Weekend Off! Wow weekends are special when you work a lot of them.

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Friday evening, excited for I have the weekend off. Winter time is tough, so much time spent indoors, short days and long nights, its cold and I don’t want to go out. Spending what few weekends off I have wisely helps prevent the Winter Blues from getting to me. I work a lot of weekends so having a weekend off is pretty special. This weekend is particularly special because it is the first weekend in a long time where I have nothing planned. All that free time I wonder what I will do with it. I check out the weekend forecast that just tells me it will be cold and wet. I will be needing a coat and umbrella, and will probably be spending a lot of time inside. My thoughts are it should be a productively relaxing weekend, with family time, exercise, personal project time, and even some free time. I often find that I over book my weekends with activities and events, and come out feeling tired at the end of it.

I found a couple of blog posts on the internet that may help when it comes to making the most of your weekends.

Things Successful People do on weekends

53 Fun thing you can do this weekend

Are you trying to do too much this weekend?

Weekend wish list- my list of things to do for this weekend.

Friday family movie night. ( family ritual)
Family time an afternoon to do something, go somewhere and enjoy some family time.
Yoga class
Reading( curled up on the couch)
Work on a personal project, ( 2-3hrs)
Go for a walk and take my camera out and take some photo’s( I really want some time to play with my camera.)

 

Nothing too exciting, just a casual, relaxing weekend, is all I want. What sort of a weekend do you want to be enjoying?

 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

 

FRAN DISHON

 

Photography Bliss : Alfred Nicholas Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges

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Wow! Magical, Picturesque, Amazing colours, these words all describe the Alfred Nicholas Gardens. These gardens are situated of Sherbrooke Road in the Dandenong Ranges. They are run by Parks Victoria now, and entrance is free.
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I went at the end of Autumn and the Autumn foliage colours were just gorgeous. It not just the colours it is also the ornamental lake and boat house with a couple of small bridges that just make this place so picturesque. Whilst the gardens are surrounded by rain forrest. It is a delightful place for a walking adventure with a camera.  I was in my happy place taking lots of delightful photo’s.
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This day was the perfect day, late afternoon and slightly cloudy for taking photo’s. I am a new hobbyist photographer and are still learning how to navigate the settings of my DSLR camera and take good photo’s. All I know is I need to get out there and practice and take a lot of photo’s. This place makes it easy to take pretty photo’s because it is just so delightfully beautiful.
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You can discover the Alfred Nicholas Gardens for yourself by going to Dandenong Ranges,  Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke, Victoria. Admission is free, and the photography opportunity is great. To find out more go to Parks Victoria’s site. 

This post has been inspired by the Ultimate Blog Challenge Day 11, which I have been encouraged to share some photo’s. This year I am also sharing a picture a day on Instagram, which are mostly iPhone photo’s, because that the camera I always have with me.

 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

Fun Things To Do In Winter.

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Morning walk on a Winter’s Day!

Winter, you make it so cold and dark outside. Really all I want to do is curl up on the couch and keep snug and warm. Whilst that is nice for a little while, I know I could be enjoying life more. I have to push myself to enjoy these Winter’s Days. This is my question: What are fun things to do in Winter?

Here are some of my ideas:
1. Cooking Adventures: Winter is a perfect time, to put the music on, put the oven on and start experimenting with new exciting dishes.

2. Reading time: What better time to snuggle in bed reading a book, or to simply curl up in an armchair with your book. I only have a heater, it would be so nice to have a
fire.

3. Go to the movies, It is warm, snug and even exciting. I love movies they are an awesome indoor activity.

4. Going out to restaurants and cafe’s, just catching up with family and friends.

5. Make a commitment, it doesn’t matter how cold or wet it is, I go out in the evenings to attend my Toastmasters club.

6. Coats I love my coats, being warm is important. I good selection of coats lets me dress for different occasions and still stay warm. It also helps me to rug up and go for a walk.

7. Sunday drives places still look pretty in Winter, and you can always stop somewhere for a warm coffee.

8. Finally winter festivals, exhibitions, and events. I check out local papers, what’s on websites like Weekend Notes, and local council calendar of events to see what is on in my area.

9. Do an online course or class and learn something new.

However I know I still like to stay tucked away inside, hibernating on my warm couch with the heater on, and the warm cup of tea in my hands. Here I am in search of fun things to do in Winter, to bring more energy and excitement into those Winter Day’s.

What fun things do you like to do on Winter’s Days?

So what are some fun things you like to do on Winter’s Days? Please leave a comment. The more ideas we have the better our Winter Days will be.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Explore Casey: Australian Gardens.

 

School holidays and what to do? Well, you can always be a tourist in your own neighborhood. Yesterday my son’s Mr. Serious, Mighty Mouse and I went to Australian Gardens. These are the most amazing gardens, and a great place to just get out on a Winter’s day and explore. With different styles of Australian landscape and gardens set out within them. It also features lots of beautiful spaces to sit and relax by the stunning lake or in the gardens. While we saw plenty of colour and flowers out in bloom despite it being a grey Winter’s Day It is a beautiful leisurely walk with lovely garden views and walking views and plenty of beautiful walking tracks to enjoy and explore. I have teenage son’s so they just like to walk and explore. I enjoyed watching the younger children in their gum boots splashing about in the little river that flows through the garden. There is a special space that is very shallow for people to walk out into and splash about. Our day was cold and lightly raining so we did not take a picnic lunch, however, on a fine day, there are plenty of spaces to enjoy a picnic. We ended up going to a lovely cafe there and enjoy coffee and hot chocolates. There is also a beautiful gift shop full of lovely things to look at.

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So if you live in Melbourne or are visiting I strongly suggest you check these gardens. So enjoy your visit to this beautiful place!

 

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Water Saving Garden

 

Australian Gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
1000 Ballarto Rd, Cranbourne, Victoria 3977, Australia
Open 9-5pm 7 days a week
Cost: Free or Donation welcomed
https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne/attractions/australian-garden

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Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Spring Time!

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The first day of Spring and a gorgeous day to open all the windows and let the fresh air stream in.

A lovely day to attend a garden collage workshop at Heritage Hill.

Walking in the garden and sketching a picture.

Being inspired to create my own spring picture by a pot with a small green shrub and violets in it.

Enjoying the sunshine, the intense blue sky, my own garden, and some time to sit and journal.

I came across this beautiful quote:

 “I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.” ~Anne Lamott.

This Spring I will take time to look and listen.

Spring time a delightful time to go outside and play!

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Christmas Shopping Madness.


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Christmas shopping madness has begun. I love buying presents for my family, it is such a lovely thing to do. Being a little technophobic I am not really  good at online shopping, it is just too overwhelming for me. So I go to the busy shops.  However I really hate shopping, it is hard work and a chore. Shopping centers possess an energy sucking super power which sucks the life force out of its victims, which includes me. It is the overwhelm of noise, loud obnoxious noise which irritates me.  Then the overload of smells, especially lingering from the food court, which mingle together creating a collection of confused smells. Then the business of people, the crowds that hustle and bustle, and who inadvertently invade my personal space. Finally the visual stimulation of colours, lights, lights, and more lights, plus stuff. I hate being overwhelmed with all the stuff. I seriously have enough stuff, however shops have a way of convincing me that more is required, that I will never have enough , and what stuff   I do own just happens to be  old and worn out so it obviously needs replacing. It is not retail therapy it is retail torture. The good news is I did gets some of my Christmas shopping done. However I am exhausted from it and  what  I really needs is Pandol for my headache and a nap to get over all that shopping.

So I have instigated some strategies this year to help me deal with Christmas Shopping Madness.

  1. I get someone else to do my online shopping for me. (My hubby is really good at this.)
  2. I go the first thing in the morning while it is still quiet, do what I have to do, and get out quickly.
  3. I remain focused and know what I want and where to get it. Also I focus on quality not quantity. That way I only have to buy one good present and not a heap of little presents.
  4. I make sure I am stocked up on Panadol, that way I quickly get over my shopping headache.
  5. I have my go to gift shop for teacher gifts and Kris Kringle  each year, which includes having them beautifully wrapped.

So what tips do you have for coping with Christmas Shopping Madness ? Please leave a comment.

So for me I will be trying to stay away from the shops and indulge in as little retail torture as possible.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

 

A delicious place to journal and enjoy the day!

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The school committee has been attended, and it finally feels time to wind down and relax. I head off to the local park, find a place to sit, enjoying the clear blue sky, gorgeous views, gentle breeze, and a peaceful place to rest.
I open my journal and allow words to pour onto the page. Occasionally I am distracted by a couple walking hand in hand, or school children in the distance singing badly, or a couple of ladies gossiping on a chair during their break, or a magpie looking at me as I sit on my chair. It feels so peaceful and relaxing to sit and listen to the singing of the birds, or simply feel the occasional gentle breeze of the wind against my skin  amongst the stillness of the day.
After my journaling, I find a cafe. I relax into a cushioned deck chair, under a big shady umbrella, overlooking the roses and playground. The cafe is buzzing with life on this gorgeous sunny day. I sit enjoying a decadent ice coffee, enjoying ever mouthful of it.
A yummy delicious afternoon. I think to myself, I really do underestimate how good my life really is.
Wishing you all a wonderful day!
FRAN DISHON

Bushwalking to Bushrangers Bay, Visiting the Vet, Toastmasters and Lazy Sunday, Oh what a week!

 

Bushrangers bay walk

 

 

Tuesday was Melbourne Cup Day, and a great excuse for a family day. We went for a long, long scenic drive down to the picturesque Cape Schanck. This has to be one of my favourite day trip escapes. Cape Schanck is known for its light house, however my favourite thing is to wander along the scenic walk to Bushrangers Bay. This walk through the tea trees along the cliff tops provides the most amazing view of the coast, rocks and sea. Whilst walking along the bush track I was delighted by the variety of bird sounds, they were like a sweat musical bird orchestra. My only fear was it was a beautiful sunny day, with a pleasant breeze, and I walk with a vigilance watching out for snakes. It was a perfect day for snakes to venture out and sun bake on warm bush tracks. Luckily I didn’t see any, although a couple warned us they had just seen one on the left of the track up ahead. I was so relieved that it had decide to slide away back into the bushes. When I made it to the end of the walking track there was a climb down quiet a number of steps. Easy going down, slower and harder going back. I enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch on the beach with my family with my feet massaging the sand whilst I looked out on the most serene view. I can only say I love this place, it is a beautiful haven for people to picnic, explore and play.

 

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However the week has not been all play unfortunately Little Miss Popularity had to undergo an anaesthetic at the Vet, to clean her teeth and have a tooth extraction, she is recovering well. It made me seriously think about pet insurance. Pet health care is so expensive these days, and as she is family to me, I want the best for her, well maybe not the best, I mean the best basic pet care for her. I just want her to be comfortable and healthy. The only problem is she is one of those breads that seems to have a list long of problems. So I guess I should be grateful that she doesn’t have a heart murmur, just rotten teeth. She is so beautiful.

 

My final highlight of the week was of course the Toastmasters District 73 Semi  Annual Convention, Reach For Your Star which I attended Saturday. What a wonderful opportunity it was to be inspired and immersed in learning and even laughter. It was also great to meet so many interesting and delightful people. I took lots of notes and came away inspired to want to achieve more on my Toastmasters Journey. I was also proud of myself for my confident driving in an unfamiliar place. (I have a confession, I don’t like driving, I am highly anxious driver, and when I am driving somewhere unfamiliar, it requires my full attention. As for the lady on the GPS, her directions could have been a little more precise, and a lot more pre warning about what lane to be in. However overall she did well because I made to my destination, and home again.)

What was the highlight of your week?

 

Finally today after such a high energy days on Friday and Saturday, it seemed only right that Sunday be a low energy day. So lots of relaxing and reading. A perfect lazy Sunday. At the moment I am reading Gift From The Sea,  by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, what beautiful soulful wisdom this lady has to offer.

Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day- like writing a poem or saying a prayer.”~Ann Morrow Lindbergh 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

Farmer’s Market to Archibald Prize Exhibition.

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This weekend I had nothing planed. I was still feeling tired, and couldn’t contemplate a full weekend. My plans was to  go with the flow. However I just hate wasting my weekends, as I work so many of them. Saturday morning was a late morning visit to the Farmer’s market, which including relaxing having a coffee and listening to the music. I also brought these lovely flowers, and  a few other things.

 

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After a lazy Sunday morning sleep in, I decided I really wanted to do something with my day. The boys weren’t interested. I enjoy visiting art galleries. So I decided to go for an adventure by myself. I put my summer dress on and headed out, and for a while the sun was even shining. I ventured down to the  Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, to see the Archibald Prize 2014 Exhibition. This is an exhibition exclusively to portraits, and includes some very prominent Australian artists. It is so delightful to see the variety of creative ways they do these portraits from traditional to bizarre. I think what I love best is reading what the artist words about the person they chose and how they were trying to capture them in their work. I really enjoyed the exhibition.

After that I slowly walked through the Mornington Rose Garden. How lovely all those roses looked. I just sat there for a while so I could soak in all their beauty. It was a beautiful peaceful garden to take time out in and relax, and even smell the roses. Some of them smell real good.

It was a very enjoyable day. It was a day that left me feeling good, and uplifted.  A day for me an Artist’s date.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

 

 

 

Suburban Treasure!

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I love going on an adventure walk and discovering a new suburban treasure! As I walked through an adjacent estate look what I found. A magnificent park with this spacious delightful picnic and bbq area. This would be a treat of a place to get together with friends or neighbours.

IMG_0664A place to sit and have a picnic, a place to sit and journal, a place to sit and chat. A place to get together with friends.

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A place to let the children run wild and play, a space for them in the playground. A great place for parents and kids to hang out.

IMG_0666A grand entrance, a beautiful dramatic stairway down to a grand undercover picnic area. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has had their wedding photo’s here. Would be perfect for family photo’s not to mention imagine how fit you could get running up and down these stairs.

IMG_0679A lovely quiet place to sit and reflect, I like this little spot I could imagine myself sitting here reading a book. In fact I am sure I will revisit this spot with book and journal to spend a few delightful hours.

IMG_0672More places to sit and enjoy the day, there are seats all around this park. It just invites you to sit and spend some time in this lovely place. I could hear it calling me to sit, breath, and simply slow down. Plenty of birds chirping way in the trees and flying around.  IMG_0684Finally a work of art dramatic and bold. I imagine it to say “Stop, take notice of this space, take notice of its beauty, you are invited to rest and play here. Stop! This park is here for you to enjoy!”

Today I stumbled onto a suburban treasure, one that I will be revisiting to rest and play myself.

So go for a walk and discover what suburban treasures are in your neighbourhood.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!