Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east:
All my life so a little over 40 years now!!! I grew up in Maroubra, went to Brigidine College at Randwick and my first job was in a chemist on Coogee Bay Road. My dad’s doctor’s surgery was also in Coogee -although he is now in the Royal Randwick Medical Centre. Since then I have lived in Randwick and Bronte and I just moved back to Coogee about a month ago.
How many children:
Three gorgeous children. 12-year-old Boy/Girl twins Maximus and Matisse, who are definitely individual and unique characters, or as I like to say the yin and yang to each other, and an incredibly feisty 10-year-old daughter, Allegra. I have a divine older step daughter Phoebe, 21, from my first marriage who the kids call “Ba” plus there is our rag doll Mr. Fluff and a new baby on the way in time for a Santa delivery, a Japanese Spitz, I’m trying to name Araminta, but the kids need a little more convincing before that’s locked in! Minty is cute, c’mon??
Queens Park is a great playground for the kids with a fabulous coffee shop, The Shed, there as well. Allegra plays soccer on Sundays there in the winter but you can also do a great kids Birthday picnic where you BYO food and the kids can run around or chase Pokemons while the adults relax. Or even get pizza across the road at Queen’s Park Pizza if it’s an afternoon thing.
Oh that’s a toss up. I love North Bondi. Allegra is a very keen nipper so we are down there a lot for board training in the afternoons. I love how the sand meets the sea and the rock pool there without too much walking distance from the road! It’s always lovely and flat with a little wave, so not too dangerous so I can relax a little and not be too stressed with the surf. The coffee shops nearby also help. If you asked my kids, though, they would say the North end at Coogee Beach. The love jumping off the rock there and collecting crabs.
Favourite kid friendly café:
You can’t beat either of the cafes in Centennial Park for kid-friendly/pet-friendly coffee spots. I love how you can see the kids play in the playground, kick a footy or roller blade around and still enjoy a lovely quick lunch, plus it’s such a delightful setting.
Favourite Coffee Spot:
Hands down Favoloso in Bronte. It’s run by my cousin and has a beautiful Sicilian edge. Brava! Flat White in Woollahra is also a sentimental favourite of mine.
Favourite date night place:
Spanish Fly or Little Darlin’ for tapas at The Spot followed by a movie at The Ritz. My idea of heaven….
Favourite Local Day Out Activity:
Well if you’re not talking about shopping (Westfield Bondi Junction is my spiritual home, after all) it would be the markets at The Entertainment Quarter. Fresh produce, fresh blooms, options for movies or bowling plus a great vibe, there’s always something for the kids to do there. Bliss.
Favourite Local Shop:
I’m obsessed with Papier D’Amour in Double Bay! I love taking the girls there to check out the stationary, and then we will browse Oscar & Friends, the book shop across the road, grab some flowers from Mandalay next door and a delicious burrito or cup cake from Simmone Logues.
If I get a moment on my own I’ll get a blow dry at Joh Bailey or a spray tan at The Bronzing Boutique. Perusing that gorgeous strip of shops on Transvaal Ave is delightful. You’ve got Maison Et Jardin, My Island Home and Belinda.
I also love Daily Fresh Fruit Shop in Frenchman’s Road at Randwick. The fruit and vegies there are so fresh, and the service great. They will carry the boxes to the car! Great if you need an extra set of hands. One last tip is Chicken George in Royal Randwick. I’ve been passing their chicken pie off as “homemade” for years!
Favourite wet weather location:
Movies have always been my happy place so that’s easy, Event Cinemas at Bondi Junction. You can grab sushi or tacos at Guzman and Gomez before heading in for a choc top-slash-popcorn nirvana. Otherwise Hoyts at Eastgardens or The Ritz, of course, in Randwick.
Work or SAHM:
I have been both at different stages in my life, so I understand the stresses of both sides of the equation. I worked for The Daily Telegraph for a decade and then The Sun Herald and The Sydney Morning Herald for five years once the twins started Kindy.
When the twins were born and then Ally came along in rapid succession, I was a SAHM for several years. I am now finding the balance by freelancing and working from home with various jobs.
I report for New Idea Magazine, am just about to launch my blog, review movies for 2GB, fill in for Jessica Rowe on Studio 10 and write a weekly column for The Wentworth Courier. I’m also writing a book. But my main job is as chauffer and PA to three incredibly active kids!
Don’t be too harsh on yourself, I have often been my own worst critic and I regret not being kinder to myself along the way. We are all doing our best! Also, just when you think you have it figured out they will change it up on you so expect the unexpected. I find myself singing those great words from Elsa in Frozen “Let it go” on a daily basis. It works. Try it!