a Brittany escape + new year’s resolutions

Our time in France is nearing the end. Last weekend hubby and I left the girls with my parents and went on a weekend escape to the coast of Brittany. A cold but oh-so-perfect seaside escape. If you have kids and leave far from your close family, you know how rare of a treat that is :) You might already have seen some pics on my instagram feed, but I wanted to share a few pictures of this simple, yet magical weekend here with you all.

We need nothing extravagant really. We went for walks by the water and stayed cosy at the hotel drinking tea and reading books for the most part. And we talked. A lot. It’s crazy how much you can talk with your partner when you’re not constantly interrupted by life and kids 😉 We talked about the past year, and the one to come and beyond. And we also talked about our resolutions for the year. We’re so hard core we even started an excel spreadsheets for them – I kid you not….we’re such geeks 😀

Baby number 3 is going to be here before we know it (I am already 21 weeks pregnant!) and life is just about to get a bit crazier, but there is still so much more I want to do for my family, for this blog and for myself. I love setting up goals, it makes me feel I’m getting this much closer to reaching my dreams. Last year I shared my 13 goals for 2013, and while that was amazing guidance for the year -and I actually managed to keep up with almost all of them!-, I want to cut down a bit this year – but more focused on each of them.

1. People, people, people: because really, isn’t it the one thing that really matters in life? I want to feel more connected to those around me. We all pretend that we’re too busy, that we don’t have time to go on that walk, grab that coffee or even just give our loved ones a call. It should be that way. We should always make the time. I want to cut down on screen time and social media, and spend more time actually being with family and friends – old ones and new ones- in the moment. I am dreaming about sharing a passion with a friends, and spontaneous adventures, and dinners parties and long conversations about life. I also want to make sure I get to know you all better. You might not know it because I don’t say this often, but you are such in important part of my life – you make it possible for me to come back here everyday and blog.

2. Take better care of my body: When you have kids, that’s usually the first thing that goes out of the window. You have less time and you cut down where it will “hurt” the less. You skip a shower. Or two. Or….mmm, I don’t smell that bad, riiight?! You stop combing your hair or hydrating your skin like you used to. Gym what?! And before you know it, you’re that woman-thats-too-busy-to-care-about-her-appearance that when you were in college you swore you’d never become. This year I want to find a new exercise routine, eating well and listen to my body a bit more. A pretty ambitious plan but I am determined to make it a priority!

3. Prioritize creativity and original work: I want this place to make unique, I want to explore new avenues, explore my creativity, and push my limits. I want to train my eyes to look at the life around me in my own, particular way, and encourage curiosity. And I’d love to pass some of this along to my own children – Olivia is already showing so much talent and love for painting, and I need to encourage her in that path. I can feel that there is so much more in me, and I have the tendency to let other things put that side of me in the background. Like Justin said, let’s bring sexy creativity back 😉

4. Strengthen my marriage: because it is where this family all started. And I can’t really imagine life without my partner in crime. I don’t want to take my husband (and our relationship) for granted. This year will be spent on finding the right balance between family time, us time and letting each other have some alone time. Since we moved to Berkeley, we’ve barely gone on any dates since we didn’t really have any good babysitters. And that needs to be fixed – anybody out there that wants to babysit our adorable-and-not-at-all-mischievous little girls? :) I also want to step it up in the “small gestures” category, so that he’s reminded every day of how much I love him.

5. Stress less: life with young kids and babies can be very busy and feel so stressful, but in the end, I just need to step back and make sure to remember that life IS very good. I don’t want stress to get in the way of my appreciating all that’s good in my life.I want to remember the past but not dwell too much on my mistakes. I want to feel prepared for the future but not have that take over this moment right here, right now. I tend to live through to-do list, and while they are awesome at helping me stay on top of things, sometimes I just feel like I am becoming the slave of these lists. This year I’ll be better at knowing when to quit and not letting the perfectionist side of the take over too much.

I know these my seem very general  and vague, but don’t let the list fool you – as I mentioned I’ve got a whole excel sheet and a plan for each of these items. They say it takes 66 days to change a habit…..so let’s get to work! :) It will be hard to find the balance while adding to our family, but I know we can do it.

What about you all? Did you make a list this year? Anything that’s really dear to your heart on there? I’d love to hear about them!

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14 Responses to “a Brittany escape + new year’s resolutions”
  1. Oh my, France looks so beautiful (despite the cold, rainy weather!) I hope you are having such an amazing time! Your resolutions are fantastic things to focus on this new year! I plan on focusing on business, work, and of course the people I love (and trying to juggle them all!) and just following the things that make me happy :) You are absolutely radiant and gorgeous with that little baby bump, Audrey!!

    • audrey says:

      thanks so much, darling! :) it’s been cold and rainy indeed, but we’re really trying to make the most of it! I’d too love to focus on business a bit more this year, but decided to tone it down with baby coming – so instead of focusing on “business” per se, I’ll be focusing on networking (people, people, people), because only good things can come up from building up relationships with people :)

  2. Christine says:

    Hello Audrey, your trip to Brittany sounds so wonderful and you are so good at vividly sharing the experience. I can feel like I was right there watching you guys read! So great you two got to recharge your batteries a bit and re-connect for the new year!

    I hear a lot of the same passion in your resolutions for the new year in my own resolutions. I haven’t written them down yet and I should! AND keep them in front of me. One of the big things I want to work on is relationships, really connecting with people, sharing our hearts/what makes us tick, and being a support through the challenges that may present themselves this year too.

    Thank you so much for your post and being my friend!

    • audrey says:

      thanks so much for leaving a comment, Christine – makes me so happy to read your words! you should definitely write them down, and put them up in front of your desk so you always have a a little reminder. If you print them in a pretty font you’ll want to look at them even more :) xx

  3. Bethany says:

    Looks like a beautiful trip! Really love your resolutions. I need to focus more on people, too. It’s so easy to get caught up in our devices and blog-reading to the point of forgetting about the people around us.

    • audrey says:

      Thanks Bethany! Yes, I feel like cutting down on devices is going to be a bit tough at first – but really needed so I think to figure out what’s going to work for me. It will bit weird to be a blogger and cut down on blog-reading too, but in the end maybe it will help me better define my own voice and not be influenced so much by the things I see :) Time will tell!

  4. Helene says:

    Votre escapade en Bretagne sounds just perfect!!
    Je me retrouve dans pas mal de tes resolutions, numero 2, 3, et surtout 4 et 5!! Cette annee, des choses que j’aimerais attendre mais que je decoupe en attainable goals au fur et a mesure pour ne pas avoir l’impression de devoir franchir des montagnes. Seulement 8 jours passes de cette nouvelle annee mais j’ai deja pris quelques petits pas dans la bonne direction, je sens que 2014 sera l’annee ou je tiens enfin mes resolutions!!
    Je te souhaite une bonne annee, plein de bonheur et changements en perspective, bonne chance!
    Btw, loved your article in Mollie Makes magazine 😉

    • audrey says:

      Oui exactement :) J’ai prevu un plus petit goal pour chacunes de ces resolutions pour tous les mois, des sortes d’etapes quoi – parce que sans ca, je sais que je n’y arriverai jamais non plus! Allez, on va reussir a tenir nos resolutions toutes les deux en 2014….RV a la fin de l’annee pour faire le bilan :) Tres bonne annee a toi aussi, beaucoup beaucoup de bonheur!

  5. Nina says:

    Huum, je voudrais prendre des résolutions pour la nouvelle année, mais ça ne marche jamais vraiment. Bien sûr, je me promets toujours de prendre plus soin de moi (ma peau est terriblement sèche et je ne sais pas vraiment me maquiller), de manger plus sain (cette année je voudrais manger végétarien et surtout végétalien plus souvent), de mieux m’organiser (mon défaut n°1, sauf pour le boulot semblerait-il), de lire plus, dormir plus, d’être plus créative et de finir les projets que j’ai commencés, etc, mais mes journées ne font que 24h… Et comme je ne vois mon homme que les weekends, que je fais du sport 3 soirs par semaine (au moins une bonne résolution qui n’est pas à prendre!), ça réduit quand même les possibilités.
    Voici quand même les objectifs que je me suis fixés :
    – comme je l’ai dit plus haut, manger encore plus souvent végétarien, et végétalien. Et composer mes petits déjeuners avec plus de soin.
    – lire plus. J’adorais lire, enfant, mais par manque de temps je lis de moins en moins… Il ne tient qu’à moi de passer moins de temps devant mon PC et plus de temps à lire!
    – apprendre à me servir de la machine à coudre reçue en cadeau à Noël
    – noter mes rêves à mon reveil (je fais toujours des rêves délirants!)
    – me remettre à la pâtisserie de temps en temps (pas très compatible avec le végétalisme, mais je me suis rendue compte en faisant une bûche à Noël que j’aimais bien faire des gâteaux après tout!)
    Je crois que c’est la première fois que je définis bien clairement mes résolutions! J’espère que ça m’aidera à les tenir!
    Excellente année 2014 :)

    • audrey says:

      Ahlala, tu me donnes envie de rajouter encore des choses a ma liste 😉 Lise plus, cuisiner plus…..mais comme tu dis, il n’y a que 24heures dans une journee! L’ecrire c’est deja une tres bonne chose, ca fait penser! Imprime tes resolutions dans une jolie police et affiche cette liste quelque part dans ta maison, ca t’aidera peute-etre. Tres bonne annee 2014 a toi aussi!

  6. Barbara says:

    I love your resolutions too. I was just about to post mine, but they are nearly completely opposite to yours. I actually need to spend less time on family and friends and health, and start prioritising work. More time on my online business, less time socialising!
    Bonne Annee!!

    • audrey says:

      everybody has different priorities! To be honest if we weren’t expecting baby in May, I would definitely has a lot more in the work category 😉 Happy 2014!

  7. Ju says:

    Happy New Year Audrey !
    All the best for 2014 to you and your growing family :)
    Baby n°3 is also on the way here, due at the end of March, so I know what you mean about not focusing too much on work in your resolutions !
    Mine are as follows:
    – To take care more of myself and appearance (like you, but then I have to admit that old large comfy sweaters seem to be just what I need at the moment)
    – To take a picture of the children once a week so I can see the evolution througout the year (I’m very bad at taking pictures, I might get better by practising !)
    – To take one picture a day, to keep memory of the nice moments each day offers.
    – To start (AND finish) ‘mini-craft projects’ (sewing /knitting / decorating…) I know this one will become obsolete once our baby is here, but I have 2 months left to do my best ! (and make the most of the fact I can’t move that much anymore 😉
    – To read more (again, I know from March it’ll be very hard !)
    – To stop shouting after my boys
    – To be more organised (by spending less time on the internet for example. That’s a problem when you work at home !)
    – To make a ‘galette des rois’ and succeed (long story: I’ve been failing for the 6 past years !). I can say this one is DONE, and I’m glad (yeah, you also need tiny goals so they’re achieved quite easily and keep you motivated for the rest)
    – To find new clients for my professional activity (I’ll start to work again in September).

    That’s such a long list ! But somehow, I like it, I can feel it’s becoming part of my life and it feels good.

    I hope you have a lovely pregnancy, as for me, I can tell it’s far more tiring the 3rd time around, but I’m loving it every second 😉

    PS: Were you in Saint Malo ? I love this place ! You look lovely anyway 😉

    • audrey says:

      That’s a great nice long list, Ju! I’ve never tried making my own galette des rois, seems hard but I should maybe put that on my list – you can be proud!!!! Congrats on the pregnancy by the way. Do you know what you are having? Sounds like this year is going to be a year to “find the balance” for the both of us. And the one resolution “to stop shouting after my boys” – I should totally have that on mine too. Even though in a perfect world I’d love to pretend I never loose my calm and patience….it’s crazy isn’t it, you get tired and things just get to you so easily? I wouldn’t let others loose their patience with my kids the way I do sometimes, so that says a lot. Definitely something I want to do, more patience with the kids. Happy 2014 to you :)