Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jingle Bells

"Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind."

                              -Mary Ellen Chase

Hey there!

I know it's a little early, but I've already Christmas-ed the house! The tree was a bit difficult to put up as I, as much as I like to believe that I have good style, don't know how to coordinate ornaments. And Christmas lights. Don't even get me started on the lights. 


I just threw it around the base of the tree to save me the grief of winding up on the floor, wrapped in a tinsel straitjacket, bawling my eyes out because I'll never be good at decorating.

I don't like the idea of having a real tree. I'm not judging anyone who does, it's just my opinion that if you don't have a fireplace to reuse the wood, it's a waste of a perfectly good tree. For me, fake is better. Or rather, if you want to sound more classy: "Faux"

He's a door hanger. I call him Frank.

I don't really know why we've never lit this candle. It's been in the decoration box for years. Maybe we're just not a candle-y family. Huh.

Michael Bublé is crooning away on my iPod's Christmas playlist and I've glue-gunned the wooden apples and the ribbons back to the wreath (It's had some mishaps in it's long life and needed some TLC). All that's needed now is some gingerbread biscuits baking in the oven for Christmas to really arrive here. Even though it's a whole month away. Happy November!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

What To Do?


So, it's been a week since my liberation from the education system. For the summer. Then I'm being unwillingly reinstated...Anyway.

I'm a big fan of fruit. Except bananas. Never give me a banana and expect for me to remain civil. I will eat them when they've been drowned in caramel, or fried up in pancake batter but if you actually wait for me to peel open a banana and dig in, you're insane. Insane.

I'm more of a tropical fruit gal, myself: mangoes, pineapple, lychees, coconuts, watermelon. Yum.

It's strawberry season here in NZ, and punnets of said fruit have found themselves devoured by my family over the past few weeks. I love strawberries with (cliché, but who cares) whipped cream. Or pavlova and chocolate. Today, I happened to have some good quality chocolate in the larder and decided to make this sinful treat. Actually, it's not that sinful. I mean, there's a lot of strawberries, and a bit of chocolate. It's fruit, isn't it?

Basically, melt some good quality chocolate (I used dark and milk) in a bowl. Then - here's the hard bit - put a heap of sliced strawberries into the chocolate and stir. Whoa. So difficult. I'm a little tired just writing the method down. (Sarcasm - I'm still waiting for an "Irony" button to be installed on computer keyboards...)

The picture may not be that appetizing but if you are willing to turn down strawberries covered in chocolate, then you are no longer my friend. Goodbye.

This is the general idea of what the strawberries should look like if you've followed the recipe well. Though it's not exactly rocket science and if you have screwed up, I don't suggest making anything else. I'm rolling my eyes, by the way. How can you fail at making this?

As an afterthought, you could maybe just get some chocolate dipped strawberries if you don't fancy making a mess like I've done.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Victory Lunch

Hi there!!!!!

I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!!! MY EXAMS ARE OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My darling best friends and I went out to lunch today. It was absolutely amazing for us, we were celebrating surviving  finishing our first major exams. 

The food photos are taken by Sarah :

An orange/strawberry mocktail. 

Salmon - not mine. I had chicken lollipops. Crispy.

Absolutely delicious Moroccan-spiced chicken. I had the fish. It was eaten too quickly for there to be a photo of it.

A very, very rich crème brulée.

I rented a pile of T.V. programs and movies as soon as I finished exams. Even if you don't have any exams to finish, I suggest you do the same. 

See you later!


How To Survive Exams


{Serious talk ahead}

For the last week, I've had six 3-hour long exams for Level 1 (that's Form 5 or sophomore year)...It was a bucket load of anxiety/stress/freaked-out-ness/crazy/insane mania.

So, I decided to make this list of what to do when you have to start doing school exams...I wish I had a list. I would've done a whole lotta things differently...*sigh*

{This photo is my friend, Sarah's. She is amazing at studying, and she made these really cool flashcards for revising accounting. If you are a person who learns well by flashcards and colour-coding, I suggest you try this method}

A. The first year of your serious, no-fooling-around exams:
  1. Get some proper stationery (pens, pencils, notebooks, etc...) for study.
  2. Find a study area - quiet, non-cluttered, away from distractions (TV/iPod/Computer!!!)
  3. Study! You can never start studying too soon. EVER.
  4. Put up a poster on your door with the words : "I WILL PASS MY EXAMS!!!!" on it. Just do it. 
  5. Make sure your handwriting is readable. You need to make sure an exam marker will be able to understand everything you have written. If you have messy/loopy/tiny handwriting, I suggest trying to practice writing more legibly. You don't get any marks for being fancy and looping your letters. If an exam marker cannot read your writing, chances are, they won't bother trying to decode the words. Don't risk it.
B. The last month before exams:
  1. Cut down on your caffeine intake (you need a lot of sleep during the next few weeks) and do a little daily exercise, if you don't already. Trust me on this one. Endorphins are amazing stress relievers, better than any frappé. Try skipping/jumping rope. Very good for you, and will show you how very unfit you are. Good motivation for summer.
  2. Have serious study session with friends. Go through areas of your subjects that you aren't sure of together. No watching movies, talking about boys, or spur of the moment baking. 
  3. If you are very organised, create a study schedule - although, you probably might have already made one. 
  4. Set yourself a very high goal and assure yourself that you can pass your exams without breaking a sweat. That way, you are drilling positive thinking into your mind. Good for your self-esteem, too.
  5. Don't act like studying is the most important thing in the world, even more than your family and friends. While it may be very important, blocking out all outside contact is not healthy. You need to breathe. Go out occasionally, take your siblings out for ice cream, call your friends to make plans for after exams, apply for summer jobs at your local supermarket or mall (otherwise, like me, you will be stuck for weeks on end with nothing to do...)
C. The week before exams - this is your "last-minute revision" week:
  1. Ignore B.5. You have to bury your head in your books and STUDY STUDY STUDY!!!!!
  2. Don't panic. You're basically going to set yourself up for a total "I am DOOMED!" breakdown. DON'T. PANIC. EVER!
  3. Go to sleep early every night you have exams. 
  4. Read all the rules of your examinations (keep all pens in a clear bag, don't take any paper into the exam room, etc...)
After exams, you can basically throw you feet up and relax.

So, for anyone who is taking exams soon,



Saturday, November 10, 2012

French Market


It's Sunday, don't believe the date stamp at the top of this post, and I'm a little scared, because tomorrow is the beginning of a week of exams. So, as a little excursion, my parents and I drove down to a beach where a French market is held every month. It's really sweet. There's music, coffee, fresh pastries from a local café and a lot of little jams and compotes, all bottled up for sale.

The market is a perfect people-watching place. Children run around holding sticky jam buns, adults stand around with cups of espresso and bowls of cassoulet, it's all very relaxing. I stood in line for a ham and cheese galette for a good ten minutes, but it was definitely worth the wait.

I don't have a photo because it was super delicious and gone in a flash, but, I did get a photo of one of the two almond croissants we bought for a tea time snack. They were too, gone in a flash.

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

London Calling


My Dad just got back from Britain and I am so excited about what he brought me! It's like an early Christmas and I might actually run into a wall, I'm that hyped up!


This is the chocolate I asked for:

This is the chocolate Mum asked for:

She may have a bit of a problem *snicker*...

One of Dad's friend's got me this cute little Scrabble mug:

He also got me this ADORABLE satchel from Nine West:

What my Dad went to London for in the first place (no really, although this book is very important to me):

 And this last one needs no explaining, just an "aawwww!"

So, I'm off to find a place for these goodies,