Out with the old…

2013 Collage

{Some of my favourite Instagram moments from 2013}

…and in with the new, healthier, fitter, more organised and frugal me. I’m not a huge fan of grandiose New Years resolutions along the lines of losing ten kilos, running the marathon or becoming teetotal, but like most people I could do with making a few tweaks to my lifestyle, so in no particular order here are my goals for 2014:

1. Stick a regular exercise regime rather than my usual on-off routine (more off than on if I’m honest!). I started off well last spring going to the gym a couple of times a week and running at the weekends, managed to keep it going through the summer and into the autumn. Then it all went pear shaped at the end of November as Christmas preparations took over and the season of overindulgence arrived.

2. Start the day with a smoothie made with berries, bananas and almond milk. An easy way to get at least two of your five a day and will hopefully stave off those 11am sugar cravings.

3. Spend less money. If our much-talked about extension is ever going to become a reality we need to tighten our belts this year. It’s all the little things that tend to add up like lunches out at the weekends, takeaway coffees, magazines and treats for the kids.

4. Spend more one-to-one time with my boys. Now that they are both at school and the afternoons are filled up with homework, activities and playdates, the weeks seem to whizz by. With a cute but demanding three-year-old at home it is not always easy to give them the full attention they need. My ten-year-old especially needs to chat about things that are happening at school etc. So I will make sure that my husband and I both have individual time with them at the weekend, even if it’s just a kick-about in the park or a game of monopoly.

5. Literally throw out the old by clearing out the loft and all the baby things we no longer need. Most of it will go to charity shops but some of the bigger items I will sell on eBay.

6. Be kinder to myself. I think us women have a tendency to beat ourselves up if we can’t manage to keep on top of everything. This year I will tell myself that it doesn’t matter if the house isn’t immaculate and that it’s OK to forgo the ironing in favour of a relaxing soak in the bath, reading a book or catching up with friends.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

Currently Coveting #15: The Perfect New Year’s Eve Dress

New Year's Eve dress

A dense blanket of fog has covered our part of the world all day, making driving difficult and halting some flights in and out of London. It has been cold, damp, grey and miserable so I’ve cheered myself up by looking online for the perfect New Year’s Eve dress. I don’t actually know what we’re doing for New Year yet – we have been invited to a 1920s themed party, which sounds fun, but it’s grown-ups only and finding a babysitter is proving rather tricky…

Last year we had some friends and their children over for a three-course dinner and it was one of the best New Year’s Eves I’ve had for a long time (I’m almost ashamed to admit it but since having children I’ve been known to go to bed before midnight on December 31st…) But I think that even if you’re ringing in the new year in the comfort of your own home it is nice to dress up and wear something special. I would be more than happy to step into 2014 in any of these little numbers.

{All dresses from Anthropologie. Clockwise from top left: Eclat dress, £178; Honeyed Lace dress, £178; Cabled Garonne dress, £138; Orla Kiely Oasis Hearts Dress, £348; Amalie dress, £198; Glissade dress, £128}