Thursday, December 11, 2014

Turning 30 with friends

In early October my friend Angie had a special 30th birthday party in Killcare. Her boyfriend Dave had organised a weekend getaway for her friends, and we spent a couple of nights by the beach. He organised everything from the food to the beach houses, and it was pretty great.

I've known Angie since high school (and am staying with her and Dave in Sydney - as you can see they are very very generous) and it was so lovely to hang out with the girls I grew up with, and a few new friends who are part of our group, who I hadn't really gotten to know because of my move to Wagga.

Irini and I drove up together and decided to wear the same pair of jeans. As you do. Our second twin outfit was a coincidence!

We spent our days swimming in rock pools and chatting by the sea, before we wandered back up the hill to hot breakfasts cooked by Dave, there would be steaks with special sauce and chicken rolls too.

Angie's friend Chantelle made a terribly impressive rainbow cake! It included a vanilla layer for those who aren't so keen on colour. I wasn't shy about taking a large chunk home.

Jemma brought her baby boy Leo along and I waited patiently for my turn to have a cuddle. I sure got my turn when she went for a dip with her partner. I was so eager for Leo to wake up but when he did he got a bit upset! It wasn't anything vigorous swaying/dancing couldn't fix and by the end of it I was pooped! Leo looked serene when Jemma returned, I hope I did too! She did teach me a good baby whispering technique, which is to try something different when he gets a bit upset. It works! Irini had success with baby lunges ;)

And the birthday girl herself. We went for an early morning swim on the Sunday and then mulled over our hopes and goals, both personal and professional, for the next five years. It sounds serious but it was nice to share some big and little aspirations for the coming years. Though everyone agreed that we hardly feel like 30 year olds at all!

Not wanting the lovely weekend to end, I decorated the house with flowers ahead of Angie and Dave's return. And then we all went out for giant bowls of pasta. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A few favourite wedding photos

We were really lucky to have Sophie, a talented fine art photographer who we met in Wagga Wagga, as our wedding photographer.

Here are a handful of my favourite pics. The one above is probably my most favourite, we were on our way out of the reception, totally elated and I'm wearing I dress I bought years before Tony proposed (yep! kind of crazy, my friends reassuring me that it's also kind of cute..)

This portrait of my father in the kitchen sums up how he spent his morning. While the girls were busy getting their hair and make up done, he was offering to make teas and coffees, and quietly tidying up the breakfast before we went to the wedding.

Brotherly love and a pageboy who just wanted his own bouquet: 

This next one has a bit of a story behind it. On our very first date, Tony had brought a plastic bag full of lego men, which was also our excuse for meeting up. We'd met before, but only recently started chatting at a house party.  I was looking for some for an art project I was working on, and he happened to have many, he said, which he would be happy to give to me.

I later found out that he had to go back to his parent's house to find aforementioned lego men, before we met up for lunch in the city. I chose 3, all special space men with helments, but didn't give all of them away as part of my project. I kept one, for sentimental reasons, and as a surprise I had it in my bouquet that day for good luck. This pic is the moment Tony found out it was there :)

My dad saved the day with this one, and when I couldn't find a way to wedge it into my bouquet, he brought out some fishing line which we used to secure the space man.

Happy, if not mildly overwhelmed.

Party mamas and a shot with my dear friend Jemma, who had had her first baby just 6 days before.

How my niece was entertained while her mum gave a speech - I love that Sophie captured all of these moments we couldn't possibly have seen for ourselves.

And a shot of our first dance, outside beneath fairy lights as it slowly started to sprinkle. Even though the faces are blurry in the background, I love that you can see that everyone was smiling, and so happy for us. I also love that everyone came dressed in such lovely colours, I will totally think twice about wearing black to a wedding again. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

(Temporary) new gig

I've just packed my bag for my first day of work in Sydney. I've included lots of snacks, and have no idea how my Opal card works. Also am hoping the commute won't feel too long after living in Wagga for close to four years!

Wish me luck! I'll be here for 9 weeks and say goodbye to Tony tomorrow morning. It's a bit sad for both of us but we've always supported each other when it comes to exciting opportunities, even when it's meant big moves or temporary relocations.

Hope you've had a nice weekend!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Long weekend!

After a month away from home, I'm especially excited about the long weekend. I've been making pizzas, taking 2 hour naps (! clearly still jet lagged) and reading some new books I brought back from our trip.

I'm also planning to:
  • Watch this Helen Garner special on ABC Arts. I just finished reading her latest book 'This House of Grief', which was haunting and excellent. This podcast sums up the book so well, and she also has an article in The Monthly.
  • Wrap birthday presents for my niece! She turns 1 next week. Tony and I bought her the ride on bee you see below (another excellent kid-friendly recommendation from Kristy) but I couldn't help but buy her a few more little things for her party.
  • I caved and bought Lena Dunham's new book - I was trying to hold out til the paperback release! There's been lots of press about her lately but this was my favourite interview.
  • A billboard made me buy these ice creams and they're so good - we have the coconut flavour in the freezer, and it's conveniently very hot this weekend. We also tried the mocha flavour when my sister was in town. So delicious!
  • And I might also try my luck at making a Pimm's cup. We have duty free spirits :)
We get our wedding photos back this coming week - exciting!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mini mooning in Sydney

Before we headed overseas after the wedding, we spent a few days in a very Sydney nice hotel, a gift from my in-laws. We are Airbnb people at best, so the stay felt very special.

One thing that stood out was the language the staff use, which was anything but casual. It reminded me of my days as a shop girl in a designer boutique, where it was drummed into us that anything we said to customers was a representation of the brand. Therefore, nothing was 'nice' or 'pretty' but instead 'fabulous'. 
At the hotel, nearly everything was prefaced by 'May I,' including may I send up a complimentary bottle of champagne, may I present you with some flowers - you get the idea. 

We ordered room service (it came in a fancy trolley!) because it was true that you don't really eat anything at your own wedding! The next day we walked to the MCA to see a Japanese animation exhibition, which was excellent and happened to be closing that day.

For most of the honeymoon, I asked Tony to pose for food photos with his left hand, so I could get his ring in shot. It was such a novelty, and about a month later, still is :) 

We ate on our balcony a lot - because it had a view of the Opera house! And we ate a lot of wedding cake, because the venue boxed up two slices of every flavour for us to take with us. The honeycomb flavour was my favourite.

It was a little chilly but we decided to go swimming on the rooftop and ended up seeing a rainbow! Well Tony saw it and suggested I put my glasses on, so I could see it too.

Tony started drawing the wedding while I wrote thank you cards to our parents and bridal party. I kept my bridal bouquet and took it with me because I didn't want to part with it! Also as a single lady, I hated being called up to catch the bouquet - I was embarrassed and clumsy. At one wedding, the bouquet was coming right at me - so I ducked!

I snapped this shot on the way back from dinner, we ate at my favourite Sydney eatery (Fratellis!) and then it was off to bed before a long flight the next day. 

I texted this to my dad, he loves the Opera House.

Next up, some posts of New York City! I took so many photos so I might be posting them for weeks.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

We got married!

A little over two weeks ago, Tony and I were married in Sydney. We had the very best day and here are a few pics our friends and family shared with us.

I plan to write more soon! I actually made a long list of my highlights from the day over a cup of tea and slice of wedding cake that night, when I was too excited to sleep. As soon as I'd finished and passed my list over to Tony to read, my good friend Vanessa emailed with her list of highlights!

We have so many friends and family to thank for helping put the day together. My brother Derrick put together all of the music, in between his multiple radio shows, my super talented friend Sophie was our florist and my friend Luke from work snapped these black and white shots for us.

There were five cakes in all, which is normal right? It's just like a mega wedding cake only deconstructed :) The flavours were top deck (2/3 milk chocolate, 1/3 white chocolate mud cake), coconut and strawberry and honeycomb, with special crunchie chunks in the icing layers. I ate them all!

It started to sprinkle as we danced our first dance, and everyone still joined us as the rain set in.

My friend Jemma, who you can see in the floral dress, made it along which was very special, as she'd given birth to her first baby just 6 days before.  We've been friends ever since high school and having her and her new family there was so great. They even managed to out stay us. 

And here's a small confession, I'd actually bought the dress I wore on the way out of the wedding years before we got engaged. Silly but true. The first share house that we lived in together was around the corner from a fashion designer's studio, and this dress happened to be in the window one day. It was hidden in my wardrobe for years :)

Thanks to my brother-in-law Sean, my sister Carla and my friend Luke for these pics.

The very last person I saw as we left the venue was my 86 year old grandfather, or Goong Goong, as I've always known him. He stood at the doorway, back lent against the wall, whole heatedly blowing farewell bubbles. I was so surprised he was there because I thought he had to head home early. I'm sure I said 'Bye Goong Goong!' But he was too busy blowing bubbles to reply.

More pics to come! Hope you've had an excellent September, hooray for Spring.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

One last hurrah - a birthday at home

Just a couple more pics of my actual birthday, which I spent in Wagga Wagga, at work and then at home with some friends, a whole lot of pizza and even more cake.

This was my pre-birthday lunch in Sydney, I finally made it to the Rising Sun Workshop ramen and cake bar and was so happy. The space was beautiful, the ramen was especially delicious (they even had a vegetarian mushroom version) and I didn't leave before sampling a rich chocolate and ginger cookie (highly recommended).

I have wanted this cake tin for a very long time. Initially for a friend's fairy bread birthday cake, which I talked myself out of because you can't actually buy it in Australia. My brother and his wife ended up giving it to me, and I ripped the wrapping paper off like a kid once I realised what it was!

There were 3 cakes in all! Larry made a dense orange and almond cake that was impressively tall for my office celebration. You can't really tell in the pic but the sparklers were in the shape of 30.

Sophie made an even taller naked chocolate cake with raspberries and strawberries and we snacked on it for days to come! 

And Amy made a sugar free Zebra cheesecake (only hers looked even better than the original recipe), which was light and subtly flavoured, which made eating an additional two slices of cake possible.

Pizza party friends! I haven't had a birthday party in years but turning 30 was a good excuse to have a few special Wagga friends over for a simple dinner and lots of cake.