Thursday, 24 January 2013

Botani - Eczema and kids

Had never come across eczema before and was quite surprised when the doctor told me that the persistent red rash on my daughters arms and face was eczema .Thankfully her condition is not too bad, especially now that I have learnt how to manage it. It tend to flare up in dry weather both in summer and winter.
A big flare up might call for a trip to the doctors for some steroid ointments and creams till the rash subsides. However by addressing the issue with preventive measures her skin has improved and does not flare up as often anymore.

A bath in luke warm, never hot water follwed by patting rather than rubbing her skin dry and then I apply her cream. Also I choose cotton fabric as much as possible as it does not irritate her skin.

Here are some of the products I really find helpful in treating and preventing eczema from Botani which is a wholly Australian owned and Vegan friendly company  -  

Website -

Botani Olivene Balm
Have been using it for my daughters eczema as it soothes her skin from itching it and even as a nappy rash ointment. Just love, love, love this product!! It not just soothes and forms a barrier in areas that are dry and red but actually stops the itchy feeling immediately. Cannot recommend it enough! It comes in a neat screw top jar, and has a thick solid consistency, looks almost like softened candle wax. It has no fragrance except for a mild waxy Olive smell. It is not greasy like Vaseline whih just forms a barrier but just absorbs into the skin within a few minutes of applying. Have used it on dry areas like my elbows, heels and around my nose. The area around my nose was dry and itchy and I stopped feeling any discomfort within a day! I didn't develop any acne as a result of using it on my face either.

Botani Phytobodywash

Have been using the Botani Phyto bodywash for my daughter who suffers from eczema with excellent results. It does not foam very much but is very soothing and gentle on the skin. It contains Calendula to relive itching and inflammation. Lemon Myrtle that has antibacterial and fungicide properties and Moringa for moisturizing the skin. It can be used as a shampoo for short hair but have just used it as a body wash. The fragrance is very herbal and mild. Her skin has greatly improved in appearance and she feels relief from the itching after her bath.
When her skin gets especially red and inflammed I use the Botani Phytoseptic Cream
 An excellent addition to our first aid kit as can be used for everything from cuts and scratches to nappy rash. Its a light green in colour but when rubbed gently into skin blends in with skin colour and does not stand out as such. has a medicinal but pleasant herbal smell. I even used it soothe the redness and inflammation from a splinter on my husbands finger till it came out.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Lavandula Lavender Farm - Daylesford

Made the beautiful picturesque drive to Daylesford to visit Lavandula Lavender Farm Lavandula Swiss Italian farm.  Was just gorgeous!! as the pictures will attest and just 10 mins north of Daylesford it makes for a beautiful summer picnic especially if you love lavender as much as I do!

The fragrance is just heavenly and it looks beautiful.
The best time to visit is before the harvest festival when the Lavender is in full bloom.

They have a gorgeous shop selling everything from potpourri to old fashioned quaint crockery and a whole range of lavender based products from oil, to creams.

There was a gorgeous rope bridge at the entrance over a little stream, which my little Indiana Jones couldn't resist walking on, back and forth at least a dozen times!

Lunch at Trattoria cafe at Lavandula a tasting platter filled with produce from the onsite farm!

EMU spotting! My 2 year old was absolutely delighted!
 On the way to Daylesford my little darling puked all over her clothes, had to buy her a change at Colour me Cooper Store in Daylesford. Loving her "mini" maxi :). And thanking God for whoever invented wet wipes and anti bacterial aerosol sprays!

Entry view of the farm 
Inside Trattoria cafe, room with a view indeed!! Loved the ceiling!

Whatever you do do not forget to get a waffle cone of some truly out of this world Lavender icecream! It tasted just delightful!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Social Mums Say - Melbourne 2013

SOCIAL MUMS SAY - Melbourne 2013 Kids business

Had a wonderful day at the Social Mums Say Event Was great learning about so many products I never come across as I whiz through the supermarket with 3 kids and a shopping list! Now will look out for them on my shop and will introduce some variety and excitement at meal times! Was a fun day out for the kids as they were lots of arts and craft, and other fun activities, so no cranky kids the whole time we were there!

Was a beautiful location by the Yarra river and the kids even had time for a play at the Birrarung Marr play center after the event, while hubby and me watched the inventive costumes for all those going to watch the Melbourne Tennis at Rod Laver Arena!

Micador Micador - Was totally fascinated with the facepaint/crayon. As well as the wide range of other products. With a son very interested in art, was good to know the range of varied products rather than purchasing the same stuff over and over again. Do wish the face paint sticks were brighter in colour on the face though.

Macro Organic

The sausages were yummy, I actually tried buying the Lamb mint and rosemary ones on my Sunday shop at 2 different Woollies yesterday and they were not available :(! Loved the mini kids size sausages too. Good for the whole family and tasty too!

Busy with the barbie! 


While I do buy a lot of products for baking from the Philly and Cadbury range already have always been a bit nervous about Cheesecakes! Well, no more! Learnt lots of information on the brand from staff!Thanks!

The Philadelphia Cream for desserts has 50% less cream than regular double cream!
The Cream cheese frosting with a hint of lemon is so easy when you want to make a cake in a hurry!

Have started baking a lot more this year and experimenting with desserts I was to scared to try, the Philly range does make it easier!

Cell Care Australia - The kids enjoyed the colouring in sheets!

Cleansui - 

The water we tasted was so fresh and clean.
While Melbourne water is one of the cleanest  in the world.
It does have a chlorine smell and taste which can be quite strong.
The team demonstrated with some dirty brownish water collected from the Yarra River and the Cleansui jug was able to filter it perfectly! The picture to the right is of the Cleansui Filter jug. Am enjoying using it, its simple and easy way to get pure filtered, fresh tasting, water. The rectangle shaped base makes it easy to store in the fridge too!

Mc Cormick - 

Cannot wait to experiment with the Marinade in a bag range with flavours like Honey Soy, Red Wine & Garlic, Teriyaki and Sticky BBQ! They are perfect when you are in a hurry to get dinner done!Also gives a change of flavours to my usual recipes and will help to keep dinner interesting!

Was introduced by Amer from McCormick to a whole new range of their products to try.  I never have enough time to learn about new products in the range while shopping so it was very informative for future shopping sessions. Especially loved lunch, the salad and honey soy chicken in particular!

Medibank - Already Medibank members, the staff again were very helpful, my son enjoyed the  ipad app for finding out how long it takes to burn of various foods! (Takes 35 mins of table tennis to burn off a sushi roll!, I lost interest in the app after that! :) Loved Dorothy the Dinosaur. And useful to learn about the Nurse helpline too.

SPC - The interactive big apple was so much fun for the kids. A big screen Fruit Ninja of a game! Loved the little fruit pouches for my kids lunch boxes!

Dyson - Very good demo of the hand held vacuum, on my list of"must buy soon" stuff! Its bagless and very lightweight.  Have been using the brand for years and nice to learn about the newest products. The toy vacuum are so cute, my little girl is enjoying following me around while I vacuum today!

Hallmark - Cannot get over the lunch note pads. They had the cutest most heart warming messages. While I love handwritten notes, these little slips mean I can send notes with their lunch more often! Was nice to see a wider range of Hallmark  products, rather than the usual birthday/Christmas cards I'm accustomed to. The wrist bump text bands were a bit hit with my kids!. My daughter who is 5 is actually learning more new words, and its a fun way to test my 8 year old son on his daily spelling words homework once he starts school next month!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Mount Macedon Memorial Cross

Last weekend we made a family trip to the charming town of Woodend and then picnicked at the Mount Macedon Memorial Cross site. Its located about 45 mins fro  the CBD of Melbourne.

We had made at least 3-4 trips to Mount Macedon but could never locate its actual location so was determined to go there this time around. Found very little information or photographs of the place online. Its worth a trip an the drive in the cold hilly air is beautiful.
Mount Macedon Memorial Cross

Its about a 4min drive further than the Camels Hump lookout which is another beautiful climb. The Memorial Cross was built to honour Australian Soldiers who laid down their lives for the country. There is a beautiful short walk up to the cross and a couple of panoramic views of the surrounding hillside. There is ample area to picnic, even a quaint stone picnic pavillion. Also a very good cafe and gift shop.

Home Baking - Hot Cross Buns

As its the school holidays have been enjoying experimenting with Baking. Not just the usual cakes and cookies, but Breads, Pizza and yesterday even Hot Cross Buns! And even some Home Made Cottage Cheese called Paneer.
While I know Easter is ages away, I wanted to use the extra free time to practice so I can be a pro come Good Friday!

I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make home baked breads and buns, preservative free! Not to mention the wonderful aroma pervading the house! And NO, I did not spend all day in the kitchen, they were pretty simple and easy to follow. I rely heavily on the Australian Women's Weekly BAKE cook book, it has become my bible for bakery! And to think I almost did not allow my hubby to pick it up for $20 hard cover edition from Aldi's!

Starting Prep School!!

My 5 year old daughter starts school next month. She joins her brother  who is in grade 3 this year. She was a bit nervous about starting school and is still a bit apprehensive. But all her feelings pale in comparison to mine :)! I thought the second time would be much easier, but no way if anything its way scarier!and the pain of separation as bad if not worse!
Have been spending the last 2 months getting her stuff ready for school from socks and hats to books and crayons. I'm sure there will be tears come February 6th (mine not hers!), but am excited too to see her learn grow and fulfill her potential as she enters her first serious portals into education and the wider world!
One baby girl left at home and now I know that the first day of school is always going to be hard for me to take :)!

Have made a list of steps needed to start school. Below is a link which is a good place to start planning your kids education journey.
Education Victoria

There are various Primary School options available, Public Schools, Private Schools and Catholic Schools.
For all school you will need your child's immunization certificate showing that he or she has been vaccinated up to the correct age. Make sure you visit schools you are considering a good year in advance. The local council is a good place to start for information about schools in your locality.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

What do I bring with me to Australia?

It can be heart breaking trying to decide what to bring with you and what to leave behind. First bear in mind before you start that the Australian Government has very strict rules regarding what you can carry into the country as they want to protect the native Australian flora and fauna.

Click on the link below for items you cannot carry into Australia or those you need to declare on the passenger card you are given on the plane before landing. Do follow the list! They are pretty strict and if in doubt... DECLARE! Especially food based stuff, even if its a packet of mints or a chocolate bar!

Another useful website before you arrive is

Pack the items you treasure the most like photographs, jewelery  certificates, work experience letters, birth certificates or any keep-sakes that means a lot to you in your carry on luggage. Leave behind anything you don't really need. You can keep the items in storage with family members or a storage company and send for it later when your settled down.
Ensure you carry along your child/children's immunisation register as its needed for kindergarten/school age children as a mandatory document on admission.
Carry a minimum of clothing and shoes as you can soon buy what you need. Think of the weather when you arrive and only pack weather appropriate clothing. As the season change you can purchase new ones.
All the Australian capital cities have large populations of various countries residing here which means you can purchase things like spices etc after you arrive so no need of carrying such items.
Australia is a long way from anywhere! Hence when booking your flights book for seats right up front, much easier when travelling with babies and small kids. carry lightweight  pencils, books and toys for kids to occupy themselves with on the plane and airports.
Kids prams can be brought along and will not be weighed in with rest of your luggage.
The pic below is my last view of the Periyar river Cochin India from our 6th floor flat!