Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year + Our 6 Year Anniversary!

For those of you who don't already know (or couldn't guess from the post title), today is mine and B's six year anniversary which we just happen to share with a little universal celebration called New Years Eve. :P

Usually our anniversary is a bit of a dilemma for us as we are almost always invited to hang out and celebrate with friends (which we love to do!) but at the same time we would also love to have some one on one time to celebrate our relationship milestone. Fortunately this year we have arranged a little farewell shindig with our friends for Friday the 2nd of January, leaving today free for us to spend as we please.

I am currently writing this post a couple of weeks in advance so I'm not entirely sure what we will end up doing today, but the last time I checked we were going to go out to dinner and a movie and then possibly spend the night at my brother-in-law's hotel in the city. :)

What are your plans for New Years Eve? When do you celebrate your anniversary?

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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Snap Happy Sunday // Christmas + Ellie's Birthday!

Christmas morning at Mums. We were all very blessed.
Mum's dog Joey blending in with the Christmas toys.
Lucas and I on Christmas night.
Lucas opening one of his presents from me.
Lucas and the toy dachshund that my step family gave me.
Lucas loved his light up Christmas hat.
Ellie and I on boxing day, posing for Ellie's 1st birthday!
She loved her new bone.
Such a cutie! Hard to believe she is one already!

Hey everyone! This is just a quick, photo heavy post to share some of the special moments from the past few days with you. It's been an absolute whirlwind as expected, and probably one of the best Christmas's yet.

We spent Christmas Eve at my Nana's house, Christmas morning at my Mum's house, Christmas afternoon at Ben's Aunt and Uncle's house, Christmas night and boxing day at my Dad's house, and then boxing day night back at my Mum's house to celebrate Ellie's 1st birthday.

We actually took a hell of a lot more photos than this, but because we are moving tomorrow I don't really have the time to share any more before the move. We spent most of yesterday packing and today will be the same. Wish us luck!

What did you get up to for Christmas? Feel free to share your Christmas posts in the comments!

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Friday, 26 December 2014

Happy 1st Birthday Ellie!

Twelve photos of Ellie over the past 12 months!

I know today is Boxing Day and that no one is probably even going to read this, but I just couldn't let today go by without wishing our little Ellie a happy first birthday!

This past year that you have been with us has been the best year of my life so far. Just knowing that you are completely ours for the next 14+ years of our lives (the vet estimates you'll live for at least 14 years, but I estimate 20 years!) brings me so much joy and a love I never knew before we welcomed you into our hearts.

You are the funniest, quirkiest, and just down right adorable little doggy that either of us has ever known. Don't get me wrong, we've adored all of our other dogs that we've shared with our families, but there's just something extra special about owning a dog all of your own. You are essentially my child. I think about you all the time. I worry about you when I'm not home and I miss you whenever I'm gone. You mean so much more to me than a few words in a blog post could ever describe, and I am thankful every day that you made your way into our lives.

Happy 1st birthday Ellie!  Here's to twenty more! x

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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Merry Christmas, Moving + Hiatus!

Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the lead up to Christmas! This is just a short blog post to wish you guys a very merry Christmas, and to let you know what's going to happen with this blog over the next few weeks.

In case you haven't already heard (which is very unlikely), B, Ellie and I are about to move to Townsville. We're going to be spending the next few days visiting our families for Christmas, then B and I are heading back to our current unit to do all the last minute packing and cleaning before the removalists come on the 29th. Once the removalists have taken all of our furniture we will be spending the next week living at my Mums whilst our furniture is in transit (it can take up to 10 business days). During this time I obviously won't have my computer, so I have scheduled a few blog posts to pop up in my absence.

We are still not sure of exactly when we will have the internet set up at our new place, but we are hoping for no later than the middle of January. As soon as we have the internet I will be letting you guys know as I am aware that there are a few of you who are keen for me to commence my blog design services again. ;)

I'm going to be fairly busy once we move into the new place as I will be busy looking for work (whilst also working in my design business), as well as trying to get the place tidy and organised. So if the blog posts are few and far between for a while, this is probably the reason.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the rest of 2014 and I look forward to catching up again in the new year!

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Snap Happy Sunday // B's Graduation + Uni Ball.

On Tuesday the 16th of December, after 8 years of study, B graduated from Uni with a Doctor of Medicine. It was one of the most exciting days of our lives and one that we will never forget. Words cannot even come close to describing just how proud and elated I felt for B as he walked across that stage to receive his well earned diploma. His family was extremely proud of him as well as you can see from the photos above. :)

The day after the graduation Ceremony was B's graduation Uni Ball. It was a very fancy occasion so I had my hair and makeup done by my cousin and her friend beforehand. I decided to wear the same dress that I wore to my school formal just over 8 years ago. This was the second time I've ever worn the dress, so it was great to show it off again. B and I had such a wonderful time that night - the food was amazing, the music was great, and they even had a free photobooth set up in the corner!

Congratulations B! You deserve everything you've achieved and more!

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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Things I'm feeling hopeful about.

I'm not sure what it is about this time of year, but I always find myself feeling hopeful and optimistic as soon as December 1st rolls around. Perhaps I'm just getting into the Christmas spirit, or maybe I'm simply anticipating the new year, whatever the reason though I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to.

Some of the things I'm feeling hopeful about at the moment (because who doesn't love a good list) are:

- Securing a new job as soon as possible after we make the move to Townsville. I'm hoping to work at Peter Alexander, but any job would be amazing!

- Finding the perfect rental property for us, with the perfect lease start date. [EDIT: We got the house we wanted!]

- I'm also very optimistic that our furniture will arrive on time or at least within the first few days of getting the keys to our new place. ;)

- That the 17 hour road trip to Townsville will be more exciting than it will be exhausting, and that we won't die of heatstroke before we even get there.

- That Townsville will be just as beautiful as it appears to be in photos and in the stories of those who have been there/lived there before.

- That the perfect baby fur-brother for Ellie will be born in the next few weeks and will be ready for us to take him home as soon as we're settled in.

Last but not least, I am hopeful that 2015 will be the year of growth in mine and B's relationship. I already know that I want to spend the rest of my life with this incredible human being, I just hope that 2015 will solidify this for us in more ways than one. :)

What are you feeling hopeful about at the moment? Are you excited for 2015 and everything it has in store?

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

End of year design work!

Wow! I can't believe it is almost the end of 2014.. this year flew by so much faster than I ever expected it to. Fortunately this year has been great for my design business. It's grown so much since the beginning of the year, and I've made so many wonderful friendships through my interactions with clients. :)

Anyway, before I go getting all emotional, here are just a handful of the designs that I have recently completed in the last month and a half. I'd normally schedule this sort of post for the end of the month, but since we're going to be moving house around that time I thought it would be best to get in early.

Custom Blog Design for Emily from Emily Norris

Custom Blog Design for Zita from It's Time

Custom Blog Design for Fleur from FleurDanielle

Custom Blog Design for Meaghan from Meaghan's Spirit

Custom Blog Design for Paula from Paula Nagy

Custom Header Design for Charlotte from LilMissChickas

Also, in case you haven't heard, I am shutting down my design business from now until the end of January (or until we have internet set up at our new place). So if you're interested in working with me in the new year, please drop me an email sometime mid-late January and we will work out a time to get started on your new design!

Thanks for a wonderful year everyone! x

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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Snap Happy Sunday // Meeting Peter Alexander!

In case you haven't already seen on Instagram, B and I took Ellie to meet Peter Alexander at his Gold Coast Robina store on Friday. It was a very last minute thing as we actually had our car in the mechanic that day, but when the mechanic finished up early I took it as a sign that we just had to go and meet Peter.

If you don't know who Peter Alexander is, he's basically this incredibly talented sleepwear designer that also happens to share in my somewhat obsessive love of dachshunds. I've been wearing his sleepwear for years now and always opt for one of his dachshund prints (duh!). His pyjamas are amazing quality and have lasted me upwards of 5+ seasons. :)

To be able to work in a Peter Alexander store one day would be to truly live the dream. Not only do you get to go to work in your gorgeous P.A. Pyjamas, but you get to work under the name of such a kind hearted and talented man.

Peter, if you're reading this, I would LOVE to work in your Townsville store once we move up in January! ;)

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Friday, 12 December 2014


Ellie caught sleeping in the washing basket

Reading:  Nothing, I'm just far too busy at the moment. Next up I want to read 'Not That Kind of Girl' by Lena Dunham.

Watching:  'Friends' reruns - for the millionth time. Most of our favourite tv shows seem to be on a break at the moment, so Friends it is!

Listening to:  T. Swift and a bunch of old 90's and early 2000's hits. :)

Smelling:  My homemade parmesan tomato soup cooking in the slow cooker. Yum!

Thinking about:  All the things we still need to get done before the move, and all the people we want to say farewell to.

Wishing:  That we get approved for the rental we applied for a couple of days ago. It is absolutely perfect for us and the rent is super affordable. I think I might cry if we don't get it.

Working on:  Finishing up my last couple of design jobs for the year and trying to clear up my skin in time for B's graduation and end of year Uni ball next week.

Loving:  How quickly December has flown by so far. I am so excited for Christmas and even more excited for our big move!

Anticipating:  Meeting Peter Alexander in approximately 1.5 hours! You can expect to see photos in the next few days. :D

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Christmas Tag!

Photos taken from my Granddad's 2014 family Christmas party.

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s? 
Probably 'Home Alone'. Although I do enjoy any feel good family movie over the holidays.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Up until recently we have always opened our presents on Christmas morning. Lately though we have been opening them up (or at least some of them up) on Christmas eve at my Mum's place. :)

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
The first time I ever woke up in the middle of the night to find that the stocking on the end of my bed had been filled by Santa. Such a magical and exciting moment in my childhood!

4. Favourite festive food?
Pavlova and roast dinner. I'm not a fan of minced pies or Christmas pudding.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?
I love getting anything dachshund related, or anything that I've picked out myself! ;)

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Tinsel haha!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
We usually spend it with my Nana and some of the other family members from Mum's side of the family.

8. What tops your tree?
A star.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
A Gymnast Stacie Barbie doll! I'm still pissed about this til this day haha!

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Spending time with family, watching their faces as they open their presents, oh.. and the food! :D

Thank you to Leah and Rachel for inviting me to complete this years Christmas tag. I tag anyone and everyone who loves Christmas enough to write about it. ;)

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Monday, 8 December 2014

Why it is never okay to comment on someone else's weight. Ever.

The reason I chose to use a photograph of a brick wall for this post is because this is how I feel about about people bringing up someone else's weight. It's a no go topic and shouldn't be brought up unless the person whose body weight you are discussing invites you to do so personally - and even then you still need to tread carefully.

There are many reasons why one shouldn't make comments about someone else's weight, but the main reasons that stand out to me personally are:

1. You don't know why that person is the weight that they are.
Whether the person in question is extremely thin, overweight or what you personally deem to be a "healthy" size you don't necessarily know the reasons behind their current weight. Take me for example - back when I was a teenager I ate crap constantly, exercised a little, but had a very fast metabolism. I was considered slim and looked healthy on the outside, yet I wasn't all that healthy at all. Fast forward a few years and I had started medication for my sleeping disorder. Despite still eating heaps of food (and unhealthy food at that) this medication made me lose a lot of weight and I was very skinny. People constantly told me I needed to eat more food despite already eating way too much. They didn't see the real reason behind my sudden weight change and they didn't care to. Fast forward to now and people are noticing that I have gained roughly 10kg in the past year. What people aren't seeing is that I have a (proven) slower than normal metabolism after restricting my eating in recent years (I have well and truly learned my lesson - don't worry!), that I have switched up and stopped taking certain medications, that I stopped going to the gym because I was busy concentrating on my design business and because I simply couldn't afford to, or that I am under a lot of stress that I don't often talk about. People also can't see that despite all of this I am still eating very healthy/clean 90% of the time, and that aside from special occasions, all I ever drink is water. Instead they see a girl who has completely let herself go, because how else could I have possibly gained 15kg in the space of a year?

2. You wouldn't like it if people were commenting on your own weight.
Unless you've recently lost/gained some weight through lots of purposeful hard work and effort, you probably wouldn't like it if someone randomly commented on your weight. If you have lost/gained some weight and want some recognition for it, be loud and proud and let people know what you have achieved to spark the conversation. Otherwise, I think people should always play it safe and not comment on someone's appearance unless it is a general, non weight related compliment (e.g. "You look beautiful today", "That dress looks amazing on you", "What shade of lipstick are you wearing?" etc.). Even when you think you're giving someone a compliment (i.e. "Have you lost/gained weight? You look great!") if you're focusing on their weight then you're basically saying that what they looked like before wasn't all that wonderful. Whilst some people might simply take the compliment, there are plenty of people who will look for the negative so it's just not worth the risk. In saying that - I once had a friend who had lost a bunch of weight in the space of a few months but I didn't say anything as I thought she looked perfect regardless, and she got really offended by this and thought that I was being rude for not noticing - so there will always be exceptions to this rule, you can't win them all!

3. It's rude and judgemental, and it can make people lose trust/respect in you.
I don't know about you guys, but when someone comments on my weight (particularly if it's obvious that they're not trying to give a compliment) I immediately lose most - if not all - of my respect for that person. Their comments tend to sit with and usually stay with me forever. I begin to fear catching up with these people in the future for fear of them passing judgement on me. I also lose trust in them as I feel unsupported by them in the grand scheme of things. Sadly, nine times out of ten these people will never even apologise for the things they have said. What's even more sad is that they probably don't even realise that what they have said is wrong! :( I'll also lose respect/trust in people who bitch about other people's weight behind their backs. If I have a friend who does this they generally won't be my friend for very long, as more than likely they're bitching about me behind my back as well.

4. It speaks more of you than it does of them.
Please don't think that by writing this post that I think of myself as this perfect person who never passes judgement on anyone - that isn't the case at all. In fact, it's because I've passed judgement on people in the past that I feel the need to write this post. What I've learned is that whenever you pass judgement on another person (whether it be to their face or behind their back), you are usually doing so to make you feel better about yourself in some way, whether you realise it or not. For example, commenting on someone else's weight could be a way to draw attention away from and make you feel better about your acne covered chin, or the fact that you don't have a job, or just anything that you're not particularly happy about at that point in time. Once I realised the real reason I was passing judgement on other people, aside from feeling incredibly guilty about the poor people that I had passed judgement on in the past (who I've apologised to by the way), I began to see it as a blessing in disguise that I now had a way of knowing when I needed to take a good hard look at myself in the mirror (metaphorically speaking of course!) and figure out what exactly is making me feel down about myself.

Now, you're probably wondering what sparked the idea for me to write up this blog post aren't you? Don't worry, I'd be curious too! Basically what happened was that this past weekend I went to a family Christmas gathering where one of my Uncles said "Wow! I didn't recognise you.. you've put on so much weight!". I have no idea whether he meant that as a backwards compliment (although I very much doubt it) but the comment made me feel like absolute shit. I then had to eat Christmas lunch (where there were no healthy options available), regretting every mouthful I put into my body.

This isn't the first time a family member has commented on my weight either. Two of my Aunts, two of my grandparents, several of my cousins.. heck, even my parents! My friends (well, my current friends) and my partner are the only ones who have had the sense not to comment on my weight full stop. My parents are very supportive of me in their comments, so I can't hold anything they've said against them, but I'd still prefer it if my weight was never brought up by my family at all.

I'm actually scared to attend a couple of upcoming Christmas gatherings because I'm afraid of what certain people are going to say. One family member in particular will physically poke my stomach (hard!) and comment on my weight, letting me know that I need to go to the gym and perhaps skip desserts this Christmas! (I also used to have a friend whose husband would poke me in the stomach back when I was slim and tell me that I needed to gain weight - appalling, inappropriate and unforgivable behaviour really). One should not have to feel this way around their family (or friends), and especially not at Christmas.

It's time we start standing up for ourselves and letting people know that is NOT okay to comment on someone else's body. Who's with me?!

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Saturday, 6 December 2014

Advice for anyone wanting to start a blog.


Something that I encounter a lot as a blog designer are first time bloggers who are not quite sure of what they're getting into. Often these bloggers will ask me for advice, which I am more than happy to give, but rather than repeating myself time and time again I thought it might be a good idea to write up some of my advice in a blog post that I can then refer clients to when I need to.

I'm not the best at giving advice as I tend to ramble on a lot and go off in all different directions, so please bare with me if you find this post hard to follow.

In terms of general start-up advice, I would definitely suggest:

1. Choosing a blog name that is unique, that is YOU, and that is not already taken.

2. You should then go ahead and make sure that this name isn't already taken on other forms of social media as well, and if it isn't, sign up to all forms of social media with that name immediately - even if you don't intend on using that form of social media straight away. By doing this you will be ensuring that your branding is consistent from day one.  Branding is incredibly important in the long run, so please don't take this advice lightly. Social media platforms that I would suggest signing up to are twitter, facebook, instagram, youtube, and pinterest. Once you have set up your blog I would also suggest signing up to bloglovin'.

3. Following on from points 1 & 2, I would definitely consider purchasing your domain name and setting that up from the beginning. It's so affordable to purchase a custom domain these days, and there are plenty of tutorials out there that can show you how to do so.

4. Unless you're completely happy and confident in your own blog designing skills, consider hiring a designer from the get go so that you are all set up and content with your blogging space before you start writing.

5. Do it! Take the leap. Write that first post and start sharing it on social media. Make sure you share the love by reading and commenting on other bloggers' posts too, and then hopefully they'll find your blog and start interacting with you as well.

There you go! Five tips that will hopefully help you to get started if you've been thinking of taking the plunge into the awesome world of blogging. If you have any more questions please leave them in the comments below and will either add them on to this post or write another post entirely. Cheers! :)

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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Six Awesome Christmas Gift Ideas!

Okay, so I'd be lying if I said that this blog post didn't also double as a Christmas wishlist for myself, but who wouldn't be interested in at least one of the below items? There's something for everybody really, guys included - I've already purchased my brother 'Gone Girl' for Christmas after my partner enjoyed the movie so much. :)
1. 'The New Easy' by Donna Hay + 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn 2. Dachshund Bookends 3. Canvas Dachshund Ballet Flats
4. Pineapple Throw Pillow + Triangle Pattern Throw Pillow 5. Mint Green Bicycle 6. Flowers Jug Vase
1. I don't know about you guys, but books have always been my number one gift to give and receive at Christmas. I personally love receiving cookbooks, like this awesome new cookbook titled 'The New Easy' by Donna Hay. Bookworld has an amazing special on at the moment where you can purchase this book (along with tonnes of others) for almost 50% off with free delivery in case you are interested.

2. Even if you don't own a dachshund like I do (seriously though, why not? maybe you should look into that! :P) who wouldn't be delighted to receive a set of dachshund bookends under the tree? This particular set is very affordable and stylish. Kmart also sells a cheaper version (in price and quality) in white if you have a smaller budget though.

3. Oh my gosh! If anyone wants to buy me these canvas dachshund ballet flats for Christmas I will love you forever (I'm a size 9/40!). Such a cute and amazing quality gift for any female in your life!

4. Okay, let's talk throw pillows. They're hard to wrap without giving the surprise away, but who really cares when you know you're getting a throw pillow? Throw pillows are awesome! Particularly if you're getting one of two I have given links for above.

5. Another present that is a little hard to wrap but is 100% awesome is this mint green bicycle that I found on Amazon. I'm not sure what the deal is with shipping, all I know is that I need this bicycle in my life.

6. Last but not least, what better gift to give someone who loves having fresh flowers in the house (or fake, whatever you prefer) than this adorable jug flower vase from Kmart. It is just too cute for words, not to mention super affordable, so it's absolutely perfect!

I hope you guys enjoyed this Christmas wish list gift guide and hopefully I've given you some ideas for your Christmas shopping.

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? If so, what is your favourite item that you have purchased/made for someone so far? :)

*This post was supported by Bookworld.

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