Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Program …

It seems that April has snuck up on me. 2012 seems to be happening on fast-forward, honestly.  I turn around and eleven days of April are already gone. We’ll call it an unscheduled blogging break and keep going from here, okay?  -_-*

Life is kind of strange at the moment. I went to Sydney with my mother, overnight, and stayed in my sister’s apartment whilst she stayed here and held down the fort. We had a great time – at least, I did. I wrote a list of all the things I needed to do in Sydney, from looking at the new shoes to picking up a new Sims 3 expansion. Easter passed with a slightly lower level of dysfunction that normally plagues my family, thank god.

And now winter has hit. It’s currently absolutely pouring rain, a dark sky made darker with rain clouds and freezing – my ugg boots came out of ‘storage’ (read: out from under my chair) last night. Winter is finally here and I’m not exactly jumping for joy. I prefer cold but not rainy to all-out downpour. But since it is raining, I bought myself a gorgeous new umbrella

A Jonathan Adler umbrella, and I love it – it should arrive tomorrow, at which point it will stop raining because Life enjoys mocking me in that way. I just love the pattern – it reminds me of fish scales and that beautiful Japanese paper I get at the art shop. There is nothing more awesome than a brightly coloured umbrella during a rainy day.

Another thing bugging me at the moment is our neighbours. They are a very loud family – loud as in the seven year old girl and mother think screaming tantrums are perfectly acceptable at any time of the day or night, and the four year old boy is joining in as well. Which means I get woken up anywhere from 4:30am onwards from two tantrum throwing kids who need a good kick and a mother who chooses to scream back at them. It means I have to do most of my sleeping when the 7 year old is in school, which is not healthy. I think I’m going to have to say something to them, because the amount of murderous screaming that goes on is disturbing the entire street. (The next time I hear that girl screaming, ‘NO NO NO’, I’m going to hang out the bathroom window and scream, “Yes, YES, YES!!’ back at her. Then we’ll see what happens. :evil:)

I’ve also been spending a lot of time over on Goodreads – I’ll link to my profile later. I’ve also started a 50 (New) Books in 2012 challenge, and am 16 books in, which is crazy, since I only started in March. Out of those 16 books, only one of them sucked beyond all measure, so I think that’s a pretty good ‘awesome book’ percentage.

I’m also been working on my newest project – turning Written-Word.Org into a writing slash YA novel review site. Honestly, coding WordPress themes hasn’t quite clicked yet. I can code HTML and even a little PHP and CSS in my sleep, but WordPress eludes me. I guess that means I need more practice. So it will take longer to set up than I anticipated but that also gives me more time to come up with content. I also need to get my ass into gear and get my professional site and a business card designed and ready to go. I’ve got until late May before university classes start back up, which should be plenty of time.

Now I have a big bowl of udon and some allergy pills waiting for me; I know, I know, it’s a drunken whirligig of fun here tonight  XD

Easter Plans

So, the Great Festival of Chocolate – also known as Easter – falls on April 6 to 9 this year. It seems both super late this year but it also seems to have come upon me quite quickly. I’m planning on drawing my mother a portrait of a bunny and maybe a nice box of chocolates.

Mia (my sister) told Mum today that her friend Kayla might be coming to stay for Easter. Which is cool, of course, but strange – we don’t have guests very often. Since we’ve lived in this house, I’ve only had one friend stay over. Mia did have one boarding school friend I’ll call S, who stayed for awhile. She was… a piece of work. Very spoilt, she was kind of pushy and rude – she’d barge into my room without knocking, she’d demand to play my computer games whilst I was playing them and argh! Manners really are important – a simple ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ goes a long way.

But Kayla’s nice, I’ve met her. I just hope we can practice family harmony whilst she is here – which translates loosely into ‘I hope my father behaves like a human being rather than a spectacular douchebag’. If nothing else, it will make for some interesting blogging.

I’m also hoping to see my grandmother over Easter Weekend – I’m hoping to make her some cupcakes, and convince my Mum to make her delicious chocolate cake with raspberries and cream, and decorated with tiny chocolate eggs (my grandmother loves sweets, it’s funny to see how excited when we bring lollies). The problem is that if we take lunch and dessert to my grandmother’s and my aunt and uncle show up, they’ll help themselves and probably take most of it home with them, which I find infinitely rude.

But that’s a rant for another day. I just hope my family can suck it up and behave like humans for Easter. That would be nice.

Christmas Eve 2011

(Wow is this late. It’s been one of those weeks and, quite frankly, I was hoping I’d have my DSLR by now  :idea: But alas, not until next weekend. If I get time over the next few days, I’ll take my pictures with my Lumix.)

Anyway, Christmas Eve was chaotic, as you could probably tell from my Christmas To Do List. I got two batches of cupcakes made, only because I was being conservative with the eggs and butter, as well as the cupcake liners. my cupcake recipe takes four eggs and 225g of butter per batch. I get 20+ cupcakes from the recipe depending on how big they are, so I made the decision to just do two, and ended up with almost sixty cupcakes. When I went to ice the cakes, though, I found out we had very little icing sugar. I iced a few and then had to wait… resulting in the fact that the majority of the cupcakes were never iced.  :ohno:

I made a glorious attempt to make star-shaped ornaments/gift tags for my grandmothers out of Fimo but I used FimoAir, and it sort of turned styrofoam-y and the silver paint highlighted all the unevenness, so that was put aside. I’ll try again next year, with oven-baked Fimo. I also really want one of those alphabet stamp kits, because I think that would look much nicer than hand-writing in black pen on an ornament. I’ve actually wanted one for years and never knew where to look until I found a lady selling them on Etsy.

Ahem, I also managed to finish my Christmas cards, clean the bedroom, wrap my gifts… plus Mum and I had to pick up sushi for tea, the traditional Christmas flowers, wrap even more gifts and finish off the gingerbread house. It wasn’t complete and assembled until New Year’s Eve (the gingerbread house deserves a post of it’s own. It is hilarious and awe-inspiring.)

We also got the news that my paternal grandparents couldn’t see us until Boxing Day, and my aunt managed to rig it so that we couldn’t see my maternal grandmother until the 27th of December, so we had Christmas Day at home together. On one hand, we were so tired it seemed like a god-send, on the other it was a bit of a let down. As a family, we have a lot of issues and having all four of us under the same roof on a holiday with some much build up is a recipe for disaster. I’m more agitated about my mother’s side of the family, and the way they continually disrespect her. But I digress.

I also added a few last minute decorations to the tree – I love our tree. When I was a child, Australians really didn’t use real trees. It was pretend all the way. My parents had this medium-sized white one that was yellowed by the time we replaced it with the huge pine one that is still as glorious today as it was fourteen years ago. And with all our decorations and lights on it, I swear it looks far better than any real tree ever could. (I should also point out for anyone getting their hackles up, that we did try a real tree when I was roughly 6 – and promptly that December in Australia is no place for a real tree and the heat just speeds up decomposition. I was extremely distressed that year at the sight of our Christmas tree dying.)

Hmm, I might do a separate Christmas tree post.

But the night wrapped up with my father arriving home from picking my sister up in Sydney (and promptly consuming my mother’s share of dinner  :angry:), a few last minute gifts being wrapped (my father is so lazy and arrogant that he had a gift for my mother in one of the bags of gifts I asked him to pick up for me and he simply expected me to notice it and wrap it without saying a word. I threw it out and when he mentioned it, had to go through my bin.  :cranky:) and ventured into the debate of what time to get up for presents the next morning (my sister never grew out of the Oh-My-God-It’s-Christmas! excitement :lol:)…