Monthly Round Up: July;

July was a relatively quiet month. Following my report submission last month, I spent this month studying and having mock interviews with industry professionals. Most days looked like this: wake up, work, study, work, gym/sauna and sleep.

The sauna is my go to place in the winter months, especially now that I’m living in Melbourne. I think there’s nothing more relaxing than a sauna session before bed and when I finally decide what city I will base myself in, my future home will definitely have a sauna!

July wasn’t ALL about herbanating. H moved over from New Zealand so we went to Myrtles Crepes one Sunday; I finally checked out Chez Dre`, Lentil as Anything & Axil Roasters. Highly recommend them all!

Haloumi & corn fritter from Axil Roasters. YUM!

& after talking to my housemate one evening and realising we both love Christmas, we hosted a little Xmas in July party at our place which fell on Saturday 25th (couldn’t of been more perfect!)

We had a Christmas tree, santa hats/christmas sweaters, the best homemade gingerbread cookies, mulled wine and a room filled with lovely people. It honestly felt like Christmas.

Only 5 more months until Christmas time in December 😀

The Christmas Orphan;

xmasOver the last few years, I’ve spent more time being a Christmas orphan than with my parents on Christmas Day. I choose to be an orphan not because I don’t get along with my parents, I love them dearly, it’s just that growing up an only kid, in a small family, Christmas Day is never anything special.

I like to do something different every Christmas so in the last few years, there’s been a Christmas with S and her extended family (which is HUGE) in Auckland, a Christmas in London as the snow fell down outside, Christmas in Perth spent at the beach, another Auckland summer Christmas but with my other best friend K and her Russian family and then a night with friends. But this year, I didn’t really think it through.

I thought, “Hey I’m in Melbourne, something will come up”. And then as it got closer to the day, I thought I’d use the day as time to myself. I had a big sleep in, did some washing and sent off a few messages to loved ones. But then the sadness came out of nowhere.

I thought about what an amazing Christmas I had last year and this year didn’t even compare. I chose to move to Melbourne in November so I could do something different this Christmas and New Years but for a second there, I really regretted the timing of it all.

I snapped out of it pretty quickly though. I googled the highest point near the coast, packed a massive beach bag and a journal and went for a drive. Being new to the city with zero data left on my phone, I went for a drive with no destination and no GPS. And you know what? It felt incredible just driving around unfamiliar streets with nowhere to be and no time limit.

By the time I got home, my housemates were home, along with their extended family and Christmas 2014 turned out to be one of the most memorable ones to date.

I’d love to know, what did everyone do for Christmas this year?

New traditions;

I’ve been feeling pretty down this past month, thinking about my current stand still situation & how I’m not spending my Christmas back home (in New Zealand). But on Christmas Eve, things changed. Last minute, I got home from work & drove down to the beach where some friends were meeting for dinner. It wasn’t anything special, just the easiest things we could find at the local supermarket but it was a good night. We talked, we laughed, we watched the sun go down and then we went to a friends house nearby where I had a little bonding session with two other kiwi’s not only from Auckland, but from one suburb away from where I grew up (craaaaaaaaazy small world!)

And you know what? I had a great time on Christmas Eve & then again meeting up with some girlfriends on Christmas night. Maybe Perth isn’t so bad! (lets not talk about the 42 degree weather though).

Christmas Eve with some friends

Christmas night

Merry Christmas!

Christmas lunch

My flight into New Zealand was delayed so instead of flying in 11PM Christmas eve, I touched down at 3AM Christmas morning. No such thing as a sleep in because we were opening presents and drinking champagne by 9AM. I spent Christmas day with my best friend S and her family, who after 14 years, feels like my own family.

We had breakfast at her mums house and then went to her dads for lunch with the extended family. I don’t have a very big family and because we’re spread out between Australia, New Zealand and Russia, it makes family gatherings very small. Most years, I choose to spend Christmas with a big group, either friends and their parents or like last year, with a bunch of other Christmas orphans (friends in another country with no family- not actual orphans!).

This Christmas was awesome. Drinking in the sun, spending the day with the family I’ve grown up with, S’s sister, step-sisters, mum, dad, step-parents, grandparents and I even met an uncle that is a property valuer! (what I’m studying at university).

Here’s some pictures from the day:

One of my favourite houses with its indoor/outdoor flow

Lunch preparations

Possibly the healthiest meal I’ve eaten in 2 weeks!

Christmas Day was amazing. I’m hoping I get another invite next year…

It’s christmas time!

This Thursday, I fly out to Melbourne for 2 days and then off to New Zealand for just over 2 weeks. Even though I was only in NZ in July, I miss all my friends like crazy. Past few months have been crazy busy with starting a new job & moving out so I’m looking forward to 2 weeks in the sun, doing nothing but relaxing and hanging out with my friends.

Now, to finish writing all my christmas cards and to start packing! I’ve never been good at getting things ready on time. Think that may be a new years resolution…

One year on;

On the 1st of December 2010, I was walking the streets of London with L and the place resembled something very close to the image above. Christmas lights were up, the snow had just flown and the place felt so magical.

Everyone thought I was crazy to go traveling in the winter time especially because Perth was heating up to 30 degrees most days but as soon as I touched down in London, I felt at home.

Maybe it’s the Russian in me but that was my first white christmas in 15 years. I bought a christmas sweater for roughly 15 pounds and then L & I got a christmas tree and decorations. We had two other Australian girls join us as orphans in London & it was one of the best christmas’s ever.

Christmas 2010

Now fast forward one year and every part of my body wishes I was back there. Whenever I hear Tina mention christmas preparation in Sweden, all of me gets a little sadder each time.

I think I belong in the Northern hemisphere. Now I just need to get through the next 3 years of uni & then I can move there. Until then, it will just have to be holidays!