Bring back the chocolate! Fast Five Friday

In celebration of Easter (aka- the festival of chocolate) today I’m dealing with a very serious issue on Fast Five Friday….those poor chocolates that we so dearly loved but have been discontinued and no longer available to us in Australia. Here’s my top five:

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1 Vice Versas: Do you remember the ad? “They’re brown, they’re white, no no they’re brown, they’re white.” God they were so good!

2 Dove: I think you might be able to still get a block of dove chocolate in some places?? But if you can I haven’t found it…so please share, this used to be my favourite chocolate and I miss it!

3 Marble: The perfect blend of white and dairy milk chocolate mmmm.

4 Crave: They used to sell these at my high school canteen and I’d buy one everyday. Upon researching for this post I discovered that Crave is actually a Whispa chocolate bar with caramel…does this mean you can buy them in England?! If so, ship me some over now!

5 Snowflake: I first tried this chocolate bar at the Cadbury factory in Tasmania when I was a kid. You haven’t been able to buy them for years but then…..all of a sudden last week I saw one on the shelf in Coles!! I was so flip out excited (and yes of course I bought it).

Do you remember these chocolates? Any others that you love that you can’t buy anymore? Wanna start a campaign to bring back Vice Versas?

Happy Easter everyone, may your bellies be filled with chocolate all weekend long!

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Saying Goodbye

This week we said goodbye to an important part of our family. Our beautiful dog Bonnie.

She came into our family over eleven years ago. We saw an ad in the local paper for pure bred Golden Retrievers. We weren’t ready for a dog because we’d just moved into our new house and didn’t even have fences up in our backyard yet, but we just went to have a look. Of course who just goes to look at puppies and comes home empty handed? Not us! We fell in love and brought home a puppy that day. We named her Bonnie.

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She was a beautiful dog, very clever and she loved to be around people. She always had to be close by, within touching distance, a paw on you leg, a head on your foot, always touching.

saying goodbye,

We’d noticed before we went away on our holiday last week that she was a bit off her food and losing some weight. When we returned she’d lost even more. Her back legs seemed a little unsteady. She’s just getting old we thought. We decided it might be a good idea to take her to the vet for a check up anyway. But on Tuesday morning when I woke up she had gone completely down hill overnight. She could barely stand. I took her to the vet and was told there was a large cancerous mass in her spleen. Nothing could be done. My husband was away for work. I asked if they could possibly make her comfortable enough to last the night so he could say goodbye. They couldn’t, it would be too cruel. So the decision was made.

I held her head in my lap, whispered “I’m so, so sorry. I love you” and then I said goodbye. I felt sad and I also felt really guilty. Guilty that we hadn’t realised sooner how sick she was, guilty that I hadn’t made my son give her a big cuddle before we left the house that day, guilty that we hadn’t played with her more and guilty that I couldn’t bring myself to stay for that final moment. I hope she didn’t feel alone. I hope she knew how much we loved her.

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That afternoon when I picked our son up from Kinder I told him that Bonnie had died. Like most kids, losing our beloved family pet would be his first experience with death. He asked what had happened to her and I explained she was just very old and very sick. He didn’t say anything. This morning he asked when she was coming home. I explained she wasn’t because she had died. He asked where she had died, “was it inside or outside?” “Inside” I said “I gave her a big cuddle.” I don’t think he really understands, I’m sure there will be more questions to come when he realises she’s not coming home. We’ll deal with each question open and honestly as they come.

saying goodbye,

Rest in peace Bonnie.

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Easter is just five sleeps away…what?! It’s one of my favourite times of the year and not because of all the chocolate (ok maybe a little) but because we head away for the super long weekend with a great group of friends. We’ve been doing it for almost ten years now and have grown in numbers since the original group as we all now have children. Our kids are all around the same age and play wonderfully together. It’s always a weekend filled with fun and lots of laughter. I’m a sucker for tradition and this time of year is surrounded by it.

Firstly, there’s Fish and Chip Friday. It started the first year we went away and there was a big discussion about Good Friday and not eating red meat. We’d all grown up in families where red meat on Good Friday was big no-no but none of us really knew why. We knew it had something to do with religion but none of us were particularly religious. I believe we ended up googling it and to this day I can’t really remember the exact answer (if anyone does know please explain!) But that year we decided to be a bit rebellious, we were adults now and could make our own choices. So we stopped at KFC for lunch and chowed down on some crispy chicken. Afterwards we all immediately agreed it felt wrong and vowed to never do it again. And thus began Fish and Chip Good Friday.

There’s board game night (with a trophy and all), we’re a competitive bunch but it’s always in good fun and usually ends in fits of laughter. The Dad’s get a day out (to play golf) and then the Mum’s get a day too (usually shopping!) Of course there’s the Easter egg hunt on Easter morning. All of these traditions we have built with our friends and now share with our children. That’s the bit I love the most.

It might be the last year we’ll be able to spend Easter at the particular house we stay at because next year there will be more kids out of cots and needing beds and more babies too…but I’m hoping many of the traditions will still continue.

So this week I’m looking forward to Easter and our weekend away. How about you? Do you do anything special for Easter? What traditions does your family have?

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Top 5 Teen Fiction for Adults- Fast Five Friday

Fast Frive Friday 3, to Fast Five Friday where I bring you my top five of something every Friday.

Confession; I love teen fiction books. Loved them when I was a teenager and still love them now. Here’s my top five teen fiction books that you should try reading (if you haven’t already) and if you’re a parent of a teenager why not get them reading too?

Tomorrow When the War Began series by John Marsden: This is my all time favourite book series. My sister, Mum and I all read this series growing up and I have since reread it a few times. I also really love that it’s by an Aussie author.

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta: We studied this book in high school and I loved it. I also reread it when I was older and watched the movie which I think was a great portrayal of the book.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I enjoyed the books and when the movies came out Hubby also enjoyed watching them with me.

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer: I’m pretty sure the whole world has heard about this series. I didn’t exactly love the movies but I did enjoy the books. Yes, the whole story is pretty far fetched and corny but sometimes it’s nice to just switch off your brain and read something like that

Anything by John Green: We’re talking The Fault in our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns and more. John Green’s books are usually a quick and easy read but with a bit of depth.

Do you enjoy reading teen fiction? Have you read any of these books?

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Sunday Sessions

Sunday Sessions,

Happy Sunday to you and Happy Birthday to me! That’s right, it’s my birthday today and this morning I hopped on a plane with my hubby and son for a week long family holiday in Port Douglas yay! I’m sure I’ll be posting some holiday snaps on instagram this week so stay tuned.

Hubby and I started the week by heading to a ‘crossing over’ night with a local psychic. I’m a believer and it turns out most of you are too. It was quite interesting and a bit of fun, I’d definitely go again.

This week the world celebrated International Womens Day and I shared this post and these images on my facebook page. I think the images are amazing. I don’t have any photos of the moment when my son was born and it’s one of my biggest regrets. I had been moved to another room to give birth and we forgot to bring the camera with us. The nurse ran back to grab it but the moment had already passed. Do you have photos of the moment your children were born?

I was really excited to chat to Nicole and take part in her ‘My Favourite Space’ series on her blog The Builders Wife. Head here to check out the post!

This week we’ve also started the process of looking at schools for the lil man next year, eeek! The primary schools in our town are zoned and the school in our catchment area isn’t our preference and so this means we’re going to have to convince a school from outside of our zone to accept our son. It’s all a bit nerve racking and Karin from Calm to Conniption’s post reminded me it’s serious business!

Easter is just around the corner- check out The Annoyed Thyroid post from some yummy Easter treat ideas.

And that my friends is the week that was, how was your week?

Now excuse me while I hit the beach….

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Top 5 Magazines- Fast Five Friday

Fast Five Friday 2,

Welcome to Fast Five Friday, where I bring you my top five or something every Friday. This week we’re talking magazines. I love a good magazine reading session, here’s what I’m loving at the moment (in no particular order):

Collective Hub: The brain child of Lisa Messenger, it’s my favourite mag at the moment. Filled with stories of entrepreneurship and creative endeavours it’s an inspiring read. It makes you want to go out and put all the ideas you have into action!

Secret Bloggers Business: A brand new digital mini mag especially for bloggers and it’s free! It’s the perfect bite size read over a cuppa or lunch break and includes blogging tips, interviews and must haves. You can download the first edition here.

Real Living: This magazine has been a fav of mine for many years. I love checking out all of the amazing houses in their ‘homes to love’ section and dreaming….lots of dreaming.

Homes Plus: This magazine is very similar to Real Living but I find the pieces featured can be sourced very easily and affordably from places like ikea and kmart.

Hello Lunch Lady: I confess I have yet to read this magazine but everyone has been raving about it! It is a branch out from the original Hello Lunch Lady blog which is filled with gorgeous images, stories and recipes. The magazine is only stocked in limited places but you can also order it online here.

What are your favourite magazines at the moment? Hit me up!

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Crossing Over

Crossing Over,

Last night Hubby and I went to a ‘crossing over night’ with a very popular local psychic. When it comes this to spirits and the afterlife I guess you would say I am a believer, I certainly approach it all with an open mind. I have no doubt that there are plenty of so called ‘psychics’ out there that are just a sham, taking money from people who are desperate for answers. But I also believe that there are people that have a special gift; sometimes there is just no other explanation.

So anyway, back to last night. We were in a small room with fifteen other people. The psychic leading the night was very down to earth and straight down the line. The session lasted just over two hours and in that time she was able to speak to everyone in the room. There was gasps of disbelief, lots of tears and lots of laughter. She left hubby and I until nearly the end. My husband’s sister passed away a few years ago and he has really struggled to accept it; it was the main reason we decided to go. And thank god, she came through for him and told him everything he needed to hear. Whether you are a believer or not I don’t think anyone could argue that the comfort and peace that was given to him hearing those words is a beautiful thing.

She told us a lot of things and I won’t go into them all here but let’s just say she is the third psychic who has told us that we are going to have another child and it will be a girl (not happening people!) and that will we move to a bigger house in the country (which has always been a dream of ours). I take it all with a grain a salt and know that at the end of the day we are in charge of those choices.

At the end of the night I think most people in the room walked away believers. She had spoken about things she could not possibly otherwise know, down to exact names, dates and locations. True or not she gave these people the comfort and closure they were looking for and isn’t that the most important thing?

What do you think? Are you a believer?

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Sunday Sessions

Sunday Sessions,

Is it just me or did this week go by super fast? March already, seriously?! Melbourne clearly didn’t get the memo that Autumn has started with the majority of the week 30 plus degrees.

My week started off waking up in Kudos Villas, Hepburn Springs….

Kudos Villas, Villas, Villas,

It was our sixth wedding anniversary. Hubby and I take it in turns each year to organise a night away and this year it was my turn. Kudos Villas is ah-mazing (the photos don’t really do it justice). I think he’s going to find it hard to beat next year!

We spent Sunday strolling around Daylesford, checking out the market, antique stores and my favourite book shop. A perfect weekend.

This week I asked all the foodies out there for some help. Some really great suggestions were made to ease me into the world of cooking and food appreciation- I am currently stalking blogs and borrowed a bunch of cookbooks from the local library. Stay tuned for developments on this one.

I also wrote about my fear of flying, seems that many of you feel the same way. My plan is to load up with podcasts, books, magazines and anything else I can think of to distract myself on our flight to Port Douglas next weekend.

Who’s started their Easter shopping? Me! I usually buy the kids in our family PJ’s and an easter book plus some chocolate eggs. I’m trying to hold of on buying the eggs though because I know they will either a) melt or b) be eaten before Easter even arrives.

So how was your week? Anything exciting happen?

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Top 5 Courses to do in 2016 (Fast Five Friday)

Fast Five Friday,

Welcome to Fast Five Friday where I give you my top five of something, every Friday. This week it’s all about learning. I’m a sucker for a good short course and there are so many awesome ones out there at the moment…. but here is just five I would really love to do this year (in no particular order):

1. Get Social Savvy with The Digital Picnic: I’ve followed Cherie since back in her blogging days and when she teamed up with Cat there was never any doubt they’d be a big success. I’ve wanted to do their ‘Get Social Savvy’ course since it launched but have just never gotten around to it…I’m hoping to change that this year.

2.  Love Your Camera with Angie Baxter: A few years ago my camera broke and there was always other priorities when it came to paying to get it fixed. Hubby surprised me with a new camera at the start of this year and my photography skills are a bit rusty so have booked into the ‘Love Your Camera’ course in Melbourne with a few friends in April. Can’t wait!

3. Blog with Pip 2.0 with Pip Lincolne: I completed the Blog with Pip course last year and absolutely loved it! Pip is amazing; a wealth of knowledge and willing to share it. Blog with Pip 2.0 is the follow on course and will build upon what I’ve already learned.

4. Australian Writers Centre: All the courses, don’t make me choose!

5. Be a Blogger Boss: If there is one thing I struggle with when it comes to blogging it’s the tech stuff. I’ve taught myself a lot over the years but would really love to take it to the next level and have a really sound understanding of how it all works.

Do any of these courses interest you? Have you come across any other great ones lately?

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Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying, so many people I have a fear of flying. Aeroplanes, helicopters…not my thing. I get super nervous when I have to get on an aeroplane and have not done managed a flight without medication for years. When I was a teenager we went to America and the long flight didn’t bother me. Back then 20 hours on a plane simply meant endless movies, food and game boy time. Ah to be young again. But now I’m older and I know better (more) and flying on a plane means potential death (not to be dramatic or anything). It makes me seriously anxious. Not only am I afraid of crashing but I just don’t like being stuck in a confined space that I can’t just simply get up and walk out of if I need some fresh air.

But, I refuse to let the fear hold me back. I refuse to be one of those people who never goes anywhere because they’re scared of flying. It’s also really important to me that my son grows up travelling and exploring , so at the end of the day, I suck it up for him.

Next weekend we’ll be flying to Port Douglas for a family holiday and I’m already feeling anxious about the plane trip. In the past I’ve found the best way to deal with it is to just try and distract myself (having four year old to entertain will certainly help with that!) But I’d love to know if anyone has any other tips? If you’re afraid of flying what do you do that helps? Or if you’re not afraid of flying tell me how you do it! How do you manage to enjoy it?

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