Monday, 14 July 2014

Seafood, Sushi and Stereotypes

If you missed the first few blogs to Australia 2014 series please use the links just below!

Australia 2014 Part 1
Australia 2014 Part 2
Australia 2014 Part 3
Australia 2014 Part 4
Australia 2014 Part 5
Australia 2014 Part 6

Seafood, Sushi and Stereotypes

Despite the helicopters, museums and nights out, the reason we were actually in Australia was for Mike to attend a training course! So, on April 22nd – 24th,  Mike had to go into work whilst I lounged by the pool, ordered room service and managed the odd hour of work,– a hard time in my life as you can all imagine and couldn’t go out without my mobility scooter – so I was trapped! ;)

A hard life!

On the 22nd two of Mike’s colleagues had flown in from America. Lucy (English) and Don (American) had never been to Australia before, so Mike and I, now seasoned Brisbane guides, took it upon ourselves to show them the city as best we could in such a short time!

That evening I met Lucy and Don, and the four of us went to dinner on the river at a place called George Paragon’s Seafood Restaurant. The food was incredibly tasty and unbelievably fresh! I had a vegetarian starter with avocados and a main of grilled schanpper and king prawns, all with an amazing view of Story Bridge.

We chatted about America verses England. As Lucy is a Brit, living in Texas, she was the best person to ask ahead of our move to Denver, all whilst we took the Mickey out of Don and his homeland!

After dinner, we hopped onto a river taxi for a night tour of the city, this plan went slightly wrong when we realised the boat was only covering about 4 stops of usual route, so with jet lag taking hold of Don and Lucy, we all went back to our hotel.

The 23rd was much the same in the day. Mike went to work, whilst I worked on my tan, swam in the pool then I “laboured” away at a whole one article – I didn’t want to strain myself too hard you see!

In the evening, Mike came to collect me and we met Lucy, Don, David (as in David, Jutta and Siwa) and their workmate Leo. Looking around our table, back at the Bavarian Bier Cafe, we looked like a bad joke waiting to happen; 3 English, 1 American, 1 German and 1 Colombian – not an Aussie in sight.

Our multicultural table! 

The men partook in litre sized beers (Don, being American, didn’t know what a litre was until a giant tankard arrived in front on him!) and we all indulged in sausages, pickled veg, pork roasts and plenty of creamy mash, I could feel my internal Weight Watchers counter explode!

Mikes Big Sausage

There was a lot of oil/rocks/geek talk going on, so it was here I ran up a £50 data bill to keep me amused - oops!

With bellies full and ideas shared, we all headed home.

On the 24th whilst Mike was training, I actually did a lot of work! I still managed a couple of hours by the pool to rest afterwards though!

As was now a mini tradition, Mike came and got me and we headed to the South Bank with Lucy and Don, where we met with Pieter for sushi at a place called San Kai. I adore sushi but although he’ll eat it, Mike cannot see the fascination and craves the meat and carbs!

We were later joined by Tobias, who is German, so again our table was an amusing collection of nationalities; 3 English, 1 American, 1 South African and a German – and still no Aussie in sight!

After dinner, we all headed to a bar where the guys were in search of the biggest, girly or “fru fru” cocktails they could find. They did so well, there were ones being lit on fire, others with umbrellas, sparkly mixing sticks and fruity art, with one cocktail coming with a plate of bacon!

Despite being surrounded by Degree’s, Masters and PHd’s we chatted a lot of very funny... how to put this... crap! We then played a game of Country Stereotypes where we’d shout out random things reminding us of different countries. Answers ranged from silly, odd and offensive, Tobias treading through treacherous water when he shouted “bad taste... in everything” when  it was England’s turn!

The bar closed at midnight, but we decided to go looking for another, only to find everything was closed or not selling alcohol – confused we asked why? We were told as it was past midnight and officially Anzac day none would be sold until it was over – boo!

So we headed back to our hotel, saying Goodbye to Lucy, who was off early the next day to Darwin for swimming with crocodiles – as you do, and Mike and I made plans to meet Don the next morning!

L x

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Good Health Box – Review!

I was lucky enough to win a Good Health Box last month and I was not disappointed!

With chronic health issues, I struggle to exercise and maintain my weight; this is not helped by the fact that I am a complete foodie!

When I can across a competition to win a selection of healthy and yet interesting goodies, I had to enter!

Established by two guys Tim and Chin, Good HealthBoxes started after both guys became snacking fiends and vending machine villains! They both knew they needed to kick start a healthier way of life but without missing out on interesting and filling foods – So Good Health Box was born!

Tim and Chin offer an array of different snack selection boxes including the Youth Box full of healthy treats that can be used in lunch boxes, after school snacks or fuel for a homework session.

They also do large family boxes for everyone to share, a Protein box for those who exercise a lot and need foods that will support their regime, there's the Free From boxes that are brilliant if you have dairy or gluten intolerances and many more tempting box selections.

For my prize I chose their Health Box. This included;

My Box of Goodness!

Cofresh – Hummus Chips (Tomato and Basil) – The bag was big enough to share and they’re delicious dipped in low fat sour cream dip. The Hummus chips have 30% less fat than average crisps too.

Mini Moo’s –Lily-Lu’s Minty Moo Chocolate – After a long stressful day I usually crave a big old bar of chocolate but I delved into my Health box for my Mini Moo bar, served it with a low sugar hot chocolate, killing the craving dead!

Two Organics’ – Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Cookies – These were lovely and could easily replace my normal favourites plus their wheat, gluten and dairy free!

Goobers – Orange Flavoured Raisins – I don’t like most orange flavoured treats so I gave these to my niece, she loved them asking for more afterwards – a true seal of approval!

9 Bar – Flaxseed Snack Bar – I love 9Bar products, I always have them in my cupboard for breakfast on the go. The Flaxseed one is particularly crunchy and scrumptious!

Ma Bakers – Giant Bar Strawberry Flapjack – The bar is a huge 90g’s. I found it a little heavy so split it into three snacks, a tad too sweet for my palate in one sitting.

Plamil – Coffee Chocolate Bar – I loved this bar, I have since bought more of them. The chocolate has a lovely coffee taste without being too strong or bitter.

Traidcraft – GEO Fair Trade Snack Bar – Full of fruit and crunch this was a satisfying 4 o’clock snack and not too sweet or sickly!

Eat Natural – Date, Walnut and Pumpkin Bar – Like 9Bar I always have Eat Natural bars at home for interesting flavours and combinations without too much sugar or too many calories. I tend to eat these for breakfast too.

Beond Organic– Organic Apple Cinnamon Bite – I could eat these everyday! A raw mini bar in place of a sugary biscuit is mouth-watering. This one reminded me of Christmas pudding! Vegan, Gluten, dairy and soya free, these are great to serve to friends with specific or complicated dietary requirements.

Nakd. – Cocoa Mint Bar – This was a lovely treat without the guilt of average chocolate, containing only cocoa, dates, cashews and raisins, you feel like you’re doing your body good whilst still getting your chocolate fix!

I would highly recommend Good Health Boxes for guilt free snacking and treats, unlike other similar services Good Health Box do not make you subscribe, you can leave Tim and Chin to pick your goodies for surprise selection or you can make up your own box with your favourite’s included. There are so many products to chose from at affordable prices.

For more information on Good Health Box see their Facebook, Twitter and webpage!

Big thank you to Good Health Box for treating me to some of the best snacks on the health foods market!

L x

P.s If you would like me to review or test your products please email me at I have over 2,000 readers a month and a lot of lovely Twitter and Facebook followers :)

Monday, 7 July 2014

Helicopters, Sunbathing and Dolphins

If you missed the first few blogs to Australia 2014 series please use the links just below!

Australia 2014 Part 1
Australia 2014 Part 2
Australia 2014 Part 3
Australia 2014 Part 4
Australia 2014 Part 5

Monday 21st of April was the last day of the “Holiday” part of our trip to Oz. The following 5 would be very work related so Mike and I decided to make it a really special day.

We’d booked a day trip to Morton Island to go feed Dolphins! Mike had fed and swam with dolphins in Florida and Bahamas (Lucky Sod!) so he was more excited to see my reaction to it all!

We caught an early morning ferry from Brisbane to Morton Island taking about 75 minutes. The weather was in its 30’s a perfect day for sunbathing and island life! The island is a protected one, with only one resort called Tangalooma, allowed to have been built, retaining the stunning features of the place.

We arrived to views of amazing white beaches, crystal blue waters and no crowds of tourists – paradise!

Morton Island

Although not planned, we decided to take a helicopter ride over the Island, again Mike has been in many helicopters so he was looking forward to it, although apprehensive I would be nervous in such a little aircraft.

I loved it! I wasn’t nervous in the slightest! Our pilot Michael told us about Morton Island and pointed out shipwrecks, turtles, dugongs and dolphins - it was breathtaking.  I was a complete loser and updated my status from the air which I git stick over – bothered!

Excited Much!??

Both our cameras were in full action but I was conscious not to see the whole place through a lens and took it all in – I was in awe!

View from the helicopter!

Landing, I felt exhilarated and we wandered around the resort and beaches, finally stopping for lunch, it was very fast food in a canteen style but it did the job.

Mike wanted to explore the island more on foot, which is almost impossible pushing a wheelchair.  So I set up camp on the beach, with my MP3 player a bucket of suncream and plenty of water – such a hard life, whilst Mike went off camera in hand – of course!

One of Mike's shots

Later when the boy had returned with some excellent photos of the wildlife and manmade coral reefs made out of sunken ships, we decided to go for a few drinks as sunset was approaching, we got a table covered it in beers whilst we chatted and took in the stunning views, it was all very romantic!

About 6:30pm it was time to feed the dolphins. We made our way to the pier that was designated as a meeting point and already the dolphins were swimming close to shore ready for their supper!

Because of the wheelchair I was transferred to a beach chair (looks like a wheelchair but with huge quad bike wheels). At the waters’ edge I stood up and we walked into the sea, which was beautifully warm, with both Mike and our assistant holding me up, as the slightest wave knocks me over.
I met a dolphin called Tinkerbell, who was gentle and playful, our assistant had said she was unusually calm and probably sensed my weakness – bless her heart!       

We watched 70 or so other families do the same from the pier, so that we could see all the dolphins from above a splendid sight.

Morton Island had been the best day of the whole holiday, with two more items ticked off my bucket list; a helicopter ride and feeding dolphins – amazing!

Thank you Mike – I know how lucky I am!

L x

David, Jutta and Siwa

If you missed the first few blogs to Australia 2014 series please use the links just below!

Australia 2014 Part 1
Australia 2014 Part 2
Australia 2014 Part 3
Australia 2014 Part 4


I’m so behind with all my news this time, I feel overwhelmed as to how far behind I am! I apologise as always, life just seems to run away with me! Still here I go....

As you may remember for Australia 2014 Part 4, we’d been drinking cocktails and star gazing, so they day after I was exhausted so we had a quiet morning then headed to Mikes friend David’s house. They met at work and we were going to dinner so that I could meet David’s lovely wife Jutta and their completely adorable daughter Siwa.

We had planned on taking a train but they were closed for track repairs. Some of you may remember this happened on our first trip to Brisbane and the train company gave us a 40 seated bus to ourselves and paid for an hour long taxi ride home again – all completely free! Well they did it again! This time our personal coach driver not only decided to take us to the nearest train station, on finding out about the short walk to David and Jutta’s house, he dropped us off at the end of their road! UK train services need to take note!!

David and Jutta are from Germany, hence the beautiful and unusual name for their little girl. We had a wonderfully relaxing day with them. When we got there, we had a beer in the garden chatting about the fruit and vegetables they were growing in their garden and the foods they make themselves, for example Jutta makes her own yogurt – being the food that I am I was incredibly impressed.

It was decided that we should go for a walk in the forest nearby so that Siwa could ride her bike. It was a typically gorgeous Aussie day. I was happy to warm my old legs up and see more of Queensland.


As we walked and chatted, I found David and Jutta are not followers of modern lifestyles/conveniences. They travelled for a year around Australia in a camper van when Siwa was a baby, so much so that when they were home, Siwa was asking for her torch to light the way to the bathroom as she hadn’t, in her short life, used electricity and lights much – bless her!

The family do not have a TV, have taught Siwa to be fluent in German and English and encourage her to have a technology free childhood. For all their hard work Siwa is a bright and engaging child. It was so refreshing with no one rudely checking and updating their phones or switching the TV on for X-Factor in the middle of a conversation.

After and delicious dinner made by Jutta, the family walked us to the train station all bare foot.  Siwa hilariously stepped in dog mess on the way, she was completely unfazed or precious about it, wiping her feet on the grass, where she found a new friend in a frog – we had had a wonderful day, thank you David, Jutta and Siwa!

L x