Dec 6, 2017

Raising resilient, passionate children

Received this great article in the email.  Love to share it here.

People often tell us that their biggest worry is what will happen to their children and their grand-children when they are gone. It is one thing to hand on a substantial estate – generally built through years of hard work, discipline and planning. It is another to be confident that our children and grand-children will themselves have the discipline and the emotional resilience to make the most of the opportunities that they are presented.
Family counselling expert, Bernie Bolger, has drawn on her clinical experience, together with cutting edge psychological research, to compile a list of the 8 mistakes parents make and the key strategies they can use to grow resilient, passionate kids who have the discipline themselves to achieve and maintain financial success.
Growing resilient, passionate kids in affluence.
In a world of material abundance, we all as parents are doing our best to raise self-disciplined, appreciative, and resourceful children who are not spoiled by the prosperity around them. So why does it seem that the more we give them, the more ungrateful and entitled some children become? How can we use the advantages they already have to move them from striving to thriving?
MISTAKE 1: We cotton-wool our children from experiencing risk

Oct 29, 2017

Kids Fun Run With Thomas - 26/11/2017

The 'Kids Fun Run with Thomas' is an annual fundraising event organised by the Rotary Club of Emerald and District Inc.

This year's event will be held on Sunday 26th of November, 2017 at Puffing Billy Railway Station Gembrook and raise much-needed funds for Insight - Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired, Berwick.

All children aged 3 to 12 years are invited to take part in the exciting fun run alongside Thomas the Tank Engine and Puffing Billy! All participating children will receive a show bag and certificate!

In addition to the exhilarating fun run, children can enjoy Thomas train rides from Puffing Billy Railway Station Gembrook, join a Thomas-themed treasure hunt, have fun on rides and attractions, and meet Lizzy's Lizards and new furry friends at the animal farm.

There will also be market stalls, roving entertainers, plus lots of yummy food!

Registration is $20 per child (includes show bag, participation certificate and a bottle of water) and Thomas train rides are $5. Register online at www.kidsfunrunwiththomas.org.au.

The Village Festival in Edinburgh Gardens 27-10-2017 ~ 28-10-2017

October 27 @ 6:00 pm - October 29 @ 8:00 pm

Entry by donation

The Village Festival is part carnival, part village fair and part arts festival. Enter through the impressive façade and discover an alternative utopian world chock-full of of music, theatre, visual art, installations, puppetry, story-telling, cooking, workshops and a whole lot more.

This year The Village has a special focus on works by young, emerging and experimental artists. Students from Fitzroy High School and Alice Miller School in Macedon lead Maze of Motions, a creative collaboration looking at the depth and complexity of our emotions. The festival also features a preview performance of The Garden of Sorrows: Snuff Puppets’ giant puppet adaptation of the illustrated book of fables by John Hughes and Marco Luccio in which iconic Australian animals take on human qualities.

The Main Stage music program will feature the best of Melbourne’s emerging and established musos including Masco Sound System, The Number Nineteens, Copperhead Brass Band. Hello Tut Tut, Low Down Big Band, All Day Fritz and Chaos Magnet.

The World Kitchen is the imaginary love-child of Nigella and the Swedish chef. This fun, performative food stage invites chefs and home cooks from around the world (and around the corner) to share their stories about food, all whilst cooking scrumptious dishes to taste.

As always, The Village encourages active participation. There will be myriad opportunities to get creative, including the large-scale participatory work The Grand Experiment, creative workshops and stalwarts like So You Think You Can Interpretive Dance and 10 Minute Dance Parties.

No pre-bookings. Entry by donation.


Rotary Eltham Festival 11-11-2017 ~ 12-11-2017

The Rotary Eltham Festival is being held on Saturday 11th November and Sunday 12th November 2017 around Eltham, including the Alistair Knox Park and Eltham Central Park Oval and you can find out more about the festival on the Rotary Eltham Festival website.

The Eltham Festival Fireworks. Launching at 9pm on Saturday, the night sky will become centre stage with a spectacular explosion of colour.

Halloween Mooroolbark Miniature Railway 31-10-2017

Halloween 2017 at the Mooroolbark Miniature Railway is being held on Tuesday 31st October 2017 from 4.30pm to 8.30pm at the Kiloran Reserve, Hawthory Road, Mooroolbark.


 The Miniature trains are great fun for people of all ages. Tickets to ride are priced at $2.50 each and payment is CASH ONLY.

Jul 1, 2017

Free Snow Play and Tobogganing near Melbourne

Mount Donna Buang is probably the closest mountain that has snow in winter around Melbourne.  It has sufficient snow for tobogganing a few times a year if lucky.  As to snow, it needs sub-zero temperature and water.  As the mountain is not high enough, it gets to sub-zero only once a while.  At the same time, we need rain/water so it can snow.  That does not happen often, but when it does, it's lots of fun.

It's free.  No entry fee, parking fee, nothing.  It's close to Melbourne.  Took my family less than 50 minutes to get there.  This would be the best destination for some who do not like to drive hours to see snow.

Before you go, you will need to check this page to see the snow update to avoid disappointment.  There are lots of tips on the page as well.


How to get to Mt Donna Buang?

Drive to Warburton on the Warburton Highway, stay on the Warburton highway through Warburton, go past the service station and IGA, past the Seventh Day Adventist Church, over a small bridge and head left at the Warburton Motel sign up the C507 Donna Buang Road.

The Don Valley Road is usually closed in winter - so drive through Warburton and turn left at the Warburton Motel sign up Donna Buang

Tips for visiting New York

Been to New York 20 years ago.  A lively city, so much energy.  I really want to visit it again.

Recently, I came across an article talking about some tips while in New York.  Keep a record here for my next trip.


  • How to avoid leftover money on the MetroCard?
    • You can top up the card with precisely the amount you need.  Just bypass the standard amount option on the payment screen.
  • How to get Saturday Night Live tickets:
    • Every August, you can submit your request for Saturday Night Live Tickets via email.  Make sure that you include your name, phone number, email address and mailing address in the body of the email.
    • Stand-by tickets are distributed at 7 a.m. on the morning of the taping under the NBC Studios marquee on the 50th St. side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
  • How to get Cronut
    • Read this article which explain how to order online, two-week in advance!
  • Go to Top of the Rock (30 Rockefeller Plaza), not the Empire State for the better view of Central Park.
  • Stargaze for free
    • The Amateur Astronomers Association hosts free observing events frequently.  See here for details.
  • Score the free ticket to Shakespeare in the Park
  • How to get cheap Broadway tickets?
    • TKTS Booth is the trick. People is saying 5pm is the best time to visit these booths, especially the one in Times Square. 

Cannot wait for my next trip there!

Jun 26, 2017

Fantastic playgrounds around Melbourne

Bollygum Playground

The theme of the playground is based on the 1994 best seller children's book 'Bollygum' by author and illustrator Garry Fleming.

Location: 40 Whittlesea Kinglake Road, Kinglake VIC



McKenzie Reserve Adventure Playground

The playground is located at Yarra Glen.  If you go to Healesville Sanitary and still look for more activities,  this will be a good resting point. 

Location: Cnr Anzac Avenue & Bell Street, Yarra Glen, VIC  3775

Caldermeade Farm

I heard from this farm a couple years back and planned to go there since, but as lazy as I am, I haven't been there yet.  Has anyone been there?  Please give us your comments.

The Caldermeade Farm situated on the South Gippsland Highway just south of Pakenham and Kooweerup and is a great place to stop off with the kids.  The farm is very unique because it enables visitors to watch a milking and learn about how a dairy farm works.  Here you can pat some baby animals, look at the calves, watch the cows being milked and perhaps enjoy a milkshake or something to eat in the popular and cosy cafe.

Open Hours  Daily  9am – 5pm weekends and 9am – 4pm weekdays.
Location   4385 South Gippsland Highway, Caldermeade 3984.


Ballarat Springfest

Springfest is the major fund raising initiative of the Rotary Club of Ballarat. This year a series of individual lead up events culminate in Market Sunday. A day with something for everyone, a
Children’s Wunderfest, a Show and Glow motor show and car display, a Dragon Boat regatta, a Tram pull, Tasting Temptations and of course lots of food, market and craft stalls.

This festival is for all ages.  Personally, I have been there for the first time in 2016 and plan to go there every year since.

This year, the market date will be on 26th November from 10am to 4pm.

When to get the best deal?

Came across an article on news.com.au a while back showing when is usually the best time to make a particular purchase.  It is good to keep the following information in mind when we shop.

TRAVEL

  • Check the price on both booking sites and the airline's own sites.
  • Avoid peak times for domestic travel — Friday afternoons, Sunday nights and Monday mornings.
  • Try to be flexible with the time. The most expensive periods tend to be between 6.30-9.30am, and 4-7pm.
  • Flying to Europe and the US is generally cheapest in February and March.


GROCERIES

  • Supermarkets generally price their produce down at the end of the day if it’s perishable so buying your meat, milk or baked goods in the afternoon instead of the morning can save you money.


PETROL

Jun 11, 2017

Tired of looking for coupon codes?


Stop searching for coupon codes or sales.  This Chrome extension is going to do everything for you.

Click on the Honey button during checkout and Honey will automatically apply coupon codes to your shopping cart. Click on the Honey button on a supported online store and instantly see all the coupons and sales available for the store.

It currently supports shopping sites in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and India as well as sites that serve global customers.


Try it out.

Ways to fundraising for schools

Selling chocolate for fundraising again?  It does not build community, creativity, a connection to nature, a love of reading, or benefit for our health.  The only thing good about chocolate selling is encourage kids to talk in public and to learn money matter, but only if kids did sell them.  Not just eat them all.
Here are some fundraising ideas to do:
  • Grow The Seed
  • Do The Read
  • School Family Cookbook
    • createacookbook.com.au
    • This one has nothing to do with kids.  Parents will be the one to organise it.  With the advertising sponsors, the risk is low.  
  • It's all about arts.
  • Look for professionals?

Mar 25, 2017

CERES Harvest Festival 2017 (25 March)

10am to 3pm.

Celebrating and giving thanks to the good earth, our farmers and the cycle of the seasons.

Entry is $5 and kids are free – all proceeds go towards keeping CERES awesome.

Cnr Roberts & Stewart Sts, Brunswick East, VIC 3057 Australia

Visit here for details.

Mooroolbark Festival 2017 (25 March)

The Saturday festivities begin with a 10am Street Parade down Brice Ave. Classic cars, schools, marching bands, community groups, fire engines and more will march from Station Street to the the festival at Red Earth Park.
Upon arrival the festival will be opened at the main stage, with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Dot and the parade costume competition winners announced by Tony Smith MP, before Melba College Band fill the air with their big band sounds.

Mar 13, 2017

SkyHigh Children's school holiday program

The SkyHigh maze is not part of the free activities and costs $4 per child and $6 per adult.
All the activities below are free of charge but the gate fee of $6 per car still applies.

Monday 3rd April

- Nine hole Mini Golf 11am to 5pm
- Ruccis Circus workshop with juggling, hula-hoop, devil sticks and more 3pm - 5pm
- Igor the Giant’s Treasure Hunt from 11am to 5pm
- Stilt walkers from 2pm - 4pm
- Bouncy Castle from 11am - 4pm

Mar 5, 2017

The entertainment Book

Discover thousands of valuable up to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers for many of the best restaurants, cafés, arts, attractions, hotels, travel, shopping and much more – choose your way with the following:

To order your Book or your Digital Membership securely online visit: www.entbook.com.au/1848q68

Jan 13, 2017

NGV Kids Summer Festival 2017

16–26 JAN 17, 10AM–3PM Daily

Free Activities

There are eleven days of free artist-led workshops and spectacular performances for kids. Presented across both sites, contemporary artists, designers and creative groups will lead a wide range of activities at NGV International and NGV Australia.

Daily program is available for download.

Jan 10, 2017

Portarlington Mussel Festival 2017

The Portarlington Mussel Festival is held from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM on the second Saturday in January every year in the picturesque village of Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria.
The festival will be on Saturday 14th January 2017.
Since its inception in 2007, the festival has grown year on year and now attracts around 30,000 people. Initially established to promote the Portarlington Mussel Industry, the festival now boasts a full day of activities including:
  • Live entertainment
  • Kids activities
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Art & Photo exhibitions
  • Classic car displays
  • Food & Wine producers
  • Products to try and buy!
Plus plenty of mussels!!!!

Over 10 ton of mussels were sold on the day and all mussel sellers were kept extremely busy. With 100 food and drink stalls, market stalls,  great local musicians playing across five stages, roving entertainers for the kids, plus art shows, cooking demonstrations and local beer and wine tastings, it was a great day out for the whole family! And all this for just $2!

The Waterfront Festival 2017


From 11am on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January 2017 at Frankston's Waterfront.
Art and Craft

Art and Craft Show

Located at the Mechanics Institute.
Banana Boat Beach

Banana Boat Beach

Head down to the beach to have a go on the giant Banana Boat Beach Obstacle Challenge.
Family Play

Family Play Zone and Fun Fair with Rides and Amusements

Chill out in the Family Play Zone or join the excitement at the Fun Fair.
Food Truck Square Festival Dining

Food Truck Square Festival Dining

Tantalise your tastebuds and relax with family and friends with a range of gourmet food.
Garden Bar

Garden Bar - Beer, Wine and Cider

Proudly presented by Bay City Holden.
About the Waterfront Festival

Important Information

Car park closures, pets, parking info and much more.
Lifestyle

Lifestyle Zone

Proudly pesented by Core24 Health Clubs.
Live n Local

Live ‘n’ Local - Main Stage

Dance in the sun or chill out to local live music with everything from blues, indie, pop, rock, funk and more.
Make, Bake, Sew or Grow Market Place

Make, Bake, Sew or Grow Market Place

Proudly presented by Springfree Trampoline.


Jan 9, 2017

Friends - Episode 107: The One With The Blackout

...
[Scene: ATM vestibule, Jill Goodacre is on the cellular phone. Chandler's thoughts are in italics.]

Chandler: Oh my God, it's that Victoria's Secret model. Something... something Goodacre.

Jill: (on phone) Hi Mom, it's Jill.

Chandler: She's right, it's Jill. Jill Goodacre. Oh my God. I am trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre! (pause) Is it a vestibule? Maybe it's an atrium. Oh, yeah, that is the part to focus on, you idiot!

Jill: (on phone) Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just stuck at the bank, in an ATM vestibule.

Chandler: Jill says vestibule... I'm going with vestibule.

Jill: (on phone) I'm fine. No, I'm not alone... I don't know, some guy.

Chandler: Oh! Some guy. Some guy. 'Hey Jill, I saw you with some guy last night. Yes, he was some guy.

(Chandler strides proudly across the vestibule and Jill stares at him.)

Jan 8, 2017

Friends - Episode 106: The One With The Butt

...
[Scene: The Theater, the play has ended and everyone is applauding.  As soon as the cast leaves, the gang all groan and sit down heavily.]

Rachel: God. I feel violated.

Monica: Did anybody else feel they just wanted to peel the skin off their body, to have something else to do?

Chandler: (staring at a woman across the room) Ross, ten o'clock.

Ross: Is it? Feels like two.

Chandler: No, ten o'clock.

Ross: What?

Chandler: (sighs and gestures to explain) There's a beautiful woman at eight, nine, ten o'clock!
...

  • I feel violated.
    • It means feeling extremely harmed following the actions of another. In this case, Rachel feels she was mentally harmed after watching Joey's show.  She is pointing out the show was so bad.
  • ten o'clock

Friends - Episode 105: The One With The East German Laundry Detergant

...

[Scene: The fancy restaurant, Angela has her hand in Bob's shirt, and Monica is very uncomfortable.]

Monica: Something went wrong with Underdog, and they couldn't get his head to inflate. So anyway, um, his head is like flopping down Broadway, right, and I'm just thinking... how inappropriate this is. Um, I've got something in my eye, uh, Joey, could we check it in the light, please?

(Her and Joey walk away from the table.)

Monica: Oh my god.

Joey: What?

Monica: Hello! Were we at the same table? It's like... cocktails in Appalachia.

Joey: Come on, they're close.

Monica: Close? She's got her tongue in his ear.

Joey: Oh, like you've never gotten a little rambunctious with Ross.

Monica: Joey, this is sick, it's disgusting, it's, it's—not really true, is it?

Joey: Well, who's to say what's true? I mean...

Monica: Oh my god, what were you thinking?

Joey: All right, look, I'm not proud of this, ok? Well, maybe I am a little.

Monica: (hits him lightly) Oh!

Joey: Ow!

Monica: (leaving) I'm outta here.

Joey: Wait, wait, wait. You want him, I want her. He likes you.

Monica: Really?

Joey: Yeah. I'm thinking, if we put our heads together, between the two of us, we can break them up.

[Time lapse, Monica accidentally spilled her drink on Bob's shirt and is wiping it off. Joey is making eyes at Angela.]

Monica: I'm so sorry, I can't believe I did this, but I couldn't stop laughing at your Norman Mailer story.

(Angela is eating chicken wings and making the weasel-like noise Joey had told Bob about.)

Joey: Uh, waiter, one more plate of chicken wings over here.

...

  • cocktails in Appalachia
    • Appalachia is a mountain region that is joked on for incest. So when Monica said cocktails in Appalachia.  She means they were in a cocktail party in Apalachia as she thought/saw Bob and Angela (a brother and sister) hooking up.

Friends - Episode 104: The One With George Stephanopoulos

...

Monica: Alright. Phoebe?

Phoebe: Okay, okay. If I were omnipotent for a day, I would want, um, world peace, no more hunger, good things for the rain-forest...And bigger boobs!

Ross: Yeah, see.. you took mine. Chandler, what about you?

Chandler: Uh, if I were omnipotent for a day, I'd.. make myself omnipotent forever.

Rachel: See, there's always one guy. (Mocking) "If I had a wish, I'd wish for three more wishes." (Joey enters.)

All: Hey Joey. Hi. Hey, buddy.

Monica: Hey, Joey, what would you do if you were omnipotent?

Joey: Probably kill myself!

Monica: ..Excuse me?

Joey: Hey, if Little Joey's dead, then I got no reason to live!

Ross: Joey, uh- OMnipotent.

Friends - Episode 103: The One With The Thumb

...

(Phoebe opens the can and reacts.)

Phoebe: Huh!

[Scene: Central Perk, Phoebe is telling everyone about her discovery.]

Ross: A thumb?!

(Phoebe nods.)

All: Eww!

Phoebe: I know! I know, I opened it up and there it was, just floating in there, like this tiny little hitchhiker!

Chandler: Well, maybe it's a contest, y'know? Like, collect all five?

Phoebe: Does, um, anyone wanna see?

All: Nooo!

...


  • Hitchhiker
    • Hitchhiker is a person gaining a means of transportation by asking people, usually strangers, for a ride in their automobile or other vehicle. A ride is usually, but not always, free. There is a great movie with 'hitchhiker', The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Friends - Episode 102: The One With The Sonogram At the End

...

(Rachel enters from her room.)

Rachel: Has anybody seen my engagement ring?

Phoebe: Yeah, it's beautiful.

Rachel: Oh God, oh God, oh God oh God oh God oh God.... (Starts to look under the couch cushions.)

Phoebe: No, look, don't touch that!

Rachel: Oh, like I wasn't dreading tomorrow enough, having to give it back to him... 'Hi Barry! Remember me? I'm the girl in the veil who stomped on your heart in front of your entire family!' Oh God and now I'm gonna have to return the ring, without the ring, which makes it so much harder...

Monica: Easy Rach, we'll find it. (To all) Won't we!

Chandler and Joey: Oh! Yeah!

Joey: Alright, when'd'ya have it on last?

Phoebe: Doy! Probably right before she lost it!

Chandler: You don't get a lot of 'doy' these days...

...

  • What does 'doy' mean?
    • It expresses the meaning of "Wasn't that obvious, huh?".  Pointing out that something said by another was quite obvious.



Friends - Episode 101: The Pilot-The Uncut Version

Friends is probably my most favour TV-show for the whole time.  I lived with it in my late teens and early 20's.  It helped me to improve my English listening and daily conversation skills a lot during the time.

Today, I decided to watch it all over again and would take some notes on quotes/words that I like in the show.  Please come back to the site for updates.


Jan 7, 2017

A Day Trip to Walhalla

Take a trip into the history of a gold mining town.

All of the our great activities of our region are on offer. Ride the train, tour the mine, take a 4WD adventure or simply relax and enjoy. The Walhalla & Mountain Rivers region is located on the southern edge of the Victorian Alps. Just over 2 hours to the east of Melbourne or 30 minutes north of the Latrobe Valley, the region is home to the towns of Erica, Rawson and Walhalla. It also includes the localities of Moondarra, Coopers Creek, Aberfeldy and the ski resort at Mt Baw Baw - Melbourne's closest ski resort. The region is blessed with natural beauty in the Baw Baw National Park, Tyers State Park, Moondarra State Park and state forest makes up nearly all of the area in addition to the towns. Walhalla Historic Township is the jewel not only in our local area's crown, but also for Gippsland and Victoria. The mix of the township's beautiful location in a deep mountain valley and gold-era heritage gives Walhalla the "wow" factor that draws people from all over the world to visit Australia's "Valley of the Gods". There's also plenty of things to see and do. Whether you're looking for a family holiday, a romantic break, a chance to relax, get away with some mates, escape the city life, have a ski, walk the trails or simply visit a place you've never been before you'll find Walhalla & Mountain Rivers a rewarding experience.


Old Kingdom Restaurant (Peking duck)


Address

683 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, Melbourne

Phone number
03 9898 3343

Signature Dish
Peking duck

See Zomato for reviews

Lavender Harvest Festival (8 Jan 2017)

Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm, 350 Hepburn-Newstead Road, Shepherds Flat, Victoria, 3461

8 Jan 2017  


Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm is again celebrating its lavender harvest with an exciting festival on Sunday 8th of January.  Visitors are welcome to learn about the lavender process from cutting in the field to watching the flowers being distilled for their precious essential oil. Hundreds of bunches will hang beneath every available verandah and, of course, our fresh lavender will be available for sale.
 
The Lavender Harvest festival wouldn’t be complete without great local music and entertainment. We’re so pleased our favourite Morris Dancers, Brandragon, will join in to help celebrate the lavender harvest. Local favourites, Ciderhouse String Band, will delight with their brand of country-folk music.
Especially for the kids - and the young-at-heart - we have a few special treats. Local wizard, Adam, will be performing magic. We've managed to find a special lavender fairy, Aurora, who will take you on a magical journey filled with stories and songs. Finally, Mara Ripani will give traditional cooking demonstrations suited to the young. 
 
A number of artisan stallholders will have their local wares and produce available for sale. The original 1850s stone farmhouse will be available for tours and a travelogue of Ticino hosted by descendants Faye and Boyd. We've also heard rumours that a Tarot Reader will be available.
 
There will be plenty of good local food available, plus – if the weather isn’t too extreme – our wood-fired oven will be cooking up a treat. The fun starts at 10 am and it’s still only $6 per adult and $2 per school-aged child.
Dogs are welcome on a leash.