New Zealand’s North Island with Kids

I was talking to a friend about New Zealand today which reminded me I still haven’t gotten around to posting about our trip last year. I did quite a bit of research prior to both trips we have taken to the North Island with little ones, so I thought I would share what I found to be fun family friendly activities and sights.

Continue reading

I’m Back!

I received an email a few months ago that my domain would be up for renewal soon. For a split second I thought of letting it go. It’s been months since I have hit publish, and I have had little to no motivation to write much lately. BUT I just can’t let go of almost 6 years worth of posts and memories. So, I have decided to attempt to get back to writing again. I have barely written anything since we have moved to Adelaide and so much has been going on.

So today I will start with a brief update on life right now.

We have now lived in Adelaide for exactly one year, which is nuts. In some ways it seems shorter, and in others it feels like we were just living in Brisbane. The kids and I have made quite a few good friends and our weeks are pretty busy. Travis is traveling a lot for work, but when he is here we are very appreciative of his five minute commute to the office. We have also found a nice church that has welcomed us whole heartedly.


View this post on Instagram


Weekend adventures with our little crew. #littleleightonalkek #graniteisland #southaustralia

A post shared by Courtney Alkek (@courtneyalkek) on


Up until a few weeks ago Leighton and Houston were both still home with me everyday, but for all of our sanities we are rarely actually at home. The kids are both in swimming, Houston is enjoying our local kinder gym and Leighton started “Ready, Set, Dance” in August, which is a national pre-school dance program. On our spare days we are at playgroup, the library or catching up with friends at the park.

Last month Leighton started going to an ELC (Early Learning Centre aka preschool) two days a week. She has absolutely loved it and Houston is really enjoying his one on one time with me.

Last year we have had three sets of visitors, Trav’s mom and friend, my brother and his girlfriend, and my parents and sister. It was so fun to show them all around and they were loving all the time with the kids. Now we are planning our parents next round of visits, coinciding with the kid’s birthdays in the next few months.


The kids and I spent two months in Texas over the holidays visiting our friends and family. It was great seeing everyone but we were ready to be back into a routine and in our own surroundings.


View this post on Instagram


Houston’s first trip to Yorktown was a success. These city kids were in their element. #littlehoustonalkek #littleleightonalkek

A post shared by Courtney Alkek (@courtneyalkek) on


Now that we are back, time is flying and we have two trips on the books. We are spending my birthday weekend (next weekend) in the Yorke Peninsula and heading out to Exmouth in Western Australia in May. So if anyone has any ideas on what to do in either of those places, let me know. Travis is already planning on diving with whale sharks in WA but that is about all we have looked into.

Well if you have made it this far- congrats and what would YOU like to read about? Regular life updates, kid friendly itineraries, travel (I still need to write about New Zealand)? Please let me know!

An Autumn Day in the Adelaide Hills

The very first time Travis and I visited the Adelaide Hills was in April of 2015 (here). Being from Texas neither of us had ever experienced a proper Autumn with crisp morning air and leaves changing, so we were taken back by how stunning the scenery was. Ever since then I have wanted to live somewhere with real seasons. When we found out we were moving to Adelaide, and in Autumn no less, I was more than a little excited.

When my mother in law and her friend came to visit back in May I knew I wanted to take them out to the Hills. I had heard great things about the Botanical Gardens in Mt. Lofty and also the small town of Stirling, so that was our itinerary.

We headed out to the botanical gardens first thing in the morning, it’s an easy 30 minute drive from Adelaide. When we arrived it was COLD. This is when I learned to add a layer when we go out to the Hills, because it is that much colder.

The gardens looked like a painting. There were orange, red and yellows everywhere you looked and you understood why people come from all over to see them during this time of year.

Leighton especially loved the ducks in the pond.

We strolled around for a while before we decided to head into Stirling to grab a coffee to warm up. While I grabbed takeaway coffees for the grownups the kids had a play at Steamroller Park (pictures from a later visit- we have been a few times since) before we wandered into a cute local bookstore to browse. Stirling is such a sweet little town and the park in right next to the shops and cafes, so a great spot for the kids to run around.

By then it was lunch time so we headed to another spot recommended by friends, Patch Kitchen and Garden. The restaurant is in a cute old house and has a garden with a cubby house for the kids in play in. We sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine while the kids ran wild. The menu was pretty small but our food was really good. Leighton especially loved peaking at the chickens in the coop around back.

Since our visit we have been back to the area a few more times. Another spot we enjoyed (and came recommend) was The Stirling Hotel, the food was really good but you definitely need a booking on the weekends. So if you catch yourself in the Adelaide area during Autumn, you can’t miss a visit out to the Hills.

Houston {Eleven and Twelve Months}

Our baby boy is one year old (plus a month and a bit, whoops)! For the record I wrote this post just after his birthday it has just taken me some time to finish it.

These past few months have been BUSY. Houston has celebrated his first Mother’s Day and Easter and took his first international vacation to New Zealand. He has learned to walk, started to say words and apparently forgot how to sleep (shocking).

Continue reading

Houston {Ten Months}

As per usual, I am almost a month late on poor Houston’s update.

This month was a busy one! We moved from Brisbane to Adelaide, so Houston was bouncing around 4 different “homes” in the past few weeks. He did well though and he is absolutely loving our new house and the backyard. Houston is still the sweetest, most loving little boy who loves to blow kisses and nuzzle his head on your chest. He smiles at everyone and is just genuinely happy almost all of the time (when he is not he is very good at letting you know). I am not sure how we got so lucky to be this little guy’s parents.


22ish pounds (he hasn’t been properly weighed in months)

6 teeth (four top and two bottom)

6-12m and 12-18m clothes depending on the brand Continue reading

Life Lately: March 2019

Hi friends! It has been a while over here. As you may already know we spent this month moving across the country.

We arrived back from Texas on the 12th of February and by the end of the month our house was all packed up and we were saying our good byes (see you laters!).

We spent our last two weeks in Brisbane spending as much time with all of our friends and visiting our favorite spots. Our sweet friends even threw a going away party for our whole family at the Victoria Park golf club restaurant. It was perfect because there was a playground and plenty of room for the kids to run around while we caught up. Leighton misses all of her sweet friends so much, we talk about them everyday. Continue reading

Houston {Eight and Nine Months}

I can’t believe two more months have gone by (and I’m late again in posting this once again). I did start his eight month post but was having issues with wordpress and pictures so it never got published, so I figured I would just combine the two months.


  • 20ish lbs
  • 3 teeth (plus one more coming through)
  • 6-12M/12M clothes


Still nursing/bottle 4 times a day but weaning toward mostly formula (around 8 months). At 9 months he only nurses first thing in the morning.

He has discovered how great food is now and is a machine. Houston loves meat, fruit and carbs the most. I’m still working on getting more veggies in him. I also have started reducing his bottles (5 to 6oz instead of 8) because he is taking more solids every day. So thankful that so far we have another good eater.


Hallelujah for finally some good news on this front. Jet lag plus already bad sleeping habits made for a rough first few weeks in Texas, sleep wise. After we settled in at my parents in Houston in the new year, we did a little tough love and after just one night he was sleeping soooo much better. Although here are some pics of the poor jetlaged soul not being able to stay awake at Christmas.

At eight months he was either sleeping though the night or waking once, and mostly able to put himself back to sleep and by 9 months he wasn’t waking most nights. He had a little hiccup when we got back to Brisbane because of jet lag and we had four hard nights where he was wide awake for hours wanting to be up. After those nights though he went back to sleeping through the night.

Another sleep change was around 7 months he switched to a 2 nap a day schedule. He’s awake around 3 hours in between naps and although it’s tricky because I try to be home for nap time, it’s also nice to have more of a schedule.


Around 7 months, Houston started doing little crawls to play with things but hadn’t really taken off. Then at 8 months he was unstoppable. He gets into everything and now has just started pulling to stand on everything in sight as well. I have my hands very full with this one.

He continues to be the happiest, most playful little guy. People tell me often they have never seen a smilier baby. I hope he always has such a love for life and people.

His favorite person is still Leighton, and she is finally warming up to the idea of him as a playmate. Seeing them play together is the cutest thing ever.

That’s all for now. We are smack in the middle of moving so I am not sure when the next post might be!