- Drink lots of water during the days leading up to the flight. The more hydrated, the better. Not only is it good for the complexion, but it will keep me energized and feeling better overall.
- Speaking of complexions, bring soap for washing my face on the plane or at the airport.
- Sleep as much as I can during the flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles. It's difficult with all of the movies and TV shows to watch on the personal TVs, but I need to be well rested by the time I land in the US. One of the key tips to fighting jet lag is staying on schedule wherever you land. In other words, I can't sleep all day when I get to LA. I would never adjust to the current time zone.
- Bring important items in my carry on bag such as a phone charger, change of clothes, toothbrush/toothpaste. Who knows if the airlines will lose my bags?
- Bring warm socks. Qantas usually gives them out, but it's not something I want to risk. If my feet are cold during a long flight, I am miserable.
- Check once, check twice, check three times to make sure that I have my passport and all of my flight information with me
- Buy gum beforehand so that I don't have to spend more money on it at the airport
- Don't eat food that will upset my stomach the day before and the day of flying. To be safe, bring Tums, Rolaids, anything like that
- Bring a bright-colored suitcase. I don't want to spend forever searching for it later. Plus, it's easier to describe in case they lose it.
Ladies and gents, this will be a short one today. I just came back from a mouthwatering dinner at Grumpy and Gramps' house, and I want to try to get some rest before it's too late. The next few days will put a lot of stress on my body and mind.
In under 48 hours, I will start my journey towards Chicago. There will be a lot of stops on the way. The longest leg of my flight will be something like 16 hours. In addition to spending a great deal of time on planes and sitting around airports, I am going into a completely different time zone. Do you know the time difference between Adelaide and Chicago? Right now, it's 15.5 hours. I'm also spending a day in Los Angeles, and that time difference is even greater.
Here is a check list for me that will help make my journey home more pleasant. This is my third time making the trip back, so I have some learning experience.
Again, these are all things I have learned from experience. I also hope that I remember to pack. I always have nightmares before I go away somewhere that I forget to pack a suitcase and show up at my destination with nothing. At least I still have a lot of clothes at home.
I spend a lot of time blogging on my day-to-day life, but I also realize that I haven't covered some of the important details in my life. For instance, how did I meet this Aussie bloke that recently put a ring on my finger? Where and when will this wedding take place? I'm actually surprised that I never wrote a post on how we met, because I love telling stories. I have no doubt that I will answer these questions in depth one day. For now, though, I want to cover how I have been able to stay in Australia for almost two years without getting deported!
Australia is a very desireable place to live, so it makes sense that the government needs to limit who can stay and who needs to go. There are certain visas, and if you meet the criteria, then you can stay for an allotted amount of time. If you're lucky, you can stay longer. Let me take you through my journey with my Australian visas.
The Work and Holiday Visa (NOT to be confused with the Working Holiday Visa for Commonwealth and a few other countries)
As an American between the ages of 18 and 30, I was able to travel to Australia and stay there for up to 12 months. While I was allowed to work, I was not allowed to have a job for more than 6 months at a time. This was how I started with temp work. I also couldn't study for more than 4 months, but it wasn't anything I wanted to do at the time anyway.
To be eligible for the Work and Holiday Visa, I needed to:
You also have to pay for it, but it's not very expensive compared to some of the other visas. I believe that I paid about $100 USD at the time.
I applied for the visa online, and the immigration department approved it a few days later. After that, I knew it was okay to buy my plane tickets and get ready to head over there. That visa was a piece of cake. Even better, my passport info was stored in their system. I never had to bring around documentation with me showing that I had the visa.
The De Facto Visa (also known as the Partner Visa)
Around May 2010, I had a choice: leave the country or apply for a new visa. I didn't have high hopes for a work visa, so I decided to let my man sponsor me instead of a company. With the De Facto Visa, I could stay in the country for two years as a semi-permanent resident. After two more years, I could easily become a permanent resident. Good deal. This visa, however, was not nearly as easy as the first one. There were many more requirements. First, my sponsor needed to be:
Alastair, my sponsor, was born and raised in Australia. Check.
Here were my requirements (including requirements for our relationship):
The evidence we had to present for our relationship was overwhelming. To prove that we had been living together for over 12 months, we saved tons of envelopes and bills with our names and addresses on it. We even got our old gym in Vernon Hills, Illinois to print off bills from when Al belonged there in 2008-9.
To show that our relationship was genuine, we turned in old correspondence between the two of us when we first met and every time that we were apart. We printed many, many pictures of the two of us, including photos with each other's families (all of the photos on this post are ones we used for our application, plus many more). All needed to be dated and captioned. We also needed friends and family to fill out forms saying that we were in a loving relationship. In otherwords, I wasn't using Al to stay in Australia. In addition, ALL official documents needed to be notarized. They had to be signed by an "important" and honest person, such a doctor, teacher, lawyer, and they had to give all of their details in case the goverment wanted to check on our source. Yikes! I'm sure I'm missing a lot things that we had to do, but I hope you get the idea that it was a lot of work.
Regardless, we got everything done ourselves. We could have hired an immigration lawyer to look over all of our paperwork, but we instead chose to save the money and do everything right. We had been researching for months before we turned in my application, so we felt confident that we knew what we were doing.
Also, applying for this was not cheap. I won't say exactly how much it was (you can find out on the website), but Al and I split the cost down the middle. He paid for the whole thing, and then I sent weeks paying him back. I could have flown home and back with that money.
Bridging Visas A and B
I applied for my De Facto visa in April of 2010. My Work and Holiday Visa expired the following month, so I got Bridging Visa A. This meant that the conditions of my first visa (W&H) still applied to me. I could still work, and I didn't have to leave the country. As a matter of fact, I could NOT leave the country while they were still making a decision on the De Facto Visa (if I applied for the visa outside of Australia, I would not be able to enter the country until it was approved). If I left, I would not be able to get back in the country.
I did not know this at the time, and I had reservations to come home for a month in June. I probably would have cancelled my reservations or begged the government to free me for just a little while, but then my grandma got really sick. She had to have surgery during the time that I was supposed to be home. After a signed note from my grandma's doctor along with details of her sickness and leaving endless contact information so that the immigration office could get answers to urgent questions regarding my application, Australia gave me ANOTHER bridging visa that allowed me to leave and come back. I got Bridging Visa B. Whew.
I had a great time at home, and they let me back in. In October, my De Facto Visa was approved.
The advantages of my new visa
For more information on visas in Australia, visit the website immi.gov.au.
Also, please feel free to ask me questions about Aussie visas if you have any. I'll answer them the best that I can (and then will probably direct you to the website).
Dear readers: Please contact the Australian government with questions regarding the application process. As much as I want to answer all of your questions, it has been years since I applied for the visa. The application process may have changed since 2011.
Thank you very much.
If you were expecting me to bring you home some Picnic Bars from Australia, you may be out of luck. You see, I bought a bag full of popular Australian chocolates to bring home last weekend, but Al was hurt that I didn't bring any chocolate back for him. I felt bad, so I told him that he could have a mini Picnic Bar. Three days later, zero Picnic Bars remain in the bag (I helped a lot). Darn you, tasty Picnic Bars! Hopefully, I'll get some more before I leave. In the worst case, I can grab some at the airport.
Food-wise, I have been so good about only eating half of my gnocchi. For dinner last night, I cooked up a pot of gnocchi with pesto. It was so good. I can't believe I never thought of this combination. I also heated up some frozen broccoli and added it on top. I saved half, and that was my lunch today. So yum.
Today was absolutely gorgeous (27 degrees C/80.6F), so I went for a longer walk after my lunch. I walked around a park that had this sign:
Beware of swooping magpies. It reminded me of certain things I don't like. I've been swooped twice in two years, and I do hope that I never experience that again. There is nothing like a bird diving out of the sky and hitting you in the head and then flying away.
Tomorrow is going to be colder, and then it just may slide into winter weather from there. Sigh. I have Chicago weather to look forward to now. I was actually looking at the weather the other day and thinking to myself, wow, it will be in the 30's. That will be so nice and hot. Then, I remembered that I was looking at the temperatures in Fahrenheit. Damn.
I have a few days to go, and I still haven't packed. Knowing me, it won't happen until the night before. I guarantee it.
Lame Joke & Fun Fact Friday
Our friend Shona e-mails out a lame joke (exactly like it sounds) every Friday. Just last week, she added a fun fact to the chain. They seem to think that it's a good idea to put it on my blog. So, without further ado, here is the inaugural Lame Joke & Fun Fact Friday (but I'm posting it on a Tuesday since I forgot until now).
Q: What did the big phone say to the little phone?
A: You're too young to get engaged
Fact: Hippos have pink milk
Good stuff, right? There have actually been a few jokes that made me laugh out loud (literally), so I may have to search my inbox for those.
Yesterday after we finished some home shoppin' at Ikea, I nearly jumped out of the car to get a picture of the excitement going on outside of the church. I tried to make the photo super big (it looks very blurry if I try to crop it), but you can probably make out the horses and the enormous crowd of people behind it. There were bells going and a gorgeous bride and several photographers. It was quite exhilarating. There was a little girl standing on the balcony above me who was clearly much more electrified than me, though.
Later on, we decided to go on a date for dinner. We have an Entertainment Book (=AMAZING!!! Get one and you will save so much money), and there are numbers of coupons for restaurants around us. We finally decided on Outback Jacks, because they have a huge menu (and Alastair wanted to find out why their chicken parmi was $23 as opposed to normal chicki parmies which are more like $17-18).
We expected the experience to be so-so. It's a chain restaurant with a tacky name, so I didn't think that I would get any mind-blowing food. I was anticipating a dinner with too-large portions, mediocre food and screaming kids running around the dining room.
I wasn't surprised to be greeted by a crocodile on the way in (please only look at the croc and not my awkward hand placement on my leg). There were also fake crocs dangling from the ceiling.
We sat down and ordered our beverages. I got the house savignon blanc, and Al ordered a beer on tap. After we got our drinks, our server told us that we had to go to the front to order our food. I'm used to doing that at pubs, but I thought it was strange that we had a server take our drinks but not food orders. It was also a proper restaurant; not a pub. In the end, though, it wasn't a big deal.
It wasn't a big deal, because the food blew us away! I ordered the Atlantic salmon with bearnaise sauce, and it was just fantastic. Al got a chicken parmi. He ate it so fast that he didn't offer to let me try it or take a picture. He said it was the best parmi he ever had in his life, and he would go back to Outback Jacks in a second just to get it. Apparently, it was the quality of the chicken that made it so expensive and delicious. Many places pound their chicken patties too thin to appear larger on the plate or use chicken that isn't good quality. This, I guess, was perfect. Two great meals! Thank you, Outback Jacks!
We also picked up ice cream at Dairy Bell on our walk home. The ice cream was fantastic, but I was really surprised when they told me that they don't give out samples. I thought that was a bit stingy, given that almost all places let you try the ice cream before buying it. Either way, it was worth the money.
When we got home, we collapsed on the couch and watched the Adelaide Crows beat the Hawthorn Hawks. GO CROWS!
Now, here are our home fixins that we did over the weekend! We got a table runner and chair cushions from Ikea. I finally pulled out our rug to put under the table, and I put out the place mats. The eating area looks so much better!
Now that we moved the rug, I have a little area of the family room to put my home exercise equipment.
We also bought more storage from Ikea. Now, we don't have to put everything on the kitchen bench/counter.
Today, we finally bought a new welcome mat from Bunnings Warehouse. The one that the old tenants left was gross.
We also bought patio furniture! The whole thing cost us $50. Bargain! We can now take in the nice views while sitting outside.
You only have to look beyond the tables and chairs to see what our next project is.
We have a few small tress, but we'll probably find some cheap grass. Mondo grass seems like a reasonable option. Even when we move out, I'm sure the tenants will like having that over lots of dirt.
I also want to introduce you to my new garden friends. Al bought them a few weeks ago to keep me happy and also to keep Chippity Hippity company. I haven't named them yet, but suggestions are welcome!
I am now snacking on a Picnic Bar from a bag that I bought to bring home for the fam and friends. I guess I'll have to replace them before I go. For the record, it's hard to avoid those when they're in the house!
You wouldn't believe it, but I ran into a pink rainbow piano on my way home from work today. I found it unattended under the Morphett Street Bridge. Later, I found another one under the King William Street Bridge on my run along the river. I suppose the new hot spot for lonely pianos is under bridges.
Actually, I went to the website when I got home. I found that there are pianos all over the Adelaide parklands, the city and some of the outer suburbs. It's part of the Come Out Festival, which is an arts festival for children. When the festival ends, all of the pianos are donated to schools and community groups.
By the way, they are real pianos. I could have sat down on the chair and played one of the parts of "Heart and Soul" until my fingers hurt, but I didn't really feel like it.
After my experience with the rainbow piano, I went for a nice and easy run along the river. I saw lots of these guys (and the other piano).
I did my normal three-mile loop. I still found- like I find every time -that I got so tired just as I got to the end of my run. It's always in the same spot: right as I cross the weir over the river on the western side of the city, go around the side of the coffee shop and get on the wooded path that heads back to the city.
Today, instead of letting that exhaustion get to me (and really, for somebody who works out regularly, 3 miles is not very far to run), I played some mental games. You how when you're in the car with a full bladder, and you feel like you are going to explode just as you realize that you are just about to stop at a bathroom? It suddenly gets worse? When that happens to me, I always pretend that I have much further to drive before I reach a bathroom. It somehow calms me and makes me hold on for longer without being in extreme discomfort. There's something about almost being there that makes it harder to wait.
I applied that mental game to my run today. Instead of thinking that I had five minutes left to go, I imagined that I was going to do the loop all over again. You know what? I probably could have run those extra three miles if I didn't really feel like going home and starting dinner. Instead of feeling fatigued and gasping for air when I finished, I felt like I had a great run. I'll definitely think like that again the next time that I do the loop. Maybe I'll even go for six miles (if Right Leg allows it).
When I got home, I cooked a minestone salad recipe from taste.com.au.
I made a couple of changes, such as using wholemeal spiral pasta instead of regular macaroni. I also didn't have red wine vinegar or yellow cherry tomatoes. I just used white wine vinegar and stuck to the red tomatoes. It turned out great. It's just like minestrone soup but without the soupy-y liquid. It would be great in the summer when it's hot but you still have a craving for the soup. This stuff will last me for days!
Many Americans who live in America are talking all about signs of spring. Oh lah-dee-dah-dee-dah. So while they are all skipping around in their skirts and pigtails while the sun smiles down on them, I want to tell you about the signs of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
Today, it looked something like this:
As I walked from the deli to pick up the newspaper to my office this morning, the rain was nearly horizontal. I had to hold my umbrella in front of me to prevent the rain from going right in my face. It was extremely unpleasant.
Other signs of winter include:
-the sun comes up later every morning
-it is cooling down. Today, it was a high of 20 degrees (68 degrees F). Guys, it was FREEZING. Don't you tell me any differently. I had to turn on the heater in the lunchroom this afternoon. It was 35 degrees in Perth today (95 F). Not fair.
These two factors combined, it is much harder to get out of bed in the morning. I'm sleeping more soundly, and it feels like the middle of the night when my alarm goes off. This is making me feel disoriented. I had to have two cups of black tea today (instead of my normal one cup).
If those factors weren't enough to convince you that winter is on its way, here is the only proof you will ever need:
FOOTY SEASON STARTS TOMORROW!!! Get ready for short shorts and a whole lot of man-on-man pileups.
GO CROWS! GO ST KILDA! DON'T GO COLLINGWOOD!
Since I'm about to talk about weddings, I think now is a perfect opportunity to tell you all that I'm coming home to Chicago in two weeks to stand by my girl Jessie while she ties the knot with her fiance David. This will be my first time blogging in my motherland!
Also, I am going to buy a new camera while I'm home. Many of my photos are cringe-worthy (from the camera, NOT me) , so I'm very excited to get something new and better. I'm looking into getting a Canon, although I'm not sure which model yet. Al and I are doing research. I'm hoping that I'll take some stellar photos at Jessie and David's wedding.
Nikki and Carlo's Wedding
I knew that Nikki's (my coworker) wedding would be beautiful as soon as I saw the invitation. It came in a black box with a pink ribbon tied around and a tag with their names on it.
I really didn't want to open it. It's like when you get a cupcake with a very detailed decoration of a golden retriever puppy. Why would you want to eat it? But I needed to get the information for the wedding, so I opened it. I untied the next ribbon...
...and found this! It was worth opening in the end. I later put it all back together for Al to see, but he didn't understand what I meant when I said that I didn't want to open it or why I put it back together for him. Well, boys will be boys.
By the way, Carlo is a graphic designer and did these invitations himself.
Saturday afternoon rolled around, and the weather could not have been more perfect. The temperature was 26 degrees Celsius/78.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was not a cloud in the sky.
At the church, some of my coworkers brought their kids.
They wouldn't pose for the camera, but I took photos of them playing (I got parental consent!).
The program had the same pattern as the invitation. I later learned that the theme was everywhere.
Unfortunately, I couldn't get any good photos from where I was sitting. We were all the way in the back and far to the right, so I couldn't even see much unless I was standing. It was a big church, and there were a lot of people there. This was the clearest photo I could get. It was a beautiful ceremony, though.
We were luckily able to walk to and from the church, because it was in our neighborhood. We had a couple of hours in between the ceremony and reception. The reception was at Sferas in Modburry. There were lots of parties going on at the same time, but it was so big that you would never know. My boss actually walked into the wrong wedding reception and started drinking before he realized that he didn't know anybody there. Ooops!
The room was stunning, but my camera struggled to capture much with the low lighting.
I was all over the pink theme. It fits, because Nikki loves pink more than anybody I ever met in my life. She is a pink princess.
Our tables were loaded up by the time we sat down. There were passed appetizers in the foyer, and then there was bread, personal antipasto plates and a giant shared seafood platter for the table. There were also bottles of red and white wine, scotch and a glass of pink champagne for everybody.
The last time I went to a wedding (my cousin's wedding in New Jersey), I vomited in the puke bag the next morning before the plane to Chicago even took off while sitting in between my parents. That's not even the worst of it. I drank so much that I fell asleep in the hallway outside my hotel door. This time, I knew I was going to be well behaved. I really wanted to leave Modbury with my dignity intact. Sorry scotch, but I didn't want you near me!
Here are some of the foods:
The anitpasto plate
The shared seafood plate
The pink champagne toast
There was another appetizer dish after this, which was an amazing rolled pasta and bacon dish. I couldn't get a good photo, though.
I ordered barramundi for my main dish. I was so busy chatting away that I only ate about a quarter of it. I was also filled up from the several courses of appetizers.
There was also a dessert dish, but I didn't get a picture of that either.
There is the beautiful bride and groom!
I also put up this photo (with Michael and Michelle) so that you can kind of see Nikki's dress. I was in love with it!
While I didn't feel great on Sunday, I am glad to announce that I was well-behaved on Saturday night. No mixing my wine with scotch or falling asleep on the floor. As for the hangovers, they come very easily now at this old age of 24!
Thank you, Carlo and Nikki! It was a beautiful wedding!
Hello, blog friends! I am going to do a recap of Nikki's wedding tomorrow night. As they say in Australia, I am tired AS! No need to finish that sentence. As tired as what? A koala bear? A mama emperor penguin that just finished making her egg and passed it on to the papa penguin? Who knows. I'm just tired as.
When we don't go grocery shopping during the weekend, Mondays are very hectic after work. I walk across the street from work at 5, drop off the mail, plop my bum on the bus stop bench until it comes and when it finally does, I walk to the gym from the city. I take my 6:15 pm sculpt class, walk home and then Al and I do our grocery shopping. We get home around 8:30, unpack the groceries, make dinner and clean up. By the time I finish all of that, it's way after 9. I still need the time to shower and blog. It's all a wee bit exhausting.
In addition to the busy Monday, the days are starting to get shorter. We haven't changed our clocks backwards yet, but we will in a few weeks. Even still, it's dark when I get up at 6:50 am. It's already harder to get out of bed. Winter is coming to annoy us. It's not FAIR!! Maybe if I complain about it enough, summer will come back. Has anybody tried that yet?
Since I'm waiting until tomorrow to talk about Nikki's wedding over the weekend, I'll show you pictures of food.
This doesn't look like much (and my camera is C-R-A-P!!!! Maybe if I complain enough, a new and better one will drop out of the sky?), but this is a very special dish for me. In the past, I used to buy all of these vegetables that I didn't use. I felt so healthy for buying fresh veggies, but I tucked them away in the produce drawer in the fridge. Weeks later, I would remember I had them. It was a problem.
On Friday, instead of asking Al to get me something artery-clogging when he went out to KFC, I made my own healthy dinner by pulling ALL of the veggies out of the produce drawer. Some of them were a few weeks old, but they weren't bad quite yet. I had an eggplant, zucchini, steamed cauliflower and tomatoes. I cut them up, placed them in a pan, topped them with pasta sauce/tomato sauce/whatever you want to call it, low fat feta and mozzarella cheese and cooked it for about 20 minutes in the oven. I ended up with a tasty and healthy dish from fresh ingredients from my fridge. It was also enough food to feed me for a couple of meals.
The more that I read my healthy living blogs, the more I learn that it's okay to eat leftovers! I used to never bother with them. I'd rather go out and buy or make new food. Now that I am paying my own way, I understand that food is expensive! So why should I be throwing out perfectly good food? Doesn't that mean that I'm throwing away money?
Last night, for example, Al and I ordered pizza. I couldn't stomach the thought of eating anything that wasn't a carb or a carbonated soft drink (it was the day after a wedding with an open bar, so cut me some slack), so I figured a Hawaiian pizza from Australia's Pizza House could make me not want to vomit after eating it. Not only did I not vomit, but we had three pieces of leftover pizza. Instead of tossing it, I wrapped it up for lunch the next day.
I know that some of these things seem obvious, but I'm proud of myself for using food that I already have in my fridge. These days, I plan all of my meals before I shop. I make one big meal for dinner, and I use the leftovers for lunch the next day. It works perfectly, and I do believe that I'm saving money on it.
I think that was more of me talking about food than showing you pictures of food, but you get the idea. I picked up these habits from my favorite blogger Tina from Carrotsncake.com. She talks about grocery shopping and saving money on food here. If you need tips on shopping and planning your meals efficiently, please click on the link and read her blog! She has a really cute pug.
It's time for a shower and then bed time! Yes, I absolutely have been shopping and eating and lounging around after my sweaty workout. I know you were thinking that!
First of all, how dinosaur-fabulous is this piggy bank? I found this at a news agency during my lunch break today, and I almost considered buying it. You'll notice that if you look at the pronunciation of "Jennifersaurus", you see that it's "saw-us" instead of "soar-us". That's the difference between buying an Aussie Jennifersaurus and an American Jennifersaurus.
Personally, I think of myself much more as a "raptor" than a "saurus". If I were a dinosaur, I would be a velociraptor. That's just the way it is. I have short arms.
Potential Disaster at the Dry Cleaners
As I mentioned earlier, I spent the better part of every day last weekend searching for a dress for a wedding tomorrow. I finally found one, but it was too big in the shoulders. A coworker of mine drove me to a nearby cleaners on Wednesday (people chauffeur me around since I'm the only person in the office without a car) to get it altered, and they promised me that it would be ready at 4 pm today.
When I got there at 5 on the dot this afternoon (thanks to one of my chauffeurs), they could not find it. The lady who did the alterations remembered working on my dress earlier in the day, but they had no idea where they put it. I stood (and then sat) around for 45 minutes while they searched nearly every piece of clothing in the shop.
Just as I thought I was going to have to spend my Friday night and Saturday afternoon looking for another dress to buy, they found it. My dress had the wrong name on it. I was mainly relieved for the reason that I did NOT want to hunt for another outfit for tomorrow! Man, that would have been bad.
After the fiasco, I bussed it back to the city to meet Al at Rundle Mall. I bought a yoga mat (hooray!), and Al bought steak knives and a garlic crusher. Al is actually so excited about his steak knife purchase that he took photos himself and asked me to put them on my blog.
He wants you to see the comparison between the new steak knife and our regular kitchen knife. As you can see, the one on the left has a better design for eating steak or other meats.
He also wants to capture the sharpness and serration of the new knife, which is now on the right.
He also wants you to see the box he bought the knives in and the price tag. They might have been on sale from that price, actually. He didn't take any photos of the poor little garlic crusher, though.
I didn't feel like going to the gym by the time we got home, so I took out my new yoga mat and did a 20-minute free yoga class from yogadownload.com. It was geared for runners! I felt nicely stretched out after that. (If you're interested in trying out the class, go to the website and search "yoga for runners". You have to sign up, but you don't have to give them any payment information unless you decide to do a class that is longer than 20 minutes.)
While the yoga was taking place, Al picked up KFC for dinner. I told him that I didn't want anything, but that was before I knew that they now have sweet potato fries (mmmm grease on the box)!
It was so nice of him to surprise me with that. I actually made a casserole of chopped up veggies from the fridge that were on the verge of going bad, but I didn't give it any special attention. The sweet potato fries were the staple of the night.
And just for fun, check out our Great Wall of Beer. This is what I get for living with somebody who works for a beer and wine company. Free beer. I'll take it!
I'm going to my first of at least three weddings this year, and I can't wait! I haven't been to a wedding since 2007. I have a brand new dress and new black shoes that I bought yesterday. I am READY!
The "circuit" workout was a success this morning. You'd be surprised to know how difficult it is to do one exercise without stopping for 90 seconds. My arms felt like jelly by the end, and I was pleased. I'm not a morning person at all, but it's a great feeling of accomplishment to finish a full-body workout before 7 am.
The reason that I did my workout in the morning was because I had an engagement after work. I found out about an expat (or do you say ex-pat?) dinner/drinks meet up through an "Americans in Australia" Facebook group. I thought this was the first time that all of these people were getting together, but they've been doing it for ages. I'm surprised that I'm just finding out about this, because I would have loved to meet with these people when I first moved here!
There were two expat groups at the Griffin's Head Hotel tonight: A Canadian group and a "general" group. I think they merge together for meet ups, anyway.
I didn't take any pictures (I get a little shy about taking photos of my food and decor sometimes, especially when I don't know anybody), but I had a great time. I talked to people from America (the organizer of the group is from Chicago!), England, Canada, Australia and Germany. Everybody was super friendly to me and eager to hear about where I was from, my life in Adelaide, etc.
The group (or both groups, I guess) try to organize something at least once a month, and I think I will start going as much as I can. I find it very refreshing to talk to people who share similar experiences.
Hopefully I'll be back in picture mode tomorrow!
ABOUT jennifer Martin, MS, RD, LDN
I am a Chicago-based Registered Dietitian working primarily in Acute Clinical Care. I started this blog in 2010, before I even knew that I wanted to be an RD! Now, as an active dietitian, this blog will become part of my life again. Read about my current healthy habits, but please peruse my old posts (from 2014 and before) to read about life as an RD student and my previous years in Australia!