Random Ramblings

I had all good intentions of posting a ‘5 things Friday’ – but here we are on Saturday and no such post was written. But there have been a lot of little happenings of late, and I just returned from a lovely facial + massage combination (cashing in a Christmas gift certificate, thanks Amanda!), and am feeling particularly relaxed. So a sneaky little blog post it is…

Adventuring? We had a great time at the Circus last weekend. Little J was enamoured with the lights, sound and action from the very first minute (and we discovered that she is a huge fan of popcorn too!)

img_1076Oh and the clowns were a big hit also – so much so that we are now the proud owners of a slinky and a cheap necklace…

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Creating? We finally finished our family photo wall! It has been on the to-do list for years now, and I am so chuffed to see it come to life. The idea being that we add a new family portrait to the line up each year.
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Feeling? Very much like this year is slipping by all too fast. We had an activity evening at C’s pre-school last night, and little J wasted no time in joining in the fun. It seems like only yesterday that I was wheeling her to the preschool in the pram, and now she is out running around with all the big kids.

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Smiling? At Miss C’s ever-developing art and writing skills. Not a day goes by where she doesn’t pull out the textas and create us a masterpiece. On this occasion it was a ‘get well soon’ drawing for her Nanna, complete with self-portrait, her grandparents, two horses, a pig, a bull and a lion!
img_1128 Baking? Two big batches of rocky road with my little ‘helpers’. Although I think they did more bowl licking than anything else….
img_1064Missing? My sunglasses. If you know me, you know that I am never without them.  I remember taking them off as I walked into work on Friday, and putting them in my bag, but they are now nowhere to be found. And I’m well and truly feeling as though I am going (sun-squinty) crazy!

Indulging? In addition to the facial + massage I got this morning, I also got my nails painted. I saved the beautician from the horror that is my runner / walker’s feet – and opted to have my fingernails painted instead. Something I almost never do – but I must say I’m quite loving the look.

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Although I suspect kids + chores = they will be chipped in 6 hours!

But now, time to enjoy the rest of the weekend (and keep looking for my sunnies….)

5 things Friday

Oh Friday, how happy I am to see you! Time for a ‘5 things Friday’ I think!

  1. This weekend we have a lot of fun things planned. A trip to the Circus and the school Fete being two. Although I suspect the weekend will involve a lot less walking than last weekend, when Mr BBB and I tackled the “Bloody Long Walk”. A 35km charity walk that took us just over 6 hours to complete (and I think my legs are still feeling it…)

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2. Another reason I am feeling tired at the moment? One word….

Josie.

Yes we have well and truly hit the tantrum phase, coupled with the independent phase. Getting dressed, meals and generally trying to get out of the house has been routinely frustrated by our spirited 21-month old.

This photo is a good example. For not even two minutes after it was taken, she was horrified, HORRIFIED, when I stopped her from throwing paint on the ground and deteriorated into an all-consuming tantrum that lasted a good 25 minutes!

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3. Her big sister, on the other hand, is in a wonderful stage. Filled with lots of role-play and arts. We bought this costume for her daycare Halloween party, and she’s pretty much been living in it ever since.

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4. Tantrums aside, there is another thing I know for sure about J and that is her absolute adoration for her big sister. Wherever C is, J won’t be too far behind. And whatever C is doing, well J will give it a go too. Sure, they have their moments, but for the most part they are great buddies.

img_0596 5. Another recent favourite moment? Having “Jonpa” in town on a particular splendid Canberra weekend – which turned out to be perfect kite flying weather too. Needless to say a lot of fun was had at the Arboretum!
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What about you? What are you up to this weekend?

Life, Lately.

I feel that it is all too easy to get caught up in the day to day. Work is done, school is attended, chores are completed, dinner is cooked, TV is watched, and bed is fallen into.

Wake, and repeat.

This feels particularly more so when the skies outside are dark and grey, and a “quick” trip to the shops requires a good half an hour to make sure everyone has enough layers on.

But in these moments, when the days are feeling busy but a little mundane, and the Winter-blues have sunk in, it is always nice to pause and reflect on life. Or at least, life lately.

Travels, lately.

The girls and I recently took what is becoming our annual trip to Melbourne. I snuck C and J out of pre-school and daycare for the week, and we headed down the Hume to stay with my family. I’m not into big drives, and nor are the kids for that matter, so we stopped overnight at Albury, both on the way down and on the way back.

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The road trip itself was quite an adventure, filled with music and snacks that had been judiciously selected by C. We found new playgrounds to explore, autumn leaves to stomp through and ate our weight in junk food.

As for our time together in Melbourne, well what can I say. It was so wonderful to step away from the pressures of being a working Mum, and just be a Mum for the week. Even if I did feel a little outnumbered by the girls at times (hats off to solo parents out there!)

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The highlight was spending time with my own Mum, brother, sister-in-law (to be) and my gorgeous little nephew. The girls were simply enamoured with their baby cousin, and I can’t wait to plan many more trips like this over the years to come.

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Exercise, lately.

Since the start of the year, I have made taking a walk or run part of my daily routine. The aim is to get a minimum of 10,000 steps each day, and so far so good. And while the weather has been pretty inclement lately, I’ve avoided missing my daily exercise by taking a walk early. Like 5.30am (before the kids wake up) early. Even if it is raining I’ve been layering up and hiding under an umbrella – guided by a headtorch from our camping supplies.  Pure style, right there.

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Dark and cold aside, these moments are proving rather wonderful.  Just an hour or so to myself to reflect and to plan, or to listen to a pod-cast.  Sometimes both.

Charlotte, lately.

I truly love age 4. So full of curiosity, knowledge, independence and spirit.

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C is blossoming into quite the young lady, and it feels as if she has grown so much since starting pre-school this year. She is bright and bubbly, and never fails to astound me with the little things she picks up along the way. She loves role-playing, and making up wild stories, but has a softer and sensitive side too.

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And is quite the little helper in the kitchen!

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Sometimes I have to remind myself that she is only 4, because she seems so much older!

Josephine, lately.

Oh Josie. My dare-devil, spirited one.

I’m not sure whether it is her age (almost 17 months) or her personality, but she is not afraid of sharing her emotions.

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Be they huge belly laughs, or throwing herself on the floor yelling with displeasure, J is one loud girl.  She has finally started walking, and wants to explore whenever she can – particularly if she can sneak into her big sister’s room and bounce on the bed.

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She has a smile that lights up her whole face, and squeals like a crazy lady whenever she sees her favourite animal….a dog!  And her new favourite activity? Drawing and colouring.

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Life, lately? Yes its been cold and I am counting down the days until the warmer months arrive. Yes its been busy, with work and all the things that come with raising two active kids. But we are healthy and happy, and looking forward to some fun new adventures in the months to come (hint: passports required for one such adventure!)

What about you? How has life been lately?

A birthday weekend in Beechworth

IMG_3952 There are some weekends which will linger in your memory for quite some time. And this last weekend, spent with my Mum, brother and his fiancé in Beechworth, ticked all the boxes. Great location, great accommodation, great food and, of course, great company. Not to mention being able to spend my birthday with my family! As the girls get older, too quickly for my liking, I find myself feeling the downside of the distance between my family (who live in Melbourne) more and more. For the distance means we can’t catch up for coffee, or have regular get togethers.  But, with a little planning,  we are hoping to take little trips like these perhaps once or twice a year. IMG_2316 I suggested Beechworth after hearing so many great things about this historical town over the years. The bonus being that it was *about* halfway between Canberra and Melbourne, and we could all make our way there after work on the Friday. We woke both mornings to heavy frosts on the ground outside, but the sunshine soon made an appearance, and gave us beautiful clear, crisp Autumn days in which to go adventuring. IMG_3942 I took an early run on the Saturday, a little birthday present to myself, and the views were simply wonderful. So much so that I could have easily kept running. IMG_5765 As for the remainder of the weekend, well it felt like we only touched the surface! We started with a trip to Woolshed Falls (about 10 minutes north of the town), where C had a great time splashing in puddles and exploring amongst the rocks. IMG_3886IMG_3890IMG_3906 We took a tour of the Old Gaol, and quickly realised that the freezing temperatures inside should have been enough motivation to stay out of trouble and avoid a stay!! IMG_3934 We discovered Lake Samball, and I think I’ve earmarked a future camping spot! And we wandered the town, taking in all the historical buildings on display. IMG_2360 IMG_3953 But along with the ‘adventures’, there was also plenty of downtime to just sit, and chat, and catch up on the little things. The girls had an absolute blast spending time with their Nanny, Aunty and Uncle (as did I!!). What we ate… Well no trip to Beechworth would be complete without a visit to the famous Beechworth Bakery. Lunch featured a selection of warm goodies, along with a box of sweet treats to share. IMG_3908 For dinner  we found ourselves at the Bridge Road Brewers  – where we dined on tasty pizzas, washed down with locally brewed beers (I swear mine had a mango aroma?!). All while the littlest member of our party slept. cottage2 Where we stayed… We rented a four bedroom cottage (which was part of the Beechworth Cottages property), which worked out just beautifully for the 5 adults and 2 kids we had in our party.  IMG_2322 The cottage was well equipped and had everything we could ask for. The kitchen was put to good use, and we could have stayed here for a week or more quite comfortably. Charlotte loved the games room, as did the adults (who had a hotly contested game of scrabble one evening).  cottage The gift basket of local apples and apple juice on arrival was a nice touch too… IMG_3859 Overall, it was a beautiful birthday weekend with my little family, and hopefully the first of many trips away with my ‘Melbourne” family in the years to come. IMG_2325 Beechworth itself turned out to be a wonderful town, and I’d love to come back and spent some more time here….I certainly see a camping trip, and a ride down the old rail trail, in our future! What about you? Have you been to Beechworth?

Weekend

As I sit here, Josie is asleep on my chest and the house is eerily quiet. For I just farewelled the last of our houseguests after 4 days filled with family, friends and fun. My family arrived in town for C’s 3rd (!!!) birthday celebration, and we wasted no time in introducing them to the newest member of our family. And, after that, well there was barely a dull moment as we ate, chatted, walked and partied our way through the long weekend. Oh and don’t forget viewings of the original Snow White – on VHS! But I’ll let some of the photos do the talking… IMG_3008IMG_3054IMG_3157IMG_3090IMG_4087 IMG_3153 IMG_4054IMG_3163pic1  pic2IMG_1094 Full recap of C’s ‘grand’ birthday party to follow… What about you? What did you get up to this weekend?

Weekend

I think I mentioned it in this post, but we are trying to improve our ‘work/life’ balance this year.  Currently being on maternity leave helps, although we still need to consciously make the effort to take little adventures to keep the momentum going. This weekend just gone, was no exception. Mr BBB had to work on Saturday, but we made the most of the time we did have together and get out and about for some fun. We are still adjusting to being a family of 4 (getting out of the house in under 20 minutes, for example,  is unlikely) but it is so very wonderful to have our newest addition along for the ride. The weekend started with a family outing to the first Brumbies game of the season, where my little fan cheered to her heart’s content while eating her weight in hot chips. IMG_0401 There was a family brunch outing after C’s swimming lesson, to satisfy a 10-month-long craving for poached eggs. IMG_3516 And boy they were good. There was a family “forage” in a nearby pine forest, as we collected pinecones to use at C’s upcoming birthday party. IMG_3526 There was a walk to the playground, stopping along the way to feed J under the trees while C played hide and seek. There was an impromptu photo shoot – with a beautiful model. IMG_0630 There was also quiet time, amid the fun, during which we were besotted by the depth of newborn sleep and sibling affection. IMG_0351 A lovely weekend indeed. What about you? How was your weekend?

Weekend with my Dad

Well, I’m not sure that you could even call it a full weekend – but it was a wonderful whirlwind visit nonetheless. IMG_9462 My Dad was in town for a brief visit, only 1.5 days actually, but we managed to jam pack it with good times. From lingering over meals (including a slow cooked beef and Guinness stew) and reminiscing over a few glasses of wine, to a day filled with little family adventures in the brisk Canberra air, we made the most of his short visit! IMG_9418IMG_9427 Charlotte loved having her Jonpa in town – and although she only sees him a few times a year – she was immediately at ease and found his quirky sense of humour hilarious. IMG_9408IMG_9435 IMG_9443 A big highlight? Taking a trip to the Arboretum and flying kites off the hill. Although, to be honest, I think my Dad was the one having the most fun! For he’s a big kid at heart, really.         IMG_9480IMG_9485  IMG_9489IMG_9483 Oh and did I mention he brought Freddo Frogs… IMG_9361 Yes she was one very happy girl by the end of the weekend! Until next time, Jonpa…. What about you? What did you get up to this weekend?

The little farm weekend that wasn't

We have been failing miserably at getting away this year. Working, parenting and running a small business have definitely been the complicating factors, but even then, there is always adventures that can be had if one makes the effort. IMG_9246 And this past weekend, I was determined to do just that. The weather forecast looked rather miserable, but even that could not stop me. I was on a mission. A mission to take a little break, even for just one night. With the rain falling steadily outside, and the temperature barely making it to 10C, I packed the car with a multitude of Winter woollies. We hit the road after lunch, and arrived at our destination just before dinner time. The family farm. IMG_9164 We were fortunate enough to see the weather turn beautiful on the Sunday, with sunny skies and warmth in the air. We went out for breakfast, played in the paddocks, and even took a trip to the Mogo Zoo. IMG_9190IMG_9224IMG_9212IMG_9255 But it seems, that despite my best efforts, Murphy couldn’t resist taking an unwanted interest in our little family getaway. For while our intentions had been good, the whole adventure was a bit of a disaster really. Charlotte was sick overnight, she almost had a run in with a playful foal, and had her fingers nibbled on by a deer. And that’s forgetting the part when the cord on  a borrowed heater melted through giving us quite the scare when we realised what could have been had we not noticed?! A memorable night away, that’s for sure. Just perhaps not for the right reasons?! What about you? Had any ‘Murphy’s law’ moments lately?

Long weekend

Happy Monday lovely people! And it is not just any Monday here in the Capital – no my friends, its a public holiday! IMG_8824 It has been simply bliss having Mr BBB home for 3 whole days. We didn’t have too much planned, but also rarely found ourselves with a dull moment. I must confess that I did find time to fit in about 5 hours of work (early starts!) but, for the most part, our weekend was all about family! IMG_7623 We had the opportunity to head out on a 20k ride together – which was simply a perfect start to the long weekend. IMG_8740 IMG_8737 It wasn’t the longest ride, but it was awesome to be back in the saddle -  riding alongside my favourite riding buddy nonetheless! We conquered a big shopping list, with a view to being organised for Charlotte’s party next weekend. IMG_8744 IMG_8748 IMG_8749 With a big work week ahead of us, and guests arriving later in the week, I’m determined to stay on top of things. We “educated” ourselves with a little outing to Questacon, where C ran around like a madwoman. Touching this,  pushing that…aka generally having a ball! IMG_8760 IMG_8759IMG_8774 We dined with family, creating a rather scrummy red duck curry for the main – and indulging in a delightful crumble for dessert (thanks to my sister in law!) IMG_8789 IMG_8790 And we finished the weekend with a trip to “Canberra in the Park”, an event to celebrate Canberra’s birthday. IMG_8823 A couple of hours in the sunshine, listening to music. And with C, as per usual, running amok and having a grand ol’ time! IMG_7652 IMG_8819IMG_7665 (Don’t be fooled, she has no interest in eating ice-cream – just playing with it. It is moments like these when I query whether she is, in fact, this ice-cream lover’s child?!) Actually – the event timed just beautifully when I realised that it was on this exact public holiday, 2 years ago, that we welcomed Charlotte into our world. IMG_7656 A thought that captured my attention during my morning run, and saw me positively energised with nostalgia for the entire day! IMG_8797 IMG_8791 Outings aside, I’m pleased to mention that there were also the quiet moments. To sit and read, to create with playdoh, to cook up a big pancake breakfast and have morning cuddles while dawn started to break outside.  IMG_7638 IMG_7643IMG_8734IMG_8730 IMG_8733 Oh and to make a mess… IMG_8807 Because that is half the fun right!? What about you? What did you get up to this past weekend?

Christmas 2013

IMG_5968 It’s hard to believe that Christmas Day was almost a week ago. For we have well and truly made the most of this festive season – spending most of our time with family and friends, eating well, drinking merrily and laughing heartily. It is actually quite strange to have this quiet moment to myself, the first for over a week. IMG_5976  IMG_5937 This year we travelled to Melbourne to spend Christmas with my family. We took two days to get from Canberra to Melbourne, which worked just perfectly and kept C from going too crazy in the backseat. IMG_5951 We stayed with my little brother and his girlfriend, who were wonderful hosts when their house was invaded for the week (including managing the ever-abundant supplies for a toddler!). IMG_5799 From the Christmas Eve BBQ, to a delicious Christmas Day lunch, to the Boxing Day festivities (with Mr BBB’s family who also happened to be down South!) – everything was just splendid. xmas7 We had a rather delicious Christmas lunch spread – with everyone contributing a dish. There were the usual suspects – Pork, Ham, Turkey, roast vegetables – along with a scrumptious prawn and mango salad that suited the warm day just perfectly. Washed down with multiple glasses of champagne. IMG_5986IMG_5987 Despite being filled to the brim, we found room for dessert – which was my contribution to the lunch. Not being able to decide between pavlova and trifle – I opted to make both – along with a batch of rocky road for the chocolate lovers among us. IMG_6118 The rest of our day was spent lazing, and laughing, and enjoying the warm Melbourne day with our nearest and dearest. xmas1 As for the remainder of our trip – well let’s just say there was barely a quiet moment… xmas5xmas6 Brunch with Mr BBB’s family, catch-ups with my Aunties, more alfresco meals, a spot of shopping and Charlotte pretty much living in the pool. xmas4 A small trip – but with a lot packed in – and we’ve returned home a little tired – but a lot grateful for the wonderful family and friends that we have.  A lovely end to a busy 2013 – that’s for sure.