a fresh start

Okay, so maybe I got a little over-zealous when I said I was going to “be back” about a month ago. As I admittedly secretly-maybe-kinda thought in the back of my head would happen, the holidays did get the best of me (in a good way!) and there was absolutely no time to put energy into blogging in between food prepping/Christmas party hopping/family gatherings/wine drinking/present un-wrapping/festive decorating/you get the idea hahah. Anyway, this time it’s for real. My life is a little more under control now and I’m going to commit to getting back into the bloggie work. I just love it too much to let it slip away!

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So, how were you holiday festivities? I hope you were able to spend some time with the people who mean the most to you – friends, family, pets, whatever! My Christmas and holiday season was incredibly busy and very enjoyable. I think Duncan & I had something on every night for over a week there! There was just so much love to spread around ;) Luckily, our parents both live really close to one another, so it’s generally pretty easy to see both families. My (half) sister & her family (including her cutie-patootie 11-month-old son!) were visiting all the way from the UK, so it was wonderful to spend time with them, too. All in all, a wonderful holiday that will provide me with enough warmth and memories to carry me though the rest of the {dreadful} winter months!

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Aside from the joy, time spent with family, mass amounts of food & wine and lovely gifts received, something I also love about the holidays is it gives us a bit of time to de-compress (hopefully) and “reset”. Duncan and I were chatting about this before the holidays on a nice, long walk we had. The holidays force us to break out of our regular routine (the “rat race”, if you will) and live in the moment. It sets us up wonderfully for establishing goals and a road map for the year ahead.

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Speaking of year ahead… HAPPY NEW YEAR! How did you celebrate? This year, we did away with the bar scene (thank G) & headed to one of my best friend’s house for an awesome house party she hosted – thank youuu, Kelly.

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We spent New Years Day accomplishing something we had been putting off for a loonnngggggg time (notice my attempt to visually draw out how long we were procrastinating for?) We hung the collection of prints that have been making their home all over our apartment! Yay!!! It’s amazing how much warmth it brings to our space – it really makes it feel more homey :)

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You likeee?

We also spent some time discussing our GOALS for the year ahead. Call me cheesy (I already know I am), but I really enjoy the process of making resolutions. I think it’s a wonderful thing to do and gives each year more a sense of purpose. The older I get, the more precious time seems. The days, weeks and months pass by before my eyes, and I want to make every moment count. I want to make memories that will last a life time and be the best person I can be.

This year, my resolutions are a mix of behavioural changes & habit implementation, but also a commitment to live.in.the.moment & make the most of this beautiful year ahead of us!

On the list…

  • start volunteering again – I volunteering all throughout high school & university and feel that it’s missing from my life!
  • have a philanthropic “plan” – actively donate a % of my income to causes that are important to me
  • stop picking nail polish off my nails – pretty sure everyone that knows me knows about this nasty habit of mine. As soon as there is a little chip in nail polish, I start picking/peeling it off. It’s awful and such a time waster! HELP!
  • deal with guilt issues – I’m generally way too hard on myself & make myself feel guilty for things I really shouldn’t worry about. I need to remind myself that I’m being the best person I can be & that’s all I can do. We’re all human, right?
  • minimize my time on the internet – it’s such a time suck. before I know it, I’ve spent half an hour browsing things I’ll never be able to afford or looking at useless Facebook posts. Duncan is with  me on this one, so we’ve decided to set a timer and put a limit on it!
  • read at least one book a month – I’m kinda really obsessed with reading magazines, but would like to focus more on reading books! maybe I’ll even join a book club?
  • create at least one really memorable experience each month – it could be a concert, checking out an interesting/different restaurant, going on a mini-trip, doing something unique in the city (medieval times, anyone?), etc..
  • make sleep a priority! – I’m someone who NEEDS sleep. Bad. I’m a total disaster if I don’t get enough shut-eye.. I’m talking word-slurring, chocolate over-dosing, inability to make any logical sense and generally being a grump. Sooo.. I vow to set a bed time and STICK to it! I’d also like to start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier to enable myself time to go to the gym in the morning.
  • in the short-term – get to the gym on a 3 days on, 1 day off schedule (I usually do 2 days on, 1 day off) and limit my sweets in preparation for our Costa Rica trip in February!

PHEW! Wish me luck y’all!

Did you make any resolutions this year? If so, what are they? Do tell!

And now… it’s officially the weekend! Any plans? I’m going out for drinks with some friends tonight, going to a museum exhibit and lunch with my dad tomorrow, and then going to an antique market on Sunday.. that’s all that’s in the books for now! Have a good one! (And from now on I promise I’ll start posting recipes/workouts/other fun things again!)

Love,

A xo

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10 thoughts on “a fresh start

  1. Welcome back! You were missed. :) Looks like you had an awesome holiday season, and I loved reading your resolutions. Mine are a bunch of random ones – remembering to take my vitamins, making yoga a priority, ‘embracing’ winter outdoor activities (snowboarding, snowshoeing, xcountry skiing… could I sound any more Canadian right now?) & I like the idea of limiting online time! Some days I fall into an internet black hole (pinterest!!) and I need to change that.

    • Aw, thanks girl! Much appreciate your comments :) Your resolutions all sound awesome! Ugh I wish I could ‘embrace’ winter activities.. can’t bring myself to endure the cold, though! You’re brave ;)

  2. Yay! Welcome back! From the looks of your photo’s you had a wonderful holiday season! :)
    The pictures in your house look great! Your goals are really great too, and I totally agree with the sleep thing. Since changing job locations I don’t have a choice but to get more sleep. My body won’t allow me stay up late anymore!
    Have a great weekend!!

  3. Your holidays sounded and look absolutely amazing!! I love spending time with family, especially during the holidays! And don’t worry about being MIA from the blog world, that happens to me quite often as well. Definitely been there, it happens to the best of us ;) Love setting goals – I’ve done the same.. and now have added “stop picking nail polish off of my nails” to my list as well!

  4. Hi Ashley! I’m a fitness and nutrition fanatic myself! I really enjoyed reading your post. It brought me back to all of the recent happy moments shared with family and friends this past holiday season. A couple of my resolutions are to be more patient and to organize the spare room upstairs into an office before Grad School begins at the end of the month (this may be a work in progress still when I start school though).

    Happy New Year and looking forward to reading more posts!!

    Lindsay

  5. Love all your goals! And love having you back! Looks like a great holiday season with lots of parties – mine was similar, hence the detox I’m on right now! I love your volunteering goal, that is actually on my list for this year as well. Just doing something, no matter how small it may seem, is so important!

  6. It’s so true that the fun of the holidays carries us through the not so fun later portion of winter! On NYE I was asleep at 10pm – HA! I was so wiped from flying back to CT from FL that morning/afternoon. And a couple of beverages at NYE din put me straight to sleep.
    You have some wonderful goals. In terms of reading, I suggest joining goodreads.com! It’ll get you so excited to read more. I read my mags on the Stair Master, and my books at all other times :)

    • Thanks girl! I looked at GoodReads a while ago, but just checked it out again.. it’s awesome!! Thank you. I’m starting out a book club with my girlfriends (how suburban mom of us hahha) but we’ll definitely use the site to get some ideas :)

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