Saturday, 31 January 2015


The stunning bride and

Well…It's official!! I'm going to be an Auntie again!!! That's right my little baby sister is pregnant! YAY!!!! And I'm going to be where????

 My little sister finally found the man of her dreams and after...(insert sigh here)... a fairytale wedding...they are finally pregnant with their first precious little bundle of joy.

  You see, my brother In Law, is a true survivor...after beating cancer, not only once, but 3 times, falling pregnant has been a roller coaster ride, the ups and downs of IVF cycle after cycle, the heartbreak, emotions and tears that it endures, ( I was also on the ride for my other sister) which was tough as I was secretly concealing baby number 4........ but finally we have a little miracle and I'm super excited…I just LOVE babies, which you may have already gathered, having 4 of my own and all! And could have easily had another one, which has been contemplated over the past years, but  I'm getting too old now and on the other side of parenting coping with teenagers, an entire different species!

My siblings and I are all very close...there are 4 of us and we all live within 3 hours of each other, I think that's possibly the reason that I wanted 4 children, to be just like my Mum and be surrounded by lots of love and sweet babies. Family is the most important thing in the world to me and I can't wait to have a little baby to love and spoil.

But, SHOCK, HORROR.... the travel agent in me, had already booked our annual overseas holidays way back in August last year, after coming across a deal, that I couldn't possibly resist.....and It's when the baby is due!!!

All I can hope for my little sister is that she is lucky enough to nurture that little baby for at least an extra 9 days past her delivery date, just as I did!

Congratulations Louise and Juddy, you are going to be AMAZING parents, and If you need a babysitter, I'm just around the

With my gorgeous

The Fairytale
Such a beautiful bridal

Thursday, 29 January 2015

10 Things You Will LOVE About The Reef View Hotel

We have just returned from an extremely relaxing 10 nights on the stunning Island of Hamilton Island. It was our first visit to Hamilton Island , part of the Whitsundays, located in the heart of the great Barrier Reef,  it is one of Australia's most spectacular and sought after holiday destinations. On Hamilton Island you'll be surrounded by pristine white beaches, and a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life. Hamilton Island is the perfect base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and world famous Whitehaven Beach, which is a MUST.

We chose to stay at The Reef View Hotel, and this is our top 10 reasons why you will LOVE it as well.

  1. THE ROOMS: The well appointed rooms are huge! We opted for a King and an interconnecting twin for the Children. The rooms are massive and all have stunning views out to the Coral Sea, when booking ask for a higher room for the most incredible view. And BONUS….the rooms are serviced daily….winning!

Our view from the balcony...

  2. DIDNT OPT FOR EARLY CHECK IN? Didn't opt for early check in? No worries. After checking in to the Hotel, make your way to the transfers and departure lounge, choose to read in the lounge, freshen up, change into your bathers, grab some beach towels and hit the beach, whilst waiting for your room.

      3.LOCATION: The Reef View, located directly from the stunning Catseye Beach is perfect.

4.ACTIVITIES: As part of your Accommodation package all guests of The Reef View Hotel have free access to Catamaran Hire, Paddle boarding hire, canoe and sea kayak hire, Beach Volley Ball and all snorkel equipment for the duration of your stay.

Lucie having a blast water walking...
5.ENTERTAINMENT: I seriously can't say that I have ever stayed at a resort that is so Family friendly. During our visit The Hotel had scheduled activities daily for resort guests, from water walking, moonlight movies each night in the gardens, nightly story time, live music by the pool, live magician shows, which was quite interesting as we noticed this guy and I said, he looks really familiar, we got chatting and he was a Melbourne based entertainer that we had hired for a corporate event 3 years ago (It's a small world!) and daily quizzes and activities. It was brilliant! The Island also has its own 10 pin bowling alley, Go Kart track and mini golf course at an additional charge.

6. POOLS: With access to 4 stunning pools to choose from within the resort, this may be the biggest decision you will make whilst on Holiday.

7.BONUS: KIDS UNDER 12 EAT FREE. From a choice of 5 beautiful restaurants, Kids under 12 eat free. Choose to dine at Sails Steak and Seafood Grill, The Pool Terrace, Wild Life Hamilton Island Koala Cafe, the newly refurbished Manta Ray, overlooking the marina and my absolute favourite Coca Chu, with a fun, fresh menu inspired by the hawker-style street food of South East Asia, Coa Chu offers a fun, relaxed vibe and a peaceful location overlooking Catseye Beach.

8. BREAKFASTS: I'm not normally much of a breakfast person, but the range of fresh food and  freshly squeezed juices offered was huge. Each morning you can choose to eat at one of 3 restaurants, all a little different and you can also eat breakfast with the Koalas, novel but fun for the younger Children.

9. HIKING: If you are a fan of hiking, the trails to passage peak and Escape Beach all start directly behind the Hotel.

10. GYM: If you like to workout and maintain your fitness routine on Holiday, you have full access to the Hotel Gym. Tennis Courts and Basketball courts are also available for use.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Watching the stunning fireworks from our Hotel in Singapore.
New Years Eve, 2013
Well, what can I say? 2014 certainly kicked off with a bang. We introduced the Children to Singapore between Christmas and New Year's Eve, staying at The beautiful Fullerton Hotel on Clarke Quay, before flying off to the stunning Island of Koh Samui, Thailand for 16 nights, where our friends joined us for part of our Holiday, the food was to die for, the fishing was fabulous and the Muay Thai, again a favourite #notfortheweak... you can read more about Koh Samui here
This resort was heavenly.

Romantic dinner on the beach?

Amazing Fishing..

#notfortheweak #Muaythai

February rolled on and it was back to school with my baby doll starting college and routine was back with a vengeance and I had a severe case of the holiday blues, that's where the Thai cooking class came in handy!

Between working, and juggling family life we were counting down to our Holiday to Hawaii. It was just magical. It had taken 6 months for my Mum to convince my Dad to come and join us and then fly home with the precious cargo, whilst Hubbie and I continued on for a conference. I never dreamt in a million years that my Dad (who had never flown in his life, and the fact that he had absolutely no desire to do so whatever)…. would get on that flight, but he was amazing, I was so proud of him and we had the most amazing Family Holiday with My parents, which you can read about herehere and here. Hawaii truly is paradise!

Meet and Greet Lei at Oahu.
Heading to Chiefs Luau.
I almost bought him home.
There were a few interstate trips, a mini break in Melbourne where the Children met Usain Bolt, and my sister and I watched him work out….HOT, I'm not too sure who was more impressed, the kids, my sister or I?? Actually…I secretly think it was my sister to tell you the truth…..x
Louis, Isabella, Lucie and William meeting the fastest man in the world… Usain Bolt.
The year has just flown by so incredibly fast. And the travel agent in me has 2015 all planned and ready to go, with a little bonus Holiday in March, which was never on the agenda, It's going to be fabulous!

When I started my blog back in September 2012 it was merely my own little space and a journal for my Children to reflect upon as they grew older, and remember some of our amazing and crazy holiday experiences and adventures. Little did I know that my little blog would grow so quickly and gain such an amazing base of followers, turn into a career as a home based travel agent and become such a passion. In that time, I have 'met' and become great friends with some of the most amazing readers / clients. I absolutely love reading your emails, comments and fan questions each week. My blog really has lead to so many different opportunities and friendships, and I thank each of you for being part of that.

I sincerely wish each of my readers, friends, family and followers a wonderful New Year, and I look forward to sharing our journey and following yours in 2015.

Happy New Year, see you all in 2015.


Elizabeth xox

Saturday, 13 December 2014


Learning to surf on the iconic Waikiki Beach… 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Surviving in a country where English is not widely spoken (and you don’t speak the language) can be challenging at times, I know from experience. My funniest recollection would have been when we were in Shanghai and we had a quick change of plans and tried to mime to our cab driver of our new destination ( yeah, we didn't have a map either, go us!) as he spoke no English, thankfully we ran into a lovely Iranian man who helped us out. Perhaps the best word/phrase you can learn to show your willingness to learn is the old and faithful “thank you”. Here’s how to say thank you in 50 languages so you’ll never be stuck again! And trust me, the locals will love the fact that you have made the effort.

AFRIKAANS – dankie
ALBANIAN – faleminderit
ARABIC – shukran
ARMENIAN – Շնորհակալություն / chnorakaloutioun
BOSNIAN – hvala (HVAH-lah) 
BULGARIAN – благодаря / blagodaria
CATALAN – gràcies (GRAH-syuhs) 
CANTONESE – M̀h’gōi 
CROATIAN – hvala (HVAH-lah)
CZECH – děkuji (Dyekooyih)
DANISH – tak (tahg)
DUTCH – dank u
ESTONIAN – tänan (TA-nahn)
FINNISH – kiitos (KEE-tohss)
FRENCH – merci
GERMAN – danke
GREEK – ευχαριστώ (ef-hah-rees-TOH)
HAWAIIAN – mahalo (ma-HA-lo) 
HEBREW – .תודה  / todah (toh-DAH) 
HINDI – dhanyavād / shukriya
HUNGARIAN – köszönöm (KØ-sø-nøm) 
ICELANDIC – takk (tahk) 
INDONESIAN – terima kasih. (tuh-REE-mah KAH-see) 
ITALIAN – grazie (GRAHT-tsyeh)
JAPANESE – arigatô (ah-ree-GAH-toh)
KOREAN – 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) 
LATVIAN – paldies (PUHL-dyehs)
LEBANESE – choukrane
LITHUANIAN – ačiū (AH-choo)
MACEDONIAN – Благодарам / blagodaram (blah-GOH-dah-rahm) 
MALAY – terima kasih (TREE-muh KAH-seh) 
MALTESE – grazzi (GRUTS-ee)
MONGOLIAN – Баярлалаа (bayarlalaa) 
POLISH – dziękuję (Jenkoo-yen)  
PORTUGUESE – obrigado [masculine]  / obrigada [feminine] (oh-bree-GAH-doo / oh-bree-GAH-dah) 
ROMANIAN – mulţumesc (mool-tzoo-MESK)
RUSSIAN – спасибо (spuh-SEE-buh) 
SERBIAN – xвала / hvala (HVAH-lah) 
SLOVAK – Ďakujem (JAH-koo-yehm) 
SLOVENIAN – hvala (HVAA-lah) 
SPANISH – gracias (GRAH-syahs) 
SWEDISH – tack 
TAMIL – nandri
THAI – kop khun
TURKISH – teşekkür ederim (teh shek uer eh der eem) 
UKRAINIAN – Дякую (DYAH-koo-yoo) 
WELSH – diolch (DEE-ol’ch)
YIDDISH – a dank
ZULU – ngiyabonga

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Perfect Malsalda

 Tex Drive-In

Don’t let the dilapidated building, the occasional missing window pane, or the barely interested drive-through cashiers scare you off. This 43 year old Honoka staple is a gem, located on The Big Island of Hawaii.
Tex' Famous Malsalada's
We stumbled upon this diner as a point of interest on our GPS, on driving between Hilo and Kona and my Hubbie quickly doubled back, searching for this place, let me tell you, it was well worth the stop! These fried pastries are delicious! The malasadas are un-freaking believable.With an array of different flavoured centres from Jam, fruit and chocolate (perhaps our fave), a perfect balance of light and chewy, these malasadas are made from scratch on-site and their pastry station features an extra large window to allow visitors a lesson in the art of malsalada making, whilst drooling at the same time waiting for your order. In case you don’t believe us, just go in and watch them.You certainly won't be disappointed!

A quick pitstop and sugar hit from Hilo to Kona...

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Volcanoe's National Park

A quick 40 minute flight from the Island of Oahu with Hawaiin Airlines will have you arriving at Hilo, the doorstep to The Volcanoes National Park. We picked up our rental car on arrival into Hilo Airport and for an extra $15 USD we hired a fully automated GPS, which was brilliant for upcoming points of interest as you are driving around The Big Island ( we would not have found those delicious Malsaladas at Tex Drive in, if it were not for our GPS.) Just be sure to stick to the left side of the road….(we seemed to have a few problems with this, the lack of sleep the night before, the Children received news of a good School friend that had passed away rather suddenly and the girls were awake all night crying, absolutely beside themselves, on top of that a super early start, which found me dozing in the passengers side and being awoken by Hubbie to swap drivers…I casually drove on to the wrong side of the road…ooops, my bad, but he also did the same thing!

Deep in concentration...

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is easily visited by car in just a few hours or it can be explored in more depth over several days. We spent 5 hours exploring the park, such an amazing landscape, the rugged terrain, It felt as we were on a totally different planet at times. Here are some recommendations when planning your visit to the Park:

One to 3 Hour Visit?

If you have only 3 hours, explore the summit of Kilauea volcano via Crater Rim Drive Crater Rim Drive; a 17 km road that encircles the summit, passes through desert, lush tropical rain forest, which provides access to well marked scenic stops and short walks.

Four to 5 hour Visit?

If you have four to five hours, be sure to explore the East Rift and coastal area of the Park via Chain of Craters Road. This road descends 3,700 feet in 20 miles and ends where a 2003 lava flow crossed the road.

Crater Rim

If you have time for one quick hike in the Park, you can't go past this as the best "bang for your buck." This trail traces the northern rim of the Kilauea Crater and then returns to the trailhead across the centre of the crater itself. Its an exciting hike that crosses warm fifty year old lava with steam arising from cracks in the earth caused by rainwater that has percolated and boiled.

This hike is approximately 5 km, be sure to take  plenty of water, a hat ( I borrowed one of the boys) and sunscreen up, as it gets pretty warm.

Thurston Lava Tubes

The Thurston lava tubes were an absolute hit with the kids. An easy 20 minute walk through a lush green forest will have you at the well lit prehistoric cavelike lava tubes.