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.



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



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


Wishing you a wonderful day!



Spring Time, Secret Garden, and Farmers Market.



I just love Spring, and today was  a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, that was just so enticing I had to get up and take the boys on a little adventure. Mr. Serious and Mighty Mouse would just love to spend there days playing video games and watching You Tube.  Today we ventured out the door, and walked to the local Farmers Market.

I just love how Farmers Markets have become so popular in the suburbs these days, they are just bursting with positive energy, and good produce. I love that we can buy locally grown and made foods.  We walked around, soaked in the lovely atmosphere, enjoyed a hot chocolate for the boys, and a coffee for myself in the playground area, at a picnic table. We bought a number of items, an angus pie, hazelnut and chocolate tart and fresh strawberries for dinner tonight. I also brought some lovely tomato plants for the veggie patch, as I am looking forward to home grown tomatoes this summer.

A lovely surprise we fell upon was the Secret Garden, myself and the boys went on a relaxing walk through the garden, and even enjoyed playing some naughts and crosses.

Is there a wonderful new place that you could discover in your Suburb? Little gems are hiding everywhere, you just have to get out and start looking around. You never know what you might discover.


Weekend Plans:

I am feeling very, very  tired at the moment, so this weekend will be full of relaxing activities like the Farmers market and secret garden, and enjoying the simple things in life like reading a book and enjoying a family dinner. I also plan to do some gardening.


What are your weekend plans?

Wishing you all a wonderful day!


Saturday Morning Musing!

IMG_0706Spent a couple of lovely hours at the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park on Friday. I met up with a friend for lunch, it was the perfect tranquil space to share a meal, and then walk around the Sculpture Park and chat. There was also a photo exhibition on which captivated my imagination and also curiosity. I kept thinking how did this person do this, and where were was the place the photo’s were set in. The McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park is one of my favourite places to visit and catch up with friends. It is such a peaceful place and yet there is so much to do and see there.

Whilst Friday morning was spent trying to re-arrange Mighty Mouse’s room, trying to figure out how to make it look more grown up and yet keep all his teddies. I think this time I am going to go with an animal theme. More using the colours, and bold animal pictures like tigers or loins.  Whilst Mr. Serious room, I have not idea what to do. He tells me he wants it to be about gaming and movies. I guess I will go out looking and see what inspires me. This year I hope to freshen up and change the look of my boys rooms. At the moment their rooms are very child like and very hap hazard in the way they look. One is just cluttered and full of teddies and toys, the other is sparse with the walls covered in movie posters and school work. Both rooms have shown my boys unique style and likes. Now I just want to update it and add a bit more of a grown up look. So far I have found it difficult to come up with ideas, there are not a lot of images out there that focus on teenage boys rooms.

This week I have been experimenting with cooking different meals for dinner, some have been a success and some have just been alright. I have enjoyed being creative with my cooking and found that it has not taken that much extra time. Most of the preparation has been in being organised and having the shopping list for all the ingredients. One of my goals this year is to be more organised in my home.

Now it is the glorious weekend, and I am hoping to take the boys to the Melbourne Aquarium this weekend. Catch up with some reading. Also I need to take my son shopping to get a few things, which he needs to pick out.  Also planing the week ahead. That is just a few of the things on my weekend list.

So what are you doing this weekend?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

I have also been enjoying playing around with photo’s and trying to come up with some different looks!

It has been both fun and creative.



Artist’s Date at Australian Gardens.

The perfect place for a pleaseant walk.

The perfect place for a pleaseant walk.


What an opportunity, a couple of hours of alone time, so ventured out for my Artist’s Date. It was a beautiful blue sky, sunny winters day, with a cold chilly bite to the air. It was such a lovely day, I could not resist going to the picturesque Australian Gardens. I my way in I was treated to an art show of botanic artworks. I loved how some of pictures had the plants underneath them, and I could compare. I thought the art works represented the real plant flora very accurately.
How could I resist the call from the chairs to come and sit.

How could I resist the call from the chairs to come and sit.


I then strolled along the path, enjoying the scenery, the man made river until I got to the lake. There were chairs along the lake are asking me to take a seat and enjoy the scene. So I did, I sat and dreamed. I sat and wrote in my tiny journal. I sat and enjoyed the sunshine on my face and the soft cool breeze. I sat and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I sat and enjoyed the quiet sound of moving water in the distances and a flock of noisy cockatoos far away in the trees.   It was the perfect space to spend some self-time and refill the well. I savoured my time in this special place, nature is so healing, and so relaxing. This places offers both it is so interesting and yet so peaceful and calm. I always delight in coming here. 

A beautiful place to sit!

A beautiful place to sit!

 So think about a place and time, that you could take yourself on an Artist’s Date and refill your own well.
Would love to hear about your Artist’s Date experiences, or even just a place you like to go to again and again for time out, or just to be in a special space.

Wishing you a great day!



Australian Gardens and Art,  http://www.casey.vic.gov.au/calendar/article.asp?Item=26553

Australian Gardens web site:      http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne/attractions/australian-garden




I Enjoy Every Moment Of The Weekend!

A place to rest on a Winter's day!

A place to rest on a Winter’s day!

Oh wow it is Friday, and I have started thinking about the weekend. I love the idea of two days devoted to joy, pleasure, adventure and doing the things I wish to do rather than the things I have to do. Certainly weekend days have a much more enticing feel to them than weekdays for me. I really feel it has something to do with how I approach them and that the focus tends to be on enjoyment and fun.
Sometimes I like to:
  1. go to festivals.
  2. find a cafe and have a coffee.
  3. go on a walking adventures.
  4. go to a class at the gym.
  5. check out a festival that is happening.
  6. discover new places, or simply try new experiences.
  7. stay at home curl up with a book, or a good movie.
  8. go to the local farmer’s market or Sunday market.
  9. catch up with family and friends.
  10. complete projects around the house.


There are always so many possibilities. It is often the leisurely or exciting weekends that give my life a special uplifting buzz. So it is nice to make the most of them.

 Weekends are precious for me because I work so many of them. However I have this weekend off so I hope to make the most of it and enjoy it. Now I have just looked at the weather forecast and it looks like being a wet weekend here in Melbourne. This makes my plans a little more challenging. One of the things I was hoping to do this weekend was the olive festival. Other things I was hoping to attend was the local Rotary Art Show. Also the Sunday Market I am in need of some nice smelling soaps and gorgeous flowers and of course a family get together to celebrate a birthday. I also hope to do more reading and keep up to date with my washing. WInter is not the time to let washing pile up especially when you dry everything on a clothes hoist.That is a have to all the others are wish to. So the plan is to jump out of bed Saturday morning get dressed up, put my make-up on and head out the door and make the most of the weekend.
My affirmation: I enjoy every moment of the weekend.
  What are you up to this weekend?
Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!


Art Excursion The Archibald Prize.


It was a long weekend in Victoria, we had a Public Holiday for the Queens Birthday. Although in my family it was my Dad’s Birthday so we enjoyed having a small family party for him. On the Sunday we went for an excursion to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery to see the Archibald Prize for 2013. I knew a little about this award, it always made it into the news each year. The Archibald Prize is an award for the best portrait of a distinguished Australian. The variety of ways artist chose to do this with their work was fascinating. The people they chose was often interesting and not so obvious. Whilst the winner was Del Kathryn Barton’s painting titled ‘Hugo’.  Whilst it was not my favourite it was certainly well done, and very detailed. That is the thing with art, people like different pieces. My son liked the one called ‘Jo’ because it had lots of animals in them. I thought they were all very interesting.

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

After looking at all that art, we went to the gallery cafe, enjoyed a delicious lunch, whilst listening to some delightful live music. We then headed down through the rose garden to the Oak Hill Gallery, a local gallery run by volunteers, to see the Little Archies Portrait Prize exhibition.

Sculpture in the rose garden.

Sculpture in the rose garden.

We got to enjoy more art, it was such a visual delight. Once again totally amazed by the methods different artist use to do their portrait. Once again interesting, and delightful.

Oak Hill Gallery

Oak Hill Gallery

It was a lovely day filled with art. I love going new places and seeing new things. It was such a wonderful experience to finally see the Archibald Prize exhibition in person and not just on the news.

It makes me wonder what other amazing adventures await me in the weekends ahead.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!



Lazy Scrumptious Saturday!

The view from the back great place to sit have coffee and contemplate.

The view from the back great place to sit have coffee and contemplate.

Relaxing in bed, drinking coffee and reading a book. Eventually we got up around late morning, and sat out on the pergola admiring the view and simply sitting quietly listening to the birds making their music. We then headed into town for bunch. Which was cooked breakfast at lunch time. Yummy. Oh we were super lazy!

Yarra Valley Dairy.

Yarra Valley Dairy.

Then we went for a drive into the surrounding hills to the Yarra Valley Dairy. We sat and watch a cooking demonstration. I learnt something about making pasta. Finally we finished with taste testing. The food was so yummy.

Yarra Valley Dairy

Yarra Valley Dairy

With our tummies full, we went for a scenic drive to Mt. Donna Buang. This is the tallest mountain that is closet to Melbourne. On a clear day you are meant to see panoramic views over Melbourne,  the Yarra Valley, and the  Dandenongs. It was not a clear day the sun and blue skies had turned to clouds and rain.

The 21 meter hight tower at the summit.

The 21 meter hight tower at the summit.

I faced my fear of heights and climbed the observation tower. It was still a great view. It was so windy and wet, I did not want to let go of the bar. Did I mention I am afraid of heights, yes scardy cat Francine when it comes to anything involving heights, it required lots of deep breathing and some encouragement from my husband to climb the tower. It was totally worth doing, there is something special about being up so high and just looking into the distance.

At the top. No way was I letting go of that handle bar.

At the top. No way was I letting go of that handle bar.

The evening saw us venture out to one of the local restaurants The Basement for a light and tasty Tapas meal. This place had a lovely open space, full of contemporary art, chandeliers and lots and lots of delightful candles. The restaurant was a little hard to find, so glad we kept looking until we discovered where it was hiding. It definitely was a gem of a place to dine.

Evening time was spent siting in front of the wood fire, sipping wine, listening to music and having conversations. It was followed by a bubble spa bathe by candlelight. So romantic!

Lazy Saturday ends and yes it was a totally scrumptious day!


A Weekend Away!

IMG_3373Life is so busy, busy, busy , busy! Busy with work, family, hobbies and occasional drama’s. It is just so nice to take a break, relax and chill out. Thanks to my amazing parents  that is just what my husband and myself were able to do. Yes my beloved parents took our boys and the dog for the weekend. Of to Healesville in the scenic Yarra Valley we went. It was only a short trip, an hour and fifteen minutes from home. So not much time at all to zip up their after my husband finished work Friday night. Healesville is a lovely country town surrounded by small tranquil hills. It is surrounded by wineries and restaurants and is a beautiful place for a relaxing holidays and enjoying good food and wines.



We stayed in a refurbished and renovated early 1920’s cottage. It had magnificent charm and character. It’s special features included a wood fire, spa bath and some entertaining ring tail possums. It was beautifully furnished with traditional old style furniture that had lots of charm.

IMG_3364Friday night we spent the evening relaxing out on the pergola sipping wine, tasting biscuits and dip, listening to music and staring at a rather still ring tail possum. We enjoyed the spa bath full bubbles, so many wonderful bubbles and candlelight. So relaxing! Latter during the night I heard the possums having a party on the roof, I woke for a while to hear them running up and down on the roof, then quickly drifted back into a deep beautiful long sleep.

As a couple it is healthy for our relationship to have a weekend away together. We try to do this at least once a year. It is our very special couple time together.


My Monday Morning Expedition!



Monday morning was my Artist’s Date, this week I decided to explore The Victorian Artists Society gallery. I walked in off the street into a beautiful old building and asked if I could look around. I was in luck there was a photographic art exhibition on. It was interesting to look at and certainly gave me a different perspective of a different culture and also on the vast scope of what art can be. A photo has the ability to tell a story, make us ask questions, and wonder what it is we are being shown. That is what I loved about my Artist’s Date is that it made me see something new and different. Yes, I liked the photographic exhibition very much they were amazing pictures, of a Chinese city and it’s culture. I walked away feeling a buzz from doing something a little bit exciting.  When did you last go out exploring and what did you do? Please leave a comment.

The Victorian Artist Society

The Victorian Artist Society

My photos are not art, however they do express what I saw and experienced. They help me tell my stories. Although I would like to take better photo’s. I have fun taking them anyway.

Today was Yoga Tuesday, I really enjoy my Yoga class, it was so relaxing and energising.

Hope you are all having a wonderful day.

Needed A Re-Charge: Gone Camping.

That time between Christmas and New Year’s was spent catching up with family. It was a wonderful busy time, and in ways so busy it was exhausting and I was hanging out for a rest. So for New Year’s this year we went camping at Wilson’s Promontory National Park Victoria. We packed our tent and headed off for a restful, relaxing holiday. The Prom was busy with lots of families and individuals seeking a restful relaxing holiday, the camping ground was packed.

Tidal River Camping Ground.

Tidal River Camping Ground.

We camped at Tidal River  which was walking distance to Tidal River and Norman Beach. It was very pleasant paddling in the river, and walking along the beach. We even went for a swim at the river and jumped some small waves at Norman Beach. Mighty Mouse had a great time.

We also went for a walk to Squeaky Beach and could hear the sand squeaking as we walked along it. It was a beautiful ocean beach, too cold for me to go for a swim. I did enjoy just the walk and spectacular views of the beach.

Norman Beach

Norman Beach

We also encountered some of the wild life, the park is full of wombats.  We went to see the Hobbit at the Prom outdoor cinema which was interesting but very cold, next time we will take blankets, sleeping bags and our pillows for comfort. Still it was a wonderful experience and a interesting movie. When we got back to our tent it had been broken into by a wombat, it put a big hole in our tent and several smaller holes. I was very unhappy and even a little scared. What if I had been in the tent when the wombat tried to break in? My husband laughed, yes he could see the funny side. The next night onwards we put our food containers in the car, no more wombats trying to break in. Mighty Mouse thought they were cute, and spent his time examining every wombat hole he came across. We saw a lot of wombats. Ofcourse the park was full of parrots and garlahs, and many other birds, I even seen two black cockatoos. Wilson’s Prom. is very remote and known for its wonderful wild life and walking tracks.



We had plenty of time for sitting around, reading books and simply doing nothing. It was a time away from modern living of TV, iPads , computers and Xbox games. Just  time to relax, and enjoy nature. I did re-charge my batteries, and I am much more rested from our camping holiday. I must say I am very grateful to come home to our clean comfy house. We spent New Years Eve in our tent, it was cold, very cold and we manage to stay up to midnight. Apparently Mr. Serious claimed it is bad luck to go to bed before midnight and I don’t want any bad luck for 2013. So we stayed up and brought in the New Year quietly, we told jokes and talked about the things we wanted to do in 2013. New Years Day was a scenic drive to Foster and Sandy Point it was too cold, wet and windy to do anything else.

Usually by the end of the year my energy reserves are so depleted, and I feel exhausted. I need a holiday! I need to re-charge my energy levels. January seems the perfect time to take a break and build up my energy levels.