Two large family celebrations (down from the planned three) full of good food, wine, laughter and good cheer have left me thoroughly and happily exhausted.
We hosted my family for lunch on the 25th and my Roasted Pork Ribbe was a triumph. I had a baking marathon leading up the ‘festival’ and we all enjoyed endless mince pies, Norwegian cookies and Xmas Cake.
I made my first Chocolate Pav and loved it so much that I’m going to add it to my ‘Xmas Cookbook’. You can see the pictures on Instagram if you go to my profile dilishlife.
It’s true when they say Christmas is for kids. Olive’s bounty from the man in the red suit and family and friends was generous to say the least. She got her requested LaLaLoopsy Mermaid Doll and from us, a new bike. Her delight and excitement was contagious this year - so much so that both Grandma and Grandpa were jumping on the trampoline with her (their first ever time on a bouncy thing!)
Boxing Day we packed the car and headed to Mr Di-licious’s brother’s house for three days of more good food, wine and company (and more pressies!) In between games of scrabble and Taboo, reading, chatting and more mince tarts, I crept away from the boys while they watched the cricket and started to think about the blog and life next year.
It’s fair to say I let things slip in a big way this year. Not intentionally but life got busy and there just didn’t seem to be any time to blog as well. I also found that when I did blog it was heavily focused on recipes and cakes (some of my favourite things) and not much else. I didn’t have a rhythm, I didn’t have a plan. I was aimless. Quite simply, I didn’t have a clear goal of what I wanted my blog to be about.
I struggle with goal setting. Always have. I was a Stephen Covey disciple in my early working career but I struggled with the goals. I hated performance planning. I was terrible with realistic new year resolutions (I cringe when I review what I wrote for this year!). I struggle with meal planning for a week much less an exercise /diet plan to lose weight. Is it any wonder that I completely skipped the goal setting part of my blog when I started it?
In March I went to the Digital Parents Blogging Conference and sat through a brilliant Blog Coaching Boost seminar by Nic Avery from Planning with Kids. She’s a smart cookie and knows all about how to create a successful blog. And the key is writing SMART goals. I believe her. I was inspired for the rest of the day when we chatted before and after the session and had drinks in the bar at the end of the day.
I had the best of intentions until I came home and real life got in the way (as it does). I’m not holding a pity party for myself. It is what it is, but I want to make some changes moving forward.
Next year will be different. Olive is starting school and I will finally have regular time to myself. Time for some exercise. Time for some self nurturing. Time for my CWA Committee commitments and more importantly, time to blog.
I already know I want to make some changes to the blog – get back to the key areas of my tag line: Mastering the art of baking, motherhood and a happy home.
I don’t claim to be (nor want to be) an expert on anything. I love baking and am learning a lot through the CWA Judges course which I’m happy to share. I can’t advise on the best way to get fussy kids to eat but I can share the tips that worked for me and the ups and downs of school lunch box ideas. And I’m certainly not June Cleaver but I’m happy to recount my adventures in daily drudgery and finding enjoyment in the perfectly organised (for me) laundry!
To this end I’ll be digging out my note’s from Nic’s seminar, buying her e-Book and doing some navel gazing over the next two weeks. I expect I’ll restructure and reorganise the blog and so it’s easier to navigate. And I’ll probably also weed out some of the content that just doesn’t belong here anymore.
I know I don’t have a huge readership but the motivation to review and reorganise is important to me and I think (hope) it will make me a better blogger.
I hope you’ll still love me in the new year.