Life’s not just a beach

Unfortunately life is not always a beach, yep, you read it here! After nearly three weeks of camping, the reality of this begins to set in. Life isn’t all beaches, warm summers days, thongs and lounging around in bathers. Nor is it endless late dinners and bed times or lazy sleep-ins.

My biggest focus when we get home is our night time routine, which has been seriously lacking for months now. A combination of Hubby working late, even later dinners and bedtimes, as well as daylight savings and warm nights, has meant our night time routine was long ago thrown out the window.

With Bubba V due to arrive in a couple of months and Phoebe to start four year old kinder in a few weeks, I want to get us back into some sort of routine and have it down pat, stat!

I want to cook more dinners or at the very least get the preparation done so that our dinners can be at a reasonable time (let’s see if Hubby will let go of this a little). I want to have bags packed, clothes out and lunches made for the next day, a flexible dinner time, bath time as well as a set bed time for Phoebe.

I’m not sure if I’m setting the bar too high or not? Hubby seems to be on board, but I know I’m going to have to put the pressure on sometimes.

So what I want to know is, do you have a night time routine? What are the main things you concentrate on and what would be your tips?



Twelve from Twelve (with my first ever Linky!)

In two days time it will be the 12th, of the 12th, 2012.  I thought what better way to celebrate, than choose twelve photographs from each month of the year as an overview.  It was pretty easy to do because of my awesome filing system which I talked about here, make sure if you haven’t read it, you do before the new year begins.  Anyways, here is my twelve, picked because they showed an important event or an image that I just loved!

first half of year low quality

January – we see the rest of our holidays out camping in a coastal town.  Every morning I would wake to this sight and every night, the lighthouse would shine down on us.  This is one of our favorite times of year.

February – my ‘baby’ started 3 year old Kinder.  My concerns about how she would go were completely unfounded and she loved every minute of it.  She has thrived throughout the year and has enjoyed every day she has been.

March – we got married!!  After twelve years together, we finally tied the knot.  We also ‘married’ Phoebe and had what was the best day with family and friends that we could have hoped for.  The day was laid back, and very much us.  We wouldn’t have changed a thing.

April – Easter time and another great camping trip with friends.  This year Phoebe was much more accepting of the Easter Bunny and posed willingly for a photo.

May and June (these two photos are around the wrong way for some reason and wouldn’t go back grrrr) – So the REAL May saw us head off on our familymoon to Hamilton Island, the perfect escape for our little family!  The most memorable was our helicopter flight, such a wonderful experience and one we will never forget.

And the real June saw us visiting friends on our non-Kinder days.  Exploring, collecting and playing outdoors in the rain.

second six months low quality

July – realizing how long my girls hair actually was, beautiful but so very very long.  I just love this image, so simplistic.

August – after realizing how long Phoebe’s hair really was, it was off for her first hair cut at nearly age four!  Such a big milestone for any little person (or their parents).

September – beach time.  Heading to our caravan down the coast in the dead of winter is one of our favorite things to do.  The area is quitter than it normally is.  We listen to the sound of crashing waves at night and gum nuts falling on the annex roof.  We head off on walks along the beach, explore the rock pools and recharge our batteries.

October – visits to Pa’s house are few times a year due to distance and our busy calendars.  But when we are there we love to soak up the surrounds and Phoebe enjoys every minute she can get of Pa’s attention.  I love the quietness here, the bush surrounds and the way the sunlight falls between the trees in the afternoon.

November – my belly is coming along well.  Despite many things going on that didn’t occur when pregnant with Phoebe, I’m still loving every minute of it.  I could spend hours just sitting and feeling/watching bubs move.  Preparation is well in swing now making space for our new little family member.

December – the crazy, busy time of year however the one I love the most.  It all begins on the first with us finding our Christmas tree.  This one involved thunder, lightning and rain, but all in all another memorable experience.

How about you share with me your twelve from twelve now?  I’d love to see what your year was all about in picture form.  You don’t have to do a photo from each month, you could just choose twelve that best show your year, or twelve of your favourites!  I can’t wait to pop over and visit to see what you have been up to!  Make sure you link back to A Mums Reality so your friends can join in too.  Linky is open now and will remain open until the 13th of December. Click the link below to join in ….


Bel x

School Holiday Activity – The Drive-ins!

I’m lucky enough that being a teacher, I get to spend the school holidays with my girl!  I try to maximise the quality time we spend together and usually try to plan a couple of outtings, a few catch ups with friends, a night away and some days at home.  Our first school holiday outing these holidays, I decided was to be the drive-ins.

I’d never been before, ever.  I was pretty excited!  We headed there for a 7pm showing of Madagascar 3 but didn’t tell Phoebe where we were going.  During the day I’d already organised the boot of our station wagon with pillows, doonas and our slippers.  I was suprised how busy it was for a Monday night, even being the school holidays.  Once we explained where we were, she was so excited!

We reversed the car up towards the screen, Phoebe and I asumed our positions while Hubby went and got us dinner from the Diner (BUT you can also SMS your orders through and they bring it to your car, amazing huh?).  Now, realistically, this is not a pricey affair for a family, especially if you go on a Monday night.  We had to pay for Hubby and I, which I think ammounted to $17 (I think we could even pay an extra $5 and stay for the movie after ours).  A car load of people is capped at $20.  If we were on a tight budget, we would have had dinner before we came, and taken our own drinks and snacks.  But because we’d never been before, we wanted to experience it all.  We all had dinner plus the normal movie food, popcorn, choc tops and coke, for around $45.  Considering we all had dinner, I didn’t think it was too bad.

Next time, although it wasn’t too cold, we’ll take beanbags instead and sit outisde with our doonas, the bottom of a boot isn’t that comfy, no matter how you try to pad it up (you can tell there are some seasoned drive-inners out there, some of the setups were amazingly well thought out).  I will put Phoebe in her pj’s, I thought I was silly if I did, but when I got there I realised I was the silly one for not doing it.  All the kids were walking around in their pj’s, dressing gowns and slippers (glad we at least took the slippers, we kinda fit in).  And we’ll probably take our own drinks and snacks and have tea before we go.

It was a great family night out (Magagascar was a good movie even for us adults).  So what do you have planned for these school holidays?  I love going to new places with the family, so throw me your favourite!

Bel x

Escape from the daily grind

After a long week of working hard and being emotionally drained, we for once had nothing on the calender.  We headed off without a second thought to our caravan down by the beach.  We spend more time here in the colder months, and we long for the quietness of it.

I realised while writing my post the other day about photographs and what I do with mine, that I have rarely been using my camera of late, and I miss it, I miss it alot.  We the easability and accesibility of my iPhone, my camera has taken a back seat.  So with renewed inspiration and gusto, over the weekend I put my camera into use.  I’m also trying some different editing this time around, I usually stick with clean and crisp, but have taken a different path with these images.  Let me know what you think, do you like them or should I stick to what I am used to, something that wont outdate?

Everything is changing, plants are sprouting new leaves and flower buds.

She loves being outdoors, but more so, she loves being with us!  She is besotted with her Dad on the weekends but I’m lucky enough to still get a look in!

She could play here for hours on end, just in the sand, collecting shells and exploring the rock pools.

The whole beach to ourselves, until we round the corner to find surfers, fisherman and people like us escaping the daily grind.

Two great photographers who have mentored me in the past anyways said never to put your camera away when you think the ‘job’ is finished.  It’s usually then, something happens and you almost always get your favourite or best shot.  And this is exactly it, my faourite shot of the day.

So what do you think of the ‘style’ of the edits I have done?

What did you get up to this weekend?

Bel x

The Sun

When I was packing for our Familymoon, I made a big decision to not take my DSLR.  Instead, I took my point and shoot, knowing that Hubby could use it too and that I would actually be in some photos, rather than always being immersed in taking them myself.  I don’t regret it, it meant I enjoyed every minute of our holiday with my own eyes but I will take it next time, it’s too beautiful not to!

Hamilton Island was just what we need for our break.  Warmth, lots to do or nothing to do if we wanted, and eachother.  I eventually hope to make a little film of our holiday, but I have lots of other things on my mind at the moment, but I’ll get there.

So our holiday……the best thing we did was a helicopter ride to Whitehaven Beach (yes I was shitting myself for those of you who know me well!  But once I was on, I was suprisingly fine).  But it was awesome!  It was a fifteen minute ride there, and once there, our pilot set up a beautiful picnic complete with champagne for us and juice for Phoebe.  We played along the almost deserted beach for over an hour before heading back.  This I will remember always!

 The three of us, all ready to go, complete with our life jackets around our waist.

Coming into land at Whitehaven Beach.  To the left, I saw a sea turtle swimming around.

 Phoebe loved the head mic and being able to talk to us.

My beautiful family!

More to come!

Bel x

Give me five

This post contains ranting, raving and some course language.

Please give Mummy five minutes, I’m about to loose my shit!  I’ve woken up this morning, and everything has piled on my shoulders and I’m about to drop my bundle!

1.  I’m sure I left the kitchen tidy before I headed out to get my hair chopped off last night, but this morning, it looks like we had a party, oh which I was not obviously invited to!

2.  I’m sorry, did I ask you to leave a pile of clothes in the corner of the room, for me to play the game of “what to hang and which is clean, what to put in the washing machine?”.

3.  Phoebe I love you dearly but I am sure you watched me go through your whole wardrobe two days ago and refold everything, how they hell does it now look like for the past year I’ve opened your wardrobe and just chucked things in?

4.  How is it possible to loose 3 shoes, all from different pairs and not know where your runners are?  Our house is only 13 sqaures, do we have shoe-eating monster I didn’t know about?

5.  Why is the playroom floor littered in rubbish, isn’t there a bin under the desk?

6.  Why when I swept the floor boards Wednesday does it now look like someone has let off a confetti bomb?

7.  How is the microwave full of your crap, when you have a basket next to it with all your crap in it?  Oh that’s right, the crap is over filling, just put it there, don’t clean out the first basket.

8.  Leave that empty cordial bottle on the bench, no worries, I’ll fill it!

9.  You know that big white thing under the sink?  I’m pretty sure its called a dish washer, and you guessed it, it washes dishes, maybe you should try it!

10.  Don’t forget the dining table can also be used to put your crap on, once of course the basket of crap is full and the microwave too.

11.  Why must you insist on wearing your bathers as a netball uniform, isn’t that what dress-ups are for?

And  ………….. breath, in and out!  It’s only eleven and and I think I need a drink!  Is there any point in ranting and raving?  Probably not.  What about not doing anything today to prove a point?  Nah, that wont work either, just means more to do tomorrow.  Instead, I guess I will suck it up!  Watch some day time TV and in between, clean up this bomb site that I call my house.

Rant over!  Thanks for listening!

Bel x


Camping with kids

I’m pretty well know for being an organised person, a planner if you will.  Some of you will be heading away for the Easter weekend as a family, and if you are like us, we love to camp.  We have built our way up from a tent (when we were young and first started seeing eachother), then moved to a camper trailer which we used when Phoebe was first born, and now have moved onto our caravan.  Packing has been made slightly easier for me now that we have a van, alot of the stuff we need is now permanately in there and we just have to re-stock occasionally.  I also don’t need to pack suitcases, it now all goes straight into the wardobe.

Phoebe camping last year, remember your hats!

Some of my personal tips for travelling with Phoebe:

1.  I pack sandwhiches, and more snacks than I need for the road trip.  I also have drinks, but try to keep an eye on how much Phoebe has, so that we don’t have to stop too many times when nature calls.  I pack food for all of us, it means no unecessary stops for takeaway food and a never-ending supply to keep even the hungriest satisfied.

2.  DVD player, what the hell did our parents do before these things were invented?!  Phoebe is a talker, and a good one at that, once, she chatted the whole way from here to Echuca, that’s a three hour drive people!!  And towards the end, it did consist of the obligitory “Are we there yet”, “How much further until we get there?”, “You said five minutes, five minutes ago!”.  So now, Phoebe has her DVD player, her own set of head phones (as we used to get yelled at for having the radio too loud) and now everyone is occupied and happy!

3.  If your kid is going to get sick or hurt themselves, they will more than likely do it when you are away.  This is why I have my own ‘workable’ first aid kit, the stuff you’ll actually need and use.  Bandaids – pretty ones of course, tweezers, nail clippers, pins, antiseptic, kids panadol, vicks, a thermometer, calamine lotion for those nasty bites and sunscreen.  Don’t worry about an ice-pack, our esky is always full!

4.  I only take one or two toys for Phoebe (and I usually try to match it up with what her friends are taking, it minimises fights).  Usually we all take a baby, a ball and some sand pit toys.  The kids are all getting a bit older now, so they tend to make their own fun.  I also pack a couple of books for Phoebe to read at night time.

5.  Pack for all conditions (this means clothes, shoes and bedding), don’t pack too much though, remember if you need to you can wash it.  And common sense, don’t pack the good stuff, they’ll be playing in the dirt the minute you get out of the car, that is half the fun of camping!

Nothing beats a good Barbie while camping.

Camping with kids is as hard as you make it.  If you are organised and well planned, things will go pretty smoothly but make sure you roll with the punches too (shit will happen, it’ll rain, the kids will cover their clothes completely in mud – usually the last pair of warm clothes they have).  I’m not saying it is always easy, I had a hell of a time when we first took Phoebe camping, mind you she was only three months old and a terrible sleeper – it’s safe to say I lost my shit on more than one occasion.  But if you camp with a great bunch of friends like we do, you all look out for eachother and look out for eachother’s kids and it will be a great experience for all.  These times with our family and friends, will be ones that we can treasure and look back on for years to come.  The fact that Phoebe cries when we pack up and leave just tells us how much of an impact it has on her.

And she’s buggered!

What’s your number one tip?

Bel x

Lazy, but Married!

I have been extremely lazy, I’ve neglected my Blog big time.  Floating around in cyberspace lately though, I don’t feel so bad, I know I’m not the only one.  Some of my fave bloggers are in a bit of a rut so to speak.  But now is time to get back to it.

The whole blogging thing slumped a little for me as we were planning and preparing for our wedding a few weeks back.  After 12 years together and a beautiful daughter, we decided to make things official.  The ceremony was quick but beautiful and then it was on to the party.

There were minimal drama’s on the lead up, no seriously, hardly any at all (all right, there was the freak out about the dress not fitting and being too tight, but everyone has that yeah? yeah?).  There was no Bridezilla here, just a girl looking forward to finally marrying her man, having the same name as her daughter and having a great night with family and friends.  We had the perfect day and night, despite the rain that had set in from early morning.  We had bogged cars, back spins on the dance floor and some great laughs!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am super organised and a planner from way back!  I was on top of everything for the wedding, but now I find myself wondering what to do next?

So now, I’ll start planning our girls weekend in August and give myself back some me time. 

I hope to see you around here more often, and I hope to be here more often too.

Bel x

Christmas Eve Party

I still haven’t decided after 12 years now whether or not it is a good or bad thing that Michael’s birthday is Christmas Eve (it has meant in the past, especially our younger days, a late night, lots of drinks and often a bad hangover on Christmas Day – think of all the beautiful food and everyone too sick to eat it!).  It has meant that since we moved into together, we have had an unofficial birthday party on Christmas Eve.  It is never organized, but everyone seems to rock up that night but I must say, it is always a good night with family and friends.  

Since most of our group now has kids, we seem to enjoy this night more but it also means it ends a little earlier than it used to (people used to leave at 3am, now it’s more like 10pm).  This year, thanks to my Pinterest addiction, Friday will be spent preparing some festive snacks for the kids and also some things to keep them amused.  I’m looking forward to my first day off in a while, spending it with Phoebe in the kitchen.

from Planning with Kids the Christmas take on the the milky-way cars


from Style Me Pretty

and these are just adorable from Craft Rookie

I think the kids will have so much fun with these, they love balloons at the best of times, thanks to Play at Home Mom, for this simple yet very fun idea…..

Sorry Happy Birthday on Christmas Eve to the best man in my life.  I hope you have a great night (at least the kids will be amused with all the pretty and yummy snacks and the balloons!).

What is your Christmas Eve tradition?

Bel x

Silly Season!

The silly season is well upon our family, has been for a while, no free weekends and weeknights filling up fast too, not only with personal commitments but work ones too!  I’ve been neglecting the Blog a tad, but rest assured, I always have the thought in my mind to return to blog.  

Many have requested a Mr Scabby update, he has been up to a lot of mischief!  Most I have managed to take photos of but some I have not.  I have often caught Phoebe talking to him, and telling him how much she loves him and what a cheeky boy he is!  Some nights I forget to move him and find myself waking up with a start and doing it at 3am!


Mr Scabby stayed in the cage for two whole days (mainly because I forgot but also because the day before, Phoebe was told by Mr Scabby that dummies are only for sleep time.  She didn’t listen).


Mr Scabby got into my flour this morning, tipped it on the bench and proceeded to make some ‘snow’ angels!


Mr Scabby, I know it is the end of the year, but do you really think chocolate is appropriate for breakfast?


Hanging out in Phoebe’s dolls house with the family.


He toilet papered my house!  And with the good stuff too!  We had to dodge it to get out of the front door in the morning.  Awfully funny though!


And this is where he hid afterwards with the evidence!


Phoebe thought this was hilarious!  Mr Scabby had raided her indie draw and decided it was a good idea to decorate the Christmas tree and the lounge room with them.  I made sure not to turn the lights on this night, I was a tad scared her undies might catch on fire!


Apart from these moments, he has also spent time with Phoebe’s doll and her dummy, played in her kitchen and cooked us up some eggs.

If you have your own Mr Scabby (obviously with a much classier name) what has he been up to at your house?

Bel x