Vivez Bien * Live Well

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A New Year

"It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life. For me. And I'm feeling good"   Well mostly.....

You might wonder why I'm a little slow in acknowledging the New Year, after all, we are two weeks into 2017 already. I will explain, but first of all, I'm pleased to report that my dogs survived their Christmas Eve chocolate eating incident completely unscathed. The New Year, however, brought a different set of problems with our older dog, Baxter, having to have an MRI which revealed a bulging disc at the top of his spine which required an op followed by a week in hospital. My husband hardly slept the whole time he was in hospital. I slept a bit, but only because I self-medicated with wine. The good news is that he is now back home and recovering slowly but I think we might have to harvest a kidney or two from the children to pay for it all!

That's why I decided that I'm going to allocate the first 2 weeks of 2017 to the "Annus Horribilis" that was 2016. So my New Year officially started today. Happy New Year to you! Onward and upward! 

As far as New Year's resolutions are concerned I have only one.... to SIMPLIFY... my home, my life and my mind. My children already think I'm simple-minded so I can tick that one off!  My husband's  resolution for this year is to try and earn more than our children can spend. I think mine might be more attainable!

I have started going from room to room and removing anything that I either don't use or don't love. I've emptied cupboards, carefully sorted through everything and put back only half of the contents. I've started taking everything off coffee tables, fireplace mantles and bookshelves and only putting back the bare minimum. Its amazing how those things shine more when they aren't surrounded by a whole lot of other things.

I wouldn't call myself a hoarder by nature, but I am and always have been a collector. I have collected, amongst other things, white jugs, silver tea pots, bone chine tea cups and baskets of all shapes and sizes. My current obsession is Wonkiware.

 Yet I have this compulsion to discard. Do you see the conflict here? I will never be a real minimalist, but I also don't like being bogged down by too much stuff.  And when you are a collector, friends often give you gifts to add to your collection so there are the sentimental attachments to many of my things,

 I have made the difficult and brave decision to part with my white jug collection. I will only keep 3 of the nicest and will tell the others that they have been loved and appreciated but their time has come to be enjoyed by someone else.

And so my mission continues.... I am not rushing the process too much. When I have time and am in the mood, I will clear out yet another draw or bookshelf and will regularly take a car load to my local charity shop. I am also gearing up for a car boot sale and I might or might not use the proceeds to add to my Wonkiware collection. Please try not to judge me.

Here are some beautifully simple interiors that have inspired me. Perhaps they will inspire you too....


Till next time

Sharon x

Images via Pinterest


  1. Oh my goodness, how the post resonates with me. First, I'm so happy Baxter is recovering & will be OK. Now about the STUFF. At a certain point in our lives we all have way too much which we've accumulated over many years. I, too, feel I must divest myself of some of the same things you're talking about, as well as many designer clothes hanging, and I mean HANGING because I don't wear them any longer. That is because my lifestyle has changed dramatically. I think you are on the right path with paring down. Those images on the blog today say it very well, don't they? Another reason is that I used to have a house full of help. Now I don't. And, I really hate dusting & polishing, but I cannot live without doing all that. Total conumdrum! Happy New Year,dear friend. Sending love to all of you in your family....

  2. Hi Sharon,
    I'm so happy your dog is on the mend. I've found that vet's charges are now equal to time in the hospital for a human. I guess it makes sense, sort of. But jeeze, they are smaller than most humans, you think there would be a slight discount in fees. :-)
    I began paring down in earnest in January of 2014. It's ongoing and I marvel that after clearing lots of items, there seems to be more. It does feel good and I've sold a lot on ebay...they've made it much easier than it used to be.

  3. Love your writing, Sharon, love your blog.

  4. I hope you have a simply marvellous 2017. We never regretted downsizing and shrinking our belongings 4 years ago - but of course, Monica and Tim had moved out by then too - you're a tad behind us :) Our home is almost a chocolate free zone because of the dogs too - they managed to get a whole block of chocolate out of my packed tramping kit one year; have chewed a hole in two coats on the rack (to get to the tiniest crumb left in there) etc. They sniff it out wherever it is - so now I barely keep it in the house.

  5. Sharon, I am SO glad that you have updated us on the dogs. I have thought about them nearly ever day. Several times I almost emailed you but I was afraid of what the outcome was. My beagle once got into a bag of chocolate and after long terrifying moments looking up info on the internet I realized that since it was milk chocolate, and the bag wasn't full, we figured she'd get off with maybe some tummy issues. It's scary when our beloved babies get into things they shouldn't have. // Like you, I collect (also small pitchers) but I've come to that point in my life (I think I'm a bit older than you) where I don't want it all anymore. It was fun collecting, but most of it hasn't been displayed for years, so why am I keeping it all ? Time to let the younger folks collect these treasures. I do need to go through drawers, cabinets and closets to get rid of all the household items we don't use. That's my job this year. Thanks for the push! Again, I'm glad the babies are okay.

  6. Hugs to Baxter and a speedy recovery. This post really resonated with me, I, also, am trying to downsize my many collections, some that I have had since my 20's (40! years ago!) shocking that I still love my transferware, salt crocks and oil paintings after all these years!

  7. Wonderful, inspiring post! So pleased Baxter is on the mend, and now I might have to RE-redo my decluttering efforts from last year. The only problem is, I collect jugs (especially nice, white ones) I may have to come along to your car boot sale. Here's to a very happy 2017 for you xxx

  8. Sharon, I just saw this on a webpage that asked me to take a pet survey. Thought you might like to keep it handy for the pups. I'm going to bookmark it and put it on my Pinterest page in case I ever need it again, too. It's a meter that will show the toxicity and symptoms when you put in the type and amount of chocolate and the weight of your dog.