Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Birthday Weekend...

My birthday was on Friday, I turned 25, I am currently awaiting my quarter life crisis.

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In the mean time, my birthday weekend was lovely (my newly made up rule is that you can claim the entire weekend as your birthday if it falls on Friday or Saturday, feel free to steal this rule and use at will).

It was filled with food, food, cake and food. I got pancakes before work, work then 'surprised' me with cake (and although I already knew about the surprise, I played along). I then came home to dinner and a massive 4 layered black forest cake made lovingly from scratch by David. There was cheese and crackers and olives and all sorts of tasty treats and I was given my very own Jasmine plant from David. I love jasmine, its so pretty, and smells so good and I think I sounded like a broken record when we first arrived in Sydney talking about how much I wanted my very own jasmine plant. Well, I guess it worked :) I can't wait for it to bloom in spring with its pretty white flowers and gorgeous scent.

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Me with my jasmine plant...

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Cute outfit photo out take - I think Monty was trying to jump up onto me at this point.

And last but not least, it was topped off with a lovely High Tea today with fellow bloggers Louise and Ellen.

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So far, 25 hasn't been too bad...


PS) David and I bought a maple bonsai for our anniversary, its so pretty... I love maples, and I especially love little ones I can take places with me.

Maple Bonsai

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rainy Mc Pour-a-lot...

You know when I said I wanted it to be autumn already? Well, I lied!

23rd May 2010

Its been rainy, grey, rainy, wet, grey, rainy and a little bit more rainy for the past week and it will continue on into the weekend. And while I don't want it to be the sort of sticky, ring-your-clothes-out-every-five-minutes-because-you're-sweating-so-much-because-its-so-gosh-darn-hot type weather, I would like it to be the sunny warm Sydney I have come to love.

David and I both feel the cold, and everyone has been saying how much we must love the weather at the moment because it must be so much warmer than Dunedin (which, I might add, it is. Dunedin was minus 1 the other day). But David and I are soft and will be even softer when we go back to visit Dunedin in November.

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I love autumn colours, I love autumn leaves, and I love the thought of dressing cosily. But truth be told, I don't like the cold and I am bad at layering, and all I want to do is wear something simple and pretty that doesn't require much thought in the morning when getting dressed (also, simple pretty dresses are in abundance in my wardrobe, layering essentials are not. Come on customs!!).

These photos were taken by David on Sunday while we were waiting for the bus which was very very late. It was pouring down and cold. We were supposed to go to a poetry reading. We went to Kmart instead, bought a queen sized faux mink blanket for the bed and went home.


PS) Do you like my hair? I love it so much more when its short, sweet and curly. So much so that I made David cut more of it off on Saturday night because it wasn't short enough. I taught David how to layer, now he is a hair cutting pro. I think that will be his next career move if academic life doesn't suit.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Weekend Spent Strolling...

On Saturday I had the pleasure of spending some time with two lovely ladies - Eileen and Eunice. We strolled around the two markets in my area and in between, stopped for a bite to eat.


At the first market, I was delighted to pick up a glowmesh bag from Whiting and Davis for a steal. The little old man even gave me a discount because he liked my hair - good thing I had it all chopped off a few days before. He kept saying I was good and had good hair. Which is good! The bag has never been used and came in its original box with the original mirror and coin purse. These are apparently normally very expensive. I'm very happy.


I also picked up a strand of faux pearls and some beautiful hand made cards.

For lunch, we all pretty much just ate sugar - except for Eileen, who was smart enough to get something savory as well. But eating lunch at a chocolate cafe can do that to a person - especially when they are serving a dessert that you have to inject with yummy amazing-ness that is served in a stainless steel kidney shaped bowl with peanut flavoured ice cream!!

Jen + Pudding of Awesomeness

Pudding of Awesomeness


Jen + Eileen

I was sad to see the day end because it was such a lovely one. Beautiful weather and a few pairs of shoes to boot!

Lucky for me, Eileen and I share the same shoe size. She was planning to take a bunch to an op shop but asked if I would like first dibs - I am now the proud owner of 6 new (to me and all pretty much new anyway) pairs of shoes! They are gorgeous and I love them. Eileen is a girl after my own heart.

Shoes of Salvation

In return I'm doing some sewing jobs she needs done. Free shoes and I get to sew? Sign me up.

I apologise for my sporadic posting of late too. Long work days are tiring, getting home when its dark is tiring and sometimes just I don't want to look good on the weekend for photos. I just want to curl up in my jammies with a hot chocolate. It also doesn't help that I don't have much in the way of cooler weather clothes with me at the moment. Our things finally arrived in the country on Saturday but will be in customs for a few weeks. Which means my small supply of warm weather outfits have been doing the rounds again and again and again.

And its getting cold, and its been super wet and rainy this week...

I'm sure next week will be better though because David and I have been together for 5 years and I turn 25! It is good.




Thursday, May 13, 2010

Money, money, money (and a Sunday Outift)

I am by no means a rich or wealthy woman (in monetary terms anyway).

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Ever since I was 16, I've always worked, which in turn has meant I've always been able to do and buy what ever I wanted, within reason. I've also always been a saver, putting away money every pay round for a rainy day.

When David and I moved to Sydney three months ago, I really did think it would be quite easy for me to get a job with my experience. And as those of you who have been reading my blog for a little while now know, that was not to be the case.

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Just after we arrived, I paid off the entirety of my student loan, which took the majority of my savings (but also meant I am officially debt free!!) and the rest was spent on settling into Sydney. Finding a rental property and buying necessities like a fridge, a washing machine, a bed, towels, drawers, plates, cutlery etc can all add up to quite a bit when you are buying it all at once, even if you do buy it cheaply.

So there I was, somebody who is very independent, jobless, savings-less and all of a sudden needing to borrow money - a position I have never really been in before.

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David had no problems lending me money while I searched desperately for a job, he does after all, know where I sleep. And while we both knew I would pay him back when I eventually found a job, I still hated knowing I had to ask for money. I hate asking for money, it makes me feel needy, especially asking to borrow money from your fiance', your partner, the person who is supposed to be your equal.

We have always been equals. We have both always shared in equal amounts the rent, the bills, the house work and the mundane day to day business of sharing a life together.

13th May 2010

Last week, I got my very first paycheck and it was sooooo exciting! I felt like I could finally function as a real human being again. We could go out for dinner (which we did), we could look around town and do things without fear of needing to pay to do something or seeing something we wanted to buy - we felt liberated!

And now, after I've paid back David, I can start to build up my savings again and we can start saving for the wedding (which, in the past week, we have really started nutting out - very exciting!).

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I can hang out with my lovely bloggy friends and do fun things without needing to worry if I can afford it. This Saturday I am meeting up with Eileen again and also meeting Eunice for the very first time. I've also been invited to a high tea at some point in the future with two other bloggy ladies, one whom I've met, the other who I haven't, but who has just recently got married. I get to pick her brains - but more on that when its confirmed.


Photos by David. Taken on Sunday on our way to do groceries. It was a beautiful day and you can see the Harbour bridge just a few meters down the road from our house. Lovely.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stare Bear...

Hello readers,

One of the things that has surprised me most about Sydney is that its not as full of interesting looking people as I thought it would be (but don't get me wrong, I have certainly seen some very interesting people around!). Because its such a big city, I expected to see lots of people dressed all nice and differently, however, that doesn't seem to be the case.

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As I was told when applying for jobs here, Sydney is VERY corporate (and incidentally was also told that if I wanted to get a job, I should take my nose ring out for this very reason. Suffice to say, I got an awesome job in a semi corporate environment, and my nose ring has stayed put, thank you very much. The last time I checked, having a nose ring did not effect my loyalty or ability to work hard!).
And it is so very true, Sydney = corporate.

As I walk to work each morning in my bright red coat, I stand out like a sore thumb, quite literally - I am the angry sore thumb swearing, jumping up and down and just generally disturbing the peace in the sleepy sea of black, white and gray fingers.

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I waltzed about town on Saturday not only in my bright red coat, but also in my newly acquired bright yellow vintage wool skirt. And while it has taken me a little while to get used to the side long glances and the just plain staring, I have come to realise that as long as I'm happy in what I am wearing, who cares what other people might think.

I'm also quite sure that most of the time, they are interested stares, rather than disapproving ones anyway.

Well, I hope so...

8th May 2010

Also on Saturday, on our way home from the city, David and I discovered a secret reserve close to our house that we had no idea existed. I spotted a cute little white picket fence with a path that meandered off somewhere and it didn't look like it belonged to any of the houses on either side of it, so off we went to inspect.

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Turns out, its a little reserve for the public - hidden behind and between residential properties and you'd never know it was there.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Losing Track of Time...

Hello Readers,

I can't quite bring myself to believe its May already - this time of year holds so many special days for me, but it just seems to have completely snuck up on me this time. I think the stress of moving and trying to find a job have made me lose complete track of time, and not least because at this time of the year Dunedin is freezing cold and here we are still having spring-like weather!

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I turn the grand old age of 25 on the 28th of May and people have been asking what I would like for my birthday. But because its probably been the furthest thought from my mind, I have no idea what so ever! But I think a Lula subscription may just be in order...

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David and I celebrate our 5 year anniversary, my sister turns 28 and my little sister - who is actually my cousin, but pretty much my little sister, turns 22 (we were all born three years apart and around the same time).

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These images were actually taken when we first arrived in Sydney - I made David take me to the Lindt Chocolate Cafe on Martin Place. Mind you, one Lindt Cafe is not enough for Sydney, in fact not even two Lindt Cafes are enough - Sydney has a grand total of 4 Lindt Chocolate Cafes!

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Lindt Mousse
Chocolate Mousse Trio and an Iced Chocolate - yum!

We are planning to go back to one of their chocolate appreciation evenings - sugar overload, but oh so good...



ps) I thrifted this dress just before we left NZ not knowing anything about where it was from or the brand. Then, as we were looking for places to rent in Sydney, we passed the shop the dress was originally bought from, serendipity me thinks! I paid much less for the dress than what it actually retails for, but it is beautifully made and well worth the retail price. I think once I've saved up a bit, a little shopping trip may just be in order.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day...

Hello folks,

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My first week of work was busy, really great, but really busy - and next week looks set to be busier still. There are so many names to remember, so many faces to remember and so much to set up in order for the place to start running smoothly by next week. At least I'm not bored, nothing is worse than staring at a clock that won't go fast enough.

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My normal bus ride into the city usually takes around 10minutes, now my bus ride in the freak morning traffic takes half an hour. I have to leave my house at 7.30am in order to get into work at 8.30am - and while some people might think that's a perfectly normal time to leave in the morning, I am not one of them!

I leave work at 5pm, just as its getting dark, and usually get home just after 6pm. I have really been enjoying my walks home from the bus stop at night. The mornings have been freezing cold, but the evenings have been beautiful and temperate. Plus I can see the city when I walk home, all lit up and sparkly in the balmy night.

I also get to indulge in one of my favourite secret (now not so secret) activities - peeking into peoples houses when their lights are on but the curtains aren't shut. I don't exactly walk right up to the window and gawk inside, I just slow down and peek in as I walk past. I love seeing other peoples houses and how they have chosen to decorate their spaces. There is one particular tree lined street rather close to us that I just LOVE walking down and peeking into - think, white walls filled with art, bookcases filled with interesting objects and rooms lit in glowing orange light...

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David and I don't own a car here and aren't planning on getting one soon either, so we walk everywhere or use public transport. Today we had to pop out to buy groceries (no chocolate anywhere in the house) and so I threw on some jeans and my lovely hand made vintage wool cape.

This park is a lovely little dog park that we walk through to get to the super market. Its usually filled with dogs playing, but today was rather quiet for some reason... But look, a glimpse of autumn on the ground. Who would have thought?

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Photos by David.

XX Jen

ps) David and I are planning to buy a fancy camera soon - and then we will do awesome photo shoots for my blog like some of my very favourite bloggers. I'm excited!