Book Review: Home by Anita Kaushal

[rating:4] Londoner Kaushal has made it her personal mission to seek out the best places, products and ideas to make homelife with children stylish, practical and beautiful. Part lifestyle, part interiors, part ideas and reflection book, Home is a hard cover tome that can be flicked through for … [Read more...]

Book Review: Greetings from Knit Café

[rating:5] Opening Greetings from Knit Café is like receiving a big, warm, woolly hug. Author Suzan Mischer first learned to knit when she was seven. Her grandmother gave her a long pair of needles and some bright pink scratchy wool and very soon, Mischer’s first knitted creation lay before her – a … [Read more...]

Book Review: Ready, Set, Go?

[rating:4.5] One of the biggest steps a child takes is donning that backpack and heading off to school. It's not just academics each child needs to face - it's social skills and awareness, the ability to focus and delineate, accomplished physical and spatial skills, self-confidence and readiness to … [Read more...]

Book Review: A Family in Paris by Jane Paech

[rating:5] It would be easy to turn green over a book celebrating a family's sojourn to Paris - plein de those glorious Parisian elements that make for such a life-changing experience. La vie en rose, indeed. It would also be easy to see such a book as something un petit peu self-indulgent or … [Read more...]

Book Review: Style Notes by Maggie Alderson

[rating:4] One of Australia’s most dedicated fashion columnists, Maggie Alderson adds to her tripage of style-themed books (Shoe Money, Handbag Heaven and Gravity Sucks, as well as six bestselling novels) with this latest instalment, appropriate entitled Style Notes. Packed with dry wit and h … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: Two Asian Kitchens by Adam Liaw

I was absolutely thrilled when Adam Liaw won Australia’s second MasterChef – I became personally enamoured with this cooking style (Japanese food and I have a thing going) and warm demeanor, and I remember the very first thing I thought of as the winning sparkles came tumbling down was – “oooh, goodi … [Read more...]

What to do about everything – especially money

The big problem for twenty first century households, I now know, is chronic over-commitment which leads to never enough time and nowhere near enough energy. To cope, we give priority to the most urgent elements in our lives - work, family, health, household, whichever is more demanding on the day - … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: Junior MasterChef

[rating:4] If the adult version of MasterChef really roasted your potatoes, then it's likely (unless you're the type who doesn't like working with animals or small children) that Junior MasterChef also inspired you - or perhaps the kids - more than ever before. I loved the series and, other than … [Read more...]

Poopy Kids' Book a Charity Winner

Having a baby is one of the great joys of life, and expecting parents enter prospective births with much excitement and anticipation . . . What they don't usually expect, however, is to come face-to-face with potential - or tragically - real loss. When little Elise Sneddon was born by forceps … [Read more...]

New Zealand with Kids – Christchurch

My family and I were lucky last month. We visited the magnificent city of Christchurch and left only two short weeks before the tragic earthquake that crumbled this beautiful place to the ground, crushing its people, its spirit, its beauty. But after witnessing this city pre-tragedy, I have to say … [Read more...]

What's going on with Women and Time? Really?

There's something happening to my days. It's not the usual 'oh my how time flies' type of evaporation that most women of a certain modern age experience - 'oh my goodness, it's Christmas already, yada yada yada' - it's something weirder than that. I'm talking series lapses in the time continuum that … [Read more...]

New Zealand with Kids – Wellington

The drive in to Wellington is fascinating. When coming in from the north, you hit a multi-lane road (one of very, very few, all over NZ - hurrah!) and then weave through a series of cavernous hills, dipping down into a harbour which comes suddenly and spectacularly into view. The city proper … [Read more...]

Making a Stand Against Media-Distorted Body Image

In response to alarming statistics relating to body image amongst Australia's young women, the Equality Rights Alliance is running a campaign to fight negative body image. The Alliance is intent on promoting positive body images in the media that show the diversity of natural, real beauty. Guides … [Read more...]

New Zealand with Kids – Rotorua

On day four of our NZ road trip, we left Auckland early, grabbed takeaway coffees and headed south east on highway 1 before turning off at highway 2 towards Matamata or ‘Hobbiton’ – the site where the Hobbit’s village was filmed in The Lord of the Rings. In keeping with NZ’s steep tourist prices, an … [Read more...]

New Zealand with Kids – Auckland

Hard to believe we’d not yet travelled to our across-the-ditch neighbour New Zealand… so a school holiday trip was long overdue. As we’re not [yet] skiers, we thought the height of summer might be a great time to take the kids for a two week, two-island tour – most especially because it meant we coul … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: The Cook's Book of Ingredients

[rating:4.5] I've always been a Dorling Kindersley fan. The intense research, the clear, concise, comprehensive offering of information, the focus on visual splendour... they just stand alone. DK books are always a feast for anyone intent on learning, growing, expanding and conquering... and there's … [Read more...]

The Inaugural Aussie Bloggers Conference

Inspired by the blogging phenomenon that is Blogher, a small group of fabulous women bloggers have been busy working over the last six months to put together the inaugural Aussie Bloggers Conference or ABC. ABC is going to be a day-long program aimed at getting bloggers from all over the country … [Read more...]

Book Review: Room for Children

[rating:4] You don’t need to be a design lover to crave a beautiful space for your children for sleep and play, and this stunning new book by Susanna Salk certainly provides the inspiration to create something whimsical, functional and memorable. Room for Children is a drool-fest of children’s roo … [Read more...]

My Bondi Vet Crush – Helping Animals Everywhere

I'm not sure it's wise to admit I have a crush on the very same man my 10-year-old daughter has one on. It's kind of embarrassing, really, but then - just because you're chugging up and over the hill doesn't mean you can't appreciate good looks and talent. And good looks. Did I mention good … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: India The Cookbook

[rating:4.5] When I first took India The Cookbook and lifted it up, the first thing that struck me was the weight. Many fat, tome-like cookbooks (and there are many of late) are like poured concrete, making cooking from them a bit of a task and reading them on the couch the equivalent of a … [Read more...]

Tokyo – A Beginner's Guide

Hankering for Tokyo (who isn't?) but totally intimidated (who isn't?). Well worry no longer. This beginner's guide will whet your appetite for more than just melt-in-your-mouth sashimi. My husband and I travelled (sans kids) to Tokyo and Kyoto in 2007 and our visit was one of the most memorable … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: The Sam Stern Series

[rating:4] I first had the pleasure of reviewing young Sam Stern's Eat Vegetarian (see AWO's review here) back in June and I must admit, I was instantly hooked. Publishing his first book at the age of 14 (okay, with a little help from his mum), this young food-lover has released an astonishing five … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Australian Veg Food Guide 2011

[rating:4] Vegetarians and vegans rejoice! After a sellout Melbourne edition, this pocket-sized book packs a powerful punch for vegos all over the nation - with over 150 reviews and listings of the best veg-friendly spots to grab some delicious nosh. Vegetarian food is not only healthy, the range, … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: Bill’s Basics by Bill Granger

[rating:4] For those of us who don't want to spend forty-five minutes slicing a carrot into needles or four hours kneading, whipping, layering and begging ingredients to perform culinary acrobatics chefs spend decades training for, Bill's Basics is like a shining beacon glinting from the farthest … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: Kitchen by Nigella Lawson

[rating:4.5] With her sensual, tempting, home-cooking-made-sophisticated style, the queen of the kitchen is back with this luscious, jam-packed tome of recipes – straight from the heart of the home. Of course, Lawson would be horrified to hear herself described as sophisticated, after all, p … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: The Silver Spoon

[rating:4] There are a plethora of cookbooks on the market and amongst that plethora are the 'classics'. But are they all they're cracked up to be? I feel a bit compelled to check them out and tell it like it is. Starting with Italian culinary bible, The Silver Spoon. And so here it is - fat and … [Read more...]

Cookbook Review: Salades by Damien Pignolet

Being the quintessential outdoorsy types, Australians certainly love a good salad, and we're more than willing, thanks to the massive, multicultural hotpot we brew ourselves in, to sample recipe ideas from near and far, incorporating a little bit of many cultures into our salad mix, and tossing … [Read more...]

The Streets of San Francisco – Part Two

Day Three of our California Adventure in San Francisco was very quiet. Lots and lots of rain. We had a much-needed sleep in, hung out on Union Street, shopped and took long reprieves in Starbucks. That evening, we dined at - where else? - a diner. Johnny Rockets was super kitsch but so much fun. … [Read more...]

The Streets of San Francisco – Part One

Oh sigh. It didn't let us down. That amazing place. How I've longed to meet you, San Francisco. Travelling to the US takes a looooong time so it's well worth making a longer trip of it. We factored San Fran into the first part of a three week road trip, but we really should have stayed longer. … [Read more...]