Archive for the ‘family’ Category

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}

Categories: family Tags:

My Tips On International Travel with Children

June 27, 2013 6 comments


In 3 and a bit weeks my husband and I are taking our 8 and 3 year old boys on a 14 hour plane journey to America. We have done this journey before, well twice before if you include there and back. That was theirs (and ours) first ever international flight.

Like any good over zealous planner, before our first international flight with children, I searched the internet for tips and tricks and answers to the questions I had. I prefer actual blog posts as they tend to give the nitty gritty details and experience instead of the travel magazine’s standard tips of ‘take plenty of toys and snacks to keep them amused’

First, a shout out to those blogs that I read and got ideas from:

Preparing to Go

I am a big believer in preparing toddlers as much as possible for what’s ahead. If my little munchkin went straight onto a plane without hearing about it first, it would have been meltdown city.

Our Holiday Book

I made him up a book, very basic, just outline the steps we would take and what happens on plane. ie “when the plane goes up or down, we have to have our seat belts on. When the lights go out, it’s a good time to sleep” Then we read it to him many times before the big day.

This time around, we are using the book again but also using a countdown calender. Because he is into counting, this is a great tool to keep him from asking, ‘we go today on big plane?’


For my eldest, I got him a book from the library, ‘Not for Parents: New York City, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know’. It is a great book aimed for the primary aged children. There are a few different ones for different cities.

We also found some useful You Tube video’s that showed my eldest what the plane flight would be like. He loved watching it and a love affair with A380’s began.

The Airport and the Flight

Plane at Gate

We spent some time at the gate before we had to board, the boys got to see the Qantas A380 parked at the gate. There was also a little play area which is great for a certain 3 year old to have a play on before being confined to a seat.

For those with babies/toddlers still in nappies, there are baby change tables in the airplane toilets. For some reason I could never find the answer to this question online! I asked the flight attendants when I got on board which toilets they were as they aren’t in all of them. (well in economy, not sure about the other sections)

As for those stinky nappies (you are bound to get one) get the strongest smelling nappy bags you can find. Also fragranced nappy wipes and have extra. Wrap the nappy in wipes then double bag. It seemed to work for me. Also try some scenarios at home (with bagging the smelly nappies) so you know what works. You definitely don’t want to stink out the airplane toilet!

In regards to food, I ordered the special children’s meal for them. This is something you need to do while booking the tickets or if you have a travel agent, check yourself with the airline a few days before you leave. These meals come out first and gets them started.

Child Plane Meal

Generally they have pasta and sauce, (or similar simple dish) some sort of fruit, a sweet treat, juice box, bread roll, water and a couple of other things I cannot remember.

In regards to Qantas, they do bring around a couple of snacks and fruit at different points. The A380’s also have a ‘snack bar’ (again this is economy) at the back of the section which has soft drinks, water, fruit and cookies.

Entertainment wise we are lucky enough to have an iPad so I loaded it up with toddler apps/games on it before we went. Our youngest did play with it for awhile and played the little back of the seat tv’s as well. He also thought turning the overhead light on and off was heaps of fun . Hoping he has grown out of that one. He popped the tray table up and down too, as well as mine.

I did have some colouring books, pencils and cars for him to play with but the pencils went all over the floor and I had to keep reaching down to get them. Very hard when the people in front of you have their seat all the way back the whole trip. I think I’ll try a pencil roll this trip and hope that works better.

My 8 year old (then 7) managed to keep himself busy the whole trip, he loved it. He controlled his own tv, had meals, wrote in his book and read. We had to remind him to have an actual sleep. Which he did. They both did thankfully.

Remember that tip everyone says when you have a newborn? Sleep when the baby is sleeping? Do it on the plane too… sleep when the kids are sleeping.


A Cajun Down Under told me an awesome tip, as she has done many transatlantic flights, is to pick up the routine from the local time. When we arrive in LA it will be 6.30am, so act as if it is 6.30am, don’t worry about what time it is in Australia, just focus on the hear and noew. Of course if your kids are all over the place and need a nap, give them one! But it was a great tip that worked for us on arrival in the States as well as getting home.

Enjoying the Holiday

Kitchen Hotel Beacon

When planning the holiday and where we would stay, I needed to have somewhere with a kitchen, not only for me and my gluten free needs but also for the boys. It was great to have a kitchen and fridge to keep cereal, milk and yoghurt in for quick breakfasts in the morning.

I reminded myself to check my expectations of the boys. Don’t expect them to be on the go sightseeing from 8 am to 10 pm, it just won’t be pleasant for anyone.


Schedule a few free days or kids only days. Couple of times we took the kids to a playground or water park, of course we wouldn’t have done that if we were alone but it breaks things up for them.

The most important tip: have a wonderful time!

Have you got any other tips when travelling overseas with children?

Top image courtesy of potowizard /

All others my own

Categories: family, travel Tags:

The Week That Was 22nd June 2013

June 21, 2013 2 comments

Well this week wasn’t the best as my youngest was sick for most of it. I decided to stay home except for school drop offs and pick ups (can’t avoid those)

Coles Gluten Free

You may have already seen this photo if you read my Weekly Gluten Free Supermarket Specials posts as I snuck it in there. There are Coles Gluten Free products on shelves! I tried the Ancient Grain Chips and they were very yummy. I look forward to continue trying the new products as the weeks progress.

Exercise Try OutMy oldest boy and I were out checking out some gym equipment, this one would have to be one of my favourites from my gym days.

Cold Weather

We had our first couple of frosty mornings. As you can see, it’s a cold few days! I tried to take a photo of the fog but it didn’t work out.

PeakabooSo what do you do when it’s 1 degree? Play Peakaboo through the car window with your big brother.

Peakaboo 2


Fluffy CloudsThe good thing about some cold frosty foggy mornings, it usually means lovely blue skies with fluffy white clouds by the afternoon – although it’s still cold


Before youngest got sick we popped into the shops and the toys are invading the department store. The best part was my boys were only interested in these $1 dinosaur masks. We did buy them and they have had lots of fun with them.

Revenge Wears Prada

Who else loved Devil Wears Prada? I love the movie too and always watch when it’s on tv, cannot help myself. Then I found out there is a new sequel! Just picked this up from the library and it’s good and ah… a little surprising.

Disney Photo Pass

And today in the mail, this came. The Disney Photo Pass+. It’s getting closer!

How was your week?

Categories: family, gluten free, me Tags:

Listmania: My Ideal Day

June 17, 2013 10 comments

This weeks prompt with Listmania over at Home Life Simplified is to describe my ideal day. Gosh I could have a lot of fun with this one.

For example: if it was a fantasy day then it would have to be one where I could eat whatever I wanted with no consequence. Or get lots of money somehow. Or have the world’s biggest sleep in.

But then I thought about our upcoming holiday and realised that I will most likely be having my ideal day/s very soon.

Some holiday’s are just stuff you do at home except in a different location. Our American holiday last year wasn’t. Sure we did a little grocery shopping and laundry but to me that was fun. Because we were in New York City doing it!

This year, in 5 short weeks in fact, we will be heading back to America for a holiday and my ideal day/s will happen.

Fun with my 2 boys and hubby in Disneyland and then in New York City.

I cannot think of anything better.

Top of the Rock

Admiring the view from ‘Top of the Rock’. See the Empire State Building in the background there?

UWS walking

Walking the streets of Upper West Side. Love the brownstones.

walking central park

Walking in Central Park

The Week That Was – 14th June 2013

June 14, 2013 4 comments

The week started with a public holiday thanks to the Queen of our country. It was nice to have an extra day to get some bits and pieces done.


Firstly some new plants for the backyard

Watering Plants

Getting the welcome drink

Cloudly Clouds

Love photos of clouds!

Rain Radar June 13

It was a mild week – then this happened! Just a little rain.

USA Trip Countdown 14.6.13

Counting down….

Lentil Soup June 13

Finally made Libby’s Lentil Soup – yum!

SuitcasesGetting suitcases ready for our trip, a couple of them have bitten the dust so we need to get a couple more. Using the chance to get more big ones.

Homebrand Jelly Babies

Homebrand Jelly Beans

A win at Woolworths with gluten free lollies, found Jelly Babies and Jelly Beans there, both made out of corn syrup so no gluten containing ingredients.

Apple Store

Had a visit to an Apple store

Monsters Uni ClipMonsters characters are appearing in short clips on Disney Jr and youngest is loving then! I taped one and he watches it over and over, laughing like crazy each time he watches it. It is pretty funny.

The Times 2013Times part 2 2013

My oldest had his school photos taken and in the package is a book with the photo of the school, photo of all the students (tiny ones over 2 pages) and class photo. There is also the back pages with these photos, which I think is a great idea. Would have loved something similar for my own school photos back in the day…

Roasted Pumpkin SoupAnd I finished the week with a nice bowl of my own roasted pumpkin soup – yum!

How was your week?

PS Don’t forget to enter my Freelicious Gluten Free Goodies giveaway – about $50 worth of goodies from biscuits to cornflakes – yum!