Friday, November 21, 2014

To Europe and home again - October 2014

As many of you know from my Instagram feed we have just returned from the most amazing trip to Europe!
We spent 4 weeks travelling with our dearest buddies... covering (if my Maths is right) 10 countries and 19 cities/towns...we took 8 flights.....4 train trips and stayed in 6 Motels and a cruise ship.

Our itinerary was massive....and the planning that went into it was of a grand scale...almost entirely sorted by my dearest...and most organised friend Donna.

We also have the most incredible travel agent who painstakingly pulls all the details together to make it seamless... transfers from all the difficult airports..motels with wi-fi and that are close to the action...'skip the line' tickets for major attractions...all trains...planes and buses...all booked with plenty of transit time. We cant thank Peter from Sunstate Travel Bundaberg enough...nor can the thanks to Ron and Donna our best mates who liaise with Peter and take care of all the immediate pre-trip tasks ever be enough.

So our itinerary looked like this -
Adelaide - Brisbane
Brisbane to Dubai (via Singapore)
Dubai - Barcelona (Spain)
Barcelona - Regal Princess Cruise ship
Toulon (France)
Pisa / Florence (Italy)
Rome (Italy)
Naples (Italy)
Cruise past Gallipoli
Istanbul (Turkey)
Kusadesi (Turkey)
Athens (Greece)
Venice (Italy)
Off the ship - train to Lucerne (via Milan)
Mt Pilatus (Switzerland)
Munich (Germany)
Dachau (Germany)
Bath / Salisbury / Stonehenge (U.K)
Paris (France)
Somme Battlefields (France)
Brisbane - Adelaide - Home

30 days of action packed sightseeing and memory making!
We all arrived home tired but exhilarated by what we had experienced...and with the realisation that there is just so much MORE we want to see...our talks and dreams of where to go next have already started.

The details of this trip are just too huge for one stay tuned as I wade my way through the photos..and details...and bring to life each of the places we visited one by one.
Thank you to everyone for their beautiful support of our trip ...especially the wonderful comments received on IG.... it was a relief to know I didnt bore the pants off everyone with my daily barrage of photos into the photostream.

Stay tuned... Mardi xx

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jarrads 21st

Saturday night we celebrated Jarrads 21st Birthday... 
and yes... it themed .. super heroes and villains!

What an awesome night.
Jarrad and Briony and his family hosted a really fabulous night...with delicious food 
and a big gathering of family and friends.
The Joker and Cruella De Ville made an appearance...

The Joker was a bit of a creep... but Bells didn't mind.
Brooke wasn't keen initially...and Brayden wouldn't go anywhere near him.

So that's it for our little family of 3 turned 6 kids... all the 21st are done and dusted.
Thankfully we have lots of nephews and nieces many more 21sts are ahead.

Monday, November 17, 2014

My dear Grandma Lorna...

I still remember the day in Athens a few weeks ago when I heard the news that Grandma had fallen and broken her hip. I was so sad that day.. 
being on the other side of the world just seemed so far away.

It was such a relief to arrive home and be able to visit her one last time... to talk to her... hold her hand..and kiss her goodbye.

Sadly Grandma Lorna passed away on 7th November 2014 at the age of  95

What lucky grandkids we were....
Grandma was always so proud of us all..
She took interest in everything we did...
and loved us all ... all 6 grandchildren... 15 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren.
I have such fond memories of school holidays spent with her.

I loved that ... 
she taught me to knit...
let me stay up late..
had biscuit and cake tins full... particularly the pink iced honey biscuits..
let me have yoyo biscuits and a cup of tea for breakfast...
had a rambling garden full of vegetables and fruit to pick..
and the best mulberry tree to climb..
let us light fires and chop wood..
had a wardrobe on the verandah full of  dress up clothes...
took us to lawn bowls when she played and filled us up on soft drinks and afternoon tea...
would buy us a treat at the 'paper shop'...
packed the thermos and sandwiches and headed off to the local football every weekend..
kept us warm in winter with an endless supply of handknitted jumpers...
always had a cockatoo
had the biggest pile of phantom comics Id ever seen..
had a magnifying mirror on a stand that I loved..
had the deepest bath..
fascinated me with her ringer washing machine and blueo in the water...

I also loved that as time ticked on and I grew up and had kids of my own..
the "Holiday with Grandma Lorna" tradition was carried on by Brent.
He loved her...and she loved him...
They were both night owls ..happy to sleep in the next day...
She would let him chop firewood and wield the axe on the weeds..
she would also happily allow him to climb the ladder and clean the gutters on the roof..
she would cook his favourite foods..
and enabled his massive collection of plastic army men..
she took him along to bowls...
and to the footy..
and to the paper shop...
just as she had done with all of us in years gone by.
I cant help thinking how lucky they were...what a relationship to share with your great Grandmother.

(School days)

(Grandma on the left)

(with Dad)

(Grandma in the centre - with her family)

(wash day)

(With Grandpa Pete and Dad )

I feel happy knowing that Grandma and Grandpa are back together again after 35 years.. 
even though we sure are going to miss you here on earth..
love you Grandma Lorna..

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Normal blogging resumes...

Shooooo ...crickets!
I have been gone that long the chirping crickets had moved in.

It seems so much has happened in the last couple of months...its been a whirlwind... so many highs and some stressful lows...

Lets begin the catch up with a peak at our September....

1. Snapped this shot of the river on Night Shift...loved the light on the water.
2. Love that Dad Winen keeps us in fresh caught fish.
3. Began working on a patchwork doona cover
4. Just me and my Buddy -
(So proud of Alex for studying and doing placement..its tough when kids are small.)
5. Booga and Bray are at Nans again today - yep...Booka is in a hat agaaaaaaaain.
6. Mitch and Meg farewelled their home in Renmark and moved back in with us... just until the house they BOUGHT is vacant in a few months... so exciting.
7. Love visiting Brent and Alexs.. they have and a goat.
8. Holiday preparations begin.
9. Bella starts organising her birthday party with school friends... not what Mummy had planned..awkward.
10. My new coat from Witchery arrived...I'm set for holidays.
11.  "Arting" at Nans
12. Training day at work
13. Placemat drawings at Cobby...Bella will draw anywhere...anytime..
14. Bella and Cannonball
15. Briony asks Bella to assist with a Uni Maths assignment...Bella is happy to assist means biscuits and ovaltine at Nans.
16. I love that the vines have begun their overhead watering...hardly anyone does this these days..but a few still do and I love the sound and smell of it.
17. Met up with Charmaine for coffee and a chat.
18. Had a new do
19. Brent developed cellulitis and blood poisoning from a scratch and was admitted to hospital.
(Very frightening watching his temperature soar and his arm swell)
20. Girls visiting Daddy... he is still very unwell. (Alex spends her birthday with Brent in hospital)
21. The temperature is down.... but his arm is more red and more swollen.
22. The antics of Mitty and Meg living with us... I LOVE having them back...secretly don't want them to leave....bwahahah
23. Working...earning dollars...holidays are coming..yay
24. Last minute Memory Planner catch up
25. This little chicken :Bella: turns 6 today.
26. Oh no!! ! I have the dreaded lurgy... insert really sad and whiny face.
27. I should be packing for holidays but my room looks like this... I cant think...I don't know what to pack...I feel sick... I cant do it!! (Meggy has her birthday)
28. Briony tells me to suck it up...and helps me pack and plan some outfits.
29. Lego time with the girls
30. We are packed... holidays are here... Brent is on the mend...Mitch and Meg are manning the fort at home...Briony is back from Adelaide on Uni placement at all is right with the world... all I need to do is shake this lurgy and enjoy the trip.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


I am a little behind the 8 ball here after being away on holidays for a month.
We had the most amazing time in Europe and I took  squillion photos which will no doubt be popping up on layouts in weeks to come.

While I was away.... SO much happened at Jot Magazine too..
Like the new Design Team call (eeeek...I just noticed the finalists..woah!)

 This one is gorgeous and earthy and I particularly loved that it had feathers because 
I had been longing to show off this beautiful hand carved feather stamp that I have. It was hand crafted by Loolabelle and is a much loved gift. (Thanks so much Louise) is your inspiration...

...and my version.. "The Box"

This mood board is open until the 18th November...all the details including the prize sponsor can be found (HERE)
We would love you to join in..
Mardi x

Friday, September 26, 2014


One of the unexpected joys of being a part of the Jot Team
is the opportunity to scrap some topics and subjects I may not have otherwise.
Each issue Kim presents us with a list of galleries that will be featured...its up to us to "put our hand up" if would like to contribute.

Some of my most favourite stories have been told this way.... often my layouts have become more about the 'subject'... than the photo or product...and I really like that.

The latest issue.... which if you haven't already can be found in this 'post here' .

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Argh... life has been CRAY-ZEE!
Luckily though.. I chose to use a Heidi Swapp Memory Planner to record my year.
Its so easy and doable..
it only takes an afternoon to print off some photos and jot in the details..
Here is our August... I kept it simple.. and just got those memories down.

... and now its time to think about September!