Did you see me in the paper?

Monday, December 10, 2012
Unless you live in Perth, and you actually read the newspaper, you wouldn't have seen me!

On Saturday I opened up the magazine section of the West Australian Newspaper, the West Weekend to find a rather LARGE photo of myself and some of my blogger friends. The photo wasn't a surprise, obviously, because we posed for it a couple of weeks ago in King's Park, the size of the photo however was a bit of a surprise, but luckily it was a pretty good picture of us all (although Ezra is scowling), so I didn't cringe too much!

There was also an article accompanying this photo, about Mum bloggers in Perth, and I was lucky enough to be included! I felt like I was babbling most of the interview and I was really distracted by Ezra trying to break the journalists dictaphone. I'm sure the recording included a lot of banging. In the end I didn't manage to sound too idiotic! It is nice that bloggers are getting more exposure in WA, sometimes it seems like the Perth bloggers are far away from all the east coast action!

The ladies: Georgia, Cie, Me and Taryn  : We make pretty cute kiddo's too!

 In the other photo on the left  is Jules and her kids from The Bumpiest Path. 

After the photo shoot Ezra ran back to his new friend Bridget asking to be picked up, the lovely and talented journalist that wrote the article. Ezra is extremely fond of her, can you tell!!

Karen xx

How to become an Aussie

Thursday, December 6, 2012
So yesterday Joel sat his Australian Citizenship test.

Finally, he got things rolling and is fast on his way to getting his official citizenship sorted, meaning no more worrying about visas and he really wants to be able to vote seeing he has more interest in Aussie politics that a lot of Australians I know!

So, what does the Australian Citizenship test entail?

This was Joel's Facebook status last night. especially for all his American friends.

So, many have been wondering what was on my Australian Citizenship Test. Please use the following as a brief study guide.

1) Applicant must skull a Foster's and/or Victoria Bitter beer in 10 seconds or less. (one of our prime ministers had the Guiness record for 2.5 pints in 11 seconds)
2) Applicant must wrestle a crocodile and survive.
3) Applicant must use the word G'day in a sentence. (phrase
s such as "It's been a G'day today" or "This soup is really G'day?" qualify for immediate disqualification.
4) Applicant must wrestle a great white shark and survive.
5)Applicant must eat a full slice of Vegemite Toast.
6) A picture of an El Camino is shown (tricky one El camino is an american car). Applicant must call this a ute and must passionately desire a currently made vehicle like this in either Ford or Holden make.
7)Applicant must wrestle a Koala and survive.
8) To the question "Who is the best cricket player ever?" applicant must answer Sir Donald Bradman and know his test average.
9) Applicant must throw and subsequently catch a boomerang.
10) Applicant must pick a code of football to support and write a 1000 word essay on why all other types of football suck. (Applicants who pick Soccer as favourite will be deported immediately back to Europe)
11) Applicant must wrestle a redback spider and survive.
12) Applicant must eat a meat pie cleanly with no cutlery or serviettes (referral to these as napkins will cause loss of points)--Tomato Sauce (ketchup--see previous rule for translation demerits) will cost an additional 30 cents.
13) Applicant must wrestle a kangaroo and survive.
14) Applicant must recite all words to John Farnham's "You're the Voice"
15) Applicant must write five direct quotes from the movie The Castle.
16)Applicant must wrestle a platypus and survive.
17) Applicant must travel to Bali and own at least one Bintang shirt or desire to do this at some point in their life.
18) Applicant must cook the following on a BBQ to testing approval: Prawns, Lamb Chops, Beef Sausages & Rissoles
19) Applicant must wrestle the following and survive: Brown Snake, Tiger Snake, Taipan & Death Adder
20) Applicant must refer to a redhead as bluey, a bald man as curly, a tall man as shorty, respond to people whoshorten his name to an abbreviation if required (i.e. Gary = Gazza), and refer to all his best friends as bastards (this is let's them know he likes them).

There are some more things you may want to study like box jellyfish wrestling, names of australian super models,the lyrics to Waltzing Matilda, and how to ruin good bourbon with coke but these may or may not be on the test.

Good Luck!

Really it is a simple test of 20 multiple choice questions, but I think the above test is MUCH more authentic! 

Karen xx 

Mum & Toddler lunch: Cheesy Cauliflower soup

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Last week we had some rainy and cold weather, and all I felt like eating was soup! I love making big batches of soup and eating it over the next few days when it is cold, it makes me feel all warm and homely. It is also a great way to get those lunch time vegetables into the toddler, and, well it is also delicious. Ezra has actually enjoyed eating this since he was pretty young, and it is still a big hit!

This is an adaption of mine from a Jamie Oliver recipe from his Ministry of Food book, which is used a lot in our house!


2 cloves of garlic
2 onions
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
3/4 of a large cauliflower
1 chicken stock cube (salt reduced, and preservative free!)
1 cup of grated cheese
1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard


Basically I just chop everything up into small pieces and crush the garlic.
Sometimes I just throw all of this stuff into the slow cooker for a few hours, and let it do its thing.
Other times I sauté the onions and garlic in a pan on medium heat for a few minutes,  and then add the other vegetables at cook for about 5-10 minutes until they are soft.
I then add about 1-1.5 litres of water and the chicken stock and bring it to the boil, then I let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Finally, I add the cheese and the mustard and blend it all up into a liquid soup with my hand blender.

I usually serve it with a piece of whole meal homemade bread!!

All pretty easy, and quick.

It is a bit of a messy meal for a toddler, but Ezra LOVES this soup, and LOVES feeding it to himself. Meaning that he needs a clothing change and the dog gets called in as the clean up crew, but I try to do my best to make eating fun, and I know it is important to keep variety in his food. If there is a bit of mess, oh well, thats just life!!

Karen xx

What's in a Name

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I think that choosing a name for a child is actually a really, really difficult thing to do. We had such a hard time, we ummed and ahhhed over it for almost my entire pregnancy. I had liked the name Ezra from the get go, but it didn't go over so well when we mentioned it to a few people, so it had me second guessing. We didn't officially decide that would be our baby's name until we were in the labour ward at the hospital.

We left the hospital a few days later with our bundle of screaming and pooping joy! Then as per usual we started going to all the normal appointments and getting out and about and people started asking us...

'oh, what's his name'

I reply 'Ezra' (obviously).

They would then furrow their brow and say 'Oh, that's an interesting name'

Followed by 'where did you get that from, or what made you choose that name?'

But, It isn't the questions themselves that get me all hot under the collar, it's the way that people ask them, their tone voice, and the look on their faces, as if to say 'wow, that kid is going to get beat up in school for that name' (some even come right out and say it)

I answer, 'Ezra is a person and a book in the Bible. (but that isn't why we chose it, it wasn't like we were set on naming our child out of a bible book. It just turned out that we liked the name, that's why we really chose it.'

Isn't that why most people choose names for their children, because they like it!! I know it is also because it's a family name, or it's sentimental, or it has a great meaning, but it is usually also because they like it. Do people questions parents who name their child David, why they chose that name?

Maybe I was just asking for this reaction when I named my child an apparently 'unusual' name.

Am I wrong to get irritated when people react this way?

I even had one lady at an op-shop tell me it was weird. Thank you 70 year old lady I don't know and don't particularly need the opinion of.

To be honest it is mostly the over 50's crowd that are the rudest about it, and mostly complete strangers. They go to lengths to make it sooooo obvious they don't like his name. Most younger folk have grown up with a neighbour called Rainbow, or a cousin called Jorjia (pronounced Georgia) so they don't seem to bat an eyelid and just say 'oh cool'.

I remember the kids that got picked on at my school, and they had names like David, Peter and Andrew. Kids at my school maybe made a quick joke or two about someone's unusual name, but that was never the reason for picking on someone. With our very multicultural society Ezra is not really going to stand out in a class scenario. But, Thankyou for your concern strangers in the supermarket!

So, the point of this...

Keep your opinions to yourself, I don't care if you don't like my child's name, I chose it, it is now his name, so as my Mum always said, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. You can gasp at his name behind my back, or tell your friends you don't like it, but I don't need to know what you think,

Feel free to vent in the comment section, I know you want to!!

Karen xx

A day at a Dr Seuss park

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Near where we live there is this awesome Dr Seuss themed park (Kadidjiny park, Kitchener Road, Melville). I love that the councils are getting more creative with the play grounds and things for families to get involved in, in Perth. How awesome are all the trees painted red and white? It has two slides, one big (pictured), one smaller, a big tyre swing, blue carpeted hills and lots of little things for kids to do. This big slide is FAST, I was going to take Ezra down, and then Joel suggested I go down by myself first, with all the other parents looking on of course. Yep, so glad I didn't take him! Some things are a little big for toddlers, but he still had a blast running around the play ground. 
They also have BBQ's and is a great place for a family picnic. 

If you never did, you should, these things are fun, and fun is good!!
 - Dr Seuss

Linking up with Trish at My little Drummer boys for Wordless Wednesday!

The Great Vacuum Battle of 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
There is a great battle that goes on in our house every couple of days. It is a battle of wits, determination and strength. Neither party is willing to give up their positions and it generally ends in tears and sorrow. It may not be comparable to other great history-worthy battles such as The Battle of Hastings, or The Battle of Midway. But, in our house, this battle is real and it is of utmost importance. It is about one woman's mission to eliminate dust bunnys, dog hair and endless crumbs, and her small, but feisty opponent who tries to sabotage the mission.
It is the Great Vaccum Battle of 2012.

Does it sound dramatic enough yet? I hope so.

The Vacuum is a very sought after and desired appliance in our household. I like it due to its usefulness in cleaning up toddler messes and dog hair, however a certain toddler likes it for reasons I have yet to completely figure out. In fact he has an obsession with it.

The moment the motor starts to whir, I hear little footsteps hurrying along the floorboards. I may get two or three motions back and forth before the Vaccum is descended upon and is being wrangled from my hands. I would have no problem letting him do the vacuuming if he actually could do it effectively, but instead he basically bashes it into every surface and piece of furniture in the house. It takes me about 5 minutes to do one corner with his 'help'.

If I manage to somehow release his death grip on the vacuum handle, I then have to deal with a tantrum, screaming, crying, throwing oneself on the floor, it's a lose, lose situation.

My only hope is if he gets distracted by the actual main part of the vacuum and sits on it like a ride on car that blows air out and gives him and awesome wind blown 80's video clip look and makes me want to bust out 'Livin on a Prayer'.

Needless to say, not enough vacuuming is occurring in my house right now. I love that he is keen to help me, but this is just not working.

Do you have helpers that actually make certain jobs ten times harder?

Karen xx

 Linking up with the lovely Jess @ Essentially Jess for #IBOT

Mint and Lime Iced Tea

Friday, November 9, 2012
One thing I miss about living in Florida is the over abundance of Iced Tea at almost every restaurant, it just isn't something you come across very often in Perth. Usually restaurants offer you the choice of Sweet or Unsweetened, of course unsweetened is so much better for you, but Sweet Iced Tea with the copious amounts of sugar just tastes soooooo good. 

But now that I am  cutting down the sugar in my diet I no longer can justify sweet tea, and I hate all the artificial sweeteners as well. I actually have a really hard time even drinking soft-drink (soda) at all anymore, it has actually tastes pretty gross to me now. 

The weather in Perth got a bit nicer yesterday, and the sun was shining, and I got a craving for some Iced Tea. We have a massive bunch of mint in the fridge that needed to be used, and a couple of limes lying around, so they made the perfect addition to my tea. No need for sweeteners, the flavour was perfect and really refreshing. 

Karen xx 

Lentil, Brown Rice & Feta Salad

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I don't often like to brag about how amazing my husband is, but he is. One thing I am very, very appreciative of is his cooking ability, and that he is happy after a day at work to come home and cook! Tonight he made such an easy, healthy and delicious meal I had to share!


3 Cups Brown Rice

2 Cups brown lentils

1 Capsicum (we used red, but I think yellow is good too)

1 cup organic sultanas

2 spring onions

1/2 cup parsley

1/2 cup mint

1 cup spinach

100g Feta

1/2 cup lemon juice

3tbs Olive Oil


Basically we just cooked the rice and the lentils and then chopped or crumbled everything into small pieces and mix it all in together, mix through the olive oil and lemon juice and let it stand for a while to get the flavours through the dish.

Even the toddler ate this! I was skeptical if he would, but as long as we do the two spoon method he eats things like this ok (two spoon is one for me, one for him, it distracts him long enough to open his mouth and let me shovel the food in, also he is trying really hard to feed himself too).

We also have plenty left over for lunch for all of us tomorrow, I can't wait to eat it again.

Please try it, you'll love it!

Karen xx

Tale of the crap student

Monday, November 5, 2012
So I was enjoying my Wednesday morning, a napping toddler and a cup of tea, when suddenly my relaxed morning got thrown into turmoil, and panic set in.

I had thought to myself, 'I should just check when my 2500 word essay for Uni is due in, I know it is coming up.' low and behold the words FRIDAY 2nd NOV jumped out of the screen and down my throat.

Oh no, oh no, oh no. I had yet to write a single word.

There is no way I am going to have time to finish this with an active 15 month old in tow.

What to do, what to do.

The lightbulb went on, MUM!

Yep, I'm a grown woman, and A Mum as well, and sometimes I still need my Mummy to help me when I drop the ball, big time.

So on Thursday morning drove the hour drive to my folks house, and ran upstairs to hide away with my head in the books. While my Mum watched her house get torn apart by the toddler tornado.

We ended up staying the night, and I ended up mostly finishing my essay, just had to do all the footnotes when I got home.

I don't know what I would have done otherwise. With everything else going on in our lives in the last couple of months my Uni degree hasn't been way up there with the things that consume my mind.

It is my first semester back since being a Mum, I tried last semester but I dropped out part way through due mostly to lack of sleep, it just wasn't conducive to legible essays and assignments,

Plus last semester I was taking a English Lit unit that required the reading of one novel a week, including the likes of Dangerous Liasons, Wuthering Heights, Blood Meridian and Passage to India. It just wasnt going to happen. Although I did read and ended up Loving Wuthering Heights, I definitely recommend it.

Not a bad view to help me study
This semester I stuck to one unit, and one that I felt was pretty interesting, and so far it has been. That has helped keep me engaged, and on top of my game. Until this week that it.

To all those parents who are also students out there, I take my hat off to you, it is hard work. And sometimes even people like me who like to think I can do Everything myself need a little help too.

Karen xx



Balloon Love

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
This picture makes me smile, I love it. Fast asleep, but not letting go. It is the small, simple things that make toddlers happy. You don't have to have a lot of money, all the coolest gadgets or all the best toys. Toddlers can find so much joy in simple things like balloons. I really love that about this age, I think sometimes I need to take a page out of his book!

Linking up for Wordless Wednesday with Trish at Little Drummer Boys

Karen xx

Toddler & Mum Lunch: Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons

Monday, October 29, 2012
Last week I tried this recipe for the fist time. I made Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons and Parsley Brown Butter. I have been trying to get some variety in our lunches, and as always a range of vegetables. Made into healthy and yummy meals for both me and the little man. This was really quick and easy to make, and so delicious! We both wolfed it down. It is so nice to steer away from the usual sandwiches, as you may know I like making healthy, hearty lunches, that my toddler actually eats!! 

You can find the recipe here at www.eatingwell.com

And I am linking up with Stacey @ The Veggie Mama for Meatless Monday

Family Holiday: Broome

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

So in my post yesterday {HERE} I briefly mentioned our recent Holiday, the much needed one to relax and forget about the stress we had been under.  We needed to get out of the house and just have some fun.

We took advantage of the low-tourist season and some frequent flyer points we had collected, and made a last minute booking.

What better place to unwind and relax than in BROOME. 
For those who haven't heard of Broome. It is in Australia's North West Kimberley region. It is a 2 and a half hour flight from Perth. It is an old Pearling town, and now runs a raging tourism trade, for good reason.

I haven't ever been that far North before. I loved the ruggedness, the red clay-like dirt, the vast open plains and the heat, the humidity, it reminds me of the weather in Florida. But, I also loved the resort we stayed in, swimming in the pool, relaxing and reading my two Nicholas Sparks books whilst Ezra napped, and heading to watch the beautiful sunset over gorgeous Cable Beach. 

We seriously had the BEST time. It was exactly what we needed. 

I want to go back so bad! 

Warning: There are lots and lots of pictures to follow!

Boab trees are awesome
Our hotel was full of Mango trees, they just weren't quite ripe yet.
The outdoor bathroom was a big hit, this kid did not want to get out.
The beautiful Cable Beach
This is right before he put a massive handful of sand into his mouth
The sunset was gorgeous!
A water playground at the Town Beach, great escape from the heat
We were joined for dinner by some Camels

This kid is a water baby, he didn't want to get out of the pool.
Some quality bonding time, not sure who enjoyed it more
Our own private courtyard, perfect!
Someone is learning how to Relax
I'm happy as long as I have a glass and a straw!

We stayed at the Frangipani at Cable Beach, self-contained apartments and it was lovely. I definitely would recommend it.

Karen xx 

A new job, a new direction

Monday, October 22, 2012
So, I promised in my earlier post {HERE} to disclose what the big unexpected changes were that we were dealing with.

For the last month Joel has been jobless. He was made redundant from his job, and we didn't really see it coming at all. Obviously, it came as a bit of a shock, and put us in a bit of a spin.

We are a single income family, so we didn't even have the back up of my wage. It was a pretty scary and stressful place to find ourselves.

Although he got a redundancy payout, you just never know how long it will be until another job comes along. So we were trying to scrimp and save as much as we could.

Today however, he had his first day at his new job!
There are some great new perks with this job too, he works 10 hours a week less (yep, he used to work a 50 hour week 6am-4pm, ouch). It comes with a company car to drive for personal use as well! Yay, because we have been living with one vehicle! It also seems that it is WAY less stressful than his last job, which is great for us, because hopefully he wont just crash out at the end of the day.

We prayed and we had faith that it would turn out ok.
And, we were not disappointed. There were some really hard times. The emotions that come with facing the unknown can be tough to deals with, especially when you have a mortgage and bills to pay.

He found out he got this new job last weekend, but wasn't going to start until a week later.

We decided we couldn't take another week of moping around the house. We had the certainty of a job awaiting.

So we went on a Holiday! And it was AMAZING!
{I will do another post about that, because it deserves one all of its own}

Thank you so much for those who reached out to us, prayed for us and supported us during this time.

A sneak peek of our holiday, starting to relax here!
Life definitely can throw curveballs at you sometimes and shake you up from the norm, as wise people say, it is how you deal with it that is important.

Karen xx