There is just something about Sydney. The thrill of the harbour with the imposing glamour of the Opera House at its edge and the strong beauty in the bridge that spans the busy waters. In this town, everything is moving. At night it sparkles like every bit of Sydney is adorned with diamonds.

The Bloggerati converged on Sydney this past weekend to celebrate the opening of Nuffnang’s office there. Blogging is expanding as an industry and Sydney is just the place to be. Qantas brought the Bloggerati together from all parts of Australia. Flying up from Melbourne is a quick and easy trip. I was thrilled to escape the bitter cold of Melbourne winter for a weekend of much milder temperatures. As an American ex-pat, I still find it strange to say that we go north for the warmer weather!

Bloggerati Sydney launch party with Melbourne Girl, My Poppet Blogs &Sesame Ellis

The first night was a beautiful launch party in the ECQ Bar at the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney. Destination NSW wanted to show off the world renowned views of the Sydney Harbour through the bar’s floor to ceiling windows. They are more like full glass walls. They also toasted Nuffnang’s Bloggerati and friends with some excellent wines from New South Wales’ wineries. It was an absolutely elegant evening to kick off what would be an excellent weekend.

Rydges Sydney Central hotel by Sesame Ellis

I stayed just in the heart of the CBD at the Rydges Sydney Central hotel. They have the coolest in floor aquarium right in the lobby. I am pretty sure they thought I was crazy when I practically lay flat down on it to FaceTime the fish to the kids back home. They would have loved to stay there. The great part about staying in the middle of the city centre is that it only takes stepping out the front door to start an adventure.

Japanese Friendship Gardens in Sydney by Sesame Ellis

Cintia from My Poppet Blogs in Sydney

Chinatown, Starbucks and Darling Harbour in Sydney by Sesame Ellis

We had a couple of hours free to explore before lunch on Saturday, so my friend Cintia from My Poppet, and I did just that. With the Darling Harbour as our end goal we went out and right. Our walk led us past a Starbucks so I grabbed a grande cup of home and then we wandered the markets of Chinatown. Crossing over the light rail tracks, we headed down the pedestrian paths past a beautiful Japanese friendship garden with the distinctive Sydney skyline in the background.

The Burger Project by Neil Perry - Sesame Ellis

Vegetarian burger at Burger Project in Sydney by Sesame Ellis

A few more minutes and we were at the bustling waters edge. Only time left for some photos and then we headed off towards the Burger Project for lunch. So easy to get around Sydney with my map on my phone. The few times we needed to drive anywhere on the weekend, we hopped into Uber cars for the short rides. Lunch was delicious. They make a mean mushroom burger for my vegetarian friends. It was so good, but what was better? The salted caramel thick shake. I am seriously considering flying back up to Sydney again JUST for another one of those. Holy cow, it was good. I don’t love Australian milkshakes because they are too thin and milky. This was like a classic creamy American milkshake. Delicious.

Sydney snippets of style by Sesame Ellis

Now home, I am really regretting not getting some new flip-flops (from a vending machine) and that subtle red hat.

Spice Temple Sydney by Sesame Ellis

Our food extravaganza did not end there though as we were treated to an absolutely amazing meal at Spice Temple that evening. What a mysterious place with an almost secret door and tables down a few floors underground. Neil Perry the chef himself showed up to speak with us. What a welcome. They easily catered to my “no meat” requirements and made some pretty extraordinary cocktails.

We wrapped up the weekend with our Bloggerati conference back at the Pullman Quay Grand. It was an absolutely invaluable experience to listen to and collaborate with the other bloggers in my agency face to face. The power of so many creatives of all different genres in one room is a thrill and I left inspired by new ideas, but also by the assurance that sharing my stories and photographs is just what I am mean to be doing. I just learned a bit about how I can do it better. Lots of exciting news about that coming up soon!

Fly me home, QANTAS by Sesame Ellis

I was back on a flight and home in Melbourne with time to tuck all my kids into bed.

Thanks to NuffnangDestination NSWQantas and Rydges for this weekend in Sydney.

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  • cinti - It’s always a pleasure spending time with you my dear Sesame. I’m constantly amazed at how you capture the spirit of every moment. xxReplyCancel

  • Helen Edwards - Beautiful images and so lovely to meet you! Look forward to collaborating and learning :)ReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thank you! I look forward to collaborating as well!ReplyCancel

  • Debs - Such stunning pics! I am of course not surprised by the quality but your angles and the way you see things always still surprises me. I’m jealous that I didn’t go wandering with you in the morning before lunch! I’m still looking for light in my pictures thanks to you (caught a full sunbeam in my lounge room just this morning and posted to instagram. Thought of you of course and will be looking for your like of approval, lol).ReplyCancel

    • sesame - I am off to like your light! AND THANK YOU!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Imogen Lamport - Great photos as ever Sesame and loving the chance to catch up again!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Sissons via Facebook - Sound and looks like it was a wonderful weekend. And I can’t get over that there was a vending machine for Havaianas! gold!!ReplyCancel

  • Kate Lloyd - What an amazing collection of photos of a great weekend away. Sorry to have missed it but hope to meet you again at the next Bloggerati gathering.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Devine Photography / sesame ellis via Facebook - I know!!!! I should have bought a pair. They had another shoe vending machine on the back side there…roll up flats of some sort.ReplyCancel

  • Melbourne Girl - It was so great catching up with you again Rachel…
    Looking forward to another exciting Bloggerati adventure soon!ReplyCancel

  • Nuffnang Australia | Asia Pacific’s First Blog Advertising Community » Bloggerati Sydney Getaway 2015 - […] Girl Sesame Ellis Be A Fun Mum Love Swah  My Poppet The Life […]ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea - Is it sad I’m jealous of your milkshake? (Bub is dairy intolerant so I had to resist!) Love your photos, as always!ReplyCancel

  • Lucy @ Bake Play Smile - Oh Rachel! Your photos absolutely take my breath away! It was the most amazing experience to spend time with you and listen to your photography advice (and life stories). What a beautiful, special person you are. I feel very lucky to know you!ReplyCancel

The list of things she has lost in her wake of happy-go-lucky is growing. I am trying very hard to not put a number on it, but the cost is high. I remind her gently and sometimes not so gently. I go through the list of what is required everyday hoping that my words will stick. I have made her a list of what she needs to remember at the end of the day so that she can read and check off all the things as she packs her school bag. Yet she still comes home missing various items at least twice a week.

Clover Jane with blue eyes. SesameEllis.comShe is so close to running out of things to lose that she lost herself at the mall the other evening. I got the dreaded call over the loudspeaker to come get my (weeping) child from the information desk. I had to listen to all the “Did that poor little girl’s mother show up?” and variations as I walked away with her little hand clutched in my grip. I say she lost herself because I was exactly where she ran away from me still uttering the “Don’t go far. Stay with me.” that she ignored.

Diptych of Clover Jane.

I don’t want to be a helicopter parent, but this little one needs a personal assistant for life.

So what do you do to help your little ones with remembering all they need to remember?

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  • Jane Dando via Facebook - I would spend $15 having Miss C’s name embroidered on back of the jackets. Even when she lost them, they would always come back. Noone else could pick them up by mistake then.ReplyCancel

  • Narelle Bailey via Facebook - I feel your pain. My Ethan (also grade 1) walks out of class with his bag wide open with stuff missing. Have run out of lunch boxes and I really don’t want to buy any more. He has improved on last year though with less instances of missing items. In Prep the teacher was so great and took photos of the items he needed to make sure were in his bag, laminated it and stuck it to his desk.ReplyCancel

  • Melbo Martin via Facebook - Your list to check things off is a very good idea. She will get there but I well know how it is to have a child with these tendencies. I share your frustration. Watching with interest to see tips from others.ReplyCancel

  • Renee Bell via Facebook - I have to say, after many years struggling with the same thing, liana has almost grown out of it…ReplyCancel

  • Renee Bell via Facebook - I have to say, after many years struggling with the same thing, liana has almost grown out of it…ReplyCancel

  • Jan Pritchard via Facebook - I have /had one of them too. I found sending the lunch & sandwhiches in a plastic bag was not enjoyed at all. I made them go to lost property EVERY day to look for their things.
    We now have a laminated list hanging on their bag hook & for a while had one inside the flap of the bag as a checklist.
    I must say it has improved with age, but still needs a few reminders… good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Kristina Lerman via Facebook - The question is not why she loses things, but why can’t you find them? Does your school not have lost and found? My kid was terrible about losing uniform jacket (and looking through dozens identical L&F jackets – ugh), so I sewed a patch onto her jacket. She kept it most of the year… Until she lost it in the park.ReplyCancel

  • Mariana Peixoto via Facebook - Try some giveaway, there are plenty of back to school giveaways now. You should also check aliexpress, they have some cheap and really cute lunch box! And when it comes to missing stuff, you should try putting fabric labels on everything, you may even put you phone number if you think it will help.ReplyCancel

  • Corinne Sherry via Facebook - My daughter is pretty good about this, but her stuff still went missing multiple times this school year. Both her lunch box and coat took ~10 days to reappear in the lost & found. The crappier interim substitutes (including some days with no coat, not intentionally) were motivating. Good labeling and easy identifiers are good obvious improvements. I think I mentioned before that I got TinyMe stickers with our family name and phone number on them–though honestly few people bother to call.

    What works for me as an adult is to always put my stuff in exactly the same place inside the bag and in the house. I also do better when I prep at night than in the morning. And I am much better when I use visual cues to remind myself so I set things out where I must see them and sometimes leave myself notes. You can help her figure out an organizational system for her that plays to her strengths. I know there are coaches and likely online materials about helping people with ADHD organize for similar issues. I bet those ideas would be a lot of help.ReplyCancel

  • Amelia - We have some kids at our school who always leaves things there, or forget them in the playground. Our lost and found box just keeps growing and not a lot of people care to look through it. A boy once went home with only one shoe! It’s hard for kids to remember so much stuff. If she has a list (some of our kids do) she probably does check it, but lost her items earlier in the day and couldn’t find them. I think this is very normal! Maybe limit the number of things she brings to school so she can remember it all. Do you let her bring toys, story books, etc.?ReplyCancel

  • Tracy - I would have her start replacing things (necessities) with her own money. Mine doesn’t have any money, so she would have to earn money to replace things. I feel like they need to feel the loss to make stick.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey Gaithe via Facebook - I was this little girl. Constantly forgetting things at school, leaving my lunchbox or jacket. This happened to the point of annoyance for my parents and they turned to the rule that on days this happened I was “grounded” until I brought those items home. Which meant I had to do my homework (as usual) and then I wasn’t allowed to play with friends or my brother, watch tv, play games, etc. This happened quite a few time until I realized they were serious about it and it wasn’t just a one or two time thing.

    I started making sure I knew where my things were, and on the rare occasion I forgot something again it was back to “grounded”.

    I’m a pretty forgetful person, though, and as an adult still forget to pack things like pajamas for trips. What can I say? Some of us with our heads in the clouds never grow out of it! ☺️ReplyCancel

  • Tracy - I’ve done laminated lists attached to backpacks for both kids. It works pretty well. But my daughter, who is very money oriented and I think losing things for extra (negative) attention from me reacted very well when I made a list of items needed to come home and then paid her 5 cents for every item that did come for something like a quarter possible a day. It was only a month or two that I did the money reward, just long enough to make it a habit. The money reward worked like a charm.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Oh I feel you. The bad news is that The Kid, at almost 11, still leaves things behind on a regular basis, We have done a combo of rewards (out to lunch if she makes it all week without leaving something behind at either home or school) and consequences (loss of a book on the bus or electronics at home if she forgets things two days in a row). We have tried checklists but her oppositional defiant disorder makes that a non-starter.

    Can’t wait to see how much stuff she lost at camp over the last three weeks. o.OReplyCancel

Locked away in a fortress of dystopian fiction and YouTube nail art tutorials she endeavours to be herself and just like all her friends. She has found her tribe, nice girls, good students in grey hoodies and occasional red lipstick.

I see her hiding behind the waist length hair she will neither brush nor cut. I see her. 

I thought I had more time with the little girl before the teen arrived to sour things a bit, but I didn’t anticipate the tween. A fascinating age of opposing emotions and quick temper has seen to it that the dolls and stuffed animals are no longer played with yet still sit proudly on display.

The enigma upstairs, she is somewhere between the child and the teenage girl. This part of the path is not level and we are both stumbling along it the best we can. Sometimes she still lets me hold her hand.

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The sky in the neighbourhood looked brittle and while snow started falling in the mountains outside Melbourne, it just sent little cold shards of rain here.

Even the dog started whining.   
 So we came inside. Reluctantly because Clover loves her birthday scooter and Gemma has finally got the hang of skateboarding.

But I acquiesced and brought out the toy of the devil…kinetic sand. Seriously, there isn’t a toy in the world today that causes more clean-up than kinetic sand. I get that it is wonderful for their imaginations, motor skills and basic enjoyment, but it is far to expensive to vacuum up afterwards. I must really be at the end of my school holiday rope to have said yes, but I did. 

I smoothed out towels of delusion on the floor and went downstairs to pretend that it never happened.   


I admit, it is a good way to keep toys they have outgrown still in rotation. Magnetic alphabet becomes cookie cutters!  
 I can guarantee that when they are done, the towels will be pristine and the floor around them will contain at least $20.00 worth of magic. But their smiles and this glass of wine I am having while typing this will help as I pull out the shop-vac.

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