Thursday, August 27, 2015

WIN with Octonauts LIVE in Hobart!

You know the Octonauts too well from watching countless episodes with bub on their ever-heroic underwater missions to “explore, rescue and protect”. Just with the fist-pumping theme song you know it’s time to go “to your stations” (Captain Barnacles impersonation included).

Put the eight characters together and you have a force that are both cute and determined to save the oceanic world.

Save your date with the Octonauts these September school holidays, or just have an excuse for a fun day out for the whole family to enjoy.

Due to popular demand, final seats and shows have just been released for the year in Geelong, Bendigo, Sydney and Perth.

Octonauts Live! is also showing in Dandenong, Melbourne (CBD), Adelaide, Launceston and Hobart.

The fourth and final show has just been released at Theatre Royal, Hobart. Do not miss the 1.30pm show on Monday 21 September.

Special offer: If you haven’t got your tickets yet, here’s one more reason why. Get a free collectable, souvenir Octonauts Live! poster-and-program worth $10 with every ticket purchased to Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield. Be quick, offer is only available for a limited time.

Use the following links to unlock the offer:
TAS:  Tuesday 22 September – Theatre Royal, Hobart – Book here
TAS:  Wednesday 23 September – Princess Theatre, Launceston – Book here

More dates
VIC:  Saturday 26 September – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne – Book here
VIC:  Monday 28 September – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – Book here
VIC:  Tuesday 29 September – Geelong Performing Arts Centre – Book here
*Code word: “POSTERGRAM”
NSW:  Saturday 3 October – Theatre Royal, Sydney – Book here
SA:  Tuesday 6 October – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide – Book here
WA:  Saturday 10 October – Regal Theatre, Subiaco – Book here


Win yourself a family pass to the 22nd September show at Theatre Royal, Hobart
11am performance

Family Pass is valued at $200 (children aged 12 months and over require a ticket, admits 4)

Tell me your favourite (or the kids, but you know you love it too!) episode of the Octonauts and why for a chance to win a family pass.

One lucky winner only.

LIKE and SHARE our post on Facebook to enter.

Terms and Conditions
1. Competition opens 27 Aug  2015 and ends on the 17 Sep 2015
2. Winner will be announced after 17 Sep 2015
3. Winner will be announced on the blog and emailed so please ensure you leave a contact number or email address
4. If the winner cannot be located within 48hrs a new winner will be selected
5. Open to Australian residents only
6. Winner picked using

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Show me your hat on National Hat Day

Did you know 1 in 5 people will suffer a mental illness this year?

• The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020 mental illness will be the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death in first world countries.
• Every Australian will know a family member, work colleague or friend who will experience some form of mental health condition.
• Mental disorders are the leading cause of sickness absence and long-term work incapacity.
• The annual cost of mental illness in Australia has been estimated at $20 billion, includes the cost of lost productivity and labour force participation
• Nearly 50% of all Australians experience at least one episode of mental ill health in our lives

Hat Day
By wearing a Hat on National Hat Day, 9 October 2015 you are shining the light on mental illness and helping to reduce stigma.

• National Hat Day is committed to raising urgently needed funds for mental health research.
• Many leading young mental health researchers will miss out on the funding they need for research.
• 100% of the money raised on National Hat Day goes directly to fund PhD Scholarships and Research Project Grants aimed at finding preventions, treatments and cures for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and many other illnesses.
• Since National Hat Day kicked off in 2011, $600,000 has been raised for mental health research.
• National Hat Day occurs each year on World Mental Health Day - the second Friday in October.
• National Hat Day 2015 will also shine a light on the prevention of mental health in the workplace.
• Hat Day is funding research to prevent mental illness in the next generation of young Australians before they enter working life.
• National Hat Day is an initiative of Australian Rotary Health, one of the largest non-government funders of mental illness research in Australia.

Hat Day is on Friday 9 October 2015 to co-incide with World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Week.

It is easy to participate in this event … wear a hat … and donate to research!

Visit to register a Hat Day FUNdraiser event and invite your friends, family and collegues to join in and to donate generously on your fundraising page.

Construction fun for young and old!

The young and old members of the BZ household have been thoroughly enjoying testing out Geomag.

It is great fun, and definitely something we will be adding to the Santa list this year. So many creations to be made and you can just add more, more and more!

Guess what is going to school this week for show and tell?  The theme is "something that needs a pull" and Mst 6 decided Geomag was the perfect thing to take!

Geomag is the ultimate construction toy enhanced by the magic and intrigue of magnets, ensuring that the educational benefits that kids learn during play are ones that will stick!

Produced in Switzerland to the most stringent international toys standards, Geomag is now set to entertain and inspire Aussie kids from three to 103, all while providing a wealth of educational benefits developing math, problem-solving, spacial, coordination, creative and thinking skills. 

The characteristics of movement and the fascination of magnetism makes Geomag a unique construction toy.  Fun and easy for little hands to manipulate, Geomag ensures that creativity never gives way to frustration. Kids can build ambitiously, big and fast, limited only by their imaginations.

Perfectly timed for the cool, indoor play season, four inspiring “lines’ of Geomag hit Aussie toy shelves in May:

This classic set combines magnetic rods, non-magnetic spheres and various accessories to build unlimited models and constructions in a very simple and fun way. 
Five colourful sets containing between 30 to 120 pieces starting from $30 rrp

The addition of bright and transparent panels that give more rigidity, colour and appeal to the rods and sphere constructions.  Triangles, squares and pentagonal panels in many different colours across five sets containing from 22 to 180 pieces. From $20 rrp

GEOMAG E-Motion Magic Spin:
E-Motion expresses the concept of dynamism contained in the Geomag play activity and allows kids to build fun creations in motion, giving life to surprising optical effects.  This collection has special accessories and instructions to create spinning tops and many dynamic constructions.  Available in three various sets starting from the basic ‘speedy spin’ up to the ‘magic spin’, these sets contain from 10 to 38 pieces.  From $30 rrp

GEOMAG Glitter: 
Glitterised rods and panels in new fashion and glamour colours.  Girls will love making creations with magical sparkly effects.  Geomag Glitter is available in four sets with a piece count from 22 to 68.  From $20 rrp

Visit the website:

Disclosure: Product supplied for review.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Magic of Story Telling

It is all very deja vu in the BZ household now with our little Preppie starting the journey into the world of books and sight words and sounding things out. It is amazing to watch the love of reading blossom and the eagerness to learn grow more and more each day.

We have a tween refusing to read and a prep boy that reads everything and anything he can get his hands on.

He even leaves little notes around the house like this one… (Translation “awesome mum” with a gigantic full stop.)

Storytelling is an important part of children’s bedtime ritual, and it has now got even more exciting and inviting with Disney Junior encouraging parents to settle down and share a magical moment with their little one every evening on Disney Junior around bedtime. The “Land of Once Upon A Time” lullaby follows each episode, encouraging children to prepare for bedtime.

Disney Junior is excited to launch the second season of the locally produced series “The Book of Once Upon A Time”, an interactive story-telling series hosted by Australian actor and playwright Kate Mulvany. 

All new stories premiered on Monday 24th August at 7:10pm to coincide with Book Week. Parents, children and care-givers can tune in for a magical story every weekday evening on Disney Junior or anytime on the website.

The Book of Once Upon A Time – Kate Mulvany

Kate Mulvany is a leading Australian actor, playwright and screenwriter with a deeply personal connection to story. As a young girl, Kate became very ill and had to spend long periods in hospital. During one stay, her godmother brought her Kit Williams’ picture book “Masquerade”. This special book transported Kate far away from the stark hospital corridors to a magical new world, setting her imagination free and sparking a life-long passion for storytelling.

As an actor, Kate as performed with some of Australia’s top theatre companies and appeared in feature films and television series, including “The Great Gatsby”, “Griff the Invisible”, “My Place”, and “All Saints”. As a writer, she has won numerous awards and written over 25 screenplays and plays, including her most recent work, an adaptation of “Masquerade” which premiered at the Sydney Opera House.

In “Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon ATime”, Kate uses her expertise as a master storyteller to bring Disney’s stories to life, sharing the magic she experienced as a young girl, with our Disney Junior families. 

Disney Junior, The Channel is where magical storytelling comes to life! Available in all Foxtel subscribing homes; channel 709.

The Book of Once Upon A Time features Disney stories are available as eBooks from the Disney Story Central app, available to download from iTunes.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bunny decor for little boys

The smallest member of the BZ household has been a lover of rabbits for the last 2 or 3 years now.

We have recently started redecorating his bedroom and changing from a Superhero theme to bunnies. Bunnies everywhere!

You can find all these gorgeous treasures at the retailers listed below.

Kmart - blackboard rabbit and side table
Burrow and Be - Mr Hopkins muslin wrap - we also have a pillow case
Words etc - bunny print
Talo interiors - Miffy pillow case and print
Alphabet and Animals
Schooza - bunny mask and bunny paws
Little Pop Studios
Cotton On Kids - bedding and pillows, cord light and triangle hanging shelf.
Winston and Grace - Bun Bun mirror
Typo - bunny calendar
Sprout and Sparrow - I want to be a superhero print
Almond Tree Frames - jump in puddles print
Fantastic Furniture bed
Lark - rabbit light and bunny with carrot

Friday, August 14, 2015

You hit like a bitch

Image via Pinterest
It has been one of THOSE weeks.

Lost my job. Big shock. Sad. But you know what? I learnt some awesome tricks under some awesome people, so I am moving on and very thankful for that experience.

Jnr BZ got sick within two days of the news I no longer had a job.  That kept me busy and distracted so I had no time to dwell and mope.

Jnr BZ STILL sick over a week later and is now being treated for a chest infection/possible pneumonia. Hoping we got into it early enough to beat the little bugger though and have a happy little boy bouncing off the walls again in another day or so. Fingers crossed!

Me, Started coughing. Nope NOT happening. We are NOT even talking about it.

I am still here. You can't keep me down. I am ready to stand up and shout "you hit like a bitch" and I am totally ready to fight back.

Bring on the next week. It is going to be awesome. It really IS!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Motivating grumpy tweens - Active distractions

Another junior footy season has come to an end in the BZ household which means we now have a tween, that if left to ponder for too long, will sink into the depths of the lazy tweendrums (dull drums in adult speak.)

So we are determined to keep him motivated and get him pumped for the next sport to sink his teeth into.  Problem is, it doesn't look like any of the Summer sports he is considering (ie Cricket or Little Athletics) start for a couple of more months.

I find when he has a focus on something outside of home and school, it stops the anxiety creeping in and also keeps him on track at school.

I suggested swimming might be good to get us by until then, but he is not keen on that idea at all.

Hit me with your good active motivators for tweens and teens. Please!

Active distractions for tweens
Jogging around the block
Walking the dog
Swimming laps
Bike/scooter riding
Lego club (must investigate more)
Rock climbing (safely!)
Learning a new trick - ie skateboarding, roller skating
Drawing is often the best distraction for our tween
Writing a good story, while not active for the body it is great for the mind and soul!

And good old fresh air is always a winner while running around the park kicking a ball, or climbing trees. Although that sometimes isn't too cool when you get older.  Thankfully both my boys still love it.

Hat Day is on Friday 9 October 2015 to coincide with World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Week.

It is easy to participate in this event … wear a hat … and donate to research!

Visit to register a Hat Day FUNdraiser event and invite your friends, family and collegues to join in and to donate generously on your fundraising page.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

2015 Father's Day gift ideas

Dad cake via Kidspot

Father's Day this year is Sunday September 6th 2015.

Stuck for ideas? Then check out all these little beauties. Make sure to order soon or it won't arrive before the special day.

Mini flag for dad from Zilvi

Footy key ring here
Via Fairydust Stylish Stationery

Water bottle from Lark
FREE Fathers Day Printables from Tiny Me
Mechanical Pencil and Lead Set from NoteMaker
Multi tool from NoteMaker
Uashmama carry bags

Personalised speech bubble print for Dad or Pop via Hardtofind

Personalised chair for Dad or Pop via Hardtofind
Mug from hardtofind
Photo block from Hardtofind
Personalised name bracelet from Coolabah charms
Wine tool case from hardtofind
Alexa Lane handcrafted gifts
Alexa Lane handcraft your kids prints onto your gift of choice
Snapfish print
Magazine subs from magshop
Lucky Swiss Cross Necklace in Copper from DTLL


Craft ideas
Free printable Father's Day coupons

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Distraction is a great motivator!

Via Pinterest
You know what I have discovered? Not for the first time, but it comes to light again this week.
When I am stressed, sad, anxious - I clean, I rearrange, I seem motivated, but not really motivated if that makes sense.

To distract myself at the moment I have got stuck into some of those jobs I never seem to get done when I really need.  The kitchen is sparkling new again!

Look what I have achieved in just two short days.  Imagine what I could do in a couple of weeks!  God kill me now, I hope not.

Great way to keep busy though. This house will be like brand new.

2x Drawers from Target all assembled thanks to moi!

Nice tidy hall table before & after

Friday, July 31, 2015

My weekend reality vs What I would really love to be doing

Purchase print from Ollie's Room HERE

Friday night in the BZ house consists of an early dinner so we can rush off to Auskick as soon as daddy gets home and stand in the cold for an hour while Jnr BZ gets his crazy on!

Tonight is the final session so there will also be a BBQ and presentation after wards. CUTE but not really where I would prefer to be on a Friday night.

I would much rather be sipping a cocktail in a quiet bar by a nice cosy fireplace with a couple of friends and my hubster. NEVER gonna happen.

Saturday mornings consist of swimming lessons - again for Jnr BZ. We get to sit and watch him splash around like a crazy person with the occasional attempt to listen and actually learn something thrown in on the side.

Followed by a trip to the supermarket to source something for dinner and an attempt to clean the house while the kids trash it as I go. I really should also spend some time sorting out our taxes to get them lodged. Saturday night will include the usual family movie and the bedtime battle from hell.

I would much rather go out for a long breakfast with the family, take a slow stroll around Salamanca Market, maybe have a late lunch and then head out to gold class movies with just me and Hubby before coming home to some quality time, just the two of us. Not going to happen!

Sunday is Tweenie BZ's day with junior footy taking up our last day of the weekend. We do only have two games left so that is a bonus!

This week we will need to be on the road by 9:30 am (not too early, but early enough for me!) to travel for an hour to his game. Stand in the cold for an hour or so, then rush back home and head off to BIL's birthday afternoon tea.

With SNOW forecast, the game may even be cancelled. (I am not clapping my hands, I promise)

Come home with the kids on a sugar high, grab supplies from the supermarket ready for school lunches, finalise taxes and get them all sent off, then start the usual back to school routine so we are organised for Monday morning.  Weekend gone!

I would much rather sleep in until lunchtime, go out for a champagne brunch, stroll around Kmart, visit the produce markets and come home for an afternoon nap before someone cooks me a roast dinner with all the trimmings and a nice soak in the bath before calling it a night. OH THE DREAM!

Do you ever get to do anything you REALLY want to do on the weekends? Or is it all focused on "kid stuff" like mine?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tween + change = Anxiety and worry: How to help your tween fight their anxiety

Image via Diary of a midlife mummy

My focus at the moment is trying to help the tween of the BZ house through a rough patch and work out some good anxiety management techniques so he can learn to tame the monster that tries to consume him.

I thought I would share some of the info I have discovered while researching in the hope that it may help other families out there struggling through the same woes.

We know the trigger, now it's time to find the perfect calming method that suits him.

Red Flags for Anxiety: What's Normal, What's Not?

Common Red flags via Worry Wise Kids
  •  Demonstrating excessive distress out of proportion to the situation: crying, physical symptoms, sadness, anger, frustration, hopelessness, embarrassment
• Easily distressed, or agitated when in a stressful situation

• Repetitive reassurance questions, "what if" concerns, inconsolable, won't respond to logical arguments

• Headaches, stomach aches, regularly too sick to go to school

• Anticipatory anxiety, worrying hours, days, weeks ahead

• Disruptions of sleep with difficulty falling asleep, frequent nightmares, difficulty sleeping alone

• Perfectionism, self-critical, very high standards that make nothing good enough

• Overly-responsible, people pleasing, excessive concern that others are upset with him or her, unnecessary apologizing

• Demonstrating excessive avoidance, refuses to participate in expected activities, refusal to attend school

• Disruption of child or family functioning, difficulty with going to school, friend's houses, religious activities, family gatherings, errands, vacations

• Excessive time spent consoling child about distress with ordinary situations, excessive time coaxing child to do normal activities- homework, hygiene, meals

Symptoms of anxiety problems and anxiety disorders in teenagers via Raising Children.

Talk with your child and see a health professional if, over a period of more than two weeks, your child:
  • feels constantly agitated, tense, restless or on edge or can’t stop or control worrying – your child might seem unable to relax
  • shows physical signs like tense or sore muscles, a racing heart or sweating, headache or stomach aches, or nausea – these physical signs of anxiety can occur in response to something that triggers your child’s anxiety
  • seems very sensitive to criticism or extremely self-conscious or uncomfortable in social situations
  • always expects the worst to happen or seems to worry too much and out of proportion to problems or situations
  • avoids difficult or new situations, or has difficulty facing new challenges
  • is withdrawn, socially isolated or very shy
  • procrastinates – for example, has trouble starting or completing schoolwork
  • has sleeping problems, such as trouble falling or staying asleep
  • has trouble concentrating or often seems forgetful or distracted
  • feels that he must do a particular action, or something over and over (compulsive behaviour)
  • has obsessive thoughts or images that he says he can’t get out of his head.
Things you can do via Kids Helpline
The following three steps can assist you to help your child with anxiety:

Encourage them to talk about their anxiety - Share the things that as a child you were anxious about and ask them what their biggest worry is. By modeling your own calm acceptance of anxiety you will be assisting them to remain calm about theirs.
Teach your child about anxiety and its purpose - Educate yourself about anxiety and its adaptive role in helping humans survive (flight-fight-freeze). Explain the physical changes in the human body when danger is perceived (sweaty hands, blood to extremities, rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing etc.). By explaining these you are helping to normalise anxiety as well as assisting your child to identify and understand the way their own body reacts when anxious.
Help your child to recognize their anxiety and to develop ways to manage it - Ask your child to sketch their body and mark on it where their anxiety occurs, and is most felt. Teach them ways to work with their anxiety. For example a young child might learn to say: "That's just 'Mr Worry' telling me not to do that. I don't want to miss out so 'Mr Worry' you can just be quiet". Or a teenager might liken their worrying thoughts to a radio with the volume turned up high, and learn to manage it by turning the volume down. Acquire the Mindshift app suitable for iPhones and iPads, which is designed to help teens and young adults, identify their anxiety, and also offers ways to assist them to cope.
Other things you can do to help:
Encourage good eating (reduce caffeinated, high sugar drinks and foods), regular exercise, hobbies, sufficient sleep and connection with friends.
When young people are well-rested and relaxed, they will be in a better mental state to handle fears or worries
Let your children and young people know who they can call on for support if needed. This will make them feel less anxious about the future.
Visit your GP if you suspect that your child is suffering from an anxiety disorder.
• do something they enjoy
• practise good sleep hygiene
• try to remain involved in purposeful activities for at least a small part of every day
• eat a healthy, balanced diet
• talk over problems or feelings with someone who is supportive and caring
• reward themselves for reaching a small goal
• let their family and friends know how they are feeling so that people close to them are aware of what they are going through
• engage in activities that give them a feeling of achievement
• enlist a trusted friend or relative to help them get out and about or do activities
• make sure they get out of the house and are active for at least a short time each day
• make a list of strategies that have worked in the past for depression and use them
• learn relaxation methods (e.g. progressive muscle relaxation training).

Hat Day is on Friday 9 October 2015 to coincide with World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Week.

It is easy to participate in this event … wear a hat … and donate to research!

Visit to register a Hat Day FUNdraiser event and invite your friends, family and collegues to join in and to donate generously on your fundraising page.
Resources that may be of use via Kids Helpline
Anxiety Centre - Anxiety information and resources
Help Guide - Anxiety attack and disorder information
KidsHealth - Helping kids handle worry
Raising Children Network - an Australian parenting website
Headspace - visit the website for help, support and information about young people and mental health Kids in Mind - phone 3163 1640 (part of the Mater Child and Youth Mental Health Service)
Reach Out - a website designed to help improve the understanding of issues relating to mental health and wellbeing
Youth Beyondblue - phone 1300 224 636 (24 hour information and referral about depression and anxiety)
Parentline Tip Sheet: Social Anxiety -
MindShift an app for iPhones and iPads to assist young people manage their anxiety
Worry Wise Kids
Smiling minds app
Mindful meditation app
Cool kids program