Archive for May 2008

 

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Fifteen Seconds of Fame

31 May 2008

Channel 10 News: Australian Bloggers in the Spotlight

THANKS to all who wrote to me saying hi, after my TV appearance the other day!

For those who missed it, you can watch the video here.

Lots of people have asked, “What did you think of it?”

Well at the end of the day, it was a really interesting and fun experience, plus it was great exposure for me, my website, Darren and Neerav, and for the general profile of bloggers.

I must admit, that I was a bit disappointed. After the series of questions during the interview, I had the unbelievable impression they were actually interested in the social and cultural aspect of blogging, and possibly women and blogging, which is my area of interest.

But, when I saw that they changed it to “Look at these people who make money with their blogs!!” I wasn’t surprised at all. In the end, it is commercial television news. It’s a shame, because I just know there is a great feature story waiting here for some smart journalist, an in-depth look at blogging. Anyone?

Anyway, I’m completely happy that I didn’t get more air time than the others. I know that, although my blog is popular, it doesn’t fit into that “money making” category. My blog is a lifestyle blog, and it was rather funny that I was featured at all.

Firstly, to set the record straight, I don’t earn a six figure salary! Do you think I’d be cleaning my own oven if I earned a six figure salary? The answer is, HELL NO.

Secondly, I think it is so funny that MY HUSBAND’S SPERM IS FAMOUS! Way to go little guys! However, they looked more like exploding maracas, if you asked me. Oh you should have seen us laugh.

Thirdly, thank goodness I didn’t have my “porn-star” voice when I did the interview. But then again, maybe they would have used more of me if I’d had a husky voice. After all, it is commercial television.


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Fashion Boutiques in Leederville

30 May 2008

Night Time at Oxford Street, Leederville

People who are planning to visit Perth often ask me where are the best places to visit – for a cool local experience.

Beyond any question, one of my favourite spots to hang out is Oxford Street, Leederville.

There’s a little section of Oxford St that starts from the Leederville train station that is *packed* with cool little boutiques, cafes, restaurants, book shops, music shops, an art house movie theatre, and pubs and clubs.

The street vibe, like in Fremantle, is a perfect example of what happens when you mix up a typically West Australian, laid-back kind of casualness with an unpretentious, arty cool. Added to the mix, the area draws people of ALL types – so it’s also a great place to just people watch.

Oxford Street is not usually thought of as the “fashion centre of Perth”, but it’s got a handful of absolutely delicious fashion boutiques. You know, The Ultimate Boutique – the one that every girl lusts for… where every single item is hand picked to perfection, where every corner you turn you’re faced with another gorgeous garment, more staggering jewellery and the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.

And even better, most of the boutique are open till 8pm in the evening.

Atlas Divine
This is my ultimate boutique. It’s full of incredible stuff for women, men, and kids. I love their range of Australian designer clothing brands. Every time I go into the shop, I go crazy. I literally pour over each piece of clothing, turning them on the rack like pages in a book. They also stock gorgeous jewellery and cool clothes for men.

I would describe their range as very stylish, lush, distinctive, vibrant and a bit vintage, arty and eclectic. The décor is gorgeous with chandeliers, vintage wallpaper, antique furniture and big rugs. The whole place is dripping with abundance and vintage luxury. I love it.

Harry and Gretel
My other ultimate boutique. This boutique seems to feature the most gorgeous and lust-worthy jewellery and bags I have ever seen. Each time they change their window display, I stand on the footpath with my tongue hanging out. They stock an exquisite selection of women’s clothes, jewellery, accessories, shoes, some home wares, stationery, children’s clothes and gift ideas.

The overall style of the shop looks very French and modern. But the clothes are classically stylish – minimal, slightly embellished, neutrals, simple but unique designs, and timeless fabrics.

Yo-Yo Buffalo
It may be a tiny shop, but it’s packed full of accessory goodness. The bits and pieces found here are funky, cool, colourful and crazy, while the clothes are casual, urban and funky. I’d say that the items here are a lot more affordable than the previous two shops. You can pick up a cute dress for $70 and an cool belt for $50.

Urban Records
This place has a very understated, uber-cool about it. They seems to be open all the time! It’s like a popular hang out – always full of people standing around, browsing, talking and listening to music.

The front of the shop is dedicated to music, but the back half is full of great women’s and men’s clothes, jewellery, accessories, shoes, home wares, stationery, random objects, and really funky gift ideas. They seem to change things all the time, so it’s always worth a look and there are always really cool and surprising items to be found.

Un1son
This shop surprised me. It has very clean, stark white walls with lots of down lights, so the place looks like a stylish art gallery. Yet it also seemed like a trendy, men’s skate shop – packed full of shoes, men’s casual clothes, belts and other accessories. They also stock a pretty good range of women’s clothes in a modern, minimalist, urban style.

My favourite items were the range of funky printed tees. I love funky tees on my men.

I really enjoy Leederville because it’s not too big. Everything is only a short walk away. There’s lots of parking for cars. And there’s a nice, easy range of restaurants and cafes.

Best of all for a visitor to Perth, Leederville is literally one stop up the train line from Perth Central Train Station, and the train station walkway runs right on to the shops and cafes. It’s SO convenient.


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Out with some old favourites

29 May 2008

Me in a BIG cafe mirror

This is me, being dared into taking a photo of myself in this HUGE café mirror.

I’m wearing a dress that I found at the bottom of my cupboard the other day. I haven’t worn it in ages! I didn’t have the heart to toss it out, because it used to always put a smile on my face.

Tee hee, it’s so exciting to discover old favourites.


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Welcome to readers from Channel Ten!

28 May 2008

Last week I was interviewed by Channel Ten for a news feature on blogging. It was broadcasted this morning and I was told it will be on again in the evening news. It included two other bloggers, Darren Rowse and Neerav Bhatt.

I thought I’d take some time to introduce my site and show the new people around!

Snippets of Life is a personal and lifestyle blog.

I cover a wide range of topics such as parenting, women’s issues, fashion, shopping, food, health, cooking, gardening, art, design, photography – stuff that I’m really passionate about!

My main goal is to inspire others to find happiness, inspiration, purpose and laughter in the simple things in life.

Topical Threads in Snippets of Life

My site starts in 2003, with the birth of my first son.

In 2004, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I have yet to share my private journal writings with the world, but I have summarised the ordeal here. After a year of heartache and anguish, he is now cancer free.

In 2005, my second son was born. Barely recovering from one of life’s blows, I embark on another – the daily struggle of mild post-natal depression.

Now in 2008, my husband and I have decided to have a third child, and we’re now facing a few problems – just getting pregnant is a challenge!

Throughout all this, I strive to vary my daily posts with my passion for healthy living, shopping, cooking, reading, photography, entertaining, art, design and much more.

Have a look around!

There are over 900 posts here, on a wide variety of topics – perhaps you might like to start with a selection of my Favourite Posts, or use the categories menu on the right hand side.

Feel free to read through my month by month Archives, you may like to start with this month May 2008, April 2008, February 2008. Or you might like to read some of my older adventures September 2006, August 2006, January 2005, February 2007.

Or look at a gallery of Graphical Headers I create for this site.

Or you can read About me and this site.

Or subscribe to my RSS feed.

And please do say hi here! Enjoy!


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Cafe Culture Love

27 May 2008

Playing Board Games at Greens

The other day we decided throw our normal evening routine in the air and do something a little different with the kids.

We brought them to a cafe for some peppermint tea and honey joys.

I tried to teach them how to play Backgammon, but I failed miserably.

We talked about music posters, tea leaves, couch stains and rocket ships.

We walked along the busy evening streets, hand in hand with our two favourite little people. Life is grand.


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We Love Toe Socks!

26 May 2008

Toe Socks!


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The Richest People in the World (and a Capsicum)

25 May 2008

Big CapsicumHey check out my capsicum!

Ages ago, I found the plant growing out of my compost heap. I stuck it in a pot, and it started to fruit! This is what it looked like 2 months ago.

I pointed it out to my 5yo and I tried to explain how fruits and vegetables grow. But he couldn’t contain his excitement.

He keep saying, “WOW! Can we take it to the markets and sell it? We’ll be the richest people in the world!!”

“Don’t you want to eat it?” I asked.

“No, I want to sell it.”

“What are we going to do with all that money?”

“I don’t know. Buy more stuff?”

“Hey mate. We don’t need more stuff. We ARE the richest people in the world.” Even as I said it in exaggerated mock sincerity, I heard the audience in my head roll their eyes.

“Oh. Ok then. Let’s put it on some pizza tonight!” he chirped.

We snipped the capsicum off its stalk, and my son carried it into the house, while rubbing it in his little hands like a golden lamp.


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Double Trouble

24 May 2008

Karen at Josh's 21st Birthday

This evening, we were invited to TWO 21st birthday parties!

Tee hee. Just saying that makes me giggle, as it’s been a while since I turned 21.

We dropped the kids off at my parent’s house, then made our way to the first party – a Superhero and Villain party. Happy Bithday Michelle! It was such fun! There were heaps of very cool costumes. I love themed parties, where everyone is absolutely committed to dressing up!

As for me, I was toying with the idea of going as Wonder Woman or Cat Woman. But, uh, I’d have a lot of explaining to do at the next party… so I was the party pooper who didn’t dress up in theme.

Silver DressThe other 21st was heaps of fun too. Happy Bithday Josh!

It was a dinner function at The Red Herring. I only knew a handful of people there, and worked my way around the table. I talked and talked and talked. Then I lost my voice! Or rather, my voice started to break and squawk. Then I ended up sounding like a “ditzy, husky, porn star” for the rest of the night.

All through the evening, from the other end of the table, I noticed that a gorgeous blonde woman kept eyeing me up. After dinner, she walked over to me and said, “OMG I’ve been looking at your dress all night. I just LOVE what you’re wearing. Is it Marc Jacobs? Is it Diane von Furstenberg?? You must tell me where you got it!”

I laughed in my husky porn-star voice, and said, “HEY THANKS!” Then I leaned in and said in a hushed tone, “This is just too funny: I bought it at Target for $35!!”

She also leaned in and said, “Gasp!! Oh I’m with you babe, these boots are from Kmart!”

We both giggled like school girls and made fun of designer dresses.

Ah, it was such a great night out!


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Robot Bird

22 May 2008

Callum's Robot Bird

My 5 year old was asked to make a robot in his class.

So where most kids go for the classic robot shape – rectangular cereal boxes with toilet paper arms – my kid comes up with this, a robot bird.

As I gingerly pulled it out of his bag, I was COMPLETELY FLOORED by it’s amazing sense of design – great shape. Great proportion. Great colours. Heaps of originality. Nice use of repetition. Symmetry.

It’s the seed of a strong, signature image. It’s what logo designers will absolutely kill for.

I was standing in the courtyard, staring at this thing in my hands, thinking, “OMG this is so cool”. The designer in me was trembling with pride!

I almost blurted it out to random people nearby, but ah, perhaps to share this sense of pride with strangers, was not particularly welcomed, especially those who don’t understand my neurotic peculiarities in all things visual.

I just told my son that I really liked it. Then it went straight to the pool room.


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Night Light Loving

21 May 2008

Out and About at Claisebrook

This evening my husband and I traipsed across every corner of the Perth city area, checking out venues for another function I’m organising.

Yep! I’m turning 30 in July and I’m having a big party! Yay!

This is us in East Perth, taking silly photos. The evening was gorgeous. The courtyards leading down to the river were lit up like a romantic movie set. Even the shadows were so pretty. The trees sparkled and the paving stones glowed with colour.

What is it with girls and fairy lights?


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Driving Me Crazy

20 May 2008

So I was driving along the other day, when my 3yo asks from the back seat:

“Mum. Why is the lady walking on sunshine?”

“Eh? What?” I quickly looked around on the street for a lady. Or a poster.

“The lady! She’s walking on sunshine!”

“What are you talking about? What lady?”

“THE LAAAAADY!!”

“What Lady?? Where??”

“THE LADY!”

“Sean, I’m not sure what LADY you are talking about.”

“THAAAAT LAAAAADY!”

“WHERE’S THE LADY ALREADY?” GAAAH! My head was about to EXPLODE.

I FINALLY worked out that he was talking about the song playing on the radio. Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine. I didn’t even hear it playing on the radio! I don’t even know why I was listening to it!!

“Can she really walk on the sun? Isn’t it hot? Won’t she burn her feet? Won’t her skin get sun burnt? Is she wearing lots of sun cream? Will she fall down? Will she die?”

GRRRRR KIDS!


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Shu Uemura Coloured Eye Shadows

19 May 2008

Shu Uemura Eye Shadows (Spring 2008)

I’ve been on the look out for some new eye shadow. Yeah, I’m trying to venture out into COLOUR.

I spotted these limited edition Shu Uemura pressed eye shadow colours and argh they’re so pretty!


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Lessons I Learned This Weekend

18 May 2008

Charisma takes practice.

I believe I used to be a fairly chatty, outgoing person, who was able to make small talk with strangers, and exude warmth, happiness, charm and a nice level of wit.

But the truth is, it takes a whole lot of practice. And being a stay-at-home-mother, stuck at home, with no other adult contact, it’s pretty hard to practice your people skills. Very rarely do I have opportunities to engage with the range of personalities one would find in a workplace. I’m very rusty!

So lately, I’ve been making extra effort to talk (in length) to a wide range of different people during my day. People I wouldn’t usually talk to. The librarian. The pharmacist. The guy who runs the fruit shop. Mothers and fathers picking up their kids from school. It all takes practice.

Stop trying to control everything!

My husband has recently decided to do more cooking in our household. So on the weekend, we hosted a dinner party with several friends and their kids – and my husband cooked the whole meal.

Now my husband is a pretty good cook. It’s just, when he comes home from work, I’d prefer him to play with the kids, while I cook dinner. So he hardly ever gets the opportunity to cook. Plus I am my mother’s daughter – I am a kitchen tyrant. Things have to be done in a certain way. You have to use the right pot and the right utensil. Because that’s just the way it is.

My husband made goat rendang for the adults, and spaghetti bolognaise (using a secret family recipe from Malta) for the children. My whole body was twitching all afternoon, I knew he was using the wrong implements and doing things very inefficiently! Grrr!

But, oh my goodness, the end result was INCREDIBLE. Both dishes were made to absolute perfection. My jaw was on the floor, my mouth was watering. It was hands-down the most amazing rendang and pasta sauce I’ve ever had (eaten separately, of course).

Seize the opportunity to say something nice.

On the weekend, I saw someone I knew, whom I knew was currently going through a rough patch in life. I immediately wanted to say hi, but ah, I don’t know, she suddenly seemed busy and engaged with something else, and I wasn’t sure if it was a good time to approach her, and bring it up…

Basically I hesitated, she walked away, and so, I lost the opportunity to pass on some kinds words, which, who knows, might have made her day. Sigh.

Be thankful for good health.

The moment my children fall sick, I always realise that I take good health for granted.

Teach your kids that, even if they are feeling pretty bad, there’s probably someone out there who is a lot sicker than they are. Stop the complaining and whinging about a small cold!


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Relaxing after the film shoot

17 May 2008

Self portrait in my living room


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Talking About Blogging

16 May 2008

This morning a Channel 10 film crew and reporter arrived at my house.

They were covering a story on blogging, and they were here to interview me and feature my blog.

A film crew! In my house! For an interview! Eeeeek! How exciting! You should have seen my lounge room, it was spotless. I had fresh flowers and throw rugs. There was not a crumb to be seen.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so FLUTTERY AND FLOATY IN MY STOMACH.

The crew was absolutely lovely. It was actually quite fun. I think I did ok.

I know this sounds a bit silly, but I really felt so honoured to be talking about blogging, being a blogger, mummy blogs, and why I love blogging. I’m so excited to see what this feature does for bloggers in Australia.


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Red Leaves

15 May 2008

Red leaves of Autumn

There is something very poignant about red leaves.

Visually. And symbolically.

Like drops of blood set against a quiet sky.

Loss in winter, means life in spring.

And so life goes on.


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Dance Classes

14 May 2008

Disco Lights

This evening my husband and I went to do some Latin dance classes.

It was the Introductory Salsa and Merengue Dance Class for Complete Beginners. It was held upstairs, above a popular bar. There were heaps of people and the “scene” seemed pretty cool. It was a pay-as-you-go format, so you weren’t locked into any long term commitments!

But the truth is, we’re not exactly complete beginners. We used to dance regularly in 2000. Then we tried to pick it up again in 2003.

That was 5 years ago! We’ve pretty much forgotten everything, so we feel we need to start from the beginning. After the Introductory Class, they held a series of Beginner and Intermediate classes. But we just stayed to watch.

It was soooo much fun! We got the rhythm and steps really quickly, and I found that I was focusing more on my technique and my poise. You gotta look good on the dance floor! There’s nothing worse than a cardboard dancer! Ah, it was all good fun.

It was such an excellent evening doing something fun with the husband.


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A Running Start

13 May 2008

Gmaps Pedometer (2)

A few weeks ago I started playing netball for the first time in 8 years. I discovered – although, it wasn’t much of a surprise – that I was pretty unfit.

The only regular exercise I have done in the last 5 years, was taking a daily walk in the park. And the occasional swim and jog.

I guess, since I don’t have any major health or weight issues, and because I have a healthy diet and lifestyle, I’ve never had much motivation to do any regular exercise. Which is a pretty pathetic excuse if you ask me.

Last week it hit me. What am I waiting for? Is there a better time to start?

So here I am. I’ve been running!

I ran 4 times last week! I feel great!!!!

Truth be told, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I know how to do warm ups, I start walking, I ease myself into a steady jog, pick up the pace a bit, when I start to puff, I push myself a teensy bit more, then ease back, and keep doing it until I’ve had enough.

I don’t know how far I’ve jogged. Or for how long. I’m not thinking about my strides or footing or anything technical. I don’t even know if I’m getting better, or pushing myself too hard.

I found a cool little site powered by Google Maps, that lets you plot your running path and calculate the distance and calories burned (pictured). That’s been really helpful so far!

Anyone got any quick running tips?


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To Brighten Up My Winter Blacks

12 May 2008

Shoes from Nine West

Here’s me browsing through NineWest for some new peep toes to wear with winter blacks, greys and nice stockings.


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Mother’s Day 2008

11 May 2008

Ugg Boots for Mother's Day

I woke to the sound of little feet stampeding down the hallway. My boys ran into the room, jumped onto my bed and shouted HAPPY MOTHER’S DAAAAY, covering me with kisses, giggles and cuddles. It was all very cute.

They told me I was NOT ALLOWED to get out of bed, and that I HAD TO eat breakfast in bed. They were very persuasive about it, especially with their little frowns and waggling fingers. But I hate eating in bed. I convinced them that eating in bed would be a bad idea, because ants will crawl under the covers and bite me – so they let me eat breakfast on the couch instead.

From the boys in my life, I received Ugg boots, a bunch of flowers, a sunflower plant, and a photo frame. We went out in the morning, out for lunch, came home for a 2 HOUR nap, then had dinner at my parent’s place. We had a lovely day!


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Mother’s Day Dinner – A Girl’s Night Out

10 May 2008

Mother's Day Dinner 2008

I organised a Girl’s Night Out dinner for all the mum’s at my son’s pre-primary school class.

We had 14 women turn up! It was sooooo much fun! I had such a great time. I can’t believe how lovely everyone is. I’m on this crazy high from being surrounded by so many nice women!

We laughed so much. First everyone rocked up with LOTS OF RED WINE. Then we giggled at each other – because you know, we’ve never seen each other in nice clothes, makeup and high heel shoes. Then we went into hysterics as we swapped stories about how our children insisted on dressing us, choosing our clothes and jewellery.

We were there for almost 4 hours. Talking, laughing, eating, drinking. We were put on a long table, and I made everyone shuffle seats to mingle and chat to others. Most of us ordered the set banquet and we just shared everything. It was great!

Best parts of the evening : The girly and motherly bonding. Strengthening a little community and forming friendships that will last a lifetime. Getting to know the parents of the kids that my kids will hang out with. Making friends with mothers in my area. And the HILARIOUS stories!

I got a few emails from women asking how I organised it, as they were inspired to do the same for the mums in their kid’s class. It was really simple! I completely recommend it!

I chose the time, date, place and format.
I printed out a text-only invite on coloured paper.
I popped them into all the children’s take-home pigeonholes.
I made a booking in a restaurant for 10 people.
The mum’s had to RSVP by the day before.
I would let the restaurant know the final numbers on the afternoon of the dinner.
That was it.

I worked out that the Friday night before Mother’s Day would best result in husband’s agreeing to babysit the kids.

I chose a popular restaurant that was local. It was pretty much 2 minutes drive from everyone’s house. Lots of women car pooled or got dropped off.

I also refrained from making it into a BIG EVENT. A big event with a set programme, door prizes, theme or whatever, usually expects the person to invest a lot of thought into it, they will um and ah about it, and then usually decide that it’s all just too hard.

I just wanted the evening to be A SIMPLE DINNER, COME AS YOU ARE.

Plus it meant, less organising for me!


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Making Baby 3, Part 27: Looking Into Assisted Reproduction

9 May 2008

Today I spoke to my doctor about not being able to fall pregnant.

My doctor is by far, the most wonderful, most considerate, personal and straight-forward doctor that I, and my husband, have ever had. We’ve been seeing her for 7 years, and she knows all about us and the kids.

I told her about our efforts in trying to fall pregnant and the techniques we’ve tried. I laid out a little case history, how we’ve come to this point, and where we’d like to go.

I asked her for her opinion, to recommend some fertility clinics, and any other reproductive alternatives she can think of.

I asked her, “We’ve only been trying for seven months. Would a fertility clinic take us seriously?”

She assured me that since we know my husband has a low sperm count, 7 months is long enough to be taken seriously.

Phew. The last thing I want I to do is pay a specialist to tell me to just keep trying for another 6 months.

My husband, with his years of dealing with doctors, medical practices and the health sector, strongly believes in being deeply involved in your treatment. He believes in finding out as much as you can, doing vigorous research, looking for alternatives, asking hard questions, asking WHY, and hearing as many different opinions as possible. He believes in “getting three quotes”.

I personally had the impression that we should trust doctors, that ALL doctors know what they are doing, and they will recommend the best possible solution for the patient – but I have since found out that this isn’t always the case.

Each specialist doctor, like a tradesperson, has a particular style and way of doing things. They are most likely to recommend the method that they are expert in, and it might not necessarily be the way that is best for you.

So while most people go see ONE fertility clinic at a time, we are booked into seeing THREE – just for an initial consultation with each.

Ok perhaps it’s a bit of an overkill. The Chinese in me is very grumpy about the money we’re spending just for having a chat with a doctor – especially if they all say the same thing – but I’ve been told, “Hey, welcome to the world of assisted reproduction!”

Assisted reproduction! Fertility specialists! How scary!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Looking Funny

8 May 2008

Hair Ears

The other night I was straightening my hair and getting ready to go out. I left the  bathroom door slightly ajar, to let some air in.

From the corner of my eye, I saw my 3yo crouched at the edge of the doorway, spying on me.

I ignored him for a few minutes, until he started to giggle uncontrollably – big hearty chuckles that shook his belly.

I said, “Hi Sean! What’s so funny buddy?”

“You have ears on your head! You look like a mouse! You shouldn’t go out when you look like that! You look so funny mummy! Hahahehehaheha!”

And that came from a kid wearing a pillowcase on his head and a lightsabre down his pants.


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I Love Threadless T-Shirts!

7 May 2008

Some of my favourite Threadless tees

Last night my husband and I went to a popular pub in the city. The place was packed full of very well dressed, after-work business people. As I was making my way through the crowd, one guy caught my eye – only because I recognised that he was wearing a Threadless Tee ! Haha it was like seeing an old friend.

So this morning I spent way too much time browsing through some AWESOME designs at Threadless. Ah how I love their designs, it’s seriously the best place to get funky, affordable, designer t-shirts for kids! (Ok and adults!)

Here are a few I picked out (for kids). Enjoy!

Some of my favourite Threadless tees
Never Take Your Abilities For Granted

Some of my favourite Threadless tees
Dulces Vacaciones

Some of my favourite Threadless tees
New World Order

Some of my favourite Threadless tees
Such Great Height

Some of my favourite Threadless tees
Everything Will Be Alright

Some of my favourite Threadless tees
Mmmh Delicious

Some of my favourite Threadless tees
Animal Zoo

(Browse shirts at Threadless, in the kids section. You might have to do a search for the t-shirt names.)


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Yogurt, Fruit and Cookie Dessert

6 May 2008

Yogurt, Fruit and Cookie Dessert

In my efforts to make the kids eat more calcium, I’ve been trying out all kinds of yogurty desserts. We make my own natural yogurt with a yogurt maker. We eat about 2kgs a week!

Anyway, this is the absolute hands-down favourite of the lot. I call it a dessert, but really I make this for the kids after school, as a bit of a treat.

Yogurt, Fruit and Cookie Dessert Recipe

Crumble 2 or 3 cookies into a glass cup. I use ANY kind I have in my cupboard – shortbread, wheat or oat cookies.

Dollop 4 tablespoons of natural yogurt.

Top with any kind of fruit compote or canned berries with syrup. I like canned blueberries.

There’s something very magical about slightly mushy cookies with fruity yogurt.


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Running High

5 May 2008

Boys in the Park

Today I had a wonderful afternoon. I’m not entirely sure what made it so special from any other day though.

My boys dressed in OPPOSITE tracksuit colours. They gathered large autumn leaves and fanned the air like buzzy bees. They ran off without looking back.

My husband and I strolled behind them. Usually we would talk, chat and laugh noisily about our day.

But I was in a very reflective mood today. Lots to think about.

There is always so much going on in my head, but today, it all seemed to be moving at the same speed, with the same rhythm.

I was thinking about parenting. Motherhood. Children. My family. Infertility. Future. Love. Hopes. Sensitivity. Sadness. Loss. Emptiness. Depression. Blogging. Writing. Creating. My life plans. My community. The people in my life.

I had this strange calm in my spirit. Like I reached some kind of clarity. Or perspective.

Or like I’ve been unconsciously gathering thoughts for the last 2 weeks, and suddenly, somehow, everything has all come together.

And everything is all good.

It’s a good place to be.

(more…)


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Book Review: The Red Tent

4 May 2008

The Red Tent

The Red Tent
by Anita Diamant

I bought this book only because it was on sale at my local bookstore and I remember seeing it on Oprah’s Bookclub a while back. The cover alone would have made me run in the opposite direction.

The Red Tent is a fictional story based on characters from the Biblical story of Jacob. It focuses on Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter, and weaves a fascinating tale about her mothers, her family, her culture, her journey into adulthood, from Canaan to Egypt.

Its themes revolve around the “red tent”, the place where women go during menstruation, child birth and illness – where bonds are created between sisters, mothers and daughters.

Considering that the actual story of Jacob and his family consisted of only a few paragraphs in the Bible, I was rather impressed that the author managed to flesh out whole characters, plots, and themes with such richness and colour. She has a vivid imagination.

In fact, the whole story was so completely fabricated, that it was actually quite interesting, engaging and entertaining.

I enjoyed how she brought to life old testament Mesopotamian and Egyptian way of life. It was fascinating to read about another culture, even if it was fiction or not. The book is written well, easy to read, chuffs along at a good speed, I finished it in a week.

I must point out that there are a LOT of Biblical inaccuracies, questionable cultural facts and objectionable portrayals of men. But I wasn’t insulted or offended by any of it, I just enjoyed the fiction for what it was – a pretty good story.

I was light-heartedly trying to “push” this book onto some male friends of mine, but I failed miserably.

Realistically, this BOOK IS FOR WOMEN. It’s all about periods, mothers, midwifery, childbirth, babies, dying babies, dying mothers and the cycles of life. Consider yourself warned.

But having said that, I was struck by many stunning scenes and ideas (about the aforementioned), and I know they will stick in my head for a long time to come.

I recommend it. To women only.


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Pamper Day + Party Night

3 May 2008

Farewell at the Universal

I have been seriously craving some pamper time lately.

I was tempted to book myself for a massage – because the other night I went out to dinner with some friends and met a masseur. I asked her a zillion questions about her job and as she was describing what she does, I could feel all the muscles in my back prick up in keen attention, screaming “Yes! Us! We need to get us some of that!!”

But I haven’t done any research on where to get a massage, so I settled on a haircut instead. *BLISS*

As the hairdresser snipped and snapped, I suddenly raised my eyes above the pages of my novel and focused on the wall mounted TV screen. I watched Celine Dion sing AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. I giggled uncontrollably (my husband quite likes AC/DC) and I annoyed my hairdresser, who, I am sure, swore at me in Taiwanese.

This evening I went out to dinner with some friends at Hog’s Breath Cafe. I met some new people and we shared rocky road ice cream from a bowl as big as my head. It was HUGE and absolutely disgusting.

Then we went to the Universal Bar for a friend’s farewell party. The place was packed. The band was great. The bar staff were excellent. The floorboards were vibrating from the noise levels. It was rocking! It was a great night out!


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Making Baby 3, Part 26: Lots to Think About

2 May 2008

Seven Un-pregnant Tests

It’s been seven months since we started trying to conceive. And we have had seven months of lonely, one-pink lines.

Yep, we’re still not pregnant.

So my husband went to get his sperm checked again.

Last time he had it checked, we were very optimistic because, while he had a low sperm count, the sperm had high motility (moving and swimming sperm).

This meant it was still possible to get pregnant, and also possible that his count would improve over time.

But it seems not to be the case. The sperm count is still very low.

To put things into perspective, we are pretty damn lucky that my husband is even ALIVE after having cancer, and to NOT be seriously handicapped by chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. So having a low sperm count seems like a lucky escape.

His doctors are now of the opinion that this low sperm count is permanent, and while it remains technically possible to get pregnant, it is also highly unlikely. We could be trying for 7 years!

And so now we have to decide what to do.

Do we investigate medical treatment options?

Or just be happy with the two beautiful boys we are already blessed with?

Lots to think about.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Personal Goals – May 2008

1 May 2008

Weather's Getting Cold

Again it’s the start of a brand new month. This time MONTH NUMBER 5!

What goals did you reach last month? What have you achieved?

What are you working on for this month? What are you hoping to accomplish? What are you inspired to try out?

Here’s mine:

1) Have a declutter day.

We made an appointment: Saturday, 10am-12pm. My husband and I sat down in our “spare room / junk room” and cleared it out!! We got rid of old boxes, old papers, old clothes, old shoes, old computer parts, old printers, and a whole lot of other junk. DECLUTTERING FEELS SO GOOD!

We still have plenty more stuff to clear out. Will finish it off this month!

2) Wake up EARLY everyday.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been waking up at 6am every morning, instead of 7am. For some reason, I find myself MUCH more alert, awake, and fresher – not sure why, because I still sleep at 11pm most nights.

I’m hoping to continue into this month and maybe start going for a brisk morning walk.

3) Get into a team sport, for fun and fitness.

I just started my first game of netball, in 8 years! I think I did pretty well. I’m still as competitive as ever! It’s a great rush, and an excellent work out.

I was accidentally paired with the most experienced and seasoned chick from the other team – she must’ve been in her mid 40s, shorter than I was, and she zigzagged through the court like a mouse on speed. Damn she was so good.

I kept up with her quite well in the beginning, but by the end of halftime I was huffing and puffing and wheezing like an old lady. Whereas she didn’t even break a sweat.

I told her, my aim is to be like her within the next few weeks. It made her day.

4) Start dancing!

My husband and I have decided that we are going to take some salsa dance classes! Yipee! Looking into formats and times that will suit us.

5) My Reading List for April:

I’ve actually finished 3 novels + 1 non-fiction this month . But I’ve only written up one review.

It’s Not About The Bike by Lance Armstrong
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
So Close by Tertia Albertyn
Cosmetics Unmasked by Dr. Stephen Antczak

6) Take better care of my shoes.

I’ve been trying to take better care of my shoes. So the other morning I cleaned, waxed and polished every shoe in our house. It took me 2 hours! I tossed out the old ones, I fixed broken ones.

I put a few in my new clear shoe boxes, and organised the rest on my shoe rack.

7) Be active in a Community.

There are 22 mums in my son’s pre-primary class. It’s really funny, we see each other TWICE everyday, and yet I don’t actually know many of them beyond a certain level.

So I’ve organised a girls only dinner for everyone. I’ve sent out invites. Already have a great response. It’ll be next week at a local restaurant, and it kinda doubles as a Mother’s Day dinner. Can’t wait!

8) Fundraise for a worthy cause.

Planning to host a play date morning tea at my place for the Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.




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