Well the decorations have been packed up for another year, the new years resolutions have been made (and some already broken LOL) but I couldn't go on without reflecting on Christmas that was - 2015!
Christmas for us started a few weeks before December 25th with our "Barson" Christmas on the Central Coast, we arrived late afternoon and Nan and Gramps and devoured lots of yummy foods and desserts - yes the Christmas season had well and truly begun! A few days before Christmas we packed the car and headed north - destination Coffs Harbour for the bi-annual "Mills" Christmas where yes you guessed it lots more yummy foods and desserts and a few lovely tardiness such as Christmas Day spent at the beach, parties in the garage, Boxing Day spent out at "the farm" and my favourite tradition of all....delivering lollies and pressies to some of the neighbourhood children on Christmas Eve with "Poppy" and his team dressed up as Santa's helpers....
Ah yes that was Christmas 2015...thanks for stopping by x
Christmas is almost here and in its usual frenzy December has gone by way too quickly in a flurry ...I thought this year it was best to perhaps capture the last few weeks in photos....
Although this year we didn't manage to go into the city as a family to enjoy the Christmas decoration and lights (the girls were busy working and we never managed to find a suitable time for all - ahh there is always next year!) I did accompany Lilly on a few of her choir 'gigs' and manage to capture a few beautiful Christmas scenes!
"Tis the season to be jolly" and entertain constantly!!! Lots of catch ups with family and friends, I love this "tree" antipasto platter that my sister in law created for our Christmas get together...and I think I nailed the brief for John's secret santa..the theme was "French" and as you know I LOVE a beautifully wrapped gift!
Some serious chocolate making kept me very busy for a few weeks, these were a special gift for a work colleague of John's...
I love that you are never too old to hug a Christmas teddy....this special bear enjoys Taylor's attention every Christmas x
Lilly and her friends enjoyed their annual Christmas sleepover and started a new tradition, decorating a Gingerbread House! They did such a great job ad no-one wanted to eat their creation - it looked too good to eat LOL
I had lots of fun creating this chocolate nativity scene for them, completely edible and devoured by morning!!! I discovered this great idea on a wonderful blog called The Plumbette lots of fun and so easy to create.
And of course finally another tradition, Carols in the Domain, Friday night was the dress rehearsal where we gathered with a picnic with to enjoy with friends, then on the Saturday (the actual performance) we enjoy curled up on the lounge in our pjs singing along to all our favourite carols (until of course I have to head out in the car at midnight to collect Lilly after the performance - and oh get changed out of my pjs!!)
So there you have it, that was the month of December, now all that is left is to enjoy Christmas Day celebrations with family up north....safe travels to all travelling and wishing you all a wonderful Christmas - enjoy x
Yay its finally December 1st with means I can officially put up the Christmas tree....ok so its true I have been wanting to put it up for a few weeks now, since I heard my first Christmas carol in the shopping centre (which seems to get earlier and earlier every year LOL)....I may have even climbed into the roof a few weeks ago to get the boxes down in preparation...
I adore our Christmas tree and whilst its not real (I know some of you are gasping..) she is a real beauty I and maintain that living in Australia its cruel to have a real tree with the summer heat...
We have collected lots of decorations along the way, some special ones from our travels and every year we add a glad bauble with the year engraved, its become quite the tradition usually on a day that we visit the city, Christmas displays and enjoy a special morning tea as a family, again another tradition!
Christmas is appearing in every little corner of the house...
The house has been transformed into Christmas, the presents are wrapped and under the tree, the Christmas cards have been made, written on and are ready to post...must be time to start preparing all the Christmas treats....x
We recently had a long weekend in Sydney, the added bonus of going to bed on Sunday night knowing you have another day off before heading back to work is priceless! It also coincided with the start of daylight saving....I love this time of year as the days get longer.
Our long weekend consisted of:
- some more renovating (our dining room is almost finished cannot wait too share photos)
- getting the backyard "summer ready"
- a visit to the famous Manly JAZZ FESTIVAL to listen to some wonderful entertainment
- first swim of the season at Freshwater Beach (best beach in the world!!)
-fighting the crowds for a walk along Manly Beach seems 'everyone wanted to visit Manly' on the long weekend and who would blame them the weather was outstanding!!
- Friday blooms - lucky me hubby brings home flowers every Friday!
- a quick sunset shot at Palm Beach ferry as the girls cousin caught the ferry home after a short visit
-it seems our 'friendly visitors' are back...last year we had one blue tongue lizard that lived in the backyard under one of the decks...it appears we now have two??!!
What did you get up to last weekend?
After our relaxing time in Ubud it was time for some 'fun in Seminyak'...shopping and some of our favourite restaurants were on the agenda.
There is no shortage of wonderful places to eat and drink in Bali, especially Seminyak...everybody has their favourites...ours are Bistrot Bali.....worth a visit even just to see the great decor, Corner House stop by during happy hour....The Junction...and a newly discovered restaurant with amazing food, Indonesian with a modern twist called Merah Putih definitely worth a visit!
Our villa was just off Jalan Drupadi so quite central to all the restaurants and great boutiques of Seminyak. No visit to this area though is ever complete without a quite taxi ride to the area nearby of Canguu to visit our favourite cafe and store Bungalow Living. We enjoyed a wonderful healthy breakfast, lingered over good coffee and cake and may have returned a few hours later with more cushion covers...LOL a girl can NEVER have too many cushions!
August and September are traditionally the season for "kite flying" and the skies were full of amazing kites and the streets full of laughter as kids transported these huge kites from place to place...
Ahh yes reality check, now that I have posted it feels like the holiday is really over....thanks for stopping by..back to regular viewing now...the housework awaits!
When we arrived to stay in Ubud we were told by the villa manager that there was a special celebration to be held during our stay in the nearby village...a Hindu cremation ...the last of its kind was held 5 years ago! We were truly honoured to be asked to attend in all the times we have visited Bali we have never witnessed this 'celebration' take place.
A Balinese funeral or Ngaben is a Hindu ceremony where the cremation of the body returns the 5 elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether to their original residence. It is the last and most important rite in the cycle of a Balinese Hindu life. The bodies are not cremated immediately after death but buried and then retrieved a few days before the cremation. The remains are placed in the decorated sarcophagus and then carried by members of the village quite some distance to the cremation site. The ashes are then returned to the sea, the 'final purification'.
Such colour and chaos all at once...and oh so noisy! The gamelan orchestras were deafening at times and the cheering and laughter of the kids brought smiles to or faces...as did these beautiful ladies selling their 'wares'!
Thanks for stopping by x
Whilst we were in Ubud we visited the amazing Sari Organic, it had been on my 'wish list' for a while and it certainly did not disappoint.
Its about a ten minute 'easy' walk through rice paddies from the centre of Ubud (you'll have to walk unless you have a motorbike) Sari Organic started growing organic produce about 12 years ago and they now have quite a large farm nearby where you can also pick your own vegetables.
So many amazing dishes to choose from and reasonably priced. The return walk was welcomed to walk of the food we consumed!
If you are visiting Bali and heading to Ubud mark it on your list of things to do!
For those of you who follow me on Instagram you'll be aware we have been away overseas in Bali...we had the most amazing time (child free woo hoo).... its been a busy week settling back in there has been no time to edit and choose photos ....so many photos to share I have decided to break it up into a few posts....
We travelled to Bali (our second home) with dear friends and shared a villa near Ubud in the town of Lodtunduh just a few kms from the centre of town. We have stayed at the River Moon complex before once once again we were not disappointed!
We were fortunate enough to attend a traditional Hindu cremation in the local village, an event that takes place only every five years or so, our timing was perfect....you'll have to visit again in a few days to hear all about it!
Must admit less than a week home and I am ready to pack my bags again...does anyone else suffer from "post holiday syndrome"???