January 19, 2014

Home For The Holidays: Boston Christmas 2014

This holiday was all about family.  

Coming home to Boston for me is an emotional journey filled with happy hellos and sad goodbyes - but Christmas anywhere else wouldn't just be the same.  This year was strangely different, the jet lag was all too familiar and the winter flu season hit hard with our entire family sick at one time or another but I happily immersed myself in the mundane and beautiful moments most people take for granted.  

I shared cups of coffee and long conversations with my Dad, wrapped presents and baked with my mom, cuddled with my new and perfect little niece Lela and laughed until I cried at the cuteness that is my eldest niece Fiona.  I spent the majority of my time at home in my pyjamas (I'm not joking) watching 'American Pickers' with my parents, chasing my niece around the house and reading her books, drinking wine with my sisters and forcing everyone to play Taboo - my favourite game.  

We had a hilarious girls day out trying on wedding dresses and a few token trips to Border Cafe for my margarita fix but the cold weather and our runny noses kept us from seeing many of our friends - something I regret and hope to make up for when we come back later this year.  There is a certain sense of guilt that plagues me while I'm home - guilt for missing out, guilt for not being there when the times are good and the times are bad and guilt that my family can't be there to experience our incredibly lucky life in Australia.  When I'm home I struggle with these feelings combined with homesickness and the feeling of complete and utter crazy love and annoyance that comes with being surrounded by family.

Seeing my nieces grow up before my eyes was especially moving and even now that we've been home for a few weeks my heart breaks not being able to see them daily - something I will no longer take for granted. It was a wonderful holiday - bordering on boring it was so simple - but something that I found to be completely relaxing and everything I hoped for.  It's crazy how much I miss them now. xx

January 11, 2014

Wiliams-Sonoma Holiday Instameet & Cookie Swap

Before we left to go home to Boston for Christmas, I managed to squeeze in one last event of 2013. I contemplated not doing it at all given how busy things were but I'm a sucker for anything Christmas related and when we threw cookies into the mix I was hooked.

I teamed up with my friend Jayde from Little Paper Lane and Williams-Sonoma to host a Holiday Instameet and Cookie Swap (which I didn't realise was virtually unknown here in Australia).  I had to explain the concept of a cookie swap to everyone and as you'd expect with anything involving sugar it was a huge hit.  

I always get extremely sentimental around the holidays (cue nonstop Christmas carols) and that's probably because being so far away makes me homesick this time of year but stepping into the Williams-Sonoma store in Bondi last month was like being transported back to New England.  Christmas music was playing and gingerbread cookies were baking in the office - it smelt like heaven. The rest of the night was really fun and the perfect way to end a busy year of Blog Society events - and yes I ate my body weight in cookies, can you blame me?

January 8, 2014

Sewing 101: Baby Quilt #2

I knew from the moment my second niece, Lela, was born in August that I'd make her a baby quilt. I made one for her sister, Fiona, and I was actually really excited to dust off the sewing machine and make something that (hopefully) she can treasure forever knowing that it was made with love from her aunt far away.

Now being an extremely impatient person means that my sewing skills are less than stellar and that attention to detail isn't my strong point (fingers crossed that when my sister washes the quilt it doesn't fall into a million pieces). Even if it doesn't stand the test of time I loved the process of making it and after a busy end to 2013 I found it really therapeutic to sit in front of my sewing machine (swearing and screaming at times) and to make something. I spend so much time looking at Pinterest and reading magazines filled with pages of beautiful things I'd love to own but rarely do you have the opportunity (or desire) to actually make it with your own hands.  It's quite an addictive process and one that I forgot how much I enjoyed. The end result was something I was really proud of and happily wrapped it for Christmas knowing that it was going to be loved by that little munchkin I hadn't yet met.  I'm happy to report that although I don't make new year's resolutions, sewing is back on my priority list and I'm already cutting material for my next project - watch this space.
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