What’s making me happy: July

What’s making me happy: July

July 2020 has been a bittersweet month – we were meant to fly to England to spend time with Adam’s family, it’s my final month of maternity leave and unfortunately it feels like COVID-19 is starting to strengthen its grip on Australia again.  Despite the sadness and anxiousness that the above has evoked at times, I’ve had some really lovely moments too.

This is what’s made me smile in July…

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Season’s greetings

Season’s greetings

It’s been a little while, but I just wanted to jump on here and wish you a very merry Christmas, and say thank-you for your ongoing support of this blog. I know I’ve been absent these last few months, while I’ve been devoting myself to motherhood and taking the time to enjoy these early newborn days – which are whizzing by ever so quickly…

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A frolic at the Fayre

A frolic at the Fayre

I can’t quite believe Christmas Eve is here already – with the wedding and our lovely holiday back in the U.K., the last few months just seem to have whizzed by. I spent the weekend deep cleaning the house, finishing up the gift shopping and buying lots of delicious food.  Adam and I welcome my parents and brother this afternoon and we’re looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with them all over the coming days.

I sometimes think the build up to Christmas is more lovely than the day itself – am I the only one?! You’ve got time to ease yourself into the festive spirit and special moments manifest themselves when you least expect them.  This year I got to experience the pre-Christmas buzz in both Australia and England, so today I want to take you back to early December – when trees were just being decorated and lights switched on and Christmas markets were in full force…

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Feeling festive

Feeling festive

I was really excited to decorate for the festive season this year.  Last year, Adam and I landed back in Australia just a few days before Christmas and with unpacking the house and settling back into life in Wagga Wagga it was a low priority.

This December, and especially after seeing all the trees, lights and decorations in the U.K, I was keen to make the house feel a little jolly…

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and those you cherish a very merry Christmas. May your day be filled with light, love and lots of lovely food and drink.

I’ve so enjoyed sharing life in England with you over 2017 and 2018 is already shaping up to be a very memorable one (11 months until the wedding)!

Look forward to talking about the first few days back in Australia later this week.

Until then.

M. x

Early Christmas

Early Christmas

This year I’m going to be lucky enough to enjoy Christmas with two families, in two countries, in two hemispheres. December the 25th will be spent in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia – Adam and I will be in our old home and we’ll share a festive meal with some of his distant family that live in town.

Our English family wanted to celebrate with us though before we flew back to Australia, so on December 3rd we had ‘early Christmas’…

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Christmas

Christmas

 

Sometimes the unplanned, imperfect pictures are the best ones. It can be so easy to share images of perfectly stylised celebrations, but for me that’s not what Christmas is all about. It’s about the sitting room floor getting covered in torn wrapping paper, the dog bringing in a half chewed stick and gnawing it on the rug, spilling gravy on the table cloth and sneaky afternoon naps while wearing a paper crown.

So this is what my first English Christmas looked like: Sunny and mild (gasp!), with clumsily held video calls to Australia involving dorky family traditions, gifts to help me adapt to the English way of life, way too much food and magical lights in all the right places.

Looking towards the Malvern Hills from Malvern Wells.

A video call to my parents in Australia.

Christmas gifts about becoming more British.

A full Christmas dinner.

Star lights in the conservatory.

It was perfect. Who needs a Christmas Day that looks like it should be on the pages of a magazine, when you can have your nearest and dearest nearby laughing, eating and simply being them?!

I trust you all had a lovely Christmas Day and are now in the post December 25th haze, taking it easy… or finding a bargain at the Boxing Day sales!

PS – The Christmas elves came and overhauled the blog over the weekend. Hope you like the changes!

Let the wrapping begin

Let the wrapping begin

I find there are two sorts of people in life – those who love wrapping presents and those who’ll happily pawn the task off to others.  I’m in the first camp. As a child growing up my mum was always pretty particular about the styling of her Christmas tree. Gifts had to coordinate with the tree and a general colour scheme was adopted every year. I have fond memories of the two of us sitting on the floor in the family lounge room surrounded by rolls of paper and boxes of ribbons and bows, televised Christmas carol special on in background, wrapping presents in the days leading up to December the 25th.

It’s a tradition I continue to keep and over the last few weeks I’ve seen countless images on Instagram and Pinterest of fresh foliage adorning beautifully boxed presents. As it’s so warm in Australia around Christmas, adding a sprig of spruce as part of the wrapping process never really crossed my mind. This year however, I decided to use harness that inspiration and try it myself!

Sprigs of holly leaves and stems of cotoneaster horizontalis

I raided the garden at the front of Adam and my apartment finding holly leaves and a large shrub with red berries, which I believe is cotoneaster horizontalis (budding gardeners, is that right?!) and got busy!

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