... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

A girl's guide to surviving the Super Bowl

Friday, January 31, 2014

Most American girls I know aren't crazy about football but watch the Super Bowl anyway because it's such a big and proud American tradition.  Over the three years I've spent in America I've realized that boycotting the Super Bowl, its half-time show and elaborate commercials is basically sacrilegious. Every conversation for a week afterwards is always about the game and you feel like a goose if you can't join in.

Although if you're like me and watch the game to appease your man - be it a bf, a date, someone you're trying to impress or your husband - I've compiled some tips to help any girl survive those four hours coming up this Sunday game day and earn serious points with your man!

*  Get snacks!  Snacks make everything more enjoyable plus guys typically don't think of this but love when we do! Chicken wings or an antipasti selection are the best options for carb conscious diets and are the most likely to be enjoyed by all.

*  This one should be a no-brainer but while you can enjoy the eye candy during the game: don't point out any cute guys!  You may think making the guy jealous is a good way to get his attention but trust me, it's a big turn off and will prevent any unnecessary tension.

*  Give the commercials a chance - honestly some of these ads are seriously cool!  (Like those Budweiser ads with the Clydesdale horses and this year: a puppy and the horse are best pals. The Muppet ones are always funny too).  

All the ads for all the products are more elaborate with the added perk for those of us in relationships:
your man is 100 times more likely to approve the purchase of a product you haven't budgeted for 
if it's advertised during the Super Bowl!  

*  Everyone goes on about the Half Time show and for the past two years they've been quite controversial - but this year's Half Time won't be hard at all to get into with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Bruno Mars!  I've never met a single person who doesn't like one of those.

*  If you're at home and absolutely can't stand it - give yourself a manicure in front of the TV Guys don't know that you aren't really watching, they'll just be excited that you're there beside them.

*  Don't read or play with your phone - these things are too obvious and bug guys who love to think we are paying attention to the biggest deal in their life at present: The Super Bowl!

Good luck ladies! 

Nails and cocktails

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Essie polish 'Berry Naughty', J Crew bracelet

I've finally found a nail salon that I love in Austin!  I can say that with confidence because earlier today I got my nails done for the second time at Caesar's Nail & Spa and even though it was a different lady - my nails look just as good and I'm confidant will last just as long.

Aside from everyone there being friendly and doing awesome nails: the store also happens to be b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l inside PLUS you get offered free drinks while you get your nails done!  It's unbelievable.

nails & a sherbert margartita cocktail

Blast from the past: the Carnarvon Gorge

When most people think of Australia they think desert, beaches (crocodiles) or Sydney.  Many people don't know about the ridiculously beautiful rain forests abundant in native wildlife, waterfalls and postcard views.  Will and I loved living in Queensland and visiting her rain forests, in fact we love nature and hiking so much that we chose to take our honeymoon this way; setting off a week after our wedding to Qld's Carnarvon Gorge - a ridiculously beautiful part of Australia 8 hours drive away from where we lived at the time; a place that few have experienced but that everyone should!

During our week out there, we saw ancient Aboriginal cave paintings as well as every native Australian animal you could think of: echidnas, platypi, wallabies, a koala, a giant red kangaroo and plenty of smaller grey ones, kookaburras, green tree frogs, owls and the list goes on!  The Carnarvon Gorge National Park and Takarakka Bush resort in which we stayed was nature like we've never experienced before: raw, untouched and just an incredible experience that I highly, highly recommend it to anyone.

Getting there: roads of rich, red dirt 
Surrounded by green fields and... so much wildlife -
grey kangaroos
Amazing scenery on the way there
This safari tent was our accomodation! Best way to camp because
it came with a mini fridge, queen bed, electricity and a table w chairs
Takarakka Bush Resort
kookaburra perched on top of sign
This kookaburra would wake us every morning with that
laughing/ signing sound they make
This was the campsite
Left: shower/ laundry block
Right: bbq and table area
Will and I in the bbq/table area with our french toast/ baked bean/ sauerkraut dinner
Not very appetizing but worth every minute
(plus we had wine!)
So that's how everyone was washing their feet...
Again, worth it for views like:
And this
Definitely worth going to see an echidna!
Or these native flowers

Tiny, lonely hand paintings - thousands of years old
These are a lot more vivid - very amazing experience
The whole thing was

Food for thought | the meat pie

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I never thought a meat pie would be mentioned as anything other than a traditional Aussie food in one of my blog posts but I've come to find that they aren't very common here in the USA so I think they deserve a proper shout-out.

American pies usually contain sweet fruit fillings and are considered dessert rather than meal but to an Australian the meat pie is the meal - predominately for lunch but we really aren't picky at all.  I love them and to me, the meat pie is worth breaking my carb-free diet for any day but only if it's made right.  I can be quite picky about the pastry that should be thick and soft on the bottom, thin and flaky on the top. Actually the more I think about it, the more I realise that the cheap and readily available Four'n Twenty pies back home are my idea of perfection. (Bogan? Maybe :P )

On Sunday (Australia Day) Will and I discovered an Australian pie shop right here in Austin!  It's called 'Boomerang Pies' and they have all my favourite flavours: steak & mushroom, chicken and veg and Guinness meat, all of which I was delighted to discover are made the way I like.  Even better is that they sell frozen pies which we've stocked up on for these perfect winter days.

Frozen meat pies from Boomerang Pies Austin

J.Crew's timeless bridal perfection

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When I worked in J Crew Atlanta's bridal office I used to love getting sneak peaks at new collections before they came out.  This was called product training but for me it was more like a fresh dose of a wonderful new fantasy.  I couldn't wait to see the new colours and styles, feel the fabrics and swoon over the embellishments... oh and learn the facts too ;)

Now I have to wait as long as everyone else for the unveiling of J Crew's bridal and special occasion collections but despite no longer having to sell the dresses, I still feel the same excitement!  The elegance of those understated dresses with their timeless simplicity, or the way they're tied together with quirky themed weddings never fails to delight.

Right now I'm loving: 

the Sara Lace gown
lace cami & tulle skirt
hair circlet

Blast from the past: Sydney, Australia

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sydney has often been compared to New York City and London but here are some things that make it completely unique and also one of my favourite places in the world:

1. The Rocks
Being the huge history geek that I am, I ADORE this area of the city for its rich history and thrilling stories of tunnel systems, bootlegging, naval exploits, piracy and kidnap... the buildings and cobbled streets here are still so authentically old that more than once I've felt like I'd actually gone back in time here. Also great bars and European style dining here.


2. Bondi Beach
Iconic.  Amazing.  Everything you think and more.  Super close to the city.

3. Oxford St
Kind of like New York's East Village: Oxford St has everything for anybody!  Dive bars and grungy tattoo parlors mixed with trendy restaurants and upscale boutiques located along one, long street that runs from the city center all the way to Bondi Beach.  Best place for people watching!

4. Sass & Bide
Speaking of Oxford St, my fav Australian designer label has its headquarters in Sydney and the boutique on Oxford St is out of this world.

5. Centrepoint Tower
That lollipop shape sticking out of Sydney's skyline is a tourist must!  Complete with 360 degree views in the revolving observation deck, a skywalk and 4D cinema - which simulates a helicopter tour of Sydney and is so realistic that it actually splashes you with water in some bits.  Love it.

6.  The Coachman
The best Russian restaurant I've ever been to.  Part of its charm is the old-school decor and location in the heart of Surry Hills where the streets are lined with ancient terrace homes and European-style cafes.

7. Tourist
Sydney is super tourist friendly.
And if you love actually going on tours, the Sydney Hop On/ Hop Off tour is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G it's completely the reason we do them everywhere now.  I highly recommend it.  It's fun, informative and thorough - covering the city and Bondi Beach as well.

8. Hyde Park
Yep, just like London: Sydney has a Hyde Park! It's across the street from the beautiful St Mary's Cathedral and in its center stands a majestic war memorial.

 9. The Opera House
This one is a no brain-er.  It's basically the international symbol of Australia.

10. The library
Ok so most big cities have grand libraries but Sydney's one was the first I'd ever been to so it holds my heart

in books lies the soul of the whole past time
the articulate audible voice of the past
when the body and material substance of it has altogether
vanished like a dream

Our vacation in Sydney remains to this day within our top 5.  Will and I love it here so much that if we ever move back to Aus it's where we'll be living for sure. 

This week's tip | Always bring a hostess gift

I love giving and receiving hostess gifts!  Ironically, although this universal tradition is one of the first rules of dinner party etiquette: it's also the first to be overlooked.

A hostess gift is simply a token of appreciation for the person or couple who have gone to the effort of having you over and preparing dinner.  It can be as simple as flowers, a bottle of wine, dessert or something longer lasting like fancy hand soap, cushion or vase: basically anything relating to home or entertaining.

The best hostess gift I've ever received was a lavender Carrière Frères candle but getting flowers is always fun too!  

At the end of the day any thoughtful gesture shows the invitation is appreciated and will definitely score you brownie points with the hosts. (but if you're really stuck - google hostess gifts and a whole bunch of great ideas pop up ;)

snow for Australia Day

Friday, January 24, 2014

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, where ever you are in the world but especially Australia: happy Australia Day for Sunday!  Will and I wish we could be there but instead we're encountering a real first: instead of beach and sand - we have snow in our backyard!

I'm signing off early to play in it, so my wreath and 'blasts' will all have to wait until next week, sorry! x

snow day

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Last week it was warm enough to wear a sun dress... today this! Talk about crazy weather!  What makes it even more insane is that while Austin hasn't seen snow in years - this snowfall is the second of this year!

My current craze | Southwestern decor

Ever since our Christmas trip to the Big Bend, I've seriously been obsessing over Southwestern decor!  Its bright, cheerful and versatile enough to compliment the currently colourless shabby-chic-country style I've got going on in the house.  Here are some of the things I'm coveting:

Cactus painting with sun setting background from yessy.com 

Navajo blanket (from amazon.com)
Cowhide Rug from worldmarket.com
Norton Kilim Pillows from Pottery Barn
Cacti in bright pots from etsy and brendapokorny.com
Adoring this kitchen from hgtv.com

And this lounge room from static.ddmcdn.com
Kilim Rug from Pottery Barn



About unwavering me

Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.


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spring in Austin TX

spring in Austin TX

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