Helping Asylum Seekers with CARAD’s Food Bank

I first heard about the Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees (CARAD) last year, while being involved with a philanthropic group, Impact100 WA.

I was very moved by the work they do, and I put my hand up to help. I also attended one of their Volunteer Information Sessions to find out more about the organisation and how I could help… and I was hooked!

They sounded like an amazing group, doing super-amazing things that really helped people in need.

I had already donated money. But I wanted to help in a practical way.

I found out that their Food Bank Program was a great and positive way to help asylum seekers in our coummunity.

So I thought I’d share it with everyone!

CARAD Food Bank Program

This is CARAD Headquarters, 245 Stirling Street in Perth.

They are an independent, not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to providing specialised welfare and advocacy assistance to asylum seekers, refugees and detainees in Western Australia.

Many of CARAD’s clients do not have the right to work and are ineligible for financial support. Some have to wait months or years until they become eligible.

So the CARAD team runs Case Management Programs (Foodbank, Emergency Relief Services, Accommodation Assistance and No Interest Loans) which provide basic needs for asylum seekers experiencing financial hardship, with little or no income.

CARAD Food Bank Program

The Food Bank Program runs twice a week, at an allocated time, where registered CARAD clients (asylum seekers) can access fresh fruit and vegetables, pantry items, and items such as nappies and blankets.

It helps them with their weekly groceries and supplements their limited weekly budgets.

I popped into CARAD to see how it all works.

The Food Rescue truck arrived early, with boxes of donated fresh produce.

CARAD Food Bank Program

The CARAD Office exploded into action and activity!

Volunteers helped to unpack the truck and laid out the produce for the clients.

CARAD Food Bank Program

A volunteer picked up some bread, kindly donated by Loafers Artisan Bread.

They looked so good!

CARAD Food Bank Program

The pantry was all ready for CARAD clients to access (after having been pre-stocked by more volunteers).

Interestingly, they don’t put together “Food Relief Boxes” or “Pre-Assembled Hampers”.

They find that allowing the clients to choose and take what they need, much like in a shop, is a far more dignifying and practical way to support them.

CARAD Food Bank Program

Also, I was surprised to discover that all the pantry items stocked here are from personal donations.

They are not from supermarkets, not bulk delivered, and they do not come from other collection organisations (such as Food Rescue). They come from everyday people like me!

They don’t have much room in their office, but they make it all fit. Most of the time, donated items come in and go out the same day. And they are ALWAYS looking for those high demand items.

 

CARAD have an excellent WAYS TO DONATE page on their website.

Here are some ways:

1) Financial Donation. You can donate online, simply follow the links from this page.

2) Donate items to their Food Bank Program. CARAD have a list of all the items they need, highlighting some of the more urgent items that are low in stock – this list is constantly updated! So check in regularly.

All donations can be delivered to the office, 245 Stirling Street, Perth, Monday to Friday between 9am – 4pm.

3) Gift Vouchers. Buy a $20, $50 or $100 gift card voucher next time you are in Coles, Woolworths, Kmart, BigW or Target. These are a really helpful resource for the clients, allowing choice in what they purchase.

If you can’t drive over to the CARAD office to deliver it, pop it into an envelope and snail mail it (245 Stirling Street, Perth 6000)!

4) Online Shopping Delivery. Gosh how easy is this? Put together an online order and have it delivered straight to their office! Online shop orders can be delivered to CARAD (245 Stirling Street, Perth 6000) from Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm.

5) Give your time. If you’re keen to volunteer head over to this page to find out how to become a volunteer.

CARAD Food Bank Program

This is my contribution for today! I couldn’t visit empty handed :)

I looked up their list of low stock items here and bought a few items during my weekly grocery shop. This box was about $50 worth of stuff. It was all too easy.

My kids wondered why I was buying all the extra bits and pieces, and I told them. It was a great conversation starter and a great way to get kids involved with giving, being educated and doing something practical for others.

Anyway, I hope this has inspired you in some way, or opened your eyes, or even just educated you a little (my little visit was very educational!)… and show you that anyone can help in a small way to make a positive impact on the community.

A big thank you to the CARAD staff for letting me poke around their office!

What I Wore: Majorelle Spotty Dress

Spotty Majorelle Dress

Hello hello!

I’m loving these warm evenings! How good is it to stay out the whole day and night and not bother with a jacket?

My husband and I managed to sneak out for a brunch date the other day, to celebrate our 16th Wedding Anniversary – way hey!

Hilariously… he cycled over from work to meet me at a cafe, so he was wearing fluro yellow and lycra tights, while I was wearing this! Omg we looked so funny! Typical old married couple, who don’t give a damn, right? Haha!

(Sweetly, he did ask me for permission first. In case I didn’t want to be caught being seen with someone wearing lycra.)

Spotty Majorelle Dress

I wore this Viola Dress by fabulous dress brand Majorelle. I just love the little spots and ruffle! (It’s on sale too, and possibly the same price you’d pay if you bought something from Myer or David Jones?)

I’m wearing the size XS and it fits me perfectly. The front is a little lower than I’m used to. But it doesn’t look too bad haha.

Spotty Majorelle Dress

Revolve are having a Friends and Family 20% off Discount Sale, until 1 April.

Simply head over to this page, share it with two friends, and you will get the discount code sent to you. Free shipping and free returns too.

The sale is for Australian customers only. The promotion ends on April 1st at 11:59 PM (Sydney time). All coupons are valid until April 8th, 11:59pm (Sydney time). Some brands don’t apply, so you’ll have to check this page.

Rainbow Cake for Sean

My middle boys turns 13 this year!

In a fit of madness – and let’s be honest, mummy-guilt mixed with a bit of creative boredom – I decided to embark on a bit of birthday cake craziness.

We were hosting 30 people for dinner the following day and I just couldn’t bear to make yet another chocolate cake. So boring!

I thought it’d be cool to make a 5 layer lake, in different colours! I asked my son’s permission, “Hey can I make a rainbow cake for you? Like the ones you see on Instagram?”

He said, “That’d be dope.”

I took that for a YES and ran with it. I researched different kinds of cakes, as I’ve only made chocolate cakes, and I decided on this recipe for a White Chocolate Mud Cake and I reduced the sugar.

I needed to make 2 cake mixtures from this recipe and divide the batches into 5 portions.

My cake tins were 18cm in diameter.

Rainbow Cake 2018

I started at 8:30pm!

Apologies for the crappy photos, I wasn’t planning to share my kitchen counter clutter, but it looked too funny not to share.

I tried to use as little food colouring as possible. Just enough so people could get recognise what colour it was supposed to be.

My coloured bowls are a bit distracting, because really the cake mix turned out very pale.

I baked 2 cakes at a time, and 1 cake by itself. I took the last cake out of the oven at 12 midnight. I let them cool for 30 minutes, wrapped them up and put them in the fridge.

The cakes turned out to be fantastic. They were dense, solid, yet moist. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Rainbow Cake 2018

Did I mention I was cooking for 30 people too?

The next day, after I did all the cooking, it was time to ice the cake.

I made a cream cheese icing that found on another site – I don’t recommend it. It was sticky, glossy, hard to work with and tasted too sweet.

Rainbow Cake 2018

My layers!

(After speaking to a pro cake maker, I was told that I was supposed to crumb the cake layers with a ganache icing, to seal the layers and stop them from moving and leaning over. But I didn’t know how to make a quick ganache icing and I ran out of time.)

Rainbow Cake 2018

Hence my cake leaned over slightly!

I got my 13 year old to decorate the cake, so he could feel like he had some connection to the whole process?

Rainbow Cake 2018

Ta da – my first rainbow cake!

It was so cute. Like I said, the only reason it turned out so well was because of the cake recipe.

It was lovely, dense, moist and not overbearingly sweet. It was easy to cut, it held together and it didn’t fall to bits.

Rainbow Cake 2018

It presented very nicely too!

Because the cake was so tall, I cut the slices into 1cm – 2cm thickness, like I said, it held together really well.

My only criticism was that it had a very plain taste. The sweetness was just right, but it just tasted like a sweet milky cake. So I would put flavouring in there some how. Maybe passionfruit?

Here’s the recipe! Original amount of sugar was 165g but I reduced it to 130g.

White Chocolate Mud Cake (for 5 Layer Rainbow Cake)

Ingredients
300 g white chocolate
200 g butter (salted)
240 ml milk
130 g caster sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
240 g all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder

(I made 2 separate cake batches and divided into 5 portions.)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 160C. Grease an 18cm round pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Weigh your bowls and take note.

Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when chocolate and butter have melted, and stir mixture until completely smooth. Allow mixture to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Add vanilla and eggs to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.

Place flour in a large bowl, add one cup of chocolate mixture and stir until a smooth paste forms.

I made 2 separate cake batches and divided into 5 portions. Add food colouring.

Pour mixture into prepared pans.

Bake for 30 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

*Sorry I don’t have a good recipe for icing the cakes!

Good luck!

What I Wore: Tularosa Lily Dress

Tularosa Lily Dress

Hello everyone! This is me heading out on a dinner date for my husband’s birthday.

We decided to stick to small birthday presents this year… because we just paid for airfares (seat price x 5!) for our overseas family holiday and let me tell you, I felt sick in my stomach as I clicked the “Process Payment” at the 5 figure total – akkk! Oh well, big family holidays only happens once a year.

So… it’s instant noodles, BYO coffee, and SALE ONLY clothing purchases for while now haha.

Tularosa Lily Dress

Speaking of sales: Revolve are having a Friends and Family 20% off Discount Sale, until 1 April.

Simply head over to this page, share it with two friends, and you will get the discount code sent to you. Free shipping and free returns too.

It’s probably the best and safest kind of discount sale – browse, add items to cart, share with your friends, get the code, then revise what’s in your cart, before you actually buy!

There’s a nice time delay. So no impulse buying here :)

The sale is for Australian customers only. The promotion ends on April 1st at 11:59 PM (Sydney time). All coupons are valid until April 8th, 11:59pm (Sydney time). Some brands don’t apply, so you’ll have to check this page.

Tularosa Lily Dress

As for me, I’m wearing a Tularosa Lily Dress.

I was pretty lucky to get this dress, as it’s just so simple, so gorgeous… and it sold out very quickly. But I think they will restock it soon, just click on “Can’t Find Your Size?” and they will email you when it comes back in stock.

I’m wearing Size XS (I’m usually Size AU 6), and it fits me perfectly. Even the length is perfect for me – yay!

I love that it’s mid-legth. I would absolutely buy this dress in different colours and patterns, if they offered it.

I also picked up this Marjorelle Viola Dress, which is on sale, so there would be another 20% off it with the code.

Also on my wishlist:

This Majorelle Berkshire Dress – ok this was a bit crazy expensive because it’s silk.

Privacy Please Hibiscus Midi – Lovely pale blue dress with front tie.

Privacy Please Clinton Midi – Very cute, pale yellow stripe dress.

Privacy Please Wilmar Dress – Cute red spotty dress

Tularosa Chrissy Dress – Cute, short, ruffle white dress.

Privacy Please Lomax Dress – I’ve had my eye on this dress for ages! Another flattering midi dress.

Hope you find something you like. It’s a great sale to pick up a new dress.

Happy shopping or browsing!

xxx

What I Wore: White Boots from 2005

White Boots

​OK guys, cute / funny /somewhat tragic story here.

These boots are soooooo hot right now with ALL the uber-fashiony style-makers: white leather, pointed toe, kitten heel. They are exactly what you need to be wearing next season!

Kendall + Kylie have a version here.
Acne Studios have these cute kitten heel booties, better get in fast as they are almost sold out of all sizes in the white, but lots of sizes left in the black?!
Rab & Bone have these super sleek ones, but still kitten heels. Only one size left!
Or maybe you have a spare $890 for these Helmut Lang booties?!
These boots from Free People are a lot more affordable.
Or these sexy booties from Tibi (with a roundish heel).

The funny part is: I actually bought these boots in 2005!! That makes them 13 years old.

They are by an Australian brand called Zu, full leather inside and outside. They are such good quality and at the time they were around $150, but I bought them on a clearance sale for something like $37. I remember it was such a huge shopping win for me haha.

Why did I keep them?

Um. I’m not sure?! I think I only wore them once or twice. It’s not like I pull them out every winter and wear them.

Honestly I keep them in a tall shoe box (the one they came in), and they sit at the very bottom of my “tall boot box” stack. I give them a nod of acknowledgement every winter, when I pull out all the other boots that I wear. So the answer to why I keep them: laziness.

But look at me now. I totally look like an uber-fashiony style-maker HAHA.

White Boots

I’m also wearing:

Grana Boxy Pima Cotton Tee

Medium Rider Bag by Loeffler Randal

Lovers and Friends Elijah Mini Skirt