New Site Coming…


So it is a lovely day here in Townsville and it is currently coffee and (carrot) cake time. I have decided to move my blog and self host. The move is happening as I type this! My biggest concern is that when I move, my subscribers and followers will not get moved across as well. I am pretty nervous about the whole thing so I thought I would leave one last post here to say goodbye and I hope you will join me at the new site…

Oh! I almost forgot! I am also setting up a Facebook page to send all the blog posts to. You will find that at It is only in its infancy as I try to get all of this in order but be sure to like the page so you never miss a post/update of any sort. I am hoping to become more reliable with all this blogging and we have some VERY exciting things in store over the next few years so I hope you join me in this journey.

Until next time… thanks for all the fun! 🙂


So here I am. I am alive and back on the blogging scene. As usual, I have missed it terribly but unfortunately life got the better of me the past few months and I had to prioritise. This meant that the Batchelor Pad took last place. 😦

I guess I should get you all up to speed on what has been happening…

I completed a 12 week full time teaching placement which has resulted in me now becoming a fully qualified Primary Teacher! It was damned hard work and I am soooo glad it is over.

About 3 weeks into my placement, I fell pregnant… yup I am pregnant 🙂 I am now 20 weeks along and have just found out it is a lovely little girl (although very active little girl) who refuses to sit still for any photograph session so far. BTW… the new 4D ultrasounds… horrible! It did not assist the bonding at all… the sonographer said it looked like a baby gecko but my husband and I felt it was something more like a baby alien. Thank goodness they don’t come out looking like that! lol

I tried to toilet train my daughter last week but called it off after 3 days as she wasn’t coping emotionally. The thing is, she is sooooo ready for it physically and intellectually that it made sense to try BUT the emotional meltdowns we were having (that weren’t getting better with each day) only showed us that she is still a little too young. So nappies/diapers it is for another month when I will try again (if that fails, I’ll wait till after Podge, the new baby, is born). On a positive note however, she has learned to hold her bladder and knows the difference between doing a number 1 or 2 now. I’ll ask her if her nappy needs changing and she will reply with either of the following:

‘No Mummy. I clean.’
‘Yesh. I wet Mummy.’
‘No Mummy. Jus ffffart.’ (that one still makes me laugh)

The biggest thing I have been agonising over the past few months however has been whether to return to work or not. I know that every mother goes through this tough decision and every mother makes their decision based on their own circumstances. I am not one to judge anyone’s decision here!

My dilemma has been that whilst I don’t need to return to work, it would be nice to earn some extra cash so we could all live it up a little more (we’ve had to start a tighter budget recently). On the other hand, I keep reminding myself that I will never get these years back with my kids. I know I will look back in 20 years and think, ‘Why did you choose material things over your kids?’ I am sure I won’t see that it was worth it. I was stuck in a rut with it all and began applying for jobs ‘to keep my options open’ but realised the other day that in not making a decision but applying for jobs and unofficially being offered one, I was in fact making a decision to choose work over staying home. This made me very uncomfortable. The fact that I felt uncomfortable only told me I had made a decision that I did not like.

So a compromise was made.

I will be a stay-at-home-mum who does night shift on Friday nights and recovers on Saturday afternoons (after we have gone to the Farmer’s Markets as a family on Saturday morning). Now the question is… will I cope with that? I am pregnant after all! Time will tell.

How do you juggle family and work? Are you a stay-at-home-mum- was that decision a tough one for you?

Lime Sorbet

Thanks to David Lebovitz, I am making sorbets on a weekly basis now. Here is one that I am making on a regular basis due to having access to the yummiest limes at the moment.

Picture coming soon!

Makes approximately 1 Litre

2 ¼ cups water
¾ cup sugar
1 lime (skin washed especially if sprayed)
¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tbsp vodka or gin (or whatever your sin)

1. Place 1 cup of the water in a saucepan with the sugar and grated zest of the lime.
2. Heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved (do not let it boil!)
3. Remove from heat and add the remaining water (preferably chilled water)
4. Allow sugar syrup to chill in refrigerator.
5. Mix in lime juice and alcohol of choice.
6. Freeze in your ice cream maker*.

1. The alcohol is not necessary however it helps to stop the sorbet from getting too icy, making scooping much easier.
2. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can put the mixture in the freezer (preferably in a baking tin) and take it out after about 45 mins to stir it up (mix all the icy bits around). Repeat this every 30 minutes until it is frozen (up to 3 hours).

Related Posts:
Lemon-Orange & Cointreau Sorbet

The Immunisation Debate

T immunise or not to immunise?

Yes I’m weighing in on it… I have good reason too. I am not immune to Rubella which means I rely on herd immunity. My unborn children rely on me to protect them but how can I do it if people aren’t getting vaccinated and are putting themselves (and myself) at risk of spreading the disease?

There is too much scaremongering out there and it’s making me mad. I am a trained Immunisation Nurse so many would say I am biased but I just like to remind them that I am informed. When I was studying for this title, I had to look into the research that was both for and against immunisation. I was open to being challenged and proven wrong. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly benefits to natural immunity however the diseases we are asking people to vaccinate against often severely disable a person or kill them. These are not diseases to be messed with.

Today on, they published an article that generated A LOT of responses both for and against immunisation. You can read it here. The rates of immunisation are declining in some areas with some rates as low as 80%. This means that herd immunity is ineffective and nurses and midwives are recommending parents of newborns do not leave their houses for at least 6 weeks. How horrible for these people! In a time that is already very isolating, we are advising them to go on lock down because their child is at risk of dying.

This practice of staying in doors until your child has received the required immunisations is something I took part in when I lived in Papua New Guinea (A DEVELOPING COUNTRY!). This is not something we should have to do in Australia where the immunisations are readily available and FREE.

I am all for people having an informed decision and the right to choose however I do feel that the majority of these conscientious objectors are objecting because of poor information or deliberate misleading statements. Take the Australian Vaccination Network for example. Their very name implies they are the organisation in Australia that offers all the information at hand with regards to vaccinations so that an informed decision can be made. They are however, an organisation that is anti-vaccination and touts debunked research as fact. A lot of the articles they promote are considered by many researchers as poorly researched, flawed in their data collection (therefore not a true representation of what they are trying to prove), and state facts that have been disproved in later research. Whilst they are entitled to their opinions, in my opinion, they need to be careful of how they are representing themselves.

So after I read the article (I wasn’t too shocked as I knew the trends) I began to read the comments… bad move. It got me so motivated to inform some unfortunately misguided people that I wrote a comment essay. Just look for the long comment by ‘Brooke’ at the end… you won’t miss it.

But one response that I found hard to swallow was by a lady called, Anonymous. Here is what she wrote (word for word, unedited):

“I have recently had to eat a MASSiVE humble pie .I have for the past 12 years been very vocal in my stance against vacinating my children, not due to the AVN ,but due to my son suffering a major adverse reaction resulting in a vaccination injury causing his life to not be what should have been.
My beautiful best friend lost her 9 week old baby girl 6 weeks ago to whooping cough, she was living in the states in an area known for its low vaccination rates .She came back to Austrailia to to bury her little girl , after her funeral she came to me and said yes your boy suffered but you can still touch him and hug him my girl is gone because of people like you .I have never been so hurt in my life , to see the pain in her eyes was overwhelming .My husband and i really had to take a good look at our decisions, after much deliberation we decided to seek the opinion of a few doctors we had contact with in the past , doctors who previously assured me vaccination would be safe for my younger children but at the time i was too angry with my sons outcome i couldnt /wouldnt listen.Long story short , under the care of an amazing doctor who addmitted my children into hospital over night after the first neddle for observation , we now have past the first hurdel with no incident , one childs arm was a bit red and that was that , we are due for more in two weeks , although i will be nervous of the out come i feel we have made the right decision . Its all well and good to have your belives , untill some one close to you actually dies from a preventable diease i think it changes your views somewhat.”

Enough said.

Image thanks to

Pho-tastic Pho

I have been on the hunt for the BEST Pho recipe ever for at least 5 years now. I have asked so many Vietnamese for a recipe but they often dodge the question or simply shrug and say, ‘It’s just beef soup!’ If only it were that easy…

Yesterday I embarked on a 5 hour cooking bonanza and I tried a new recipe I found on the SBS website and Inside Cuisine (the recipes are exactly the same!). Apparently it is Luke Nguyen’s recipe but the SBS site doesn’t give him credit for it… who ever made this recipe, they deserve a thousand Pho-kisses because I will love them long time for it. 🙂

I now realise the difference between all the crappy recipes and this awesome one lies in using Cassia Bark NOT Cinnamon (Same, same but different? I think not!) AND char-grilling the garlic, ginger and onion prior to roughly chopping it and adding it to the stock. The char-grilled onion was an immediate reminder of the Pho I tasted in Vietnam and the traditional Vietnamese restaurants I visit every time I go to Melbourne or Sydney. I’m salivating just thinking about it… mmm.

So what do you do with your Pho that isn’t in this recipe? Have you got a better recipe?

The condiments

The condiments

The Pho-king Pho-tastic Pho!

The Pho-king Pho-tastic Pho!

2kg (4 lb 8 oz) oxtail (ask your butcher to chop it into 3cm/11/4 inch pieces)
4 tbsp salt
1 unpeeled garlic bulb
4 large unpeeled onions
150g (51/2 oz) unpeeled ginger
2kg (4 lb 8 oz) beef brisket
185ml (6 fl oz/3/4 cup) fish sauce
80g (23/4 oz) rock sugar
1.6kg (3 lb 8 oz) fresh rice noodle (you will need about 200g/7 oz per person)
400g (14 oz) trimmed sirloin, thinly sliced
4 spring onions (scallions), sliced freshly ground black pepper
Coriander (cilantro) sprigs
2 birdseye chillies, sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges

Spice pouch
8 cloves
5 star anise
2 cassia bark, about 10cm (4 inch) in length
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
40cm (16 inch) square piece muslin cloth

In a large pot, submerge the oxtail in cold water, add 3 tablespoons of the salt and soak for 1 hour, then drain.

To make the spice pouch, dry roast each ingredient separately in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant.

Cool, then coarsely grind using a mortar and pestle or small spice grinder. Add the ground spices to the muslin square and tie up tightly in a knot. Set aside.

Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill pan over medium-high heat and grill the unpeeled garlic, onions and ginger evenly for 15 minutes in total until all sides are blackened.

Now peel the blackened skins and discard them, and then roughly chop. (By doing this, the garlic, onion and ginger becomes sweet and fragrant, releasing more flavour into the stock.)

Put the oxtail, brisket and 6 litres (200 fl oz) of cold water in a stockpot and bring to the boil. While the stock is boiling, constantly skim any impurities off the surface for 15 minutes (this will ensure a clean, clear broth), then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Add the fish sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon of salt, rock sugar, garlic, onions, ginger and spice pouch.

Cover and simmer for 3 hours, or until the stock has reduced to almost half.
Strain the stock through a muslin cloth. Remove the brisket, set aside to cool, then thinly slice.

Blanch each portion of noodles in boiling water for 20 seconds.

Drain, then transfer to a serving bowl.

Place three or four slices of brisket on top of the noodles, followed by three or four pieces of raw sirloin. Pour over the hot stock to cover the noodles and beef.

Garnish each bowl with 1 tablespoon of spring onion, a pinch of black pepper and a coriander sprig.

At the table, add chilli and a squeeze of lime.

The little maestro


Admittedly this photo was taken after I applied a soft gumption equivalent 3 times but you can still see the lovely wall art that BG thought she would… is improve the right word? … the wall.

My next attempt will be the tougher gumption or even sugar soap. We live in a rented house so her scribble art needs to be removed.

Have your kids done this before? How did you remove it like it never happened?

Organic Skin Care here I come!


I’m very excited today because my Kora Organics have arrived. I am new to the range as I was looking for something organic and was immediately drawn to Miranda Kerr’s products. From all that I have read and/or seen of Miranda, she is living by the same philosophies I relate to. Health, well being  caring for oneself and the environment, and thinking positive (may need to brush up on that bit… hehe! *snort*).

I’ve bought the 3-step skin care for Normal/Dry skin as well as the Recovery Eye Gel Cream. I did the regimen only 20 minutes ago and my skin feels great! 

I’m just one more step, 3 steps closer to the fully organic life. YEE HAA!!!!

I’ll let you know how it all feels in a month or so.

Salmon with Orange and Fennel salad

Salmon with Orange and Fennel Salad served on Brown and Black rice

Salmon with Orange and Fennel Salad served on Brown and Black rice

Things have been hectic again in the Batchelor household. We barely have time to relax in the evenings. I started my final teaching placement, the husband has started his teaching degree, and BG started childcare full time- not without the illnesses that come with starting childcare and not to mention the sleepless nights that accompany it. As a result I think I’ll be blogging my life in pictures for the next few weeks. It’s only taken me 2 months to come up with the idea! lol!

So here is our dinner last night. The recipe is from my father in law (the salad with salmon part). He normally serves it with white rice but I’m going through an all natural and as much organic as possible phase right now. The rice was surprisingly more tasty than I thought it would be! What’s your latest food find?

If you are after the recipe, just comment below. If I get 5 requests I will post the recipe 🙂

Take care

Unsettled but rearing to go


The last 2 weeks we have been on the road figuratively speaking. It’s that time again where we pack up and move to another location. We make new friends, reconnect with old ones, find a new doctor, local market, chiropractor, and so on. I never really feel settled until I’ve found those things.

This time I’ve done it with Pebbles in tow. It’s the first time I’ve dragged a kid around and I’m she’s feeling it. I feel terrible for her as my mind is mostly elsewhere. All this time I thought she was adjusting well and she mostly is but I can’t shake that guilt of knowing she wants my attention and I’m struggling to give it to her.

Only a few more days I keep telling myself and I’ll be a great Mum again…

The winner of the coffee giveaway is Jo!! Anyone who is looking after 2 kids with a hubby on deployment sure deserves a good coffee and a huge hug for just being awesome 🙂 Thanks to those of you who entered!

Giveaway: PNG Coffee

In celebration of my return to Australia this week, I wanted to host my first giveaway.

So I am giving away a piece of PNG… their COFFEE.

I have a bag of Karimui Organic Coffee to give away to the best comment (below) in response to this double question:



“Why do you think you are the most deserving person of this bag of coffee?”


The rules:
1. Multiple entries are acceptable.
2. Funny entries will get extra points.
3. Any offensive entries will be removed.

Don’t forget to tell your friends to enter too 🙂

This giveaway is for my Australian friends/followers (you can start following now to enter though!) and ends at midnight on the 18th December, 2012.

See you all in 3 sleeps! YEE HAA!!!!!