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Friday's Letters

29 March 2012

Dear Katie, thanks for sharing your fabulous design skills with me.  I absolutely love my new Facebook Timeline cover.  The fact that you included a template so I can change out photos, and step-by-step instructions on how to do it?  Uh-mazing.


Dear friends, there's good news for you too.  Katie's offering a special deal for fellow bloggers, since timeline goes live for all fan pages on April 1st.  Act fact.


Speaking of acting fast, Dear March, where the heck did you go?  It's like you were here one minute, gone the next.  Please tell your buddy April to slow down a bit, will you?  We only have two months left in Australia, and I'd like to savor it!

Dear meditation retreat, I'm so excited that you're finally here!  Your presence is welcome and needed.  I'm not sure what it is with me and needing external motivation...but I do know that I meditate longer and deeper when I'm with a group.  Looking forward to the silence, the joy, the simplicity, and the fellowship on offer.

Blissed out in India.  More bliss?  Yes please!!!

Dear cellphone, computer, ipad, blogger, twitter, facebook, and all other electronic devices, due to said retreat, you and I will not be hanging out this weekend.  You know I love you {maybe a little too much}, but I also need some space.  Some silence.  Some uninterrupted focus on my spiritual life.  Don't worry, come Sunday evening we'll be friends again :)

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Have an amazing weekend, everyone!

Guest Posting Etiquette


Would you like to know my thoughts on guest posting?
Of course you would.
Well, head over to Hope Squared to find out.
{And yes, I'm writing a guest post about guest posting. Oh, the irony!}

What I'm Learning {VLOG}

28 March 2012




Note: I swear I don't blink this much in real life.




Welcome New Readers!  A few posts to get you started:
Our Journey to Oz
Australian Lingo {Part I}
What's next after Australia?

Waxing my new board--8' mini-mal
First surf lesson ever
Two seconds later 
Definitely better on solid ground ;)

A couple of weeks ago in Manly.  I promise I can actually ride a wave fully standing on the board. Someday, I'll have evidence!

And a huge thanks to Ashley & Andi for hosting this vlog link-up :)  If it weren't for you, there would be no video evidence of me on this blog.  I definitely need the peer pressure!
5ohwifey

Tuesday Travel Diaries: Fiji

27 March 2012


Hi Everyone!!! My name is Kloi-Jayd and I hail from the NSW/VIC border in Sunny 'Straylia. You can catch my Ramblings at www.ringlesswife.wordpress.com
Before I get ahead of myself, a HUGE thank you goes to Emmy June for allowing me this guest spot. When I got her email I am pretty sure I laid an egg from excitement!

We went to Fiji on a 14 night cruise where the theme was "Food, Glorious Food." The cruise was called "Fiji Escape" and we went with P&O on one of their Princess Liners. We left on August 26th, 2011, and got back on September 9, 2011. The cruise went to Vanuatu and New Caledonia, as well as Suva and Port Denarau. We got a day at each port where you could either do your own thing or take part in a pre-organised excursion.


Within 15 minutes of boarding, we had scoped out the best relaxation points!
Within 15 minutes of boarding, we had scoped out the best relaxation points!
Sam and I just after boarding. We were so excited!
Half of the ship that we would call "home" for 14 days.
Half of the ship that we would call "home" for 14 days.
We flew from Albury, NSW, to Sydney, NSW, which cost us about 300.00AU return. We elected to take this way of travel as Sam had to travel from Melbourne so we could meet at one spot. It also negated parking fees, 12 hours travel drive (return), and it was cheaper than fuel, once you factored in food, drinks and stops along the way.

From there we went to Sydneys Wharf where the boat was waiting to depart. The cruise itself cost us 1700.00 AU each not inc. spending money. All up, we spent about 5000.00AU and that covered us for spending money, tips, souvenirs and excursions organised by the liner. Sam took along 2000.00 AU spending money for herself.

The fish that greeted us on every island
The fish that greeted us on every island
I'm still amazed, six months on, at how beautiful the water was.
I'm still amazed, six months on, at how beautiful the water was.

On my overseas jaunt (Omigosh, I can honestly say I have now been over seas! It still thrills me to my bones!) there was my partner, Daniel, our friend, Sam, and Me (Hi!). Taking an extra person on our first time was the best decision, I feel. We had another person to join in making our memories, and someone who we got a long with really well. It meant that there was always someone up for something, even if just a stroll around the mile long deck.
First glimpse of land in two days!
First glimpse of land in two days!
sam and I on the Isle of pines
Sam and I on the Isle of pines
The stereotypes of laid back living, amazing hospitality and beautiful scenery were definitely upheld. It is not a lie, in any way shape or form, when you are told that it is a whole different life on Fiji. However, the negative stereotypes about Suva are well and true, also. Suva was the only place in which I felt scared. We weren't advised before disembarking that they were in the middle of a civil war, which is something I really think they should have, as getting off the boat to see uniformed men checking us all out while holding machine guns was scary in and of itself.

A Fijian public toilet
A Fijian public toilet
The food in Fiji is amazing, although I have to be honest that I didn't taste a lot of the local fare. The food they have on the ship was fantastic though. You had breakfast, lunch, and morning tea, afternoon tea, and supper tea. (Say hello to the 10kg I brought back home with me!) I did, however, try some Indian food in Port Denarau in order to fulfill one of my big dreams, which was to eat a Vindaloo while in Fiji. (Any Red Dwarf fans out there will get this meaning!!!)

The food on the ship was sumptuous, delicious, and always available. You could eat at the buffet upstairs, in the 5* restaurant down stairs, or in the Upper Upper Class restaurant that was on the top deck. We ate mainly in the buffet, and toward the end in the middle restaurant, but never tried the High Deck eatery. Call me crazy, but paying 38 dollars for a steak was not high on my to-do list.

A meal in the 5* Restaurant
A meal in the 5* Restaurant
Fullfilling my "Red Dwarf" Dream in Pt. Denarau
Fullfilling my "Red Dwarf" Dream in Pt. Denarau
Eating on Board
Eating on Board
A major must-see while you are in Fiji is Pt. Vila which is the main "Duty Free" shopping precinct. A bottle of alcohol which would fetch easily $90.00 AU was going for around $14.00, not to mention electrical (Think all I-Products) and perfume (hello, Dior!) goods available at, quite literally, a quarter of the price.

One of the big things for Dan and I to see was the Hard Rock cafe which is in Pt. Denarau. I have always wanted to go to one of these Cafe's and to go there was a big thrill. Seeing things that some of my favorite Rock stars had signed and touched had me giggly like a school girl walking past One Direction.

Hard Rock Cafe in Pt. Denarau
Hard Rock Cafe in Pt. Denarau
downtown Vila
downtown Vila
Sam in DownTown Vila
Sam in DownTown Vila
The only thing I would do differently next time would be to take more money so I can participate in more activities that are planned. Doing things on your own is fine, but when you have never been to the country and are unsure of how to handle customs and behaviours, it's best to have a guide who knows what to do and how to do it in a way that is respectful to the local culture. I would definitely do this in the case of Suva, so that I wasn't in a situation where I felt out of control. One of the big things I learnt was to ask permission before photographing any locals.

locals need to be asked before taking photo's of them!
Locals need to be asked before taking photo's of them!
I would go back in a heart beat. It was a fantastic holiday that has left such an impression that next time I hope to take some school supplies to one of the schools that needs it. It really was amazing, lumps, bumps, and sea sickness included. As a by-note, I don't care how much you don't get sea sickness - take some tabs, because when the sea gets rough, it gets rough!
_______________________________

Kloi-Jayd, thanks so much for sharing Fiji with us!  It's so close to Australia and is definitely on my list.  :)  If you enjoyed this week's TTD, go show Kloi-Jayd some love over at Ringless Wife.

If you've been featured on TTD, please grab the button below.

Tuesday Travel Diaries


And lastly, I'm always looking for bloggers to feature.  If you'd like to share a trip {new or old} on TTD, please E-mail me at emmyjuneborninmay(at)gmail(dot)com.

Movies, Music, Football, and Friends!

26 March 2012

Hello, friends!  I hope everyone had an awesome weekend.  Ours was jam packed, but so much fun!

On Thursday, J and I met up with Jasmine and her boyfriend to see Hunger Games!  Yes, that's right peeps, we got the glory of Hunger Games a day before it opened in the USA {and with the time change, it's like the equivalent of two days.}  It also turns out that bloggers are pretty cool in real life :)  Being my first blate {blogger date}, I wasn't sure what to expect.  However, Jasmine and Justin were so much fun and we'll definitely be seeing them again before we leave Oz.  Update: Since I started writing this post, I have, in fact, seen Jasmine again.  Yay for blates!




I loved The Hunger Games.  What can I say?  A five hour movie that included every detail from the book would've been amazing, but I was pretty darn happy with it.  I loved, loved, LOVED The Capitol--it was exactly how I'd envisioned it.  And Caesar Flickerman? Brills!

Friday night, our good friend Scott had a musical debut with his band, Faithful Horizon.  So we went to watch them rock out.  We had a great time and enjoyed the music.


Saturday morning was supposed to be an introductory scuba dive.  However, it was cancelled by the dodgy company.  So we went for a surf instead {no pictures, sadly.}  Later that afternoon, we met up with a group of friends for a footy match {Australian Football League.}


The match was pretty boring, because The Giants are a brand-new team {this was their first game ever} and they got slaughtered 100-37.  Nevertheless, it was great seeing our friends and I'm really going to miss them when we leave!

In the past week, I also discovered a small, little, plain blog with writing that knocked my socks off.  Anna went to Africa to volunteer, and met her son, Lucas. {Read about it here.}  It turned out to be the last time she ever saw him.  {Read more here.}  Since discovering Anna's blog, there have been several posts with the most powerful writing.  I'm impressed and inspired.

And lastly, my good blog friend Devon, from The Mermaid Chronicles, is hosting a Meat-free Mondays Recipe link-up.  As y'all know, I'm not much of a cook...but I do appreciate discovering more vegetarian recipes!

Japanese Curried Veggies
Ingredients:
3 Potatoes
5 Carrots
1-2 Onions
1 can corn (baby corn preferred)
1 can mushrooms, whole
1 can bean sprouts
1 box Japanese curry
2 cups vegetable stock

note: this is totally different than Indian curry.  Japanese or Asian curry can be purchased at grocery stores in California & Australia (confirmed) and, I suspect, pretty much everywhere else!


Step 1: Boil all veggies
Step 2: Drain veggies, add canned ingredients, curry, and vegetable stock
Step 3: Stir and simmer for approximately 10 minutes



I love making Japanese curry for a few reasons.  My primary reason is convenience.  I try to always keep 1 or 2 boxes of the curry in my cupboard.  With that, I can make it with any veggies I happen to have.  I've made it with water instead of veggie stock before, and it's just as good.  So basically, I'm lazy and I like it when I don't have to make a special trip to the grocery store.  Secondly, this recipe is really healthy!  You get great flavor with zero oils.

The flavor is very rich, without being too spicy {although you can buy mild, medium, or hot.}  In SoCal, there are Curry Houses that serve this style of curry, which is how we discovered it.  

Enjoy!
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