Our first camping trip. {Q&A and VIDEO}

Hey friends!

Last month we did our first ever camping holiday.
(We purchased our camper trailer just before Christmas last year)

And it was a HUGE success! We all absolutely loved it and had the best time.
Our camping destination was Hastings Point in NSW, we stayed at the North Star Holiday Resort and we cannot wait to go back. It is wonderful!
I made a vlog of our time away and you can check it out HERE.  

Family Camping in Australia..png

I’ve had a number of questions about our camping adventure…

  1. Do you recommend camping to a family who hasn’t camped before?
    This was our first time camping. Trent has camped before, but I grew up staying in units, cabins, hotels etc… We never camped, so this was a totally new experience for me. And it was fantastic! The kids loved it and I found it really relaxing. I do recommend it, but you have to be open to different things and be willing to adapt. A tent is a lot different to a hotel room. 
  2. Do you like the camper trailer? Was it hard to set up and do you recommend having one?
    Yes, I love it. Ours is great for us and the perfect size for now.
    Camper trailers can get a bit of a bad reputation for being hard to set up etc. It does take some time, for us it took about 2-2.5 hours from arriving to having the entire camp set up (including beds, kitchen area, play area etc) Trent was able to set the first section up on his own in around 1/2 an hour, the kids and I went for a walk around the park. Then we all went and had some lunch at the cafe, then we returned and he and I set up the annexe section, that took maybe 40-50 minutes. Then I just set up the inside area and made it “homey”. Trent is really mechanically minded and just gets how to set things up, if I was setting it up on my own – well, I wouldn’t! HA. People are wired differently and Trent just gets how to build and fix things, I can’t do it. But for him setting it all up is a piece of cake. So if you are mechanically minded and setting things up makes sense to you, you will be fine. 
  3. Thoughts on the park you stayed at?
    North Star Holiday Resort was amazing, we absolutely loved it. It had everything we needed. There is a waterpark, pool, a licensed cafe, adults area including a day spa, playground, kids club and games room + much more. We highly recommend the park. Trent wanted our first camping trip to be at a park where we weren’t exactly “roughing it” and he chose well. The park came highly recommended to us by countless people and it was a great place to have our first camp. (They also have cabins and units) We had a private bathroom as well which was nice. 
  4. What item did you take that you didn’t use and what item did you wish you did take?
    What we didn’t really use, gosh I am blanking… I know I took a stack of books and didn’t read one! We were just too busy getting out and doing things. And the one item we forgot was our fan. Next time we will be bringing that, most nights were lovely and a cool breeze blew through the tent, but the last night humidity was at like 98% and no breeze at all, and my gosh it was dreadful!! We hardly got any sleep that night and then we woke up to LuLu not feeling well. So we packed up in the cool early hours of the morning and headed home. (We did plan to leave later in the day and spend another day at the pool, but she was too unwell) That night was the only negative about the entire trip! 
  5. Did the kids like it or were they bored?
    The kids had the best time! LuLu loved the waterpark, pool and slides. She loved going to the beach, exploring the rock pools and building sandcastles. She also really enjoyed being able to ride her scooter up and down our little street & make little friends. Tommy loved chasing the scrub turkeys, watching the big lizards and playing at the beach and water park. Camping I think is amazing for kids. 
  6. Sleep? How did you manage to get the kids to sleep in the tent and also during the day?
    For us this worked pretty easily… We stretched bedtime out a little to more like 6pm (instead 5pm’ish) and LuLu just laid down in her camp stretcher and went to sleep. By late afternoon she was pretty exhausted from being super active all day! Tommy, I fed him and if he didn’t nod off on the boob, we would just cuddle him and lay him down in the porta cot once he was asleep. Exactly how we do it at home. Tommy is the only one who naps during the day, and it is usually in the morning so it isn’t too hot yet. A few times he also napped in the car when we were driving. 
  7. What is your top tip for holidaying with young kids?
    Just go with the flow, don’t have big plans or expectations. Take each moment and day as it comes. And keep it simple, kids don’t need to be driving to big tourist attractions every single day. Being in the car is no fun, but being at the pool or the beach is. We had 1 day where we went out but the rest of the time was spent just kicking back and relaxing. (Also another tip is buy those water/beach shoes… They aren’t trendy at all, but they are a lifesaver, especially for the beach we went to. There were lots of rocks and rock pools and to save little feet being cut up and any slips & falls LuLu wore her beach shoes each time we went to the beach. It also protects her feet against hot sand and if there are any nasty things hidden in the sand/water. For Tommy, we carried him near the rocks and he was more toddling beside us, but LuLu is much more independent and loves to explore, so they were a must for her!)

So friends, I hope that answered some questions for you. If you have anymore please comment below or connect with me on social media! I hope you enjoyed this post and the video of our trip away! We can’t wait for the next one!
(If you can recommend any great holiday parks/places to camp with kids along the Queensland or Northern NSW coast please let me know!! Thank you!)

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Dreaming of warmer days… {Beach trip March 2016}

We are well into Winter now, the days & nights have turned chilly – a big change from that unseasonably warm Autumn we had.
To bring some sunshine into this cold & dreary days I thought I would share some (long over due) snaps from our family holiday to the Gold Coast that we took back at the beginning of March.
This was our 2nd family holiday to the beach. Almost every morning I was up early walking the beach and photographing the sunrise…

Day 1;
We drove to the coast. We had fish & chips for lunch at Pete’s Seafood Market and went to check in at our hotel. We spent the afternoon at the pool & beach.
Day 2;
Was spent doing some tourist’y fun things in Surfers Paradise and in the evening we went to play mini golf.
Day 3;
We headed to Sea World for a fun filled day!

Day 4; 
Was spent at the beach and we even did some stand up paddle boarding!
Day 5;
We spent the day with my sister & brother in law, went shopping at Harbour Town, had dinner with them & then headed home at night time. 

The view from our room.
Mini golf time!
Beautiful blue skies for a lovely day at Sea World.

Watching the seal & dolphin show with her little schleich toys. We bought her these before the holiday as little toys to play with in the car trip.

The dolphin show as normal was very entertaining.

I was hoping to show LuLu the polar bears swimming in the water, but we checked back multiple times during the day and this is where they were… Sitting in the sun enjoying a nice fish!

The touch tank was a big hit!

We loved watching the penguins. 
A day at the beach!

Trent & LuLu stand up paddle boarding.

Saying goodbye to our view.

Some of the sunrises I captured;

I hope you all enjoyed this little look into our family holiday. 
We are hoping to get away again with just the 3 of us before Baby Elf arrives, but that most likely won’t be until the weather warms back up again!
Are you enjoying this cold or are you wishing for warmer days?
Let me know by commenting below or one of my social media accounts;

Snap Chat; Bindy_30

Toddler crafts for Australia Day {2016}

G’day mate…

It is Australia Day this coming Tuesday, so to celebrate LuLu & I thought we would share this super fun & very cute craft.
I am all for celebrating holidays – any holiday deserves celebration. Now that I am a Mumma of a little toddler I really like to make the effort that we do at least 1 little activity for each holiday we celebrate. We talk about the holiday while doing the craft and why we are making this certain thing & how it is relevant to the holiday… You can’t get to in-depth with a toddler (well you can, but I think it may get a bit overwhelming for them), or expect them to know why we celebrate certain holidays with out talking to them first, so I think starting a conversation is good, even if they just take away a very basic point – I just think it’s important & really great to just make them aware and just chat about it. This applies for any holiday. Books are a great starting point for conversations. 
So today we made frill neck lizards and a koala to decorate our house for Australia Day.

They are both simple crafts to do, the lizard does require a little bit of prep work but it isn’t super hard. 

Koala.
You will need…

  • 1 large paper plate
  • 2 smaller paper plates (or cut some card board)
  • Grey paint (or black & white paint – I had no grey)
  • Googly eyes or a sharpie to draw on features
  • Glue & a stapler
  • Cotton wool, white crepe paper, tissue – something to create fluffy ears. I used crepe paper because I cannot stand the feel of cotton wool, so I don’t own any.
Steps…
  1. Cut out or assemble face & ears. I stapled mine together, but you can glue them together if you prefer.
  2. Mix together black & white paint to create that perfect koala grey fur colour (mine is a touch too dark)
  3. Paint the entire thing. 

  4. Let dry. (I just pegged mine on the clothesline)
  5. Add glue to ears and fill with cotton wool or some white scrunched up crepe paper. Leave a small border around the ears… 

  6. Glue on googly eyes, or draw some on. 
  7. Paint or draw the nose on.
  8. Ta-da your little Aussie friend is complete. 

Lizard.
You will need…

  • Some cardboard, I used an old wrapping paper tube leftover from Christmas – this gave the lizard a more 3D type of effect because it was curved and sat up a bit. 

  • Sharpie/pencil/pen.
  • Stapler, sticky tape & glue.
  • Scissors.
  • Paint of your choice, you can either do a natural coloured lizard or some bright fun ones like we did.
  • Glitter or embellishments if you feel like bedazzling your lizard (that’s a sentence I never imagined I would write)
  • Red pipe cleaner.
  • Cupcake liners/patty pans.
  • Googly eyes 
Steps…
  1. Draw your lizard on the cardboard with a pen. Now, draw a test lizard first so you can work out how you like your lizard – I kind of fluked my lizards. They kind of look like spoons with fat stomachs and tails – but I guess that’s pretty much a lizard though! 

  2. Cut out your lizards.
  3. Lay your lizards on another piece of card board, draw legs on either side – use the lizard body as kind of a guide to how you want the legs to look. Mine are not perfect, but, at least my lizards have legs. If you really do not want to bother with legs, make it a legless lizard. (LOL) 
  4. Cut out your legs and staple or glue them to the lizard.
  5. Prepare your paint.
  6. Paint the lizards. 
  7. If you want to decorate your lizard, now is your chance – glitter, sequins – whatever you like – make the lizard shine. (This step is added in because no craft is complete in LuLu’s opinion without a healthy coating of glitter – she makes me proud) 
  8. Let the lizard dry.
  9. Take 2 patty pans, flatten them out & place together with the plain sides facing in. Cut a small section out of them and a small hole in the middle. Attach around your lizards neck and staple, think of it like attaching a necklace. (This step is optional – you could make a lizard that isn’t a frilly if you like) 
  10. Glue on eyes (or draw them on)
  11. Roll up pipe cleaner for tongue and attach with sticky tape or glue. (I attached mine under the lizards head) You could use a blue pipe cleaner & leave the frill off if you would like to make a blue tongue lizard.
  12. Admire your one of kind true blue lizard.
I thought I would also suggest some “Aussie” books that we really love and a few DVDs that I enjoyed as a child, we may watch one of these tomorrow or on Australia Day… (Possum Magic is another beautiful Australian book, I just don’t own it… yet)
LuLu absolutely adores the Aussie “If you’re happy & you know it” & “Goodnight Possum”, we read them countless times everyday. I bought the “If you’re happy & you know it” book for everyone I know with kids for Christmas, I think it’s so sweet. I even sent it to a few friends in America!
Aussie classic – Skippy and a Disney movie based in Australia.
These crafts are not “pinterest perfect” and they do not have to be, this is just something fun I was doing with my daughter. I encourage you to have the same mindset, do not be focused with them being “perfect” – the main idea here is just spending time with our children, having fun, talking about Australian animals & Australia Day… I know my lizards look more on the funny side (that is my own fault, I am not a very skilled lizard artist), but we had a lot of fun making them and LuLu is very proud of them. She picked the colours for them & wanted them to be glittery – I would love to see your lizard & koala creations if you and your little love make these. Please tag me in your pictures on social media or send them to me! 
Well a storm is blowing in, so I best post this, turn off my Aussie classic music (Jimmy Barnes, Crowded House, Midnight Oil, Lee Kernaghan etc) & shut the computer down.
Have a great Australia Day! 
Night!

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love … and then we return home.”
 – Australian aboriginal proverb

Our First Ever Snowy Winters Day. {2015}

 Winter; A lingering season. It’s a time to gather golden moments, embark on a sentimental journey and enjoy every idle hour. – John Boswell. 

Hello!
How was your Monday?
Mine was unbelievably amazing, best Monday ever! Albeit cold, but totally memorable & brilliant!
There is some super cold weather going on in the south eastern states of Australia at the moment, like very chilly! They are calling it the Antarctic Vortex. This weather is so wintry that places that don’t often get snow, get snow. Our town & towns close to us were predicted to maybe get snow, the last time they got snow was 30 years ago! So never in my lifetime and I was out of my mind excited! Unfortunately our town didn’t get snow neither did the town close by, but some towns about 3-4 hours away in the next state did. 
On Sunday they got snow, we wanted to go and see it but Trent had just come off night shift & it wasn’t smart for him to be driving that far while tired. We decided that maybe Monday we would go, depending if snowed again. We woke up Monday morning and checked out Higgins Storm Chasing on Facebook and sure enough it was snowing as they had predicted. When we flicked on the TV we saw the place we wanted to visit, they were doing a live cross from where the snow was and it looked amazing. We ummed & aahed on whether to go, it was a long time in the car, we had slept in a bit, would the snow be melted by the time we got there? We hadn’t prepared anything, should we go? 
Now I am not a spontaneous type of person anymore, not since having LuLu. I absolutely love having every single thing planned as a Mum, my life just runs easier when I am prepared & organised. Sure back in the day, give me a half hour notice for a crazy random trip – enough time to put my face on, organise a bag of basic essentials & be out the door. But now, the idea of that almost sends me into a panic attack. But that being said, Trent & I looked at each other and said, “let’s go!”. We figured that this maybe our only chance to see snow for a little while, both he & I have never ever seen snow and obviously neither has LuLu. I was mid way through getting ready and Trent said to me, “let’s pack a bag, just incase they think it will snow over night again”… My brain was freaking out, half was jumping around going “this is awesome, woo hoo – so excited” the other half was huddled in a corner hyperventilating into a brown bag going through all the things that needed to be packed & prepared & worrying it would forget something important.
Right, I threw my makeup on super quick (seriously, Homer’s makeup gun would come in handy some days!), pulled out our over night bag and tossed pyjamas, underwear, clothes, toiletries, chargers, everything and anything I thought we may need while spending a night away, while yelling out to Trent to feed the cats & dogs and make sure they have water. I think the time it took for me to get ready from deciding we would go to pulling out of the drive was maybe an hour, maybe a slight bit more – but it was record time. 
We were on the road, I was full of so much joy & anticipation. If you know me at all (like if we are friends in real life or you are a long time reader) you will know how much I’ve always wanted to see snow, every winter I pray for snow, I dream of having a white Christmas – I feel like the snow would be my type of season, like I day dream about living on a farm in a small sleepy country town where it snows. This is a massive deal to me! 
I was in tears when we drove out of the fuel station and started heading towards Stanthorpe – I was that over come with excitement. I couldn’t believe that finally, I was going to see snow and what made it even better was that I would share that first experience with Trent & LuLu and it would be there first time as well!
We travelled for 3 hours and reached the town of Tenterfield by midday, we stopped in the main street which was very busy. We found a bakery that had a few hot pies left (lots of places were sold out!), we ate our lunch quickly while talking to others in the store who had been to see the snow – they said it was lovely and still hadn’t melted – thank the Lord. 
After we had our quick bite to eat, we piled back in the car and headed up Mt. Mackenzie. 
And then, we saw it. The stark white stood out against the damp timber and grass perfectly, once again there were tears.
Now just so we are clear I don’t cry over anything, I am not a super emotional person, I am actually a bit emotionally hard I guess – but when special or overwhelming things happen or things I weren’t expecting happen, it hits me.  I am more likely to cry because I am happy than because I am sad. I am more likely to cry over an experience than a sad movie or book. This was a big moment, a bucket list moment. My whole life, since I was a child I have wanted to see snow – it just doesn’t happen where we live & it wasn’t possible for my parents to take all 4 of us kids to the snow, understandably. We went to lots of holidays to the beach instead, as it was easier & more accessible and that’s just what Queenslanders do – beach holidays. A lot of people I know who are my age are the same, growing up in Queensland, you just don’t really see snow unless your school does a ski trip down south. 
Anyway, the tears were there as I stared out the car window in awe of the beautiful crisp white snow. There was lots of “look Trent, look at that”, “LuLu look at the snow, brrr it’s cold out there”, “wow” and “this is the most beautiful thing I have seen”.
We got to the top of Mt. Mackenzie and jumped out of the car. We made sure LuLu was bundled up, we slipped socks on her hands because I couldn’t find gloves small enough for her and went to see the snow!
We took pictures, we held it, we just stared – it is so pretty. 

Touching snow together for the first time.
The 3 of us at Mt. Mackenzie seeing the snow.
Very icy snow at Mt. Mackenzie – Tenterfield N.S.W. 

Once we were back in the car we headed a little bit down the mountain and pulled over on the road side to a place with some snow for us to play in. We made a tiny little snow man and LuLu had fun playing! On the mountain there was some rain & the wind was so cold it cut right through us, I was so glad we had layered LuLu up & I had bought her a lovely lined raincoat at the start of winter! 

Patting her little friendly snowman. 

We had seen it, bucket list item checked off. 
We now had to decide do we continue on to Glen Innes or head back home. There was no snow predicted over night so it was likely we wouldn’t be spending the night away. It was 1:30pm, if we headed back now we would get home at a reasonable hour. But we had come so far and I had heard Glen Innes was beautiful and had some nice snow. So we drove the 1 hour and as we reached Glen Innes we noticed there was a lot of heavy drizzly, very icy rain – almost sleet, that rain had melted all the snow. I was a little sad as the photos from earlier in the morning had looked lovely. We decided to drive through KFC and get a hot chips to share and guess what, they were out of chips! Argh, I prayed this wasn’t a sign that our day was taking a bad turn. 
Trent quickly went into the tourist information centre and he found out the highway to Ben Lomond had just opened in the last half hour. I had seen so many beautiful photos online of this area and apparently the snow had just stopped falling there just before lunch, I had spoken about visiting there during the drive but thought it maybe too far. But Trent decided we would head there for a quick look, it was a gamble as we didn’t know if the snow had melted there too. But boy, are we glad we took that risk. 
We saw so many beautiful sights, the country side was just covered in beautiful white snow with little tufts of golden grass poking through. Black cattle stood out against the white snow that covered the hills and it just looked magical. Everything was so picturesque and absolutely breath taking. I could’ve have spent hours just staring & taking photos of the incredible sights. 

1 degree!! Brrrr… That is chilly!

We pulled over to a nice little area of beautiful snow and took some stunning photos of our darling girl, photos so she can remember this exciting trip. Trent & LuLu then made a giant snow ball! 

Snow turns people of all ages into children, we saw so many families having fun times in the snow – snowball fights, building snow men & just laughing and smiling – it was lovely to see!
We drove a little further – we saw beautiful paddocks blanketed in snow, giant snowmen (one was 9ft tall!) and snow on the roofs of a church and some houses. It felt like it should be Christmas! The New South Wales country side just looked magical, breathtakingly magical. 

Seeing snow on a roof was bit of a novelty for us! It looked like something out of a Christmas movie!

After seeing the most stunning sights, taking endless photos and having the most amazing day, we decided it was time to make the 4 hour drive home.

Goodbye beautiful snow.

We called in for a quick McDonalds dinner at Glen Innes (LuLu hates happy meals – this was her 2nd one ever, she nibbled at her apple slices, had a few chips and drank her water! Thankfully I had packed lots of yummy/healthy snacks for her!) 
We arrived home around 9pm, exhausted, amazed & happy. LuLu had travelled really good, this was the biggest day of driving she has ever done. All up we would have driven around at least 10 hours that day, which is insane and she happily sat in the back, occasionally napping, calling out to the animals she could see with the sounds they make & telling us stories. LuLu was such a great little travel companion & is such a joy of daughter. When we saw snow each time we would ask her “what do we do in the snow” and she would reply “brrrr”. So sweet!
This day trip was a dream come true for me, it may not have been the thickest snow but to me it was beautiful, I once again was just in awe of one of God’s amazing creations. Like wow. I am so thankful that Trent was on days off & that he is happy to take LuLu and I on such fun & wonderful adventures, he gives me the confidence to be a little more spontaneous with LuLu and helps me realise even if everything isn’t planned 100% I am still ok! 
This was just a perfect day, it truly was, we experienced a proper Winters Day.
Wow. 2 days later and I am still smiling about it!
(Sorry for the overload of photos in this post, it is super difficult trying to only pick a few!)
Enjoy your week and if you have been at the snow this season or anytime show me your photos! Tag me in them on instagram (@ModernWifeLife31), tweet them to me (@ModernWifeLife3) or share them on my Facebook page! I would love to see them!! 

“Everything’s magical when it snows. Everything looks pretty. The clothes are great. Coats, scarves, gloves, hats!” – Lorelai Gilmore.

1st family holiday. Jan 2015

Good morning!!
It’s a Saturday morning, I’ve just put LuLu down for her morning nap, I’ve scoffed down 2 Tim Tams, because well – why wouldn’t you eat Tim Tams & I am sitting at my desk trying to think of what to write, because I’ve been a bit slack on the blogging… Sorry! 
Writers block, writers block, writers block…..
But I do have a decent reason for my lack of posts, we were on a short holiday the other week – it was actually our first ever holiday with our darling girl & my parents even came along with us, but poor LuLu got very, very sick the 2nd night into our trip & is still a little out of sorts so I’ve been devoting all my time to her and trying to stay on top of my cleaning so my poor little blog has taken the back seat! But I am back now! 🙂 
I am working on a few posts at the moment but just haven’t had a chance to finish them. 
But I thought I would drop by and let you all know I am still here & still alive!!
Also I update very regularly on my instagram, it’s like my mini every day blog!! So if you aren’t a follower head on over & check that out – ModernWifeLife31 – Instagram would have to be my most favourite form of social media!! 
Anyway, I will leave you with a few little snap shots from our first family holiday! This trip was the first time LuLu has ever been to the beach & also the first time she has ever been very sick! 

My Dad took us over to a little private beach in his boat on our 2nd day. 🙂 
Getting a lesson off of Daddy on how to build sandcastles. 
Collecting seashells. 
I really love the beach, it’s so peaceful and pretty. Hopefully next time we visit it is a better trip for all of us!
Have a wonderful weekend and for those Queensland readers, don’t forget to vote today! We are off to the polls later this afternoon when Trent gets home from work!  
Talk soon!!