Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Still Have Yet To See

Eleven days and counting…
Yes, I am getting anxious about my trip back home.  It's the longest I have been apart from my loved ones and I think I have done a pretty good job.  Up until now, I haven't really been "homesick".  Now it has set in.  Where have the past ten months gone?!  Ahhh so many mixed emotions.
Recently found on my pinterest boards…hints that I may be missing the cowhide and fiesta decor.  

I threw this little board together using my super skills I learned in photoshop class to highlight some of my recent pins that reminded me of home.  And no, this wouldn't be considered a "skill" in photoshop if you were wondering.  Since I finished my photography classes a few weeks ago, I have been really bad about practicing and editing photos.  I actually never edit any of my photos for the blog…not worth the effort.    

Since my classes are over, I have been looking for other things to keep me busy.  I seriously lucked out completely with an opportunity at Australian Red Cross.  They interviewed me last week for a volunteer position with their Young Parents Program.  Essentially, I will be watching newborns to four year olds for a couple of hours once a week (and more if I want) while their teen parents are getting education classes.  The staff are lovely and they are doing wonderful things for less fortunate mothers and children in the community.  Right away, I was introduced to one of the social workers who happens to be an American (from Virginia)!!  We had instant chemistry so naturally we exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up soon…
…which takes us to Sunday morning at The Grounds of Alexandria.  A coffee research and testing facility (per their website) complete with a gourmet cafe, lush garden, chicken coop, lemonade stand, and lots of outdoor seating.  Let's not forget the amazing architecture and delicious treats that won me over in an instant. By the looks of the hip crowd, I wasn't the only one who thought so.  
Lucky for me, Kait lives nearby and has a car!  She is also married to an Aussie which makes her way cool (sorry R).  We both admitted that we weren't usually one to reach out to a stranger, but I reassured her that it wasn't creepy.  One of the biggest (and best) changes that living abroad has brought out in me…putting myself out there and being open to others, striking up conversation with strangers and genuinely caring, and actually following up with acquaintances when you say "ya, call me sometime and we can do dinner?!".  
We both enjoyed a fruit cup (more like bowl) with yogurt and granola, but I can't wait to go back and try their lunch.  How could we not walk away with a few nutella and jam filled doughnuts hot out of the oven for the boys at home?!  More than anything, though, we enjoyed each others company.  It was so refreshing to hit it off with someone who I felt like I've known for years. Even after being here ten months, I was reminded that Sydney has so many cool places that I have still yet to see…and interesting people that I have yet to meet!
Later that day, R and I headed to an area called Hunters Hill since we had a rental car on hand for R's work trip the next day.  Having a car gives you so much freedom and we felt invincible around the city! Am I being too dramatic?  
We ended up at Clarkes Point Reserve where we watched people fish and fly kites…and admired all the fancy boats at the marina.
Saturday morning love…Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes.
Random iPhone happenings…
1.  Starting a new project/hobby
2. Two sleepy boys on a rainy day
3. Rainy days are followed by Teddy baths
4. With daylight savings in full swing, the sun is setting too early for my taste. I document the sunsets for R since he gets home after dark now.  
5.  I started a new thing by washing/cutting/preparing all my vegetables at the beginning of the week.  I was trying to cut back on wasting produce while eating more green at the same time...and the method actually seemed to work! 

To keep them fresh all week, I wrapped the sliced veggies in a damp towel and then sealed them in an airtight container in the fridge (for most of them).  This healthy meal literally took ten minutes to whip up! No excuses now.  Put the chicken on the grill with a pesto marinade, sautéed the onions and peppers, slapped some pb on the celery, and the beetroots were already ready to go!  Yippee.  And I wasn't going for technique or gourmet for all you food critics…just wanted a simple, healthy, and quick meal.  Side note: Australian cuisine is a fan of beetroot…even McDonalds burgers have them.  My only recollection of beets was soggy and out of a can.  Such a shame. If you are like me and never gave this great veggie a try, think again…but go fresh!  I boiled mine and then sliced it to eat again cold on salads or as a side full of antioxidants among many other benefits.  Ok, thats my rant.
To make the most of the Aussie holiday called Anzac Day (and a day off work for R), we met up with friends at Balmoral Beach.  We were so thrilled to see these two after Jackie was away on tour for four months.  And Steph is now halfway through her pregnancy and has a tiny belly to prove it.  Pregnancy definitely looks good on her!
Teddy and I watched from the hill as they went for a dip. We couldn't have picked a more perfect day to bask in the sun.  The evening ended at their place for a delicious teppanyaki dish and a girl chat while the boys caught up with fifa.  Some things never change...
Like I said before, my list of things to do in Dallas keeps getting longer.  I just have a hard time justifying shopping in Sydney when everything is so much cheaper in the U.S.  Thanks to pinterest, here are few items that I will be eyeing for my fall wardrobe and our upcoming trip to Fiji.  

one.  JOIE flats.
five.  Sunnies
six.  Coral bikini

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