Hello! Wow… sorry for the lack of posts lately! I have been kinda crazy busy for months on end with a LOT going on so let me catch you up on what’s been happening in lifelovetravelfood world!
Well first of all, I no longer live in Perth! And second of all, I’m no longer on maternity leave! Two kinda big ‘life’ moments!
For the past 10 years, B and I have wanted to move back to Brisbane at some point. It’s always been our plan to get back to where our families are and settle in. We wanted H to go to school in Queensland and we were keen to be closer to family (not just for the free babysitting but that’s a pretty big drawcard!) Then one day, my very, VERY talented husband managed to score himself a new job in Brisbane and from the moment he signed on the dotted line, five weeks later we were back! It was a complete whirlwind of packing up the house, shipping the car over, cleaning the house, resigning from both our jobs, moving to the other side of the country and starting a new life here. Moving house SUCKS! Moving interstate is worse. Doing it all with a baby is fricken ridiculous! We were soooo lucky to have my sister in Perth to help us out and my parents in Brisbane who were also superstars so without them, I would probably have crawled into a corner and cried.
We LOVE being back in Brisbane! We’re currently renting and looking forward to finally being able to buy our family home and get a bit more settled – I am o.v.e.r renting BIG time! So that happened ridiculously fast and then came the job.
When I resigned from my job in Perth, we decided I would take until the end of the year off, dabbling in a few jobs that took my fancy, but not seriously searching, as I was keen to be at home with H for 12months like I’d originally planned. To cut a long story short, I got asked to interview for a job, met the team, was offered the role and started the job all within three weeks. That three weeks included the frantic search for childcare for H. Oh. My. Gosh. The childcare search SUCKED. Places are ridiculously hard to come by, fees are crazy (we will be paying more per week for childcare than we do in rent – wtf!?) and throw into the mix an overly emotional, scared, worried, nervous, tearful mum *ME* and it was quite the journey!
We managed to get H into care three days a week and my incredibly generous, amazing, WONDERFUL parents take him the other two days until the new year when he switches centres and starts full-time care. I don’t think they realise how much their help has meant to me. Not just so I could accept my job offer, but to ease H AND me into full-time care. H is great – he’s a happy lil guy who’s fine to go to other people and sleep in places other than his own cot. Me on the other hand, I have found this whole experience of being with him 24/7 to being away from him five days a week, VERY hard. The support of my family has meant the world to me, I don’t think I can even put into words how much I (and B too) appreciate their love and support. I am so, SO grateful and incredibly lucky (insert a flurry of kiss and loveheart emojis here).
Pick up – I am lucky to have a supportive team who understand I need work/life balance as a working mum. I am able to finish my day early so I can race home (and race I do – I have kept up my London-commuter-pace which is a million miles an hour compared to laid-back Brisbane-ites) to collect H from childcare and spend a little bit of time with him each day. When I pick him up, either from my parents or childcare, it is priceless. His entire face lights up, his smile is enormous and he flaps his arms around in delight. It’s the most beautiful thing to see his excitement when he sees me – I absolutely cherish it!
Home – for so long, I wasn’t sure I was ready to move back to Brisbane. Once H came along, my desire to be closer to family became more imminent and since then, I’ve been keen to get back to Brisbane. It has been our easiest move so far. We already had friends and family here, knew the suburbs, shortcuts and places to hang out. We slotted back into Brisbane life so easily, it has been absolutely wonderful. I adore being able to pop round to Mum and Dad’s for no real reason. I love knowing we’re officially ‘home’ and can really think about putting down roots. I love catching up with our friends, especially as many have kids (and we are currently plotting arranged marriages and best friends for life whether our children like it or not). And I love knowing we’re finally in the city where we can buy our ‘for at least the next 10 years’ house. It’s just SO GOOD to be back!
The lead up to Christmas –last year I don’t really think I took it all in because I knew I was due to have a baby so the thought of Christmas approaching had my thoughts on the whole birth thing. It passed by in a bit of a blur and any time anyone mentioned ‘only five Friday’s till Christmas’ it sent a shiver down my spine! So this year I’m really embracing the lead up to Christmas and I simply cannot wait for the day to arrive. Wrapping presents, Christmas carols in the shops, turning on our Christmas tree lights every night, fruit mince pies, decorations everywhere – I love it!
Market day – As sad as it sounds, I have always loved grocery shopping. But what I love even more is going to the local farmers markets each week and buying up big on beautiful fresh fruit and veges. I love filling our fridge with healthy food and I love creating delicious food for my family (sometimes B does not agree with my use of the word ‘delicious’). Visiting the markets means we buy less packaged, processed foods which can only be a good thing.
Summer fruit – When I smell a perfectly ripe mango, it almost makes me dizzy. I love that smell SO MUCH! It takes me back to living at number 27, with a box of mangos in the corner of the dining room. Such good memories! Cherries scream Christmas to me, I just bought my first lot today and can’t wait to eat the whole bowl (I’m kinda hoping I don’t have to share with B). Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, watermelon, pineapple… summer fruit gets me ridiculously excited! Apples are so passé.
We haven’t really done much travel recently, but since I haven’t written a blog post in forever, I can mention our Melbourne trip and make it seem like we’ve been total jetsetters this year. The weekend before we moved back to Brisbane, we went to Melbourne. It was a trip we’d planned earlier in the year so although the timing wasn’t great, it was actually a wonderful time to go and forget about the stress of the move. It also meant H could meet his Aunty M for the very first time. It was love at first sight for both of them – still to this day, this photo is one of my all time favourites… perfection!
We also took advantage of visiting our fabulous friends from London who now live in Torquay. Just spending a few days relaxing, taking it easy and checking out the sights around that beautiful part of the state was SO nice. R and P were the most wonderful, generous hosts who organised a car seat AND travel cot for H so we didn’t need to bring them with us which made our trip so much easier. They’re the kind of friends who we don’t see that often yet when we get together, it’s like no time has passed. These are the kinds of friends we cherish and will hold onto forever – sorry R and P, you’ll NEVER get rid of us! I LOVED Melbourne and am already wishing for another trip back.
We’ve also taken a few trips to visit family and friends in T’bar. It’s so nice to be able to go back more often and not rush our visit like we used to when we visited from London or Perth.
Coming up, we’ve got our first family summer holiday – yippee! Both B’s and my work close down over Christmas (YESSSS!) so we’re off to T’bar for Christmas and lots of family get-togethers. Then we’re taking off for a few days to a place just outside of Noosa – just the three of us. B is already planning what we’re going to do and making an itinerary which I’m choosing to ignore. I want to take it easy and relax but he wants to fit in as much as humanely possible. Let’s see who wins that battle!
If I listed all the places we’ve visited and what we’ve eaten since my last real blog post, it would go on forever. So instead, here are some foodie-photo highlights for you! If you’re keen on any recipes, drop me a line below!
Thanks for your patience and for stopping by for a read after so long – I promise it won’t be so long between posts next time! I’m ALWAYS on instagram – @lifelovetravelfood – in case you miss me that much : )