Photo Challenge: Vivid

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Vivid.”

Pink Flowers at a cottage
Pink Flowers at a cottage
Lavandula Daylesord Victoria Australia
Lavandula Daylesord Victoria Australia
Lavandula Daylesord Victoria Australia
Lavandula Daylesord Victoria Australia
Lake Daylesford Victoria Australia
Lake Daylesford Victoria Australia

These photos captured in Daylesford, (Australia) stands up to the meaning of vivid for me.  My mind can vividly remember the exact moment I captured them and how I felt.  

Happiness Anyone? How we can learn from/with our kids

Are we, the grown ups, responsible for destroying the happiness in this world?

We make our kids do things they are not willing at times ( getting ready to go to school in the morning is a classic example),  we make them listen to us making them do things that they reallu rather not (naturally they think we know what we are doing and eventualy unwillingly they have to listen to us st the end). Do we ever stop and really appreciating what they, our kids have to teach us?  They actually can teach us a thing or two if we pay attention, they are unspoilt little humans.   They don’t stress over things unless we make a big deal about something that doesn’t even matter sometimes. They enjoy the tiniest (in adults opinion, useless) things like sticks, leaves even empty boxes. They try to find happinesd and joy in anything they come across. No rules, the only rule being have fun while being sensitive to others feelings.

I feel that childlike happiness is a gift, that is a feeling of true happiness. As we grow old we are taught more responsibility, which is fine, but why do most people have to let go of that pure happiness and embrace lesder values such as selfishness, stress and competitiveness. It is sad isn’t it?

I watch my kids giggle and play, be in a world of their own being happy. When asked “what do you want to do today?”, they sometimes say “just stay home and play” eith a smile. Which makes me realise the best things in life are really free. I must admit I managed to be more like a child till I had my own children. Now I have become somewhat “grownup”, which means stressed out more and less fun. I do think it’s to do with feeling tired ( as I feel I will never catchup on the years of sleepless nights raising young kids).

Watching my kids made me realise that I need to go back to that happy state again. Life is all about feeling happy and joy, isn’t it?

So I find my self asking what is it that I can do to really be happy. Non of the material things pops into my head, for me it is a life filled with exciting adventures with my family. Teaching my kids about the real world, the values of kindness and caring, learning to live respecting ourselves and the people and things around us. And to see my kids grow up with humble values that can make the world a better place to live.

So I am afraid my husband calls me a dreamer, as I don’t believe in the “conventional” ways of doing things. I have formed different opinions about the current ways of human living. I seriously feel trapped in this society. I face things and people that I find me asking the question “why?”, all the time. To me I find people have become more selfish and overly competitive to the point we as a human raise are loosing the grip on reality. To me humans are not being “smart” we are being brainwashed. I honestly feel that our world is run by companies/politicians for their own gain. It is a game of marketing things, it seems anything can and will be marketed so well (to their targeted market). These marketeers gets into the human phyc figure out the weaknesses of their target market then they say what they want to hear. Alot of us gets conned into believing them or if not it manges to enter our subconscious to later influence our decisions. So essentially they manage us humans from thinking for ourselves either knowingly or subconsciously we are influenced. Is it just me who feels like this? Surely not… I see a few people on social media saying similar things, and that makes me feel like there is a chance of being free from tjiz narket driven materialistic world. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for setting goals and reaching them, but in doing so we should not let go of our values that makes us smart humans. Smart enough to learn from our mistakes and look after things and be kind to each other and the world we live in ( who knows how long this world will be here as we know it, it is a ball of rotating elements and energy after all).

So getting back to my dreams, I felt the need to let go of the need to make money (say for retirement or for kids) and my materialistic things in my life, and travel the world to grow closer as a family, as a way of teaching my children about the world, people and cultures, and what we should think about as humans in terms of survival of our kind and the rest of the world that makes it possible for us to live on this earth. Not live a short sighted life but a life that supports many other lives.

Most kids if they have not been influenced by TV, Internet or magazines they tend to be more happy and eager to learn and experience new things. But if they get obsessed with things like TV their own imagination dissappears and they become people who want things that they are told will find happiness (smiley faces on TV brainwashing them to want things thag adds no value) if they have this and that toy. So as parents I believe we need to be more responsible bringing up our future generations with more instilled values with a sense of our real human qualities and less of this materialistic brain numbing stuff. Wouldn’t it be better to teach them to be kind and loving to themselves and every one and everything on this planet, be unselfish, be happy, be able to see marketing for what it is ( making money for some giant company), be smart thinkers, not get caught up in a fake made up world of glamor living, be real, be true to themselves and others, live a peaceful uncompetitive life helping others in need?

For the love of humsnity, am I wrong to hope for this?

Photo Challenge: On The Way to Hamilton Island (paradise)!

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “On the Way.”

Here is a collection of our epic day of travel from Melbourne to Hamilton Island (AKA paradise), Australia.  I treasure these “On the Way” collection, as it shows me how happy my kids were through 5 different modes of transportation over 12 hours of getting to our destination.  You can read my take on our Hamilton Island trip on my blog.

Kids and Stage Shows In Melbourne

We are big fans of taking our kids out and about. Letting them see the world.  One of the fun things we do as a family is to go to shows or events that comes into town.  It keeps our life exciting!

Melbourne in Australia is a great city rich with art culture, it is named world’s most livable city for the fourth time in a row and it really is.  It is wonderful to live here with kids as there are many events taking place at any time of the year.  My kids, 3 (boy) and 5 (girl) seem to enjoy these events very much.  There are a lot of stage shows that come into town since there are a few theaters that can accompany a whole range of shows at the same time.  We take our kids to see stage shows whenever we can.

So far our kids have been to

  1.  Angelina ballerina by Melbourne Ballet
  2. Thomas the tank engine
  3. Charlie and Lola
  4. Graffallo’s child
  5. Totem by Cirque du Soliel (one of my highlights of the year)
  6. Disney on ice
  7. Sri Lankan cultural dance shows
  8. Today Disney Lion King the musical

My daughter 5 years old is very excited to go see these shows. The Lion King was purely her choice, and it is meant to be part of her Birthday gift this year. Even if she goes to the 8 pm shows she manages to stay mesmerized till the show ends. It is a rewarding feeling to see how she appreciates these shows.

Funny enough, my little boy(3) gets into it too. But the late shows like today’s Lion King, he struggles to stay awake after intermission.  Nevertheless he is at least exposed to it at a young age.

They both are well behaved at these shows and has a good understanding of the importance of letting the rest of the audience watch it even if they are not interested or feeling tired (I am referring to my 3 year old here).

So I think the more we expose our kids to things the more they learn, a simple thing like appreciation of the arts, respecting others at public events, being polite and patient etc are what I think my kids have learnt from these stage shows.  Plus it’s fun to see them re in act afterwards at home.

If you are in Melbourne, Australia Disney Lion King the musical is still running till November 2015. It really is a great show for the whole family. You can book your tickets at Ticketmaster.com.au

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Ready for Lion King Musical

Here they are waiting for Lion King to begin 🙂

It’s a shame we are not allowed to take photos of these shows, as a memory for the kids when they grow older, so we end up getting some before show shots only. Hope they can remember some of them at least, if not I am happy with the thought that they have formed an appreciation towards these different form of art and be well rounded adults one day!

10 Favourite Travel Quotes

I love a good quote!  Even better when it’s about something that I am passionate about.  Here are my top 10 favourite travel quotes.

1. “Not all those who wander are lost.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

2. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Lao Tzu

3.“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”
Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography

4.“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.”
Isabelle Eberhardt, The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt

5. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Augustine of Hippo

6.“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ernest Hemingway

7. “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
Anita Desai

8. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
Henry Miller

9. “See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

10.“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.” ― Roman Payne

You can find brilliantly wonderful quotes at Goodreads.com.

What is your favourite travel quote?

Broken Rocks

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Broken.”

Here are my photos of Broken rocks and a gum tree still hanging at Hanging Rock Reserve in Macedon, Victoria, Australia!

Finding Ways To Feel Happy: Letting Go Of Negative Feelings Towards Others

“Holding on to negative feelings and past circumstances is like placing a lock on your soul.”
― Charles F. Glassman, Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life

Well….  true, feelings are subjective and valid within a belief system that is your own.

I recently discovered that I am a feeling based person which might have increased a tad once I became a mother.     However I believe that our feelings are our instinct warning us what is right and what is wrong according to the values we have instilled in us.   My feelings are and will be different from another, yet my feelings are valid for my self according to what I believe in.

There is always a danger in feeling too stronger feelings (especially negative , hateful ones) and hanging on to those feelings.  They tend to suck your happiness away.  To maintain happiness we need to let go of our extreme hateful feelings and replace them with neutral or more positive ones.

I have learnt fist hand, that giving into the negative feelings and hanging on to them can harm your own happiness and/or other’s.  For example I have very strong negative feelings towards two people that came into my life as a result of marriage.  They just do not have the same values as me and the things they have done in the past had generated long lasting extremely negative repulsive feelings towards them.  If  I show my real feelings towards them I can hurt the ones I love the most.   Not only that, showing those negative feelings towards someone and actually feeling them ruins my happiness, increases my anxiety which is bad for my health and well being.   I had gotten worse with time and not better at handling those repulsive feelings towards them.  Everything they do I see it in a negative light.  Something had to be done for my sanity…

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Free Theme Park Entry Gold Coast Australia

Free theme park entry anyone?

Early May we went over to the Gold Coast for a 5 day mini break with the kids.  We stayed and the Whyndham apartments at Surfers Paradise for the first 3 nights and had to find a place for the 4th night.  We knew we wanted to go to Sea World with our 3 and 5 year olds, so we decided to looked into Sea World Resort.  We found out that they have a red hot deal valid from 26th April – 13th July 2015 which gives a family free entry to the theme parks when you book a hotel room at the Sea World Resort.

The RED HOT DEAL includes:

  • Unlimited entry to Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast during your stay
  • Free entry to Paradise Country
  • 25% off Kids Club evening sessions
  • 25% off all food & beverage purchased at the Resort
  • 10% off all food, beverage and retail merchandise at Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast
  • 25% off selected Sea World Animal Adventures
  • 25% off Sea World Helicopters
  • Buy 1 SpongeBob Bag and get 1 free

If you are interested you can check out the RED HOT DEAL at Sea World Resort.

Our take on the Sea World resort

The water part at Sea World Resot
Free Entry to the Theme Parks when you stay at the Sea World Resort

Sea World Resort is next door to sea world theme park so you could just walk in or take the monorail to Sea World without a problem.  We had a pram and either option was great for us.  If you are using public transportation to get to Sea World Resort, You have to walk about 800m from the last bus stop near Sea World entrance to the reception at Sea World resort.

The rooms are a bit dated especially the bathrooms, but the deal we got was good enough to ignore that!

Our kids thoroughly enjoyed the time at the Sea World Resort they enjoyed the amazing pools and Nickelodeon Water Park for kids.  It lights up at night, but it was  bit too cold for us to get out in the water at night time (there were other brave kids doing just that though).

Fun at the water park
Fun at the water park

Us as a family enjoyed the Friday night sea food buffet at The Shoreline.  It was a $74.99 per head and kids under 3 were free and kids over 4 incurred a $1 per year charge.  They had a great variety of food and desserts.  It was worth what we paid  as you got a discount with the red hot deal!

There are four dining options at the resort

  1. The Shoreline restaurant
  2. Lobby lounge
  3. Hatsuhana, Japanese restaurant
  4. Waterfall cafe near the pool

And the Marina Mirage Shopping Centre with more eating and shopping options were not too far away from the resort (may be 1.3Km)we walked there for breakfast and enjoyed a real nice breakfast at the Providore Mirage a French style bakery/cafe/grocer that has amazing patisserie and breakfast.

All in all we really enjoyed the one night we stayed at the resort 4/5 with this red hot deal.  We only wished we had known about this deal earlier so we could have stayed a couple of nights to make use of the unlimited theme park entry passes.

Happy Mother’s Day!

In Australia we celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May.  So today 10th of May 2015 is Mother’s Day here.

So here is a real heart felt wish for all the mothers, past, present and future; Happy Mother’s Day today and every day!!

For the first time I have received my fully hand drawn card from my 3 year old son.   It is a real treat to receive true love from your kids isn’t it?  His day care teacher told me how careful he was when he was making this card taking such meticulous care to make it perfect for mummy and she said to treasure that memory of him.   It almost brought me to tears the way he tried keeping it a secret but really badly wanting to tel me that he had something special for me and how he really meant his “I Love you Mummy” with a squishy cuddle for me.

I only understood what unconditional love really meant the day I held my first born in my hands for the first time which is a moment I will never forget.  My true happiness is my children ( If you don’t know I have two, one girl, 5 and one boy, 3) and they have the ability to make me happy just by looking at them.  So today I am planning to just spend my time with them,  which is what I am going to do just as soon as I finish this quick post 🙂

Being a mother is a wonderful gift that no one can take away from you…… ever.   So celebrate it and enjoy all the things only  a mother could feel….

Here is the card from Callum my 3year old, wishing me a happy mother’s day… according to his words  he is  “shaking his bottom” on the card 🙂

Happy Mother's Day
Happy Mother’s Day!

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25th April 2015 Photo Challenge: Kids In Motion

Kids In Motion

It is almost difficult to get still photos with Children 🙂

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Motion.”