New Beginnings












I want to start by saying thank you for all your prayers and well wishes. God must have been listening because I’m truly feeling so much better. The results of the treatment I had will be coming in over the next couple of months and I just know that they’ll turn out fine because of all the positive vibes you sent my way. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can’t tell you how much you all mean to me.

Ahhhh, I love this time of year. We packed up every trace of Christmas and we’re ready to move on to this beautifully peaceful season – a time to be still for awhile and let body mind and spirit rejuvenate. We had a lot of warm weather so far this winter here in upstate New York but we recently had a light dusting of snow which was just enough to make me glad to be indoors, cozily ensconced with a cup of hot tea and a good book. The temps have since plummeted from the 60’s into the teens but the sun has been shining so brightly that it doesn’t stop anyone from enjoying the outdoors.

I always feel like January is a wonderful time to focus on the upcoming year and what goals I might hope to accomplish. My daughter gave me a great planner and it’s making think hard about what’s most important to me in 2016. Obviously, I’ll be focusing on good health – oh, how I enjoyed the desserts, mashed potatoes, toasted bagels thick with butter and pasta dishes I ate over the holidays – but the holidays are over and it’s back to lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains. How about you? Are you ready to say “uncle” and get back to healthy eating?

Aside from eating healthy, I’d like to get my creative juices flowing again. I’ve been reading “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert – She’s always such an inspiration. I also had a copy of Helen Phillips’
“Modern Vintage Gifts” under my Christmas tree which includes patterns for many of the clever things Helen makes. I still have a couple of projects from last year that I’m anxious to finish so I can try a few new things.

Have you set any goals for yourself this new year? Whatever plans you have for yourself, I hope that 2016 is the best year ever for you. May you and yours find happiness, good health and abundance this year.

With love,



  1. says

    So glad you are feeling better!
    The new year holds such hope and promise. I love this time of year. And I see you have snow! Hard to believe there is more snow here in the desert than in New York!
    Happy New Year to you!

  2. says

    Your photos always look so inviting. I would love to come to tea as well. I have been reading and enjoying Big Magic too. It is so creatively encouraging. I also have altered my diet after a December sugar binge (how I love sugar!!) and am feeling hungry and grumpy about it at the moment. I know that in a few days it will all even out and I will be back on a healthier road, but its hard at the start. Good news on your health! I’m so glad.

    • says

      Happy New Year, Dana. I’m glad you’re enjoying Elizabeth Gilbert’s book too – I always love what she writes, no matter the genre. When you have a sweet tooth, giving up sugar is a killer, isn’t it? The good thing is that after awhile, the craving goes away, so there’s hope for us!

    • says

      would come in to use the litter tray. Now sh8e7&21#;s adult and realises that for a cat the outside world is her toilet – except when it rains. Litter trays are still important.

  3. says

    It’s a great relief to read that you are feeling better. I do believe in the power of prayer and good wishes. Hurray for you—keep improving!

    Your photos tell a nice story, you move along quite happily with the seasons. I’ve been thinking of picking up Big Magic…let me know how you like it once you’ve gotten into to it. And Helen, I simply love her!

    Happy New Year, Susan!

    Jane x

    • says

      Hi Jane – Happy New Year to you too. Yes, Helen is amazing, isn’t she? She turns out one thing after the other and makes it all look so easy. I’m about 1/3 into Elizabeth Gilbert’s book and I’m enjoying it – she’s so easy to read.
      Thanks so much for all your kind words, Jane. I hope 2016 is a little bit gentler on you than last year. xo

    • says

      Thank you for your kindness, Sarah. I love reading everything that you write – it’s always so peaceful and calming, almost like a meditation. Best wishes to you too in 2016. xo

  4. says

    Love the tea cup and saucer. We have several inches of snow and COLD temps here in northern IN. It is suppose to climb into the 40’s by this weekend though and rain. I love the looks of that Vintage book that you got for Christmas. I have several projects swirling about in my head. Sadly, my Christmas projects never got done (I have blamed that on Frank and Vanessa ☺) so those are first on the list. Have you seen Lori Holt’s vintage pattern books and fabric line? I am in love with it and is my current obsession. Prayers for healing and a beautiful and productive 2016 are being sent your way.

  5. says

    I had never heard of Lori Holt before so I just took a look at her fabrics and books. I’m going to have to take another look because I love the fabrics! And they’re so reasonable. Thanks for the heads up.
    Thanks for the prayers, Lynn Marie, they are truly appreciated.
    Wishing you a wonderful 2016. xo

  6. says

    This post is putting my mind to good thoughts… I like your relationship with the month of January.
    I always come off the holidays disappointed that it’s done, and somewhat bitter about the months ahead…
    you are giving me a brighter, more accepting perspective, and I am going to reflect some more on this!
    Thank you.

  7. says

    Hi Natalie – I know there’s lots of snow and we don’t get to spend as much time outdoors as we do in the warmer months, but you are so creative that I’m sure you can plan things to do to make these winter months fun and exciting.
    It’s all in the way we look at things. So, make the days ahead something to look forward to! xo

    • says

      Thank you, Deb. Yes, Helen’s book is wonderful. I’ve already gone thru it, cover to cover, several times and enjoy it every single time.

    • says

      I’m a big fan of all the Somerset magazines myself, Wendy. And I love my coffee with half and half every morning. It’s the only way to start my day.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Amy. I’m feeling confident that I’ll be hearing some good news in the next month or so.
      Hope 2016 is good to you in every way. xo

  8. says

    Oh I loved Big Magic – I read it cover to cover in one sitting (in the bath!) and now I need to go back and read it again slowly and make notes!

    • says

      She’s wonderful, isn’t she, Carie? I can see why you’d want to read it a second time. I’ve been highlighting everything and I know I’ll want to go back over it and over it again – she’s that good.

  9. says

    Since I have been snowbound, I started my decluttering project. Hopefully it will go better this year than last year. I made a bigger mess in the end. But I am determined. So glad you are doing better. Take care.

  10. says

    I’ve been a bit behind on my blog reading, and have only just read you haven’t been well Susan – I’m sending you lots of love and positive vibes that all will be fine and some hugs ((())).
    I haven’t really had a chance to think too much about my goals for 2016 but I do know I’m wanting to commit to a market of my crochet for April but it could be a stretch!!
    You take care, warm regards Jan x

  11. says

    Thank you so much, Jan. I say go for the crochet market in April! I’m sure it will be great fun and good exposure as well. Wishing you all the best in 2016. So glad you stopped by. xo

  12. says

    oh susan
    I had missed the last TWO posts!
    i’d forgotten my email crashed and burned just before Christmas.
    no wonder I didn’t get notice of your posts.
    now I’ve RE-subscribed to this beautiful blog of yours!
    but just in case i’m going to put you in my favorites BAR across the top where you belong! LOLOL. i’ll click on everyday. maybe not always looking for new…
    but just to enjoy over again those past posts of yours that I love.
    this blog is calming to me like none other. it’s heavenly.
    and the pictures are positively gorgeous always!
    and here I am gushing in the new year! LOLOL. nothing changes old bean!
    I missed news of your illness. I hope you’re totally on the mend now and feeling fine. keeping you in the white light of His healing.
    have a wonderful new year dearest bean! a simple cozy living new year. XOXOX♥
    we awoke to the most beautiful snow this morning. AND NO hours of ice first!

    • says

      Hello, dear Tammy – hope you’re enjoying your beautiful snowy landscape. We haven’t had much more than a dusting on two occasions. Thank you for all your kind words – they are most appreciated. xo

      • says

        Moi je dis, il y en a qui se font créer une caÃr©gotie de concours juste pour elles. Tu serais pas un peu jaloux parce que tu n’as jamais été à la première place et que le plus souvent ce sont les filles qui sont dans le top 5?

  13. says

    Lovely read and so glad you are much better, lets get our health on track…..I know mine is way off lol
    Expecting new grandgirl any moment and the weather is stinking hot here lol xoxo

    • says

      Hi, Wendy. I’m so excited for your new arrival! There’s nothing better than a granddaughter. I have 11 year old twin grand girls and they light up my life. xo

  14. says

    Love your way of thinking… I love to do spring cleaning in winter right after the New Year. It makes me feel like I am starting all over brand new and fresh. Love the picture of the Grapefruit, looks soooo yummy.

    • says

      Well, Eva, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I did a spring cleaning – I’m saving that for spring! But, it is definitely nice to have a fresh start. Congratulations! I can imagine the joy you are feeling in having a new grandson.

      • says

        Thank you! I am looooooooving it so much. But our little one has been in the hospital for half of his short life. I think we have all the problems mostly taken care of. He is such a good baby in spite all the trauma he has survived. As of today he has gained back his birth weight and some…. and grown almost two inches so we feel he’s going to be okay finally phew… on the 12th he was four weeks old, such a sweet baby hardly cries at all and when awake he just sits and looks around the place and if you talk he will turn his head and look deep into your eyes as if he is intently listening… You can’t tell I am a proud Nana can you lol

        • says

          So glad that things are looking up for your little fellow. I know you’re enjoying every moment spent with him. He’s in my prayers, Eva and I’m hoping things continue to improve for him. xo

  15. FABBY says

    Beautiful images to tell a wonderful story. Congrats on the new grandson;
    what a happy time for your family this is, and I know as we received a new grandgirl past November 20th as well.
    I do some cleaning in the new year, of course, I have to after putting away the holiday décor.
    Happy new year.

    • says

      Hi Fabby – You might have me confused with someone else. I’m grandmother to 11 year old twin girls, but congratulations to you on the birth of your granddaughter – what an incredible blessing.

  16. says

    Just checking back in here after a while and so sorry to hear you have had a health problem and hope everything will be fine.

    That cup of tea in the first picture is the most perfect cup of tea in the most perfect cup and saucer! Very British!

    I agree, planning the year in January is fun and makes you feel good! I was feeling pretty low a couple of weeks ago. Then I put lots of plans in place and I feel great and excited about life again!

    Claire xxx

    • says

      Hello, Claire – I’m so glad you’re feeling excited about life again! Isn’t it amazing how putting a few plans in place and taking action gets us re-energized. I can’t imagine you ever feeling low – you always seem so cheerful and optimistic and full of fun things to do. xo

  17. FABBY says

    I love your post and that pretty cuppa tea, while your lovely images tell a story.
    Keep up your high energy and positive attitude sweet lady, you are so blessed to be like this. I was just talking to a friend about someone who has no interest in anything, never mind a optimistic outlook.
    I so appreciate your sweet and kind comment.

  18. says

    I am so glad you are feeling better, Susan! I’m glad you have been enjoying some new books, too :) My to be read stack of books is ever growing! xx

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