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Before yesterdayBling and Butterflies

Love where we live… Australia Day yey!

25 January 2017 at 07:08

What are your plans for Australia Day? Do you head to local events, the park, friends house for a barbecue? What about the beach, the river or do you like to chill at home?

I love celebrating Australia Day. I always have. It’s cheesy I know and I say it a lot… I love where I live, I love my friends with a passion and I feel lucky to have all that and my family to share it with.

An old photo but a great one!

Yes there are temporary tattoos on cheeks, perhaps a headband with flags and Australian flag bunting, always! You know I love a theme, this one would be my favourite.

We’ve been celebrating Australia Day with friends in some form or another for years. We make a holiday of it. A trip away for the week and start the year off with oodles of laughs and create many memories. The idea is the kids, adults and adults who are really still kids (you know who you are!) chillax and do whatever you want.

Yum lamingtons...
Yum lamingtons…

I bring the colouring sheets. Themed of course, just in case we get a rainy day or for the kids to chill out at night. The best ones I’ve found are listed below but if you’ve found some good ones I’d love you to share with me!

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My youngest was in Australia Day preparation mode two weeks ago and dug out the sheets from years gone by. I laughed, not knowing if he knew Australia Day was coming up or he was just being patriotic.

Several printables joined together for some reason...
Several printables joined together for some reason…

He then proceeded to cut them out and put them all together… on sticks… for a good reason I’m sure. He also liked the Australian jokes on Kidspot

Question:

What’s small, fury and bright purple?

Answer:

A Koala holding it’s breath…

Now the kids in New South Wales go back to school next week so I’ve been in organisation mode for a few weeks and actually achieved. Hair cuts done, school shoe arguments complete, stationery (insert heavenly music) purchased and uniforms organised. Even the washing was on schedule prior to the departure and my nails were painted, which never happens. See last years Embracing the holiday un-routine!

Me… my Australia Day… well I had plans to spend some time with friends, which didn’t include getting sick and that I am. Devastated. So a change in plans to a little more low key, a reduction in fun and not with my friends but my family will still celebrate. We will be grateful for where we live and for the people we have in our lives. And we will celebrate!

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The photo may be old but it’s great one!

Happy Australia Day and if you’re not in Australia, celebrate the good you have in your life and make the best of what you have.

Bling and Butterflies xo

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Yum lamingtons...

printable-lady

Several printables joined together for some reason...

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The Goddess in my bathroom…

We all have hair issues (well some of us normal people do). I have fine, dry hair which I lighten, there’s not much of it and tends to frizz and curl to its heart’s content. At the thought of humidity little ringlets will form on the hair line of my neck and Shirley Temple curls will frame my face. None of them in a lovely and even way, no! Up it goes in a pony tail.

When I heard there was a hair straightener which used steam to straighten hair I’m thinking ummm… no! Everyone knows water and steam are not a combination you expose your hair to. Not if you want to keep your mane tamed and straight.

To say the least, I was very sceptical.

front of VS Sassoon Goddess Ultimate for blog

Anyhoo I was a little excited to try this Goddess Ultimate by VS Sassoon and I’m LOVING the colour of the straightener itself being my favourite and all.

Let the process begin. Washed my hair, waited for it to dry… completely, yes completely. Then ran a brush through it.

I popped some water in the reservoir of the Goddess (I love that word) straightener, turned it on and waited what seemed like nano seconds for it to warm up. I worry about straighteners singeing my hair ends so I actually read the instructions. For my thin and lightened hair it suggested setting it quite low. So I set it at the lowest temperature 170o and lowest steam setting and took a deep breath.

curly for blog

After the first run through my hair, I was a little surprised and then excited. My hair hadn’t reacted to a straightener like this before. I had it in sections and after the first section was done I was smiling and started talking to myself, saying things like “I hope this keeps working like this” and “this doesn’t look like it’s going to singe my hair”.

half half for blog

I worked my way through the rest of my hair and then got to the front part which is very partial to the “singe” – held my breath, closed my eyes (then opened them again) and ran the Goddess through… It worked! No crinkled and fried hair. Oh wow wee.

I took a step back and surveyed the result. My hair looked thicker, it was shiny and straight. It felt soft and even though I had only focused on straightening and not styling, it actually sat well and I would have been quite happy to walk straight out the door.

I’m pretty sure I did a little happy dance.

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I was very happy with the way my hair lasted for the rest of the day and night. Then I started to think of other hairstyles I could create using this Goddess, now that I wasn’t afraid my hair would get singed.

The Goddess also comes with a heat mat to protect your bench top, as well as a little bag to pop it in. I’ve used the bag when I took the Goddess on holidays with me. My little gem should be treated well and looked after while travelling!

back of VS Sassoon Goddess Ultimate for blog

Yes I was given the Goddess Ultimate straightener to try out thanks to Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily and no I’m not obligated to give this a great review or even a good review, just an honest review.

Honesty is what you got.

I’m more than happy to share my love for this little Goddess, in fact I already have among friends. The Goddess has been shared around, my friends were intrigued by my new love and were keen to try it out themselves.

If you’re intrigued, have a look at the website dedicated to this little Goddess www.goddessultimate.com.au and if you like it, save your pennies – $142.95 will get you one for your Goddess self. Or… get one for free!

The Birthday Blog VS Sassoon Ultimate Goddess Competition has started, pop over to my Facebook or Instagram page, find the competition post and enter.

Competition pic

I hope you love it as much as I do.

Bling and Butterflies xo

three stages pic for blog

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front of VS Sassoon Goddess Ultimate for blog

curly for blog

half half for blog

straight for blog

back of VS Sassoon Goddess Ultimate for blog

Competition pic

My little blog’s birthday month…

My first blogging birthday is in 23 days… I’m saying “wow”, I’m saying “I made it” and “high 5’s” to you because someone’s actually reading this.

I always try to stretch my birthday out for the week, why not? So if you’re a blog why not try a month! June is now Bling and Butterflies Birthday month.

Sally’s Skittles cake creation… made by my very talented friend

A Present for one of you…

Presents are always fun, so why not a prize for one of you! I’m excited because it’s one I’m loving at the moment, from VS Sassoon and courtesy of Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily. I have some great info about that later in the week.

In the meantime, thank you for reading when you have time, you know who you are! You’ve given me the encouragement I needed from your emails, in your comments and even in the street. Puts a great big smile on my face and makes it so worth while.

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Blog: Cooking to my limits…

I remember reading somewhere in the early days, many bloggers will give up after the first 3 months and hoping that wouldn’t be me. If I’m honest, then yes that was nearly me… for a couple of reasons.

It takes a lot of time to get this blog into gear. The writing’s the easy part. The photography’s the fun part. The editing of the both is ok. But it’s the technology and inexperience of the entire concept that takes so much of my spare time. Don’t get me wrong I love it. I just wish I knew it all and now!

Blog: Scones and pancakes with love...
Blog: Scones and pancakes with love…

I feel myself being torn in different directions to research, to photograph, to schedule. But then I find myself having to be a mum and a wife and lately a part time friend, daughter and sister.

Yes there are excuses, yes there was a relapse of glandular fever and the little one vomited through the entire house but the desire to keep blogging was still there. Just in the background.

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Blog: Dreaming your goals into life…

It’s hard to find a balance when you become so passionate about something. For years I’ve given myself to my family. You know the drill, you work as hard as you can in whatever role you have. Be it a stay at home parent, you work part time or go the whole hog and work full time. Whatever your role, it’s difficult to let yourself do something for you in the hope it will eventually benefit your family over time.

Blog: A glimpse into me…

Then, in the early days one of my blog posts was nabbed by a well known blogger and part of it regurgitated as her own… discouraged, disgusted and heartbroken. I felt sick and angry and couldn’t go near my blog for a week or so. Being a newbie I didn’t know what to do. I hid my head as far away from the computer and blogging world as I could.

Eventually I picked myself up and decided I had to either throw the digital towel in and be done with it or push on and put it in my past. I decided karma would deal with her and I would deal with myself. There’s no reason to let someone make me feel like that or get in the way of my new found dream.

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Blog: Dreaming your goals into life…

How do you do it all? Or do you only get some things done, half of the time… like me!

I love lists and schedules, these are a life saver for my family. But sometimes life just doesn’t want to conform to our scheduled desires. And that’s ok. We are ok. We do what we can, when we can.

Blog: Stationery obsession…

Now to go and hand wash the kid’s school clothes and our work clothes – because we have no power. Fingers crossed they will dry by tomorrow. It’s an incredibly stormy and gusty day, with flooding far and wide.

Life is interesting to say the least. Drop me a line, I’d love to hear how you manage (or don’t manage)

Blog: Making birthday memories…

Happy Birthday dear baby blog.

Bling and Butterflies xo

Sally's Skittles cake creation

blingandbutterflies

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Blog: Scones and pancakes with love...

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Shoesday Tuesday

A couple of weeks ago I threw Shoesday Tuesday out to you. I love shoes. There really should be a day to celebrate them don’t you think?

We saw some lovely and funky shoes (and socks because feet were sore).

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Shoes are there to protect our feet. They make our feet pretty. They make us feel pretty. They make us look pretty.

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Shoes don’t mind if we put on weight, they don’t complain. They don’t discriminate. Shoes cover your tootsies and have that ability to make you feel great, when you’re not feeling so wonderful.

Accessorise your shoes. Change their look to complement your outfit by adding shoe clips (thanks mum). Or add heel stopper protectors to your high shoes so they don’t sink into the grass at your outdoor function.

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I like to spray my new suede shoes with a protective coating. As much as I want to wear them straight away, I know they’ll be around longer and looking better if I do. What do you do to care for your shoes?

I do like my shoes to be comfy and usually never buy a pair if they’re uncomfortable… usually! Work shoes however, must be comfy and not too high so I can get around the office at a decent pace.

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Yes shoes are a fashion statement but they do have practical functions too… Shoes for sport, shoes for work and shoes for medical reasons (see they help us feel better!). Today the shoe companies have stepped it up and there are nicer looking shoes in these categories than there have been in the past.

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I have a girlfriend who has heels as tall as skyscrapers. I’ve watched her in awe, running across a cobblestone road like she was wearing a pair of joggers. Now that is a skill in itself. She loves her heels…

We all have a preference for the shoes we love. I find a flat shoe uncomfortable. The only flat shoes I have are my haviana thongs. I prefer a low to medium heel, they are my “go to” shoe.

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So let’s make it a “thing”. Tuesday’s the day to share your shoes. Whatever is on your feet is your Shoesday to be shared. Or feel free to share your kids shoes, your old shoes, your hubster’s shoes, your wife’s shoes…

How to share?

Each Shoesday Tuesday I will pop my shoes on Facebook and Instagram. Facebookers, you can share your pic in the comments section and Instagramers, post your pic and tag it #babshoesdaytuesday if you’d like me to share. I’d love to share your Shoesday Tuesday pics if I can.

Until Shoesday Tuesday…

Bling and Butterflies xo

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What did the adults do… The Broulee Easter Bunny Part 3

25 April 2016 at 05:30

If you’ve been following my love posts of Broulee over the last couple of weeks in Part 1 and Part 2 , well this is it. The last one. I’ll no longer bang on about the little South Coast town of New South Wales that pulls at my heart strings… for a little while anyway. But what did the adults do?

Broulee - beach house - orange flowers
Beach House garden flowers

Chilling out

Well we did enjoy doing all the activities with the kids. We rode bikes and scooters, we played beach cricket and soccer. The water bomb fight had us in stitches and so did the game of “Fly” (read Part 2). With so many activities during the day we all needed to chill out as well at some stage.

Yes the television did go on to watch a couple of rugby league matches but that was pretty much the only time we thought about it. Right under that television was a bookshelf loaded up with books, Hubster found himself a short book and managed to get his way through his first one in years.

Broulee - beach house - bookshelf
Beach House book shelf

I wandered around the garden and was amazed at the different types of plants that grow in the beach/salt/sand conditions. My thumb has definitely never been green, in fact plants shudder when they arrive at my house. But looking closely at some of the flowers in the garden, I soon discovered bees flying around. A lot of them. I usually race away from these buzzy creatures but they looked very cool and were so interesting.

Broulee - Beach House - White flowers - bee
Beach House garden flowers and bees

Dreaming

We also dreamt of owning a property in Broulee. Yes it wasn’t just me who fell in love with the place, Hubster has always loved it there. We walked past “For Sale” signs and the kids and I would dream what it would be like to live there. On closer investigation we found our favourite new beachfront attached dual occupancy was $1 million, just out of our price range…

The real estate agent was up the road from the surf shop, so we did a little window shopping there too. Obviously the further back from the beach the street is, the price starts to drop – so for now we keep dreaming.

Broulee - Beach House - Bench Chair
Beach House bench chair

Coffee love

Then there was coffee… Hubster has the knack of finding a great morning coffee spot when we’re on holidays. This time was no different and he came through with the liquid gold, but so did I – twice! He found South Brou Cafe at the Broulee Surf Club and the coffee was beautiful, I think that was our first morning. That was a great start to our holiday.

I found Single Fin Gypsy and the coffee was fantastic (so were the brownies), not to mention the funky caravan, umbrellas and seating. They also had cool merchandise like funky guitar straps and Turkish towels. On my walk up to check them out the first time, I managed to drop some money somewhere and Christian was good enough to spot me the rest. The most loveliest people you could meet. Needless to say we went back there quite a few times!

Broulee - Single Fin Gypsy caravan
Single Fin Gypsy

My other coffee find was Alfresco Coffee in Moruya. A cafe on market day that happened to have a rare car park right out the front. A golden car park like this with at least a dozen people standing out the front waiting for coffee – had to be a sign from above. Yum it was delish and the staff were so friendly and lovely, especially given how busy they were.

Moruya - coffee shop
Alfresco Coffee

Our stay was too short

We really wanted to go for a walk around Broulee Island (Conservation Reserve). Hubster has done this numerous times and it’s very beautiful. Time just wasn’t on our side.

Fishing… our fishing gear was accidentally left behind, sad. There are some great spots to enjoy throwing a line in and the scenery is a bonus. Next time for sure.

Broulee - Beach House - Gate latch
Beach House gate

We look forward to exploring Moruya further, going to the markets was great but driving past all the shops, restaurants and pubs was just cruel. The kids have already made a list of the places they want to go. Such a good vibe around town.

We love to go exploring on the bikes and a little further a field in the car. Tomakin is one of our destinations next time and further around to Guerilla Bay, which I hear is great for diving and snorkelling.

Broulee - Beach House - purple daisy
Beach House daisy

Go and have an experience too

To give you a bit of an idea, this is how you get to Broulee from the closest major cities. Hopefully you can work out how far it would be for you.

Car

From Canberra it’s a little more than 2 hours (which explains the abundance of cars with Canberra number plates around town), from Sydney it’s just over 4 hours and if you’re up for a drive from Melbourne it’s 8.5 hours.

Bus

Canberra is easily the most direct trip and will take you 3.5 hours. There are bus companies who will get you there from Sydney and Melbourne but you’re up for an adventure. Sydney could take you anywhere from 6 hours and Melbourne around 11 hours.

Plane

The only flights to Moruya Airport are from Sydney. This flight will take you 50 minutes. And yes Moruya has an airport!

Broulee - beach house - white flowers - ants
Beach House flowers and ants

It’s no longer a secret, Broulee is a little place to explore, a great place to chill out and always a place to have fun. I’ve done all but shout from the roof of our beach house how amazingly beautiful this place is. Off you go and let me know what you find…

Bling and Butterflies xo

Broulee - Single Fin Gypsy caravan

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Broulee - beach house - orange flowers

Broulee - beach house - bookshelf

Broulee - Beach House - White flowers - bee

Broulee - Beach House - Bench Chair

Broulee - Single Fin Gypsy caravan

Moruya - coffee shop

Broulee - Beach House - Gate latch

Broulee - Beach House - purple daisy

Broulee - beach house - white flowers - ants

Out and About – The Broulee Easter Bunny Part 2

18 April 2016 at 05:29

You may have already read that I fell in love with Broulee over Easter. Well, as much as I’d love to keep this place a secret I still need to tell you more. There is more than just it’s beauty and calmness to love. We visited a few places along our way and popped into a couple of shops and these too should be shared.

Part 2 is simply about some of the places we visited when we weren’t on the beach or riding our bikes…

Moruya Country Market - Slushie

Broulee is very close to Moruya (15 minute drive), Mossy Point (5 minute drive) and Tomakin (10 minute drive). There are loads of other places nearby to visit but in our short stay this is what we did:

Moruya – Moruya Country Markets

Our new friends “the neighbours” headed out early Easter Saturday morning and luckily enough my Hubster likes a chat and found out they were off to the Moruya Country Markets, right on the Moruya River. So the kids and I wasted no time, we were off and we had a ball.

There were loads of stalls, someone said over 120. The variety of stalls… amazing.

I wanted to buy something from everyone but lucky for my bank balance I only took a certain amount of cash – although I did note some stalls had eftpos facilities. We bought some local fruit and veges and delicious nuts from Batemans Bay Nut Roasting Company (3 packets for $15). They were a great addition to our cheese platters – well we were on holidays – yum!

Batemans Bay Nut Roasting Company nuts
Batemans Bay Nut Roasting Company

It was a warm day so I treated the kids to a slushie and I grabbed a coffee from Rolf’s Patisserie and Coffee Van and we headed to the river to watch the sea plane land, very cool. The kids (and I) really wanted a ride… who wouldn’t?! Turns out the sea plane was from South Coast Seaplanes who run all sorts of cool tours along the coast, including one to our favourite restaurant and bar Wharf Rd on the Shoalhaven River in Nowra.

Moruya Country Market - sea plane
South Coast Seaplanes

The musicians were playing so we sipped and watched the action on the water for a while and enjoyed the tunes. The boat ramp and jetty is right next to the markets and people were arriving on jet skis, boats and kayaks. The police boat cruised by keeping an eye on everyone. We went down to the jetty as we were leaving, to look at the watercraft and watch the fishing boats being launched.

Moruya Country Market - boat arrivals 2

The markets are held in Riverside Park so the kids enjoyed the playground equipment especially the flying fox, then the jumping castle, and a carriage ride with the handsome Clydesdale horses.  The friendly Rural Fire Service staff were there, giving the kids a run down on the truck and all the equipment – jeepers they do their service proud and you just can’t go past without giving them a donation.

So much to do! Seriously something for everyone!

Moruya – The town

Town has a great feel to it, there are loads of shops we didn’t get time to wander through, pubs and restaurants as well. I can’t wait to go back and have a good sticky beak, it killed me to drive past them all. We saw a great cycling shop and fishing shop across the road, the boys were spotting all their favourites and making their own list!

Broulee

There are two sets of local shops dotted along the road opposite the beach. The southern set of shops include a supermarket, bottle shop and petrol station together (what more could you want). They topped up our fresh supplies nicely. A larger set of shops are located further north. These included a surf shop (yes we purchased), takeaway shop, real estate agent and chemist … You really don’t need to leave! Oh and my fav find of the trip a little further north of these shops was Single Fin Gypsy for coffee and organic soft drinks for the kids, but more about that next time.

Broulee - Single Fin Gypsy soft drinks 2
Single Fin Gypsy

Tomakin

Hubster found a great IGA Supermarket and scored fresh supplies and some yum chicken sausages to pop on the bbq. Right next door is JJ’s at The Moorings a great restaurant who also provides take away food as well. We didn’t have time to stop and sit outside to eat but it had a great outlook over the Moorings Golf Course. Further into Tomakin is the Tomakin Sports and Social Club where you can enjoy a meal in a variety of settings and line up a hit of tennis or join in on one of their social lawn bowls get togethers. Again, next time…

Moruya Country Market - busker guitars
A huge range of instruments one of the buskers used

My little trip down my Broulee holiday memory lane is almost at an end. I have Part 3 for you next week which features our fav coffee finds and a few other bits and pieces. Then it’s up to you… go explore and let me know what you find!

Bling and Butterflies xo

Moruya Country Market - Slushie

blingandbutterflies

Moruya Country Market - Slushie

Batemans Bay Nut Roasting Company nuts

Moruya Country Market - sea plane

Moruya Country Market - boat arrivals 2

Broulee - Single Fin Gypsy soft drinks 2

Moruya Country Market - busker guitars

The Broulee Easter Bunny Part 1…

12 April 2016 at 06:11

We joined the Easter traffic circus and went along for the experience! Yes it was busy. Yes we came prepared. I had magazines, notebook and pens. The kids had their books, colouring in and iPads. Hubster had my stimulating conversation or just enjoyed the silence when the iPads were allowed to come out.

Our destination? Broulee on the South Coast of NSW, around 4 hours south of Sydney. I had never been there but Hubster and the kids had. I didn’t know what to expect. It’s usually 2 hours from home but at Easter… add a good half hour.

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Dog walking on beach
Cute dog carrying his own sticks along Broulee beach…

I didn’t realise I was going to fall in love with this place. There were so many things to do and we hardly put our hand in our pocket except to buy a coffee, fresh bread and a few supplies.

The kids really didn’t stop until it was time for bed. What did they do?

Bike riding and scootering

There were many rides along the awesome path that runs from Mossy Point and all along Broulee beach. It’s plenty wide enough for 2 way “traffic” and you can pop in and have a look at the beach along the way. There’s information here if you want to have a sticky beak.

Beach stuff 

Broulee Beach was good for a few kids waves to surf and boogie board and a great place for swimming. We had loads of fun with ball sports… beach cricket, football and soccer, it was a hub of activity there. We saw some gorgeous dogs taking their owners for a walk, one of them carried his own sticks waiting for the first stick throwing opportunity. We also came across a couple of people who were doing yoga and acrobatic moves – they were so strong (I hope they don’t mind I put this pic in), oh and talented.

The Broulee Easter Bunny - acrobats
People practicing their acrobatics and yoga on Broulee beach…

Snorkelling fun

At Shark Bay near Broulee Island, there are loads of fish to see and the water is clear and calm. So beautiful. The inlet at the northern end of Broulee beach has all sizes of fish to see – my little one tried to “hand fish”, he was mesmerised!

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Snorkelling at the inlet
Snokelling at the inlet between Broulee and Mossy Point…

Inlet to do’s

Something for everyone and being tidal our options changed depending on the water level. We chilled in the small beach area while the kids caught crabs, snorkelled and swam. Then when we were feeling more energetic we played “Classic Catches” with a handball and beach soccer ball.

The oldest one wanted to join the other kids and relive Hubsters childhood and jump off the new bridge (a high tide activity). He’s normally not good with heights but the bridge isn’t too high. The bridge linking Broulee and Mossy Point is only open to pedestrians and I’m not sure if it will one day be open to car traffic again.  There were also people paddling through in sea kayaks and on paddleboards too.

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Jumping off bridge at the Inlet
Jumping off the bridge at the inlet between Broulee and Mossy Point…

Caravan Park visit

Friends of ours have stayed at The Big4 Broulee Beach Holiday Park and raved about it. On one of our bike rides the people at the Big4 were nice enough to let the kids try out the jumping pillow. They loved the look of the pools and the eyes in my little ones head popped when he saw the peddle go karts the other kids were riding around the park! I think he’d stay there just to ride the peddle go karts.

Our beach house

The kids explored the beach gardens and we had a great water bomb fight (not so fun picking up the balloon bits after). There were games of cricket and soccer and we introduced our new friends “the neighbours” to my little ones fav game from school called “Fly” – have you heard of it? The kids jump over 2 sticks set a distance apart without touching the sticks. After everyone has jumped over them sucessfully, you move the sticks further and further apart until there’s a winner. Lots of smiles, lots of laughs.

                           If you’re interested, Maxabella Loves wrote about her version of Fly here

Chillaxing

With so much to do we did need some quiet chill out times. We put together a jigsaw we found at the house with the tiniest pieces I have ever seen, we read and found a new family fav card game… Monopoly Deal. Every chance we got we squeezed in a game! The kids made a cubby out of their bunk bed, there was colouring in and although it’s not relaxing, the kids practiced washing up the dishes by hand. That was relaxing for us.

Hubster cooked dinner on the wood fire barbecue one night and given the little temperature control this provides, the sausages were very “dark” for dinner that night… But and our new friends “the neighbours” and their kids brought down marshmallows for the kids to toast up for desert… soft, gooey, deliciousness. Can’t beat toasting marshmallows, unless your little one loves to toast but not to eat and gives them all to you, then you feel really sick. Anyhoo, there weren’t any mozzies around and that was a bonus!

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Toasting marshmallows
Toasting marshmallows on the wood fire barbecue…

Easterfy

I am partial to theming the holiday if there is any remote chance a theme is to be had… I took loads of Easter colouring in pages I printed free from the internet, as well as a bunch of blank bunny templates so we could design our own. There were some interesting bunnies to be had, some gangster looking with a 3 day growth, businessman bunnies, cutsie bunnies and sporty bunnies – imaginations were good that night. My favourite however, was the Easter bunny bunting I printed before we left. We just needed to cut the bunnies out and thread them on ribbon wool (because I couldn’t find the string).

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Easter bunny bunting
Easter bunny bunting

We also had some Easter decorations that hang so we popped them on a stick we found in the garden and created our own Easter Tree (as opposed to Christmas Tree). All the other decorations the kids popped around the house. I didn’t even move them or adjust them, I must have been in the Easter spirit!

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Easter tree
Easter Tree…

Some of the printables I used are below and free:

Easter colouring in pages – includes eggs, bunnies and chickens from Kidspot.

Easter Disney characters – because I love Disney, from Colouring Top.

Easter eggs – with various designs from AZ Coloring.

Design your own Easter Bunny – This is a pattern to make fabric Easter bunny bunting but we adapted it as a paper template to cut out and draw our own Easter bunny characters. It’s from Made Everyday with Dana.

Easter Bunny Bunting from brother.

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Crab
Crabs at the inlet between Broulee and Mossy Point…

My new favourite spot Broulee… I think I left a little piece of my heart there just so I can go back and get it.

I have so much more to share. Our fun adventure into the Moruya Country Markets, my fav coffee find Single Fin Gypsy and all the little things that made me fall in love with this place. That will be next time… well the next two times, there’s Part 2 and Part 3. I couldn’t stop writing and the word length just got out of hand.

Go and explore Broulee, you’ll find it here but not all at the same time we don’t want to overrun this special little place.

Bling and Butterflies xo

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Snorkelling at the inlet

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The Broulee Easter Bunny - Dog walking on beach

The Broulee Easter Bunny - acrobats

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Snorkelling at the inlet

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Jumping off bridge at the Inlet

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Toasting marshmallows

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Easter bunny bunting

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Easter tree

The Broulee Easter Bunny - Crab

Show season love…

I don’t know who is more excited about going to the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year, me or the kids! I haven’t been to the show for (I’m guessing) 30 years and the kids, well they’ve never been. Given we live 3 hours from Sydney, it’s not our “local”.

I may have been a little sneaky and probably a bit selfish too… but I did a trade off to get there. For years I had promised my boys a birthday party and this was going to be THE year. But after seeing an advertisement for the Easter Show, yes I’m an advertising sucker, the idea came to fruition. It’s just lucky their birthdays are very close together in March.

I figured going to the Easter Show for the 4 of us would roughly cost the same as I would spend on 2 birthday parties. I think. So I presented my proposal and let them sit on the idea.

Luckily they both came to the same decision, not sure what I would have done if it was a split decision. I’m sure the youngest one doesn’t really know what he’s agreed to, he just knows it’s supposed to be heaps of fun.

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Our Show Grand Parade

We’ve not long had our own local Show which is a small regional Show we all look forward to every year. So regional that the school teachers walk all the kids down to the Show on Friday, check out the pavilions etc and get a free milkshake – no rides of course. The Berry Show Society are very generous and let the whole school go through for free! It’s “The Greatest Show in Town”.

We love our local Show. We love the kids animal competition, the pavilion entries and the rivalry between the locals, horse competitions, the rides, demonstrations, fireworks… so much we enjoy. My oldest won the potty calf section of the rodeo this year, so stoked he was. His $20 prize money went straight into his money box. For a small Show there’s a load to see and do, and the community feel is overwhelming.

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Although my kids love our town Show, my memories of going to the Sydney Royal Easter Show each year vary hugely to their experience. Back then (in the olden days) it was at Moore Park and you would walk and walk and walk and still not see, do, participate, ride or taste everything.

We would stay all day and all night, our feet would be so so sore and we still needed to catch the train back to my Nana’s where we would stay. Our arms would be loaded with balloons, kewpie dolls, show bags and sample bags but there was always room for one more.  It was just as much fun emptying them out all over the floor back at Nana’s and reliving the whole day again.

So many Easter Show memories, I only hope it still lives up to my childhood memory standards! I have no doubt it will and my children will then have some of their own.

So in preparation I have been talking to friends, some who go each year and others who have just gone along for the experience. I’ve been reading the articles in the newspaper and trawling the Sydney Royal Easter Show website and using their apple app (you might like the adroid app) – very informative for a novice like myself. The depth of information is incredible. How wonderful it would have been to have this amount of information back in my day…

The website and app allow you to build your favourites list for EVERYTHING, I mean… E V E R Y T H I N G !  I’m sure if you were looking for a needle in a hay stack, you would be able to find it there. All the times for shows and demonstrations, number of tokens you need for rides as well as the rides themselves, food shops and types of food can be found.  Then there’s show bag details, show offers (app only), how to get there… so much information I’ll stop right now.

For someone who likes to plan, it’s the detail to dates and times aided by the linkages to the showground map that sets my heart a flutter. I can rule out shows etc that won’t be there on the day we’re going. The best part… it all comes to the Easter Show with me, all my planning is in my pocket. And if the Bluetooth is on while I’m there, freebies available nearby might pop on my screen! Love.

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From our Show archives…

The most eagerly anticipated arrival finally came today… the 2016 Sunday Telegraph Show Guide. The kid’s didn’t have a favourite section, they loved the entire guide.  They liked being able to see what’s in the 350 show bags. I liked seeing how much they cost and making the kids decide before we get there. The plan is to go straight into the pavilion, buy the bags then head straight back out… without getting distracted!! Works in theory.

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The youngest one didn’t put this down the entire time we were at breakfast!

Oh but hold on, there’s so many animals to look at. They love to see them all around where we live and I’m sure they’ll be just as interesting in the big city! The variety have their eyes wide open… Then there was last years pumpkin that weighed 728kg that was later delivered to the Taronga Zoo for the elephants. Oh and of course, there were the rides!

I found my favourite ride, Star of the Show. It’s 32 metres high and has rotating gondolas. Looks so pretty at night time too. I thought I’d have a favourite section too but the Guide’s so jam packed we’ll be reading it for weeks, finding new things all the time. Good idea to buy 2 copies!

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Supporting mummy’s favourite ride decision…

Hubster’s favourite section seems to be reading up on how to get to The Daily Telegraph Paddock and how many Royals it will cost for beer and wine tasting in the Sydney Royal Beer and Wine Garden. I like the sound of that too, we will have earned that! Oh sorry I’ve been corrected, it’s straight to the Cattleman’s Bar…  I think he is under the impression we’ll leave him there, um NO!

Our Show ute parade

I thought I had seen changes to the way the Easter Show operates, promotes and the experiences that are on offer but for a Show which dates back 193 years – yes that’s right – it seems there are generations who have seen the changes. The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW put together an amazing event, for lack of a better word.

May the Show Gods be with us when we make the 3 hour trek. And if you’re off to your local Show or even the big one in Sydney too, may the Show Gods be with you too!

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Goosleberries

“When the country comes to the city”

… well said to the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, here we come in our comfy shoes!

Bling and Butterflies xo

Goosleberries

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Dreaming your goals into life

21 February 2016 at 05:54

We all have a dream. Some of us have a goal or two. All of us wish for something more than what we have.

Do you do anything about it? Are you actively seeking out and reviewing your goal each year? Or do you plod on hoping it will come along and sometimes it does, then you do a little happy dance?

This year I decided to create a dream board. I pulled out what limited magazines were around and started ploughing through them. Very frustrating as I had just thrown a stack out, obviously I hadn’t planned to do this!  I also came across some great inspirational quotes from Fat Mum Slim here.

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I included goals and dreams of holidays, health and my home to name a few. Some included my family and others were just for me.

The sight of scissors, cardboard, glue and sticky tape sparked the interest of my boys. Dream boards for everyone. They were very enthusiastic. I now wished I hadn’t thrown out all of those magazines.

We made do, the boys found pictures and words which suited them. A little difficult at times for a 6 year old but boy a picture can describe many words.

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When school was about to recommence my oldest wrote down his wants from his new class, his teacher, his friends and added it to his board.

We have our dream boards in our bedrooms. We look at them. We read them when we feel appropriate. My youngest created a board which is double sided so we have that on rotation as need be!

In my younger days I would plod along and some of the time my wishes would eventuate and other times I would roll around in some sort of life limbo wondering where I was headed. I always worked, I ate and paid my bills, sometimes there were friends around but each day simply rolled into one. Then I’d pull out a piece of paper and write down what I wanted, things needed to change.

I did this when I was single and wondered where and how I would ever find someone for me – out came the piece of paper! My friend and I over a glass of wine, ok bottles, sat and wrote a list of what we wanted from a man… yes we did!

We hammered that list. Over many weeks we deleted, we changed, we added to that list.  Then one day at the airport we burnt that list and our dream men followed shortly after. True! And we’re still with them after more than 10 years!

Chilling on the beach

It’s important to have some sort of direction. Some people put it in writing, others have a clear picture in their head and some put it on a dream board.  There are so many forms, you’ll know what suits you and the method to get what you want.

Lists are always a favourite of mine. I would make a list for my lists if need be! Sad but true.

I made a list of criteria for a job I was searching for. The job I secured was pretty much what I was looking for at the time. It filled most of the dot points I had listed. I invested a lot of time detailing what I wanted from that job. Very detailed and specific. Some points were non-negotiable as I was returning to work after having my first baby.

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Tools of my son’s saving trade – money box and his Poppy’s wallet

Today my oldest son filled one of his dreams. He bought himself a watch. This watch he spotted a year ago and when I saw the price there was no chance the watch would be a spur of the moment purchase.

Over the course of the year he realised it was something he really wanted. After creating his dream board he really started to save. Now when this boy decides to save, no one can make him spend his money. So now he has a new watch. We all know what time it is, the announcement is made nearly every hour. We also know how the tide is going. Always handy to know that the tide’s still coming in at 8pm, just in case…

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Do you want something? Do you REALLY want something? Well go out and make it happen. Write it down, put it out there in whatever form you like. Burn it, tear it up, put it on your wall. Do what’s right for you and make it happen.

A small boy and his dream can surprisingly be an inspiration to his mum!

Make your own dreams come true…

Bling and Butterflies xo

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Cooking to my limits…

12 February 2016 at 04:35

How do any of us learn to cook?

I have friends who are self acknowledged shockers in the kitchen and others who are chefs and produce dreamy food people pay for. I probably fit at the lower end of the scale through no lack of trying!

In the eyes of my children I’m not too bad, probably because I know what they like and cook that well. Hubster on the other hand cooks… and I appreciate those nights because I don’t have to, the kids don’t appreciate it so much – I’ll soon see if he reads my blogs.

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Thai chicken cakes from Taste.com – picture from Taste.com

When I was learning the ropes in mum’s kitchen, with lovely yellow doors and brown handles… she’d show me how to make my favourite dishes, give me tips and fill me with the confidence that I could cook anything.

So when I was attempting my first Chinese stir fry I used her tip about putting in the ingredients you like. This tip didn’t come with the warning that these ingredients should compliment each other, probably assumed I had some sort of food commonsense.  Not the case!

In went the veges and the meat, followed by garlic (yum), a bit of worcestershire sauce, honey, soy sauce, a tad of sweet chilli sauce, cumin, mixed herbs, rosemary… and it went on. You can imagine the flavours of disaster.  It couldn’t be saved, it was beyond redemption.  Toasted sandwiches all round for dinner that night!

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Vietnamese diced beef from Taste.com – picture from Taste.com

Recipes became my friend…

I’m a great cook when I use a recipe. I’ll try anything, yep I give anything a go.  I actually found out that I like to cook when I had kids and started to meal plan, I wrote a little about this here.

Then I found Taste, created my own cookbook on their site and started to store my favourites there instead of printing them out all the time and then getting lost.  Then I turned to Pinterest and created a few boards.  I keep my main meal ideas in the Yummy in my Tummy board.  I used this to store any other recipes I found online – we all know that’s a bottomless pit.

Other than Taste and my Pinterest boards I really only use one other cookbook. Now I’m not shameless plugging and it really is a cookbook I use at least once a week and lives on my bench.  It’s called Our Berry Kitchen and was published a couple of years ago by some devoted parents at the school where my kids go, to raise money for some of the old buildings to be upgraded.

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My favourite cookbook “Our Berry Kitchen” is often left open on this page, which explains the splatters!

It was during those day’s as I went back to work, that I learned the hard way about when was an appropriate time to try a new recipe. There were many meals we would eat at 8pm because I didn’t realise how long it would take to cook.  Never good when a small child needs to go to school the next day.

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Sweet corn fritters with avocado and cherry tomato salad – Our Berry Kitchen

I love a good tasty recipe. One that I can whip up in a reasonable amount of time.  I need it to not only taste good to the hubster and the kids, but also give me time to come home from work, catch up with the kids and stick in time for homework.  A lot to ask of a recipe…  These are just some of our favs:

Chicken ones…

Beef ones…

Seafood one…

Vegetarian or add your choice of meat…

I like it when the kids want to help (well most of the time), especially with dinner as they are just at the age where they are actually helpful – sometimes. My youngest loves to peel and cut carrots, awesome.  The oldest is great on the other end of a wooden spoon and keeping the stir action going.

Some people are just so talented at some things and make it look so easy. I watched a girlfriend chopping away so quick and precise with a knife one day, wowsers!  I suggested she set up a class for basic skills in the kitchen and I’d be the first one there.  She laughed it off (even though I thought it was the best idea ever) and showed me how to chop.  So now I practice and surprise myself at my growing skill.

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My clever girlfriend’s take on poached pears… oh yum!

I enjoy cooking.  I will try anything. Dodgy meals will be produced… but I will continually learn in the kitchen and love every single step.

Bling and Butterflies xo

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