Saturday, 14 February 2015

Here's to love

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

I know I've been very tardy on this blog over the past month. It's the old excuse: I've been completely absorbed by work. I got a significant promotion at the end of last year and I'm now responsible for not only formulating company strategy but implementing it too, which means making sure people are delivering to the instruction brief and time frames. In the past month, we've placed 3 new staff, undergone accreditation renewal, completed quarterly reporting, confirmed advertising for the 9 months from March and are midway through a renegotiation of one of our leases and a full logo redesign and rebrand. I also did some minor redecorations to my office - I figured since I'm spending so much time there it might as well look super pretty - pics to come :)

Not to mention, there's a kind of special day coming up in May and it turns out there are so many more decisions that I hadn't thought about but all the 'wedding people' keep helpfully bringing up. Flowers! Hair! Hen's! Suits!

It's exhausting.

Anyway, I'm feeling slightly more on top of things this weekend so I thought I share a quick break down of how Valentine's Day 2015 unfolded:

Pancakes. Before they look like pancakes.

An indulgent weekend breakfast is one of my favourite things and we're particularly fond of blueberry pancakes in our house.

Then it was on to one of the oldest, most timeless expressions of love between a couple: DIY!

I love our apartment. I bought it about 6 months before I met M and naturally, once we made the commitment to each other, this was it, no more questions, we had to decide where we would live together. Apartment living is culturally a little different in Australia when compared to the rest of the world: because we have so much space and such a comparatively small population, housing density hasn't ever been such an issue for city planners here (although it is becoming more of a consideration). Most Australians will probably live in an apartment at some point but aspire ultimately to own a house with a yard.

For myself, I prize my time over any other limited personal resource, so the choice to buy an apartment as my first home was motivated largely by the fact it was within 3 minutes of the Brisbane CBD.  Coming from living in a mix of apartments and houses, it took a little time to convince M that in fact, we can commit to live in an apartment long term with a dog and two people and (maybe) a little person down the track. We simply have to become really efficient in how we use the available space. I take a lot of inspiration from the New York Times real estate section (especially The Hunt column about New Yorkers finding their abodes). People get so much more inventive when space is at a premium and that's something I really admire.

Which brings me neatly to our weekend project: hanging laundry bags!

Up until this point, the laundry cupboard (honestly, it is pretty much a cupboard with a sliding door to close it off from the kitchen) has always been a bit crowded with clothes hampers on the floor, a stand-up vac and any other 'crap' that wasn't really destined for permanent space in the apartment but was just taking up lodgings until we moved it to the storage space downstairs or threw it out.

It's probably hard to understand, but having hanging bags that leaves the floor completely free, makes such an incredible difference. It looks neat, I can access the cupboards under the laundry sink and it just thrills me to bits any time we get a bit of DIY done around our place.

Home jobs achieved and feeling quite proud of ourselves, we then went out for coffee with a friend we haven't seen in a while and also to get groceries for the week:

Dress: Cacharel
Sandals: Country Road
Bag: Chloe

I love this dress by Cacharel.  I've lost quite a bit of weight over the past 4-5 months and I'm really starting to notice the difference. It's bringing my confidence back in a big way and I thought, it's Valentine's Day, it's summer, it's hot, I am getting myself out in a dress this afternoon! The red print on the navy background just looks gorgeous and I loved pairing it with ivory/cream accessories.

After that, it was time for another timeless expression of love: roast lamb!

I love my oven and my roasting pans. And my manicure is looking splendid!

Valentine's Day has a lot of detractors who see it as nothing more than a blatant commercially-hyped cash grab.  Frankly, I think it's as good an opportunity for people to express love, kindness and affection to important people in their lives (friends, family, lovers) as any other day of the year.  M and I went for a lovely long walk with the fat dog while dinner was cooking and there were so many loved up couples and families picnicking in the park, holding hands, drinking wine and watching the afternoon become evening. It made my heart feel lighter as we headed back to our home (guided by the delicious scent of lamb and roast pumpkin!) I'm feeling full of love and affection as we approach our wedding and Valentine's Day 2015 was just a lovely, low-key moment to celebrate.

I hope everyone gave and received some love in some form today :) xo

PS: I am informed there will be a cheeky delivery to my office on Monday. Something red, apparently. So there might have been a bit of shameless commercial indulgence for the sake of Valentine's Day ;)

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