Join us on our Journey Down Under!

We're an American family living in Australia, where everything seems a little bit turned-upside-down.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Deals on a Dime Around Perth

I love checking my emails in the morning to see what kind of deals I may find in my inbox.  Here are some of the latest that I have purchased.  Buying these deals has been a great way for our family to save money... especially when eating out!

Our Deal Voucher:

Swirk is an online tutoring progam for kids from Kindy- Year 10.  I plan to use it during the school holidays to keep my kid's brains working.  Just $19 for 3 months, which is a huge savings!  I checked out the website, and it looks great! Click here to get this deal too!

I get emails from Our Deal regularly, that way I don't miss a deal.  Click here to get started.

Living Social Voucher:
Snapfish Digital Photo Book for only $15! This is one of the larger books, and includes 20 pages. You do need to pay shipping, but that's just an extra $4.95 within Australia.  Click here to get this deal too!

Grill'd Burgers Joondalup:
I received a voucher in my letterbox yesterday for 2 for 1 Burger or Salad at Grill'd.  Valid until 23 December.  We're going for sure!

At-Home Cake Pop Maker, Delivered
I've been really into Cake Pops lately, so I bought myself one of these fabulous cake pop makers.  They are so easy to make.  Click here to get yours for a great price from Scoopon.

I've purchased some really great deals from Groupon lately including hair treatments, restarant deals, and even a trip to Bangkok!  Click here to see what Groupon has on today!

Twelve Days of Summertime Christmas

There's only 25 days or so until Christmas...

20 or so more days of school until "summer" break...

Today the weather is predicted to be 35 degrees...

How on earth am I going to get myself into the Christmas spirit?



I'm so turned around with the seasons, it's crazy!  I feel like any minute the Easter Bunny may hop through the door, but Santa keeps popping up all around instead.  The poor guy is overdressed in his red coat and heavy, black boots.

Rather than try to create a cozy, cold weather, Christmas, we plan to start some new traditions for our family that embrace the warm weather and sunshine!

1. Fondue Seafood Feast:
Forget turning on the oven when it's so hot outside!  We're planning another Christmas fondue feast.

2. Get Creative with the fruit and vegetables:
It's summertime, so what can be better than fresh fruits and crispy vegetables?  We plan to have some fun with ours to make things a bit more festive!

We were introduced to a Christmas "Chirstingle" for the first time last year.

3. Pool Party with Santa:

I'm really excited about this one. I saw a advertisement at Craigie Leisure Centre about a pool party with Santa, complete with carols, water slides, and even a gift for the kiddies! Click here for more information on this year's party!

Sunday 15 December 2013
City of Joondalup Leisure Centre - Craigie
4.30pm - 6.30pm

4. Cold Treats instead of baked goods:
How about making cold Christmas drinks, snowcones, or popsicles? We're planning to make ice cubes in Christmas shapes too.

5. Build a "sand" snowman:
We did this last year during our beach vacation to Esperance, and plan to make it a tradition.  It just made us feel better to build a snowman!

6. New summertime Pjs:
Opening a gift of pajamas on Christmas Eve is an old family tradition. Now we're just changing it up a bit... instead of warm, cozy, winter jammies, the kids get their new lightweight, summertime pajamas.  It makes for the cutest pictures on Christmas morning!

7. Surfing instead of sledding:
We've got the ocean, we've got the waves... let's capitalize on those things! :)

8. Christmas Carols in the park:
Community Christmas Carol events are everywhere!  Here's just a few I've seen:
Belmont, Claremont, Clarkson, Heathridge, Burswood.

9. Partake in some outdoor Games rather than board games:
Miniature golf, frisbee, slip n' slide, water balloon fights...

10.Bike Rides instead of sleigh rides:
One thing Perth has no shortage of is excellent bike paths for the family.

11. Use candles and hand creme to capture those Christmastime scents:
Fresh cut pine trees, gingerbread cookies, candy canes...

12. Visit the shopping centre:
Besides getting photos with Santa, the shopping centre offers so many activities during the holidays, and many of them are free!  Last year the kids decorated gingerbread cookies and they loved it.  Besides, all the Christmas decorations can really get you into the holiday mood.
Photo: Look who I found at the shopping mall today!!! :)

There is plenty to keep us cool and entertained this Christmas, so may your Christmas be festive, sunshiny, and bright!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Perth Cultural Centre Play Space

My kids and I love to spend the day in the "city."  I love that Perth offers so much for the kids.  Being from Los Angeles, I never dreamed the city would be a place to hang out with the kids just for fun.  Perth's CBD is not intimidating, it is easy to get around by walking or bus, and there is always something going on that caters to kids.  

During our last trip into the CBD for the Awesome Festival, we noticed something different in front of the WA Museum.  We wandered over, and this is what we found:

The Play Space has several musical instruments including xylophones and drums, where the kids played a tune or two... or three. 

The space incorporates art and nature with interesting items the kids can touch and explore like wood carvings, mirrors, spinning wheels, and a "painted pond" full of fish, frogs, and a spotted gecko. 

My boys loved manoeuvring through the stepping stones, and went round and round again and again.

The space is beautifully designed with natural colours and surfaces.  It really gives off a tranquil feeling right in the middle of the CBD.  It's a great place for the adults to sit and ponder while the kids burn off some energy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Playlovers presents: The Rink, Directed by Alida Chaney

We are so proud of McKinley for her accomplishment, starring in her first major musical role:

Australian premiere of The Rink - November 9-December 1
Click picture for more information!

Photo by Chris Tomlin
photo by Chris Tomlin

Halloween Party Ideas in Action!

Our Halloween party was a huge success!  I put most of the ideas from one of my previous blogs: Top 10 Halloween Party Tips into action, plus a few more ideas.  Here are some pictures from the Spooktacular Event!

Halloween Pumpkin Oranges:

Eewwy Gooey Touch Boxes:

I made a Mad Scientist's Lab display.  The kids could not see what was in the box, and they were all grossed out!  I made a witches finger with a carrot, fake fingernail, and a ring.

Jars full of gross things:
This was a fun, easy way to decorate.  I filled jars with food coloring and little creepy things like witches fingers, fake spiders, snakes, and lizards.

Spooky Ghosts made from recycled plastic grocery bags and pin the "Boo!" on the ghost:

Spooky Skull Cake Pops:

 We can't wait to throw another party next year!