Happy New Year everyone!
The most festive month of the year always passes by so fast, and this one was no exception at all. With very busy work days, a weekend getaway and the long-awaited end-of-year holidays from work, I feel like I was writing my November review yesterday!
My favourite things this month:
- The festive atmosphere and Christmas markets: one of the only thing that manages to lift my spirits despite the very short days and the cold and miserable weather of December is the overall cosy and festive atmosphere everywhere. Christmas markets play a huge role in this, as I just love the festive cheer, the smell of melted cheese, chocolate and mulled wine, the pretty decorations and fairy lights, and the pretty things that are on display!
- Baby turtles:I’ve talked about them in previous years, and I will keep doing it! This year too, I have “adopted” a pawikan nest with the Pag-asa Pawikan Protection and Conservation Center, thanks to the fantastic work of my blogger friends, Markus and Micah. Please check out their article about it and consider donating a bit of money for this great cause!
- Candles:I bought a bunch of candles with wintery/Christmassy scents at the beginning of the month, and loved to have one burning in my house from time to time. Not only they make my house smell amazing, but they also create such a nice and cosy vibe, especially in the evening!
- Pandoro: quite a random point, but if you’ve already tried Pandoro, then you’ll probably get it. It is a traditional Christmas cake/brioche from the region of Verona (where Romeo & Juliet is set!) in Italy. It is quite plain, with a light vanilla flavour, topped with icing sugar and star-shaped. It is probably one of my favourite things to eat around Christmas, and it is absolutely perfect for breakfast! Here’s a picture for you!
- My advent calendars: I absolutely love advent calendars, and this year I got two amazing ones from my boyfriend. One is more traditional with delicious chocolates – perfect for when I want something sweet after lunch – and the other one is from a brand of tea, with a selection of flavours to try – which is perfect for my morning or afternoon tea!
My latest trips and adventures
- A long weekend in Vienna: at the beginning of the month, I took the overnight train with some friends to go to the beautiful city of Vienna and enjoy the festive atmosphere there. While the weather was really cold, it was amazing to just walk around in a city I already knew and go back to places we loved.
- The Brussels Christmas market: it was not as beautiful as the Viennese ones, and things sold there were just okay, but the atmosphere was still nice, and the decorations they put up in the centre of Brussels are beautiful!
- Going to see my family for the holidays: as none of my family members live in Belgium, it means I usually have to travel if I want to see them for Christmas. It is always a bit complicated but I’m glad I’m able to go see them a bit, so I went to see one part of my family in Italy, and another one in France!
Hobbies and distractions:
- Reading: I feel like I’ve been reading quite a lot lately, partly because with the shorter days I usually feel more like staying in and cosying up with a book, partly because of long train journeys and, obviously, the holidays. I finally finished The Name of the Wind series, which I absolutely loved, and I am now reading shorter books that I hope to finish during my holidays!
- Christmas movie: This year, I watched one of Netflix’s cheesy Christmas movies called I Believe in Santa. It was not great cinema, but it was still fun and festive, which is all I’m asking to be honest ahah! Have you watched any Christmas movie this year?
- Blogging: I have been pretty active on this blog lately, and I’m quite happy about it. Things might be a bit slower during the holidays, but I’ll resume in January. I’m also glad I finally put up a few articles about my trip to Iceland, and there are still a few to go, so I hope you’re not tired of it yet!
I feel like December is always a bit stressful in a way, with lots of things to do, both at work and in my personal life, and this year was really no exception. The last week before the holidays was as hectic as it could be, though I am now glad it is finally over and I’m happy to rest a bit and enjoy the guilt-free downtime.
Looking forward to:
- The New Year: I have to say that I am quite excited for the New Year to start. I’ve been longing for a fresh start for some months now, and that’s exactly what I expect for 2023. I’m in the process of setting my goals and intention for the New Year and I’ll also post a Yearly Review soon!
- Lots of exciting projects: the first few months of the year will probably be very busy, and while I dread it a bit because I know it could really impact my routine, I’m also quite excited that many nice things are coming!
- Checking things off my Winter bucketlist: I have already done a few Christmassy bit from my Winter bucketlist, but there are still a few months to go before we move on to spring, so I can’t wait to do more wintery activities!
How was December for you? What are you looking forward to?