Wednesday, December 23, 2015

PKM Does The Sound of Music

*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Nuffnang and The Sound of Music
Theatre photography © 2015 Dip/Cos by James Morgan 

This past Sunday I was given the opportunity to see The Sound of Music on the Capitol Theatre stage in Sydney; featuring Amy Lehpamer as Maria, and Cameron Daddo as Captain Von Trapp.

I may have been just a tad excited about seeing the Von Trapps live...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dating Mike Dyson - The Blow By Blow Account

* Disclosure: Dyson gifted this vacuum to me to try and review; however, all opinions, ridiculous antics and tender moments are my own. 
Photography by Raj Kanogia 

Step 1:  Find the Dyson V6 of your dreams on the dating app Tinder and make contact

Step 2: Meet for your first date in a well lit, public place (because there's so many weirdos online. Am I right, ladies?).

Exception to the rule: I normally wouldn't recommend kissing on the first date but this was love at first sight

 Step 3: Make sure he compliments you: Mike told me he loves a woman with confidence and that's what drew him to me on Tinder.

Step 4: If the date is going well take him up on his offer to move on to another well lit, public place. I chose a cafe.

Step 5: A great way to gage your date's intellect is to find out if he like to stay on top of current events. 

 Step 6: Don't order for your date. I made that mistake. 

 Step 7: Don't wait for him to call you to go on a second date. Don't play games or wait by the phone. If you had a great time then give him a call. We caught up for a cheese platter and a plate of glitter a week later.

Step 8: Be yourself. I'm extremely hilarious. Here you can see me pretending to feed Mike a cherry even though he can't and we both know it. 

But he can pop mine. HA!

Golly! Gee-whiz, that was fun! Time for a re-charge.
 Step 9: Don't be afraid to try new things. For us it was all about the powerful suction.

Be spontaneous -We just threw things off and went for it. 

  Is that your cord I feel. Oh no, you're completely cordless. You've had a cordcumcision?

Step 10: Cover your tracks and make sure you lock the door. Whoops!

Seriously though: 

How does the Dyson V6 Absolute compare to my old $50 Diablo Vacuum?
Well, I would never have taken the Diablo to bed with me for starters. Secondly, the Diablo died on me in August right when I was cleaning up the study from a complete renovation so he isn't even around for a side by side comparison. I don't miss dragging his heavy ass around the house or his lack of powerful suction. I don't think I even knew what great suction was until I used to V6 Absolute. It's like a rebellious teen vs a sweet young adult; I was forcing my other vacuum to clean up while this new Dyson says "what else can I help you with?"

How has the Dyson changed my life? (I'm not exaggerating)!
My friend told me months ago that I needed a V6 Absolute, that it would change my life. I mentioned in another post that I have chronic pain and that cleaning and parenting is very painful everyday. I always put off vacuuming and mopping because I would pay for it the rest of the week. Pre-baby I even used to pay a friend to come once a month and vacuum and mop for me. But now my house is cleaner than ever because whenever there's a mess I just grab this lightweight Dyson and clean it up then and there, in a matter of seconds. No physical pain. No fiddling with the cord or hose, or dragging the red-beast behind me.
Vacuuming is no longer a big, difficult event for me.

What can the Dyson V6 do (besides me)?
It all comes apart with easy clicks. There is an attachment for: 
  • floors,
  • carpet
  • car or your mattress
  • the ceiling.
  • tiny crevices, and dusting too
It can pretty much clean anywhere. I used it on my deck yesterday to clean up all the crumbs left behind from a play date. It took me less than half the time it would to sweep the deck.

I made a short, little video to show you how freaking awesome it sucked in my dirty house

What's the battery life like? Using the two larger heads (floors and carpet) it can last up to 16 minutes, and on 'MAX' mode it can last 6 minutes but sucks a freaking shit load (as you can see in the rug cleaning part of my video)! It may not sound like a lot of time but it's suction is incredible on that higher volume.
  • With the attachment you see me use on my mattress can last 17 minutes.
  • And it can last 20 minutes using the attachments for tiny crevices, and dusting.
Does the short battery life bother me? It only did when I first got my Dyson because I wanted to keep trying it on everything but had to wait the 3.5hours for it to charge. But now that my house is all vacuumed, it's so simple for me to stay on top of my vacuuming like never before. It really is so easy compared to the massive chore it used to be.  Can I emphasise that enough?

I honestly love that this baby is cordless and hose-less too.

Would I spend $899 on this vacuum knowing what I know now? Abso-f*cking-lute-ly!! 
It changed my life and that's worth everything. But I would buy it at Costco instead for approximately $750 because I'm all about getting the best price on everything. You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Grand Opening Of The Vulvarian Cult

The following post is completely tongue in cheek. You've been warned so calm yourself. It's full of what could be construed as misandry (reverse misogyny). But really, PKM loves men. This brochure of sorts came about from a drunken girls night, where we jokingly discussed how we could take care of each other better if we all just lived together and just used our men for sex. Admittedly a ridiculous cult. You can blame my friend Mia. Or thank her.

Welcome to our beautiful commune, Vulvaria. We have a wonderful property set on 10 acres of lush wilderness, perched on the edge of lake Femme. We are a women only community but men do reside on the property (*at a reasonable distance). Our aim is to provide women with the support they were missing in their mainstream life with their partner. Women who come to us are seeking companionship (without the competition of boy's nights). They want equal share of domestic duties, anticipation of their needs, and emotional support at all times, and sex on their terms.

*2 huge acres away

To join you have to take an emotional intelligence test (which you will probably pass because you are a woman). Usually cult followers don't know they are joining a cult but here at Vulvaria we are upfront because we believe in full disclosure. We will brainwash you and you'll never want to leave us. You'll cut off almost all contact with your partner unless you need them for sex or labor (we'll get to that).

We're women. We're Vulvarian. We're here for each other.

You want a shoulder to cry on when you've had a crappy day?
We won't try to problem solve when you cry, we'll just let you get it allllllllll out.
We will hold you until your breathing slows. When you stop we will make you a cup of tea and tuck you in bed and gently ask if there's anything else we can do. But you won't have many of those days. Why? Because women and harmony. We meet all your emotional needs with out any of the partner bullshit.

Those days you're feeling too sick to care for your sick kids - we've got your back. Consider fellow Vulvarians your sister wives (without the polygamy). We'll make you chicken soup, do the dishes and make sure you get a nap without you even having to ask. In fact, we've already loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the toilet and washed 5 loads of your laundry.

When the men are sick, guess what? You won't have to put up with their whining. What man flu? You won't hear about it. You won't hear about the weak headaches they call in sick for either. Why because there's 2 acres of separation.

 We are out of bounds to the men unless WE want the sex.
[ It should be noted that the "man-helicopter" is strictly prohibited on our property]

At Vulvaria if you're too tired for sex, don't have it. You feel too bloated for sex? Don't have it. No one is going to ask you for sex. It's just there when you want it. I repeat, no one will ever hassle you for it. EVER again. But you will feel desirable. When you do have sex with your man he will please you. Foreplay isn't a request it's a f*cking guarentee. He will tell you you're beautiful and sexy without needing to be reminded. If he doesn't it won't even matter because we will tell you that every f*cking day anyway and we will mean it.

When we can't be bothered we may request a man: 

  • Killing Bugs
  • Setting up our computers
  • Daddy daycare
  • TV Programming
  • Building some shit
  • Taking out the bins
  • Making cocktails

So what are you waiting for? Join our utopian dream today. If you aren't satisfied within 60 days too bad and good luck trying to leave. Did you miss our full disclosure at the top?

C U L T !

#cultlife #livinginabubble #wearefamily #noonewillloveyoulikewedo #sexualfulfillment #useallyoursavings #Vulvaria

*Linked up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

Friday, November 27, 2015

Myer Giftorium in Pictures

*Sponsored post for Myer Giftorium
Melissa from Hugzilla Blog, Christie from Kids Business and Maraya from Stuff Mums Like
After a cancelled flight from Melbourne I finally made it to Sydney. Can you tell I didn't fall asleep until 2 am? My husband joined me there from Newcastle, without out our toddler. We made a weekend of it by going to see the Musical Cats. We were also invited along to the Christmas opening of the Myer Giftorium.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

5 Pregnant Fantasies vs Parenting Reality

Every newly expecting mum has done it - imagined their future with their baby, and what it would look like, and what they would do when the baby finally arrived. It's only natural to have those desires and dreams. Some of us even need those dreams to cling to so we can get through a difficult pregnancy, repeatedly telling ourselves that all the human-making will be worth it in the end.
Often the reality of what becoming a first time mum looks like varies drastically from the image we had in our heads.
I like to call this First Time-Mum Delusion.

5 Things Pregnant Women Romanticise Versus the Reality of Motherhood

1. Baby Massage: Images of your future little baby's gurgling and smiling face dance in your head, and you romanticise about all the time you'll spend massaging your baby's chubby little limbs. You'll rub your pregnant belly and think about how bonded you'll become in those delightful moments. They'll coo and giggle as you rub their tummy, and curl their toes and smile when you gently caress their feet.

Reality: You finish breast feeding then pumping, and pop another pill for your mastitis. Dinner was half-hazardly cooked and you hope your husband won't notice you ran out of capsicum pepper for the fajitas (a main ingredient that you substituted with green beans, but who cares).  You fill baby's bath, and check the temperature 3 times to make sure it's not too hot. Checking once would have been enough but you're too f*cking tired to remember if you already checked the temperature already so you do it again. And again. You get the baby in there. Things are going smoothly until baby poops in the tub. You can't think straight, remember? So you end up grabbing for the poo with one hand and picking up the baby with the other. Realising you have a hand full of poo you turn to the toilet as quick as you can, because you now know what it's like to try and push poo through the drain of the bath tub from that last time this happened. You do a one hand wash, then grab the shower head and check the temperature of the water. You hose your baby off. You finally get to the change table, and baby pees all over the change table cover you just washed the day before. Baby in one arm and baby wipes in the other, you scramble to clean the change table before you clean the baby. Ahhhh. Finally time for baby massage. You start by grabbing your organic, fair trade lavender-jojoba baby massage oil (that cost $1 a drop), only to have your baby kick it out of your hands and all over the dresser. You scoop as much as you can back into the bottle and try not to be sweary. You promise yourself you will try again tomorrow, only to discover they hate being rubbed. The gig is up. They beg you to stop the massage by screaming until you give in and give them what they really want. More bitty.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Forty Wanks - The Tale of a Bloody Mattress

Mattress shopping is such a novelty to me. I'm a gal whose father found her a mattress outside the back of an Old Folk's home. It was ready for its final resting place at the local dump, and not in the room I shared with 3 sisters. So when we recently moved my two year old from a cot (crib) to his big boy bed I was extraordinarily excited to find him a mattress free of old people smell, stains, and broken springs. Of course, we foolishly thought we could go mattress shopping with him, chasing him up the highest loft bed he could find in the shop. We took turns wrangling him and succeeded in purchasing a mattress. We reached an anti-climax when we were told it would take one to two weeks for the new mattress to come in and discovered we would need to go pick it up from a store that was further away. We were a little disappointed because we had wanted to purchase the mattress on the spot and set the bed up that day, but we settled on delayed gratification.

We have been really struggling to have time in our house. Time together as a family. Renovation time. Couple time. Me time. Sleep time. Like many families, we have been feeling extra maxed out and drained and have been struggling to cope from months of illness. Most of my husband's time has been spent on our reno's (when he's not at work). That means the pressure on me, to be with our child 6.5 days of the week, has been enormous, and I've been desperate for a break. DESPERATE.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

4 Ways to Be in Style With Your "Go-To" Pieces


Whether you love to stay on trend, make your own style, or you think you have no style it's always good to have "go-to" or "basic" pieces. The ones you know you love and look good in. I guess I fall between following the trends and making my own style. But what I love the most is going out the door feeling like I'm making a statement with what I wear. Sometimes it can be the whole outfit, sometimes it can be the shoes accessories, or the shade of lipstick I wear. But always making sure they make me feel like ME. I want to share with you some of my "go-to" pieces in hopes you can come up with your own.

Four of my go-tos: how I take them from day to night

1. Ripped Jeans:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hallow-mean Is For The Haters

Hallow-mean: A word I coined to describe the mean things (some) Australians say about Halloween that are mostly baseless and have a bit of Ebenezer Scrooge to them. Every year of the thirteen years I've been here I hear some horrible things said about this really fun holiday. I'm sure there's enough material out there for someone other than Charles Dickens (God rest his soul) to write an Aussie prequel to A Christmas Carol, entitled A Halloween Pumpkin. (I better copyright that title before you do, because it's one of the better ideas I've ever had).

So what is it about Halloween that has some Aussies twisting their knickers and firing off bah-humbug sentiments? Short answer: America, and strangers. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Part II - From Childfree to Childless

Guest Post by Jennifer Forlin. If you missed Part I of Jennifer's story you can read it here
Photo by Rodion Kutsaev
Continued from last week ...

I think those last few minutes before I checked my results was the last time I was really happy.

The next three months were hard without having my husband around. The days were OK when I worked, however the evenings weren’t so great. By that time I’d had a grey-stripey kittycat named Steve for three months, and his antics were some salve. Friends of my step-sister tried to draw me out and were unsuccessful. I’d even been voted to the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce and that fell away too.
There were other fertility tests that I needed to take, further exploration. The 'why' of it all. So I left my job with the super rad owner, kick ass staff, and moved back down to the City, leaving small town Utopia behind. (One of my staff told me Steve had found a great new home. Phew.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

From Child-Free to Child-Less

  Part I of the guest post by Jennifer Forlin
Photo by Rodion Kusaev

On my wedding day I said, “I don’t”.

            On June 26, 2010 I said I don’t want children, I don’t want a family. I don’t want to be hitched to a world where companies chase me, shoving their baby-friendly and mother-engineered, over-priced products down my throat. Emptying my wallet. Manipulating me to pay attention. Coercing me to cuddle, coddle and swathe. (Now was that companies, or my mini-me?)

It wasn’t a body image thing, or a financial thing, or even a “I’m saving the world by not bringing another being into it,” modus operandi. Besides, everybody knows that it’s expensive enough to live Vancouver, Canada, let alone have children.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

10 Ways Parenting with Pain is Different

Photo by Ryan McGuire
I've been a mum for just over two years and I've noticed one thing that makes my parenting experience different from most mums I know - pain. Over the last few months I've really been paying attention to this difference. How it impacts the way I engage with my child, my energy levels, and my temperament. I parent through pain. Almost everything I do is done through the pain filter. The decisions I make are based on my pain levels and tolerance. I also need to have a different level of self-care than most mums. Over the period of one year I was a passenger in four car accidents. Three of which were pretty minor, as far as accidents go, and even the fourth would probably just meet the moderate category. But 16 years on and I am still living with pain every day. Even now I have a severe headache that has threatened to stop my writing in its tracks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Shannon, who blogs at My 2 Morrows, nominated me for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award a couple weeks ago. She's always leaving me genuine and caring comments. She writes on her lifestyle blog about her two kids, travel and other life stuff. She even has a cool section called Love Want Need where, you guessed it, she lists and collages all three of her loves, wants and needs. She's given me a list of questions to answer about myself. I thought it would be a stinking great opportunity for some of my readers who don't know me all that well to just fall head over heels for me and my salaciousness.  Truthfully - I'm not too salacious I just never get to use that word. How freaking good is it?  Salacious. Mmmm. Yum.

1. How did you meet your significant other? 

I was only 20 when I moved to Australia in 2002 arriving here from Canada to do a Christian missionary training course because I grew up in a missionary family. Long story short, it ended up being very cult-like. But Dave ended up becoming one of my best friend's so that's a huge positive to come out of such a messed up place. We all lived commune style housing so we got to see each other at our ugliest and loveliest. After four years my husband got out of the cult. One night I called him crying for help; I was so confused by the control and spiritual abuse I was experiencing. He asked me a lot of questions about why I was there and what made me stay. He had me use my critical thinking again, something that had really been stripped away over the 3 years I was in there. After that conversation Dave got the big feelings for me and started seeing me in a whole new way. Hubba, hubba. But I left for Canada 2 weeks after he told me how he felt, so it took quite a bit of emailing and phone calling to bring me onside with the idea of dating one of my best friends. I think this one deserves it's own post. Whoops. Yeah well, you try summing up cult life. F*cked

Our wedding in 2006 - Photo by Peter Leslie

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Rib-off Competition with Chef Leigh (Recipe included)

I have been waiting for this moment for well over a year. An opportunity to have a Rib-off with my friend and Chef, Leigh. I just needed to find a time that would suit Leigh's busy restaurant schedule and my cleaning schedule free time. In the end his partner (and my hair dresser) Leanne was the one who came through and matched a time for this huge event to happen.

Every great Rib-off competition should begin with some excellent trash talking.
First publicly on Facebook and then privately of course by text message.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Who I Appear To Be (Life with Chronic Illness)

I am so thrilled to introduce you to my guest blogger today - Rachel Cox from The Chronic-ills of Rach. She is a beautiful writer and human being with a great sense of humour.  Rachel shares stories on her blog about her life, and sometimes she writes about her chronic illness Dysautonomia. What that? Rachel explains on her blog what that is, but a quick sum up is this "It's an umbrella term used to describe various conditions that cause malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System."
As someone who struggles to live each day with chronic pain, I could really appreciate the way she articulates what it's like being a wife and mother living with a chronic condition. She's so honest and raw. I couldn't help but have tears in my eyes reading this post. Rachel will give you insight into what life is like when you look "normal" on the outside but feel awful on the inside. I wanted to share it with you for that reason and because I'll finally be sharing my own struggle here too
- Jess from Peachy Keen Mumma -

Who I Appear To Be

It’s a strange double life I am leading.  Like I’m a secret undercover agent.  Except I am not saving the world from crime, I’m just surviving, one day at a time.  There’s this magical spell that covers my words, so when I say “I’m not well”, people don’t hear it.  If I do manage to explain anything to them, they forget it and assume I am well the next time they see me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Impossible Market Newcastle

 Last night my friend Phoebe and I headed to the launch of The Impossible market. The market is located in the hip, industrial and laid back restaurant that is The Edwards. This bold and dynamic shopping experience is like no other seen in Newcastle. The venue is divided in two, with the markets on the warehouse side and the restaurant on the other, but there's an easy flow from one to the other.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

An Open Letter to My Son's Paediatrician

Two years ago I was going through one of the hardest times of my life. My newborn baby boy was breast feeding around the clock but still screaming in hunger. I had no idea as a new mum how long each breast feeding session was supposed to last but an hour and a half seemed way too long just to get up an hour or two later and do it all again. Something wasn't right. On day 10 I began mix feeding (breast/formula) Charlie after a midnight trip to the ER uncovered he was losing quite a bit of weight. When I wasn't feeding, pumping, making and cleaning bottles I was holding him; because every time I put him down he would wake up crying in pain. After a few weeks of detective work, I also discovered that my son had silent reflux. While he was struggling to feed and get enough milk,  I was struggling with prescription pills, herbal concoctions and pumping to make more milk. While he was waking from the pain of reflux I was doing everything I could to get us both a decent amount of sleep. Eventually the severe sleep deprivation resulted in severe anxiety which then resulted in even less sleep - a catch 22.

When my son was 10 months old I wrote an article for Birth Matters magazine telling my story of Post Natal Anxiety and what got me there, and how I pulled myself out of it. I read out the magazine article in this (free) 14 minute podcast , that you can listen to on your smart phones in your car or kitchen, but here's a very short run down of that:
When my son was 5 weeks I called his paediatrician here in Newcastle to ask about posterior tongue tie. He told me he had never heard of it and asked if I got the information I had from an "actual medical website." I felt belittled and dismissed. A couple days went by and we ran into him when we were at the hospital for another unrelated issue. I called out to him, explained who I was. He remembered the phone call and took a quick look in Charlie's mouth for me. He told me Charlie was not tongue tied. There was no reason to think that was the reason for his breastfeeding difficulties, and that my supply was the issue. By that point my supply probably had decreased because my son couldn't latch properly to keep it up. A simple case of supply and demand.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Zucchini Bread (It's Just Like Banana Bread)

I  got an awesome deal on zucchini at Aldi recently and thought I'd use the extra I don't use in meals to make an old family favourite - zucchini bread. This is another recipe from my childhood Betty Crocker recipe book, with my own tweaks.

A few years ago I thought I'd try and introduce a local cafe to the idea of selling it to their patrons. I bake - you sell. Even though I gave them an amazing taste test, they never got back to me. I just thought "maybe Australia isn't ready for zucchini bread."

All the Aussies I've ever talked to have this idea that it's a savoury loaf. It's not. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I Can't Even Dumpling

I was recently in Maroochydore Queensland, visiting two of our oldest and dearest friends, Luke and Rebekah. They decided they'd take us to their favourite taco stand for lunch in Mooloolaba. Only problem is the place decided to open an hour late that day. I know this because my husband contacted the place on FB to find out why they were closed during their opening hours. We clearly forgot to consider that a Mexican food stand may be running on Mexican time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Father's Day: What It Means to Me, and Gift Ideas

Father's Day 2015

What to Get Dad? 

Just like last year I've spent a few hours creating a collection of Father's Day gift ideas for you. September 6th is quickly approaching on the calendar. Hopefully this will ease the difficulty in trying to find something that isn't lame, like a tie, or socks, or a wacky novelty book about farts. If you don't see something in this year's list that's sparking any interest then last year's link to gift ideas is here, and will still be relevant today.

1. How about a game of virtual golf? You won't need to buy clubs, rent a cart, or worry about the weather. In Newcastle, a 2 player game at Slice will set you back $60. You may want to  share one of their pizzas while you're at it. Or head over to the Foghorn Brewhouse for some craft beer when you're finished.

2. Don't let your dad be a dag. Why not make his bed a little cooler and cosier with an Aura Home Quilt Cover. Enough style to please mum, with enough masculinity for dad. BAM. You just hit a winner and now you're the favourite child. You're welcome.

3. This really neat and classy Oak Bottle starts at around $60 AUD. What does it do, Peachy? In about 24-48 hour this bottle will infuse your dad's favourite wine or spirit with oak flavour. Watch out - He may just start looking for edwardian chairs and dark wood panelling for his office once he get this gift.

4. I hate WARM beer and chances are so does dad. This Corkcicle beer chiller is valued at around $60 AUD and will take dad's warm beer from warm-piss to thirst-quenching ale in a matter of minutes. And without adding any melted water to his brew like an ice cube would do. Who does that?

5. Two words - Cured Meat. My husband recently came home from the market with some really delicious cured beef from Steph's Gourmet Foods (you can order online and they have free shipping on orders over $45). There's also a new deli in Mayfield, appropriately named Pork Ewe, where you can pick up some delicious cured meats to serve dad on father's day.

6. Coffee time: I found this inventive single serve coffee maker for dad. With one press of a button your dad is only 30 seconds away from a nice hot cup. 

7. This classy men's watch will set you back around $55AUD. Your dad will never be late again. HA! Keep dreaming. 

8. Give your dad a break from all the screams of his grandchildren with these retro Panasonic headphones, retailing for around $99AUD

9. Fahrenheit Cologne is one of my favourite colognes ever. It's such an old 90's classic. Go smell it. I promise you will want every man in your life to smell like this, including dad.
Hot tip: I recently used FragranceX to buy some perfume and they were super speedy when it came to posting the fragrance to me.

10. Settlers of Catan - Board Game: This used to be really difficult and expensive to get ahold of in Australia. But the prices have come down quite a lot and there are far more places to purchase it than 10 years ago. It is by far our most favourite game board game to play. If your dad's into strategising or trading wheat then get him this! The last one I purchased for a great price was on Oz Games Shop but you can also buy it at Toys R Us.

11. I recently purchased the video game Battlefield Hardline for my husband, as a gift for finishing another year of study. He's been up late playing this on his Playstation. It's available for PS3, PS4, XBOX ONE and XBOX 360. It's had great reviews.

What father's day means to me?
Father's day to me is pretty special because I don't have a dad. I spent many teenage years trying to fill that gap with other men I looked up to, like my youth pastor and a few close family friends. I do have a biological dad - yes; a man who physically and mentally abused me while I was growing up. He neglected me, and wasn't there when I needed him most, which ironically was probably the times he was abusing me. He is a man I cannot respect or celebrate, but who's lack of "dad" makes me want to spoil the great dads in my life that little bit more.  I'm so grateful for the men in my life then who showed me what being a dad was really about. They taught me what to look for in a spouse.

Yup, father's day is a BIG deal to me. I now have a man in my life who is an excellent dad to his son. He works and studies like a mad-man but always makes time for us. His priorities are in the right place, and he makes that small amount of time he has so quality by fully involving himself in those precious moments together. By being present.
The other reason I now have to celebrate father's day is my father in-law, John. He's been parenting all 11 of his kids, and their partners for 34 years now. I know my husband is mirroring a lot of what John taught him. These two men in my life always show up and can be counted on. I honour and celebrate them.

Who are you celebrating this father's day? It may be an uncle or grandfather who stepped up to the plate, or it may be your own dad. I encourage you to let them know what they mean to you this father's day, and celebrate the men in your life who show up to fatherhood!

*This post is NOT sponsored. All opinions are my own and passed on to you with lot's of love and consideration. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Holy Frico! My Cheesiest Post Ever

Sponsored by Nuffnang & Frico Cheese 

There are people out there who would turn down cheese to review but not me. When I was asked to write about it my response was "I LOVE CHEESE!" If there was ever a food I had trouble saying no to, it would be cheese. And you know that's true if you read my blog regularly because my husband and I have been pretty committed to eating paleo about 70% of the time since February. That means no cheese. But I can unashamedly say that when the Dutch Frico cheese gods came knocking I swung wide my mortal gates and ushered them in with the over exuberance of  a von Trapp child singing "These are a few of my favourite things..." Why wouldn't you trust the cheese gods who have been making this stuff from Frisian cows since 1898.

I was given 5 different Frico cheeses to enjoy. I added the gouda to my scrambled eggs one morning because it's supposed to be the perfect melting cheese. It didn't disappoint. I started by sautéing some mushrooms in olive oil then added some fresh garlic and chives to the pan for about a minute. I then threw in some eggs, and baby spinach. Then topped it off with grated gouda, and the result was creamy and smooth, compared to the sharp cheddar I sometimes use when my husband is just begging for scrambled eggs.

The last job I had before I became a mum was my favourite place to work ever. The girls there were so much fun, and we had a really generous boss. I didn't know a happy workplace existed before then. I guess that explains why over two years after leaving I'd still want to have four of those funny ladies over for a ridiculously classy evening of cheese and wine.

See, I can be classy sometimes. Am I right, ladies? The round cheese you see before you is smoked cheese. I have never been a smoked cheese fan because my logic is this: Why would you want a cheese that tastes exactly like smoked ham when you can just eat smoked ham. But my bestie came over to finish off the remnants a few nights later and I suddenly understood why it was created. It's for all the people with pig-less diets. I'm looking at you vegetarians. OK, that's not totally true because all the meat eaters at the wine evening of debauchery loved it. It was just me.

How freaking cool is that cheese in front of you with the toothpicks sticking out of it, like high-rises in a big cheese city. That one is called Gouda Spiced Cumin and it's amaze-balls. I loved the spicy flavour and didn't think it was overwhelming at all.

The pink cheese you see in front of you is actually smoked salmon. Stop being an idiot. And let's get serious about the Chevrette goat cheese. You can't really see it very well in this picture. It's kinda sitting on the back left of this cheese city, next to the awesome red pepper (capsicum) jam. What an awesome combination that was, and by far my favourite of all the cheeses. Goat cheese is usually my favourite cheese, but I'd never tried a hard one. It was hard, and I got hard, and then I finished when I added the jam. Oh man. Who needs a man?

Random - Want to see goats screaming like humans. Watch this:

Here's another mini cheese spread I made up to have when my toddler finally shut-up and went to bed for the night. A little stay-at-home date night with my husband. Perfect!

WTF is this?
I debated sharing this photo because it's REALLY, really difficult to make macaroni and cheese look hot and sexy. I'm sorry those breadcrumbs aren't doing anything for you. Especially because plating-up is not my speciality. I won't pretend this looks awesome but you need to know I made it with homemade macaroni noodles, and used Maasdam in it, which is a sweet and nutty cheese that you can also use in salads, sandwiches or cheese fondue. My vegetarian brother-in-law loved it so much that he took half of it home and is still somewhere licking the casserole dish. Michael, if you're reading this - I really want my Corningware back. 

Get your Frico on by heading to your local Woolies.