Sunday, August 14, 2011

Adventures with Gnomeo

(Pretend this is narrated by Morgan Freeman) This is the story of a tiny gnome that took one step into some luggage...and a giant step towards freedom. His Gnomeo.

Gnomeo is not messin' around! Here he is, leading us out of the apartment. He wanted to get a move on to Gnomesville before the sun set.

It was a struggle, but we finally got Gnomeo to buckle up. Damn that stubborn gnome species.

Pit stop! Gnomeo needed to stretch his wee legs and...have a wee.

Our beautiful adventure.

In case you didn't see last year's blog about Gnomeville, here is a refresher picture. There are thousands and thousands of gnomes. This is just one small section.

Gnomes are tiny, but brutal. Apparently, this was the Italian Gnomafia section.

Gnomeo is a bit of a loner. He wanted to be by himself to ponder life and other philosophical things. He chose this remote section that was far away from the obnoxious gnomes that resembled the 7 Dwarves a littttttttle too much.

So content, flashin' his USA pride on his backside!

Gnomeo is much happier now that he is where he belongs, in Gnomesville, Western Australia. We haven't gotten a letter from him yet, but everyone knows that gnomes aren't very dependable and they tend to hit the drink a bit too much. We think he's probably met a nice Juliette to spend his time with.

In other news, Ben and I had a very very busy week last week! Between work and squash and seeing friends, we are busy busy. We've both been working 40+ hours, but enjoying our jobs. Ben is hoping that his company gets a new airport project that they've put in for in Albany (that's where we hiked last year). They should find out this week!

Here is a random picture of me. I went to a Vintage Hair and Makeup workshop this weekend, which was amazing and so fun. She covered styles from the 20s-60's. I was chosen to have my hair and makeup done for the '60's model. You can't quite see it in this picture, but I had a rockin' beehive! Only half of my face was done in makeup, but it's the right side of my face. I had a great time, so glad I went!

Hope everyone is happy and healthy at home. Will update again soon with our official anniversary plans! We are still trying to work out what we want to do. We'll have been together for five years this October!

Hope everyone is enjoying summer xo

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sushi Time! (+update)

Ben is helping me write this blog! Yay!!

When we first got back, we had some crazy weather--it made the paper! We were going to try to get a short video of the humongous waves here, but our camera was dead (and Ben was afraid we were going to get carried away, haha). I'm sure if you google it you can find some info. It's calmed down a lot more now, but it has been pretty cold out-- probably about 40 when we wake up, and not much higher than 45 throughout the day.

Here's an update on our work lives since being back (Ben wrote his all by himself :) )

Julie---I LOVE my job. I think this is the first time when I have felt truly excited and happy about a job. I look forward to going. I enjoy the immense responsibilities! I feel like I'm going to be good at it, and that it is an important job, like I'm being challenged AND making a difference. I'm meeting with amazing artists, setting up tours and floor talks, running workshops and programs, making contacts, doing networking, writing media releases, talking to the media, and the list goes on and on an on. I feel like I'm finally in a job where I FULLY belong--in short, I am blessed.

Ben--- For the time being I don't have a lot (anything) going on at my job. Two days after we
landed Nancy and I had our annual external quality audit to maintain our ISO 9001 certification (A big deal, basically international standards to ensure that we put out a quality product). It went about a million times better than Nancy and I expected. Now we are officially certified again for another year, when I hope to pass this duty to some unlucky sop. That is the extent of the excitement for my job for now. We find out if we get another airport project (Albany Airport) on the 16th. For the time being we do have a little work to do for the Bunbury Airport but I am only minimally involved because it started before we got back. Nancy had a meeting with the State Department of Transport and the Shire of Cunderdin this past week, and the SDoT is basically using a bunch of our report for the Cunderdin Airfield in their Aviation Strategy for the State. So, pretty cool there.

Today we filed our Australian taxes (thank GOD we're FINALLY done with taxes!), and did some yard saling (we got a vase, a sweet spikey plant, an ice cube tray [you laugh, but those are hard to come by here], and chopsticks. We walked around some of the shops in downtown, and decided today would be the day we would try to make our own Asian cuisine--specifically sushi :) We've been wanting to try to make it for a while, and just put it off. But today we were in the mood, so prepare yourselves for pictures!

Here are the ingredients for our Asian cuisine:

These are the SWEET chopsticks we bought from a yard sale for $2.50. It's a set of 5, and the
weird shaped things on the right side of the box are little things to set them in so you don't get your tablecloth messy. They're from Singapore.

Ben cutting chicken for the stirfry bean chicken stirfry with pad thai noodles

Julie stirring the powdered vinegar into the sushi rice

Sushi ingredients: crabmeat, avacado, cucumber, and tofu

Ready to be rolled!

ACTION ROLL SHOT! (Look how determined Ben is)

Up close action roll shot

Cutting the roll into six pieces

Not bad for our first try. Ben says it's sexy sushi. Inappropriate, Ben! (That's wasabi and soy sauce on the plate to dip it in)


Sitting down to our Asian cuisine feast. We forgot to light the candles, though.

Random yard sale plant