Ok, so another 7 days is not what any of us wanted. Gawd this is just downright painful isn’t it? Thank goodness for LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre who is launching a FREE virtual masterclass series which is (almost) guaranteed to stop the kids making mess, arguing and giving the cat another haircut.
What is this Master Class??
The Minifigure Photography Master Class, hosted by LEGOLAND Discovery Centre’s Master Model Builder Kieran Jiwa (that’s him up the top there), begins tomorrow (Wednesday 21 July) and runs over five days. *Yes five days of fun!!
Developed for children aged 7-12, the Minifigure Photography Master Class will teach kids everything they need to know about creating awesome and eye-catching photos featuring LEGO Minifigures in exciting scenes!
The hands-on course will be delivered online by LEGOLAND Discovery Centre’s Master Model Builder Kieran Jiwa, who will cover how to create your own mini photography set, and how to take and edit awesome photos, over five days.
Kids can tune in to watch the daily video session with Kieran and download the accompanying worksheet after school each day.
At the end of the week, kids are encouraged to share their photos on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #LDCMinifigurePhotography to show their custom creation to the world and go in the draw to win a family pass to visit LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne and an awesome LEGO photography prop pack!
Located at Chadstone Shopping Centre, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is an indoor LEGO playground that features MINILAND Melbourne, two rides, multiple build and play zones, soft play zones, a 4D cinema, and a LEGO retail store. The attraction is designed specifically for families with children aged 3-10. The attraction is closed during the current lockdown but retail purchases can still be made online.
It’s no surprise that we love Puffing Billy! It truly is one of Victoria’s greatest adventures and we are so thrilled to share the news that they have just launched their Puffing Billy Dog Express! Yessss! Your Pup can hop on the train with you and be whisked to some incredible walking trails! This is the stuff of puppy dreams let me tell you!
Beginning Saturday 29th of May, passengers and their four-legged family members can travel on a monthly Lakeside to Gembrook service with the introduction of the Puffing Billy Dog Express.
Accommodating one dog per booking, all furry travellers will enjoy a 40-minute journey through the unspoilt Wright State Forest, over three historic timber trestle bridges – including the tallest on the entire line at 60 metres long and 15 metres high – and past Cockatoo and Fielder station as the train climbs towards Gembrook.
Lakeside – Gembrook, return.
12.15pm service departing from Lakeside
$15.00 per dog (maximum 1-2 per carriage booth)
Saturday 29th May
Saturday 31st July
Saturday 28th August
Passengers and their four-legged family members can travel on a special monthly Lakeside to Gembrook service while in the comfort of enclosed compartment carriages.
Visitors can start the day at Emerald Lake Park, with plenty of walking tracks and trails for families and dogs to explore before boarding dog-friendly carriages at Lakeside Station.
Once arriving at Gembrook, passengers and dogs alike have ample time to play in the adjacent J.A.C Russell Park and wander through the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, making it an afternoon not to be missed with your family, friends, and furry pals.
With the exiting news that Oz Comic Con is coming back in the shape of an awesome Pop Up this coming weekend (6th-7th March), we had a chat to the team to find out exactly what Cosplay is and how YOU can get THE kids in on the action if YOU’RE newbies LIKE US!!
What is cosplay and how can I cosplay my kid?
Simply put, cosplay is when you dress up and emulate a character from a TV show, film, book, toy or game. Cosplay is a bit more involved than just your average Halloween style of dressing up, cosplayers study and actually make their cosplay costumes. Additionally, cosplayers learn and take on the personas of those characters, interpreting their voices and copying their mannerisms.
Some cosplay costumes are incredibly detailed and use skills such as leather work, moulding and metal work and they can take the cosplayer months, sometimes even years, to create. They are often intricate, very creative and incredibly impressive.
As a parent, you can get as involved or not involved in the creation of a child’s cosplay. Nowadays there are a lot of really good finished fancy dress options online, for example – insert link. Just buying one of these could do the trick if you haven’t got the time or the inclination to get too involved. Everything from the Marvel Universe characters to Japanese Anime costumes and characters from video games.
If you want to get more involved in the actual creation of the costume, again, the internet will be your friend, with lots of resources being available online about making costumes, props and even wigs. Additionally, the likes of Spotlight now stock dress making patterns for a number of character outfits.
There is a large cosplaying community in Australia and so you can find cosplayers on social media and also in cosplay groups, like Sydney Cosplayers, Cosplay in Australia who are on Facebook. There are also groups that are specific to a particular skill or element of cosplay, for example, The Replica Prop Forum. The cosplay community are a very lovely, generous group of people who will share patterns, skills and their projects to help you get involved.
What is a con?
A con is short for convention and this is the get together spot for cosplayers and pop culture fans. You may have heard of Oz Comic Con before, which was mainly for people who were interested in comics originally, but over the years these cons have grown to include all sorts of things – comic artists, gaming, pop culture merchandise, workshops, talks etc., as well as it being a place for the cosplay community to meet up, show off their costumes and exchange stories with their peers.
Oz Comic Con is holding a Pop Up event on March 6th-7th at the Sydney Showgrounds, so if you and your children would like to get involved and check out the cosplay scene, this would be a great place to start.
TANTALISE YOUR TASTE BUDS AT MELBOURNE’S GRAZELAND THIS MARCH The permanent foodie’s playground is opening its doors in Melbourne’s Inner-West from March 5
Hailed as ‘A permanent festival of food in Melbourne’ and ‘A playground for foodies, friends and families’ it goes without saying, I cannot wait to get to Grazeland when it opens in March!
Grazeland is set to reinvigorate the city’s food scene with a wide range of cuisines and fan favourites on offer from 50 food and beverage vendors in the new permanent playground for foodies from Friday, 5 March.
Initially set to open in early 2020, Grazeland, like many other new ventures, was forced to push pause last year. The unique outdoor dining experience is now more fitting than ever – bringing Melburnians a COVID-safe casual dining precinct that spans across whopping 10,000sqm.
“Almost two years ago, we hand-picked some of our favourite local establishments to join us at Melbourne’s first permanent festival of food and we are thrilled to finally be able to announce Grazeland’s official opening date,” says John Forman, Grazeland Director. “It is more important than ever to be able to offer Melburnians a place to safely gather together and reconnect over food, discover new favourites, and create memories after experiencing such an isolating year.”
Ready to service every indulgence, Grazeland will pay homage to Melbourne’s celebrated hospitality industry and will offer the rare opportunity to please everyone in a group. Grazeland’s large list of sweet and savoury food vendors will be complemented by three fully licensed bars, artisan stalls selling locally designed products, and a rotating schedule of captivating entertainers and live performances on two stages.
Reminiscent of a street party from earlier days, Grazeland’s design was carefully curated by Push Projects. The location features individually designed stalls that bring each offering to life and was created with Melbourne’s weather in mind, with ample undercover and outdoor seating available – making it a destination for everyone and every season.
“We’re very excited for people to be able to head to Grazeland in March. It will be a great weekend destination for families and friends to come together to relax and be entertained. We welcome Melburnians from across the city to explore more of what Melbourne’s inner-west has to offer,” says Cr Jonathon Marsden, Mayor of Hobsons Bay.
Visitors can find the permanent festival of food in Melbourne’s inner-west, across the West Gate Bridge next door to Scienceworks, in Spotswood – just 17 minutes from Flinders St Station and easily accessible via car, boat and public transport.
Grazeland will bring together foodies, families, work colleagues, and couples alike to connect over a food-fuelled adventure and discover some of the best that Melbourne has to offer.
The festival of food will kick off on Friday, 5 March at 5:00pm, so make yourself hungry and be there!!
Back to school is fast approaching. Eeeek! How has that happened? It only feels like yesterday that term 4 ended and we were gearing up for Christmas and now we’re staring term one right in the eye! With the new school year looming, I’ve been listing all the things I need to organise and, just like every year, it’s a little overwhelming; especially as I have a tendency to leave everything to the last minute and my children seem to have grown about a meter since December!
Although I should be getting ready, buying school shoes and getting haircuts, I am not’, I’m organising and packing for our road trip to Kangaroo Island next week!! Same same but different. In fact, I think organising a family holiday is easier than organising all the school stuff!
The great thing about heading off on an trip this time of year is not just knowing that we are about to embark on an adventure together, but knowing the weather will be perfect and there is bound to be plenty of beautiful fresh produce to be snacked on all the way Adelaide! Yay for the Nude Food Movers!
I dug out our Smash Enterprises Nude Food containers and lunchboxes that have been cleaned and prepped ready for the new school year (*yeah I actually do that) and have filled them will all sorts of goodies to keep the kids satisfied on the road. These great rubbish free containers are not only super handy to throw in bags *LEAK PROOF… they also ensure the car (or classroom) doesn’t end up full of trash! I am a huge fan of the Nude Food revolution, and Smash always seem to get their ranges Bang On! Due to the fact that these are leak proof, they can be a little tricky to get open and closed, so if you have preppies this year, you may want to practice a few times.
No leaks, easy to clean, dishwasher safe *hoorah, and cool enough for the bigger kids to pop in their school bags too! No cringing here thank you! How good do they look!?!?!
If you’re about to go on the search for fab back to school lunch ware, just head to Woolworths where you will find a fabulous range of Nude Food Movers for your team! Smash have thought of everything, and have even got some gorgeous new ice packs! (*check my instagram stories) Oh, and make sure you tag us in your pics so I can get some lunchbox inspo because let’s face it, by week two they’ll be on repeats again!
Head to Woolworths to grab all your back to school lunchboxes, and make sure your kids are starting the new school year the right way! #gobacktoschoolnude
These lunchboxes were gifted for a review, however, as always, the opinions in this article are honest and a true indication of what I think is a fab product!
Honestly, school holiday fatigue is kicking in. I know it’s only week 3 but the struggle is real. Christmas is over, the presents are rapidly sinking to the bottom of the toy box, and we are inching toward unacceptable levels of screen time whilst mama works!
Thankfully Acro Kids have come to the rescue with their exceedingly good holiday program at their incredible new venue, and as I type, the freshly showered children are curled up on the sofa, well and truly exhausted! #Thankyou
Develop your child’s acrobatics and parkour skills, fitness, coordination, stability, strength and confidence!
Acro Kids offer fun, energetic, non-competitive, recreational gymnastics and parkour programs designed for children aged 1 all the way to teenagers (school holiday program is from aged 3.5), from beginner to advanced.
My children haven’t done anything like this before. Acro Kids has been their first foray into parkour and gymnastics, and from their very first class, they were hooked. Both are buzzing when I pick them up, and are tripping over each other to show me their newly learnt skills and tricks, which today included nailing a walkover and perfecting their flips and aerials. All these newly accomplished skills are honed by the gentle and supportive guidance of the fabulous coaches & Mr.D.
The pride, the sense of achievement and the desire to improve are what makes Acro Kids one of the best activity programs available for youngsters – Liv Wilson
If you’re looking for a fantastic way to get your children active this summer, and into the new school year, you must must must check out Acro Kids! Trust me, you’ll have all the feels when you pick up your hot, sweaty, proudly cartwheeling children!!
All the info
My children are 8 (boy) and 12 (girl) and both love these classes equally.
Let the Acro Kids team entertain your kids at their Acro and Parkour/Ninja workshops and full day holiday programs these holidays!
2 hr Workshops – $30 per child
The popular Acro, Parkour and Acro/Ninja workshops are designed by qualified and experienced Gymnastics coaches for children aged 3.5 – 16 yrs of all levels of ability from beginner to advanced. Children will learn and practice gymnastics and parkour fundamentals including tumbling, cartwheels, handstands, walkovers, flips, aerials and much more! Circuit style program with fun games!
Parkour workshops include super fun obstacle courses where the aim is to use both mind and body to run, climb, jump and vault from one station to the next.
Full Day Holiday Program – $85 per child
A combination of the Acro Kids popular acro and parkour/ninja workshops in an epic all day program. Designed for school aged children of all levels of ability and experience. Children will learn gymnastics and parkour fundamentals including tumbling, flips, aerials, cartwheels, handstands, barrel and commando rolls, fence jumps and much more!
The program will run from 8.30am-3pm. We have extended care available until 5pm for an additional $20 per child. Children staying for extended care will have afternoon tea, supervised free play and a movie to keep them entertained!
Term time program information and fees can be found here, or you can contact Acro Kids directly via email@example.com or by calling 0477 079 970.
All of ACRO KIDS qualified coaches have Working with Children checks and First Aid training. Parents can drop off and pick up. There will be 1 trainer to 9 children ratio during the acro and parkour activities. Children will need to bring snacks, lunch, a water bottle and lots of energy!
I am so excited to share a really special brand with you! As soon as I heard about the amazing work Beebee+Bongo are doing to support women and families in Cambodia, I just knew I had to tell you about it. Beebee+Bongo is a new brand of eco-friendly toys that celebrates the ups and downs of parenting, while creating employment for women in Cambodia.
Just as Monika, founder of Beebee + Bongo said in the video, parenting struggles are universal. *Don’t we know it! Wherever you go, whoever you talk to, no matter the cultural differences or socio-economic status, children everywhere push our buttons, embarrass us, keep us up at night, and generally drive us all crazy!
Monika and the Cambodia Knits Organization (CKO), agree that being able to laugh at the situations our kids get us into —and ourselves—is key to surviving parenthood:
“We believe a healthy dose of humour is essential for parents. Your kids can drive you mad and there will be colossal disasters from time to time, but the best thing to do is take it in your stride and laugh.” – Monika
Beebee + Bongo toys are designed with these parenting moments in mind. Each toy in the Sleepy Snoogus line-up for example, has its own unique sleep profile that parents and kids can relate to, including Sabay the Pig who has to wake up every two hours to eat. All of these wonderful, carefully created creatures are designed to remind parents that they aren’t alone in these struggles.
The truly wonderful thing about this story is that Beebee + Bongo and the Cambodia Knits Organization support parents locally in Cambodia by providing much sought after employment. Starting from January 1st 2021, Beebee + Bongo will become the primary purchaser of Cambodia Knits Organization products, all of which are eco-friendly, hand-made, and provide women with home-based employment that most importantly is fairly paid.
“COVID-19 has wiped out 97% of tourism in Siem Reap, home to the World Heritage Angkor Wat Temples, and with it, tens of thousands of jobs. We decided to fight back—and fight harder than before—to ensure that we can keep these women employed, and employ even more.”Monika
The company estimates that for every $1300 in sales, CKO can employ another knitter. The Kickstarter campaign launched on November 24th will enable them to expand their product line and message to families around the world.
“These are products made for parents, by parents, that you can feel good about having in your home.”
These gorgeous toys from Beebee+Bongo are not only fun for the children who play with them, they’re a friendly reminder to all of us that parenting isn’t about doing it perfectly, it’s about doing it with love and a sense of humor. A great reminder for all of us, especially this year!! Please do some research, find out more about the wonderful work of Cambodia Knits, and think about gifting a donation in support of this wonderful brand.
With so much going on in our little people’s worlds at the moment, there was no better time for this fabulous little book to hit our mailbox. Emotions have been running away with us over the past 10 months, (thanks lockdown) and honestly, I’m not sure any of us really took enough time to sit down and talk about how or why we were really feeling the way we were feeling.
Love Your Brain, written by none other than Chaos to Calm legend Chrissie Davies, is a brightly coloured, fun and interactive book that takes the readers on a journey of discovery. Discovery of our emotions, the way our brain works, how we can look after our brains and what we can do when big feelings take over our bodies. *Not just for kids hey. We all need a read!
Love Your Brain is the perfect brain bible, fun fact checker and most importantly, go to guide for parents and children to turn to in order to understand their behaviour more positively, and discover how to become brain builders, together.
“When we truly understand that children don’t see the world in the same way as adults, and we teach them how to keep their brains happy and healthy, we understand that this is really the most important parenting tool we will ever need” Chrissie Davies
As a busy mama to an even busier 8 and 12 year old, we can easily forget to stop and be kind to ourselves. Emotions can run high in our house, however, Love Your Brain’s enchanting narrator ‘Little Brainiac’ gave us all a gentle reminder to stop, calm down and love our brains so that they can love us back. I delighted in the calming nature of this read, and we all appreciated the emphasis on everyone’s brain being unique. I particularly loved being able to confirm to my children that “Yes, it’s ok to feel like that”, put a name to the emotion and reiterate how important it is that we are healthy & sleep well. *Thank you Chrissie!
“I created this book specifically for you to use with kids to help them understand the importance of learning about their brains, and it is my goal to hear the words “love your brain” in every family & classroom worldwide. I also hope that this book is used as a tool for teaching children about inclusion, neurodiversity and embracing our differences.” – Chrissie Davies
Love Your Brain emphasises the naming of emotions, and most importantly, how to manage them. This is a huge thing for our little ones. It’s incredibly hard for our children to open up about how they feel if they don’t really have a name for that ‘knotted feeling in their tummy’. Monty loved the idea that his brain is a computer and we spent ages chatting about his ‘amazing super computer brain’.
This is going to be an “always on the table” book in our house. One that we can dip in and out of whenever we need the reassurance, the guidance or the gentle reminder to feed our brains and give them a break every now and again.
If you have children, this is a book that will keep on giving. It is the perfect way to teach your little one about their emotions and about keeping their brain as healthy as can be! Gift this book this Christmas, and think of it as one of the greatest investments you’ll make in your child’s future.
Love Your Brain
Written by Chrissie Davies and Illustrated by Lou Pennisi
We were gifted this book, however, as always, these words are my own and honest opinion xx
Truthfully, if you asked me to describe my skin tone, Miss Piggy comes to mind! I’m pink! Not pretty pink, just piggy pink! You’ll often hear me describe myself as an English Rose as I cower in my tent on the beach so not a bit of sun can reach by body, but in all honesty, I just don’t like the pasty white, almost blue when I’m cold, or tomato red when I’m hot, and I go out of my way to cover it up with the old “faux glow” fake tans whenever possible.
When I discovered the gorgeous Kiss Ready and tried the lip balm, I was sold! Whatever Louella makes, I’m all over it. As I’ve got older I have tried to stick to natural skincare and Kiss Ready ticks that box and more. Made in small batches, using Australian grown, cold pressed chia oil for the insane amount of goodness inside, these products sound too good to be true right? All this goodness and Louella who is the beauty behind the biz is just glorious, making Kiss Ready a no brainer for all beauty lovers wanting to make the right choices about their skincare.
Everyday luxury with small batch and nourishing natural skincare
Our range of Australian handmade, no nasties and cruelty-free artisanal skincare is enriched with Australian grown and cold pressed Chia seed oil – Louella Owner of Kiss Ready Skin
So, little old me, writing about skincare, well isn’t that a turn up for the books.
Whilst I am now very “into” skincare, I haven’t always been so careful to use the best ingredients. I grew into my skin in the usual way! I was always a chubby little thing growing up, with plump little cheeks. At about 12 I was using any chemical I could find to burn off spots, throughout my late teens and early twenties I pretty much used Vodka Redbull to hydrate and then I had kids… hence I am paying for it now!
What I particularly love about Kiss Ready, aside from the fact that the products give me gorgeous silky, glowing skin, is that Louella makes all the products by hand and fills them with love with every turn of her hands. Using packaging made mostly from glass and recycled or recyclable materials to leave as little footprint on Mother Earth as possible means so much to me. I want great quality products, but most of all I want to know that they have been lovingly made, using natural ingredients and they will leave as little impact on the planet as possible.
Rich in Omega 3 and 6, exceptionally high in vitamins and minerals, a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, discover how chia-enriched skincare can benefit the skin and bring unexpected luxury to self care.
Liv’s Favourite 3 Products ***I love them all BTW
This Light Chia Face Oil is soothing and seriously hydrating, plus it smells divine. I wear this under make up and it doesn’t feel oily at all. If my skin is feeling like it needs a boost at night time, I stick a little on before I go to bed and know that whilst I’m dreaming, it’s working it’s magic. Good Morning Goddess!! $40
I am so in love with this sparkly, heavenly creation, that takes me straight from pork sausage to Bondi Babe! No streaks, no fake tan stench, just sparkly goddess bronze in a couple of drops! I use this as a bronzer on my face (over or under makeup), on my arms, legs and décolletage. Anything that’s showing gets a hit of gold, and I then spend the day strutting around like a friggin’ super model! Just watch me! BUY THIS GLOWING DAWN BODY OIL! $48
I am no stranger to the ‘Puffy Eye’ and this Bright Eyes Eye Cream has been a game changer for me. I pop this on before bed, and lay in all it’s plant based glory as the tired lines and puff fade away. Like seriously, why would you not?? Nourishing, hydrating and a total winner for tired mamas! Price -$40
I have only touched on the surface of Kiss Ready, there are so many wonderful products and even a Self Care Box that you can subscribe to so that you can enjoy a range of goodies from Louella’s collection.
If you love your skin, if you want to treat your body and your mind to some really good, natural skincare (*yes you do) give yourself a big hug and choose Kiss Ready!
I was gifted products from Kiss Ready for a review, however, I have used them before, and will be using them again. The words in this article are my own & honest opinion as always. Pricing is correct on publishing, but may be subject to change.
I’ve got to admit, Whiskey tasting has never really been at the top of my list of “fun things to do”. Despite being married to an avid Whiskey fan, and being taken round umpteen Scottish distilleries (Yes he even proposed in Scotland) I have never really liked the taste or understood the enjoyment of kicking back after a long day with a glass of Whiskey. Well, that was until now!
Introducing Barley & Malt
Enhancing your Whiskey experience is what Barley & Malt owner Tan lives for. Through his cleverly designed tasting kits, Tan wants everyone to enjoy, appreciate and share Whiskey together whilst learning to understand all the intricate flavours and textures that come with this world famous spirit. Whether you’re a fully fledged Whiskey aficionado or a total novice like myself, Barley & Malt’s insanely good taster kits will teach you the pro ways to taste so that you can really enjoy the good stuff and wow your mates next time a bottle of Whiskey pops up at a dinner party!
The perfect gift for Whiskey lovers & Whiskey virgins this Christmas.
Barley & Malt has something really special available in time for Christmas this year. They have put together the most glorious Whiskey tasting packs which I know are just going to fly off the shelves. Gifting one of these packs is not only a great way to support a local business, it’s also a unique gift & experience for the receiver.
We are all about creating great moments and amazing experiences, no matter if you are new to whisky or seasoned enthusiasts – Tan Tran
These beautifully packaged tasting kits are a one of a kind gift for someone special to enjoy, and they’re really fun to share with friends. The pack includes four 60ml bottles of whiskies and expert tasting notes with a section for you to input your thoughts too. We loved sharing this with friends last night. We were a mix of connoisseurs and novices, and we all enjoyed getting our noses in there and really appreciating those flavours. Tan’s expert notes are well written making them easy to understand and follow. We particularly liked Tan’s top tips on how to taste test like an expert which enabled us to feel like slick, adept tasters by the end of the evening. *Did you know coffee refreshes your taste buds so that you’re ready for the next taste?
If you know someone who would love one of these, please order online today to avoid missing out. You can find out more about these wonderful Whiskey Tasting Packs by heading to Barley & Malt online, or checking out their Facebook & Instagram .
We were kindly gifted our Whiskey Tasting Pack (Whiskies of the World) however, as always, the words are my own opinion! Trust me, I’ve been converted! “Pass me the Whiskey!”
What Whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for – Unknown