Earn and Learn program- Support our school

Earn and Learn program- Support our school

Hey everyone,

Hey everyone,

As you all know by now, I am a mum of nine children under eleven and we also officially home-school six out of our nine children. As a registered home school under the N.E.S.A, we are eligible to participate in the Woolworth’s earn learn program which is super exciting!. We participated in last years program and collected a significant amount of stickers and were able to get a few small supplies for our school. This year we aim to go bigger and do better than last year. We hope you can help us achieve this too! let’s all stick together!

This year our school has been given an earn and learn promotions pack which also includes a huge collection box to place in our local Woolworths store! We are super excited!

In 2017, when Woolworths last ran Earn & Learn, they had over 15,000 schools and ELC’s involved and delivered over 300,000 pieces of equipment for science and technology, maths, arts, and more to kids all over Australia. How awesome is that!

Please support our home-school by collecting stickers at Woolworths from May 1st till June 25th! We will have a collection box in the Queanbeyan Woolworths store.


Wish us luck! 🤗

Claire Xx

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An honest chat

An honest chat

Hey everyone,

I wanted to have a honest chat with you all about something that has been on my mind.
Over the last few weeks I haven’t felt myself on social media. I feel like something has shifted within me.

Don’t get me me wrong! I love what I do and will continue to push through what I’m feeling because that’s the type of person I am. I have so much to look forward to as well which also helps to keep me going. None of these exciting ventures would have been possible without my awesome following and determination to keep going and consistency. I’ve just pushed through the highs and the lows, I , however am only human and have my down days. I, however, feel there is something not quite right with social media at the moment.

I feel like you work so hard on all the content you put out there and sometimes you feel like no one is there! I am sure that’s not true but it definitely can feel like that from time to time.


Is it just me? Or has it become really quite on social media lately? I feel like I am not seeing everyone’s posts and sometimes it even feels like that certain stuff is getting blocked deliberately.
I’ve seen many people *including big blogger accounts* say that the lack of engagement has affected their accounts also
Has the algorithm changed? 
Are you seeing everyone’s posts? Are you seeing my posts?
Do you feel there is less engagement lately?
Do you use hashtags? Or do you find it better not to use them?
I am not sure what’s happened but it’s definitely gone a little quiet 😖
I am going to continue doing what I do because I am truly passionate about my blog and the journey I’ve been on so far, but I have to admit I do feel pretty low at the moment. Things can only get better right? Onwards and upwards from here!


For those of you who continue to support me and my blog etc, I thank you dearly. It means so much to me. You make my journey I’m on so much more worthwhile.
I can’t wait to talk about my next ventures with you all.

Love Claire xx

What it’s really like in a household with 11 people!!

What it’s really like in a household with 11 people!!

My Tribe

It’s 8am, and the older girls wander down with a basket to the hen house , it’s time to feed the chickens and collect fresh eggs! There is laughing and giggling and they are all excited to reach down and pick up fresh warm eggs! It’s a great start to each day and they are the kinds of moments we love in our life. There is pure fresh happiness, a house full of little girls and a handsome little boy and a wonderful husband. It really is a daily adventure.

My husband Mark, 36, and,  I live in a little rural town near Canberra with our nine children,  yes, that’s right 9 children! Eight girls, and one boy! Their names are: Georgina, Charlotte, Franchesca, Abigail, Catherine, Elizabeth, Rose, Martina, and Michael.

We have a busy, but well-managed household. Every day at our house we always fun, full of love, joy happiness and laughter! Living in a rural town is lovely, but it also has it’s disadvantages too. We do not have any shops and travel 45kms to get groceries and other normal day items.

A lot of people ask me “how do you cope with a large family” or “do have a TV? Or “Your husband must be a CEO!”

I always say that although life is hard it’s hard for the right reasons. A large family is a blessing a truly wonderful experience. Honestly it’s really not that bad, we just do what we have to do and draw strength from our Christian Faith. We have hard days like anyone else, and sometimes life throws some difficult challenges our way, but I would not have it any other way! We have also been very smart, and fortunate, with our finance. We purchased our home in an affordable and up and coming area and only 45 minutes from the Capital Canberra. My husband works full-time and I stay at home looking after and home schooling the children. Life is good!

At 1:30 pm we stop our busy day for some lunch and some garden play! The children absolutely love being in the garden with the animals! I capture these special moments on camera , as really, every day is a special day! I know that my husband and I will cherish these moments forever!

As a family of 11, 1 dog, 7 hens, 2 ducks (and a few spiders and snakes), it is very important to shop around and find the best deals! We do our grocery shopping once a fortnight at Aldi and we set a budget of $500- $600  for our food shopping. Petrol money and bills money is kept separate, However, I do keep some extra money aside for any other extra expenses we have throughout the fortnight. We buy 48 litres of milk, 3 kilogram blocks of cheese, 3 pouring creams and 2 thickened creams. That’s a lot of dairy!

I like to meal plan for the fortnight. I think it is very important to meal plan. We do sometimes shop at Costco, Coles and Woolworths to see what’s on special. For Sundays we often buy a really big pork and cut it in half. We cook 1 half for Sunday roast, and then use the other half the following Sunday. otherwise we buy 2 chickens. We boil the left over’s and use it to make a curry the following night.


If you want to save money on petrol, birthday cakes or other items I recommend going to your nearest Costco store. (if you have one) You can find some of the best deals here.


We shop around for the best insurance policies. We have an awesome deal at Saint George Bank for our vehicles (through Alliance), and home and contents insurances. We bank with service one for our mortgage and main accounts, and so far we have found them the best bank to deal with. They also are very good to bank with, if you have a larger family, they treat you fairly from our experience.

We save money by not buying too many luxuries and finding the best deals. We have seven hens and two ducks which we free range and get a good quantity of eggs. We also have been growing some  vegetables and fruit which has been really great for us!. Another smart way to save money is by opening up a Christmas club account with your bank. Ours does not let you withdraw the money until November 1st. We try to put $150 in the account once a Month. Holidays are ad hoc when we have available funds but we normally get away for 2 weeks per year.

We are not penny pinchers, dole bludgers or anything in between. We work hard, save money and do the right thing for our family and community. We are not big spenders either. We always make it work no matter what! No one ever goes without. We are adaptable and able to adjust our budget needs if and when we need to.

When it comes to buying clothes and shoes I like to shop at places like Kmart, Target, Best & Less, Big W and even charity shops like St Vincent De’Paul. My mother in law is a hairdresser and often cuts the kids hair for me which is wonderful and a big benefit for us. Not everything has to cost money, like days out etc, why not take a picnic in the park or go to your local botanical garden? Lakes, beaches national parks and bush walks are also great ways to enjoy time with your family.  Be creative with your ideas. Kids will absolutely love that!

After the birth of my 9th child,  I decided that I wanted to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. I did some research and came across the Keto diet. I have been doing this diet now for almost 9 months, and I have lost 23 kilos. I hope to lose another 8 kilos over the next few months! I am feeling fantastic after shedding so much weight! If you would like to know more about the Keto diet and how it has helped me then see my social media including blog for my experiences.

Or typical day is very busy but after baths, dinner and other activities we are now finished and snuggled up on the, very large, lounge together. We talk about our day, how we are all feeling and what the new day will bring. We look at our tribe with so much pride, love and joy it makes us so happy!

At 8:30 pm it’s time to be tucked into bed and get comfy with bedtime stories. My husband and I use this time to reflect on our day, discuss the future and enjoy each other’s company.

We (my husband and I) feel so incredibly blessed to have our family. We thank God for our blessings and graces. We are no different to anyone else. We are part of your community. We are Australians.

I recently started a blogging my journey over at ‘ Thistribeofmine.com ‘ I cannot wait to continue this journey and see where it may lead, you can find me on Instagram, or Facebook

Claire Louise Hooker XXxxXX

Homeschooling a large family

Homeschooling a large family

Hey everyone.

Today I am talking about a highly requested subject; ‘HOMESCHOOLING!

If I am honest then it’s not something I have felt comfortable talking about before and that’s not because I am ashamed of it! I think it’s more that it’s about our private life and while I love sharing about my family and I, there are obviously certain aspects we wish to keep private. The other reason is for the pure fact that for some reason homeschooling can be a sticky subject! Today I am opening up and sharing a little bit of our homeschooling journey with you all. The reason I am sharing this today is that I have been asked by many of my readers to share what it is like to homeschool and because they are interested in homeschooling too but don’t know where to start. So if I can help in any way then I am happy to do so.

For the last four and a half years we have chosen to home school our children. It was not an easy decision but my husband and I felt it was the best decision for our busy family. My family and I live in a rural town in regional New south wales, I guess you could say we live in isolation! The closest shops and mainstream schools are over 45 kilometres away! We do have a small school in our town that we have used in the past but still felt that homeschooling was the way forward and more manageable for our family. Before we made our decision about home-schooling, we made sure we did do our research to see if it was the right option for us. It’s always best to have a good plan in place before you start something as huge as this.

A lot of people say home-schooling is hard! Well, they are not wrong! You are going to have your good days and bad days, However, it gets better over time and eventually, you will adjust in your schooling routine. You have just have to stick to it out and give it a good go! It took me a good year before I felt comfortable and established in what I was doing. There are so many resources available online that can assist you with your schooling and honestly, you are easily spoiled for choice! Google is your friend!

People seem to think that because our children are home-schooled that they don’t socialize or make friends! This, however, is not true, we attend to sporting activities outside of school hours. Our children also play with other children. My children are very sociable and can easily make friends without any issues. Many people also have said to me that they are not ‘patient enough to home educate their children or they feel they are not ‘smart enough to teach them! And I say; “You should never put yourself down” and while I understand that homeschooling is not always the best option for everyone due to work commitments etc..I am a firm believer that anyone can do it if they put their minds to it! So never say you can’t do it because you can! Believe in yourself and your ability to do so! At first, I doubted myself but that feeling soon passed when I saw how happy the children were, and how much progress they were making with their work, then that made realize I was doing something right. I have honestly learnt so much over the years! it’s actually incredible! My kids amaze me every day! I am officially schooling six out of my nine children which range from kindergarten to year five. My younger ones also like to sit and learn as well which gives them a great head-start for when it’s their time to start school! Its always good to get everyone involved! The kids love that!

In New South Wales by law, your children have to be enrolled in school from the ages of 6 up until the age of 16. We are officially enrolled under N.E.S.A We have a CSIRO that comes out to our home and assesses us every 2 years to make sure everything is up to scratch. We follow the New South Wales syllabus and we do a mix of Australian and an American curriculum but still making sure we cover what the syllabus asks. We use a few online programs for children like readingeggs.com.au and studyladder.com.au.

To find out more about the homeschooling requirements for New south wales head over to the link here; 
https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/regulation/home-schooling/home-schooling-registration

We start our schooling day at 8.45am and work all the way through till 1.30pm. By doing this we get all of our daily subjects done and have the afternoon free for our lunch, outdoor play/ sports, and housework. The children are then free to do arts and crafts, puzzles, games etc.. This time-frame works well for us and can easily be adjusted if need be.

What I love most about home-schooling my children is being able to spend one on one time with my children teaching them and watching them grow! I love watching them learn new and exciting things every day. It honestly brings me so much joy! I also love that we get to go on our own school excursions! Over the last few years, we have been on some great excursions! The last couple of years I have been using the ‘National Capital Teachers Pass’ which has been absolutely amazing! It can be used for the Science museum, National library, Cockington green and so much more! It even gives you access to so many useful and historical resources! if you are a home-school family in New south wales then check this link here to see if you are eligible for the teachers pass; 
https://canberraexcursions.org.au/national-capital-teachers-pass

Home-schooling is hard but it’s not as hard as you think! There are so many online groups especially on Facebook that you can join for additional support, ideas and advice. It is also a great way to connect with other families who could be homeschooling in the same area as you and it’s also great to have a supportive online community if there is no one else in your area that home-schools. Don’t ever feel alone in this process and always ask for help if you need it!

If you are thinking of homeschooling then click on the link for your state requirements Below;

I hope you enjoyed a little bit of an insight into our homeschooling life

Thank you for reading

Claire XxX

My sister and I

My sister and I

In honour of world down syndrome day, I am sharing my story about my beautiful sister again

This Tribe of mine

Growing up things were pretty tough for a while. My mother was a single mother looking after young children, including my sister who has Down syndrome. It was not an easy task for her. I always thought my mother was so amazing and I believe she bought us up well. My sister needed, 24-7 care which proved to be difficult at times. We still managed and I helped wherever I could. There were times when my sister run away in the middle of the night, while we were sleeping, and end up in the local MacDonald’s eating someone’s burger, and there were times when she would run away to the police station and drink tea and eat biscuits with them having a jolly old time, and also trying on all the policeman’s hats. There were times when she would throw herself on the ground when we were out in public…

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Claire’s keto bread recipe

Claire’s keto bread recipe

A very lovely crunchy keto bread loaf!

Hey everyone,

Ever since I have been on my keto weight loss journey I have been looking for healthier food alternatives that still tastes just as good as the ones that are higher carbohydrates. Today I am giving you my version of the keto bread recipe.

For this recipe you will need;

Ingredients;

  • 1¼ cups almond flour
  • 5 tbsp ground psyllium husk powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of white chia seeds – these are for sprinkling on top of your bread before it goes in the oven
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional) – I like to use half a cup of paleo mix for an extra nutty and crunchy taste

Instructions for the keto bread recipe are as follows;

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and add it, the vinegar and egg whites to the bowl, while beating with a hand mixer for about 30 seconds. Don’t over mix the dough, the consistency should resemble Play-Doh.
  3. place the mixture in a loaf tray and make it as flat as possible – if you want to make rolls instead then moisten hands and make 6 small round pieces of the dough. Place them on a greased baking sheet. Before you place your bread in the oven sprinkle your chia seeds on top of the mixture.
  4. Bake on lower rack in the oven for 50–60 minutes, depending on the size of your bread.
  5. Allow cool before slicing. Serve with butter and toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

And there you have it! You no longer have to be sad about not having any bread in your life when you embark on the keto diet. You can have a lower carb option that still tastes just as good as normal bread.

Claire XxX

My affordable everyday makeup products

My affordable everyday makeup products

My everyday makeup products

Hey everyone,

Following on from last week’s affordable skincare blog post,  I wanted to talk to you this week about affordable makeup products that I use every day.

Before I apply any makeup I make sure I cleanse my skin with micellar water and use my daily cream by blessed by nature. You can read my previous blog post about my thoughts on my new skin care products I use.

I am by no means a professional when it comes to makeup. As I mentioned in my last blog post I have been wearing makeup since I was 11 years old, but I have obviously improved a lot over the years. As you all know by now I am a mum of 9 children, so time is not on my side. I only want to use products that are quick to use, are easy to apply and look good, but most of all they have to be very affordable. I recently cleaned out my makeup bag and realized I actually needed quite a few new makeup products.I had neglected my makeup bag for a while. 

When I recently visited my local Priceline and bought my skincare, I also treated myself to some new makeup products too. I was excited when I realized one of my favourite makeup brands @rimmelllondau had a sale on. I believe the sale is still on too! 

The first product I bought was the; Rimmel London lasting finish primer  https://www.priceline.com.au/rimmel-lasting-finish-primer-30-ml.This primer is only $6.97!

I think is pretty awesome! Now to tell you the truth I was not one for primer until very recently. For all these years I had been applying foundation/ powder and wondering why it looked so patchy and uneven. Since using the primer I no longer have these issues. I wish I had started using it sooner. It is a full coverage foundation to a certain degree. I’d say it is more of a medium coverage foundation.It gives my skin a flawless finish. It is great value for money. All in all,it is a great foundation.

The third product is the; Rimmel London day 2-night mascara

Essentially it is day mascara and then you can transition it to a full dramatic mascara for an evening out. actually, love this mascara. I would just recommend wiping some of the product off on the bottle before applying the fuller volume mascara as it could end up being too cakey. This cost around $10.

.https://www.priceline.com.au/Rimmel-glam-eyes-day-2-night-mascara-in-black-9-5-ml

The 4th product is the Katie- By Rimmel London contour kit- https://www.priceline.com.au/rimmel-kate-sculpting-palette-18-5-g

I really like buying kits that are 3-1. it has a contour, blush and a highlight in the pack. It has step by step instructions on the back. The colours are gorgeous and it is still on sale for $8.49. All in all this product is amazing!

The 5th product is a nude Rimmel London lip liner that I bought absolutely ages ago. But I believe the link is to the correct product https://www.priceline.com.au/rimmel-1000-kisses-stay-on-lip-liner-0-3-g

I am not very good with lip liner and have very thin lips, but the product goes on with great precision and  I have had no issues with it. I think it is a great product. This is on special right now for $4.49

The next product is my most favourite out of all the products. The brow kit from Elf cosmetics. It makes your brows look so good, especially when they are in need of a good wax. The kit has a gel and a powder. It also comes with a small brow brush. I love the definition it gives my brows. This product is $9.The best part about elf cosmetics is you can buy your fave products and chose to pay with after pay if you wish. https://www.elfcosmetics.com.au/collections/eyebrows/products/e-l-f-studio-eyebrow-kit

The next product is an eyeshadow palette I bought from Aldi It’s called stepping up- Lacura cosmetics. I bought it ages ago but it cost me between 5-10 dollars. The colours are very pigmented and apply so well. They actually feel silky smooth once applied. I know it is from Aldis but it is actually one of the best eyeshadow palettes I’ve ever owned.

The last product is this beautiful lipstick from lust minerals. It was created by my beautiful friend Simone Marie.The shade is number 58.It is a nude/natural colour. It feels super lightweight when it is on. I absolutely love this lipstick. It did cost me $30, but I wanted to treat myself. Lust minerals also have after pay available on their online store.

I hope you love all the products I mentioned. I try to keep my makeup collection small and not too complicated, I, however, am waiting on a makeup order from Db Cosmetics and Elf Cosmetics. I can’t wait for it all to arrive!

Enjoy your weekend lovelies

Claire xx

Full face using all listed products.