Sunday, 8 January 2017

Lakes and Back to School

Today we started back into somewhat of a normal routine of doing schoolwork again. I had told
Auron last week that we would be starting again today and he wasn't impressed. This morning he sulked and whined and carried on like I was going to ask him to climb a mountain in the snow barefoot or something. This was all before breakfast had even started! Lili however was ready and excited as soon as she woke up. 

Once we actually started our bookwork Auron's attitude changed completely and he ended the morning asking me to print of extra math work for him to complete. I am hoping this will be a much better year for him and his level of enjoyment. He loves the product of his efforts yet he doesn't like the process to get there. Unfortunately that is one of the hard facts about life, that nothing comes to you without putting in the effort beforehand. 

Melbourne really heated up this past weekend so instead of wilting away inside all vying for the best spot under the air con we packed up and headed out to the lake for  a swim. Now this lake is set in the most beautiful park. The lake itself was no Lake Taupo but when it is creeping in on 40 degrees all you want is wet and cold and this hit the spot like no other! I think we spent about 6 hours until we headed home. We probably would have stayed longer if we hadn't run out of food! 

Aarahi took the kids out on the raft they got for Christmas.....I think every kid in Melbourne got a $15 orange Kmart raft for Christmas this year! The was this one family who had the most amazing green Dinosaur floatie thing. I wont lie, I was pretty jealous. The lake is a man made lake and the water has some kind of rock in it that makes it look like its full of glitter, it was very sparkly. Lili was impressed. The kids didn't get burnt....parenting win there. Aarahi and I are nursing some burnt backs, I guess you can't have it all right? 


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

5 Fantastic Summer Holiday Activities

If you are living in the Southern Hemisphere the Summer holidays are in full swing. However with the excitement of Christmas has probably diminished somewhat and new toys and games have been played to death. You are probably now looking for something to occupy the kids to keep them from climbing the walls. So here I give you 5 awesome activities that are cheap (or freeeeeee), provide hours of entertainment, get your kids brains working and not parent intensive!


Sign up for a subscription for Artventure. This is an wonderful online art class, with lessons ranging in level from ages 5 - 12. All you need to supply are basic art supplies like paper, water colours and crayons etc. We use this as part of our homeschool art curriculum and my kids ask to do it every day. I am actually completely impressed with what they manage to turn out. It will definitely keep you arty farty kid busy for hours and your not so arty kids will probably still love it too. You can use the free trial for a day then a full subscription is $29 for 3 months. Awesome for those days when the sun refuses to shine or you just need a quiet day in.



How about sending the kids off on a scavenger hunt? Auron and Lili are forever off on some kind of adventure with their carefully designed maps, in search of hidden treasure. A scavenger hunt is right up their ally. Just to make it easier for you, I will add a website with links to 30 different hunts so all you have to do is print one off and let the kids loose.



The next time you are out at the shops pick up a box of sidewalk chalk. This has the benefit of harnessing kids creativity and imagination with virtually zero clean up, especially it it happens to rain that afternoon. It will likely send you hurtling back to you childhood hopscotch days, which depending on how many children you have had, may not be a good idea for your precious pelvic floor....
You can find an assortment of different ideas for chalk play to get the kids started at:

Matty Angel



ICE CREAM! Ice cream is always a winner during summer, so how about making your own. It is not as messy and complicated as you may think. Using a "ice cream in a bag" recipe clean up is a breeze and the kids can practically do it with out much supervision. My one bit of advice would be to double bag and invest in some decent ziplock bags. This time it pays to steer clear of homebrand. You can also get creative and add different flavours or fruit.



Build a secret hideout or treehouse. I remember spending hours upon hours carefully designing and executing complex hut building plans as a child, often complete with rope swings and the like. Give the kids some supplies that you can probably find around the house or garage like rope, old bits of timber, old sheets some of the tree branches from all that gardening you did last weekend etc and let them get to work. Be kind and offer to bring them out some icypoles later on as hut building is hard work. Don't be surprised if they think that it is a good place to spend the night too!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Goodbye 2016 Let's Never Repeat!

It's 9am on Monday morning and I am still in bed. Lili has come to keep me company so we are listening to a Frozen playlist as I type. I fully expect her to start dancing around on the bed at any moment.

I am so so happy to see the back of 2016, please let's not ever have a repeat of that year. I laid in bed and listened to the fireworks feeling such a sense of relief feeling that it was over. I don't know what it is about the end of a year but it I totally feel like it gives you permission to push the rest button on life.

Our family has a crazy exciting year ahead! Our house that we are building....have been waiting on for TWO years should finally be finished in the next 2 months!!!!! Things I am most excited about? Well an oven door that doesn't need duct tape to close, a living room that doesn't let it rain inside, a dish washer, aircon, a nice neighbourhood. We really really really can't wait. Last week the roof leaked so bad that there was a waterfall in our living room. It saturated all our books and board games and PASSPORTS! Thankfully 2 of the most damaged passports already needed renewing but Lili's didn't and I am pretty annoyed about having to fork out the money for that. The silver lining on that cloud is that her passport photo is not the cutest...just being honest. She was a cute baby but that photo is not cute!

In 77 days we are leaving on a month long road trip in the USA, with a 5 night cruise to Mexico thrown in to celebrate mine and Aarahi's 30th birthdays. I have spent HOURS over the past year planning for this holiday and I can't wait to see it come to fruition. Hopefully I will be able to share some tips and trick for holiday planning on a budget and how to do it debt free in the next couple of months. We will be visiting LA, Catalina Island, Ensenada Mexico, Las Vegas, Southern Utah, Salt Lake City, Moab, Page, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix, and San Diego. We may even try to vlog out trip but no promises.

We have one more week of holidays before we are back into school work. Auron would much rather watch youtube and play Roblox all day but unfortunately the kid is only 5 and life doesn't quite work that way. Lili will also be joining us officially this year which she is RIDICULOUSLY excited about.

As for New Years Resolutions? I haven't really made any. Last year knocked me about pretty bad so this year I plan to just focus on my own family and forget about trying to please everyone else. Also I'll try to keep this blog updated because it really do enjoy it. I will aim for 3 days a week and see how we go with that.

Ps Lili left 20mins ago and I am still listening to Frozen, even singing along. I can't even what pre-kids me was like anymore. I am pretty sure I didn't know the words to every Disney song!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

6 Day Engagement

Last night at about 9pm I realised it was our anniversary. Oops. I sent Aarahi a message at work to tell him, he forgot too.

We have been together for seven years. It is crazy. It seems like both a life time and a blink of an eye. Did you know we were engaged 6 days after dating?? and then married only a few months later.
We often laugh about it, and wonder at the insanity of it all. I also wondered why no one tried to counsel us otherwise. I am positive it ran through their minds.

When Aarahi first moved to Palmy there were a few bets going about how long it would take before we were engaged. I should mention we didn't even know each other before this! So I got engaged to someone who I had known only 3 weeks. I remember telling my Mum. It was the middle of the night and I heard her get up to go to the bathroom and I yelled it out to her as she walked past my bedroom door. Her response "I knew you would marry him, he is a wonderful young man"

My family, when they would talk about the kind of guy that I would need, always said I would need someone to be the assertive, outgoing, and to be able to say no to me. They couldn't have been more wrong with Aarahi. He is quiet, meek, humble and thinks very little of himself. He let's me do whatever I want, whenever I want and always ALWAYS puts me and children first.

We had people whispering in our ears months before we even met, telling us that we should at the very least date each other. Our siblings in particular were keen on the idea. I remember the day we first met. Haroma (Aarahi's little brother) had text me and asked me to bring him some lunch over on my way home...oh and my brother is here too so you might want to bring him some too. I was SO nervous. I knew I was going to marry him. I had known for months now (still in denial slightly, because it seemed ludicrous). Then I walked in to the house and there he was. Reading his scriptures (oh so righteous). Haroma picked up his food and then left! So there we stood, awkwardly, not knowing what to do or say. We ended up getting in the car and going searching for Haroma. We found him and his now wife in a park being somewhat secretive...and the rest is history. 3 weeks later we were planning a wedding.

7 years on and we are still here, still happy and still striving to be the best we can be.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

First Kisses ALWAYS Make for Good Stories

Last night Aarahi and I were laying in bed talking before going to sleep, as you do. The conversation turned to first kisses. Now I think I have a pretty interesting first kiss story. I can laugh about it now and ask myself "what on earth were you thinking?!"

The story goes like this. I was 15/16 and my best friend and I were dating two guys who also happened to be best friends. One night we were all hanging out together at my boyfriends house. Lets call him "Ben". It was around 1am. My parents always told me "the Holy Spirit goes to bed at 11pm, so should you" I probably should have bee the good little Mormon girl listened to that advice in retrospect. Anyway, I was 16 and not really caring too much about what my parents would be thinking. So we decide "hey, it's a nice night for a walk" and we head off down the road to explore the old abandoned cemetery at 2am. People who know me well, know I don't like dead things at all, I hate all things related to death. To this day I am still unsure about what possessed me to willingly go along with this grand idea.

After a good hour or so of perusing the grave stones and chasing rabbits, we split off from my friend and her boyfriend. They were probably going to do the same thing as us. We walked a little further and found ourselves standing in front of the grandest family grave plot. The Bakers. It  was actually like a house. I doubt they were even buried underground. The though sends chills down my spine now.

It was right outside Annie Bakers grave marker that "Ben" lent in for the kiss. There were no sparks, zip zilch nothing. It was terrible. I wondered why on earth I had waited so long. It wasn't great at all! Sorry "Ben" if you read this but I am sure you will agree it was probably the worst kiss you have ever had too. Well at least it makes for a good story. Every time I drive past the cemetery now I laugh. My husband thinks I am insane, but that is nothing new.

I tired to find some old photos of us all back in the day but this was as good as I could find. Seminary class photo 2003!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Best Carrot Cake You Will Ever Eat

I myself have never been a fan of Carrot Cake, the idea of vegetables in desserts just didn't sit right with me. A few years ago though I was feeling adventurous and decided to try some of my husbands slice of cake during one of our date nights. I was needless to say "pleasantly surprised". I was imagining some kind of roast dinner mixed with dessert kind of combinations. Since then I have made many Carrot Cakes on a semi-regular basis much to my husbands delight. He is all about the sweet stuff, me, not so much. Give me some bread and cheese any day though.

This recipe is one I have perfected over the last little while and has been given the stamp of approval by even my pickiest of eaters. It is definitely a substantial cake and can be cooked in all sorts of different pans, you will just need to watch the cooking times. It is incredibly moist and will keep its moistness for several days just left on the bench...if it lasts that long.

I just love the awesome caramelly colour it comes out as. Such a nice change from the boring chocolate cake brown. Oh and not to forget the smell! I think it kind of smells a bit like Christmas with the cinnamon and nutmeg.



  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1 C Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 C Carrots Grated 
  • 1/2 C Sultanas
  • 1/2 C Chopped Walnuts 


  1. Preheat Oven to 180C/350F and grease and line a 20cm cake tin
  2. In a large bowl beat the Sugar, Oil and Eggs until thick and pale
  3. Into the same bowl sift in Flour, Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cinnamon and Nutmeg
  4. Mix until well combined
  5. Stir in the Carrots, Sultanas and Walnuts
  6. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 50-60mins or until skewer comes out clean when poked. 

For the Icing:

Once the cake has cooled completely ice with cream cheese icing and top with chopped nuts and cranberries.

Cream cheese Icing

Beat together 250g/8oz pack of Cream Cheese along with 1/2 stick of butter. Gradually add in 2-3 C of icing sugar and 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla. If its too thick add a little milk.

The Tooth Paste Hoarder

The kids are in bed and I thought I would sit down to write something at the computer. It smelt kind of nice around the desk, a little suspicious as usually the interesting smells are forgotten nappies. However I just enjoy it until I pick up the mouse. Everything is covered in strawberry toothpaste. The mouse, keyboard, the big black box thingi, the screen, and the speakers. ughhh. Ammon has had a thing with toothpaste the past week. He has a stash of tubes somewhere that I can't find. We had a friend give us about 20 tubes (yes we have cool friends like that) and I have no idea where they are but it seems Ammon does. He took one to the car, unknown to me and spread it all over Lili's car seat. That went down really well with Lili, until I told her it just mean her seat wont get cavities or holes. Gullible kid. I really wish I knew where he was stashing them all. Probably in the same place as his shoes.

We got together with some of our homeschool friends today to celebrate book week. Everyone dressed up and each family organised an activity table for the kids to go around to. Everyone had such an awesome time. Auron and Lili went as Harry Potter and Hermione. The both looked the part. Lili's hair was pretty much the highlight of the costume for me. I haven't brushed it out dry in forever but it was like a lion's mane. She kept asking why her hair was so fluffy a cloud. 

For dinner tonight we had meatballs and mash and veges. We had the same thing last week sometime and you would have thought I was trying to poison them the way they were carrying on. We had gagging and every excuse in the book why they couldn't possibly eat it. By the time they did get around to eating it, it was cold and probably did taste kind of gross at that point. They only ate it once I told them the meat was chicken. We have a lot of brown chicken in this house. Tonight, same meal, exactly the same, not even a slight variation and Auron proclaims it as his 2nd favourite meal ever and can we have it tomorrow, and Lili eats three helpings. (Ammon is just a garbage disposal and will eat anything). Sometimes I really just want to bang my head into the wall. 


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