Author Archive

Death is Nothing

Written by admin on April 30th, 2011. Posted in Fave Quotes


I am in the Next Room

“Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used …. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you … for an interval … somewhere near, just around the corner. All is well.”

- Canon Henry Scott Holland

Katerina Contreras, Sydney (Partnered with her beautiful soul mate contemplating the selfless act of adoption)

Written by admin on April 28th, 2011. Posted in Yummy Mummies Say

This is the blog, the third ‘child’ of a great friend of mine, Janet, the mother of two pockets of sunshine, identical twins! Great advice, thoughts and ideas for mums & mums-to-be.  Love your work JK – you are a Wondermumma! And thanks to you Tasmania is now penned on the must-do list!

Katerina Contreras, Sydney

I’m Aching for….

Written by admin on April 27th, 2011. Posted in Fun Stuff

an open fireplace and a good bottle of red right now….

Like me are you sitting somewhere quietly listening to the Autumn rain wishing for it to be Friday with a flight itinerary in your hand and a good babysitter booked ready to rock & roll on an AO vacation? However in reality it’s Wednesday and the kids are finally in bed after kicking up a stink flopping themselves on the floor before you, biting their toothbrush in protest and kicking you in the guts while you’re trying to dress them appropriately for the miserable cold night that will soon fill the house. You’ve collapsed on the couch barely finding the strength to have a meaningful conversation with your partner when you realise now’s the time to pick up the phone to your grandparents, girlfriend, sister WHOEVER to beg, bribe or steal a weekend away to be ravenously human again!

For those who manage to swing it, here’s a travel tip for the weary parents who love fresh air, great food, beautiful Pinot and reconnecting with nature – Freycinet Lodge in Tasmania via Hobart serves the most amazing seafood I’ve laid my lips on (growing up in The Whitsundays, I know great seafood!) and lovely wine all alongside the most earthly of human needs: a 2 storey open fireplace! Ohhhhh I can still feel the warmth. Or that may have been the warm rush of the heady port… NO. Definitely the two storey fireplace. The wide decking embracing the restaurant reaches out across the majestic views of Great Oyster Bay where the sunsets will melt your worries away and the jetty takes you off into another land…little Johnny who?

Freycinet Lodge from the Jetty

For the affluent desiring a more contemporary abode, Saffire should easily satisfy your senses.

Suite at Saffire



For a splash of outdoor therapy, both are within easy reach of the famous Wineglass Bay bushwalk (voted one of 10 best remote beaches on Earth) you can walk along the most varied and amazing scenery I’ve ever encountered on a 3 hour walk. Be sure to pack a bottle of your favourite ‘something’ in your backpack for the finale at the lookout over Wineglass Bay, or if you don’t fancy carrying it that far and you hear desperate pleas of “drink me!” coming from your bag, at the beach of Wineglass Bay. (That’s taking the walk in reverse as suggested by a lovely local at one of the vineyards).

In short, Tasmania is certainly on my list of things to re-do before I die. It was the beautiful randomness of a blank postcard from Wineglass Bay blowing onto my beach towel in Bronte on a windy day 5 years ago that led me there. But my nose will take me back. Let this be your e-card blowing across your lap. Freycinet needs to be on your bucket list.

With warm licks from the fireplace and an earthy smile of satisfaction, I’ve just taken a “virtual” holiday AND I LIKE IT! More stories like this to come no doubt… the way…..I did find a good bottle of red.


PS: This article on Tasmania comes with a warning – You’ll never want to leave.

Stacy Griffiths, Nhulunbuy (Yummy Mummy of 2)

Written by admin on April 24th, 2011. Posted in Yummy Mummies Say

This blog is written by a friend of mine from high school and she hits the nail on the head many times over. It is extremely well researched, she’s made the common mistakes and knows the effort of trying to get back to the ‘norm’, and she’s funny too! When you are having a shocker of a day or wanting to avoid those days in the future then this is perfect for you.

Keep on writing as long as you can please!!! I had a morning tea here on Wednesday and I told 7+ girls about it! I also told a girlfriend due with her 2nd bub who is getting new carpet in the bubba’s room about the importance of airing out the chemicals etc. I don’t know how you find the time but… do as long as you can please Janet!

Stacy Griffiths, Nhulunbuy (Yummy Mummy of 2)

Current ACCC Recall Notices

Written by admin on April 17th, 2011. Posted in Healthy Home

Make checking this site a regular habit

Keep up to speed with safety recall notices from the ACCC. Have you got any of these in your home?

Concerns Researched on Your Behalf

Written by admin on April 17th, 2011. Posted in Suggestion Box

Something bothering you you'd like to know more about?

Take a second out of your busy day to ponder this.

Has something been nagging you in the back of your mind? Thoughts of “I wonder if this detergent is safe?” “What’s actually in my baby’s shampoo/conditioner/soap/bath oil?” “What’s that yuk odour from my baby’s new shoes?” “That new chest of drawers has a weird smell” “My kid sucked the paint off the beak of his bath duck, is that dangerous?”…

Email me at and have your concerns delved into and an article written especially for you without burning a minute of your own time!

As a new mum with a passion for researching health concerns and finding better alternatives, I’m very happy to help others enjoy a healthy home and family. Time is short in our modern lives and those nagging feelings that go un-actioned could prove costly to your family’s health.

Current ideas for upcoming articles:

  • “Healthy Home” – Bug Killers in our Homes: Are they necessary? Are the so-called “natural” ingredients any safer?
  • “Healthy Home” – REAL Natural Flooring Alternatives. (And no, it’s not sand! Although there was that amazing bar in Fiji…)
  • “Nursery & Baby Equipment” – SAY NO THANKS to those cheap gifts from China.
  • “Nursery & Baby Equipment” – Lead and other Elements in Toys.
  • “Boobs & Bottles” – Trouble breastfeeding? Get in touch with a Milk Bank.
  • “Boobs & Bottles” – Breastfeeding a baby with bad indigestion? Foods we found caused our babies grief.
  • “Learning” – Links to Free baby/toddler learning videos (Alphabet, Counting, Sight Words, Music, Colours)


We are not human beings…

Written by admin on April 16th, 2011. Posted in Fave Quotes

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

- French philosopher-priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Bedtime Secrets – Toddlers

Written by admin on April 15th, 2011. Posted in Sleep Challenges

Beating the Bedtime Blues

Our twin girls are now 22 months old and I’m happy to say have a pretty broad vocabulary. I’m happy because they have a greater understanding of what we’re telling them and grasp positive perspectives far more easily, which comes in handy at the nightly emotional separation of bed time.

When you put children in their cots at night they may fret as they feel the routine of the day draw to a close. Here’s what I’ve found helps our girls push past the separation anxiety. After giving them their cuddle blanket and teddies saying “Here’s your teddies. They’ve been waiting for you! Tell them what you did today.” I make up a voice for the bear saying “I heard you went on a slippery slide today. And walked to the mailbox and watched Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom. Did you have fun today? Tell me more.” And they start yakking away to teddy. I believe that way they don’t feel they’re being left in their cot alone. They have someone to talk with till they nod off. If you just hand them their bear they have to use their own imagination to open a dialogue and at that time of night they’re very tired and it won’t come too easily. They’ll then get frustrated or panicky that you’re about to leave and the waterworks begin.

After teddies and kisses goodnight I walk the room picking up the bath towels and their day clothes and straighten up the curtains, adjust our windows and then pick up their bottles to leave. They know this routine and they enjoy me walking around their room before I go. I think they feel safer because I’ve gone to every corner of the room and our adjoining room before leaving. In the dark I suppose it feels like I’ve checked and secured everything for them. I believe this an important part of a successful (ie. no panic crying) bedtime.

Up until about a month ago I’d sing a little made-up ditty to the tune of the Big Ben chime “sleepy time, sleepy time. Time for a sleepy time” repetitively as I walked the room preparing to leave and they even started singing along to this song. Lately though I noticed they started to dislike it and whined when I started singing, so I made adjustments. They now find great comfort in these words said slowly a couple of times in a soothing voice before I leave “Mummy’s here. Daddy’s here. It’s allllllllright”. I asked my other half to also say it to them when he kisses them goodnight to affirm it.

The most beautiful part of this new method of calming was being downstairs one night and hearing them say to themselves, “Mummy’s here, Daddy’s here. It’s allllllllright. There, there“. Especially Leila who is a little more emotional (read ‘sooky’ between the lines) having this as a self-consoling tool and settling herself down in the knowledge that beyond their dark room mummy & daddy are here, is invaluable. There’s rarely a sooky tantrum these days.

If you can arm your older toddlers with the ability to settle themselves with an “Affirmation Statement” like this one they’ll be far more relaxed because even though you’re not the room, they know you’re here for them. You’ve told them so.

To cement this knowledge as truth I use it during the daytime when the girls get scared of something (say a noisy truck outside). I used to use a logical approach repeating “We’re ‘inside’. The truck is ‘outside’. It’s alllllright” and did so for a long time but found they still ran and cowered somewhere that felt ‘safe’. (Of course, I’d already taught them the difference between outside and inside or this would have been a foolish attempt).

It wasn’t until I thought more about it and said to them soothingly “Mummy’s here. Daddy’s here. It’s allllright” that it sunk in with them there’s nothing to be afraid of. Mummy & Daddy are our protectors and if they’re calm, we’re calm. I learned that day that logical explanations, simple as they are, don’t work on kids. Emotional affirmation works on kids! Now when they hear a noise they look over at me and say ‘bye truck’ (almost as if they’re telling it to leave) although now and then they do squat down where they are and look to me to see what my face is telling them. I ensure it’s always calmly acknowledging the sound, naming it: truck/plane/helicopter/motorbike, and their concerns, with the same verbal response. When they feel you are connected and responsive to their emotional situation they’re much more likely to get past it quickly. Don’t dispense it off-handedly without focus while you’re going about your daily chores or it will very quickly become valueless. We had a helicopter doing very low fly by’s our house this morning and the girls barely flinched. It’s worth investing the time and focus. Night time fretting then falls into place. You’re building a tower of trust.

There’s also a great need for them to feel they’ve had enough time with you before you instruct them it’s time to go to bed. If you try and separate from them before they feel they’ve received the closeness they need to feel calm leaving you then you’ll get a LOT of push back at bedtime. It’s very important to give them 20 minutes of your time either sitting down together reading a book or watching their last program on TV sitting together. There’s no point cleaning the kitchen while they watch it on the couch alone.  I build ‘Story Corner’ with cushions on the loungeroom floor which is inspired by another ABC cartoon. We watch Giggle & Hoot on ABC2 and then a Baby Einstein clip on YouTube which plays through the TV via a Mac Mini (or laptop with connector). I mix it up showing them different clips on different nights and talk them through what they’re seeing.

I find spending this time together before bath time makes the shutdown sequence easier. We do bookreading through the day so there’s not the inevitable “one more?” and at night time it’s Baby Einstein. Our girls do ask for “one more” video but it’s out of their control (unlike books which are within easy reach). When I say bath time and turn off the TV they say very maturely “tomorrow. tomorrow”and run to the gate to climb the stairs to the bathroom. They know the routine so well and are confident they’ll see it again ‘tomorrow’ so let go quite easily. This is the tower of trust.

Visit me again in another year and I’m sure I’ll have needed to change tact again but that’s the challenge of finding the right language for children at different stages and building a strong relationship together. Keep building that tower of trust and you’ll find “negotiations” with your kids flows pretty easily.

Good luck!

Cold Killer & General All-around Superstar

Written by admin on April 12th, 2011. Posted in Baby Boogies

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an effective natural bacteria-fighting agent that contains many vital minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine that are vital for a healthy body.” – Home Remedies Web

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

I have to share with you a true superstar for your health that resides front and centre in our pantry. Apple Cider Vinegar.

Since childhood this unassuming tonic sat quietly, modestly, in the family cupboard, a humble remedy handed down over generations. It was dipped into for sore throats, phlegm, colds, general aid to digestion and taken directly after consuming suspected dodgy food. There is a plethora of other touted health benefits but I can only share with you what it has helped my family with.

Attack of the killer throat

An example of the speed of relief: I have a very clear memory of my 14 year old nephew coughing, coughing, coughing….and coughing, coughing, coughing….and coughing annnnnd coughing when I visited my sister a few years ago. He said he’d had it for a week and was so tired of it! It was one of those really spiky harsh throats with an uncontrollable cough. I shook my head and wondered how my older sister could forget about Apple Cider?! I made my nephew a glass and he sipped it all down and I promise you, within 10 minutes his coughing had halted in its entirety. He gave me a big hug and shook his head. “Why didn’t mum help me?!!” lol Give it a try and reserve your judgment till then.

Try this out next time you or your children have a scratchy, sharp sore throat or one of those intolerable persistent coughs or generally feel a cold coming on. Fill a short glass (no more than say 40mls) with 50/50 cold water and Apple Cider Vinegar and sip on it slowly being sure to coat every corner of your throat. Don’t make it too strong for your first time or it will put you off the experience and be sure the water is cold or it’ll make you feel a little green. (I can even tolerate gargling it now but that’s after years of conditioning) I even give our girls 5mls of a slightly weaker mix in one of those Panadol applicators for their sore throats!

The sites below recommend a few teaspoons in a glass of water but personally if I’m feeling sick, I want to hit it hard. So for adults a 50/50 vinegar/water is my chosen firepower. You can REALLY feel it attacking the bugs in your throat. The throat eases, coughing halts and the instant results speak for themselves. I think a few teaspoons in water is a good idea for an everyday health maintenance dose.

Tape Worms

Apple cider vinegar kills bacteria in your strep throat or dodgy bugs in your stomach AND intestines. While pregnant I once again ran to the aid of cider vinegar because I had a sneaky suspicion I had worms (there was a 100kg so-called pet ‘pot belly’ pig on our street) and of course, I couldn’t take Combantrum while pregnant. I sipped apple cider every few hours for 2 days and in the end (pun intended) it did flush something from my body that I believe was worms. I believe it because I was so freaked out by it! I went to the GP describing what I had seen and sent some 2′s off to QML Pathology. It came back that I was zero for worms OR their eggs. Now, I’m 34 years old and grew up on a farm so I know the familiar bottom itch which subsequent to drinking the vinegar, was gone. But to have the results confirmed by path tests that I was no longer bothered by worms puts a great big golden seal of approval on Apple Cider Vinegar as a natural slayer of worms! Why overload your body or your children’s bodies with a chemical killer like Combantrum that is so potent you can’t take it while pregnant? Reach for a glass of vinegar instead! Make it a change for your whole family.

Feel better

A nice side effect of the cider was it also helped me with bowel movements while I was pregnant. Toilet visits became easy events and almost instantaneous after a glass. Carrying twins (and even singles) puts a real strain on your organs so any natural relief you can get that works that well, and that fast, is a Godsend. You don’t need to be pregnant to benefit. If you suffer from constipation, try it.


As for all of the other health benefits….it really wouldn’t surprise me! The most interesting to me being a blood thinner and migraine relief and controlling blood sugar levels for Diabetes sufferers. It also touts to be slimming which makes sense if it aids/speeds up digestion.

Melrose Health ( A very interesting page )

Homeopathy Plus – Cold Remedies

If you can lay your hands on organic Apple Cider all the better. Usually it’s a lovely cloudy mix rather than the clear brown super distilled and refined looking stuff you get from the supermarket. But without a doubt, either one will help you.

Have a happy winter!

( Apple Cider Vinegar devotee for Life )


Winter Warmers: Swaddles to Sleep Sacks

Written by admin on April 12th, 2011. Posted in Baby Clothing

Blanket Swaddling

NEW BORNS: Winter for little newborn bubs is tricky. Within a few weeks they’re wriggling out from their blanket swaddling and pushing themselves up and out so any thought of tucking them in at night and finding them still snug in their swaddling under a blanket is a dream. For very young bubs friends have recommended The Woombie. Having not tried it ourselves I can’t endorse it but suffice to say if I’d known about it when the girls were babies I would have bought two (in organic of course).  The Woombie allows movement but only within the enclosed area of the cocoon preventing a startle reflex but not the ability to move altogether. The design makes sense to me. The fabric is 95% Cotton/5% Spandex and if you buy it in organic (not highly coloured choices) it’s a good investment for your bub.

I was also referred to the Miracle Blanket however I believe at 4 weeks our girls would have made short work of these folds and pulled their arms out. (I once recall them grunting and moaning and working their way out from a swaddle blanket for more than 15 minutes….and they didn’t stop till they’d escaped!) They are both extremely strong and extremely determined to get their own way…even from birth.  I also quickly determined that I’m not a fan of restraining natural movement once a baby has shown that it is no longer comforting to be swaddled. Our girls enjoyed it for four weeks and then the party was over on swaddling.

INFANTS/TODDLERS: As they grow (and it happens quickly so don’t spend too much on swaddling) it doesn’t get any better. Our 1 year olds move all around the cot in a night so we’ve invested in Merino wool sleep sacks. I decided on natural breathable fibres because the suggestion that you need to buy multiple “TOG” sacks (at up to $100 a pop) dependent upon the room temperature seemed like a money grab by the retailers. You should simply be able to add or remove a pajama layer underneath the sack to adjust to temperature changes.

After scouring the web for the best prices on Merino wool sacks I actually found it was cheaper to buy them from the UK. It cost me AU$150 for TWO which is usually what you’ll pay for 1 item in Australia or New Zealand.

Merino Wool Sleep Sack

So rather then try to keep socks on your infant/toddler, which they LOVE to tear off the moment you put them in the cot, (I remember sneaking in after they’d fallen asleep to re-don their socks. Holding my breath and peaking with anxiety at the potential for waking them up. Urgh) keep their feet, legs and chest warm through winter by investing in a good quality versatile, but above all, natural fibre sleep sack.

Pro’s to look out for when choosing a sleep sack are: adjustable clips under the arms for growth, a zip from the side down around the base, not down the centre of the garment which is too tempting for little fingers to open, and a natural fibre that isn’t limiting for season (ie: not having to buy different TOG’s for different temperature ranges). The size of the Bambino Merino sack is a bonus too. Good till around age 2 so it’s great value. We bought ours online at Bambino Merino.

Happy hunting!