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

when I write

Friday, February 28, 2014

I've always had a very vivid imagination.  Ever since I could remember I have created worlds within my mind: sometimes with the aid of a book I was reading, other times out of thin air.  All I had to do if I was lonely or scared as a kid was whip open my favourite novels and be transported to those lands where the characters were: trapped inside a giant peach after defeating evil oppressors, learning magic spells at Hogwarts, weeping over Willoughby or staging a round table meeting in Camelot.  Many times I would put the books down and weave myself into their story - sometimes as part of Harry's school gang or riding beside Genevieve, vying for Arthur's eye - other times I would create my own stories and get lost in those worlds, something I still do today.

While I've never discussed this with another fictional author, I'm sure this is totally normal.  How else can you write about a place if you can't imagine it?

Ever since I began writing my novel, I find myself existing in two worlds: the real one where Will and our dogs wait for me to pay them attention or explore the city we've just moved to (or feed them :P) and the other one where my story takes place, one that I've completely fabricated.  This second, imaginary, world has become almost as real to me as the first - since now the locations and characters are clearly defined so when I enter this space, I am vividly able to see every detail.  I love being in my created world.  I love the characters and their stories, often spending hours at a time inside their universe without moving from my seat, eating or letting the dogs out.  I always feel guilty about that because time races by, but also secretly (though now he'll know) enjoy the times Will goes out of town so I can get lost there unapologetically and reemerge only when I please - or when the dogs demand it.

PS: both images in this post are taken from the movie 'inception' - 
which i highly recommend to anyone who hasn't seen it! 
(Image 1: archdaily.com 2.nerdacy.com)

counting blessings

Yesterday I happened to see this post as it made its way around Facebook and was instantly overwhelmed by that deep sense of gratitude I often feel for the life I'm living.  I feel so blessed to be able to follow my passion and even more so to have found my passion at all.  So many of my friends work jobs just to get by and so many more would love to find something they enjoy but don't know where to start looking.

I was always lucky that I had writing.  Growing up, writing was automatic for me; without thinking I would write down day's events, joys, secrets, fears ... just anything and everything that would come to mind.  This continued well into my 20s and although I was mildly aware of the therapeutic affect the practice of writing had on me, I never realized how much of a comfort it was until I envisioned a life without it.  The thought made me uncomfortable and knew I would go insane if I had to keep my emotions and imagination inside so it was easy for me to figure out what I loved doing more than anything.

Leaving my chosen career path after all the hard work, time and money invested into it (and just before the promise of advancement) was the hard part; but here again I was lucky, this time with a quick transition.  Just a few short months after moving to America, I landed a job for an Atlanta based fashion magazine and received the validation I needed to grow my confidence as a professional writer when my very first articles were published with the added bonus of being completely unedited!  In many ways this gig was my dream job and were it not for the sleep deprivation, hectic schedule and drama that comes with the fashion industry, I may still be there today.

Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex and the City)'s life has always been my inspiration.  Yes, of course the glitz and glamour of New York City, the endless fashion, solid friendships and carefree lifestyle but mainly, just waking up in the morning, writing all day (about whatever I like) and calling it my job!  I'm feeling seriously blessed today: this is my life.  I am a writer.  I'm living my dream.

this week's tip | trust your intuition

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Age concepts are becoming increasingly popular and we've all heard the key ones: learn to love yourself, thoughts become things, healthy body = healthy mind; but my favourite one is trust yourself and your intuition.

What that means to me is taking a moment to be still and listen to the quiet voice within you - the one that gives you good or bad feelings about decisions you are making at any given moment.  I know this feeling is stronger (more prevalent) in some people but just like a muscle: this part of you grows the more you put it to work.  

Being a somewhat hot headed person by nature (fire sign Aries), I've 'gone with my gut' and trusted my intuition for as long as I can remember.  I've always been able to respect the opinions of others but never let them lead me anywhere I haven't wanted to go.  Over the years, my 'moment taking' procedure has decreased to a nano-second procedure because my instinct (the very first feeling you have about something) is intertwined with my quiet voice and I trust it implicitly.  Of course nothing is perfect 100% of the time but you can choose to see 'mistakes' as lessons: somehow things always work themselves out because nothing is awful 100% of the time either. Besides you'll never know if the path not taken would have been worse...

The best thing about trusting yourself how confidence building it is.  You're in control.  You know best.  It's your life, your lessons, your mistakes, your rewards.  You would never want anything bad for yourself so trust that voice within!  Start with something small, like taking a minute to really ask yourself what you want for dinner, once you have the answer eat that no matter what and then see how you feel afterwards.  You will never make yourself sick if you listen to that voice.  I promise.

a weekend in Dallas 1

Monday, February 24, 2014

Just after lunch on Saturday, Will and I dropped the pups off to the sitter and made the three hour drive from Austin to Dallas, where we spent Saturday night.  Although I'd been to Dallas three times before, this weekend I got to see a part of the city I've never previously seen in the Highland Park district where Will's youngest brother lives.

Highlights were driving around admiring the mansions of celebrities, professional athletes and politicians; dinner at the insanely beautiful Palomino restaurant and a trip to Vino 100 on the uber-awesome McKinney Ave which still has a working monorail!

(I know I look like somewhat of a vampire in this
but actually it's the best pic I had of my outfit!)

I wish we could have stayed a little longer - there was so much left to see and do.  Hopefully we'll get a chance to revisit soon.

my current craze | barn style furniture

Friday, February 21, 2014

Now that Will and I have visited several display houses, I keep envisioning our dream home: complete with southwestern decor and thick, solid timber barn style furniture.

I'm loving heavy, bulky, rectangle dining tables:

Restoration Hardware, Boulangerie
Restoration Hardware, Farmhouse
especially those with a bench:

Pottery Barn, Benchwright
Pottery Barn, Wells

a chunky coffee table with thick hardware:

World Market, Henry
a dark, leather, over sized couch with bright pillows and throws:

Pottery Barn, Turner
Pottery Barn, Manhattan
Pottery Barn, Pearce

an entire barn style bedroom, complete with wooden beams on the ceiling.  So tranquil that it that makes me feel like I'm on a getaway to a mountainous log cabin every time I enter:

Rustic, traditional bedroom
Romantic, country bedroom
Mountain, rustic bedroom
And outdoor furniture that's solid, large and can withstand the test of time; as well as many parties or simply perfect, romantic evenings under the stars:

Pottery Barn, Chatham
Pottery Barn, Chatham
Pottery Barn, Saybrook
Pottery Barn, Saybrook

nails and cocktails

I felt inspired to go classic and opt for coral nails after seeing Marilyn Monroe's iconic Seven Year Itch for the kaziilionith time earlier this week. Cocktail was the strawberry daiquiri which matched the colour I'd chosen and tasted pretty good!  


snail mail

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Does anyone still have a pen-pal?  Or are those days long gone and completely replaced by email/ facebook inbox pals?  As I mentioned here, I love sending and receiving handwritten cards or letters and yesterday I got a bit of a shock when I received my first handwritten letter in many years!  I savored the experience of it, making myself a coffee and getting comfortable on the couch before opening it up to read, then reread it.

In the letter, my friend calls me her 'pen-pal' and it reminded me of school, (German class) where we were assigned foreign pen-pals to improve our language from both ends; as well as the many hundreds of notes my friends and I would pass around to each other over the years - on lunch breaks, between classes, in classes, first thing in the mornings...  it was kind of like keeping pen-pals and so much fun sneaking around behind the teacher's backs: especially if the notes were about them.  I know these days kids at schools text each other everything that goes on but it's such a treat and a laugh to have tangible notes.  To be able to reread them after many years, like I did last year when I visited my parent's house and my old bedroom which still contains a box of my old school things; and to remember all of the gossip, hype and catastrophe of those days. 

Maybe my generation was the last to actively participate in snail mail and hand written notes but I wonder if we're also the last to appreciate them?  As I walked out of the post office earlier today, filled with glee about my new Harry Potter stamp book, I thought just maybe we're not...

this week's tip | find your signature fragrance

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

One thing I vividly remember about my great-grandmother is Chanel No.5.  Even though she passed away when I was 10 - every time I catch a hint of that perfume, she's right beside me once more.  To me, scent and sound are the most memory evoking senses.  You know like when you hear a song you haven't heard in ages then you're suddenly right back in your high school boyfriend's car and feeling those exact same butterflies that have long since passed (partly due to hindsight).

But my great-grandmother was a very classy lady.  Other memories I have of her include tulips, crystal ware, fine china, rubies and fur.  None have that same emotive response of her signature fragrance though and I often think of how nice it would be to have someone remember me that way.  To have my scent entwined with their impression of me for the remainder of their life.  According to Harper's Bazaar, it's one of the top 10 things every woman (but I think men too) should have before turning 30.

I'm sure if you asked my high school boyfriend what his fragrance association with me is, he would say Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle.  He bought that perfume for me twice in the three years we spent together and I wore it most days (the great thing about Chanel is how long lasting it is - one spray is all you need).  But sadly, my own association of him is now mingled with that heavenly scent so it's my fragrance no longer.

Maybe if you asked some of my girlfriends they would say Estee Lauder's Pleasures, Gucci's Flora, Ralph Lauren's Ralph or YSL's Babydoll.  But I have spent most of my 20's with Will.  He knows me better than anyone, so if you were to ask him (which I did earlier today) he says that while I often flirt with different fragrances, my true love in this arena and signature fragrance is actually: Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely.  Sort of anti-climatic I know.  Maybe even a let-down... and although I realize it's of an inferior quality to an oil-based perfume, I adore this fragrance like no other!  It's sexy for night-time, fun for the day and sort of comforting when I'm sad...

So Will's probably right and, unlike my great-grandmother's timeless elegance and class that lingers long after she's gone, what will linger after me is a musky, vanilla-ry, uplifting, one of a kind, pretty but inexpensive perfume.  Fitting.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Ok, so maybe I'm arriving late to this party.  Many of my friends subscribed to the Birchbox long ago and I sat back on facebook and simply watched as many of them 'liked' it without knowing what it was but although it's taken me a while, I've finally found it and I'm glad I have!

For those who don't know what Birchbox is, it's a wonderful way for both men and women to try new products without leaving your home.  You simply sign up on their website - select your preferences and for $10 month you simply wait for the mailman to deliver your box of goodies (product samples) which is seriously like getting a surprise gift in the mail every month.  I'm bummed that they only ship within America though!

My very first (and highly anticipated) box arrived today containing samples of perfume, moisturizer, BB cream, hair treatment and a mascara that smells like heaven.  After talking to a couple of girlfriends who also got deliveries and checking out instagram, I've discovered that each of our boxes contains different things because of our preferences!  Since I won't use any harsh chemicals on my sensitive skin and prefer organic or (at least) natural things: everything I received was perfect for me and I'll actually try everything so for those of you wondering if Birchbox is worth the $10 - my answer is YES!

product info and full size price list included in case
you love something

the weekend

Will and I spent the weekend dreaming.  Dreaming of the perfect house, yard, neighborhood, furniture and lifestyle.

Since Austin is one of America's fastest growing cities, model homes in new development areas are popping up everywhere and like many couples our age, Will and I like to visit model homes and compare floor-plans, practicality, suburbs and all that fun stuff which is exactly what we spent our perfectly warm Austin weekend doing.

Just a four bedroom house for ... yep there are four of us :P
You might think that's too much space for Will, me and our two tiny dogs...
but one of the rooms would DEFINITELY be a gift wrap room
just like the one they had in this display home... every girl's dream 
 we loved this concept of a game/ man space for Will and his friends.
Weren't so crazy about this being carpeted though...
Such a perfect office <3
and unique wall shelving... more <3
Another house we loved with blue features, dark brown roof,
garage in the back - two bedrooms, one office ...
...this awesome, casual and comfortable meal area
adjacent to kitchen...
...and this outdoor entertainment area that seamlessly blends
with the indoor living space through french doors for the perfect parties...
i could see it so vividly and i loved it

After so many dreams cast out into space, it was nice to wrap up the weekend by having a few realized immediately as we hit the outlet malls for the President's Day sales and made the most of our remaining  rest of our Christmas gift cards.

Ok, maybe we weren't quite done with the dreaming...

Cow hide office chair $1,200 Restoration Hardware
 (yep, that's outlet price) - but can you really
put a price on dreams?



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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