{Raising Little People} Single mother by choice, not circumstance

Having a child is a massive decision, probably the most important choice of your life.

So what happens if you don’t want to do it like everyone else?

Here is an interesting view on Being a Single Mother by Choice.

single

No two families are the same and what works for one family may not work for another. At least this lady is honest. This is what she wanted and what she stands by.

Good luck to Katy Chatel with her son Jessey.

Happy reading Nesters x

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{The Nest Travels} Manly, a close family escape

Recently we were lucky enough to spend a wonderful couple of days as a family at Manly.

SLEEPS:

We stayed Novotel Manly for two nights and were genuinely pleased with our stay.

A downfall is that it is quite pricey for a standard hotel room. Having said that, the room was lovely and clean, but nothing spectacular.

We had a room with two queen beds (which worked perfectly for our little family) but if you had more than two children you would need a bigger room.

The room had a small balcony which overlooked the back of Manly (in particular the cricket field) which entertained the little birdies for ages!

Another great feature was the inclusion of complementary towels for the pool. This was brilliant for our little family as we were able to use our beach towels soley for the beach and not have to use wet, soggy towels again for the pool.

The staff were friendly and generous with their time. They offer a concierge facility which can assist you in many ways.

For the grown ups, there is a lovely bar in reception that offers beautifully cold drinks after a long day at the beach.manly

EATS:

One of the best features of staying at the Novotel is the breakfast that is offered daily at their own restaurant Zali’s. For $20 per adult (kids eat free) you can eat at a delicious buffet. Once eating here in the morning we didn’t eat again until dinner time! Offering everything from coffee, yoghurt and organic fruit for the mumma-bird, to pancakes and fruit salad for the kids. It really was delicious. The hubby-bird especially loved the personalised egg bar when you could choose how you wanted your eggs cooked. Plus, of course there was loads of bacon, sausages and general hubby-bird favourites.Manly Novotel

Another brilliant meal we had was when we ventured into the city (after a very exciting Ferry trip) and ate at Eat Love Pizza at Darling Harbour. The little-birdies delved into calamari, chips and salad from the kids menu (that also included a drink and icecream) and us big people enjoyed a Zucca pizza (think roast pumpkin, sage and gorgonzola, topped with toasted pine nuts) as well as a Salumi pizza which was full of chilli, sopressa and gorgonzola. Bloody delicious my friends and would go back in a heartbeat.

DO STUFF:

The obvious at Manly is the beach. It is patrolled, the lifeguards are friendly and it’s a pretty great beach for kids.

One of the highlights for any visit to Manly is the opportunity to catch the Manly Ferry. This heads directly into Circular Quay and offers quite the exciting adventure for the little birdies in your life.

You can spend time in the shops of the ‘Corso’, or as I am a self-confessed shopaholic I used the excuse to catch a ferry to the city as an opportunity to explore David Jones, Myer and Michael Kors.

LOCATION:

We loved Manly because it was only about three (3) hours from home.

The location of where we stayed was perfect because we were directly opposite the beach and after a short walk (that even the toddler-bird completed without significant whinging) we had the choice of two patrolled beach locations.

Immediately opposite the hotel and located on the edge of the beach was a park for the little ones. This was brilliant for burning excess energy.

The ‘Corso’ offered excellent surfwear shopping and an easy way to waste a couple of hours.girls

We found that Manly was an ideal location for a quick family break, you don’t feel like you are in Sydney, to us, it’s almost like a closer Terrigal.

CONTACTS:

Accommodation | Novotel Manly Pacific |

Eats | Eat Love Pizza – Darling Harbour | Zali’s Restaurant – Manly

Visit | Manly Ferry | Manly Beach

{This is life} One very selfless local is doing to her bit to help others

Giving the gift of a child to another is an amazingly selfless gift.

Local lady Laura Hannan has shared her story today in Central Western Daily and it is pretty remarkable. photo orange donor

You can find her story here -> Why One Orange Mum Donates Her Eggs

Laura is trying to raise awareness and encourage more local woman to consider donating their eggs to help others. It is pretty amazing to possess that amount of generosity.

Thank you Laura for being brave enough to give another sista a chance at a family.

{Locally Found} You don’t need to go to the big smoke to have some family fun

Okay, so I have found a way to entertain the whole family, that’s not in the big smoke, that is entertaining, informative and pretty bloody exciting.

The Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo is the perfect destination for your next family day out.

We recently went to the Zoo for the four-year old’s birthday – to say that she had a brilliant day is a massive understatement.

We gave her the gift of experience which is SO much better than any other birthday present she has ever received.

I am so hesitant about going to places where animals are held, simply because sometimes it just seems so inhumane. Western Plains Zoo is the furthest thing away from that. The animals have so much space and land to roam and genuinely seem happy.

We saw elephants, giraffes, gibbons and one very adorable baby hippopotamus! Plus there are so many more animals. The toddler-bird asked questions, we answered (READ: googled).

The zoo offers specialised keeper talks where you can get a deeper understanding and knowledge of the animals in front of you. We especially enjoyed zoo keeper Nick’s talk on the Galapagos tortoises.

There is also so much to keep the little-birdies entertained, our little ones particularly enjoyed the extensive playground that allowed them to burn off some more energy.

Plus, they especially loved the chance to get up close and do the walk-about with emus, koalas and wallabies. You can even pat some of them!zoo1

EATS:

There is a few food options around the zoo for your bellies. You can buy lunch from one of the zoo’s delicious eateries or you can do what we did and pack your own barbecue.

We took our own barbecue supplies and had some lunch half way around. The barbecues are free and it is a perfect reason to stop and enjoy your surrounds.

There is also plenty of inviting grassy areas for picnics.

GETTING AROUND:

The zoo is about 6kms all the way around. Most of the exhibits you can see from the road, but a couple you need to actually walk a short distance to.

The smartest thing we did was to hire one of the zoo’s cart for the day for $99. You can take your bike or use your car, but we found the experience of the wind blowing through your hair so much for exciting. Plus, you can attach the baby-bird’s car seat to ensure your littlest cargo is the safest. You should book before you go because they sell out FAST! zoo2

COST:

Entry to the zoo is $47 for grown ups and $24 for little-birdies aged 4-12.

This is for two days entry.

We really cannot recommend a trip to Western Plains Zoo enough.

Pack up the fam-bam and get there!

If you need any more information please contact 02 6881 1400 or twpz@zoo.nsw.gov.au

{Locally Found} Pull up a rug for a free movie

Fancy a free movie and a night out with the whole family?

Look no further than Newcastle Permanent’s Cinema under the Stars.

Screening in Bathurst on Saturday 15 November 2014 at 5.30pm is the ever entertaining Lego Movie!

Find yourself down at the Bicentennial River Park to enjoy a family friendly evening.

It is BYO picnic rug and you can bring your own dinner or buy some there!newcastle perm

Happy watching Nesters!

{This is Life} Why your big sister is the best gift your parents gave you

As the oldest of five I can categorically say I am by far the best big sister in the world. I took a survey, and by survey I mean I just made it up (and maybe, threatened to pumble my brother and sisters if they didn’t agree).

Having said that, in case you were wondering what a brilliant gift your parents gave to you when they gave you a big sister, Elite Daily has put together a brilliant list.

kids

20 reasons why your big sister is the best gift your parents gave you is an awesome list that make you want to hug your sisters just a little bit tighter.

Happy reading Nesters x

{Christmas Prizeapolooza Update) A beautiful family’s canvas

Just before Christmas we had our first ever Christmas Prizeapolooza. This was a fabulous success and we will never be able to thank the many local businesses that jumped on board and helped us celebrate the festive season by giving away loads of brilliant and generous gifts to some very lucky Nesters.

One such winner was the delightful Danielle Ballinger.

Danielle won the  sensational Jen Stocks Photography prize. Here is what Danielle said about the win:

 “I was quite chuffed that I had actually won something! I never win anything! Thank you so much to both The Central Nest and Jennifer Stocks Photography for my gorgeous new canvas. It has pride of place in our living area, and is my favourite image of our family from our session with Jen, when our baby Georgie was only a few weeks old. I cannot believe that it is nearly 12 months ago, scary to think how quickly time flies and my babies are growing up. Thank you so much to Jen for her amazing talent in capturing the characters of our family and thank you a million to the always informative, entertaining and very generous Central Nest (aka, Kayana!) xox Danielle”

danielle prize

We can’t think of a more deserving winner and thank Danielle so much for sharing a picture of her gorgeous canvas (and beautiful family!).

If you would like the very talented Jen Stocks to capture your own family so beautifully you can find her here -> www.jenniferstocksphotography.com.au