Category Archives: Gift Experiences

All she wants is your time.

Mum and I last year doing candle making

With Mother’s Day rapidly approaching, how could we miss the resounding message in “the toughest job in the world.” More than anything, I know that what I want from my two young adults is to hear from them regularly (more than once a day works for me!) and to spend time with them. I’d love to go to a cooking class with my daughter and to go go karting with my son (kids, you don’t have to spend a fortune…

Sage advice – or shameless promotion… you choose

Sage advice – or shameless promotion… you choose


1 night, 2 people, 3 venues.

Giovanni at Terra Rosa

When I was a child my parents would go to ‘progressive dinners’  – usually as a fundraiser for the kindergarten or primary school.  I remember my parents having a ball – wandering the local neighborhood with friends – eating a different course at a different friends house. I was excited when the 1, 2 ,3 progressive dinner experience was published on the RedBalloon site – but I wondered if it would work – to the same degree. Finally last Friday…

I’m not getting any younger

Mrs Sydney Smith - my great great great grandmother on my mothers fathers side.

I actually like being the age I am… You just know so much more than you once did. I know my teenagers look at me and think ‘she’s so old’ but I wouldn’t be a teenager again for quids. I have looked at photographs of my ancestors and wondered if they would think the same thing. What would they make of all this internet and smartphones – The only thing we have left of them is a single photograph. I’m…

Eleven years courting – finally we are engaged.

BridgeClimb founder Paul Cave with me at a RedBalloon team Lunch & Learn

Way back in May 2001 Kathy Mason contacted Bridge Climb to let them know that RedBalloon would be launching later in the year. She invited them to become a supplier to list its experiences in time for launch. At the time the response was “Let’s wait and see how RedBalloon goes. Each product manager that has joined RedBalloon in the last decade has taken it on as a personal challenge to pitch the idea of how fabulous it would be…

How lucky we are

My Hamilton Island - Mini Break

I was just taking a moment to reflect on how amazing my week was last week. I feel pretty lucky to be invited to Hamilton Island as a speaker. Literally a few hours from Sydney and I am on a tropical island – sipping a cocktail. I bumped into some friends whilst I was there and they mentioned that they fly to Hamilton Island every 3 weekends or so for a four day weekend. They said while it sounds ‘luxurious’…

The power of the mini break

Love a mini break

Some weeks I am so busy when I fall into bed at night I can barely remember what I did that morning… yet I am no good to anyone if I rush around without making sure that I look after myself. Often I just need a few moments to myself to gather my thoughts during the day, whether it is taking a walk at lunch time – or patting Dexter dog. There is a big difference though between a little…

Grateful for the noisy sounds of silence

Grateful for the noisy sounds of silence

I have found myself a few extra (unplanned) days in Exmouth WA – as all the planes are grounded. It is quite an interesting sensation to be given two extra days of holiday. I was already mentally making note of all the things that need to be done on my return, plans to be reviewed, evaluations to be done, budgets to be approved – it is after all only a few weeks to the end of the financial year. Instead…

Too Cute

Too Cute

As we head off for a five day break with the family I was delighted to receive the photo below from friends who have just welcomed their first child into the world… Truly delighted that young Sam is really ‘into’ his RedBalloon baby experience.

1 million RedBalloons go by

1 million RedBalloons go by

Today is momentous, for me personally and for the amazing RedBalloon team. Today, RedBalloon is celebrating the sale of a million RedBalloon experiences. It seems like yesterday that I launched RedBalloon (during the dot com crash, no-one can accuse me of not having an optimistic outlook) and waited (and waited) for two months and four days to sell our first experience. Thank you to our first customer, Damian Chown, who says he chose to purchase from RedBalloon because it was…