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Post-Wedding Feels

1 Feb

First off, I’d like to wish the Hive a Happy Chinese New Year. May the Year of the Horse bring each and every one of you good luck, joy, prosperity, and good fortune. 🙂

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Yay, Stupid Fox! / Image via the StupidFox Facebook page.

Now, I thought I’d post this before recaps.

Most couples get to ride off into their honeymoon after the wedding, but Mr Big and I went straight back into life. Our honeymoon won’t be until April 2014 (more on that later!), so that meant after one week of rushing around getting everything sorted for the wedding, we spent another week catching up with out-of-town and in-town guests.

The week after the wedding was fabulous, but crazy. Mr Big and I both agreed though that every second of our time spent was worth it (even though we were so tired by the end of every single day). I won’t go through everything we did – I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves:

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A caricature with some awesome friends in Chinatown. / Photo via Friend Car (the one on the bottom right), caricature by an awesome artist in Chinatown.

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Mr Big getting his caricature on. / Personal photo.

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Skyping with family in Indonesia. You can’t really see, but the person in the little inset is my grandmother, who couldn’t make it to the wedding. / Image by Cousin Fray, who took this on the other side of the Skype screen.

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Saying farewell and good luck to BM Superhero, who moved to SF a few days after the wedding. 😦 She stayed for a little bit longer in Australia to attend the wedding. I have awesome friends. We got her the Despicable Me PoP! Vinyls (top right). / Photo by BM Superhero.

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Making creepy faces at the camera while eating Kiwi-Style fish and chips. In this photo, from bottom to top, Friend Hocks, Friend Car, Mr Big, and me (with the creepy eyes). / Photo by Mr Big.

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Taking pictures with Bighorn Sheep relatives in Taronga Zoo, while hanging out with awesome friends GM Xbox and Good Luck Lady Lucky and their ADORBS two kids. Mr Big unfortunately had the sun in his eyes (it’s good being short sometimes). Also, notice the ring! / Personal photo.

After a whirlwind week of eating, drinking, socialising, and eating (I kid you not, I must have gained at least 5kgs that week), we had to go back to work/university in the coming week.

Fortunately, Mr Big’s work flew him out to Melbourne for a week and he took me along with. Because Monday was a public holiday (Australia Day!), we spent the day shopping up a storm in Melbourne Central (discounts, ftw!) and watching movies (we watched 2 in one day, it was awesome). And then commenced the work!

I’ve basically been sorting out my university work before university officially begins in March. Mr Big has been at work and has been smashing it (he’s a genius, he is).

I did however get a post-wedding chop:

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I called myself psychotic in this photo. BM Cupcakes agreed. And yes, I’m wearing a Batman tee. / Personal photo.

And just to cap this post off, our first meal as a married couple was KFC.

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It was then I realised how much I hated it.

Who else had a whirlwind first week as a married couple? Does my hair look ok guys?

 

The B-Word

8 Oct

A few months after GP and I were officially engaged, I told myself that I wouldn’t become that awful B-word that gets thrown around so casually by others.

A Bridezilla.

Source: feministwedding.blogspot.com

*INSERT GODZILLA ROAR* // Image taken from feministwedding.blogspot.com.

Urban Dictionary defines the ‘bridezilla’ as a noun, formed from blending the words bride and Godzilla (Japanese movie monster), used to describe a woman whose behaviour becomes outrageously bad in the course of planning her wedding.

Now for the record, I think I’m pretty chill.

I can get excited, enthusiastic even, but I don’t like pushing other people to do things unless it’s absolutely necessary. For example, if there’s a time-constraint and the task has been put off for FAR too long, I get that shit going. Otherwise, I like people to take things in their own time. To my vendors, I’m clear, concise, polite and always ready to hear their ideas. I apologise if I suggest changes to already-laid plans. And most, if not all of the time, I’m met with equal politeness and sincerity in return. I don’t boss my vendors around, nor do I boss around my fiancé, family, and friends. But when people try to push their ways on me, I can get assertive – while planning a wedding or not.

After musing the last year-and-a-half, I’ve noticed I’ve been pushy to some people, particularly one person specifically: GP. He’s a take-things-slow kinda guy, and I know he’ll sort things in his own time, but there were times I’d be constantly prodding him to do things. And for that, I guess I could be called a B-word. I’ve lessened this, even stopped it, as I think he understands that, with almost three months to go, we need to start chugging things out.

On a side note: Oh my GOD, almost three months to go!!

I don’t ask for assistance much. I’ve taken on the bulk of the planning. GP works, and works hard, and I’m writing a thesis, but when I get the time, I plan the wedding. When I do ask for help, I don’t expect the help. However, when someone states that they will help, and promptly cancels, it can hurt. And hurt feelings often leads to some upset and angry feelings. And ultimately, in the wedding world we live in today, that translates to being a Bridezilla.

But if you think about it, any normal person would feel the same.

So, for all those engaged brides-to-be, here’s my advice. When planning a wedding, and being the bride, you have to find a comfortable zone between assertive and chill. Otherwise, you’re either too assertive and automatically a Bridezilla, or a complete doormat and allow others to control the wedding, neither of which is a great thing!

Personally, I think I’ve managed to find a zone which works, at least most of the time.

Part 2, Of All the Love Stories: The “Inception” of Our Relationship

28 Sep

Last we left off, Mr Big and I had both signed up for OkCupid (OKC). While Mr Big was looking for a relationship, I wasn’t looking for anything. I was happy to be single and was focusing on my studies, and maybe even a career. My sole purpose to joining OKC was messing around on the “compatibility quizzes” on the website (I was a bit of quiz fanatic back then).

The abridged explanation of OKC’s “dating” system is basically this: you answer quizzes examining things about your life – your morals, values, likes, dislikes, personality, etc. – and then it grades your answers against others on the website. It then gives percentage compatibilities between yourself and a potential match.

When Mr Bighorn saw my profile, I was 95% compatible, living in Sydney, and most important of all (according to him!), not blonde. And so, he sent a message to me.

I had gotten previous messages from people all over Sydney, but no one really “interested” me. I was happy enough to communicate with these people, but never to really ‘date’ anyone. I got Mr Big’s message one evening while eating dinner. Curious, I sent one in return.

He then sent one almost 2 minutes after. We had a “private message” conversation and then moved it onto Microsoft Instant Messenger (MSN – oh the days!). We chatted regularly for about a month, from the mundane to the interesting. I liked him – he was funny, friendly, and cute.

Come July, a month or so after he had first contacted me, he wanted to meet up.

Cue freak out moment.

I had never really met anyone online before, so I was a little bit wary about the whole thing. After some avoidance from myself, and some prodding from him, I caved. I gave him a time and place and then, on July 25, a crisp Winter Sunday in 2010, we met for the first time in person at a café in my local shopping mall.

Our first lunch together was awesome. We chatted about everything and anything as we ate our meal. We then moved on to watch a movie at the local movie theatre. What was the first movie we watched together?

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Inception! Image via mynewmovies.net

That’s right folks. Our first movie together was Inception. You could almost say that “Inception” was the inception of our relationship! (Mr Big told me to put that in.)

I still have the ticket stub from that day, framed and displayed on our “photo” shelf.

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Our photo shelf, including the ticket stub from our first date <3. Personal image.

After the awesome movie, we exited, he gave me a big cuddle, and then we parted ways. Three days later, we went on our second date, and from then, we became pretty inseparable. And to think, if not for the bad things that have happened to Mr Bighorn and I (his ex-fiancée having called off the engagement and my Honours candidature coming to an abrupt end), we would never have met.

So what do you guys think? Dumb luck, fate, or both?

I can honestly say though, of all the love stories I’ve ever known, ours is my favourite.

Part 1, Of All the Love Stories I’ve Ever Known: The Background of our Background

23 Sep

I thought I’d interrupt the “wedding” posts with a “getting to know us” post. I don’t think I’ve really mentioned how I met the wonderful man who I’ll be getting wed to. So I thought I’d share our relatively unabridged story.

Mr Big and I met in possibly one of the most “common” ways in this modern day and age – we met through the Internet. However, our story is filled with both serendipity, and I think, a little bit of fate. It also doesn’t start with us meeting.

It starts almost 8 years ago.

Eight years ago, Mr Big moved from New Zealand to Australia after being promoted within a large Australian company (which has branches in New Zealand). Mr Big is originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, so he had to move overseas for this job. This company moved Mr Big over, gave him a car and temporary lodging, and a pretty good salary.

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Christchurch, New Zealand relative to Australia / Image taken from kids.britannica.com

Mr Big was also engaged to someone at this point in time and at his healthiest ever.

By all accounts, Mr Big should have been happy – a promotion earning him more money, having just lost a lot of weight and being at his healthiest, not to mention engaged – but like all good love stories, things just didn’t work out that way. His engagement ended, abruptly, and he buried himself in work. He also began to lead an unhealthy lifestyle of late nights and takeout dinners.

Fast forward five years to that time, and Mr Big decided he’d been stuck in a rut for far too long. He worked on losing weight and signed up to a dating website: OKCupid.

This was early 2010.

Meanwhile, I was attempting to gain an Honours attachment to my undergraduate degree in the forensic science field. I was doing relatively well, having just gained a High Distinction in my first assignment. However, as it happens, things spiralled downhill. I was effectively bullied out of my candidature and ended up dropping the Honours degree as I had no other supervisor who specialised in what I was attempting to research. No other supervisor was willing to take me on.

By this point, it was mid-2010, and I was unhappy with the fastball Life has just thrown at me. Lost and confused, I spent most of my days trying to figure out what to do. It was at that point that a friend of mine suggested I join a dating website: OkCupid.

A Weekend at the Hunter: Wine Tastings, Cheese Platters, Good Food and Crappy Skin

9 Sep

Good afternoon good folk!

This weekend was AH-mazing.

We (GP, MoH M&M, M&M’s boyfie who will now be called Don, and myself) drove up on the Friday night to Broke, a smaller section of the greater Hunter Valley Wine Area. The journey there was CREEPY AS CRAP, as we had to drive through small country roads and it was literally pitch black all around us. Add to that listening to Nightvale podcasts which would make H.P. Lovecraft proud, and it was a creepy, thought entertaining, ride to the Rosa House in Broke.

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The Rosa House – an old-fashioned farmstay! ❤ // Personal image

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The view from GP and my bedroom // Personal image.

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The porch out back – with dining table, barbeque, and a stunning view // Personal image

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The stunning view! // Personal image

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The dining room and GP ❤ // Personal image

[Just to note: these were taken on the day we left, at Junior Homie Oddball’s request. She couldn’t come with us since she had to stay at home and so homework. She also had Chinese school on Saturday and didn’t want to miss it. She’s such a diligent kid!]

When we did make it, we settled in for two rounds of Dominion and then called it a night. The bed was uber comfy and I fell asleep almost instantly!

The next morning was glorious! It was a warm day (about 31 degrees Celsius) and cloudy, so enough coverage for it to be relatively cool. There was also a slight breeze, which made the day just that little perfect. We took M&Ms and Don around the Hunter Valley wine area and showed them the sights.

Despite the fact that my oldest sister is my MoH, she hadn’t been on any of the previous Hunter Valley trips with us, so hadn’t seen any of the wedding stuff at all. This trip was the first time she had seen the reception space and got an idea where we were also having the ceremony (I don’t think she’s been inside the Gardens where we’re having the ceremony either).

Anyway, we toured them around, bought (several) bottles of wine, had some gelato, and then went to the wine-tasting that was included as a part of the accommodation package. The particular place we went to was called Ascella Wines, and they do all organic wines. They also had an organic cheese platter and the cheeses were TO DIE FOR. The wines were pretty amazing too. At the end of the tasting, we bought a whole lot of Shiraz wine and some Pina Colada RTD-type drinks.

By this point, however, my skin decided to tell me to EFF OFF and had decided to break out. Now, previous to THAT, I was getting a few pimples too. So by the time we got back to the Rosa House, my eyelids had puffed out, my skin was hot and rashy and my face wasn’t looking particularly appealing.

I slept it off for a little bit and then we had to get ready for dinner.

Dinner was at Leaves & Fishes.

Now for those who don’t know Leaves & Fishes, it is an amazing little restaurant which catches its fish daily from the (man-made) lake which the restaurant is built on! It’s a nice little place with awesome atmosphere, good staff and most of all, AWESOME FOOD. Here’s a picture!

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Us at Leaves & Fishes, stuffed from the food. From left to right: GP, myself, MoH M&Ms, and Don / Personal image.

(Can you not see how… blotchy I look? BLAH.)

Anyway, after an awesome dinner and conversations, we returned home, played some more card games, and then passed out for sleep. By the time I woke up in the morning, my skin was blotchy, my pimples had grown to enormous sizes, and I was looked haggard. GP managed to make me feel pretty, regardless, but BOY was I dreading the makeup and hair trial…

Next up, THE HAIR AND MAKEUP TRIAL.

Non-Wedding Related: We Hike!

22 Jul

So on Saturday, GP, myself and GP’s Best Man and best friend (which I’ll call ‘Hunter’ for appropriate reasons) went up to Arthur’s Pass. For those of who don’t know, Arthur’s Pass is a little township in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. It’s a beautiful little place, surrounded by mountains and forest.

And also, Keas!!!

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See that wee bird – he’s a Kea! Isn’t he beautiful!? ❤ / Personal Image

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THEY’RE SO CUTE // Personal image

 

AHEM.

Sorry for the retarded picture of my face. And the Kea spam – I love those birds. They get SO close to you and they’re so cute! Anyway, we drove up to the Arthur’s Pass National Park and got ready for our trek up the Devil’s Punchbowl. The Department of Conservation describes the walk as follows:

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Description of the Devil’s Punchbowl Track and Waterfall // Image taken from the NZ Department of Conservation website

 

Don’t worry guys – the trek isn’t as ominous as it sounds. It’s a basic trek  and the pathway has been fixed by the Department of Conservation to ensure that even the most inexperienced hiker can make it up to the viewing platform at the top to see the waterfall. Which, we did!

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GP looking handsome, me looking retarded. I’m wearing GP’s mama’s coat, since we were convinced we’d get drenched (we did!) // Personal image

But we weren’t at the top. The photo above shows us at the outlook, where you can see the Devil’s Punchbowl in the distance. However, we weren’t at the base of the waterfall, where the supposed ‘Punchbowl’ was. According to GP, the waterfall was so-named because a big boulder had fallen underneath the waterfall. After years of erosion, the pounding waters of the falls had carved a HUGE crater into the boulder, shaping it like a – you guessed it – punchbowl!

After investigating the spot, Best Man Hunter saw a path that lead UP to the waterfall’s base. That meant going off track a little bit (read: the DOC didn’t lay down any manmade pathways going that way). But we were determined, and according to both GP and Hunter, it was perfectly safe.

Jumping over the barriers of the viewing platform, we made the journey further up, passing this sign on the way:

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WE’RE REBELS! But seriously, there was no danger at all. // Personal image

After huffing and puffing up the side and scrambling up rocks, we made it to an area which was just flax plants. No more rocks to steady myself on. ‘Oh crap’, I thought, ‘I don’t think I can make it’. That one moment of hesitation made my resolve waver long enough for me to tell GP to go forward himself because I was sure I wouldn’t make it. He, being the awesome guy he is, understood and made it the rest of the way with Best Man Hunter to the base of the waterfall.

I remember sitting there for a few moments thinking, ‘why did I stop!? Am I crazy!? I’ve wanted to see this thing for ages’. I got up to go by myself, but realised GP wouldn’t be very happy if I did. So I stood there and waited ’til they returned.

“I want to try it,” I said.

Happily, they agreed to retrace their path back to the base of the waterfall, this time with me in tow. And guys, I am so glad I decided to go.

It was BEAUTIFUL.

Now – the punchbowl of the Devil’s Punchbowl has either a) been eroded way over time, or b) been damaged in the earthquake and disappeared. So I didn’t get to see the punchbowl, but the waterfall – OH THE WATERFALL.

The sheer power of it is AMAZING. The sheer force of the wind it creates and the spray – just so, so beautiful! I wish I had taken a picture of it, but with all the water that was hitting us, any electronic devices would have been damaged. GP managed to get some pictures of us just a little bit away from the base, behind some rocks, to protect his phone.

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At the base of the Devil’s Punchbowl // Personal image

So one thing I do recommend if you love hiking and love waterfalls – the Devil’s Punchbowl. It was spectacular and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

We made the trek down with no real problems, chatting mostly about the wedding and planning. We had lunch at the local diner, checked out the local real estate, and then drove back to Christchurch. We did stop at Lake Lyndon, but haven’t got any photos of it. The section we drove to was frozen though, so that was an AWESOME sight. Our next stop was Sheffield, where we got a pie, drank coffee, and chatted about the merits of clean food (and how sometimes even bigger businesses can get it wrong).

And then, we were in Christchurch again. The day was capped with a delicious dinner of “Fush ‘n’ Chups” with GP’s parental units (can’t go to New Zealand without having it!) followed by board games with Best Man Hunter.

An excellent day to be had and I’d definitely do it all over again!

Parka – Check, Coat – Check, Scarves – Check, Birthday present?

11 Jul

Hey guys!

Two more days ’til we fly, and I’m excited! And also, stressed.

Why is it so hard to pack for winter!?

I think I’m just worried we won’t fit everything, but I’m pretty sure my doubts are unwarranted and unfounded. This here is a list of things I’m bringing over to Kiwi-land. It’s not complete, ’cause I’m not sure what GP wants to bring over, but most of these are for a colder climate than Sydney. Right now it’s about 9 degrees there, compared to the local weather of 16 degrees here. So yeah… I’ll be freezing my badonk off. We’ll also be hitting the snows as well as the Hot Springs in Hanmer Springs, where GP has informed me that it will be SNOWING. I’m UBER excited!

Yee, real snow! ❤

Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve sorted so far:

  • 1 x winter Parka
  • 1 x windbreaker (GP’s – my parka should do this job fine)
  • 2 x coats for ei (one for e-session and casual wear, and one for more formal-type wear)
  • 1 x coat for GP (for e-session and casual wear)
  • 3 x scarves for ei (packed 2, wearing the other)
  • 2 x snow gloves (1xGP, 1xei)
  • 4 x gloves (1xGP, 3xei)
  • 2 x board shorts (1xGP, 1xei)
  • 2 x one-piece swimsuits
  • 1 x sarong
  • Assorted tights, thick socks, underwear and thermal wear!

I’ve also packed GP’s birthday present in the suitcase. I know he reads this blog, but he doesn’t know what the birthday present is, so I’m safe in the knowledge that he won’t find it!

Hahaha! MINE IS AN EVIL LAUGH!

MINE IS AN EVIL LAUGH!!

Anyway!

I know this was a totally unrelated post to the wedding, but I really am eager to be going to NZ. I love going there and it’ll be my first Winter in Kiwiland. Which will be documented by our photographers! (Did I mention that our photographers are awesome?) Can’t wait to see all of my Kiwi friends too! 😀

This is MADNESS!

7 Jul

 

Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to get a little serious. I’m currently in the middle of anxiously awaiting a reply from my Course Convener regarding my studies. And before people ask, it’s ok…

I passed both of my subjects from this semester. 🙂

(As a sidenote, GP is very proud – he gloats that I’m a “smart-wo-MAN” (emphasis on the man – I love this guy).)

The reason why I’m anxious is because I only just realised that the subject I WANTED to do this Semester (Qualitative/Quantitative Research) needs two pre-requisite subjects in order to enrol. These two are: 1) Statistics for Social Research, and 2) Contemporary Perspectives on Crime. Now… I’ve done the first subject and passed with a HD (yayz!). BUT, I haven’t done the second one.

Insert freaking out here.

Why am I freaking out? Well, if I have to do Contemporary Perspectives this semester, I have to do Qual/Quan Research NEXT semester. In 2014. The year I’m getting married. Which means I’m in Australia for the next 6 months next year.

You guys are probably thinking: “Uh… yeah, so what? Why is this in your wedding blog? What does THIS have to do with getting married?”

Well, it means GP and I have to push back our plans to go overseas for an extended period to June/July, instead of the intended March! Which means a later honeymoon and stress on both GP and my part. Not to mention, we really don’t want to remain in our current housing condition after the wedding, which means moving out and all the stress that comes with it…

HOWEVER, there is a silver lining!

You see, I need to do a total 120 credit points (CP) of subjects in order to pass my current course. As of right this second, I’ve done 100CP, so I only need 20CP more. In addition to this, my course requires me to do both a thesis AND coursework. Each thesis component (there are four of them) are worth 10CP. Which means, 4 thesis components = 40CP.

Everyone still following me?

Great!

Now, I’ve done 20CP out of 40CP. So I have another 20CP-worth of thesis components to do!

SO, I’m hoping that my course convener will tell me that I don’t need to do Contemporary Perspectives and Qual/Quan Research, and that all I need is 20CP more to complete the course. Which means, I have four months of JUST FOCUSING ON MY THESIS! WHOO!

That would WIN on so many levels.

Wish me luck guys!

Shopping with my mum!

4 May

Hey guys!

So last weekend we went to the city, and I showed GP around 🙂 We went to the Sydney Centrepoint (or as it’s called now, the “Sydney Eye”) after a deeelicious lunch at Jones the Grocer (I do recommend it, wholly). This was then followed by a trip to the Sydney Aquarium and a jaunt through Madame Tussaud’s Sydney (I have no idea how to spell that – oh hey, apparently I spelt it correctly!). All-in-all it was a fantastic day, and I’m glad I could show GP some of the awesome parts of Sydney 🙂

I also managed to find bridal accessories!

If you recall in the last post, I’ve been trying to find things to wear for the wedding. Well, on the way back from dinner (at Grill’d – also recommended) we decided to look at a little shop called Lovisa (http://www.lovisa.com.au/). They were having a sale – “Buy 3, For 2” – which hilariously my dad read as “Buy 3 products for $2”. I remember doing that during a sale at a similar store, so I’m not surprised my dad thought that, but it was funny nonetheless.

Anyway, my ma and I browsed the shelves as my pa, my fiancé and my little sister lingered outside. My ma and I found a few things that looked very bridal-y, but as I was intending on wearing ruby earrings and a ruby pendant necklace, I refrained from buying anything (at first). The I spotted a gorgeous hair comb. I can’t find it on the website, but it was PERFECT. A motif throughout the wedding is the cherry blossom, and this comb was basically that – a crystal cherry blossom. I fell in loooooooooove.

It was that comb that also made my ma remember that she had a silver necklace – which she could let me borrow. That did change my ruby idea, but it gave me an excuse to look for earrings. I bought crystal drop chandelier earrings and my ma bought herself a very nice looking vanilla enamel cuff bracelet.

Happy with our purchases, we exited and went back home.

My ma showed me the necklace she was talking about and we compared the accessories. They looked so awesomely coordinated and pretty.

Guys, I am super excited to wear these! I’m just wondering if I should get a bracelet to go with, or forego it.

What do you think?

Engagiversary! + sweating it out

12 Apr

Hello folks!

Yesterday I turned a quarter of a century and, apart from a few minor body issues, it was an awesome day! It was also the day that – a year ago – GP asked me to marry him ❤ I’ve already gone through our proposal story, but it was nice knowing that a year ago, we started the next step on our relationship journey.  I still can’t believe that GP wants to marry me, especially as I can be a bit of a beesh. But he has been with me every step of the way.

On the wedding front, we’ve been working our asses off in the gym lately, however, my body decided it didn’t like that idea, and it’s since swelled in places which make it hard for me to go to the gym (or anywhere, really). That part of my body is my left foot – it’s swelled to about twice its size and I wasn’t able to put any pressure on it at all. That was where the not-fun of my birthday came from. GP was sweet enough to get me some crutches because, DAMNIT, I was going out on my birthday come hell or high water!

I wasn’t able to go to the gym. I couldn’t go on any of the cardio equipment without pain, and I couldn’t do any weights because my elbow was in so much pain from all the chest, back and arm weights, and I couldn’t put any pressure on my foot. So we skipped the gym yesterday (which sucked, because I was so pumped to go). I’m hoping to go today, but my foot is still a little swollen. I can now walk on it, but I’m limping like a mofo. Hopefully it’ll get better before 3PM and GP and I can head to the gym to sweat it out.

As for how I’ve been doing on my weight-loss journey, I’ve only lost about 3kgs. GP however has lost a WHOPPING 10kgs! I’m so proud of him! ❤ I’m hoping the gym will kickstart my body and I’ll lose the weight I want to lose. I’ve been following the same exact regime as GP, so it really doesn’t make any sense that I’m losing so little and he’s losing so much!

Wish us luck and let’s hope my foot gets better!

E x