Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ah, the serenity!

Is there anything better than a long weekend away? I'm sure there is, but right now I'd have to say no.

On Friday we headed to the Hunter Valley with the Comerford and Sparks families. I have been wanting to go there for a long time, but being a non wine drinker it wasn't a real high priority. Then I found out about the Hunter Valley Gardens and that all changed.

After much searching I finally found a place for us all to stay that we could afford. The Sandy Hollow Tourist Park. On doing a little bit more research the night before we left, I realised why it was so cheap... it's in the Upper, Upper, Upper Hunter Valley! Over an hour away from Pokolbin and the gardens! Never mind. It was a top spot to stay and the kids loved it.

We had a few rain issues, but that couldn't dampen our spirits. We were on holidays! And a short one at that, so there was no way we were going to let a bit of water ruin it for us.

Day 1.

The Browns and the Comerfords (unfortunately the Sparks couldn't leave until later) head off at 12pm. We decide to take the Putty Road - yes! I love that road with all it's curves and bends. We stop at the Colo Heights Service Station. You know you are at a classy place when the cutlery comes out in paper bags lol. Seriously though, the food was sensational.

We arrive at Sandy Hollow Tourist Park around 4ish (give or take), and the kids were off and running. The Sparks actually arrived not too long after us which was sensational. The kids were playing, the parents were relaxing, and we had a top night full of delish food and laughs.... and rain!

DAY 2.

Woke up to a mixed bag on the weather front. There was some blue sky teasing us, but it didn't look too promising.

As always, if there is a pool, kids must swim. Big thumbs up to Michael who volunteered to go in with the kids.
Slowly we prepared for the day... none of us too keen to wear ourselves out. We had lunch which consisted of Friday night left overs, and headed off to the gardens around 2ish.

We get to the gardens which are supposed to be open until 5pm at 3.30. Great! We have 1 and a half hours to explore, then go off for dinner, and then back to the gardens for the Christmas Lights Spectacular at 6.30ish.

On paying, the attendant informed us that the gardens were closing at 4! WT?! Apparently due to weddings and the Christmas lights it was closing earlier to prepare. Would have been nice to see that updated on the website, which we offered as feedback.

We raced around a couple of areas in 30 minutes, 20 of those were in pouring rain. The kids didn't care though....

When we left the gardens we raced off to the Potters Brewery in Cessnock for dinner, and then headed back to the gardens for the Christmas Lights Spectacular.

We all lost each other at the Spectacular, but arrived back in Sandy Hollow only minutes apart.... go figure. Everyone was too tired to anything else so to bed we went.


Check out day. Don't you just hate having to be up and ready to go by 10am when you are on a mini holiday? Especially when the sky is blue and the sun is finally shining. No sooner has it started than it's all over. Only made one stop on the way home, at Arrowfield Winery.

The kids thought it was tops running through the rows of grape vines, finding grapes and exploring. A double bonus was the ducks which William thought was totally cool. We couldn't get very close to them though, cause they would just run away!

Everything is unpacked, the washing has been done, and sadly it's back to the reality of day to day life. Ah, the serenity....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Disco Diva

Tonight was the night. The School Christmas Disco. Got to love watching Kindy and Year 1 things shake their groove things for an hour.

Caitlin of course is no exception to the rule. She loves getting ready, and we must leave early so she can be first on the red carpet. Once inside and glow stick purchased she is itching for the music to start so she can dance the night away. And dance she did!
Caitin insisted on getting herself dressed and I wasn't allowed to peek. It was a surprise! Here she is in the backyard in her Christmas Disco outfit, looking oh so cute, and practising a few dance moves as well.

The usual suspects were in attendance, including Caitlins 3 best friends, Georgia, Grace and Taylah. These girls are as thick as theives.

Mrs Fairall (Caitlin's) techer was in attendance, and Caitlin promptly hijacked her for a few dances. I also got hauled up for the final number.

All the kids had a great time, and that's the main thing.

Damn Dentist!

I hate going to the Dentist. Hate it! Hate it! Hate it!

I think I have been to the Dentist 7 times already this year, and it ain't over yet. Going back at least another 2 times before the end of 2008.

GGGRRR! I hate going to the Dentist.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thank You & Farewell

Today marks the end of a huge journey. For the last 4 years myself and Therese have been running a small business. Today was going to be our last day of trading, but yesterday we sold out of everything! There is nothing left on the shelves. Nothing!
Here's the email I sent out last night to all of our customers. It was kind of a sad glad feeling.

Dear Customers,

We have been saying that everything must go, and tonight we have packed the last piece of paper, the last rub-on, the last of everything we had. It has been an amazing day, and with your help we have exceeded our expectations.

Thank you to each and every one of you who placed an order. No matter how big or how small, every order was appreciated.

The last 4 years have been amazing, exciting, frustrating, stressful, and enjoyable all at the same time. We are sad to say goodbye, but plans change and families must come first.

We would also like to take a moment to thank the wonderful girls who helped us promote our products by designing with them. These girls have amazing talent, and if you ever need inspiration, here's some fabulous scrapbookers to look out for: Belinda Comerford, Tracy Wyldman, Marni Telford, Lisa Pate, Francine Dunn, Sarah Gladman, Maureen McGlynn, Tamara Rodgers, Mandy Chisholm, Sharon Suchoronczak, Alison J, and if we have missed anyone, we are really sorry, we didnt mean too!

Thank you also to Michael from Slice of Life Photography for the hours and hours of work he put in doing the gorgeous product photography for us. If you live in Sydney or the Blue Mountains, we recommend Michael for all of your photography needs, whether for business or personal. He just makes it so easy! Thank you Michael.

To Angie King from Australian Craft Network who designed our website and was always there when something went wrong. Advertising on the ACN is certainly worth it, the number of hits we received each month from ACN was unbelievable!

Thank you to our suppliers for having the faith in us to distribute your products. We thoroughly enjoyed working with you all. You have amazing products and we hope that your success continues.

To Jenny, our beloved bookkeeper, a massive thank you. John & Pam from FastWay Express for never complaining about the stairs, thank you.

Thank you to Kylie Shepherd-Morris, the owner of Scrap Girls. We have loved sponsoring classes at your retreats and your enthusiasm was always catching. If you are looking for a fabulous getaway, then you must check our the Scrap Girls website and book yourself into one today!

To all of the retailers that supported us, we wish you well for the future. We hope you continue to grow and build your business and it's everything you dreamed it would be. To those who took advantage of our great prices when we opened the doors to the public, continue to create, and support your local scrapbook shop whether it is bricks and mortar or online. If it weren't for these hard working women you wouldn't be able to preserve your beautiful memories.

We still have many orders to process so some of you will be hearing from us over the next few days so we can finalise your orders.

And last, but not least, the most important thank you of all. To our husbands and children for their support, understanding, and honest opinions. For picking up the slack when we were too busy. For your encouragement & love. We thank you.

Thank you & farewell

Nicole & Therese

Acacia Paper Craft

I wonder what lies ahead?...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Look out Adelaide... here they come!

Russ flew out to Adelaide today, will be back very late on Sunday night. For a footy trip. Yep, this grown man who no longer plays football still goes on a footy trip every year.

I can pretty much tell you that there will be a drinking, eating snitzels, and more drinking. But they all seem to enjoy there time away so good for them.

Have a (non-alcoholic) drink for me babe, and play safe xxx

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bring on January 2009!

YAY! Finally booked our annual holiday! We always go away for a week in January and in 2009 we are going to Port Stephens.

We love to stay in caravan parks, they are just so much fun for the kids. This time we are staying at a Discovery Holiday Park. It has everything and then some! Check out the list of facilities on site:

~ Resort style pool - featuring waterfall & wading area
~ Mini golf ~ Kayak hire ~ Canoe hire ~ Go Kart hire ~ Games room ~ Table tennis ~ Kids Club - in season ~ Children's playground ~ Volleyball ~ Basketball ~ Badminton ~ Half court tennis ~ Jetty ~ Moored just off shore is a swimming pontoon ~ Waterfall Cafe Internet access ~ In house movie channels ~

All of this and some! And I'm pretty strict with the budget, and this fitted in nicely. We will be staying in a standard Water View Lodge which has everything we need, and 2 double bunks so both kids can sleep 'upstairs' lol.

Bring it on!

Family Fun...

Saturday afternoon I had a little dummy spit as we haven't been doing much lately. A lot of staying home and not much else.

So Sunday we headed up to The Entrance where our friends John & Julie have The Lakes pub. We had lunch there which was very yummy, and got to catch up with John, Julie, Toddy (congratulations on become a grandfather!) and Scott.

After lunch we took the kids down to the waterfront where there is a cool park for the kids. Both the kids had a great time, especially William who has no fear and ignores being cold until his lips are blue and he's shaking like a leaf. Caitlin on the other hand enjoyed playing in the water for about 5 minutes, then complained relentlessly that she was cold. All was well with the world once they both had ice cream in their little hands.

Here's my first attempt at a bit of a photo collage.... I think I need some practice, and maybe some expert advice as to what program/s to use. I'm sure you get the general idea though.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oliver Gets His First Hair Cut

Oliver was born with a nice head of hair... and it's gotten a wee bit long in places.

Sharon made a promise to Paul that when Oliver could sit up by himself she would take him to get it cut.

How quickly did that day come?! It seems like only yesterday Oliver was born, and now he's sitting up and loving it!

I went along for support and to ensure every moment was captured. 50 photos later and our little Oliver has been restyled. And mum didn't even cry!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Granma!

Happy Birthday Granma!

I know that she is having the best birthday ever cause she's in Singapore... her favourite place in the world.

Hope you had a tops day Grannie xxx

Sunday, November 2, 2008

FRIDAY 14TH OF NOVEMBER ~ Start @ 6.30pm
The best little cybercrop on the web!

William, Caitlin and a Permanent Marker....

Some might say that William & Caitlin get drawing on their belly's from me... possibly it is true that I have lead by example in this department.

All was quiet the other afternoon. I was outside reading a magazine. The kids were inside watching a bit of TV... or so I thought.

Next thing, William is standing in front of me, shirt off, and using his hands to make his belly face talk! Not only did Caitlin draw this beautiful face on his belly, she also drew a back view of the head on his back! Very clever Miss Caitlin!

4 days on and it's still there. The wonders of permanent marker lol.

Loving the Basic Grey Offbeat Range

Don't you just love it when you buy a range of papers and you just can't stop creating with them. I'm currently in love with the Basic Grey Offbeat range... 7 layouts and counting!

~ Just a girl and her dad ~

~ This is Pa ~

~ Afternoon Sunshine ~

~ Front Yard Star ~

~ She Loves To Cook ~

~ Jessie ~

~ Ready Set Blow ~

And I'm still going!