Thursday, December 16, 2010


One of my favourite things about the Christmas season has always been the lights. I remember when I was growing up, we used to drive down to Thanksgiving at Grams each year, and on the way home, my brothers and sisters and I would count how many houses we could see all lit up for Christmas. We never had Christmas at our house, you see, so those lights were like the mark of some secret society, all glittery and pretty against the snow.

I'll admit, I think the snow is a big part of the magic. The Husband and I took a detour on the way home the other night, just to drive past a house we had heard about - all lit up for Christmas. For Australian standards, it was pretty fantastic. You just don't see houses decked out Griswold-style here the way you see them 'back home.' Maybe it's because a strand of lights is $40+ here, but it could also be because there is no snow. The lights just don't feel the same without the snow.

The Husband and I didn't put up a tree this year, and I am missing the sparkle of the lights. I remember putting up the tree in years past and then turning off all the house lights and sitting in the dark, just watching the tree twinkle. (Of course, that is usually about the time the tree would crash to the floor. No kidding. It happened three years running. True story.) Still, I would love to come home to the sparkle and twinkle of those lights. It never seemed like Christmas until they were up.

Last night, after one too many Christmas centric episodes of my favourite TV shows (how many of you would have loved to kick Dwight Schrute in the face?!) I was feeling a little blue. It just doesn't feel like Christmas without the lights! So I dug out a single strand of white Christmas lights, plugged them in, and draped them over the book case. Turned out the lamp, and just looked at them twinkle. Perfect. All is right with the world.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

baking day

Every year for over 10 years I have said "one day, I am going to take a day off and do all of my holiday baking." Well, this year, I finally did it. I took a Friday off, dusted off a few favourite recipes, as well as a few new ones, and spent a whole day baking. In reality, it ended up taking the better part of 3 days to get it all done, but everything sure turned out pretty.

The final tally... three days, 12 eggs, 1 kilo of butter, 2 bags of flour, 5 pounds of chocolate, over 350 cookies, 4 batches of icing, and 12 gift boxes of goodies. Oh, and a very, very sore back. Ugh.

But, how beautiful are these? Bet you are wishing you are on my Christmas list this year, aren't you?

Monday, December 6, 2010


Just had two minutes this morning before rushing off to work, and wanted to share some of the photos I took yesterday. The Husband and I took a walk through the city, all decked out in it's Christmas fancies. One upside to all the rain we have been getting is that the city is so green. All the flowers and blossoms are lovely, but I was so thankful for a sunny day - finally!

We had a nice afternoon at the Art Gallery of NSW with some friends, and then a long dinner on the patio at Pinos. It finally felt like summer. Love it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

looking backward to move forward

Aren't you always amazed at how fast time flies? One minute you are a child and the very next minute, you are all grown up, with adult worries and responsibilities. It's crazy how fast life just passes you by.

I admit, I have been wishing my life away lately. I am always waiting for it to be the weekend, or for it to be the holidays, or for it to be lunchtime, for that matter. It's not a healthy way to live life, but it seems that most of us are always looking forward to the next big thing, instead of appreciating the little things that are right now.

I was telling The Husband this week that I'd like to write a book about growing up in my family and all the little things that I remember. Trouble is, those little things come to mind when I am lying awake in the middle of the night, or when I am washing dishes... and I never take the time to sit in front of a notebook and write them down. It's hard to grasp onto those little things - they can zip by so quickly.

I have been looking back at old photos this week. After a recent hard drive failure, I am feeling a little more vulnerable about back ups and losing memories. My biggest regret is not taking the time to take more photos. I think I always felt like I had plenty of time to take more photos later. But the sun goes down and people move away and kids grow so fast and... suddenly the opportunity has passed.

I think my resolution for the coming year is going to be two fold. First, I am going to start carrying around a notebook to capture the little things. And secondly, I am going to take more photos. It's time to start making the effort; I know someday I'll be thankful that I did.