January 3, 2017
Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017
For SO many reasons 2016 was a pretty shocking year on a global level, but personally, 2016 was one of my best years. I am finally doing something that I love passionately and it was the first year since having children that I picked them up from school almost every day. That may not sound like much, but my eldest is 11, and I know how much it means to her to finally see my face at the school gates every day. Those journeys home with them moaning about the ‘ below par’ after school snacks or me moaning about how ‘lucky they were that they got driven home in a comfy car and even had a snack to eat’, weren’t always jolly of course, but it was time spent together. The time when they reveal snippets of their day and get things off their chest and the times that I had missed up until the beginning of the year.
Resigning from my job and heading into the unknown and the world of unemployment was scary, but I knew that the time had come and I needed to stop plodding and do something that would make me feel alive again. I am hugely grateful for all the opportunities that my blog has provided, and without you, reading it, none of that would have happened. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, for enabling me to make something of it. It really has been one of the most fulfilling and exciting years for me and I am so excited about 2017.
Another thing that made it such a special year for me, was that my husband resigned from his job too, and was on gardening leave for 6 months. It meant that we spent so much time together, as a family and as a couple when the children were at school. Precious time together that reaffirmed what a great friend he is, as well as an amazing father and husband.
So heading into a new year year, I had a think about the things that I feel I need to work on in 2017. Not resolutions as such, but little things that I need to be more mindful of. So I thought I would share them with you.
- Switching off the phone and picking up a book – Given what I ‘do’, naturally I spend a lot of time on my phone. That’s part and parcel of being a blogger. But I do need to have a cut off point, when I put the phone down, leave it downstairs and read something that isn’t on a screen. My phone is the last thing and first thing I look at every day and I know that is not good for me. There are so many books that I want to read, but I very seldom pick them up. So this year, I aim to try and read one book a month.
- Trying to have more structured ‘work times’ that don’t creep into the children’s time – ‘Mummy get off your phone’ was a phrase I heard too often this year. What they don’t realise is me being on my phone is me working, and when you are trying to establish yourself and build something, those hours ‘on your phone’ are important. I had often heard people who worked from home saying that they never stopped, and it’s true. I always thought the payoff was that you were physically ‘there’ but I have realised that that isn’t good enough for children. You need to be more than just physically standing in the room with them. They want your undivided attention and with three of them, it’s virtually impossible to try and work at the same time. So I am going to try and introduce more of a structure to my day, whenever possible.
- Always Making time for Exercise – There have been plenty of weeks when I have said I haven’t got time for the gym, but the truth is, for me, there is always time. Even if it means getting up an hour earlier or heading out after the children have gone to bed. I know it makes me feel better about myself, it allows me time to think and breathe and just get off the hamster wheel for an hour, so my aim is (and always has been) three times a week. I have recently got into boxing and have a brand new pair of pink boxing gloves for Christmas, so I am very excited to get them in the ring!
- Learning to shout less – I know I raise my voice too much, because the children tell me every time I do it! Except now they shout back. I have taught them to shout and I plan to get us all speaking, not shouting, when we are frustrated with each other this year. In 2017 I plan to be a less shouty mummy. There, I said it!
- Improving my cooking skills – My husband does most of the cooking, but he has a new job starting which will mean that he won’t be home early enough to cook dinner, so I will have to up my game. I am not too bad when I put my mind to it, but my mind is very often elsewhere, so my aim will be to focus, plan and make more varied dishes. I also want us to entertain more. We have been a bit lazy this year and cooking for friends is such a lovely thing to do.
- To stop comparing myself to others and doubting myself – This year I made a big effort to stop comparing myself to others and I’ve definitely improved, but it’s always something I need to work on and be aware of. I also doubt myself more than I should, so this year I hope to have a little more self-belief.
- Explore London with the children more – We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful city and have everything on our doorstep, but we are guilty of not exploring enough. So this year, I would like to do one trip a month, where we take the children to places that they haven’t been before and soak up all the amazing history and culture London has to offer.
- Planning a trip to see my father – This is probably one of my most important goals for this year. My parents (who divorced when I was 9) both live in South Africa. My mum comes over and lives with us for 6 months of the year, so we do get to spend good chunks of time with her, but I haven’t seen my dad for three years. Flights for the five of us to South Africa are prohibitively expensive, but we need to save and make it a priority as I miss him and the children don’t really ‘know’ their grandfather as they should do, and that makes me sad.
As always, thank you for reading. Here’s to a great 2017 and hopefully we can all stick to a few of our goals!
A lovely post. I need to have more self belief in 2017 😊
Thank you! I think we are all guilty of self doubt… xxx
I love this. You have a wonderful blog! I love all your photos and thoughts. You have this lovely calming manner and it’s really a joy to see your life unfold! Keep doing what are you are doing! Ps you are TERRIBLE for my bank balance 😂😘🙈
Aah thank you so much Clare. That’s so kind of you to say. Sorry about the bank balance! 😉😘
Lovely post – I saw somewhere were you get your children to write one highlight of the week at the end of each week and put them in a jar and then read them out on NYE to remind them of their highlights x
Oh I love that so much! Definitely stealing that. Thank you so much for sharing xxx
This is literally the most lovely post I have read in a very long time. One in which I can really relate to. I have enjoyed following you immensely since the Summer and look forward to seeing what 2017 will bring for us all. x
Aah thank you so much Kerry. That means so much to me. Thank you for all your support 😘
A lovely pieceI a lovely read for the new year.
I have such similar goals for the year ahead. The only one i need to add, is to spend less time buying things that never get worn more than once and read your blog , find inspiration to buy wearable items that work!
Thank you Chloe x
Aah thank you Becky. For reading and your support. Yes here’s to buying less and choosing well! X
Thank you for sharing your family and future plans it made me smile. You are my fav blogger and I love what you do … Go girl!!!
Aaah that’s so sweet of you to say. Thank you so much 😘
Lovely to read this Chloe, written so openly and honestly. I need to grab life this year as I’ve been faffing about doing nothing since giving up work. I need to find an interest and keep focused. I suffer huge self doubt too, so it’s a joy to read that others do as well ! Your blog and IG are so inspiring as you always look like you’re having fun and not taking it all toooooo seriously ! Xx
Lovely post and what good aspirations for the year ahead, may it be full of health, happiness, blog posts and good shopping tips 😊
Thank you Chloe. This resonated so much with me from the reading to the shouting, the need to introduce my self to the rest of the kitchen not just the kettle and so on. I wish I had the courage to get off the proverbial hamster wheel but that will comes from the self belief you mentioned. This year for me is improve my confidence and like you stop comparing myself to others. I think sometimes we all need to sit back and look at what we have and just grin like a maniac 😁😘
We can always be better than the person we are, can’t we. Full marks to you for wearing your heart on your sleeve. We often need to know that others think the same way as the rest of us. My husband’s mantra is “if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing now”. You could pick holes in that statement….cost might be a factor, time constraints could be another. There are so many things that stop us in our tracks. But how often do we allow things to get in the way and use them as an excuse for not doing something? I hope very much that you are able to visit your dad this year. We are going to visit our son on the other side of the world, who we haven’t seen for almost a year. It was my husband’s mantra that had him walking into the travel agents one cold and miserable day in early December that spurred him on. I’m so glad that he did. I cannot wait…. Happy New Year Chloe! xx
Love your blog posts and instagram so much it’s just so genuine. I would love to be as gutsy as you and give up my job but I worry far too much. In general , can a blogger make a decent income just from blogging and posting ? Does it come from advertising? Always wondered how it works etc
I love reading your blog and following your Instagram Chloe! You are so honest and I think your style is amazing. If my husband knew how much you influence my wardrobe I’d definitely be banned from reading! Xx
Ps I can never imagine you shouting 😂
Thank you so much Lydia. That means so much to me. Sadly shouting at my children comes far too easily… must not shout (she says having just shouted at the eldest 😳😉) xxx
Lovely post Chloe. Sounds like you’ve had such a great year. I need more courage and panic that I’m going to worry if that makes sense!! Would love to do something like you have, I’m fashion, but in my late 40s, alas, it’s too late.
Definitely need to read more books. I say it every time I return from a holiday! Hope it’s a wonderful 2017 for you and your family. X
Please don’t feel it’s too late. There is an audience out there for everyone. Whatever age you are, we are always looking for inspiration from others. Why not give it a go! Failed on the reading front last night, my mind was on my poorly kitty and I read four pages and realised I hadn’t taken in a single word… 😳#tryandtryagain
You reminded me of this gem: “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
Thanks for being a ray of Insta-light in a difficult year, and for being my invisible stylist!
Peace and gratitude x
Thank you so much. So beautiful I love that little gem. Your support means the world. Thank you 😘
What a lovely post, Chloe. I’ve never commented before but wanted to let you know how much I love your blog after discovering it a few months ago. As someone who’s mum worked full time in a stressful job when I was at school, your point about picking your children up from school really struck a cord with me – I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d had my mum (or dad) there at the school gates at the end of the day. It’s so, so lovely that you are now able to do this xxx
Thank you so much Hannah. It really means a lot that you took the time to comment. It really is and I need to not take it for granted! Some days I do! 😉😘
Glad you decided to go ahead with this post – a lot of it really resonated (especially the lack of cooking, I’m terrible for this). I also tend to doubt myself, my decisions etc far too much as well. Then my son said one day: “Mummy, don’t be a worrier, be a warrior.” It’s my new mantra – feel free to use in 2017 too. x
Oh what a wise little boy he is. I love that. Making it mine! 😘😘😘
This is a wonderful post, Chloe. It resonates so much with me too. Our life is very stressful with our adopted son and his challenges, at times the lows gave been horrendous. About 6 months ago, I was advised that I needed to start doing something for me. I had no idea what. Then I remembered how much I loved fashion and started hunting for inspiration on instagram. I came across your page. I have found so much enjoyment in your blog and your instagram feed, it has helped me feel like a person again. (That possibly sounds dramatic, but it’s the truth). Please dispel all those feelings of self-doubt. You have inspired me no end. I do though need to manage my time better, switch the phone off, read more, etc. I’m so incredibly disorganised. Happy New Year to you. Keep doing what you do. X
Thank you so much! I can’t tell you what it means to me to read this. Wishing you a less stressful 2017, but I read your blog today and you sound like an amazing mum. 😘
I have bitten the bullet and given in my notice to my full time stressful job at last ( only be talking/thinking about it for a year!). Am very fearful and worried about unemployment world but hope/ pray that this is the right time and the best thing to make me and my little family happy. Thank you for sharing your experience. It has really given me comfort. N X
Well done you. I doubt you will regret it. Tightening our belts was a really good exercise all round (good for the children mostly!) Family happiness is so important and the rest will work itself out. Wishing you all the very best and thank you for letting me know! 😘