Friday Favorites: It’s May Edition

I remember at the beginning of the year, thinking how May was going to be an exciting month. We were planning on moving and I just felt like May was when this whole baby thing was going to actually seem around the corner.

Well it’s finally May and it has been a whirlwind so far. We moved into our new place April 30th and have spent the first half of the month getting all settled in.

Here are my favorites from the month thus far…

Mornings

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A little coffee, Jesus and Jen Hatmaker (but seriously I’m obsessed with this book). Continue reading

Friday Favorites: Birthday Edition

I’ve been a little lazy slash pregnancy  posting all over the blog, so this like two weeks worth of favorites in one post.

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1. Chocolate covered honeycomb

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I bought this for my parents (who am I kidding?) when they got to Brisbane last Friday. Best. Chocolate. Ever.

2. Showing my parents my home

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It’s been SO fun toting them around Brisbane last weekend and beginning of the week (they are at the Great Barrier Reef right now). It’s so fun showing them where we live and they have fallen in love with Brissy. And yes, my dad insisted on this pose in front of the Brisbane sign.

3. Instant lattes

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The thought of black coffee (my usual go to at home) still makes me want to gag and I can’t justify paying $4 for a latte or flat white at the coffee shop every morning. I saw these instant lattes on sale at the grocery store the other day and figured I would give them ago. I have the hazelnut flavor and it’s quite tasty! Also, not sure if it’s because I haven’t been drinking as much caffeine or the pregnancy but just 1/3 or even 1/4 of a cup has me so hyped up.

4. Mount Tamborine

Saturday afternoon was a doozy in Brisbane, like soooo hot. I knew it was going to be slightly miserable doing anything in the city so I made the executive decision to head 45 minutes out of town and up Mount Tamborine. The weather was instantly several degrees cooler and the breeze on the mountain felt amazing. We had drinks with these guys overlooking the stunning view, popped into some shops and did a short hike to Curtis Falls before calling it a day and heading home. I need to do a whole post on my Mount Tamborine favorites because it’s always a hit with visitors.

5. Birthday Celebrations

Tuesday was my birthday and I was spoiled by just about everyone! At school my kids showered me with sweet handmade cards, flowers and enough chocolate and gummies to keep me content for a good while (although the dent I have placed in them already is embarrassing). I seriously have the sweetest class.

My parents came up towards the end of the day and got to see my classroom and meet all of my students. After school they said they were hungry so I took them for a special birthday treat (my mom’s birthday is the day after mine so it was a joint celebration). We went to my very favorite place- Chester Street Bakery.  They make the most mouth watering creative treats, if you don’t believe me check out their Instagram @chesterstreetbakery. We split a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake while my mom and I had coffees and my dad ticked another Australian beer (really he just adds them to a note in his phone).

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IMG_4794 For dinner Travis joined us at our favorite Indian spot where we shared a few yummy curries. I’m so glad he finally made it home after being in the US for over two weeks. We had a great night which ended in us getting caught in the rain on the walk home.

6. Triple Friend Birthday

The celebration didn’t end on Tuesday either, on Thursday several of us got together to celebrate my birthday along with two other friend’s birthdays from the past week. We had cheese and wine (not me, duh) at Emily Anne’s before a yummy Greek dinner at Atalanta and followed it with cake back at the apartment. Perfect girls night.

That’s all for this week, folks. I will be back Monday before the big gender reveal for some predictions…

Linking up with Heather and Andrea.

Friday Favorites: Back in Brisbane Edition

Hi friends! Last time I linked up for Friday Favorites we were back home in Texas. Now we’ve been back home for a month and it’s about time I get back to it.

Travis was gone for most of the week so it was a lot of alone/girl time. Here’s my faves…

Girls Dinner

We try and get together for a girls dinner at least once a month. This month my friend, Meghan, invited us over to her new apartment for a greek themed girls night.

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She went alllllll out and had quite the charcuterie platter and apps waiting for us.

As we were enjoying the spread we looked out onto the balcony and witnessed the most gorgeous sunset over the river.

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Minus one- the hostess had to take the picture!

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The table setting- Meghan is such a Robin Cherbatski.

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I thought I took sooo many pictures but now that I look back through them, there’s really not that many and half of them are blurry. I didn’t even capture our yummy main course of greek stuffed chicken or the homemade dessert topped with fresh fruit and maple syrup (such a Canadian).

Also, Australia is having an avocado shortage right now and they are jacking up the prices up to $8 a pop. Butttt someone found a random avocado tree… Someone said to take a picture and caption it “rich in Australia.”

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Such a fun night! We have already nominated Meghan to host the next one as well.

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Ninja Nutri  2 in 1

Travis and I don’t do gifts on Valentine’s Day but the weekend before we were at the appliance store and spotted this sucker on sale, he deemed it my gift. Our beloved nutribullet had finally bitten the dust in December and we have been wanting to buy a replacement so we could get back to our morning smoothie routine.

We didn’t really want to buy another nutribullet since we had had various issues with ours and it had died in just over a year. My friend had suggested the Nutri Ninja Slim since it was the perfect size for smoothies and took up less counter space. We had a Ninja blender back home (now in storage with all our other wedding gifts) so I knew they made good products.

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When we went to find the Nutri Ninja I noticed an additional product included, a decent sized food processor bowl. So not only can you use the slim cup to make smoothies but you flip the base over and attach it to the food processor and you can make salsas, chopped veggies even cookie dough. This is not a sponsored post even though I sound like an absolute salesperson right now- I just am that that excited! I have used it now for both purposes and it works great, much more efficient than the Nutribullet. So moral of the story don’t buy me chocolate or flowers for Valentine’s Day just give me all the kitchen appliances.

FitBit

I am super late to the ballgame (is that the phrase? I don’t think so) but Travis had one of these laying around he hadn’t been wearing so I thought I would try it out. I have been slightly obsessed now tracking everything from my steps to how much water I am drinking. The most eye opening has been seeing how much sleep I get at night and how often I am waking up or getting restless. I have no idea how it tracks all of that but it is making me more conscious of getting in bed at a decent hour.

Post-it Easel Pads

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This is a giant teacher nerd item but I had to include it. I am a HUGE fan of making anchor charts with my class for any subject. Since school started I have had to improvise and use colored posterboard (that is probably is supposed to be for something else- oops) to make charts. BUT yesterday my budget order came in and I now have glorious giant white post-its to write on and stick wherever I please!

PS for any fellow teachers- I am doing a post on my classroom and teaching in Australia next week!

It clearly doesn’t take much to make me happy these days 🙂 Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Linking up with Heather and Andrea as usual!

Friday Favorites: Texas Edition

Happy Friday 🙂

I am still hanging out in Texas. It is starting to feel like I have been here forever, and I still have another 10 days.

Here is what I have been loving lately…

Family and Friends Time 

I have had lots and lots of hang out time with my parents now that they are living in Houston again. There have been many nights on the couch binge watching Making a Murderer and eating dinner.

We also spent time with my extended family in Midland celebrating my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary before Christmas.
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We spent Christmas and the following week with Trav’s family in Victoria and made a trip to the ranch to see our furry friend Eddie.

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New Years we were back in Houston staying with my parents, and my mom wanted to take advantage of my second size Rent the Runway dress for a twinsies photo op before we left.

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Someone else ready for a photo op was our dog, Scout. She insisted on being right in the middle of Travis and I when we were taking a picture.

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The furry friends have been getting their fair share of bonding time as well.

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We also have gotten to see a lot of friends in the past few weeks, between new years and other get togethers. This weekend I am helping throw a couples shower for two of our besties that are getting married in Mexico (eek can’t wait for April!), so I will be getting more friend time in then too!

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Trip Planning 

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My parents are coming to visit!! They booked their flights last month and this week we sat down and did some serious planning. I am pretty jealous of their New Zealand and Hamilton Island trips they will be taking while Travis and I are at work, but all four of us will be heading up to a cottage in the Barossa Valley wine region for the Easter weekend. Nothing gets me more excited than a filled up calendar!

Baby Time

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We had five different babies (of friends and family members) born while we have been gone the past year, plus toddlers that have grown up quite a bit.

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This guy in particular is my best friend since high school’s son, who was born the week we landed. Luckily she lives 3 minutes away from my parents house, so I have gotten to spend lots of time with both of them so far. It’s pretty crazy to see your best friend as a mom, especially when the last time you saw her she wasn’t even pregnant!

This Cup

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Now for the superficial answers of the week… I am obsessed with my new tumbler from Hobby Lobby. I feel like it looks like Ashley Brooke Designs, which I love.

This Foundation

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I might be a little late to this party since after I bought this I have seen it on multiple other blogs. ANYWAY it’s the perfect weight CC cream with 50 SPF which is crucial in the Australian sun.

Chick-Fil-a

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FYI Every Wednesday morning in January they are giving away free chicken minis to go to each customer (that asks for them) from 6-10am. Of course my mom and I hit that up this week and I will be there again next Wednesday. Give me all the chick-fil-a sauce.

As usual linking up with Life in Leggings and Momfessionals.

Friday Favorites: Tour Guide Edition Part 2

Last week I filled you in on the first part of Sean’s trip to visit us. As his trip comes to a close (he flies out on Sunday) I am sorting through all of our pictures from this past week and thinking about all we have done…

Byron Bay 

We spent the weekend in Byron Bay, a hippie little beach town a couple hours from Brisbane. The weather forecast for the weekend was questionable but when we got there late Friday afternoon, it was nothing but sunny skies. Per recommendation of our Air BnB host we headed down to nearby Tallows Beach. It was definitely less crowded and tourist filled as the Main Beach and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

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After our beach time, we headed up to the lighthouse with a bottle of bubbles to watch the sunset. Continue reading

Friday Favorites: Tour Guide Edition

Happy Friday!

It has been a whirlwind of a week over here in Australia.

Our friend Sean landed in Sydney Friday morning and I flew over to meet up after work. We spent the weekend playing tour guide there before flying back to Brisbane on Sunday night. This week Travis has been at work so it has been Courtney-Sean adventures everyday. It has been pretty busy but here are my top 5 from the week…

Sydney Coastal Walks 

One of my favorite things to take visitors to do in Sydney is the Coastal Walk from Coogee to Bondi (read about previous trips here, here and here) so obviously we had to fit this into our itinerary. The forecast called for rain but it was gorgeous and sunny our entire walk. We ended the walk with a pint at the iconic Bondi Icebergs.

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After that we hopped in a cab and headed toward Watson’s Bay to grab some fish and chips and take a stroll on a different coastal walk (we are all about walking on vacation if you can’t tell). Mid walk we ended up getting stuck in some wet weather so we had to post up in an old cement cannon shelter (the area is an old military base with lots of old weapons, tunnels etc.) for a good while. This was painted on the inside…

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He loves me, I promise. Once the rain stopped we made it up to lighthouse and snapped some photos before hopping on the ferry back to Circular Quay.

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Newtopia

Sunday morning we met up with our friend Gabe, who recently moved to Sydney, for brunch in the hipster neighborhood of Newtown. Little did we know it was the day of their neighborhood festival, Newtopia. This wasn’t your usual dinky neighborhood festival either. Think thousands of people, multiple stages with live music, rows and rows of artisan stalls and food vendors. We ended up spending the rest of the time before our flight lounging in the grass, listening to music and people watching.

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Koala Sanctuary

Back in Brisbane, the first place I take anyone is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Our friend, Alicia, gave Sean a voucher for his entrance and more importantly a koala cuddle so he was all set.

Mount Tamborine

After our morning at the Koala Sanctuary we hit the road and headed up to Mount Tamborine to check out the views and hike around the waterfalls.

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This little guy wanted a bite of Sean’s iced coffee. Andy yes, this is what Australian iced coffee looks like.

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Mount Ngungun 

The next morning we headed to the top of Mount Ngungun to take in the views and get a little exercise. This is one of my favorite hikes to take people on because of the stunning views from the top.

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That’s all for today! We are off to Byron Bay for the weekend so the boys can dive and I can read a book on the beach!

Linking up with Heather and Andrea as usual!

 

Friday Favorites: Halloween Edition 

Happy Friday everyone!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week over here between working full time in a Prep (Kindergarten) classroom and getting ready for the first of two sets of visitors this month.

Here are my favorites from the past week…

1. Good Food and Wine Show  Emily Anne kindly gave us their tickets to the Good Food and Wine Show in Brisbane on Saturday since she was going to be out of town. We didn’t go last year so we really didn’t know what to expect from the event. When you get there you have the option to buy a $6 wine glass among other handy souvenirs (such as a necklace to hold your wine glass while you walk around), then you walk into a huge convention centre filled with all sorts of vendors handing out samples of (you guessed it) food and wine. With your handy dandy mini wine glass the samples tend to be pretty generous too. Continue reading

Five on Friday: I heart Tasmania

Happy Friday!

This week has been quite a doozy. Travis abandoned me once again for a “training class” all week which I am pretty sure is code for secret family.

I worked the majority of the week, which included taking 5th and 6th graders to play AFL (Aussie football) against other schools all day at some fields in town. Australians are notoriously sun smart and while all these children were lathering themselves in sunscreen and making sure they had a hat on at all times, this fair skinned American was baking. It’s 8pm and I just woke up from a sunburn induced coma. Gotta kick off the weekend with a bang!

So while I nurse my poor skin with aloe vera I figured I would reflect back on last weekend when the weather was cool and my husband and I were in the same post code.

Ah Tasmania- we absolutely fell in love with you. We took a little extended weekend trip to this island Aussie state to check out the tulip festival and do a little coastal road tripping, what we found was so much more.

I will write plenty more about Tasmania in a separate post (if I ever finish wrapping up our Asia adventures), but until then here are my five favorite moments from last weekend.

Honeymoon Bay

DSC_0108I had never even heard of this place, but the first day on our way back from checking out the popular Wineglass Bay we saw a sign and decided to see what it was. I am so glad we did. It was a beautiful little bay within the larger Cole’s Bay. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and enjoyed a little stroll before watching the sunset over the ocean. It was the perfect introduction to Tassie. Continue reading

Friday Favorites: Labour Day Edition

Happy Friday! I am coming to you live from Tasmania today with my weekly favorites.

This has been a short week for us with Labour Day being celebrated in our state on Monday (yes, different states celebrate on different days and even different months here) and then we left for Tasmania for the weekend.

A few highlights from the week…

Byron Bay

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Ok this was technically the week before but over school holidays all the days run together. Since schools are out my friend, Jillian, and I took a mid week trip to Byron Bay. Byron is a the coolest little beach town a little less than two hours from us. It’s one of my favorite places with it’s hippie vibe and cute cafes to check out. We spent just as much time wandering the shops as we did laying on the beach. I am so excited that we just booked an air bnb there for next month when our friend Sean comes to visit!

Dicky Beach

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On Labour Day Travis and I pulled up Google Maps and started looking for a beach beach to check out for the day. That’s how we ended up at Dicky Beach on the Sunshine Coast about an hour away from us. It was the prettiest little beach, with clear water, good “jumping waves” and unique little rock pools to play in. We spent our labour day indulging in fish and chips at a beach side cafe followed by ice cream on the beach. It was the perfect little afternoon. Even after we have lived here over a year I am still not over how many gorgeous places there are in our own backyard.

How to Get Away with Murder 

I am finally getting caught up with all the new fall TV shows and watched the first two episodes of season 2 today. I don’t even know what to say other than I am so excited for this season. This show has so many twists and turns and constantly has me rewinding and re-watching scenes in order to follow along but it’s soon good.

We’re Going Home for Christmas! 

This week we got our flights booked and I am so excited to be going home for Christmas. As much fun as we had having our own little Christmas in Fiji last year, nothing beats family time around the Christmas tree. Considering it’s only Spring and it is already quite steamy around here the crisp Texas winter weather will be a welcome change come December. Watch out Midland, Houston, Victoria, Breckenridge- here we come!

An Afternoon Unplugged

To be honest, this was not a planned unplugged session. Wednesday afternoon I decided to ride my bike (that Travis finally fixed after it’s been gathering rust the past 6 months) on a ride to the neighborhood library to pick up some books before our flight. I grabbed my camera in case a photographic moment would arise and headed out the door. Once I got outside I realized I had left my phone at home. At first I felt naked- I rarely ever go anywhere without my phone, but then I decided to embrace the freedom of being unplugged. It was nice to just ride around the park, take pictures of the gorgeous Jacaranda trees and kill time browsing through the book shelves. I should really do that more often.

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Linking up with Heather and Andrea!

Friday Favorites: We’re Home Edition

Hi friends! It’s been a hot minute since I posted a Friday Favorites. The last time I linked up we were getting ready for our trip to Thailand and Vietnam. Well now we are home and I am frantically trying to go through thousands of pictures to recap our journey. So in the mean time I figured I would let you know what has been going on in real time.

Here’s what has made my week… Continue reading