The town of zermatt


Have you ever wondered why Swiss chocolate taste so darn good? Well after three countries…England, France, and Spain (four if you include our blip two hour stopover in Abu Dhabi on the way), we have arrived in Switzerland and I finally think I have found the answer. My theory as to how the Swiss get their chocolate to taste so good is that oxidisation occurs when oxygen gets to stuff, and Switzerland (at least the parts we went) have much lower oxygen therefore lower oxidisation of their chocolate, right??? Okay so my theory isn’t exactly scientifically proven but I can tell you that the chocolate is amazing – if you come to visit bring lots of money for chocolate.




You should probably bring lots of money for everything really, not just chocolate, if you go to one of the small towns like Zermatt. You wont be able to just wing it in regards to cost here if you want to eat well – there is a McDonalds much to my disgust, but that wasn’t even an option so one of the evenings we bought some stuff and cooked it in our apartment. We were lucky to be upgraded to a larger apartment due to overbooking and the fact we were a family, and all at no extra cost. It was lovely because from our bed we had views of the mountains and from the wrap around balcony we had views of the Matterhorn.





Everything is super expensive here in Zermatt and rightly so since it isn’t exactly the easiest place to transport goods to, particularly with the fact that there are absolutely no cars in Zermatt. The only form of transport in Zermatt is via electric bus or electric taxi, and let me tell you the electric taxi will cost you your pension plan. It does make it quite quaint and quiet (hello…that’s alot of Q’s ha!), with no noisy traffic and everyone walking everywhere….really really slowly. If you live at zero altitude by the ocean you soon realise how thing the air is (lower oxygen concentration) when you begin to exert yourself up hills dragging your luggage, hence why everyone walks slowly. I managed to wrap a scarf around my face though so that the air I breathed in was warmer and thus reduces the effects of the low oxygen. I feel grateful that we only really had to buy one pair of gloves in Zermatt though, because most gloves began at the tidy price of 99 Swiss Francs which is quite expensive in Aussie dollars! It felt quite cold there and we were told by locals that it is worse when it is high humidity because of the moisture in the air, and that during winter when temperatures reach a scary -14 degrees Celsius it is nicer and you don’t have to rug up quite so much.

We had a lovely vegetarian burger for dinner at one of the pubs there on the first night and shared our table with an South African couple that needed somewhere to sit…love hearing other peoples travel stories, and the next morning we planned to go up Klein Matterhorn (which is some ridiculously high altitude compared to the 1600+ metres of Zermatt). When we woke the next morning we were tired, a couple of us had headaches, and I was struggling to breathe, which were sure indicators of altitude sickness. This made our mind up that we should only go to one of the lower mountains and we decided on Gornergrat which is over 3000m high. The trip up was spectacular and we coped with the ascent quite well. It amazed me how many hikers we saw on the way up although they all were walking very slowly and with hiking poles and way more appropriate clothing than us.





At the top both hubby and I were brought to tears in our eyes with gratitude that we were fortunate to experience this amazing thing, and more than that – we were able to bring our girls to experience it too. There was snow everywhere and the Matterhorn stood boldly in front of us as our eyes tried to take in all the breathtaking scenery before us. We did brave a walk down the track a reasonable way and headstrong me thought that would be a great idea. Poor Mackenzie burst into tears and eventually told us it was because there was no snow within reach (much was a walk away to get to), but luckily after a little further we got to some little patches of snow – enough to throw some snow balls at each other! The joy on my kids faces was priceless, and the joy on my husbands face to be able to experience the Swiss Alps warmed my heart. Neither my husband or I have ever travelled overseas before so this trip has been amazing with the things we have seen and done.

We started our walk back up (toilet breaks were in need), and it was then that we realised how hard it was to breathe in this altitude with less that 12 hours conditioning. I in particular really struggled with it, and hubby said he really felt it every time he tried to exert energy (not surprising since he has a low Hb anyway and gets dizzy just standing up sometimes). So it was a very very slow walk back up to the top, enough that I had to stop for a moment and chill out on a rock (which by the way all kind of sparkle in the sunlight like glittering silver, gold, blue and bronze). We eventually got back up and decided we needed to replenish….



Lunch was at Vis a Vis – the restaurant at the top of Gornergrat and we had a delish lunch and dessert with exceptional views of the mountains and snow. We climbed the last little bit to the lookout at the top and spent some time up there just taking in the scenery. Whilst up there Mackenzie turned and said to me “mum, when I grow up I want to be a Rock Artist” – although I thought she was talking about a Rock Music Artist I soon realised that she was in fact talking about art made with rocks when I saw the hand full of little rocks she was carrying. So adorable she created her very own little cave that she was so proud of, and the girls both added to the rock piles that were created by other people, with their own. Laurens was quite impressive until she made one last addition that toppled the whole thing.





We really enjoyed our time in Switzerland and will definitely make a point of spending Christmas there in what will be like a winter wonderland worthy of a Frozen movie set. Although we loved it, Venice was waiting for us and we had to board the train for our five hour trip to get there (thank heavens for first class).

Snow or sand? What do you prefer?



Sooo…I guess you think my trip must have been cancelled since I haven’t done a post since I had spoken about our overseas adventure. I promised that I would write and share all my family’s adventures throughout England, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece. I promised I would share photos, and stories, and anecdotes about this entire journey. Yet here I am already two weeks into our trip and almost in our third country – Spain – with not one hint of sharing this amazing journey. That is until now.

There are a few reasons I have been slacking off sharing this with you all until now, and although one reason could very well be that there has been little time – at least in Paris – that there hasn’t been at least a pastry, a baguette, some chocolate, or some wine gracing one of the hands I use to type with, or I’ve been climbing up and down the five billion stairs both England and Paris seem to have to prevent their decadent, rich foods from making them all obese diabetics.

So I think I should catch you all up on the story so far. We flew out of the Sunshine Coast (Australia) on Monday September 1st to Melbourne, where we were meant to all fly to London via Abu Dhabi, notice the word ‘meant’ thrown in there. This was Little Miss 8 Mackenzie’s first ever flight anywhere and although we planned well with chewing gum, water, the usual mechanisms to help ears – we began descending whilst Macca began screaming and crying. Nobody could console my poor little munchkin – not even the experienced flight attendants could do anything for her – and although we thought it would pass, we were quickly told by the airport doctor that Mackenzie did not have clearance to fly and was being grounded for a minimum of three days. When we realised that Lauren and I would have to go ahead (because I was already a nervous wreck about getting in the plane – so building up again for three days would have been the end of me), my heart ended up in my throat and all I could do was cry at the terminal saying goodbye to my husband and my baby as Miss Teen Rebel Lauren and I boarded the plane.

I didn’t think my claustrophobia was quite that bad until we get seated for a long haul (14hr) flight and realise that our domestic seats where roomier. We flew Etihad and although I felt trapped with swollen legs the entire time having to excuse myself to walk the aisles and stretch when the feeling became unbearable, the service was impeccable and they kept us sedated with lovely meals and snacks frequently, with on demand television and movies, and a flight tracker (so you know your plane is going where its meant to I guess). Lauren and I changed planes at Abu Dhabi and boy was it a culture shock with so many different cultures in the one place and things being done so differently, it was a little daunting. The one thing we thought was awesome (being the clean freaks we are), was that the toilets were constantly staffed and being cleaned after every use! AFTER EVERY USE! The flight from Abu Dhabi however was just exceptional seeing us get seats that were near the exit and no one in front of us so leg room – hello! On top of that they buggered up my lunch order so I ended up with eggs and spinach made especially by the first class chef….mmmmmm.



My sister in law Emma (aka – my new best friend as dubbed by my tosser brother cranky we wouldn’t be coming to see his sorry butt – okay rant over), picked us up at Heathrow and even though we had only been skyping and messaging between us for the past 10+ years, it was like we had known each other forever. Although sad the rest of us were not there, we had a great time having dinner with friends out (oh my they don’t know what a lemon lime and bitters is!), and having a beautiful day in London. I did manage to drive in England and I now know how people drive in Europe – the idea is ‘pretend there is no one else on the roads, and drive where ever and however the hell you like’ – CONGRATULATIONS…YOU ARE NOW A EUROPEAN DRIVER!!! Yes, I too have learnt how to be a crazy European driver!


It was great with hubby arriving with our baby girl, and we went straight to Harry Potter Studios. Oh wow that place is amazing with all the original stage sets and some of the actual set designers there when we went. The kids all had a go at wand lessons and we all went on the Hogwarts Train. Yes we all got our very own wand with the Aunties buying the nieces and nephew their own wand of choice. During our time in England we managed to see the beautiful Stonehenge, Dover Castle complete with the creepily cold underground tunnels and LOTS OF STAIRS in the castle, Changing of The Guards, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Florence Nightingale Museum, Westminster Abbey, and…..DISNEY SHOP ON OXFORD STREET – busy busy shopping district and definitely a place Lauren wanted to spend days at. We experienced the very noisy and fast paced underground, and got to travel in both a black London Cab and a red double decker bus. The most rewarding thing about England though was the time we got with my beautiful sister in law and my nieces and nephew (unfortunately I missed meeting my other sister in law and nephew but that will be for next time when we are there longer). I got to do the Aunty thing and spoil them, annoy them, read them a book, take them to school, take a million photos, and be super super distressed when we had to say goodbye last week when we boarded the Eurostar to head to Paris for a week. But that is for another post….


What was your experience of England?

ACROSS THE OCEANS – What lurks beneath


My name is Sunny.

I live on Queenslands Sunshine Coast in Australia.

I grew up in Woolgoolga right next to the beach before moving to Queensland.

The beach is THE only place that truly centres me. Calms me. Inspires me. Captures me.
So being a beach person who loves water sports should be a cinch right? WRONG WRONG WRONG!

I burn like a beetroot so if I had any sense I would stay in the shade! I truly do love the beach, especially Mooloolaba where I feel like I’m on holiday all of the time. I love that on a quiet night I can hear the rush of the ocean and waves from my back yard. I love the sand – even if it invades every space of our car and home because I is a constant reminder of the blessing that is my life. I like the taste of salt spray and the feel of those minuscule salt crystals on your reddened, sensitive skin after a whole day at the beach. I love that totally spent feeling after diving under and jumping over waves on a summer day. I don’t like sunscreen (another post), but I do love the smell of it mixed with summer barbeques wafting through the air.


I do not like the fish near feet
I do not like a jellyfish street
I do not like a great big shark
I do not like it, it’s not a lark
I do not like the coral reef
No I do not like what lies beneath

I will not smile for the cam
I do not like it Tam I am!



I’m terrified of what lurks beneath. For no other reason I guess than when I was in primary school a friend piggy backed me across a deep section of water and just let me go. The shock set in and a fear I have never experienced before took hold and I almost drowned. It was as if my body forgot how to swim. I have been fearful of deep water both in pools and open water ever since.

And if I want my girls to challenge themselves and their biggest fears, then I have to show them what I do with fear and challenges. If I didn’t I would be acting hypocritically. So I’m taking on one of my biggest fears…deep water. My logical fear-ridden brain is telling me as I type this ‘gee you’re a goose! Why did you start in a really deep pool?’. Good point…yeah good point. Too late!

Next week I have booked in with Melinda of MAB (Mind And Body) Personal Training & Adventures to from Golden Beach to Bribie Island. This is going to be an enormous challenge for me and I can’t promise there won’t be tears, freak outs and meltdowns, but I can promise that I will give it a good crack, and give you a play by play on how truly………….frightening and liberating facing this fear will be.

What is your biggest fear?



I learnt a lesson today. You can’t put your children in a box. And apart from the literal meaning having an outcome involving a long prison sentence -because no I don’t actually mean a real life box silly!!! I mean you can’t ever think your child is set in their ways…they are far more flexible and fluid than us adults. Because if you do they will almost certainly prove you wrong.

Case in point: Miss 6 is quite adventurous but when it comes to new experiences she is a bit of a stick in the mud and very hesitant and easily spoiled – WRONG!!! Little Miss 6 decided to live outside her comfort zone today and climbed the rock wall at Anaconda (never done this before), and had a blast!!! She didn’t want to get off!!!

So lesson learnt…just when you think you have figured your kids out….they go and prove you wrong in the most beautiful ways. Everybody Be Your Own Style of AWESOME!!! TAM 🙂


Last year I made a commitment to do a “peak a week”. Well most of the time anyhow. Since then though I have been having a little trouble with the whole staying vertical thing and cant help but to face plant at every turn…literally. So with all the injuries I have had it has put a little dampener not only on my training schedule, but my vision to do a Peak a Week in my down time.

I love climbing mountains, no matter how big or how small. And whilst the big ones are a huge struggle, they also tend to push you further than what you would have pushed yourself on flat land, and leave you with a huge sense of accomplishment. In turn you also get the priveledge of stunning views, crisp and fresh mountain air, and because of where I live I also get the most amazing views of the entire coastline. Kind of feels a little like a slice of blissful heaven in under an hour. It can be as challenging as you make it also and as a family it brings you closer as you help each other navigate over boulders, tree roots and dusty pebbles. You watch out for each other – which I truly believe is currently lacking in society these days. There is a kind of comradery (?spell check…pfft!), that is unique to regular climbers (much similar to that which is amongst runners).

So I took my very big dose of concrete last weekend and started my “peak a week” again with Mt Coolum despite my fear that I was going to fall or slip and snap the rest of my spine in half. This week being Easter I have decided to do a much smaller one that will give us the benefit of watching the sunset. If you are on Australia’s Sunshine Coast and want to come check out Mt Tinbeerwah with a group of lovely others head over to my facebook page and check out the event for Peak a Week #2.

What mountains bring your soul peace or a sense of accomplishment?

Everybody Be AWESOME!!!

TAM 🙂Image


Hey there everyone!!!

I really love connecting with you all so follow the link and head over to facebook to connect with me on My Infinite Balance on there – and dont forget to share the love and share the page with your friends 🙂


Everybody Be AWESOME!!!



Hey everyone,

I love connecting with you all on here, thankyou for taking the time to visit and read my blog. Connect with me on twitter also – either follow the link and connect with me there or head to @SunnyCMIB on Twitter. See you there!



Everybody Be AWESOME!!!



Time is short, and we don’t ever know how short it is until we have to face it head on. We try try try to do our best but there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day … Continue reading


Fireworks 5049

Fireworks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I know. Not a great end to 2012 being so late to review the year that was. Especially since we are well into the first week of 2013. But I have a soopa-oopa-doopa good reason – or is that an excuse? Nope reason it is. I HAVE BEEN LIVING. And unfortunately that includes the inconveniences in life too – I have slipped into what I would consider uuugghhhh…but what my loved ones call “Gods/the universe” way of making me slow down. I fell and hurt my shoulder before Christmas and that coupled with family, fun, life…I have been somewhat consumed by other things that have needed my attention. But I did miss you all so I hope you have all arrived safely at the other side of the new year revelling.

I know a lot of people believe that you should leave the past in the past. Good in some respects. However, I believe that in order to look forward, plan forward and move forward, you need to know where you have come from so that you don’t repeat the bad stuff, but learn from it in order to embrace the good stuff. I also believe that it is important to acknowledge your journey already travelled because it has not only shaped your current self, but is also part of your story and is a testament to what you are capable of. So here it is…my reflection on the year that was – 2012!

So a lot happened in 2012 which included some really crappy stuff – including family dramas, injuries, relationship strain, job challenges, blah blah blah.

But a lot of really cool stuff happened too!!!

  • All clear from cervical cancer – woo hoo!!! No more nasty visits to the specialist. In fact my doctor printed out my all clear results and told me that I can finally frame them ha ha ha.
  • Resolution of thyroid issues – another woo hoo!!! This makes mood, energy, weight loss etc a lot easier believe me.
  • Started my non-smoking life (well it really started in December 2011 but hey lets not get fussy). Wow…how the hell did I get anything done with so much time spent smoking my life away?
  • I got serious about getting healthy & fit
    • Did my first official-ish run – Mooloolaba 5km Twilight Run…and came in a spectacular LAST lol. And that was with a broken rib and torn adductor – totes hardcore ha ha ha.
    • Ran my first 10km event in the very first ever Sunshine Coast Marathon. I didn’t beat my speedy husband like I had hoped, but I sure did finish – and I ran (slowly but did run) 9.5km of it. And I didn’t come last!

      10km run - check!

      10km run – check!

    • Completed my first triathlon. A mini one but the long course of a mini one. The fact that it was a PINK tri to raise funds just made it that much sweeter. I didn’t come last in this either lol.



    • Climbed numerous mountains. Mt Tinbeerwah, Wildhorse Mountain, Mt Coolum, Mt Ngungun – and attempted part of Mt Tibrogargan.
    Mt Ngungun with some awesomeness chickas!

    Mt Ngungun with some awesomeness chickas!

    • Became stronger, more courageous and more self respecting. I made my STAND against bullies, toxic people, disrespecting family members, and made my STAND against my old beliefs about myself. I began to love who I am and started to recognise that yes I am worthy of respect and have the power to shape my own world.
    • I became Mrs Awesomeness – dubbed this by Miss Fabulissa I began to shape my world with this in mind. All decisions were made with AWESOMENESS in mind.
    • I became clear in thought and found a passion again – and that includes my exciting endeavours for the coming year (but more on that in my next post).
    • I began blogging!!! And it is here I say thankyou to all my followers, sharers, fellow bloggers and likers. Thankyou for your input so far and I hope this continues in 2013 because I am now addicted ha ha!


So kind of exciting. A big year it was. Yes there were a lot of tears. A lot of laughs. Plenty of smiles. And a touch of sadness. But it wouldn’t be life without all that in it. Our experiences are kind of like the coloured crayons on a blank piece of paper. And the people I have met are the pictures that have helped shape my year. There are people I have met throughout the year that I no longer really interact with for various reasons, and there are those that I have become closer to – to all of you I am glad I met you and I thankyou for what you brought to my life. Everyone comes into our life for a reason – whether we figure it out or not. You are all a blessing and I pray that you have an extraordinary 2013!

So in reflecting I can only assume that 2013 is not only going to be my year of AWESOME, but it is going to be an exceptional year with so many exciting challenges ahead. I know I am capable of whatever is asked of me and more than courageous enough for anything that comes my way – in fact I KNOW that I will sparkle this year. Keep in touch for my goal post soon.

Oh Yeah!!! (photo credit: google images)

Oh Yeah!!! (photo credit: google images)


Everybody Be AWESOME!!!




Good evening fellow AWESOMERS!!!

We are nearing the end of 2012 and I am concerned that I have not paid enough attention to the state of my balls! I mean no one wants tired, old, shriveled up balls. Yes these things are confronting to face but truthfully if we dont pay attention to the state of our balls we could end up being less than what we could be and further from scoring the home run!

Grab Life By The Balls!

Nobody wants haggard old balls (Credit: Humor Blog)


If you remember when I first started blogging earlier this year I talked alot about my “balls” and how important it was to the art of achieving an infinite balance in life. and so now that we are nearing the end of an extraordinary year I thought it best to guage how my balls are hanging and how I am handling them in order to plan how they will hang, juggle and fly into 2013!

So it really has been a bit of an epic year for The Pluck Family…and I think mostly it has been guided with AWESOMENESS in mind, even if there has been some less that awesome stuff too…but I guess it is the less than awesome stuff that grows you up big and strong!!! I am feeling a little drained and tired tonight after a spectacular spill at work tonight leaving me with a possible torn shoulder/arm muscle, neck/back pain and a friction mark on my knee – serious YOU TUBE material let me say! – so I think I will look at each of my balls seperately to save what little “awake” cells I have in my brain at such an unheavenly hour.


At the beginning of this year I was still horribly unfit, unhealthy, and sick. Not to mention emotionally drained to the point of feeling like my life just was not worth continuing. I had cervical cancer, thyroid issues and was tired beyond belief. And this is after I had some improvement! Yeah crazy I know!

So now I look at how I have juggled this ball and I think I havent done too badly. As a nurse I work some horrid hours and sometimes they are long and just a tad arduous. When a nurse says I dont have time to stop and eat – she really means it! Next time you are needing someone to care for you imagine them saying “oh I am just having a break so I will be back in half an hour – your pain/pouring blood wound/uncontrollable vomiting, can wait til then” yeah that just isnt right and hence the reason why nurses dont have the best eating pattern. But in spite of all this I have managed to get my nutrition mostly sorted. I have managed to become fitter than I have been probably in my whole life thanks to some amazing people –

Marcus at Live it up Fitness

Alena and Jen at Goal Power Training in preparation for my first mini triathlon

and especially the beautiful Lisa Curry and her KISS program

…not forgetting of course my training buddies (especially the ones that understand that my training schedule doesnt always fit the norm due to shift work, study and kids) especially Melissa, Jimina, Christine and Ange…oh and Miss 12 who trains on Saturday mornings at a cruel hour!!!

This has meant that I am now doing up to 10km runs, Mini Triathlons, climbing mountains, learning how to swim effectively, longer distance bike rides etc etc. It also means that I have now gone from a size 24/26 to a healthier size 14! The kgs dont matter so much anymore because I realise that they are just a number and not conducive to trusting my body.


Well this ball is looking fabulous. At end of last year and the beginning of this year I thought about leaving nursing and all its dramas and insufficiencies for anything else! Now I work for an amazing company with phenomenal values, morals and dedication to superior service and that fits well with me. Despite a few hiccups I feel that I have been blessed with this job and I am now permanent and loving this journey and all I am learning as a nurse. I am having some wonderful educational opportunities and my next year is looking phenominal but that is subjects for another post (this one will be long enough). There are some interesting things unfolding for the future professionally and I am looking forward to that. But for now – my job fulfills me…as it should do for a job like this.


Well these balls have been the hardest to juggle but that is expected in any family. We have had heartache, tears, and stuff that just shouldnt happen in a family but does due to selfish attitudes or lack of insight. But we are dealing with those things as best we know how and as long as we stand by our values and stand strong as a family unit then that is all we can do. We cannot think about ourselves so much but our two young children and what they are being exposed to. It is a sad thing for us also not to see our grandchild…in fact I have only ever seen her and never been introduced but we hold her dear to our hearts and in our prayers daily anyways. I know she will grow up to be a remarkable young lady that will make her mark on the world.

It has been a stressful year for us with redundancy, family issues etc and I think in some ways it has taken its toll on us all. But mostly my husband because he hasnt got as strong a stand as I do and sometimes allows others to railroad him via emotional manipulation and I feel that has taken a toll on his health of late. I pray he is well and that we are just over reacting but his phenominal weight loss and other symptoms lead me to be concerned that it is something more sinister. So until we know more I hold him dear and try as much as possible to create exceptional moments of bliss for us as a family and try to drown out the blue noise that people try to infect our bubble with. I love him and cannot imagine my life without him. So any of my followers that have a faith please intercept on his behalf that he be well for a long time yet.

My kids however are doing well and I am especially proud of my miss 12 and the stand that she makes in her life. She no longer takes disrespect or any other toxic thing lying down…she will fight you and knock you down if you so much as think about infecting her own personal bubble with anything but good stuff! And that makes me proud. My little miss 5 is also doing very well and is on hardly any strong painkillers anymore…such an improvement from early in the year. Both have done very well on their end of year report cards so mamma and daddy are both proud as punch! And we have realised more this year who are the important people in our lives and the ones that actually want to be there – not ones that feel it is their right. We welcome positive and loving people in our lives and family should be no different. But again that is another post. As for where we will go from here that remains to be revealed to us and we are patient.

So the whole balancing act is going ok and really is a continuous cycle of trial and error. I do plan next year on focussing on specific areas in my blog posts to see if I can better articulate and reflect on the processes involved and how it is implemented but for now this is the wrap up. Soon I will post a goal wrap up and goal list for 2013!

Everybody Be AWESOME!!!