Friday, October 22, 2010


well, we have bought our first home! I will post photos later once I take some decent ones. The whole process was basically going back and forth with the owners to agree on a price. Or should I say, our real estate agent went back and forth on our behalf. The whole process is sooooo much more civilised here than in Australia, where you are under the pump and on show at an auction! IT's kinda weird really. And because the market is so slow here, you don't have any competition with other potential buyers. So it's very stress-free really. Just how we like it!

So now we are getting quotes for having the kitchen updated. We looked into refacing the cabinets, and after ruling that out due to cost we are going to re-paint the old oak cabinets in the hopes that they come up good. There is also some crazy vaudeville show lighting in the kitchen which needs replacing. And we're putting in quartz countertops. We are beginning to learn that you can spend a freakin FORTUNE in the kitchen! It's crazy. And since we also have a master bathroom to do we really have to limit our budget, so we're only doing what we deem to be the necessities.

So we are closing on the home on Nov 5th, and we hope to be in the house before Thanksgiving (late Nov) if all goes to plan! WE WOULD LOVE VISITORS if ever you are over this way of course.

We have recently joined an International Supper Club! This is actually the brainchild of our friends Julie & Nick, who we knew in Australia. Actually Chad worked with Julie at Microsoft in Melbourne and they just moved over here last year. Julie is from Seattle but her husband Nick is from Melbourne. Sooooo when they arrived here last year they found it very difficult to rekindle old friendships and/or make new ones. So they decided to play hosts on a regular basis and hold social events at their home, especially since they weren't getting many invites to anyone else's!. They started the supper club with 2 other couples who also enjoy international food and wine. The group gathers 6x per year to share food and wine from a designated region of the world. Last week was our first supper club (theme: Thai) and while the food and drink were great, mostly we are grateful for the opportunity to meet some new people and enjoy good conversation and of course learn more about all-things-Seattle.

We are still hiking nearly every weekend. There are so many areas to explore here and we absolutely love getting out in nature & its beauty. Now that autumn is in full swing the colours are truly spectacular here. So vibrant, some almost fluorescent if you can believe.

So Halloween is coming up next week and we are (well, me and Amelie) pretty excited about an American Halloween this year! Amelie is dressing up as an angel (nothing scary for her!) and she managed to enlist my mom to make her costume. I have already informed Chad that we are spending next Saturday night at home watching horror movies, which he is not thrilled about because of the nightmares I will have afterwards and he doesn't want to be disturbed while he's sleeping. It is weird that I want to do this sort of thing, but I just want to get in the spirit of the occasion. I had forgotten what a big deal Halloween is here. They have all kinds of haunted houses and parties you can go to here in Seattle. There are huge stores dedicated only to Halloween. It's over the top. And it's fun! There is a haunted house here that I really want to go to- it's supposed to be amazing- but Amelie is too little so we'll have to wait a few years.

That is all I can write right now. I told Chad he HAS to write a blog entry about all the crazy coffee orders he listens to while standing in line at the coffee shop every morning. It is truly ridiculous, wait til you hear it....

I will post photos soon! I hope someone is reading this! Please post a comment so I know you are...


Monday, October 4, 2010

it's raining....

Hello people. I have recently had an eye-opening experience at my local grocery store which I will share with you. Firstly, grocery stores here have sprinkler systems installed in their fruit and vegetable departments. These sprinklers are timed to spray water all the produce at regular intervals- I suppose to keep everything looking "fresh" like it's just come off the farm. Can you tell I live in the rain capital of the universe???!! Aussies will be APPALLED by this
produce-sprinkler-policy. And while I do find it ridiculously water-wasteful, the most annoying part is that all my vegetables are wet when they go in the cart, hence all my groceries get wet when they go in the bags. And what about when you are in the middle of reaching for a bunch of carrots and you get doused all up and down your sleeve?! How bout a warning signal or something???
So I am in the Red Apple (my local grocery) shopping in the fruit and veg section, minding my own business when I hear a roll of thunder. That's right people- A ROLL OF THUNDER IN THE FRUIT AND VEG DEPARTMENT . Then I hear another one- no, it's not my imagination, there is thunder in the produce department. And just as I am trying to figure all of this out- the sprinklers come on! AHA! So there's the warning signal- thunder rolls before the "rain storm" . Whatever dude.

I should also mention that we have made an offer on a house! We are in the throes of negotiation with the sellers and hopefully we can come to an agreed price so we can finally have a home of our own. We are very excited! Well, I'm very excited, Chad is being more objective about the whole thing, which I figure is a good balance. So it is a 3 bedrooms/2.5 bath, one-story home on almost an acre of land which backs up to a greenbelt of pine tree forest with a creek running through it. It is in a beautiful neighbourhood and a great school that Amelie can walk to. It needs a bit of updating- mainly the kitchen and also the master bath which is crazy as it is now. The owners put in 2 master baths - a "his" and "hers"- so we want to knock out the wall between them and build one big master bath. The bones of the home are excellent so we feel we can realise it's potential.

We went to Home Depot to check out all the options for countertops, appliances, flooring, and all things DIY. Another weird thing here is that when you go to Home Depot (which is like Bunings), there are always a bunch of Mexicans hanging out somewhere in the parking lot. ALWAYS. So I finally find out what they're doing there: hoping to get work. They hang out and wait for someone who needs some work done on their house to come along and hire them for cheap labour and pay them cash so they can keep staying in the country illegally. I guess someone must hire them, but it's not going to be me. Pay your taxes like everyone else, amigos.

That's all for now! Miss you all in Oz! xoxo