Sofies on tour: Japan Day 1 (Gold Coast to Narita)

Hello from Japan!! We made it!! Konichiwa!

I had been dreading the first day of our holiday, purely because it meant 9 hours on a plane containing a toddler. Now that we’re here I’m sure the rest is going to be smooth sailing, or at least I hope so. We can go with the flow a lot more when we’re not packed in like sardines.

Luca didn’t sleep on the plane, but on the whole he was pretty awesome. We used the ipad a lot, but I’m glad to see he used almost all of the other activities I’d packed for him as well. He was very entertained for the entire flight. [...]  read more

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!