Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guest Posting @ Jana Says

I am guest posting over at Jana's place today while she is off gallivanting.. jk.

My post is about my thoughts on my life before vs after babies... check it out here!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Living in the US: My Pros + Cons

I have had this post in my drafts for quite some time now, but it wasn't until I saw Kate's post here about the pros + cons of living in Germany that gave me the push and twist I needed for my own. I have been worried to post it because I didn't want to offend anyone, even though I'm sure it still will - it is not. my. intention.

Keep in mind that when I talk about 'Australia' and 'America' I am talking about the places I live (or have lived) in either country. Obviously I don't know things about places I have not been.

Again, I am not trying to offend anyone, and I'm sorry if I do. I am an expat, and I love my country, and I also love America! I think there are good and bad things of living anywhere and every person will have a different idea of what those good and bad things are. So, this is not a personal attack on anyone, obviously.

Living in America : Cons


1. Tipping.

BAH. Tipping drives me insane. I don't understand it, I suck at math and it is not fun. I think the US should just pay people better and tipping should be outlawed. The only thing that annoys me more than tipping is when people don't tip (contradictawho?) whether it's Americans (rude) or tourists (don't pretend you don't know). Whether I like it or not, tipping is a large part of the culture here in the US and not tipping when you should is just rude as heck.

2. Guns.

Yeah I'll probably get all the flack for this, but I care not. I get that you want your freedom and rights and blah dee blah blah. Can't you have freedom without all the deaths? Australia had a massive massacre in Port Arthur in 1996 and it transformed our gun laws. We have 1 firearm related death in every 100,000 now - the US has 10. Which I guess is not horrible especially compared to other countries, but how many massacres will it take to change the laws?

3. Snow.

Kill it! KILL IT WITH FIRE.
Honourable mentions go to tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes.

4. Stop signs.

Why are they everywhere? Give me a roundabout, aint nobody got time for stopping.

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Side note: I will say Americans have the whole 'traffic light goes out' thing down pat. Here, when a traffic light goes out, most people are like ok no worries we'll just act like it's a 4 way stop and traffic keeps moving until a policeman comes along and directs traffic. In Australia because we have very few stop signs and, as far as I am aware, zero 4 way stops, whichever direction of traffic who had the momentum when the light went out is who keeps going, and going, and going until a policeman comes along and saves the day.

5. Health Insurance.

Bah. Why must it cost so much and be (mainly) offered through your employer? It confuses me.

6. Tea.

I want a gosh dang it hot pot of tea and it better be English Breakfast, not no Earl Grey shit.


7. The Seasons 'start' and 'end'

THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. Why can't Summer start on the 1st of June? WHY?

8. Religion.

Oy vey, don't shoot me. I am not against religion - each to their own! Before you judge or get mad, remember that I am from a different country with a different culture. You can't apply your culture to me and mine. I don't apply mine to you and yours. I respect other peoples beliefs and I expect the same courtesy. When I say 'religion' being one of the things I don't like about America, I am talking about things happening because of religion that have an impact on everyone (or at least people that may not be of that religion) like what Alyssa talked about here.

9. Being an expat can be so unbearably lonely sometimes.

Even though I am not alone, I am always the odd one out, the one who doesn't understand the reference, the one who hasn't been here forever. No one understands what its like to pick up and move and leave everything behind. Every.thing.


10. I'm a novelty.

9 times out of 10 people introduce me as 'my Australian friend' or like my only redeeming quality is the fact that I'm a foreigner. I have heard every bad joke a thousand times, and listened to unintentional insults about myself and my country from well meaning lovely people. It gets old. But if it goes away, I get sad. I like talking about my country. Go on, tell me a dingo joke. I'll laugh, I promise.

Living in America : Pros!



1. I'M IN AMERICA.

Um, yeah. It was my dream to live in America ever since I discovered the Babysitters club. Then I read Sweet Valley and watched a million movies and tv shows. Everything looked and sounded so fabulous here and I have wanted to live here for as long as I can remember. AND I DO. I LIVE IN FREAKING AMERICA.
see, look. I love America.
2. The weather.

It's so much more predictable here, you actually have seasons (leaves! fall off trees!) and I love how hot it gets here.

3. I'm close to things!

This kinda falls with #1 but it deserves it's own point. Not only can I hop on a plane and go to some amazing places like NYC, San Fran, Florida.... but it is also way closer to Europe. Not as close as England, but closer than Australia. Australia is so.far.away. from everything! Except for NZ and Asia.
no big deal, just hanging out in DC after we DROVE there. 

3a. YOU HAVE DISNEYLAND AND DISNEY WORLD. You win.


We don't even have the Disney store anymore. It came and went within 10 years.

4. Everything is a novelty.

Almost everything is new to me, I see it with fresh eyes and no preconceived opinions - just like you might see my country, and although I love my country and I miss certain things, I think it's a wee bit boring compared to America or Europe.

5. Big stuff!

Sure in Aus we have the big banana and the big pineapple and a whole other bunch of big stuff but you guys have really big sodas and food portions! Ha! My waistline does not appreciate, but I do!


6. Stuff is cheap! 

Even though we make less moolah here, stuff is cheaper. Our monthly mortgage payment wouldn't even cover a week's rent where I'm from. And soda is like 80 cents. And I can buy a dress for $10. It all works out in the end, but that's not how my brain works so let me think it, ok?

7. People come here. Things happen here. I see people. I do things.

When I was a teenager / early twenties no-one ever came to Australia. Bands, celebrities, whatever. Or they didn't come out and hang out with me, or I couldn't afford their concert (Hey Bette Midler). In the 4 years I have been living / visiting the US I have been to more concerts and events than I ever did at home. Including comic con shameless plug of when I met Matt Smith & Karen Gillan which would not have happened in Australia.

KAREN GILLAN AND MATT SMITH, NO BIG DEAL.
Also, I met Chris Young in Nashville. I was obsessed with a capital OBSESSED with him. I got over it not long after that, maybe because I met my husband and I kinda liked him better.


8. Halloween! Thanksgiving! 4th of July! Memorial Day!

You guys win at holidays.

9. Sports.

Hey, I like a game of aussie rules as much as the next girl, but dang if Americans don't love love love their sports. I was not into sports when I moved here. Now, I love watching (even if I don't understand) football, soccer and basketball. I still don't love baseball, but it reminds me of cricket. I just love the atmosphere of going at NFL game; it's so much better than home. It's hard not to get into the game when the thousands of people around you are going nuts, or even the people in the bar shouting for their team. I love it. I'm not saying sports aren't big at home, they are just way bigger here.


10. I fit in here + all my friends and 'family'!

Ok I know I said up there that I am always the odd one out, but all my life I felt like I didn't fit in. I never had good friends, I was awkward and a little screwed up in the head. I feel more myself and more like I belong here than I ever have before. I know it can sound confusing because I love my country and my family and I miss it all so very much - but when I was there and I was missing the US I felt like a piece of me was missing.

Besides my husband (who I love with all the loves) and kitties I don't have any 'real' family here (ok I have in laws...) so I have made up for it by making some amazing friends including lots of blog friends! I know blogs are on the internet and the internet is world wide, but I probably would never have started a blog had I not been so lonely and it's nice to understand what you're talking about and be in the same timezone (give or take a few).

Y'all are my tardis ;) thanks to Jess for this one!

Ok! I hope I didn't offend anyone - it was not my intention at all. I didn't use the word wrong once, just because it's different doesn't mean it's wrong ;) 

this is me. ok? just in case you thought i hate your country, no way jose!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekending

It's been a hot minute since I linked up with B for Weekending. I didn't have a crazy weekend, but it was lovely just the same.

Saturday, I ran, did some yoga and mowed the lawn and walked around feeling like a badass for the rest of the day. Then we got ready and headed to Highlands Fest which is basically a big block party, or that's how they describe it. We went with my best friend and her husband.

Highlands Fest Facebook

Lots of little vendors, food stalls, live music and lots.of.people. It was tons of fun and I meant to take more photos, but I didn't, so.... I shall share lots of pictures of myself instead.

Selfies on the way are mandatory. No idea why but I was really feeling like I looked like my mummy.


bestie is wearing F21 leggings, LC blouse, Target flats
I am wearing Express tunic, Old Navy Jeans + JC Penney flats

I trained KC so well to take photos but for some reason yesterday he was going above and beyond the 'holding the camera higher than eye level' and was holding it so high it was hilarious.


So we had to take matters into our own hands - more selfies.


Like a lot more. Someone said we could pass as twins - not true but what a lovely compliment!


And then my bestie's husband took a photo and took it to a whole new level, literally.




Then we stopped an unsuspecting passerby to take a photo of the 4 of us - the awesome foursome - and he said "say 'I'm drunk' "and we all laughed awkwardly because none of us were.


We got home fairly late for having started so early and crashed. The next morning I woke up to the smell of deliciousness - KC had popped out to the store to get me some English baked beans which I was deliriously happy about. He normally doesn't let me buy them because they are kind of expensive for beans but they remind me of home and make me so happy.


KC bought me this cute ear warmer thingy from the Fest that will be perfect for NYC - I mean, I picked it out and paid for it - but it doesn't count for shopping because he bought it for me, ok? It was only $5. Sorry for the awkward photo.


The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning, reading, blogging, a lovely nap and lots of kitty cuddles. I love weekends that are a nice balance of fun & lazy. Don't you?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Crazy Book Stalker Lady Strikes again...

Ahem. Remember the last time I was crazy stalker lady?

So I stumbled on Tania's blog after seeing a comment on Samantha's blog about P&P... and wouldn't you know the first thing I see over at Tania's are her fave cheap decorating tools, which included a (partial) cute P&P quote:

decorating with piano IMG_9929
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And the prettiest copy of P&P I ever did see...

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original post

It's up top. Isn't it pretty? I want it.

So I left a comment like 'that is a super pretty copy of P&P and I want it' and then went on my merry googling & ebaying way to find that exact copy. Thank goodness for the 'penguin classics' on the bottom that helped me in my search.

But eBay has approx 2 bazillion copies of P&P and without more info, I was up a certain creek without a paddle. I finally found it after googling, and saw that it was an Anthropologie exclusive designed by a Mr Boddington. 

isn't it the prettiest thing you ever saw?

And of course it was sold out. And it was available over a year ago.

But never fear, armed with more information I was sure I would find it on eBay. No luck.

Amazon? No luck. 

Um, are there any other places I can check? I even tried thriftbooks.

I wanted to cry / ask Tania to sell me hers.

I thought, one last attempt. I would call the only store in the ville. No chance they would have it.

I tried to be non-dorky and gave the lady the item number, rather than tell her exactly what I was looking for. But she couldn't find it, so she asked "what is it?' and I said "a book". She said "hmm, what book?' and I quietly said "pride and prejudice" and SHE SAID "oh, I know we have that here, on the shelf" and sent someone off to look for it.

But don't get excited yet. I knew there would be a possibility it wasn't the exact copy I was looking for. She got it, and said "yep, here it is." I asked her "what does it look like?" she said "it has these little tree things... like arrows" and I was like "OH MY GOD IS IT REALLY COLOURFUL" and she said "yes...." and I said "OH MY GOD CAN YOU HOLD IT FOR ME" and then I proceeded to cry jump dance around the office and then had to explain why I wasn't doing any work on a Friday. 

Don't mind me, just looking for the 7th copy of my favourite book.



Zero shame. Zeeeerrooo.

There are also other ones in the collection... aren't they pretty? Don't worry, I won't buy anymore, though isn't the Sense & Sensibility one really pretty? And the Wuthering Heights one, too.

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But I will say that if I were to see this copy - hypothetically - and it was only $11 that I would probably most definitely buy it and it is probably on the way to me as I write this but to be fair and lessen the crazy I did order it before I saw the Anthro one - and this is all hypothetical of course. 

barnes and noble

Now, I am doing no shopping in September, but that doesn't include books because I said it doesn't. Maybe October I will graduate to no books but not yet ok... And why should I? I declare after all, there is no enjoyment like reading! Even if it is the same book over and over again!

Small request! If you are on goodreads, please add me here because I love stalking seeing what other people are reading!