Resolutions are often labelled as being unnecessary, cliché and unhelpful. Personally, I love reviewing and refreshing what I like about myself, my life and my goals (and, of course, what I don’t like so much). What’s unhelpful, what’s holding me back, and what do I really want to do, but for some reason I just don’t. It doesn’t have to wait until the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve or until I reach a milestone birthday – or even a change in seasons (I’m not sure the day that pumpkin spiced lattes hit the menu is something worth putting your goals on hold for). Don’t even wait until Monday.

Resolutions are an opportunity to turn around the negativity in your life; take the things that bring you down or frustrate you, and turn them around. Dedicate time to yourself, take yourself out for coffee, turn down invitations when you need to. Understand what you want to change, why you want to change it and how you’re going to change it. Understand your limits, and don’t ask too much from yourself (or others). Embrace small challenges and small changes, and enjoy them.

Balance

The reason I’m talking about balance now, is that I paused The Nod Magazine because balance was something that I was really struggling with. In fact I was outright failing at it. I was trying to balance a 40-hour working week with freelance work, life admin (the weekly food shop, sorting out bills, buying birthday presents etc.), cleaning a three-story house, running paperbagblog – plus all the things I want – and need – to do to keep me sane, like spend time with my boyfriend and cat, enjoy a face mask and an extra long shower, go charity shop shopping, watch my favourite vlogs and attempt to plough through the pile of books next to my bed. Throw in the magazine on top of it all and my balance was thrown way off.

Woman working with notepad and laptop

So my resolution is a promise to you all, dear readers who have stuck with me.

To bring you regular content, as I always intended to do. As I started off doing. To tell you who has launched an amazing new product and when you’ll be able to buy it. To let you know about a new brand that I love, my top tips for going vegan at Christmas, seasonal eating and more. And it’s a promise to myself. To be kinder to myself, to lower my expectations and to be more reasonable. I’m a solo sailor trying to steer a ship, and as exciting as it is, I need to enjoy the ride.

So what’s new?

You’ve tried Pret’s dark chocolate & almond butter cookie (*dribble*) – now prepare yourself for their new Almond Butter Bites; dark chocolate filled with smooth almond butter and a touch of sea salt. I can confirm they are AMAZING! They launched 25th September, and are joined by a whole host of other new vegan items, including soups, a new baguette, wraps and breakfast bowls. Pret’s also opening their 4th Veggie Pret in October – you’ll find them in Manchester.

Vegan chocolate almond bites

You’ve got home from work late, it’s a Friday night – heck, even if it’s a Tuesday, there’s never a minute that I’m not ready to eat pizza. Which is why I’m so excited that there are so many options floating around at the moment to choose from. New additions that joined us in September included Domino’s, who launched a Vegan Supreme (at select stores and only via their app) and Pizza Express, whose latest offering you can pick up in most supermarkets (although I have to say it’s very disappointing – the base is not up to scratch and with a sprinkling of cheese, Pizza Express have let themselves down on this one).

Pizza

To spice up lunchtimes, Waitrose have launched a vegan cheddar ploughmans. They’re proving difficult to find, so tweet us your location if you manage to spot the lesser-seen sandwich! As part of their Christmas menu, Marks & Spencer will be bringing out a ‘No Turkey Feast’ Christmas sandwich, complete with vegan turkey and (most of) the trimmings. No stuffing, sadly. For something a bit warmer head to Caffe Nero for a melted cheese and pesto toastie (IT. IS. SO. GOOD), and if you’re making your own sandwich at home you can pick up a jar of Hellman’s vegan mayonnaise to smother in it. Don’t forget to end the meal with something sweet – a vegan Magnum will do the job. And finally, if you’re doing some home improvements and planning a trip to IKEA, now there’s even more reason to go – vegan hotdogs!

There’s our whirlwind round-up of what you can expect our plates to be filled with this week – thanks for sticking with us and sorry for the radio silence!