{a fifo wife} who do you think you are?

by debbie on January 15, 2017



Have you ever wondered about your ancestors before you? Who they were? Where they came from? Have you ever wondered if it effects who you are?

I always have wondered. I think living ‘alone’ in Australia with no ties to my parents family whom both are from New Zealand I have always felt somewhat a drift on where I belong culturally or ethnically. I have heard of my wonderful family traditions but never have witnessed them played out.

I have always loved New Zealand and travel back as often as I can, often using my family as an excuse when the reality is I just feel so at home there. In fact, on my recent return from New Zealand, I said to my mother I was serious about purchasing some land there because I don’t want to lose my connection there. I just feel at home there I said.

“That’s the blackfella coming out of you,” she said to me sweetly like she was sharing a secret.

I laughed at her.

But is it why I detest the heat? Why drizzly days make my heart sing and why I am torn between the coast and the mountains? Why the water brings a calmness? Why I feel at home in New Zealand? Why I can do a British accent better than John Cleese on a good day? And why Paddington Bear is much more than just a bear.

Is it our genetics? Why are we drawn to things?

Is it why my husband is never far from the sea? Why he, has always worked on her great expanse since leaving school at 17? Is it why he loves the cold also? Why he, loves to continually move?

And so wanting to know more about my husband’s ancestors as well as wanting confirmation of my own I ordered a DNA kit. It was on special and so it was the university giving me a great big thumbs up.

The process was as simple as spitting into a vile activating a key and returning it back to the lab in an addressed envelope.

Six weeks later the results were in, sent via email. Husband and I sat and read eagerly together.

For me, it was no surprise with the exception I’m more British than most Britains currently considers native to Britain. Perhaps there is a room at the place with my name on it. Perhaps Harry and I are destined to be friends given Iam 29% more British than a British person, perhaps we are – wait- cousins.

The Polynesian link is because I am proudly the direct descendent of the first interracial marriage of a Maori princess and a British explorer, a writer for the British Museum.

The other regions show a small percentile of West Asian so Iraq Bahrain and Afghanistan where I’m assuming they my ancestors started from or crossed through on their journey across the world.

Exciting to think of the people before me and the journies they made.

Making it so true that we are just all one people because I certainly don’t look like the descendent of a Maori princess or a middle eastern girl.

It does answer these questions for me, and I do believe genetics play a significant role in who we are, it just makes sense to me.

As a sweet side note through this, I have reconnected with a first cousin on my father’s side and a third cousin on my mother’s side. There are another 47 possible cousins I’m yet to invade myself on. I’m no longer drifting but paddling my way towards others on the same path.

My husband’s side? West Europe, Scandinavian, Irish, with less than 2% Italian which with a surname like Russo is interesting. And much to his delight, he has people other people that share his genetic markers also.

It seems he isn’t a mutant 6ft4 Italian but a strapping young Viking. Surprise, surprise.

This is not a sponsored post but if you would like to see more here.
Ancestry DNA.

Have you ever considered finding out your roots? Do you think it plays a link in who you are?



{a fifo wife} five really good sales on right now

by debbie on December 21, 2016


I don’t do a lot of shopping but have found the older I get ..I sound like I’m 90..the less I like hitting the shops. Not only do I not have time because shopping by myself is a luxury but shopping is now purely a hunting-gathering expedition carried out at Woolies. Then there is the people but that’s a whole other issue. Not that I don’t like people, I love people except when trying on clothing because trying on clothing with my 5ft lopsided hourglass figure that in modern day reality fits nothing can be somewhat stressful. People just add to that stress, they stroll in aisles as if they are out to enjoy themselves when clearly I’m on a mission to get in and get out.

However never would have thought when I was 23 years and considered shopping a sport that shopping now for something as simple as a white tee would become so stressful. However three kids, several melt down’s and cursing what I was born with later I now no longer try anything in the shops on. My self esteem can cope. I buy it bring it home if it fits great I’m swanning around like I have won lotto. Then with less fanfare can hide it in the back of the cupboard as if I have had it for years. Yet if it doesn’t fit because my bum is too big and waist too small then I fold the item ever so carefully with gritted teeth, place it back in the bag ready to return and without to much trouble can head to the fridge and consume my annoyance in Freddo frogs.

But it’s that time of the year six of the best sales on at the moment and you don’t even have to hit the shops, encounter walking rage or lose it in the change room. Instead, grab a tea your favourite chair and away you go.

JeansWest. 40% off everything online ends 27th of December so be quick. Now I love their shop and I did post on facebook the link yesterday to this sale and just like yesterday, I said they had one maternity jeans of the year two years running. In fact, I wore their maternity jeans even when I wasn’t pregnant. Head here.

ASOS 50% off everything online starts at 7 pm on the 21st and runs until the 30th. Lots of great brands at what I can only imagine will be great prices. Head here.

Cotton On is having a 50% off sale here

Cotton On Kids are having 50% off everything until Christmas, starts tomorrow. Head here

Typo the quirky stationary store is having 50% off until Christmas. Head here.

And whilst this is not on the net I had to tell you about it. Payless shoes instore only. They are closing down and have 40% off. For more info head here but a great opportunity to get next years school shoes.

Happy browsing, hope you find a bargain.





I met Melissa a few years ago when she contacted me about advertising on the blog a few years ago. I’m designing organic baby wear she wrote I’m also a FIFO wife in a small town in the north of WA.

Now between you and me I always am blown away how women can manage everything however even Melissa  admits she gets burnt out easily.

Five question with Melissa from Aster and Oak

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.

My name is Melissa and I am a mother of 2 little ones aged 6 years old and 20 months. I live in a small regional town near the top of WA. My husband normally works fifo, although the last 7 months has been stationed in town, which is amazing.  I now have my helping hand back J  I am a one women show and Aster & Oak honestly takes up 20 hours + of my day. I live on little to no sleep, lots of coffee and a million and one ideas always floating around in my head!




  1. Tell us a bit about the label and where did the idea come from?

Aster & Oak was created as a way to share my love of drawing, design and natural products with other mums. I LOVE creating things.. I love drawing.. I always have. The label was dreamt up by me after both my children had severe skin allergies (nothing would work to treat it and we ended up figuring out it was allergies to the strong dyes & chemicals used in ordinary clothing and soaps) and being in a small HOT town, not having access to organic cotton babywear drove me crazy and I decided to design my own..

  1. The favourite product in your collection?

Everything!! I hand draw all of the designs, so they all hold a special place in my heart.

  1. What’s do you love about running your label?

Running Aster & Oak gives me the freedom to do what I love while being at home with my children every day. It’s also an outlet for my perfectionism and helps combat my daily anxiety by giving me something to focus on.



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

Wait, who am I?? HAHA, I think we all lose ourselves a little when we invest so much time, energy and love into something we really truly love and believe in. This is the toughest question of them all,  I really don’t think I have found a balance yet. I have spoken to a lot of boss mums that also say they find it hard to multitask with mum mode & boss mode. I guess the main thing I always try to remember is that time is precious, I have very little time in the day to fit everything in and I try to make the most of ever.single.minute.. This means I am running back and forwards continuously and I do get burnt out very easily.







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 ones..here 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.