Whiskey tasting packs… Christmas gifts sorted!

I’ve got to admit, Whiskey tasting has never really been at the top of my list of “fun things to do”. Despite being married to an avid Whiskey fan, and being taken round umpteen Scottish distilleries (Yes he even proposed in Scotland) I have never really liked the taste or understood the enjoyment of kicking back after a long day with a glass of Whiskey. Well, that was until now!

Introducing Barley & Malt

Enhancing your Whiskey experience is what Barley & Malt owner Tan lives for. Through his cleverly designed tasting kits, Tan wants everyone to enjoy, appreciate and share Whiskey together whilst learning to understand all the intricate flavours and textures that come with this world famous spirit. Whether you’re a fully fledged Whiskey aficionado or a total novice like myself, Barley & Malt’s insanely good taster kits will teach you the pro ways to taste so that you can really enjoy the good stuff and wow your mates next time a bottle of Whiskey pops up at a dinner party!

The perfect gift for Whiskey lovers & Whiskey virgins this Christmas.

Barley & Malt has something really special available in time for Christmas this year. They have put together the most glorious Whiskey tasting packs which I know are just going to fly off the shelves. Gifting one of these packs is not only a great way to support a local business, it’s also a unique gift & experience for the receiver.

Barley & Malt Whiskey Tasting Packs

We are all about creating great moments and amazing experiences, no matter if you are new to whisky or seasoned enthusiasts – Tan Tran

These beautifully packaged tasting kits are a one of a kind gift for someone special to enjoy, and they’re really fun to share with friends. The pack includes four 60ml bottles of whiskies and expert tasting notes with a section for you to input your thoughts too. We loved sharing this with friends last night. We were a mix of connoisseurs and novices, and we all enjoyed getting our noses in there and really appreciating those flavours. Tan’s expert notes are well written making them easy to understand and follow. We particularly liked Tan’s top tips on how to taste test like an expert which enabled us to feel like slick, adept tasters by the end of the evening. *Did you know coffee refreshes your taste buds so that you’re ready for the next taste?

Whiskey Tasting Notes

Currently Barley & Malt are offering four pack options in time for Christmas which include, selected American Whiskey, Japanese Whiskies, Scotch Malts , and Whiskies of the World. If you want to wow someone this Christmas with the most wonderful gift & experience, get your order in asap as there is limited stock available.

If you know someone who would love one of these, please order online today to avoid missing out. You can find out more about these wonderful Whiskey Tasting Packs by heading to Barley & Malt online, or checking out their Facebook & Instagram .


We were kindly gifted our Whiskey Tasting Pack (Whiskies of the World) however, as always, the words are my own opinion! Trust me, I’ve been converted! “Pass me the Whiskey!”

What Whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for – Unknown

Connection is Key for Louise Larkin

I was lucky enough to steal some time from Louise Larkin, the heart and the brains behind Friend in Me. We had a chat about how she is coping during these uncertain times and how the restrictions have changed the way she is living her life. Louise is not only a beautiful mama and a rad business woman, she’s also an all round bloody good human.


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Lou Larkin – Founder of Friend in Me

Today I found myself listening to heaps of live music, and the memories came flooding in. You know those days where we could go and dance in the sun, be with our friends, listen to our favourite band belting out our favourite tunes, making memories. Yeah those days. 

I can’t help but keep asking myself, “when will we get the opportunity to do that again?” I feel a little sad.  Not only for our kids, but for our world and our future.Louise L

As I was driving to get necessities this morning, I looked out my window at a very grey Melbourne. I began to wonder what people would say if they knew I was leaving my home. Would they judge me?

As I looked ahead at the people walking the streets, some with masks on, I began to notice how afraid I am feeling. I am scared of the future, I am scared of the world we are living in today. I realised I’m scared of the “new normal.”

Who’s in control?

I regularly get asked how I am feeling and how I am coping through this pandemic and I can mostly say that I am remaining positive. It’s true, despite the words at the beginning of this article, I am trying my best to focus on the things I can control and not on the things that I cannot. I think that’s critically important for everyone, especially when we have children who are watching our every move and looking to us for words of support. 

I can control turning off the news and not getting caught up in the hysteria of media.
I can’t control what they’re saying or showing, so I just switch it off!

I’m immensely happy that I have a beautiful, healthy family who are safe, and I am aware that we are amongst the lucky ones. Rather than sit feeling sad for the people that have lost their jobs, their livelihoods and their independence, I am making an effort to reach out to them and offer kind words, and assistance where I am able. 

I feel happy that my mental health is stable and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, however I am equally aware of the thousands of people who are suffering in a world of turmoil and darkness. There may not be anything I can do to dramatically impact their lives, but I support charities, I reach out to friends, I talk to my children about being mentally healthy, and I make sure that mental health stays a top topic in our house.  Lou3

I am happy that my organisation Friend In Me can still bring so much magic to children who are stuck indoors and cannot have that social interaction that they so deserve.  Friend in Me promotes inclusive communities and is on a mission of making sure no child is left behind, not just in this pandemic but in every day life. To be in this position of bringing so much joy to children’s lives, makes me realise how very fortunate we all are to be living in a time where technology allows us to connect despite the distances between us. Connection is key to getting through this. 

 So what do I do to cope?

I get so much joy out of checking in on my friends, my loved ones, strangers in the street, so I make sure this is a part of my day. **We need to do that more. Less hate. More Love. 

I don’t get caught up in scrolling through pages and pages of social media, ending up saturated with the doom and gloom. I limit my screen time, and stick to it!

I surround myself with positive energy. Whether it’s great music, relaxation exercises, or walking outside and really breathing in the air, taking time to find the positives in your day is incredibly beneficial.Lou5.jpg

I also regularly buy a coffee for my neighbour just to show I am here for her. #itsthelittlethings

I will be ok. We will all be ok.

Of course, I have no idea when this will all be over, or what the new normal will look like in 6 months time, I am however, certain that if we continue to put one foot in front of the other and focus on the job ahead we will all be better together. 

Go gently Friends, the world needs us all to unite and please, please always be kind – Louise Larkin


 About Friend in Me

The Friend in Me organisation brings together children of all ages, nationalities and abilities to dance, play, sing, create and most importantly, make lifelong friends and memories they will cherish forever. These events will ensure “no child is left behind”. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.

SIGN UP HERE FOR THE FRIEND IN ME DIGITAL DISCO SATURDAY 25TH JULY AT 1PM

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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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Cheers!! All-Aussie cocktails delivered to your door

You may know by now, I’m not one to shy away from a tipple every now and again, and let’s face it, if your cocktail shaker comes out, I’m in!! That’s why I am so excited to introduce you all to Mel How and The Cocktail Shop; creators of Australia’s coolest cocktail kits delivered direct to your door. *I know right!!!

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Cocktail culture is in full swing and thankfully cocktails have found their way out of bars and into our homes. With just a little bit of practice, it’s ‘Au revoir’ to the obligatory glass of wine at the end of the day and ‘Hello darling’ to something a hell of a lot more exciting.


As Australia’s bar industry reels from COVID-19 lockdowns, Melbourne entrepreneur Mel How is supporting local distillers one cocktail at a timeMelissa How

Mel established The Cocktail Shop to support Australia’s incredible distillers whilst giving us ‘home cocktail makers’ a taste of the best local brands in easy-to-make cocktail kits delivered to straight to our doors. Yes!! That means you can get your Tom Cruise on, whilst kicking back in your lipstick & lounge wear! #Thankyou

The wonderful thing about the Cocktail Shop IMHO, is that it provides a simple way to make bar quality cocktails at home, whilst giving us the opportunity to sample a variety of local alcohol products without having to purchase multiple bottles of expensive alcohol. 

To wow your Wednesday night Zoom crew, all you have to do is log on to The Cocktail Shop, choose your favourite cocktail and everything you need will be delivered to your door in a cute little box. You’ll receive all the liquid ingredients to make approximately four cocktails, as well as a recipe card and the garnishes.Cocktails shop1

Once you have your hands on all the good stuff, you can view the tutorial videos on the website, which provide simple instructions to make bar quality cocktails at home. This would be such a fun thing to do with a big group of friends, each get a box and create your very own online cocktail bar sesh! Who’s in??

Australian Sourced

Another reason we all need to get right on this is that every alcohol and drink product in these fabulous cocktail kits is sourced within Australia. The more ‘hyper-local’ the better for The Cocktail Shop, which is why most of Mel’s suppliers are from Melbourne.Negroni Cocktail KitThe Cocktail Shop distillers include Maidenii, Melbourne Moonshine MeMo Gin, Mister Bitters, Imbue Distillery, and other such well-known local brands, supplying gin, whisky, vermouth and bitters. As well as being a champion for local producers, Mel is also committed to supporting local hospitality by selling batched and bottled cocktails by Melbourne’s iconic BarNone. Yes please!! 

 

There are so many wonderful local producers out there. Being a new business, we have only scratched the surface, but I want to work with as many of them as possible as we create more innovative cocktail packs – Mel How

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By choosing local artisan distilleries and drink makers to supply The Cocktail Shop, Mel is not only supporting local jobs and keeping her environmental impact low, she’s also contributing to the Australian economy. I think it’s pretty cool that this has always been at the forefront of Mel’s business plans and is yet another reason why The Cocktail Shop needs to be on your to-do list ASAP!

 

“If you have some of the World’s best distilleries on your doorstep, why would you buy liquor from overseas” – Mel How

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View the full range at https://thecocktailshop.com.au/ 

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Plastic free July tips from Happi Earth

If you’re anything like me, you start Plastic free July with high hopes, completely organised, prepared for anything… then you get to the 15th of the month and feel like the mountain is too high to climb and you just can’t go on. I’m here to help with your Plastic Free July slump with some extra tips from the gorgeous people at Happi Earth! #Yourewelcome


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Easy steps for preventing plastic

As this material is non biodegradable, plastic pollution is having an astronomical effect on our planet. Not only is plastic killing millions of sea life and birds every year but it is now even affecting humans. A study from Ghent University in Belgium recently calculated that people who eat seafood will ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year. Scary right?

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Well not to fear….The time for change is here! We’re not saying you have to give up plastic all together as let’s face it, these days that would be pretty difficult. To make the transition easier, simply try replacing a few of the common plastic items you use with alternative materials. Here’s a list of 3 simple steps you can take today to help prevent plastic pollution in your household…

Reuse and refill your bottles

One easy step you can take to help eliminate plastic is by re-using and refilling the bottles around your house. Try replacing the plastic multipurpose spray you buy every month with a stainless steel spray bottle that can be refilled with a cleaning formula. You can do the same with your hand soaps.

Whether you make your own cleaning blends at home or stick to buying refillable, eco-friendly products, this is one plastic product that can easily be replaced. Looking for certified organic, refillable laundry solution? Check out the new Happi Laundry Liquid that eliminates over 99% laundry plastic!

Say no to plastic shopping bags

Did you know that plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to decompose? With 2 million plastic bags being used on average every minute around the world, it is scary to think of the devastating effects such a small, everyday item can have on the planet. With many countries around the globe now consciously making an effort to ban the plastic bag, the time for change is now.

fruits-in-a-plastic-bag-3645504.jpgYou can easily make a big difference, simply by using non-plastic, reusable bags. The change may be difficult at first and remembering to store your reusable bags in the car every time you go shopping may take some time. But when one simple change to your buying habits can help make a massive difference to our environment, it really is worth it.

Know your recycling rules

A new study published by the Science Advances Journal revealed that of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that has been produced in the world so far, 91% of that has not been recycled. This means that most of the plastic being produced is going into landfill and natural environment, ultimately ending up in the final sinkhole we call the ocean.

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Image by Charles Deluvio

When it comes to recycling, there can be so many rules that make it seem like a time-consuming task. In reality, getting into the habit of recycling at home is pretty simple. Start by having a seperate, recycling bin in your house so that you can learn to seperate the recyclables from the non-recyclables as you go. A great idea is to look up your local council’s regulations on recycling and print out a guide for your fridge. Whether it’s in your home or your workplace, a quick guide of materials that can be recycled can go a long way to helping recycling become a new habit.

Eliminating plastic in your home doesn’t have to be hard. With a slight change of habits and an understanding of the effects plastic is having on our environment, you can do your part to help make our earth a bit cleaner!

 


About Happi Earth

Happi is more than just a laundry liquid. It is 100% organic, all natural and environmentally friendly so you can save money while saving the earth. Just one pouch is packed full of highly concentrated liquid with up to 400 washes at just $0.25 per wash.

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You can read more about the Happi Movement here

You can shop here

 

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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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Moxie gifted us a moment to treasure

I completely underestimated how I would feel when the postie handed me the box from Moxie. I have been researching, reading, chatting to other mums, and having the odd chat with my girl about what’s to come, but I still feel like I’ve not done enough to prepare her for the arrival of her monthly friend! *mum guilt. Talking periods has never really been something I’ve done (eek), or had to do *yet, so I have recently made more of an effort to open up and start the conversation in order to make it as ‘normal’ as it should be for a young girl.

I vividly remember being dragged through endless awful chats about periods with Ms King, the most ghastly matron at school. My little 9 year old friends and I were too terror stricken to ask questions, too horrified to touch the bible sized sanitary pad and god forbid we giggled! We sat wide eyed, aghast at the very thought of getting ‘The Curse’. Periods were something not to be spoken about outside of those four walls, and each one of us left class safe in the knowledge that whenever the day came, we would bleed to death! Thanks Matron!

Roll on a few years

I’m now well and truly ensconced in womanhood and motherhood, tuns out you don’t bleed to death after all, and now it’s my turn to teach my daughter about all things woman! **Cue little chubby angels singing… As if by magic, not long ago, I stumbled across ‘Welcome to your Period‘ by Yumi Stynes and Melissa Kang. If you’re a mama of girls and haven’t seen this book, you must grab a copy.

It’s like a bible for mums and daughters when it comes to ‘the curse, the monthly’s, Aunt Flo’s visit, Lady time,’ or what ever you like to affectionately name your period! **You’ll be glad to know Matron had no hand in the writing of this book, it’s simply packed with honest words from real teens and hot advice from the experts. Phew! This ‘monthly’s manual’ has been a fab way to start the conversation, answer the gross questions, and put to bed all the horror stories that come from the playground pow wows. It also encouraged me to buy a Period Pack. *I was hell bent on making my own, but.. life….

A recent study found that us girls would rather say anything other than the P word hence there are over 5,000 slang terms for ‘Period’ across the world

Enter Moxie’s Welcome to Periods Box!

If you know me you’ll know that I love a bit of research. Google is my bestie for pointing me in the right direction, I can often be found knee deep in magazines, and Instagram is my go to when I want the perfect gift! I want to see it from all angles, in all kinds of places, worn, thrown on the floor, lying on the kitchen bench, chucked in a pool! I’m all over it! I’m a massive sucker for a pretty parcel! Let it be known, I’m a packaging whore! I will always go for the prettiest box! Whether it’s cereal or makeup, a book or a t-shirt, wrap it up nicely (always with a sticker) and I’m all in! Hey, we all have our ‘things’!

Thankfully the gift I have just researched & purchased for my girl ticked all of my ‘boxes’ and many, many more. Moxie have not only carefully curated their ‘Welcome to Periods‘ box, but they have smashed goals in making it so much more than a box of ‘period paraphernalia’. From the wrapping paper, to the Freckleberry chocolate bar, to the tampons and hot water bottle, it was a gift I wished I’d bought my 11 year old self. *Luckily Moxie do heaps of boxes for those of us who have been in the game a while too. Winning!!

So, how did she take it?

I had no idea how my daughter would feel to receive a ‘gift’ like this. Before it arrived I wasn’t even sure if it could be classed as a gift or more of a ‘tasteful toolbox!’ Honestly I was a little nervous. Would she look at me as if I had gone mad? Would she cringe, grunt and then hide it under her bed? I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Watching her unwrap the gorgeous wrapping covered in hilarious little ‘tampon angels’, cooing over each and every treat she pulled out was a real tearjerker. “Oh I love this mum!” “Look at this!” “Did you see this one mum?” She was thrilled, and I was teary. My girl has everything she needs for the journey ahead, and it couldn’t have been gifted in a more glorious way.

Moxie have not only created a gorgeous gift for girls of a certain age, but they’ve created a moment in time for us Mamas. They have turned what was once a ‘cringefest’ filled with embarrassment and fear, into a beautiful, gentle and exciting pathway to womanhood for our girls.

Most importantly, Moxie have gifted a treasured date in time where Mama and daughter got to pause, chat, giggle and grow together. Moxie gifted us a moment we will treasure forever.

Here’s to raising good women, and here’s to Moxie for the helping hand!

*This is not a paid post, this is a genuine appreciation for a fab product, in amongst a whole lot of spectacular products for women of all ages. Check out Moxie now!

Small Biz Shout Out #4 – Rainbow Light Therapies

I’m so thrilled to be gifting you this article as part of my ‘Small Biz Shout Out’ series. As the parent of a child who suffers with anxiety, it was comforting to chat to Kim from Rainbow Light Therapies to get a better understanding of how we can help our children process the plethora of information we’re faced with right now, without overwhelming them.

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I know how fantastic Kim’s work is, as my own family have worked with her, and have had great success through her gentle and effective guidance. I trust Kim implicitly to give us all the best information when it comes to helping our children, so here it is.

Kim – Rainbow Light Therapies

Firstly, how are you feeling Kim, and how do you manage your emotions in the face of this unprecedented pandemic?

I am actually grieving at the moment. Grieving for a holiday that was 12 months in the planning and will now be cancelled. We were scheduled to go to Italy for 3.5 weeks in June/July this year.
Whilst grieving for that holiday I am trying to focus on ‘the good’ that may come out of this and to practise ‘gratitude’ wherever I can.  Hopefully we will see a huge shift in humanity and, a shift that will bring us back to ‘us’ and ‘we’ rather than the ‘me’ mentality we seem to be in.
Managing emotions is tough, if like me, you are empathic, counselling people and are bombarded with Corona Virus news wherever you look.

TURN OFF SOCIAL MEDIA.  Set strict boundaries and stick to them- Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

How can we talk to our children about Covid-19 in the right way?

Talking to our children about Covid-19 is a personal thing.  It’s like telling the kids the truth about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.  It can be very individual.  My advice is to keep it simple and factual.  Kids have fantastic ‘bullshit monitors’ and will know when you are sidestepping or trying to cover up the truth.  Tell them the facts in age appropriate language that they understand and then ask them questions.  Test that they have understood what you have told them.

Do you think there should be a limit to what we are telling them? 

I cannot reiterate enough that we need to tell the truth.  Don’t tell them it is just the flu OR that it is not even as bad as the flu.  What do you think is going to happen next winter when you the parent end up with the flu and your child remembers all those people dying last year from Covid-19?  Dying from a virus that was the ‘flu’ or not even as bad as the flu?

I am passionate about working with children and families to heal, empower and inspire them to manage their stress and anxiety in a natural, holistic way – Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

Kim Norton

Do you have any great resources you can recommend for parents who need a hand with calming children who are feeling worried at the moment?

Here is a list of free resources that I have written and produced to help our anxious kids and teens.

Articles for Parents to Read

Top 9 Stress Busters for Kids and Teens
https://rainbowlighttherapies.com.au/top-9-stress-busters-…/

More Stress Busters for Kids and Teens
https://rainbowlighttherapies.com.au/more-stress-busters-f…/

5 Tips for a Calmer Sleep
https://kiddipedia.com.au/5-tips-for-a-calmer-sleep/

Article for Teens and Adults to Read

Just Breathe (Breathing Techniques for Kids, Teens and Adults)
https://kiddipedia.com.au/just-breathe/

Managing Teen Angst (A Guide for Teens and Parents)
https://rainbowlighttherapies.com.au/managing-teen-angst-a…/

Meditations for Kids

Secret Garden Meditation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFdk3OFRA60&t=100s

Happy Place Meditation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGBkPC_Gt1E&t=432s

Meditations for Kids, Teens and Adults

Progressive Muscle Relaxation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ogoK18lnBA&t=3s

One Minute Meditation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IRaKHc8azs&t=79s

I also suggest Cosmic Kids Yoga for yoga stories and meditations.
https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

Jason Stephenson has some wonderful kids meditations also.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDmAYm1rH8TZpwHyiav8npnsSmkHcwSCw

 

Obviously some children will feel worried about the pandemic, however when would you recommend that parents seek further help for their child? What signs should they be keeping an eye out for?

It’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in behaviour eg: onset of nail biting, more frequent stomach aches and/or headaches, trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, angry outbursts, withdrawal from the family, loss of confidence, negative talking etc.  Just to name a few.Keep the lines of communication open, ask open-ended questions (questions that require more than a one word response). If you feel you need help then get it. The strategies I outline really do work – I have a son with autism and high anxiety and they work on him.

Kim bench jacket-min reduced-min.jpg

I am working online at this time providing counselling for kids, teens and adults as are a lot of other folk.  I am also running “Parenting Strategy” sessions online -Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

What can parents do to better manage their emotions and therefore help stop their children’s feelings escalating?

Monkey see Monkey do!  Your kids will emulate exactly what you do.  Parents need to set a good example.  Set healthy boundaries like turning off social media.  Don’t watch the news coverage 24hours per day.  Exercise.  Eat well.  Keep to a routine.  Even just a basic routine will help as we all suffer less anxiety when we know what is going to happen next, so, set up a daily planner and stick to it (allowing for fun time, downtime and blocks of time for things to go pear shaped).

Stay home BUT stay connected.  Get the kids to show you how to do a group chat online via Skype or Zoom so that you can “see” your tribe and stay connected.  Think outside the box.  Setup games nights, birthday parties and other celebrations via online methods.  Research shows that connection lowers stress, anxiety and depression – Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

Kim is working online at the moment. She offers a range of services including Kids and Teens Group and Individual Managing Anxiety Sessions, Kids, Teens and Adults Reiki Workshops and Intuitive Healings, Kids, Teens and Adults Spiritual Development Workshops and Individual and Family Counselling Sessions for the whole family.

You can get in touch with Kim by emailing her – kim@rainbowlighttherapies.com.au

You can check out more from Kim via her website, and by finding her on InstagramFacebook & YouTube


 

Thank You!

Whilst many, many small businesses are letting go of staff, and popping the ‘closed’ sign on the door for the last time, thousands more are trying their absolute best not to become a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic. That is why it is crucially important that we all make sure we are researching before buying and making a real point of ‘shopping small’. By sharing these posts you are sharing this small business with your friends and you are creating a chain of exposure for each and every business we feature. Imagine the difference you could make, just with the click of a button!!

Who can you support next?

Liv xx

 

Small Biz Shout Out #3 -Elly VValler Design

Elly vvaller Mother & Baby Cards.jpg
I am so excited to introduce you all to Elly Vvaller. Elly is not only a beautiful person, she is also the creator of some insanely gorgeous hand printed paper goods! Yes that says hand printed!!!
I had a good chat with Elly and asked her to share her story, so that you could all be encouraged to reach out and support her.

Elly – Elly VValler Design

I’ve been running my own business since 2015.  I started whilst on maternity leave, got my first big retailer early on and the rest followed!
Originally from the UK, I’m now based in Sweden where I run the business from my peaceful home studio.
Elly_Studio_L
I have always been creative and am an illustrator at heart. For that reason, when I started my business I decided to specialise in beautiful hand foiled greetings cards and prints. I sell these worldwide via wholesale and through Etsy for those of you who love putting pen to paper or wrapping gifts in delightful designs.
The current climate means that I’m having to be a little more creative in how I work and what I’m producing. I’ve found my new print at home files  are doing well and I’m hoping to offer a bespoke service where I ship products direct with a personal message.  Fingers crossed!
ELLY VVALLER_Greetings_Card_Hello_Sunshine
As a small business owner, I’m continuously looking at working harder on my social presence.  I feel that it’s so important my customers know who’s behind the brand and understand that there’s more to me than my stationery.  I am currently working on a brand new website that combines my love for vintage, styling and illustration, so watch this space!
Collaborations are at the top of my list!  Do get in touch if you have a great idea! 
ELLY VVALLER  Feels_High_Res.jpg
At times like this we all need to remember we’re in this together!  It’s unthinkable that every single person and business is affected by Covid 19 no matter how big or small they are.  I truly hope we can learn to see the positive take aways from this situation we find ourselves in. I’m hoping that over time we relearn the joy of snail mail, slowing down and most importantly, staying in touch.  Writing is our historical archive and we don’t want to lose it in a time when text and zoom is king.
I am lucky in that I haven’t had to make too many changes to my way of working because of the pandemic. However, I have made it my goal to create more of a presence on social media to really reach my customers and show them who I am and what I am creating. I’d love for you to reach out and find me, see my work, like what I do, and purchase something that may brighten someone’s day just at the right time.
Elly xx 
If you would like to get in touch with Elly regarding wholesale or purchasing something to make someone smile, please email her directly at @ellyvvallerdesign@gmail.com     or you can reach out to her through Instagram 

Thank You!

Whilst many, many small businesses are letting go of staff, and popping the ‘closed’ sign on the door for the last time, thousands more are trying their absolute best not to become a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic. That is why it is crucially important that we all make sure we are researching before buying and making a real point of ‘shopping small’. By sharing these posts you are sharing this small business with your friends and you are creating a chain of exposure for each and every business we feature. Imagine the difference you could make, just with the click of a button!!

Who can you support next?

Liv xx