Three little LEGO® lovers will receive the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be crowned the 2018 Mini Model Builders at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. How awesome is that!!!!
The lucky winners will receive playground bragging rights (and a LEGO® trophy – of course!), plus some ‘bricktastic’ perks including VIP invites to preview events, exclusive one-on-one building classes with the Master Model Builder and a free birthday party hosting up to 20 of their friends OR a free school excursion for their class.
Their loot bag will also include a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre T-shirt, a personalised LEGO® badge and unlimited entry to the attraction for a year! OK OK I’m getting to the bit when I tell you how to enter your little LEGO® masters!!!
To be in the running,
Children aged between 4-12 years must create a 30 second video introducing themselves (and their most imaginative LEGO® creation) while answering two questions
With the help and permission of a parent or guardian, entrants must submit their video via the online entry form. Submissions will be evaluated based on creativity and enthusiasm and 36 finalists will be selected to compete in Australia’s first ‘LEGO® Masters’ event – a children’s LEGO® building competition that will be hosted at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne on Saturday 21 April 2018*. The finalists will participate in a number of LEGO® challenges that will be judged by the attraction’s Master Model Builder and will see him eventually declare the three grand final winners as the 2018 Mini Model Builders. Love LEGO®? Apply here!
Applications will be accepted until 8th April 2018 (5pm EST) and shortlisted finalists will be contacted directly with an invitation to compete in the LEGO® Masters competition*.
Just to add some immediate irritation to your reading, I want to let you know I am writing this poolside, overlooking Melbourne at Crown. I’d like to say I was lying here in a bikini, all tanned, sipping on a large cocktail, but I’d be lying. After a few too many amazing Melbourne burgers, too much wine, and over the top stress chocolate eating, I am actually lying here, fully clothed, bollocking the kids for jumping in the pool every so often! Believe me, it’s bliss compared to being at home and bollocking them for putting their dirty hands on the walls or stealing spoonfuls of Nutella out of the pantry! *Only mum is allowed to do that….
Mr W booked a staycation for this weekend. Oh I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to this. Just getting away from the laundry is good enough for me to be honest. Staying in your own city means you can really switch off, put your feet up and relax. No stress to get up early and sightsee, no fast paced trips round the local museums, no dragging your kids out of the pool because you have four more “must see” spots to visit before check out.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love going away, exploring new places, trawling the kids round ancient monuments, and making them try obscure foods that make their faces scrunch. This though, is just so good.
The Wilson’s were “staycation” virgins until now. As you know, we love travelling, and we’re usually quick to save our cash to go somewhere new… I’m now thinking staycations could be a regular thing for us. How many amazing hotels can we try in Melbourne I wonder?
We checked in to Crown yesterday, all ready for a snooze filled weekend. Poppy had played a game of netball, Monty had been to a birthday party at Extreme Air and the Mr and I have been working full on for weeks. We were all exhausted. We got to the room and leapt into bed. Aren’t those black out curtains in hotels AMAZING?! You can convince the kids it’s actually bed time even though it’s blatantly 5:45pm. The snooze sesh didn’t last long. Living in Melbourne means the kids know exactly what is downstairs and they were absolutely fighting the zz’s and hyper for the movies, and the roulette and blackjack tables… Kidding! We only gamble responsibly, usually a Friday night, after lots of wine, and a boogie!
Mr W and I reluctantly dragged ourselves out of bed… Of course the first thing we had to do was eat, because we actually can’t go anywhere without eating… We went to Guillaume. For those of you who don’t know this restaurant, it’s introduction on the website says:
Inspired by the popular neighbourhood bistros of Paris, Bistro Guillaume offers a menu rich with French classics in a stylish setting on the Crown Riverwalk. The service style is relaxed and diners are encouraged to sit back and enjoy good French food and wine in an unpretentious atmosphere.
The food is amazing, the service was beautiful…. If only the customers were as unpretentious as the restaurant promises it is. One of my pet hates about eating out is that if you have children, people seem to think you have to eat in shit restaurants. As soon as we walked in you could feel the eyes. Couples in the ‘Autumn of their lives’, turning to look. To be fair Monty looked like he’d been dragged through a hedge backwards and Poppy hadn’t even sat down before she was spreading butter on the bread, and herself, however….
The food and wine was divine. We ate, the kids made the most of the wifi, and we left. Oh I love French food and free internet connection.
Yesterday was a warm day in Melbourne. 32 degrees and super windy. We didn’t need to be out and about so we made the most of the pool on the 27th floor. What a view! The kids quickly made some friends so Mr W and I chilled on the loungers whilst the other parents were on pool duty.. (remember that awesome tip right there)… Got to love a hotel pool.
Room service was a must on our staycation. There is nothing more satisfying than siting in your undies, air con blasting, nice and warm under the sheets, watching trashy tv and eating a huge club sandwich! Total bliss right there. As soon as I had taken my last mouthful and was ready to lie down, the kids were up, dressed again and begging to go for a walk… Arghhhh I must try harder to teach them the art of hotel relaxation! *someone have my kids for the weekend!!
Off we went back down in the elevator, two VERY tired kids, one sleepy dad and a very full, rather swollen mum.
Gradi are holding a pizza festival this weekend. Poppy is a Gradi superfan so she was thrilled, although way too full of schnitzel and hot chips from the room to be eating any pizzas. Monty begged and begged for a $50.00 toy car off the Ferrari stand (Formula 1 is coming to Melbs) and threw a huge ‘tanty’ when I said no!
Turned out to be a beautiful evening stroll in this wonderful city! Mr W ended up carrying a sobbing Monty through the hotel, Poppy and I waddling behind begging him to slow down. This race to the lift was made so much worse by the fact that the Crown on a Saturday night is filled with romantic couples, laughing at each others jokes, super slinky show gals and plenty of bars bursting into life… * exactly where Mr W and I would rather be at this precise moment… In to the elevator…. Bed time!!
Sunday morning, after a great sleep, and hurrah no hangover, it’s time for the hotel brekkie! *insert dancing mama emoji right here! This is a big one for us. The Wilson’s love a hotel breakfast! Poppy always heads straight for the sweet pastries and the hash browns, Monty just gets a huge pile of bacon and a pain au chocolate, Mr W and I do the strategic breakfast buffet eating. Start one end and make sure you’ve tried at least one of everything before going back to the start again! We’ve mastered the art I can assure you!
So sadly we’re just one more swim before we go; before we head back to normality, back to the laundry and back to preparing the school bags for another week. You know what though, I wouldn’t have it any other way; despite the bags under my eyes, and the little tears on my cheek as we hand back the room key….. Staycations are absolutely my new fave thing. Enjoying hotels in your own city, not even leaving the building if you don’t want to, has to be one of the best breaks ever!!
Thank you Melbourne, thank you Crown, thank you Mr W… Here’s to another staycation really REAAALLLLY soon! Pretty please!
‘Sometimes a break from your routine is all you need’ – Unknown
We booked our stay direct with Crown, you can use this link , although there are many other sites you can use.
We collect Crown rewards which allow us to get points on all our purchases in the Crown, and give us free parking. You can join here for free! Worth doing if you visit Crown here in Melbourne or Perth!
If you’re thinking of travelling to Melbourne anytime soon, make sure you check out Crown; not just for your accomodation but for entertainment, family fun, restaurants, bars and the world famous casino. A must see in Melbourne.
As an expat, it’s amazing how old “traditions” are quickly substituted with new ones.
Disney on Ice has absolutely become a fun family tradition for us. In fact, it’s my all time best bribe for the kids. “Are we going again this year mum?”….. I use it in all sorts of cunning ways. “Nemo won’t be too happy to hear you haven’t fed our fish all week Monty!” Works a treat!
Hurrah for all us mama’s who love to bribe our kids, because Disney on Ice is winging it’s way to Australia, and this year it’s bigger than ever. Disney on Ice is celebrating 100 Years of Disney Magic this year, and boy are we in for a treat.
The ‘must see’ Australia tour, which is opening in Perth, will be running from 15th June to 23rd July 2018 and tickets are on sale right now!
“The 2018 tour of Disney On Ice will bring to life more than 14 timeless Disney tales including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Frozen and more’ – Disney on Ice
‘Be dazzled by the magic of Disney’s Frozen with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf. Sing-a-long to over 30 of your favourite Disney songs including “Let It Go!,” “You’ve Got A Friend in Me,” and “Hakuna Matata.” Exciting moments from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Disney’s The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and more will leave the whole family with memories that will last a lifetime’ – Disney on Ice
Bedazzle the family with the celebration of the century when Disney On Ice skates into your hometown.
TOP TIP: Get there on time so that the kids can help movie favourites Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde from Zootopia, investigate an off-ice caper to ensure the showstarts on time.
A recent survey of more than 8,000 people revealed the most treasured childhood memory for them was a ‘specific family activity’ (55%)…
Grab your tickets and make sure you and yours are there to celebrate the legacy of Disney in this ice skating spectacular! Trust me, you don’t want to be THAT MUM, who forgot to book…. There’s no excuse to miss out! Make this your annual family tradition, spoil the kids, watch them watching in wonder and keep the magic of Disney alive in their hearts!
‘Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever’ – Walt Disney
Disney On Ice celebrates100 Years of Magicwill open in Perth on 15 June 2018 and travels to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney through to 23 July. Tickets are on sale now atwww.Ticketek.com.au/DisneyOnIce.
2018 National Tour Dates
Perth – Perth Arena 15 – 17 June(Fri – Sun)
Adelaide – Adelaide Entertainment Centre22 – 24 June (Fri – Mon)
Brisbane – Brisbane Entertainment Centre29 Jun – 2 Jul (Fri – Mon)
Newcastle – Newcastle Entertainment Centre13-15 July (Fri – Sun)
Sydney – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park18- 23 July (Wed – Mon)
Feld Entertainment encourage patrons to source tickets through the authorised ticketing agents appointed by our Disney On Ice venues. The authorized ticketing agent for all cities is Ticketek (www.Ticketek.com.au/DisneyOnIce). There are significant risks in buying from other sources.
The Jewish Museum is located in St Kilda, and easy to find. We headed in and straight up the stairs to the sound of Amy Winehouse’s beautiful voice in the distance.
“This isn’t an attempt to tell people what my sister was like, or what kind of people my grandparents were, or to force my opinions on you. This is a snapshot of a girl who was, to her deepest core, simply a little Jewish kid from North London with a big talent who, more than anything, just wanted to be true to her heritage.”
Like millions of people I’m a huge Amy Winehouse fan so this exhibition was a must see for me. She was such an intriguing character and absolutely someone who got to me. I loved her music, her voice, the sound as if from another era. In my eyes she was a true talent.
Amy Winehouse (1983 – 2011) was an incredible singer and songwriter but far beyond that and evident throughout the exhibition, she was all about ‘family’; hugely proud of her home (London) and her Jewish roots. The exhibition feels so personal. As if you’ve walked into her bedroom and you’re thumbing through her things.
The memorabilia on show feels too ‘young’ to be that of someone who has passed. The iconic outfits, giving a real sense of just how tiny Amy was. Amy’s belongings sit in a vast white space; her school uniforms, photographs of her with her friends, her records, and her guitar, all a stark reminder of a life well and truly cut short. A life filled with so much drama, yet essentially she was a proud Jewish girl with a strong sense of family and traditional values.
Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait is a personal and intimate exhibition which explores Amy Winehouse’s inner world, and the influences that shaped her career and personal life – Jewish Museum
Through this exhibition Alex Winehouse celebrates his sisters life and heritage, and allows us to explore her world and everything that influenced it. There are lovely family trees, old photos, and stories of her family who left Belarus in the late nineteenth century, and headed to London, where Amy was to grow up and fall deeply in love with her city.
Amy won five Grammy Awards and had numerous hit songs including Rehab, Back to Black, and Valerie before dying tragically at the age of 27 in 2011.
Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait honours Amy’s memory and achievements, and provides a personal portrait of her family life and Jewish heritage; things that were not always visible in her public life.
“The Jewish Museum is perhaps an unexpected venue for an exhibition about Amy Winehouse, but Amy’s brother, Alex, was adamant that this was the best place to tell her story, because being Jewish was so much a part of who she was.” Jewish Museum of Australia Director Rebecca Forgasz
Since launching in London in 2013, the exhibition has toured internationally from San Francisco to Vienna, Tel Aviv and Amsterdam, with huge success. The Jewish Museum is the only place in Australia to host the Amy Winehouse exhibition and they are very excited to share this fantastic show with us lucky Amy Winehouse fans.
Grab your tickets before it’s gone!!!
Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait
Adults: $12 (18+)
Children: Free (5 and under)
Children: $6 (6+)
Concession: $6 (students, pension card holders, Health Care card)
Family: $27 (2 adults, 2 children or 1 adult, 3 children)
As you know we are all over ‘Aussie Made’ products, and when they’re combined with a charitable trust, and a lot of cool, we just can’t help but tell you all about them! We’ve been using these organic kids products for a while now, but wait till you see what they’ve just launched!!
Last week I had that message ping up on the school app! First week of the school year, and yes, the dreaded “Head Lice has been detected in your child’s class” message.
It is so grim! In fact I’m itchy just thinking about it. Nits are just the worst! Every time one of the children so much as flicks their hair I’m on them like an Orangutan picking through her babies fur, to yelps of “Oh mum, get offfffff”. I just can’t help myself. Not just the thought of creatures crawling through the kids hair, but the little critters then jumping into mine, and the mammoth task of boiling EVERYTHING our heads could have possibly touched. Ewwww!
The amount of time I have spent armed with a nit comb and a bucket full of conditioner is just too depressing to think about! Thankfully, touch wood, we haven’t had them for a while. Maybe it’s a lucky streak? Whatever the reason, I am certainly not willing to take any chances.
**Enter stage left to a chorus of sweet little hummingbirds…
Detangling Lice Repel Spray
We have been trying out some of Daniel Galvin Jnr’s new mild and gentle ‘Detangling Lice Repel Spray’ (200ml). It is made with organic ingredients and smells super good. *Already winning! If you need more than just sweet smelling & lice repelling, then carry on reading! This spray has been formulated to be gentle on delicate skin so parents can be reassured that even the most precious little peaches are safe and sound with this product! *Insert loud cheer!! No one is being left behind!!
The real magic for me is that this spray naturally repels lice!
“Detangles and conditions wet or dry hair and naturally repels lice with a blend of Tea Tree, Rosemary and Mandarin leaving hair feeling silky smooth and smelling fresh”.
No more wrapping scarves round our faces as we try not to breathe in all sorts of terrifying lice repelling ingredients and no more blood curdling screams as I comb through the knots. All of a sudden keeping our kids lice free isn’t a chemical disaster! The pump is so easy to use; Poppy has been spraying her own hair and her brother’s in the morning. Another job I can leave to the kids! Hurrah! (This product is completely SLS, SLES and Paraben free). (Available in Woolworths – RRP $12.00)
‘Created and launched in response to the growing demand for organic children’s haircare and body products, but without the price tag, Dubble Trubble offers performance results with ethical integrity’
Mango Mania 2 in 1 Shampoo and Bodywash
Another beautiful ‘Aussie made’ product we have in the bathroom at the moment is the mild and gentle Mango Mania 2 in 1 Shampoo and Bodywash (500ml). Honestly, it makes the little people smell good enough to eat! I particularly like how foamy this is, perfect for making bubble monsters and great for styling some awesome soapy Mohawks in the bath too! As a mother, I love that all Daniel Galvin Jnr’s Dubble Trubble products, including this Mango Mania Shampoo & Body Wash are made with 70% organic ingredients. Why do I love that they’re organic? Well by using Organic products on our kids hair and skin, it means we are eliminating the risk of any adverse reactions for their little bodies. Whether they have skin conditions or not, organic is the best option! IMHO. Removing all the nasties from our homes (SLS, SLES and Parabens) is an important step that we should all be taking for ourselves and our children. Available in Woolworths RRP $8.00
So, bath time done and dusted with one bottle, the kids smell divine, and their hair is all swishy, swooshy and lice free! If you need a little reminder of why we love this range, here you go ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓
The Prince’s Trust Australia supports the development and delivery of innovative, high impact projects that align with the charitable interests of his H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. The charity has a number of project areas including the following categories: Health & Wellbeing, The Build Environment, Rural & Regional, Defence Members and their Families, Young People, Environment & Sustainability, Arts and Culture. A royalty of $0.10 for each unit of each product sold will be paid to The Prince’s Trust Australia
These products were gifted to us, however the words I use and the opinions I express are 100% my own. The Wilsons love finding great Australian Made products, and we genuinely love and use this Organic Kids Range!
Located just 25 minutes from Adelaide, Handhorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and celebrated 175 years in 2014. It still has a strong German flavour most evident in the small goods outlets, bakeries, pubs, restaurants and cafes that line the bustling main street’ – Adelaide Hills.org
Handhorf is a truly picturesque little town founded byPrussian Lutherans in 1839. It is so close to Adelaide, you really don’t need to leave it out of your trip. We visited in January, and the weather was lovely. We have been told that Autumn is spectacular too because of the wonderful colour of the leaves on the trees.
Driving in to Handhorf, it hits you how German this little town really is. The bakeries are pumping out freshly baked pretzels, there are sausages hanging in the windows of the butchers, German flags proudly swaying in the breeze, and souvenir shops selling all kinds of Germanic keepsakes including huge beer steins. We particularly liked the aprons which made the children look like they were wearing traditional German costume…Monty liked playing the accordion… The shop assistant didn’t enjoy it quite as much!
I always find it fascinating to think that people came to Australia, seeking a safe place to rebuild their lives, and they ended up somewhere like this. The journey must have been daunting, such a huge trip. Then, to build a town so much like home, a community and a brand new life, it’s incredibly brave.
We visited The Handhorf Academy which is the regional centre for art and heritage. Originally a boarding school, and later a maternity hospital, this 19th Century Heritage building could tell some phenomenal stories of courage, excitement and fear as early settlers built their new lives.
There are four galleries, a migration museum and a shop selling locally handcrafted products. This is also the home of the tourist information office, otherwise known as the place where Monty left his shoes.
A visit is a must. Go in and be captivated by objects and stories relating to the lives of Hahndorf’s pioneering families. We particularly liked the outfits worn by the Lutheran children, the ladies ornate lace dresses, and the children were amazed by the furniture and an old pram.
After a bit of a walk and the purchase of some salami type sausages that nearly blew our heads off, it was time for a trip to the play park! We like to use Monkey Bars all over the world. No Monkey Bars are ever left out!
Once we were too hot to swing, we headed into the Seasonal Garden Cafe which was heavenly. Fresh produce from their own garden, and juices squeezed right there for you to enjoy! We lazed in the sunshine sipping on green juice, until Mr W’s phone ran out of battery, Monty squealed and Poppy insisted we head off to our next destination! Bliss ruined…
Top Handhorf hints
Take a walking tour of Handhorf if you have the time. They take about 90 minutes, but you get to visit places that the general public can’t. We love a guided tour, as you learn so much more about a place, and the children have to be quiet too! Win win!!
The Handhorf Leathersmith is a great shop! And if you walk right to the back, they have the biggest bunnies you ever did see! The kids will be asking you to buy them one all the way home!
There are plenty of cellar doors in Handhorf, and a craft brewery there too. Gulf Brewery are a micro brewery, who offer tastings at the cellar door, or for those who have a little more time, they pair food with beer for another truly Handhorf experience.
Handhorf is a shoppers heaven. The high street is filled with local craftspeople making wonderful wares. You can find anything from hand crafted leather wares to cuckoo clocks to toys, books and candlemakers. We just bought food, (surprise surprise) but were tempted by so much more!
One of Australia’s most famous artists, Sir Hans Heysen’s home is nearby on Heysen Road. Visit The Cedars, explore his garden, home and studio.
The Prancing Pony craft brewery is about five minutes away in Totness. If you didn’t get chance to sample the beers in Handhorf this is definitely worth a visit.
Beerenberg Family Farm has ‘pick your own strawberries’ from November to April. There’s also a wonderful shop selling a huge range of jams, sauces and relishes. Their website if full of lovely recipes too! (drool)
Wineries surround Handhorf, so there is no possible way you could miss out on sampling some of the Adelaide Hills local wines.
The children will love the Hahndorf Farm Barn. It’s a farm/wildlife park and a great place to spend a few hours. They have picnic areas, tractor rides and the children get to try their hand at milking a cow or even holding a python!! Family tickets for 2 adults + 2 children is $47
The Adelaide Hills are like a treasure chest, full of wonderful food, wine, beer, and adventure. It’s a fabulous place to spend time together exploring. Head to Handhorf and wind your way through the surrounding area slowly, taking it all in as you drive! You won’t be disappointed!
Flights – We flew direct to Adelaide from Melbourne with Tiger Air. For all four of us the cost was approximate cost $450
Car Hire – We hired a car through Avis at Adelaide airport – approximate cost $179 for three days.
Hotels – Adelaide and the surrounding areas have so much variety when it comes to hotels. Whatever your budget, it wont be hard to find somewhere that fits!
I’m bloody frustrated today!! The reason for my irritation is that I’m sitting here having a huge battle with an impending cold!!! I’m sniffing every 6 seconds, (I know… get a bloody tissue), thinking to myself, for god’s sake, just do one!! I will not put up with getting a darn cold, especially as the kids are back at school tomorrow and I have some free time on my hands… (*think dancing mum emoji next to sad looking kids emoji)
I have spent a long time now keeping relatively quiet about what essentially is a big part of me, and it’s the reason I kick myself when my immune system gives in to a simple cold. Moving to Australia and becoming an expat was a good chance for me to close the door on a chunk of my life and pretend that it never happened. Why do I rarely talk about it? Probably because I am generally very well, and I don’t want to be drowning again in that vat of “illness”.
Recently however, I have had a lot of questions about my health, after I uploaded photos of myself in hospital.
So, my little secret??
I have Transverse Myelitis. Whaaat?? Yeah I said the same thing when I was told. In a nutshell it’s a neurological condition in which the spinal cord is inflamed. The inflammation damages nerve fibres, and causes them to lose their myelin coating leading to decreased electrical conductivity in the central nervous system. (That’s about as ‘nutshell” as I could manage).
One day, I realised the pins and needles I had over the weekend weren’t going away. The next, I had numb legs. The next, my hands were tingling and the feeling in them was disappearing.
The next…. I couldn’t get out of bed!! I was a human jelly! Not paralysed thank God, but no feeling from my neck down which made it incredibly difficult to move. You know the feeling you get when you have an anaesthetic? This led to an anxious trip to my GP who sent me straight to the emergency department. Phew, I was ok, I was told I probably had Guillain Barre syndrome and you ALWAYS recover from that. Off I went to the hospital for the doctors to do all sort of disgusting tests on me, only to be told three days later it was actually Transverse Myelitis! And no, you probably won’t ever walk again!
Ten days in a hospital room, a kind nurse by my side cutting up my food, lumbar punctures, MRI scans, neurological tests, intravenous steroids, lots of cards, hundreds of student doctors excited to meet me, weepy well wishers carrying flowers, and then I was sent home! That’s the start of the story! Now I’m almost 12 years down the road, the hardest road I’ve had to travel, I am like a walking pin cushion, have a dodgy thyroidbut I’m actually ok!
The October before we moved to Australia, I was in a dark place. I was in a constant state of severe pain and fatigue, and forever left lying in bed with no energy! I felt useless and needed to escape! Don’t get me wrong, I had good days, where I felt almost “normal,” but they came at a high price. I would go out with my friends, knowing that the next day and the day after would be a complete write off. I would desperately want to take the kids for a walk on the beach, but end up in tears, lying in bed, listening to Mr W and the kids getting their shoes on. The reality of any neurological and auto immune condition is it’s debilitating in so many ways. For me, on the outside I looked perfectly normal, and on a good day, you’d probably have no idea there was anything wrong with me. On a bad day…. no words can describe that horror story to you!
Enough was enough!
I felt I had missed out on 8 years of my life already, and I longed with every bit of me for just one more chance! I did heaps of research into diet, exercise, completely natural versions of medicines. I spoke to all sorts of experts in healing! I totally overhauled every bit of food I put in my mouth, and we made the decision to move abroad if I could at least ditch the fatigue. Introduce the Whole 30; and an incredible three months of each day feeling a little bit more human. I began sleeping really well, I was walking a little further, I was staying awake a little longer. I got rid of the wrist supports I’d worn for years, and the stick I was using to walk with. I eventually stopped taking medicine altogether!!
It sounds like a miracle I know. Maybe it was. All I can say is after nearly 8 years of hell, 8 years of being unable to fully enjoy my children or my life; my dreaded fatigue, and my pain were dramatically reduced, so we made the decision to go on an adventure, quickly, before it all came crumbling down again. Mr W searched for jobs all over the world, we desperately wanted to go somewhere, do something exciting, and make up for the past 8 years!! A job offer in Australia came up, we applied for visa’s, and we were off!!! From job offer to Heathrow was about 12 weeks. Expat life here we come!!
The Wilson’s of Oz was born!
As soon as the trip began I decided not to write about surviving Transverse Myelitis, and I started to write about our Expat adventures. I wrote about our days out and all the wonderful things we were seeing Down Under. The more I wrote, the less I thought about my ‘old life’! I forgot about all those people who I had wanted to encourage, the TM warriors who I had wanted to give a huge shout out to. The ones surviving even though they felt terrible! I forgot about the message I wanted to send to everyone that it can get easier. I was having the most amazing time and I hadn’t once reassured anyone that it can get better.
I had once imagined I would become a “Recovery Role Model” for patients at the start of their journey, but in reality I was too frightened to even bring it up in public. I was still running away from all those horrid feelings I had left behind me. I thought that if I was to say aloud how good I was feeling, I may jinx myself and end up back in a hospital bed, only this time I would be 10,000 miles from home. So, I haven’t really mentioned it.
Writing my blog, experiencing ‘living’ again, and ‘Turning life into an Adventure’ was exactly what I needed to do and I desperately wanted other sufferers of TM to see that feeling better tomorrow is possible no matter how far down the road you are.
‘You can look to the future, you can hope for something better, you can plan ahead. People do come out the other side, albeit a little bruised and battered!’
Why bring it up now?
I guess now that more people are checking out The Wilsons of Oz, not just Grandma, I have more of a voice?!? (Does it work like that?) I guess I’m in a better position to let people with a health condition to know that there is hope, and I’m no longer too scared to talk about it here. There is light at the end of the tunnel and sometimes we just need to keep holding on to that glimmer, and keep our minds open. Know your limits, set your goals, and you’ll amaze yourself. I promise!
Just because something isn’t happening for you right now, doesn’t mean it will never happen – Unknown
I’d like to dedicate this post to a true warrior! Joanne Lokwiya is a friend of mine who also suffers from Transverse Myelitis. She is brave, she is beautiful inside and out, and she is a true fighter! I want her to know that anything is possible! xxx
Legends in Concert is in full swing at The Palms inside the Crown Melbourne! The Mr and I caught the show on opening night and were blown away! The Palms has a real “Vegas” feel to it; you get a real swagger to your step walking in, and once the show opens you really could be living it up on the Strip!!
The title ‘Legends In Concert’ says it all, and it does not go back on its word! The stars of the show were incredibly talented, it was hard to believe we weren’t watching the real Legends at times!
Lionel Richie, Cher, Tom Jones,Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Freddy Mercury and Elvis were all absolutely on point! From their singing, right down to the hand gestures and fancy footwork. Dolly Parton was a mirror image! The performers blew the crowd away; we were all on our feet remembering the good old days, dancing like it was 1983… (well, I’m obviously too young, but was loving it just as much as if I’d seen Freddie live in the 80’s!) Legends in Concert really is the best tribute show I’ve seen, and absolutely highlights some the biggest superstars of all time.
The incredible live band, the dancers in their tiny outfits (husbands words not mine) and the awesome venue all make this a MUST SEE show
Damian Brantley’s Michael Jackson was my personal favourite! (Am I allowed to have a favourite?) I was never allowed to see MJ when I was young, and Damian’s performance absolutely fooled me into thinking he was the King of Pop! His moves were unreal!!! Dolly Parton was the real deal and Freddie Mercury did not disappoint! Elvis closed the show and boy did the front row ladies love him! They couldn’t help but jump up and steal a kiss!! It must have been all the hip thrusting!
Melbourne is incredibly lucky to have Legends in Concert back this year, and as a LIC virgin I can finally see what all the fuss was about!!
You don’t think you’re a “tribute act kinda guy?” Think again!! This show will absolutely change that!!
Tickets are selling incredibly fast, new dates have been released so book now to save your spot!!
When: January 17-28 Show times: Tuesdays –Thursdays 8:00pm; Fridays-Sunday 7:30pm Saturday matinee performances at 2:00pm Where: The Palms at Crown, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Melbourne Tickets or by phone 136100 Prices start at $69.90 Website
Say a big “Hello” to this new interactive experience which allows you and the family to journey back in time, dive into Ancient Oceans and meet the pre-historic giants of the ocean. You will be taken on an adventure to discover more about the magnificent ancient creatures of the sea and get up close to some remarkable animals that have lived for millions of years. How awesome does that sound!!
You and the gang will come face-to-face with the living history of the oceans, including mysterious Mudskippers and phenomenal Pig-nosed Turtles. Seen one of those before?? No, me neither!!
‘Visit the Sealife Centre Melbourne and enter the magnificent underwater caves of these incredible creatures and be submerged into the ancient seas’
This exciting new display features immersive lighting projections creating animal silhouettes teamed with sub-aquatic animal sounds, engaging digital games and an awe-inspiring display featuring jaws of the pre-historic Megladon, the largest predator to have ever existed. Wow!!
Your little junior explorers will receive a map to guide them through the exhibit which encourages them to hunt for clues and collect stamps whilst learning fascinating facts about the ancient oceans. What a wonderful keepsake for them!
After all that fun, you can put your feet up and watch the brand new 4D movie – Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – an epic and thrilling sensory cinematic adventure in the pre-historic era of the mammoth ancient creatures.
I know where we’re headed this week!!! Happy holidays!
Experience: Ancient Oceans at Sea Life Melbourne – NEW EXHIBIT
Location: Sea Life Melbourne Corner of King Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
When: Now showing
Opening hours: Daily from 9.30am-6.00pm
Cost: Adults – from $33.60, Children – from $22.40 (Book online and save)
To find out more about Sea Life Melbourne’s new Ancient Oceans experience visit the website.
I know, it’s what, week three of the school holidays and we’re already thinking about getting our little darlings prepped and ready for another year! Another mammoth amount of time sitting in the classroom, reciting Haiku poetry and picking their noses. It seems as if no sooner have the holidays started we’re willing them to end.. Or is that just me?
School shoes purchased – CHECK
Name labels are on their way – CHECK
The stationary order has been delivered, opened and scattered around the house – CHECK
Mummy’s almost ready for a mini breakdown – CHECK
It can only mean one thing… It’s time to think about packed lunch paraphernalia!!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be heading off soon to purchase new lunch boxes and drinks bottles before terms starts; I mean the kids couldn’t possibly start a new school year with an old lunchbox! Actually mine can’t because I made the rookie mistake (AGAIN) of buying ridiculously rubbish lunch boxes which are now disgusting inside and have broken zips so they definitely need replacing! That and we no longer think ‘Dinosaurs’ are cool! When will I learn?
Much to Mr W’s joy, that will be the last time I make that mistake! The clever clogs at Smash Enterprises have not only created some seriously eye catching designs (even I want in on these), but they’ve also come up with Blue IQ, a mould resistant lining which means when we “wipe” the insulated lunch boxes clean, they’re giving us a helping hand…. ***Cue angels singing a chorus of Hallelujah’s to all us mumma’s!….
The Wilson’s have been road testing some of these awesome products and I’m certain you will struggle to find anyone else making school lunch this funky, rubbish free, practical and totally kid proof!! If that doesn’t excite you enough, the fact that they’re spill proof may just do it for you! (No more soggy sandwiches coming home uneaten! **does a little dance)
The Wilsons love anything that promotes “nude” (yes we do!) and we adore products that allow us to cut down on our waste! The kids are already loving packed lunches with their new lunch boxes, and I’m singing all the way to the dishwasher. Hurrah! Roll on 1st February when I’m really packing up and packing them off!
‘C’mon, say no to plastic wraps and foils and make every day a nude food day!’
The Wilson’s Reviews…..
★★★★★ “OH MUM, A LUNCHBOX I CAN DECORATE? IT’S THE BEST!!” POPPY- STICKER QUEEN – WILSONS OF OZ
★★★★ “I’M JUST LIKE A REAL ARMY MAN WITH THIS LUNCH” – MONTY- PACKED LUNCH AND PICNIC LOVER – WILSONS OF OZ
★★★★ “THIS YEAR IS GOING TO INCLUDE MY BEST LUNCHBOX CREATIONS YET ” – MRS W – WORST LUNCH CREATOR EVER – WILSONS OF OZ
Smash Lunch Box – Funky designs, detachable insulation, large capacity and the famous Sandwich Seatbelt. Available at selected Coles Supermarkets whilst stocks last – RRP $15
Nude Movers Rubbish Free Lunchbox – Eliminates the need for packaging. Three separate compartments, removable snack pods and dividers, and a ‘Sandwich Seatbelt’. Available at selected Coles supermarkets whilst stocks last RRP $12
Smash Stick it Slimline – Comes with stickers so the kids can personalise their lunch! Lined with Smash’s trademark ‘Blue IQ’ antimicrobial lining which inhibits the growth of uncontrolled bacteria, mould, and mildew. A strong durable zipper,(YAYYYY) and a soft handle for comfortable carrying. 100% free of BPA, phthalate and lead. Available at selected Coles supermarkets whilst stocks last RRP $12.50
You can find so many more Smash products at selected Coles stores whilst stocks last.