Thursday, March 28, 2013

Too Easy

"Too easy" became the theme of our latest visitors stay.  From their professional traveling ways to their openness to trying anything, we had a successful weekend with a great couple.  Just wish they could have stayed longer!  

One of the most surprising things R and I have learned about being here is that some of our friendships have strengthened now that we're half way across the world!  Funny how that works…
We started the day in Watson's Bay to take in the skyline from afar..
..and sample on one of Sydney's staple fish and chips stops.

Thanks to my lack of timing, we had an hour to waste until the next afternoon tea at the Dunbar House it was!  Thanks for being such a good sport, Justin.
A very breezy ferry ride!  Makes for uncooperative hair.

Harry's Cafe De Wheels.  Justin's only request for the trip…and he approves!  
 One of the many reasons why I love this girl…she gets pooped on by a bird, and instead of getting upset, she laughs it off!  Glad I could catch the moment.  Mind you, it was way more important to capture the moment on camera than to run to her assistance and help.  Shows you how good of a friend I am.  We deserved that hot dog btw.
Then, it was off to the Opera House and Royal Botanical Gardens for some sightseeing.

Some Opera Bar action at sunset to greet R after work! You have no idea how hard it was to get this group picture of us…but it made for a fun memory.
One more walk around the house before dark…why not.
 Cheers to Pizza e Birra!  The boys and their fancy, fruity drinks. This mixologist had skills.
And you can't beat their authentic Neapolitan style wood-fired piizzzzaaaa.
In keeping with the Italian theme, it was off to our favorite sweet spot (and 50 other people in line with the same idea) for gelato!  A great night.
The next morning, we hit the ground running, starting at Bronte beach for an Aussie brunch.  
With happy bellies, we started the coastal cliff walk to Bondi…taking in the views along the way.
And of course posing for pictures!
 Love this set of action shots…tough guy thought he was all brave to get out on the rock…until a huge wave ran him away!  The waves were the biggest I have ever seen them here.
 We made it!  Beach time it is.  And out of all the spots we could have picked to set up camp, it happened to be right behind a dear friend and my yoga instructor!  Such a great surprise for the day. Us girls baked in the sun while the boys jumped waves.
 We went from lying on the beach in our swimmers to dining at one of Sydney's best steakhouses within one hour flat!  Don't we clean up nicely?  We were impressed with our timing…and thoroughly enjoyed our meal and company.  
The night continued place being too snooty and charging too much for their drinks and another too crowded to stand.  So, back to our place it was!  We were happy to have our other friends join in on the fun and celebrate their last night.
Such a bittersweet ending to their stay!  

This week I was sad to miss three very important gatherings…Grandma Scherwin's birthday party, my bro-in-law's birthday, and soon to be Mrs. Carroll's bridal shower.  

It's times like these when I really appreciate Facebook and iMessage.  I have never depended so much on technology to feel connected!  And thanks to my sis and girlfriends for always keeping me in the loop.  Tomorrow R and I are hopping in the rental car for a road trip down south along the coast for the Easter weekend.  Should be an adventure.  Many blessings to everyone this Easter and love to all!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Summer's End

This whole living on the water and a stones throw from iconic beaches really works with the summer thing.  To me, summers used to be running through the sprinklers in our front lawn, riding our bikes through the neighborhood until dusk, and eating watermelon for breakfast.  While all of those things bring back wonderful memories, I can now understand how Aussies take the summer season to a new level.  The city comes alive.  Festivals, beaches, boats, concerts, shows, markets, patios….all thrive here in the sunshine.  Now, it has come to an end. I will always cherish my first Sydney summer….this season was oh so good to us, packed with weekend adventures, amazing visitors, and fun times.  While there is still plenty of sunshine, the nights have turned cooler and life seems to be slowing down.  Maybe that's a good thing.  

Last weekend, we celebrated a friend's birthday at her family's cute beach house!  A beautiful 2 hour drive took us south to Jervis Bay for the celebration.  It still baffles R and I that you can feel transported to another country within a 2 hour drive from the city.  
Cheers!  Happy (real) birthday to Izzy today.  
Good friends and great memories.  The trip was short but sweet.
Late night fun on the beach!  I would call that human pyramid a success.  Trivial pursuit on the other hand..won't even go there.
One last hooray for summer on the sailboat!  We feel pretty spoiled.
We finally had perfect weather, sunshine, and clear skies for the boat.
Happy with our yummy burgers and chocolate cake!
The crew. Couldn't have asked for a prettier sunset to end the day.  Maybe one of these days I will actually learn how to sail...
Trying to be a good wife by ironing…but all I wanted to do was get outside and explore with the pup.
Afternoon picnic for one two (if you count Teddy).  Our spot in the shade was perfect for reading and glancing at the opera house.  
Days like this make me realize how lucky I am to have the freedom to just be.
Some special people that I am celebrating lately.
My Mema just had a milestone birthday and I just love this picture she sent of her and my Grandad with her cake.  True love.
My best friend and college roomie not only just celebrated a birthday, but also an acceptance into Auburn University's PhD Clinical Psychology program.  I am beyond proud of her and look forward to visiting once she gets settled in!  
And then you have those lifelong friends where the relationship is effortless and nothing changes no matter the distance and time spent apart.  We have known each other since we were four years old, and now I am celebrating her 25th birthday today!  Sending my love to Colorado…
Also, my little B just turned one and I seriously cannot believe it!  I'm so sad to have missed his "The Lucky One" birthday party on St. Patricks Day (how cute is that theme?!). 
We just said au revoir to the most amazing house guests ever!  Our friends from college stopped through Sydney over the weekend on their tour of Australia and we just had a blast.  It was so nice to spend some alone time with them and show them a condensed version of the city.  More pics to come of their whirlwind weekend...

Monday, March 11, 2013

To Bake Or Not To Bake

Catching up this week and getting back into the groove…here is what has been going on lately.  I don't want the summer to end!
Tranny Bingo!  There's a first time for everything.  
The life of Teddy.  
Proof that my neighbor, Anne, spoils him…she is holding his ears back as she feeds him raw meat. 
The best time of the day for Teddy...when R comes home from work!  Happy pup.
Mail time!  Little surprises this week from the coolest vintage valentines day card, to a bag of stylish valentines goodies, to a fancy wedding invitation.  Also, R's mom shared this timeless photo of her parents on their wedding day.  Love. 
A cute neighborhood find, My Little Cupcake.  I found these adorable heart measuring cups and cupcake liners that inspired me to get to baking.  
Mid-week stretch!  Teddy admired R playing basketball from afar while I dove into a new book on the sideline.
So much for baking..I picked up this cookbook/guide called "I Quit Sugar" on a whim to see what it was all about.  No bueno.  I mean, the book is great and has a lot of helpful information, but it made me realized just how much sugar R and I consume.  I thought we were doing so much better with eating plenty of fruits and natural foods…but this lady doesn't think so.  Sugar is sugar and she claims that some of the highest fructose snacks are found in health food shops. Blahhh.  There is an 8-week program to quitting sugar (omg) but I'm not convinced yet.  I have never done anything extreme when it comes to my eating habits. 
Another spontaneous fireworks show!  I love this city.

This week in the kitchen:
Great to make a big batch for a weeks worth of lunches.
Spinach and Rocket Salad with Avocado, Feta, and Egg with Potatoes and Fruit
Whole Wheat Pasta with Zucchini, Tomato, and Basil and leftover turkey meatballs.