#4 the day you left home

// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order

Today’s post is #4 the day I left home.

When I was in year 11 and 12 I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up, I thought maybe I would like to be a journalist. But when I found out the journalism course was in Bathurst which meant moving away from home I couldn’t bear the thought of it so I did a degree from Albury.

I KNOW. What a muppet!!

So I stayed at home for the first couple of years of uni, not paying any board and because I’d never lived out of home before everything continued as normal, I’m pretty sure my Mum still did my washing and I still got cranky when I had to be askedto unpack the dishwasher!!!


I had been contemplating moving out with some friends from uni, probably because I was getting sick of being asked to do jobs. I was too chicken to bring it up with either of my parents, although I doubt they would have argued much!

The catalyst for me making the call was an argument with my Mum. She had just got a new laptop, her OWN laptop and I was helping her set it up. I’m sure she would agree that she is quite ‘particular’ about some things and that day it was the laptop.

I was whizzing through the setup when she caught sight of me clicking something on the screen, I think it was a message about the touchpad setup and I clicked the ‘click here to never see this again’ button.

“What was that!”
“That thing, that thing you just clicked”
“What? I don’t know, some..thing, it’s not important”..
“Well get it BACK”
“I CAN’T, I clicked here to never see it again”.

*cue meltdown* (from Mum)

After that I had the courage to tearfully tell Mum I was packing up and moving out of home.

She came and inspected my new digs after I’d been there for a week or so. Her only comment was that it was ‘big’. It was hideous!!

To her credit she ignored the enormous cracks in the walls that only got bigger over the years, the slightly musty smell from the laundry, the black mould in the bathroom and who knows what else I didn’t notice!

That’s all from me today – will give Mum the right of reply in the comments!

– Jen

Here’s the street view in case you were interested



– Jen

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#40 The menu for your last meal ever

// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order

Today’s post is #40 the menu for your last ever meal! Or last meal ever…

Far out! This is just getting too hard! And slightly depressing what with my last day ever and now my last meal.

Last meal ever…righto!

Lets start with a beer. I’m not going to get fancy, just give me a Jimmy Boags. – Premium because nobody likes Boags Draught. It is revolting stuff. The man accidentally bought a slab last time I asked him to buy Boags – honestly do I have to do everything myself? I drank it…grudgingly after I made it known I was not impressed.

Ahem. Back to the food…

For entrée it would have to be my Nan’s vegetable soup. Its vegetable soup with a bacon hock in it so not a vegetarian vegetable soup! And its amazing. I can’t eat too much of it though because I went a bit crazy with the mains.

Mains: Hmmm this was tough. Sticking with the Nan theme I have thought long and hard about this and I would really like some of Nan’s smoked cod! We have it on Good Friday, just the girls because the smell makes Dad want to vomit. Yep. So Nan’s smoked cod and with cauliflower and white sauce. So far I’m making my 81 year old Nan do all the cooking. Good stuff.


Seeing I can eat as much as I want I will also have some of the man’s homemade chicken schnitzel, get him in the kitchen too. Its pretty awesome! While we’re at it I’ll throw Mum into the kitchen and she can do her cheese and onion pie and home made potato cakes. Dad can get busy and knock up some oysters kilpatrick. I can sit back and watch.

That’s a lot of beer kind of food. But I’m not missing out on some wine with my last meal so lets open a bottle of Bobbie Burns. The man offered a bottle to take with me on Friday night when I went down to a friends place for drinks (mothers group aka girls gone wild) and I turned it down in favour of some vinegar we bought in Tassie which was nice in 2011 but has obviously turned!

Dessert – Nan’s pecan pie. For second dessert Shell can cook up some of the white wings maple pecan slice she used to make for school lunches. Gee that was good! Back in the days when you could take nuts and sugar to school.

After that I will have a break then have some dark chocolate and some really good muscat.

And after that…after that I will probably die from eating too much. Is that irony? I can never tell.

– Jen


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#11 Your celebrity dinner party

Today’s post is #11 your celebrity dinner party – who would you invite?

The first person I’d invite is the man because he will be pissed if he finds out I had a dinner party and didn’t invite him, especially when he sees who the first celebrity I’m inviting is. Also it will be at our place so might be awkward if he’s fluffing around in the kitchen while I’m trying to get dinner for my guests ready.

So the first celebrity is Jens Voigt. Did you just say “who”? I’m disappointed.

Sigh. Click here, read – then come back.

So the man and I both love watching him in le tour and geez he is funny but also seems like such a nice guy. You can just about bet if the commentator says “there’s a breakaway” – the Jensie will feature.

I read some great Jens quotes today:

Of course the most famous one is ‘shutup legs’ but I didn’t know the rest of it, ‘shutup legs, do what I tell you to do’, and in his accent its even funnier.

But then there’s also “If you go (with a break), you can either win or not win. If you don’t go for it, you definitely won’t win”. Very true, Jens, very true!

Along the lines of the joke Chuck Norris ‘facts’ are some Jens ones and this one from Cycling Tips made the man giggle so you know its funny.

Jens once challenged Lance Armstrong to see who had more testicles. Jens won by 5.

See, very funny! Here is a video of him, I could listen to him talk all day!

There are other cyclists I’d like to invite but then I think they will just talk shop amongst themselves and ignore everyone else, of course this shop talk would be interesting too I guess. Simon Gerrans would be great, he seems lovely and of course Cadel! They all seem like nice boys.

The next person I would invite would be Hugh Jackman. He would sit next to the man so I can convince him once and for all he does NOT look like Hugh. He has a touch of Wolverine about him and that’s it.

If the cycling boys are there then Hugh needs some actor friends so I would also invite Ricky Gervais, Kate Winslet and Leslie Mann and Sigrid Thornton.

Ricky and Kate because I loved them in Extras (and Ricky in The Office of course), could you ever have imagined Kate Winslet saying ‘purple headed womb ferret’ before?

Leslie Mann and Sigrid Thornton because they’re my girl crushes. I love anything they’re in and I think they’d would both be quite fun to have at a party. I would question Sigrid about Diver Dan and Max in Seachange and also about All the Rivers Run.

There you have it! My celebrity dinner party.

Who would you invite?

– Jen

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#38 What do you want to be when you grow up

// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order

Today’s post is #38 what you want to be when you grow up (there’s still time)

Oh I still don’t know what I want to be ‘when I grow up’.

There are two avenues I think I would like to pursue but both are difficult to just go and ‘do’. I am in a great position with my current job, I do enjoy it and the pay and conditions are really really good making it difficult to justify pursuing something else.inspry

So its not like I hate my job and am desperately seeking a career change but if I could do anything I would like to do some kind of allied health job like a physiotherapy or maybe osteopathy or myotherapy. I had no interest in anything like that when I was in high school but its something I’m really interested in now and something I think I would be good at too!

So whats stopping me? Well like I said, its hard to step away from my job but also, both those things means time back at uni, and quite a lot of time too.  I’m not even sure if its something you can do as a mature aged student.

Of course there are other occupations similar to a physio or osteo I could look at such as a massage therapist or maybe something like a personal trainer although that doesn’t interest me quite as much.

I feel like I might have missed the boat on that one – but then sometimes I think – you only have one life and you should do something you love, take chances etc….aaaargh. I’ve been reading too many inspirational quotes on instagram!

The other thing I often contemplate is even riskier. I would like to work in a café and make coffee, that’s part A! Yes I would like to be a barista. So I think maybe I should do a barista course. Part B is opening my own café. It’s a funny thing to want to do but I think about it a lot! I would follow my all important ‘how to judge if a café has good coffee rules’ too.

So there you go. Two crazy ideas on what  I might like to be when I ‘grow up’.

What about you?


– Jen

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#48 The top five blogs you just can’t get enough of!

// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order

Today’s post is #48 – the top 5 blogs I just can’t get enough of!

top5This should be fun and not too taxing on my poor head. I’m feeling quite seedy after going on a mothers group drinking rampage last night…honestly, those mothers can drink. We have good reason to as well!

Number 1: Woogsworld

Woogsworld  is one of my favourite blogs to read, even though I’m pretty late to the party only coming across it late last year. Don’t know how I missed it! Anyway Mrs Woog is laugh out loud funny and her tagline ‘making the most of the mundane’ is bang on.

Here’s a couple of recent posts that made me laugh:

Morning challenges
Angry Birds

Number 2: The Veggie Mama

I’m enjoying reading her blog even more now she’s living in Melbourne. Great recipes as well. Another ‘real’ blogger.

Here are some posts of hers that I have enjoyed:

Two under two – how did I do it
Conversations in cars

Number 3: Eat Train Laugh

Another thing these bloggers all have in common is that they all post regularly! Evalin blogs about her training and races and I enjoy reading about her progress towards goals. Unlike a lot of other athletes blogs her posts are more than just race reports, although I loved reading her race reports on her ironman races!

Link to 2014 Ironman race report here and 2013 report here

Number 4: The Climbing Cyclist

I’ve been reading the Climbing Cyclist for quite awhile, probably about the time I started getting into cycling and realised I liked hills! Then when I started doing alpine climbs I’d pop over to the site, have a read of what I was about to climb and then annoy whoever I was climbing with by spouting off tidbits of information about the climb i.e. “did you know the Mt Hotham climb is 30kms long, and you can break the ride down into three sections, the first bit up to The Meg, then the middle 10kms featuring a false flat section and then the last 10kms which include CRB hill which is HIDEOUS”. Love it.

The blog side of it details trips or special rides and often guest posts from other cyclists. Usually a bit longer, great to read over brekky or lunch!

Here is a recent post about Mt Donna Buang that I enjoyed – link here

Number 5: Retromummy 

We don’t have much in common Mrs Retromummy and I, she has 7 kids with another soon to arrive. She’s very crafty too! Not in a devious way, in a quilting way. But I love her blog, the layout and design is awesome as well its so clean and crisp and she has amazing photos.

Here are some of my favourite recent Retromummy posts:

Quick things to sew for a baby
Clean first then you can craft (reminds me of someone I know!)

So there you are my top 5 blogs!

– Jen


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#35 If you only had one day to live, how would you spend it?

// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order

35onedayToday’s post is #35 – if you only had one day to live, how would you spend it?

Okay so I started out writing this as a list of the things I would do, but it is way too hard!

I also noted that the list of things I would do on my ‘last day on earth’ is actually quite unimaginative. It involves family time, bike riding, copious amounts of coffee and good food with friends. When I looked back at it, it read like a standard Sunday!

I can just hear the man screeching at me now “its your LAST DAY ALIVE can’t you think of something exciting you would want to do”. Nope I honestly cannot!

Which got me thinking, I’m in a pretty good place if the best I can come up with for my last day on earth is basically a normal Sunday for me. Obviously knowing its my last day alive I guess I would live it a little bit differently, if little man screamed all day like he did yesterday I wouldn’t mind, I would just let him stay up and cuddle him knowing it was my last day alive. But why didn’t I do that yesterday when for all I knew it might have been my last day?


So..I turned to google for help. After googling ‘last day alive how to spend it’  (yes I really did that, what of it!) I came across this TED conversation and it turns out my unimaginative ‘last day’ is quite normal that is, most people focus on what matters most to us but knowing it is your last day you are ‘in the moment’, not thinking about the past or future just ‘now’.

I have an upcoming blog project that will touch more on this but this living ‘in the moment’ is something I am trying to do more often. Its a bit sad but I find it really difficult. I’m easily distracted and I have to work REALLY hard at it! But, being more aware of that is a step in the right direction I think.

So perhaps the answer to the original question about how I would spend the last day of my life would be that I would spend the day with my family, friends, doing what I love -riding bikes, drinking coffee, cuddling my screaming baby and being in the moment while I do it all!

Wow there you go, quite a serious post that one!

What would you do if you had one day to live?

– Jen

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#14 The day you started blogging

// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order

Today’s post is #14 – the day you started blogging – what were you thinking.

startbloggingOn the 13th of May 2005, I decided to start a blog. I have no idea what I was thinking, I’d stumbled upon some blogs I liked to read and thought ‘ heyI can do that!!’

I was initially put off when a friend said ‘who would want to read about what you do every day’. She was probably right, my readership is not exactly your Woogsworld or Dooce but I’m glad I stuck with it. I don’t think I would have had any aspirations of greatness then as back in the olden days you just blogged for yourself not to make money or anything!

Those with a keen eye might have noticed I’ve been blogging a bit more lately. I’m trying to give the blog a real go for six months and see what happens. The more I write, the more I feel like writing so hopefully I can keep it up.

Here’s a link to my first ever post. Compelling isn’t it.

From memory the early blogs I used to read (and most I still do) were:

Anthony Malloy
Daniel Bowen – Diary of An Average Australian
Renlish (or another variation)
Pumpkin Diary

I’m sure there were many more but those are the main ones! I follow maybe 30 or so blogs on Bloglovin’ but I know there are so many more out there I would love to read, I really like it when I find a new one I like and add it to the list. I was pretty slow to the whole RSS/feeds thing, I wasn’t even upset when Google Reader was canned. My Mum was, but I wasn’t.

I read a few different types too, yes your Mummy blogs feature heavily in there but also lots of athletes, foodie bloggers and some gardening/cooking blogs.

What else? Oh I love comments on my posts, they make my day! On here or any of the socials, Facebook, twitter and instagram.

Here’s some links to my top posts:

1. Tour of Bright 2012 Race Report (C grade)
2. Coffee’s hot and the toast is brown…its not? Well it should be.
3. Meet Dusty. Probably the best thing we’ve ever bought! (review LG Roboking)
4. 2013 Mt Buller Road Race – C grade
5. The happiest reason ever for feeling like crap
Sydney – through the eyes of a Melbourne snob.
7. 36 weeks – where the first day of maternity leave doesn’t go to plan
8. Review: Garden Tuscany (Moonee Ponds)
9. I was next to you, and you were right there next to me
10. I had 15 people telling me to move, I got moving on my mind

Thanks for reading!!

– Jen

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#37 a guide to the town you live in

// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order

Today’s post is #37 – a guide to the town you live in. I live in Albury, NSW.

I’ve taken a bit of a tongue in cheek approach to this one! I saw a map of Melbourne like this the other day which was quite funny so I’ve applied some of that to my own town of Albury.


Hipsters/Coffee/Food – a nod to Melbourne

Mexico – What New South Welshpeople call Victoria or Wodonga in particular (south
of the Border). Until I moved back here I wouldn’t be caught dead living in Wodonga but I have since changed my mind. I would dare to say most parts of Wodonga are really nice. I’ve been doing a lot of driving around with a little man asleep in the car and have checked most of it out …there are some really nice spots!

Rich Doctors – Refers to ‘Doctors Point’ – I think its called this because all the ‘rich  doctors’ live out here. Its very nice, but expensive and I’m betting all the houses would have kitchens that would need renovating to come even close to ours!

Cool People – Where we live! There is ‘old’ East Albury where we live and then anything east of East St and south of Borella Rd makes up ‘new’ East Albury. Like I said in yesterdays post, I initially didn’t want to live here. But its super nice with a lot of old houses being renovated and tree lined streets that are amazing in autumn! Plus we have a great view over the rest of Albury.

Learnin’ – Where I went to school, both primary and high school are in this area.

Boatin – Where we..boat. I’ve done a little bit of kayaking here but the man and a friend have a boat that they sometimes take out (but not often enough if you ask them!)

Singletrack – Local MTB trails on Nail Can Hill. Guide to the trails here. They are awesome and I’m so lucky to live in a town where you can be on the trails in 7 minutes from home! And I live over the other side of town from them!

The Olds – Where my parents live. They moved here from an area labelled as ‘scary’ when I was about 16.

Harbour Bridge – nod to Sydney. We rarely go to Sydney, Melbourne being much easier to get to.

Coffee – also obvious…where I get my coffee fix from! Many different establishments! I won’t name them…but I love you all!

Scary – Suburbs that are a bit scary to live in! Or have parts of the suburb that are! I guess sadly you would say they have a lower socioeconomic status than other areas such as central Albury. Lavington is known colloquially as ‘Lavghanistan’ or ‘Stabbington’.

Oh and, The Dream – In my driving travels around with a catnapping baby I stumbled across Splitters Creek. We used to go and visit some friends of my parents out here when we were kids so I knew the road already but there are some really nice houses out here. Its close to town, but not too close, and really pretty! Ideally we would build and not live anywhere near it until it was 100% complete. Just a pipe dream…but its nice to have a dream I think.

Anyway there you go – call it a midweek special and we’ll be back to regular programming tomorrow!

– Jen

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#15 The most difficult decision you’ve ever made

// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order

Today’s post is #15 The most difficult decision you’ve ever made. Write from the heart.

Getting down to the business end of the 50 things to blog about now! I tried not to do the easy ones first but that’s obviously what I’ve done as I’m struggling with the tail end!

Most difficult decision I’ve ever made.

Well I guess it would probably have to be in 2011 when we were living in Melbourne and the man got made redundant. Things looked bleak until a tip off from a friend about a job in Wodonga and of course they loved him and they offered him a temporary position. At the same time he got offered a post-doc position in Melbourne.

We decided the man would turn down the post doc position and give the job in Wodonga a go. Obviously with a view to maybe moving back if the job worked out.

For a few months we lived apart, him in Albury with my parents and me looking after our place in Melbourne.

I can say this without checking with him but it was a hell of a lot harder for me to consider leaving Melbourne than it was for him. While he had one close friend there, I had all my close friends there and most of his close friends were up in Albury. They’re my friends too, especially now – but at the time it felt like I was leaving all my friends behind.

Buuuuut on the plus side my family is in Albury. Albury is a nice place to start a family of our own. Its so much ‘easier’ to live here than in Melbourne. It made sense to move back.

But I still didn’t want to. I was in a really good place with my riding buddies, my work….me me me, I, I, I ….you get the picture. What about the man? What did he want?

The man had found this hideous house in East Albury of all places. Really? East Albury? Ew. Look, just a taste of the hideousness…

whinrayBedroomRenovate it he said, it will be easy he said.

Anyway, I digress.

Eventually after me digging in my heels (or my cleats rather) I had to make the call and acknowledged that everything pointed to moving to Albury and we said yes to buying the hideous house and moving back.

Many, many tears followed but two years later I have to admit that I/we made the right decision.

Where we would be if we’d stayed in Melbourne I don’t know. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be enjoying little man. Its kind of one of those sliding door decisions I guess.

I still miss Melbourne and I still have a moment every time I get to that point driving in on the Hume where you can see the city skyline, *ah there it is*!

But its not quite the same anymore and now I also feel the same way driving into Albury – oh its good to be back in my little town.

We’ve made a heap of friends here, the hideous house has worked out pretty well – its not hideous anymore! Another point to the man. The man has ‘the boys’ his group of mates, they’re a great bunch of guys and we are so close to all of them and their partners and there’s starting to be kids everywhere – I absolutely love it.

And being close to my family is unreal too, I’ve gone from seeing them a few times a year to sometimes a few times a week, especially my Nan.

So the man as much as I hate to admit it, and although it counts as the most difficult decision I’ve ever made – it was a pretty good decision in the end.

– Jen

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#13 Your first kiss

// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order


Today’s post is number 13 – your first kiss (and don’t skip the awkward details)

Isn’t just talking about your first kiss on a blog read by your parents and friends and complete strangers awkward in itself? Oh and by my husband?

Its totally awkward.

Well lets get it over with. My first kiss happened on our year 10 hockey trip to Bathurst. Tonsil hockey camp? Hehe.

I mean really, why was I even ON a hockey trip? I certainly couldn’t play for peanuts so how on earth I ended up going on it I don’t know.

I can’t remember if I was sweet on the guy before the trip but anyway there was a boy and girl team and we were all staying at a motel at Blayney just outside Bathurst. It was three or four girls to a room and I’m sure we weren’t supposed to be outside of our own rooms fraternising with the boys but being such a rebel there I was – locking lips with a guy named Ben.

If I recall he might have even been the year above me! Outrageous.

I don’t remember too much, but I do remember thinking “oh my god, he cleaned his teeth, his breath is so minty fresh”. I probably had garlic bread for dinner.


I think we went out for a couple of months, or maybe it was a month..but I could sense when it was coming to an end and he was going to break up with me so I just simply avoided him for a couple of weeks so he couldn’t do it.

He ended up breaking up with me over the phone. By then I was getting tired of hanging out in the library at lunchtime by myself so I wasn’t too upset about it.


– Jen



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