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Merry Christmas & A Quick Life Update!

Merry Christmas! I hope you have all had a lovely few days and have managed to enjoy some time with your loved ones and with yourself, taking moments amongst the madness to rest and just be. 

We did things a little different this year, It was the first time since we have been married that we have had Christmas dinner just by ourselves at home. Ever since I got married I have wanted to spend every year with my parents, enjoying the same Christmas traditions that I grew up with but in trying desperately to recreate the past I realised that I have missed out on discovering my own future family traditions and figuring out how I like to ‘create’ Christmas. 

So this year was really fun for me. I found out that although I love to cook, I didn’t want to spend my Christmas Day in the kitchen away from the family, so I tried something new. Instead of making everything from scratch, I made stuffing from a box and roasted potatoes, parsnips and yorkshires from the freezer. I’m the only person who likes turkey so we roasted a chicken instead and cooked only a few veggies that everyone liked and it was perfect… for us! 

Prawn Cocktail starters in pretty goblets
Christmas Dinner

Besides spending the day in my fluffy dressing gown, eating leftover chicken, stuffing, cranberry and mayo sandwiches and consuming large quantities of liquorice allsorts, my favourite part of this Christmas season is getting to spend a week and a half with Luke. It’s the only time in the whole year that his phone doesn’t ring and he isn’t head down answering emails or fixing problems. It’s just 10 days of quality time and usually a house project or too.

This year has been a crazy one. We sold our cottage in June and moved in with my parents in their 2 bed house whilst we renovated our new home. I slept in the spare room with the boys and Luke slept downstairs on sofa cushions. It was crazy. I had a miserable attitude and can take no credit for any of the build of the house but thankfully with the help of some serious hard work from my brother in law, tradesmen and Luke’s late nights and early mornings along with my parents patients allowing us to make their house our home for 4 months longer than expected, we now get to start a new life in our new home. Aaaaaaannnnnnnd I can breathe again.

Just a snap shot of the house renovation

Im really looking forwards to a fresh start and a new year. This time last year my motivation was at an all time high. I had found a love for fitness and completed BBG twice (see my transformation here), I had taken my Zumba Instructor training and was just a week away from starting my first class in our Village. It had been such an amazing year of personal development for me and it showed through in so many aspects of my life. My Zumba class has been a great success, I opened up a second class and have been teaching 2 evenings a week since May. I have overcome so many internal battles with regards to being ‘enough’ and ‘showing up’ even when it was hard, but there have been many other aspects of my life that haven’t continued to progress. 

My AMAZING Zumba Family

My motivation for health and fitness has been pretty low, I seemed to find this comfortable place that just allowed me to keep ticking over without making much progress (Thank goodness for my Zumba class). My work and energy this year has been ploughed into my soul and my family relationships. We have been dealing with some seriously challenging behaviour as parents and its blown the wind out of me. We have lots of support (2 years of therapy and counting..) but its long and lonely and draining and exhausting and difficult to balance when there is so much disruption and sadness pulling at you.

I wondered if I would ever come back to The Kitchen Shed. I worried that I couldn’t come back because life has changed me so much since I started creating these recipes to share. I feel like my journey in life has provided massive oppotunities for me to grow, its just been hard to know how to bring that change here on the blog. I’m a different person, and in a positive way I feel but I am still on a journey. I’m always changing and growing and falling and failing and learning and hoping and dreaming and believing in greater things. My life is not just clean eating recipes. Its messy and complicated and amazing and happy and difficult and beautiful and mine. If I want to keep sharing clean eating recipes on this platform then I will have to also share more of me too, because I am not a one dimensional person and I have a huge life behind this screen, I cannot pretend that its all roses and thats ok. I haven’t figured out exactly what I want to do with the blog, but I know that I enjoy this creative outlet, I know that creating clean eating recipes benefits my life and the life of my family by focusing some of my attention on fuelling our bodies with wholesome food but I hope that it can become something more than just about wholesome food and recognise the need to fuel my mind and soul too. 

Christmas gifts to kick start my New Year

So here’s to a new year. Here’s to my amazing soul that keeps me growing, heres to my love of personal development, for my desire to do better and be better but most of all for the courage to be me, all of me, every shade of me and heres to you, to all of you, to every shade of you. Here’s to your amazing soul, to your loves and desires and hoping you can show up in 2019 with courage and kindness…. for you.

All my love,

Charlie xox


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22 Comments

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    Barbara Crawford
    26th December 2018 at 3:16 pm

    GREAt to hear from you, we have missed the kitchen shed!! I use your site so much for recipes and will probably do the month clean eating in January !! Life is hard for us all throws us challenges daily! Glad you getting through it, don’t disappear completely!!

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      The Kitchen Shed
      26th December 2018 at 11:41 pm

      I have missed you too! Glad you are still using the recipes. Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean so much to me. <3 So looking forwards to being back xox

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    Jemma
    26th December 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Seeing your post pop up on my Facebook made my Boxing Day l have always used/relied on The Kitchen Shed and recommended it to friends and family for simple and nutritional foods. It was the first blog that got me into Clean eating. Thanks for all so far and wish you & your family a really spectacular 2019.

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      The Kitchen Shed
      26th December 2018 at 11:43 pm

      Jemma, your comment has made my Boxing Day! Thank you for supporting me and for using and sharing the recipes here! Happy New Year to you and yours too xox

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    Jackie Sticha
    26th December 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I have missed you and your recipes and all the things Jemma said above! (Although being in the US, we don’t celebrate your Boxing Day) I sincerely wish you and your family health and happiness in 2019 and hope that we get to be a part of it! So wonderful to hear from you Charlie! Love from Minnesota, USA!

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      The Kitchen Shed
      26th December 2018 at 11:47 pm

      Thank you so much Jackie! I am in no way a well travelled person, but of all the places I have flown to in the world Minnesota is one of them!! So happy to hear from you and feel your kindness and encouragement from the other side of the pond. Thank you so much <3. A very happy new year to you and yours xox

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    Karen
    26th December 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Great to see you back and love the idea of sharing more of you, not just the recipes. Totally understand how blogs are a great creative outlet and a place to get things off your chest too! Ps the Rachel Hollis book is FAB!! It’ll give you bucketloads of motivation, she’s fab!! Wishing you a great 2019!! Xx

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      The Kitchen Shed
      26th December 2018 at 11:49 pm

      Thank you for the encouragement Karen, its so lovely to know that there are people here still! Now I am even more excited about the Rachel Hollis book! Ive heard such good things about it, excited to dive in! Happy New Year to you! xox

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    Sarah Carvell
    26th December 2018 at 8:46 pm

    You are amazing! XXX XXX

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      The Kitchen Shed
      26th December 2018 at 11:50 pm

      And you are too! Love you xox

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    Liz Ritchie
    27th December 2018 at 9:19 am

    It’s great to see you back Charlie! I discovered The Kitchen Shed a few years ago, after returning from living in the U.S.A for 4 years, where I had discovered Clean Eating and it’s benefits for me. I was overjoyed to find a UK site with clean eating recipes that were simple, uncomplicated but delicious! I have continued to use your recipes, in order to make healthy, varied meals, especially when my own motivation is low. A very happy New Year to you & your familyxx

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      The Kitchen Shed
      29th December 2018 at 7:11 pm

      That is so lovely to hear! Thank you Liz, knowing that you enjoy using the recipes makes me feel more motivated too! Happy New Year to you and yours xox

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    K Kelly
    27th December 2018 at 11:44 am

    Love your honesty and transparency. Hope to see more of you online and in person in the new year x

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      The Kitchen Shed
      29th December 2018 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks lovely! Miss you! xox

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    Chantelle Taberner
    27th December 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Good to see you back Charlie!
    I look forward to seeing what 2019 brings xxx

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      The Kitchen Shed
      29th December 2018 at 7:13 pm

      SO lovely to hear from you!! Hope 2018 has been kind to you, looking forwards to connecting more in the new year! xox

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    Jo Parker
    27th December 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Charlie!!
    So happy to hear from you!
    Sorry to hear of your parenting challenges and I have been there, done that so I feel for you very much.
    Lovely Chillys bottle! Wishing you and your family the very best and see you next time you pop in the shop! (Unless I have a new job by then! ) xxx

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      The Kitchen Shed
      29th December 2018 at 7:15 pm

      Ahh, Jo! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one, I must remember that when I am climbing the walls! Hope you have had a lovely Christmas, and Happy New Year to you all. More blogging means more gorgeous kitchen bits so I’m sure I shall see you in the new year xox

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    Eve arnaud
    28th December 2018 at 8:54 am

    Oh la la la la…. so many years since we saw both of you.. can’t beleive how great is your work now this is so awesome !! Did you change your mind about olive oil now ?? i wish you the best dear you. Please send lot of love to your family

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      The Kitchen Shed
      29th December 2018 at 7:16 pm

      So many years!! It must be time for us to visit you guys! Hope all is well with the family! Love to you all xox

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    Jo HIRST
    28th December 2018 at 10:28 pm

    What a wonderful post, thank you for being so honest with us all. These days when so many things on the web show a perfect rosy picture it’s refreshing that yours is real. My role as coach became wellness coach this year and I really struggled with this, I thought how can I support others in their journey to wellness when I’m far from perfect, you know what? we can do this because we are real and we know the challenges. I feel like I’ve made peace with myself this year. We have also faced parenting challenges this year that have really shocked me, but life is a journey and these challenges make you stronger. Hang in there. I love your blog and recipes. All the best for 2019 xx

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      The Kitchen Shed
      29th December 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Jo, what a lovely message! Thank you so much for your encouraging words! It means so much to me. It can be so tricky to not push yourself into black and white thinking, (I have to be perfect otherwise I’m rubbish) when actually all the magic happens in the grey area, when you are being your authentic self which is neither perfect or rubbish, its just real. Glad to know someone else on a similar journey, I hope you continue to find peace and great happiness in being you! Happy New Year xox

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