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.