One of My Joys by Malana Ashlie

One of my joys is to walk barefoot along the beach. I walk the water’s edge, allowing waves to come and tickle my toes, then retreat only to return. Meanwhile my eyes keep watch on the waterline searching for riches the ocean may offer. I’ve gathered sand dollars, sharks teeth, small nautilus shells and discarded homes of conchs. Each of these treasures offered by the sea, but for only a moment and then carried away.

If I become distracted, hesitate or miss grabbing for the gift in the foam, the sea will sometimes offer me a second chance, but that is only when she feeling generous. The sea lives in the moment; when you see something you want- don’t hesitate- go for it.

I remember as a child, living with the fear of doing wrong, acting unacceptably, or no longer being loved if I broke ‘rules’. But, for all my being good, I wasn’t happy. I saw other people breaking rules, yet the world didn’t end. Little by little, I was awakening to the realization that I was choosing the proper way while exciting opportunities passed me by.

Years passed and my awareness grew. I saw people that I loved become ill and die before their life had been lived. I watched others become old and disabled while they waited for the perfect time to live their dream. All these lessons were not lost on me, but stored away in my heart. Then finally the words that connected all the experiences came to me…

When you come to the edge of all the light that you know,
And are about to step out into the darkness of the unknown,
Faith is knowing one of two things will happen…
You will be given something firm to stand on,
Or you will be taught to fly.

Today, I walk the beach in every area of the world that I travel to; I search for the treasures hidden in every religion, culture and country. I challenge myself to always stretch the limits of my knowledge and accept the differences in every individual I meet. I do this for me; for those who no longer can and to give my children and grandchildren permission to be, always, in a state of ‘becoming.’ I walk the beach as a celebration of life.

About the Author

Malana Ashlie is the author of Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey. She holds degrees in naturopathy, herbal sciences, subtle energy as well as a PhD in Metaphysics. She has been privileged to study with traditional Elders of Mayan and Hawaiian cultures. Dr. Malana has been widely published on the subjects of holistic health and spiritual growth and now offers this in her independent study program: Dynamics of Healing and Happiness. She currently lives along the sunny coast of Honduras but travels teaching workshops that incorporate ancient wisdom into modern life.

Visit Malana at:


Special Guest Expat Malana Ashlie - Author of 'Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey'

Malana Ashlie, Ph.D., is the author of Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey and Pathways to Inner Peace. A certified naturopath and holistic healer, Dr. Ashlie is also an interfaith minister and ceremony leader.

A scholar of ancient wisdom, she has been privileged to study with Mayan elders, sacred teachers of Native American traditions, and Hawaiian kupuna. She is also an adept of the Hermetic Principles. Exploring the mysteries of indigenous cultures has expanded her abilities as a Reiki Master and enhanced her awareness of other subtle energies. She travels extensively throughout the United States and Central America, lecturing, teaching, and leading retreats.

After five years in Hawaii, Malana and her husband Ordin, along with Pueo, their shamelessly spoiled cat, relocated in 2006 to the tiny beach community of El Porvenir, on Honduras’s little-known Caribbean coast. There they participate in the life of the community while managing Wisdom Pathway, a business that offers the spiritual retreat /eco-tour portion of the personal discovery seminars and workshops Dr. Ashlie teaches.

For more information about the author, visit or


Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey by Malana Ashlie is a delightfully amusing and lighthearted autobiography chronicling her move from Hawai’i to the Caribbean Coast of Honduras. When she and her husband decide to relocate to a more secluded paradise the fun begins. She shares the trials and triumphs of building a new life in Central America, in what can best be described as a spiritual journey of faith.

Of special appeal to the swelling ranks of expat retirees in Mexico and Central America (over one million strong, according to 2005 census estimates), Gringos in Paradise shares the adventures — and misadventures — two retirees face as they set off to the Caribbean coast of Honduras in search of financial freedom, personal fulfillment, and peace.

Malana Ashlie’s GRINGOS IN PARADISE VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ‘09 will officially begin on Nov. 25 and end on December 10. You can visit Malana’s blog stops at during the month of December to find out more about this great book and talented author!


Café Review: My Chocolate Shoppe

Caught out on a hot, sticky day in Kiama with a few hours to spare before we were meeting friends, the husband and I were wandering around looking for somewhere to relax. Of course, I opted for the first place I saw that combined two things I really wanted at that moment: air conditioning and chocolate.

As you probably have figured out by now, I have a thing for hardwood floors. Stepping into the air conditioned comfort of My Chocolate Shoppe in Kiama, I immediately fell in love with the hardwood floors and deep blue walls of this space. With jazzy music playing in the background and soft lighting as the day grew darker, I couldn’t help but feel relaxed.

My Chocolate Shoppe is a ‘posh’ shop, but only in positive, comfortable ways. It’s a small shop, but that makes it feel intimate and familiar. My husband and I opted for cushy chairs in front of the large store front windows so we could watch the world go by. (Please forgive me for the lack of location pictures. I blame travel tiredness and heat tiredness.)

The shop is a busy one – is that any surprise with such fine chocolates and other chocolate gourmet goodies on offer? – but it never feels crowded or even noisy.

My Chocolate Shoppe Coffee

The coffee at My Chocolate Shoppe doesn’t disappoint, providing a rich, full bodied cup of delicious hot liquid. Not a man easily impressed by any coffee, he readily rated his coffee at a strong four out of five – and he has never tasted a five.

I, of course, didn’t have any interest in the coffee, as I was reveling in this beauty…

My Chocolate Shoppe Iced Choc

I originally ordered a chai latte, but after seeing a woman at another table receive one of these… Well, I just had to have what she is having. After all, what better time to indulge than while on vacation?

And what an indulgence it was.

With two scoops of ice cream – one vanilla and once chocolate – a generous heap of whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles on top, I have never had a lovelier iced chocolate. Turning her nose up when asked about chocolate syrup, you could really taste the fine Belgian chocolate difference.

At six dollars (AUD), it was the most expensive iced chocolate I’ve ever had, but – in my penny-pinching opinion – it was worth every single cent. The care put into everything from the chocolate used to the presentation was brilliant.

I am happy to give My Chocolate Shoppe my first ever reader rating of encyclopaedia, a place I know they would have to kick me out of before I would ever want to leave. I can only hope that they open a location in Victoria or I can relocate to New South Wales.


My Chocolate Shoppe
Shop 13 – 206
Terralong Street
Kiama, NSW



Top 10 Places to See In Brisbane - Special Guest Post!

I'm not in the position to go anywhere and everywhere in Australia, so when Gagan from Brisbane Blog offered a guest post about Brisbane, I was more than happy to post up the article.

I hope you all join me in welcoming Gagan to The New Australian.

Top 10 Places to See in Brisbane

Brisbane is the state Capital of Australian State Queensland and is the largest city of the state. This Beautiful city is located on the Brisbane River and is surrounded by many national parks, rivers and inlets. Brisbane is the third most popular destination for tourists after Sydney and Melbourne. The City contains a lot of Museums, art galleries, parks providing tourists lot of places they can explore and spend quality time. In this article we would be putting the Top 10 Places which you can’t afford to miss on your Brisbane Trip.

Mount-Coot Tha

Mount-Coot Tha is a mountain suburb in Brisbane. The Mountain is 287 meters above sea level and is located at 6 Km in the west of Brisbane. The Monut-Coot Tha reserve contains more than 1500 hectares of native wildlife. The lookout includes cafe, gift shop and restaurant. There are several track of different difficulty levels involving some uphill sections or Tops.

South Bank Parklands

South Back Parklands is another popular place to visit in Brisbane. It is located at the Southern Bank of Brisbane River and includes lot of attractions like Wheel of Brisbane, Swimming lagoon, street Beaches. More than 200 events are organized in South Bank each year. South Bank is also a mecca of Restaurants and Coffee Shops , where you can enjoy flavors of all around the world.

Roma Street Parkland

Roma Street Parkland is spread over 16 hectares of land in the center of Brisbane. It is the largest urban subtropical garden in world. The parkland is divided in to five individually designed themed gardens – Spectacle Garden, The Lake Precinct, The Forest and Fern Gully, Celebration Precinct, Upper Parkland. Roma Parkland is a wonderful recreational are where you can enjoy with your whole family.

Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

The Brisbane City Botanic Garden is located at Garden Point on the Brisbane River. The roughly triangular park contains many rare and unusual botanic species. The Brisbane Gardens are open 24 hours for tourists free of charge. The main Interest of Gardens are the City Gardens Café, the water hill foundation and Gardens Cycle Hire station at Entrance.

Brisbane Forest Park

Brisbane Forest Park is located on the western part of Brisbane adjacent to Mount-Coot Tha reserve. Established in 1973 the Park has informational and educational center of Australian Wildlife. The entrance to the Park is Located at the Gap where you can reach by Bus 383 or Car. You can enjoy Great lookouts, Walking Tracks and picnic spots in the park. The Walk-About Creek Wildlife Centre display Australian wildlife including native birds.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was founded in 1927 and is located in Brisbane Suburb of Fig Tree Pocket. The sanctuary has a diverse wildlife including Koalas, Kangaroos, Wombats, Echidnas and various species of Reptiles. Visitors can feed the free roaming kangaroos in this reserve. You can see lot of colorful birds like Australian Parrots in the Sanctuary. The Entrance of Sanctuary is From Brisbane River which is easily accessible by a private taxi or a local bus.

Moreton Bay

Moreton Bay is 19 km from Brisbane and is the largest bay on the eastern coast of Australia. From Sailing to Sand Toboggan there is lot to do in Moreton Bay. From Swimming to surfing you can enjoy everything in the blue water of Moreton Bay .You can also feed Dolphins at Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resorts on Moreton Island. Events are organized all over the year on Moreton Bay including the most popular Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race. It is one of the most favorite places of tourists who love water sports.

Fortitude Valley

Fortitude valley is suburb of central Brisbane named after 19th century Ship SS Fortitude. It is Brisbane one of the most Fashionable and vibrant Precinct. The valley is known for clubs and nightlife and is the best place for you to visit if you are more in to Partying. The valley is the cultural hub of Brisbane. Local Events are organized all over the year. The main events are Valley Transmission, Valley Fiesta, Valley Jazz Festival and Big Gay Day.

Queensland Cultural Centre

Queensland Cultural Centre is located at South Bank adjacent to Brisbane River. It is the home of important Art institutions of Australia like Queensland Museum, State Library of Queensland, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and Queensland Art Gallery. Gallery is open every day of the week from 10 am to 5 pm. You can learn a lot about the rich culture and heritage of the country after visiting the Queensland Cultural Centre.

Tamborine Mountain

Tamborine Mountain is located in the south of Brisbane is a 28 Km-square Plateau. The major attraction on Tamborine Mountain is Gallery walk which is a street of Cafes and souvenir shops. Tamborine Mountain has lot of walking Trails passing through Rainforest Regions, cliffs and waterfalls.


Gagandeep Singh is working for a Brisbane Australia, which is a complete blog dedicated to information about Brisbane Hotels, Travel and Tourism.


And We're Back

After about a week away (one night in Eden and five nights just south of Bateman's Bay), the husband and I are back and feeling pretty relaxed. The drive back all in one day was a bit hard, but we made good time. We also had a meal voucher, so we didn't have to cook when we got back. (Always a plus after a long trip.)

I didn't do one bit of creative writing during the whole trip, but I am not going to stress about it. Relaxation was the aim of the holiday, and we achieved that aim. The place where we stayed - The Chalet Swisse - certainly is a place I can imagine going back to as a writer's retreat, though.

Now that I'm back and refreshed, I want to make a good start of it. I'm currently looking around for calls for submissions both to write for and to post on InkyBlots. If you have any you want advertised, let me know. Even if I don't qualify/write in that genre, I'm happy to post it on my site.

More for a good start, I have printed off some raw recipes (raw chocolate!) to try in the following weeks. I am excited to try new things and I know I could use a detox after all the seafood mornay I ate...

We missed a heat wave in Melbourne while we were away, but it looks like it's going to get right toasty again, so I'm sure cold and easy meals will be more than welcome.


Café Review: Flying Emu Café

Halls Gap is a small down in the heart of the Grampians mountains, located in western Victoria. With beautiful views all around, wildlife like kangaroos wandering close and a lot of homey small shops to explore, it makes an ideal vacation spot. You wouldn’t want to be in the crush of tourists during the season, but I was fortunate enough to travel through during the off season.

On the main street through Halls Gap there is a set of small shops called the Stony Creek stores. Amongst them is the Flying Emu Café.

Flying Emu Café

A café couldn’t have a more perfect location.

Flying Emu - Outside

You can choose to sit inside in the nicely sized dining room with large windows lining the front and modest decorations. Or you can choose to sit outside and enjoy the lovely sunshine, absolutely gorgeous mountain views and the sound of the nearby creek.

Flying Emu Park

As we waited to place our orders, I couldn’t help but notice the menus on the table. Pictures included, the menu contained ten different ways to have your coffee. This lends the impression that they are coffee experts, but…

The coffee is okay, but not very well made. There isn’t a lot of depth to the flavour.

The don’t make chai, either, but they have things like hot chocolate so you won’t be lost if you’re not a big coffee drinker. (Or if you don’t care to give the coffee a go for yourself.)

Flying Emu Devonshire Tea

The scones, jam and cream made for a delicious decadent brunch choice. The scones are served so warm and fresh that you must break them with your fingers and not cut them with your knife, lest you turn the inside doughy with your cold knife. I wasn’t actually aware of that before we ate there, but my husband informed me quickly when he saw me reaching for my knife.

While the scones are delicious, they are also huge. One serve (two scones) is enough to split between two people.

The coffee was a bit lackluster, but the beautiful environment and tasty traditional fare made it a place that sticks out in my memory. It is a place I will visit again (in the off season).


Flying Emu Café
Stony Creek Stores
Hall’s Gap, VIC


Vacation Day One

Readers, meet Eden, New South Wales. This is the view from the Bayview Inn. Aaah. There is a similar view from the absolutely magnificent restaurant at the end of the inn.

Aaaah. I'm already feeling more relaxed. Mmm.

(And yeah, we went swimming in the pool. It was a hot, hot day for driving so many kilometres.)


To Be Honest

I have been having a tough time lately for reasons I don't care to mention. I'm not in any sort of trouble that warrants help; it's more the kind that makes me want to curl up in bed and not face the world for a few days.

But, I have work and a life - not to mention a husband - to take care of, so I soldier on and just take a bit longer to get back to normal.

Thank you all for bearing with me.


Making the World a Better Place With Fun

I love these.