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Anyone who knows me knows that for my kid’s birthdays I usually make very elaborate and time-consuming cakes that tend to leave me slightly stressed such as this one last year:

10th birthday anti-gravity cake.

10th birthday anti-gravity cake.

And this one the year before:

9th birthday Dragon cake

9th birthday Dragon cake


This year due to me working and my 11 year old having a mid-week birthday I had to go for something easy yet I still wanted the wow factor so in a moment of inspiration I came up with this cake:

11th birthday choc fruit mud cake

11th birthday choc fruit mud cake

It definitely got the WOW factor when my son saw it and it was gobbled down by everyone.

Best of all it was SO easy to make and took me no time at all. Here is how I did it:

  1. Baked a Betty Crocker chocolate mud cake the night before
  2. Iced it when I got home from work the next day
  3. Melted some chocolate in the microwave and dipped in 2 punnets worth of strawberries. Placed on a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper into the fridge for a few minutes to set
  4. Carefully placed some “furry friends” chocolates sideways and face-in to surround the cake. Yes you can still buy Furry Friends! I found them at Woolworths on the bottom shelf near the Kinder Surprises, lolly pops etc.
  5. I had to place tins of tuna to hold the Furry Friends chocolate in place as the icing hadn’t set and they kept sliding off
  6. I then placed the choc coated strawberries + an extra punnet of plain strawberries and a punnet of blueberries on top of the cake
  7. I then put in the fridge for approx. an hour for it all to set
  8. I then removed the tuna cans holding everything in place and it all turned out perfectly!

The whole process only took me about 30 minutes in total. Not sure I will get away with this cake again next year but I will certainly be doing it again!


Categories : Alison's Blog
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Escape to the movies with Robinson Crusoe: The Wild Life (G) screening from Sat 29th October for two weekends only!

Click here to download some great colouring in pages:



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MyCoffs Campaign

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I was recently very honored to be asked to be a “Coffs Champion” for the MyCoffs campaign.

The MyCoffs Campaign is all about getting the community involved and having their say on how the Coffs Coast will look in the future, what we need to make our town even better and any other input you’d like to have.

You can read more about my involvement, what I love about living in Coffs and what I’d like to see to make Coffs Harbour an even better to live on the MyCoffs website –

Make sure you have your say! The lovely people from MyCoffs will be visiting all sorts of markets and events over the upcoming weeks (including the Made with Love Markets on 27th November) OR you can have your say online –

Also follow MyCoffs on social media – Facebook & Instagram where you can hashtag your own photos of MyCoffs for your chance to win a Family Portrait session from Meraki Images.




Categories : Local Events, News
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Enrolling Now Term 4, 2016

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Grasshopper Soccer – we are a community based Australian soccer organisation teaches children aged 2-12 years the basics of playing soccer in a fun, social and non-competitive environment. We provide a wide variety of programs that cater to children of all ages and abilities such as Mite (2-3yr olds), Pint Size (4-5yr olds), Intro to Micro (5-6yrs), Micro (6-8yrs) and Micro Plus (8-12yrs).

Fun for boys & girls aged 2-12yrs. Website: Also on Facebook

grasshopper photo

Kanga Kidz – Introduces children aged 2.5yrs – 5yrs to a variety of nine different sports in a structured, safe environment – Hockey, T-ball, Soccer, Tennis, Athletics, Cricket, Basketball, Football & Golf. Click here for more info.

Harbour Tennis Academy –  lessons include: Pre-School Hot Shots (3-5yrs), PeeWee Hot Shots (5-7yrs), Hot Shot Development Group (7-15yrs), Holiday Clinics (3-16yrs) and more. Click here for more info..

Mini GymbaROO Coffs Harbour – At GymbaROO you can enjoy quality time with your child while a trained teacher guides you through activities specific to your child’s stage of development from 8 weeks to 5 years. Our structured program, based on 30 years of neurological research offers movement, music, massage, rhythm, dance, and specialized equipment to enhance your child’s co-ordination and challenge their imagination. Classes run Wednesday & Friday at Botanical Gardens. Click here for more details.
Harbour Swim School – Enrolling now for learn to swim classes for Babies (from 6 months),  pre-schoolers and school age children.  We also offer 1 on 1 lessons for children with special needs or  learning disabilities. Stroke correction, squad classes, adult classes and aqua Zumba classes also available. All our staff are Austswim qualified and our swim school is  registered with Swim Australia.  The pool is an indoor heated pool open all year round! Contact 6652 7665 for more information. Located at Marcia St, Coffs Harbour.

Springloaded –  Our programs cater for ages 18mths – adults and help develop the fundamental skills and fitness associated with gymnastics and trampolining. School term programs include age appropriate Kinder Gym, Recreational and Beginner trampolining. Or if you just want to come in for a bounce you can! Click here for more information or call 6658 718.


Baylis Tennis Academy – Based in beautiful Sawtell, classes available from 3 years to Adults. All standards welcome. We offer group and private lessons, cardio tennis, squad groups, holiday clinics, Friday Night Tennis Comp and more. Coaching also available at Woolgoolga, Mylestom & Urunga. 
Contact Eli on 0407296685  or find them on Facebook.
Coffs Harbour Aquatic Centre –  25m indoor heated pool located. Swimming lessons for babies, toddlers and pre-school age children and adults. Stroke correction and training squads for children and adults/tri. Water aerobics/Metaqua classes available daily. Also one on one private lessons available. Our swim instructors are Austswim qualified and we are a registered swim school. Contact 66525700 or 0438525705  or click here for more information.
Ballare Development School – Children are encouraged to choose dance classes/styles that appeal most to them ensuring they fully experience the joy that dancing has to offer. Classes for children and teens aged 6 to 18yrs are available, as well as a specialised pre-schooler program for children 2-6yrs. Enquire for class fees and times. Classes are small as the focus is on one on one training. Private classes are also available. Affordable fees so dance can be accessible to all. Contact Miss Sarah – 0401332201 or click here for more info.

Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium – is now enrolling students for all courses in Term 4. We teach all types and styles of music including: Early Childhood Music classes 9 months-5 years of age, Tuesday to Friday mornings. Private or shared lessons for a variety of instruments; keyboard, piano, guitar, brass, strings, woodwind, voice and percussion. The Primary Choir for ages 7-13 rehearses on Tuesdays at the Conservatorium. Click here for more information – contact 6652 1592.

Carnivale Dance Co –  C?rnivalé Dance Company – The word is OUT … “when they just LOVE to dance” then Carnivalé is the place for you! Heard about it now be a part of it – their specialised pre-school and primary school aged program provides the perfect mix of the essential elements of elite performance … technique and passion, while never forgetting why children love to dance! They offer recreational dance classes, examinations and an accelerated performance extension program for gifted and talented students in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop for girls and boys 18mths to 10 years of age. There are two convenient CBD training centres – 2017 enrolments are now open and filling fast, so call/email today on 0407879708 or or to pre-book your place don’t miss out!



Serendipity Learning – Serendipity Learning is accepting enrolments NOW in five of their quality educational programs:

Yoga Classes for Children: Special Promotion: Get your first Yoga class for FREE when you enroll for Term 4. This class runs on Thursday afternoons from 3.30pm – 4.30pm and is a small group of up to 6 children. This is an opportunity for your child to grow both physically and emotionally through development of balance, coordination, flexibility and relaxation skills.

Art Lessons: Serendipity Learning is now offering 3 Art classes each week during Term 4, 2016. These classes are taught by a professional local artist and teacher Penelope Pratley. Classes are held on Wednesday 4:30pm – 5:30pm, Thursday 4.45pm – 5.45pm & Saturday 10:30am – 11:30am. (Limit of 6 students per class only). Please see our website for more information. 

English High School Tutoring 1:1: Our English tutoring program for high school students offers quality individualised programs that cater for specific student needs. 50 minute sessions for years 7-9 and 60 minute sessions for years 10-12 are available.

Innovative Early Childhood and Preparation for School (3-5 yr olds): Do you have a child starting school in 2018? Do you think they have the foundation skills needed to make a positive and confident start to Kindy?

We are now taking enrolments for our 2017 classes for students who will start school in 2018. Secure your child’s place now!

Serendipity Learning offer weekly 90 minute classes that include: Immersion in oral language through quality literature, building phonemic awareness skills, visual, auditory & kinaesthetic activities, activating the brain through movement, fine motor skill development, literacy & numeracy activities aligned with the Australian National Curriculum.


Primary Tutoring 1:1:

Serendipity Learning offers one to one tutoring for students from Years K – 6 in English, Mathematics and Enrichment for high achievers. These sessions are after school Monday to Thursday. 

For timetables and more information visit





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Labour of Love: A story of generosity, hope and Surrogacy

Shannon Garner met and married the man of her dreams, had two gorgeous children and lived an idyllic life on the New South Wales coast. So why did she decide one day to pursue altruistic surrogacy? And what made her choose a gay male couple from Sydney?

Labour of Love is Shannon’s honest and engaging story – a rollercoaster of emotion set against the backdrop of a highly regulated ‘industry’. This is no account of heartache and conflict but an uplifting story of ‘a collective love’ – one that involves a handful of people from very different walks of life who end up being so much more than family.

You can find out more about Shannon & the book by visiting her website – and Facebook page.

If you would like to win yourself a signed copy all you have to do is fill out this easy entry form.

Two winners will be announced 24/9/16.

click here


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Teddy Bear’s Picnic

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teddy picnic

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