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Archive for May, 2011

Since having a baby my environmental commitments have been mildly compromised. I use modern cloth nappies, but disposable at night, biodegradable wipes, but not flushable and an endless stream to washing powder, sorry about the water but it contains no phosphate. I like to consider myself an environmentalist and have been more fussy with products containing petro-chemicals, parabens and sulphates since reading an article about the adverse affects in children (especially boys – could explain a few male character flaws).

Visiting my Mum in Sydney always exposes me to a completely different world of kids, families, consumer products and trendy new labels. I recently discovered the most amazing, convenient and environmentally friendly KEEPCUP! If your anything like me, a coffee, chai or hot chocolate can make the world of difference to ones mental health. Take away coffee cups are hot to hold, dangerous around children and unsteady. The KeepCup is the perfect solution! Its is made of BPA free, non toxic plastic that is reusable and not clunky like the old aluminum thermos cups. The lid closes nice and tight with a rubber seal over the spout. The cup keeps your drink warm for a long time – enough time to change a nappy, hang out the washing, settle a crying baby and confirm your appointment at the dentist. I have accidently knocked my KeepCup plenty of times and the lid has remained securely fastened with no spills! A fabulous invention and an added bonus ……manufactured in Australia!

Keep Cups come in a wonderful array of colours and two main sizes – Medium ($14.95) and Large ($16.95). Go for the large as you can always put a smaller coffee in it on days you’re caffeine conscious or a large long black with sugar when sleep deprivation has kicked in!

Learning what take away cups are made from has really sold me on Keep Cups! Check this out:
“The paper cup is made from a composite of materials: kraft bleached paper sprayed with a polyethylene coating. Paper cups are often impregnated with toxic dyes which make them difficult to recycle. The plastic lining in disposable paper cups means they are not recyclable. Biodegradation of a paper cup can take 50 years or more. It’s not just the cup and lid that go into landfill. On average, each disposable cup contains 5% of the raw materials involved in the process of making and delivering it. Small acts can make a big difference – for better and for worse. The environmental impact of all single use items is great. Through good design and a little effort we can easily incorporate reuse into our daily routine.

environmental concern, recycle, keep cup, coffee, take away cup

We are all looking to lighten our load on this earth with minimal impact to lifestyle and luxury. The KeepCup is a no brainer – there is enough plastic in 28 disposable cups and lids to make one KeepCup.” From Keepcup.com
A further discovery this week – WotNot. WotNot is a small business located in Sydney who have started a natural organic label for bubs and adults that contains “100% what’s good,0% what’s not”. Their products are free from sulphates, petrochemicals, parabens, caustics, glycols and artificial fragrances and preservatives. I have purchases their baby wash and love it. Smells great and cleans well. Campbell has sensitive skin and hates having his hair washed. The all in one baby wash is wonderful! I splurged and tried their baby lotion (again excellent) and 30+ spf suncream. The suncream is zinc based with aloe vera and vitamin e. A really nice blend that doesn’t leaving a sticky residue or a suncream sheen on your skin. Safe for kids and not tested on animals.

Happy cup hunting!
Louise xx

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Mitchell Falls

Mitchell Falls

A few years ago we were lucky enough to take the whole family to the Mitchell Plateau for a few days of exploration and discovery. My parents were visiting at the time and came along for the adventure (and made my holiday a whole lot easier with the extra helping hands). Depending on the condition of the road (half the Gibb River Road then north along the majority of the Kalumburu Road) the trip from Kununurra can take anywhere between 10 – 14 driving hours. We therefore left around lunch time and got as far as Drysdale River Station for the first night, then continued onto the Mitchell River National Park Camping Ground the next day. I’m happy to say that the corrugations were so bad that the car CD player couldn’t cope and we were spared two days of solid Patsy Biscoe.
hiking with kids, kimberley region, camping, outback travel, waterfalls, remote wa, kununurra

After a rest day to get over the lingering effects of the bumpy drive, we set off to walk from the campground to the top of the Mitchell Falls – some 3km over varying terrain and a fair few creeks. My husband backpacked the toddler, whilst the then 3yo surprised everyone by scrambling at least ¾ of the way under her own steam. The only time I had to carry her was when we reached a flat stretch of a few hundred metres that she was too bored to walk herself!!

Kimberley, western australia, remote, waterfalls, kununurra

Mum took an unexpected dip in the first creek we had to cross (oops) and the final crossing to get to the cliffs on top of the Falls was thigh deep, but because we were careful and slow, the rest of the climbing and water crossings were relatively easy. Whilst time-poor tourists will tell you that it is possible to walk to the Falls and back in under three hours, we took our time, stopping regularly for food and drink breaks, and savouring the spectacular scenery at every opportunity. We also made sure we took all the small detours into rock art sites to fully appreciate the history and importance of the area.

We started the walk fairly early in the day to beat the afternoon heat, and took about 3 ½ hours to reach the Falls. This left us with about half an hour to take photos of the Falls and surrounds, and wait for our lift back again. We were very spoilt by Mum and Dad who, as a thank you for letting them ‘tag along’, paid for us all to return to base by pre-booked Slingair helicopter! A little reassurance of the toddler was required (mainly due to the noise of the chopper) but everyone had a sensational trip back. It was such a wonderful way to finish the day and we couldn’t recommend the chopper trip highly enough.

bradshaw rock art, kimberley wa, aboriginal rock art, Gwion Gwion

rock art, outback wa, travel kimberley

We spent a few more days exploring Surveyors Pool, other waterholes and rock art sites around the area – which are plentiful and some particularly easy to get to. The majority of the art is of the ‘Bradshaw’ variety, locally known as “Gwion Gwion”, which always makes me question the existence of extra-terrestrials . . . very unique, very strange. We then crammed back into the car for a big day on the road which got us as far as Home Valley Station for a very special stay . . . but that’s another story!

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Children are naturally curious and inquisitive. This is how they learn about the things around them. They play with their hands, they love color, and they love music. I bet that many, if not all, parents have caught their kids writing on the walls of their house, or coloring the floor with crayons or paint. It just goes to show that kids like to explore and discover things around them.

Allowing your kids to get involved in art and creative play is a great way to foster their ability to communicate and express themselves better. Through art children learn to take pride in their creations and accomplishments, especially when they show their masterpiece to you and you smile proudly. This makes them feel good about themselves and what they can do, and encourages them to do more.

Not only that, children who do art learn to identify colors, shapes, hand-eye coordination, problem solving, and the values of sharing, cooperation, and patience. It also allows children to learn from their mistakes and want to do better in their next art project. Creative thinking, encouraged by art, increases attention and focus, which are very important values for school children.

For parents, it is not only important that you encourage your children to express themselves through art, but also to ensure their safety when creating their masterpieces. You need to make sure that your kids use only non-toxic coloring materials such as those made from beeswax and natural pigments like Honey Sticks Natural Beeswax Crayon from Moo Woo. This guarantees that even if your little kids chew on the crayons, you won’t have to worry about any harmful effects. Not only that, but it is far easier to remove from the walls and furniture!

The unique chubby shape of Honey Sticks makes them easier for small hands to hold but much more difficult for small hands to break! Honey Sticks co-founder Kylie Potton, has “tested these at preschool and the kids tried to break them but they just can’t, and they love the smell!”

Let your child be the artist he or she wants to be and relax knowing that their crayons are perfectly safe to use and even safe to chew on.

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You’ve always wanted a designer look for your home, but somehow can’t find the time or the inspiration to do it. That’s probably because you think that it’s hard to achieve a designer look for your space on a limited time or budget. However, you don’t always need to redecorate the whole space to make it look brand new. A few designer accessories and key pieces will do the trick.

But before embarking on a redecorating project, you might want to take a few designer tips from the experts for affordable redecorating.

Find inspiration from design magazines or by going to Moo Woo to capture the look you are trying to get for your space. Picking items from the same store also makes it easier for you to coordinate the colours and theme of your design.

Another tip is to group items in odd numbers. This might seem too simplistic to have any effect on a room but the explanation here is simple: the eyes see odd numbers as aesthetically pleasing than even numbers. It can be said that the “rules of odd” in composition is also applicable to the design field as well. You can imagine the fun effect you might get from grouping a few items like the Splosh Text Speak cutouts!

text speak, splosh

Create affordable drama in your space by changing a few key items in the room. One of the easiest things you can do is re-painting your walls. Changing the boring colours of your room to something more vibrant creates that instant drama. You can also try adding a splash of colour by adding a designer quilt as a throw. The Frangipani quilt is vivid and exciting in colour and would be a stylish focal point of your room.

frangipani, quilt

Inject personality with a few quirky items on display. Something unusual like Shaggy the Dog is bound to be a talking point, too.

kelly lane, decorating tips

Great designers often ignore the rules as they test out new ideas so don’t feel restricted by what anyone else says. Try something and see if you like it. It’s your world that you are decorating, after all.

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