Happy New Year and looking ahead to 2018

Happy New Year, friends.

I’ve hesitated to write the first post of the year for the very silly reason that I’ve felt pressured to come up with something inspiring. Remarkable! Fresh! The truth is, however, that I’m not feeling hugely inspired these days.

In the past I’ve ushered in the new year with all sorts of challenges and goals – all of which were absolutely sincere, don’t get me wrong. There was a reminder in January 2017 to do small things with great love and I committed to more gatherings around my table. 2016 was the year I invited you to take the Pulse Pledge, and in 2015 I shared 11 healthy family food habits to embrace.

The year before that we talked about 18 healthful snacks, better for you, better for your wallet. I’ve also covered the best foods to stock in your pantry and brought in new lunchbox ideas with 9 Cures for the Midday Blues. Yes, January is a popular month for setting new goals and pumping ourselves up to eat more nourishing, homemade foods. It makes perfect sense – as long as it is genuine.

This time around, I’m popping in to simply greet you all with a Happy New Year and wish you the very best for the year ahead. The truth is, 2017 has left me feeling a little bit tired. It was the year to DO stuff. We took a huge leap in our personal life, acting on a dream, to which you all responded to so warmly. We are slowly moving toward that goal, one hurdle at a time, but it hasn’t been simple.

I launched a new cookbook and toured Canada coast-to-coast, a two-month process which was exhilarating, but also exhausting. The release of a book is much like the fourth trimester of pregnancy – you’re so proud of the new arrival and thrilled to show it off, but there are also the sleepless nights, and moments of vulnerability which leave you feeling emotionally battered.

A hundred other things unfolded over the last twelve months as well, and everything has left me wanting to curl up in a ski cabin and hibernate for a few months.

I’ve been contemplating the idea of what it means to rest – not in a lazy, Netflix-binge way, but more of a mental state. It’s counterintuitive to what society expects (and rewards) but I think there is much to be gained from slowing down and not measuring self-worth by productivity.

This January I’ll be exploring this theme a bit more. As so many people around me (or so it seems) are setting personal goals for the new year, I’m interested in discovering what I can learn about myself when I’m not highly productive. Perhaps ‘Rest’ will be my word for 2018, although that hardly seems possible when we’re planning an out-of-province move with three kids. Ouf.

Maybe rest for me will signify more of a mindset, a productivity fast, where personal success means more time with family – and a little self care. I’m looking for more hygge moments and ways to celebrate the little things in life. If we don’t take time to create those moments – and slow down enough to appreciate them – life just ends up slinging us from one thing to the next.

For the immediate future, I’ve got my eye set on a little ski cabin tucked away on a mountain in Northern British Columbia. We’re heading there for a few weeks later this month. After that, we’ll just have to wait and see how the rest of the year unfolds. Oddly enough, I have a peace about it all.

Welcome to 2018, friends! Thanks for being here.

Do you have a goal or a word for the new year? Perhaps a resolution or two?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Christine H says:

    Hi Amy, thank you for all the wonderful recipes and posts you send our way. I’ve followed you for many years now, and have loved seeing your family grow and your cookbooks published. Blessings to you this year!

    • Christine, thank you for reading all these years. I can’t believe we’re here at 2018 and I started this blog in 2010. It’s been such fun. Happy New Year to you.

  2. I’m a new follower and I’m so glad I discovered your blog. I ordered your new book and it’s coming tomorrow (YAY) and I’m so excited to dig into some new recipes! I’ve made your chicken noodle soup and it was a huge hit with my family. My eight year old daughter loved it and took some for school lunch the next day. Love your word “Rest” for this new year – something I need to do more of! Looking forward to following your new adventure as you and your family make a big move… very exciting! Nova Scotia is on our list to visit someday! Just curious, do you homeschool your children? Happy New Year!!

    • Julia! Welcome. Thanks for much for joining our community. I hope you love the book!

      I think Nova Scotia should be on everyone’s list to visit, truly. It’s a remarkable place.

      We do not homeschool! I was homeschooled most of my life, though. We’re big fans of homeschooling, but for now we have access to really great public schools. 🙂
      Keep the questions coming and stay in touch.

  3. Ellen Tresidder says:

    Thank you Amy, for being so real. There are people everywhere espousing their New Year’s goals and it’s refreshing to have you be honest about reflecting your needs for taking it easy, thereby teaching your readers that when we need to, doing the same is not only okay, but often necessary.
    Best wishes to you and your family on your big move, and thanks for teaching me a new word, hygge – so perfect.

  4. Hi Amy, I’ve been following you for years. I enjoy your recipes and love reading about you and your family’s adventures. I’m very excited for your family with your big move and look forward to reading all about it. I love your Word for 2018; I also need to do more resting. Blessings to you and your family and Happy New Year.

    • Thanks so much for the support, Maurika, especially after all this time. I will certainly be documenting our move, in bits and pieces. Here’s to more rest in the new year. Cheers!

  5. Happy New Year to you as well, Aimée. I haven’t blogged yet this year, and like you didn’t want to call in the usual “plans for the year ahead” or “a look back at 2017” post. There’s nothing wrong with those and I’ve done them before, but I’m just not feeling it right now. Last year was complicated, and while the year aheads holds great promise, right now I’m just following my instincts and doing what needs to be done to make that great promise come true. There were times in the past when the blog was the life preserver keeping me afloat through tough times, but right now it just seems right to let it drift along for a little while, with the odd post here and there, as the spirit moves me. As you say, sometimes we need rest and self care, and really, what better start to a new year? Cheers to you for the year ahead.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Marlene. I really appreciate you sharing. I’m drifting too, but finding rest and rejuvenation, so I’m sure I’ll be back soon!

  6. Are you sharing the recipe for the gorgeous dessert (pavlova?) shown above the title? What a beautiful end-of-winter-thinking-about-the-colors-of-spring palette!

  7. Hello! I have search to find the recipe of this beautiful Pavlova showed in the picture on your website, but I can’t find it. Is it in your new book? Thank you. 🙂

  8. Happy New Year Aimée! Even if you feel not inspired, your words truly are by their truth!
    I love this idea to REST for 2018 and I am convinced a lot can be learned through this lense of resting, taking time, enjoying small moments, and be more mindful, etc. Will try to REST to! Try! 😉 Hope to catch up soon ! And rest, my friend. You deserve it !!

    ps. We can also rest in front of a yummy breakfast in a café soon with the #CarbsTeam 😉

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