Saturday, April 29, 2017

Easy Margarita plus a few things

Its that time again my most favorite season of the year when the days are long and the sun is warm and shining which puts me right in the mood for a nice cool cocktail. Since I now have three kids and attending out door happy hours are not anywhere near relaxing me and Jay have been making drinks at home. A friend of ours here working as a alcohol distributor from Dublin taught us a super simple delicious Margarita recipe that has become our go to.

 picture above is of our finished result ( bowing down to food bloggers it took forever for me to get this photo ) 


Agave Syrup - 1 part
Four Limes - 2 parts
Tequila - 4 parts

Instructions :

First we cut the limes in half and take all the seeds out of the limes
Next squeeze the lime Juice out of the limes ( We have found that it is easier to use a lime squeezer that you can pick up the next time you are aimlessly strolling the aisles at Home Goods )

Then add the agave syrup to the lime juice

Then lastly we add the tequila and add any garnish that you like ( I enjoy adding a little grapefruit to mine )

And there you have it a perfect cocktail for any occasion.

A couple of things I was to discuss that I saw this week that really caught my eye..

Can we please take a second and give Kourtney K a round of applause. One for not falling into the fake butt trap two for having three kids and looking like this and three for FLAUNTING IT on her 38th Birthday.  I am in between wanting to work super hard and attempt to look like this and throwing in the towel and just have another kid to round out the troops. Kael is begging me for a little brother not sure I am sold. I have always loved the idea of another little boy named " Penn " in our lives..we shall see where life takes us

image via Phillip Van

We are headed to see the Great Wall of China next week. We have been putting this trip off we usually like to leave China when we take trips but we really cant leave China without actually seeing the great wall so off we go. Crossing fingers for clean air and nice temperatures.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

ahhh sweet Visitors

We are just coming off the high of having visitors in town so this week is a little blah without the house being full with the people that we love from home. I have thrown myself into spring cleaning and switching out the kids closets to keep myself busy. Last week was filled with so much fun. My brother and his girlfriend arrived just in time to celebrate my Birthday with me. We decided the only appropriate thing to do was take them down to the bund so they can take in some of Shanghais amazing views.  I quickly realized they both wanted to experience authentic China which was awesome. Being a expat here I am often trying to escape China and find as many western options as possible. So it was fun being a tourist in my own city for the week. We all particularly enjoyed an awesome Art District with some really great graffiti walls  little places to eat and unique art spaces. Another highlight of the trip was a night bike ride through Shanghai and all of its back alleys. I have done this once before and still is my favorite thing I have done since becoming a expat. On this tour the guide takes you down roads you didnt even know existed. You get to see how the Chinese really live their night life and how they relax after a hard days work. Overall we biked 14 miles and all of our butts hurt so bad at the end but it was exhiliarating and something I know none of us will ever forget. The day before they left we celebrated Easter together one great thing Shanghai does is offer really fun brunches around the city always offered are endless cocktails and wayyy too much sugar so a win win for the adults and kids. I LOVED having my brother in town it is so great to be able to show our family how we are living over here and get some actual face to face time instead of just talking over the phone. I am going to dump a bunch of photos on here to try to give you a vision of our week together. Hope you enjoy! 

 Out on The Bund for my Birthday dinner.

We took the kids out of school early this day ( which thrilled them ) and checked out a local watertown.

This was a awesome hipster art district left the kids at home this day and tried some great local food. 

Fun Fact my brother got his blazer custom made here in China just days before Easter #chinaperk

Kaels blazer was made here also 

Easter Sunday Flowers 

here is my brother trying out our scooter and of course little P had to go along for a ride too..

Getting fitted for his custom blazer..

Highlight of the trip the night bike ride...

Monday, April 3, 2017

A little home inspo...

With the thoughts of moving back to the good ole USA swimming in my head I can't help but think about what I want to do with our next home. So lets back up. I have lived in four homes since me and Jay have been married. I have liked them all for different reasons but none of them ever totally felt like mine. We always knew that we would soon be relocating within two or three years so there was never any point to put too much time or energy into them. I am a very visual person so it tends to irk at me when I am a living in a home that was clearly picked by someone else. SO I am thinking (  and I may retract this entire blog when I actually get home and start looking at houses ) of taking on a project. Something I can entirely make my own. It wont be perfect at first and I have to get my head OK with that but I think that in the end I would be happier bc it will be all my taste. Scrolling Trulia and there are so many move in ready homes but then I would have to settle with tile in a bathroom I loathe or a kitchen with finishes that I feel are just are OK. Which I have done before and it is fine but I feel like after three years in China I want something to be fully mine.  So I have been trolling pinterest for some inspiration and then I really got excited when I started watching Fixer Upper. I would never go as as extreme as them but it is really is so inspiring the things they can do with these homes. I will be over at my pinterest a lot getting inspiration so come on over and check me out

At the top of my list is a nice open kitchen. I always feel like people gather in the kitchen and I believe it is the heart of the home. 

I love the cabinet colors and the open shelves in this kitchen. I would definitely need some traditional shelving as well to hide the kids plates and tupperwear but love the idea of this for everyday plates and mugs to easily grab.
image via pinterest

Image Via Pinterest

Also really important to us is a good outdoor space and a yard for the kids to play in. A lot of homes in Houston have pools which we are kinda on the fence on just because the kids are so young and they can be so dangerous. 

Image Via Pinterest

Last we would love a " bonus " area where the kids can have their toys and TV for their shows and just a space from them to relax. I would love some built in desks like the one above. A place where they can do homework and Kael can build his legos.  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Shanghai Days

I have been admittedly horrible at documenting my time over here in Shanghai. I am not really sure why that is. Maybe I have felt protective of it wanting to keep it a little for myself. I haven't loved living over here. I haven't hated it either but there are have absolutely been some really hard days. So maybe keeping it to myself was a way to shield the experience from any harsh questions or critiques from the outside in order to well ...I guess make it all the way thru.

 Im not positive when we will be returning back to the US but I have a hunch that it will be soon. SO before I finish this adventure I thought it might be good for me to share a little bit more on here. If for no one else but myself. I just spent the last hour going back and looking at pictures from when we first started and I can't help but laugh and smile. WE WERE SO SCARED. We aren't scared anymore maybe even a tad bit Jaded and that itself it funny. Yup its true the little kids here wear split pants when they are being potty trained and yes most of its citizens don't have access to most of the internet ( yes thank includes Facebook, Instagram, Google ) It is crazy but then after the initial shock it just feels a bit like normal. We often say how we might find ourselves a little bit bored when we move back to the US. Where will the old men strolling the streets in their pajamas on Saturdays be or the millions of scooters zipping by. Will all of my charades expertise go out the window now that I will be able to speak to everyone in plain old English. 

I don't think I can ever really explain to you what picking up your entire life and moving to China for three years feels like unless you have actually done it. However I am going to try for the next couple of months or however long my Husbands company decides to keep us over here ( send help J/K ) So I thought I would start with a pretty typical Saturday for us. We find a restaurant that we haven't tried yet and then meander around the city peeking down alleys that we have never peeked down before. There are tons. Today was especially lovely maybe that is what triggered me to want to start documenting all of this. I have admittedly been pretty hard on China. However I know I will find myself thinking about this place very very often once we are gone. 

this house was just tucked back in a alley in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. Im willing to bet that these people have a few pennies to rub together.

Ferguson Lane a hip little Lane with bars shops places to eat flower shops so cute.

These little fruit and vegetable stands are on every corner. 

My babes. This is just home to them.

A typical Shanghai street notice all the bikes and scooters. A staple here.

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