Dec 31, 2012

Potty training: is my child ready?

There's no standard age at which a child is ready to start using the potty. Healthy children aren't physically and emotionally ready to start using a potty until they are between 18 months and three years old. Boys tend to be ready a few months later than girls.

Most parents start the training when their children are between two years and three years old.

But there's no official age, and you needn't potty train your toddler at all if you don't want to. Your child may copy others without needing any instructions, as long as you make it clear to her what she has to do, and where she must do it. You shouldn't force your child to use a potty if she doesn't want to, or if she is not ready to start.

Dec 21, 2012

When babies overheat...

Summer is a glorious time to get out and about with your baby, visiting the local pool, exploring the beach or heading to the park for a weekday picnic. But the heat can be really tough on babies - much tougher than it is on adults.

Babies are hot little creatures in the first place, as they have faster metabolisms so generate more heat for their size than adults. Unfortunately, they don't perspire in the same way that adults do, so they're less able to regulate their body temperature naturally. As a result, they are particularly vulnerable to overheating.

What is heat stress? 

When your body is so hot that it can't cool itself down by sweating alone, a variety of physical conditions develop, all of which go under the general heading of "heat stress".
There are three stages to heat stress: dehydration, followed by heat exhaustion and finally the extreme condition of heat stroke, which can be fatal.

Dec 20, 2012

Simon's Peking Duck

Best Peking Duck in Melbourne!

Location
 
197b Middleborough Road
Box Hill, VIC 3128
Phone
03 9898 5944 
Hours 
 
Mon-Thurs and Sun, 5-10.30pm; Fri-Sat, 5-11.30pm; Tues-Fri, noon-2.30pm 
Price Guide 
 
Duck banquets, $55-$63 (a duck); entrees, $2.20-$6; mains, $16.80-$23.80

Review on Good Food Guide:

Dec 19, 2012

Big Boy BBQ

 Love BBQ?

Description from their web site:

We are Melbourne’s first dedicated ‘low and slow’ smoked meat experience. We bring you the most tender, juiciest barbeque in Melbourne. Our aim is to give you the best RIBS in Melbourne.

Our motto - ‘Slow Food… Fast’ is about our passion to preserve traditional cooking methods and provide an alternative to the unhealthy fast food that is so prevalent. Our meats are rubbed with spices and smoked at low temperatures for up to 16 hours. Anthony Bourdain said in ‘A Cooks Tour’ that Barbeque is the ‘antithesis of fast food’.

Despite the fact that our meats are ‘slow cooked’ before you come in, we are able to serve them quickly when orders are placed, so hence our food is slow food…fast!

We also promote sustainable foods and energy sources. Our food is handmade, fresh and avoids any added chemicals that are common in so many fast foods. Our meats are low fat and we have many low carb meal options available.

Dec 18, 2012

Markham Reserve, Ashburton


The City of Boroondara has an abundance of beautiful Parks and Reserves that provide fun family activities all year 'round.

Markham Reserve is one of these great community parks that includes:
  • Play equipment
  • BBQ area
  • Sports ground
Why not pack a picnic and spend a morning or the afternoon in your local park with your family?

Dec 17, 2012

Co Do

Great Vietnamese place!

Prices Entrees $5.50-$9; mains $9-$20.
Daily, 9am-10pm.

Location

196 Victoria St
Richmond, VIC 3121
Tel: 03 9421 2418

Got great review from The Age by Matt Preston.  See below:

Dec 16, 2012

Bloggers that turned into multi-millionaires

While most bloggers do it for a hobby or drive their existing business, some have managed to turn blogging itself into a money spinner.

Top blogs that turned into big business include Mashable, Life Hacker and Perez Hilton - all of which have made their owners a fortune.

While it's an attractive proposition, blogging requires the same ingredients all great successes need; a good idea and a lot of commitment.

Joe Pulizzi started his Junta42 blog in 2007 to be the foundation stone of his content marketing business.

"The idea was to position myself as an industry expert, and then launch the initial company product six to 12 months afterwards," he explains.

Pizza Express

Great local pizza place!

Location:
  • 17 Macedon Rd
    Templestowe Lower, VIC, 3107
  • (03) 9852 1536

Dec 15, 2012

the bottle of milk

Situated on the Lorne's main st, Mountjoy parade, The Bottle of Milk was opened in 2008 by Brett Graham and Robert Lowther. 

Having previously opened a popular pizza shop in Lorne, Pizza Pizza, Brett and Robert opened the Bottle of Milk with the intention of bringing good quality hamburgers to Lorne. The burgers at The Bottle of Milk are a delicious take on the beach side classic burgers and chips. 

The Bottle of Milk use local premium quality Australian beef on freshly baked buns and condiments made either in house or locally by Four Fat Martians. You can take away across the road to the beach or eat in on one of the large outside tables or a vintage chair inside.It’s not just burgers at The Bottle of Milk. The coffee is 7 seeds and there is also a selection of imported and local cold drinks. 

Dec 14, 2012

Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 5/5)

Have kids
Children may exhaust you, but they could save your life. Last week a Danish study reported men unable to conceive were twice as likely to die early from circulatory disease, cancers and accidents - childless women were four times at risk. It's thought they're more likely to end up drinking, becoming depressed or ill. Adoption reduced the risk.

Step away from the box
After the age of 25, every hour of TV you watch could shave 22 minutes off your lifespan, suggest scientists at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
It doesn't matter if you exercise - it's long periods of inactivity the body really hates. Muscles aren't used properly, sugars and fats are not adequately processed, raising risks of illness and early death.

Fifty ways to live to 100 ( Part 4/5)

Drink just one glass of red per night
Try stopping at one glass (125ml) of red a night (the equivalent of one unit of alcohol) - studies show this provides flavonoids and resveratrol, compounds which could reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and slow the progression of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's.
But drinking three units may be enough to increase the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, breast and bowel.

Why women live longer
The extra X chromosome women have makes them more resilient when faced with attacks on their immunity, according to a study by Ghent University in Belgium. The researchers identified something called "mircoRNA" which has important biological effects - women appear to have more microRNAs on their additional X chromosome.

Get into the mountains
Seven out of ten of the longest-living communities in the U.S. are mountain-based, and in the tiny Sardinian mountain town of Ovodda, as many men as women live to be 100.

Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 3/5)

Get into the garden
"Gardening combines cardiovascular exercise with flexibility, endurance and muscle strength - and real benefits are often obtained in a far more enjoyable manner than by pounding away on a treadmill for hours," says GP and anti-ageing expert Dr Roger Henderson. An hour's steady gardening is equivalent to a five-mile walk. If you don't do any other form of exercise, garden three to four times a week.

Up your milk intake
Milk's vitamin D content makes it an effective anti-inflammatory, says anti-ageing expert Dr Mike Moreno. "Low levels of vitamin D in the blood have been linked to both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis - two diseases with inflammation as the culprit," he says.

Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 1/5)

Read upside down
Consciously going outside your comfort zone every day, such as reading upside down, puts the brain under mild stress, damaging the cells - in repairing this damage your body also repairs age-related damage, says Dr Marios Kyriazis, a U.S. ageing expert.

Switch things up
Dr Kyruazis also suggests writing with your non-dominant hand, arguing the opposite to what you passionately believe, even listening to music you loathe, to keep your brain active.

Breathe through a straw
Take a few minutes each day to take deep, long breaths through a straw - with this simple exercise you end up breathing more deeply, which can improve your lung function and capacity (which otherwise reduce with age), slowing your heart rate and lowering blood pressure, says Dr Mike Moreno, author of The 17-Day Plan To Stop Aging.

Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 2/5)


Floss every day
Don't just floss when food gets stuck. "Flossing nightly can make a significant difference to how fast you age," says Dr Michael Roizen, a leading U.S. anti-ageing expert.
"It can take as much as 6.4 years off your age." Bacteria that cause tooth decay trigger inflammation, which in the arteries is "a significant precursor of heart disease" (flossing may also protect against diabetes and dementia).


Conscientious thinking
The best predictor of longevity is how conscientious you are, say U.S. psychologists Dr Howard Friedman and Dr Leslie Martin, who've made a study of longevity. This means being careful with money, thoughtful, detail-oriented and putting everything back where it belongs.
Conscientious people may have more of the brain chemical serotonin, which affects how much they eat and how well they sleep. They also appear to be naturally drawn into healthier situations and relationships.

Zucchini Chips

Preparation time

5 minutes

Cooking time

25-30 minutes

Age group

Toddler

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • tiny pinch garlic powder

Dec 8, 2012

Grattan Institute - Reports


30 November 2012

Summer reading list for the Prime Minister 2012

Each year Grattan Institute releases a summer reading list for the Prime Minister. It recommends books and articles that the Prime Minister, or any Australian interested in public debate, will find stimulating over the break.
10 September 2012

Tomorrow’s suburbs: Building flexible neighbourhoods

Our city fringes are growing at a rapid rate. But if these new neighbourhoods do not keep up with the shifting profile and changing needs of their residents over time, they will become less desirable places to live and won’t undergo the renewal that is essential to a successful city. However, we can do things now to ensure that our new suburbs are flexible enough to thrive for decades to come.
05 August 2012

Graduate Winners: Assessing the public and private benefits of higher education

Higher education tuition subsidies are generally too high. They benefit students who already gain a great advantage from higher education. It is time to find a funding model that makes better use of public funds.
For latest reports here.

Dec 7, 2012

Brivis Heater - Error Code #69

My Brivis HX23 Heater broke down this week.  H01 Code #69.  This code was not even listed in the User Manual!  Searching around the web and here is what I found:
  • Secret Reset: This is not in the User Manual.  On the networker controller press FUNCTION > 1 > 4 keys and the screen will go blank and come back on after 30 seconds, this has rebooted the main PCB and reset the fault code. Use this with caution as too much gas build up could cause an explosion. Use it only after the unit has enough time to air out the gas build up.
  • What is Code #69 or any other unpublished codes?  The best way to find out is to open up the heater unit.   There is a little LCD on the PCB showing what error exactly is. (Note: Opening up the unit may void your warranty.)

Australian Girls Choir

The Australian Girls Choir (AGC) is the country's leading performing arts organisation for girls, and today has over 4000 choristers in training across Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Any girl aged 5 and above can join us - the simple truth is that all girls can learn to sing and our classes cater for varying abilities and confidence levels. She will start by singing, dancing, playing and making friends in weekly classes, then like so many girls before her she might end up performing at Australia's biggest events, on television and all around the world on national and international tours.

Dec 6, 2012

What's in season

By purchasing veggies and fruits that are in season, you not only eat healthy fresh food, but you could also save money on your grocery bill as they are cheaper when they are in season.

Taste.com.au lists what veggies and fruits are in season month by month.


Dec 4, 2012

Merry Christmas! We got our rate cut!

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to reduce the cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.0 per cent, effective 5 December 2012. 

Global growth is forecast to be a little below average for a time. Risks to the outlook are still seen to be on the downside, largely as a result of the situation in Europe, though the uncertainty over the course of US fiscal policy is also weighing on sentiment at present. Recent data suggest that the US economy is recording moderate growth and that growth in China has stabilised. Around Asia generally, growth has been dampened by the more moderate Chinese expansion and the weakness in Europe.

Top dollar buys best Xmas puddings: Choice

More expensive products scored better than their budget counterparts in the Choice taste of 14 puddings currently on shelves.

Three experts ranked the supermarket and boutique brands puddings - which range in price from 71 cents per 100g to $5.50 per 100g - on their general appearance, quality of finish, moisture, texture, mixture quality, flavour and aroma.

The top tasting pud was Itha's Traditional Plum Pudding, said Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just, who said the testers highlighted its homemade appearance, well prepared fruit and the consistency of the cake mixture.

How To Increase Your Drinking Tolerance

Photo from freedigitalphotos.net

So, you've got your fancy pants on. You're heading to the holiday party, and you're intent on impressing your bosses, in-laws, or significant other's friends with your worldliness and savoir-faire. Then you get too drunk, break stuff, offend people, get fired and/or dumped, and effectively ruin your life.
It didn't have to be this way. Here are a few practical tips to help you avoid being "that guy."
It's Friday afternoon, you've made it through the long week, and it's time for Happy Hour, Gizmodo's weekly booze column. A cocktail shaker full of innovation, science, and alcohol. Let's do some stupid-proofing.
To avoid an embarrassing state of drunkenness, let's first look at how the body metabolizes alcohol. The science-minded boffins at the National Institutes of Health have this to say:

How to invest for your children's future

AREN'T you such a nice person to think about the financial future of your children? 
 
We take the view that the best investment for your children is to ensure you have a secure financial future.

If you are financially secure, it means you're happy and able to provide a stress-free, loving environment in which your children can thrive. It sounds selfish but you are the most important factor in your children's development, far more vital than having a nest egg.

However, if you have yourself covered, giving your kids a financial head start can be a terrific idea.

Dec 3, 2012

Super foods raise debate about claimed health benefits

SHOPPERS are spending a small fortune on fad super foods with unclear health benefits or far cheaper substitutes. 
 
Consumers are being slugged as much as $125 a kilogram for the latest craze foods spruiking miracle powers such as fighting heart disease, cancer and ageing.

Foodwatch.com.au nutritionist and Food and Nutrition Companion author Catherine Saxelby said some expensive and trendy products could be replaced with cheaper and better-tasting alternatives containing similar nutrients.

Examples included substituting barley grass and wheat grass - which can cost $25 in 200g packs, or the equivalent of $125 a kilogram in powdered form - with dark green leafy vegetables such as baby spinach and silverbeet.

Rate cut likely after weak retail sales

A DECEMBER interest rate cut is looking more likely after official figures showed retail spending remained flat in October. 
 
Sourced from freedigitalphotos.net
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Monday showed retail spending was steady in October, below expectations of a 0.4 per cent rise.

HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham said the figures meant it was more likely the Reserve Bank of Australia would cut the cash rate at its December board meeting on Tuesday.

"The steady retail numbers give the RBA more motivation to cut interest rates tomorrow to provide a bit of support ahead of Christmas," he said.

Toddler Food (fish, efas and omega 3)


Essential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be produced by the body and therefore must be supplied from the diet. There are two EFAs:
  • Linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid)
  • Linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid)
Foods containing EFAs can have varying amounts (ratios) of the two fatty acid types.

Omega and fats

Fish oils belong to the omega-3 fatty acid family. Many of us may be lacking in fish oils – eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docohexanoic acid (DHA).

So what’s the go?

Dec 2, 2012

Use Field Test Mode to See Signal Strength as Numbers Instead of Bars on iPhone


Field Test Mode is a hidden feature on the iPhone which allows you to see technical details of the device, the most useful of which is the true signal strength displayed as a number rather than the traditional signal bars.

Entering Field Test Mode on iPhone

This will work on any iPhone model except the original:
  • From the iPhone keypad, dial *3001#12345#* and hit “Call”
You’ll immediately see the signal numbers in the upper left corner, and you can tap around the menus to discover other random features and information that is generally meaningless outside of cell technicians and field operators. If you hit the Home button you’ll quit out of Field Test and the signal indicator will return to bars rather than the signal numbers, but it’s easy to always see the numbers too as described below.

Nov 22, 2012

10 ways to deal with a fussy eater


Sourced from freedigitalphotos.net
It can be incredibly frustrating if your toddler turns her nose up at everything you prepare. Not only have you wasted time, effort and money when her dinner ends up in the bin, you may also be worried that she’s not getting the nutrition she needs. Here how to cope with a little one who’s forever pushing her plate away.
Has your toddler always been a fussy eater, turning away from the merest hint of anything green and wrinkling her tiny nose at your lovingly prepared fish bake? Or has she suddenly taken to rejecting the food she previously couldn’t get enough of? Either way, a picky eater is overwhelmingly annoying, frustrating and, at times, worrying. 
In truth, there are very few toddlers who can’t eat what they’re being offered – most of them simply won’t eat. Research indicates that a third of parents worry about their toddler not eating enough, and around 40% indicate they have a fussy eater in the family. 
The fact is, many parents take their toddler to their GP due to eating concerns; I was one of them. When my own two-year-old was surviving on a diet of rice, baked beans and ham for months on end, I headed to the GP. I was an experienced mum with two voracious, adventurous eaters to compare Barnaby with but his look of disgust when I offered him anything that wasn’t on his prescribed list of precisely three foods was enough to make me pull my hair out.

Nov 20, 2012

Click Frenzy is Australia’s first national online-only mega-sale!


Online shoppers, get ready. Retailers, get set. The countdown to the Frenzy has begun!

  • 24 hours only, starting Tuesday November 20, 7pm sharp!
  • Hundreds of retail brands, hundreds of unbelievable deals in one place!
  • Wherever you are when Click Frenzy starts, at the office, on the couch, in the pub or at the cafe, get online and get a deal!
Online retail in Australia is experiencing surging growth year-on-year, with no end in sight. Australian shoppers are becoming increasingly comfortable shopping online like their US and UK counterparts.
Online retail is a $20+ billion source of revenue, and the only sector of retail experiencing double digit growth.

Nov 18, 2012

One man’s trash is another’s treasure

From freedigitalphotos.net

Reusing items is a great to reduce your environmental impact, save money and reduce the amount of material that you send to landfill.
Sometimes it’s a waste to throw things away!
If your items are still in good condition, you could:
  • reuse them yourself
  • give them to friends
  • donate them to charity
  • give them away through a “swap” event or online
  • sell them.

Nov 17, 2012

Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Home Cooking

From freedigitalphotos.net
1. Too much salt in your soup? Simply cut a peeled potato in half and place it in the dish - let it simmer for 15-30 minutes and it will absorb most of the saltiness. This also applies for casseroles, stews and curries.

2. Rest steak after cooking. This allows its juices to spread out and be absorbed back into the meat producing the maximum amount of flavour.

3. Keep the rind of an orange after peeling and add some of it a cup of black tea for a sweet citrus sensation.

4. Let risotto sit for a few of minutes. Once your risotto has reached al dente stage and you’ve mixed in your butter and parmesan cheese, let it set for a couple of minutes - this will ensure its not too sloppy on the plate.

To Prevent From Being Kicked off Facebook

Rule 1: BE POPULAR, BUT NOT THAT POPULAR

Even though Facebook is all about having friends and connections don’t have too many. The average is 120 and the limit is thought to be 5000; that’s when Facebook gets suspicious that no-one can be that popular and may look into your account.


Rule 2: KEEP IT REAL

If you use an alias and have a kitten as your profile photograph you’re asking for trouble. Facebook wants authentic not fake information, as fans of Cosplay (people who enjoy dressing up as fictional characters) found to their cost in the US recently. Pages were deleted because they were using the names of TV, movie or comic book characters.

Nov 16, 2012

Why the day I 'died' taught me how to live

I have to share this story with everyone.  I am so touched by it.  It let me remember what is truly important in my life.

Amanda CableTHE other day, my teenage daughter asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks.'Do you remember my first ever day at school?' she said innocently.

There was only one honest answer I could give. ‘I’ll never forget it, Ruby. You started school on Thursday, September 5, 2003 - and it was the day I died.’

As my sweet-faced five-year-old was putting on her uniform for the very first time and skipping into school to meet her new teacher, I was fighting for my life on an operating table three miles away.

I may have been unconscious - but what happened somehow remains burned into my brain with disturbing clarity.

Nov 15, 2012

How to save money on food

Sourced from freedigitalphotos.net
  • Write a shopping list and make time to go to the shops each week
  • Commit to eating only what is in the fridge for a week at a time
  • Shop online
  • Try visiting growers markets or fresh food markets for fruit and vegetables
  • Buy bulk meat from butchers

10 Great Fruit and Veg On a Budget

As the price of fresh food continues to soar – statistics show the price of vegetables has risen by 18 per cent and fruit by 25 per cent from March 2010 to March 2011 – many of us find ourselves asking which produce will give us more bang for our buck.

In particular, price hikes in broccoli, bananas, tomatoes and lettuce have left us searching for new staples. Is bok choy as good for us as broccoli? Is that overpriced lettuce now a waste of time?

"Some fruit and vegetables are more nutritionally dense than others, but they all have value and we should try to get a wide variety," says Aloysa Hourigan, senior nutritionist with Nutrition Australia.

As the amount of people avoiding fresh food altogether is reportedly now at 30 per cent, Hourigan says we need perspective on the cost and value of healthy food.

Nov 11, 2012

5 tips for toddler sleep success

From freedigitalphotos.net
  • There is nothing like a routine to settle a child. The mantra, ‘bath, bottle and bed’ is often heard in my house! Try a few until you find a routine that works for you.
  • Lavender essential oil is a proven nervous system relaxant and soothes frayed nerves. Pop a drop on a tissue and tuck it into a pillowcase, or put a few drops in a steam diffuser.
  • Oats have been used for hundreds of years as a calming food, so offer porridge or Bircher Muesli (if you’ve introduced nuts to your toddler’s diet). I also recommend putting a cup of oats in a stocking or baby’s muslin, tying it to the hot water tap and allowing the bath water to run through it. This creates a milky bath with soothing, anti-inflammatory effects. 

Nov 10, 2012

4 foods that discourage sleep

From freedigitalphotos.net
  1. Juice: The natural sugar, fructose, results in an unnecessary energy hit. 
  2. Artificial food colourings and preservatives: These have long been linked to hyperactivity. A study found three-year-olds and eight-year-olds who drank a drink containing additives and the preservative sodium benzoate were hyperactive. The three-years-olds were far more sensitive to the stimulating effects and symptoms appeared in as little as one hour after ingestion. 
  3. Too much salt: Excess salt causes a child to wake up in the night, so aim for low-salt (120mg/100gr) products.

Nov 9, 2012

4 Food Tips To Aid Sleep

From freedigitalphotos.net
  1. Fill up on omega-3 essential fatty acids: These are found in oily fish such as salmon and tuna, avocado, nuts, seeds and cold-pressed vegetable oils. For more easy tips check out our article on how to get your toddler to eat more fish
  2. Give them protein at dinner: This helps stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent him waking three or four hours after going to bed. 
  3. Add zinc to their diet: Zinc-deficient toddlers may be difficult to settle so add sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, tahini – perfect in Bliss Balls – and pumpkin seeds to their diet. Lamb and beef are also good sources of zinc. 

Nov 8, 2012

10 tips to stress-free shopping with your toddler

From freedigitalphotos.net
There aren’t many of us who haven’t witnessed a toddler meltdown in a supermarket aisle. As most parents of a toddler will know, doing the weekly supermarket shop can be a stressful, tantrum-prone event (and that’s just for Mum and Dad). However, there are ways to make the whole experience a pleasant, even educational one. Try these tips to help you.
  1. Shop when it’s quiet, if you possibly can – early mornings are great for this. You’ll get round in extra-quick time and your toddler will be well-rested and less likely to be cranky and start trying to scale the trolley sides. Just make sure he’s had breakfast and that he’s firmly strapped in!
  2. Woolworths has specially designed trolleys to accommodate your newborn and/or toddler, and little bottoms will appreciate it if you pad the seat with your jumper or a stroller blanket. If your toddler’s not comfortable he’ll soon let you know about it!
  3. Bypass the toy and confectionery aisles unless you absolutely need to visit them and choose Woolies’ confectionary-free checkouts – there’s at least one in every store and that’s the best one for you! 

Nov 7, 2012

5 ways to get your toddler to eat fish

From freedigitalphotos.net
Fish is a fantastic source of protein for little ones but they're not always as keen as we are to try seafood. Here are some ways to tempt their tastebuds.

Keep it simple

Start wary toddlers off with mild, sweet-flavoured fish such as ling or salmon. Using tiny star-shaped pasta mixed with a simple creamy sauce and some flaked fish is a good introduction to seafood. Add frozen peas to the mixture for a burst of colour and veggie goodness. If you reserve some of the fish mixture before adding the pasta and top it with mashed potato you’ve got an instant first fish pie to freeze for another day!

Mix it up

Adding different textures to your toddler’s plate can help too.

RBA keeps interest rate unchanged at 3.25%

The Reserve Bank decided to keep interest rates on hold this afternoon, despite economists' expectations that it would cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points.

In a statement, governor Glenn Stevens said growth is growing close to trend, and noted that interest rates have declined to below medium-term averages – and the world outlook has improved.

About the RBA"While the impact of these changes takes some time to work through the economy, there are signs of easier conditions starting to have some of the expected effects."

"Business demand for external funding has increased this year, the housing market has strengthened and share prices have risen in line with markets overseas," he said.

Stevens also noted the exchange rate remains higher than expected, especially given the weaker global outlook.

Nov 6, 2012

7 Saving Tips for Parents

    The Bumble Bee Baby & Childrens Market
  1. Go to comparison sites like www.goswitch.com.au to get cheapest energy plan.
  2. Go to iSelect to get the most competitive private health cover.
  3. Join a toy library rather than buying toys.
  4. Eat homemade meals - way cheaper than eat-out.
  5. Use www.kidspot.com.au to find out about free events.
  6. Join a playgroup. For a low annual fee you and your kid(s) can meet new friends.
  7. Go to secondhand children's items markets like bumble bee, Gumtree, or use eBay to buy items.
* More saving tips here.

Nov 5, 2012

How to save money on everything!

Share a few great web sites with everyone:

Savings Guide Australia

http://www.savingsguide.com.au/wp-content/themes/savingsblog/images/logo_savings-guide.com.au.gif
Savings Guide Australia is all about helping Australians save money. Driven by numerous contributors and self confessed budgeting addicts, the aim and goal of the site is to provide a cost free resource for people wanting to learn how to save money and minimise their expenses.
Gone are the days of ruthless spending, people are learning that the only way to get ahead in life is by being proactive and taking control of their finances. This means saving money, reducing debt, minimising bills, making investments and learning ways to aggressively grow their savings.

Nov 2, 2012

Strawberry and Blueberry Icy Treats

https://woolworthsbabyandtoddlerclub.com.au/images/imageLibrary/blueberry-and-strawberry-icy-treats-454.jpg

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

4 hours (setting time)

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp honey
  • 500g creamy vanilla yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup strawberries
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 8 wooden ice-block sticks

Method

Thinking your problems are significant?

A really interesting flash! Enjoy.

You need a more recent version of Adobe Flash Player .

Top 10 Ways To Boost Your Home Wi-Fi

Lifehacker is one of the best sites providing tips for technology and for life.  This article was extracted from the site.

10. Use The Latest Wi-Fi Technologies

One of the best ways to make sure your network is as fast and reliable as possible is to use up-to-date hardware. We’ve gone through the basics of router hardware before, so check out the first lesson of our networking Night School for the full lowdown. The main thing you need to know: Wireless A, B, and G are old and slow, and wireless N will give you the fastest speeds around. Note that you’ll need both a wireless N router and a wireless N card in your computer if you want the full speed boost.

Nov 1, 2012

The Free Repair Manual

areaImgCannot believe I did know about this web site until now.

iFixit

They make it easy for you to fix things yourself with the online step-by-step repair guides, troubleshooting tips, and thriving community of repair technicians who want to help. Or, check out the teardowns section — sneak-peeks inside the latest gadgets.

The six types of friends everyone should have

THE FRIEND WHO'S COOLER THAN YOU
The world changes quickly and some people are just that little bit better at keeping up with what's hip than we are. Like those friends who know that NO ONE EVER says "hip" any more, for instance. We like to be around these people, because they're a beacon of cool. Cool things just flock to them. These are the people who help you to open your eyes, have a flow-on effect for introducing you to other cool people and help to unstick yourself from the rut that's all too easy to get bogged in. "These people enrich your life by exposing you to things that may have otherwise have passed you by," says Bertolucci.

Oct 31, 2012

Planning a vacation

Deals on holiday house:
  • graysescape.com  At GraysEscape, you can deal direct with properties and Haggle down the price on a wide range of quality getaways.
  • Last Minutes Compare 1000s of great last minute deals on hotel accommodation, flights & holiday packages. Remove the pain of planning domestic or international travel!
  • Stayz  Holiday Home Rentals in Australia.  Search 30000+ Holiday Accommodation Properties.  Negotiate & book directly with the Property Owner.
Airline Seating Charts
  • Seat Guru  The ultimate source for airplane seating, in-flight amenities, and airline information.
 
 

How to keep your phone battery going?

Image from freedigitalphotos.net
  • Turn the display brightness down much as you can.
  • Turn off Bluetooth.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi if not used.
  • Turn off location services.
  • Turn off push notifications.
  • Go back to 2G. Staying on 3G, 4G or LTE sucks battery fast.
  • Use Airplane mode when you don't need to make/receive a call.
Sourced from wired.

Oct 29, 2012

Where to get free financial advise?

  • ato.gov.au is a mine of information from tax to superannuation and everything in between.
  • asic.gov.au can be handy for self-managed super fund trustees in regards to compliance.
  • moneysmart.gov.au is part of ASIC's website and has downloadable publications on a variety of finance related topics.
  • fpa.asn.au offers a facility to ask an expert a general financial planning question and have it answered for free.

Oct 27, 2012

Which format is the best for HDD to used with both Windows and Mac


Image from freedigitalphotos.net
If you need to expand your storage space with an external hard drive and you use both Mac and PC, you'll likely run into a few obstacles. Hard drives advertised as being compatible with Windows and Mac OS may have misled you into thinking you could actually use one hard drive for both computers.
You can, but not out of the box.
Most external hard drives (HD) are sold in a format called NTFS, which is designed to work with Windows. Macs read and write to a different format, called HFS+. Another format, called FAT32 is compatible with both OS platforms. Here's a look at how the different HD format types function:
FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
- Natively read/write FAT32 on Windows and Mac OS X.
- Maximum file size: 4GB
- Maximum volume size: 2TB
NTFS (Windows NT File System)
- Natively read/write NTFS on Windows. - Read-only NTFS on Mac OS X
- Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and above but has proven instable.
- Maximum file size: 16 TB
- Maximum volume size: 256TB
HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, aka Mac OS Extended)
- Natively read/write HFS+ on Mac OS X
- Required for Time Machine
- Maximum file size: 8EiB
- Maximum volume size: 8EiB

According to the list above, formatting your hard drive to FAT32 so that you can read and write on either OS seems like the obvious solution. The video and directions below will guide you through the process, but before you format your HD to FAT32, beware of these drawbacks:

Oct 26, 2012

Navigating online geo-blocking

From freedigitalphotos.net
Even The People's Watchdog is showing how Australian to bypass geo-blocking on online purchases.  This indicates how bad Australians are being over-charged!

 I copied the article here to share with you.

Geo-blocking prevents shoppers in some countries from accessing cheaper prices overseas through Internet Service Provider (ISP) restrictions. 


We look at how international companies such as Amazon, Apple and Microsoft conduct geo-blocking, and offer some tips to circumvent the price discrimination.

What is geo-blocking?

The internet is a borderless world – news, shopping and social interaction with people from all over the world is at our fingertips. But some online retailers haven’t yet embraced this fact, relying instead on copyright and licensing restrictions to vary prices around the world – what’s known as “geo-blocking”.