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Australian: Born & Raised Part 1

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in My Life | 0 comments

Kristen over at See You in A Porridge recently did a couple of posts (here and here) about growing up in Australia and I loved it so much I knew I had to do it too (I copied half her stuff).

So let’s start with food. Guys, I’m going to put on so much weight when we go (45 days to go!!), cause there’s seriously so much good food.

Every morning I would eat my Weetbix with milk (microwaved of course) and sugar. It is the breakfast of champions. Sometimes you would put butter on them and eat them dry. Super messy.

Fridays at school were tuck shop days for me. I always ordered a meat pie and a blue rasberry Slush Puppy. And if I wasn’t in the mood for pies (that rarely happened) I would get a sausage roll.


Party Pies and Sausage Rolls were staples at birthday parties along with Fairy Bread.


Twisties are just pure yum. I’ve forever been searching for a substute to twisties (Trader Joes has some that almost taste as good, they just taste like a low fat version, and Meijer has something that’s very similar, but only some Meijers carry it). But nothing is as good. It’s my #1 request when anyone goes back for a trip or someone comes here to visit. Life is pretty straight without Twisties.


Burger Rings are pretty delicious too. You had to put them on your fingers and eat them that way. It was a rule.


I don’t even know where to begin with the lollies (that’s candy for the Americans).

One page summary A4 (22-05-2013) WizzFizz Freckles
Smarties Chupachups Fads
Sankes Maltesers Minties
VioletCrumble mars-bar cherry-ripe
musk caramello koala freddo-frogs
redskin Fantales Cadbury_Dream_Bars

I once lost a tooth in a fantale.

Hungry? I can already feel the weight piling on.

More fun Australian memories to come!

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Mud Room Blues

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Home Improvement | 4 comments

A week ago I went to a festival and was getting hot in a shirt and shorts. Now I’m cuddled up in long pants and a hoodie with a blanket. I hate you Michigan.

Anyone get up to some grand adventures over the weekend? I actually worked on a fun house project and took my friends engagement pictures, so I would call it a successful weekend.

Today I’m going to venture back to my mud room plans. Last time we visited this room it looked like this after losing the washer and dryer:


It still looks like this, just with cat food, a litter tray and a rack of shoes added.

I’m still not 100% on what I’m going to do with the room layout wise, but first I need to paint before I can do anything. I’m still planning on going with a greyish blue. So I went to Home Depot and grabbed a bunch of swatches. This room doesn’t get too much light. There covered porch is outside the window. I tried to get the photo to match the lighting in the room as best as I could.


The white is there in the middle to help visualize what it would like like with the white bead board I’m planning for the wainscoting across the bottom.

Since it’s a darker room, I’m a little afraid of going too dark. But I feel like most of the other rooms I’ve painted I didn’t go dark enough.

So what colour do you like? (note that 5 and 6 look like there are two colours on the swatch, they’re just in eggshell vs glossy)

1. Glidden – Blue Grey Slate
2. Glidden – Village Blue
3. Behr – Dark Storm Cloud
              – Myth
              – Marine Magic
              – Night Shade
4. Behr – Shale Grey
              – Smokey Blue
              – Distance
              – Velvet Evening
5. Behr – Hampton Surf
6. Behr – Rush Hour
7. Glidden – Approaching Storm
8. Behr – Newport Blue
              – Waterscape
              – Heron
              – Rain Storm

Or do you have another suggestion? Pretty much every paint brand is sold in a store within 10 miles of me. Help me!! Zack’s opinion as always is “whatever you would like” *smacks him*

I’m so nervous about doing this room, but I just want to dive in and make it happen.

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The Walled City – Ryan Graudin

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Books, Reviews | 2 comments


“The Walled City”

Ryan Graudin
Publish Date: Nov 4, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
FullStarFullStarFullStarHalfStarEmpty Star

There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.
Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there traffic drugs or work in brothels–or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I definitely enjoyed it. It was well written, and I greedily had a couple of late nights saying “ok, just one more chapter”. I think my biggest issue was that I wasn’t exactly sure of the “when” of the setting. At first I was assuming this was a dystopian-esque novel set in near-future China, but outside the wall the world was very current day normal. It wasn’t until the end of the book where I read an excerpt from the author about how the idea came from an actual walled city in China that was just forgotten and full of crime. I guess I just felt a sense of being lost while reading. I kept expecting an explanation of how this city came to be. I like to place in my head where the story belongs, and I wasn’t exactly sure where this should fit in.

Ok, a silly thing to nit-pick at, but I think if I had known about the real walled city going in it just would have sat better with me.

The story is told through the three main characters Dai, Jin and Mei Yee. At first I was worried that it would be a bit confusing. I’m terrible with names, often finishing a book and completely forgetting the protagonist’s name. With this book having Chinese characters I thought I would be doomed. But each chapter lists the character’s names and it was easy to follow along. I don’t think I once forgot who I was reading because each character had their own unique voice.

The Walled City is a very harsh world, and from page one you can easily visualize the squalor in the walls with it’s dark, small alleys and buildings so tall you can’t see the sky. Each of the three characters lives within the city, experiencing their own side of it. I quickly felt the biggest connection to Jin, the younger sister who willingly entered the city to try and save her sister who was sold into the slave trade. She was strong, tough, and someone you didn’t want to mess with.

Dai was a young man full of intrigue, who had some sort of dark past and a mission within the city. It was interesting trying to piece together his back story and figure out why he was in the city. Mei Yee was the least interesting of the three, as most of her chapters were about being trapped in a room and whether she dared to defy the master and break free.

There was a tiny bit of romance, that just didn’t exactly sit right with me. It seemed to come on a little too easily, but I have my own view of how I think that should have worked out in the end, but no spoilers. It definitely didn’t overwhelm the story which is always a plus.

A book full of action, this story touches on some horrible realities of things that are happening in our world today. I suggest reading the author’s note in the back of the book before reading, as it sheds some light on where the idea for the story came from. Overall it was an enjoyable, fast-paced read with some interesting characters.

I received a free copy of this book via netgalley.com in exchange for my honest review

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Returning TV Shows

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Lists, Television & Movies | 4 comments

A few weeks ago I shared my list of new shows I’m looking forward to this fall. Today I’m going to share all the returning TV shows I’ll be tuning in to.

Doctor Who

DrWhoPremiere Date:
A few weeks ago
How Can I catch up on this show?
Everywhere. It’s on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Probably Hulu too. I’d suggest watching from the start of the reboot in 2005 with Chris Eccleston. If you’re like me the old show will just make you cringe.
My thoughts:
So far I’m just not feeling the new doctor and it truly breaks my heart cause I want to love him. I wanted to love the Robin Hood episode, cause Robin Hood, but I was just bored with it. Thoughts?



HavenS5Premiere Date:
Thursday Sept. 11th @ 8PM EST on Syfy
How Can I catch up on this show?
The first 4 seasons are all on Netflix (there’s always a free 30 day trial!)
My thoughts:
Remember when I binge watched this show a couple of months ago? The new season is starting and I’m pretty excited! I’m not sure if I’m going to like this whole Mara thing, but as long as there’s plenty of Duke, I’ll be happy.


New Girl

Premiere Date:
Thursday Sept. 16 @ 9PM EST on Fox
How Can I catch up on this show?:
First two seasons are on Netflix. Season 3 is on DVD for less than $20.
My thoughts:
I loved the first season of this. My love has sort of fizzled out since, but I’ll still be recording this one. It was a mistake to have her get with Nick so soon, kinda ruined things.



Premiere Date:
Thursday Sept. 25 @ 9PM EST on ABC
How Can I catch up on this show?:
Netflix of course!
My thoughts:
Oh Em Gee. This was a show I binge watched on Netflix earlier this year, and I’m going to finally be up to date on it. This show is ridiculously addictive. You must watch it. Gladiators!



Premiere Date:
Sunday Sept. 28 @ 10PM EST on ABC
How Can I catch up on this show?
Netflix! They just put up the most recent season.
My thoughts:
The first season of this show is a must watch. While it sometimes loses its way, it always worth it to keep going. The friendship between Emily and Nolan is one of my fav relationships on TV. Plus, serious revenge is finally being had!



Premiere Date:
Monday Sept 29 @ 10PM EST on ABC
How Can I catch up on this show?:
Not on Netflix or Hulu :( Looks like you’ll have to buy this one to catch up. I’m sure you can find the seasons pretty cheap.
My thoughts:
I actually still have a few episodes from last season sitting on my DVR to catch up on. Another show that went downhill once they got together. But there’s only so many seasons you can drag the sexual tension out.



Premiere Date:
Thursday Sept. 25 @ 10PM EST on NBC
How Can I catch up on this show?
Netflix! (what would we do without it?)
My thoughts:
Tissues. Lots of tissues needed for this show. I’m sad it’s only coming back for one more season. But oh the feels!

I don’t watch nearly as much as I used to. What shows are you watching that I should be?

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July & August in Review

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Lists, My Life | 2 comments

Where is my life going? Cause I seriously don’t know.

Nothing happened in July, so I throught this post would look a little less dismal if I combined it with August.

Adventures We Had

Some fun new toys were purchased (Kindle Fire and a new phone, the HTC One M8).

I bought tickets to Bastille and American Authors for October.

The big excitement was the newly carpeted basement and the new sectional Zack has been wanting since we bought the house. Here is the new sectional on delivery day. they delivered a good 6 hours early before the carpet was done, so our lounge room looked like this:


Over Labour Day weekend we went to Zack’s BIL & SILs:


It’s literally a brand new house. It’s gorgeous and my total dream home. I want it.

So we played a bunch of board games, had a nerf gun war… you know, normal things 20 and 30 year-olds do. NBD.



July 110 Classic books I like, didn’t like, or want to read
July 21 – I shared my latest TV obsession Haven and why you should watch it too.
July 29 – My top 4 authors whose books I own the most of.
July 31Operation Mud Room - my plans for my future mud room with great Photoshop plans.
My July in Instagram
August 510 Dystopian Novels I would recommend
August 6 – Waiting on Wednesday – “Vault of Dreamers” by Caragh M. O’Brien
August 7 – My latest to-read book pile
August 11 – I shared all the things I like in the new Ikea Catalog
August 13 – My list of the new TV shows coming this fall that I’m excited for!
August 29 – A basement update! Carpet no more!
My August in Instagram

Books Read/Reviewed

• “Princess Academy: Palace of Stone” – Shannon Hale 4/5
“The Well of Tears” – Roberta Trahan 2.5/5
“Gates of Thread & Stone” – Lori M. Lee 3.5/5
“I Am the Weapon” – Allen Zadoff 3/5
• “Brightly Woven” – Alexandra Bracken 4/5
• “Dark Eden” – Chris Beckett 4/5
• “If I Stay” – Gayle Forman 3/5
• “Outlander” – Diana Gabaldon 3/5
“Crater Trueblood and the Lunar Rescue Company” – Homer Hickam 3.5/5
• “Lioness Rampant” – Tamora Pierce 3/5
“The Legacy” – Melissa Delport 4/5
• “Ruby Red” – Kerstin Gier 4/5


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