Quick January recap

It’s quite a nice thing to have series of days divided into months. If you are having a bad time on the whole, at least when a new month starts you can hope for a better go this time. And if you’ve been having a good time you can feel quite pleased at having overall a good…

Back to school success

Today was the first day back at school after a seven-week break for four of our kids.  One started high school, another started at the school his brother attends. Two years ago – the last time we had kids starting new schools – this day and the ensuring weeks did not go well due to…

Surprising benefits of a combined family holiday

In this week’s The Catholic Weekly: My family spent the first week of this year with about 10 other families at a conference centre we hire out for the purpose during the summer school holidays. Parents from our kids’ schools organise these ‘family camps’ and while they are not relaxing on the whole, they are…

A visit to hospital

Not that kind of visit, thankfully. This was fun, heading out to the world-renowned Victor Chang Institute with photographer Giovanni Portelli on Tuesday as part of my current gig at The Catholic Weekly. Professor Robert Graham, one of Australia’s leading scientists and head of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, is trying to find the cause…

Sunday family day out #1

I have an idea that readers of this blog might find useful some ideas (Sydney-based) for Sunday family days out which include Mass. Especially as it can be fun to experience different parishes and liturgies sometimes. Last Sunday was my brother-in-law’s birthday and the plan was to meet his family for yum cha at a…

Holy Smoke! The original recipe for incense

  I enjoyed learning about the original recipe for incense last week when writing a story for The Catholic Weekly. Researchers from the Southern Cross University stumbled across it when they were looking for ancient medicinal uses of part of the shell of a family of sea snails found all over the world. They found…

10-minute meals that get me through the busiest weeks

I’ve become quite good at making an easy, tasty, healthy (or relatively healthy dinner) in a short amount of time. It’s a handy skill to have! Sometimes I will have been busy or out all day, and there’s been kids’ sports training or a game after school, and I land in the kitchen at 6pm…

The best start to a year

Happy New Year! I didn’t stay up until midnight on Sunday to see 2018 come in, and I haven’t made any resolutions yet but that doesn’t mean I’m a New Year’s scrooge. Like nearly everyone else, I enjoy January’s tang of new beginnings and untapped potential. That annual burst of new hope and energy is…

Quick blog check-in before 2017 closes and four awesome women writers

December is our family’s busiest month, by far, with the usual end-of-school-year events, three different family Christmas celebrations, family birthdays, and holiday catch-ups with friends squeezed into four dizzying weeks. It’s exhausting but good. New Year’s Eve is my husband’s birthday, and some people will drop around, including good friends we haven’t seen for a while….

My week on the black and white photo challenge

Last week a friend tagged me in the black and white photo challenge which has been doing the rounds of social media over the past couple of months. It was a busy week with a couple of extra year-end activities thrown in. It’s nice to have a record of it since I was being intentional about…