Monday, 26 May 2014

I've Moved

Hi all,

Sorry for the long delay in between posts. I've been busy moving this blog over to wordpress (and giving it a bit of a makeover). This will be my last post from this site,  so please follow me over to to continue following me.

If you currently follow me by email I think you may need to resubscribe to my new site, just to be sure you actually receive my updates.

Thanks for all your support and hope to see you over on my new page xx

Friday, 11 April 2014

How much of Australia Have You Seen? { My Bucket List }

The latest Australian Traveller Magazine. Have you read it?

If your answer is no, than you must. A special collector's edition featuring the 100 greatest holidays in Australia. It is an inspiring and great read. Bound to give you the travel bug and have you wondering why you bothered going to Bali all those times for holidays and not somewhere in your own country.

How ridiculous is it that I've seen so little of Australia. Of my own country. My own backyard. I've visited and travelled the streets of more Asian and European cities than I have those in Australia. Ridiculous I tell you!

Living here in the Pilbara has shown me how little I know of my own country. How under appreciated it was in my own mind and how spoilt we are to live in such a beautiful country with such varied scenery. We have more stunning coastlines, mountain ranges and food regions than we can ever possibly realise and here we all are rushing off to Fiji, Bali, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the like.

For me having small children has really changed my opinion about travel to some of the more often travelled to countries that we as Australians tend to frequent. Sure it's more expensive to travel in Australia, but at least the water is safe to drink, you can eat the food from any vendor without question and you don't have to worry about the quality of healthcare if heaven forbid you or one of your children happen to fall ill.

Reading this issue of Australian Traveller has reaffirmed my growing commitment to travel and see Australia as much as we are able over the next few years. My list of places to go after reading through the 100 greatest holidays of Australia is long. Too long to list here. But the top of my bucket list, well it looks a little like this.

Lord Howe Island
Adelaide and the Barossa/Clare Valleys
The Bungle Bungles
The Ningaloo Reef Area
Byron Bay
Strahan and the Gordon River
Road trip the Pacific Coast from Sydney to Brisbane
Do the Gibb River Road from Broome to the Kimberley
Spend a long weekend in Daylesford
Visit the Greater Blue Mountains area
Swim in Wineglass Bay

Been to any of these places?
Love them?
Have somewhere else on your bucket list that you think deserves to be on mine?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Biter in Our Midst { To Bite or Not To Bite }

This cute little face. She really is our little bundle of cuteness, tickles and fun. While Amelie may be our pride, little Jessie is just pure joy (well mostly to both of those statements). An easy, sweet, but  shy personality who has quickly grown from our little baby into a moving, emptying the contents of my drawers toddler.

Jessie has eased her way in to our family in her role as the "poor" second child. Happily pottering around the house, exploring all of it's nooks, crannies and objects. She is always occupying herself. Her inquisitive fingers searching out the smallest of things to work and move. To empty.

This girl has learnt the art of adaptability. Moving past the scratching attack phase when she was a baby that was Amelie's desperate need for my attention. To winning over her sisters love and desire for attention by laughing and smiling at her funny dances and ways. Yes this girl is not silly.

But along with this adaptability has come the art of speed. While she may have been surefooted for some time, she now has speed. A running attempt at keeping her big sister from sntaching (again) the toys that she was happily playing with just a moment ago, from out of her hands.

There's only so much a girl can take. Even one with such a sweet nature. Before she bites back in frustration, literally. Yes we have a biter, and a very good one at that. While I don't like it, I can empathise. Amelie's constant snatching of toys from Jessie, and complete unwillingness to share makes me bite in the talking too loud kind of way also.

It brings back memories of my youngest brother, a prolific biter in his toddler years. I recall my parents constant no's, and tellings off that came to nothing. That was until the day my brother made the mistake of biting me in front of my Nanna while she was babysitting us. She'd heard about all of this biting, but hadn't witnessed it for herself. She did what a lot of old school sorts would have done, she bit him back, straight on the arm. I'll never forget it. And clearly neither did my brother. Who never bit another person ever again.

Mum was furious. Nanna was indignant. She felt she'd done Mum a favour, doing what should have been done already. All this biting in my house gets me thinking about the huge difference in parenting styles between our generation and my grandparents generation. My Nanna's one of the loveliest people that you would ever meet, with a great sense of humour in all parts of her life, but she certainly was a no-nonsense type when it came to discipline.

I could never see myself biting one of my children. But I can't help but wonder as I'm pulling a lunging biting child of her older sister whilst passing toys back to their rightful owner at the same time, am I doing this right?

All this makes me think of this quote we've all seen floating around Facebook and the web.

Discipline is so fuzzy to me sometimes. So many rights and wrongs. Reports and studies. I've read my stuff. I love Dr Laura Markham's book "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids" and her AHA parenting website. I'd like to think I know my shit. And yet I'm still confused between what I know worked in the last two generations of our family and what I know isn't accepted now as ideal discipline.

In the words of my Mum "parenting was easier when there were no rules and all these books telling you what you should and shouldn't be doing." (Let me just say now we had a good childhood and were not in any way over disciplined in a physical manner. Just in case you were wondering).

So while I break up another tussle of who's toy is mine and belongs to whom to prevent any biting from going on tell me.

Are you an old school or a new school type of discipliner?
Listen to your Nanna's advice or over-think yourself with all the books and should nots that are out there?

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A Photo Safari { A Daddy Day Care Weekend }

The start of my part-time job has meant my husband is now caring for the girls on his own for large parts of the weekend. While I'm enjoying being at work, and also the break from the chaos of having two toddlers at home, a part of me also misses them too. Wondering how they are, what they're doing or where they are. Of course I know they are completely fine with their Dad, but still......

Luckily my work morning is peppered throughout with endless photos from my husband of their whereabouts and mini-adventures. There is something to be said for Daddy day care, while he might forget to brush their hair and teeth in the morning, it is effortlessly care free, completely unplanned and relaxed. Though the state of the house when I arrive home is often also a sad reflection on this.

While my working hours are only short compared with those in full-time work, I have a new appreciation for Mum's who manage to work part-time, manage a house and do day care/school pick ups. Because let's face it. When you finish work at work, you return home to just as much, if not more work.

I can't help but wonder if it's all worth it!

A Sunday morning for Amelie and Jessie at Ophtalmia Dam.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

What's On Repeat This Week { Noosa }

Noosa......nope not the place but a great Indie singer whose voice reminds me a little of Ellie Goulding and Lana Del Ray. Loving her song "Walk On By'"  at the moment. Plus the middle part of the song sends my girls into a dancing twirling spin which is always fun to watch!

After a few listens you're going to have a hard time hitting stop.

You can listen to it here.


A Book Club

As you may or may not know by now I am a huge reader of books. And I love to own them not borrow them. In the beginning I started of a slow reader, needing extra help and encouragement at home to learn how to read.

But by fifth grade I was a devourer of books. Reading all the books worth reading in our primary school library, and forging a librarian's pet relationship with Mrs West our school librarian in the process. Mrs West set aside all the new books that she knew I would enjoy, letting me read them new before anybody else's little hands were all over them. I'd read them quickly, and then they would be returned to the library for the rest of the school population to trash and doggy ear. Perhaps it's this start to reading that I can blame for my ongoing "need" to read and own a book in new condition over library borrowed.

However, over the last three years there has been a sharp decline in the amount of books that I read. First I was Mum to one, then to two and now this blog. It has left me with very little spare time to read books. But this year I wanted to make a small goal, to be a little more committed to reading, actually making time for it, rather than just waiting for the free time to appear. Which it never does. And that's when my good friend Meegan suggested something I'd been considering doing for sometime myself (but never felt brave enough to do), starting a book club of her own.

I get the sense that this is going to be the kind of book club that I've often wanted to join. I love books. I love a heavy bit of literature. But I don't need any chapter breakdowns, over analysis of plot lines and characters or discussion of symbolism and pulling apart of paragraphs. Hell I don't even know what I am talking about, that was all the way back in pre-tertairy English. And I've left all of that there.

Now I want to read a book and say I either enjoyed it or I didn't and for those reasons to be simple and straightforward. Which is why I think this book club and our monthly meetings are going to be a perfect way for me to have to read a book in a certain space of time. Relaxed. Over a few wines. And look I'm clearly not going to go hungry at these catch ups either, particularly with my tendency to over nibble.


Our book this month is Five Quarters of The Orange by Joanne Harris. Most known for her earlier novel Chocolat, which was later made into a movie. And yes I bought the book despite the library being able to get numerous copies in for all us.

Ever been part of a book club?
Was it a casual drinking wine type affair or all wordy and studious?
Read Five Quarters of The Orange?

Monday, 31 March 2014

I Live in A Mining Town { Could You? }

Could you live here?

Before moving here, I would have answered no. No bloody way. In fact I did discount ever living in a mining town in a handful of particularly heated conversations with my husband. But now I find myself living here so I can't quite say that anymore.

March marks nine months of living in Newman for us. And it has gone surprisingly quick. I won't lie, living here has been an adjustment. There are some BIG things I really miss about the outside world. And occasionally, you might just find me suffering a case of the Newman Blues. A slump that seems to infiltrate slowly into your psyche, leaving you feeling down and questioning what the hell you're doing living in such a place.

But ultimately, you have to make the most of your situation. And while perhaps sounding a little too similar to some older members of my family, ultimately, you just have to get on with things and make the most of what you have and where you find yourself.

Source Pinterest ie. I have no idea. Apologies if it's yours.

So where am I attempting to bloom? Newman, a place where there isn't nearly enough rain for most of the year (which can sometimes make blooming difficult). A 12 hour drive from Perth, and just over 4 hours drive from the coast. We're not near anything really (if you don't count some lovely national parks). We're in mining country. It's ridiculously hot for too long a part of the year, and it's a little red dirt dusty.

So what changed my adamant I never want to live in a mining town mind, and brought us to living in such a place, far from home? Family. My exhausted self who was tired of looking after two children on her own every second week while her husband was away working. And the fact that financially we needed me to be back at work, at least part-time, and I simply wasn't ready or willing to go back there just yet and leave our girls in daycare.

So this was the compromise. Two years in a mining town. Our rent paid for us. Utilities paid for us. A huge change in our lifestyle that allows me to continue being a stay at home Mum. While also having my husband home every night to help out with the night waking and 5pm cooking tea everybody is tired and messy hour.

It was a big choice, and one which we've chosen to look on as an adventure. We've had our down moments, but have never truly regretted moving here. While the day to day of living in such an isolated place can be difficult at times, the different experiences we've had, and the chance to bond as a family unit on an everyday basis, and for the first time, have all made this decision to move here the right one.

So what is here? Well there isn't too much in the way of shopping, eating out or any of those sorts of things in Newman. It is certainly expensive to get out of town as often as you might want to or need to for your own sanity, (if you thought Perth was expensive then you should accommodate yourself with Pilbara prices). And in all honesty there's not much to really occupy yourself with as an adult here (you either occupy yourself with your children, the gym or the pub after work hours, unless you're doing distance study or have a blog!)

But what has kept me sane, and made my days both bearable and  enjoyable has been the friends I've made since moving here. The Mum's and children who we catch up with for playdates, run into at Kindermusik, at our dancing lessons and playgroup. Who help fill the hours in our day. While some might talk of cliqueness, I've personally experienced nothing but friendliness and support since living here.

Mostly we're all in the same boat. Missing family. Missing civilisation. Sometimes not at all. Sometimes a lot. There are times you just need to have a big whinge to get over it and move on already. I'm lucky enough to be able to say that I have people I can whinge to openly, and not be judged for it. That's a good friend right there.

I know that there will be a part of me relieved to leave this town. But the longer I am here the more I realise how much I might just miss living here too. It will leave an indelible imprint on me as a person. An enjoyment of being in the outdoors (by that I don't mean our backyard or the park), and a taste for 4WD'ing and the simpler things that come with that, which weren't ever a part of who I was before moving here.

The red dirt really does start seeping it's way into your blood. It is a different land up here to the Australia that I knew previously. You can't describe it until you've been here and travelled it's gorges, rockpools and stunning coastlines.  It's undeniable, living here can be harsh and brings with it some difficulties, but it is a beautiful part of our country. In some ways, the true spirit of Australia can be felt here, more than it can in any other place I've lived or visited. While some cities might have buzz and energy, travelling this part of Australia shows you it's true heart.

I know that when we do come to leave here, that I will take many fond memories of our time here with me. Of the experiences that we shared as a family. The adventures that we had, the places we explored and the friends that we have met.

If you move here, don't spend your time sitting on the couch, in your backyard or driving around town. Get yourself a 4WD and get out there and enjoy it (never thought I'd find myself writing that in a sentence!)

We definitely won't regret our time spent living and exploring this part of the world.

Think you could live here?
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