This is how we disco.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. Well, months actually, if I’m thinking of not only me, but some of my loved ones who have faced some of their own recent difficulties as well.

Whether it’s been shitty relationships, the breakdown of friendships, or illness and injury, December and January just were not as good for us as they could have been this summer.

What we needed was a good dose of fun, and a whole lot of laughter to clear out the cobwebs…. And I found the answer – in the form of a guru.

On a random January Friday afternoon, my daughter and I decided to jump on a bus and check out the Sydney Festival in Hyde Park. I had heard that there was a bubble disco going on, so we thought we would go in for a little boogie. Well unfortunately due to the rain and wind that day, the disco had finished early. But I did happen to notice some other pretty weird kind of disco going on – and I wanted to be part of it. It was bookings only, but it was free. But it now wasn’t on til the next day. So I booked in 5 spots, and told my brother to trust me, and bring himself and my two nieces along for some laughs and good times.

We turn up to Hyde Park on Saturday just a few minutes before 12 midday, and are each handed a pair of headphones. We adjust the sizes to fit the girls, and all start hearing some pretty sweet disco tunes.

Then all of a sudden we see him. A vision – decked out in a whole lotta magenta hot pants / play suit kind of ensemble… Our leader of the pack, Guru Dudu.

He started out by welcoming us to his disco walking tour with a cheeky little warm up routine. It seemed completely normal to us, to just start following on with the moves and do exactly what the Guru said to do. About 40 random strangers all dancing around saying “hi” to each other, whilst breathing in, and breathing out, and pointing fingers in the air – all in time to the Chic disco classic- Le Freak (Freak Out).

 You see, Guru Dudu is linked up to us all via his groovy little head set and mic. We are all tuned in perfectly to hear his feel good mix of happy beats, and his voice over the top leading us (more like boogie-ing us) around the Sydney Festival – and he calls this experience his Silent Disco Walking Tour. Cue the next track, and its time for a dance off to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. The girls are a bit nervous to start off with, but soon lose their inhibitions to the music and get into it. By the time we are dancing around a fountain to Stayin’ Alive, they are fully into the disco vibe.

And as a nice touch being only a day or two after the death of the great David Bowie, it was lovely that the Guru included a couple of classic Bowie tunes – including “Let’s Dance” and “Fashion” as well.

img_1387.jpgHailing from Melbourne, Guru Dudu presents his out there experience to Hen’s nights, corporate events, team building exercises, and pretty much just for random fun, really! And not since the good old days I used to spend nightclubbing, have I laughed and sweated so much to such awesome music. An undeniably feel good experience, and as the guru himself says “if you’re ever feeling down, just put on a little disco and dance the blues away”.

Looking for more details about Guru Dudu? Check him out via his website, Instagram, or Facebook page.

Peace, love, and hands in the air like you just don’t care!

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Words by Dani Tinkler.

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Fleetwood Mac, a dream come true.

Ticking a dream off my bucket list.

For the best part of 25 years – or at least for as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to see Fleetwood Mac live in concert. Thanks to my parents, this was one of many bands that I grew up with; causing their songs to often mark pinnacle times throughout my life.

But this was not just any concert that I wanted to experience… My dream of seeing Fleetwood Mac was to be in the open air, in a festival-like setting. So when the band was announced to play Hope Estate Winery in the Hunter Valley of NSW, I just knew that we had the perfect back drop.

Since having these tickets in my hot little hands, I soon realised that my long time dream was now actually going to come true. And I was getting the chance to share it with my nearest and dearest. Not only my husband and daughter, but I was taking my parents along too. I figured, these two had raised me on this amazing kind of music – so the least I could do was surprise them with tickets to come along to the show and share this experience with us.

I am so glad I made that decision, as I think this has now ticked off one of their bucket list dreams also!

Walking in to Fleetwood MacLike with all festivals I have gone to in my lifetime, I had the usual bought of outfit anxiety… But at least this one matched with my much adored urban boho-style quite easily. I was all set for a white cotton dress, sandals and a denim jacket for the (expected) warm mid November evening. But this was not meant to be, thanks to the unseasonal cold snap and torrential rain we experienced all the way up the NSW coastline in the days leading up to the event.

Plan B was now going to require wellies and a rain coat!…. So faux leather pants, and layering with a sleeveless tunic, cardi, and rain jacket was the order of the day. Finished off with my much-loved Hunters.

But enough about the festival fashion, let’s get onto the event. It was a vibe that was truly electrifying.

Walking into the estate, and feeling that buzz in the air is something that I will always remember.

Just as I will always remember the look of awe on Jessie’s face with the sheer volume of people; and the simple act of my dad holding her hand so protectively, as we walked through the crowds.

Fleetwood Mac 2015About 17,000 people had partied the night away in the rain on the Saturday, and now we had arrived for the Sunday night show. It was a mud fest to say the least. We found a great little spot on the hill, laid out our picnic rugs, and opened a bottle of wine. We enjoyed the last half an hour of Angus & Julia Stone as we soaked up the surroundings. I took a moment to think about how happy I was right then and there to finally seeing my most favourite band on the planet. #gratitude – to the max!
Then came the thundering bass drum beat of Mick Fleetwood signalling the opening song. It was an epic version of The Chain, with all of the built up ex-lover tension that you could imagine between Stevie & Lindsay, as they belted out the tune.

From then on it was massive hit, after massive hit. Everywhere, Little Lies, You Make Loving Fun, Dreams, Rhiannon, Go Your Own Way, Gypsy, Landslide…..

Fleetwood MacI cried tears of joy at least at least three times – not from the wine, but from the pure emotion that I was feeling from living out one of my dreams in reality, and sharing it with the people who I love the most.

I guess what I am getting at, is that life is not about collecting things – but it’s about collecting memories. We should always try to make the most out of opportunities, for life experience. I bought these tickets for my family as their birthday/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gifts this year. I could have bought them some kind of material thing; but my decision to make an event we would remember forever, was by far the better option.

We are all still smiling about this concert when we think about it now, even a month later. It was one of the best experiences of our lives. And we have all vowed to make the effort to go to a concert together once a year from now on.

I’d rather have a head full of amazing memories, than a big house that’s full of “material things”. Quality time, and life experience is what can set your soul on fire – so do what you love, and love what you do.

Peace, love, & good times!

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Words: Dani Tinkler.

Image source: Instagram.


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Halloween in Sydney.


Halloween. A holiday event that was rarely celebrated in Sydney when I was growing up. But these days it’s becoming a lot more popular.

For my husband and many of our ex-pat friends, celebrating on Halloween was definitely part of their childhoods; so seeing as though October 31st fell on a Saturday this year, it was lovely to bring back the tradition and go out for a crazy, fast paced, wild night out as a family.

Luna Park was the venue of choice (by Jess, that is) – but we both agreed. So we all donned a little make up to look the part, and off we went…. And i must say, it was brilliant fun. I totally recommend the experience, as the Park went all out to make it a spookily-good time.

So enjoy a few happy snaps from the new Tinkler family Halloween album! xo


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By Dani Tinkler.


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Tulip Time.

Tulip Time.

Spring time in the Southern Highlands is a beautiful thing to enjoy – so what a great idea for a Sunday road trip with my favourite people visiting the now famous Tulip Time Festival, that runs from mid to late September each year.

We started out leaving the East Burbs a little later than expected, but never the less, we arrived in Bowral’s Corbett Gardens by 11.30am – to the upbeat tunes of the NSW Fire Brigade’s prize winning Marching Band. Not surprisingly, Miss Jessie Violet was crazily excited, so we headed over to watch the band first thing. After a few well known classics, and seeing the Marching Girls perform also, it was time for a little wander around to check out the gorgeousness.


tulip time

We probably stayed for just on an hour, marvelling at the gorgeous tulips, all the while having to remind Jess not to pick the flowers (she is a little obsessed with picking everything she sees for me right now). The colours and the garden layouts were simply stunning, and the atmosphere was perfect for a fun, albeit chilly, trip to the country.

We then headed off in the car from Bowral about 30-40mins further south-east, to a little town called Robertson. Where we enjoyed to next 2 hours in the comfy surrounds of the Robertson Inn – where were enjoyed a refreshing beverage, a hearty lunch, and a relax for us parents as the little one was able to play in the kids area. With some super friendly locals who were up or a chat, it was a really lovely way to spend the afternoon!

We finished off the day trip with a visit to the breathtaking beautiful Belmore Falls; part of the spectacular  Morton National Park that surrounds the Kangaroo Valley. With not another human in site, we spent some time soaking up the scenery from our own private viewing spot, and totally enjoyed the time together as a family.

From here, it was a short 90min drive back to Sydney to get ready for the new week ahead. A real top quality day was had by all of us, and it’s an experience I highly recommend for your calendar next year.

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Words by Danielle Tinkler

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Birthday wisdom.

Birthday wisdomBirthday wisdom that comes with age.

Ok, so I had a little meltdown about 12 years ago at the prospect of turning 25…. Yep, I was freaking out about it.

Back in those days I thought that I was a right little dance party darling, who knew all of the cool kids, went to the best gigs, festivals, raves and clubs – and oh yeah, I was a DJ…. so of course I thought I was just the awesome-est!

I wore my compulsory cool kids uniform that consisted of dark denim hipster bells, a tiny top, and trainers – I only ever wore trainers. Glitter was a must have in my make-up routine, with a smoky eye and a fruity smelling lip gloss; and I just loooooved cutesy little accessories with a little bit of pink.

So, when I was a few weeks out from turning the big 2-5, (I don’t know why), but all of a sudden I was terrified.

Maybe it was a state of “What am I doing with my life?”, or was it the Peter Pan in me saying “I just don’t want to grow up”. Who knows, but I clearly remember freaking out because I was just not going to be able to pull off the colour pink anymore……

Such first world problems, in the eyes of a youngster.

So now let’s fast forward 12 years, to when I have just celebrated my 37th birthday – and let me tell you, it was fabulous!

Birthday dinner 2

Team Gardner at Hurricanes Grill

There were no outlandish presents, and it wasn’t anything flash at all. In fact, it was on a Monday which is probably the most boring day of the week. But it was filled with phone calls, text messages, and good vibes from family and loved ones from all over the world. And that’s what made it so special. The thoughts and positive feelings from so many people just put a smile on my face the entire day. And to finish it off, we went out for dinner that night with just the family, and it was delish.

It’s taken me many years to wise up to this, but now I truly do believe that my life is now just like a good bottle of wine – it just keeps on getting better with age! My mid-thirties have by far been the best ever of my life up until this point.

So here is a little list of some of the things that I was so eternally grateful for on my 37th birthday:

  • So grateful for all of the gorgeous messages, cards and phone calls from  those I love, near and far.
  • I was so happy that some of my oldest friends still use the cute little nicknames that they used to call me when we were children. Some of these have been around for over 30 years, and it really made me laugh.
  • I really appreciated the efforts that my lovely sister-in-law Shannon went to… She is a vegetarian, and still came along to my choice of restaurant that was a ribs and steak house.
  • It really made me smile when my first ever boyfriend as a teenager sent me a message, and called me sweetie.
  • I was well chuffed that when I went to renew my drivers license, they gave it to me half price for having held my licence for over 20 years, and apparently being a good driver.
  • My husband went and  booked us a little weekend away with the family in a few weeks – bring on that one!
  • And last of all, I got to enjoy that sprinkly cupcake you see at the start of this post, teamed with a lovely cup of coffee, and a magazine – all by myself!   Bliss!

So you see, its doesn’t have to be about presents, or going to the coolest parties. With age comes gratitude, and as you get older, you realise just what it is in life that really makes you happy.

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Words by Dani Tinkler.

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The Spot Festival.

Spot Fest1


CheerleadersMy mantra (perhaps you could call it my New Years Resolution) for 2015 was to: do good things, look after yourself, laugh a lot, & love completely – and one of the ways I can achieve these goals is by having loads of quality good times with family and friends. Well The Spot Festival 2015 was a the perfect way to bring together all of those elements – and it happened on Sunday the 8th of March.

Spot Fest3


Such a fantastic afternoon was had by the whole group! And it literally happened right on our doorstep. I couldn’t ask for much more, really.


I love my local community of Coogee / Randwick, and the gorgeous Katie Anderson from Randwick City Council certainly did not disappoint this year with the fantastic shindig she created for us all.

Spot Festival 23From jumping castles, to market stalls, food and wine, face painting, live art, and loads of entertainment – this event has literally been the highlight of the year so far. It was free fun for all of us, and without a doubt we had an absolute ball.

Spot Fest 16

The end of the night went off with a bang, with Martini Club totally rocking the streets.  These guys are the quintessential party band, and are guaranteed to get people up on their feet! It was a sea of people dancing, and we were right in the midst of it. Arms in the air, kids in the air, we were all going off like you just don’t care! The only downer of the night that was I wore out the soles of my favourite sandals from dancing too much… I didn’t want it to end! – Oh dear, such first world problems  😉

Spot Fest9Spot Fest26Spot Fest14

Spot Fest27Spot Fest13Spot fest4









The residents of the eastern suburbs have a lot to thank Katie and RCC for…. Thanks again for putting on the perfect event to close the summer, and we cant wait til next year!  – on behalf of The Spot locals, cheers to you! xo

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By Danielle Tinkler.


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We’re all going on a summer holiday! Part 1.

This year, we have headed off to the snowy mountains to enjoy a quiet break. With a small group of family and friends, and a gaggle of kids, we have enjoyed some fun in the sun over 1600m above sea level.

Summer holidayIt has been a mixture of cold and hot weather, some serious face sunburn, a little bit of a working bee, many glasses of wine, and loads of laughter!

summer holidayPerisher Valley is somewhat of a ghost town in the summer, but despite this, the activities in and around the area are endless. Bushwalking to Blue Cow, swimming in Lake Jindabyne, picnics by the Thredbo River, kite flying on the Perisher Road, and when it was raining – even a bit of lunch and a game of pool at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel. The highlight of the trip however, will always be a day at Thredbo in the summer.

summer holidayOur amazing day started before we even arrived, when we saw emu’s eating the bushes on the side of the road about 10kms out of Thredbo town. We then did a little driving tour around the tiny narrow streets, and saw the Thredbo landslide memorial. In the summer time, Thredbo is still in full swing with the chairlift going to the top of the mountain all day. This is perfect for sight seeing, hiking to the very top, and mountain bike riding. The mountain bikers are pretty amazing to watch, as the terrain is steep, dusty and bumpy ALL of the way down (obviously we didn’t go mountain bike riding… but maybe one day!).

summer holidayThe highlight of a day in Thredbo (in our book), is the bobsled ride. Its a three minute thrill ride where you can speed down the little steel track as fast as you dare. With the ratio of kids to adults this year, we all had to ride with a small person in tow. Jess was with her daddy (Pete), I rode with my niece Georgia, my other niece Charlotte was with her daddy (James), Clive rode with George, and Angie travelled down the hill with Daisy. Needless to say, that Pete and Clive gave it their all, to the point where Clive and George actually came out of their sled a little!

To top off our day, we had a nice spot of lunch on the deck of the pub, and then finished off with a bounce on the giant bouncy slide before the trek back to the cars. We loaded everybody in, and then one by one, the tired little vegemite’s all fell asleep for the 60km drive back to Orana.

It was a tip top day!

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Dani Tinkler


Photo credit to Dani Tinkler, and Angie McMenamin-Phillips

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Four years, four Santa photos…

I must admit, I do love the whole Christmassy vibe now that I have a child of my own. And the annual Santa photo is always on my must do list!

Each year we have ended up with a surprisingly different take on the good old Santa shot, and I am looking forward to many more in the future. But for this post, lets take a look at the last four years of Jessie’s Santa pics to date…



December 2011, and she is only just over 11 months old – and stranger danger has not yet even entered her mind. Its all happy days sitting with Santa this year!

Location: Westfield Eastgardens Centre Court.




SantaPhoto 2012


In 2012, and almost 2 years old, Jess was starting to warm to the idea of presents – but still didn’t grasp the whole concept of what Christmas was all about. She was certainly not happy about having to sit and pose with the big man in the red suit this year…. And so, to achieve the Santa photo this year (purely for my benefit, and to give out to family I’m sure), Mummy had to be in the photo this year! But to top it off, jess wouldn’t even sit with me with Santa in the photo – so hence, the Santa photo-bombing in the background!  Look at that face, she is not happy about it at all….

Location: Myer Eastgardens.


Fast forward to December 2013, and this year Jess was excited about Christmas time, and all that goes with it, but she was still desperately frightened of Santa. This year, our Santa photo outing was joined with some of our close friends, George & Daisy.

SantaPhoto 2013George was 3 (coming on 4), Jess was 2 (nearly 3), and Daisy had just turned 2. From the get-go, Daisy was not having anything to do with Santa- despite being dressed in her white Christmas angel costume…

Jessie was happy to walk up to Santa if she was holding someone else’s hand, but was still not happy to sit with Santa on her own. She was however, happy to sit and have a photo if her wing-man George (dressed completely in elf attire) was in it with her too.

This is one of my favourite Santa photo’s ever, as both Jess and George seem as proud as punch to be there, but you can still sense the fear and uncertainty in Jess’ face.

Location: Westfield Eastgardens upper concourse.


Our final photo we have for our collection so far is December 2014, and Jessie is now just off being 4 years old. We were hoping for a different type of shot this year for the Santa photo, and this year I spotted an opportunity at Centennial Park, in an area called Paperbark Grove – which features a lovely little valley full of beautiful Paperbark trees. SantaPhoto 2014The Santa shoot was set up in a nice little shady spot, and a choir from the nearby private girls school came down to sing Christmas carols.

It was a delightful atmosphere, and a really relaxed vibe. There was a craft table for the kids to make Christmas decorations, and we didn’t have to stand in a queue – we just had our allocated timeslot, and they called us over when it was our turn. Some of the greens-keepers were moonlighting as elves, and the kids were all caught up in the whole amazing imaginative experience. We were emailed an electronic copy of our chosen shot, and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg (like your regular shopping centre Santa photo). A highly recommended Santa experience.

This year, Jess went to the Santa photo shoot in Centennial Park with one of her best friends, Maeya. There were a few nerves at first, and she was wanting to do another “wing-man” shot like last year. Maeya had her photo taken first, and then once Jess saw how brave her mate was, she decided that she was now brave enough to do this one solo as well.

Needless to say, Mummy was proud as punch!

Location: Centennial Park, Sydney.


We hope you all had a lovely Christmas, from all of our family to yours!

Looking forward to 2015!

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Danielle Tinkler

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