2012: A Year For Change!

I have one New Years resolution: 
To make the most of my life.

Up until now, I feel as if I have been held back from being who I want to be and from doing what I want to be doing.  But I see 2012 as the beginning of something new, as the time to make a change to start making the most of my life. 

A lot of the issues that have held me down in the past are finally on their way to being resolved. I have worked hard at addressing some of those issues and some have just gone away with time and with the change of events. This makes me certain that this coming year will be fabulous and a change that I welcome.

And might I just say, I am so very excited!!!

I hope this coming year is wonderful for you all!!!
XO Samantha

Gift Exchange One Part One

This year/holiday season I was lucky enough to participate in two different package exchanges with two lovely ladies. I will tell you more about the other one soon, but for now...

I participated in a gift exchange by the lovely Danni from Oh, Hello Friend who paired me up with Leah from The Bird That Sang. It has been wonderful to get to know her and I implore you to go now and visit her gorgeous online store!!

When finding out about her likes she mentioned to me that she liked to support handmade and small businesses and she likes to spend her free time hand sowing so I did my best to buy her gifts as best I could. 

Here is what I sent her!
I hope she liked her gifts as much as I liked buying them for her. 
More on my package exchanges next week so stay tuned!!

Happy New Years Eve/New Year to all!!
XO Samantha

A Little Christmas Quiz

As Christmas is only a week away (crazy right???) I thought I'd complete this little quiz for fun. 

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? As it is Summer here for me, I'd have to go with egg nog. 

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps them for sure. Wrapping is part of the fun in the build up to Christmas and one of my favourite family traditions is sitting in a circle and going round one by one opening only one gift at a time. That way we get to see them rip open the paper and the excitement that shows on their face. 

3. Coloured lights on the tree/house or white? Definitely coloured. I love as much colour as possible during the Christmas season. It adds to the festivities.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No actually. I've never seen anyone do that besides in the movies. Plus it would be no fun having to repeatedly kiss all of your family members. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, I'm just more of a hugging type girl.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Well it really depends on how lazy I'm feeling, but I do my very best to at least put my Christmas tree up on the first of December. That's definitely a must!

6. What is your favourite holiday dish? My favourite holiday food would have to be mince pies. They are the one thing that we have every single Christmas without fail and they are just delicious!

7. Favourite holiday memory as a child? My favourite memories are those where we had a big family celebration. My family tends to be a bit all over the place each year some going overseas, some merely busy so my favourite Christmas memories are those when everyone came together as a huge group. One year in particular my uncle and aunty came over from England, my grandmother came over from South Africa and some family friends came down from Sydney and we had the most wonderful day.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was 8 years old and I was at my aunty's house. Up until then I had been very believing and passionate about the whole Santa thing, so much so that I even got into a few fights at Primary School and may have even lied about meeting Santa. My Aunty then decided that I was far too old to believe in such things and told me. I remember calling my parents and asking them and then refusing to talk to them as they had lied to me.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No. My family has never done that and I actually prefer our traditions, so I'm happy to wait.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We've had the same tree and the same decorations ever since we moved to Australia but I love it. I decorate the tree with tinsel and random ornaments we've collected over the years and of course lights, and it's still just as magical every year.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love snow but not fan of cold. We have Christmas in summer here and I have always wanted to have a white Christmas. That is my goal one day.

12. Can you ice skate? Heeeck no. I can barely roller blade. 

13. Do you remember your favourite gift? Uuuummmm. I don't think I've ever had a favourite gift. Or I might just have a terrible memory (entirely possible).

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? I know this is so cliche, but spending time with family and friends. I love everyone coming together and having fun. I also love love love spoiling my friends and family.

15. What is your favourite holiday dessert? I'd possibly have to say pavlova. It was never really considered a holiday dessert for us until we came to Australia but now I love having it on Christmas. I am even making one this year!!!

16. What is your favourite holiday tradition? I don't think my family really has traditions as such. I do love the way we organise our day. We start off in the morning waking up and having mince pies and shortbread and coffee and opening our stockings together. Yes, we still do stockings and I do one for my mum. Nothing big or fancy, just little knick knack things. Then we might or might not go to Church (sometimes we go to a service on Christmas Eve instead). We then come home, have a huge lunch, sit around talking and open our presents whilst having more mince pies and coffee. It's just so joyful, I love it.

17. What tops your tree? A big silver star. We used to have one that lights up, but it kept making the tree tip over. Yes, that's how heavy and huge it was!!!

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Definitely giving. I just love love love buying people presents (spending more money than I actually have), planning the perfect gift, wrapping it up nicely and seeing their faces as they open it. 

19. Candy canes: yuck or yum? Yum I'd say but you can't have to much. They can be a bit intense.

20. Favourite Christmas show? Goodness, I love them all. I usually watch Love Actually, the Grinch, Santa Clause (with Tim Allen), Home Alone and what ever other Christmassy movies are on. There's something so magical about sitting watching Christmas movies at night, with some egg nog, lights dimmed and Christmas lights on. I love it.

Well there are my answers to the Christmas Quiz. You may have noticed I left out two questions, but I didn't like them as they were too hard to answer. 

If you have filled out one of these quizzes, please leave me a link, I'd love to read them!!

XO Samantha

Fill In The Blank Friday

1. My most favourite "little thing" is either feeling the sunshine on my skin or having the house to myself. I actually enjoy cleaning and doing the laundry when I'm home alone. Weird, I know!

2. I'd give anything to be able to make my mind up on which uni to go to!!! Hardest decision!!!

3. I can't believe I'm enjoying watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. It's not like me at all!

4. The one thing I would actually like to achieve today is well the day is over so I shall have to say for tomorrow, I would like to actually be bothered doing some cleaning.

5. The last thing I want to do today ... I honestly have no idea. My life is pretty great right now. 

6. If I were writing my own blank today, it would say ... I again have no idea. I guess that's why so many of us leave it up to Lauren!!!

7. My favourite candle scent is vanilla. I love that stuff!! It smells like sweetness, happiness and marshmallows. Although I love candles so I would pretty much accept anything.

Have a wonderful weekend!!
XO Samantha

Four Eyes

So. Guess who now has to wear glasses? Apparently me.
And since I actually rather like my glasses, I thought I'd show you a before and after photo.

So what do you think?

Fill In The Blank Friday

1. The holiday season is one of the most magical times. I love it!

2. Snow makes me happy. However I'm no good if I get soaked and freeze.

3. The best comfort food to eat when it is cold out is soup, pasta, coffee and strangely for me, junkfood. Quite weird but when it's cold I feel like being lazy and eating junk.

4. Winter is the best time for sleeping in, pretty layers, catching up on movies, romantic nights at home, hot chocolate and so much more.

5. I can hardly wait for the new year. I don't know why, but this is the first time in my life I feel as if the new year is signifying a new beginning of sorts. We'll see how that one goes!

6. When it comes to holiday gifts I prefer to give real gifts (instead of money or gift cards) that show effort, thought and care. I like to personally pick out gifts, and I love the feeling of knowing just what to buy someone. I love buying presents!

7. If I were to rate my excitement about the holiday season on a scale from 1-10, I would say I am at about a 4 or 5. I know. It's really weird for me. I guess this year I have just been so preoccupied with exams and going away that the holiday season has really just crept up on me. Don't worry though. I will be an 11 in no time.

XO Samantha

Ps. I hope you like my new Christmas themed blog layout. 

Delightful December

Along with December comes many things, such as Christmas, summer, holidays, celebrations and fun. It also always gives me the chance to get many things done.

so here is my to-do list for the upcoming month!

What are your plans for the upcoming joyous month?
XO Samantha