Happy New Year

Fri 3rd, Jan, 2014

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Good morning beach cottage lovelies, how are you?! I hope you had a fabulous festive break and New Year. I have had some much needed time off from everything, first of all I had planned some time off from blogging but it actually turned out that the last 10 days or so have been a bit of a fog and a switch off from life.

If I am honest the lead-up to Christmas was a pretty stressy one here in this old white cottage and our plans changed at the very last minute (we were meant to be away with friends) and so we were at home for Christmas. It’s funny though, because we were going away everything was done and dusted literally to within an inch of its life, and then when bam things changed and we were to stay at home I was like, oh, oh, oh,  massive exhale of horrible stressed out forty-is-the-new-thirty stale yucky air, I wrote on Instagram (you can find me over here, have to say I love the gram for quick and easy creativity, join us) that it felt like I was one of those pump up air beds with the valve and two days before Christmas someone pulled the stopper out of the back of my neck and I deflated, like super fast.

I think everything happens for a reason though, it’s the one thing I have learnt with age, in the old days I would have analysed it all, turned stuff over in my head a million times, but nowadays somehow (so not sure how) going with the flow of what life throws at you seems to happen a lot more (would we be calling that wisdom???? crikey), and what ended up was a very very nice, very very easy Christmas with just us, a few good friends thrown in here and there and lots and lots and lots of food  and drink (ummm jeans are not doing up here yikes to that, can’t think what it could have been)….where we were going was catered so at the last minute I had a quick Christmas day dinner to plan, I must say I was not disappointed in this, I love a good pottering and cooking of Christmas Dinner the English way….initially we were going to picnic at a very nice local spot so I was going to do the turkey on Christmas Eve and go a bit more Aussie with salad and bits and bobs, but after literally weeks of roasting weather the forecast for Christmas Day, though far from cold, was miserable and drizzly, so we stayed in, I dressed up the turkey with herbs and seasonings and all the extras and we had roast potatoes, stuffing, veggies and all the trimmings and sat at our dining table with crackers and finished with a Pavlova made by the lovely Miss Beach Cottage….we ate all day long, opened presents, I watched BBC tv shows on my ipad with my new earphones, Mr Beach Cottage insisted on watching James Bond films, we Facetimed with the Old Country (isn’t technology amazing, we were all beamed into the living room of a house in England and we showed each other our presents, trees and the weather, all from a tiny little phone and ipad!) and somewhere, somehow in the middle of it all we all sat around watching Elf while eating Roses from the tin.

It’s weird really but with nothing to do and nowhere to go this has been the first Christmas since we moved to Australia that I’ve felt really 100% settled, at other times of the year I was in with my feet under the table just about as we stepped on the tarmac right off of the plane, but Christmas is different – when you move to the other side of the world and know not a single soul Christmas can be odd, especially with the huge change in climate at this time of year for us, not for the kiddos I don’t think, they’ve always been pretty much fine, and to be honest I pretty much think Mr BC is cool too, but for me there is always a bit in the back of my mind that things are not quite,I don’t know, right.  This year it was just right.

And while I’m writing a book about my Christmas here I might say that I have always been the person who likes to take every single bit of Christmas by the neck, screw it up and wring it out and love it all – the singing of carols, the decorating the house, the lights,  the Christmas dress, the food, the sparkly lights everywhere, all of it, I like to revel in it and not waste a second and while lovely it doesn’t actually leave a lot of time for something that happened this year, relaxing and re-charging, I’m calling it Christmas Slobbing, my new term, yes there will be a guide next year, haha, How to Christmas Slob the Beach Cottage way.  There was a whole lot of Slobbing on this hammock…and a mahusive amount of tiger prawns were eaten here too…


Apart from a few parties not a lot has been happening, that’s what I wanted and needed, there has been a whole lot of hanging around in pj’s, revolting hair and no make-up and many trips to this beach where we’ve sat for hours and hours and hours and done absolutely nothing, the most a walk along the shore…


…and my lovely friend the bath tub was mucho in use this Christmas, 2 hour baths have been very much in evidence…there is nothing like it, especially with a home-made face pack, essential oils and a Limoncello ;-)


And the New Year?  Well it rolls around doesn’t it ladies?? This is the time of year I have to keep myself in check, oh yeah I will be climbing Mount Everest this year (more like Mount Washmore by the state of my laundry room right now), I will be just about flying to the moon, I will change this and that about myself, I will be less moody, all while juicing and being super-mum, at the same time floating around in organic linen.  Hmmm.

In one of my two hour Christmas baths I was musing all this, and I’ll be blogging a few of my very small goals for this year, but I came to the conclusion that although it’s good to grow and change and learn and strive to be better and have goals, well sometimes it’s just good to just leave it all alone, to just coast along and be happy with what you’ve got…to suck that all right up and in and be calm….so my biggest New Year thing is to be grateful for what I see as I look around this very humble old cottage that we’ve thrown a lot of love and white paint at, for health and happiness and you know mostly just coasting through life as me without apology.

All I can do is be me, whoever that is.

All the best for 2014, peace man.


p.s. thank so much for all your lovely comments, here, on Insta and on Facebook, I have read them all but I know I have missed replying to some while I’ve been with my family over the Christmas break.

p.p.s this blog is about to go through a big design change, after lots and lots of things wrong with my last design and that’s just the bits you could see (the back-end has been dreadful) I have had a lovely team come in and completely clean up the mess I was left in – it’s taken months but the new clean and well-functioning site (with things that work!) is on the way…new year new blog.



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34 Responses to “Happy New Year”

  1. lizzie says:

    lovely post Sarah
    Lizzie Xxx

  2. Nola says:

    Sarah that was so lovely. I love reading your blog and I think you keep it so real and I think that’s what people love-most can relate in some way. I personally want to be a more relaxed me as I have raised my beautiful 19 year old daughter on my own and now want to be less stressy about everything. I will still worry over money etc but it is time to enjoy the good life we have and really stop and smell the roses and be grateful for what we have. I love my small home and your blog is full of so much inspiration and I thank you so much!!

    • sarah says:

      thanks so much Nola for your lovely comment and taking the time to leave it!

      I want to be more relaxed too, it’s a hard slog raising kiddos especially on your own and in our case where we’ve never had any support…

      I’m not sure what the answer is where money is concerned, our business was a huge gamble that is paying off now but it’s still up and down and in the early days it was very stressful, I guess money is always a worry and a horrible one at that for a lot of people, one thing I learnt though while growing up where money was so tights is that it’s easy to make money the reason to not live a good life and to spend so much effort being negative – I was surrounded by the thoughts that money (or lack of it) stops you from doing anything and that other people are somehow more ‘lucky’ , I think that’s why I try to look at the good stuff in life that’s free, especially nature, and make my own luck… oh dear I’m rambling! Happy New Year.

  3. Kelly Waldron says:

    I’m an Aussie and I always feel like Christmas (I’m in Queensland) feels a little odd. I thought about it this year and I think it’s because Christmas in the movies, carols etc is all set around snow and hot food and warming yourself by the fire. Sort of clashes with our reality of sweating away with the bright sun bleaching everything in sight.

    I’m glad that you got a chance to relax with your family. My husband and I spent the day rushing around trying to please others and are determined not to do it again this Christmas. I guess that will be my New Year’s resolution…be a little selfish this Christmas and do what we want to do, not what is expected.

  4. Jenny McAteer says:

    Hi Sarah, Our small family has spent the last five years or so without family around. At first it always felt a bit strange at christmas and new years, however this year it just felt right. Our christmas day was very relaxed and lots of time for just slobbing around. I think we are finally becoming comfortable in our skin and the way things are without extended family around. I totally agree with your comments about the stresses of money, it has been a bit of a strain for us this past year, which has sent me soul searching about the way we live our lives and the expectations that others put on us to live a certain way. It was a breath of fresh air to find your blog and open my eyes once again to how to make our home an inviting one on a limited or no budget. I still have the dream of having our own beach cottage and will get there someday, but in the mean time can focus on making the home we have a happy and cherished one. Over the last while I’ve been thinking about starting my own blog that travels my journey back to good emotional and physical health, sharing those things along the way that bring inspire and nurture me. I’ve just opened the mindfield of books on blogging and will soon get started on setting it all up the cost free way. Thanks so much Sarah for your inspiration and openness throughout the year. xxxxJenny

  5. Julie says:

    Just keep being you Sarah! That is who we all love and why we come back to your blog on a regular basis.
    You bring a healthy dose of reality and chunks of optimism to your blog page and give me reason to smile everyday. I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say you feel like an old friend!

  6. sunny says:

    That s the best hammock I have ever seen! It s so pretty, can you tell us where it came from?

    It sounds like, in the end, your Christmas was good…and that is all that matters.

    Happy New Year!


  7. merilyn says:

    she’s back! … and we’re glad about it … the inspirational sarah!
    it all sounds good! enjoy your break lol m:)X

  8. Karen says:

    Yes! A huge climate change made Xmas seem like, well, not Xmas! And, thank you for the reminder to find gratitude for what we have…..I see that everywhere as a cure-all, and I know it to be true, but I always forget to take a moment and find the grateful heart. So important. Can’t wait to see your new design.

  9. Great hammock. I have one similar but it doesn’t have the cute croqueted edging. Plus we don’t have the perfect spot for it. But we do have home made Limoncello.

  10. alison says:

    Ahhh, a great ramble. What a perfect way to start a new year.

    Thank you Sarah.


  11. Surely Sarah says:

    My jeans no longer fit either! But I do not regret it :) Eating my body weight in shortbread is tradition, after all.
    Here’s to a new year – can’t wait to see the new design!

  12. Tracy says:

    From my island home in the very chilly North Atlantic (it’s -36 C with the wind chill today) – Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to seeing your revamped site.

  13. Kriszta says:

    Sounds like a lovely Christmas! Wishing you a peaceful and wonderful 2014!

  14. Jane says:

    Nothing wrong with coasting, I’m doing it here too! 2013 was a shocker for me, my mum died, work was either full on or easy (never just mildly challenging!), we bought a house, my hubby and his partners bought another pub and imported a brewery, my 8 year old was diagnosed with dyslexia…….I’ve declared 2014 the year of pottering along and I’m good with that! Your hammock looks like the perfect spot to contemplate what has happened and plan, but don’t forget sometimes just being is enough

    • Yep l had a similar year in 2013 – loosing my Mum in April …. I’ve had the same thoughts on the 12 months ahead, l just want to ease into things and keep everything as simple as possible. In fact simple is my word for 2014. Perhaps it’s an understandable reaction/response to one heck of a year? Be well and may 2014 bring you peace.

    • sarah says:

      Sorry to hear your year was a shocker, peace for 2014 Jane x

  15. Deb says:

    I agree!
    Lovely post, hits home with me in so many ways, and your Christmas sounds about perfect to me!
    Mine was very similar, and I’m totally with you on the New Years Resolutions thing too! It’s great to have some goals, but I feel if we set too many, too high, we are just setting ourselves up for failure!
    I am just going with the eat healthier, move more, need less, and appreciate what I have, it’s more than most have, and also to just be me!
    Happy New Year to you and yours, and thank you for your little blog here, full of inspiration, in all forms!
    Love the hammock,
    Deb. xxx

  16. Hey Sarah! I discovered your blog via Shabby Art Boutique and have just enjoyed looking at some of your reno/makeover pics and read your New Year post. Your clawefoot bath looks the perfect spot to contemplate the coming year … we had one in our previous house and have plans to have one in our current one … one day … SIGH! I still miss it a lot! Thanks for sharing your news, views and pics … I’ll be popping back for sure. :0) Bear Hugs! KRIS

  17. Melinda says:

    Happy New Year, Sarah.
    Our Christmas had a last minute plan change, leaving just our family. It was one of the very nicest – tailor made just for our family and doing exactly what we felt like all together – pure gold

    grace and gratitude – they’re my goals – that and getting on to one waterski !

    Best wishes for a fantabulous 2014

  18. Janmary says:

    Love this post. So glad you felt at home Down Under this Christmas. Although it wasn’t the Christmas you were expecting maybe it was the Christmas you needed :)

    Happy New Year ….. here’s to another year of blogging :) and maybe some white paint thrown in too ;)

  19. Min says:

    Hi Sarah

    Lovely post, Christmas is always lovely when you are celebrating it simply with no fuss.
    Hope you have a lovely 2014. I never make new year goals, coasting has always serve me well. Don’t fix what’s not broke has always been my policy :) xx

  20. Helena says:

    Hi Sarah, I must say that you are a huge inspiration! I have this Christmas made an effort and made the best Christmas I could have instead of sitting back and feeling sorry for myself things never seem go to plan in life and expecting things to happen on its own! haha. But reading your blogs I have now seemed to realise that everyone has their ups and downs (even though one can feel there are more downs than ups) but that’s ok too, it’s part of life and one must learn to deal with it, just learn to go with the flow. I have made my little home now my little haven I can feel proud about (even on a very limited budget and not worry to try and make everything perfect but pretty to the best means I have to work with. A very Happy New Year to you and your family! :)

  21. Claire says:

    Thank you for this! I think New Year’s is a great opportunity to decorate. It’s the best way to renew and freshen our daily lives. I shared a tip for New Year’s on this Facebook page, where I’d like to get the conversation going. It’s called Decorating Secrets. https://www.facebook.com/spam … Join! Would be fun to get decor tips in our FB feed in addition to visiting blogs. Does anyone suggest any good Facebook pages for decorating tips? Pinterest sucks me in for TOO long ;-)

  22. Ellie says:

    Best wishes for 2014 Sarah! Looking forward to the new website design, I dont think the current one does justice to all your hard work photographing and writing!