#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!




#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… 😉 )

#712 Family Fun on Jan 26th

Today is a day that divides many people from the land down under.

January 26th – Australia Day. A national holiday to celebrate our achievements as Australians, to recognise how far we’ve come, and to reflect on our culture.

The local park down by the beach ran a huge Australia Day event, and naturally, we all headed on down.

It was a very pro-Australia Day experience. Flags abounded, Union Jacks on clothing, and green and gold was the norm. Massive theme park rides were spaced on the perimeter of the park, food trucks on one end, and a stage for live music on the other.

These people came here to celebrate Australia day – or as was in our case, to take advantage of the free entertainment.

But there is a movement, a wave of people that has been increasing exponentially, that believes we should not celebrate Australia Day on January 26th.

And I agree.

BUT that does NOT mean I am not proud to be an Australian.

January 26th is not the day the First Fleet landed in this country, as many people are led to believe. In fact it is believed to have occurred in 1788, somewhere between Jan 18-20, and the 26th is the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney Cove, to declare British Sovereignty.

Australia Day was celebrated in Sydney on January 26th in those early days, before other states took on the holiday too, but they did this on different days, like Tasmania’s ‘Regatta Day,’ or South Australia’s ‘Proclamation Day.’ This was the case for 200 years, and only in 1935 did it become nationally recognised and celebrated, even then only being declared as a holiday in 1994.

In that way, Australia Day as we know it today, is fairly new.

The day January 26th, is known as ‘Invasion Day’ or ‘Survival Day’ to these Anti-Aus Day Jan 26-ers. Because it signalled the end of 50,000 years of Indigenous occupation on this land, which then led to brutal colonisation. Massacres of the Aboriginal people took place, land was taken, and children removed from their parents. The stolen generation was born, and many Indigenous descendants grew up not knowing where they came from.

The pain, suffering and loss the Indigenous community experienced is more than profound. And that doesn’t include the repercussions echoing out to this current day. To think of what they have had to endure, not just over years, but decades and centuries, with oppression and hate and discrimination, when all they were doing were living on their land… a sorry will just not do.

But it was done. In 2008 the Australian Prime Minister formally apologised to the Aboriginal community – for the successive laws and policies of previous governments that inflicted severe pain and grief onto their families and communities.

January 26th, the day the Union Jack was raised in Sydney in 1788, is then a representation of all that preceded, and all that was lost to the Indigenous community when the First Fleet arrived. The slavery, the violence, the oppression. It is a day of mourning for many. Rightly so.

My ancestors were NOT from that First Fleet. In fact, in 1788, my ancestors were probably farming cattle in a remote and poverty-stricken land somewhere in the Balkan region of Europe. My parents came to Australia in 1970, for a better life. It is the story of so many European immigrants, and continues to be so to this day. They came from nothing, from having to work so hard just to be able to obtain, I don’t know, a bike… over the span of a YEAR… and the opportunity to come to a “land of plenty,” where stories of filling up a trolley with fruit and vegetables with only $2, and realising after their first pay check working in the factory, that they could achieve so much more here in months, than they could achieve over there in years… that is the history I grew up with.

I grew up hearing, how Australia saved my parents. In doing so, they saved my sister and I. I grew up hearing of the comparisons between my parents’ beloved native country, and the ‘lucky country.’ They have such respect for where they came from, and when you ask them their nationality – they are Australian. Proudly so.

I have seen more of my family come from overseas. They didn’t come here to brutalise and oppress any minority or otherwise group, just as my parents didn’t. No, they came here for a better life, for a chance at something greater, even to escape WAR. They came here because they heard things were good, and they wanted to see things for themselves.

They have all stayed. We ALL have.

The Australia I have lived with, and which has been represented to me, is a good one, a noble one. I know things are not perfect, and there is always something the government must do better. But here, there is democracy. Freedom of speech. There is strong multiculturalism. People are kind. People are friendly. People love to connect.

However, bad things were done, many, many years ago, and despite the fact that we can’t go back, we can try to make things work as a unified community.

A country, united as one.

Both black and white, coming together.

But it has to be a conscious and integrated effort from both parties. There are white people I know that complain of the country we live in, or talk about how shit Australia is, or how that ‘other’ country is soooo much better.

Well move then. Go on, piss off (as a true blue Aussie would say). Don’t hang around here gaining benefits and working and earning Australian coin, when you know of so much better.

You are ungrateful. We don’t want you.

Likewise I have heard some other pretty horrible things today. I have heard of Indigenous people at Invasion Day rallies, saying “F*&k Australia, hope it burns to the ground.”

This makes me terribly sad. Sad for the mourning this person would have experienced to want the country they live in, the country we ALL live in, to burn to pieces.

Like I said, both parties need to want to move forward, peacefully. Slandering will not make things better. And it unfortunately won’t change the past.

Whether like me, my ancestors were not part of that First Fleet, or like other Australians, perhaps they were… the power to want to change the future is out there. People want to make amends for the past, whether they are white or black… but a person living in Melbourne today, should not be blamed for what their Father did in February 1st 1985 for example… just as today’s First Fleet descendants that want to change for the better, should not be blamed for what their ancestors were part of from 1788 onwards.

The idea is out there, that Australia Day needs to be moved to another date, or it is abolished all together and another day that celebrates both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities coming together, is created.

I believe this is the only way forward. I think respect needs to be shown to the original people of this land, and January 26th and Australia Day, are synonymous no more.



I went to the park today. I was happy to be amidst our community of proud Australians – Australians that love the country they live in, the people in it, and the culture that lives on.

Was I celebrating Australia Day? Hmm, not quite. I was celebrating the life I live…

But that I do every day. Because I am grateful for the place that I reside in the world.

I am grateful for MY history. I am grateful for the choices my parents made. And I am grateful that change is coming to respect the life and culture of those who inhabited this land 200 years before any white people were on it.

I had my own family fun day, and I enjoyed the fact of some extra time together, with them.

I hope wherever you were in the world, your day of January 26 was great too…




#663 Work ‘do’ doughnut joy

Anyone that knows me, knows I have a soft spot for doughnuts.

I’ve written about them a bit too, both here and here, as well as in MANY other posts.

So when I went to my work Christmas party tonight, and saw all the different varieties of free booze…

Hmmm, yeah. I expected as much.

What about the buffet style food layout that required plates (all we’ve had is finger food for years).

Oh, that’s different.

What about the special espresso martinis and mojitos?

Ooooh! Interesting.

The circus-tent like venue?

Very cool.

What about…

A doughnut food truck.


I headlined it over there with my work colleague as fast as I could.

This was amazing.

This was incredible.

This was legendary.

We waited about 15 minutes in a small queue before we got to choose from 3 amazing and mouth-watering doughnut combinations.


Drool Drool Drool

Do I really need to tell you which one I ordered?

And then… the MOMENT.


Can I say, that they were amazing. So soft, warm and fresh, with the melted and warm Nutella swimming around them and sticking to the roof of my mouth in the most deliciously insane way.


Sorry I don’t think you got that.


Best work surprise EVER.

Work winning 🙂



#505 Home-made food

Baby girl was hell-bent on some sickly sweet treat from the bakery today, so I succumbed. It was a pink meringue, and looked something like this


but it was long, like a plait. There were two m&m blue eyes, and sprinkles throughout. At home, I broke it into chunks for her, and popped a piece into my mouth to see what was so good about it. I tasted some kind of bakery taste, but not necessarily a pleasant one, and something oily. It WAS sickly sweet. I didn’t think baby girl would last with it, knowing her palate, and yet I left the room and left her to it…

I was making my Nutella-filled baked cinnamon doughnuts. I too had a disposition towards sweet things today – maybe it was the cold, dark and dreary weather, and the menacing clouds hanging over us and threatening to spill with rain at any second, that made us need the sugary pick me up.


As I was near the end of the process, my doughnuts now out of the oven, and close to buttering and sugaring them up, baby girl ran in.

“Yuck!” she was saying. She appeared to be spitting, and needed some kind of help so I went over to where she had been eating her meringue while watching endless Nickelodeon in the other room.

A few pieces had been eaten, yet several chunks were still there on the table, with one wet, clearly chewed up and spat out piece.

“This is too sweet baby girl. I knew you wouldn’t eat it.” I told her we would pack up the uneaten pieces for another day, and I cleaned up her spat out piece. She needed water, and it was here that I crouched to her level.

“You know baby girl, this stuff is no good. What Mummy bakes is the best. You know when Mama was a little girl, she only ate the cakes that Baka made? Home-made food is the best honey, know that.”

I went back into the kitchen with such conviction, with baby girl happily gulping down water and converted, behind me. Home-made food, no matter the dish – savoury or sweet – was always going to be a fresher, healthier, and smarter option compared to store bought or processed ANYTHING. Even as I finished off my Nutella doughnuts and reviewed the ingredients in my mind (caster sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon, milk, egg) they were all pantry/fridge standard staples, and though yes butter and sugar prevailed, I’d rather that than artificial colourings and sweeteners. This is the stuff the old, old, old generation used. This was the stuff to eat, when you ate sweet. Anything home-made, ruled.

Anything home-made RULES.


It’s a lesson I knew I was always going to teach baby girl, and today I was grateful in the knowledge that I received that much-necessary education from my own Mother, by her words and strong example, so many, many years ago.

Thanks Mum… as always, you are totally right 🙂





#422 Shopping with my girl no.3

Today’s successful shopping purchases at Bayside, were:

A pink front, blue back, star sparkly-circled top

A battery-operated ‘Thomas’ the Tank Engine train

A packet of Crayola washable stamp textas (washable is A MUST)

A packet of 240 Unicorn stickers

AND a little man shaped doughnut topped with icing and smarties…

Can you tell they were all for baby girl???!!!

And yet, we had a beautiful day together, holding hands, dancing to Justin Timberlake in the clothes aisles, and eating hot chips. Bliss 🙂


#334 Tabbouleh from The Kitchen Passport

It’s always a really satisfying feeling when you find a ‘keeper’ recipe. More so when it’s simple, fresh, healthy AND incredibly moorish.

I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to help a fellow blogger out a while back, who needed testers for a cookbook she wanted to publish of recipes that she had gathered and been inspired by from her around-the-world travels.

Back then with the help of my trusty assistant baby girl, we dished up the Chocolate Filled Donuts – to rave reviews from us all in the household – and only a few weeks ago did I receive the final cookbook edition in the mail, something I had been eagerly looking forward to.

Tonight I made tabbouleh, with my eyes on Jess’ falafel recipe for later on in the week. The tabbouleh was amazing, such a simple yet wow dish, and Hubbie could not stop going back for more.



If you’re interested in purchasing the book, more details can be found here. I highly recommend it, and cannot wait to try out some more!

Oh. And page 23. Just sayin’.