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Tag Archives: living

  1. Oh Canada…

    I’m getting ready for our Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony dinner on Saturday night. It’s probably the most excited I’ve ever been about Canada.

    For the Beijing Summer Olympics, I put together a stir fry and made fortune cookies and paper lanterns. It was hard to come up with a Canadian theme, but I’m quite pleased with what I’ve got to work with this time. There are some surprises, but I will say that there was paper-mâché and also flowers…

    Flower Flag

    Posted in Creative.

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  2. Tales of Christmas

    It was hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit again this year. It’s just too hot to feel like going through all the trappings of the season.

    Instead of hauling out the tree, I ended up buying a couple bunches of arborvitae branches, and put them in a vase with some red pom-pon looking dries flowers. Decorations = complete! All the gift bags from America fit underneath.

    Christmas Loot Christmas Table
    A couple days before Christmas I raided the 50%-off holiday bins at Spotlight, Australia’s equivalent for Michael’s. I came home with some placemats and “peace” candles.

    Table Candles
    I didn’t feel like doing our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, because it was too hot to have the oven on all day. So we opted for a fresh broccoli salad and risotto with mushrooms and peas.

    Christmas Dinner
    It was lovely. Gift highlights include a sparkley ring and earrings, lots of goodies from Anthropologie from the US givers, and the parasol of my dreams. ♥

    Posted in Cooking.

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  3. UrbanMAX

    We’re off to do UrbanMAX this year. (I heard about it from Kris last year.) It’s sort of like doing The Amazing Race except just in our city. We have recruited a couple of people after our glowing tales from the last time. Hopefully we don’t get too sunburned. This is a little photo of us kayaking in shark-infested waters (aka the Brisbane River) last year.

    Urban Max 2008

    Posted in Exploring.

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  4. Music City

    We made it to Nashville after a week-long roadtrip via Des Moines, Iowa City, and Indianapolis. It has been weird making it a leisurely drive. Normally, I would have been on a mission to get from one home to the other and would only stop for gas. Now we have the liberty to pull over and see anything that piques our interest. It’s good.

    I’ve got so many photos to upload, but I don’t think that will happen until we get back to AU. Eeep. I should have brought my own laptop along.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  5. Money, Money, Money… Must Be Funny

    Last night we pulled out The Money Drawer. We throw all of our loose change into a drawer at the end of the day. We’ve been accumulating for years, only taking out the gold coins when we’re desperate. I’ve been worried about losing the bottom of the drawer, because it was so heavy it could hardly be pulled out anymore.

    Coin Drawer
    At our bank, they want you to count out the coins and put them into bags before you bring them in. So we watched Wipeout and sorted coins until we ran out of bags. What you see below is $1000 in $1, $2 or 50¢ coins. One THOUSAND dollars. In CHANGE. That was sitting in a drawer in our house.

    $1000 in Coins
    And that’s not even all of it. We have a ton more $1 coins. And then there’s all of the 20¢, 10¢, & 5¢ coins to go. I’d bet there’s at least another $500 at least. I feel a bit like someone with a mattress full of cash, but it’s a nice little stash to deposit right before we go on holidays!

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  6. Three Years and Counting…

    It’s so hard to believe we were married three years ago. In some ways, it feels like it has been forever, and in other ways, it feels like just yesterday. I think we’re just lucky that we remembered our anniversary at all. I guess neither of us are super-sentimental in that regard.

    He slipped an orange gerbera onto my desk when I wasn’t looking this morning. And we’re going for a little tapas lunch at Simpatico today. Then on Friday we head to our little getaway for a long weekend. We’re staying at Glass on Glasshouse. It looks absolutely perfect and peaceful. I’ll let you know!

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  7. Pain in the Neck

    Two days ago I woke up with a horrible pain in my neck. I don’t know if I just slept wrong or if the new chilly weather at night cramped me up, but I haven’t been able to turn my head for two days. I’m starting to feel kind of silly. Any of my chiropractor and/or massage therapist friends out there have any advice?

    ** Check out Sonoma Lavender Heat Wrap at Amazon for your aches and pains.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  8. Shoes Cure the Blues

    After a breakfast meeting yesterday, we saw a friend working at a nearby vintage clothing store. As we were talking, my eye wandered to a wall of shoes. I finally couldn’t resist trying a few pairs on and ended up buying two pairs. ♥

    shoes1

    shoes2
    They’re both size 6, and a little itty bit tight. But they are also leather and hardly worn, so I’m hoping they’ll stretch slightly. And if not, I will grin and suffer.

    Posted in Inspired.

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  9. Try This Recipe!

    A while back Kris in Sydney posted a recipe for Spicy Shredded Pork. I was quite interested, because pork has become like a new friend to me ever since we started going to our little butcher. (Seriously, I love the women there as much as the meat. They’re all of Eastern European descent and are boisterous and such a hoot!)

    So yesterday we planned to have dinner with the brother- & sister-in-law (who just broke her foot), and I said I would go to their place to cook and keep her company. That was just my sneaky way to try this recipe in a fully air-conditioned home, instead of baking myself out of our house. Teehee.

    I must say, that I am now in love with Spicy Shredded Pork. It’s dreamy. It’s so delish. We had it on tortillas with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. I also had lettuce, tons of cilantro/coriander, lime wedges and sour cream on hand. A-MAY-ZING!

    Also, for those who cower at the word “spicy”, I’ll just add that it is spicy in that it has spices in it, but those couple dashes of chili powder won’t give it much more than a completely mild rating. I’d serve it to children, no problem. I’d also look into adding some chili peppers if you want any sort of heat.

    ** Check out these Mexican Cooking Utensils by La Cocinera on Amazon. (Or get them for me!)

    Posted in Cooking.

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  10. Computer Woes All Over Again

    Remember a couple of days when I broke my computer? Well, I thought I had tricked it into working by creating a new user profile. And for a few days, it magically worked with no issues. Until it realized it was being fooled, and now it doesn’t work again much at all. iTunes and LOTRO are the only programs that don’t seem to crash it… which is great if I was after a gaming/music-listening machine, but I have needs, people. Internet needs.

    Hubby is gung-ho about getting me a new laptop, but the one he’s looking at for me seems to have some heat issues. (As though my other one didn’t already have heat issues, this one gets up to 10 degrees hotter in some places.)

    While I ultimately just want a computer that works, I’m finding all kinds of joy in finding the hilarity in the situation.

    Me: Hey, can you preheat the oven to Dell Laptop for me?

    Him: Do you know if it’s supposed to be cooler today?
    Me: It’s going to be Dell Laptop until this afternoon, unless it rains.

    Him: But it’s so much cheaper than the other ones with the same specs.
    Me: Yes, but have you considered how much the skin grafts for my legs are going to be?

    *sigh* I laugh, because otherwise I’d cry. My poor baby is dead.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  11. February Finale

    Well the album writing challenge is complete. The guys are off mastering it today… which means I get to use the computer that works!

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  12. I’m Not Down with the Sickness

    Because I am totally awesome and stuff, I got me a computer virus last night. Fun times ensued. And though the virus is now gone, a possible pre-existing condition has flared, and the computer will no longer boot on command. It’s more of a “I’ll start when I’m good and ready, thank you very much, and that may not actually be today” sort of situation.

    So I pretty much want to die, because I have three years of non-backed-up photos and video on there. (I AM aware that this makes me a stupid person. Please don’t leave comments to remind me.)

    There is hope, because the one time it did start again, I was able to burn off one year of photos. So at least I know things are still there and in tact. I just won’t breathe easily until they are all safe and sound on a drive that ISN’T going into self-destruct.

    I was going to get a little Lacie Rugged drive to take to the States, so I can copy over all my cds. Looks like I may get it sooner than later. (Plus it’s orange. How cute!

    ** Check out LaCie backup drives at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  13. Let’s Hear it for the Boys

    Due to that aforementioned lack of concentration, I have been watching a bit more television… at volume levels so low, I am becoming an expert in lip-reading… but more television than I might otherwise, nonetheless.

    This is the reason I watched the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal from beginning to end the other night. I’ve mentioned before that my grandpa was and my dad is on the volunteer fire department. My brother was going to go for it as well before he lost half his hearing in the accident.

    That said, I have such a heart for those out there putting their lives at risk to help try and save others. Not just them, but their families too. The people who give them a kiss as they leave the house, knowing the danger their loved one faces head on.

    When we heard that Coles was donating their profits last Friday, we rearranged our grocery shopping day. We don’t even usually go there, but it was great to stock up on pretty much everything we normally use knowing that the profit was going to the Red Cross. (Granted, my pantry overfloweth now, but we’ll deal.) So anyway, I just read that they made $4,870,889. So great. Press release PDF.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  14. It’s New

    And here we have 2009. We welcomed it in a very low-key manor at the sibling-in-laws. After several energetic rounds of Wii tennis, we settled in to play Little Big Planet until someone mentioned that we should check the time. We watched the last 15 minutes of the various (lame) shows until fireworks time.

    I have lived in four states, and I don’t remember fireworks being part of the NYE tradition in the US. Not even city organized ones, much less half the neighbourhood setting off their own stash of contraband. Maybe it’s because of the snow.

    So we watched the fireworks on tv, and then went outside to try see what the neighbors were doing. We heard more than we saw. And then we promptly went to bed. The end.

    ** Get LittleBigPlanet 2 at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  15. Refreshed

    If anyone missed my tweets, since I didn’t really update here, we went on a bit of a retreat last weekend. We spent three nights up at this really great spot a couple hours from here. No internet. No television. Just us in a little chalet with the rain and an air conditioner. Oh, and they had a cute little pond with a rowboat.

    row boat on the lake

    Posted in Creative, Exploring, Photographing.

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  16. In General

    Things are picking up. We still have no Christmas decorations out to speak of, but I’m feeling a little more interested in the holidays. We braved the mall on Sunday, and I’m feeling very confident in my gifts for He Who Buys All He Wishes For. He may not necessarily know that he wants what I’ve gotten, but I’m meeting his needs in one way or another.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  17. Movie Magic

    The past two nights, I’ve gone along with the guys from work who were doing vfx supervision on the set of a movie being filmed here at the moment. It was interesting while being incredibly boring at the same time. The amount of time it takes to set up the shortest of takes is unbelievable.

    The first night I went along to get photos of every angle of this car that they will have to recreate for an explosion scene. I left early and was home by 11, while the Hubby didn’t get home until after the chicken started making noise at 5 AM. I kind of wished I had stayed to see the stunt men being set on fire though. Last night we went back to get more photos of the walls in the alley for textures. It was kind of fun.

    bm-movieset

    ** Make your own movies with a Yellow Flip Ultra Camcorder from Amazon.

    Posted in Creative, Photographing.

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  18. Out and About

    The in-laws have a Dutch backpacker staying with them at the moment. She’s cutting her trip short and is going back to Europe soon. So we told her we’d take her out to somewhere that she still wanted to visit on the weekend. Looks like we’re off to Byron Bay. My first time! Should be lovely if the thunderstorms stay away.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  19. And We’re Done

    Wow, so today ends the three-week vacation of 2008. My parents left on Thursday, and I’m still a little bit sad. The introvert in me didn’t always love the constant being with people and all the go-go-go we scheduled, but overall, it was so great. I think the best part is just being able to talk to them about stuff now, and they will have a better picture of what we’re talking about.

    We really did pick up the pace, which was good considering the amount of rich food we also ate. But I am really hoping that we can continue that on our own. Sure we won’t be hiking through the Bunya Mountains or walking along the rocky shores of Western Australia, but it’s not too much trouble to find a park or bush trail around here.

    I also have had a bite from the travel bug. I’m excited about finding new treasures in new places, even places close to home.

    That being said, I’ve heard about a new park, we’ve got the foodstuffs for a picnic on hand, and we have yet to try out our new picnic blanket. Today might just be the day!

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  20. Day One: Survived

    We got up before dawn and managed to get the parents from the airport. We had an easy day with hanging around the house and a light lunch. Then we took them to Queen’s Park in Ipswich. Their nature centre is really quite good. It’s not quite Australia Zoo, but it IS free. No koalas or crocs, but it has wombats, goannas, wallabies, emus, kangaroos, lizards and birds of all sorts.

    We also had a walk around the Nerima Japanese Garden. While you can tell it has been affected by the drought, it still is the greenest place I’ve seen in quite a while. It really is so peaceful and beautiful. I reckon we’ll be having a picnic there one day soon.

    Then tonight we cooked dinner for both sets of parents. No culinary catastrophes to speak of. No embarrassing childhood stories. No lack of conversation. It was quite impressive for a first-time meeting.

    Now we sleep.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  21. Pending Arrival

    I have to say that things are looking… good. It’s not really the “finding places to stash clutter” that I’m worried about, it’s most definitely the “finding it all back again” part.

    So now that it’s crunch time, I’m starting to re-look at what I REALLY need to have done before they get here. So the curtains may not get washed, but since they are staying in our room, the contents of bedside table drawers are getting repositioned, if you know what I’m saying.

    It’s going to be good. Trying not to stress.

    I have to say that things are looking… good. It’s not really the “finding places to stash clutter” that I’m worried about, it’s most definitely the “finding it all back again” part.

    So now that it’s crunch time, I’m starting to re-look at what I REALLY need to have done before they get here. So the curtains may not get washed, but since they are staying in our room, the contents of bedside table drawers are getting repositioned, if you know what I’m saying.

    It’s going to be good. Trying not to stress.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  22. Flower Photos

    A couple of weeks ago, we had a picnic at the Botanic Gardens at Mount Coot-tha. It was such a lovely day. (And then we came home to find out about Dixie, so I wasn’t really excited about posting the photos.) A sampling of the photos are below. You may click for more.

    www.flickr.com

    Posted in Creative, Photographing.

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  23. Rock Down to Electric Avenue

    While I was tempted to feel rich with all this newly counted wealth we’ve been hording, that was all before the Great Blackout of 2008. Last Saturday night, we were going to bed when I noticed the lamp kind of fading in and out. Finally the power went out in that half of the house altogether, but as we were already in bed, it didn’t really matter.

    We called the power company on Sunday morning. The guy came out and said that there was a faulty switch and that we were lucky it hadn’t caught fire. So he disconnected the power to the whole house.

    Monday, we called a wonderful electrician who came out to change the switch that the power company had disconnected. However, since we were at work, he couldn’t check the switches inside. We got home and the lights worked, but the powerpoints did not. The freezer was thawing.

    Yesterday, he came back out and changed a bunch of stuff and whatever they do. He stayed until almost 7pm to get it working for us. All was good until after he left, and I went to turn on the dishwasher. That’s when we realized that the major appliances would still trip the safety switch.

    So this morning, he came back one more time and found a stray wire from our original bungled wiring that was the issue. So hopefully we’re good to go now. Today we eat meat and lots of it to avoid wasting everything that was in mid-thaw yesterday. *sigh* Not looking forward to the bill.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  24. Here in My Car I Feel Safest of All
    It’s New Car Day! Hooray! We have the day off, and I thought we would sleep in and then go later in the afternoon. But no, I think I was awake by 7:30 and raring to go. It’s so exciting. Our CAR is parked underneath me as I type. We went and got groceries in OUR CAR. I went through three roundabouts in OUR CAR. I’m ready to take a roadtrip in OUR CAR!

    We’re a little split on the name. I wanted it to be sort of “Man from Snowy River” themed, since it is a Colt. The thing is that I can’t remember any of the horses’ names from the movie. Bess was the one who died at the beginning, right? And then I’m not sure any of the other ones had names. Just “the Brumbies”, I think.

    But we’ve got it narrowed down to either Clancy or JESSICA!. Not Jessica. You have to say it like you’ve just spent the night looking for her in the rain. JESSICA! Maybe the car can have two names. Clancy for when it’s behaving well, and JESSICA! when it’s giving me grief.

    ** Check out Jim, Jessica, Spur & Clancy in The Man From Snowy River at Amazon.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  25. Stay off the Sidewalks

    In case you missed the Tweet, I got my Queensland Driver’s License the other day after only the slightest bit of drama. Oh, and I also had my eyes closed the first time, so I had to take not one, but two, horrible license photos. But woo… no test!

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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