Crisis Heroes – Empowering every one of us to be a hero

It’s not often that I am truly moved at the creation of an online platform, however when I came across Crisis Heroes, I really was blown away. I immediately contacted Mark, one of the founders, and asked for an interview, to help spread the word! Turns out I couldn’t have waited for a better time to post this interview, as Melburnians face an extended stage 4 lock-down. I’m thrilled to share this superb community with you, and hope that you’ll get signed up and offer your hand to someone in need. I signed up a couple of weeks ago and was blown away when reading all the offers of help, so I hope you read this and feel empowered to do the same.

Mark Acheson – Crisis Heroes

Hi Mark! I’d love you to tell us a little bit about yourself and the team behind Crisis Heroes.

I’m a journalist, come marketer, come stranded Melburnian! I moved here two months ago from Tasmania to be closer to my other Crisis Heroes co founders Matthew Platts and Nicolas Hoban. Matt is our software engineer and Nic our designer and legal expert, being a former lawyer! 

When and how did the light bulb moment come about? Have you always been a helpful soul?

The light bulb moment came when Matt and I were forced to cut our American travels short in March this year and come back to Australia to self-isolate. I was actually on my way to work and live in the UK, a lifelong ambition of mine. I could have chosen to bury myself in my Xbox, but instead Matt and I came up with the idea of Crisis Heroes. We had our friends and family to rally around us while we self isolated, but we thought, what about those without these networks? This is where Crisis Heroes was born, to help people who are feeling isolated or are struggling in light of Covid. 

I’ve always tried to look out for the interest of others. I think we can make the world a happier place if we have one another’s backs. Life is hard enough as it is, without having people doing the wrong thing – Mark Acheson

 

What is the main aim of Crisis Heroes and what would you say to encourage people to get signed up? 

The main aim of Crisis Heroes is to empower everyday individuals to request or lend a hand. We did a quick market analysis and couldn’t find a free platform for trading goods and services. To anyone sitting on the fence as to seeking help, I say this; chances are you’ve supported someone in a time of need or difficulty, and you didn’t judge them for it. Reverse that sentiment. Never be too proud to reach out for help. There are hundreds of people waiting on Crisis Heroes to give you a hand, be it a friendly chat or running errands. 

Loneliness is a huge issue for many people during the pandemic, was this something you had in mind when coming up with the idea? Do you think Crisis Heroes is helping ease loneliness for people?

Yes, yes it was. Originally the platform was designed for people to run errands or trade services, but we then saw the need to implement a chat function. This chat function has seen the biggest uptake on our platform. It goes to show, along with national statistics, that people are struggling with the Covid-19 restrictions and the impacts of isolation. 

I know that Crisis Heroes has hit a few countries already, but what are the long term plans for spreading the love even further? How will this look post pandemic?

It doesn’t stop here post pandemic. We want to see Crisis Heroes reach every corner of the globe and help as many people as possible. What is great to see is the sense of fulfilment a person gets when they help someone else on our platform. They’ve perhaps never had a platform or the resources to help someone before. When they do, they feel overwhelmed with happiness. Not to forget the person who has received help. We had one woman in Melbourne say that she connected with a kind stranger on Crisis Heroes and their conversations were the reason she got out of bed of a morning. That’s huge!

 I’ve signed up Mark, and I was amazed at all the wonderful offers of help and support! It really does make your heart feel full. How does it feel to have created this wonderful community?

I feel very humbled to be in a position to help others. This wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing co-founders and the support of my friends and family. I just choose to keep this simple mantra: do good. 


If you’re a kind soul and would like to sign up and offer your support to someone doing it tough right now, head to Crisis Heroes You can also follow the Crisis Heroes journey on their socials (handles below). Whether it’s offering to walk the dog, grab essentials or just be available for a much needed chat, you can utilise this platform to make someones day and perhaps save someones life!

Liv xx

Book Review – ‘Be Your Own Man’ by Jessica Sanders

We were kindly sent a copy of Jessica Sanders latest book, the beautifully written and illustrated Be Your Own Man. When it arrived in the mail I had a flick through, and tears instantly sprang to my eyes. This is a glorious read from start to finish, and one that will cement feelings of acceptance within any young man who is struggling to feel ok with himself.

Be Your Own Man invites boys (in fact anyone who reads this) to broaden their ideas about what it is to be a boy, to feel proud of who they are and to feel like they can be anything they want to be. I would encourage boys & men of all ages to get a copy, sit down and take it all in. *All of it!!! Be Your Own Man should be handed out at maternity wards for all families expecting boys, and quotes from it chanted in the halls of all schools.

You and your body are together for life, so always treat your body like you would your best friend.

We’ve become so very good at encouraging girls to reach for the stars, be leaders, mechanics, engineers and soldiers. We reassure our daughters that girls can be who they want to be, they can strive for greatness; but for our boys, being strong and getting to the top is mostly just expected. Be Your Own Man is such a refreshing change to the selection of ‘boy books’ available, it’s a ‘Be Your Own Man’ guidebook, a life journal and a bible for boys to live by.

Boys have inherited an outdated story around what it is to be male, Be Your Own Man gives them permission to rewrite that story and embrace a new masculine identity that feels right for them – Jessica Sanders

I highly recommend you purchase 10 copies of this book and give them out to every boy you know, it has to be the Number 1 gift for boys! It’s not only a conversation starter for our little guys and their caregivers, it’s a page by page realisation that “I am ok”, “I am normal” “I want to be like this”, “I can be me”, “my body is ACE” which ultimately turns any reader into a happy, life loving, young man, who treats himself and others in the best way he can.

All you need to do is be your own boy so that you can become your own man.

In a world where men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women, and who are far less likely to ask for help, it’s time we allowed and encouraged our boys to be who they are, and not who we expect them to be.

When you’re tucking in your little man this evening, when you’re giving those last kisses of the day, the last hugs before he falls asleep, remember to whisper: “You are one of a kind, there’s absolutely no one else quite like you, and that’s amazing!”


You can buy this beautiful book by Jessica Sanders at all good book retailers (RRP $24.99) Published by Five Mile


I have to mention the RAD illustrations in Be Your Own Man as they really capture everything this book is about. Robbie Cathro is a British (*Yay*) illustrator from Bristol, and is well worth a follow! Think “illustrator that our kids will grow up with and think fondly of when they share his illustrations with their own kids!!!” THAT GOOD!!


Be Your Own Man was gifted to my son, however as always, these words are my own and honest opinion. Liv xx

Top Father’s Day Gifts for me… I mean him!

Let’s face it, when we buy gifts for Father’s Day, we’re really making a purchase based on it’s ‘share-ability’ right? We see the cookies #sold, we buy the recipe books so he can cook up a storm, and we drool over the menus hence we book the table! So, forget the age old ‘Top Ten Father’s Day Gift’ articles and check out my Top 6 Father’s Day Gifts for me him!

Perfect Gifts for Mama Papa

Barley & Malt

Aside from the wonderfully fine Whiskey’s you can have delivered to your door for your very own classy tasting evening, Barley & Malt also sell incredible glassware. My favourite *for Mr W. being the Tokyo Decanter and glasses set! ($100) I’ll He’ll love it! Use the code SUPERDAD until 4th September for free shipping.

Sweet Disposition

Boxes of lollies! I mean more lollies than you could shake a musk stick at!! These lolly boxes are oozing share-ability and perfect for my his Father’s Day gift! I particularly love the look of the ‘All You Can Sweet’ ($120) because there’s more than enough to share with him me!

Foxeys Hangout Wine

Gold standard wine… Say no more! I’ll He’ll pour!!! The Father’s Day Pinot Pack will make Dad one of the first to taste these three new and very special single-vineyard pinot noirs from the 2019 harvest, Foxeys first fully certified biodynamic vintage!! So much goodness for just $195 for a 3 pack! Two for Mama and one for Papa! Nice!

Chefs Eat Breakfast Too by Darren Purchese

This glorious cookbook, promises an epic collection of breakfast recipes that will ensure you go to bed early in anticipation. Perfect!! **Always remember, a cook book is a must when gifting on Father’s Day. It would be rude for him not to cook me breakfast every weekend for a month when I ‘thoughtfully’ bought the book, so.. I will have succeeded in the task of perfect gifting! Yum!

Manflower Co

From gorgeous craft beers to make your own cocktails to stylish socks, these guys know how to man gift! However, this is about me sharing, so I am eyeing up the Productivity Pack ($54.95). Craft beer, fab notebooks *so handy for my his work, and I can upgrade to include some ST ALi coffee capsules. I’m He’s going to love this!! Have a browse and use this cheeky discount code TWOO10 for 10% off. Yes mama, I got your back!!

Kalea Body

All men need great body products, and lucky for him, I don’t mind sharing! I have carefully chosen the thoughtfully curated ‘Awaken your senses‘ bundle ($75) which includes all the things I he loves. Aromatherapy room & body mist, Magnesium & Coffee Body Scrub, and some Lemon Myrtle Hand, Body & Bath Wash!! Boy I’m he’s going to smell divine!!!! Free Shipping on this product!!

Always here to help!

I hope this article has given you a little extra encouragement to really share the love this Father’s Day! 😉 You deserve it mama!!

Please try and support small businesses where you can, buy one extra of something just because you care and make an extra effort to support ‘Australian’ in our time of need!!

Much love Liv xxx

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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Winter just got seriously good

Winter has always been a tough one for me when it comes to food

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Winter sees me spending the entire 3 months craving carbs and all the bad stuff. I could quite easily hibernate and eat all the food. Not only does this make me look tired, it makes me feel yuk. Having an auto immune disease means that making the wrong choices wrecks me. A moment on the lips is at least a week of feeling terrible. This winter I have started adding bone broth into my diet, and I have managed to stave off the cravings whilst giving my body a serious hug from the inside out! Bone Broth is great for weight management, gut health, arthritis and joint health. This delicious broth, full of goodness helps repair your gut which leads to stronger and healthier hair and nails too! Win win!!! Here’s a beautiful recipe from Liquid Gold Bone Broth for you and your family to enjoy.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1.5 L Liquid Gold Chicken Bone Broth (can use 500 ml of water instead of 500 ml bone broth, but recommend using all bone broth)

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

100g spaghetti, broken into lengths (can use gluten free spaghetti for GF version, or zucchini noodles for low carbohydrate version)

2 chicken breast fillets (500g), cut into 1cm strips

2 cups (40g) baby spinach leaves

Cracked black pepper, to serve


Method

  1. Heat the oil in large sauce pan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook, stirring, for 4–5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the bone broth and water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes or until just starting to soften. (if using zucchini noodles add these after the chicken, require short cooking time)
  3. Add the chicken and cook for a further 4–5 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Remove from heat and stir through the spinach. Sprinkle with pepper and divide between bowls to serve

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Photo credit – Donna Hay


 

You can order Liquid Gold Bone Broth to be delivered direct to your door. Check out their website and socials for all the glorious details.

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Covid and the accidental author

Charlie Golding is a mum on a mission to help children better understand the world we are living in right now. When The World Went Inside is a beautifully written children’s book, perfect for starting conversations with our little ones about life inside a pandemic. Charlie shares her story here xx


It was an ordinary bike ride in an extraordinary time.

At least that was what I was aiming for. If I could get out of the house.My 3 year old clung to the door frame, crying and refusing to leave; as I wrapped him in my arms and felt his heaving wracking sobs against my chest it dawned on me that this was no ordinary tantrum. This kid was frightened. As I held and shushed him, he finally started to talk. As the mumbles became more coherent it dawned on me what was going on. And with that realisation came a bolt of ice through my heart.IMG_2239

He was scared of COVID-19. 

At just 3 years old he was unable to discern between a virus which he could manage and control, and a monster which was hiding behind the bushes, just waiting to leap out and grab him!

This was March 2020, and COVID was just starting to get real in Victoria.

I had missed the memo about Doomsday prepping. In February I was living my best life as a working Mumma to three glorious dirtbags. I simply popped my proverbial fingers in my ears every time someone mentioned the dirty C-Word. Whilst I definitely enjoyed the virus memes and toilet paper jokes, all of that was safely contained within the internet. I was living in the real world – and it wasn’t going to affect me. 

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And then one day I walked into the supermarket and came eye ball to eye ball with a terrifying figure in a full HAZMAT suit and gas mask. I looked around me and the aisles were empty. My core chilled and I wanted to cry. Except I couldn’t, some bastard had just made off with the last box of tissues.

Suffice it to say that I didn’t handle the start to COVID well. However, as I sat in my hallway holding my sobbing baby boy, I realised that whatever I did next – I had to aim higher for the kids. 

At this stage of the crisis very little existed to help children understand COVID-19. Hell, there was very little out there for the adults. But I dug deep and came up with a Tumble Science podcast. The kids reacted enthusiastically and we listened to it again and again. They loved the science behind it – learning how the virus had mutated and where it came from meant something to them.

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But you can’t cuddle up with a Podcast. In our family we use bedtime stories as a springboard to deeper conversations; I’ve used fictional books to cover topics on history, sex, gender, race and equality. The story never covers everything there is to talk about but provides a baseline that propels the conversation forward. Naturally, my first instinct had been to go looking for a friendly family text; but being so early in the pandemic one didn’t yet exist.

Believe me, my immediate reaction was not to put my hand up to write one! I had a job, and a family and a crisis to deal with, after all! However, COVID-19 was dominating our conversations. I realised that the more we spoke about it, the more reassured we all felt. I communicate openly, it comes as second nature to engage children in honest yet challenging conversations. However, my locked-down friends were telling me that they weren’t sure how to have these talks. How much information to provide and what to withhold? After all, what information do little brains need? Can we damage inherent innocence by laying it all out too honestly?Microscope

My experience tells me that children will only absorb what they are ready to hear. If you talk confidently and provide facts reassuringly then you can trust kids to take from that conversation what they need. 

When The World Went Inside is our lockdown story.

It’s an illustrated book for children that emerged from our lived experience. It’s a powerful story told simply, written with the hope that children would see their own experiences mirrored within the pages and feel less alone. 

Hot on the heels of this global health crisis, is a mental one. There’s a lot that 2020 has asked of our little ones – from stopping and starting school, to living life as never before. Thankfully, they’re resilient little critters. 

Every time I hear from a parent or teacher about their child’s reaction to the book, my heart soars. Parents we’ve got this!!!

The creative world has stepped up and there’s now a toolkit of resources out there to help guide your conversations with your children; maybe my book will be one of them. However, my purpose for writing this is to plead with you to prioritise your mental health, whatever that looks like. Our children need us happy, healthy and whole. With us standing strong by their side they’ll continue to thrive, no matter what the world has in store.

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About When The World Went Inside

Learn how to stay safe and keep having fun in a world with COVID-19. This fun and beautifully illustrated book is best for kids aged 3-10 years old. If you’re parenting in a pandemic then join in the chatter in the socials!

www.whentheworldwentinsidebook.com

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Tumble Science link: https://www.sciencepodcastforkids.com/blog

 

Love & Lee – caring for families, the earth & its people

I am so excited to introduce you all to Eve from Love & Lee. Eve began her business with love in her heart and you can tell! Love shines through every glorious product. This wonderful collection of baby products is organic, natural, and ethical, in fact, they’re so lovely I’m almost tempted to have another baby just to get my hands on them.


Eve Cammel – Mother and Managing Director of Love and Lee Ltd.

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It’s so good to meet you Eve, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?LOGO WITH TAG LINE 1-01

Originally from The Netherlands, I immigrated to countryside New Zealand at age 9. I learnt English at the local primary school and had a great childhood on the farm where we were often working with mum and dad in the field.

After spending a fantastic early 20’s in Queenstown, NZ, I moved to Australia with my now husband at 25.  I now live in Noosa, Sunshine Coast with my 2 young children aged 8 and 4.

Arctic_ocean_organic_gots_cotton_swaddle_muslin_wraps_2_Love_and_LeeI love spending time with my friends & family, and I also love a glass of wine and a good book.  When I immerse myself in a topic I really like to learn as much as I can about it, whether it be business, astrophysics or good gut health – my interests vary greatly depending on what floats my boat at the time.

What inspired you to create Love & Lee?

I’ve always had big dreams and have always pushed myself in my career.  After having my girls, I wanted to create a beautiful career, something I could be proud of.  I wanted to build a business in order to provide employment opportunities for other women who had children, who would want to work flexible and part time hours whilst also having the opportunity to shine in their own expertise.

The catalyst to starting Love & Lee was after I had my youngest child. I knew it didn’t feel right to go back to my old job, which I loved. I was searching for something I could put 100% brain power into, without limits and something to completely take my focus.

Grey_bamboo_baby_blanket_2_Love_and_LeeDuring that time, I was becoming much more aware of our health and how many chemicals were normalised in our society. Although our family had a great diet and a natural lifestyle we furthered this by concentrating on gut health, plus eliminating as many nasties as possible from our clothing, food, home and environment.  It was from here that I wished there had been a better selection of organic, eco-friendly, certified and plastic free baby products available.

Once the idea was born, it came time to design the packaging. I really wanted to create something which included the older sibling in the gift giving process.  I’d been to so many baby showers and watched on as the older sibling started to feel left out. ‘All the presents are for the baby, what about me?’ Becoming a big sister or big brother should be celebrated, they also deserve to feel special.  As part of my environmental journey, I wanted to create packaging which was not only plastic free but could also be reused, repurposed and recycled.  This is when the idea of turning the packaging into toys came from.

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The first 12 months of business have been a crazy ride, I lost money by trusting manufacturing contacts who didn’t deliver, I won awards including the recent ‘Most Innovative Start Up of the Year Asia Pacific Stevie Award’ and having staff meetings by myself sometimes took its toll. But I love it!! I absolutely love the freedom to think of, design and create beautiful plastic free, organic and eco-friendly products.

How have you found combining business & motherhood?

I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be able to combine both and dictate my own hours. I work early mornings, late nights and weekends, and can often be found on my phone in the car while waiting at school pick up.Grey_bamboo_baby_blanket_4_Love_and_Lee

It’s not always easy but I can be there when my girls need me. I can juggle for the time being.  When they are sick, we move between watching Frozen 2 on the couch to sitting on my lap whilst I type emails.

I think every working mother has the same challenges but I feel lucky to be working for my own business. Despite never really switching off from work or having a finishing time, I’m able to prioritise my girls when they need it.

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What challenges have you faced if any due to the global pandemic?

Remote learning and work – geez!  That was hectic!

At one point I had my 8 year old doing her school work on my desk and my 4 year old on my lap listening to Cinderella audio books whilst writing emails to stockists & manufacturers whilst packing orders and trying to get to the Post Office before it closed! You know how it is!! Fortunately my business grew quickly during that time because everyone was online shopping. As a new business I was incredibly grateful for this growth and at the same time was feeling very lucky to still be working when so many people around me were losing jobs.

What have I learned?

Never give up!! Believe you can do it and surround yourself with people who also believe in you and support you.  There will always be people who say you can’t, but I’m a firm believer in just going for it and supporting each other.

Women in business are so powerful, insightful, thoughtful and supportive.  Individually we are just a drop in the ocean but together we ARE the ocean.  This is what I love about my job the most. I work with incredible people every day, I’ve gathered a great crew of legends for which I am forever grateful.

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Thank you so much Eve for sharing your story and your business with us xxx 

 

Love & Lee deliver worldwide, so if there’s someone you know who deserves the very best when it comes to baby, make sure you browse this awesome collection of organic, natural & ethical baby products. 

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Follow this link to get a 10% discount added to your cart when you purchase from Love & Lee 

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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A cuppa with Molly from The Kirks Crazy Life

I spent a little piece of my week chatting to the gorgeous Molly from The Kirks Crazy Life. I met Molly a while back, and immediately I knew she was a lovely person. She’s one of those people who gives off a good vibe and you know instantly that you’re going to get along!  If you want to follow someone on Instagram who is ‘doing life’ with a passion Molly’s ya gal!


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Hey Molly, can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years now, and I am a mummy to my 9 year old daughter Audrey, my 5 year old son Marquez and my son Christopher who was stillborn 7 years ago. I moved to Melbourne 11 years ago from New South Wales and I now live in the outer Western suburbs of Melbourne. I love it!

Our family loves to travel, explore different places and DSC_0754create memories together. My favourite thing in the world is to spend quality time with my family and that’s how I make the most out of life. Of course, I also love shopping too!!!

So what inspired you to create The Kirks Crazy Life?

I originally started posting on Instagram when my youngest was born as a way to share photos with friends and shop small business. Fairly early on the children started repping for small businesses and helping to bring awareness of their products. After a while it evolved again to photos featuring the whole family, our adventures and all the products that I love and use. The inspiration really came from my love of fashion, travel and photography which I am really passionate about.

How are you coping with not being able to go far right now? I know you’re a big travel fan.

Staying home has definitely taken some getting used to. We are so used to getting away, so to not be able to do that has definitely been tricky for us. We, like lots of others, had the disappointment of having to cancel all our trips DSC_0812this year due to Covid, including a long awaited trip to Greece and Italy in May.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a little cry when I had to cancel everything. But having to stay at home is the best option for us right now and we’re definitely looking forward to getting away as soon as we’re able.

In the meantime I have started paying more attention to my indoor plant collection and keeping myself busy to avoid going stir crazy. Current restrictions have made creating the content I love to create difficult, but we all need to do the right thing and get through this together.

When you look back on 2020 what do you think you’ll say it taught you?

I have really embraced a quieter life for the time being. It’s nice to stop and be bored sometimes, it gives you time to think. Spending simple days at home or in the backyard reminds me of parts of my own childhood and the things I did with my family growing up. Most importantly I have learnt that it’s ok to have quiet weekends at home and we don’t always need to be on the go to make memories as a family.

I do love the fast life and fear it will probably come back with a vengeance once I have more freedom to travel safely – Molly

Since homeschooling, I have found a passion for teaching.

I have always wanted to train to be a teacher but have been too scared that perhaps it wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, some days remote learning with my daughter is testing but I am so happy to have been given the opportunity. Now I’m able to be more involved in Audrey’s learning it has taught us a lot about each other. I enjoy seeing how Audrey is progressing plus I get to learn more about how her mind works. It has definitely brought us closer together and I am very proud of how she is coming along with school. As for Marquez, he is loving having Audrey home more and adores spending time with her on her breaks.DSC_0255

Lockdown has also seen us enjoying new projects around the house, and involving the kids in what we do. I’m looking forward to renovating my laundry and repainting the kids’ cubby house which are next on the list. 2020 has also taught me that I probably didn’t need to visit my shopping centre daily!!!

Is there anything you have loved about being in lockdown that you’ll continue to enjoy when we finally get our freedom back?

One of the things I have really loved is being able to spend more time with the kids and just relax without any other pressures or time restrictions. I will definitely be making sure that once everything goes back to normal we will save some weekends where we do nothing at all and just hang out as a family. I’ve also really enjoyed paying more attention to myself and my skin care regime. Self care really helps me switch off and relax so I’ll be making an effort to stick at it.


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Follow Molly and her family enjoying their ‘crazy life’ full of awesome adventures!

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Sharna Southan – Promoting healing after pregnancy loss

Pregnancy loss is never an easy thing to understand or talk about whether it’s your own or a friends. I haven’t been through it myself, however a few of my close friends have, and I’m aware I haven’t been nearly good enough at talking to them about it. I think one of the most precious things you can do for someone after pregnancy loss is recommend they talk to someone like Sharna, from Sharna Southan Coaching. I caught up with Sharna and she kindly shared her story with us and explained how that led to the amazing work she is doing to promote healing.


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Sharna Southan – Pregnancy Loss Life Coach

I am a qualified dental nurse. I always knew I wanted to help people, and I thought being in the medical industry was going to be it.
Although I always felt I was called to do more, I just didn’t know what it was or how that was going to look.

In 2017 my husband & I were faced with a very different future then the one we had in our minds. 

We found out we were pregnant, something we had been trying for, for a number of years.

Our future in those days & weeks afterwards was already looking so different, we had so many new plans, all with a baby in them.

In February 2017 we went in for our Ultrasound, only to be told “I’m sorry there’s no heartbeat”. I was in shock, this couldn’t be happening!! I wanted the technician to keep trying and to keep looking for it because this wasn’t meant to happen!!

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It was my worst fear, but in saying that, I didn’t even really know what a miscarriage was at this point.

Not much information was given to me at the time. We went to the Drs surgery, where we were filled in a little bit more about what had happened but still left with very little information.

I had experienced a Missed miscarriage, which I diagnosed myself with my own research, because none of this was explained to me. A missed miscarriage means there were no outward signs of anything going wrong with the pregnancy. No cramps, no bleeding, nothing…. not until the ultrasound which was almost 3 weeks after the baby had passed away. 

So I was sent home.

The miscarriage was such a traumatic experience for us. My husband was great on the side lines, although men don’t fully understand what’s going on and the emotions we are feeling. We knew we wanted to try again and he understood I couldn’t if I wasn’t able to recover, or heal, from this experience. Not to say you ever fully heal, it’s an ongoing journey, but I made sure I was in a much better place mentally for the following pregnancy.

So I did a lot of work on myself.

In the days, weeks, months following our loss. I allowed myself to grieve and feel what I needed to feel. I just didn’t stay there. I was gentle on myself and didn’t put pressure on myself to feel any particular way.

I have become the support person that I so desperately needed after our miscarriage.

It was within my healing that I knew I had to draw from my experience and use it.

If I was feeling isolated and as if I was the only woman feeling this way, then many other women would be feeling this same way too. Knowing that the statistic of miscarriage is 1 in 4 I knew I wasn’t alone.

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I started my coaching business.

I started learning, increasing my knowledge on how I can best help other women going through the same circumstances as I had, whilst also learning to recognise every woman’s experience is so different.

I want to break the stigma around miscarriage and allow women to talk freely about it. To grieve for their angel babies. To know that there is support. To know they aren’t alone and that they can get through this tough time.

I want women to know there is someone who understands them on a much deeper level. Someone who knows what it’s like to feel the way they are feeling – Sharna Southan

I have created a support program that I needed when I was going through my healing. This program enables me to support women through what I have created so they don’t have to be guessing their way through the uncertainty and overwhelm after a miscarriage.

I am here to hold space for them, to allow them to honour their story and themselves, to be able to find themselves, find clarity and joy again after their loss.

As I was able to do so much work on myself through the months after our loss, I felt able to try again, from a place where I wanted to try again, from a place of love and understanding, knowing that we could be faced with the same outcome. I didn’t want to try from a place of wanting to ‘fix our situation’ because I knew that if I wasn’t mentally prepared, the following pregnancy would be overshadowed by crippling fear. 

We fell pregnant with our now rainbow baby

The following pregnancy did have fear popping it’s head in, but I was able to process that fear and understand why it was coming. I was able to welcome it and release it and I was able to enjoy absolutely every part of our pregnancy, the good and the uncomfortable. I was so grateful for the whole experience because I had been given another opportunity to experience it.

Sharna xxx


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If you would like to reach out to Sharna please follow the links below.

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Are you overwhelmed with emotion after your pregnancy loss? Download this journaling guide.

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