Friday, April 30, 2010

Doxylamine Succinate




I love the swift sleep you give me, but hate waking up in the early afternoon with medicine head and the whole day wasted.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fake Tan

I can't remember if I've given y'all a heads up on this one yet, but last year I discovered the most perfect self-tanner EVER: St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse.

It's never orange and never streaky. Only complaint is that you have to apply it about 3 days in a row before your tan is as dark as it looks with the color-guide on (i.e. the first time you shower it will feel like most of your tan just washed down the drain until you reapply twice.) But, if self-tanning is a part of your day-to-day life I think this one is worth a try!

I started self-tanning when I moved here because the UV is SO HIGH and I'm too paranoid to go out in the sun without a slather of sun-screen. I've seen how wrinkly all my friends are who've been in tanning beds since high school and then how most of the women here who are around my age already have a lot of fine-lines and wrinkles around their eyes and on their foreheads and I can only blame the sun happy lifestyle of Queenslanders... and I just don't think it's worth looking 5 years older just to have a "real" tan. My only time in a tanning bed was 3 months before prom and 3 months before our wedding and I don't think I'll ever do it again. I'm too cancer paranoid! Hopefully the chemicals in my tanner don't end up being carcinogenic....how ironic would that be? LOL

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jobs and stuff!

Hi all!

We had a great long-weekend in Sarina. :) It was our friends Turtle and Ashleigh's birthday party and I got to see a LOT of friends I haven't seen in forever! I loved having a few beers and catching up with all the girls and eating delicious food, it was a really great night.

In other news, we have a new addition to our family.




This is Petra! She is a Princess kitten. :) (Actually she is a tabby/ragdoll mix.) We've been looking for a light colored female Maine-Coon or Ragdoll kitten for a long time, but either the price hasn't been right or they've all been boys or the color was wrong. We saw her at a pet shop in Sarina and took her home straight away! She LOVES cuddles and promises to make an amazing lap-cat which is the perfect balance to Bean who loves to play and won't cuddle very often. Initially, Bean and Petra fought all the time, but after one BIG blow-up, they get along just fine. Petra still likes to attack Bean's tail just for fun and they do run around the house a lot but fights are getting more and more uncommon and, I think once Bean has officially established his dominance, they'll dissipate altogether.

_______________

Some of you may remember my most beautiful and amazing shoes I ordered from Torrid a couple weeks ago, but I'll jog your memory just in case:


The jeans turned out really cute btw! Fair warning if you plan on ordering from their site though that the images are slightly more saturated than what the actual product will be. unique-vintage.com is this way too, but I digress. Shoes. I wear a size 12, and these are a 12W. But BOY they most be double wide or something because they felt a full size too big, maybe more! Super disappointing because the shoes themselves are hands down the cutest shoes I've ever owned. Seriously. Ever. So...I went out and bought 2 4-packs of Dr. Scholl's ball-of-foot cushions and 1 pair of heel cushions. There are now 4, count 'em, FOUR silicon cushions in the toe of each shoe and then the heel cushions in the back. When I push forward, HARD, on the cushions as I put my foot in the shoe they fit perfectly! WOO!! I am going to give them a test run tomorrow to see how safe they are to walk in in public. They might need one more toe cushion before they're perfect. I'm DEF ordering an 11 from these guys next time though! Even though these shoes are super duper comfy with all the cushioning now. ;)

________________________

I applied for a job at the "dentist surgery" (dunno why they call it a surgery!) as a receptionist. It would only be an average of 3 days a week. I like this because it means they'll be more flexible with days off so if Chris and I need to go away on the weekends we can! The only other listing posted is as a receptionist 4 hrs M-F from 10am-2pm. I really don't like that schedule because it means I'll only ever get 20 hours a week whereas the dentist will give me at least 16 hrs/wk with 24+ on average. I've done the whole 4 hr shift thing and it just feels like a waste of time. That job might be great for someone with kids, but I'm looking for something a bit more. I'd rather have longer shifts with fewer days at work than 4 piddly hrs every single day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Mandy Moore because she is my celebrity look-alike and everyone gets to be a more beautiful, thinner, idealized version of themselves in the movie of their life. :)

Ask me anything

I < 3 Frankie

My new Frankie magazine came in the mail today. YAY! This week I've felt 12 years old again in my daily rush to the mailbox, stubbing my toe on a tree root and hopping on one foot to remove whatever small pebble or twig fragment has become imprinted into the sole of the other foot. And then I lift open the mailbox to find.....nothing. Until today when it came! It's here!

http://frankie.com.au/




Okay, I hear you, what is so special about this magazine? Well, it's a work of art. Even the paper it's made out of is obviously twice the quality of your typical tissue-thin glossy fashion mag. These pages are thick, with a newspaper-like texture while still durable. The articles themselves are full of surprises, I feel like everytime I open the magazine I find something else I'd missed the last time through. Even the advertisements are artistic and follow with the same vibe as the articles. It's so well designed. I want to hang up every page until our walls are papered in art and fashion. I love it that much. :) I gushed so much about the first copy I bought that Chris secretly purchased a subscription for me as a gift and now I get to enjoy 6 issues of Frankie a year.

Its tag is "Art-Fashion-Music-Craft-Life" if that tells you anything about the contents. It's so hard to explain, I wish everyone could read it. Its only in its 35 issue which means it probably released its first issue in 2004 and is relatively young as magazines go. I hope they're doing alright financially, I'd hate to see them disappear!

________________

In other news, I've picked up contact again with the Kroussaratsky bros which is so random. I met the twins, Andy and Greg, online on the same website I met Chris back in 2006 when I was trying to make friends in Australia so I could learn about the country and whether I should go to school there. Obviously I only fell in love with Chris, and the Krooza bros and I were just good friends, I even visited them for a week in 2007 when I visited Oz for the first time. However, as time marches on, life gets in the way and we all became quite self-involved and mostly lost contact over the years with the exception of an occasional Facebook message or comment. Out of the blue I started getting phone calls from them again about a month ago and it reminded me why we were all such good friends in the first place. Now that we're all no longer teenagers we might even get along better than we did the first time, who knows? It's great to have them back in my life either way. I really love them from the bottom of my heart, they're so much fun!


That's all!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Recap

So this weekend was FULL ON. Gosh, so busy! haha I loved the band that came out, the people were so nice and were so insanely talented. Any one of them could have their own recording contract and instead they are in this music ministry full time sharing the love and encouraging people through God's word. And, let me tell you, they couldn't have come at a better time. Most of them are my age or younger, but they are wise beyond their years. :)

We went to the community talent show on Friday night and it was so much fun! It was their first year though so there were some kinks to iron out, but it was a blast overall. :) LOTS of singers...some awesome and some not so much. Some small children dancing to Ke$ha ::barf:: they need to EDIT that music if kids are going to be around. It is R-rated stuff! Give us a courtesy bleep next time guys....

Saturday night was the Fellowship Tea at church and everyone was late. lol Not many people came (only about 15 people) which was kind of disappointing but we did have a few people from the community show up which was cool. I just wish that when we go through the trouble of letting the other churches know about things, a couple of their members would come out and spend time with us. It's free dinner, there's a play room for the kids, free entertainment....you'd think we were twisting their arms! Ah well, maybe next time. :)

The band left early in the am on Sunday and we SLEPT THROUGH our alarm. So annoying, it was a big sunday and I was supposed to sing and we didn't even show up. :( I felt horrible. We need one of those alarms that fits between the mattress and shakes the whole bed. Argh.

Sunday night we had a bbq with Chris's family at his parents house and it was yummy!

Monday I started writing this entry and then I got interrupted and had to finish it today...anyways. That's my weekend at a glance. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

A better day

Today was a better day. :) It's amazing what keeping busy can do for you, hey? I imagine that when I find full time work, it's going to change my life. I'm a really disorganized person who thrives in extreme structure. Right now my life is so hap-hazard and my environment is reflecting that...our house is ALWAYS a mess. A big mess. Those who know me best know just what kinda mess I'm capable of at it's like that but worse. Ugh. I've been cleaning today... and a clean house does put you at peace. Or me at peace. I hate the cleaning part of it though! Mess doesn't really bother me, I can be surrounded by piles of mess so thick you can't even see the floor and it just doesn't phase me. It doesn't disgust me, doesn't put me in a bad mood and doesn't annoy me....I do look at it as an "oh...yeah. Hm. I should really clean that up." But other than that, I just exist in it. Call me a slob (I probably am) but that's just me. This is why it never ceases to amaze me how much I loooove it when it's clean! It only happens about once ever 12 weeks or so, but when it does it's like a weight has been lifted. How weird, hey? I know I know "You should clean as you go so there's never a mess, everything should have it's place and blah blah blah." Easier said than done people. I've been this way all my life, it's like chronic slob syndrome or something. As soon as I start cleaning I get this overwhelming anxiety....it's so annoying. I think working full time will help keep the house clean. I know, spending even LESS time at home shouldn't make it more organized, but when most of my day is full it's really easy to form a schedule for the rest and get into a routine. I just need a routine....it's tough to routinize 16 hours of the day every day of the week....so I think I'll be good when the 16 shrinks to 8. :)

Just my current thoughts, I thought I'd share!

The band that's visiting is called Endless Praise, btw. They are running 4 hours late. Yeah....I mean, I can't complain because it's def. something I would do if I were them. I am ALWAYS late. I also shouldn't presume to know what their reason is for running so late....but I can't help but wonder if it's just so they could sleep in. They said they "had a late breakfast" to Debra which suggest to me they also had a late wakeup and a late start over all....but again, I can't assume that it happened by choice. Maybe the power went out in Bowen or something and no one could cook any food...I don't know. If it were me, I would be 4 hours late because I slept in. Because I'm lazy. hahaha Soooo.. I'm trying not to be frustrated. But I am. So THERE. hahaha I'm not really that frustrated at all actually. I was for like 20 minutes, but then I realized that if they're not coming to our house until 9:30 tonight, I can stop cleaning for now. And so then I was okay with their lateness. LOL.

Okay...going! Gotta shower

**edit**

Talked to the band and it turns out their itenarary always said lunch at 2:00pm instead of 12 like ours, but they mis-read since their setup was supposed to start at 3:30 and got here at 3:30 instead...on accident. That's okay! Just to set the record straight. ;) They're really nice btw! I'll tell y'all about them later.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Emotional week

This week has been really hard on me emotionally. The details why are one thing that I actually won't blog about openly, and I really don't feel like talking about it all anyways. It's just been a hard week. (In case you're worried, Chris and I are better than ever and it's nothing to do with our marriage.)





::sigh::





I've been taking St. Johns Wort for anxiety and it actually works. I'm always skeptical of herbs and naturopathy and would usually chalk it up to the placebo effect, but I have to say that I felt markedly more relaxed with this herb. I'm glad Chris reccomended it. :)





I've mentioned before the complete lack of cute clothes here in larger than a U.S. 10, right? (I'm a 14/16) Well I just found out Torrid ships to Australia and they had a HUGE sale today. I took full advantage! I got two pairs of jeans for $7 each marked down from like $55 and a really cute pair of nude heels IN MY SIZE for $15 marked down from $45. Granted shipping was like $50, but that's still a savings of $50, and you can't find stuff like this here at these prices even with shipping. woot! This was the silver lining in my cloudy week. The jeans even have 2% stretch instead of the usual 1% so they'll be extra comfy! Check out my stuff:





I always buy the exact same pair of jeans: dark wash, mid-rise, bootcut. But I went a little crazy in December and bought a pair of dark wash, mid-rise, skinnies with a gorgeous rhinestone detail on the pocket and LOVE them. So I've ordered the pair on the left because they are a more casual wash than the indigo wash ones I have now, and then the black pair because they feel a little bit Rockstar and were only $7 so I couldn't help myself. ;) I LOVE the zipper detail on the shoe. You can't tell in the pic, but they're actually this really beautiful textured leather that looks like crumpled silk. Nude matches EVERYTHING too, black, brown, grey, white, pink, orange, EVERYTHING. So yay for my cheap shoes in my size! I've been looking for a nude heel for a long long time and I love these.



We have a guest staying at our house tomorrow night who arrives at 2pm and the house is a mountain of mess. If I wasn't so embarrassed of it all I'd call a cleaner to come in and help me bring it up to par beforehand. ha! With the way I feel right now, the last thing I want is for a stranger to be in our home and for me to have to put on a smile and play the happy hostess for two days, but what can I do? She's a member of a traveling singing group who's been hired to perform around town this weekend and needed a place to sleep so I agreed when Debra asked. Maybe we can just buy her a hotel room? Bleh. I wish I felt more hospitable.

I'm really tired so I'm going to go to bed. I love y'all! I know I'll feel better over time. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sewing

I've lamented in the past how most fashion shops here only go up to an AU 16 which correlates with a US size 12, with many higher end shops only going up to a US 10. Considering the skinniest I've ever been in my life was a US size 10 jeans/size 8 dress and the fact that fashionable options outside that realm are virtually non-existent I've decided to take up sewing. :)

Grandma taught me how to hand-sew when I was in first grade and I remember the awe of sewing together something that wouldn't pull apart. I then received a very basic model from one of my aunts (I think) for my 7th or 8th birthday. I learned to sew a ruffle and in a straight line but, like most things at that age, I lost interest in time and moved on to other things. I'd pull my little sewing machine out periodically for the rest of my life for school projects or to hem some shirt I'd cut to peices with the last time I saw it being in late 2004 when I pulled it out one last time to sew together some stick bags for the front ensemble. (no time to explain, google it ;) )

All that said, I feel confidant enough in my basic sewing abilities to take things to the next level. I do know my way around a machine (albeit very basically) and, while I may never create a tailored winter coat or anything of that caliber, I think I could put together a few of the latest fashions without too much trouble. I'm very thankful skirts have made a full return into fashion as they should be easier to sew than pants!

Some things I'd like to try to sew:

short circle skirt:


color block high-waisted mini:


Classic A line:


My proudest moment would be to re-create a maxi dress that flatters instead of frumps:



I'm going to have to practice sewing a bit to re-familiarize myself with a machine before I attempt anything I might actually wear in public so I should probably order a ton of cheap fabric to practice on before I sit down at the machine!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Aussie Burger

The Aussie burger is an interesting invention. In Australia the term "burger" applies to absolutely any patty-type sandwich rather than just a hamburger. If you're in Moranbah, it almost always describes a chicken burger. So, if you're dying for a hamburger and happen to see a sign in the window of a cafe purporting "fresh grilled burgers" don't be too disappointed when it turns out to be grilled chicken.

Aussie Hamburger



Sandwiched between a large bread roll you have, at best, a quarter pound of beef or steak. If it's steak (and if you're at a bbq it most likely is,) be prepared for it to be of the unbelievably tough and "char grilled" variety. This way you might avoid it slipping out of your burger at first-bite and slapping you in the chin as mine did the first time! Do not be fooled by the size of the patty, for on top of your tiny burger, you'll have a veritable mountain of lettuce, shredded carrot, grilled onions, tomato, sliced/shredded beetroot (beets,) and, if you're really lucky, a fried egg, pineapple ring, bacon rasher, and cheese. (I always joke "would you like some burger with your salad?" All this will be traditionally smothered in a healthy spatter of barbecue sauce, but sometimes tomato sauce or mayonnaise is a suitable substitute.

You should see the looks I get when I order a burger!
"Just cheese and grilled onions please"
"Oh, well you know it comes with salads"
"Yes, but I'd like just the cheese and onions please"
::agape:: "You're sure?"
"Yes, thank you."
::raises eyebrows and looks down her nose disapprovingly as she writes the order down::

I must admit I've never had an aussie burger with the works, so I'm not judging it or saying it isn't delicious. I really wouldn't know! I do hate beets though (they taste like dirt to me) which is unfortunate because they come on just about every single salad or sandwich you'd ever buy! I'm also not a big fan of carrots... hmm....Maybe I'll just have a bite of Chris's burger one day. Just to say I did.

Today I'm taking pickles, jalapenos and mustard in a plastic baggy to the servo. On a side note you can only get Polish Dills here so I'm souring mine in vinegar as I type this. hehe With these powers combined I should be able to build the most delicious perfect burger I've had in a long time. The only thing that'd make it perfect is if there was more meat on that sucker!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Schizo

The other day I was watching videos Chris and I used to send back and forth on Youtube to each other before we were able to meet in person. At that point neither of us had webcams, so we'd essentially make video letters to each other and post them privately on Youtube. One of the things I noticed was how much Chris loathed going to work, how much he hated his job even then almost 4 years ago. Secondly I noticed that we were both perfectly happy and prepared to accept not a low-income life per-say but definitely a life where there might be some paycheck-to-paycheck at first and some doing without. The money here sucks you in man....we swore it'd never happen to us but I think it's in those early stages of the "just a little bit longer....just save this much and then we'll leave" but when is enough enough? Thirdly, Chris was SO passionate about his radio show and pursuing that full time no matter what that meant financially and both of us agreed that it was more important to spend your life doing something you love and making a difference rather than dreading every morning just to be comfortable. I wonder when that changed...

I should interject here by explaining that I fully understand how, to all those outside my head, my future plans must seem so schizophrenic. One day I'm excited about this possibility, the next I'm excited about something completely different....it must be tough to keep track of what my actual plans are! lol For any of you familiar with the Myers Briggs identity types, I am an ENFP: http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFP.html This actually describes me to a T, pay special attention to the part that says "An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals. Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors. Others may fall into the habit of dropping a project when they become excited about a new possibility, and thus they never achieve the great accomplishments which they are capable of achieving." I can easily forget what was so great about my original plans as I get really excited about some new possibility. However, when I take that time out to center myself and reflect on my plans and consider how they line up with my values, they don't always jive. So I re-evaluate and come to a different plan that's a bit of a happy medium.

That said, plans have changed. Yes, again. ;) On Chris's end of things short-term, his talent and his passion is in using his voice to reach out to people. He has made several invaluable contacts at Twenty5eight in Sydney (who do the production work on his show) who have put him in touch with a man who can evaluate Chris's goals for his show vs the actual marketability of it as a product. He's sending the second show off tomorrow so this guy can evaluate the consistency between shows from week to week and then they'll decide what changes need to be made from there. I'm not sure where he'll go after the show is re-worked as I'm not sure how all that works as far as getting onto actual stations is concerned.

My short-term plan has changed back to a hairdressing apprenticeship from an administration traineeship. Yes there would be a LOT more money in admin. work, but I wouldn't enjoy it and you don' t have the job security you do as a hairdresser. If I can't find work in a salon, I can always cut hair out of my own home or start up a mobile business (popular stuff here.) Bottom line; I can't think of anything more fun and more perfect for me at the moment. Of course every job is work, but I will relish being a part of something creative and social and challenging where I'm always meeting new people and the business is always changing with the trends. I love that. :) The apprenticeship is 3 years and is essentially a work-study type program. After the 3 years I'll hopefully be able to look for a job someplace! The catch here is that I'm not sure if I have to be a permanent resident in order to start, and I won't have residency until July next year when Chris and I have been married for 2 years. I'm trying not to worry about that too much until I know more and will try not to be too disappointed if I have to be a resident.

Long-term (after I finish my apprenticeship) Chris will look for full-time work in radio. If he has trouble getting a gig because he doesn't have much formal training (3 formal broadcast training courses and the rest is just hands on,) he'll enroll at AFTRS for a Graduate Diploma in Radio Broadcasting. It's a two year program full-time or 4 part-time. That said, I don't know that he'll really need that education for sure. Only time and talking to other people in the industry will tell whether life-experience or certifications are more important in this business. I'd think it's just talent and life-experience much like you don't need a degree to become an actress or tv personality, but you never know. I will plan on attending a brick-and-mortar university or seminary wherever Chris's work takes us and get my BMin. In the mean time I'll need to pick a denomination to become ordained through....that's going to be a tough decision! It will probably be made easier by the small list of churches that allow women to be ministers though. ;) I'll be a citizen by then and will qualify for FEE help from the govt. which is a lot like the government grants and loans you get through FAFSA. I don't know how much I'll qualify for the first year since it will have Chris's mining income on the tax return, but the second year we'll def need it. The reality of it is that Chris will most likely be taking a 50-60% pay cut once we move. We won't know how bad it will be until the time comes, but he always has the option of doing residential type electrical work part-time and radio part-time at first depending on what he can find. I'll get a job part-time as a hairdresser while I go to school and that should help pay some bills too...

That 3-4 year time frame that we're in m'bah will allow us to save enough to support us through the transition to wherever we need to go (we will go anywhere in the country that there is work, beggars can't be choosers.) I don't expect the first few years to be fun but, honestly, I feel like God has been testing our patience since we met and this might be why. Very very very few 20 y/o are blessed with the income we have at the moment and if they can all do without I'm sure we can make it work as well. After we pay off all my dental work I've had done recently, we're going to start taking out 50% of Chris's paycheck in cash on payday and forcing ourselves to budget with that. We'll be putting whatever's left over, as well as the other 50%, into savings to buy a home.

You know...it is quite hard when I start thinking about our kids. I haven't even met them yet and I already want the best life imaginable for them...I want them to have everything they could ever need or want even if it's at the cost of my own happiness at work. But then I think about our parents and how they mustn't have worked so hard for us only to begin a cycle of unhappiness. We don't want to work hard for our kids so they can be happy while they're at home and then go off and be miserable at work for the rest of their lives providing for their families, we want them to be happy forever. I think the best thing we could do for our family at this point is to buy a house, rent it out, and start paying off that mortgage as fast as possible so we don't have that burden on our shoulders once we move.

The thought of losing the security of Chris's current job is really scary, but we'll have a few years to get used to the idea and I know we'll be happy for it in the end. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Furniture

I'm getting really disappointed. I'm really beginning to believe that I'm never going to find the living room furniture I want. :( Maybe it's yet another unexpected cultural hiccup, but ALL I can find is variations of this:



Sure, you can get it in 15 different shapes (curved back/arm-rests vs. square) and sizes (2 seats vs. 7 or chaise vs. couch.) Oh, and the fabric choices? Leather, leather, leather, micro-suede and more leather. It's not that I don't like this couch. I think it's very cool with the whole mid-century modern vibe goin on, but I was really hoping to go in more of a classic-contemporary direction like this:



This is my fave couch. If we were in America I would have bought it! When I said that I can only find the one type of couch it's honestly with minimal exaggeration. Most every couch has that mod vibe to it, even if it's not exactly like the one in that picture, and the ones that aren't mod have that La-Z-Boy look to them which is just way too casual for my taste. The most painful thing is that this couch is only $650 and it's EXACTLY what I want. My dream couch. Oh, p.s. it would also have been delivered and moved in FOR FREE. Incidentally, I might be paying twice what I would for Dream Couch on something I don't even like all that much just because we need a good sturdy couch and there's no other options. ::sigh::

Also, to add insult to injury, I can't find anything in the fabric I want.


(Incidentally Dream Couch is in this fabric in a lighter color!) This is a swatch a took off my parents couch! They've had their couch for almost 10 years now and I won't say it looks as fresh as the day they brought it home, but it definitely doesn't look a decade old. It doesn't look dated, stained, or dilapidated and I worry that something more modern just wouldn't hold up to the tests of time in quite the same way. We may have this couch for 20 some-odd years before buying another one, I really want to make sure we're getting our money's worth!

It's not the end of the world or anything...it's just frustrating for something I could find in most furniture stores back in DFW to be presumably non-existant. I'm beginning to feel I can't have *any* kind of expectations about *anything* since chances are good they'll be impossible to meet with the current resources. Booo. I'll just keep hoping someone in this country can point me towards my couch!