Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 28 - Sawatdee from Thailand!

We are in Thailand now with friends!!! And it is awesome. Here are some glimpses from the first few days in Thailand - Bangkok and Koh Samui.

The Royal Palace, Bangkok

Reclining Buddha temple, Bangkok

Margarita on a hot summer day says holiday!!!

Yellow curry, yumm!!

Pad Thai
Holidays with friends is bliss. Happy Holidays!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 27 - 3 iconic sights from Sydney

I am in a hangover from Christmas so leaving you with 3 iconic and world famous sights from Sydney!!

Sydney Harbour Bridge - People climb and do walks on top of the bridge too!

Opera House - beautiful work of craftsmanship and super location
Bondi Beach - sun, surf and white sands. Was awesome spending time there and resulted in a few sun burns too!

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 25 - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you. Wish you loads of happiness, fun and goodies!!
There are Christmas trees, holiday crowds, finger licking food and songs everywhere we go. 

The tree in our apartment complex
The blue and silver tree at Wellington airport

The tree at Sydney airport

Yummy christmas macaroons at Lindt in Darling Harbour, Sydney

Holiday crowds and carol singers at Darling Harbour, Sydney

We have been enjoying sunny Sydney and are off to Thailand now. Have a lovely week ahead!!

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 23 - Graffiti in Wellington

I spend a lot of time walking around in Wellington, partly because we live in the CBD (Central Business District) or downtown and partly because we do not have a car. The city is very compact and everywhere we go on a daily basis, is walkable. S and I made a conscious decision not to buy a car unless we move to the suburbs. Though S does miss the driving around sometimes.

I on the other hand feel that it's been working great for us. We are "green", get our 30 mins a day (and sometimes more) of brisk walking and no parking issues. 

While I walk around town I see a lot of art and graffiti on walls, garages and buildings. Don't know if any of this is legal or not.

Here is some of Wellington's graffiti through my eyes. 

This is a residential building with modern loft style apartments

This was one smart and innovative artist! 

Hope you are having an awesome Sunday! Thanks for visiting!

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 19 - My home tour on Magical Homes!!

My ex-apartment in Bangalore was featured on Magical Homes yesterday. The site also has a lot of tips and ideas on all aspects of a home. Makes for an interesting read. Hop over to check it out :) And let me know what you think, by leaving comments there. 
This is the 2nd home tour for my rented apartment and Dipika the editor has put together the post so well. Thanks Dipika!! 
We spent 2 years there and it was a wonderful stay. I miss my home, my neighbours, my friends from that place and hope to go back there soon.

A cozy corner in my balcony. Books and a cup of tea made it awesome! 

The 1st home tour for that apartment is here on The Key Bunch

With that done, my task list looks much better now - 
- Send pics for home tour - Done
- Write article for my first freelance assignment - Done
- Send pics and info for a lifestyle site coming up in Feb 2013 - Done
- Gifts for N's teachers at kindy - Done
- Holiday and Christmas shopping - Done
- Bulk of the packing for N and me - Done
- Donate N's clothes, the ones he has grown out of, to The Salvation Army - TBD 
- Last few rounds of laundry and ironing - TBD
- Clear and clean the fridge - TBD

This month has been crazy! I thought it would be the slowest month of the year, relaxed, easy breezy. But instead it has turned out to be the craziest of them all. Started with the blogging marathon and I took it up as a challenge and a way to meet new bloggers. Then came the tug-of-war of going to India vs staying here. That was is mental torture. And all of a sudden I had these 2 requests for pictures and an article to be written! Plus all the stuff for the holiday - shopping, packing. Phew! I am so looking forward to the holiday. 

What are you planning to do on New Years? Where will you be? At home with loved ones? With extended family? Out of town? Partying somewhere? Watching TV? 

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 16 - What time is it?

Look at the 3 pictures below and tell me what time of the day do you think it is?
I haven't touched them up at all. So no editing, brightening, photo shopping done.
All 3 have been taken at the same time of the day, from the balcony in our downtown Wellington apartment.

The correct answer shall get a prize!!
A big hug and kiss virtually, allllll the way from this end of the planet. I'll even throw a coffee in which I will enjoy on your behalf if you can't make it here ;)

This post is part of Marathon Blogging December 2012 and is specially designed to increase your awareness about the planet you live on.
I know you are very grateful and indebted to me for that. And no I will not meet you in the near future for you to strangle me out of sheer frustration at this post and the level I have stooped to.
And before you even think, NO, this is not cheating. I have a post. This is it. Deal with it!
Happy Sunday :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 14 - Christmas Parade and Carols

In New Zealand, most of the work places shut down fully or partially around 15th December for a month. Yes, for a full month, work comes to a halt! Except the essential stuff, of course. Offices send out the year-end holiday shut down dates via email as early as May-June so that people can plan their holidays.
Most of the public Christmas events, parties and school functions are done with, by Dec 15th. After which people set out for their personal or family vacations, celebrations and escapes!
The Kiwis take their annual summer holidays very seriously. Holiday homes, villas and beach rentals are booked out well ahead in time (we found that out while looking for our December retreat). Home leases and employee contracts are signed up till Jan 15th and not Dec 31st, so that nobody in inconvenienced to look for new tenants or employees in the middle of their vacation.

The Wellington City's annual Christmas parade was last weekend. It was all that you expect from a parade and more. Here are glimpses from the parade and the party that followed.

It was a riot of colours!

The white ice queen

Summer sun = Fedoras and Hats!

The end of the parade

The party begins!

Darth Vader and his li'l fan!

Li'l girls in oh-so-cute-tiaras

Hospi (from Wellington Children Hospital) giving out free hugs

Crowds colourful and happy

The party goes on until evening and late night

The lights on the huge electric Christmas tree are turned on
Little sparkles of joy - my favourite pic of this lot

So much colour! Another facet of the previous pic

Listening to carols in candle light err saber light!

Happy Holiday season!! Just 10 more sleeps until Christmas eve :)

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 11 - My Coffee Mornings

Some days after I drop off N at the kindy (kindergarten as referred here) I stop to sit and have a cup of coffee while browsing through the day's news paper. Or I take it to-go and sip it while walking home. 

The cafe I go to, is this ancient looking coffee place with a grinding mini-factory right next to it so you can smell really strong coffee from quite a distance. 

My favourite is a mochachino which, as they say, is a cappuccino with a teaspoon or more of chocolate!! Here in Windy Welly they serve it with marshmallows. 

So there is no sugar in the coffee. You can choose to sprinkle cocoa powder or cinnamon on the top and 2 marshmallows on the side. I dunk the m'mallows into my coffee and that sweetens it gradually. So I drink coffee as coffee and then get my sugar hit at the end :) 

Some times it's just coffee. At other times it is accompanied by a friand, a scone or a puff pastry snack. On this particular day it was a blueberry and coconut friand. 

They do have a few Starbucks' which was and still is a personal favourite. But the locals prefer the millions of cafes in the city with locally ground and brewed coffee. And after tasting coffee there, I am a big fan too.

This is part of Day 11 of the Marathon Blogging December 2012. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Day 6 - Summer fun!

Summer has officially started in Wellington, NZ some time back. 
And we have been making hay while the sun shines and doing all the typical summery stuff - picnics, parties, visits to the beach, shedding those layers of clothes and jumping into the water! 

We have been -  

Getting summer flowers to brighten up the house. And yes, I do buy flowers for myself :) 

Eating strawberries and ice cream. Yumm! Hokey Pokey is a NZ favourite 

Having chaat parties with golguppas, bhel puri and tikki chaat. I used my measuring spoons to hold the accompanying stuff. Innovative, I know. The truth is "Necessity is the mother of invention" ;) 

We have been running through lush green parks, which are abundant in Wellington

Jumping into the pool and sitting there for hours

Blowing bubbles in the balcony

And being very pleased about that :) 

What have you been doing this summer... errr... winter? 

This post is part of Day 6 of the Marathon Blogging event December 2012. 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Day 3 - Gift paper love

We all have those quirks that define us. Some small, some big. 

I have traits that make me "me". One of them is that I have a photographic memory for birthdays and anniversaries (the ones I want and need to remember). Some of my friends admit to relying on me to remind them about common friends' birthdays. They say they don't need a calendar, they have me :) 

My other quirk is gift wrapping paper!! 

 I have a thing for it. I hoard it. Shhh! I just can't help walking over to the gift paper section in a store in a zombie like trance. And I keep adding to my collection, under the watchful eye of my now-very-vigilant husband. Every time I buy a new one, he does try to remind me that I have a dozen of them at home already. But this addiction is hard to get rid of. I swear I am trying my best though.
My friends and even some of my neighbours know that if they have a wrapping paper crisis they can come to me. I always have something or the other available. Always!!

I have this one which is perfect for a little-man aka pre-school boy's gift with robots, gifts and balloons. A gift tag from Templetree, Bangalore with an alien space ship to go along. 

This one is simple and blue (yay!) and I have these perfect little message tags/cards to go along with it (again from Templetree). 

Gift bags are elegant too, with a matching or contrasting colour of tissue paper inside. Sigh! How I love those pretty gift bags stuffed with crinkly tissue paper inside (I know, I know, I am beginning to sound crazy now). 

Want some tags to go along with that? 

And this one is one of my favourites. It's stamps of different colours, sizes, shapes on a basic brown sheet. I love basic brown sheets coz there is so much you can do with it. And I have message cards for this one too! 

This one below is the latest in my collection. Spotted it the other day and could not resist buying it. Ain't it cute? I love those tiny shoes. Perfect for that girlie gift!!

I like wrapping gifts nicely and could do it all day long. Who doesn't love a neatly nicely wrapped present?  Now all I need to do is make a career out of it ;) 

Happy Monday!!
P.S. - This post is part of Day 3 of The Marathon Blogging_Dec 2012 event. 


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