September 24, 2014

88 Days Until…..

Not sure if anyone else has hit that full on Christmas fever feeling yet, have you noticed Santa is ALREADY in the shopping malls? #imnotready

Hard Bean: Canberra Coffee Shop. Anna Johnston - Anna Christmas Fever

Normally I get another good month before the hospitality industry ups the ante with nonstop events and partying, but this year, it’s on like Donkey Kong already.

It is all systems go in my world; 6 of 30 wedding receptions done and dusted; we celebrated the Press Clubs 50th Birthday in style at a Gala dinner where I was lucky enough to meet the awesome James Morrison. I’ve event managed 25 functions in the past 2 weeks, and the chefs have pumped out around 1700 meals.

Hard Bean: Canberra Coffee Shop. Anna Johnston - Anna Johnston & James Morrison

Oh, and did I mention that in between all that, my lovely wedding decorator passed away suddenly causing us to find a way to grieve the loss, find a replacement & somehow keep the show on the road. And, just to keep us on our toes, our office was taken offline for 3-4 days with a crazy bad computer virus where a bunch of my key content was lost, which by default means I am now kinda behind the eight ball & muttering aimless wishes that we’ve recaptured all the lost data. #overwhelmed #endrant

Thank gawd for coffee right?! I have been mainlining the stuff to keep up, or more honestly, to stay up.

Anyways, amongst all the crazy of my days, a bleary eyed Anna stumbled across Penny University Coffee Roasters, who in my humble opinion offer one of the Berras best brews. Now ya’ll know coffee is one of my very favourite things; and let’s face it friends, coffee just makes life more awesome! That first sip that makes you forget all your worries. Mmmmm…. most pleasing to the palate.

Hard Bean: Canberra Coffee Shop. Anna Johnston -

Very flavourful, juicy, never a dull moment, non-stop goodness. This coffee was bangin’. Which to put it simply, was mind blowingly delicious. A solid crowd pleaser, the kind of coffee even non coffee drinkers would enjoy.

I give this coffee 5 Hard Beans.

5 Hard Beans

The countdown is on….. 88 days until I will be jet setting it to Singapore to begin a month of Asian adventures, and sipping well-deserved iconic cherry-red cocktails and reminiscing on another massive year. #bringit

Tell me dear reader, where will you be in 88 days? And what is one thing you are most looking forward to doing these Christmas holidays?

Ready to take this relationship to the next level?

Yeah you are…. SUBSCRIBE by entering your email address below to receive weekly updates on my latest shenANNAgans, recipes, reminiscences and reviews too. 



shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

They said YES! A Review of Marley Spoon - January 7, 2016 Reply

[…] just me, but it sure feels like every year the holiday season stretches on a little more than the last. There are no hard kick off and cut off dates, but the lead up to Christmas has turned into a […]

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - June 25, 2015 Reply

Holy molly… It’s a lot of weddings. 🙂
Love your dress and of course, the delicious and beautiful cup of coffee. Have fun!!!

    Anna - June 25, 2015 Reply

    Yeah, we did do heaps of weddings last year, another month or 2 and it all begins again. 🙂
    Thanks heaps, you really are very kind.
    And the coffee, that reminds me, I must head back for another.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - December 3, 2014 Reply

What a sad loss for you all! I wish for you an easy run up to Christmas. We will spend the evening with friends 🙂

    Anna - December 3, 2014 Reply

    It really was a huge shock, Tandy. Almost there, only 17 days to go. Boom! 🙂
    Your Christmas sounds lovely.

Tash - October 16, 2014 Reply

I went shopping for cucumber and goats cheese the other day (Yup, still stuck in summer…) and was horrified to see at least 4 whole aisles right at the front of the store DEDICATED to chocolate bars with santa’s face on them and herds of foil wrapped reindeers…crazy! Commercialization never ends! But ah well, hopefully the mood will kick in when the time is right…:D

    Anna - October 16, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha… Goodness Tash, thats crazy. It just seems waaaaaaay too early for Santa yet. Its too early. I’m holding out until December, so many other things to get through first. 🙂 Hope what ever you made with the cucumber and goat cheese was delicious. 🙂

anotherday2paradise - October 8, 2014 Reply

Christmas does seem to start earlier every year. When we were kids, it seemed to take forever. 🙂 That coffee looks really good.

    Anna - October 8, 2014 Reply

    The coffee was/is amazing and yep… the countdown is really on now. We are in the 70 days until now. 🙂

Sue - October 6, 2014 Reply

88 days? Gulp. No idea what Christmas looks like for us.
Sorry to hear about the unexpected loss. My sympathies.

    Anna - October 6, 2014 Reply

    We are in the 70 days and counting now Sue. Big gulps. 🙂
    Thank you for your thoughts, that is really sweet of you. - October 2, 2014 Reply

I spent Christmas in Australia in 2007. That was a weird experience, nothing like I knew before, because most of the time I was on the beach haha but I loved it and I would like to go back to Perth for Christmas. This year I probably will be in Lyon, France, as per usual, eating French food and opening my presents under the Christmas tree 🙂

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Oooo how wonderful Marta. Yep, I guess it would have been rather weird being in Summer when you are so used to the cold at that time of year. I remember feeling that way when I was in London a few years ago at Christmas time.
    Your Christmas plans sound positively amazing. Lyon France is on my travel bucket list. How magical. 🙂

cityhippyfarmgirl - October 2, 2014 Reply

Anna I refuse to even say the word “C..” I saw chocolate c things the other day in the shops. I shouted at them, “DON’T YOU KNOW IT’S SEPTEMBER!!” Well in my head I did anyway.

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Haha…. C things… LOL! I am totally picturing you silent screaming at the shop. HA!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl - October 1, 2014 Reply

I’m a holiday LOVER. I look forward to every aspect of it. From here until the end of the year it’s my favorite holidays so it’s just decorations, food, more food, more decorations, costumes, sweaters, tea and more decorations. I CANT WAIT.

    Anna - October 1, 2014 Reply

    Haha! That pretty well explains the countdown until Christmas for me too, although were you have sweaters, I have swimmers. 🙂 And prob need more food & eating too!

Sophie - October 1, 2014 Reply

I also can’t wait when it is Christmas! I love it all! I love choosing a real huge tree each year, the bigger, the better!

I love decorating it & inviting friends & family over for a big Christmas feast! Ooh yes!
I love the cheesy Christmas carols & songs but no decorating outside the house though! x

    Anna - October 1, 2014 Reply

    Oooooo…. yes, decorating the Christmas tree is such fun. 🙂
    Haha, yeasss, how great is caroling?! I drive my colleagues up the wall during December.
    Agreed about the outside decorations, although I am the odd one out in my suburb, they go off!

Hannah - September 30, 2014 Reply

I LOVE Christmas!!!

Giving presents to people is sooooo much fun!!

Ummm I will be making my way to Melbourne as usual 🙂

Three lots of families, friends, boxing day test, shopping, last movie in the Hobbit trilogy, beach and other summer fun #getexcited

I’m so excited for you to be heading off on the cruise and so jelly at the same time!

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Meeeee Tooooooo! Just ordered your pressie last week. Yay! 🙂
    Present giving is lots of fun huh?!
    What an action packed Christmas you have, I am soooooo excited for you. LOL!
    Thank goodness for social media, we can share each each others Christmas. 🙂

      Hannah - October 2, 2014 Reply

      All the presents!!!

My Inner Chick - September 30, 2014 Reply

you. are. adorable! x

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Nawh! Thanks heaps Kim! Right back at chya. xoxox

Gourmet Getaways - September 29, 2014 Reply

Oooh, a lot of things happening and a lot of things in store for you! Good luck 🙂

Gourmet Getaways

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Boom Yeah! Can’t wait! 🙂

Bri | Bites of Bri - September 29, 2014 Reply

I’m not ready either! I saw Christmas decorations at the store the other day and thought OMG…it’s not even Halloween! Guess I better start working on my list 🙂

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Wow… thats crazy, even skipping Halloween for Christmas decorations. Insane!
    Haha, yep, better start working on the list. LOL

Choc Chip Uru - September 28, 2014 Reply

Your life is SO Exciting! All those weddings and then a getaway of getaways 😀
I absolutely adore Singapore, but unfortunately in 88 days, I won’t be doing much accept studying 😛
Has to end soon though right?? But you – omg YOU are going to have a blast! Bring on the summer!

Choc Chip Uru

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Ahhhhhh man. Still studying at Christmas time CCU. Boooooo!
    Haha, I do have a pretty great life, and its cool I get to be a part of so many wonderful days with my wedding couples.
    Oh yay, you’ll have to give me some pointers Uru. But yes, bring onnnnnnnn the summer. 🙂

Tim | UrbanDuniya - September 28, 2014 Reply

Lovely coffee! And yeah, I’m ready for Christmas! I’m not a HUGE fan of Christmas itself, but I love the whole period, and I love summer. So I say BRING IT ON!!! 😀

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Bring it onnnnnnnnn for sure Tim! 🙂 82 days and counting. LOL!

Erin | The Law Student's Wife - September 28, 2014 Reply

I love having a trip to look forward to, and yours is going to be amazing!

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Meeee too! It totally helps when you feel overwhelmed with the workload in between. 🙂
    Wishing you a wonderful week lovely one.

Dedy@Dentist Chef - September 27, 2014 Reply

Lucky you Anna, good luck then…
well obviously in 88 days i will bitching about my clinic and patients, lol

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Haha Dedy! You crack me up. Love the honesty. 🙂

The Squishy Monster - September 27, 2014 Reply

I’m a firm believer that food heals most all wounds as well =) And yes, yay for coffee!

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Haha! Thank goodness for food and coffee (booze too – LOL).

Jean | Holy Smithereens - September 27, 2014 Reply

Sorry to hear of your wedding coordinator passing Anna.
But yes once the Ber months start, Christmas comes rolling quickly!
It’s going to be a busy November for me and looking forward to a relaxing Christmas 🙂

    Anna - September 30, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Jean, very thoughtful of you. 🙂
    It’s crazy how quickly the days are zooming now, but exciting too.
    Bring on the relaxing summer holidays right?!

Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner - September 27, 2014 Reply

Lol…I noticed that yesterday marked 3 months to Christmas…glad that I’m not the only one with Christmas on their mind. 😉
We spend the day with family. Food and family…can’t beat it. 🙂

Have a great weekend, my friend!!

    Anna - September 27, 2014 Reply

    Haha… Yay, a fellow Christmas tracker. LOL!
    Sounds like a wonderful day sweet lady, bring it on I say.
    Why thank you, I hope you have a wonderful, fun filled weekend too. xo

Bam's Kitchen - September 26, 2014 Reply

Hello Anna,
So sorry to hear about your friends loss difficult to deal with everything happening so fast in your world right now. That is a lot of functions to cater to…. I had not even thought about Christmas, we will probably be staying here in Hong Kong as my eldest only gets off only on x-mas day as x-mas is not really celebrated here in HK but Chinese New Years is the big event here… Take Care, BAM

    Anna - September 27, 2014 Reply

    Thanks HEAPS Bam! 🙂 Very kind and thoughtful of you to offer such kind words. 🙂
    Sweet, Chrissy in HK would be wonderful, and yes, Chinese New Year is incredible fun for us too.
    Wishing you a great weekend. Cheers!

Agness - September 26, 2014 Reply

It looks like Christmas is coming!!! I love drinking some hot chocolate here in Amsterdam, especially when it gets so cold :).

    Anna - September 26, 2014 Reply

    Ooooo Yeah Agness… Christmas is right around the corner.
    Yes, you guys are heading into hot choccie drinking season, us on the other hand are shedding out layers and getting summer ready. #best

Anna (Hidden Ponies) - September 26, 2014 Reply

I love fall so much I don’t like to think of it being over…except for I love Christmas almost as much 🙂 This year is going ridiculously fast, someone just asked me a New Years question the other day and I just about fell off my chair. NOT possible!

    Anna - September 26, 2014 Reply

    As an Event Manager, I have been working on events happening in 2015, 2016 & a couple of weddings in 2017, totally hear you about the way the years are flying crazy fast! Phewww… 🙂

Krista - September 26, 2014 Reply

Oh girl, what a stressful time you’ve had! I’m so glad you had such good coffee to see you through. I’m really sorry about the loss of your co-worker. XOXO

    Anna - September 26, 2014 Reply

    Gahhhh! Yep, its been an adventure with work in recent weeks that’s for sure. Thanks for the well wishes Krista, I am lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.
    Enjoy your weekend love! xo

Mandy - The Complete Book - September 25, 2014 Reply

Nooo, it’s not allowed to be so close to Christmas, I am not ready! I would die a thousand deaths if I had to lose my key content – think I will skip the coffee and have a glass of wine for you to calm the frazzled nerves.
You are going to enjoy your beautiful holiday at the beginning of next year like never before with being so busy now! AWESOME!
Have a wonderful weekend ahead my dear Anna. Love and hugs to you.
🙂 Mandy xoxoxox

    Anna - September 26, 2014 Reply

    Haha… I hear you, although, I do love Christmas time, all the eating and socialising and carols and cheesy Christmas attire. 🙂 Soooo FUN!
    Oh yes, not gonna lie, there has been some very explicit language coming from desk in recent weeks. Ooops! I thank you for having a vino to calm the nerves. You are amazing!
    Wishing you a stella weekend my dear friend. Lots of love and hugs to you too.

InTolerant Chef - September 25, 2014 Reply

Oh I LOVE Singapore! You’ll have the best time! I bought Christmas decorations today, and started stocking up on yummy goodies too. I always find it easier to buy a bit every week, and the excitement builds as the pile does 🙂

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    I can’t wait Bec… I have never been before and everyone that has been says its amazing. 🙂
    I have started my Christmas present buying too. I secretly (not so secretly) LOVE christmas, its my fave time of year. I’m that annoying person in the office that sings christmas carols and wears santa T-shirts and jewellery. LOL! Hope you have a ball with the next couple of months pulling together your Christmas. 🙂

Alice - September 25, 2014 Reply

Wow Anna!!! You’ve had the crazy bug passing around your office/day to day life too! So sorry to hear of your colleagues passing, that’s really sad. As for computers crashing and losing years worh of files, gulp! Hope you have a handy IT expert who could save the day. If anything will, then you’re favourite new brew can and if that fails, then a trip to Singapore Sling land will definitely remedy it!!!

Can’t wait to see those snaps and yes, 88 days and (less) now to Christmas. I’m looking forward to some jingle bells! Xoxo

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    Thanks lovely one for your thoughts. xox
    Our IT support have done a pretty okay job of finding the lost data, although I don’t actually know the full extent of the missing content. I’m just putting out the spot fires as they come up.
    Ohhhhhh boy I am excited about adventuring in Asia land and sipping cocktails. So excite!
    I have secretly been playing carols when noone is in the office. Haha.
    Happy Thursday sweets. Hugs and love.

Hotly Spiced - September 25, 2014 Reply

Your desk looks very busy and you sound even more busy. On top of all of that I can’t believe the computer virus! What a crisis. By the end of all these events you will be desperately needing that month in Singapore. It’s great you’re on the countdown. Yes, I’ve noticed the year spiralling towards Christmas and next month I’ll be starting my Christmas baking xx

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    Haha… My desk is often overflowing with all kinds of fun, wedding cake, wine, sweet treats, it is really wonderful. 🙂
    YEAS, the computer virus was hellish, still not fixed either. Bring on a month of Asian shenANNAgans. Can’t Wait!
    Oooooo, Christmas baking. Yaaaay! I am starting to get Christmas excited. LOL!

Kris Johnston - September 25, 2014 Reply

Omg now is probably a good time to ask what you would like for Christmas Anna?? Good ‘ol silly season!

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    YEAS….. Christmas wish list time. 🙂 Ooooo… I’d love to go on a zipline adventure in Cambodia. You fly through the rainforest, its not that far from the temples of Angkor, walk along suspended sky bridges, and abseil from giant trees. HECK YEAH!!! 87 days and counting. xox

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - September 25, 2014 Reply

That coffee looks super delish… nothing like having a quiet time drinking something warm and comforting.
Christmas stuff are already on shelves for sure. I started seeing them since August.
I am so sorry you have been through many things this year. I hope you catch a break and things get much better. Take care, Anna!

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    Oooooo it was amazing Denise. One of the best in my city I think. 🙂
    Its slightly scary that Christmas is starting this early in the year.
    Thanks for your well wishes, most appreciated. 87 days and counting. Boom!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - September 25, 2014 Reply

Arrrggghh!! Runs screaming from this thread. I’m not ready!!!

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha! Too funny Lorraine. 🙂

Raymund - September 25, 2014 Reply

I think I will be in a vacation in 88 days, I am long due of it

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    Raymund… I hear you. 87 days and counting. Hope it zooms for you my friend. 🙂

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - September 25, 2014 Reply

As my father used to say – it never rains but it pours – and yes, I saw something Christmas the other day and just pretended it wasn’t there and muttering under my breath! I love coffee too – we are so lucky here in HB as we have a number of great roasters – I’m a short black girl:)

Hope things are back on track and you still looking gorgeous and smiling thru all that.

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    Muttering under your breath. LOL! I stood there and started saying rather loudly… ‘Really? Christmas decorations ALREADY!’ The assistant giggled and said ‘ I know right!’.
    Short black girl huh? Nice, I haven’t got to the no milk stage yet. But I aspire to bring my inner Italian out one of these days and learn how to shot a short black. 🙂
    Thanks lovely, we have a couple of long weekends I am hoping will give me a mini break to get me through to the Christmas. Hope you are well too. xox

Sriprae - September 25, 2014 Reply

A month in Asian–girlfriend, you deserve a fabulous time after all that has happened within just the past few days! How terrific is that!

Aahhh, that coffee sounds divine. Speaking of which, I haven’t made my French press this morning yet. Running behind on breakfast but got things accomplished already.

No plans yet for the holidays. The manic commercialization of it induces me to mutter “hum bug” under my breath. I do love the coziness the season brings and times spent indoors with loved ones, simply enjoying their company (with good food, of course).

The Force be with you as you work your way through these 88 days!! 😉

Much love! xox

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    Ooooooooo yeah. I can’t wait. 🙂
    Good lordy you have accomplished things before your morning coffee? How on earth…. I am impressed.
    Haha, yep, I hear you on the ‘hum bug’ mutterings, especially when we are doing Christmas in September. Glad you enjoy the coziness of the season, its ALL about sun shine, lollipops and rainbows for us down under, oh and the eating. Love the eating! 🙂
    I thank you my friend for your lovely thoughts. Right back at chya.
    Hugs and love. xox

Fran - September 24, 2014 Reply

Bring. It. On.

    Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

    To the point Ms Fran! #respect

      Fran - September 25, 2014 Reply

      Ha ha ha, the rest of my comment disappeared. It was much more betterer.

        Anna - September 25, 2014 Reply

        You made me LOL Fran. 🙂 Said it all really.
        87 days and counting. Boom!

Gary Lum (@Yummy_Lummy) - September 24, 2014 Reply

Still too far ahead to think about 🙂

    Anna - September 24, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha…. Denial works for me too Gary. LOL! 🙂

Lizzy (Good Things) - September 24, 2014 Reply

No, no, no, this just won’t do…. Christmas, I mean! It’s only September… in 88 days I hope to be feasting in my own home and looking forward to my birthday!

    Anna - September 24, 2014 Reply

    Haha, Im afraid so Liz, Christmas will be here before we know it.
    Oooooo…. You are a December baby huh Liz?!
    Brilliant, oh how I look forward to the Christmas feasting. 🙂

Elizabeth - September 24, 2014 Reply

Seriously you had to remind me 88 days….! so sorry to hear about your friend passing away… 🙁 And wow! James Morrison….! You know that I am always in search of a fantastic coffee 🙂 I hope you survive until the end of the year 🙂 Liz x

    Anna - September 24, 2014 Reply

    Sorry Liz. LOL!
    Yes, it was rather a shock when we heard she had passed. 🙁 But I thank you for your thoughts.
    YEASSSS…. Super lucky, James was lovely too.
    If you are in the Berra… a) call me & b) we are going here.

Sam @ Travelling King - September 24, 2014 Reply

GEEEEEZ!!! 30 weddings – holy moly!!
I cant believe Christmas is just around the corner, its only 15 days til we leave for our 3 week trip! This year has flown past.

We will be heading to Singapore too!!! where are you staying?

In 88 days i will be in Rome spending xmas with my dad 🙂

    Anna - September 24, 2014 Reply

    Yep… Weddings play a major part in my world. I am lucky enough to attend 30 odd wedding receptions every year. 🙂
    I know right?! Its ridic how quickly Christmas is coming around.
    Wawhooooo…. That’s awesome re your 3 week trip, I am so excited for you, can’t wait to stalk…. I mean follow along your adventures. 🙂 Agreed… The year is flying!
    Oooooo, fun! I can’t wait for Singapore. We haven’t decided where we are staying yet, was hoping you guys would be able to recommend a sweet place.
    BOOM! That rocks. Christmas in Rome. Just incredible.

Leave a Reply: