I know, I know, I said I was going to take a break until the 30th… But I’ve found myself with some time on my hands (mainly because I deliberately didn’t make any plans) and I really miss writing on here. Plus, it feels fitting to end the year with one final Sundaze so we can catch up on Christmas, because I’ve had such an incredible week.
When I first started writing these Sundaze posts, it was in homage to my late Granny who I still adore more than anything in the world. Every Sunday us grandkids would gather at her house for a big ol’ feast and to catch up with one another, often whilst the X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing results were on. It’s been lovely to continue these weekly catch-ups — they feel really nostalgic, reminiscent of old-school blogging — and retain that same magic and lo-fi feel; the regularity of these posts definitely helps me to ground my weeks and define the one coming. I also adore how these posts have become so anticipated and are a true cornerstone of this blog!
I had the best Christmas!
I had such an amazing Christmas this year! It was the first time in years that I’d felt truly festive and it felt like a really balanced holiday too. On Christmas Eve, my brother, sister, Harvey and I popped out for lunch together at the Turkish restaurant that now occupies the site of my Grandad’s restaurant from back in the ‘80s. I really love being in that space because it feels that bit closer to my family. Mum grew up in the flat above it! And I like sitting at the table imagining my family operating their well-oiled machine a few decades ago.
For the first time since Harvey and I have been together, I spent Christmas Day over at Harvey’s! It felt so special to be included as part of the family and I had such a lovely day. In fact, I was so immersed in the festivities that I didn’t take a photo of my Christmas dinner for the first time in 10 years! I’ve a newfound appreciation for Edinburgh Gin’s Rhubarb & Ginger Gin, Harvey’s Mum’s Mum’s signature tomato gravy, and adopting some of his family’s traditions! We even played a few rounds of ‘Who Am I?’ where I laughed SO much I genuinely think a six-pack was a’coming!
I was also incredibly lucky to receive the most thoughtful selection of gifts. A fresh set of the His Dark Materials book trilogy, my Daisy Jewellery × Estée Lalonde bracelet of dreams, Booja Booja chocolate truffles, a Charlotte Tilbury Darling Palette, endless new books to sink my teeth into, new Lululemon Barre socks, a Glossier lipstick, a new vegan cookbook for my stash… And a Nintendo Switch!! Needless to say, I’m over the moon and just a little overwhelmed at the kindness my loved ones showed this year.
On Boxing Day, we repeated everything with a twist with my family! We headed to the cemetery to visit Granny and Grandad in the rain, before a pitstop at McDonald’s (if only to shake off the spirits; a Chinese myth) and an afternoon at my cousin’s new pad. It was so nice to hang out all five of us cousins and our partners; again, it felt like a little homage to Sundays past. Although I was gutted to miss out on the annual Chai Christmas evening hotpot, we did manage to head out for a bottomless sushi buffet on Boxing Day, which more than made up for it!
We watched You
On Friday, we bundled up on our sofa for the obligatory Betwixmas Netflix binge. I rarely get the time to binge anything these days, but this awkward in-between week almost calls for it. We selected You, of course, and settled in. I can’t believe how perfectly suspenseful You is; they’ve truly nailed this series, although it didn’t quite live up to the first season in my opinion. Plus, creepy Dan Humphrey is easily my favourite corner of the Internet at the moment.
In a moment of total ‘treat yo’self!’, I booked myself a post-Christmas mani-pedi for yesterday. Turns out, all of that present-wrapping, -giving and -opening is tough on the ol’ nails! I visited Utopia Hair & Beauty, a little local independent, and was so well-looked after. I’m thrilled with my new nails and feel oh so ready to take on the New Year and brand new decade!
Reflecting on the year
Amidst the lull, I’ve found just-enough-time to start reflecting on the past 12 months and it’s been wonderful. There’s a more articulate post coming tomorrow, but I did want to touch on it today. There’s a certain pressure that falls after Christmas, where you start doubting yourself and feeling like you must have something to show for your year, but it’s perfectly alright if all you did was survive. You’re enough. In fact, you’re more than enough. I felt for a long time that all I did in 2019 was survive, but now that I’ve begun to journal and reflect on my successes — however small — from the year, I feel so much more positive! If you’re feeling similarly, I ask you now to do what I did: note down some things you loved about the year and take a moment to give your thanks and gratitude for those moments.
Links I’ve Loved
- Tania’s vegan green lentil curry recipe sounds absolutely delicious; it’s on my meal plan for the coming week and I can’t wait to tuck in.
- I really enjoyed this café story on Brunch at Audrey’s. It’s definitely a dying art, talking to strangers, but this post was just beautiful to read.
- Amidst a sea of 2019 in review posts, this one by Kayte of Simple & Season was refreshingly honest and I certainly found myself nodding along throughout.
- Lots of signed off from social media for the holidays, myself included; Jodie’s post shares what she learned from deleting Instagram for a week.
- Amsterdam remains one of my favourite European cities, so Liv’s wintry guide to Amsterdam was a joy to read!
- Philippa visited Hong Kong and shared her favourite spots.
- A Cosy Hideaway in The Cotswolds via Blushing Lately.
- These are the 10 most anticipated books of 2020 and you bet I’ve already added them to my Goodreads list!
- Here’s how Jaye is planning and organising for 2020, if a bullet journal isn’t quite your cuppa tea.
- 20 books on Audrey’s to-be-read list for 2020.
The 10 Most-Read Posts from 2019
- A Post-Racial UK Doesn’t Exist (Not Right Now, Anyway)
- What It’s Like Being In An Interracial Relationship
- Growing Up British-Born Chinese
- How I’m Embracing the September Start
- What It’s Like to Go From Being Financially Independent to... Not
- Why Is Everyone Creating The Same Content?
- My 2019 Bullet Journal
- 4 Ways to Keep A Blog
- On Cultural Appropriation and Ignorance
- My Reality in an Interracial Relationship
How was your week? I’d love to hear about how you spent Christmas and what you received!