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Well Winter is well and truly here and Autumn is a distant memory now all the trees are bare. If you missed it last time, at the end of Summer I posted a summary of where I went and what I did that season and I intend to do one each season over the next few years to keep a record of my wonderful life as it is right now. So here goes….

Travelled to:

Hamerton Zoo

You may have thought I went on safari judging by these photos but actually, I just went to Hamerton. It was a wildlife photography course I did as part of my job…and it was absolutely incredible to get that close to these gorgeous animals.


Japan

OK, I didn’t physically travel to Japan but I went to the Japanese Festival in Spitalfields, London so metaphorically I kinda did (and to be honest getting from one side of London to the other on the weekend is a trip in itself). I ate lots of gyoza. It was good :)

Liverpool

We are both huge Beatles fans, so we caught the train up to Liverpool for the weekend. We had such a blast checking out the Beatles Experience, the Magical Mystery Tour, the Cavern Club and we stayed at a Beatles-themed hotel. So touristy but so much fun!

Marrakech

We popped down to Marrakech for a long weekend in October to check out wedding venues. We had a lovely, relaxing time and ate the most amazing food but we’re still undecided on our wedding plans (Las Vegas is starting to sound like a good idea to be honest!)

Edinburgh

In November I travelled up north to watch the All Blacks play Scotland (for those outside the Commonwealth, the All Blacks are the NZ rugby team!) Watching the AB’s play over in Europe is something I definitely wanted to do when I moved over here and it was so much fun….oh and we won…by a lot.

Amsterdam

Another trip in November and just a quick hop across the water to lovely Amsterdam. I’ve been there a few times before but this was the first time I’d been in Autumn (well it was practically Winter by this stage!) Spent our time wandering the most amazing shopping district across numerous canals and I stumbled across a gorgeous little paper boutique (I’m planning a separate post all about this place, it was amazing!) Then the afternoon was spent in a cosy local bar drinking Amstel and snacking on olives and Dutch cheese – to me, an absolutely perfect day’s traveling!

I listened to:

….so much Arcade Fire. We got the new album (The Suburbs) about the beginning of Autumn so it was pretty much my soundtrack for the season along with their 2 earlier albums (Funeral & Neon Bible). We actually had tickets to their concert which we went to on the 1st of December, but that story can wait for Winter 2010/11!

I watched:

…after about a year of watching it, we finally finished the Sopranos and I’m still convinced it’s the best TV series I’ve ever seen. Now that’s over we’ve moved on to Six Feet Under & Mad Men, both which I’m absolutely loving.

I wore:

…these super-cute shoes from Primark that cost me £8 and lasted me all Autumn, once the Winter rain and snow arrived they completely fell apart – but I wasn’t expecting anything less at that price!

I scrapped:

…in a new style with this Liverpool mini album – I’m a big fan of scrapping in a smaller size and with this one I took a slightly different approach. I shared a simple but sweet Autumn layout and I worked on my Learn Something New Everyday album, which I’ll be sharing in the new year!

I planned:

…our Christmas travels! All I can say is it will be absolutely freezing but charming and very European :)

I dreamed:

…of Christmas and now it’s nearly here! I know that it always sneaks up on me but this year it’s just been insane – I’m in complete denial Christmas is next week, although we’ll be celebrating it this weekend with my sister since we won’t be in London on the 25th.

Autumn 2010 in numbers:

turned 1 year older

1 new lens in my camera bag

1 shot of Scottish whiskey

2 film premieres attended (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows & The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

2 batches of cupcakes baked (including my first batch of Red Velvet cupcakes!)

visited all 4 childhood homes of the Beatles

6 30th birthdays attended (at least!)

10 hours in the air

100+ cups of coffee (out of nowhere, suddenly I’m addicted)

How was your Autumn?

N x

As the 2010 class is about to start, I spent the long weekend putting some finishing touches on my 2009 album that has been hiding away. I can’t believe it was a year since the last class and I’m completely embarrassed that it’s taking me this long to finish last year’s book!

My 2009 album was quite introspective and a lot of the lessons I recorded were little life lessons or things about myself that are important to remember. I didn’t intend for it to turn out that way but I love it because it’s the first real ‘Me’ album I’ve done.

As well as LSNED 2010, I’m doing Elise’s Big Mini Workshop which started today and i’m super-excited about that class too!

Aside from a lot of scrapbooking, I had a wonderfully relaxing weekend at home by myself (my Mr was away) watching lots of chick flicks, drinking wine, listening to all my favourite music and sleeping in. Bliss!

Have a great week!

N x

So, the inspirational Elsie from A Beautiful Mess has motivated me to do something I should have done a long time ago:

Start setting a few goals! 4 goals to be precise, to be accomplished by the time 2011 comes around.

I’m definitely a thinker (probably a little too much), but I rarely set real goals for myself. I might think about something I want to achieve but I often get distracted, de-motivated or life just gets in the way.

So here we go, my 4 goals for 2010:

1. Discover a form of exercise that I love

I’m the first one to admit I don’t exercise as often as I should and a big part of it is that I’m not a gym person and I’m not a runner (shudder). I think exercise should be enjoyable though, not a punishment so I’m going to try some new things until I find something I really enjoy and want to do. Not only for my physical health (I am getting married after all!) but for my mental health as well :) My reward? Well I think the reward will be in the results in achieving this goal.

2. Blog more. Like…every week?

There’s so many things I want to share on this blog but for many reasons they don’t all come out. Trying to fit it in around a full-time job, my fiance who needs my attention too, catching up with friends when it always seems like forever since you’ve seen each other, life in general and the fact I like to keep some things private…well my little old blog often comes further down the priority list than I’d like it to. So how about aiming for once a week? I think that’s do-able! My reward? I’ll book a girly weekend away with a friend, that way I’ll have some more blogging material and I will have had a much needed catch-up with a friend.

3. Take time to become a better photographer

OK, I don’t know if this one counts because I’m already booked on two photography courses this year (one is this Saturday, can’t wait!) but taking a course doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a better photographer, so I think it’s still a valid goal! My focus will be on using what I learn when I’m photographing my travels or photographing around London, and using my Diana more often. My photography has come a long way over the past year but I want to get to the next level, so here I go :) My reward? Well it’s got to be camera related and I think a new lens for Christmas would be a good reward (I do work for a photographic retailer after all).

4. Finish my Learn Something New Every Day album

This is just getting ridiculous. I can’t even remember when I started this album but I’m about half way through. I wanted a scrapbooking/craft related goal as I’ve been a little un-inspired and quiet on the scrappy front, so finishing this album might be the kick-start I need. I’m hoping my little purchase of some goodies from Two Peas today will help inspire me too :) I think my reward for this one is easy: I’ll start a new online class but only once I finish this one.

Watching the sunet in Oia, Santorini...and possibly thinking about goals?

To be honest I could give myself another 4 goals but I think I’ll keep it manageable (god, I hope this will be manageable!).

If you want to join the challenge hop over to Elsie’s blog and read her guidelines for the challenge. I’ll be posting again to let you know how I’m getting on. Would love to know if you’ve set any for yourself too?

Wish me luck!

N x

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