Sunday, 13 May 2018

A sense of purpose 


Mmmmm, it's been a long time... I think because there are so many blogs in the world and who really reads them anyway?

When I watch Sex In The City I look at how it started a generation of people,  expressing themselves on the internet  blog blog bloggiddy  blog, rather than writing it down in a journal...I gave up dairies /journalling years ago after reading my 14 year old self diaries and finding it was a waste of paper the tree died for, gosh the blah blah blah of self loathing , and lack of awareness at a time when we are  full of hormones. Probably the worst time EVER to journal.

So why be bloggered now? ...is it a means of self expression , a feeding of the ego or boredom?Does it really help the soul to heal by sharing our stories or does it feed a victim mentality ?

For me , I began the whole IAGBAM as a way to help to lift up people's vibration, help them achieve self love , be of some sort of inspiration. Well that is still true , as I get organised to release a remix of the single to put the message out there, it is interesting as since i recorded that in 2015 there has been a real momentum and talk of people loving them self - and not in a narcissist type of way .

My self love this year has been to actually stop for a while, not blog , not attend things , not even click on the sign petition very often either. Getting in touch with who I am not who I am programmed to be. I have been very passionate about a lot of issues in my life , at times when people thought I was talking shit and being slightly outrageous. hhhmmm now even cool ol' Leonardo de Caprio is talking about indigenous rights, saving the planet and having compassion for nature. Good coz now I don't have to .I can get back on the IAGBAM horse and ride it like a fucking olympic champion. As a sole parent and self proclaimed owner of a business , looking for a new place to live and keeping up with the groceries, blogging just didn't fit in to what was an exhausting start to this year. Spending the entire school break with a 10 yr old is great but when there is no one to share that with , blimey it gets tiring . Oh I forgot to add menopause to the list of factors- so where's my Mum now to give me the heads up , oh thats right she left the planet 9 years ago or so . I can't even tell you the library of wisdom that I cannot replace at the local municipality for that one. Do no let that loveable resource go untapped- it will empower her also , and hell every mother needs empowering let me tell you .

Cosmic energies- don't even start me . It has been wild and if you are a little susceptible to them then WOW maybe that should be top of my list. You can check all that stuff out for yourself theres plenty of it around and in my blog "Tools for getting by" you can grab links too.

So  I feel like my purpose is to help everyone ride like the champion I am -hopefully even better- lately I fell of the said IAGBAM horse a few times so far this year. I didn't sustain injuries but it was a dizzy discombobulating time. Buying a new outfit here and there can give the pretence that you have it together , so I do recommend that and regular visits to the hairdresser . no one wants to look like Beetlejuice in public....that is strictly for housework and night times watching tv.

Going out to events , if that is your thing I do recommend also . I spent a lot of my life dancing , so when I don't do it I realise how much that is a MUST in my life. The loungeroom is fine but it is good to get out in public if you have the outfit and hair back on track . AND I am not saying this in a pretentious way - i'll just say Beetlejuice !!

I think I am quite a good writer and a bit funny too, on a good day so my sense of purpose I feel is to share the amazing wisdom that I have gleaned - yes thats a real word , and spread it round like a wonderful chocolate fondue for us to all indulge in-  if you don't like chocolate (WTF is wrong with you ) then a fine jug of favourite alcohol may suffice.

Do what makes you feel good , not what any instagram meme , Facebook self help guru or expensive mentor likes to tell you . I love llamas- so I look at pictures of llamas, then dance then eat chocolate. Helps me find my footing in the stirrups . I go to the beach , look at fine looking young men that are to exhausting to think about dating and feel like I have consumed a wonderful matured cheese. Whatever it takes , find it and do it , not because nike tell you too but for your self care and to fill up your cup and then say out loud IAGBAM !

Dear ones, I like to keep my blogs short and to the point , so that you might actually finish reading it through your tears , hopefully of laughter but they might be of sorrow (TRIGGERED- the word of 2018) so I shall sign off and say this .....

YOU ARE AMAZING , YOU ARE LOVED AND MOST OF ALL YOU ARE


IAGBAM - I Am Goddess Beautiful And Magnificent 



I LOVE LLAMAS SO THIS IS MY HAPPY GO TO 












Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Self love is not a trend , get your IAGBAM ON NOW

Ok Ok , I am seeing over the past 2 years so much talk about self love. AWESOME . However , when I sit and talk with people and when I feel people in my space- and I don't mean touch them  , I can feel how people feel ( some call it empath some call it energetically aware, it's not always a blessings btw)  people are not feeling actual SELF LOVE - many the opposite, so when you feel that that can really throw a dampener on your day /dinner party /get together.

How do we get it ? I know I gave out my mantra  IAGBAM and over the past 2 years many have got it. My intention was that I wanted EVERYONE to feel it. And it is very hard at times to maintain it.

Firstly it does not come because you feel some one else loves you , and so you feel all squishy love - that would be "other love" or "another love" not self love. Also when some one else loves you we feel obliged to do something for that love , when you love yourself you just have  love .

Buying ourselves something and feeling good, whether it is food or a thing, it's a nice feeling and it is comes more under the "self care" of "self worth" category . Now this is also a great experience but once again it is not self love. And it is still looking for something outside of YOU .

I have found that this year has been difficult to navigate and even the great Violetnight super woman has had moments of spilling the self love cup and needing to find a way to refill it. I could go on and on with all my personal little trials and tribulations, then I might as well have my own reality tv show "Keeping up with catastrophies " lol . That's time consuming and every week you have to watch it , and when we watch others falling over it actually just keeps that experience in our soul looping. AND I want us all to get it NOW not in a season of tv time later lol.

I had stated in my blog BAM http://iagbam.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/bam-beautiful-and-magnificent-this-cam.html- about ancient wisdom about the ceremony I  experienced.  I woud love  for everyone to do it. However right now I don't know anyone who does it except me  and I live in a little flat , so there ain't going to be no labrynth happening in my space this week . I really want this to kick in for everyone ASAP .

So here is the most simple and easy way to do it . Turn off your tv, put your phone on silent and preferably play some very relaxing music https://youtu.be/6u0xIRID060 there you go you don't even have to look for it...sorry there is a skip add at the start. ANYWAYS, put the music on , make sure no one else in the house can disturb you .



 Breathe deeply in through your nose and slowly release through your mouth

Repeat this at least 3 times , until you are relaxing or at least just focusing on the breath.

Put your hands on your heart .

Now say "I LOVE YOU" , to you !

Repeat this as many times as you can .

Then say " I AM A Goddess Beautiful And Magnificent" for a few minutes.

Really feel it as you say it and I hope for you that you feel a shift in how you feel.



You may either feel joyous or be crying after a few times. What ever arises love that and keep the self love cup filling up . .


It is a super simple exercise , and super important as we live in this now with constant bombardment of news, "social" media and distractions. The Dali Lama will tell you life can be simple, we have made it difficult and many sayings we have grown up with were devised to bring us down "life wasn't meant to be easy " blah blah ...yes it was and it is and it can be , when we get back to loving ourselves

You can also amplify this by doing it in nature.
You can do it in your car , the shower where ever and when ever you need to .


You are truely beautiful and magnificent , be kind to yourself , love yourself , after all you spend the most time with you :D You are loved by the devine creator , the angels and ascended masters- and you are a part of them - so love yourself .



Friday, 31 March 2017

A hinterland best kept secret, Lismore



My blogs are always linked to self love, which shopping has alot to do with . However right now , this blog is about giving some love to a town that is defiantly going to need some back.
Hidden amongst the mountains an hour away from one of the most popular Aussie destinations over the past decade (Byron Bay) is a sweet little town that has such a diversity of things to offer from  a regional country town . Lismore

When I was growing up , it was just a place on the map I had never been to. In more recent times it is a town I love to visit and experience the diversity . And as of today it is going to need visitors , support and love.

In the northern rivers region tucked between beautiful valleys along side the Richmond River, Lismore has been an integral part of the district for over 150 years.. The first time I passed through it I saw it as a very typical country town with you beaut utes , a big pub on the corner and the standard shops , I was with a dear friend and didn't give it much attention.

However having spent many days there, on the way to my friend's house , I have found a delightful cacophony of unique shops, wonderful art and amazing food. For me the big star is the Star Arcade. Once upon at time it was a beautiful theatre, and is often the case developers tugged and pulled it into a different shape. Usually this means they destroyed it. Not so in Lismore.



Strolling down there is a variety of great shops. The funky barber with the beautifully fitted out 50's memorabilia . The stunning Erika with beautiful fashion , natural fibres and the eye catching chandelier when you walk in. Opposite is Mis Mildred's . A selection of beautiful handmade clothes from vintage style fabrics , on Sundays there is a knitting group sharing time together food and I was stoked to see a young male in there learning the skills that to my mothers' dismay I never acquired (she was a highly skilled knitter btw). As you keep wandering more fabulous women running their own businesses.




When shopping everyone needs a cake break. You will find a wonderful shop fitted out to perfection . When I stopped in they were so friendly,  and I love the fact the the husband of Miss Mildred's was telling me to go and see her fabulous shop . Opposite a young teacher sells her art and fabulous Japanese style fashion for the funky and fabulous. You can also get a massage in the arcade too.



A wonderful full vegetarian cafe selling charcoal noodles, raw cheesecake and all sorts of wonderful food, Is another highlight . If that is not enough for you towards the end of the arcade you can find another fabulous seamstress making fab outfits from vintage fabrics, I spotted a few classic Australiana tea towels turned into beautiful skirts. She made clothes up to a size 20 as well .



To cap it off was a funky little shop selling all the best in leopard print skirts, lace and other things for those of us with an lean towards the alternative or for those looking for great stuff for a fun party.



Now this is just one little arcade in Lismore. If you have a stroll around you will find beautiful homewares, high class fashion and more funky cafe's and food that would be more likely to be seen on the streets of Melbourne or Sydney.

Now as semi local I am not going to give you all the addresses for the fab op shops , I have to have some secrets but I would like to say that if you are planning a trip to the Northern Rivers and think that Byron is the main attraction , take a drive and hour inland, the scenery is beautiful and see Lismore. There are art galleries and beautiful buildings to admire, fro the late 1800's - you don't get that in Byron .

On my travels between Victoria and New South wales every stop we made the country towns did not fail to impress me time and time again with their unique and interesting history , beautiful buildings and often very funky shops. Take a moment more out of your busy holiday time and actual sit in a small town for a minute, it might teach you something, it might delight you and I bet you it will surprise you.

On the 30th of March they have had a huge flood, so give them a week to mop up and then go for a drive and support a great community of diversity and talent.


Monday, 2 January 2017

Oh My Hat - OMH

Happy 2017 my readers ...I know what you are thinking- girl it's March already !!! Well life in my new area is full of great times at the beach and stuff to do. Also I wanted to spend my son's summer vacation with him so I took a little time off super woman duty and did full time parent adulating .


For those of you who don't know much about me , my blogs are a dedication to my wonderful mother who now watches over me .

So as I went to write this blog I remembered a saying from her generation "Oh My Hat " in the old days way the equivalent of OMG or even WTF or Shut Up or  Shut The Door an exclamation really . I like the old ways that were classy and sorta chic . My hats are influenced by the era's of the 40's and 50's when things were made very well and to last. There was a beauty about them and style, just like my mum .

How the IAGBAM hats came about. I had been invited to a "high tea" - google it if you don't know what that is , for a 70th birthday , and thought to myself , "all the people around here dress up every party, what can I do for this one?" I really love and admire this woman so I wanted to make something that honoured her, something unique .

 So after a overwhelming response to that hat I decided to make a few more for the upcoming film clip I was making https://youtu.be/P3_fvzTUH58

 I am a passionate lover of the planet and with that I made some hats from upcycled bits and bobs(another of my mum's sayings ) from garage(yard) sales and second hand shops . Now  I used to make a lot of sculptures with skulls https://www.facebook.com/OffTheBoneProductions/ and after I stopped collecting skulls  I took the bones onto the hats.


I decided that it would be best to ease into my new community , not freak them out with my goth/punkness and real skulls  and it was time to move into a new style- I wanted a new theme . So this year I thought would be good to keep on the self love,  make every hat IAGBAM , as  I want each person who puts the hats on to be able to say I'm A Goddess Beautiful And Magnificent, ta da ! the hat label  IAGBAM is born. I had not long unpacked my cases when I got invited to another high tea to display my hats . So I frantically got to work and started hunting down new pieces as most of my materials are still in storage interstate! Head down bum up I began creating brand new pieces to display at  Bangalow Heritage House Cafe and Museum

Each hat in this series has a love heart , at least one if not more and the theme of the chandelier crystals are always present. The crystals are to bring in light so a little love and light - which people say but often do not embrace it. The crystals dangling on the side of the hats are a tribute to Australian history and the "aussie corkscrew" hat which they used to keep the flies away. Well  Violetnight is all about the beauty so it was time to bring beauty into the version of Australian culture , after all if you explore the Indigenous Dreamtime it is a constant , always changing. Also crystal hold a high vibration so let's get these hats pinging with good vibes I say .

Anyways  I have been sewing like crazy and making a series also influenced by the beauty of where I live now . I got some assistance from my dear friends modelling my latest creations,. blessings Millie and Darcy  I am so happy to have had a true couple that love each other and am so grateful for their support .

So introducing the series of love and light IAGBAM hats to make every wearer a goddess that they truely are . I have also been making some hats for  men - for they need to have some love and light too.

You can see my website at www.jenniferdagley.com

 instagram is https://www.instagram.com/iagbam/?hl=en






























Monday, 5 December 2016

Big bodies deserve beautiful clothes

Big bodies deserve beautiful clothes.





For the past 4 years my body size has been increasing. As I grow older , and as a single parent my biggest gift to myself is delicious food. Being that I am a mother as well I need to be nurtured, so let's make sure it's tasty I say.

Having said that my love of handmade chocolates and wonderful cakes has seen my body grow in ways that once upon a time I would have been horrified by. These days the biggest disadvantage is sweating in a sub tropical climate and not having decent clothing options.

Now I know for a FACT that the majority of women on the planet are a size 14 and above. Magazines and advertising would like you to think otherwise and we as women (and many men too now) agonise about not being of the right size and shape. Now  I might be over weight , but seriously I have blogs to write , hats to make and a house to keep and right now I have lost my mojo on the exercising regime I used to have. I have onset early menopause- that's a whole other blog , but I will tell you now, energy levels and food cravings rage like a constantly hormonal teenager or pregnant woman. 

Now I might be subtropical but I do not live alone in the jungle or in an ancient tribe-therefore I need clothes like everyone else does. Hhhmm here lies the problem. I might have aged but my desire for nice/fashianble/gothic/interesting clothing has not waned. Up until recently I would have to dress like some one 30 years older than me , and I do not feel like embracing nanacore just yet. So where to go  , what to do if you do not wish to dress in unintersting clothes?

Now is you shop around you can find great clothes in independent shops in Lismore NSW Australia I came across 3 different shops that stocked up to a size 22. So it is always good to look around. Depending on your mood you might like to look in a store and when they start to treat you like a second class citizen , if you area cashed up babe , let them know you can take your money elsewhere and it is there loss. But for a purely positive experience....

Here's my tip. You can either get clothes custom made- difficult and often extremely expensive, or depending on taste you can shop at https://takingshape.com.au/whats-new/shop-by-story or http://www.atomiccherry.com.au/shop-by-label/hell-bunny .

Let's get into some details...Taking Shape (TS)  boutiques exist around the east coast of Australia. The range is quite diverse and these days more and more variety is available. I have a dislike for synthetic fabrics , they just make me sweat , as often I sound like my mother- but I do not cringe at this I realise the wisdom .
 TS has some wonderful cotton and linen in range now . Today I decided I could not wear the same two dresses or the 1 pair of shorts I bought from them 2 years ago that are starting to wear out. So I was delighted to have fun and helpful women to show me the range of tops, shorts and dresses. They even had my new fav bather top that looks like a wetsuit with the zip up the middle. Shoes and jewellery are there and they will look after you. The clothes are varied in price but the quality and style is great. If you get the right time you can pick things up for unto 60% off and like most retail they have their 40% or more sales.























The second link is for Atomic Cherry. If you like vintage 50's style this is an amazing online store with size charts so you can measure and work out the size you need. I did find a shop in Melbourne Swanson st that stocked Hell Bunny dresses that go up to  4XXXL and they are made of cotton. This was great to try things on and then be able to purchase online later on . In store they are more expensive and my online experience was I could get dresses up to 1/3 of the price . They also have skirts and tops, cardigan , bras and bikini's .

Now if I was able to sew I would get into designing clothes for us plus size ladies. We deserve after all to dress with our full IAGBAM going on . There are some answers for us here in Australia with class and style .

In America you can get super funky clothes from Tess Holiday http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/womens-clothing/mblm-by-tess-holliday~13591/encore-department She is taking it to a level I really like.

I am frustrated that to this day we who are the majority are treated like a diseased minority and the labels should stop projecting false realities and also would make more money if they actually produced clothes so that bigger women do not have to walk around in "fat jeans" and "shitty large t-shirts' 
 The other BIG issue that I wish to bring up is judgement about body shape. While shop[ing as TS I saw women who were and even said "hating "their bodies, different bits . he worst part was when a women said her daughter had told her she was too fat . That nearly broke my heart. I am so blessed that my 9 yr old tells that he doesn't want me to lose weight as he loves me how I am !! If only the rest of the world could be like that for everybody then perhaps it would be so easy to feel IAGBAM .


Ladies honour yourselves ,fellas sorry I can't help you as I don't know of the mens store equivalent - there will be some . 

Here's to a comfortable , stylish and even sexy future

AND REMEMBER YOU ARE BEUATIFUL AND MAGNIFICENT 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Travelling Single mum style Part 2

Every step on the planet I find wonderful. I have my eyes open , and every detail fascinates or excites me. I love it, and taking my son on this holiday I have to say I had expectations. Even tho I tell people all the time not to have any so as not to be disappointed . Still ,  I had expectations, more of what I thought my son would get out of the holiday , how he would react and what would happen etc.

Parenting tip 101- your child is their own unique being , even tho we try to make them like us whether we do it consciously or not.

My son has no real interest staring out the plane window. There are somethings that the digital age have now made not that interesting anymore. Instead of wanting to look out the window he can't wait to get the gaming system or the movies up ...sigh , expectation bubble popped. The wonder of flying thousands of feet above the earth and what the country side or sites look like apparently cannot compete with mind craft, sonic the hedgehog or whatever pixelated trend is happening...I did not introduce him to video games btw ! the joys of the ex partner *meh*

We arrive in San Diego around 7pm to get to Legoland. Now I have said to friends many times that google does not know everything, and in this case I was unfortunately right. There is no shuttle bus that takes you to legoland from the airport every 30minutes(google lie 1)There are shuttles that you can organise that will get you there. We have a reasonable distance from the airport - like everything in California , it's an hour or two apart from the other attraction you want to see!

When we arrived our checkout was fun from the very minute . Everything in the hotel is lego inspired or actual lego. The outside of the hotel looks like lego bricks, the inside lobby has huge lego installations and you are immediately immersed in the land of master builders ( inside lego nerd talk lol) . I could write about legoland for so long I  might lose the plot of this blog. I think I took 300 photos. I am , and always will be a lego nerd . The attention to detail for lego fans was worth  every cent that we paid for the hotel . And it truly is a half a minute walk to the front gate. So if you get the extra hour early in you can really get on some rides quickly and repeatedly . The  family restaurants were very American hotel fare and not of much interest to we Melbournians who are spoilt for great food options.However the Sky cafe food was great and the buffet in the morning was amazing choices and lego fun everywhere. If you get to try the "apple fries" inside the park they were fabulous btw, my son didn't like them -bonus all the more for me. Handy hint we did not know. You can trade with ride and food attendants all around the park. They have either mini figure name badges or trading points where you can swap eveything from hair , to legs to accessories. My son and I thoroughly enjoyed that and if there was to be a next time we would know to load up :) We scored a fabulous set on sale 1/3 of the cost of the set that never made it to Australia. So my advice pack light and be ready to shove that lego box into your luggage .
The park is fabulous and fun but you really have to be a lego fanatic to get the most out of it- one thing I was able to mould him into LOL . The hotel is kind of expensive , I made choices based on "the trip of a lifetime" experience . Also my child is not a big eater so I saved a lot of money on that part of the trip. https://www.legoland.com/california




What I did discover was - I seemed to be the only single parent. I did not see a single parent in the hotel , in the park ...anywhere in the 3 days . What I did see was the extended family unit , which was lovely but bought up a lot of emotions for me. That was not what I expected. Suddenly I went from thinking we were going to have the most fabulous of times , to having emotions triggered in me. Once again I could not convey this to any other adult. I had one drink on  one night at the restaurant only to find myself a bit tipsy and up in the hotel room with my child asleep by my side at 9.00pm . Party ON !! It made me think about how privileged I must be as I am the only single parent here but how I was a little sad to be by myself.

Another day another shuttle...

So distance, yep once again there is no way but the shuttle way in L.A when it comes to getting around. I am not going to say what it cost in a taxi to get from legoland to Anheim but I will say it was the most money I have ever spent on a cab in my ENTIRE life. We probably could have had a limo and driver for the amount. There is no transport (without 3 hours of messing about) , there is no greyhound bus or anything that can get you to Disneyland from Legoland - FACT (google lie 2) . Most people hire cars- back home everything is on the different side of the road let alone driving in a state that has four times as many people as my own country.
My out the window fascination is once again not shared by my son. I am having a great time looking and talking to the driver about everything around us. My son after about 20 minutes is bored.  OMG EMOTIONS ABOUT TO EXPLODE - RAGE ALERT RAGE ALERT!!.  I point out that we are in another country- the cars are different , the scenery- he still doesn't care. Expectations of fascination seem about to be blown to pieces. The suddenly out of nowhere a place that is mentioned in some gaming Youtube tutorial - he is excited !! Thank fuck. Finally he starts looking out the window and absorbing. Great expectations fulfilled.

Now again I am a fortunate soul , I have been to Disneyland before with my parents. I also went with my EX husband who nearly ruined it for life. So I definitely needed to go back lol. Now luckily with a bit of http://tripadvisor.com.au we got an affordable hotel a 15 minute shuttle away from the happiest place on earth. Is it? yes it is . the first day we walked for 10 hours , mainly due to the monorail and the train that usually go around the park being closed. My son didn't complain , he was now truly taken with all the amazing sights and the rides, that  are really so magical .  I did think of the elderly and disabled who really would have had their time there restricted. And really Disney pretty poor planning to be having your diamond celebrations and getting around is a bit crap. Anyway I digress,  Tomorrowland is filled with Starwars  rides and activities- my boy got to fight Darth Vader and that was awesome to watch and an experience of a life time. How many kids can say they fought darhtvade!! And even tho it took up 2hours of our "magic hour" morning it was so worth it as that may not be there in a year(they do rotate the activities to keep it fresh ) . The detail and humour in these attractions is so great I laughed for the 3 days we were there. I must say I am a big kid at heart

Adventureland had amazing new rides and some of the old amazing rides where still there too. Did I expect to get triggered....no. Did I get triggered? YES! . OMG NOOO!!! Once again I seem to be the only single mother/parent in this place , which by the way is packed with around 20,000 even on a monday!! However I must say that after witnessing a  few moments where couples were  arguing and stressing out with each other and the kids, the triggers soon faded into some hologram on the Star Tours as my son and I laughed and laughed. Aaah , breathing happily again , in the happiest place on earth where nothing can upset me .We did three days and could have done more . There is really so much to see and yes there are queues . If you play your cards right and get a fast pass where possible and can skip the line it really made packing in more adventures possible. You can go to rollercoaster parks and carnivals , but if you can ever do it, truly the magic of how things happen had my son astounded even with the original rides - Enchanted Tiki Room , Alice In wonderland, Pirates of the Carribean and splash mountain are still fantastic rides and considering they were made in the 1960's it was a wow. https://disneyland.disney.go.com

We left full of the magic of Disney and once again , yep you guessed it -shuttled our way up close to the airport. Two more days of shuttling around got us to universal studios, a hollywood tour and some random adventuring on our last day.

Now Universal studios these days is a trip into 4D adventure rides. I love rides , but I must say that most of these rides can leave a person almost having an out of body experience that in many ways is not that pleasant when you are hurtling along at great speeds with Megatron or Dementors in your face. The best thing really here is the tram tour that takes you around the lot and the "Animals in action" show that bought out many of the wonderful creatures we see in movies like Harry Potter. I personally found that unless you want your picture with Bumblebee from Transformers , expectations blown again - I thought my kid would want to , but no only the child like mother wanted too,  there really is a lot of average food and over priced souvenirs to purchase. This can be the day wrecker....of course if you are 8 you want a want from Harry Potter , but the prices really were , for a piece of plastic shaped liked wood, ridiculous.

For what we saw on the other shuttle out to Manhattan beach and Venice Beach I would say spend time seeing those parts of L.A . It would have been wonderful to spend another week going to parts of  California that are so beautiful and amazing , that I have seen with my parents. But as a sole parent there was only so much fairy dust I could muster before we had to come back to the land of Oz and see if the good witch can give us some magic from over the rainbow ...I shall keep clicking my little red shoes.








Monday, 30 May 2016

Travelling single mum style part 1

It is not often single parents get to take their kids on a whizz wow holiday...I did I survived and bought the kid back alive!

I think everyone should see the planet , it's an amazing place and children learn so much from seeing other places on our magnificent planet.

If it had not been for the amazing skills of my father to leave me some money I would not have been able to go. Most single parents know we are under the pump to just get day to day expenses covered. My son is 8 and with my father passing away  just before christmas I really felt the need to get a breath of fresh air and honour the way my parents raised us. I love travelling as much as my father did.

So I decide on Hawaii, it was one of our favourite holidays and I loved the place. Full of culture and spirit. since Australia is so far away, a trip to L.A to finish off with a bang.

We are a pretty awesome team my son and I . Of course any parent knows  you can have moments but all in all I was confident I could pull this off . The week before hand tho I started feeling really nervous. Anyways, I am going to give you some low dows on the great places and the expereinces we had.

Oahu is the "hollywood" of the Islands to me. It is the closest to the main land of USA . It is very focused on shopping and it caters really for all. from cheap souvenirs to amazing cultural experiences the choice is yours. You can get everything from tiki key rings to louis Vitton here.

We stayed at http://www.outriggerreef-onthebeach.com The agent said it was family friendly and it truely was. Right on the beach I mean RIGHT ON IT. We arrived to a fabulous tropical drink a cool hand towel, fantastic check in expereince. From our room we could see the beach and the mountains and each morning were greeted with a rainbow over the skyline- might sound cheesy but it's realy true ! Waikiki waters are warm and we had the pleasure of swimming with sea turtles right behind us a good little surf break that had my son hollering it was his best beach day ever (joy) . The services at the hotel were great . Live music every night , tradtional hawaiin music and contemporary. Their were childrens activities and the knowledge of things to do from the activities desk was great . The onsite food was affordable and good.

My son saw a magic show he wanted go to. This was a FANTASTIC show , funny and AMAZING you would not be disappointed. You can do dinner and a show but we opted for a fantastic food truck experience and then wandered down. Here is the link for this ...I have never seen anything like it and it was the source of our own little fun jokes throughtout the holiday and even now...you can't put a price on that http://www.magicofpolynesia.com .

We went to the Polynesia Cultural centre which I had gone with my parents and was really looking forward to it.http://www.polynesia.com After a bus trip centrally located to the Waikiki area we had a beautiful drive out seeing a very different climate on this part of the drive and many places were pointed out where films Like #50 first dates , #Jurassic Park and others had been filmed. The centre is a great place for education and the day is filled with music . We couldn't afford the Luau so we had a little extra time to check out the wonderful cultural movie about elders , stories and the islands- I had tears rolling down my cheeks( I am always over joyed by nature btw) it was wonderful. we saw little lizards and time to explore and find out that the Seventh Dat Adventists had funded the centre to maintain culture .

HOWEVER , my expereince nearly turned to disaster when my son decided to have a sooky meltdown about going to one of the island shows rather than looking at Rapa Nui display. It took a a bit of motherly stern conversation to get him to pull it together.. I was feeling heart wrenched "how could he ruin this ?!!" We got over it ..if you have seen the movie "inside out "-anger and disgust were close by at this moment. So I explained that this is a holiday for both of us and he better get it together. We then see the lagoon parade, he is  unimpressed and I have to just realise I am me and he is him and maybe he hasn't got the awes and wonder I do about cultureat times.
We stop island hopping around the centre and go look for lunch. They had a few food trucks and this is where I would reccomend going. Try new things , that is what travel is about for me, local food I think is bettter that western hotel food. So we tried Pu Pu chicken(little boys love that name) and we really liked it. It's not overly spicey and had it's only little groovy flavor.

THEN -I want to watch the Hawaiin village display , but he's not that interested. Feeling very "single parent overwhelm" I wonder how am I not going to explode. Lucky for me a "nuclear family" behind us is having the same problem and the mother hisses at her child " you will watch this and sit here and shut up or you get nothing for the rest of the holiday "..my job is done for me..I look at him and say - "what she said' and he sits patiently as we learn about origins of the hula , ukelele and history. It was wonderful, I thought...in years to come hopefully he will look back at the footage i took and appreciate it, or use it for a school project. Check out the somoa village show the presenter was drole and hilarious , more memoires for us together. This is a very long day so be prepared for that. If you had a heap of money then of course the Luau and other things like buying heaps of things at the little stalls would make the day really awesome for chidren. Single parents were no where to be seen , there were times where I felt extremely vunerable.

Nature is awe inspiring on all the islands , But let's say you can only afford Oahu. With a little help from my palm box (iPhone) I find that there is a snorkling experience we can do via shuttle bus from the hotel approx $30 US that got us there and back including equipment(i had life jacket in our luggage). It was a quick 30minutes from the hotel district and we had nearly the whole day there.  ... http://hanaumabaystatepark.com is a beautiful place . There is an education centre with alot to learn and gives children the chance to learn the importance of coast care. We had never snorkelled before and this was perfect reef as it is right at the shore line. I felt like we were in Finding Nemo...we never found him but we thought we saw Dory. The waters were abundant with amazing fish ,it has set us on a mission to do more.  Be aware like all places their is a gift shop that the children will want things from . I choose to buy the book on the fish so we could study from it and one tshirt . There was food available and lockers . We took our own lunch.

There are plenty of cheap trolleys to get around if you don't want to hire a care. Being from Australia I didn't want to try using the opposite of everything in a foreign land. The trolleys are open air and the driver tells you information along the way. If you want a large shopping experience go to the http://www.alamoanacenter.com has everything from high fashion to lego stores and it is open air. My son loved the huge pools of Coy fish. There were free cultural performances and if you were cashed up you could spend a fortune...The lego shop was enough to satify my boy (phew) I had to restrain myself from wanting high fashion hand bags and Andy warhol converse runners .

The flights between the islands are very quick. Our early morning flight had 8 people on it. This started me thinking about wastage and the opportunity that could be given to single parents for cheap flights. Or they could go back to how they used to and have small carriers. https://www.hawaiianairlines.com Super friendly staff and the planes are compfortable and reasonable prices flights. If you can take a small carry on and you will save money too.

The "Big Island"is not as popular to go to but I realy wanted to take my boy to the volcano. It turns out "Pele" the goddess of the volcano is not so active at the moment...I think she went over to costa Rica lol. So the only way to see the lava is by helicopter. This is where things start getting really pricey. I opted to go to a "timeshare" presentation and that got us $240.00 off our flights . Once again it showed me thedifference between those whohave more money, these time shares would be awesome if you had a lazy $70k hagning around. I chose the 2hr flight for the whole island but you can do just volcano for alot less too. We went with http://www.bluehawaiian.com they have state of the art helicopters and you really are part of the experience . Everyone can communicate with the pilot and ours was local with expert knowledge of the island and extremely handsome YAY , again if you have seen "Inside Out" you will get a chuckle out of that . Once again I wept at the beauty of the tallest waterfall, the area is untouched as you cannot get their by land. Their are many operators and some are cheaper . We got to buy the dvd of our personal flight and it was a really special experience.  This was the first time I met another single mother so the four of us with our sons has a great time. Don't eat a big breakfast before hand either , just sayin.

If you want a great  resort experience go to http://www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com it was not expensive considering that there are so many things on site. The pools have slides and spas, a boat or light rail takes you around the hotel , there is art everywhere 1800 pieces to be precise ,free dvd movies and games to rent and a kids club. I thought the kids club would be included but  I guess this is how Paris Hilton affords all her shoes lol. The lagoon had us swimming right beside a turtle and fish tho no where near as plentiful as in the ocean. A great variety of food was onsite and we chose to eat by  the dolphins often. I would honestly say DO NOT do the swim with dolphins...this is was a rip off. We got to touch them twice and paid alot of money for it...I think this is how Paris affords to have all her jewellery ( no lol on this one) . I also felt that this was a huge money spinner and also cruel to the dolphins as they are in a small area. There was a trolley to take you up to a market area, was not alot there but we had great ice cream and watched all the coy and met lovely people on the trolley.

My favourite island was Maui. It was once the actual capital of the islands. The air is a little less humid and the nights are a little cooler ( at least in April). We stayed at the http://www.kbhmaui.com The Ka'anapali Beach Hotel was perfect. They give the children a passport and then  they visit various places and do cultural activities in the hotel  each stamp gave them a new word for their "passports" and a gift. My son loved it and once again we were right on the beach. This is Maui's longest running cultural hotel and most night you could watch a performance of hula and history and the band were great. The dusk ceremony of traditional chant and fire torch lighting was beautiful. The food in the main resteraunt was AMAZING . Be prepared fo rsome crazy surf , the currents make it a pretty good boogie board spot.

A bus ride away took us to fabulous Front street , with the ocean right beside the historic Bunya tree this is must if you are on that side of the island.There are stores of every type. including Maui's own surf brand . Funky art galleries and plenty of tourist shops line both sides of the promenade. We found the https://www.hawaiifudge.com and discoverd salt water taffy too. I had never had it , it rocks .
My son and I love art and had a wondeful time inside http://vladimirkush.com gallery . There is an interactive game tablet for kids to paint on , wonderful , stunning, amazing art and books and the women were kind. On arrival we were offered water or wine :)
When you check out of the hotel they sing a prayer and give you KuKui lei's http://hawaiianceremonies.com/kukui lei's ,

I found this very moving and special.  Once again I seemed to be the only single parent , but this island had no meltdowns, magic memories and I left tears streaming down my cheeks thinking of my parents now departed.

All the islands have cheap little souveniers - give your kid $20 and they can buy stickers and fridge magnets and t-shirts if you find the right place.

Part 2 - fun and frolicking L.A style coming soon