You may only have a few days left to do THIS

You may only have a few days left to do THIS

By Lauren – Gold Coast Mum Hubby and I recently escaped from spent two hours away from our four little ones to enjoy a ‘date night’ at the Hard Rock Café in Surfers Paradise.

As we arrived at the world-famous venue, we couldn’t help but notice one of the lights was out on the sign.


We had a good chuckle after discussing how fortunate it was that it was the letter “k” that was out of action, rather than the “R”...
If ya know what I’m saying?! ;-D
(I know, I know… Spending some alone time, without the children around, brought out the immature side, ha ha.)
Hubby and I were super excited to try out the vegetarian menu at Hard Rock.

The Hard Rock Café - known for its delicious American cuisine; especially burgers and salads - is celebrating Vegetarian Awareness Month by offering meatless options that include a variety of vegetarian burgers, wraps, salads and juices.

Hubby and I do love a good steak, but were absolutely won over by the variety of options available, how tasty they are and how filling! Who needs meat!?

We were lucky enough to sample the vegetarian offerings and were pleasantly surprised by (and have been back since, to order from) the vegetarian

Our favourites included:
* Fresh blend of Apple & Kale Juice

* Tomato Watermelon Salad
Fresh watermelon tossed with arugula, roma tomatoes, red onion and feta in a lime vinaigrette.

* Black Bean Wrap
Black beans with brown rice, red onion, peppers, corn, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, honey and spices with grilled tofu and a tofu lime and garlic crema.

* Quinoa burger
A house made patty of quinoa, red onion, portabello mushroom, eggs, cheddar, pecan, barley, soy sauce, and breadcrumbs, topped with hummus, arugula, tomato and grilled red onion.

Get in mah belllly! Yum!
Our tastebuds were seriously tantalized!
Fantastic food flavours and great service made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

And, as Gold Coast locals, gave us another must-visit venue to visit when we can, and to recommend to family, friends and tourists.
Also a great option for Gold Coast locals and visitors looking for great vegetarian food, or a vegetarian restaurant.
The vegetarian menu, on offer at the Surfers Paradise and Sydney Hard Rock Cafes have been a huge hit according to bosses. There’s even talk of the vegetarian menu being rolled out permanently.
 “With an international movement toward a more plant-based diet, the demand for vegetarian dining has continued to grow,” said Antonio Bautista, Senior Vice President of Franchise Operations for Hard Rock International.
“Hard Rock Cafe drew inspiration from global and regional cuisine to develop menu items vegetarians and meat lovers alike will enjoy.”

The new menu items honour Vegetarian Awareness Month (October), which was designed to spread awareness of vegetarianism and the benefits of a meat-free diet. What began as World Vegetarian Day has blossomed into a month-long celebration of vegetarianism that involves educational events and festivities.

Be sure to check out Hard Rock Cafe in Sydney or Surfers Paradise to try out the new options for yourself.

What’s your favourite vegetarian dish?
When was the last time you had a date night or went to the Hard Rock Café?


(Disclaimer: hubby and I were guests at Hard Rock's menu launch party but all opinions, as always, are my own).


Halloween giveaway!

Halloween giveaway!

By Lauren – Gold Coast Mum

UPDATE: CONGRATS TO WINNER MONIQUE. As you may already know, I’m a huge fan of Scentsy and joined last year to support my own Scentsy habit (I get freebies and discounts), and to share the goodies with friends and family.

As well as working full time hours (scattered during the week and each night as a content writer/journalist/editor and social media manager) in and around juggling my 4 young children (ages 5, 3, and 23-month-old-twins) I haven’t had much time to really push my Scentsy business as much as I would love to, but thankfully, have found it has plodded along quite well, providing me with some extra cash without having to do much at all. WINNING! ;-)
(I was promoted to Lead Consultant shortly after joining and have team members in Australia and the UK!)

My customers contact me to place their orders or visit my website to place their orders and can get their goodies shipped to them directly.
I also loan out samples, products and goodies and then receive the orders.
Occasionally I may host a party, but I find most orders come from referrals and repeat customers. :-D
Everyone loves trying out my samples and working out which scents they adore, and which remind them of certain places/moments in time.

What is Scentsy?
The gorgeous electric warmers have a heating plate that warms the scented cubes of wax. Most of the warmers also contain an LED light so the warmer has a candle-like appearance.

Smells like a candle and looks like a candle… but no flame, no smoke and no soot!

A perfect alternative for me now I have little ones running around.
The wax is toxin free and animal cruelty free!
I use warmers in the lounge room, kitchen, bathroom and in the bedrooms. The warmers I use in the bedrooms can also double as night lights for the children. I leave them running 24/7.

I use one or two cubes with each warmer. When those scents eventually fade, I use kitchen paper towel to soak up the melted wax and then throw out, and a quick wipe of the dish before adding a new scented cube. (But if you just want to change scents, pour the melted wax back into original packaging so it can set and be reused and then add a new cube of new scent).

The variety of scents will blow your mind. There is seriously something to suit everyone.
There are more than 80 scents to choose from.
Think: Honeymoon Hideaway, Go Go Mango Watermelon Mint, Bananaberry, Lush Gardenia, Black Raspberry and Vanilla, Cinnamon, Salted Caramel Cupcake, Vanilla Bean Buttercream, and many more!

Ripe blueberries, lively cranberries, black currant and pomegranate make Blueberry Rush the perfect scent for this season.

As well as the world-renowned warmers and wax, there are also a variety of other awesome products to check out such as the cuddly Scentsy Buddies – these plush toys are a great keepsake/ gift idea, and are limited edition so are also a collector’s item.

The Buddies have a pouch where you place a Scent Pak of your choice – eg lavender to provide a soothing affect for the kids’ bedrooms.
There’s also a laundry range, Men’s products and products for the car/gym bag/ bathroom/bath time and more.

With Halloween and Christmas just around the corner, now is the perfect time to check out the awesome products on my website
and stock up.

I’d also love to help you if you have a set budget (eg office/ family Secret Santa). I can help you select the perfect Scentsy gift to suit your budget.

For your chance to win a Deluxe warmer (valued at $46) and one Scentsy Bar (value $7.75) or $46 credit towards item/s of your choice, visit to view the available scents and comment here on this blog post and/or on Facebook with your favourite scents and why (include your name). Entries via the below Rafflecopter app also accepted.

Like and and comment on the competition post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(If you’d like to receive some goodies/samples in the post, please send me an email or private message with your email and postal address.)

T&Cs: Competition ends October 22 at 12am Brisbane time. One winner will be selected. Winner will be announced via Facebook and will have 48 hours to private message Gold Coast Mum via Facebook to claim prize. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
The competition is not endorsed by, or in partnership with Facebook or Instagram.
The prize (a Deluxe warmer and one Scentsy Bar OR $46 credit towards item/s of your choice) cannot be exchanged for cash. Order must be placed through Wickless with Loz Facebook message or email by October 31. Delivery before Oct 31 for Halloween items is not guaranteed and no responsibility will be accepted. Entry only open to Australian residents. Prize will be posted within Australia only and no liability accepted for lost/undelivered mail.


Wedding bells - a gorgeous Gold Coast wedding!

Wedding bells - a gorgeous Gold Coast wedding!

By Lauren – Gold Coast Mum

My little sister got married!

It was an amazing weekend/ week leading up to the big day/ days following the big day catching up with visiting family and friends!

My middle sister, 14 months younger than me, married her partner of 15 years who also happens to be my husband’s best friend since kindergarten.

The boys have known each other since kindergarten and have grown up together, and now we all live in Queensland so still catch up as often as possible.

Together (before hubby and I had our children), us 4 have enjoyed multiple holidays and ski trips – skiing Australia and New Zealand,  and some amazing times together. They’re also God-Parents to our 4 children.

So this wedding was a very big deal for all of us! :-)

I was Matron of Honour and hubby was Best Man.
Miss 5 was Flower Girl, Mr 3 was Page Boy.
The twincesses were also gorgeous in their Flower Girl dresses.

Mr 3 and Miss 5 walked down the aisle together and were on their best behaviour during the ceremony.

Mr 3 looked SO cute wearing his little suit, complete with a bow tie and braces that I was gifted from Buckle Jr. 1922’s brand new Junior line of accessories for boys.

Made for the mini man, Buckle Jr. 1922 features a tight selection of belts, braces and bow ties for boys ages 3 – 10 years. 

(Renowned for their handmade appeal, the range successfully mimics
Buckle’s adult sizes so that little boys can mirror their dads – utilising the same leathers and buckle finishes.)

The twincesses were present at the ceremony, and were kept amused while the rest of us were on official duties.

The weather was perfect, the bride and groom looked absolutely divine, the ceremony was so beautiful and the location was picturesque.

There was a lot of LOVE in the air!

After the official photos and meals, my Matron of Honour speech touched on some funny stories from our childhood and special stories /moments shared with the Bride and Groom.

Instead of incorporating any Von Trapp Family style musical numbers (that surely would’ve been a huge hit ha ha), I managed to weave some song titles and lyrics throughout my speech that provided a few laughs, especially for the Bride and Groom.

Corkers included: "I wish I could give the world to you, but love is all I have to Give..." (thank you Backstreet Boys).

And marriage advice from the great Maroon 5: "It's not always rainbows and butterflies, it's compromise"...)
Four of the six of us. The twincesses were asleep by the time we managed to get this shot.

We all danced and enjoyed ourselves well into the night, thankful everything went so well and glad it was such a wonderful day for a fabulous couple who we all love dearly!

Congrats to my sis and brother-in-law!


5 Careers For Stay At Home Mums

5 Careers For Stay At Home Mums

Gold Coast Mum brings you this article in partnership with Careers Australia
Choosing to become a stay at home mum is not an easy decision for any parent. There is household income to consider, less ‘grown-up’ time, and the scary thought of putting your career on hold. This doesn’t have to be the case anymore though, as there are an abundance of career choices out there for those working from home – below is just a taste. 

1. Childcare
If you’re a mum, then you obviously love kids, so why not turn that passion into a reality? Qualifications in Early Child Education and Care are readily available from universities right through to flexible study option providers such as Careers Australia. This will open up a variety of opportunities to start your own home-run childcare business, whether it’s long day care, or after school hours’ care.
2. Designer
If you’re a mum with a killer creative flair, then design is an ideal industry if you want to work from home. Graphic design is great for freelancing as it can all be done via email and your home computer. Interior design consulting is another avenue that can be pursued from the comfort of your own house, as all contact can happen over the phone or online. If you’re particularly crafty, you could even make and sell your own homewares.

3. Virtual Assistant
Virtual or online assistants are growing in popularity, particularly as more and more people become tech savvy—all you need is an internet connection, a computer, a phone and some administration skills. The industry opportunities are also broad for this type of work, as you can contract your services out. This could include diary management for a travelling businesswoman or man; word processing; social media management; or even data entry.

The keyboard shelf is a handy lunch holder when I'm a busy bee working from home.

4. Programmer
If you’re a bit of a computer nerd, or your job was in IT when you were still in the workforce full-time, then this doesn’t have to stop just because you’ve relocated. Almost every company these days needs IT employees, and people who are willing to work on short-term contracts are often in hot demand. Also, the great thing about this type of work is that it’s completely flexible, so you can even wait until the kids are in bed.

5. Event Planner
If you’re incredibly organised, know your way around a room, and always throw a great party, then this could be the career move for you. Birthdays, intimate gatherings, kids’ parties or weddings are all on the agenda for the events personnel, so you really have your pick what is in demand in your region, and what you think you’ll do best at. Also, clients will come to you, so working from home is not a problem for this type of job.

Don’t let choosing to be a stay at home mum be the ‘be all and end all’ of your career life.

As you can see above, you are only limited by your imagination and determination. And if you do find something you love, then you are winning all round, as you get a career and your kids.

I feel very fortunate to have - this year - combined contract work as well as work from home jobs and projects as a writer, editor, content writer, social media manager and more. I've also earned extra cash as an Independent Scentsy Consultant - sharing the products I love with others.

I love being able to enjoy time with the kids during the day, play dates and trips to the park and then do most of my work from home at night.

Working from home has allowed me the opportunity to spend quality time with my children.

Do you have a work from home job or career?
What study have you done/ are you considering to boost your future career prospects?

The best time to start toilet training?

The best time to start toilet training?

By Lauren – Gold Coast Mum

When we faced the prospect of having 3 babies in nappies at the same time (our boy was 22 months when our twin girls were born), there seemed to be a bit of pressure surrounding when and how we would toilet train our boy.

According to Huggies, who are running the awesome Huggies Pull-Ups Live Toilet Training Weekend THIS weekend October 3rd-5th (a Facebook event so everyone and any one can participate) there is no ‘magic toilet training age’. 

The majority of children are ready sometime between 18 months and 3 years, although most do not fully master toileting skills until after their 2nd birthday.

So, as we did with our first born (Miss 5, who told us just after her second birthday that she didn’t want to wear nappies anymore and basically ‘trained’ herself), we waited until Mr 3 was ready, offered lots of encouragement and followed his lead.
This made the whole process a whole lot easier as our boy just ‘clicked’ a week after his third birthday and that was that, undies during the day with only a couple of accidents.

We warmed Miss 5 and Mr 3 up to the idea of going to the toilet by talking to them about the toilet, letting them sit on it and asking – often – if they wanted to wear undies and use the toilet.
We also celebrated when they did make a deposit with clapping and a bit of a song and a dance.

I'm glad we waited and let them do it in their own time as it all seemed to be quite a breeze and a natural progression.

(Before Mr 3 was toilet trained, around the time I was couch-bound breastfeeding the twins, there were a couple of occasions where he would stand in front of me and remove his nappy while I was completely helpless. So it was VERY exciting when he could finally take himself to the toilet!)

Image: Gold Coast With 4 children aged 3 and under, we had three in nappies at the same time.
With 4 children aged 3 and under, we had three in nappies at the same time.
Our twins are about to turn 2 and they have been keen to mimic their older brother and sister by sitting on the toilet so we’ve had a couple of moments where they’ve done a number one or two on the potty or toilet, but the novelty wore off. So we’re keeping an eye out to see when they show signs of being ready.
Fingers and toes crossed it goes as smoothly for them as it did with our older two. :-O

In preparation, I’ve been checking out a bunch of useful resources at Huggies Pull-Ups School of Toilet
Training including tips, games, reward charts, and
a free Toilet Training Guide.
I also registered to receive freebie Huggies Pull-Ups® Training Pants.

The good news for anyone else at this exciting stage – where patience is required ;-D – is that Huggies
is holding a Huggies Pull-Ups Live Toilet Training Weekend this weekend October 3rd-5th.

The Pull-Ups Live Toilet Training weekend is a Facebook event.

This means that parents from all over Australia can access the toilet training tips and have their questions answered by Huggies’ resident expert, Dr Cathrine. 
Check out the Huggies Australia Facebook page for further details.

gold coast when is the best time to start toilet training

What’s your experience with toilet training? Did you set aside a weekend or go with the flow? How old was your toddler?

This article is sponsored by Huggies, but all views are my own.


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