Discover your inner explorer
Experience the Cornish College difference
At Cornish College we believe education goes hand in hand with exploration. Beginning with our 3 Year Old Early Learning program and continuing through to Year 12, our students are encouraged to identify problems and seek out solutions, cultivating their creativity as well as their entrepreneurial spirit. Book a school tour cornishcollege.vic.edu.au/school-tours
Cover Models: Maddie and Zac Location: Danielle B Photography studio daniellebphotography.com.au
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Design Sam Loverso email@example.com
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This publication is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
Peninsula Kids is produced quarterly. 15,000 copies distributed between Mordialloc and Portsea.
Registered address: 63 Watt Road, Mornington 3931
Hola from the summer edition of Peninsula Kids magazine.
I began this note with the Spanish word for ‘hello’ so that we may quickly transition into an explanation for all the wet weather we’ve been having. (There will be a test later.) ��
Enter La Niña. (Spanish for ‘the girl’.)
La Niña is a complex weather pattern that occurs every few years as a result of variations in ocean temperatures in the equatorial band of the Pacific Ocean. The phenomenon occurs as strong winds blow warm water at the ocean's surface away from South America, across the Pacific Ocean towards Indonesia. As this warm water moves west, cold water from the deep sea rises to the surface near South America.
And then it rains a bucket-load here.
Look at us, we learned something!
Wet weather or not, let us look forward to the summer and holiday season. Surely, the Mornington Peninsula will not let us down and give us a dazzling display of sunny days and sparkling seas to play in. Wet weather be gone!
Congrats to our winners of the colouring competition from the spring edition of the mag, and to the Mornington Railway (morningtonrailway.org.au) for sponsoring it! Check out this edition’s awesome art by our amazing graphic designer, Sam, and send your entry in for a chance to soar on the Arthurs Seat Eagle on page 99!
PS - This edition of the mag is brimming with amazing giveaways for Mum, Dad, kids and even the pets! From passes to Hot Arts for Cool Kids at the FAC to an amazing locally created skin care system FRII[S] MITH for your teen and loads of toys from popular brands like V-Tech, Skullcandy, Morphée, LeapFrog, the YoYo Factory and more to pop under the tree there is something for everyone!
Feliz navidad y próspero año nuevo!
Proudly published by
AUTUMN 2021Sam Loverso Anne-Marie Tunks Advertising Andy Jukes
At Padua College we offer an education for life, one that encourages students to utilise their God-given talent, be the best that they can be, and make a positive impact on the world.
Mornington Peninsula families are warmly invited to join one of our campus tours to explore the rich curriculum, sporting, cultural and spiritual life that our College can offer your child.
Meet our staff, see the school in action, and learn more about our new Year 7-8 Centre at Mornington and smaller class sizes.
Making Yo-Yos Even Cooler
Gentry Stein is the best yoyo player in the world! Not only admired, but also considered to be very cool!
14 What Are Your Real Simple Joys?
Joy can actually be helpful in living a better life and boosting your overall wellbeing, so start seeking out new ways to be happy.
18 Backyard Koalas
Koalas are a celebrated Australian icon that call the backyards of parts of the Mornington Peninsula home.
30 Outdoor Kids Nest Boxes
Creating safe havens for threatened species is a priority and there are some very simple things you and your kids can do to help.
32 Tis the Season to Be Jolly Christmas can be the season to experience “all the feels,” especially those feelings of pressure and stress.
34 The Power of Sharing and Fostering Hope
The story of how a devasting bike crash inspires the power of hope.
36 A Real Superpower
5 Tips to Take Control of Your Busy Family Kitchen
If you lack inspiration when deciding what to make for dinner, try making small, realistic changes that fit with your family's busy schedule.
22 Peace of Mind Based on Your Star Sign
Astrologer Patsy Bennett provides you with tips to finding peace of mind according to your star sign.
28 Merging Finances
What you need to know the second time around.
Being bored is OK. Our kids need to practice that becoming an adult comes with large chunks of life that are boring but necessary.
38 The Ultimate Summer Holiday Road Trip Checklist
A summer road trip can be an exciting adventure, but long drives with young children can be stressful if you’re not prepared.
Why Adults Are Hooked On Children's Fantasy Books
Matt Galanos’ Dane Thorburn books series is aimed at young adult readers, but they have also found a large readership amongst adults.
WHAT SHOULD A PARENT LOOK FOR IN A GOOD YO-YO?
A good yoyo should make learning tricks easier. Unfortunately, there are a lot of yoyos out there that don’t work well and make learning difficult. I’ve just recently partnered with Woolworths to make my Spinstar yoyo with Yoyofactory available across Australia. It is designed to spin long and is easy to return to the hand; it’s the perfect yoyo to start with.
HOW HAVE YOYOS IMPROVED OVER THE YEARS?
The most important changes with technology are the ability to unscrew the yoyo when you get knots, as well as changes in the design that effect how long the yoyo spins. With wider inner gaps and more weight shifted to the outer rims of the yoyos, the yoyos spin much longer and there are way more tricks you can drop with them.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE YOYO TRICK TO DO?
At the moment it’s the DNA. It’s the most viral trick out there right now and I’m happy to say I’m the one who popularised it on my TikTok page!
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST TRICK FOR YOU TO MASTER?
The hardest tricks are horizontal tricks. The yoyo spins sideways, so you have to fight gravity and keep the yoyo moving the whole time, which
HOW DID YOU LEARN ALL THE TRICKS THAT YOU KNOW? DID SOMEONE TEACH YOU?
I learnt a lot of tricks when taking lessons once a week, but every other day of the week I would learn off YouTube tutorials. I now have a whole tutorial series on my own YouTube channel for people to learn from. When I was training for the World Yoyo Contest, I would practice six to eight hours a day.
WHAT ARE THE COGNITIVE BENEFITS FOR KIDS WHEN YOYOING?
It definitely improves your eye hand coordination, but developing perseverance is also a big one. The year before I won my first world title, I actually didn’t make the finals. It was this failure that helped drive me to win the following year. Every time you throw a yoyo, there is something to learn and a problem to be solved. I owe most of my successes throughout my life to the things I’ve learned through playing with a yoyo.
ARE MOST PROFESSIONAL YOYO PLAYERS GUYS OR GIRLS OR BOTH?
Most are guys, but over the last couple of years there have been a lot of girls getting into it as well. Anyone can become great at playing yoyo so it’s great for both boys and girls.
HOW MANY YOYOS DO YOU OWN CURRENTLY?
At this point I have over 1,000. But that’s because I’ve been doing this for so long and it’s become my job. To be a great yoyo player you only need one yoyo.
WHY IS IT GOOD TO HAVE A SKILL LIKE YO-YO PLAYING AS A ‘PARTY TRICK’?
Yoyos are an amazing conversation starter! Everyone that sees me playing yoyo always has a million questions. It’s the best thing to do to get off the screens and out into the real world so I can’t recommend getting into it highly enough.
Check out Gentry in action on his socials and Youtube.
TikTok: @itsgentrystein Insta: @gentrystein www.gentrystein.com
hat are your real simple joys in life? A daily walk in the park. Spending time with loved ones. Challenging yourself with work and hobbies. Striving to find your true purpose. All these things and more can bring joy to everyday Australians. So what makes you happy? Digging into how we find joy can actually be helpful in living a better life. If you’d like to boost your overall wellbeing and start to seek out new ways to be happy, take this fun quiz about joy.
WHAT MAKES YOU THE HAPPIEST?
Everyone finds joy in different things – that’s part of what makes you, you. So which of the following makes you the happiest?
• Being optimistic: Always looking for the positives in life and turning setbacks into opportunities for growth.
• Having leisure time: Whether that’s spending some restorative ‘me-time’ at the beach or just sitting back and enjoying a movie with someone you care about, you live for your moments of leisure.
• Having a solid support system: You live for your family and friends, and spending time with them is your central source of happiness.
• Finding purpose: You want to leave a mark on this world and find out what you are truly meant to achieve in this life. Finding your own unique purpose is what drives you and brings you joy.
WHAT TYPE ARE YOU?
• Optimist: No matter what happens in your daily life, you are determined to make the best of it. That doesn’t mean you don’t get discouraged from time to time, but overall you have goals and you are intent on achieving them – and you know that things will work out in the end.
• Pessimist: You’re a glass-is-half-empty type of person. That doesn’t mean you are always negative, but neither do you convince yourself that you can achieve the impossible. Instead, you have realistic goals and always do your best to set yourself up to avoid failure.
HOW DO YOU LIKE TO HAVE FUN?
Imagine you’ve got a full day to yourself – you can do just about anything you like.
• Head to the beach for some R&R in the sun?
• Curl up under a blanket and read a good book or play video games?
• Treat yourself to some retail therapy?
• Enjoy a physical activity like sport or running?
• Explore your artistic side with painting or music?
The bottom line? Whatever your hobbies are, it’s important to make time for them.
WHICH OF THESE DO YOU DEFINE AS FINDING ‘PURPOSE’?
Maybe you’ve already found it or perhaps you are still looking for your purpose. There is no ‘right’ option – it’s completely up to you. You may define your purpose as:
• Being able to make an impact through your current work.
• Looking for a new job that will help you carry out your purpose every day.
• Becoming a volunteer – your purpose is all about helping others find theirs.
• Being part of a club or community that shares a common purpose.
• Raising a family and imbuing in them strong, purposeful goals.
HOW MUCH DO YOU FOCUS ON YOUR HEALTH?
Your overall health is inextricably linked to your levels of happiness. In fact, researchers found that for people with a family history of heart disease, there was a 30% reduction in heart issues for those who had a positive wellbeing – such as; optimism, happiness, life satisfaction and vitality.
SO, WHICH DO YOU FOCUS ON MORE?
• Physical health: Staying fit, exercising regularly and eating well.
• Mental health: Looking after yourself and trying to maintain a positive outlook on life.
• Social health: Staying in touch with friends and family to help build a sense of togetherness.
Make sure you are tending to these different types of ‘health’ frequently. After all, even the most physically healthy person on the planet can be unhappy if they don’t look after their mental and social health.
TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF EACH DAY
Finding joy in lots of different places doesn’t always come easy. Rather than being like a switch you can easily turn on, knowing what makes you happy may take a little trial and error. To help bring more joy into your life, here are some suggestions:
• Reach out to an old friend: If it’s been a while since you connected with friends, take the plunge and reach out to them. It’s easy to make excuses in this digital-focused world, but you might be surprised by how appreciative they are by you making the first move to reconnect.
• Write down a ‘joy list’: Take some time to think about what actually makes you happy. Write them down and set goals for how you can do one of those things every week, or maybe even every day.
• Be a giver: There’s science behind the idea that giving actually makes us happier. So, whether it’s for a birthday, the holiday season or simply for no reason at all – make a habit out of giving. And it doesn’t have to be money; giving someone your time or making them their favourite meal can be just as special.
• Take the time to exercise: Not keen on a 10km run or an hour on your bike? No problem. Even a 10-minute walk around your block or through the park can do wonders for your mental health – and maybe even bring a little unexpected joy.
Sources: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-inaustralia/report-contents/mental-health-impact-of-covid-19 www.healthline.com/nutrition/happiness-and-health www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788860/ www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15964
Backyard KoalasBy Debra Mar
If you look up high in a tree, you may see a rainbow lori, a cockie, a kookaburra or a Maggie but if you are lucky, you might spot a phascolarctos cinereus wedged in a tree fork.
To you and me, that is a koala!
Not only are koalas a celebrated Australian icon we see in sanctuaries, zoos, or a cuddly toy, it is thrilling to actually see one in our backyard. Yes, our cute native marsupial does call the Mornington Peninsula home and most live or visit backyards stretching from Tyabb, Somers, Balnarring Beach, Arthurs Seat and parts of Rosebud. Unfortunately, numbers are in decline.
As recent as February 2022, the conservation status of the koala has been recently changed from vulnerable to endangered in Queensland, ACT and NSW. Anecdotal evidence shows through recent bushfires, weather events and development, Victoria may also be in danger of losing koalas due to loss of habitat.
What communities are witnessing With an increase of human population on the Peninsula, a block of land that once accommodated one dwelling, trees and vegetation are now being demolished to make way for a surge of multi-storey units and apartments in township and major activity centres.
The Green Wedge covers 70% of the Mornington Peninsula and is made up of privately owned land. Clearing of tree canopy and supporting vegetation is causing fragmentation of wildlife habitat and corridors and loss of old gum trees.
AWARENESS AND EDUCATION
The whole family can be involved through awareness and education. Explore your own backyard, wander through local parks and reserves or join a conservation group.
Trees provide shade to play under, a home for birds to nest, hollows for parrots and sugar gliders and create healthy ecosystems.
Koala roadkill and vehicle strikes are all too common on the Peninsula particularly during the breeding season in spring and summer and at dawn, dusk and night. Dogs in backyards and tree removal are also factors that decrease numbers.
We can start in our own backyards. Think twice before cutting down a tree. Observe behaviours and visitation of various wildlife and birds that depend on that tree for shelter, nesting or food. Every tree matters, even a single nature strip or paddock tree.
Plant ‘koala food’ trees such as Manna Gums, Narrow Peppermint leaf, a Swamp Gum and native shrubs as a natural food source. Give your koala and wildlife a place to live and feel safe and secure in your backyard.
The word koala derives from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘no drink’. A baby koala is called a joey and rides on its mothers back up to 12 months Koalas sleep 20 hours a day
They are nocturnal
Koalas usually live between 10 – 12 years in the wild They have particularly hard bottoms to sit in trees Koalas have poor vision so rely on their hearing and smell
They eat eucalyptus leaves that are poison to other animals Koalas are habitual and return to the same tree.
If the tree is cut down they become confused and stressed.
ANIMAL SHELTERS CARE FOR THE KOALAS
Local volunteer conservation groups who protect and preserve our environment and habitat are here to help.
THE LIFE OF A GUMTREEBy Aidan B
I don’t like bushes
I don’t like bees But I love the fantastic Gumtrees You jump around them Beautiful koalas live in these Gumtrees
One such group is the Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation Landcare Group. Founder and President of the group, Dirk Jansen said, “More than 70% of koala habitat is on private property so koalas need our help to retain and plant trees on our land.”
For more information about this conservation group and how children and families can participate in a tree planting venture, visit mpkoalas.org.au
To love our koalas is to love our trees, our local native birdlife and nature.
Bang, Crunch, terrible bushfires rule in Summer Koala numbers go down Animals go sad, bushfires all around
Animals with nowhere to go Gumtree numbers go down Care for gumtrees
Gumtrees are angry at the fires
Finally the bushfire season is over Koalas go to their homes
But sadly it’s gone
I feel for them, they are homeless Sad life for koalas
I no gone
All animals no victory All trees are gone
It all starts in our own backyards.
Debra Mar is a councillor for the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and an advocate for conservation to ensure we have a sustainable future for native flora and fauna and emerging generations.
tips to take control of yourfamilybusykitchenBy Allie Gaunt & Jessica Benton
ave you ever lacked a little inspiration when deciding on what to make for dinner? Whether it’s a busy afternoon you didn’t quite prepare for, the unpredictability of juggling babies and young children, or you’re simply a little tired from thinking about what to put on the table each night. Trying to cater for different age groups and food preferences in amongst managing the never ending demand of kids activities can feel quite overwhelming. Plus, don’t get us started on the seemingly endless amount of lunchboxes we need to consider each day.
Try and look at your typical week as a whole and find some gaps of time to get ahead and stay there. Simply map out which days are busy, and which could offer some extra time, then work with what you’ve got. Once you have this basic plan in place, you can then fill the week with whatever you need - one day might be a slow cooker meal with a freezer dump bag prepped for another day, while another might be a fast meal, or some leftovers that you planned from the day before.
Instead of aspiring to absolute parenting perfection we suggest making small, realistic changes that fit with your family's busy schedule and take the time to look after your future self. So, when days are more challenging or life gets in the way, you can feel more prepared by utilising your well stocked freezer or having a range of fast meals that utilise pantry staples, rather than spending on expensive takeaway or top-up shops too often.
If this seems all too familiar, why not try some of these simple, achievable and maintainable solutions that can help you stay in control.
Fruit and veggie grab boxes
Many parents feel guilty that they haven’t offered enough fruit and veggie options throughout the day. One of the greatest simple prep ideas we have is to create a fruit and veggie grab box at the beginning of each week (and top it up as you go). The idea is that with a few minutes of prep - think washing and chopping veggie sticks and peeled and chopped fruit - you will have some incidental snacks, lunchbox filler and fresh sides to offer at dinner.
We find if it’s prepped, you are more likely to offer it and they are more likely to eat it! Better yet, once you’re in a good routine, older children can help with preparing these bright and colourful boxes for you.
Create a meal plan that works for you
Frozen baking boxes
The freezer should be your number one treasure trove to keep a busy family functioning. We often think about main meals, but what about the never-ending snacks and lunchboxes too? We love to create one sweet and one savoury baking box of fastmoving frozen snacks. Think sweet - muffins, bliss balls, biscuits and savoury - sausage rolls, tartlets, and noodle muffins all flash frozen and placed together in a box in the freezer. Designed to be added to each week there will be no time for freezer burn as they’re used for fast toddler dinners, lunchboxes, and snacks on the go.
Slow cooker + freezer dump bags
A slow cooker and the right recipes can bring you so much joy! You can batch cook in the slow cooker allowing you portions to freeze for another night and once you are in the swing of things ‘freezer dump bags’ will become your new best friend. We’ve developed a collection of slow cooker meals that also allows you to preprep a dump bag of the same ingredients, to freeze for another day. So the following week when you know afternoon chaos is coming, you can defrost the bag and dump it into the slow cooker for a perfectly cooked meal by dinner time.
It only takes a small amount of organisation and pre-planning to considerably change the way your family eats and more importantly the way it makes you feel. All of the recipes in The Family Meal Solution can work on their own or be integrated into your meal plan piece by piece to give you a flexible and achievable approach to feeding your family each week. Plus with vegetarian suggestions, allergy and intolerance notes and suggestions on how to serve each meal to your baby and toddler we really have thought of everything. We can’t wait to see you get started!
Creating meals with leftovers
Whether you’re the main cook in the house, or some member of the household shares the load, leftovers can be a game changer in reducing the amount of time you spend in the kitchen. Making one meal and using the leftovers later in the week for a different meal is a total game changer. When we use leftover meals for kids we like to create a completely different meal in either taste or texture to the one before. That means while we are using the same base component we are continuing to offer variety.
PEACE OF MIND BASED ONBy Patsy Bennet
Peace of mind is the seedbed of happiness, but how will you find contentment?
It’s in the stars, says astrologer Patsy Bennett author of Sun Sign Secrets. Here, she will provide you with her five top tips to finding peace of mind according to your star sign...
MAY 21 – JUNE 21 MAR 21 – APRIL 19
You’re an upbeat, dynamic character, but can have a short fuse, so it’s important you seek balance.
1. Blow off steam with physical activities: choose gym workouts, walks or even kick-boxing!
2. Consider assertiveness classes if aggression is an ongoing issue for you.
3. Balance high-impact workouts with calming activities such as reading, gardening and cooking.
4. Achieve work-life balance by scheduling relaxation time.
5. Work smarter not harder; streamline work schedules.
You’re skilled at multi-tasking and so you can exhaust yourself, so it’s vital you support your health.
1. Avoid over-working.
2. Avoid skipping meals and eat a balanced diet.
3. Look after your nerves with a herbal tonic from a recommended naturopath or doctor.
4. Calm an agitated mind with relaxing visualisation techniques.
5. Adopt breathing techniques that can lead to a calm outlook.
APRIL 20 – MAY 20
You’re a practical, earthy character, but can get restless when you feel stuck in a rut and you can obsess over ideas.
1. Ground yourself in nature with bush walks or simply by sitting under a tree.
2. Allow yourself to let go of recurring thoughts; consider meditation.
3. Avoid stubbornness: consider others’ points of view compassionately.
4. Be aware of karma: keep a clear conscience and be conscious of your actions and their impact.
5. Indulge your senses with scents and oils, flowers.
JUNE 22 – JULY 22
You’re a caring soul, but you tend to look after everyone else first and forget to self-nurture.
1. Put yourself at the top of your nurturing schedule. It’s not being selfish, it’s practical.
2. Prepare comforting and grounding meals: eat with family or friends when possible.
3. Make mealtimes a conflict-free zone.
4. Enjoy swims or walks on the beach, by a river or a lake.
5. Meditate: this will increase your feel-good factor.
JULY 23 – AUGUST 22
You love to shine and life can become a whirlwind, so it’s essential you top up energy levels regularly.
1. Recognise when you’re exhausted and bolster energy levels with superfoods.
2. Although you appear self-confident, you can lack self-esteem, so practise positive self-talk.
3. Balance your extrovert energy with soothing music and sensual treats.
4. Be prepared to agree to disagree when conflict arises.
5. Avoid pandering to your fears; be prepared to shine.
AUG 23 – SEPT 22
Ensure you balance your analytical ideas with realistic plans to avoid fixating on details.
1. Enjoy communing with nature: you’re an Earth spirit, after all.
2. Organise your itinerary to create more ‘me’ time.
3. Avoid obsessing over every detail; be prepared to be spontaneous too.
4. Be forgiving - of yourself, most of all.
5. Avoid overt self-criticism as this can cause low self-esteem and avoidance of new experiences.
SEP 23 – OCT 23
To avoid indecision, combine your innovative ideas with practicalities.
1. Make decision-making easier: list ‘pros’ and a ‘cons’ and then stick to decisions.
2. Indulge in life’s pleasures, but avoid over-indulgence.
3. Practise the wisdom of acceptance: some things in life are inevitable.
4. Calm your mind with yoga, music and creativity.
5. Give yourself a break: you don’t always have to be the peacemaker.
OCT 24 – NOV 21
Passionate and intense, you crave peace of mind when drama prevails.
1. Call ‘time out’ when a situation is becoming dramatic.
2. Relax with massage or reflexology.
3. Keep a clear conscience. This promotes positive action and limits regrets.
4. Enjoy spa treatments: you’ll find water soothing.
5. Learn self-calming techniques such as breathing techniques.
At Woodleigh, we challenge young people to be adventurous with their learning – to take risks, to go beyond their comfort zone and break new ground. When young people have choice to pick their own path, their school journey is more challenging and more rewarding. This is how they learn to thrive.
To learn more about Woodleigh School, scan the QR code below, or email our Enrolments Team –firstname.lastname@example.org
NOV 22 – DEC 21
You aim high, but can become disappointed unless you set yourself realistic goals.
1. Sports and recreation are integral to your well-being as they promote peace of mind.
2. Keep your competitive nature in line with bigger-picture goals to avoid distractions.
3. Envisage already having obtained your goals; then it’s a case of doing it.
4. Think abundance, not scarcity, and fulfil your prophecy.
5. Keep a notebook handy to jot down bright ideas.
JAN 20 – FEB18
You’re the zodiac’s maverick but your high energy and quirkiness can lead to exhaustion.
1. Let your no-nonsense side out: you’ll gain peace of mind.
2. Let your free spirit run free: schedule regular getaways.
3. Make time for fun and activities that promote lateral thinking such as comedy nights.
4. Enjoy being individualistic, but avoid ostracising yourself.
5. Practise awareness of the present to help avoid worry and distractions.
FEB 19 – MAR 20 DEC 22 – JAN 19
You seek prestige and success, and can push yourself hard, but must avoid being tough on yourself.
1. Ensure your self-talk is positive, not self-deprecating.
2. Feel ‘grounded’ by literally getting your feet on the ground: walk in nature.
3. Feel fulfilled by ensuring your activities align with your values.
4. Believe in yourself. Seek like-minded people who believe in themselves - and in you too.
5. Practise activities that promote well-being and confidence such as t’ai chi.
You’re a dreamer and an idealist, but life can appear harsh unless you’re realistic too.
1. Enjoy the soothing effects of water: swimming, lying on the beach, spas, showers.
2. Indulge your imagination; practise art and crafts, write, make music and dance.
3. Enjoy regular flights of fancy with film nights and book clubs, but avoid escapism.
4. Ditch bad habits that only delay facing reality.
5. Avoid victim-martyr roles; ban self-pity.
Patsy Bennett has worked as a professional astrologer for over 24 years. Her daily, weekly, quarterly and yearly horoscopes are published in over 65 newspapers and magazines throughout Australia and internationally. Sun Sign Secrets by Rockpool Publishing $34.99.
children being children
We are so excited to be offering childcare, kinder and early education throughout Melbourne, to our little learners at FiRST early learning.
Our stunning, early learning centres offer a safe, fun and loving environment for children to enjoy.
FiRST early learning operate five centres across Melbourne and all services are carefully designed and created to provide high quality education for children aged 6 weeks to 5 years.
We understand that the first 5 years of every child’s development and learning is of the utmost importance. We provide enthusiastic, qualified, experienced and loving educators together with Bachelor qualified kindergarten teachers that deliver the steps needed for quality educational
curriculums to build and prepare your child for the next stages in their lives.
At FiRST, we lay the steppingstones to nurture, build, and develop secure and trusting relationships with our little learners and families.
Every change, growth and milestone are celebrated and encouraged. Our environments are safe and stimulating, mixed with natural materials to offer the children exciting play spaces where they can build their creative thoughts and imaginations.
No matter what age and ability your child is when they take their first steps into our classrooms, FiRST ensures that every child and family will feel welcome and happy in our home away from home environment.
Our educators understand each child as an individual with a range of needs, wants, interests, abilities and languages.
FiRST will provide, encourage and further develop your child’s interests, ideas, theories, needs, sense of self and engage with your child in helping them to become the best they can be.
We offer swimming lessons, (bush and beach) kinder, library visits, yoga, music, science, cooking, intergenerational visits with our older friends and much more.
We are excited to offer an excellent service and we look forward to meeting you all.
Please email email@example.com
Learning through Play at FiRST
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW...
MERGING FINANC SE
THE SECONDTIME AR OUNDBy Helen Baker
Congratulations on finding love a second time round!
Now focus on getting your money matters right to help ensure you and your family get your happily ever after.
ABS figures show the divorce rate is highest for people in their 40s. And with life expectancy in Australia in our 80s, odds are that most of these people will settle down with a new partner, and even remarry. While it may be a win for love, merging finances a second time round can be complex. Hence, it pays to be diligent to avoid a mountain of headaches later on.
Cut the chord
The first step is to ensure you have fully cut the chord with your former partner.
Close joint bank accounts. Ensure utilities, subscriptions and mobile phone plans are no longer in joint names. Pay off and cancel joint credit cards, store cards and other debts.
Update your will, as most likely you won’t want your ex to benefit should something happen to you. Get your financial adviser and estate planning team together on how best to structure your will and superannuation beneficiaries to ensure it fully reflects your wishes.
Your superannuation and any trusts or other structures you have are treated separately from your will, and therefore don’t automatically change with it.
Somewhere to call home
Where you call home is a more complex decision with any subsequent partner. Initially, you may not be able to afford to buy, especially if one or both of you are still in limbo with ongoing divorce proceedings.
Once you can purchase a home together, weigh up whether to do so as joint tenants or tenants in common. This is crucial because, should one of you die, it can determine whether the surviving partner automatically inherits the property and can keep living there.
Joint tenants have automatic right of survivorship. Tenants in common, however, means your partner could leave their share of the property to their children or someone else instead of to you. In this instance, you could be left homeless if the beneficiaries force a sale. If you have to sell and only walk away with your share (a lesser value than the current property), you may have to compromise where or what you buy next.
Take Fred and Wilma (names changed for privacy) for example. They both have adult children from previous marriages and wanted their wealth to go to their children if they passed away. They have decided to move out of their townhouses worth $900,000 and $800,000 and buy a bigger home together, near the beach worth $2.3million. Both will have to take on a mortgage to cover the gap. So, if Fred passes away, and he has left his share of the house to his children, then Wilma is left sharing the house with his children, or having his children as landlords, or forced to sell and buy something much smaller because Wilma doesn’t have enough to buy them out and have enough for retirement.
Protect the kids
Second marriages or relationships often mean children are involved, from one or both partners.
Building good relationships between children and step-parents not only makes everyday life easier for everyone; it also minimises the chances of disputes between them over your assets once you are gone. Children should be supported financially and, if they are under 18, custodially should you suffer serious illness, injury or premature death. Where will they live – with your current partner, their other parent/ your ex, their grandparents, or someone else?
How will they be provided for and what assets can you leave to them that aren’t tied up with your new partner? Is that enough? This is where superannuation, for example, can be beneficial – you can nominate your kids as sole beneficiaries, while the family home remains with your partner. But who is managing that inheritance?
If you have children from both relationships, they may need to be treated differently in your estate planning to ensure they are all looked after.
Safeguard your new partner/spouse
Of course, the other person to consider in is your new partner. Be clear about what you will merge and what stays separate. A prenuptial agreement may be needed for things you bring into the relationship.
Draw up a household savings and investments plan – who pays for what, from what account/credit card, where do your incomes go, what is owned jointly?
Consider retaining personal bank accounts and transfer money into a joint account to pay for joint bills.
Consider the future – do you get life insurance? What if one of you needs aged care? Will you both work or will one of you stay home to care for both partner’s children?
Look after yourself
You may have already been burnt in your past relationship. Self-care is really important.
Allow yourself time to grieve that loss and the loss of your past life. Take care of your health – physical and mental – which has a direct influence on your new relationship and your ability to make wise decisions. Ensure everything you do, including about money, is in your own best interests too, not just everyone else’s.
I also recommend keeping a personal emergency fund – money that only you can access – should the relationship break down or other crisis arise. A happy future together means not just getting the everyday finances in check, but peace of mind for the future too!
Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of the new book, On Your Own Two Feet: The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women (Ventura Press, $32.99). Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who hold a master’s degree in the field. Proceeds from book sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women and children. Find out more at www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au
Outdoor kids nest boxes
ANIMALS ALL AROUNDBy Linda Drummond
you can do to help.
Conservation biologist Dr. Kylie Soanes, from the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences at the University of Melbourne says: “We often think about wildlife as being out ‘in the wild’ –somewhere far away, in ‘real nature’.
“But we’ve built our cities on top of some of the most biodiverse places and ecosystems. That’s why more than 300 of Australia’s threatened species can be found in our cities and towns.”
“I don’t really like the idea of living separate from nature, do you?” Kylie asks. “These are the landscapes that these species belong to, and we have the tools to share urban habitats with wildlife –so why wouldn’t we?”
To find out who you and your family are sharing your home with, start keeping an eye and an ear out. You might not always see them, but once you start looking, you’ll find tell-tale signs of your wildlife neighbours.
BUILDING NEST BOXES
Treehouses for possums, microbats, native bees and more!
“If you already have possums in your area, there’s a good chance that they’ve already got somewhere to sleep!
But often in urban areas, the place they’ve picked might be dangerous for them or cause problems for people (e.g. in the electricity box, or inside your roof),” Kylie says. “By providing a nest box and removing access to the risky space, you can give possums a safer place to be.
Check online for design guides from reputable wildlife organisations. Make sure it’s made of thick wood, placed out of the sun, and high enough that neighbourhood pets won’t disturb it.”
You can find plans for nesting boxes for whatever species that like to visit your yard. Find out if you have a local men’s shed in your area; if you do, ask them if they have days when you can come in and learn how to build a nesting box.
Nesting boxes are easy to build, and you can pop them in a tree to provide the next best thing to a natural tree hollow. It’s important to use natural, untreated wood to build a nest box, so there’s nothing that will irritate the animals. Make sure it has drainage holes drilled in the bottom, and ventilation holes near the top (but not on the roof!).
Position it near a branch, high above the ground to avoid predators (three metres high is a good option if you’ve got a tree that high).
Put some wood shavings or shredded bark in the bottom for nesting and keep an eye on it to make sure that introduced species don’t muscle in and kick your chosen species out.
*Putting up your nest box in late winter or early spring is the best idea, as this is when most species breed and are looking for a safe place to settle.
This excerpt is from Australian Geographic’s “How to Raise Outdoor Kids.” Author, Linda Drummond is a nationally published science journalist specialising in health, science, family, lifestyle and wellbeing articles.
How to Raise Outdoor Kids is the ultimate guide to inspire kids and families to get outdoors and discover the world around them.
It is available to purchase through any good bookstores or online via: www.australiangeographic.com.au
Tis the Season...
Kim is the founder of Rainbow Light Therapies and is a Holistic Counsellor specialising in stress and anxiety management for kids, teens, and adults. Kim provides a unique, intuitive, and individualised therapy approach through individual, small group, and family counselling sessions both online and at her studio in Langwarrin. Also working with special needs kids, Kim runs sessions and workshops for people of all abilities on assorted topics throughoutBy Kim Norton
“Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.” Come on, you know you sang that line. Christmas can be a magical experience especially for those of us with young children, but we all know that it can also be the season to experience “all the feels,” especially those feelings of pressure and stress. With routine and structure out the window over the holiday period, our kids can also feel that stress. “Boring” visits with extended family members, late nights, ad hoc meals and mealtimes, different sights, smells and sounds, ridiculously busy shops, watching us run around and stress about money, time, food and gifts, and long car trips for the annual holiday can all add to stress levels during this most festive of festive seasons.
So, what can you do? Apart from the usual advice of planning ahead, allowing for downtime, setting healthy boundaries, sticking to a budget, and setting realistic goals, you can also just “stop.” Stop and take each day or task moment-by-moment, enjoy the process and the time that you have in front of you right now. Below are some simple breathing exercises and mindfulness activities to help you and the whole family do just that.
4 COUNT BREATHING FOR KIDS
Try 4 count breathing (or for our younger kids try 3 counts). Breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, breathe out for the count of 4. Repeat 3 more times. Use a pinwheel or party blower to practise at home. Simply inhale, hold, and then exhale blowing the pinwheel or party blower. The more our kids practise this at home when they are calm, the easier it will be for them to implement this when they are starting to get stressed. You can also use a straw in a glass of water or blowing bubbles in the same way. Inhale through the nose for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, exhale through the mouth for a count of 4.
4-7-8 BREATHING FOR ADULTS
This exercise works in the same way as our kids’ 4 count breathing; we are just holding and exhaling for a longer period of time. Inhale through the nose for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7 and then exhale through the mouth for a count of 8.
One Minute Meditation
Meditation allows you to live in the moment, to calm yourself and to regulate your breathing. Simply breathe in and breathe out (breathe into your belly if you can). Just concentrate on your breath. Every time your mind wanders just bring it back to your breath. Breathe in and breathe out. One minute is all it takes to reset the mind and calm the body. You should get about 16 breaths in one minute for a healthy adult or about 25 breaths in a primary school aged child so just count your breaths. Breathe in, one, breathe out. Breathe in, two, breathe out and continue for one minute.
Games like “Eye Spy” and “20 Questions” are great mindfulness games that can be used to stay in the moment, to help distract, and to help prevent your child from worrying about what might happen next. We all know the mindfulness game “Eye Spy” and 20 Questions is another game that is also great for the car. Ask your child to think of an item that they have in their room, the name of a famous person, a type of animal or a favourite destination, the choice of topic is endless. They tell you the topic and then you get to ask them up to 20 questions until you have guessed correctly. (You can change the number of questions according to the child’s age).
A mindfulness technique that I am sure you have heard of by now is the 22.214.171.124.1 grounding technique. Simply look around your environment and take note of 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch/feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and one thing you can taste. This is a simple technique to use for any age and in any environment and one that you can do as a family. Just use your imagination and make it fun. Another activity that is great for the car and that long holiday road trip.
Apart from using the above strategies to manage the inevitable stress at Christmas time, you can also use them to help our more anxious kids (and yourself) with the back-to-school transition. Trust me, it will sneak up on you so start using these strategies now and enjoy this holiday season.By Mark Berridge
The tenth of March 2019 was an ideal Sunday morning. Until I crashed my bicycle. The weather was perfect, I was excited about my work trip with its bonus of weekend skiing. In a split second I was stranded on my side in a stormwater drain, gasping for breath. As we waited for the ambulance, the intensity of the pain made me say: “I won’t be making my flight this evening”. My mental wrestle with panic was broken by a physiotherapist in our riding group, who piped up with “you never know Berro, it might be muscular”. I didn’t believe him, but his attempt at optimism got me thinking. Today is impossible, but maybe there is hope I can fly Tuesday. I might only be a few hours late joining the workshop. I can still be there for the sections I am leading.
In hospital I collided with reality. Five fractured bones, two crushed vertebrae, compression of my spinal cord and the certainty of nerve damage. It was now a question of how successful the emergency operation might be, whether my spinal damage could be minimised. Only time would reveal the extent of the physical and sensory losses. But it would be significant.
I am certain I lost all sense of hope. For hours. Amongst my loneliness and despair, I found tiny embers of brightness. Memories of the exceptional things other people had achieved in tough situations. I rationalised that if they were capable of hope despite their challenges, then I should be able to find mine. If not today, soon. So long as I didn’t give up that hope could be there.
Hope is inside us
I encouraged myself to relive the inspiring stories that I knew, to brighten the glow of those embers. “What did they do to find and sustain hope?”. If I can replicate the attitude they had, then I can make it too. This sparking of my imagination helped me on that first day and on the many tough days that followed. Mirroring the determination of others fuelled the resolve to give recovery my best shot.
Hope is all around us, and inside us too. Sometimes we just need a reminder to let it glow.
Hope isn’t a miracle
I wished the specialists were wrong. Perhaps as the swelling and soreness subsided, they would find that I did not have the nerve
damage they predicted. I didn’t give up on that idea for days, even as the evidence was becoming overwhelming. But it was never my plan A because I knew that it was never likely. Mirages do not sustain hope, and my hope needed sustenance more than ever.
We can hope for a miracle, but do not become confused that waiting for a miracle is hope.
Hope is shared by story
I profited from my first physio and other visitors sharing stories about successful recoveries. I concentrated on the similarities to what I sought to achieve, rather than spotting any differences in these situations compared to mine. Hearing stories from others enables us to realise we are not alone, that neither suffering nor success are unique events. The strongest foundation for our hope is established on common ground.
Hope is fostered by company
There were periods where my hope was evaporating, as if it was that mirage of my imagination. In those moments nothing was more powerful than company. The friends who visited, or messaged, who reminded me of who I was and what I had achieved before. There wasn’t rah-rah. They didn’t need to hype up past stories. The reassurance of their company was enough to reconnect me with my inner strengths, my essence.
When we seek to elevate hope, the company of friends provides the perfect bolster.
Hope is enriched by reward
Hope may spawn from your memory, imagination, or the kindness of someone sharing their experience. That seed needs sustenance to grow and nothing fuels growth better than positive feedback. Set the smallest goals for your-self and celebrate your actions. Make a habit of thinking back to a week ago and reviewing what has worked, and what has failed, but most what your learned through trying. Appreciating the attitude that you have applied is in your control. So will embracing the compliment of a friend or ally.
Hope is fostered by tracking and celebrating the effort we apply towards our outcomes.
Olympic medallist Karni Liddell says: “Hope is the most powerful gift – the most powerful ingredient – you can ever add to a person’s life”. The stories that were shared with me were fundamental to generating hope and extending that hope into belief. So were my support crew, my memories, and my imagination. Yours can be too.
Mark Berridge is the author of A Fraction Stronger (Major Street, $32.99). It shares Mark’s pursuit of belief and possibility in impossible moments after a cycling crash – and devastating spinal cord injury – turned his world upside down. He speaks and writes about the influences that helped him tackle adversity, shaped in a way that allows readers to feel a fraction stronger too.
Many years ago, we were holidaying, and the opportunity came up for me to have an hour to myself ; my youngest took himself off to bed for a midday nap. Ahhhh peace, it must have been the hour of running along the beach and the 90 minutes of uphill scooting we had done in the morning. No, I really didn’t mean to exhaust him, honest……
During this nap time, my eldest, who was seven at the time, was complaining that he was bored.
I tried to explain to him that being bored was OK and really, part of life. That he should practice being bored because when he is an adult, there will be large chunks of his life that are boring but necessary, like putting petrol in the car or paying bills online.
Needless to say, he wasn’t really interested in my lecture and snapped “it’s OK for you, you have that super power”.
Hmm, which one I thought? Gosh, I have so many!
So I asked him what he meant and he responded, “Well, you have the power that allows you to just sit here and watch the clouds and do nothing. I don’t have that power”.
I tried to explain that we all have that power; we just need to practice it. Again, he wasn’t interested in hearing mum rant on about how accessing the natural clarity, calm and connection within all of us was a basic human right.
After helping him to come up with an imaginary game, I stopped and asked myself “What are we doing to our kids?”. The constant entertainment we are providing them – the iPads and TV, the phones and toys - are we robbing them of a basic life skill? The skill of knowing how to be bored and just doing nothing? Just playing for the sake of playing, with no agenda, hidden or otherwise?
Now, I am not saying that we should stop all technology; as my dear partner points out to me, it is here to stay now, we may as well embrace it. I just wonder, what is, or more accurately, what will be the cost of this 24/7 stimulation generation we are raising?
THE STIMULATION GENERATION
Are we raising adults who will be so disconnected from their bodies and the present moment experience that they will have no way to understand or sit with less comfortable emotions like boredom? Will this generalize to other human emotions like sadness or worry? Are we just teaching them to numb out from a very early age by shoving an iPhone in their face when they don’t get what they want? In later years, will the iPhone be replaced by something more harmful like drugs or alcohol?
I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know that time doing nothing feeds our spirit, nourishes our body and it certainly feeds our creativity.
Life is hard and beautiful, joyful and sad and we need to equip our kids with a whole tool kit to support them to thrive and feel strong, regardless of what is going on.
Experiencing the rainbow of emotions
Here are a couple of tips to support us in allowing our kids to experience the whole rainbow of emotions.
1. EXPLORE IT
When they’re feeling sad or worried, ask your child to explore the feeling. Where do they feel it in their body? Can they make room for it rather than fight it? Can they allow themselves to hold it gently, as if they are holding a precious flower or gem? Can they see that they are not the emotion, that it is something happening within them? Can they ask the emotion what it is trying to tell them?
2. COLOUR IT
Ask your child to describe their emotion in colours or shapes; this can help them to express how it feels using words they are more familiar with.
3. CELEBRATE IT
When they express either comfortable or uncomfortable feelings say, “That’s great. You are feeling; that means you are human, and you are alive!” or “How lucky are we that we get to feel all of these emotions; let’s explore them together”.
We all do have this superpower. In fact, I believe it is our birthright. Sometimes, however, we just need to be reminded, and so do our kids.
Liv Downing is a Melbourne based psychologist who has drawn on her own personal experience of burnout to release a new children’s book, ‘You are Loved’ to reassure children that they are loved, no matter what. Featuring a meditation for families to share with their little ones, the book is available from leading book stores. Through her work, Liv was involved in the development of the Beyond Blue mindfulness-based parenting program, Mind the Bump, and Smiling Mind, Australia’s leading mindfulness app.
THE ULTIMATE SUMMER HOLIDAY checklist
With the summer holidays just around the corner, now is the time to start planning your next family road trip. A summer road trip can be an exciting adventure and the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with those closest to you – but long drives with young children can be stressful if you’re not prepared. To take the hassle out of your next adventure and enjoy a smooth road trip this summer, here’s everything you should consider before hitting the road.
It’s essential to keep sun safety front and centre of mind and always remember to 'slip slop slap.' Protecting your child’s skin is so important, given children are especially vulnerable to harsh UV rays. When packing for your next road trip, don’t forget to include enough sunscreen for the whole family. Even if you plan to spend most of the trip in the car, short breaks to stretch your legs can be enough to result in an unpleasant sunburn.
Try Chemists’ Own Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 50; It’s nongreasy so delicate on car seats and comes in a standard 200ml tube as well as a convenient 75ml travel tube, so you can pack the right amount depending on the length of your trip.
When packing for a long trip, don’t forget to include some activities to keep your child entertained. A great option is to build an activity box for your little one to have on hand. Start with a container large enough to fit your child’s favourite items, and pack with a colouring book, pencils, crayons and stickers. You could also consider a travel tray or lap desk which can sit over your child’s lap and provide them a steady surface to do their activities on. You can find these at most department stores, as well as retailers like Baby Bunting and even Supercheap Auto.
FIRST AID KIT
FIRST AID KIT
Perhaps the most important item to grab as you head out the door is a well-stocked first aid kit. If your road trip includes outdoor adventures or exploration of new places, it’s only a matter of time before someone ends up with a bump or bruise – so be prepared by stocking your kit with essentials.
According to Pharmacist Montana Grenfell, “The best over the counter children’s medications to pack for a road trip are a pain and fever reducer, such as children’s paracetamol or ibuprofen ¬– found in ranges like Chemists’ Own or APHOHEALTH Children’s Range ¬– an antiseptic cream for burns, bites or itches, an antihistamine for hives and other allergic reactions, and a cough and cold medicine for older children.”
“Baby wipes are also a great addition to a first aid kid to clean up sticky or dirty hands and a thermometer is a must as well,” Montana says.
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It’s important to keep your child well fed while travelling, but easy and nutritious food options aren’t always accessible while on the road. Instead, a good alternative is packing a lunch box with your child’s favourite snacks so they can access healthy foods while on the go.
Brands like Munchbox offer bento-style lunch boxes (made up of multiple, small compartments) designed to keep foods separated and fresh with a sealed lid.
According to Montana, “Snacks are a must to set children up for success and prevent travel sickness. Plain crackers are a great item to pack”.
CAR WINDOW SHADES
CAR WINDOW SHADES
The last thing you want on a long drive is your little one exposed to harsh UV rays. But if your car’s windows aren’t tinted, this is very much possible. So if you’re looking for greater shelter, make sure to pack a car window shade like those from Munchkin Brica. A shade like this will securely attach to your window, and keep your precious cargo safe from the sun, heat and glare.
FINAL TIPS AND ADVICE
Prioritising your child’s comfort and wellbeing is essential for a smooth travel experience and there are a few key pieces of advice parents can follow to create a relaxing environment for the entire family.
According to Montana, “If your child experiences travel sickness, travelling at night is the best way to set them up for success. Travelling at night removes the contradicting senses and reduces the incoming visual information allowing your child to sleep through the trip”.
For some reason when travelling with kids the car can quickly become a mess no matter how organised you try to be. Depending on the length of the trip, rubbish from snacks, napkins and used drink cartons can quickly build up. To help contain the chaos, consider investing in a portable, car rubbish bin. Brands like Dick Smith offer durable, waterproof bins that are designed to easily hang on the back seat pocket to ensure the perfect solution for rubbish storage.
CAR BIN TRAVEL BLANKET
It’s important to keep your child’s routine as normal as possible when road tripping, especially when it comes to nap time. Naps are such a key part of a child’s day, giving their minds and bodies the opportunity to rest and recharge. When packing for a long drive, make sure to include the creature comforts to help your little one relax and doze off. Brands like Trunki offer travel pillows that connect under the chin to support your child’s neck; a snug travel companion that is sure to settle your little one down.
“If you’re travelling through the day, sit your child at the front of the vehicle if they’re old enough, or behind the driver – the most steady position – and keep them cool with either fresh air or air conditioning. Encourage them to sip on water to stay hydrated and avoid reading on the move.” Road trips are a highlight for the whole family and a special time to make memories with your loved ones. By being well prepared with everything you need to keep your family happy and healthy, you can focus on your adventure and enjoy the journey!
Why adults are hooked on children’sBy Matt Galanos
Dane Thorburn is a dashing young knight whose harrowing tales of adventures and battles with dragons have readers hooked till the very last page. The Dane Thorburn books are aimed at young adult readers but they have also found a large readership amongst adults.
Matt Galanos, creator of the Dane Thorburn series of novels, is not surprised. “There are many benefits for adults in reading kids’ fantasy fiction adventure books – the main one being mental health,” he said.
“Universally, Dane Thorburn tales appeal to both the young and old because the plot lines are tight and move at a very fast pace. One moment, Dane is sauntering down the castle corridor and the next, he’s off on yet another epic adventure to fend off evil. The storyline moves quickly and holds the reader’s interest.”
Many agree that kids’ fantasy fiction books are good for the mental health of adults.
AN AGE GROUP IS JUST A NUMBER
“Just because a book is marketed as a young adult or children’s book, doesn’t mean that adults can’t read it,” Galanos said.
“The Dane Thorburn series of books are testimony to this. I was initially surprised to find out that a large uptake of the readership was in the adult category, but I’ve come to realise that age is just a number. And if a story is good, it’s going to appeal to a wider audience. Whatever their age may be, it’s no excuse to miss out! It doesn’t matter what the target audience is, everyone is welcome to expand their scope of reading and life experiences through fiction.”
LEAVING REALITY BEHIND
“Adults can find books about magic and fantasy as good a read as younger readers because it allows for a certain escapism,” Galanos explained.
“When we read books about magic and fantasy, we suspend our cynicism and disbelief and enter a world where anything could happen. In the real world, we have career ladders to climb, families to feed and bills to pay. To enter into a magical realm is to enter a whole different universe, one so different to ours, that we can’t help but be carried away by the wonder, fantasy and sheer entertainment.
“Basically, when you immerse yourself into a kid’s fantasy fiction adventure book, you leave your troubles at the book cover – and this is a good thing for many people who are under a lot of stress.”
“Another hallmark of children’s books that is appealing to adults is that there are no boundaries. Not even the sky is the limit! As the author, I am not limited to having Dane slay dragons. He can battle any monster I create. I can mesh several monsters into one if I wanted to,” Galanos quipped.
“The stories are full of creative, magical and fantastical situations, characters and environments and this is exciting and appealing – no matter what your age. This type of fantasy fiction helps to unlock creative thinking and get the brain going – which is great for adults who are in need of some inspiration or are struggling to think outside the box.”
“Adults have far more complicated lives than children, and adult fiction mirrors that. In adult fiction books, there are nuances, subplots and subtexts woven together,” Galanos added.
“Children’s fiction is a lot more straightforward. It’s there to entertain you with an unforgettable story that’s also often shorter or simpler than an adult work of fiction.
“If you’re an adult who’s in a reading rut, why not get going again with a children’s book? The comparative ease of it will lend itself to you and you’ll be caught up in the story before you’re aware. Kids fantasy fiction is easy to process and therefore really enjoyable to read. It’s a great stepping stone to other books.”
LIFT YOUR MOOD
“Reading is a simple pleasure that is uplifting for adults. With children’s books, you’re almost surely to come to an ending that’s satisfying and uplifting,” Galanos added.
“The storyline of good versus evil is always rewarding to a reader because it affirms our own beliefs. Despite the hurdles and obstacles, we believe as we read, that characters like Dane Thorburn will overcome the odds and come out triumphant. In a problematic world, it’s a positive way to ease your spirits a little and lift your mood.”
“When readers were first introduced to Harry Potter, he was a mere scrap of a boy. What kept people reading though? We can relate to him and the problems and insecurities he faces,” Galanos said.
“In many young adult and children’s books, adults can similarly find themselves identifying with the common thread of humanity which is a very strong bond. Dane Thorburn is very similar, he is a young knight facing extraordinary challenges, and readers cheer for him.”
Next instalment of Dane Thorburn series to release next year
“If you’re an adult reader looking for something new to pick up, there are already three books in the series of Dane Thorburn stories. I recently released the third book, Dane Thorburn and Nature’s Revenge, and everyone loves it. The next one is set for release early next year, which is something for all to look forward to,” Galanos said.
“Even if fantasy isn’t your cup of tea, I’d ask you to give it a go and expand your reading horizons. Just like Dane Thorburn never knows where his next adventure will lead him, you never know where your next book will take you.”
Matt Galanos is an accountant by day and fantasy fiction author by night. All three of his Dane Thorburn series of books have found a following in Australia and internationally. While ideally suited for the 10 to 15-year-old age group, these stories have captivated a much wider audience including adults of all ages, with their fast-paced storyline and compelling quests. Galanos has plans to expand this series up to seven books, and is currently working on his fourth book, due to be released next year. www.mattgalanos.com
Backyard hens key to increasing self-sustainability
Many people either own backyard hens or know of someone who does. The growing popularity has largely been due to families wanting to become more self-sustainable. So why is keeping backyard hens so good for your family?
Well, hens make for fantastic pets! Our breed of hens are Hy-line Browns which are extremely friendly and placid. They love company and like nothing more than to spend time interacting with their owners. We hear lots of entertaining stories from our customers such as their hens going on school runs, on swings with the kids, and happily jumping up onto their laps.
Good egg-laying breeds like our Hy-Line’s also quickly pay for themselves by providing your family with highly nutritious and delicious eggs throughout the year. Their eggs are high in protein and minerals but low in calories. You also have peace of mind knowing exactly how your hens are treated and what food they have eaten.
Of course, you can’t get more “local” food than what you get from your own backyard! When combined with a vegetable garden, your family becomes far more self-sufficient and able to live more sustainably. If you really had to avoid social contact, your hens and vegetables could keep your household well fed over the long-term.
Hen ownership also teaches children some important, practical lessons about life. Not only do they need to be responsible for feeding and providing water for their hens but they must collect eggs daily and keep the coop clean and safe. Excess eggs can also be sold or given away to friends and neighbours which is a great way of benefiting others in your local community.
Visit our farm: 3590 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Merricks
For enquiries call 0406 691 231
Open: Daily 10am to 4pm (Closed Wednesday) www.TalkingHens.com.au
Looking for backyard hens but unsure where to start?
Talking Hens is a family business that enjoys backyard hens. We specialise in friendly, egg laying hens with quality products to keep them happy and healthy.
There’s nothing like the friendship and entertainment that you receive from our laying hens - a pleasure to be shared!
3590 Frankston-Flinders Rd
Merricks, Vic 3916
Opening daily: 10am to 4pm
For enquiries call 0406 691 231
Mini Maestros are passionate about providing music education for children aged 5 months to 5 years.
Specific age groups with small classes provide the best opportunity for your child to learn and develop social connections.
Sing, dance and play in our nurturing environment which will foster a love of music for a life time. Mt Eliza • Frankston • Langwarrin minimaestros.com.au
L E A W A R R A C A L I S T H E N I C S C L U B
DANCE, BALLET, GYMNASTICS, ACRO, DRAMA, SINGING, JAZZ, CONTEMPORARY
ALL IN ONE
ALL IN ONE
ALL IN ONE
First two weeks FREE to come and try
First two weeks FREE to come
First two weeks FREE to come and try
First two weeks FREE to come and try
1/11 Industry Blvd, Carrum Downs leawarracalisthenics.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org
1/11 Industry Blvd, Carrum Downs leawarracalisthenics.com.au email@example.com
1/11 Industry Blvd, Carrum Downs leawarracalisthenics.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org
1/11 Industry Blvd, Carrum Downs leawarracalisthenics.com.au email@example.com
ENCHANTED ADVENTURE Come along on an...By Yvette O’Dowd
t can be hard to find a destination with activities to entertain children of different age groups. So we were thrilled to discover a family day out which engaged all three children, aged 9, 6 and 2 years old
Travelling up the winding road to the top of Arthur's Seat on a glorious spring day, we arrived at the Enchanted Adventure at 55 Purves Rd, not far from the lookout and nearby Eagle cable car. We were happy to find accessible parking close to the entrance and there was ample car parking available.
We were welcomed by friendly staff who explained what was available and where to scan a QR code to get a site map. (I love having a paperless option!). Through the gate, we entered a wonderland of gardens, mazes and activities to be explored. Pram access was excellent throughout and people using wheelchairs and other mobility aids could access most areas easily. Toilets and baby care facilities were clean and located close to the cafe and entrance. The site is on the side of the mountain and some pathways are on a steep incline. However as a grandmother with limited mobility I was able to negotiate most areas.
We decided to explore the mazes first, delighting the toddler and challenging the older children (and adults!). The Children's Maze included unique play spaces throughout, while the traditional hedge maze featured zen-like spaces culminating in the restful centre garden.
The medieval-inspired labyrinth is a peaceful garden with a lawn inlaid with red brick pathway.
At the bottom of the property is a beautiful lake highlighted by a fountain and encircled by an accessible board walk. A lookout in the centre of another hedge maze gives a view up the hill and across the whole property. Landscaped gardens featuring succulents and native plantings complement more traditional gardens laid out up the hill in traditional designs.
As we continued along the pathway, we encountered some large interactive puzzles which were not as straightforward as they might seem! Solutions are discreetly nearby if you are stuck! And then it was time to hit the tube slides nearby!
Children and adults over 135cm can select from two courses and our little one was thrilled to discover another dedicated slide for smaller bodies. Staff were great at explaining and guiding everyone and wait times were minimal on the Sunday we visited.
Tummies needed filling after all this activity so it was time for a pit-stop. There is an abundance of choice for idyllic picnic sites but we headed up to the Balcony Cafe with spectacular outlooks at the top of the hill. Everyone found something to suit their tastes - including hot chips and ice-creams, salads, wraps and sandwiches and hot pies and pastries.
Suitably restored, we headed over to the Sky Scramble, an extraordinary play space set among the gum trees and natural bush setting. We walked beneath the tree surfers above, both adults and the children exploring the Nippers course. Additional to the general entry, these guided experiences brought sounds of joy from the trees, intriguing the two year old who is used to humans at ground level! Our nine year old was very interested and we have promised a return visit for her to participate in the Nippers course.
The Sky Scramble is an aerial playground intended for children and is a network of net-enclosed walkways, wooden structures and climbing frames. Nestled under the tree canopy, this peaceful space kept the children engaged - with even the littlest confidently negotiating his way above our heads! Then we all headed for the Canopy Walk, a pram-
friendly accessible series of connected swing bridges allowing everyone the experience of being up amongst the natural forest.
Our family spent about four hours altogether at the Enchanted Adventure and could easily have filled the whole day. We finished with a visit to the lookout and ride on the Eagle afterwards.
Enchanted Adventure is open every day from 9am to 5pm, except Christmas Day and is about 20 minutes drive from Frankston down Peninsula Link. For all information and bookings, visit their website.enchantedadventure.com.au
Christmas Card Day
Christmas is just a few weeks away, and if you haven’t sent out your greeting cards, make sure you do! it on December 9 because it is Christmas Card Day. Make your own cards – your recipients will appreciate a handwritten card.
If you don’t have time to send in physical cards, what about sending e-cards?
Did You Know…
..that the first Christmas cards were sent in 1843 and were commissioned in London, United Kingdom by Sir Henry Cole. John Callcott Horsley illustrated the card, which featured the members of a family.
Ugly Sweater Day
On this day, get in the holiday spirit and flaunt those ugly holiday sweaters (thanks, Grandma!) you have been too embarrassed to wear in public. In many countries, the holiday is associated with fundraising events for children’s charities.
Did You Know…
..that the word cardigan, which is a type of sweater that is open in the front, comes from James Thomas Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan?
Summer days to celebrate!
Add popcorn to all your meals today. Start the day with popcorn cereal – add milk, honey or maple syrup to popcorn. Sprinkle some popcorn on your lunch salad instead of croutons. Use crushed popcorn instead of breadcrumbs to coat your breadcrumbed chicken breast for dinner. End the day with some ice cream topped with chocolate and caramel popcorn.
Did You Know… ..that popcorn is the official snack food of the State of Illinois, United
Be Humble Day
Cultures, religions, and philosophies around the world stress the importance of practicing humility in our daily lives. The holiday promotes the idea that accepting our errors and our faults makes us better human beings.
Did You Know…
..that the term humble pie, meaning to apologize after a serious error, comes from a mispronunciation of the world umble pie?
Book your next kids themed party with us!
Amazing packages including use of the party room, hot & cold food, host, invites & more.
Venue also available for private hire.
A: 222 Marine pde Hastings P: 5906 5900
M: 0409 875 944 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Science Shed
The Science Shed comes to your home for your next birthday party! Children can dress up in real lab coats and safety glasses and experience their own hands on experiments. Science, slime and much more.
E: email@example.com M: 0419 882 765 W: thescienceshed.com.au
Charlie SillyPants Parties
The biggest and most exciting themed kids party venue to hit the Mornington Peninsula. www.facebook.com/kidztownpartyvenues
P: 8759 1431 M: 0403 795 562
The ultimate kids’ show! Come on an adventure full of magic and laughter with Charlie SillyPants and friends. Parties, preschool and childcare. M. 0411 957 185
Have a “Very Silly Christmas” by having the silliest magician in Magicland Charlie SillyPants at the kids’ next party!
You receive $50 off a 1 hour party/show or it’s only $100 for a 30 minute live ZOOM party.
Checkout Charlie SillyPant’s crazy shows on his Youtube channel. www.youtube.com/c/ charliesillypants/ www.facebook.com/ charliesillypants W. charliesillypants.com.au
Seeking something different?
A quality art and craft pARTy takes birthday fun to a whole new level.
It's just not a pARTy without ART! Book today! M: 0404 848
Peninsula Kids is showcasing the wonderful places available on the peninsula and bayside region to take the family out for bite to eat! Let our map guide you and your hungry tribe. Here you'll find some of the best affordable cafes and venues....ENJOY!
The bon.elk Elevate Junior laptop stand for Christmas
Lucas’ Papaw Remedies
Providing lasting relief for Australian families for 112 years, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment is your one-stop solution to all pre and post-natal needs, treating a variety of skin conditions all in one. The internationally recognised red packs come in various sizes making it perfect for every skincare occasion. Keep the small tube in your nappy bag for adventures out and the larger jar at home so all family members can access the soothing ointment.
Fully adjustable which raises the height of your laptop from 40mm to 140mm to find your perfect position for improved posture and better ergonomics. Fully customise your viewing angle with dual tilt functionality. Constructed from premium grade aluminium and has the ability to fold down for easy transportation. Suits laptop and notebook sizes from 10” to 14”.
Available exclusively from JB-HiFi.
As the days become longer, the sun begins to shine and our four-legged friends shake off their winter coats, the change of season calls for pet parents to spring into summer and upgrade their pet’s apparel and accessories. This season, have your pet step out in style with fashionable collars and leads, or let them bunker down at home with new and exclusive on-trend toys and accessories thanks to PETstock. petstock.com.au
Australian Women's Health Diary 2023
As we hurdle towards the holiday season and new year Breast Cancer Trials is once again releasing the perfect gift for your loved ones. The Breast Cancer Trials 2023 Health Diary is a unique way to support life saving breast cancer research.
The A5 diary features all the essential diary features as well as health and wellbeing advice, budget planner, health checklist, and weekly motivational tips.
Available from participating Post Offices, newsagencies, Woolworths and online for AU/NZ.
RRP: $19.99 womenshealthdiary.com.au
Bouncin Baby Roos:
Bounce the Baby Roos into Mama Roo’s pouch in this ping-pongesque bouncing game. In the Roo Games Bouncin Baby Roos help the Baby Roos hop home. Watch out as silly Dingoes will try to block your bounces. Safely bounce the most Baby Roos home in 30 seconds and win. The box forms part of the game, turning into a Mama Roo with a pouch!
Available at Myer, The Iconic, Mr Toys, Kidstuff, Big W and all good toy retailers.
LeapFrog Spinning Lights Letter
Meet Sparky the phonics firefly! As he zips around the ring, this friendly little bug will light up each letter to introduce letters, letter sounds, spelling and animals. Delightful animations of Sparky and the animals accompany each discovery. Sparky loves to play hide and seek. Children can listen to the letter and letter sound clues to find the letters Sparky is hiding behind. Finding the firefly helps build early reading skills by getting preschoolers to look for Sparky again and again. Now that they know their phonics sounds, children can use what they’ve learned to build whole words with Sparky’s help. Well done! They get to know Sparky’s animal friends by listening to the clues, then find the animal Sparky is hiding with on the ring by matching the animal to its description or the sound it makes.
Spinning Lights Letter Ring is suitable for children from 3 years and is available from September from Big W, good toy stores and online retailers.
RRP: $49.95 leapfrog.com.au
V-tech Marble Rush Speedway
Ready, set, RACE marbles down ramps and through obstacles with the Marble Rush Speedway. This 78-piece colour-coded building set includes a starting gate that plays a musical light show, crazy 360˚ loop, thrilling tracks, rattling peg maze and bases that all easily connect together. Children can compete with family and friends to keep the marbles in motion and bring them back to the beginning. Combine with other Marble Rush sets (sold separately) to create an extreme playset. Find more exciting build ideas by visiting the Marble Rush website, www.marblerush.com
Marble Rush Speedway is suitable for 4+ years and is available from September at Big W, Target, Myer, good toy stores and online retailers.
RRP: $49.95 vtech.com.au
Athletic Brewing Co. Upside Dawn Golden Non-Alcoholic Beer
This isn’t your traditional watery, tasteless alcohol-free beer. Using an innovative, proprietary method of brewing beer without alcohol, Athletic Brewing Co. has created a lineup of alcohol-free craft beers that doesn’t compromise on taste. Classic craft Golden Ale Style. Refreshing, clean, balanced, light-bodied. Aromas subtle with floral and earthy notes. Brewed with premium organic malts from US & Germany along with combo of English and traditional American hops.
Available from Woolworths and Dan Murphys.
LeapFrog My Pal Scout
Cute, cuddly and customisable! My Pal Scout Smarty Paws makes the perfect friend for your little one. Scout will introduce them to first words, counting, and feelings and emotions. He’ll even teach your child how to spell their own name! Personalise the play and learning across more than 15 activities by programming your My Pal Scout with your child’s name, favourite food, colour and animal. Touch-sensitive front paws feature sensors that play silly reactions, music, games and mindfulness exercises when little ones hold both paws, and stop when they let go; introducing cause and effect. His ears and back paws also have little surprises. Press an ear to play 40+ songs, lullabies, and melodies, or to explore games and activities. The right back paw button activates night-time mode that plays soft lullabies for 5, 10 or 15 minutes to help soothe little ones to sleep. Scout's paws can also help create magical moments for children and caregivers when everyone hold hands with Scout, creating an interactive experience everyone will love.
My Pal Scout & My Pal Violet Smarty Paws is suitable for toddlers from 6 months and is available from September from Target, good toy stores and online retailers
RRP $39.95 leapfrog.com.au
Showbag World's hottest new showbags are now available online and are coming to a show near you!
Encanto Showbag: Celebrate the magical world of Encanto with this official Disney showbag! Bursting with awesome accessories & activities for fans of the Madrigal family, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto! Nobody talks about Bruno!
Spider-Man Showbag: Everyone’s favourite Marvel superhero, the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man has his very own showbag! Featuring a woven carry bag, Spider-Man costume mask, vest & gloves, sticky webs, light up yo-yo, water game & 3 pk spidey gliders. Get wall crawling webheads!
RRP: $35.00 showbagworld.com
Make yoyos that makes learning easy. They have everything from beginner responsive yoyo’s through to professional unresponsive bind return yoyo’s and all the accessories you need. YoYo Factory was founded and is run by yoyo players and champions, and they are always researching and working hard to make even better yoyos for everyone to enjoy.
Spinstar YoYo exclusively at Woolworths.
Australian plant-based personal care brand, OC Naturals has teamed up with Australia Zoo to raise much needed funds and advocate for animals without a voice, with a percentage of every purchase of its limited edition Body Wash range going towards supporting the zoo’s Adopt an Animal Program.
Alongside the brand’s vegan friendly and ‘certified cruelty free’ credentials, OC Naturals limited edition Body Wash range is free from the nasties that you find in many Body Wash products, ensuring customers can wash freely from parabens, harsh detergents, petrochemical cleaners and mineral oils.
From Charlie the Bengal Tiger to Molly the Meerkat, every purchase of OC Naturals limited body wash range will help support Australia Zoo’s ongoing fight for global wildlife conservation and other important initiatives at the zoo, including its endangered species breeding program, wildlife sanctuaries and essential rehabilitation program.
OC Naturals new Body Wash range features two scents, the Nourishing Frangipani and Nectarine and Uplifting French Pear and Apple, both made from naturally derived, plant based ingredients to leave your skin feeling soft, clean and nourished.
OC Naturals and Australia Zoo’s limited edition Body Wash range, is available now for purchase at Woolworths and Coles supermarkets, Australia-wide.
V-tech Let's Go, My Friend Pup
Let’s Go, My Friend Pup is ready to be the newest member of the family. With a detachable leash and puppy care accessories, this pup comes with exactly what your little one needs to care for their new pet. Your little pet-owner-in-training can walk, feed, give water to, and play with their new doggy friend. Two play modes enhance puppy playtime by introducing colours and numbers in Learning mode. Experience the joys of pet ownership without the mess, vet bills or bad-weather walks! Accessories store in the hip pouch for easy storage. Let's Go, My Friend Pup is suitable for 18 months to 3 years and is available from late August at Big W, good toy stores and online retailers.
RRP: $49.95 vtech.com.au
Fine Danish hand-crafted jewellery, creator of the original "bead on bracelet" concept, allows you to create your own personalised look. This innovative collection is designed to look stunning when layered together or worn separately. Whether you are looking for one-of-a-kind pieces or the perfect mix of styles to add depth to your wardrobe, Trollbeads gives you a unique opportunity to explore something new.
This simple, elegant and perfect gift is the perfect accessory to wear every day. Wear it at work, play or just as an accompaniment to any outfit. Exhale bracelet is versatile enough to be worn day and night, working or playing. The foxtail bracelet is decorated with the Soulmates bead, Green in Bloom bead, Silver Armadillo bead, and the Twinkle Hope bead which is lined horizontally with two different hues and is embedded with 13 cubic zirconias.
WIN A Trollbeads Limited Edition Exhale Bracelet with Soulmates, Green in Bloom, Silver Armadillo, and Twinkle Hope beads.
Trolllbeads has been making stunning collectible handmade jewellery since 1976, and now the full collection is available here in Australia at its flagship store or online.
RRP: $537 trollbeads.com.au
Morphée and My Little Morphée
These stylish, non-digital bedside table accessories combine meditations sessions and soundscapes to allow users to fall asleep quickly and sleep deeply. The products were designed by a team of sleep experts and have taken the world by storm with over 200,000 units sold across 12 different countries.
Morphée features over 200 guided sessions which explore breathing, movement, visualisations and more. All sessions are designed and voiced by leading sleep and sophrology experts and are intended to calm the body and mind to lead to a more relaxed and fulfilling sleep. Each session allows users to prioritise their wellbeing and trust their body and mind to lead the way to a deeper and calmer sleep.
My Little Morphée features 192 guided meditative journeys and soft music that helps children to fall asleep easily and deeply. The portable and shockresistant design ensures that parents can pack My Little Morphée with them anywhere they go and provide quiet and calm moments for their children throughout the day and at night wherever they are.
Morphée and My Little Morphée are available for purchase from JBHIFI, Amazon AU, Temple & Webster, and Officeworks.
Including 12 real wooden Australian animal pieces, the Roo Games Climbing Critters is ideal for children aged three and up. Improving fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, Climbing Critters comes in adorable wombat-shaped packaging. Be the first player to place your last Aussie Critter piece without any pieces falling off the game base and win. Available at Myer, The Iconic, Mr Toys, Kidstuff, Big W and all good toy retailers.
Created by legendary French perfumer Jean Carles for perfume house Dana, Tabu has long been known as one of the world’s greatest classic fragrances which have inspired many modern-day perfumes including the famous Yves Saint Laurent Opium.
Tabu’s heady mix is a combination of top notes of bergamot, neroli orange, rose and jasmine with base notes of amber, musk and patchouli. Formerly known as an “Oriental” scent, the category name has been changed in recent years to “Amber.”
The Tabu fragrance is so iconic that the range extends beyond the cologne spray. Now you can master the art of fragrance layering with each product from the Tabu range at an affordable price.
Find Tabu products in-store at Chemist Warehouse and selected pharmacies, and also online. chemistwarehouse.com.au
Wizarding World Diagon Alley Playset
Wizarding World offers more than a playset and brings back the nostalgia and magic of the Harry Potter universe. Youngsters and Millennials alike can share the magic of Harry Potter and create spellbinding memories together. Immerse yourself in a small world of wonder with Wizarding World Diagon Alley Playset. It’s the ultimate setting for adventures, with three Diagon Alley shops included: Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Eeylops Owl Emporium and Florian Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour. As you play, you’ll discover Diagon Alley’s special details, like doors that open and close and exterior storefronts that look just like the shops from the movies! Available at Big W, Target and all good toy retailers.
Hot Arts for Cool Kids: Summer Fun!
Wednesday 18 & Thursday 19 January 10am – 11.30am or 1.00 – 2.30pm at Cube 37. Make a mess at our place, not yours! Join us at Cube 37 at the Frankston Arts Centre these summer holidays for a crafty and creative workshop. Get ready for a messy and fun-filled session of hands on making and playing. We supply all the materials, you bring along your ideas and imagination!
Suitable for children aged 5 -12 years. A parent / carer must accompany children attending this program. $18 per child (parent/ carer is included) thefac.com.au
Expanding its product line and launching a new gut-friendly and allergyfree snack range for adults AND kids – Fodbods Buddies. The 30g Fodbods Buddies bars, which are available in two flavours - Lamington and Strawberry Shortcake – are made from 100 per cent natural plant-based ingredients. The main ingredient is tigernut flour, a super food packed with health benefits which is also high in fibre, making the bars both filling and nutritious. Fodbods Buddies retail at $3.75 per 30g bar and are available from health food stores, specialty grocers and online. You can also find @fodbods on Facebook and Instagram. fodbods.com
Wizarding World Hogwarts Castle Playset
Recreate your favourite Harry Potter scenes and play out your own spellbinding adventures with the Wizarding World Hogwarts Castle Playset. Wander through the halls of Hogwarts and marvel at fanfavourite elements of the Harry Potter series. This amazing 60 cm tall playset is packed with magical features to discover, including an exclusive Hermione Granger doll, 12 accessories, Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom, enchanting lights and sounds. Available at Big W, Target and all good toy retailers.
Batman Transforming Playset
Bring your Batman adventures to life with the Batman Transforming Playset! The Bat-Tech Batcave Playset is jam-packed with exciting features and includes an exclusive 4-inch Batman action figure and 9 exclusive accessories you won’t find anywhere else. This massive Batman is over 83cm tall and transforms into an epic Batcave! Open it up to reveal the Batcave with over 10 areas for action or close it up to transform it back into a giant Batman for easy storage!
Available at Target, Kmart, Myer and specialty toy retailers.
PAW Big Truck Pups
Team up with the pups for some action-packed highway rescues, in their Big Truck Pup - Rescue Truck! Each big rig rescue truck features an exciting vehicle transformation. Simply lift each truck’s cab roof, to get one of the pups in and out of the driver’s seat, then tilt the truck trailer forward and raise the trailer roof to activate command center mode, which converts each truck’s trailer into a 2-story command center and reveals their pup specific items such as the projectile launcher for Chase, mini rescue vehicle with recycling crane for Rocky, rescue jet for Skye, crane and material storage bin for Rubble, animal rescue tank and emergency rescue crane for Zuma and a water cannon projectile launcher for Marshall (each sold separately)!
Available at Big W, Target and all good toy retailers.
Batman All-Terrain RC Batmobile
To the Batmobile!... Not just any Batmobile – an all-terrain, high-performance remote control Batmobile. With the Batman All-Terrain RC Batmobile, you can take your missions to the next level and conquer water, snow, mud, rocks and grass. The 2.4 GHz dual joystick remote control is USB rechargeable and features out-of-range sensors so you’ll know when your Batmobile RC truck needs to stay in range, recharge, and return to land! Perfect for outdoor play!
Available at Big W, Target and specialty toy retailers.
Infamous Swim is a leading Australian label for women who want to feel empowered in their swimwear no matter what stage of life. Our swimwear line makes you feel sexy, without compromising your authenticity.
Of course, mens and childrens pieces are available too so you can shop individually or match with the whole family.
The idea of matching mother and daughter swimwear is innovative, value-adding and just quirky enough. Buyers are falling in love - with Mums across the country jumping on this new trend.
Infamous Swim taps into another digitally driven trend, body positivity, with the brand showcasing models in a range of sizes.
Shimmer ’N Sparkle Inspirational Rock Art Kit
Set for some Rock-Tastic fun? Don’t just imagine what arts and crafts creations you can make, realise it with the Shimmer ’N Sparkle Inspirational Rock Art Kit. The DIY kit is the perfect arts and crafts activity set to help boost children’s creativity, encouraging them to express themselves through their own rock art from the heart.
Suitable for 8+ years, the Shimmer ’N Sparkle Cra-Z-Art and Crafts Kits are available now from Big W, Mr Toys, Toymate, and Toyworld.
RRP: $29.00 cra-z-art.com
Help the majestic, magical Sky Dancers protect their Queen by flying, up, up and away!
The unique powers of these flying dolls originate from the mystical Sky Swirl Stone and it’s been hidden, safe from sight, in the Royal Castle. Their precious Queen is there too and, to guard her, these special, gorgeous creatures flit and fly between all the lands within the Sky Kingdom. Simply pull the cord to launch these flying doll Sky Dancers and watch them reach for the stars!
Exclusively at Kmart stores across Australia.
RRP: $20.00 headstartint.com
FRII[S]MITH - Skin Health Kit
FRII[S]MITH is an Australian made skincare brand that provides simple, but astonishingly effective skin care solutions. Scientifically formulated for all ages, their products support your skin’s natural rhythm rather than overburdening it, resulting in beautifully hydrated, resilient, radiant skin. While each product in the Skin Health Kit is powerful on its own, they’re even more powerful together. The active cleanser is a lightweight, gentle and pH balancing formula to boost your skin’s immunity, remove makeup and hydrate skin. The active day serum boosts energy within the cells and supports your skin from the free radicals and stressors we encounter each day (not needed for teenage skin). Finally, the active moisturiser strengthens the skin’s natural barrier and locks-in moisture for up to 72 hours, giving you impossibly hydrated and supple skin.
RRP: $165 friismith.com
Doctor Squish Squishy Maker
Time to get squishiliscious with the internet sensation with over 1.3 billion views, and the most popular squishy maker in the world! Doctor Squish loves helping people make their own squishies. It’s fun for you to make at home with the super easy-to-use Doctor Squish Squishy Maker. The Squishy Maker lets you create your very own Squishies with whatever fillings you like and comes with a selection of fillings to get you started. There’s no limit to what you can do. Make themed Squishies, coloured Squishies, big or small Squishies, and even give them away. Decorate your Squishies with sparkles, glitter and coloured ink, and even mix slime powder and water to make awesome gooey slime for your Squishy. You can make small, medium or large Squishies for yourself and your friends. Who doesn’t love the feeling of a Squishy? Fun tips and more information available online.
Dr Squish Squishy Maker Party Pack Refill RRP: $60.00 squishymaker.com
A landscape photography duo based in Sydney, Australia. These aren't your average travel snaps, though - they're carefully crafted vistas that can transform any wall of your house into an eye-catching feature. Their original photographic print collections feature the finest of Australian coastal areas and other sought-after travel destinations. For this holiday season, they have transformed some of their most popular photos into Jigsaw Puzzles that can work as a great gift or a way to pass the rainy days. The Jigsaw Puzzles are made in Australia with state-of-the-art technology that will even inspire the most advanced puzzlers thanks to its superb quality and cut design.
Purchase for $49 via the website, only for a limited time!
Puppy & Unicorn Surprise
What surprise will it be under the Christmas tree! A Puppy Surprise or a Unicorn Surprise! Which one will you receive – Cherry and her puppies or Licorice and her babies? How many puppies or baby unicorns will there be inside? Made with soft huggable fabrics and beautiful details, each precious mummy Puppy and Unicorn comes with a surprise number of puppies or foals in her litter – either three, four, or five! Your little one will love to cuddle, pat, groom and nurture the entire Puppy and Unicorn Surprise family. Each mummy Puppy and Unicorn is sold separately. Available exclusively at Big W.
Sleep With Kip
The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has launched a range of six Sleep with Kip children’s storybooks designed to teach children go to sleep, stay asleep all night and wake at a reasonable hour. You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from parents all over the world. Kip books can be purchased individually or in a pack from www.sleepwithkip.com/store/ for $14.99. They will also be available via libraries across Australia and can currently be digitally accessed freel storyboxlibrary.com.au/sleep-with-kip
Disney Doorables Multi Peek Pack Series 8
There’s no better way to kick start your collection! Behind every door a surprise is in store with Disney Doorables Multi Peek Series 8 Collectible Figures. Open the doors to reveal five, six, or seven Disney figurines!! Recreate classic Disney tales with each figure or create your own new adventures. The stories are endlessly fun –and get better as additional figurines are collected and shared. Suitable for ages 5+ years, Disney Doorables Series 8 mini collectible figures are available from Myer, Target, Big W, Coles, and Kmart.
Everyone's favorite adorable stuffed animals wrapped in fun foodie blankets are ready to be unrolled and discovered in Australia. Cutetitos come uniquely wrapped in a large mystery bag building suspense of which Cutetito is inside, then unwrap to discover your new cutest pet! The fun doesn't stop here! New collectables in the Cutitos range will be released regularly, so don’t miss out. Available at Woolworths Australia.
RRP: $10.00 - $15.00
Marvel Battle Cubes
Rock paper scissors like you’ve never seen before… get ready to challenge your opponent with Battle Cubes! This pocket-sized collectible battle game has just arrived, and we wanted to share the fun with you. Suitable for ages 6+, the Marvel Battle Cubes are available from Big W, Myer and selected toy stores.
Marvel Battle Cube – Avengers Twin Pack or SpiderMan Twin Pack
RRP: $29.95 thebattlecubes.com
Twelve South Hover Bar Duo (Gen 2)
HoverBar Duo is a flexible arm that includes a weighted desktop base and adjustable shelf clamp. Use it like a multi-tool to get serious creative work done on an iPad. Use the sturdy shelf clamp in the kitchen to make a prototype video. Flip the stand’s New QuickSwitch Tab and snap the flexible HoverBar arm into the desktop base to finish your presentation.
RRP: $139.99 twelvesouth.com.au
Skullcandy Mod True Wireless Earbuds
Premium features are what makes them stand out as the perfect work-or play-fromanywhere audio companion. Small enough to hide under the tree, but mighty enough to deliver a truly memorable listening experience – with 34 hours of battery life, that’s ‘All I
Want For Christmas’ 510 times!
Skullcandy Mod True Wireless earbuds are available for purchase online or via JB Hi-Fi.
RRP: $99 skullcandy.com.au
Tangle are made up of interconnected curved sections that twist and turn freely in your hands. In recent years Tangle popularity has soared, with parents and teachers discovering the fidget toy as an assistance in children who suffer from anxiety as well as learning and attention issues. Tangle Brain Tools “Focus” have been created to add additional sensory experiences for children, featuring a tactile soft rubber cover. Tangle make the perfect pals for backpacks, bath time, playtime, anytime! Available at Woolworths Australia.
Add a little extra flair to the hair, decorate some nifty nails, sparkle up a smile or soak in a bubble-filled bath, with this sweet-smelling collection for Every Body.
Diy Nail Art Kit
Combine self care and fantastic fun with our DIY Nail Art Kit! Comes with all the right tools including polish, stickers and jewels to create a unique look. Perfect for sleepover fun with BFF???s or pampering it up at home!
Lip Gloss Slapband
Make that smile shine all day, every day with our 2 in 1 Lip Gloss Slapband! Features our iconic Slapband design with a sweet scented Lip Gloss pot attached, perfect for easy access! Comes with two removable charms that attach to the Lip Gloss pot to mix and match for a new style everyday!
RRP: $14.99 smiggle.com.au
Little Tikes 2-in-1 Activity Tunnel
The Little Tikes Company was founded in 1969. After 50 years of creating the best award-winning toys, they can emphatically say, they know kids. From their long line of infant play toys to their iconic Cozy Coupe® to their classic basketball hoop, they’ve made family favourites for generations. However, this has not been without painstaking amounts of research, testing, and careful consideration of what would be best for you and your family.
Little Tikes has always been about creating the best toys on the planet. Their toys are safe, durable, and great for all times of year. Little Tikes helps kids to spark curiosity, create wonder, and discover joy and has been since 1969. Share the fun with Little Tikes and Let ‘em Play. Available from Target.
RRP: $89.00 littletikes.com.au
The Good Change Store
On a mission to rid your household of plastic, starting with your cleaning cupboard. Introducing their innovative Reusable Bamboo Towel, a sustainable alternative to single-use paper towels that helps reduce waste in your home. This 100% natural cleaning wipe can be used over and over again, with one roll replacing 65 rolls of single-use paper towels.
Good Change is a business with a purpose—to communicate the importance of being “Better Than Yesterday”, taking small steps for the environment that will help create a big impact on the world.
RRP: $11.99 goodchangestore.com
AC/DC AB/CD High-Voltage Alphabet
The fourth in a series of children's picture books released by Australian music and lifestyle company, Love Police, headed up by Brian 'BT' Taranto. Iconic artist and designer, Paul ‘The Mayor’ McNeil has injected his bold ideas and punk attitude when creating this fun and engaging book aimed at preschoolers, whilst also keeping the grown-ups entertained. Each colourful page includes a letter of the alphabet with a corresponding band member, theme or historical fact (or fiction) from one of the most successful and enduring rock n'roll bands of all time.
RRP: $24.95 lovepolicebooks.com
ROCKING ALPHABETS' ALPHABOX SET
This limited edition book set contains the 3 legendary kids classics. M Is For Metal, Never Mind Your P’s And Q’s and The A,B,C & W Country and Western Alphabet book. Also comes with a giant fold out poster. All housed in a colourful hard shell case to sit sweetly on any bookshelf.
RRP: $69.95 lovepolicebooks.com
Chill Factor Slushy Maker
Enjoy an ice-cold, delicious slushy at any time in just second seconds! No ice, no blenders, no mess. Easy-to-use, all you have to do is put it in the freezer, wait for it to freeze then add your favourite drink and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! Watch as it turns into a delicious, refreshing slushy right before your eyes.
Neon Slushy Maker is available in Pink, Green and Blue exclusively at Big W.
RRP: $14.00 thechillfactor.com
Saving for your child’s educationBy Jo & Carl Violeta
Do you have a spare $370k in your bank account?!
We certainly don’t… but according to research that’s roughly how much you’ll need to pay for your child’s education. ....Yikes!
Research conducted by the Australian Scholarships Group’s (ASG) shows that on average the cost of sending your child to private school from Prep to Year 12 is approximately $367,569 per child or $244,822 if you choose a public school.
Your child’s education is one of the most significant and important expenses you’ll face. Whether it’s the transition from pre-school to primary school, a shift to a private school, or a move into high school or even university, the financial balance changes. Being prepared for these expenses and the change in your family’s financial situation AND having a plan in place to mitigate them, can help ease the burden.
Preparing for education expenses
The first step is to estimate how much your child’s education is likely to cost. Whilst this may seem overwhelming or unknown, just come up with a rough figure so you have an idea of the range of savings you might need.
Look at the average cost of school fees for schools in your area. Remember to factor in additional costs including tutoring, uniforms, camps and stationery. Usually primary schools will provide school books and some stationery supplies; we didn’t need to start purchasing school books and stationery until our daughter Eva started high school.
Saving for education expenses
You might like to consider a proper savings plan for your child’s education.
Before you get started with any sort of savings options however, it’s a good idea to consider your overall financial situation. For example, would you be better paying off your credit cards or other debts first before you start saving for education? Preparing to fund your children’s education is a significant and long term expense, so it’s also worthwhile speaking to a finance professional.
There are several savings options available for you to investigate:
1. A high interest savings account. We take advantage of compounding interest by using one of these.
2. A special education or scholarship fund. Be sure that it fits with your long term financial plan and ask loads of questions. (What fees will be charged? Who can make contributions? Do the suggested investment time-frames align with the timing of your child’s educational needs? What are you allowed to use the funds for? When can you access the funds? What criteria do you need to meet to access the funds?)
3. Offset account. Offset accounts can seem a bit complicated, but they don’t have to be. Basically, an offset account is a savings account that’s linked to your home loan. The balance in your account then offsets the amount you owe on your home loan.
4. Investment bonds. It’s important to seek personalised, professional advice from a qualified financial advisor and your tax accountant before committing to any of these options.
Tips for reducing school related expenses
No matter how you decide to prepare for school related expenses, finding ways to reduce those expenses along the way can make a big difference over time. Trust us. We have over eleven years’ experience in paying for school related stuff, so we know a thing or two about making savings!
Shop from home first. Have a look at home to see what you already have. If you have a good rummage, you’ll often be surprised by what stationery and other items that you can find.
Bulk cook and buy school lunches. Every month we do a big bulk cook-up of school snacks and freeze them. We use recipes from savingsroom.com.au, The $120 Food Challenge book by Sandra Reynolds, and theorganisedhousewife.com.au
Buy second hand books and uniforms. We buy second-hand uniforms in good condition. Eva actually prefers second-hand uniforms because they aren’t as stiff, they feel softer, and it’s better for the environment than buying brand new. For books, we use www. sustainableschoolshop.com.au. Be careful when buying second-hand textbooks that they are the same edition as what is on the school’s book list.
Buy non-branded items. When Eva started high school, we spent hours marching up and down the aisles at Officeworks to make sure we bought the exact brands that were on the book list. We later learned that wasn’t necessary for our school, the no-name brands were fine.
Your child’s education is an important but costly expense. There are plenty of different ways to prepare for this. Which option is right for you will depend on many factors including your other financial commitments, so it’s a good idea to seek proper financial advice. Whichever way you decide to prepare for this expense though, it’s best to get started as early as possible.
Jo and Carl Violeta are self-confessed numbers nerds, parents of an energetic toddler and a super switched-on teenager, and co-founders of the award-winning business, Violeta Finance. They are a husband and wife team who are passionate about empowering their community with financial education, love the odd glass of wine, and get a kick out of helping families achieve their homeownership and financial dreams.
SUMMER 2022 EDUCATION FEATURE
FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE
Love is life at St John's
St John’s Catholic Primary School has been nurturing young lives in the Frankston area since 1967. The Frankston region has grown and changed over time and through the motto ‘Love is life’ so has St John’s. Today we have a thriving and contemporary approach to education designed to meet the needs of all the students in our care.
Seated in idyllic settings in the heart of Frankston East, the school offers a wide variety of opportunities to engage with learning and with life for all the community it cares for. From a rich sports and PE program to the Coding and Robotics program, Sacramental programs and student development and wellbeing initiatives. St John’s is committed to providing opportunities for all students to achieve their full potential.
We strive to open up pathways of learning for all our students and work very closely with our Catholic counterparts and with John Paul College. This ensures learning achievements are carried over into secondary school life and
enables students to be recognised for their learning capabilities and appropriately challenged.
St John’s is committed to not only providing contemporary flexible learning spaces for students to learn in but also to ensure staff are well trained in utilising the spaces to their best advantage. These spaces are recognised as physical, social and virtual spaces that enable and promote learning and the learning capacity of all those involved in them. Our staff use appropriate strategies and learning approaches to maximise student potential. Coupled with thinking strategies based on Growth Mindsets and Resilience this creates a powerful learning combination and enables students to not only participate in their learning but to understand how they learn and apply appropriate strategies for their own learning capacity.
Learning, amidst all the distractions of our time, can be a difficult thing for many students.
We aim to provide students with the tools they will need to navigate an
uncertain but highly digitised future. We challenge them to explore and consider the deeper questions and big ideas so they can interpret and make meaning of their life, the world and their social context.
In this way, they can interact, at a human level with the world, because, if we fail to teach our kids how to continue to make positive connections in their lives, we lose some of our own humanity.
At St John’s, we believe that if you want a child to grow up and understand the human person and how ‘Love is Life’ is so important, you can’t tell them how they should do it, you have to teach them to yearn to live a life of love.
We welcome you to make a booking and come and see what we do for yourself and consider what we might be able to do for your child.
ST JOHN'S PRIMARY SCHOOL
Join us on a ‘Journey’
A famous British Economist once said:
“We are more educated than ever before and yet our world is in disarray. If still more education is to save us, it must be education of a different kind - education that takes us to the depth of things” Ernst Schumacher (1911-1977)
At Balcombe Grammar we fully believe that when staff and students are engaged together in work that is challenging, adventurous and meaningful, then learning and achievement prospers.
Our staff actively pursue evidencebased opportunities for this to occur, and one such opportunity is our new 2023 Year 7 ‘Journeys in Learning’ PBL teaching and learning initiative.
‘Journeys’ has been designed by key staff and will provide our students with the opportunity to build their capacity across three important dimensions of high achievement:
•‘mastery of knowledge and skills’;
•‘high quality student work’.
The supportive nature of this program gives students permission to sit securely in the creativity of their learning as well as feel supported to take a deep dive and step outside of their comfort zones. ‘Journeys’ is a program that is modelled on the design thinking process.
Challenges such as:
•How can we help Balcombe Grammar School become a beacon for sustainability in Victoria?
•How can we create broadcasted media that people can trust?
•How can we contribute to the growth of equity within our community?
•How can we create games that are good for our community? There is much talk about the future of education and again to come back to Ernst Schumacker who said:
“To talk about the future is only useful if it leads to action now.”
Each Year 7 student will embark on 4 journeys across the year and each journey will focus on the key transferable skills of Communication and Collaboration, as well as one other specifically linked to their driving question. Each ‘Journey’ will require the students to solve a real community challenge that requires a solution.
At Balcombe Grammar, we talk regularly about the future of education and what that might look like, but these conversations lead to action – action such as the introduction of ‘Journeys in Learning’.
We look forward to sharing the success of this program throughout 2023.
Mt Eliza House, Frankston House and Seaford House Sanctuary of Early Learning are all privately-owned. We provide a long day care facility and government registered Kindergarten.
Our commitment at Mt Eliza House is to provide a homelike environment where each individual child can thrive. All children have the right to grow and learn in their own way, at their own pace, allowing them to gently unfold to reach their full potential.
With large natural outdoor play spaces, the children spend their days exploring their world, creating positive friendships and developing empathy and respect. Our curriculum reinforces connections with nature and encourages self-reliance, problem solving and creativity.
Our educators acknowledge the diverse ways in which individuals learn in our ever-changing world, and support and nurture each child’s learning journey.
Learning environments are provided to assist young ones to become curious, confident and caring decision makers. We invite you to visit and take a tour of our facilities today.
Healthy Low-Carb Snacks
Watch out for sugar-free and gluten-free products!
There are many products on retail store shelves that have wonderful sounding health claims such as ‘sugar-free’, ‘gluten-free’, ‘low-carb/ keto’ but sadly are far from healthy. Many gluten-free products are full of sugar and many sugar-free products are full of artificial ingredients which don’t support good health. Always check the food labels and if you’re not sure if a product is ‘healthy’, check the list of ingredients. Any product with more than 5-8 ingredients, especially with names you don’t understand, should generally be put back on the shelf.
Remember also that following a real food diet means more than just reducing sugar and carbs. There are other commonly used ingredients in processed foods that cause inflammation in our bodies and should be avoided.
Two big ones to look out for are:
•Seed oils eg. vegetable oil, canola oil, soy bean oil, rice bran oil etc
•Artificial and other sweeteners eg. Aspartame, sucralose, maltitol, polydextrose, sorbitol, rice malt syrups
Simple swaps to healthy fats for cooking like ghee, lard, coconut oil and olive oil plus sticking to healthier plant-based non-insulin spiking sweeteners such as stevia, erythritol and monkfruit will help on your journey to reducing chronic disease and feeling great.
What people are saying about our products
You might have seen us at local markets and retail stores handing out samples of our cupcakes. The most common responses we get from people are “they’re so moist”, “such a beautiful flavour” and “there isn’t any aftertaste like other sugar-free products I’ve tried”.
We’ve gone to great lengths to find the best ingredients for our products so everyone can enjoy a special treat without compromising their health. Pure ground vanilla bean powder, organic raw cacao powder and organic coconut flour are just some of the healthy natural ingredients that we use. Our sweeteners are plant-based, don’t spike blood sugars and are the best we can find on the marketplace, so they leave no aftertaste like many others.
Looking for more help?
We have lots of easy recipes on our website plus there are some fantastic health professionals who specialise in the low-carb health space. If you’re looking for advice from a knowledgeable GP, we highly recommend:
•Real Life Medicine - Dr Lucy Burns and Dr Mary Barson, www.rlmedicine.com.au
•Melbourne Low Carb Clinic - Dr Avi Charlton, www.mlcclinic.com.au
(As always seek the advice of a qualified health professional before drastically changing your diet)
Our products solve the problem of catering for friends and family with specific dietary requirements as they taste amazing and are suitable for gluten-free, diabetic, low-carb plus can be made dairy free.
We have a great range of gift packs available in our online store with beautiful mugs for festive gift giving. Visit our website to find our full list of current stockists and markets.
Stockists around the Peninsula include:
Rocky Creek Farm Gate, Main Ridge Hawkes Farm, Boneo Sciclunas, Sorrento
IGA X-press, Blairgowrie Oasis, Mornington
Mt Eliza Village Fruits, Mt Eliza Gluten Free Foods, Mornington 100 Mile Foodie Café, Somerville
Peninsula Gourmet Co, Dromana Nourish, Balnarring
With a background as a food writer and cookbook author, Linda Martinucci has spent the last 15 years following nutrition studies and medical research aimed at the best way to fuel our bodies for optimal health.
In 2017, Linda made the decision to overhaul her eating style and was amazed at how much better she felt by simply reducing carbohydrates and increasing healthy fats. Taking her husband, David, on the journey with her, he not only experienced weight loss, but had energy he never thought possible, and all inflammatory aches and pains disappeared.
One key to successfully transitioning to this new lifestyle was being able to indulge in favourite desserts from time to time, particularly at family celebrations. Every Simply Swap Foods ingredient has been carefully selected for good nutrition and health benefits; Linda doesn't compromise when it comes to your health. With these products and recipes, you really can indulge yourself and feel great too!
Vanilla Jam and Cream Celebration Cake
Preheat oven to 170°C fan forced and grease and line 18cm round cake pan.
To make cake:
Finally a super easy and delicious sugar-free low-carb alternative to your favourite jam and cream sponge cake! This is perfect for Christmas party catering as it looks amazing plus suits multiple dietary requirements - coeliac/gluten-free, low-carb/ keto and diabetic. It can also be made dairy free using sweetened coconut cream instead of standard cream. Full step by step video instructions are available on my website www.simplyswapfoods. com.au and social media.
1 x pack Simply Swap Foods Voluptuous Vanilla Cupcake Mix
½ cup salted butter, melted (or coconut oil) (125g)
3 large eggs ½ cup preferred milk
To decorate: ¹∕³ cup (approx) sugar-free strawberry jam eg. Natvia brand (or make your own, recipe on my website)
300ml thickened cream (cold)
1 tblsp natvia sugar-free sweetener (or similar granulated sweetener)
Chocolate ganache icing: 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
2 tblsp thickened cream
1. Pour entire dry mix contents into a large bowl and stir to mix well.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs and milk.
3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold together gently.
4. Pour mixture into lined cake pan and bake for 35-40 mins or until cake springs back when lightly touched in centre (or a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean).
5. Leave cake in pan for 15 minutes, then cool on wire rack.
1. Make ganache - place chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl then microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove and stir well to incorporate cream into chocolate then cool slightly.
2. Make whipped cream - place cold cream and natvia in a bowl and use an electric beater to beat until thickened to firm peaks.
3. Once cake is totally cold, slice in half horizontally with a large serrated knife and separate layers.
4. Spread strawberry jam evenly on bottom layer to edges.
5. Spoon generous amounts of cream evenly over jam on bottom layer of cake.
6. Place the top cake layer on and gently press down to push cream to edges.
7. Spread cooled ganache over top of cake and decorate with your choice of fresh berries, coconut and chopped nuts.
Quick Savoury Crackers
Preheat oven to 180°C and and line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper.
1. Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl then add beaten eggs and combine into a dough ball.
Perfect on an antipasto plate to suit anyone who is lowcarb/keto, diabetic, dairy-free or gluten-free. Great for a quick lunch or late supper on their own or topped with your favourite toppings. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
1 cup blanched almond flour
½ cup flaxseed meal
2 tblsp hemp seeds (or other finely chopped seeds eg. sunflower, pepita)
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2. Place the dough between two sheets of non-stick baking paper and use a rolling pin to roll into a large square shape approx. 2mm thick.
3. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into small rectangles. Keep rolling and reusing dough until completely used up.
4. Separate rectangles and place on oven tray with space between each for cooking.
5. Prick each cracker with a fork then bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges (watch closely towards the end of cooking time as they can brown very quickly).
6. Cool on wire rack before storing in airtight container.
SugarFreeIcing & Decoration Ideas
Vanilla Buttercream icing
Decorating cakes for beautiful dessert platters doesn’t have to involve lots of sugar and artificially coloured “sprinkles”. Using a combination of delicious sugar-free icing with fresh berries and nuts, you can have a beautifully healthy and decadent alternative that aligns with healthy eating. (For piped icing - Piping bag kits are really easy to use and can be found at most large supermarkets).
Chocolate Buttercream icing
125g butter, softened ¼ cup natvia or similar granulated sweetener (ground in nutribullet if possible)
2 tsp vanilla essence (plus extra tsp for vanilla variation)
2 tblsp cocoa powder (for chocolate variation)
1. Place butter in medium size bowl and beat with electric beater while adding spoonfuls of ground sweetener. Beat well after each addition and blend together until light and fluffy.
2. Add cocoa powder and vanilla and continue beating on low speed until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl where necessary.
3. Spread icing on cupcakes or use a piping bag to pipe on top of cakes then top with your choice of berries, nuts and coconut.
125g butter, softened ¼ cup natvia or similar granulated sweetener (ground in nutribullet if possible)
3 tsp vanilla essence
1. Place butter in medium size bowl and beat with electric beater while adding spoonfuls of ground sweetener. Beat well after each addition and blend together until light and fluffy.
2. Add vanilla and continue beating on low speed until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl where necessary.
3. Spread icing on cupcakes or use a piping bag to pipe on top of cakes then top with your choice of berries, nuts and coconut.
Vanilla Cream Cheese icing
200g cream cheese, softened 50g butter, softened ¹∕³ cup natvia or similar granulated sweetener (ground in nutribullet if possible)
2 tsp vanilla essence
1. Place cream cheese and butter in medium size bowl and beat with electric beater until smooth and combined.
2. Add spoonfuls of sweetener and blend on medium speed until combined well, scraping down sides of bowl where necessary.
3. Add vanilla and continue beating on low speed until well combined.
4. Spread icing on cupcakes or use a piping bag to pipe on top of cakes then top with your choice of berries, nuts and coconut.
and why it’s such a pain for kidsBy Fleur Michell
Irritable Bowel Syndrome currently affects one in seven Australians, making it one of the most common digestive disorders around.
However, IBS in kids can be hard to diagnose, given that some of the key symptoms such as stomach ache, constipation and diarrhea, are often run-of-the-mill childhood ailments, and aren’t necessarily a sign of anything more.
IBS sufferer Vanessa Hutchinson first noticed the symptoms of IBS when she was in highschool.
“It was mostly just bloating though, so it didn't bother me too much,” says the mum of two. “I'd just wear loose clothes. If I noticed eating something triggered symptoms, I tried to avoid it. But I didn’t know I had a condition.”
Back then, Vanessa didn’t think to mention anything to her mum. “As they were just minor complaints I didn’t say anything and don’t think Mum would have paid it much attention anyway. She would probably just have just told me to stop eating or drinking certain things.
“It then got progressively worse throughout my 20's with frequent bloating, pain and problems with bowel movements. It also didn’t help that I wasn't taking care of myself. I was going out, drinking and eating bad food, doing typical things for that age, so I just assumed my issues stemmed from that.
“It wasn't until my late 20's that I actually did anything about it and found out that I was actually suffering from IBS. From then on, I started following a low FODMAP diet and my health substantially improved.”
Three years ago, frustrated at the lack of IBS friendly snacks on the market, Vanessa decided to create Fodbods, a successful line of Protein Bars which are the only certified FODMAP-friendly bars in Australia.
Recently she launched Fodbods Buddies aimed at kids in consultation with dietician Eloise Turner. The 30g Fodbods Buddies bars, which are available in two flavours - Lamington and Strawberry Shortcake – are made from 100 per cent natural plant-based ingredients. The main ingredient is tigernut flour, a super food packed with health benefits which is also high in fibre, making the bars both filling and nutritious. If you suspect your child may be suffering from IBS, Eloise advises to keep the following in mind.
Watch for IBS symptoms
“As for adults, IBS symptoms can be painful and also embarrassing for children and teens to talk about. These include abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, flatulence and altered bowel habits such as diarrhoea or constipation. It’s also recommended to consult your doctor if your child’s bowel movements often occur infrequently or very frequently or vary between loose/watery stools and hard/lumpier stools.”
Limit high FODMAP foods
“Finding foods for kids that don’t cause gut irritation can be challenging. Many ingredients in traditional ‘healthy snack bars’ such as wheat, dates, dairy, honey, sultanas and other fruits can cause unpleasant gut issues. A comprehensive list of high and low FODMAP foods is available at Monash University High and Low Fodmap Foods.”
“Whilst high FODMAP foods are often the culprit, it’s also important to be aware of other triggers such as fatty foods, caffeine, soft drinks, artificial sweeteners and large meals.”
How to manage symptoms
“I would encourage your child to eat smaller meals more often during the day and keep a food and symptom diary which may help you better understand your child’s triggers. Physical activity, adequate hydration and fibre is also vital to promote healthy bowel movements. Exercise can also be a great tool to relieve stress and anxiety triggers.
“Additionally, having your child talk to a therapist about their IBS may also help to reduce their symptoms. A therapist can explain how emotions may trigger their IBS symptoms and teach them relaxation techniques and management skills to avoid triggering IBS symptoms.”
teen skinBy Sheri Friis
The teenage years can be hard on parents, but equally as hard for teenagers. When teen skin issues do emerge during puberty, the situation can feel overwhelming for everyone. However, it’s important to remember that there is not a 'standard normal' phase for our skin as it will continue to change as we age and go through different phases of our life. It is up to us to support, nourish and build the skin's natural resilience so it can deal with whatever comes its way, hormones included!
What causes skin conditions in pre-teen / teenage skin?
From ages 11-19, hormones play a big part in both pre-teen and more commonly teenage skin. The fluctuating hormones known as androgens can aggravate skin by increasing oil production (sebum) which in turn can cause acne to appear. These breakouts can be very severe while for others, they can be fairly mild. But either can impact confidence and self esteem.The biggest mistake our teens can make is to try to combat this excess oil by stripping their skin to remove it. As annoying as excess oiliness and shine can be, sebum is actually critical to overall skin health - that is, when it’s not over or under produced by the body. On the most basic level, sebum serves as a protective and moisturising barrier on the surface of the skin, helping to prevent water loss. In addition to helping maintain essential hydration levels that keep skin protected, sebum can also provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial benefits.But too much of it makes skin cells stick together and clog, leading to blocked pores, spots and acne. Not enough of it causes dry skin and even eczema, which indicates an impaired skin barrier that needs to be restored. So what can we do to help?
Balance - Balance is the absolute foundation that underpins a healthy skincare routine for adolescents. We need to encourage a mindset to treat skin from the inside out. Exercise, a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, getting 8-10 hours of quality sleep every night, laughter, meditation/mindfulness, and healthy relationships are all key. The skin’s health is directly dependent on the mind and body’s overall health.
Dr Peter Scott and Associates are specialist orthodontists offering orthodontic care for children, teens and adults alike in both the Mornington Peninsula and inner Melbourne.
Dr Peter Scott is also a consultant at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
A consistent, but simple skincare routine - Washing, cleansing and moisturising the skin will help to remove excess oil, stop it from causing congestion and keep it beautifully hydrated. At FRII[S]MITH, we believe less is more. So we always recommend cleansing at night rather than the morning as this removes your skin’s natural oils and waxes it worked so hard to produce overnight.
Step 1 Rinse (morning)
Rinse the face with cold water in the morning without any use of cleansers. The cold water helps to wash the toxins away and also reduces inflammation, speeding up healing of breakouts
Step 2 Cleanse (night only)
A perfect introduction to a lifelong relationship with good skincare. A good cleanser is formulated to support and mimic the skin’s natural process of renewing itself, rather than disrupt it. It should moisturise without clogging, exfoliate without feeling scratchy and clean without stripping the skin’s natural pH. Using a cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin of essential moisture is absolutely fundamental to keep skin clean and clear
Step 3 Moisturise
(morning & night, or just night depending on individual needs)
It is a common misconception that oily skins do not need moisturiser. A moisturiser acts to nourish and protect the skin from external aggressors which is super important for compromised, blemish prone skin.
For teenage skin, we recommend a moisturiser with dual function that creates a balance between both active and soothing ingredients to nurture and support the skin barrier health
Less is best - A simple, consistent skincare routine is usually all that is required to help facilitate healing and restore the skin barrier. Young skin is already incredibly strong, so using lots of different products will only degrade the skin’s natural ability to heal. If skin issues continue to cause issues that are affecting your teen, we would always recommend seeking advice from a skin therapist, doctor or dermatologist. Don’t stress! Our kids learn everything from us! Which also means we need to be aware that we can feed their insecurities. Support them on their skincare journey with knowledge, love and guidance so that they can be informed as to how they can holistically nourish and strengthen the skin barrier. We want to encourage their skin to work for itself now and in the future with good quality products that will continue to empower confidence and radiance.
Sheri Friis is a local Mount Eliza mum, experienced skin therapist and creator of FRII[S]MITH, a much loved Australian made skin care brand that provides simple, but astonishingly effective skin care solutions for skins of all ages. FRII[S]MITH products nourish and build the skin's natural resilience, resulting in beautifully radiant skin. www.friismith.com
BODY IMAGE FOR PARENTS
Children are very sensitive to messages from their parents about their body image and appearance. Often you may not even be aware of the messages your child is hearing from you. Parents can have a very positive impact on the way a child feels about the way they look and their self esteem. Helping your child develop a healthy body image is important as it can also strengthen their relationship with eating and exercise and reduce the risk of developing disordered eating and eating disorders.
Here are some tips on ways you can be a good body image role model for your child: Reflect on your own relationship with your body. This may not be easy but being aware of your attitude towards your own body will help you be conscious of the messages you send to your kids. Try to avoid looking in the mirror and making negative comments about the way you look. If your child sees that you feel comfortable and happy with your body, this can help them feel comfortable in their own skin.
Avoid talking about diets. Dieting is the biggest risk factor for an eating disorder. Try to avoid talking about diets, your “naughty” eating habits, or your weight and size. This can give kids the impression that weight and size are highly valued by you and they might feel pressure to look a certain way or be a certain size. Celebrate diversity and emphasise how loved and valued your child is no matter what their weight, shape or size.
Talk to your child about the way they feel about the way they look.
Encourage your child to talk with you about their feelings. Create space to talk about things on a daily basis including what is happening with their friends. If your child feels safe to talk to you, then they are likely to share feelings about their bodies with you.
Help your child stay body confident when using social media.
Talk to your child about the realities of digital manipulation and that what they see in the media and online is not always real. Encourage them to reflect on how their social media experiences make them feel and if it’s not positive then they need to change it. Despite best parenting efforts serious body image issues and eating disorders do develop. It’s important to recognise the warning signs of body dissatisfaction and low self esteem as early as possible. There are certain cues you can pick up on in your child once you know what to look for.
Here are some warning signs to keep an eye on in your child:
• Withdrawal from social events and activities that they used to enjoy
• A focus on diets, calories, health and particular foods. They might talk about wanting to be healthier or fitter and become obsessive about checking the nutritional content of what they are eating.
• They might become irritable or anxious around dinner time. They may refuse to eat certain foods or whole food groups.
• Complaints about the way they look, e.g. “I’m ugly” or “I’m fat”, or negative comments about their abilities, e.g. “I’m hopeless”
• Frequent self scrutiny – such as weighing themselves or excessively looking at their reflection.
• Change in clothing style such as wearing baggy or oversized clothing
If you notice any of these signs in your child it is important to seek help as early as possible. You know your child best, so trust your instincts. If you are finding it hard to be accepting of your own body, remember it’s never too late to seek help
simple pillars for a healthy working motherhood
Has working motherhood in this busy age got you turning yourself in circles? Trying to do all the things for everybody, to keep the family going, your work going, your relationship going, and not lose yourself throughout your journey?
We know that working mothers are 28% more likely to suffer burnout than working fathers (Maven, 2020), and that 73.7% of couple families with kids under 15 have a mum that works (ABS 2021). So what can we do about the changing face of working motherhood?
Navigating the busy to find a way to maintain our health whilst continuing on with our career can easily result in burnout and overwhelm. These 5 Simple Pillars of Healthy Motherhood can guide you towards a healthier working motherhood, minus the increasing overwhelm.
Choosing to eat whole or real foods slowly, without rushing, can be a gamechanger. How have our requirements for food altered now we are a mum, and how is all of this rushing around, eating on the run, and lack of community with food impacting on our health?
Simply begin by asking: What real food am I getting in my day?
When was the last time I actually sat down, chewed and tasted the food I’m consuming?
As we move through different seasons of life as a woman (adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy, matrescence, post-partum), it changes how we move our bodies. We are bombarded by messaging to get our pre-baby bodies back, yet sometimes, when we are busy working and our system is in overwhelm, heavy exercise can make us unhealthier.
Try beginning your movement journey with asking yourself: What movement makes me feel good afterwards? How can I get this regularly in my week?
3. Thinking & Calm
In our very busy society, the more we rush, become ‘mum’s taxi’, and answer emails at all hours of the night… the more we ramp up our body and brain into busy mode! Whilst our amazing human brain is capable of doing so much, it needs to have downtime to heal and function well. Reclaiming some ease, breath and calm with small moments each day can create a big change.
Ask yourself: How can I give 5 minutes to me today? Where can I purposefully slow my breath today?
Sleep as a working mum shouldn’t be a laughable concept. In fact the day I write this, I spent 3 hours sleeping on a couch close to my son's room so I could hear if he woke up unwell, #mumlife! But the quantity and quality of our sleep can drive our healing, our health and our perception of stress.
Today why don’t you try:
1. Jumping into bed 30 minutes earlier.
2. Decreasing that caffeine load after lunch to allow your body’s natural sleep rhythm to begin to kick in.
We are designed for human interaction, and when we become a mum, and especially a working mum, we often put this right on the back burner as nice… but only if x, y or z has happened. My challenge for you is to schedule in a social connection time with a girlfriend that isn’t centred on the kids or work.. and try and make it happen in the next few weeks.
Healthy working motherhood doesn’t have to be hard or difficult, but it does need to be a bit more conscious. The societal drive to work as if we don’t have kids, and parent as if we don’t have a job is impacting on the health of families, and I really hope that you can find a way to choose something different for yourself. My hope for you is that you can have it all: health; self; connection; and family. And along the way, get the privilege to choose your own adventure.
Ali Young, author of Work.Mama.Life. From motherhood burnout to abundant health, joy and wellbeing (Wiley $29.95), is a highly sought after speaker, chiropractor and online coach who helps mothers the world over rediscover joy in their world, health in their body and connection with their families. For more information visit www.draliyoung.com
SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS
THE KEY TO HAPPIER, HEALTHIER CHILDREN
Whether it’s sports practice, music lessons or a casual catch up with friends, when children are involved in after-school activities, they’re more likely to feel happier and healthier than their counterparts who are glued to a screen.
In a new study conducted by the University of South Australia and the Department for Education, researchers found that children’s wellbeing is heightened when they participate in extra-curricular activities, yet lowered when they spent time on social media or playing video games.
Published in BMC Pediatrics, the study analysed data from 61,759 school students in years 4 to 9 (via the 2018 South Australian Wellbeing and Engagement Collection), assessing the average number of days per week children participated in after-school activities (3-6pm), and measuring these against wellbeing factorshappiness, sadness, worry, engagement, perseverance, optimism, emotion regulation, and life satisfaction.
It found that most students watched TV about four days of the school week and spent time on social media about three days of the week.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in seven children (equivalent to about 560,000 children) have a mental health disorder, with one in ten children having concerning levels of wellbeing.
Lead researcher, UniSA’s Dr Rosa Virgara says the research highlights an acute need
to encourage children to participate in activities other than screens. “Helping children develop a good sense of personal wellbeing is paramount in today’s uncertain environment,” Dr Virgara says. This is especially important for primary school-aged children as they’re learning about the challenges and risks that full-time school can present; but it’s equally important for teenagers who are facing a range of physical, social and emotional changes.
“Our study highlights how some out-of-school activities can boost children’s wellbeing, while others - particularly screens - can chip away at their mental and physical health.” Screens are a massive distraction for children of all ages. Most parents will attest to this. And whether children are gaming, watching TV or on social media, there’s something about all screens that’s damaging to their wellbeing.
“It’s interesting because you might think that it’s the lack of physical movement that’s causing this, yet our research shows that doing homework or reading - both sedentary activities –positively contribute to wellbeing, so it’s something else. In fact, we found that children’s wellbeing was higher when they participated in extra-curricular activities –even if they already reported being happy.”
What this shows is that we need to find ways to encourage children of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in activities that keep them away from TV, computers and mobile devices.
The research also highlights distinct differences between children who came from low and high socio-economic backgrounds. Students in lower socio-economic backgrounds who frequently played sport were 15 per cent more likely to be optimistic, 14 per cent more likely to be happy and satisfied with their life, and 10 per cent more likely to be able to regulate their emotions.
Conversely, children who played video games and used social media almost always had lower levels of wellbeing: up to 9 per cent less likely to be happy, up to 8 per cent to be less optimism and 11 per cent to be more likely to give up on things. “Children who were more at risk tended to come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, which indicates a clear need for greater support in these areas,” Dr Virgara says.
As many of these children responded well to playing sports, education initiatives and continued funding of government programmes such as the State Government’s $100 School Sports Vouchers could be good options.
All in all, the message is clear – gaming, watching TV, playing on computers, and scrolling through social media are not helping build or sustain positive wellbeing in children. It’s certainly a challenge, especially as most children have been brought up on devices. But if families can be more aware of the issues associated with screens, then perhaps we can find a better balance of screen time and other out-of-school activities.
LUCAS DENTAL CARE
S PECIALISTPAEDIATRIC DENTISTS
Ask The Experts!
How do I treat bee stings?
Take these steps if you are stung by a bee: If the stinger is still in the skin, gently try to remove it by scraping it carefully from the side with the edge of a firm object, such as a finger nail or credit card — flicking the sting out as soon as possible to reduce the amount of venom injected.
Do not use tweezers to remove the sting; bees leave behind a sac of venom, and if you try to use tweezers you will release more venom from the sac.
When you have removed the sting, wash the affected area with soap and water and dry the area gently.
What is thrush?
Thrush is an infection with a fungus. It is also known as a yeast infection. The fungus, called Candida, occurs naturally in the body, particularly in warm, moist areas such as the vagina, penis, groin and mouth.
Thrush can develop when there is an overgrowth of Candida due to factors such as hormones, medication side effects and medical conditions like diabetes. You may require an antifungal medication or lozenge to clear the infection. You can speak to your pharmacist or doctor about the best treatment.
Speak to your doctor if the thrush is severe or comes back after treatment.
The orthodontist has recommended the removal of permanent teeth as part of my daughter’s orthodontic treatment. Why would this be?
The majority of the time, orthodontic treatment with braces can be achieved without the removal of permanent teeth. In some cases, however, the removal of permanent teeth is required to achieve the optimal dental and facial outcome. Some examples of where this might be the case are:
Moderate to severe crowding of the teeth
If expansion of the upper jaw is not an available option, the removal of permanent teeth can be required to achieve the best result.
Improvement of the bite
An assessment of the relationship of the upper and lower teeth may reveal a jaw size discrepancy. In many cases, this relationship can be corrected with braces treatment alone but, in some cases the removal of premolar teeth is required with the braces treatment to achieve the best bite correction.
Dental protrusion is when the upper front teeth “stick out” and require moving back. Creating space with the extraction of premolar teeth, can improve the angulation of the anterior teeth as well as improving the lip posture.
There are cases where the poor health and long term prognosis of compromised permanent teeth may indicate the need for the extraction of these teeth and orthodontic intervention to close the spaces.
An assessment by a specialist Orthodontist is always recommended. An analysis of the position of the teeth, their relationship to the lips and facial profile, the jaw relationship, condition of the teeth and gums will be completed before an individualized treatment plan is formulated.
BSc (Melb) Dip OHT (Melb)
Oral Health Therapist
134 Tanti Ave, Mornington
Peninsula Orthodontics loves working with families. Our experienced team will provide you with an individual treatment plan to deliver only exceptional results
Capture that perfect smile you will always treasure.
No referral required .
Dr Doug Lee Dr Andrea Phatouros Dr David Zhang
Milk supply regulation Granny’s Guide
Whatishappening around 6-12weeks?By Yvette O'Dowd
Perceived Insufficient Milk Supply (PIMS) is so common, it is listed as one of the top reasons mothers stop breastfeeding or begin supplementing with formula. Perceived - not actual - low milk production. There is a difference.
The indicators used to assess if a baby is getting enough breast-milk are:
Sufficient wet nappies: 5 heavy disposables or 6-8 soaked cloth nappies
Good skin colour and muscle tone. If gently “pinched”, their skin bounces back.
Their weight, length and head circumference growth is tracking the curve on their growth chart as expected.
Frequent soft bowel motions. 3-4 per day in the first six weeks. Older babies might have less but the poo is still soft.
The baby is mostly content after most feeds; allowing for normal cluster feeding and fussy periods.
However, and this is significant, the reasons parents believe their milk supply is low are often very different such as:
The baby feeds frequently and more often than they expected.
The baby sleeps for shorter periods and wakes at night more than they expected.
In a recent study in Western Australia, 44% of the mothers had a perception of insufficient milk supply within three weeks of birth. The most common reason for this perception was that their infant was not satisfied after breastfeeds. These normal patterns of feeding and sleeping behaviour are tiring and time-consuming. If you are being repeatedly told by well-meaning family, friends, and health professionals that your baby should be only feeding 3-4 hourly and should be sleeping through the night, it is easy to see how breastfeeding mothers will doubt their milk supply is enough.
In the early weeks of the fourth trimester, the breasts themselves give reassuring feedback of milk abundance. Go too long between feeds and your breasts swell and feel heavy. They might even become sore and hard! If someone has told you to stretch out feeds so your baby gets more milk, then this seems to be evidence that is working!
The longer you wait, the “fuller” your breasts appear and the more milk you must be making. Then, suddenly, perhaps even overnight, your breasts no longer feel full and firm. They feel soft and … empty. If you have been routinely pumping milk in-between breastfeeds to create a “freezer stash”, the volume you can pump might plummet. You can go from getting 70 - 150ml to just … 20-50mls.
This change is normal, natural and should be expected …. except nobody seems to warn you it will happen! In the early weeks of breastfeeding, your body produces breast-milk constantly. Your breasts fill and fill and fill. Sometimes you might feel full to bursting point! Luckily, nature put a braking system in place, otherwise you probably would explode. Here’s how it works: the fuller your breasts become, the more of a substance known as FIL (Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation) is excreted. This protein in the whey part of the milk signals to the milk-making glands to speed up or slow down production. Too little FIL from frequent removal of milk and your breast pumps up the volume and quickly replenishes the milk supply. Too much FIL and your breasts get the feedback that less milk is required, slow down, put the brakes on production. Cluster feeding, and power pumping use this system to increase milk production. Block feeding, and weaning, use this system to decrease milk production Put very simply, soft breasts are working hard, hard breasts are hardly working!
This system is really useful as breastfeeding is being established. There are so many unknowns for the breasts: how many babies are there? (Twins? Triplets? More?) How big is their stomach capacity? (Small? Medium? Large?) When does the baby feed frequently (cluster feeding) and when do they feed less frequently? Every single baby is unique, and the breasts need time to get to know them individually. It’s like fine-tuning by tweaking all the levels to get the volume just right. Then lock it in. This takes around 6-12 weeks.
Lactation now works like a well-oiled machine. Your breasts can confidently produce the milk on-demand, meeting the baby’s needs efficiently and without all that attention to detail.
Far from being a sign of failure, those soft breasts are the sign that your milk production is working in-sync with your baby. Research has shown that the volume of milk a baby takes over 24 hours varies little from one month to six months. How often and how quickly they remove it might vary but the amount is consistent. Not only do you not need to increase your supply, but your baby isn’t even taking all the milk available.
On average, babies remove around 67% of the milk available in the breast. Babies don’t drain or empty the breast. They feed until they are full. They come off the breast when one of the multiple let-downs or milk-ejections occur! Why do they change breasts? Probably because the rate of flow or effort involved to remove the remaining milk seems too much like hard work, when there is a second breast sitting their ready to go! And while they feed from that one, the volume is steadily increasing in the first.
Even if you go on to breastfeed for the next two years or more, your milk supply is very unlikely to decrease unexpectedly. Reasons that could happen are hormonal shifts due to pregnancy. Gradual reduction will happen as babies begin to naturally reduce breastfeeds as they wean or if mothers lead the weaning process. Breast milk doesn’t dry up overnight. During weaning, it can take weeks, months or even years to completely stop lactating.
Yvette O’Dowd is not your typical grandmother! This mother of three and 'Granny' of three has been a breastfeeding counsellor since 1992. In 2014, Yvette established the Southern Natural Parenting Network, incorporating South Eastern Babywearing Group. With 11,000 members world-wide, the group supports parents interested in breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, baby-led weaning and modern cloth nappies and other aspects of gentle, natural parenting. www.facebook.com/SouthernNaturalParentingNetwork
Obsessed with Sleep
New research reveals Aussie parents spend up to two working days a week trying to get their baby to sleep be that in a car, pram or rocking chair, and another full workday thinking about ways to improve it
Australian research has revealed the complete obsession over baby sleep that is driving Aussie parents to distraction, with one in five (19%) spending up to two working days each week shooshing, patting or rocking their baby to sleep, and another one in five (19%) pounding the pavement for the same period in a bid to get their baby down. Of parents surveyed, as many as one in two Google ways to improve their baby’s sleep at least once a day, while 77% of parents admit to spending up to two hours each day just thinking about their baby’s sleep (or lack thereof!).
The findings also highlighted that while Dr Google provides parents with strategies to address their baby’s sleep challenges (61%), nearly 40% of parents acknowledged that the advice they sought – whether from Google or experts on their Instagram – made them feel worse not only about their baby’s sleep situation, but their parenting abilities, too.
Baby sleep expert and CuboAi sleep ambassador, Kristy Griffiths, says she's not surprised by the research, given the amount of pressure new parents put on themselves when it comes to getting their baby
to sleep, “The shape of your day and sense of parenting failure or success should not be hinged on how many winks of sleep or how long your baby sleeps for,” she said. “With over 60,000 results on Amazon when you search for Baby Sleep books, it’s little wonder parents are overwhelmed, obsessing to the point that they’re starting to question their own parenting abilities,” she said.
So desperate for a single night of unbroken sleep, one in four parents admit they would be willing to spend upwards of $500 in exchange for a good night’s rest, with one in 10 willing to spend more than $1,000. For those that admit they’re onto a good routine, more than one in two (57%) admit they’ve used self-soothing items such as dummies, sleeping bags and bottles beyond the recommended age, from fear of disrupting a solid sleep routine with their baby.
“It is perfectly normal for babies to wake in the night, and it’s incredibly important that in those first 6 to 12 months, there really will be no quick fix or one size fits all solution to addressing your baby’s sleep cycle,” Kristy says. “Whether you’ve resorted to pram pushing, trips in the car or incessant rocking there really is a better way to address your baby’s sleep schedule and the anxieties around their sleep – and it starts with letting go.”continued next page...
Kristy’s Top Tips
Accept that it’s normal to feel anxious
It's normal and completely natural to be overwhelmed with love for your new bundle of joy. The journey to parenthood is full-on and exhausting but when it comes to nap time, the last thing you want to do is take your eyes off them. However, it is super important that you get a break when you can, and not spend countless hours rocking, patting, or pushing the pram. It’s absolutely OK to pop baby down in their cot and leave the room for five minutes to take a timeout from the relentlessness of resettling a baby. I always recommend investing in a quality monitor like the CuboAi Plus. Its best-in-class safety features like rollover detection and face-covering can help ease anxieties in the first sleep-deprived weeks and beyond, giving tired parents some much-needed peace of mind whilst in the throes of newborn sleep deprivation.
Set realistic goals
When it comes to making changes to your little one’s sleep, start with small, realistic goals. This way they become achievable, and you are motivated to continue making changes rather than thinking it all becomes too hard and not making any at all. ie: if your baby is currently having 4-night feeds, dropping these all at once isn't going to happen. We need to make it realistic and start with 2-3 feeds, once this is going well then move onto 1-2. It’s important to focus on our small wins each and every day!
Try not to compare
Don't compare your little one to anyone else's baby when it comes to sleep. What works for one family may not work for another. So, while it may look all rosy on the other side of the fence their "normal" may not actually work for you and your baby. This also only creates more pressure for both parents and baby and leaves you feeling more anxious and questioning sleep yet again!
Give up on Dr Google!
Like Googling a medical condition, Google is good for vague and broad advice, but when it comes to the specifics of your baby’s sleep behaviours it’s going to provide very little tailored advice. If the situation is starting to cause you stress and the sleeplessness is impacting your mental wellbeing, I would highly encourage you to check-in with your GP or baby care team to ensure you’re getting the support you need to navigate this challenging period.
Be accepting that, some days, routine will go out the window – and that’s OK!
Do not let the unpredictability of your baby's sleep reflect on you and your mental health. I see so many successful and accomplished women who have lived by the clock via demanding corporate roles only to have their life turned upside down by a tiny little person who is blissfully unaware of the time of their supposed schedule. The first days are hard for everyone and putting pressure on yourself to adhere to a strict routine will just end in tears (usually for mum and bub). Babies don't have the capacity for routines until around 12 weeks and, even then, it will be pretty "loose" so the sooner you accept this, the less stressful the unpredictability of your baby will become.
An oldie but a goodie –... sleep when the baby sleeps!
It’s probably something your own mother or nana harps on about, but with the business of life – especially with young children – it can often feel impossible to have a rest when the baby does, if you’re also juggling the demands of the household and other young children in your care. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a laundry pile the size of Kosciusko, or a toddler in front of the TV for the afternoon if it means you get to catch up on some rest. So instead of spending time researching ways to improve your baby’s sleep next time they’re down for a nap, put the phone down and rest yourself. I promise you’ll feel 100% better for it.
About the research
CuboAi commissioned Antenna Insights to conduct an online consumer survey in January 2022. The sample comprised of a nationally representative sample of 1,022 Australian parents. Following interviews, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.
Kristy Griffiths is The Sleep Teacher, CuboAi Ambassador, certified sleep trainer to the stars and a mum of 3 gorgeous girls. With personal experience with debilitating postpartum sleep deprivation, Kristy's expertise covers all areas of sleep teaching, emphasising gentle child and infant sleep training. As a mum who has been there, Kristy is passionate about showing parents how easily their sleep can be fixed. www.au.getcubo.com
for reducing your obsession with sleep and making it through those sleep-deprived days
Midwife Tips To Prevent Nappy RashBy Edwina Sharrock
To prevent nappy rash you need to know the causes.
These can include:
1. Prolonged skin contact with a wet or dirty nappy
If your baby is going to the toilet more often or not being changed regularly enough this can lead to irritation on their skin
2. The area not being cleaned properly when nappy changing
Make sure you clean and dry the area thoroughly after each change. Sometimes nappy rash can be caused from a bacterial infection and spread around - nappies can be a breeding ground for bacteria as it is warm and moist so an infection can develop and spread quickly.
3. Chafing from the nappy
If your little one’s nappy or clothes are too tight, it can rub against the skin causing irritation and nappy rash. A nappy that is too tight also reduces airflow which can lead to the area becoming too moist
4. Using product that are irritating the skin
Some babies have more sensitive skin than others. Soap, bubble bath, lotions or some topical ointments may have an irritant effect. Baby wipes are great for easy cleaning but ones that are perfumed or alcohol-based could all potentially irritate sensitive skin.
If your baby is taking medication, such as prescribed antibiotics, this can affect bacteria levels that usually prevent nappy rash from occuring. If you’re still breastfeeding and taking antibioitics this could also have a similar effect.
6. Diet changes, food or allergies
Changes to your diet, particular foods or allergies can sometimes lead to nappy rash. For instances, foods high in citric acid such as oranges, strawberries and tomatoes can be causes of nappy rash.
There are many potential causes of nappy rash and it can sometimes be hard to prevent it. Here are my top tips on how to help prevent nappy rash so you and your bundle of joy stay happy come nappy changing time.
1. Change the nappy often
Clean the skin every 3-4 hours or as soon as possible after wetting or soiling. Keep a close eye on them and check their nappies regularly throughout the day.
2. Let the skin breathe as long as possible with nappy-free time
Leave your baby’s nappy off for as long as you can to let fresh air to get to the skin and dry off the nappy area. Try to air out your baby’s skin regularly for short periods.
3. Clean and dry the area properly during nappy changes
Wash your baby’s bottom gently and dry the skin thoroughly, patting instead of rubbing the area, especially if it is sore.
4. Use a thin layer of barrier cream between nappy and skin
Avoid talcum powder. At each nappy change, apply a thin layer of barrier cream to dry skin. This can prevent moisture build-up and also act as a protective layer. Consult with your health visitor or pharmacist to find one best for your bub.
5. Ensure you are using non-irritating products that are suitable for sensitive skin
Try to avoid soap, bubble bath, lotion or any products with ingredients that could potentially irritate or upset your baby’s skin more. If using wipes, I recommend gentle baby wipes like WaterWipes; they are great for sensitive skin and the world’s purest baby wipe, simply made from 99.9 percent water and a drop of fruit extract.
Nappy rash is, unfortunately, something that most babies will experience and dealing with it as a parent is never a fun job. You know your little one better than anyone so if you are feeling worried or unsure, please go and see your GP, midwife or care provider.
FROG FINDS A PLACEBy Sally Morgan
Ever since a moonbeam shone down on him in his pond, Frog has wanted to live up with Moon and the stars. He works hard to get there, but it’s a long way for a little frog ... From award-winning First Nations creators, Sally Morgan, Ezekiel Kwaymullina and Dub Leffler, comes this heartfelt tale of discovering that what you’re longing for might be closer than you think.
COCO AND THE SPIDERLINGBy Laura Bunting
Coco is very excited about her family holiday. But when she discovers her purrfect city adventure is actually a camping trip ... ME-EWW! Can an unexpected friendship change Coco’s view of camping? And will she have the purrfect holiday after all?
WORST WEEK EVER WEDNESDAYBy Matt Cosgrove
Justin Chase sure has, and this is it! Monday really socked, Tuesday blew up, but now it's ... Wednesday! His cat is still mysteriously missing. He's an unintentional internet sensation. And right now sharks are circling as he's stranded in a heartstopping, skin-crawling, jaw-dropping, seriously shocking S.O.S situation with his unbelievably annoying arch-enemy!
THE OTHERS?! (THE BAD GUYS: Episode 16)By Aaron Blabey
OK. A lot of the stuff we said on the back of the last book was NOT TRUE. We now admit that The Bad Guys is WEIRD. We also admit that it features ALL the weird stuff we said it didn't. PLUS there's now a whole bunch of even weirder stuff involving an over-sharing bat, a really scary new character...
COLIN THE CHRISTMAS (MEAT) PIE
By Colin Buchanan, Children $17.99
You'll see him at the footy game or at a family dinner. He’s a tasty pastry classic, a chunky lunchtime winner. But when it came to Christmas, Colin gave a sigh, For nobody at Christmas wanted Colin the Meat Pie; It’s Christmas Eve, and nobody needs a meat pie. Or do they? It’s up to Colin the Meat Pie to save Christmas for Santa and the elves!
THE WORST DOG IN THE WORLD
By Michel Streich, Children $17.99
I really, really, wanted a dog. But I got Piper ... the worst dog in the world. Piper doesn’t know how to play fetch, she doesn’t want to learn any tricks, she hates being in the car and frolicking at the beach with the other dogs. She loathes baths and really doesn’t want a tummy tickle! Luckily though, as soon as Piper feels ignored she starts returning a little love ... and that’s when we realise what she really likes to do...
THE SPEEDY SLOTH
By Rebecca Young
It was finally time for the event of the year, Spike couldn’t believe it—THE GREAT RACE was here! The other sloths said it couldn’t be done, but Spike didn’t care, she was ready to run!
From award-winning creators Rebecca Young and Heath McKenzie, comes this inspiring story to celebrate all winners ... especially those who don’t come first.
THE VERY CLEVER BEAR
By Nick Bland, Children $17.99
The circus has arrived in the Jingle Jangle Jungle and Bear’s friends have the perfect circus acts. Can Bear come up with a very clever trick of his own?
PHOEBE THE MOONLIGHT DRAGON (DRAGON GIRLS #8)By Maddy Mara,
The Night Dragons are united in friendship and in a shared mission: they must save the Magic Forest from the evil Fire Sparks. The Fire Sparks are out to ruin the delicate balance between night and day―and only the Night Dragons can stop them!
Phoebe has a special task ahead of her. She must spread her wings and rescue the Dreamlets, magical creatures who create dreams for all the forest animals. Can Phoebe overcome her fears to help save nighttime?
NEVER EVER: A TALE OF CAPTAIN HOOK (DISNEY VILLAINS #9)
You know the story of that infamous pirate, the one so haunted by the tick-tock of the clock that he grew to resent the Lost Boys, who never had to grow up. Before that tale, though, was another: of a baby stripped of his chance to become a Lost Boy. Of a boy who longed to return to Never Land. Of a young man who resented his London lifestyle so much that he left it to join the crew of a pirate ship. And of a pirate-turned-captain determined to find his way back to that land of perpetual childhood. The only place he ever felt like he belonged. But returning to Never Land comes at a price, especially for a man who has had no choice but to grow up. This newest instalment in Serena Valentino’s twisted Villains series invites readers into the rise and fall of an unlikely pirate who was, perhaps, just a lost boy all along.
BY THE BOOK (DISNEY)By Jasmine Guillor
Sometimes to truly know a person, you have to read between the lines. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to finally get the promotion she deserves. But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and, it turns out, just as lost as Izzy. But despite his stand-offishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realise there may be something there that wasn’t there before.
THE STAND INBy A J Rushby, Young teen
When new girl Millie shows up at Lena’s boarding school, she arrives with a question. Why is Lena pretending to be someone she’s not? Lena ignores her. Until Millie shows her photo after photo of someone who looks like her. Exactly like her. Intrigued, Lena agrees to meet her look-alike, Saskia. Saskia is wild. And rich. And money is something Lena desperately needs if her mother is to stay in the care home she currently lives in. So when Saskia offers Lena cold, hard cash to stand in for her at family events, Lena finds she can’t say no. want to say no Sometimes, she doesn’t even to the weekends away, the beautiful clothes, the amazing food and Saskia’s on-again-offagain boyfriend, Rhys. Until, of course, she agrees to one last job. The one she definitely should have said no to. Because that job might be the last thing she ever does.
PRIDDY EXPLORERS: SPACEBy Roger Priddy
Children can learn about fascinating subjects in a fun and accessible way. Each book has a different Priddy Explorer, a child who guides the reader through the topic they are learning about.
PRIDDY EXPLORERS: DINOSAURSBy Roger Priddy
Learn about Dinosaurs in a fun and accessible way. Join a Priddy Explorer, a child who guides the reader through a fantastic introduction to the world of dinosaurs. Full of exciting information, fascinating photographs and colourful illustrations. Covering everything from where they lived, to what they looked like and what they ate.
MY BEST FRIEND IS A: GIRAFFEBy Roger Priddy
Padded, embroidered character on the cover and a unique touch-and-feel to discover on every spread, this study board book is ideal for toddlers who love exploring the world with their hands. The simple rhyming text and playful artwork invites children to join the funny giraffe and see all the silly scenarios she finds herself in.
MY BEST FRIEND IS A: DINOSAURBy Roger Priddy
Padded, embroidered character on the cover and a unique touch-and-feel to discover on every spread, this sturdy board book is ideal for toddlers who love exploring the world with their hands. The simple rhyming text and playful artwork invites children to join the funny dinosaur and see all the silly scenarios she finds herself in.
ROSIE AND THE FRIENDSHIP ANGELBy Lucinda Riley & Harry Whittaker
Rosie has just started a new school, and is just getting used to lots of new things when her teacher asks the class to draw their best friend. Rosie’s not sure what to do – she doesn’t have a best friend yet. Luckily, Frederick the Friendship Angel is on hand to show her that friendship is always around the corner.
THE MUDDY CHEF
By mothernatured‘s Penny Whitehouse and Emma Bear. $24.99 www.wdog.com.au
Connect to nature and creativity by mixing up these recipes using Mother Nature as your pantry. Mindful, absorbing play. No meditation app required!
CHRIS HUMFREY’S COOLEST CREEPY CRAWLIES
By Chris Humfrey
5+yrs $24.99 newhollandpublishers.com
In his engaging and sometimes hilarious teaching style, Chris now invites readers to take a peek at the fascinating world of Australia's incredible invertebrate creatures. As they read, a trail of QR codes that link to gripping video content will take the young readers on a thrilling interactive journey through the wacky micro world.
THE ULTIMATE PET HANDBOOK
AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH A PASSION FOR PETS
By Ben Dessen
Bringing a pet into your life can be the best experience ever, but it is one you need to take very seriously and carefully plan for. Whether you’re looking to get your first pet, or you’re an animal lover thinking about getting your next pet, this book is the ultimate tool for you. You’ll find everything you need to plan the perfect Pet Proposal to pitch to the adults in your life.
LEVI LEAF RIDERBy Laura Jean Gannan
The tale of Levi Leaf rider, a peculiar robin red breast, whose unique means of travel, can teach us a thing or two about the power of mindfulness.
DANE THORNBURN AND NATURE’S REVENGE
By Matt Galanos
Young adult, $20.00 mattgalanos.com
Dane Thorburn has rescued Princess Vanessa from the City of Lost Souls, but all is not well. Four mysterious and mythical creatures are weaving trails of destruction and mayhem across the land, and it seems there is little anyone can do to stop them. Where did they come from – is Firelord Raegan behind it, or is it something more sinister? And why are they searching for Vanessa?
Can Dane, Will and Lord Frederick find a way to vanquish the beasts before it’s too late?
your chance to take home a prize pack of the reviewed books go to
CLEAR, PLASTIC ORNAMENTS
GOOGLE EYESBy Melissa McCullough
How to Make:
1. Carefully remove the top from the ornament and pour a generous amount of paint inside. Put your thumb over the opening and give the ornament a swirl to coat all the inside with the paint. Drain excess paint into a paper cup. Pop the top back onto the ornament.
2. Next, cut a piece of ribbon to go around the ornament and use hot glue or double-sided tape to secure. (Hot glue guns are VERY hot and should be handled by grown-ups.)
HOT GLUE GUN OR DOUBLE-SIDED TAPE
3. Grab one or two google eyes depending on which Minion you’re replicating. (Kevin has two eyes while Stuart only has one peeper!) Use the glue or the tape to pop their eyes over the ribbon.
4. For their goggles, cut lengths of pipe cleaner to go around the eyes. Shape into circles and secure with glue. Give your Minion personality by adding a smile, (or frown), a tuft of hair or teeth.
5. Banana!PERMANENT MARKER
COLOUR ME IN FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF 3 EAGLE PRIZE PACKS!
Winning entries will receive one Arthurs Seat Eagle prize pack which includes a hamper of goodies and a return family pass to ride on the Eagle, valued at $150 each. 3 to win!
Drawn on 17/02/2023. Winners notified by email. Prizes must be collected from Peninsula Kids offices during office hours, 9am-5pm located at 63 Watt Road Mornington VIC.
We’re excited to announce the completion of our fresh new store. You’ll ﬁnd our friendly team and a large fresh food department o ering everything from Australian fruit and veg to The Odd Bunch range.
We have a great, convenient range that is easy to shop. You’ll fall in love with our new deli, with cured meats sliced to order. We’ve got everything you need for the perfect platter, plus a fantastic selection of Australian and imported cheeses.
Walk past our in-store bakery and explore the delicious range of bread, including crusty loaves, sliced white and wholemeal rolls. Our artisan-style breads are divine and are made with Australian wheat ﬂour.
There’s so much to see and try at your new Woolworths, we suggest heading over to the seafood counter. Seafood is a big part of our fresh food o ering and we’ve a range of great value, locally sourced favourites.
You’ll also ﬁnd a BWS store nearby – it’s a great place to pick up any beer, wine or spirits while you’re shopping at Woolworths. Ask the BWS team for the latest specials and their recommended picks – there are some fantastic local craft beers and Australian wines available.
Just a small taste of what you’ll discover at our fresh new Woolworths Rosebud Plaza.
You’ll ﬁnd us located at Rosebud Plaza, cnr Boneo Road & McCombe Street.