Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finding Autumn

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Summer is coming to an end and Autumn is just around the corner. The season of change and transition. I love the Fall in America, it is one of the most prettiest times of year. I love to watch the leaves turn brilliant shades of red & orange before falling to the ground. The ground transitions from green fields to crunchy piles of red, orange and brown. It is an amazing sight. The circle of life & death.

I've been feeling very connected to the seasons since living in America. The seasons are so distinct just like the phases we experience in life. I never experienced this in Australia before. The only seasons I'd ever experienced were hot & dry or warm & wet. Just as Autumn cleans away the dead and dying, I too am sloughing away my dead weight. And it feels so cleansing.

Last week I quit my job. It was a bold decision. One that wasn't reached too lightly. It was making me extremely unhappy. I was working for people that didn't appreciate me and to be honest were a little nasty too. Coupled with a few personal things I was going through, I started to get little bouts of anxiety before going in each morning, when finally it reached a breaking point. Life is too short to spend it being miserable. So Daniel & I agreed that the best thing was for me to leave the 9-5 game and concentrate on turning some of my ideas into viable work from home projects.

The future is all bright and shiny again.

{This series of photos is of me dying my pretty platnium blonde to my almost natural golden brown - I love it! It feels like me}

Fall Lookbook: H&M

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I'm loving the Fall collection from H&M. I love the colours and style of the whole collection. These are just some of my favs.

Have you started putting your Fall look together? I'd love to see it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

{DIY} Polaroid Magnets

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These are the stack of polaroids I've had sitting on my desk since I arrived in America 3.5 years ago. These were taken at our "Goodbye" party in our hometown and then we had our friends and family sign them {or write cute silly messages}. I had such a fantastic night. We all got a bit silly and had the best. fun. ever. I always flick through them every six months or so, it makes me smile as I replay the memories over in my head.

I always get a great amount of comfort when I'm feeling a little blue or have a bout of the expat sickness to look over photos of all my loved ones. I didn't have this realization until I had been living here for close to a year. For the longest time I avoided looking at pictures from home because I thought it would make me sadder or miss home more than I already did at the time. I struggled with pretty bad homesickness & the guilt associated with it for my first two years here. I've learnt how to deal with it since then and know what to do when I start to miss home. This is one of those things.

I thought I'd share some of my expat advice with you all. Maybe you are an expat yourself or maybe you've just moved away for college. In any case I hope it helps. After staring at the stack of polaroids for the eleventy billionth time I picked them up and vowed {it was very dramatic} that I would find a purpose for these. I also happened to see something about turning those Instagram pictures that everyone seems to have {I live in a no i-Phone family} into magnets. I thought to myself, "phooey to that, I am in the possession of real polaroids that I can turn into magnets." So I did.

Super easy to make, and you don't even need polaroids. Any bunch of pictures will do, I did a couple of other photos of my sister & I as well. I went down to Michael's, my closest craft store, and picked up a roll of magnet for $10. Then I just cut out large squares {make sure it can hold the weight of the photo}, peeled off the backing and placed it on the back of the photo. Ta-da! Now I can look at their pretty {sometimes silly} faces every day. And it makes me smile every single time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Happy Snaps #4

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{all photos taken on my Samsung Focus}
1. Practiced packing up all of our camping gear into our back packs. We got as far as airing out the tent and gave up.
2. I'm working something new for ECG and have a super talented lady working on a new design.
3. I visited the fake cow that "moos" when you go near it.
4. I bought myself a new hippy bracelet.
5. I finally got around to getting myself a fitness ball. I already tried sit-ups on it with only slightly falling off a few times.
6. Took the Kodz on a 3km walk/run in anticipation for our camping trip on the weekend.

Did you snap any good pictures of your weekend?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Revisiting Old Advice

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I've been feeling a little blue lately. A little out of sorts. And I came across an old blog post from my previous blog That Random Leila. I felt it was pretty relevant and thought I would share it with you.

1. Life is short. We only have one chance at it - the sooner you realise this the sooner you can really start living it.
2. The world is only against you if you believe it is.
3. You are always going to be your worst critic. It is usually wise to ignore "that" voice. You know the one I'm talking about.
4. Just like most things in life, you get out what you put in.
5. Don't take life too seriously {see #1}

6. Try something new at least once a month. Paint, dance, sing, skydive or learn to knit. Anything! It is easy to say no, but it may be wonderful if you say yes.
7. Your parents don't know all the answers. They are just like you - trying to navigate their way through life the best they can.
8. It is okay to lose friends as we get older. Sometimes you grow apart, it is no-one's fault, it is just the natural progression of that relationship.
9. There is nothing about your body that you should feel ashamed or embarrassed about. You are the way you were made and that is an amazing thing.
10. The likely-hood of the Earth existing is less than 0.01 per cent over four billion years, the fact that you exist is even smaller. Still don't think you are amazing? {ref}

11. There is never enough chocolate
12. Or hugs.
13. Life IS hard. It is the people we surround ourselves with that make it easier.
14. Happiness isn't all about material possessions, it is about making your life have meaning & pleasure. {Although handbags & shoes help}
15. Past behaviour is the most reliable indicator of future behaviour.

16. If it seems to good to be true it probably is.
17. Learn to trust your instincts, they are usually spot on.
18. Some ignorance is invincible, don't waste your time. Move on.
19. Please & thank you will get further in life. Good manners is remembered, but bad manners is remembered forever.
20. The food you cook will never taste as amazing as the food someone else cooks.

21. Toast will land butter side down 99% of the time. More so if you're already running late.
22. The only way to extend your comfort zone is to live outside of it every now & then.
23. If you're in a hurry there will be traffic everywhere.
24. Super Mario World (SNES) was the best video game ever invented.
25. All my friends agree with #24...KIDDING!!........

26. Your really do learn the value of something once it is gone.
27. There are more grey areas in life than black & white ones.
28. If it looks grey outside and you hang a load of towels out, it WILL rain.
29. Everyone has a story to tell.
30. It isn't about always being right. If it was we'd never learn anything.

31. That saying fuck over & over is a great way to vent.
32. The same goes for the words shit, bitch, bugger & wanker
33. I'm always right. So are you.
34. I'm always offending someone.
35. But its okay to not care. Sometimes.

36. You are never going to make everyone happy 100% of the time.
37. It's okay to be a little different. Imagine how boring it'd be if we were all the same.
38. Ice cream makes everything all better again. Well for at least five minutes anyway.
39. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
40. Yes my arse did look fat in that.

41. Sex in the shower is never quick nor easy and usually results in injury.
42. And sex will never be quiet when your mother-in-law is in the next room no matter how hard you try.
43. Bad things happen to bad people but we only care when they happen to good people.
44. There is no such thing as taking too many photos. You'll look back in twenty years and be glad you did.

{me+daniel 2010}

46. Marrying my best friend was the best thing I've ever done.
47. Nobody is normal.
48. Your friends love you anyway.
49. Total Eclipse of the Heart is best up high and sung to at the top of your lungs.
50. ..I've still got a lot to learn.

What are five things you've learnt about life?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekend Happy Snaps #3

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Wow. I haven't posted since the last happy snaps. Just proves my weeks are flying by way too fast, and I need to force myself to slow down and take in the important parts.
This weekend was nice, I would have preferred that the sun was around a bit more but I think I've accepted the fact that there will be no Summer in Seattle this year.

I made Daniel the best chicken nachos ever to celebrate some good news he received at work.

We went for a few walks and a big hike out to Heather Lake (post to come later) and we took Koda who was a superstar the whole way.

Did you get any happy snaps this weekend?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weekend Happy Snaps #2

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I got so busy at work yesterday that I completely missed putting up my Weekend Happy Snaps.
This weekend was a quiet one. I left work on Friday and caught a glimpse of a very sexy Lotus. Daniel & I got the grill out again and attempted pork chops. Delish! Sunday we were meant to go on a hike but I woke up feeling terrible. By the afternoon I was feeling better so we hit up the trail next to our apartment and ended up doing 10km!! We also went to World Market where I found some of my fav yummy lemon lime & bitters drinks from Australia.

What did you happy snap over the weekend?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Shit My Dad Says

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The other day when Daniel & I returned from our take out run, I placed the bag of food down next to our beanbags (new couch is on the way!) and I turned to Koda and I said something without even thinking about it. "Don't you touch that bag Mister or I'll have your guts for garters!". I stopped and replayed what I just said over in my head one more time. Guts......for garters? Who would say something like that?  I realized I wasn't saying it because it was something I meant, frack I'm not that horrible of a person! It was something that my Dad used to say to me as a child when we were messing about. It was a fun playful thing, my Dad & I were always a couple of jokesters.

Then I got to thinking about all the things we say as adults that we pick up from our parents when we are kids. I challenge you to notice how many things you say that are similar, you might be surprised. You might even notice your own children doing this.

Here are some of the other quirky sayings & phrases my Dad said to me as a child that I've picked up now as an adult. I look back on these memories very fondly. These are all very offensive, so if you're sensitive to that sorta thing you should probably close your eyes about now;

1. I'll have your guts for garters. I can only assume that this has some graphical reference to ripping out someones intestines and wearing them as a garter belt. Which would be oh so classy. Thanks Dad for this one, I'm being playful and grossly offensive all at the same time.

2. This room looks like a Chinese josh house. I always took this to mean that my room was a complete pig sty because well...this saying was usually followed up with, "Leila, it's a complete pig sty". But I did some researching Dad and turns out this was actually a compliment. Oh yeah, ten year old Leila is all oh yeah ah-ah and doing a rebellious dance of victory. So I interneted Chinese Josh House wincing at the possible results because I was positive this was an incredibly racist thing to say. A Joss House (which is the closet wording I could find, so I think I misheard this as a child) is actually a place of worship and a shrine. Thanks Dad, I always knew my bedroom was pretty awesome hehe.

3. Lets Binford 61 Hundred it. Okay so if you grew up in a house that watched Home Improvement this might ring a bell with you. Tim (the tool man Taylor) was always over powering different appliances and things that really didn't need it. The appliance overpowered was always referred to as the 6100 model. My Dad would Binford 6100 everything. And to this day I still say this.

4. *wince* ********. This one is just to offensive, I can't even bring my self to write it. Needless to say it was something about Nuns, being thirsty & vaginas. I'm sure most of you are shocked but I have an incredibly warped & twisted humour and find it hilarious. This is one I say in my head rather than out aloud. It's safer.

5. I promise. I know, not exactly original right? My Dad taught me one thing about saying this. Only say it when you mean it. My Dad has never broken a promise made to me to this very day. I say it in the same way. If I promise, I mean it.

you Dad xx

Friday, August 5, 2011

Holiday Shop: Destination....

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Last week Daniel & I bought ourselves tickets to Maui to celebrate our ten year anniversary (of being together as a couple, not married) and I am so excited I can't stop thinking about it! I have started dreaming about the beautiful white sandy beaches, the warm cuddly rays of sunshine, the relaxing.....ahhhh heaven!

But then I got to thinking about what I'm going to pack. Yes more than a month away and I'm already trying to pack my suitcase! I love packing suitcases, I'm sick like that. 

I realize now that I have nothing to take with me besides my incredibly embarrassing Australian flag bikini I picked up on my January '11 trip home. And whilst representing Australia on the beaches sounds like a real treat I thought I might search the interweb for some more fashionable options. I don't like searching for things too long. I always type my search {in this case; holiday + shop + wardrobe} and click open the first and second links in the hopes the search engine read my mind for the exact thing I was looking for and has delivered said request.

Thank the search engine Gods I found what I was looking for on the second link, in fact it lead me directly to the "holiday shop" of one the best online shopping sites I've come across. is this very cool luxury designer store for both men & women. If it was possible to be seen at online stores this would be the one. Ultra trendy.

So anyway I went scanning through the holiday shop and I wanted to show you some of the pretties I purchased on my recent make believe "Things I want to wear in Hawaii" shopping trip.  

What would you pack for a trip to Hawaii?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

An Open Letter To: Birmingham Police Department

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Dear Birmingham Police Department,

I recently learnt of your most attrocious behaviour and I'm so disgusted that I literally feel sick.

How did you think it was okay to put four bullets in "Buddy" the bestest friend to Terry Boyle? Five years they have been buddies, and for five years Buddy has never hurt a fly. You say that you were just responding to reports that he was loose, but  I still don't understand why guns or bullets needed to enter the picture here.

Take a look at that gorgeous face and tell me how you can live with yourself knowing that you shot dead an innocent animal? He was trying to escape the four towering figures coming toward him (as you naturally would) and ended up being shot to death.

What happened was unjust and criminal but who do you go to when the police commit crimes? There is no-one. It always gets justified and swept under the rug.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weekend Happy Snaps

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Our new townhouse, next to a little forest I've dubbed "The Forest of Illusions"

My beautiful Koda bear

Our weekend morning ritual. We live right next door. It takes a two minute walk to get here...uh-oh!

Our new couch we bought to furnish our furnitureless townhouse - I can't wait for it to arrive!!

Trying one of the many different "healthy" drinks from the natural market next door. This was blergh. I really do not like the taste of Kombucha. It tasted like "pretty" beer, but I can't stand beer at all

Home made fish & chips. Daniel cooked the salmon on our webber and it was super delish!

Enjoyed with a glass of Australian moscato. Yum!

How was your weekend? Did you snap any weekend pictures?

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