Dec 31: More Stuff in 2014

What do you want to more of in 2014?

In the lead up to New Years, I’ve been seen a lot of this on my FB newsfeed. I don’t really do New Years Resolutions, because I never stick to them… and most of the time they’re generic.

Just before I started to write this post, I saw a post by those Glamorous, Attention Hungry Bitches, The Mean Queens, which made me stop and think about what MY resolutions could be… They don’t necessarily need to be massive, nor do they need to be really generic like most people’s ie., I’m gonna lose 10kgs, I’m gonna put me first, I’m gonna stop smoking / drinking / being a shitbag etc.

Fuck that.

  1. I’m gonna finish my December NaBloPoMo writing challenge!!
  2. …Then I’m gonna go straight onto a January one!!
  3. I’m going to make more of an effort to take better care of my skin: cleanse, tone, moisturise and exfoliate 2-3 times per week.
  4. Have. More. Baths.
  5. Read. I have so many books that I buy, but I don’t get time to read them. I need to change that. I think in a previous post I said something about reading one book per month. That should be pretty achievable… shouldn’t it??
  6. Cook for my husband. Hulk always cooks, and even when I do (rarely) cook, he still wants to come into the kitchen and take over… because he can’t help himself and it’s adorable and annoying all at once… but seeing as how I have a heap of cookbooks just sitting there collecting dust, it’s time to start making use of them, and impressing my husband.
  7. Think about giving up my weekend job… I enjoy my job, but I would also enjoy having a weekend as well.
  8. Be more social – I need human interaction that doesn’t involve or revolve around work.
  9. Work on my diet. Having dinner at 10pm after a 15 / 16hr day 4 nights a week isn’t good at all, but that’s our life… I don’t want to keep having late dinners and then even later nights… and I can’t just completely skip dinner either… I need to work something out.
  10. Travel more. Whether interstate or overseas, girl, I need to spread my wings and go places.

Ten things is enough, right? I mean, looking back over at it, there’s certainly a lot more that I could add to that list, but I figure these are the 10 that I REALLY need to stick to the most.

Maybe I’ll re-evaluate in June ’14??

Dec 30: Less in 2014

What do you want to do less of in 2014?

I want to be less sleep deprived.

I want to deal with less bullshit.

I want to be less socially awkward.

should be saying that I want to eat less chocolate, but let’s just say that’s not going to happen. Ever. I know I have a problem, so let’s generalise it and say I want to eat less unhealthy food.

Dec 27: Favourite Week of the Year

Which do you enjoy more: the last week of the year, or the first week of the year?

Oh without a doubt, it’s the first week of the year. Everything feels fresh and new. Here in ‘Straya, it’s our Summer, so the weather is usually hot and sunny. Well, perhaps unless you live in Melbourne.

It’s actually New Years Day and I’m in the process of catching up on some posts from the previous week, as I haven’t had an opportunity to write anything – I know, I know, poor form for a post-a-day challenge, but I’m determined to finish them all, dammit!!

So today instead of warm and sunny, it’s overcast and raining. Awesome.

But apart from the weather, the first week is usually pretty great. It’s usually hot and sunny. I’m also on holidays from both my jobs so I’ve got nothing but time on my hands: Sleep and PS3 come at me!!

The last week of the year pales by comparison – if it’s the last working week, it’s all about finishing up stuff at work; stressing about Christmas; juggling countless christmas parties and dinners and lunches and making sure that you have enough gifts for people etc etc etc. If it’s the actual last week of the year then it’s all about Christmas Day / Boxing Day – Have I got enough food? What time is lunch? What do I wear? Who’s going to be there? Who’s coming later? What am I taking? What do I have to make? Who are we picking up on the way there / dropping off on the way home? And then as soon as that’s over, it’s all about New Years: Where are we going? What are we doing? Do we go out? Do we go to so-and-so’s BBQ? What’s everybody else doing? Who’s having a party? Can I be bothered? What am I going to wear? Do I need to go shopping?

It’s just too much drama.

Dec 26: Christmas Expectations

Did Christmas fulfill your expectations this year?

Yes and no.

Yes, because I actually got a really great gift from my partner, and yes because I knew that I’d end up spending a few days eating myself into oblivion. Seriously, I don’t want to look at another piece of ham anytime soon.

Yes, because I spend the same few days with my partner’s family, which is always lovely (and a little bit tiring) but I always enjoy being around them. I think because I don’t have an opportunity to be with my family, and they’ve been so welcoming, I consider them my family… or that I’m part of their family… or something along those lines…

No, because I didn’t get to spend it with my mum. Although I knew it wasn’t happening, I actually had a brief moment where I thought that Hulk had secretly planned to fly my mum down for a couple of days, but when he gave me my present, I realised that thinking that was just me being foolish. I secretly wished that everything mum and my cousin had told me was all a big lie, and Hulk had already told them to tell me that, so then I wouldn’t be spontaneous and just hop on a plane on a whim.

Instead, Hulk and I are off to a Day Spa in the country for a weekend for a little pampering and feeling fabulous.

Dec 25: Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (if you’re Christian)! Share a photo from your day.

Oddly enough, I didn’t actually take any photos over the Christmas / New Year period… I posed to have photos taken, but didn’t actually take any myself.

Instead, I have these…

IMG_1486 IMG_1487 IMG_1488

Dec 24: Christmas Celebration

If you celebrate Christmas, are you doing the holidays larger or smaller this year?

Our Christmas celebrations are semi-large since I began dating Hulk.

Mum and I have always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve which has been a tradition in our family since I was a kid.

When I was a kid, we would also go to Sydney to do the ‘big family Christmas’ with my fathers family, and their families etc. It was so typical – the big tree and a million presents underneath it; the giant christmas table; the giant turkey and roast pork and leg of ham; the steamed pudding and hot custard; playing cricket in the street with the family and all the neighbours; the obligatory food coma mid-afternoon; then sitting around eating left overs for dinner.

Then we’d all go back on Boxing Day for more eating.

After my falling out with my Grandmother on my fathers side, I was done with those types of Xmas gatherings.

Or so I thought.

Then along came Hulk. As much as I love my Christmas Eve routine with mum, it was a little overwhelming the first time I spent Xmas with Hulk and his extended family. And it wasn’t just lunch. It started with Xmas Brunch at one of his Aunties places, then on to another Aunties place for lunch and dinner.

Meeting that many people all in one day is incredibly overwhelming, and I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be in that environment. Chaos and politics and stress and SO MUCH FOOD!!!!

This has become the norm for the past 5 years that Hulk and I have been together, although this year was the first year that mum and I weren’t able to be together for Christmas Eve. I really was quite upset that we couldn’t be together, as I discovered that it was effecting me a lot more than I had initially anticipated. In saying that, I consider Hulk’s family as my family and I love them all dearly. It’s just really nice to be able to spend the festive time with Hulk and other loved ones.

Including my food baby.

Dec 23: O’ Christmas Tree, O’ Christmas Tree…

Which is better — a small Christmas tree or a large Christmas tree?

I love a big ol’ Christmas tree, decorated like there’s no tomorrow.

There’s something quite majestic and fabulous about a giant chrissy tree in a house, providing of course, that the decorations are all uniform – pick a colour scheme, choose two or three types of decorations, and an appropriately matched set of christmas lights.

Since I started dating Hulk, I’ve really become used to a certain type of christmas tree. I have tree standards. Ironically, for the past two years, we haven’t put up our xmas tree.

Recently we were out at a lunch with a group of friends and were discussing christmas and we got onto the topic of christmas trees, and one of our friends revealed their ‘O.C.D.’ when it comes to their tree and their presents. They pick a two-colour colour scheme, and that’s it. They set up their giant christmas tree and decorate it immaculately, but to the point where it’s fenced off and nobody is allowed to actually touch it. The kids, however, have a secondary tree in a separate room that they are allowed to decorate however they want, and with whatever decorations they want.

Seriously? That’s taking things a bit too far, don’t you think?

Dec 20: Volunteer Work

Do you do any volunteer work?  Tell us about it.

Sometimes when I get asked this question, and I answer ‘No’, I feel so terribly guilty about it, but the reality is, I don’t have time in my life to actively go and volunteer anywhere. Although, sometimes when I’m at my other job, I feel like I’m volunteering because although I get paid, I get taxed so much on it as it’s a secondary income, I almost do it for free.

I haven’t really thought too much about volunteering because I already spend plenty of money making financial donations to various organisations throughout the year – that’s my contribution instead. It’s not necessarily as good as I’d like it to be, but it’s certainly a lot more than most people do.

Dec 19: Donation

What was the last donation you made?

Just recently at work we received the name of the person we have for Kris Kringle (KK). I think, generally, there’s usually like a $10 – $20 limit on the gifts, and they’re usually something small, or a novelty gift, or if you work here, a bottle of wine.

I thought that I’d do something different this year, and rather than buy my KK something useless, I bought them something from Oxfam Unwrapped instead.

I bought a duck.

well… not THAT duck…

It was $30, and $26 of that is considered a donation to Oxfam which is then tax deductible – so it’s a win-win situation – I buy some family in Bangladesh a duck, and I get to make a charitable donation at the same time.

And well it’s Christmas, and it’s the season of giving.

Dec 18: More With Less

Tell us about a time you did more with less.

Well, it’s not actually me, it was my mum.

I remember when I was younger, and it was around the time of my birthday, and my parents had no money. We generally didn’t really have money. It was always going to bills, rego, mortgage payments, grocery shopping, school fees etc etc. So for us, getting takeaway was a big deal. Going out for dinner was an incredibly rare occasion and a very special event.

So anyway, this one year, it was my birthday, and I remember mum asking me what I wanted, and I told her something like a bike, or some expensive shoes or something that she couldn’t afford. In the end I think I ended up getting a CD I really wanted, and instead of buying me a card, she made me a card.

It was made out of an old manilla folder, and covered in wrapping paper and contact (a clear self-adhesive film used for covering books to protect them from damage) and inside were  8-10 pages, complete with photos of me growing up over the years, and some illustrations that mum had drawn, and at the end it told me just how much she loved me, and always would, and that she hoped I still had a great birthday.

I remember back then, I thought it was one of the best things I’d ever gotten. I kept it in a box amongst all kinds of stuff, and whenever I came across it, I’d sit and reminisce and it would bring a tear to my eye. Even now, just thinking about it, makes my eyes all watery, because it just makes me realise how much I miss my mum, and how sad it makes me not being able to see her this year for Christmas.