowly cutting down my meat intake in stages. This also probably would have helped out with the whole, uh, gut transition.

5. GET ADVENTUROUS - Here it is - stuffed mushrooms and peppers and mushroom burgers (wtf is that by the way - don't charge me full price for a burger when the 'patty' is just a large mushroom?!) get old. If you're not willing to embrace some more diverse greens, try a chickpea, eat the fried cauliflower - this is going to be a sad ride for you. I loved trying different combinations my friends would recommend and going for things I wouldn't usually - sometimes it failed catastrophically, but mostly I realised how yummy falafel was. Yes, being veggie made me a better Arab.

And that's your lot! Hopefully you find this helpful. Are any of you considering going veggie?

January was a busy month for me that saw me away from home quite a bit for work trips and so on, and whilst exciting trips away help to keep things interesting, the skin on my face definitely is the first place to show fatigue and general travel-associated weariness. As a rule, I try to stick to a morning and evening cleansing routine, even when I'm busiest, every day in winter - the cold and central heating tend to wreak havoc on my skin and dry it out a treat. So when considering what routine to employ and which treatments to carry while I'm away, I want hydrating multi-taskers that are perfectly pocket-sized. Very often space is super limited, so I managed to streamline everything down to these five key products for day and night, which all fit into a handbag just as easily as a rucksack.

First up - my travel-sized cleanser is the Eve Lom cleansing balm - a cleanser which melts down to an oil and really agrees with my parched winter skin. It's deeply hydrating, emulsifies well and doesn't leave any residue on the face. I use it for a daytime or nighttime cleanse - it's the business and my skin is always much softer and plumper after use.

Until my dreams of picking up a travel-sized Pixi Glow Tonic are fulfilled, I'm using this Hydrating Floral Essence from Tata Harper which is light, smells like walking into a really relaxing spa, and doesn't sit awkwardly on the face after spritzing. The write up on this describes it as a moisturiser in itself - I wouldn't go that far, but it's definitely soothing to parched winter skin needing a drink.

My daytime routine concludes here, with REN Evercalm Global Protect Day Cream. This moisturiser is light, but still creamy and luxurious enough to be very hydrating - it leaves my skin plump and glowy and I have 0 problems with that. I gave some to my friend who also suffers with sensitive skin and it worked a treat for her too - if you have skin concerns, this could be a great option for your new daily moisturiser.

On to my evening routine, and my favourite pick of the bunch (and the most well-worn in the picture above) is the Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream - the texture of this might seem a little weird to the touch, but don't let it alarm you. As someone who suffers from itchy, dry eyes (damn you central heating!) in winter, this is the perfect, soothing balm to comfort them. This helps with dark circles under my eyes, cools them down if they're feeling irritated, and helps to repair and heal any broken skin in this delicate area. For those with dry or eczema-prone skin - look this up. It's a pocket-sized saviour.

In lieu of day cream, I use this teeny tiny (and completely adorable) sample size of the Clarins Blue Lotus treatment oil, which really agrees with my skin. It's hydrating, sinks in very quickly and doesn't pool on the skin like some treatments do. In fact, it sinks in so quickly that those who like to really massage oils into the skin might find it a little irritating - my skin just drinks this up! I love it as an overnight treatment and wouldn't hesitate to buy the full size - it really lends a dewy, glowy look to the skin without it just looking artificial.

So there you have it! What makes the cut when you go travelling? Are there any genius pea-sized products I'm missing out on?

I'll be honest - I'm usually all for ~the holidays~ and thoroughly enjoy embracing pretty much everything seasonal and celebratory, but Valentine's Day isn't traditionally one I go crazy for. I love the idea of spoiling the person/people you love and surprising them with thoughtful little 'just because' gifts, but not on a day that someone else decides for me. In my relationship, we try and do more of the regular date night/little every day acts of love type deal, but one thing I've been really into this Valentine's is the idea of loving yourself all day long. Maybe not in a feelin' maself kinda way (although you do you bb), but there's always room for a little pamper time and gentleness, right?

With that in mind, I wanted to talk through some of my faves from the LUSH Valentine's collection - maybe a little gimmicky, but honestly gang - if there's one thing to get excited about, it's limited edition bath bombs. Let's talk bubbles.

First up, a bubble bar practically thrown at me by Jaye - when this girl gets excited about something, I listen. She swears by Unicorn Horn, a reappearance from last year's collection. This candy coloured beauty is bedtime in a bath - neroli oil, mixed with ylang ylang and lavender make this the perfect sleepytime companion. With it's sheeny lustre, it makes your tub look like a little dreamy wonderland, and the lavender steam that fills up your bathroom will guarantee you a relaxing soak. A must-have for anyone struggling to snooze right now - give this a go, on its own, or mixed in with my next pick...

New this year, is Cupid - a bath bomb so freaking adorable and emoji-like that I had to hold myself back from picking up a shedload at once. Violet leaf, rose petals, bergamot and lime oil combine to make this fresh and floral - an uplifting, sweet juicy scent which feels rich and luxurious on the skin - this is a really lovely one for a treat yo-self moment. Please enjoy the gorgeous pink that this turns your bathwater, and proceed to feel like the girliest, most fancy version of yourself.

And finally Lover Lamp - the biggest, most boss-worthy of all of these products. This one is for all my Butterbear and So White lovers out there - dry and sensitive skinned ladies, listen up. Vanilla, cocoa butter and Brazilian orange oil make this one silky smooth, deeply nourishing and softening for the skin, whilst the scent is good enough to eat (but please don't). And those little red hearts? Yeah, those are cocoa butter, and they melt into your bathwater as you soak. Yep. Pure. Cocoa. Butter. Hearts. Race you to checkout.

Have you guys been loving anything lately from Lush? What do you think of their Valentine's Day products? I'm obsessed! Might be time for a cheeky stock up before the 14th...

No, your eyes do not deceive you... This is indeed a vlog, and Sunday videos are back! I've been so eager and excited to bring you some new YouTube content this year and after a super busy January I finally got my shit together enough to sit down and edit together this very relaxed, 'oldschool' style vlog. There's a grocery haul in there, a What I Eat in a Day of sorts, a tiny little Skype cameo from my mum (!!) and some make up brush cleaning - truly riveting stuff, I know. I'm sure future vlogs will be a little more exciting, but some of the videos I enjoy most on YouTube are the every day, hanging out at home ones.

Let me know what you think and if there's any content in particular you'd really like to see on my channel. Enjoy!

And so we find ourselves here, burrowing into 2017 and into the last of winter, somewhere that feels inevitable and altogether unexpected at the same time. I'm still riding on some kind of new year optimism that this year is better than last - I feel energised, more awake, ready to work hard. January was a hugely productive month for me and it looks like it's just the beginning of a hard-working season, which I'm ready for. I find I'm at my best when I'm tackling lots of new projects and staying inspired creatively.

Last month also rounded off 31 days of vegetarianism, which I'll be posting about soon, as well as 31 days straight of yoga. I'm happy to say I didn't give up on either goal (dry January might have encountered some hiccups), and both have helped bring me a sense of grounding and faith in my own determination - I have a feeling I'll be needing to draw on this for the rest of the year. We're all facing a barrage of news, politics - frankly, a hangover of 2016 that won't quit - every single day, and this is the time to be prepared to answer back. So with this sense of purpose, of action, and of steely determination even in the face of setbacks, I invite February in with the hope that I can continue to build on what I've started. I'd like to wish you the same.

SEE: Oscar season is upon us and as a result, my list of compulsory viewing is pretty huge. I'm excited to see Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Fences, and Manchester by the Sea - or try to! As you can imagine, it's going to be an undertaking. I'm also SO happy to announce - I got Hamilton tickets! I'll be seeing Hamilton, squealing my head off, this November. 

LISTEN: I'll be totally honest with you - since seeing it, I've been listening to little but the La La Land soundtrack. The opening number 'Another Day of Sun' has me dancing around my apartment, whilst the total earwig 'City of Stars' has haunted me for weeks after seeing the movie. Dreamy.

GO: Last weekend, we took a trip to the Cotswolds Wildlife Park, came face to face with giraffes and I shit you not, it was the highlight of my year so far. 

EAT: Spoiler alert about my veggie post, but I'm so excited to eat meat again. I had the biggest craving towards the end of last month for a burger, but I'm thinking I'm going to spend my 'meat allowance' (I'm planning on cutting down my intake to once a week) on a smashing Sunday roast at The Perch.

DRINK: I suffered with a little sore throat at the beginning of the month that kinda got into my sinuses and would not quit - luckily work have started stocking Fairtrade Lemony Lemonade in little cans, which got me through the worst few days with its combo of lemon and ginger - yassss.

WEAR: I can't really express how much I love this typewriter bag from Kate Spade. OKAY YES I CAN I BLOODY LOVE IT AND IT MUST BE MINE.

READ: So, so excited to start reading The Muse this month. I keep hearing the little snippets of Jessie Burton reading this on all kinds of podcasts I listen to and I just want to know all the secrets already. 

THINK: WERK. There was no other way to articulate this other than that spelling. I feel like a lot of things really galvanised in January and I just want to keep up the productivity and energy levels to get me through these dark winter days. Time to be industrious, get my head down and work towards a time when I get to enjoy the fruits of my labour (way wayyyy in the future somewhere). 
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