Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Coat

I just bought a new coat and had it shipped to Texas so I won't freeze!! I haven't bought a coat since 2007 when I was a size I think it's time to accept that it doesn't fit and just buy a new one. Gap Inc. makes clothes in tall size (woot!) They've made the arm-holes come down lower so you don't get that tightness across the theory. Also, the arms are longer as is the overall length and the waist is set lower too! This is the first "tall" proportioned item I've ever bought so I'm really excited to see if it makes a diff!!

It's not like, the coat of my dreams or anything.... although The Science of Sexy says the Peter Pan collar is very flattering for me. :P And the buttons are ugly...I'm going to change them to gold or brass buttons. Or maybe just white ones. Depends on what the store has. lol But it was only like 50 bucks so who can complain?

One day I will have a gorgeous wool Burberry herringbone a-line coat....but I'm gonna have to wait until we live somewhere it actually gets cold regularly. Working on that one. ;)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not really the last.

Okay, so maybe that wasn't really my last blog post. bleh.

So, 2 months ago I lost my passport. It was in my lap in the car and fell out into the parking lot without me realizing it. I assumed it'd just fallen in the car somewhere and didn't worry about it too much...but it turns out it had been mailed to the consulate in Sydney. Sooo I call the consulate. They tell me that, since I am married now, I need to travel in my new name... okay cool. That was October 27th.

November 9th we applied for our marriage certificate and received it back November 26th. I tried to contact the consulate to figure out what to do from there but I assume they closed for Thanksgiving because I heard nothing back. It was a busy weekend what with Chris's bday and all that coming Monday....on that Monday Chris told me we should apply for my new passport. So I filled out the form that the consulate told me to....but then I realized that I had to include 2 U.S. passport sized photo (.5" bigger than Aussie photos) and the post office only takes aussie sized We hold a photo shoot in the bathroom, I edit the photos to be the correct size and meet all their specifications, we go to print it and NOOOO the printer is printing at a super low res. We couldn't be sure but we assumed it was because of the generic ink and paper we'd bought to save money during wedding planning...and the only shop that carried the right ink and paper was closed now (at 4 pm. gotta love rural towns.) So, I jokingly said "Look, I don't think 1 day is going to make that much of a difference here, let's just go out and enjoy your bday." But, Chris had to work until 6:30 the next 2 days so it was actually 3 days before we got our photo printed, our money order ordered and everything in the mail by next-day express post....We get a call the following Tuesday the our money order is in the wrong ammount, it is $7 too much and we need to correct it according to the current exchange rate rather than the one on their website. WHAT?! UGH! He did assure us that everything should be taken care of in time for my flight on the 21st if we mailed it that day though, so, we fill out a new money order, express post THAT to the consulate and don't hear anything from them again...that was last week on the 8th. They didn't mail my passport until the 14th. (WHY? Why.) Annnd because we live in a rural area it takes 3-4 business days to arrive here....only the damn post workers union decided to strike in the middle of the week throwing all the letters off by a day or so which means 4-5 business days.....or Monday-ish. When I was supposed to be flying home.


So, here we sit.... it feels like that part of Benjamen Button when he's saying "if that shoelace hadn't broken; or that delivery truck had moved moments earlier; or that package had been wrapped and ready, because the girl hadn't broken up with her boyfriend; or that man had set his alarm and got up five minutes earlier; or that taxi driver hadn't stopped for a cup of coffee; or that woman had remembered her coat, and got into an earlier cab, Daisy and her friend would've crossed the street, and the taxi would've driven by...." If it hadn't been Thanksgiving, if we'd had the canon ink for the printer, if it hadn't been Chris's birthday that day, or the shop had been open later than 4pm, if the union hadn't gone on strike or if I'd used the current exchange rate....I would have had my passport as early as Tuesday this week, we'd be $1600 richer and I'd be on that flight Monday morning. "But life being what it is - a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone's control" it all happened exactly how it did and there's nothing we can do about that now.... but it's interesting to see how all the different variables come together. Okay okay, so at the end of the day "If I had not lost my passport" tops the list, and I probably shouldn't be comparing missing my flights to a person having their leg crushed....I mean, it's not THAT bad. But it was hella expensive and totally unneccessary.

So I'm now leaving Wednesday morning instead of Monday morning. The great part is that I get to travel with my Beebs now!! We are on the same plane from Mackay to Brisbane, only I had to book into first class because it's all there was left. lol I would have just booked a diff. flight but it's the ONLY one that leaves early enough for us to make our VAustralia flight. Oh well! It's only an hour flight. We get to sit by each other on the VAustralia flight, but once we get to Los Angeles we're on separate flights altogether. Mine has a layover in Austin and doesn't get into DFW until two hour after Chris's does. BOOOO! So less than ideal. It would have cost like $600 to change his flight to be the same as mine though and I'm not so rediculous to insist on that.

Ah well. I'm still going shopping on Christmas Eve. I don't even curr!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Travelling, Last Blog!

This is my last update until... I'm not sure. But for quite a while anyways. I'm super popular and just don't have time for trivial things like blogging now. (HA!)

So, I'm a chronic procrastinator... it seemed much too early to start packing or cleaning or anything like that last week...but now it's dawned on me that, even though my flight leaves on Monday morning, we're driving into Mackay Saturday morning which gives me 4 days to clean the house, do all my laundry (those of you who know me best know why this is a big deal time-wise) and PACK.

You know, until I counted the days just then, I didn't even realize it was down to 4 days. It's only Tuesday! I thought I had like a WEEK...gah. Beebs has to work Monday morning which is why he can't see me off at the airport. I'm pretty sad about that actually, I hate saying goodbye before I actually leave...but I guess that, in this instance, it's only goodbye for 4 days instead of like 4 months so I suppose I'll survive.

It's not that bad....

I'm really excited about traveling! Most people gawk when I tell them it's like 30 hrs of travel time (I got pretty short layovers this time!) but, honestly, it flies by. For me anyways. I've got this thing down to an artform at this point and, honestly, it's kind of therapeutic--except for the whole sore-tailbone thing, I wouldn't call that therapeutic. Anyways. This is not your domestic airplane:
  • You have your own tv in the headrest in front of you.
  • There's always new-release movies on the flight and dozens of recent and even some older movies on top of that.
  • There's also HUNDREDS of tv-shows. I'm hoping they have Glee. Everyone's gushing about it and I have only seen the first episode so it would be convenient to get to knock out my Glee marthon on the flight instead of on Hulu at home.
  • There's arcade type games like Bejewelled, Tetris, Scrabble and so on that you can play too! There might be more video game type stuff but I've never bothered playing.
  • You have a lot more room to yourself than on a domestic flight! The seats are wider and the rows are farther apart. Your seat also reclines a lot farther back since the rows are farther apart (not a WHOLE lot, but enough.)
  • Two words: unlimited "refreshments." ;)
  • The food is actually really good! It's never super filling, but it's not like you can't bring nibblies on the flight if you want to.
  • We all sleep most of the flight anyways! It's really easy on the LAX to BNE flight since those always leave really late at night....not as easy on the BNE to LAX flights that leave in the afternoon though....I plan on bringing sleeping pills just in case. ;)
Also, I have my own little rituals down now. For some reason my flights ALWAYS leave from the same gate (give or take a gate) so I've really gotten to know that part of the airport now. I play in Duty Free forever in Brisbane testing pretty much every perfume in the stores, and then I have my nachos and Presidente margarita waiting for me at Chili's when I land in LAX. On the flight I always have:
  • a new book that I've saved just for the occasion,
  • my fleece blanket for my top half (I use the airline's blanket on the bottom half since you never know how often they clean those!)
  • my slippers in my carry-on so I can change shoes right before we board
  • my cushy neck pillow and my pillowed eye-mask that blocks out 100% of the light.
  • ear plugs
  • noise-cancelling head-phones to wear OVER the ear plugs. I don't play music in them, I just turn on the noise cancelling part ;) Can you tell I'm a light sleeper?
The flight itself is only 12-13 hrs. Sometimes 14 if we have to fly around bad weather. Mine is 8pm-9am CST this time and "lights out" (when they turn all the lights off and suggest you try to sleep) will probably be at 10pm and then we'll have breakfast at most of that time you are sleeping. Or at least people as super prepared as me are sleeping. Everyone else is waiting for the baby to stop crying and wishing the person next to them would turn off their reading light. ;) Okay so, if we're being honest, I've never been able to sleep the whole time. BUT I hadn't discovered Doxylamine Succinate(the active ingredient in Nyquil that makes you sleepy...that they sell in pill form here ;) ) before either. Muahahaha.

OH! I'd also like to add some breakfast things to my Fat New Year food list:
  • McDonalds breakfast burritos AND a sausage patty
  • Chick-fil-a chicken biscuit/sandwich
  • Plain glazed donuts...No icing. No sprinkles. No drama. Just donuts.
  • Biscuits smothered in sausage gravy

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's gonna be a FAT New Year.

Things to do (i.e. EAT) while in Texas for the holidays:

  • Chipotle (always my first stop from the airport)
  • Olive Garden Breadsticks
  • Chili's presidente margarita and grilled shrimp alfredo.
  • See Avatar in 3D at the Harkins Southlake while eating Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake we smuggled in with my purse. HA! (it's a big purse)
  • Buy that Eagle Flatts queso dip from Wal-Mart and go to town....and try and figure out how to make it myself!!!
  • Texas de Brazil buffet! whaat?
  • Del Frescos, just for Beebs.
  • Take Chris to Six Flags Holiday in the Park, just for fun.
  • Ocean Water and Jalapeno poppers at Sonic.
  • Go to the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science.
  • Razoo's Rat Toes!
  • Go outlet shopping with Amelia (because she's the only shopping partner who has the same "shopping-pace" as me....and I love her most.) which includes that trip to Dallas we've always talked about since I've never gone to those stores.
  • Holiday Lattes at Starbucks!!
  • Order a Honeybaked ham for Christmas
  • Go to QT every single day and have a fountain drink, just because I can.
  • Drive until we find snow. Hopefully it's not in like, Maine or something.
  • Drink eggnogg and watch White Christmas with momma.
  • Actually go out on New Years Eve instead of watching the ball drop at home like I have for the past 22 years. (anyone down to join me?)
  • Go to that ice thing at the Gaylord Texan.
  • Cuddle Ender and make sure he knows I still love him.

It's gonna be a fat new year......

Christmas Shopping's that time of year. :) I think I enjoy shopping for Christmas gifts more than the average person... The lines and the crowds just add to the thrill of the hunt for me (although I can't say the traffic is all that thrilling on any front.) My primary love language is Gifts which is probably why I take finding the perfect gift for each person so seriously. A gift from me is the utmost expression of love, so I don't take it lightly. I usually like to go shopping with people and pay careful attention to the things that they like...That said, I feel tremendously crippled over here! I feel confident enough waiting to shop for my family back in the states in a couple weeks when I get there, but we're meant to be having "Christmas" with Chris's fam. next week and, so far, the only person we've bought for is Annette! This family is REALLY hard to shop for. In my family, no one is shy about giving a Christmas List of things with varying price points and letting each other go from there, but his family just does not share what they want!! They all say "nothing." I'm just like...hey. I'm going to be getting you something anyways, so it might as well be something you like!

Annette is easy enough to shop for because I've kind of learned her taste over time and I have ideas for everyone else....but it doesn't make it any less tough! The kicker is that I have to do ALL of this online, and Australian e-commerce is seriously handicapped. Chris always gets his mom the same thing: a gift card to the garden shop. But I like to be a bit more thoughtful than that. I like for people to not know what to, "let the hunt begin" I suppose! His mom's bday is next week as well....maybe we can do a BIG bday/christmas gift for her. Maybe.....Maybe I could go "browsing" with Debra at Green Tree Frog (gardening) and just pay close attention to the things she likes.... she has this whole feature of concrete lizards in her garden...but they look expensive. uggggh. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

Last year there weren't ANY frozen cranberries at Cole's, just cranberries soaked in apple juice....which have a totally different flavor. Like the difference between frozen peas and canned peas soaked in water....anyways. They had cranberries at Cole's this weekend!! Not fresh ones because they're out of season, but this recipe needs frozen ones anyways so HURRAY because I LOVE PUMPKIN CRANBERRY BREAD. I'm gonna make like, a basquillion loaves of a it. That's right JILLIONS.

I think Australians would call this "cake" or a "pudding"....but, by my definition, it's too dense to be a cake and not wet enough to be a pudding. SO it's bread.....'cause I'm American and that's how I roll. hahaha ::boing::boing::boing:: (me bouncing in my seat with glee)

Libby's® Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Libby's® Pumpkin
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Ready In: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Servings: 24
"Try this festive recipe for a delicious holiday treat!"
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 (15 ounce) can LIBBY'S® 100% Pure
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.
2. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil and orange juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.
3. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


This guy.....he gets me guffawing!


Look! It's Bean! On a necklace!

Merry Christmas to me??

Monday, December 7, 2009


We want to move somewhere where it's cold all the time. Like, fireplace lit every day, rainy snowy "bad weather" kind of cold all the time. Preferably in the mountains. Seriously. Where is someplace where the highest high in the summer is like 65-70 degrees? I want to move there. I hate the heat. I hate the beach. I never want to sweat again. I SO look forward to winter and dread the days I have to pack up the sweaters and why not have year-round autumn and winter temperatures? So, where is this place? Is it like, Canada? Not like, Alaska or anything....someplace where it's cold all the time but not snow all the time.

Let the search begin!

Thredbo, New South Wales

Okay, so this is like the Aspen of Australia. Situated in NSW's Snowy Mountains, it averages a high of 20*C-22*C in the summer which isn't bad! And in the winter it's, well, cold and snowy. :) Problem? It's hella expensive. Like whoa expensive. $1.5 million for a 2 bed/2 bath. Here's some $2.5 million 5 bed/ 3 bath eye candy:

Okay now, I'm not even joking over here, you know how when you play Sims sometimes you'll build like your dream home? I SWEAR my dream home ALWAYS has this lodge look to it with that huge stair-case and balcony thing in the main room. That said....for 2.5 million it sucks that it's a fixer upper. It's VERY dated and needs a lot of love and sledge-hammering. Anyways, just an inkling of what exists up there! There are places really nearby with reasonable prices (if you can believe $800k for a 4 bed/3 bath is reasonable ;) ) Maybe this will be our retirement dream. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Bday Cake

Everyone's asking about The Birthday Cake!!

It was not as good as I thought it would be.... ::tear:: But I tried! I made it with coconut Italian buttercream frosting and covered it in's really good, just not like mind blowing or anything. I'm just not good at cakes! lol I tried to write "happy birthday" on the cake...only the dessecated coconut kept pulling up and it turned out looking like a squiggly "hoopy" and so I gave up and just wrote "happy 24." lol ohhhh well. I was too embarrassed to take a picture. At least it tasted yummy. :)

What Not to Wear

People have been saying things to me this past year like "your hair always looks so good," "you always look so cute when we go out," "I know I have to make an effort when I'm around you or else I'll look rediculous." I've officially become High Maintenance. I've become That Girl. I ALWAYS have my hair done, I ALWAYS have some variation of makeup and I ALWAYS put a lot of thought into my appearance even if it's just to go to the grocery store. Why?? I blame What Not to Wear!!! Seriously!! Stacey London and Clinton Kelley have changed me for life and I don't think there's anything I can do about it. People ask me "how do you get your hair to look good all the time?" Um...I style it EVERY DAY. It's not like I roll out of bed looking like it took me an hour to get probably did take an hour. Or more. lol

Oh, can I just say that the UK What Not to Wear is HORRIBLE???? I don't know WHAT possesses those women to think that the things they are dressing their guests in looks good but it's painful to watch! So I don't. And I miss Stacy and Clinton. :(

One of the things that's been hard on me moving here to moranbah is that NO ONE makes an effort! Everyone is so low-maintenance when it comes to their appearance and I just stand out like a sore thumb. I always feel over-dressed and over-done. So I've been trying to play it down a bit lately... This is why, just for fun, I've made a What Not to Wear special for myself. Even if I can't play in a dressing room every week anymore I can still try to have some fun!


Okay, so one of my fave things is . It's tons of fun! You get to make a 3-d model of yourself and then try on all these clothes and it REALLY gives you a good idea of what NOT to wear and I have actually been very very surprised by some of the things that look really good on me. I love studying shapes and fabrics and how a ruffle here or a pouf there can really add balance and shape in a good way and how a metallic sheen or a shoe strap in the wrong place can look just HORRIBLE.

Here's some fun What Not To Wears and What TO Wears that I put together for my model. :)

What NOT to Wear: On a Date

WHY would I wear this?? Maxi dresses are REALLY popular right now. I think some of them are great and some of them are awful....the one I tried on here is one I actually really loved on the model; it doesn't have a dust-ruffle hem, it's belted at the waist, it has a lot of movement instead of being your typical sheath style, and the colors are REALLY pretty. I think this one is also a little more dressy and wouldn't be out of place at a nice al-fresco cafe at the harbor which is a place Chris would likely take me out. It would also be nice and cool which is important in summer here.

But apparently I just can't pull off the Maxi look. I'm not even going to try...they ALL look frumpy on me. They look frumpy on a LOT of people actually...I wonder if they know how bad they look... The accessories I chose are things I actually really like, but the pendant necklace combined with the length of the dress is just too much going on. I love those bangles too, but they bring attention to my wide hips which is not what we want at ALL!

Wear THIS: On a Date

The second look is probably a little bit shorter than I should wear, but the style is awesome! I think a lot of people make the mistake of wearing drape empire-waisted dresses thinking that they hide their fat, but they can really add a LOT of pounds that are not there (see my maxi dress for an example.) This style has a lot of structure and emphasizes the fact that I really do have a waist. The necklace I chose brings attention to my top half, the smallest part of me, instead of dragging the eye down to my middle the way a longer necklace would. I love this

What NOT to Wear: Shopping With Girlfriends

WHY would I wear this?? Hey now, this would be a seriously comfy outfit to wear on an outing for holiday Starbucks lattes and maybe shopping and a movie after! The whole 80's look is really on-trend and the ballet flats would be super comfy if we were doing a lot of walking. The tights would keep my legs warm and are usually worn with these tunic dresses which is why I chose them. I wouldn't have to think about weather my rolls were rolling out when I sat down and I would be SO cozy and comfortable and that's important when your with you're girls!

Okay, okay, so looking at this you're probably thinking "WOW. That is REALLY bad." BUT people wear stuff like this all. the. time! As you can see, the whole Oversized look is BAD if you are not seriously skinny! It does make us feel safe because we can let it all hang out and no one will see and yes it would be sooo comfy....but it just looks awful. It's an all around bad idea. I love the sweater, it's very festive and metallic but the empire waist and chunky knit just add 20 lbs that I don't need and in all the wrong places. The tights cut my legs off at the ankle and draw attention where they would otherwise just blend and this adds a lot of heft and makes them look really short. The pendant necklace just drag the visual interest down down down to my tummy and hips which just isn't a good idea here at all. The bell sleeve would normally be a good idea for me, but not even they can save this serious fashion disaster.

Wear THIS:Out With Girlfriends

Okay now, THIS is something that I love and do wear absolutely all the time. I've got my fitted tank with a wool shrug to emphasize my waist and also to add balance between my shoulders and hips. I've got my dark-wash boot-cut jeans because I KNOW light washes and whiskering just make my hips gain weight in the worst way. The scarf does all kinds of awesome things here visually; besides adding a pop of color, it draws the eye up and in which automatically slims and trims because people are looking at the smallest parts of me instead of my hips where I carry all my weight. The metallic flats aren't doing anything special other than looking cute and fun as opposed to a boring black flat or WORSE running shoes.

For some reason people in Texas think it's okay to wear running shoes with absolutely any outfit. I don't know if people do this everywhere but it is like a PLAGUE in Texas. I used to be guilty of it when I was growing up, but I was young and clueless....I assume that everyone who continues to do this just doesn't care or couldn't be bothered putting on other shoes. I think you can get away with it if you're doing the J-Lo track-suit look and your shoes are clean and fresh....otherwise it just looks messy. Maybe if you're going to the grocery store for like, 5 minutes because you're in the middle of a recipe and they were the first shoes by the door....but really it's not hard to throw on a pair of cute flats or sandals instead. Make an effort people! You never know who you're going to meet....

Okay, I have to admit, the outfit I feel SAFEST in is just t-shirt, jeans and tennishoes:

I used to wear some variation of this EVERY SINGLE DAY until I got sick of being mistaken for a 16 y/o at 20 and decided I should probably start dressing more appropriately for my age. I always had a few things ready for when I wanted to dress up...when I worked at David's Bridal I had to buy a lot of business casual type clothing which allowed me to start seeing myself as an adult. I can confidently wear heels with jeans now and not feel like an idiot which is saying a lot. But I suppose I shouldn't judge those who just aren't there yet, should I? At the same time, we all have to grow up at some stage if we want our peers and society to take us seriously so I'm glad that I've made that leap now rather than trying to wrap my mind around a heeled shoe at 30. lol