Happy New Year everyone, I truly hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas and New Year with your friends and family. After the huge stress of last year, it was so lovely, and so needed, to take a decent holiday and just ‘be’. Compared to normal I was hardly on my phone or taking photos, instead I spent most of the past few weeks reading books, playing endless games of cards with my family, eating, napping, going to the beach and helping friends renovate their home. It’s been such a perfect summer holiday and really just what was needed.

It also gave me a lot of time to stop and think about last year and what I would like to do this year. A few things, well a lot, came to mind, but aside from wanting to read more books, I tend not to try and start the year with a huge list of resolutions. I have always been of the mindset that you can change your life any time of the year, but of course a new year is always a nice starting point and it really can feel like a fresh start. One of the things that I’m determined not to let happen again this year is to burn out and to not be in control of my life again - a lot of what happened last year was out of my control, and it was really awful. I made mention to it a little in this post, but the sad truth was that while dealing with a sudden and incredibly quick divorce, I ended up throwing myself into work/coping with a new life and I spread myself so thin that I was hardly sleeping, I rarely had time for my friends and family, and worse me, and I was incredibly stressed a lot of the time. And I absolutely hated it.

One of the things that happens when you go through a huge life changing event is that you end up questioning absolutely every part of your life. It’s in equal parts refreshing and exciting, but it’s also exhausting knowing that you have to rebuild your life and start again. So after a lot of thinking over the past few weeks, I have decided to try and keep this year as simple as possible and take it back to basics, and that includes Made From Scratch. There has been a rather lovely moment in bloggers around the world lately where they’re wanting to get their life and blog back to basics and share and work on projects that really do excite and inspire (I have many many more posts to write about this topic). And honestly, I think there is something really lovely and refreshing about wanting to take things down a notch or two, work smarter, accomplish small daily goals/dreams and actually have the time to do the things that you love…

So, as the new year starts and everyone is slowly making their way back to work I’d like to share a few of my back to basic plans for this year.

Do something just for me each day - and the lovely thing is, is that it doesn’t have to be huge or expensive. Be it read a new book for 10-15min, go for a walk or run, treat yourself to a face mask and hair treatment and watch your favourite movie or TV show, pick some flowers from the garden. It can be anything, but I think there is something incredibly valuable (and something I’d never ever done before) in taking a moment just for yourself each day.

Move each day - many many years ago I used to do triathlons and long distance running, and our training schedules often meant that we would train a least an hour in the morning and in the afternoon/evening. I did this for years, but the thought of that much exercise now doesn’t seem very appealing. But, I love how I feel after exercise, it clears my mind, my body feels better and I am able to handle stress a lot better. So now, I just do a little exercise each day and it works absolute wonders. You really don’t have to go for an hour’s run each morning, even a 10-20 walk/run, yoga/body weights session (there are so many apps out there now to teach you) or simply stretching while watching your favourite tv show of an evening really does make a difference. I have been going for a fast but small run (under 2km) every second day the past few weeks and I just feel so much better for it.

Take Made From Scratch back to basics - this is a rather large topic, but quite simply, I want to take Made From Scratch back to it’s roots. Share simple and delicious recipes with you, beautiful lifestyle inspiration, my fresh start and upcoming few months in Paris, but mostly, I want to be able to help you. I don’t know how to do this yet, but I want to help women find their voice, passion and simply to embrace and create your own fresh start.

Be present - as simple as it sounds, put your phone away while you’re with friends and family. If you have taken the time to be with them, then be with them, social media, emails and news can wait for that fleeting moment of time that you’re lucky enough to spend with the people that mean the most to you.

Go to Paris - admittedly a rather huge goal/change, and I have so much to share on this topic. But spending, to start with, three months in Paris is my biggest plan for this year and I truly cannot wait.

Find my happiness again - this is probably the hardest and most challenging of ‘goals’ for anyone. Many many books have been written about happiness, what is classed as success, etc. But simply, I want to be happy again. I’m tired of being sad, lonely, hurt and taken for granted, and so if this year is simply to find my happiness and I nothing else comes from it, then it’s a year well spent.

The thing I love most about small goals, is that you’re always able to add or change them over time. I’d absolutely love to hear of any plans you have for your new year - and the truly lovely thing is that they don’t have to be huge to have a positive impact on your life. Sometimes the smallest of changes can make the biggest difference to our lives.