A Fresh Start #littleloves

It’s the first Friday of January 2017! And a fresh start! 

That means it’s the first #littleloves roundup of the year. I love taking the time each week to share the little things I am loving. Sometimes the bigger milestones and happenings of life are all we record and we start to forget, after awhile, those little moments that fill up life with happiness. It could be a good book, or watching a movie with your partner or baking with your little ones. Those every day moments that are so special but do start slipping from our memories if we don’t stop to really take them in. I have been doing these roundups for three years now and I still get so much enjoyment looking back and see where each week took me and the little moments along the way.

We are just getting over jetlag that seems to be dragging on and on this week and back to school already. It’s amazing how long we build up and get excited over the Christmas holidays and how fast it flies by once it’s here. Our trip to America to see my brothers and their families for Christmas seems like it was a one day trip instead of 8 days. I really could have used at least another week with them. It went so perfect and smoothly as it always does when me and my siblings get together. Our kids play so well together and their kids are now old enough to babysit my kids which really threw me for a loop. I changed their diapers now they are old enough to do the same for my children. It made me feel so old. My nieces and nephews always seem to freeze in mind from the last time I saw them and it’s always a shock when I next see them again, so much older.

I took a break from blogging every day. My mug below should read everyday is a Blogging Day for me. Or was for over three years. I have taken the odd day here and there but never in a row. I took 10 whole days off that was so needed after challenging myself to Vlogmas too. It gave me time with my family, my children, my siblings, a break I needed and a time to read and do other things I am so passionate about. It also gave me time to grieve. My Grandma who I am very close with passed away on Christmas eve’s eve while we were flying home. It wasn’t the greeting I imagined when I landed in the airport and to hear that news that I thought and prayed would never happen, it torn my heart in two. It was hard to than pick myself up and be in the festive mood but I know she would be heart broken just the same to look down and see me any other way than happy. I know she will forever be watching over me and with me in my heart and in spirit. I just need to somehow find the courage to break it to my kids who keep talking about seeing her this summer at my parents house.  

This year is all about a fresh start for me. I always choose one word to strive for at the beginning of the year rather than a list of resolutions I hardly ever keep or stop half way through March. I am in need of a fresh start. I have cut down a lot of activities we were doing with the kids they each get one sport, that’s enough. I want to spend more days at the park and taking bike rides with the kids than running from sport to sport, class to class. It’s just too much for no reason. We are trying to just enjoy our time together while the kids are still young. I think last year and the year before we were trying to pack in way too much because we know how fast they grow up but I think we didn’t do ourselves any favors. So we are trying it a  new way this year. That’s the beauty of a new year … we can start again a clean slate.

A Fresh Start #littleloves

THIS WEEK I AM LOVING…

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I have finished The Secret and almost done with Before I Let You In. Both have been absolute page turners. I have read more this Christmas than all year. I am just waiting for the last book of the Red Queen series to come out. I have another series that’s a bit sci-fancy to read and another thriller called Try Not To Breathe which was highly recommended. I have been really enjoying books again. I do am seeking advice though on whether to buy a kindle or not? I have no room to store any books so I am constantly buying them than giving them to charities and my arms get tired holding them up when I read in bed. I am thinking a kindle will solve both of these but will I miss holding a book in my hand???? 

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Well, everyone was too busy celebrating Christmas and New Year’s but I actually had a birthday in between these two (so called) holidays. lol My birthday has always been overshadowed on Boxing Day by all the festivities that come with the holidays. It was always oh, happy birthday here is your Xmas/Bday present all in one. People got off cheap I swear. lol I guess I am just used to it not being just about me. Selfish thinking, I know. But on a positive note, you know me, glass half full, it’s always an amazing day for shopping. SALES! I think this year my birthday felt extra special spending it with my two brothers, their families and my own little family. We started off the day at the Atlanta Aquarium (largest in the USA). The kids were in heaven watching the fish, turtles and wales and we all went to the dolphin show that wowed us all to our core! After a few hours at the Aquarium we had a lovely lunch with my one brother and hit the shops in downtown Atlanta. To finish the celebrations off, my two brothers, their partners and hubby and I went out for some drinks. It was the perfect calm, casual birthday. No cake, no singing but a day with family. I couldn’t ask for anything more, ok maybe to be a few years younger. Did you hear, I am 33 now? What’s in a number?
A Fresh Start #littleloves
A Fresh Start #littlelovesA Fresh Start #littleloves
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My niece and nephew opening their Christmas presents from us with very questioning eyes… hilarious and also a fun and unique way to give cash presents to kids. Way better than watching them open a card and then pocketing the money and saying, “thanks”.

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Skirts, shorts, and flip flops on Christmas Day! We were supposed to wear these Christmas outfits (all prepared) but when we arrived the weather turned warm and we were out the next day trying to find summer clothes in the dead of winter. I found these sandals in the back of the shoes department in the sale rack for three dollars. We couldn’t locate shorts for B anywhere and hubby was stuck in his gym shorts. Luckily, I had a few dresses on hand for MM because she wears them year round with tights and sweaters so we just left the latter off. Somehow we all still coordinated which was a miracle. It was so weird playing football outside on Christmas day with the sun beating on your back. (but oh so nice too). 

Me and Mine December 2016 a family photo project
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Each holiday that my mother is with the grandchildren she makes them Christmas cookies and decorates them. So since she couldn’t make it to Christmas with all of us on the east coast this year, we gathered the grandchildren together anyways and I stepped into my mother’s shoes to rally the cookie decorating together. We facetimed her during it so she could still feel part of it. And we all agreed my Christmas sugar cookies are equally (not better) as good as my momma’s but she was still missed. We had a great time decorating together and of course eating them all in a matter of days because it was Christmas, obviously that’s what you do. 

A Fresh Start #littleloves

A Fresh Start #littleloves

#littleloves titles

Last year saw over 35,000 photos tagged into my little hashtag community on instagram. I have loved every moment of seeing new people joining in and loyal snappers tagging again and again. I share my favorites here and on my feed every week. It’s such a great way to end my week and look through all. I always feel inspired, loved, happy, excited afterwards. Here is the very first favorite roundup for #LIFECLOSEUP of 2017. Happy New Year all you happy snappers for life on zoom!

A Fresh Start #littleloves

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43 thoughts on “A Fresh Start #littleloves”

  1. It sounds like you had a lovely time in the US, and being surrounded by your family at that time was probably the best thing for you. I know when I lost my Nan a year and half ago, being with loved ones really helped the grieving process – although I suppose we all grieve differently.

    I hope 2017 is a great year for you and your family. I think scaling back is such a good idea, and being able to have less plans but more family time. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing things and don’t just be a family, y’know.

    Love the cashing giving idea, and the fact that you kept the cookie tradition going.

    Regarding a Kindle, I have the Kindle Fire so it doubles as a tablet, and I probably use it more as a tablet than e-reader. If you love reading a physical book, it definitely isn’t the same, but it does sound like you need a solution like that what with storing books.

    Wishing you and your family a lovely weekend!

    Reply
    • Oh thanks lovely for all your kind words and taking the time to comment on my post for each section. You are so kind. It’s tough when family pass away but you are right being with other family members helps so much. I had to keep the cookie tradition going it was a must to make my mother feel apart of it all. She couldn’t come last minute as my dad is going through chemo and couldn’t leave him of course. It’s been a tough Christmas but we made the most of it. It was good to step back a bit and get a little reality check. You can definitely jump in too deep and get overwhelmed when you have too much going on. Loving a chilled out January. Happy New Year!

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  2. Happy New Year! For me last summer was the point at which I realised that I just couldn’t keep up the pace of blogging every day. I’ve still not yet found the perfect balance but I’m certain that it’s in there somewhere – Good Luck with finding yours – more days at the park and pottering around at home sounds pretty perfect to me. I’m glad you had a good trip home even if the news was not what you wanted, and a belated Happy Birthday!!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the birthday wishes my lovely. We had a great time despite the news but that’s my family always the positive ones to keep our spirits lifted. Yes, I still haven’t found a balance. It seems for me it’s all or none which I hate. I find it hard to dip in and out and not be apart of it all too. I hope this year with some planning and going forward I can slowly achieve that.

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  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas Jenny! Very jealous you had warm weather! Happy belated birthday! Looking forward to spending another year sharing our little loves together xx

    Reply
    • It was a nice change to have warmer weather for Christmas for sure. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I don’t feel a year older but perhaps I look it. I can’t wait to share another year of our #littleloves together indeed my lovely. Happy New Year!

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  4. So sorry to hear about your Grandma Jenny, I hope you still managed to have a lovely Christmas. I loved seeing your pics from America and was a little jealous at how warm it looked.
    I always worry that I don’t have O doing enough classes but I don’t want us to end up running from one thing to the next so I love your new attitude to it this year. I hope you have a wonderful 2017! xx

    Reply
    • Never worry you aren’t doing enough it’s parents like me that practically kill ourselves over doing way too many and get burned out that’s the problem. I am trying my hardest to scale it back and have just more home days and quality time together. Christmas with the warm weather was a lovely treat for sure. I felt a bit weird on Christmas day in flip flops but enjoyed it while it lasted.

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  5. Sorry to hear about your Nan Jenny, but also glad you got so have some quality time with your brothers over Christmas!
    I love a New Year, such a great chance to just wipe everything clean and re-write all of your plans. I really need to look at your hashtag on Instagram! I always forget who hosts which when I am thinking of hashtags so will be writing yours down! xx

    Reply
    • Some people say they hate the start of a year and the boring January that always awaits them. But I love it! It’s a time to reflect, change a few things, wipe the slate clean as you said and make plans for a better year than the one before it. Oh yes, please come join us on the hashtag community. Such a lovely place to share captures and engage with new people each day. I make a list on my notes on my phone which is connected to laptop too that way I can add hashtag in different categories and then copy and paste when I use that category. If that makes sense. Hope that tip helps!

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  6. So sorry to hear about your Grandma, I hope you could still enjoy Christmas with your family. That tissue box idea is awesome you are so inventive ! I think you have made the right decision about 2017 it’s too easy to get caught up in running from here to there with the children and exhausting. I hope you spend lots of quality fun time together this year. #LittleLoves

    Reply
    • The tissue box was a hit for sure. I am so glad I did it. I am always looking for ways to give cash presents in a more fun way for my nieces and nephews. I really want to make this year more about the family being together and not how much we do out and about but the quality of what we are doing together. I was like a taxi in 2016… so tired just thinking about it.

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    • Thank you so much Jeremy. I hope you had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year… it’s kicked started foggy and rainy but I can’t wait in a few weeks when the mornings get lighter. I always feel like I can accomplish more in a day.

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  7. A lovely post. I am so glad you got to spend the holidays with family at a tough time. My Nana (who raised me) passed this week and it truly is some of the most difficult pain I have had to deal with.

    Let’s hope we all get our fresh start this year. Xxx

    Reply
    • Oh Kara, I am so so sorry to hear about your Nan. It’s hard I know. My heart aches for you and for my own Grandma who we can’t even bury yet because there is too much snow and the ground is frozen. 🙁 I just want closure I guess. They will watch over us now and be with us every step of the way. Remember that my dear. Our love for them can keep going.

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  8. It definitely feels good to have a break sometimes, and it sounds like you had the perfect excuse – what a wonderful way to spend the holidays! Happy belated Birthday, and heres to a wonderful 2017 🙂 xxx

    Reply
    • Thanks my dear. It was my first big break since I started so I really needed it. I use to breathe, sleep and eat my blog. hahah If that’s possible I did it. I didn’t gain anything extra from it but a few extra wrinkles and no sleep for three years. haha I am trying to be smart about it this year and find that balance between work and family. Hope you had a lovely holiday and a happy new year!

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  9. Sorry to hear about your Grandma. Taking a blogging break sounds like exactly what you needed. Wishing you a happy belated birthday. Enjoy your weekend! xx

    Reply
    • Thanks my lovely. Had a lazy weekend but it’s nice to just chill out in January. The house feels bare now without all the Christmas decorations but nice excuse to deep clean it too. It was hard with the news of my Grandma so close to the holidays but helped being with my siblings when I found out.

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  10. Ah Jenny a real mixture of happy and sad in your post today – a lot like real life really. So sorry to hear about your Grandma who I know you were very close to. I lost my Grandad this year so I know that it’s hard – grandparents are such a blessing aren’t they? Glad you had some nice family time though. Looks like the kids had a blast. Hope that jet lag goes soonest! x

    Reply
    • Jetlag finally is gone. It took longer than normal this time. The dark days didn’t helps us any I think and not getting back into school routine until a week later prolonged our laziness. lol It was tough saying goodbye to her but I know she is watching from above and with me always in my heart and mind. Thanks Suzanne.

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  11. Not having space for more books was the reason I got a Kindle. I never wanted one because I love the feel of books and I didn’t think it would be the same experience as physically turning pages but I love it now and wouldn’t want to part with it. It’s made me read so much more, too. I’ve read almost 200 books last year x

    Reply
    • That is absolutely amazing hun. What a great book list too I bet you have. I love the fact that you aren’t just buying a book than taking it to charity two minutes later. You never have to worry about “did I read this book already”. It’s there in your library. I think I am convinced once I get used to it.

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  12. So very happy that you had such a good time with your brothers in the States. It looks like so much fun.
    I’m impressed with all your reading! You’ll have to lend me some when I’ve got through my new ones.
    Looking forward to seeing you next week xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Morgana. Yes, shout if you want any of the books before they hit the charity shop. lol I think though I am going to get a kindle. The space is running out, and I get sore arms in bed reading too long. Getting old. hahaha I like that I can take it on the beach and read it and if I finish a book on holiday I can start another. Or the fact that I always forget if I have read a book or not and than the kindle would have the list right there to check. hahaha Someday I would love a library but that doesn’t ever look like it’s going to happen. hahaha Look forward to seeing you on Thursday lovely.

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  13. Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday and Happy New Year-Wow what a week for you! I hope amongst everything you had a wonderful time it really seems like you did! What a Fantastic way of giving money it made me and my hubby chuckle! 33 you lucky devil-I’m clinging on to it with both hands while heading closer to 34. I hope 2017 is a great year for you and your family and I can’t wait to read more of your blog this year x

    Reply
    • Thanks my dear for your birthday and holiday wishes. It’s been a crazy few weeks that it has but looking forward to the new year and changing a few things and living a bit differently but happier. The kids loved the tissue box cash idea and it was more fun than handing them a card to open and just cash falling out. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve come their birthdays! 🙂

      Reply
    • It was nice to have my birthday with family this year. The aquarium was amazing even us adults were WOWed. lol It was hard to keep the spirits up despite the holidays but we did it together. The cookies were fun to make but my momma does it way better!

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  14. Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas with your brothers and their families. Can’t believe how brave you’ve all been to get through it with smiles on your faces, it must have been so hard for you.

    Happy Birthday for Boxing Day! I feel for you having your birthday then. I reckon my little one wont be impressed with me for having him on xmas day when he’s older that’s for sure!

    I love how positive you are about the new year. Think I’m ready for a fresh start too. Have a great weekend x

    Reply
    • Oh thank you so much my lovely. It’s been a tough year and the holidays were damped with sadness but my family has always been the positive type and like my momma said my grandma would be so upset and furious if we were sat during christmas sad and mopey. So we didn’t we know she is watching over us now. Thanks for the birthday wishes. It’s not the best birthday I have to admit but xmas day oh bless him. You didn’t help him there did you. hahahaha I was four hours after xmas my mom jokes she held me in as long as she could to midnight. hahaha Look forward to a new year and all that it brings us.

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  15. So sorry to hear about your Grandma, Jenny, what awful news to arrive to on Christmas Eve 🙁 Glad you had a lovely time with your brothers though, getting the family together at Christmas is very special and must be more so for you when you’re in a different country the majority of the time. I’m on the fence when it comes to Kindles- I kind of want one due to ever-increasing lack of space for books, but I do just love having them on the shelves and the smell and feel of them! x #LittleLoves

    Reply
    • Oh yes I am the same with the books but it’s also driving me crazy as I have no where to put them ever. I like having home interior books and self help ones on the shelves and dotted around but all my fiction is taking it’s space. So I think I have been convinced. lol Plus I can’t ever take more than one on holiday and then I am stuck without a book or reading one and leaving it somewhere. lol Seems like a waste of money than when that happens. Thanks for your kind wishes it was hard but I know she is watching over us all now.

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    • Thanks Stacey it was so unexpected that hurts really but she is not in pain anymore. Happy New Year to you too. Tissue box was fun to make and see their reactions for sure.

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  16. I love your American Christmases. It looks like you had a great time – despite the unexpected change in weather! The aquarium sounds awesome too and I love that you made cookies in honour of your Mum x

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    • I had to do the cookies I just felt so bad she couldn’t be there last minute with us all. I love going home for the holidays. The weather change definitely through us but we loved every last sun ray on us too. Thanks Donna.

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  17. I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandma, what devastating news to be greeted with when you arrived. I’m glad you managed to enjoy the festive period as I’m sure that is exactly what she would have wanted.
    I’ve made a resolution to buy fewer books this year as I have way too many and not enough room, I would definitely miss a book in my hands though so am opting to try and use the library more as a solution.
    I really can’t imagine Christmas in shorts and sandals although it was much milder here than is usually for the time of year.
    What a lovely idea to carry on the tradition and facetime your mum so she could still be involved, the cookies look great!
    Have a lovely week x #LittleLoves

    Reply
    • I think it really made my mother’s christmas so I knew I had to do it. I was sad as she was supposed to be there with us but my dad fell ill and is going through chemo now so she couldn’t. It’s been a tough year but I am hoping 2017 is looking and feeling much better for it. I know my grams is overlooking us all now. She was an amazing women that I hope I am half of the women she was, so inspiring, positive and full of love. It was surreal on xmas day in flip flops I was a little skeptical thinking this doesn’t feel like the snowy xmas I grew up with. But nice too to warm our backs and come home with some sun on our faces.

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  18. Jenny, what an amazing Christmas! I had a total switch off too and it felt gooooood! I totally agree with the classes. I’ve never booked too much, otherwise we’d be like ships that pass in the night! I hope the one class works for you and that you love your new start xx

    Reply
    • I hope it last and hope it works. Slowing down it definitely on the cards for me each xmas now. I spent the last two just working for hours and hours for what I didn’t really gain much more than I would have shutting off and then started the new year burnt out already. This year I feel fresh and ready to take on new adventures. Thanks lovely. I hope you had a lovely shut off time too. Happy New Year!

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