Browsing Tag

self-isolation

Lifestyle & Social

Where I’m clicking for educational screen time

18th September, 2021

Being at home with both Sophia and Grace over the last few weeks has made us have to be re-think screen time. With Luke and I still trying to work, it means that at times we have to rely on screens to keep the girls occupied. And while sometimes all they want to do is watch Frozen or another Disney princess movie, we have been trying to balance that with being able to watch and engage with shows or games that are educational too.

One of the most helpful things for us has been the list of recommendations I’ve gathered from friends and family and Grace’s pre-school for great educational programs, games and shows for kids. With the focus of most of these online resources being on literacy and maths, it has been great for building on the things the girls have been learning at school and at pre-school. There have also been some really fun activities such as visiting some of the world’s best museums virtually or story time online that has entertained the girls and allowed them to learn at the same time.

I know there are countless parents out there in the same boat right now so I thought I’d collate the most popular sites that parents can check out, based on the recommendations I’ve been using during isolation. There’s a great mixture of learning tools, shows and games so hopefully it makes navigating screen time a little easier.

Online resources

There’s a mixed bag on this list, with the majority focusing on reading and writing and maths. There are different levels with most of the programs so they’re suitable for different ages. Some require sign up whereas others you can just launch straight into the program or games. Hopefully there’s something here that you and your kids will approve of.

Starfall

ABCYa

Funbrain

Splashlearn

Story Online

PBS Kids

Highlights Kids

Coolmath4Kids

MathGameTime

Unite for Literacy

Literactive

Science Kids

Switch Zoo

Seussville

Turtle Diary

E-learning for kids

BrainPop

Curiosity Stream

Tynker

Outschool

Khan Academy

Creative Bug

Scholastic learning magazine

Museum virtual tours

YouTube Channels

YouTube: more than just cat videos! There are some really good educational channels to check out on this platform. While you can find virtually anything on YouTube, I’ve found most of the kids’ channels are great for science and geography content as you can check out everything from sharks and dinosaurs to doing experiments and profiling different countries around the world. I’ve listed a few below but a quick search based on subject matter will unearth plenty of options.

Crash Course Kids

SciShow Kids

Science Channel

National Geographic Kids

Free School

Geography Focus

SciShow

Kids Learning Tube

Geek Gurl Diaries

Mike Likes Science

Science Max

Fashion, Lifestyle & Social, Social

How to look good on Zoom

7th August, 2021

 

If you’ve suddenly found your days filled with multiple Zoom calls you’re not alone. Lockdown has meant we’re working from home or unable to catch up with all our friends so video calling is our lifeline. Whether it’s a work meeting, virtual drinks with the girls or home schooling, being on Zoom (or FaceTime or House Party or any number of video call platforms) has become a regular part of our routines. And while it may only be a tiny box on a screen, there are still some simple tweaks I’ve found to make how you appear on a video call a little more flattering. I’m sharing a few of my tried and tested tips here — try them during your next chat.

Have great lighting

This applies to photographs and it definitely applies to video calls: natural lighting is key. Give the fluorescent lighting a miss if you can as this can make you appear washed out. Instead find a spot with great natural light and let it face towards you, lighting your face.

Elevate your screen

You don’t want the image on screen to be streaming from an angle that is facing up as this can make for a rather unflattering viewpoint. It’s easily fixed by propping your computer up on a stack of books to elevate it which makes for a much more flattering angle.

Pop on a blazer

You can throw a blazer on over jeans and a tee and it automatically elevates your look. This is a great staple to have on hand for those times when you need to quickly look dressed up but don’t have much time up your sleeve. Accessories such as earrings and necklaces do the same — the chunkier the better as it can really lift an outfit.

Declutter your background

Declutter behind you or do your call in front of a wall. You don’t want people seeing all your personal belongings behind you, particularly if it’s a work call.

Add some colour with lipstick

If you don’t have time to for any of the above pop on some lipstick. A flush of colour instantly makes you look a little more glam and put together.

Credits: Suit, Manning Cartell; T-shirt, Cotton On, Pearl and chain link necklace and earrings, AJE; Custom vintage gold medallion necklace

This post was produced in collaboration with Lexus

Lifestyle, Lifestyle & Social

How to maintain your sanity as a parent during lockdown

1st August, 2021
Coping with lockdown as a parent isn’t easy but there are ways to support yourself through it

 

As we keep hearing these are unprecedented times and I’m sure most parents can attest that parenting in self-isolation and being with your children 24/7 during a pandemic is not something any of us were prepared to do. While there are definitely some beautiful upsides to being able to spend quality time with our kids, much more than we ever though we’d be able to do, it is undoubtedly a tough, exhausting and draining road ahead. I reached out to a friend of mine, who is a registered psychologist and co-founder of The Bumpy Road, a practice that specifically works with mothers on issues such as motherhood, relationships, parenting and career for some tips on how to navigate this time. I’m sharing what she told me below.

How can parents maintain balance when at home with their kids for what seems to be for the next few weeks/months?

We need to pace ourselves and importantly lower our expectations. We have been thrown the world’s biggest curve ball and need to recognise that this is a big adjustment ‘so we may need some time to find our groove. At this stage most of us are still trying to figure out what ‘balance’ looks like with some days working out better than others. It is likely impossible to merge all responsibilities of our pre-COVID and post-COVID worlds so I would start with:

1.  Prioritising what is important right now—that may be work, getting the kids established in routine educationally or trying to palm off as many responsibilities as possible to help soothe the angst within the household as we all know that it is difficult to do anything from a distressed state of mind.

2. Work out how those priorities can be met—acknowledge and build acceptance of what has to be let go of and timetable your day and allocate your resources to top line priorities

3. Work on the foundation of home, household and family that are going to get you there. For example non-negotiable exercise in the morning, food shop and prepared meal purchases/planning, (virtual) connection with those outside the house. 

How can parents ease the pressure to be productive and fill their kids’ days with endless activities?

Ah, this is a work in progress in my house. We need to recognise that this is a HUGE shift for the kids too and they have not been in a situation with so much unstructured time with no book ends. We need to gradually condition them to having less parental availability and engagement (perhaps compared to the pre-COVID world).

For preschool and older kids, establishing a routine and involving them in what that routine looks like for the day, what (directed AND self directed) activities they would like to do. Choose things that they are familiar with and can accomplish on their own e.g. lego/play-doh/colouring in may be appropriate to the younger ages and then also agree to time where you will actively participate with them. Unfortunately you are likely going to have to relax your standards on screen time if the demands of kid and works keep colliding and you need to steal those longer stretches to give to your work or home tasks that are non-negotiable. It’s a constant of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ at the moment.

What are some ways to ease the guilt for parents who are trying to juggle working and caring for their kids at home and feeling like they’re not doing both very well?

It’s important to realise that the way we think about a situation i.e. the mindset, plays a significant role in defining our perception of a situation. So whilst COVID is providing us all with significant hurdles, guilt is a feeling which is often magnified by unhelpful thinking. For example if we fail to adjust our expectations of what can/should be achieved at work, we are likely going to experience anguish about work output or our parenting capacity.

It is very important to acknowledge this change in circumstance and be conscious about our expectations at both work and home. The fact that we are turning up to both in a 50 per cent capacity is not an inditement of you. These are significant responsibilities, or if we can call them ‘jobs’ and all of a sudden for circumstances beyond us, we are required to do them in tandem. The difficulty is not because you are failing – make sure you do not fall into the pitfall of interpreting this mammoth challenge as a personal failure. Simply pick up the phone and call a friend and you will see that we are all in this together, in this world and the best we can do is the best we can.

Belinda Williams is a registered psychologist and founder of The Bumpy Road

What are some coping strategies when parents may be feeling overwhelmed and just a little over it?

Wherever possible connect with you support group and prioritise self care. You are an important cornerstone and it is important to put your needs first so that you can meet the demands around you.

This may look like a quick FaceTime from the car or an online exercise program for 15 minutes in the morning. The micro top ups is where you are going to find the resources which help re-energise and give you the boost to get your momentum for your next challenge. 

What are some of your tips to help getting through each day of isolation with kids a little easier?

Make sure you are prioritising connection with your kids. The more connected you are the safer the kids will feel and the more cohesion you are likely to feel. This is an investment that pays dividends in so many ways and will help improve your navigation through each day.

Involve your kids in setting a plan for the day – the more involved they feel the more engaged they will be and the less arguments you are likely to face

Be realistic about what is achievable – whether that’s balancing work and kids, play and household or kid vs adult time. It’s a balancing act

Make sure you are active – this may be alone or combined with the kids. This is a non-negotiable

Make sure your kids are connecting with others too via the phone, video conference, letter writing or even emoji sending. This way they may feel less reliant on you to fill their cup.

What should parents do when faced with endless questions or complaints from their kids as to why they can’t do the things they usually do?

It’s important to keep finding age appropriate ways to communicate the circumstances of COVID. Make sure you continue to ask them if they have any questions. Point out differences that they may be able to observe e.g. less traffic, shops closed, playgrounds closed etc. It is important not to stoke anxiety but ensure that they build an understanding of this first in a lifetime and abstract event.

How can parents help their children through such a big upheaval in their routine? 

With compassion and patience. Given the COVID virus is not visible, it takes quite a lot of cognitive gymnastics for children to really embed an understanding of what is happening in the world. Whilst our ‘normal’ routines have been changed abruptly, it is important to create new routines for example rituals at the dining table, a board game before bedtime, having a dance together at morning tea time – whatever is age appropriate. This will help give them some new anchors and is an opportunity to use this time as time to connect with your kids even though you may be more time poor than ever.

What should every parent aim to have in their emotional/mental survival kit to help getting through this time easier?

Given we are so physically restrained, many of these tools relate to the way in which we look at our circumstance. Here are some examples of important ways to optimise your wellbeing through the way you think.

  • A motto of ‘good enough is good enough’… more then ever we need to embrace this now
  • Find ways to catch and reframe negative thinking e.g. This is a disaster – changed to – This is my opportunity to show that I can work flexibly- share these with your friends as it will help both you and them!
  • Exercise every day even if it’s just for 10 minutes
  • Take one day at a time and recognise the small wins within each day.

For mums in particular who may find themselves left with the lion’s share of the domestic/child-rearing responsibilities during this time, how can they avoid feeling overwhelmed?

It is an important time to renegotiate these domestic responsibilities. Now more than ever, the significant load of parenting and household responsibilities will visible. I would recommend scheduling time to negotiate the priorities and division of these responsibilities. Be careful not to fall into the trap of doing more of what you were doing because of prior circumstance. The goal posts have moved and this is your opportunity to move with them.

You can find more information about Belinda and The Bumpy Road here. Follow her on Instagram at @the_bumpy_road.

Fashion

Easy ways to rethink the humble tracksuit and turn it into a stylish loungewear staple

24th July, 2021

The tracksuit is no doubt a ubiquitous part of many people’s relaxation wardrobe and over the last few weeks I’m sure it has become even more of an integral staple. While classic trackies will always have a place in our off duty repertoire, in recent years, the humble tracksuit as we know it has had a bit of a glow up. In fact, dare I say, it’s now right up there as a critical part of many a loungewear look. So, if you want to to easily go from your couch to the local cafe to pick up a coffee, here are a few ways to do the tracksuit, with an injection of style.

Be selective with materials

Think luxe materials such as wool, cashmere or corduroy. While there are some cute iterations of cotton tracksuits, there’s something about elevated fabrics which can turn the tracksuit into more of a style piece.

Work it back with a knit

A gorgeous knit is always a constant in my winter wardrobe and it’s become a critical part of my loungewear wardrobe because it’s actually a great piece to pair with a pair of tracksuit pants. Worn back with a tracksuit, it makes it adds a chic element.

Loving matching tracksuit sets

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise

You don’t have to go all out in the accessories department if you don’t want to but the addition of a simple necklace or a great pair of earrings is one way to turn a tracksuit from just something you wear on the couch to something that has a little more of a fashion element.

Consider your footwear

Pair your tracksuit with a great – but comfy – pair of shoes. Think a nice comfortable sandal or a pair of sneakers. It allows you to tick the form and function box quite nicely.

Go for a great bag

When leaving the house, you can turn your tracksuit into a going out look with the addition of a nice bag. A statement tote, a bucket bag, or even a pretty basket bag are the kind of dressy accessory that works well with a tracksuit.

Consider your outerwear

One trend that’s emerged featuring the tracksuit, is pairing it with classic outerwear. Think a beautiful trench or a coat in a classic shade such as camel, black or navy. It doesn’t seem like it should work but it definitely does—plus you can stay unbelievably toasty and warm all at the same time.

Credits: Tracksuit in video, Bec and Bridge

This post was produced in collaboration with Lexus

 

 

Fashion

Nutritionist-approved tips on simple ways to make eating well during lockdown easier

19th July, 2021

Being in lockdown can really wreak havoc on one’s good intentions to eat well. Having access to snacks aplenty all day while WFH, not having access to all the ingredients we need and often feeling exhausted after a long day means that often we’re not eating as well as we could all the time. So, what are some ways to actually make it easier to eat healthily? I spoke to nutritionist and author Michele Chevalley Hedge recently, and here’s what she had to say…

What are some ways we can make it more feasible to eat well during lockdown?

“It has always been a general nutritional philosophy to eat with a plan but certainly now that is even more important as most of us are only working several tempting metres from our pantries and snacks. If you find yourself wandering in boredom to kitchen to eat throughout the day then please map an eating plan a day or two in advance. A plan with a vision becomes a reality and one that comes with no guilt.

If you are in insolation and find yourself moving less than please consider reducing the amount of carbs you are eating.  Still have them, make sure they are smart carbs ( brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, sweet potato, barley, oats )  but only have them at breakfast and lunch. Smart carb, starchy carbs, slow carbs—the terms are interchanged—but what you really need to know is that they break down to sugars. If we are not burning those sugars with brain energy and physical energy they will end up on your new ‘corona’ muffins.”

What does a day of healthy eating entail?

“There has never been a more appropriate time to look at our diets and build our immune systems than now. What a day of healthy eating looks like today should be the same as it should in one year from now. A diet that is full of real, whole foods, unpackaged and unprocessed as often as possible.  This type of diet with good fats, quality protein and smart carbs is abundant in vitamins, polyphenols, antioxidants, fibre and do not have added sugar. 

I encourage everyone to be eating three meals a day right now to keep their blood sugar stable for sustainable all day energy to keep up with teaching the kids at home, tidying and tidying again, cooking and you might even be working whilst doing all of this. When people skip or skimp on a meal especially during times of high stress, they might be buzzing along fine and then hunger hits and you reach for anything that is easy and often sweet.”

What are some essentials to aim to have in every meal? 

“Breakfast and lunch should have all three macro nutrients in your meal.  Good fats are brain food they also balance hormones and dampen sugar cravings. Protein helps balance blood sugar, builds immunity, and underpins collagen. Smart carbs are fuel for your brain and your body, and a good source of B vitamins

Consider for breakfast avocado, eggs, and sweet potato ( leftovers from dinner the night before); smoked salmon with extra virgin olive oil on a slice of buckwheat bread.

For lunch consider a version of what you ate the night before.

When it comes to dinner leave out carb or go low carb for adults but leave in for the children and use that carb as your breakfast in the morning.”

What essentials should people aim to have in their pantry and fridge to help making healthy eating easier and tasty?

Spices are full of antioxidants and can make the same old veggies and meat taste like completely different meal. 

Eggs are brain boost food. As well as containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals, eggs are among the richest sources of choline, a nutrient that makes acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain involved in nerve and brain functioning and memory. Many of the B vitamins found in eggs are important for mental wellbeing. Egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are critical for good vision. Eggs are among the few food sources of vitamin D, needed for bones, teeth, muscles and a strong immune system. Several studies have shown people feel fuller for longer when they eat eggs for breakfast. 

Milk is a versatile and budget-friendly way to pack a variety of nutrients into your diet, including B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and iodine. Great for healthy bones and teeth. Dairy products are especially important for bones—research shows higher intakes support healthy bone development and help maintain density and strength. Of course, that’s if you can tolerate dairy. If not try A2 Milk, almond, oat, or soy. 

Canned tuna and fish is a no-fuss, economical, clean protein that needs no preparation – simply open the can. There’s hardly any waste and, unlike fresh fish, it has a long shelf. Check it is from a sustainable source and look at salt values as some canned fish can be high in salt, especially if it’s smoked, canned in brine or in a sauce. Salmon, anchovies, and sardines are high in heart and brain-friendly omega 3 fatty acids which are great for dealing with inflammation. They are also high in Vitamin D, which is important for immunity, as well as low levels being linked to depression in some studies. 

Almonds and nuts generally are nutritional powerhouses. I know they do not appear to be economical, but they are when you consider the nutritional density. Nuts are heart-friendly and provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats which helps explain why many studies link them to better heart health and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. There’s also evidence that, rather than encouraging weight gain, almonds may help us better regulate our weight and reduce belly fat, possibly because they help fill us up and replace other snacks in our diet that are higher in calories and lower in nutrients. Seven nuts and cup of herbal tea is the perfect snack, so we boost our brain and not our waistline.

Canned and frozen veggies are antioxidants that come in packages. Canning and freezing have come a long way and canned and frozen vegetables still provide lots of antioxidants, fibre and vitamins. Pick up frozen broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms, broad beans, green beans which have long freezer life. Most vegetables include the essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health, including fibre, B vitamins such as folate, and vitamins A and C.

Tomatoes are packed with an antioxidant called lycopene, higher intakes of which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers, such as prostate cancer. Better still, the body can absorb the lycopene from processed canned tomatoes more easily than it can from fresh. Use canned tomatoes in pasta, curry or soups. Remember, most vegetables are rich in flavonoids, which have been linked to better heart health – enjoy five serves a day, especially green ones!

Sweet potatoes/kumara are the “super taters”. Better than white potatoes as they contain a wider range of nutrients and are especially rich in beta-carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A, a nutrient that’s vital for our immune system, vision and healthy skin. Keeping the skin on all potatoes boosts their fibre content so scrub then mash or chop and dose with olive oil and spices to bake. 

Whole grains provide fibre and brain fuel.  Oats, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, wholemeal bread and bulgur wheat are fantastic budget buys loaded with nutrients and will keep you pipes moving. The soluble fibre also keeps your blood sugar balanced, lowers LDL and provides satiation so you don’t binge later. Walk past the white rice, white pasta or white bread – the outer bran layer and germ of the grain are stripped away, with the result that the grain loses much of its fibre and many of its nutrients. 

Legumes are both carb and protein. Canned or dried chickpeas, lentils, and beans such as kidney, haricot, butter, black, cannellini, borlotti, flageolet, adzuki, pinto and black-eyed are an inexpensive way to satisfy hunger with protein and fibre as well as add nutrients such as potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and B vitamins. Pulses and legumes are full of fibre, which is linked to reducing blood cholesterol and improving glycaemic control. Beans and pulses are a source of probiotics for friendly bacteria in the gut. We need a healthy gut for a strong immune system.  

Go here for full pantry list.”

What are your tips for adapting cooking if you’re having trouble accessing certain ingredients? 

“Adapt away without worries. Get creative. You cannot really fail at cooking…there is always toast! If the recipe is using herbs or spices you do not have, use something you like. If the recipe is a calling for a protein you do not like then swap it for another protein-based food. Lamb and beef can be replaced with chicken. Tofu can be replaced with chickpeas . When in doubt, google it.”

What are your top meal prep tips? How can people make it easier on themselves?

“Always double and sometimes triple the recipe. For example when I make chicken soup, I triple the recipe. The first night I will serve this on a bed of barley,  the next day I will add a can of tomatoes and a fresh chili just for a new taste and look and serve with small pasta tubes and parmesan cheese.  It is not only a time saver but a cost saving idea.”

If people do find themselves ordering takeaway, how can they make healthy menu choices while doing so? What are some things to keep in mind?

“Look for foods that you know you would make for yourself or your own family. Deep fried food, heavy syrups and sauces, sugar laden, heavily processed food should not be part of your takeaway plan—now or ever.   If you are in doubt on what is in the food you are ordering, just ask. A quality takeaway outlet will be proud to share their ingredients.”

For more recipes ideas and health tips follow Michele on Instagram at @ahealthyview. Check out her new Low Sugar Lifestyle 28day online program for busy families who want health but not hassle.

Fashion

What being in lockdown taught me about style

22nd July, 2020

It’s crazy times of late and while we all try to navigate this new normal it has been interesting to reflect on how fashion has adapted to current circumstances. Tracksuits are well and truly a thing now — elevated into a loungewear staple that’s seen everyone from Camilla and Marc to Bassike release their own luxe versions. While jeans are a legitimate WFH go-to and we’re all embracing versatile basics like never before. The one thing that lockdown highlighted is that there are definitely parts of our wardrobes that we can’t live with, and those that we could probably rethink. Here are a few lessons I picked up about style over the last few months.

Comfort is and will always be key

Spending copious amounts of time at home meant clothes had to be ultra comfortable. I know that for me, I had to juggle working along with having the girls at home 24/7 so outfits had to be practical first and foremost. So I ended up going back to the same pieces over and over again, simply because they were comfy and also stylish. This included everything from jeans to staples such as tees and knits and also activewear. It really made me work with such a tighter edit, which actually made getting dressed easier.

Why certain things are go-to pieces and others aren’t

It also forced me to look at certain items in my wardrobe and question why I wasn’t wearing them during that time (event wear and ultra dressy pieces aside) and why it was for example that I preferred certain t-shirts over others I had. This really made me look at my favourites in a whole new light and allowed me to identify key things I liked about them, and in turn, formulate a criteria list that I can use for when I’m buying anything in future.

Denim is ridiculously versatile

I loved denim way before iso but it cemented my love for them even more. Finding jeans in a flattering length and cut is priceless and is the kind of thing that can be utilised day in and day out and worked back with so many different pieces. I pretty much lived in denim most days in lockdown, and I still do when working from home and the handful of denim pieces I had really formulated the bulk of my looks.

Matching sets are a great shortcut to style

A co-ord set is one of those things that when you put it on you immediately look stylish. Which makes it even more of a no-brainer as it requires absolutely no effort to put together. I’ve got a few matching sets on rotation and find them to be such a good option for when I don’t want to think about putting an outfit together. Invest in a set, and it will save you during any wardrobe dilemma/lazy day.

Invest in good basics

I’ve said this before time and time again, but basics really are the building blocks of any good, functional wardrobe. I had several tees, tanks and long-sleeved tops on the go, constantly on rotation during lockdown and nothing much has changed since then. They still formulate the bulk of a lot of my looks, and I whip them out time and time again. Plus the cost per wear is unbelievable because I am in them all the time.

Collect classics

Trend pieces are fun but I found that it was always the core items like blazers, coats and jackets that I’d find myself turning to to help tie a look together. Things such as a great black blazer or a beautiful statement coat are the kinds of items that can really make or break an ensemble, and are such a great thing to have at your disposal on days where you need to quickly smarten up an outfit.

Fashion

Snacking up a storm? Try these healthy snack options that are dietitian-approved

23rd May, 2020
Roasted chickpeas are a nutritious and delicious snack

If you’re finding yourself snacking a lot more than usual then you’re not alone—with more time spent at home, and closer proximity to pantries and fridges, it’s easy to find yourself grazing throughout the day. So instead of going for chips or biscuits, why not reach for some healthy options instead? Here Sydney-based dietitian Rachel Hawkins shares some of the best snack options to have the next time you get a craving for a 3pm chocolate bar hit.

Greek or natural yogurt – “A fantastic source of calcium for bone and muscle health and also a hunger-busting hit of protein.”

Hummus with veggie sticks or wholegrain crackers – “Hummus is high in protein and low GI, which helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full. Pair with veggie sticks or wholegrain crackers for a balanced snack that is high in added fibre and a host of vitamins and minerals.”

Air-popped popcorn – “A great wholegrain snack that is low in calories and a good source of fibre.”

A tasty smoothie is a winner for the whole family

Smoothies – “Homemade smoothies can serve as a great source of protein, calcium, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. It’s also a great way to add extra vegetables into your diet. For a simple smoothie try 1/2 cup mixed berries, 1 handful spinach, protein powder, 2tbsp rolled oats, 1 tbsp chia seeds, milk, ice.”

Whole piece of fruit – “Simple, but full of micronutrients and a good source of fibre.”

Wholegrain crackers topped with cottage cheese – “A great high protein, high fibre snack which will help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.”

Unsalted nuts are an easy snack option

A handful of unsalted nuts – “High in protein, healthy fats and fibre as well as micronutrients such as vitamin E and zinc which are great for skin health.”

Muesli or Nut Bar – “Many bars are high in added sugar, so be sure to check the nutrition label carefully. Aim for a bar that contains around 3- 4g fibre and 5g+ protein. I love Carmans ‘Protein’ nut bar range – most flavours contain over 10g protein and 4g fibre.” 

Edamame – “Fantastic high protein, high fibre plant based snack. 1 cup = 20g protein, 7g fibre.”

Roasted chickpeas – “Another great plant based snack that is a good source of protein and fibre.” 

Fashion, What I Wore

What I wore working from home

21st May, 2020

It’s been quite chilly in Sydney, so this week it was all about cosy separates in my home office. My general go-to uniform of late has been a jumper and jeans, which makes getting dressed for work ultra easy. I have dabbled in dressing up a little bit on days where I’ve got a work meeting or I’m shooting something at home, but otherwise it’s still denim and knits all the way. Here’s what I wore this week.

This ribbed matching set by Steele looks dressy but is actually ultra comfy. The co-ord vibe gives it a polished feel which is a great shortcut on days where I’m feeling lazy to style a look. The great thing about having separates is that I can pair both the top and skirt with other things in my closet, making it great value in terms of cost per wear.

Credits: Top and skirt, Steele

I’ve been really into these Ksubi jeans whilst working from home and they’re frequently in rotation during the week. I paired it with this sporty top by Camilla and Marc. I love the cord fabrication of the top as it adds some interesting texture to my look. But best of all, it’s really comfortable and perfect for a day at my desk.

Credits: Top, Camilla and Marc; Jeans, Ksubi

I’ve been experimenting a lot with different alternatives to jeans during the week and can attest to these cuffed pants by Bec and Bridge being an absolute winner. They’re a versatile grey which makes them ultra easy to work back with different pieces while the pin tucking adds a on trend touch. They’re ridiculously comfortable too, so that’s also another plus. Pink is always such a good pairing with grey, so I opted for this Steele knit to finish off my look.

Credits: Jumper, Steele, Pants, Bec and Bridge

I told you I am all about these Ksubi jeans right now! I went for a cosy pink turtleneck jumper by one of my fave new brands, Joslin Studio. I’m particularly into the cute finishes such as the hand knitted pom poms and cable knit feature. It’s also made from a blend of cotton and cashmere which makes it really effective at keeping me warm without being overly hot like I’ve found other jumpers to be. And you can never go wrong with a touch of pink.

Credits: Jumper, Joslin Studio, Jeans, Ksubi

Fashion

The key pieces that I’ve got on high rotation

18th May, 2020

The one thing that isolation life really taught me is that there are just key things that I can’t live without when it comes to my wardrobe. I found myself gravitating towards these pieces over and over again and they really were the cornerstone of many looks.

I also discovered that it really is very important for me to change my outfit according to a specific activity as it helped get me in the right frame of mind. While it’s ultra comfortable, staying in tracksuits/workout gear all day it made it really hard to differentiate between relaxation time and work time so I was doing multiple changes throughout the day—much like I would on a regular day where I’d change from from my activewear after a run, to my work clothes then back home to softer pieces to wind down. And in this process, I was really able to pinpoint the things that I need for a functional wardrobe on a day to day basis. Having collaboration with Lexus on a few stay at home/work from home style videos here’s what I honed in on as things I can’t live without right now…

Good activewear

I found that a good activewear set is really important to me, and I’m loving the sets by Camilla and Marc. They colours are ultra chic and not too out there and flashy which fits into my style. They were also easy to dress up, I actually threw on a white shirt over them on the odd occasion and they looked less exercise and more fashion-y.

A good line-up of jeans and tailored pants

I have on high rotation right now jeans and tailored but relaxed fit pants. I tend to go back and forth between the two of them most days now. They’re comfortable but also polished which is important to me.

Reliable basics

I’ve always been about great basics and currently I’m wearing white tees and singlets a lot. I tend to layer quite frequently in autumn and winter so it’s important to have those basics sorted, and for me, I’ve found Uniqlo and Cotton On do great, and affordable staples.

Comfy knits

There’s no better time than now to invest in great knits! I am building up a collection in a variety of colours as I’ve found them to be the easiest, most comfortable and also effortlessly stylish option on most days. I’m loving knits I’ve recently got from Bec and Bridge and Joslin Studio, they’re a great style and also come in beautiful shades.

Blazers

And last but not least, one of my forever staples—a great blazer. Having a blazer at the ready has honestly helped me get ready for a Zoom call in just a few seconds as it makes any look look that much more polished.

Credits: Wearing in video – pants, Manning Cartell; Top, Cotton On; Items off the rack – Activewear set, Camilla and Marc; Jeans, Levis 501; T-shirt, Uniqlo; Singlet, Cotton On; Blazers, Manning Cartell; Pink knit, Joslin Studio; Blue knit, Bec and Bridge; White jeans, Bec and Bridge

This post was produced in collaboration with Lexus

Lifestyle & Social

The Curated: Must-see movies

15th May, 2020

With more time spent at home these days I’m always on the hunt for great movie recommendations. I feel like I’ve exhausted a lot of my favourites so in my quest to add some new movies to my list, I thought I’d turn to a few people who I know would have some great suggestions. I always like hearing other people’s fave movies, as it saves me trawling through Netflix for ages trying to find something to watch. So I’ve rounded up their picks below (including mine) in case you’re on the hunt for something to watch over the weekend. Keep an eye out over the coming weeks as I’ll be sharing more of the panel’s pick for everything from TV shows to binge watch to the best places to shop online and must-read books—everything you’ll need to get through isolation!

The Curated panel: presenter, journalist and producer Ksenija Lukich; artist and style curator and founder of Where did your style go? Tash Sefton; influencer Nadia Fairfax, stylist Elliot Garnaut, influencer Rey Vakili; Ostelin and Johnson’s baby ambassador, Phoebe Burgess

Me: Little Miss Sunshine: “It just brings a smile to my face every time I watch it.” 

About a Boy: “Hugh Grant is so funny in this.”

The Gentlemen “The best movie I’ve seen this year.” 

Rey: The Sound of Music: “Because who doesn’t love it?! I probably watch this movie once a year.” 

The Departed: “Is one of my all time favourites. Great acting, great directing and keeps you guessing right till the very end.” 

Jojo Rabbit: “I saw this recently and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this film. It’s hilarious, it’s moving, it will make you think, it will make you cry.”

Tash: “I love The Notebook, Age of Adeline and Little Women – because I am a sucker for a romance and these movies I can re-watch over and over again and they make me hysterically cry. I’m laughing at myself really!”

Nadia: Strictly Ballroom: “Classic Aussie brilliance.” 

Overboard (the old one): “I love this because Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell remind me of my mum and dad.” 

Ferngully: The Last Rainforest: “The OG environmental movie.” 

Ksenija: Forrest Gump: “I love Tom Hanks and his performance in this movie is still to this day one of my favourites of all time. Funny, heartwarming and one of my fave movie soundtracks.”

Moulin Rouge/Chicago: “These are in the same vein so I’ll pop them together. I am a massive fan of musicals and these two are definitely up there with my favourites (followed closely by West Side Story). They make me happy and I always end up listening to the soundtracks after I watch the movies. All That Jazz, Elephant Love Melody. Doesn’t get better.”

Titanic: “Leo and Kate, need I say more?”

Elliot: The First Wives Club: “I remember so vividly watching this movie for the first time as a kid with my mum and falling in love with the character of Elise Elliot. I thought she was the chicest thing I’d ever seen. Scary how I see traits of myself in her now I’ve gotten older…”

Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette: “I have always found this film extremely meditative. There is a scene in where Marie is walking through the garden with her daughter that instils in me an ultimate sense of calm.”

The Grand Budapest Hotel: “Anything of Wes Anderson’s has a place in my heart however The Grand Budapest Hotel stands out for it’s quick wit and unapologetic profanity.”

Films deserving an honourable mention: The Devil Wears Prada, Man on Fire, Moulin Rouge.

Phoebe: The Lion King: “I have to put the Lion King for the beautiful circle this movie has done from my childhood to now being part of my own children’s memories. The Lion King is a special moment for any family and has helped me explain the circle of life – in reality – more than once but particularly when my grandmother passed.”

Peter Rabbit: “This has that “kids-movie-that-adults-can-enjoy-too” quality, like what Shrek brought to animation and the kids’ genre to help us through their movie choices. James Corden [who voiced Peter Rabbit] is definitely having his moment in comedy right now.” 

Frozen 1 and 2: “[These movies] have provided us hours of singing, dress ups, dramatic reenactments by [my daughter] Poppy and “Let It Go” is officially [my son] Billy’s very first karaoke moment caught on camera by his mummy who will be saving this for his 21st. Poppy bought me a singing Elsa birthday card that Billy now sleeps with.”

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash