Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Present Shopping: I'm making a list & checking it twice

I'm going to find out who's naughty or nice ... luckily everyone who started on my Christmas list made the nice cut and remained there.

I love present shopping and this year has been relatively easy as I started making a list of presents for everyone throughout the year but of course there are always last minute changes and impossible people to buy for ... that's right dad, YOU!

So C, L, M & D were the easiest of the year - Jay Z/U2 tickets. I tell you people, it may be one of the best gifts I've ever given and if you ask my friend's thats a pretty big call as I am a very good present giver they say. Honestly, the absolute enjoyment my friends got from the U2 concert was so rewarding for me and of course, it was a wonderful memorable experience we could all share.

S was a little trickier as his birthday is in mid-December so I have to think of double ideas and also extras for my friends, fam and his to give. This year S is getting a bike (& helmet & lock) so we can ride together (I already have a bike), Nike Kobe 5s (see earlier post), a remote control organiser for his 5 remotes (don't ask) and some men's Lush goodies for his Man U stocking.

My family and partners do Kris Kringle with a $150 limit so my SIL at her request is getting a voucher to the local shopping centre. S got my little bro and I advised Weird Al tix as my little bro is a huge fan!

Baby S is all done - she was the easiest and I got her finished in November - my lil pony baby, playdoh & cutters, Crayola crayons, clothes, summer pjs 'Little Miss Sunshine', a HUGE elmo & a HUGE Dorothy the Dinosaur.

S' parents are easy - a donation towards their new BBQ fund and I have left S' sister & her fiancee to him.

The boss will be getting a Nautica T and hat - he told me he is hoping to spend lots of time on his boat so I thought these would be appropriate.

My mum was going to get a Swarovski crystal however she changed this up when she spotted a pair of PA pjs she loved and wanted but wouldn't buy because 'who spends that on PJs'. I also got her a few trashy romance novels for her summer holiday.

Dad is proving to be most difficult ... he is getting a Rugby League Top 10 book which is right up his alley but beyond that I am completely stuck. He is a pretty contented person that has everything he needs and isn't really into 'things'. Grrrrr only 1 afternoon left for me to get this done.

I'm still thinking about buying something small for my sis & littlest bro and M & C to open on Christmas Day - I just love giving presents!

What did you get your loved ones this year?

S is a Shoe Whore

That's right people, I am marrying a shoe whore.

The average person would assume that me, as the female half of the relationship, would be the shoe whore in the mix but no, while I love shoes (as most women do), S is addicted to them!

I have a lot of shoes (think walk in robe with boxes piled high) but S puts my collection to shame. He is known to buy casual Puma shoes in the same style but different colours because 'these ones are more suited to jeans and date nights while I can pull these off on a casual weekend or with shorts.' I kid you not, that's what he says when justifying.

He is particularly into Nikes, Cons and old school editions - honestly, he is like Turtle on Entourage when it comes to shoes. Recently he snapped up a pair of red & black Air Jordans to add to his other pairs that look the same to me. I think I even counted maybe 5 pairs of Cons in different colours and he is trying to share this addiction with baby S - he ensured her first shoes were pink Cons.

So what to get a Shoe Whore for Christmas? Shoes of course, but not any old shoes as they won't make the grade. This year they had to be Nike Kobes - foreign language? I know, me too.

I popped into the Nike store to pick them up last night as it was my only chance to hit the shops without S and of course, they didn't have his size in the blue (they come in blue, dark purple or white & yellow). I liked the blue best but had to settle for the purple given my limited time and his penchant for flashy shoes.

I shouldn't encourage the addiction but I can empathise as the look on his face when he opens the shoe box will be the same on mine when I open a certain Oroton pressie he has for me under the tree :)

Plus this present guarantees me a very happy man on Christmas Day - win/win!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What is it with NYE and drama?

Honestly, the older I get, the more I am getting over NYE!

It's like Valentines Day... always hyped up to be a super amazing day where everything couldn't be more perfect when it reality, it turns out to be far below expectations, a fizzer, a let down and almost always ends with tears from someone (and this year they are mine so far).

Guess what... NYE is still over a week away and mine has already turned out as described above! Hard to believe I know but very very true!

Unfortunately earlier this year, my professional and personal lives collided slightly. Expecting the best, I wasn't too concerned but now its come back to bite me hard and as a result, I will probably have to make new plans for S and I for NYE rather than spending it with my favouritest people C & M :( Especially sad as C and I haven't been apart on NYE in about 6/7 years (we even celebrated on Times Square a few years back). ALso feeling very guilty as S was looking forward to hanging out with L & D.

Feeling very sad and sorry for myself about it all - its come crashing down on my head in the last 24 hours and is all I can think about.

Oh well, moving forward (cause no-one likes a sook) - as I told S, we will just have to come up with something else although its hard to feel excited now.

Woe is me ha ha - seriously though , what is it with this time of year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

O Holy Night

... is my favourite Christmas carol - just in case you were wondering.

That said, I love most Christmas carols and that may have something to do with my mother playing them from about October every year as we were growing up. No kidding, she has the biggest Christmas songs CD collection I have ever seen and is the ultimate embodiment of Christmas spirit - I guess that's why my fam and I are all very Christmassy.

My parents had plans on the weekend so the siblings and I made our own Christmassy plans and went to the Broadbeach Carols at Kurrawa Park. Our mother was seriously devastated to miss out on our plans and it was touch and go for a bit there as to whether she would cancel her first set of plans - in the end though she decided to be responsible and stick with her prior commitment.

There ended up being about 16 of us who met with rugs, eskys (a west coast or sav blanc never goes astray when carols are to be sung) and some nibbles. We all stretched out on our rugs and sung along to the magic of carols - they played all the classics along with some fun new ones and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely.

Most spectacularly of all though was the finale with 'We wish you a Merry Christmas' and a HUGE fireworks display that just went on and on - I love fireworks, do you?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Storm warnings & KFC for lunch

So S just messaged me to advise of a severe weather warning for this afternoon including large hailstones. Me being a disbeliever went straight to check the radar - S was right ...


and I am now enjoying thunder, lightning and the heavens are about to burst open with an absolute downpour.

I thought we were home clear with the crappy weather and finally settling into Summer. Nope, Mother Nature decided the GC has had her share of sunshine, time to pass it on :(

This could prove to be very inconvenient if rain keeps up over the weekend - we have around 10 or so of our dearest friends joining us for drinks and tapas to celebrate S birthday this week and it is not going to work if we are all crammed inside rather than enjoying the deck and water views scenery I envisioned.

What's a girl to do for lunch on a miserable gray day where the air con is cranked up to freezing to combat the insane humidity? That's right, comfort food in the for of KFC! Naughty I know but I'm fed up with the WDD of vita wheats, carrot sticks and water - wedding dress diet for those wondering what I'm on about. I managed to rope our bookkeeper into joining me thus alleviating any guilt at being the only one eating junkfood - I know, I thought this was clever too. Here is the evidence of my failure:

I savoured every bite of my fillet chicken pieces, potato and gravy with chips & extra salt - when I break the WDD, I break it good.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Take it Easy

I hit up the Eagles concert on Monday night with my dad and my mum's bestie SW.

We met at mum and dad's and I ended up having to drive in my zippy (read no power) Swift due to an incident in Brisbane involving my little bro J and my mother's need to attend to the matter in person thus taking their very comfy new Prado - another story entirely.

Moving forward, we arrived at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre with no incident and surprisingly no traffic. As a result we had time to grab a drink and relax - this worked well as we were perfectly positioned to spot my boss and his wife on their arrival and enjoy a drink with them.

The concert started at 8pm and I was absolutely starving hungry so went to grab a pizza from the concession - no word of a lie, I lined up for 27 minutes and got to the front of the line only to be told there was NO DAMN PIZZA LEFT! Not happy as I stomped back to my seat and had a mini tanty to my dad.

The tanty was quickly forgotten as the lights dimmed and Don, Glenn, Tim and Joe took the stage - after 3+ hours of music I feel we're on first name basis. They opened to How Long from there newest album and I was pleased as this is my fave song off Long Road out of Eden.

The show was absolutely amazing!!!!!! They sung all their old hits and I got goosebumps during Hotel California. I was also surprised by how much emotion I got our of Best of My Love which has never been a enormous favourite.

All the guys spent plenty of time speaking to the audience and introduced Take it to the Limit as the song their wives call 'The Credit Card Song' - it was their first to sell a million copies.

The show went on in amazing fashion and dad, SW and I were loving every minute of it till the last song Heartache Tonight which people actually started leaving through. The lights dimmed after this song and even more people left - crazy fools, didnt they realise there is no way the Eagles would play a show without Take it Easy (my fave) and Desperado (dad's fave).

We sat quietly (actually, loudly ... screaming for encore) in our seats waiting for the eagles to return to stage and our patience was rewarded. They returned and broke into Take It Easy followed by Rocky Mountain Road and finally ended on Desperado - the remaining crowd went wild needless to say.

Wow, at 60+, these guys have still got it and I loved every minute of their show as did my dad and SW who went to their last concert.

I hadn't realised they all had their own songs to lead in, I just thought that was Glenn and Don's role but Tim and Joe are amazing also and it was great to see them singing too. The energy, their talent with instruments and their beautiful harmonies are incomparable!

Also, they played a favourite of mine that Don did on his own, Boys of Summer and again, I loved every minute.

I'm kind of sad to realise I will probably never get to see them live again but feel so lucky to have attended this concert and experienced their music live!

ps. sorry for the terrible pic - I had to rely on my iphone as I haven't cleared my camera memory for U2 & Jay Z.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jay Z & U2...

were amazing!!!!! No surprises there though :)

S, C, L, M, D and I had the best time seeing The Concert of The Year. It was especially great for C, L, M and I as we went to the Vertigo tour together 4 years ago.

We found the Suncorp venue to be a huge improvement over ANZ and found access, entry and the facilities much improved to the last concert.

I ended up recording so much footage on my Ixus that my 4gb memory card was full before the end!

Loved Jay Z performing Empire State of Mind and Run This Town. Such a great sound and nice and loud how we like it!

U2 made a grand rockstar style entrance and as usual, had the best sound! Bono's voice is just incredible - even S agreed and he didn't even like U2 until he saw them live. It was so funny cause S only came to see Jay Z and ended up loving U2, being the first one to stand and cheer.

My only disappointment was the show closed on a low note without a big hit and they didn't play Angel of Harlem.

My highlights were One with a video message from Desmond Tutu and Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Such a powerful band with a powerful message - they gave me tingles almost the whole time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Christmas Tree - minus tinsel

The tree is finally up at home.

It was a bit of a drawn out task with me intending to erect it on the 29th then 30th November till I was admonished by S for daring to do this task before the 1st December. I patiently attempted to explain fellow blogger FF's theory behind following a retail Christmas season. There is a lot of method to this considering the time and energy that goes in to erecting a tree and decorating only to be pulled down 30 days later. Unfortunately S wasnt persuaded.

Moving forward, we had our parents over for dinner on Wednesday night the 1st December (I think they were gearing up for some 'special news' considering both couples were invited which usually only happens on special occasions like birthdays or fathers day etc). Sadly they were disappointed - no way am I getting pregnant before my wedding! No champagne at the best celebration of my life? I dont think so people!

The parents didnt vacate till almost 10pm because we were having sucha lovely time but long dinners are not conducive to Christmas tree erecting and decorating. Once they left, S pulled the tree out of the box and proceeded to put it together discovering that our tree had a 6 month warranty - bizarre we thought considering it is up for a month then in a box for 11 so where is the value? Anyway, this left me to detangle the tree lights - WORST. JOB. EVER!

Finally we each completed our tasks, rigged the lights and decided the decorations would just have to wait till the following day which worked well as I was quite motivated to complete the task after work and knocked the job over in no time.

If you notice on our tree, I decided to forgo tinsel on the tree this year. Not that I have anything against tinsel, I just felt it made the tree look to messy and untidy.

Like our angel? Angels on Christmas trees are very important to me (I get it from my mother who has about 12 Angel Christmas decorations she whips out at this time of year) and last year I even settled for a star on top as I couldn't find the perfect angel. I still think there is room for improvement but I'm pretty happy with this one at the moment - S and I snapped her up in an after Christmas sale.

See our Christmas stockings? We exchanged these our first Christmas together - S had mine made and embroidered with my name while I had his ordered from England in honour of his favourite sporting team. My stocking is enormous and S fills it with presents every year (love him).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today's purchases - dont tell S!!!

I popped over to Pacific Fair in my lunch break as the very efficient CR staff had already taken delivery of my Body Con dress (see below).

As I was picking up the dress I dangerously recalled that I had a spend and save for CR and of course saving $100 is so much better than $50 so spent 30 minutes hunting the store for things to buy while holding tightly to my new dress - I kid you not, there were several customers stalking me around the store and i'm sure its because I was holding the dress.

In addition to The Dress, I also picked up:

Black gathered top

Cream denim skirt
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree... no, seriously, I got a Silver Turtle Dove ornament for the Christmas tree (no pic, it was just to push me over the $300)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quick update on my below post

Manage to pop in to CR today - GOOD NEWS!

They can source the dress I want in time for the Christmas party and thanks to VIP status there will be no charge for the sourcing.

I dont know why some twit has posted on their facebook page that the dress is sold out Australiawide - Pacific Fair had 2 larges in store and had several stores with a good quantity of small and mediums.

I think it will be perfect work Christmas party attire and later on, a great addition to my casual summer wardrobe - what do you think M if you are still reading me?

Work Christmas Party

So the boss and I have come up with a pretty novel way of celebrating Christmas for the office this year ...

Some background: last year we had a sit down lunch at Saks Marina Mirage on the Broadwater including a 3 course menu and bar tab followed by dancing in the lounge bar area till about 6pm - I continued with S and another girl from work and her husband to Fisho's which was a bad bad idea. There is a reason I never go to Fisho's but I seem to have forgot that after a lot of Sav Blancs!

Anyway, there are about 45-50 of us in total this year and while we loved Saks last year, they are not having any entertainment in the lounge bar this year so we elected to explore other options.

What we have come up with is: hiring the local Surf Club, serving Farmers Market antipastos, having caterers serve a 2 coures Christmas buffet (baked ham, turkey etc) and the best part of all ... I have secured a DJ & Karaoke host so we are now planning a karaoke comp with all the staff getting in to it - numbers already reserved include 'Single Ladies' and 'KC & the Sunshine Band - that's the way i like it'. Should make for a hilarious afternoon!

Dilemna however ... I need something to wear. It's a Sunday afternoon and reasonably casual so I need to come up with something that is stylish, comfortable, workplace appropriate - is that too tall an order?

I am thinking of this dress from my one stop shop CR:

The bad news is I have heard it is sold out - will inspect this evening :)