Saturday, January 3, 2015


It's 2015!!!!!!! Wahoooo!! We had an absolutely wonderful New Year's Eve - we climbed mount Kosciuszko with the fam, went to a lovely bbq for dinner, and danced the night away with Claire, 3 glasses and a bottle of Mumm champagne! 
(Our ears were freezing..!)
(Top of the mountain!! Highest point in Australia! So proud of Eddie and Will - and us - for walking 14kms up and back down this incredible peak!)
(Will and Han on the bobsled)
(Oh, and we introduced Claire to Jagerbombs..!)
Happy New Year to you beautiful friends and family - and anyone else! - reading our blog! We've so enjoyed sharing our adventures in LA with all of you, it was one crazy, intense, wonderful ride! Now that we're starting a new year in a new place, we've decided to continue living life to the fullest but to stop writing it down for a little while. This will be our last post - wow! - but tuned for a Travel Edition of the blog, coming in April!! May this year bring us all happiness, love, excitement, and tons of fun! We couldn't feel more positive and excited about this new direction our lives are taking and wish the same and more for everyone else! 
Lots of love,
Hannah and Lucy xoxo

Monday, December 29, 2014

Still Call Australia Home

Now, we have some news that we excluded (to keep it a surprise for our Aussie relatives) from the last blog post... We've moved back to Australia!! WAHOOOO! We've been so blown away by how welcoming and wonderful everyone's been, we really couldn't be happier with our decision! 
When we told the kiddos they were completely speechless (which never happens with Eddie) and Eddie's eyes welled up with tears. A couple days later, she'd obviously been processing it, she said "so now we'll be like real sisters!" Over and over the last two weeks Eddie and Will have just been such sweet, funny, amazing little things and we're SO glad that we won't be missing out on their lives anymore. Truly all the validation we've needed - and we've gotten tons more validation on top of that! We totally lived up to the big sis role at Eddie's dance recital where we screamed our hearts out for her! Such a proud moment, she did soo well!! 
Totally worth sitting through the 2 hours of other kids, but hopefully next year she'll be in more than one dance.. We're also still trying to convince Will to take a boys hip hop class, he's shockingly coordinated, it's quite amazing.
A few days after we arrived Sue and Sir (Claire's parents) had their 50th wedding anniversary and took us all to an incredible seafood buffet lunch at the Hyatt! We caught up with the whole Dace clan and it was really lovely - great atmosphere, food, and company!
That afternoon we had the whole Dawson clan over for an early Christmas dinner - prawns, lamb, sausages on the barbie, the traditional Aussie feast! It was amazing to catch up with all the cuzzies (especially Phe! Looking forward to our "Single Summer" with that awesome chick!) and we had such a lovely time exchanging pressies and stories.
Another highlight of our first week back was catching up with old friends. Lucy and her former (and maybe future) best friend Ali spent the afternoon and evening hanging out around Canberra, shopping, walking around the lake, filling each other in on all the goss, and spent the evening at Ali's watching Love Actually. Han and Claire went out to a funky bar, Public, for a cocktail and a chat. So lovely! A couple nights later, on Christmas Eve, we both went out to the Kingston pub with a bunch of our old friends from high school! It was SO surreal seeing them all, they haven't changed a bit! 
From left to right: Fairlie (super athletic and fun), Courtney (the biggest sweetheart and so gorgeous), Luce, Paige (the absolute life of the party, totally hilarious), Ali (very funny and so nice), Han, and Georgia (absolutely lovely with the most killer bod). We had a wonderful night catching up, drinking, dancing, and having a fair bit of trouble wrapping our heads around us all being back in the same place after so long! 
We also saw Grandma and Grandpa earlier that day for a yummy lunch, Christmas pressies (thank you guys!), and a couple fun rounds of cards! We got a bit lost driving back without GPS but it was actually nice to get our bearings and have a drive around Canberra - it took us a while to realize that the average sized road we were on was, in fact, the freeway and that we wouldn't be able to just turn at the next set of traffic lights haha. We made it back eventually though, with a minimal number of dangerous moments!
The next day was Christmas!! YAAYY! We were hosting so we got to spend the day at home, bonus! Eddie and Will put out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve and in the morning Santa had come!!
Woo! We totally weren't expecting stockings and we're thrilled to find ours full of lovely little things. Eddie and Will are truly the cutest two kids and we had a wonderful morning unwrapping the prezzies in our stockings and all our family ones.
Karen, Zac, Sue, and Sir came over for Christmas lunch and we had yet another delicious feast cooked up by dad! 
Everyone left in the early afternoon and we spent the rest of the day playing board games and card games with Eddie and Will. Such a lovely day!
The next day we partook in the Boxing Day sales with great success! We also ran into Emma Pullinen and our auntie Louise which was kinda crazy..! They're so lovely, looking forward to catching up with them properly in the new year!
In the last couple days we've been mostly hanging out at home by the pool, riding bikes and reading books. We went and saw Big Hero 6 with the kids and it was SUCH a sweet movie, we all thoroughly enjoyed it! 
We also had lunch at Sue and Sir's to celebrate Samantha's 25th birthday (so nice) AND we all made guesses about whether or not she and her hubby Grant would have a boy or a girl - they were finding out the next day..! We both guessed it's a girl buuut we were wrong! A new little baby boy will be with us in a few months, yeee so exciting!! 
Yesterday we drove to Thredbo, a little skiing town a couple hours from Canberra, where we're having a mini-holiday and spending New Years. We have a lovely little apartment and we're planning on cloning Mount Kosciuszko (the tallest mountain in Australia) tomorrow! We had a delicious dinner last night at a restaurant with a gorgeous view of the mountains!
Today we rode the chairlift up part way and had morning tea, then came down and went on the bobsled! Han filmed it on the GoPro which was very cool, we're loving our new little camera! It's pretty quiet here but it sounds like new year should be a lot of fun! We're really enjoying the family time and are just overall very happy with how we're finishing up this crazy, challenging, wonderful year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Highlights of the High Life

The last few weeks have been crazy! We've been SO busy packing and getting ready to go to Australia, but have managed to squeeze in some seriously yummy food (as always) and a few really fun little outings! Here're the highlights:
- The most delicious Cuban food you can possibly imagine! Pulled pork in a citrus marinade with rice, black beans, and caramelized plantains, amazing!! We drove over 45 minutes to get to the restaurant and it was sooo worth it!
- Bread pudding at Urth Caffe (finally!) it was out of this world good
- A Thanksgiving feast cooked up by our amazing Mum, the domestic goddess! Turkey, stuffing, broccoli/cauliflower au gratin, sweet potato with marshmallows on top, mashed potatoes, sautéed brussels sprouts with bacon, corn pudding, and 2 pies, cherry and pumpkin, for dessert! YUM!
- Black Friday shopping with Mum! We left the house at 4:30 and had SUCH a successful morning shopping. Sooo many bargains and minimal impulse buys, love it! 
- The Theory of Everything at the movies; it was absolutely outstanding! 
Eddie Redmayne was incredible and the whole film was totally mesmerizing, we'd highly recommend it!
- ARROW! It's such a great show and we've gotten mum and Q totally hooked! So fun rewatching with them..!
- We reattempted a juice cleanse with much more success! We lasted two days and, while it wasn't ideal, it wasn't awful and we were very proud of ourselves
- Followed up the juice cleanse with Sprinkles cupcakes at the Americana at Brand and did a little more shopping at H&M and Victoria's Secret while we were there.. We went a bit nuts these last couple weeks!
- We also followed the cleanse with a huge Dim Sum dinner at our favourite place, Lunasia, and it was as delicious as always!
- Our last little treats before heading back out to mum and Q's were Dulce de Leche cookies from Porto's Bakery. So good.
- Back out at mum and Q's we caught up with Luke on Saturday which was absolutely lovely and then spent the last week relaxing and getting pampered! We had a glorious spa day at Glen Ivy hot springs with Mum and then went out for holiday mani/pedis together the next day. What more could a girl ask for?!
- Luce and Mum baked up a storm of delicious holiday treats for us (which Q are waayy too many of) and it really started to feel like Christmas time!
- We got the rest of our packing done and, even more exciting, started to really plan our Euro trip! Woo!! We booked our first flight and chose the others, planning on having it all booked in the next couple days!
- On Friday we went to the Mission Inn for dinner and had a walk around to see all the Christmas lights. It was absolutely stunning! So festive!
- Saturday was our last full day before heading to Aus and we spent it relaxing and hanging out, with the yummiest pizzas you could imagine for dinner and got 22 Jump Street to watch (hilarious!)
- Sunday was our early family Christmas and it was so, so perfect. A couple stocking pressies each in the morning, just a taster, then our bigger presents for each other. Mum and Q gave us our backpacks for our trip (they're SO great, we love em!), a new bag each, lovely little decorative boxes and a bunch of other special little things - what really took the cake was Q's extra special pressie.. A selfie stick! Haha you put your phone on the end and it lets you get a wider reach for the pic, too funny. This was our first attempt, not bad!
We also gave Q season 2 of Arrow, did a special jar of love notes for Mum, and gave each other a new gopro to share! So great!
We all had brekkie and got ready then Sara, Darren, Joya, Rumi, and Liam arrived to spend the afternoon with us! We all opened our stockings and presents, drank and ate yet another delicious feast! It was all over too soon and at 6:00 we had to say our goodbyes and head to the airport..!
We're writing this post from Sydney airport after a really pleasant flight from LA - we had a mini row with lots of legroom all to ourselves! - while we wait to go on to Canberra. 
Our flight here was delayed so we missed our connection but we got on the next flight and only have to wait an extra 15 minutes! Woo! We'll be in Canberra in no time, can't wait to see Dad, Claire, and those gorgeous, crazy kiddos! Yeeeee we couldn't be more excited! We're nearly there!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Amazing Race: Birthday Edition

We had such an AMAZING (get it?) weekend celebrating Qee's birthday Amazing Race style! We were sooo thrilled with how all the clues turned out, how perfectly everything timed up, and, of course, how much Q enjoyed everything!! 

It took us 5 HOURS to get out to mum and Q's with traffic, torture! But we made it out around 5:00 and all frustration was forgotten when the race began and Q opened his first clue! 
Quick explanation of the clues in case anyone hasn't seen the show:
Route Info: directions to the next location or activity
Detour: a choice between two different challenges or activities
Road Block: a single challenge that only one team member completes 
Speed Bump: and additional task assigned as a penalty. These are pretty rare in the show so we only included one in our Amazing Race.

On Friday we organized 3 different challenges:
We gave Q the first clue and then he had to go find the second one hidden in his office!
Clue number 2 was a Detour choosing between Sonic and Chuck E Cheese for dinner with unique challenges for each one! Q picked Sonic and we headed over for some all-American fast food, drive in fun! 
We had a ball! We've been talking about going to sonic for years and it toootally lived up to our expectations! Delicious shakes, great onion rings, yummy chicken - and Q completed his challenge, eating his foot-long chili dog in only 7 bites!! 
The last clue, for the Pitstop, told Q to find the "Girl on Fire" AKA Katniss from The Hunger Games! We headed to the movie theatres in Dos Lagos to watch Mockingjay which we've all been SO excited to see, and it was awesome! 
Really dark and gritty, but stayed so true to the book and was really well done, we were all thoroughly impressed! We headed home for a good night's sleep in prep for the huge Saturday we'd planned!

Q got his first clue of the day at 8:30, and it was a Road Block! 
He had to successfully ID 4 out of 6 donut flavours in the box of Dunkin Donuts we picked up the day before. He did SO WELL! We were really impressed! 
5 outta 6 and he earned his next clue... Leading us to Disneyland!!! Yeeee! We went to the statue of Walt and gave him the next clue.
For this detour we split up - Mum and Q went and got a treat from the candy shop and the two of us raced over to Space Mountain (via Indiana Jones which was shut, lame) to get Fastpasses for later. We met back at the castle drawbridge for another clue..!
The next Road Block task was to find 10 hidden mickeys scattered around the park. We went straight into Fantasyland and started looking! 2 on a mailbox, 2 on the carousel, 1 on the Mad Hatter sign, 1 on the whale from Pinocchio, 1 somewhere else, and 3 on the Matterhorn! Success! 
Next up was another Detour: Small World or Star Tours. Q picked - no surprise - Star Tours! AND in a legendary move, he picked the planet we went to on the ride first guess! Amazing!! On to the next clue..!
Lunch time, yum! We went to New Orleans Square for French Dip, Fried Shrimp, and a Cajun Chicken Caesar salad, delish! Challenge completed.
The next clue took us to the shooting arcade where Q proved that he most definitely could've made it as a cowboy in the Wild West! 
He hit 20 targets no problem and then we were on to the biggest undertaking of them all: one attraction in each area of the park! It was a super busy day so it took us all afternoon to complete but, after Indiana Jones in Adventureland, Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country, Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, the Mickey and the Magical Map show in Fantasyland, then we caught the train around to New Orleans Square for the Haunted Mansion, and last to Frontierland for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! 
In there we also had a second go on Indiana Jones cos it's our fave, checked out the adorable decorations in Toon Town, grabbed jumpers/jackets/scarves to keep warm, saw all the lights turn on in the most spectacular fashion at It's a Small World, and ate the most glorious pumpkin flavoured beignets you can possibly imagine! 
The last clue took us to the Pitstop on Main Street to watch the spectacular holiday fireworks display. 
So magical! We couldn't have imagine a more perfect end to such a wonderful day!

Sunday was Qee's actual birthday and we really brought our A-game! Mum cooked up an absolute storm in the morning making the chocolate tart for dessert later on and a scrumptious batch of scones for the first challenge!
Q was onto challenge #2 in no time.. Locating his presents! 4 riddles leading to 4 presents, the stakes were high! With a couple minor hints, he made it to his gifts: a travel organizer set from Brendan and Sharon, Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts, the box set of Arrow (it's SO GOOD), and an awesome set of noise canceling headphones from us and mum! 
The next task was a Speed Bump for the two of us to walk and brush the doggies, lucky puppies! We did that, had a lovely sit in the spa, then the race was back on! 
Next challenge: a 32 second lap on the Go Karting track! We headed down to K1 Speed and hit the track!
Q killed it and Han raced as well aaand didn't come last! Haha mum and Luce had a great time cheering from the sidelines and it was good fun to get some adrenaline pumping in the Go Karts! Woo! 
We headed home for a couple slower paced challenges: a super fun game of Monopoly and a cocktail!
We spent the evening with the neighbors, Aaron and Elizabeth and their daughters Mary and Lauren. Q was surprisingly surprised when he got his clue that we'd be eating out!
Because mum had made the chocolate tart that morning, he was convinced we'd be having dinner in - and to further throw him off the scent mum had put some bacon out on the counter, nice. We went down to Wood Ranch for some seeeriously yummy steaks, ribs, and salmon for dinner. It was a really cute place and such great company to finish the weekend in!
The very last clue of the weekend led Qee home for his chocolate tart! Mum made Eton Mess as well and we squeezed those last delicious bites into our already full tummys.
We finished our game of monopoly, a battle to the death between Q and Han. After an intense 45 minutes, Qee won!! Which was probably fitting given it was his birthday buuuut Han never likes to lose haha. It was such a lovely weekend, it really couldn't have gone better! We were so glad Q had a great time and we really couldn't have managed any of it without all mum's help and organization. Such a team effort to make heaps of wonderful memories! HAPPY BIRTHDAY QEE!!!