Crocodiles of all shapes and sizes were lurking in the water between the reeds and hiding in shadows as we ate a delicious lunch of fresh seafood and 'dinosaur' burgers which in actual fact were crocodile burgers...
Where were we you ask? Hartley's Crocodile Adventures in Stunning Port Douglas in Top North Queensland. In the last few days of our most recent trip to Queensland we took Amelie to experience crocodiles, snakes and other less dangerous Australian wildlife. I must say she was fearless. Running to be the first of the line to pet the giant snakes and spending almost an hour with the baby crocodiles.
She referred to the kangaroos as her friends and insisted on returning to them. I feel so blessed that I was lucky enough to be taken there on an adventure with my parents. She was really able to get up close and personal with the animals. She could see what they felt like, how they reacted to her and how they live in their natural environments. It is so much more of a learning experience than going to the zoo. Getting to see the crocodiles leap out of the water, nestling her head in to the soft fur of a kangaroo, running her hands over the scaly slithery skin of a giant snake all the while listening to the calls of native Australian birds and breathing in the fresh smell of Eucalyptus from the Gum trees in the surrounding rainforest. What a way to stimulate the senses and get in touch with nature.
I honestly give this place a 10 out of 10. (This has never happend before on this blog!)
The food in Lillies restaurant on site was excellent. There were ample highchairs for the little ones. We were able to hire a good quality stroller for the day for only €5 which could be picked up and dropped of at the entrance and exit so was no hassle whatsoever. The changing facilities were also immaculate. The staff really made the day.
We love the commitment Hartley's have to the environment, they are a conservation park who are committed to conserving crocodile populations in Australia, they re-vegetate and work in harmony with the World Heritage forest that borders the park. They provide a natural sanctuary for many of Australia's rarer flora and fauna species. Hartleys are accredited for providing Eco Tourism and we just love that!
From the second we arrived and purchased our tickets we felt so welcome. We were greeted by smiling staff and that is all we saw all day. The people that work here obviously love their jobs. In particular we loved Wade the park ranger who was working on our boat tour. He had kids himself and was really having the craic with the small children on our tour. This is really a great action packed day for the whole family but also set in such a relaxing and stunning part of Australia that it is easy to find time to relax in between all of the animal encounters.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is located just off the Captain Cook Highway at Wangetti. You can enjoy a spectacular scenic drive between Cairns and Port Douglas, 40 minutes north of Cairns and 20 minutes south of Port Douglas. If you are visiting Top North Queensland this place is a must!
There are so many things to be excited about for Halloween this year. For the first time we decorated our house and Amelie was delighted informing our neighbour not to be scared and the giant spider on our door was 'only p'tend.'
She will have a fancy dress party in creche and we will also go trick or treating for the first time. In Australia Halloween is not a big holiday so this year I am looking forward to getting involved in the Irish hype of it all... Amelie has a big box of fancy dress clothes so it will be interesting to see what she actually dresses up as, so far she is insisting on being a bumble bee... cute!
On the 28th we will head out to Kilruddery House in Wicklow for a great day of pumpkin carving, scarecrow making and Halloween fun. Pop over to their web-site if you are interested.
On the 26th I will go with the girls from college to see 'Jason and the Argonauts' in the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire and again we will dress in fancy dress and really enjoy the Halloween spirit.
On the 31st pop on over to the Promenade Cafe between 6pm and 8pm for FREE Halloween Portrait Shoot & FREE High Resolution Image from BosPhotography.
Hoping this post give you some ideas of fun events to get along to this Halloween.
Have you poked your head in the doors of The Kingston Hotel lately? What a surprise. Oliveto is back, they have been serving up exquisite authentic Italian cuisine since before Christmas. We can finally get the famous wood over pizzas again too. The Tagliarie Board is great for sharing and a good opportunity for the kids to try some different foods. I love the new Frito Misto and my personal favourites are the Risi e Bisi or the Ossobuco for mains. There are children's options on the menu too if they are not that adventurous. The most difficult thing is to decide what to have for dessert they are all stunning.
Oliveto is filled with families over the weekend days, they just can’t keep them out it is spacious and welcoming. Oliveto is not only 'family friendly' but it is 'parent friendly' too. If you fancy a little quiet time on the rare occasions you can leave your little ones, pop over to their Library Bar. This ‘adult space’ provides a quiet, fresh space with an open fire and again that breath taking view. The staff serve up lovely coffee or you could try one of the cocktails from their newly launched Martini’s list. Whatever you order it is the place to go in Dun Laoghaire to have a chat with the girls or read a book without being interrupted by your own (or anyone else’s screaming children) it really is pure genius.
What a location. It is the only place in Dun Laoghaire that you can sit, eat, drink and take in the breath-taking views that are Dublin Bay. The renovations continue however the restaurant is looking amazing and the food and ambiance will keep you coming back time and time again.
Hope to see you there,
Love the Yummy Mummies and the Jetsetting Babies
Childrens Menu - Y Baby Changing - Y High Chairs - Y Childrens Activities - Y (Colouring)
One day Ame and I were having a nosy over the neighbours fence and we spotted a skip, they were doing a big clear out. I noticed that just next to the skip was a giant wooden box.. the cogs started churning and I just had to pop over and see if they were getting rid of it. They were. I was delighted. I had no idea what I would use it for I just knew that I had to have it. After much huffing and puffing and twisting and dragging with Ame trailing me on her scooter I got the box to my apartment (with strange looks from some other neighbors non of whom offered to help might I add.) Ame was delighted with her new box and I hadn't even done anything to it at this point. I thought that I would share the finished product, an Art Space.
I see it changing over time as Ame's interests change a puppet theatre perhaps or a fort or a mini stage for dress ups. I can picture a huge vintage suitcase filled with Ame's dress ups sitting on top with some deep red curtains and a mini spot light... oh I cant wait. When she out grows it it will make a great raised garden bed filled with strawberry or chill plants.. oh the possibilities!
Ok so flights are booked and we are on our way to Australia! Ok well not straight away we are off in August for a month of family and friends and taking in the beautiful country that is Australia. We will work our way across the country starting in Adelaide my hometown and ending up in Cairns in top north Queensland for a bit of rest and relaxation, sunshine and adventures with my parents.
A big shout out and thank you to Monica in Abbey Travel on Abbey Street Dublin… She took care of us the last time we flew to Australia and worked her magic again busting quotes I had received from other travel agents, booking the flights and putting a big smile on my face all within the space of half an hour.
If you are looking at booking any long haul flights pay these ladiesa visit. We highly recommend them as a Travel Agent that is family friendly, knows what is important when travelling with small children, like leaving around ‘bed time’ good stop over times, isle seats and heaps more. They are experts on Australia, New Zealand, South America and Asia but also book great European deals including to Disney Land, Paris. Find them on Facebook.
I took Amelie with me today and she adored the little teddies and toys hanging around Monica’s desk and was taken by surprise when she wandered off only to find on her return a giant Teddy had taken her chair… so cute.
Loads more ‘Australia here we come’ blogs to follow,
If you are pregnant or already a Mum this one is for you... The Yummy Mummy Market is a great place to find some great quality new and second hand clothing, toys and equipment. I have picked up a few bargains at a previous market in Bray. The Mums who have stalls there seem to have the cutest clothing and all see stuff that is in really good condition. The markets are always held indoors so no chance of being rained out.
If you want a peak at some of the stock available follow the Yummy Mummy Market on Facebook and keep up to date with the sock lists prior to each event or check out their website for more info.
Here are the details of the next two markets:
The Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Newlands Cross on the 22nd of April
Happy Mothers Day to all the Mummies out there.
As both our Mamas are in Australia and New Zealand we are celebrating mothers day with them from afar. They are the original Yummy Mummies..
Thank you for being you, for your love, your care and for making us in to the Mummies we are today.
Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever. ~Author Unknown
Hello All,I have been very lucky to meet some amazing women since getting involved with Cuidiu the Irish Childbirth Trust. Kym is one of them, who last week e-mailed me with some brilliant photo’s from her trip to India. Kym has been doing some excellent work to raise money to help Sightsavers New Delhi.
I thought that I would share this with you and if you can I encourage you to support Kym’s fundraising efforts over at www.mycharity.ie. Kym recently travelled to India at her own expense to learn more about how blindness effects people’s lives there and I have posted a few photos from her trip too. To see all of Kym’s photos on flickr click here.
Nameste! (That's Hindi for 'hello')
India is an incredible country of contrasts. Delhi is a very run down crumbling city surrounded by shanty towns and people living in tents made from plastic bags. Almost every pavement or kerb has someone living beside it, many children were shoeless, dirty, some half naked. Whilst there were many other ordinary families on the metro too. The caste system seems to perpetuate the acceptance of poverty in so many. It makes it very hard to better oneself and the dowry system makes it very hard too, that's only my opinion from the people I met there. We travelled to Agra to the Taj Mahal and if anything the poverty, filth and chaos was worse.
As you know I have been doing some fund-raising for the clinic we visited. I am so amazed and thrilled at everyone's generosity. Blindness is a devastating and debilitating disability to suffer in this unequal society and the work at this clinic goes some way to preventing this misery.
If you would like to donate and haven't had an opportunity yet my appeal is still 'live' and if you're not in a position to help, do please keep Sightsavers in mind for some other time. I have created a fundraising page on www.mycharity.ie. On it you can read a few words about the project.
Click on the link and it should bring you to the page or Paste this URL into your browsers or search under my name on the website. You can sponsor the project via credit or debit card. Even €5 goes a long way.
Sincere thanks to all that supported this Fundraising.
Children on the street outside the Hope Foundation
The Giddy Goose Cafe was the first review we ever posted back in January '11, having recently read the review I have realised as our blog is not the only thing to have grown. The Giddy Goose was relatively new itself back then and it really seems to have completely found its feet this last few months. So here is a new review, a little more up to date and fitting to the Giddy Goose today...
Soup for Life is a fun and positive campaign which urges everyone to sip some soup!
For every bowl of soup sold in the Giddy Goose this week, a donation of €1 will be made to Gorta
Donations will help the poorest families in Uganda secure a better future. The money raised will provide seeds, tools, livestock and training on nutrition and food security.
Good on ya Giddy Goose and I urge everyone to get down and support this campaign. Now for our review...
THE GIDDY GOOSE CAFÉ
A : 138-139 Lower Georges Street
T : (01) 2148634
The Giddy Goose... we go back to again and again, baby friendly you ask? Well Yes! How friendly you ask, well honestly you can't get much better. The staff are brilliant and the service is really fresh and friendly, there is always a helping hand with your buggie or baby. The coffee is consistently good (it is what has always kept me returning to the GG.) There are a couple of high chairs for the littlest ones and for slightly older kids with better dexterity and larger appetites the Giddy Goose has all sorts of treats from colouring pencils and toys for entertainment to delicious kids options on the menu. They even sell babychinos to complete the cafe experience for the youngsters. Ame loves the ginger bread men, pretty much for the tiny chocolate buttons. Beware it can get super busy on the weekends so it makes a little squishy for too many buggies! I can't say much about the food as I always order the same thing, very tasty eggs Florentine with a side of sauteed mushrooms and a sausage to share with Ame. The pastries are fresh daily and there are always very tasty homemade cakes in the counter. Overall we go back again and again because it is a lovely little place with a lot of character and a nice buzz to it for Yummy Mummy and Jetsetting Baby alike.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the way people in my life have influenced me and more importantly the way the people in our lives influence our children. I posted before the anecdote… ‘When you thought I wasn’t looking’ by Connie Black. Children notice the smallest things, emotions, actions, tones, ideals and morals and they take these things through to their adult lives, consciously or otherwise.
As I sit here in Costa Coffee inside Easons book store in Dun Laoghaire the sun shine is oozing in the windows, there is the pleasant buzz of the coffee grinder and the subtle hum of the milk frother in the back ground a wave of nostalgia has hit. A distant memory came to light of my Aunty Liz taking me to a book shop with a café in it when I was young. I couldn’t’ tell you which bookstore(in Adelaide Australia somewhere I guess) or why we were there or what we ordered all I remember was that we were there together and I was having fun.
I was so lucky to be surrounded by cool Aunts and Uncles growing up. They all loved to read. They all took me to book stores and they all gave me books as I was growing up. Books that were challenging and interesting. Books that I didn’t understand, or thought that I understood until we started talking about it and their questions made me want to go back and read them again and get a different meaning out of the pages that hadn’t hit me the first time around. The reason I thought that I would share this bit of nostalgia is that tomorrow is World Book Day. I found myself asking the question 'where did my love of books come from?' I find myself with the desire to surround Amelie with book lovers, with people who can find a real adventure within a story, with people that can get lost in pages for days and days, with people who when they get on to a good read can not put it down for anything. I am one of these people, I love books and reading. I don’t care what Ame reads, as long as she reads. So I will surround her with books, with people who love to read, I will read to her, I will read with her, I will take her to libraries and I will definitely take her to book stores that have café’s hidden inside and I hope that I pass on the special gift I was given growing up.
Happy World Book Day to Everyone,
Especially my Aunty Liz for taking me to book stores with cafés in them. My Uncle Mike for the Lord of the Rings and quizzing me on the Hobbit and my Uncle Paul for Dostoevsky, Hesse and for pushing me always to be better in my writing.
Love Angi x
For great tips on reading with your children check out this Facebook page. They post daily tips for creating a love of reading in little ones. Reading with Infants, Toddlers and Pre-schoolers and also give some excellent statisticss to keep us all focused on the importance of reading and early childhood education. The World Book Day web page has loads of online celebrations happening today to pop over and take a look http://www.worldbookday.com/
OK so have been 'off line' for a while but here we are back and blogging. No promises that I will get in more than one a week but that is my plan for now. Some new and updated reviews in the pipeline. We will bring back our Dublin Events Page and launch a London Events Page too... but for now lets talk travel mugs and me!
Not all that long ago I jumped on the travel mug band wagon. It was the boring silver type with a black lid. It did the job right but it didn't look all that me, I love a little colour in my life. So recently it broke, I recycled it and got super excited about getting a new travel mug.
I spotted these gorgeous ceramic travel mugs in Urban Outfitters around Christmas time. One of those things I should have just got there and the patterns are adorable. I thought that I would shop around a little more but nothing topped these until I was in good old Oxfam and found a simple but funky ceramic travel mug. Buy of the year I reckon... It's just like these ones only its plain white with a red band and a red top, seeing I'm trying a little to move away from pink and bring red back into my wardrobe its perfect, a little retro or something...
The first time I posted about my travel mug I gave you the math so here it is again
The Math –
If I got 1 take away coffee a week (and well let’s face it, it’s usually three) for a whole year I have saved by using my travel mug between 52 – 156 paper cups, and 52 – 156 plastic lids from ending up in landfill.
I also urged everyone who hasn't got themselves a good travel mug to do so and this little change in your life could make a big difference to our earth. It's a change I made a year ago and I haven't looked back just re-styled that's all :)