Have you ever wondered what it would be like to raise your family in another part of the world? In our Love Where You Live series we get a glimpse into the day to day lives of mamas from every corner of the globe. Where they get coffee, have play dates, date night, shop… It’s kind of like a travel guide for mamas. But more than that, it shows that even though we live in different climates and cultures, we still connect on many levels through the universal language of motherhood. xo
Today we’re going to regional Queensland, where cool, modern mama and creator of www.thelocallocale Kaitlyn, proudly shows of her hometown and breaks down some stereotypes of rural Aussie living while she’s at it! I wanna visit!
WHO | Kaitlyn @thelocallocale
LIVES | Toowoomba, Queensland
WORKS | I started my blog The Local Locale almost a year ago after I was inspired by how much growth was happening in my home town. Having been a hairdresser for over 13 years I was looking another creative outlet, so it made sense to me to combine all my loves…food, coffee and fashion and share them with the wider community. I am still overwhelmed with how well it’s been received and it has led me to other joint ventures, from fashion and interior styling, to MCing events and the likes.
TRIBE | Andy, partner-wears the pants but I choose the colour and fit. Zepha, almost 3-well he prefers no pants at all.
ROOTS | Born in Toowoomba, I lived my first 16 years half an hour out of town on a farm in a little valley called Lilydale. I lived here with my Mum, Dad, 4 siblings and 20 odd cousins who also lived on the same road. Life was simple but fun! At 17 my inner gypsy yearned for an adventure and as soon as I could legally drive I moved away for 8 years. 32 house moves later (not even kidding!!) I have come to appreciate my home town in the 5 years since being back. I would not be able to do what I do without my HUGE family around to help with raising my son cause, you know, it takes a village. Luckily for me, my little sister, hubby and their two gorgeous boys are my neighbours so it makes living here even more convenient at this stage in our lives.
COFFEE OR TEA | Coffee first and foremost, before anything gets done! Not just for the effects, I am addicted to the taste! Especially addicted to coffee from my favourite place Bunker Espresso. I also love a good cup of tea, especially at night, whether it be herbal or plain old english breakfast with a dash of milk (and a biscuit). I actually own over 40 teapots…Nanna alert!
BEST PLACES FOR…
FAMILY DINNER | Ahhh, 6 months ago I would have said our favourite sushi place Hana Japanese, but since we’ve had the Walton Stores development I would have to say they take the cake in being family friendly! There is a seating space that is shared between 3 restaurants (and an ice cream store) that all have different cuisines, they serve alcohol & have an awesome grassed area filled with bean bags & a big screen playing music videos that keep the kids entertained. A win for all really! I leave sushi for Daddy and son dates when I am at work!
DATE NIGHT | What even is that? Haha! With my partner working OS a lot we try really hard to ‘connect’ when he is back and plan a date night. With so much family around it is normally achievable to even have a whole night away! We love food and our favourites would be the turkish restaurant Sofra, the Korean bbq restaurant Kajoku & Piccilo Papa for Italian. But this old girl is pretty happy with take-away Indian at home these days.
GIRLS NIGHT | Once every few months I like to have a girls night with my main babes (most being related to me! Haha!). We love a good bar hop and boogie so The Office, Muller Bros & Tapestry are our go to bars.
RETAIL THERAPY | I’m a big believer in supporting small business and buying local where I can. Hands-down FAVOURITE place to shop for myself is at Ivy Designer Collections. The customer service is second-to-none and they stock lots of my ‘go-to’ labels. When it comes to dressing the mini-man Little Chiefs Boutique has the lot. I am a make-up hoarder and get my fix of anything beauty related from a gorgeous little locally owned shop called Luminosa. We’ve recently had our local shopping centre revamped and gained some much-needed stores, so between them and the local boutiques I rarely have to shop anywhere else.
WORK OUT | Keeping fit and healthy has always been important to me, more-so since having a child. My partner and I, as well as my sister and her husband, enjoy two private PT sessions a week. These take place in my sister’s back yard next door, whilst the kids run amok. It’s been the best form of exercise I’ve done to date, purely for the convenience and the one-on-one attention from our awesome PT.
PLAY DATES | As I mentioned earlier, I’m from a BIG family. Although Zepha is an ‘only child’ (at the moment 😉 ) there is no shortage of kids around, from friends to family play dates are a regular occurrence. There is an abundance of beautiful garden filled parks in Toowoomba (Laurel Bank being my favourite) making this the perfect place for catch-ups. Once a month all of my first cousins that have children meet, we alternate between homes, and there can be anywhere from 10-19 kids under 8 years old! (I swear we own TV’s hahaha!!)
MUST-DOS | First on my list is the gardens, especially in Spring. And if you can manage to come here for a weekend, the perfect time would be in September when our annual Flower, Food and Wine Festival is held. Along with that, Toowoomba is a hugely historical town with the Cobb and Co Museum, Jodarayan Woolshed and Glen Morgan Homestead, just to name a few of many places that showcase the local history. Littered across the town are stunning old colonial homes in tree-lined streets. Some of these homes date back to around circa 1865. Whenever I have friends visit I am sure to drive them down my favourite street – Campbell Street. The town centre is full of stunning street art, lining most alley ways and brick walls, I swear I see something new being painted every week. These visuals make walking down the street incredibly easy on the eyes. When you visit Toowoomba you must try:
– breakfast at: Urban Grounds Cafe, Ortem Cafe and Homegrown Health
– lunch at: Firefly Cafe, Wendland Olives and Pizza, Pie & Co
– coffee at: Bunker Espresso, Ground Up and Bungalow and Basket (three coffee’s in one day never hurt anyone!)
– dinner at: Gips Restaurant (for fancy), Tom Collins (for classy-casual) and Walton Stores (for kid-friendly relaxed dining)