Sunday, 29 September 2013

A Day at the Beach: Merewether Ocean Baths

Our holiday adventures gave us a perfect Sunday. I fell in love with Newcastle just that little bit more today and I think I asked Jason a few hundred times if we had to go back to Sydney after all.

We spent our morning at the Islington Markets, rummaging through stores and listening to two sweet old guys play Jazz and croon. I bought a framed advertisement for red lipstick from the 1950's that I simply adore. Leo found a second hand batman doll. Jason ate sausage on bread. Everyone had a win!

We headed off to the beach, towels and buckets at the ready. Merewether Beach and Baths are quite possibly one of the nicest beaches you could visit. I am from Sydney, I have been to Bondi a zillion times and yes, it is beautiful. It is also nearly always packed with people and tour buses. Merewether, even on a day like today (a balmy 27°- that's 81°F) has room to breath and such a laid back atmosphere. Even someone like me, who isn't the biggest beach bunny, could spend hours relaxing there.

One of the clearest memories of being a kid, for me, is spending weekends at the beach. I can recall so vividly the blue of the water, the games my brothers and I would play, My dad jogging along the water and the taste of salty chips bought from the beach cafe. I loved the beach till I hit about 16, Hanging out at the beach just didn't go with wearing black and listening to heavy metal. Not to mention the fact that I have the type of skin that burns to a crisp, Peels and then recovers in freckles.

My children clearly get their love for the sand and surf from their dad. We had to bribe the monster with promises of more beach adventures in the future to get him to leave.

Halfway through our vacation and I'm loving it. Even sitting here after everyone has gone to bed, working on my course, I just feel so relaxed and content.

Do we have to go home?

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The Collective Social Blog Hop

(I'm still in love with my wedding... this was our table settings.)

It's hard to believe that 3 months ago I was kicking around the idea of starting a blog. I just assumed that people wrote their own thing and some other people might read it. Foolish me! I had no idea there was such a community of bloggers out there giving each other props and inspiring each other. Then there was the discovery of blog hops! Holy Moly, What a source of amazing blogs to read. The first (and one of the best) blog hops I took part in was The Collective Social Blog Hop... and so I am very proud this week to be sponsoring it. Have a go! It's a lot of fun!

Welcome to the weekly blog hop party, The Collective Social Blog Hop.
This is a link up for bloggers who want to gain followers and meet awesome people.

The best social media blog hop, The Collective

Not sure if this is the blog hop for you? Listen to what other bloggers have to say...

"Just to let you know, your blog hop is the best I've participated in for gaining new friends!!! I couldn't believe the results!! Thank you!"
- Danavee, This Vintage Grove

"I'm dropping by to let you know that I love being a part of your blog hop! 
 I have been meeting really nice bloggers.  Bloggers who are actually friendly and want to connect! 
I'm putting the blog hop button on my side bar, like, permanently!  Everyone should know about it. Just thought I'd share with you. Thank you."
-Vickie, Oh Abby Day

"Hi BreAnna, just want to say that your blog is beautiful, creative, and fun. The GFC collective is one of my favorite parts of the blogging week. Love meeting new friends and fellow bloggers. We just started our blog and were amazed at how helpful the GFC collective is! Keep up the amazing work."
-Alea and Rachael, Sparkle Your Life

"This GFC Collective Hop is seriously one of the best link ups out there! Through this hop I have found so many great blogs & friends that I wouldn't have otherwise found! Thank you so much for hosting such a fun link up! Please take the time to link up & join along! You won't be sorry that you did!"
-Amy @ Keepin' Up With the Smith's

"I'm so excited I found your blog and this wonderful link up! I have met so many new people and found so many wonderful blogs this way. This is a great idea and I'm glad to be a part of it!"

and my co-hosts for the week 
Jenny @ So Very Me
Christina @ Polka Dot Heart

Interested in co-hosting? Send an email to peacoatsnplaid(at)gmail(dot)com to get on the list.

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Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Day At The Farm: Oakvale Farm and Fauna World

Please excuse any typos or bad grammar in this post. For you see, my beloved football team, The mighty South Sydney Rabbitohs, have lost their chance to make their first grand final appearance since 1971 and I'm finding it hard to see through my tears. I will rally on because, besides the crushing defeat and my broken heart, The rest of my day was pretty tops!

Whenever we are up in the Hunter, we try our hardest to go to Oakvale Farm and Fauna World at Salt Ash. We have been coming here since Leo was a year old and still have a lovely time each visit.

This visit really drove home how grown up my monster really is getting. Last time we were here he held my hand and was a little wary of the animals. The time it was hand in the feed bag and hangs with his Dad. We fed Camels, Kangaroos, Wallaby's, Geese, Goats, Lambs, Pigs, Shetland Ponies.. You name it! It's whats really great about this place. The animals are everywhere and it's all hands on and up close.

What was little miss doing when all this animal feeding was going on? Oh you know, waiting for HER next feed, discovering her hands, farting... the usual.

I am on a mission to try and convince Jason to let me have chickens when we move this way... and not just any chickens. Pastel chickens.

Pretty Pastel Style, eat your heart out!

After we fed the animals, and then ourselves, Leo got to have a play in the playground. I plonked myself down on a bench next to some other mums, made some conversation and was all ready to enjoy the gorgeous weather when... IT happened.

Goats. I refuse to put a photo of the buggers on here after one of them chewed a hole in my dress whilst I was chasing another one away from sampling the pram. When I turned around to confront the dress eating goat, the other found the feed bag and ripped it open... All over Zoe and the pram. Aghast, I lifted my baby (who actually had an amazingly large smile on her face) out of the pram and started to brush the feed pellets and sand off her, smiling embarrassingly at the other mothers who were NOT being bothered by the damn things. The bloody goat, sensing my distraction, decided to take the opportunity and hopped IN the pram. I had to lift the damn thing out of it! More then once!

Goats. Seriously.

Happy, If slightly gnawed on, We had a quick browse through the gift shop, leaving with a few souvenirs and headed back to Newcastle. First full day of vacation classed as a total winner.

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Holiday: Newcastle Bound!

The boys spent today cleaning "Fergie" all set for our big drive up the coast tomorrow.

We are looking forward to making big plans for 2014 and all the adventures Newcastle can throw our way!

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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

I am the type of person who gets way too attached to fictional characters. I have literally sobbed in books, tv shows and movies when characters I have grown to love have died.

I still haven’t forgiven you for Wash, Joss!

On one of my 4am feeding blog stalking adventures, I saw a bunch of sites listing their top 10 literary fictional BFFS which got me thinking. Out of all the books I’ve read… out of all the characters I have grown to know as if they were my own friends... Who would be my best friends?

My Top 10 Literary BFF’s (in no particular order)

1. Luna Lovegood (The Harry Potter Series): She is a complete oddball and my absolute favourite character… after Snape of course.
2. Daenerys Targaryen (A Song of Ice and Fire Series): The girl has dragons!
3. Samwise Gangee (Lord of the Rings Trilogy): Can you find a character in a book that is more loyal? If Sam was your mate, you could ask him to help you move and he would always say yes.
4. Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice): Lizzie went to visit her best friend Charlotte Lucas… even after she married that twit Mr Collins. That’s a friend!
5. Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility): She is loyal and lovely and the Jane Austen character I identify most with.
6. Yvaine (Stardust): Imagine all the things this girl/star has seen? You would never truly run out of things to talk about.
7. Adora Belle Dearheart (Going Postal, Making Money): Her nickname “Spike” says it all. I too can be very spikey.
8. Nanny Ogg (The Discworld Books; first appearance in Equal Rites): I think I am slowly turning into Nanny Ogg. Besides the clan of children. Two will do me nicely thanks.
9. Sookie Stackhouse (The Southern Vampire Mysteries): We’d hang out at Fantasia and I’d perve on Eric. Do I have ulterior motives in being her friend? Probably.
10. Lee Scorsby (His Dark Materials Trilogy): (spoiler alert) When Lee and his dæmon, an arctic hare named Hester died (sorry!) I put down the first book and nearly refused to go on. Sam Elliot, who played him in the movie, was the only one who truly captured their character in The Golden Compass.

What Literary character would you be total BFF’s with?

My baby girl Zoe Mouse was weighed and measured at her doctors visit today. She is a whooping 64cm long and a very heavy 6.34kg. On the growth charts she measures the size of the average 5 month old. At 11 weeks. My big chubba bubba.

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Sunday, 22 September 2013

Good things happen to those who hustle.

It’s time for this week’s round up of Yays and Boos. I can’t believe it is already Saturday again. Is it just me or is this year getting quicker as it goes on. I mean seriously… there are like 13 weeks till Christmas! Which, if you work it out means there is still ¼ of the year to go and then it doesn’t seem that bad. Am I rambling?

Good Things

The Retro Mummy featured my recipe for Gluten Free Orange, Almond and Coconut cakes on her site. I have had so many extra visitors because of it. I absolutely love her site and her instagram. Her ability to handle 5 kids and always look so calm and laid back absolutely astounds me. If you don’t already read her, Go now and be awed! 5 kids! Holy Moly.

❤ I absolutely love my new blonde do! When we were at the beach this morning, Mr Ever After took some photos of me and the tots (which was nice as I really never have photos taken… by choice mind you) my hair looks so happy! It’s all shiny and floating in the breeze. It’s a happy mop of hair. I know the upkeep is going to be a “B” but I’m definitely going to be keeping this colour as long as I can handle sitting in salons listening to overly loud dance music.

❤ Last week I mentioned I was going to be catching up with my BFF… the Laverne to my Shirley… the Wayne to my Garth… the Edina to my Patsy… the Samwise to my Frodo. You get the point. (I could of kept going. That was fun!) Well, Sarah and I have this passion for Young Adult novels and I had been dying to see The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones at the cinemas since it came out. So that’s totally what we did! The absolutely best bit (Besides Jonathon Rhys Meyers looking all tough 80’s boy) was that we had the cinema to ourselves. It was like being a millionaire. Of course now we are spoilt and that will be the only way I can see movies. “Two to the movie that no one else wants to see thanks!”

❤ The Previews for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Enders Game both gave me goose bumps. Yay for books I love becoming movies that look halfway decent!

❤ There are only 5 more sleeps till we get to spend a week in Newcastle. I am so excited to drive around planning our move, catching up with family, showing off Zoe Mouse and going to Oakvale Farm at Salt Ash. YAY HOLIDAYS!

Bad Things

☒ Of course with holidays comes packing for holidays. It was hard with three of us… now with a new baby it’s going to be HELL. Not to mention the fact that our car is this tiny little red Ford Focus named Fergie who, bless its bumper, doesn’t really have much room left now it has two baby seats in it. Throw in a pram, a baby cot, a bath seat, luggage for four people and any other bits we need and this car is going to resemble a tin of sardines. And I am not a lover of tinned fish.

☒ I am really struggling with my diet and exercise. I am feeling very round and besides my glorious blonde locks (seriously… Just call me Daenerys. Kahlesssiiii!) I feel so very gross. I am trying hard to not dwell on it and it makes me feel so superficial that it’s bothering me but I just can’t help it. I know it won’t happen overnight and I am really bad when it comes to snacking so I just have to keep trying to be good and not to hate on myself when I have a bad day.

Must. Stay. Motivated.

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Friday, 20 September 2013

Goal 14: Warhol Pasta Necklaces

Have you ever seen an adult walking around, sporting a necklace made of bottle caps, pasta or straw pieces that some child has lovingly made them? Today, I became one of those people for the first time when I wore a colourful pasta necklace into a very glamorous hair salon. I wore it with pride... after all my little monster made it for me. I'm sure all those very tanned blonde women were jealous.

I think this weeks activity has been my favourite so far. Not only was it a whole lot of fun but it also went over two days. Anything that keeps that boy entertained for two days that doesn't involve a screen (IPad Anonymous for toddlers anyone?) is a big winner in my book.

Warhol Pasta Necklaces

I have found the most amazing way to dye pasta! My mother, who works in a preschool, has always done it with vegetable dye and a big pot of water. Mind you she is dying 10 bags of pasta at the one time so if you need that much coloured pasta that's the way to go. I wanted our pasta to be very bright... Kind of like a Warhol painting! The way I did mine was to put the pasta in a resealable sandwich bag, Put in a squirt or two of instant hand sanitiser and a few drops of food dye and give it all a good massage. This method makes it a lot easier to have a toddler involved as there is no real threat of dye and water going everywhere.

Leo was astounded that Mummy could make green and orange and, his favourite, purple all with just 3 other colours. I love being magical to this kid.

Dump the pasta onto a tray lined with paper and leave out to dry for a few hours. We left ours overnight and after the "Lady Toilet" left this morning (We had a continence nurse come round to help us with the monsters toilet resistance.) We got to stringing! I suggest using some tape on the end of whatever string/wool/cotton you use as it makes it easier for little fingers to thread the pasta.

Look at that man! This is one of the reasons I love my husband so much... He is such a blokey bloke but if his son asks him to string pasta necklaces AND wear them in public, he does it happily. Stud ❤

And of course here is the little man styling his pasta necklace. Très chic!

Today I crossed off another goal on my list.. I am now offically a blonde! Photo to follow!

13. Drastically change hair style and colour

Now bring on all the fun!

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