Friday, December 28, 2012

A Quiet Christmas

I can't believe Christmas has been and gone already! My family had a low key kind of Christmas this year. I have a big extended family and every year we take turns in having Christmas at each families house, but this year everyone did their own thing. This year it was a wet & cold Christmas, which is the complete opposite of what this time of the year is generally like here in Australia. Our day started off early so we could go to my parents house and all have breakfast together before Luke had to go to work. It was my favourite kind of breakfast - fluffy pancakes, soaked muesli & fruit. Afterwards we had our present opening session, and we got lots of of cute things for our baby. My sister bought us a baby mat in the shape of a ginger cat, which was by far my favourite thing! Luke & I bought ourselves a joint present this year, we got a Wii & the James Bond movie box set. 

After presents I took Luke to work and went home and made a salad, tidied up and stocked up on some movies and went back to my parents house. When I got there we had cups of tea + Christmas cake and watched a movie all wrapped up in throw rugs. I fell asleep and when I woke up it was lunch time. While everyone else had seafood, my Mum made me a Mexican bean pie. After lunch we watched another movie and started a game of cards while we waited for Luke to finish work. He finished around 5pm and while he ate his Christmas lunch my brother-in-law set up the Wii and they played Mario Kart. My parents neighbours came over for dinner, and some of my parents friends did also, so while they were having drinks outside, things got heated inside over an intense game of Phase Ten between Luke, my sister Ash, my brother-in-law Allan & myself. Tantrums were thrown, and apologies were said!

All up it was a nice, quiet Christmas with my family. And I'm guessing its going to be our last quiet one for a while! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Santa was good to you!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Half Way

This week I passed the half way mark of my pregnancy! The first twelve weeks went at a snails pace, but luckily the past six weeks have just flown by. I have been really lucky not to have experienced any morning sickness, and can safely say the two times I have spewed have been a result of me freaking out about swallowing tablets. I have had a couple of migraines and some minor heartburn, but I will happily settle for those rather than a daily session face first in the toilet. We're finding out the sex the day after Boxing Day, despite being told by various people it is one of the greatest surprises in life. I can't wait to find out so we can then start getting cute little outfits and start getting organised for this exciting change. My Mum bought me these white knitted booties for our little winter baby. I've got them on my bed side table and they are just the most delightful thing to see first thing in the morning!

On a different note, lately blogger has been reverting my published posts to drafts, which is super annoying. Does this happen to anybody else? 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Start Your Week Off With..

There are so many creative and festive DIY's being featured on so many creative and delightful blogs the past couple of days, I just wish I had the time to do some of them! I am a little shocked that December has officially passed the halfway mark, and Christmas is less than two weeks away. The ladies that own the cafe I work at decided to open up another business recently (as in two weeks ago!) and have been rushing around like crazy trying to pull off their own Christmas miracle. In two weeks they were given the go ahead to take over an abandoned business a block down from the cafe, have new contracts drawn up, paint and furnish the shop, and source equipment. So while they have been organising their new venture, I've been working almost everyday. Which has been a pretty lovely distraction because my clothes are starting to get a little snug as my baby bump is starting to show now! Trying on various different outfits and finding most of them no longer work is a little defeating, so I'm quite happy to be wearing my work clothes for now! 

Have a great little week!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fun Fact: I Hated Flowers Until Recently

Until recently I hated flowers. Although the majority of my dresses have a floral print, and I have a fine collection of floral material that I have bought over the years, because I love the look of flowers in print and illustration. I just never got around to appreciating actual flowers. I do believe I even once told Luke when we first started dating that I didn't want him to ever buy them for me. However, during the year I've started to let go of certain things I had a strong aversion to, and have found myself making comments on the colours of flowers. Now, Luke isn't the most perceptive person but when it comes to me making comments about what I like/want/don't like he pays attention and this is one of the reasons why he is the absolute best gift giver! I have like/want/don't like verbal diarrhoea, and especially so in the first three months of my pregnancy. I was constantly saying I wanted things like bagels or a lemon tart, and I would come home from work and Luke would have spent his day off making them for me.

So when Luke started to hear my flower comments he made a note to buy them for me for my birthday. And the night before my birthday I was having cups of tea with my Mum and I told her I was going to be slightly disappointed if Luke didn't buy me flowers for my birthday (and yes I know I am unreasonable sometimes!). And I had to work on my birthday so Luke thought it would be a nice surprise to have flowers sent to my work. However when I came home from work empty handed, Luke got really flustered and told me what he had planned. It turns out the florist had wrote the wrong date down, and I won't lie I was a little disappointed upon hearing it. My Mum's birthday is two days after mine, so my Sister Ash came over for the weekend to see us both and she did not come empty handed. Along with some BB cream + Kora's Rose Hip Body Oil, there was a lovely bunch of orange floral delights for me! The universe clearly wanted me to convert me, and now I totally get the appeal of a receiving a bunch of flowers!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Start Your Week Off With..

The past week has just flown by! Last week it was mine and my Mum's birthdays, and they came just as quickly as they passed and now the next thing is Christmas. I cannot believe that it will be here in just two weeks. The weeks just seem to be passing so quickly lately that I can't keep up with everything. I'm now beginning to understand the benefits of scheduling posts.
Have a great week!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Today I turned 24. My day started off at 5.30am with banana pancakes, mango cheeks and cups of tea prepared by Luke while I was getting ready for work. We had breakfast together, a ritual that we often do not get to enjoy together. I went to work at 7 am, and had a rather pleasant day despite working on my birthday. When I got home Luke & I had cups of tea and scones for afternoon tea, which was followed by a foot massage and a quick cat nap. After a couple of birthday calls from my family, we popped over to my parents house for home made pizza, ginger beer and birthday cake. My parents bought me a Kindle for my birthday, which was a total surprise! My birthday present from Luke awaits me in Sydney, which is where we shall be going tomorrow for city adventures and a lunch date. All up, it was a lovely, low key birthday.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Start Your Week Off With..

Lately I haven't been able to read as many new blogs as I would like to, or comment on and read my favourites. I've been allocating what little spare time I've had the past week to working my way through the illustrations I have been commissioned to do in time for Christmas. During the week when I finished a couple of illustrations, I treated myself to some tea & cookies during a power blog reading session. I came across three new blogs this week that I am delighted to share with you all. I cannot get enough of Erica from Caught On A Whim, each of her posts is just as delightful as the last and I'm excited to be swapping buttons with her this month. If you're looking for a new lady to love with some fresh DIY's, then Erica is your lady! I also came across Veggie Table, a lifestyle blog about a couple and their furry third wheel, and Polka Dots & Whiskers, which is written by a young lady who lives in Newcastle. I was a Novocastrian for four years, so it is always exciting to come across bloggers that live close to home. 

Have a great little week!

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Recent Custom Portrait

Late last week I finished up this custom illustration for the loveliest lady, Edie. She is a customer at my work and a couple of months ago she asked me about one of my tattoos and the conversation led to how I studied graphic design and love drawing custom portraits of people. So for her son's birthday she was putting together a photo book of all the travelling they have done together and this illustration is going to be on the cover of the book. I think it is going to be such a sweet gift and I can't wait to hear about it when she gets home from giving it to him. Edie & her son are from California, so it is also exciting to think that one of my illustrations will find a home half way across the world! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

That Time Of The Month

Would you like to swap buttons for the month of December? I'd love to hear from you! Send me a 230x110 size button to laurenemily[at]y7mail[dot]com

Start Your Week Off With..

I'm sure you've all started your week off just fine by now, so here are some posts to enjoy on your Tuesday afternoon! I had such a great start to the week, I spent yesterday morning reading with cups of tea, thrifted some great pieces of clothing before lunch, visited my parents for afternoon lemonades, and made a quinoa dish for dinner. Mermaiden's thrifting tips definitely inspired me to make the most out of my day off and I'm so glad because I'm still excited over what I bought. I can't wait to share my purchases on here in the next few days. Have a great week! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Story Time With Chestnut Mocha

Today Katie & Ben from Chestnut Mocha are sharing their delightful story behind one of their favourite photographs. As soon as I finished reading this gem, I had to read it again because I loved it so much & I couldn't stop smiling! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
*   *   *   *   *
This is a photo of Katie in Montana, taken by Ben when she was far away.
Ben went to school in Bozeman, Montana. I studied Hotel Management in Russia and went to Montana for an internship for two summers in a row. Ben and I might have met earlier, but the first time I came to Bozeman, Ben was studying abroad in France. We finally met on my second summer and became really good friends. When the summer was over, I went back to university in Russia and Ben (who had just finished university) went to South Korea to teach English to kindergarteners.  Just after he arrived there, I had a chance to take a trip to visit him.  We had a really good time, and although it was a little crazy, we started dating long distance, visiting when we could.  There were long spaces of time between our visits and it was really hard to miss each other so much. As soon as his teaching contract in Korea ended, Ben moved to Russia to be with me, but after just a couple of months, he had to go home to the US for six weeks to get a new work visa.  We had spent so much time apart that even the short trip was a wrench. While waiting for his documents in Idaho, he took a trip to Montana and brought this photo of me along. He posted this picture on Facebook and wrote: "Thanks for coming with me :-* " This April, three years after meeting each other, we got married. We moved to the US in June and took a trip back to Montana. We took new photos in the same place, this time together. 
Thank you Katie & Ben for sharing this little sweetheart of a story!

If you would like to share your favourite photo + the story behind it on Tastes Like Love, send me an email!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little Joys In A New Purchase

After we had our scan last Thursday Luke & I stopped by the shops to get some sushi rolls and so I could quickly look for a new everyday bag. Until I can choose the right satchel from either The Cambridge Satchel Company or Bohemian Living, I settled for this navy Agent NinetyNine Oxford satchel. We were on our way back to the car park when I quickly looked in General Pants on a whim and saw this satchel sitting by itself on the bag rack. I was already in the best mood after seeing my baby for the first time, so I quickly snapped this up and made a beeline to the counter. As I was waiting to be served I was giving the bag a last minute once over to make sure I was making the right choice as the side stitching looked a little shabby. I justified my decision by how delightful it was going to be to see the bright and happy pink lining every time I would open my bag. And if the pink lining wasn't a good enough excuse, the surprise $30 mark down sure was! The tag read $49.99, and I ended up only paying $19.99 which totally made my day even better than it already had been. It is these types of little joys and ones similar that happen often, and often go unappreciated. So lately I have been making a conscious effort to appreciate the little joys like successfully making dinner without Luke's help or finding an item of clothing I thought I had thrown out last spring clean. Because little joys make every day life exciting. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Start Your Week Off With..

I was pleasantly surprised to wake up this morning and find I was headache free after having a horrible one all week. So my day is already off to a good start! I have a lot of catching up to do around here, and my to do list for the week is already looking pretty scary. Enjoy your Monday!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Did I mention I'm Having A Baby?

Aside from having a persistent headache since Wednesday, this week has been fantastic. I slept in on my days off, the days I did work went really fast and I finished off a drawing that I've been working on for what feels like forever. Thursday was a particularly exciting day for Luke & I. I had morning tea and a much needed catch up with my friend Holly before a much anticipated appointment - our 13 week scan where we got to see our baby for the first time! Even though it was too early to be told what we were having, I have a feeling we're having a girl. It was such an amazing experience to see how big our little baby has grown since the first scan we had where she was just the size of a tiny little rice grain. Because this is such a new experience to me I had no idea of what to expect, so when our little baby started to do summersaults and cover her eyes with her little hands it genuinely surprised us both! Everything was measured up and photographed, and so far everything looks good. Now that we've heard the heartbeat and seen our little babies organs and movements, it feels like it is actually happening and we both couldn't be more excited about everything that is going to happen!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Monthly Agenda / November

1 / 2 / 3 / 4
Last month just happened so quickly, it slipped my mind to post last month's agenda! New month, new needs! I've been waiting for ages for Lisa Mitchell's second album, and a couple of days ago I treated myself to it. She definitely isn't every bodies cup of tea, and although I totally get her, most of the people I talk to don't. Whenever I get a second release of one of my favourite artists, I always find it really hard to warm to their new albums. I've only just realised how fantastic The National's High Violet is, and its a couple of years old now. But I'm already really loving Bless This Mess just as much as Wonder. It is less cutesy, and more open minded. 

Now that the warmer weather is upon us, I've decided to try and give up my daily stocking addiction. I'm starting to think I have one. I actually don't wear anything that I can't finish the outfit off with a pair of black stockings. So in an attempt to ween myself off them, I need to build a collection of longer t-shirt/tunic style dresses that I can wear cute sandals with. I've been wanting to do this for a while, and a pair of salt water sandals will be the greatest motivation to do so. Something else that I have wanted to do for a while is read another novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, and I liked the sound of The Marriage Plot so while I was at the shops a couple of weeks ago I picked it up. If you've read it, let me know what you think. And this month I want to give in and make (or get Luke to make it!) a vegetable frittata. They seem to be everywhere lately, and Luke is always offering to make me one, but I just haven't been drawn to them. I'm really motivated to get everything on my list made/read/bought this month! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Start Your Week Off With..

Good morning, good morning! This lovely sunny Monday of mine is going to be spent doing very little. While my boss was overseas for two weeks I spent a lot of my time at work, so today is going to be one of those catching up on emails & cute blogs, starting new custom portraits, tidying my desk, painting my nails, and drinking pineapple juice kind of days.