From Russia with love

Our honeymoon was everything we thought it would be, and more. St. Petersburg gave us perfect autumn weather, ridiculous architecture, incredible colours, amazing night scenes, and a side of culture shock – in the best way possible. Nothing we couldn’t handle.

We went on our honeymoon exactly one week after our wedding, in October of 2012. Having lived in Canada, I’ve sorrily missed proper autumns. Here in Ireland they’re just not the same. We had been told that autumn had passed in St. Petersburg, so we were prepared for grey. But, as we were landing in St. Petersburg, we were elated to see autumn in full swing. I’m so glad that person was wrong.

The Church of Spilled Blood. There almost aren’t any words. 

My fascination with this place goes back about 9 years. My mom gave me an incredible water colour painting of a mysterious Russian building. I treasured it for years. Then, a couple weeks before our wedding, I picked up said painting as I was dusting, and it clicked. It was of the Church on Spilled Blood. We were going to see one of my favourite paintings in real life.

The passing of time in St. Petersburg was very unusual. Shops stayed open until 11pm, and restaurants even later. So when we sat down for dinner at our usual 6pm, we got the distinct feeling this was very early. We took to taking afternoon naps to make the day stretch, and headed out for dinner at around 21:00, one night even sitting down at 23:00. This entirely ruined our body clocks once we got home, but hey, you’re supposed to get off your face on your honeymoon. 

Borscht, white Russians, chicken Kiev and beef stroganoff were on my edible list, and we ate them all. They were all incredible. I was particularly surprised with how much I adored borscht with a massive dollop of dill and sour creme. Oh god, I could go for some right now.

A bit of history – Peter the Great who founded St. Petersburg was always portrayed as a cat in caricatures due to his distinguished moustache. St. Petersburg is chock-a-block of cat statues, memorabilia, and The Hermitage museum {pictured further below} is home to not only the worlds largest collection of art, but stray cats as well. 

The above picture was taken on our last day while on a boat tour. There was a terrible storm the night before, and blew all the autumnal colours away.
The Hermitage museum. Home to almost 3,000,000 pieces of art. We took an overwhelming 4 hour tour, and barely skimmed the top. It blew our wee minds. 

Surreal. If you take the time to familiarize yourself with the language and alphabet beforehand, it is very manageable to get around. Husband and I have a very basic knowledge of Russian, and managed to get from point A to point B. It was really like being in a dream, with the juxtaposition of incredible architecture and interesting levels of health and safety. I would go back in a second. 

And on that note, I wish you all a safe and prosperous weekend! Happy Friday 🙂 xx A

Any excuse for skulls

One of my favourite times of the year is finally here – Halloween. Ever since I can remember, I’ve adored Halloween. Most likely because of the level of creativity and effort  that goes into decorating your house as well as yourself. And the pillowcase full of sweets at the end of the night may have had a small part to play when I was young … Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you have a safe evening 🙂

1Fiance Husband and my outfits today in work. Embrace the power of the skull. 2. Skull accessorizing. 3. Black squid ink pasta {tastes like normal pasta in case you’re curious. I would highly recommend. Would also be perfect for sophisticated dinner soirees}. 4. Preparing the coffee table for a week of movie watching. 5. Failed Halloween yarn project. Massive sad face. 6. A friendly reminder of the time of year. 7. Juniper less than impressed with Halloween. Especially when I mash her into ridiculous costumes.

Later, homies!

It’s good to be back

Now that the craziness that is planning a wedding is over, I can’t wait to …
… feel normal, have my life back and chillax with my man. We have big plans to do a whole lot of nothing.
… cook meals at home, from scratch, at my own pace. Oh man.
… feel creative. Weddings tend to sap the creativity from other aspects of your life.
… make stuff. I can’t express how much I am looking forward to knitting, crocheting, sewing and painting to my hearts content.
… spend time with my husband and do things like hold hands, go to the movies, snuggle kitties, and focus on planning our life together.
… get used to saying and using the word ‘husband’. 
… enjoy the coming seasons! Autumn is my favourite. And don’t get me started on Christmas. Hell yeah. 
I’m so excited to get back into the swing of things, so I already have a couple of projects lined up for the immediate future …
– A recycled pillow tutorial. Painfully simple.
– Some spray paint furniture projects. I had way too much fun spray painting teapots for our wedding.
– A halloween themed crochet pillow project {which I’m hoping to tackle during honeymoon travelling}.
– And back to basics with some interior design goodies. Keep your eyes peeled for delights coming soon. 
Happy Monday all 🙂
Image cred 1 and 2