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

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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.

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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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Gorgeous Gifts & Beautiful Books

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I’m always thrilled when people buy books as gifts for my children. There is nothing better than a great book to spark a child’s imagination and boost their love of reading. Here are some of our new favourites from Walker Books Australia.


Baby’s First Encyclopedia || Ingela P Arrhenius || $24.99

Explore the familiar world in imaginative new ways in this stylish board book from the celebrated illustrator Ingela P. Arrhenius.

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Goodnight, Little Duckling || Goodnight, Little Bunny || Amanda Wood, Vicki Chu, Bec Winnell || $18.99
Simple stories sure to soothe your little one to sleep and give them sweet dreams

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My Mama || Annemarie van Haeringen || $16.99
A naughty elephant tells all about his mother in this lovingly drawn story. Parents and children will both delight in and recognise this gorgeous mother–child relationship—if not for the same reasons.

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Slow Down || Rachel Williams and Freya Hartas || $29.99
Bring calm to a busy world with 50 nature stories!

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Sometimes Cake || Edwina Wyatt and Tamsin Ainslie || $24.99
This is the story of two friends learning the joy of celebrating the every day because sometimes it’s important to enjoy things like Tuesdays, coconuts, orange, purple, and lions. 7.jpg


The Stone Giant || Anna Hoglund || $24.99
A story of cunning, courage and survival, in which a girl sets out to save her father from the giant who turns people to stone.

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Dogography || Maree Coote || $29.99 

Every part of me’s a letter Does that help you see me better? Look very closely, Can you see the hidden letters that spell me?

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Obsessive About Octopuses || Owen Davey || $29.99

If you are silly about squid or just daft for amazing animals of the deep, dive in for a fact-packed illustrated journey into the ocean.

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I Ate Sunshine For Breakfast || Michael Holland and Philip Giordano || $34.99

Enter the incredible world of plants to learn about the green machines of the natural world.

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The Sequel to Guess How Much I Love You
Coming October 2020

Will You Be My Friend || Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram || $24.99

From the iconic author and illustrator duo Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram comes a delightful new tale that celebrates the playful curiosity of little ones and the magic of making new friends.


If you would like to win a special pack of books from these titles, click the image to head to our competition on Instagram!

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Making memories under the stars with Peninsula Nomads

Adventures are everywhere, and most of the time they’re closer than you think.

You really don’t have to travel far to experience a true adventure, in fact, some of the greatest adventures can happen in your very own backyard

In uncertain times like these, making an effort to do things a little bit differently, can make such a difference to how we feel and how our children feel.  All a really good adventure needs is a smile, the smell of fresh air, sleeping under the stars and the understanding that it’s there for everyone to enjoy. There are no limitations when it comes to experiencing any kind of adventure and our aim is to create a memorable experience for all.

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Peninsula Nomads was born from understanding the chemical & physical impact that comes from spending time outdoors. We delight in the smiles that our TIPI tent setups create on everyone’s faces, and we can truly see the impact of being at one with nature first hand.

Studies have shown that if we grow up disconnected from nature and the outdoors, we place less value on the natural world. If we or our children lose our connection to the natural world, we simply won’t fight for it. Apart from all the wonderful things we get to experience whilst outside, nature is a well known healer. Being outdoors, surrounded by loved ones, works wonders for your wellbeing and has been proven to dramatically reduce stress.

Making memories…..

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We can all remember those childhood days where we used blankets, pillows and chairs to build a TIPI tent in the lounge.  Blissfully happy memories of pretending to camp out, telling stories in your own little den live with you forever. Our imagination from then can become a unique reality today and without the need to move furniture or steal everyones blankets.

Whether you’re a parent looking for a unique night under the stars with the children, or a beautiful TIPI birthday party, Peninsula Nomads will bring that feeling of adventure to you, in style. In fact, Peninsula Nomads deliver a unique and special adventure to any event, from Glamping with your girlfriends, to intimate wedding setups, delightful date nights, pretty picnics or any other occasion where adventure, love and friendship are the fundament of the experience.

Peninsula Nomads is a local family business. We provide TIPI tent experiences so the entire family can “escape” and appreciate the smaller things in life that make for big memories. After living our lives from Europe to South America and now in our “new” home here in Australia, sharing genuine happiness, care and unique experiences is the core of our mission. 

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A bit more about us….

We love creating special experiences for all our customers. Every detail is carefully curated and taken care of, whilst we completely customise your TIPI tent experience.

We work with lots of lovely local businesses to enable us to provide cookies, grazing boxes, adventures gifts, styling, glamping sleeping packages and lots more to make your experience a one of a kind. 

“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”

Alan Watts

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Written by Laura van de Kaa

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We are still operating, so please get in touch if you’re keen to create an awesome experience in your backyard. All set ups and pack ups are done in accordance with the Governments Covid-19 social distancing laws.

Life, Loves and Lockdown

Lockdown is well underway *again here in Melbourne so it’s a perfect time to see how others are doing it!! Here’s a sneaky peek at ‘Lockdown Life’ from Melbourne’s best local biz cheerleader, charity fundraiser and all round good human!

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Liz Paganoni – Life Loves & Liz 

Staying home and not having to interact with others face to face, is the stuff Liz’s dreams are made of. Mostly. Wow. Is Liz a crazy lady? Sort of! She is an introverted homebody, so lockdown isn’t that uncomfortable for her in all honesty.

I’m now going to stop referring to myself in third person, because ‘weird’, and delve a little deeper into the situation. I’ll start with a brief introduction. My name is Liz. I’m a wife to Tom and mum to three babes, Ella (11), Alex (10) and Anna (about to have an iso 7th birthday).  We are a fairly regular family. We work hard, and we play hard! We enjoy spending time with friends and family, we love food and drinks and hanging out together.

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When Lockdown 1.0 hit, we were in the midst of a bit of a health crisis. Given it wasn’t mine, I’m not going to go into it any more, but suffice to say ‘Lockdown’ was somewhat of a blessing in disguise. We were able to block out all outside pressures and work through what happened as a family. Gone were the external pressures of work, school, sport and social things that pretty much kept us busy 7 days a week. So, it was a great chance to heal. On the flip side, not being able to access outside help was hard. Thankfully, with the assistance of a medical team (via phone), friends and family and plenty of messages, we were able to deal, and I am actually somewhat grateful for the lockdown. It was like a giant pause button had been pressed and we had time to stop.

Lockdown wasn’t all healing and dealing though, we also had the time to do other stuff, like clean out the pantry…and the plastics cupboard….and all the other totally boring stuff that ordinarily, the craziness of life helps you to put off.  

For the kids, not going to school was HUGE. They’re all baby nerds and absolutely love school so they were devastated at not being able see their teachers and friends every day.

Liz8When the whispers of no school first began, we whipped up some lists and schedules quick smart and got into a great routine. We all had chores to do every day, we all had time allotted for exercise and we all made time for work. The most important aspect for us was the exercise component, making sure the kids (and I) got outside each and every single day for fresh air and movement. It’s easy to forget how much incidental exercise kids do every single day at school, before school and during play times as they run around doing whatever. 

On the subject of school, we are really lucky. Our kids LOVE school (I’m yelling that out because that is how they actually feel about school), so remote learning wasn’t all that bad for us. Ella and Alex are very self motivated, sat down every day and smashed out their work. I’m so grateful for these two and how well they did over the period. Anna was a bit harder to work with but at that age, it’s to be expected. She’s in grade 1 and I’ve discovered she likes things done a certain way, at a certain time on a certain day. And boy, if you deviate from this unknown schedule, things are not going to be done! However, she must have learnt something as her reading has skyrocketed right up to grade 2 level.  #WinningLiz4

I could probably write a 1000 page thesis on my thoughts about lockdown and iso but BORING. I guess my main points about getting through lockdown (which is actually me living my best homebody life) are these;

  • View it is an opportunity. An opportunity to ditch all the external pressures that take up so much time. An opportunity to bond as a family. An opportunity to clean the bloody plastics cupboard out.
  • Schedule your days. Schedule in chores. (The kids are home more thus can do more chores).  Work in exercise/movement time (we found 2 x 1hr blocks within the day worked for us and work/school blocks. Having a schedule means you don’t turn into a PJ wearing couch potato *not good for your physical, mental or emotional health.
  • Set goals. This time round I’ll be walking every single day working up to running. You can check up on me on Strava if you like (Liz Paganoni) and keep me accountable! Walking each day means I have at least an hour away from the kids, self care, which helps me stay sane. 24/7 with the kids is hard right?! I also have work goals too. Lockdown is a great opportunity to work on things you might not normally have time for.
  • Make friends with online shopping…. and your local bottle shop. But also make sure you have AFD’s each week…because, balance! Buy from local businesses who have probably had the worst year ever between bushfires and COVID. You have plenty of time on your hands to find rad new biz’s to support after all! Spread the word of the local businesses you use. They will love you for it and you’ll feel good to.
  • Check in with others. Introvert or not, you still need to interact with others. A text convo here, a Zoom chat there, it benefits both parties. Make it a goal to chat to a different person each day?

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Lockdown is hard but we’ve done it once and we can do it again, as long as we support each other. I believe in you all. And if I can help in any way, please let me know.

Liz xxx 

You can follow Liz and her journey through life, loves and Lockdown via her website and on her socials below xx

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CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – KURIOS – CABINET OF CURIOSITIES 

Premieres 12th March 2020 under a brand new white-and-grey Big Top at Flemington Racecourse!!

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Tickets On Sale NOW for Melbourne Extension Performances

Cirque du Soleil has returned to Australia with its most acclaimed touring show, KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities™.  Written and directed by Michel Laprise, KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities™ is a tale in which time comes to a complete stop, transporting the audience inside a fantasy world where everything is possible. In this realm, set in the latter half of the nineteenth century, reality is quite relative indeed as our perception of it is utterly transformed.

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KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities™ had its world premiere in Montréal April 2014 and since its debut, the critics have been raving across North America:

“It is not to be missed on any account,” Chris Jones in The Chicago Tribune.

“KURIOS is the most enthralling, consistently over-the-top magical show Cirque du Soleil has sent our way in a long time,” Robert Hurwitt in The San Francisco Chronicle

Due to overwhelming demand, Cirque du Soleil recently announced the extension of performances in Melbourne. New performances from 31st March through 13th April are on sale now!!  

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Tickets are available via cirquedusoleil.com/kurios or by phone at 1800 036 685. 

Critics across North America, Japan and Singapore have been raving about KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities™. In an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where wonders abound for those who trust their imagination, a scientist (“The Seeker”) is convinced that there exists a hidden world – a place where the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams await. Out of his curio cabinet steps an international cast of 47 artists from 17 countries, a collection of otherworldly characters made up of world-class gymnasts, acrobats, contortionists, hand-puppeteers, yo-yo wizards, clowns, actors and musicians. Together they turn the Seeker’s steampunk world upside-down as they are guided by an energetic gypsy jazz, electro swing soundtrack.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL EXTENDS MELBOURNE SEASON OF KURIOS – CABINET OF CURIOSITIES™ THROUGH 13th APRIL

TICKETING AND SHOW INFORMATION


KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities by Cirque du Soleil™

Season: 12th March – 13th April 2020

Venue:  Under the grey and white Big Top at Flemington Racecourse™ 

PERFORMANCE TIMES:

Tuesday – Friday: 8:00pm
Saturday: 4:30pm and 8:00pm
Sunday: 1:30pm and 5.00pm

TICKET PRICE:
From $80

BOOKINGS:
Online:
 www.cirquedusoleil.com/kurios 
Phone:
1800 036 685

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EXPERIENCE KURIOS LIKE A VIP

The ultimate Cirque du Soleil experience with the best seats and access to the intimate VIP suite one hour before the show and at intermission, including wines, hors d’oeuvres, take-home souvenirs and free parking.

VIP EXPERIENCE TICKET PRICE:   From $325

Sign up at cirquedusoleil.com/cirqueclub for complimentary membership to the Cirque Club. Members receive advance access to the best seats under the Big Top, deals and discounts for tickets, promotions with our partners and a chance to experience never-before seen exclusive Cirque du Soleil content.


About KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities™

KURIOS is Cirque du Soleil’s 35th production since 1984.  The newest big top production to tour Australia arrives with a cast of 47 artists from 17 countries including world-class gymnasts, acrobats, contortionists, hand-puppeteers, yo-yo wizards, clowns, actors and musicians. Follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group

Originally composed of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group completely reinvented circus arts and went on to become a world leader in live entertainment.  Established in Montreal, the Canadian organisation has brought wonder and delight to over 190 million spectators with productions presented in close to 450 cities in 60 countries.  Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group currently has over 4,000 employees, including 1,400 artists, from nearly 50 countries.