December 21, 2012
The old quarter is a maze of markets and narrow streets. We've gotten lost a thousand times and always seem to find our way back again. I love it here. Off to Sapa tomorrow...
December 18, 2012
We made it.
Singapore was hot and humid but we made the most of our 24hrs and did a whirlwind tour of the city before finally landing in wonderfully chaotic Hanoi. It's like nothing I've ever seen before - the sights, sounds and endless movement are intimidating at first but now we feel like locals. I cross the street without looking and the buzzing motorbikes barely make us flinch. We've enjoyed street food and bai hoi and endless wandering around the old quarter...
December 15, 2012
It's been a crazy week of holiday planning, plotting and even a job promotion thrown in at the last minute for good measure (yeah!). We're off to Vietnam for three weeks of holiday goodness and I'll be checking in now and then but to see all our travel adventures please make sure to follow me on Instagram.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Christmas & New Year - see you in 2013. x
December 14, 2012
December 8, 2012
Blogshop Sydney was everything I'd imagined and more.
Picture an amazing studio, lots of shiny, happy people, good food, glitter, confetti and some kick-ass balloons and the scene was set for a successful day one. What more could you want?
Flyn and I arrived early, helped set up the room and finally got a chance to meet the lovely and down to earth, Bri & Angela. At times it seemed surreal that I was actually standing there in the middle of Blogshop, walking around the classroom, helping people with Photoshop. Considering my less than stellar knowledge of Photoshop this was a huge 'step out of my comfort zone' move but I really enjoyed it and picked up a few tips (including the urge to finally sit down again and learn this program once and for all). My feet are sore and my Instagram feed is full but I can't wait for tomorrow as we tackle day 2...
December 6, 2012
I'm a planner.
I like details. I like knowing what's going to happen, what to expect, what to look forward to. My trips have always been planned out, in advance, in every detail. I researched hotels, read reviews, mapped out driving routes, requested costs, poured over Lonely Planet guides. It was a tedious, stressful, exciting process - I felt in control. Well...those days are over. I'm entering the world of flying stand by and learning the art of letting go.
Having a partner that works for an airline allows us the unbelievable benefit of flying on the cheap. It's the perk of all perks except when you decide to fly at Christmas with every other airline staff member in the world. Flying stand by is a funny thing - you never really know if you're going to get on the plane so planning (in the detail I'm used to) goes out the window.
So as you can imagine not knowing when we're leaving for our holiday trip to Vietnam goes against every fiber in my body screaming out at me to plan, plan, plan. My need for scheduling and to read TripAdvisor is calmed down only by repeating my new mantra, "think of the savings, think of the savings."
So I'm letting it all go - the planning, the questions, the schedules, it's all gone. I'm taking a deep breath and heading into this vacation with a zen like approach and the attitude of a well traveled adventurer. I'm throwing my stuff into a backpack and heading off. We'll be trekking around, just the two of us, with no plans, no schedules, no obligations. I actually think it might just be some kind of wonderful.
p.s - for those of you who know me, notice I haven't packed any black, shocking I know.
December 4, 2012
The days are long but the years are short.
I love this quote, a perfect reminder that life moves far too quickly so soak in as much of your days as possible. Heading into our last few weeks of 2012, I've been plotting and planning, writing lists, then writing longer lists, reading, thinking, dreaming, doing. Somewhere in between I've squeezed in Christmas shopping, present wrapping, Vietnam planning and recipe reading. My days have been full indeed.
But, as the new year approaches, I'm ready for a clean slate.
It isn't because I want to say goodbye to 2012, but rather I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store. I'm ready to write the next chapter, to turn the page and see what's in store. There's an energy in the air, a feeling of change, of good things about to happen. Can you feel it?
December 2, 2012
Happy 60th to my beautiful mom, may you be spoiled today and always. Thank for being such an incredible role model, for having such an immense and selfless heart, for knowing exactly what to say and for having the patience to put up with three, often hard to handle, girls. You have set the motherhood bar high and have left big shoes to fill. You have our gratitude and our love. Have a wonderful birthday. xx
November 30, 2012
I often wish I had started blogging earlier, back when I was living in California.
This is partly because I can't seem to find any photos from those days and partly because of my insane jealously at the sheer blogging talent that seems to stem from the West Coast. Events, summits, collaborations - all this American goodness is happening while the Australian blogging world seems to be moving at a slower pace (although admittedly in the right direction).
When I found out that Bri & Angela from BlogShop where finally coming to Australia I couldn't believe my luck. Then I found out the class was sold out. Then I did something out of character - I took a long shot and emailed them to ask if they needed any help. The surprising part? They said yes.
So next weekend I'll be hanging out with 2 super talented ladies I've admired from afar and a roomful of other local bloggers. I don't know if I'll be serving lunch or mopping the floor and to tell you the truth, I don't really care. This is something I've wanted to do for so long and I still can't quite believe my luck. I'll be back to report back next week with more photos than you bargained for...
November 27, 2012
I often find that life's greatest lessons are revealed only through our biggest mistakes.
That momentary feeling that you've blown it, the dreaded feeling of regret in the pit of your stomach, the over analysing, the trying to shake that horrid feeling that you've wasted an opportunity. Thankfully in most cases those moments are fleeting and when the sting of regret has washed away you're left with a feeling of clarity, a calm vision of a lesson learned and a hurdle overcome. The only thing to do next? Move forward.
I've learned a lot of lessons this year and made a lot of decisions, both good and bad. I've over analysed conversations, shed a few tears, laughed at myself and in the end have been surprised with just how much I have yet to learn about little old me.
Every year right around this time I begin to reflect back on the year that was. I look back at the moments I've been proud of and hope they out number the moments of regret (I loath regret) and luckily this year the good moments far out weigh the negative ones. The strange thing I've noticed (perhaps it just comes with age?) is the realisation that the moments of struggle have left me feeling stronger, better aware of my own strengths and of course my own weaknesses. Mistakes have been made, lessons have been learnt and a whole new side of myself revealed. Learning from our mistakes isn't an easy process but one worth the struggle.
Do you have regrets this year?
p.s Yes, the title of this post was inspired by Madonna's lyrics in Human Nature. Embarrassing, but true. No, these photos don't have any relation to one another but the guy lounging at the bar this weekend looked so relaxed I just had to snap a photo.
November 22, 2012
If I had to choose one meal to eat before I died it would be Thanksgiving dinner. I'd ask for a massive, mouth-watering plate piled high with roast turkey smothered in gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. I'd eat it all and go back for seconds. Then have a slice of pumpkin pie.
Then I'd take a nap.
I love Thanksgiving and this year in particular I am bursting at the seams with gratitude. My heart is full of love for the people around me and for those far away. Filled with love for getting to experience moments I'll cherish. For getting to hug my grandfather again during my last visit, for meeting my niece and being overwhelmed at the profound love for this little human. To have been able to laugh and dance until the wee hours with my sisters, to ride bikes with my dad and take long walks with my mom.
This year I'm grateful for friends that love to celebrate Thanksgiving as much as I do, an apartment to call home, our health, jobs that pay the bills and allow us to live such a fulfilled life. I'm grateful and thankful for Jimmy...so, so thankful. Today, take a moment to give thanks for all the love that surrounds you and be grateful for all that you have...Happy Thanksgiving.
p.s - this year we opted for a Thanksgiving themed BBQ but fear not, we still had turkey salt & pepper shakers and good old turkey napkins shipped in straight from the USA (thanks mom!).