Friends of Mine -One of the best brunches in Melbourne

My intention was to write many posts after arriving in Melbourne but no chance. I started working pretty much on the following day. We have also been house hunting after work plus every weekend until last weekend. We finally found an amazing home in South Melbourne and are moving there this Friday. It is a beautiful area, I can walk to work and it is only 20min walk from my daughter’s daycare so could not get any more perfect than that. It is exactly the reason why we moved to Australia. No commute on train to work, walking distance from everywhere and close to the beach.

I started working full time, most of the mothers here have called me crazy but I guess this is the Finnish woman in me, in Finland as the childcare is almost free it is very common of women to return to work full time after the toddler is about 2 years old whereas here in Australia 2-3 days a week is more usual scenario. I must look like a workaholic woman compared to most others..I did not even go to my daughter’s daycare until last week. The first three weeks my husband handled all the communications, drop offs and pick ups as he was not working and actually won’t start working until next week. I did feel a bit like a neglectful mother when I went there for the first time. The ladies in the daycare must have been thinking if I even exist :)!

Anyway, everything has gone in an ideal way. Our container is supposed to arrive to the port of Melbourne this week and then it will take 1-2 weeks until we get our stuff as it will be checked by customs. Our daughter has seen the most amazing allergy specialist (about which I will tell in another post!!!!). The health care here is superb and everything else is also super high quality. We have been staying in Airbnb rental in Burnley for these first three weeks. Burnley is a lovely area, super accessible, arty, close to the city and lots of things to do, lots of outlet stores for me! If you ever end up in Burnley I recommend you to visit the most amazing coffee shop called Friends of Mine. It does not only have the most amazing coffee in town but the brunch there is just fantastic!!!  We went there a couple of weeks ago with our friends and the food was yummy! Below some pictures about our meals.

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Thai beef salad.

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Beef burger and phenomenal chips…

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Ravioli..

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Scallop fennel salad! (My choice..was amazing!)

I try to write another post soon now when things have calmed down. So many things to tell. I want to tell you about the Little Creatures Brewery we went to last weekend and then a little bit about the area we are moving to and about my work. Life is great here and could not feel happier.

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Happy child, Happy life

We are still enjoying Sydney and flying down to Melbourne on Saturday. We are hanging out with friends and sipping local beer and wine. I have gotten so many great tips regarding wines from our friends. I have eaten so much amazing sushi and Asian food that I am about to pop. Food here is super tasty and I love the individual coffee shops in every corner.

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Bondi Beach.

What I love the most are the fresh ingredients. I have enjoyed grocery shopping every day since we arrived, all the greenies, fruits, salads, meat come from Australia..or from New Zealand if being foreign. Call me crazy but I think my daughter tastes the goodness. She never ate blueberries in the UK as they were totally tasteless when being imported from Africa or South America (probably have spent days or weeks in the ship or containers). Yesterday I gave her fresh Australian blueberries and she ate 200g in one go! I watched her and I felt confused and happy at the same time. She never ate plums or grapes in the UK either as they were either unripe or bitter, here she has been munching plums and green grapes like never seen before. In general she has had a great appetite, better than ever and she loves the outdoors and is jumping like a small lamb every morning when going out.

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Our daughter loving Bondi sand.

Allergy care here seems to be as good as in Finland or even better. Most childcare centres are egg and nut free to make sure no accidents happen, some of them even kiwi free if they have an anaphylactic child to a kiwi fruit. Just fantastic! For almost two years I begged from the specialist in the UK to get special Immunocap ISAC allergy tests done and they just did not refer us to those even though our child was prescribed to Epipen and was basically known to be allergic to dairy, soy, egg, nuts, seeds, kiwi, all pulses (peas, lentils, beans), so an extreme multi-allergic child. Here we went to the GP and got a referral straight away. The blood test has been done and now we are just waiting for the full allergy profile with 112 allergy components. I have felt so utterly grateful that I cannot find the words.

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Keeping shade and drawing.

The friends we are staying with have a dairy allergic daughter same age as our daughter and it has been amazing to talk to them about it all. The way the allergy care has been handled here in Sydney is exemplary. They got a food introduction plan from the paediatrician and by saying this I mean a proper plan that even included the order of grains and fish they should introduce. I have been listening feeling jealous thinking what our life could have been here if we migrated earlier. I am thinking how I could have prevented all the anxiety, fear, feelings of being helpless. I really suffered in the UK with no help and I felt like an animal in the cage, no way out of the allergy hell as I call it. I still remember that I even told to the specialist that I could pay anything and I really meant anything to get the special Immunocap tests done in the UK but I did not get a referral. I am really passionate about this all as you can probably read between the lines. I know how much fear and anxiety is involved in children’s allergies particularly if you don’t get any health care support and you are all alone with an anaphylactic child. I guess I owe a huge thank to Australian Medicare already to help us right away since migrating. I think after we have gotten these results our life will look a lot brighter as we know more and we can start introducing new food without sitting around the kitchen table an adrenaline pen ready to go.

This week we are still planning to go to Manly, Taronga Zoo, centre to see the opera house and stuff more sushi into ourselves. We are also looking forward to the Australia day party at our place in Melbourne. We have the old London Australian crew together, this time with toddlers so it will be such an amazing reunion! Cannot wait!

Australia-Day-2015

Hi from Sydney!

We have been so busy and have not had much internet for the past 5 days. We flew to Sydney the other day. It is great here! It is so lovely to see our friends. They have a little daughter same age as our daughter so the two girls have been extremely busy playing and swimming.

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Yesterday we went to Watsons Bay, it is a lovely small beach, water is not rough and there is lots of shade for little ones. We set up our tent and had BBQ there. Great way to spend all day. Today we will go to Bondi beach, have some fish and chips maybe and swim more. Kids love it and we can just relax and chat.

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We had some super tasty Japanese last night, Asian food is so good here in Australia, so fresh. We have been drinking extremely good Aussie Chardonnay and really had the most relaxing time. Our daughter has slept well and we have been waking up every morning feeling refreshed. The weather is unreal here, so sunny, so warm and so beautiful. Sydey is such a beautiful city. The natural harbour is just gorgeous! I have been here before but not at this time of the year.

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Our daughter has had a great appetite too due to the outdoorsy lifestyle. The sun and beach make a big difference. She could spent hours on the sand where the water is hitting the sand just building sandcastles and playing with her bucket.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. I cannot wait to hit the beach!

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Walkabout Creek wildlife, QLD

We had a lovely day yesterday. We went to Walkabout Creek to see more Australian wildlife. I was so excited to trial my new camera with the professional lense I got as a Christmas present from my dear husband. I cannot remember if I told about it but I got CANON EOS 100D with two lenses. One Canon lense and one professional one. I also got a super stylish white professional camera back bag to carry my camera, lenses and macbook in. It has been super useful here! The professional lense is TAMRON AF 55-200mm 1:4-5.6 MACRO. I am super happy with it. Perfect for wildlife photographs and zooming as you can see below!

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Owls in love.

IMG_0498This animal above I have never seen before, it is called a quoll, a carnivorous marsupial.

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Some red wallabies too..and more kangaroos..sun baking..what a life!

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Snakes…

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It was so beautiful to walk around. Our daughter loved every second of it.

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I love Australian landscape, the contrast of green and the reddish ground is beautiful.

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We drove up to Mount Glorious mountain to have some ice coffee and spot the beautiful scenery. There is a lovely coffee shop on the top of the mountain which is extremely idyllic. We have been there before but thought we want to take our dear daughter there too. We have this Ford Territory at the moment, could not get any more Australian! It goes super smoothly up the hill but eats petrol like a tank.

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Ice coffee with ice cream in the bottom and whipped cream on top. Tasty!

Today we are planning to go to Brisbane West End. It was raining heavily in the morning but now the sun is out again and we can hit the town. Hope you have a nice start of the week!

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

The other day we went to see koalas and kangaroos in the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. It was amazing, just perfect for small kids (and me!). Why I say it is good for smaller kids is that the area is relatively small so a toddler can walk around, you don’t even need a pram and you can still see all the animals. They had all the Australian wildlife, there were cassowaries, dingos, platypus, kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, snakes…

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 It was wonderful. You can also pat koalas and kangaroos which my little toddler loved!

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If you look at very carefully the kangaroo mummy on the right (in the picture above) you can see she has a huge baby kangaroo in the pouch..you can see the long legs and the tail sticking out from the pouch…what a lazy baby still in the pouch..

I am a bit funny. I have this crazy adoration of kangaroos, I absolutely love them.

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Everyone was taking kangaroo selfies…including me..my mum said we look the same..I did not take that as a compliment..haha.

Some people think kangaroos are just big rats but I have loved them ever since I have seen them in wild for the first time. Sometimes I am even considering to start wildlife caring and taking care of kangaroo babies who have lost their mummies. They are super cute. Well, one day..maybe..

Our daughter enjoyed Lone Pine so much. Feeding this little kangaroo baby was her favourite moment.

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Our daughter loves animals like I guess every toddler does and to be able to see tens of kangaroos around her on the grass was a unique experience.

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Today we will go to see more wildlife to a different sanctuary. Cannot wait!

PS. Sorry about the quality of photos here..one thing in OZ is that the internet is slow..super slow..it is an old fashioned ADSL in most of the places and I just cannot upload the amazing photos I have taken with my new digital SLR, it would take forever. I will upload better photos when we get hold on to the better internet connection…I have taken amazing shots and enjoyed using my new camera and the lenses.

Hope you have a relaxing Sunday!

Christmas drinks, Aussie countdown and some thoughts…

I feel excited, happy, full of life..what else could I say. Removalist company will come in three days time and then it is just the countdown until we jet off.

Even though we have been doing lots of moving things for the past two months we try to make sure to have as enjoyable December time as possible. Yesterday we went to Richmond to visit our dear friends as they were hosting Christmas drinks. They bought a place there and fully renovated it and it is stunning. Their home will most likely appear in Good Homes magazines soon. The house is gorgeous.

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Their beautiful Christmas tree and some Christmas punch from huge Martini glass…

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I guess our friends have very similar taste to mine and that is why I like their decor so much, similar colours and similar features that I adore. The house is three stories with the brand new loft conversion, they have under floor heating and the Sonos music system running throughout the house -fantastic! I love every room in the house. The house makes me feel like I am back in home, Finland, with the wooden floors, under floor heating and that modern stylish look. After we left my husband asked whether I considered coming back to London if we got place like that with underfloor heating and modern decor -I said yes! I guess I will never get used to cold English houses, squeeky old floor boards and that slightly negligent building style they have here in many places. I know it is part of English charm but still I think a Scandi will never really appreciate it. Well our friends’ place is the opposite, the house is just done to the finest detail! Wow. Beautiful.

cheese tableThey had made such a huge effort with drinks and snacks…I love the time zone clocks, useful when the husband is Australian like in this household..

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Some brownies..

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I love this lamp or should I say chandelier!

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I love the feature ladders with happy lights too, such a nice touch, exactly what I had on my Pinterest too when thinking of nice features to our new house.

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We had a great time and was nice to go to Richmond, it is definitely one of my favourite areas here in addition to Barnes, Chelsea, Hampton and Mayfair. Peaceful and beautiful.

I guess my mind is already in Australia though. There are ,however, couple of things I want to do. I want to take my daughter to Harrods Christmas Grotto and also I want to take her to some children theatre before we leave this city. I think she would enjoy those things.

I have focused on house hunting now and I think my favourite area in Melbourne is Brighton. I love inner city but I think now with the child I want to go to some beach side area that is close to the CBD but also super nice, safe and beautiful. I have been spotting houses, daycares and schools there and it looks fantastic! What I learned after living first in Marylebone and then in North London was that it was super cool for young couple to live in North but not for a small child, for the child Marylebone or place like Richmond or Barnes would have been better. If we were to come back it would be pretty much Barnes, Chelsea or Richmond that we would consider.

Brighton in Melbourne seems to be like Richmond here. Brighton is a super nice area, beautiful houses, beach in walking distance and only 20minutes to the centre on train. I have already been admiring the high street and it looks lovely, so pretty. I also saw the area on Location, Location Australia and that is why I actually started to look for houses there. I think for my husband who is from Queensland the important thing is to be near the beach and for me the area is everything, I just want to have the feel that it is perfectly safe, clean and family friendly but I also like that classy look and feel as I love shopping and fancy restaurants.

I cannot describe how excited I am. At the weekend when we got the tube that was again busy as always I felt I am done with London for a while. I miss the happy peaceful feel I have in Finland, that safe, quiet and relaxed lifestyle without peak hour traffic, I do miss it so much here and I hope we can get it in a nice area in Melbourne, in fact I know we will. I have been to Melbourne enough to know it is great. It was not chosen to one of the best places to live in the world for nothing. It has the most amazing coffee shop culture ( I am a coffee addict), it is super clean and also what I read today it has one of the best quality water in the world (plus one of the freshest and cleanest air in the world). I have been only drinking bottled water for four years in London and I cannot wait that I can actually enjoy tasty and clean water from the tap like we do in Finland. I know you may think I am a fancy pants but I have not been able to drink London water. I believe this is the same problem for most Nordics here as we are used to fresh spring water. London water is just so dirty, you notice it when you run it from the tap and you look at the water in the light, it has this weird oily layer on top and when you boil it the whole pan is full of calcium and stains. I am like a camel though, I do drink approximately 3 litres of water a day and I guess that is why my taste buds are developed to know the good water. Small things in life but you know a human being is pretty much water he drinks. Fresh and clean water is extremely important for well being.

Anyway, many thoughts today, I have a glass of Vermentino waiting for me now so will shut down the laptop and enjoy my new book Rosie Effect and just dream of our travels!

I hope you had a great weekend, I did.