I think cross-stitching was one of the first creative activities that I really took a shining to.
I’m a huge fan of following instructions and reading patterns (Monica Geller, anyone?!), so my mind and hands took to cross-stitch fairly easily.
The only problem with stitching is that it can take ages to do! And I really feel like I need to be in the zone to get going.
I figured three years was plenty of time to get three stitches done – one a year, right?!
Only I started one about two-and-a-half years ago, and never got around to finishing it.
I thought this thing was going to be another great big fail, until I stumbled across weelittlestitches on Etsy.
I commissioned them to design a cross-stitch pattern of my family as a Christmas present for my Mum. I was so impressed with their work and had so much fun stitching this pattern that I have completed one more since then and am currently working on another.
What is going on with my once-a-week posting these days?! Some of you are probably breathing a sigh of relief, while others may be wondering what I have been up to lately.
Well, nothing much to be honest. For those non-kiwis out there, ‘nothing much’ is slightly more than nothing, so I’m not a total fail:
I have been trying to get into the Christmas spirit. My presents for home are wrapped and ready to go – please God let them arrive safe, sound, and on time. I have watched a total of two Christmas movies (The Santa Clause and A Christmas Carol) and enjoyed three Christmas coffees so far this month. I even listened to carols yesterday as I wrapped presents – could I BE any more festive?!
Aside from the excitement Christmas brings, I am also just really looking forward to some time off work! I have two weeks left to go for the year and have already begun the countdown. All I ask is that they run smoothly, quickly and I can manage to get everything done that I need to. Failing that, I can just drink one to many beverages at our department Christmas party.
It’s the first of December and that means two things for me – Summer is here! And I can now officially start celebrating and getting excited about Christmas!! The stores have been doing it for about a month (or more) now, but in the real world it has been frowned upon to get out the Christmas gear in November, so I have been (im)patiently waiting for this day to come so I can crank out the decorations and officially get into the Christmas spirit.
I have pretty much spent this entire weekend focused on Christmas. On Friday, I purchased a brand new bottle of Baileys. It is totally my Christmas drink of choice, and unfortunately my supply ran out quite some months ago, so I was very excited to not only re-stock, but also get two new fancy glasses to drink it in for free! #winning
Yesterday I downloaded an advent calendar app for my phone and we also purchased some new decorations to spruce up our rather small faux Christmas tree. I actually felt like a kid on Christmas Eve last night, knowing that today I could Christmas-ify our apartment. A little bit too sad to admit?!
After my hour-long walk this morning, I treated us to a delicious Maple Latte from Gloria Jean’s and updated both the lock and home screens of my phone with Christmas images. The home-made wreath I put together last year got a much-needed revamp from my partner today and I must say it looks fabulous now, hanging on our wall. Finally it came time to work on the tree! With Christmas carols playing in the background, we set to work and bought our tree to life. We totally have too many lights and decorations for our little tree, but I quite like it bursting with colour and baubles! I was even able to put presents underneath, thanks to my wonderful mother sending some over from home.
It’s kind of weird though, and I have only really started thinking about it this year – Christmas for us is Summer time. It doesn’t snow. We aren’t roasting chestnuts on an open fire. There is no one-horse open sleigh or Frosty the Snowman over here. We don’t require naff yet awesome Christmas jumpers and usually it is too hot to even think about cocoa! Instead our Christmas holidays usually consist of barbecues, drinking beers/ciders outside in the sun, going away for camping trips and visiting the beach. We totally still have a full roast Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and end up stuffing ourselves into food-comas as Christmas movies play in the background. I mean, that’s what Christmas is all about right?! I don’t think I have ever seen a New Zealand or Australian Christmas movie. We are pretty much brought up seeing Christmas as a Winter Wonderland – although most of us have never experienced one before. I was wondering today about why that was – why aren’t there more Southern Hemisphere Christmas paraphernalia? Why is it all snowmen and gingerbread and Santa wearing a full kit of Winter gear? We sing along to snowy carols and most of the store windows around here even feature fake snow! In Summer. Really?
It doesn’t stop me wanting that Winter experience though. I mean, a Santa in boardies and sunglasses just isn’t the same. And I love the wintry Christmas smells of fresh pine, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugared plums and a warm hearth – so naturally I purchased a bunch of Yankee Candle melts in a few delicious Christmas flavours. Now I can have the winter Christmas without the cold.
Has it really been two weeks since last I posted?! Sorry guys, life has gotten a little hectic around here. I have been frantically sorting out birthday and Christmas presents to send back home in time, working like a dog, fitting in daily walks and trying really hard to eat clean. 3 out of 4 ain’t bad, right?!
But in the spirit of improving my health and well-being, I have decided to take part in the Emma & Tom’s Christmas event this year! Include ‘Christmas’ in the title and I am pretty much there. Maybe even with bells on, I haven’t decided yet.
The event takes place on December 11th at beautiful Albert Park. It is a running/walking event – so clearly I will be walking. But this year I have decided to push myself and go for the 10km walk. I don’t know about you guys, but this is kind of a big deal for me. I have never done a 10km walk before – having only competed in a couple of 5km walks in the past.
The first one I did in January 2010 – I took part in the Molenberg SUB Stride to Ride Series (which apparently isn’t a thing anymore, cos I can’t find a link for it) hosted by Sarah Ulmer – it was my first ever walking event and although I did like no training whatsoever, I managed to come 2nd in my age group! I would have come first if I had realised the lady ahead of me was in the same group – she was pretty far ahead, but if I had known we were both aiming for first, I would have kicked her arse! I did come away with a nice Bendon sports bra/underwear set and got to shake Sarah’s hand for my efforts though.
The second walk was in July 2012 – a group from work was fundraising for Kids Under Cover as part of the Run Melbourne event. Again, I went for the 5km walk option. Only this time I walked/gossiped with a co-worker and I had a sore foot at the time, so wasn’t going for any records here. I don’t even think I raised that much money to be honest, either. Epic fail.
So this time around, I am aiming to do the 10km walk in under an hour an a half. I can usually do 5km in about 40-50 minutes, so I’m hoping I can keep my swift pace for the full 10kms. Side-note – I am a naturally fast walker. No matter what I am doing, or where I am going, I walk like a gal on a mission. I actually can’t help it, and feel really uncomfortable walking any slower. Hoping to use this to my advantage, and this time I actually do want to raise some money for the Peter MacCullum Cancer Centre and make good time in my event.
I will totally be donning a naff Christmas t-shirt and maybe even a reindeer headband or something, and will also be bringing a gift or two to place under the tree for the brave children and their families currently fighting cancer.
I would love your help in fundraising and have set up a page here for anyone who can spare a donation.
I feel like a broken record but I can’t believe it is November already! Seems like just yesterday we were boarding our flight to London, excited for two whole months of traveling. Now, those months are over – did they even really happen?! I mean, we have the photos and souvenirs – oh god, so many souvenirs – but it doesn’t feel real. Since being thrust back into reality, I’ve somehow managed to survive the blur that has been July, August, September and October; to land on November’s doorstep wondering how the heck I got here.
It is supposed to be Springtime in the land down under, but lately it has felt more like Autumn and some days I feel like I’ve gone back in time to Winter instead. I thought Australia was supposed to be sunny and warm?!
But with November comes the start of the festive season, which I am beyond excited about. Call me sad, but I have already started planning Christmas presents – I mean, I need to get on top of things early so that my well-planned and heartfelt purchases (read: online shopping) make it to my family in time for the arrival of old St Nick.
The shops have been selling Christmas wares for a while now, and it won’t be long before the whole city is covered in a Christmas haze; frustrated shoppers pounding the pavement; stores enticing them with great savings and Christmas sales; carols blasting from the speakers – bring it on, I say!
In the meantime, I am looking forward to a long weekend where I hope to get some sun, eat some good food and see some beautiful sights!
Like this………..but totally not like this.
Anyone else turning Melbourne Cup Day into a long weekend? Getting excited for Christmas yet? When will Summer get here?!
Is it just me, or has New Years Eve lost the swag it once held?
Now before you go shaking your head and judging me with your eyes, I’m well aware that now I’m in the upper stages of my 20’s and no longer have the desire to get trashy, rowdy and boozed to ring in the new year. Let’s be honest, aside from screaming “Happy New Year!” to every stranger in sight and finding that elusive midnight kiss in the dark, was New Years Eve ever really different from any other night out?
Growing up, mine were often spent at camping grounds in Cromwell, New Zealand. We would make our way out of Invercargill every Boxing Day and spend the following two weeks or so sleeping in tents, eating copious amounts of barbequed everything and sunning ourselves by the nearest watering hole. That’s how we roll.
On New Years Eve, us kids stayed up with the adults until midnight (if we could keep awake) when we were ushered off to bed so our parents could continue their celebrations in peace.
During later years, we were allowed a bit of drink and had free reign of the camping ground and pub down the road (so long as we had an adult present). The night was spent running around being crazy pre-teens and having harmless fun.
Fast-forward to the horrible teenage years when camping with your family over Christmas was totally not cool and was generally best to be avoided if you wanted to maintain any street cred you may or may not have had; so instead we would hang out at someones house, or go camping in Arrowtown (which is totally just down the road from Cromwell and our parents, just saying) and got boozed there instead.
New Years Eve was exciting – there were always crowds no matter where you went, everyone was in high spirits and high on spirits or other substances, and we didn’t have a care in the world. Back then, our main stressors included getting our assignments in on time, deciding which boys we fancied and how we were going to pay for that $10 bottle of vodka.
Seeing as the world didn’t end and all, we can now get really excited about Christmas! It is Christmas Eve here and I am definitely feeling the spirit this year. Pre December 21, 2012 I tried to take a modest approach to the festive season, for fear of it all being ripped out from under me. But now that work is over for the year, the world is still turning, Christmas carols are on repeat and I witnessed an epic firework show last night, I think I’m safe to relax and take it all in.
Living in a different country from my family feels a little harder at this time of year, which is one reason why I am so glad that I live in the digital age – they are only a Skype call away! It’s totally not the same as being there, but seeing their happy and shiny faces on Christmas Day is pretty rad.
I’ve nearly reached a blog milestone – I’m coming up to my one-year anniversary! So I wanted to take this time to thank everyone who has been reading and following along in my rambles, I really appreciate it and have enjoyed finding some new blog inspiration and possibly even some new friends.
I hope you all have a magical Christmas, whatever the day brings you and whomever you share it with.