Book Review: Last Summer by Kylie Ladd

[rating: 4] Every so often, we experience a moment that changes everything, a point at which we're forced to re-evaluate and take stock of what's important. Often such a life-altering moment stems from a realisation of our own mortality and once we emerge from mourning we see life with amazing … [Read more...]

Book Review: 100 Stories for Queensland

[rating:4] The brief was clear: short stories wanted for a charity anthology to support the Queensland flood victims. All stories must be of an uplifting or upbeat nature. It's incredible seeing the online writing community join together to achieve something wonderful, like 100 Stories for … [Read more...]

Review: Planning With Kids by Nicole Avery

I first met blogger Nicole Avery at a local blogging meet-up last year. I knew who she was as soon as she walked in the room - the charisma and presence that comes across on her blog was unmistakable in real life. The second thing I liked about her was that she had thought to make and bring BLTs … [Read more...]

Book Review: Bump and Grind by Genevieve Morton

If you’ve ever tried to conceive, you’ve probably been told to ‘just relax’ hundreds of times. And you’ll also know how unhelpful such ‘advice’ is, and how frustrating it is to hear people be flippant over something so important to you. Former reporter and columnist, now mum and freelance writer, Ge … [Read more...]

Book Review: Mia Culpa by Mia Freedman

[rating:4] My introduction to magazines began when Mia Freedman was the Editor of Cosmopolitan. I picked up an issue, read her introduction and was hooked for the rest of my teen years. These days, Freedman heads an enormously successful website that doubles as a community discussing topics big and … [Read more...]

Book Review: Parenting by Heart by Pinky McKay

[rating:4] Known for her gentle parenting techniques and work towards helping parents trust their instincts, Pinky McKay’s latest book gives us more of the same with a focus on the all-important first year. If you’ve had a baby, you may be able to relate to the way a lot of women describe the first … [Read more...]

Have I turned into a Tiger Mother?

Australian journalist and writer Katrina Beikoff experienced first-hand the kind of parenting Amy Chua speaks of in her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Chua’s narrative of her Chinese cultural approach to motherhood has caused much controversy, prompting many parents to discuss their own p … [Read more...]

Book Review: Around the World in 80 Ways

[rating:4] For someone as passionate about travel and, in particular, travelling with children, as I, this book is a joy to hold in my hands. It not only promotes travelling with kids, it helps to make it more accessible to those who are either convinced it can't be done, or just a little nervous … [Read more...]

The How-To Career Guide: Get That Pay Rise

So you have the job you want, and you’ve been there for a while. Your responsibilities within the role have grown, or perhaps you’ve improved processes or profits. But there’s been no talk of increasing your remuneration. Salary reviews are often part of an organisation’s annual appraisal process, b … [Read more...]

Book Review: How to be a Happier Mum by Nicky Arthur

[rating:4] Being happier, healthier, more in tune with life. Isn’t that what we all need? This book was sent to me at an interesting time. I was struggling, and needed some direction to become happier again. Let’s face it; we all have times like that, and it can take some effort to find your ‘mojo’ … [Read more...]

Book Review: Claudia’s Big Break by Lisa Heidke

[rating:3] Claudia’s life is a disaster. It always has been, and it’s looking like it always will be. Unless, of course, she does something to change her ways – and the chance to do just that may have landed right at her feet. When Claudia is sent to Greece by her boss, she must undertake one small … [Read more...]

Book Review: No Chopsticks Required

[rating:4] First up, a confession: I cried in the first chapter of this book. With its precise summary of the crazy world of parenting, travelling and relationships, the honesty and humour of this family’s story is so touching. When journalist Katrina Beikoff and her partner decided to uproot their … [Read more...]

Book Review: Girls' Night In

[rating:4] Take some of the most entertaining storytellers of our time, add more than fifty of their short stories, grab a cuppa and some chocolate, curl up on the couch – and you’re set for a great night in. This is the tenth anniversary edition of the Girls’ Night In compilations, with some of the … [Read more...]

Book Review: 101 Things to Do on the Holidays

[rating:4] The holidays are coming, and the cries of ‘I’m boooooored’ might be more than you can handle for those long weeks. And once that call starts, it’s hard to get rid of. Enter Anna O’Donnell and Tessa Wilson who, at the ages of twelve and thirteen respectively, have written a book to help ki … [Read more...]

Book Review: Lolli's Apple by Tomas Fleischmann

[rating:4] "I was six years old when I was sent to the concentration camp of Terezin in the dying days of World War II. Sixteen thousand children went through Terezin, but only one hundred and twenty-three survived. I am one of those survivors." So begins this true story of a six-year-old boy taken … [Read more...]

Book Review: Diary of a First-time Mum by Nicole Hall

[rating:3] No matter how long you’ve thought about having a baby, how many books you’ve read, and despite nine months of knowing that there is an imminent arrival, nothing – I repeat, nothing – can prepare you for becoming a mother. This is exactly what Nicole Hall discovered after the birth of her … [Read more...]

The How-To Career Guide: The Interview

You got your job application right, and you now have an interview scheduled… but it isn’t time to celebrate just yet. There could be several others shortlisted for the job, and you still have to convince them that you’re the right person. Not everyone is naturally good at interviews. It’s a nerve-r … [Read more...]

Samoan Getaway with Kids

Our decision to spend our next holiday on the islands of Samoa was a simple one to make. We wanted to go somewhere relaxing but fun, a place where we could stay mainly in the one spot, and somewhere that the kids would love as much as the adults. My husband and I were travelling with our … [Read more...]

Book Review: Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

[rating:3] Binchy, the mother of character driven chick-lit, has just released her latest novel, Minding Frankie. It’s always a little nerve-racking reading a new book from a much-loved author, one whose novels you grew up with and have read and re-read hundreds of times (and I mean that quite l … [Read more...]

The How-To Career Guide: Applications

So you’ve found the job you really want, but how do you make it yours? I’ve always found the application process the hardest part. How do you make yourself stand out from all the other resumes the recruiter is receiving? There are a few ways to do this. Your resume Firstly, make sure your resume … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: OMG! I Can Eat That? by Jane Kennedy

[rating:3] A big fan of Jane Kennedy’s first cookbook, Fabulous Food Minus the Boombah, I was thrilled to see her second book hit the shelves. And I spent a week devoted to this new book, to check if it’s as good as the first. What I loved about her first book was the simple, yet flavoursome and gor … [Read more...]

Battling Childhood Demons with Caroline Overington

Caroline Overington has some stories to tell. Her novels, first Ghost Child and now I Came to Say Goodbye, speak of families struggling and battling their demons, and of children as victims amidst it all. These are difficult subjects – parents harming their children and the systems in place in A … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: Low GI High Flavour by Fiona Carns

[rating:3] Healthy home-cooked meals are the order of the day, but if that sounds a little boring to you, check out this new cookbook that has just hit the bookstore shelves. Prepare to be inspired by beautifully fresh, vivid photographs, simple ideas and interesting flavour combinations. Carns … [Read more...]

Book Review: Menagerie of False Truths by Greg French

[rating:3] When Jack meets Cherry, they bond over a mutual love of literature and the outdoors, but head their separate ways. Keeping in touch through letters, they learn more about each other, and themselves, than they ever imagined. This is an epic story about Jack’s life, reflecting on moments i … [Read more...]

YA Book Review: Spinner – A Novel by Ron Elliott

[rating:5] Even if you don’t like cricket and you’re not sure if this book will appeal to you – stick with me here. I don’t care for the game, yet this book has managed to find a cosy little spot in my heart. When it was delivered to my door, I looked at it curiously. What would I think of this one? … [Read more...]

Tassie – My Second Home

Cool weather, snow-topped mountains, wild beaches, untamed forests, small cities, wonderful people. Tasmania. I’m a Melbourne girl. I was born here, grew up here and now live my adult life on the outskirts of this beautiful city. But Tasmania is my second home, the place I spent every childhood h … [Read more...]

YA Book Review: Does My Bum Look Big In This Ad?

[rating:3] They’re all around us: images of perfect bodies, flawless complexions, impossibly skinny waists. Ads claiming we too could look that way if we just use this particular product. People telling us we don’t look the way we should, niggles of self-doubt fed by negative peers or family mem … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: Healthy Family, Happy Family

[rating:4] Food is a hot topic at the moment. With shows such as Masterchef and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution in our lounge rooms each night, it’s hard to escape this one simple fact: home-cooked meals are one of the best things you can give your family. Fresh food has taken a back seat in recent y … [Read more...]

My Roman Holiday – Romanticising Italy

I had my first Italian language class in 1986. I was just six years old so I can only vaguely remember the teacher and, unfortunately, a minimal number of words he taught us (made even more unfortunate by the fact that I was to continue learning this language for the next decade, and then spend the … [Read more...]

Farm Girl Made Good – author Fleur McDonald

Fleur McDonald is an author with her feet firmly on the land that she loves working with. Beginning her farming career straight out of boarding school, McDonald found herself working one hundred kilometres west of Esperance in Western Australia within a year. While working there, McDonald met her … [Read more...]

Book Review: Blue Skies by Fleur McDonald

[rating:3] Having gained her agricultural qualifications, Amanda Greenfield is keen to help her parents manage the family farm. But when her mother is killed in a terrible accident, Amanda’s father loses all interest and allows the farm to fall into disrepair. As he falls into alcoholism and turns a … [Read more...]