I remember sitting in my father in laws drive way back in 2012. It was our second trip for the year and we didn’t know how much time we had left with Luigi’s father.  It was raining, Violet was almost naked and running up and down the drive way followed by the other two girls on their scooters. The rain felt amazing on my skin and I remember saying to myself this is what living in the territory is all about, this is what I want for my children.

A months later Luigi’s father passed away, we packed up all of his things and carted some of the more memorable things back to Queensland. We felt a longing for home that lingered, not wanting to go away and within a few months we found ourselves relocating to the territory.

Today I watched the kids playing in the rain and was taken back to that moment. This is why we live here, this is what its all about. Our kids are living the dream.

andreoli family
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Test

by Danielle on December 14, 2014

in Uncategorized

School is officially out and what a relief. We are now eagerl

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Not coping

by Danielle on December 1, 2014

in family life, Uncategorized

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I think it’s pretty safe to say I’m not coping right now. It’s the end of the year and on top of all of the crazy end of year concerts, parties and get togethers Abigail is just at a really horrid age and seems to be breaking my brain bit by bit as the days wear on.

Everyday we leave the house simply because it keeps us sane. Each day my kids are fed, entertained and Abigail very rarely misses a nap because she just can not survive without it. But each day I feel like what I’m doing is not enough.

Abigail has been very difficult the last few months with constant mood swings, fussy eating and fighting everyone and everything that crosses her path. Some days she will crawl out of bed, check everybody out in the dinning room and then run back to bed. Life is obviously too hard to deal with before 9am. I feel her pain I’d much rather be in bed too.

I know these tough time comes and go. We have been here before but in someways we haven’t. Abigail is not like the other girls, she brings her own brand of crazy to the table.

I’ve always been a big believer in positive energy and having a positive attitude. I’ve always believe that our children only reflect what they see in us and I admit that a lot of this is my doing because ultimately I feel I’m not that cool, calm and relaxed parent anymore. These days I’d describe myself as a stressed out fuss ball with her head in a spin who never has enough hours in the day.

Right now. Life does not feel fun, in fact it just plain sucks but all we can do is embrace it, continue to live in the moment and hope the sunrise is just around the corner.

 

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Sunday Session

by Danielle on October 19, 2014

in darwin, family life

The weather has been disgusting lately but we had this crazy idea this morning that we should take the kids out on the boat, you know instead of having it just sit in the backyard for a change we would get out there and create some of those good old family memories. A fantastic idea in theory. Abigail is at that really horrible stage right now where she just doesn’t want to sit still and wants to have her hands in absolutely everything she possibly can. Why do we always forget this?

The kids caught a few fish and Abigail went on to whinge for 40% of the time, raid the esky 40% of the time and then finally found a bit of calm and a few smiles for the last part of our adventure and whinging aside it was still a fantastic adventure and a much better alternative then sitting on the couch watching tv. Perhaps next time Luigi can take the kids on an adventure and I’ll stay home with Abigail and watch her trash the house.

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Travel: Bali

by Danielle on October 12, 2014

in travel, Uncategorized

At the start of the holidays my parents rang and said they were coming to town and they wanted to take the kids for a few days and have a little staycation in the city and give us some breathing time. Awesome right. Well not really, you see the more I thought about it the more I thought to myself what am I suppose to do with myself for five whole days? While the idea of relaxation was lovely hubby would be on his week off at the same time and I knew the reality of the situation would more then likely be renovating and cleaning the house. I planted the seed that we should go away to hubby, you know really make the most his time off because that is whats its there for and he agreed, most likely so he wouldn’t have to list to be whinge for five whole days.

I had a yes from hubby and I had decided on Bali as it is just a 2.5 hour flight but being the super smart person I am I decided to torture myself about the idea of running away for the next 24hrs just to make sure it was something I really wanted to do. Hubby put it in the want vs need category and compared it to a tv. Newsflash: Running away to experience life is not like buying a stupid tv that just sits on the wall.

It was 1pm, hubby would be from his last day at work at 3 and my parents had arrived. I was packing the kids bags to drop them off when I had a moment of clarity insane madness, I opened up my laptop and booked the flights to bali. I then jumped online and booked a few nights accommodation and all that was left was to drop off the kids.
Darwin A city escape for the kids.

We were on the red eye flight leaving at 10:50pm and arriving at 12:05am. These things always seem like a brilliant idea until you get to the airport and you hit a wall. Luckily we had no delays and the plane landed 20 minutes early in bali, hooray!! Walking through the doors in Denpasar we ran smack bang into about a million other travellers and we quickly released our luck had just run out. I kept my eyes peeled but couldn’t see anybody working the short cut so we had no choice but to stick it out in the line. 3hrs later we had cleared the airport and were heading for our hotel. We were greeted by the lovely staff at Aliya home stay & kitchen who kindly showed us to our room and took our breakfast order for the morning.

aliya home stay and kitchen
We collapsed into bed until well after 10 until we made a grand effort to wander down stairs to the lower deck just in time for breakfast. Isn’t this a view worth getting out of bed for. I have to tell you a secret. I had the same thing for breakfast everyday with my eggs done a different way because it was just so delicious and I have no idea what that yellow jammy stuff was but that was delicious too! Hubby switched his breakfasts around a bit so we got to sample pretty much all of the menu while we were there and I seriously have no complaints. Ok maybe one, how on earth are two people suppose to share that tiny speck of butter? Perhaps I’d suggest adding a few more for the butter indulgent fatties like us.
Aliya home stay & kitchen bali
Ailya home stay and kitchen bali
Despite how fast our trip may have been I knew I didn’t want to take a lot of clothes. I issued myself a challenge on and only brought one bag. Well I’m not you can even call it a bag, it’s more of a tote but it is pretty roomy. I planned out all of my outfits and had one outfit per day plus two outfits I could wear to dinner if we wanted to dress up a bit. It all fit in perfectly and I even had a little room left over for shopping.
Aliya home stay and kitchen
Matching outfits were not part of the plan but we rocked it anyway. If it makes it any better, I got dressed first.
Blue Fin sushi bali
The picture above is from Bluefin Japanese in Kuta and I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not cheap, it’s actually just like prices eating in Australia but damn it’s GOOD. This was my second trip and I was not disappointed. They also have fantastic wifi which is a huge selling point when picking spots for lunch in bali.

This trip was all about sleep, relaxation and whole lot of food and that is pretty much the extent of our trip. We were tempted a few times to drift a little further out of our comfort zone but the truth is we kept a pretty tight circle on the kuta/seminyak/umalas region while I showed hubby a few of my favourite places to eat and explore.
The Aliya Salon & Day Spa was just down the street and an easy distance to walk but it was even more fun when the boys dropped us down there on scooters. In total we racked up six massages, two manicures, one pedicure and one fish sucking experience and you know what..I could have gone back for more. Who is this person I’ve turned into. Oh the benefits of having so many wonderful beauty options all over Bali.
Aliya home stay and kitchen bali

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Each afternoon we would roll ourselves out of a cab and change into our swim wear to laze by the pool for a few hours and enjoy the silence. We woke up late, wandered from place to place during the day and then went out late for dinner. It was pure magic and something we hadn’t been able to do for a very long time. In fact our last overseas trip was 10+ years ago to Mauritus. We slipped back into the care free lifestyle pretty easily and really enjoyed kid free time, perhaps a little too much.

Aliya was beyond perfect for us to stay. Just five minutes from Seminyak and getting a taxi was really easy. One of the biggest things about going to Bali is people always seem to have a schedule jam packed with events and don’t get to spend any time where they are actually staying. My biggest goal was to stop and enjoy our surroundings and really get a big chunk of down time as well as value for money. It’s the low season in Bali right now so four nights at Aliya ended up costing us $250 and that was with a few extra room charges thrown in too.  If thats not value for money then I’m not sure what is.
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On our last night in Bali the stars aligned and we managed to catch up with some friends who had just flown in that afternoon. We had a 1am flight so drinks were in order followed by man laughs. It had been 9 years since we had caught up so it was such a fantastic way to end our trip. These photos are a little fuzzy but thats ok because that is exactly how my head felt, they sure do make the drinks strong in Bali.
Aliya home stay and kitchenaliya home stay and kitchenthe stones bali

My hot tips for Bali:

Eat:  Loosely plan out where you want to spend you days/night and definitely book in for dinner.

Stress free taxi rides: Before you go find out the address of places you want to go and snap shot it on your phone, maps are even more awesome, just because you tell the taxi driver what area chances are he is going to wing it the whole way.  It’s also wise to jump in a blue bird taxi, if the metre isn’t running negotiate a price with the drive before you put your bum on the seat. Be prepared to walk away if it’s too high and you know what it should cost.

Markets: Check out the forums before you leave home and know what you are buying and what its worth. You don’t want to end up buying a singlet for 1,000,000 when the lady next door is paying 500,000.

Entry and Exit: It will cost you $35US to enter the country and $20AUS to leave. Making sure you have all your paper work ready before you get to the desk at each check point makes everything so much easier.

Don’t buy the wine: Wine is crazy expensive in Bali so if your really keen on a few glasses it might be worth buying some at duty free and bringing it in. A bin tang will set you back about $2.50 and an apple cider anywhere up to $6-8

Aliya: Leave the kids at home or book into somewhere with a kids club. This place is all about the serenity and we all know kids + serenity do not mix ;)

AND the biggest tip of all. DON’T LEAVE YOUR CAMERA BEHIND ON THE KITCHEN BENCH. Even if deep down you really know it was probably a good idea {for this trip}.

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Dad’s day out

by Danielle on September 7, 2014

in darwin, family life, travel

We were suppose to go fishing today but Luigi was injured himself last night playing league and I thought it best to avoid the waves and the heat so with a little help from google and a quick phone call I booked us on the jumping crocodile cruise. I remember going as a kid and it’s been on our bucket list for a while so what better way to spend the afternoon then sharing one of my childhood favourites with the kids. The kids had a ball and we all left feeling a little exhausted after keeping an eye on Abigail and well and truly ready for a nap. The build up is certainly on the way and I was very grateful for the air-conditioned boat with an outside temperature of 38.

If we were ever to do it again we would aim for the morning cruise, We choose to take the 1pm cruise because it fit in with Abigail’s nap time but a lot of the crocodiles weren’t very hungry by then and were just teasing. All in all it was a great afternoon and we came home with all of our childen {minus Violet because she is on holidays with my mother in law}

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