Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Tummy Filled with Butterflies

Delicious chocolates and wine sent to clients? Check.
Staff hampers filled with beautiful local products and handed out? Check.
Fabulous Christmas party thrown where everyone sipped on fantastic cocktails? Check.
Secret Santa gifts swapped between colleagues? Check.
A raffle of cheeses, chocolates, champagne and sweeties organised? Check.

HUGE, ENOURMOUS, EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE UPCOMING HOLIDAY? 
CHECK!

Okay, so I keep getting insane butterflies in my tummy but I still have 3hours until I can really get excited, and also start relaxing, as that's when I am officialy on HOLIDAY! Yippee!
So I am sitting here, (being as productive as I can when there is Christmas cheer zooming around the office, and mountains of snow outside) and waiting patiently for my holiday to start.
I have a hot creamy cup of coffee on the go, and am wishing everyone a
VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS 
as they pass me by, humming Christmas carols to my self, and making last minute Christmas prezzie lists.


I am pretty much all sorted, just an extra couple of things for the BF's Daddy-o, and the BF's Sisters BF (wow, that's a moutful!), and I am going to brave the icy streets and late night shopping this evening to get it all sorted.
Then, because I organised such a rad Christmas party for the office (how modest am I?), the restaurant owner is treating the BF and I to a meal and drinks, as a 'Thank You' for booking our party with them. Brilliant right?!
Did I mention it is my favourite restaurant in town?
Hello scrummy Thai curry (or maybe sushi - I can't decide) and delightful cocktails. Yum Yum.


What a perfect Christmas Eve, eve.
x

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Now I'm Dreaming of a WHITE Christmas

I clearly can't make up my mind about what I want this Christmas. 
Sun? Snow? Sandcastles? Snowmen?
 After this rather bizzare unexpected dump of snow (unexpected for December), I've started getting my hopes up that there might be snow this Christmas. 
How cool would that be?
I figure that if I can't be home in the sun with my family, then sledging and snowman building on Christmas day would be an acceptable compromise.
We had so much fun playing in it on the weekend that I have my fingers crossed as tightly as can be in the hope that it will just keep on snowing for a little bit longer, and then hopefully stay cold enough that the snow wont melt! (I really don't fancy slush for Christmas....)








A few snowy pics from around the neighbourhood on the weekend. Isn't the last tree gorgeous? It looks even more magical at night (I will try and get a piccy for you).
I love going for walks in the snow, especially with the BF. I love how quiet it is, and the sound of snow underfoot. 
And somehow it always feels really romantic, even if we are just popping to the shops for some milk. 
I love how cute it is to hold hands while they are wrapped up in mittens. 
Sigh.
x

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Big 50

I did it! Yippee! And it's all thanks to all of you, my lovely readers.
I truly can't believe that I made it to 50 followers. I am so proud and excited.

As a thankyou to you all, there will be a WONDERFUL giveaway in the new year, so keep your eyes peeled, and tune in to be in with a chance to win.
(Okay so I realise that it will be a couple of weeks late, but this snow/Christmas is putting me right off the post-office...)

If I could, I would throw a HUGE party to celebrate and invite you all along (wouldn't it be great to meet fellow bloggers??!!)


You know you wanna go to my super fun 50th Follower Party...(pity it doesn't exist).

So thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone,
and 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!x

Monday, 20 December 2010

I'm Dreaming of a HOT Christmas

Okay, so call me crazy (and I'm sure you all will!) but I am longing for a hot sunny New Zealand style Christmas. I am sure its more to do with family being in NZ and not so much the weather, but cold, grey and dark are not 3 words I usually associate with the festive season.

Christmas for me is...
Carols by candle light on the church steps (and having to wait until it gets dark - 9pm ish)
Nibbles outside on Christmas eve, usually with a Pimms in hand
A trip to the beach/river/swimming pool on Christmas afternoon to burn some energy (and make room for dinner!)
Having to wait until evening before Christmas dinner as no one wants to eat when it is so hot
Lounging about in the sun, reading and playing with our new toys
BBQ's on boxing day
Pavlova's covered in fresh summer berries

Christmas in NZ looks like...








I love Christmas and all of my family traditions, I miss them so much right now, but I am so very lucky to have such a wonderful second family in England who make me feel so at home. Nothing beats being with your own family on Christmas, but I know this year I will still have a wonderful family filled day even if it is on the wrong side of the world.

Oh and I have to say, I am enjoying all of the snow....a white Christmas would be fantastic!


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A Christmas Wish List

Hello, hello hello!

Fancy checking out some more Christmas gift ideas? I am totally loving the following products and want them so badly that I am tempted to buy them myself - but I know how annoying that is for people who are trying to Christmas shop for you! So, I'm trying to be very patient and keep dropping little hints here and there....
1. Benefit - So Hooked On Carmella
I absolutely adore this subtle vanilla scent, and think it is the perfect girly perfume. It just makes me want to get dressed up in gorgeous floaty dresses and drink champagne (or maybe vodka...).

2. Absolut Pear Vodka

Easily my favourite drink of all time (well...along with vodka + ginger beer). Mix this with lemondae and it is delicious!

3. Capped Mittens
These super cute mittens from Accessorize would be perfect for when I bike to work (once the ice has melted a little). I would have the option of having fingers free for braking and gear changing, but can cover them up when I'm out and about shopping in town! Perfect.

4. Wall Art
 Like this funky moustache that I found on etsy.

And how about this one....
...gorgeous huh?! Visit Willow Creek Signs for more arty Christmas gift ideas.

5. To meet some-one who lives near a Pull and Bear store...
...seriously! 
I fell in love with this store when I was in Spain and have fallen for at least 10 things from their shop. Naturally, the closest one to me is 2.5 hours drive away, and they don't have an online store!
*Sigh*

So there you have it, a few bits from my rather long Christmas list. And maybe later this week, I will give you some ideas one what I might be getting my friends and family...

I hope your weeks are all going swimmingly, and no-one has had too much trouble with ice and or snow! If it snows a lot here, I plan on making a HUGE snowman. (So far it has been a bit of a non-event, only a tiny little covering).



Tuesday, 7 December 2010

GO HOOPERS

Last night I showed serious dedication to my netball team. I biked to our game in -5 degree temperatures, and snow. That's right, I'm dedicated. (And getting braver!)

And we WON!

This is a HUGE achievement for my netball team, the No Hoopers, as we usually get absolutely destroyed at netball: 32 - 4, 20 - 7, 22 - 3. Im sure you get the point! And yes, we have a terrible name, we definitely did not choose it, and who really expects us to win with such negative influence?! We usually just drop the No and refer to ourselves as the Hoopers, which always boosts confidence and team morale. But we did it! For only the second time, but we worked so hard for it and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. And as much as we tried to keep calm, collected, and not rub it in the face of the other team....we couldn't help but jump around like the mad excitable ladies we are - 'coz we ROCKED.

Go Hoopers! Time to celebrate!

A Weekend for Me

This weekend just been, the BF was out of town on a boys weekend - in Amsterdam... (Yikes!)
..and I knew the only way I was going to get through the 4 days without going mad with worry was to keep busy busy busy and enjoy my free time by doing lots of lovely girly things.

(Note: Even though I trust the BF with my whole entire being, and even though Amsterdam is really a beautiful city, it is also a pretty seedy boys weekend destination...hence the slight worry. Oh and did I mention that they drove there, in blizzards?! Another thing to worry about. And for some reason I was nervous he would fall into a semi-frozen canal. More worry! Hmmm, I sound like a total paranoid worrier, I'm really not. Well, I didn't think I was!Luckily all went well, and he is back safe and sound, although very very tired.)

SO. My weekend. Filled with girly things...

It started after work on Friday, the BF's sister and I went to a gorgeous 'Modern Middle Eastern' restaurant and drank my new favourite drink (vodka + ginger beer), and ate huge amounts of delicious treats from their Mezze menu. The restaurant is call Brosh, and can be found tucked down a quiet little street, in a quiet part of town, and hides behind an unassuming facade, but inside it is beautiful. Simple, elegant, romantic. Subtle hints of the Middle East, through art-work, and light fittings, remind you of the culture you are exploring, but without taking too much attention away from amazing quality of the food or the friendliness of the staff, it all comes together perfectly. I tried Babaganush, Shakshuka, Malawach, and numerous other divine nibbles (think hummus, sourdough bread, olives, pickled chillies and falafel). I am so hooked, and can't wait to go again!


Saturday was spent Christmas shopping, eating huge amounts of food, and watching the new Harry Potter film! I used to be such a Harry Potter book nerd, and have watched all the films, but usually am a teensy bit disappointed (lets face it, there aren't many films that are better than the books!). HOWEVER, I totally and absolutely, 200% LOVED the 7th film. I thought it was fantastic! Perhaps it's because I haven't read that particular Harry Potter book in such a long time, I couldn't tell which bits had been missed out or changed, who knows, but whatever it was, I am literally bursting with anticipation over HP 7 Part Two. Oh I can't wait until it comes out! 

Have you seen the latest HP? What were your thoughts?

I finished my Saturday night off with a hot, candle lit bubble bath (bliss) and then curled up in bed and started my new book 'These Is My Words' - by Nancy E Turner (which I am loving by the way!). Lovely ending to a lovely day.
Sunday was a lazy lazy day. I think I stayed in bed until about 1pm...And only got up then because I was worried if I didn't, bedtime would roll around and I would still be tucked up from the night before! So I made myself get up, and went for a little bike ride on my GORGEUS NEW BIKE! It arrived last Monday but due to all the snow and ice this last week, I've only been able to ride it a couple of times - I'm still a little nervy when it comes to bikes + icy roads + cars. My bike ride on Sunday was lovely, I didn't go out for long, maybe 30 mins or so, but I filled up on fresh air, and came back feeling like I had balanced out my day quite nicely.
So....you wanna see this super hot, sexy new bike of mine....

Pashley Paramount - Colour: Crystal Sea Blue
Isn't she beautiful?! I think so... And my wonderful Mumma is on the hunt for a gorgeous wicker basket that I can put on the front. Eeeep! Hello summer time picnics and bike rides up the river.

As you can tell, I did pretty well at keeping busy, and actually, hardly worried at all. And now the BF is back (bringing with him gifts of chocolate, cheese, and alcohol!) and I am planning a dinner date with him to Brosh (I have to share this place with everyone), my lovely girly weekend may be over, but the next one will be full to the brim with Christmas parties, the last bits of Christmas shopping, hopefully some more bike rides, and spending lots of time with the BF, friends, and family.


Oh how I love the holiday season! x


Friday, 3 December 2010

The Return

My lovely readers - all I can do is apologise for being missing in action for so long. I will not give you excuses, as I think the important this is that I am back, and hopefully back for good. 
Hooray!

And what a brilliant time of they year to return. Winter is here, bringing snow, the need for mittens and scarves, hot coffees to warm your insides, thinking up wonderful Christmas gifts for loved ones, ice skating and roaring fires. 
I love it.
Oh and I totally forgot to mention Advent Calendars! How much fun is eating a teensy chocolate before breakfast every morning?! What a treat.

Life in my little British town over the last month has been lovely, nothing particularly exciting has happened, but I made sure it was full to the brim of niceness. 
Like:

1. Travelling...
...to hot sunny Spain, for Rest, Relaxation, and Sangria.


2. Babysitting...
...adorbale baby boys, who LOVE cuddles.


3. Eating...
...absolutely anything and everything delicious that I can get my hands on.


4. Minibreak...
...planning. A weekend here? Yes please!


5. Watching...
...hilarious films at the cinema. In 3D. Mainly cartoons. Okay, only cartoons. I'm a big kid.


Looking back, it wasn't just a lovely month, it was a truly wonderul, fantastic, fun filled month, and I just can't wait to get my teeth into this next one, as it's going to be even better!

Bring on December

I'll be back soon to chat some more, and to give you a little taster, these might be included in my next post...

THIS super cute retro bike.
What Christmas in New Zealand looks like.

Oh and see what I plan on getting up to while the BF is out of town. Hello girly weekend!





Thursday, 4 November 2010

Something important to keep in mind...

Hello again! This will be my last post as I believe the next time I see the daylight my beautiful sister's vacation will be over and she will once again be in the land of internet communication. I just wanted to take a quick moment to remind everyone of something that we all already know, but something that we all tend to forget from time to time.

Life is BEAUTIFUL. I have had an incredible day; a day full of moments bursting with promise and magic. Nothing particularly life changing happened- the morning was drizzly and grey and I had to get up early. BUT i started the day in fantastic company, and followed my wakeup with a lovely walk through the botanic gardens, a delicious cup of tea and a few hours solid study. I completed all the work I had set myself for the day (early!), and rewarded my efforts by having a brief nap in the sun, which had appeared just as I was finishing. I spent the afternoon outside enjoying the early taste of summer and drinking champagne (I was celebrating the day!)...I also received a surprise parcel, anonymous, and filled to the brim with all my favourite things. I managed to work out who it was from, and was promptly reminded of how lucky I am to be surrounded by incredible people who make my life colourful every day. I am now about to get a bit dressed up to meet a friend for drinks followed by some live music at the pub in town...the evening is beautiful; balmy, still, smelling like the promise of a holiday fast approaching...

So. Sometimes it isn't the momentous occasions that serve to remind us of life- there are small moments in every day that happen specifically so that we are able to see the beauty of the world, the kindness of people and the joy in ourselves- we need only to open our eyes.


Happy weekend (it's pretty much here)! from New Zealand :)  

Friday, 29 October 2010

You may now start writing...Good luck.

...And so it begins. Today was my first exam. A relatively late start, a lot of people finished already; bags packed, backs turned and heading triumphantly off into the sunset, following the glorious promise of three months summer holiday. For the past two weeks (since classes finished) I have been lazying about in the sunshine, eating icecream, cooking a variety of delicious foods, staying up late watching movies, talking...more or less forgetting it was exam time at all. Don't get me wrong, I punctuated my leisure time with short bouts of readings that I had neglected to do during the term time, but mostly only because the boy was round studying for law exams (much more scary and intimidating than the Maori society/language papers I was preparing for) and I had to find a way to occupy my time so I didn't become an irritating distraction.

I was hoping that after my first exam things would start to feel serious and I would be in the mode of studying...alas! This evening I am off to enjoy some champagne and live music, and tomorrow night I am going to a 21st to boogy in the balmy evening. carpe diem!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Hello from NZ!

Hello everyone! It's Hannah's younger sister Kesia here...I saw on her blog she was looking for people to be guest bloggers while she was soaking up the sun abroad and I thought it might be a fun way to procrastinate from studying for a while. Here is just a wee bit about me so hopefully it doesn't feel quite so much like a complete stranger is interrupting Hannah's fantastic blog.

I am currently studying at Otago University in Dunedin, NZ...
Although the studying life can be a lot of fun, I am counting down the days until my degree is finished and i can once again set off to explore the world...
I love the RAIN
Nothing makes me feel better at the end of a long day like closing the curtains and boogying like a mad thing.
I love experiencing things for the first time; cultures, people and walks of life that differ so much from my own. 
The three things I believe in MOST in life are: Food, Music and LOVE.

Anyway, that's probably enough for now- Exams are fast approaching and I really should get down to some study. Ciao!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

An Ache in My Heart

I love living in the UK, don't get me wrong. I have had the most amazing 3 years and have been thoroughly spoiled. I have met amazing people and travelled all over the country. I love the pub culture - Sunday lunch and some football with a pint to finish the weekend. I love the big cities, especially London, Newcastle and Edinburgh. I love the accents, all of them, who knew they could vary so much? I love the history. I love how close you are to the rest of Europe - weekend 'Euro Adventures', how lucky are we?!

But, sometimes I miss NZ so much that my heart literally aches.




Aotearoa - Land of the Long White Cloud

Only 219 days until I am on my way home...

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Fancy Being a Guest Blogger?


I am so close to my holiday, I can practically feel the sun on my skin.
And I am so EXCITED!


10 whole days in Spain with the BF. Sipping sangria, eating tapas, reading, lounging about in the sun (oh please be sunny!), and just relaxing in general. Oh I can't wait.
 
This is where YOU come in. I am looking for people to guest blog while I am away as I'm not going to have access to the internet (shock horror!). 
If you are interested in being a guest blogger, here at From Me, With Love... send me an email at
 
hannah.sherwood@hotmail.co.uk
 
and we can most definitely work something out.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Love Me. x

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Just a Little Crush...



I am completely hooked on these delicious smoothies. I am a little hopeless when it comes to eating fruit so smoothies are a great option for me and not only do THESE smoothies provide 2 portions of your fruit needs for the day, they also contain no additives what-so-ever. That's right, these delicious drinks are made of all natural ingredients!
Here are a few things that the Innocent team believe in.....

  • Keeping things 100% natural
  • Using sustainable ingredients, sustainable packaging AND sustainable production methods
  • Sharing the profits - 10% of their profits each year go to charity!

What's not to love?! My peaches and raspberries Peace One Day smoothie had the following delightful ingredients.....



 If you haven't tried these already, go and do it! Super delicious and healthy! YUM!


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

10:10:10

So I realise I'm a couple of days late, and that it's no longer 10:10:10 but I want to bring the plight of the 10:10 organisation to light, as I think it's a really important one.

"10:10 is a movement of people, schools, businesses and organisations cutting their carbon by 10% in a year"

Here are some FAQ that the 10:10 website answered....

What is 10:10?

10:10 is about one simple idea: we all commit to reduce our carbon emissions by 10% starting this year, then work together to make it happen.

Who can sign up?

Individuals and families, schools and universities, small shops and global brands, film stars and politicians … almost everyone can sign up to cut their carbon emissions by 10%.

What are carbon emissions?

Carbon emissions (more accurately greenhouse gas emissions) are the main cause of currently-observed global warming. They are released when fuels are burned in vehicles, homes, power stations and factories. For more on emissions and global warming, we recommend the Met Office's quick guide to climate change.


 On Sunday it was 10:10:10, and the organisation aimed to create the biggest-ever day of positive action on climate change. From sumo wrestlers in Japan who cycled to training, to 10,000 schools planting trees in Croatia and Russia, and hundreds of people in the UK sitting down to low-carbon Sunday lunches, this was truly an inspirational day!

The company I work for have been striving to cut down their carbon emissions this year and have been working really hard, so to say thank you to everyone we organised a low-carbon work lunch on Friday with produce purchased from a local farmers market...

...please excuse the poor photo quality - they were taken on a mobile phone and I was in a super rush due to hunger and delicious-food cravings...

Our lunch was absolutely delicious and knowing it was all grown/produced just down the road made it even tastier. We ate cheese, bread, salad and drank apple juice and home-brewed wine and cider (both were seriously strong!). Oh and we finished it all off with the most delicious fudgey chocolate brownie. YUM.
If you are interested in doing your bit for the environment, and getting involved with 10:10, click here for more information and to sign up.

Happy 10:10 everyone!
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