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Fiji

We spent Christmas and New Year in Fiji. Fiji was perfect for us as it was a four hour flight and neither of us had ever visited the country. A few of our friends had been to Fiji so we got some opinions on different resorts. This would be our first ever resort holiday we were not sure how we would like it… we loved it!

Planning

Just a key note if you are planning  trip to the islands in Fiji make sure you give yourself enough time to fly into the mainland and to get a ferry. The ferry’s leave once a day. We flew into Nadi on the 23rd December and had a night in Nadi before catching the ferry to Blue Lagoon Resort the next day. I would also give yourself a day on the way back too. We did give ourselves a day either side on the main land and it was a relaxing journey back to the airport. The ferry was very rough on the way to our first stop which took 4 and a half hours so I’d advise sea sick tablets and a good book. A lot of people where ill on our ferry. On the way back to the mainland it was a lot smoother ride.

There was three ferry trips in our holiday we booked them all through Awesome Adventures Fiji and had no issues. Be sure to book your free pick up as well to the port and then back to your hotel either side of the trip. The ferry is a big catamaran with seats and tables inside and seats outside on the middle and top deck. Refreshments are available in the inside of the boat. Once you reach your stop you check your bag is getting off and you board a small speed boat to get to your resort. The view going into your resort is something that can not be described. Don’t worry about carrying any suit cases the staff make sue everything gets to your accommodation safely.

Blue Lagoon – Nacula Island

Our first three days where spent on Blue Lagoon and after a bumpy four and half hours we arrived at paradise. In both resorts we stayed in there ‘Budget accommodation’ believe me its the nicest budget room I have ever stayed in. We had to share a bathroom which was no issues with plenty of showers and toilets. Our room was cleaned every day and if you do  not want your bed made you simple put the coconut in your room out the front. The resort has a beach, pool, dining area, and bar.

All the islands have a compulsory eating plan. The food was amazing very tasty and lots of it. MK is one of the biggest eaters I know and he was full… so no one should go hungry. The meals where at set times and there was always a choice at every meal. Every day there would be a list of actives happening. The Dive shop would be where you could find out the cost and sign up for the activities. You have to go with the flow when it comes to the activities as it depends on the weather and numbers…we found asking at the dive shop was the best way to find out if the activity would be running.

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In our three day stay we did the snorkel trip, cave trip and champagne tubing. On the snorkel trip we went out on the boat to a reef. Once everyone was in the water a member of staff jumped in and guided us around the reef. It was a beautiful spot full of colourful reef and fish. We also had a run in with a sea snake ( try avoid them). On Christmas day we decided it would be fun to do the Champagne Tubing. Again we went out on the boat into the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. You get into the sea with your rubber ring and a glass of Champers is passed to you. If you need a refill the boat is not far behind you an they pull you back in and top up your glass. It is something to try it is funny and amazing at the same time. The Cave trip is a 20 min boat ride which in itself is worth the trip it goes past many beautiful islands. You go early in the morning to beat the day trips to the cave which is worth it.  You jump into the black waters of the cave before the guide takes you under a small gap which opens into a huge cave in pitch black. The guide will take you through a few caves. There are plastic tubes in the cave for you to hold on to if your not a strong swimmer. As we left all these day trip boats pulled in so well worth going with Blue Lagoon to avoid the crowds. We had bought duty free at the airport in Fiji and had a drink on a evening on our deck outside our room. The resort is fine with you drinking your duty free and will happily supply ice and glasses.. The resort also let you bring your own bottle of wine to dinner for a $10 corkage fee. On a evening after dinner there would be a movie/ crab racing or music. It is all about relaxing and that you will do on this island.

Christmas day was brilliant. Being so far away from home we didn’t feel to festive but we went to the beach in the morning with our Santa hats on and face-timed our families. At lunchtime we went for lunch and were greeted with a glass of fizz, Christmas songs and festive looking tables. There was a massive Christmas lunch with everything you could think of and even Santa popped in to say hi to the children. It really got us into the Christmas spirit. After a very relaxing three days we got back on the ferry to head to Octopus Resort and we were not show how this could top Blue Lagoon.

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Octopus Resort -Waya Island

A short two hour ferry ride to the next resort. We were greeted on the beach by the staff singing and guitar playing. After a welcome drink and ice cold face towel…which was a amazing welcome to the resort we headed to our budget bungalow. Our room was amazing it looked like something you would find in the middle of the rain-forest. The bathrooms were not as new as Blue Lagoon but were clean which is all you really need in a shared bathroom. We did get to see a villa which was beautiful. It had its own little section of the beach with a hammock and deck out the front of the villa. The bedroom was very similar to our bungalow but it was the bathroom which made the villa. The shower was outside with a beautiful stone mosaic out lining the shower. Octopus Resort has a pool with a bigger deck area around it a bar / dinning area and bar by the beach called the Coco Nut bar. They also have a dive shop were once again you sign up for the activities of the day.

MK and his friend did a lot of diving in Octopus and had a great time on them. They saw reef sharks, beautiful reef  and fish. On the way back from one of the dives they even had a pod of dolphins swim next to the boat. The night snorkel was cancelled but I did get a great review from a 10 year old boy who loved every minute of it and saw lots of fish. We did the cooking class which consisted of you watching the chef cook and you eating the finished result. The recipe is easy and can be done at home and the food was tasty. MK did the mountain hike…which is a hike. He is a keen walker and has no issues with heights. He did say you have to be fit its not a stroll and there is some scrambling at the top. He also mentioned he actually had a little jelly leg at the top as it was so high. His photos looked amazing and you also walk through one of the villages on the island. We both checked out the spa and the view from the spa alone is worth the money. The spa was lovely and would recommend a massage or facial. If you don’t want to do anything then chill on the beach but you must rent a snorkel and explore the reef on your door step its full of fish.

The food again was great with lots of choice and evening entertainment was really good. There was again crab racing, traditional dancing, Kava  night and party night. They are fine with duty free been drank on the resort we would have a glass before dinner on our deck. New Years eve was party night at the resort. There was a live band who were brilliant and at midnight fireworks were going off in the sea and on the beach. The staff got involved with the party and it was a great night we really enjoyed ourselves.

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Both resorts are part of the same company and I honestly don’t have anything negative to say. The staff really make these resorts the most relaxing magical places you will ever visit. It was so sad leaving but we did have 24 hours on the mainland. We checked out the Mud Baths in Nadi which was a funny experience. It is hard to get there if your not on a tour so for $80 FJD we hired a driver for half a day to take us to the mud baths and wait then drop us at the airport. We hired a driver through the tourist desk at our hostel. After we covered ourselves in mud we had to stand in a field in the sun and dry. Once dry we went into the muddy lake and washed all the mud off before having a dip in the natural hot spring. Our skin was so soft after this experience. Then it was back to the airport and back to Sydney.

We both said we would go back to Fiji in a heart beat for another holiday. If you truly want to turn off and relax Fiji is the place to do this.

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Last Post 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

Hope everyone is having a happy and safe break with family and friends. I’m currently on a island in the middle of Fiji and can’t sleep… so why not write my last post of the year?

Fiji is beautiful, a little worried that all my good healthy work may be undone but hopefully do some exercise over the next few days! See what the scales say when I’m home.

Everyone reflects at the end of the year and looks to the next. This year for me has been a big one with MK and I doing long distance for 7 months, going home after 3 years, meeting MKs family, my mum getting married, moving in together, visas(standard) and working hard. We have done a lot of trips this year and most have been local to NSW but I have loved every adventure! So grateful for all my friends new and old and of course my family!

I have done some writing to reflect on the past month and year. Caught up with friends and recapped the crazy year we had, it’s a great way to keep the mind mindful and calm.

I’m hoping over the next few days in Fiji on the sun lounger MK and I put our plan together for 2018 and reflect on our 2017. We have a end goal of living a alternative lifestyle and want to bring you guys on the journey. More to come on that in the start of the year. But ultimately we will be doing some videos to make it more interactive.

Great time of year to review your goals and plans for the future…I will be sharing mine in the next blog.

Until then I’ll be living on Fiji Time! Bula!!

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Biggest Loser Update!

I did it…I managed to knock a KG off the scales. Total of 2.5KG. I could not feel better. I have more energy, more focus and don’t feel bloated after a meal.

This weekend we did go out with friends for Christmas drinks. I did resist beer and wine. I had a few proseccos and that was it. On the Sunday we also did a walk across the Harbour bridge and some lengths of the pool in North Sydney. This pool is worth a venture to the other side of the bridge. Tired from the night out it was pretty slow going in the pool. After drying off in the sun MK walked back over the bridge and I took the ferry. For me personal after a night out a month ago I would have been eating everything in sight trying to manage my hang over. It was a little step in showing myself I have changed my motivation by swimming away the cobwebs.

A blog coming this week on how I made my non eating calendar for $20. I also received a gift colander from my mum with Body Shop products behind each door. Can’t wait for the 1st December to hit!!!!

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No Plans.

We listened to the weather forecast and cancelled our weekend of camping. We should never have listened to the weather as the rain held off and it was decent.

Our friends braved the forecast and it paid off hey had a great weekend down in Kiama. I was pretty bummed we stayed home and had no plans. I was trying to see the positive in the situation (it took me a while) but we did have a good weekend.

We just did simple tasks which we have been wanting to do. A BBQ was finally purchased for the balcony, we spent up vouchers received from friends and we visited two Christmas warehouses in Alexandria as it is nearly upon us.

The balcony is ready for summer. I wrote my last blog out on the balcony with my incense sticks burning and a cup of tea. It was a relaxing few hours. I think I’ll be spending more time out there. For Christmas this year we are having friends round for a BBQ instead for presents. I can’t wait to use it! I almost want to call the balcony my room. Also somewhere for me to watch my Netflix shows as a certain someone will not give Riverdale a chance. Quick side note we are addicted to Sinner on Netflix starring Jessica Biel.

Photo of my new office!

This weekend my sister and I are going to the spa at the Langham Hotel in the Rocks. We were lucky enough to receive a gift voucher. I shall let you know how we get on. Hopefully creating a homemade advent calendar and finding some Christmas bargains!!!!! Keep up with what I find on my Insta story.

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Biggest Loser Update.

First week done! I did loose 1/2kg this week. I think I could have lost a lot more but the Melbourne Cup happened. Which meant one of my swimming days took a hit and I drank booze on a week day. It was my first MC day in the city and it was great… glad I joined in. Although I must give myself credit I did not eat the spread work put on I stuck to my salad…it was also like the best spread I have even seen at a work function! Also Wednesday stress took over and I ate a bag of crisps…these have been my bad moments.

I did how ever do my first weekend of eating healthy. On Sunday I resisted wine and crisps whilst I watched a movie with MK. I let him enjoy them I had a glass of water and celery sticks with the dip. I had coffee with a few girl friends and I had my lunch at home before I met them. Having lunch before hand made it a lot easier to have a coffee and resist buying a cake as well. 
My realisation from the choices I made above was the world did not end and I didn’t pass out from starvation by resisting temptation. 
It’s all in your head and you just have to fight it. Some other changes I made are one cup of tea a day any more I have green tea. Drinking water with every meal helps me make sure I am drinking water all day…I tend to forget when I am at home to keep up the water in take. At work I am checking the milk to make sure I use only the Fat Free Milk (it looks so weird but doesn’t taste to bad). I have a goal to exercise 3x a week so far I’ve done one so I have to get two more sessions in by Monday. 

Overall I don’t feel like I did my best this week but I conquer a lot of demands so it gives me that push to nail next week and have a full week of clean eating! 

Any more tips let me know!
No photos this week. Haven’t been out with the camera as it has been a crazy work week!

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Camping Season.

Summer is starting to appear which means… camping season is here!!!

We have already dusted off the tent and went away the long weekend at the end of September.

Having left it last minute we really struggled to find a campsite…FYI long weekends in Australia book up so fast don’t do what we did. Luckily our friends who are also tent warriors went camping to Kiama and let us know about a site they stayed on and it so happened to have a few spots left on the long weekend.

The campsite Killalea is in a national park which is home to two Surf reserves. It’s only a hour and a half drive out of Sydney. Perfect for a weekend escape out of the city. There is a locked gate if you arrive late at night and your access code is in the confirmation email ( we did not figure this out and tailgated someone in) don’t tail gate as you can get a fine. The sites are all marked out with logs and have a fire burner on each site. The reception sells fire wood. There is also a kitchen and a bathroom block. We didn’t use the kitchen apart from the kettle and the sinks to wash up. But the grills were always busy so must be in good working conditions.

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You can walk to both beaches. We walked to Mystic beach and then drove down to “The Farm” beach. The beaches are beautiful long stretches and obviously the sea is full of waves and surfers. It is not a swimming beach but its great to go and lay out and watch the surfers. You are provided a map and there are also signs to the footpath for the beach. You are a 10 minute drive into Kiama which is the nearest town.

Kiama is well known for the blow hole (also Kiama is aboriginal for blow hole). It is a small coastal town very pretty and has old style shops. There are lots of places to eat. We ate at the Hungry Monkey for breakfast – great food and great service. Ritzy Gritz for dinner – the food was okay nothing special but we did have good service. Thai @ Kiama – we had our last dinner there which was really good Thai and good service. You just need to book on a weekend in this town. We didn’t on the first night and struggled to get in anywhere.

We spent the day on the beach at the campsite on one of the days. Sunday we explored the area. We walked over to Cathedral Rocks which are a jagged rock formation on the coast. There were lots of fisherman  on the rocks so watch out for there catch of fish in the rock pools. To get to the rocks we walked through Boneyard Beach. We tried Bombo Beach but again it was rough seas for surfing not made for a dip. We decided to head back to Boneyard beach as the water was calm and we could lay on the grass. Added bonus there were loads of dogs around. MK was brave enough for a dip and did a but of snorkeling. He said there were a few fish but it was to cold to stay in there for to long. The shops in Kiama are full of vintage treasures, home made food, English treats (yes there is a English shop), candles, dream catchers and many more well being hippie type of shops….which we love!

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We will be back down in Kiama in November with the surf board and hopefully warmer water 🙂

 

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Cooking School Sydney

I had been gifted a voucher for Sydney Cooking School from my dad. He had in fact got my sister, her boyfriend, my boyfriend and myself a voucher for Christmas. We have just got around to using it!
We all decided on the Middle Eastern course. Last Saturday we headed to Neutral Bay to the school. Parking is a bit of a nightmare round there. We parked in the shopping centre opposite the school. The first two hours are free and we used three so it cost $8 in total.
Paul was our instructor for the morning. Once the aprons where on he began explaining what we would be cooking. All the ingredients is prepped only a little bit of chopping to be done. The tips we received from Paul about salt, oil, BBQ and cooking fish were very useful and stuff you would use at home.

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I am no cook and I don’t enjoy cooking as I find it stressful. I really did enjoy the morning because it was all laid out in front of you and minimal knowledge was required. If you are into cooking then you learn a new dish and also can ask any questions to your instructor you may have.
After we had our main dish cooking we went through to the back which was a outside area covered by a wooden terrace. There was a huge table and a beer from the fridge for us. Paul finished off our food on the BBQ. After enjoying the amazing food…and it was mouth watering we were all given the recipe. Paul also mentioned if you attempted any dish and it didn’t work…simply email the school and within a week they would contact you and help you work out where you went wrong.

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What I did learn which is key to my issues cooking …’time and temperature’. I always try to do everything at top heat and as fast as possible. Last nights tea was a lot better then normal, everything was cooked slowly and on a medium heat.

I would never have done this unless I was gifted it…I would recommend this as a gift for anyone. It’s a different start to your Saturday morning and you get lunch and dinner for the day!

Thanks Dad!

Click here for the Sydney Cooking School website