Why I Meal Plan and how I do it.

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I don’t know about you, but for me, the cost of our weekly groceries is something that scares me a little at times. No matter how hard we try to spend less on our weekly food bill, it seems the more we actually do spend. I know we are very lucky and fortunate where we live, we have an abundance of fresh, relatively local fruit and vegetables seasonally available to us and mostly all grown in clean, fertile soils and areas of our State here in Queensland and the neighbouring States as well.

We are also very fortunate enough to have a wonderful supply of Queensland grown beef and other red meat, wild caught bay and ocean fish and crustacea including some of the best prawns and oysters in the world and also organically and free ranged eggs and chickens from the western downs of this State as well. My family made a conscious effort to eat as ethically as possible many years ago. I am the one who questions where and how the tomatoes are grown at the supermarket, I often go home and look up the grower on line and really “suss” them out before I buy a cheap $2.00  punnet of cherry tomatoes from them.  Over the years I have become very good at knowing and trying to stay very loyal to the Queensland and Australian farmers that I know are genuine and local and in it for the long run,  and that I can trust what they grow, how it is treated and what they use to grow those veges or cattle and other produce and livestock.

One thing that has made a very big difference in our Grocery budget ( well two things actually) is that firstly,  I meal plan weekly, and secondly, we cut down the amount of protein we consumed each week. Nowadays,  the veges and salads are the main ingredients and this has been not only a very good thing for my wallet, but also good for our health as well.  Also, now we are used to it, no one seems to miss the huge portions of protein we used to consume.

Don’t get me wrong, we are still a family of meat/fish/poultry lovers and…  I don’t know if I can ever change that, and the menu plan in the photo above will attest to that, but we eat a lot less of it now than we used to. And.. we try to make sure it is as ethically sourced as possible when we purchase it. Cans of, or fresh seed beans have become my friend. We love Cannelloni Beans, Brown lentils, chick peas to bulk up our meals, fill us up, give us some fibre and protein and keep the budget under control.

So, how I meal plan is this: Each week I sit down on a Wednesday evening generally ( I shop Friday or Saturday usually) and work out what we are going to eat the next week. I take into consideration who is going to be home, who has work that day ( for meal prep time to be kept minimal), how late we are home, what is in season as far as fruit and veges go,  and what I have in the fridge/freezer/pantry still  that I can salvage as left overs.

Firstly , I set my grocery budget. This is generally between $100 and $200 weekly which I know is quite acceptable and usually doable for us. I will always, always  try to buy locally and seasonally.   I am the person who refuses to buy American navel oranges ( at anytime) or cherries in our Winter, or asparagus from Mexico.. I am sorry, but I am not sorry and I just can’t and I won’t. We have perfectly good Australian farmers, working ridiculous hours to grow perfectly good, seasonal produce for us and we go and shoot them in the foot???…Makes no sense to me and don’t complain  when you can no longer buy an Australian carrot or potato or lettuce ok and the price has sky rocketed yet the quality has deteriorated.

I then work out two red meat meals, one is generally minced beef or lamb or pork/veal mince ( as this is so economical for a family meal and budget) and the other is generally some form of steak or chop ( depending on the Butcher’s specials, again keep portions small),  two poultry meals, chicken or turkey, using the cuts that are on special that week but are still organic and free range, two seafood meals, usually fish, one might be a mix of prawns and fish and squid or oysters, or a can of Tuna or salmon for Tuna Mornay or Salmon fish cakes which makes it a very economical meal…The seventh meal is usually either a home made take away meal, might be Pizza or burgers or Butter chicken or a dinner at home here with friends. It could also be a night out at a restaurant/pub/friend’s place/ bbq or dinner here with friends or a simple grilled cheese sandwich because we have been out for  a long and lazy lunch.. It might also be a vegetarian option of Baked beans on toast or baked beans and cheese toasted sandwich/jaffle or soup.

I always usually only plan for six nights unless I am sure we will be home. Don’t forget a whole pumpkin, a couple of onions and a carton of chicken stock can be your best friend and makes an amazing pumpkin soup with a little cream and crusty bread on those nights you have no idea about. As can an egg and a slice of bread with some salt and pepper.  The main thing is,  to bring  your food budget down, you kind of have to cut your animal protein back. If there is only two of you and recipe calls for 500 gram of beef strips for that gorgeous beef stroganoff you are attempting,  but the recipe says it serves four, cut the meat back to 250 grams and add a few more mushrooms if you think it looks a bit sparse or serve with a little more noodles or rice.  It will help your hip pocket and also your heart, especially if you serve it with a few more mushies and onions than you do rice..

Well I hope I have somehow inspired you to meal plan or at the very least, think about where your food you eat each day comes from. I think it is very important  we know and also we teach our kids of these values. I am not a food inhibitor, I don’t believe in withholding any food group from anyone, we all need treats whatever they may be,  but if we can eat locally, ethically sourced nutritious foods that fit into our budget and our locality,  I am sure we will all feel a whole lot better and live a lot better too.

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Fresh, North Queensland line caught Wild Barramundi, a delicious Queensland Pineapple Salsa with Lockyer Valley salad leaves and a home made Tartare Sauce . A special dinner, using 100% Australian owned and grown produce.

The simple joy of being at home…

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Just before the Easter Long weekend  I posted on Instagram that I would almost chew my right arm off to be back at Tangalooma on Moreton Island for the  weekend. Deep down, I knew I wouldn’t chew my arm off, but it’s always so nice to just get away to one of your favourite places for a few days break to unwind and just be feeling pretty damn good for a few days.

Having said that, it’s also just as nice sometimes to have four days at home for Easter just a few months after Christmas. I know a lot of us don’t actually get the full four days off with having to go to shift work … or looking after kids/family/relatives/pets/houses and so on, but four days at home for those fortunate enough to have that luxury goes alright in my opinion as well. After all, we all just need to make the most of what we have, where we are in this moment in time.

We usually love going away for Easter and look forward to that little getaway somewhere around the Australia Day holiday coming to a close and remembering it’s now a long slog until the next long weekend and couple of days off.  We like to head somewhere where there’s great food,  either locally sourced or at some great little restaurants, beautiful beaches, home away from home accommodation that maybe is just a little more luxurious than what you are used to, and just that general Joie de vivre you only get when you are one hundred percent relaxed and never want to leave, with cocktail in hand and a flat battery on your phone…ok that last one is just me..:)  . We would usually head to  Moreton or Straddie ( North Stradbroke Island for those not from these parts and lucky for us, our close backyard Island) or Noosa Northshore/Rainbow Beach/ Tin Can Bay or Woodgate ( I am not telling you where this is, you will have to find out for yourself on that one.) 🙂  , at this time of the year. They are all  stunningly beautiful, laid back, coastal destinations where the water is warm enough still to swim, where you can still wear shorts/sarongs/togs pretty much all day and night and where you don’t have to pretend, they love you just you as you are and the more you are yourself, the more you will get out of the locals and the locality and love it!

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Straddie in the distance here with the Sun just catching the sand dunes, taken from the Victoria Point Jetty which has services to Coochiemudlo Island (I will take you there soon I promise)  and also Moreton Island weekly ( check availability beforehand though as it is subject to change)

But this year.. we stayed home for  the Easter long weekend..  Yep.. we didn’t do too much at all really,  and you know what, we loved every minute of it! .Well apart from Woollies where I decided to go food shopping on Easter Saturday, which was ridiculous and I vow never again. We enjoyed a long and very lazy , extremely delicious Easter Sunday Brunch at the Cleveland RSL with some beautiful friends ( we are definitely going back there for this again, unbelievably great value and really delicious, freshly cooked food).

This was about the extent of the effort I was required to put in to my appearance as far as getting dressed and brushing my hair and eyebrows and teeth,  which then forced me out of my togs/sarong/pyjamas for something a little more decent and appropriate for company and public view.  I think I over indulged on the bacon and eggs, but I really tried to counteract it with the delicious fruit platter on offer.. Nanna Nap needed at 11.30am definitely…

So… we pretty much cocooned for the weekend and that’s OK too you know. A Staycation they call it, or so I have been told..The main reasons were that this year we had the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games upon us here, so everywhere was supposed to be super busy and we were told to avoid the coast at all costs as everything would be  super expensive as well. The locals would tell a different story but that is another story.  We had just had a very  late  Summer holiday and combined with an early Easter this all meant we were just not  actually in a position to enjoy another 4 days away so soon but as I have said before, that’s OK too!

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Admittedly, home for me looks like this, so I know I am a kinda very lucky and blessed, but as anyone will tell you, after a while you just sort of stop noticing your surrounds and they just become a part of your life. Sometimes I imagine us living on a farm five hundred or more like double that kilometres west of here because it sounds so romantic with wide veranda’ed farm houses, wood stoves, an orchard or large vege garden, old stripped back furniture, iron beds and those big skies at night, the peace, the space, the no traffic, no noise blanket that we could wrap ourselves in..

We could imagine it would be idyllic, and as I am a country girl mostly, I know that there are definitely many advantages to living away from the hustle and bustle of the suburbs but, those that live ‘out West’ as we affectionately call it, will tell you it’s  not all it’s cracked up to be and I am sure most of us can relate to that as well with what we see and read in the media about our farmers. They contend  with droughts and floods, dust, heat, flies, snakes 🙂 and remoteness to the everyday amenities we take for granted such as takeaway fish and chips, a 7/11 store, restaurants and 24 hour medical centres in most of our reaches. I also imagine us living on a beautiful big boat, sailing the seas and ….

Anyhoos, as I do, I digress…

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Candles at sunset, always such a beautiful ritual at the end of the day when you have completed your tasks and look forward to a restful evening.

So, this Easter I did a lot of other things that I wanted to do to catch up on.. For starters I cooked and I cooked with passion for my family and my dad and his partner,  because I actually had the time. Not hastily like I often do for a quick week night dinner, where you are just tired or even exhausted and starving, and your family is starving and you just want it all over and done with so you can have a shower and go to bed, just to get up and do it all over again the next day and can totally relate to Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. No, not this time, this time  we enjoyed carefully prepared Wild Barramundi and Gold Coast king prawns with fresh and local vegetables for Easter Sunday Dinner  with raspberries and apple crumble for dessert and good Vanilla bean ice cream. What a treat to sit and share a delicious and relaxed meal it was.

I also spent some time researching for kitchen ideas for our old tired  kitchen soon:

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IKEA kitchen ideas, I love their sinks and their cupboard door fronts, I am going to have to mix and match and pick and choose to get the look I am going for for our kitchen though and also I notice this tap has gone up in price since the last time I was there looking at ideas..

I spent some time Insta checking on paint colours for the exterior of our old home, still tossing up on Dark Grey versus light Grey…

 

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Dark Grey exterior, love it, but I am still leaning towards a lighter, moodier grey for this place. Photo courtesy of Dulux Australia.

I also tried to do some wall washing and floor mopping, but the weather wouldn’t play nice and trying to wash walls streak free in humid, damp weather just doesn’t work so.. they can wait til the weather cools down and dries out a bit more yet.

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One little cat always appreciates a freshly mopped floor, not sure about the humans who live here though.. 

So eventhough we didn’t head away anywhere this time, I felt like we had a break that was very well spent. I left the weekend feeling rested and we spent a day at Straddie last weekend just swimming and lunching at the Hotel,  with hardly any crowds and this more than made up for missing it at Easter this year so it all worked out perfectly.

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If you know the Straddie Pub, you will know how quiet the carpark must have been at lunchtime here on a Sunday…  our other favourite Island Moreton,  in the distance there, and such a great time to visit, peaceful, perfect weather, laidback coastal classic lifestyle!

Well we are heading for another long weekend very soon here in Queensland with Labour Day coming up in early May. We intend on doing a couple of quick day trips at this time to visit friends and family and we are looking forward to some sneaky long weekend/midweek trips trips away to Bunya Mountains, Burleigh Heads, Noosa, Tin can Bay, Stanthorpe and Yamba in the coming months with some good friends and family to celebrate some milestones and also just to celebrate being alive and having great friends!

So tell me, who likes being at home and who likes going away? Where do you like to go? Any secret spots you want to share?

Why I love where I live.

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Thompson’s Beach at Sunset. So nice to have a little walk after work and take in the fresh, salty air.

 

The one thing that often surprises me is when you meet people ( even some as close as from the North side of Brisbane) and they ask you where you are from and you say Victoria Point,  and so many of them often ask you “Where’s that?”

It’s amazing how many of us don’t seem to explore much further than our own backyards anymore and I am not really sure why.  Maybe, we are all just too busy or too tired nowadays to take the once very gentle act of a Sunday drive to a new area to just have a look around, maybe grab a bite to eat somewhere different, maybe take a picnic and laze under a tree somewhere we just have never been before. (Or maybe it’s the cost of fuel at the moment:)…

 

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Lovely, shady Cotton trees at Thompson’s Beach

We live in close proximity to Thompson’s Beach, a pretty little spot with a large shady park ( WH Yeo Park) attached to a little beach where, when the tide is right, it’s a pretty nice place for a swim or a paddle on a hot day.  We spend a lot of time down there just enjoying the view and the space and unwinding. We do gets lots of visitors on the weekends, maybe some Sunday drivers after all,  whether the tide is in or out, most people must come down just to enjoy the fresh air, shady trees, nice sandy little beach and exploring the shallows with their little ones. Everyone always seems happy there, it’s like the sand and salt water does something magical to everyone’s moods..

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Hiding amongst the Cotton Trees

WH Yeo Park has a really great little kid’s play area, quite a few covered shelters with picnic tables and chairs, an amenities block and numerous free gas barbecues sprinkled throughout the park making it an ideal place to enjoy an after work BBQ with friends and family or a weekend catchup or little party with a game of Boules perhaps.  At the moment, the beach is undergoing extensive renovations by our local Council, which will make it even nicer in a few months time,  thank you very much to our Council, with some long awaited improvements to the structure and cosmetic presentation as well. I  really can’t wait to see how it looks soon, I am sure it is going to be amazing.

So why do I love living in this part of the world? After all, it is one of the fastest growing regions in South East Queensland, and the once sleepy little districts that make up this area around our main town of Cleveland, such as Victoria Point, Redland Bay, Thornlands, Ormiston and beyond have experienced significant growth in population, housing and traffic.  It’s all got quite busy: more cars, more people, smaller blocks, more homes and units on those blocks and so on. Crime is something we now have to live with most days in our community, along with a general ‘busy-ness’ of people as they move from job to home on their daily commute to sometimes quite long distances away to their work places.

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Looking up the Beach

I know I can’t speak for everyone who lives here, we all have different reasons, and different stories. But, can I please tell you what my thoughts are and why I wake up grateful to live here each and every day? You can still walk or swim in the early morning light and be the only one on the beach sometimes most days of the week. You can still make friends with your local shop keepers and stores you frequent and they know you by name and keep your favourite things for you ‘out the back just in case they sell out’.  You can get to know your neighbours and look after each other, meet up for a bubbles or bbq or just to keep an eye out for each other, if you just take a few minutes to do so. You can make some really lovely friends just simply by smiling and saying hello on your daily walk if you really want to ( and I have: hello Jan and Deb and Charles and Bella!) . Everyone has a story, if we just choose to stop and listen sometimes.

Communities are made up of people and how people treat and respond to each other, hopefully with respect and consideration and kindness. We can all decide to fit into our community if we choose to… after all, most of us chose to want to live in this beautiful part of South East Queensland for the benefits of it being  quite a laid back little seaside place still.

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Perfect Summer Days

Most of you would know we have lived here for nearly thirty years now, and by golly, yes, we have seen so many changes.  Some of our friends, they’ve  been here even longer and they have seen even more changes, yet none of us seem to leave and if we do, we don’t go too far away. We don’t leave because we know how good we have it here, we know that the grass is not always greener on the other side, we are Redlanders through and through, salty, sandy, living the dream on the bay in a simplistic, friendly and honest way.  We welcome anyone who feels the same way to join us anytime!

 

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Cotton Tree Flowers fallen on the sand at Thompson’s Beach

 

 

 

 

Tangalooma Family Getaway

Tangalooma Family Getaway

 

Moreton Island is not unfamiliar to us. My husband used to spend a lot of time over there with his boss on their regular fishing trips ( read also drinking a lot of Moreton Coffee trips, which are a strong sweet black coffee with a nip of Bundaberg Rum added just to cool the hot coffee down apparently 🙂 )

I used to then catch the 5.30pm flyer over from the old wharf on Kingsford Smith Drive on a Friday night after work and spend the weekend with them. Give this beautiful island some time and it will get into your heart and soul like no other. We always dreamed of going back every year but life got in the way. Technically it is not located in the Redlands, it is in the Brisbane Shire, but we still have a very big soft spot for this magical place.

Fast forward a few years or more, and we were looking for somewhere a couple of years ago for a week away that was close for us, but was not Straddie, as we spend a lot of time there anyway and we do love our time over there always but a change was needed. We wanted some comfort, some places to eat out, understated and laid back, not glitzy this time ( Don’t get me wrong though, I love a little Gold Coast or Noosa laid back glitz as much as the next gold sandal wearer). But this time,  somewhere we could take the 4WD and do some exploring around the island when we wanted to, cook some of our own meals when we wanted to, have friends over to stay if they wanted to and basically just be a home away from home for us for our stay.

See, we only really get one Summer week, maybe a bit longer if we are lucky, together,  as a family each year due to work, Uni, part time work etc etc. The rest of our holidays are made up of either quick, short extra long weekends away, maybe an occasional week in Winter somewhere Wintery,  if we can all get our schedules lined up properly. I don’t want to be spending two or more of those precious days travelling for long periods of time when we can be over at Tangalooma and unpacked, wine in hand or cocktail or beer.. and on that magnificent white, sandy, crystal clear watered beach in a matter of a few hours max.

Deep Blue Apartments tick all the boxes….

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Our Apartment is on the Fourth Level this time. We have previously stayed on Level 2 in Deep Blue 19

These luxurious, fully appointed 3 or 4  bedroom apartments offer a  very welcoming home away from home with all the things you need for a very comfortable stay,  thrown in at a very reasonable rate, if you book for the seven night or longer package.

There are so many reasons we love these apartments: The view of course is the obvious one: IMG_0295Then there is the private pool for Deep Blue Guests only, the fully appointed kitchen, the lift, the private lock up garage for your 4WD, the lift access,  the proximity to the bars, restaurants, jetty, Dolphin Feeding, The Dolphin Centre, convenience shop, not to mention comfortable beds, beautiful bathrooms with spas and a surprising view if you are game from the shower ; , laundry complete with dryer, balcony complete with BBQ and bar fridge. You want for nothing really, even sun lounges are included for your balconies for those long, lazy golden hour sunset cocktails with some cheese and nibbly platters,  life all of a sudden becomes so perfect, you feel like you could just stay there in the moment for ever and ever.. and I often wish I could…

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So besides just languishing on your balcony, what else can you do at Moreton to fill in your time:

Well… first up, the closest thing you can do is head off to the Desert for a little sand tobogganing:

 

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So much fun, but take water and wear sunscreen, this is like a real desert, hot and dry and very sandy. You need a little bit of fitness to walk back up the sand hills especially in the heat, but trust me, it so worth it, and a very good way to earn that cocktail at 5pm 🙂

If you are able to take your own 4WD over then you can explore the island as you please. A word of warning though.. Moreton Island can be very dry at times and this means the tracks around the island can become very soft. It is very important you listen to the recommendations of the Park rangers and other more experienced drivers on the island if you wish to traverse it successfully and you are not experienced in soft sand driving. My husband is very experienced in sand driving and even we became a little unstuck on the Western beach trip to the Gutter Bar at Kooringal from Tangalooma on a reasonably low tide by just not paying attention to the conditions too much,  which found us quite bogged and stuck near the Big Sandhills track. We always reduce our tyre pressure to the absolute minimum and always have recovery gear with us, being Maxtrax, a winch and Snatch Strap so we were out and moving again very quickly, but if you are unprepared, the whole experience can become quite nerve wracking, or even very dangerous if you cannot recover your vehicle and get out of the rising tides quickly.

A highlight for us this time was a Glass Bottom Boat Sunset tour to the Tangalooma Wrecks. We hadn’t done this before and I can honestly say, it was worth every cent as it was truly memorable:

Stuart, our boat and tour guide, and his off sider (I am sorry I cannot remember your name), but you know who you are, with the sunburnt forehead :),  were amazing. They were so helpful and funny and knowledgeable, feeding us cheese and crackers and pouring our wine and all the while telling us funny stories, showing us around the Wrecks, and giving us an experience we all will never forget I am sure. I will have those memories for the rest of my life as they were such happy and contented times, I wish I could relive them over every day.

 

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So, this is a little look at our time away and why we love Moreton Island and Tangalooma so much.  There are still a million other reasons and so much, much more  I could tell you about, including the delicious meals we had on the island at the restaurants, the icecreams each day ..so yum), the clear water swims every day, but I think I should just leave you all with this vision of our final night when we all had final night drinks and toasted our return again in the February of 2019 if the Gods let us.  Tangalooma, we love you, keep being the gorgeous little understated self that you are, and if you get a chance to pop on over for a day or two, or even a week or two, please do, I am sure you will fall in love with this beautiful island too!

 

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Why I love the Redlands 🐚💙⚓️

Why I love the Redlands 🐚💙⚓️

The Redlands has been my home, our home, for over 30 years now.  My family has a long history with this beautiful area and I will go into more detail on that  in another post, but for now let me tell you why I feel like  I have always been a part of the Redlands and this beautiful part of Australia and why I love it so much.

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Straddie Locals, delicious and sweet and of course, the cold Savvy B! 

 

We have been coming here since I was a little girl and I have some memories, but they are fading slowly sadly. You can read my story here if you like:

https://yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au/ourredlands/stories/my-redlands-my-home-my-heritage

I wrote the above under simply redlands style, which was my original name for my blog, and I went on to win a Redlands Writers award which was quite amazing and very humbling for me.

The Redlands has been very good to us, we have owned one block of land and three homes here.  Our daughter attended school at Sheldon College from the time she was a little preppy student at four years of age, until her Graduation in Year 12 when she graduated with flying colours and she has gone on to do amazing things with her life and make lifelong friends, which we are forever grateful for.

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Thompson’s Beach, my local beach, I just love it down here! 

I cannot imagine living anywhere else. Our dream, my husband and I, is to one day have a nice big boat where we can sail away and live the dream on the water at the Whitsundays, maybe Fiji or some other South Pacific destination, but we have a long way to run before that dream becomes the reality. What I know for sure, is that we will always, always, return home to our beautiful Redlands, to our little Queenslander sitting near the beach, patiently awaiting our return, hammock on the veranda, mozzie coils burning under the tables, bbq gently cooking up some lovely local Straddie Prawns sate sticks with homemade sate sauce using Straddie honey and Kingaroy Peanuts, bay breezes caressing us with her beautiful coolness and  her sleep inducing magical ways and a million reasons to be grateful for everything that this life has given us every day. Cheers lovely people, thank you for reading.

Sandy and Salty always..kind of…

Sandy and Salty always..kind of…

I can’t really remember when my love affair with all things coastal, beachy, salty and sandy came into existence. You see, I grew up a country girl really, not a long way from the Gold Coast, but still not on the beaches very often. In fact, I was around nine or ten before I even learnt to swim properly.  We grew up riding bikes with all the other neighbourhood kids until sunset, horse riding around the hills on the farm on weekends, pulling up yabbies with meat tied to a string and stick from the various muddy waterholes and ponds around us, and never really getting up to too much mischief, as word always spread quickly through the small town grapevine if one of us was mucking up or up to something we shouldn’t be. Looking back, it’s a wonder we survived actually, unfenced creeks, deep rivers with steep banks, bush so thick we often came home covered in scratches from the lantana and other branches when we would go and explore a new part of our local ‘hood, not even worrying about the snakes we would often come across. Not to mention eating the soggy, hot luncheon and pickles sandwiches packed in the basket on the front of our bikes with a plastic bottle of nearly warm, Golden Circle Orange cordial…Miracle really 🙂

Both my parents loved the water, Mum couldn’t swim, she dog paddled, but she loved boats and being on the water with a rod in her hand. Many weekends spent down here where we now live in the Redlands were with her parents, my Grandparents and all her Brothers and Sisters( My aunts and Uncles) and their kids and there was some of the happiest memories of my life right there. My Nan and Pop had a little caravan permanently on site at the Redland Bay Caravan Park, that we would come down to any chance they got. It’s long gone now, but we used to have so much fun sleeping in the annex, mucking about in the boats, feasting on local freshly caught seafood like mud crabs, sandies, fresh fish and local fruit and veges and generally being happy with everything in our world.

 My Dad, well he was a countryman himself, but he was a good swimmer and still is.   He would encourage us out into the surf with him holding our hands,  ducking under the waves, teaching us to turn around into them and catch them and ride them into the safety of the shallow shore at full speed.   Eventually we could do this on our own, and then seeing his face out in the breakers, smiling at us and watching us turn around to see if he was watching us ride them in on our own and seeing the pride on his face when we did! 

Dad was never home much when we growing up, his work kept him interstate for many weeks and months of the year. But he always made time for a family holiday or two with Mum and us two kids ( my younger brother and myself ) throughout the year. It was usually always near a beach: Port Douglas, Tannum Sands and Great Keppel Island if we went away in Winter and Woodgate, Hervey Bay, Caloundra or Yamba were the usual places for Summer time.  We would swim, go to all the touristy places, maybe have a raspberry and lemonade at the local watering hole in the afternoons, fish and chips for dinner and I remember lots of ice cream and early nights for pretty much the whole holiday and.. no one ever complained about that either..

So it would seem, that my love affair with all things seawater probably was always in my blood anyway, not so much growing up right on the water, but always not too far from it, always thinking about it, appreciating it, teaching my own daughter about the water and the coasts and how important they are to our lives, to everyone’s lives, and that we have to look after the beaches and our seas for future generations and for the survival of our Planet and the beautiful creatures who inhabit our vast oceans. I hope the future is in good hands.. I am sure it is.

Australia Day 2018

Australia Day 2018

Well, it’s nearly the end of another fabulous Australia Day for us for 2018. It’s been a bit of a quiet one for us this year. Whilst everyone else in our world seems to be coming back from holidays and enjoying Aussie Day BBQ’s and Pavlovas, we are just about to start our foodie adventures and holidays this week so we have been busy prepping this weekend for some time away from our usual abodes. This comes about because we now have one daughter who is not back at Uni until the end of February, a husband who takes February off over January due to cheaper holiday rates ( aka cheapskate) 🙂 but I love him still anyway (actually the truth be known is that there are other workers where he works who have little ones that can only take school time off so in all fairness, they can have January!) And me, well for now I am officially unemployed for a little while, and so I have this almost luxurious amount of time where I can write and write and write and get my words out when I need to. Yep, life is good.

We head back over to Moreton Island, to Tangalooma, this time next week. Actually this time next week, if the Gods are kind, I shall be sitting on the veranda of our luxurious apartment, cocktail in hand, pondering room service for dinner.

The reality will be: is that it will be the first weekend of one of Queensland’s hottest months generally, being February, so a thunderstorm will be on the cards, we will all be hot and tired from the packing of the car, getting up early, making sure everything is right at home for eight days, the barge trip over, the Middle Road experience ( always so much fun…not!!!) , checking in, unpacking the car, unpacking the suitcases, getting something organised for dinner, mozzies, heat, sweat, is my wine cold yet hun, what, you took it out to fit the beer in??? who does that to their wife??….. GAHHHHHHH!!!!! But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.. Eight whole nights to spend on a beautiful sub tropical paradise of an island right on our doorstep, with the ones I love and who love me right back, waking up each morning to the gentle sound of the water rolling in at the beach right in front of us from our own bed, the coolness of early mornings and coffees on the verandas, the silence, the preciousness of those first few hours of quiet and beauty, of wonder and gratefulness.. Yep, nah, we are pretty lucky.. yep, wouldn’t have it any other way!

Enjoy your Australia Day 2018 beautiful people.