Lunar New Year Festival, Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside | 12 Feb

Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-DoonsideSo last Friday I went along to the Lunar New Year Festival at Nurragingy Reserve by accident. Being Valentine’s Day weekend, I had organised a special date night with the boy but I had misplaced the gift voucher we were meant to use. It’s a bit of a long story, we’ve just moved house and my very important box for of things like bills, and dinner vouchers has gone missing…So annoying right? So we decided to go cancel the fancy restaurant and instead go along to the Lunar Festival, hence why the visit was by accident. This was the first time I’ve attended the event and I think only it’s second year running. This is definitely a family friendly event with many families even deciding to bring along their faithful pooch.

Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-3 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-4 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-2This year, we’re celebrating the year of the monkey. Held at the beautiful Chang Lai Chinese Garden, this is truly a beautiful gem and the suburb’s best kept secret. I honestly had no idea this place even existed!

The event had 20,000 people walk through its doors on Friday night! The parking was well organised and had ample staff to assist with traffic flow and getting cars in and out happily and safey. Lots of festival goers even opted to park nearby and take a short walk.

The festival itself was very well organised with heaps of barriers to keep little ones safe, the bathrooms were conveniently located with lots of well thought out thoroughfares. There was a good mix of cute stalls, tasty snack stalls and cultural activities. Festival goers could learn their future from a fortune teller, try their hand at calligraphy, marvel at fruit carving and having handmade painted patterns on traditional fans. There was also a sizzling Korean cooking demonstration.

Fruit carving – I really wish this was a skill I could master. I was in a cooking class in Bali a few years back, and although the young chef showed us how to do some simple fruit carving, I could never quite master the art of rosette making using carrots. Mine just kinda looked like the end bit that’s left when you’ve finished munching on it.

Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-6 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-5 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-7 Lunar-New-Year-Festiival-Doonside-8The main stage was set of rolling hills. It was a full-on evening with the schedule comprising of cultural performances from Asian cultural groups including dancers, performers and Japanese drummers.

I was so pleased to see many people of all walks of life and ethnicities celebrating together. The multicultural community just really embraced it all. There were little kids dancing to music that is not in English and they were having the time of their lives.

We had a delicious Korean spicy pork dish and a tasty Pad Thai with satay skewers. The skewers were really tasty but the Korean dish took the cake.

While we were queueing up for food. We noticed a stall next door selling Fairy Floss, which happened to be the biggest fairy floss I’ve ever seen. I’m assuming are meant to be shared between a family, but I bet you there were some really hyper active kids running around that night.

The highlight of the event was the fireworks on the bridge over the water. It was just so special.

Love, Festival Girl

Christmas Craft Market Greystanes Review | 2015


So I went along to the Christmas Craft Market at OLQP parish in Greystanes over the weekend to check out the latest in handmade crafts for Christmas. This year, the event raised funds and gave its profits to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

In its 9th year, the fair had a great selection of handmade gifts for Christmas. As always, the market is run by volunteers of OLQP and featured over 30 stalls from all over Sydney. These included Christmas decorations and gifts, baby wear, home-made décor, kitchen goods, edible treats, scarves and bags, jewellery, terrariums and heaps more.


I’ve attended this little event for the past couple of year, and it always pleases me to see so many engaged community members enjoying the market and supporting local businesses. After speaking with the organiser, she mentioned that they are looking into trying to expand the market.

_DSC1728Hands down, my favourite treat from the event has got to be these Handmade Chocolates – you have to try the Chocolate Hazelnut Crackles, they are to die for. Contact 0418748230.


I spoke to the lovely Alison from Alison’s Busy Fingers who with her Mother, creates delightful handmade baby garments and gifts. The creative duo each have their talents and it’s great to see family producing some wonderful products.


Alison uses acrylic wool for her designs, which means they will deal well with wear and tear


These tiny crocheted Christmas decorations are just gorgeous

_DSC1736Hey everybunny…



The market was bustling with eager shoppers looking for the right gift for friends and loved ones

_DSC1749I paid a visit to The Sewing Plot who creates all sorts of lovelies including handmade dolls, adorable succulents, bunting Santa sacks and cute kids clothes.



I was really impressed by the work of Madelynn the creator of Handmade Treasures. As you can see from the image above, Madelynn is one talented crafter. Madelynn said that a few years ago, she didn’t know if she was good enough to enter her work into the Royal Easter Show and it was her husband who told her that she should give it a go. Turns out, she’s really, really good at it and she’s won a first prize ribbon every year since she started entering. That’s an impressive effort!

Madelynn prefers to use natural fibres for her crafts and she’s she’s meticulous for detail. She won’t sell anything that doesn’t have her stamp of approval. You can tell that she really has a love and passion for her craft and it’s clear that her grand children are a big influence in her life. She shows a lot of great technique and embraces using vintage materials such as silk rayon thread to make her pieces. Some of her award winning pieces include cute baby dresses.


Aren’t these crocheted baby sandals just adorable?

_DSC1763 _DSC1762 _DSC1767Look at the adorable Advark. When she creates her crafts, Madelynn takes special care to think of the little ones and often crochets details instead of adding buttons and accessories.

_DSC1764These little girl hats are just so sweet. The level of detail and quality is just beautiful in person.


I was particularly smitten by the fuzzy panda.


Julie-Ann’s Jars and Lolly Bars provided some fun and colourful Christmas eye candy.


How cute are these reindeer noses!


A gorgeous menagerie of terraniums, cactuses and succulents, my fav!

_DSC1785_DSC1784I had a real soft spot for the donkey planter – in hindsight, I really should have bought it 🙂

Love, Festival Girl


Newtown Festival | 8 November 2015

NewtownFestival_3One of Sydney’s most beloved events, the Newtown Festival is on again and this year, it’s bigger than ever. After humble beginnings 37 years ago, the Newtown Festival has become a neighbourhood icon as it encapsulates the spirit of Sydney’s most vibrant creative community.

So what should you expect from the Newtown Festival this year? The theme this year is ‘Newtopia’ and it’s all about keeping things local. The festival will highlight some of the amazing people, businesses, artists and organisations that the neighbourhood has to offer.

For the first time ever, Newtown’s lords of liquor, Mary’s and Young Henrys will commandeer the bars. We will see the return of the ‘Newtown Locals’ food-fusion zone and as well as that, the best up-and-coming performers, artists and creatives in the neighbourhood will grace the stage. Also at the festival, there will be hundreds of markets stalls, the Live Art Hub, the ever popular Dog Show and if writing is your thing, the Writers’ Tent brings together some of the best local and national writing in the county. The Kids Zone will keep the little ones more than occupied.

NewtownFestival_1One of the Newtown Festival’s greatest features is its emphasis on the sustainable and maintaining sound environmental practices. *Cue Captain Planet theme song* You can check out the wide range of sustainable festival initiatives here.

Funds raised by the Festival go towards providing community support services at the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and will help a huge range of community members including disadvantaged groups such as the aged, people with disabilities, people who are homeless, people with mental illness, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people on low incomes. Go humans!

The event is free to attend, but there are donation buckets that are hungry for any loose change you might have, so dig deep.



Location: The Festival is held at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, Newtown.
Entrances: There are six entrance gates at the Festival. Gates 1 and 3 – Lennox Street, Gate 5 – Australia Street, Gates 6 and 8 – Federation Road, Gate 9 – Church Street
Top Tip: Gate 3 is by far the most congested so plan your arrival, and check out the Festival map beforehand so you know where the entrances are. If there is a long line, head to another gate.
Bike: City of Sydney provide FREE valet bike parking on the day! This is located in the park, along the Bike Boulevard (access from Australia Street).
Water: Bring your own water bottle (no plastic bottles yo)

Check here and here for info about the event including more on how to get there.

Images courtesy of the organiser.


Festival Girl