Smashing it again!

Brand New Boxes, just in time for Santa!

Yes, you guessed it! Smash Enterprises have only gone and developed some awesome new grub gear for our little folk! Not only is it fab, it’s also here just in time to be added to Santa’s delivery!

We’ve been test driving the brand new Bento Bite which not only makes me a healthy food goddess when it comes to packed lunches (I love filling all the little compartments with goodness), it’s also, most importantly, Monty proof. If that’s not a unique selling point I don’t know what is.

When it comes to lunch luggage, Smash seriously give us the goods. Every damn time. This years special for my gang has to be the glow in the dark ‘Fashion Tritan’ drink bottle. I’ve been telling Monty, that it glows even brighter the more he drinks… Summer hydration win!!

Reasons to choose the Brand New Bento Bite:

  • Removable inner tray
  • 6 compartments
  • Leak proof snack pot
  • Sealed lid to resist spills
  • Child friendly latch
  • Durable outer case
  • Cute designs
  • Sealed lid
  • Ice brick included
  • Two awesome designs (llama or Dinosaur)

Healthy, rubbish free lunches are now totally achievable, even for the most exhausted mama’s. Be gone to Woolworths and gather the goods for your gang!

Olivia xx 

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If you want to get your mitts on these awesome new lunch boxes, head to Woolworths from December 15th when they’ll be lining the shelves waiting for you super mums! *Only available whilst stocks last!


SMASH ENTERPRISES IS AN ICONIC AUSTRALIAN OWNED COMPANY THAT HAS RELEASED OVER 20 MILLION PRODUCTS, QUICKLY BECOMING A HOUSEHOLD NAME IN THE LIVES OF CHILDREN AND ADULTS WORLDWIDE. AS ONE OF AUSTRALIA’S LEADING AND MOST RECOGNISED BRANDS, SMASH IS KNOWN FOR ITS IMAGINATIVE AND EXTENSIVE RANGE OF INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS ACROSS A VARIETY OF CATEGORIES INCLUDING LUNCH BOXES, DRINK BOTTLES, STATIONERY, OUTSIDE DINING AND MORE! TODAY, SMASH HAS ALL THE PRODUCTS YOU WILL EVER NEED!

 

 

Give the gift of reading this Christmas!

No matter how hard to try to ignore it, there’s no denying that Christmas is well and truly on it’s way. It’s time to stop pretending you have ages to get sorted. The kids are almost down from their much hated Halloween high, and I for one am totally ready to get the tree up and start singing “Do they know it’s Christmas” at anyone who walks past.

Let’s take a moment to think about what Christmas entails. The frantic search for this years most popular toy, the dash round the shops to get the precious ingredient that Jamie Oliver absolutely insists you have with your turkey this year, not forgetting the outdoor Christmas show in 42 degrees of heat…(down under anyway).

Buy the tree, sort the gifts, hunt wildly for the sticky tape, wrap the gifts, try and find out which bloody bulb is broken and stopping the Christmas tree lights from working.. Oh, and did you really forget to send Aunty Marg a card??????

However Christmas rolls in your house, I’m here to take a bit of the pressure off!

I have done a really clever thing, and put together a list of totally awesome books that you absolutely must buy for your kiddos this year.

Buying your child a book, not only makes you feel like an awesome parent who positively encourages reading, but it also gives your child an experience which can be shared with others, time and time again. Reading not only creates a strong bond between parent and child, it also has many benefits including building confidence, and enhancing a child’s imagination. You see why buying a book this Christmas is a great idea. It’s the gift that really does keep on giving!

Nearly nine in 10 children say they love being read aloud to a lot, with the main reason being that it is a special time with their parents. – Scholastic


The Wilson’s Top Christmas Books

 

Judy Moody and the right Royal Tea Party by Megan McDonald

RRP $19.99

Judy Moody

Another day. Another mood. Meet Judy Moody at her moodiest-best, in this laugh-a-minute fourteenth adventure in the international bestselling series. If you have fans of Jacqueline Wilson then this is a great book to add to the bookshelf. It’s funny, a little bit silly, and a great easy reader (7+) for bedtime giggles.

Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Giant Moth Mummy (Book 2) by Andrew Hansen & Jessica Roberts

RRP $14.99

Bab Sharkey

Can Bab and his smelly friends defeat this ancient evil? You what?? My thought’s entirely… This doesn’t sound like the most delightful book, but let me tell you, it’s worth a read! If your little readers love comics, gross stuff, and insanely wacky characters then add this to Santa’s list. *super Santa award heading your way!

Where’s Wally? The Spectacular Spotlight Search by Martin Handford

RRP $24.99

We love ‘Where’s Wally’ in our house, I have been known to flick through these on my own! This is Wally like you’ve never seen him before! Use the paper spotlight searcher as a magic torch to illuminate the six spectacular scenes in this book, and there are bonus games on every page! That means hours of entertainment! Kids get to turn the pages and search six spectacular darkened scenes! By using the paper spotlight searcher inside as a magic torch they will reveal Wally and his friends. Each scene contains all five classic characters plus bonus hidden content. This is a great book for old and new Wally fans!

**All light-up magic is designed from paper, and extra spotlight searchers are available to print from online, no batteries necessary.

Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett

RRP $24.99

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Who wouldn’t want their child to read a fiery story about friendship and asking for help? And as if that’s not enough, this is being hailed at ‘The Jolly Postman’ for a new generation! Hurrah! The JP was one of my all time favourites which I have handed down to my little ones.  I’m hoping Dragon Post will join the bookshelf that my kids hand down to theirs. Love the little letters!!

One day Alex finds a dragon living under his stairs. He isn’t sure what to do – but luckily he knows just who to ask for help. Open the envelopes and read the hilarious letters Alex receives from the fire brigade, the butcher and more as he tries to take care of his new friend. Who would have thought having a dragon for a pet would be so tricky? – Walker Books

Among kids aged 6–8 whose parents have stopped reading aloud to them, half wish their parents had continued – Scholastic

Discovery Globe- Build Your Own Globe Kit – Leon Gray

RRP $34.99

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For all of you parents out there with kids who love to build things, here’s a kit to make your own spinning globe! How awesome does that sound! This is the ultimate gift for families who love to travel, and who’s children have all sorts of questions about the world! This kit comes with everything you need to build your own spinning globe plus plus an illustrated explorer’s guide packed with information, providing a unique introduction to our world.

Make your own globe and discover more about the people and places on it with this stylish kit, containing all the pieces for an easy-to-make spinning model plus a highly-illustrated explorer’s guide. The sturdy card globe features icons labelling everything from natural wonders to famous faces, topics which can then be explored in more detail in the explorer’s guide. As well as referring closely to the model globe, the explorer’s guide covers a variety of themes including the Earth’s biomes, animals and World Heritage sites, providing a fascinating introduction to the world, its people and places – Walker Books

•Publisher’s note: adult assistance recommended when building globe.

My kids loved ‘A World of Discovery’ by Richard Platt

  Reading is so great for your kids because amongst other great benefits it:

Enhances their imagination

Improves their grammar

Improves their writing skills

Leads to academic success

Helps them build their self confidence

Expands their vocabulary

Discipline and increased concentration


Go on, buy a book this Christmas and give the gift of reading to a child you love!

The Expat ‘Mumcation’!

Are you dreaming of a childfree vacay with your gal pals?

Are you desperate to say goodbye to the laundry and school run, and lay by a pool, sipping Manhattan’s like an extra out of Sex in the City with your long lost mates from back home? Isn’t it about time you took a break and spent some quality time with your friends, minus the hubster and the kids? A relaxing break, being all classy and beautiful? This could be the chance to really be you again, to rekindle old friendships long left behind?

Mums Grapevine
MumsGrapevine.com.au

Well, it turns out when the media were telling us ‘Mums’ that we all deserved.. no… needed a ‘Mumcation’ they were thinking of classy trips to the local winery, or Yummy Mummies sipping Chardonnay in hot tubs chatting about Florence’s ballet lessons. They weren’t thinking about the millions of Expat mums who would be rushing to the airport, gagging for a bag of pickled onion monster munch, clutching their passports, heading home for a week in the pub with the girls.. I’m here to fill you in on the reality of  The ‘Expat Mumcation’…

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The reality of an Expat ‘Mumcation’

I’m currently ‘drying out’ in Hong Kong airport after my very own Expat ‘Mumcation’, and let me tell you, it’s not pretty. I’m sweating, my stomach is churning, I’ve got the shakes and the bags under my eyes are way more impressive than even the best Louis Vuitton cases.. My fake tan has almost completely disappeared, my perfectly shaped eyebrows have started sprouting, and I have just broken a nail. My hair is greasy, my jeans are way too tight and I have a broken tooth. I feel (and look) like the guys out of ‘The Hangover’

Hangover

Just over two weeks ago I gleefully waved farewell to my two little darlings in Melbourne and headed off on a ‘Mumcation’ to the UK to celebrate the wedding of a dear friend. I had just under three weeks of freedom ahead of me and was pumped, preened, waxed, and feeling tip top. Having planned this trip for months, I’d had time to give myself a good talking to about my behaviour on my upcoming trip.

“You’re an adult Olivia, there’s no need to go crazy”

“It’s important that you’re sensible Olivia, you have two small children who need you”…. 

Well. It turns out that when you go on a ‘Mumcation’, whether it’s in Barbados, Benidorm or Bognor, you just can’t help yourself. I joked about behaving like a 14 year old, but totally lived up to it. I was child free, I had a wad of cash in my pocket and the barman was gonna get it… “double G&T’s all round”…. oh dear god…. Even typing that is making me queasy.

I had landed at Heathrow after a 26hr trek from Melbourne, squeezed my ‘besite’ and headed to Windsor for a “quiet night” before Saturdays Hen Do… After a very civilised dinner, lots of giggles and catching up, we decided to have a walk before bed. Turns out the local pub did 2-4-1 cocktails, so we had 18.  At 3:45am we found ourselves down some back alley with a bunch of 17 year olds, smoking and begging the bouncers to let us in an already closed nightclub. It wasn’t pretty. I was free as a bird, for the first time in ages and my behaviour was, quite frankly, unacceptable.

The outcome

19 days later and it turns out my liver isn’t thanking me for the 2 whole bottles of gin, 27 tonics, 4 bottles of prosecco, 6 bottles of Sav, 102 Sambucca shots, 34 tequila shots, an entire tube of Mango flavoured Berocca and one whole box of Alka Seltzer. My heart is barely pumping due to the 29 pork pies, 18,000 Cadbury chocolate buttons, 22 Menthol cigarettes (I don’t even smoke) and about 72 packets of Salt & Vinegar Squares.

I lost count of the cans of coke I guzzled (wtf) just to get over the hangovers.. My dentist is going to poke me in the eye. I ate scampi and chips about 8 times.. because my daughter misses it?? Do you see what I’m getting at? Most mums will get together with their local friends, pop to a hotel in the city, have a few too many, totter back to their room, and get up for a leisurely brekkie, before making their way home to their little darlings. When your best friends are 10,000 miles away, there is no “weekend break” it has to be at least two weeks, involve binge drinking and excessive calorie consumption. You basically have to make up for the 3 and a half years you’ve missed out on, when it comes to food, drink and shopping. *whoops.

The truth

The truth is, we all need to see our friends, spend time with them, and make the bloody most of it while we’re there, because it doesn’t happen very often. If that means almost dying in the process, well, hey, it is what it is… You know what though.. No matter how useless my body is, lying here in my tiny bed at the airport, no matter how many wrinkles I have added to my forehead, no matter how wrecked my organs are, I would do it all over again… No matter how much my heart ached for my babies, no matter how much I missed my husband, no matter what I may have missed out on, I wouldn’t change a thing.

We laughed, really, really laughed. We laughed so hard it hurt. We sat round the table and shared meals together after years apart. We talked for hours about our children, our lives, about everything. And, we laughed a bit more. We had time to be us. We spent time doing things we wanted to do, without time restrictions, play dates or bedtime routines. I watched my friend marry her love, and we all ugly cried to Oasis’ Wonderwall at the disco…

I guess what I am trying to tell you is that when you take your ‘Expat Mumcation’, do it in style, because it’s over in the blink of an eye, and you’ll be back on the other side of the world, reading “The Tiger Who Came To Tea” thanking your lucky stars you did it…. and survived… 

DINOSAURS WILL BE TAKING OVER MELBOURNE!

 

Did you hear a roar? A stomp? The Dinosaurs are coming!

Have you got dino obsessed little ones in your house? If so, we have just the thing for your school holiday diary!! The Wilsons are so excited to tell you that Jurassic Creatures is set to open in Melbourne this September. These amazing creatures will be taking over St Kilda and we’re pretty sure you won’t want to miss out.

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Jurassic Creatures is an exhibition with over 30 + dinosaurs that will captivate young and old alike. Explore a prehistoric world full of life like moving dinosaurs and be amazed and thrilled as the greatest creatures ever to walk the earth return before your eyes and come alive.

You and the family will get chance to learn all about the dinosaurs 165 million year domination of life on earth. You will watch them move, hear them roar, and from the ripple of their skin to the glint in their eye, you will begin to think that the dinosaurs really are back!

Apart from this amazing animatronics show, you will be able to become a Paleontologist for the day. Children will be provided with their expert digger outfit, and chip away at their very own fossil. Plus there will be many more dinosaur activities to take part in including dinosaur sand painting, dinosaur 3D Jig-saw Land, fossil displays, dinosaur inflatable activity lands, dinosaur eggs to have photos in, walking dinosaurs and so much more.

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School Holidays are coming and this looks like it may be one of those awesome holiday experiences for the whole family. Hey, it may even stop the tricky bath time questions like “Mum, why did the T Rex have such small arms?” …. “Ask Siri darling”

Jurassic Creatures is set to bring all the wonder and excitement of the prehistoric world of dinosaurs back. Get ready to be thrilled as you see Triassic period comes to life!


ENTER OUR COMPETITION TO BE IN WITH THE CHANCE OF WINNING 1xFAMILY PASS

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All the Information

Open from 15 September -14 October – Jurassic Creatures will deliver a realistic animatronics show like no other that will capture the imagination of children & parents everywhere.

The event includes:

  • A spectacular dinosaur exhibition with realistic animatronics
  • An Interactive Fossil digging area
  • Dinosaur Sand painting
  • 3D Jigsaw Land
  • Dinosaur Inflatable Activity Lands
  • Plus so many other dinosaur activities for the whole family

Melbourne get ready to feel the Dino-Roar!

JUST THE FACTS

What Jurassic Creatures

When Saturday 15 September 2018 – Sunday 14 October 2018

Where St Kilda Triangle, adjacent to Palais Theatre

Cost

General Admission $31.56. Family Ticket $99.44 (2 adults, 2 children). Under 2 year old are free – Sessions are 3 hrs each

Website www.jurassiccreatures.com.au Tickets Ticketmaster

Make a Wish come true this Father’s Day

Father’s day is fast approaching, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be fed up with the racks and racks of crap mugs, horrid ‘Best Dad’ underpants and depressing plastic crap that will inevitably be in landfill two weeks today.

Do you want a better way to show dad you love him whilst doing your bit for an incredible charity? Well look no further.

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Introducing a fantastic Father’s Day gift idea that supports Make-A-Wish , in granting the wishes of critically sick kids.

Father’s Day is a perfect time to celebrate all the wonderful dads out there and thank them for everything they do. Make-A-Wish Australia and Tarocash have joined forces to launch a Father’s Day pack filled with custom made essentials to make your dad feel super special.

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The new range is only on sale for the month of August (** you have a week left) with a portion of the proceeds made going towards Make-A-Wish. Come on Australia, get on board, walk straight past the obvious Father’s Day rubbish, and buy a gift that Dad will love and will really make a difference.

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#WishForce #WishesfromTarocash

79 Years Since The Wizard of Oz premiered in theatres…

One of the greatest movies (if not THE greatest) of all time, is 79 years old today! We thought it was worth celebrating with a trip down memory lane!

The Wizard of Oz was legendary for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and memorable, loveable characters. It is absolutely an icon of American popular culture and one of those stories that never seems to age.

The film was nominated for 6 Academy Awards

  • Best Picture… but lost to Gone with the Wind.
  • Best Original Song for “Over the Rainbow” *win
  • Best Original Score by Herbert Stothart. *win

The Wizard of Oz was considered a critical success upon release in August 1939 however it failed to make a profit for MGM until the 1949 re-release, this made it MGM’s most expensive production at that time.

We think it was worth it! Do you remember when you first watched this?

 

Monster Jam is headed Down Under!

Larger than life entertainment for the whole gang!

Hell Yeah!! Monster Jam® is heading right back to Australia, and we’ve got all the info for you! The Monster trucks are making their way to Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne in October and trust us, you don’t want to be leaving your kids out of this jam packed, epic adventure. Monster Jam® will be wowing fans with their incredible stunts, and Melbs, we’re on the list! *punches the air a little too excitedly.

You can read about last years awesome show right here. We had a blast!

Monster Jam® has to be the most intense family motorsports entertainment experience on the planet! It’s loud, it’s fun, in fact, it’s monstrous! It’s definitely not for the faint hearted, and ear defenders are a MUST..even for the grown ups.

Monster Jam®, is BACK and this time it’s promising to be bigger, better, faster, and stronger! *wow, is that even possible?

11 time Monster Jam World Finals® Champion Tom Meents is set to lead the pack of superstar drivers, bringing fans to the edge of their seats with adrenaline-charged, high-flying, four-wheel excitement that is fun for the entire family! Starring the biggest performers on four wheels, Monster Jam trucks take on a life of their own.


Tickets

To buy tickets for Monster Jam® click the link for your chosen city: Adelaide, Sydney , Melbourne or head to Ticketek for more info!

Running Times

Adelaide Oval
TAP early Party in the Pits entry from 12:30pm
Party in the Pits: 1pm – 4pm
(Driver departure & final Pit Party entry is at 3:30pm)
Show: 5pm
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
TAP early Party in the Pits entry from 12:30pm
Party in the Pits: 1pm – 5pm
(Driver departure & final Pit Party entry is at 4:30pm)
Show: 6pm
AAMI Park, Melbourne
TAP early Party in the Pits entry from 9:30am
Party in the Pits: 10am – 1pm
(Driver departure & final Pit Party entry is at 12:30pm)
Shows: 2pm & 7pm

 

**With a Pit Pass, fans have full access to the world-renowned Party in the Pits and can get up close and personal to the Monster Jam trucks and drivers. From taking selfies with the Monster Jam stars, to getting your favourite merchandise signed, it all happens at this exclusive pre-event Party in the Pits.

For more information about the Australian Tour or for clips of the show, visit www.MonsterJam.com

 

If you want to be in with a chance of winning a family ticket, head to our Facebook & Instagram to enter our competition. *competition closes Sunday 26th August so hurry!!

Road Trip the Stuart Highway with kids!

 

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I know, I know, road tripping with the kids sounds like a holiday from hell to some people. “Are we there yet” being shouted over and over, popcorn covering the back seats, umpteen toilet breaks and cries of “I’m booooored” interrupting “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack. However, if ever there was a trip we have done, that we could recommend to you, this would be it.

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If you get the pleasure of “are we nearly there yet” on the way to the supermarket, this is probably not the holiday for you YET! Some days we were smashing out 700km+ which is not a distance for the fussy traveller! There is no amount of iPad time that can fill that space, so be prepared to play games, sing, write journals, wildlife spot, and throw in a few obligatory arguments into the mix.

Travelling through the red centre of Australia, was not only a great big tick on the bucket list, it was without doubt the trip of a lifetime. Nothing could compare.

 Our top reasons to road trip with your gang

Family time – Yes this is a cert when you’re ‘trapped’ in a car or van with the family. This is the trip to do if you’d like to spend time together, lots of time. There are no kids clubs, it’s just you guys, a few dead kangaroos and the road ahead, but this is what makes it so perfect. As contrived as it sounds, we all learnt so much about each other. We had hours and hours to talk, sing our favourite songs, tell jokes, play games and really immerse ourselves in each other. Life gets in the way of these beautiful moments and a road trip is the perfect way to rekindle lost time. It’s amazing what you talk about when there are no emails distracting you and no YouTube on the tv.

Scenery – Driving through the centre of Australia is like being on a David Attenborough shoot. The dingo’s running past, the Emu looking up to see who is frantically waving out of the Campervan window. The colour of the earth changing so dramatically to that deep, warm red that is so quintessentially Australian was amazing. That same red earth that we soon learnt would be ingrained in our clothes, shoes and skin. Every now and again we would stop on the side of the road and Monty would hop out and find a pile of Kangaroo bones, or a half eaten eagle. The enchantment on his face at his latest haul of treasure to take back to school was priceless. The scenery is like nowhere else on earth, and we were right there, in the thick of it, treading the same ground as people have been for thousands of years, and it felt so magical.

Sightseeing – The beauty of road tripping the Stuart Highway is that you get to see places and speak to people you would never meet if you flew this route. The incredible salt lakes, the vastness of the outback, the eagles soaring above us as we sped up the only highway going North. Road tripping allowed us to follow the signs to places we hadn’t planned to visit, and stop at free camping sites because the scenery was particularly spectacular. Road tripping gives you the freedom to make your own way, in your own time, and stay the extra night if you fancy it.  This is one of the reasons it’s a great holiday when travelling with kids.

Adventure – As our journey went on, none of our excitement waned. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, watching the red earth fly by the van. The children were in the back, faces up against the windows, a live wildlife show, eyes wide and mouths open, shouting “dingo” or “eagle” every now and again! The view is like a movie set. The scenery, unbelievable.. This is the outback. The real outback.  It’s almost too beautiful to put into words. Driving the Stuart Highway is nothing less than epic. The adventure of scrambling through incredible gorges, tiptoeing across water holes, laying your hands on Uluru and looking at ancient aboriginal cave paintings. Free camping, building campfires, finding roadside treasures and footprints of creatures long gone. We loved lying in the red dirt at night, star gazing up at the most breathtaking skies you have ever seen. There is almost too much adventure out there to tell you about.

New Friendships – We stopped at every roadhouse along our journey.  They were all so different but each one had the same collection of people huddled around the fuel pumps.  The drivers of enormous trucks getting a much needed break after hours on the road. There were travellers, refuelling and stretching their legs, batting flies, eating a much needed piece of homemade cake, or sipping on a cold beer. The atmosphere at these roadhouses was awesome. Everyone is there on an adventure and trying desperately get some wifi. People chat to each other, you hear wonderful stories of what’s to come, and swap tips for your onward journeys. A regular servo turns into a hub of storytelling and the birthplace of new friendships.

Journals –  These books are so special. The hours the children spent in the back of the van drawing their surroundings, writing little scripts about what we had seen and sticking in leaflets and ticket stubs from the tours we’d been on. They are filled with adventures, stories and bursting with tales which we will all remember for years to come.  I can picture us holding these books in twenty years time, when our children have their own children, telling tales of the Dingo we saw, the mine we climbed in to, or the dreamtime tales from Uluru. To have pages and pages of aboriginal dot paintings that the children created after visiting Uluru, is such an incredible keepsake that we wouldn’t have got any where else.

New experiences & Noodling – Coober Pedy is a funny old town, almost a little like you have stepped back in time, but, by far the best hours we spent on our road trip were noodling in a barren patch of ground just off the high street. Noodling is sifting through the dumps left by the miners and specking is walking slowly along staring at the ground looking for any signs of colour. A very eager gentleman at our camp site told us that noodling was allowed as long as you don’t take a shovel, and showed us on the map where he had collected a jar full of tiny gems. The kids LOVED noodling. I was less enthusiastic, mainly because of the flies, and the fact that I couldn’t find a single sparkly stone. After an hour or so Monty had enough gems to give one to every kid in his class. I was panicking that we were about to give 22 kids our little fortune, but nevertheless he was adamant they weren’t for us!  Noodling is completely free, and one of the days the kids remember most about our trip.

Just go!

Our kids are very used to road trips. I would say this is a must if you want to explore Australia by road! However you plan to road trip; caravan, car, campervan, bus, motorbike or even bicycle, (yes there were a few) get out there and see the magic of the Australian outback. It may seem like a mammoth feat with children but believe me, it was our greatest adventure yet, and I know it will be yours too.


This is not a cheap holiday.

We flew from Melbourne to Adelaide, where we hired a Britz campervan. The van came with everything we needed to be comfortable. We just had to stock up with food and hit the road.

When you weigh up the cost of the trip vs the experience it was totally worth it, but no, it wasn’t cheap! In fact it’s one of our most expensive trips to date and we were only away for 13 days. *Fuel is eye wateringly expensive in the outback.


Tips: 

  • Campsites were fairly reasonably priced, be prepared for some to be a lot more expensive than others.
  • Make sure you book you Uluru campsite first! It gets busy. **The IGA is amazing.
  • Free camping is FREEEE and super fun!
  • Take lots of pens, books, games and music to keep you entertained.
  • Be prepared for no wifi or phone signal. Download movies and games onto your devices, and tell your boss you aren’t contactable.
  • Stock up with plenty of food and drinks. Eating certainly passes the time and roadhouses aren’t cheap!
  • Take a decent camera, the pictures will be wonderful.
  • Pack warm clothes, it gets COLD out there
  • For anyone who suffers with nosebleeds.. Take tissues. The air is DRY! We learnt the hard way.
  • Take your first aid kit.
  • Prepare for the price of fuel!
  • Do a tour of Uluru. It’s worth the money!

“Tesco is ‘Smashing’ back to school!”

Smash Enterprises have only gone and created EVEN MORE bloomin’ awesome stuff for on the go eating in the UK!!!  We have been so thrilled with the products we’ve had from Smash so we were absolutely going to jump at the chance to tell all our UK friends about their newest range! Smash Enterprises are about to launch some super new products in Tesco, which you may like to check out.. ASAP…… Like NOW! Grab your bag, keys, water bottle (make it a Smash one), and hit Tesco’s please…

Wait till you see this…… **The caaaaat!!!! OMG!

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The end of the school year is a massive deal in the life of a kid and in the life of a parent too. That summer term is a killer! The most exhausting (and hot) term of the year, then they throw sports day in to the mix! Hellooooo! The children are tired, ready for a huge break, and in my case, I’m absolutely ready to throw all evidence of the school year in the bin, including the grumpy kids. The smelly lunch boxes and the disgusting pencil case *usually graffitied and full of pencil sharpening’s mixed with blu tac or slime. The little bits of rubbish, the scrunched up homework from week 7 and the reminder that for three weeks of the summer term your child lived on marmite sandwiches alone as the fruit is rotting in the bottom of the backpack. I have been known to open the bin and kiss goodbye to a whole heap of school paraphernalia only to regret not simply washing it come the new school year!

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This one comes with the lot!!

In all honestly, when it comes to my ‘back to school prep” I tend to leave it to the VERY last minute. Mostly because the summer holidays run away with me and I forget when term begins, but also because we all relax way too much and that relaxation turns our brains to jelly!

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Summer adventures…

However,  when I saw this new collection making it’s way into Tesco, I knew that it would definitely give me, and other UK Mums, the kick up the behind to get in early and sort out the lunch boxes for the new school year. If you’re the person in charge of school supplies in your home, this is where you can gain brownie points from your little darlings and take away the stress of “back to school”. Let’s be honest we all have a love/hate relationship with Back2School.

 

Not only have the clever Smash designers come up with some great new “only available in Tesco” designs, but they have kept those awesome features that us mums love about Smash products. The germ resistant liners, the nude food tubs to save us from the single use plastic and for those of us with older kids, the more funky styles that are so hard to come by. Anyone else have a fussy 10 yr old…? What a bizarre age that is! “I love glitter… I hate it, it’s so cool… it’s so uncool… oooh flowers…..!!”

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Holiday snacks

Tesco will be stocking a brand new range of awesome Smash products from Wednesday 25th July.. Yes, that was yesterday!!!! That means you need to grab your diary, NOW, cross out this afternoon’s play date, save swimming for another day, push the movies to tonight, and get to Tesco before they sell out. There truly is limited stock, it’s not a joke!

This Aussie style ‘lunch luggage’ is going to bounce out of the supermarket like a kangaroo chasing a wallaby, and you don’t want to be the only parent who forgot about the most ‘Smashing’ lunch boxes in town do you?

Show your kids your “Smash Attitude” and be one of the first parents in line for this new range.

When ‘big things’ happen – An Expat Dilemma

Living far from home

I often use the phrase ‘living far from home,’ in fact it’s one of my favourite hashtags! However, it confuses even me. I also tend to bang on about ‘home’ being where we are together, where the children and the Mr are. Home for me is where we live, work, play.. so therefore ‘home’ is Melbourne… isn’t it? Ah the Expat existence! Today I’m mulling things over so I thought I’d reach out for your advice.

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Does it matter where we consider home to be?

Probably not. Is it possible to have more than one home? Yes, I think it is. Why am I homesick when I am at home then? Can you see I’m battling with myself?

So many expats are ‘living the dream’ down under, living their “best lives” all tanned and throwing Aussie slang into their convo’s; yet lots of expats live this Australian life of sea, sun, snags, and surfing with…. regret, homesickness and longing.. Guess what! I’m one of them.

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No matter how long we’ve been here, it hasn’t got better.

I don’t pine for the UK, I don’t miss ‘Britain’, I’m not craving monster much crisps, or proper gravy. I don’t miss the rain or the M25..  I pine for my friends. Those life long friends, those college friends, the friends I made when I first became a mother. The friends who know me inside and out, the friends I can be my real self with.. The friends I call when things get tough. I’m craving the time spent with cousins, the children really knowing their relatives, their godparents and their long lost friends they left behind.

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Grandad

You may or may not have heard I lost my beloved Grandfather this weekend. He was a  my absolute favourite human.. *sorry kids.  Losing him has sparked a weird sense of unease about our expat life. Losing this dear, dear man has made us question what we are doing so far away from our loved ones.

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This loss to our family has made our house eerily quiet, our hearts truly heavy and our minds dance all over the place. How long do we sacrifice our ‘connections’ to live under sunnier skies? How many years do we want our children living 24hrs away from the people who love them most? How much longer do we miss out on time with our friends? How many more Christmases do we want overseas and not sitting around the fire with a mulled wine and loved ones? Does Aussie life bring us enough to sacrifice so much?

Living on the other side of the world has its perks don’t get me wrong, it’s just every time I try and justify this beautiful life, I find myself saying “yeah but we have that at home” and “yeah but if we were doing that at home we’d be with X, Y and Z.”

I’m forever second guessing… everything!

I’m not second guessing because we are unhappy in Australia, I am second guessing as I can’t help but feel that we have been away long enough, and now we need to be closer to our village. When things go wrong, or sad things happen, I feel a pull toward home. I immediately make overseas phone calls, I send emails and messages across the pond, and right now, it’s making me feel like that’s where we should be. Permanently.

Living as an Expat in Australia, comes with so much adventure, and being in Melbourne, the most liveable city in the world is such a blessing. We have so much more at our fingertips here down under, but is that enough to be giving up all we had at home? Shouldn’t life’s adventures be enjoyed with the people we love, the people who know us best, the people who miss us too?

So, where does this all end up? Who knows. Can we really do the big pack up? Could we really repatriate back to Blighty? Would we even be happy or have I got my rose tinted specs on? Have you done it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Olivia xx