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chapter one – let’s call this one ‘leaning into the good stuff’ shall we?

14th January 2022
Isn't it funny how sometimes we just don't realise how wound up we are until we stop in our tracks and really digest the season we've had?

What is it that good old Bridget says? “Another year, a brand new diary…” Or in my case this January, “another year, a brand new chapter…”

If it wasn’t already obvious from the slight delay getting this post out, over the festive break, when I thought about what I wanted to do more of this year, paying more attention to my website and chatting with you directly on here, was right up there at the very top of the list (amongst other things of course – more on that later.)

Cue a few weeks of mapping out a plan and getting the wheels in motion, so that I can give this blog some TLC and raise my game around here.

If you’ve been following my journey for a while now, you’ll know that last October marked a decade since I started sharing my life online…

…and whilst I’ve loved and am so proud of every post shared so far, I’ve known deep down for a while that I wanted to step it up a notch this year. Whether it’s because last year felt like a turning point in the way that I view myself (for the first time in so long I felt and still feel truly at one with myself). I’ve carved out more time this year to focus on things that genuinely bring me joy. Or because at 33 and four years deep into countryside living, I’m starting to understand what it means to strip it back and live season to season… I feel like now more than ever, this blog deserves my attention so I’m ready to up my game and return to what it meant to be a blogger all those years ago.

(By that, I mean actually blogging on the regular!) 

With that said lovely reader, I welcome you to January with The Millen-Gordon’s.

Or if you want another name for it… wait for it… Chapter One. 

Original, I know! 

Over the course of the year, you have my word that I’ll treat this blog as my own online escape.

A place that I’ll keep returning to each week for a good old chat with you all (fingers crossed you’ll join me!?) and share everything from my latest lust-haves and lifestyle choices month to month, to how I plan everything from date nights to decorations as the seasons unfold. Whether it’s bleak outside and you fancy finding out how Ali and I are hunkering down and passing the time; you’re entertaining this weekend and you need ideas on how to lay the table for your guests; or, I don’t know, you just want to know what natural chew sticks I give to Porter (oh my goodness do I get a lot of DMs about dog food!), if I’ve been inspired or impressed with something, you’ll be the first to know.    

As the name of this post alludes to, I’m also looking forward to ‘leaning in to the good stuff’ this year too. Phase two of the house renovations kick off in t-minus 30 days (I won’t lie, I still don’t know if that’s the correct way to use that phrase but let’s roll with it and hope for the best shall we please?!) I’m a little bit too excited to get to work in the greenhouse in the coming months (whilst I’m not really a New Years Resolutions kind of girl, I definitely want to grow more veg, make more chutneys and just embrace the kitchen garden as much as possible this year. BRING ON THE COURGETTES!) And I’m really enjoying the journey I’m on when it comes to health and fitness at the moment so I have a sneaky suspicion I’ll be squeezing more of that in, too. 

Basically get ready for a whole lot of ‘Lydia does countryside living’ goodness coming your way!

As I mentioned in this post last April, once upon a time, blogging felt ‘unfiltered, unedited and unafraid.’ 

More of that in 2022 please.

Let’s go!

Lydia

PS. Intrigued about what I’ve been up to so far in January? Watch my latest vlogs here – enjoy! xx

 

 PS. I’m so grateful to those of you that provided such helpful feedback on the website after last week’s newsletter – thank you. Got some ideas on topics you’d like me to cover this year? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Vivian
    2nd February 2022 at 6:24 pm

    So happy I decided to follow you. You have influenced, aka inspired, me to make so many changes in my life beginning with the video “9 Ways to Change your Life Today”. You have inspired me to celebrate the small wins just as much as the larger ones. Get out and explore my beautiful islands small town history, beaches, and restaurants. Taken inspiration from you, I have curated my style to more feminine and timeless carefully selected pieces that I feel wonderful in. And now I must have a kitchen garden. too :-). The website is beautiful and I enjoy reading your posts. Thank you so much for sharing a part of your life with us. I love being able to experience England from a far.

  • Dorien
    28th January 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Yes!! Can’t wait for the following months to come!
    I really like spending time on your blog. Such a beautiful, calming space. Reading your blogposts allways gets me in the right mindset for the day.
    Xxx Dorien, Belgium

  • melina
    28th January 2022 at 4:15 pm

    I’m so happy to hear that you’re going back to your blog! I know it’s not like you left, but there’s something special about you coming back and writing back more consistently. There are lot of people who have been dusting off their blogs and coming back. I feel like there are a lot of people who miss the unfiltered, not as edited version of going to a space of your own and keeping a log of your thoughts, photos, and just progress in life. Welcome back, and I’m so excited to join in every week and catch up with you 🙂 xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

  • Geena
    28th January 2022 at 12:38 am

    Lydia & Team,

    I’ve been a YouTube viewer of yours for some time now, and still continue to look forward to your weekly videos. Though I’m not much of a blog consumer( not sure what to call it) I was intrigued to come check out your blog since you mentioned it on your latest YouTube video. I’m pleasantly surprised on how beautiful and esthetically pleasing it is. It’s a site that is something to be proud of! A big a congratulations on the site all the hard work shows!!
    Though, I’m not one to consume more content through websites on a day to day basis due to working in tech and on my computer easily for 10-11 hrs a day for work, I think I would find myself more intrigued to come glance over on a more regular basis if you started to included food recipe related content. (Just a suggestion, could potentially help increase site traffic as a bonus)
    I’m always so envious of any of the meals Ally has been cooking up, to all of Kerry’s sweet treats you and the girls in the office occasionally get to enjoy:) Still would love to know the recipe for her protein balls!;) I think also even including the wine your enjoying your meals with lately could also be a great addition as well. In a way you could be sharing the same glass of wine with a friend and supporter all the way in NYC:)
    Thank you for your endless banter and give plenty of kisses two Porter and Berkeley?
    Always,
    Geena

  • Veronica
    27th January 2022 at 10:25 pm

    I commented but think it didn’t go through. Anyway, love the direction you are giving to your website. I would love more organisational (as in time/tasks organisation) and productivity insights and, most of all, I would love mindset videos. I used to have a great mindset that accomplished me a lot. Then I somehow lost it, at least partially. I started to struglle and I have been feeling stuck for years. I went over it time and time again and have no idea how that happened. I have been trying to get back to whom I was before, but it hasn’t been easy. It would be great to have some inspiration, you seem to always have a good influence on me. I enjoyed the 9 ways to change your life video and would also love a general personal growth videos.

  • sally
    27th January 2022 at 6:01 pm

    yes yes yes! more blogs!

  • Gary
    27th January 2022 at 2:10 pm

    Your an inspiration and quite frankly, very funny! Excited to follow along!

  • Kim Hay
    27th January 2022 at 1:40 pm

    I have followed your journey Lydia for about 8 years now & have loved watching your life transform & you & Ali find the rhythm on each platform
    From the arrival of Lumi & then your beautiful boy Lynx to the exciting move into your now country home, the heartache of loosing your boy & then your Nonno. I was overjoyed when Ali agreed to you getting your 1st puppy Porter & then the arrival of Barclay just made me smile from ear to ear.
    Im so excited for more of your blogs & wanted to say thank you for allowing us to share your journey & these seasons of your life

    Kim xx

  • Charlene
    27th January 2022 at 4:31 am

    Love how these new blogs have a fresh and contemporary feel to them, even your tone of voice sounds positively different. I have been following you on Instagram and YouTube for years, since the Mini Cooper days (yep, OG follower right here ????), but for some reason I never quite got into your blogs, don’t know why. However this morning I was intrigued by your Insta Story post which led me here.

    I’ll definitely be tuning in weekly and even add it to my 2022 reading list. ?

    Love from a Brit in Dubai. ??

    • Lydia
      27th January 2022 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you so much Charlene, I’m so grateful to have you joining the journey xx

  • Meagan
    27th January 2022 at 3:42 am

    Oh I so enjoyed the way you write. I feel like I am totally reading it in your voice, although, I have to be honest, we have quiet a different accent (southern US girl here). I take so much inspiration from the way you have come into your own in the styling of your home, brand and fashion. Love everything you do and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
    Xoxox

    • Lydia
      27th January 2022 at 1:21 pm

      Oh I do love the southern accent! x

  • Michelle
    27th January 2022 at 3:12 am

    Hey Lydia!
    I love all your content. One thing I’d love to see is maybe some on going lists or sections of your website of favorites(I often have to search through YouTube videos etc to find out what you recommended or screenshots on Instagram I took so I can buy the product later…which then I’m not able to use the link obviously). Favorite books, podcasts…even restaurants, vacations, hotels etc. along with your staples you use every day.

    I also really specifically like how you’ve been sharing what books and movies you and Ali enjoy together. With the pandemic, there’s still obviously a lot restrictions around the world and, for people like my husband and I, it’s nice to get ideas on what things we can do together to enrich our lives. So an ongoing list of books etc you guys have read and discussed together that you both like, would be great.

    • Lydia
      27th January 2022 at 1:22 pm

      thank you so much Michelle, I am hoping to bring as much information to the blog so that its easy for you to find exactly what you are looking for! So please do let me know any specifics x

  • Nancy
    27th January 2022 at 1:17 am

    Oh Lydia and Team, I’m obsessed with this new way of thinking about the blog. I am here for all the inspo that comes from “Lydia does countryside living”. I hope it’s ok, but I’m completely using the Chapter 1 etc as way to document my garden this year. I’m taking photos and videos (queue my obsession with the way Mr. MG films your outdoor spaces) and I think each month will be a chapter with a gorgeous description (they way you so eloquently wrote this post). So excited to be along for the ride, and excited to see what’s next.
    With Love
    Nancy

    • Lydia
      27th January 2022 at 1:24 pm

      We all agreed when brain storming the blog for 2022 that breaking everything down into chapters felt calming and less over whelming in this fast paced world, whilst also romanticising your own life because lets face it, we should all be the main character of our story and truly own that! x

  • Athina
    26th January 2022 at 8:13 pm

    So excited to follow along! You’re journey has been so inspiring and has truly made me want to be the best version of myself. While we don’t have rolling hills and fields in Canada (BC specifically), I’ve found myself going on more walks by the ocean and just getting out in nature with a good podcast.
    To go along with that, I’m wondering if you could share a planting guide and what you are planting when? I keep trying to get into gardening but just find the whole process a bit overwhelming with not knowing what to do when.
    Thanks for being the best, Lydia! Xx

    • Lydia
      27th January 2022 at 1:25 pm

      Oh my goodness Canada seems so magical to me! I hope to visit one day soon. I’m hoping to integrate planting plans whether here or on my Youtube I will keep you up to date with it all! x

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