From Australia

January 8, 2013 in Uncategorized by Penny

This post is to document one of the COOLEST things that has ever happened to me.


Once upon a time, Penny started writing a blog.

Not long after Penny started writing her blog, she left a comment on a different blog. A very popular blog, that gets a lot of visitors.

The comment that Penny left on this popular blog was noticed by Lisa.

Lisa lives in Australia.

So Lisa started reading Penny’s blog.

Lisa was intrigued by Penny’s weirdness.

Lisa left Penny some comments on her weird blog, and Penny responded. Penny liked this girl Lisa.

And then, Lisa and Penny starting having some conversations in the comments section of Penny’s blog. One day, Penny even received a really cool email from Lisa. This email made Penny very excited.

And then one day, after a year or two, Penny’s sister, Pam, started  writing her own blog.

So Lisa started reading Pam’s blog too.

And now, Penny and Pam talk to Lisa all the time. In comments on blogs, through email, through Facebook.

Penny and her husband even mailed Lisa some pens.

This is how much we like the Australian named Lisa.


Now, this is a cool story, right?

Pardon the fact that I told it in third person.

I’m Penny, by the way.


So here I am ready to deliver the punch line.

You ready?


Well, get ready. I’ll wait.

*taps fingers*




Ok. HERE WE GO……..


For Christmas, my sister and I received a package from Lisa. All the way from Australia. IMG_4355IMG_4352-1



Inside this huge box of awesome was newspapers, magazines, souvenirs, candy, cards, books, cookies, chips, mugs, and other Australian goods.

*SQUEE!!!!! (*see note at bottom of post)




If somebody gives me books, I will love them forever.

So this means that Lisa from Australian is officially on the “Penny will love her forever” list.

Not to be creepy or anything.


Ok. Here is a GOB of pictures of most of the items we received in our package. I’ll point out interesting facts along the way……


Grocery store ads from Australia. One of the very last things I would have thought to send around the world, but this was a genius idea. So incredibly interesting.



I loved all of these bars.

The Violet Crumble was so unusual, but so good!



Looks like Cheetos, but tastes very different.


One evening, me and my gang sit around the table sampling all the goods and reading all the materials.

It was such a cool experience.


Spudman was fond of the Twisties. Smile




My boys ADORED these.




Lisa knows I love me some Cadbury. Smile





I was so exciterd to get the real Tim Tam cookies. (They’re called “biscuits” in Australia.)


I have some experience with the Tim Tam Slam, as does both of my sons and husband. But one evening, my nephew, sister, and mom was over at my house, and I introduced them to the Tim Tam Slam as well.

Tim Tam Slam with hot chocolate.





Australia doesn’t use “pounds” to measure and sell meats products. They use “kg”, or kilograms.

I looked up the conversion, and was rather surprised by this……


Here’s something that surprised me:

Australian nutrition labels don’t have “calories”.

They do have “energy” and I’m thinking this might simply be their word for what we call calories.




In the sports section of Australian newspapers, there are Cricket and Rugby reports.

It’s just so cool. Smile




When we first opened up the box, little chocolate Santas came tumbling out.

Tater went a little psychotic. Smile



Now, Lisa….

I couldn’t help myself. I had to post a picture of a certain sticky note.

It was very funny (Pam and I laughed SO MUCH at this), and if something is funny, by George, I share it. Smile

I hope that’s okay. Smile



Ah yes. lol!!! Breastfeeding mothers unite!!!!!!!


Morgan and I have often daydreamed about visiting Australia.

But after reading the back of this ointment, I think I may have changed my mind about a possible Australian vacation in the future.

I don’t know if I want to go somewhere if I may catch something called “nappy rash”.



I was asking everyone around me, “What in the world is nappy rash?”

Nobody knew. We were clueless.

Enter trusty ol’ Google.

For Americans, “nappy rash” translates to diaper rash. Brits and Aussie’s call diapers nappy’s.

(Lisa… I right about this?)



When I saw this in the box……..


……I squealed with excitement.

I had heard of this before, though I couldn’t tell you when or where. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but I knew this was something I would have never, ever been able to try had it not been mailed to me.

I didn’t immediately try it. I was waiting to open everything until my husband was present.

While I was waiting on a good time to open everything with Morgan, Lisa and I exchanged some emails about it. She told me to be careful not to use too much, or it would pretty much scar me for life.

Ok. Cool. Good tip.

However, this peaked my curiosity, and I did some googling about the product.

Americans who had tried it were basically saying that when they took their first bits of this, their taste buds screamed in protest and then they convulsed in a fit of agony.

I smirked when I read this.

Clearly, they used to much.

But I knew better. I had my very own Australian to warn me about that in advance.

So, I made my toast. I buttered it.

And then, I spread on a THIN LAYER of the vegemite.

It was time to take a bite.

I looked a the toast,spread with vegemite, and suddenly, I felt very scared.

I stared at the toast, and it stared at me, and I thought “Did I use too much?” Maybe my thin layer isn’t thin enough?”


I stared at it some more.

I was remembering all the things American taste buds had said about it.

The vegemite seemed to be taunting me as it laid there on my toast, waiting for me to try it.

So I picked up the toast. Here it goes.

When I try something for the first time, I don’t take little sissy bites. I take a big huge bite. Because I’m really brave like that.

So I basically bit off half the piece of toast on my first bite.

Not gonna lie, my eyes were wide with fear as I took this huge bite.

I chewed.


I definitely don’t hate it, though I realized, because of the things I had read,  I was prepared for that outcome. Smile

I think I could even like it very well! But, I admit, as I chewed, I kept thinking, “This is weird!”


It’s just SO DIFFERENT. Americans eat jam, jelly, honey, peanut butter, or just straight butter on toast. My tongue got a  cultural shock. Smile

It’s very salty and savory. It reminds me of concentrated bouillon bases. I can plainly see how too much would be traumatizing. But using a thin layer is such an interesting flavor that I can see people actually craving it on a regular basis it if they used it properly.

I’m definitely going to keep experimenting with it……I think eating toast this way would be REALLY GOOD eaten alongside a savory dinner.

(Pam, I know you’re anxious to try this…..I will bring it to you very soon.)


(Here’s some info on vegemite.)


And…..well…..I think that’s bout it. Smile



I am very thankful for your presence in our lives. My entire family has learned so much from you, and we all value your kindness and friendship.

Thank you for the extremely generous package. Even though it had mine and Pam’s name on it, my entire family benefited from it in some way.

We love ya Lise. Smile



All of this because I started writing a blog.

Sometimes, that blows my mind. Smile


Oh! One more thing……

My sister Pam also wrote a post on our Australian parcel, and that can be viewed here.



*Definition of squee:

Envision me jumping up and down, clapping, and making a really annoying, very girly, squealing sound. That is the definition of squee.Smile