Quick Update

July 31, 2013 Comments off


Wow how fast did those 10 days go between now and my last post? I think everyone knows that I am on my family holiday in the USA?

We are all having a blast and I have some highs and lows to share re my gluten free challenges but importantly I have not been glutened. Thank goodness.

We went to LA first for Disneyland and it was such fun. 4 days of go go go but the boys held up remarkably well and now we are in New York City. It is as amazing as we remember and having lots of fun. I shall be sharing photos and stories soon.

{The above image is a photo my husband took. It is a window display of a souvenir‎ store. Pretty much sums up how we feel about the place}

Categories: me, travel

The Week That Was: 19th July 2013

July 19, 2013 2 comments

Week One of Term 3 down…hard to believe half the school year is over already. I sent in enrolment forms for my youngest to start kinder next year. 4 year old kinder! (pre school some you might know it as)

Painted Place MatHubby had a birthday last week, this is what our oldest made him. He rolled tennis balls in paint and plopped them on. Then we laminated it. It is now Daddy’s place mat. He loves it.

Birthday Choc Cake

Hubby’s birthday cake – gluten free chocolate cake with ganache topping – yum!

Luna Park

We went to Luna Park (with thanks to Bupa’s Health Awards).

Luna Park Colouring In

Oldest loves colouring in, he did a great job.

St Kilda Beach

Luna Park is in St. Kilda, Melbourne so we went to St Kilda beach for awhile, doesn’t it look gorgeous?

Monsters Inc Cut Out

Youngest wanted to get a Monsters Inc student card but the cutout was a bit tall for him, just like Mike.

Testing out Bikes

Here he is testing out a proper bike with training wheels, no toddler bikes for him anymore.

Travel Pack

Found this great little travel pack at Kmart for $9. It has 2 packing cubes, laundry bag, washing line and refillable bottles. I thought it was cool and I love the packing cubes. Makes me think I need to invest in a whole set of them.

Mickey Mouse Mask

We were rapt to find a Mickey Mouse mask in Coles (for $2), you usually cannot get Mickey anything anywhere, and it was the only one there. Yay!

How was your week?

Categories: me Tags:

Preparing the House for a Housesitter

July 18, 2013 4 comments

House Sitting

Back in my early twenties oh so long along, I used to house sit for family friends while they were on holidays. I got to stay in a couple of really nice places, while looking after the owners house and pets.

Now I am a home owner, I can definitely see the advantage of having a housesitter. Lucky for us we have such a huge family that there is usually someone available to come and stay for us.

Getting the house ready and knowing what to do can be a bit daunting when you haven’t done it before. As I can draw experience on being both the sitter and owner, I thought I’d share what I do to prepare the house.

Once you have figured out where to pop your guest/s, be sure that you let them know where you stand on them having any overnight guests of their own.

Clean out the wardrobe and and drawer – don’t forget to leave some hangers.

Clear off the bedside tables

Towels – leave some out and let them know where there are more.

Car – do they have a car? Where can they park it?

Eating – let them know what they can have from your pantry. I clear a couple of shelve’s for them, as well as leave the fridge pretty much empty. I also clear out a bit of the freezer so they can use that also.

Since pretty much everything in my pantry is gluten free, I have all my containers labelled as such. (I get labels from places like Stuck on You and Bright Star Kids for mine) and I explain if they need to use the gluten free flour or the like, please use clean utensils.

Local Takeaway Menus

Kitchen appliances – leave the instructions for the appliances like the dishwasher, oven, coffee machine

Closest supermarket or shops – especially if your house sitter is not local

Phone – make sure they know the number and if you expect them to pay for STD or mobile calls.

Internet – we have a huge download limit so we are happy for them to use our internet. We leave the wireless password as they will be bringing their own laptop.

Heating – leave instructions on how to work the heater. Plus any quirky tips like how to reset it or relight it.

Washing Machine – ah you see where I am going? Leave instructions on how to use this too. Plus any quirky tips.

Iron and ironing – where are they and where are they kept.

Leave all your holiday details, like where you are staying and when. Also leave them contact details of a neighbour or family member if they need help.

If you need plants watered, be sure to let them know how often.

Rubbish – have to let them know when to leave the council bins out.

TV/DVD/Foxtel – leave instructions on how to work these units

and leave the cleaning goodies in an easy, accessible spot so it encourages use of them.


So if your housesitter is also a pet sitter, consider leaving them instructions on:

  • feeding
  • cleaning (ie litter)
  • quirks your pet house, ie likes to run around the house at 4am or likes a particular chair to sleep on
  • number of your vet
  • exercise requests and where the lead etc is kept

For me specifically, this is what I like to also do:

  • Put the boys toys away
  • Leave extra blankets out
  • Mow the lawn
  • Put a hold on the mail
  • Clean and tidy the house
  • Leave some books and magazines out
  • Leave milk and bread in the fridge, some chocolate biscuits in the pantry

and the most important thing – leave them the keys!

Have you house sat? Do you have house sitters when you go away?

Image courtesy of njaj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Categories: travel Tags: ,

Gluten Free Weekly Special at Coles and Woolworths

July 16, 2013 4 comments

Coles Weekly Gluten Free Specials

Coles Gluten Free Specials

Finally the Coles Gluten Free Range has come on special, hopefully we all get the chance to try something new.

Coles Simply Gluten Free Range Specials

  • Cornflakes – $3
  • Museli – $2.90
  • Spaghetti – $2
  • Anzac Biscuits – 2 for $5
  • Beef Stronganoff – 2 for $2.80
  • Corn Chips – $2
  • Beef Pies – $7

Coles Specials 17th July 3

  • Hot Shot Fruit Tails or Iddy Biddy Fruity Bits – $3
  • Twinings – $6
  • SPC Fruit – $3
  • Nescafe Gold Freeze Dried Coffee – $7
  • Nescafe Blend 43 – $6.80

Coles Specials 17th July 9

  • Smith’s Chips Multipack – $2

Coles Specials 17th July 11

  • Moro Extra Virgin Olive Oil – $20
  • Coles Red Salmon – 2 for $5
  • Capriccio Tomatoes – 69 cents
  • Sirena Tuna, Leggo’s Pasta Bake – 2 for $5

Check out the Coles Weekly Specials online here

Woolies Weekly Gluten Free Specials

Woolies 17th July 6

  • Danone Epic Yoghurt Pouches – 5 for $5
  • Australian Grown Juice – $4.99
  • Babybel Mini Cheese – $2.50
  • Flora pro-activ – $8
  • Coon Slices – $9
  • Farmers Union Greek Strained Yoghurt – Buy One Get One Free – 2 for $1.99

Woolies Specials 17th July 1

  • Smith’s Chips or Doritos Corn Chips (original flavour is gluten free by ingredient) 2 for $5

Woolies Specials 17th July 2

  • La Zuppa Soup – $3
  • Sunrice – $4
  • Annalisa Tomatoes or Beans – $1
  • Edgell Sweet Corn – $1.60
  • Leggo’s Pasta Bake – $3
  • Crisco Vegetable or Canola Oil – $3
  • John West Tuna – $4.50

Woolies Specials 17th July 3

  • Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus 4 Cheese Bake or Prefect Bake – $6
  • Bornhoffen, Yoplait or Yoplait for Me Yoghurt – 2 for $8
  • Perfect Italiano Parmesan – $4

Woolies Specials 17th July 4

  • Nutella – $6
  • Twinings – $3.24
  • Golden Circle Fruit Squeeze – $1.40

Woolies Specials 17th July 5

  • Sirena Tuna – $1.90 or 3 for $4.98

Woolies Specials 17th July 7

  • Cardonell Spanish Olive Oil – $20
  • Riviana Basmati Rice – $8
  • Moccona Coffee – $18

Woolies Specials 17th July 8

  • Kellogg’s Coco Pops and Nutri-Grain Liquid Breakfast – $3
  • Bega Tasty Cheese – $8

Woolies Specials 17th July 10

  • Country Ladle Soup – the Butternut Pumpkin flavour is gluten free by ingredient – $1.64

Check out Woolworths Weekly Specials Online Here

Please be sure that the products I have mentioned are suitable for you.

This will be the last Weekly Specials I do for the next month or so as I am going overseas and won’t be around to do the Australian supermarket specials.

Have you see any good gluten free specials this week?

Listmania: The current A to Z of me

July 15, 2013 10 comments

This week’s Listmania prompt is to talk about the A to Z of you. In any way you like so I thought I would talk about the current A to Z of me.

We have done this prompt before but it was ages ago, back in March so it’s good to update this like this every now and then. And I’ll try not to make it all about my holiday…

Anticipation – It’s high in this house, anticipation for the weeks ahead – it’s all good though.

Big – Big cups of coffee, my daily fix.


Cottage By the Sea – My current read, it’s by Carole Matthews and I am loving it. It’s classic chick lit which is my favourite genre at the moment.


Dog – My oldest is asking and asking for a dog. We lost our last puppy dog a few years ago and we all still miss him. We will get another one some day but dog ownership is a big responsibility, most of which will fall to me and I am not quite ready yet. This photo is of my oldest when he was 3 giving our late puppy dog a hug.

Excited – We are all very excited in our house. America next week!

Family time – just love it

Gluten Free  – A cheeky reminder about my Gluten Free Kids ebook.

Health – we are all healthy at the moment and for that I am extremely grateful.

Itinerary  – I have being having fun creating ours for the trip

Jammy’s  – I am loving popping my PJ’s straight after dinner these days – so comfy.

Kindergarten – I have to do the enrolment forms for my youngest this week for kinder next year (pre school in many states). Hard to believe he is ready for kinder.

List – My life is consumed with lists at the moment so I don’t forget anything

Musicals – Do you like them? I admit I do and I saw Legally Blonde a few weeks ago with my girlfriends, it was a great kids free day out. I am hoping we can do it again soon.

Hot Choccy

New York City – what more can I say?

Organised? Not yet but soon hopefully!

Plug – A shameless plug about my current giveaway – 2 lots of family passes for Melbourne families to see Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mystery in September. I am quite looking forward to it myself.

Quiet – I am looking forward to a little bit of peace and quiet this week with school and Little Kinder being back – those 90 minutes I get to myself are precious!

Report – My oldest got his mid year school report and it was excellent. So very proud of him.

Shower – I am going to my husband’s niece’s baby shower this week. (Hubby was an uncle at a very young age) and I am looking forward to seeing her and the family and spending some happy times with them.

Plane at Gate

Travel – It’s hard to believe that we waited so long to do any travel. I think my hubby and I have got the bug for sure.

Unique opportunities – that’s something about being a blogger, it can bring some pretty cool opportunities my way

Very proud – My husband is being promoted in 5 weeks and I am so very proud of him. He has worked hard and is reaping the rewards now.

Weather – as I live in Melbourne it is just cold. Sooo looking forward to summer days for a few weeks

Xtra sleep – I hope I can get some in soon. Every time I get to bed early, I get interrupted mid sleep.

You Tube – We have been watching lots of You Tube lately, checking out Disneyland’s rides so we can prepare the kids for what they are like. It’s been fun.

Zoom – That’s what this year has been like – zooming by fast.

I have almost finished my current read, would love a recommendation for a holiday read?

Categories: family, me Tags:

What’s In My Toddler’s Carry On Bag for International Travel

July 11, 2013 4 comments

Our trip away is not too far away and packing the suitcases has been the forefront of my mind.

Oh and the carry on bag for the plane. Our trip from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles, USA is 14 1/2 hours long. Plus the time at the gate waiting to get on there. The first time we went long haul it stressed me out, a toddler, in nappies for that long? What do I pack? How much is too much? What if I don’t pack what I need?


This time around it has been a little easier in the planing (hopefully the execution too!) and I did learn so things from our first time.

Firstly it’s great having 4 people travelling. That’s alot of luggage and alot carry on. We are flying Qantas so we can take 4 x 7 kilo bags onboard. (within the specific size). I can also have a ‘personal’ bag as a handbag.

Carry On Bag Toddler for Plane

What I do is have a backpack for the toddler stuff and my stuff. It sits at the bottom of toddler’s feet for easy access, in it I put:

Toddler Nappies for Carry On

  • in one ziplock bag – 4 nappies, wipes, bags, hand santiser, cloth towel
  • in one ziplock bag, as above
  • in one ziplock bag – change of clothes for toddler.

Some things in toddler carry on

  • Toddler’s own drink bottle – handy as normal water bottles are still a little hard for him
  • Kids face and hands wipes
  • Tissues
  • Lollipops for sucking on to help ears pop
  • Headphones – these ones are for the iPad as toddler likes using that as well as the onboard entertainment
  • Other activities – books, sticker book, activity pad, pencil roll, ‘Spot That!’ book
  • Mickey Mouse – he is a member of the family!

Plane Activities for Toddler

I haven’t added my own things yet because well, I am not that organised. I will add for me:

  • travel wallet with required travel documents
  • small purse for credit cards and the like
  • passports
  • pens (as one will always run out and you need to fill out different things as you go)
  • iPad
  • iPad charger
  • novel
  • glasses
  • gluten free snacks and hard lollies (for that ear popping)
  • paracetamol
  • plastic bag (for rubbish)
  • and anything else I think of!

A few notes:

I pack more nappies, wipes and nappy bags in another bag. You will always use more than you think. Always.

I separate some into different ziplock bags for the toddler’s carry on as then when it’s time for a nappy change, I can just pull one ziplock bag out and have all I need.

I also put in a few other things like a laptop, changes of clothes, few toiletries, travel pillows and paracetamol for the kids.

I don’t bother changing them into pj’s. Both boys wear comfy clothes on the plane, with another change in case of accidents. I also take shorts so they can change into them before landing as it is hot in LA!

I put all this into another bag which stays in the overhead.

My older son has his own backpack full of his things.

I am almost positive I have forgotten a few things, I think I’ll add them as I remember.

What is your must take item on board?

Categories: family, travel Tags: ,

Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries Ticket Giveaway {closed}

July 10, 2013 15 comments

Scooby-Doo Live!While these school holidays are wrapping up, I am pleased to let you know about something you can do with the kids next school holidays.

Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries is hitting the Australian stage and looks like a fun show for the whole family. If your littlies don’t know Scooby-Doo you can check out the shows on Boomerang on Foxtel or Austar. I am sure there are plenty of adults who know Scooby-Doo though!

Scooby Doo and Shaggy

My favourite character was (is!) Scooby. I also love the Mystery Machine they all drove around in – very cool. What I loved most was the mystery solving. It always amazed me that kids (well grown kids) could solve them.

Mystery MachineMy family and I are looking forward to this show already!

There Scooby-Doo! Live shows scheduled for:

  • Melbourne on 23rd September 2013
  • Perth on 28th September 2013
  • Sydney on 2nd October 2013

Check out here for details and to get tickets.

Scooby-Doo Gang Playing Song

I have 2 x Family Passes to give away for the Melbourne Show, which is on 23rd September 2013, in the next school holidays. **Winners are: Melissa Puli and Liz – they have both been contacted via email**

Be sure to leave a comment letting me know what you did as your last family outing for a chance to win!

Giveaway Details:

  • Prize is 2 Family Passes (which is 4 A Reserve tickets) for the Melbourne Show. Total value of each Family Pass is $156.
  • To enter comment below telling me what your last family outing was
  • Giveaway ends 31st July 2013 AEST
  • Winner will be announced on this blog post as well as emailed. I’ll endeavour to do so 1st August 2013.
  • This is not a game of chance, winner will be based on creativity. Judges decision will be final.

Good Luck!

{Disclosure: I have been give a Family Pass to attend a performance. I have not been paid for this post. All opinions are my own}

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