Wow … …  … is this really happening?  Am I actually sitting down and  writing a blog post?  It’s been a while crocodile but yes, here I am.  You see this is what happens when you cross over from hobby blogger and start making a living in the online world.  You start to lose contact with your first love and that’s not necessarily a good thing.  (Guessing I will have to think about that a little more.)

Anyhoo, today my littlest was at a bit of a lose end, being school holidays and all, and started begging me to cook something with her.    Grimacing at the thought of a messy kitchen clean-up I gave in and started digging through my collection of Cuisine Companion  recipes waiting to be trialed.   In the end we settled on these Chocolate Brownies.  A friend sent me the recipe a few months back and it was the prefect opportunity to give them a whirl.

Chocolate Brownies Cuisine Companion two



250g unslated butter
150g plain flour
320g white sugar
60g cocoa
3 eggs
Vanilla (1-2 teaspoons)

Chocolate Brownies Cuisine Companion one



Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. 

Line a slice tray with baking paper.

Insert Ultra Blade into CC.

Chop butter roughly and melt in CC (3 minutes, 65 degrees at speed 4).

Add all of the rest of the ingredients into CC and mix (20 seconds, at speed 7)

Pour mixture into the lined slice tray and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Allow to cool before cutting into serving sizes and dusting with icing sugar.

Chocolate Brownies Cuisine Companion four


And the verdict.  These are truly delicious.  Very rich and gooey.  They would make a perfect dessert with a lucious drop of double cream.   A lovely sometimes food that is so simple you could whip it up in CC to impress your friends for morning tea.   Give them a go – I’m sure you will agree.   You can also find more easy Cuisine Companion recipes by following this link.  

Do you have a Cuisine Companion?  Link up your favourite recipe in the comments so we can all share to CC lovin. 

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How cute are these guys?  Well, I guess I might be a little biased, because these are the adorable  human beings formerly know as the three little pinks.  They have sure grown up hey!    When I think they were five, three and one respectively  when I started writing The Truth About Mummy I have to do a little double take and re-centred myself.  To all those people who told me the baby/preschool years go quickly – you sure knew your stuff.   These days I’m mum to three beautiful and multi-coloured young ladies.   


Anyhoo, today isn’t really about walking down memory lane.  It’s about Book Week.  Don’t you love Book Week and the celebration of all things bookish?  Well if I’m honest, despite all my pre-mum-life dreams about how much fun it would be getting costumes ready for school parades I really don’t enjoy the pressure of putting together three awesome outfits.  Something seems to get a little lost in the translation from dream to reality.  It’s actually hard work and frustrating.  So this year I got some help.   


And look at the results.  These costumes are brilliant and the girls are all really happy with how they look and feel in in them.  Winning without effort thanks to The Costume Box. 


For me, this year is all about keeping things simple and not over stressing on the small stuff.   It’s the only way I can find the balance between working, being a mum and having a life!  If I need to order in costumes to make that happen then so be it!  


So, thank you for these beautiful Book Week costumes.    Hocus Pocus, beautiful Blue Butterly and Ariel the Mermaid are all set to go after our impromptu photo session last night.  (Yes our back lawn is in desperate need of a mow – wanna come do that for me?).

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Disclaimer:  The lovely people at Costume Box gifted me these costumes for my girls to wear.    No money was exchanged and all opinions expressed are totally my own.  All photos are copy write to CazFilmerWrites and published with the approval of each child.



lost my name

I am known as ‘the gift buyer’ in my family.   I was born with the knack of seeming to know just the right present to suit just the right person.   Well, in reality I don’t consider it a knack at all.    It’s pretty simple really – I just ask myself  what makes the person I am buying for happy before I start shopping.   Once I’ve worked that out all the rest falls into place without much effort.  

When it comes to buying for younger kids and newborns, most of the time these days I’ll head straight on over to Not In Shops.   Because they combine two things I love.   Lovely handcrafted and personalised products that you can’t find in the shops and supporting people who are stepping outside of their comfort zone to make a living from their passions.  That is great stuff and something I want to get behind. 


Today I thought I’d introduce you to what I think is a perfect gift idea for toddlers or preschool aged little people – especially if you’re looking for something that will live in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives.   (Any grandma’s out there I am  thinking of you!!)  This book is totally adorable and the reason I know it will live in their hearts forever is because it’s all about their favourite subject – themselves.    

The creators of Lost My Name take your child’s own name and use the letters to weave a story about a little person who wakes up having lost their name.  They then go on a magical journey, meeting fabulous creatures, until they have collected all of the letters that make up their name.    Can you imagine the joy on their faces when they start reading (or being read to) and realise they are the centre of attention in their very own book. Can’t you just see how their eyes will sparkle with surprise and joy?


A few months back Not In Shops sent me a copy of Lost My Name to review with my littlest pink.  Admittedly she is seven now, so slightly older than the age group I’d recommend this book for, but she is still in love with it.  The constant begging for me to let her take it to school for ‘show and tell’  has been a little wearing – but to be honest there is nothing more I love than kids getting excited about books, so I’ll let that pass.   I think there is just something a little bit magical about having a book written about yourself.  

This book would also make a very special newborn baby gift.    Obviously, there are some complications here if you don’t know ahead of time what the baby is going to be named.  But, if you’re able to wait off for a few days with the gift giving I think this is a perfect idea.  We have a teacher at the girls school who is expecting in coming months and this is exactly what I am wanting to do for her. 


If you like to find out more about Not In Shops  or  the Lost My Name book please head over to their website.  The book costs $33.95 (including P&H) and the ordering process is  very uncomplicated.  All you have to do is complete the order form on the Not In Shops website with your child’s names and gender and then wait for it to arrive.  I have found them very professional and received several emails updating me on our books printing and arrival times.

**I am an official Not In Shops blogger and love working with them to promote the beautiful and bespoke products to my readers. 

the giveaway

lost my name review and giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of Lost My Name for a little person at your house?  Or maybe for someone else you’d like to inspire to love reading?  Follow these easy-peasy steps to enter:

  1. In the comments below tell me about either a book from your own childhood that still lives on in your heart or the most beautiful or unusual name you have ever heard. 
  2. Be kind enough to share this giveaway on Facebook  and then, if you do, please feel free to leave a second entry comment.
  3. Follow The Truth About Mummy  and Not In Shops in any way you like (Facebook, Twitter, Feed, email or Pinterest.)
  4. Please leave an email address  that you check regularly – as all giveaways are redrawn if you don’t respond within 5 days.  
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  • Giveaway is open until Midnight  29th of August 2015
  • No entries will be accepted after this time.
  • All decision are final and based on skill not luck (not random draws here.)
  • (Check the T&C tab for full T&C).
  • Disclaimer: This is a review and giveaway.  I received a free copy of the Lost My Name book to enable this review.  

Win Stuff Here.


Do you know I have not even logged into WordPress for almost two weeks.   Now that’s a sure fire sign that my life is swaying to the hectic side of the pendulum.   As you know, I’m not a big fan of busy.  I much prefer a slow ‘mooching’ approach to life.  But that said it’s generally during the busy phases that things really start to happen. 

A couple of days ago I was offered work with one of Ballarat’s local conference and accommodation centres, as their assistant marketing officer.   Well using the word “offered” might be minimising the process slightly.    I actually endured attended three interviews and used up more than my fair share of ‘sparkle power’ to make that ‘offer’ happen.   Regardless thou I am well  pleased with the outcome.    Starting from mid next week I’ll be spending two six-hour days a week working back in the real world and flexing my marketing and social media muscle.   In my imagination, this is going to be like having best of both worlds.   Three days a week at home focusing on my Caz Filmer Writes projects ( and doing housework, family stuff, and getting back to the renovations) and two days out working in the real world.  Now, if we could all just come together with prayer and fasting in the hope that this  turns out as well in reality as I’m picturing it in my mind. parentint

While all this has been percolating around in the world of possibilities I also had two interviews for a project management job, which apparently I didn’t get.  But how could I know this as they chose not to notify unsuccessful applicants – even though we dragged our sorry arses in there twice!  Are you hearing my attitude?  Sorry – but I think that’s rude.  After all a phone call doesn’t take long or cost much.  (Hashtag Grrrrr).     And just to keep it interesting I also got offered six days emergency administration work at the girls school.  I’ve never worked in a school before and despite thinking we needed to evacuate the first time I heard the bell go off, I loved it.   It’s been a while (read many many years) since I’ve done pure admin/reception work and I have to admit I kinda felt like I was playing a huge game of pretend.   How could you not love doing that?


In my own true introverted style thou,  right now I am in desperate need of some time to some time to settle back and reflect, ponder and plan.   (And if I didn’t have a family and home and I’m pretty sure I’d find that time.)   I want to think this through and establish a routine for my working days – both at work and at home.    One thing I have realised is that I need to put some boundaries ar

I want to be more purposeful than that.    

I need to be more purposeful than that.  

I am going to be more purposeful than that.    

How do I become more purposeful than that?

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Chocolate cake.  Need I  say more?  This recipe the simplest, best textured and nicest chocolate cake I’ve made (or eaten) in a long time and it’s so easy to make in the  Cuisine Companion that you probably won’t believe it.  I’ve struggled to find the appropriate person/place to credit for the brilliance of creating this recipe – this link is as close as I’ve come.   Once you’ve made it you’ll probably want to say thanks too. 

As with all of the recipes I post if you just want to print it out and avoid my pretty pictures and explanation, head on down to the bottom of this post.   But for those of you who like some explanation and visuals – read on.    You can find more family friendly Cuisine Companion recipes here.  You might also like to join this facebook group Loving the Tefal Cuisine Companion


Turn your oven to  180 degrees (160 if fan-forced).  Line the base of a larger sized cake tin with baking paper and lightly grease the sides.  

Insert the ultra blade into your Cuisine Companion.  And then add all of the ingredients into the bowl!  170g butter, 4 eggs, 250g milk, 300g SR flour, 370g brown sugar, 40g cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

Work at speed 8 for one minute.  Scrapes down the sides of the bowl and then work at speed 12 for 20 seconds. 


Pour the batter into your cake tin and cook for one hour 0r until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean (without uncooked cake batter on it.) 


Remove the ultra blade from your Cuisine Companion bowl and get the little people to clean the bowl for you. This cake mix almost tastes like chocolate pudding – so frankly try stopping them!

Once cooled I iced my cake with a classic mix of butter cream icing.   I reduced my usual recipe by 3/4 to suit the cake size – as I didn’t really think we needed the sides iced as well as the top!    

Butter Cream Icing
1/4 cup of butter
15g cocoa
1 & 1/4 cups if icing sugar
1 tbs of milk.  
Mix this well by hand. 


chocolate cake cuisine companion

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Disclosure.  My Cuisine Companion was gifted to me and I have agreed to post recipes for your enjoyment in return.

Perfect Chocolate Cake for the Cuisine Companion
A simple and beautifully textured chocolate cake to make in your Cuisine Companion
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. 170g Butter
  2. 4 Eggs
  3. 250g Milk
  4. 300g Self Raising Flour
  5. 370g Brown Sugar
  6. 40g Cocoa
  7. 1 tpsVanilla essence
  1. Turn your oven to 180 degrees (160 if fan forced.)
  2. Line a good sized cake tin base and lightly grease sides
  3. Insert the ultra blade into your Cuisine Companion
  4. Add all ingredients into the bowl
  5. Process at speed 8 for one minute.
  6. Scrape down the sides.
  7. Process at speed 12 for 20 seconds.
  8. Pour batter into the cake tin
  9. Cook for one hour or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
  1. Ice using butter cream icing. This cake freezes beautifully and can be pre-cut and frozen for school lunches.
Room For My Soul



This page is the home for a growing collection of time-saving family recipes either written or converted for the Tefal Cuisine Companion.  All of the recipes are in plain-speaking English written by local Australian food and family/parenting bloggers and should be a perfect way to help you get the most out of your Cuisine Companion. 

If you have a recipe you’d like to add from your own blog please leave a link in the comments below.  If you have a great recipe you have created or converted yourself but don’t have a blog of your own to post it on please also let me know as I’d  seriously enjoy trying it out myself and post  it here  (with full credit to you) so we can keep sharing the Cuisine Companion loving. 

Cuisine Companion Family Recipes Caz Filmer Writes 

Easy Family Cuisine Companion Recipes for Aussie Families



Easy Spaghetti Bolognese  (Room For My Soul)

Easy Thai Green Curry  (Room For My Soul)

Easy Chocolate Cake  (Room For My Soul)

Healthy Chocolate Bliss Balls   (Room For My Soul)

Chocolate Brownies  (Room For My Soul)

Easy Tuna Mornay  (Room For My Soul)

Pumpkin Coconut and Lime Soup (The Gourmet Chick)

Butter Chicken (MoveFuelLove)

Slow Cooked Lamb Korma (MoveFuelLove)

Vegan Orange and Poppy Seed Cake (VegeTARAian)

Beetroot Risotto with Basil (VegeTARAian)

Home Made  Pizza Base (VegeTARAian)

Banana Bread with Choc Chips (VegeTARAian)

Coconut Pikelets  (VegeTARAian)

Fruit and Nut (Nutella) Tarts (Essentially Jess)

Healthy Chocolate Brownies (Where’s My Glow)

Rasberry Vanilla Cheese Cake (Bizzy Lizzy Good Things)

Carrot and Walnut Cupcakes with Lemon (Samelia’s Mum)

Paleo Pancakes (MoveFuelLove)

Ginger Beer Ribs (My Kitchen Helper)

Strawberry Cheesecake Slice (My Kitchen Helper)

Apricot Chicken (Mixing Food and Life)

Coconut Milk (Mixing Food and Life)

Spicy Moroccan Lentil Soup (Mixing Food and Life)

Creamy Cauliflower Mash (Good Things)

Strawberry Almond Tart (Good Things)

Stock Paste  (Mixing Food and Life)

Delicious Gravy (Mixing Food and Life)


To find more recipe inspiration for the Cuisine Companion check out  Cooking with the Cuisine Companion Facebook Page where I try (busy life and family permitting)  to search the internet for recipes and post three a week to share the CC loving.  Or my Pinterest page, where I keep all the hidden treasures I find. 



Since being gifted my Cuisine Companion a few months back, I’ve been on a mission to convert simple easy family meals into Cuisine Companion recipes.  Because what I really need from this little machine is less time and effort in the kitchen.   Can I hear an amen to that!

Tuna mornay is not the flashest of meals, but it is one that is easy to turn to when  time is limited and the pressure is on to get tea on the table.  I’ve played around with this a few times now and I’m finally happy to add it to my growing collection of easy Cuisine Companion recipes. 


If you just want to print out the recipe and avoid my pretty pictures and explanation, head on down to the bottom of this post.   But for those of you who like a little more explanation and some visuals – read on. 

What You’ll Need

Tin of tuna (425g)
Flour (50g)
Milk (500mls)
Butter (50g) 
Grated cheese (50g)
Garlic (2 cloves)

What you’ll need to do

Insert Ultra blade into the Cuisine Companion (CC).  Add a quartered onion and two quartered cloves of garlic and  process them for 10 seconds on speed 12.  Scrape down sides.  Check to see if you are happy with how small the pieces are and process for a further 20 if you think it’s necessary. 



Add the oil to the bowl and cook on Slow Cook 1 for 5 minutes. (130 degrees).



Swap over to the whisking blade and  add the milk and flour into the bowl.   Process this  at speed 6 for 1 minute without any heat.   This will mix the flour and milk and remove even the slightest hint of lumps from the sauce.  Yay for that!



Add the butter into the bowl and process this at speed 4 for 8 minutes at 90 deg.   When it finishes you will have a perfect white (bechamel) sauce.


Once the sauce is finished swap to the stirring blade.  Add in your tin of tuna and the grated cheese.  Work on Slow Cook 3 (20 minutes/90deg.)    When there is only 4-5 minute remaining you can peas, corn or other easy cook veggies if you’d like to. 


Enjoy with rice and veggies or however you like your Mornay.  Lately, I’ve been serving ours up the stir-fried or steamed veggies rather than rice – just to mix things up a bit.   Either way it’s delicious. 

I think you’ll agreed that was a pretty easy way to get a very high-quality Mornay on the table.  I was reminded just how much time CC does actually save me this week when I inadvertently lost (read threw in the rubbish bin)  the rubber ring that seals CC’s stirring shaft.  It was back to standing at the stove and actually cooking for me. While it probably only took ten or fifteen extra minutes to cook in the old-fashioned way, what I really missed was being able to do other things (like write a blog post) while CC does all of the stirring and chopping work.  Thank goodness there is a new rubber ring on its way to our house at this very moment.  

I hope you enjoy this easy tuna mornay recipe.  Please come back and let me know how it works for you. 

Tuna Mornay Cuisine Companion Cooking Caz Filmer Writes

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Disclosure.  My Cuisine Companion was gifted to me and I have agreed to post recipes for your enjoyment in return. 


Easy Tuna Mornay for the Cuisine Companion Recipes
Write a review
  1. Tin of tuna (425g)
  2. Flour (50g)
  3. Milk (500mls)
  4. butter (50g)
  5. Grated cheese (50g)
  6. Oil (20g)
  7. Onion
  8. Garlic (2 cloves)
  1. Insert Ultra blade into the machine. Add quartered onion and quartered garlic cloves. Process for 10 seconds on speed 12. Scrape down sides.
  2. Add oil and cook on Slow Cook 1 for 5 minutes. (130 degrees)
  3. Swap to the whisking blade. Add milk and flour. Work at speed 6 for 1 minute.
  4. Add butter and work at speed 4 for 8 minutes at 90 deg.
  5. Once finished swap to the stirring blade. Add the tin of tuna and grated cheese. Work on Slow Cook 3 (20 minutes/90deg.)
  6. Enjoy with rice and veggies or however you like your mornay
  1. This recipe can easily be doubled - which I do regularly.
Adapted from Caz Filmer
Adapted from Caz Filmer
Room For My Soul

{ 1 comment }

smaller ballarat

I don’t know about you but I consider myself very lucky to have been born in Australia.  There are probably more than a million reasons why I’m grateful for the quirk of fate that saw me delivered to parents from down under.  But right now the one I’m really thinking about is how much it has to offer to those who enjoy the thrill of exploring new and fun places and spaces with their family.  

Today, I’m taking part in a challenge, as part of Kidspots Voices of 2015,  to share with you my own personal pocket of Australia in the hope that I can temp you to come and do some exploring here in Ballarat. Ballarat is a beautiful town.  It has clear crisp air, fabulous distinctive seasons and a part in  history that any living museum would be proud of.    But why would you want to bring your family here to visit?  Oh my friend the list of reasons is endless but today my job is to bring you three good ones and then let you discover the rest. 


Spend some time at Lake Wendouree


The lake (as the locals call it) is a pretty big deal in Ballarat and an easy place to lose a good few hours of exploration time.  If you’re feeling energetic you could walk the six kms of pathway that winds around the lake itself.  (If you’re here on a Wednesday morning you might even see me slowly jogging my way around – so wave and please offer me a drink if I look ready to pass out.)   There are playgrounds dotted regularly around the lake but make sure you stop at both the Adventure Playground (a massive wooden construction so huge you’ll be lucky not to lose your kids) and the Indigenous Playground (a beautiful area filled with lovely art and rhythmical playthings inspired by our indigenous history) as they are particularly beautiful and a real experience for the kids. 

Lake Wendouree In Winter Ballarat For Families.

Once you’ve walked the lake and had a play you can head over the road to the Botanical Gardens.  My own personal favorite things to do here are play spot the goldfish in the fishponds and walk down Prime Minister’s Avenue taking selfies with our  Ex-Prime Minsters.  But you might prefer to do some of the more traditional activities like checking out the begonias, enjoying the plant life or visiting Adam Lindsay Gordon’s Cottage. Each to their own as they say.  

PM Selfies Ballarat Botanical Gardens Ballart for Families

The lake also has an impressive wetlands areas open for exploration, the stirring Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial and a fabulous vintage tram you can ride on with the kids.    Once little tummies start to rumble there are more perfect picnic spots than you can poke a proverbial stick at, along with electric  barbecues, cafes and a regular ice-cream van. Lake Wendouree is a seriously great place to have a family adventure and you could easily spend the best part of a day exploring all it has to offer.   (PS: I had just finished my run around the lake before taking these selfies – so I think both me, Bob, Jules and Kev are looking mighty fine!)


Visit Nimmons Bridge on the Railtrail


The next Ballarat based adventure I’ve chosen for you is a quick trip out to visit Nimmons Bridge.   The bridge is part of the Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail and was built back in the 1850s as part of the local railway net work.   The Rail-Trail winds its way from the Ballarat Station, meandering out through a host of local community towns, for 63 kilometers until it reaches Skipton.      As you can see from the photos, Nimmons Bridge is a stunning old railway bridge that has been restored to provide a breathtaking glimpse into life in yesteryear. 


The bridge is about a twenty minute drive from Ballarat by road or, if the family is up to it, a 30 kilometer bike ride from the Ballarat Station.   (It’s on my  own personal bucket list to do the bike ride – but I must confess it hasn’t happened yet!)  The bridge’s under-structure is made from the most impressively huge logs, the sight of which leaves you wondering where they found trees big enough to make them from.   The surrounding views of gorgeous local farmland are lovely and all of the locals will tell you to make sure you leave some time to simply stand on the bridge and gaze out – allowing the view to restore your soul.    My trick is to let the kids go running ahead, following the pathway, while I wait on the bridge to watch them and enjoy my moments tranquility on my own.   


There are two picnic tables ready and waiting at each end the bridge and a walking track which lets you see the bridge from underneath – which is honestly the best and most impressive way to see it.  You’ll also find an information alcove in the parking area which provides all of the history and backstory that you need give your Nimmons Bridge adventure some historical perspective. 


Do the Tourist Park thing

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the epic-ness of Sovereign Hill, undoubtedly Ballarat’s most famous attraction and something every family should do at least once.  It is seriously worth it.  We’re not talking about whiz-bang rides and fast food styled amusement parks here.   Sovereign Hill is a living museum of life back in the 1850s where you’ll find yourself panning for gold (which you get to keep by the way – watch the kids eyes light up when you tell them that), conversing with beautifully dressed ladies and cheeky old fashioned policemen and taking  rides in  horse drawn vehicles.  You can also create your own candle, watch old fashioned lollies being made and see the blacksmith at work – among other things.    It’s a fabulous day (or two) out and has much much more to offer than I can express in this one paragraph.   It’s literally a Ballarat must do – maybe even an Australian must do. 

Ballarat For Families attractions collage

But Sovereign Hill is not the only tourist park Ballarat has to offer.  You should also consider spending some time at Kryal Castle.  It is an enchanting and magical place with its story woven around a mythic King, his lovely Queen and an un-seen She-Dragon who lives curled up in the Mountain behind the castle.    Recently re-developed, the castle has been well thought out to appeal to everyone in the family and will keep you entertained and on the go for hours.   There are puppet plays and the Tooth Fairies very own lolly shop, jousting knights and magical wizards blending mythical potions, playgrounds, magical mazes and even (if you are game and over 12) the gruesome Torture & Dungeon Museum.    Yet another great adventure waiting to be had in Ballarat. 

Have I impressed you with our tourist parks yet?  Best wait to answer that one because there are still more.   Ballarat is also home to a beautifully set out Wildlife Park  which specialises in crocodiles  (The Ballarat Wildlife Park) and a very cute and clever Tangled Maze – both of which you could easily lose two or three more hours to.     Did I tell you we are spoiled for choice?

Ballarat For Families collage Caz Filmer Writes

Are you tempted to come and explore Ballarat with your family?   I have no doubt there are enough exciting escapades waiting for you here that you’ll need more than a day.  If exploring really is your thing you might be interested in the Ballarat Bucket List which has another seventy-two family friendly things you can do in and around Ballarat.  So, if you’re up for it I think we could probably keep you here for a week.   Maybe I’ll see you out exploring my home town some day soon. 

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finalise voice15

I’m sitting here in the wee small hours of the morning (4.23 am to be precise) shaking my fist at the gods of the internet for their meanness. Fancy cutting off my supply when I’m up, awake and hoping to whip out a few hours of online work before the daily routine starts and I’m too tired to think straight.     Unfair I say.  (Very softly so I don’t wake up the family.)  

  This blog has been around for while and has received the odd nomination for a few things here and there (most of which I’ve minimised away in my own special and unique style) but for some reason this one feels a little different.  Perhaps because these days there are SO MANY awesome online creatives.  Compared to back when I began here, when you could literally comment on every other blog in the land, the blogosphere is massive and filled with a wonderful mix of creative, clever and well-studied influencers. 

Anyway I am chuffed.  Tickled pink in fact.  (What the hell does that saying actually mean?  Do people turn a particular shade of pink when they are both happy and being tickled?  Sorry – did I say it was really early?)   I have no idea who made the original nomination, but secretly I think I might love you.  Thank-you with all my heart.   It means a lot to know that the effort that goes into this patch of cyber-space is worthwhile.  To be honest it also means a lot to be recognised for my skills as an online creative because this is something I LOVE to do.  And, like most bloggers, I’ve worked very hard to develop them. 

I am not about to start preparing my winning acceptance speech or anything like that.   But I am going to celebrate this  achievement and enjoy the process of being part of Kidspot’s #VoicesOf2015.  If I am lucky (or clever) this might even  draw some attention to my digital communications and social media management work – because picking up an extra client to two is never a bad thing.  But in the end I am just going to ride this journey through and suck out every little ounce of joy and fun it offers me.   Being a finalist is fabulous ~thanks Kidspot.   And cheers to the other 102 awesome online creative finalists too. 

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Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writes leaning out the windowVictorian Goldfields Railways is a beautiful stretch of old-fashioned and steam-powered ‘rail adventure’ between Maldon and Castlemaine in Central Victoria.  At just over an hour away from Ballarat it doesn’t make it onto our Ballarat Bucket List (100 things for families to do in Ballarat) but it is a seriously good family day out and well worth the extra half hour drive.

The impressively restored steam trains travel between Maldon and Castlemaine, taking about 45 minutes to complete their journey.  You can buy a one way or return ticket.  If you choose the return journey, and get your timing right, you can spend a few hours exploring the opposite township.    Or you can simply wait for twenty minutes at the station while the steam engine refuels and turns around before climbing on board again and heading straight back.  (If you’re patient and willing to wait, the drivers might even let the kids climb up in the engine and see how it works before they head back.)   Check out the Victorian Goldfields Railway’s website for more information about running times and prices. 

The trains are beautifully restored and give you a first class idea of what steam travel would have been like back in the early 1900s.  There are first class and  economy tickets. As you will see in the photos below the first class carriages are seriously beautiful – but for my money economy is the way to go.  In economy you get a cabin that seats about eight and  the kids (read parents) can open the windows and feel the wind on their faces, hear the rhythmic sound of the wheels on track and see the train pushing on through the bush-land.  It’s really just a bit magical. 

The Victorian Goldfields Railway is volunteer run and you will find helpful and friendly volunteers on hand to collect tickets and share information about the trains.    Be warned though, these guys seriously like talking about their trains, once you get them started there is no stopping them.  We actually really enjoyed their knowledge and conversation so I would actually chalk that up as a good thing.    

The pictures below will give you a great idea of how our little adventure unfolded. 

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writers Muckleford (15)

Victorian Goldfields Railway Caz Filmer Writes

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writers Carriage)


Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writes sign for ladies)

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writer Ladies carriage

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writers Muckleford (8)

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writers Muckleford (9)

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writers Muckleford (7)

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writes First class carriage

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writes steam train wheels

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writers Muckleford (17)

Victorian Gold Fields Railway Caz Filmer Writes cabbose

It really is a beautiful day out and just as much fun as it looks.   Well worth the drive to get there.  Both Maldon and Castlemaine are also lovely, historic and well-appointed towns to explore with kids.   There are loads of cafes, crafts stall, antique shops  and gardens in both.   If you get your timing right they both also run numerous markets and festivals.  A small shout of for the Fish-n-Chips at Maldon Fresh Takeaway and the fudge at The Maldon Lolly Shop  (both on Main street.)  Our lunch was close to perfection. 

Remember to check out the Victorian Goldfields Railway website for prices and train running times.  

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Nimmons Bridge is part of the Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail and was built back in the 1850s.   The bridge  is located just outside of Scarsdale, about 30 minutes drive all up from central Ballarat.   To get there head out along the Glenelg Highway, passing through Smythesdale and onto Scarsdale.   At Scarsdale take a left hand  turn into Pitfields Road and follow this for about 4kms until just before Newtown.   There is a sign post off to the right which will take you out to Nimmons Bridge via a dirt road.  

As you can see from the photos below it’s well worth the drive.  There are a couple of picnic tables and detailed information about the both the railtrail and the bridge located on site.  There are also several small country towns near by to stop in at for coffee, lunch or treats for little people.  A perfect distance away for  doing a short afternoon tour of places like Skipton, Linton, Scarsdale and Smythesdale.   The country side is gorgeous and the entire area well worth an explore. 

Nimons Bridge Ballarat for families



Nimons Bridge Scarsdale ballarat for familes








For more ideas about things to do and see in Ballarat please visit the Ballarat Bucket List ~ 100 things for families to do in Ballarat. 

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I tend to find it hard to slow down after a really busy stage in life.     It’s not that I don’t like to relax.  (It’s actually a passion of mine.)  But I  still find the transition from being busy to being ‘unbusy’ a hard one.   I think I feel guilty.  I question my own completeness without the busyness and  automatically start to look for new things to get me busy again.  

still small voice

Right now I am obsessing about what to do with the next phase of my life.  So much so I know I am in danger of losing the gift of this peaceful space I find myself in right now.   I can  feel myself stressing about choices and trying to make the ‘right thing’ happen  even though I have no idea what is right for me in this moment of time.  Should I be applying for more jobs?   Should I be looking for more digital communications clients?   Which way should I focus?   What is it I want to do? 

if you wait

I am a firm believer that, in life, if you wait and be patient the right answers and opportunities will come to you.  I tend to  “feel”  my way through life and that practice has rarely let me down.   Writing this post is really all about reminding myself of these things.     Knowing that I can’t always be in control, but that if I choose to listen and follow that still small voice deep within, what I need will come to me.   Even if all of the evidence around me (and my own over thinking) seem to suggest differently.  I guess that is what you call faith.

So, today I am choosing to hang up my inner control freak and follow the still small voice urging me to relax and enjoy the peaceful space I am in.   I will be content with what I have and allow my faith to bring me exactly what I need.   Selah!  (Hebrew word meaning pause and think on that.)

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