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We are now in 2018. Welcome everybody! Grab a glass of bubbly! I’m glad we both made it. It’s so good to see you again!

I always start the new year withย a niggling feeling like I just barely made it through a stargate and am now standing in a random field, swinging my arms, wondering what happens next. I swear I spend the first week of the year with a cloud above my head that says, ‘NOW WHAT?’ in bubble lettering.

Even though the passing of a year is fairly arbitrary.

Even though it makes no real difference.

Even though it should just be a continuation of what came before, and not some odd date on the calendar that feels like a new page, a clean slate, a blank wall of concrete staring you in the face when you have an unused can of spray paint in your hand.

It’s time to start over.

You know….


So here we are, in the future of the past which is now the present. I rang in the New Year in Spain, choking on grapes and crying with laughter. I spent the first day of 2018 exploring small towns with medieval walls, before chasing down chocolate con churros with a single-minded focus usually found in bloodhounds on a hunt.

Nothing gets between me and my churros.

Today, the world is glitteringly cold. The sky is a clear, pale blue and if you run outside in your socks (as I – very briefly – did), it feels as if your feet might stick to the ground, rooting you to the spot, freezing you to the flagstones. Everything has been delicately brushed with a thin coating of twinkling frost. In patches of sunlight the ice has melted away, retreating to the safety of the shade, revealing the bright, true green of the grass or the vibrant red of the few remaining autumn leaves.

I have no list for this year. No boxes to check. No impossible goals or overly ambitious aims. Instead I have a word that I’m hoping will propel me into the new year with all the fire and energy I felt I was lacking last year:


Great things happened in 2017! I visited Mexico! I visited Bali! I swam with sea turtles! I got engaged! I got two enormous kittens with over-sized portions of personality! I planned an apartment overhaul that has turned us into nomads with capsule wardrobes that consist of jeans and more jeans (the toilet did eventually arrive by the way, for those of you who have spent the holidays on tenterhooks waiting for an update about our plumbing)!

I’m hoping that by the end of this month, we will be in apartment 2.0. I’m hoping that it will be the first of many great things in 2018. Part of making that happen, however, involves taking action and pulling on a blue boiler suit (size XL; I look like nothing so much as The Michelin Man in a cleanroom) and a respirator so I can continue the work I started yesterday*.


So far, ‘action’ is turning out to be deeply uncomfortable…

If you have a word or a resolution, let me know – I find they rub off on me sometimes! Whether you do or you don’t, I wish you all the luck in this new year. I wish you personal successes and private accomplishments. I wish you joy, and love, and happiness. I wish you a minimum of tears (unless they’re from laughter – those are allowed), and I wish you pride in yourself, bravery in your actions, good company and great friends.

Now if you could all just wish me a bit of sunshine so that I don’t freeze and spend the first month of 2018 as a glittering but immobile garden gnome….


*I am in the middle of spray painting our kitchen cabinets, and it is both messier and slower than is truly ideal in minus degrees.



  • Bexoxo

    Remodeling your kitchen, remodeling your blog… what’s next on the overhaul list?? I’m made the resolution (like most of the universe has) to lose weight, but this year is different. This year, I have a damn good reason for the change; MY WEDDING! In my first week of exercising and eating better, I’ve lost 3lbs!! So far so good.

    As for a ‘real’ resolution, I resolve for 2018, to be less stressed. Especially with all that comes with planning a wedding, stress seems to be a regular occurring feeling, but not for this bride. I will adopt a mentality of ‘it it was meant to be, it will be’ and try and shrug off the small stuff. Happy New Year!!

    • Quinn

      I know! What do you think? The wedding planning sounds so intense that honestly I’ve been putting it off. There are just SO
      MANY THINGS to think about that I would rather just… not. Less stress sounds like a good goal for a wedding year! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • bexoxo

        I like it! Just a bit of critique: the main image at the top is rather large (at least on my laptop). There is a lot of white space around the words. I see little question mark bubbles off to the side, but they’re cut off. Also is there a way to link the image to your home page? You don’t have a link at the top menu to take readers to the home page, so being able to click on the header and be directed there would be nice, or you can just add it as an option. Okay. I’m done.

        Since we’re having a small wedding, I think it has made the whole planning part bearable. Planning an event for 30ish people is a piece of cake (ooooo cake… sorry, I’m dieting) compared to, I’m sure, planning one for 100+. Hell, even 50+. I knew weddings were expensive, but yeesh!

        • Quinn

          Hmmm… I have to teach myself to do that and then I will fix it. This is what I hate about new themes – I’m never quite sure what I’m doing or how it looks on on other laptops! Thanks a million for letting me know! I definitely need to link the image to the homepage. I like your small wedding size. I cannot figure out how to limit our guest list at all!

          • bexoxo

            Well it helps with as seeing as we’re shut-ins and don’t have too many friends. As for family to invite, if I haven’t seen them within the past year, they’re not invited. I don’t want to come off mean or anything, but I legit have an enormous family, most of which I don’t keep in touch with, so why would I invited them to my wedding? Have you thought about eloping?

          • Quinn

            That is a ruthless but impressive way to face it! HAVE I. I think eloping is the bees knees but honestly the amount of people it would upset would break my heart. Hence the wedding. Hence the extra guest list.


  • nerdywordybirdy

    Your new header looks great! I’m doing a one-word philosophy this year and my word is grateful. The past year has been a whirlwind of crazy for me, and I’m just now settling back down into my real self (I didn’t even know she had left, actually, until now). I’m trying to focus on the positives now, and being grateful is the best way for me to do that. Good luck in your action-ing this year! Looking forward to reading your beautiful words ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Quinn

      Oh good! Thanks for letting me know; it’s hard to judge on my laptop!

      Grateful is one of the best words because I find it so easy to just conveniently forget the things I should be grateful for. When I first looked back at 2017 my first gut reaction was “What a MEH year.” I’m pretty sure I even frowned as I thought it. Then I realised that actually, it was an amazing year and I was letting my perception of my own personal lack of accomplishments completely cover over all the greatness that had happened.

      When I realised how great a year it’s actually been for me and how many things I should feel incredibly thankful for, I felt absolutely ashamed! I felt like a spoiled child that didn’t get the one chocolate bar she wanted and in her tantrum ignored the fact that she’d already been to the zoo AND Disneyland. Just rude.

      I am definitely going to try to keep gratitude in mind this year, not as my word but just as something I need to keep an eye on in case I let it get away from me! Thanks birdy!

  • wendie

    How did I miss your engagement scratches head I Need to decorate my house from top to bottom, but with my health atm Iโ€™m hoping I win the Euromillions and someone could do it ๐Ÿคฃ

    • Quinn

      Hahaha it was back in April! The Euromillions would be nice for sure. Could definitely do with the money! For now, I’ll zip up my suit and get spraying………. Sorry to hear about your mother in law. I hope you were able to find some peace and joy in the holidays remembering the good times. Sending you a hug!

  • iwannabealady

    I thought I did kooky shit– running through ice in socks, eh? Well, no one can say you haven’t lived a full life. Action is one of the tough ones for me as well, but so freaking important, and I think that as long as you keep reminding yourself of it, you’ll keep getting back on track when you take a fall (and we know how clumsy you are ๐Ÿ™‚ ) The motto that I’m continuing from last year and that’s helped me tremendously is “Let go of being perfect.” A lot of times I don’t do things because I’m afraid it won’t be as good as I want it to be, and that smothers action. So that’s mine and I hope it helps you. Sending sunshine!

    • Quinn

      It didn’t seem worth it to find shoes to put on for only three minutes of cold! I learned my lesson….

      I like ‘let go of being perfect’ because God knows I am the farthest thing from perfect! The end of your comment definitely rings true for me so I’m going to try to take it on board! Thank you!

  • Awkwardly Alive

    Hooray for goals!! I’m excited to keep reading about your actions (whether they be blunders of successes – I’m hoping for the latter, of course!) and to keep cheering you on!! Also, please take pictures of this amazing spray painting outfit you’ve been rocking. Must see.

  • The Wayfarer

    Ok, what is the deal with the grapes? Like, everyone was making such a big deal about them but… I had no problem eating 12 grapes in 12 seconds? Am I just a freak?

    • Quinn

      I can never manage to swallow them all in time. Making things harder this year was the strange silence interspersed by my cousin’s occasional mutterings of “Que asco” and “urgh” and then the sudden crying of one of the small children. I don’t know, it just made me start laughing and before I knew it I was behind and my face was just a bulging grape receptacle.

  • Jeff Cann

    My resolution this year is to be friendly. As opposed to nice. Nice is easy for me, I’m polite and constantly making an effort not to inconvenience anyone. Friendly is harder, as it involves making friends with people.

    • Quinn

      Oooh this is a good one because I am definitely like you in this regard. I’ll have to see if I can take this on…

  • kristinadubois

    A beautiful read for the New Year. Thank you. I have a phrase, not a lone word for this year. It is “let go”. Most importantly I am letting go of judgements, especially negative ones. I will also be letting go of anger, self-doubt and donuts. Well, maybe not the donuts. And maybe just the outward expression of all the others. But I hope my “actions” will all be kinder and gentler in 2018, you know “be the change . . .” Happy New Year Quinn, and thank you for your words.

    • Quinn

      Thank you. I love your one. I think we probably all have a lot of things we could stand to let go of! Happy new year Kristina!

  • balletandboxing

    Ah! Me too I have a similar goal for 2018: to stop drifting through life. My word is not “action”, my word is “focus”. Focused well-being.

    That means finding the things that are holding me back, and working through them one by one. Getting my health back on track. Giving two sh*ts about my finances. Ensuring that my friends are friends out of love, and not friends-from-convenience. Remembering that I really do love my job, and derive a fair bit of pleasure from doing it well, so maybe I should starting doing it well. Blogging.

    Living with intention, for a change.

    I look forward to following your 2018.

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