Big Pineapple: Luca’s first train ride

Recently Luca has been obsessed with trains, or in Luca language, Toot Toots.

He has a Thomas train that he got from a show bag last year, and he loves it. That train has been a lot of places. And occasionally we’ll watch an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine on Netflix. Speaking of which, did you know they’ve changed the theme song? I was devastated, the original was such a classic!!!

After watching him play with Thomas yet again, this week I randomly decided I wanted to take him on a train. Not just any train, a proper train train. Not just our metal cage commuter trains. Ideally it would have been the beautiful Mary Valley Rattler, which I have never been on but would love to one day (bucket list).  [...]  read more

Monster weekend – pizza nights and zoo visits (video)

We’ve had a huge weekend, and there’s some very weary heads around the house.

From the moment I woke up on Saturday it was GO GO GO. We had a pizza night planned for Saturday night, so my job during the day was to occupy my son to keep him out of my husband’s hair while he prepared all the pizzas. My son and I went to his Saturday morning sports playgroup, then to the aquarium afterwards. By the time we got home at 11.30 he was out HARD. He ended up sleeping for 4 hours – that never happens. I had to wake him up at 3.30 so that he would have time to have (a very late) lunch before everyone started arriving for the pizza night. [...]  read more

The PSER game: Petrol Station Efficiency Rating

Have you ever sat at a petrol station, growing increasingly frustrated at the person in front of you taking their sweet ass time? You know, the person who took forever to get out of their car, then forgot to open the flap, and after finally filling up had to go back to their car to get their wallet. After they’ve paid and returned to their car they sit in there for what feels like an eternity, before finally driving away. In the meantime all the other queues have moved about 5 times?

I hate that.

So one day I invented a game to keep myself occupied. A game that I could passive aggressively hate on the person in front. It’s called the PSER game (prounounced pisser), or the Petrol Station Efficiency Rating.

The PSER game is a way of scoring the person in the car in front of you based on how fast or slow they complete their transaction at the petrol station.

The points for each action range in scale based on how amazing or how painful it was. For example, that person that goes back inside their car to get their wallet (Kat, I’m looking at you) will get deducted 2 points for something easily avoidable. There are special situations of course, for example mothers or people with injuries/disabilities.

Years ago I told my friends about it, and they’ve been playing the game ever since. We tell each other stories, and new scenarios where points hadn’t previously been accounted for. The list grew.

So now it’s your turn.

I’ve finally written the blog post about it. I want you all to join in the game and play with us. Tell us about those annoying or amazing people. Let’s see who can get the highest score, and the worst, and who can top their own personal best? Are you honest about your own score?

If you have extra scenarios that deserve a points bonus or deduction let me know, and I’ll keep the list updated accordingly.

Points Deducted

-1 point

  • Taking too long to get out of the car
  • Not remembering to open up the fuel cap cover and having to go back to reopen it
  • Leaving wallet in the car
  • Buying items from inside (sometimes necessary, but annoying all the same)
  • Talking on their phones
  • Washing the windscreen while people wait (seriously, move the car out of the lane so people can fill up, then come and collect the squeegee to use)
  • Filling up an additional item e.g. jerry can
  •  [...]  read more

    An afternoon of massages and dukkah

    Our day at Iketan Spa in Noosa

    One of my 52’s this year was to get a massage, because who needs an excuse, right? As a bonus, last year my work all chipped and bought us an amazing wedding gift –  an afternoon at Iketan Day Spa in Noosa. It’s been a bit of a crazy start to the year, which meant we hadn’t had a good opportunity to use it.

    I finally chose a random weekend we had spare, called and booked it. Later, I realised I had booked it the day after our monthly anniversary date, so I pretended it was intentional.

    What an amazing day it turned out to be.

    The grounds

    As soon as we parked the car we realised we were somewhere special. There are trees and foliage everywhere, and a wooden gate at the entrance. On the left is a “Shhh….quiet zone” sign, reminding us there were treatments underway. They are very serious on their peace and tranquillity here, and there were a lot of reminders to switch our phones off.

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    As we made our way down the track we passed various statues as a nod to the Balinese theme. They’ve done a great job of making it feel like a sanctuary! There are little huts scattered around, with more in progress as there was a great deal of cleared area ready for the additional huts to be built.

    They also have a main area with scattered bean bags, lounges and tables and chairs. After you have a massage, they encourage you to relax and enjoy some tea or a champagne along with a platter of food. We didn’t realise, but our gift included a platter for two and a drink, lucky us! Unfortunately being pregnant I wasn’t going to be able to have a champagne, but they organised a pot of tea for me instead. We chose a platter from the menu so it would be ready for us, then it was time for our treatment.

    The massages

    Thankfully they had been able to swap my massage for a pregnancy massage, while Mario enjoyed the original one. We were going to be treated to a 45min massage each, finished off with a 15min facial.

    After they had quizzed us on any particular areas they should focus on, they handed us our special undies. See-through, mesh undies. After they left the room to give us privacy and we had to change, I have to admit I laughed pretty hard at looking at Mario! His baby-making equipment was pretty crammed in! I’m not sure how comfortable it was for him, but I enjoyed the belly laughs!

    We climbed onto our respective beds and got comfortable. I was curious to see what would happen with a pregnancy massage, but essentially it just meant that I laid on my side. Given it was a relaxation massage and not a sports massage, she wasn’t going to be pressing hard so the positioning wasn’t as important. I had a towel under my belly and a pillow between my knees so that I was fully supported and comfortable.

    The massage was amazing!

    We also had another hilarious moment where during the facial (I had to lay on my back for that bit), bubba chose that moment to become super active! I was trying hard not to laugh, as was the masseuse! I rubbed my belly to try and calm him down but it made no difference – he was intent on having a dance party! He’s not even born yet and can’t let his Mum relax! Is that a bad sign?! *grin*

    Post-massage platter

    After the massages and once we had changed back into our clothes, we were led to the clearing area to sit down. We had chosen a platter with some bread, olive oil, olives and dukkah.

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    It was actually starting to get a little bit cool as the sun began to set. To keep us warm, the staff gave us some blankets to wrap ourselves up in. It was so nice sitting there relaxing…until some teen girls walked into the same area and started laughing and carrying on. Urgh.

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    As we sat there chatting, Mario proposed that next year we should do the same thing. And by we, he meant me. He suggested that he drop me off for a massage while he took bub out somewhere, leaving me to relax.

    I was not going to argue with that.

    I’m so grateful for amazing workmates that bought us such a wonderful gift. It was nice to get that time together, especially in the lead up to having our first baby. These moments are going to become extremely rare, and I cherished every second of it

    And hey, another 52 off the list as well!

    What a great afternoon!

    Camping at Pinbarren (our first time using Youcamp)

    Camping options for dogs on the Sunshine Coast

    Mario and I love to go camping, but unfortunately we don’t have the time to get away as often as we like.  To encourage us, I had added to my 2017 52s list to go camping with friends this year. We had tried to plan a few trips, but due to schedules it never came to fruition. Finally, we realised that based on the pregnancy we had to go soon or else the opportunity was going to pass by.

    It was recently our 6 month wedding anniversary so I decided a revision to the 52 was in order (something I’m allowing myself to do this year). Instead of going with friends  we decided that we would book ourselves a weekend away to celebrate the anniversary. Thus the 52 was modified to go somewhere new.

    Enter “Youcamp

    It couldn’t have been better timing. One of our friends had randomly shared something online about Youcamp, described as the Airbnb for camping. Essentially it’s people with properties and facilities opening up the areas for people to book into. The options range from cabins right through to open areas suitable for caravans and camping (powered and non-powered).

    My favourite part – you could find dog-friendly camping easily. That has been the bane of my existence for a long time. It’s hard to find anywhere we can take our dog with us!

    After we found a suitable location, booking was an easy process. Later it would turn out the owners of the property we had selected were amazing, and spoiled us with a fruit basket with fruits from their property!

    Arriving at Pinbarren

    We stayed at Rainforest Edge, just near Pomona on the Sunshine Coast. We had originally booked for Friday to Sunday, hoping to get away from work early on the Friday afternoon. Unfortunately I had a meeting that I’d forgotten about that couldn’t be rescheduled, so I wasn’t able to get away from the coast until 6.30’ish. Mario had already left after he finished work earlier in the day, so by the time I arrived he had everything all set up ready to go. It was 4wd only to the campsite, but I left my car at the carpark at the top of the mountain. He collected me and we drove down to the camp site.

    We were right by a little creek, although it hadn’t been raining much so it wasn’t running (a little further down there were waterfalls though). Over the next few nights we would see possums and even a little bush rat that had made a nest in the base of a tree! Mario also found a yabby hanging out in one of the water holes. Admittedly we were a bit spooked because we had heard of wild dogs being in the area, but they never surfaced. Needless to say we made sure we kept our dog, Missy, close by us at all times just in case.

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    Rainforest Retreat

    During the days we spent the time wandering around the property, which is normally completely booked out. All of the spots were great! Some are larger in area, perfect for bigger groups (one even included logs set by the fire pit). Ours was the smallest, but perfect for us. All we had was the swag with our gazebo – there was no need to pack anything more for only two nights away.

    There were plenty of waterfalls and water holes around the property. Missy loves to swim (funny since she hates the hose and baths), and sure enough wherever there was water she was in it. We didn’t end up climbing up to the largest waterfall, as it was climbing over large rocks and boulders. Given I’m pregnant, I really didn’t think it was wise should I have a fall.

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    The weather wasn’t our friend – sort of

    We’ve had some bad experiences with the weather where we’ve lost tents and gazebos before. After that, we bought our swag and haven’t looked back – it’s been amazing. Low to the ground, handles the wind, and so incredibly warm. It’s a king size, so the both of fit in easily. Our dog normally just curls up at our feet (it’s luxury to her since normally she sleeps outside at home). She enjoyed it so much that she snored!

    Temperature wise it was a pretty good weekend. It wasn’t too cold and wasn’t hot – perfect to sit by the fire each night. I’ve been loving toasted sandwiches while pregnant, so decided we would buy ourselves the camp jaffle iron. We still have a bit to go in mastering it – we had charcoal sandwiches to eat this time (the insides were still good though).

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    On the second night the skies opened and it began to rain. I’m a huge sucker for the sound of rain, and had a great sleep because of it. The following morning it was time for us to go home, and thankfully we were able to back up the truck to the gazebo. That meant we were able to pack in everything easily without getting wet. All we had left was the gazebo to pack up, and luckily it had reduced to a bit of a drizzle by then.

    Definitely using Youcamp again

    In the end we had an awesome weekend away! The property was great and it was amazing to find somewhere new so close to home. I’m excited to try it out again, although given the circumstances it might be a while – at least after the baby. Maybe if we stay in a cabin so I have a bed to climb into? No idea when I’m meant to find it difficult to start getting up and down off the ground.

    Once the child is born we’ll have to upgrade our equipment again no doubt, since it will start to become a bit cramped. We’ll be keeping the swag though – I’m sure opportunities will present itself to use it. In fact, Mario just wandered in and mentioned he’d love to roll it out so he could sleep with Missy at his feet tonight!

    But I digress.

    Knowing that we have so many options close by to go camping is exciting. When we factor in the cabin options it doesn’t even matter if you don’t own equipment.

    Where we stayed the owners were amazing, and I’d love to visit there again with friends.

    If you’re looking for somewhere to stay I definitely recommend giving Youcamp a go. And if you do, I’d love to hear your experience!

    Photo Gallery

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