Touching Base

Well we made it to Boston! We have been here for almost 2 months now and are finally in our own rental. Our furniture took a full 2 months to arrive, so it was a smart move shipping it before we left Australia as it was held up in customs, not that we were privy as to why. If I can face reliving all the little details of moving over here, I will have to write a post dedicated to helping families moving from Australia to the USA, so many little things that would have been good to know, but alas, we had learn along the way.

The kids start school next week, I am so nervous for them. I’m sure they will be fine and making friends in no time. We are loving the community we have moved to. Everyone is so friendly. We were in Staples (a stationary shop) the other day and were puzzling over something on the school supply list, a lady overheard us and asked how she could help. Before I knew it she helped us then proceeded to give me her phone number plus the phone number of a friend of hers whose children are at the school our kids are going to! Anyway, I’m sure I will have lots of stories to come. Oh don’t get me started on the amount of scary driving we have witnessed here, I’ve only just gotten up the courage to start driving, So far being the Aussie driving on the opposite side of the road, I have managed not to scare anyone just yet. Hope it stays that way.

Jacinta x

Posted in Expat Life, Family Life | 3 Comments

So Our Adventure Begins…

There are a few reasons this poor blog has been so neglected.  Our house is now finally under offer, for the third time!  Who would have thought it would take a year to sell and having so much trouble finding suitable buyers!  We can breath a sigh of relief next week when the sale should go unconditional.

So if that wasn’t enough to occupy our time, we are moving, not just down the road or to the next town, but to BOSTON!  So exciting and daunting at the same time.  Greg has been offered a job over there and we have spend the last few months getting the paperwork together to get our visas.  We have a appointment next month at the US consulate to hopefully get the visas initiated.  The house settles next month too, so once that is all done, we are heading off.  We don’t have an exact date yet, as we don’t want to risk booking airfares just incase there is some hiccup with the visa process.

boston pic

There are so many things we need to do in the next 4 weeks or so.  I can’t think much past today, or my head starts spinning.  Of course we will need to pack up our house, have a garage sale, going away party, ship our furniture, fly some 30+ hours, find somewhere to rent, find a new school, or two, as we aren’t sure which grades the girls will go into and a million other things that come with an international move.  We are looking at it as a once in a lifetime adventure that we will make the most of.  I will keep you posted with the process as we go along.  We have been in limbo for so long, it is kind of refreshing to have something so fun to look forward, so let the adventure begin!

Of course if you have any international moving/settling tips you want to share, feel free to do so!

Jacinta x

Posted in Celebrations, Family Life | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Hello World, I’m still here!

I can’t believe I have been so absent from my blog.  If you are reading this, “hello!”, I’ve missed you so.  Things have been rather crazy around here of late, in fact, this blog post has been sitting in my drafts folder since mid February!  Have some pretty big news to share, but I will have to keep you in suspense just a little longer before I can share.  As for life in general, things are pretty good.  The girls are loving being back in school and have settled back into our weekly routine.  We have had a really beautiful summer with lots of warm weather and lots of trips to the beach.  Autumn is definitely starting to make it’s presence felt here in the hills.  I’ve noticed this last week leaves are starting to turn colour.  Autumn certainly is the most beautiful time of the year in the Dandenong Ranges.

I’ll be back soon to keep you up to date with the craziness that is our life.

Jacinta x

Posted in Family Life, Seasons | 2 Comments

We’re All Class

Eating out is a bit of a novelty for us, but tonight this mama had had one too many challenges and the fact that the meat planned for dinner was not up to scratch, meant only one thing, I wasn’t marching back to the supermarket at nearly 6pm to find something else (oh and don’t get me started on the fact we have been without a proper fridge for a MONTH!!  But that is another story).  I asked the kids if they would be happy to go to a local restaurant, a very excited YES was their reply!

I always explain to my kids what I expect of them before we go anywhere, well they certainly listened this time, as we had a lovely meal out.  Of course, there was fun to be had with chopsticks before the meal came out, as you will see in the photo evidence below.  There was no need for paper and colouring books, chopsticks are our new go-to for child pre-dinner entertainment from now on!  Oh heck, who needs class if the kids are going to sit quietly and have fun.  What do you do to keep your kids entertained while eating out?

He's being an alien apparently, I'm not arguing that one.

He’s being an alien apparently, I’m not arguing that one.

 

See, we're all class! I promise she hasn't had any wine.

See, we’re all class! I promise she hasn’t had any wine.

 

I'm sure this could count as an attempt at Movember,yes?

I’m sure this could count as an attempt at Movember,yes?

 

My dinner, yum!

My dinner, yum!

 

Jacinta x

Oh and I think our fridge is being repaired tomorrow, fingers crossed it is fixable, or these kids of mine will certainly becoming expert chopstick wranglers!

Posted in Family Life, Favourite Places, Gastronomic Explosions - aka Yummy Food/Recipes | Tagged , | 3 Comments

~ 5 ~

Look out, I’ve blogged!  This post has been sitting in my draft file for the last 2 weeks, just waiting for me to bother uploading photos!  Lets hope I can get back into this blogging gig.

Jairah turned 5 a couple of weeks ago.  Such a happy, cheeky chappy he is.  He certainly lives life to the fullest.  He thoroughly enjoyed his day with a swimming lesson in the morning, followed by going to a local party shop to choose out balloons.  He’d requested a green aeroplane cake, that seemed like a bit of a challenge, but I think I pulled it off (it’s from the Woman’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake book).  The cake itself was chocolate. I used Hopper’s natural colouring to dye the icing.  They use natural extracts for the colouring.  Their products are fantastic.  He was pretty chuffed with the end result.  I collected the girls early from school so we could have lunch together with my mum, before I had to drop her to the train station.

Jairah requested pizza for dinner and of course we had cake to end the day with.  It was a very full day, but he didn’t stop smiling all day long.  Presents were gleefully unwrapped and he had a lovely time playing with new toys and gadgets.  He had asked for a robot toy, but in all my searching I couldn’t find the perfect robot friend, however, I remembered a while back that Jairah had spied a knitting pattern for a robot and had tried to walk out of the shop with it.  I went back and thankfully they still had the pattern, now, lets see if I can get it finished before his 6th birthday!

jairah5

jairah52

The green plane cake was a hit.

The green plane cake was a hit.

Jacinta x

 

Posted in Books, Celebrations, Family Life | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Oh The Stress!

Hello my dear readers.  I am still here.  It hasn’t been my intention to have this space so quiet.  I have so many blog posts in my head to write, but the want is lacking.  This selling house business is always stressful.  There’s always so many things to do and keeping a house in pristine condition with three young kids is certainly a fulltime job!  I can’t remember the last time I took some time for myself.

The most frustrating thing is that we had the house under offer.  We were really happy with the offer and settlement details and it seemed the would-be purchasers loved and appreciated all the hard work we have put into this house over the last 4 years.  I had dropped everything on Monday to have the house ready for them to do a second inspection.  That evening they put in their offer.  Apparently they had been looking for ages and were excited that they had found a home they liked. Then yesterday, within an and hour and a half before the pest and building inspection was due, we received a call from our agent that the purchaser was pulling out.

We aren’t really sure what has happened and we are totally devastated.  To add to the stress, Greg’s work contract runs out in the next 5 weeks and we really aren’t sure what is in store for us.  I am praying for a miracle and that everything will pan out.  I hate how in just one day your dreams can come crashing down and that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach can return in an instant.  I am fighting back tears of frustration today.

Jacinta x

Posted in Family Life | Tagged , | 6 Comments

{This Moment}

Joining in with Soulemama

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

thismoment10may

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend ahead of you.  Mine will be full of celebrations for Mother’s Day and my birthday too.  Jacinta x

 

Posted in Seasons, This Moment | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Getting Knitty

It seems May triggers my inner knitter and I get itching to start new projects for the coming winter months.  I finished a Sweet Memories Cowl for a friend recently using leftover Zara Chiné yarn.  She lives overseas and her birthday was months ago.  It took me forever to knit the last few rows, due to getting the house ready for market.  Now we are playing the waiting-for-a-buyer game, knitting will hopefully help me keep the last remainder of my sanity!

gettingknitty3

6 months to knit, wonder how long it will take me to get it posted!?

I cast on another Sweet Memories Cowl, this time for myself.  I was tossing up between knitting with some Noro Silk Garden Lite in green/blue and brown shades or some mid grey Alpaca yarn I bought while we were away at Easter (something else I haven’t gotten around to blogging about!).  I decided to go with the alpaca yarn.  The yarn was purchased in Beechworth at The Ardent Alpaca (lovely shop and staff).  It’s made in Australia by Tailored Strands and is 8ply.  It has a lovely soft feel to it.  I am determined to finish this one for my birthday, which of course is this coming Sunday!

gettingknitty

I think I want to knit another Tea Leaves cardi this winter too.  I also love this pattern.  Jairah needs a new jumper/sweater this winter too, not sure what though.  Any suggestions for a boys pattern in size 4/5 would be appreciated.

Jacinta x

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Slow Cooker Asian Style Pork Belly

Hello my dear readers, I’m still here, just a little preoccupied with the house, otherwise all is good in our world.  As the weather is getting cooler by the week, I’m finding my recipes are changing along with the season.  Hearty meals are starting to appear on our family menu.  My slow cooker is earning it’s keep, not only due to the change in menu, but also my avoidance of using the oven.  The oven is spotless and I don’t fancy having to clean it every week before our house open.  Wondering how many weeks I last before I cave and use it!

I came up with this recipe this morning before dashing off to do the school drop off.  I haven’t cooked pork belly in the slow cooker before, so it was an experiment.  I’m happy to say it was a success, with both the girls liking it!  The meat cooks up oh so tender.  The marinade turns into a delicious caramel-like sauce, perfect for drizzling over the dish once served up.

Slow Cooker Asian Style Pork Belly
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1kg pork belly
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small knob garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp chinese 5 spice
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a jug, except pork, and mix together.
  2. Place pork belly in slow cooker, skin side up. It is optional to lightly sear the pork belly in a frypan before adding it to the slow cooker.
  3. Pour marinade over the pork.
  4. Cook on high for approximately 4 hours, then turn back to low for at least 6-8 hours. Baste the meat with the marinade and juices throughout the day if possible.
  5. Serve with rice and your choice of steam vegetables.

Enjoy!  Jacinta x

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

To Market, To Market!

It’s official, the house is now on the market.  We had our first open home this weekend (a good turnout I believe).  Greg has very conveniently headed off to America for a conference.  He’s away for two weeks, so I will be flying solo, so to speak.  Will be interesting to say the least!  I’m trying very hard not to totally stress out.  We have had great feedback about the house and how it has come up.  I must admit, every time I look at the photos the photographer took, I can’t believe how far we have brought this house along.  I will have to see if I can get permission to put the photos up on my blog.  But for now, here are a couple I have taken myself.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Dining Room with Cardamon doing his usual photo bombing

Dining Room with Cardamon doing his usual photo bombing

Lounge room

Lounge room

View from lounge room

View from lounge room

My favourite part of our garden.

My favourite part of our garden.

Fingers crossed it will sell quickly.  I have more pictures, but will save them for future posts.  Jacinta x

 

 

 

 

Posted in Family Life, Renovations (Renos 101!) | Tagged , | 10 Comments