May 30, 2011

Genetic Engineering: A Walk in the Park!

Pray for me as I take this exam tomorrow!!
Simple right ? :)

May 29, 2011

A Bikkie and A Cuppa

Howdy y'all! It's Recipe Sunday!

I hope all of your Sundays have started off wonderfully. Mine... is ending! Before I share a special recipe with you... I must digress.

This morning Ben and I went to a new church, Bicton Presbyterian Church. We have been praying for some more solid teaching and a bit more of a traditional service to attend. We love Churchfreo, its laidbackness, our solid community of believers, but feel like that is more of our outreach versus our "spiritual food for thought." It is important to not only serve others for the Lord, but it is important that we maintain growth as well.

Well- I knew the Lord was going to show me something this morning and bless the fact that:
A. For the first time since I've been in Australia, I woke up early for a morning service (Churchfreo is a night church.)
B. He promises to bless those who earnestly continue to seek growth in Him!

To make a long story short, my heart was melting and smiling because this church reminds me alot of Trinity United Methodist in Conway where my grandparents attend, because they sang beautiful hymns and that 99% of the congregation was over the age of 60! The choir consisted of three ladies, and we were offered more chocolates and cups of tea than I can remember!

However, my socks were absolutely BLOWN OFF at this: GET THIS. The pastor and his wife, just moved to Australia 5 weeks ago from Tennessee! Small world! Dr. Steve Woods is an ARP Reverend from Memphis and Steve knows my Dad's business partner in Charlotte, who is on the board for the ARP church.
How amazing to make that connection and listen to some beautiful reformed, solid, theological teaching! I was able to in turn, bless the Woods family by answering some of their "Uni" questions because their daughter is a freshman at Ol Miss, wanting to transfer here, and I was able to talk about being an international student and offer some advice for their daughter! Side note: I was also blessed today because we were supposed to have an apocalyptic storm with 30+ knot winds- we were spared and it has yet to rain.

Off of the rabbit trail.
One of the most memorable holidays in Australia is called ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.) This is similar to our 4th of July and is celebrated every April 25th. This alliance was formed when these troops were sent to Turkey in World War 1. This national holiday commemorates all of those that served and were lost (about 10,000) during this particular strike on one of Germany's allies (Istanbul) in 1914 that ended in more fatalities on the Churchill side of things.

One of the food items that women in both countries (Oz and NZ) sent to soldiers during WW1 was a hard, long-keeping biscuit that could survive the journey by sea, and still remain edible. These were known as Soldiers' Biscuits, but after the Gallipoli landings (for the Istanbul raid) in 1915, they became known as Anzac Biscuits. Soldiers themselves may have made a similar form of biscuit from ingredients they had on hand: water, sugar, rolled oats and flour. The traditional Anzac Biscuit is hard and flat - ideal for dunking in tea and then eating. During the First World War, some soldiers used broken biscuits to make a form of porridge to add some variety to their diet.

I have learned how to make these, they are very easy, very tasty, and are still a popular Australian dessert choice! Try them yourself :)

Melt 115g butter and 1.5 tablespoons of golden syrup in a saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda (or bi-carb soda) dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Once this mixture thickens, you will need to pour it into the following mixture quickly.

In a seperate bowl, mix in: 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of dessicated coconut, ½ cup of sugar.Mix in the liquid mixture. You should have now a semi-gooey ball of dough. If you find the dough is too dry, you may add butter.

 Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto baking paper, and bake until a pale golden colour (about 15 minutes) at 180°C. Once out of the oven, leave to harden, and enjoy!

A Bikkie and A Cuppa!! Perfect snack :)

This recipe is best served with a "cuppa," or cup of tea :) Let me know what you think!

May 28, 2011

Today Was a Good Day...x15

Want to know why?

1. I woke up and chatted with my Mom.
2. Got confirmation emails of Grad school reference letters.
3. Got a birthday present from my Grandparents.

Grammy and Grampy, Lake Junulusca
4. Got approved to take my last Unit at Murdoch next semester.
5. Will be starting getting my personal training certificate in August!!
6. Our friends Simon and Tash had their baby!
Charlotte Grace Steenhof

7. I went for a wonderful run on the beach, in wonderful weather!
8. Got to see my friend Shannon's art studio in Fremantle and help her Op Shop for some furniture.
9. While Op Shopping, saw Jim Kelley, a once alcoholic (now clean,) homeless (now sheltered,) ol Scottish man that used to take care of our church building, but left for a "personal reasons." He gave me a huge hug and it was wonderful to see him.

10. Discovered a new cafe, Gourmet on Wray and had a delicious burger!
11. Visited my butcher friend, Guy, and he cut me some beautiful lamb shanks to cook for dinner!
12. Found .99 cent avocadoes at a local grown/owned supermarket.
13. Found out Ben was coming home a day early! Yay! I haven't seen him in a week because he's been working in Port Hedland. I also chatted with Ben's parents, so good to hear their voice and know that they were thinking of me.
14. My best friend Betsy is in Germany and Austria with her Mum/Mom. They did a Sound of Music Tour in Salzberg and it made me smile to know she was fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams!!

Gates of the Von Trapp Mansion


Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!

May 25, 2011

Strawberry Net

All of your favorite designer cosmetics, hair products, and fragrances at DISCOUNTED PRICES and FREE SHIPPING INTERNATIONALLY! Sorry Mom, no Mary Kay though. :(
I want to be a walking advertisement for this thing. Why am I just jumping on board?!?! (Should out to my wonderful hairdreser and friend, Teneale, for opening my eyes!)

Por ejemple... I use Aveda products on my tame-the-lion-curly hair. Usually, a litre of this bad boy would cost you $70USD. Strawberry net.... $31USD! Hello cheap luxury!!

Go check it out! Feel free to send me any of your favorite deal-websites such as this one!
Happy Wednesday!

May 23, 2011

Where Were You on the Day the World DIDN'T End?

It's May 23rd. We are still here.

“Many individuals, past and present, have made false and misleading claims about the end times,” said a commentary on the website of the United Church of God, a U.S-based Christian denomination. “While such people feel like they are doing the work of God, in reality they are producing skepticism and a lack of faith when their prophecies fail.”

Rapturous Fun
Matthew 24:36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

If we were left behind 3 days ago, I am glad I still have all of you! :)

Hail To Thee Our Alma Mater

I am so PROUD of all of my friends back home that have just celebrated their Bacclaurate Ceremonies. Some of my best friends have just graduaed from Wofford, Clemson, South Carolina, and College of Charleston, and CSU. I sure graduation was a special, emotional, and memorable time for everyone!

Studying for exams has been rather hard since I have spent my time being distracted by graduation photos on Facebook and "Summer is here" status updates! Not easy to stay focused. (Don't read that Mom.)

HOWEVER, in this time of nostalgia, reflecting on Wofford, and even my high school graduation 4 years ago, I am overwhelmed with sweet memories with sweet friends! I am so blessed by each of your friendships! Living in another country has definately shown me that no matter how much time passes before we see one another, we always pick right back up where we left off! THAT. IS. A. BEST. FRIEND.

I dug up this old high school photo the other day. How much have we changed! Love you girls!

SJHS Gradution, 2007
This song also reminds me of High School graduation, seems like ages ago!
Thanks for reading- and happy Graduation/Summer/Exam Prep!
(36 Days until the USA... But who's counting!)

May 20, 2011

Singing In The Rain

Hey Perth. Thanks for finally raining!
Hey Perth. Thanks for nothing for the warning.
Hey Perth- next time, tell me before all of my clothes on the line get SOAKED! Oh, how I took my dryer in the USA for GRANTED!!
Loving the soaked look.
BUT- I must say that the best part of this rainy day was PUDDLES. While I was at work making coffees, our store flooded from all of the rain! So what did we do? No, not mop. But play in it! My co-worker Terri and I turned our store into a RAVE with the flourescent coffee lights on and up-beat music, hiked our pants up and jumped in the puddles!

We danced and pretended like we were in Step Up 2.

How fun is that?!

May 19, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I am SO EXCITED to see my family and head back to the USA in just 6 WEEKS! Let's hope I don't get this bored... especially since my airport layover is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! How do YOU kill time during long layovers?

May 18, 2011

Paddling Out The Back in the Outback!

I don't think these photos do enough justice. However, with limited skills with a digital SLR and beautiful scenery to capture, enjoy these few from our 3000km road trip to Gnaraloo Station, to do some of Australia's finest "riding of tubes" + dodging reefs + hiding from men in grey suits. :) (PS don't read this Mom but there was a shark attack at the Bluff shown below where the boys paddled out while we were there!!)

Red Bluff- 15ft. overhead, photo credit: Cousin Nick

Blowholes- Someone was pretty keen to get surfing!

When we weren't surfing we were catching dinner (this one was literally caught with a piece of straw!)

And when we weren't surfing or fishing... you guessed it- kitesurfing!

3 Mile Camp


Wedding Smiles

What a fun wedding weekend it was! Here are just a few happy snaps that Ben and I took. A fun time was had by all!
Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Collage made with Smilebox

May 16, 2011

Best Wedding Presents

HIS AND HERS SNUGGIES! Best/most creative wedding present award!!

Snuggie Models

Bride and Groom Snuggies


You know what. Even in our trials and tribulations, HE REIGNS. God is THERE in our darkest hours! He NEVER leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 1:5). How lovely is it to know that the OMNIPOTENT, OMNIPRESENT KING of the Universe has been, is, and WILL BE. When we are troubled, we can rest in these promises! He always has the PERFECT plan for each of us.

Today, I was reminded of JUST THAT. I am rejoicing this week in that my Australian Mum, Jimmy-Lynn, has come back to Perth for 10 days from North Carolina, all the way in the USA, for Hannah's wedding. I am so excited to have some quality "family catch up time" with her and reminisce on the past few months together because I haven't seen her since January! She played such a huge part in my life while I was settling down in Australia, and even takes the cake for introducing Ben and I :) Since coming to Australia, her family has become quite close to my family as well.

Well, my REAL Mom sent over some of my winter clothes (along with my mail, some of my beloved Mary Kay, magazines, and winter shoes) from home because it is starting to get quite cold here! I was so thankful that Jim brought them over for me around the world and Mom didn't have to ship them! (She even carried my extra luggage just for me with a broken foot!)

Jim, Caitlyn, and I at Jodie's wedding last year

She left my things in our churches office yesterday, and since I wasn't at church last night (due to a final Adamson-Zahra-family post-wedding-pre-honeymoon dinner) Jim and I went to pick them up this afternoon, after school. However, to our disbelief, my things were nowhere to be found! Somewhere along the way, somebody (I think) thought my things were to be given away to the homeless people that come to our church.

As much as I want to cry (and did have a little unleash the dragon, cry to Ben, the world is going to end one,) God is so good because I KNOW that those clothes are going to go to someone that really needs them. I am excited to celebrate with the next Aboriginal lady that walks into our church fashioned in a new J Crew wardrobe :) I am not going to be bitter but will rejoice in that I was so reminded today that "The things of this world will grow strangely dim!" Life is NOT about the material possessions. Thank you Jesus for molding me into the woman you want me to be, I long to live with more of an eternal perspective!
P.S. I DID ended up finding one special piece of my mail (under the church coffee machine- weird) from my little sister, Abbie. Thank you Jesus for still allowing me to have the most important thing that Mom probably sent! A smile from my sweet baby sister!
P.P.S. If God DIDN'T have a sense of humor, He does today! In my wallowing in my own sorrows, I came home and checked my mail, and He provided, FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS, a package from my sweet grandmother. Talk about Sovereignty!!

Loving the things that really matter- my letters from Grammy and Abbie

May 12, 2011

A Bushel and a Peck

When I lived in Spartanburg, I babysat the two children of my Sorority Advisor. [Shout ou to ZTA!]
When I would tuck Jenna (5 years old at the time) into bed, we would sing A Bushel and a Peck, by Doris Day together. Every time I hear it now, I think of her and those sweet memories!  

Jenna modelling while playing with her baby doll, Choo Choo

Thanks for reading! Happy Thursday!

May 11, 2011

Juicy Beetroot

The Juicy Beetroot Cafe, Fremantle

I went on a hunt today with my token American friend, Shannon, and we found a tiny, totally step into the 80's, ALL VEGETARIAN [and wheat free] cafe tucked away in an ally of Freo [132 High Street in the Tum Tum Tree Lane.]

I TOTALLY rate it. We were provided with an affordable, healthy combination, of all veggo foods. I ended up having a MASSIVE tofu burger and Shannon had lentils and dhal. We also shared a beetroot, celery, ginger, lemon, carrot fresh juice. YUM! 
Lentils and Dhal, a healthy vegetarian meal!

Short Soy Decaf Half Strength Latte

I love my job [although it has turned me into a coffee snob caffeine addict, instant coffee is I dare to say the root of all evil.] When you work in hospitality, there are bound to be things that just make you laugh and on the other spectrum just plain get under your skin! Nevertheless, I have come to find that making the perfect coffee is such an artform, and I find so much joy in giving people their coffee on their way to work every day (or whenever people choose to drink their coffee.) It is truly the perfect job for a student as well, like myself, because working in a coffee shop means flexible hours and no nights! Woot!
Maybe one day my coffees can look this pretty!
Little things that make people smile make my job so worth it (such as throwing in extra shots of coffee for free, or giving their dog a little biscuit.) I have been here for over a year now, and have gotten to know so many loyal customers, which has its perks! For example, I've gotten my gym membership, SCUBA instructing, discounted shoes, and meat from the butchers just from being friendly to the people whose coffee orders I memorize every day! I think that's what community is about though really, and my heart smiles so much when I think of our Fremantle community. It is about supporting each other, and "going local" with who you want to give your business to!

On the other end of the spectrum- I almost wanted to spit in this coffee today-

Me: "Good Morning! How are you today?"
Customer: "GIVE ME A... short sized skinny soy half strength latte with a sweetner and a half heated to 90 degrees. No straw. I have to pay in coins."

PUH-LEASE! Do I dare say would you like a complementary cookie on top? Have a GRAN-DAY!

A photo I took at at Overflow Cafe in Northbridge
My co-worker, Maddie. The A-Team! Best baristas in Perth :)

May 10, 2011

Moved By You

We watched this video in church on Sunday and I don't think there was a dry eye in our building.
After reading Ecclesiastes, we were reminded that chasing the things of THIS WORLD is like chasing the wind... satisfaction from worldly pleasures have NO eternal significance!!

There is more to this life than what is under the sun. Our work and actions should have a motive with an eternal perspective. We need to find our wisdom, toil, and pleasure in the Lord because He gives us purpose.

I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

An Apple A Day Keeps the "Flesh" Away

At my Bible Study tonight, I was so convicted of the verse in Galatians 5 that says, you cannot serve the Spirit and the Flesh, they are mutually exclusive entities. As women, it is so hard to NOT get caught up in the things of this world (or flesh.) I am challenging myself to unlock the INWARD beauty that Christ gives His children abundantly so that I may strive to experience the fullness of a life of crucified FLESH and filled with the FRUITS of the SPIRIT!

This is an awesome sermon by Mark Driscoll, from Mars Hill Church. This sermon is beautifully preached and is so encouraging to me to live a life filled with the Spirit.

The Fat Lady Has Sung

Headlines: Frost, fronts and snow bring a taste of winter to Victoria!

Snow in Australia!

Curry and Cabs

Do you have the travel bug? Need a new book?

Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
This book seriously changed my life and I would recommend it to anyone! I feel so much more "cultured" by reading about one of the most densely populated and impoverished countries in the world. I gained insight on their religion and lifestyle in a city filled with poverty, crime, and Bollywood!  This book took me nearly 6 months to finish, because its 1000 page novel is quite confronting.

Set in Mumbai, India, Shantaram is an autobiography describing "Lin Baba," an ex Australian convict, Union activist, and ex heroin addict's life dwelling in the largest slum in the world in Mumbai. Lin learns the native Marathi language and joins the Bombei mafia, in addition to being called the "slum doctor," integrating into the nasty slum life and providing medical treatment to the natives. He goes on to fight in Pakistan and Afghanistan during an illegal gold and passport smuggling excursion he was involved in through the mafia.

This is one you won't be able to put down!

While we are on the Indian topic... need an easy, new, Indian recipe? The following is a personal favorite of Ben and I's, and we cook it literally once a week! It is a vegetarian meal but still is high in protein! It is from the cookbook 5 Spices 50 Dishes

Red Lentil Dal

- 1 cup of red lentils (rinsed and drained)
- 3 cups of water
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large brown onion  (finely chopped)
- 5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 3/4 tsp ground tumeric (spice)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (spice)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro (or parsley) leaves 

  • Place lentils (after rinsing and draining,) tomato (if using fresh tomato) and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until lentils are tender and have lost their shape, about 40 minutes (begin checking that there is still water in the pot at 30 minutes and add small batches of water as needed).

  • Pick out any tomato skins (disregard if using canned tomato) and whisk dal to emulsify it. Keep warm over low heat.

  • Make the tadka (Indian spice preparation) as follows:

  •      Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add cumin seeds.
        After seeds have stopped sputtering, add the garlic and onion and saute over medium heat until most of the onion has turned dark brown, 5-10 minutes.
        Add the coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, stir, and pour the onion/spice mixture over the dal.
       Add the butter/margarine, tomato (if using canned), (cilantro/parsley), and salt to the dal and simmer for another 5 minutes.

    Serve with Basmati Rice! Enjoy :)

    The LONG Wait Is Over!

    Zara Clothing Line
    It's here! It's FINALLY here!! One of my favorite clothing brands has HIT Oz. No more international shipping fees!

    An Urban Outfitter/ H&M type style, ZARA (originated from the UK) provides affordable and chic clothing for everyone!
    How cute is this! $59 USD!
    Happy shopping girls :) Sorry to cause another dent in your bank account. Happy Tuesday!