Category: Every Day Needs

Our Fiji Family Adventure

Fiji Header Bula (hello) lovely ones!

Fiji really was a great holiday……….so great that our 7-year-old asked if she could bring Fiji home with us?? If anyone knows a solution for that request please be sure to let me know.

I did promise you a debrief so here we go, babble to a minimum, just a snippet here and there and let the photo’s do the talking.

How it came to be:

Planning and preparations for this little adventure began on Australia day of this year when our gorgeous friends Glenn and Jennifer asked if we would consider a dual family holiday to Fiji?? My eyes lit up with excitement, all I had to do was convince Zadada who was already sounding enthusiastic so it didn’t take much, 7 days and 6 quotes later he was 100% sold. We were booked to Fiji all 10 of us (4 Adults & 6 kidlets to be precise).

If you are considering a holiday to Fiji, DO IT, as Kaymac would say ‘YOLO’, definitely an experience to remember and treasure forever! We stayed at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Yanuca Island. It’s on the Coral Coast of Fiji. We flew from Brisbane to Nadi airport, then had a 1 hour transfer to our accommodation. Hoot Holidays are who we used to book our holiday with (we tried local travel agents but the best price came from Hoot, who provided a service we were more than happy with), Bryan Griffin is the man you want to ask for to make your arrangements, he’s very helpful and happy to answer any questions both before and after you book.

For the record we flew with Fiji Airways.

Now the fun stuff…….Our holiday in colour!!

There was an early morning start. I was up at 4:45am!! I am sooooo not a morning person unless it’s for a good reason. Please note we didn’t have time to stop and take these pics so I do I apologise for the motion, poor light, iPhone snaps. Anyway I think you get the idea, it was early!!!!!

An early morning start for our Fiji adventure! The junior clan, looking ready for their Fiji flight! Our Junior Fiji travellers The flight. A lovely lady at check kindly informed us she had blocked off the 6th seat in our row so we had it all to ourselves, I love it when people are soooo kind and thoughtful!

Someone got given a job during the flight………and lapped up every minute! She was rewarded with the 1kg of lollies she had left in her basket. Behaving on the Fiji flight The Dads sporting their freshly woven palm leaf hats. We attempted to get Zadada’s back through customs but apparently it was too green so I’m thinking next time we’ll just have to stay longer for the sake of the hat! Fiji hands on Dads And yes the Mums sampled a cocktail or 2! Left the beer to the Dads. The hands on cocktail sampling Mum's The kayaks were put to good use almost everyday we were there, I can vouch that one of these double kayaks holds a family of 5 quite successfully we had a ball! Fiji family fun in kayaks The beach is just gorgeous especially on blue skyed sunny days! Fiji's gorgeous beaches A certain 9-year-old has always enjoyed digging, when he wasn’t swimming he spent the best part of his time at the beach as a human excavator!! Digging in the sand in Fiji We also possess a 7-year-old Mermaid. This little poppit was the first one in the water and last one out without fail everyday. It was such a delight to see the kids enjoying good quality outside fun in the sun time. Fiji and our 7-year-old mermid Last and certainly not the least is a certain little threenager, all that holidaying eventually takes its toll! A 3-year-old in Fiji

I have to show you this, you may have noticed in the 2 collages above a picture each of the girls having their hair plaited. Now I can plait but not this quick check it out……… (I believe if you click on link below you’ll see my 20 second video clip).

Fiji plaiting hair

The people of Fiji are just so lovely. I was lucky enough to meet our day maid Mere when I popped back to our room to do some laundry, I shared a tear with her (I tell you since I’ve had the kids I’m a dripping tap if I have a touching moment),  Mere told me how her home had been washed away by floods in Fiji a few years ago, she and her family had to start from scratch and rebuild as well as take care of her 2 little girls who are now aged 5 and 2.  To get to work she has to hitch hike everyday. Not many people own cars and with petrol being $2.65 per Litre I can understand why. It really does make you appreciate the luxuries we have in Australia. I feel it doesn’t matter which walk of life you belong to there’s a special mother to mother connection that happens between women, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels it. Meeting Mere and sharing conversations was a privilege and I feel so very grateful to have been acquainted with her.

We also had some fun doing a school and village tour, there was lots of singing and dancing and Kava but somehow I missed taking a picture of Zadada sampling it.

On our 2nd last night we hired 2 babysitters to mind the 6 kids in one of our rooms while we enjoyed an adults only dinner, it was just lovely.

Fiji's gorgeous people I do love a pretty sunset and Fiji does them well. Spot the igadgets, who needs kids club when you have technology? Dinnertime and sunsets in Fiji A holiday isn’t complete without a few group shots. The kids….well we tried! Fiji emotions And the 10 of us, pretty successful if I do say so. A special thankyou going out to the security guard who kindly took on the role as our photographer for a few minutes. Fiji family group shot

Now to keep things real, I’m going to share with you what I would also want to know, the stuff that happens on holidays that you don’t take pictures of, like:

The night we arrived at the Shangri-La was quite an overwhelming experience to say the least, we had been up since the crack of dawn, travelling for 12 hours with 6 kidlets to a country we had never been to before and it was dark. The resort felt HUGE (which it is, but you do get used to that). We thought we had made arrangements to have our  2 families rooms side by side or at least in the same wing??? Those arrangements must have been mislaid somewhere because our rooms ended up being at completely opposite ends of the resort (we were told to come back in the morning and speak to the person in charge of room allocation ,the short of the long there is that we adjusted to where our rooms were located, had we of wanted to be closer to our friends there wasn’t a room available until the 2nd last day of our stay and I wasn’t packing up a room after 5 nights of kids spreading their you know what all over the place, and I had met Mere by then too).

Our First Dinner experience was worse than being at a Sizzler restaurant in Australia, it was busy, kids seemed to be whinging everywhere (especially ours!!) and the food didn’t look all that appealing, we were sat separately to our friends and all the workers were operating on FIJI TIME (it does exist), nothing happens in a hurry! Not enjoyable at all!

We found our way back to our room via the shuttle bus, virtually fell into bed and slept, well sort of I don’t know about you but I never sleep all that well on my first night anywhere. Morning came around quick and we hit the breakfast buffet scene which had a slightly better feel to it than the previous night’s dining experience. The food was yummy, there was even someone making fresh omelettes, Zadada and I took advantage once we had the kids sorted of course!

We then went to meet up with our friends and do a bit of a tour of the resort. Things were definitely looking up, the resort really is fun, clean and beautiful. The kids were itching to swim so our afternoon ended up beside the pool and beach (they are side by side) a great set up!

Time absolutely flew and before we knew it we were back in our room getting ready for dinner. This was when another little moment was thrown upon us, Blake got one of his random headaches (generally its from not drinking enough water). We tried to sort him out with extra water, panadol and a lay down but unfortunately he needed to sleep. This is where I will mention missing having the use of my mobile phone, generally if you are running late and have made arrangements with friends to meet at a certain time you will throw a quick text their way, that option was not available. I to set off with the 2 girls to meet up with our friends, hopeful that Blake would wake up soon and he and Zadada would join us, that didn’t happen either. Poor Zadada ended up ordering room service which was no way near as nice as the freshly cooked stir-fry I got to enjoy. So our 2nd night in Fiji ended feeling no less overwhelming than our first. I will also add that an overwhelming 2 days wouldn’t be complete without a few pointless lover’s tiffs, we had some 🙂

What I can happily say is that once we got these shitty first 2 days out of the way things progressed onwards and upwards and our Fiji Holiday really was something I will treasure forever, I just wanted to be honest.

Now A few Tips:

Pack lots of snacks, a few bottles of water and a basic little pharmacy. I dedicated a whole suitcase to these items and I would definitely do it again. Prices in Fiji resorts are $$$$. Make sure when you book your holidays that your main meals are incorporated. We did Breakfast and Dinner. Our lunch basically consisted of snacks from the suitcase, when you have such a big brekkie you definitely won’t be starving.

I packed the kids clothes as individual outfits in snap lock bags labelled day or dinner, Pj’s I just left loose, it worked a treat!

Next time we go I would aim for booking a September or October holiday just so it’s a tad warmer. The days were lovely reaching 26ish but the nights were quite cool. The pool was freezing but the beach was a lovely temperature another month or 2 and I things would be perfect.

Do book a babysitter and have an adults only dinner, prices for babysitting are extremely reasonable and the ladies are just lovely.

Book for 10 days which will guarantee you get 7 great ones!

Keep an open mind if it’s your first time, there is lots to adapt to, new scenery, Fiji time and those unexpected moments.   You will have a fantastic time, bringing home lots of great memories.

I Couldn’t resist but to finish with a posed family shot in our room from the last night……..Ready, Set,.. Mr timer!

Fiji family Adventure picture

Fiji you delivered an amazing holiday, Thank you. And a big heartfelt Thankyou being sent to our friends Glenn and Jennifer for asking us along on this Fiji Family Adventure.

I’d love to hear where your favourite destinations for family holidays are or what crazy overwhelming moments you’ve experienced on vacation? Feel free to comment below lovely ones.

Until the next time,


Bula (hello) lovely ones! Fiji really was a great great that our 7-year-old asked if she could bring...

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Dreams Do Come True Even For Zapuppydog’s!!!

Stick retrieval

By now I’m sure most of you are familiar with our furry pooch Zapuppydog! If you’re new to Zamamabakes I’ll fill you in a little. Zapuppydog plays the lead role of family pet. We do have a cat called David and 3 guinea pigs Cadbury, Rainbow and Sarah but somehow they don’t provide quite the same entertainment one Zapuppydog does, you only need to view the post I recently did about him here to understand how much he makes us smile.

About 2 weeks ago Zadada and I noticed our furry friend rolling himself silly down the hill in our backyard. I’m talking rolling in a way that would put him in contention for being selected as a doggy gymnast if there was such a sport for animals!

rollingand rollingand still rolling

I think you get the idea.

We discussed a proper bath was in order, by proper I mean using some form of animal wash and our aim was to find one that had some anti-itching benefits.

Now you may find this a little coincidental but I had the lovely people from Dr Zoo (the same people who do the MooGoo skincare range) contact me to ask if I would like to review some of their pet products, 3 in particular aimed at itchy dogs, plus another one to help ward off bugs that like to hang around pets. No prizes for guessing what my answer was! ‘Your timing couldn’t be better’, I replied.

The products

Dr Zoo products are made in Australia. Dr Zoo are passionate believers in ‘TRUTH’ labelling listing all ingredients on the products.

As one of the Dr Zoo team members said to me ‘Like skincare we think that people should know what they are putting on their pets skin, so they can decide for themselves whether it is the best they can be using, especially for pets with sensitive skin or allergies. We also make sure everything we put in the products is edible, as we know how much pets love to lick themselves’.

Having used some of the MooGoo skincare range for myself I had no reservations in using these products on Zapuppydog.

Pampering day along with the Dr Zoo Products arrived. Zapuppydog got the best pampering I think he has ever experienced. We do live on a property so generally his bathing consists of swimming in our fresh (very cold) water creeks. Not this time, the whole family got involved, and there was warm water!!! Zapuppydog lapped up every single minute of undivided attention, take a peek…….

The wetting of the furthe shampooscrubbingrinsingdryingFamily effortblow waveirritable skin balmCleanClean and sleepy

Did you notice Zapuppydog  got a blow wave!!! Dreams do come true, even for Zapuppydogs!

The end result was one calm, furry, sleepy fellow who we treated to an inside nap for a few hours just until we were certain he was completely dry!

We have now been using the ‘Itchy Balm’ for 10 days just to the area we suspected was irritating Zapuppydog and I can honestly say the acrobatic shows have ceased, it would seem these great products from Dr Zoo have definitely made a big difference in soothing the irritation!

For the record the products smell so good and feel so gentle that I think I would be tempted to use them on myself if ever I ran out of my own, I’m serious!!!

You can purchase a ‘Ditch the Itch’ pet pack here online or alternatively find your nearest stockist here using the stockist finder. For the ‘Lose the Groupies’ little treasure you can purchase it online here.

You will not be disappointed with any of these products they’re awesome!

Until the next time….

Zamamabakes and Zapupppydog is squeaky clean!!!





By now I'm sure most of you are familiar with our furry pooch Zapuppydog! If you're new to Zamamabakes I'll fill you in...

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Easy way to clean a ceiling fan

I would much rather bake then clean!!! But the reality is the house in general doesn’t have a magic self cleaning button (I think it should!!) so anything that makes any type of cleaning easier gets a big tick from me.
Today I thought I would share how I clean my ceiling fans.
Before you look at the picture below be warned it has been quite some time since I have cleaned my fans (hopefully they don’t scare you), it’s not a job I put high on the list of cleaning, regardless it is a job that has been calling out to me for about 6 months!!! Finally I have got around to it!!
You will need:
1 old pillow case lightly dampened with water, you don’t want it dripping.
Identify the target

Slide pillow case completely onto the blade of fan.

Slide pillow case along fan being careful to make sure pillow slip is in position to catch any of the dust and grime that drops.

You may need to repeat the process a couple of times.
The end result is a nice clean fan…..

… well as a nice dirty pillow case, which is easily sorted in the wash ready for its next victim ceiling fan.

Happy cleaning!!!!

I would much rather bake then clean!!! But the reality is the house in general doesn't have a magic self cleaning button...

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Cleaning straws on drink bottles

I have been washing and scolding the kids drink bottle straws over and over and when they finally start to get the scummy mould that grows in them I throw them away. It was just over the weekend that I had the thought of using a pipe cleaner to clean the inside of the straw and hey presto it works. So from now on instead of just washing and scolding I will incorporate the pipe cleaner too. Just thought it was worth sharing, many of you may have already thought of this but hey that’s what this blog is all about sharing is caring.
Happy cleaning!!!



I have been washing and scolding the kids drink bottle straws over and over and when they finally start to get the scumm...

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DIY Tile Photo Coasters





I made these coasters to go with a wedding gift for some special friends. I used some of their personal pictures from the travels they have done. I used a product called Mod Podge.
Here is the link on how to make.
Happy creating!!!

I made these coasters to go with a wedding gift for some special friends. I used some of their personal pictures from th...

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A great home remedy!!

Who would have thought that olive oil could be so helpful outside of the kitchen, certainly not me until it was brought to my attention by a lovely lady called Maree who runs the local fruit and vegetable shop in our country town. Maree noticed a bump my 18 month old had on her head (as most toddlers do) and said ‘have you ever tried putting olive oil directly on a bump like that as soon as it happens?’Of course I said ‘no’, and she said ‘next time one of your little ones has a bump on the head or jams a finger try putting some olive oil on the area affected. Maree learned about this home remedy from her Great Grandmother.
Fortunately the next casualty in our household was myself, kicking my toe, and fortunately again I remembered the suggestion of the olive oil home remedy, so who better to test it out on then myself. Guess what? It worked the pain eased instantly it was amazing!! From then on and still to this day if one of my little one’s or anyone I know bumps their head, stubs a toe or jams a finger (pretty much anything that causes bruising and doesn’t break the skin) I apply olive oil to it. It saves a lot of tears in my house. Seriously give it a go!! It would be one of the best pieces of advice I have had someone share with me. Thanks Maree.

Who would have thought that olive oil could be so helpful outside of the kitchen, certainly not me until it was brought...

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The babpron

I found this idea on pinterest and made one for my little girl as well as a friend’s little girl. I love the idea of the babpron, it is the best bib I have used it covers everything, I wish I could have discovered it sooner then I did. Here is the link to the pattern.I believe the pattern will set you back about $6.00 but I feel it is well worth it if you feel like a little sewing project.


I found this idea on pinterest and made one for my little girl as well as a friend's little girl. I love the idea of the...

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A Great Gadget – The Apple Slinky

imageimageimageimageFor those of you who have not yet crossed paths with this handy gadget we call it an “apple slinky” in our house. It is otherwise known as an apple peeler. Our first experience with the “apple slinky” was when our eldest son Blake started preschool. He came home telling me about this “apple slinky” the teacher uses that peels apples and makes them look a bit like a snake. The next meeting with the “apple slinky” was when my mother-in-law produced one at her house one evening. As it turns out they seem to be a growing breed because when Blake started big school his teacher had one in her classroom too. So just recently we purchased our own “apple slinky” and we love it, especially our 2 year old daughter Alani – it has certainly helped her become a little more enthusiastic about eating apples!!!
So just in case you have not met with the “apple slinky” as yet I thought I would share this clever little gadget. It is not overly expensive to purchase I payed $19.95 at our local kitchen shop “Mallam House” in Murwillumbah.
The pictures displayed are from Thursday this week when Alani requested an “apple slinky”.
By the way the “apple slinky” peels, cores and slices.

For those of you who have not yet crossed paths with this handy gadget we call it an "apple slinky" in our house. It is...

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