Round-up of 2020!

I thought I would see this awful year out with a bit of positivity. Since starting this blog I've received so much support from friends, family and complete strangers and I'm so happy that the content is just being read let alone actually being liked! So, with that being said, I’m gonna do a round-up of my favourite posts from this year (and give you links so you can go straight to reading them if you see any you like!). 

Let’s get started! 

This was the month of my first ever blog post! I’d been writing a bank of them for about 6 weeks before but the very first one was a monthly favourites. That one post has done pretty well (I think it’s because it’s my first one so people like to see where I started, but I'm so happy it was a monthly favourites as those are one of my favourites to talk about, I just really enjoy being able to share a load of great things with you and maybe shout out some smaller businesses too! 

This month I brought out my “Lockdown Library” where I spoke about everything I’d managed to read in the initial lockdown, I really liked this post as it summed up (kind of like this one) something positive that I managed to do during a pretty negative time. This one moment encouraged me to carry on reading AND to carry on writing up little reviews of books I'm reading whether I enjoyed them or not, because of that, I’m still trying to get through as many books as possible and I was given 7 new books at Christmas so they’ll be plenty more reviews coming your way! 
If your New Year’s resolution is to read more or you just want to start reading as a hobby then maybe have a look through this post and some of my other book reviews, you might see something you like! 

Photo from 12min Blog 

This month saw the BIGGEST travel diary I’ve ever written, all about our huge road trip in America. This was such a big undertaking as I decided to detail each of the 12 days we were there as in-depth as I could, but it was lovely to reminisce on such a special time for us both. If you do get to travel next year and a road trip across the U.S is something you’re thinking about then have a read through our 1200 mile adventure across 3 states, I'm sure it’ll get your wanderlust going! 
I also celebrated my 1st anniversary of being vegetarian in august! This was yet another long post, but just as special, I was really surprised how popular this post was and I was overwhelmed with the positive and supportive feedback I got! If you’re thinking of going veggie then I talk a lot about how simple it was to move away from meat once I realised I was only eating it out of convenience, I hope it might inspire you to adapt your eating habits if it’s something you’re thinking about. 

We’re already into October! I had a lot of fun this month trying out so many different Halloween inspired bakes!
One of those is some delicious pumpkin cookies. October was still a month before I started using seasonal ingredients in baking but technically I started here, using a savoury ingredient (pumpkin) in some sweet AH cookies, I genuinely didn't think pumpkin would work in a sweet dish but these cookies coated in icing sugar are some of the best I've ever had, I’ll definitely be making them next year! 
October was also a fun month for cupcakes! There isn’t too much to say about these Frankenstein cupcakes, except that they were the best thing I got to make during October; they tasted good and looked adorable, what more could you want! 
Finally for this month, I had a bit of a brain dump on my experience of the initial COVID-19 Lockdown. I didn’t want it to be negative, I just wanted something to reflect on when this finally all blows over and have a written memory of what was going through my head. It took a lot of weight off my shoulders to write about not only how I was feeling but how other people were (sub-consciously) making me feel too. 

This month brought a lot of Christmassy, cosy recipes that I think we really needed. My absolute favourite thing baked this month were these reindeer brownies, they were the most adorable thing to come out of my kitchen all year! To make the brownies I used my favourite chocolate, rum and caramel brownie recipe and then decorated them into these adorable reindeer but as cute as they were…they didn't last 5 minutes! 
Obviously, November is all about bonfire night and although we couldn’t celebrate like “normal” this year, I was still able to make these cute and cosy bonfire cupcakes that are just made for a freezing November evening. Although these weren’t perfect I think you get what I was going for, I had a lot of fun putting these together and it was nice to celebrate Bonfire Night in my own way. 

Finally at the end of the year, even with lockdown, it felt like this year dragged and raced through at the same time. This month I obviously wanted to make Christmas inspired dishes so I went for this poached pear and caramel cake, this was a much more “grown-up” cake and I really tried my hardest to make it look as classy as possible. Don’t get me wrong, this cake took a long time and had a lot of different components but I think it looked really good in the end and I learnt a lot doing it! 
One of the last things I made this year was a homemade vanilla extract, it was a bit of a quirky one but I’d like to do a lot more homemade products next year! It was so easy to make the vanilla extract and I'm hoping it’ll really add a huge flavour to next year’s Christmas bakes. I really liked the idea of this small, everyday item being homemade from scratch rather than bought from a supermarket, a lot of you seemed to really like the idea of homemade products too! I’ve seen lots of homemade cleaning ideas that I think I’ll try next year! 

What a year! I honestly didn't think that this blog would make it 3 posts let alone almost 7 months! I’m loving every minute of creating new things and finding new ingredients, the support I’ve received is amazing and it really keeps me going even throughout the constant bad moments this year continues to throw at us. Next year I want to expand the blog with a new logo and if you think it's a good idea, I might start doing little ‘reels’ on Instagram making cocktails and smoothies just to add another element than reading words on a screen!
All that’s left to say is…no matter what 2021 throws at us, we’ve made it this far and we’ll just keep going!

Thank you for the continued support and love, 

Happy New Year,

H x