Puffing Billy Railway lights up the night in an Aussie first!!

Victoria’s iconic steam railway presents a must-see travelling light show spectacular this winter.

Get rugged up in your warmest winter woollies these school holidays and experience the magic of Puffing Billy Railway at night with the Train of Lights; a mesmerising train travelling light show and the first of its kind in Australia! 

From Friday 24th June – Sunday 10th July 2022, the Train of Lights will take passengers on a return journey that departs from Lakeside Station to Gembrook, immersing guests in bright colours, hypnotic patterns, and native wild animal projections that leap from open-side carriages and onto the passing dark Wright Forest, historic timber trestle bridges, and open rolling hills of the Gembrook countryside. 

Partnering up with acclaimed lighting specialists, Resolution X (White Night, VAMFF), this special evening experience is the perfect way to view the Dandenong Ranges from a different dimension as the passing forest and open farmlands transform into a Technicolor feast for the eyes.

With the journey beginning at Lakeside, passengers will have the chance to explore the new Lakeside Visitor Centre and all its state-of-the-art amenities, including the Puffing Billy Railway Lakeside Hall museum, licensed Railway Café, and unique gift shop.

Ticketholders wanting to make a day of it can visit the Emerald Lake Park precinct early to enjoy the photographic art exhibition, Animal Tales, inside the visitor centre, before stopping in at the Railway Café for some dinner ahead of their Train of Lights trip.

Once arriving at Gembrook Station, passengers will enjoy a 55-minute stopover, where they can warm up by the open fire with a hot chocolate and other winter warmers and capture a quintessential selfie of the lit-up train and station.

Pairing Puffing Billy Railway’s iconic whistle with a rainbow of dazzling lights that play on the surrounding scenery, the Train of Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all to enjoy. 

Train of Lights tickets go on sale Wednesday 25th May with limited numbers. You must book online at https://puffingbilly.com.au/events/train-of-lights/

  • Adult (16yrs+) – $75.00
  • Child (4-15yrs) – $38.00
  • Toddlers (1-3yrs) – $25.00   

For those parents looking to keep the kids busy throughout the day during the mid-year break, Puffing Billy Railway’s general excursion trains depart daily from Belgrave to Menzies Creek and Belgrave to Lakeside. With two daily services on offer, passengers can choose to visit the Menzies Creek Museum or stop and enjoy the Lakeside Visitor Centre, Emerald Lake Park, and the many outdoor activities in the surrounding precinct, including hiring a bike and taking to the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, or jumping in the paddleboats on Lake Treganowan for a peddle around the lake. 

Here’s a little more about Puffing Billy Railway:

Puffing Billy Railway is Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The railway, which commenced operation in Australia on December 18, 1900, is a genuine relic of more leisurely days.

The historic steam train ran regularly in the Victorian mountain district and was built to serve at the turn of the century to transport goods and passengers throughout the district. The railway travels 24kms through the forests and fern gullies of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook – the original terminus of the line – and is one of only two survivors of five experimental narrow-gauge lines used to develop rural areas in Victoria during the early 1900s.

Make sure you check out Puffing Billy on Social Media here:
Facebook – @PuffingBillyRailway
Instagram – @puffingbillyrailway

www.puffingbilly.com.au

Master Wu Needs You these school holidays for LEGO® NINJAGO® fun!

Look out folks, an awesome, activity-based experience is already underway at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne and if you’re not Ninja fast you’re gonna miss out!

Until the 25th April uber Ninja, mentor and leader, Master Wu, is opening the doors to his exclusive Ninja Training Camp as he looks to train and recruit a new crew to join his Ninja team. 

LEGO® NINJAGO® is under threat and Master Wu needs more Ninjas than ever to help save LEGO® NINJAGO® from the evil forces that threaten it’s very existence. Young Ninjas can enroll to attend LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne, join the Ninja Training Camp and level up their Ninja skills to master the six Ninja virtues – courage, balance, honesty, generosity, curiosity and wisdom. 

Your kids are going to have so much fun as they adventure through a series of exciting challenges! The new recruits will be taken on a journey to prove their Ninja skills and make it into Master Wu’s elite team of Ninja: 

Level Up BALANCE – Make your own Ninja stop motion video 

Level Up HONESTY – Make a pledge to be truthful 

Level Up GENEROSITY – Build a unique gift for Master Wu 

Level Up CURIOSITY – Join the Ninja hunt and search MINILAND for our missing Ninjas

Level Up WISDOM – Show quick thinking and play our Ninja Bingo 

“The journey to Ninja mastery continues, and we are excited to bring Master Wu’s Training Camp to  LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne. Focusing on the six Ninja  virtues – courage, balance, generosity, curiosity, honesty and wisdom – the children will be immersed  in a real-life LEGO® NINJAGO® master class, an exciting Training Camp Experience, helping to train the  body, heart and mind and to help save LEGO® NINJAGO® from looming threat. We can’t wait to open  the doors to our Master Wu Training Camp and inspire kids to experience the values that LEGO  NINJAGO represents and create some fun memories at the same time.” ” General Manager Katie Isaac.

Take your kids to this exclusive event and see them revel in an engaging, enjoyable and rewarding experience that will leave them bursting with a fantastic sense of accomplishment. They will earn a Ninja certificate, a Ninja headband, and a virtual gift from Master Wu. Plus, as part of the entry into the LEGO® NINJAGO® experience, guests can go on to enjoy everything else within the LEGOLAND  Discovery Centre too. We’re IN!!!! Who’s coming??

Buy Your Tickets Here

Welcome the year of the Tiger with a feast of flavour at Sovereign Hill

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Victoria’s iconic living museum, Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill, is celebrating the goldfields’ rich Chinese history this Lunar New Year with a food festival fit for an emperor.  Held in collaboration with the Chinese Australia Cultural Society – Ballarat, the weekend of the 5th & 6th of February will see a riot of colour, noise and movement as the Year of the Tiger is welcomed with a bang. 

Bursting with multi-cultural life, Sovereign Hill’s iconic streetscape will come alive with Chinese lantern decorations, lion dancing, parades, outdoor activities, music and an abundance of Chinese inspired food created by the renowned Peter Rowland Group

In celebration of the Year of the Tiger, Trudi Gray, Head Chef, Peter Rowland Group at Sovereign Hill, has infused her own history and heritage into this year’s Lunar New Year menu. Trudi’s grandfather was born in Hong Kong where Chinese food and family banquets have been part of her life for as long as she can remember. Having worked in Asia, learning from local chefs, Trudi mastered the skills, techniques and special flavours that now layer her own cooking.

Open until 9pm on Saturday 5th February, visitors will be able to experience all Sovereign Hill’s much-loved experiences during the daytime and bring in the Year of the Tiger with a feast of flavour in the evening.

Head to Main Street in the evening for ‘LNY@Night’ and indulge your cravings. There’ll be steamed dumplings, roast pork buns and classic sweet tarts, then for a more substantial second course, head further up the street to the Universal Transit Office or Charlie Napier’s Hotel, venture inside and choose from a range of delicious noodle and rice dishes to take you to the goldfields of old.

If you prefer a unique, sit-down dining experience, the New York Bakery is hosting a Lunar New Year Banquet on Saturday 5th February with pre-booking and payment of tickets required to secure a limited place at the table. Excellent value at $59 per adult, $25 per child, the banquet will celebrate the culinary traditions that Chinese migrants brought to their new home with a moving feast of soup, starters, roasted and traditionally prepared meats, fish, rice, desserts and a range of classic Chinese teas to choose from.

Head to https://summer.sovereignhill.com.au/event/lunar-new-year-banquet/ for more information and bookings (Sovereign Hill entry is not included).

If you’re a dedicated lover of Sovereign Hill’s Hope Bakery and the New York Bakery you’ll love the Chinese-inspired pie, available for a limited time only, from late January until the conclusion of the Lunar New Year festival.  The Chinese Char Siu pie delivers a flourish of flavour, and is chock-full of Char Siu pork, bok choy, mushrooms, baby corn and with a sprinkling of good year luck, it’s sure to be a roaring success.


Visit https://summer.sovereignhill.com.au for information and bookings about Sovereign Hill’s Lunar New Year Festival and Summer Series.

Sovereign Hill is located at Bradshaw Street, Ballarat and sits on Wadawurrung Country.

Like Sovereign Hill on social media

Facebook –  www.facebook.com/sovereignhill

Instagram – www.instagram.com/sovereignhill

Melbourne, stop eating immediately… Grazeland is coming!

TANTALISE YOUR TASTE BUDS AT MELBOURNE’S GRAZELAND THIS MARCH  The permanent foodie’s playground is opening its doors in Melbourne’s Inner-West from March 5   

Hailed as ‘A permanent festival of food in Melbourne’ and ‘A playground for foodies, friends and families’ it goes without saying, I cannot wait to get to Grazeland when it opens in March!

Grazeland is set to reinvigorate the city’s food scene with a wide range of  cuisines and fan favourites on offer from 50 food and beverage vendors in the new permanent playground for foodies from Friday, 5 March. 

Photo credit Sam D’Agostino

Initially set to open in early 2020, Grazeland, like many other new ventures, was forced to push pause last year. The  unique outdoor dining experience is now more fitting than ever – bringing Melburnians a COVID-safe casual dining  precinct that spans across whopping 10,000sqm. 

“Almost two years ago, we hand-picked some of our favourite local establishments to join us at Melbourne’s first  permanent festival of food and we are thrilled to finally be able to announce Grazeland’s official opening date,” says  John Forman, Grazeland Director. “It is more important than ever to be able to offer Melburnians a place to safely gather  together and reconnect over food, discover new favourites, and create memories after experiencing such an isolating  year.” 

Ready to service every indulgence, Grazeland will pay homage to Melbourne’s celebrated hospitality industry and will  offer the rare opportunity to please everyone in a group. Grazeland’s large list of sweet and savoury food vendors will  be complemented by three fully licensed bars, artisan stalls selling locally designed products, and a rotating schedule of  captivating entertainers and live performances on two stages. 

Photo credit Sam D’Agostino

Tailored to those looking to feed their curiosity, diners can expect to choose from some of Melbourne’s favourite dishes.  Menu items include award-winning pizza from 48h, cannoli from Cannoleria by That’s Amore Cheese, Bengali-style  curries from The Calcutta Club, freshly shucked oysters and lobster rolls from Claw & Tail, frozen cheesecake from Stixfamily-favourites from Hooked Fish & Chipper, African BBQ from Tasty Suya, and authentic gelato from Cielo Gelateria among many others. 

Reminiscent of a street party from earlier days, Grazeland’s design was carefully curated by Push Projects. The location features individually designed stalls that bring each offering to life and was created with Melbourne’s weather in mind,  with ample undercover and outdoor seating available – making it a destination for everyone and every season. 

“We’re very excited for people to be able to head to Grazeland in March. It will be a great weekend destination for  families and friends to come together to relax and be entertained. We welcome Melburnians from across the city to  explore more of what Melbourne’s inner-west has to offer,” says Cr Jonathon Marsden, Mayor of Hobsons Bay. 

Photo credit Sam D’Agostino

Visitors can find the permanent festival of food in Melbourne’s inner-west, across the West Gate Bridge next door to  Scienceworks, in Spotswood – just 17 minutes from Flinders St Station and easily accessible via car, boat and public  transport.  

Grazeland will bring together foodies, families, work colleagues, and couples alike to connect over a food-fuelled  adventure and discover some of the best that Melbourne has to offer. 

The festival of food will kick off on Friday, 5 March at 5:00pm, so make yourself hungry and be there!!


Address: 20 Booker St, Spotswood VIC, 3015  

Opening Hours:  

Friday – 5pm to 10pm 

Saturday – 12pm to 10pm 

Sunday – 12pm to 9pm  

Website: www.grazeland.melbourne  Socials: @grazeland.melbourne  

Go back to school nude with Smash Enterprises

Back to school is fast approaching. Eeeek! How has that happened? It only feels like yesterday that term 4 ended and we were gearing up for Christmas and now we’re staring term one right in the eye! With the new school year looming, I’ve been listing all the things I need to organise and, just like every year, it’s a little overwhelming; especially as I have a tendency to leave everything to the last minute and my children seem to have grown about a meter since December!

Bento Bite full of Coconut Yoghurt & lots of goodies for lunch!

Although I should be getting ready, buying school shoes and getting haircuts, I am not’, I’m organising and packing for our road trip to Kangaroo Island next week!! Same same but different. In fact, I think organising a family holiday is easier than organising all the school stuff!

Smash Enterprises Nude Food Movers available at Woolworths

The great thing about heading off on an trip this time of year is not just knowing that we are about to embark on an adventure together, but knowing the weather will be perfect and there is bound to be plenty of beautiful fresh produce to be snacked on all the way Adelaide! Yay for the Nude Food Movers!

I dug out our Smash Enterprises Nude Food containers and lunchboxes that have been cleaned and prepped ready for the new school year (*yeah I actually do that) and have filled them will all sorts of goodies to keep the kids satisfied on the road. These great rubbish free containers are not only super handy to throw in bags *LEAK PROOF… they also ensure the car (or classroom) doesn’t end up full of trash! I am a huge fan of the Nude Food revolution, and Smash always seem to get their ranges Bang On! Due to the fact that these are leak proof, they can be a little tricky to get open and closed, so if you have preppies this year, you may want to practice a few times.

No leaks, easy to clean, dishwasher safe *hoorah, and cool enough for the bigger kids to pop in their school bags too! No cringing here thank you! How good do they look!?!?!

Smash Enterprises (Left to right) Tall Zipper Case, Triple Snack Tube, Leak Proof Snack box & Sandwich box, Fruity Movers & Bento Bite

If you’re about to go on the search for fab back to school lunch ware, just head to Woolworths where you will find a fabulous range of Nude Food Movers for your team! Smash have thought of everything, and have even got some gorgeous new ice packs! (*check my instagram stories) Oh, and make sure you tag us in your pics so I can get some lunchbox inspo because let’s face it, by week two they’ll be on repeats again!

Smash Enterprises Bento Bite

Head to Woolworths to grab all your back to school lunchboxes, and make sure your kids are starting the new school year the right way! #gobacktoschoolnude


These lunchboxes were gifted for a review, however, as always, the opinions in this article are honest and a true indication of what I think is a fab product!

Top Father’s Day Gifts for me… I mean him!

Let’s face it, when we buy gifts for Father’s Day, we’re really making a purchase based on it’s ‘share-ability’ right? We see the cookies #sold, we buy the recipe books so he can cook up a storm, and we drool over the menus hence we book the table! So, forget the age old ‘Top Ten Father’s Day Gift’ articles and check out my Top 6 Father’s Day Gifts for me him!

Perfect Gifts for Mama Papa

Barley & Malt

Aside from the wonderfully fine Whiskey’s you can have delivered to your door for your very own classy tasting evening, Barley & Malt also sell incredible glassware. My favourite *for Mr W. being the Tokyo Decanter and glasses set! ($100) I’ll He’ll love it! Use the code SUPERDAD until 4th September for free shipping.

Sweet Disposition

Boxes of lollies! I mean more lollies than you could shake a musk stick at!! These lolly boxes are oozing share-ability and perfect for my his Father’s Day gift! I particularly love the look of the ‘All You Can Sweet’ ($120) because there’s more than enough to share with him me!

Foxeys Hangout Wine

Gold standard wine… Say no more! I’ll He’ll pour!!! The Father’s Day Pinot Pack will make Dad one of the first to taste these three new and very special single-vineyard pinot noirs from the 2019 harvest, Foxeys first fully certified biodynamic vintage!! So much goodness for just $195 for a 3 pack! Two for Mama and one for Papa! Nice!

Chefs Eat Breakfast Too by Darren Purchese

This glorious cookbook, promises an epic collection of breakfast recipes that will ensure you go to bed early in anticipation. Perfect!! **Always remember, a cook book is a must when gifting on Father’s Day. It would be rude for him not to cook me breakfast every weekend for a month when I ‘thoughtfully’ bought the book, so.. I will have succeeded in the task of perfect gifting! Yum!

Manflower Co

From gorgeous craft beers to make your own cocktails to stylish socks, these guys know how to man gift! However, this is about me sharing, so I am eyeing up the Productivity Pack ($54.95). Craft beer, fab notebooks *so handy for my his work, and I can upgrade to include some ST ALi coffee capsules. I’m He’s going to love this!! Have a browse and use this cheeky discount code TWOO10 for 10% off. Yes mama, I got your back!!

Kalea Body

All men need great body products, and lucky for him, I don’t mind sharing! I have carefully chosen the thoughtfully curated ‘Awaken your senses‘ bundle ($75) which includes all the things I he loves. Aromatherapy room & body mist, Magnesium & Coffee Body Scrub, and some Lemon Myrtle Hand, Body & Bath Wash!! Boy I’m he’s going to smell divine!!!! Free Shipping on this product!!

Always here to help!

I hope this article has given you a little extra encouragement to really share the love this Father’s Day! 😉 You deserve it mama!!

Please try and support small businesses where you can, buy one extra of something just because you care and make an extra effort to support ‘Australian’ in our time of need!!

Much love Liv xxx

Quick Malaysian Curry- Perfect winter supper

Weekends are all about food in our house. We plan our weekend feasts well in advance so we know we have something delicious to look forward to. Thankfully Tim is a keen cook, so I can sit back, keep the wine flowing and leave him to cook up a storm for the team. This weekend he blew me away with this Quick Malaysian Curry so I just had to share it with you. Enjoy! xx


Quick Malaysian Curry

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of Murray River Organics virgin coconut oil.

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, grated

Thumb sized piece of ginger, grated

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 tsp dried coriander

1 tsp dried turmeric

1 tsp dried fennel

1 tsp dried hot paprika

1 cardamom pod

1 tsp cinnamon

3 cloves

1 star anise

500 mls of organic coconut milk

2 cups of organic green beans

2 organic chicken breast fillets (500g) or Tofu for a plant based option, cut into 1cm strips

1 cup toasted organic cashews

Cracked black pepper, to serve

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Method

  1. Heat the coconut oil in large shallow pan over high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Keep the pan on the heat, and add spices to toast gently. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 4–5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the chicken into the pan with the softened onion, and coat with the spices.
  4. Add the coconut milk and green beans and simmer gently.
  5. In a small pan, toast the cashews until golden.
  6. Remove the Malaysian curry from heat, place into bowls and scatter the toasted cashews on the top.

Enjoy xx

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Winter just got seriously good

Winter has always been a tough one for me when it comes to food

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Winter sees me spending the entire 3 months craving carbs and all the bad stuff. I could quite easily hibernate and eat all the food. Not only does this make me look tired, it makes me feel yuk. Having an auto immune disease means that making the wrong choices wrecks me. A moment on the lips is at least a week of feeling terrible. This winter I have started adding bone broth into my diet, and I have managed to stave off the cravings whilst giving my body a serious hug from the inside out! Bone Broth is great for weight management, gut health, arthritis and joint health. This delicious broth, full of goodness helps repair your gut which leads to stronger and healthier hair and nails too! Win win!!! Here’s a beautiful recipe from Liquid Gold Bone Broth for you and your family to enjoy.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1.5 L Liquid Gold Chicken Bone Broth (can use 500 ml of water instead of 500 ml bone broth, but recommend using all bone broth)

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

100g spaghetti, broken into lengths (can use gluten free spaghetti for GF version, or zucchini noodles for low carbohydrate version)

2 chicken breast fillets (500g), cut into 1cm strips

2 cups (40g) baby spinach leaves

Cracked black pepper, to serve


Method

  1. Heat the oil in large sauce pan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook, stirring, for 4–5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the bone broth and water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes or until just starting to soften. (if using zucchini noodles add these after the chicken, require short cooking time)
  3. Add the chicken and cook for a further 4–5 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Remove from heat and stir through the spinach. Sprinkle with pepper and divide between bowls to serve

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Photo credit – Donna Hay


 

You can order Liquid Gold Bone Broth to be delivered direct to your door. Check out their website and socials for all the glorious details.

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