I’m, not a drinker; generally, and as I have gotten older I drink less because a hangover with three boys is just self-inflicted idiocy, nobody in their right mind does that to themselves. Honestly, however, I had had just three hangovers in my life, and I remember them vividly because I was more than sick, i was melodramatically dying. The first hangover occurred when I inhaled my first vodka orange with great gusto at 21 years old with the latter two occurring having taken up wine (the medicine of parenthood) and becoming a two glass giggler.

I know there are only three hangovers in my dubious past because without getting all preachy and Old Mother Hubbard like I drink responsibly; I know a mother of three boys and all but I do. I do so like a ninja because the idea of losing control gives my anxiety anxiety always has and in my youth I knew when to stop drinking because my face would start to tingle. Seems crazy but it was when I would stop and swap out to water and despite being six ahem vodkas in never a hangover. But now when I am chasing that drunk sleep, come day 29 of swing and husband has walked in the door, I have learnt how to enjoy a tipple so as to get the drunk sleep without the hangover, either that or I am one of 30% whose body is very efficient at metabolising ethanol (alcohol).

So five tips to avoiding a hangover.

1. The biggest tip is a no brainer just don’t drink as much. It works out cheaper and puts you in a better place for the next day.
2. If you must drink however avoid drinking things with bubbles; Carbonated beverages make hangovers worse. Beer and champagne and soda in your mix can contribute to a hangover’s severity. The gas in bubbly drinks, causes the pyloric valve to open faster causing quicker absorption into the small intestine where it’s quickly taken into the blood stream.
3. Keep your drinks clear. Vodka, Gin and light beer. The clearer the better. Avoid Rum, Bourbon and Red wine. Clear spirits are distilled many times so the compound that’s created during fermentation (that the body considered toxic), congeners, is less present than in darker hued drinks. Drinks, such as bourbon, red wine and rum can often be the cause of a brutal hangover, thanks to the high concentrations of the compound congeners.
4. Graze on protein snacks. Protein keeps the stomach busy. They do so because they take a relatively long time to digest, protein-rich foods such as meat, nuts and cheese will delay the opening of the pyloric valve, which allows the stomach’s contents to pass into the small intestine. The small intestine is where most alcohol is absorbed into the blood. If you can’t find a protein-rich snack, make sure you eat something else. Eating food of any sort keeps the stomach busy, and while food doesn’t ‘soak’ up the alcohol, food will absorb and dilute the drink that’s poured into the stomach.
5. Drink more water. In combination, of everything your hangover is due to dehydration, particularly because “ethanol dries out your brain”. Alcohol suppresses the hormone “argenine vasopressin” which controls waters delivery to the kidneys or conserves water levels in the body. Without argenine vasopressin there to regulate things, more water gets lost in urine, causing the body’s water levels to drop, hence dehydration and viola a hangover.

So alternate each drink with water, snack on protein-rich food, keep your drinks as clear as possible and avoid the bubbles if you can.

Always drink responsibly and never drink and drive.


Life line 131114

AA 1300 222 222

Image with thanks to here. References to here , here and here.


Mum, can we stick the calendar thing out tomorrow?

I sat there hunched over my coffee this morning like the Grinch. Christmas is not hitting us in a good place this year, and so I’m a cross between the Grinch and Broom Hilda about it all this year.

Really, I thought to myself, do we need to do that as well. Instead I said, of course, we can, what’s Christmas without an Advent Calendar. I know Christmas but try explaining that to a 7-year-old that is saving his money for a baby reindeer so he can have a more direct line to Santa.

Our current calendar ‘thing’, ie’ i.e. the Advent Calendar was great when our family was smaller however we have outgrown it. There are more of them, i.e. children, and they notice now when I break a Freddo into three and declaring it as snack size doesn’t cut it. it just makes me look mean.

So tonight I am whipping up a new one and I’m mixing it up with some random acts of kindness thrown in with the freddos and popping candy because that’s what Christmas is about..snack size freddos and doing good for your fellow man. It’s the season of love.

I’m going with the paper bag option attached to the long stick because its cheap, doesn’t require a glue gun and I’m sure it’s going to add some Nordic charm to the Australian chaos that is currently my home, right?

But if you are looking to impress the smallest are a few that I found last night while falling down the Pinterest hole.


Instructions can be found here.


Sourced from here.


From here.


Instructions found here.


Instructions found here.




I connected with Kristin from Mamacino some years ago when I discovered that her husband worked ‘away’ like mine did, she was amongst the first I had met with a life like mine and it was so reassuring to know there were others. Naturally, I started following her blog and its become one of my favourite foodie blogs since. Kristin’s blog Mamacino and brand have gone on to wonderous things and so I am so pleased she was able to find the time to answer five questions for our new interview series.


Tell us about yourself and your family.

I never know where to begin with this question!  My name is Kristin.  I’m a mum, a teacher and a whole foods cook.  I love to create recipes and share my ideas about healthy eating and living on my blog, Mamacino.  I live by the beach on the Surf Coast of Victoria with my three children and my husband.

We love to spend time as a family riding our bikes or visiting the Farmers Market.  In the summer we spend long days on the beach swimming and surfing.  We have a pretty good cafe culture down here so we seem to spend quite a lot of time drinking coffee!

My husband works for Border Force and is away from home for long periods of time, usually four to six weeks, working on patrol boats.  This seems normal to me now as we have been living this kind of life for over ten years.  That’s not to say we don’t still have our ups and downs, we do, but we have become better at managing them.

Tell us a bit about Mamacino and where the idea came from.

I have always loved food and always loved writing.  When my children came along, my ideas about healthy eating changed dramatically.  Frankie, my daughter developed severe food intolerances which is when my journey to better well being began.

People were curious about the food I was making and the changes I was making to our lifestyle so I began writing about it and sharing recipes.  Really, I was writing for mums, to share ideas about how to make a healthier lifestyle more simple, easier.  I was writing about my life and all the ups and downs in a very real way and other mums seemed to resonate with that.


What is your favourite recipe?

My grand father came from Italy and so I am completely obsessed with everything Italian, including the food!  At the moment, my favourite recipe is for a limone e ricotta ciambellone, an Italian lemon and ricotta ring cake.  I have been trying as many different recipes as I can get my hands on but often end up giving the cakes away to friends and neighbours because although made with love, they are not exactly healthy!  I also love making granola and am always coming up with different flavour combinations to compliment my range, Mamacino Granola, which I make in collaboration with La Madre Bakery and sell in supermarkets and food stores across Victoria.  Another thing we’re all loving at the moment are my banana buckwheat pancakes.  The kids enjoy them piled high with yoghurt and berries.  They are probably one of the most popular recipes on the blog!

What do you love about your job?

There is so much to love about what I do.  I love writing and connecting with other modern mums on a similar path to me.  I love experimenting with beautiful, fresh produce and coming up with new recipes.  I love to take photos and do all of my own food photography.  I love the flexibility of working from home so I can be available to my children and spend my time doing something creative and something that helps others. I’m incredibly grateful for being able to do what I do.

How do you manage running a business, being a mother and not losing yourself?

I keep things very simple.  I don’t say yes to things I don’t want or can’t find time to do.  I don’t over commit to after school activities.  I keep our meals simple and our routines very simple, especially when my husband is away.  This has not always been the case!  Since turning 40, I am finding that I listen to my body more and I’m more open to giving myself more of what I need, which is usually time and space.  I try to say yes to the good things more!  Morning walks on the beach, having friends over for dinner.  I try very hard to prioritise the things that are important to me and that serve me and my family best.

You can find the recipe for my banana buckwheat pancakes here.

Thanks Kirsten.

Instagram: @mamacino


Pinterest: Mamacino Granola









Your husband works offshore right?

Yep I said sitting straighter on the chair adjusting my skirt. We were at a funeral so small talk was not what I was expecting.

Well, I guess you aren’t naive about it. You know what your up for he said.

I almost fell off the pew because I wanted to fist pump this blind man’s attitude….

I have been living a FIFO life for a wee while now, and if you take into account my FIFO father, it’s been the majority of my life. So while I don’t claim to know it all, I claim to have learnt some. For those needing my experience, I have been five years a defence wife {of a consistently deployed serviceman}, two years in mining and eleven years offshore. Three children born into a FIFO life.

If I have learnt something, it all comes down to you.

Regardless however here are a few myths dispelled for anyone who is starting our or has been stereotyped because despite what many think FIFO isn’t a dirty word. Unless you’re an Indian porn star and then it means the first wife in first wife out. A blog and kinky commenters will teach you that, but seriously FIFO is not the dirty word some think it is we are just like any other family working to get paid.

20 Myths Dispelled

  1. FIFO doesn’t just relate to mine construction and the 4:1 roster- anymore. FIFO is anyone who works away from the home for a period of time. My husband is offshore, my neighbour’s husband is in Africa, the woman two streets away from me, her husband is a doctor in a remote community.
  2. It’s not all about the money; often it’s a career or roster choice. My husband is offshore he is marine personnel, the sea is his place of work and for some working, as a geologist means a lifetime of mine camps it’s a career choice. Personally, we work for the roster as well as my husband’s job, as do many that I know. Like us, they have weighed up what works for their family and FIFO is it. The quality time rules their decision making.
  3. That our kids are unruly, our children are often the most well-adjusted in their class. FIFO again when lived well; which is up to the individual parent, teaches resilience, strength and teamwork. I get tired of the argument about the distress I’m placing on my children when my kids are very well adjusted individuals.
  4. We are single, married parents. While some chose to call themselves this I have never felt this way. This, FIFO life of ours was a joint decision there was nothing single about it.
  5. That your marriage will fail. If you want it to it will, just like it would if you lived a civiy life. If they chose not to talk and tell their loved ones their problems, then this is a communication issue, not their jobs location. If your partner cheats, it’s their inability to keep their hands to themselves. If there was an intimacy or emotional connection issue, they should speak up. There is no evidence to suggest that FIFO is the main reason for divorce. If lived right like any marriage it will thrive.
  6. It will affect the children’s bond with their father. No, I don’t believe it will. How you chose to spend your off time is up to you. My kids have grown up with FIFO, and we have worked damn hard ensuring that my children bond with their dad is as strong as any other civilian child’s bond. Like any relationship marriage or parental you have to work at it relationships of any sort worked anyway don’t just happen. If you feel FIFO is compromising your relationship or your child is struggling with a FIFO lifestyle beyond your control you need to re-evaluate things.
  7. That you will become an overweight alcoholic or drug user. No, you will make the choice to do that. You will either choose to sit on your backside after a shift or move it in the gym. You control what goes in and out of your mouth. You make the choice to place a pipe in your mouth or not. To think you’re an acceptation to the addiction rule is naïve.
  8. That you will become mentally unwell. This is a tricky one because FIFO does exacerbate emotions however it’s not solely to blame for mental illness when working away. There are always other underlying issues such as pre-existing anxiety or depression as well as other outside issues that attribute to mental health. Regardless of where you are, you have to learn self-care. Having had depression and exhaustion myself I understand it but I also get that if you don’t take of yourself, you’re going to end up unwell or worse FIFO or not.  If you are struggling, every company has an employee assistance program available for everyone in the family or call Lifeline 131114. You are the only one that can take care of you, and if FIFO isn’t working for you then you need to finish up there is no shame in taking care of yourself. We also need to change the conversation for our children, especially in boys.
  9. That we are rolling in money. Workers are paid for their skill and compensation for being ‘away’ or being placed in a dangerous situation. The Offshore industry has a fatality rate that is seven times more likely than any other industry with an average of 16 deaths occurring a year. There is a reason for the big dollars, but unfortunately what many don’t consider is we are also taxed at the highest tax and levy rates. The other factor is most often the wife is at home not working, and so really the income is just what both would be if they were working locally.
  10. That we are doing this for toys. When my husband and I started FIFO, it was to buy a house. Essentially a toy – a roof over our head. Now we work for the roster.
  11. That wives do nothing but shop. No, they don’t. We don’t have time. Most often spouses are still working while their husband are at work and those that stay at home well having done both that’s a job in its self. Those at home we work double time, our jobs don’t stop when our partners return home the load lightens, but it never stops.
  12. That we are a pack of whingers. Well most of us aren’t we are just families getting on with it, but there is always one squeaky wheel needing to blame someone one for their life reactions. The truth is there is no support system for FIFO workers, unlike defence personnel who have much-needed support systems. FIFO communities because of its broadness of industry have none but what individuals have created. So when something does come up, we are seen as whingers, but most of us accept life is full of ups and downs.

We are just families making a living for the love of our families just like anyone else.



My husband and I have bickered since he came home from work. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens, I’m not going to lie; a good marriage has its arguments, and we have a good marriage. Why this swing? This swing happens to be him coming off night shift, and it’s also a swing that was cut short, and so we have no idea what’s going on for Christmas. Add to that I’m emotionally stuffed from the previous swing, and so we have bickered.

But let me tell you, this bickering business, its shite.

Bickering is emotionally draining. It’s tiring. I love my husband but man I wish the stars would align because mending fences constantly, is physically tiring. I don’t know how couples who live this way do it forever, this bickering dance. Tip toeing, avoiding eye contact, avoiding contact, not holding a conversation for both long and short periods of times; to me, it’s like being underwater, arms flailing everywhere. All I want to do is through my leg over the man, whisper in his ear I love you, I’m sorry, but I can’t because we have been or are in the full crescendo of the bickering dance.

Now I’m not a fighter. I will apologise for the hurt, for the tone, for the sass but what I can’t do is the holding. I don’t hold on to things it useless, and it creates a gap.

And this bickering if you let it go on too long, will squeeze the love out and allow grudges in, bickering when left too long starts a crack between you. Until it eventually makes the gap so wide it’s not just a gap but the friggin grand canyon and there is no Thelma and Louise moment going to see you through.

Fortunately for my husband and me, I’m a bad dancer, and so the bickering dance doesn’t last long it, is however replaced with another dance that squeezes the love right back in where it should be and that post you can read all about here.

But four tips on how to stop the bickering in the mean time:

  1. Listen instead of talking over your partner. “Research has found that unhappy couples tend to repeat themselves out of desperation to be heard, which isn’t productive. They wind up talking at each other instead of having a dialogue,” says Benjamin Karney, Ph.D., codirector of the Relationship Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.
  2. Go to bed angry. If your bickering because you are tired there is no point in continuing the argument. Read more here.
  3. Don’t make it personal. In the heat of an argument, the gloves often come off. The problem, notes Rita DeMaria, Ph.D., director of relationship education at the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia, is that once nasty insults start flying around and feelings are hurt, nothing will be resolved.
  4. Decide if it really matters. This time tomorrow will it really matter? About the tone your partner had in their voice when they asked you to take out the rubbish.

Happy dancing.