Yellow Dresses and Sunshine

DSC_0210 DSC_0218 Copy of DSC_0222Good Evening, and Merry Christmas!

It’s been such a long time since my last post, but I have good reason for it! I have a job, and it’s been taking up a bit of time. It’s really good, and has fit into our family routine really well!

So a couple of weeks ago we went to a wedding in Blenheim. And here are some pics of me frolicking and partaking in what the region has to offer.

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What I’ve been up to Lately..

Well hi there ūüôā

It’s been a wee while since my last post, and I have been pretty busy as of late – things to do, people to see – all that jazz.

where to start….

looking real professional before the interview…

Work

I have it! After a bit of time trawling for jobs, I finally got an interview and I begin work this week. I will be working approximately 15 hours a week, in residential homes for people with intellectual disabilities. I have met most of the residents already, and they are lovely. I really look forward to starting to form relationships with my co-workers and getting used to the way things are done in the company. I also love fact that I get to continue my music work and they have been really accommodating of my other commitments.

bbq food just about ready to nom.

Home

Last week, my Dad (Pappy) came to visit. I should have taken more photos, really, but I was so flat out I didn’t have time. He was here for 2 nights and we sure got a lot of quality time out of it. We went for a bike ride, played tennis, had a bbq, went out for dinner, ate bakery food, went for a drive, walked on the beach….no wonder I was¬†exhausted the next few days after! We had such a fun time, and I’m glad he is able to come back up for¬†Christmas¬†in a few weeks.

Health

I have had a break from Pilates for the last 2 weeks, and in that time my hip has been playing up (I have some issues with my RHS hip, we think it’s a hangover from the congenital hip displaysia I had when I was born – that I didn’t know I had until last year). I am really looking forward to getting back to class tomorrow, that’s for sure. I have just started the 30 Day Shred programme. Today, will be my 3rd day of level 1. So far, my arms are killing me, especially the inside of my right elbow from all the weights work. I only have 3kg weights here at home, so I think I will have to alternate with something a bit lighter, such as some cans until I get a bit stronger. I thought if I posted that I was doing the programme that I would actually continue with the programme. I have taken some gross “before photos” which I will post when I feel comfortable, so in the meantime here is the least gross one…

modest before photo, post 1st day of 30 DS, 18th November.

Cleo and her ‘auntie’ Ness – my mother in law’s dog. Spending a lot of time with these bitches lately

Home

Apart from myself being in a bit of a crappy mood as of late (probably¬†caused¬†by not being able to eat chocolate and lose weight), things have been pretty good! We seem to go through these ebbs and flows of things being excellent, and then a bit average round these parts. Being a step parent can still be difficult , and having a teenager in the house can be trying at times, but we focus on the positives, and I am pretty darn content with the routine of our lives. Home really is here in Wellington for us. I know we live a bit far out of town, but I love it, and I feel so lucky to have our little – albeit temporary – house on the coast. We also have some exciting news. We are on a waiting list for a puppy! We have been wanting another dog for a while now, and although people tell me just to have a baby, I say now…babies take a bit of time to¬†materialize¬†sometimes, and in the meantime lets have a baby dog!

Dad – to – be of the puppies we are waiting on.

Play

I have had a few things going on in the last few weeks socially – the latest being attending a hens party for my friend Ruth on Saturday. It was a lovely day, with high tea and games. I’m really looking forward to the wedding, and am awaiting a dress I have ordered to wear. I love getting dressed up for special occasions, and have got my shoes sorted already….behold!

These are the shoes that I wore for my wedding ceremony, and I have been dying to have another excuse to wear them. I may have to do a bit of wearing in, though…

Well, so lots and lots of stuff has been going on. It’s been great keeping myself busy – things were getting pretty mundane being stuck in a routine, and now I am sent into a tailspin with all the things that are happening.

 

Hope you are all well and you have a lovely week!

xx Em.

Currently…

Oh this photo cracks me up and makes me SO happy at the same time.

It’s a slow day at the office today, so I look inspiration from the lovely Danielle at Sometimes Sweet for this post. Sometimes it’s just nice to write about what you are doing, even when you aren’t really technically doing anything! That’s the story of my life at the moment, and I think I could make busy/lazy a trend/lifestyle.

Watching:¬†The Amazing Race, Australia. It’s the new My Kitchen Rules replacement in my life and it’s preforming well so far. Thank god for live record, etc, we have been able to record our favourite shows and watch them when it suits. So, to add to The Amazing Race we also have Homeland, Miami Ink (an oldie but a goodie), Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones (Nic makes me watch it, but I am kinda getting in to it), and as lame as it is….police 10/7.¬†

Listening to:¬†The sound of a tuned piano! I finally got my piano tuned and have been playing a bit lately. Unfortunately she has some health issues, and I will have to pay for a refurbish in time, but I am happy with it being tuned a semitone lower than it is supposed to be in the meantime. I am currently looking through my Cole Porter songbook for easy songs to start with. Oh, and I have my first voice student coming this afternoon. Hopefully they won’t mind all the boxes around the piano!

Planning:¬†Lots of things! Some of which I can’t tell you about just yet..but soon I will be able share. Other things include applying for life insurance (joy of joys); planning christmas (argh!) in our new environment (I am so excited my Pappy is coming up for it!); looking at travel options for future overseas adventures; thinking of way of conning husband into getting me a french bulldog for christmas (anyone got $3000?)

Thinking about: As broad as it sounds, life. At the moment I am in a really reflective place so I just want to take stock of what I have in my life, and find ways to be the best person that I can. Oh, also I am thinking about the interview I had yesterday and whether it will work out (fingers crossed!)

Looking forward to:¬†Possible employment! And, my Dad coming to visit next week. I’m also excited to get the final touches on my new tattoo hopefully this weekend AND going out for brunch with Nic’s family for his brothers’ birthday.

Reading:¬†Shamefully, nothing. But I think blogs count. So, on my blogroll is Sometimes Sweet, Dainty Squid, Perez Hilton, ¬†Gala Darling, and the blogs of my friends. I am also doing a lot of reading on My Fitness Pal – one of the single most important things for me at the moment (operation: lose weight – so far, it’s working quite well and I am down 5 kilos last time I checked)

Making me happy:¬†The fact that I AM reaching goals; good news in many places; good friends that live close; red bush tea heaping me curb my caffeine addiction; sweet treats; family phone calls; hanging out with Cleo; waiting eagerly for my friends’ wedding festivities; the lavender in bloom outside my window; the weather getting warmer; possibilities that things are going to keep getting better and better for us.

Doing this has suddenly put me in a very good mood. I have had a headache for the last 2 days, and now I feel less tension in my face which has dramatically helped with the pain.

Life is good, you know!

Have a wonderful day,

xx Em.

A lovely day.

On Saturday I  was absolutely thrilled to have my very very good friend in town.

Debbie is my oldest (not saying she is decrepid) friend. We have known each other since we were just 4 years old!! Here she is, looking stunning as my maid of honour at our wedding… Oh and it’s a funny photo as it looks like we are about to pash…

Hah, hubby looking away in disgust….anyway……

Debbie is such a lovely person, and I am SO lucky to call her my friend. She lives over the other side of the world at the moment, so whatever time we do have together is so special. I was very excited to hear she would be briefly in my town over this past weekend. We decided to do something MAJAH together.

After a bit of (A DELICIOUS) brunch we decided to go and get some friendship ink. Neb opted ¬†for a beautiful fantail on her ribs. Ouchies, but SO beautiful. Here is the process (Debbie wouldn’t let me take photos of her expression at the time)

            Getting the outline done looked like it was the most painful part

And the final (fresh) result…

This little guy will lighten up a bit, and more detail will show on the wings. Will have to get Debbie to send me a healed pic to update.¬†Debbie was SUCH a trooper. Ribs are incredibly painful to get tattooed, and wow she was so good and handled it amazingly. an hour or so later and she has a beautiful fantail, or as she is calling him “Pio” (short for Piowakaka, the Maori name for fantail)

So, with the theme of birds, I had been wanting to get a quail tattoo for a long time, and finally came up with an idea. Our tattoo artist Mike was able to weave his magic in to our pieces, and I am more than happy with the result. I decided to get my tattoo on my inner arm, covering a small red rune tattoo I had done years ago.

It was the biggest and longest tattoo session I have had to date. 3 hours trying to stay as still as   possible, all the while getting cramp in my shoulder.

But hey, you know what? It was SO worth it! I am in LOVE with my tattoo.

I have another wee session to go to add some white highlighting to him, but I am SO happy with it. He’s a bit scabby right at this point, but I’m sure he will be ready to flaunt his cute wee quail face sometime soon.

I was so glad to share this experience with Debbie. Now we are two birds of a feather who get to (when fate would have it happen) flock together. Friend love!

Have a wonderful day!

xx Em.

 

Friend Days and Dog Days

Thank God that i’m not home totally alone all the time. I always have my big buddy Cleo with me.

 

Yesterday we went to my friends’ house for morning tea in Wellington. Sitting in the sunshine with Ruth and Sharon was delightful!

We sat out in the sunshine, and Cleo got to have a lie around in the yard.

Then, it’s off to Animates. I love taking Cleo shopping, and she gets lots of pats and attention when she goes there, as well as picking out what treats she likes.

After that, we went to visit Cody and his owners on the coast. Cody is a gorgeous boxer who we will be looking after for 12 weeks while his owners are overseas. This is the second time they have met, and they are still getting to know each other. Cody is super playful, and in no time they were both sprinting around the yard, then they chilled out together! So cute!

The rest of the day was extremely chilled out, that’s for sure. Lots of travelling and chatting and fun takes up a bunch of energy. We had such a lovely day.

Here is to friends, and friendship – human and canine form!

xx Em.

Positives/Negatives: Changing a Whinge into A Whinny!

As I first sat down to write this post I really wanted to have a vent. Lots of stuff is going on in our lives at the moment, and although I would love to spill my guts about everything, alas it is not to be. It’s not that I am totally in to keeping secrets, its just that some ¬†of the things that are going on in my head are not overly positive or important.

This is a post about letting go and changing negatives in to positives.

Negative: I screwed up a friendship

Positive: I’ve learned not what to do next time…

I tried to fix a friendship a while ago. ¬†It felt a bit like I had murdered something. I said something I regretted – which unfortunately came across as me being an insensitive bitch. ¬†That’s all i’m gonna say about that.

 Negative: I lost lots of hours at my work

Positive: I started dabbling in music tuition

For a wee while I gave myself the opportunity to wallow in my own pain. I lost financial security and a lot of self- worth. With all that free time I had acquired, I got the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time (online, on facebook), and got myself a sweet teaching deal. Out of that, I have doubled my hours and am getting paid more and working less hours.

Negative: I had to cancel a few things for our wedding

Positive: I didn’t go in to debt!

my work fell through right before our wedding. I sobbed, cancelled that appointment for my facial, and cancelled the unnecessary cupcakes for the reception. What came out of that was more personal touches at the wedding, and not a lifetime of regret through getting a bank loan!

Negative: I wanted the designer dog

Positive: I got Cleo!

I love Cleo. Although I really wanted a french bulldog, we could not afford a $3000 dog. Enter Cleo, bargain price purebred bullmastiff. Light of my life. I love her so so much I couldn’t imagine not having her around. My walks have never been the same since she came along.

Negative:Life may be changing

Positive: Life may be changing…..

My lips are sealed on this one.

 

The moral of this post has been…

Sometimes life is shit. sometimes you are met with annoying things. If Lana Del Rey comes on the radio, switch the station. Look for the opportunities to make things good. Allow yourself time to grieve, but get on with it. No one likes a whinger and too many people spend too much time feeling sorry for themselves. There is nothing worse that spending time with someone that complains constantly. So, stop it. Make a change and start viewing things in a positive way.

 

What a difference a weekend makes

Hi all
Well, I have been feeling a bit down in the dumps lately to tell you the truth. Life has been getting me down a bit, and I have found old insecurities shaking me up.
Living down at the butt end of the world can be hard, especially with being a social creature such as myself. I miss my friends, and they are scattered all over the world.
Nic doesn’t really like to go out much, and I don’t really have any friends here, but on the odd occasion that something social is happening and I am invited to partake, I am reminded that life isn’t always doom and gloom.
Invercargill is a small place, and that’s not always good. It can be a bit boring, but when you find yourself at the weekend being able to do the things you want to do with friends, then it really don’t matter where you live.
I went to a bar on Friday and ended up catching up with an old school friend and meeting a really lovely couple that we chatted to for hours. honestly, my throat was so sore from talking so much! I felt elated when I got home.
On Saturday the boys and I went for a 2 hour walk in the bush with Cleo. I loved it. I don’t think they did, but at least they were not whinging when we were walking! We came home and played risk for the rest of the day. Relaxing, and fun until I spat the dummy (there is only so many bad rolls a lady can take).
Today, I had the great surprise of an old friend coming over for coffee. She has got to be one of the busiest, creative people that I know, and after chatting with her for a while I feel SO inspired to do something creative. I don’t know what it will be, but I am going to investigate some ideas. I figure I am good at DIY, as long as I stay motivated to complete a task. I also think a makeover in on the cards. perhaps some new ink (I have had some ideas for a while now), although the last time I was tattooed I swore that would be the last time I would endure that kind of pain. It was on my ribs, though, and NEVER again will I get tattooed on my ribs. OW.

So, overall a good weekend. I have had a couple of possible job opportunities in the last few days, so I shall see if I can get something sorted and start taking control of my life.

Looking forward to the week and what opportunities it may bring for me.

Love from the deep south,

xx Em.

My Wedding – Part 1: finances, and making decisions

Well, I am a missus. It’s strange, but then it’s not so strange.Image

I think when you are in a relationship with someone for a while marriage doesn’t really feel that different. The only major differences that I pick up on are

– giggling when he calls me “my wife”

– trying to practice my new signature

– actually feeling like my thoughts and feelings are now shared by someone else. This is great!

 

Our wedding took a long time to plan and organise, and the main reason for this was MONEY.

Weddings are FUCKING EXPENSIVE! They are great though, at the same time, and the days leading up to and the day of our wedding I would not try and reimburse at all.

It was brilliant. I loved every single minute of it.

 It was completely and utterly the perfect day Рmuch more than I could imagine.

I think reflecting on it now and wanting to share things with you I can revel in the brilliancy of the day, but what I want to do is perhaps give some advice when planning, preparing, and putting together a wedding. I certainly learnt a LOT.

 

A wedding is just ONE day in your life, but it should be special and a reflection of your relationship. Just don’t let it take over, and make sure your partner is equally represented! Nic and I got engaged in June 2010, and pretty much from day one I started researching the wedding and the prospect of getting married. The reason for this? I was TERRIFIED of getting married. The idea of standing up and walking around in front of people terrified me, and the thought that not everyone at the wedding would be having fun scared me. So this was a resounding theme: What ever we did was not going to be a spectacle, and it was going to be FUN.

 

Guests’ feedback from our wedding was that it was genuine, moving, a true reflection of us, and heaps of fun. I was so SO happy when I heard people had had just as much fun as I had.

Quite by mistake, our wedding encorporated a lot of DIY, as some things did not work out. DIY is the BEST Way to save you money. Not spending $30,000 was paramount for us – that is the average cost of getting married in New Zealand these days. There are lots of things that you DO have to pay for, but given we had a destination wedding, we were both somewhat pleased that we perhaps spent $15,000 all up. Also in saying that, I did make some mistakes along the way – paying money for some things that we did not want and changed our mind (my dress, Nic’s ring). I think it is important to not go in and buy the first thing you see. Trust me, you will find something better. I managed to turn the drama of picking the wrong dress in to a positive – my bridesmaid wore the dress I have initially bought (with some clever alterations from my gran)

 

I am so glad we did this – she looked SO beautiful!

So, although I thought I had blown the budget (her dress cost $850), it was salvaged, and she was willing to buy the dress off me for part cost. My grandma really saved the day, as she altered the bridesmaid dress and made my dress. My grandma is 86 by the way and a total trooper. What would have cost me thousands in a store cost me a couple of hundred, with much more meaning than I could ever have dreamed for.

 

It is important to be realistic and responsible with your money. I’m not going to say “budget”, because I don’t think you can say “I am going to spend $1500 on ____” and then follow through with it. I know I can’t do that. Whatever is spent, is spent. Just be realistic. I found out two weeks before our wedding that I was going to experience a huge cut in my work hours and we would have no income for the summer months. this meant I cancelled some appointments (yes, you CAN do your own nails) and tightened the purse strings a little (we will take our honeymoon when we can afford to do it properly). I did not have to sacrifice a lot, because we had been paying off the venue for over a year. I highly reccommend doing this. Getting a mock invoice and chugging away at it is VERY helpful. We even did a little work at the venue, doing some painting, and that helped a little, too.

see that fence? yeah, we painted that.

Other things we saved money on:

– our friend was our photographer

– my friend was my hairdresser

– we had a few family members give us some financial gifts

– I gave myself facials and did my own nails

– I bought our chair bows

– I made our party favours

So, time is your friend. Having time to sort and source and find goods will really help. Your world will not end¬†if you can’t afford a light up dance floor. You will still look beautiful if you cancelled your appointment for eyelash extensions (yeah I did that).

So, I will keep writing about our day and whatever questions you might have. If your day is coming up or if you just want to know more, I am more than happy to help!

Keep a level head and have fun with it!

xx

Em.