The whimsical nickname of the blended Booth/Hawken family


Verb: Put or combine abstract things together

The day we officially blended

The short version

Boy with one child, meets girl with two. Just like in the movies they fall in love and get married. Unlike in the movies, this blog tackles the grisly real-life-stuff that kicks in after the credits have rolled.

  You are unlikely to find fashion, cooking or martha stewart type inspiration here. Sorry (*not sorry). What you will find is plenty of real stuff…real problems and real people.

Some of the real people you will meet:

Steve [Boots] The VERY patient, steady, patriarch of the family. Hunk of spunk.

Lisa [Leese] That’s me. The one he has to be patient with. Often.

Bodhi [BJ] The eldest of the Booken kids. Musically obsessed. Adventure seeker.

Charlee [Charchi] Classic middle child. Big hearted. Determined.

Xan [The Man] The quiet observer. Drummer extraordinaire.

Jedda [Bug] The baby. Ridiculously doted on by big three. Absolute whacker.

The long version

(grab yourself a coffee or wine…I prefer wine)

I am a blend of many things.

Mother of four. Wife. Ex-wife. Scientist. Sustainability advocate. Accidental blended family boffin (if practice makes you an expert – which I am pretty sure it doesn’t). Wine appreciator. Daughter. Teacher. Walking Auto Immune disease. Rural community supporter. Gasp!

I am fun, loyal and honest to a fault (go me, I sound awesome). But I can also be a king sized pain in the arse. I lack the really useful filter most people have somewhere between their brain and their mouth – and it gets me in trouble.

My life to date went something like this – I grew up on a farm having an idyllic childhood. Rode my horse, swam in the dam, got lost in the bush with my brothers – those sorts of things.

lisa horse

Went to uni, landed my dream job, travelled the world, got swept off my feet by an older man, got married to man and had two children with man (13 months apart – that’s a whole other story).

I then divorced man and became single mother to two very small people. Yeah, that part was not so cool.

A couple of years later I met a gorgeous man (the inside and out kind) whom also had his own small person, fell head over heals in love, married man, had child number four, got my post grad and became an educator.

I now have one ridiculously spunky, kind husband and four children, all of whom stole my heart, never to be seen again.

As far as biology is concerned, two of these divine small people are mine, one is his, and one is ours. But in our home we never…


…make distinctions between who belongs to who. We are a family. We are a team of six.

Why blog?

Sometimes our family looks like this…serene, calm, orderly – isn’t it beautiful?

Booken (34) copy

But most of the time it doesn’t.

Booken Blend is an insight into the noisy-unpredictable side of families.

We are also slowly but surely embracing a more sustainable way of living. This includes our overly ambitious project to build a sustainable off-grid home (no mains power) on an abandoned sand mine in country Victoria.

We have lofty hopes that by sharing our experience we will inspire other average Aussies to build ‘mindfully’. We hope to showcase that with good planning, anyone can achieve a beautiful sustainable home on a budget.

There is of course the possibility that we will fail epically and people will be turned off for life.

Could go either way really.

No pressure.

My promise to you is to be open and honest. To share the ups AND downs of building a sustainable home and lifestyle. I also plan to be brutally honest about the trials and tribulations of negotiating this crazy thing we call a blended family, my autoimmune disease and just about anything else that pops into my brain (don’t say I didn’t warn you about the missing filter).

I will leave you with my favourite saying that is written across the mirror in our kitchen;

I am the Captain of my soul, I am the master of my fate
– Invictus.

In other words, I have no-one else to blame if this blog is rubbish – but me.

Blend it your way,
Leese x

(Photo: Rob Leeson)


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