Beer and beef stew(Schwartz Spice)

Love food?
You'll be excited to hear there's a brand new way to create delicious home-cooked family meals with ease. Schwartz's brand new Recipe Inspirations kits contain pre-measured pots of herbs and spices and a collectable recipe card to help rustle up your favourite feasts. Choose from dishes such as Tray Baked Piri Piri Chicken and Beef & Beer Stew With Herb Dumplings. Available from supermarkets nationwide. Find out more at Schwartz online.

Temperley 2012 Spring and Summer collection(Katie Collins, PA Wire, Press Association Images)

Love fashion?
Of course you do! February sees many of our favourite designers unveil their new Autumn/Winter 2012 collections at London Fashion Week (not to mention Paris, New York and Milan, too). And as ever, affordable versions of the year's hottest new looks will soon start filtering down to the high street. Labels to look out for in London include home-grown Temperley (one of the Duchess of Cambridge's favourites), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Love beauty?
There are loads of new launches lined up for the year ahead. We're particularly excited about Frontcover Cosmetics' Spring/Summer range, which comes out in February. (It's been the fastest-selling make-up brand in Boots for the past three years.) The new collection takes the season's hottest trends and converts them to wearable looks. Look out for Colour of the Season (£16) - which takes its lead from the Chanel-led pink trend and turns it into a total look in a box for eyes, lips, nails and cheeks.

Chinese Year of the Dragon(AP Photo, Chiang Ying-ying, Press Association Images)

Love cheap days out?
Late January sees the start of the Chinese Year of the Dragon and there'll be special events and celebrations taking place across the UK. In Liverpool's Chinatown, for example, there'll be a parade, firecracker display, food market and funfair on Sunday 22 January. And there'll be lots more events in Manchester the following weekend - including a fireworks extravaganza on Sunday 29th.

Later in the year, August sees London play host to the Olympic Games and Paralympics, which means all that building and renovation work that's been going on will finally be complete - and the capital will be looking better than ever. Remember, if you weren't lucky enough to get tickets for any track events, you can still cheer on the athletes and cyclists in the road races. To check out the schedule, visit And if you want to get some practise cheering in beforehand, don't forget this year's Virgin London Marathon takes place on Sunday 22 April.

The Wellesley hotel in London(The Wellesley)

Love weekend getaways?
If you want to plan a treat for later in the year, there are lots of great new hotels opening across the UK. A few examples? Butlins is set to unveil a third hotel, Wave, at its Bognor Regis resort in the spring: this one's geared towards families with children aged between 8 and 14. And at the plusher end of the scale, The Wellesley, a luxurious all-suite hotel, will open its doors in London's Knightsbridge in November. Meanwhile, Wood Norton Hotel & Spa, a new luxury hotel in a Grade II-listed mansion at the foot of the Malverns, is gearing up to open in the spring.

Love exercise?
If you're not inspired to get in shape during this Olympic year, you never will be! After all, it doesn't cost anything to pull your trainers on and go for a walk or jog. But there are also plenty of new classes and gadgets lined up to help give us an extra boost. For instance, we're keen to get our hands on a Fitbit Ultra - an 'activity tracker' that uses the same technology as a Wii controller to precisely measure the amount of steps you've taken, calories burnt and even your sleep quality. It's been a big hit in the US, and it reached UK shores on 3 January. Price £79.99; Happy New Year!

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