Where I’m from.

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge x

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When people ask me where I’m from, it often means “Why are you an Asian looking person living in Australia? How did you get here?”

I’m fairly happy to answer that I’m adopted and that I’ve been in Australia all my life – it’s pretty much all I’ve known! Earlier this year, I got to visit my birth country (South Korea) for the first time. The photo above is a shot I took at night time on the beach of Busan, the city I was born in. While it brought up a lot of feelings for me, it was also a really cool place. I’m so relieved I liked it so much!

Visiting Korea really taught me a lot about myself. Clarified for me a lot of feelings I’ve had surrounding my adoption. I am so glad I got to experience it with my family – Mr Unprepared, the Little Mister, my parents and my brother (who was also adopted). Today, if you were to ask me for my honest answer about where I’m from (and were willing to hear the true answer straight from my heart), I would tell you nothing has changed. My answer is ‘Australia’. It’s my home. It’s where my real family are from – the family I’ve known and loved (and been loved by) all my life. I am very happy with that. You know, hashtag blessed and all that.

You can read more about my experiences visiting my birth place here:

Busan: The city I was born in.

How it feels to revisit the place I was born.

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On a whole other note, today marks the last day of September. That means that the challenge I set myself – to blog along with Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day challenge for the whole month of September – has come to an end! I must say it has been so wonderful to do. I was feeling a bit ‘blah’ after I’d finished blogging about our big trip to Korea and Japan, so this came along at a great time, when I needed my creativity to get sparking again. Some posts have been better than others this month (oops), but I have really enjoyed writing a lot about stuff I might not have thought of, had it not been for Fat Mum Slim’s daily photo prompts. Thanks, lady! :)

I admit that it was very time consuming and at times, tiring. I found that weekends were the hardest. I skipped one day. I wrote some of my blog posts a little late. By the end, my posts were getting a bit short. By the end of the month, I was kind of secretly looking forward to today. I am so grateful for my new followers, who I am assuming came to me, because some stuff I wrote during this challenge caught their attention – hello! I am so glad to have you here! I loved that blogging daily (or almost daily) kept me motivated and documented my daily life in a way that tells my story for a snapshot in time. I really hope that after this challenge I am able to find my own daily inspiration (although days off will be great too)! For those who have stuck by me during this month, while I tried something different, thanks! Back to regular programming as of tomorrow (whatever that is)!

I will just stick to Instagramming my #fmsphotoaday from now on, I think!

You can check out Fat Mum Slim’s prompts for October here, if you like! If you choose to blog it, let me know! I’ll cheer you on! x

See you in October, everybody (that’s tomorrow so you won’t have long to miss me)! ;)

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Wish: Spring, where are you???

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge.

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I am a big fan of thinking positively, but I’ll be the first to admit that I need to have a bit of a silly rant…

I thought I had escaped the winter blues. I really thought I had beaten them. It really really helped being away for the month of June and spring tricked us into thinking it was here early – showing exciting signs as early as August (something quite unusual). But no. The rain, the cold and the wind are back. Very clever, winter. Very clever. I see what you did there. It’s October in a couple of days, so you’d better f*ck off soon. You’ve out stayed your welcome, well and truly!

Is this because I went shopping for summer clothes? Started eating salads and exercising? Well, haha. Joke’s over now. Come on. Be fair. I’m getting pretty annoyed, really. I feel sluggish again (something about lack of Vitamin D I am guessing). I am almost approaching white hot rage when I step outside and I feel the horrible chill in the air (even worse when that chill has invaded the INSIDE of my home). Winter, I am DONE. We are so O.V.A.H.

I am wishing for clear, bright, cloudless days. That beautiful feeling when you wake up to a sunny morning. That summery feeling in the air. People out and about, inspired to make plans for barbecues and beach days. The freedom of not having to wear layers everywhere. Just me, a cheery sun dress and a smile on my face (oh and underwear – I would wear underwear). I love how awake I feel each morning when the weather is beautiful. That craving for beer in the sunshine with friends and family.

I wish for that beautiful gap between freezing winter and sweltering summer (I think it’s supposed to be called spring – hello where are you) where you do not have to run air conditioners or heaters. You can just co-exist with the weather in perfect harmony, without fighting it. I wish for that.

I wish for beautiful Sundays spent with my little family at the foreshore, checking out the markets and getting out of the house together just for fun. I wish for trips to the local parks and playgrounds, knowing that the play equipment won’t be too wet to use. I wish to wear open toed shoes all day, every day.

I have become seriously frustrated. And lethargic. But mostly frustrated.

BRING ME SOME SUNSHINE AND NO-ONE GETS HURT.

What is your favourite kind of weather?

Game.

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge (only a few days to go)!

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I’ll keep this one short (long weekend and all)…

This is a photo of the Little Mister in a playground cubby house at the winery we visited today (for a very special high school friend of mine’s 30th birthday). He became fast friends with my friend Liz (the nicest person on the planet and great with kids haha) and they played a little game together. She would knock on the window, they’d open the shutters (he couldn’t quite do it on his own), he’d greet her with a lovely “hello” and she would ask him for something – everything from a drink of water, to a meal, to a pet bunny rabbit. He would disappear back into the cubby house and come back with an imaginary item that she had requested. He’d hand it to her, then she would give him some imaginary money.

It was a lovely exchange to watch and it was so kind of her to spend time with him, when he was so over tired and restless (someone skipped a nap so he could party). Nothing more heartwarming than watching someone taking the time to be kind to your kid.

Hope you have all had a great weekend x

Celebration: The little things.

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge. unnamed

So I woke up this morning after a terrible sleep (someone who shall remain nameless may have snored a lot bit and the weather wasn’t so quiet either). Then there was a power failure at home. Then I dropped Mr Unprepared off at the train station so he could go and watch the AFL grand final with friends (which then caused the Little Mister’s heart to break). Then I saw a dead seagull on the road, which is weird, because when do you ever see a dead seagull in the road? I’ve never seen one hit by a vehicle before (and I’ve seen plenty of species mowed down). Do they, like, drop out of the sky of old age? How long does a seagull live for, anyway? So many seagull related questions, so little time…

Then I thought that just as a one off treat for the Little Mister, I’d get him a little fast food breakfast (scandalous!) on the way home. I get into the drive thru and what do you know. My purse isn’t in my bag. While our bodies were thankful to dodge a fast food bullet, I was a little bit annoyed that my purse was AWOL and a tiny bit embarrassed (the girl at the window pointed out that there was a sneaky little exit from the drive through for people like me so that we didn’t have to reverse out or drive the whole way around like dorks).

We got home and I was ready to give up hopes for having a smooth day, when I realised the power was back on earlier than expected and the Little Mister was in an amazingly good (peaceful and quiet and happy to play by himself) mood. Someone got better sleep than I did it seems!

So what little things am I going to celebrate today? 

1. I have decided to embrace the whole being at home by myself (i.e. the only adult anyhow) on grand final day thing. I am never that excited when my team isn’t playing (does that make me a terrible football supporter?) and I’m enjoying the fact that we don’t have to go out in the awful weather for a while. While the Little Mister napped, I watched a chick flick (that just happened to have Channing Tatum in it) instead of the football (suck it Mr Unprepared hahaha). I got half the dishes done (big achievement). I’ve chilled with the Little Mister, had THE best couch cuddles, and I helped him to make a special drawing for his daddy.

2. I’m celebrating a little unexpected weight loss on the scales. While I am focusing on more than what numbers I see, it is good confirmation that I’m on the right track (even if I am not yet making 100% good nutrition choices).

3. It’s the weekend, and a long one at that. Enough said!

4. It sounds so silly, but I’m excited to take the Little Mister with me to pick Mr Unprepared up from the train station tonight (it won’t be very late at all but it will be dark). I’m going to get him all fed and bathed, in his PJs, and it’s going to be a super exciting night time adventure. Anything that happens at night time is exciting to the Little Mister, considering his bed time is 7pm haha. I can’t wait to see his excitement at something different happening tonight. He’s going to give his daddy the picture he made today and he’ll be so excited to see him again. I get so much joy out of seeing the world through the Little Mister’s eyes. Stuff that seemed boring BC (Before Child) is now so much more fun. Hopefully it won’t backfire, but Mr Unprepared did promise me a sleep in tomorrow ;)

5. I think the Little Mister’s latest growth spurt may have levelled out a bit – yay! I put his jeans on him yesterday and I didn’t have to roll the legs up at all, like I have all winter! It’s like he shot up overnight! He slept well last night and today he’s been a wonderful angel (as much as an almost 3 year old can be of course haha). He just seems…calm. Easy. I FRICKIN’ LOVE IT WHEN HE’S LIKE THIS! Bliss.

What are you celebrating this weekend? Big or small?

FMS Photo a Day: Angle. Best. Best angle?

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge. angle

I took this photo of the Little Mister while he sat next to me at the dining table. He was wearing his adorable new little Monsters Inc shirt and he looked so grown up, yet so little, that I wanted to eat him all up. This angle is my favourite. I get to see his beautiful eye lashes (he didn’t get them from me – lucky little bugger) and it kind of keeps him looking little when I know he certainly isn’t going to stop growing any time soon!

We had just got home from the best morning (see how I worked the ‘best’ prompt in there?). We’d been invited to a friends’ classroom (she’s the teacher), along with a lot of other adorable toddlers (many from my mothers’ group) so that they could play with the big kids (year sixes) and learn about orang-utans (their topic for the last school term). It was adorable and despite the Little Mister being really tired after a less than awesome night’s sleep (I should know – urgh), I’d been really excited about it. Nothing cuter than seeing big kids taking the little ones under their wing. I couldn’t wait to see my grown up friends and I was happy for the Little Mister to see his little friends.

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the adorable invitation

The Little Mister was paired up with an older boy and it was so sweet how he seemed nervous and wanted so much to do the right things to make us feel welcome. ADORABLE. The kids broke the ice with the little ones by playing with toys (kindly brought in from home by their teacher), then read them short speeches about the importance of saving the orang-utans and about deforestation in Borneo. Of course, that’s when the Little Mister had a mini melt down due to lack of sleep, but we fixed it fairly quickly – phew! We were fed morning tea (and what a spread!) and the Little Mister was read to by his older buddy, before being presented with the story book he’d made for him to keep. Such a feel good experience and wonderful for the Little Mister to see what it’s like in a real classroom.

It was a struggle to keep him awake in the car on the way home, but all was good. It was Friday. Yes.

What did you get up to this week?

Loud.

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge x

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Life is certainly not as quiet as it used to be. It’s amazing how much sound can be generated by just one tiny human. It literally starts right after they’re born and it never stops! Trying to have an adult conversation or survive a phone call is quite the experience, while silence becomes something we’re suspicious of (unless we’re lucky enough to have a break and we know our child is happily making noise elsewhere)! There are loud car ride conversations, constant toddler questions…

“Where has your hat gone? Where are my (sun)glasses? What is that? What is this? Who is that? Where are your shoes? Where is your bag? Where is Daddy? Daddy at work? Where are my pants? Where are my puzzle pieces? Open the gate for me please? Close the door for me please? What is that sound? What is this mess? Where is the dog?”

I’m just glad he hasn’t learnt ‘why’ yet.

Then there are the never-ending toddler demands and commentary on our every movement!

“I neeeeeeed a snack! I neeeed a hug. Want to go outside! Car coming! Careful! Playground! Playground! Sit on the couch! Play room! Play room! Look! Look! Water please! Milk please! Put it here! Pants please! Potty please! Reach my puzzles! Want to do painting! Lie down please! SESAME STREET! Get up please! NO! YES! Help! Swing FASTER! Daddy’s blue car! Go to another shop! Another shop! Bike! Want to go on bike! One more story! MUMMY! MUMMY! MUMMY! DAAAAADDDDDY!”

You get the idea.

There’s also the singing, which I really do not mind. It’s a bit adorable. The made up words. The dance moves. Even cuter when he thinks I’m not watching. I could spy on him forever. OK, forever might get creepy, but you know what I mean.

There are also the sounds of children’s television, annoying noisy toys which go off at any given moment because the batteries are dodgy, and the sound of my own voice as I repeat instructions over and over or try to teach him something.

Sometimes, even if I am annoyed that I can’t sleep, I will lie in bed with my eyes closed, thankful for the quiet. At times I crave the ability to complete a household task from beginning to end, without being interrupted. The ability to have a conversation with Mr Unprepared without us being told, “Stop talking, please.”

A minute – just a minute – to chew our food silently at dinner time without being told, “Talk! Talk!”

But…if I was given a choice today of an always quiet home or a loud one? I’d pick loud. Call me crazy, but I am grateful to have so much life and activity in my house. It keeps me moving. Keeps me motivated (most of the time anyhow). Makes me laugh. I don’t think I ever laughed this much before the Little Mister came along.

Still, if I could just have a mute button or even a pause button for when I make phone calls or when I’m trying to remember something really important under pressure, that would be pretty cool.

How do you like to spend your quiet time? What’s your favourite loud noise?

Triangles and one grubby little hand.

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Triangles on the Little Mister’s IKEA toy box cushion (it doubles as somewhere to sit). A grubby little hand.

“Take a picture, Mummy!”

“Triangles!” he proclaimed with great pride.

“That’s right!” I exclaimed with the same amount of pride. Maybe even more.

I knew he has his colours sorted, but shapes? This is a wonderful new development.

I think the Little Mister is experiencing a growth/developmental spurt again. He’s been eating like a maniac and one time? One time, he actually ASKED me if he could go down for a nap EARLY. He’s also a bit clingy and easily frustrated. More so than usual. It always signals the same thing. Once everything evens out again, he goes back to normal and it’s like he’s a new child. At least I hope this will be so every time it happens! Last time it happened, we were overseas on a very intense holiday – great timing, huh?

The Little Mister is 3 in less than two months. How has this happened?? Gosh, I love that guy and those grubby little hands.

Crisp…and delicious: Apple chips!

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge x

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OMG. Check out these apple chips. Yes. Apple. I found a version of this recipe on Pinterest and it sounded just like something I needed in my life! It’s easy, reasonably healthy and low in calories! Not to mention, bloody tasty and surprisingly sweet! Fantastic treat to help beat those sugar cravings without going overboard(much better for us than M+Ms no?) and something yummy to help encourage the Little Mister to try new things (spoiler alert: he loves them).

Look, they’re not sugar free, but you need so little because the apple’s natural sweetness comes out. I might even experiment without it and report back. I am all about everything being good in moderation.

Mr Unprepared was kind enough to make these happen yesterday and even got the Little Mister to help out. Beware, though. You might try to eat a whole batch before they even make it off the cooling rack. And a bonus? While they’re in the oven, your whole house will smell like the inside of an apple pie.

Apple chips.

You’ll need:

Apples (I chose pink lady because they’re a little bit sweeter but I imagine it works with any kind – use as many as you like or can fit in your oven).

Ground cinnamon (to taste)

Sugar (to taste)

1. Preheat your oven to around 100 degrees celsius (pretty low for nice slow drying of the apple without burning it). Line a baking tray (or four haha) with greaseproof paper and set aside.

2. Peel apples if you wish (we didn’t bother) and slice them (as many as you would like) into thin chip-like slices. They don’t have to be perfectly thin, nor do they have to be perfectly shaped. They are just as tasty whichever way you have them!

3. Place slices in a zip loc bag (or something just as effective), throw in a bit of cinnamon and a bit of sugar (just enough to very lightly coat each slice of apple – a little will go a long way). AND SHAKE (the Little Mister’s job which he carried out with great joy)! :)

4. Place apple on baking trays and put in the oven for one hour. After that hour, turn the apple chips over and put them back in for another hour.

When finished, they should be dried out nicely and crispy to touch. Like chips! They will have shrunk a lot, but that’s normal! Place them on a   rack to cool and try to resist them!!!!

:)

And that’s about as ‘food blogger’ as I get. You’re welcome haha.

Let me know if you try these! x

Favourite word(s).

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge x10423699_10152397124348218_823056671485700386_n_Fotor

I am a bit confused. I don’t know if it’s ‘thankyou’ as one word or if the correct term is ‘thank you’ with two words. Either way, after much deliberation, I have decided that my favourite phrase is ‘thank you’, anyhow. I like saying it to people, to show my gratitude, and it always feels absolutely amazeballs to receive it.

I always turn to ‘thank you’ when life feels a bit shitty, because I try to remember what good there is to celebrate. It helps me to keep perspective. I like to be in the moment, feeling the ‘thank you’s when life is awesome too.

I love hearing a huge, heartfelt ‘thank you’ from the Little Mister, for something as simple as fetching him a snack or helping him put his shoes on. It kind of almost makes up for all the whining, “Need a snack! Need a snack! Need a snack! Need a snack! PLEASE!” or the running away from me the ten million other times I try to help put his shoes on. I especially love hearing him say it to other people. It means I might actually be teaching him something! Yay! I’m a big fan of good manners. What a nerd haha.

I don’t even need to go on about how much a stay at home mum likes to hear ‘thank you’ from her husband!!! Amen, sisters!

I try to say ‘thank you’ as much as possible. Sometimes I get a little OTT and can’t stop saying it (how embarrassment), but when I’m grateful for someone’s help, I really really really want them to know that they’ve been wonderful. That whatever it is they do, it makes a difference. Having worked in customer service during my student days, I know what it’s like to not receive any thanks after busting your butt to help someone, so I try to be a good customer. If you provide me with great customer service (something that tends to be lacking a bit these days), then I will shout it to the rooftops (and my friends and family).

Here are this morning’s thank you notes:

Thank you Mr Unprepared for letting me sleep in today. Sure, the Little Mister was a bit loud and then the dog barked, but it’s the thought that really counts and I appreciate it.

Thank you Last Night’s Kez for putting the meat for tonight’s dinner in the fridge to defrost in time. I love when you remember to do that!

Thank you New Bloggy Followers for joining me via WordPress and Facebook recently. I really really love having you around and I’m grateful that you found me somehow and that it means you might enjoy some of the stuff I write/post. It’s a really nice feeling :)

Thank you Little Mister for your dance moves. You make me laugh and laughing is good.

Thank you sunshine, for returning after a weirdly stormy yesterday.

 

What/who are you going to thank today and why? x

PS. My second and third favourite words are ‘kerfuffle’ and ‘brouhaha’.

Beginning.

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day challenge.

Here are some inspirational bits and pieces I’ve found online with the theme of ‘beginning’, and some of my accompanying thoughts x

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How I feel about the Little Mister. His joy for life is so contagious.

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 Something I wish everyone (including myself) could realise. It can take a crapload of courage but often it can be quite rewarding at best and character building at worst!

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Oh yeah. For me, right now it’s how I feel about beginning a new, healthier life routine. It doesn’t come completely naturally just yet, but I’m going to get there. Just gotta keep on learning and doing. Which brings me to this…

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This is one of my favourite little personal mantras. It’s never too late to do better. The worst thing I can do is derail my progress at something because of one bad day (or even week or month). Just gotta keep on believing that every thing I do each new day makes a difference. This is especially true when I skip a day of exercise or eating right. Gotta jump back on that wagon tomorrow – not next week or never. Hey, it’s even been true of this photo a day challenge for September! I’ve skipped some days, I’ve forgotten some days, I’ve been too tired or unmotivated some days, but I’ve been determined to not give it up completely. Ultimately, it’s been so great for getting my creativity flowing and it has even introduced me to wonderful new readers and bloggers I might not have known about otherwise.

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Whatever they might be.

Do you have any new beginnings (big or small) to celebrate? x