2015 in Photos

Happy New Year, everyone!

So looking forward to 2016.




What’s the plan, Stan?

On Christmas night, Joel and I were beached on the couch in a combined food and Netflix coma. All week I’d been thinking how I was half shocked that the end of the year was almost here, and half shocked that it took so long to get here.

2015 went by in a blur. Until about mid-October, I went through the year like a slug, hitting salty patches and shriveling, and then taking a while to… un-shrivel? The beginning of the year wasn’t the greatest. I spent a lot of time trying to convince myself of a bunch of different things: that I wasn’t homesick; that it wasn’t hard to talk to my parents only once a week instead of nearly every day; that it wasn’t hard to not see my siblings and my friends; and that I wasn’t having a complete resurgence of near-crippling social anxiety. Trying to live in denial was exhausting, and it started to wear on Joel and me. With a lot convincing and talking, Joel helped me work through the hardest parts (with one or two crying phone calls to my mom on my lunch break – sometimes I’m a scared 7 year old). Things got better around March-April, but then I was faced with a job hunt. And the final steps of our visa application was hair raising. And I went through another difficult 3 months after getting a new job when I was broke and really struggling to stay positive.

SO yes – a few of downer moments, a few of meh moments, but that wasn’t all that happened. 2015 definitely had HEAPS of awesome. Joel and I rang in the New Year laughing, and I can say that it carried on throughout the year. Living with Joel is so much fun, that I’m always having a good time – even when I hate myself. It’s been a year of sweet gestures, laughing til we cry, lazy late mornings sharing comics, shared goals and support, learning how to cook, learning how to bake, many (too many, if you ask my expanding waist) wonderful Chinese take out meals, lots of little adventures, coffee dates in the park, Netflix binges, home building, and plan making. Joel even taught me basic photoshop magic and more tricks with my camera.

Also, on a totally important and not at all shallow note – I finally learned how to blow dry and curl my hair. And I learned how to apply liquid liner to my satisfaction in less than 7 minutes. I also learned that I will never wake up in time to do all three before work. Or get dressed properly. Or shower. I’ma do me.

So yes, while it doesn’t feel like I accomplished a lot, I did survive. Survival, employment, and a finished visa application. That’s what 2015 boiled down to.

So I was thinking about ALL of this as we were in the afore-mentioned beached whale state. And it got me thinking, “shit, there’s been a lot to distract me over the last few years.” Being lazy and easily distracted are my two worst traits. That and in my personal life, I can barely handle more than two things happening at once. There has been something significant to distract me from and to excuse me from achieving for the last few years. But I couldn’t think of what’s coming up in 2016. Like, what will distract me? What big thing do we have to plan or prepare for? So I brought it up with Joel.

“What’s happening next year?”
“What do you mean?”
“Like, what big thing is happening? In 2013, it was therapy and you + me and you coming to visit; in 2014 it was preparing to move and me finding a job in Sydney; in 2015 it was applying for the visa and us finding new jobs. What’s going to happen next year?”
“How about… we just live? Have good times.”

And I was all, #lightbulb – that’s a great idea.

How about a year with no excuses? A year of getting shit done. A year of working hard toward being who we want to be. A year of ta-da! A year to look back and be like, sheeeeeit. A year well spent. It’s been years since I’ve started a year with no Giant Thing to Plan Around in the forecast. I’m really excited to see what we can accomplish.

I just typed “but first, I’m going to take a nap.” and I deleted it. That’s how serious I am. But I will make a batch of the World’s Best Chocolate Chip cookie first.



3 Years Ago

Three years ago today, at 6:30 AM, I landed in Sydney for the very first time. My best friend Odie picked me up from the airport, and we spent the day galavanting around the city and seeing sights.

Later that afternoon, we were having sweat pants and beers time in the apartment, and in saunters this tall, quiet looking guy carrying a case of Victoria Bitter and asking “Who wants to watch To Catch a Predator?”

He sat down to join us, and it felt like the three of us had been friends for years. And that feeling never dissipated. Not in the two weeks that followed, and not in the three years since.

The instant comfort and familiarity that I have with Joel is one of my many favourite things about us. I feel like I’ve always known him. And I’ll never not be excited to see his name come up on my phone, or to see him walk through the door at the end of the day. And I’ll never get tired of writing super saccharine drenched entries just about him. He’s been a life changer, and I am forever grateful.




They say when you stop looking, you’ll find it. And it’s true. He’s my most favourite souvenir. Way to go, Universe.


Christmas was perfect!

The weekend started off right: last minute gift errands, cronuts and coffee, then baking a cake, gift wrapping, and heading to Joel’s dad’s house for dinner.


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Christmas was a day of spoils – of presents, fantastic food, and good times with Joel’s family at the Christmas Barbeque.

The traditional Turner spam stocking gift – this time with bacon?
We unknowingly got each other the same gift (all our problems are adorable)




Tobias, my camera, got a few new presents too – a new 27 mm lens and a Chewbacca camera strap












I don’t know if it was the slightly cooler temperatures, or what, but this year felt about 800% more Christmassy than it did last year. There were heaps of love and fun and good feelings all around, and everyone seemed to have a better time celebrating this year. I still missed my family like whoa, but I didn’t feel like they were too far away.

Joel was gone by 7:30 this morning for work for massive Boxing Day Sales, which sucked.  And I’ve done nothing more than talk to my mom on the phone, build a 3D dinosaur, play with my Christmas toys, and eat cake for breakfast:


It’s 3 PM and I’m still in pajamas, watching trash TV. Annnd it’ll stay that way.

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday!


Star Wars: The Force Awakens (only slightly spoiled)

I started getting excited for the new Star Wars sequel as soon as I heard it was green-lit. When I read an article that said Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt were writing, JJ Abrams was directing, and Adam Driver had been cast, I got even more excited, and I immediately implemented Media Black Out, wanting to be absolutely surprised by every element (I did this for Star Trek in 2008 and it was awesome). I made it absolutely spoiler free until the first week of December, when I was waiting for a bus to work, and said bus pulled up in front of me with a GIANT Force Awakens  movie poster on it. It just ratcheted up my excitement about 800 levels.

We didn’t make plans for opening night, because we were both working the next day, but Joel planned a big night out for us last night. Nice burgers for dinner, and a 9:30 showing in the Gold Class theater. So yeah, I was pretty damn excited.

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I miss the days of real ticket stubs




First, nothing makes a movie better than seeing it while sitting in a reclining lazy boy with the option to have food and drink served to you. The theater was small and polite, so much so that I had to corral my urge to clap and cheer whenever something awesome happened.

Second, I didn’t like the movie nearly as much as I thought I would. It was awesome to look at, and I was never bored, but I left the theater feeling a bit underwhelmed.

I should say that while I love Star Wars, I’m not a die-hard know it all. So maybe my critique is mis-guided. I love Star Wars because I love listening to the story, and all the background stories that are told throughout the episodes. It’s the narrative that gets me excited more than anything. Yes, George Lucas writes terrible dialogue, but he’s made a captivating universe and some badass characters. And while this movie was really awesome to look at, and there were plenty of funny parts and YES!! parts, the story as a whole felt lacking, like it was rushed. Characters were introduced but not much else happened. And there was so much story to play off of! The empire rose again after it was defeated without explanation. A whole new generation of Jedi was massacred by Han Solo’s son and only one line of dialogue was devoted to it. Rey’s past was shown as one shot in a rapid fire flashback. Who the fuck was the 50 foot tall holographic Voldemort Supreme Being?

I think I just expected a different movie. Maybe I was thinking it would pick up closer to the end of Jedi, with Leia and Han and their children, and the unrest growing within the new republic. Something closer to what was described in the opening credits. Basically, the fall of the rebellion, massacre of new Jedi and the rise of this new dark side would have been a lot more exciting to watch, even if it does sound similar to the plot of Episode III. But it’s not like this movie didn’t recycle some story lines – another Death Star? What, 3rd time’s a charm? Another brother and sister who were separated and hidden so no one would hunt them down and one of them doesn’t realise they have Jedi powers? With all that’s happened in the extended universe, I’m surprised the writers took an easy route.

Who knows, maybe it’ll all be explained in episode 8.

And I’ll be there to watch it, in my giant lazy boy.


It happened. At 5:30 PM yesterday my auto response was on, and I’m officially on Christmas holiday for two weeks.

Ahhhhhh yes. This morning started with The Simpsons, real coffee, and not showering and not waiting for a bus that’s inevitably delayed by 15 minutes. Ahhhhhh.

It’s been a while since I’ve made a big catch up post, and I feel a bit bad about that. We’ve been pretty busy and pretty distracted, evidenced by the 5 half-completed blog drafts I have, never ending to-do lists, and the fact that we haven’t made a “real” meal or gone grocery shopping for more than milk since Thanksgiving. So let’s have a nice long chat about what’s been happening!

As you all know, I started a new job in June. Looking back, there were heaps of red flags that I flat out ignored for the sake of a role in media that had creative possibilities and worked with a very respected and acclaimed veteran of the publishing industry. I worked with some brilliant, funny, talented and stylish people, and I wanted the job to be awesome, and there were a parts that were, but overall, the role just never clicked. It felt like I was dating someone with whom I had lots in common, but shared no chemistry. Four months later, with the red flags still piling up, I started to debate what I would do, since it was a good job. But destiny intervened – there was a company restructure, half my team resigned, and I had a choice: accept a role that I had less than no desire for, or resign. So I resigned.

I started a new job at the end of October, and man have I really lucked out. My new job is a lot of fun. I’m working in marketing and customer service for a FABULOUS children’s clothing brand. It’s an honest, ethical, fun loving, award winning small business with a devoted customer base. I work with a small, highly collaborative team, and I’m challenged and learning design, marketing, PR, community management – the works – every day. So it’s kept me hella busy. I’ve had a couple sleepless nights worrying, but thankfully I have heaps of support and co-workers who don’t mind if I ask 8 million questions. I can wear jeans and a t-shirt to work, we crack jokes 90% of the time, most days of the week my boss brings in her dog, and for Christmas, she got me a voucher to usafoods.com. It’s just awesome.

I don’t feel like crying on Sunday nights anymore. I don’t agonize about what to wear to work. I don’t sit at my desk in a funk. If a bus that’ll take me home passes me, I don’t have to fight every fibre of my being to not jump on it. I’ve only been there about 7 weeks or so, but we all agree that it feels like I’ve been there forever. It just fits. 

This new job has kinda chased away the clouds. I knew that I wasn’t satisfied at my old job, but I kept telling myself it would get better. I just didn’t realize how much it drained me. I don’t have the world’s most resilient sense of personal strength, and I absorb every shitty feel ever, so I’m pretty sure I was tapping my reserves just to get through a work week.

But now, I don’t want to hibernate anymore, and I find myself wanting to go out and do more than I have so far this year. I’m not as bummed out all the time. I had a bad week a little while ago (#hormones) but overall, I feel happier and satisfied, and I feel more motivated to work on my writing and the other projects I have kicking around. Feels good man.

Joel also started a new part-time job in November, and he’s also felt a bit of life resurgence. He doesn’t come home drained and flat-out anymore, and he’s able to devote more time to his business and projects. Life around here just feels more upbeat, more positive. It’s exciting!

So that’s the big news… but what else?

In mid-October, we decided to start eating mostly vegetarian meals in the week for dinner. It slashed our grocery budget in half, and we’re more able to just make quick, simple meals straight out of our pantry instead of waiting for meat to defrost and then cook. We had some really good veggie curries, pasta bakes, falafel wraps, nachos and roast veggie salads, and it was all so good. Of course, December came around and we have ordered in every weekend and have had bean burritos during the week. Can’t win ’em all.

I’ve been reading a lot. I finished Dark Places, Room, and High Fidelity and a gossip book in 6 weeks. I’m pretty sure the last time I read 4 books in 6 weeks, I was in college.

I’ve been working on goals for 2016, because I’m always working on goals. I think working on goals is more exciting for me than achieving said goals, so I’m hoping to change that. It’s a goal. 😀

I’ve been trying my hardest to ignore Donald Trump and public shootings and all the fun stuff happening in America. Oh how I live in constant terror for my people.

OH I got all my Christmas shopping done before Christmas! Thank God for Amazon Prime. I felt like dog shit last year when I was broke and couldn’t send gifts in time. I’m sad to not be able to spend the holidays with my family, but at least I’ll have presents there for them 🙂

It’s rainy, grey, chilly, and fabulous outside. There’s a cinnamon apple candle burning beside me, trash TV playing, there’s a lovely Twiggmass tree with presents underneath it, and I’m in sweatpants. Joel is taking me to see Star Wars tomorrow night in the Gold Section (select viewing room, deluxe reclining chairs, drinks and food delivered to you, awww sheeit) and I COULDN’T BE MORE EXCITED!!

Basically, life is really good right now.

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And I’m about to go whole ham on house cleaning.

Sheeeeeeit 🙂



Feeling Festive

The awesome “twig-mas” tree is purchased and decorated, all the present shopping is finally done, and a shipment of gifts came in from the Santa Turners.

And now, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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And it’s beginning to look a lot like I have two weeks off. Soon. So soon.

And speaking of soon, big update coming. I promise!