We Wish You A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

HOLY MOTHER THIS IS SO LATE

How are we already 11 days into 2017? This is madness.

Anywho…

Throwin’ it back to Christmas!

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Some of my favourite humans came to town,¬†and made me smile so hard when they all crammed into my tiny bakery to say hi! I tried my hardest to see them as much as possible for their first couple of days, but we made do with quick hello’s and several squishy hugs.

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Come the big day though, I forced them all to wake up early so we could hit the slopes!!

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I just loved seeing everyone bundled up, ready for some snow!

 

 

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This bunch of gals are just the best, and being able to spend the morning on the mountain with them all on Christmas Day was a dream come true.

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The boys were there too, I promise, they just spent a little longer actually using their snowboards ūüėČ

We rode most of the morning and then hustled back to our place to thaw out over turkey rolls and pecan pie. Andrew, the poor bugger, had to work at 2pm but we made sure he got a chance to celebrate the big day. He also roasted the turkey to absolute perfection and made me a very happy Christmas gal!

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Later that night, I took myself and two big caramel apple pies over to the house the crew were staying at. Chefs Matt, Lucy and Anh cooked up a storm, we were forced into awkward family photos, exchanged secret santa presents and all sat down to an incredible meal together.

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God I love you crazy people.¬†Although it was the most hectic week trying to juggle work, snowboarding and quality time with these guys, I wouldn’t have changed anything for a minute. It was perfect!

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By New Year’s Eve, most of the crew had moved on to New York, and with Andrew and I on early starts for New Year’s Day we had a low key celebration.

We layered up and headed down to Whistler base to watch the Fire and Ice show and fireworks. Lucky for us, Andrew’s friend Rohan was still in town, as well as Andrew’s cousin, her husband and his parents.

10 years ago, at a party Rohan threw on New Year’s Eve Andrew and I met. And 10 years later, we all celebrated again.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a very happy and healthy new year. I have a goooooood feeling about 2017.

Hanbel.
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P.s. Thank you to my schnooky for most of these photos, I am hopeless!

 

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Beaches, Babies, Beers and Brides (Part One)

It’s Monday the 31st of October… Halloween. It’s a perfect 20 degree day with the sun shining brightly over the backyard. Alistair’s cactus has bloomed, and Darcy has consequently bitten the flower since then (Darcy is Mum’s dog, not a human – that would be weird). Baker’s Delight have started stocking their fruit mince pies and we’ve snagged a couple to eat while watching Love Actually. My backpack is packed, my final catch ups completed, my stomach content and my heart is so, so full.

Our two and a half week trip home is nearing an end, and a little part of me is relieved. To say it’s been busy would be an understatement. However, it has been so worth the long journey home.

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We hit the ground running seeing family, friends and the familiar sights of our home town. I think on day two I was already back at Jacob’s ladder, simultaneously checking out the city and struggling to breath.

We visited our beloved beach and fought against the sea breeze to ride down to Yelo for a coffee and breakfast. I never realised how much I love our seaside until we were away from it for an extended period of time.

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The first week we stayed with Andrew’s parents, his sister Chelsea and their cat named Tess. I must admit it was lovely to wake up and have the house full of people running off for bike rides, or making coffee, chit-chatting the whole time.

One quiet day in the middle of the week we thought we’d play tourists in our own city and headed out to hike a little at Lesmurdie Falls.

This hike was quite the opposite of those we’ve done in Canada, but it was just as serene. Nothing makes me feel more at home or more relaxed than hearing the birds chirping, insects buzzing and kookaburras laughing in the middle of the bush. This day was such a nice reminder of why we will eventually return to this beautiful part of the world.

I was also lucky enough to spend a decent chunk of time catching up with my favourite gals. My beautiful Brianna was back in town for a weekend (she’s moved to Melbourne since I’ve been gone) and we all celebrated over wine and pizza at the Beaufort Street event Beauvine.

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The wine tasting was warmly welcomed, the food was tasty but the company was what made my night worth it. There’s something to be said about a friendship that can pick up right where it left off no matter how much time has passed. I’m fortunate enough to have eight of these, and seeing all of these faces makes me one happy gal indeed.

More to come on our time in Perth, if you can believe it our second week was busier than the first!
For now, Mum and I are celebrating Christmas instead of Halloween and making up for lost time.

Hanbel.
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I Think I’m Fallin’ For You

Well, well, well. Here we are. Two weeks shy of our six month anniversary of our Australian hiatus and we’re packing our backpacks to head back home (only for two and a half weeks!).

Yesterday was Canadian thanksgiving, but also the last official day the bike park was open and therefore the last day of the summer season! It was quite fitting for those two things to fall on the same day (ha, Fall – geddit?). It was quite a day of reflection and to feel thankful for this incredible place. I’m feeling so full of joy looking back on our first Canadian summer.

The last few weeks in particular have been a dream, from conquering my goals in the bike park;

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to walking into work everyday with a huge smile on my face;

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to having Alistair’s girlfriend Ellen visit, having a ball with her and hitting up the train wreck hike again (it doesn’t get old!);

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to watching Fall officially hit Whistler, with trees changing into the most vibrant of colours;

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and seeing the first snowfall of the season!!!

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We’ve also spent a small fortune on winter gear, snowboards and ALL THE LAYERS. I’m getting so pumped for winter and what this new season will bring for us.
But first, to head home and celebrate the wedding of two very dear friends! Can’t wait to see some familiar faces, eat some fresh food and soak up the last of the sunshine. See you all very soon!!!

Hanbel.
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P.s. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to wish my love a very, very happy 29th birthday!
I feel like I’ve said a variation of these words a million times since we left, but my goodness I am one lucky duck. To get to explore so many new places, a new way of life and new experiences everyday with your best friend by your side is a dream come true.

We both thought this move might be a bit of a test for us, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve never been happier – individually and together. Bring on the next year and more incredible moments like these! I love you, you crazy kid. x

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I’m Headed Downtown, Cruising Through the Alley

Seattle; home of the Space Needle, Pike Place Markets and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s also the home of Andrew’s mate Ozzie, who hooked us up with an Air B’n’b in his apartment complex.

Checking out a city on your own, versus having some show you their city is such a different experience. I love both versions, but having Ozzie show off Seattle was pretty special.

He’s a gem, not the kind of guy you would picture either of us being friends with, but has an absolute heart of gold and generous nature. He drove us around to a couple of bars when we got into the city, and played the most intense game of Jenga with us. 27 stories high, the leaning tower of pisa did so well! and I don’t want to talk about how it’s existence came to an end…

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We snuck in another run, this time around Lake Union. Such a beauty!
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Ozzie is half Puerto-rican, half Colombian. He drives a Mercedes, with R’n’B tunes blasting from the speakers. He works as a consultant,¬†making deals and schmoozing clients all day long. He’s also a massive foodie and picked out the BEST food for us all day. You see why I like him?

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Mac and cheese, BBQ pork skewers, steamed buns, lemon cheesecake greek yoghurt and oyster shooters were all delectable. Ozzie also wanted to sample some ghost pepper syrup (literally the oils drained from the hottest chillies in the world). We spent the next half an hour watching him sipping milk and looking very sorry for himself.

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We hit up some touristy sights, rode the monorail, checked out the city a little more before Ozzie and his girlfriend Lily took us to meet up with their mate, Ahmed.

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Ahmed is exactly the kind of friend you want to have. Not only was he pretty cool and a super nice guy, he also had a boat rental.

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So, in Seattle you can sign up for a boat share programme which lets you pick from 10 boats to take out up to three times a week. You only have to pay during summer, and they get new boats in every year, plus do all the maintenance and storage.

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He took us all around the lake for some pretty sweet views of Mt Rainier. I’m usually not the biggest fan of boats, but this was a spectacular sight!

The night ended with Ozzie’s home cooked pulled pork tacos, glasses of wine and laughing about the state of the American politics.

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The next day we had to ourselves, so we set off to check out more of downtown and Pioneer Place, before heading to the baseball!

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This was SO much fun! I thought I’d enjoy the atmosphere and the energy around the field, but I found myself loving the game too. It was such a close game, going into 11 innings with the Mariners winning off a¬†walk-off home run.

Surprisingly, this has been one of the best days on the trip, I had the best time on another glorious day in paradise. Also, red wine spritzers are not the worst thing in the world ūüėČ

Let’s just say I’m pretty happy that Seattle is so close to the border, because I’d love to come back here again. Perhaps when the football is on… maybe this live sport thing ain’t so bad.

Hanbel.
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California Here We Come

So, this is officially my life from now on;

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and apart from the limited outfit choices, I kinda like it. There’s nothing like being back on the road, in the air, on a bus travelling somewhere new, and this is bringing back some gooooood travelling memories.

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Our flights were smooth and non eventful, we managed a few hours sleep and plenty of movies. For an added bonus, making our way out of LAX took around half an hour, and I’m pretty sure Mia Wasikowska was on our flight. #celebspotting

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A HUGE thank you to my girls for the care package they put together for me. The slippers, hydrating mist and lip balm saved me during that 12 hour flight.

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Now, we’re chilling in cali. But literally chilling, because it’s way colder than I thought and I keep forgetting to take a jacket with me. We hit up Venice beach and Santa Monica on day one; eating tacos and riding bikes through the beach, trying to stay awake as long as possible and beat the jet lag.

I’m digging the states, and Venice is so chilled out, but otherwise LA is not my cuppa tea. I’m trying not to judge too harshly, but I really have no interest in going back. Having said that; the city has one saving grace…

DISNEYLAND!

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The happiest place in the world that requires no explanation.

We spent the whole day running around like 5 year olds, the next morning soaking up the last of the LA sunshine and after packing up our hire car (Jessicar Rabbit) we were on the road; San Diego bound.

Stay tuned for more southern cali adventures.

Hanbel.
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What Could Be More Important Than a Little Something to Eat?

There’s something unnerving and interesting about being a tourist in your own city. Quite often we live our lives in our comfort zones. We get in habits and frequent the same areas for catch ups, dinners and shopping.

Before we take off to explore new land, I really wanted to head down to Fremantle to explore some old land.¬†Though it’s only a half an hour drive, we very rarely get our butts down to this end of town. And what a mistake that is, Freo = foodie heaven.

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With two of my best gal pals in tow, we wandered around the town, through the markets and around the marina. If anyone is wondering, three is the magic number for food sharing. We were able to sample so many things without getting ridiculous with the portioning.

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Chimek, What the Bao and Muffle & Co stole our hearts, wallets and stomach capacity. The New York Buffalo Wings are deeeelightful! Spicy and saucy, with the crunchiest fries on the side. I suggest you follow this up with some bao buns; we recommend the Crispy Skin Duck, Soft Shell Crab and Korean Beef.

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After you walk off the first round of food, and wash it down with a drink at one of the 27,000 bars and pubs around, it’s time for dessert.

Enter: the Muffle. A thing of beauty.

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Waffle mix (which tastes more like pancakes?) with a surprise in each bubble, forming a cone which is then filled with toppings and ice cream. We got the banoffee to slide us right into a food coma and craving an afternoon nap.

Thank you Anh and Rach for our mini Freo tour, I’ve loved hitting up some of the best spots in Perth with the best company.

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Now, get yourself down there and try those bao buns!!!

Hanbel.
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The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

Two weeks into my unemployed life, and I’ve never been more relaxed… or freaked out because I’m so relaxed.

I wake up, and have nothing to do. No one will get mad if I don’t turn up somewhere, there aren’t really any emails to check and technically speaking I have no reason to get out of bed.

My brain won’t let me do that though, it wants me to be as busy as ever.¬†Which means the last two weeks have been full of mountain biking, HIIT, walks, yoga, selling our things on gumtree, scouring for a casual job, grabbing coffee and anything else I can think of.

IMG_0033Howdy Coffee, in Bayswater [sooooooooo good]

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I do all that, and still have so much free time. It’s been a real struggle coming out of full time work, to nothing. Which sounds absolutely ridiculous, I know, because I should be overjoyed that I can do whatever I like, as leisurely as I like. But, I’m a people pleaser, a do-gooder and a helper. I make a great assistant and truly freak out when I don’t have anyone to look after. So now it’s time to make that person ME.

I’m going to practice “Dolce Far Niente” or “The Sweetness of Doing Nothing”, as explained in one of my favourites; Eat Pray Love.

I began today, celebrating Valentines with my one true love: My Mum. We spent the day in Fremantle; eating, drinking, wandering and ending at the Cottesloe Beach Club for a rosè and long chats. It was heavenly, and so relaxing.

IMG_0047Beetroot cured Salmon at Bread in Common

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Now I have “When Harry Met Sally” playing, a cup of tea waiting, two new books to read, flowers from Andrew on the table and a date night in to look forward to.

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Life is sweet, and I can enjoy it.

Love to all, Happy Valentine’s Day!
Hanbel.
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