Thoughts for Thursday

Lats night, we sat down after dinner (and several episodes of Friends…) and decided to watch a documentary (mainly to balance out the Beavis and Butthead style laughing at Joey’s antics).

If you have Netflix, please do yourself a favour and watch Minimalism.

Based around the lives of two dudes, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who have chosen to live their lives with meaning and purpose. They are fighting back against the massive consumption issues surrounding the world, and providing an alternative lifestyle option for those who are willing to listen.

I’ll leave it at that, because otherwise there’s no point in you watching it yourself, but I will tell you that we found it fascinating. The idea of living a minimalist life resonates so much with the huge change we made this year. Living in a home a quarter the size of our last one, rarely indulging in buying new clothes or purchasing anything “because it’s on sale and I NEED IT”. Living here has changed the way we live, but we do wonder if it’s our choice or because of the low wages we earn, and the fact that everyone around us succumbs to the “ski bum” lifestyle.

Either way, we definitely want to continue along this path. Andrew immediately began deleting apps off his phone he doesn’t use, starting de-cluttering our drawers and vows to only buy things that will bring joy or purpose to his life.

I’m going to try my hardest to limit my screen time (I don’t need Facebook and Instagram telling me what kind of life I should lead, what I should be buying or doing – but I do enjoy them, so I won’t delete them altogether), starting in the morning. My first instinct is to grab my phone as soon as I wake up and start scrolling, but I want to make an active effort to hold off for as long as possible.

I, too, will purposely think about what I spend my money on. If it is going to make me happy in the long run, it’s mine! If it’s an impulse buy, or some piece of clothing I know that I’m going to hate in 3 months time… what’s the point?

This has been quite the rant, and far from what I normally post. I just thought I’d share some thoughts with the internet, because sometimes writing it all down helps to make sense of it all, commit to anything I’ve written on here and help another person out who may have the same thoughts!

Thanks for listening, have a meaningful and lovely day πŸ™‚

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Hanbel.
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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,Β 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 πŸ˜‰

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.Β 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.Β 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!

 

And May All Your Christmases Be White

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe how quickly time is just flyyyyyy-ing by. One blink of the eye andΒ it seems that Christmas is upon us. Just 9 little sleeps and we will be waking up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, welcoming the most wonderful day!

Until then, however, I am working 10 days straight, heading up the mountain whenever possible and greeting my dear friends from home. Nine of my absolute favourites are visiting for Christmas and although it’s going to be absolutely hectic trying to squeeze everything in, I am so excited!

Now for a little catch up on the past few weeks, which basically have consisted of snow, snow and more of that glorious white snow!

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My walk to work has become a movie moment, every damn day

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Blackcomb Base

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Whistler Base

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Day Four on the mountain, putting my linked turns into practice

Snowboarding has got to be the most frustrating sport to learn, it hurts so damn much when you’ve fallen for the 27th time onto your coccyx. It sure is addictive though, and I’m not giving up anytime soon!

The weather is getting a little warmer too, after 10 days of an average of -14, they have actually forecast 2 degrees next week!! AND MORE SNOW

Winter is agreeing with us nicely, and even though it requires a lot more effort (with all the layers and walking over icy roads and what not) I think we’re falling more in love with this section of the world.

Here’s to a very white Christmas!
Hanbel.
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There’s No Business Like Snow Business

I’m just going to leave these here…

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70cm of snow in the last 24 hours and I feel like this town has completely transformed. We now live in a snow globe and aren’t mad about it at all.

Also in the last 24 hours:

Both of the mountains have opened for skiing and snowboarding (!!), our neighbours have rented out their place to air b’n’b-ers who are making a nice attempt at this video, we begun playing Christmas carols at work while setting up decorations and unpacking Christmas treats, I traded exercise for a mini Friends marathon, have felt in desperate need of some more sleep, and am gearing up for the new Gilmore Girls season available tomorrow!

Love to all,
Hanbel.
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10 Things That Make Me Terribly Happy About Fall

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  1. Crunchy orange leaves, waiting to be climbed over
  2. Scarves, jackets, gloves, beanies and boots (what will winter bring?)
  3. The first of the crockpot meals, pulled pork tacos no less!
  4. Netflix marathons…
  5. With comfy trackies and warm tea
  6. The first snowfall of the season!
  7. Rosy cheeks and cold noses
  8. My first and last Pumpkin Spice Latte
  9. Fairy lights in pine trees
  10. Cold, crispy air on my very early morning walks to work

Hanbel.
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Aloha-mora

After an absolute whirlwind three week trip away, we have returned to our humble abode. It feels damn good to be back you guys, even though it’s rained a lot and there’s not a lot happening in this little town. Anyway, I digress, the point of this post was to tell you all about our pitstop in Hawaii!

After quite an early start, our last Qantas lounge layover (GOD I will miss these, damn Andrew and his Gold status expiring!), minimal sleep, a lovely taxi driver and early check in, we settled into our hotel in Honolulu. Side note: we flew out of Perth at 7am and landed in Honolulu at 6am… on the same day.

Safe to say the first day was long and full of naps. The next few were more eventful, although not exactly the holiday we were after…

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Other than napping, day one essentially consisted of eating and walking. We grabbed a pitaya bowl and french toast, bought Andrew a new phone, visited our favourite American institution Buffalo Wild Wings, and wandered back for a bedtime my grandmother would be proud of.

First impressions of the city left us a little underwhelmed, I had been warned that Waikiki could be compared to Surfer’s Paradise and I’m afraid to say that I could see those similarities. Nonetheless, we set our alarms for the next morning to prepare us for our North Shore tour.

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The Surf Bus picked us up in town and set off in a northerly direction, and like any good tour guide gave us little tidbits of information along the way. He explained how our day would run, giving us options of activities in the morning (bike riding, a walk to the waterfall in the national park, snorkelling, surfing) and again in the afternoon (SUP or kayak, hanging out in the town of Haleiwa town).

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We opted to hire bikes, ride to the waterfall for an incredibly refreshing swim and head back along the coast, checking out famous surf spots such as Pipeline and Sunset.

The Waimea Valley National Park was gorgeous and much more like the tropical Hawaii I was expecting. The humidity settled in as we walked towards the waterfall and diving into the tiny lake provided some much needed relief.

We popped by a taco truck for lunch, before being picked up by the bus and driven to our new spot for some stand up paddle boarding. Goddam, I forget how much of a workout this sport is. It’s incredible for improving your balance, exercising your core and working your arms. Our reward came in the form of giant sea turtles gliding underneath us and we pushed back to shore.

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For those who didn’t share our experience, the bus made a stop on the way back at a beach renowned for basking sea turtles. You have to stay 6 feet away and are absolutely not allowed to touch them, but that works for us nature fans as we got to observe this dude from afar.

The Surf Bus provided an awesome day for us, I am quite the fan of the North Shore. We could have done with a little more action, but at the same time we both slept very well after this little adventure.

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We’d previously walked past a little carpark hiring out mopeds and trikes, and after a long sleep in and third consecutive Acai bowl breakfast, we picked one up to explore the coast a bit more.

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Leaving Andrew in charge of the driving (I know what I’m good at, and driving ain’t that!) I got to point in the general direction of where we wanted to go. As our trike chugged along at a measly speed of 35km/hr we stuck our heads out and caught glimpses of the incredible coastline.

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I’m a backpack kinda gal now, thanks to Whistler. 

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We got chatting to another couple of tourists from the US (also on embarrassingly small mopeds) who told us to head back and check out the cliff jumping at the China Walls, in Hawaii Kai. By the time we made it the swell had set in and there was no chance of us taking a dip, but it was still a pretty sweet little spot. So thought teenage boy who was taking a series of modeling-esque photos of his girlfriend while we were there…

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A cocktail (I say one, because we basically sculled the drinks so we could leave the overcrowded bar) for sunset, take-away dinner, a much regretted Haagen-Daaz sundae and “The Jungle Book” on DVD concluded our third day on the island.

For our final morning we woke early to take the bus up to Diamond Head Crater. Already heaving with tourists at 7am, we joined the ranks and climbed our way to the top. The hike is set up very well, the climb is never too hard and there are plenty of break spots for those struggling. The view from the top is spectacular, and if you tune out the loud music some people play and the endless selfies being taken, it was rather serene.

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I hate to judge a place after only three days, but I’m going to anyway. While the people of Hawaii are just lovely, and the North Shore is something special, I left feeling a little disappointed. I’m sure our experience in Waikiki can’t be compared to other islands and even smaller towns, but this is not what we were expecting. We struggled to find anything resembling authentic food, we struggled to even find restaurants that could seat us. We were overwhelmed with the amount of tourists and the high end shopping metres from the beach. When I pictured Hawaii, I wasn’t thinking of Chanel on the beach and Tiffany’s after a swim.

I’m glad we went, at least to break up the long trip home and get over some jet lag before jumping back into work. I’d like to visit again (although perhaps Maui or Kauai), but there are a lot of other places I’d head to first.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from flying over though, if you’re after a holiday of lying on the beach, endless shopping opportunities and hearty American cocktails and food, then this is your jam. I think ours a geared a little more towards the adventurous and rustic way of life (thanks again Whis!).

We are happy to be home though, and if nothing else this holiday has taught us that this is the place we are meant to be. Now bring on the snow!!

Much love,
Hanbel.
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Beaches, Babies, Beers and Brides (Part Two)

Rightio… where were we?

Ahh, that’s right. So, the day after the Beauvine evening with my lovely ladies, we were preparing for the real reason we decided to fly 38 hours back home… The nuptials of one Joseph Rossi and one Jemma Koios!

A must say a huge thank you to Vicki for inviting us all over to get ready and eat at her house beforehand, and also doing full make up for the four of us girls. Such a gem! Lynn also receives a special mention for organising the food and doing the lion’s share of the cooking. I truly believe that getting ready for any big event is just as exciting as the event itself and I had so much fun doing that with these stunners:

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The wedding day was perfect. Perth weather finally turned it on and the sun did not stop shining all day long. Everything ran smoothly as far as we could tell, the bride looked breathtaking and the groom couldn’t stop crying. It was absolute bliss to spectate.

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The reception was held at Sandalford, in their barrel room. The rows of fairy lights strung across wine barrels piled over polished concrete gave the room such an impressive glow that we couldn’t help ourselves by being astonished as we all walked in.

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The delicious food, heartwarming speeches and entertaining Italian and Macedonian dancing topped off an already spectacular day. We got a special mention in the groom’s thank you speech, but all I needed was to see the newlyweds looking as happy as I’ve ever seen them. Congratulations Jem and Jo, you two are a dream!

Now, if only Andrew and I could take a decent photo together…

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For the rest of the week, after moving to Mum’s place, we continued the varied catch-ups. We saw old faces, met some brand new ones, celebrated an 83rd birthday, and had quite a surprise…

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Andrew learnt how to hold a baby, his gorgeous cousin’s boy James. James had a plethora of toys in front of him and all he wanted to do was munch on the plastic cups on the table. Such a big boy, but so happy!

I took Mum’s ratbag Darcy to the beach where I received further proof that he is not like other dogs. I think the whole sand/water concept really confused him as he continued to look for me for guidance as to what he should be doing. When I sat down to appreciate the view he sat right behind me, hidden from the elements. Weirdo..

Andrew got out his cruiser bike and after seeing this grin the whole afternoon I’m so glad he didn’t end up selling it before we left. This was one happy chappy (though I think that was more to do with the amount of Pokemon he’s managed to catch since being back).

The last few nights were a whirlwind, but I have to thank all of our parents for the amazing dinners! Dad and Melissa, thank you for the incredible experience of dining at Wildflower – it was something else!
Mum, you’re amazing for putting on a full Indian feast and serving it all on Royal Doulton. I’m still dreaming of that butter chicken..
Glenn and Louise, BBQs are your house are always loud, delicious and entertaining. I love every minute πŸ™‚ I wish we’d grabbed some photos, but I always get too caught up in the moment.

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On one of our final days we had the absolute pleasure of meeting Maggie Matilda, who was born a few months after we left. She is delightfully delicious, barely made a peep the whole three hours we were there and is such a welcome addition to our Perth family. Jared and Carls, you made one cute baby. Wishing you three all the best!

To finish off our time at home, we were surprised by the arrival of our darling friends Brooke and Sean. They had received some awful news while being away and travelled for two days to come home and be with family. I won’t go into details, but I will say that even under those circumstances it was so good to see them!

Brooke, my sweet girl, decided that they should use the time they have at home to work on their wedding planning, before heading back to continue their European adventure. Little did I know that that would asking four of us ladies to be her bridesmaids!

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I accepted immediately with a beaming smile on my face. The thought of standing alongside one of my best friends while she marries another of my best friends is already bringing tears to my eyes. I’m so honoured to have this opportunity and will try my very best to help as much as I can from the other side of the world. I love you schnooky and I can’t wait for all the happiness that next year will bring us all!

Oh my heart, be still. We have been showered with love and joy since landing in Perth, and from the huge meal Andrew’s mum prepared for our first night to the miniature Christmas dinner my Mum planned for my last night it’s been a wonderful visit home.

Much love to all, you really do mean the world to us. But… Whistler Winter is calling and we’re going to answer her loud and clear.
Bring on the snowboarding, the white Christmas, the mulled wine, the snow angels, the crockpot meals, the rosy cheeks and allllllllll the layers!

Hanbel.
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P.s. Forgot to mention that we’re ducking past Hawaii on our way back, keep checking in for updates on our mini island getaway!