Challenge Accepted Day 41

Today has been a sad day. I found out this morning that my friend passed away yesterday, she had cancer. She thought she had beaten it. It came back in full force, terminal. Yesterday, cancer won! The world lost. One of the good ones, gone. I’ll, be back to touch on this more on another day, but for now, that’s all I want to, all I can share about it. 
I do have some other disappointing news I’m afraid, nothing compared to how I started this blog, but disappointing as far as this blog is concerned anyway. Given the circumstances surrounding my T25 beta selection, I’m going to have to end my T25 challenge early and start a new challenge; I’ve chosen Insanity! I’ve inspected the DVDs and all look good, though I think my pioneer DVD player that I bought in 2001, may be half the problem also. I’m looking for something to be able to clean it up – any suggestions would be appreciated. I don’t want to get rid of it because it’s dual voltage and worldwide region and I’m attached to it, but it surely needs a clean 15 years later…..
Well, what a day we had today. Our first experience at a South Korean IKEA! It was crazy! I thought Costco was bad but IKEA was a nightmare. I have never experienced anything quite like it. Koreans are a very kind people but they move like they drive, they will literally push you out of the way if they need to get somewhere. We find it rude, culturally, but to them, it’s just the way it is. I’m doing my best not to get offended and today was really good practice for that! Hunter did freak out a little bit because there were so many people but the good thing is we stand out, all of us with golden blonde hair and all, so there was never any danger of getting lost. But at times, it was standing room only in the biggest IKEA I’ve ever seen in my life. That place must trade in the millions (of Korean won of course) on a daily basis! We alone spent our fair share of money in there! It was great though. Crazy, but great. Anytime we needed anything, we just found a store worker who normally spoke enough English to put our Korean to shame. We bought a new, bigger and better kitchen island, so I now have the pleasure of returning the other one to Costco, because we just aren’t happy with it at all. Once again, I hope Costco is as understanding as they are in the States. We also bought some storage for the laundry as it’s driving me crazy in there. Nothing goes into the concrete walls and nothing sticks to them because of the humidity, we have very little storage in this house and the laundry has now had to become our pantry as well, because there wasn’t even a decent cupboard to hold food. When there’s five of you and a cat and a dog, you need to have somewhere to put all of your food. Hopefully, what I’ve bought will work and will clean it all up. I never feel like the house is clean because there’s clutter everywhere. I’ve gotten rid of so much since we arrived here yet still have too much junk! A planned yard sale at the end of April combined with more decluttering, should get me somewhere! 
Everything else we bought was small or insignificant. One thing we did buy and I’m excited to start using, was a summer duvet. We use duvets or doonas (pronounced Doo-na) in Australia and they are used throughout Europe also. They are either feather and down quilts or wool or man made materials inside of a quilt type fabric. The difference is they are plain and you buy interchangeable covers for them as necessary to make your bed coverings the way you like them. It also means you don’t wash your duvet regularly, you just wash your cover, not ruining it like one does a quilt type spread whenever it needs to get washed (which is on a regular basis). My friend Trine who is Norwegian, introduced me to the idea of having both a Summer and a Winter duvet. Well, last night, and this may seem like TMI (too much information) but both hubby and I awoke absolutely saturated and no, not from anything fun! It is so humid here that one sweats immensely. I am not a sweater, yet I was drenched. It was disgusting! We talked this morning when he said he had woken up the same way and realized that the winter duvet we have is just too heavy and we need to do something about it. I told him about Trine and James and how they use both a Summer and Winter duvet and suggested we do the same. He was all about it. We both like to have a covering over us at night but this was just too heavy now and we also like to use the feather and down comforters, which actually offer a nice breathability, as does wool. IKEA was the perfect place to buy one, so we did. We thought about getting another cover but honestly, I’m still loving my white cover, especially as it is coming into Summer and I have my lovely blue accents to go with it, so I’m just going to stick with it for now and look next time we go (yes, we shall go again) for some new sheets as well. 
We eventually finished up at IKEA with 400 won each, soft serve ice cream cones (well, the four members of my family did & they were terrific apparently, especially at the equivalent of less than 40c) and moved on to the outlets next door. These outlets are not really what we would consider outlets. Most of the items in there were overpriced as far as we were concerned, even the stuff that was 50% off. Hubby showed me a really nice light pink water resistant golfing jacket from Nike and it was on sale for Korean won 129,900, that’s about US $120.00. In the States at a Nike outlet store, I would have expected to pay about $80. The same went for most of the stores in this place. The only time we found a bargain was when we bought Ally a new pair of trainers (she has been complaining and looking for new trainers for the past 2-3months) finally, we found some. They’re a ladies size 6 mind you, the smallest size they had in the store, and they fit my 11 yo daughter who is one of the smallest (as far as height goes) in her grade. We always laugh because the running joke (pardon the pun) is that she needs to grow into her feet! Anyway, they fit her well when we put her inner soles in it (she has flat feet) and were 39,000 won, cheaper than all the shoes I was looking at online and she was able to try them on. Perfect. I’ve just bought new inserts for her too, so they’ll be great in her new shoes. That was literally the only thing in the 5 levels that worked out. Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my time going there again. At the time of writing, this is the only IKEA in South Korea, (Gwangmyeong) so you’ll know where I’m talking about. Don’t bother with the outlets next door. It’s just not worth it. 
We returned to our car and made our way back to Osan Airforce Base as the family had decided Chilis was on the menu (this is an American chain restaurant that has somehow made its way over here to a US Airforce base). I haven’t been all that impressed with it so far, but they all love it for some reason and tonight I finally found something on the menu I actually liked. Normally I’m a chicken kind of person at a restaurant, but all the chicken in this Chilis seems to have a lemon base in the cooking method and I don’t like lemon and chicken together unless it’s in a marinade and even then, I’m not the biggest fan. So it took me forever to decide on something and I was about to give dinner a miss altogether when I spotted something called the steak fajita quesadilla (I think). It was really good. No lemon in sight. It was just a very good meal. Far too much food for me, but good nonetheless. The steak was cooked well and was actually not very fatty, I got a blend of cheese rather than ‘jack’ cheese and it all worked well together. I highly recommend it if you’re heading to Chilis, Osan for dinner. We had some highly energetic kids still so we wandered over to the exchange store to look for some ‘slippers’ for Hunter for school on Monday. In Korean schools, you have to take your shoes off before entering the classroom, so you need some slipper type things to be able to wear inside there. I’m not really sure if I got him the right shoes, but we ended up getting a pair of adidas ‘flip flops/sandals’ and are hoping that not only will he be fine because of the little massaging pointy bits, but also that these will work as ‘slippers’.

  
I’m a tad nervous for him going to school on Monday. We keep talking about it but I’m just not sure how he’s going to do. I guess we’ll find out soon enough! Anyway, we found Madison a pair of trainers/runners as well and hubby found a lovely pair of dress shoes to match his new suit. All in all, a successful shopping trip. By the time we got home it was very late and dear son was sound asleep and we still hadn’t gone to visit the cats! We raced over there to find things a little amiss. Carpets moved, or rolled up. Different lights on. Weird stuff. The girls and I were a tad freaked out so I immediately sent my friend a message asking if anyone had come by today, thank god she answered almost immediately confirming someone had and apologizing for not letting me know. Then my phone died. We hung out with them for quite a while and when we finally got home I was able to get the full message about her friend stopping by and all being ok. Once home I did my nightly Rodan and Fields regimen followed by my AMP MD roller before sitting down to write my blog. And here I am. It’s almost 12:30am – I’ve missed my blog deadline. The girls are sitting up with hubby watching Harry Potter, and I am having a glass of wine or three and toasting my friend. I hope that you and yours are safe and well and you give all of your loves an extra squeeze tonight. Thanks for sticking with me and as always, pleas email me at:

aussiemumsadventures@gmail.com

Like my page on Facebook: aussiemumsadventures 

And if you’re interested in any Rodan and Fields products: http://www.slongmorescott.myrandf.com
Let me know too what else I can do to get more readers and to grab your attention. I was a little lifted today when I realized I’ve got over 400 people following my blog. Thanks for your support! It’s really appreciated! 

On a side note, I cannot take credit for the main image for this blog but I did find out as I was researching images for it, this is literally IKEA’s largest store in the world. Credit to ‘The National’ for their image. 

Challenge Accepted Day 40

Another day in beautiful South Korea. I’m not going to call it a good day or a bad day just another day. It was interesting. I had hoped to meet my girlfriend in a city called Daegu today. We travelled here (to South Korea) together and the story of our travel is pretty funny. Another day though. Anyway, we became fast friends during our respective journeys and I am so glad we did but we are just far enough away from each other that things keep popping in the way, yet close enough that we should be able to sort it out! I thought today might have been the day. Missed communication, combined with a planned dinner date tonight with hubby and his ‘work-wife’ and her husband (it’s an Army thing) – that didn’t even work out because she ended up having to go to Daegu (of all places!!!) and my hubby went to Seoul, meant it just didn’t happen. But it needs to. I feel like we need to ensure our friendship endures. We have both had some adjusting to do whilst here and neither of us are ‘loving’ it here yet, but we’re getting there and I know we’d do better if we each made a bigger effort! Also goes back to the one car thing. I have to be here in time to pick my hubby up if I want the car then there’s the school bus pick up when the kids are in school and it’s a 2 hour journey on a good day! So many variables get in the way of our social lives! I’m not sure how other Mums/Moms do it! For me, it was enough just trying to get to a farewell lunch for a lady today after our original plans didn’t really work out. Up and out of the house at 0430 to drop hubby off just so I could have the car, it almost wasn’t worth it to get up at that hour, then I remembered that today was the last day of Spring break so it was worth it to get out and do stuff. Though, nothing went as planned….
It’s a pot luck. I’m up at literally ‘sparrow-fart’, I start thinking about what I could make with what’s in the fridge/freezer. Stromboli. Yum! My one-coffee mind thinks yes, defrost it and get it happening, my one-coffee mind doesn’t take into account size of microwave versus size of glass container holding the frozen bread and that it won’t turn around in said microwave. I put it in there anyway. Low and behold, however many minutes later, one side of the bread has started to cook and is now ruined. Shit! What now? Spaghetti and pasta. Everyone loves spaghetti. Oh dear, no spaghetti sauce! I’m going to have to make it and double time it to get all the ingredients loving each other (as they should in spaghetti sauce). That’s what I do. It’s a little bit of crushed tomatoes, meets a little bit of tomato paste, meets a little bit of tomato sauce. Onions and garlic join forces, as do pepperoni (I know, I never thought I would be putting pepperoni in spaghetti but it’s a winner with kids) and ham. Mince (aka ground beef) with red wine and lots of seasonings including basil pesto, all top it off. For the next 2 hours, all of the above mentioned ingredients happily meet and intertwine to create a yummy, kid-friendly spaghetti sauce. 
There is no workout today! I know, disappointing. There is something going on with my T25 Beta selection and I’m not sure about what to do. They used to work, now they don’t. I may have to axe the T25 workout and move on to Insanity! After ensuring all DVDs are in good working order that is. I have done lots of running and walking and lifting and stretching, but none of it is in conjunction with any DVD. I haven’t figured all of this out just yet as it was all a bit of a surprise. I was going to give it more thought and further fiddling this afternoon but my afternoon disappeared in a flash. 
So we went to this luncheon/potluck/farewell. It was a bit weird because I didn’t know anyone and felt like a bit of an outsider, but all of the ladies were so friendly and inviting though not at first, even if any of them read this I have to share with you what happened when I first walked in; so we get there about 15 minutes late because I take a wrong turn. It’s all ok, I’m not too worried. We walk in the door and our host has to immediately go and deal with her two screaming children so I just stand there, crockpot in hand thinking “umm, ok…” No one turns to say hello, no says anything. I tend to my kids and put the crockpot in the kitchen and still no one acknowledges my arrival. It’s a small place. I’m thinking ok, I guess I need to take a leap out of my comfort zone and greet all of you, so I do. Finally, the 7 or 8 women who are there, start speaking to me. I don’t know about you, but for me, I was ready to haul my butt out of there very shortly after arriving! I don’t think any of them were purposefully being rude, most just didn’t know me and those couple who did were in conversation with their backs to the door and there were noisy kids everywhere. Anyway, not the most welcoming greeting I’ve been given but I did enjoy myself afterwards nonetheless. In fact, I really enjoyed myself and was able to connect with a couple of women and thought we could become firm friends. All good things must come to an end and I had to pick up some stuff at the grocery store and Mail off the package to my Mum (that I forgot to take with me on post). So 2.5 hours later, we finally left the party. 
Ally had decided to stay home, so Maddy, Hunter and I went to the commissary without a list, but using Mummy’s incredible baby-deranged memory. Yes, we forgot half the stuff! Oh well. Here’s the deal with the commissary, there are packers/baggers who pack/bag your groceries but only for tips. There are big signs in every commissary specifying this. As I explained to my daughter today, I think it’s a great service but A; I hate other people bagging my groceries. B; I hate being told to pay other people to bag my groceries. C; these people use more plastic than a small country would (the commissary has the worst plastic bags I’ve ever seen and, if given the chance, most of the baggers would triple bag your groceries) I have my own grocery bags that I use most of the time but sometimes I forget them and it drives me almost to the point of insanity with the number of bags these people think should be used for a couple of heavy items. On top of that, things are never put together or where I need them to be. I once watched as 2 baggers packed my groceries and used my frozen ‘freezer’ bags to put canned goods in because they were the sturdiest. Seriously, it really gets under my skin. I’m a pretty efficient bagger and I normally won’t do it unless I’ve got someone there to help me, like my 7yo old daughter today, but today really pissed me off. I was determined not to get stressed, I didn’t have very many items. I had brought in my own bags and had to tell them 3 times that I would bag it myself. Madison and Hunter unpacked it, I bagged it. We had one of those half trolleys/carts – that wasn’t even full. It wasn’t a long or difficult process yet, they started getting cranky because I was still bagging and the woman was asking me to pay. I paid then moved back to bagging the 7 or so items I had remaining. This man came over and started yelling at these women and I knew it was about me doing my own groceries. The cashier starts telling him (I think) that I wanted to do it myself and he is getting crankier and crankier. The door to the commissary decides at that point to close/open (hard to explain as I didn’t really see it) on my son’s head, so he starts screaming. I think to myself, I’m going to be very calm and I’m going to finish my groceries, my son isn’t bleeding, he’s not in tremendous danger or pain, he’s just gotten a fright) so I shall do what I’m doing then deal with him as we go to the car. Well, they all start freaking out (not about my son but the fact that now it is taking me too long to pack my groceries) and this man starts yelling some more and the ladies start pushing me out of the way. The whole thing turned into an ordeal. Yet there was only one person waiting in line and 3 checkouts open. I told them all they need to calm down and I calmly grabbed my son’s elbow as we walked out and asked him and Madison what exactly happened. This all took place in a matter of 30 – 60 seconds. It was weird and really pissed me off. Again, no one needs to dictate to me who packs my groceries, especially in a store the size of a 7-11. 
I got home a little cranky, grabbed the eldest child and the package and headed back to park almost exactly where I had been not 20 minutes before. We went to the post office, she grabbed me some butter (yes, I thought it best I not go back to the commissary today) and we came home. Our little garden was looking a tad worse for wear and we were starting to compete in the white trash competition, so I decided to clean it up with the help of the children. We cleaned, we prettied, we organized and all looked great. The girls then asked if they could go and ride their bikes and after all their hard work, it was a well-deserved reprieve. Hunter and I played in the new yard until Daddy called asking for us to come and get him. I grabbed Maddy, leaving Ally with her neighbourhood friends, and off we went. We came back to find Ally with a fresh bandage on her knee and a bloodied wound underneath. She did well though, she came home, grabbed her Girl Scout first aid kit, cleaned and wrapped the wound and was riding back to join her friends when we came along. We left Maddy with her and headed back to the house. Hubby was exhausted but ready for an ice cold beer, he and I sat out on our porch with Hunter discussing our days. Our neighbour’s came over to talk/meet, (their girls will be in Hunter’s class on Monday) and it was nice to finally meet the husband, but all of a sudden our dear, clumsy, crazy son, crashes behind me and I see Rebecca’s face and think “What has he done now?” Well, let’s just say he came damn close to doing permanent damage to his eye and the kid has a very fresh graze and scrape all the way down the left side of his face. He had already started to get a black eye when I picked him up off the ground! How, I don’t know. Only our Hunter could do it though. Our neighbours left when he started screaming and our eldest came back from bike riding crying and the entire house was filled with drama for the next 30 minutes. Luckily nothing is permanent. Ally and her sister had a fight and Madison embarrassed Ally in front of all the kids, and Hunter, well Hunter is truly a drama King and I’m sure he has a not-so-secret desire to do some permanent damage to his face! One day I’ll tell you about all the stuff our 3yo has done to his face! There was no emergency room trip today, but the sting is very real and he must have had a bit of a headache tonight as I gave him ibuprofen for his pain and he was out. No, he didn’t damage himself so badly he had a concussion, yes, sometimes it can just hurt like hell. Yes, I just went and checked on him after writing that to make sure he is ok! 

  
  

 
So, basically today was a failure as far as T25 was concerned, though I did do both my day and night regimen of the Rodan and Fields Redefine. No AMP MD though. It was a failure as far as Stromboli was concerned but a winner when we talk spaghetti. A failure when it comes to entrances but it evened out when it came to staying the course. Both hit and miss in the commissary. Definitely some parenting wins and fails as well. Hence the reason why today was neither good nor bad, we shall call today and equilibrium of days. A day where  everything met to give an average of ok. 
I hope though that for you, your day and or night is amazing! 
Email me with your suggestions at aussiemumsadventures@gmail.com

Like my page on Facebook: aussiemumsadventures 

If you’re interested in any Rodan and Fields products then either let me know via email or go to http://www.slongmorescott.myrandf.com 
If you enjoy my blog then please share it on your preferred social media network and let me know what else you would like to see and/or hear about. Thanks! 

Challenge Accepted Day 38

Last night I had a dream and in it my Nana (grandmother) pulled up in a really flashy Jaguar, no idea which model but it was full of class and she had her hair in a scarf looking like Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelley, but she was older, she was still my Nan. I can’t remember what she said to me or too much about the dream, all I can remember is her smile. It was bigger and brighter than I’d ever seen it before. I awoke feeling good. Feeling like she had left me with a happiness. I got up and made myself a coffee and sat down to look at my news feed on FB when it came up that I had memories from today, April 13th. Given its school holidays, I haven’t really been tracking the date; today would have been my Nan’s 113th birthday! How weird is that? I’m not what one would consider a religious person. I have my beliefs, including believing in God, I just don’t believe in religion as a concept, I’m also not too sure about the old heaven and hell concept, but what I do know is that I awoke with the feeling that my Nana is happy, she is content, she is in a good place. 
The other thing about today is that I had a baby due today. Not something I talk about or share very often. I’ve had two miscarriages, one at 8 weeks and one at 13 weeks. The latter happening right after I’d announced it to everyone! I guess because today’s my Nana’s birthday, I got really excited to have a baby due on it. I couldn’t even tell you what day I miscarried on. It seems like so long ago and such a nightmare that I really don’t think about it too often. I’m not even really sure my hubby has any idea about how it all went down and I don’t think I can describe it for you in a blog, but it just wasn’t very nice and not something I reflect on very much. Put it this way, when I think of April 13th, I think of my Nana, not of my miscarriage but at some point in time during the day, it comes to mind. It’s all a little bittersweet, but today was made a lot better by the visit from my Nana in my dream.
I worked out; Speed 2.0! Wow! It was tough but good. I was hoping for a break somewhere in there like the stretching in Speed 1.0, but no. And you know what, I was thankful there wasn’t one, by the end of it, I felt great! Even if physically I’m not all better just yet. So much better than yesterday. The kids and I cleaned the house and I showered, did my morning R+F regimen and felt great, I do have some sad news from the Rodan + Fields desk though; my favourite tool is being discontinued. Yes, the MACRO E is only going to be available for a short time. So very, very sad. This is, in my humble opinion, is the Clarisonic on crack. It’s wonderful. My skin feels amazing after I use it. It’s even dual voltage. I love it. This is a sad day for the world. On a side note, let me know if you want to order one before they discontinue it, you only have until April 26th unless stock runs out before then!

www.slongmorescott.myrandf.com

It’s under the Redefine regimen, MACRO Exfoliator.. A tool of awesomeness! 
Ok, back to our day, we went to the market once again today and got some amazing strawberries and tomatoes. Yum, my favourite so far here. Even the lettuce and onions were good today, thank god, because the onions at the commissary yesterday were rotten and disgusting and the pickings were slim.

We paid our electricity bill to our real estate agent (yes, you can do that here for no extra fee) and looked at the variety of items they had out for sale at the market just a few doors up. Each time I go it gets a little bit bigger, it’s wonderful. Well except for the bunnies in a box for sale, that was pretty awful. My kids begged and begged for a baby bunny but I had to say no (50,000 times mind you) a. Because we have a cat and a dog already, and b. Because if we continue to purchase animals from people like this, they will continue to breed them in who knows what conditions and judging by the 10 or so bunnies in that little box all quivering and shaking, the conditions aren’t so great. Every part of me wanted to rescue them all, but how can I encourage that? And it’s for us you know, the Americans, the foreigners, that’s who those bunnies were aimed at. I couldn’t take a photo, I couldn’t even look for very long as it made me sick to my stomach at the cruelty of it all! I knew I only had so much resolve and my kids just thought I was the worst Mummy ever, until we saw the puppies that is! Then the begging doubled. Again, two little puppies in a box. I saw someone carrying one around that was almost identical, so I’m gathering they started the day with more. I just can’t do it and I’m willing to look like the bad guy to my kids if it means one less person breeds animals to make a quick buck! 
We finished our day with a Family Readiness Group meeting and it was great. There was a great turnout, everyone was enthusiastic and the future looks bright. So glad that’s one thing my hubby doesn’t have to worry about, nor me for that matter. I am simply there to advise and he’s got way too much on his plate! It’s 11:30pm (2330) and he’s at work. Got there at 0600 this morning. Came home for about an hour for dinner and went back. I’m so glad we got to spend some quality time with him over Christmas and the beginning of this year as I knew this was going to be a long and arduous road ahead in his new job trying to right past wrongs and ensure it is functioning like a well-oiled machine. He’s got good people working with him, so it’s only a matter of time. But in the meantime, the younger kids don’t understand why Daddy’s not here anymore, when he was here so much before. The military life. You have to live it to appreciate all of it! 
We came home from the meeting to eat my amazing curry that I had made earlier and I have to say it was very good. It was a Thai curry but the entire family (+1 tonight as Ally has her friend over again) loves naan (Indian bread) so we incorporate that into every curry and yummo! I’d say we got a 5.5 out of 6 tonight. Ally’s friend wasn’t too keen on the rice but she did suck up all the curry juice, so I’ll take that as a win! 
To end the night on another bittersweet note, my friend’s hubby (who was in the motorcycle accident) awoke by himself from his induced coma today, that wasn’t supposed to happen for another 2-3 days, unfortunately he still has no feeling in his legs. They are being transferred to one of the big Army hospitals where they can better assess him and what’s going on. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts. 
For me, it is goodnight. I shall do my nighttime Rodan and Fields Redefine regimen and hope my hubby comes home soon.
Have a wonderful day and/or night wherever you are! 

Challenge Accepted Day 37

Well, I finally worked up the courage to do yesterday’s workout and I honestly nearly threw up a number of times. My body just isn’t feeling too good yet, so no double workout today unless something dramatically changes. I’m going to take each day as it comes with whatever this weird thing is that has hit me. I’ll definitely be working out everyday (aside from yesterday of course) so I’ll be a day behind and will need to catch up somewhere this week, but not today. Today is going to be a day about art. My kids are doing a project for their grandma and grandpa and I am going to continue to paint. I wish I had started painting in Hawaii, other than a wall mural for my daughter that is. It would have been nice to sit out on the beach and paint. Yesterday, had it not been windy, would have been so inspiring to paint. Like I said, water calms me down and takes me to a place of serenity like nothing. So I finished my workout and began to feel normal enough to eat so I made myself a yummy lunch: 

  

Dear son did come in and steal some of my haloumi though, the kids loves it as much as Mummy! I cleaned the entire kitchen and had to immediately make all children more food as there is some instinct inside of kids that says as soon as the kitchen is clean, they require snacks and/or food that will use as many plates as possible. As I looked around at the new mess, I thought, “Why not?” I had bought a number of ingredients to make what looked like an amazing (super rich, bad, fattening, omg, I’m going to have a heart attack) dessert a while back and before everything went bad, thought I should make it. So I did! And it was just as good in taste as I suspected it would be. Yum. If you are a cheesecake lover, then this is for you! We ate it still warm out of the oven, but I’m suspecting cold it would be just as nice! I don’t know what would be an equivalent in Australia to crescent roll pastry but you could experiment with both puff and pie pastry and see which one works best for your taste buds. The rich center is what makes this divine. I’ve shared the link to the recipe on my Facebook page: aussiemumsadventures – check it out! 

    

The kids and I started working on the project for Grandma and Grandpa and the dessert was Hunter’s reward for listening and doing what I say, yes I’m that Mummy, the one who bribes when necessary with all sorts of things including food! They all did exactly what they were told and Hunter didn’t scream or anything and he hates anything gooey, messy, yucky, on him, so this was definitely a win! Can’t tell you too much about the project until it has arrived at its destined home. 
It was whilst we were waiting for part of it to dry that I sat down and caught up on Facebook posts and was greeted only with bad news. It has started with my friend’s husband, my hubby’s former soldier, who has been in a terrible motorcycle accident and may have a severe spinal injury. They have been operating on him for hours and have just induced a coma as he had to have part of his lung removed and a rib and so many other things. They don’t know the extent of his spinal injury but he couldn’t feel his legs. I called my husband to tell him and neither of us knew what to say other than the usual claims of, “Oh my God!” We never expect tragedy to strike and when it does, we don’t know how to express every emotion we go through. My friend is located in Germany, a long way from her family and his family. They have two little boys, they’re lives are before them. It’s unfair. They are good people. How come crap like this doesn’t happen to child molesters and murderers, why doesn’t karma work in obvious ways? 
The second thing I read is that Cayleb Hough’s remains have been found. I have been following and sharing Cayleb’s parents’ websites and sharing their desperate pleas to find him for months. He was last seen alive at 7am on Sunday, December 20th, 2015 in Highett, Victoria, Australia. I didn’t know Cayleb or his family, but I am a mother, so the heartache of not knowing the whereabouts of my children would be my worst nightmare. And now, their worst nightmare has come true. Cayleb was 17. The same age as my nephew. 
Sometimes, life sucks! We must appreciate every single moment we have with our loved ones. Right now I have let my girls go out and ride their bikes in our little ‘ville’ but I always worry about them getting hit by a car. Even though there’s only three streets, sometimes people come in here way too fast. But what should I do? Let them sit inside on their Ipads all day? Wrap them up in cotton wool? I’d like to do that, but they have to gain some independence too. They have to know their own boundaries. They have to learn to do some things without Mummy watching their every move. Being a parent is tough. Finding that happy medium between ensuring they have the skills required to make the right decisions through being independent learners and your need to protect them, is a fine line. 
So, I lay down for a while this afternoon and snuggled with my kiddos (after they’d safely come back in from riding their bikes) and we watched an episode of my now favourite go-to show on Netflix: Doc Martin. Brilliant. My headache was back in full force and my vision started to blur so it was a good way to hang out and snuggle and use excuses not to do anything. 

Finally I realized I hadn’t yet been to see the kitties today so we all went and saw them and patted them, well one of them anyway, the other one doesn’t like little people and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t like me by extension. It was funny when I went by myself the other night, just how different she was, she came over to me, rubbed her head on my leg and let me pat her, today she just sat in her chair looking very regal (she’s part Siamese) and wondering why I bought those hellions back with me! Oh well, they love her even if she’s not a fan of them. 
It was refreshing to take a walk after almost vomiting when I completed my earlier exercise. I kid you not, I took a selfie but I look absolutely awful in it, not sure I should share a ‘trying not to be sick, after-workout selfie’ with you all! Oh, what the hell! 

  

Tonight though I started feeling almost normal. I made a 7 layered dip that was absolutely sensational, my friend who’s cats I’m looking after had some avos (Aussie for avocados) that needed to be used – she told me to grab them – so I made my own guacamole and my own salsa, they both worked so well in this dish as the salsa was really spicy and the guacamole had too much lime juice on it, making the whole thing come together like a star! Given it was taco Tuesday, it was only fair to incorporate it all with our dinner. Hubby was absolutely delighted, in fact I think the quote was “Best taco ever!” I skipped the tortilla but did have another small piece of heaven (the dessert I made earlier) so can’t really say I cut any calories today, may have added quite a few extra on though! Oh well, sometimes one also has to remember that life is short and we need to take advantage of every single day we have! 

Remember, you’ll never be younger than you are right now! Have an amazing day or night, wherever you are. And if you have time, maybe spare a thought or two for a family who tonight are coming to terms with the fact they shall never see their son again and another family who are hoping for a full recovery for their loved one. 

Challenge Accepted Day 36

Well what a lovely day! I awoke feeling like rubbish still, but it was time to put the big girl panties on and get out and about. And out and about we got. My girls are on Spring break this week and today was a great start to it (other than my rubbish cold that is)! Our neighbor and newfound friend, Rachel put out last week that she wanted to go and check out this place called Anmyeondo island. I love the beach, I love water, I love the peaceful feeling I get when I’m near it and I needed to feel some of that. So I jumped at the chance to join in and travel there. We cancelled our dentist appointments and changed some other stuff around just so we could go. That’s how important it was to me. 
  
This past year has felt like a very long winter. We moved from Hawaii to Colorado in July, 2013 and although Colorado was in Summer at the time, it doesn’t really ever get over 80F in the Springs and that doesn’t qualify as Summer for me, just like Hawaii never got over 80 nor did it ever really get under 70F. So the weather suited me just fine because it was always semi-warm, whereas when it gets cold, I need it to get hot, just to balance me out. My friend Trine (Norwegian) doesn’t think it gets really cold in Colorado and perhaps compared to Norway it doesn’t, but it got down to -32C once (That’s -25.6F) aka bloody cold, too bloody cold for my liking! No one told me hair can freeze when it gets that cold, my hair was damp when I left the house and it froze almost immediately and a giant chunk snapped off, literally snapped. Goodbye hair, it was nice knowing you. No, thank you very much. I like my hair and I like my warmth and though she is one of my dearest friends, we shall always agree to disagree when it comes to Winter. It just doesn’t work for me. Off point, I know. 2015 was a year that seemed to me like perpetual cold. No, it wasn’t the coldest winter on record in Colorado, in fact it was a fairly warm winter, but it was still winter, then we went to Australia in July, my first time home in 5 years, almost to the day, and it’s winter, again. Yay (sarcasm) It hadn’t even gotten up to 80 in Colorado yet! The Sunshine Coast was ok, though I still desperately missed Summer, but Melbourne was absolutely freezing. By the time I get back to Colorado at the end of August, they have pretty much had 5 weeks straight of 80+F temps that all came to an end the week we arrived back, no I’m not kidding! We booked a cruise in January to try and locate some warmth, but even that only gave us one day of nice, warm, laying in the sun, weather and that was on our second last day.
  
We get to South Korea and it’s bleak and miserable and cold and we arrive in Seoul to -30C weather where we have to go and take our dog to play every day, at least twice a day and where the son does nothing but cry as soon as we head outside. It was truly miserable. The one thing about Colorado’s winter is that it is truly beautiful, picturesque probably better describes it. It may be cold and snowing but at least the sun comes out a lot and there’s beautiful mountains and scenery to look at, even on the coldest days. Not South Korea. The trees seem to all be deciduous, so everything looks dead in Winter. It’s cold and bleak with high rises and buildings and junk everywhere. The Koreans are extremely technologically advanced but they still don’t care about litter. I drove back from the beach today and watched car after car roll down their windows and throw stuff out. The beach was covered in trash in parts, just like the streets here. I hate it. I want to stop people in the street and say “what are you doing?” There are also no public rubbish bins (garbage bins) so what are people supposed to do with their garbage? I had two bags of garbage just after our picnic today, the first I left in the restrooms inside the garbage bin in there because I didn’t want to leave a bag of garbage in my car, the second, I took with us. 
Back to today; I would have liked to crawl back into bed, but my need for beach and fresh air was more important, even with an almost 2 hour drive each way! I get out of bed and get cracking early enough to get an esky (cooler) packed as well as our picnic, but not early enough to work out. I do my Rodan and Fields regimen and lavish my face with Reverse #4 sunscreen (my fave sunscreen ever) then have to get breakfast for all children whilst also getting the youngest two ready. I take lots of vitamin C and some medicine that will stop my nose from running. Then it’s time to drop hubby off at work before feeding the cats we are looking after and picking up hubby’s colleague’s teenage daughter whom I have asked to join us, then meeting with Rachel at 9am (0900 in military speak). Crazy start to the day, yes. 
We are off. It was a fairly easy drive given the Korean driving skills, no great drama on the roads, a couple of weird GPS turns, but I expect nothing less, and all goes smoothly. Rachel is leading the minivan convoy and does a great job. I’m a terrible driver/leader, I don’t know why but I always sit there and think the person behind me wants me to go faster or something, and here, all I want to do is go faster but apparently, the Korean speeding ticket is an absolute fortune and there are speed cameras everywhere, so I don’t take any chances. I actually led on the way back and my phone and my car GPS were going crazy with camera locations so it was really a matter of using my cruise control, but I probably also braked a lot and poor Rachel was probably like, “What are you doing?” But I’m not sure how anal they are with speeding tickets and I don’t want to take a chance, so if I thought there was a speed camera, I slowed down to the exact speed limit if not less. And it helped that my GPS lady shuts up when I slow down too!
There are 9 of us hitting the beach including 2 adults, two teens, one tween, and 4 kids all under 8. In our car, we are excited. I can tell you that we all looked at the scenery as we were driving through these regions and finally saw ‘beautiful’ South Korea. It was wonderful to see only green for a change, or green intermingled with flowering cherry blossoms. I wish I could share a photo of it with you, but unfortunately as the driver, there were no good photos. It didn’t help that I didn’t take my camera either! We crossed a number of large bridges to get to the island and it was truly magnificent. I go excited the minute I saw water! We had no idea which beach we should have chosen though, so it was a matter of guess work and between us, we ended up at a bit of a rocky cove, but it meant we found amazing shells! I have never seen so many shells in my life! It was truly amazing. And we collected a lot. Thank goodness Rachel had a spare ziplock bag for us to throw some cool shells in. 
Leaving my eldest on the beach with her teenage friend (because neither of them really felt like going for a walk) the rest of us did a short hike over to the next beach where we discovered some cool shells, tide pools and a big rock stack. A gorgeous scenic viewing area claimed some space at the top of a fairly steep (for my 3 yo) staircase, there were also bunkers (we think) in between. That was my guess anyway, perhaps dating back to the Korean War where sentries kept an eye out for invasion? If anyone can enlighten me further, I would appreciate it.

  
It was a very easy hike even with young kids and well worth it for what awaited us at beach number 3, Sambong. A real life beach, with sand, and few rocks but lots of shells and tide pools. My phone decided a good time to die was right before I got a great photo of the entire beach! What I did get a photo of and what excited me the most was when Rachel’s kids found starfish! Starfish! They were beautiful and they were everywhere. It was so exciting, possibly even more so for me than for the kids, I love starfish! I grew up next to the wate but starfish were something I remember from a kid in New Guinea, I saw some in Tahiti, I think, and some in Malaysia or Thailand (or both) and a couple snorkeling in Hawaii, but that was it. This was literally hundreds of starfish hanging out on the beach in tide pools. We spent a long time just rescuing some who were looking like they had been beached, were starting to curl up, that sort of stuff. I have tried to do some research on starfish rescue (or ‘sea stars’ as they are now known – Ally kept saying this all afternoon but I didn’t give her credit and yet she was 100% correct) but no one seems to know too much about them. Apparently many are committing suicide on the west coast of the United States??? Seriously! Who knew? But no one knows why! Maybe real estate prices? Very strange though considering they have no brain according to scientists. Anyway, the kids and I thought it better safe than sorry given sometimes starfish just have to roll with the surf and have no control over where they end up, better to end up in small tidal pools with access to mussels than not, I say. So that’s what we did. Between us, we must have rescued 50 starfish. And yes, we are sticking with rescued! My kids are heroes! Even Hunter who hates anything stick or gooey on his hands, was very happy to pick these babies up and deliver them to the nearest tidal pool – Hero! 😊
  
These following two photos are credited to Rachel White:

   
 We eventually decided, given the next beach was 10km away, to end the hike there and return to our original location, find my eldest, and let the kids just play for a while before making our way back. On the way back, it seemed like what was an empty path became filled with Korean tourists from a bus tour, all on the steep steps. After many ‘hello’s’ though we go to the lookout to see the last group trying to take a photo. I asked if I could help by taking a photo for them and they were very happy. Having no idea, I mean none whatsoever, what Koreans use to say smile in a photo, I used the go-to for any English speaking person, “Cheese!” But this one dude in the back row cracked me up when his response was: “Kim Cheeeeeese!” Kimchee, or kimchi is a well known Korean dish and this seriously made me laugh, just because I guess I was expecting something like it, but I wasn’t. Brilliant! Next time, that shall be my go-to line, not Kimchee, but kimcheeeese! 
Back to the beach we go where the kids get to play for a while and the weather has warmed up enough for us to remove sweaters for a short while. It was fun. Needing to use the toilet wasn’t mind you, given the barnacle/rock extravaganza that awaited us, but it was fun nonetheless. I took the lead as I previously mentioned, to drive home when Rachel’s app didn’t want to cooperate, and it was all good except for my speeding up/slowing down maneuvers of course. We got home at a more decent hour than I expected and hubby was actually in between (meaning he came home to change before going out again) so it all worked out as the kids got to tell him all about their awesome, amazing, wonderful day at the beach. 
Unfortunately, the minute I got home, it was like all the congestion that spent most of the day leaving my body, came back in full force, perhaps the ocean air was a big contributor, anyway, rubbish was how I felt! It was time to check on the kitties again and I was supposed to start T25 beta round but at 7pm (the time we were back in the house) all this body wanted to do was relax, instead, I had to get my kids the extremely gourmet meal of ramen (2minute) noodles – thank you noodle Monday and for the fact that sometimes I don’t have to be elaborate! I had leftover pasta, got everyone in respective showers, including myself. Did the night regimen, no AMP MD tonight either, and sat down to write this. There may have been some trashy Korean TV in between, a first for our family as we searched for something suitable for the kids to watch with us, and it may have involved ‘little people’, a video of my dog intently watching the show ‘Little People, Big World’ and I may have also let my girls watch that crazy show ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ just to give them an idea about how I am a very normal mummy! But otherwise, a relatively quiet night! 
I hope your day and or night are magnificent, no matter where you are. For me, I just want to wake up without a sore, runny nose in the morning and be able to do a double Tuesday workout, given I didn’t do this one today! 
Happy trails! 😊

Challenge Accepted Day 35

Another interesting day in South Korea! I started out my day feeling like rubbish! Honestly, it was like my head had filled up with gunk overnight! Yuck. Not nice. We had a birthday party to get to and we didn’t get up until late, so it was a bit of a dash to ensure everyone was organized and ready to go. I forgot to buy a birthday card also, so the kiddos had to make one this morning as well. I hate buying birthday cards though. They are expensive, they get read then thrown away. I’d much prefer to just throw a small slip of paper into the bag/box/packaging and save a tree. Oh well, just personal preference. I had some cough/cold medicine that tasted awful and did nothing for me, followed with vitamin C and OJ, none of which did jack! Oh well, ‘big girl panties’ got put on and off we went. 
We headed off to the party which was to be followed by a work lunch for hubby. He had some VIPs who came in and they were trying to ensure they had a shopping and local dining experience that was relaxed and fun. The party was great. The kids had a blast and they had food, like real food. And good real food. We were full by the time we went to lunch with hubby’s VIPs. I was also starting to feel like rubbish again. We get to this all you can eat meat place where everything is so low key, they are not hounding us about the amount of food we are going to eat or anything! In fact, neither hubby nor I ate but I cooked Korean bbq style at the table for the kiddos and decided this was actually a good opportunity to try Soju! Actually, I thought it was more wine, but it wasn’t. It was straight Soju that I picked out. And no, not a midday drink. I tried to share it around but only two others would partake, so I packed the remainder of the bottle up in my bag and left it at that. It’s about the size of a mini wine bottle and it was just sitting there in the fridge; what’s one to expect? Not some sort of Korean vodka/whisky type thing anyway! 

  
I felt immediately better and told my hubby Soju worked much better than cough medicine any day! As I am writing, I am sneezing like a crazy woman! Not sure if tomorrow (our day at the beach) is going to pan out! We have a good time though wondering through the streets of the Osan ‘Ville’ – what makes it super interesting is I see this spa type store that has fish in it eating this girl’s dead skin! I’ve read about them but never actually seen one. How cool! Before I know it, I am saying, “Yea, I’m in!”

  
  
Very interesting! I’ve never felt anything quite like it. The fish tickled, felt revolting and amazing all at the same time! It was weird. They nibble away, they tickle, they feel refreshing, they tickle, they feel weird and revolting. That’s the best way I can explain it. When you get out (it’s a 10 minute thing) your feet and legs feel great! I would have liked something deeper that went about mid thigh. They really went crazy on my legs, perhaps because I had just shaved this morning? I don’t know. But my ankles/lower calves came out feeling amazing! And still look amazing 4 hours later. I may be on to something here. The legs rather than the feet needing the nurture? 😉
  

We came home and visited our temporary custodian cats; Luna still doesn’t like us but greeted us with joy nonetheless. Itty Bit (our 20 year old feline friend) was more enthusiastic and purred her love for us all. We spent a long time hanging out with them and showing them a bit of love, before heading back to the abode.

  
Tomorrow is still up in the air; With me feeling like rubbish, the lady who organized it concerned about air quality and various other ‘Korean’ factors coming in to play, I am still all a go right now but must hit the sack and attempt to get rid of this congestion! I shall keep you in the loop as far as everything unfolds!
Unfortunately there has been no T25 stretching today 😕 it just hasn’t happened and I haven’t pushed it given the crappiness that is filling my head right now. I hope you however, are feeling amazing and continue to do so! 

Have a wonderful day and or night no matter where in the worl you are!

Challenge Accepted Day 33

Hello and happy Friday! First things first, today was supposed to be a sleep in day but instead I awoke before hubby’s alarm, needing to go to the toilet but not wanting to get up! Isn’t it crazy how we do that? You lay there thinking it might pass because you don’t want to get out of your warm, cozy bed, never fully comprehending (no matter how many years you’ve been on earth) that the urge isn’t going anywhere and eventually you will have to give in to it. Today I held out for over an hour! Unfortunately meaning I didn’t ever go back to sleep, but somehow won the battle with my bladder because I did stay in bed! So, got up to the pitter patter of little feet at about 7 and got on with our day, me in desperate need of coffee before being the nice Mummy I can be sometimes. Madison unfortunately tested me before coffee intake and lost that battle! I gave her two chocolate doughnuts, she wanted the last three, I told her she could have two, she went on about how unfair it was, I sent her to her room and told her to come back downstairs when she had lost the attitude and to start again, this time without any doughnuts! So she did. Seriously, pick your battles with Mummy! And don’t even begin them when Mummy hasn’t had coffee, on top of holding her bladder for forever! 😜

We breakfasted without further incident and I finally willed myself to go upstairs and work out leaving the children playing on their tablets. Again, I could have used any excuse under the sun not to workout and I was thinking of them all. Even when I pressed play on ‘Cardio’ (no TBC today) I was thinking of excuses as to why I couldn’t do a second workout today, but I ignored them and I did lower focus. I did have a little half-chuckle to myself at my very brief notion last night of doing some extra squats and lunges. Bwahaha! After lower focus, there was no way in hell this body was capable of any extra lunges or squats! But it was good, and I was thankful to have not listened to my inner voice and to have done both workouts today and, given I am now about halfway through the T25 challenge, I wanted to show you my results:

  
Well, what do you think? I’d love some feedback! Madison told me I look a lot more muscular in the after shots. So I’ll take that as a win. I know the scales are only saying about a one pound difference (that’s about half a kilo) but the body is actually speaking (minor changes, I know) in these pictures. Thank god! As far as my face is concerned, I know you really want to see some photos of me without makeup as a halfway point for the R+F challenge, but I’m just not sure the photos are capturing the differences so I’m going to keep you in suspense until the due date for those results. If you look closely on the body photos, I’m not wearing any makeup and there is definitely a difference, you may just have to trust me on that one for right now. 
I followed my workout with my morning regime with Rodan and Fields and guess what? No irritation after using the AMP MD last night! Please ignore everything I said about using the AMP MD in the morning, the ‘night’ renewing serum is meant for just that and my skin felt amazing again this morning when I awoke and amazing after my morning regime. Back on track, I am. Yes, please call me Yoda. 😆 
I walked out of the bathroom with fresh skin, knowing what I wanted to do today; I wanted to paint and I wanted to be inspired by nature and by beauty. I dragged the kids and the dog down to the rice paddies and snapped some photos and collected some small branches and got a little inspired. I really like the ‘Southwest’ (USA) painting style and I am ok at it, whereas water inspired stuff, doesn’t work for me, as much as I love it. Now, please understand, I am on painting number 5 in my life. I’ve never had any training, not even art in school after grade 8, so this is a reasonably new hobby. I’m practicing my painting of water scenes but I did one painting of a Southwest scene and gave it to a friend and their daughter-in-law wanted to commission me to paint something similar for her family once they bought a new house, unfortunately (or fortunately depending upon how one looks at it) we moved over here and they moved into their house at about the same time. Anyway, back to the painting today, I wanted to try something different. When we were in Australia, I saw a lot of 3D art and thought today I would attempt to make my own. It didn’t quite come out like I had pictured it, well no, let me rephrase, I had no idea what I was planning on so I guess it came out as it was meant to….

  
(This was my second painting ever (well aside from finger painting I guess).

  
My abstract 3D painting from today…..

The afternoon was followed with drawing another ‘Southwest’ picture, I may just start painting it shortly. We’ll see. I have to go with the vibe when it hits me and I know I’m accountable to all of you each and every day as far as my blog is concerned, so that takes priority, well, after my family of course. Our dinner was a wonderful roast beef, I’ve finally mastered the 110 voltage converters here we live out in town rather than on the base/post and there are 110v and 220v plugs with a built in converter somewhere), they aren’t very good and for whatever reason, the 110v are very slow, even the toaster spits out bread rather than toast. So the 110V slow cooker has to have a couple of hours added on to the time, today’s meal took 10 hours whereas stateside it would have taken 8 on low cook. At least I know and can be prepared from now on. Anyway, the dinner was wonderful, a very lean, tender roast beef, with a gravy made from tomatoes, onions, celery, carrot, organic chicken and beef stock as well as vegetable stock and a light red wine, actually ‘Le card Bordeaux’, Alessandra couldn’t stop saying how wonderful the gravy was! We had Costco bread rolls, broccoli, mashed potato and homemade oven chips (fries) with chicken salt. Wonderful. All five plates clean. So, it’s Friday night, and I am going to say adieu because I haven’t really seen my hubby for a few days and finally he is here and doesn’t have his nose buried in paperwork, have a great day or night depending upon where you are and I’ll see you on Saturday! I’ll leave you with some more photos from our walk today:

  
  
  
  
  

Challenge Accepted Day 33

Hello and happy Friday! First things first, today was supposed to be a sleep in day but instead I awoke before hubby’s alarm, needing to go to the toilet but not wanting to get up! Isn’t it crazy how we do that? You lay there thinking it might pass because you don’t want to get out of your warm, cozy bed, never fully comprehending (no matter how many years you’ve been on earth) that the urge isn’t going anywhere and eventually you will have to give in to it. Today I held out for over an hour! Unfortunately meaning I didn’t ever go back to sleep, but somehow won the battle with my bladder because I did stay in bed! So, got up to the pitter patter of little feet at about 7 and got on with our day, me in desperate need of coffee before being the nice Mummy I can be sometimes. Madison unfortunately tested me before coffee intake and lost that battle! I gave her two chocolate doughnuts, she wanted the last three, I told her she could have two, she went on about how unfair it was, I sent her to her room and told her to come back downstairs when she had lost the attitude and to start again, this time without any doughnuts! So she did. Seriously, pick your battles with Mummy! And don’t even begin them when Mummy hasn’t had coffee, on top of holding her bladder for forever! 😜

We breakfasted without further incident and I finally willed myself to go upstairs and work out leaving the children playing on their tablets. Again, I could have used any excuse under the sun not to workout and I was thinking of them all. Even when I pressed play on ‘Cardio’ (no TBC today) I was thinking of excuses as to why I couldn’t do a second workout today, but I ignored them and I did lower focus. I did have a little half-chuckle to myself at my very brief notion last night of doing some extra squats and lunges. Bwahaha! After lower focus, there was no way in hell this body was capable of any extra lunges or squats! But it was good, and I was thankful to have not listened to my inner voice and to have done both workouts today and, given I am now about halfway through the T25 challenge, I wanted to show you my results:

  
Well, what do you think? I’d love some feedback! Madison told me I look a lot more muscular in the after shots. So I’ll take that as a win. I know the scales are only saying about a one pound difference (that’s about half a kilo) but the body is actually speaking (minor changes, I know) in these pictures. Thank god! As far as my face is concerned, I know you really want to see some photos of me without makeup as a halfway point for the R+F challenge, but I’m just not sure the photos are capturing the differences so I’m going to keep you in suspense until the due date for those results. If you look closely on the body photos, I’m not wearing any makeup and there is definitely a difference, you may just have to trust me on that one for right now. 
I followed my workout with my morning regime with Rodan and Fields and guess what? No irritation after using the AMP MD last night! Please ignore everything I said about using the AMP MD in the morning, the ‘night’ renewing serum is meant for just that and my skin felt amazing again this morning when I awoke and amazing after my morning regime. Back on track, I am. Yes, please call me Yoda. 😆 
I walked out of the bathroom with fresh skin, knowing what I wanted to do today; I wanted to paint and I wanted to be inspired by nature and by beauty. I dragged the kids and the dog down to the rice paddies and snapped some photos and collected some small branches and got a little inspired. I really like the ‘Southwest’ (USA) painting style and I am ok at it, whereas water inspired stuff, doesn’t work for me, as much as I love it. Now, please understand, I am on painting number 5 in my life. I’ve never had any training, not even art in school after grade 8, so this is a reasonably new hobby. I’m practicing my painting of water scenes but I did one painting of a Southwest scene and gave it to a friend and their daughter-in-law wanted to commission me to paint something similar for her family once they bought a new house, unfortunately (or fortunately depending upon how one looks at it) we moved over here and they moved into their house at about the same time. Anyway, back to the painting today, I wanted to try something different. When we were in Australia, I saw a lot of 3D art and thought today I would attempt to make my own. It didn’t quite come out like I had pictured it, well no, let me rephrase, I had no idea what I was planning on so I guess it came out as it was meant to….

  
(This was my second painting ever (well aside from finger painting I guess).

  
My abstract 3D painting from today…..

The afternoon was followed with drawing another ‘Southwest’ picture, I may just start painting it shortly. We’ll see. I have to go with the vibe when it hits me and I know I’m accountable to all of you each and every day as far as my blog is concerned, so that takes priority, well, after my family of course. Our dinner was a wonderful roast beef, I’ve finally mastered the 110 voltage converters here we live out in town rather than on the base/post and there are 110v and 220v plugs with a built in converter somewhere), they aren’t very good and for whatever reason, the 110v are very slow, even the toaster spits out bread rather than toast. So the 110V slow cooker has to have a couple of hours added on to the time, today’s meal took 10 hours whereas stateside it would have taken 8 on low cook. At least I know and can be prepared from now on. Anyway, the dinner was wonderful, a very lean, tender roast beef, with a gravy made from tomatoes, onions, celery, carrot, organic chicken and beef stock as well as vegetable stock and a light red wine, actually ‘Le card Bordeaux’, Alessandra couldn’t stop saying how wonderful the gravy was! We had Costco bread rolls, broccoli, mashed potato and homemade oven chips (fries) with chicken salt. Wonderful. All five plates clean. So, it’s Friday night, and I am going to say adieu because I haven’t really seen my hubby for a few days and finally he is here and doesn’t have his nose buried in paperwork, have a great day or night depending upon where you are and I’ll see you on Saturday! I’ll leave you with some more photos from our walk today:

Challenge Accepted Day 31

Well what a lushful day! I have been nothing but a big lush all afternoon! I started off my morning in the right frame of mind; making my bed, cleaning, unpacking/packing the dishwasher etc, etc. I even did Total Body Circuit on T25, ok almost did it, the DVD cut out with 7 minutes to go and I’m not going to lie, this body was lying on the ground like a beached whale with Shawn T asking me to give a little more and do wide in/out abs with a squat and I pretty much wanted to tell him where he could shove those when the DVD cut out! What a shame! Oh well, sometimes one just has to go with it and listen to the body (& mind) & tell everything else where to go. Today was that day. I cleaned ferociously afterwards, so it’s not like I just sat around like a beached whale all day, it was only the one time with Shawn T watching…..
My friend Tawni came for lunch and lunch was wonderful, if I do say so myself. She too loves haloumi, so my balsamic vinegar chicken, avocado & haloumi salad went down really well. If I hadn’t been so hungry I would have taken a photo of just how awesome lunch looked, and tasted! I also introduced Tawni to ‘Le Card Bordeaux de Franzia rouge chillable’ or Franzia box wine Chillable Red’ it sounds so much nicer in French. I love red wine and white wine, in bottle form, in expensive bottle form, but this US box wine is scarily drinkable. They need to start paying me commission for the people I introduce to this very drinkable, very mild, very light, very refreshing, very summer, box wine. Seriously. Add new person today! And if any of you taste it just because of this blog then we need to start a new hashtag, possibly #Sheryn’sFranziaDrinkableRed ? Let me know what you think! 
So lunch was amazing. Don’t you just love it when you connect with someone immediately and it turns out all instincts are correct and you can connect with them immediately again and again? In military life, we need to speed up relationships because we’re always coming and going and so are other people, so we need to get right in there with people we connect with and enjoy their company whilst we can. That’s just how it is and any Mil Spouse who’s been doing this for long enough, understands those credentials. If they don’t, then they’re either new or have been lucky enough to be stationed in one place for so long they forgot what it’s like to move every two to three years or they’re just not worth being friends with. I sound harsh, but I’m telling the truth. This life is very unpredictable. We need to know what we want, know what we need, have our priorities in place (family first always) and get on with doing what we do and being completely and honestly ‘real’. It’s all about being real. No one wants to bullshit and most of us don’t have time for it. We like good old fashioned real people. Most of us don’t care about where you fit in to the military rank ‘spectrum’. We like you because we like you and nothing else matters. It’s our soldier spouses who have to worry about rank, not us. So today was once again refreshing because my gut instincts were correct (no that’s not why it was refreshing) and I met someone who was/is consistently real, consistently herself. 

My afternoon was almost over by the time Tawni left but what a lovely way to spend my day. I decided to go on strike as far as dinner was concerned, I guess hubby is just popping in to see us anyway before continuing his night at work, so leftover tacos will suffice for him and cheese pizza will do for the kiddos, as for me, well, perhaps, a taco also. I’ll go with the flow. 

Onto the Rodan + Fields side of things, well, my friend Sue enlightened me today by suggesting that my tenderness from using the AMP MD has stemmed from switching to the morning and following it with the ‘liquid velvet’ Night Renewing Serum. It’s called Night for a reason; You need the entire night to recover from using the AMP MD and the serum provides that overnight renewal, not necessarily your daytime benefits. She thinks my skin has become more sensitive because of this reason and that once I switch back to the night time regime, things will go back to normal. I should trust Doctors Rodan and Fields. Probably a good idea. Sometimes I try to make things fit in with me and it ‘ain’t necessarily so’. I need to be stricter with following directions and listen to the experts! 
Today’s blog is short and sweet. It was a wonderful day that ended with the not-so-great side of military life where hubby has to work into the wee hours of the morning. Kids are in bed. I am tired. Looking forward to the AMP MD tonight (with very light pressure of course) and to chilling by the tv with no interruption. I must say though, my kids all crack me up with their little stories/isms during the day and Hunter is obviously here with me the most, so I get to hear his more than anyone else’s. This morning he had his Avengers pjs on. I told him if he wanted to come to the bus stop, he would have to change, so he went upstairs and grabbed his Captain America track pants and gap sweatshirt, came down and took off his pjs and put those items on. I asked where his shirt was and he said he didn’t need one. I told him he would need a shirt as it was cold and he said and I quote, “Mummy, if I wear that pajama shirt underneath, I’m going to look like a weirdo!” Seriously! 😊
Have great day and or night! See you on the upside! Don’t forget you’ll never be as young as you are today, so make the most of it! 

Challenge Accepted Day 29

Good Monday to you and yours. Awoke this morning feeling fabulous! I had a wonderful night’s sleep. Sent both children off on their respective buses when hubby came home so I took the opportunity to take Luna for a run as it was a beautiful day. Well, we got down into the rice paddies and I thought, “should I?” “Is it a good idea?” And, yes, yes it was! There was no one about so I let Luna go and oh how happy she was! I was really worried she would take off and chase the ducks or something but instead, she ventured out to see some white birds but she came straight back and from then on, she didn’t go far and kept looking behind her to make sure I was still there. How wonderful it was for us both, she not choking herself to death by pulling on her leash, me not feeling like I’m slowly Killing my dog because I cannot run a 4 minute mile! Seriously, you could see her smiling. We waved to farmers and had a great run! 

This was followed by a not-so-great workout. I’m not sure what it is about Total Body Circuit (& I have it 2 or 3 times this week) but we don’t mesh! I was exhausted about 3/4 of the way through! I literally had to stop the DVD and do the workout on my own time (fast forwarding to each move or skipping the parts on my DVD that are all messed up but trying to do them myself) in order to get it done! It was downright depressing! I’m on week 5 & still I have my struggle moments with T25! Especially after such a great fun. The day seemed to head on a downhill (soft) slope from there. 

I had to clean. The dust bunnies were taking over. It was a matter of life and death. I couldn’t shower and clean my face until I had finished cleaning the house; who wants to be all lovely and clean then have to vacuum and mop? Not me. I’ve set Robbie up to go daily at 10am but one still needs to use a regular vacuum to get to the nooks and crannies and the ‘oh-so-tedious’ stairs! Seriously when is some going to create a stair cleaning robot? It was a process and I didn’t even get to the dusting as such! I’m not sure how cleaning isn’t a full-time job in and of itself. Especially here! Luckily I’m not the OCD type and could call it when I needed to. And that was about 30 minutes before Madison’s bus arrived leaving just enough time to do my Rodan and Fields regimen and all the other stuff required on a Monday. There was a lot. I did it all including AMP MD. It felt good today. My skin was very much ready and I’m glad I took the break. I also didn’t do my moisturizer mojo over the weekend (you know where I use the leftover hotel lotions to massage those body bits that could do with some extra loving – read the entire blog if you’re sitting there clueless 😜) so I did that today and my bits literally jumped out and thanked me! 

I forgot to mention the incidents that happened in between! My phone rang, it was the elementary school nurse, (not good) she wanted to let me know that Madison had fallen over in the school hallway (no one else was involved in the incident was a point pushed home) and had smashed her chin so hard that it had bruised. Great, she’s a spastic like her mother and here I thought she was the coordinated child! I made sure she didn’t have a headache or anything that needed to be followed up and when given reassurance, hung up, chuckling a little at my ‘unco’ child. I then saw that one of the curtains wasn’t hanging on a little hook (curtains are a little different here in South Korea) & thought I should reattach it which meant some chair climbing/balancing/you know. As I was finally done, I tried to get down thinking that would be the easiest part, & honestly, I can’t really explain what happened next, but somehow my leg whacked the chair (it’s a robust chair as you can see in the photo) and got this giant knot on the inside of my knee. I didn’t even know that could happen! Anyway, it hurt like hell! I couldn’t really walk for a while and all I could think about was that it could finish this challenge midway! Thank god it got better throughout the afternoon with some ice and Hail Mary’s! It was not over…. Ally got home and shared with me that her middle right finger might be broken because a boy in school accidentally whacked her with a Lacrosse stick. What! I have a look at it as soon as we get inside and it looks bruised but ok. Again, thank god! There’s only three days of school left before Spring break but she has exams on Wednesday and Thursday. So Madison asks if she can go out on the street and skate after finishing her homework and I think, “No!” Too many injuries today. So I let her and Hunter go out into our little tiny yard and play together, just as I’m about to call them in Hunter starts screaming and Madison is in a bit of a panic too. “What happened?” I ask. Hunter fell down the stairs and landed flat on his face. Oh, yes, my regular, accident prone, uncoordinated kid has made an appearance today! Yes, I was wondering where he was! Luckily it was just some scrapes to the hands, the face and, somehow, the back of the thigh! It was bath time thereafter and everyone had to be wrapped in cotton wool. I couldn’t do anything more. Luckily, all incidents ended once they were in bed! 

We had tacos for dinner and I opted for lettuce tacos. If you haven’t seen these, they are literally tacos wrapped up using a lettuce leaf. Now the photo shows one but I ate 4. They weren’t that big….. But they were good. I thought I may have missed out by excluding the tortilla but it was honestly really great. I topped up with some baby carrots on the side, but honestly didn’t need to, I am still full, hours later. Tonight I shall endeavor to have another early night as I am taking hubby to work tomorrow so I can have the car and go grocery shopping/perhaps check out some other new Korean stores. Before going to bed, I shall definitely do my Redefine regimen and see you tomorrow on my 30th day (halfway point of the Rodan + Fields challenge & 5 days away from being the halfway point of my T25 challenge – I guess you’ll all want some photos this week) have a great day or night, wherever you may be! 

  
As always, like my Facebook page: aussiemumsadventures and if you’re interested in doing your own Rodan + Fields 60 day challenge, then please go to my website: http://www.slongmorescott.myrandf.com and ‘Get Advice’ on ‘What’s Right for You’ so you can get the perfect advice for your skincare concerns.