Monday, April 18, 2016

Adventures in Online Shopping

The one where you buy something on eBay and it never arrives.

You contact the seller and they say 'Oops! We never actually had that item.'

They refund your money, but the item is still listed for sale.

You leave them fair and honest feedback and mark it as 'negative' because that is what the whole experience has been.

You notice that there are a LOT of other comments there saying similar things.

Then they start emailing you every three days practically begging you to change the feedback to positive.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Jurassic Creatures - Review

We were given a family pass to check out Jurassic Creatures by the wonderful people at Cavanagh PR.
All opinions and photographs are our own.

When I was contacted about going to see this, I was pretty excited. I mean, who doesn't love dinosaurs? When the day arrived I was unfortunately unwell and couldn't go, but Chyken rounded up some kids we know and off they went!  Here's what he has to say about it...

Firstly, let me clarify that this is NOT the dinosaur thing currently on at the Museum, it's a different one, it's at Docklands just near the Southern Star wheel, and it closes THIS SUNDAY (April 10th)

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when we arrived to see Jurassic Creatures. My first impression came from the ample signage from the Docklands tram stop and right the way through Harbour Town.  The ticketing staff were efficient and friendly, and with three eager kids in tow, we lined up for the promptly-opening 10am session. 

From the outset, this is really engaging both visually and aurally.  The family loved hearing the loud roars and seeing the animatronic dinosaurs from outside the tent. Upon entering the tent, the camera got a workout! This place has lots of photo opportunities of the kids interacting with both static and animated dinosaurs, with great lighting. Whilst there was lots of looking skywards to see the pterodactyls, mammoths and the ferocious T-rex, the display is designed for kids, with the vast majority of displays (and information plaques) at head height for littlies.

Jurassic Creatures is clever – not only is it a display-based attraction, it provides other activities designed to engage and peak curiosity. The kids could join in the songs and dance right in front of the stage where your host has the kids right in the palm of her hand with her dinosaur pals, Buddy and Tiny. The kids enjoyed becoming a palaeontologist and discovering different fossils which they could keep. A big winner though, was the art and craft, where kids could make their very own colourful dinosaur sand art to take home!

After being a bit dinoed-out, we stepped outside into the park’s amusement section, where the kids could go on unlimited rides on trains, jumping volcano, pirate ship and cup ride.

Whilst there are food and merchandise stands throughout the facility, these are incredibly reasonably-priced! The icing on the cake was the voucher we were handed, giving us $15 tickets for the Melbourne Star, right next door, upon presentation of our Jurassic Creatures ticket.

Jurassic Creatures must close on Sunday 10 April, which gives parents an opportunity to give the kids a very cool experience in the remainder of these holidays.  We loved it, and hope you will too!

Tickets for Jurassic Creatures start at just $22 each. A family pass is $105. They can be booked online here.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Banana Muffins With Lemon Icing

What's the difference between muffins and cupcakes? I don't know, and I don't care.

Make these today, they are delicious!

For the muffins:
1/2 cup brown sugar 
100 grams butter, softened 
1 egg  
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 cups plain flour  
2 tsp baking powder  
1 tsp baking soda  
1/4 cup milk  
At least 4 small bananas, but the more the merrier!  

For Icing: 
1 cup icing sugar, sifted  
100 grams butter, softened 
1 tsp vanilla extract  
1 tbs fresh lemon juice  
1 tsp lemon rind, finely grated

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and whack some patty pans into your muffin pan.

2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the egg, beat well.

4. Chuck the flour, baking powder, baking soda and milk in the bowl, beat until smooth and then fold through the mashed bananas.

5. Put large spoonfuls into patty pans and cook for about 25 minutes, maybe longer, until a skewer inserted comes out clean and they are a bit brown.

6. While they cool, beat all the icing ingredients in a bowl until it is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Ice cooled muffins. Apparently they will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container, but mine did not avoid being eaten for that long. It made about 16 muffins, allowing for some taste testing of the batter along the way.

Recipe adapted from this one.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Giveaway! Silvers Circus in Mornington and Noble Park!

Silvers Circus is setting up their big top in Mornington and Noble Park and you can win tickets to see them!  Read on to find out how!

Silvers Circus was established in 1976 and provides a top night out for young and old.

Here are just some of the acts you will see under the air conditioned big top!

•    Wheel of Steel. A young man with nerves of Steel, Dominik Gasser will run, jump, skip and flip through a routine of sheer physical ordacity, just as the apparatus he challenges defies description. Its wheels osolate and revolve from group level to dizzying heights. This spectacle will leave you chewing your nails and squirming in your seats! The Wheel of Steel…. (for strong constitutions only!!)

•    The Globe of Death. The world famous Phoenix Riders speed around inside a 3-1/2 meter diameter metal globe on motorbikes, missing each other by mere millimetres.

•    Hoola Hoops.  Up to 80 hoola hoops at once are managed while a balancing act is taking place upon a mobile mirror ball all at the same time

•    Clowns.  Expect the unexpected.  This act is guaranteed to tickle the funny bone

•    The Roman Rings. A very unique act which is performed with extreme strength and elegance. Little girls will be amazed by the beauty and grown men in awe of the control and physicality.

•    Illusionist.  Ringmaster Simon Tait has over 25 years’ experience in circus and will mesmerise the audience with his celebrated illusions and audience repour.

•    NEW – The Bicycle Act - Justin Valise is a professional idiot specializing in stupidity and acrobatics on a bicycle. Trained at the school of hard knocks and inspired by Murphy’s Law i.e. “what can go wrong will go wrong,” Justin has created an act that wrestles with the unexpected and lives up to the challenge, “the show must go on.” With hard work and some measure of good fortune, Justin has managed to combine the theatricality of a modern day fool with the physical skills of an acrobat to create distinctive and engaging entertainment.

I wish the Bicycle Act had been there when I saw this circus in Gisborne, it sounds amazing! You can read my review of that night here!

Tickets start from just $20 and can be booked here: 

Silvers Circus is showing at the following places and times:

•    Beta Show Grounds, 1158 Nepean Highway, Mornington        4th to 26th January , 2016
•    Sandown Park Hotel Car Park, Princes Highway, Noble Park        29th January – 21st February, 2016

I have three family passes (2 adults and 2 kids valued at $120 each) to give away to shows at both Mornington AND Noble Park!

Tickets for Mornington are for the show at 8pm on Saturday 16th January.

Tickets for Noble Park are for the showat 8pm on Saturday 6th February.

All you need to do is fill out the one of the forms below and tell me in about 25 words why you would like to run away with the circus. The answer that amuses or confuses our judge the most will win! (If you want, you can enter twice, but you are only eligible to win once)

Entries close at 5pm AEDT on Saturday January 9th and the winners will be notified shortly afterwards.

Fill out this form if you want to win tickets to the Mornington show... 


Fill out this form if you want to win tickets to the Noble Park show...

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I find Christmas a very strange time of year. I like the idea of Christmas, but the reality has been quite difficult for me for several years, for lots of reasons.

But, that's just me and I know others don't feel the same, so whatever you like to celebrate at this time of year, and however you like to celebrate it is fine by me.

I hope it is everything you want it to be, and then some. I hope you get a gift that you absolutely adore.

I hope you eat all your favourite foods and spend time with all your favourite people. At the end of the day, that is all that really matters.

If you need me, I'll be over in the corner, eating trifle.

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