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A Year of Change...

Friday, December 31, 2010

As we head on into 2011 and we start making our new years resolutions and grand plans for what the year will hold, one quote (an old one that for some reason I only just discovered a few months ago) that has stuck with me, and one that I believe I'll repeat to myself many times this year is:

80% of success is showing up - Woody Allen.

I'll admit to not being a huge Woody Allen fan, but this quote really does hold meaning. 2010 has been a year of great change for me - David and I moved to Sydney so he could persue his PhD, I got a new job, I hit my quarter life goal post, we got married and we started making tentative friends.

I think it really does take a good year to settle in somewhere completely new, where you have no initial ties. To sort out where on earth you are, to find your favourite coffee shop and that little spot you want to drive too when you feel like getting out of the house. To make friends and meet acquaintances. To learn new skills and find new places -
unfortunately all of this requires some sort of effort and sometimes, it's just so much easier to stay at home.

2011 is the year I plan to push myself to do things I may not be all that comfortable with, because 80% of success is showing up after all - you never know who you'll meet or what opportunities will arise. It's about giving things a go and finding the people and things that make you happy.

Things that I'll be doing this year include:

1) I've signed up for an 8 week photography course. I'm very excited about this and hope it will lead to something else in the future. I start in February! Weeee...

2) Knitting club! I plan to be there next Saturday to learn how to knit and to meet some like minded people (though I really hope it's not this hot! Knitting and hot weather just don't go all that well together...).

3) Have people over for lunch/brunch/dinner more! We had a few people over this year, but our house isn't quite set up for entertaining large groups of people. We will start out small and hopefully grow (FYI if you are invited over and there are more than two of you, you may need your bring your own cutlery!)

There are a few more of course, but I'll keep those to myself for now :)

So here is to 2011 - a year of showing up and of at least 80% success.


Summer Picnics...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Today David and I went picknicking.
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Now that we have a car we can explore so many more places - and this time we headed down to Botany Bay national park.It was such a gorgeous day and tomorrow its off to the Zoo for a very belated birthday present to David. We are going over on the ferry, which I think I'm probably more excited about!


Merry Belated Christmas...

Sunday, December 26, 2010
Albeit, a bit late seeing as its Boxing day here :)

26th Dec 2010
Drinking T2 Toffee tea and relaxing with some Christmas goodies...

David and I ended up having an extremely lazy day - we opened presents, ate and watched movies and that was about the extent of it. A good holiday if I say so myself.

I'm also sitting here typing on my brand spanking new laptop - victorious as we fought those boxing day shoppers (though actually, there weren't as many people there as we thought there would be). My little Sony Vaio of 4 and a half years finally gave up the ghost while I was trying to edit the one photo on this post - it was hot, and tired and very very slow....poor wee thing, I really loved that little computer.

I hope Santa was good to you, he certainly was to me :)


Christmas? Already?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Wow, my very first proper outfit post in a very long time!! Albeit, it is an outfit shot from the Honeymoon - ah well (I do have some from last week actually, but I need to get them off the camera first!).

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Now that all the wedding madness is over (thank you so much for all of your lovely comments too by the way!), we have gone full tilt into Christmas madness! I can't believe its Christmas day on Saturday - where on earth has this year gone? David and I plan to while away the day eating, opening presents, perhaps finding a secluded little beach somewhere and just relaxing - our first Christmas as husband and wife.

To celebrate Christmas, we bought a tinsy winsy little Christmas tree a few weekends ago, and although it's small, it is a real tree which means we get bonus points (right?). We found some little clip on stars at Spotlight and decorated it with some tinsel around the bottom.
The cats for some reason have not yet cottoned on that tinsel is fun to play with - let's hope it stays that way!

21st December 2010
I found the J.Bailey Toys sign (Est 1901) last Sunday evening on a walk to get a bus pass. It was sitting next to someone's rubbish bin. Best thrifted/free find yet me thinks!

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Trying to get into the Christmas spirit with tinsel in the hall way...I haven't done a tour of our wee space yet, in the mean time, here is the hall way!

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Yes, I am in my jammie bottoms. It's what I do when I get home.

What do you have planned for Christmas?

XX Jen

A Wedding in Three Parts - Part 3

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Honeymoon!!

David and I spent the Sunday after the wedding having breakfast with the friends and family who could make it (some had early flights home), spent time with my oldest NZ friend and her partner (who I went to primary school with), picked up our flowers and left over cake from the venue and then spent sometime by ourselves with a yummy dinner at the hotel we were staying at (I also got told I looked like Anna Paquin. Which is odd as I don't really, but a nice way to end the wedding weekend!).

The next day we drove to Christchurch.


Our view of Christchurch from our hotel room, a gift from friends...

Eating breakfast at Berryfields - one of the places considered for the wedding. Worst-service-ever!!! Very glad we ended up not going here (it was also a little too cheesily decorated for my liking - they had fake flowers on the table when they had a glorious garden out the back filled with roses!). But the food was A-mazing, I'll give it that much.

On Tuesday we made our way happily to Akaroa, a little french settlement on the Banks Peninsula where we stayed for three beautiful days.
And this is where we stayed - the French Cottage. It was honestly absolutely stunning and perfect...

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Sittiing in the afternoon sun with wine and cheese (more gifts from the wedding)...

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House 3 copy


My sister, as a wedding present, bought us private cooking classes at the Akaroa Cooking School. It was set up by a husband and wife couple, Lou and Ant and it was such a great experience! As people who cook almost all their own meals (eating out all the time is far too expensive!) it was so good to get some new ideas for the dinner rotation. We smoked salmon (and have since bought a smoker, best-thing-ever!!), made salsa verde (omg the deliciousness!) and cooked scallops. It was a three course menu with wines to match all featuring the amazing seafood of Akaroa.

May have been a bit tipsy at this point. Too much wine/champagne had been drunk.


The main course, the only photo we managed to take of the food - it was far too delicious to not eat straight away!!

Cooking in action - photo taken from the Akaroa Cooking School Facebook page.

Thursday we went out on a dolphin watching cruise and in the afternoon went for a massage. For dinner we had tapas at an Italian restaurant and then lazily wandered on home.

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The captains little doggy, he let us know where the dolpins were - seriously!

Friday morning was our last day, David ended up going swimming with the dolphins early in the morning while I slept in. We had a late breakfast over looking the harbour, bought a piece of art work (the start of a new wedding anniversary tradition) and meandered on back up to Christchurch where we were staying the night and then catching a very early plane back to Sydney the next morning.

It was such a great holiday - I feel relaxed just thinking about it.
We ate too much good food and drank too much good wine (as you're supposed to right?) and met many amazing and inspirational people.



PS) I did do some outfit shots - but I thought this post was too long to add them, so I'll do them individually.

A Wedding in Three Parts - Part 2...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Today, Saturday 20th November, we got married...

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Wedding Invite 02
Invites designed by David, and he's happy to give you the template if you want to use it for something :)







Our homemade cakes! I think they looked amazing...





The ceremony was held inside the Homestead with the fire going, which I actually preferred when Vanessa (our contact at the venue) explained what would happen if it did rain. And it cleared up right on time for photos in the garden.















My bouquet made by me. It smelt divine and even had a few token aphids from the roses picked in the garden...



The day was perfect, and when David asked if I would change anything, I honestly can say that I really really wouldn't. We made almost everything and did it on a very small budget, which really made the whole wedding ours. Even if I did have a bigger budget, I would have done everything exactly the same way.

I didn't feel stressed or tired, and everything just seemed to flow together perfectly. I did all my own hair and make up, the dress is vintage (story here) and the shoes were a mission to find (story here). I wore some beautiful underthings from What Katie Did, including a pair of nude-seamed, fully fashioned stockings (I'm sold)!

My hair barrette is vintage from our local market bought the weekend before, and I agonised over making and wearing a bird cage veil (and Lisette even gave me a pattern from her Etsy shop!) but in the end I didn't want the fuss. I like things to be nice and simple.

Our amazing photographer Sinead Jenkins has posted a few more photos on her blog (and she has agreed to let me be her internet apprentice!! But more on that fun development later). And there are more on my flickr page too.

Overall, a very fun day that I would happily do over again. Having all our friends and family in one place was fantastic and being back in NZ was awesome.


PS) I've chosen not to post photos of our friends and families (though there are some fantastic ones) because I'm not sure how many of them actually want their faces plastered all over the internet.

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