Tag Archives: affordable

Let me tell you where to go.

Let me tell you where to go.

Approx 3 years ago we moved from what I’d know into the unknown. We moved from the eastern suburbs of sydney to the northern suburbs which is dubbed the north shore, but the closest beach is actually about 30-45 minutes away, so go figure.

We moved here for a lifestyle change. We had a 1 year old and were planning on expanding our family. We needed and wanted a bigger home with a yard and area for our children to play. So we made the decision to buy a home that suited our needs but not in our ‘known’ area. We moved about an hour away from our comfort zone to get a bigger house with a large yard at a reasonable cost so that we wouldn’t be in debt for the rest of our time.

At first I will admit it was tough, still at times it is, but we have grown to enjoy our new surroundings and are finding our way.

What I have found though, is that although we have moved into a larger ‘family’ demographic, I’m finding that there are not necessarily a lot of kid friendly places to go, that are not play centres. Or maybe I just have not discovered them?

What I was looking for is somewhere we can go as either a family or where I can take the kids solo or to catch up with friends. Not so much an adult venue, but somewhere that’s nice yet child friendly. Let’s face it, if we are in a family demographic why shouldn’t there be more family friendly venues?

So what I have found are a few places that are now on my regular radar to take my two little people to. These places make me feel welcome each time we arrive. I don’t get snarled at by walking in with my 4year old and a 1yo in a pram. I’m not in fear of judgement of other patrons if my little people make noise and the staff are always relaxed. These places are great in many aspects, aspects that most mothers or parents will agree are important when out and about with children.

Great coffee and menu including food for fussy toddlers.

Relaxed atmosphere.

Friendly staff.

Simple decor.

Affordable.

Don’t mind if little fingers spill food.

Don’t mind if children make noise.

Provide an area for children to play.

Prompt service. We all know kids can get impatient and disruptive if the service takes too long.

So with these in mind, I have listed my favourite places to take my kiddies.

Please note – I’m not affiliated with any of the below. I’ve simply had great service and a lovely time at each of them with my little ones. We actually are regular customers and have not had a bad experience to date (in 3 years).

If you have others, please let me know so that I can try them out also. Always happy for new suggestions.

Piermonte – Terry Hills Flower Market.
http://piemonte.com.au/
This place has an awesome menu and great play area for kids to play that is safe and fenced and in direct eyesight of the seating area so that your little ones can play whilst you eat or have a coffee or juice.

Shores – Hornsby.
http://www.shoresrestaurant.com.au/
There is a cute little kids hub inside the restaurant. It’s got booths for family’s, really yummy food. Great coffee and super friendly staff.

The Station – Wahroonga.
http://www.thestationwahroonga.com.au/
Really good food, great coffee. Not really a play area for kids but the staff are super friendly and easy going and understanding with children and provide pencils and paper for drawing and colouring for kiddies entertainment.

The Fox Cafe – Wahroonga.
http://www.foxcafe.com.au/
A larger restaurant with booths for family’s, very child friendly menu. Great coffee, easy atmosphere, friendly staff and easy to find parking.

Galley Foods – Bobbin Head.
http://galleyfoods.com.au/
On the marina, it’s such a beautiful setting. Super relaxed and again with great food and coffee. They also have live music on most weekends and happy to provide colouring for keeping little ones occupied. You can also feed the fish off the marina whilst waiting for your food to arrive.

Nappy Bags / Wallet?

Nappy bags!

So I recently wrote a blog on nappy bags being so unattractive, bulky and expensive!

Well I have just had a friend email me a link for what she thinks is a product that Id love!

I haven’t held it in my hand nor seen it for real but after reading about it and seeing the pretty little pictures, I’m possibly going to buy one!

Easy to manage, looks to fit most essentials for the little one and Yep – inexpensive!

Have a look for yourselves!

It’s the Elari wallet. I think I will get an orange one, comes in many colours and with various pockets / inserts and a foldable change mat, who can say no right?

http://www.shopelari.com/collections/shop-all/products/orange-you-full-of-surprises

Fiji – Bula!

imageFiji Sitting beside the stunning pool on a wonderful holiday with my hubby and gorgeous toddler I feel very lucky!

We have came to Fiji Denaru Island and are staying in a lovely villa at the Sheraton. The sun is shining and the days are getting lost. 🙂 not a care in the works simply relaxing and spending quality time with my hubby and bubby! So let me tell you why we chose Fiji as our destination.

My husband and his family have been coming to this wonderful island for many years, my husbands mother recalls stories of bringing her children here when they were very young. My husband took his first steps at 14 months old in Fiji and for many years to follow they would continue to come here as their annual family holiday. It holds a special place in his heart which I find sweet and he has lovely early memories here.

My husband fell in love with it way back then and for the past few years we have made it our wonderful family holiday and am sure we will continue to come here with our next bubba also. I too have fallen in love with this place, it’s so convenient to get here only a 3.5hr flight (approx) from Sydney.

Here are only a few reasons as to why we will continue to come back to this stunning island.

1. The people are so accommodating, friendly, happy and a delight to deal with.

2. The sun is always shining!

3. The water is clear and blue,

4. There are 5 plus pools to choose from to swim in or lay by incase you don’t want to swim or lay by the beach 🙂

5. The sand is white 🙂

6. There is kids club for kids up to the age 14

7. The food is yummy

8. It’s relaxing and carefree

9. Bula – means hello, and that word to me sounds happy!

10. Everyone is always smiling and friendly

11. It’s family friendly

12. The amenities are always clean

13. There are various activities to keep you busy – only if you want

14. We get a 2 bedroom villa with a kitchen (easy for staying in and cooking for little ones)

15. It’s affordable

16. The fresh coconuts are delicious!

17. You don’t need to leave the resort if you don’t want too, there are 2 deli’s, many family friendly restaurants, bakery, multiple gifts stores and various recreational activities on-site

18. The Sheraton is associated with the Westin here so you have full access of all the Westins amenities also including their gym and recreational activities and restaurants.

19. You don’t need to carry around your wallet / purse. Within either Sheraton or Westin you can charge anything from any shop or restaurant to your room

20. The main port ‘Port Denaru’ is a easy flat 15 minute walk where you will find a very convenient mini supermarket and duty free store for all your needs.!

One for those non mummy’s.

So I have a friend who recently started to read my blog.

She isn’t a mummy so when we caught up she asked me to write about other things that don’t necessarily have anything to do with being a mum! I asked her what would she like me to write about and her response was ‘Michelle Bridges it up’ hehe

Well this one is for you.

You know who you are 🙂

For those of you who are not sure who Michelle Bridges is. Michelle is a fabulous Australian personal trainer. She is a wonderful role model as she isn’t super skinny, yet has a great strong beautiful fit body.

Michelle has been a trainer for many years and has a great brand with many sub factors all relating to fitness. She has a 12 week body challenge which I know has been successful as I have had various friends follow and loose wright successfully.

She has a clothing range based on work out gear / active wear that is not just for the gym but super comfy, super affordable and easy to wear to the gym or as every day wear.

She has many published recipe books. Full of easy, healthy, affordable recipes that also taste good. Not like some low fat, calorie controlled recipes that taste like cardboard. She also is an author of an autobiography.

Michelle is one of the top trainers on Australia’s biggest looser tv series.

With all this proven success you should check out her website.

https://michellebridges.com.au

One of my favorite recipes from one of her fabulous recipe books is –

Shakshuka

4 large ripe tomatoes or 410g can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

¼ brown onion, diced

1 small jalapeño chilli, sliced

½ small green capsicum

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper, to taste

2 free-range eggs

1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

If using fresh tomatoes, blanch them for 3 minutes, then peel, seed and chop them, and set aside. Over a medium flame, heat oil in skillet, add onion and cook until transparent. Add chilli and green capsicum, and cook for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, paprika and cumin, and cook for 5 minutes, allowing mixture to reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make 2 small depressions in mixture and crack eggs into them. Cover and cook until eggs are done. Sprinkle over parsley and serve in skillet.

SERVES 2

Otherwise click on the below link for some more quick and easy recipes by Australia’s fitness guru!

http://m.dailylife.com.au/photogallery/health-and-fitness/dl-nutrition/michelle-bridges-best-healthy-recipes-20121114-29bgn.html

An easy effective quick workout Michelle recommends is Circuit training at home!

Michelle Bridges’ ultimate at-home workout in 6 easy exercises!

Gymnastic rolls
1. Lie on the floor with your arms stretched above your head, holding yourself stiff and strong.
2. Take one full roll over to the right. When you’re facing up again, keeping legs and arms stiff, lift both legs and both arms upwards and try to touch your toes.
3. Swiftly flatten out, hold strong and roll back to the left and repeat.
GOOD FORM
The more you can hold yourself stiff and strong, the smoother you’ll find the move becomes.

Basketball jumps
1. Take a low, long step sideways to the right, bending through your legs, keeping your knees aligned with your toes.
2. As you step your left foot in to meet the right, spring off both feet, taking a jump into the air and taking a basketball shot at the same time.
3. Repeat on the other side. When you step out to the side, be sure to swing your arms out wide as you go low, then scoop them up to go upwards for the shot.
GOOD FORM
The lower you go the higher you jump.

Walking push-ups
1. Start in a normal push-up position – hands slightly wider than shoulders, shoulders back, long spine and neck, chin pulled in, core drawn in.
2. Perform one repetition then “walk” or “cross” your right hand over your left, then step your left hand out to the side and perform another push-up.
3. Now “walk” yourself back and repeat. Do as many as you can on your toes then drop to your knees.

Turkish get-ups
1. Start by lying face-up on the floor, holding a dumbbell straight out in front of you.
2. Now begin to get yourself up off the floor without allowing the dumbbell to move from above your head.
3. Get all the way up to standing and then lower yourself back down to the start without allowing the dumbbell to drop.
GOOD FORM
These take practise and require technique, so take your time. If you’re doing time-based training, try doing 5 with your right arm up and then 5 with your left arm up; keep going till your time is up. To make these even harder, try holding a 1kg dumbbell in your hand.

Plyo lunges
1. Standing with feet hip-width apart, draw your core inwards and lift your chest, shoulders back and down.
2. Spring upwards, splitting your legs to land in a lunge position, with your front knee directly above your ankle, not pushing forward over your foot. Use your arms as you would when running – opposite arm to leg – to help engage this dynamic movement.
3. Land with both legs bent at 90 degree angles then push up into a jump, swap legs and land back into lunge position. This movement should be swift and powerful.
GOOD FORM
Always be sure you’re jumping upwards rather than pushing forwards when you move.

Ice skaters
1. Start with your body weight on your right leg and your left foot poised behind right leg, ready to jump across. Be sure to have the grounded foot slightly angled out with knee aligned with toes.
2. Explosively jump to the left, aiming for maximum distance. Use your arms to help propel you across by swinging them in the same direction.
3. Land softly on left foot, knee and toes aligned, sink into the leg then explode off the leg back to the right side
http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/womens-health/fitness/galleries/photo/-/12703456/michelle-bridges-ultimate-at-home-workout/12703527/