7 things I learnt while on holidays

We are home (sweet) home after a great 10 days away after Christmas. It’s always good to be home, but this miserable wet and cold weather (it’s just 9 degrees this morning) is making it feel like we may well have fast forwarded all the way through summer and straight into Autumn. In fact, some of the trees are already starting their Autumn colour change. WHAT’S DOING TREES?!

But the holidays DID happen and it was lovely. Here’s some nuggets discovered over the break.

1. A new plant: Euphorbia Milii


My step Mum has always had VERY good indoor plants. They live by the beach so have a warmer climate that me, but she has taught me many great ones over the years that I have been able to grow at home, including my favourite the Zanzibar Gem which is almost impossible to kill. Anyway, when I stopped into their place for the night I saw a new plant that she had (she had a few around the place) called Euphorbia Milii a gorgeous tropical plant that has been flowering constantly for 6 months. Isn’t it pretty? Love the contrast of the thorns against the pretty delicate flowers and lovely big green leaves. I can’t grow it, but maybe you can? I did manage to get some new succulents from Harris Farm yesterday that I have planted and dotted throughout my place – same same but different. Unfortunately I threw the tag out so I have no idea what this one is called. Soz.


2. The stuff you loved doing as a kid still makes you as happy as an adult

I reckon the reason that the colouring in for adults fad has been as popular as it is, is because all these adults are rediscovering all the things that made them happy as kids. I LOVED colouring in as a girl (and if I don’t mind saying so myself was VERY good at it). When the girls were old enough I used to sit and colour for much longer than their interest levels gave it and while I have a little colouring in some of those books, I haven’t really taken to it with a passion of 1000 fiery suns. But! On holidays I managed to do some puzzles, and I realised just how much I love to do a puzzle. The perfect way to completely zone out and immerse yourself into something…if only I could have a permanent puzzle table set up with one that no one would mess with…or a puzzle room…to dip in and out of when time and stress levels permitted.

This Tesselate one that Daisy was given by her Grandparents was really good for everyone – it was from the Bellingen Markets. Frank has since had a good chew of 3 of the small tiles. See? Puzzle room required.

IMG_8720 IMG_8921

I also got to rediscover my love for petrol behind the wheel of a John Deere Gator. I spent many a teenage school holiday at my friend’s farms throughout NSW and I always loved jumping on a quad bike and fanging around. It’s still JUST as fun, although much safer with precious cargo on board. Still managed to get a few squeals out of them though!


3. I think I might be a Belieber and it’s very confusing


I downloaded Justin Bieber’s album Purpose for “Daisy” and our whole family found ourselves listening to it in the car, and you know, singing along and ENJOYING IT. Biebs, you’ve turned me. I do love it when you can have your mind changed. We are officially entering the era of girls listening to music and I find myself occasionally singing and dancing along with a little too much gusto to One Direction. As you can imagine, it’s all very confusing for a 38 year old woman.

4. Reading on a Kindle is good


I’ve been happily one of those people who always thought that to really enjoy the reading experience you had to hold a book in your hand, hear and feel the paper in your fingers as you turn the pages, smell the paper, see the pages get dog eared. But I tried out a Kindle for the first time and you know what? My mind was changed again! I loved the weight of it, I loved being able to highlight passages and I loved being able to read at night without turning a light on (always handy when you share a bedroom with a baby). I am definitely going to download another book onto it soon, I just have a few more real books I have to get through first.

5. Baked goods really do make people happy


I did a lot of cooking towards the end of our break. When we are at the farm all the adults take turns cooking meals so that the load is spread but when I start to unwind I find myself spending more time looking through cooking books and baking. Man did I go through some butter. It might not be good for the waistline, but it makes my head and heart happy AND lots of other people’s tummies happy too.


6. Baby watching is an actual pastime


Between Maggie and her cousin Archie, I spent way too many hours just hanging out with them and watching. Between facial expressions and baby babble, I think my reading rate was down due to cute baby distractions.

IMG_4827 IMG_4828

7. Audio Books are a good way to pass time on a car trip


Harper got this one for Christmas and we managed to listen to it for a few hours on a VERY long trip on our way to the farm (8 hours). David Walliams is a genius and VERY funny but I will be getting some more for the many trips we do up and back to Sydney. You can get them from book shops or online here.

Have you learnt anything new lately you’d like to share?


  1. We got the 13 (I’m pretty sure it was 13) Story Tree House audio book for Mr 9 and we loved it! Maybe something for your fam 🙂 Wouldn’t cover 8 hours of car but would chip away a little bit of that. Man… the summer hols went way too quick. Better get planning for the Easter break 🙂

  2. We listened to Roald Dahl’s Matilda and BFG on recent 12 hours to Qld. Kids loved it. Think it really depends on who the reader is as to how much they enjoy it.

  3. Emmasbrain says

    BEIBER?! I KNOW!! I can’t stop listening to it.. Then I feel like I have to delete my playlist history on my iPod like a dirty Internet search history. For crying out Petes sake?! What the hell is going on?!
    Damn though. It’s a good song.

  4. Thanks Beth – as usual, on the money. I loved this bit especially – “The stuff you loved doing as a kid still makes you as happy as an adult”

    SO true! It does!

    When I was recovering ( and still am ) from depression, one of the things my pyschologist said was to think about things that make you happy. And of course when you are depressed you say nothing does.

    So he prompted me to think back to when I was a kid/teenager. And think about what I did then that made me happy.

    Because guess what – it worked – those things when we were kids, actually can still make us happy as an adult.

    And I personally think, it keeps you younger!

    Any hoo – hot tip if you are suffering mentally, one of the many things that can make a difference to finding some happy is to think back to what you liked to do as a kid and it is about time you allowed yourself some time to do it again.

    You never know your luck – it just might do the trick.

    It was one of a few things that made a difference to me… A big difference

    Thanks again

    Re Justin Beiber – I sorry, I just can’t – but I have a few teenagers in my house who tell me that yes it is OK to like him again !!!!!!

  5. Agree re the Kindle I used to have the same mindset but my shoulders were killing me from humphing books everywhere (I read very fast and travel 2 hours each day) hubby moved me to a kindle and my bag was suddenly so much lighter even though I was now carrying 300 books instead of 3… only downfall is that I read so much junk these days, good for the imagination bad for the brain cells (they are like 99c on amazon or free).

  6. I can see the roll cage on the quadbike, but did you know that such bikes are one of the most numerous of claims made at Work Cover? A close relative works there. More than tree lopping accidents and similar. Dangerous, even when used for working on a farm, let alone hooning around on one.

    • I know how dangerous they can be. We had seat belts on and were going about 20km’s a hour…it’s all good…there was no hooning (only when I was young and silly).

  7. I love my Kindle and since last year I’ve been using the Public Library to download eBooks for free. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by doing this.

  8. So happy you mentioned the Kindle! I asked for one for my birthday without being too sure, for the exact reasons listed. Maybe I can live with my book-traitor self after all.

  9. Yes to all of these things! I like Taylor Swift and it’s confusing me. I also think baked goods make people happy. For your next trip listen to I Partridge by Alan Partridge. It’s brilliant.

  10. That sometimes when you’re with your husband’s family it’s sometimes just best to smile and nod! x

  11. Looks like a gorgeous break. Welcome home. I love doing my fave childhood things with the kids over the summer break too – playing The Game of Life, pancakes and taking a train in to the city. Love the summer holidays! P.S. I’m loving Bieb’s Sorry. Don’t tell anyone. x

  12. My twins were car haters for the first few years of their lives until I discovered audio books. They were a huge life saver. I know word for word all the Curious George stories now, but so much better than the screaming, car sick early days.

  13. Yes to 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6!! I rediscovered some childhood loves a few years ago – rollerblading, trampolining and making up dance routines to loud tunes. I’ve been colouring with my daughters too. I haven’t heard biebers recent work but do find myself enjoy some Tay Tay and Katy which my daughters like. I am totally loving my kindle and it’s gotten me back into reading again!! Cooking/baking is a wonderful thing to share with others and baby watching and child watching is totally a past time that I love!!

  14. You can also get audio books from the public libraey too guys.

  15. I use a cork board for my puzzles and store it under the couch. You can dip in and out as much as you wish. Although my ten month old is getting so tricky – if she sees a tiny edge of the cork board she will manoeuvre it out until she can destroy. Hilarious.

    My 3 year loves pulling it out to see my progress and I always leave the last few bits for her to do. I have a dream we will puzzle together one day.

Speak Your Mind