??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


Choo, Choo, Choo

Last week while at a trivia night I discovered my favourite childhood lolly had been revived.

I remember walking to our corner store with my big sister and buying one of these delights when I was a young girl. I felt so grown up walking all the way to the store. We had strict rules about crossing the streets we passed on our way. These streets mind you, probably saw half a dozen cars in the space of a day . What I also didn’t know until much later in my life, was my mum used to watch us walk to the shop with the shadow of a tree hiding her presence.

So what was this lolly ?? It was a Choo Choo Bar. A Choo Choo Bar was a long hard stick of liquorice toffee ( and it still is!!). In ‘the old days’ the bar was wrapped in a blue waxy paper not sealed but merely wrapped ( definitely doesn’t happen now !! ) and it was so hard you definitely didn’t chew chew it, rather you sucked it dragging the toffee out until it was thin and began being able to be shaped. When it was gone your mouth was stained black for quite a while, testament that you had enjoyed a Choo Choo Bar.


Today while shopping I found bags of these treats on sale. Excited I picked up a packet for both myself and another addicted friend. Although the wrapper is now hygienically sealed and they are mini size ( and that’s the design according to the packet, it’s not that they just seemed bigger in my childhood ha ha ) they are still just as hard and worthy of a long time suck….and the tongue remains as black as ever.

Did you gave a favourite lolly as a child? Is it still available?


Thankful Thursday



This post isn’t designed around Thanksgiving. As an Australian, I don’t do Thanksgiving. Rather, my post was written in response to a blog I found out there in the blogging world, A Parenting life. Rhianna has a Thursday link up about being thankful. I enjoy reading those that link up. I decided to have a go at putting my thoughts into words.

I’m thankful for so much but chose just three things to comment on …this time. I hope to try doing this fortnightly if not weekly. I think it’s important we take time out in our busy lives to reflect on all the great things we have.

 I am thankful for…

1. Having dinner with my husband and kids. Both my kids are grown up so meal times all together are no longer the nightly occurrence they were when they were younger. Tonight all four of us sat around the table for dinner and it was like old times of chatter as stories about the day were related. It’s so important to keep in touch. I love it when they have their partners with them too, all the extra stories… especially me sharing tales of when my kids were little. I am so thankful for my family in general.

Picture 992

Pie for dessert


2. My friends. Times aren’t always good but a chance to vent, and a chance to listen strengthens the bond, makes the bad times bearable and the good times even more cheery.  I have friends who are family, friends of long time, friends of short times, but investing time in all the relationships is such a wonderful addition in my life. The internet has helped friendships by bridging the distance of miles and the time zones of the world.



3. Holidays are only 16 working days away. Can’t wait to break routines, be lazy , have time to pursue hobbies,  play with my pets , spend time with friends and family….Oh and a holiday to Hamilton Island to celebrate the New Year arriving…and no pet care to organise cause those grown up kids of mine will be at home to care for them , do the bins etc ( the best house minders lol).309214_10151158768079491_602161341_n


What are you thankful for? Please share a few of your thoughts in my comment section 🙂


Out of the mouths of babes

I teach a Year 2 class (7 – 9 yr olds). Obviously with a passion for writing I’m always driving them in that direction too. Today I settled my class down to have a chat about what a great recount includes.

We talked about the sequence, verb tense, interesting sentences, time phrases etc. They are just learning about incorporating paragraphs so we draw pictures as a planner for the paragraphs. As I was planning on doing a joint construction with them I began sketching out my Sunday, speaking as I drew to let them ‘hear’ my thoughts.  I started drawing the day setting, using descriptive words about the blue sky, the sun, the feel of being outside. We talked about how that was paragraph one.

recountThen I started on the next drawing. I was drawing and again letting them ‘hear ‘my thoughts. I began drawing my broom and duster and was saying things like…” Mr Mac and I unpacked the dishwasher, we dusted and swept”.  I asked the children what I could call that activity. Someone suggested housework and I noticed another boy with his hand up. Asking him what he thought he said, “You shouldn’t be doing housework on a weekend, that’s time for you and Mr Mac and your kids to have fun”. I’m guessing his family has the right attitude to housework!

Weekends have become the time to do the housework in my home and has been the case for about 15 years. It’s an endless juggle of time. It’s either that or late into the night during the week. I have been trying to get into a bit of a routine lately of doing it a little every night but in the last few weeks with extra work related workload weekends are the only time to catch up. Obviously the load is much less now my kids are grown up.

Funnily enough, this afternoon while sneaking a peek on Facebook (always have time for that!! ) I saw a local morning television show Sunrise apparently had a segment on this topic this morning. Maybe my student’s family had been watching this show?? It said families only have 36 minutes quality time each day left after all the workloads.


Click on the button if you want to watch the segment (its about 2:10 mins into the segment)

But does housework have to impact on family time just because it’s done on the weekend? When my kids were young we were fortunate enough for me to stay home then my husband stayed home when I went back to work. Obviously it wasn’t an issue then. But when we both went back to work the housework still needed to be done. We were happy to adapt the minimalistic approach to ensure more time together. Those jobs that just had to be done became incorporated into family time as well, a trip to the supermarket together, kids playing around the clothes line as washing was hung out etc. We still made time for the sport run, the party rounds, the picnics, the holidays but I guess our kids grew up more used to a bit of dust and but with a  lot of family time. I know I remember my weekends for the fun they were and my kids still talk about theirs too.

What about your family and the housework regime? How does your jigsaw fit together?


Rounded tip to a point!

My heavy workload is finished for a few days. I have time to ‘play for a day or two’. So, how do I fill my idle hours?

Well, first I dedicate a little time to the neglected house. The emphasis being on ‘little’. Then I headed to my computer, I call myself the GOOGLE queen. If it’s there lurking somewhere I will find it …eventually…no matter how long it takes.

google queemn


What was I looking for today? My lipstick has often been ridiculed for its shape. No matter the brand all my lipsticks eventually end up like this – go on take a look!


First the tip becomes rounded then it smooths out until the rounded tip is tapered to a soft rounded edge. Worst thing is the day the end drops off. Invariably it breaks unannounced, dropping down over my clothing roiling to create a decorative smudge. When that happens I just begin working my way on the now smaller lipstick.

I headed to GOOGLE asking “What does your lipstick say about you?” I wasn’t actually totally convinced I’d find something but look at this!



 A bit hard to read but that reads 28,000,000 results in 0.26 seconds! A lot about lipstick!!!

I used chose the first website . Its comment on me was-


Rounded tip to a point


Family oriented, domestic

A “doer”

Stubborn over little things


Needs people around


This doesn’t sound far from my mark!  I asked my daughter her opinion and she agreed. Time for you to take a look at your lipstick. What does it say about you? Let me know or share a photo.



“To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.”
–  Margaret Fairless Barber

I’ve been doing some looking back – looking back through my blog. This diary contains so much of me , dreams, ideas, experiences and passions. I’m always trying to learn new things so today I played with the ‘pages’ on my WordPress blog, adding two . I have made  ‘My Favourites of 2012’ and a ‘Some Deep and Meaningful Muses’ pages. I also found out you can link photos with hyperlinks. So much to learn!

Hope you will take a look  and let me know what you think…or some more new ideas for me to try.




AWilted Rose

Ok, I admit it, I’ve been watching the reality series The Bachelor Australia. I have watched as a man culled 25 woman to one in 14 episodes. Until episode 13 ( that dreaded number) I actually believed everyone was a random contestant but after following a few twitter leads I saw some were ‘models’ and actresses. I began to wonder was any of it real. As a romantic I wanted to believe it.

Although I was drawn into the series I was always amused by the way the ladies fawned over this man , with comments about how amazing he was, how real he was, how genuine he was, how much the needed him in their life…all in the space of ( for some significantly less than) 14 weeks.

Then, in the last few episodes I watched as Tim ( aka the bachelor) berated women for not telling him how much they cared, adored, imagined him as the centre of the universe etc ( poetic license with some of those comments on my part haha) . All the while Tim dated several women in front of each other, on romantic one -on-one dates and group dates while others waited back at the mansion in anticipation. Mind you I would have been happy just lazing about the mansion assuming there were food and drinks and I could have my trusty iPad. What a blog post that would make!!

Another odd part of the show was The Bachelor was seen shaving continually. A razor brand show sponsor but with the razor gliding over such a chiselled face I must admit SORRY I didn’t pay attention to the name … Who would ?? Insert naughty smile . But, despite all this shaving The Bachelor always wore an attractive stubble. Perhaps it’s best I didn’t know the name of the *ahem* razor brand.

First he dumped Rochelle as she hyperventilated on his every word. Her reply was ‘OK ‘ then he said ‘I’ll walk you out” . So civil, he was lucky she and handled her public dumping so well.

Well, the girl (Anna) got the guy (Tim) and they sailed off kissed in the sunset. Now I’m off to google how things are going for the happy couple ( I’ve heard rumours it’s not all happy but you know how scaremongers can be ).

Oh and tonight it’s ‘ After the final Rose’ a chance for the women scorned to have their say to the world. Yes I’ll be watching!


You can call me Betty!!

I decided to bake (yes you read it right…BAKE!!) a birthday cake for my son’s birthday today. We were going to dinner tonight and I thought it would be nice to come home to a fresh home baked cake. I’m not sure where the motivation came from – perhaps it’s left over energy of procrastination related to report time at work.

Anyway, my husband (not known for following my instructions well) left home grocery store bound to pick up a Betty Crocker’s Butter Cake packet mix. I wasn’t quite prepared to do the ‘from scratch’ thing this time. He also had frosting and M &Ms on the list.

Arriving home from the store he presented this to me. Brand correct but it’s not quite the butter cake I ordered. The explanation he gave was there were no butter cakes. As it’s a real large supermarket he went to I suspect male blindness was more the issue.


I read the instructions for cooking as I was determined this would work out well. In the back of my mind I was also thinking about the yummy beaters I’d get to lick when the mixing was over. But NO!! I read instruction number 2 telling me not to eat the batter because it contained real eggs. After a life time of batter eating I was devastated.


Click on this to enlarge the print!!

Plodding on I decide to change things a little to that of the box instructions. As my son supports a blue and gold football team I thought I would be creative and make a blue and yellow marble cake.

I had heated the oven correctly, adjusted the layers of the oven so the cake could sit right in the middle. I was even prepared while it was cooking to try to stop the large dome my cakes usually display. With about 10 minutes left of cooking time I plunged a knife into the cooking cake releasing a little of the extra air. This paid off with an end product of a flat near flat cake.

When it was cool enough to ice I iced smothered it with the Betty Crocker chocolate frosting. Luckily for my daughter and me this incredibly loaded with sugar product has no health warnings so equal amounts went straight to our mouths as was put on the cake. Then we used our M & Ms to rainbow cover the frosting.


It was a hit as it tasted delicious. I did learn that swirls of blue and yellow would in some parts make green, but it was all good in the soft lighting of the Forbidden Room where it was served.



Forbidden Room – this is the formal lounge dining room of my house. Initially it frightened the other members of my family as this room has no TV!! This was too strange a concept. It was also the room that it was always tidy, and presented almost magazine style which could only happen if they were forbidden to enter it.  I ,  on the other hand, spent many a free quiet hour alone or with friends  draped on the lounge reading with music playing in the background. Needless to say this room eventually lost its forbidden status but still retains the name (and I try often to restore the calm to it and it never has had a TV added!!)


**Eating copious amounts of frosting with M & Ms should carry a warning!!! Drink lots of water after and be prepared to sit down saying “Ughhh I feel so yucky!! “  while you devour the final M & Ms and lick the remaining frosting from the spoon.

** I did google the stats on salmonella and raw eggs before putting the empty mixing bowl into the dishwasher and decide to live dangerously and have a lick. That was almost 12 hours ago so I think I survived.


The geese are getting fat

Christmas seems to star earlier each year. But not in my home .

My first child was born on 17th November.



He is the only one in our family of four that doesn’t have a birthday in the middle of the year. I used to feel a bit sorry for him having all the fun at one end of the year and a long wait until next time. But, then I realised this meant all the new idea and products are in the stores or him to choose his gifts from. Always best to look at the positives.

Our tradition starts with not mentioning Christmas before his birthday ( fingers crossed he doesn’t read this blog post  lol) No gifts can be bought and no decorations organised. It was then decided that our Christmas organisation would start on the 1st December . This way my son can have his cards up on display and gives time for any party celebrations.

2 sleeps until we celebrate my son’s birthday ( he’ll be 24 years old) and 16 sleeps until we start Christmas organisation . Looking forward to sharing both here .


What Christmas traditions are yours?


Who is Sam Lefkowitz?

Today I found a blog link up called  Thankful Thursday.

Today my thankful would be that for the first time in a long while my whole family was home for dinner at the same time. With my kids being in their early 20s this is far from a common occurrence with a balance of work, study and friends keeping them busy in their lives. That, and I too like to escape for dinner with my husband or girlfriends.

On a lighter note, I was looking through the millions of photos I have stored on my computer and came across this one.

Picture 921  Cup hat

Yes…a hair change from my Melbourne Cup photophoto(17)

Now I will be the first to admit I’m far from crafty. I love doing it but somewhere between the pattern and my never ending need to tamper with the design (bit like my tampering with recipes lol) something gets lost in the translation.

The history for this teacup hat is I used to meet for morning tea (that ended at around 4 pm after lunch) monthly with a group of friends and we used to wear hats as a bit of fun.. the whackier the better. I designed and made this with some interesting material, little gems, pipe cleaner and a dangerous hot glue gun!!

I thought the quote by  Sam Lefkowitz

“When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup” 

seemed fitting , both for the cup and the link up.

I’m also thankful to have found the Thankful Thursday link up and to Rhianna for creating it- definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been yet!