Get on ya Bike

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
So cute in his duck helmet!
It has been a long time since I've been on a bike. Probably just under two years. Pretty much since I was pregnant. I was a worry wart pregnant lady who was too scared to ride my bike for the fear of falling off, even though I can't remember the last time I fell off a bike (it was probably when I was in high school when couldn't get my feet out of the clip-ins and fell in a rose garden on a busy road). When you have a baby, you really have to be dedicated to get some time to head out on the deadly-treadly, and well, I'm just not that dedicated. Obviously.

This week we got Ezra a bike seat (a Wee-Ride), and a helmet. So we took advantage of the awesome weather this weekend and headed out on a family ride. The Wee-Ride was attached to Joel's bike,  seeing he rides to work most days, he has the leg muscles to carry an extra 10 kilos or so. I realised, I didn't even have the leg muscles to carry myself along very fast. The way back was the hardest, because of course it was all up hill. I am so glad I didn't have to carry a toddler too! Although I really want to get myself to the level that I can ride with Ezra and then we can do mid-week rides as well.

Ezra LOVED the bike ride, he was laughing and clapping and having a blast.

We got lots of comments from passers by about his amazing DUCK helmet!

It was so good to get out and exercise properly though, and I want need to do it again soon! I really love riding, its just hard to get back up to the fitness level I want to be at. It is hard to get motivated when you know that you can no longer do the things that you used to be able to. At the same time I have to remind myself how much I enjoy being active and playing sports, that is my motivation!

Is there some exercise or sport you have been hanging out to do, but haven't since the kiddo's came along?

Off to the playground. 
Bikes keep him occupied for...minutes
Perfect weather to relax, and Joel gets his face attacked by Ez!
And linking up with Jess at Diary of A SAHM for the first time!

First Timer at a Blogger Event

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's been a while since I have put myself out there and gotten out of my comfort zone. It has also been a while since I have been out on my own on a Friday night!  I used to meet new people all the time with work. I was always challenging myself in new situations and I felt at ease with small talk and meeting new people. It's funny how much things change. 

For the last year, apart from my awesome Mums group, I haven't really done much 'meeting' new folk, so when the opportunity came to attend a WOMBATS (Website and Online Media, Bloggers and Tweeps) Christmas in July Drinks, I jumped at the chance to meet other bloggers in Perth. As the day approached I started to get a little nervous, suddenly realising I would be turning up alone to a bar to meet a bunch of people I had never met and had only seen online and twitter (it felt oddly like some kind of strange online dating situation). 

I resisted the temptation to pull out at the last minute, and figured that the worst that would happen is that I would awkwardly stand by myself with a drink, and well that is not really that bad seeing I rarely get any time to myself these days, and even rarer with and alcoholic beverage.

Looking at my smile, I must have been having a good time! How Huge is my mouth, seriously.

I ended up having a really good night. I was maybe a little quieter and more reserved than normal, but that will change next time I'm sure! Not surprisingly everyone was so lovely, warm and welcoming. I had a glass of bubbly in my hand about a minute after arriving, and conversation very shortly after that. Thanks to Yvette, Colin (Associate Woman), Cie (Pathetic To Pinup) and Taryn (This is Taryn), I didn't have any awkward standing on my own moments. It was great to meet other Perth bloggers and feel part of a blogging community, I even got told I look like Yumi Stines, but less Asian (Thanks @RealJiveTurkey, I will take that as a compliment). 

Me with the lovely Yvette (Delightfully Tacky Lil Squirts) and Glow (Where's My Glow)
Everyone was very intrigued by what was in these boxes!
As an added bonus we walked away with these amazing gift boxes, although I was extremely bitter and disappointed to find out my box was mysteriously missing the Macaroons. I guess my waistline can be Thankful for that, because I am pretty sure I would have devoured them all that night. 


I didn't get the chance to meet everyone there, but some of the other lovely bloggers I met were Jules (The Bumpiest Path), Narelle (CookCleanCraft), Feli (My Life in Mono), Sarah (Dear Baby G), Chantel (Bossy Mummy) and Silly Mummy. I am looking forward to checking out all of their blogs! 

A big Thank You to the Wonderful Sponsors Bubbler DealsDigital Parents & NuffnangI am looking forward to the next one, and maybe I won't drive this time so I can have a couple (or more)  glasses of Red!!

 I didn't take any pictures at all that night, so these are all from the W.O.M.B.A.T Facebook page.

Karen xx 


Walking is Good for my Soul

Thursday, July 26, 2012
I've been feeling a little blah lately. Probably because we came down with the sickness that everyone around here seems to have, a cold that lasts about three weeks. We had a major case of cabin fever, and because the days have been so cold I haven't wanted to take Ezra out into the cold air too much with him being sick. 

This morning it was Chilly!! About 3 degrees celsius. But I was desperate to get some exercise and just some fresh sea air. This is one of my favourite places to walk. It is so peaceful, no roads, hardly any people, just us and the ocean, and my footsteps on the pavement. I think, why don't I do this all the time. It gives me a chance to clear my head, focus on what is important, pray, get rid of the negativity and crap that builds up and helps me relax. I feel so much better afterwards, I just need to do this more often, it is so good for my soul. 

There is just something about the ocean! 
It was so beautiful this morning that I took a lot of pictures along the way. 
Have a look, take a deep breath, relax and have a great day or night!!

Karen xx

Family Dinner: Homemade Pesto with Chicken and Vegetables

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


This is another one of my go-to dinners for the whole family, including baby! 
When Ezra was younger this was a meal that I could quickly puree and give to him, and now he can eat the same meal as us. It is so easy, and yummy. I love the strong basil flavour this meal has. 

Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breast
Zucchini 
Carrot
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Pumpkin (Butternut Squash) 
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

Making the Pesto:
You need: Olive Oil, Parmesan Cheese and Basil (optional extras Pine nuts or cashews) 
Basically you mix about 2 cups of Basil leaves, with a handful of Parmesan and about a half a cup of olive oil in a food processor until the basil leaves are chopped finely. You want it to have a paste like texture. Add more olive oil if it is too dry.




You then roughly chop all the vegetables, I add about a cup of each vegetable, but you can tailor it to your own size family.
 Cut the chicken breast into smaller pieces and add both the chicken and vegetables into a Slow Cooker or Casserole dish. I listed the vegetables I use but you can add potatoes, sweet potato or any other vegetables you like. 
Drizzle the pesto mixture over the chicken and vegetables and stir in. 
Add a cup of water if you are cooking in a slow cooker. 
In my slow cooker I cover and leave it on high for about 3 hours and it comes out beautifully. 
In the oven, I cover and cook for about 45 mins at 180 degrees celsius (approx 350 fahrenheit).

When the vegetables are soft and the chicken is cooked through then it is ready to go. 
Serve and enjoy. 
It would also taste great served with couscous or quinoa. 
It is delicious, healthy and so, so easy. 


I hope you enjoy.
Karen xx 

You is Smart, You is Kind, You is Important

Monday, July 23, 2012
I have a new embroidery piece in my Etsy store, my first new addition in a while. This piece was inspired by the book The Help written by Kathryn Stockett. I read it last year, and I loved it. It made me angry, it made me laugh, it made me cry, it was a beautiful story. This quote stood out to me immediately. One of the main characters is an African American maid called Aibileen Clark, who looks after a little white girl, Mae Mobley. Mae Mobley "ain't cute" according to Aibileen, and doesn't really fit in with her mothers ideas of the perfect daughter, even though she is but 3 years old. Aibileen doesn't care about this, she cares about teaching Mae Mobley that she is smart, she is kind and she is important. No matter what anyone else says. They really have a beautiful relationship, one that Mae Mobley's Mother should have with her daughter but doesn't seem to have that desire.


I love this quote because I think every child should have these words spoken to them, that they should be able to grow up believing these things about themselves. It isn't about what they look like, or what they can or can't do, it is about who they are as a person. It breaks my heart when I see children in terrible situations. There is a family that I often see that have major domestic disputes in the middle of the street, which we have called the police about before. They have a small child, who isn't even two years old yet. When I was stitching this, I thought of this little boy. It makes me wonder if he has ever heard these words, it makes me so sad to think he has to grow up with this kind of volatility around him on a daily basis. It doesn't do much for creating a secure and loving environment to help him to become a well balanced and secure adult.

So for me, this is a great reminder, to tell our children everyday. 
You are Smart, You are Kind, You are Important. 




Success for the boy that hates shoes

Friday, July 20, 2012

I finally found a pair of shoes that Ezra is happy to wear, keep on his feet and walk around! It has been bothering me so much that his feet have been so chilly just padding around in his socks on our cold wooden floors. I felt so bad for him, but every time I put shoes on his feet, he would cry and scream and then rip them off. 

These little Robeez arrived in the mail from endless.com yesterday, and I slipped them on and although he had a small protest, he quickly realised he could still walk properly, and off he went. The soles are suede, so they are soft, but not slippery. They are a tad bit big still, but that is ok, plenty of room to grow. They are such cute little shoes. Oh man. He's already been getting compliments about them when we are out and about, and people have been asking where we got them from, so I thought I would share here too! 
It is the little things that get me excited these days, ha. I love kids shoes!

At This Moment: 11 Months

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
11 Months old.

Ez11months2
First of all, this week Ezra finally said 'Mum' hip hooray! The first of many, many times I am sure! I was pretty excited because he has been saying Dad for so long. Finally, we moved past only saying the 'D' sound, and moved on to M and N too. 


This photo above is a captures Ezra's personality perfectly. He is running to me, mouth wide open, probably making some kind of roaring noise, ready to attack with full force. Gives me a big cuddle, then he is on his way again. I love him so!

I officially have a walker. Crawling is lame, so he seems to think because he doesn't do it any more. Just walking, sometimes very fast walking that kind of resembles running. I better get used to running too. Although when he is concentrating on walking he walks with his arms up in the air, it is hilarious. He is such a confident and fearless little boy. I can't believe the things he tries. As you can imagine this means he has a lot of bumps and bruises. Thankfully nothing major yet.

These new teeth that are supposedly causing sooo much pain for my little man are yet to make their grand appearance. I am just hoping and praying that they bust through those gums soon! For my sake as well as his.

I am still in disbelief that we are nearing a year. I am so excited about his birthday, baking him his first cake, celebrating with a party especially for him, and how fun is it to planned themed kids parties? I am loving perusing online for all these fabulous ideas.

I have been saying all along that I would like kids spaced two years apart, and well, I better start thinking about that soon too.

Ez11months
Ez11months1
Ez11months3

5 Reasons I Hate Instagram

Saturday, July 14, 2012
1. As I sit here freezing cold, looking at rainy skies, my friends in the Northern hemisphere are inundating Instagram with glorious pictures of Summer. I am so jealous, these pictures of swimming, beaches, summer drinks and all sorts of stuff I'd rather be doing. Summer is my favorite, it seems like everyone is just rubbing it in my face.

2. My Instagram feed is full of delicious food. It makes me hungry and want to eat all the time. This is not good for my budget and for my waistline. It doesn't help me people!!!

3. Babies, lots and lots of pictures of babies and kids. That are too far away for me to cuddle and play with. It makes my heart sad to think some of my dearest friends have these gorgeous kids that I have never met, or have spent brief amounts of time with. I know Ezra would have so much fun with these awesome kiddos as well.

4. Gorgeous locations. Instagram makes me want to drop everything and travel around the world. Some amazing pictures of far away places fill my feed and it makes me pine to get on a plane again and go on an adventure. Unfortunately, pining is all I will be doing right now, so I'll just sit here and wallow shall I.

5. I see pictures of our friends out for dinner or doing something fun, and there's something missing. We are. So many of our closest friends are too far away to just 'hang out' with. I wish that I could teleport to join them for an evening or a party or just lazing on the couch. Instagram is a constant reminder of how far away we are in Perth, and how amazing my friends are!! Sob, Sob.

Ok so I really LOVE Instagram for all of these reasons too. I am so glad that I get a glimpse into the everyday lives of my friends and family that are so far away. It inspires me to create new dishes and drinks. It helps me stay connected, I am addicted to it. It's true.

Do you have a Love/Hate relationship with Instagram too?

Happy Weekend,

Karen xx


How to make Ethical Shopping Choices Everyday

Friday, July 13, 2012

It can be so confusing to know what companies own which products in the Grocery Store. The other day I only just discovered that 'Be Natural' was actually owned by Kelloggs, but you don't see the big Kelloggs label on their packaging like you do with Corn Flakes or other cereals. This makes it so confusing to know which companies your shopping dollar is ultimately supporting.

I know that its not something that everybody necessarily thinks about on a daily basis. We like the things that we like and we buy them not really thinking too much about where it comes from, how it is made or the actions of the company that is making it. At least that is how I used to be. If I liked the product and it was good value for money, then I would buy it, simple.

It wasn't until I started working for World Vision, before my Mummy days, that my eyes were opened to how unethical many companies are in their business proceedings, and how many terrible practices are going on that are being ignored by big businesses making a buck. And, then they get away with it, because many of us are unknowingly spending our money on their products and most of the time without realising it we are supporting these unethical practices.

A really easy way to figure out which company is which, and who is owned by who is the Ethical Shopping Guide. I have the IPhone App called Shop Ethical, which costs a few bucks, but well worth it. I can browse and find the product I am looking for and see the best companies to put my dollars towards. You can actually find out exactly who owns what, and what these companies are doing that is deemed unethical, and make a conscious shopping decision based on that. If you don't have an IPhone you can get a hard copy found at their website HERE.


Our consumer voice and dollar can make a huge difference, we see that many companies are becoming 'Fair Trade Certified' because they realised that is what the consumer wants, and demands of them. A lot of time the only way to make these companies wake up is to stop supporting them until they    change their practices, and contact them to let them know why you are no longer buying their products.  I remember when a campaign started against Arnott's to make sure their chocolate is sourced from child-labour free sources, very soon after they started receiving the postcards, they responded.

For me, I feel it is important to know what I am buying, who I am supporting and basically what kind of actions I am saying are OK. It is not OK for me that children are being enslaved in the cocoa industry and stolen from their families. It is not OK that companies are falsely advertising and claiming things that just are not true about the 'health benefits' of their products. It is not OK with me that mothers in third world countries were influenced to use baby formula instead of breastfeeding even though they didn't have access to clean water and their babies ended up dying (Nestle Boycott).


I am however OK with people thinking, I am one of "those" people, because I try to make sure the 'stuff' I have doesn't come at someone else's expense. I am OK with my Son growing up and understanding that his voice, even if it is just one voice can make a difference, and that his choices have consequences. 

Do you know the ethics of the companies behind the products you buy? 

Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with this product, it is simply something that I use and find helpful and believe in the cause that they are supporting.




Easy Family Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Finally I have pulled myself out of the haze of sickness that has engulfed our house in the last week, if that doesn't make you want to follow a recipe I have for you, then I don't know what will. 


This is one of my all time favourites, I made it tonight and Joel asked me why I made his birthday dish a week early. Whoops, I didn't realise he liked it that much. 

It is a great dinner for the whole family. I only cook one meal a night (and that is on a good night) so it has to be edible for us big people and the one little person too. I read that ricotta is recommended for babies over 7 months.  It is such an easy recipe, you don't have to pre-cook the lasagne noodles and it is delicious. It takes about 15 minutes of prep and then it just cooks away on its own. 

Ingredients: 
Lasagne Sheets
Mozzarella Cheese (250g) 
Baby Spinach (fresh or frozen) 200g frozen or a large bowlful fresh.
Ricotta Cheese (500g) 
Pasta Sauce (700grams approx) 
Oregano (1 tsp)
Tarragon (1 tsp)
Pepper 
Salt (optional, I don't add it until after because of the little man) 

Instructions:

- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius
- If you have frozen spinach defrost it or fresh Spinach boil or steam until cooked.
- Chop Spinach into small pieces
- Mix Spinach and Ricotta Cheese (I buy a 500g container and use about 3/4 of it)
- Add oregano, tarragon, pepper, (and salt if desired) and stir
- Pour 1/4 of your pasta sauce onto the bottom of your dish and spread evenly
- Add the first layer of lasagne noodles, covering the bottom of the dish
- Spread half (1/2) of the ricotta, spinach mixture evenly over the noodles
- Pour another 1/4 of the sauce on top of mixture
- Repeat these steps to make another layer
- Add the final layer of noodles on top
- Spread the last 1/4 of pasta sauce evenly over noodles
- Cover generously with Mozzarella 
- Pour 1/2 a cup of water around the edges to help the noodles cook thoroughly
- Cover the whole dish with aluminium foil and bake at 180 degrees celsius for 1 hour and 15 minutes for the last ten minutes I like to turn the grill on and remove the foil to brown the cheese
-Serve with a salad or steamed vegetables



Hope you enjoy!!
Karen xx 

Smash Journal: More Baby's Firsts Journal

Friday, July 6, 2012
I finally have gotten around to doing two more pages for Ezra's Baby's Firsts album. 
You can see the first two pages HERE

I'm using a K & Company Smash Journal, and just trying to make it simple with a lot of handwritten journalling, (not overdone with scrapbooky goodness) and I'm just trying to be authentic of how we feel about our little man. One day he can look back and know he is so so so loved!



Karen xx

{Don't forgot to enter my GIVEAWAY for a SnoozeShade Plus Sun & Blockout Shade for your pram or stroller. Click HERE for details} 

Chilli Dogs and the 4th of July

Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I asked a lot of my husband when we decided to move to Perth, and settled in here. He left his native country, his friends and family, his A & W Root beer, Chik-fil-a, Fruit of the Loom underwear and socks, shooting guns, candy containing peanut butter, his big Dodge Ram truck and paying for fuel (gas) at the pump (whilst also ordering a pretzel melt..mmmm Sheetz), amongst other things.

So when he gets the opportunity to have a little taste of home, he jumps at it, especially when it is the 4th of July

Tonight we had a classic American meal at one of our favourite hot dog places. They served up a Chilli Dog, with the lot: guacamole, cheese, tortillas chips, sour cream. And it was amazing. We had a Budweiser to drink each, he also had an A&W Root Beer to drink, and Reese's peanut butter cups for dessert.

Yeah we overdid it, and are feeling horribly full and a bit gross, but hey, it isn't everyday you get an amazing feast of American style goodness in these parts!





SnoozeShade Plus: Review and Giveaway

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I was really excited when I was contacted about the opportunity to review this product. After having a browse around their website I thought that the SnoozeShade Plus looked really good, and it looked like something I would actually use. It is both a sun shade and block out sleep-aid cover for your pram or stroller. It takes the place of using a towel or blanket to cover the pram, of which older babies like mine will simply grab and pull off.

This weekend we had the perfect opportunity to put it to the test. We were at a wedding (like I mentioned in my previous post) and Ezra's nap time was right in the middle of the proceedings. Before this point I hadn't even had a chance to pull it out of the packaging and have a good look at it, but it was so simple to use and attach to the pram, I just attached some velcro and it was ready to go. It is designed to fit any pram (stroller or buggy), I have an ICandy Peach pram, one that you don't see around too often, and it fits great.

I gave Ezra a quick feed, plopped him back in the pram, covered him up with the SnoozeShade Plus, went for a short stroll (in the bright sun) and very quickly he snoozing away! Now time for me to sit down and enjoy a drink!

One of my favourite features about the SnoozeShade Plus is the little zip opening, so that I can peek in on the little man to make sure he is asleep! The zipper is so nice and quiet that it didn't disturb him either.

You can use the SnoozeShade Plus to block out light (94% of outside light is blocked, and UPF 50+) if you want your baby to nap,  or it can be used just as a sun shade by unzipping the front panel, in this mode it shades their precious skin from UV rays (filters 80% of UV ) but lets them still look out at you and the world around them!


The ease of use and the fact that it is lightweight earned big bonus points with me, it is easy to fold back into the little mesh bag that it comes in. This means that when I'm not using it, I can store it in the bottom of the pram or in the nappy bag, or the bag draw string has little velcro bits so you can hook it around the handle of your pram. With the Australian sun being so harsh, it is a good peace of mind to know that it keeps their bare skin covered and protected from harmful UV rays. 

This product has become one of my new go-to items, especially as a sun shade, Ezra doesn't nap in the pram as much as he used to, but I know it will be very useful for future bubs whenever they come along!
He insisted on modelling the bag for me!

The SnoozeShade Plus Retails for $49.95 AUD and you can buy them from this list of Retailers in Australia: HERE. They are also available globally so check out their website: HERE for international retailers and distribution.
As a special deal for my Aussie readers if you use the discount code "YELLOWDANDY" to purchase online at www.snoozeshade.com.au you will get 20% off!! 
Here is a direct link to the shopping cart: snoozeshade cart

The lovely people at SnoozeShade have also sent me a SnoozeShade Plus to 
GIVEAWAY
So one of you can have one too, YAY!

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

1. LIKE the YELLOW DANDY Facebook page (click HERE or Like button below), or Follow via Google Friend Connect (on the right hand side of this blog) then, ALSO

2. Leave a Comment at the Bottom of this post in the Comments section letting me know which one you have done. 

I will then use a computer randomiser to pick the lucky Winner.

Winner Will Be Drawn on TUESDAY 17th JULY at 5pm (my time).

 This product was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of reviewing it, all opinions are my own and based on my experience with the product.

Dressing Up when your a Breastfeeding Mumma

Sunday, July 1, 2012
We went to a wedding yesterday, and sitting in the car on the way there I was all flustered and felt like I didn't have any time to get ready myself. I guess this is how it works as a Mum, by the time you've organised everyone and everything else you have about five minutes to slap on some lippy and slide on your dress before gathering everything up and running out the door, only to realise you have a run in your stocking or you have a lovely smudge of peanut butter in your hair.  Or maybe you just gather everything and do your hair and makeup in the car.

This time I thought I would be really clever and somewhat organised, the night before I tried on a few of my dresses to see if any actually fit properly. It is winter here so I wanted a dress I could wear my tights and boots with, so not something too Summery. I was elated when I tried one of my favourite dresses that I thought didn't fit around the bust anymore, but this time it did, YAY, this is perfect, got my outfit sorted.

 Or so I thought. About 10 minutes before we were due to leave I was still running around in my tights, I had rollers still in my hair, finishing prepping the baby food and making sure the nappy bag was loaded. I got Ezra ready, ran to our room to get dressed, slipped on my Dress and what do you know, it doesn't actually fit. Wait, what, it fit last night though right? Yup, but since I am still breastfeeding I forgot to take empty vs full into account. And now it was uncomfortably tight and squashy, and I had a bad case of flat boobs. I rummaged through the wardrobe trying on one thing after another, the bed was covered in a huge pile of clothes. Until I became a breastfeeding Mum I just didn't understand how difficult it is to have a nice going out dress or outfit that allows access for feeds. Dressing up for things like weddings is just so much more difficult and stressful. Not surprisingly, I actually want to look good as well as wearing something practical that fits my Mummy needs.

I finally decided on something I thought looked 'ok' or more like the best option of what I had available, and ran out the door. As much as I am a huge advocate for, and love breastfeeding, I am secretly looking forward to my old dresses fitting again!! This is what I ended up with! And shhh don't tell anyone but this cardigan is the only black one I could dig up in my drawer and I was trying to hide the holes under the arms all day, whoops.


How do you do breastfeeding and dressing up? Do you have a 'go to outfit'? Or do you pump and bring milk along? Or are you a stylish Mumma guru who can let us in on how to make it work?





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