Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hug them tight

Saddened to hear the news about a local man who passed away this morning from a heart attack at his workplace. I've never met him and I don't know much about him. Only his name and where he works. We have mutual friends.

That's a husband who is not going home to his wife.

A Dad who is not going home to his kids.

Plus all the other roles he had in life.

Not only do I feel for his family, I feel for his work colleagues.

Workplaces can follow all the safety rules to the letter to keep our guys (and gals) safe, but they can't prevent this from happening.

Hug your lovelies never know what's around the corner.

Rest In Peace.

Karen xx

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I just read a post at Our Little Sins regarding irresponsible advertising and it reminded me of some inappropriate things we hear on the radio.

Like, as I commented on Kate's post (that's her Our Little Sins, above), the ads by the Australian Medical Institute on how they can help your man last longer in the 3:30 in the arvo, when all the kids are in the car on the way home from school.

What astounded me was that i98fm (a Wollongong) radio station played THAT song from the 1980's by The Radiators - "Gimme Head". At 10:30 am. On the school holidays. I had 4 kids (aged 4-15) in the car. We were on the way to the movies. I was horrified! Absolutely gobsmacked. I am not a prude, but there is a time and a place. I think that song should be restricted to night time airplay.

Thank God, none of them asked me what it meant!

Is there anything you have heard on the radio or seen on tv that has raised your eyebrows?

(Kate - I hope I have done the right thing in linking back to you - I thought your post should be shared. And I'm not into stealing anyone else's work.)



Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Gotta love warm chicken in a salad for lunch. I don't have it all that often & whenever I do, I remember how much I love it. And that if I am going to shift this 20-odd kg that I should have it more often. I'm thinking that by posting some of the things I eat, it will keep me honest and on track. Have lost 2.5kg in the past 2 weeks. Heading in the right direction!

This was my lunch today, with a few pumps of a balsamic spritz. And of course, my favourite drink, the endless cup of green tea.

Will you share a photo of one of your meals in the next day or two?

Our New Decor

Missy Megan (almost 4) found her sticker collection & went decorating.

I think I'd prefer her playing the Dora games like she is in the last photo.

Of all our kids, she is the only one who has ever drawn on the walls too.

How have your kids "redecorated" your home?

Karen xx

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I DID Get a Look-In!

Finally, I can see it! I DID get a look in when it comes to Megan.

Look at her hair. Then look at mine.

Forget about the colour. Look at the cowlicks, waves & curls........we're the same!

YAY!!!! I am one happy mumma!

Almost back to school.....

One more day of school holidays to go. Yep, back to school on Tuesday for 3 out of the 4 kids here.

I wish it were the summer holidays, when they get to stay home for weeks and weeks. I love having my "chickens" home. I love to throw the routine out the window and not have to be out the door by 8:30am. That's later than some other families I know but our kids' schools are only 3 km away.

So, how have we spent our 2 weeks?

Week 1 was windy, windy and even more windy so we hung around home. We were so comfortable I almost forgot to go & visit my dear old Grandma on the Tuesday. It was about 3pm by the time I realised where I was meant to be.....OOPS!!! Lucky for me she is not sure what day or time it is (and Mum was there visiting when I got there) so we were able to use the excuse that I had been busy with the kids. I only took the youngest with me, nursing homes are not favoured places of teenagers & an 8 year old energetic boy is not the best visitor for a (temporarily?) bedridden 89 year old lady!

We attempted our picnic on the Wed & got windswept all the way back to my place to eat. Loved the chance to catch up with friends.

A couple of the kids had friends over, went to friends' houses, etc. The usual stuff.

Week 2 we went rollerskating (love it, love it, love it!). I got through unscathed this time. AND I even went in the speed skate. Just between you & I, the kids said I was the fastest one in it! (Zac went in the experienced speed skate - the REALLY fast one). Oh, and I took them all to visit Grandma a day early in her new digs. She moved to a much nicer nursing home :-)

Next day saw us at the movies with Tanya & her 2 kids and Bek & her 2 kids. Cars 2. Good movie, great company. Thanks ladies!

7:30am waiting to catch the train to Sydney

On Wed we went to the ZOO!!!! Yay!!!! I love the zoo! Caught the train & ferry & had a great day out. Took the stroller but Megan only used it for about 10 mins. Her little legs did amazingly well considering she isn't quite 4 yet. The only downside to the day (apart from the icy wind) was that we had to be finished by a particular time to catch a train home. We got home at 8pm, which is quite late enough on public transport (sorry State Rail or whatever your name is now, but there are some undesirables on trains - I don't feel safe at night).

Next holidays I want to take the kids & stay a night or 2 in Sydney so we can catch a ferry to Manly or go to Luna Park or dawdle through Darling Harbour, go to Chinatown for dinner or whatever takes our fancy & not have to worry about a train timetable.

Ray & I went to a fabulous 40th birthday party on Fri night. My folks came to sit with the kids. It's not called babysitting anymore, the oldest is 15 you know. No, we don't leave him to babysit yet. He won't wipe Megan's bum if she does a poo........she would be sitting on that loo a hell of a long time waiting for Ray or I to come & do it! If I am ducking out quickly I will leave the kids here, but not for long periods of time.

We have bludged around since then. I've been to work of course over these holidays. But that's at night, so it has less of an impact than ususal because I have been able to spend each day with the kids.

Megan is sick today. She threw up at brunch. At the table. Whilst we were all eating. Luckily we brunched at home. She almost threw up her dinner too, but managed to keep it down. I'm keeping her home from preschool tomorrow. I hope the others don't catch it. Not when they are due to go back to school. Hubby felt a bit off earlier tonight so I hope he's not getting it either. He's like me - too busy to get sick.

Not my real fruit bowl - we can't afford bananas! Image from google images. (

Tomorrow is another hang around home day. Might take the boys for a haircut if the budget looks ok. Have to get some more fruit. The apples we bought on Wed after the movies have gone yukky already. I've been eating them every day but am drawing the line at them now.......Maybe the oranges on our tree are ready now. We tried one last week but they were just a touch too sour. Must try one again. Then I can get the kids to pick them all. Might fill in half an hour!

This week sees our info session / info to Year 11 & the HSC system. It's been 24 years since I have had any HSC experience. I'm sure it's changed since then! With Zac going into senior years next year, it's time to pick subjects. I'm glad he has a good idea about what he wants to do. Makes the process much simpler.

That's pretty much what's been doing here recently.......what's been doing at your place?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

And the Winner is.......


Remember my Donna Hay Giveaway that ended earlier today?

Well, it has been won by........


who told me that her favourite treats to bake at home are muffins (coz there are really hard to stuff up!).

Congratulations Nat! Look out for an email from me shortly!

Thank you to everyone who have given me some really YUMMY ideas for afternoon teas in our household!

Karen xx

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Memory loss.

 I just entered a giveaway on Three Li'l Princesses blog here, which required me to tell Kelli what my favourite toy was as a child.

The problem I had was that I can't remember very much of my childhood. I don't know why. Maybe a shrink will tell me one day. I don't even see a shrink.

The easy answer is that my parents separated when I was 9, therefore one could be forgiven for thinking I have pyschologically blocked out a miserable childhood. But I didn't have a miserable childhood. Dad had a good job in high end banking, Mum stayed home with the 3 kids, we went to a good school, we always lived in a nice house (the last one was even 2 storey!), we had a pool, we had friends to play with. I felt secure. I only remember one,  two, three arguments between my parents in that whole 9 years. It's sad when you can't remember living with both parents. I do remember that I felt loved.

So I don't know why I am "missing" a whole chunk of my life. It's in there somewhere.

I am hoping it's just an age thing. The older I get (and I'm not REALLY old yet), the less of my younger years I recall. I barely remember my teenage years anymore. Maybe I simply have limited storage space in my brain.

It reminds me of the TV show "Married with Children". You know the one, with Al and Peggy and their teenage kids Kelly and Bud (?). Al was fixated on (many things) the high school touchdown he scored & his "stardom" was drilled into the family. Kelly didn't seem to be able to learn anything about anything except boys. She was a contestant on a quiz show & had learned how to spell "cat", just in case she was asked to. However, her brain had limited space. Every fact she learned, she lost another. The tiebreaker question was who scored the winning touchdown and of course she had forgotten that the answer was her dad!

So that's the excuse I'm going with in regards to my own memory loss. My brain can only hold so much at a time.

It's still sad though.

What's your own memory like?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Day with Friends

We had a picnic scheduled for yesterday. We try to have one each school holidays to catch up with anyone who is available on the day. No pressures, no expectations. If you make it you make it, if you don't then you don't. Extra friends and extra kids are welcome. Having kids is not a pre-requisite. These picnics are open to anyone who wants to sit around & chat whilst the kids are busy playing in the park.

With the windy weather the last few days I didn't know if our picnic would eventuate this time. We had to cancel it last time due to dodgy weather (& then it fined up so we could have gone after all!). To cut a long story short, we went to the park so the kids could play. But it was too windy to set out lunch stuff, never mind try to cook a bbq lunch. So after freezing for a while we came back to my place.

 A lovely afternoon was spent with the girls women chatting, snacking & cuppa-ing around the dining table (with Tanya's endless mars bar slice along with other goodies) and the kids playing around the place.

I love the simplicity. I love that everything becomes communal. I love that nobody judges anybody else. I love that we can just be ourselves in a world where we have to be so much at other times.

And I am relieved the kids & I had spent a day cleaning the house earlier this week.

When did you last have a catch up with friends?

Karen xx

Image Credit:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Who Loves To Win Stuff?!

Check out the lovely Tina Gray {dot} Me for some wonderful giveaways!

So now, not only can you enter my Donna Hay giveaway here, you can also enter any or all of the others. Take your pic! Now that's gotta be good.
And you know what else? You may just find some wonderful bloggers out there with fabulous stories to share. Come and explore their experiences with me. Make some online friends.

Happy clicking!

Karen xx

Friday, July 1, 2011

You Know It's Going To Be Special (A Donna Hay Giveaway!)

You know it's going to be special when it comes in a pretty box:

Complete with blue tissue paper.....

Donna Hay has teamed up with Goodman Fielder to develop a range of bake-at-home goodies for grown ups. 

Donna Hay is a respected home cook and her style of clever food ideas for time-poor cooks has earned her a trusted place in the kitchens of Australian families.

Available in  national supermarkets now is a selection of indulgent, time saving baking mixes, enabling you to bake delicious treats that are promised to taste as good as baking from scratch. There are no artificial colours or flavours in the range. Nor are there any preservatives. I like that. Simply add a couple of fresh ingredients and with a flick of the wrist (wave that magic wand) - voila! A perfect home-baked sweet. Just like magic. "It's the perfect way to bake with confidence and ease." (Donna Hay).

The range includes:
* Donna Hay Molten Chocolate Chunk Brownie
* Donna Hay Vanilla Cupcakes
* Donna Hay Chocolate Cupcakes
* Donna Hay Almond Macaron Mix with Chocolate Filling.

 Let me tell you, I pack shelves in a supermaket and my mouth salivates whenever I pack the Donna Hay range! Priced at $7.99 each, this premium range has been designed for food lovers looking for a solution to last-minute baking needs (impress everyone when you take a plate to that meeting) or those wanting somthing special to indulge in at home because these are too special to share at that meeting

Would I like to bake and review the Molten Chocolate Chunk Brownie? You betcha! (Shush! Don't tell them I am hopeless at baking).

Would I like a giveaway for one of my readers? You betcha!

All I had to add was melted butter.........

and 2 eggs, then bake it in the oven.

Megan thought this bit was great......

Never too old to lick the spoon!

Mmmmm.....fresh from the oven!
A crispy top over chocolate cake encasing molten chocolate.

My brownie didn't look exactly like the one on the box, thanks to my dodgy oven. (Hurry up tax time so I can buy a new one).


As the saying goes, the proof is in the tasting:

My opinion? Chocolicious!
Charlotte's opionion? a bit chewy but still yummy - "you don't need a photo of me"
Liam's opinion? fabulous mum!
Oh, and my taste tesing friend Bek liked them too!

"Mum, this is om nom nomilicious!"
Thumbs up from Zac.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!

I have one packet of Donna Hay Molten Chocolate Chunk Brownie mix to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. (Australian residents only, sorry).

All you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me how you follow my blog (Google, email, Facebook or Twitter) AND what your favourite treat to bake at home is.

For extra entries, share this on Facebook or retweet me on Twitter. You need to leave a separate comment below for each one.

The winner will be chosen at random. Competition closes 2pm 17th July.

Important bit: I received a complimentary box of Donna Hay Molten Chocolate Chunk Brownie mix to bake and review. I have not been offered nor accepted any other payment. The opinions are those of myself and my family members.

Happy Baking!

Karen xx