Hello 2023

January 18, 2023


HELLO 2023

Hello 2023. I am cautiously optimistic about what you have in store for us. I know it won’t be without more challenges, because that is how life goes, but I hope that there is lots more good stuff within you than there has been in recent years.

I’ve had a much needed break from the blog but I’m ready to get back into it now. There might be some hiccups along the way though (see further down the post for the first one) but I’ll try my best to be consistent. I have lots of thoughts and ideas to share. When I first started typing up this post so much came spilling out, but I soon realised it was too much for one post and so have cut this post back to a more manageable reading size. Do check back now and then though for those thoughts and ideas in future posts to come!

Let’s start by updating you on my Christmas, New Year and 2023 so far.


I had my traditional Christmas Eve brekky with my friend Kylie which was enjoyable as always. We have done this since we met way back when our girls were at preschool together (so since 2000) – 22 years now!

I’ve hosted Christmas for the tennis player’s side of the family in the past, but for the first time ever, I hosted Christmas this year for my family. Mum has always hosted Christmas and I’ve only ever been asked (allowed) to take over a salad to contribute. Mum can no longer host Christmas now, so the baton has been passed. I’m not sure if I will always host or maybe it will rotate around siblings. Anyway – it all went well. I’m a perfectionist though so created a lot of work for myself – the house had to be clean and tidy and perfect and then I glazed a ham and stuffed and roasted a turkey for the first time. I even made some white Christmas! The whole week prior to Christmas was scheduled and flat out from the moment I got out of bed until I dropped back into it at the end of the day. Having said all that though – I enjoyed it all, my house got a really thorough clean and tidy, and it was nice to not have to drive anywhere on Christmas day for the first time ever!! Everyone seemed to enjoy the day and that is all I can ask for. 

New Year’s Eve was quiet. We were at home and didn’t stay up till midnight to see in the new year. For many years past we have hosted a family New Year’s Eve bbq with lots of swimming in the pool and always stayed up until midnight to see in the new year. This year though, since we hosted Christmas, and as some had other plans for the night, we let it go and were quite happy to I must admit! 

These are a few posts that I posted to Instagram to wrap up my 2022 and welcome in the new year:

Then there’s this post where I documented my first swim for the summer and celebrated hitting 1000+ followers on Instagram:

2023 SO FAR

Boxing day and the days between Christmas and New Years Day are my favourite days of this whole season. They’re spent quietly at home, enjoying gifts, tidying up from Christmas Day, swimming in the pool, reading books etc.

We had a lovely day early in the new year over at Mum’s catching up with cousins, some of whom live around Brisbane but one (and his wife) who was visiting from NSW who I hadn’t seen in many years, so it was really enjoyable to catch up with all of them!

I’ve spent some more time staying over at Mum’s and helping her out. Here’s where the first hick-up comes in. I alternate time spent helping Mum during the weekdays with my sister (other siblings help over weekends). I had a couple of nights over at Mum’s last week and so this week it was my sister’s turn. However, her hubby has just tested positive with Covid and she is now a close contact …. soooo …. I’ll be heading over to Mum’s again this week (will be there when this post publishes) as we do whatever we can to avoid any risk to Mum.

I’ve been spending Christmas money online (mostly in the Boxing Day sales). 

I’ve met up with a couple of friends for lunch which is always great!


We’ve finally made first steps to getting the holiday to New Zealand booked. A very rough itinerary was drafted by us and after a visit to a Travel Agent was changed quite a bit and should be much better now! We’ll soon receive the skeleton draft, including accommodation, to tick off on etc. Once that is all locked in, we’ll then look at what activities we might want to book in for – cruises, tours etc.  This trip will be happening over 3 weeks in mid-May with us heading home in early June. 


I’ve needed the break from the blog over the Christmas and New Year period, and a break is always a good thing to do! It gives you some head space to dive within and have a bit of an internal review of what you would like to see more of and less of on the blog and time to cultivate new ideas going forward. It also just gives you a much needed break from creating content and doing all the usual blogging things like reading other blogger’s posts and commenting, etc! Just like when you have a ‘real job’, a little holiday is always very beneficial!  

For the first time in a long time, I have a word for the year! I know! I wasn’t expecting that either! It just wouldn’t leave me alone though, so it was meant to be. I was going to reveal it in this post but there’s quite a back story, and my ramblings become too long, so I’ll reveal it in a future post.

I have a really inspiring guest on the blog coming up soon as part of my Art Chat series. Keep your eyes peeled for that post. It will be Art Chat #10. I am also giving a lot of thought to what I’d like to see more of on the blog this year, and how I can get re-inspired to get back into my art on a more regular basis. There may be more challenges (of the art kind) in my future, of my own design, and gratitude is something I feel a need to revisit. It did amazing things for me back in 2012 when I did a 365 Grateful Challenge and I feel like those benefits have started to slide, so I feel like something similar needs to be done to restore all the good I gained from that challenge.  Enough from me for now … 

How was your Christmas? Did you do anything special for New Years Eve? 

Ciao for now,

Linking up with Denyse Whelan’s ‘Wednesday’s Words and Pics


(1) I’ll be over at Mum’s when this post publishes so it may take a day or two until I respond to comments etc. I’ll have to see how I go. I always respond though!
(2) I couldn’t find a nice stock image (that was free) that suited this post so very quickly drew up my own to use instead. It’s got its good points but is a lot rougher than planned. Too rushed is why!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Debbie Harris January 18, 2023 at 7:11 am

    Hello to you Min and welcome to 2023! Your post was refreshing and full of enthusiasm for the year ahead – I wish you well. Your Christmas sounds perfect and although a lot of work for you, it seems like you enjoyed it all, I bet you were (happily) tired at the end of it all!
    We also had a family Christmas but away from home, up on the Sunshine Coast and it was just what I was hoping for – busy with the grandkids and hectic at times but fun.
    I enjoyed a bit of a blogging break too and used the time to do some behind the scenes updates and tweaks which are always needed but I have to be in the mood. Looking forward to hearing your word of the year and your plans for the future.

    • Reply Min January 18, 2023 at 9:13 pm

      Hi Debbie, I hope your 2023 is going along well so far. Your Christmas at the Sunshine Coast sounds wonderful! Re the behind the scenes updates and tweaks for the blog – I know exactly what you mean and I need to do some of that too! I have lots of catching up to do in the blogging world. Hopefully soon! Thanks for your lovely comment. xo

  • Reply Mica - Away From The Blue January 18, 2023 at 7:52 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed your blog break over Christmas, and happy new year! It’s always stressful hosting Christmas but it is really nice not having to drive anywhere too and just stay at home!

    Hope your sister’s husband just has a mild case and doesn’t pass it on to her!

    • Reply Min January 18, 2023 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Mica – thank you. I hope my sister doesn’t get it either! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and your 2023 is going along well so far! xo

  • Reply Jennifer Jones January 18, 2023 at 10:38 am

    Christm/New Year was very quiet for us. We decided to work so those with families could take time off. I tool a short blogging break which, I agree, was a great thing to do. Looking forward to your word of the year. Here’s to a happy and content 2023

    • Reply Min January 18, 2023 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Jennifer, that was so nice of you to work so those with young families could get some time off. I hope you found the bloggy break restorative like I did. I’ll probably reveal my word of the year in a couple of weeks time. Cheers to that happy and content 2023. Wouldn’t that be nice! xo

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 18, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Min – glad to hear that the family Christmas hosting went well. We have my family here each Christmas, but not the extended family any more – it just got too big and cumbersome as more adult children hooked up with partners etc. I enjoyed my blogging break over Christmas/New Year too and got motivated again when my WOTY arrived in my head. Looking forward to reading yours. PS did you see that Leslie from Happily Ever After featured your blog?

    • Reply Min January 18, 2023 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Leanne – I hope your Christmas went well. I have lots of catching up to do. Still at Mum’s at the moment. It’s 9:20pm and I’m propped up in bed with my laptop. I won’t last long as I’m soooo tired. I’ll have to check out what your WOTY is when I’m back home and have a bit of time. Mine will probably be revealed in a couple of weeks time. And NO I had no idea that Leslie from Happily Ever After has featured my blog! I will have to find her blog and have a look! Thanks for letting me know. Cheers to a fabulous 2023 Leanne! xo

  • Reply Susanne January 18, 2023 at 11:11 pm

    Oh, I can relate to the perfectionism and wanting the house to be perfect for guests. I’m glad it went well and I understand how the days between Christmas and New Year were good and relaxing for you!
    We had a very relaxed Christmas with mostly food, movies, and going for walks.
    I’m looking forward to hearing more about your trip to NZ!

    • Reply Min January 19, 2023 at 2:58 pm

      Hi Susanne – it’s so nice that someone can relate to my perfectionism problem! I’m glad it all went well too and yes the days between Christmas and New Year are fabulous aren’t they? I lose track and never know what day it is and I kinda like that! I’m so pleased to hear you had a nice relaxed Christmas. It sounds wonderful. Don’t worry – you’ll hear heaps about the trip to NZ! lol xo

  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 January 19, 2023 at 6:16 am

    Hi Min, Happy New Year to you and your family. The Festive Season seems to pass in a blur doesn’t it? We have planned a River Cruise for November which we are looking forward to. I’m excited to hear you are planning a trip to NZ. It has so much to offer and a feast for the eyes. Not sure if you’ve read but Jo, Deb, Donna and I host a link up on the last Friday of each month. It was Word of the Year but we have changed the name to What’s Been On your Calendar where you can write about your WOTY or any topic really. You would be most welcomed to join us.

    • Reply Min January 19, 2023 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Sue – Happy New Year to you and your family too, and yes that season sure does go by in a blur. I’m quite pleased it’s behind us now and we can get on with a new year. Your River Cruise sounds intriguing. Where will it be? It’s so nice to have something to look forward to. I’m looking forward to NZ – 3 weeks away from the usual daily grind of jobs will be fabulous alone and then to be exploring and discovering beautiful new places on top will be wonderful! I knew you had a WOTY linky – and I could never link up because I didn’t have a WOTY but didn’t know you’ve broadened it to ‘What’s Been on your Calendar’. Good to know! Weirdly, I am going to have a WOTY this year! When I post on that I’ll be sure to link it up with you. Thank you! Hope you’re all settled in at your new place now! xo

  • Reply Elizabeth January 20, 2023 at 4:53 am

    Hello Min, I have been following your blog for a while and thought I should step out of the shadows and say ‘hello’. Your Christmas and New Year sound nice – we stayed at home for NY too. I hope your BIL only has mild Covid symptoms and recovers quickly and doesn’t pass it on to your sister. I’m interested in hearing more about your plans for NZ and the back story to your WOTY. Elizabeth.

    • Reply Min January 20, 2023 at 10:20 am

      Hi Elizabeth! I’m so glad you came out of the shadows to say hello. It’s lovely to ‘kinda’ meet you! So far my sister hasn’t gotten sick from her hubby and I’m hoping it stays that way *fingers crossed*. You will definitely be hearing about my WOTY soon and also all about our planned trip to NZ (the itinerary is locked in now – just got to work out any cruises/tours etc we want to book in for). I’m so excited about the NZ trip – after years and years of no travel at all and only a few short local getaways, I really need this trip and it’s so nice to have it to look forward to. Hope to see you here again Elizabeth! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan January 20, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Loved your art image for the year. I am someone who enjoys playing with letters and media too.

    It sounded full on Min, for you around Christmas when you wanted to make it all work for you and everyone else.

    I used to be like you in some ways, and having just stopped work at school a few days before hosting Christmas meant the stress levels were high. Other people also helped by contributing what they could for food etc. I learned to ask and not feel I wasnt doing it right. The “picture” in my head had to change, and has so many times in the past 20 or so years, that “just being with our kids and grandkids” became the one goal. After covid spoiled everything for 2 years we did get to see them all at our daughter’s and the food was secondary! Oh, and we stopped gift exchanges many years ago, just giving grandkids under 21 some money in a card.

    Excited for your trip.
    And I hope your Mum stays well. There is always “something” happening in families…

    Thank you for your blog post shared on Wednesday’s Words and Pics this week. I do appreciate your support. I hope to see you next week too. Denyse.

    • Reply Min January 20, 2023 at 4:54 pm

      Hi Denyse, glad you like my little rushed art effort! It has been a bit full on around here lately. I’m enjoying the day today – home alone in peace and quiet! Rare! My sisters all brought salads on Christmas day. One brought the plum pudding. Mum brought some choccies, another made some rum balls, so I did have some help with the food! Mum hasn’t been so great of late – with her mobility affected so lots of extra worry because there’s more she can’t do for herself now. It’s very hard always having worry. I am so excited about the trip to NZ. I hope and pray that all will be ok with Mum and that nothing happens to stop us going! Thanks again for hosting your link up Denyse! xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan January 21, 2023 at 4:51 am

    Delightful to catch up with you. Glad you stepped away from blogging and just enjoyed the holidays. And some online shopping after. I’m sorry that you are doing double-duty for your mom over back-to-back weeks. My brother lived in the same city with our mom so he did the in person visits. But my sister and I were there at least 4 times a year to break him a little. And we called and video chatted with her almost every day. I know that isn’t the same though.

    I am subbing some this week but more and more, I am dreading it – except for getting to dress up when I work. And even first grade math has me stumped today. They make math so hard. No longer just learning facts. But all of this other junk added – like identifying the thinking pattern for an addition problem. What in the world is that? The kids were answering with J-U-G which must be an acronym. But this day is making me want to hit the jug tonight when I get home.

    • Reply Min January 25, 2023 at 6:28 am

      Hi Leslie and thanks so much for dropping in! I didn’t mind the two weeks in a row with Mum. It’s just I get behind with everything at home. I like knowing she is safe and cared for. It means everything to me. It’s tough though because Mum has always been so robust and energetic and a go getter. I hope you got through your week subbing without having to hit the jug! lol I must admit I would like the dressing up a bit part too because I’m mostly at home and dressed in my daggy house clothes and no makeup! Stay well and hope you’re having a great week! xo

  • Reply Joanne Tracey January 22, 2023 at 8:58 am

    Your year is off to a fantastic start. I’m looking to get into more creativity for fun this year and have signed up for a weekly art class. My words are change, creativity and colour – so let’s see where that takes me. Looking forward to your word of the year reveal & your trip to NZ.

    • Reply Min January 25, 2023 at 6:30 am

      Hi Jo – I am SO excited about the NZ trip. Initially we were going to do both islands within the 3 weeks but soon realised it would be too hard. We can’t even fit everything in we want to see on the south island within the 3 weeks! I’ve made sure the dates will see us over there for both our birthdays but we will still be home for Mum and my daughter’s birthdays in early May. Great to hear you’ve signed up for some art classes! I bet there is an amazing creative within you. You’re a writer so already creative and where there is creativity there often is more waiting to be unlocked! My word will be revealed next week. Hope you’re keeping well and are having a great week! xo

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.