a new year. a new blog.


Happy New Year and welcome to Cloistered Away‘s new space–the best way to begin 2014! First, thank you to Corina and Theodore for their impeccable design and site work and for their promptness and great attitude working through the holiday season. Also, thank you, Kristen, for the beautiful profile images (and for making me look like a superstar) in the midst of your busiest work season. I’m so grateful. For those of you who subscribe to Cloistered Away, your subscriptions will take a few days to fully transfer. If by next week you notice you aren’t receiving anything in your reader, check back and subscribe via email again. I apologize in advance.



I’m naturally a goal-setting/planning type of person, so I generally enjoy this time of year, a time of reflection and anticipating the future. Typically, I would dream up a few huge projects or lifestyle choices to evaluate and change, but frankly, I’m too tired for a longer TO DO list this year. Instead, in 2014, I am evaluating the little, everyday things, such as how I eat my food (too often standing at the counter) or how I communicate with friends (mostly electronically) to how I can help keep our almost 13 year marriage fresh (break the routines a few times). My hope? Small changes, large impact. How about you? What are some of your goals in the new year? What are a few little, everyday things you already do or want to do to improve your life? I’d love to know.

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  1. Pingback: hello, 2016. - cloistered away

    1. Author

      Thank you, Matthew. I’m so pleased with the space. T + C were so wonderful to work with! Happy new year to you!

  2. “Small changes, large impact. ” LOVE it. sometimes i find we set the bar too high and list out unrealistic goals, but that’s a really great way to look at setting challenges for yourself. the new space looks so awesome, they did a great job!! Happy New Year my dear, lovely meeting you last year ;)

    1. Author

      Thank you so much, Tara. I’m hoping the smaller changes will actually make them easier to reach. (wink.) So glad to meet you, too. Also, I still plant to answer your tag now that the blog is up again. x

  3. I love this look for your site! You have some great goals for 2014, focussing on small changes is such a good idea! I agree with the sitting whilst eating goal, I’d love to actually have my dinner at the table but it never happens!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Emma. I am the worst about snacking while prepping meals or standing at the countertop. I’m really wanting to slow down meal time, to enjoy it more, and I’m hoping this will help. Happy 2014!

  4. I love your list!! Planting a garden sounds like a beautiful idea :) I learned to roll sushi a few months ago, definitely a fun activity–with a rewarding result, too ;) Happy new year to you, friend!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Kristyn. It felt honest and simple, which is just what I needed for a fresh perspective and a new beginning. I can’t wait to roll sushi. The kids love that stuff. Best to you in 2014! x

    1. Author

      ooh, I’ll have to check it out. Isn’t it fun? Such a gift. happy new year to you both, Autumn.

  5. I am SO happy that you are happy my dear Bethany! The husband and i simply loved working with you. You’re truly the kindest person i’ve ever met :)
    Happy New year to you and the fam, i’m sure it will be simply amazing!

    1. Author

      Thank you again, Corina! I do love it, and in general, I expect good things of 2014. (wink.) Happy year to you both.

  6. Wow, the new site looks absolutely beautiful! Great job, Corina and Theodore! I love how you are making changes to the little things in your every day life. Changing communicating from electronic is something I’ve been working on for awhile now, got off most social media sites so I don’t get comfortable talking to friends and family through there :) For me, I’d love to be more present and not think about what I need to do in the future. Happy New Year to you and your family, Bethany!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Victoria. I wasn’t a part of social media for that reason for a long time, and even now, although I love the connection points, I miss the tangible sentiments. Especially the letters. I also have a hard time worrying/planning for the future–this year, I want to really focus on being present right where I am. Thank you for sharing. x

  7. happy new year’s, bethany. loving your sweet, new space here. i like many of your wishes or goals for the year ahead. i haven’t given this much thought. i’m not much of a “resolutions” girl, but i’d like to grow in this. one thing i know i’d like more of is carved out quiet time… to create, take in the outdoors, connect with loved ones. bring my heart before our Lord.

    1. Author

      Yes, yes, yes. When you figure out how to make this work regularly for you, please share. There’s so much to give when we have received and taken care of ourselves. Blessings to you in the new year.

  8. the blog looks great, bethany!

    i’ve been looking into making sushi too! and now i’m craving some…

    1. Author

      Thank you, Caitlin. I’m so excited about it and growing opportunities through it. I’ve wanted to make sushi for a while now–this seems like the year. Cheers!

  9. I love the idea of small changes, big impact. I’m hoping to do a little bit of the same by focusing on more “us” time with my man and less screen time.

    1. Author

      Less screen time always seems like such a challenge, but a gift of time when we allow for it. Great idea!

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