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

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

A Challenge in Eating Clean

Monday, October 15, 2012
Last night we watched the doco 'Forks Over Knives', has anyone else seen it yet?

Here is the trailer

I found it so intriguing and interesting, and maybe for the first time in my life I would actually consider becoming a Vegetarian (or more like, cutting down the amount of meat we consume). Some of the things they brought up about heart disease and health problems and the connection with eating a diet consisting of high animal based products (meat & dairy) was really confronting.

Really, it reinforced a lot of changes in our eating habits that we have been making anyway.

 I wouldn't say that we were eating particularly badly before. We make most things from scratch, like pasta sauce and curries, and rarely do we ever just dump store bought sauces in our meals. But still there were some changes we felt like we wanted to make, like using wholemeal flour and pasta instead of white.

An amazing spinach and mushroom quiche Joel made the other day!

I have found for myself with food, it is really hard to change my mindset. I just get a bit stuck, because it seems like a lot of work and when you are used to eating something, its easy to cook, so it is so easy just to keep going the same way.

So lately we have been trying to focus more on Clean Eating
Meaning, that we are trying to stay away from overly processed foods, eating whole-grains and staying away from  preservatives, and those things you have no idea of what they are on the ingredients label of food. It is amazing the amount of additives and preservatives that are in so many things, and the packaging doesn't even really clue us in to what it is because they use numbers. I spent a bit of time researching these numbers, and some of them are just plain scary.

The more I look into it all, the more it disturbs me. I just want to go back to basics. I don't want my vegetables to be Genetically modified. I don't want to be consuming copious amounts of chemicals. I don't want High Fuctous Corn Syrup. I don't want my Sultanas dried in chemicals. I don't want my Chicken cooled in Chlorine.

So I've set a bit of a challenge for myself to put in the effort, find great recipes and learn to love to cook.
Because I know, I know, it will be worth it.

You can do it with me if you want! It is way better than going at it alone!

Karen xx

Here is a great website for some recipes I have found! I tried the pumpkin Lasagna.. AMAZING!!

A Day at the Show

Saturday, October 6, 2012
This week we ventured out to the Perth Royal Show. The last time I went to the show, I was a teenager. Now I remember why I have been avoiding it for so long.

Well mostly it was pretty fun. We like all the animals and farming stuff. Ezra loved looking at all the animals and petting some sheep and goats in the petting zoo. We watched some cows getting milked, watched a sheep dog do his sheep dog thing and checked out the baby chicks hatching from their eggs.

I took Ezra on his first Carousel ride, he was not into it. He wasn't scared, he was just bored, and kept wanting to get down and run around. Every picture Joel took his face is emotionless, so funny.

This is really showing my age, I guess, but there were just soooooo many teenagers. Not that I have a problem with teenagers, but girls seriously shorts that look like underwear are really unnecessary and maybe look flattering on 1 out of 50 of you. Yep, I'm totally an old lady for just saying that. But really, it doesn't look good. I know it is hard because it's almost impossible to find a decent length pair of shorts out there, I know, I've been searching. The one inch inseam just isn't going to cut it for this Mumma. (I think this should be a whole different post, soon)

Anyway back to the show. For the first time I went to the show and came home without buying a show bag. It doesn't mean I didn't try, in fact I walked up and down for the good part of an hour trying to find the Yo Gabba Gabba bag for Ezra, that has seemingly vanished from the show altogether, that was the only one I wanted. Our small house doesn't really need anymore useless crap lying around, so I couldn't bring myself to get anything else. I debated over my own show bags and decided that my hips didn't need and more chocolate right now, and we left empty handed.

Will we be going back next year? Probably not. I think we will wait until Ez is a little older and can appreciate it more. Joel had never been before so it was fun to take him to experience what an Aussie 'fair' is like.
Baby boy and baby cow. And the balloon that never left his sight.
I used to LOVE this ride as a kid
It started raining so we ducked in a tent for some good old Coin Dozer
I won big time. 
The crowds at Sideshow alley
He didn't win me anything, what a jerk.

Karen xx 

An unusual start to the day

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

So, how did your day start today? Pretty normal?

We had the strangest start to our morning today.

We had just gotten up and were sitting around eating breakfast when I heard noises that sounded like someone stomping around in another room of the house. Joel got up and checked the front door. When he looked out the front and there was a teenage boy standing on our front porch. He was completely naked, and we are pretty sure that he has a fairly severe intellectual disability. On top of that, he had with him two extremely large Doberman dogs. He was banging on our front door, saying 'Mum' and trying to get inside. Joel tried asking him where he lives, or if anything was wrong, but we got no real response.

Joel and I were dumbfounded, this was the last sort of situation we expected ourselves to be in this morning, and I am so, so glad he was home and I wasn't here alone with Ezra.

 I was so worried that this boy was lost and that he was going to get hurt, run off somewhere else or try crossing the busy street. But we didn't really want to risk going outside because the Dobermans seemed really protective of him. Who knows how they would of reacted, and unless we suspected he was in a dangerous situation we did not want to potentially get attacked.

We quickly got on the phone to the Police to see if they could come down and handle the situation and help the boy home, whilst trying to keep an eye on what he was doing and where he was going. It seemed like he was confused and thought that our house was his home.

By the time the Police arrived, the boys mother (I suspect), had already found him and loaded him and the dogs into her car and driven away.

I was not really prepared for the situation. I didn't really know what to do.
What would you have done?

Karen xx