The Blackman Art Series hotel

Investing In Your Relationship

Each year when I set my goals I break them into four categories. For 2013 the overarching aim for each was as follows:

  • Me – I am less rushed and healthier.
  • Family – We spend more time doing things together.
  • Relationship – We have more time together on our own and support each others interests.
  • Work – Improved usability and resources on the blog and improved blogging skills.

I had more specific tangible goals for each of them. For my relationship with my husband a key goal and a carry over from 2012 was to have a weekend away sans kids. As we started to get closer to the end of this year, I knew I was going to need to do something different to achieve this goal and for it not to once again be carried over.

It is often easy in the short term to place these goals behind other competing goals, which I have done previously, but I know this is not a great long term move. I really felt Mr I and myself needed some time on our own, felt we needed to invest back in our relationship before the festive season would pounce upon us.

When trying to find a whole weekend away with kids and adult sporting commitments, a weekend away was beginning to look impossible though! So I changed tact and decided to think more locally.

The Melbourne Festival was coming up and we love the chance to see something new, so bought tickets to the contemporary music performance WERK. I had heard great things about The Blackman Hotel which is part of the Art Series Hotels and thanks to co-ordination from my blogging agent Nuffnang we had a complimentary night of accommodation booked!

We are lucky to have supportive friends and family who were happy to look after the kids for us – huge thanks to Mr I’s mum who looked after the youngest three, my sister who looked after the eldest and Cath who looked after master 12.

Sometimes the effort of organising somewhere for everyone to go, getting them ready to go and getting them off to their respective homes for the evening can seem like a huge effort, but it was certainly worth it! We were on our own for around 24 hours, but it felt like much longer.

We talked, we ran, we laughed, we drank, we ate and we slept in. All at our pace, all without interruptions from gorgeous little ones and all in happiness. It was great to reconnect and invest back into “us”.

Tips for a night away from the kids

Here are my tips for finding time for investing in your relationship when having a night away:

  • There will never be a perfect time to leave the family. Choose the best possible alternative date and book it!
  • Heading somewhere locally where you stay away from your home can be a great alternative if you cannot get away for a long period of time. Going locally means less travel time and more time to relax and enjoy your surrounds.
  • You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy each other’s company, plan in advance and save.
  • Don’t bring up issues of contention. They can wait for another time!
  • Do things you both enjoy, rather than focus on the interests of just one of you.
  • It won’t be perfect, so don’t set unrealistic expectations that mean you end up being disappointed. We went straight from the hotel to drop Mr I off at his cricket game and pick up master 7 from a party (who informed me that he vomited the night before at Nana’s!) Go with the flow as much as you can.
  • Do the small things. Walk and hold hands, compliment each other, do the things that get forgotten in the hustle of family life.
  • Talk. Talk about your hopes, your dreams and cherished memories.
  • And be grateful you have each other and the friends and family that made getting away possible.

The Blackman Hotel

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The Blackman is a boutique style luxury hotel, which exceeded my expectations. As part of the Art Series group, the design of the hotel takes inspiration from a leading Australian artist – in this case Charles Blackman.

Blackman is a complete romantic, his work has been described as poetic, he probes the delicate world of human relationships, and his art speaks tenderly of grief, guilt, loss, persecution and the joy of dreams and memories. He explores the gesture of affection and empathy and his wealth of images have included the dreamlike and enchanting melancholy paintings of women and flowers, children absorbed in daydreams, the serene White cat Gardens and beach scenes. {Source}

The staff are so warm and welcoming, instantly making you feel quite special.
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The room we had was beautiful and light and gorgeously decorated.

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Our room had a Skipping Girl theme from the works of Charles Blackman.
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There are many lovely small touches that help make your stay special, like the art books including one on Charles Blackman so you can read more about the artist who inspired your room and a little foldable brochure with all the key attractions marked on it for you.
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But some of the bigger things were also very impressive. The room had a mini kitchen including, stove top, microwave, large fridge and dishwasher, as well as things like detergent, tea towels sharp knives, pans etc. While we didn’t need to use most of these facilities for our one night, when I saw them, I adored them! I do travel a bit for work and attempt to eat the same way I do at home when I am away. A hotel room like this would make it so much easier!
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Located in St Kilda Rd, it was the perfect location for us. Once we had settled into the room we headed our for a run together around Albert Park Lake.
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We had ice delivered to our room and used some of their facilities to make our post run drinks!
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We could have hired these retro bikes and rode to our gig at the Melbourne Festival, but we opted for a tram! Trams run frequently along St Kilda Road, so heading to our show was easy.
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While we would have loved to have stayed longer, when it came time to leave on Sunday morning, we did feel like we had “been away”. Both of us would highly recommend The Blackman as a great city hotel to stay if you want to escape for a night or are visiting Melbourne.

WERK @ Melbourne Festival

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I think this would be the most alternative performance I have seen in a very long time! The performance was held at the Melbourne Festival Hub on the banks of the Yarra.

The performance was on stage and amongst the audience for a good part of it.
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There was some audience participation from Mr I.
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There was some beautiful singing.
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There was a political statment.
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And dancing with the cast.
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And some very tasty sweet potato fries from Lord of the Fries for the walk back to our hotel!
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When was the last time you and your partner had a night away?