30 Dec 2015

How Running A Business Is Like Having a Newborn

It's been 6 months since I started my business, Follow Me Media. People ask me how it's all going and to be honest, it's going really well. I'm still surprised and humbled by how well the business has taken off, but like any business owner would understand its a lot of hard work. I remember seeing a quote that read, "Entrepreneurs are people who quit their 9-5 to work 24/7". There's always misconceptions about running your own business, such as having the flexibility to work your own hours - ha, if working 16 hours a day every day is working your own hours. Or not having a boss to report to - but it means you're doing the work of every employee of a business, from book keeping, marketing, sales, customer service, graphic designer to CEO.

10 Dec 2015

Accommodation at Big Island Hawaii

As I've mentioned previously, various members of my family have visited Hawaii before, but our recent trip in September was the first time we all travelled there together. Last time I went I went to Hawaii I checked out Honolulu and Maui. So this time, around I wanted to visit another island and after asking a few friends for their suggestions, Big Island was recommended as the next best  island to see.

14 Nov 2015

It's My Birthday!

Another year flew. It's so cliche but as you get older time seems to fly. Hubby and I were reflecting on ageing the other day. When you're younger you look forward to things, or look forward to things coming to an end. Like finishing uni, or looking forward to getting married, or having children. All these things I'm slowly ticking off or experiencing, I never really pictured myself ... ageing. Of course I age as the years go by, we all do. I've always believed you're as young as you feel, or feel as old as you let yourself to be. Even though I'm clocking over another year, my mind, my sense of humour, things I value, and what I enjoy hasn't changed much in the past several years. So I don't feel as old as I am. What I see in the mirror though ... well my thoughts on that is totally different. 

So another year another round of 'Things About Me'. This is my third year doing this and admittedly I'm running out of 30+ new things to share about myself, but here we go ...
  1. The reason why I always wear sunglasses when I'm out is because when I was 15 I suffered from pterygium. Apparently I got it due to over exposure to sunlight. My treatment didn't require removal, but since then I'm very sensitive to direct light.
  2. I love mint chocolate.
  3. Being late is a pet pee of mine. I hate being late and I dislike when it's done to me. 
  4. I love organising and planning things, in particular events or parties. I don't do it often but when I do, I can be a little ... over the top and demanding. I don't do things in halves.
  5. I guess that reflects a bit of my personality. When I've set my mind to doing something, I go for it.
  6. I've always blogged. In high school I use to blog and build personal websites back in the day when of GeoCities and AltaVista existed. I wasn't doing much of it in my mid twenties but I was really into it in my teens and during uni. 
  7. My hair takes for-ev-er to grow. I'm not kidding. I prefer long hair and I barely cut it because I'm always trying to grow it. I get very envious of friends whose hair go from bobs to long manes in twelve months. 
  8. Actually I have a thing for hair in general. It's the one aspect about myself I put some effort in. Everyone has one feature about them self they put extra care in. Some people care about their eyebrows or their complexion, mine is hair.
  9. I like to travel.
  10. I like my name and maiden surname. I really struggled (and still complain about it actually) when I had to change it after I got married. I felt I was losing a sense of my identity when I changed my name. 
  11. I'm a big coffee drinker. 
  12. I like to cook. I prefer to cook. I'm not the best at it but I don't do too bad. I've learnt a few rules of the kitchen and have a few recipes up my sleeve. I find cooking therapeutic at times.
  13. However I can't bake. I've tried a few times and it always turns out bad. 
  14. Growing up I had a fear of people not liking me or being excluded. I think this insecurity really held me back growing up. There was so much I wanted to do, to say, to try but I didn't want to seem .. uncool or rejected. Speaking of excluded, I only recently learnt what FOMO stood for: Fear of Missing Out. A friend dropped it in a conversation and I had to stop her and ask what it stood for. 
  15. I rather clean the bathroom than do the ironing. Why cause ironing can take me hours, but cleaning the bathroom, less than an hour. 
  16. I'm a morning person. 
  17. But I could sleep all day.
  18. Putting this list of 34 things about me, that I hadn't included in my previous list is hard. I've struggled on number 15 for the past two days. 
  19. I never took piano lessons. My dad taught me everything he knew as a child - what key was what, how to read notes and music. Then in my early teens I suddenly had a new found interest in playing. So I learnt all the cords and studies how to read music sheets. Because of this today I'm really slow at reading music. I didn't learn any of the fundamentals or techniques one would learn if they took lessons.
  20. Same fact as above with my bass guitar skills. Suddenly had an interest in learning, dad taught me the basics and off I went and taught myself the rest. 
  21. Riding a horse is one of the top things to tick off on my "bucket list". This desire stems from when as a kid. Where we use to live, our neighbour's daughter (who was much older than me at the time) owned a horse. While over my neighbours house playing with her younger sister she asked if I wanted to see her horse, she was going to go get him. I said yes and waited all day for her to return. I remember feeling excited in anticipation, but when it got dark and realised the horse wasn't coming felt really disappointed. Now you're probably reading this thinking, "Maybe she never had a horse to begin with and she was just joking?" My younger sister has seen and ridden this horse, I just wasn't present that occasion.  
  22. Sharks scare the b-jebus out of me, but ironically I love being in the ocean. 
  23. I'm not a pet person although I've grown up with many dogs during my childhood. I'm just turned off by the maintenance involved in owing a pet. 
  24. I like documentaries in particular murder mysteries. 
  25. I know I have a resting b!tch face. I do frown a lot and according to my husband, apparently the shape of my eyebrows adds to why I have the resting b!tch face. Doesn't bother me, only when I see candid photos of myself and I look mad.
  26. I know at times I don't stand up straight, something when I do realise I correct. Again I think it's got to do my childhood. I've always been a taller girl amongst friends, mix in my fear of wanting to fit in ... well my body language over the years would reflect this insecurity. 
  27. I have big eyes. Not really an unknown fact, but as you can probably tell I'm running out of new things to share about myself.
  28. I literally laugh out loud when I find something really amusing. 
  29. If something takes too long to learn, I get lazy or feel like I can't be bother learning how to use/do something. Of course if it's something that I'm totally interested in then I can spend hours immersed in learning.
  30. I trend to rush things in the end. I'd say I do better under pressure. Like this post which I drafted a week ago, facts 14 onwards were written 24 hours ago. 
  31. I went to a co-educational high school from years 7-9, then moved to a girls school afterwards. I prefer the co-ed school over the girls school. Not because there were boys, but I noticed a big social difference between the two different high school. Girls from girls schools are cray cray! Also I ranked better in school when I was matched up against boys. 
  32. I'm bad at remembering numbers, especially logins that require numbers. I can't even remember the numbers to unlock my husband's phone. 
  33. I avoid medication. I'm a firm believer you should let your body's immune system do its thing before you take drugs. Whether it's get some rest, hydrate, sleep or eat something good. I always try one or all these things when I feel unwell before I take anything. 
  34. I have slow reflexes. This is one of the reasons why I started playing sports later on in life, to improve my reflex. I refused to accept my body can't be learn to move quicker as I age.
Hopefully I haven't repeated any of the 34 items previously. You can read another 65 facts about me from my previous birthday posts here and here

What have I got planned for today? Just chill and hang out with my family, couldn't have asked for a better birthday. 

27 Oct 2015

Review of Aqua Pacific Monarch

During our first week in Hawaii we stayed at Waikiki, on the island of Oahu. Originally we had booked an apartment that could accommodate my whole family, but six days before we were about to leave I get an email from the owner saying she had double booked us for a few days and couldn't check in until 3 nights later. The only compensation she was offering was to remove the cleaning fee and of course not charge us for the days we weren't going to be staying. This completely annoyed me, and I refuse to give her our business any longer and asked for a refund of what we had paid to date. So that left us scrambling for some place to stay that could accommodate our large party. Eventually we decided on Aqua Pacific Monarch based on hotel's location, consistent positive reviews and was within everyone's budget. However we were separated into tree different rooms, but I think that was actually a good thing.

Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the room we stay in before we messed it up. I was a zombie by the time we checked in and I like to take photos of the accommodation we stay at when I first walk/check in. If I'm doing a review I like to give readers a view of what I see when I first see a room. But there are photos of the rooms available on their website and on Trip Advisor and that's where I got the photos you can see below. 

Ok so the pro's and con's of Aqua Pacific Monarch.

Positives:
  • Rooms had a kitchenette which comprised of a electric stove, microwave, fridge and basic utensils for when you can make your own meals. 
  • Spacious room for the boys to play around in, and plenty of storage space for our things. 
  • The hotel is two short blocks away from the beach. The hotel is close to the nicer side of Waikiki beach where there's more sand real estate, and there was barricades to filter waves, so  it was a very child friendly spot to swim. 
  • Some great food joints within hotel's door step, (I strongly recommend that Korean BBQ place across the road) as well as various convenient stores for essentials. 
  • Staff were always friendly.
  • Guest collect beach towels and beach chairs for free from the front desk. 
  • We all stayed in studio style room apartment where there was a kitchenette and living room space. The price was reasonable, we paid roughly $130 AUS a night per room. 
Negatives:
  • Although you can tell the room has elements of modern fixtures it's still quite outdated. The hotel is probably really old so it could do with a complete renovation - but that's just my opinion.
  • Weak air conditioning. None of the rooms have ducted or built in air conditioners, so there was a unit in one corner of the room that supplied all the cool air. If you're not in the room during the day it's fine, but we kept our thick curtains closed at all times to keep the heat out and cool air in. 
  • Small bathroom with poor ventilation so would steam up quickly when taking hot showers.
  • Poor lighting in the room.
  • In our room house keeping was terrible. They would either not come so we'd have to call them to come in and do it, or arrive at 9am when we're still in the room. This happened everyday during our stay. 
  • Although hotel was close to the beach it was a little bit of a hike to the retailers and popular food joints. I don't mind walking however with young children four blocks to get anywhere can be challenging if a child is not in the mood for walking. 
  • There was a free shuttle bus that takes guests to Ala Moana Mall but it was always full from collecting other guests from other hotels. Plus it only came around every 30 minutes. It was easier and quicker to catch a bus from across the road, buses that included Ala Moana Mall in it's route came every 5 minutes.
Would I stay at Aqua Pacific Monarch again? No. There's are so many more other accommodation options available in Hawaii. Given we were forced to find an alternative so soon to our departure date, this was what we could find that met everyone's requirements.  




Have you stayed at a hotel around Waikiki before? Where did you stay? Would you stay there again why or what not?

Linking up with Jess

13 Oct 2015

Tips For Traveling With Kids


We did it again. We travelled overseas with two kids under 5. This time we took an even longer flight, a 9 -10 hour flight each way.

29 Sep 2015

Belated Happy 2nd Birthday Post

This post should've been published on the day of my son's 2nd birthday, but it wasn't finished and I don't like publishing posts I'm not 100% with.

Our recent holiday didn't give me a lot of free time to be in front of the laptop, (like as if I would rather be anyways) so now that I have finished it, I can now post it.

Happiest 2nd Birthday Kai. My baby boy, King Kai, Kai Kakes, Keks ... I have so many pet names for you. You're so adorable in my eyes that one name (or nick names) isn't enough to identify you. You need more, as you have so many layers, personalities to you.

I'm going to start by saying you've grown so fast. For me it feels like one day you're a baby and the next moment you're two years old. I wish I can slow your growth down, so I can appreciate and enjoy you at this stage of your life more. I feel guilty at times cause I know the kind of attention, care and priority you receive isn't equal.

You're quiet but communicate loudly in your way. You get hurt a lot, but you're hardly ever phased, or you stand up for yourself. You're demanding, always wanting it your way, but you're so sweet, so loving, and loyal.

You're defensive and don't back down from a fight. You love to laugh and make others laugh too. Right now you trains, The Wiggles and are drawn to animals. You're not afraid of them, you'll chase a dirty cockroach if you see one. You're much bigger than your older brother at his stage, so you're wearing (and out growing) so much of his hand me down's already. You pull the funniest faces, like your "beautiful eyes" and "gigil face" - they crack everyone up. You're a baby version of your dad. You look just like him in every way, even the long hair ... this is probably why I just want to squish you whenever I hold you. 

We love you so much Kai, you're so unpredictable and difficult at times, but we wouldn't want you to be any other way. You make our parenting life ... interesting, but you'll always be my baby boy. 

May you continue to thrive, be alway in perfect health, and be watched over. Happy birthday son. 

Linking up with Jess (it's been awhile)

27 Sep 2015

Post Holiday Blues

We arrived back from Hawaii on Thursday evening. Arrived back to the cold and wet weather of Sydney, so of course I was missing Hawaii instantly. I remember just complaining about how cold it was the whole car ride home. I really despise the cold. 

What I love about holiday's is obviously spending time away my family, but for a blogger it's the content possibilities! I can't wait to recommend places we saw, things we did and share our experience with traveling overseas with two kids under five - I'll get to publishing those posts in due time. 

6 Sep 2015

3am

I dunno I can't sleep. I was asleep, but one of the boys woke up and woke me up. Ian put him back to sleep, but now my body alarm has been awaken. It has been for the past hour and half now, and instead of surfing, I thought why not get ahead of work, why not blog. I miss you blog. 

To be honest, nothing has really inspired me to blog on here. My business has taken over a lot of my free time, so my head space is always thinking about ideas for other people's businesses, or ideas to grow my business, that unfortunately it consumes all my mind. I'm not complaining, it's a good thing - but I don't want to do another work post.

But something more interesting to read about than my business is the fact that in a few days we're off to Hawaii! I'm so excited! My whole family is going, it will be our first family holiday overseas with the extended members i.e partners and kids. We've all been before, several times actually. So we've seen a fair amount of the island, but the good thing about going back somewhere you've been before is checking out new places, or returning back someplace you enjoyed before. 

When travelling I usually like to plan detailed itinerary' so I have an idea of what I'll be doing when I get to a destination. I don't like to waste my time, so I like to research and know what I could potentially do in advance. However I guess because we've been to Hawaii before, and partly cause I've been distracted with the business, I haven't planned anything - I haven't even created a spreadsheet! 

So since I'm awake at 3am, I might as well start putting together a list of things I want to do while we're in Hawaii. 

1. Hike up to Diamond Head
Diamond Head is a look out point of Honolulu. You hike up a dormant volcano cone to see views of the city. Last time I was at Hawaii I was 28 weeks pregnant, and Ian refused to let me hike up for safety reasons. So this time I'm coming for you Diamond Head! Just Googled directions from where we're staying and its only 2miles (3.3km) away by car. I've already decided to make the trip as one of my morning runs. 

2. See more of the North Shore area
Last time we went we only drove up for the day. The North Shore has some of the picturesque beaches of Ohau in my opinion. Plus the drive up with the various stop options makes it one of my recommended things to do in Hawaii. I definitely want to allocate more time traveling to and seeing this area. 

3. Paddle Board
Again because I was pregnant, someone dictated what activities I was and wasn't aloud to do. This time I'm taking full advantage of all the sports and water activities and paddle boarding is on the top of my list, along with snorkelling and learning how to surf.  

4. Ko Olina Lagoons
I've heard Ko Olina are the most child friendly beaches because they're lagoons, so the water is usually flat. Here you can do an array of water activities or just relax by the water. 

5. Giovanni's Shrimp Truck
I know there's heavy debate on which shrimp truck is the best in Honolulu. I have to admit I haven't tried the competitors, but Giovanni's makes amazing bbq garlic shrimp (prawns for us Aussies). I can't wait to go back and have more, this time I'm not sharing!

Have you been to Hawaii before? What do you recommend I try or do?


22 Aug 2015

7 Things I've Out Grown


I know as we get older as our life situations changes, so does our interests. I find as I age what I use to enjoy or spend my spare time doing, I no longer seem to find as ... interesting. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, it's all part of our individual journey. There's still so much of living to do but, but here are a list of things I've noticed I've out grown.

14 Aug 2015

Life Lately

I know the blog has been quiet lately. Of course it's mostly due to running a new business. It's been a month since I've gone live, but like any business owner knows the hard work happens after you actually launch.

4 Aug 2015

Happy 4th Birthday

It was Eli's 4th birthday last week.

Leading up to his birthday we asked him how he wanted to spend his special day? And of course what he wanted as a present. He wanted an Iron Man costume and he wanted to go to the aquarium. We were surprised by his request to go to the aquarium because last time we went, he was scared of everything. You can see some pictorial evidence here.

On the day of his birthday he put on his new Iron Man costume and off we went to the aquarium. One of his God Parents and his son joined us. Us parents were pleasantly surprised how well the kids took to the aquarium. They were entertained, they were interested, they were curious and wanted to explore and the best part no tantrums.

That evening we celebrate over dinner and cake with the rest of the family. Here are few of my favourite snaps of the day.

Happy birthday my sweet Eli. You're always surprising me with your personality, what you can do, what comes out of your mouth and the stuff you remember. I'm so lucky to be your Mum, and I'm so so proud of you. You're one of my greatest accomplishments in life. I love you so much. You're my inspiration and you give me the courage to do things I didn't think I could do, like function on less than five hours of sleep. I pray God is always watching over you, especially when love one's aren't. May he protect you, continue to keep you in good health and keep any harm away form you. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us this new year of your life, and no you can't have your 6th birthday next week.

Happy birthday my son. I love you. 

Linking up with Jess

24 Jul 2015

5 Differences Between One vs. Two Children

I've got a few girlfriends having babies ... again. As in they're expecting baby number two, a few friends expecting baby number one, but mostly friends expecting baby number two. I get asked what has been the big differences between the first and second babies, so I thought I'd put a list together - you know how much I love lists.

1. You're not to keen to be holding something 24/7 again
Unless you're expecting child is very close in age to your first, most likely your first has learnt to walk, well they're definitely not fragile infants anymore. This is something that I forgot, then quickly realise after I came home with baby number two. I forgot what it's like to be holding something all the time. Sure I can't put the baby down, but they're so fragile especially those first few weeks so you, or someone is always holding that newborn. 

2. You stop knowing milestones
With my first baby I was always on Essential Baby or some other parenting site comparing my son's progress with the expected milestones for his age. With my second child I didn't seem to care, as long as they're healthy and thriving, that's all that matters. I even forgot when immunisation shots were due.

3. You stop being a helicopter mum
My first child I was always watching over him. I would stand close by when he's playing, shadowing him where ever he went to play. With my second child I'll walk him over to the gated play area, let him in, go somewhere within view, sit and be alone for a few minutes. I let my second eat what ever he finds on the ground (like I can stop him), and I don't change him into a new outfit unless he's made a big mess of what he's currently wearing.

4. You stop worrying about everything
With my first child I freaked out over the smallest rash, racked my mind why he wouldn't eat a particular food anymore, or hung on to every word a friend said about whatever subject I was seeking some advice about. With the second child you realise half the things you worried about are really unnecessary, but just part of your first time parenting experience.

5. You stop pretending
For me personally, after having my first baby I felt some sort pressure that I've got "it" all together. That everything was going good, baby was breastfeeding, baby was sleeping the prescribed number of hours, baby was hitting milestones etc. I realise now this was just some self inflected pressure on myself. When I had my second child, I realised half the things I worried about were so irrelevant, so I stopped pretending. I started being honest and admitted if my baby doesn't sleep well, I shared when the days of elbow deep in parenting was tough, and as a result I got more support, I felt more empowered and mindful of how I parent.

If you're wondering what to expect with two kids, I did do a post on that a while ago. You can read that post here.

What are some of the differences you've noticed between having one versus two children? 

14 Jul 2015

My New Career

So I've been a little quiet on here lately and there's been a reason why ... I've been working on a project. Ok working on a little idea I've had for a little while. When I say a little while ... like 3 years ago, and finally I've taken the big jump of faith and went for it. 

I've started a service helping other businesses with their social media. This help comes in the form of creating a social media strategy so there's a reason or purpose to what they post online. I also offer managing business' social media presence, and a mentoring service, to help and answer question for those who want to understand, and be champions at running their own social media platforms. 

It's been an idea like I said I've had for a long time. I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and to trust the timing of things. I've realised I wouldn't have been as committed as I am now if I started it back then. The motivation also comes from a better place, where as three years ago it was a reason to not go back to work. Since then I've had exposure and been able to refine my knowledge of this area, and this blog has been a stepping stone and learning block to the services I offer. Like I said things happen for a reason, and to trust the timing of things ... I've really let that belief radiate through this whole process and here I am. Launching my business this week, starting a a new job in a field that I've no formal "qualifications" in besides experience and skills I've mastered. 

This has been a humble idea and has taken a lot to get to where it is today. Of course it's mostly getting over fears, and  finding the confidence to pursue it. It's such a odd feeling when you find that thing that completely interests you, working your arse off doesn't feel like work. I feel like there's not enough time in the day to work on my business. 

I can't wait to build this little dream and see where it takes me. Even taking this first step, I already feel a sense of accomplishment and feel really proud of myself. 

So here are the business details .... 
Please check out my business site: www.followmemedia.com.au
You can also follow my business' Instagram and Twitter accounts on @followmemedia

My encouragement today is to trust in your timing ... it will come. If you've found your passion keep taking those small steps until you're ready to jump off. 

Linking up with Jess

10 Jul 2015

Family Dynamics



It's been awhile since I did a post about my observations of my boys. I really should document about them more, they're growing at such a rapid pace, and I created this space to capture key moments so I have something to refer to once it's all over. However this blog has shifted its focus away from being all about my boys, and more general parenting and children topics. Main reason for this decision is to minimise their presence online, but it's hard not to talk about them since I do share stories about my personal parenting experiences on here.

They boys have been a challenge these past few months. There has been the regular bouts of sicknesses being passed between each other, and the constant feuding, tantrums and screams of sooky-ness. They are playing or interacting together a lot more, hence all the fighting.

Because of this my parenting has also evolved. There's only so much refereeing I can handle before I lose my patience. All preconceived ideas of how I thought I would parent my children at this stage of their development is thrown out the window, and I'm parenting on 'whatever gets the job done' mode. I give in to the chaos and stop fighting a battle that's going to cause me more ... unnecessary ... frustration. This is parenting two boys under four, full time. It gets crazy but to stop yourself from going crazy, you got to let the crazy's think they're running the show.

Eli 
He's almost four years of age. It's so cliché but time does fly. He's growing up and thrives learning new things. Every since we went to the Philippines he's always asking me to teach him new tagalog words. He's at that stage where he's asking me questions that puts me on the spot, or about things I don't even know the answers to, like "What animals have 6 legs?" or "What do seahorses eat?" 

Eli the past few months has grown to be more reliable, independent, feisty, curious, impatient, talkative and overall boyish. He does what he likes not fearing the consequences anymore as I think he's figured out they're empty threats most of the time. He's picked up a lot of ... boyish behaviours and right now we are constantly repeating rules to him ... hopefully it all sinks in soon. 

We're constantly surprised by his cognitive skills. Wanting to learn another language, his love for numbers, his knack for negotiating (to his advantage of course), and he's got great memory. He remembers things from a long time ago that I thought he wouldn't remember.

Kai
Kai is just so adorable in my eyes right now. His mannerism, his long curly locks and round face are part of the reason. Although he always wants to be around me, I still feel like our relationship is one sided because he's not very affectionate. When I ask for a kiss he either ignores my request, or does this lean head forward thing. I think he knows if he treats me mean, he keeps me keen. I remember reading how we interact with our babies they pick up as forms of communication, so I'm always kissing his cheeks hoping he'll understand it translates to something we do to each other, but nope he still plays hard to get. 

He's still not talking. He says a few words if you prompt him too, but they're the basic words all children lean. He is always babbling and singing along to The Giggle Galaxy (yeh! yeh!), Whose in the Wiggle House and Up Town Funk - in his own singing/babbling way. He instead communicates in other ways to get his message across. Like shoving his bottle to us to indicate he wants it refilled, or hands us a new nappy when he wants his current one change (yes he can tell us when he's done a number two). 

We've noticed Kai has little OCD behaviours. Like how he arranges toys and shoes in neat piles at various spots in our home and if someone moves these items he'll return it back to it's spot. Kai loves playing with toys, with a keen interest with ones that have wheels. He loves to roll them across any surface - the bed, the floor, my leg and up my arm. He even does his own little "broooom" muttering sound. 

We also think he might be left handed. I noticed it a few weeks ago but didn't mention anything, but then hubby pointed it out a few days ago.  

My boys. They keep parenting interesting, challenging and rewarding.

Have a good weekend everyone. Enjoy your little people. 

2 Jul 2015

Jake & The Never Land Themed Party

Anne from Domesblissity shares her children's joint party. Both of Anne's children are born in November so instead of planning two separate parties, she asked her children what we their thoughts on a combined party. They both agreed and Jake & The Never Land theme was decided on. There was a girl pirate and a boy pirate, so it was perfect.

Anne made many of the party's elements including the invitation, party loot bags, and the treasure map and chest which she filled with "treasure" for the kids to find.

Various food items were made in theme with the party theme and Anne baked the vanilla flavoured pirate ship cake.

The home's play fort was decorated with skulls and crossbones and transformed into a pirate ship, and her sister dressed as a pirate hosted the games.

You can read more about Jake & The Never Land themed party here.

If you would like to share and submit a past party you've hosted get in contact! Email me on gen.y.mum@gmail.com would love to feature your party on here. 

26 Jun 2015

Liebster Award

Liebster Award
Several weeks ago I was awarded by the lovely Charlene from Teacher by Trade, Mother by Nature a Liebster Award.

19 Jun 2015

10 Photos Everyone Has Posted Online

What I love about social media is how it connects us. I love how this "connection" can be done in many different forms. There are people who are more visual that is, their preferred form of communication is through images as appose to written word. They say an image speaks a thousand words, maybe that's why we take so many photos and share it online. 

I've complied a list of ten images that we're all guilty of posting on social media, and my tongue in cheek translation for these photos.

16 Jun 2015

Philippines 2015

I finally went through all our photos from our recent trip to the Philippines and picked a few to share with you all. Here's some of my favourites from Boracay.

Happy Tuesday!


If you want to know where we stayed, you can read about it here.

Linking up with Jess

12 Jun 2015

Review of Henann Garden Resort

I finally made it out to beautiful Boracay. Where is Boracay you ask? It's one of the island of the Philippines, known for its white sandy beach and torques water. Its simply picturesque, just like the images you see online when you Google this place. I've heard of Boracay and its beautiful island scenery for several years, however it was only now I (and my family) got to finally see it with our own eyes.

Months leading up to our holiday we researched various accommodation options as there are so many at Boracay. It all depends on how much you're willing to spend and what creature comfort's you need while holidaying. 

We decided on Henann Garden Resort, which is located on Station 2 of Boracay. In Boracay's White Sand Beach, which is the main beach of the island, is divided by three stations, 1, 2 and 3. Station 1 has mostly the more expensive resorts and known to be quieter. Station 2 has mid range priced hotels and resorts, its the more central location therefore lots of restaurants, bars, and activities can be booked and done around here. And Station 3 accommodates the budget traveller who's happy to enjoy the beach all day without being pestered by vendors and avoid the heaving crowd.

The positives:

  • We booked a Grand room. Now that we’re a family of four and with two young children we need space for all our stuff and enclosed space to let the boys be boys. The room was modern and had everything we needed to be comfortable, such as big comfy beds, a clean and functioning bathroom, tv, a two seater couch, a mini fridge, cupboard space and a safe. We were allocated room 284 so on the second floor with views of the pool. 
  • We booked directly with the resort and got a package which included our airport to resort (by speed boat and van) transfer. (The two airport options you can fly to to get to Boracay island isn't on the island itself, you need to catch a boat to get to Boracay island). The package also included all our breakfasts and dinners during our stay. I'd recommend this package as it made the process of getting to the island seamless and really quick and the option to have dinners at the hotel if we wanted to. 
  • The hotel's boat transfer area to get to Boracay island literally across the road from Caticlan airport. It's a lovely. comfortable waiting area too with lots of space, couches to sit and enjoy the view and shade from the heat. 
  • The service from the moment we stepped off the plane was exceptional. There was staff outside to collect guests, and as soon as they collect you, they collect your stuff, so you don't have to worry about lugging your own gear until you get into your room. This was a plus for us as we had small children to also carry. 
  • Where we were located we couldn't hear the any of the noise from the hustling beach, especially at night when it was the busiest. 
  • Beach towels, beach beds and pool side cabanas were all free, you just got to get in first. 
  • Staff were warm and lovely. They were always saying hi to my boys and trying to get their attention. 
  • The resort had direct access to the beach so easy walk to main areas like D'Mall, and access to various restaurants and bars. 
  • Lots of pools to swim in. 
  • Rooms thoroughly cleaned everyday unless you ask house keeping not to. With free bottles of water provided every day.
The negatives:

  • Although all rooms are non smoking, the resort doesn’t restrict smoking in public areas. So smokers can smoke around the pool areas where kids are. It was annoying when a chain smoking couple get the chair beds next to you and your kids.  
  • Some of the rooms in the resort are older and needs to be updated. Not sure if this is the plan anytime soon, as this is not communicated to guests or on their web site. The images of the rooms you see online are of the newer building/rooms, so if you get allocated one of the less modern rooms, this is certainly a surprise. This was the case for our friends, who got older rooms, and in the most undesirable areas of the resort.
  • Resort didn’t run any activities or host any events for guests. So we found ourselves finding activities, and eating outside of the resort. In my opinion resorts that don’t offer more than just accommodation for guests, are actually disadvantaging themselves.
  • No kids club. They do run child minding services and I’m sure at a fee. I’m not one of those parents who can just let a stranger babysit their children – I’m not there yet. But if there was a kids club where they’re doing activities with other kids, I’d be more comfortable. 

 Bathroom. Don't worry there were blinds you could pull down so your family doesn't have to watch you do your business.

 Grand room with twin double beds


Henann Garden Resort Pool
The view from our balcony
Hotel grouunds

8 Jun 2015

Dealing With Hand Foot & Mouth Disease

I've noticed a recent epidemic circulating around Sydney, especially amongst kids in childcare. I'm talking about Hand Foot and Mouth (HFM) Disease. My boys recently had it. 

What is HFM? Its caused by a virus. It appears on the hands and feed, in the mouth and also often in the "nappy" area. It's usually a mild disease that lasts between seven to ten days. It's usually spread by catching from someone who already has the disease or objects that may had contact with the virus.

5 Jun 2015

A Little Golden Book Themed Party

Blogger Teacher by Trade, Mother by Nature went with sweet A Little Golden Book theme for her son's 1st birthday.

Leading up to Master M's celebration his mum collected as many A Little Golden Book's as she could find from op-shops, friends and family. They would be used to decorate the room and prop pieces, and be given to Master M to start his own ALGB collection.

2 Jun 2015

May in Review

It's that time of the month .... a little review of my Insta snaps. Of course this month has comprised of lots of snaps from my recent holiday.

30 May 2015

Ascott Makati

During some of our time in Manila we stayed at The Ascott, a serviced apartment at Makati. What we loved about this accommodation is that it was a an apartment which had a full kitchen to cook our own meal and a washer and drier to do laundry - a requirement for any family who travels overseas. Here's a list of the pro's and con's I identified with staying at The Ascott. 

27 May 2015

Traveling on a Plane with 2 Kids Under 4

I've been asked how was our experience traveling on a plane with two kids under four.

Firstly, I expected the worst. I say keep your expectations on how the flight will be low, so anything above that is a great experience. I say this because our very first plane ride with one child, wasn't the best, so since then I've learnt to be prepared to expect the worst.

22 May 2015

I'm Back!

We've returned from our holiday to the Philippines. That's the reason why this blog has lacked any activity the past few weeks. Kudos to those bloggers who post during personal holidays, although I'm sure most of those posts have been planned, written, and scheduled weeks before their trip (I envy their commitment). However if you've been following me on my instagram account (@genymum) you'd see I've been pretty busy posting on there. 

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