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Happy new year!

And embracing the return to routines ...

· Living

Hello, and a rather belated happy new year! I’m so sorry that I didn’t manage to write a post before the festivities got into full swing, to be honest I got caught up in Christmas preparations and rush, and I had to focus on the must-dos. I will be better organised next year! (Which I must confess, I say most years!) Anyway, I do hope that depending on how you feel about this time of year, you enjoyed (or survived) the festive season in whatever way you and yours do. These dark days were made for fairy lights, candles and cosying up on the sofa, so I hope you managed to rest up and recharge at some point too.

We enjoyed what would be a fairly traditional UK Christmas. We entertained over most of the holiday season and enjoyed spending time with family. We try to keep things relatively low key these days (as much as we can with excited little people about!) – and to be honest that was all we could muster this year anyway! I enjoy cooking but there’s something about Christmas that suddenly seems to create lots of extra pressure, which I find can really sap away my energy. We enjoyed our time in the kitchen and made some lovely food – menus and recipes were kept simple (like this delicious chestnut and sage soup) so we could enjoy spending time together without feeling like there was an overwhelming number of things to do. On reflection, it would have been nice to have a little more time just for the four of us to enjoy each other’s company, so we’ll factor that in next year. But overall, we have plenty of happy memories of trips to the Christmas markets, ice-skating with my little girl, beach walks on New Years Day watching the hardy swimmers at Portabello and enjoying special meals and good company – enough to tide up over to the next craze festive season!

Right now, I’m craving the return to normality which thankfully has been kicking in this week. Back to school, nursery and work … our normal types of meals, bedtimes, classes. Even getting the house straight again after the Christmas decorations came down was soothing this year, and I typically I feel quite sad about it.

I’ve been enjoying planning and organising for the year ahead during the first few days of January. I think there’s something about opening up a new diary, and the calm of this time of the season that means I find it a good opportunity to clear my head, evaluate where I am and what I hope to achieve over the next few months. I’ll be back shortly to share my word(s) – I’ve not finally decided yet – for 2018, and some of my goals.

I do hope you’re easing into January, you’re keeping healthy and looking forward to all the possibilities of the year ahead.

(As a late aside - if you’re interested in a simpler approach to Christmas, you might like to check out this blog post from minimalist lifestyle blogger (using her words!) Jessica Rose Williams. Whilst I by no means embraced it in entirety, it certainly gave me a few pointers and ideas!)

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