JUST SNAPPED @littleswallowchinadoll

That holiday feeling

It's finally that time of year and I'm so happy it's here. It's been a great year but some seafood, beaches and shopping for a week is definitely in order.

So 2011...
...I surprised my mum for her 60th birthday back in Oz
...two of my close friends got married and we had a rocking time at both weddings
...two of my best girls got engaged
...my brother got engaged
...I finally bit the bullet and agreed on a wedding (are you sensing a theme here?)
...I met one of my cousins for the first time
...I reunited with one of my cousins after thirteen years (she's all grown up and gorgeous!)
...I discovered Glee (it makes me happy)
...I found my muse
...I braved an audition for the first time since high school (super fun)
...I started writing again
...I went to Budapest, Iceland, Lyon, Warsaw, Champagne, the Red Sea, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, New York and tomorrow - Florida!

It's definitely been a good year.

And to sign off for 2011, here are a few things from my week that I defy you not to like too:

Christmas lights in London

Mixed pasta shapes - there's something seriously fun about short and long pasta

Dancing under disco balls...lots of disco balls

Happy holidays everyone!

Under Pressure

What's possibly worse than being a reluctant bride? Being a bridesmaid, for the third time, before my wedding. Now, being a bridesmaid is not the issue. I love that I am going to be part of a fabulous day with my friends, and hell, have a holiday home to see the family at the same time. What I don't love is being on the opposite side of the world and being entrusted to buy my own dress. Like it wasn't stressful enough making a decision about my own wedding dress(es)?! Now I have to make a decision that might affect how someone's wedding photos turn out. A decision I am not capable of making on my own! March just doesn't seem far enough away...

Not one, but two

Introducing the secret life of me.

Have I mentioned I'm engaged? To an amazing, ever patient, wonderful man. Or the Creative Genius, as he likes to be known. Who I love and adore. Who waited for two years from the point of proposing to me agreeing to actually get married.

So, what's the problem here? Simply put: while I don't mind getting married, I don't really want a wedding. The Creative Genius, however, most definitely wants a wedding. Despite my persistent asking every week whether he really wants to force all our friends and family to have to attend another wedding. "Yes!" he cries.

In May, I cracked. I wanted us and our two closest friends in Vegas. He wanted a full English wedding with everyone we know. We compromised on Thailand with a maximum of 40 people. We agreed low key. We looked at villas, found an amazing place and booked it for September. 2012. "Phew," I thought, "far enough away to not have to worry."

Some months passed. In October, I went to New York and on a whim visited Cymbeline, tried on a handful of dresses and decided I had found exactly what I wanted and need not look any further. The only problem is I found exactly two perfect dresses. "How did this happen?" I wailed, "How could I go from not even wanting a wedding to being the kind of bride who is actually considering buying two dresses?"

(For the record, there is definitely a need for two great outfits - more on that later).

The lovely ladies at Cymbeline contacted me and offered me a good price for both. My fabulous friend now living in Paris put me in touch with her friend who coincidentally works for Cymbeline in Paris. All things considered, with travel to Paris being slightly more convenient, I told New York I wouldn't be coming. They offered me an amazing price.

I deferred some more. I told myself to just choose one. I told myself to get a grip. I told New York I couldn't really justify the airfare. They offered me a price that dreams are made of.

Still I procrastinated. I had a full scale breakdown. I accused the Creative Genius of wanting a wedding but not doing anything to organise it (despite nothing needing to be organised). I decided the wedding was off. The CG conceded that while he did definitely want the wedding, my happiness was more important.

Then I did get a grip. And I remembered the reason I agreed to marry the CG in the first place. I love him. And every single day he makes me happy. What's a wedding between lovers?

So today, I called up and ordered two dresses (eek!). I'm hoping this isn't a slippery slope to bridezilladom...

Second time lucky?

I'm genuinely freaking out today. I have discovered it is actually possible to be simultaneously great and terrible at commitment. For instance, I am great at committing to social engagements weeks ahead of time - and I actually show up for them. However, I'm terrible at booking flights. Even when I know I have to be somewhere on a certain date and there nothing is going to change that, I find it extremely hard to press the "continue" button and move to the next page to input payment details.

Today, I'm surrounded by love. I'm older, I'm confident, and I think I finally know myself. I'm happy, and I want to make people I love happy too. But I'm having to drag part of me kicking and screaming along with the sensible side of me. I know what I should do, I know what the right thing to do is...so why is it so hard to do it?