Quick Malaysian Curry- Perfect winter supper

Weekends are all about food in our house. We plan our weekend feasts well in advance so we know we have something delicious to look forward to. Thankfully Tim is a keen cook, so I can sit back, keep the wine flowing and leave him to cook up a storm for the team. This weekend he blew me away with this Quick Malaysian Curry so I just had to share it with you. Enjoy! xx


Quick Malaysian Curry

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of Murray River Organics virgin coconut oil.

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, grated

Thumb sized piece of ginger, grated

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 tsp dried coriander

1 tsp dried turmeric

1 tsp dried fennel

1 tsp dried hot paprika

1 cardamom pod

1 tsp cinnamon

3 cloves

1 star anise

500 mls of organic coconut milk

2 cups of organic green beans

2 organic chicken breast fillets (500g) or Tofu for a plant based option, cut into 1cm strips

1 cup toasted organic cashews

Cracked black pepper, to serve

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Method

  1. Heat the coconut oil in large shallow pan over high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Keep the pan on the heat, and add spices to toast gently. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 4–5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the chicken into the pan with the softened onion, and coat with the spices.
  4. Add the coconut milk and green beans and simmer gently.
  5. In a small pan, toast the cashews until golden.
  6. Remove the Malaysian curry from heat, place into bowls and scatter the toasted cashews on the top.

Enjoy xx

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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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Simone Marshall-Motivating women with YOGi Active

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YOGi Active may be the new kid on the block, however Director Simone has big plans for this beautiful brand designed to inspire, empower and motivate all women to be more active and live a healthier lifestyle. I need all the help I can get and am all over this. Minimalist and stylish activewear that can be worn all day is right up my street and I cannot wait to kit myself and my tween out! I caught up with Simone, the creator of YOGi Active this week and had a chat about how YOGi was born.
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Simone Marshall – YOGi Active

Simone Marshall

Hi Simone, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Simone Marshall and I am the proud mother of 3 teenage (1, actually a tween!) girls. I am an active, healthy 48 year old. I’ve always wanted to be a strong role model for my girls by living a well- balanced, active lifestyle. For me this involves eating well, regular exercise, balancing work (as best I can) and taking time out whenever possible. 

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My inspiration for starting YOGi was my teenage girls. 2 of my daughters are only a year apart but have very different body types. One is an elite athlete with a very petite frame, who found it impossible to buy the activewear and clothes that her peers were wearing. My other daughter is more inspired by fashion and therefore looking and feeling good in her activewear is very important to her. Hence YOGi was born.
Delivering performance infused with fashion, our collection blends flawlessly into any wardrobe – Simone Marshall – Director

Has YOGi Active been impacted this year with more people training and staying at home?

We postponed our launch due to COVID. We felt it was insensitive and wanted to wait until things settled down a little.
Thankfully, training at home hasn’t stopped people from buying activewear, and they’re continuing to look for options that make them feel & look great!
We create ready to wear garments that are made to last – Simone Marshall -Director

I am not your average size 10. In fact I am the proud owner of a chunkier thigh and a *much rounder bottom. Will I be able to wear the gorgeous YOGi Active collection?

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Yes you will! Our sizing starts at size XXS (12yrs) – L (size 14+). Our collections are available in matching sets and our separates are all trans-seasonal; this means that here at YOGi we will always ensure to bring our customer the most comfortable yet versatile pieces, ensuring that they can effortlessly transition from workout to everyday wear.

I love that YOGi Active is designed in Australia,  can you tell us why that was so important to you?

That’s simple. Because I am Australian, I live in Australia and I am the designer!

YOGi Active is still fairly young isn’t it? What is one thing that you have learnt since starting the journey?

Believing in your dreams and hard work can pay off. I think it has been such a great lesson for my daughters to see me working in every area of the business. They see my passion, they see me tired, sometimes stressed, but most importantly they see the times of sheer elation, the times where I feel really proud of my achievements.
I will always support their ambitions.
Delivering performance infused with fashion, our collection blends flawlessly into any wardrobe – Simone Marshall – Director

What would be your one bit of business advice to someone out there with a fab idea?

Mia Freedman runs the Lady Startup business course. I would have loved to have done it but I was too far down the line by the time I found out about it.
I think the one thing I would advise if you are looking to turn your idea into reality is to make sure you surround yourself with a great team of people.

YOGi Active

 

 

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Rollin’ with Georgia from How We Roll Co

I grabbed a cuppa with Georgia this week, the brains behind How We Roll Co. How We Roll Co. is the marvellous eco friendly biz selling tree free & plastic free alternatives to supermarket household products, currently taking Australia & the US by storm! I particularly love that HWR are paying it forward every time we shop, by planting trees in bushfire devastated areas within Australia…. oh, and that they have enabled dog mamas like me buy my tree free TP and my 100% biodegradable and compostable dog poop bags in just a few clicks. #winningatlife

Introducing Georgia

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and what it was that inspired you to create How we Roll? 

Heya 👋 My name is Georgia and I’m the founder of How We Roll Co. I’m also a crazy dog person much like yourself and spending time with my two boys – Twister and Mac is my fave thing to do – when i’m not selling TP of course! I’m originally from Adelaide and have a background in ecommerce and fashion – so being in the TP game is a little how-we-roll-recycleddifferent for me but part of a bigger sustainable picture I have in the works.  How We Roll came about as the first of a few brands I plan on rolling (pun definitely intended) out over the next 18 months – each with a sustainable focus and charitable aspect. Although the launch of How We Roll may seem timely with toilet paper being the hottest product of 2020 it was well in the works before Covid hit and the team and I are in this for the long term – hoping to create small sustainable changes in everyday lives.

Does being in the toilet paper biz mean 2020 has been a good year for you?
Haha I mean as far as starting businesses go it wasn’t a bad product to be launching! We do like to think of How We Roll as a long term choice for people in making those small changes into their everyday lifestyle. Since launch we have also rolled out compostable bin liners and biodegradable ‘dogo bogo bags’ to make sure your furry friends are also covered!
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We have recently rescued a beagle and I am head over heels. I have officially become one of those “dog people”. The fact that I can add eco friendly dog poop bags to my order got me over the line. Have your extras been popular?
Yes they have! Which has been great – we are even launching a cheeky new product in a few months which we are super excited about! I think people love the convenience of being able to purchase a few items from the one store – and having the option to receive these items on a monthly basis via subscription! This means people can spend less time at the supermarket trying to find eco alternatives and more time doing the things they love.
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I love that HWR is super eco friendly and environmentally aware. Can you tell us a little bit about your partnership with One Tree Planted and why you chose them.
We wanted to partner with a charity that aligned with our brand – seeing people are saving trees not wiping with them when people use How We Roll it seemed like the perfect fit. Along side of this the fact we can plant trees in bushfire impact regions of Australia is amazing! HWR-colour0270
What is one thing that you have learnt since starting How We Roll?
That customers really do care about the impact on the environment in regards to what products they use. It’s great to have been able to chat to customers with the same passion as us!
What would be your one bit of business advice to someone out there with a fab idea?
Go for it! However also be realistic – business is super competitive these days – find your edge and stick to it and grow that. Make sure you do your research especially when it comes to eco friendly products as customers really do care and want to know

 

Wanna know how you can roll?

Follow the links to explore, shop and be a ‘better’ human!

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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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Liptember- Perk up your pout and help out!

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You’ll know by now that I am an avid supporter when it comes to mental health awareness. I have shared my journey through parenting a child with severe anxiety and PTSD, a journey that has opened my eyes to what support is available and what isn’t. Hence why I am taking part in Liptember 2020!  Even if I’m still stuck at home, with biscuit crumbs in my hair, dog tired of remote learning, I’ll be doing the whole of September in my brightest lippy to raise much needed funds for mental health charities!!! 

What is Liptember?

Liptember, if you haven’t heard, is a campaign dedicated to raising funds and awareness for women’s mental health, harnessing the true potential of the collective, encouraging and inspiring people to listen, share, and learn.

Helping start the conversation off by popping a little colour on; individuals are encouraged to register online and seek sponsorship from family, friends and co-workers for committing to wear lippy throughout September.

Funds raised during the month of September are donated to the Centre for Women’s Mental Health, Lifeline, Batyr, The Jean Hailes Foundation, The Pretty Foundation and The Magpie Nest Women’s Program.

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It’s so easy for you and your gals to get involved in Liptember. All you need to do is, decide whether you’re going to smash this as a team or go it alone and take all the glory! Then you need to register, commit to wearing a fabulous bold lippy for a day, a week or even the whole month of September (**Yes you can) and show your support to women who need it most!

Become a part of our community and help raise funds to positively impact women’s mental health across Australia- Liptember

It’s as easy as this:

lipsPurchase a Liptember lipstick from any Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist or My Beauty Spot store.

lipsRegister online and start fundraising to add to the $2million already raised.

lipsRock your lippy throughout September! **Wooohoooo!! (As if we need to be asked more than once!)

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So grab your gal pals, create your plan, buy some of the most insanely gorgeous lippy you can get your hands on and support women’s mental health!

There are some great ‘Fundraising Resources’ here!

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You can follow my journey this September by clicking onto my socials. If you’re a kind soul you can also support my Liptember fundraising here!

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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

 

What I would have given for this – EveryHuman Adaptive Fashion

What I would have given for this when I really needed it!!

When I was 24 I woke up completely numb from the neck down. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t use the bathroom without help, I couldn’t wash or even hold anything. I could barely move. I was rushed into hospital and diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis. It took me about 8 years to regain any sense of my old life, I was one of the lucky ones. Honestly, I had never given disability much thought, but since that fateful day, I have become acutely aware of the struggles many people are living with every single day. I vividly remember how utterly vulnerable I felt as I sat there, unable to do anything for myself.  For many people living with chronic illness and disability, getting dressed is one of the many tasks that can seem like a colossal mountain climb. I cried tears of sheer frustration trying to do buttons up, and remember screaming out loud because I couldn’t grasp a zipper or put shoes on my feet. I would fall asleep from the exhaustion of even trying.

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Poppy always kept me going

In fact, I gave up on all my ‘nice clothes’ in the end and lived in pj’s and trackies. When I heard Matthew Skerrit the founder of EveryHuman had created an incredible range of adaptive fashion giving independence to millions of Australians and New Zealanders living with chronic illness & disability, I just had to tell you about it. What I would have given for this when I really needed it!!


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More than 4 million Australians live with a disability, however to date, the disabled community has been largely ignored by the fashion industry. EveryHuman is here to change the world of adaptive fashion as AU/NZ’s first curated online platform for adaptive lifestyle-driven clothing and footwear.Everyhuman SS -1507_RGB_300

EveryHuman has been created with the mission to empower people to independently create their identity and allow every human access to high-quality, stylish, and easy-to-use clothing. Featuring ten of the best global brands that are leading the charge on adaptive fashion, EveryHuman makes it easier than ever before to find adaptive clothing that is both wearable and stylish. 

 “Imagine a wheelchair user who can now wear a pair of jeans or a trendy pair of high-top sneakers they love, rather than having to wear a pair of ‘trackies’ because it’s easy and comfortable.”

Everyhuman SS -1722_RGB_300The desire to effect social change is built into the DNA of EveryHuman. As part of their ‘Social Impact’ initiative, EveryHuman has partnered with three causes aligned to the brand that aim to break down down the barriers in the disability space. Consumers can purchase one of three t-shirt designs with 100% of profits benefiting their chosen cause. Further to this, EveryHuman is committed to employing those with disabilities to fulfil 100% of orders in 2020. 

The initiative embodies everything that is EveryHuman – bold, thoughtful, and actively creating positive social change through business. 

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Identifying the unmet demand for styles that are fashion-forward as well as functional, EveryHuman Founder Matthew Skerrit and his team searched far and wide to curate the best adaptive fashion to ensure that the 1 in 5 Australians with disabilities have the same access to high-quality, long-lasting, and stylish adaptive clothing. 

Our clothes are designed by people who have also faced the challenge of finding, using and loving clothing that works for them. This is the first AU/NZ site that offers fashion forward adaptive clothing… Getting changed should be a happy and stress-free process. Our mission is to allow people with disabilities to feel and look amazing in stylish clothes just like every other human.” – Matthew Skerrit

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With a strong team of bold and inspiring brand ambassadors, EveryHuman has already begun to make an impact in the lives of Australians and New Zealanders affected by disability, empowering individuals to create their own identity, own their independence and express themselves in ways they could never before. 


 

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Join EveryHuman in their mission to get the fashion industry to adopt a “universal” mindset when designing and producing their clothes and footwear. 

Australians and New Zealanders can already shop at www.everyhuman.com.au– the home of adaptive fashions including; AFO friendly shoes, clothing with magnetic closures, clothing designed for the seated position, adaptive intimates, and post-surgery clothing. Check out their brand new Lip Readers Face Masks here!

By following the EveryHuman socials, sharing their pages, and talking about disability with your family, you will help make a difference to people living with chronic illness & disability. 

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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 

 

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

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

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

 


Liv’s Lockdown Learnings

Remote LearningIMG_4438

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

Staying Home, Staying Safe

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

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Working from home

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

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

Meal times

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

Being nice

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

So, what have I learnt?

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

 

 

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

IMG_7440Liv xx

 

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