Archive | October, 2013

Where the city gal meets not so chic!

31 Oct

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What makes a girl chic?

Is it her characteristics? Interests? Hobbies? Social life? Or is it the environment you were brought up in?

Chic is defined as stylish and smart, a fashion element, per Wikipedia.

This topic dawned on me this week, as I have been out and about in the Bay Area. I constantly see fashion forward women, well groomed, who are chic, successful and confident.

I mean I did deportment in school, speaking lessons and modeling, yet to this day I still forget which water to drink at a dinner party, don’t take my makeup off before bed, can’t wear stocking to save myself without having a crutch problem, wear all types of brands of clothing and has a tendency to have words come out of mouth before thinking.

Today I was asked “are you from the country?” I said no I am not. They replied “ oh I’m sorry I thought you might be, as your nails aren’t polished”. That ended the conversation.

I left the restroom and thought how does that make me from the country. My hubby and in laws are all from the country. They are amazing people and have love for the land, crops, family and life. Definitely not defined by there nails that’s for sure.

That got me thinking am I chic?

Or am I a city gal out of my depth?

Or in actual fact am I just a laid back Aussie who love good cloths, great food and wine but isn’t defined by the material items.

Or in actual fact and I chic in my own way?

What I realized every woman is chic in there own way, in there own environment. Women need to help each other and support each other.

I will leave you with this quote-

“You cannot fake chic but you can be chic and fake fur” -Karl Lagerfeld

The day arrives and you become a Auntie or Uncle

28 Oct

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Since I started my blog, there are very few times that I speak about myself in great details. Generally I speak about expat topics or challenges that expats face. But today I am going to speak about family.

The hardest thing about being a expat is being away from friends and family. But to be honest what is even harder is being away from nieces and nephews. We have two nephews, one niece and two god children.

When your a expat, it feels as though time stands still and when you go home everything is the same. But with children , you see how much they have grown up and you realize time has passed and what you are missing out on.

This week marked an important event- the birth of our first niece- Ivy. She is absolutely adorable, a slice of perfection and is the cutest. For the first time since arriving in the USA, I was sad that I wasn’t at home with my family celebrating that moment.

So with that all said, here are my top tips to embrace and be part of events back in your homeland.

As a expat you are walkways going to miss festive events- Christmas, Easter. weddings, births etc, so try these tips below:

Contact– make sure you have someone at home who can keep you up to date on what is happening and as the events unfold.

Presents– make sure that you feel present in the events by calling on Skype, sending picture and messages to those involve. Also send a gift and get them to un wrap the present while you are on the phone.

Make the effort- even though you don’t live in the same place or country make the effort and don’t forget your family and friends. Make the effort to email, message or skype.

Upon reflection and after some time, though I wasn’t there in person for the birth of niece. I was there in spirit. Also with today’s technology- email, facebook, mms, phone, Skype, I have been in contact and love getting Bro’s picture updates.

So todays blog is dedicated to our newest niece Ivy and her wonderful family.

Thinking of you all

Get your race wear ready!

26 Oct

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It is race time! YES it is nearly November which means it is Melbourne Cup time!

A time when Australia stops to watch the horse race of the year!

Ladies get dressed up with hats and fascinator, men in suits, wine is flowing, betting is happening and it is time to let your hair down and have fun!

Being that I live in San Fran! My girlfriend and I only saw fit to celebrate this great occasion! I mean no Aussie needs a reason to drink bubbly, watch sport and have a good time!

So if you are in the Bay Area make sure you come join Melbourne Cup- SF style. Tickets are selling fast, register today at
https://melbournecupsf2013.eventbrite.com/

I grew up loving the horse races. I remember my first race with my grandparents! My mum’s aunt Elise could always pick a winner. Me on the other hand I go by the name. Don’t look at the stats, color just the name! So much to say that I haven’t made any money from my bets!

It is so exciting, waiting in anticipation for the horse to begin. The gun goes off and the horses are off! It feels like time stands still while the race is happening. You hope that your horse gets called! You scream at the Tv, as you think that will make the horse go faster. But no it comes in last but it doesn’t matter as it was the the horse race of your life!

God I love it! Time to go find a dress, get out my stilettos and hat!

It’s time for the races!

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How forward is too forward?

24 Oct

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Have you had those moments when a guy approaches you and you are thinking- he is hot (check), he is sophisticated ( check), he is successful (check) and then he opens his mouth and you think yes I would like a drink and then he speaks and says 
 
“Did you just get hit in the head with a baseball? Because I think you’re swell!”
 
At the point the only thing that goes through you mind is WTF?! I mean really what was he thinking. All romance is out the window, all attraction is gone and that drink that would be a hell NO!
 
You think Sarah just made this up as if it would happen but I can honestly say it did happen, in fact 17 minutes ago to be exact. Yes I am married and no I am not interested in anyone, but I do live vicariously through my single girlfriends. But on this occasion all I thought was how forward is too forward?
 
A few friends and I were at a networking event last night, a room full men with less women. It was 3 Aussie and a English gal and it was like dogs on heat. Was it our accent? Was it our looks? What it that they were despite? What ever it was , it was an experience. The fact that 3 of us were married and none of us were interested was beside the point. It was a networking event for start ups not dating 101. One of my girlfriends said back in English I didn’t have much luck dating, then I get married moved to the USA and bingo I am a magnet for men. Why is that? Then it dawned on us, American men are more forward.
 
My girlfriends and I talked about different pick up lines and experience from a guy on the street staying” I like your hips”  to ” You butt is like Kim Kardashian , move that thing” to ” Damn your beautiful” to “ Light up my bedroom tonight” Regardless of the pick up line being good, bad or ugly at least they are giving it a go.
 
The thing for me is I don’t really like it.  If I was single a pick up line would not float my boat. How about just “Hi, how are you? Or can I buy you a drink?”. How forward is too forward?
 
Single gals of the world unite, lets get rid of bad pick up lines and start finding our prince charming.
 

Am I speaking English?

21 Oct

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Am i speaking English? A question I asked myself daily.

I ask for:

Diet coke- I get a confused looked

Non fat cappuccino wet- I end up with a cappuccino with whip

Fries- ends up as garlic fries

Sandwiches- get a burger

Put it in the boot- they tried to put it in my shoe

I am speaking English yet they don’t understand me.

A few days ago I went to pottery barn. One of my old time favorite shops. With many of our friends and family having babies I went to buy a few gifts.

I said, I need these two presents wrapped separately, flat, so I can send them to Australia, in unisex paper. The lady looked at my with a confused look, so I repeated myself and she said come back in half hour and it will be complete.

So I went off to have coffee and came back to:

Well… I thought I was getting two present flat wrapped in beige paper but nope it was two giant boxes wrapped one in pink and one in blue. All I thought was wtf?

I could not bring myself to say anything ( they wouldn’t of understood anyway) so instead I walked away, got in the car and thought. What the heck?

Some times it blows my mind as to if they don’t understand what I am saying?
What do they think I am saying?
What does a Aussie accent sound like to a foreigner?

Well time will tell, if I start losing my Aussie accent or if people understand me more.

All I know is I am speaking English and when I was asked earlier in the week.what language do you speak in Australia?” that just topped the week off. I mean seriously!

Food for thought!

Top tips for expats seeking work

18 Oct

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A few of my readers asked me what the best way is for a expat to find a job in there field in the USA.

My inspiration for this blog is my Dad. Dad has always helped me with career advice, preparation prior to interviewing and guidance. I have always looked up to him and are so proud of everything he has achieved. So I have used tips he has given me along my career journey.

Finding work is never a fun process. It starts with searching for the job, applying, waiting for a response, interview and then outcome.

Though there are never a sure fire way to find work. Here are my top tips.

1- Research– do your research. Make sure you know what jobs are out there, what’s available and when to apply.

2- Network– networking goes a long way. A lot of expats get jobs that aren’t advertised, just by networking. Go to networking events, join linkedin and attend expat events. Create a personal business card so you can exchange your contact details easily.

3- CV– make sure your CV is up to date. Ensure the CV is a maximum of 3 pages, clearly laid out and includes all your contact details. Make sure you have advised your referees that they may be contacted.

4- Interview– when you reach the interview stage, ensure you are in business dress, bring your portfolio and arrive early. Prepare by reading books regarding interviewing skills.

5- Skill set– it is always a benefit to add to your skill set. So sign up for a course, attend a seminar or a conference.

Good luck with finding work. Just reminder you work 60% of your life, make sure you are doing something you love!

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Singing in the shower!

17 Oct

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Who loves to sing?

Come on, you know you do!

Even if you only admit it to your self, you sing in the shower! Singing fuels the soul!

Nothing makes me happier than singing! In the shower, in the car, as part of a choir or when cleaning the house.

Songs of choice include ” Circle of Life”, “Horses”, Motown hits and “The Voice” to name a few.

My family says when I am happy I sing and so far I have sung every day in the USA.

I have been singing from a young age. Started in choir, then musicals, solos and now just do it for fun. I am part of broadway chorus and sing each Sunday.

People say they can’t sing, but I am a big believer everyone can sing. Some of you may only sing in the shower but that is singing none of the less.

Singing makes things better. If I am in a bad mood, feeling down or sick, singing always help. Next time you feel that way try it.

Stand with your feet apart, up tall, take a deep breath in and just sing!

Do it! You know you won’t to!

So have a go and sing a few notes today!

For the love of shoes!

15 Oct

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All women love shoes! But some women dream of shoes!

Some women have a shoe closet. Then other women are shoe collectors.

That is me, exhibit A, a shoe collector.

Shoes are the perfect accessory- Bright, pattern, black, what ever type, color or style there are shoes for everyone.

Why is it the buying a dress, pants or a jacket can be hard to do?

But I can buy shoes in no time? ( really I can, ask my gf’s)

The USA is a world of amazing shopping! Designer brands, outlet malls, sales central and options galore! It makes shoe shopping easy as pie!

Someone once told me shoes are like friends. How I asked myself?

Well… Love of shoes is like the love of friends in many ways. You have old and new ones. Ones you rely on and ones that are just occasional. Ones you always turn to for that special time and celebration. And some you discard after time because things have changed.

So true! Expect as my Mum knows I rarely throw out shoes. I just can’t bring myself to do it. Even if they have holes and are falling apart I still wear them.

A bit like friends I guess, we all have friends we have out grown or the friendship has changed, but we hold on to the friendship for sentimental reason.

So with that all said, think it is time to buy another pair of shoes….

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Travel fuels the soul

13 Oct

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Why is it that travel broadens the mind?
Why people have travel bucket lists?
Why traveling inspires you?

Is it because you get to visit somewhere new and different?

Is it because you are learning?

Or is it the anticipation and excitement of the adventure?

What ever it is we all love to travel. Millions upon millions of people travel every day- for work, pleasure or to visit love ones.

It is hard to imagine a time where traveling wasn’t the norm. We all dream of luxury holidays, enchanting adventures and seeing the best sights in the world.

So what destination is next on your travel bucket list?

Egypt, Nepal, Hawaii, Thailand, Australia?

So what is stoping you? Affordability? Time? Commitments?

If someone said here is the money for your dream trip, the only thing is you have to leave tonight. Would you go?

So with that said, that got me thinking of my top 4 tips for making your dream holidays a reality.

1. Start saving– have a holiday fund. Put money aside each pay for your trip

2. Timeframe– have a timeframe to plan to. If there is a date to depart you are more likely to plan accordingly.

3. Book– yes logical, you need to book in order to leave. But you need to book early! The best deals are either early bird or last minute.

4. Vision board– Cut photos and information out of travel magazine and create a vision board. Put it up at home or work and focus on make it happen.

So on that note it is time to make your dream holiday a reality!

It doesn’t need to happen this week, month, year or 5 years! But if you start planning today, your holiday will be here before you know it!

It is time to achieve your travel dreams! So go out there and get it!

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When being a expat becomes a life decision…..

10 Oct

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At what point does a expat turn into a permanent resident?

Yes, it will depend on visa, green card etc.

But at what point do you chose to not return back to your homeland?

This topic came to light after I met a number of expats who have lived her for 8+ years or who are applying for the green card. I asked them why the decision to make USA there home, there response- family ( married an American), work opportunities and life style.

Now I truly believe Australia is the best place on earth! Full of wonderful landscape, culture and wildlife. But it has become clear that more and more Aussies are moving oversea for work opportunity. Out of my friends we have 3 in London, 1 in Paris, 1 in Canada, 1 in Hong Kong and 2 in the USA.

When did job opportunity turn into moving abroad to advance your career?

I never did the UK thing. You know go on a working holiday visa and work and travel around the UK before the age of 30. To be honest I am not sure why I didn’t, I think it was because there was more opportunity in the USA.

USA is our current home but unsure if it will be our permanent home. For now it is time to enjoy the time we have here.

As you would of read from previous posts, I have moved a lot with in Australia and the USA, so I make home where I am living with hubby. I try not to plan long term as there is no way of knowing where we will be in 3-5 years time.

The USA are full of Aussies, most of our friends are Aussies and I help organize Aussie events. It means I don’t miss Australia as much. I miss my family and friends but in some small way being around Aussies helps that. At least they laugh at my jokes as the Americans just look at me with a blank face.

The funny thing is the Aussies who I have met who have lived here long term are the most Aussie people I have ever met. They embrace being Aussie in everything they do- play Aussie sport, attend Aussie events and listen to Aussie music.

With 17,000 Aussie expat in the Bay Area along you are bound to embrace your inner Aussie- ness.

So though expats often move abroad or interstate for work they take with them there Aussie spirit which makes them in Aussie.

Food for thought for today

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