I think we all know that resolutions are a little bit rubbish and unlikely to continue beyond the first few days of January, particularly if they involve giving up gin or chocolate in exchange for an attempt at running around the block and performing a few half-hearted lunges along with Davina or the latest celebrity to bring out a fitness DVD. However, I do like to use the start of a new year to have a think about exciting adventures and plans I can fill my brand new diary with. Blank pages are wonderful but fun-filled pages are even better, aren't they?!
So, here's what I'm thinking about getting up to in 2017, as opposed to giving up in 2017, because the cold, dark winter is no time or place to be talking about weight or wine loss.
What we've realised with our boys is that they love adventures (and fighting with each other) but they really don't care all that much about where they have them. In 2016, our three nights in Scotland were as equally as exciting as our week in Italy, and chasing the sun in the woods opposite our house was as much fun as a more expensive day out at the weird and wonderful village of Portmeirion. They're boys who delight in unfussy picnics and getting muddy but who also love a good hotel breakfast and fancy children's clubs.
This year, we're planning on taking just one trip abroad and that's to Zurich, where we lived for seven years and where the boys were born. My husband still travels there for work every couple of months but I've not been back since 2013 so I'm looking forward to revisiting all of our old haunts ... and discovering some fabulous new ones.
We also have a few places that we want to head to in the UK. Bath and The Cotswolds are two that we've never been to but would love to amble around. They look and sound so pretty. I've started searching for lovely hotels or B&Bs to stay in but if you have any to recommend, do let me know (bear in mind my previous note about the breakfasts being of the utmost importance to my bossy six and three year old).
And other than those, I think our very own back garden can be quite a magical place. Pitch a tent and you can be anywhere in the world ... when the weather gets a little warmer, obviously. So there will be lots of homegrown adventures, too.
I've already instigated a couple of interiors projects for 2017. Yippee!
Firstly, there's the practical. Our attic floor is just mounds of insulation; there's no proper flooring up there. And we really, really need extra storage space. Currently, our wardrobes are full to bursting with pretty much everything we own, including a Christmas tree, my wedding dress and a couple of fold up garden chairs. We need a section of the attic to be levelled with a few boards so that we can store away what we only use occasionally throughout the year ... and leave me able to get at my clothes without feeling like I'm wading through dusty, old coats to get to Narnia.
Secondly, there's the wear and tear. The hallway and living room carpet was badly laid when the house was first built - we were living in Switzerland at the time so unable to supervise or personally sign off on some of the tasks. We've lived with it for a while now and the fact that it doesn't sit flush against the majority of the skirting boards combined with my children's tendency to race to the fridge without taking their shoes off as soon as we arrive back home, means that the carpet is an ill-fitting, grubby mess. This year, it's going. And being replaced with a lovely wooden floor. I can't wait!
Finally, there's the pretty. I'm giving our bedroom a makeover ... starting this week, actually. Right now, it's boringly bland and mind-numbingly magnolia. This needs to change. Obviously, I've started a Pinterest board to collect up ideas - light, bright and with a pop of colour seems to be my preference (probably not too dissimilar to our living room, to be fair).
The Ordinary Lovely
I also have a few goals for myself and this little online space of mine. I've been so incredibly fortunate to turn the most brilliant hobby in to a job. Taking on paid projects on my own blog and creating content on a freelance basis for other brands and companies for their websites and publications means that I can work from home and be able to pick my boys up from school and spend the holidays with them without worrying about childcare.
I used to write professionally before I started The Ordinary Lovely (my background is finance and communications - I resigned after having my littlest) but I much prefer working for myself and picking and choosing the projects I take on. The only problem I have, and it's a good problem really, is that I get so excited by new projects and proposals, and have a head constantly abuzz with ideas and potential collaborations, that it means I say yes to things before I've factored in my need to sleep, or eat, or talk to my husband of an evening.
This year, I need to differentiate between the projects that sound nice and the proposals which sound amazing. And give myself a bit more time to learn, to research, and to do creative things purely because I enjoy them and not for any other purpose. Come September, when my littlest goes to school full-time, this won't be a problem as I'll have a couple of extra hours every day but my husband has already raised his eyebrows and said that I'll inevitably fill them with more plans and ideas and work and projects by 9.05 am on his fist full day at school. He knows me well. I can't sit still!
Other than that, I'm quite happy to sit back and see where 2017 will take me ... and us. With a lot of hard work and a touch of luck, I'm sure it will be somewhere fun.
Let me know what plans you have for 2017, or if you've blogged about them, leave a link in the comments so that I can have a nose. I love reading what other people are working on or towards!