Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crown Brush Makeup Brushes Offer

The folks at Crown Brush UK have joined forces with Planet Makeup and are offering you a 10% discount throughout July and August. 

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 Just click on the link in the side banner adding the discount code: FINJA13

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Crochet Tea Cosy Pattern

I have been ill in bed for the last few days. I needed a little project that I could just pick up and leave, in between naps. I was going to try and finish off my blanket. Instead I opted for a design I'd seen from Meme Rose.

I didn't measure my teapot. I wish I had as it ended up being too big. I used acrylic wool, that I had bought for another project.

Yarn: Acrylic - Mustard, lemon, pale yellow, dark, medium and a light grey.

Hook: 4mm

Stitch used: dc (UK), sc (USA)

Chain 40 stitches

Turn, chain 1 and then DC until end. Change yarn colour and DC back along chain in BACK LOOPS ONLY. Chain 1, turn DC in both loops. Change colour of yarn. Continue until you reach the desired length.

You will need to add a contrasting colour along the bottom edge and then sew in the loose ends.

I was going to just add a drawstring as I had made it far too big. due to being ill, I could not be bothered to fetch my teapot and tape measure. Plus I was liking the grey and yellow theme.

Then I stumbled on the neon pink wool at the bottom of my wool stash, so carried on with Meme Roses design. I added a button and button loop and stitched the sides together, to fit around the handle and spout.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

51 Unfinished Projects

New Challenge

I'll be the first to admit that I have a problem with finishing projects. It's not that I fall out with the idea or struggle with time. I just can't stop myself from being distracted by something new. I feel like a Magpie, constantly drawn to the shiny prospect of a new sparkly object for my already overcrowded nest. 

The project draws me in, I then find myself purchasing the necessary tools, materials etc and get stuck in, hell for leather, on my new found project. Everything is coming along nicely. Then my latest issue of Mollie Makes will arrive, or I'll start the day by browsing the Internet, the current project is then stored away in my craft basket along with the ever growing stash of ongoing, some not even started projects before beginning something new.

I don't suppose Etsy, Folksy and Pinterest have helped with my fixation in finding another project before completion of the last. They do nothing more than feed my exceedingly occupied creative mind. It's like an addiction. I have a wool nest that most knitters would kill for, a fabric stash my Nanna would've managed to dress all 8 of her children with, from birth up until the day they left home.

All 51, yes fifty-one, projects are adorable, I loved them when I started them and I still have a future with them. Some I will pass on to friends and relatives as gifts but most will be for me to enjoy as I intended. I am going to post each finished project and realistically give myself a year to do them in. Some will just take a few hours to complete but others will take months. Like my granny square project.

I know I am not alone in this, as I have often spoken to my creative friends and know that they have a stash of unfinished projects too. I would love to hear about your unfinished projects, leave a comment below.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Karen's Modern + Casual Makeover

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Karen runs her own business as a full time dog walker at Webby's Walkies.  With 3 dogs of her own, a teenage daughter and preschooler to keep her from relaxing. It made sense that she was our first Makeover Story participant. So much of Karen's time is focused on helping others. When not walking her clients dogs, or the families 3 dogs, she loves to hang out with friends. Karen loves crafting, gardening and baking and exceeds in all three. All the walking that comes with her job has helped Karen tone up without realising. When purchasing new clothes she still tries to hide her figure with large tops and jeans that are 2 sizes too big!!!

I asked Karen what she would like to gain from this experience and she said, "I'd love to know how to look modern, I always seem to end up looking a little too much like my Mum. When it comes to buying clothes I always end up buying for the kids instead of myself. I don't get to wear make-up very often, I'm looking forward to the whole experience." Karen was looking for an updated wardrobe, keeping it casual for her hectic modern life. Here's her look before....
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Teresa from "I Am Into This" first goal was to find clothes that flatter Karen's hidden figure without losing the casual modern style that she was after. Karen was so used to hiding under larger sizes that Teresa was surprised to find Karen two dress sizes smaller than she thought. Teresa said "I wanted to put Karen in fitted trousers, flattering her figure and give her a 'Parisian' look."

The first thing Karen asked for was a new hair cut and colour. She wanted to become a soft caramel blonde with a pixie style cut. These small changes made a massive difference to the final look. This short hair style is perfect for Karen as she is always on the go, enabling her to jump out of the shower and do the school run before work.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wasteland is off to Cannes

Zombies at Cannes

Follow the progress here


I am hoping that if you are a regular visitor to Planet Make-up Blog you'll be more than aware of the baby that we call Wasteland.

Wasteland is the hard work of a committed and talented team, who believed in giving their free time up for a vision from creators Tom Wadlow and Tommy Draper.

Thanks to the hard work shown by Light Films Ltd and The Wasteland Team we are off to Cannes to meet with distributors and show them that hard work and dedication on a small budget is worthy of any Hollywood big budget film.

If you haven't already, please take time to click on the video above. It makes me incredibly proud to have worked with such an amazing team. We endured fog, snow, rain and below zero conditions and would start filming at 6am to finish a few hours later. This enabled us all then to focus on our "normal" paid jobs.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Little Bird Told Me - Wedding Sparrow

Wedding Sparrow Website Launch

A little tweet interrupted my first cuppa of the day. I didn't mind, I knew what it was, finally Wedding Sparrow's new website launch was here.  

It has felt like an eternity since I got together with Sara from Wedding Sparrow, I had been asked to do the Hair and Make-up look for the Spring Forest Inspiration Shoot. Okay, so it hasn't really been that long, but I have very little patience when it comes to waiting for images. I do get little snippets of behind the scenes pictures here and there, but it's the final images that you long for.

The 3.5 hour journey down to Dorset was totally worth it. I got to work with some of the coolest, nicest and most talented people during that cold spring morning. I came away with beautiful new friends and a love for the New Forest. It gives me great pleasure to share these images with you.


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You can check out some of the behind the scene images in an earlier post here. 

The talented team behind all of the images can be found below

Photography: Aneta Mak
Floral Designs and Styling: Bo Boutique
Dresses: Claire Pettibone courtesy of Exquistite Bridal Couture
Hair and Make-up: Deborah Bennett

Styling and Co-ordination: Wedding Sparrow 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Find Your Perfect Foundation - Let's Touch Base

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If there's one beauty product that can transform your looks. it's foundation. No other make-up will look good on your face unless you get the base right.

Not only can the best formulas disguise every flaw, they also work in harmony with our skin, evening out our skin tone and reflecting light to make us look younger and brighter.

Here in Part 1 of "Let's Touch Base" I share some expert tips on applying and choosing the right foundation.

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  • LIQUID Suitable for all skin types.
  • CREAM Good for medium to full coverage.
  • MOUSSE Light in texture.
  • POWDER Can be used dry for a lighter feel, or wet for extra coverage.
  • STICK Like a concealer stick, but softer texture. Quick and easy to use.
  • MINERAL POWDER Loose powder applied with a big brush. Great for speedy application.
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  • LIGHT-DUFFUSING Contains pigments that reflect light. Great for older skins as it gives a youthful glow
  • OIL-FREE A water-based product with little or no moisturising elements. Perfect for oily skin.
  • MATTE Flat and powdery texture that combats shine. Good for oily skin.
  • SEMI-MATTE A good all-rounder. Softer coverage that hides imperfections.
  • PORE-MINIMISING A liquid format that controls oil production. Best for oily skin.
  • TINTED MOISTURISER This gives a hint of colour and evens out skin tone.
  • ALL-IN-ONE Sometimes called wet-to-dry or cream-to-powder, this is a foundation and powder in one that goes on wet and dries like a powder. A brilliant time-saving product, and mess free.
  • TWO-IN-ONE Comes in a compact. Use dry as a finishing powder, or wet the sponge for fuller coverage.
  • DEWYThis has a moist finish but wont mask imperfections. Great for younger, blemish free skin.  
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You know your own skin type better than anyone. If your skin is dry, look for a foundation with added moisturiser and avoid powder formats. For oily skin, pick out ones that are mattifying.

If you need help opt for a department store with lots of cosmetics brands as the assistants will be happy to guide you.

Once you have determined the format for you, think about the level of coverage required. A light foundation or tinted moisturiser works best on young skin, or skin with few blemishes. Medium cover is a great all-rounder, and full cover is best for women with a skin problem such as rosacea or scarring that needs camouflaging.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Low Fat Chicken Korma

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My friends at Light Films Ltd have been dieting since the beginning of the year. They have lost almost 4 stone between them, by following the Hairy Dieters Book they received as a Christmas present. I have followed many diets in the past and all of them work for me, it's just having the ability to stick at it. Then I slip back into old habits, and the weight slowly creeps back on.

"Rich, creamy chicken korma is usually forbidden territory if you're watching your weight, but we'd hate you to miss out so we've come up with our healthy chicken curry recipe. Add extra chilli if you like."

4 fairly small boneless chicken breasts )about 600g/1lb 5oz)
freshly ground black pepper
25g/1oz low-fat natural yoghurt
1tbsp sunflower oil
2 large onions, chopped (400g/14oz prepared weight)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
20g/3/4oz piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
12 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
1tbsp ground cumin
1tbsp ground coriander
1/2 heaped tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp hot chilli powder
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp plain flour
small pinch of saffron
2tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus extra to season
3 tbsp double cream
fresh coriander, roughly torn, to garnish (optional)

Over 2 hours preparation time

30 minutes to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

294 calories per potion (without rice)

Cut each chicken breast into eight or nine bite size pieces, season with black pepper and put them in a non-metallic bowl. stir in yoghurt, cover with cling film and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes but ideally for 2-6 hours.

Heat the oil in a large, non stick saucepan and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until very soft and lightly coloured. Stir the onions occasionally to prevent sticking.

Once the onions  are softened, stir in the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and bay leaf. Pinch off the ends of the cloves into the pan and throw away the stalks. Cook the spices with the onions for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the flour, saffron, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, then slowly pour 300ml/1/2 pintcold water into the pan, stirring constantly.

Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat, take out the bay leaf and blend the onion mixture with a stick blender until it is as smooth as possible. You can do this in a food processor if you prefer, but let the mixture cool slightly first.

The sauce can now be used right away or cooled, covered and chilled until 10 minutes before serving.

Place a non-stick frying pan on the heat, add the sauce and bring it to a simmer.

Add the chicken pieces and cream and cook for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through, stirring regularly. Exactly how long the chicken takes will depend on the size of your pieces, so check a piece after eight minutes – there should be no pink remaining.

Adjust the seasoning to taste, spoon into a warmed serving dish and serve garnished with fresh coriander if you like.

If you would like to learn more about Light Films and follow them on their visit to Cannes Film Festival, join them here 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Coffee and Walnut Cake

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Makes two 20cm (8inch) cakes, which can be sandwiched together to make one layer cake.
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs, free-range or organic
175g self raising flour, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee mixed with 2 tablespoons of boiling water

For the syrup
1 tablespoon instant coffee
50g demerara sugar
55ml boiling water

To decorate
1 1/2 batches of Coffee Buttercream Icing 
10-12 walnut halves

For a most delicious coffee cake, inspired by one of Delia Smith's recipes. Combined with coffee buttercream, it is a coffee-cake connoisseur's delight.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan)/190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Grease and baseline two 20cm cake tins.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition. Add the flour and baking powder and beat well.

Grind the walnuts in a food processor for about 30 seconds or so - they should not be too fine. Add the coffee and ground walnuts to the batter and mix again but no more than 3-4 seconds. The mixture should have a marbled effect and it is very important not to over mix or you will take all the air out of the cakes.

Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until raised and golden brown. Insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes - it should come out clean if it is cooked.

Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in their tins. Make up the syrup by combining the ingredientas in a jug and stirring well to ensure the sugar dissolves completely. After 10-15 minutes, prick the sponges with a fork, brush on the syrup and leave it to soak in.

When you are ready to ice the cakes, carefully turn them out of their tins and peel the greaseproof paper from the bases. Place one cake on a plate and spread a thin layer of coffee buttercream over it. Place the second cake on top and use the rest of the buttercream to cover the upper surface. Decorate with the walnut halves around the edge.

Run 5K Challenge for Race for Life

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Not only am I good at finding excuses for not exercising, I am also a serial yo-yo dieter. I have counted points and calories, had red days and green days, filled days with eating cabbage soup. I've even tried pills and potions, they all work in the beginning. As for the long run, I find eating out and the odd glass of wine more appealing.

What I needed was a challenge!

My Nanna and Grandad have recently both got over cancer. I decided that Race for Life was for me, especially seeing as my local gym were starting a running group. 

I have ran in the past, I started with my cousin last year, with a promise to myself that I would run with my sister-in-law whilst visiting her in Australia. This soon went to the wayside as I heard about her heroic 100K run to help raise awareness for Anorexia. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lemon Cupcakes

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These fresh lemon cupcakes are always very popular in our house. Make sure you use really plump juicy lemons for maximum zing!

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Makes 12 regular cupcakes

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar, preferably golden
2 large eggs, free range or organic
150g self raising flour, sifted
125g plain flour, sifted
90ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon sour cream
Grated zest of 1 lemon (you need 1 teaspoon)

Preheat  the oven to 160°C (fan)/180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with the appropriate size cupcake cases.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.

Combine the two flours in a separate bowl and combine the milk, lemon juice and sour cream in a jug. Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added, incorporating the lemon zest with the last third of flour. Don't worry if the mixture starts to curdle: simply add another spoonful of plain flour and beat well.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes - it should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool. Once they are completely cool, you can ice the cupcakes with lemon buttercream and decorate with a sugared lemon slice )you'll find pots of these in the baking aisle of most supermarkets) or a little finely grated lemon zest. 

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bridal Shoot with Wedding Sparrow Blog

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On Sunday I worked alongside Sara Russell from Wedding Sparrow Blog. Sara had asked me to join her team down south, in the New Forest, Dorset. Sara wanted me to provide hair and make-up for a bridal campaign to launch Wedding Sparrows New Blog at the end of April. I got to feel and lust after the most amazing Claire Pettibone dresses from the Spring/Summer 2013 range. Bo Boutique provided stunning flowers for the day, whilst Aneta Mak shot the most breathtaking romantic pictures, surrounded by gorgeous scenery and wild ponies. I cannot wait to show you all the final images once Sara's blog has launched and hopefully get to do it all again in the very near future. 

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The pictures above were taken with my mobile phone. They do the dresses no justice at all so I have posted some pictures below from the Claire Pettibone Spring/Summer Collection.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to: 5-Step Skincare Regime

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Most women know what they should be buying and most women are buying more and more products. Always searching for the best cleanser or the perfect moisturiser. This is great news for all the companies out there that are happy to let us stock up our cupboards with half finished products as we buy the next new product that promises us the world. Did it ever occur that maybe its the way the products are being used? Do you still use cleanser on a cotton pad? Don't worry you haven't done anything wrong but this is exactly what my mother taught me when I first started cleansing, and carried on that way until my best friend started working at Neal's Yard, and informed me on how to use the products properly. I am listing a few of my favourite items, but I am telling you. It's not just about the products it's about how and when you use them too!
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Using the cleanser of your choice, use your fingers to press the product all over your face making sure you also reach the areas around your nose and around your chin. Try not to rub cleanser onto your face as this can encourage removal of skin cells that are not ready to fall off. A muslin cloth can be used for a light exfoliation when removing the product using luke warm water.

Step 2: TONER

Toner comes next as it’s main purpose to remove anything you missed during cleansing. Cover a cotton wool pad with product and sweep over face reaching all areas. Clean any excess product with a tissue.

Step 3: SERUM

Serums contain all the clever scientific stuff and it’s a step that shouldn’t be missed! Use a small 5p sized amount and use the palm of your hand to massage into the face. A serum with antioxidants in will give you bonus points!


Eye cream is one of those products that lots of people use but the majority use wrong. Take a tiny bit of product onto your ring finger and pat it lightly around the orbital bone (which is just under where you’d put concealer). Do not apply it right up by your eye as this will damage the sensitive skin and cause puffiness.


The final step before bed… moisturiser. Use a generous amount, enough to cover all areas. Use upward motions with your hands to rub in. So there you have it, the correct order and how to apply. Now all you need is to decide which products.... I will be doing reviews on my favourite products so please keep coming back. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Highlights of Ballet Theatre UK's Spring Production

Last year I designed several of the make-up looks for Ballet Theatre UK's upcoming performances. I sit patiently waiting for the advertising campaigns to start so that I can showcase the beautiful work that we always manage to create together. This is their new performance and it started last week. Catch it nationwide.
Here are some of the highlights of Ballet Theatre UK's Spring production of 'Alice in Wonderland'.
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The Mad Hatter make-up design was inspired by Ziggy Stardust.
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The Queen of Hearts was inspired by an illamasqua campaign. photo WhiteRabbitcopy_zpsdb9879c6.jpg
The White Rabbit.
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Owl Crochet Hat Pattern

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This is the pattern I always refer to when ever I am making an ear flap newborn hat. I love how quick and simple it is. The pattern is by Repeat Crafter Me, I have posted her pattern for the Newborn size that I have made. However, you can also find it in larger sizes on her blog here

Crochet Owl Ear flap Hat
Size: Newborn

• Soft Merino Wool
• Crochet hook size H-8 (5.0 mm)
• Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
• Two 3/4" black button for eyes

ch - chain
sl st- slip stitch
SC - Single Crochet
DC- Double Crochet
HDC- Half Double Crochet
HDC Decrease - Half Double Crochet Decrease

Round 1: Magic ring, Chain 2, DC 12 inside ring, joint to 1st DC, chain 2
Round 2: 2 DC in same stitch and in each around, join, chain 2 (24).
Round 3: DC in the same stitch as Chain 2, DC, DC, 2 Dc in next, *DC in next 3, 2 Dc in next, repeat from * around, Join to 1st DC, chain 2. (30)
Round 4: DC in the same stitch as Chain 2, DC, 2 DC in next, *DC in next two, 2 DC in next stitch, repeat from * around, Join to 1st DC, chain 2. (40)
Round 5-7: Beginning in same stitch as Chain 2, DC around, join to 1st DC, chain 2 (40) Note: before joining round 7, change color.
Round 8-9: In new color DC around, join to 1st DC, chain 2 (40) 

Do not fasten off, begin first earflap

Earflap 1:
Row 1: Starting in next stitch, HDC 8, chain 2, turn
Row 2: HDC decrease, HDC 4, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 3: HDC 6, chain 2, turn
Row 4: HDC decrease, HDC 2, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 5: 2 HDC decreases, chain 2, turn
Row 6: HDC decrease, fasten off leaving long tale

Earflap 2:
Count 9 stitches away from seam.
Row 1: Chain 2, starting in next stitch, HDC 8, chain 2, turn
Row 2: HDC decrease, HDC 4, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 3: HDC 6, chain 2, turn
Row 4: HDC decrease, HDC 2, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 5: 2 HDC decreases, chain 2, turn
Row 6: HDC decrease, chain 1 turn (do not fasten off)

Continue to SC around the entire hat, join to first single crochet, fasten off leaving long tail. You should now have a long pieces of yarn hanging from the ends of each earflap. You will use this as a strand in your braid.

Eyes (Make 2):
In first color (this is your accent color):
Magic Ring, Chain 2
Round 1: 10 DC in chain, Change color to white before joining to first DC, chain 2 (10)
Round 2: 2 DC in same stitch and in each stitch around, join, chain 1 (20)
Round 3: SC in same stitch, 2 SC in next, *SC, 2 SC in next, repeat from * around, join to first sc, fasten off leaving long tail to sew on (30)
After sewing crocheted eyes on, sew 3/4" black button in the center for the eyeballs

Chain 6
Slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook, SC, HDC, DC, DC, fasten off leaving long tail to sew on

Cut two strands of 12 inch long pieces of yarn in each color (6 strands total). 
Loop through 2 DC's in the crease of the 3rd round.
Knot and trim to approx 1"

Braided Tails:
Cut three 1 yard strands of each color (9 strands total).
Pass through last space in earflap. You should now have 18 strands to braid with.

Make knot and braid approx 5.5 inches long, knot, trim ends.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Australian New Year and New Year Resolution

As I'm sure some of you are aware, I am with my family in Australia at the moment. We have been here for almost a month, and we are having the time of our lives. Spending time with Ian's family and meeting his Sister, Brother-in-Law and twin nieces, has made Christmas 2012 one that I will never forget. However, being away for Christmas always feels alien and Christmas really hasn't quite felt like Christmas. It's the heat, the heat is WRONG, it's simply too hot to feel Christmassy. 

Christmas should be cold, and the nights should be drawing in at 3pm. It's as simple as that.

Yesterday we spent New Years Eve on the beach in Mornington, Victoria. The beach was virtually empty, and we were with the whole family. We couldn't have asked for more. The beach had so few people on it considering it was New Years Eve. But as the day turned into late afternoon, not one of us was interested in spending the evening surrounded by heaps of drunken idiots. We had been planning and un-planning what we were going to do for weeks now and that got me thinking. I realised that I'm finding more and more as the years pass that despite much planning and anticipation, New Year's Eve ends up being just another night?

Or is it just me?
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The words anti-climax and unsatisfactory spring to mind – it could actually be any other day. And yet, what this time of year actually stands for is a marker in time, a point by which we can somehow quantify and measure our dreams and successes. It's a life checkpoint.

It reminds us to take pause from the daily humdrum. In an ever modernising world, where work days blend into work nights and weekends are packed with chores and errands, where there is little differentiation between work and play, we need New Year's more than ever, to remind us what we value in life: prompt us to chuck in the bad habits and prepare to be the best we can be in the year to come. So what will be my New Year resolution for 2013?

Seeing that most of my vices I had during my twenties have slipped away without too much effort. Due to focusing on finding a career, raising a child and maintaining a relationship, my new priorities seem to have little time to do much else. Gone are the days of week long benders for no apparent reason (gone, but not forgotten!). And so, this year I don't need to vow to drink less or quit the cigarettes because moderation took effect a while back, all by itself. As I'm sure many 30-year-old(ish) people can relate, less money spent on boozy nights out equals more money spent on good food: fruit and veg from the organic greengrocer, rustic loaves from the farmers market, the daily gingerbread latte – they all add up to become our new extravagance.

But, I'm not willing to spend less on luxury food items and so this can not be my New Year's resolution. So what is my bad habit? The answer is staring us right in the face.
Oh happy friends, laptop and tablet, we've been through so much together. You are the first thing I see when I wake and the last thing before sleep takes over. When you light up, my face lights up and I drop everything to come running to your attention. Whenever we travel, I treat you like my first born, protect you from rough handed baggage handlers, lay you with kid gloves in the x-ray tray. You have become an extension of me, a limb I'd struggle to live without.

But struggle I must, this I vow to do in 2013. After all, less time with you means more time with my family and real people in the flesh. Less time spent searching for stuff, means more time actually experiencing and exploring the real world. Don't get me wrong, I could never shun you completely, you also represent a lot that is good. I cherish living in your global village, and bathing in your vast depth of knowledge. But my obsession with you has been distracting me from the world on my very own doorstep.

So in 2013 I'm going to switch logging on to stepping out, and I urge you, dear reader, to do the same. Make it an experiment and discover that, although you may not have checked your emails for the last 20 minutes, life, strangely enough, goes on.