Puffing Billy Railway lights up the night in an Aussie first!!

Victoria’s iconic steam railway presents a must-see travelling light show spectacular this winter.

Get rugged up in your warmest winter woollies these school holidays and experience the magic of Puffing Billy Railway at night with the Train of Lights; a mesmerising train travelling light show and the first of its kind in Australia! 

From Friday 24th June – Sunday 10th July 2022, the Train of Lights will take passengers on a return journey that departs from Lakeside Station to Gembrook, immersing guests in bright colours, hypnotic patterns, and native wild animal projections that leap from open-side carriages and onto the passing dark Wright Forest, historic timber trestle bridges, and open rolling hills of the Gembrook countryside. 

Partnering up with acclaimed lighting specialists, Resolution X (White Night, VAMFF), this special evening experience is the perfect way to view the Dandenong Ranges from a different dimension as the passing forest and open farmlands transform into a Technicolor feast for the eyes.

With the journey beginning at Lakeside, passengers will have the chance to explore the new Lakeside Visitor Centre and all its state-of-the-art amenities, including the Puffing Billy Railway Lakeside Hall museum, licensed Railway Café, and unique gift shop.

Ticketholders wanting to make a day of it can visit the Emerald Lake Park precinct early to enjoy the photographic art exhibition, Animal Tales, inside the visitor centre, before stopping in at the Railway Café for some dinner ahead of their Train of Lights trip.

Once arriving at Gembrook Station, passengers will enjoy a 55-minute stopover, where they can warm up by the open fire with a hot chocolate and other winter warmers and capture a quintessential selfie of the lit-up train and station.

Pairing Puffing Billy Railway’s iconic whistle with a rainbow of dazzling lights that play on the surrounding scenery, the Train of Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all to enjoy. 

Train of Lights tickets go on sale Wednesday 25th May with limited numbers. You must book online at https://puffingbilly.com.au/events/train-of-lights/

  • Adult (16yrs+) – $75.00
  • Child (4-15yrs) – $38.00
  • Toddlers (1-3yrs) – $25.00   

For those parents looking to keep the kids busy throughout the day during the mid-year break, Puffing Billy Railway’s general excursion trains depart daily from Belgrave to Menzies Creek and Belgrave to Lakeside. With two daily services on offer, passengers can choose to visit the Menzies Creek Museum or stop and enjoy the Lakeside Visitor Centre, Emerald Lake Park, and the many outdoor activities in the surrounding precinct, including hiring a bike and taking to the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, or jumping in the paddleboats on Lake Treganowan for a peddle around the lake. 

Here’s a little more about Puffing Billy Railway:

Puffing Billy Railway is Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The railway, which commenced operation in Australia on December 18, 1900, is a genuine relic of more leisurely days.

The historic steam train ran regularly in the Victorian mountain district and was built to serve at the turn of the century to transport goods and passengers throughout the district. The railway travels 24kms through the forests and fern gullies of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook – the original terminus of the line – and is one of only two survivors of five experimental narrow-gauge lines used to develop rural areas in Victoria during the early 1900s.

Make sure you check out Puffing Billy on Social Media here:
Facebook – @PuffingBillyRailway
Instagram – @puffingbillyrailway

www.puffingbilly.com.au

Master Wu Needs You these school holidays for LEGO® NINJAGO® fun!

Look out folks, an awesome, activity-based experience is already underway at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne and if you’re not Ninja fast you’re gonna miss out!

Until the 25th April uber Ninja, mentor and leader, Master Wu, is opening the doors to his exclusive Ninja Training Camp as he looks to train and recruit a new crew to join his Ninja team. 

LEGO® NINJAGO® is under threat and Master Wu needs more Ninjas than ever to help save LEGO® NINJAGO® from the evil forces that threaten it’s very existence. Young Ninjas can enroll to attend LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne, join the Ninja Training Camp and level up their Ninja skills to master the six Ninja virtues – courage, balance, honesty, generosity, curiosity and wisdom. 

Your kids are going to have so much fun as they adventure through a series of exciting challenges! The new recruits will be taken on a journey to prove their Ninja skills and make it into Master Wu’s elite team of Ninja: 

Level Up BALANCE – Make your own Ninja stop motion video 

Level Up HONESTY – Make a pledge to be truthful 

Level Up GENEROSITY – Build a unique gift for Master Wu 

Level Up CURIOSITY – Join the Ninja hunt and search MINILAND for our missing Ninjas

Level Up WISDOM – Show quick thinking and play our Ninja Bingo 

“The journey to Ninja mastery continues, and we are excited to bring Master Wu’s Training Camp to  LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne. Focusing on the six Ninja  virtues – courage, balance, generosity, curiosity, honesty and wisdom – the children will be immersed  in a real-life LEGO® NINJAGO® master class, an exciting Training Camp Experience, helping to train the  body, heart and mind and to help save LEGO® NINJAGO® from looming threat. We can’t wait to open  the doors to our Master Wu Training Camp and inspire kids to experience the values that LEGO  NINJAGO represents and create some fun memories at the same time.” ” General Manager Katie Isaac.

Take your kids to this exclusive event and see them revel in an engaging, enjoyable and rewarding experience that will leave them bursting with a fantastic sense of accomplishment. They will earn a Ninja certificate, a Ninja headband, and a virtual gift from Master Wu. Plus, as part of the entry into the LEGO® NINJAGO® experience, guests can go on to enjoy everything else within the LEGOLAND  Discovery Centre too. We’re IN!!!! Who’s coming??

Buy Your Tickets Here

Welcome the year of the Tiger with a feast of flavour at Sovereign Hill

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Victoria’s iconic living museum, Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill, is celebrating the goldfields’ rich Chinese history this Lunar New Year with a food festival fit for an emperor.  Held in collaboration with the Chinese Australia Cultural Society – Ballarat, the weekend of the 5th & 6th of February will see a riot of colour, noise and movement as the Year of the Tiger is welcomed with a bang. 

Bursting with multi-cultural life, Sovereign Hill’s iconic streetscape will come alive with Chinese lantern decorations, lion dancing, parades, outdoor activities, music and an abundance of Chinese inspired food created by the renowned Peter Rowland Group

In celebration of the Year of the Tiger, Trudi Gray, Head Chef, Peter Rowland Group at Sovereign Hill, has infused her own history and heritage into this year’s Lunar New Year menu. Trudi’s grandfather was born in Hong Kong where Chinese food and family banquets have been part of her life for as long as she can remember. Having worked in Asia, learning from local chefs, Trudi mastered the skills, techniques and special flavours that now layer her own cooking.

Open until 9pm on Saturday 5th February, visitors will be able to experience all Sovereign Hill’s much-loved experiences during the daytime and bring in the Year of the Tiger with a feast of flavour in the evening.

Head to Main Street in the evening for ‘LNY@Night’ and indulge your cravings. There’ll be steamed dumplings, roast pork buns and classic sweet tarts, then for a more substantial second course, head further up the street to the Universal Transit Office or Charlie Napier’s Hotel, venture inside and choose from a range of delicious noodle and rice dishes to take you to the goldfields of old.

If you prefer a unique, sit-down dining experience, the New York Bakery is hosting a Lunar New Year Banquet on Saturday 5th February with pre-booking and payment of tickets required to secure a limited place at the table. Excellent value at $59 per adult, $25 per child, the banquet will celebrate the culinary traditions that Chinese migrants brought to their new home with a moving feast of soup, starters, roasted and traditionally prepared meats, fish, rice, desserts and a range of classic Chinese teas to choose from.

Head to https://summer.sovereignhill.com.au/event/lunar-new-year-banquet/ for more information and bookings (Sovereign Hill entry is not included).

If you’re a dedicated lover of Sovereign Hill’s Hope Bakery and the New York Bakery you’ll love the Chinese-inspired pie, available for a limited time only, from late January until the conclusion of the Lunar New Year festival.  The Chinese Char Siu pie delivers a flourish of flavour, and is chock-full of Char Siu pork, bok choy, mushrooms, baby corn and with a sprinkling of good year luck, it’s sure to be a roaring success.


Visit https://summer.sovereignhill.com.au for information and bookings about Sovereign Hill’s Lunar New Year Festival and Summer Series.

Sovereign Hill is located at Bradshaw Street, Ballarat and sits on Wadawurrung Country.

Like Sovereign Hill on social media

Facebook –  www.facebook.com/sovereignhill

Instagram – www.instagram.com/sovereignhill

Serious flippin’ fun with Acro Kids

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 youngstersLiv 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.

ACRO KIDS SUMMER HOLIDAY PROGRAMSJanuary 2021

Mornington & Mordialloc

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!

Places are limited so avoid disappointment – BOOK HERE (link to https://www.acrokids.com.au/school-holiday-program/ )

Term time program information and fees can be found here, or you can contact Acro Kids directly via info@acrokids.com.au 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! 
Read Acro Kids Covid Safe Plan here

Book review- Love your Brain

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

RRP $24.95


We were gifted this book, however, as always, these words are my own and honest opinion xx

Take your family on a city skyline glamping experience!


Oh wow Melbourne! How many million years has it been since we were allowed to roam the city streets, pick up glorious cups of much needed coffee from the laneways, and visit all the fabulous corners of this city we call home? It feels like forever doesn’t it? However long it’s really been, it’s been far too long and I know lots of us are crying out for some city time. Well, it looks like we may not have to wait much longer, and I have a feeling I’ve found just what you and the kids need to give you all those Melbourne city vibes!

Unique & unforgettable experiences

Just to remind you why our city is so magnificent, Melbourne Marriott Hotel have come up with a glorious city glamping experience for you to enjoy with your family. Imagine their little faces when they see this pre Christmas treat. Awwwww!

When you book this long awaited escape, your 5-star room, which comes with a private courtyard, will feature a glamping teepee for the kids plus all the necessities such as sleeping bags, pillows and outdoor chairs.

The kids get to enjoy a fun night under the stars whilst mama & papa get to snooze in the comfort of a dreamy Marriott bed! We have totally earned this after the year we’ve had! I can picture myself there now. Hotel beds are just the best aren’t they? An added bonus with this package is you get a late check-out up to 1pm, so there’s plenty of time for a lazy brekkie, a little walk and even more fun time in the teepee for the kids whilst you kick back with the paper!

What’s included?

Private courtyard with Tepee tent

Large double bed

Range of custom cushions and blankets

Sleeping bags for 2 children

Fire pit with fairy lights

Individual courtyard mood lighting

Relaxation camp chairs for parents

Picnic table and chairs

Selection of games and board games

Family Picnic Hampers are also available to order to have in the courtyard or take to the park.

Reservations

For reservations or enquiries: Email: mhrs.melmc.ays@marriotthotels.com

Tel: (+61) 3 9662 3900

To book your family’s once in a lifetime adventure under the city stars click here!


About the Melbourne Marriot Hotel

Discover 5-star amenities and an enviable city center location at the wonderful Melbourne Marriott Hotel. Situated downtown, this contemporary hotel is just a short walk away from theatres, shopping, parks, attractions and restaurants. Unwind in stylish, spacious accommodation, featuring plush bedding and complimentary Wi-Fi – many rooms with stunning Melbourne city views. For relaxation, the Marriot offers a fantastic fitness center with an indoor pool and high-tech gym. Grab cocktails in the Elements Lounge and Bar or indulge in modern Australian cuisine at the hotel’s on-site restaurant. The Melbourne Marriot has an ideal downtown location, exploring top attractions with your family couldn’t be easier.

If people slept outside under the stars each night, I bet they’d live a lot differently – Unknown

I’d love to know if you book this adventure, so keep me posted xx Liv

Fabulous hands on coding adventures with Osmo

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It will come as no surprise, we are quite frankly, sick to the back teeth of remote learning. Motivation has well and truly run for the hills, and this mama is about to follow!! I have been endlessly googling ways to get my littlest dude interested in something…anything!!

Then this arrived!

If you’re not familiar with Osmo (*where have you been?) then let me share this fabulous creation that turns your kids iPad into all sorts of incredible interactive learning experiences! Think super fun games and treble it! Whether your little one is a music lover, a budding coder, or aspiring mathematician, Osmo has all the right games to inspire, engage and excite your child.

Transforming how children learn

Osmo is leading the way when it comes to actively engaging children in the learning process, and we were so excited to receive their brand new Coding Starter Kit. In no time at all a little someone got straight to it.

One of the greatest things about Osmo is the ease of setting it up. I always dread that box opening, the thick instruction manual and the kids tearing things apart, all whilst I struggle to undo the packaging properly. Osmo is none of that. It’s so easy to get unpacked, set up and learning in a very short space of time!

Osmo brings back the essence of play and encourages core life skills; creative thinking and social interaction by creating an open environment for kids to problem solve, gain positive feedback and interact with one another. Osmo can be played by the whole family, anywhere, and on any surface and instinctively brings people together, as the first truly multi-generational connected gaming device with STEM learning at its core – Osmo

Monty has been learning coding at school for a little while, however this was another level. He’s a hands on kinda guy and loved being able to move the pieces on the table to create game play on the screen, and moved quickly from basic concepts up through the Coding Jam (intermediate) and on to the Coding Duo advanced puzzles. Watching him nail his coding techniques through a fun adventure was so great. The characters are cute, the sound effects are fun, and it’s by far the greatest tool kit we have in our house to keep him entertained, engaged and even more crucially, learning.

If your kids would love to learn to code, I can’t think of a better way to teach them. The joy and excitement, along with the sense of achievement this coding kit brings to our house is wonderful. We have loved playing together as a family, taking turns, and also leaving Monty to navigate his own way through. It’s really no wonder Osmo have won so many awards!


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You can buy the Osmo Coding Starter kit online at Osmo or you can head to Amazon Australia . If you’re in the UK you can find Osmo on Amazon UK. You can also follow this link to find a list of other Australian stockists.

RRP $179.00 – Suitable for ages 5-10

If you’d like to see what else Osmo have for your children, follow the links below and immerse yourself in a fabulous world of learning that I know your kids are going to LOVE!

We were kindly gifted the Osmo coding starter kit, however, as always this is my honest review in my own words xx Liv

Play is our brain’s favourite way of learning – Diane Ackerman – Contemporary American Author

Annie and the Waves – turning the tide on drowning

Annie and the Waves Author Biography: Louise Lambeth 

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Louise, Peter & Isobel Lambeth

Drowning is preventable yet it is the third largest cause of accidental death worldwide.  The 2019 Royal Life Saving Drowning Report records that 276 people drowned across Australia. Additionally, 584  people experienced non-fatal drowning that can lead to lifelong medical complications.  Staggeringly, 42% of these were children aged 0-4!

Whilst community education has been identified as essential to help prevent drowning not all children are able to access surf education! As a surf lifesaver with an early childhood background Louise understands how powerful a safety message conveyed through storytelling can be! 

Louise’s journey to print has been a long and emotional one motivated by a terrible tragedy that could have been prevented: page-03.jpg

‘The biggest misunderstandings in surf safety are caused by our lack understanding of the surf environment, the risks and the safety strategies we can put in place before we go to and when we are at the beach!’ 

‘I wrote ‘Annie and the Waves’ in 2012 just before I went on my first of 4 tours as a Surf Life Saving NSW ‘Beach to Bush’ presenter, educating country primary school children on how to stay safe when they visit the beach. But it took another 6 years to publish the book!’ 

‘In 2014 my surf club was involved in the search and rescue, that all too soon became a search and recovery, of a 5-year-old boy who drowned at Pearl Beach on the NSW Central Coast. The components of risk were exactly the same that I had written in my story two years earlier…. a moment lapse in supervision, a young child on the water’s edge, a surging wave that swept him off his feet and into the deep water. The difference was that in my story there were strategies in place that ensured a safe outcome. 

It made me think; What if my book had been published and this family had read it, could this tragedy have been prevented?

g3DUcUzs.jpegFrom that moment on Louise was determined to discover how to publish a book … It was a huge learning curve but in November 2018, Annie and the Waves was endorsed by Surf Life Saving Australia and finally published.

The book is now in its third print run there is still so much more to do! Annie and the Waves has been reviewed and endorsed by teachers and librarians and the positive feedback from children, parents and grandparents keep Louise committed to finding ways to provide books to children, early learning centres, schools and libraries. 

With a background in research Louise has undertaken a pilot study to investigate whether ‘Annie and the Waves’ increases children’s knowledge of the key safety messages found in the book. She presented the results at the 2019 World Drowning Prevention Conference in Durban South Africa and at the 14th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference in Brisbane on 26th November 2019.

Louise is also committed to providing alternate book formats to children with disabilities and an audio version is now available.

‘One of my lifesaving roles is as an inclusive nipper buddy working with children of various abilities. It’s really rewarding and a lot of fun. Our Seagull Nippers, who include children on the autism spectrum, love and respond to having ‘Annie and the Waves’ read to them. I have also worked with children with a vision impairment through Guide Dogs ACT and NSW. I want to make ‘Annie and the Waves’ as accessible to as many children as possible including: 

  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as the books simple words and engaging illustrations by Carissa Harris are helpful in explaining beach safety bfFxnAFw.jpeg
  • Children with dyslexia. The font and choice of matt paper for the book was chosen to be dyslexia friendly 
  • Children with vision impairment or a text disability. An audio version is being made especially for them 
  • Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are 160% more likely to drown than a child not on the spectrum! Reading about surf safety in a child’s own home or school before coming to the beach will help to provide a pathway for transitioning to the beach environment 

Louise’s wish or goal for Annie’s story

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Louise is developing a series of books called ‘Safety by Story’ with the first series focused on water safety. 

My goal is to help prevent drowning! There are many reasons people may not access surf safety programs. These include location, access to transport, culture, cost or other challenges. I would love for all Australian children to have access to read ‘Annie and the Waves’, in their home, a local library, their childcare or their school. 

But there are also more stories to tell….. in fact I have 6 more water safety story ideas for children aged 0-12 and their parents! 


 

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Annie and The Waves is beautifully illustrated by Carissa Hariss and is a book that will undoubtedly save lives. If you have children, if you’re a teacher, an educator or carer you need this book.

To find out more about Annie and The Waves please check out the website and social media channels.

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2020 has taught me I’m only nice when I can go out!

Ugh! Day 45,765,024 of lockdown and now we’re under curfew here in Melbourne. A State of Disaster is currently underway! For most of us who have been doing the right thing, this is just another smack in the face from the assholes that seem completely unable to think about anyone but themselves. Yes I’m looking at you, the party people and the 25% of people with a positive covid test who didn’t stay at home and isolate! IMG_8161

As I now have even more time to sit at home, #thankyou, I thought it was probably a good time to find a space that isn’t covered with pencils, umpteen Apple devices and crumbs, open my lap top and write about what this whole covid-19 disaster has taught me and what, if anything, I have learnt.

 


Liv’s Lockdown Learnings

Remote LearningIMG_4438

From very early on in this whole debacle, I came to the conclusion that in order to be a great teacher you must have oodles of patience, you must be kind all of the time, and you must be gently accepting of handwriting refusal. I can confirm I am not a great or even a good teacher. I have found the whole remote learning thing intolerable, unrelenting and downright cruel. I can honestly say I haven’t enjoyed a minute of it. Remote learning has left me even more in awe of what teachers do every day, and when this is over I will be making a placard and marching for better pay, even longer holidays, and regular expensive gifts for all teachers!!

Staying Home, Staying Safe

The novelty of “staying home & staying safe” very quickly wore thin in our house!! There are only so many movie afternoons, and sweet little family games of scrabble you can play before you start turning on each other and throwing monumental tantrums. Being Super Mum, arranging all sorts of wonderfully educational activities, very quickly IMG_4472turned into 9 hour stints on the x-box and days without even seeing the children leave their rooms. I have battled with the screen time thing, I have gained about 20kg from insisting we all bake together, and I have vacuumed the bedroom carpets so often I think they need replacing.  I understand we need to do this for the sake of humanity but staying home for this length of time is brutal… Let me out!!

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Working from home

Is there even such a thing anymore? How can anyone work from home, whilst the dog whines for another fucking walk, the children need help with their work, and snacks need to be made every 18.2 seconds?

I work from home even when we’re not in the midst of a global pandemic and I’ve always been great at organising myself and my time, not anymore! The thought of actually having to get work done within any sort of time frame, has become a gargantuan task that feels like walking with my eyes closed, through treacle with splinters in every one of my toes. Yes, it’s that bad!IMG_3839

Meal times

Where do I even start? How can anyone even…….

Being nice

This far into lockdown, I have almost given up even attempting to be nice if I don’t feel like it. It’s all I can do to grunt at my family when I get up in the morning. The thought of what lies ahead each day literally mutes me from the instant my eyes peel themselves open through the mascara I’ve slept in. *Hey, don’t judge me, I’m living through a pandemic…  I appreciate we’re blessed to have a roof over our heads, to have food and warmth, but god, everyone is annoying me!! The way they speak, ask for food, drop stuff, trip over things, breathe, chew their food, change the channel on the tv, ASK ME QUESTIONS ALL THE TIME….. I’m a grenade right now and my pin has been pulled!IMG_4976

So, what have I learnt?

2020 has taught me I really, really like going out!! I like going out to eat, for walks, to socialise, to drink, to dance, to visit places, to travel, to sightsee, to explore, to meet new people, to work, to exercise, to shop; and if I can’t go out, I’m not a very nice human…….. So, for the sake of my family, please, please stay home, stay well and do the right thing. Our sanity is relying on you all!!!

 

 

Do the right thing, even when no one is watching. It’s called integrity!

IMG_7440Liv xx

 

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‘Hello’ Nanoleaf ‘Ciao’ Screentime!

We have just installed the Nanoleaf® Canvas and it looks like screen time may be getting the boot for now in the Wilson household! 

IMG_0811Staying at home used to seem like such bliss, however months into lockdown and I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s beginning to wear a little thin. The first few weeks were filled with super mum *me, creating all kinds of exciting projects, craft activities and movie afternoons. Now…. I’m done… and spend most of the day trying to pry the children from their screens before their eyes go square!

I’m always on the hunt for ways to reduce screen time in our house without hearing the words “I’m bored” every ten minutes but…. I have finally found something that the whole family can enjoy and I absolutely love it!

Let me introduce you to the Nanoleaf® canvas!

If you haven’t heard about these smart modular LED lights, then get ready to be wowed! They are literally lighting up spaces around the globe keeping kids (and adults…. ooooh the flame setting) entertained during the work day and sparkling into the night. This is the first ever touch-controlled modular smart light with built-in music sync technology and it really is awesome!

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The Nanoleaf® Canvas was designed to add a dash of playful, ambient light to any room. And yes, it reacts to your touch. 

The Nanoleaf® Canvas not only looks beautiful shining away on the wall, it’s interactive and includes games suitable for the whole family. So, it’s not just a fab interior light it’s a glorious entertainment tool!

We got the kids to install our 9 panels (you can have up to 500!!) above the sofa, in any shape they fancied *they aimed for a W, whilst the Mr downloaded the app and got it hooked up. The ease of installation blew me away, within a few minutes it was up and ready to go.  The kids love the memory games, have played hundreds of games of whack a mole and we’ve all had fun playing Simon says!

 

Interactivity for children is becoming increasingly more important and trying to sway them away from a phone or iPad can be challenging so the Nanoleaf® Canvas is perfect!

‘Alexa set my lights to flames’ creates our warming fireplace feel in the lounge on these cold winter nights.

You can add to your collection of panels whenever you like, and can easily create some incredible installations. Thankfully they’re very easy to hang with the sticky pads included.

Canvas Small Whaley

There are over 16 million colours and light combinations to choose from, from sunrises, to party vibes, it literally has them all. We love the red, white and green Christmas setting, and the pink ‘Romance’ too. All easily applied straight from your phone! You can transform your space with one single touch, it really is that easy!

My personal fave effect is the voice reaction.

You can literally watch your Nanoleaf® move to the beat of your voice or your tunes! Fab for lounge room discos and for ‘quietest kid challenges’ #yourewelcome! With music sync built right into the Canvas, all you have to do is hit play on your favourite tunes and watch as the sounds are transformed into moving symphonies of colour and light.

The Canvas is LEGO for lighting so you can design, shape and reconfigure to your heart’s desire. With its unique offset linker system, you can create uniform designs or abstract asymmetrical ones

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Product Features

Touch-Enabled Experiences – Control the lights or play touch games with the palm of your hand.

Flexible Control – Control Square, voice, touch, or the Nanoleaf® App

Modular Light Squares – Create your own designs and shapes

More than 16 million colours – For functional or ambient lighting

Music Visualiser – Activate Rhythm Mode and watch your light squares react to sound

Simple Installation – Drill-free installation with the included mounting tape

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Nanoleaf® Canvas

You can purchase the Nanoleaf® Canvas Smarter Kit for approximately $349.  We were gifted the canvas however, as always, these words are my own honest opinion. I’m happy to answer any and all of your questions, although don’t forget, the experts are far more in the know than me, and can be found on the links below!

Canvas Playful

 

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