The Dainty Tea Cup

September 16, 2014 by Vicki

Sometimes men buy gifts. I know, I know. Shocking isn’t it???

Albeit, it’s often when they’re trying to sweet talk a girl into being theirs forever. A dating tool. A hope to get lucky tool.

On the weekend my aunty pointed out a teacup that she’s owned for just over fifty years. My jaw nearly dropped to the ground when she told me who had bought it for her. My father. My never-buys-a-present-would-rather-just-give-you-twenty-bucks-father.

Apparently the old softie, back in the smitten day, bought mums sisters a tea cup each for Christmas in their first year of courting. A gift I have no doubt cost him his entire weeks wages. Sounds like a bit of old fashion romance to me.

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Dainty and elegant is it not? I have to commend him on his choice of present. Not bad for a dairy farmer from way back yonks.

Actually, I was kinda touched by it’s sweetness and I guess someone else was too. Next year my parents celebrate 50 years of marriage. Suckers!

A Date With Melbourne’s Bloggers!

September 15, 2014 by Vicki

I almost felt like an internet dater on Saturday. Yep, almost.

I read blogs regularly. Like duh, of course I do. I sit and read primarily woman’s stories about their days, their challenges, their joys, their creativity, their relationships, their loves, their most personal stories about their inner world. The good ones make me feel apart of their journey. I feel connected to them, like I really know them and yet I have never ever met them in the real deal-o world. These are all virtual relationships that perhaps I may have made up in my own head but somehow they still feel real.

Because I connect with their words does that mean I could and would connect with them in the flesh? The real face to face, chit chat scenario? I had to wonder. I also pondered if I could connect with new people, complete strangers, over a shared loved for this blogging caper.

I tested it out on Saturday. I drove myself down to the city – bangs straightened, lippy on and walked into a foreign bar full of strangers. I hoped like hell someone would adopt me. That I would be liked. That the conversations wouldn’t be too awkward that there would be flowing words and compatibility there.1-DSC_0773

It took courage to do that. To step away from the screen and present myself as a real entity. To say this is the face that those words on the screen come from. Those words that perhaps no one actually fancies that much, or does. I wouldn’t know.

I imagine that the very same courage is required for those in the internet dating biz. I have to snaps those love seeking types. That vulnerability required to walk through the door – it’s not pleasant but hopefully their dates are as easy as mine was on Saturday because I walked into a sea of 30 warm, interesting and passionate blog-esses who all want to empower and promote the Melbourne blogging community.

There were foodie bloggers, fashion bloggers, dating bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, and a few mummy bloggers thrown into the mix.

I won’t lie. It was initially a bit awks. I said a few dicky things that I scolded myself for silently and hoped my new companions wouldn’t hold against me. I scoffed myself silly on pizza in between it all.

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I got about most of the crowd and found out what everyone was about before comfortably settling in for some serious gut wobbling cackles with Sarah from Creating Contentment and Beck from This is Beck. I have to say I struck up a bit of lady crush on these two. They’re just groovy chicks. Beck and I were mostly in awe and cracked a few belly laughs at Sarah’s antics about looking after her 5 kids who she had in five years, who share a room together and whom she is about to start home schooling. She is one BRAAAAAVE lady. Champion obviously. Needless to say I now understand why she writes about looking after ones mental well being.

I came away from the afternoon with new friends. I was sailing on a bit of a high. I don’t get to meet many new companions as a Mum who is often confined to my suburban four wall existence. Especially not ones that get “WordPress blah blah blah”.

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Thanks to Millicent Nankivell for this shot. We’ve got Bec from Dancing Through Sunday, Deborah from Nourish Nation, Dee from Wild About Melbourne & some ranga…
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Karina from Datelicious, Kelly from Tully & Mishka, Sarah from Creating Contenment & Beck from This is Beck

I hope it won’t be the last Melbourne blogger session. Sydney & The Gold Coast can’t hog allll the bloggy events alllll the time. We’re creating something here or at least Nicole from Seeking Victory, the head honcho, organiser extraordinaire is. I like her get in and do it attitude. We’ve needed her. We’ve needed this little community.

There’s that salient word. Community.  No matter what we all do or whoever we are, we want to feel a sense of belonging. We want to find and fit into a little cluster that feels homely, fun and supportive. Being an introverted, virtual writing type does not dampen this desire for a place, a community. I think I’m on my way to finding mine.

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Do you feel apart of a community?

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

Be My Brain For Me, Will Ya?

September 6, 2014 by Vicki

My website is nothing short of looking very very fugly. Daggy. Embarassing.

It was set like this almost 3 years ago and it was only going to be a temporary look. Well, two and a bit years on and some 700 followers later I’m still looking at it and loathing it. It doesn’t represent me AT ALL.

One thing I feel a bit OK about is that fact that so many of you still come here and read my words despite the fugly-ness. Thank you.

You and I both know however change is required, pronto.

No more procrastinating. No more acting clueless and helpless on my behalf. Knocked Up and Abroad is having a massive, almost reality TV show worthy, make over. She is going to be the grooviest of grooviest blogs. Put ya money on it.

So, how to get there? Yep, that is my predicament. I have a friend who is handy with making stuff look ace balls. He is ready and waiting on my command. If only I knew what to bloody well tell him!!

What do I want? Serious, WHAT DO I WANT??? (Gahhhhh)

It has made me question. What is this website? What is quintessentially Knocked Up and Abroad? I think my answer is, it’s a blog about this, and that, and a pinch of something else. It can be eclectic and I’ve tried to not put it into one box in particular, which makes branding it that little bit trickier.

Enter, you guys. I need you team. I NEED YOU. Please impart with me a few thoughts, will you? I will send the sweetest karma your way.

Be My Brain For You

What do you think Knocked Up and Abroad the blog is about?

Can you describe Knocked Up and Abroad in 3 words?

Do you associate Knocked Up and Abroad with any images?

Do you associate Knocked Up and Abroad with any colours?

Any other wowzer creative ideas for me?

Thank you, thank you sexy things! You are doing your eyes a favor by commenting here and helping me get the ball rolling.

Now go forth and have a very wonderful day xx

A Visit to The Old Boathouse

September 2, 2014 by Vicki

Over the weekend my Melbournian friends invited me and the Vicklets down to the city for some scones and a yap about the going ons. I don’t like to pass up an opportunity like this. I LOVE the city.

Surprisingly we ended up at a place that felt nothing like the city. We were at the countryside in the city, kinda. We visited the historic Fairview Park Boathouse which bowled me over with it’s very existence. Right in the rush and puff of suburban Melbourne is 1915 wrapped right up for you. I may or may not have had an Australiana version of Downton Abbey playing out in my head during our visit.

Is has to be one of the most romantical places I’ve ever been to. There were couples everywhere hiring row boats and nicking up the river for a bit of out of view canoodling, I dare say. If you’re more like me you park your bum on land and get scoffing the infamous scones! Definitely old school goodness.

Feeding the ducks was an obvious winner with the Vicklets and Baby Vick was certain he was on par with Jesus, totally convinced he could walk on water to the ducks who were fast paddling away from him. So much chasing of the infant who is ridiculously water curious! More scones where needed.

There is just so much family goodness here. Actually, it appeals to everyone. We’ll be back no doubt – with a baby life jacket.

Here is our day in photos. 1-DSC_0737

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 Have you been to the Boathouse?

Do you love visiting locations that ooze nostalgia?

10 Things To Help Look After Your Mummy, Xena Warrior Self

September 1, 2014 by Vicki
*This is a sponsored post for eatnow.com.au

Us mummy crew are like the doer champions. We work from one end of the dark hours to other. Every single one of us are like Xena warrior princesses in our day to day existence as kid wranglers. There’s little time to ever feel rested. Relaxed. Sane.

Winter for most of us has been a bit of a kick in the guts and a real dampener on morale too. Aren’t we glad it’s nicked off for another year?

So as we enter Spring, here’s a little reminder of some of the good stuff that we can inject into our lives to add a little boost and give us a moment to breathe. It’s hardly ground breaking stuff but I reckon a few of us could use a talking to about making time for ourselves, taking a break and introducing some of the little things to provide some tres good energy.flowers

My top 10 things to get onto:

1. Flowers. I dig them. Their vibrancy gives me a lift and makes my side bench look a little bit Home and Gardens despite the cesspit of toys scattered all around it and I like that. I like the pretense. I like feeling like I live in some uber chic apartment even if it’s just for a millisecond before I glance on the floor and reality floods back.  I just always feel a little better when there’s a bit of floral in the house.

2. I have always been about finding ya drink. Some people do tea, some people do wine. I do both. I’m classy like that. Either way, when consumed the world is well again and I don’t know if it’s the actual liquid working it’s magic or the fact I’ve taken five to slow the pace, breathe and reboot, but it brings calm to the eye of the storm. Works every time and sometimes it’s even better shared! Sometimes I connect in with the poor (neglected) husband over that shared drink and forget the scampering small feet around us even if it’s just for 2.4 minutes.

3. Do not treat yourself like an inmate. GET OUT! I can’t go a day without escaping the house. Albeit, it’s a cosy place but it makes my head all foggy and useless if I hang about it all day. I have to sniff all that fresh air in at some point to medicate myself. To clear the crap. Ideally it’s super to do it without little people whining all the way behind. Sometimes I am allowed off the leash and I head out with the dog or jog. Yep, I get that desperate I’ll even jog! But it’s great to get some normal person, head space. Sometimes, most of the time, that can’t happen. The Vicklets have to be a part it. That’s OK too. I chuck them in the pram and we hit the pavement and it really does lighten the mood for all of us.

4. Drink enough water. I’m not going to bang on like some health guru here but I recently discovered that drinking water actually is all that. I grew up drinking cordial. I so judge my mother for introducing it to me as a small toddler because I wanted nothing but cordial (and I got it) for the rest of my life… oh yessssss, the sugar! Addicted from age 2. It has taken me 28 years to wean myself off and drink 2 litres of water a day. Me likes me for it. I take my whopping water bottle with me everywhere and sip every time I think of it. It’s doing stuff for me. Working it’s magic invisibly inside. It’s our petrol ladies. Drink up.

say yes more than no5. Say yes sometimes. Go on, it feels good. Your kid requests ice cream. Do it. Don’t you remember how good it feels to eat an ice cream? It reeks all things summer and delivers a kiddy warmth which fills a little pocket inside with joy. Your kidlet asks you to play chasey with them? Go on. Do it! Forget washing the floors. A run and some giggles feels great! Your kidlet asks for a cuddle whilst you’re in the middle of some very important brain using work. You’d prefer to keep working but say yes, they won’t always ask for cuddles. Stop using no automatically and feel the high of saying YES!

6. Paint your nails. A bit of glamor puss behavior at home never hurt anyone.  It’s a bit the same as the flowers – vibrancy is an instant pick up and grooming actually comes highly recommended.

7. Chocolate, because… chocolate.

8. Have “your” thing. Something just for you. That means the kidlets aren’t invited! My thing is that I have a theatre subscription so every month or so I head to the city with a gf and we get our culture on and enjoy a night of drama. I totally immerse myself in it and forget the dishes on the bench at home and the toddler who’s probably having a night terror. I’m clocked off. Forgotten. My brain sighs such a massive release of relief. Before the theatre I did a weekly cooking class. You might fancy studying or rock climbing or rowing or swing dancing or photography or sewing – it need not be something you have to leave the house for. Whatever takes your fancy. Make time for yourself and do it guilt free.

9. Call upon your tribe. Whether you share an outing together or you just call a gf to bitch, moan, and laugh with. It’s gotta be done. There is no better medicine than a girly chit chat. I can go from feeling virtually homicidal to high as pretty kite after connecting with a girlfriend.

10. Don’t cook when the going gets hard. Don’t even think about it. How about ordering pizza from the Internet? Yes, we’re living in that day and age where we need not leave the house, not even talk to anyone but rather just click a button and have our food served up to us at the front door. Man I love being that kinda lazy and some nights you’ve just got to go there. Give over and just order ya dinner in. So many problems solved right there. Our Vicklets love a bit of takeaway on a rug on the lounge room floor. It’s Christmas all round!

So what’s your secret to making life easier? Getting a break? Keeping your sanity?

(Flower Photo source)

(Say yes more than no photo image)

You Will Never Believe What I Said….

August 31, 2014 by Vicki

Do you have a mouth that flaps before your brain actually has time to tell you to shut it?

I must confess I’ve been known to occasionally. It’s with good intention and when everyone around me consequently feels awkward I peddle like mad to retreat or explain myself which in general just makes everyone feel even more AWKS!

Emily over at Have A Laugh On Me has written a post about someone telling her something that just slipped and she totes could have been offended but she’s a rad chick so that was never going to happen. She inspired this post.

On this instance that I’m about to tell you about  it was all just a misunderstanding. Their fault, not mine.

We had a lovely day on Saturday catching up with my gaggle of hipster city friends. I’m the only mummy in the group so my boys are like mini rock stars who they all work ridiculously hard to impress. The Vicklets, as a result magnetise themselves to their favorite which is generally the one, albeit mostly a guy, who is willing to rough them up a bit, grunt and run around like a general crazed banshee. The universal manly behavior.

The winner on this particular day was my girlfriends new boyfriend. It was our first meeting. Lovely kinda bloke who went out of his way to entertain and impress my Vicklets whilst I stuffed my face at my usual mummy auto piloted, turbo pace. He was clearly trying to look very attractive to his new lover. I could see it was working and hey I don’t mind offering up my kids for this cause. Anyone is welcome to flirt with their lovers womb with my kidlets, anytime.

When I finally got over to talk to him with intention to thank him for adopting my boys for the duration of my meal, ya know what I said? Ya know what just tumbled on out of my mouth?

“Hi! So, you’re the new favorite of the week!”

Yes. That’s was my opening liner. Feck me.

totally awks!

Some quiet giggles and a look straight to his new gf followed, who gasped and exclaimed my name and then looked at me with a hint of disapproval yet still trying to look very attractive to the gorgeous man sitting across from her.  I could read the look it said “WTF???” “Lady WHY did you just give away that I have been known to be a man lover of many? SAY SOMETHING NOW. ANYTHING TO KILL THIS MOMENT! SAY SOMETHING TO SAVE EVERYTHING!!!”

I looked at him and back at her again. BIGGEST AWKWARD MOMENT EVER FOLLOWED.

I decided to do this. I roared with laughter. The full extent of what I had just said was setting in.

When I composed myself I looked at the poor dear fella who was clearly realising his new girlfriend was no virgin and explained that I was actually commenting about my boys and how he was the chosen favorite for their day, their week. That he was their new best friend. The new flavor of the week.

We all laughed, especially my girlfriend who I could see was flooded with relief yet her over the top cackle, in my opinion, was a dead give away that there was some truth to my words.  So the awks still hung around the air a bit like a stale fart.

I knew it was up to me to change the whole direction of the conversation. QUICK VICKI. “So…. what do you do?”

“I’m a nurse”. I laugh. They’re both nurses. Can you see what happened next? A million jokes from me about them living an episode of Greys Anatomy and romancing in the locker rooms at work, blah blah blah. Funny but not exactly tasteful. Aren’t I supposed to be the sensible mother in the group?

I’m not too sure if I made a good first impression and I’m pretty sure I’m not my girlfriends favorite of the week.

DOES YOUR MOUTH GET YOU IN TROUBLE SOMETIMES???

WOULD YOU HAVE FOUND THIS SITUATION FUNNY HAD YOU BEEN IN IT?

(And for your information that was the most I’ve ever used the word awkward in one single post!)

Today I’m linking up with the Laugh Linky Party over at Have A Laugh On Me – Thanks Em!

Nurturing The Mother

August 25, 2014 by Vicki

I’ve been a little AWOL in the past couple of weeks. Man flu will do that to you. Especially if it sweeps through the entire family. Twice.

If I sound moany that is part of the symptoms. It’s not me, it’s the man flu.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oh, The Irony.

August 19, 2014 by Vicki
*This is a sponsored post for Nurofen

I have reported mostly on the glamorous going ons from our Port Douglas vacay recently but the inside story was far from it.

Whilst away, I was prepared for the Vicklets routine to be out of whack, for there to be some night time wakings. That’s the way kids roll when away from their homely comforts. It’s all a part of their ‘don’t let the parentals have a holiday’ conquest. With that said, Little Vick is a traveling gem. We broke him in to be an adaptable traveler young and he has stayed solid. Sleeps like a bear with a cold once he’s gone down no matter where he is. His brother is not so obliging. Not even at home.

Two nights in and Baby Vick’s piercing cries rung out in the darkness and although I had expected it, I could hear the sense of urgency in his call this time. I leaped to my feet before Mr Vick even had a chance to stir (he had been assigned night duty). I could sense the fear in my baby’s call. photo 2(1) I swept him up and instantly felt the heat radiating from his little body. His brow was sweaty and he looked flushed. He was distressed and unsettled by a fever ravaging his body. This quickest comfort I could offer was my breast – the very thing I had been stubbornly refusing for the passed two weeks at nights. However that night I did not question it because I knew my baby needed my milk’s healing and comforting properties and bingo! It eased his tears and gradually lulled him back to sleep.

Time and time again that night his cries rung out. The fever did not relent. I sung to him and I dabbed him down with a cold face washer and I was sure glad I had put that bottle of Nurofen in my hand bag for “just in case”. Those unexpected, in case moments are almost always night time affairs when chemists have long gone home.

Kiddy illness is always crapola and terrible but when you’re away somewhere foreign it makes you feel just that bit more vulnerable. My mind raced with a possible diagnosis: could this be something viral? Teething symptoms? An earache? Was he bitten by some tropical, disease infected insect? The questions didn’t let up after four further nights of fever dancing through Baby Vick.

I was getting up a lot each night. I was miffed at the irony of it all given this was supposed to be my ‘holiday’ but I had little choice and at these times nothing other than restoring your kids health matters does it? I was curious to know how much of a mummy warrior I was so I counted just how many times I was getting up and attending to my sickly Vicklet. In that one evening I got up seven times. SEVEN. I think my weariness was justified.

The daytime seemed to bring reprieve from the fevers. Again, the irony. Although Baby Vick was becoming dehydrated and consequently constipated. Little comforts helped: cuddles, breastfeeds and playing in the sandy waters of the beach.

I plodded on through the days mostly in robot function laced up with fatigue and no chance of a Nanna nap to repair or recoup. We kept up with our itinerary of Daintree road trips, snorkeling, and attending wedding celebrations. We were there for less than a week, there was always a sense of keeping on going to utilise the limited time.

I loved our trip but it was grueling for me. A marathon of endurance. My biggest challenge was acting like a normal happy human during the daylight hours. My auto response was to grump, snap, and snarl because the ordinary seemed overwhelming on a sniff of sleep. I went to thaw out in the sun and have my soul fill up with life’s goodies but instead I became the mother whose work did not stop once the Vicklets lay down to sleep, in fact the hard yakka would just kick off.  Our restoring family vacay wasn’t quite going as it played out in my head and it was certainly different on the inside to how it might have appeared on the outer. This motherhood game, hey?

The first night home, the fevers stopped. Baby Vick pooped. He was himself, happy again.

The irony, I tell ya. THE IRONY.

How do your kids cope when away from home?

A Winter of Mothering

August 12, 2014 by Vicki

Croupe. Strider. Coughs. Man Flu. Random spews. Night terrors. Conjunctivitis. A reaction to an immunisation. This has been our winter.

Baby Vicki now one, has still demanded the breast as frequently as he ever did. Relations with Mr Vick have been tested. Friends, away with their busy lives. This winter has been hard yakka. It’s grabbed hold of me and thrown me about testing my every inch.

Yet two boys, who can’t be held down on account of colder mornings or spits of rain, who are learning to live and co-existence with one another and who squabble, and laugh and love and enlighten me all the way. They deliver the challenges and the beauty.

This has been our winter.

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So how goes your winter story?

I’m linking up with Milk Please Mum who has some way spunky snaps for her winter, a year of mothering link up.

I’m also hanging out at Twinkle in the Eye and My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday :)

Port D Dishes Up The Natural Stunners

August 11, 2014 by Vicki

The best thing about Port Douglas is all the nature. Oh boy-o is there so much nature!

I mean, there’s stacks of la-di-da resorts about the place and to-die-for eateries but to be sure you go for the nature (and climate but I won’t let my wintery bitterness bang on about that today).

It’s the type of place you can perch yourself somewhere and just watch nature at it’s best. Kinda like here:

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OR if you’re like me, you will be totally wrapped that Port D is the launching pad for TWO World Heritage Areas. Yeah, it’s pretty greedy like that but it’s the jackpot for those who like world class, natural stunners.

When you think of iconic Aussie landmarks The Great Barrier Reef and The Daintree Rainforest are the big stars, that’s why I felt totally honored to be able to experience them during our recent vacay.

Traveling to the Daintree was my favorite day of all on our break. There was just something about the dense forest and rich, green foliage that captured my attention and lodged itself into my heart. It was a natural pick me up.

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{The Walu Wugirrigia look out}

We drove to Cape Tribulation which marks the most northern spot that we’ve traveled to in Queensland. It’s a spectacular spot where the forest meets the sandy shores of the ocean. The best thing about the Cape is that it isn’t over populated with rainforest stomping tourists. When we landed on the beach it was actually deserted.

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It is a piece of paradise, lets be honest.

1-DSC_0127 It was an open, free space for us all to explore and there was no better play ground for two keen Vicklets. Mr Vick swam, despite the Crocodile signs (not their hungry season), I paddled and toyed with the idea of actually jumping in but remained happy with just wet calves. The kids were extremely busy doing ya know, kiddy business.

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Once I would have taken the opportunity to lay on a beach towel and read but instead I found myself spending time with my boys. I playfully drew in the sand using my finger as my pen. Little Vick joined in and we ended up having a number writing lesson. We giggled and enjoyed the warm sun on our backs.

We ate a simple picnic lunch which I’d made at our villa. I was glad for it as there was no takeaway stores bordering the sand. The simplicity of the Cape is undoubtedly it’s beauty.

That’s the way it rolls up north really. The reefs beauty is just simply natures ahhh-mazing creation. I could constantly be found with my mouth hanging wide open as a real life episode of the Octonauts unfolded in front of my eyes. A glass bottom boat was the perfect way to educate the Vicklets about what fascinating creatures and beautiful coral existed below the water.

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We saw several turtles. They BLEW ME AWAY! A highlight, no doubt.

We traveled out to Low Island which is apart of the Low Isles area, on one of the many day long boat trips available from Port D. They’re pricey but what would a trip be to Port D be without capturing a glimpse of the world famous reef?

You can go to the Low Isles or head further east to the outer reef which I hear the coral there is even more stunning but we didn’t fancy having an entire day on a boat (no island to land on) with two little people wanting to launch themselves in the drink all day long. Low Island was just perfect for littlies. They happily played in the sand whilst Mr Vick and I took turns snorkeling up all the greatness of the reef. I’m not a confident snorkeler but amazingly you only had to walk 5 meters into the water before you were on the reef!

1-DSC_0557If you weren’t snorkeling you could enjoy some exploring on the island where a lighthouse is still in operation but really there was white sand, clear blue waters and sunshine showering down, who wouldn’t be happy with just being?

Port D really did please me with it’s ‘stuff to do’ list. In fact, I wouldn’t mind experiencing the Port D magic all over again some day. It’s been two weeks already since we were there and I’m in mourning for my summery dresses and mood already. So, the longing begins….

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 Where do you or would you like to take a summery vacay in winter?

Have you visited the daintree or reef?