Saturday, July 31, 2010

Expat frustrations

This post from It Be Liz got my head spinning. No one wants people to think that we ('we' being expats) don't appreciate the opportunity to live in another country. We get that it's a big deal and that many people would LOVE to be in our shoes.

The frustration comes when you feel like you have to lie about your experience to non-expats. If you tell people the truth it seems that you've disappointed them and you come off sounding unappreciative. It's not really fair to expect someone to be sunshine and butterflies all the time, no matter where in the world they're living. The worst thing someone can say is, 'Well, I took a 2 week vacation there in 2002 and it was such a wonderful experience! The scenery! The pubs! The people! The proximity to Europe! I can't believe you're not enjoying it!'

There is a BIG difference between being on vacation and actually living your life.

Yes, the scenery is absolutely stunning, but I'm not Maria von Trapp and I can't just spend my days spinning around in the Wicklow Mountains. Oh wait, actually I COULD because the job market is so bad here that I haven't been able to find a job in a year and a half. I have lots and lots of free time! 

The pubs are really great here, no doubt. Unfortunately we don't go too often because if we did, we would be broke. On average you'll spend 5 euro on a pint and with two people drinking that adds up. Last weekend we were in a city centre pub and there was a British family at the next table giving out on the cost of the drink. And I used to think a pint in the UK was ridiculously priced!

The people. Okay, you can't fault the Irish. They are probably the friendliest people on the planet. *Spot the inside joke!

Yes, we live within an easy traveling distance to some truly fantastic destinations, but only having one income (which had to take a pay cut due to the failing economy) can put a crimp in your jet-setting lifestyle! We have been VERY fortunate to get to travel as much as we have and a lot of that is due to having friends in awesome places.

I guess the point of this post is to remind people that for most of us, life isn't one big vacation. Just because we live in a different country doesn't make us exempt from having the same stresses as everyone else. We DO appreciate the beauty, the pubs, the people, and the opportunity, but sometimes it's hard and things can get under your skin. Cut us some slack. Until the tourist boards put us on their payroll you're going to be stuck with the honest truth!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You Capture - Play

This week's challenge was pretty much a fail. I had grand plans to take cute pictures of the cat playing paper ball, her favorite game. Here is the result:

Me: PLAY! {meanwhile I'm throwing the toys at her}
Her: {Crickets}

She did knock around her stuffed sock toy a bit, but as soon as I tried to get a picture she stopped and stared at the rug. FAIL.

So as a backup, here is a picture of Wes in Clontarf, enjoying the random workout equipment along the strand.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blogging for money

I was looking at a blog today and in the margin there was a link where you could 'Donate' then it listed the options for payment. I totally understand people putting ads on their blogs and reviewing products for various companies. Trust me, I'm all for making money, but just putting a 'Donate' link on your blog seems a bit bold. The writer of this particular blog was not raising money for any sort of charity other than herself. After reading some of her posts I didn't get the impression she was hurting for money. Has anyone ever donated to someone like this?? Am I the only one out there who thinks this is a bit rude??

Thursday, July 22, 2010

You Capture - Black and White

The first picture was not taken using the black and white setting and I didn't edit it later. There's a lot of black and white in Dublin!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Nuggets

1. Pretty sure my husband is ignoring me today. Who can blame him due to my INSANE PMS!? Even I hate me today!

2. Hopefully my extreme bitchiness doesn't affect our fancy date night at the burrito place. Three euro beers and fresh guac!

3. From the comfort of my couch I saw a girl wearing a puffy North Face jacket this morning. Should I be nervous about going outside? What the hell is the temperature out there??

4.  You'd think I'd be much more fashionable due to the insane amounts of 'What Not To Wear' I watch.

3. Liz is back on Monday. Thank god.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You Capture - Vehicles

My vehicles got overhauled and detailed last week. Ahhh....bliss!

P.S. - Yes, I do have nails on my freakishly fat pinky toes!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mmm mmm good!

The easiest cake recipe of all time!

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

You Capture - America

Not living in America right now, this was a bit of a challenge. These are the nutritional labels on the back of some American foods. When you're living in America you don't think twice about this label on food. However, nutritional information on EU foods looks different. So as an expat, when you see the US label you immediately grab the object off the shelf and seriously consider buying it no matter what it is (i.e. the pack of Jell-O vanilla pudding currently in my cupboard). This means the food is imported from the Motherland! Huzzah!!! Pictured here are Raspberry PopTarts, Aunt Jemima pancake mix (my husband's fav), and probably (how Irish of me that I'm not willing to commit) the most sought after food product by American expats: Jif Peanut Butter. And to just make some of you expats even more jealous, I get creamy, but they also sell crunchy. Don't hate! Oh, and don't judge my food selections. You would be surprised what you buy when you don't have instant access to something.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer harvest

You might remember that just as few short weeks ago I planted our garden. I am happy to report that just one month later it is time to harvest our bounty!

I mentioned to Wes yesterday that I needed to pick up some coriander (aka cilantro) for our dinner tonight. He was like, can we just use our plant? Uh, okay, sure! Yeah, I'm not so great with the edible garden. In fact, he asked me if it will grow more. I have no idea. Does anyone know?

Here is our harvest!

*Please note that leaves are MUCH smaller than they appear in this picture.*

I used it to make this cilantro lime rice for our taco salads. It was delicious!!! I feel like I should wax lyrical about the satisfaction of eating something that you've grown with your own hands. But really, it's coriander in a cup. There was no weeding. I didn't get sweaty or sunburned out in the garden. I just dribbled some water over it almost everyday. Maybe if it were a tomato or green beans or something I'd get more excited about it. I do know I'm happy about saving the euro I would have spent on a small pack of herbs, only to have 3/4 of it go bad after a couple of days!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thoughts on cleaning

Me: Wow, these people have really good quick cleaning ideas.

Him: (silence)

Me: This girl keeps a sponge in all her bathrooms and while she's brushing her teeth or washing her hands, she'll run the sponge around the sink. That's a good idea.

Him: She's a freak.

Annnnd this is why we live in a shit hole!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

You Capture: Your Choice!

This week's challenge allowed you to choose from three topics: green, hands, or chairs. Fate had me choose green as we were sitting outside at Trinity College on the weekend and this green bug landed on my arm. He hung out there for awhile, so I was able to get some pictures. After that, the batteries in my camera died and I keep forgetting new ones, so green it is!