Thursday, April 30, 2009


*Note the duck tape holding the hose on.

We managed with that crappy old one in Brisbane because we had mostly hardwood floors but here our house is pretty much all carpet and we have one very hairy dog!

We went vacuum shopping this past weekend and looked at everything from the Dyson to the Miele. We settled on the Electrolux. It had everything we wanted at a somewhat reasonable price. Just when did vacuums get so darn expensive? Anyway, we figured it was better to spend the money and get a good one than buy another cheap one that won't last. We've been through 2 vacuums in 2 years, just as bad as the mixers! Hmmm...maybe it's us? Are we hard on stuff?? I liked that my Mom had her electrolux for a million years, so I'm thinking they hold up because let's face it, us kids were definitely not gentle on things!

My achy back also appreciates this new purchase!:)

Okay, I'm off to soak up some sunshine and run some errands. See you tomorrow!

PS. Just following up on this post...I heard on the news today that last night was the coldest night Melbourne has had in 50 years!

Feeling Green...

No, not green with envy. I feel very blessed for all I have. I was just saying to Steve last night how fortunate we are to have all we have, including all the wonderful people in our lives, especially each other!

Nope, I've been on a "Go Green" mission since moving to Melbourne. I have to be honest, I was pretty slack at it in Brisbane and made it my goal to make this fresh start a little more earth friendly. I think seeing Kristi's photos of this made me realize how important it is that we recycle and do our part if we are able, because there are definitely places around the world that aren't doing theirs!

And because when I decide to do anything, I feel the need to give it 120% (which could most definitely be why I am either tired all the time or bummed out because I haven't finished stuff I started!), I am on a mission indeed! On top of the obvious recycling of stuff, I've also started ;

~ replacing my cleaning products with these earth friendly ones and I really like them! I thought they might not clean to suit me but they're awesome and smell so nice. The floor cleaner smells like pure eucalyptus! Good for clearing your head as you clean too!

~ making a conscious effort to always bring my green bags with me when I go shopping , except when I actually need plastic bags for puppy poo, but then I'm reusing, right?

~ trying to find craft and sewing ideas that will reuse materials I already have, instead of spending money to buy more (another thing I haven't been so good at in the past!) I also find myself thinking of crafty creative ideas to make with stuff I would rather not just biff out.

~ but, mostly I've just been trying really, really hard to not waste food and I am proud to say we pretty much haven't thrown out any food since we got here! This is big for us! I'm trying to plan meals around what's in the fridge and go to the market a few times a week for fresh fruits and veggies, so I don't buy more than I need and then it ends up going bad. Plus, this is just saving us heaps of money, which is an added bonus right now! I kind of think it must be a small taste of what it would have been like for my grandmothers during war time.

~ And lastly, not sure if this counts but I am shopping more at thrifts shops! A new love of mine. Well, I have always liked second hand shopping...Wait. No, that's a fib. I found it pretty embarrassing as a kid, but I have always enjoyed it as an adult. I started getting into it in Brisbane, because I was so missing Frenchy's Used Clothing store at home. I'm already planning major Frenchy shopping sprees when I finally get home to visit! Anyhoo, Melbourne has some awesome thrift shops or "op shops" (stands for opportunity shops), as they call them here. I went to one just a 15 minute walk from my house the other day and got a dress, a sweater, kitchen glasses, a jar for my cotton balls, a beautiful glass pasta jar and a jewelery dish for my stud earrings, all for just 24 bucks! And, that was all stuff that was on my list to get anyway, so no clutter! Score! There's just something special about finding a treasure that's perfect for you and doesn't have 10 of the same thing sitting beside it on the shelf that gives me a thrill! I guess I'm my mother's daughter! I sure do come by it honestly:)

So, what are you doing to reduce, reuse and recycle? Share your ideas, send me a little inspiration...


Steve sent me a text this morning on his way to work saying it was only 3 degrees! I have never been so happy to be snuggled in my comfy bed between my flannel sheets, with my warm dog snoring beside me! This is a pic Steve snapped on his iphone...frost! I like the contrast between the frost on the walkway and the palm trees:)

Oh and PS. You guys are my communication to the outside world during the day, so I'm posting a lot!! I think of it as a favor to you. You know, if any of you employed people are bored at work, I'm giving you something to read on internet breaks!;) I think Steve appreciates the blogging. It means less for me to talk his ear off with at dinner!

We now have 2 internet phones (Skype and a normal phone that plugs into our modem) and neither is working! Hopefully, Steve can get them going soon, so I can make some calls and hear real voices, because there is a good chance I might start talking out loud to myself soon and bananas help us all if they start answering! Okay, that didn't even make sense, but I thought I'd leave God out of it. He's got enough going on without having to listen to my rambling!

Just wondering to myself...

...and kind of to all of you (since I'm posting this for all of you to read!), when did I become old enough to be called "Ma'am"?? It first happened a few months ago and now everyone calls me Ma'am! "Thank you Ma'am", "Have a nice day Ma'am", Ma'am, Ma'am, Ma'am!!! I mean don't get me wrong, I appreciate the friendly customer service, but Ma'am, really? That stinks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Post! This must be a record!

So, I was feeling a little glum today. Nothing major, just one of those blah kind of days we all have every now and then. So what's a glum girl to do when she's got a minor case of the blues? Well, better question, what's this glum girl to do when she's got a minor case of the blues? Bake, of course! Man, I really need to ease up on the baking if I'm ever going to kick Steve's butt in our friendly little competition! Anyhoo, while I was waiting for my cookies to bake, I did a little research...
I have been dreaming about one of these for ages now (especially every time my cheap hand held mixer dies, which has been twice in the last 2 years!), but with a price tag of $800 in Australia, I think I'll need to keep dreaming for awhile longer! A few more things take priority at this stage in my life...
But this weekend, I saw this baby...pretty much looks exactly like the Kitchen Aid, seems to be just as sturdy, with what looks like all the same features. It's a Kenwood and has a price of only 360 bucks and it comes in pink (what I want!...I just couldn't find a picture of one in pink.) It's wayyyy cheaper than the Kitchen Aid. So, I left the store wondering...why such a price difference? Is the Kenwood (KW) just as good as the Kitchen Aid (KA)? Are you just paying for the name when you get the Kitchen Aid? From what I have read, you either love the KA and hate the KW, OR love the KW and hate the KA. Not much of a help to me. Does anyone reading this have any thoughts? Do you own either? I'd love to know!

Wow! I have posted a lot in 2 days...I must be unemployed OR just addicted to internet now that we finally have it back OR both!

PS. I'm off to walk Jesse later to meet Steve at work and then we're both off to yoga tonight (that's me and Steve for yoga, not me and Jesse!). I think that'll be just what this blah girl needs to detox her mind and body!:)

Happy Birthday!!

Just want to shout out a very Happy Birthday to my fantastic sister, Connie! Her b'day is on the 28th, so technically it's still her special day in Canada! I'm not going to get to call because we still don't have the internet phone working (we have internet, that's a start!), but I hope you got my card and I hope you see this message! I miss you and wish I was there to toast a good drink with you! Hopefully, I'll be home soon to visit and we'll make up for all these missed birthdays and hoildays and party like it's 1999!!! Is it still cool to say that?;P) Lova ya! xo

Sign or coincidence?

I was walking to the grocery store and saw this shirt in a clothing store window just down the street from our house. I figured it was a sign to find a Halifax, Nova Scotia shirt in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, so I just had to buy one for Steve! (never mind the dorky Steve moment in the photo!) I saw a psychic awhile back who reads your future by speaking to your soul. She believes that your soul has already chosen your life and you're just acting it out. So basically, nothing happens by chance and every single little moment has a reason for taking place, completing your pre-determined life path. Based on her thoughts, signs really are signs from your soul and you shouldn't just think of anything as coincidence. So, if she's right...what is my soul trying to tell me by putting a Nova Scotia shirt in a shop window in Australia??? That's not exactly a subtle sign! I think my soul is a little pushy!;)

Feeling the Love!

Our friends in Brisbane went on another amazing camping weekend at Noosa North Shores. I have to say, Steve and I felt a little sad knowing they were all camping together. Then yesterday, my good friend, Clo sent me this photo from the weekend! The gang made it using glow sticks and time-lapse photography for us to see. How cute is that?? I'm so grateful to have such wonderful friends and beautiful people in my life! Plus, pretty creative ones at that! We miss you guys too!! Thanks for making us feel included, even though we're far away!:)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Around our house...

This is our pad, at least for the next year. It's an old house, filled with character in the most unexpected places. It's totally a me kind of house! I especially love the kitchen. It's small but oh so delightful to cook and bake in!

All the people I love smiling back at me from the fridge!:) Feel free to send us photos of you for our fridge! I would love that!
We have gas cooking here, which seemed scary at first but man, it's awesome!! It gives such a nice even heat. Pancake making has never been so easy! Oh and did I mention we have central heating!!!! Yup, we just click a thermostat and no more cold Cari. Love it!
It's nice to have a laundry area in the house again and not outside! Plus, it just tucks away so neatly behind these...
Again, love it. Sorry, I love a lot of things these days!:) Love is in the air here in Melbourne!
Dining room...
Steve and I went to Bunnings the other day for some things and he disappeared for awhile. I figured he was off drooling over wood or something but when we went to car, this pink watering can was on my seat. He saw it, bought it and snuck it out to the car to surprise me. Love him:)
Since we're talking love here, can I just say again and again and again how much I LOVE this tub??? Our first house in Brisbane had no tub. Our second house in Brisbane had a wee tiny tub. This house has a kickin' awesome tub! I think I deserve it after 2 years without a relaxing bath!
My craft/sewing room that peeks through to the kitchen. I covered the crappy old cheap table with a collaged top and really like the way it turned out!
Living room. We have 4 fireplaces in the house. Too bad we can't use them, but they sure look pretty!
Very, very high ceilings and high, huge windows. Lots of light and perfect for growing plants but tough for getting curtains. Luckily, curtains isn't a super necessity since we have a high wall all around our house, so no one can possibly see in!
Lots of beautiful little details here and there...

Bedroom. I got tired of all my necklaces always being tangled together, so I made a necklace tree...
Oh, how I love beautiful built in closet you! I know it sounds silly, but after 2 years of no built in closets, this is a real luxury!
Outdoor BBQ which runs off the house gas.
My shoes, which I had to buy because I somehow managed to lose one All Star sneaker between Brisbane and here. Hmmm....I wonder if it's with my tram pass....Yup, lost that too.
View from our kitchen window. See that high wall? Lots of privacy! The hot tub is out there, just below the window. Now, if the rental place would just clean and fill it already!
And, just a little message to the possum who continuously poops on our deck...please go poo elsewhere. Thanks.
More dining room...Oopps that got a little out of order! Oh well!
Hot air balloons come by the house a lot and they are quite low!!! Kind of cool though!

It sure has been fun settling in here. It really does feel like a home. I'm looking forward to some more decorating once I get my butt a job and we have more money to spend!

Just cause I'm a dork sometimes...

When we first moved here, we stayed in temporary accommodations. Once Steve started work, I was a little bored, waiting to get our own place, our own stuff and our dog back. A girl can only do so much walking and shopping by herself before it gets a little dull. Anyway, one afternoon Steve and I met for lunch and went to this cute little American diner that had everything USA! American hotdogs, chilli fries and even Turtle (the chocolate) milkshakes! Even for waitress was from Idaho. I picked up some American chocolate bars and bubble gum for the road...
Once back at the hotel all by my lonesome, I decided to entertain myself by blowing bubbles in the mirror and taking my own picture...yup, I'm a dork, I know!
Sadly, this is only a few of the many, many photos I snapped! I can tell you this because we're good friends, right?;) It was actually quite fun and blowing bubbles reminded me of my teenage years and my bestest friend, Lorianne!
Can't ever be said that I don't know how to make my own fun!:)

Keeping Busy

So, I still haven't found a job. Although, it's been tough to really look without internet at home. I've gone into Steve's work a few times and applied for a few jobs, but haven't heard anything yet. I'm being pretty picky about what I apply for, as I really want to find something I like. To be honest, I have really been enjoying my time off! I'm really good at keeping busy! It's been an awesome opportunity to do all the things I have been wanting to do but didn't have the time for! I've been sewing like crazy, painting, gardening, crafting and I even FINALLY organized all my recipes and addresses, which I have been seriously planning to do for 5 years now!
This is my sidekick. For some reason, he loves laying on my yoga mat. He's so cute...he doesn't stray far from my side during the day...
He keeps a close watch on me while I work...
I've even been cooking! It's the perfect weather for soups and stews here, so I've been making that stuff for lunches.
But mostly I've been baking! I realized that my banana bread recipe makes great banana muffins and therefore bake much faster than the cake!

If anyone out there in blogger world loves me and ever wants to send me a present from Canada, this would be my request:
~ Graham crackers
~ Butterscotch chips
~ Jello instant pudding, lemon flavored
~ Marshmallows (Plain and colored)

I have so many recipes I would like to make and you can't get these things here!

So, all this time off has been so refreshing and good for my soul! I actually feel ready to go back to work and look forward to getting out and meeting some people. Fingers crossed that something good comes along soon!

Steve's first Melbourne Fun Run

This past Sunday, Steve did his first Melbourne run. It was a 15 km race and he ran with his new running buddy from work, Nathan. It was a nippy morning! It was only 9 degrees (yup, single digits already! We're not in Brisbane anymore!) with a forecast for rain and high winds. Luckily, the rain held off until after the run.
Steve in his lucky shark pants. Man, these have to be banned to the house only! I'm sure Clo didn't think they'd get so much outside wear when she made them for Steve!
Support crew with a hot tea! I broke out the gloves not long after this! It was nice, Nathan's wife and 2 kids came along, so I had some company while I watched the race.
On your marks...
Get set...
Go! There's Steve and Nathan just behind him...
The guys, just after coming in over the finish line. They ran the race in 1 hour, 15 minutes and 48 seconds. Steve was very happy with that. Well done guys!
And the finishers! You can tell it was windy, look at Steve's shorts! Brrrr.

Out and About (I say in a thick Canadian accent!)

We've spent most of our first month here just bumming around the city and getting to know our way around. Here's a few snaps from here and there...
Check out the beak of the pigeon above!
Steve waiting patiently for the tram...
Is that the one?
I have to admit, I was a little scared of taking the tram by myself at first. I'm always a little scared of public transport until I know what I'm doing. Anyhoo, now that I am figuring it all out, I can't believe how easy and convenient it is! We hardly use the car's great!
This is how I entertain myself while waiting for the tram...
Poor Steve;)
We've both been way more active since we moved here. We're walking everywhere and I started doing Bakram yoga, which is yoga in a super hot room. It's kind of like doing a 90 minute workout in a sauna and it's a workout all right! I talked Steve into trying it, because it is such a good detox and great exercise and now he's hooked too. I have to admit that after my first class, I was wondering if I would stick with it, but after 3 classes, I'm really starting to like it and I'm already getting used to the heat. Tomorrow will be my 4th class and it's only supposed to get easier. I have never sweat that much in my entire life! I could literally ring out my tank top and shorts at the end of class...yuck!

We are also trying to get out on our bikes more. The temps are just so much more exercise friendly here than in Brisbane. A couple of weekends ago, we went on a 20 km ride, starting at our house and all along the Yarra river. Like Brizzy, there are paths all along the river for runners and cyclists and people who just want to go for a nice stroll...
I even made some new friends on the ride...
Someone told us that they think these are some of the horses that pull people around the city (you always see them downtown). I'm usually a little scared of horses, but these ones were so kind and gentle and really enjoyed the grass we fed them! Next time, we're going to take some surprise sugar cubes in our pockets (Steve said horses like that!)
Hello Baby Horsie...
There were some cool climbing walls along the path...

Steve giving it a go.

We're both trying to lose some weight. We both gained a little in those last few months in Brisbane. I think the stress of everything and our routine being all out of wack once Steve stopped working didn't help. Anyway, there's a little friendly competition going on between Steve and I. The person who gets to their goal weight in 12 weeks gets $250 to spend. If we both do, then we split the money. If either of us lose more than our goal, then we get an extra $125. I think it'll help keep us both motivated! Weigh in day was yesterday, so, let the game begin!:)