Wednesday, 31 December 2014

My 2014 Review :)

Well well well, it seems that it has come to that time of the year where I have made it somewhat a tradition to reflect on a year of awesomeness. Last year was a big year with my 365 project, but this year was big too - the US tour and turning 30 being the two biggies! Anyway, I think it's a good time to showcase the highlights from the year - ladies and gentlemen, presenting Zan's 2014:

In January...
I baked.

I doodled.

In February...
I made a snow dinosaur.

I started a tour of America

In March...
I had a ride on the back of a pick up truck.

I had adventures in unusual places in the US

In April...
I finished the US tour with Morgan.

I reflected on an epic journey.

In May...
I moved into a new house.

I had fun with my brother and some plants

In June...
I had a visitor from afar.

I went on a super old train for Lee's birthday!

In July...
I attended the wedding of a good friend

I had loads of awesome celebrations for my 30th birthday.

In August...
I decided to do the Bake Off Challenge.

I had an epic haircut

In September...
I made a panda bread.

I went on adventures with Mum and Dad

In October...
I partook in a surprise birthday party

I enjoyed a visit from Morgan.

In November...
I met a minor celebrity.

I went to many Christmas Markets

In December...
I had some excellent family time.

I had some excellent friend time too.

This year has been amazing and I feel genuinely blessed to have been part of so many awesome things this year. And of course, 2015 promises to be awesome too! Stand by for a new 365 project, and a trip to Australia! :) Goodbye lovely 2014, and hello 2015! :)

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

That'll Do For Now :)

Mum, Dad and I waved off my sister, brother-in-law and bunny today as they journeyed back home. There was then a short period of time where the house hummed with activity and then everything stopped - almost as if we had a collective household sigh of relief that everything now was kinda back to normal having had a busy few days.

We went out sale shopping in the afternoon and I took the time to reflect on the festive season. I've met with good friends from all over, and have had plenty of family time. It has been lots of fun, but of course the compromise is (as usual) the PhD. Still, I reckon it was worth it, and starting tomorrow, I will have my head in the books again.

For now though, please enjoy a photo of me and Bugsy on Christmas Day :) 

See you soon, bunny! :)

Monday, 29 December 2014

Why Don't You Come On Over Valerie!

So I should explain how my lovely Singaporean friend Valerie randomly turned up yesterday. She was basically having a little holiday in London and had a couple of spare days so she came up to Manchester to see me! Hoorah! So today I spent a really nice day with Valerie as she took a break from her break. I've talked about her before on another trip to the UK - she was one of first friends I made when I went to university (the first time) which was 12 years ago now (yikes) and it's such a blessing to still be in touch with her and have her come visit! Yay! :)

We went to my local again for food - Val had a rump steak and played with her Jenga-like chips. I had bangers and mash :)

Here's Valerie in her new hat making friends with the bunny.

And that was it really. We just hung out and had fun with my family. We ate, we talked, we reflected, we laughed, we watched Frozen (after everyone left yesterday), we bought salt (long story), and we admired the new favourite colour (mint green). It was a very relaxing, very cleansing couple of days. Then I took Valerie to the airport to get her flight back to London. Yes, she flew because that's how she rolls! Hoorah for Valerie!

It's been a lovely couple of days with you Val! Thank you for coming up to visit and I'm already looking forward to seeing you again soon! :) 

Food, Friends and Frozen

Lots of friends came over to our house today to eat and hang out. It's been a long time since we've all got together so it was really lovely to see these folk. It's actually really funny because I was so busy chatting, hosting, and making a pizza to take many photos. No worries though, I managed to get three excellent moments in photos:

My Singaporean friend Valerie came to visit while she was in the area - it was lovely to see her and everyone was pleasantly surprised to see her too!

I met this little man for the first time today! He's so lovely and I hope to hang out with him again soon!

While some of us watched Frozen, the rest of us played Settlers of Catan. Oh yes. More board games :)

We ate and talked and played and patted (the bunny) and hugged and laughed and enjoyed eachother's company. It was great, and I'm really very pleased to still be in contact with such great people. I hope to hang out with them again soon! :) Happy Christmas Lisa, Andy, Jenny, Damon, Michael, Jan, Jun and Kaien and an extra special thank you to Valerie for journeying the furthest. It was great having you all round today :)

Sunday, 28 December 2014

A Wonderful PM Christmas :)

We had our annual Purple Monkey Christmas Gathering last night and it was kinda awesome! My college friends and I spent the evening at Shazia's place this year - thank you for having us Shazia! :) We got together, ate together and played together - it was awesome! :) Here are some photos:

Here's Peki with our glow balloons.

Here's J with a box of Grasmere Gingerbread that absent PM Ric sent to us.

Close up of the amazing gingerbread.

Shazia with the traditional PM Christmas sack.

Here's Lee with my Secret Santa present.

Here is a meeple! (A meeple!)

Here is some yummy chocolate cake with magical stars.

Here is Lee with his giant Jenga! :)

Giant Jenga is difficult. And big. But wonderfully, it's extra epic.

Here's our group picture! We're full of smiles after a great evening together.

It's so wonderful to get together with these folk every year. I love my PMs and I hope that we can continue to meet at least once a year for the foreseeable future! I'm so honoured to know such lovely people and I was so chuffed to be hanging out with them yesterday! We really missed Ric and Rach but that's okay, we'll probably see them soon too :) Hoorah for the PMs! :)

Friday, 26 December 2014

About a Bunny

I'm currently hanging out with Bugsy in fun area on the upstairs landing. He's been super curious and slightly mischievous, but altogether the fluffiest, funniest bunny ever. Here are some photos of his adventures over the last few days:

Curious Bunny

Glamorous Bunny

Relaxed Bunny

Guard Bunny

Right now, he looks exactly like that last photo - laying flat across the threshold of my doorway. We're not entirely sure why he likes doing that, but always in the most inconvenient spot possible, right across the threshold or doorway. It's really quite odd but really quite funny! I like how he eats his lettuce into a disk, and I like how he nudges people to say hello. Mostly, I like his "down-ears". All the bunnies I have previous seen have "up-ears", so this makes Bugsy extra special. He's a funny little bunny and I love him to bits! I'm glad I get to play with him for a few more days :) Yaay! :)

Thursday, 25 December 2014

A Very Merry Christmas

I had a lovely Christmas day with my family today, eating amazing food and having our annual board game session. I'm a bit tired to reflect on it properly right now so I'm just going to post up a happy photo :)

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas too! :) Goodnight! :)

Monday, 22 December 2014

Four Days of Fun

I've been super busy trying to get work done before Christmas, but also being visited and visiting lots of people! Hoorah! Here are photos representing 5 days of fun:

1. Food with my friends Andy and Lisa :)

2. A day out with my Nancy :)

3. Making home made mince pies with my friend Angel using home made mince!

4. Hanging out with Bugsy, my sister and brother-in-law!

The next few days is guaranteed to be filled with many more photos and fun! Stay tuned for more Christmas fun!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A Little Bit of Upcycling

A couple of weeks ago, I was inspecting my tiny treasure trove of loose parts (yes, I always have some somewhere) when I came across an empty cereal box. Looking at it for a couple of minutes, I refocused my eyes on the Christmas presents that were strewn around my room that were waiting to be wrapped and then all of a sudden BAM: an idea! I've been eating cereal ever since.

Ladies and gentlemen, those are gift bags made from cereal boxes. Oh yes. Absolutely genius.

I can't claim full credit for these bad boys because I think I saw it posted online somewhere. You can't really tell nowadays where information comes from because it's everywhere. Apologies to the originator of this idea. 

Anyway, if and when you come to make these, make sure you reinforce the base as they aren't always very well glued together for weightier presents. I glued the top flaps onto the inside of the box to give the eventual hole-punched holes some extra strength. The string have been repurposed from old un-reusable gift bags or shopping bags.

I am incredibly chuffed with these. My parents have been amused at my cereal eating, and my serial gift bag making. Haha! There was no pun intended there, I promise. Yay, home-made gift bags! :)