2012, the year that was at ‘usacyndistyle’

I got my wordpress report today, which tells me how many views I’ve had in 2012 [18,000], where most of my readers come from [USA, followed closely by Australia and Germany], who my number one fan is [the person who posted the most comments in 2012, Veronica Alfonzetti] and a whole bunch of other kind of pointless junk you don’t really need to know.

Thanks to everyone who has ‘read’ me over the last 2 years. Thanks to everyone who visited on March 9, when I got my highest amount of views in a day [402]. Thanks to everyone who read my blog on Au Pair Taxes, which was the most read of the year. Zzzz… BORING!

Thanks to everyone who came from Facebook and Twitter, and a shoutout to the au pair who owns this blog (which is in some strange language that I can’t figure out how to read, even using Google Translate) that brought in the most hits outside of Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to the people from [89] countries who read my blog. 89. Wow. That is a lot.

And last but not least, thanks to the person who visited my blog just this morning from searching “Can you wear underwear when you have gallbladder surgery?” I can answer that one for you right here, my friend: No, no you can not.

I may not be in America anymore, but I am still doing everything “Cyndi Style” and will continue to write about my interesting life happenings (like that one time when I caught a $250 taxi ride in a blizzard) here in 2012.

Happy New Year everyone.

hny

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In 2013, I resolve to… [become a better person]

2012. It’s almost gone. Tonight the sun will go down, and millions of people across the globe will get ridiculously drunk, kiss strangers, and resolve to join a gym or lose weight.

It’s quite surreal that it will be 2013 when we wake up tomorrow. I still remember the ‘change over’, if you will, from 1999 to 2000. I was 15 years old, working at Hungry Jacks in Glenelg, SA. The Y2K bug was the Mayan calendar of the time, and everybody thought the computers were all going to blow up at midnight. Yeah, we all know they didn’t.

I don’t remember what my resolutions were last year, or the year before. I don’t even think I made any last year. And really, I mean, it doesn’t actually have to be December 31 or January 1 for you to decide to make a change in your life. You can choose to do that any time.

But, since we’re here, and since I want 2013 to be my best year yet, I’m willing to put down what I plan on doing in 2013. I’ll probably fail miserably, but I want to be able to say I tried. I want something that I can go back to, and say ‘yes, I’ve done that!’ or ‘I need to keep working at that’.

So, in 2013, I resolve to:

  • Work at my health and fitness goals. Eat healthily and train harder. Support my training partner. Push myself. No excuses.
  • Work hard at uni. Don’t leave assignments until 8 hours before they are due. Aim for HD’s and D’s. Do the best I can.
  • Be better with my money. Not frugal, but not frivolous. Save.
  • Travel. Plan and save for a trip somewhere, and take it.
  • Look forward, not back. Leave past hurt in the past, and move forward into the future.
  • Love fearlessly. Be kind to those who love me, and love them back. Love myself. LOVE.

love

Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013.

Posted in 2013, Life, Musings | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The year that was [my au pair year in photos]

Most of you probably didn’t notice, but I failed to post my annual humble brag letter this year. In all the craziness of the last few months, I never felt the drive, not the need to write one. Usually I am onto it in late October, or early November, writing down the highlights of my year, the travel I’ve done, the concerts I’ve seen. However this year it didn’t seem so important.

You see this year, I realised that what I wrote didn’t really matter. The few of you that are interested in my life read this blog when I update it, which means that you know most of what I’ve been doing in the last year.

So instead, I thought that instead of writing about what I’ve done in the last year, that I’d finish up the photo montage of my time in the USA that I started in July, and share it here. I warn you, it’s long, about 13 minutes. And the quality is crappy, because even though the file was nearly 500MB and it took nearly 3 hours to upload to YouTube, somehow it’s still crappy quality. But you get the idea. And you’ve probably seen most of the photos before anyhow. Usually I wouldn’t upload something of such crappy quality here, but I spent a bunch of hours making it, and then a bunch more hours waiting for it to upload. So deal.

So here it is. My American Au Pair Year in photos. Crappy quality photos that is.

Posted in Adventures, Au Pairing, Blog, Boston, Christmas Letter, Florida, Friends, Holidays, Memories, Music, Photos, Travel, USA 2011/2012 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conversations with Mr. 4 about Taylor Swift’s new album “Red”

Taylor Swift’s new album came out a few weeks ago. October 22nd, my 28th birthday, to be exact. And since then, a copy has been on repeat in the CD player in my car.

I’ve been listening to ‘Red’ a lot, and therefore, so have the kids that I nanny for. Mr 4 is a bit of a new Taylor Swift fan, and after a fair amount of time spent in my car, has learnt the words to quite a few songs, and even has a few favourites.

Yesterday I decided it was time to give the bonus tracks a little bit of airtime, so I switched the CD in the car. And it didn’t take Mr 4 long to figure out that I’d changed the CD.

This morning he asked me if I could put “his” song on – Track 9, Stay Stay Stay (also refered to as “the Wah-Wah” song). I explained that it was on the other CD, and that I couldn’t change it while I drove. He contemplated that for a while, and said, “Okay, when we get there then you can change it”, and I agreed.

But I didn’t change it. And so after we were finished ‘there’, we got back in the car, and started driving home. And then he realised something.

Mr 4 – “Hey, this song [Treacherous] is on the other CD too.”

Me – “Yeah it is.”

Mr 4  “How  come?”

Me – “Because it’s a different version.”

Mr 4 – “Oh, a different birgin (sic)… where is the different birgin of the Wah-Wah song? They haven’t made it yet right?”

Me – “Err… that’s right.”

Mr 4 – “You have to tell her to make it, right? You have to ring her up, today or tomorrow, and tell her to make the different birgin of the wah-wah song.”

Me – “Umm… something like that.”

This kid cracks me up. He thinks that I can just ring up Taylor Swift, today or tomorrow, and ask her to record a different birgin of “Stay Stay Stay”. Funny one kid.

In case you haven’t heard or bought it yet, Taylor Swift’s new album RED is available on iTunes now. Buy it here!

Posted in Humour, Kid Things, Music, Nannying | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A new addition [welcome to the world ZGP] <3

Just over a week ago a very special event happened in my family.

My sister Jazmin, and her husband Jason, welcomed their first daughter, the first niece for myself and our sister Amy, the first granddaughter for our parents, and the first great-granddaughter for our grandparents.

Zoey Grace was born on October 11th, at 6:15pm, weighing 8 pounds. It took Jazmin a while to cotton on to the fact that she was actually in labour, and she arrived at the hospital less than an hour before Zoey made her entrance into the world.

Our whole family is in love with this little girl, who couldn’t be more beautiful.

Welcome to the world Zoey. I hope you’re ready for all the love we have for you!

20121019-232709.jpg

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10 reasons you should probably meet a family in their home before you agree to be their live-in nanny…

I recently took a job that I thought was a great fit for me. I met the mum and kids (all 5 of them) in a local McDonalds, where they seemed nice, friendly, the kids of people I would get along well with, and very eager for me to work with them. So I accepted.

6 weeks later, when I arrived at their house, I wanted to get back into my car and drive away. I managed 2 hellish weeks there, which ended in an all-out confrontation, with the mum swearing at me at 5:55am, and me setting the record for packing not only my things, but also packing all those things into my car – 34 minutes to pack everything I own into suitcases and duffel bags, and another 22 minutes to tetris it all into my tiny car.

Thankfully, if I do say so myself, I don’t usually find it hard to find another job, and have settled in with my new family. After dealing with 5 kids for even just a short period, it’s nice to be back to caring for just 2 little boys.

And without any further adieu, here are the top 10 reasons why you should probably interview with a family IN THEIR HOME before agreeing to work for them.

10. They may have 5 dead mice and half a kilo of mice droppings in their pantry.

9. Their definition of a ‘clean bedroom’ may just be the ability to get from the door to the bed.

8. The females in the house (including the mother) may have a rule about not cleaning up after boys who pee on the floor. If nobody admits to it, it doesn’t get cleaned up.

7. You may discover that your clothes come out of the washing machine dirtier than they go in. On further inspection, you may discover that the washing machine filters have probably never, ever been cleaned out.

6. Instead of cleaning out the cat litter box daily, air freshener is an acceptable substitute.

5. When you wake up in the morning, you think maybe you’ve imagined how bad it is, until you walk out of your bedroom and are hit by the smell of the rest of the house.

4. You may find yourself wearing shoes 16 hours a day. More if you sleep less than 8 hours.

3. “I don’t need a shower, I went for a swim today!”

2. Fruit fly infestation in the kitchen is acceptable.

1. The leftover chips from the fish’n’chip shop from lunchtime, refried in the home deep-fryer, are an acceptable side at dinner.

Nannies and au pairs, I urge you to make sure you interview with the family in their home, or after being offered the position (but before accepting) make sure you see their home. And if you can’t (this means you, au pairs heading to another state or country) make sure you use a reputable agency (like Cultural Care Au Pair) who fully screen their families, and make sure that each family hosting an au pair provides a suitable living and working environment.

Posted in Lists, Nannying, Rants, Thoughts | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Home Sweet Home!

Hi! Remember me?

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. And since I last wrote, a lot has happened, and at the same time, not much has happened! Ha!

Oh yeah. And I’m not in America anymore. I’m home. And by home, I mean Australia. So I guess the whole “USA Cyndi Style” thing is out the window. But I have so much love for this blog and it’s 28,000+ views (THANK YOU ALL!) that I couldn’t abandon it and start something new, so here I am, Australia-side, but still here.

Broken Hill – raining one minute, rainbows the next!

I flew home over a month ago, and have been spending time with my family and friends in Broken Hill. It was really nice being able to come home and recover after my surgery – after 3 weeks in the US of lying around and waiting to be allowed to fly home, it was nice to be home with my mum to cook dinner for me and to be able to sleep in my own bed!

I spent 4 weeks doing pretty much nothing, other than sleeping, watching TV, hanging out with my friends and a bit of uni work. Let me rephrase that. I spent 3 weeks watching tv and sleeping, and a week stressing out because I hadn’t done enough uni work in the 6 weeks I had spent doing pretty much nothing else! Oops!

My sister Jazmin is also only 6 weeks off from having her baby, and we had a very successful baby shower for her last weekend!

I’m now in the throes of getting ready to start a new job, as well as trying to successfully get through another university semester AND get through my first professional experience (prac) as well. And that, my friends, you will hear about in my next post. And I promise you, that since I don’t have any lesson plans to write tonight (Friday tomorrow, yay!) that will only be a few hours away, not a few months away!

Posted in Australia, Blog | Tagged | Leave a comment