The Stay-Cation

The Staycation

Remember when you were a kid and the most vivid summer memories were always about simple fun under the Australian sun with your best friends and your family? {With Fluro zinc cream on your nose}

I’m talking bright blue skies, hot hot days, ice blocks melting faster than you can eat them, slip n slide with detergent for extra speed, Bbq’s, the sound of neighbours kids playing, cicadas providing your summer soundtrack, sand castles, jumping over waves, and riding your new bike on Christmas morning.

Sun, sand, salt and surf. Friends, fun and family. These were the ingredients to our stay-cation and it was bliss. It was one of the best holidays we’ve had and we didn’t even need a suitcase or a passport.

Boogie board over one shoulder, towel over the other. Bucket and spade in one hand, child’s tiny hand in the other. A visit from Pa who lives interstate. We bought furniture and we de-cluttered. Room by room, cupboard by cupboard. I donated 6 bags of clothing! And another 4 bags of baby things.

Maybe this is why our stay-cation was so good. We got a holiday AND we got super organised ready for whatever 2015 will throw at us.

The Huz had a list of household handy jobs that could all be completed with a cordless drill, a phillips head screw driver, a lawn mower, an Ikea provided allen key, a can of Wd40 and a bottle of weed killer.

Side note… I don’t recommend visiting Ikea with two kids under five after four hours at the aquatic centre. It looks like this…

Ikea

After the events of last year {both on a personal and global scale} all we wanted to do was be close to home with those we love and our stay-cation was a reminder that it really is all about the simple things.

And you know you’ve had a good break when you are actually ok at the thought of going back to the rat race and getting back into some sort of routine. I think the key to this is the magic three weeks. Two weeks is just not quite enough. Three is just perfect. But of course I’d take more if I could!

So here’s our perfect Aussie summer in pictures.

Christmas went something like this…

Does it get much cuter than a kid in a dressing gown!?

Does it get much cuter than a kid in a dressing gown!?

Home made gifts for our besties & neighbours {thanks The Organised Housewife for the idea}

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Train

Jingle, our Elf on the shelf provided lots of cheeky laughs and I almost cried when the kids said goodbye to him Christmas Eve.

Jingle, our Elf on the shelf provided lots of cheeky laughs and I almost cried when the kids said goodbye to him Christmas Eve.

Thanks Santa!

Thanks Santa!

I actually have 3 kids!!

I actually have 3 kids!!

Our 2morrows were so into Chrissy this year and it was just magical.

Our 2morrows were so into Chrissy this year and it was just magical.

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo

Damn selfie stick!!

Damn selfie stick!!

Giraffes view of Sydney

Luckiest giraffes in the world. That view!

Taronga Seals

Master 3 was a bit scared of the Dinosaurs. Look how real they looked!

Master 3 was a bit scared of the Dinosaurs. Look how real they looked!

Taronga Dinosaurs

Home Stuff

We bought furniture, the kids got new beds and we finally did my picture wall which was months in the making. Thanks handy man Dad for hanging my Frames!

{Oh Happy Days foil print from Down That Little Lane. I just couldn’t part with the pineapple and watermelon Scatter Love Cards from Fat Mum Slim and Emma Kate Co. They were screaming to be framed!}

Picture Wall

Miss 5 lost her first tooth! Thankfully the tooth fairy was on her game!

Miss 5 lost her first tooth! Thankfully the tooth fairy was on her game!

Date Day!

We had an amazing date day. Yes, a whole Day! Hot stone massage for two, lunch at my current fave restaurant. Papi Chulo @ Manly, a big long romantic walk and frozen yoghurt whilst watching the waves roll in. Romance!

Papi Chulo

Meat Fest!

Meat Fest!

We swam. We beached. We did picnics. We slip n slided…

Freshwater Beach

This photo makes my heart sing!

This photo makes my heart sing!

Salt in the air sand in my hair

Slip N Slide

Freshwater Beach

The blimp seemed to follow us everywhere we went!

The blimp seemed to follow us everywhere we went!

Shelley Beach

Aquatic Centre

We spent 4 hours here!!

Manly To Spit Coastal Walk

I did the manly to spit walk with my fave gals on the most divine day ever, followed by a dip in the ocean! It was sooo good and we’ve vowed to do it more often.

Manly Wharf

Yay No kids!

Yay No kids!

Manly to spit

Shan & Jo Manly to Spit Walk

God's Country

God’s Country

Clontarf

Balgowlah

Love this city sydney

Yep, I really do love this city!

Sometimes the best vacation is a stay-cation. We will definitely be doing it again!

Have you even done a stay-cation? What was your favourite part?

Shannon xx pink

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The Sleep Promise

Ahh New Years resolutions. Made many. Never really kept one.

I truly believe in all things moderation so when it comes to giving up something I’m all like, well why? A little bit of chocolate/sugar/wine/all of the above won’t hurt a gal!

BUT… I’m really going to try this time, because I’ve realised that I really really REALLY need more sleep. Quality shut eye. I’m talkin 8 big fat hours!

I’m not sure when it happened, maybe it was always there… I just can’t remember much pre kids. I know I’ve never been a morning person, but somehow, post babies I’ve become the biggest night owl. Staying up until midnight on a week night is not un-common for me these days.

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Me.. The night owl drinking tea Image source: Pinterest

By the time we get kids to bed, clean up after dinner, do a bit of work or some blog stuff, read, or watch The Bachelor… hello midnight! It doesn’t help that C is up late working on the laptop most nights.

Then before I know it, the alarms go off. Yes, Alarms! The boy version and the girl version. Usually one directly after the other, because let me tell you, there’s no such thing as the pitter patter of small feet. With floorboards it’s more like baby elephants stomping down the hallway at the crack of dawn. And when this happens, I curse myself for going to bed so damn late. And this happens every single morning!

I’m just so tired of waking up tired!

But thank god for holidays… and the opportunity to re-group, re-focus and make a fresh start, especially at New Years.

I’m never more inspired than when I’m on holidays. On holidays I always have these grand thoughts of all the ‘things’ I’m going to do when I get back into the usual routine. These ‘things’ are usually inspired by the holiday destination I’m in. Here’s some real life examples:

  • Intending to take Vietnamese cooking classes after purchasing all the necessary cooking utensils on our Vietnam honeymoon (which are still sitting in the back of my kitchen cupboard 7 years later).
  • Learning to surf after being inspired by the Aloha way of life in Hawaii.
  • Learning to speak Spanish after travelling through South America, vowing to return one day speaking fluently.
  • Doing a travel photography course so I can take better holiday photos.

And then there’s the general ‘other things’ holidays inspire, like:

  • Reading more books.
  • Intending to go to at least 3 yoga classes/gym visits per week.
  • Eating more fruit – usually inspired by a daily breakfast buffet.
  • And of course, vowing to get more sleep – inspired by the arvo holiday siesta.

But of course, as we all know, that holiday feeling fades fast and those grand ‘things’ are usually forgotten pretty quickly, unless we are reminded at some stage throughout the year.

This year my reminder came when I saw Arianna Huffington speak at a Business chicks breakfast (You can read about that here). Arianna famously fell asleep burning the midnight oil and woke in a pool of her own blood after collapsing from exhaustion. Since seeing her speak, I’ve read her book Thrive and so much of what she talks about really is just common sense. As she says… “Why can’t we learn from her health crisis? Why wait until it happens to us to realise?”

Arianna Huffington

So I figure it’s time. Time to go public with this resolution right here on the blog, because then I’ll be held accountable and only then will I have the motivation to at least give this a real crack.

So with that in mind, my New Years resolution, or my promise to myself as I’d prefer to call it, is to get more zzz’s. The Sleep Promise. I plan to start slow, and go to bed half an hour earlier, then build on that, exactly as Arianna recommends. And I’ll start on the 2nd of Jan {Because who starts a NY Resolution on the 1st of Jan?}

I know if I can just get more sleep, everything else will fall into place. I’ll be less snappy with my2morrows, will have more energy, a better memory and will generally be more productive. Maybe I’ll even be inspired to learn spanish or take up Vietnamese cooking classes or become a morning person and run 10 Km’s every morning!! Haha… Small steps Shannon!

So, as I sit and write this {at 11:21pm on a weeknight}, I shannon, promise to make more of an effort to get me some more zzz’s in 2015.

What’s your 2015 promise to yourself?

Finish this sentnce in the comments below, I’d LOVE to hear!

I …….. promise to………… In 2015.

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Out of Office

I'm out of the office

2 days. 2 wee little days of crazy to go, before the out of office automated reply is set and I cannot freakin wait. I have never been looking forward to the holidays more than I’am right now. And we’re not even going anywhere! I simply just need a break.

I’m tired… oh so tired of waking up tired and just want to chill with the Huz and My2morrows, the friends we call family and my dad who will be visiting from interstate.

I’m seeing beach days, zoo trips, swimming, movies at the cinema sans kids… GOLD CLASS, a bit of SUP, finishing the book I started earlier in the year, yoga, cold corona’s with lemon, G&T’s and food glorious food in my near future. I can almost taste the stay-cation!

If I had to describe this year in one word, it would be ‘shit’. It’s been one of love but also loss, on a global scale and also a personal one. You can read about that here and here. It’s been tough for many, and I can’t even process this last weeks heart breaking events.

But it’s Christmas time, the most wonderful time of the year and so we keep going. We keep loving. We keep keeping on. We keep spending money. We keep making shit happen.

It's beginning to cost a lot like christmas

What has kept me going this year is the people I surround myself with. My family, friends and colleagues. I love being surrounded by funny, witty people who always make me laugh, even in shitty circumstances.

And usually the funny people also just happen to be the nicest, most generous people, don’t you think? At least in my world they are. Oh, and how important it is to have funny in the workplace. Especially in a crazy corporate environment. Were all human after all. Our work days would be so dull without a few laughs wouldn’t they!

So as I’m about to set my Out Of Office automated reply, I had to look to my fun, witty colleague Nat for some inspiration because her OOO’s are simply awesome. They are so great because they’re written exactly how she would speak. None of the usual formal corporate crap. Here’s a selection of her best I just had to share…

Today is my birthday! So I assume you’re sending me birthday greetings in which case thank you!!!!  but I’ve taken leave and will be busy all day eating cake 🙂 I’ll answer all your messages when I get back but if your message is extremely important you can still get me on my mobile. Have a great day (I know I will)

 

Ho ho hooray it’s the holidays!
I’m taking leave from x to x and will not be actioning any items while on leave.
If you’re worried about where to send my last minute Christmas gift it’s ok – you can still reach me on x.
Hope Santa is good to you, thanks for all the support in 2014 and look forward to connecting in 2015.

 

I’ve taken a holiday! Inspired by Arianna Huffington I’m attempting to impliment a digital detox while away. I would appreciate it if you contact the lovely x with any urgent matters or remain patient and I’ll respond on my return. Thanks and have a great week!

 

I’m currently enjoying holidays and making the most of the sunshine!  I’ll be out of  the office from x  returning x. To those I’ve had the pleasure of working with – thanks for making this an incredible year.  Hope you have a fantastic holiday season and I look forward to working with you (and replying to your email) in the new year.  P.S If you are Santa and wish to deliver presents urgently, please call me on x

She also had a cracker OOO when she took exam leave but we cant find it anywhere! Something about being busy trying to bribe people to sit her exams for her.

Aren’t they so refreshing amongst the corporate crap and brief one liners? Yep, Nat win’s the OOO! I’m off to draft mine right now and I think I might borrow her Santa line!

OOO

Here’s some more OOO funnies. 
What do you usually put in your OOO?
Feel free to share some inspiration below in the comments.

While I’ve got you, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful festive season. Thank you for being part of this new blogging adventure with me. Your comments and support really have meant the world and given me a spring in my step. I’ll be taking a little break from posting over the holidays, but you can find me instagramming my head off here!

Eat, drink, love… be merry & bright!

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