#JanuaryJoy – Make something crafty

Today’s post has been somewhat thwarted by the weather. Each #JanuaryJoy prompt was designed to get me to tackle some of the things I love spending time on but so often get overlooked for life’s mundane tasks. With all good intentions I had my craft supplies at the ready this weekend then was unable to get outside due to snow to do my spray painting and start today’s crafty experiment. But I thought I would share what I was planning anyway and make some suggestions for what you might embark upon.


Image Credit: Up in the Air Somewhere

If you have ever been on Pinterest, you must have seen this beautiful handmade gold stripe tray. Made by ceramics design store Up in the Air Somewhere on Etsy, it satisfies all my design lust and current love affair with rich glamorous gold. So I decided I would make my own.

Initially I planned to buy some clay and make its exact likeness, but not only is that time consuming, but it is also ripping off somebody else’s design. Whilst somebody may choose to do that in the privacy of their own home, I don’t want to encourage it here. I also wanted to keep the cost down, or I may as well buy the coveted ceramic tray, so I bought a simple (purple incidentally,) rectangular tray with handles cut out of the sides from Home Sense, (very similar in shape to this one.) I have worked with gold leaf before, so have a bit of a head start as it can be fiddly, but my plan is to spray paint the tray high gloss white and then tape on the striped pattern and gold leaf the exposed surface on the base of the tray’s interior before removing the tape to expose the pattern and sealing with a varnish.

If you fancy doing the same thing, a quick scout around the internet found me several tutorials of how other people have interpreted the design:

1. This one uses high shine gold tape to get the same effect
2. Use liquid leaf on a ceramic tray for an easy way of getting the glow of gold leaf.
3. The easiest way would be to use spray on gold paint like this (also simpler) design.
4. Or if you’re feeling wild, how about an animal print look?

Do you need a craft project?

Tell me, what will you be turning your hand to this January for a hit of creativity? Inspire me readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS, I’m also planning on making initialed or monogrammed thank you cards with my embossing tool. 🙂

#JanuaryJoy – Try a Veggie Day

I’ve never been a vegetarian and a rare steak would be among my favourite meal choices. Couple that with a husband who LOVES his meat and veggie days are few and far between in my house.

There are a lot of benefits to trying a vegetarian day or week though. You’ve got the obvious positives of packing more of your five a day in and if you stay away from cheese as a meat substitute, you’re often going to end up with a healthier, lower fat meal too. If you want to save a few pennies this January, you can bring down the shopping bill when you don’t have to spend money on decent cuts of meat. So for all of those reasons and simply for the sake of variety in our usual meal repertoire, I thought it would be fun to explore some vegetarian recipes.

Pasta recipes often get a bad reputation for seeming student-y, but I think this one strikes the balance between fast simple food and elegant complex (if rustic) flavours. Plus it has the added benefit of being one of those dishes that you can always knock up with store cupboard ingredients. Taken from a Christmas gift we received, Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course it’s a great week-night meal.

Pasta with tomatoes, anchovy and chillies. (Serves 4)
400g dried spaghetti
Olive oil, for frying and drizzling
2-3 galric cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 dried red chilli, crumbled.
1 x 50g tin anchovies in oil, drained and finely chopped
200g pitted black olives, roughly chopped
3 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
Seasoning and basil leaves to garnish.

  • Cook the pasta until al dente
  • Heat a frying pan with some olive oil and fry the chilli, anchovies and garlic for 1-2 minutes until the anchovy starts to melt into the oil
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir for another 4-5 minutes until the tomatoes collapse and the ingredients are well combined.
  • Drain the pasta and toss into the pan with the sauce. Toss until the sauce coats the pasta. Season to taste and serve topped with basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Do you try to eat vegetarian food regularly and why? Have you got a favourite veggie dish that you make?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#JanuaryJoy – Family Planning

A while back, following one of the medical posts I have written, a reader who shall remain nameless 😉 wrote to me and asked me to do a pre-conception post. I think a lot of women skip that pre-natal trip to the GP to ask advice before they get pregnant as so much is freely available on the internet and they feel they might be wasting our time. In fact nothing is more important than staying healthy and never more so than when creating a new life.


Image Credit: Baby Space

This isn’t intended to freak anybody out, nor to make those who simply got on with it and got pregnant feel bad. I figured that 2013 might well be the year that many of you have decided will be the year you’ll try to get pregnant, so thought this might be useful to stash away and read when the time comes. I won’t be covering getting pregnant as if you’re struggling that’s definitely one for your GP, and if you’re not then, well, I guess you knew what to do 😉

So here’s my check list of things to think about both from a health and sensible point of view.

1. Take Folic Acid
Number One on any pre-conception list has to be Folic Acid. Taking 400mcg of Folic Acid daily from the day you decide to start trying (all pregnancy vitamins contain the correct amount, or you can buy it alone,) will help prevent neural tube defects, or Spina Bifida. You might not think it’s important, but Scotland saw a nasty rise in Spina Bifida births in recent years when folic acid usage took a dip. The neural tube is the part of the baby that forms the spinal cord and surrounding structures and as the foetus develops it arises from the cells folding around the developing cord. This takes place from conception to 12 weeks, and if it doesn’t happen properly can cause problems below the level of the defect (with the bladder, bowels or legs for example) and babies born with deformities in their back. All these things can often be corrected but prevention is better than cure, especially as most people don’t know they’re pregnant until 4-6 weeks. It’s never too late to start taking folic acid if you find out you’re pregnant and haven’t been taking it, but it’s better even if you think there’s an outside chance of an accident happening to be covered all the same. (NB! Women with some conditions such as epilepsy are recommended to take a higher dose of 5mg daily – check with your GP if you are unsure.)

Now we have covered my number one issue, onto the other stuff.

2. Get in shape.
To give yourself the best possible chance of pregnancy you need to be fit and healthy, which also gives you a head start on enjoying your pregnancy. If you’re overweight, think about trying to shift a few pounds as obesity makes a pregnancy higher risk and can affect your chances of getting pregnant in the first place too. Whether you stop drinking entirely is up to you, but reducing your alcohol intake to an occasional glass won’t hurt and if you smoke it goes without saying, just stop.

3. Review your medications.
Plenty of medications are fine to take in pregnancy and often we have to weigh up the pro’s of mum being happy and healthy against the possible risks to the baby, but some are not, including anti-depressants, anti-epileptics and acne treatments. Unsurprisingly there is always a lack of evidence for drug use in pregnancy as nobody tests drugs on pregnant women, so the advice will often be to stop if you can. In the case of essential drugs however like anti-epileptics, it’s often just a matter of switching to a baby friendly variety in good time before you get pregnant. Diabetics should also see their GP prior to trying to concieve.

4. Get your cervical smear.
You can’t have a smear early, (and don’t forget you’re due one every three years from the age of 25,) but you also can’t have one when you’re pregnant, or for 3 months after having a baby as the cells the test samples are different due to the hormones of pregnancy. If you’re trying and a reminder comes through, don’t delay!

5. Lastly, check you are up to date with your jabs.
Once pregnant you will be offered (correct at time of posting, Jan 2013,) a flu jab and whooping cough vaccine. However your immune system is slightly suppressed whilst pregnant and catching some diseases like rubella or measles can seriously damage an unborn baby. We’re seeing a big risk in incidence of these diseases due to the fear over MMR vaccines some years ago now. If you aren’t sure if you have been vaccinated, check with your GP and get up to date.

One last thing. You may not be ready to try for a baby yet but if it’s on the cards in the next few years you might want to re-think your contraceptive choices. Especially if you’re a little older, it pays to be able to start trying as soon as possible from when you discontinue your chosen contraceptive, so you want one that’s immediately reversible rather than taking ages for your fertility to return. The main one to watch out for is the Depo Provera contraceptive injection. This can take several months to fully leave the system before your fertility comes back and you start ovulating again, so I don’t recommend it for women thinking of having a family in the next 12-24 months, or even between babies, unless you’re happy to deal with a long wait. When coming off the pill your periods can take a few months to settle into a normal pattern but it’s not a widely recognised problem. The coil, Mirena or IUS and implant are all immediately reversible.

Do let me know if this was useful and of course, remember, reading this is no substitute for a chat with your GP – we really enjoy seeing people for chats like this – it’s our job! Now I’d love to hear if any of you have been thinking about getting ready for trying, or if you’re already a mum or pregnant, how did you prepare? (Feel free to write anonymously if you want to stay private.)

Happy weekend readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#JanuaryJoy – Have a Good Hair day

Surely there are few feelings better in life than the pleasure that comes from the knowledge that you are having a supremely good hair day. For me, a good hair day takes time spent blow drying my hair, time that I am often too lazy, or lacking in patience to spend. That’s crazy right? That something so small and that can give me great pleasure and confidence is something that I simply don’t prioritise, for the sake of 15 minutes. A lot of #JanuaryJoy is about taking pleasure in the little things and making the best of every moment. So today is totally superficial and focusing on your hair.


Image via Refinery29

So here is my list of ways to make your hair your crowning glory this January and get a bit of that glow that comes with a good hair day. Maybe the hair cut has to wait for pay day, but some of these are simply everyday pieces of happy.

1. Master a new plait. This one’s not just for the long haired lovelies out there. I keep meaning to try this one for short hair myself. If you do have long hair though, how about trying a fishtail braid? This video tutorial is the best I have seen yet.


Plaits for short hair from The Beauty Department

2. Try a new colour. If I could choose any hair, I’d love a firey red shade like Rachelle LeFevre. (I wouldn’t say no to the curls either!) Unfortunately red hair doesn’t work with my skin tone at all and I’ve had my fair share of goth looking disaster outcomes trying to enrich my natural shade of brown that ended up too dark. Instead I’ll be trying a wash-in-wash-out colour in my natural shade for added sparkle and shine.

3. Learn how to curl your hair. I have a theory on this. I was never one of those girls who spent ages trying to curl or plait or style their hair as a teenager and I’m sure that’s why I can’t do it now. Teenagers have the time and the inclination to perfect a certain style and I know if I just set aside a little time to practice my curls, I could nail the look. This is so going on my personal January Joy list. Nail that curl. If anybody has any tips, I would love to hear them!


Waterfall Braid tutorial from OnceWed

4. Work a new style. Last year I tried this ‘waterfall braid’. (I know, braid is an American word, it just doesn’t sound the same if you say ‘waterfall plait’.) Or how about this easy up-do?

5. It’s a simple one, but book a hair cut. I am the worst person at doing this. I procrastinate, don’t make time and for at least 4 weeks out of every twelve I am frustrated that my hair won’t do what it should, and end up tying it up. My hair grows ridiculously fast so it’s partly not my fault, but getting it cut, making those ends smooth, getting it back into shape and looking so much healthier, brings that good hair day a little closer. 😉

So then readers, let’s hear it. Which of the above are you doing? Have you got a hair style that remains your nemesis and you would like to master, or a tip for me? Or are you going all out and getting a big chop or changing your colour? (Leave a link in the comments if there’s a picture you want to share!)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#JanuaryJoy – Make a Budget or Savings plan.


Image via Who What Wear

When I was growing up one of my abiding memories is of my mum checking off receipts against a pile of bank statements. Aways a big list maker, every penny in her bank account was accounted for as it went out and double checked. I always thought it was funny but joking aside, my approach to money couldn’t have been more different to my Mum’s. A child of the credit years I sailed through uni living in overdrafts and student loans, which might as well have been monopoly money. When I finally graduated aged 24 and started work I was incredibly fortunate to have a well paid job and progress through the ranks that saw my salary rise. It wasn’t without hard work of course, but the old adage work hard, play hard could well have been written about junior doctors. Of course there were times that I made budgets, but it was always more of a retrospective activity and an eye opener as to how much I was spending.

However, there have been periods in my life where I have saved, and saved hard, when we bought our house and the most notable being prior to our wedding. At the time we decided we wanted to save a certain amount, worked out how much that was and divided it month by month between the two of us. We managed it but fell back into bad habits after the enforced saving pre-wedding and a few months of treating ourselves turned into years.

Back in July, I wrote the post Dutch no More, where I shared Pete and my financial plans to go fully ‘joint’ in the banking department to try and save money towards our next move. There were 65 comments from those of you reading sharing your own financial arrangements and a few of you asked for a future update on how it went for us. 6 months on I thought it was time to recap.

When we started out, I don’t mind admitting was worried. I was worried we wouldn’t have enough in one account to cover both of our outgoings and our new financially savvy life would be austere and devoid of fun. I got my joint account card and didn’t want to use it. I suddenly felt so much more responsible for my money and accountable for where it had gone. In reality Pete doesn’t tell me what I can or can’t spend and when I have come home with shopping bags thankfully he’s good humoured about it. Those shopping bags are definitely fewer and farther between however. Everything I spend I think twice about and fripperies I might have splashed some extra cash on often go unpurchased. I do think this is in part because of the mental investment I have made in what we’re trying to do, how much I want the next house we’re saving for. The biggest adjustment has been remebering that his account (which we now live off) is not ‘his’ money, but ‘ours’, no more than the money that earn and save is ‘mine’. I joke about shopping bags but Pete reminds me that where I may spend more on clothes, his car costs a lot more than mine to run and maintain, so it all balances out.

It has been surprisingly easy to get used to shake off that feeling of spending somebody else’s money and the most rewarding thing has been that talking about money, previously something we took care of individually, has become a part of our relationship. It’s another element to the best feeling that marriage brings. That feeling that you’re in it together and we’re working towards our future together. And I’m pleased to report our bank balance has never looked healthier so it’s working too. More than anything I’m glad we did this before we had a family. I now have the confidence to know we can manage without my salary and it will be one less adjustment to make if and when the time comes.

Now it’s your turn readers. Did my post 6 months ago inspire you to change anything about your finances or are you, like we are, saving for something inspiring?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. I have concentrated on saving here as that is most relevant to me at the moment but if you’re thinking of making a budget definitely head over and read this brilliant article by Sarah on Any Other Woman.

#JanuaryJoy – Manicure Monday

You all know how I love my nails and I’m a big DIY manicure fan. I always keep my eyes peeled for the latest trends although I leave it to the beauty bloggers to find them and pick them out on Pinterest ;). Over Christmas I was all about the glitter, wearing a festive ruby red glitter shade by Essie and so far this January I’ve gone for a mixed metallics look of silver solid glitter topped by big gold confetti glitter – super sparkly. However much I’m loving glitter though, my nails and patience are not. Taking it off is the biggest waste of time and so unkind to your nails, so I’ve been looking for something to satisfy my sparkle craving with a ton of shine that you only get from a block colour polish.

Enter the crescent moon manicure or silhouette nail.

First spotted on Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2012 show, it was the Chanel Fall 2012 Couture show where this look got snapped by the paps. I love the metallic sparkle hit whilst keeping the nail art subtle 🙂

Sure, flashy nails are never going to change the world, but sometimes changing your mood and brightening your day is as good as it gets. Share your #ManicureMonday by tweeting me a picture (don’t forget the #JanuaryJoy tag too) and let me know if you’ll be trying this at home.

How To:

  1. Start with clean filed nails and your choice of base coat. (I use Leighton Denny Under Cover Base Coat)
  2. Apply one coat of your chosen metallic shade. Make sure you choose a polish that is dense enough with one coat or you will need two. Apply right to the edge of the nail bed and sides of the nail.
  3. Next apply your main shade (Choose a flat, non metallic shade for the best contrast.) leaving a 2mm gap at the nail bed. Taper the colour out towards the sides so by the time you reach the nail tip the colour covers the whole width of the nail. Tip: Using a polish that has a wide brush like Essie or Rimmel makes this technique a lot easier.
  4. Apply a second layer of your top shade taking care to stay within the shape you have created.
  5. Seal with a generous coat of topcoat, making sure to extend right to the sides of the nail and to the cuticle to sandwich your nail art between base and top coat, for extra durability.
  6. If you have any, finish with Leighton Denny Miracle Drops Nail Polish Dryer to reduce drying time and smudges. Tip: If you’re a bit wobbly applying nail colour and have painted your finger when extending the polish right to the edges, use a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover to tidy the edges up and give a professional finish.

I hope you like the effect – every time I catch a flash of gold from mine it makes me smile. 🙂 And it just goes to show, you don’t meed a pro-manicure for your nails to look good and give you some #JanuaryJoy. (If you do happen to have a bit of spare cash and feel in need of a treat however, I’d fully recommend going and putting your feet up with a magazine whilst getting a pedicure this Monday!)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#JanuaryJoy – Go to the Cinema


Image Credit: Make a DIY vintage Movie sign on Oh Happy Day

I’m super excited today as today’s #JanuaryJoy prompt was one of the first to go onto the calendar way back in early December when I started planning this series. The instant I saw the trailer for Les Miserables, I knew I’d be making a bee-line straight for the cinema to watch it on the big screen.

I know it’s a cliche but there’s something magical about the movies. My favourite types of film to see are those with sweeping theatrical productions, Baz Luhrmann and his surreal style being amongst my favourites. I’m not a ‘Les Mis’ fan and *hangs head in shame* had never seen it on the stage because I thought it might be, well, miserable? Having seen the trailer however, although I know it’s going to be sad, (no spoilers please!) I’m totally sucked in by the drama already.

I love seeing films I can get lost in, transported to another time or place and that pull at my heart strings. I’m pretty sure the Les Miserables film is going to fit the bill.

Are you going readers? Are you excited? I can’t wait. For the first time in my life I have booked the Premiere seats!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#JanuaryJoy – Plan a trip

Last year was Pete’s 30th and as part of that I planned a weekend away at the end of January to The Drawing Room in the Elan Valley (just click the links to read more.) I’ve heard people say in the past that having something to look forward to in January helps you to get through the month and last year it was such a pick me up that we’ve decided to do the same again.

Even if you don’t go away in January, just looking for and planning a trip is fun and helps take your mind off the dreary weather. As we’re heading into mid January now and even I am feeling a trace of the blues, it’s definitely time to start planning and bring back the #JanuaryJoy!


Image credit

I was going to tell you about one of my recent trips today, but thought I would save that for February. Instead I’m going to share my travel plans for the year and who knows, I might be reflecting back on that in another 12 months. This New Year’s eve, Pete pulled out a dog-eared bit of paper he had found on which we had written our travel plans for 2012. We had listed the months and filled in all the things we already had planned, like friends weddings and then pencilled in a few trips we wanted to take. Our plans included the trip we took to The Drawing Room, Yosemite and Vegas, and skiing, all of which we managed. We were dreaming big and also listed trips to Mexico to see the ruins, a South Africa/Safari trip and a mini break in Madrid that didn’t get done. It was fun to look back and see what we did but I also felt a bit disappointed that we hadn’t planned those bigger trips.

So this year we have our annual ski-ing trip planned, and the getaway I mentioned at the end of the month. We have a family trip planned in Cornwall in August and the potential for a trip to Spain in May. That’s three weeks holiday gone already and I’m no closer to planning a life-list trip. Right now I’m all about the trips that children in future may make difficult (if only for the short term.) I’ve been enthralled by Africa on TV this last week and always wanted to see big cats up close, so this year’s goal is to plan a trip to Africa. I want to see South Africa, go on safari and explore what looks like a naturally stunning country. I’d love to hear any tips or recommendations you have?

So, what are your travel plans this year and are you planning any trips right now? Do you have a fail safe January pick-me-up?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS If you are looking for a recommended weekend break closer to home…

#JanuaryJoy – Try a new Exercise class

There are a few things that are traditional to January… healthy eating, trying to lose weight after Christmas excesses and most of us feel compelled to try and get fit again. Last January saw me starting BMF classes – in fact my first class was on the third of January 2012. At the time I was looking for a cost effective way of exercising that I could do outside and that I would enjoy. Pete plays football 2-3 times a week and I wanted to ditch the gym as I was never going, but I couldn’t vouch for my safety running alone at night, or my motivation to keep it up.


Image Credit

I totally got the bug and although there were times I let it slip for a week or two, or weeks when I was on holiday, I managed to attend over 60 classes last year and that’s even despite the fact I barely went in November and December. For those of you who don’t know much about it, it’s group exercise outdoors, in all weather, at parks across the UK – near cities where it’s hard to exercise outside. You don’t have to be a fitness guru to attend and it’s not at all sadistic. Instructors are all ex-military and amongst the most supportive and motivational people I have met – they really know how to make you keep going. Classes are intense but as a result they go really quickly, and the effort you make starts to pay off really fast, spurring you on further. If you would like to read more about my experience of British Military Fitness, you can click through here – it’s no-where near as scary as it sounds! And if you fancy having a go, try a free class!

This year, I have a different fitness objective. 2012 was all about getting physically fit, strong, increasing my resistance and stamina. In 2013, I’m aiming for a more holistic approach. I’m keeping up my BMF classes but I’m going to add in some Yoga classes. This is partly a need – I’ve never been particularly bendy, but the strength work at BMF means I am permanently tight. It’s about more than fitness though. Yoga is something I have dipped in and out of for years with several longer spells of regular classes. I know enough Astanga yoga now to be able to run through a short sequence by memory and I’m always left with the most incredible feeling of well being.

Last year was busy and stressful at times, I certainly didn’t get much time for reflection or quiet contemplation. In short, there wasn’t much ‘me time’. So this year I’m going to try and attend a yoga class here and there, but more frequently to practise at home – I have a brilliant DVD Jayne Middlemiss: Love Yoga (don’t be put off by Jayne Middlemiss – she just does the yoga in the background!) which has 2 workouts for different levels of experience and my goal is to work up to the harder one this year.

Now it’s over to you… have you any plans to improve your fitness or goals you want to achieve? Or will you be looking for a more holistic approach like me this year?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#JanuaryJoy – Try some new Music

Good morning! Today’s #JanuaryJoy prompt holds a special place in my heart because it embodies the reason I asked Penny to write a monthly music post here on Florence Finds. I love music but I’m not the first off the blocks when it comes to finding new stuff and there’s even less chance of that now I’m a certified Radio 2 listener. Last year I bought Emile Sande (recommended by Penny last March,) Alabama Shakes (May), and Taylor Swift (from November) as my Musical Discoveries. So this year I’m excited to set ten minutes aside and listen to Penny’s recommendations each month. After all, who doesn’t love the feeling of being ahead of the trends?!


Image Credit

Happy new year Findettes! 2013 is going to be a musical blinder (is that a deafer? No matter) with a gajillion amazing things for you to cry/laugh/sing/vomit technicolor rainbows after drinking half a bottle of Lidl brand Malibu then dance about like a loon to. You will be delighted and relieved to know I have listened to some of these hotly recommended acts. Most of them were pretty dreadful, but this lot are not. In fact, they look a lot like they might be going places:

Haim

Haim are three sisters from California who are being hyped to the point of grossness by the music press at the moment, and are being labelled as all sorts of ridiculous things like “nu-RnB-meets-folk-hop“. Whatever you do, do not let this put you off. This band have a lot of very good songs, and catchy bits that wedge in your brain like enormous, day-glow grapple hooks and tug on your senses til your brains fall out of your nose. Promise. I do not understand why music journalists make up this nonsense when they could just say “very good band, sounds a lot like Fleetwood Mac”.

PAWS

This recommendation comes from a special place in my heart. That would be the punky 16-year-old place in my heart that’s covered in sparkly leopard print that only ever plays 7“ singles with four chords or less. PAWS were the band I saw live the most last year , because they are brilliant. Their reputation as one of the best Scottish live bands around at the moment is completely and totally deserved. If you like scuzzy wuzzy catchy songs and bouncing round in scruffy pubs, this is the band for you – go listen to their debut album Cokefloat which is currently available to listen to for free on Soundcloud.

Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula is a lovely talented lady who seems to get compared to Bjork a lot. That seems a little rash (is anyone really like Bjork? Really?) but perhaps they mean this song reminds them of that early, ethereal Venus As A Boy era twinkly stuff, which it is sort of like. It’s very pretty, very accomplished and all soft and floaty like somebody is stroking your ears with kitten‘s tails. It’s not quite wearing a swan as a dress and starring in Lars Von Trier films yet, but maybe that’s coming with the next record.

Flume

Now if Flume could wear a (metaphorical) dress, he’d probably wear a dress made of every musical genre you can imagine and then put a swan’s head on top of it. And then set it on fire. The Australian producer already has a massive online following, huge blog hype and a debut album that came from nowhere to beat One Direction and the Rolling Stones to get number one spot in the iTunes album chart last year. Official release in the UK is set for February and the album teaser is mouth-watering smoosh of beats and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production. Your little brother probably already has everything he’s ever released and your Nan will think it’s a right racket.

So there we have it! As today’s #JanuaryJoy is to listen to something new, why not let us know in the comments what bands/artists you’re hoping to open your ears to in 2013?

Penny
x

PS Find Penny on her blog Bad Penny Says, or @TokaiPenny.

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