Planning the new year but first, what is there to say about 2016?

I got married (three times actually and yes to the same man thankfully). We were able to spend some time with close friends who live in different parts of the world. We couldn’t have executed our ideas for our wedding if it weren’t for our bridesmaids and groomsmen. Thankful and grateful for that always. I hope to blog about the weddings as I am already starting to forget the smaller details.

Work have pretty much taken over our lives the moment we came back from Malaysia. The second half 0f 2016 went by in a whirlwind of work, work and more work. We are usually good in balancing our work and personal lives. But this time round, our schedules were so messed up, I didn’t even get around to sorting out our wedding pictures till now (a good 6 months after!). Our allotment plot was in such a mess after our short break to Malaysia for the weddings, I can only resort to doing better when spring comes.

As for planning for the new year 2017, I have some projects under wraps which are still in the planning and testing stage. Over the years, Alex and some friends have always commented that I should pursue and execute my ideas. I have never shared their confidence in me and always expressed that I enjoying doing them as hobbies. But last half of 2016 has definitely given me a push that I need.

It’s all very exciting but with each progress I make, I feel more fear (if that makes any sense at all). I guess the fear is what’s always holding me back all these years. The fear of failing. But if I never try, I will never know.

Here’s to an exciting 2017.

 

Christmas is hands down my favourite season to DIY. There’s just so many things to do. I wish I have more time for it actually …  I saved some inspiration on Pinterest and Craftgawker a few weeks ago so I could create some DIY homemade christmas decorations for home. I saw this on Craftgawker actually and thought it was too cute to pass.

diy homemade christmas decorations

If you are looking to make some of these DIY homemade christmas decorations, check out the link above. The instructions from Wallflowerkitchen is very easy to follow and you only need felt, embroidery thread, ribbon and filling (assuming you have needle and scissors).

DIY homemade christmas decorations

I picked up this roll of ribbons from Flying Tiger when we were in Florence without having anything in mind for it. But hey ho, it fits well with the felt decoration.

DIY homemade christmas decorations

It was really easy to make so I made extra to give to our friends.

DIY homemade christmas decorations

I have been seeing a lot of minimalistic wreath on Pinterest. I was pretty sure I had some embroidery hoops that were collecting dust in our storage room and we saw some holly sold in town.  Just like the felt decoration, I already had a lot of the things that were needed.

DIY homemade christmas decoration

Attempting to create a wreath for the first time. Save to say I have gained some useful floral experience from creating our floral piece for our wedding with my bride’s squad.

DIY homemade christmas decoration

Christmas wreath, not too shabby I reckon.

When the first day of December came, realisation dawned on all of us, where has the year gone.

But on the bright side, the universe gave a big fat okay to anyone wanting to put up their christmas tree at this time. Or at least, I would like to assume so.

We love the smell of real christmas tree and so we decided to get our Christmas tree from the Christmas Markets again this year. In previous years, we used to get them from the nurseries but it was more costly for us because we had to rent a car to get there.

christmas market manchester

Thought it was a good idea to browse the markets as I hadn’t had the chance to. Terrible idea as everyone had the same idea in mind. Might have a go again during the week.

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christmas markets manchester

christmas markets manchester

The christmas markets in Manchester are always a great way to get into the festive spirit and start your countdown to Christmas.

Usually the christmas trees are located at the markets on Albert Square but this year there are more christmas trees at the markets near Corn Exchange. So if you are thinking of getting a christmas tree from town, head straight there.

christmas tree manchester

Small tree, tall trees, fat trees

thedreamtraveller

As usual, we always find it hard to choose just one.

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Netting our Christmas tree

christmas tree manchester

Just casually carrying our tree home.

christmas tree manchester

Alex fixing the lights on to our tree, I have no patience for it.

Here comes my favourite bit: dressing up the Christmas tree! When we travel, we like to look out for christmas ornaments from the place that we are visiting. It’s a nice reminder of the places we have been to.

christmas tree manchester

One from Alex’s travel to Russia a few years ago.

christmas tree manchester

Our latest addition from Florence. It’s so beautiful!

christmas tree manchester

Our 2016 Christmas tree

Mulled wine, minces pies and christmas tree, we are prepared for the festive now.

The truth is I had a great year in 2015 which carried forward to this year. I achieved the goals I had set and was very productive.

lvi

I was living in the moment so much that I didn’t had time to blog.

I really wanted to record all of it because let’s be honest here, I tend to forget small details of an event or even a book I read a year later. So whilst I can still remember, I hope to journal it away.

So here’s to a fresh start on dreamtraveller 🙂

 

Without realising it, February has slowly crept half way through. Usually i would say, where has the time gone? The schedule for the past month felt more hectic than usual. I actually felt good to be productive and made good use of my time.

I started the year with my a list of resolutions and i am not sure if it is because i felt the urge to do more now that i feel healthier or because subconsciously i know it’s my last year to exit my 20s with a bang, i am being more productive than usual.

I actually managed to do tick a few off my resolution list but i want to make sure i stick with it long enough first.

be productive be efficient

Began to jog outdoors

I searched for a workout regime that doesn’t require me to sign up for a gym. Reason being that i always ended up not sticking it to the end and just stopped going to the gym! Kayla Itsine’s BBG workout requires you to do Resistance workouts (from home) and LISS/HIIT which i can do outdoors. I have also learned to jog outdoors which i always dread but surprisingly with a compression kit, it wasn’t that cold. But then again, the weather has been great for me lately (i jinxed myself, it started hailing when we ran yesterday!).

be productive be effective

going for walks in the countryside

We also joined a Walking Group in January since we both enjoy walking in the countryside. I want to do more of it but right now, it seems hard to juggle and be productive with so many things i want to do!

be productive be effective

enjoyed our 7 mile walk

Weather was great, not windy and the sun was blessing upon us the whole time we were outdoors.

Complying with my resolution list, I read at least a book a month now that i have joined a book club! Haha, it seems little but it’s actually a good way to ease back into the habit of reading now. I was decluttering the house the other day and counted that i had 16 brand new books i bought and never got around to read them. Time to get cracking!

be productive be effective

baking for chinese new year – pineapple tarts

Managed to squeeze in some baking practice for Chinese New Year too. We don’t get many choices of Chinese New Year cookies in Manchester despite having a huge Chinatown. Or should i say, we don’t get much Chinese New Year cookies from Malaysia here. So i sought to make some myself.

be productive be effective

Chinese New Year cookies – Pineapple tarts

Not bad for a first attempt! I went on to bake 2 more times after because the pineapple tarts were too good to resist. Probably made Alex a wee bit too happy because he loves pineapple tarts 🙂

be productive be effective

lazy Baxter

Ended January with a quick visit to London to meet a friend from home! Was such a lovely reunion and i love that even though we are far away from each other, when we meet we are still the same as we were 14. Cat picture above because we were cat-sitting for her cousin in London haha!