sunday driving


We went for a drive into the hinterland and down south today.  We used to do these drives all the time when we lived with Mum but we haven’t since we moved to our own place.  This was partly because funds have been a little bit tighter but also because we don’t have the intense desire to get out of here like we did at Mum’s hahahah.  We just love where we live so much! 

Just over the border into New South Wales

I am itching to travel and our winter snow holiday is 6 months away so I thought we could all do with a mini adventure day drive to some of our favourite places.  It will give us that taste of travel without spending much money and it is something we can all do (pup included) without too much preparation or organisation.  I love feeling like a tourist in our area.  It makes you see the place so differently and helps you enjoy it so much more.  I also love seeing it through Lennox’s eyes.  She loves going on adventures and so does out dog Kaida. 

Kaida loves to travel too!

 

The only thing is I want the house clean for when I get back!  I hate walking away from a filthy house to have a great day only to have to come back to it all at the end of the day.  It is just something I have to do.  So before I go today I am doing the dishes, will sweep the floor and hang out the washing so when I come home it is all fresh and ready to make dinner and cosy up at home in fresh sheets ready for our start to the week. It doesn’t take long to do but it feels so good to come home to! 

Knox Park, Murwillumbah

It is so important to have good places for breaks on road trips – no matter how long the drive is.  As a mum I have found this so much more important than I did before having a child.  There are so many reasons a good place to break is important but one that has a play area, toilet and shade/shelter is a must. Even if the play area is just a creek, fountain or garden with some grass is fine, as long as it is off the road a bit so you don’t have to worry that your lil one will run off into cars. 

a monument to the original lumberjacks of the area.

When going on longer road trips it is so awesome to have good places to stop and recharge or have somewhere comfortable and pretty to make and eat food and for our little girl to run off some of the energy that gets built up by sitting in the car for hours.   Today we stopped in Knox Park Murwillumbah NSW.  We have never stopped there before but we will definitely stop there again as it was huge and the gardens were beautiful, it had a huge shaded playground as well as heaps of green space and also this cool lily pond with a duck and ibis island!  We had a great little picinic under a tree near the lake – even though there are tables and chairs I like sitting on a blanket under a tree.  

lily from the pond


We drove down through to Pottsville, we were planning on going further on but then saw this spot at the creek and had to stop.  We spent all afternoon here, it was magic.  We so needed a day like this and it didn’t cost us anything but $20 petrol.  I took food and water and we just had fun! 

Pottsville, New South Wales

a massive friend we met today in the creek. glad we just met the one!

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how to have a kick-arse wedding under $3000

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Don’t want to spend a lot of money on a wedding but still want to have it all?  I’ll tell ya how I did it!!  I am still on a high after having the most perfect day and you can have that too.

I was 6 and a half months pregnant when we got married so I really didn’t want to be stressing about everything being perfect and because of this, everything turned out more perfect than I could have organised. Keep a lot of things simple and then get fancy with a few things that mean the most to you and RELAX AND ENJOY: don’t be a bridezilla!

We wanted to invite about 70 guests and our priority was to create a loving and warm atmosphere for ourselves and our guests.  We managed to do all of this and have our dream wedding and reception for a total cost well under $3000.  Below are some tips to help you have the wedding that you want without putting yourselves in debt.

Celebrant . Find one that has a price that is inclusive of as many meetings and paperwork as necessary.  A lot of celebrants charge a base rate and then charge extra for paperwork, filing of documents, any more than one meeting etc.  Avoid those if you can.

Invitations.  Personalised and D.I.Y invitations are very popular and all you to create the atmosphere for your wedding from the get go.  We used photoshop to create our own (see cropped picture below).  We chose a photo from a day together we loved and then used a font we liked to type the details over the top and had it printed.  We got a lot of compliments for our invitations which surprised me!

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Rings.  We were lucky and found a jeweller having a 40% off sale! wooohoooo!!  I definitely recommend not rushing into buying the first ring that you really like, it pays to shop around and take your time with this purchase and absolutely jump on any big sales!!

Reception.   Your reception is one of the biggest expenses for your day.  Backyard receptions are on totally on trend and allow you to really personalise your day for all of your guests.  Choose a colour theme you like and keep it simple to enhance your surroundings.  Nothing is better for a ceiling than the sky at sunset and stars at night for your reception although it is good to have a wet weather plan.  Your decorations can be made or sourced by you leading up to the day (e.g jars as tealight candle holders, old food tins as vases, fairy lights for extra ambient lighting)

Keepsakes.  Make your keepsakes personal for your guests to take home and remember the day.  Your gifts can be doubled as the placenames.  I have seen little pots of tealeaves with names of the guests on them and small mirrors or soaps with guests names carved in.

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Bridal party.  Bridesmaids and groomsmen can buy their own clothes for your day however for the Bride and Groom this can be a huge expense. Shopping online can save a lot however this expense totally depends on the people involved.  I was happy with a beautiful dress I scored second-hand but that is not for everyone.  If you can resell your dress after the big day then you can make some money back.

Flowers.   Purchase these at a lesser cost from the local markets rather than the florist – put the bouquets and button hole flowers together yourselves and saved so much!!

Photographer.  Enlist a friend/family member (or two) who is into photography….. many people would think this is risky but after attending heaps of weddings and seeing the photos that “professional photographers” come out with I am positive you will get a great result (we did) as long as they take a lot (and i mean a lot) of photos. You never use all of the photos that you get done and with everyone having smartphones etc you end up with hundreds of gorgeous photos.

Food.  If you are really thrifty you can (and enlist help to) make the food for your guests and save thousands.   You have so many options of how you would like to cater your wedding from a tea party style reception to cocktail party with finger food and you will save a bunch of money.  A great idea I have seen is to have a mexican style theme for your food and have a build your own tacos/nachos bar, everyone loves mexican, its filling and not too expensive to put together.

Alcohol and other drinks – keep an eye on cleanskin and internet based wine sales – you save a tonne of money and can get very high priced wines for a very reasonable amount.  Beer and softdrinks can be bought on sale from supermarkets and liquor warehouses for very reasonable prices.

Music.  This is easy to sort out.  Load  your iphone with two playlists; one for the dinner and one for the dancing!!  You can even time it all perfectly as your program for creating these will tell you exactly how long your playlist will be.

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All of your guests will have an amazing day and will love the relaxed  and personal but well organised feel of the day, Most importantly the bride and groom should sit back and relax and totally enjoy the wedding and reception without dramas or money worries – the day is about you remember!!

Make your own dreams come true and ya don’t even have to break the bank!!  What we spent on our wedding we made back with our gifts (we had a wishing well) and that meant that we got to have the honeymoon of our dreams!!

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I was never a big believer in weddings until I had one and now realise it is one of the most awesome things to experience and I highly recommend it!

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