apart from the quick wedding dresses post, it’s taken me a while to get back into the swing of things around here. i only officially go back to work next week, so i guess my mind is still kind of on holiday (and i’m savouring sleeping in and having late breakfasts while i still can). but the real reason is that it’s simply taken me so long to catch up with what’s been happening online for the better part of a month. i think my bloated google reader is haunting my dreams.

like many i’ve been thinking a lot about what i want for myself, and what i want for the blog, in this new year. it’s always a good time to reflect on what you’d like to do more of, what you’d like to do less of, what you’d like to try out or experiment with. i read a post by Erin about slow blogging and it really resonated with me.  Joy’s 2013 resolutions also gave me pause. well, there have been plenty of wonderfully insightful posts by bloggers who i admire about their hopes for the year, their work, their blogs, their life – too many to list here – so i thought i’d share some of mine.

1. cook more. keep it simple. share the recipes.

New Year State of Mind

image: shaved cauliflower salad by happy yolks

i’d have to say that one of my biggest failures last year (and the year before that, and and and) has all to do with my eating & cooking habits. besides the fact that my jeans feel, ahem, a little tight after the holidays – i want to make a concerted effort to eat out less, plan our meals, stick to a budget, not waste what’s in the fridge, keep a well stocked pantry, eat less meat, eat less sugar, eat more veggies. basically be less lazy, take less shortcuts and be more prepared.

but above all learn more about food! what goes well with what, discover what my favourite herbs are, be able to whip up something delicious from scratch in 15 minutes. a skill that will serve me (and the people i cook for) well.

i like the idea behind Hugh’s Three Good Things“Put three good things together on a plate and, somehow, the whole is always greater and more delicious than the sum of its parts.” yes, i really like the idea of that. Jessica and i are planning on starting up another food series – on the regular – so i’ll at least be getting a bit of professional help on this front.

2. discover and share more music.

New Year State of Mind

have you heard the new bowie?

i know that people love the music mixes – and i love them too, but in the past year i haven’t found (or made) a lot of time to put them together as often as i used to. to be honest with you, i don’t think i’ll be making music mixes anymore. apart from the logistical reasons, i’d really like to talk about individual musicians or bands more often, focus on one at a time and encourage people to buy their music. the greatest response i always get to the mixes is that people discover new music that they end up falling in love with – so my goal will be to keep that up. all in all, expect more music posts!

3. take more photos. with an actual camera.

New Year State of Mind

photo by me.

they don’t have to be amazing, but i’d like to learn more about photography and what my camera can actually do. when i look back at my photos the last time i picked up a real camera was for jessica & luke’s wedding in october 2011. and before that was when i was in Paris in 2010. twenty ten. every single photo taken since then has been with my iphone. which is wonderful in it’s convenience, i suppose, but actually pretty shameful considering how much i love taking photos.

4. expand the cape town city guide. get out more!

New Year State of Mind

photo by me

boy oh boy can i be a homebody sometimes. not sometimes, all the time. i love being at home. i can go a couple of days without leaving the house (if there’s food in the fridge, that is). but this year i’d like to get out more. and what better place than cape town and surrounds? next time i’m out and about and i walk past that new coffee shop, or eat at that new restaurant in the winelands i’ll take along my camera (thanks goal no.3), snap some pics and share it with you all.

5. don’t panic about the wedding planning. too blessed to be stressed.

New Year State of Mind

above: a lovely gathering photographed by Yossy Arefi

this is obviously a goal specific to this year, but i can already see that i must not allow myself to stress about planning our wedding. above all i need to relinquish control to people close to us who want to help – this is not the moment to just do everything yourself. i keep thinking “i just want everyone to have a great time”. but they will, of course, no matter where we get married, what food they eat or whether the DJ plays Gangnam Style when we specifically asked him not to.

what are your goals for the new year? i’d love to hear them. and if you have any tips for achieving any of the above – eating well, planning a wedding – please feel free to comment! i think 2013 will be a goodie.


  1. read more, walk more, give in to indulgances less, and have more tolerance for my colleagues.
    happy new year (again)!

  2. I can recommend Tamar Adler’s Everlasting Meal – my new years resolution is to use that book as a guide to make more conscious decisions about our meals every week, and to waste less of our food. I am guilty of discovering milk that’s gone bad in the fridge and pretty greens going unused and wilting. I think it will also help with the saving more money resolution!

    Yours look like good resolutions, I wish you the best with them!

  3. All of these really resonate with me, so thanks!

    In terms of new music, can I suggest you take a look at ‘The Boxettes’ a very talented female group that create all their music without instruments, I love their stuff!

    happy new year and good luck with the wedmin!

  4. Great blog, and a good choice of resolutions; I’m doing a photography one too! Regarding your food one, I can’t recommend “The Flavour Thesaurus” enough. A beautiful and inspiring book that gives suggestions on flavour pairings. Simple.

    kassia x


  5. but but BUT YOU MAKE THE BEST MUSIC MIXES EVER! Secretly hoping you break that resolution, sorry but not sorry I love you still tho!

  6. great goals for the new year! and i can relate to them all… would love to cook more! and i have been super lazy with finding new music the past year (which is why i rely on YOUR mixes!).

    as for that beast called wedding planning, my recommendations are to just make sure there’s good food and music—it’s a party and those are the key things people will remember! and don’t skimp on the photographer/videographer as i know too many people who don’t like their photos in the end…myself included :( but, don’t sweat the small stuff. i didn’t love planning, but i still had a blast on my w day!

    i’d also like to walk more, de-clutter my apt and life, less is more mentality overall…

  7. I got married a couple of years ago, and I found the whole thing to be generally not stressful. My tip is to hire people you trust and then let go and Let Them Do Their Thing.

    Our printed menus were delightfully vague, because I actually had no idea what the chef was going to make until it was served to me. But I knew he made good food, and he did. Same with flowers. I gave them pictures to show the kinds of bouquet shape I liked, some paint swatches and a fabric sample that showed the colours I wanted, and two long lists of “Flowers I like” and “flowers I don’t like.” I had no idea exactly what flowers I would have until the day. I expected them to use a few of the ‘like’ list. I think they used about 21 different things in there in the end. It was ah-MAZ-ing.

    And then just don’t sweat the small stuff. Our food was really slow to come out, and my bouquet had this really ugly plastic handle that I didn’t realise it would have (if I had, I’d’ve got a cute vintage one off etsy, or at least a whole lot of ribbon to hide it). Noone’s ever commented on that. We just keep being told how awesome it was. Even two years on.

  8. This is very inspiring, Diana! and I also need to put an effort on the cooking department, to try new foods and find better things to eat. Also, I need to discover new music! Often I found myself listening to the same things, which I love but I should also be discovering new lovely sounds. And then of course, there’s the photo issue. Much as I enjoy taking photos with my iphone, my beautiful cameras have been forgotten for quite a long time which is not cool. Anyways, thanks so much for the inspiration and I wish you luck with all the things in your list!

  9. I decided to keep my resolutions very minimal this year. You could say minimalizing is the resolution in itself. This comes down to: not wanting and doing as much as I did last year, and adding quality instead of quantity to my life. I’d like to apply this to everything: food, photography (less iphone, more camera), school (less courses, higher grades) and the list goes on. Except that it’s not a list but more a new lifestyle. Anyway, thank you for sharing your resolutions for this year. Love

  10. your mixes are so amazing! please don’t stop. they make my month. seriously!

  11. Every year I also pursue planning meals/cooking/eating healthy food at home, but it succeeds and fails in stops and starts. This is (yet again) one of my resolutions for 2013. I can definitely empathise with your homebody-ness! I really enjoy staying home – even by myself – to read and paint and cook. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Thanks for the awesome blog :)

  12. It’s so hard to get caught up after taking a break, I’m just now making it through my reader. But with your goals this year, it sounds like you will be having a great year. (here’s to a healthy and productive new year!)

  13. Thanks for your sweet words, dear – and I’m so excited for your goals! Cheers for cooking (and eating!) more. Can’t wait to tune into your recipes/music picks. :)

  14. such a lovely time of year for reflecting and i love the plans you’ve set for yourself. on the last one, i can totally empathise! i’m getting married in 5 weeks’ time and started off with exactly the same attitude as you. there may well be a coulpe of stressful times as you get to the end, but just keep communicating openly with your guy so he knows what’s up and definitely aim to relinquish control of the details where you can! my sister just moved home from singapore and i am extraoridinarily grateful that she will take over the reins for the next 5 weeks while i wallow in excitement! all the best :)

  15. This post is sooooo good!
    I fill my resolution list too, but it mostly related with traveling:) i’m almost 23 and i’m feeling like i saw too little of this beutiful world..
    oh, and a goal with the photography- fits me too. i’m planning to take my camera more often with me:)
    thanks for your inspiring posts!

  16. Just wanted to leave some friendly bridal advice. I was married at the end of October in 2012. My husband and I DIY’d the crap out of our wedding to cut costs. Some things I wish we would have just decided to pay for and others I’m so happy we did. A book that helped me when I started to stress with pricing and expectations was A Practical Wedding, by Meg Keene. Super helpful and it reminded me that when our great grandparents were married, they wore their best dresses and maybe had cake. everything else has become the industry.
    Advice that I received from friends and other past brides…
    1. Always accept the help when it’s offered.
    2. Don’t sweat the small details, guest often won’t remember what your center pieces were months later.
    3. Stay true to yourselves. If you don’t like cake, don’t have it.
    4. Have a shot list for your photographer. I didn’t do this and I regret it not.
    5. Take a moment during the reception away with your partner to be by yourselves.
    6. In the end, it’s all about marrying your best friend.

    Wow…that turned out longer than I wanted. Anyway! Congratulations! Love your blog! My guess is your wedding will be stunning.

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