What I’m Up To

I haven’t done one of these posts in ages! It’s always a fun way to get a quick snapshot into what’s happening. Life in China has been so fast paced  – I cannot believed we’ve been here for over 4 months now.

I’m not sewing and blogging as much as I’d like, but I’m slowly chipping away at it and I’l get back to more creative pursuits as we settle here and things start to feel more like home.

fabric hoarder


Making – a rainbow and low volume quilt (see my progress here). Word has got out that I sew and a couple of people have brought things to me for adjusting and mending. Hmm. They obviously don’t know my feelings about it…for my own sanity I better let them down gently.

Cooking – lamb chops. It’s been ages since we’ve had them and I finally bought some at a frozen export meat market. It’s funny the things you miss! If only I could find some decent sausages and I’d be set!

Drinking – vodka & soda.

ReadingHappier At Home by Gretchen Rubin.

Wanting – To find somewhere to buy quilting fabric here in Guangzhou. Haven’t found anywhere yet.

Looking – Out my window at the river.  We have a great view from our apartment.

Playing – Snakes & Ladders. Lucy’s current favourite board game.

Wasting – Money. On imported foods. Certain favourites are very expensive here.

Sewing – Once I’ve done my quilt, I need a few cushions for the sofa.

Wishing – That I could zip home to Melbourne just for a day or two.

Enjoying – Riding my bike everywhere.

Waiting – For mail. Our Australian mail only comes once a week.

Liking – Instagram’s new look. (yes I think I’m the only one)

Wondering – how long until I feel settled here?

Loving – eating Chongqing style noodles at my favourite restaurant.

Hoping – To really improve my Chinese skills. My verbal communication is growing quickly, but learning characters is very hard and I can’t read anything.

Marvelling – At the fast pace of progress here in China. I think many friends and family think we live in a small village. Nope. Check out this video – this is where I live.

Needing – To sew more, but my motivation is quite low.

Watching – Just finished bingeing Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 2 and Penny Dreadful season 1. Kimmy not as good as season one.  Penny Dreadful was really good.

Smelling – Let’s just say that a day in China involves smelling good things (mainly food) and very very bad things. Very bad. In public toilets, people do not flush toilet paper. Instead, it is put in a bit next to the toilet. Enough said.

Wearing – I bought some new light weight harem style pants three days ago and I have only taken them off to sleep. So comfy and perfect for this heat.

FollowingHumans of New York. This week has been breaking my heart into pieces with the stories from the cancer hospital.

Noticing – Lucy is now taller than Anna, who is more than two years older than her.

Feeling – Up and down. Some days here are so exciting, some are an exercise in frustration and some days I just miss the ease and familiarity of home. I feel guilty for not keeping up with this blog as much as I would like.

Bookmarking – Australian newspapers to keep up with what’s happening at home.

Opening – My yoghurt maker to check that I’ve managed a nice thick and creamy consistency! A 500g tub of Greek yoghurt costs about $15 here so I make my own. I use an Easiyo yoghurt maker – I recommend!

Laughing – at all sorts of things. Laughter is a great way to communicate when you can’t always speak the language or make yourself understood.

So hopefully I’ll get back to more regular posting here soon. Slowly slowly – it’s important to feel settled. I find sewing and blogging is only something that comes easily when I’m feeling relaxed and all my other family and home commitments are up to date!

WIP winter mug rug

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22 thoughts on “What I’m Up To

  1. Moving your young family to another country is such a big upheaval for you all, Ros. Let go of the things you don’t feel motivated about for the time being – your enthusiasm will come back when life becomes more relaxed. Great admiration for you successfully taking on such a big challenge!

    You’re obviously having more success than I did making yoghurt (without a machine). Then again, if a tub had cost me $15, I would have persisted till I’d mastered the process.

    1. Thanks Pam! I agree I think my creative interests will come back as things settle down. Over summer it’s very hot here and hard to be outside so I expect I’ll get some sewing done over the next three months. With the yoghurt, I found some really helpful tutorials via pinterest. Very helpful!

  2. I think you are doing great! Such a huge move especially with the language barrier! I don’t think you should feel bad about anything – don’t put pressure on yourself! You never know, when the time comes to move back to Australia, you might feel so settled that you want to stay in China!!! LOL

    1. Thanks Jill! The language barrier can be really hard some days. I’m just trying to relax and not push myself too hard. Things will fall into place as time goes on. You are right – I’m sure when I move back there are things about China that I will desperately miss!

  3. Hi Ros, just stopping in to say “hello!” *waves* … I love my Easi-yo yoghurt maker too and also like Instagram’s new look! Like some of the other commenters have said, you really are doing well – so many changes and adjustments! Fingers crossed you find a good local quilting fabric supplier soon – or failing that perhaps you should start a business importing fabric and pork chops – there might be an untapped niche market! 😉

    1. Hi Jen! haha pork chops and fabric, a match made in heaven! How good is easiyo?? I wish I’d used one sooner.

  4. Life sounds hectic, exotic and expensive…find time for sewing…hope you find some quilt fabric soon… I too loved this post!

  5. I was in Hainan last week for work – the heat is so repressive, you have my absolute sympathy there. Are there any expat crafting groups you could join? Hang in there. You’re doing so well! x

    1. Thanks Ruth! Yes the heat is really hard, summer has really hit this week and you can’t be outside for too long. I haven’t found any expat craft groups but that’s ok, luckily I still have all my online tribe 🙂

  6. You live in a big bustling city. Ew to the used toilet paper basket. I wonder if that has to do with clogged pipes? You apartment will feel so homely when “pimp” it out with all your homemade goods. How expensive is yoghurt! Chinese don’t really eat diary hey. Nice update. Are your kids settling in well? Is it an english school or do they have to learn the language too?

    1. Hi Zena, you are right – the plumbing here can’t cope with the toilet paper, there would be huge problems with blocked pipes if everyone flushed it. Yep, dairy is not widely consumed here apart from drinking yoghurts like yakult. The kids are settling in really well, they attend an international school so all their lessons are in english.

  7. I have never had lamb! I wouldnt know how to cook it and I dont know of any local restaurants that serve it but I am now intrigued and might give it a try. Thank you for sharing your adventure in China with us.

    1. Thanks Brandi 🙂 Yes I’ve heard that lamb isn’t very popular in the USA. It’s kind of similar to cook with as beef – it’s another type of red meat.

  8. Funny, but after six months in Melbourne I am now totally over lamb chops and sausages – I think everyone has treated us to them, but now I am just craving rice! Hang in there friend – it is a long slow process and there are always good days and bad.

    1. Haha after a summer in Australia I bet you are sick of bbqs! In the early days we ate a lot of chinese meals but now we are more settled and back into eating more of our old favourites like tacos, spag bol etc, although the kids do insist on dumplings at least once a week 🙂

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