Ballina Boat Hire

While looking for things to do while we have visitors, we often book a BBQ boat from Ballina Boat Hire in River Street, Ballina.
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The idea is that you can cook what you catch, but our fishing talent means we have a barbecue while attempting to catch something, or as BallinaGirl prefers, feed the fish. This works for me, as I don’t like catching fish, but love eating food.
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Sometimes, we end up organising a cold and or rainy day, which isn’t too bad. You have cover, but also, you can drive the boat to find shelter from the conditions.
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There is a sticker in the boat with the legal size limits, we rarely catch anything of limit, but every catch is exciting for BallinaGirl
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Even if you don’t catch a fish, or like fishing. It is a good day out and way to see Ballina from a different view. Putt around and find your little patch of serenity in the river, cook up a feed, sit back and relax, chat and enjoy the sea (river?) air.

… It even has a toilet.

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FFSC Mums & Bubs CrossFit

I started at CrossFit last year, when BallinaBoy was approximately 12 weeks, I think. The first session is free, and BallinaGirl seemed to love playing with the kids there, and I was able to tend to my kids when and if they needed, but there was also a lovely group of welcoming mums with warm hearts ready to try their best to comfort your children, while you were working out.

The session is (usually) broken up in to two groups, one group works out and the other supervises and cares for the kids, and then they swap. Seems logical. No over crowded under spaced crèche here. There is a kids area set up with toys, a TV, and a wooden kitchen. There is also the whole other half of the centre that they set up (with an obstacle course) for the bigger kids to be able to jump, climb and throw giant balls (in the “cage” or as some of the kids call it, the “trampoline”) at each other – what more could a preschooler or toddler want?
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The thing that made me decide to go back? The amount of pain I was in following – I could feel muscles I didn’t even know I had! That was a serious work out.
What made me continue to go back? The support, the individual attention and modifications (apparently I am, or was, really bad at squatting!), and the fact that I could see my babies, and tend to their needs if I needed to. If BallinaBoy needed boob, then I’d go in the second session. If I needed to calm my kids, I could throw them in a carrier and continue on (yep! I have done it with my toddler on, in testing week!), and if I had to exit half way through session one, I could continue in the next session.
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What makes me love it? It’s not only about a workout, it can be so much more. The people are welcoming, inclusive and most of all supportive. They organise cooked meals for mums when they are struggling, they organise social events, have a morning tea so you can chat and debrief, chat, and eat some yummy food, or chat more if you want. It is not just a workout it’s a community, a village, support and encouragement.
photo from Facebook

I highly recommend coming down and trying it out, even if your kids are in school, you have one on the way, or don’t have kids but want to be around some warm hearted ladies (and sometimes men) and get your arse kicked (fitness and sweatiness wise).

Mums & Bubs sessions are on Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30am, and Wednesday 10:30am. Check out their website, or Facebook page, for more details.

On a side note: the Wednesday classes are quite small at the moment, as they are a new addition. If you are unsure about whether CrossFit works for you, are not good with big groups, or just feel you may be embarrassed by your fitness level (or lack there of) – Wednesday is a great session to get to, to test the water. But, you can also just come down and watch and hang out. When my kids have been having off days, out of routine, etc, I have just gone down to let them play with the other kids and ease back in to the routine (and catch up with everyone).
I hope to see you there! I’ll be the unco, sweaty, puffing, red in the face one – most likely with a kid strapped to me, haha.

Baby Carriers – for expecting parents

I have had a lot of friends recently ask me what carrier would be best for them, to use when their baby arrives. (I LOVE being asked this, as it means more babies being up close with their parents, where they want to be – it isn’t nicknamed the 4th trimester for no reason hehe) Sometimes, this can be a hard question to answer, as everyone is different, and everyone wants different things from their carriers.

Firstly, I recommend getting along to a baby wearing meet if you can. This will allow you to touch and feel different carriers and see what you like best. You can learn what other people found to be good and bad about each carrier, and sometimes even test one out.

For those of you who cannot make it to a meet, or want some more information before you go, I will talk about the three “main” talked about options (Hug-a-Bub, Ergo and BabyBjorn), and then talk about benefits of some other options. But the first thing to learn and become familiar with is the TICKS guidelines for baby wearing. This ensures baby is kept safe while being carried.
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Didymos Hemp Woven Wraps

I recently received a second hand PHI (Petrol Hemp Indio by Didymos), and before that a Didymos Berry Hemp Lilies WCRS (wrap converted ring sling). They are so soft and lush, and supportive! I’m almost ready to sell all the rest of my stash (which is a huge deal!), I’ve even stopped using my SSCs.

The PHI came recommended as a great wrap for toddlers and warm weather. It hasn’t been too hot, but it sure is comfy! (And filled with sleepy dust, apparently)

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The Berry Lilies was a purchase for Ballina Girl to have a legacy wrap (Or ring sling rather). So pretty and soft, and only ring sling she will go in to. Only thing I’m not sure about is that because I wear the rings on my left shoulder, and I can’t deal with light colours (the “wrong side”), the lilies end up being under and on the bum.

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