#733 Holiday BBQ

It’s not common of us to stay home when we have days off together, let alone when we go away. But today Hubbie had a great thought while we were out grabbing some food for lunch.

“Why don’t we do a bbq back at home?”

Home, for these two nights anyway, has been the place in Barwon Heads we’ve been staying at. Our balcony looks out onto the street, and there is a small yet very practical outdoor electric barbeque for use.

Sure, it meant we would have to do some extra prep here and there. But for some reason it appealed to me. Dinner by us, at home. I think it appealed in some level to all of us. We could relax. Go at our own pace. Baby girl could float in and out of the rooms as she pleased. We didn’t have to stress about noise levels. The toilet was right there. It was cheaper. And I could wear trakkies on the balcony if I wanted to.


It was great. The sun was shining; fellow apartment dwellers were on the same thread and bbq-ing out in the sun like we were; we waved from up high to passers-by; and then sat down to eat our simple spread.




Sure, we grabbed some takeaway chips too, just to add to that can’t-be-f$%ed holiday vibe. But it was different, it was relaxing, and though we were only at home, we still felt like, we were away.




#732 Holi-days

Ain’t being on holidays grand? I mean, it’s the best isn’t it???

I had this thought at the beginning of the holidays when I was all pathetic and sickly, and it’s a thought I commonly hold whenever life turns particularly shit.

I thought “I’m getting the crap over and done with early so that I can have an awesome holiday.”

And although this thought DID go through my mind then, I was so afraid of staying sick and being unable to do anything the entire time we were on leave together, because Murphy’s Law and all, that I was unable to entertain the awesome possibility, even for a second.

But, I was right. The holidays have been truly awesome now.

So much so, I can’t really pinpoint a stand-alone gratitude thought for today, hence my “holi-days” title.

So here it goes: so much gratitude in a variety of avenues.

  • Hubbie and I leaving kinder after dropping off baby girl this morning. Another girl gets out of her car with her Mum, sees us and yells excitedly “baby girl is here!”

Awww. Hearts BURSTING. Hubbie and I turned to each other with broad smiles, happy in the knowledge that there was someone whose day was immediately made better when our girl was around, and also, with the realisation that those two girls were going to have a really great day.

  • The MYER CLEARANCE FLOOR at Frankston. OMG. Hubbie and I have never paid (get it, LOL) much attention to level 3 of Myer at Bayside, maybe because all the yellow tickets seemed so tacky, and the racks shoved together made it difficult to shop, and let’s not add the ‘reject clothes’ mentality. If it was discounted that much, surely it was crappy, or there was something wrong.


Because we actually had time to devote to ourselves while baby girl was at kinder, we wandered over to Bayside with no real plans, and after a ‘normal’ Myer purchase, the sales assistant there told us that the Level 3 clearance floor had an additional 50% of all their red-ticketed items. A bit curious, we headed up.


We purchased a total of 7 clothing items combined for $100. Un-bloody-believable. For example, a skirt I bought which had been reduced to $15 already, from like, I don’t know above $50 or something, was $7.50.

$7.50! I had a cake at Chadstone the other week which was $7.95, that cheesecake cost more than the skirt I bought today.

The most expensive dress I bought was $32.50, with the original price being well over $150 – I’m wearing it to a wedding in 2 weeks. Yep. I am talking brands, good quality, at BARGAIN prices.

Friends do yourselves a favour and get over there. Sure the half-price off red ticket items isn’t a year-round event (ends Monday) but you will still always grab a bargain there compared to any other store. Incredible.

  • Sorrento to Queenscliff Ferry ride. We’ve been wanting to do this for a LONG time. And so the holidays helped us make it happen.


(approaching Queenscliff)


It was such a quick ferry ride, I feel like I need to do it multiple times! 40 minutes and a latte away (as their promo says…)


  • Finally, where we had dinner in Barwon Heads tonight. 3 years and 1 month ago we dined at Beach House, on what was our first little getaway with baby girl when she was a year and a half. Accidentally, we headed out tonight and found ourselves parked in front of the same restaurant.

Why the hell not? We’d had a great time last time which had ended in my fairly glowing review of the place then.


It was actually, perfect. And I sat at the table, sipping on a fine Cab/Sav/Shiraz/Merlot (yes it exists), thinking how I didn’t have just one thing to be grateful for today…

In fact, I didn’t know which thing was the stand-out to write about for my post here.

That’s when I gave a silent thanks, and took in the moment of happiness.

Here’s to more holidays. Cheers!



#731 Steak is Love

How do you define love on what is the commercially-made greatest LOVE fest of the year?

Is it by a card?

A rose?

A dozen roses?

Is it a sweet treat, a bottle of bubbly, or a fine dining experience?

Is it a movie?

Or maybe a hot air balloon ride (*cough, ahem Hubbie *cough)

A massage, some intimate time together, or a long walk?

How about none of those. My love token today came in the form of meat, and I am being COMPLETELY innocent here guys.

Hubbie cooked up a huge piece of T-Bone steak for dinner. And as we served our plates up, he told me he had cut off the fillet part of the steak, which is essentially THE BEST part of the meat for you vegetarians/non-Butcher wives, and it was all for ME.

“Awww,” I went.

He is a fussy butcher my man, but I still WIN.

Hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day with their loved one. ♥♥♥


Photo by Alex Munsell on Unsplash

11:12 pm update: Hubbie just read this post and shook his head in disappointment at my using a Rib-eye steak photo instead of a T-Bone steak one.


#725 Game ticket freebies

We’re back, we’re back.

We did a lot to fill the day today. Because as I said to Hubbie amidst severe cold/flu conditions days ago, almost as a forewarning to the world: “when I am better, we are painting the town red.”

Well, I AM better.

After kindergarten we took baby girl down to see a cinema screening of Paw Patrol in the Village Vjunior lounges, complete with a huge slide going down the length of the room. If that wasn’t enough to keep her happy during the forced 10 minute interval, running after other kids and jumping on the floor keyboard lights at the front of the room, well there was also popcorn.

I kind of had to enforce her to stop too much of that, too… because we had dinner plans later…

We love going to TGIs, so much so that baby girl will ask us “TGI?” on various occasions just when she remembers she needs her fix. She gets crayons and colouring paper, she gets her cheesy pasta, and it is noisy so that any loud outbursts by her are completely muffled, and EVERYONE is happy.

After a spot of shopping because ‘why not?’ on a weekday night while on holidays, we headed to the store that baby girl had been eagerly asking us about since we had passed it.

Totally Game is like my generations old-school Intencity or something, where basically you play games, get tickets, and then transfer like, 100 tickets for a packet of chewing gum.

Some things NEVER change, even though the names do.

But this is where the gratitude game rose a bit, because there is nothing like being happy for holiday time, family time, being grateful for health and everything time, and then someone does something unexpected and selfless and just raises the bar a whole lot.


Because we were playing at various games as you do, collecting tickets, and at one point while looking for another game to play suitable for baby girl to help out Hubbie, she almost crashed a neighbouring game where a group of people were already playing. We called her to come back, and in that party of people a lovely girl looked over and smiled. I thought nothing of it other than to think just that, she looked so happy and friendly… and I found out how much so about 10 minutes later, when we were feeding our game tickets into the machine to find out via receipt how much we had, when this girl popped out of nowhere and said to us

“Here take our receipt, we were just playing for fun.”

Really? We thanked her and I looked at the receipt, which read along the lines of 240 tickets.


My $10 of credit had resulted in about 80 tickets, and she was giving us 240, just like that?

“Are you sure?” I called out to her.

“Yeah,” she replied with a smile as she walked off.

And if that kind generosity wasn’t enough, when we were looking at a prize for baby girl in the window case, she came back and gave us a roll of other tickets.

“We’re just killing time before our movie!”

Another 60 tickets!

We thanked her again and again, and baby girl was fortunate to be able to pick from a lot of toys there…

You think she got something good?

Nah. A little wind up lady-bug and a wind-up pony is all she wanted. And can you believe, the wind-up lady-bug is stuffed already.

Like I said, some things NEVER change. Like gaming stores ‘prize toys.’

But regardless, the moral was there. The kind message and offering. It was the icing on the cake of a very happy day…

There are really nice people out there. 🙂

#719 Mini movie time

It was a full and fun day for baby girl and I, what with shopping, gift buying, babycinos and pink doughnuts to boot.


But none of that compares to the quiet moment we had after.

While purchasing one of our many things for the day, being the highly-anticipated new JT album (!) baby girl decided she too had to have a new disc. I told her no, as she already has about 35 DVDs (probably no exaggeration), but then I had an idea. I had a Moana idea.

Every parent under the sun asks me about this movie. They say “oh, has she watched Moana yet?” and when I reply “no,” they say “it’s really good.”

Really good.

But I figure she doesn’t need to be inundated with all the great kids flicks at once. I even held off on introducing her to Frozen years ago for that very reason (also to escape that highly addictive ‘Let It Go’ number).

But today, as she was asking for something, and I figured she had been so good for kinder yesterday… I picked up the Moana DVD facing us, discounted too. I mean, I had already decided, right? But that only made the decision easier.

When we got home, I put it on for her. And then I did something I don’t do often… I sat down. I told her I’d only watch it with her for 5 minutes, and then I had to go do “Mummy jobs.”

But it was a Disney movie. Which meant of course, it sucked me right in.

5 minutes later and I was almost sobbing, with baby girl turning to me with concern and saying gently “it’s ok Mama, it’s ok… her Tato find her.”


Time passed, and passed, and I was LOVING this movie.

It was really good.

After about 40 minutes of quality viewing time with my girl/my arse planted firmly on the carpet, I dragged myself off to go and prepare some dinner, or else all that would be on the menu was a whole lot of “How Far I’ll Go.”

Even so, I kept peeking around the corner to see the storyline’s progression, and then at the end when the food was all underway and getting going, I sat down to finish it off.


And though it had been a full day, of walking around, laughing, spending money and eating out, the most precious time had been with my girl, watching Moana from the floor of her play area.

The best things in life are free… (or $15 as was the Moana DVD… 😉 )

#706 Kirks perks

This is beginning to become a thing now. Kirks, those gorgeous coastal views, and a casual beach stroll…

It definitely wasn’t planned, but we headed over to a fave local of ours tonight for dinner. It was very low-key, since Hubbie has been feeling worse for wear post New Year partying and following all of these long Summer days and nights of continuing the rage, but even so, when they seated us towards the back of the restaurant, it just didn’t feel right.

Thank God for speaking up. Honestly, telling people what you think in a courteous way works wonders. We asked a lovely wait staff member if there were any closer seats to those gorgeous Port Phillip Bay view windows. No, it was a packed house tonight. But…

We could sit outside?

Hold on a second. The night had just gotten substantially better.


And so we sat. We drank, and we ate. We had the warm and mild, then cool and breezy air, waft around us.

And then I put on my $4 Kmart thongs from the boot of the car and we crossed the road to get a closer view of the beach.


Baby girl leading the charge.

From sun setting on the left, to the rocky coast on the right.


The water was actually warm, and if I were dressed better, I would have gone in deeper. Baby girl didn’t care how she was dressed, and still got a decent amount of the bottom half of her dress wet, but that’s kids for you.


And Hubbie wandered.

It was a brief, though truly captivating way to end dinner, the day, and the night.

… so could Kirks, and those beach views, possibly if at all surpass the quantity of my posts which express the various ways in which I am grateful and dedicate my days to coffee?

Hey, here’s a thought… I’ll have a coffee next time, AT Kirks, while enjoying those beach views. Now we’re talking. 🙂

#696 Evening ice cream

A new Summer tradition has developed in our family, off the back of baby girl’s newly acquired addiction…

That is, ice cream.

She will be half-way through her dinner when she will turn to either Hubbie or myself, and say something along the lines of “Me finish ALL my dinner – then please have ice cream, PLEASE?!?!?!”

She will be in our faces, tone pleading, eyes squinty, hands clasped together in prayer mode, and there is NO WAY you can ignore her.

I have no issue with her getting a treat after she has eaten her food, fine.

But she is doing this every night.

I figure because she does eat the food in all her meals, she is allowed to then receive a treat, and I let her know this too – no eaten dinner, no treat!

Tonight’s request was made harder to ignore, because I suddenly remembered I needed something urgently at the shops… so we all headed down there after dinner, and soon ALL 3 of us were standing and staring through the glass windows of the frozen aisle.

Hubbie picked the classic Magnum Almond…


I picked the exciting small tub of Arnott’s Caramel Crowns…


and baby girl picked the Paw Patrol chocolate and vanilla ice cream

paw patrol ice cream

And then we went home to do what we do so often after dinner. Sit out the front of the house and enjoy.


And you know what, it is a nice thing to do. We’re taking all of 5-10 minutes out of the busy evenings to just sit, be peaceful, watch the dog-walkers go by, the sunset fade into the horizon, and the mozzies start to hover perilously close… just enough time to forget about the dishes waiting for us in the sink, to forget about the house we have to tidy, to forget the baths, the showers, the getting ready for the next day, for EVERYTHING.

And it all comes down to ice cream.

We’ll enjoy it while the Season lasts.