Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Behind July

Not too much has been going on around these parts.  We just got back from the best two day spontaneous road trip with friends, but more on that later.  I have been slacking on the blog lately so there is lots to catch up on in the past month…I've been spending some quality time with girlfriends and cooking like crazy in the kitchen.  Our weekend winter routines have been shaping up to walking across the harbor bridge with Teddy and experiencing the festivals that the city has to offer.  This is definitely the calm before the storm.  In one month, our travels and visitors are really going to pick up!  
It's a small world after all.  I was lucky to be introduced to this sweet Texas gal (who lives in Sydney) when her twin sister/ R's coworker came over for a month of work.  We hit it off ever since and always have the best time chatting and laughing with each other over wine and cheese.  She is one of those people that I feel like I have known forever and it's nice to have that connection. 
"No technology Thursday" is something R and I recently came up with to get away from our phones, television, and internet completely for an evening a week.  I think it's so important to disconnect every once in a while.  We have been playing cards, taking long walks, and getting back to the basics.
Kait is another American girl that I instantly had a connection with within minutes of walking into my interview at the Red Cross.  She and I have developed a great friendship and lucky for me she and her hubby will be moving back to the U.S. around the same time.  To make the most of Kait's day off, we enjoyed a leisurely brunch at Burnt Orange.  This place really knows how to do quality food with a view and it doesn't hurt that they have the cutest retail shop below.  
After lunch, we went bushwalking and explored a new area.  
Another Friday movie and dinner date night with these two!  It's a thing for us now.  
Our weekend walk was taken over by Chinese tourists all dressed in bright yellow jackets.  From far away, we thought they were a group of protestors because they were waving flags and chanting something.  Instead, they were harmless tourists busy snapping photos of Teddy and each other as we walked by.  
On Bastille Day, we checked out the French festival in the city.  I just had to get a picture with this adorable older woman who was obsessed with Teddy.  She was on her way to a show at the opera house and stopped to chat with us for a long time.  It's amazing how many interesting people we have met through our dog.  
The next weekend we took part in The Rocks Aroma Festival.  We had no idea how popular this winter festival would be…so much so that we left empty handed without a cup of coffee that we originally went for.  We were too impatient to wait in line, so we made our way through the crowds and people watched instead.  
My sports man has really gotten into AFL, rugby, and soccer since he doesn't have his beloved Cowboys and Mavs close by.  I'm really glad that he has learned to appreciate the local sport by being a member to the Sydney Swans, which is part of the Australian Football League.  
A work perk.  R was able to entertain clients at the final State Of Origin rugby game where NSW and Queensland battle it out every year for the top spot.  The best-of-three series is known as Australian sport's greatest rivalry but unfortunately Queensland has taken the trophy for the past eight years.  
Last week our trip to Beijing and Shanghai was made official with a visit to the Chinese Consulate.  And per my application that R filled out for me, my occupation is officially a "housewife" over here.  Umm weird?
To honor my mother on the anniversary of her death, I spent a peaceful day watching the waves roll in at Coogee Beach.  While I really felt like hiding in the house all day, R encouraged me to keep my commitment by volunteering that morning and then enjoying a day outside.
The night ended perfectly with soup in bed, red velvet cake, and a full moon.  She was definitely shining down on us that night.  
Made with love in honor of my mother's favorite.  
I used Magnolia Bakery's Red Velvet Cake with Buttercream Frosting recipe to create my first three layer cake from scratch.  
Crazy in the kitchen!
Here, Blake is teaching me how to make pasta for our Friday thought for food at R's office. I was so amused and thrilled to learn how simple it is with a little extra time and the right equipment! I also made a mess with my baking and have been whipping up big batches of soup every week to get us through the cold weather.
Grilled Chicken with Zucchini, Cauliflower, and Kale
Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon with Mashed Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
Grilled Vegetable and Hummus Pita Wraps
 Our sweet Abby girl.
She lived a happy 17 years... putting up with Kenz and I dressing her in our doll clothes as a pup and riding her like a horse when she grew taller than us to spending her last few years getting extra love and attention from her favorite human, Grandad. She also has Karen to thank for filling in as her second mommy. We knew she was special from the beginning…an impulse buy with lots of persuasion to our parents when we saw "lab puppies for sale" posted on the side of the road.  We just HAD to have her.  A month later, that wiry hair and big paws suggested anything but a yellow lab.  Our guess to this day is that she was an Irish Wolfound/Lab mix.  The gentlest, most easy going dog we could have asked for.  One of my mother's last wishes was that our Abby go home to Abilene with Mema and Grandad so that she could have the love and attention she deserved.  Grandad would always joke that he would curse my mom anytime he had to pay for expensive medication, dog food, or vet bills and look up and say, "Kathy, this is for you!".  I know my mom was at peace knowing that they would take care of Abby.

Until next time!  (and hopefully that won't be a month from now).

1 comment:

  1. Burnt orange sounds delicious. Much better than purple.