While most of our property has a great layer of fertile top soil, near the house is a different story. We did a site cut where we put the house, so all the top soil was moved to allow for a large flat house site, exposing the heavy clay soil underneath. Clay soil needs a… Read more »
The secret to successful family gatherings (as told by the families behind the wineries of the King Valley)
In North Eastern Victoria lies the King Valley, and what many people would consider as the home of Italian wines in Australia. Prosecco and Sangiovese are their favourites. Every year in August, the wineries of the King Valley come to Canberra with wineries from the Rutherglen region in a festival called the Taste of Two… Read more »
As you know, we live on a hobby farm. So staying inside, even when it’s freezing outside, isn’t an option. Fences still need to be mended, trees and other things need to be checked, pipes freeze and burst and require fixing… the list goes on. And then there is the charm of picking up icicles… Read more »
In the years we’ve lived just north of Canberra, we’ve been to and reviewed so many different places and events in Canberra, so when people come and visit, I can pull together an itinerary for anyone… except that I can’t answer one question – Which hotel should we stay at? So when my husband decided… Read more »
What would you do if you finally plucked up the courage to leave your philandering husband? Take your teenage daughter and move back into your childhood home in the small town where you spent all of your childhood years? Doesn’t sound so bad… A quick google on your high school crush tells you that he’s a lot… Read more »
With over thirty wineries located within a thirty minute drive of Canberra, we are positively spoilt for cellar doors to visit. However, if you want to have a nice meal with your wine… then the choices become rather limited – especially if you want a proper meal, rather than just pizza or cheese platters. But… Read more »
Nothing like a conversation with real farmers to remind you of how unrealistic your best intentions were… Ok, on re-reading that first sentence it sounds like these farmers are being awful. They aren’t. They are wonderful. It’s just that they completely understand the monumental amount of work we’ve taken on (because they live this life… Read more »
Let’s buy a hobby farm and grow everything we want to eat! How wonderful will it be for the children to have a hands on understanding of where their good comes from. Sounds like an awesome plan, doesn’t it? Depending on who you are and what your experience is, you’ll either be swept up with… Read more »
Fushimi Inari (伏見稲荷大社) is a Shinto Shrine located at the base of Mt Inari in Kyoto. Inari, is the God of rice and is also seen as the patron saint of business. So you can imagine, this is a very important shrine to the Japanese! The foxes you see around the shrine, which my son… Read more »
Last night I took the kids to Canberra’s Enlighten Night Noodle Market. Just me, a 3yr old and a 5yr old… Yup. But there were a few things that made this year much more manageable with children. More food stalls! This year there are 21 different vendors. More places meant the queues were slightly smaller. But… Read more »
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Death threats are not usually something you’d expect to receive as an author, but this was Amy Chua‘s reality after the Wall Street Journal published an excerpt from her book ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’. It is possibly the most controversial book relating to modern parenting. When it was published in 2011, heated discussion… Read more »
Touch Me Not!
Rewind eight months and I’m at work, standing at the coffee machine getting my only caffeine fix of the day, my morning ritual. Suddenly I feel something on my very pregnant belly. I look down to see a hand… Not my hand.
Bringing Up Bébé
When I ask French parents how they discipline their children, it takes them a few beats just to understand what I mean, “Ah, you mean how do we educate them?” they ask. “Discipline,” I soon realise, is a narrow, seldom-used category that deals with punishment. Whereas “educating” (which has nothing to do with school) is… Read more »
Is male circumcision a taboo?
Having a little girl, I’d never given this much thought… But a recent court ruling in Cologne has argued that it should be illegal to circumcise your son for religious reasons, unless he gives consent. This has stirred up great debate amongst religious communities. I hadn’t even considered the religious argument… But then I haven’t… Read more »
There is a range of books in the Hairy Maclary range. After Little Miss experienced a trip to the vet with our dog, I thought it was apt that we start with Hairy Maclary’s Rumpus at the Vet. To be honest, at five months, I think she’s a little young to appreciate this properly. The… Read more »
Did you know that newborns cry with an accent?
We all know that the Scottish accent sounds completely different to the Australian accent or the New Zealand accent. But what about babies? When exactly do we start to sound different? According to this article, we sound different from when we are two days old! BBC also have an interesting article on how babies memorise stimuli… Read more »
At the Mercy of the Midwife
The birth of my daughter went smoothly. I cannot fault the team of doctors and nurses it took to deliver her. That was probably the easiest part of the whole pregnancy – after all, all I did was lie there! (Little Miss was born by caesarian). However, the next 24hours were ones I’d rather not… Read more »
Looking at Art 1 2 3
Learning to count is inspired through artwork in this great little book. The National Gallery of Australia has released two books in this series – Looking at Art: 1 2 3 and Looking at Art: Colours. Using famous artwork, all found at the National Gallery, your child explores counting and colours in a much more… Read more »
A Child’s First Alphabet
Such a cute book by Alison Jay. This is the kind of book that lasts through a few age ranges as you have fun spotting all the things on each page that start with that letter. My cousin gave me the board book version and Little Miss, 4 months old now, is already enjoying… Read more »
Cause for Celebration
The 3rd of May was a joyous day! It was celebrated with a happy dance in the early hours of the morning. It wasn’t my wedding anniversary. Nor was it my birthday, or the day Little Miss was born. It was the day I was blessed with eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.