There's something so great about a great Nanna

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This photo makes me smile everytime I look at it and I couldn't help but want to share it. The silliness, the laughter, and the love, it captures the moment so well. It's so nice to see my Nanna smile like this, the past four months haven't been the easiest for her, she wasn't well and then she followed that with a broken hip, thankfully she is on the mend now. She seems to be her normal chatty self once again, I remember as a kid whenever I would call my Nanna on the phone, I could only manage to get one or two words in, because, she, like me, is a talker!

I love that my kids get the opportunity to spend time with their great-Nanna. It must be an amazing thing, playing with your great grandchildren and seeing your family tree expand and grow, I wonder if I'll ever get the chance? I surely hope so.

It's all about the lifestyle

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

One of the big deciding factors in our move down south of Mandurah was the lifestyle. We wanted to have wide open spaces and places to explore and adventures to be had without the hustle and bustle of the city, but still being close enough not to feel completely cut off. I love the beach, you can call me picky but I hate the overcrowded ones that you can hardly swim without accidentally touching another swimmer, how awkward is it when you kick someone in the face by mistake when you are showing off your breast stroke skills! Our desire to move down here was driven by a need to get outdoors more, have fun as a family and just relax and enjoy our surroundings. With age (all 30 years of it), I care less about going to cool caf├ęs and fancy restaurants, maybe because the enjoyment factor of going to those places with young kids is severely decreased and makes the thought of overpaying for food that is quickly wolfed down whilst trying to keep kids entertained makes me cringe! One day, I'm sure I'll have the desire to go back and often, maybe when the kids are in school, but maybe I'll just pocket the extra money and buy some new shoes instead!

This weekend re-comfirmed to us that we made the right decision moving down here, it was kind of the epitome of the Mandurah lifestyle weekend that we have been chasing. Saturday consisted of heading out on the estuary on Pop's boat, where Ezra got to see dolphins close up as they raced the boat and jumped out in front of us, he was so excited and kept asking me for more (you can see my video on Instagram @yellowdandy), then a classic fish and chip lunch at Dolphin Quay. Sunday we had a friends birthday breakfast cookup on the beach, a beach that can only be accessed by 4wd, which our Ford Escape only just classifies as. A beach that is fairly empty and secluded. We were sun soaked and exhausted after our weekend, but that good kind of exhausted where you feel satisfied and relaxed and you sleep so well (apart from babies waking you up for milk).

I'm so excited for my kids to grow up here. I'm so excited for this summer! This is the life for me.

Linking with the wonderful Jess for #IBOT 

A new wetsuit, and no more excuses

Monday, October 28, 2013
So, I bought myself a wetsuit last week. It was on sale, and then another 30% off the sale, so it was a bargain that I couldn't refuse. I have a surfboard, we live across the road from the beach, and now with this wetty purchase I have eliminated all of my excuses for not getting back out surfing again. It feels like a long time since I've surfed. I spent a lot of my childhood on the beach, I've been around the ocean for as long as I can remember and I feel like it's such a big part of who I am. Sunday mornings growing up were often family surf days that finished with us begging Dad to buy us pies and sausage rolls from the local shop. I was never a great surfer by any means, but I could stand up and kind of bottom turn, ride the wave and that was about it. I'm sure now though that most of that basic skill has been lost, I'll be lucky if I can even paddle out with these jelly arms, and if I stand up at all it will be a slow clamber rather than a 'pop up'. But I have to start back somewhere right. I miss sitting out in the ocean and just bobbing around waiting for the waves (and scanning for sharks eeeek), I miss that exhilarating feeling when the strength of the wave propels you forward, the feeling of the waves crashing over you when you duck dive and the sense of relief when you actually make it down the face without wiping out.

The Best Darn Iron I have ever owned: Review Philips PerfectCare Aqua Steam Iron

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Phlips Perfectcare Aqua Iron

I am officially an ironer, I never thought that I would ever be able to say that, but, turns out that one crazy, awesome iron can do that to a person. Its hard to believe I actually like to iron now. I've always liked the look of ironed clothes, but the whole process of getting everything out, waiting for the iron to heat up and tediously trying to free my garments from wrinkles whilst inadvertently putting more wrinkles in it, was just something that I could not motivate myself to do. I was more than happy to look like a wrinkly slob to avoid doing the ironing! Although in the spirit of honesty, I still don't iron Joel's work shirts, because he is skilled in the art of ironing, he loves the new iron too and I'm a firm believer that a man can iron his own shirts!!

On The Hunt For Great Beach Shade

Thursday, October 17, 2013

As Summer is quickly approaching and as we are planning on spending A LOT of time at the beach seeing we live so close now, we are in desperate need of a great beach umbrella or tent!! With both a toddler and baby I don't want them getting fried by the sun, but I also don't want to feel like I'm stuck indoors all Summer. There are some really gorgeous options out there that I am so keen on, I love the idea that the umbrellas aren't just functional, but that they look really great too! Most importantly for me, I need something that is easy to carry and set up. Juggling two kids and all their gear, fiddling around with something that is really difficult is not an option for me! We had one of those auto pop up ones, but then I could never get it folded right into the bag, and when the wind blew, it bent over so bad it was about 10 cms off the ground.. NOT PRACTICAL! 

So, here is what I have found! 

This Basil Bangs Calypso Umbrella. So cute, they have so many gorgeous umbrella designs, I would buy them all if I could! This one retails for $249

This is the Indigo Pyramid Beach Tent by Ginger and Gillian, from Byron Bay.
I love the idea of having a little Teepee on the beach, plus is gives some protection from the wind and is great to stop sleepy babies getting wind blown. It retails for $350

Next is one that is a little more in my price range. This is the Married in Mustique Umbrella by Suboo, so gorgeous and only $149. yay!! 

The Sombrilla from Hollie & Harrie is a pretty great looking shade! I think you may need two people to set this one up though, and by two people I don't mean me and a two year old!  This retails for $180

This last one isn't quite as cute as the others, but in terms of functionality it seems pretty good to me! The ease of an umbrella with the side flaps and protection of a tent! It is the Sport-Brella  and is the cheapest of the lot retailing for $99.99

Well, I'm still undecided about what to get, but I NEED to get something! If  you have any other great suggestions for beach shade, I'd love to hear it!

Karen xx

If you are getting ready for summer you might want to check out my tips for teaching your kids to swim:

The problem with being Two

Friday, October 11, 2013
You see the problem with being two is that you are very sure of what you do or don't want, but you don't quite have a full grasp on the world around you. When you are two, the words wait, patience and settle down mean very little. What you want, and how you feel reigns supreme. When you are two emotions can erupt and come bubbling out in every which way, sometimes it is amazing, and you laugh and giggle and get so excited, sometimes it is not so amazing. Sometimes you don't know how to deal with the emotions you feel and you react in the only way you know how, it usually involves some kinds of grand display!

When you are two, the world is focused on you, so you believe. You are learning so much, you are changing and developing and you are pushing every limit and boundary just to see what happens. When you are two understanding and then acting appropriately is really hard, things are just too tempting. Little sisters are just too cute, and you have to hug and squeeze and clamber all over. Saying sorry is easy when you are two and you've learnt it can get you want you want. Cuddles come quickly, but then remembering why you were sorry and not doing it again is really, really hard.
You see when you are two the world is an amazing place there is so much to see and discover. You think that because you can communicate better, that means you will just get everything you want or ask for. But, there is so much I need to teach you, so much you still don't understand yet and we need to hone in on those great qualities you already possess and we need to teach you right from wrong. The little things can be overwhelming when you are two, but don't worry, we are here to help you, to guide you. Oh, when you are two, you think you know everything, but my dear there is so much still to learn.
That is the problem with being two.
Oh my two year old, I love you and you push and challenge me everyday, I hope I can teach you the tools that you need for life.

Why I love babywearing

Thursday, October 10, 2013
I bought my boba wrap (a stretch jersey material baby wrap/carrier) when Ezra was only 6 weeks old. My arms and my back were tired and sore, I felt like I had no time to get anything done, and those afternoons or witching hour when I couldn't get him to sleep no matter what I tried was driving me a little insane. The books said to put the baby to sleep when they were awake but drowsy and teach them to self settle. Well this didn't always work, the mornings he was pretty good, but in the afternoons my dear little baby just stared at the ceiling with a zoned out overtired glare, which then made afternoons and evenings a huge battle! I dubbed him 'baby no sleep'. Then my boba wrap arrived in the mail. The first time I put it on, he was asleep within mere minutes. Ahhhmazing.

Almond Coated Fish Bites and Sweet Potato Chips

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Almond fish bites

This is our healthier version of a family favourite and another easy meal that even the toddler loves to eat. I love fish and chips, but whenever I eat it I come away feeling so greasy and gross, so we tend to avoid it. Ezra also loves fish, he doesn't like a lot of meat, but fish is something he cannot get enough of. When he has fish and chips at a restaurant he always takes all the batter off first, clever kid! So this is a perfect family meal for our fish loving, batter hating toddler, and anything that is cut in a chip shape can fool him into thinking he is eating regular potato chips. He inherited his love of chips from his mother!!

The fish:

You can use whatever fish you like, and you just need to make sure it is de-boned and then cut it into bite size pieces then just cover completely in the almond meal mixture and shallow fry in oil in a frypan.

Almond meal fish crust

The 'batter' or crust on the fish is:

1 cup of almonds (ground or almond meal)

1 tablespoon white flour

Heaped tablespoon of dried parsley

Cracked pepper

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

The sweet potato is peeled and sliced into chip shape.

I then microwaved them until they were mostly soft and fried them in a pan with some olive oil.

In hindsight I should have just microwaved them and then baked them in the oven, drizzled with a bit of oil. It takes a little longer, but less effort required, they turn out crispier and healthier too!

My unhealthy last minute tartare sauce is just dill pickles chopped finely mixed with whole egg mayonnaise because the toddler loves 'dip'.


Check out my recipe page for more easy meals that our whole family enjoys and some toddler specific lunches and snacks!

Karen xx


We're Building A House: We have WALLS!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our brickwork is finished! Our house has all its exterior and interior walls! And, as you can see all of our roof timber has been delivered. I am so excited to see it coming along so fast. It's so great to walk through and just imagine the rooms when its finished and how I want to decorate! It also reminds me of how much I need to sort out and organise, but I cannot wait. I've been pinning like crazy on Pinterest, if you want to follow along on Pinterest you can follow me HERE. I'm trying to come up with decorating and design ideas, ones that are creative and fit within our budget. I like a mix of old and new andI'm a huge fan of retro (and retro style) furniture, mint green and neons at the moment. I sourced a lot of our furniture from our old house on Ebay, like my mismatched retro dining chairs and my recently repainted mint green kitchenette (that needs a little tlc, like fixed hinges and new handles). So, I am starting the Ebay, Gumtree and Opshop hunt again for some bargain pieces that suit our new house!

Above is my old dining room in our little 40's cottage. The dining table is one of my favourite pieces of furniture, it is super 60's and it was Joel's grandma's and we shipped it, and a number of other things over from the USA when we moved back to Perth.

Anyway, the bricks look great, although we discovered a few chipped bricks in our alfresco area so we will be insisting that they are changed out, there are a couple of other queries we have as well, but I won't bore you with the details!

It's such a shame that there will be another house behind us, blocking out the ocean views. But, I love that we will be able to walk to the beach!
Karen xx