Currently viewing the tag: "school holidays"


I cannot believe we are halfway through the school holidays here in sunny Queensland.  School holidays seemed so long where you were a little kid, weeks and weeks of no school! As a parent, grandparent or carer – school holidays means trying to think of things to do, and sometimes (a lot of the time?) dealing with ‘bored’ kids.

To help out a little, here are a couple of winners I have discovered over the years with my gang.

  1. Visit the Libraries in Brisbane. Don’t worry if you aren’t a member, it’s super easy to join!  Check out the library in person or online for holiday activities, our local library has craft, lego, author (last holidays it was Roald Dahl) celebrations.  Best of all it’s free!  Most libraries nowadays also lend DVDs, comics, and magazines as well, something for everyone!
  2. Check out your local National Parks, botanic gardens, bush reserves.  Nothing burns off excess energy and curbs cabin fever like a good run around, and some bushwalking.  Pack a backpack, water and first aid kit and you are good to go.  It’s also worthwhile checking online first, as a lot of parks have special programs just for kids. Try  Find a National Park in Queensland for information/ ideas.
  3. Have a bake-off.  Split up into teams and have a baking competition, keep it fun though as things can get pretty competitive once the kids start to get into it!  Here are some recipe sites to try… Food to Love, Delicious
  4. Hold a crafter-noon with some friends, take turns with other parents and have a few of the kids friends over for a craft session. Lego/ brick making also works well.  This one works best outside/ on the verandah, and use recyclable material if you can, super cheap and easy to clean up.  Take a look here and My Poppet for ideas!
  5. Have a movie afternoon, make popcorn and snacks. Steer away from new releases and break out a classic like Back to the Future, Goonies, The Labyrinth.  Kids and grownups will love it!

Hopefully that will give you a little inspiration!  Feel free to post any great ideas that work for your gang too!

Enjoy xx

Tagged with:

Get ready to take time off to relax!

November is a strange time of the year.

School is coming to an end. For little kids, that means absolute exhaustion, tough going in the mornings and the start of concert season! For tweens and teenagers, add in assignments, exams, formals, an ever increasing number of social events, sport and general all round fever-pitch activity.

Which can make for a crazy stressful time of the year for everyone.

So I thought it was a timely to share some tips and tricks for making your end of year memorable for all the right reasons!

Be prepared early!
Take stock this month and try and write down all of the social gatherings and events in one place. Whatever you chose – old school paper calendar, App, or Outlook/calendar on your phone, just decide on the ‘one source of truth’ and get everyone in the family onto it. As new invitations come in, take note and decide as a family if you will go. Which brings me to the next one…

Say no!
There is so much going on, it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to invitations or requests without checking what else you have going on. Take a breath and check if you have time (and the patience and energy) before saying yes or no. Remember you don’t have to justify your decision, ‘no’ is a complete sentence.

Get organized!
Once you have your one source of truth (your event calendar), get cracking on getting organized. Work out with your family if anyone wants to give out cards/presents and buy in bulk if you can. Start thinking about gifts (if that’s part of your tradition) and then try and plan early. That way you can save your hard earned cash and avoid the Christmas rush!

Get creative!
Think outside the box when it comes to gifts and cards. Perhaps set up a Secret Santa with your family? Agree with your family that instead of gifts you will all get together for a picnic and then take some great family pics of the day which everyone can share. Create photo books as presents. There are some great options including the gorgeous Momento, Milk and Papier – who all offer high quality reasonably priced photo books . Get crafty and create your own cards – check out the fab Frankie magazine, the talented Dawn Tan , Beci Orpin and Pip at Meet Me at Mikes for inspiration.

Hopefully that will set you off on a calmer path to the Christmas break! With everything sorted you’ll be able to sit back, relax and have fun with all of your friends and family.

Enjoy xx


Several years ago, we had the fantastic idea to take the kids on a bushwalk.

Not a huge trek, just a short walk along the coastline to see a lighthouse and take in the view.

Not a huge deal. Right?

Wrong!  Within 20 metres the whinging started. I’m hot, I’m tired, my shoes aren’t working (shoes were fine, toddler logic was at work on that one)… On and on it went. To our credit we persevered and after what seemed like 14 hours we completed the ‘trek’.  Arriving back at the car, both of us declared that bushwalking had been a fizzer.

No time to take in the view, the glorious coastline. Just one enormous whinge-fest!

Fast forward a few years, and we have taken a quantum leap forward.

Over the weekend we visited the glorious Springbrook National  Park. Tucked up in the hinterland behind the Gold Coast, this spectacular park looks like it is straight out of Jurassic Park. Waterfalls, rainforest, sheer cliffs and brilliant tracks to explore, Springbrook promised a lot.

I was less that sure we were up to it.  Sure we had no toddlers in tow, but we did have four kids (now 6 through to 11) to keep motivated and enthusiastic.

Short story…it was brilliant!


All of us were blown away by the majesty of this place.

All of us loved it, even with two kids tripping over, a grazed knee and some steep tricky tracks to contend with.


As we triumphantly finished the 2 hour (yep, 2 hours!) trek, I was brimming with pride at my little gangs efforts.


We are now a family that bushwalks again!

Have you been bushwalking lately?  Share your favourite track!

Enjoy xx

The tribe hitting the sweet spot…aka relaxing...

The tribe hitting the sweet spot…aka relaxing…

We are now squarely in the midst of the school holidays, which from what I remember as a kid is the best part of the whole shebang.

At the beginning of the holidays you are still thinking of school.

Maybe you had a big end of the year.

Maybe super stressful exams.

Whatever it was, school was likely to have been still on your mind.

Then come the end of the holidays you are starting to think about school again.

Who will your new teacher be?

Will your mates be in your class?

Maybe it’s a big change – primary school to high school?

Middle of the holidays though, is the sweet spot.

End of school is a distant memory, and the next year is still ages away.

There are just days, and days, of well, doing your own thing.

As much or as little as you like.

In our house it’s a time to recharge everyones batteries, and do your own thing.

Want to go swimming every day? No problem.

Want to lay around and read all day – go for your life.

Welcome to the sweet spot!

How are your school holidays going?

Enjoy xx

Tagged with:
Hello school holidays!  Hello beach!

Hello school holidays! Hello beach!

December and the end of the school year is always a tinderbox of emotions in our neck of the woods. Exhausted kids, mixed with tired parents, a hint of ‘I’m going to miss my teacher’, and a whopping great dose of ‘where did the year go?’ makes for testing times. Not to mention the odd explosion or two!

In the race towards Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up counting down the days.

Until holidays.

Until Christmas.

Until the New Year.

Which means you may miss out on some of the good stuff that comes with the journey to the end of the year. This year I decided to make time to pause and take pleasure in the countdown:

  •  watching the Mini Fashionista perform in her school concert (a cracker of a job as a sixties starlet), play the violin in her first string ensemble performance (where of course I got teary, because no matter what the content I seem to get teary at school concerts) and morph into a tall willowy little lady with a snappy send of humour
  • Seeing Captain Jack master tying his shoelaces and hand-writing. In fact I am pretty sure this will go down as one of my highlights (for anyone else who has watched their child suffer through occupational therapy (OT), frustration, anger and every other emotion that comes with struggling to master a new skill, you’ll know what a BIG deal this was). Noticing that no matter how tall and strong he becomes, his heart is still made of ice-cream and melts at the sight of a wounded bird or when someone is hurt. 
  • Watching Flashdance emerge from his shell, and even have the courage to speak at assembly (seriously unthinkable at the start of the year) not to mention to produce some of the most wonderful pieces of art, and continue to march to the beat of his own drum (to his credit, he did successfully pull off the ‘cool Scottish man’ for International Day – complete with hat, tartan skinny jeans and tuxe jacket).
  • Saying goodbye to nappies for Little L, and hello to Kindergarten orientation!  Where did that time go? My baby is all of a sudden a little person, with an opinion about everything, everyone and attitude to spare.

How about you? How are you enjoying the ride until the end of the year?

Enjoy xx

A good time for boredom?

A good time for boredom?

We have just had school holidays here in (not so) Sunny Perth.

Depending on what you do and where you go on school holidays, that can mean anything from blissed out relaxation (ok that has NEVER happened in our house) right through sheer bloody chaos and mayhem (a little closer to the mark).

In our broader circle of friends, school holidays can also mean a flurry of play-dates, activities, holidays, kids club…WHEW!  Sounds exhausting right?

Things are a little more ‘old school in our house. The kids have access to a whole bunch of toys, games, books, craft gear, not to mention scooters, skate boards, swords (timber of course!) and light sabers.  Oh, and then there is our fabulous dress-up collection. Add to this that the lovely Big A and I do not see ourselves as Entertainment Directors on a cruise ship.

This lack of parental intervention means on a semi-regular basis, there are whiny moans of ‘I’m bored’…

Which for the most part I ignore.


Well,  because as a very smart lady I know once said (thanks Mum), how will kids ever learn to use their imagination unless you let them become bored?

You know what? It works a charm, over the weekend, the tribe got restless, and very BORED. I resisted the urge to come up with a fun activity, or take them out and about.

This is what they came up with… meet ‘Gary’, built over an afternoon by four little kidlets, with sand, weeds, quartz, bougainvillea and leaves.

Meet Gary! Street art born out of boredom...

Meet Gary! Street art born out of boredom…

Enjoy xx

Tagged with:
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.