December 31, 2011

.Happy New Year.


We have officially brought in the new year here in Australia! We had a great night filled with tasty snacks, great conversations, firework displays, and dancing in the street (but only a little bit!).  Now we are off to the beach to spend away the first day of 2012!!

If you have never seen Sydney fireworks before check out this video! I watched them on tv last night and they were the most amazing fireworks I have ever seen! My eyes were glued to them the whole 15min. they ran!!!

Have a safe and happy new year!!!

December 30, 2011

.Updated Reading List.

It's been almost 2 months since I last updated you on what my little eyes have been reading. I would like to still think I am a lean mean reading machine, but I slowed down my reading in Dec. But I am happy to report that I have picked it up again and once more will become a lean mean reading machine!

Here are the books I have read in the last 2 months:

New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn: Stephenie Meyer: Oh my! I really didn't think I would get so sucked into these books. But man, they were good! After I finished reading the books I re-watched all of the movies and then got my little but to the movie theatre to see Breaking Dawn! I still cannot believe that I have entered the dark side!

Fight Club: Chuck Palahniuk: This was my first Palahniuk book ever! I know a few people who really love his stuff, so I thought I would give it a try. It was good book, easy to read, plus I kept hearing Brad Pitts voice while reading it because I was thinking of the movie. It's very cleverly done and if you haven't seen the movie you don't see the ending coming. 

Off the Beaten Track: Traveller's Anthology: Laura Stoddart - Cute little book filled with traveling quotes. The artwork is so pretty and dainty, it was a must have. I even bough another book by her because of how cute it was!

Promises to Keep: Jane Green: I loved this book! The only reason I picked it up to read was because we sell it at our bookstore and I wanted to be able to recommend books we have there! It was sooo good, a quick, easy read. It gets to the heart of family, surviving the toughest of times, and finding hope and love through it all. Please read this! We have sold all of our copies in the store because I keep recommending it to people!! 

On Chesil Beach: Ian McEwan: This is the first book I have read by McEwan and it made me want to read more of him! The way he is able to give detail and make you feel exactly what the characters are feeling is amazing. This was a small, little book about a couple on their wedding night, as well as their relationship before and after. 

10 Best Days of my life: Adena Halpern: I read this book so you do not have to. It was stupid, I do not recommend it. I started it on the train and since I was half way done by the time we reached our destination I just wanted to finish it. The book had a lot of editing errors, someone even made a few edits in pencil to the book from the library! The story revolves around a 29yr. old who is in the highest degree of heaven and will be demoted to a lower degree of heaven if she does not show that she was going to do something with her life and she has to write an essay about the 10 best days of her life.   Again, it's not worth your time reading!

* I guess it's going to be a movie.....wait to watch the movie *

The Life & Times of Thunderbolt Kid: Bill Bryson: I LOVE Bill Bryson!!! He is such a great writer, I love his style so much. He is easy to read, funny, and puts you in his stories with such an ease. This is his autobiography about growing up in Des Moines, IA during the 1950s.  He talks about the town, childhood innocence and shenanigans, and how it really was a great period of time to be a kid. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone! Plus it's even better if you probably grew up in that era in a smaller city in the midwest!!

Chocolat: Joanne Harris: I read one of her books when I first got to Australia and loved it. It made me want to read more of her, so of course I went to the op shop and found Chocolat! What a fun little book about chocolate, friendship, and being yourself no matter what. I just finished it not long ago and want so desperately to watch the movie now! Hello, it has Johnny Depp in it...and I just can't wait to find out what character he plays! I think its Roux, but I'm not sure...eeepp!!! Please read this book!


In the last 5 months while living in Australia I have read 27 books!!! I have no idea how many books I read before we headed down here (my list is in the states) but I don't think it was near that many!!! 

Maybe in 2012 I will read 50 books...wanna join me?


Woozah! Can you believe it, another year come and gone! It seems like as you get older the years go by faster and faster. I still can hardly believe that in 24 hours it will be 2012! When you were a kid, didn't you think that in 2012 we would all be in hover cars, flying around in space? I know that I did, I think maybe The Jetsons had to much influence on me!

If asked to describe 2011 in one short sentence I would say: It was the year change began.  2011 was the year we made a HUGE decision to pack up our bags, move them across country, and then move ourselves to Australia. We chose to follow our dreams, go on an adventure, and take a chance on life. It was a year when we celebrated one grandmothers 90th birthday and another's passing.  It was a year when we fell more in love with each other than ever before, pushed each other, and challenged each other. It was the year we grew closer to family even though we were farther apart. It was the year that we lived abroad for almost half of the year (5 months), when we arrived in the country with just our suitcases and backpacks.

When thinking about 2012, I get excited because everything that we have done in 2011 is leading us to a great year in 2012. 2012 is going to be a year of change for us! We will be living back in MN, thinking about starting a family, getting a dog, finding jobs, planting our roots in one place, and living a healthy, active lifestyle. I honestly think that 2011 and 2012 are the two years that are going to be the building blocks of our future.

How was your 2011? 
What are you most excited about looking into the new year? 

Make sure you check out my 2011 pics! I have taken 291/365 days this year, that means 75% of the year has been documented!! That is amazing! I missed only 74 days out of the year, which is okay because as you know life can get crazy at times!!


December 24, 2011

Happy Chrissy!

First, I would like to say thank you all for understanding my month long break from the blog. I took the time to heal and reflect on the many memories I have of my wonderful grandma. I am very very blessed to have had her in my life. She is a huge part of me and taught me how to be the strong woman I am today.

Second, I want to say HAPPY CHRISSY from DOWN UNDER!!! This was the first Christmas away from family and snow, which Dave and I both missed greatly. But we seemed to have managed and I did get one great big Christmas present...


This is a big deal!! This is the first time ever my dad has gotten a passport, left the country (other than Canada), and first time in over 10 years that he has flown! It's so great to have him come and spend time with Dave and I here in Newcastle!  He will be here for 3 weeks, yep...3 whole weeks! It may be tight in our little apartment, but I know that we will all work to make it the best time!!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and got to spend it with friends and family!

December 3, 2011


You may have noticed I haven't blogged in a while, 
I may not be blogging anytime soon. 

Right now I have a big hole in my heart 
and am going to take some time
to let it heal.

I'll be back when the hole starts to slowly fill up
and the numbness sets aside. 

Until then, take care my friends. 


November 27, 2011

.Cyber Monday (& Tues) Sale.

My entire .PhotoSho. store is 30% off on Nov. 28th & Nov. 29th with:
  code - cybermon

Here are some of my favorites that are in the shop:

Canoe for Two 
In The Field

Where the Land Ends

Bright Beautiful Open Trail 
You can also purchase any photos that are on my facebook page that haven't made it into the shop yet!

Happy Shopping!

November 24, 2011

.happy thanksgiving.

Today at work I got to interview an American who was also going to celebrate Thanksgiving this evening, this made me smile a little bit. It's nice knowing that Dave and I aren't the only American in this town, even though I suspected it, its good to finally know. 

Dave and I celebrated without a turkey, cranberry sauce, or pumpkin pie, but we were able to find some substitutes such as BBQ roasted chicken, cranberry raspberry jello, and chocolate cake. We plated our meals and ate our feast while watching Head of the Class & Golden Girls!! Today, Dave started a new tradition of Thanksgiving Love Proclamation and Thanksgiving gifts. All I can say is that I am such a lucky girl to have found him and kept him in my life.

There are many things to be thankful for, I could go on and on and on and on....on and on, with all the things I am thankful in life. Most of all I am thankful to be living this life, learning new things, being loved and supported, and being able to dance when the beat takes over. 

Enjoy some pumpkin pie for me and watch a little football too!
ALSO, have fun on Black Friday!!'s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday...

November 22, 2011

.5 years.

Carol Jean Hammond
Recently I was watching FRIENDS, the whole gang was gathered around after stuffing themselves silly from Monica's Thanksgiving Feast. The discussion of topic was who has had the worst Thanksgiving, Chandler thought he took this category because it was when his father came out and was 'spending time' with the house boy, Monica was in the running because she accidentally chopped off Chandler's toe and brought a baby carrot to the hospital instead of the toe.  While watching this episode, all I could think over and over again was..nope, I have them beat. I am winner of the worst Thanksgiving ever.

It was the morning of Thanksgiving 2006 when  laying with my mother in her hospital bed she took her last breathe. As soon as my father had woken me up with a gentle poke on the shoulder, I knew exactly what had happened. It was only 3 weeks earlier that she was diagnosed with colon cancer. When she was diagnosed the cancer had spread so far that they couldn't do much for her and only gave her half a year to a year to live. When first hearing that I would only have a year with my mom, I couldn't handle it, I thought she may not be at my wedding or meet my future children, but she can watch me graduate college. Now, what I wouldn't give for the extra 11 months with my mom. The three weeks went by to fast and I never was able to see her outside of a hospital room again. 

May 2009
Only picture of the WHOLE family (husbands included)
First time Dave met my family!
My mother was 53 years old when she passed away, I was 22 years old. I felt far to young to lose the most important person in my life, the one person who raised me and never stopped loving me. In our short time together, I learned so many things from my mother that I will carry with me always and hopefully pass on to her grandchildren. Some of the things that my mother taught me (and many others) are: how to be a strong, independent woman, love unconditionally, smile and laugh, assist others in need,  and family & friends are more important than all the riches in the world. I think one of the things she hoped would have stuck is how to be frugal, write down purchases, and save more money!!

I love this smile!!

Every year on this day I go to Long John Silvers for supper. This was one of mom's and I favorite treats, I rarely went with anyone else. I remember the exact conversation we had in March 2006, which was the last time we went together. She surprised me at college to take me out to lunch and hang out with me, we went to LJS and I told her about how Dave and I were officially dating & that I was going to Seattle for Spring Break (only 2 days away!).  

Today I will be getting fish and chips from our favorite place, Scotties, and eating them at the beach.  Then I will be taking a little bit of her ashes and letting them go into the ocean. She was always supporting me and helping me make my dreams come true, especially in taking adventures, when she only left the country once.  When my father and mother moved to Alaska back in the day, they drove through Canada, this is the only time I believe she went out of the country.  So now it's my turn to help her see the world. She supported me 11 years ago on my first trip to Australia and only feels appropriate that she is here for the second trip. 

.love you & miss you, mom.

Our last Mother's Day...we had no idea. 

Today  hug someone you love.
Let them know what they mean to you, 
because we never know what the future holds.

November 21, 2011

.Pinned Photos.

Happy Monday/Tuesday! Usually every Monday I bring you some of my favorite photos from the week prior. However this week I was in a little bit of a funk and only took maybe 3 pictures this whole week...eeepp!

Instead I want to share you a few photos that I have on my pinterest boards. Do you have pinterest? If so we should be friends and you can follow my boards!

This picture is so beautiful and moving. 
Think of all the history and hope that runs through each palm.

Source: unknown
This picture is filled with childhood wonderment and curiosity!

I LOVE old buildings and barns!
I have always wanted to do my own photoshoot with old barns!

If you don't have pinterset yet, I highly recommend you look into. It is filled with wonderful inspirations, craft projects, beautiful pictures, food delights, and information. Just be warned an addiction to pinterest could be in your future!! 
Happy Pinning!

November 20, 2011


Before leaving on our trip I got a great travel package from a friend that included an old disposable camera. The expiration date on the camera was in the year 2007 so we had no idea how the pictures would turn out, which was the joy behind it all. For the first few months I carried the disposable camera with me to capture ordinary every day activities and little adventures with Dave.

Future is so bright we need shades

Newcastle Harbor at sunset


Shed with guard peacocks

After developing the film, it was obvious that I have not used a disposable camera in a long time and didn't really know when to use the flash! However overall the pictures turned out pretty good, I love the grainy look of them, it adds a character that digital film can never give you. 

November 19, 2011

.Blue Mountains.

Dave and I took a quick 24 hour trip to the beautiful Blue Mountains. This is a MUST see if you are in New South Wales or Sydney. We took the train from Sydney to Katoomba (2 hours) and found ourselves in a great small town, surrounded by natures beauty. The most famous landscape in the Blue Mountains are The Three Sisters, which are only about a 20 min. walk from town. When planning your trip to Australia give yourself a day or two to head to the bush and see Australia's answer to the states Grand Canyon!

Three Sisters

Katoomba Falls

Cliff Overlook

Three Sisters: from Echo Point

Wanna see more pictures from our trip to the Blue Mountains? You can find them here on my facebook page...don't forget, to like my page and keep updated with photos and stories!

I'm on Team....

Oye! This week I have been totally MIA.  I wish I had a good excuse for it, but really I don't. This week was just wonky with me working and then sleeping and then watching tv.....see not a good excuse at all!

But I have made a pretty big decision within the last week. As you may know, I have been conducting "research" and reading all the Twilight books to see what the phenomenon is all about. Within the last three weeks I have read ALL of the books and watched ALL of the movies, even Breaking Dawn(!!!!). Man, I did not think that I would become so obsessed with all of this research, but when a book grabs you it really does grab you! After all of this "research" I am ready to make my decision, as to which team I am on. I have been thinking long and hard about this while reading each book, will I be Team Jacob or Team Edward?

I have joined TEAM...

In Katoomba, our hostel was on this sign!

I think the best thing about reading Twilight is getting lost in the story of Edward and Bella, I'm a sucker for a love story. The thing though is that their love story is one that we all can have. I truly believe that Dave and I have a love that would make Bella and Edward blush, yep it's SOOO grand it would make a vampire blush! Dave has saved me from death, he has provided me with a love that will last forever, he is my best friend, and we would die to save the other....just like Bella and Edward, but we are fragile little humans. 

Have you read the books?
Which team are you on?

November 14, 2011

Favorite Photos of Last Week

At the beginning of each week I share some of my favorite photos that were taken the week before. This little snap shots of the week remind me of what is important and share a little bit more of who is this Sho behind .PhotoSho.

What a stud!

this just makes me laugh!

perfect after work remedy

Thursday Nights: eating Indian Food, watching Beauty & The Geek
This week I also got a cupcake with sprinkles!
Being silly in the Blue Mountains

His expression says it all!
He hates heights but for me he went up a cable way and a skyway!

Taking in the beautiful view.

In Step Together 
The 3 sisters