Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach – Phuket Paradise

I have had so many questions on where we stayed in Phuket recently and I have no hesitation in recommending the Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach

They have all the bases covered for an active holiday, regardless of weather conditions.

Just how Marriott has managed to keep the personal touch in such large grounds is a mystery, yet also a welcome surprise.

Located on a secluded stretch of Tri-Tang Beach it’s close to the excitement of Patong close by, but the serene surroundings make it seem a world away.

Take advantage of the Phuket weather and relax by one of the three outdoor pools, while the kids  enjoy some time at the kids club with an all day activity program available from 8am to 8pm.

I can’t speak highly enough of all the staff, they were all fantastic and so very welcoming, the whole resort is just so beautifully set out and clean.

Of course you get all the little extras that 5 star offers like slippers and bathrobes and the cute towel animals on your bed every day but the main thing is being able to walk straight into the pool from your room. It is such a nice touch to wake up, open the curtains and step into the pool for an early swim before heading over to a huge breakfast at one of the two buffets available.

The private beach was right on our doorstep and if that’s not enough beach for you the hotel has a free bus that leaves 4 times a day that can drop you down to Patong for some local shopping and lots and lots of food plus more beach!

Below are a couple of real highlights that you can do with out even leaving the hotel.

Indulge At The Thai Pantry

Dinning at the Thai Pantry at the Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach is a must do! You must order the chicken and pork satay, papaya salad and vegetable rolls topped off with some fresh mango juice. Good value for top class cooking in an elegant restaurant, service was so friendly and professional we ate here on the first night staying at the hotel and knew straight away that another visit would be needed before we left.

Learn To Cook

While in Phuket, there is no better place to learn to cook world-renowned Thai food, what an awesome experience it was to learn to cook three dishes, all of which were simple to make, and exploded with taste.

The Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach classes provide a fascinating insight into Thai life, beliefs and culture through learning about its food, cooking and culinary myths, we learnt about the exotic herbs and spices used in everyday dishes.
Classes are part demonstration, part hands-on and are held in the Pantry restaurant at the Marriott Resort and Spa Merlin Beach a couple of times a week. We had a blast, the staff were amazing teachers and very patient with me (someone with pretty lousy cooking skills) but the best bit is getting to eat the lavish feast you have prepared at the end.

Visit The Butterflies

It is always fascinating to learn how nature works her magic turning the caterpillars into beautiful butterflies. If you want to see lots of butterflies, this is the place to come. There are also a large numbers of insects and other creepy crawlies and educational displays. We had an enjoyable hour getting hands on and learning from our guide Katy. Located in the heart of the Marriott Merlin Beach it’s available for in-house guests and made for a great educational experience for us and the kids.

It’s a great resort that I highly recommend for families with children, the best thing is the kids are asking when we’re going back and I’m ready to go anytime.

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Marriott but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.

 

 



Love Christmas? Then don’t miss Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill Ballarat Victoria

If you love Christmas, history and adventure, and are looking for a great day out that the kids will never  forget  – then you need to plan a trip to Sovereign Hill next July and experience Christmas in July

    

 
Sovereign Hill is Australia’s leading outdoor museum showcasing  Australia’s marvellous gold rush history, since its opening in November 1970 it has become an Australian tourism icon and has won numerous tourism awards. Known as a living museum emphasising working machinery and displays, costumed interpreters and visitor involvement, it’s no wonder Sovereign Hill attracts 450,000 people each year from around the world.
In July Sovereign Hill hosts a special  Christmas In July event, during  Winter Wonderlights the whole site is adorned with Christmas decorations, with wreaths at every shop front and lots of Christmas trees and stays open later than usual and this is for a special reason.  At 5.30pm each night make sure you standing mid street and watch the buildings of Sovereign Hill light up  – add to that the snow (the fake bubble kind) and music and it’s a magical street party you’ll be glad you stayed for.
During the day its business as usual at Sovereign Hill township, visitors can stroll down Main Street as snow-flakes fall at regular intervals over the Victorian-style buildings, decorations fill the window displays, the smell of Christmas treats and spices fill the air, and traditional Christmas-themed pantomimes are performed in addition to regular attractions and performances there are regular snow falls, Christmas goodies to buy, Christmas carolling and a Christmas-themed theatrical program.
Then at night, Main Street will sparkle with an amazing light projection show with over 20 of Sovereign Hill’s buildings lit up with large-scale image projections and Christmas animations. Children can also catch the Gingerbread Man as he dashes from building to building, peeking out from the Christmas themed lights and animation.
But do note that it’s cold in Ballarat (really cold) so dress warm (think hats, scarves, gloves, layers, two pairs of socks and a winter coat) and you will be fine but with so much to do and see we certainly didn’t have time to stand about feeling the cold.
HOT Tips:

And here’s a handy tip: you can get your entry ticket stamped at the Main Street Post Office (or the desk near the exit) and this will allow you entry again the following day, for FREE! two days for the price of one so stay and see a little more.

  • try to avoid Peak times which are school holidays and weekends
  • Parking is free on site;
  • Bring lots of snacks as eateries can get crowded, especially from 5pm when the last show finishes and the lights don’t start till  5:45pm
  • Book a sit-down Christmas dinner in advance this is an experience that’s now to be missed..
  • Most of Sovereign Hill’s attractions are outdoors so wear lots of warm gear (waterproof coat, layers, gloves, scarf, hat). Ballarat experiences harsh winters and once the sun goes down it is really cold
  • Make sure you visit the Confectionary Shop as it’s just not possible to visit to Sovereign Hill without stocking up on boiled lollies.
  • Gumboots are a good idea as the pathways can get muddy;
  • Bring a torch
  • All the shops take EFTPOS (even for small amounts). There is an ATM at the entrance, Sovereign Hill cafe and the post office
  • Sovereign Hill is a comfortable 90-minute drive from Melbourne along the Western Highway;
  • train and tour coach services which operate daily from Melbourne

 

For details on pricing and ticketing go to Sovereign Hill

 



We Road Test Holiday Inn Melbourne – Kids Glamp-In Package

Our favourite Melbourne hotel just keeps getting better and better!

Last week the kids slept rough or as rough as it gets for my jetsetters, road testing the Kids Glamp-In Package at Holiday Inn Melbourne and let’s just say it was a HUGE hit!

What you get:

Kids Glamp-In Package

  • A stay in one of the beautifuly newly refurbished rooms.
  • Accommodation in a room with 2 double size beds which can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children comfortably, with cots ‘free’ upon request.
  • Your very own glamp-in setup. Complete with a tee-pee, games for the whole family, pillows and blankets to make sure everyone is comfortable.
  • Buffet breakfast for 2 adults plus don’t forget that it’s the Holiday Inn brand promise that kids under 12 stay and eat free!
For more information see Holiday Inn Glam In
If you need more reasons to visit check out the new deal just released below.

 

Getaway and enjoy Melbourne

Book direct and save a guaranteed 25% for stays until 31st March 2018.

  • Save 15% or more on accommodation at Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders
  • IHG Rewards Club members save an EXTRA 10% with YOUR RATE. Not a member? Join now
  • Complimentary WiFi Internet for IHG Rewards Club Members. Free to Join!
  • Best Price Guarantee when you book direct. No booking fee, ever.
  • At Holiday Inn Kids under 12 Stay & Eat Free!
  • Sale ends 14 August 2017. Valid for stays from 1 August 2017 to 31 March 2018

For more information just click Here

Again we can never recommend Holiday Inn Melbourne highly enough, if you have any questions please feel free to ask away.

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo



Meet Happy Go Ducky – Quality Toys and Gifts

Welcome to another blog, I love to introduce our followers to new brands we love, especially when people aren’t familiar with a brand and haven’t touched or felt the quality with their own hands.

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I prefer Piper to have quality over quantity that’s why we love Happy Go Ducky Toys  quality keepsake toys and gifts made in the Czech Republic, it’s now one of only a few countries that are still producing handmade traditional wooden, tin and crochet toys using only the best sustainably sourced materials, traditional tools, machinery and designs, which date back as far as 120 years ago. Beautiful, quality pieces with simple, durable designs that are loved and will be for generations.

So Happy Birthday Happy Go Ducky and welcome to the blog.

 

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Happy Go Ducky turns 1!

Everyone says it, but oh how it’s true! How quickly time passes! 1 YEAR OLD…Yes, in February Happy Go Ducky will turn 1…seems like a good time to look back, reflect and hope that we have a learnt a thing or two!

As I said, time flies but I can’t say it’s all been fun. If you want a challenge, try opening a new business importing something (anything!) while you have a baby on the way. In many ways, it is like having two babies…only with less nappies I guess!

So what have we learnt? There is no clock off time. You really do only get out what you put in. It’s nearly impossible to work with a toddler! When you think you have it figured out and kind of know what your doing, something else will pop up and throw you off the horse when you least expect it. Thankfully a year on, we’re still getting back on that horse and are even more determined than ever to make that beast our friend!

What keeps us going? For me, it’s our son (um, just everything about him!) and as cheesy as it sounds, seeing our toys go to good homes. Simple, possibly boring, but very true.

With all the work that goes on behind the scenes, in finding our suppliers, building a relationship with them (from 15,000km away), getting all our toys here safely (which takes months of hard work in itself), to then find out that people love them just as much we do, well that just makes me do a little happy dance!

12 months ago we took a HUGE chance and although it’s been difficult, we’ve built something special with toys and brands that we trust, love and are incredibly passionate about. I think people can see and feel that when they visit our store and I’ve found more and more that people are searching for quality over quantity. They want something special that they can keep that’s well made, beautiful to look at and most importantly, safe for their children to play with.

So we finish 2016 and our first year feeling grateful. Grateful that we survived. For all the support that’s surrounded us and kept us going, and full of excitement and motivation for what 2017 will bring and all the amazing and exciting new things we have to share with you.

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Thank you to everyone who has shopped with us, told a friend or loved one about us, followed us on Facebook and Instagram, shared their pictures with us or taken the time to send us an email to say that they love our toys and will shop with us again. You have made our first year even more wonderful than we ever could have hoped for!

Pop on over and find out why everyone is loving Happy Go Ducky

 



Salad in a Jar – Mason Jar Salads Tips and Recipes

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Mason jar salads

Tasty and Easy to  make, plus they make for a stylish way to impress your guests.

Storing the salad in glass (mason) jar keeps it fresh for 5-7 days.

A big tick from me is prepping your meal ahead of time.

You can use any ingredients you like, just follow the special technique to the salad assembly to keep all the contents fresh – The vegetables and protein need to be layered in a particular way so it doesn’t go soggy.

Layer 1 – Dressing – 1-2 tablespoons.
Layer 2 – Hard vegetables – carrot, capsicum, red onion, cucumber
Layer 3 – Pasta or rice or quinoa
Layer 4 – Soft vegetables – avocado, tomato
Layer 5 – Protein – chicken, egg and cheese
Layer 6 – Salad greens – lettuce or baby spinach

Making these salads is really easy. Just complete any cooking or chopping tasks and let every thing cool before assembly.

 

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These are the Steps and ingredients that went into the ones pictured but be creative and mix it up with what you  like.

  • Poached or shred BBQ chicken
  • Cook pasta, following packet directions
  • Cook rice, following packet directions
  • Cook quinoa, following packet directions
  • Boil eggs
  • Wash vegetables
  • Chop vegetables and dry
Ingredients
  • 1-2 tablespoons of you favourite store or homemade dressing
  • Cucumber, cubed
  • Carrot, grated
  • Capsicum, diced
  • red onion, finely sliced
  • Corn kernels
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Pasta or rice or quinoa
  •  bbq Chicken
  • Egg, boiled
  • grated cheese
  • Lettuce, finely sliced

 

  • Place all ingredients in the order listed above into a clean mason jar
  • Seal tightly, refrigerate and use within 7 days.

 

Be sure to let us know what you think?

Enjoy Love Kerry and Piper xoxo

 

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Holla! Josh Turns 10 – Celebrate With A Mexican Fiesta

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On Saturday we celebrated Joshua turning double digits! Officially a tweenager, The BIG 10 years old.

The day was all about family, food and fun in the back yard and lots and lots of colour!

A fiesta theme is as easy as it gets, you can’t go wrong. Just think ‘Bright’

I picked up lots of bits and pieces every time I shopped and the night before just grouped them all together.

I always use my themeing and decorations on a couple of smaller areas as you get a lot more impact from grouping it all together rather than it spread all over the place.

I couldn’t have done it with the help of some terrific shops you can see some of them below.

 

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WaterMelon Tee: www.alfaberry.com.au Cacti : www.isgifts.com

 

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Themed Cookies: www.facebook.com/lizcookiejar

 

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Take Home Fairy Floss Gifts – www.foodbyus.com.au-crunch/direct || Personalised Drink bottle labels and Chocolates – www.printandparty.com.au

 

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Personalised Drink Chocolates – www.printandparty.com.au
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Themed Cookies: www.facebook.com/lizcookiejar

 

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This was such a fun party to organise and host if you have any questions just drop us a line as we would love to chat.

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo



10 Days in Singapore – The perfect holiday for families, not just a stop over destination anymore.

Ok, so when we told everyone that we were going to Singapore for 10 days the first thing everyone we spoke to said was “What are you going to do for 10 days in Singapore?” and the typical “Its very clean!” Singapore over the years has become known as a place for a quick stop over, not as a holiday destination for families with children, but we found so much more to do and see that we were wishing we had a couple more days to stay and see some more.

We had so much fun exploring this pretty city, yes it is clean (very clean!) and friendly, the warm welcomes we receive everywhere you go and how welcome the kids were made was a highlight. So don’t let anyone tell you, you wont find enough to do! Because that definitely wasn’t the Singapore we discovered.

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Getting There

We took a 2.30am flight (this sounded like a good idea when I booked it but then I started to panic as the time got closer that it was a massive mistake) but all was good and it ended up being one of my better ideas!

We flew with Emirates departing the international airport Brisbane, Queensland and arrived at approx. 8.00am Singapore time, this worked out great as the kids slept most of the flight and we didn’t lose any of our first day of sightseeing. We had time when we arrived to explore the incredible Changi international airport, it’s modern and hi-tech and it’s not hard to see why it has been voted the best airport in the world several times. Make sure you leave yourself a couple of hours before your transfers just to look around, so much to see before you even leave the arrivals lounge from a sunflower garden and butterfly enclosure to some great themed cafés. So after our short explore of the airport then we were off and headed straight to our first hotel and checked in beating the afternoon rush, they stored our bags and allowed us to start using the hotel facitilies and exploring the island of Sentosa.

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Where We Stayed

Our first stop for two nights was on Sentosa Island at The Hard Rock Hotel, it’s a brilliant location right in the middle of Singapore’s entertainment precinct, so it was only minutes away from some of the region’s top attractions. Admittedly we chose the hotel for its amazing pool which didn’t disappoint, but the five-star service with a rock and roll edge was pure magic, we were lucky enough to be given the ‘Presidential Suite’ (only three of these suites are available in the world) and it comes complete with Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones costume right in the middle of our dinning room plus two large bedrooms, three bathrooms, kitchen and rock star lounge room.

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After two amazing days exploring Sentosa, we headed into the city to explore for 3 days and based ourselves at a luxury boutique hotel ideally located in the middle of the city the So Sofitel Singapore it’s set in a restored heritage building in Singapore’s Central Business District the luxurious So Sofitel Singapore offers modern rooms designed by Karl Lagerfeld, with a French-style and free WiFi. A big plus was the mini bar because everything was free! Coke, sparkling water and other canned drinks (non alcoholic). This was the first time I have stayed in a hotel where the mini bar was free of charge and we have stayed in more expensive hotels, but the mini bar was never free!

When we travel overseas our holidays are always so busy, out and about all day exploring and trying to fit in as much as we can. This time we decided that for the last few days we wanted somewhere we could relax and unwind before we returned home and you couldn’t get anywhere better than the 5 star luxury and tranquillity that is Sofitel Sentosa Resort and Spa situated atop a cliff above Tanjong Beach Sentosa. It was exactly what we were seeking, the surrounding so serene, like you’re in paradise, the pool was great and 5 minutes walk down the stairs to street level there is a most heavenly beach, the kids loved the pool, the roaming peacocks and the foot spa fish pond. The perfect place for families to enjoy each other’s company in this children friendly resort. If you are seeking luxury, tranquility, stunning views and generous size rooms, then seek no further. The Sofitel Sentosa Resort and spa is where you take your break. It’s worth it!

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Getting around

Singapore’s public transport system is fast and efficient and will whizz you to most places without fuss. Singapore’s MRT (mass rapid transit) system is probably the fastest way to zip around the city. The extensive rail network means that most of Singapore’s key attractions are within walking distance from an MRT station.

Singapore’s bus system has an extensive network of routes covering most places in Singapore and is the most economical way to get around, as well as being one of the most scenic.

All of Singapore’s trains and stations are accessible to wheel chair users and the visually impaired, as well as families with strollers.

You can buy tickets for single trips, but if you intend to use the MRT and basic bus services frequently during your visit, you can buy a Singapore Tourist Pass, a special EZ-Link stored-value card which will allow you unlimited travel for one day (S$10), two days (S$16) or three days (S$20). (prices correct at time of writing) The cards can be bought at the TransitLink Ticket Office at MRT stations.

Taxis are comfortable and especially handy if you want to go to places not accessible by the bus or MRT, we had a great taxi service pick us up from the airport and I have his email address if anyone wants it, just send me a message.

 

Eat and Drink

Singapore’s incredibly diverse range of dining options will cater to food lovers from all walks of life. If you appreciate a good meal, there’s a cuisine for every taste and budget. The local street fare is a delicious melting pot of Singapore’s diverse cultures, while the country’s vibrant fine dining scene has emerged as one of the world’s most exciting, featuring many celebrity chef restaurants.

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Raffles Afternoon tea

It’s not a trip to Singapore without a trip to Raffles for afternoon tea, Raffles High Tea and Singapore go together perfectly. Just visiting Raffles is like stepping back in time the food was absolutely delicious with a wide variety of sandwiches, savouries, cakes, scones and desserts, I do recommend you leave room for Raffles speciality “ Their own recipe Bread Pudding” and I highly recommend you book prior to going to Singapore as this experience is on a lot of bucket lists.

We also took some time to visit the Long Bar, where the tradition is to sip a Singapore Sling and toss all your peanut shells on the floor. The kids can also enjoy a non-alcoholic version of the famous cocktail.

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Things We Did –  Below is a list and some photos of just a few of our favourite spots.

Gardens by the Bay 

Amazing experience that you won’t regret! This is a free venue so perfect to save a few $$. We spent about 3-4 hours here and went in the afternoon/evening so we got to experience it both day and night, as there is a great light, sound and colour show each night, which is going to leave you speechless.  It was quite busy but the crowd wasn’t really much of a bother.

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Universal Studio Singapore 

At the top of many ‘to do’ lists is Universal Studios Singapore, based on Sentosa Island Universal Studios is definitely a must visit on any length of trip.

Top Tip Parent Swap:
If you have a baby or infant in your party who can’t go on a ride (height restrictions apply), then consider using the parent swap system. To do this, approach the ride staff and tell them that you want to take turns going on the ride. In some cases, they’ll simply let one adult head straight onto the single rider queue, and then when they return the other adult in the party then takes there turn. For some rides, they’ll issue the adult with a parent swap pass and you get to fast track up the queue and then once you’ve finished the other parent then gets their turn. This saves so much queuing time.

PLUS

Parent Room – Guest Services
There is a really well equipped parent room, right near the entrance within guest services. In this room there is a couch, perfect for feeding a baby on it, in addition to filtered water, a microwave for heating up foods, and changing stations. There are also a few toys if you’ve got toddlers in addition to babies with you. The room is beautifully air conditioned, so this is a great place to stop by for infant feeding time.

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KidzaniaLocated on Sentosa island KidZania is an indoor themepark where children aged 4 – 17 learn through hands on role play while exploring a kids sized city complete with building, paved streets, vechicles and functioning economy, just like the real world. Spend the day learning about different carers and the inner workings of a city all the while having fun.

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Little India

We loved walking around the quaint streets and exploring all that little India had to offer. We ate at some of the local spots and found the food inexpensive. The spice shops and Bollywood dvd shops add to the feeling. If you love colour then this is the place for you. Two or Three hours including meal time is more than enough to see everything.

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Chinatown

A colorful and delightful section of the city. This is a great place to go shopping for souvenirs which are very expensive elsewhere. Lots of bargains and knick knacks to be had very cheaply it’s the best place to visit for shops and food it’s vibrant busy and just makes you feel happy. It’s worth a visit just for some chili crab!

 

Our Top Tips for Traveling in Singapore

Singapore is hot and humid, so light, loose-fitting clothing should be worn and be sure to have hats and sunscreen on hand to protect your family from the hot, tropical sun.

Singapore has year round tropical weather you will most likely have some rain during your holiday in Singapore, so prepare for both sunshine and rain on your visit and you might want to consider disposable ponchos for the family too.

Tap water in the large cities and towns is safe but I always carry bottled water anywhere I go.

I could write for days about this amazing trip so if you do decide to take a trip feel free to contact me as I would love to chat.

Send us your questions, Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo

 

 



WHAT THEY DON’T TELL YOU BEFORE YOU BECOME A PARENT – Guest Blog

guest blog logoWe are Proud to Welcome our Guest Blogger to the Page as part of our

#MumshelpingMums

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Get to Know Kylie Farley,

A stay at home mum to 2.5 year old daughter and 8 month old son. Just a mum trying her best to juggle life, family and running a household. In the process of starting an online kids clothing store.
Love shopping, styling my kids and all things decorating related.

Written By:  Kylie Farley

Follow on the links below to find out more.

Instagram  @mummaslittlesecret

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WHAT THEY DON’T TELL YOU BEFORE YOU BECOME A PARENT

When you fall pregnant it seems that everyone you meet feels the need to discuss

with you the ins and outs of becoming a parent. What to expect, what to do, what

not to do. How much you are going to love it and how amazing it is!

I’ve even had a door-to- door salesman give me his two cents worth on my son’s

runny nose and his eczema (true story)

They run pre natal classes to teach you all about birth, how to swaddle your

baby, how to look after your baby, how to change a nappy, how to settle your

baby. You can even attend breast-feeding classes to teach you how to feed your

baby. This is all great in hindsight

But what no one tells you is you are about to embark on an emotional roller

coaster that you can quiet simply never get off. Parenthood is what I imagine to

be like having a spilt personality. In a matter of minutes I can flip from being the

proudest parent in the world of perfect angels to secretly plotting how I can sell

them on the black market.

The most important thing that gets left out is that bottom line motherhood is a

damn tough gig, at times very relentless and you will feel like you are living in

Groundhog Day. There is not many that will admit this but I will proudly put my

hand up and say “ yep its tough”

Would I change it for the world? No.

Would I do it again in a heartbeat? Yep

Does my heart ache every day for families that cant conceive children? Yep

But that doesn’t change the fact that it is difficult and at times you find yourself

googling for a one way ticket to the Maldives. Who am I kidding? A one way

ticket to anywhere as long as you are alone will be fine!

I am the proud mother to (as every mother says) the two most beautiful children

in the world Rubi 2.5 and Parker 8 months old. I also have a rock of a husband

whom without I cannot say where I would be, he has rescued me from more

tsunami sized meltdowns over the years than I care to admit. I really do have the

perfect little family and no that is not a social media fantasy like so many pretend

to be living, I really do have it but I still struggle every single day and at times

question what am I even doing.

When we fell pregnant the first time we were totally naive about how we were

going to put this newborn on a schedule and it was going to just slot right into

our lives everybody laughed at us and told us how deluded we were.

We welcomed our daughter into the world four weeks early after an easy labor

and she was just the cruisest calmest kid you will ever come across, we did get

her into a routine very early and she just went with the flow, don’t get me wrong

I had plenty of days with her that I would of happily given her to anyone who

would take her but for the most part she was quite simply a dream baby.

I absolutely breezed through this motherhood thing, everyone commented oh

she is a reflection of you; you’re calm so she is calm.

It was no surprise that when Rubi was 14 months old we were expecting our

second child.

We were so excited although I did get racked with that terrible mum guilt, what

have I done to Rubi? She no longer will have my undivided attention, this and

pregnancy hormones used to make me cry a lot. Hubby always reasoned with me

that we are giving her the best gift we could ever give her and reminded me that

she is not the first child to be an older sibling.

Then of course you question how could you possibly love another child as much

as your first born?? Well all that worry was for nothing my heart just instantly

divided and exploded just as much when we welcomed our son Parker into the

world. He was the most perfect little boy I’ve ever laid my eyes on. In hospital he

was so calm and cruisy, feeding every four hours sleeping like a dream. I actually

said out loud, I think he could be even cruiser than Rubi! A statement I will live to

eat my words

Another thing that no one tells you when you are pregnant is how polar opposite

your children can be. Parker turned out to be a next level baby and he quite

simply knocked the wind out of me. Let me touch back on the comment I

received when Rubi was a baby “she’s so calm because you are and your such a

good mum” so what was I this time? A psycho mum?

So here I am 8 months on and am starting to see the light. I spent a good part of

the first few months of his life drowning and unable to see the bigger picture. I

have lost both my parents, my mum passed away when I was 13, she was only 36

and I lost my dad when I was 23. Both of them played such a pivotal role in

making me the person I am today but never in the 22 years without mum have I

missed her more than I have in the last year. I have spent many of nights crying

just thinking how different things could be if they were just here to help me.

Nothing compares to the cuddle from your mum when things are tough,

Parker had reflux which saw him never wanting to be put down obviously this

was because he was in pain when he wasn’t being held upright, he was on

medication which didn’t really help a great deal. I spent all day holding him

otherwise he would be screaming, poor Rubi needed my attention too but luckily

for me she took it all in her stride its like she just understood her brother needed

mummy,

He was always relaxed of course when around others to the point where no one

believed how hard a time he was giving me; I even got accused to lying (all in jest

of course) but still a comment that cuts deep.

Friends and family started to label him as demanding, clingy I even heard that he

was a piece of work!!! He was always being compared to his big sister and their

different personality’s this as parents was a tough pill to swallow. We can say

those things about our son but for anyone else to hit a real nerve with us, at the

end of the day he was just a poor little boy with something bothering him that he

just could not communicate.

Someone even commented “oh well, Lucky he’s cute”! Please is that not the most

ridiculous thing you have ever heard?? Like it matters, he is my son and nothing

he could ever do would make me love him any less

There came a point when he was so miserable all day that I actually questioned if

he even liked me, as I said the words out loud I knew it was totally ridiculous but

at the same time in my sleep deprived haze it seemed totally rational.

At six months old and him still crying all day, naps were just a stressful battle

that would end with him in a vicious cycle of over tiredness, hence not sleeping

at night either. I could not remember the last time I had a good night sleep my

breaking point come when my daughter had a fall and broke her leg. She was in a

full leg cast, now let me tell you she is a mile a minute kid so to keep her still and

occupied was not easy, she’s the sort of kid that upends a room in 3 seconds flat

leaving you actually believing you have been ransacked.

She went form being a champion sleeper to waking multiple times a night either

in pain or just that her cast was heavy and uncomfortable, for the first four nights

she actually was awake form midnight till minimum 4 in the morning. So

between her and Parker I literally was getting no sleep, hence the phone call got

made to sleep school, I remained quite calm they said some one will call you back

for assessment in two weeks I got my date and time and pretty much counted

down the days for the next two weeks. By the time I got the call, I was frantic,

Parker was screaming I was crying, they obviously thought I was some kind of

psycho because I was booked in for a week long stay just five days later.

Hallelujah! Could this be one turning point?

Well of course my cheeky little monkey was the textbook baby in there, he

actually slept all night! Well he did wake but self settled so in my eyes that’s a

sleep through!

He went down perfectly during the day for all his naps except for one where he

finally showed the nurses his full potential. She battled him for 50 minutes and

said to me I’m going to get him up he wont sleep I said ok but he will laugh in

your face! Sure enough he did, her response Parker you little beast!

I racked my brain as to what was different at sleep school to at home; the only

thing I could come up with is that for five days he had my undivided attention. I

didn’t have to worry about anything else so he had 100% of my focus. This did

wonders for me with bonding with him but of course when we came home it was

not possible to keep that up I still have a house to run, a husband and of course

another child to look after.

We had a few semi good nights then by the time I had my follow up call a week

later I was a wreck again.

Any way long story short he still is not a good sleeper, on a good night I only get

up around 4 times. I’m still waiting for that magical I sleep through the night

milestone But I have had break through, a light switch just seemed to go off and

he sleeps perfectly during the day and when he is awake he is happy this in turn

has made things a million times easier to cope with. Dealing with a screaming

baby all day then not having him sleep at night is bound to bring down even the

toughest of people. I’m the sort of person who doesn’t cope well when things

don’t go to plan, I write lists about anything and everything and I plan

meticulously everything I do, this kind of personality and being a mum are an

evil combination. Number one rule of motherhood, expect the unexpected.

So how did I get through this?

I lowered my expectations, sometimes you just need to stop what you are doing

and be in the moment with your children, everything else can wait. Since I have

adopted this attitude I have been totally enjoying being a mother, a far cry from a

few months back when I felt I was simply going through the motions.

I finally feel like I’m back in control, when it comes to juggling the house and

getting food on the table every night sometimes you just have to let it go. My

argument with my hubby was always well if I don’t do it who will?

His response always the same, just let it go it will all be there in the morning. The

kids will never remember that you didn’t fold washing one night or you left

dishes in the sink. What they will remember is that they were loved. For

someone who is borderline OCD this is tough but by far the best piece of advice

I’ve been given.

So what do you do to survive the trails and tribulations of being a mum?

-You remember that you are not alone, all mums go through it some are just not

as open as I am being.

-Surround yourself with similar people; I am fortunate enough to have an

amazing mothers group who would drop everything to help you out.

-Have a support person, mine is my neighbor and friend who has children very

similar in age to my two and I quiet simply would not have survived without all

she has done to help me.

– Lower expectations of household chores, go for tidy over clean. No one seems

to notice that you haven’t mopped the floor if the place is tidy. (Not easy when

you are living with mini cyclones I know)

-Most importantly take some time out for yourself each week, do not loose your

self as a mum, even though it is the most important role of your life do not let it

define you. At the end of the day you are still you. Take a break; it is amazing

what even 20minutes without someone demanding your attention or climbing

all over you can do to for your sanity.

-Take the time to get out of the house every day; even if it’s just to sit outside,

fresh air changes everything

I am so fortunate to have my hubby who balances me out, our motto is we may

not have it all together but together we have it all.

When I get racked with mum guilt of am I enough for my children I just stop take

a breath and remember I am the mother they need me to be and that’s all that

really counts.

Yes my kids are close in age, but if you think my hands are full you should see my

heart, it is bursting.

When you are sitting having a tea party with your 2.5 year old daughter and she

says “there is so much love in this house” all I can do is smile (whilst wiping

away the tears and know I must be doing something right.

Parent hood is tough there is no denying that but it is also the most rewarding

thing you will ever do, so when its tough remember it will get easier and that it

goes so fast so just stop everyday to take a moment and breathe every last detail

of them in for you will never get this day with them again.

kylie2

 

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Australia Zoo – A Family Friendly spot to visit with the Kids

This weekend we had the pleasure of visiting Australia Zoo it was Pipers first trip to the zoo and lets just say she sure made a day of it!

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The Irwin family have worked hard to make Australia Zoo a world class tourist attraction and conservation facility  with seventy acres of tropical parkland and more than one thousand native and exotic animals makes Australia Zoo an awesome place to visit.

If ever there was a place to get hands-on with animals surely it is Australia Zoo.

Australia Zoo is extremely family friendly and the perfect place to take the little ones from its policy of allowing patrons to bring their food and beverages into the park to multiple baby change rooms and providing lots of opportunities for parents to take free photos of their family with animals as well as the usual free Zoo demonstrations of the feeding of animals.

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The zoo is open from 9am until 5pm every day, except Christmas day and on Anzac day it is open from 1.30pm until 5.30pm.

Australia Zoo is located at 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah Queensland and it’s approximately a one hour drive from Brisbane. Car parking is free. Alternatively, you can catch a train from Brisbane to Landsborough or Beerwah station and a free zoo shuttle bus will take you the rest of the way.

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If possible, book your discount tickets online before you go as this will save you having to line up to purchase them on the day, the less waiting around with little ones, the better! And don’t forget to grab your free map on entry so you can navigate your way around.

For small children, you will need a pram as there is a fair amount of walking to do. The cheapest option is to bring your own. If you forget, or if that’s is not possible, there are prams and “tag along wagons” available for hire. You can also make use of “Steve’s Shuttle Service” to get around the zoo and give tired legs a rest. This free shuttle can accommodate prams without needing to fold them up, which is very handy if you have a sleepy baby. There are also plenty of ramps and lifts available for easy pram access, and the paths around the zoo are wide and pram friendly.

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What Piper suggest you must see:

Pipers big favourite for the day was ‘Roo Heaven’ is a large and natural home for kangaroos and wallabies, children can hand-feed them, pat them and have their photo taken with them.

There is also a kids’ zoo where children can hand feed goats, pigs, calves and sheep you can buy a small bag of feed and feed the crazy goats this was a big hit!

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The  koalas are a must see and children are able to pat them and learn more about this vulnerable species of unique Australian wildlife.

Plus we cant forget the Crocodiles as they were always Steve Irwin’s passion, and so you can’t go past the crocodile enclosure without having a look at these amazing prehistoric reptiles.

It’s a special experience to see these big cats and their cubs up close and learn about how we can help save them. There is even an underwater viewing enclosure to watch them having a swim, and you can witness the handlers keeping them entertained with toys and games.

Explore the wide open plains of the African Savannah and see the rhinos, giraffes and zebras. You may even see a cheetah walking by. The setting is completed with a big canvas safari tent where you can stop for a rest, a drink from the kiosk and time to just gaze at these amazing animals. This makes for a wonderful experience for your children.

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The Australia Zoo roving wildlife team give you the chance to meet koalas, wombats, possums, dingoes, blue tongue lizards, skinks, pythons, alligators, macaws, cockatoos and many more. You can also have your children’s photo taken with them, either by yourself (for free) or by one of the professional photographers. These photos are then available to purchase in the photo lab.

Wear comfortable clothes, a hat, carry a water bottle and apply sunscreen as you will be out in the open a lot. In summer, the zoo can get very hot, so take lots of water for our Queensland weather. It is also a good idea to pack a poncho if it looks like rain. Don’t forget your camera, as there will be many photo opportunities. There is free Wi-Fi available in the Crocoseum, admissions area and food court if you want to share some of your snaps with the world.

For more information and full Zoo Details go to Australia Zoo

Love Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo

 

 



MiniMeis – Down Under / Baby Back Carrier

 
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We were very excited this week to receive our MINIMEIS carrier, it is perfect for hikes, theme parks, museums or even at the airport. It even makes a short walk easier and simply perfect when you want to give your child that bird’s-eye view whilst knowing your child is safe & secure in the MiniMeis Baby Back Carrier.

The MiniMeis has revolutionized the way babies are carried, it not only provides your child with a view of the world as you see it, it also leaves your hands free to point and interact with your child. MiniMeisis is simple to put on and has clip buckles with self locking straps for maximum convenience and comfort.

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The MiniMeis Baby / Child Shoulder Carrier is ideal for an active family making hiking, family day trips, holidays, walks to Pre-school or even walking the dog easy and fun.

When not in use, your MiniMeis Baby Back Carrier quickly folds in half so it’s easy to store away.

We are lucky to be able to introduce you to the lovely Cassandra, Mummy of 3 boys and distributor for MiniMeis Australia to tell us more of the story behind this great idea and how she got involved……

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 Welcome Cassandra,

I stumbled across the crazy world of baby wearing while I was pregnant with No.2 boy. I was sucked right in! Within months I had an awesome ‘stash’ that included soft structured carriers, wraps, ring slings, wrap conversions…you name it, I had it! So when my darling boy entered the world I was busting to use them all! Reality check….he HATED being worn! I tried everything! Front carries, back carries, hip carries, outside, inside, sitting, standing, dancing, hopping on one leg even! I had maybe a handful of successful carries in the first year of his life. By this stage I was pregnant again and had pretty much given up, with the hope that No.3 (boy again) would be a lot more cooperative and so far, so good.

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One day I was browsing the world of Instagram and stumbled across the MiniMeis carrier! Genius! What kid doesn’t like shoulder rides? We managed to get one down here after pulling a few strings with Scandinavian family. It’s been AMAZING! Dad happily wears it as well and my toddler has never been happier! We hadn’t had it very long and I just knew this was a product I wanted to get behind!
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What we love about the MiniMeis:
Compact / light/ great for travelling
Dad friendly
Best view for your child
Free hands for child and wearer
Can be used from 6mths to 5years approx
Easy to use
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Available in Australia now

The MiniMeis Baby Back Carrier Toddler Package includes the following.

MiniMeis shoulder harness.

Upper section seat for a child of 2 – 5 years of age (or a maximum child weight of 20kg). This upper section has no harness, so the child remains stable via the Velcro leg loops.

Extra padding which can be useful in the summer months, when you want to use your MiniMeis with less padded clothing such as T-Shirts.

Small & Light – Collapsible
Ergonomically made for perfect body balance
Norwegian design

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Insta: @minimeisaustralia 
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