Archive | Australia RSS feed for this section

A Year in Review: 2013

31 Dec

Happy New Years Eve! We cannot believe another year is already over. Today we decided to share some of our favorite moments from the past twelve months.

Let’s start with January.

IMG_3256

Birthday celebrations are always fun. We kept our 20th birthday celebration low key with a sushi lunch date and homemade carrot cake by Dashing Dish. Even though it was low key it definitely did not disappoint. That carrot cake recipe is to die for.

IMG_3268

February was filled with lots of love for our new blender.

20130326-180821.jpg

and only fueled our addiction to green smoothies even more.

IMG_4464

Isn’t it just absolutely beautiful?

IMG_3357

In the beginning of February, we also received 8am bids to Phi Sigma Sigma, the sorority we wanted to be a part of since our transfer to LVC last year.

IMG_3635

On March 15th, we became sisters of Phi Sigma Sigma and gained lots of sisters for life. It was definitely one of the happiest days of our lives.

IMG_4294

In April we welcomed this fur ball into our home. She lights up our lives, even when she occasionally gets sprayed by a skunk and makes the whole house stink.
20130718-222031.jpg

In April our mom also became an official Phi Sigma Sigma mother. If you as us though, we think she looks more like our sister than our mom.

pinning

In May we also discovered our love for Vietnamese food. We have become addicted to shrimp pho and summer rolls from our local Vietnamese restaurant.

20130421-212131.jpg

20130421-212109.jpg

We also planted our first garden, with the help of our cousin, Kate, and our Aunt Dawn.

IMG_4854

They spent the weekend with us and helped perfect our cute little garden in our backyard.

IMG_4968

Complete with kale, lettuce, mint leaf, grape tomatoes, eggplant, and regular tomatoes.

IMG_4855

In June, we decided it was necessary to remake our extra bedroom into a yoga and exercise room. This is a great space for us to stretch out, do at home workout videos, and keep our weights in.

IMG_3331

We also decided to check out our college’s summer fitness classes, and instantly fell in love with the Les Mills body pump at 5:50 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

IMG_5036

We also caught up with friends over 1/2 price smoothie dates.

IMG_5030

And picked lots and lots of strawberries at our favorite local orchard. One for me, one for the pint.

IMG_5310

In July, we celebrated the 4th with our dad’s side of the family.

IMG_5817

It was always his favorite holiday, and was focused around his hunting cabin and his love for his family. Although it’s not the same without him, we know he loves that we keep the tradition going anyways.

In July, we also had the opportunity to have a photo shoot with one of our great friends, Rebecca, who is also a fabulous photographer. She wanted to get some more practice, and we volunteered to be her models.

IMG_0324

Talk about a fun shoot.

IMG_0373

Complete with just a few outfit changes.

IMG_0422

July was a busy month for us. We also took a road trip down to visit our friends from college, and made sure to make a pit stop at the bakery we couldn’t stop googling over these past few months.

IMG_5673

GREAT HARVEST!

July was also filled with sad goodbyes, as we counted down the days until Kayla left for Australia.

We shared many photographs and lunch dates before the big day arrived.

IMG_6006

When it finally did, we tried to all stay strong, but knew the next 130 days would be some of the hardest, but most rewarding days ahead.

IMG_5962

While Kayla traveled the world in July-November, she got to explore a LOT.

Meanwhile, in August, Devon took a trip to Erie, PA with her mom and step dad’s family where they visited the lake, explored the town, and had dinner at a haunted train station.

IMG_6449

She also picked peaches at a local orchard that were comparable to the size of baseballs!

IMG_6542

In September, Devon took a weekend trip to the beach to celebrate our step dad’s birthday.

IMG_6931

After the beach, she celebrated the end of the summer at our parents yearly end of summer party!

IMG_6690

And had lots of skype sessions with Kayla.

IMG_6487

When October rolled around, Devon was busy with our sorority sisters.

IMG_7135

Trying to send a package to Kayla (but failing, because it cost over $100 to send a package to Australia!!!)

IMG_6090

and discovered that Twin Oaks Tofu is sold at a local grocery store! WIN!

IMG_7016

October also marked the start of the kitchen remodel.

IMG_7295 IMG_7363

and a trip to Utah to celebrate her best friend’s wedding!

IMG_7500

While in Utah, she pretended to be a tourist and stopped to take photographs with the beautiful mountains.

IMG_7530

and the beautiful bride!

IMG_7565

Meanwhile, Kayla was on a spring break trip, visiting Cairns, the Whitsunday’s, and Brisbane with a few of her best friends.

More Drinks

She got to hold koalas

Koalas

Jump out of a plane at 14,000 feet

Skydiving

Lay on the beach

beach

And even go to check out some local breweries!

brewery

After finals, Kayla took a trip to Bali, and enjoyed some much needed relaxation.

In addition to riding and feeding elephants!

Feeding Elephants

Exploring rice fields.

Rice Fields

and eating and drinking lots of really great food. 

food

Then in early November she took a quick weekend trip to Sydney to see the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House.

Sydney

November seemed to fly by, as the days got closer to Kayla’s arrival home.

The time was passed being spend with two of our favorite girls,  Alyssa and Nicole!IMG_7990

The best day of the year was definitely November 23rd, when we were reunited after five month apart.

And December flew by, with finals, the holidays, and catching up!

sissssy1

And had a wonderful Christmas, that we were both very thankful for.

christmas

So when looking back on the year 2013, we can say it was filled with adventures, tears, joy, happiness, and lots of love for our friends and family. Although we spent a few months apart, those months helped to strengthen our relationship even more. Here’s to hoping that 2014 fills our lives with even more joy than the years before.

Advertisements

WIAW Eating Out in Australia

4 Sep

Eating out in Melbourne and the surrounding area is pretty pricey. That’s why I always try to make sure the few times I do eat out are absolutely fabulous and so far they have been!

The first real meal I ate out obviously took place at the greatest restaurant in the Melbourne Area…The Vegie Bar. Before coming to Australia I had heard raving reviews about this place so I knew I needed to get there ASAP. A low-key friday night this past weekend was the perfect opportunity.

After looking at the menu for days.

I still couldn’t decide what to order first.

Everything looks amazing.

I couldn’t even decide what to order to drink.

Kombucha?

Ginger Beer?

Sangria?

Fresh Juice?

I finally choose a fresh juice because I haven’t had a fresh juice in a while and was craving one. I went with the Super Juice which was combination of freshly squeezed spinach, beetroot, carrot, and cucumber! I was definitely impressed.

20130901-221648.jpg

After that tough decision, I looked over the menu another 100 or more times going back and forth between options.

20130901-221818.jpg

Tempeh Burger?

Soba Noodle Salad?

Raw Tacos?

Raw Living Stack?

It was a touch choice.

But I finally ended up going for the Raw Living Stack. The description on the menu states “layers of thinly sliced tomato, zucchini and squash, grated carrot, baby spinach, avocado, basil pesto, and cashew ricotta. All stacked on a marinated mushroom and finished with dehydrated herbed tomato, raw parmesan, and kale chip.

20130901-221631.jpg

Heaven.

You can’t really go to the Vegie Bar and not get dessert. Obviously dessert was not an option. The choices all looked fabulous but this time the decision wasn’t too hard.

20130901-221604.jpg

20130901-221640.jpg

Raw Mango and Blackberry Cheesecake

20130901-221611.jpg

Fabulous.

Raw desserts are freaking awesome.

Sunday morning was the first day of spring in Melbourne. A few of my closest friends and I decided it would be fun to venter to the nearest beach and grab brunch. We choose a small cafe that’s been in St. Kilda for ages. The decor was cute, the water was served in absolute vodka jars, and the food was reasonable and delicious.

I started with a Emma and Tom’s Green Juice.

20130901-221624.jpg

And filled my stomach with multigrain toast sandwiched together with smoked salmon and a generous portion of avocado.

20130901-221554.jpg

Yum.

Definitely having brunch more often.

So far the food in Australia has been fabulous. Can’t wait to share with you all what I eat next!

Now head on over to Peas and Crayons to see what everyone else is eating lately. Hopefully the pictures are just as mouth watering as these ones are!

wiaw

Are you a brunch person? What’s your favorite brunch item to order out?

Australia Check In #2

30 Aug

I think it’s time for another Australia recap!

First, I cannot believe i’ve been in Australia for over 7 weeks now!

The days are seriously flying by.

I’ll admit before I left 5 months seemed like a very very very long time.

But I am realizing pretty quickly just how short 5 months really is.

I am also reminded on daily basis by my mother and sister of the small number of days left until I return to the states.

It makes me sad to type that i’ll sadly be on a plane to the US in 85 days.

But let’s not think about that.

Let’s think about all the awesome things i’ve seen so far.

Eureka Skydeck: a breathtaking 88 story view of the city of Melbourne

20130720-143351.jpg

Queen Victoria Market: a market that has been in Melbourne for over a century. I was in heaven with the rows and rows of fresh bread, 100’s of different cheeses, cases of fresh fish, and the abundance of fresh produce.

20130720-143407.jpg

Phillip Island: A couple weeks ago I took a day trip here with a few friends. The views on the beach were absolutely breathtaking. Australia is such a beautiful country.

DSC01982

IMG_4377

I got to put my feet in the Australian ocean for the first time!

DSC01928

Driving on the opposite side of the road! I haven’t been brave enough to actually drive yet- riding in the passenger seat is weird enough!

IMG_4198

My first Australian footy game! Footy is the most interesting sport ever and i’m slowly becoming a pro at the rules.

IMG_4347

The city of Melbourne: I try to visit the city at least once a week. It is awesome to be so close to such a beautiful (and clean) city!

DSC01746

 

Melbourne street art: the graffiti is absolutely beautiful in the ally ways in the city.

DSC01777

Healesville Sanctuary: this is a zoo in Australia that specializes in native Australian animals. I saw tons of different animals including Koala bears,  Kangaroos, and Wallabies!

DSC01877

DSC01859

DSC01890

 

Up next on my to-do list in the next few weeks includes:

1. St. Kilda: the closest beach to Melbourne
2. Brunch at The Manchester Press: a trendy brunch spot in the city
3. Mid-semester trip to Cairns, The Whitsundays, and Brisbane: I recently booked a 6 day trip with a few of my closest friends from abroad during our semester break. The highlights of the trip include snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving, holding a kola bear, relaxing on Australian beaches, and sailing to the Whitsundays.

Here’s to hoping the next 85 days slow down just a little bit!

Thoughts about Australia

8 Aug

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made the decision to fly half way across the country for a semester.

The day I arrived this thought definitely crossed my mind, a lot.

The first week I was a super homesick. Would I let everyone down if I flew home tomorrow?

The second week I was feeling a little bit better, but still skeptical. Would I actually like it here?

The third week classes started and just as I was getting use to everything I began to feel a little overwhelmed. Would I be able to handle this workload? What if I failed?

Now, at the beginning of the fourth week, I finally feel content.

Yes, I miss my family.

Yes, I miss my fully stocked kitchen.

But, i’m going to embrace the next 4 months.

Here’s to change.

Here’s to meeting new people.

Here’s to traveling.

And here’s to being in Australia, one of the prettiest countries in the world.