This is taken from my bi-weekly newsletter which hits inboxes every other Monday morning. At the beginning of each month, I add in an Editor’s letter which you can read below and check out the other elements you can find in my weekly newsletters.
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Monday 1st January 2024
Happy New Year!
Another year has rolled around and we’re now in 2024. It really does feel like only a few weeks ago that I was writing my goals for 2023, but it’s time for new goals and a new year.
While you’re reading this I’m currently in New York City, probably writing my list of goals for the year. Or maybe I’m ice skating or walking down 5th Avenue. Most likely, I’m having brunch at one of my favourite cafes or eating my favourite dim sum. Or perhaps I’m just walking around with a coffee – that’s the most likely scenario.
I know a lot of people don’t like the New Year, but it’s my favourite time. What’s not to like about wiping the slate clean and starting a whole new chapter that you can make new goals and targets for. Plus, the 1st of January has landed on a Monday this year – what’s not to love about that?!
Looking back at 2023, it was one heck of a year. I started the year in New York City, took trips to Vegas, Norway, Krakow, Amsterdam and Marrakech, rode a camel for the first time and sailed through the Norwegian fjords.
I took a road trip across the New England states in America, got my first ever tattoo and watched my best friend get married in the summer. I stayed in the same job for the full 12 months (an achievement) and stuck at learning Italian for 365 days. I kept up with my blog, YouTube and podcast and made a very big life decision that’s going to massively shape and alter my 2024.
It’s been a hell of a 2023 and I think 2024 is going to be even better and with the plans I have, my best year yet (hopefully).
I hope you go into the New Year feeling refreshed, energetic and ready to take on whatever the next 12 months throws at you.
I’ll be posting my yearly list of goals in the next few days as usual, but until then I hope you have a lovely first week of the New Year and that it brings you everything you wish.
As always, you can follow everything I’m up to on the daily over on Instagram @orlaghclaire.
Orlagh Claire x
What I’ve Been Watching
Squid Game The Challenge (Netflix)
This was a Christmas watch for me during the holidays. We had only got through two episodes of the real series back when it came out and couldn’t get into it. Even though there were only four episodes.
However, the Challenge series was giving a little bit of everything about reality TV that I loved. The drama, the suspense, the behaviour of people and the strategy. If you need some good binge-worthy TV, watch this!
What I’ve Been Listening To
To be precise, the live version of Doin’ This.
I’ve been a Luke Combs fan for a while, but not massively. We listen to country music playlists all day every day but we don’t usually listen to one artist in particular at a time. However, I’d heard this song many times on my Alexa, but it was only when I was in a car on the way to Hay on Wye in Wales that the live version came on our playlist. And oh my word, I have been hooked ever since. My next mission is to actually hear this live and be in the room when he sings it.
What I’ve Been Reading
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
I am not a fantasy reader and never really have been (aside from Harry Potter of course) but I just had to see what the fuss was about with this book and oh my word, it did not disappoint. I’m so glad there’s a second book in this series and that it’s already available because this will be one of the first things I read in 2024, that’s for sure. So, even if you’re not a fantasy reader like I thought I wasn’t, I think you’re going to love this.
You can find the ratings and reviews of all the books I read in December 2023 here.
Where I’ve Been Eating
For our four year anniversary (mega), himself booked for us to go for dinner in a French cafe called Casse-Croute in Bermondsey. We happened across it one day that we decided to go and check out Bermondsey as an area and came across this cute street full of little independent restaurants and bars.
It was probably the best meal I’ve had in London as it was full to the brim on a Wednesday evening and there were three options for starters and mains. The servers were French and the customers were French. If you’re ever in London and after an amazing meal in Central London, go here.
Where I’m Going Next
As I said above, I’m currently in New York City. But in a few days’ time, I’ll be back in Nashville, Tennessee. If you’ve been around for a while, you might know that this is my third time visiting the city and that it’s my second favourite city in the world after New York.
I am soooo excited for this trip and to be back in Music City!!! I’ll be making the most of our short time here and vlogging everything so stay tuned!
Recent Podcast Episodes
52. Am I Missing Out on My Youth?
It’s a Saturday night and at 26 years of age, I’m sat at home watching TV. Being honest, I couldn’t be more content. But at times I do wonder, am I missing out on my youth? Should I be out drinking and partying with my friends?
51. Can Romanticising Everything Be Bad For You?
I’m guilty of romanticising the mundane things in my life. A lunch time walk, my commute to work, popping to the shops or sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop. But is doing this continuously actually a negative thing? And is being delulu even worse?
Recent Blog Posts
There were 21 new blog posts on orlaghclaire.com during the month of December, with another 18 lined up for January.
I’ve added in my favourites from the month, but there are plenty more to choose from if you head over to the blog!
Reviewing My Travel in 2023
It’s been incredible to see so many new places and tick off new continents and states, but also great to go back to places that I love like New York, Paris and Amsterdam.
What Christmas Means to Me As I Get Older
Christmas is a lot different now that I’m 26 and live away from home. Instead, Christmas means a host of things including new traditions, having Christmas where I live, and also flying back home to Ireland.
Learning to Leave the Past in the Past
I can’t say I’m very good at leaving things in the past. I still cringe thinking about events that happened 10 years ago. Whether it’s something I said, an awkward fall or something I can’t even remember.
10 Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2024
I hate to be one of those very vague people that say ‘watch this space’, but really, watch this space, as 2024 is going to be one hell of a ride and I’ll be taking you along with me.