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!

img_1528

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.

img_1543

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

img_5687
I just loved seeing everyone bundled up, ready for some snow!

 

 

img_1542img_1530img_1533img_1534

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.

img_1521img_1535

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

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!

img_1541

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.

img_1523img_1536

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!

img_1539

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.

IMG_1549.jpg

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.
x

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

 

Advertisements

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:

img_1368

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.

img_1321

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.

img_1325

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…

img_1295img_1298img_1312img_1330

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…

img_1332

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 🙂 I wish we’d grabbed some photos, but I always get too caught up in the moment.

img_1362

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!

img_1365

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.
x

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!

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.

IMG_1239.jpg

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.

img_1244img_1245

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.

img_1294img_1284img_1292img_1367

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.
x

This is for My Girls All Around the World

There are endless positives to travelling, and I have blogged about so many of them already. The beauty of a blog, or any social media account, is that you get to choose what part of your life you show the world. Usually, it’s the highlights, the best days. Particularly with blogging, I don’t feel like uploading any of my downsides. My writing is motivated by my mood, and when I’m feeling down I’m far more likely to reach for Netflix than WordPress.

This doesn’t exactly give you a clear picture of everything that is happening in my life though, and for a little reality check I’d like to share with you one of the downsides to travelling. It is short lived and relatively easy to overcome, but the first couple of months are the most affected by this factor.

It’s quite simple to adjust to a new currency, a different climate, small differences in culture and everyday life. These adjustments happen quickly and without much stress. What takes some time though, is making friends. I’m definitely getting there, everyone in Whistler is so chilled out and up for anything. My work crew are awesome, and ladies’ nights are giving me opportunities to meet so many gals with similar interests. It will improve over time and I am in no way worried about being alone here. I just have moments where I miss my gals.

IMG_0677

I miss calling someone up on a quiet afternoon to grab a drink, go for a long walk or stay in with popcorn and a movie. I miss the easy banter and the support system. I miss the hugs!

I miss Konga with Brooke, life analysis with Brianna, mild abuse with Rach, a sneaky wine with Kendra. I miss laughing with Courtney, finding the best new restaurant with Anh, marathon chats with Luce, and I even miss Laura talking through movies.

Life is good, I promise. It’s just that these girls, and the friendships we have are unparalleled. I’m thinking of you all today, and want to share some snaps where we are at our happiest!

IMG_0245529227_10150642030153204_1027956864_nIMG_0662IMG_0745IMG_4654422987_10150542393888244_1404259740_nIMG_543612651032_10153930378654878_4269352832938573112_n270226_10150228982671658_1179179_n550186_10150656745827131_1443083021_n

The best gals 🙂
Hanbel.
x

New Year, New Mug

In a time of fresh starts, new beginnings and resolutions to be made, I’m feeling a little lost. I spent the last two weeks on “holidays” running around like a mad woman, picking up and preparing food for Christmas day, organising costumes for various events or recovering from those days.

When I did sit down to relax I felt guilty, like I should be organising something or socialising with someone I haven’t seen for a few days. I honestly couldn’t switch off, but at the same time got bored very easily.

I think I’ve been so used to be horrendously busy, that when the time came to wind down my mind flipped the hell out. Enter moodiness, feeling fidgety and over-eating. Also, a lot of “taking it out on the ones you love”.

Now, back at work I’m sitting here wondering why I didn’t take advantage of those days off. I did enjoy myself, don’t get me wrong, and this was the most wonderful Christmas with my beautiful family. I think I’m just regretting some of the grumpy days. Anyway, following on from last year’s lessons, here are mine for 2016:

  1. Whenever you’re on holiday but you don’t actually go on a holiday, book yourself a massage! Budget for it in your Christmas spending and let it be your present to yourself.
  2. Similarly, write a list of things you’d like to do so that when you get bored you have something to inspire you.
  3. Let yourself binge on Netflix shows, it’s okay to be lazy sometimes.  Especially on 40 degree days where an air conditioned lounge room is the only place to be.
  4. Find friends with pools. They should be your best friends. I failed on this one, miserably.
  5. Find new outdoor activities to try out; stand up paddle boarding is actually pretty awesome.
  6. Keep up your current hobbies, but if yours is mountain biking please make sure you wear knee pads. If you think you don’t look “cool” in them, come and check out my knee. I’m not cool anymore.
  7. Get in the kitchen and create! Whether it’s cooking a “sorry for being so drunk and annoying last night” dinner for your boyfriend or a batch of cupcakes to palm off to the in laws – get creative!
  8. Cut your hair, change up the style or dye it a bright colour. Holidays are the best time to freak out over a huge change.
  9. Go nuts on the fruit mince pies, Christmas ham, boozy trifle and stuffed turkey. These treats come around but once a year, and what’s a new year without a truckload of guilt?
  10. Make sure you have a new mug to take to work, it’s the one thing that will brighten your day. (Thank you Brianna!)

IMG_5978

In addition, I’d like to give a shout out to one pretty awesome dude.
I’m sorry I’m so grumpy and you have to put up with my bad moods, but I do bake you cupcakes, so I hope that makes up for it a little?

You were the best part of my 2015, and I know you’ll be my 2016 highlight.

Happiest of years to you all!
Hanbel.
x

There’ll be Parties for Hosting, Marshmallows for Roasting

19th December, 2015. The 9th annual Girl’s Christmas.
(Although Lucy and I only came along 5 or 6 years ago – and vastly improved the day, I must say).

MY FAVOURITE DAY! Especially this, year because I got to host. It was great fun putting the table together for my special ladies, and luckily we all bring a plate of food every year, so catering was easy peasy!

I absolutely love these gatherings because the food is always delicious, the banter hilarious, the mood super chilled out, the presents well thought out, but most of all; it’s the best company.

I have the best friends. I know everyone thinks they do, but you are wrong. Mine are the very best. Ha! I kid, but they are the best for me. As we are growing up (a little) we are becoming very different people. Somehow it works though, and we mesh into this loud, crazy girl tribe.

They have my back, always, and I have theirs. Which is why it’s so beautiful to come together every year and enjoy each other’s company.

Plus, FOOD.

IMG_0730My little watermelon, mint and feta skewers

IMG_0735IMG_0736IMG_0738My home gurl Anh making us a Pimms bowl, like a rockstar

IMG_0739The essence of Christmas; TurkeyIMG_0733.JPGIMG_0741IMG_0742Yep, I straight up forgot to photograph the rest of the food (too hungry) so here we have it all on one plate. Rachel’s roast pork and crispy crackling was to die for, as always.IMG_0745“Let’s take a group photo”IMG_0748IMG_0751I love you guys, like a ridiculous amount

Lucy, the fricken gem, on top of making a divine berry cheesecake, pulled out a box with homemade gifts for us all. Completely unexpected, but very warmly received. She made us all rocky road, cookie dough truffles and our own personalised mugs!!

Try and pick mine, it may or may not be caffeine related..

12391293_10153379195723613_5279438210008517105_np.s. Thanks Rach for the pic!

I hope you all have memorable Christmas meals, like this one. Full of love, laughter, full bellies and warm hearts (too corny? I’m rolling with it).

Lots and lots and lots and lots of love to my special ladies, you make being friends very easy.

Hanbel.
x