Happy (Belated) 2017!

New year, new start, new resolutions… or are they?

It’s the start of the new year and as I sit, like so many others, and try to make yet another list of resolutions, I can’t help but notice my first draft all looks achingly familiar; lose weight, read more, write more, save money…et cetera, et cetera. I can bet money on the fact all my lists have looked pretty much the same for the past five years or so. One can’t help but wonder if it’s worth making such a list at all, when I can probably lay money on the fact that come this time next year, I’ll sit and reflect on the year past, and ponder the year to come, and probably end up making a near-identical list again.

So do I just not bother? Do I accept defeat and acknowledge that I will likely carry on exactly as I have been doing for the rememberable past? And is that really so bad if I do?

Perhaps reflection on the year just past and what I achieved can bring a better understanding to me.

  • Lose weight

I have (finally) reached a point in life where I no longer feel the need to consistently weigh myself. My weight has always fluctuated a lot, but I can now acknowledge I am small, and, most importantly, I am finally healthy. I eat my fruit and my greens but I also love to sometimes indulge on cheese and wine. I run and dance and go to the gym, but I don’t punish myself for calling it off when it’s too cold and wet outside to want to go. I have found the sacred ‘balance’ I’d once believed to be myth, and, for the most part, my weight has plateaued at a size I can be quite content with. Yes, I think I’ll always ideally like to ‘just lose a few pounds’, but to be honest, I’m not too fussed either way.

  • Save more

Another year on, and do I have a savings account blossoming with a near-ready deposit for a house like I might like? No. Like, hell no. But, actually, I’m slowly chipping away at the debts I have had, and I’m in a better position than I was. My career is growing and I’m earning more. I have two business on the side which I love and which are growing. I’ve also added umpteen pairs of shoes to my ever growing collection and my wardrobe is bursting more than ever. I’ve had luxurious holidays and delicious dinners and copious amounts of wine and champagne. In short, I’ve had a bloody fabulous year doing (and buying) the things that make me happy. Would I rather I’d sat at home, bored and shoeless to have a bit more sat in savings? Not really. Following the advice of my spirit guide, Carrie Bradshaw, ‘I like my money where I can see it – hanging in my closet.’

  • Read more & Write more

My eternal internal struggle. Day after day I berate myself for not having read enough, or written enough, or blogged enough. But what did I achieve instead? Well, quite a lot, actually. I finally, after years of missing it, got back into theatre, and rehearsed and performed two shows; Legally Blonde: The Musical and Jack and the Beanstalk, the pantomime. In principal roles, no less – the principal girl in the panto, in fact! (Which furthered my belief I was born to be a princess, it felt so natural!) Something I’ve been dreaming of for a long time, and which makes my soul happy on a level I can’t describe. It’s been hard work, it’s taken so much free time from me and from my partner and my family, but the rewards have been worth it tenfold.

Speaking of my partner, I’ve found a man who makes me happier than I’ve ever been. Who cares for me, and supports my dreams, however farfetched. Who’s mind is on the same level as mine. Who I want to, and plan to, build my whole future with. We’ve had our challenges, the island-hopping, the time apart, but we’ve had so many amazing adventures too. Trips away, fabulous dinners, long lunches in the sunshine, lazy days at the beach and countless evenings in snuggled up together. He makes me laugh more than I thought I ever would, and love more fiercely than I ever knew was possible. Would I have changed a single moment of any of that? Not a chance.

I’ve also spent as much time as possible with my family and in particular my darling baby brother, who is scarily approaching two all too quickly! He grows and changes so much every week, I don’t want to miss a moment. It’s all going so quickly, from the baby boy I would carry around this time last year, to the whirlwind of a toddler running around now. I want to treasure every second of these amazing times with him and I’m pretty happy I’ve done that in 2016.

So maybe 2016 just wasn’t the year for my reading and writing, and maybe that’s actually okay. Maybe it was just meant to be my year on the stage, to find my sparkle again. My year for falling in love again, with Ben and with myself. My year for watching my brother growing up and seeing the little boy he’s becoming. My year for starting up 2 businesses and watching them grow.

I’ll always be a reader and I’ll always be a writer, but I’m a performer too, and a girlfriend, and a sister and a daughter and a businesswoman – and, just maybe, it’s okay that I don’t have to be all of these things all the time… maybe it’s time I cut myself a little slack.

Maybe my resolutions don’t have to be things I try to punish myself with, maybe they can be things I want to continue doing, or things to make the most of, or something to challenge myself with.

So, what are my resolutions for 2017?

  • Laugh. A lot.
  • Be happy.
  • Keep performing.
  • Enjoy time away with Ben.
  • (Enjoy time here with Ben!)
  • Move to a new home that’s ‘ours’.
  • Spend time with my beautiful family.
  • Eat good food.
  • Drink good wine.
  • Keep building my businesses.
  • Do something that scares me.
  • Keep dreaming big.
  • Never lose my sparkle again.
  • And hopefully read a few good books somewhere along the way 😉

Miss you all.

With love,
from Paris x

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My First Blogoversary Is Nearly Here!

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Saturday 11th July, marks one year since I first started blogging – how crazy! In many ways it has gone SO quickly, but it’s also now such an integral part of my life, that I almost can’t quite remember it ever not being.

It’s been a big learning curve, and I have met the most incredible, inspirational and supportive people I could ever have wished for, and I am so grateful to each and every one of you.

To say a great big thank you, and to celebrate in style, I have planned a week of celebrations, so there’ll be tonnes of amazing giveaways to enter. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has so generously donated prizes to help me celebrate, your generosity has astounded me and means so much.

First giveaway will be up later today, and each giveaway posted this week will run for one week! I’ve added a Blogoversary tab to the menu up there ^^^ so you can make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Best of luck and lots of love to you all xxxxx

Busy bee!

Hey bookworms

I’ve been pretty pants this week with posts, but I do hope you’ll forgive me, as it was my birthday week and I’ve been very busy!

I’ve had an absolutely lovely week with the Mr and our friends and family. Last night we had a big party with a Heroes & Villains fancy dress theme, which was a lot of fun. (We went as Rogue and Gambit from X-Men!) Everyone made such an effort which is always lovely to see.

Unfortunately, all this partying and general frivolity has left very little time for reading and writing, which is always a shame.

It was also my last week in my current job, and I start my new marketing job tomorrow. I can’t wait, but I’m also a big ole bag of nerves right now! I’m sure it’ll be fine once I get there though.

Anyway, I hope you’ve all had a lovely week, and I promise I’m back with my full attention going forward!

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I’m back!

Hey guys!

I am (very reluctantly!) back from holiday. Mr and I have had an absolutely amazing two weeks in Egypt – I did not want to leave. I can’t pretend the weather wasn’t a big part of that; 35-40 degrees every day and I hadn’t seen a single cloud since we got there, until we arrived home this morning to a grey sky and rain, that is. Home Sweet Home.

We managed to have the perfect blend of chilling out and seeing the sites. We went to Cairo to see the pyramids, the sphinx and the museum, which was fascinating. We went into the desert and drove quad bikes and buggies and rode on camels. We went on boat trips to go scuba diving and snorkelling and to a little paradise island. We also spent lots of time at the resort, in the sunshine, in the pool, and on the beach.

I also read 21 books. (And I thought 12 might be too many!!) I’ll post on them later.

It was perfect.

I haven’t loaded up any snaps yet, but I’ll put up some of the best ones when I do.

I’ve got a hundred and one things I should do today, and too many notifications to count that I will get through as soon as possible! So this is just me checking back in and saying hi, I missed you!

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Welcome to my Book Nook

I recently posted a poll, asking for your help on deciding a new blog name.

You can read the full article here, but basically the blog has taken more of a reading direction than a writing direction (which is still great, and still helps inspire my writing!) so, I think the name should fit.

Thanks to everyone who voted and left feedback – I really do appreciate it.

And now, welcome to…

Paris Baker’s Book Nook.