Friday, February 17, 2012

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane...

So long for now, Melbourne...

Cambodia and Malaysia - I hope you're ready for us! :)

We're leaving tomorrow on our long-awaited adventure! The above photos are all from  my previous trips, and I can't wait to be back in amongst the hustle and bustle of it again! 

Don't know whether I'll have time to post on here while I'm gone... but I'll have plenty of travel posts and photos to blog about when we get back in three weeks! 

Behave yourselves, and I'll see you on the flip side! xx

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Be My Valentine

Surprises for my Valentine!

Precious moments spent with the one I love...

Wordless Wednesday happens here, here, here, here, here and here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

With Lots of Love

I prefer to think of Valentine's Day as "Love Day" instead! Not a commercial Hallmark money-grab, but a reminder to stop and celebrate your loved ones, whether it be family, friends, or your significant other.

I know that a lot of people say that you should show your love and appreciation every day of the year instead of one designated day in particular.  This is true, but life gets so busy, days get so hectic, and this can fall to the wayside and often be forgotten about in the hustle and bustle of life.  So Valentine's Day to me is a prompt to make sure that I don't forget what is truly important to me.

I don't believe in the commercialism the day has evolved to now, but I do believe in the underlying meaning and that gentle nudge to let those around me know how much they mean to me.  I have handed out chocolates to my friends, told my mum that I love her, and I will hold my wonderful man close to me tonight.  I have also been lucky enough to receive beautiful gifts, and I hope that today, and every day, he knows how very special he is to me.

I hope that whatever you do today, and whoever you spend it with, you're surrounded by love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Because I Am Spoilt...

I swear, this blog is starting to sound like a Liam fan club!  Don't worry... for all the great things he does for me, there is still plenty about him that drives me batshit insane.  He can be the sweetest boy, and he spoilts me rotten, but we all need a little balance!

Well, now that I've got that disclaimer out of the way... I can haz present?

We were at the shops looking for a birthday present for a friend, and I stumbled across this little gem.  It looked like an awesome present, and I was contemplating it (especially because it was on sale!) but I have ALWAYS wanted one of these and realised that it would break my heart to hand it over.  So I told Liam it was a no-go as a present, and since I already have a cute little 2 person white wicker picnic basket, told myself I didn't need it.

I wandered off around the store to look at a few other items, but turned around to see the lady at the counter handing Liam a massive shopping bag. 

It is PERFECT! It's exactly like the picnic basket I have been lusting after for over 6 years, and even comes with a little insulated bag for all your cold items.  I love it. It is the most perfect present, and it's not even for Valentine's Day.

It's just because I am spoilt!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Camping : Part 2

We woke up to another beautifully warm and sunny day.  First things first, it was time for breakfast! 

And what says Sunday more than a lazy Sunday brunch? 

The boys set to work cooking snags, bacon, fried eggs and toasting the bread for our meal.  The beauty of camping is, much like a BBQ, it's the one of the rare times when it's macho for a man to be taking care of all the cooking.  G and I sat back and relaxed (yes, of course I was in the hammock!) while we waited for our food to be served.

We made a couple of new friends, who happily joined us for breakfast.

They stayed behind and held fort at camp while we headed off for another trip down the rapids!

Liam packed up the ute - strapping in the tubes, lilos and floaty devices and then laid down a tarp for us to sit on comfortably.  We all piled in the back of the ute, and set off down the road! 

This is the first time ever that he's allowed me to ride in the back of the ute. I attempted to do this once, on the way home from the shops.  He wouldn't unlock the door, so I yelled out "FINE, I'LL RIDE IN THE BACK!" and he replied with "FINE!" so I climbed into the tray.  He thought I was pretending, so he got into the driver's seat and began backing out of the parking spot.  As he reversed out, he looked back at me expecting me to be freaking out, but instead I smiled and waved. He promptly stopped the car, got out and demanded that I get into the passenger seat!

Yay for finally getting to ride in the tray! It was good fun, taking in the beautiful view, smelling the fresh country air and chattering away to my best friend.

This trip down the rapids I was a little more co-ordinated and only fell off my lilo once! And that was only because I was too busy blabbing away (typical!) to notice the big rock coming up right in front of me.  

We got back to camp, and decided we were enjoying floating too much.  Liam got a big rope, tied G's lilo and mine together, and anchored us onto a rock so we wouldn't float away downstream.  Then before heading off with Mark for another attempt at fishing, he placed a yummy blackcurrant cider into my hands.  Have I EVER mentioned how much I love that boy?!

By this time, most of the other families had left so we were uninterrupted out there.  It was so peaceful, just floating out in the middle of the river, drink in hand.  At one point, we even fell asleep! It was lovely, but I did have a few angry patches of red sunburnt skin to show for it.

The beautiful view from both directions... it didn't matter which way I floated off - it was win-win!

Liam came back from his fishing expedition, and LOOK! He'd caught a giant friendly killer whale!

I got back to camp to find that G had taken over my hammock! MY hammock, remember?! I think Mark and G spent a lot of the weekend waiting for me to get up from my seat so that the could pounce! Definitely  a very comfortable hammock.  (You can't tell I loved that hammock, or anything!)

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and soon enough it was time to pack up and go home.  It's hard to believe the how compact our home for the weekend can become... the boys took the tent down and shoved it into its tiny bag, and all that was left was the lonely little door mat :(

We're heading back up there with a few more friends for Liam's birthday, and I am already hanging out in anticipation! Not to mention our overseas trip which is coming up before then!

So tell me... where's your favourite camping spot?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday : Sweet Surprises

Liam came home from work with this little box hidden behind his back

What a sweetheart! (hehe)

PS - Don't forget my mini-giveaway! :) xx

Playing Wordless Wednesday here, here and here

Monday, February 6, 2012

Camping : Part 1

In continuing on with the Australia Day celebrations, we thought what better way (apart from the BBQ and beers, which we'd already had!) to celebrate all things Australian than to head away for a weekend of camping! Liam and I packed up the ute with fishing rods, tents, hammocks, camping gear and threw our best friends in for good measure, and headed to Big River, down by Eildon.

I was lucky enough (sarcasm alert!) to have to work on the Friday after Australia Day, so we headed up as soon as I got home that evening. Liam's best mate, Mark, managed to head down earler in the day so he had a few hours to set up camp before we arrived.

Driving down the big stretch of road, we spotted this sign which Mark had put out so that we wouldn't miss the campsite.

Yes, that says "LIAM you poof". Boys, honestly!

On the bright side, Mark had been busy during the day and totally set up camp!

This was our home for the weekend. A four room tent, including two single rooms, a "living room" area and a double room, plus a gas fridge and all the bells and whistles. Not quite as "roughing it" as some might imagine, out in the Aussie outback! This was my best friend, G's very first time ever camping, and she was suitably impressed.

Unfortunately our bathroom facilities were not quite so glamorous! Long-drop dunnies. G was not quite as impressed with this arrangement!

When we arrived, the sun was starting to go down so after a bit of a quick explore the boys got the fire going so that we could cook some dinner. It was still quite warm, so it was a perfect night to relax for a bit underneath the stars. It's amazing how many stars you can see on a clear night out in the country.

After a hearty meal and a few drinks, we had a relatively early night so that we could get up early and make the most of the day. In the morning, G opted for a bit of a sleep in, but the boys and I wandered down to the river for a bit of early morning fishing.

However I soon found that THIS was the perfect way to spend the morning - lying in the hammock with a book, drink in hand, clear blue sky above. I could have stayed there forever.

Being the ever-thoughtful soul that he is, Liam had decided to surprise me by packing the hammock for me to use on the trip. Have I mentioned how much I love that boy? It was a perfect idea!

This is food photography - bush camping style! Bacon, egg & cheese toastie. YUM.

There was even table (hammock?) service! My wonderful man cooked up breakfast, and served it to us.

Didn't have to lift a finger!

Here he is, hard at work! :)

However, G and I decided that we wanted to try our hands at campfire cooking! If only so we could say that we'd cooked jaffles over campfire coals. And we proved a point that ladies are superior cooks to men, even by campfire, when we turned out these perfectly toasted jaffles!

After breakfast, we took a drive a bit further upstream. We packed a few lilos, inner tubes and floaty devices and set off down the rapids and floated back to camp! It took just over an hour to get back to our camp site this way, and although it was awesome fun I came home with bumps and bruises all over my body! The boys also rigged up a floating esky using a cooler bag, a wading pool and copious amounts of duct tape! Although the esky stayed afloat the entire trip, we unfortunately flooded the river with lots of alcohol as we tried to keep the stubbies in our hands safe while going over the rapids.

Once we got back to camp, we set up our chairs in the river, and G and I worked on our tans with magazines and books to keep us occupied. Mark and Liam decided to try a spot of fishing, and Liam managed to catch a baby trout! As he was only a tiny tacker, there was time for a photo opportunity before setting him free.

There were plenty of people swimming in the river, so it wasn't the most ideal fishing spot.

However while G and I spent some time relaxing (me in the hammock, of course!) with a good book and some magazines, the boys went off on a mission. The fish just weren't biting, but they managed to catch 4 little fishies. Most of them were far too small, and got sent on their merry way, but there was one who ended up on the dinner plate. Poor fishy!

Everyone else in the campsite seemed to go to bed very early (lots of young families) so after dinner it was just us left sitting outside by the campfire. It was absolutely gorgeous, the warmth of the fire, the clear sky full of stars, and the quietness and serenity which was interrupted only by Mark's bad jokes!

And of course, what would camping be without toasted marshmallows by the fire? G had never tried this before (really, a camping virgin!) and adored these! Although I prefer to hold my marshmallows above the flames until they are toasted crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside, Liam advised her to put the marshmallows right into the flames until they caught on fire. She seemed to enjoy these little blocks of carbon!

Part 2 of the trip still to come! :)