Monday Question – What’s New?

New Year, New You?

Are you planning on changing anything in your life this year?

Do you have resolutions?

Are you full of hope for the new year to bring about any changes you want, need, crave?

Or are you of the pessimistic sort, thinking that the more things change the more they stay the same?

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My Answer:

I am hopeful that a new year will bring about changes – for about a week. Things like: I’ll stay cool always with the kids, no more shouting. Or: I’ll become a minimalist all of a sudden, but only after I buy this pretty lipstick or three. Then our winter vacation is over, school starts again, work starts again, and things are squarely back to where they were before.

My family and I have a big change planned in our day to day lifestyles though, and that is a change of diet. I want to try bring us all on a better path of nutrition by trying to eat much, much less processed food and largely stick to a Whole Food concept. I want to avoid making a religion out of eating, but they way modern life wants us to eat is certainly highly questionable. I am a profoundly lazy person at heart, so this approach requires a lot of effort on my part. I hope to get addicted to good-for-me foods as much as I am to chocolate.

We’ll see how that goes… :)

On the perfume front I am still happily cruising along with three bottles (Chanel 28 La Pausa, Hermès L’Ambre des Merveilles, Hermès Rose Ikebana).

What is new with you? Perfume-wise and in life in general?

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70 Responses to Monday Question – What’s New?

  1. Undina says:

    No real resolutions this year – perfume- or otherwise. Of course, various self-improvements are always somewhere in my plans but I’ll see how it goes.

    Good luck with changing your food habits!

  2. Hey Birgit,
    The place was becoming over run and I couldn’t keep my frags tidy so as you know I am trying to have a cleanout here in Sydney. There is a group on Facebook called Australian Fragrance Network and they are doing this great thing currently. For ever new bottle that comes into the house 2 must leave, so you are stuck with, “is this worth it.” There are no rules about how they go, sold, gifted, binned or sent to the St V de P: doesn’t matter. So far I have sold 50 bottles and am quite chuffed with myself. None are rare or collectible just stuff that I liked or loved and now it doesn’t get worn, or I have some back ups that need new homes.
    It is a fun thing to do but there is a long way to ge before I have a sensible collection.
    Portia xx

  3. Sandra says:

    I do not like resolutions simply because I never stick to them. This year I am calling it a life change. As if that will help? Who knows. We are now including fish in our diets two nights a week. I also need to get more vegetables into the men.
    Perfume wise I am vowing to enjoy more of what I have instead of hunting down more.

  4. Ana says:

    I never do resolutions of any kind,especially the new year kind.They are just a guilt trap!I am trying on a day to day basis to do things better,sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t but I try not to be too harsh to myself,life is hard enough already.

  5. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Thank you, Ana, for finally giving me the right expression for that “thing” : the guilt trap. I’ve rarely/never managed to stick with the new year’s resolutions – so none for me this year. But nevertheless, I’d love to change a thing or two (or hundred), especially I’d want to have more self discipline… Parfumwise I was rather uninspired lately, and in fact still I am.

  6. Figuier says:

    This sounds self-indulgent I know, but this year in our house the plan is to have more fun! We’ve been so focused on work and personal commitments over the last years that carefree moments really have to be fought for – Birgit, your small pleasures photos are really inspiring in this respect, they’re a great reminder that even a little time out to appreciate things can be really uplifting :)

  7. flittersniffer says:

    My resolutions were pretty standard: drink less alcohol and more water (that old chestnut gets brought out every year!), to exercise more – or at all – and to get off Facebook or the computer generally a bit more, and certainly earlier than bedtime.

    I’ve failed on all of those so far this year, but I am managing quite well at something that wasn’t even a resolution, namely to upgrade my skincare regime. I’m using two serums that seem to be doing the business, and just this weekend bought a couple of La Roche-Posay products (cleanser / toner), on your and Sally Baumann’s say-so. Boy does my face feel clean! What a dirty ragamuffin I must’ve been these past 50 years or so. ;)

  8. Ughhhh, after eating like horses during the holidays we joined a gym. Day 2 was yesterday. I am feeling the aftermath!

  9. Sabine says:

    Live a bit healthier, more Pilates, more meditation (sounds totally hippy, but isn’t, honestly). Less mindless spending on stuff I don’t really need. That’s about it, I think. So far I was only good at the meditation and not spending, so 2 out of 4 isn’t great, but not too bad either…
    Another very little thing I have re started because it did help me in the past is writing down the happiest moment of the day. That can be anything, from seeing the squirrels playing in the garden, discovering a new perfume, a kiss, a wonderful chocolate cake……
    It really helps to focus on positive things, and reading the list after a weeek or so brings back good memories.

  10. Alice says:

    I’ve been pruning things down over the last year (inspired by Project 333) and so will try to continue that trend – it applies to perfume, clothes, books/paperwork, and general clutter. I certainly haven’t managed the australianperfumejunkies’ ‘1 in 2 out’ but seem to have curbed my general tendency to amass ‘stuff’ , which is at least something!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for the Prject 333 tip, I will definitely look into that.
      Do you know Leo Babauta? He writes very well about minimalism, maybe that would be interesting for you. (Just google Zen Habits).

  11. I don’t do resolutions. Why start a new year feeling guilty and inadequate. I am however getting back on a more regular exercise routine. And I’ve been overhauling my online presence with an eye to launching my own brand.

    Ali

  12. “I am hopeful that a new year will bring about changes – for about a week” – This pretty much sums up how resolutions work for me too, and for that reason I don’t make them. My attention span simply isn’t long enough.

    I’m also totally with you on the eating front. Being sensible and not extreme (either extremely good or extremely bad) is definitely the way to go with nutrition. My only semi-resolution is to lose weight for my wedding. A rather sensible one, I feel!

  13. Tara says:

    I love the way you’re on perfume cruise control, B.

    I don’t normally do New Year’s Resolutions but last year I tried to cut down on sugar which was generally successful except I stalled at 1 and a half sugars in my tea. This year I’d like to cut down on salt as I’m a demon for all things salty. Ideally I’d love to cut out processed food but cooking for one is not very inspiring. Even if you just managed to reduce the amount in your diet B, it will benefit you all.

    Perfume-wise I really want to try Volutes by Diptyque. Last Friday I sampled Puredistance Black properly for the first time and I did not get on with it at all. Maybe it was just bad timing.

    I really hope 2014 is full of good changes.

  14. Ines says:

    Hmm, now you mentioned it, my resolutions stick for about a week and then it’s work and my energy levels drop again. :(
    But, I have some plans – run a couple of races (even a half-marathon or two), read The Lord of the Rings again, The Hunger Games as well, hopefully the Songs of Ice and Fire too. Start being economical (I still wonder how I’ll do that?!) and write more posts.
    As always, a bit ambitious. :)
    I’d settle for now for regular pilates classes (I can’t even do that).

  15. masha7 says:

    I certainly have “deep laziness”, too! But last year my DH and I totally reformed out family diet. We went 90% vegetarian, no processed anything, no empty carbs, which is very close to the Mediterranean diet. The results have been wonderful! I am also very suspicious of much of the food in the market (if it’s ready-made) and restaurants. Many people are- our local vegetarian/locavore/organic restaurant is always packed. I think you’ll find the effort worthwhile, and you’ll have more fun cooking, too. I am teaching both my sons to cook. They will be popular at university, where the cafeteria food is usually awful! My best wishes to you!

  16. Annina says:

    Hello, Birgit! Happy new year!
    I try not to make actual resolutions, as they result in unnecessary guilt if not successful.

    Goals for the year:
    1. get to bed a little earlier
    2. actually relax on my diet a little (I’m a bit strict),
    3. develop a home yoga practice (instead of relying always on classes)
    4. write a bit more on my blog,
    5. create a website for my doula business,
    6. have a bit more patience with my kids,
    7. actually start teaching prenatal yoga (which I took training to do).
    8. Refine my perfume collection – collect what I truly want and stop impulse buys. I bought a bottle of Loulou yesterday at a mall kiosk. I like it and remember it fondly from my teen years, but I knew better. I knew I could find it cheaper on eBay. When I checked, I found it at half the price I bought it! I feel awful about it. Loulou wasn’t even on my wishlist!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I hope you reach your goals this year, Annina!
      I can understand how you feel about LouLou, I’ve done this very same thing (with other perfumes) quite a few times and it feels bad indeed. But one of my goals is to stop fretting about things that are over and done. Nothing you can do but enjoy LouLou… :)

  17. shellyw says:

    I am try ing to add more veggies in. A great thought until I bought them at whole foods, or whole paycheck. I have to buy a new car this year. I must admit that going without my father the mechanic (he has Alzheimer’s) is a blow to my confidence. A woman alone is like a target in a car dealership. I did come across a bottle of Jolie Madame at an antique store for $20 so I am under budget on perfume for the year so far.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ha re Whole Paycheck! :)

      I hope you get the car business over with satisfactorily, I hate that too and yes, I always feel out of my depth at the car shop and they know it!!! Grrr.

      Congrats on the Jolie Madame find!

    • Hi ShellyW,
      I had my last car for 19 years because of your exact fear. I went into the car dealership to buy a one year old car and saw one, drove it round the block and bought it. I think I paid $1000 too much but it is an excellent vehicle and I am quite pleased. It is taking some time to get used to though.
      Portia x

  18. arline says:

    I don’t do resolutions, but I do reflect on my life a lot.

    The new year, makes it easy to start fresh with intentions and I certainly do set intentions. I am focusing on allowing and receiving. How I think and what I believe influences the way I am, that has been so evident for me this past year.

    I was brought to my knees on many levels, which I believe is a wonderful (albeit painful in moments) thing. I got to see many things about myself, that I am ready to release.

    The habits of thought and beliefs we hold, really can become a part of who we think we are, and changing in any capacity, is a trip!! Food is one of the biggest things, I think, that people hold tight to. Even when healthy choices are logical and for that matter, can be made quite delicious, it is often a challenge to transition.

    I had eating disorders in the past, and so I know, at depth the challenges that are met in this area. Even though I am healthy, I still have an intention, to expand my horizons here. I eat a vegan diet, and I love whole foods, though I have been quite comfortable eating the same thing every day, because it feels safe and comfortable. (Chocolate is comfort for you, but there are lots of raw and vegan recipes that you may explore, just for fun)

    We do what we do, because it somehow makes us feel secure.

    The one thing that I have appreciated this past year, more than ever, are my scents. I have taken refuge in them, and let them heal my heart. My essential oils, and amber, Champagne Du Bois, and Coromandel, have been like comforting friends, and are a part of me, even more than before. After reading Black Narcissus the other day, I plan on bringing Chanel !9 back into my world. I used to wear it in high school, and loved it.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful and expansive journey this year,
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    • Olfactoria says:

      That Black Swan post of Neil’s was quite something, wasn’t it? I brought out my N°19 again as well… :)

      Change is indeed hard, we hold on to the familiar for dear life, because no matter how bad it is, it still feels safer than the new. It is wonderful you have your perfumes to give you a sense of security and refuge that makes it easier to venture out into unchartered territory.

      • arline says:

        Oh my gosh, it was a great post. I love his blog too!!!!

        Absolutely to she scents.

        Enjoy your transitions with eating. I promise, that you can find a way to eat healthfully and find every bit as much enjoyment through whole foods. It just takes some reorganizing of the mind. (I am talking to myself too :) ).

    • Annina says:

      Oh Neil’s Black Swan post was amazing! I immediately went out and rented the movie. Very good, very disturbing. And yes, as a huge fan of No.19, I am dying for another bottle. It was my first big-girl perfume! I too wore it in high school, when everyone else was wearing Giorgio, Eternity, and Sunflowers.

  19. lucasai says:

    I’m graduating from University this year, isn’t this enought life-changing event in ones life?

  20. annemariec says:

    I can’t claim to follow a Whole Foods method entirely but six nights of the week I cook dinner from scratch based on fresh ingredients, without pre-prepared bases or sauces. Yes, this after a day at work. (The other night we get take-away!) My idea is that I want the kids’ palate to be formed by the taste of fresh food rather than processed food so that when they are grown up and cooking for themselves, fresh food will seem normal to them and any kids they may have …

    A Mediterranean-style diet seems to be the style that suits us and we have the climate here to support growing veggies in the garden to match. At the moment my little reading hobby is some of the great food writers – Elizabeth David, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child .. If you read about good food you are more likely to want to cook it. I think for me the reading and the gardening help to make eating well a whole-of-life thing, not a nightly chore.

  21. quarteringsea says:

    I started the Day Zero project this New Years – it’s basically a bucket list of 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days. Many of them are continuations of existing changes I’ve been incorporating into my life – health, fitness, paring down the clutter, etc.

    Perfume-wise, my resolution is actually to buy more bottles this year! My collection is still in the fledgling stages because I tend be over-conservative when buying and then regret it later. I’ve picked out two bottles already I plan to add to the collection (that I don’t get to buy unless other goals are fulfilled, though).

  22. I only kinda-sorta make resolutions. I’m also lazy so I keep the expectations low. I’m trying to eat healthier and maybe lose some weight. I’m trying to cut out sugar because that is the one thing I can’t control myself around. We’ll see how long that lasts. :P I tell myself I’m going to try to watch less TV but thus far I haven’t been too successful on that front. I also want to be a bit more careful with my spending. No more shopping at Lush for a while. Cooking at home more should help with that too.

    And perfume-wise, I need to stop buying stuff at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s and such just because it’s a good deal. Granted, I’ve gotten a few decent finds that way, but I realized when I posted in NST’s damage poll for this last quarter just how much I had spent on those “good deals”. It never seems like much, but it adds up. For the money I spent last quarter, I could have gotten a Serge Lutens, or a L’Artisan (maybe), or (almost) two ELdOs. So I’m going to try to adopt a “buy less, but buy better” philosophy. So it will mean that if I buy anything at all, it will be one bottle of something really awesome rather than four bottles of cheaper things that I might not be head-over-heels in love with.

    • annemariec says:

      I’m a sucker for cheap deals too, usually online in my case. I have a new system where my PayPal account is linked to a bank account that I have to manually transfer money into before it can be spent. This means I have an automatic brake on spending. Many times I have gone into online banking and … paused in the act of transferring money once I see the impact it will have on that fortnight’s budget. Works well for me. :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Totally understandable, most of us go through the bargain phase and the following regrets phase. :)

      I wish you the best with your kinda-sorta resolutions, Jennifer!

  23. Nemo says:

    Good luck changing your food habits, too! It is perhaps more difficult when you are often cooking for people other than yourself? I know that I have many a day when I really would rather throw the microwave out the window than have to think of something quick AND healthy at 8 PM on a weeknight when really I would rather not cook at all :( Somewhat surprisingly, my partner got us a CSA for the New Year. It has worked out well one week in- two huge bags full of tasty, fresh, and unexpected vegetables once a week. I think it actually feels more like a game than a chore to find new recipes to try, and I hope it stays that way :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      That’s it!!! If it were only me, I think it would be so much easier, but trying to get a carnivore husband and two picky, whiny boys on the same train is hard!!! Dealing with a “I don’t want carrots” meltdown (and that is only the husband!) after I elaborately cook a meal (which is not my favorite activity in the world as is) is not a joy. But they will adapt eventually… I hope!

  24. BEAUTYCALYPSE says:

    whole foods, now that’s a good resolution, b.!
    I’m probably the laziest person out there, so here are my tricks that keep me going:
    – get vitamin levels and health check-ups to know what to eat, actually
    – go as veg as possible because plant-based means WAY less preparation time (example: delish cajun gumbo with meat: 2 hours; delish cajun gumbo vegan: 40 minutes)
    -spend a few hours a week with experiments to develop your own. go-to quick and delicious recipes

    hope that helps ;) woohoo, and a happy & healthy NY!

  25. It is not really NY resolution to try to understand how my 4,5 year old daughter experiences the world and that resulting in less shouting ;-). I would like to enjoy every day as much as I can and to involve people I care about more often. And I would like to be able to cook more passionately. I like to eat good and healthy food, but it takes too much of my precious time to prepare it. It’ s such a waste of time …;-P

  26. Changing food habits is hard! Especially when you are trying to get people other than yourself on board! My mother attempted a similar thing with my father and my brothers a few years ago. Bribery worked for her, like “Eat these vegetables and you can eat their equal weight in fried chicken!” I think it has been somewhat of a success since I opened up the fridge today and saw kiwi fruit that my brother had bought and eaten on his own! In any case, I wish you good luck!

    As for myself, I am terrible at keeping New Year’s resolutions. The only way I can do it is if I set the bar really low and do something totally frivolous. Last year my resolution was to be comfortable with a bright lip color. This year, my resolution is to learn how to rock a colorful sock. Not easy for someone whose entire wardrobe is black, navy, cream, and white!

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