A (better late than never) #SpreadHummusNotHate Update

A (better late than never) #SpreadHummusNotHate Update

This post is long overdue! I know! I’ve been wanting to post an update for some time now since starting the #spreadhummusnothate campaign back in September 2016 (you can read full post here) but just haven’t had a chance to sit down and have a real good think about and reflect on what has taken place since. The campaign itself received a lot of traction and overall it was positively received by not just all of you, my followers, but the general public too. I was pleasantly surprised to see a write up by my local paper The St George & Sutherland Shire Leader, followed by a story via SBS and a number of other online news outlets. I wasn’t expecting this kind of coverage to be honest. In fact, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. What I did know was I didn’t want this to be a political or religious movement. What I was hoping though was to connect people, not online, but in real world situations. We all see many things go viral online and forgotten after a day or two. So considering the constant negative rhetoric that seemed to be developing especially in the social media sphere, I really didn’t feel that a solely online campaign would be beneficial in our day to day lives. This needed to go offline. I wanted to encourage real human interaction between people from different walks of life. To build bridges, rather than burn them. To drown out some of that negative clatter. I wanted an acknowledgement, respect & celebration of our differences. I wanted people to admire the beauty of our diverse land (with respect for it’s...
#spreadhummusnothate

#spreadhummusnothate

The post you just read was written by me and posted to my Facebook in September of 2014. I was unsure about posting it at the time because I didn’t want it to be read as an apology and I didn’t want it to be read as though I was crying victim either. Neither were my intention. I just wanted my followers to understand what it was like to be judged and to be told how to feel or what to think about this incomprehensible war between Da’esh and the West. I did end up posting it and to my surprise it quickly became one of my most popular posts that was shared over 300 times. Fast forward to the present, and not a lot has changed. Still we can turn to any TV news channel, or radio or newspaper and all we seem to get bombarded with is killings, bombings, shootings, terrorist attacks. So much ugliness, despair & death. We’re all tired of it I’m sure. We all wish it would stop. It’s really quite depressing and certainly quite scary at times. Will it happen here? How safe are we? How safe are my kids? Often I get to the point where I feel I need to switch off. I just don’t want to know anymore! Not only do I want to switch off from all the atrocities occurring around the world but also from the backlash because not only are we targets of this so-called ‘Islamic State’ but we are also targets of those who do not know Muslims nor understand Islam and in some cases do not want...
Fruit Picking in & around Sydney

Fruit Picking in & around Sydney

If you’ve never thought of fruit picking as a possible family activity then you really must put it down on your ‘to do list’ asap! My family loves it so we try and get out to an orchard at least once a season. We live in the inner suburbs of Sydney which means most orchards are about an hour drive from home, but this just adds to the fun of the day out. There’s just something captivating about getting out of the suburbs, isn’t there? I really enjoy long drives (without traffic!). I find it soothing as you drive towards wide open spaces where all you’re distracted by are the clear blue skies and the beauty of the arid lands, the pastures and native grasslands. Apart from the road trip, fruit picking gets you outdoors as a family and gives the kids a real awareness of where their food comes from, which is great for my girls (who are 15, 12 and 10). My youngest though (who is now 18 months) doesn’t understand all the ‘where does my food come from’ stuff yet, but I did find this last trip (mandarin picking) he really enjoyed more than the previous trips. This time he’s more mobile, he recognised the fruit and attempted picking them off the trees as well as getting them straight to the bucket. For the most part he tried his utmost to carry the buckets on his own as he moved from tree to tree to find fruit to pick! It really was the most adorable thing to watch and experience. The fruit you can pick varies...
Oh the places we’ll go… #FordThinking

Oh the places we’ll go… #FordThinking

Those who follow me on Instagram would know that a few months ago I was voted as one of Kidspot’s Voices of 2015 Top 3 online creatives in the Food & Travel category. What an overwhelming surprise it was! I’ve been really grateful for it and what it has encouraged me to do. For some time now, I have been wanting to get back into doing my own writing, but always seemed to put it off. This chance to blog for Kidspot was the perfect push I needed to get me started. As part of the Top 3 I was also given this opportunity – to test drive and blog about one of Ford’s newest vehicles (I’ve been zooming around town in the Everest!). Last week we drove to Bulli, just about an hour from Sydney (read more about it here). This week we decided to take the Everest south-west to the Snowy Mountains (Lake Crackenback to be exact). Yep, a much longer drive but we were up for the challenge. I read that the Everest was equipped to ‘tackle any terrain’ so with our 3 kids, 1 infant and 6 hours of road – no doubt, it was going to be a challenging terrain. Still we were up for it and we prepared as best we could. I packed each kid their own snacks. They took some writing, drawing pads and pencils and of course we could not go without our much needed tablets (not the Panadol type, even though that too became a necessity, but more so the smart tech type!). I love that the Everest has the two USB ports and Auxiliary Power Points (in the front,...
What childhood memories are made of

What childhood memories are made of

Unearthing memories from long ago I find dollops of family, friends, school, playfulness, off the wall laughing and sometimes crying. There were mostly good times, which were of course, like anybody else, trumped at times with a sprinkling of sad moments. From time to time I remember specific events but truthfully, the older I get the harder I find I need to dig into that memory bank. Not surprisingly, what I do recall easily are so many memories of food. My childhood was full of food. Lots of food. I’m guessing this may have something to do with my Mother whose philosophy was ‘if you have a meal and I wasn’t around to see it, did you really eat?’ Even now, the first thing she’ll ask my kids is ‘have you eaten?’ And of course she’ll insist that they have something regardless of their response. My Mother also had quite a sweet tooth, which I’ve definitely inherited from her. We always had Turkish delights lying around which she would squish and sandwich between two milk coffee or arrowroot biscuits. And then there were the bowls of sweet and creamy rice pudding, the dish that now holds a special place in my heart. Thinking about these I feel a great sense of comfort. In my moments of nostalgia I tell my kids about my past ‘foodie’ thoughts and experiences. I wasn’t much into cooking back then but I was always a sucker for good food. One time I told my girls about how I wished I could ‘download’ food from my TV, during my favourite ads! ‘Omg, Mum! Where did you even get your ideas?’...
“Yesterday I climbed a mountain…”

“Yesterday I climbed a mountain…”

It’s been too long since we’ve just picked up and gone for a drive out of Sydney. Not because we haven’t wanted to but more so because it’s just been difficult to. I spent most of 2014 pregnant (well 9 months + 11 days to be exact…it really did feel like a whole year). The last time I had been pregnant was eight years prior, so it really felt like my first time all over again, except ten times worse. I was constantly tired and sleepy. There was the persistent heartburn, the nausea, the ‘morning’ sickness that lasted all day long and a crazy, unnatural obsession with all things oranges! On top of that I spent the whole time asking myself the same questions over and over… Was I crazy? What had I done? Did I make the right decision? Did I really want to go back to nappy changing and sleepless nights!? Baby is now 8 months old and yep even though I was reminded very quickly that the nappy changing, sleepless nights and now teething are not fun at all, I’ve tried not to let it get me down. And really I can’t deny, everything else about having him around has been such a joy … a very busy, ‘controlled chaos’ kind of joy! How could his cuteness overload not be? So, anyway, up until now, a road trip, even a short one has not been on our raider. Having the opportunity to test drive the new Ford Everest (as part of the Kidspot Ford Thinking) has I guess motivated us to get out. We are planning a longer trip...
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