Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

This has been an amazing year! Holidays interstate to Melbourne to see my brother and the tennis. To Adelaide for an amazing stitching get together and even a cruise with an amazing group of women.  Lots of trips away with the Tuesday girls for quilt retreats (and road trips!!). Meeting lots of new and wonderful friends in the process. 
A year where my eldest son stayed in the country for almost the entire year!!! And graduated from Uni. Birthdays and anniversarys and a very special engagement for my youngest son. 
Catching up with friends and family and even a visit from a gorgeous English beauty.  
Lots of shows, exhibitions and concerts. Many quilting and sewing projects finished (and started!). 
An entire year captured in photos with a 365 day photo challenge and my own blog called 365 Reasons to be Happy (which I couldn't control and went past 440 reasons!!!)  
It's been full and crazy and wonderful. I hope 2014 is even better!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my wonderful blogging friends. Thank you for your friendship and support throughout the year. You are such an important part of my life and day to day journey. I still can't believe how much my life has changed since I started blogging. Thank you!!
See you in 2014! Hope it's a wonderful year for you! 
Teresa xx

Boxing Day

Christmas lasts for 2 days for us - just so we can fit in seeing as much of our family as we can. Boxing Day is always at my dads and it was another wonderful celebration. As my mum is interstate and couldn't be with us this year, I always take lots of photos and send them to her throughout the day. What a great excuse ha ha!!!! 
It goes without saying that there MUST be a photo of me and my siblings! Great to have my brother up from Melbourne and I don't see my sister often enough either. 
Me and my family. This is what it is all about!!! 
All the girls that could make it this year...
And all the boys....
Trust me - there were many, many photos taken and I love this one of my dad doing what he loves best - taking more photos!! 
Got to love the fruit at this time of the year!!! 
I was a very happy girl spending two days with so many family members. That is definitely the best part of Christmas for me - being with those you love. 
Hope you had an amazing Christmas! 
Teresa xx

Christmas Day

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! Life has been so busy this last week that I haven't had a chance to blog about our wonderful Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I thought I'd better at least post a couple of photos before midnight and I say "goodbye" to 2013 altogether. 
Christmas Day was celebrated at my in-laws with lots of family there. The youngest nephews and nieces received a gingerbread house kit which resulted in a lot of entertainment for everyone. My husband and youngest son were roped into help and they were doing a great job until after all that work ...the house collapsed. It looked fantastic though. 
Lots of lovely memories made today. I love this photo of my eldest son and his grandfather (my father-in-law). 
My youngest is making a tradition of wearing this Christmas shirt every Christmas and is here with one of my gorgeous nieces who made an unbelievable effort to be here with us on the day. 
The food was wonderful (lots of amazing cooks in this family!!!) and each of us came home with all these lovely goodies (Greek shortbread is my favourite). 
Had a wonderful, exhausting day, but it was so good to see everyone. Tomorrow, Boxing Day, will be at my dads. 
I was spoilt rotten with gifts and the boys made a very special present, which I will post about soon. I can't wait to show you .... They were very creative .....
Teresa xx

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Swap and Gifts

This is the lovely present I received from my swap partner Kylie in our Friends in Stitching group.
I just love my table runner. The fabrics and colours are just gorgeous.
I made this bag for Kylie... It's a great pattern by Michelle Ridgway. Just loved the stitchery and thought it was perfect for another stitching friend.

Just a few photos of some of the wonderful presents I received for Christmas this year....
Hubby took me to Pandora and I was very, very lucky.....
Gorgeous Christmas charms for my bracelet...
Look at the wonderful thimbles Mum has collected for me along her travels this year! 
I love my new pink mat, ruler and pink cutter from Tori. It's the perfect size for retreats! 
But by far the biggest surprise present of all was from my boys.....
The sneaky pair removed these old photos (on the left) from years ago and reproduced them. I absolutely LOVE them. 
I think they did an amazing job reproducing them. They must have been laughing their heads off when they did these!!! 
What a wonderful Christmas it's been this year! 
Teresa xx 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve - both my boys are home - and we've watched "Miracle on 34th Street"1947 version (thanks to Jack)  and eating rumballs (thanks to James).
All the presents are wrapped and under the tree, waiting to be ripped apart in the morning. 
Wishing all my wonderful blogging friends and their families a very Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Swap and Last Minute Gifts

My on-line group, Friends in Stitching, is having their last swap for the year. We have 5 little gifts to open before the big one on Christmas Day. The theme this year was "SANTA" - S for Santa, A for Antlers, N for Nativity, T for treat and A for Angel. 
My secret Santa partner is Kylie and coincidentally we are both sending to each other. My lovely gifts so far .... S for Santa stitchery. Love this cute pattern. A for antlers on these gorgeous reindeer serviettes. 
N for Nativity. How cute is this Christmas decoration? It went straight on the tree! 
Today's present was T for treat and look what I opened! Gorgeous little fabric bowl of my favourite chocolates. I am enjoying opening all these little gifts and love all the wonderful presents. Thank you so much Kylie!!!
Today I have made a few little gifts for the girls at work tonight. We all use lanyards at work and they aren't very exciting so I thought they might like these fabric ones. 
I'm really happy with the way they turned out - I hope they like them too. 
I also received another early Christmas present today. I just love it!  Wonderful sign with "Family always and forever" on it. It has a little line with pegs to attach photos to. How cute is that? 
I have been madly making more rumballs as the first batch has been eaten early. What a surprise! This happens every year. Also trying out a new recipe and making  cheese balls for both family get togethers. 
I'm so excited my brother is up from Melbourne and we are catching up tomorrow for lunch before our family get together on Boxing Day. Can't wait!!! 
Hope all your Christmas plans are coming together and you have time to sit and relax before the big day! 
Cheers! Teresa xx

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Lights

I love driving around at night in the lead up to Christmas to see all the wonderful Christmas lights and displays. 
Sandi told me about this one, not far from where we live, so we decided to go and take a look.....
We weren't disappointed. I've never seen anything like it!!!
The house is at the top of a hill and you can actually see it from a long way. You know you are heading to the right house, that's for sure. It won the 4KQ lights for the south side of Brisbane and I can see why. 
Not only the house (all 2 stories of it), is decorated, but the roof, the driveway, the garage, the rooms at the front of the house and all the gardens are as well! It is breathtaking and simply amazing. 
Looking through the windows into their lounge room! 
There's even a sleigh to sit in for photos! My youngest dressed up for the occasion in his pyjanas! Ha ha. What a wonderful night and what a magical place to visit. 
If visiting this amazing house doesn't get you into the Christmas spirit, than nothing can!!!! 
Not long to go now.....
Hope you're ready.......
Teresa xx

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Party!!!

My Tuesday Stitching group had its Christmas party yesterday. It is also our last get-together for the year and already I can't wait until we get together again next year! 
I know how very lucky I am to have these friends in my life and I am truly grateful for their friendship, the laughter, the "being there" for each other as well as all the naughty, childish craziness that goes along with it too!!! Love these girls to bits and boy did we gave a great day!!!
We had the party at Sandi's house and how is this for a Christmas party entrance? Lucky Tess gave me a heads up with "Santa alert" when I walked in the  door as Santa came alive and started singing and dancing. I almost dropped my cheese platter. 
The house looked amazing and the mood was certainly "jolly". 
Out table was beautiful with glass jars full of Christmas beauties (and chocolates and marshmallows!!!) 
Lots of yummy food and non-alcoholic (can you imagine us with the real stuff!?!) wine was shared and devoured. 
And the gifts were absolutely, gobsmackingly beautiful. Lots of thought (and sneakiness) went into these I can tell you! 
Firstly we all decorated and filled "secret Santa" bon bons for each other. 
Inside we had to have a fat 1/8 fabric, some ribbon, a button, a Christmas decoration and a chocolate. As you can see my chocolate caramel koala didn't make it to the photo shoot. Along with the cute button and decoration, I was extremely lucky to get enough fabric and ribbon for a kit to make a gorgeous fabric bon bon. Thank you so much Tess - a lot of thought went into this xx
The presents I received just left me speechless. So many beautiful, thoughtful gifts. 
From the lovely Norreen - the sweetest little French zippered bag with an Eiffel Tower charm, a tapestry tote bag and this wonderful tin French sign. The bags are perfect for our next retreat and the sign is already up in the bathroom. Love it all!!!
From Laurel this lovely vase with butterfly and beads on the front.  Now to leave some hints for some flowers from my hubby! There are also chocolates and I'm happy to say they haven't been eaten .... yet! 
From Helen I received this beautiful sugar bowl and jug which she sneakily bought right in front of me in Warwick after me telling her how much I loved it. Never, ever trust Helen. She's very good at being sneaky! There is also a cute little tea bag there to enjoy. 
How simply gorgeous is my French vase??? It's very big and heavy and I love it to pieces. I have the perfect place for it, next to my free standing Eiffel Tower (naturally!!!). There was also this cute as owl candle that I'm not sure if I'll bring myself to light. Thank you so much Tereasa (aka Tess). 
These gorgeous gifts are from Sandi. A beautiful mug and box set (another sneaky purchase in Warwick - that shop did well out of us!) which I adore. Sandi also made all of us a beautiful zippy pouch and needlecase set. Mine has the most beautiful fabric, of course!!! The needlecase is just perfect... With our initials embroidered on the front....
And inside there are pockets for floss and scissors and a needle keep. It is so cute and perfect. I can't wait to use it. We all also received the best 2014 calendars ever. Every Tuesday is highlighted for the year, along with our birthdays and loads of photos of us enjoying ourselves throughout the pages. So much work and thought went into this - thank you!!! 
So very, very spoilt! And a really fun, wonderful day. It wouldn't be a party if Helen wasn't wearing something festive now would it? Bouncing Santas on her head and Chrissy earrings were the go. 
But what's this? Norreen trying to outdo Helen? Nah she's just wearing the moustache that was found in her bon bon!!! 
These girls are the friends everyone wishes they had. I am soooo lucky. Thank you for another year of fun and friendship. Thank you for a super Christmas party. 

Teresa xx

PS There was a parcel waiting for us from the lovely Lynda. Inside was a little Christmas cake each. How good is that???
Just wanted to add that I had mine for afternoon tea today - and it was delicious. Thank you Lynda xx