FYBF – Ain’t No Couch Potato

It had been an almost two month wait.

Well, two months and the couple of years it took to convince my husband that the wooden slate that kept the couch sofa bed cushions from sinking wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

FYBF - Aint No Couch Potato 5At least not for my back, anyway.

But then came the imminent advent of Netflix and most importantly, the final FINAL (because one final isn’t dramatic enough) of Mad Men.

And there was no frickin’ way I was going to be a potato on a slouch couch.

Me and Don Draper had to get reacquainted in comfort. Know what I’m sayin’?

After much deliberation and heated discussions in various furniture retailers, we decided on the luxurious Ashton two and three seater.

Fabric Type? Keylargo, please.

Colour? Pebble, please.

Dimensions? Massive, ‘mmmkay?

In fact, so mofo massive that we should’ve relied on our instincts rather than believe the sales hungry furniture people who convinced us that we wouldn’t have ANY problems fitting through that tight space between the front and lounge room door.

FYBF - Aint No Couch PotatoNot to mention the stair case they had to contend with right outside.

Those poor delivery guys, they literally tried to move walls to keep this customer happy.

FYBF - Aint No Couch Potato 4“No bro, we gotta swing it around, first, bro”

*Swivel, swivel*

*Grunt, grunt*

“Bro, we’re back to where we started, bro”

*Pivot, pivot*

*Pant, pant*

In the meantime, I was having a mental game of “Bro Bingo” in my head.

Then, the defining moment when my bros tried to squeeze the giant oblong through the rectangular door.

Pushing, pulling, twisting, nudging.

Leading to the dreaded words:

“Sorry. You’re going to have to call the furniture shop”

So, now in my garage sits a perfectly beautiful comfortable three seater lounge, waiting for the upholsterer to drop by sometime today to unscrew one of the arms, make another (hopefully successful) attempt to fit it through that frickin’ door, then reattach the arm again.

Wish he could do the same thing with my sanity.

Anyway, we make the most of the positives, right? At least there’s one couch for me to slouch on, right?

FYBF - Aint No Couch Potato 2And well, there’s the makeshift furniture fitting.

Thank goodness, I decided to keep the mattress of our old sofa bed before sending it to furniture heaven.

FYBF - Aint No Couch Potato 3

Have you ever had couch dramas? Do tell and make me feel less of a twat. Have you caught the Netflix obsession? What’re your favourite shows?

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

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The Art of Using Chopsticks

This is a sponsored post for EatNow

“Number 737??! Number 737!” the militant voice screams into the microphone.

People pull out their tickets with desperate hope, only to have it snatched away and replaced with disappointment.

Quickly, we dive to the front of the queue and accompanied to our table through the war zone.

Trolleys of food crashing into each other. The maitre d’ yelling at those driving them.

Dirty plates are cleared, thrown recklessly into a big plastic tub.

A new clean white tablecloth flung across with swiftness, clean plates tossed around the table like frisbees.

Finally we sit down for some delectable Yum Cha.

The Art of Using Chopsticks

For all of its crazy chaos, it’s our favourite Sunday pastime.

Well, mine actually.

For Mr Surfer, it’s been an acquired taste.

One of the first meetings with my family happened over Yum Cha.

Much to his horror, he found himself with an Asian family that ate chicken feet.

Right then, I knew he was a keeper.

The other thing that bugs him about Yum Cha is the use of chopsticks. It’s definitely not his thang.

There’s a Chinese saying:
“Every grain of rice in your bowl is won by the sweat of the brow”

Great.

But what if it takes every sweat of your husband’s brow to pick up that grain of rice?

The twinions on the other hand are starting to build an interest.

Here are some tips I thought I’d share as the twinions are discovering the art of using chopsticks:

Watching Kung-Fu Panda:
Encouraging chopstick use is probably not one of the main messages of this movie but all I can say is, it’s worked for the twinions.

Haiiiiii-yah!

The Art of Using Chopsticks 3

Let them see you use them:
Pretty self-explanatory, however, I warn you there will be a long period there they will just want to use them as drum sticks.

Keep watchful eye on tea cups, bowls, plates, glasses and keep sanity in tact.

Get through that phase and you’re on a winning streak.

The Art of Using Chopsticks 4

Accept that things will get messy:
This is why Chinese restaurants are great! While many of them aren’t so hot on customer service, they are kid-friendly. You can leave behind the biggest World War 3 without an inkling of guilt.

Ordering takeaway is just as good, even better when it comes to convenience.

All the more awesome if your local has delicious noodles dishes and there’s only one way to find out.

The Art of Using Chopsticks 2

EatNow is one of Australia’s leading online food delivery services and operates in over 4,400 restaurants Australia wide. In part of its success for being reliable and easy to use, EatNow was also awarded by Deloitte in 2014 as the 9th fastest growing technology company.

(No) Method to the Madness:
Nunu keeps asking me how to hold chopsticks and it’s like teaching him how to use a pen but not really…

It’s one of those things you just have to figure out for yourself.

The added bonus is that he’s working on his fine motor skills.

The Art of Using Chopsticks 5

Cut the food up:

Just like teaching children how to use a knife and a fork, it helps if we cut up the food for them.

We noticed a couple sitting next to our table with their toddler, cutting up her noodles with special food scissors. Genius!

Ever since, that’s how we prepare our noodles as well as spaghetti.

Getting hungry??

I have a $50 EatNow voucher to giveaway!!!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me:
What’s your favourite takeaway dish/es to order?

Entries open to Australian Residents.
Competition closes Monday, 20th of April 11:59pm EST

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FYBF – With Every Season

There’s always a slight melancholy with the gradual chill of autumn.

Sadness over another fabulous Australian summer being over.  For me, there’s also the regret in bitching and moaning over sunburnt days and still, sleepless nights, when I should’ve been appreciating how heavenly we get it here.

FYBF - With Every Season 3

Tuesdays are my only days with the twinions and every week I would jokingly call them “my hump day”.

Now, that there’s less than 10 months – roughly 3 seasons – until they start “big school”, come Tuesday, there’s less of that bitching and moaning.

This past week, we had a rare free day. No swimming lessons, no doctor’s appointments, with only a parcel pick up from the local post office.

Along with their scooters, the twinions and I took a leisurely walk there.

Passing along familiar footpaths where I used to jog, while pushing the heavy double City Jogger, completely relying on the motion to keep them sound asleep.

FYBF - With Every Season 2

Stopping by the playground where my heart often stopped when they fell off the slide, kissing their grazed toddler knees, wiping their tears away.

Finally, we stopped for morning tea. While the cafe has changed owners many times since, the world still looked familiar from the same corner table I used to sit with my newborns 5 years ago.

Sitting at that corner, so many seasons have passed, just as countless milestones have been reached.

This year, I started a gratitude journal – a diary to record something everyday – anything, significant or otherwise.

FYBF - With  Every Season

How they introduce themselves to “big people” by throwing their arms around each other while announcing: “We’re twins”

The sound of their incessant giggles drifting over to neighbouring campers from watching YouTube clips of The Muppets’ Swedish Chef before slipping into their sleeping bags.

I jot down their current favourite songs (“The Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book and Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock).

I figure, if this isn’t the year I document it all, everything will come and go unappreciated like the seasons.

And I don’t want that. I want to be reminded of the daily blessings. No matter how mundane.

I want to make the most of my Tuesdays. Every day.

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

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South Coast or…Busting

We can tick off another camping trip for the year.

South Coast or bust and yeah, I was that close to busting.

It’s a tumultuous love affair with the great outdoors. There’s a fine art in figuring out how to appreciate its majestic beauty in dry comfort and adequate warmth.

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While there is no perfect balance, in zen-like fashion, I’m slowly accepting that only trial and error will get us close.

Firstly, camping stretchers suck.

Having a 5 year old insists crawling into already compromising sleeping space, it’s a race to see what will cave first – your back or your sanity.

For me, it was both.

Being the notorious bed hogger at home, Nunu was completely oblivious that his mother’s limbs were hanging out while her spine was painfully digging into the steel frame.

Possibly waking up half the camp site, I leapt out of the stretcher, cursing and swearing while scrambling in the dark for the spare sleeping bag.

“Here, I’ll swap! You sleep with K-Bear” Mr Surfer tried to reason with me.

“I don’t want to sleep with a child in my bed! Period!” I hissed back.

Out came the sleeping bag. Ironically, it was the best sleep I had and that hard ground managed to slip my back into place.

Check camping dates:

Having booked many months prior, we (read: Mr Surfer) got our dates mixed up.

Imagine my stress levels while shopping at the local Woolies with my friend who reads the text message from her husband:

“Park ranger is looking for Mr Surfer. Says that today is check out.”

No chance of negotiation as next campers were arriving later that day and had specifically booked our camp site.

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Arriving at my folks’ that evening, the long hot shower and accessible Foxtel, I was secretly happy, happy, happy.

Keep camping and camping and camping till you get it (kinda) right:

I’m ain’t no quitter, damn it.

Despite the hiccups, I’m determined to conquer this camping caper.

Each trip will be better than the last.

Filled with so many great kiddie facilities and scheduled activities, I also anticipate Merimbula Beach Resort and Holiday Park will become a family favourite.

It is a trek for Sydney siders being a solid 7 hour drive.

(We stopped over at my folks’ in Canberra for one night before continuing on the next day).

Instead, it seems to be the idyllic holiday spot  for Victorians.

There’s 2 swimming pools (one heated), a games room, massive jumping pillow. There’s the short walk to the beach.

Then the dozens of lorikeets eager to make friends.

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For the grown ups? A fully licensed restaurant and café.

I may have publicly performed a happy dance in my PJs and uggs on Good Friday when not only discovering the café open but that its coffee was smooth and heavenly good.

We just need to fix the bedding situation.

IMG_1184

Reservation for single room, please?

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

 

 

 

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FYBF – South Coast or Bust!

Happy Easter, y’all!

Hope you have a great long weekend planned indulging in chocolate eggs and hot cross buns.

Or better yet, you get to catch up on some much needed and well deserved sleeeep!

We’re off on our next camping adventure.

On the morning of our departure, my fly by the seat of the pants husband managed to find a tow bar fitter.

Then, he came back with this…

FYBF South Coast or Bust

Everything, including the kitchen fridge is in that trailer.

Backing out of the driveway was all sorts of joy.

(“Reverse!” “Stop!” “Forward!” “STOP!!” “Swing right!” “STOOOOOOPPP!”)

Looks like we just get keener (or crazier) with each trip we do.

FYBF South Coast or Bust 2

As much as I hate to admit it. There is something addictive about the fresh air and unpredictable moments of camping. Deflating air mattresses aside.

I’ll also be catching up with my old primary school friend who also has a set of twin boys.

Twin Tornados approaching!

The caravan park won’t know what hit them.

Stay safe this Easter, folks! If you’re road tripping, drive carefully.

Not nagging just caring…okay? Okay.

What’re you up to this long weekend? Have you ever been to the south coast of NSW? What’re the tricks to driving with a trailer?

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

Did you like this? Share it:

Live It, Do it. Easter! – Book Review and Giveaway

While the build up to Christmas doesn’t necessarily excite me (Think crowded shopping malls and angry drivers fighting over car parks) I do love looking forward toEaster

The welcoming cool change, the chance to enjoy an extra long weekend (without painful, obligatory family get togethers) and to simply take a pause before we launch into the remaining year.

Then, of course…there are the chocolate eggs and other assorted yummy baked goods.

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Before meeting Mr Surfer, I didn’t have a sweet tooth. I still don’t.

Although he doesn’t mention it, I know he wishes that I did. Or at least knew how to bake well.

Once in a while, inspo will strike in the kitchen.

Even then, I don’t like the thought of using lots of refined sugar or artificial ingredients.

It’s just personal taste as well as a personal interest.

Then with one of the twins facing allergies as an infant and toddler, I studied nutrition for six months to see what the healthy alternatives were for my family.

I know for myself, buying the ingredients from the health food store is overcoming a hurdle in itself. It’s  able to create something delicious is my dilemma.

Cass’ e-Book, “Live It, Do It! Easter” makes it super simple.

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She begins by introducing a wholefoods shopping list then launches into 40 recipes, all accompanied with beautiful photos. Everything there is sure to make your mouth water!

image5Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to try any of the recipes yet. (We’re off camping today for a week…wish me luck…again!)

But with the cooler months coming up, I’ll be sure to make myself some Creamy Coconut Hot Chocolate.

I’m also banking that the Real Food Caramel Slices will win me HUGE points with the husband.

Live It, Do It! Easter is available here for $5 (Limited time only)

But, Cass has kindly offered 3 books to giveaway!! Woohoo!!!

To make it in time for Easter, this will be a quick giveaway with entries closing tomorrow (Wednesday) 1st of April at 5pm AEST.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me:

“What are you looking forward to this Easter?”

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

This is a sponsored post for Clime Asset Management

It’s not the most ideal place to spot something remarkable but from the toilet window, I could see that my mum’s garden was overflowing with a highly valued vegetable.

“No way!” I thought, peering out the window while flushing the loo.

“Ma!” I yelled out to the kitchen.

“Um, did you know that you’re growing kale right outside your toilet???”

How Does Your Garden Grow

Being a sucker for superfoods that also happen to be super expensive like kale, I couldn’t believe that my mother was growing it by the truckload.

I quickly calculated that if she sold it, she would instantly become Queen Kale.

“Oh, the kah-lei” she replied.

Her mispronounciation clinched how oblivious she was to the health food craze stirred by this innocent, almost weed looking vegetable.

“Just keep growing and growing. You want some?”

So typical of my green thumb mother.

Living in Canberra which sees the harshest of cold winters and the most brutally dry of summers, my Ma can still somehow manage a thriving garden.

Breaking through tough, rocky soil in our front yard, beautiful roses bloom in all their wonderous glory every year.

How Does Your Garden Grow 2

During these golden years of hers, I’ve finally started paying attention to the priceless lessons that my mother’s always been trying to teach me.

Gardening is not one of them.

However, she has taught me how to be resourceful.

More importantly, through the great pride that be her garden, my darling Ma not only reminded me to make the most of what you have but to make sure it keeps growing and thriving. Above all, to be savvy enough to prosper from it. No matter how long it takes for you to get there.

I have always been a great believer that women – single, married, divorced – should always set aside their own funds.

After many years of living and working in Japan (where it’s only 20% income tax, thank you very much), I came back to Australia with a LOT of kale.

When it was time for our marriage and family chapter to begin, Mr Surfer and I naturally combined our funds to buy a home.

In the meanwhile, I also kept some kale aside for myself.

For over 10 years now, it sits very comfortably, investing in managed funds, thank you very much.

It’s seen some prosperous periods, then went through tough times with the GFC (Global Financial Crisis). Now, we’re back on track after recovery mode.

Clime Asset Management offer individually managed accounts and  managed funds for those who are looking for a mid-long term return in their investments.

I’m no shares expert but for the sake of my own managed funds, I see how volatile the market is. It makes sense to stay with the long term investment option.

So, no. Money doesn’t grow on trees. But if you wait long enough and stay resilient through the rough soil and the harshest of climates, you will get kale. Lots of it.

Are you a fan of kale? Do you have a green thumb?

What’s a life lesson your mother (or a significant female role model) has taught you?

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FYBF – Little Italy

The majority of fellow Sydneysiders are proudly in agreement when it comes to the cultural diversity of our fine city.

Since starting this job, little ethnic pockets of suburbia might as well be taking me to far off exotic countries.

There’s Little India in Harris Park where you can buy all your latest Bollywood DVD’s and authentic spices you need for your Chicken Vindaloo.

Feeling right at home in Maroubra, the fragrance of Indonesian fried chicken coming from the hole in the wall restaurants are reminiscent of my own Mama’s cooking. (God forbid I would ever think though that their cuisine is better than hers!)

Then of course, there are the streets of café’s, trattorias and gelato shops that decorate our own Little Italy in the inner west.

FYBF - Little Italy

It was out this way where I had to make a sales call first thing Monday morning.

It also happened to be the first morning I took our brand new car (Yes siree, no more broken door handles). So new, we hadn’t even owned it for 24 hours.

I noticed two older men sitting happily on the balcony of a nearby café, enjoying their daily dose(s) of strong Italian coffee and just watching the world go by.

With me being the prime target.

Quickly crossing the road, I ignored them, knowing that they were harmless, anyway.

Coffee is everyone’s happy stimulant, right?

FYBF - Little Italy 2

Returning to the car 15 minutes later, my attempt at multi-tasking seemed to fail.

While taking a call, my unlock button didn’t seem to work.

Despite pressing it repeatedly, my door wouldn’t open.

There was no “beep beep” or flashing lights.

The car wasn’t responding at all because, well, IT WASN’T MINE.

I had spent a solid couple of minutes trying to break into someone else’s car (which mind you looked NOTHING like mine and wasn’t even the same colour).

Constituting it as Monday morning entertainment for my two expresso drinking fellas, they were laughing so hard, they were about to fall off their chairs.

Refusing to be seen as a complete idiot, I stood defiantly in the middle of the road, yelling out:

“You don’t understand! It’s a NEW car! We just got it YESTERDAY!”

Which only made them laugh harder.

FYBF Little Italy 3

Yup. Stellar start to the week.

Caffeine fiends – ONE

Mama Grace – ZERO

Ever mistaken another car as your own? Most importantly, did anybody see you? What’s your happy stimulant?

Wanna hear more crazy stories from the road? Follow me over on my other Facebook Page (because raising twins, working part-time and blogging isn’t stupid busy enough) at: Tales of a Travelling Saleswoman

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

Did you like this? Share it:

Wordless Wednesday – Puddles

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…

WW - Puddles 2

When life gives you rain, play in the puddles…

WW - Puddles 3Just in case you were wondering why the twinions have helmets on. Despite puddle jumping being an extreme sport, they had also just been riding on their scooters…looking for bigger puddles.

WW - PuddlesHow’s the weather been in your neck of the woods? Puddle jumping worthy?

Joining Trish at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

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Baby, You Can Drive My Car

This is a sponsored post. As always, opinions are solely mine. Terms and conditions apply to any product you consider.

As many of you know, I gots me a new job almost 2 months ago.

While it all happened very suddenly, from day one it felt right.

It’s pure sales, which I love.

Being 80% on the road, there’s a lot of freedom and autonomy.

On the flipside, I’m clocking up 100’s of kilometers per week.

We find ourselves inevitably back to a family decision we’ve being holding off for a couple of years now…

Behold Exhibit Lemon Car A.

Baby You Can Drive My Car 2

Wouldn’t you agree?

As we just bought a new family car a little over a year ago, we just can’t afford to have it depreciate so quickly with the extensive client visits.

Also, it’s about safety.

The blue beast – while having being part a HUGE part of our family for so long – is on its last legs, er, I mean wheels. Not to mention door handles. Half of them are busted…

Baby You Can Drive My Car 1

I’ve had anxiety levels go into overdrive when driving on busy Southern Cross Drive at 80 kms, the steering wheel suddenly started to shake vigorously.

Literally, I can’t trust that car as far as I can accelerate it (which obviously isn’t far).

The fact that the registration is soon to expire is helping to speed up the decision.

So now comes the fun part of rejigging our finances to make way for the new, unavoidably expensive purchase.

In the past, I’ve only had great experiences with credit unions. Thanks to a 10 year term deposit that I opened way back in my 20’s as a single gal, the funds from that particular account eventually became my nest egg for my future family and also helped buy our first home.

Home Improvement 2

I love how credit unions are established for a community and know their customers on a more personal basis rather than as just another consumer.

Looking to buy a 4 cylinder 2.5 litre engine automatic sedan (second hand), I figure we would need to apply for a personal a loan of $20,000 for over 5 years.

Using the personal loan calculator on the People’s Choice Credit Union website, my best option would be a secured personal loan that offered a rate of 7.64% p.a. (Comparison rate of 7.99% p.a.)* and NO monthly account fees. Not bad.

Underneath the calculator was also a comparison to what I would be paying if I took out a loan with one of the “Big Four”.

I pleasantly discovered that People’s Choice Credit Union repayments were significantly lower compared to the others.

I love it when us consumers have choices in how we manage our finances, giving us options to break away from the usual big conglomerates.

In the likely chance of going full time when the twinions start going to school next year, the People’s Choice Credit Union website has another calculator that helps you sort out extra monthly or lump sum payment options.

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, shall we?

First things first.

Time to go car hunting.

Beep, beep, beep, beep, yeah.

The all-important fine print about the interest rates:

* The comparison rate is based on a loan of $30,000 with monthly repayments over a term of 5 years. PLEASE NOTE: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

How’s your car running? Still got all your door handles?

 After a long hiatus, I’m back joining Essentially Jess and the gang for #IBOT!

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