Thursday, December 1, 2016

What's New With You - Nothing November

Time for another What's New With You link up with Gretch & I! No real rules, all we ask is that you link back to us somewhere in your post - easy peasy. I'll be doing another monthly recap, since that's my jam. 

What's New With You

When I was in my early twenties, I worked 3 jobs, went to uni online full time, went to the gym 5 days a week and still managed to have a sort of social life. I thrived on being busy. Then I moved to the US. I don't know if it's because I am older or because I was kind of forced to slow down (could only get one job on my visa, finished school etc), but I am much better at the lazy life these days. I mean, I work and do things, but I am not a busy person and I like it that way. I like downtime and I go a little cuckoo when life gets too busy for my liking.

October was busy. We sold our house and all that jazz. November was a mix of doing absolutely nothing and absolutely everything. I am not complaining, I am super happy we sold our house and all that, it's just I get kind of frazzled and I am not a good multitasker, so I abandon certain things just to get through others - you know?

Anyway. All that to say....November was a weird one.

We did absolutely nothing for the first week or two, and then I drove all the miles to meet up with the girls and run some more miles. It was lots of fun.

And then..... we did absolutely nothing (except the obvious work sleep etc) until Thanksgiving. I ate a lot of beige food. Not pictured: half an apple pie. 

We did go out and shop a bit for black Friday just because we are currently living with my mother in law and though it's all going swimmingly, it doesn't hurt to get out of the house, you know? We bought a few things including a new laptop for me, high five (it totally does not count as shopping as it is my christmas gift and KC was involved and... because I say so, k).

As for where we are with the house, ever since we received the offer we had a closing date of December 5th. Because my mother in law had her family staying the weekend of thanksgiving, we decided to move the following weekend (this weekend), which would be right before closing. We had moved most of the stuff out of the house but left it staged, so it would be pretty simple. Long story short, miscommunication with our realtor (who we love, so no biggie), closing got moved to this week. We found out on Monday and were like.. wait. We still have furniture in the house, the repairs from the inspection haven't been completed... it was a mess. Thankfully, it was an easily sorted mess, but we had to act quickly and get shit done.

Because of weird reasons I can't remember, we signed all the paperwork yesterday and the buyer is signing on Friday. We did give our keys and stuff yesterday, but we technically still own the house until tomorrow.

It's weird, the whole time we were selling and living with my mother in law, we weren't that upset. It's just a house and home is where KC and the cats are, and we didn't really miss it at all. But locking up for the last time? That was all sorts of weirdly emotional. We only lived in the house just shy of 3 years, and nothing huge or life changing happened in it, but still. It was our first house and now we don't own it anymore.

Well, I guess we still own it for another day, but whatever.

So what's next? I really want to make it through the holidays and the new year before we start looking for a new house. I am not in a rush, which I know is weird. I want to take our time and I have no desire to move again for a couple months. It's no joke.

Throw in a few dinners, brunches and Gilmore Girls and that is it for November. Couple of big things, but a lot of nothing, and I think am still drained from October. I am hoping December is finally the month of calming down and not stressing over the house - although to be fair we have had the most simple selling experience ever, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop - and we can start saving a ton of money without the pesky mortgage.

And of course, it wouldn't be me if I didn't share a kitty photo. Millie loves any kind of cardboard box so I keep one next to my bed so she can lay in it. It's adorable.

So - what's new with you? Link up below and let us know!

I haven't started with my christmas shopping and I have never started this late. Gah. I just want to get everyone gift cards this year. Is anyone else in the same boat as me or has everyone started buying gifts?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Link Up Reminder

Happy Monday all! Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and long weekend and got lots of shopping done. Just a quick note to remind anyone who wants to link up with us, this Thursday the 1st is the next What's New With You link up.

We hope you'll join us!

What's New With You

Have a great week!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Posts I haven't published

I know technically Alyssa's challenge is over, but I know she won't mind if I am a bit late! I know this prompt is probably more for the posts I want to write but haven't hit publish on, but I am going to do a mixture of those kinds and ones I just haven't been bothered actually writing.


This is like a weight off my chest because I was able to delete so many draft posts that would never grow up into real posts.

- Recipes from Australia: I am not sure what I was thinking when I started it. I don't know any recipes from Australia, I barely know any recipes in general.

- Ratatouille a la Kristen: I am not a food blogger, I have never shared a recipe, I am more of a 'throw it all in a pot and guess measurements and see what happens' kind of cook, and that doesn't translate well to sharing recipes. If you want me to share it, here you go: a bunch of veggies in a pot, tomato sauce and quinoa. Voila.

- Stop with the shaming: aka a huge rant about body shaming anyone, regardless of size. The thing is, it's all been said before, and nothing I share is going to make a body shamer stop shaming, or make them aware that their comments are, in fact, hurtful to some people. So, yeah. Deleted.

- How to make a good cuppa: I wrote this ages ago and it's supposed to be kind of funny, but it's probably only funny to me. I meant to take photos, never did, and it just sat there. It has lost its funny. I wrote it back in 2014, I shit you not.

- Planning a trip to Australia: Eh, I am the worst person to ask if you are going to visit and want to do touristy things. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but I haven't done a lot of touristy things and I don't stay in hotels or anything.

- Travelling to Australia; my tips: same as the above. I only know how an Australian acts, and as a tourist, you should act as a tourist. Why the bloody hell not. Who cares if you say put another shrimp on the barbie even though we don't have shrimp.. we do have barbies and someone will throw a snag on for ya.

- Go to meals: I wanted to share our go to meals, you know, we all have them, the same meals we make over and over.. But they weren't anything new or exciting - the same as everyone else's I'd imagine. Pasta, tacos, etc.

- Louisville vs Sydney: I don't know where I was going with this one, but I didn't get very far. Made a joke about how it wasn't like sports team vs sports team and didn't write anything else. But I did create this awesome picture.

- Aus vs US/moving back home: I have two drafts on this subject so clearly I thought it important enough to talk about.. but honestly, writing about why doesn't help make the decision, and doesn't create solutions to problems.

- What working at McDonalds taught me: Even I don't care about this post and I wrote it.

- How living in the US has changed me: Basically I eat and drink more. Not much more to it.

- Things I would miss if I ever moved back home: Basically, drive thrus and things being open all the time. Oh, and free refills. See above.

- Long distance taught me: eh, a boring post about our long distance relationship. Clearly it was an awesome relationship because we broke up ha.

- Bookish thoughts: another 'funny' book post, but I could only think of two things. 

- How we saved time and money in Europe: eh, nothing mind blowing or new here, so no point in sharing.

- My budget/meal planning/grocery tips: Our grocery budget is allllllways more than I budget, our meal planning is like 'hey you want chick fil a for dinner?' so I am in no place to give tips.

- There is NOTHING wrong with loving yourself: we all know I used to hate myself, I talk about it all the time. I get so angry when I see or hear people talk shit about themselves - like every time I'm on snapchat someone is talking and they say 'sorry I look so gross/ugly/fat' and it's just like STOP. Stop hating on yourself because you think you have to, that you think if you rock no makeup someone will call you vain. Guess what, that ass is gonna call you vain anyway. And if you really believe that shit? Snap out of it! Love yourself for pete's sake, you only have one life and you spend the ENTIRE thing with yourself. Who would want to spend their lifetime with someone who hates them? STOP IT.

- Different book formats; my pros & cons: snoooooze fest, who cares.

- The things I say that get the most 'what the f*ck did you just say?': There are a few things that I still say from home that people always react to. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember many of them and some of them are hard to explain. The number one is how I pronounce the letter H. 

- My bookish personality: I wrote this long ass post on things that will make me pick up a book, and things that will make me go 'ew I don't want to read that', but seriously. Boring.

- How I organise my books on goodreads: Again, pretty boring post about how I shelve my books on goodreads. People who are on goodreads can see it, and people who aren't don't care.

- A shopaholic loose in LA/Vegas: A post about everything I bought on my trip with my mum 2 months ago that I still haven't recapped. I bought a lot and I thought it would be fun to share like my old shopping posts. But. I haven't yet.

- A post about my mum and father, or just my father: The post about my mum and father is not my story to tell. As for the post just about my father and the consequences of being his daughter.. Honestly? I am not proud of who my father was, but I am proud of the person I have become in spite of having him for a father. Plus, there is no way to talk about what a horrible person he was without either going on a rant or sounding like I am inviting pity, which I am not. I think both were just therapeutic for me to write out and don't need to be shared.

Ahhhh feels so good to delete all those posts that will never be published. I now only have 52 drafts. How many do you have?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Swappin' Countries with Erin: Fall vs Spring

For anyone new around these parts, Erin is an American who lives in Australia, and Kristen is an Australian who lives in America.  The two of us regularly talk about our experiences and lives swapping countries.  One of the most bizarre things to get used to when moving to a continent located on the other side of the planet in a different hemisphere is the opposite seasons. 

Basic facts:
American fall (Australia doesn't call it "fall"; it's called autumn) = September, October, November = Australian spring
Things that Erin typically associates with "fall" = football, MLB post season, fall leaves, Halloween, Thanksgiving, boots & sweaters
Things that Kristen typically associates with "spring" = Melbourne cup and racing season (spring carnival), just the fact that it's getting warmer and the end of the year is nearing so I always felt the need to get my life together and spring clean all the things.
Erin:  I live in a country that doesn't care much about American football (aka "gridiron").  We have ESPN.  It's an Australia/New Zealand programming version of ESPN.  We get football games.  But, you get one choice.  Whatever the programming director of ESPNAuNZ chooses and is able to show due to contractual obligations with American channels of ESPN, ABC, CBS, Fox Sports.  That's the game you get to see.  Sometimes it is live, and other times it's shown on a delay.  Oh, we have Fox Sports too, but they don't show American football.  They are showing things more interesting to Australian viewers.  So, any of my football viewing is occurring during Spring now.
Football "viewing" through online updates can be stressful

Kristen: In Australia, both football seasons - the NRL (National Rugby League) and the AFL (Australian Football League) - go from March to October, but regardless of which country I am in, I have never been a fan of football. KC is though, so it's always on during the American football season. I never pay attention, I'd rather read and can tune his shouts out easily. However, I have been to a couple of games and I enjoy it way more in person, and the atmosphere is insane compared to a game back home.

Erin:  ESPNAuNZ does show post season baseball games.  I'd care about them a whole lot more if my Astros were contenders.  Instead, I watch this Astro play ball a lot more often than I watch MLB games on tv.

Kristen: At home, spring always meant the spring carnival or 'racing season'. When I was 18-19, I worked at the racecourse, but at about 20-21 I started attending the races instead of working them. We definitely take our races seriously at home and it's just the thing to do. It's not the classiest of events (unless you pay lots of money) but it's always a good time. I'm very lucky I moved to Kentucky and I still get to attend the races often in American spring.

Erin:  Fall leaves.  Not happening right now for me.  Let's be honest, Texas isn't really known all that much for the changing fall leaves anyway.  Instead, now, I get Jacaranda trees in bloom. 

photo source
Kristen: Spring is beautiful no matter where you are, and you can see above how gorgeous Sydney is in the spring. However, at home the leaves don't really fall off trees in autumn quite like the spectacular way they do in Kentucky. I mean, science is science and the leaves do still fall off, but there is something about the way the America I know does fall.

photo source
Erin:  Halloween is growing here in the 8 years since I've moved.  C'mon, we know that America is great with marketing, advertising, and commercializing things.  So, yes, Halloween is a big deal in America.  It was my favorite holiday.  I have never dressed up in costume for Halloween since I moved here, and I used to do it all the time.  Last year was my first time to hand out candy...oops..."lollies" to trick-or-treaters, and I ran out!  I was better prepared this year. 

Kristen: As Erin mentioned, Halloween is picking up in Australia, but it was non existent when I was a child. I never dressed up, I never went trick or treating. I never had kids come to my house either - mum said she got her first trick or treater the year I left, and she had no candy for him. I did dress up for Halloween once as an adult - 21 or 22? Megan and I did a ghost tour I think and we dressed up as a 'sailor' and a cheerleader. We were the only people in costumes that we saw all night. We didn't care, because we were like 22, so whatever. I wish I had photos! I have dressed up for a few Halloweens since I moved here though, this past Halloween was the first that I didn't.

Erin:  Thanksgiving, oh, Thanksgiving.  This is the holiday that I get the most homesick because Australia doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving.  And, I know all my loved ones are getting together stuffing their faces with yummy goodness and watching football games together.  My guy has done a pretty great job at learning recipes (he's a much better cook than I am) and presenting a Thanksgiving meal for me.  Last year, some of our loved ones got together for it.  I still get overly emotional every Thanksgiving, missing my family and all, but the outpouring of love and support from my close circle here is nothing to sneeze at.

2015 Thanksgiving Australia

Kristen: I like Halloween, I like Christmas.. I have no strong feelings about Thanksgiving. Like Erin said, we don't have anything like it. It's very important to my mother in law though, and she takes it super seriously, so I obviously attend. I'm not a huge fan of the food - though I still eat it because, you know, food. I really like all the sales that happen online around this time.

Erin:  Wardrobes change with the seasons.  I ain't gonna lie.  I love putting on some boots and wearing hoodies.  But, I love flip flops, sandals, and cute dresses even more. 

Kristen: I think I fail my blogger certification because I am not as in love with fall fashion as others seem to be. I like sweaters and stuff, and I feel more comfortable in more clothes vs shorts and a tank, but the only plaid I own is a scarf. I have tried to buy things before based on how they look on pinterest, but I end up wearing them once and feeling like an idiot and getting rid of them. Like the below, I was so excited to look all 'fall-y' that I wore what I wanted regardless of the weather, and you can see my friend in flip flops, so.. yeah.

Erin:  I've always said that spring is my favorite season.  Yes, it's still bizarre for me to think of "spring" as September, October, and November, but accepting differences is imperative to embracing life as an expat.

Kristen: Basically what Erin said. You can complain and compare all day, constantly thinking of home or how it 'should' be, but that will only make your life as an expat harder. Instead, just eat some candy and be grateful that you have the opportunity to experience two very different countries and all their differences.

We will continue to share some joint posts based on questions from you, some of our blogger buddies (thanks to those who contributed).  Keep an eye out for those.  Who knows when they'll happen.  This ain't an assignment, and we aren't on a specific timeframe. 

Do you prefer fall or spring?