Family time at Mount Hotham
This photo is one of my favourites from the year for so many reasons. The expressions on our faces, the pure joy felt by all of us and the conversations we still have and stories we still tell from this trip! I hope this is a childhood memory that stays with our little man, Harrison.
When I think back to my childhood I can honestly say I have some great memories.
In particular, my Mum making pikelets for afternoon tea. This would be a weekend treat as part of our movie afternoons. She had an electric frying pan and the smell of the butter in the pan sizzling was the best! You knew what was coming. Such a simple thing, a family movie afternoon with pikelets and every now and again home-made popcorn! Cooked on the stove in a pot with oil and plenty of salt, watching the lid come off as it popped everywhere.
Another is the many camping trips that we went on with my Dad and family friends, Mum ‘didn’t do camping’. I remember one when we were along the Barmah State Forest swimming in the river and getting ‘swept away’ by the current. Of course we were rescued quite quickly and we probably didn’t even go that far, but the memory sticks. Along with building fires, cooking our toast on a stick over the fire, playing cards and climbing trees.
When I look back at these times I understand that the world was simpler and that we didn’t have as much stuff. Mobile phones and computers were not attached to us and I honestly don’t believe we were as busy.
People who know me well know that I am always busy. The idea of slowing down comes with the compromise of saying ‘no’ to others and I struggle with that. I don’t like to disappoint and of course I hate missing out!
But I think it is more than that, I think it is about the value of time and family over things and objects. When I try really hard I can remember a couple of toys from when I was young, a My Child and a Cabbage Patch Doll. That’s not to say I didn’t have many toys, because Mum and Dad tell me I did. But my memories, the things that have stuck, do not involve toys. They involve people, places, smells, travels and of course for me, food.
One of the things that sits at our core at Happy Explorers is creating memories. When thinking about our products and what we want to put out into your space it comes back to the way that families engage with each other.
My husband Bren and I are endeavouring to create memories for our little man Harrison. Don’t get me wrong he has toys, too many if you ask me! But we are really big on experiences, trips and special times together.
Baking and decorating gingerbread cookies!
I love to cook and bake in particular, so that has naturally been something we do together. I can barely step foot in the kitchen and Harrison’s right behind me asking to help. This is also why you see many a post on our Facebook page with us in the kitchen. Harrison’s particularly keen to make treats such as biscuits and cakes. Any time he can mix and stir is a win and he loves tipping ingredients in. Of course, licking the spoon is an added bonus, anyone else have memories of this as a child? Time spent talking together, having fun and then enjoying the fruits of our labour, or cookies as it so often is all add value to our relationship and build memories.
Family holiday in Bright this year
Another thing we’ve done is make family holidays a priority over gifts. This doesn’t need to be an expensive trip. This year we’ve had a few days in Apollo Bay, a few in Bright and a few at Mount Hotham and we are going to the Gold Coast in January. Stayz and Airbnb have made short trips easier and cheaper and we have decided that instead of presents this is what we do. Bren and I do not give each other birthday presents and Harrison knows that for Christmas we are not giving him presents but instead going on a holiday, I’m sure Santa will still visit. Holidays create memories because you don’t have the day to day stresses of cleaning the house, running around from place to place or having to be somewhere at a certain time. When we’re relaxed we are naturally more happy and our kids feel this.
Our Colour Inspire Me To Play Kit
Creating memories rarely involves a child by themselves playing with a toy. Memories are made with emotion, connection and people. We are naturally social creatures and so enjoy moments together. Our Inspire Me To Play Kits have been designed with these ideas in mind. They are not for children to go and sit by themselves for hours on end playing. They are designed to engage your child through play with you. You and your child making memories by learning and exploring together.