Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

iPad 2 – do I NEED one?

I think I need this – the iPad not the man.

I have been hearing more and more about these babies lately.  I am currently in the process of convincing hubby that I ‘need’ one, so if you could give me some reasons why I should get one then that would be most helpful 🙂

So far I have mainly been working my plea from this angle –

  • my students can use the iPad for their learning. There are so many amazing, PROPER educational apps out there.  Not just the game apps. I have been attending a Master Class run by Tony Ryan these past few months and he has been blowing my mind with the ways you can successfully use technology like the iPad to enhance learning in your classroom. I love how he says, “the iPad can be either incredible for learning, or a disaster. Depends on how you use it”. Very true.

Here are some great apps for educators who have an iPad (which isn’t me…yet):

  • all these ones
  • top 10 apps for teachers and students
  • and many, many more I don’t have time to hyperlink right now….maybe another post down the track when I have one in my hot little hands!

Using your iPad in class

Check out this little boy who has just turned two years old! My oh my how the world is changing! Can you imagine how his little brain is developing compared to when we were this age?

Before I get commenters comparing playing outside to being inside on technology, I want to make it clear that I am a BIG believer in fresh air, making cubby houses and being outdoors! That was how I was brought up and I am pretty awesome 😉 But for those times when your kids are indoors – this iPad would be amazing! Just think about the types of jobs the children of today are going to have in the future. The skills they learn with technology are going to be extremely handy!

I came across the video you just watched of Bridger and his iPad from this website, LEARNBOOST. Here they have listed some benefits and drawbacks on 2-3yr olds using iPads:

Benefits

  • Physical development. Toddler-age and preschool-age children often struggle to develop the small muscles in their hands. They work with play-dough, scribble, snap/zip/tie doll clothes and shoelaces, count with their fingers, and put together puzzles to get their little hands ready for all that the world requires of their fine motor skills.
  • Pre-literacy skills. With games like PBS KIDS’s Super WHY! and interactive story books, children play with letter sounds, letter forms, rhymes, and words. These exercise a child’s phonemic awareness, which is one of the best predictors of reading and academic success in later life.
  • Cognitive development. Puzzles are super important in children’s spacial reasoning, problem-solving, understanding of cause and effect, numbering and ordering, and countless other cognitive skills. Shape Builder is one puzzle app that I’ve worked with, and though it’s not wildly complex, it does enable really young children to explore with shapes while fine tuning their physical and mental skills.
  • Social-emotional development. Animated games and prizes are immensely gratifying, which gives children (even those less than 2-years-old) a sense of success and accomplishment. Studies have linked these affirmations to more confidence and more intrinsic motivation down the road. Plus, if a child has siblings, parents are bound to step in and work on negotiation and sharing skills, even if just because iPads are expensive.

Drawbacks

  • Instant gratification. It’s a give or take on this one. Children’s attention spans are brief at young ages. The colors, awards, sounds, and movements on the iPad affirm a short attention span with instant gratification. On the other hand, tiny children can sit and focus on the same game for minutes and even hours on the iPad.
  • Near obsession. I nannied for a family with 3 children, ages 1 month, 21 months, and 3-years. The toddler’s first word was “iPad.” There was almost no motivation to play outside, imagine, paint, or get messy. The idea that this device could be so overwhelming as to limit a child’s desire and ability to pretend, is deeply unsettling. For more info on how dramatic play stimulates brain development, check out some scholarly articles on the subject.
  • The technological parent. Socio-economic indicators may negate this drawback, since affluent families are both more likely to raise children who succeed in school and are more likely to be able to afford iPads. There’s no doubt though that it’s really easy to let an iPad “babysit” a child. Unlike Bridger’s father, who coaxes him through the learning process, if a parent simply sets a young child up with a game without any scaffolding or personal engagement, we may see more negative repercussions.
I do think that some of those drawbacks are perhaps more parenting issues rather than iPad issues, mainly with the obsession one. Parents ideally should be balancing their child’s life with a mix of things – outdoors and technology (computers, TV, etc). Both have been proven to benefit their development! I have a friend who does this beautifully. She discovered this in a book – for every 30 minutes outside, her children can spend 15 minutes on computer/Play Station/etc. Very clever idea!

So other than the education point I am using with my husband so I can buy an iPad, what are some other reasons I need one? 😉

Introducing Tilly!

Tilly busy telling Sidney Poitier off!

I first loved the name Tilly when my friend and I were watching ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’ starring Katharine Hepburn.  In the movie, they introduce the maid who spends most of the time in the kitchen organising dinner.  I leant over to my friend and said, “wouldn’t it be amazing to have a Tilly?  You just get dressed for dinner and all the work is done for you!”.  My friend smiled and said one word, “Thermomix”.

So without further adieu, let me introduce you to my Tilly.

Tilly

Isn’t she beautiful! Tilly is my Thermomix. Here she is making us an omelette while I am busy in the bathroom straightening my hair.

Thermomix? I hear you ask. Let me blow your mind. She is an expensive piece of equipment who is worth her weight in gold…a milliion, trillion, gazillion pieces of gold. I wish I had bought her years ago! She is a machine that I have always dreamed of and only found out about at the end of last year.  Since then I have been wanting one! From non-cooker to I-can’t stop-myself-cooker, my life has changed.

Tilly can do the following with the push of a button and a turn of a dial – chop, beat, mix, whip, grind, knead, mince, grate, juice, blend, heat, stir, steam and weigh food.  I have been selling all my old kitchen stuff (juicer, rice cooker, blender, food processor, bread maker, mixer, scales, etc) and Tilly has pride of place on my counter.  I use it three or more times a day.

The kitchen appliance that has changed my life

I can put uncooked pasta and vegies inside Tilly (sounds a bit weird) and she will chop and cook to perfection while I get other things done around the place. She won’t burn a single thing.

These are some of the things that I (I mean Tilly) have made so far –

  • bacon and mushroom risotto (while I sat on the couch with mum & a glass of white)
  • countless quantities of vanilla custard (while I cleaned the kitchen/put the eggs, flour, milk, vanilla extract & honey away – I only had 7 minutes until the custard was ready!)
  • sweet chilli sauce (forget the preservative stuff from the shop – this stuff is WAAAAAY better)
  • chilli con carne (while I had a shower & hopped into my PJ’s. Yes, Tilly cooks the meat too.  She is so clever)
  • the omelette in the above photo
  • Juice (orange juice with all the seeds – just peel. Carrot, apple and ginger juice – apple core and all). No wastage here, all the fibre and you don’t need as much fruit.
  • sticky rice dessert (while hubby and I sat and had coffee on our patio)
  • beetroot salad (quick, delicious lunch while tidying up the house)
  • Sorbet (using organic rapadura sugar, ice, frozen berries and lime in no time!)

My most favourite thing about Tilly the Thermomix is that you can eat foods in its most natural state. If I want Rice Flour, Tilly will whip it up for me from plain old rice! I can make my own peanut butter, butter, mayo, choc sauce, bread, etc. It is amazing for people with allergies too.  Hello gluten-free world!

Here is a sample of what Tilly can do –

There is so much I could tell you. I don’t want to write a long post here (cause who likes endless reading right?), but if you own a Thermomix please comment below on your favourite thing about this amazing machine 🙂

A bit of Pinterest inspiration

Found on Pinterest

I came across this little gem tonight – Pinterest. It is a place where you can ‘pin’ things that you love.  A way to store your collections of favourite little images that may inspire, teach, communicate, or whatever it is you fancy all in one tidy space.  Some people have Pin Boards for:

  • party planning
  • bucket list
  • quotations
  • cooking inspiration
  • travel
  • home design
  • projects
  • fashion
  • colour collections
  • photography
  • clever ideas
  • ……
All Pinterest accounts are public and you can wander through peoples boards and discover loads of cool things.  If you like something you can comment, pin it to one of your own boards, like it, or click on it and be taken to its original source.  It is a great way to see into a persons personality and interests. I have been playing around with my own pinterest collection…and I must say, it is rather addictive collecting beautiful things.
Here are some beaut quotes I found on a few pin boards –
I love the following poster because it is so very, very true!

Dancing the Night Away – Prayer for Israel Conference

For the past 10 years I have been a part of a dance team that has been asked to dance all over the countryside.  We are a group of Christian women who worship through dance. Here is our missions statement:
The Jubilee Ministry Dance Ensemble is a Christian, Australian based Davidic praise and worship team, incorporating dance, flags and banners, all used to the glory of God. Our mission is to proclaim the word of God, through worship, over our nation Australia, as well as over the nation of Israel, in obedience to Psalm 122:6, to ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.’ 

Our team is made up of the most beautiful group of women with incredible hearts. It is such a blessing to be in the team and minister with them.  We are definitely a family.

Last night we danced in Brisbane at the annual PFI (Prayer For Israel) Conference.

Our team, minus two.

'The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit'

A beautiful lady, Grace, doing her drama.

Dancing with the congregation.

Dancing 'Yeshua' with Susanna Galer singing.

Changeroom mischief. A spot of planking. We had a good laugh at this 🙂

My husband took came along and took these photos for us.  So many to choose from so you may see some more popping up here and there 🙂

Forget Planking…it’s all about Teapotting!

Mark Beretta from Sunrise (for those internationals, it is a morning show in Australia) posted some funny pics on Twitter about a bit of a new body position craze instead of planking….Teapotting 🙂  This is more dangerous than it looks.

Nelson from Hollywood (Sunrise)

A business group in Port Macquarie NSW.

Nat from Sunrise doing some Teapotting.

Some ladies teapotting in China.

Mark Beretta showing us how it is done.

I think this could really take off in Egypt.

Your thoughts?

Planking is the new black.

Not into planking? How about teapotting?

The latest craze in weird stuff is something called ‘planking‘. It involves looking like a stiff plank in various places. It all started with two groups who claim to have invented the prank – either in Somerset in 2000 as the “lying down game” or eight years later in South Australia as planking. Both groups have rival Facebook sites boasting more than 100,000 fans. Planking has grown in popularity, particularly in Australia where there has been huge media coverage. An Australian rugby league player David “Wolfman” Williams celebrates scoring by planking, while one of the nation’s leading chatshow hosts Kerri-Anne Kennerley opened a show last week by planking on the TV sofa.  Now it has taken off like a crazy person.

Here is a picture of my brother planking:

Great technique - pointed toes and all.

PIanking is harmless and for a bit of a laugh, but of course some people take things too far and then everyone seems to react by seeing it as a dangerous thing to do and it should be ‘banned’.  Some kids got suspended from school for 2 days for planking in the school yard (the news didn’t say whether they did it dangerously or not). Yes, planking IS dangerous if you are drunk at 4:30am and decide to plank on a 7 storey high balcony rail. The ‘sport/hobby/relaxing position’ had its first death ever in Brisbane, Australia. Acton Beale was a 20 year old who decided to do some dangerous planking.  He lost his balance as he was drunk and fell to his death.

Acton Beale and where he fell to his death.

Such a devastating loss, and hopefully this doesn’t stop the joy for people who like to have a bit of fun planking in more sensible ways…

What do you think – to ban or not to ban?

I Am A Total Princess.

Prince William and I

First thing is first.  My husband is totally cool with this photo….he created it while we were watching the wedding together on the couch.  It was for a bit of a laugh on facebook 🙂

This wedding made a lot of girls think about life as a princess and what it would be like to one day be the Queen of a country.  I had many conversations with friends leading up to the wedding about the pros and cons of being a princess, “I would hate it cause you have no privacy, poor girl”, “Imagine having her life and being in her shoes right now – how exciting!”.

Perhaps it has something to do with the age of the prince and princess (being close to your age it makes you think…wow, it could have been me!!!….kind of….I guess….if I looked like her…and lived in England….and did all the things she did…and went to school with Prince William….okay, fine – it could never be me…..).

I love that we all are princesses of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords….our own heavenly Father!  If you have no idea WHAT I am talking about, you absolutely need to read: Captivating. This book unveils the truth behind God’s creation of woman and her purpose.  It explains why, as little girls, we loved to dress up and pretend to be princesses at some stage – it has been ingrained in us by our Creator!  It details why we still love to be treated like princesses by the princes in our lives.  I love that my husband (after 12 years together) still carries things for me, does things for me like vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms and fixes everything…even when he is exhausted, desires to spoil me and make me feel beautiful and special.  And he calls me princess. I love that I married my very own prince…and God is my ultimate King.