Chase the Red Grape Podcast – Episode 55

Hi all,

The first 2018 episode of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast is up and ready to download! 

You can find us on iTunes and Stitcher by simply searching for the podcast… but did you know that you don’t need either to listen? Simply click HERE and it will take you to the podcast page of the website. From there you will find the link to listen to every single podcast we have done right on your computer, tablet or whatever method you want to use!

55 episodes on a variety of topics are ready and waiting for you… and there is something for everyone!

This weeks episode looks at the year ahead in 4 differnt areas – what do we WANT to do, what do we NEED to do, what is something we are actively are going to DO and what is something we want to READ

Like what you hear? Please subscribe to the podcast, leave a review or simply share with friends, family and colleagues. 

This year is going to be so good! Get in on the action! 

What makes you ‘cool’?

Hi all,

Have you ever considered yourself as being cool?

What does cool even mean?

I don’t think it’s a word I would have ever used to describe myself – in my younger years or my adult years.

To me, cool means popular… and the word ‘popular’ to so many springs up a whole heap of memories and emotions. Imagine the scene, like every single teen movie out there. The ‘popular’ crowd. Beautiful, confident, always looked amazing. Teachers loved them, we all wanted to be them, they rarely put a foot wrong, were always praised and glorified. And us? Well we sat in the background. Some in awe, some in detest, others simply daydreaming about what it would be like to be them. However, unlike the movies, we never got our moment. We never had our extreme makeover, removed our glasses or got an awesome haircut which thrust us into popularity. We left school being uncool to so many, including in our own minds.

Then I think we all split. Some of those who were seen as cool at school slipped into obscurity. Others flourished. Some became cool because of the job they managed to bag after university or work up to. Those roles seemed perfect, idyllic, inspiring. Some became cool because of the money they earned and what it enabled them to buy. Success often lead to confidence, and confidence is always cool, right?CTRG

Life in your twenties I feel seemed to be a pursuit of ‘coolness’. We want to be envied and admired. We want to be perceived as a success. We want to feel good about ourselves.

Then the next decade comes along. And that’s the one I’m in. I wasn’t cool in school. I think anytime I ever felt cool in my twenties I was immediately shot down, feeling inadequate by others. So how do I feel now? Am I cool?

When I think of others right now that I deem cool, I think of two factors. Popular and talented aka admired. Yes, popularity, that old chestnut again (will that ever leave?). If I am being harsh on myself I would say I am neither popular nor very talented. I don’t have a crowd of people to look to. I don’t have people to call up when I want to watch a movie or hang out. I’m not a part of any group messages nor do many come to me for advice or help. As for talent, well that’s where I must give myself a slap on the wrist and say naughty Jen. I do have talent, I know that. But enviable talent? Maybe not. I know a crap tonne about CrossFit, technique and movement for example. But I can’t do a handstand push up or a heavy snatch. So no one takes my advice. You’re not admired. You can’t be cool Jen.

But this really doesn’t sound right to me!

So why, as a grown adult in my thirties, married for 8 years and very happy still see ‘coolness’ as a desirable thing? Is it that vibe we want to put out into the world? Does being cool actually mean nothing to us personally but it is a word we wish others to perceive us as? Maybe you want your kids to see you as a cool Mum or Dad? Maybe you just want others to notice you? Maybe you want to be cool to impress your neighbours (hello Joneses)?

Maybe being cool shouldn’t mean being popular or having lots of talent. Maybe I shouldn’t class those who are surrounded by a group of friends or someone who brags about going on a fun trip as cool. Maybe we stop using the word to compare ourselves to others in order to bring us down. We aren’t our former teenage selves.

I am cool if I say I am. I am cool because I’m kind. I am cool because I am generous. I am cool because I love Iron Maiden. I am cool because I had 2 coffees this morning #rockstar.

You are cool when you are you and when you say you are.

What does being cool mean to you?

Do you link cool to being popular?

What makes you cool?

Linking up with Thinking out loud 

Friday Favourites – Holiday Edition

Hi all,

Happy Friday!

I’m not too sure whether or not I am going to continue Friday Favourites. I like being able to recap my going’s on with you all and things I like, but maybe in a different format. Watch this space. In the mean time if you have any ideas please let me know – do you like my posts on a Friday or should I change it up? What do you want to know from me?

However,  I thought I would do a favourites today. I realised that my last two posts have been more serious and also that I haven’t shared any holiday photos with you all, so I need to change that!

David and I had a quiet two weeks off over Christmas and New Year and it was perfect. We needed to relax and just chill out after a busy year but also to do some of the things we have always wanted to do but ‘never have the time’. I think we managed a perfect balance of doing and relaxing though.Friday - chase the red grape

From walking in the bush, going to the zoo, playing games, cooking, cinema time and even fitting in a puzzle (which we are still working on… it’s hard!), we simply had fun. No expectations, very little actual plans and no routine! I loved it.

So here are my Friday Favourites, holiday style, to which, of course, I couldn’t stick to simply one answer!

Favourite… Moment – Celebration, tradition and Pilateschase the red grape

I love celebrating Christmas and New Year just feels like a little added extra bonus. Christmas Eve we spent seeing Star Wars and going out for dinner. Christmas Day we carried on our Aussie tradition of walking along the beach with an iced coffee and then our British tradition of turkey and all the trimmings. New Years Day we spent together cooking a delicious meal as always. For me, tradition makes a celebration even more special… with a few new twists always thrown in!

And a big mention to Pilates, which David and I did over the 2 weeks instead of CrossFit. My body and mind loved it. We needed it. A challenge but in more of a kind way to our bodies.

Favourite… Feeling – Rest and joy

chase the red grape

The Escape Roon may not have been restful but it sure was joyful!

2 weeks of rest and joy. It really was! As I mentioned above every Pilates session gave me joy. Spending time with David gave me joy even if all we were doing was sitting down with our puzzle! I took 2 weeks out from writing and blogging and the rest has left me inspired.

Favourite…Purchase – Breakfast out!chase the red grape

David and I love breakfast and I cook every day for the both of us. As a result we very rarely go out, mostly because I refuse to pay for what I can cook so much cheaper at home #Scottish. But we treated ourselves to brekkie out after Pilates one day at a café we have wanted to try for a while. Those eggs, perfection. That freshly baked sourdough bread, heaven. A side of bacon, necessity.

Favourite… Food/Drink – All the food!chase the red grape

How could I chose? We love real, fresh, quality, flavourful food and that’s exactly what we ate the whole time. Highlights include that breakfast above, of course, but also my dosa at Fremantle markets, Christmas pudding and ice cream and of course the many incredible meals I made with LEFTOVERS!chase the red grapechase the red grape

Updates – 2018? + Back to what?chase the red grape

I posted twice this week. The first on Tuesday looked at the year ahead and my approach to it. Goal setting ain’t easy if you don’t know what you want!chase the RG

Thursday’s post was one for all those folks out there who work from home/ spend a lot of time at home. Everyone else was back to their work schedule this week… what about us?!

And a quick podcast update… we will be back with episode 55 next week! Subscribe to make sure your device automatically downloads the new episode when it is released on Wednesday! On both iTunes and Sticher, just search Chase the Red Grape Podcast. Excited to be back!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Out for coffee and lunch… possibly a movie… my only draw to the cinema right now is its air con! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, out for coffee, podcasting and chilling!

Have a fab weekend folks!

What was the best thing you ate all holidays?

Did you get a gift that took your breath away?

Have any ideas for the future of Friday Favourites?

Back to what?

Hi all,

This week marked the period where most folks in Australia went back to work after the holidays. Maybe it was the same for you.

But I want to give a shout out today to those who didn’t go back to a 9-5 this week. No set structure, no school times, no communing, no start and stop.

To those of us out there who set their own routines or have no routine at all. To those of us who have to guide our own days. To those of us who have to thrive on self motivation, day in, day out.

To those of you out there, like me, I doff my hat to you.CTRG

What does back to work mean to us? What are we going back to? And who decides… oh yes… us.

Do we do the same as before? Do we shake up the routine of the year just gone or keep it as it was? This week I slipped straight back into the same routine as before the holidays. Ate at the same time, worked at the same time, rested at the same time. Even though I vowed I would change it up.

And who motivates us to change or do something different? Do we need direct inspiration or push?

When I think about it I don’t know how I would change my routine, I simply know it has to change. I thrive from routine… to a certain extent. Go too far and it can suffocate me and restrict me. The freedom of being at home turns into clinging on to the comforts of routine and familiarity.

I want change but as for the details, that’s about as far as I know.

It’s hard being in this position. Many envy working from home (or simply having time at home whether you be a stay at home parent or are looking for a new path) but it is a hard time, and not because of the reasons that you think. It’s not because we have 24/7 access to our kitchens, bed or TV (although it can be a factor). It’s hard because to do anything requires only you. When you realise you have spent too long watching morning TV. When you know you have to write but everything in your head tells you to not bother. When you know what you have to do but depend solely on yourself to do it. When the guilt creeps in because you are at home, your partner is at work and you have a household list the size of your arm that you just don’t know how you are going to get done. And of, course, being alone (which is a topic for another day). It’s tough.

But it’s our world, maybe forever, maybe just for now. Everyone else may be back to school, their commute or a 9-5, but this is your time.

Back to what? I guarantee the only one desperate for answers is you and me. So for now, routine or not, new or old, restful or active, just be you and do your own thing. The way you need to do it.

Do you work from home/ spend your days at home?

Does routine work for or against you?

Are you able to motivate yourself?

Linking up with Thinking Out Loud

2018?

Hi all,

2018 is one big question mark.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted my first post of the new year to be. Did I want it to be a review of the year just gone? Did I want to lay down goals for the year ahead. Did I want to give advice or tips on how to do the above for yourself?

I dismissed all of those post ideas as quickly as they came into my head. They just didn’t feel right.

I have always viewed the start of the year, not as a place to make resolutions, but more the time to think about what you want. What do you want the year to behold upon you? What do you want to achieve? It’s a refection inwards that I know a lot of us out there find hard. Some even find it impossible – how can I view what I want without taking the needs of others into account?

2017 held so many twists and turns for me. I had some major highs and some pretty bum lows. The emotions from both of these I carry with me into 2018. It would be too easy to make wild assumptions and wishes for everything to be wonderful, sunny and cheery in 2018. If only that could be the case!2018

So should I break down areas of my life and pick them apart to see where I go from here? Do I need to dissect in order to reflect and grow? Career, home, family, money, fitness etc? Do those boxes even exist?

As you can see, the start of 2018 has left me with a lot of questions. Questions about how to go forward, questions about how to build personal growth, questions about what I want. Questions upon questions. But let me know, are there any of you out there, like me, where the questions do not provide answers? I ask myself these questions but yet I hear nothing in return.

How can I change when I have no direction? Do I even need to change?

Is your head spinning from all of this? I know mine is!

Instead of looking at wants, achievements and pulling apart detail after detail on my life, I am going to look at needs. 2017 started one way and ended so very differently, I can’t even remember my goals. Parts of 2017 I simply needed to just keep swimming, keep chugging along, keep being supported by David, my family and my friends, in the big and the small.

So what do I need? First of all I need freedom and belief. Freedom to take a big deep breath every time I need one. Freedom to write what I want. Freedom to speak all those thoughts I have been hiding and keeping to myself for so long.

I need belief. Yes the usual notions of belief in myself, belief that I am enough, belief that I can do. But more importantly, belief that all will be well. It doesn’t matter what 2018 holds in store for me because all will be well. After every storm there is peace.

In addition, David and I have picked 2 words to carry us through 2018. Joy and health. I need joy, I love feeling joy, I know I can give joy, joy is my hope, joy is my drive. I know 2018 will be full of it if I give and am open to receiving it.

And finally, health. 2017 was hard for me on this front. But I am doing everything I can to focus on my health needs this year. I am listening to what my body tells me and then actually putting actions into motion, not simply acknowledging and moving on. I am taking personal responsibility for the things I can help myself with and opening myself up to allowing others to help me on the aspects that are outwith my control. And that’s new to me.

And there we have it. My first post of 2018. Who knows what the year will bring. Guess we will simply just have to wait and see… and I’m ok with that. 

Does any of the above resonate with you?

Are you a goal setter/ resolution maker?

Do you like to reflect back, only look ahead or a bit of both?

Festive Friday Favourites + Episode 54 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Well it’s finally here, we are only a few days away from Christmas!

I know you are all incredibly busy right now but I am so pleased you stopped by, today, yesterday, last week, all year! Thank you folks!

As this is my last post of the year I just wanted to say a big Merry Christmas to you all along with the biggest of best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year. 2018 here we come!

David and I will be taking a much needed two week break from everything – work, stress, CrossFit, routine… you name it. And I can’t wait! So expect another post from me in early January!Friday - chase the red grape

So to let you get back to your present wrapping, Christmas movie watching, cookie decorating, festive tipple drinking, I will keep today’s Friday Favourites short but definitely sweet.

Favourite…Moment – Party time!chase the red grape

We had both David’s work Christmas party and our CrossFit Christmas party at the weekend and they were both really good fun. Sometimes you just need to have a glass of bubbles with friends and get dressed up!

Favourite…Feeling – Making cookies!chase the red grape

I always make a sweet treat for David’s co-workers and a few friends each year. This year I made the espresso cookies from Cook and Savor and they were delicious (I swapped out espresso for choc chips). But I don’t stop there. I always dress them up! Here is one all packaged up ready for an individual eat!

Favourite…Purchase – Wrapping presentschase the red grape

In my opinion, the best purchase is always the one for someone else. Here are David’s pressies, all wrapped up and now under the tree. He is the easiest person to buy for, the hardest part is actually picking the select few to buy! Oh and I adore wrapping gifts so this was pure heaven for me.

Favourite…Food/Drink – Saturday brekkie with Davidchase the red grape

We needed a good feed before the CrossFit Christmas party so we headed out for breakfast to Red Chair who do the best omelette! Filled with veggies, ham, Swiss cheese… it was perfect and all could ever ask from breakfast!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 54 of the Chase the Red Grape PodcastChase the Red Grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at Christmas conversation starters. These are tried and tested by me, the girl who detests small talk. Honestly they will be pure gold for your holiday party/ the day itself.chase the red grape

Episode 54 of the podcast went all festive and we talked about our favourite holiday tips along with what we are most looking forward to over the next few days. Hint… it’s mostly food! A nice short sweet podcast, ideal for a car journey on your way to your Christmas destination! Download now on iTunes and Stitcher or listen here on the website.

Plans…. Rest. Restore. Eat. Drink. And simply be merry!

A toast to you and all your family!

Are you taking a festive break?

What are you up to over Christmas?

What are you most looking forward to?

Christmas Conversation Starters #5TTT

Hi all,

I hate fake conversations and small talk. To the point where I would rather stay silent… and often do. David is the one in our house with the gift of conversation, not me.

It’s really tough sometimes and I just don’t know how some folks do it. Maybe practice makes perfect. Maybe it’s pushing beyond the stage of awkwardness to get to the other side. Who knows. But whatever it is, I ain’t good at it!

I have read the odd article here and there about how to start and grow a conversation. Some tips sound good, others you couldn’t pay me to do. I guess it depends on what situation you are in. Speaking to a high level bod at your work certainly differs from speaking to your Auntie at Christmas.

I do however, have a few that work. Conversation starters or changers that I am more than willing to bring up and chat about. These are tried and tested and have always resulted in a conversation I enjoyed and folks were engaged in. Score!

Before I go on to my 5 top tips for conversation starters (ideal over the holiday period in particular) I just wanted to say to my fellow conversation strugglers out there that it’s ok, you are not alone. Just remember, everyone loves a listener and being asked questions!Chase the Red Grape

What’s your next adventure?

For some it may be an adventure within their career. Others it may be travel or venturing into a new hobby or resolution. But wording the question this way allows people to be free to talk about all kinds of interests they may have. People actually light up when I ask this question!

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

Talk about a conversation starter! Especially at a table with a several people. Everyone has an opinion on this and it is always different. Keeping the conversation light hearted, away from politics or work, and only getting as heated as ‘is Die Hard actually a Christmas movie’?

Anything you would recommend binging on Netflix over the holidays?

We all have a series we love or are loving watching right now. This question has lead to me bonding with many people, especially when someone has found the same hidden gem that you have! Get to know people on a person level. We all watch TV, it’s the way we chill out at the end of the day.

What was your most memorable Christmas gift?

Ah the question that allows us to bring up memories of times gone by. Was it the doll house they got as a child? Was it the PlayStation they literally spend all of their teenage years playing? This question almost always leads on to a conversation about childhood toys… and what could be more fun? Were you a Lego person? Playmobile? Sylvanian Families? Or how about Team Barbie or Team Cindy?

And for getting out of the conversation…

Be polite. Don’t say you will be right back or sneak off to the toilet! Simply move on by saying ‘it has been lovely having a chat with you and I hope to catch you again later on tonight/today. But I must go and do the rounds!’. Works a charm.

Do you find the art of conversation easy?

What is your most memorable Christmas gift?

How do you get out of a conversation? 

Friday Favourites + Episode 53 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Are we all having fun? Are you getting excited for Christmas?

This year David and I continued our Christmas tradition of trying to watch as many Christmas movies as possible between the 1st and 24th of December. Oh and we are doing very well indeed!

So far, we have watched 16 movies. Everything from Love Actually, Christmas with the Kranks, the first two Santa Clause movies (still to watch the last), Home Alone, Four Christmases, Muppet Christmas Carol and of course many more. We have still to watch Christmas Vacation and Scrooged, two of my favourites that I am leaving until last and we have so many still to watch… will we fit them all in?

It’s such a fun tradition and something that we enjoy doing every year. That, along with our 24 days of togetherness. We each write 12 ‘to do’s’ and put them in a box. Then, like an advent calendar, we pick out one each day. Today we had to send 3 Christmas gifs to one and other. Another day we had to send a Christmas picture with a twist, make snowflakes, tell a Christmas story… another small thing that makes every day in December that wee bit more special.

Gosh we really love the season don’t we! Ha!Friday - chase the red grape

But for now, let’s check out Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Festive Rushchase the red grape

We went Christmas shopping at the weekend and David and I separated off to get each others gifts. I actually loved people watching this year. Seeing folks light up when they spot the perfect gift for their loved ones. Everyone chatting whilst queuing to pay. And, of course, finding those things I know David will love. I don’t mind that it’s busy. The mall is the one place over here that really feels so festive.

Favourite… Feeling – Advent Calendarschase the red grape

Ok so we each have a chocolate advent calendar. Then we have our 24 days of togetherness which we take a turn picking every other day and we have 2 paper advent calendars… too much? Nah! We always open them before David goes to work each day and it’s such a nice part of my morning. Makes me feel all cosy and warm inside.

Favourite… Purchase – My favourite chocolates and a new board game!chase the red grape

When I spotted our favourite chocolates (dark chocs with spirit liqueur centres) for an amazing price (and size) we knew we had to pick them up for Christmas. So we did! We also bought a new board game as we do every year. Trivial Pursuit has a love/hate relationship in every British family but this one, the 2000’s edition, I knew would be a good one. No excuse for not knowing the answer! Ha! Will report back after the holidays and let you know how we got on.

Favourite… Food/Drink – Mince Pies!chase the red grape

A British tradition and one I am glad to say has very much made it’s way over to be a part of Aussie life too. Mince pies are small sweet pies filled with ‘mincemeat’ aka spiced and sweetened mix of dried fruit, mixed peel and of course, marinated in brandy or other such delights. We simply had to try our local bakery’s offering and they were just fantastic.

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 53 of the Chase the Red Grape PodcastChristmas

This weeks 5 top tips looked at the gifts you can give yourself this year. It won’t cost you anything but the impact it will have on your holiday season and new year will be huge. Take heed!chase the red grape

Episode 53 of the podcast was the final episode of our series on how travel has impacted our lives. This week we looked at how and why we came to be expats here in Perth Australia, what we have learned from that and what the future will hold travel wise. Download now on iTunes and Stitcher or listen on the website here.

Recipe – Gingerbread Banana Bread

This banana bread from Juli over at PaleOMG is outstanding. A bread that you can make from throwing everything in the food processor, mixing and popping straight into a loaf tin… who doesn’t have time for that? I made it into a loaf but I also made a few mini muffins from the mixture which worked perfectly. Keep it in the fridge and even a week later it is perfectly moist and so damn good. Oh and I will add that no one will know this is paleo… or even gluten free. This is one of the best loaf cakes I have ever tasted. Period!

Weekend Plans – Tonight – David’s works Christmas party. Saturday – Our CrossFit Christmas Party. Sunday – Recovering from said Christmas parties! And hopefully recording a podcast!

Have a fab weekend everyone!

What Christmas movie have you watched this year?

Have you baked any Christmas goodies?

What board game do you and your family play over Christmas?

The gifts to give yourself this Christmas #5TTT

Hi all,

Christmas is a time where we think about everyone else. Our friends, our families, our neighbours, colleagues, even strangers we have never met. We give generously. We want to make others happy. We want to make them feel loved.

All of this is wonderful and really is what makes the season so special. But have you ever thought about giving yourself a gift this Christmas? I can tell you now that one of the most deserving people in your life that you neglect every festive season is you. Who knows you best? You. Who can really give you what you need? You.

It’s not going to cost you anything. No purchase necessary. This weeks 5 top tips will show you where you can give yourself a gift this Christmas. One that will guide you through strong into the new year.Christmas

Time

We all know how precious time can be. We all find ourselves wishing for more hours in the day on a frequent basis. Over the holiday period clock in some time for you. Find an allotted time if need be! It could be having a lie in. It could be snooping around the holiday sales. It could be taking a solo walk with the dog. Time is there for you if you make it a priority.

Your wants and needs

Last week I spoke about traditions and I want to bring it up here again. Make sure this festive season that you also do the things you want to do. Make sure at least one activity is on your ‘must do/see’ list. Pleasing others and others wants and needs only goes on for so long until you rebel. And guess what, they want to do the things that make you happy too!

Rest to restore

This goes hand in hand with time and I know it’s something I talk about all the time like a broken record but it’s true. Let yourself rest over the holidays. If you are lucky enough to be off work during this time make the most of it. Lie on the couch and binge watch movies. Take some time of your usual exercise programme and go for a walk instead. Sleep in later. If you rest now, and restore your body over this time, you really will be rewarded in the long run.

Peace

Got kids? Yeah maybe this one might not be so easy! Ha! But peace, contentment, joy, calm… these words really are synonymous with the season, let’s not forget that. When I was younger, Boxing Day (the 26th) and New Years Day were always a day of calm in our house. Little to no plans, house bound, eating leftovers. No one had to do anything or be anywhere. It was peace.

Drop the guilt

Oh I really want a slice of Christmas cake… I shouldn’t. Oh I really want a cookie… I shouldn’t. Damn I ate those chocolates…. that bit of cheese…. that eggnog. STOP IT NOW.

This is once a year. Holiday foods are treat foods. We indulge once a year to celebrate. Food and drink isn’t something to fear. If you want, have, but do so without the guilt. Savour, enjoy, celebrate, experience those tastes and flavours with family and friends. Decide to you what you love and be happy. And for those who decide to eat/ drink etc differently to you… leave them be. You do you and let them do them.

As for the other forms of holiday guilt – forgetting a present/ someone not enjoying your gift, not being able to see a loved one or someone who expected you, not having time to bake x,y or z… the list could go on and on. But remember what the season is meant to be. You wouldn’t want anyone else to feel guilty this year… don’t place it upon yourself.

Now get thinking about what gift you are going to bestow upon yourself this year!

Do you find the season busy or quiet?

Where do you find peace?

Are you someone who feels guilty?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 52 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Have you ever heard of the festive period being referred to as ‘the silly season’?

I never have, until this year. Now I see it on adverts and read it in the media… where did it come from and why are we now calling our favourite time of year silly?

Fun, busy, flamboyant, jolly, all yes. Even stressful and chaotic, I get that. But silly?

To me silly means doing something stupid or something you shouldn’t. Something to potentially be a bit embarrassed about. I don’t really like my favourite time of year being referred to in this way.

But I have had my rant now and you sure as can be won’t be hearing me talk about the ‘silly season’. Never feel like you are being silly at this time of year if you want to do something different, wear a big bright jumper or decorate your house from top to toe with lights. Do it because it’s fun and makes you smile. There’s the Christmas spirit.Friday - chase the red grape

Now time for some Friday Favourites!

Favourite…Moment – Crown dinner, cocktails and smileschase the red grape

We went out for the night and had a wonderful time. A dinner of clam risotto with radicchio was had followed by cocktails and my love as seen below. It was just nice to relax in a swanky place with my favourite person.

Favourite… Feeling – O’ Christmas tree!chase the red grape

On Saturday we put up our tree and it’s always a special time for me. Every decoration we have has a story – bought from places we have travelled to, given as gifts by ones we love or are from my childhood. The living room in our apartment has never looked so beautiful.

Favourite… Purchase – Santa and Bobchase the red grape

Meet Santa… and his inflatable flamingo Bob. He sings and dances to ‘Stop. Christmas time’. I saw it in the shop and had to have it, it’s our Australian Santa! Click here for a link to David’s Instagram where you will see him sing and dance. It’s hilarious!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Laphroaig Whiskychase the red grape

Be still my beating heart. I adore Whisky, a true Scot. And when I saw they had my absolute favourite on the menu at The Waiting Room in Crown Towers I had to have it. I sipped. I savoured, I fell in love over again. A smoky, peaty Islay malt is where it’s at.

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 52 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at evaluating the traditions in your life, especially at Christmas. Why do you do what you do? And most importantly, does it make you happy?chase the red grape

For the podcast this week we brought you part two of ‘How our lives changed through travel’ – focussing on our time spent in the Middle East. Download now on iTunes and Stitcher or listen here on the website.

What I am loving – Christmas FM

I know I tell you about Christmas FM every year but it is just the best! You can listen online for free, 24 hours a day and it’s full of all your favourite festive hits. Old, new, crooners, pop classics, you are in for a fab time. It’s all I listen to every day!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Christmas shopping, food prep and more festive movies! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, podcasting, off to see The Man Who Invented Christmas and chill.

Have a fab weekend folks!

Do you think the holidays are a silly time?

What is your tipple of choice?

Is your tree up yet?