Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

1. I started packing for my trip to America next weekend and realised I own way too many printed dresses.
2. Sunday afternoon snack of crackers and beetroot dip after cleaning the apartment all day.
3. View of Double Bay from a wedding at Blackburn Gardens yesterday where I helped my friend Linda with the event styling.
4. Linda ordered some custom-made letters for this wedding - so simple but effective.
5 & 6. The amazing cheese/antipasto table at the wedding ceremony.
7. Linda and I set up the backdrop for the ceremony which involved tying hundreds of ribbons to the frame. It looked so pretty in the end! 

It was our last weekend before our trip to America so I started packing and getting organised as well as cleaning the entire apartment. Sydney turned on two perfect Autumn days which was great for the wedding I was helping out at yesterday. It's fun to help out but definitely hard work. I don't know how Linda does it so often and I only have to rock up on the day - she does so much preparation for weeks beforehand. Last night Ben and I had dinner at one of our friend's places who lives not far from us. It was a reminder that we need to do it much more often! All in all a nice productive weekend was had. This time next week I'll be in sunny Los Angeles!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's Time

Images: Pinterest

My hair is currently the longest it's ever been and yet I've decided it's time for a chop. I've been so stubborn about cutting my hair for the past few years but I definitely need a change. My sister is a hairdresser and has been waiting for me to tell her that I'm ready to cut my hair for quite a while now! It has just gotten to the point where I'm bored with my hair and feel a bit too plain. 

My sister sent me through a picture of Lara Bingle whose hair is a nice collar bone length (bottom left). This led to me creating a Pinterest board with hot babes with the same or similar style to Lara. It's not too short but still a bit funky.

I've never been very good with hair (my sister definitely got those skills). My idea of doing my hair in the morning is blowdrying it until it's dry enough or until I get bored and then letting mother nature do the rest. No product no nothin'. I don't even own a straightening iron, people. So in deciding to take the plunge and cut a bit off my hair, I've also decided to be less lazy with styling it in the future. Luckily I'll have my own personal stylist for the next few weeks (my sister is cutting it the night before we go to America together) and hopefully I'll pick up a few tricks so that I can do it myself in future. As my hair is pretty much dead straight I'll need to learn how to give it some more volume/a bit of curl in order to achieve the look I want. I think I'm ready!

Now my only question is - to fringe or not to fringe? I guess you will just have to follow me on Instagram to find out!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Big and Little

Oh hello there Friday, I didn't expect to be seeing you so soon. It's been a strange week with all of Australia and New Zealand having a public holiday yesterday for ANZAC Day which is a day for us to remember those who lost their lives serving our countries in a battle at Gallipoli during World War I and in other conflicts generally. So Wednesday managed to trick me into thinking it was Friday and today felt like Monday. That is until I knocked off work this afternoon and I said hello to the real weekend!

Big and little things worth noting this week:

  • A movie date with Ben on Wednesday night where he managed to convince me to see Oblivion. It was okay but probably not something I would normally choose. The things we do for love! I got him back by taking that selfie up there which he is quite clearly stoked about.
  • Sinking a few ciders at the pub on ANZAC Day while observing a very rowdy game of Two Up. Being the geriatrics that we are, we bailed after a few hours  and decided to grab a few drinks for the road. I was evidently quite taken with my bottle in the paper bag (as pictured above).
  • A farewell lunch at a great Korean restaurant for two of my colleagues who are sadly leaving the team. Despite the nature of the occasion it was really nice to get out of the office and share some laughs with my work mates while enjoying a huge mushroom Bibimbap!
  • Booking tickets for a night time tour of Alcatraz while we are in San Fran in just a couple of weeks.
  • Convincing Ben to drink a glass of green vegetable juice! Victory is mine.
  • A lunch meeting at Ivy in the city. Lunch meetings are always my favourite kind of meeting.
  • My sister twisting my arm into finally cutting my hair next week. More on that soon!
Hope you all had a super week and are in for an exciting weekend ahead. xo

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

1. A delicious home cooked Sunday brunch of scrambled eggs and vegetable fry-up, enjoyed on our sunny verandah.
2. "Brunch dessert" - coffee and date loaf.
3. Taken from the car on our way to Ikea this morning. Such a glorious Autumn day in Sydney!
4. I broke my coffee fast with one of Ben's special cappuccinos. Special because it involves mixing two cheap instant coffee blends together that somehow ended up tasting amazing once combined.
5. With two of my oldest and dearest gal pals who came over for dinner last night. We shared a hearty soup, many laughs, memories and a sneaky kitchen dance party while doing the dishes. Such a perfect night!
6. Sneaky kitchen selfie in my new-to-me jumper from the 80s. Courtesy of my friend Nikki who came for dinner last night. After dinner we had a spontaneous clothes swap party and I managed to get rid of a few things I'd tried to sell on eBay with no luck and Nikki brought in a bag of unwanted clothes that were destined for Vinnies. Stoked with my score - this jumper is rad.
7. Good news! Guzmez Y Gomez is opening 20 minutes from home!
8. Burger party with Mum, Dad and Ben at Grill'd.
9. Love these rustic lights at Grill'd.

I have had a 10/10 weekend. Mum and Dad were in town for one night and as usual it was great to have them here. I got to have a well overdue catch up with two wonderful friends, eat a lot of good food (pretty standard for me, let's be honest) and am spending my Sunday arvo curled up on the couch after a nice long phone call with another lovely friend. Two busy weeks at work to go and then I'm outta here! Getting incredibly excited. xoxo

Friday, April 19, 2013

Big and Little

What is it about getting older and time going by so much faster?

I feel like a broken record every time I say this about whatever month it may be, but seriously, how is it nearly the end of April already?

It's also Friday again and somehow it feels like the week happened in the blink of an eye. I want to start taking the time to reflect at every week's end, starting now. It's easy to arrive at a weekend feeling like nothing really happened that week, but I like to remember the little things as well and I think writing them here will help me. This is somewhat inspired by Sophie's very cute blog of the very appropriate title, The Littlest Things.

Big and little things that happened this week:

  • I went another week without drinking coffee, which brings it to two whole weeks caffeine-free. I didn't really do this on purpose. I went a few days without coffee and then it kinda stuck! I might treat myself this weekend, though.
  • I cooked: epic nachos and spicy mushroom pasta. Ben cooked: spicy "chicken" soft tacos. We ordered: pizza and Indian.
  • The weather dipped below 20 degrees C which meant cosy knitted jumpers, collared shirts and stockings.
  • I was glued to Twitter for updates on the awful Boston bombings and subsequent shootings/man hunt which I've been following this afternoon and this evening. I also read an interesting article on The Tragedies of Other Places, which helps to put things into perspective. The events that happened this week in Boston but also in other parts of the world, such as Iraq where 55 people died, gave me a lot to think about.
  • I finished the first part of one of my big ongoing projects at work and crossed off a lot of my to-do items. I still have a long list to complete before I go on leave in two weeks!
  • I officially completed seven editions of the magazine we produce at work with the latest edition arriving from the printers.
  • I drove to Balmain for a lunch time meeting and was shouted Thai from Nood.
  • We celebrated a birthday in the office with a super rich mud cake.
  • I cried like a baby in an episode of Hart of Dixie. Help?
Tonight I'm kicking back in my trackies with a glass or two of red wine. Mum and Dad are arriving tomorrow and will stay the night (uh oh, better clean the apartment!) and I also have two of my oldest and dearest friends coming for dinner tomorrow night. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and remember to notice the little things. xo

P.S Apologies if you follow me on Instagram and have already seen these photos. My camera battery has been dead but I will try and take some new photos this weekend!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just A Minute In April

Reading...Memoirs of a Geisha. Yes I know I'm about 10 years late on this bandwagon but it's just one of those books I've heard so much about but never actually read.

Watching...Hart of Dixie. Don't judge me. You totally are! Ha. It's actually a lot better than I thought it would be and every now and then a gal needs some mindless entertainment in her evenings. Plus Game of Thrones (see, I'm not so bad).

Eating...Pretty well, actually! I've been having green juices for breakfast every morning this week (spinach, lemon, cucumber and apple) and vita wheat crackers with avocado and tomato for my lunches. We did a lot of juicing over the weekend at Mum and Dad's. The one pictured above has capsicum in it! Not as weird as it sounds, I promise, plus it had a lot of fruit in it (can't remember exactly what it was). It was actually quite refreshing. Tonight we're having soft tacos with crumbed spicy "chicken" (it's fake chicken but it's dang good). Also, I haven't had a coffee in 10 days!

Listening to...I made a mornings playlist recently which has some old school tunes from Ben Folds, Deathcab for Cutie and Sufjan Stevens and some newer stuff from the likes of M83 and The Black Keys.

Loving...Counting down for my trip to America (18 days!), sending hideous photos of myself to my siblings on snap chat (and receiving just as hideous ones in return), peppermint tea, waking up to daylight (thanks Autumn!) and discovering lovely new blogs such as this one.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

1. Playing Rummy King with my family.
2. Mum and Dad's beautiful front garden.
3. My family members (including me) have gone crazy for juicing!
4. The street where I did a lot of my growing up.
5. Yummy veggie patties on wraps for Saturday's lunch.

I mentioned in my last post that I headed up to Tamworth for the weekend to spend time with my family (and Ben's). It was a perfect weekend filled with good food, sleep-ins, laughs and mum and dad completely spoiling me. We also got to see Ben's grandma who has been really really sick in hospital for a few months. She actually got out of hospital on Saturday and is doing so well. She is so strong and we are so happy to see her getting better. She's a precious lady, that one.

Not pictured: me dusting off an old pair of roller blades and showing off my skills (still got it), a lovely picnic in the park on Sunday, Ben and I playing basketball on the driveway, my brother's puppy Chester who has grown into a much much bigger puppy since I last saw him, getting the magic security code for my car radio meaning it no longer turns off after two minutes (it had been like that for two years so this is a massive victory) and a family dinner at Ben's nan's place where we sat around the table sharing stories of our weird habits from when we were kids. I am truly blessed. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

P.S 14 days left of work until I am holidays!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Home Is Wherever I'm With You

Ben and I left work early yesterday to drive inland to our home town for the weekend. We haven't been home since Christmas and probably won't get another chance for a while so we thought we'd make the most of this weekend and spend some time with our families.

I used to always dread the five hour drive between Sydney and Tamworth but yesterday it was actually enjoyable. It was a warm day and the sun was streaming into the car most of the way. We were also blessed with an amazing sunset as we drew nearer to home. I feel so lucky to have grown up in such an amazing part of the world.

I arrived home to my mum's fantastic cooking and spent the evening playing scrabble before I headed to bed early and had the best sleep I've had in months. I woke this morning to a fresh fruit and vegetable juice in the fridge and the amazing smell of something in the slow-cooker wafting through the house. It really does not get much better than this. Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I'll Always Love You, New York

I've just spent a few hours reminiscing while looking through the photos from the time I was lucky enough to call New York home. I still can't believe how this little country girl from Australia ended up working in the Big Apple (albeit without pay). But somehow it did happen and these photos are just a small snippet of the adventures I had, the change of seasons (and the rude shock of a New York Winter), the many blocks I walked, the amazing food I ate (pretty excited about that pizza there) and the incredible sights I got to see.

I don't know how to explain what it is about New York that I love so much. It just seems to have this contagious energy about it. It's the vibe, man. I mean, I like Sydney but it's...different. New York is such a vibrant, eclectic, culturally diverse and accepting city. It doesn't matter who you are or where you've come from, you'll find something you like. You gotta believe me! You want to go to a restaurant that only sells things made with peanut butter? Well kid, you're in luck.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't always peachy. When I arrived in NYC I was scared out of my wits. I couldn't sleep for days from sheer nervousness/excitement/jet-lag and I had no idea what I had got myself into or whether it was really for me. There were some really really tough days - some of the worst I've had so far, and through no fault of my own. But at the same time, there were some absolutely amazing days, amazing people and amazing experiences. This is all sounding incredibly cliche, but I'm getting all nostalgic and I can't help it.

Lucky for me I've been able to go back once already and have another trip next month, which is probably why I'm getting so nostalgic right now. And this time, I finally get to take Ben and let him see what I've been talking about all these years. I sometimes get worried that he won't like New York as much as me, but then I remember how much he likes pizza. That boy just doesn't know what he is in for!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Week That Was

1. A bunny named George came to visit the office and we managed to do very little work for the duration of his stay.
2. I finally read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and really enjoyed it, especially as it was so easy to read.
3. City Rail managed to have a melt down yet again.
4. Went to dinner with some of the ladies from work last night as a farewell to our colleague Laila. We went to The Malaya at Darling Harbour which is really nice for a special night out. I've been such a hermit lately so it was great to get out and share a few LOLs with the gals.
5. At said dinner, I ordered a Pimms and lemonade and was served this teeny tiny Sprite bottle. Small things are so great! Unfortunately the waiter took it away before I got to smuggle it into my purse.
6. I ate the most amazing salt and pepper cauliflower. It was the second time I've had it and it did not disappoint!

Not pictured: Booked five nights in Chicago for the last leg of our USA trip in May, picked up some American money which makes it feel a bit more real, had a sensory overload with the season return of Game of Thrones and finale of The Walking Dead on the same night, left all my umbrellas at work and waited an hour and a half for a taxi to the train station so I wouldn't get drenched on my way to work, felt like a school kid again with my new Herschel backpack and wondered why it had taken me so long to discover how much better it is for carrying my laptop to work AND ate the best faux chicken I've had since becoming a vegetarian.

Having a very low key Saturday night now with a few ciders while we try and decide what takeaway to order. Once we eventually come to a decision I plan to enjoy it while curled up on the couch under a blanket, watching trashy TV (what was that I said about being a hermit?). Have a happy weekend xo

 All photos via my instagram page.