Tag: Travel

Review: The Woods Farm – Farm Stay in the beautiful Jervis Bay

Review: The Woods Farm – Farm Stay in the beautiful Jervis Bay

With my upcoming 30th I knew I wanted to plan a little family getaway. Somewhere we could relax but wasn’t too far from Sydney. We had been to Jervis Bay a number of times and loved the laid back lifestyle, beautiful beaches and friendly locals so when a friend had recommended The Woods Farm I decided to look into it.

The Woods Farm is described as Luxury Farm Accommodation. Their cabins are self contained and all have three bedrooms, air con, premium foxtel and more. There is also daily animal feeding, yoga classes, a country pool, free bike hire and a park for Rosie to play. This place really sounded and looked like the perfect place for us to visit as a family. So we booked up to stay for 3 nights.

Upon booking you can choose from a selection of their 8 individually styled and themed houses. The Flowerhouse instantly appealed to me as it had a pink door. And well….we all know I love PINK. So it was a no-brainer for me.

The day had came for us to travel down from Sydney, With a little pit stop it took us around 3 hours and as we arrived the heavens opened. It started absolutely torrential raining but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits. We had been texted a code to simply enter into the door of our house when we arrived so there was no long check in process and we could get settled instantly.

The house really did not disappoint. It was styled to perfection. So quirky yet luxurious. I knew we were in for a fabulous few days. The rain soon cleared up, the kids went to bed and Robert decided to get the firepit going. We sat rugged up next to the fire, enjoying each others company whilst sharing a bottle of Red. The perfect end to my 20’s.

Our nights were so restful, The beds were SO comfortable and there was minimal fuss from our two girls. They clearly liked their surroundings too. Winning! The first morning i woke to a house filled with balloons as it was my birthday. Hello 30! I should also add, when we arrived there was a box of goodies waiting for me from the lovely management. Such a nice touch!

The rain cleared up and the sun was shining for the majority of our stay, there was kangaroos outside our window every morning and the grounds were stunning. There really is something about being in nature that is good for the soul. We went to the daily feedings of the animals every morning at 9am and what an experience it was! Rosie absolutely loved each and every animal and ensured they all got fed equally, bless her. The Goats were oh so cheeky with the two smaller Goats jumping up at us to get our attention and food pellets. They quickly became Rosie’s favourite. We enjoyed fresh eggs from the chicken coop for breakfast each day followed by a play in the park for Rosie.

Lunch times would roll around and we noted that there was a wood fired pizza oven in the herb garden. Robert was keen to give this a go so we made Pizza dough from scratch and started our oven. It was such a fun activity to do with our toddler Rosie, She loved helping us knead the dough and add the toppings. We did this twice as we loved it so much the first time. It was a little cold for us to use the pool but in summer this would be perfect for an afternoon dip.

Jervis bay itself is such a beautiful area. The beaches are just so stunning and the national parks are so fun to explore. One afternoon we explored Booderee National Park and stopped at some wonderful beach spots. Little miss Rosie, ever the explorer was splashing in puddles and fell right in, cutting our time there short as of course, I forgot to pack spare clothes.

With so much to do, see and explore in the local area, it really is the perfect spot for families.

We were approaching the end of our trip and I was so not ready for our little holiday to end so we decided to stay another night as they had some availability and they were so accommodating.

Our days were filled with enjoying each others company as a family without the need to be anywhere. The beauty and relaxed nature of the The Woods Farm really did give us such a break from the hustle and bustle of Sydney.

I would recommend this farm stay to all and since returning have raved about it! It really does have it all and we can’t wait to go back! Have a browse through my photos to see just how gorgeous this place is! They also do weddings and events and honestly i now want to get married here. Just got to get a ring first haha. They even have Glamping tents that look so cool. So if you’re looking for a getaway not too far from Sydney either as a couple, with family or friends then look no further as this place is just plain fabulous.

Hit me up with any questions you may have as I’m always happy to answer! This isn’t sponsored at all just wanted to share with you all how much of fun time we had.

Happy Holidaying.

Danielle Lauren

xoxo

Our first time travelling with a baby and all the tips we learnt along the way

Our first time travelling with a baby and all the tips we learnt along the way

After we booked our recent trip to the UK I instantly started to dread the super long haul flight. 26 hours travelling in a confined space is a long time for an adult let alone a child. Pre-baby days it was just a case of watching unlimited movies while sipping on free booze with the occasional nap. However it wasn’t like that anymore was it? Now we have an 9 month old to travel with us! My mind raced with a million different things I needed to prepare for and my anxiety level increased at how she would behave. Would her little ears hurt? Will she scream the whole time? Will she sleep? We were about to find out.

We went with a night flight so that (Fingers crossed) she would be able to sleep more or less straight away – My mind hurt too much thinking about time differences etc. and the night flight just so happened to be the cheapest so it was a done deal. We only booked this 6 weeks in advance, so it was pretty last minute. A friend told me to book bassinet seats but I was worried we wouldn’t manage to get them since it was so last minute! I rang the airline who confirmed and booked this in on each of our flights. (Phew…Pretty painless)

Then came the packing – I knew she would be totally spoilt by family and friends so didn’t actually take too much. But what about formula? Food? Could I even take those things on the plane with the whole under 100ml only regulation? WHO KNEW? After lengthy research and many FAQ pages later I found that baby formula/food is exempt from this regulation. They just may do extra screening and/or testing which is fine by me. I was super excited to use Rosie’s little matching backpack and mini suitcase. (Kmart special ladies!)

We also had so much to sort out at the other end – Car seat? Pram? Cot? I really did not want to take all of these on the plane. All the car hire company’s quoted a crazy amount extra a day just for adding a car seat so we decided to just buy one at our destination country which saved a lot of money. Our family just picked it up for us and brought it to the airport. If you don’t have family in your destination country then think about hiring the car seat for a day or two, which will give you a chance to pick a seat up. This can save A LOT of money.

Now when the day came to fly and we checked into the airport I honestly felt like a VIP. I did not look like one in my baggy, comfy pants, mum bun and big cardigan but because we had this super cute baby everything and everyone were super helpful, accommodating and just generally really nice. Which was great and everything but I felt like they knew. They knew what hell we were in for or so I thought.

Security put our baby bottles through separate screening and we were given the short queue since we had a little one in tow. Robert enjoyed a beer whilst I went shopping. (duty free come at me!) Boarding time came and again VIP treatment. We boarded ahead of first class and made way to our seats, the airline staff could not of been more professional and loved making a fuss of Rosie. We sat down, took a deep breath and started our trip.

Plane Selfie!

The number one tip I received from my experienced travel mum friends was that you should give your baby a bottle whilst taking off and landing so that their ears can equalise to the pressure. This really worked. As for the bassinet, it was pretty small and we found that every time she would get settled we would go through turbulence and the seat belt sign would be turned on which meant she had to be taken out. (Just our luck) We ended up baby wearing, using the ERGO 360 carrier. She fussed a bit at first but soon settled and we had an extension seat belt so that she was secure.

What we did notice was that she was very thirsty. She drank way more than she usually does so we were glad we packed extra bottles. Understandable really with all that dry air. Nappy changes were not as bad as I was expecting. On all flights pre-baby I have never noticed baby change on a plane – or anywhere for that matter but was pleasantly surprised with the size of the change table. Yes, it was a squeeze in those tiny toilets but us mums learn to change anywhere!

Before we knew it our trip was over and we had managed it with minimal fuss.We had landed and everyone clapped (Is that a thing now?) We had strangers commenting on how well behaved she was. (Proud mama moment) I personally think they were just glad she didn’t scream the whole trip. (Me too people, Me too)

So after 4 flights and countless time zones later my top tips are:

Bring Entertainment – Toys, Teddy bear anything that is going to keep your little one entertained

Book bassinet seats in advance – By having these seats it meant we had extra room so Rosie could sit and play in front of us and also had the option of her sleeping in the bassinet when needed. Just be sure to check weight/length requirements with your airline.

Be prepared – Delays, turbulence, Anything can happen so ensure you pack extra so you aren’t left in any awkward situations.

Take more food and milk than normal – I know all that dry air makes me Thirsty (Wine anyone?) so our little ones are bound to get super thirsty too.

Take changes of clothes for both you and your baby – I can’t stress this enough. No one wants to be covered in food or poop 30 minutes after take off. Take a few spares so when you land you don’t feel like a total grub.

Try to travel light – I know, I know I have told you to pack extra of everything BUT only of the essentials. Try and make sure you don’t fill your cases to your weight limit so that you can buy things in your destination country!

And finally – Just GO WITH THE FLOW. If you are stressed and anxious. You will find your baby will be too. And remember part of the fun is getting there.

Happy Holidays

Danielle Lauren

xoxo

Spooky ideas for you and your family to try this Halloween!

Spooky ideas for you and your family to try this Halloween!

Ok ok! I just love Halloween! The fun foods, crafty games and exciting costumes. It really is a spooktastic time of year for big kids and small!

This year i feel like i  have reallllly got into the spirit of things. It is Rosie’s first Halloween so why not go all out!

Here are some super spooky ideas for you and your family to try this Halloween.

We made these creepy Chocolate and Orange ice cream shakes finished off with squirty cream and Oreos! We used pipe cleaners and googly eyes to decorate the glasses and bought some fun Halloween straws from our local supermarket. They tasted seriously yum (i may or may not of drank both)

 

When i think of Halloween i think about PUMPKINS! We made a table of horrors finished off with our poorly pumpkins! They were super easy to carve (hats off to you super carvers) and we used all the seeds inside the pumpkins to make it look like they were being sick. Simple but effective and the kids are guaranteed to love it! Little miss Rosie sure did!

Sweets, Candy, treats and chocolate! Halloween is a time we can treat ourselves (along with Easter, Christmas, Birthdays and well…. a rough Monday) and as much as we love a healthy treat we went all out and made this SNAKES AND LADDERS sweet station!  Kids big and small will love creating something fun with sweets! We all know kids have amazingly creative imaginations and what a fun way to get into the spooky spirit!

Another easy peasy idea if you are having a Halloween party is to give out SWEET CONES. These are just piping bags filled with goodies and tied at the top with ribbon or pipe cleaners. An alternative to the usual party bags.And a craft idea for your party is to paint paper plates! This guy is too cool with his crepe paper hair do!

Did you know that YOU can win a CARNIVAL CRUISE! Carnival Cruise Line are the experts in fun! So many exciting activities on board including a Spooktastic halloween party. Each year Carnival hold huge festivities on the ship! So much fun for the whole family.
To enter go to Http://bit.ly/EscapeWithCarnival

I hope you all have a scaretastic halloween this spooky season and i hope i have inspired you to get into the spirit of things. (See what i did there….Spirit?) Hehehe

Happy Halloween

Danielle Lauren

xoxo

 

The end of Maternity leave and beginning of daycare days

The end of Maternity leave and beginning of daycare days

Oh I remember when I was pregnant and it was my last day at work before I started my maternity leave. I could not wait to begin the journey but also have a little break from the daily grind of the 9 to 5. ‘Time off work, WOOHOO’ I thought. Little did I know that Motherhood would be the hardest job of all.

I had originally planned to take 12 months off however as I’m sure a lot of you have experienced, Finances do not go as far as you would like on one wage. (Especially when there are so many cute baby clothes to buy!)

We decided that I would go back 2 days a week initially from when Rosie turned 7 months. Sooner than expected but I actually felt ready. I was excited for my mum brain to be gone and to get stuck back into it. I craved adult conversation. Mummy dates are so great and everything but I do find we talk about our bubs pretty much the whole time, which don’t get me wrong I LOVE but I also love a bit of a gossip. (Bachelor anyone?)

As the day grew closer for my first day back we put Rosie into her daycare for a trial day. Ease her into I thought. (Ease me into it more like) I was a little apprehensive but felt pretty good and confident in our choice of centre. I wasn’t emotional at all. I felt strong. I felt ready. I could do this. She would be fine. I would be fine.

I got into the lift up to the daycare and suddenly I felt a lump in my throat. My lip began to quiver. ‘I’m fine I told myself, it’s just a trial day, and I’ll be around the corner’. I could feel my eyes starting to fill. My stomach was doing flips as if I was on a rollercoaster. This feeling came from nowhere. It was so out of the blue. ‘DO NOT CRY’ I told myself. ‘DO NOT breakdown right now. DO NOT be that person’.

The centre was already filled with babies, some screaming, some happily playing (most with a lot of snot hanging out their noses, Eww). I felt this huge overwhelming wave come over me ‘Omg my maternity is over. My baby is growing, this is a HUGE step. Am I ready for this?’ Why hadn’t I thought of all this before, and mentally prepared myself? If I’m honest I think I had thought about it, but shoved it so far to the back of my brain as i didn’t WANT to think about how it would make me feel. Boy do I regret that!

The super lovely childcare staff came over (She could clearly see I was about to have a nervous breakdown) She made Rosie giggle and feel at ease with her by playing peekaboo. Rosie beamed up at her ‘AHH she is just so cute whhyyy am I leaving you’ I thought to myself.

I put her bag (Which had EVERYTHING you could imagine in it X 2) into her little locker. Took off her little coat and gave her the biggest cuddle. You could see the staff were so ready to take her and let me be on my way. But I was not ready! Just a little longer I thought. Rosie was eyeing up all the colourful toys and taking in the new surroundings. I was just taking in every inch of my little girl. I knew that as soon as I handed her to the staff I would need to evacuate this place ASAP as the tear train was rolling in at any moment.

I had a tiny moment of strength and said to myself ‘get a grip Danielle – you are ready. Rosie is ready’ and I handed her over, I waved goodbye and I left.

I managed to hold back the tears but it felt so strange leaving. ‘WHAT DO I DO NOW?’ As it was just a trial day and I didn’t start work til the following week I knew I needed to keep busy. Netflix binge? Shopping spree? The pub? ALL great possibilities.

I had forgotten how easy it was without a pram or heavy nappy bag. I started to get excited over the fact I could use escalators (Why is this exciting seriously?) Make a phone call in peace and enjoy a HOT coffee. I ended up going to the local Westfield and decided to get my hair cut. I sat there and talked all about little miss to the hairdresser the whole time. The poor lady probably wanted peace and quiet by the time she had finished. I wandered around aimlessly and I rang the daycare every hour to see how she was getting on. All positive feedback from them and she was settling in well. (Me on the other hand…not so much)

I could not wait to pick her up.

After the longest day ever I ran into that daycare, scanned the room for her (Would be pretty embarrassing if I picked up the wrong baby in my excitement!). I scooped her up into my arms and felt the biggest relief. We had both made it. We survived our first day of daycare.

The trial day certainly prepared me for going back to work and I found that after my first day back in the office, I was not obsessing over how she was doing every 5 minutes (Maybe every 10!) as I had work to do and knew she was in very capable hands and that they would contact me if there were any issues.

When the time comes for your little ones to go to daycare or nursery or even school it all of a sudden feels like your baby is no longer a baby. It makes you reminisce about them being so tiny and new to the world where you doted on them day and night. We all have individual circumstances, whether you work full or part time, are a stay at home parent or work from home. We all have to choose what is right for our families. Some decisions are easier than others and whatever stage you are at take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Somewhere there is another mum feeling just how you are.

The daycare days will get easier and it will soon be on to the next challenge but for now i look forward to watching Rosie grow as I grow and learn alongside her.

Danielle Lauren
xoxo

Milestones and magical moments

Milestones and magical moments

When you find out you are pregnant for the first time, You don’t quite realise the journey you have embarked on. From that very moment your life has changed. All of a sudden there are so many wonderful milestones to celebrate. Like getting to that 12 week mark, hearing the heartbeat for the first time, feeling those wiggles. The list goes on. But it doesn’t stop there.

Pregnancy is just the first step in these milestones. Once you have given birth to your little bundle that’s when the real fun starts. Now, I had a general idea of what to expect with my babies milestones. But what I didn’t expect was how they would make me feel.

The moment Rosie beamed her first smile up at me, The excitement, the emotions, the pure tears of joy. It made me melt. All of a sudden she was gurgling, rolling over and trying solids. Just so many firsts i couldn’t keep up. Pre-parenthood you don’t quite realise just how big these milestones are. People tell you, yes, but once you enter into that world yourself you soon find out just how magical these moments are and suddenly you are the proudest parents in the world.

Now I really wanted to document all these milestones, As a memory and something to look back on. I had this wonderful baby book which documented everything throughout my pregnancy. Appointments, names, things we had bought. It was really great and I took it everywhere. Always finding a little bit of time either on my commute to work or of an evening.

When Rosie was born I knew I wanted to do the same and document all her special moments. I found the cutest little Peter Rabbit record book and keepsake box that was perfect to hold all these memories. When it came to actually filling it in though (Seriously who has time to fill these in?) it felt like a chore. Those newborn days are a haze of constant feeding and trying to cat nap here and there that I had no interest in sitting down and filling this out. Until now.

 

I finally sat down with my coffee in hand and took the opportunity to start completing her book. Now at nearly 7 months old, there was a lot to complete. Sitting back and reflecting on the past few months was actually a really beautiful process. I found myself getting pretty teary as I went into detail about the moment we met and just how happy she has made us from then on.

These moments we share, the memories we create are up to us with what we do with them. With so many firsts yet to come it makes me look forward to the next chapters of our lives.

So enjoy the moment Mama’s, For it will soon be a memory.

Danielle Lauren xoxo

Quality family time

Quality family time

Isn’t family time just the best? I have found myself craving those weekend moments. Where we have morning cuddles in bed, make coffee and get ready at a leisurely pace as we are in no rush to go or BE anywhere. Where I can have a hot shower in peace. Where I can just sit back and watch Dad bond with little miss whilst she giggles in excitement at every silly noise he makes. Where just running errands suddenly becomes more exciting as we are all together, as a family unit. All 3 of us. Those long weekend days are just perfection.

But I mean…Life.

A normal day isn’t quite like that though is it? The 5am wake ups either from robs work alarm or well…..Rosie. And mornings are more like poo explosion stained onesie’s, crappy morning tv and literally running for the coffee. (Seriously how long does that kettle take to boil?) As for getting ready at a leisurely pace? Erm… yeah just no. It is more like “Can my pj’s pass as acceptable clothing to wear all day?”

By the time the weekend comes you are just so ready for that family togetherness. So this week Rob has had a few quiet work days. Not ideal but Yay family time! So what do we do? We road trip. We packed a picnic (And literally an extra set of everything “just in case”, you know) and we ventured to Sydney’s northern beaches. Now technically it is Winter but when the sun is shining, the beach calls. Palm trees lined the path, Surfers lined the shore and there we were sat in the middle of it all exploring the sand. In winter.

I realised just how lucky we were to live in such stunning surroundings. There is something so peaceful about being near the water. It’s where I feel my most relaxed. The sounds of the waves, the kids playing and birds fighting over food. You look around and see family’s from all walks of life enjoying that quality family time.

It had me thinking, What if I took away the picturesque backdrop and the weather what would I be left with?

My little family, That’s what.

Sometimes in life we concentrate on the day to day struggles and get caught up in life. Sometimes we need to take a moment to just step back and appreciate what we have. Whats right in front of us.

Motherhood is worth the wake up calls, the poop and the bags under the eyes. Its worth Every. Little. Moment. Sometimes it takes that quality family time to realise just how lucky we are.

Happy Exploring Mama’s

Danielle Lauren xoxo