Monday, 6 January 2014

New........





So......out with the old and in with the new.


Christmas was good......yes.....it was very good.



We were away for the first half visiting family, then cosily tucked up in our little house for the second half.



Fresh air was lovingly inhaled, places were visited, beaches were walked upon, cousins played together, mulled wine was drunk, mince pies were had, babies were cuddled and midday naps were enjoyed.









Isn't it lovely when that happens? It's always the true sign of a holiday when days roll into the next and you completely lose track of the day and date.





 awe....cousins


Back to reality......well, almost. The Bears go back to school tomorrow so I got to have one last lazy morning.


The weather has been really rather grotty all round. Dark and grey....wet and windy. Not the best Christmas and start to the New Year for many in the UK. High winds, flooding and power cuts have made Christmas a misery for many. I am always thankful to be living on a hill when the rain just pours and pours....although a complete nightmare in the ice!



But, these sort of grotty days make for snuggly days in. Lamps on, candles burning. The homely smells of fresh coffee pots on the go throughout the day and freshly baking bread. A really old cliche, but nothing beats those two together in a house. Yet, I must confess, I still have to perfect the art of bread making. It's bugging me. I am determined to crack it and make a loaf that I won't pick apart and scrutinise. But, until then, the aroma, coupled with fresh coffee makes me smile and warms the cockles of my heart no end.





Lazy breakfasts and fresh hot lattes. Porridge with lashings of cinnamon, nutmeg and juicy raisins. This is the weather to be indulgent. This year I simply DO NOT CARE.






Wow, so a new year has landed on our doorsteps. The decorations are down. Truth be told, I went very minimal this year, so it wasn't too much of a wrench taking them down. I went for little and bright and was pleased with that.




I am now relishing spring bulbs in the house and less clutter. I am always ready to take down the decorations. I don't feel sadness, I like the feeling of new and fresh, even if the days are dull and grey. I have new crafty projects lined up for 2014. My head is buzzing with what I want to make this year. I did tell myself 'NO MORE BLANKETS', but I can't see myself sticking to that. I have plenty, way more than enough to satisfy my brood on a chilly day, but I am very much drawn to them. It'd be nice to have lots of smaller, less time consuming projects on the go this year, but i'll just go with the flow of what my crazy head wants throughout the twelve months.

I do always walk into the new year feeling a tad uneasy. Wondering what my overall feeling of the year will be by its end. A little silly I know, and i'm not wishing it away already, it's just that feeling I always get of treading into the unknown. I don't really do New Years resolutions, but I like to have a word to use for the year.

This year the word is 

SIMPLE

It's a nice word, don't you think? I want this year to be a year of simplicity. To really enjoy the simple things.

I want a slow pace where I can really look at all the small things and enjoy them. I want a year where I remind myself, that feeling rich in life isn't about winning the lottery. Having family that loves you, friends who are there for you, a roof over your head, food on your table, senses to enjoy this planet to its fullest and Bears to hug and make my heart ache with love.......

....well, that's pretty darn rich isn't it. And I am so grateful for it all. I don't want to take it for granted.



Last year was a mixed year for me. There were highs and lows, and I came away from the year realising that life always twists and turns in unexpected ways. New family enter your life and old family depart. You cannot fight it. You roll with it, you learn from it and hopefully become a little wiser for it. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's not, but you need to have faith that it will all even out and there will be many smiles to look back upon.

2013 was a year where I realised that I had lost myself, and a year when I had to stand back and really remind myself what made me ME. Re-discovering who I was, was an uplifting little journey. It's a very hard feeling to describe, but the sense of calm and happiness that you feel inside is energising...if that makes sense. I felt like I had broken through a cocoon that had formed around me. As much as I love this whole great big crafting community, all the crafty mags, pinterest (and IG when I started on it), I do think that you have to be careful with it. It's completely inspiring and can open your mind to so much creativity, but it can also suck you up without you realising it. To the point where, if you realise it (as I did), you are riding the waves of other peoples dreams and not your own. I'm not so sure that that came across as succinctly as I would have liked but it was how I felt. Has anyone else felt the same? Or is it just me? Breaking that cocoon, remembering what I ACTUALLY love instead of what I THINK I should love because every one else loves it, has been liberating. I did have to step away form everything for a bit, but it was just so right....and now I have a rejuvinated love for blogging. That can only be a good thing.....right?

So, this year. It's simple. It's being grateful for the riches in my life. It's pootling around in my own little world, doing what I want to do and what makes me smile. After all, life is so much better with a smile on ones face.


XXX


83 comments:

  1. your words are beautiful, your photos speak volumes...simple beautiful pleasures...enjoy those close to you and the things you love to do~ a new year means a new slate...and a whole year to enjoy the ever changing seasons and the little joys in life...H a p p y N E W Y e a r!!!!! xxxxxxx

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    1. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR too lovely and I hope that 2014 is a brilliant one for you and Sweetpea xxxxx

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  2. Love looking at your decorations (your mirror is so lovely) and the beach and the family pictures, but I really love the word simple. I will contemplate that and maybe try to shoot for that in what I do!!

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    1. Hi Clara,
      I'm excited to feature 'Simple' in my life in 2014, and I hope that you have the most super 2014 too!

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  3. Hello Vanessa
    Such a lovely post, and you know , I don't think you should ever doubt yourself because just from looking at your blog you most definately have the most wonderful taste and such an eye for colour and for making a home a home.
    I'm glad that the year gone has allowed you some me thinking time and here's to a very happy, healthy, simple and crafty 2014,
    Kate x
    Ps: Can never have too much pootling in my book ! x

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    1. Hi Kate,
      I'm looking forward to 'pootling'....I think it's a super word! I hope that you have the most wonderful 2014 full of happiness and laughter x

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  4. When you talked about getting sucked into blogs and pinterest etc. that is exactly how I felt last year, but I didn't quite realise it until recently. I closed down my blog and stopped reading blogs and using pinterest. Now I have a very pared down blog and read very few blogs and love the feeling that I am not influenced by what everyone else is doing. I wanted to leave a comment to say thank you Vanessa, because you have put into words what I felt and made me realise it's not just me! Love your beach photographs and your mantel always looks beautiful. Happy New Year Vanessa x

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    1. Oh that's fab to know that I am not the only one! I was a little worried people would think I was crazy in my thoughts! I don't think it's until you stand right back from it all, you realise just how much it is influencing you....and taking over you own personal sense of style and self. There is certainly nothing wrong with being inspired by it all, but I think the balance can tip the wrong way very quietly and without you realising it. You are so right.....stopping looking at everything everyday and just concentrating on your own self and little world for a bit, brings you back to yourself and it's a lovely feeling when that happens! Have a lovely New Year x

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  5. What a very well written post, one I think rings true for a lot of people.

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  6. Hi vanessa, I love your beach photos they are stunning. I also love your indoor photos and the bread looks wonderful.
    Looking forward to seeing what you make and share this year.
    Jacquie x

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    1. Hi Jacquie
      That was the best bread out of the bunch, still a fair way to go! Have a super New Year x

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  7. Happy 2014!

    Simple. I like that.
    Beautifully written and lovely pictures... Your work is so inspirational - thanks for sharing it with us!
    Oh, I just really (really) hope you don't stick to your 'no more blankets' rule. ;-) Please?!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Haafner. Ha ha, yes i'm not so sure I can stick to that rule, but it would be nice to make some quick pieces! My blankets always tend to be REALLY huge! Here's to a creative 2014! x

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  8. A beautiful and uplifting New Year post! I loved all your gorgeous photos both indoors and out :) Love the word 'simple' and I think it is a good choice! I look forward to visiting you through 2014, Vanessa.
    Helen xox

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Helen. I'm hoping 'simple' will feature heavily throughout the year! I wish you a super 2014!

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  9. Ah, what a wonderful word choice! Your post was so enriching to read, I totally get where you're coming from, throughout! And especially with your sentiments about the big blogging wheel and how easy it is to be spinning and spinning and not feeling like you're getting anywhere - I've been aware of this and cautious, since I only started my blog last April. It's nice to see you've come out the other side smiling! Looking forward to see what creativity makes you happy in 2014! Chrissie x

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    1. Hi Chrissie,
      Thank you for your kind words. I hope that you have a wonderful 2014! x

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing last year's journey of re-discovery. I do not think you are alone in the feelings you had but you are for sure one of the few to express them so well and honestly. Wishing you a year of simplicity ahead.....natalie jo

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    1. Hi Natalie Jo,
      Thank you for your kind words. It's nice to know I am not alone in my feelings, as sometimes you think that you are. I hope that your year ahead is a beautiful one x

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  11. My word last year was 'simple' and it truly encompassed who I am today. A simple woman :0) This year's... renew myself.
    I am so glad you are sharing your journey... m.b.

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    1. Oh I love the word renew! Maybe that's what I should have had this year! Your words are inspiring...thank you x

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  12. I know what you mean about being caught up in what everyone else loves. You get bombarded with something so much and get so used to seeing it that you think it's your taste too. Sometimes I think, "hold on, do I actually like this?!" Mad that something can kind of have the power to make you forget what you actually like. It's not a matter of trying to fit in with the crowd, it happens quite accidentally!

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    1. That is SO it. You just seem to fall into a way of thinking without realising it. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it's probably perfect for some people, but I found it was suffocating everything that made me me. It wasn't until I stood right back, I realised just how much it was affecting my whole mood and being. It's been lovely being me again! Have a wonderful 2014 x

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  13. lovely words, beautiful photos!!!

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  14. A Happy New Year to you and your family Vanessa! Glad to hear you had a good time!

    Madelief x

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  15. Happy New Year Vanessa! An uplifting post and one full of promise for you! Lovely xxx

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    1. Happy New Year to you also, I hope 2014 is a great one for you x

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  16. A very inspiring post, happy new year, hope it's a good one for you :)

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    1. Thank you, and I hope 2014 is a lovely one for you x

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  17. Lovely words, full of heart.
    Happy New Year to you and yours
    Nicky
    x

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  18. I totally agree with you about getting caught up with other peoples dreams and challenges. I wrote much the same on my blog just last week. Lovely post and stunning photos. Love the word SIMPLE - sounds good.

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    1. I think you just fall into it so easily. It's nice to step out of the bubble and see the bigger picture sometimes! Have a wonderful 2014.

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  19. You're completely right, there is nothing better than a nap day in front of the fire with the smell of bread filling the house! I do love the fresh feeling of January though, it's like a free pass to turn over a new leaf. Simple is a fantastic word :) Thank you for your lovely words!

    Emma x http://sleepydaysnotes.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Yes, harsh reality now of the school run! ha ha! I too like the freshness that the New Year brings.....like inhaling a breath of crisp cold air into your lungs! Have a wonderful 2014 x

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  20. What a beautiful post all cosy and snuggliy at the beginning and insightful and true at the end. 'Simple's' a great word to choose, I always think to myself 'to thy own self be true' it's a good way to live. Happy New Year
    Clare xx

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    1. Yes, that's certainly a good way to live! Happy New Year to you also and I hope 2014 is a brilliant one for you x

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  21. You have expressed it all so beautifully, I know exactly what you mean about being sucked into other people's craftiness and forgetting your own self. I also know what you mean about New Year unease, I am feeling a lot of that this year, but I am trying very hard to stay positive and remember how lucky I am. I took our decorations down today, and I'm always happy to have a (relatively) uncluttered room back. So nice to vacuum up the last of those pine needles. Wishing you a very good year and a good week too.

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    1. Yes, it was so lovely to step away from it all and just remember all that I love and have loved through my life. I seemed to have forgotten that, and it was great to embrace it all again! Have the most super 2014! x

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  22. Such lovely photos, and inspiring thoughts. I hope the new year brings you everything you wish for x

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  23. An absolutely beautiful post and beautiful photos too. Wishing you the best year doing it your way, simple.
    Anne xx

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Anne, and I hope that 2014 is a wonderful one for you x

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  24. What a lovely post. It's good to be you. 2013 was the year to be me and I'm going to keep it like that. As you said.... Simple.
    Happy New Year.
    Sally xxx

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    1. Have a wonderful New Year Sally, and I hope that it carries on being the year to be you! xxx

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  25. I do know exactly what you mean and I find myself having to sort through the same issues. I often feel like I have to blog a certain way in order to attract attention and have people think my life is a particular way. I get to a point where I have to stop and think about what really matters to ME, what *I* really care about, what *I* love in crafts, decor, photography, etc. I appreciate what you said and I can definitely relate, 100%.

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    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I think it's so good just to step back once in a while to make sure that you are on the path that you want to take. I realised that my blog was becoming all about pleasing other people. I have brought it back to how I want it to be to please myself and I feel much happier now for it. It's good to know I am not alone in this. I felt like I was. I hope you have a wonderful New Year x

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  26. Thanks Vanessa, I love the idea of using a word instead of a resolution and simple is an apt word for me this year too...so, thanks so much :-) and a happy New year to you too.

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    1. And a Happy New Year to you also Tracey x

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  27. Love the idea of one word - as opposed to my binder full of planners, lists and crazy notions :O) Wishing you a simply fabulous New Year Vanessa. Love your honesty in your writing - I miss that in my blog, far too conscious of local nosy people reading it. x

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    1. Happy New Year to you also Michelle. I hope it's a fabulous one for you. xxx

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  28. Vanessa! What a lovely post and I so appreciate how you feel. I often feel overwhelmed and I find that there is so much out there to look at that I don't actually get my own thing done! How did you find yourself? Is it simply a case of stopping looking? Did you steer clear of IG and blogs? And only dip in now and again? Hope you have a lovely 2014! Keep it simple :-)

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    1. I stood back from everything. I quit IG, stopped reading blogs and steered clear of Pinterest. I just basically took time to remind myself what I truly loved. What influences in my life had made me love certain things, things that had become 'hidden' in my everyday look into everyone else's lives. It took a couple of months of focusing on myself rather than others to get back to how I really am and how I want to be. I still want to be inspired, but I choose to limit myself to reading blogs. I do love pinterest, and it's detached quality (of pictures and not people) suits me better. It just means that I don't get sucked in and ride the wave. I've realised it's the only way I can function at my best! Have the most super New Year x

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  29. Beautiful post that summed it all up wonderfully....and so very truthful. I'm with you...be true to your own dream not everyone else's and simplify. Philippa xx

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    1. Yes, I think it's the best way to go! Have a wonderful New Year! xxx

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  30. hi vanessa,
    what a beautiful post! such wonderful photos, love your homemade bread and the photos from the beach.
    simple is my word for 2014, too!
    and a happy new year,too.

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  31. Love these images, I think simple is a great way to live, I take joy in the simple everyday things. I've been thrown quite a few curve ball over the past few years and it's made me much more focused on here and now, on who and what I love. Yes to live simply is good, not always easy as the world can be so complex but certainly something to go for! Happy simple 2014! :) x

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    1. Ah yes, I think 'simple' is a great word to make you focus on the here and now. The world is a complex thing and I know at times this year 'simple', it will be anything but, but i'm hoping it'll be a word that can calm me and remind me to focus on the all important things in life! Have a super New Year! x

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  32. Happy New Year!
    I know what you mean about feeling trepidation at the start of a new year- I feel the same and I think it is hard not to- the world is such an uncertain place these days. Staying true to yourself and keeping it simple are great thoughts for the new year. Look forward to seeing what you make this year!

    Jen x

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    1. Yes Jen, it's funny isn't it, that so many of us face the New Year in with such feelings. Let's hope it will be a lovely one for us all in the end! xxx

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  33. I agree, Lovely post. Your mid-year blog about working in a shop and all of a sudden getting excited about stuff cos it's new to the shop, I really got it. It made me start to think what *I* like, what really grabs me in colours etc and that made me realise I haven't a clue, I am sheep! I also go from one idea to the next and appear incapable of finishing something, an ailment you do not suffer from! Happy New Year! x

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    1. Ha ha, Sarah I have PLENTY of unfinished pieces for sure! I have realised how nice it is to just retreat into oneself to remind us what it is that makes us tick individually. It made me realise that I had 'hidden' a lot of my deep loves, and for that I am trying to make them part of my life once again. Happy New Year! x

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  34. I have been using half white and half spelt flour with my new bread maker. its turned out good each time and cuts well too. i would recommend giving it a go. Happy new year!

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    1. Oh Helen, I will DEFINITELY be giving this a go! Thank you so much for the tip! xxxx

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  35. Oh Vanessa, you are amazing, ever since I started reading your blog, it's like you manage to succinctly yet beautifully capture all the jumbled up feelings I can't put into words, and turn it into a wonderful positive of not feeling so alone. Thank you x My word for this year is 'nurture'...to encourage and feed myself and my soul, my family and our home, and at a slow and steady pace...Happy New Year xxx

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  36. Hi Sarah-Lou,

    Nurture is a lovely word to have for the year. Thank you for your kind comments. Sometimes it perhaps feels a little weird for me to express myself on here.....but it's so lovely to always know that there are others who feel the same, in whatever thing it may be. Feeling that you are not alone in this world is very comforting. I hope you have a fabulous New Year! x

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  37. Hi Vanessa,

    Happy New Year to you and yours hope 2014 will be a good one for you all.

    Loving your images particularly those of the beach (how I wish a trip was in the offing) Though i always love your homely images too. Seeing little snippets of your lovely home.

    Thanks for your views on the whole bloggy change thing. I guess if i was to have a whole new blog there would be (in my mind only ) a bit of pressure for it to be totally different. Which being's as its still me just chuntering on about nothing I cant see it being all that different. So maybe a re-vamp and name change might be the way to go. I am a procrastinator so it will take me a while to think about it all! lol.

    Hope your week is going at a nice easy pace for the first week back to normal.

    P x

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    1. I reckon just a layout change P and you'll feel like it's completely new and refreshed! I also know about procrasting....i'm a big procrastinator! xxx

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  38. What a beautiful post and some amazing photos too. You have struck a real chord with me there I too have been feeling very overwhelmed by the whole online community recently and have only this week deleted my IG account as I too am striving for a simpler year. I was finding myself being drawn into things I thought I should like and having my head turned by others fabulous creations and homes and lives and comparing myself (I was found wanting). No more; like you I am keeping it simple, I hope this year is kind to you xxx

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  39. I totally get that. It just takes a while to realise it doesn't it. With IG I was wondering why I always felt this sense of never reaching any goals, it was because I was overloaded with images from a few hundred feeds per day. I was too busy thinking about other peoples lives and wants and goals that I just didn't pay any attention to mine. I got caught up in the hype that seemed to happen with new trends, buys, makes etc, I found it draining and soul destroying. That's not to say IG is a great social network, but I realised it was sapping the life out of me. I love to be inspired, but I'll go at my own pace from now on! Simple is definitely the way to go, and I hope that you have the most wonderful of years this year xxx

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  40. I had the same experience with Mumsnet a while ago actually! When I realised I had an internal monologue that was turning my everyday actions into witty Mumsnet posts in my head I decided to take a break from it for a while. And the crafty blogging community...so much gorgeousness, but life is not like everyone else's blog pictures. Too much focus on pretty homes etc and not so much on the relationships that go on in them.
    Lovely to hear how you've felt about the whole thing...and I'm glad you're still here sharing. Your photos are beautiful ;)

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    1. Yes, you sometimes get caught up in the whoooosh of it all and need to step out of it for your sanity! x

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  41. Attic 24 has just put on her blog the no knead bread recipe ..it truly works xx

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    1. Ah thank you Lynn, I shall make sure I take note of that post! x

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  42. Happy new year. You sound happy. I love that. Your Christmas sounds beautiful. I love the fireside pic. You can feel the warmth.
    I think you get so much done. You made so much last year and it was all scrummy.
    I love your blog. It is still so uplifting and a slice of gorgeousness. You have always had your own style.
    Instagram is good but a bit overwhelming and makes me question what I like sometimes, compare myself to others a bi and forget what I like. I think it's better in small doses. I still quite like my old ethnic and boho stuff and I feel like painting a wall dark pink again. There is a bit too much shabby chic there sometmes and I suppose people there don't 'Know' me like they did on my blog. I hope to get my camera working again.
    I'm looking forward to seeing your posts in the coming year. I am hoping to follow my dreams this year. xxx

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    1. Happy New Year to you Tracy! I have missed your gorgeous pictures since leaving IG, especially your beautiful dolls! I think maybe small doses is good, so you still get to see lovely bits but don't forget to see what makes you tick too. I have loved getting back into blogging, just so that I have to slow it down and be a little more in-depth about stuff. I did miss that when I was on instagram. It was all so instant, and whilst it served a brief purpose, I found long term it wasn't for me. I feel much happier now giving my full attention back to blogging. I hope you are well my lovely xxxx

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  43. Gorgeous Pictures! Happy New Year, and good luck with your kitchen, x

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