20 December 2016

Our family roadtrip - Our 20th Anniversary - part 3

For this part of Our family roadtrip (you can catch up on part 1 and part 2 here), I thought I'd write about our 20th wedding anniversary, which was the main reason for our big adventure in the first place.

For as long as my Hubby and I can remember we have always wanted to visit the Barossa Valley. Over the years we have travelled to the Hunter Valley (NSW) wineries many many times, have visited wineries in the Yarra Valley (VIC), travelled around the Tamar Valley wine route when we went to Tasmania, as well as bought wines from other wine regions in Australia and overseas, but we always seemed to put travelling to South Australia off as a "one of these days we'll go on a road trip and visit the Barossa Valley"

So when we thought about where we wanted to stay for our anniversary, it was only appropriate that we book a cute B&B in the Barossa Valley.

I instantly fell in love with the Barossa's rolling hills, big blue skies and vineyards as far as the eye could see. The wine region is located in a rural farming area, so when you don't see a vineyard you notice hay fields and bales dotting the countryside.

We were surprised that for such a touristy destination, it wasn't too busy. Maybe it was due to the time of year we were there, but most vineyards were very welcoming & laid back, and the region itself didn't have the big tourist groups or coaches, unlike the vineyards in the Hunter Valley.

For our anniversary we stayed in a sweet little B&B in Tanunda. The girls decided to share a "double" bed choosing to stay together in the same room, rather than have their own room with their teddies. The rooms were huge, and very comfortable. Hubby and I loved it!

L to r: The girls in their big bed, our B&B, something naughty for
our anniversary, Hubby enjoying the goodies we picked up for our anniversary dinner

We decided to dine at Jacob's Creek winery for our lunch. It's such a gorgeous location, the restaurant windows overlook the vineyards and rolling hills surrounding the vineyards. We couldn't have asked for better weather, it was just gorgeous!

Picture perfect!

L to R: Cheers to us!, more vineyards, driving into Tanunda, just another hay bale!

After a delicious lunch we walked around the vineyards taking in the beautiful scenery and some pics, then we sampled some of their wines.

 L to R: The "Whispering Wall" dam, Lavender farm, the girls loved running through the vineyards,
and lazing on the big bean bags outside the restaurant at Jacobs Creek.
Afterwards we drove out to Lyndoch Lavender farm where we walked around smelling 90 different varieties of Lavender they had growing on the farm. Followed by a visit to the "Whispering wall", a water supply dam built for the Barossa. The unique topography and curved design of the wall allows sound vibrations to pass along it. You could have one person on one side whisper to someone on the opposite side, and hear them as if they were standing right next to you!

The following day we visited a beautiful rose garden at Lyndoch Hill which grows over 30,000 roses, found a boutique winery (Whistler Wines) where we bought a nice bottle of wine (an anniversary present from my Mum), then headed to Maggie Beers farm shop for a nice lunch. Hubby and Popette were in their element trying all the jams, chutneys, pates, olives, vino cotto, verjuice, sauces etc.

While eating our scrumptious lunch we sat overlooking a lovely pond home to some turtles - the girls last count was 12 swimming around.

Unfortunately we missed out on meeting Maggie, but we did get to watch a cooking demonstration in the kitchen Maggie used for filming "The Cook & The Chef". We got to try caramelised onions, baked pumpkin & pan fried mushrooms done in Verjuice. As well as baked apples in Vino Cotto. Cherub was very excited seeing them cook her favourite - mushrooms, but hugely disappointed in the taste!

After a little more wine tasting at Wolf Blass, we returned to our B&B where the girls got to watch TV (they haven't watched much staying at the caravan parks) before heading out for a pub meal for dinner.

We all loved the Barossa Valley, such a lovely spot not just for us wine consuming parents, but for all the family. I wished we had spent longer there.


The next instalment of "Our family roadtrip" will be published in the new year! So keep your eyes open.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our holiday, and it's made you want to go on your own roadtrip and discover our beautiful country.

Just want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy & Safe New Year!!


*There was no endorsement or sponsorship made by any of the places that were mentioned in this post.

13 December 2016

Our family roadtrip - part 2

If you missed my post last weekI thought I would share some of our adventure with you, including some of our favourite places to stay and visit over the next couple of weeks.

When I was little we would have our family holiday once a year, usually during Christmas school holidays.

We would often go to places like Umina or Berowra, which seemed so far away and was the only time we really got to the beach, or my parents would take us on a big drive out to the country to somewhere like Jindabyne or Berridale. Never to Victoria or South Australia!

We never experienced camping in a tent, or sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows while looking at the stars.

While we were in Adelaide we stayed at a couple of different tourist parks, which are so different to what I stayed in when I was little.

Most of them now have jumping pillows, a pool or splash zone, games rooms and a playground. The girls loved it of course! We gave them a little more freedom than usual, allowing them to walk over to the playground or ride their scooters around the park without us. It was also a good way of teaching them to look out for cars.


Adelaide - it's a gorgeous city. If you've never been, it's full of buildings with lots of character both old and new, a lot of churches (why it's known as the City of Churches) but yet still has a country feel to it.

Catching the tram into Adelaide CBD and seeing the sights

Hubby and I liked it's nice relaxed pace, unlike Sydney. We also loved its vicinity to the beaches, country, and vineyards. It's so lovely, I could actually live there!

Places to go in and around Adelaide:-

1. Buy an ice cream from Copenhagen ice creamery and walk down to Ramsgate beach to watch the sunset or enjoy a meal, just gorgeous!

2. Hahndorf - 34 mins from Adelaide is the charming little village of Hahndorf. It's classified as Australia's oldest surviving German settlement, and has some lovely pubs that serve up a hearty german-style lunch, little brick-a-brack stores that sell german knick knacks, cuckoo clocks, stein mugs etc, a great cheese shop (where you can do a spot of taste testing), a lolly & ice cream shops, art galleries, bakeries etc.

3. Strawberry picking at Beerenberg farm - This was one of the girls highlights from our holiday. They loved being able to pick fresh strawberries from the farm and do some taste testing of the different chutneys, sauces, jams and pickles.

4. Haigh's chocolate factory tour - it's free, and includes free samples of chocolate - need I say more. Another one of our favourite places! OK, the chocolate is delicious and worth the high price once you see the effort that is gone into making them.

5. Glenelg beach - Unfortunately it was too cold for us to have a swim, but the jetty was a great spot to watch the sunset, there's also a great playground for the kids right next to the jetty, and a good variety of cafes & restaurants nearby.

Glenelg beach

6. Adelaide Central Markets - if you are a foodie, you will love the markets! There's so many different types of stalls to see.

We were dying to try something yummy at Poh's Jamface, which didn't disappoint. They had some delicious cakes and tarts on offer. If you don't have a sweet tooth, there's also stacks of fresh fruit & vegetables, artisan baked breads and desserts, cheeses, coffee, lollies, seafood, meat, olive oil, wines, etc.

Jamface's dessert window
Hubby and Popette were in foodie heaven sampling the different cheeses and snacking on olives while walking around the markets.

7. Tram - the girls loved catching the tram in to Adelaide's CBD. It stops right near Adelaide Central Markets as well as Rundle Mall.

8. Adelaide Zoo - The Zoo has a wonderful setting, and collection of animals, including the beautiful Pandas and amazing Australian Rainforest enclosure. We watched the Macaw flying show while eating our lunch on the lawn. The girls were excited to see the Lemurs and Meerkats, while I was very excited to see the Pandas. It was a lovely day out.

9. Rundle Mall - when we were there, it was buzzing with buskers, tourists and shoppers. We loved the beautiful old buildings and spacious mall. The girls played on the mall pigs and silver balls sculptures. From the mall we strolled towards North Terrace to see the beautifully ornate buildings of the University of Adelaide, and quickly popped in to the Art Gallery of SA taking in their wonderful collection of European, Australian, Persian and Asian art.

10. West beach - yet another beach! The caravan park where we were staying was situated right next to West beach. It was lovely to walk along first thing in the morning and find shells with the girls, then late afternoon / early evening we would walk along the sand watching the sunset (yet again!) or take a walk along the boardwalk.

There is so many other places I could mention, but I will leave it here for now!

06 December 2016

Our family roadtrip - part 1


After spending a month away we have finally returned home! At the end of our journey we had driven 6553kms in and around 3 states (NSW, VIC & SA). Not only had it been the longest trip in the car, but also the longest break we have had together as a family.

We have seen some pretty spectacular parts of Australia, and made plenty of lovely memories which I'm sure we will treasure for a long time.

During the time my husband and I have been together, we have travelled to some beautiful places both in Australia and overseas so to experience a trip like this with our two girls, in our own country, has been amazing.

If you had been following me on my Instagram account you would have seen some pics of random places we had visited.

There's so much to see in our country, and so many wonderful places to visit. I thought I would share some of our adventure with you, including some of our favourite places to stay and visit.


Narrandera, NSW (pron. nar-ran-dra, not nerrin-derr-a like Popette kept saying) was our first overnight stop. It's a beautiful country town with colonial style buildings, and home to Australia's largest playable guitar. It was also home to a flying training school run by the RAAF in WWII, which provided introductory flight instruction to new pilots.

A Tiger Moth commemorating the No. 8 Flying school from WWII.

Here we had our very first night camping in our new tent. I know you are wondering if it took us 3 minutes to get the tent up...well after a couple weeks of getting used to it, we were getting close to it!

It was the girls first proper night of camping, so they were very excited to be in their sleeping bags and have their own room in the tent. It took a long time for them to calm down and stop talking!

While Hubby and I sat back and looked up at the millions of stars that night, Popette came out for extra cuddles and saw her first falling star!

Our campsite at Narrandera


Driving towards Hay the area became noticeably more arid and flat...I mean really flat, the vista went on for miles, and miles. Around Hay we saw damage from the recent floods, plus a lot of farmers harvesting their fields. There was huge round bales of hay everywhere we looked.

Amazingly there wasn't much roadkill on this section of the Sturt, however we did see an abundance of birds, mainly kites, wedge-tail eagles, cockatoos, galahs and ravens. We also saw a mob of Emus, which was exciting seeing them in the wild.

Emus out Hubby's window

After a mandatory ice cream stop at Balranald, we got back on the Sturt Highway and was about 5kms out of town when Hubby almost ran over a goanna. He was at least 1.5 meters long, Cherub's account - it took up half the road!


Mildura, Victoria

We decided to spend a few nights in Mildura and let the girls have a rest from being in the car.

We had read about the paddle steamers, so we were excited to go down to the pier and see if we could spot one, the girls loved riding their scooters along the boardwalk.

We also visited Orange World where we learnt a lot from Mario our guide. It was sad to hear that he only makes 20 cents per kilo for his juicy oranges, so he's now planting more mandarins as he gets $1 a kilo.

Hubby and I enjoyed cruising along the Murray River, and visiting an old goal (over the NSW border) at Wentworth. So much to see in this gorgeous town.

P.S Melbourne - one of the oldest steam driven paddle steamers still operating in Australia.
L to R: Old Wentworth Goal, Tractor tour of Orange world, Big Lizzie and brekky at our camp site.
Aboard the cruise

The lovely sights and surrounds of Mildura

After an enjoyable, but chilly, stay in Mildura it was time for us to hit the road and get to Adelaide!

See next week's post for part 2 of our road trip.

18 October 2016

We are going on an adventure

Next month Hubby and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary! Twenty years!! It really doesn't feel like we've been married that long, I guess that's a good thing. Hubby and I have been contemplating for a while about what we'd like to do to celebrate our anniversary.

We thought of going overseas and taking the kids to somewhere like Disneyland or Fiji. We had celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in Paris, and thought of taking the girls there (we could visit Disneyland Paris too!), but the prices of travelling overseas, accommodation, passports etc, becomes quite expensive on a single salary. We are also concerned of the terrorist acts that have been happening around the world, so we decided it might be nice to explore our own country.

In a couple weeks time we are heading on a road trip! We've decided to go on a camping holiday around South Australia and the outskirts of Victoria.

Hubby and I used to camp quite a bit before we had the girls, and loved it. The girls have had a small introduction to camping last Christmas holidays, which involved sleeping in our old tent in my brother's backyard. My brother lives on the mid Central Coast so I guess it's a little bit like having a holiday, but it was good to give the girls an idea of what it's like. They loved it!

Cherub sound asleep in her sleeping bag

As someone who has softened over the years, I'm become used to my cozy bed, so not sure how I'll go in my sleeping bag for all that time. But we've booked a B&B for our anniversary, so at least I get a cozy bed for a couple nights.

We are all getting very excited about our trip. I have been stressing about things to take, and the flooding and blackouts that have been happening throughout the South Australian and Victoria towns. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather sorts itself out soon, and the flood waters will eventually dry up.

We have bought ourselves a new 10 person instant tent (nice and roomy, and gives us and the girls our own rooms), which says it should only take us 3 minutes to get the tent up, and another 10 minutes or so, then to get the fly on and have it all pegged in. Hubby and I have done a couple of practice runs, and its taken us 15-20 minutes which was great, considering our old dome tent took about an hour to get up. If you happen to see a couple struggling to put up their 3 minute tent, its probably us...I'd be grateful if you came & helped us :)

See it says 3 minutes!!

Our new tent....looking big!
Hubby and I have been planning our itinerary, and booked a couple places we don't want to miss, like the ferry to Kangaroo Island which we are planning to visit for a few days.

What I am most looking forward to is the four of us spending (nearly) 4 whole weeks together!

As well as exploring and discovering new places together, enjoying each others company and not having to worry about school or work schedules, relaxing under the stars, playing many board & card games while having a much needed break from screen time (no TV in a tent!) and making some wonderful memories as a family.

I'll probably update Instagram with pics of places we've been to, but won't get a chance to write anything until I get back. So this will be my last post for a while.

Have you been on a family adventure? Do you like camping? 

16 September 2016

Cherub - When you were 4 years old

To my dear Cherub,

I can't believe in a week you will be five! Five!! Its making me a little teary! Just the thought of you starting school next year and leaving me home alone makes my heartache.  I am sure to feel a sense of loss, not having your sweet cheeky self following me around asking me questions, or asking me if I want to do some painting with you. 

Enjoying lunch on the back deck

I knew this day would eventually come, but it feels like it crept up and sprung itself on me.

You are such a sweet girl, and love your Mumma, Dadda and big sister Popette so much. Lately, you've become our little "Miss Chatterbox" because you talk so much (even when eating your dinner!)

Wearing your Little Miss Chatterbox shirt

You have such a warm, fun personality. Your preschool teacher Melissa always comments how lovely you are, and that you are very kind and warm to others...I commented "She is sunshine!",  her reply was "Yes, she is Julie!". 

You have such a gorgeous laugh, and love being tickled. You still love me saying 'Round and round the garden..' and 'This little piggy' when you know all too well what's going to happen at the end.

You love to 'read' out loud your books, or tell me (in your own words) the story. 

You {still} love Nutella – especially “on bread in big blobs folded over”, and still don't like mashed potato as much as we've tried offering it to you.

You enjoy playing games on Wii, the computer and board games, jumping on the trampoline with your sister, playing in the sandpit, riding your bike, painting and drawing, playing with your duplo blocks and little princesses & castle and creating things with playdough.

Goofing off with your sister

You often say “You’re the best Mumma in the world!”or “I like (I’m sure you mean Love) you to the moon”, and “I love you Dadda to the moon and the stars and fifty and a hundred (meaning to infinity plus a hundred)

When you grow up you want to be a preschool teacher, and have babies (one of each)

You love learning, and can hardly wait to go to big school. You love writing words and letters, trying to tell us the time on the clock (you do a better job than your big sister), you sometimes read words out or add something up which surprises me so much, since you aren't at school yet. If we are shopping in Woolies, you will see a sign and spell it out, and say what is D-E-L-I. 

I love that you will give anything a go, no matter what it is...even scary stuff Mummy wouldn't have tried at your age like climbing a tree.

Cute things you say "That's a good idea" or "Is that a good idea Mum"

I have loved every single moment with you. 

My wish for your next year is that you continue to be your sweet, happy, fun self and enjoy yourself at big school. I love you to the moon, past the stars and to infinity. 

Lots of love
xxx Mumma

06 September 2016

Welcome Spring

I'm sorry I know it's been awhile since you heard from me. So much has been happening over the past few weeks. We've had sickness (like everyone else), open week, book parade, a birthday, catchups with family & friends and Father's Day...phew!

I feel the weeks have been a bit of a blur lately. The last couple days I have had a little vertigo, so
have had to take it easy otherwise it would certainly be a blur! But you know what's it like when you relax too much and don't feel as if you are doing enough cleaning or tidying up around the house...the guilt creeps in!

Today I ignored the guilt and spent some time sitting on our back deck enjoying the Spring sunshine painting.

I love Spring! It has to be my favourite season for sure. I love the crisp sunshiny days, the budding blossoms on my plum tree, the huge amount of native birds visiting our backyard and lazy afternoons filled with warmth (bye Winter!) and that stay lighter a little longer.

Father's Day was a beautiful day. The four of us enjoyed a quiet day at home watching the birds fly around our backyard while we feasted on seafood paella along with some homemade sangria. Lunch was followed by a few games of UNO, Cherub drawing while Hubby, Popette and I sat planning places we'd like to visit on our upcoming family holiday in November.

What's your favourite season? What did you get up to on Father's Day? Are you enjoying the warmer weather?

09 August 2016

Savouring the moment

Do you remember back to when you had a baby and people told you, blink and you will miss it. Its such a true saying. My girls are growing up so fast.

Lately I have been making myself stop what I am doing, and to take in my girls. Just watch them, or join in on their silliness (like the lava that is flowing in our lounge room or the piranha's that are in our car) and savour the moment. I don't want to forget this age, it's such a sweet age, especially Cherub at the moment. She's at that stage of turning into a big girl, but she's not quite over being a preschooler and wanting to be my baby, or panda, or puppy...but at the same time, wants to be like her big sister.

She told me the other day, "Mummy you should have another baby", naaw, I wish. I miss her so much as a baby.

I've been a bit of an emotional mess lately. Last week I received dates for Cherub's Kindy transition, the first date just happens to be on her 5th birthday! Nothing quite like throwing your child into school at 5! She's of course very excited about going to big school. I on the other hand, am not coping well. I have been avoiding the enrolment papers like the plague. I started to fill them out the other day with Hubby, but still haven't finished them. I know she has to start school next year, but for some reason I can't get myself to complete them and drop them off. I know some Mums who are so excited about having their children off to school, and having peace and quiet at home. I guess I'm not that Mum.

Popette and I

Popette and I on the train

Enjoying some family time

I don't know if it's the same for other Mums who have two or more children, but I have difficulty remembering stuff about Cherub when she was little....blame it on lack of good sleep, stress and children driving me insane! I guess I had Popette, who was a demanding 3 year old keeping me on my toes, so those memories are a little foggy, unlike when Popette was little.

I guess I am scared of losing all those precious memories of our time together, and why I take so many photos....I have around 4000 photos on my phone, and making such an effort at enjoying this time with them both.

How do you savour the moment? How many photos do you have on your phone? Do you enjoy the kids being home or at when it's quiet and they are at school?