Why my relationship works…

I took a bit of a break because I just needed to clear some space in my head. We’re about to make quite a big decision, a sad one at that too, so I just haven’t really felt in the mood to blog. But I’m back now!

Phew, what a busy last couple of days – and rainy ones too! We have just had downpour after downpour, and I have absolutely LOVED every moment of it. I had to run errands on Friday and every time I was about to get out of the car, the rain would start pouring down (and it even hailed on us) so there was a bit of sitting around in the car waiting for the rain to subside. Even though I tried, Jacob still managed to get himself wet (lots of jumping in muddy puddles).

But nothing beats a rainy day than a warm snuggle in our bed! This is the scene in my bed at 6.30am a  few mornings ago – love these two but no space in bed for me, sigh!

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Today I’m meant to talk about what makes my relationship work. Of course, there are lots of deep underlying reasons, but here are just a few fun ones…

  1. We love the same genre of movies and TV series. Okay, so this isn’t the most important thing but it certainly makes things easier on movie nights. Plus, we both enjoy a nice hot chocolate and cookies while lounging on the sofa together.
  2. We complement each other – I am the dreamer and he is the realist. I am the impulsive one and he’s the one who will tell me all the pros and cons before I jump into something I’m over my head in.
  3. We love travelling together. We’ve been to a number of places together and we’re keen to keep exploring the world together (except now we’ll have to lug two boys along with us too!).

  4. We have the same sense of humour – a bit left wing and sometimes a little politically incorrect but we share it in close quarters. We send each other funny pics or videos on Facebook sometimes!
  5. We love being together but also don’t mind if we each get a bit of “me time” – like sometimes he’ll play basketball or play PS4 with his friends, and sometimes I get my girls nights out. It’s all about balance!
  6. We love eating together. Hubby and I are both adventurous eaters which is so much fun – back in the day, we used to go out for all sorts of cuisines (though now we mostly eat at home or have takeaway due to child constraints)

  7. We profess the same faith and go to church together. I think it really helps us in other big life decisions because our faith also defines underlying values that we live by as well.
  8. We appreciate each other. Maybe I don’t tell him enough, but he does so much for me – from the little things like serving me when I’m feeding Jared or cleaning up after I cook in the kitchen (as I make an awful mess). And for always fixing my tech issues and for getting all my favourite shows. And I always feel appreciated by him for all the stuff I do at home with the kids, cooking meals, etc.
  9. We make beautiful children (and love them to bits!). I know people say that having kids can take its toll on your relationship, but I feel that our kids bring us together as well and we end up making more amazing memories together.

What makes your relationship tick?

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Interview with Yukiko

When I started this blog challenge, I was looking through the topics  – when I came across the one about interviewing another blogger, someone came to mind right away.

Yukiko (whom I know as Ying) and I were high school besties and she’s been blogging since forever (and doing a great job at it too). She’s also one of most talented people I know – she can speak multiple languages (including Mandarin, Japanese, etc.), she can literally do magic, she’s an amazing photographer, she’s also great with makeup and she’s just a really wonderful person to be with!


Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your blog http://www.yukikotan.com?

I am a travel and photography addict! I write about mostly travel and beauty reviews, and I prefer telling my story through photos so I spend a lot of time on my photos to make sure it’s a good photo before it goes on the blog!

What are some things that keep you inspired?
I love reading blogs and vlogs, so I spend quite a lot of time just blog hopping and watching Youtube videos on a daily basis.
My fav blogs would have to be Inthefrow, thelondonder, and annstreetstudio.
Favourite Youtubers – Fleurdeforce, ChriselleLim, Inthefrow

Can you tell us about someone famous/interesting that you’ve met along your blogging journey?
To be honest I think all media invites have been extremely interesting for me, if I didn’t started blogging, I don’t think I would have had the chance to be invited to any of the events. My most memorable one so far would have to be when Hennessy flew me to Penang, paid for my flights and accommodation just to attend a party event. Everything was really well though and I felt so spoilt throughout my trip.

What is your favourite place in the whole world and why?
If we are talking about cities, then it would be Kyoto, I love the culture, the story behind the city but if it’s a place we are talking about then it’d be Canal Rocks in Western Australia, I mean, have you seen the place? It’s breathtakingly beautiful!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love photography so during my spare time I like going through Pinterest for more photo inspiration and ideas for my next shoot. I do also enjoy practicing magic and reading the encyclopedias when I have time to spare.

If you were given a million dollars on the condition that you had to spend it all today, what would you do with it?
A million dollars USD or RM (Malaysian Ringgit)? Hah, if it’s RM then probs just a small house as an investment but if it’s in USD I’ll still get a house, and then buy myself a couple of trips with Fourseasons private jets. Then, with whatever’s remaining, I’ll head to http://luisaviaroma.com to do more shopping. =p

Check out Yukiko’s blog HERE.
You can also check our her Youtube channel HERE for awesome fashion Vlogs, which if I actually followed, I might actually not look like a dumpy mum haha!

Thanks again for fitting me into your busy schedule and answering my questions! 😉

mayo 3
覚えてますか?

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Who is your favourite blogger and what makes her blogs awesome?

I miss…

I actually found this very hard to write; because there are a lot of things I miss, but I was trying to find the things that are really closest to my heart.

Of course, being a mum, it’s natural that I’d say things like I miss having the freedom to do whatever I liked, I miss not having so many responsibilities (or rather, dependent little people who I need to wait on hand and food) and I miss all the things mums don’t get to do very much like go out on fancy dates or the movies or even just to the toilet without a toddler wanting to be a part of it.

Those things matter, but I think I really want to talk about feelings. I used to be a very emotional person – some people who know me will be shocked because at times I reckon I appear unmoved by certain things, almost stoic? I’m not the type who cries openly (though I sometimes shed a tear watching a sad commercial – go figure!) and I almost at times feel like I’m not sure how to feel about certain things.

Like, when Jared was born, the day leading up to his birth was one filled with the joy of newness and the sorrow of change as I was so afraid my relationship with Jacob would change (and it has, but for the better). I wrote a poem about it, which you can read HERE.

But anyway, here are some things I miss, in no particular order:

  • I miss meeting my babies for the very first time. I don’t think there is any other feeling in the world quite like it. The exhaustion, the relief, the joy.
  • I miss Malaysian food from time to time – some of the oddest things like Japanese egg tofu first thing in the morning or sago gula melaka late at night. I also miss the drinks – teh halia (ginger tea) on a cold wintry night perhaps.
  • I miss getting caught in the rain to the point that you’re completely saturated, that extra rain doesn’t matter one bit. And just walking around in that state in warm humidity like nothing’s happened.
  • I miss playing the piano with my eyes closed, with absolutely no agenda and letting one song turn into another or into a melody you’ve never heard before, but it sounds good nevertheless.
  • I miss my family who are far away. There are times we don’t get along, but then they leave and I realise that it was just not worth being mad at each other, because there’s only so many hours in a day and only so many opportunities to be in the same room together.
  • I miss the feeling you get when you’re starting out on a holiday, be it a road trip nearby or a flight overseas; the stress of “Have I packed everything? Where are my passports?” and the excitement of “Oh yeah HERE WE COME!”
  • I miss meeting someone from your past who once played an important role in your life, but then life got in the way and you didn’t see each other for ages, but then we both smile at each other and all the familiarity comes floating back.
  • I miss the memories made at Port Dickson – my parents used to take me to a company bungalow and eventually we bought a flat not too far away from there because we loved the town so much. Just imagine the whole beach house feel; playing ping pong or carrom, eating seafood and of course, going to the beach. And we often had family friends come along with us too – people I hardly speak to now but there was once that we shared such amazing moments.
  • I miss the moment that you’re performing something that you’d been diligently practicing for, like a song or a dance. In particular, I want to share my wedding dance with you – which is something I got hubby into (he wouldn’t call himself a lover of dance) and, while I can’t speak for him, I reckon we had an amazing time learning and performing it.

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What are some things you miss?

Wish List Collage (toddler style)

I’ve made it to challenge topic number 2 – a wish list collage! Just to make things fun, I decided to let Jacob get involved with my wish list (and I put a few things on his wish list on this too – though in truth I reckon I’d be just as excited as him if he got them!).

Before I get into it, I’ll just explain the progression. We were playing around with some cellotape and chalk (after doing the wishlist) – I was showing him how the chalk goes on the paper but not on the sticky tape. Then he kept bugging me to make him a treasure chest (he’s into pirates at the moment) so I used an old box and we stuck his chalk/sticky tape design onto it and put lettering stickers on it, and voila! We have the word “Quest” on it too because he wanted to use the letters Q and U, so I thought we’d just put another word there that sorta went along with the theme!

In the bottom corner, those are a couple of things he put in his treasure chest – a Thor dress up hat, number candles, a tiny green bell (which was confiscated after in case someone swallowed it) and Jared’s socks.

But anyway, back to the point. I was doing a wish list and thought I’d let Jacob make it with me. My kids are my life so there are a number of things that I want that really are for them, but seeing them with something they like makes me so happy. Anyway, here it is!

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Sorry if it’s hard to see, but I’ll now explain what is what. It’s a bit all over the place, full of tangible and intangible things, but this is sorta what I’d like at the moment.

  1. Money

    Yes, folks , I did put a picture of money here. Hubby was watching me make this and he’s like “Who puts MONEY on a wish list?” But in truth, I think we all want more money, so I’ll be honest. There are so many things I would do with more money. I would possibly have another child (we haven’t decided yet, but $ is ultimately a factor). I would probably travel a lot more. I would eat out more and hire a cleaner to keep my house in check. I would go back to study, learn a new language, the list goes on. But the fact is that I don’t have the money to rationalise many of these things, or rather I prioritise other things over my wants. But one day!

  2. A White Christmas

    I chose this picture because Jacob loves snowmen, and tells me he will build one one day. Which is hard as we live in Adelaide where it doesn’t snow (though it has happened once in a blue moon). We’d really like to have a white Christmas one year – maybe somewhere in Germany / Switzerland / Austria or even over in the UK. We initially thought to do it next year but think we might wait a few more years so both boys will actually remember the experience.

  3. The Wiggles Concert

    So, there was a Wiggles Concert here in Adelaide last week and we missed it!! Ugh. I really would like to take Jacob to something like that – either Wiggles or Playschool or even Mister Maker or Disney on Ice. I’ve just been doubting that he can sit still though so an “active” concert where the kids can join in would be awesome. But yes, one fine day we’ll do this. And maybe mummy here might even be able to go to a concert of my own too – top of list would be Ludovico Einaudi or Piano Guys!

  4. Healthy Eating

    Yes, it is a salad. But really, I really wish that I could live a healthier lifestyle and eat better, fresher, greener food. I know part of it is my bad management (my mum was shocked at the state of my pantry when she visited me last) and also making poor choices. And the fact that I LOVE all sorts of food, particularly the hearty, fatty and decadent! I have been eating like a pig since I started breastfeeding but I hope for it to change! We have been eating more salads and fruit lately but I still need to cut down on sweets and portion sizes – last night I had a double helping of spag bol as I was SOOOO hungry!

  5. Mummy and Son Matching Clothing

    By now you’re thinking “What kind of list is this?”. But yes, firstly I admit I’m the type who loves to dress my kids alike, but now I’m taking it to another level – I want to be dressed like them! There are so many adorable ideas and I was thinking maybe when the kids are older, we’ll do a family photoshoot wearing matching things!

  6. More Travel

    I want to travel the world! I want to scale mountains and swim in rivers; I want to see big cities and small country towns; I want to hear foreign tongues being spoken, experience different climates and taste authentic cuisine. Of course, a lot of this has had to be put on hold due to having young kiddos, though we have been travelling a bit (but mainly in Australia or in Asia/on our way to Malaysia to visit relatives). But I’m confident that we will travel more in future!

  7. Japan (and Disneyland)!

    One of my most desired destinations is Japan! We’re hoping to go there next year but still in the early planning stages. I just love so many things about Japan – the culture, the food, the history, the language, the people… and I’m really excited to go there as they have so many awesome and kawaii things for little kids to do, particularly Tokyo Disneyland!

  8. Bubble Tea

    I reckon I’ve always liked bubble tea, but in my pregnancy with Jared, I was obsessed! It was about the only thing I enjoyed consuming aside from coconut juice, so hubby spoiled me and bought it for me. He knows my order now – large Thai milk tea, 50% sugar and no ice. I was so obsessed I had bubble tea at my baby shower! And I think the addiction has stuck, though I don’t have it anywhere as much!

  9. Tree Fu Tom Garden

    I’m really keen to start up my very own fairy garden in my back yard. Not much grows there, but I’m hoping that I could maybe beautify it with gnomes and fairy houses. But Jacob is not really into fairies – rather, he told me he wants a “Tree Fu Tom” Garden since Tree Fu Tom is one of his new favourite shows. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the show (or if you want to) but this boy Tom transforms into a tiny fairy-sized superhero and he goes out to help the citizens of Treetopolis in his back yard. So, yes, I’m on the lookout for cool solar houses and toadstools etc.

  10. Beach Holiday in Paradise

    I’ve been reading so much about this place called Paradise Resort Gold Coast, which is this awesome kid friendly resort that I’d love to go to! It’s got pools and a number of playgrounds including water play but also rock climbing, ice skating and a Kids Club so parents can have a day without the kids! Definitely sounds like a fun holiday! But I’m also keen to go back to Far North Queensland to bask in tropical paradise.

  11. LOTS of Lego!

    This certainly would be Jacob’s wish, but in truth, I love Lego as well. I never really got into it as a kid but I just love seeing how Jacob gets into it and builds so many interesting things. I’ve actually already bought him some Lego Juniors (which is for 4-8 year olds, but they have so many cool vehicles/diggers that he can make). I might try some of that with him from his 3rd birthday!

And so, that’s my wish list!

On an ending note, I just wanted to share a couple of pics. We went for some buffet breakfast on Sunday and it was sublime! On the way there, the sun was really bright and was shining in Jacob’s eyes. This is his “The sun is in my eyes face”. Then he decided he’d had enough and put my breastfeeding shawl on his head. Oh well. Gotta love his problem solving skills!

Travel bug…

I’ve been busy with my parents, who have just left Adelaide for home sweet home.

ImageIt was wonderful for them to be here to share in Jacob’s upbringing. They watched him go from rocking back and forth to crawling and climbing up onto things. They watched him eating lots on good days and throwing food on the floor on not so good days. They witnessed him go from super friendly baby to slightly wary baby, as he just developed his stranger anxiety. But most of all, they just got to build a bond with him and I’m sure he’ll love to see them again when we head to Malaysia later in the year.

I’ve had the travel bug lately and have been dying to seek out another destination to travel to. I have actually been to quite a few places, but perhaps the more I travel, the more I feel like travelling! Anyway, here are 5 awesome places I’ve been to in the last few years (and would LOVE to go back to).

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Auckland, NZ (and surrounds- Rotorua, etc)
I admit Auckland isn’t the most interesting place, but I definitely want to go back to New Zealand to explore the great outdoors.

ImageJakarta, Indonesia
My dad used to work here so we used to visit him here.

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The Gold Coast, Australia
I loved the theme parks in Gold Coast, but will only go back when Jacob is old enough to enjoy them.

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Cairns, Australia
(and surrounds – Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Chillagoe, Innisfail, Great Barrier Reef, etc.)
I worked here and also went on some awesome road trips. Love this region!

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Phuket, Thailand
We went there for our honeymoon and it was awesome. Enough said!

Which of the following places do you like the best?

And finally, I won something – or really, Jacob won something. Remember the competition I posted about last week?

ImageYippie, we got a runner up prize! I’ll find out exactly what I win on Tuesday. Thanks again to Avalon City Imaging Photography!

Liebster Awards!

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To tell the truth, I’d never heard about Liebster awards before, hence why I was so excited to be given one! 🙂 I remember back in the day when we’d have to pass along questionnaire-type links via email or on Friendster (even before Facebook!) so this brings back memories. 

The Liebster Award is a blogger award given by bloggers to bloggers in order to broaden the blogging community. If you are nominated for the Liebster Award, you have a few rules to follow:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
3. Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 500 followers
4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
5.Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them
 
So a big thank you to Little Miss Prepared for nominating me and for leaving me a list of interesting questions to answer (and if you haven’t noticed, I’ve learned how to add a link. What a dumbo I was before, argh!) And here are the questions I was given!

1. Where is your ‘happy place’?

I guess I have a number of happy places (figuratively and literally), but I’d say my main motivations come down to three things:

1. Movies – Yes, I am that kind of person who can watch a movie and get completely immersed in its world. Particularly with epic movies like Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, etc. and some series like Game of Thrones. Call me an escapist…

2. Nature – I love nature – the more remote, the better. I love the sound of water, be it waves on the beach, rain on leaves or a waterfall gushing over. I love spring flowers and autumn leaves – and I’m sure I’d love the silence of snowfall, though I haven’t had much experience with it. Nature reminds me of my origins and of the Creator, and that’s probably the happiest place I could be.

3. Music – My happy place is somewhere between Comptine d’un autre été L’après midi and Divenire. Imagine a rainy day, with the wind blustering outside, and your fingers flying across the keys without even opening your eyes – because you’re not playing a piano, you’re singing it. It’s not just a song, it’s your soul dancing. 🙂

2. What is your favourite book?

Argh Bree this is a hard one!! There are so many books I love to bits. Probably my all time favourite is still Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I think I’ve read that over 50 times (from the time I was about 10) – when you are that age and you are reading Harry Potter for the first time, you will sit by the post box waiting for your letter from Hogwarts. It didn’t help that I had owls living in my roof then!

I think I love that book because that’s where the journey of imagination began – before all the sadness and darkness, it was just a simple story about a boy whose mother sacrificed everything for him, but there still being a whole world of hope ahead of him. 

3. How many children would you like (can be in your ideal world)?

Ideally I’d like 3 – though I’d be happy to settle for 2. As long as Jacob is not an only child, that’s fine by me. 🙂

By the way, here is my little Jacob doing pushups in his pirate tent! I can’t write a blog post without posting a picture of him, haha! 

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4. How did you meet your partner or husband?

People say we are a match made in heaven, and funnily enough, we met each other at church. On our first date, we had coffee/hot chocolate and talked, then had dinner and talked, and had dessert and talked… and I thought, man, this guy’s going to make me fat! Haha! 🙂 We enjoy our indulgences. But honestly, I’m so glad we met at church because I wanted to be with someone who has the same beliefs as I do, and I’m glad we can bring Jacob up with this shared faith. 

5. What is your favourite part about being a mum/mom?

My favourite part would probably be having cuddles and smiles with Jacob. He has an infectious smile and no matter what’s happening, his smile makes me smile. I’m also blessed to have a teddy bear type baby, who is warm and cuddly all the time (plus he has soft fuzzy hair). My cuddle love tank is full to the brim and overflowing!

6. What is your favourite room/place in your house?

I actually really like my front garden, and the little staircase coming through it. We have lovely roses and lavender bushes growing, and it gets great lighting so it’s an awesome place for photos. Come to think of it, I took a photo there today! This is my new autumn outfit – okay, I admit that’s a spring skirt! I’m not very fashion savvy I guess, sigh…

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Okay, I know it’s not IN the house but I hope it’ll do! 😛

7. What was your reaction when you found out you were pregnant?

We were on holiday in Tasmania when I started feeling funny, so I bought a double pack as I was going to test twice – because once isn’t enough to convince me. I was actually a little skeptical when the first test was positive. We’d only started trying and I was like “No way!”. But the next day, we tested again and that’s when we started getting excited.

8. Were you hoping for a boy or a girl (or both in twin cases) and what was your partner or husband hoping for?

I’ve actually got to ask Daniel that one – I think he wouldn’t have minded either but is happy that we have a boy. We both initially thought it was a girl but were still over the moon when we found out it was a boy. And come to think of it, I always wanted to have a boy first (and then a girl). 🙂

9. What is your least favourite chore around the house?

Probably the one(s) that I never do! 😛 Out of regular house chores, the one I dislike the most is vacuuming (though steam mopping comes a close second). The reason – I hate cords! Even with an extension cord, I always seem to pull the plug out of the socket, knock something over or just trip over the vacuum. When I used to work in hospitality, I used to love vacuuming, but that was because we had backpack vacuums which you just wear on your back!

10. If you had to eat the same thing every day what would it be?

Hmmm… that’s a tough one because I’m always in different moods where I want to eat different things. Potato chips always go down well (especially just the plain salted ones). I must admit that, as Asian as this sounds, rice would be a fave of mine. When I was a child, I used to go out and just eat bowls of plain white rice lol. 

11. If you could go anywhere where would it be?

I really really want to go travelling all over the world, particularly to Europe and Japan, but not just the tourist attractions. I’m the kind of person who likes to live it like a local. So, I’d like to see back streets, little local joints where you need to know the local tongue to even find the place, etc. I’ve been sorta longing to see Ireland again (probably because I’ve been listening to Irish music lately), but anywhere in Europe is awesome…

 

The reason why this post is a bit delayed is because I couldn’t find enough nominees lol! Silly me for not blogsurfing more often – and I realise quite a few blogs I follow have more than 500 followers so I couldn’t nominate them! But here are my nominees!!

The Gwen Chronicles

Little Word Bites

Pianolearner

Great Little Stories

Grace

Don’t Smash the Piggy Bank

Small Steps, Big Picture

Voguezzz

A Few of My Favourite Things

Talking with your Mouth Full

Bump, Baby and Me

And the questions for you are:

1. Why did you decide to start blogging (and has this purpose lived on through your blogging career)?

2. What’s the weirdest thing someone has commented on your blog?

3. Who would you consider your idol?

4. Are you right handed or left handed (or both)?

5. Where were you born?

6. What is the most meaningful thing that’s happened to you so far this year?

7. If you were a cake, what flavour would you be?

8. What is your dream holiday destination?

9. What is your favourite nursery rhyme?

10. What would be your life motto?

11. If you had the choice of being born (again) into any family/place/circumstance, who/where/what would it be?

Port Elliot again!

Yes, boring us have gone back to Port Elliot again! We were just there in November last year, but this time I brought my parents there (because it is so darn awesome). We stayed at The Port Elliot Beach House YHA again – it’s a really nice place and the owners are so friendly! Jacob and I approve…

ImagePort Elliot is just over an hour out of Adelaide, and is in close proximity to Victor Harbour, Middleton and Goolwa. The Beach House is located just above Horseshoe Bay, which is a beautiful spot of beach. Got quite a nice shot for a phone camera 😉

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Before we even got to the Beach House, we spotted a sign that took us off course – it said “ADRA Op Shop” and took us down a side street to a huge warehouse. It’s probably one of the biggest Op Shops I’ve even seen! I’m a regular patron of the ADRA Op Shops in our locale (Parafield & Brahma Lodge) and it was good to see one thriving there!They had two rooms full of things to buy, and some things were so worth it like 50 cent books!

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Just FYI, ADRA stands for Adventist Development and Relief Agency and is the humanitarian organisation linked to the Adventist church. They run many projects locally and internationally as well – I myself have been involved with their meals program The Shepherd’s Lodge. A really good cause! 🙂 Here’s room number two!

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Anyway, enough about op shops – let’s head to the beach! Here’s Jacob with grandpa and grandma.

ImageIt was probably Jacob’s first time swimming in sea water – I have dipped his feet in sea water before but he’s never really been paddling around in it. While it was a hot day, boy was the water cold. Here’s what Jacob thought of it when a wave came rushing up over him… Brrrr!

ImageWe also made a little side trip to Victor Harbour and crossed to Granite Island – Jacob was asleep a lot of the time, hence why he looks a little dopey in the pictures. We didn’t see the little penguins but we did hear them squeaking as they were being fed.

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It was a lovely trip but I picked up a cold since then. I’d love a nice hot drink and just to head to bed now – good night all!

P.S. I promise I’ll go somewhere new next time! xoxo