Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spring cleaning? Already?

I have to say I visibly shuddered when I received an email entitled Spring Clean Your Home - 3 Simple Projects. It is the middle of winter, close to zero degrees when I get up in the morning and I am struggling just to clean my house let alone spring clean, so I found this suitably depressing.

However, when I did gather up the nerve to read on I realised these three tips from Howards Storage World are pretty handy (albeit promotional) so I will pass them on to do with what you will.

Project #1       Get the laundry sorted

Speed up the process of sorting through piles of dirty clothing, bedding and other items with a 3 Divider Laundry Cart. You’ll not only save time, you’ll also maintain the condition of your much-loved pieces by giving them correct care.  Available in large or small (from $89.95).

Project #2       Kitchen clean up

Take a sustainable approach when clearing out your clutter with a recycling bin. Designed to separate recyclables from other rubbish, Howards’ Twin Pedal Bin is available in 2 x 24L or 2 x 30L from $159.00, making it easier to reduce your household’s carbon footprint.

Spring cleaning is the perfect time to sort out that space beneath your kitchen sink – and turn it into a well organised cleaning cupboard. Create more space for products and tools with an Expandable Under Sink Organiser ($49.95), which adjusts in length and fits around pipes to provide additional shelving.

Project #3       Linen cupboard bliss

Pack away quilts and blankets and maximise storage space by storing them in a Space Bag Cube Pack ($29.95). Space Bags triple storage space by deflating to a third of their original size using a vacuum cleaner.

Finally…to achieve your spring clean projects, invest in some key tools of the trade. The Howards’ Ultra Caddy ($22.95) keeps all your products with you as you move around the house, avoiding costly double ups and unnecessary trips to and from the cleaning cupboard.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fast & Furious return is confirmed

Fast & FuriousThere are no details available yet, but Universal Studios has confirmed Fast Five aka Fast & the Furious volume 5 will be released in Perth this time next year.

On June 9, 2011 the fifth installment of this popular high-speed franchise will be back, but no word yet whether the original stars will be revisiting the series or if new cast will be sought like with Tokyo Drift. Watch this space...

WA author releases parenting guide

I have to admit I nearly overlooked this book, it didn't immediately grab me as something exciting enough to blog about - that was until I noticed the author was actually from rural WA.

Jo Jackson King lives on a remote station called Austin Downs near Cue, Western Australia. In addition to being a writer, she is a farmer and occupational therapist who works with remote bush communities. She has three children, whom she educates from home with the support of School of the Air.

All of these things would make her new book Raising the Best Possible Child an interesting read. Jo's last book, The Station at Austin Downs, was a bestseller but Jo says when she had kids, she found parenting books offered contradictory and confusing advice.

Jo's book includes her assessments of the three main branches of current early child development science in a bid to find the best advice for parents.According to the promotional blurb, Raising the Best Possible Child you teach you how to:

  • Ignore parenting myths and be guided by the most up-to-date information on all aspects of child-rearing, including childcare, breastfeeding, leaving to cry, sleep, nutrition, discipline, physical and mental milestones and education.
  • Teach your children how to navigate their own and others’ emotions, manage stress and stay focused — all key factors for becoming happy and successful adults.
  • Be a confident, thoughtful and responsive parent.
  • Encourage your children to make the most of their natural temperaments and endowments, so you can enjoy raising happy, emotionally savvy children who will become happy, successful adults.
So what does everyone think? Does this sound like just another parenting guide or are you excited to see a local WA perspective on the issues? I am a firm believer in promoting anything from WA, so if you are rushing out to buy a self-help book - why not support a local author with your choice?

On sale July 1, $35 rrp

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Time for a new toy!

Apple MacBook Pro MC373LL/A 15.4-Inch LaptopIt's true, I have a new toy and I am using it right now to update this blog. Yes, I have succumbed to Apple fever again and although it is not a new iPad (the purchase du jour at the moment) it is an Apple Macbook Pro. Now it means in case I don't feel like blogging from my PC, or my iPhone I can sit across the road in the park and keep you updated on the latest media happenings in WA. Or, more likely, I can blog and watch repeats of Sex & the City on Foxtel (I refuse to confirm nor deny that Miranda just purchase a new home in Brooklyn as I wrote this).

So time for some sympathy sharing. Am I the only Apple/techno junkie out there or are there others of us and can we form a support group exclusive club?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Declare your support, Edward or Jacob?

I figured since most of Australia was in the mood to declare support for either K-Rudd or Julia Gillard this was a great opportunity to get our readers to declare their support on the other most hotly contested rivaly at the moment - are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?

I am a huge Twilight fan and I like to think I have a special place in my heart for both men (the bad boy and the best friend) but I think my preference is slightly skewed by the fact it seems a bit wrong for a 30 year old woman to declare her undying love for Jacob. Taylor Lautner (the muscle-bound Adonis who plays Jacob) is actually only 18, which means when the last movie was filmed he was only 17. Hmmm.

So tell us what you think - are you Team Jacob or Team Edward and why and if you are ready to declare your preference in public - you can't go past one of these Lola&Bailey tote bags proclaiming your preference. $49 from www.lolaandbailey.com

The first female PM

I think I am going to stay away from the hoopla today about our first woman Prime Minister, I think there are far too many others out there (far more qualified than myself) providing plenty of interesting commentary on this already.

If you want to know more I suggest you check out these great sources to get the facts and the opinions!
www.mamamia.com.au
www.thewest.com.au
www.news.com.au
www.cnn.com

Feel free to share your thoughts here though. Do you feel sorry for K-Rudd? Are you thrilled a woman has the top job? What do you think of Julia, would you have voted for her?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Until debt do we part?

According to a survey released by truebride.com.au the average West Australian wedding costs $29,794. This fact isn't quite as disturbing to me as their finding that many Aussie brides and grooms are putting themselves in deep debt to pay for their dream day.

I have to admit my wedding wasn't exactly a slap up BYO affair in a backyard, but it was a wedding my husband and I could afford quite comfortably. Had we not had the funds, we would have scaled back our plans.

According to True Bride, some couples take years to pay back their wedding debt and on average weddings run around 15% over budget with an average Aussie wedding budget looking like this:

Photography: $3320
Rings: $450
Reception: $11,219
Beauty: $828
Gifts: $326
Flowers: $1041
Honeymoon: $5600
Cars: $675
Ceremony: $950
Bride's attire: $2330
Groom's attire: $282
Stationery: $675
Miscellaneous: $450


Three months on from my wedding it still amazes me how much emphasis people place on the wedding day, isn't it the marriage that really matters? Now it's time to share your wedding story. Did you blow the budget yourself or do you think this kind of over spending is out of order? Did you plan your dream wedding but sacrafice your health, happines or future financial stability to get it? Would you do the same thing all over again?

Ken's dating tips #3

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The foods destroying your teeth

Classic Coke, 12 oz. can (CCR1000) Category: Miscellaneous Beverages and MixesI remember a few years ago being absolutely horrified when I saw a mum pushing her baby in a pram, while the baby was sucking whole-heartedly on a baby bottle full of what looked like Coke.

Yes, I drink Coke Zero more often than is probably healthy. I even have the occasional Red Bull, but I am also an adult and make my own choices about my body and my health – even if they are bad choices. Babies and small children rely on their parents to make the right decisions for them.

I am not a parent myself so perhaps I shouldn’t judge, but I just can’t think of a situation where it is excusable to feed a baby or even a toddler foods that is so obviously unhealthy for them.

But what about foods we think are healthy? Working with the Australian Dental Association's Victorian Branch, consumer association CHOICE has compared the sugar content and acidity of 85 processed foods and drinks and categorised them as high, moderate or low risk.


CHOICE spokesman Brad Schmitt says the survey found some surprising results. "While it's no surprise the usual suspects such as fizzy drinks and lollies are in the high risk category, unfortunately a number of products that are promoted as healthy snacks for kids' lunchboxes are also high risk and can contribute to tooth decay and erosion," he says.

“These products aren't only full of sugar, they also have high acidity levels which can directly damage the enamel surface of teeth."

According to CHOICE examples include Kellog's Nutri-Grain bars, Uncle Tobys Apricot Muesli bars, Golden Circle Orange Juice and fizzy drinks such as Pepsi and market leader Coca-Cola.

Making the high acid category are two caffeine-loaded sugar-free energy drinks Red Bull and V Energy and several sports drinks including Powerade (no sugar) and Staminade Lemon Lime Fusion. Such products may be free of sugar but all have a higher acid reserve than most other fizzy drinks.

"Tooth decay is on the rise and dentists rightly blame our increasing consumption of sugary snacks and drinks, including fruit juices and fruit drinks," Brad says. "But there are many other foods and drinks that are potentially harmful for our teeth, so the advice is consider high-risk foods and drinks as a once-a-week treat and regularly brush and floss your teeth.

"And if you really want to avoid a visit to the dentist, try drinking milk or water instead of Coke or Pepsi."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finding love at 40

I was lucky enough to find the love of my life at a young age, but can’t help but wonder how hard it must be for friends who are still ‘out there’ in their 30s or even 40s. I genuinely don’t know if I would have the energy for dressing up and heading out to bars and other public places in hope of meeting the one over a casual cocktail.

I can certainly see the appeal of online dating for busy and older professional men and women. In fact, I know several couples in committed long-term relationships who met online. According to social dating website, Oasis Active, men and women over the age of 36 years make up over 30 per cent of those signed up and looking for love online.

At 50-something, Australian psychologist Andee Jones headed out to the world wide dating web looking  for companionship with a view to love, but not marriage. The result was Kissing Frogs – a true but cautionary tale of the pleasures and pitfalls of the online dating scene.

So, what advice does Andee have for the thousands of Australians who reportedly sign-up to social dating websites each month? “I wish everyone well in the lottery,” Andee writes. “Watch out for danger signs – losing track of the hours and days spent glued to the profiles, trawling in the wee small hours, forgetting to eat, palpitations, and so forth.

“Tip? Meet the BigBoys and the Blonde-nurseys in the flesh sooner rather than later, and on safe ground.”

Check out this extract from Andee’s book Kissing Frogs. Well worth a read:

I leave a voice message for him. So do eighty or so other women. Mr Former tertiary lecturer contacts every woman who leaves a half-decent message and meets more than thirty. He’s taking the idea seriously. Mr Former tertiary lecturer—‘Call me Mitch’—phones and suggests we meet for a cuppa. I recommend a certain laid-back bayside cafĂ© with an upstairs balcony overlooking the water. ‘I’ll be in jeans and a white T-shirt,’ says Mitch. I’ll be sporting a red scarf.

I get there early, sit out on the terrace, eyeing the skittering yachts and watching for Mitch’s arrival, scanning all possible entry points including amphibious. This is my first dinky-di date since 1967. So, I muse, how did I meet the other men in my life? I met my one and only hubby at school, we got pregnant, married, had two children, and separated in the space of four years. Dating simply didn’t occur among my set in the seventies—we just hung out together at a handful ofcommunal houses and social happenings and fell in and out of love. If a man was interested in you or—praise be for the seventies—vice versa, you just kept turning up at the other’s group house and edging in closer until something happened one way or the other.

Up on the terrace I can’t sit still, want to run away, but somehow stay, sit, attend fitfully to my book, fine tune my scarf. Should I appear to be lost in Bridget Jones as Mitch arrives or should Bridget lie casually, calmly, coolly closed on the table? Should I wave my scarf in greeting or pretend I haven’t noticed his approach? The book lies. I wave. Too late to walk away. The man who waves and smiles hello couldn’t look more at ease with himself, with the world, with dating. Tanned and taut of body, attractive of face and manner, fabulous smile, Mitch has an open-faced dignity about him, a lowkey quietly confident demeanour, Adonis’s gift, perhaps, to the older woman. Introducing himself, Mitch shakes my hand.
‘What a lovely spot;’ he says, sitting down next to me, ‘thanks for choosing it.’

Looking out over the bay, we while away a few hours and cappuccinos, chatting about books, philosophy, politics, families. I’ve confessed to Mitch that I’m nervous on this first date in forty years and he has put me at ease. He tells me the more dating one does, the easier it gets. He should know. I’m roughly his thirtieth this month. Mitch admits to being eight years older than he had advertised, a pensioner, and partly disabled by a chronic ailment. He’s an engaging man, a first-class communicator, genuine, kind, intelligent, generous. A feminist in philosophy and, as far as I can tell, in action. I can imagine him in his nineties still beating ’em off with his walking stick, good company in or out of a walking frame. Mitch and I part warmly, neither of us mentioning the idea of meeting up again. With thirty dates on the scoreboard and marriage in his sights, Mitch has some weighing up to do, and I’m pleased just to have survived my first foray into the game.

Are there, I wondered after meeting Mitch, lots of engaging Mr Former tertiary lecturers out there? Why not place my own ad? ‘Former tertiary educator,’ I write [it had worked for Mitch], ‘artistic, smart, open-minded, looking for winter escape from televised sport into conversation and laughs….’ Six weeks of advertising, eight respondents max. The first one, inarticulate with rage, splutters, ‘Cor… you’re so far up yourself; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone so far up herself! Cor….’ The second guy doesn’t say a lot either, merely, ‘You say you’re open-minded but I don’t care whether your mind is open; are your legs open?’

Mitch invites me to a movie at The George and dinner in Fitzroy Street. I’m chuffed to have made Mitch’s short list, but we both know he wants to marry in haste and that I’m just beginning this game. Over the scaloppini and Shiraz I tell Mitch about the two replies to my Personals ad. Glowing in the candlelight, Mitch commiserates with me. ‘How disappointing,’ he says, ‘it wouldn’t have happened had you been a man. No woman would dream of being so rude. Don’t be disheartened.’ As you would say if you’d been dating thirty attractive, appreciative women. Mitch and I say goodbye, wishing each other well in our respective searches. No doubt some lucky woman is pleased she carted home The Age that Saturday. I imagine Mitch met his match, and I meant to meet more Mitches…

Andee is a Melbourne-based psychologist, writer, and former academic. The book is currently being adapted for the stage by AFI-award-winning actor Annie Byron. Available July for $24.95 rrp.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ken's dating tips #2



Part 2 of dating tips from Ken. The doll that is. Keep checking in for more in the coming weeks!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Am I an email-aholic?

Email is a wonderful thing. Sometimes I wondered how I survived without it. Even this blog is simple through the joys of email as every day new and exciting products and news pops into my inbox.

Do you ever wonder though if we are a bit email crazy? I have to admit I have about half a dozen email addresses. I have the one with my mobile phone account, one with my internet account, one for work and one for my business. And of course, my hotmail. Not to mention twitter and facebook!

I can also access these accounts from home, from work or even on my iPhone and I do - compulsively. I am starting to wonder is there such a thing as too much connectivity. What do you think? Do you let email rule your life or are you in control?

So how did I get on to this topic? Yes, there was a reason. It was all because of the new Kodak Pulse Digital Frame. This new piece of technology is a touchscreen-enabled frame equipped with Wi-Fi and even has its own personal e-mail address. Yes, I will say that again – it has its own email address. You know the world has gone a little bit mad when even your home fixtures have their own email address, but I have to admit I was excited about the idea.

Kodak product manager digital capture & devices (how’s that for a title) John Hatzimanolis has a persuasive argument. “Picture this: you live in NSW,” he says. “Your parents live in WA. You just had a baby, so you give your parents a PULSE Frame to ensure that they can share in every moment of your child’s life.

“You can send pictures by email from your smartphone or even through Facebook or Kodak Gallery. With the Pulse Frame, you always have something to look forward to as the frame refreshes with new pictures.”

OK now I want one, yup I do and I don't even have baby pictures to share. Just make sure you’re careful who you give that email address too, would be kind of embarrassing if you were in the middle of a dinner party with your in-laws and a friend decided to email your frame a picture of that time you puked on the carpet/did a nudie run/something else completely inappropriate.

If this is now a must have item for you, they are available now in Australia for $179 rrp through Kodak Express.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

An inspiring video about work/life balance



I just watched this video on Mia Freedman's blog Mamamia and I just had to share it as I found it very thought-provoking. Nigel Marsh is the author of books Fat, Forty and Fired and Overworked and Underlaid and he is speaking at a Sydney event about acheiving work/life balance.

I was particularly inspired by his comment about working to buy things we don't need to impress people we don't like. I think that one struck a little bit close to home.

Watch the video (it goes for about 10 minutes but goes so quickly) and comment and share your thoughts. Do you agree with what he has to say? Do you have work/life balance and if so how did you get it?

Home Beautiful July now on sale

It's time for your monthly fix of soft furnishings, renovation ideas and lust-worthy homes to admire - the new edition of Home Beautiful has just hit the shelves. This issue is stacked with decorating and renovation ideas to get you inspired for some weekend DIY projects.

101 DECORATING TIPS
The experts in every field, from retailers to renowned designers, share their decorating wisdom.

GARDENS
Step out of the dark and into the light with Jamie Durie's illuminating outdoor lighting ideas. From ground lights to underwater lights, discover the tricks to giving your garden light appeal.

RENOVATION RESCUE
Step behind the scenes to reveal the inspiring ideas, hard-won lessons and the real costs behind renovation rescues. Case studies, budget breakdowns and more!

KITCHENS AND BATHROOMS
Choose the perfect kitchen floor for your space and budget, be it tiles, concrete or timber, plus revitalise your bathroom in a flash with our 10 quick fixes.

OUR HOMES
This month the magazine features over 60 pages of homes with a refreshing take on classic style. From a bold Melbourne home inspired by the earthy tones of the Australian landscape to a whimsical English cottage.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ken's dating tips #1


After the popularity of our last interview with plastic dynamo the Ken doll, we decided to take it one step further and publish Ken's tips for dating. Check back for regular installments of advice from the man we all dreamed we were going to marry one day...

Brought to you thanks to Toy Story 3 in cinemas June 24.

Irrational? Who me?

I am sure I am going to upset some readers when I say this, but I there are times when I think it is my right as a woman to be irrational. To be angry just because. To randomly change my mind with a moments notice. To get irrationally obsessed with a movie start/TV show/film/book. Granted I try my very best to be a rational, logical person at work - but when I get home I reserve the right to be stark raving nuts.

So I was quite excited to discover there may be a positive side to irrationality. Author and behavioural economist Dan Ariely is releasing a book called The Upside of Irrationality which looks at a heap of topics dear to my own heart including what we think makes us happy but what actually does, why learning more about people can make us like them less, how to motivate people at work and why we are motivated by revenge.

On sale July 1 for $35.

Friday, June 11, 2010

To solar panel or not to solar panel

I've often wondered if solar panels are worth the investment. I am keen to be green but is the outlay really worth it? According to consumer association CHOICE if you buy a solar panel you could be waiting a long time for your investment to pay off.

The Alternative Technology Association calculated approximate "payback times" for a 1.5kW solar system in each state. The verdict is anything from five to 45 years, depending on where you live.

"Several companies advertise payback times of two to three years for small systems but such claims are misleading as they ignore a number of potential costs and changes," CHOICE spokesman Brad Schmitt says. "For example, no allowance is made for the decline of a panel's output over time or the likely need that at some stage key equipment such as the system's inverter will need replacing."

CHOICE found NSW and the ACT have the shortest pay-back times (5-6 years), largely due to a "gross" feed-in tariff incentive where households are paid for all the electricity their panels produce, irrespective of their domestic power consumption. In the other states and territories, "net" feed-in tariffs apply where you're only paid for surplus electricity fed into the grid after domestic use is subtracted.

Under the Federal Government's Solar Credits Scheme, eligible households also receive rebates for Renewable Energy Certificates."On the basis households are currently paid five times the REC market price, you can receive as much as $6500 in sunny locations such as Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney or around $5460 in Hobart and Melbourne," Brad says.

"When you add that to the less generous tariff system that applies outside NSW and the ACT, the payback time for Tasmania is estimated to be as long as 45 years."

If you already have solar panels share what you think of them. If you don't, does this report change your mind at all?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The woman who fell from the sky

The Woman Who Fell from the Sky: An American Journalist in YemenI love hearing about new books coming out and this one in particular caught my eye as one that will have to go on my 'to read' list. Read on to find out more about Jennifer Steil's The Woman Who Fell From the Sky.

Yemen is the worst country in the world in terms of opportunities and resources for women, according to the 2009 World Economic Forum, so it was always going to be a challenge for a 30-something single woman from Manhattan to take up the position of editor-in-chief at The Yemen Observer in Sana’a, one of the oldest and most conservative cities in the Middle East.

But Jennifer Steil is no ordinary woman. When she was offered the chance to train young journalists in Yemen, best known to many Westerners as the heartland of Osama bin Laden’s followers, she didn’t hesitate even though she knew no Arabic and had never taught a class in her life.

For their part, her students plagiarised articles from the Internet and had trouble distinguishing opinion from news, but they were desperate for training and eager to learn. Never before in her career had Jennifer felt so useful.

It was when she took on the role as editor-in-chief for a year that she faced the real challenges of living and working in a conservative Muslim country. Learning to cover herself from head to toe was nothing compared to the frustration of dealing on a daily basis with the male editor she replaced and coping with the untrained reporters, the constant electrical outages and water shortages and trying to set deadlines when the answer was always ‘Insha’alla’ (if God is willing). Not to mention the obligatory self-censorship so as to avoid having the building bombed.

The usually calm and collected journalist lost her temper and wept in front of her boss. Her Western ways caused problems such as spilling a bottle of bootlegged vodka on the office carpet and causing a major uproar with customs when a friend sent her a vibrator (which they referred to as an ‘artificial man’). She also made friends for life and learned far more than she could ever teach, including the surprising comfort and advantages of the anonymity provided by the voluminous folds of a black abaya. And then when she least expected it, she fell in love.

Jennifer lives in Sana’a, Yemen, with her fiancĂ©, Tim Torlot, the British Ambassador to Yemen, and their baby daughter.

Black glass the new trend for kitchens

Having spent 22 years at the top of the kitchen wish list, the stainless steel oven and cooktop now facing competition from the latest trend – black glass.

Black glass finishes are being touted as easier to clean and just as stylish as stainless steel and is generally made from a single sheet of tempered glass. If you like the look black glass finishes are available for cooktops, ovens and rangehoods.

The black glass appliance pictured is from the Omega range and local stockists can be found online at www.omegaappliances.com.au. So what do you think? Would you consider black glass for your next reno?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mad Men inspired cufflinks

Label LOLA&BAILEY have just released a range of unique shadow puppet cufflinks for men. These quirky accessories are apparently inspired by the hit TV series Mad Men set in a 1960’s New York ad agency and I think they’re definitely a different gift idea for the man who has everything.

The cufflinks are made from enamel and are available in six different animal shadow puppet designs including wolf, goose, bear, hare, butterfly, giraffe and dog.

Available online at www.lolaandbailey.com for $55.00 a pair.

Review of The A-Team

This movie is absolutely over-the-top, completely unbelievable and full of ridiculous stunts and huge explosions – and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Growing up in the 80s with an older brother I think I spent far more time watching Transformers, Knight Rider and The A-Team than I did watching their more girly counterparts (although She-ra was a firm favourite) so I guess there was a bit of sentimentality with this film.

Like the Transformers movie, The A-Team is a re-imagining of the original storyline and introduces a whole new audience to The A-Team and how they formed. Naturally it is updated for today’s society and the group become Iraq war vets who are framed after a mission goes wrong, but the same idea is still there.

I was a little disappointed BA Baraccarus lost his signature bling (not a gold chain or flashy ring in sight) but otherwise the casting was great and I think UFC fighter Rampage Jackson did a good job in the party. Liam Neeson was a great straight man playing the military commander down to a tee, I thought Bradley Cooper was great as ‘Face’ the womanising pretty boy of the group and Sharlto Copley’s portray of the insane pilot Murdock injects a lot of humour to the film.

If you are looking for a dose of reality, this film isn’t for you but if you love over-the-top explosions, cunning plans and the old good versus evil conundrum, you will definitely enjoy this film – particularly if you enjoy a dose of nostalgia.

I have to say I did feel quite old when I was talking to a colleague in her early 20s and quickly realised she thought the movie was something completely new and had absolutely no idea the TV show even existed.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The reproductive rollercoaster

I don’t have children nor have I ever experienced the torrent of emotions that come with this – however, I have seen the effect falling pregnant or being unable have taken on other people in my life.

It is estimated that one in six couples face difficulty conceiving. For these couples, trying to conceive can be an extremely frustrating time full of unanswered questions – Is it you? Is it me? Is it all in my head?

To the rescue of women who are sleeping with their legs in the air, bulk-buying pregnancy tests online and gnashing their teeth through baby showers… is Genevieve Morton – an Australian freelance journalist so determined to have a baby and tired of hearing the word ‘Relax!’, she wrote the A – Z survival guide so every woman trying to get pregnant wouldn’t feel as lost, lonely and confused as she was.

This book has the best book name ever it is called Bump & Grind: The A-Z Survival Guide For When You’re Trying to Get Pregnant and Sick and Tired of Being Told to RELAX! and it chronicles what it is really like trying to conceive.

“Some women – I call them Smug Fertility Goddesses – seem to get pregnant after sniffing their husband’s dirty socks, and then go on to brag about it,” Genevieve says. “Others get pregnant after a few well-timed trysts on holiday.

"The rest of us have to work at it, and do I mean work. Along with charting our temperature, observing our cervical mucus and nagging our partners about their tight undies and fourth beer, there is the emotional rollercoaster of TTC [trying to conceive] which no book I’ve read can prepare you for.

“TTC is hard and lonely work. Most of us don’t share our efforts because we don’t want to jinx our luck. After spending so many lunch hours in the ‘family’ aisle at bookshops only to leave feeling scared, alone, desperate and old, I decided to write Bump & Grind – a book incorporating all of the vital baby-making information such as pinpointing ovulation and fertility-friendly foods with the heartbreaking but sometimes hilarious emotional and social aspects of TTC that not many women confess out loud.”

“I want this book to be your friend – something that you can curl up with in bed that will make you smile, laugh and realise you’re not alone, and of course, help you get pregnant!”

On sale August 2010 for a RRP of $29.95 from your local bookstore or online at www.finch.com.au

WA Women needed for breast cancer prevention

Last year I was devastated to find out a close friend had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It truly is one of those things you just never think will happen to you or the ones you love – but unfortunately they do. Even young healthy women can be affected by breast cancer.

In Australian women, breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer diagnosed and the leading cause of death from cancer. Approximately 240 Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every week and every week 50 die from this disease.

That’s why I’d like to ask all WA Style readers, heck all WA women, to support breast cancer research in any way they can. At the moment The International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS-II) is seeking postmenopausal women aged 40 -70 with a family history of breast cancer to take part in this study to find out if breast cancer can be prevented.

To be eligible for the study women need to be at increased risk because of a family history of breast cancer, or other risk factors such as certain non cancerous breast conditions. Women must not have already had invasive breast cancer.

IBIS-II is the first trial to investigate whether the breast cancer treatment drug anastrozole can prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women at higher risk of developing the disease. Women joining the study take a tablet a day for five years. They have a bone mineral density scan and regular mammograms, as well as clinical check-ups twice a year in the first year of the study and once a year in the following four years.

Worldwide the study is seeking 10,000 women. Over 5,400 women have already joined, including over 660 Australian and New Zealand women, but more volunteers are needed.

For more information phone 1800 640 709 or register at www.anzbctg.org

PHOTO CAPTION: Director of Research at the ANZ BCTG and IBIS-II Study Chairman, Professor John F. Forbes, and his fellow researchers are working towards a world without breast cancer.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A-Team adrenalin day at Innaloo

The A-Team: Season OneIf you grew up watching the A-Team like I did (I had an older brother people!) then you'll be excited about this special launch event being held at Event Cinemas Innaloo on Monday.

Put on by Twentieth Century Fox between 3pm to 5.30pm, Event Cinemas will host a display of daring freestyle motocross action (FMX), open to spectators free of charge.
 A custom FMX ramp will be assembled outside cinemas front entrance in the carpark (along Liege St), where three of WA’s best riders will put on a show.

Back-flippers Josh Sheehan and Russell Lightfoot will jump a gap 75ft and flip their motorbikes while 45ft in the air, and trick-rider Luke Mulcahy will put on a display of dare-devil stunts and tricks. Shows will run at 3pm, 4pm and 5pm.


In between each FMX show, Perth company Adventure Out will display their abseiling and flying fox abilities from the roof of the Event Cinemas complex.

Twentieth Century Fox WA spokesperson Natalie Cameron said: “This is the first time in Perth’s history that a film has been launched in such a way, but the exploding action and reckless attitude of The A-Team inspires such testosterone-fuelled activities!” 


Anyone who comes along dressed as their favourite A Team character may also win their way into the premiere screening that night. Or simply come along to get a Mr T mohawk cut for free (no seriously!).


The A-Team hits cinemas on June 10, visit http://www.ateamthemovie.com.au/ for more info.

Two million iPads and counting

Premium Black Thick Soft Gel Silicone Skin for Apple iPad 16GB, 32GB, 64GB Wi-Fi and WiFi + 3GI know I've been a bit obsessed with writing about the iPad (no they aren't sponsoring me!) but I wanted to share this latest fact - Apple has announced sales of the iPad topped two million in less than 60 days since its launch on April 3. I guess I was alone in not rushing out to buy one!

Apple began shipping iPad in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK last week and it will go on sale available in nine more countries in July.

“Customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs says. “We appreciate their patience, and are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone.”

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Exclusive interview with a Ken doll


If you ever wondered what a Ken doll would say if he could talk - and who hasn't - wonder no more! Thanks the magic of Pixar you can watch this 'exclusive interview' with Barbie's hot sidekick and discover everything there is to know about the spectacular plastic man in the cardboard box.

This clip is well worth the effort - it is truly hilarious.

Check out more Pixar magic on June 24 with Toy Story 3 hits the big screens. I am so excited this franchise is back!

Get the new Twilight book for free

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella (Twilight Saga)If you’re a Twilight fan, you probably already know about the new book Stephanie Meyer is releasing, but did you know this Saturday the book will be available to download free online?

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a novella that looks at the life (or second life) of the vampire Bree Tanner and explores the experiences of the newly undead. Fans of the series will remember Bree from her debut (and demise) at the end of Eclipse when she attacks Bella and the Cullens.

Stephanie Meyer says she wanted to give something back to the fans who have supported her so wanted to offer the book for free. However if - like me - you want a hardcopy of the book to add to your Twilight book shelf, copies will be going on sale from all good bookshops or you can pre-order a copy from Amazon here. To find out more about the book or Stephanie check out her official website at www.stepheniemeyer.com.

To download your free copy of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner head to www.breetanner.com this weekend.

Whether you are going to download it or buy it, make sure you do it before Eclipse hits theatres on July 1, Stephanie says some elements of this novella have been worked into the film adaptation of Eclipse.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When football meets fashion

This is the first (and most likely last) time I have written about football on my blog and I am only doing it now because it involves my absolutely favourite design house Louis Vuitton (and supermodel Naomi Campbell for good measure).

Just a short while ago in Paris, Louis Vuitton unveiled their latest special order piece – a travel case designed to hold the FIFA World Cup Trophy. I am sure the footballers don’t feel the same way, but if I won the world cup I’d be far more excited about the travel case than the trophy! That said the trophy itself weighs just over six kilos and is made of solid 18-carat gold with a base of semi-precious malachite. Who knew footballers had good taste?

Commissioned by FIFA the travel case was made in Louis Vuitton’s original workshop in Asnieres near Paris and is covered in monogram canvas and fitted with the company’s signature brass lock and corners.

Louis Vuitton head of communications Antoine Arnault says: “We are very proud to have been chosen by FIFA to create the case in which the world’s ultimate sporting prize will in future travel the globe. This exceptional commission truly honours Louis Vuitton’s 150-year tradition of craftsmanship and savoir-faire.”

FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil adds: “The travel case is an (sic) fundamental element in the appearance of our most important asset. It not only underlines the exclusivity and personality of the FIFA World Cup Trophy but guarantees safety and protection on its travel around the world.”

And Naomi’s involvement? That’s anyone’s guess; perhaps she just was itching to have her picture taken with the trophy.Or perhaps she is hoping LV will make her a trophy case of her very own?

Tip for iPad buyers

Apple iPad MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi)The Australian Communication Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is strongly advising consumers to opt for a pre-paid plan when buying an iPad 3G in Australia to avoid what they are calling “bill shock” experienced by 3G smartphone owners hit with excess data usage charges.

ACCAN says early iPad adopters should steer well clear of post-paid plans until they get used to the new devices. ACCAN Director of policy & campaigns Elissa Freeman says post-paid plans, even those with names like ‘unlimited’ and ‘cap’, generally have a data usage limit and consumers charged at a much higher rate for data if they exceed it.
 


“The iPad and similar new-generation devices offer exciting new possibilities for consumers,” Elissa says. “But to avoid getting an ‘iShock’, we’re strongly advising consumers opt for a pre-paid plan for at least the first three months until they get a feel for how much data they’re using.


“Anyone using a 3G iPad on a post-paid plan essentially has access to a loaded gun of credit. While you’re absorbed in checking out what your iPad can do, you’re in danger of going over your data usage limit and facing a huge bill.”

So how are you setting up your iPad? If you’ve got one already did you opt for pre-paid or did you go post-paid? Is the ACCAN’s concern warranted?

Apple iPad MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi)

Are you nuts about truffles?

If you go crazy for truffles or have always been dying to try them, Restaurant Amuse is holding their annual truffle dinner on Tuesday 15th June starting at
7pm.

$190 per person will get you a delicious meal (with truffles included in every course) accompanied by matching wines.

For tickets call 9325 4900 
or email dining@restaurantamuse.com.au. Restaurant Amuse can be found at 64 Bronte Street
East Perth.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rick Hart opening new venture early


It has been all over the news in the last few weeks that WA chain Rick Hart, owned by Clive Peeters, has gone intro receivership and I am not sure if that is good or bad timing for Rick Hart (the man) who was preparing to launch a new retail venture – Kitchen Headquarters (KHQ).

Rick sold the chain branded with his name to Clive Peeters more than four years ago and now, with business partners Nicholas Kirby and Spiros Scafidas, plans to open the doors on KHW in mid-June, weeks earlier than planned.

Rich Hart says the decision to open early was to ensure WA consumers have an alternative for purchasing kitchen, cooking and laundry appliances – but I hazard a guess it is just good business sense. Taking the splash while the receivership is hot news and the opening is likely to gain media coverage as well as taking advantage to what will most likely become a hole in the WA retail market. 


“We recognised that the unfortunate circumstances with Clive Peeters could make people uncertain about where to purchase appliances, so we will be opening early in order to provide more immediate choice,” Rick says. 
“With the support of our suppliers and staff, KHQ‘s doors will open in June, offering a large range of some of the world’s most desirable, premium brand appliances.


“I’m saddened by the situation at Clive Peeters and hope that all those affected, both customers and staff, find some early resolution.”

In another interesting twist, or perhaps business-savvy, KHQ tomorrow launch a helpline for customers to call who want advice on purchasing refrigeration, laundry or kitchen appliances. Rick says the KHQ helpline offers an immediate solution for customers who need some sales support. 
 
The KHQ helpline number is 9205 3000 and opens tomorrow. KHQ is located at the corner of Howe St and King Edward Road, Osborne Park.