Tuesday 28 October 2014

for Warwick Rodeo

This past weekend I didn't need to scour the paper for something to do because the last weekend in October is always marked on my calendar as Warwick Rodeo weekend.

Warwick is about 85kms south west of Toowoomba and is kind of my home town. It was home to me when I went to boarding school there in the early 90s and now my parents live there. 

Warwick Rodeo is said to be 'Australia's Most Famous' but am sure many people in Mt Isa would challenge that! 

What sets Warwick's apart is that it coordinates all the thrills of rodeo events with the, Warwick Gold Cup and Canning Downs Campdraft, the biggest in Australia. They are worth over $55,000 and $25,000 respectively and the event goes for 7 days with all the finals culminating on the last full weekend in October.

We pretty much head there every year and this year was no different. It was about 5:30 by the time I got to Warwick after work and arrived just as a massive thunder and lightning storm hit. I opted out of heading for the rodeo Friday night, I was busted after a busy week at work.

Saturday morning there are markets in the town's main park followed by a street parade.

My old High School Pipe Band

The temperature hit 30something ridiculous on Saturday, so after the parade we went home to escape the sun and so everyone (the twins mainly) could have a rest before heading down to the rodeo Saturday night. 

Sunday morning we headed back down to watch some of the finals action.

And it was also an awesome opportunity to catch up with the niece and nephews! 

All this one wanted was to sit on Aunty Zita and snuggle - I wasn't complaining!

So hard to get a pic of these 2 together at this age! Super Cuties!!!
So if you are into all things country and want an action packed rodeo weekend, lock in Warwick Rodeo 2015, last weekend in October!

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT!!

Monday 27 October 2014

to confess what's in my fridge.

Kirsty at My Home Truths has challenged us to confess our fridges this week.

My fridge is really not that exciting and probably not that much of a secret. Because if you've been hanging around for a while you'll know that a few months ago I signed up for Lite n Easy. Well about a week later my sister (aka part time roomie) also signed up, meaning pretty much the only thing in our fridge is Lite n Easy meals and packages.. 

I am still absolutely loving the food, it's more than enough to keep my tummy filled and the variety means I never get bored with the food! 

It feels great and I know that I am eating right. I'm not silly, I know what food is good for me and what is not, this has been a lifestyle choice for me. I live between 2 residences and this makes shopping and planning ahead so easy and it means very few trips to the supermarket which means less chance of 'treats' sneaking into my trolley and diet!

Total convenience for me and I love it! 

However, we do have the occasional little treat!
Linking up with My Home Truths and One Mother Hen.... Check them out!!!

Tuesday 21 October 2014

to check out Toowoomba - Part II

I eagerly flicked the paper to Page 2 as soon as my sister arrived home from work with it on Saturday morning. That's where they list the 10 things to do on the weekend and I was searching for something a little different this weekend. 

I was immediately drawn to number 4 - Airport Fun Run... Toowoomba is gaining a new airport just out if town which is very exciting as it will eliminate the 2hr drive to Brisbane to fly anywhere. It advised that this weekend there was the opportunity to run the runway Sunday morning to raise money for the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation and it provided the link to register. I was so disappointed (and more than a little annoyed) to find the registration had closed Friday afternoon 😟 

Then I saw number 3 - Bull Riding. I had seen this advertised during the week but it was Saturday night which clashed with an Engagement Party so it was automatically off the list.

The next one to catch my eye was number 5, Fashion Parade. Fashion blogger Nikki Parkinson was in town! "Awesome!" I thought, but again it was too late to organise and get tickets (and it was at this point I was starting to see a flaw in this  whole idea!) 

So once again I went with Number 10 - Markets in the Park (I promise there are more things to do here!)

Queens Park is just a stones throw from the centre of town and hosts many of the city's major events. The 26.3ha land was gazetted a reserve in 1884, and is now the home to Park Run each Saturday morning, the venue for Easterfest, which is getting bigger and bigger each year. It is also the main attraction each Carnival of Flowers Festival which is held in the last full week in September and the location for Christmas Carols in December. But it is because on the third Sunday of each month it hosts some art and craft markets that sent me there on the weekend.

These markets are great for those unique art and craft goodies, one off pieces, great gift ideas and home made goodies! 

I cannot walk past this fudge at these markets!

My sister and I live about 3 blocks from the main intersection of the CBD so it's only about a 20 minute walk from our house to the park.

This billboard in the park shows the different displays put on during the Carnival of Flowers

Some of the floral displays from the Carnival still remain and the smell is beautiful

What did you get up to on the weekend??

Linking up with Jess from Essentially Jess for IBOT

Monday 20 October 2014

to confess, I'm a hypocrite

It's Monday which means the start of another work week 😟 but it also means starting the week off with a clean slate as I head into the My Home Truths Confessional...

Kirsty has given the prompt 'Hypocrisy - What do you tell others to do that you don't do yourself?'

I feel like I do this every day of the week at work. 

I have lots of students who are in their final weeks at school coming to see me at the moment and they are not coping... The anxiety and stress levels are growing each day and I think they come to me for some comfort and words of wisdom, which I try my best to give them. I spruke on about everything being ok, and it'll all work out in the end, blah blah blah.... In reality, I have no freaking idea!

I feel like a hypocrite and that I am lying to them because there will be times when it's not ok, it may not work out the way they planned, that they have no freaking idea how hard their life is about to get and that some of them will fail. 

I find it difficult to be realistic with them when so many of them are so close to the edge. I tell them to talk to their parents and friends about how they are really feeling and what they are really thinking and that these people won't be able to help them if they are not honest. This is also hypocritical of me because I don't do this!! 

I even bought this top on the weekend as I absolutely LOVED the saying on it...
but even this is hypocritical... I'm not brave!!  {I'm trying to be but I'm nowhere near as brave as I'd like to be}

So why do we do this?

Are we afraid of hurting other peoples feelings? Are we scared that if we tell the truth something terrible will happen? Is it easier to tell other people what they should do than do it ourselves? 

What do you think? Are you a hypocrite? What advice do you give that you don't follow yourself?

Linking up with My Home Truths and One Mother Hen!

Tuesday 14 October 2014

to check out Toowoomba

Most weekends my sister and I sit around the house, watching TV, playing on our iPads, chatting away and often complaining that there is nothing to do.

And that's a lie, there's plenty to do, we just choose not to do most of it most of the time. 

Each weekend in our local newspaper they advertise 10 things on around the region and I put it to my sister that each weekend that we are home, we pick something from the list to do and I would blog about it as a way of 'advertising' Toowoomba for all of you who have never been to our fine city!

So we decided to go with number 9 on the list which was Markets at Black Forrest Hill. This lies between Highfields and Cabarlah about 20 minutes drive north of Toowoomba. Driving through Highfields reminds me a lot of the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast as the main strip through town is dotted with a variety of quirky gift shops, cafés and arts and craft places. 

The markets were held on the grounds of the Black Forrest Cuckoo Clock Centre, which houses some of the most magnificent Cuckoo and Grandfather Clocks I've seen. 

I think this was the first time these particular markets were held and unfortunately it showed. 

We meandered around the dozen or so stores which took all of about half an hour, before settling on some flavoured macadamia nuts and some local wine.

We headed back to Toowoomba but not before stopping off at a favourite cafe, The Chocolate Cottage for morning tea. The food is always a little different and delicious and it has amazing views of the valley below.
My coconut bread with lime marmalade.

I enjoy the view on the drive back into Toowoomba from Highfields as it is one of the few places you can get a glimpse of the size of Toowoomba.

The photo does not do it justice! 

What did you get up to on the weekend? Stay tuned next week to see what we get up to!

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT!

Monday 13 October 2014

to confess what I ate in Vietnam

Firstly, I must confess (again) that time hates me!

In hindsight it probably wasn't a great idea to fly back into the country, then head straight to the Gold Coast for 3 nights and only giving myself an afternoon home before diving straight back into full time work!

I had an amazing time in Vietnam, I highly recommend you out it on your must see destinations! I feel I have so much to write about and share, and will get there in time! 

So, now for my confession, I am confessing off topic this week over at My Home Truths.

The morning after our wonderful Cyclo tour through Hue we jumped on the back of a motorbike and headed off Sons of Anarchy style for a full day tour around Hue. 

We had many stops during the day, spotting some buffaloes enjoying a mud bath, a visit to the Imperial Citadel, the Thien Mu Pagoda, lunch in a nunnery, a dragon boat cruise on the Perfume River.

Some highlights from the day that I shared on Instagram

But it was what happened next that is the true confession.....

At the conclusion of the tour our guide had offered for anyone who wanted to try a type of meat not available in many countries to carry on and those who didn't to return to our hotel....

I decided to try the meat....

My many faces as I dined on this rare meat
Now I confess that at the risk of losing followers and grossing out friends, I am not actually going to tell you what it is, but let's say, it is not something you would NEVER see on a menu outside Asia and you will not see it on too many menus there either. This animal in most countries is treated as a member of the family, a pet, and most people couldn't fathom the thought of putting it in a mini crockpot and cooking it up. I am sure you have worked it out without me having to say it out loud.

Growing up on farm we hand reared a few lambs and calves over the years that then ended up on our dinner plates and we didn't think much of it, and that's what I had to tell myself as I dined at that off the track 'restaurant' sitting on plastic chairs at a plastic table with wildlife wandering around us. 

This animal is not considered a pet in Vietnam but a way of making money. Families can buy them young and if they feed them well and get them nice and fat they can sell them for up to $100 US dollars! 

So I did it....mostly to say I could but also because it is possibly once in a lifetime opportunity and while it wasn't that bad, I did not go back for seconds and washed it down with a can of Coke! 

Linking up with Kirsty at My Home Truths for I Must Confess....do you have something to confess, head over and link up to start the week off right!

Also linking up with Alicia from One Mother Hen for Open Slather.

Linking up with A Brit and a Southerner for Weekend Wanderlust

What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?