Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: Tiny Giants at IMAX

This is a sponsored post

We started the school holidays by taking off to see the film Tiny Giants

It was the first time that we have been to IMAX with the kids and years since I went to IMAX myself. To be honest I wasn't sure how the girls would like it. My concerns were about Tiny Giants being more documentary than Disney. 

As soon as the preview started for another movie I was lost in the magic of the new screen. 

Firstly it's enormous. 32 metres wide enormous.

When I chose our seats the ticket seller suggested we go towards the back as the screen is so big you don't want to be too close to the front. He was right. We were five rows from the back and they were great seats. 

The new screen is the only one of it's type in the Southern Hemisphere and it's the best type of laser screen available in the world. Tiny Giants is the first movie being played on this new screen. 

But is the movie worth it? 

Narrated by Stephen Fry, it's a 45 minute show of the lives of two little creatures. A chipmunk and a mouse. It's told in such a way that at one point I jumped out of my seat I got such a fright. There is suspense, and you just don't know if these cute and cuddly little things will survive against the huge forces of nature. For really young viewers who don't like anything with a scary factor, this might be too much for them. But Immy is 6 years old and though she was hiding low in her seat at moments she still really enjoyed it. 

If anything, this finishes way too quickly. There was a family beside us whose children loudly proclaimed "I want more" as the credits rolled. The 3D aspect is brilliant and really makes you feel lost in the movie. 

In the past we have tried to get the kids to a movie each holidays, I'll be adding the IMAX experience into the mix on a more regular basis from now on and just like this week, finish it off with a play at the great park right beside it before walking to Lygon Street for an ice cream. 

Check the Trailer if you want to see more, or just pack the water bottle and go see it tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Things to do in the Victorian School Holidays

It's time again, School Holidays! 

There is so much stuff to do, it's had to only pick a few so here are eight things for you and your kids to check out in Victoria during the September holidays. 

1) Tiny Giants at Imax Cinema. 

The big, SUPER, big screen is just so much better than any tv you have at home and the movie Tiny Giants is only going to be available to watch on the IMAX screen these school holidays. This movie is also going to be using the new IMAX 4K LASER DIGITALI don't really know what that means, but apparently it's a pretty big deal and the screen is going to be unlike any I have seen before.

2) See a Show - Lord of the Dance


Remember the foot stomping that was Lord of the Dance? I never saw it when they were first here, but I am not missing out on their next visit to Melbourne. I am taking the kids to experience it too, well there is no way they want to miss the dancing, the acrobatics, the drama and excitement that this show looks like it's going to be. 

But you can go too, because I have some tickets for you to win. 

I have TWO Double passes to give away, valued at $179.80 each.

Tickets are for the show at the ARTS CENTRE, State Theatre on TUESDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2015 at 7pm.

To enter leave a comment on facebook, or this blog post, telling me the name of your favourite concert you have ever been to. 

3) The Hawthorn Arts Centre (Town Hall)

The Hawthorn Arts Centre has a range of fun things that are fun for the kids to do a class in. There is a great range of things for kids of school age, which can be hard to find. From Cheerleading and Hip Hop classes, to circus. But my favourite is the class on creating a clay object and then bringing it to life with a small animated film. The age range for this one is 8 - 12, so I am not sure I can sneak into that one, but it could be the best $20 you spend on activities these holidays. 

Go check out all the other options on the Hawthorn Arts Centre Website.

4) Go and walk the 1000 Steps

Drive to the the Dandenongs and take the time to do the 1000 steps. 

A tribute to those who fought in WWII, the 1000 steps is a reminder of what the Kokoda trail might have been like. Except there isn't any danger, it's gorgeous, it's good for you, your body will thank you for the fresh air, for using your muscles, for feeding your mind with history. 

The 1000 steps were re-opened a couple of months ago after a big renovation. You don't have to be super fit to do this walk, take the kids and give it a go. Yes, there is a cafe too.

5. 100 Story Holiday

I love this idea! If your kids enjoy story telling and writing they will love these workshops. With a different theme each day of the week you can pick the one they like best, from Comics to Choose Your Own Adventure.  It's for the bigger kids, aged 7-12 and is $45 a session, but the funds go back in to 100 Story Building, an organisation that assists kids in the community who are struggling with literacy. 

For all the details.

6) Let the kids get crafty - 3D Adventure Scene in a Jar

This is a post from over at Be A Fun Mum. It doesn't need supervision, or hot glue guns or sparkly fabric. I think my girls will enjoy a few hours doing this one. Click over to the blog post for all the details: 

7)  Royal Melbourne Show. 

It's heaven for kids. Can be hell for parents, but hey, that's why you had kids isn't it - to be able to spend all your cash on watching them smile at the joy of a ride, or laugh at the knowing feeling of having to only pick one (maybe two) showbags from the gazillions that are there. The show also has all the animals and fireworks and crafts and foods and just so so so much stuff to check out. 

My tip - wear comfortable shoes, pack a brolly in your handbag, and get the train. Plan a rest day following.

There are too many great things to list, check them all out here.

8) Even More Ideas

Lot's of the ideas in the July post are still relevant - the Chocolate Factory is apparently tops, if you go, I'd love some of the peppermint chocolate please.

Don't forget to leave a comment if you would like to see the dance spectacular Lord of the Dance, either here of facebook is totally fine.

If you know of any other great things happening these holidays, feel free to include them in the comments too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How to help when you don't know how to help. #6Letters

Sometimes when there are people you know who are having a shit time it can be really hard to know what to do to help.

There are the little things such as taking a meal or food, providing funds if you can or if they are needed, helping around the house and just being a good person and friend.

There is also the option of just sending a little card in the mail. A note that says nothing more then "I am thinking of you, and I hope things get better for you soon."

Often we get stuck trying to work out what to write in those cards. Well I do. I can get really caught up in how important my words need to be. It's as though my words will be the make or break point of a day. I can feel as though the right words, cleverly crafted into something inspiring and hopeful will be the cure required. Well, the truth is, my words are not a magical cure to a shit situation.

Instead, my words can fill a  very brief moment. They can be a simple reminder that my friend is not alone, even though they may feel that way. A card with your simple words can be a break in a hectic day. A break that was badly needed and might not have otherwise occurred.

I love to send cards and letters to people and also love to receive them, and if the card has arrived for no real reason, then it is even betterer and gooder then anything.

Thinking about this is a  reminder to me that it has been AGES since I did my #6letters. A project I used to share with you about sending a letter a week for six weeks, or 6 letters out in a week, or  2 letters for 3 weeks...whatever you want to do. There are no real rules, it's just a little challenge to send six handwritten notes in the mail.

Handwritten things are extra special because the receiver knows how much extra effort you have made. You have organised a card and a stamp and gone to a post box and considered your words. You have really had that person in your thoughts for more then a 'virtual hug'* on facebook.

There is nothing bad about a handwritten card.

I am going to be sending out six in the next few weeks.

If you'd like to consider doing the same, here are my top three tips.

1) Buy al the cards, or note paper, or use the pack of your kids artwork and have it ready to go.
2) Buy all the stamps at one time.
3) Don't overthink what you are going to write, it doesn't have to be an essay.

Go write, scribble, draw, doodle and send it in the post.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

What makes a great presentation?

When I have to present at a conference, the preparation nearly drives me insane.

I am an anxious speaker, I am critical of myself and question why I have been asked in the first place. I wish I was more relaxed about it, but that just isn't going to be my style.

Instead I find the best way for me to get through it is to be really well prepared and not eat to much beforehand!

Last week I spent the week in Brisbane at a conference with lots of speakers, I was just one of many.

It went ok. I still used my notes like a security blanket, but apparently it didn't seem like I was totally reading from them.

I then watched lots of other presenters and used my time to think about what made a speaker someone I would like to hear again, which speakers would I recommend?

There were a few things that really stood out.

1) The best presenters were really well prepared. They had something on a screen that was more than dot points for them to read from, they had a plan to their presentation and had timed it well for their allocation.

2) Great Presenters shared real stories. They told you what had worked for them and what hadn't and they were real about it. They mentioned why things didn't work out and what they would like to do to change this or how they will do things differently next time.

3) The best speakers are generous. They give. They give of their time, just being there, as rarely do people get paid to talk at these things. They have spent a lot of time in the preparation. Then, they are generous with what they know. When attendees have paid hundreds of dollars to be at a conference they really deserve to leave having learnt a lot. It's not great when a speaker says, 'you can read my blog post about this..." or gives a little teaser and finishes with "and you can buy my book to find out how to do this". Sometimes this might be ok, but make sure you give the audience a lot too.  If a group of people have paid with their time and money to be there to listen to what you have to say, share with them what you would have liked to know.

4) Be available afterwards. People like me don't enjoy public speaking, and this includes standing up to the microphone to ask questions in other sessions, even if I have a really great one. If you have the time, be available in the breaks when delegates can approach you. I had lots of people talk to me about my presentation, it was handy for me to hear the projects my talk might inspire and I was also excited to talk more about my work, and so much more relaxed.

That's it. Those four points can be the difference in taking your presentation from ok to really marvellous.

Sorry, these tips are probably not going to help with the bit about being nervous. That's a tougher nut to crack.

Tell me what have you noticed about great public speakers?

Friday, August 28, 2015

I love Book Week.

Yes, I do.

I know lots of parents find it a pain to organise costumes and some just pull out something they already have, like an Elsa dress, when we all know that's a movie, not really a book. But I enjoy it for lots of reasons.

It really makes my kids think about what books they like. They think about it for weeks, they talk about it with their friends at school, they hear about other books that they might not have read. The kids actually talk about books without even thinking they are talking about reading, they discuss likes and dislikes of characters and story lines.

This year our school organised a few guest visits too. Miss 9 walked to the car holding a heap of drawings, drawn after a presentation from Leigh Hobbs, I am not sure what he spoke about, but the drawings were great. Books are not just words, they are illustrations and art, be it the cover only or a full picture book. You should never really leave picture books behind, if you do, you will miss out on so many gorgeous stories, told simply and often with great artwork.

Immy was more than excited to learn that the author of her favourite book ever, 'All Through the Year', Jane Godwin, was coming to school to speak to them.

After school, I asked her what Jane Godwin was like. At first, she said, well, she is really different than I expected, because she has brown hair. I didn't think she was a brown hair lady. I have no idea why she had an image of what Jane Godwin's hair should look like in her mind! With the hair issue quickly behind her, Immy went on to tell me all about Jane's new book about a bear and a cave and the way it's written and how it's going to take a VERY long time to get the book here from China, but can we please please get it as soon as it arrives.

I checked out Jane Godwin on instagram and said hello, and Jane showed me the cover of the new book, then I noticed that she has a new book for Christmas this year too, so I am going to grab that for Immy's birthday in December.

Immy had been dressed as Mr Huff from a book that she only selected a few weeks ago because she thought it was a Jane Godwin book, it's actually an Anna Walker book, but Anna was the illustrator for All Through the was a great way to remind Immy that books often have someone who writes them and someone who draws the pictures, but not always.

Still, it was a good day when she had met Jane Godwin, and then Anna Walker commented on her Instagram image.

The teachers at school were all dressed as the Crayons from The Day the Crayons Quit, so that has been added to the book wish list this week too.

I am restraining myself from running to the book shop - yes, I still go to the book shop and hardly ever buy books online, I am not sure if it is because I despise paying postage or I just need things instantly, or I don't have time to get to the post office when they are not left at the door, or that I just love going and checking out all the new books.

This is only our second book week, and one of the benefits of changing schools was Miss 9 could wear the same outfit as last year, because Hermione is still the greatest character she has ever met.

Book week 2015 has certainly not been difficult, or expensive and didn't take too much effort at all, especially when I think of how it just encourages kids to think about books. And as the school captains reminded the kids at assembly, remember the words of Dr Suess:

"You can find magic, wherever you look, sit back and relax, all you need is a book"

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Excursion Tales

Last week I did something for the first time.

I was the parent helper on a school excursion with around 80 or so six year olds. We were headed to one of Melbourne's most delightful buildings which contains the Immigration Museum. I really love that place, but I am only ever there for events. Cocktail partys, talks and now with the six year olds. I have once again promised myself to go back there and actually read all the fascinating exhibits.

That photo above is not mine, because a responsible parent obeys the rules and does not use their phone when they in charge of six year olds - those kids can disappear faster than an iphone swipe!

When you go with a school, the kids sit in a room where they are told more about immigration and a case study about a couple from Vietnam. It was here that Immy was desperate to join in with the other kids and answer a question.

"Put your hand up, if one of your parents was born in another country" asked the instructor.

Little hands shot up everywhere, stretched as high as they could be, fingers wiggling.

We soon got reminders that Sydney and Adelaide were actually still in Australia, so those kids should put their hands down.

But Immy was still sitting there arm up, back straight, with her best, pick me, pick me face on.

"And you" she points at Immy. "In which country were your parents born?"

To which she answers. "My Dad, he was born in Benalla".

And guess what, it might actually be in Australia, but no one else had a parent with that claim to fame.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Do you ever get ideas of what would make a good business?

I get them about 720 times a day.

But I am not really the type of person who would start their own business. I'd like to think I am, but reality is I get so many ideas in a day I wouldn't be able to stay focussed on the one business. Well, I probably could, but it also takes a brave character, ready to deal with the business not succeeding, and I have to admit, I love my regular pay arriving in my bank.

It's all about the old risk reward ratio isn't. I first learnt about it at uni when I did my economics degree, but mainly we talked about risk reward when I worked at the Stock Exchange. You take a big risk, you should get a big reward, it might be monetary but it might also be flexibility, enjoyment and the hours you want.

If you think of 720 business ideas a day, nothing makes you more excited when someone you know starts up their own business. It's kind of like when friends announce having a baby, I just feel so excited for them and everything the future will bring them. It's not all going to be champagne and meredith cheese on crackers, but there are going to be some marvellous days ahead.

I have some friends who say that they would love a business but they just can't think of an idea for one. But, they are everywhere, I bet you have them all the time too.

A couple of years ago I hosted some market research at my house and one of the ladies attending said, why do paper towels have to come in a roll, why can't they be in a box like tissues. Guess what the brand (and it's a big brand) now has available?

This week, after my LumpyBeGone surgery I have been bra shopping for bras that are suitable for people who have had chest surgery. Went to Myer, the most unhelpful woman in the history of shopping, said "There is one post surgery bra, it's here" then she walked off. It was of course the most ugly thing you have ever seen. I went to another shop, lovely 22 year old shop assistant said sorry, there is only one option unless you have larger breasts, the second option is for larger breasts only. Really?? Let's be open, I am not exactly missing out in this department.  So if you can sew up a boulder holder that is wire free without an elastic band that is 2 inches wide, get sewing, there are patients out there in need of your garments.

I also thought maybe I could buy an Australia Post office business and actually provide really good service and see how that worked. I have a nasty mark where I had to bite my tongue while watching the way a woman (the owner of the business) so rudely spoke to a very very elderly man who got his PIN wrong a few times. He was getting stressed and apologising and she was using her cranky voice, saying, 'I have customers waiting, you know it or not?'  I was the next customer and I walked very very slowly to her counter, a little steam billowing from my ears. I really don't like it when morons are rude to people like that. I also hate that post office and it's pathetic lack of service, but I have to go there because there is no other post office.

I also want someone to start a business where they are like a travelling salesman, but instead of wanting me to change my power company, they ring the doorbell, and say "I am a window washer, for $100 I will wash all of your windows right now". I will say YES every time they knock.

You see the trick is always about finding something that people don't want to do and being the person who does it for them.

I would like to see a blow wave bar on every street corner. Oh, to be able to whip in and 20 minutes later just have my hair done, I can't make an appointment like the old days, I am not that organised, I just want to walk in and voila, good hair day!

There should also be a Mum who does school lunches, not like the canteen, but you text her and say, "Can I please have two school lunch boxes tomorrow, slip some cash in her paypal and the next day your kids get homemade school lunches, you don't even have to worry about play lunch snacks, it's all sorted.

I could go on and on.

Have you got any weird and wonderful business ideas that you might take on, or want someone else to take up?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Don't share your poo germs around

This is a sponsored post

I read too many parenting posts, I actually try not to because so many of them just annoy me, which was kind of the inspiration I had for the the 'You're a crap parent' post last week.

One of the things I didn't mention in that post was when people go on about how dirt is good for your kids, let them get grubby, don't ruin their immune systems by not letting them play, be at one with slugs and snails and nature. Just get them into nature, it won't hurt them... 

I actually don't know too many kids that don't get grubby. Isn't that why we are stuck in the laundry washing clothes so much? Kids have their hands in everything. The dirt, the monkey bars, their food, their hair, sand pits, chewing gum on the footpath. Kids are constantly playing with grime and hardly ever complain about being outside even when it's freezing. It's fantastic. They should keep doing that, and I doubt you could stop them, kids and filth are peas and corn.

The thing that everyone needs to do more of is just wash their hands. PLEASE. Use some soap and wash your hands. Then wash the kids' hands too and get the germs off them. Chances are they have wiped their bums, picked their noses, used their hands to eat, god knows what other sorts of stuff and all everyone has to do is wash their hands more. 

Or use some alcohol rub if you are out and about. Change a nappy - clean your hands. 

Because dirt and grime are fine, but sharing your poo germs around are not. SO MANY BUGS are simply spread because people don't clean their hands properly.  It's even got a name - Fecal-Oral  or Orofecal! Your kid gets some poo germs on their hand, then they put their hands to their face or they touch something, then you touch that thing, then another kid touches it, then they bite their nails and BAM, the kid just swallowed poo germs. Vomitness. 

With so many people not washing their hands, I find a regular spray of disinfectant never hurt.

When we have any type of cold/flu/virus I harp on and on to everyone about more handwashing and I also get out my trusty disinfectant sprays too. Glen 20 is my spray of choice. Sometimes I feel like I need to spray it in my eyes to cleanse them of the things I read in the newspapers...of course if says on the tin NOT to spray in eyes, so I don't spray in eyes...instead, I use it on as many surfaces as I can and even clothes don't miss out. In winter when the whole class seems to be sick, a little extra Glen 20 spray on the girls blazers has not hurt them (I spray it in the laundry, not while they are wearing them, just in case you were wondering).

So go outside and play, let everyone get filthy, your dirt germs don't bother me, just use some soap in the bathroom and feel free to use a little disinfectant spray on your door handles. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...