Trusting your future self.

Sometimes I’d really appreciate my mind giving me a little heads-up about the thoughts its goingto pour out once I start writing. Or talking. Has anybody else found that they weren’t aware of how deeply something was occupying their thoughts until they started talking to somebody or grabbed pen and paper? I’ve become aware of this very strongly during the past few months. My point here: I never plan on what I’m going to talk about in these Weeks in Review [and many other posts, either] aside from the obvious accomplishment part. Today, my mind couldn’t steer away from the thoughts that had come up reading a certain article the other day. With that mini-intro to my actual intro said/written …

Self-doubt. At least for me it’s a vicious cycle of not daring to do one thing leading to not even attempting the next. This interestingly coincides with the message of this article I read the other day. When we don’t trust ourselves to be able to – as an example from my own life – go to bed earlier we set ourselves up for eternal failure. Or – remembering the previous week’s post – an eternal struggle. But [sticking with the example here] when we manage to call it quits at night even just a few minutes earlier we learn that hey, we actually can change. Looking at it now I can see tiny little steps in several areas of life for me. Thanks for steering me in this direction of reviewing my life every week, Meg. I mean it. If it wasn’t for the Week in Review I would be much harder on myself and not value the significance of every single week. I wouldn’t recognize the – even if just subtle – improvements I’ve made.

Week in Review

In the past week I …

Worked the usual five days. Work went mostly well. Leaving me tired at the end of the day but feeling like I did my best, accepted criticism and made an effort to improve my work.

Posted just once. This is what happens when perfectionism sets in for me. I had intentions to post one more time but never finished my draft because it just didn’t seem right. I have hopes that things will be better this week. You will at least get one more post as it’s time for some good good links again on Sunday. It actually took holding myself back from already publishing them yesterday already. I make myself laugh sometimes.

Vacuumed and mopped my floors on Saturday rather than Sunday already. I’m getting better at not pushing everything out until the final day before getting back to work.

Finally recreated a blog recipe I’d been meaning to share for weeks but didn’t because I had no proper pictures [insert rant about lighting conditions in winter]. As of yet I haven’t looked through the pictures on my laptop yet so can’t say for a fact whether or not they turned out. Fingers crossed because I want to share the recipes – two in one but I think I’ll share them separately – with you. Below is one part of it [I picked one that’s definitely not going to be in the actual post, smudgy rim and all #reallife ;)].

weißes Mandelmus

Had a short but interesting conversation with a friend from school I hadn’t seen in seven (!) years.

Wrote a letter I’d been meaning to for a while already. This also served as a means of helping me relax while eating dinner. I’ve turned to checking my phone too often while eating at night and want to change that again. It’s not the whole time but I simply know a completely technology-free meal time is more calming and writing letters adds some creativity. Highly recommended.

Worked out most days but keeping it short on days when I felt too tired.

Night owl that I am productivity kicked in on Saturday night so I …

Meal-prepped a little and …

healthy maple buckwheat granola - gluten-free and vegan

Baked a batch of my healthy maple buckwheat granola [sorry. I had not intentions of bringing it up again and again ;)]. Not for any of my colleagues but – my dad. I randomly mentioned I was making some for colleagues and he showed an interest, snagged a bowl and requested a batch of his own. Truth: I’m hoping eating this will curb his appetite for sweets a bit because I know he likes those treats at the office a little too much when stressed  [= every day]. Wishful health nut thinking.

Started my Saturday and Sunday mornings by reading a full hour each before doing anything else. Weekend mornings are blissful. I had actually intended a trip to Hamburg on Saturday but that fell through thanks to the snow and potentially icy roads we’ve been seeing lately.

Ran errands for my parents after work on Wednesday.

Went on a walk through winter wonderland with my mum. We didn’t get to do this the previous Sunday so it was nice to catch up and get a chance to let go of some of my mind’s clutter. Fresh air to get my mind churning, too.

That’s it because the remainder were just the usual day-to-day happenings not worthy of mentioning in a post. I hope your past week went well  – tell me about it below?! – and:

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today: Today was an overall good day with the walk being my favourite part of it again. Thanks to my mum for convincing me it wasn’t too cold for it :).

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Tell me three or more achievements or happenings from your past week!

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Falling and stumbling, not failing.

Despite not setting any resolutions this year I do have my goals and changes I want to make in life. Some bigger, some smaller. Just one week in is obviously too short a time span to make any predictions on how the remaining year will go. Still, I’m not entirely satisifed with myself. Old habits die hard – that realization hit me hard during the past days, making me feel caught in a viscous cycle. Voices of doubt in my ability to change coming up.

This is where – had I made any resolutions – I would probably deem myself failing at them right from the start. Which – as media has us believe – for many people means dropping the good intentions altogether and deciding they screwed up. It’s all too easy to follow that route. What if I – if we – saw these happenings not as failing but falling or stumbling instead? My little nephew is currently learning to walk and falling a lot of times. Yet there’s no sadness in his face when he does and he gets up once more time and time again. Because he’s determined and – as evolution has proven in millions and millions of children before – he’ll eventually succeed in his quest. It’s this determination and belief in myself I want to nurture and sustain this year rather than fall into the self-pity puddle of disappointment. Not a nice place to be and certainly not an empowering one.

Back to the original intention of this post, though. Soon enough  Meg will kick me out of the Week in Review club for turning these from reviews into life reflections. I just can’t help it –

Week in review

In the past seven days I …

  • Worked as usual. We got a new colleague starting this past week and she’s the sweetest and most engaged person ever. My bosses were worried they wouldn’t find a good fit to take up the place of another colleague leaving the office in a few months but I’m sure any doubts are wiped away now already. Colleagues also make a huge difference in how enjoyable work is and this lady is a blessing to all of us.
  • Posted twice. One Week in Review sharing my thoughts on New Year’s resolutions and – surprise! – another round-up of good good links. Before you’re calling me a hypocrite for returning to these when I said I was putting them to rest: I adressed that topic in the post. I could have held them back for another week but my inner odd-number-hater [here in terms of posts published] might have played a role in sharing them now already.
  • Sold* two [quadrupled] batches of this healthy Maple Buckwheat Granola to my colleagues. I might just have to rethink my career ;). You might remember me creating this granola not primarily for myself but a colleage who’s also been asking me for more batches since. The past week she shared some of it with another colleague who then requested her own granola delivery. The scent of this is heavenly and I think it’s perfectly fine to snag a bite or two of every batch of granola, no? Quality control.
    *when I say sold I mean that they’re paying me for the ingredients. I wouldn’t ask for compensation of the time and work involved here.

Healthy Maple Buckwheat Granola - gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free.

Confession: I’m glad it’s this granola they’re ordering rather than one of my no-bake treats. Why? Because I still am not too keen on cleaning the Vitamix :D. It’s not that it was hard work but I’m always dissatisfied with the result  [i.e.: why in the world does it still have that gross fat residue from nuts after cleaning it twice?? Advice welcome!].

  • Spontaneously had a  longer conversation with two of my colleagues when the three of us were about to leave on Friday. It’s not that we don’t usually talk to each other in between but longer conversations don’t happen on the regular because we don’t have set breaks where we’d have time for those. Connection is one of my words for 2017 so this conversation felt like a step in following up with it.
  • Called my bank to ask for a replacement debit card. Background: I would have been in for a new one this year in anyway but that somehow/-where got lost. Which I had to realize when I tried to withdraw money from my account on Monday. Major oops. I luckily still had a smaller sum left in my wallet but had to watch my spendings more closely and will have to until I receive the new debit card still. On the upside, this led to an achievement:
  • Spent a lot less than in average weeks. This was really insightful but I will spare you the long story as this post is turning into a novel already. It might be time for some thinking out loud again.
  • Blended up a fresh batch of healthy Nutella. I’m getting the hang of roasting those hazelnuts well enough to remove the majority of the peels which definitely makes a difference in taste. So good.

healthy-nutella_hazelnut-butter_texanerin

  • Did some laundry – still not enjoying it, still not having everything folded and back in the closet yet. Finally including a huge load of wool socks [that my mum informed me aren’t actually made from pure wool – seriously now.]
  • My biggest accomplishment, though? Doing what I think would be called a pantry [and fridge] purge. I’ve hinted at this in my previous week in review already but I’m truly in dire need of cleaning up my apartment and belongings majorly. The reason I didn’t succeed at this goal in past years is that I waited until it became overwhelming and then felt forced to do everything at once. Didn’t work for me and never will. Instead, my goal for this time is doing it step by step. Rome wasn’t build in one day either.

That’s not all that happened or what I did in the past week but since the above is long enough already I’ll hand the mic over to you. Tell me about the past seven days in your life!

Happiness-inducing today:  Reading, cleaning up [I never thought I’d say this!] and getting more than expected done.

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Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!

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Good good links #176

Okay, yes, I know what you’re thinking [or at least I think I do]: Hypocrite. What.a.hypocrite.

Hey, at least it’s working in your favour, no?! Yes, I’m aware I said I was putting the good good links to rest. But hey, I said the weekly links [can you tell I’m being defensive/embarrassed?]. Meaning I left the option of bringing them back at all open. Granted, not even I guessed it would be this soon but from the moment I made my decision on I’ve been finding so many share-worthy posts. More than in some of the past weeks combined. Life has a funny way of playing out, no? Either way, yes, I’m back with links and these aren’t even all I found so more link lovin’ posts are to come. Not next week, though. Really not. I have a reputation of keeping my own worth to hold up after all ;).

Happy Sunday!

 

Good good links

 

Good good [food for thought]

Lessons in Imperfection via Fashion Me Now

Pretty much a must-read if you’ve ever criticized yourself, experienced FOMO or felt less-than compared to others.

The One Thing We Should All Aim to Do More of in 2017 via My Inner Shakti

A thousand times yes! Whether you made resolutions or not this should be a constant one to follow.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Beware of New Year’s Diet “Advice” via The Oatmeal Artist

In-depth thoughts on dieting culture fuelled and what we as individuals can do to work against it.

The Difference Between Being Nice and Being a Doormat via Verily Mag

A good one for anybody who has ever felt guilty for saying no to a request or just can’t say no at all. “It’s not that it’s bad to be thinking of others. It’s that pleasing others is not the same as helping others.”

When your phone uses you via Seth Godin

Another one of his short, straight-to-the-point and at that thought-provoking posts all of us will find relevant,

The Paleo Diet – Good or Bad New Years Resolution? Via Abbey’s Kitchen

A research-based look at the pros and cons of this popular diet allowing you to decide for yourself.

Why You Should Rethink That New Diet In 2017 via Mind Body Green

The anti-diet mindset beats all diets out there. There’s a free food freedom challenge starting January 16th, too.

 

Blogging

Blog Tips: 7 Things to do When You Feel *Stuck* via Thirteen Thoughts

The dreaded writer’s block … If you – like me – have been hit by it lately: there you go.

 

Food

10 Ingenious Ways to Upgrade Everyday Foods via The Kitchn

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to take the flavor [and excitement] of foods you eat on the regular up a notch.

Small Batch Baking Tips via Dessert for Two

Useful advice on scaling down recipes because you might not always want to bake a whole cake.

 

Good good [fun, DIYS and YouTube videos]

10 Stunningly Beautiful English Words

Printable Hot Tea Pyramids via Oh Happy Day

A cute gift idea for any tea fiend – or simply yourself?!

 

Good good [food]

Vegan Vienetta via Plant Pusherne

Childhood memories! If you can’t understand my excitement about this you clearly grew up without the magic that is Vienetta 😉 – make up for it.

Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls via Dishing Out Health

So creamy! I’m not one to shun pasta but this might just beat your regular ol’ bowl of it.

Cheesy Vegan Cauliflower Potato Soup via Diary of an Ex-Sloth

This looks like the food version of a hug [weird way of saying: incredibly comforting] – bonus points for being a small-batch recipe [perfect for single households].

100+ High-Protein Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes via Kitchen Treaty

Because getting your protein in on a vegetarian/vegan diet is so [not] hard.

Savoury Lentil Oatmeal Taco Bowl  [vegan] via The Oatmeal Artist

Oatmeal all day every day! This is a super fast and nutritious way of satisfying a taco craving.

Cheesy Vegan Meatballs via Elephantastic Vegan

One word: genius. These remind me of a recipe for cheese-stuffed meatballs my sister got from her best friend years ago. Only these are vegan = a million times better.

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Being able to appreciate all that I have rather than fretting about what I don’t have.

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Why I’m not making resolutions.

Happy New Year!

New year, new you? Catchy as this phrase is I’m not buying into it. As much as I want to support everybody’s enthusiasm about starting a new year I’m too realistic for that. Some might say pessimistic but I would beg to differ. I’m not saying it’s impossible to change your life with the start of a new year. In the end, though, this time is no different from the beginning of any other new month or even just week. No lies here: with everybody [in the blog world, not real life in my case], every magazine and website talking about I’ve been thinking about goals lately, too. So yes, I might have some. Changes of the kind I should have been making in previous months already. However, I’m fully aware that the point that also has many people fail their goals is true for me, too: Resolutions aren’t solutions. They don’t solve the inherent ‘problems’* that have held us from making changes before. Those ‘problems’ being that we are who we are. With our habits, personality traits and all the other bits and pieces that make us us. If we want to create lasting change the motivation has to arise intrinsically not bound to a certain date.  Why not throw a big party at the beginning of April? August? I hope you caught my drift here.

*I want to stress that I’m saying ‘problems’ because they’re not actually bad. We simply are who and how we are and that’s okay.

Okay, after that heavy introduction let’s take a look at the past week of life as inspired by Meg.

Week in review

 

Here’s some of what happened in the final week of 2016 for me. I …

Worked three days, taking Friday off to get a few things done before New Year’s Eve and to spend a little more time with my mum, sister and P.

Published two posts: a week in review and my – at least for a while – final weekly good good links. Stressing the weekly because – oh the irony – since making the decisions to stop doing these posts great articles have found me rather than me actively searching them. So I do think the links will be back eventually/later this month.

Read the latest Harry Potter book. It’s a quick read – a day or two – and I definitely recommend it. I admittedly wasn’t expecting it to be this good.

Whipped up a new batch of peanut butter. It never gets old. And – killing two birds with one stone – used the peanut butter remainders in the Vitamix to …

Prepare my healthy No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars for New Year’s Eve with friends. From what I could tell they went down well. I say from what I could tell because we were in the midst of a game of “Who am I?” when I put them on the table. Not to brag but I was [one of?] the first to guess their character – just out of luck, though, pure luck here and it still took me a good while.

Healthy Millionaire's Shortbread Bars - only eight ingredients, vegan and gluten-free.

Changed the sheets on my bed – thinking of Cora here. The heavenly scent of fresh- and cleanliness when I slipped under the blankets at night was well worth the struggle of wrangling with the fitted sheet.

Took a nap on Friday evening. For some reason I was beyond tired all of a sudden and decided to give in. Granted, I should have let myself go to bed as early as 8.30 but my mind wouldn’t have it.

Started a little early Spring cleaning. I don’t want to think about the whole work ahead yet – going through all the rooms and closets – but starting out was a good decision.

Took my dad’s car – that we share – to the car dealer to get the replacement second key fitted. Holy heck expensive. We’re talking close to 200 €/~210 $ here … Needless to say I decided to keep that shiny new key to myself ;).

Went on a long walk in the winter sun with my mum, sister and P. I will miss these now that my sister and the little one have left again. Good company lets you forget about the cold outside.

Orchidee_flower_orchid

Read every afternoon after work and at least a little every morning, too. This has truly been such a wonderful addition to my days in the past year that I’m definitely going to keep.

Finally cleaned my electric water kettle. It had been a while and I’m honestly not quite sure why I don’t clean it more often. On the note of electric kettles: is it true these aren’t common in the US/Canada?

In full disclosure I wasn’t going to write this post. I’m a little anxious to share the next few lines because opening up is scary but I feel I should to explain things a little. The past months haven’t been easy for me [mentally] but even I was surprised by my mood dipping harshly after my sister and P. had left. It’s not something I want to talk about in detail – a mix of heavy post holiday blues and an overall internal mess I have to work through. This isn’t to say my life was awful – there are always silver linings – and my mood definitely doesn’t dip like this on the regular. As if she had known my mum knocked on my door in the late afternoon asking if I was up for a walk and this honestly saved me. I’m not exaggerating here. Yes, I might be in my twenties but the fact that mum’s the best just doesn’t change. We have our rough times, too, but today I was eternally grateful for her being part of my life. While I might not feel 100 % amazing now I was able to see the light again.

If you read the whole post: thank you. Really.  I’d send you a cookie but I’m afraid it wouldn’t keep too well over the distance. Once again, though: I’m not asking for sympathies here. My intent is simply to be honest about what’s going on and also excuse for my lack of blogging and commenting activity.

Now that you listened to me rambling on for ages tell me about your past week! What happened? How did you spend New Year’s Eve? Did you make any resolutions or monthly goals [I’m thinking  about picking these up again]?

 

Happiness-inducing today:  The walk with my mum.

Stay in touch!

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Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!

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Good good links #175

With the year coming to a close in no more than a few days something else is finding its – temporary? Final? – end, too:  The Good good links. As hinted at for a while I’ve decided to lay off this blog series. Whether for a few weeks, months or for good I can’t and don’t want to predict at this point.  Originally, I was going to share a few more words on the why but things got wordy too fast – talk about some serious self-reflection – and I decided to postpone this for another day.

Before the link lovin’ goes, though, here’s another round-up of [some of the many] posts I wouldn’t want you to miss. Ironically, I found way too many for one post just the week I decided to lay this series to rest … who knows what that’s mean to say …?!

Good good links

 

 

Good good [food for thought]

An Illusion of Confidence via Ally in Blunderland

Something that can’t be repeated often enough. A reminder to not judge or assume because you  never know the full story.

I am more than a food blogger via Hummusapien

As bloggers we don’t ever have to feel reduced to our niche – be it food, fashion, fitness or whatever else. Our online outlets are a reflection of our personalities and lives as a whole.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Give Yourself Time To Just…Be. Via Nubby Twiglet

Something we easily forget in a time of social media, constant comparison and the praise of being busy.

The Snowball Effect via Kath Eats

It doesn’t work just for exercising or eating – this little mind trick is effective all-around.

7 Fun Ways To Teach Kindness To Kids via Mind Body Green

Not only can you never start this early enough but in doing these things you’ll be a better and happier person yourself.

How to Stress Less via Eating Bird Food

Knowing ourselves better and keeping a few things in mind to plan ahead helps us avoid the stress trap.

2016 Year in Review – Expectations vs. Reality via In It 4 the Long Run

As so often Georgie’s reflections on her life provide some food for thought, lessons to take away and a relieving perspective on the future of blogging for all of us.

Two kinds of winning via Seth Godin

A very simple but important reminder.

 

Food/Cooking

The Secret Ingredient for Dairy-Free Ricotta via The Kitchn

A food trend/mash-up of two magic ingredients I missed this year.

How to Make Peace with Sugar via Refinery 29

This probably seems most fitting after the holidays but really is an important piece of advice all year round.

 

Blogging

The One Thing EVERYONE Needs to Know About Success via Southern in Law

Not just in regards to blogging this is something – I think – all of us tend to forget in our quest for growing our blogs, being the best wife/girlfriend/daughter/you name it.

 

Good good [fun]

German Words We Need in English via Swiss Miss

Just a handful of some of the quirkier words my mother tongue has to offer. Fremdschämen ist something I use pretty regularly – too bad, really.

.

Good good [food]

Hot Chocolate Steel-cut Oats via edible perspective

The comforting [childhood] winter drink turned into a dessert-like breakfast of champions.

Vegan Skillet Brownie (with Lentils!) via Emilies Eats

If I’d seen this any earlier it would have become our Christmas dessert. Because hi, it’s a giant brownie made from whole nutritious foods.

Lasso the Moon Cookies via Cadry’s Kitchen

Simply because they’re really cute. And maybe the whole moonbeam magic works after all ;)?!

13 Best Vegan Potato Soup Recipes via The Vegan 8

Who knew potato soup had so many different faces? One sounding  better than the other. 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Spending time with my little nephew.

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Tell me: What were some of the best posts you read this week?

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Christmas week: [No] Santa [but a] Baby

First things first: I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones!

Life presented an odd sense of humor in the past week:  If thought I was feeling unwell in the previous week then, well, the worst was yet to come just in time for Christmas. Long story short: I’ve been ugly snot-sneezy sick since the previous Sunday night and still not over it. On Christmas Eve some – not going all TMI here – digestive issues came up, too. No matter what, though: Christmas is what this Week in Review with Meg and Ave is all about and somebody’s got to keep the paoer tissue industry in business, right?! Writing this post actually helped me see the plentitude of little silver linings the past week still held – it’s all about perspective.

Week in review

During Christmas week I …

Worked three days. I’m thankful my bosses decided to close the office on Thursday already because those three days alone were hard getting through with my cold.

Baked another batch of Zimtsterne on Thursday night because I was set on publishing the recipe before Christmas still. My stubbornness is a great motivator. That being said …

Published the ecipe for said  flourless vegan Zimtsterne that I highly recommend for any cinnamon fiend as well as a Week in Review. There were no good good links as I didn’t feel like spending that much time on my laptop with family around. These will be coming up either tomorrow or on Thursday, though.

flourless vegan Zimtsterne

Sent off a cookie care package to some relatives who are going through a hard time. This incentive was probably what really got my mum and me baking up a storm in our kitchens. Luckily, the package still arrived in time for Christmas Eve.

Celebrated Christmas with my parents, brother, my sister, her husband and P. More specifically, we celebrated on Christmas Eve as is the norm in Germany.  Being the first with a baby on board it was different from previous years. Some traditions were abandoned in adapting to this. Good thing we haven’t had a real tree – see here for what I’m talking about – or candles in years in anyway.

until-december-26th-032

We had a nice dinner of roulades [only for the meat eaters, obviously], Rotkohl, potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Followed by the best dessert I’ve had in a long while: homegrown baked apples with vanilla sauce. Also known as heaven on a plate. We’ve had more elaborate desserts in past years but this honestly was my favourite.

Gave gifts that made my loved ones happy. I’m most likely not the only one who worries at least a few of their gifts won’t be well received. So it was relieving to see my concerns evaporating as everybody opened their presents. A mini electric kettle for my dad – handy when he’s traveling – was my proudest gift. I might have lied when he asked if it had been my idea [thank you, mum!].

Was plentifully gifted. I was surprised, maybe even overwhelmed, by the gifts I received. Some store bought, some handmade/sewn with love. The biggest surprise was a new teapot because, well, let’s just say my old one is a little [or rather a little more] malfunctioning. Ahem. My family just knows me too well.

Christmas tree and gifts

Spent way more time reading than in the average week. It was time that I might have spent browsing the internet elsewise but picking up books more often instead felt a lot better. In fact, the blogger was probably the one using her phone the least often of all family members ;). Now if only that didn’t mean I’m almost out of reading material again …

Met a good friend I hadn’t seen in way too long and caught up on each others’ lives. She’s one of those friends who – no matter how long it’s been since you previously saw each other – just gets you and vice versa. A huge blessing.

Went on several walks with the family. These are happening more often with a baby around and conveniently scheduled around P.’s sleeping schedule.

little-hands

All in all, Christmas was amazing yet not as good as it could have been. Not because of my family but because I was feeling … off. I wasn’t as good a daughter, sister or aunt as I could have been and it’s currently weighing on my mind heavily [hence the not quite as cheerful lines above]. Time really is fleeting and I’m sad I wasn’t there with all of my mind and heart all the time. It was partially because I was feeling physically unwell and partially for some of the same reasons Cora so eloquently wrote about in a recent post [that I unfortunately only read today].
However, just like many people see the beginning of a new week, month or year as a blank slate to start afresh I know I have the chance to try again, too.

Enough of me: Tell me about your Christmas week in the comments! Fun or special traditions, what was for dinner, what did you do …?


Happiness-inducing today:  A conversation with my mum. A little peek-a-boo play with P.

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Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!

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