One of those Days

Ever have one of those days?

You know those days when you wake up with a start from a dream where Megan Fox has turned you into a vampire and gotten you addicted to heroin and is keeping you hostage in an old farm house and forces you to hunt for meat, except the farm house is on a barren space rock terrain and there’s no animals or meat to be found, so everyone starts eating their hands with glee over finally getting to eat and you’re eating your ring finger and decide that this isn’t the life you want so you tell Megan Fox this while plying her with compliments like “You’re a baby Angelina, you know that?” and she’s cautiously ok with you leaving but then she tries to stab you with a rusty machete as you’re walking out the door? You know those dreams? Yeah.

And you wake up and it feels like an Arctic chill has swept over your body? So you pull the blanket off the ground and the second you cover yourself, you have never been hotter. And you have to pee. And you can’t go back to sleep because Megan Fox, heroin vampire machete welding Megan Fox ruined your dream life and now you’re asking yourself things like “what would I do if I really had to eat my own fingers?”

So you toss and turn restlessly, sweating with the blanket on and shivering with the blanket off, until you fall into deep REM 10 minutes before your alarm goes off? You wake up again, in a shitty mood. You force yourself to shower because you didn’t last night because you got caught up watching Friends. You pick a corporate looking outfit from your closet because the big wig is in town. Tell yourself, “I’ll just tuck in my shirt when I get to work.”

Then, you catch your bus and sneeze about 47 times, using every available square inch of tissue you brought with you? And everyone stares at you like you’re a diseased fiend, and you just want to shout I’M ALLERGIC TO YOUR COUNTRY, OK?

So, then you get to work, and you realize quickly that a) your shirt is vaguely see-through and you aren’t wearing a camisole; b) your pants don’t fit at all, that the waist is too big and won’t keep your shirt tucked in if you raise your arms; c) your air-dried hair is pulling a weird Jared Leto and that it’s high time you corral your trashy lion’s mane; d) why are you wearing mustard colored shoes when they don’t go with anything you’re wearing? So you stare at yourself in dismay, thinking, “this is happening.” Promise yourself things like this will stop happening when you finish your clothing project. So you fix your outfit with a cardigan, and you start work.

And your boss is all, “Please scan this book.”
And you’re like, “Ok! That’s easy.”
2 hours later, half your lunch period gone, the damn book will not scan. It is 65 over sized pages that crash your mail box when you send them out.

Later, while you’re covering reception, the phone system crashes while a co-worker from another location is on hold. You let her know that the system is having issues, and she gets seethingly snippy, and it rattles you. By the time her issue is resolved and she’s done yelling at you, you’re shaking with anger–mostly angry at yourself that someone on the phone who you don’t even know and who has no control over you made you fall apart. Spend the rest of the reception period forgetting how to transfer calls.

You whinge to Joel. He re-assures you. It’s nice.

Back at your desk, you try to scan book again, still can’t get it to work. Boss says don’t worry about it. Instead gives you a 700 page book to hand bind.

You decide to drink scotch after dinner.

You get home, and Joel runs out to greet you. He’s laid out your favorite sweat pants and lounge shirt and tells you pizza will be here in 20 mins. And that he ordered meat lovers with a fat crust, just for you. You feel so incredibly touched, and instantly all the dumb of the day melts away. It wasn’t the worst day you’ve ever had, but these little gestures kept it from becoming so much worse. It’s the little things that hold everything up.

You know, those kinda days? The days when you realize you chose a keeper? And how happy you are that that keeper chose you, also?

“You’re a keeper.” You tell him.
“I’m a Quiddich keeper.” He says.

And it’s love.

True Love.
True Love.


In my opinion, anything served on grilled bread is already A+. That goes double for sandwiches. And we’re big sandwich fans around here. Especially those of the open face* variety.

Lately, I’ve been seeing ads for open faced ciabatta sandwiches, which has made me be all “Yes. Yes please, chicken and bacon and avocado open face sandwich.” It’s a simple idea with simple ingredients, and sure, it’s an idea that’s well visited, but that doesn’t mean it’s not truly fantastic. So I scraped change together, collected the ingredients, and went for it. And it turned out to be one of the best sandwich meals I’ve made, so it gets a blog.

And you should definitely try it sometime:

Makes 4 open face sandwich slices

What you’ll need:

– 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips (I used pre-cut strips, because I’m lazy)
– 1 package bacon or pancetta, diced (I used pancetta because it’s tastier, fancier bacon, and crisps better than Australian bacon. Also, it was on sale and cheaper than bacon.)
– 1 small-medium tomato, or 3 cherry tomatoes (which is what I used, because I had them at home and didn’t want to buy more)
– 1 large avocado
– 1 lemon
– 1 large ciabatta loaf, or 4 small ciabatta rolls (I went with Turkish sea salt flat bread, because they ran out of ciabatta bread at the bakery and I was on a time crunch)
– olive oil and butter
-salt, pepper, paprika

Step 1: Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan (if using pancetta, not if you’re using bacon) in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Bacon will produce it’s own glorious grease if you’re in the States and are eating American style bacon. I miss bacon grease.

Step 2: toss in the pancetta/bacon, and fry until crispy. Crispy is important here. Like, really important. You don’t want to throw off the Texture Continuum. Once it’s reached the appropriate crispiness, transfer the meat to a bowl, but leave the drippings in the pan. You’ll thank me in the next step.

whoops, blurry! Camera can’t handle that crispy pancetta action.

Step 3: add another glug of olive oil to the pan and cook the chicken strips. Unless you’re cooking the chicken in bacon grease. I cooked mine in the pancetta drippings. mmmm.


I’ve found that the best way to cook chicken is to cook it all the way through. Take it from me, but it’s awkward when you give someone salmonella poisoning. Also, be generous with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Unless you like dried card board that kinda tastes like chicken.

4. Remove from pan and dice/cube/rip the strips until they’re size that’s comparable to your mouth. No choking, please.

5. Suddenly remember you have to smash up the avocado. Dice the tomatoes first.

It’s hard to dice cherry tomatoes. But they’re tiny and cute, so that makes up for it. Don’t worry, you too can use a steak knife to cut your tomatoes. This is a safe place, no judgement.

6. slice and de-shell avocado. Almost take your finger off removing the seed with that cool knife trick Leigh taught you.


7. Mash the avocado with tomato, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and a bit of paprika. At this point, you might remember to add onion and jalapeno, but then that would be guacamole and you suck at making guacamole.


8. Slice the bread, butter the shit out of it, and toss it under the grill, or face down on a hot skillet. You can also toast it, but do it on a low setting so the bread doesn’t get extra hard. I’d recommend grilling it in the bacon/pancetta drippings, but the chicken hogged all that up. Good for the chicken, sad for the bread. But, the bread gets butter. And butter is Godly.

9. Slather the bread with a healthy dose of avocado mash, calling it avo-mash to make yourself feel really hip.

10. Next, layer the chicken.

11. Then, pancetta/bacon.

12. DO NOT ADD CHICKEN SECOND. Pancetta/bacon always gets top billing. Just ask their manager.

13. Top off with a squeeze of lemon.

14. Enjoy the shit out of it.


Yum town, population: you.


*”open face” is such a gross term. I mean, really.

Hello everyone!

So, here we are, closing in on the end of another month. It’s crazy how quick time is passing. In a few weeks, it’ll be the 6 month anniversary of me moving, and it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, they’re all over, but it really feels like I just stepped off the plane last week. Shit’s crazy.

It’s been a quiet, but productive month here in Sydney.

  • My contract at work was extended for 3 more months, which is FANTASTIC news, because I hate job hunting. Oh, and my job is pretty sweet. And, 37 hours of air conditioning a week is pretty cool, too.
  • Autumn is supposed to start soon! The official first day is March 1, so I’m expecting to wake up on that day and need to wear a sweater. DON’T DISAPPOINT ME, WEATHER.
  • Although, I shouldn’t complain too much about our beautiful sunny days. The east coast of the States is now suffocated with snow and ice, and the northern coast of Australia was pelted by cyclones and flooding this weekend. Things could always be worse. I just want to make a trip to the grocery store without having to change my shirt afterward. /sweaty
  • Our visa application is really coming along, which is also totes exciting. We should be able to submit next month. *fingers crossed*
  • We’ve been eating a lot of good meals made from scratch lately, which will be blogged about.
Lamb sausages with asparagus, garlic mash, and pepper gravy
Lamb sausages with asparagus, garlic mash, and pepper gravy
chili cheese chips (I can call fries chips now)
chili cheese chips (I can call fries chips now)
chicken-pancetta-avo-smash on grilled sea salt Turkish bread
chicken-pancetta-avo-smash on grilled sea salt Turkish bread
Banana, walnut, and Cadbury chocolate pancakes. Big Life Breakfast Club, guys
Banana, walnut, and Cadbury chocolate pancakes. Big Life Breakfast Club, guys
Kangaroo Steaks with roasted veggies. Kangaroos are cute, but they’re also a nuisance in some areas. It’s like eating deer in the US.
  • Interior Decorating update: We have the couch in survivable condition! After sewing in new patches, and reinforcing said patches with duct tape and covering it with a sheet, “new couch” discussions have started, which is exciting. Poor couch is about to have all the life lived out of it.
Hobo Couch, featuring Ham Bag pillow
Comfy Hobo Couch, featuring Ham Bag pillow, and Billy Ray Coon, scientist/pillow

I also suggested a new way to approach our gallery wall, which we both got excited about, so that might be happening soon. YAY!

  • Joel has been crazy productive, working and scheming in the studio with his friend Aaron, and going on photo adventures on his day off. I’m so proud of him. Check it out!
  • I’ve started a couple of projects this week. I’m looking forward to getting them off the ground in the next few months. I’ve also been checking out blogger networks and writing groups in Sydney. Time to get back in the saddle!
  • Valentine’s Day was lovely and low-key. It was a hot day, so we went out for a sushi lunch, a nap in the park, a viewing of Child’s Play 2, and a romantic meat pie dinner (not a euphemism). Neither of us really care about Valentine’s Day, and it’s not nearly as big a deal as it is in the States. We were just excited to finally spend it in the same geographical area, haha.
My favorite Valentine :)
My favorite Valentine 🙂
I found beautiful blood orange roses and splurged because, hey, Valentines Day. And I made Joel a card, because that's been my thing lately. Also, scotch. It's always time for scotch.
I found beautiful blood orange roses and splurged because, hey, Valentines Day. And I made Joel a card, because that’s been my thing lately. Also, scotch. It’s always time for scotch.
  • The grasshopper incident. I had a face off with a giant grasshopper. There’s a blog on that coming up. Brace yourselves for the mortification.
  • Friends on Netflix. I’ve been secretly binging on this when Joel’s not around. I’m just drowning in the 90’s, and I love it. Also, I’m getting more and more jealous of Monica’s kitchen with every episode.
I know that feel, Rachel.
I know that feel, Rachel.
  • Thanks to Amazon, I was reunited with my favorite cleaning products, ever:


It’s a great cleanser, is soft on hands, their Basil scent is the best scent ever, and it’s plant based and bio-degradable, so you can feel nice and smug and clean and smell good all at the same time. Also, I’m a sucker for throwback fonts and marketing. They also make candles and laundry soap/softeners, but I couldn’t import the candles and they don’t have laundry powder (which is all our machine uses. /womp womp

  • I’m in the process of getting real nerdy with how I deal with my clothes. Real nerdy. If it’s fruitful nerdity, I’ll share it here. I mean, until I get that clothes program from Clueless, I’ll have to deal somehow.

That about wraps it up for us! Stay tuned this week for meal posts, grass hopper posts, and maybe even OTHER POSTS!


Let’s Immigrate!

If you had asked me when I was 20, where I thought I’d be at 30, I’d never respond “Filling out an application to live in another country.” And yet, here I am, staring down check lists and paperwork.

I’m on a Work and Holiday visa at the moment, which is only good for 1 year, and you can only have 1, ever. So we knew going into this that I’d need a second visa, and that visa is a Partnership Visa. This visa will allow me work for any employer for up to 5 years, and allow me to be eligible for Medicare and other social benefits. We knew it would be a lengthy, expensive process to get this visa, and it’s been looming over us since we started talking about me moving to Sydney. And every month since I moved here, we’ve taken a step that will help show we are an established, committed couple. Linking our bank accounts took no time. Getting my name on the utilities took a little more time. Applying for the De Facto certificate took a lot more time. Getting me on the lease took a really long time. All in all, this whole process has taken a long time.

I look at this application and I think, “wow, this–this–determines the course my life will take in the next year.” And that’s heavy. If my application isn’t accepted, I’ll have to be sponsored by an Australian employer in order to stay in the country. Which is possible, but not guaranteed, or even likely. So, if I don’t get this visa, I’m headed back to the States, where we will face a whole other ball of shit-wax trying to bring Joel over. /yay

“Welcome to America. Now get married, or get out.”

So there’s a lot riding on this. It’s not that I don’t want to move back to the States, it’s just that I don’t want to move back so soon. And I really don’t want to move back without Joel. And all this is making our anxiety go a little into hyper drive. As in, I have 3 checklists and a time line to make sure everything is completed. I’ve placed at least 4 calls to the Immigration Agency. I’ve had to re-print pages of the applications many times because I keep making spelling errors. Everyday I nag Joel about something visa related. There have been a few times where the hugeness of everything has kept us awake at night. Like I said, there’s a lot riding on this.

But, this process hasn’t been all bad! Not that I needed the reassurance, but Joel’s worry over this has reminded me just how invested he is in our future, and how much he wants us to be together. I’ve written 4 essay style answers to the nitty gritty and day-to-day functionalities of our relationship in order to prove we are a legitimate couple, and I got to see just how well we work together. After all, it’s one thing to just know you work as a couple, and it’s another to prove it. I also think of how fortunate I am that I get to be in this situation. There are a lot of people who can’t travel outside of the States, let alone move to another country. This process has definitely made me more thankful and aware of how lucky I am. And there’s nothing wrong with gratitude, right?

So I’ll accept the stress, the anxiety, the dragged out process, and the expense. It’s all working toward something bigger and better. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to gather photos and important documents and maybe re-work my checklist one more time. Because I figure, if there’s anytime to be anal retentive, it’s when I’m submitting a $5,000 visa applicaton. Amirite?


I had completely forgotten about the Super Bowl until my sister reminded me during a Skype. Being out of the country and being not so glued to Facebook has left me blessedly free of ALL FOOTBALL ALL THE TIME. And I was all, “Oh yeah. Man, I want some football food.” Because while football–excuse me, American football maybe the second most boring sport of all time (sorry for the win, Baseball), football food is the food equivalent of sweatpants–always perfect.

Football food is typically:
-snack size
-intended to be a base for dips

I.e., it’s everything I love, all the time. And football parties are just the best. Everyone wears lounge clothes and eats terrible for you food and sits around the living room screaming at the TV. It’s basically America, and I love it.

So I was bummed out that I wouldn’t be attending a Super Bowl party this year, as the broadcast was in the middle of a work day. But, thanks to Facebook, I found a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatball Subs with Blue cheese dressing, and I was all, “sold.” How hard could it be?

First, it took two stores before I found blue cheese–and forget finding it crumbled. And we ended up with blue cheese mash when we tried crumbling it ourselves. Then, mayonnaise betrayed me. I saw “traditional” mayo and “whole egg” mayo. I hadn’t heard of whole egg mayo, so I went with traditional, because how could traditional be anything other than plain mayo? Oh, ho, ho, traditional mayonnaise in Australia is goddamn Miracle Whip, aka my most hated condiment. And I didn’t know it until I mixed all my blue cheese dressing ingredients. A few more additions of Worcester sauce tempered the foul evil of the Miracle Whip, but I was still traumatised. Then, the meatballs took forever to bake. This is definitely a plan ahead meal. And finally, I took a few bites and remembered that I don’t particularly care for blue cheese. Whoops.


I did like the spicy crunchiness of the meatballs, paired with cold crunchy lettuce and soft hoagie rolls. But the blue cheese really turned me off. Joel really liked it, however. And so, I’m calling this a semi-fail. It made me feel America, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. So, if you really love blue cheese, give this a shot. Just don’t use Miracle Whip.


Oh, the next day I took the left over chicken mince mix, covered it in bread crumbs, fried it, and slathered it with blue cheese and BBQ sauce, and it wasn’t that bad. And I gained about 40 lbs.

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sub


Fast Blue Cheese Dressing

Let me know how it twiddles your heart strings, football fans.