Jan 21, 2014

Travelling With A Toddler In Tow. The Wedding.

From the moment we touched down at Ballina, I knew we were in a special part of this beautiful country of ours.  Endless hills and ranges carpeted with green, rolling out beneath a canopy of an impossibly blue sky.  And all of it bathed in golden sunlight.  How could you not be in holiday mode the moment you stepped off the plane and strolled to the arrival area?

The special challenges of flying with a toddler already forgotten.

How no matter how many toy versions of 'adult world' things you pack, the 'real' versions will always be sought out, licked and banged (hard) on the departure area concourse.

And that though you thought you'd raised your child Mac, Windows will still find a way of getting to them.

I don't think this picture does justice to our motel room in Lismore.  Basically, Toddler SSG loved his makeshift bed.  The mattress of a single bed was moved onto the floor between my bed and the base of the single.  A rolled up duvet protected the bedside table and the toddler from each other and spare pillows plugged up any remaining gaps.  Jumps, rolls, climbs and the occasional sleep were all conducted here in relative safety with the added bonus of a little ABC2 on the television up above him.

My first breakfast was healthy at least.  Donut peaches and paradise pears with several spoonfuls of yoghurt straight from the tub.

My enjoyment of holiday accommodation is no longer about the quality of the amenities or the size of the bath.  Instead, bench and fridge space are my new necessities in a bid to somehow try and replicate the system I have in the kitchen at home.  Bottles, sippy cups, food and drink plus the equipment to keep everything clean - toddlers don't travel light.

To make our luggage allowance work (thank you Virgin staff for noting the weight of my bag to comply with OH&S regulations but not charging me for going over), I surprised myself by only filling half a suitcase with my things.  There was a heavy reliance on cosmetic samples and the fact that a Woolies was only a walk down the road from our accommodation.  

In the bingo that is shoving a bunch of sample sachets into your toiletry bag, I think I did quite well on this trip.  Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate ($89 for 50 ml) is something I just might purchase the full size of.  I've got quite a few samples of this (I delude myself by saying that I've only ever received them with mail orders so it's not like anyone has seen me and thought that I need powerful strength line reducing, they just picked up the closest sample they had at hand whilst filling my order) and I'm glad I've finally tried it.  It's definitely made my skin feel smoother and more even in texture.  It's also got quite a thick consistency and is great for wearing to bed.

My other top pick is available from Strawberrynet.  It's the Frederic Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream ($37 for 113g).  I like how it leaves my hair soft and manageable without weighing it down.

Down the road at Woolies, I found this $5 bun creator kit.  I got the medium size in dark brown (there are three sizes and two colour options, a lighter version for lighter hair shades as well as the brown).  The kit contains a hair donut, two elastics and several bun pins.

You've got to be happy when a $5 hair product manages to make your air dried hair look sleek and wedding ready.  A bit of hairspray and a tuck in of some of the stray bits and I was good to go.

Dress - Review Australia, necklace - Red Phoenix Emporium, flats - Sambag.

Review dresses never let a girl down.  They're always a style or colour to suit every occasion, they're so comfortable and you can wear them out or to work.  I wore the Shelby dress ($259.95) from a collection from last year which is no longer available but there's quite a few similar styles online now and on sale.

The wedding was beautiful.  It was held on the farm of my brother's fiance.

The theme of the reception represented the heritage of both families which I thought was such a beautiful idea.

It was such a heartfelt, warm and genuine wedding.  The newlyweds are so perfect for each other and it was a great honour to be part of the mass.  And to accompany one of the page boys down the aisle when he got stage fright and refused to walk on his own.

Dress - Bianca Spender, clutch - Louis Vuitton, flats - Sambag.

I had a Louboutin break between the wedding mass and reception.  Where would I be without you, my collection of Sambag flats?

It's a glamorous life, isn't it?  Sequins and heels plus a protective tea towel on my lap as I feed Toddler SSG before hot footing it to the reception.  Special thanks to Cafe Cappello in Lismore for making me a special order of chopped up spaghetti for Toddler SSG!  

Wedding formalities completed, we had some free time to explore the city before heading home on Sunday.

I explored the vintage gym equipment at the local Workers' Club.  They don't make weights or treadmills like the used too.  Everything worked and had a solidness to the touch that you don't see at the fancy gyms these days.  I also particularly liked the starry carpet.

I had cinnamon toast for breakfast every day at the Luv A Coffee cafe near Woolies.  I'd forgotten how comforting soft white bread could be.

Toddler SSG loved exploring the play ground on the edge of the city near the tourist office.

It even had a miniature railway encircling it.

All too soon, it was Sunday afternoon and it was time to drive back to the airport.  Down winding country roads lined with trees, wooden fences and tin roofed cottages. 

We each found our own slice of heaven at the airport.  For Toddler SSG, it was having the whole check in area to himself.  No pesky adults lining up along the guide ropes, no legs to run into.  Just space and interesting things that were securely weighed down or bolted into the floor.

As for me, I had a little piece of Byron Bay in the form of this sticky date and ginger cookie.  It was the first Byron Bay cookie I'd ever eaten.  The next time I fly to Ballina, I'm definitely going to be making plans for a trip to Byron.

It doesn't matter where I've been or how long I've been away for, experiencing this view as my flight prepares to land gets me every time.  It's good to be home.


  1. There is something so exciting about weddings that aren't in Sydney! I have one coming up in February, it's always fun to travel for it. You look fab for the wedding!

    I absolutely love donut peaches. I need to keep an eye out for it next time I'm out, I've seen a few on the Insta feed.

    I might check out that glossing cream. I need to find a way to manage this horrid frizz I can't get rid of.

    1. Hope the glossing cream works for you too!

      SSG xxx

  2. Looks like a beautiful country weekend away! Your view from the plane made me excited, I'm headed east this weekend! Any tips for good casual eating places around The Rocks and the CBD? xx

  3. What a lovely time you had, such a beautiful place to visit. Your little boy is looking very grown up. xT

    1. Toni!
      Hello and welcome back to planet blog.

      He's a little boy now. Where did that little chicken wing go?

      SSG xxx

  4. We have friends whose daughters are consummate surfers...Byron Bay is their mecca.
    I enjoyed this post!

  5. awwww! Luff your dresses.
    Your little boy is such a ...little boy. In a lovely little boy way x

  6. Lovely warp-up of your weekend, it sounds beautiful. Congrats to your brother on the wedding too! :)

    Away From Blue

  7. Seems like a great weekend.
    Love that airplane shot of Sydney!
    Also, that starry gym carpet reminds me of the fabric on sydney busses hahaha!


  8. What a beautiful wedding! Love your outfits, you managed to look very glamorous despite packing/grass/toddler restrictions! My hair hasn't left bun form since Rita was born, scared I may never get to wash my hair again ;) L xx


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