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It’s a hard truth: today’s parents and kids are too busy to read.

With such a wide range of accessible resources available to parents, developing your child’s reading and comprehension skills can be difficult to tackle. But you have to remember that they are essential to their success in school, work and life. One of the most potent tools that you, as a parent, can employ is sight word recognition.

What are sight words?

While words like table, cup and bed are common in spoken language, they are not considered sight words since as they can be learned through phonetics and physical recognition. The most frequently used words in the English language, words like ‘the’, ‘a’, ‘is’, are examples of sight words. Most of these words cannot be learned by sound or illustration. After all, how in the world could we illustrate the word ‘of’ to convey meaning to a child who is still developing his/her decoding skills?

Repetition is key to developing good reading habits in your children. There are fun activities for kids purposefully designed to make learning sight words fun and engaging.

If you haven’t started educating your children with sight words, now is the time to start. Here are 20 tips to help your have fun while learning their sight words with ease. Here are the top tips and strategies for learning sight words.

1. Have an Overview of the Lesson

The sight words sessions should be split into two components – lesson and game time – each taking at least 30 minutes. The lesson time should be used to introduce three to five new words, while sight word games should be used to practice the already learned words. During the game, you can also review previously mastered words so that the child can develop speed and familiarity.

2. Let Them Name the Alphabet Confidently

Before starting sight words, your child needs to recognise and name all the letters as they occur in the English alphabet. They should be fluent in identifying them. A solid foundation in recognising and naming the letters in the alphabet instantly makes teaching sight words easy because the child is familiar with what makes up the words, and therefore how they are said. If their foundation in letter recognition is weak, you should first practice the letter names before proceeding.

3. Memory Games

You can now introduce new sight words with the help of techniques that encourage cognitive stimulation to enhance your child’s memory for words. Having a flash card for a each sight word is a great way to do this. Remember, although learning increases your child’s knowledge, true competence is most often achieved through engaging games that enforce your child’s mastery in recognising sight words. Done the right way, kids will enjoy the learning process all the way through.

4. Emphasise Repetition in Learning

When you have introduced three to five sight words, you can bring repetition into the learning process in several ways. As well as spoken repetition, body language enables your child’s attention to form cognitive association to the sight words being learned. Here are some of the major sense strategies you can employ in teaching:

See and Say – A child first sees the word that is on a flash card and then says the word.

Spell Reading – The child says the word and then spells out its letters and finally reads the word once again.

Arm Tapping – When a child says out loud the word, then spells out the letters as they are tapping them on his or her arm, and later reads the word once again.

Air Writing – A child writes the letters learned in the air while looking at the flash card.

Table Writing – A child first writes letters on the table for the first time while looking at the flash card and later repeats the process without looking at the flashcard.

5.  Familiarity with New Words

Each lesson should establish basic familiarity with the new words. Most parents find that lesson part of each session takes around 10 minutes. When learning sight words for the first time, work on only 3-5 unfamiliar words to make it manageable for your child. As your child advances, you can expand the number of words you introduce in each lesson to power up their vocabulary.

6. Review and Reinforce Old Words

For effective learning, always start a lesson by reviewing the words you covered during the preceding lesson. Doing this helps your children to fully comprehend the words. During the review exercise, engage your child with a seeing and saying game. Mark all the words that the child is struggling to recognise and conduct a review of the words. For words that your child may find complicated, repeat them by using the five repetition techniques and by drawing their attention to the words at various times. It is best for a child to have mastery on the words before moving to new words.

7. Engage in Giving Constructive Criticism

Children often forget words, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Similar words might confuse them and they even struggle to recall unfamiliar words. It is normal that they find some words difficult and make mistakes in the process of learning. Be generous in giving constructive criticisms on proper pronunciation and meaning of the words as this helps them in committing them to their memory and vocabulary.

8. Word Association Through Word Patterns

During the first stage of developmental learning of sight words, your child can recognise words through a picture or shape and not by word patterns or individual letters. This can be a problem in learning sight words in the long term, but it is normal. For example, a child may not be able to differentiate between ‘look’ and ‘took’ as they appear so similar. The reason for this is the child cannot remember the specific word, so he or she tries to recall the shape created by the word. Although this may work in the beginning, it’s best to move your child away from this type of recognition.

9. Word of the Day or the Week

Consider coming up with a “Word of the Day” or “Word of the Week” strategy where a child is given a word and must construct a sentence from that word. You can put the word in question on the fridge or a chart where your child can easily see it.

10. Spelling Practise

Conduct a fun group game, such as a spelling game contest of sight words. This works particularly well if you have several children, but you can also make it a ‘game show’ style contest with mum or dad. Of course, it’s fun and engaging. Plus, it is helpful for them to learn sight words.

11. Spelling Word Memory

A double set of sight word cards makes for a great spelling word memory game. It begins by first laying out the cards facing down. Your child picks up one card and must then find the card that matches, running through the other cards until they do so. Correctly matching all the cards improves memory as well as word recognition.

12. Flip Four Steps Game

This game allows your kid to practice reading, writing or spelling of sight words. Have your child flip over a word card of his or her choice and then read it out loud. They should then say the individual letters in the word before flipping the card back and writing the word on the back of paper. This game is fun and enjoyable because it challenges your child to learn and understand words, as well as write and spell them.

13. Trace, Copy, Recall Game

You will just need to draw three columns on a paper. Label the first column ‘Trace’, then label the next column ‘Copy’, and the last column ‘Recall’. Choose a sight word and write it in the first column, and then have the child trace all the letters. Next, let the child copy the word while looking at what he or she has written in the first column. Finally, let the child fold and hide first two columns and try to remember the correct spelling of each word individually.

14. Chalkboard Race

This is a great group activity to do in a family, or with children of a similar age who are learning their sight words. Ask the children to form two teams. The team should identify one player from each team as the ‘scribe’ for each turn, and that scribe should stand at least 2 metres from a chalkboard, or other writing surface. When you call out a word, the scribe from each team runs to the board very quickly and write the sight word you’ve called out. The child who correctly spells the words and finishes first wins the game. The different teams can offer suggestions on the correct spelling of words if the word was misspelled.

15. Ball Toss

Instruct your children to stand in a circle holding a Nerf ball (or similar) to toss around. Call out a word and toss the ball to one child. The child with the ball should spell out the word. If the child does not spell the word correctly, he or she will toss the ball to the next child. The process continues until the word is spelled correctly whereby one kid tosses the ball to the adult to come up with a new word. The game is engaging and all children will enjoy in passing out the ball while spelling sight words.

16. Teaching Sight Words Using Word Walls

Word walls have been widely used in classrooms, and they can be used in the home as well. They provide visual presentation of high frequency words in the English language and help children see patterns and relationships in words. They are also a great reading reference. Set up the wall in an area where your children can easily see them, and encourage them to read from the wall and identify words during sight word practice.

17. Sing it Out Loud

Try incorporating music to sight word learning. After all, your child might be the next Mozart! You can sing a song to the tune of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ or ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry. You call the shots!

18. Word Walk

Write sight words on a big index cards and lay them on the floor. The goal is for your child to spell and read each word before taking a step forward. He or she can only move a step if the word is spelled and pronounced correctly.

19. Teaching Through Manipulatives

You can use magnetic letters, cookie cutter, a Lego block or even rubber stamps in helping your child learn the words. These kinds of mediums are easy to bring into the home, and you may already have the tools you need to get started.

20. Hit it with a Ball

Write sight words on a huge card then tape it on an empty wall. The goal of this game is for students to find the words you call out, read them and finish them off by hitting with a stuffed ball. You can also do variations like letting them choose their own word, read it, and then hit it with the ball.

Learning sight words can be fun exciting and entertaining.

These learning techniques are effective in helping kids understand the word’s concept as well as its meaning, all while having fun. A good understanding of sight words at a younger age provides a strong foundation for future learning ability, especially when it comes to reading. For parents, it’s a way to give your kids a head start in a new world of learning.

As well as what we’ve mentioned, you can try many other strategies depending on your child’s individual skill at comprehending sight words. Some kids have a shorter attention span, while others can quickly grasp almost everything in a lesson. If your child shows very little progress, it can help to pause for a moment and give them time to catch up before continuing. Above all, it’s important to have patience with their learning process, and make adjustments as they need them.

Being a parent is a full-time job, but there are many opportunities to educate your children and help them on their way. Teaching your children their sight words sets a great learning foundation, and it really does begin with a single step.

What techniques did you use when you taught your kids about sight words?

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This post is brought to you by ITP The new financial year has arrived and those like us who balance work and parenting need all the help we can get when it comes to maximising our tax returns at tax time.

Not everyone is knowledgeable on the latest changes and tax laws that seem to change with each financial year and unfortunately, work at home mums don’t always have the time and energy to find out a lot about the hows, whys and wherefores. I’ve been there, too. I was just lucky enough to learn over the years and I’ve had lots of help which I will be telling you in a bit. There definitely are things you can do to double your tax return or to reduce the amount of tax you pay. You just have to make sure you’ve done your homework.


Have you been keeping records? It’s important have a separate bank account and credit card for just your business transactions. This will help support your claim that you are operating as a business with the Australian taxation office (ATO). Keeping records, such as receipts, will help you accurately distinguish which purchases are personal and which ones are for the business. Personal expenses and business expenses should be separate. But let’s admit it, we sometimes mix one with the other. So, first off, make sure to review your monthly bank statements and always keep those receipts. Come tax time, our bank statement might not have all of the information needed to support your claim. You can also keep an electronic copy of your receipt such as a photo or there are heaps of APPs out there that can read and store your receipts for you. This year, the ATO is cracking down on unsupported expenses more than ever before.

Pay Expenses (that you know you will be paying within the year) in advance

This includes membership fees, subscription fees and other relevant expenses that have a fixed amount every month. But, only do this if you have sufficient cash flow.

Look at some Applicable Tax Credits

According to the Australian Taxation Office, you may be able to claim deductions for some of your expenses for work whether you have a home office or not as long as you spent it  for work. This includes a percentage of gas, electricity and phone.

The Home Office

You can claim deductions if you have a home office. If you are an employee who has a home office and mostly works from that office, you can claim a deduction for the work-related use of your phone, internet and equipment expenses. You will need to keep a logbook of the hours worked from the home office every day for a month to support your claims. The number of hours worked in the month is then averaged out over the entire year, less any weeks away for example, going on holidays.

If your home is also your place of business, you can claim a deduction for the work-related percentage of the utilities such as gas and electricity, business phone costs, equipment expenses, office furniture a portion of your occupancy expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, home insurance, Council and water rates.

Car Expenses

It’s important to track your mileage so you know how much driving was conducted for business as opposed to personal driving. The ATO allows you to claim 68 cents per km up to 5,000 of work-related kilometre. You will need to keep a log-book recording all your business travel and odometer readings over a 3 month period if you wish to claim the business percentage of all your car expenses over the year. You must keep all of your car related receipts and only claim the work-related amount. Depreciation of your car may also be claimable using this method. Mileage can be small compared to other business expenses that you can claim a deduction on, but small amounts can add up, right?

Work Related Travel

Business-related travel is also something you can look in to. These include airfares, taxi, UBER, public transport. Accommodation and meals can be claimed for yourself if travelling away from home overnight. If you dine regularly with clients, those expenses are not deductible, so be careful. Don’t forget the deductions for business use of a vehicle as well.

Fringe Benefits

Fringe Benefits Tax are paid by employers for their employees. Employers can claim an income tax deduction for the cost of providing fringe benefits for their employees. According to the Australian Taxation Office, these are the examples of fringe benefits:

  • Allowing an employee to use a work car for private purposes
  • Giving an employee a discounted loan
  • Paying an employee’s gym membership
  • Providing entertainment by way of free tickets to concerts
  • Reimbursing an expense incurred by an employee, such as school fees
  • Giving benefits under a salary sacrifice arrangement with an employee

Get help from experienced professionals

Here’s something I always was torn between as a work at home mum. I really wanted to double my tax return but at the same time, I also really wanted to be able to spend time with my family and get the amount of rest I need to get stuff done for the day. And what I ended up deciding on was seeking advice from the experts. Ain’t nobody got time to understand complicated tax rules and whatnots! ITP The Income Tax Professionals are the best at what they do and a great help to MUMpreneurs like me.

They are registered tax agents – that means they’re more than just accountants. They’ve done the extra stringent training to learn all of the latest tax laws. They know everything you can claim and advise their clients on how they can save money come tax time and into the future.

If you’re looking for a way to minimise your burden and maximise your tax refund, then it’s your lucky day. Because we have some good news for you, mum!

You simply have to use The Income Tax Professionals (ITP) to lodge your tax return this year. Book online at itp.com.au and use the competition code: SAHM19 and you’ll go into a draw to double your return. Competition Rules:
  • Entrant must supply code SAHM19 to enter competition to their nominated ITP tax agent
  • ITP The Income Tax Professionals are the nominated promoter/s of this exclusive offer to SAHM members
  • The winner must use ITP to lodge their 2018 – 2019 tax return
  • Entrants will be liable for the cost of their tax lodgement by an ITP tax agent
  • The entrant must lodge their tax return by August 31 to be eligible
  • The winner will be announced September 10
  • The winner will receive a separate cheque or bank deposit from ITP.
  • The winner will be announced on SAHM social channels
  • The winner will be announced on ITP The Income Tax Professionals social channels, website and blog at the discretion of ITP The Income Tax Professionals
  • ITP The Income Tax Professionals reserves the right to disqualify any entrants or entries where reasonable suspect or unlawful or improper conduct, infringing on ITP The Income Tax Professionals or SAHM intellectual property rights, or if there has otherwise been a breach of the competition terms and conditions.
  • ITP The Income Tax Professionals comply retaining private and personal information in compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act.
Don’t forget to lodge your tax return by August 31 to be in the draw!

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Menopause is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t make it easy to deal with.

The changes in a woman’s body can be challenging, and it pays to be prepared and well-educated on them.

Most people are familiar with at least some of the signs of actually experiencing menopause, but did you know that there are symptoms that show up before that, which can indicate that the menopausal time of your life has begun?

This time is called menopause transition or perimenopause, and it starts as early as a few years before your menopause begins. Generally, this occurs in women in their 40s, but it can start around the 30s or even sooner, depending on the person. To help you prepare for this, we’ve put together 25 of these perimenopause symptoms, indicators from your body that things are changing.

1. Change in Menstrual Cycle

One of the first things that women tend to notice in the lead up to menopause is that their menstrual cycle changes. Your cycles might get closer together, or farther apart. They may also be much heavier, or much lighter, than you usually experience.

2. Menstrual Flooding

Menstrual flooding is the name for a situation when you experience rapid onset menses, a worrying time for women unfamiliar with the condition. It is also the name given to the situation when your menses appear to be over, but then continues heavily for several more days. In both cases, it is experienced by perimenopausal women.

3. Headaches or Migraines

Headaches and even migraines are a symptom that many women experience during the perimenopause time. These headaches are often felt just before, just after, or in the middle of their period and can hinder everyday activities.

4. Clumsiness

A surprising symptom, but still one that many women encounter. Women in perimenopause may find themselves feeling less coordinated and graceful, or even more awkward and can find themselves either tripping over more or dropping things more often.

5. Lethargy and Exhaustion

Both lethargy, a persistent feeling of sluggishness, and fatigue, which is often crushing and can grip women very suddenly, can be experienced during perimenopause.

6. Insomnia or Sleep Disturbances

Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, regardless of how tired you might actually feel, are not uncommon for women during perimenopause. Women may also experience persistent night sweats, particularly between the breasts, which can in turn lead to chills.

7. Muscle Cramps

If you’re a lady in your 30s or 40s and you’re having consistent issues with muscle cramping without any explanation, menopause could be behind it. Muscle cramps anywhere in the body might be an indicator of poor diet, but low progesterone can also be to blame.

8. Low Backache

Women often experience pain in their lower back before or during their period, but when hormones remain at low levels as they do in perimenopause, this pain can be consistent.

9. Urinary Issues (frequent or incontinence)

There are a few urinary issues associated with perimenopause. The first is more frequent urination, despite not having increased water intake. The second is a sudden and uncontrollable loss of urine beyond a woman’s control. It’s not pretty, but during perimenopause, it can be spontaneous, not just because of coughing, sneezing or jumping.

10. Food Craving and Appetite Changes

Women in perimenopause can experience and suffer intense cravings for sweet or salty foods, as well as marked changes in their appetites. They may feel increasingly hungry in the evenings, despite having eaten dinner, or may experience blood sugar crashes that lead to food binging.

11. Muscle and Joint Pain

As well as muscle cramps, women in the midst of perimenopause can also experience general muscle and joint pain. Many describe it as a general ache, but it can develop into actual carpal tunnel syndrome or cause panic, thanks to the symptom being common in other diseases. If you’re concerned, get it checked.

12. Dark Under-Eye Circles

Genetically, some women do have more of a predisposition to dark circles under the eyes, regardless of the actual number of hours they might have slept. However, even women who have not previously had issues with dark circles may find them popping up more often during perimenopause.

13. Hair Changes

There are a lot of hormonal changes going on during perimenopause, and those can cause a number of changes in hair growth. This might show on some women in hair loss around the body, while other may experience unusual hair growth in areas it has not been present before.

14. Acne

Perimenopause symptoms are not always fun, even if they do hark back to a woman’s youth. For example, some women find themselves experiencing a greater rate of acne, which again is due to the changing hormones the body goes through at this time.

15. Reduction in Breast Tissue

Women complain in their age that their breasts are not as full as they were, and it seems that menopause might be the cause. Even during perimenopause, women can experience a loss of breast tissue, which is sometimes accompanied by breast sagging.

16. Tender or Sore Breasts and Nipples

Along with a reduction in breast tissue, some women may experience pain in their breasts and nipples. This pain is not so dissimilar from the pain that often occurs prior to a period, and may be accompanied by engorgement.

17. Hot Flush With Cold Extremities

Hot flushes are one menopause, and indeed perimenopause, symptom that most women are aware of. But did you know that many women also experience very cold extremities despite undergoing hot flushes? It can be a strange combination to get used to.

18. Loss of Libido

As hormones deplete in the body, women often find that their sex drive reaches a low point where they have little sexual energy. In some women, this is so strong that it’s almost an aversion to sex.

19. Painful Sex, Dryness and Irritation

That loss of libido is not that surprising, though, when you consider that another common perimenopause symptom is painful sex due to vaginal dryness and irritation following sex.

20. Ringing In Ears

Ringing in the ears, sometimes called Tinnitus, has been experienced by some women during their perimenopause. The ringing can also be accompanied by a whooshing sound or a buzzing sound with an unusual sensation in the ear.

21. Dizziness

Feeling dizzy or lightheaded is a common complaint in women as they move through perimenopause. This is often felt in conjunction with a loss of physical balance and a wobbly walk that can leave women suffering from fainting spells and vertigo.

22. Weight Gain

Unfortunately, for women struggling to stay fit as they age, perimenopause can put up some road blocks. When a woman hits perimenopause, she often experience fat settling in the waist, buttock and thighs, creating a thickening of the mid-section common in older women.

23. Fluid Retention

Fluid retention, or edema, is also a concern of women in perimenopause. Women may find they have more issues with fluid retention in their legs and ankles, as well as bloating that is not solved by sleep or..

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As full-time mums, sometimes we have the itch to get back into working or start our own small business.

There are plenty of options for lifestyle businesses to help family cash flow, take care of the mortgage, or just have a bit extra to spend on luxuries.

However, businesses require capital – be it financial capital, intellectual capital, or human capital (that’s you!).

Figuring out where to start can feel daunting. Here are some of our tips to get your stay-at-home business funded and up and running.

1. Choose your business

There’s no shortage of business ideas you can start up when you’re a stay at home mum. From online fashion boutique, web content writer, cake baking business, tutoring, beauty product selling, selling jewellery; the possibilities are endless. In fact, we have 62 small business ideas that suit stay at home mums – and won’t eat into family time. Click here to get some ideas!

2. Think about space

The second question you should ask – where are you going to run your business from?

Many online businesses such as photographer or online tutor – don’t need much space. If you can park a laptop or PC on a table, you’re good to go! However, some businesses will need you to store inventory. Do you have a shed or a spare room you can use? Think about the space you’ll need before launching into your dream stay-at-home business – you don’t want to overcrowd your living space with boxes and packaging!

Food vlogger recording a video

3. The fun stuff – ABNs and paperwork

Before you start trading, you should register yourself as a business and get an Australian Business Number. Using the Australian Business Registry, you can set yourself up as a sole trader. This can open opportunities for funding, special business only deals, and for streamlined tax and accounting purposes at the end of the Financial Year.

4. Funding – getting inventory or machinery

Most businesses need capital of some kind, as we mentioned. The capital you really need is financial capital. Most small businesses don’t need tens of thousands of dollars to get started; you can start many online businesses by lifting the lid on your laptop – and you’re almost done! Even so, a business does need starting (or “seed”) capital to begin. For small business loans, a loan product called an unsecured business loan is often a go-to for smaller businesses starting up.

Small business loan expert Bill Tsouvalas explains: “An unsecured business loan is a type of loan that doesn’t need collateral to set up, doesn’t need endless paperwork and bank statements to get going, and loans as little as $5,000 are considered.” Unsecured business loans also have shorter terms – sometimes as few as six months. “These loans are for business, so there are less restrictions on it than personal loans – however since they are unsecured, interest rates are higher. Make sure your profit can cover the interest payments.”

5. Marketing yourself

Once you’re up and running, it’s all about marketing yourself. Using your seed capital, you can advertise yourself online through Google Ads, Facebook ads, or other online marketplaces. Networking with other Stay at Home mums in person or online is also a great way to make connections and find out about opportunities. A small business can be slow going to start, but marketing can help you get off the launchpad.

Do you have more tips on how to get that small business idea going? Share it with us!

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Google Street View. Helpful stuff. I definitely think living in this day and age has its perks.

But if there’s one thing I still love most about living back in the day is that none of my shenanigans are being documented. It’s harder to pull off crazy sh*t now because someone might have recorded you and next thing you know, your face is viral on Facebook and Twitter. Google unveiled this feature years ago and since then, weird things have been captured and has been floating around on the internet and we made a post just for laughs. Some are hilarious and some are just creepy – but all of these are our favourite and really cracked us up!

1. Google is not liable for any relationship ruined because of the internet

Fingers crossed she’s DOING this with her husband.

2. Oops. They’re captured! Twice!
3. Rabbits can fly. 4. Well this is awkward 5. Not feeling very stable at the moment 6. What is he even doing there?? 7. A reminder of how dangerous skateboarding is because someone might take a photo of you. 8. Mondays: 9. Someone forgot to put on pants today 10. Hello? 11. “What a beautiful day!” “Oh.” 12. Her earring probably fell off and now she’s looking for it. 13. This is why you should never pick your nose in public even if no one’s watching 14. Just chillin’. 15. Probably should be on top of this list if the title was weirdest things captured on google street view. I know that we should always laugh at mistakes, but, if I was the one caught on camera, I think I’d just pack up and migrate to Mars.

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Whether you have one or not, vaginas are something to celebrate!

Why? Well, for starters, out of all the parts of a woman’s body, it’s only the vagina that can push a human being the size of a giant watermelon out of it! And most believe it’s the sexiest and most beautiful part of a woman’s body (don’t we all agree to that?).

So, it’s just right to celebrate our vaginas, vulvas, vajayjays, lady bits, hoo-hah, nether regions, or whatever you want to call it!

If you’re up for it, or you know someone who might love owning vagina-themed things, we’ve found some pretty amazing vagina-themed products that will surely excite!

1. A Knitted Vagina Thong

…complete with a little pearl clitoris. Awwwwww how darling!

Grab it here for $22.32 2. Vagina Earrings

**SHUDDER** I don’t know who in their right mind would buy such a thing. The vagina is hardly attractive enough to memorialise and wear in on one’s lobes.

Grab it here for $9.80 3. A LGBT Rainbow Merkin

Surprise your partner and spice up your sex life with this high-quality LGBT Rainbow Merkin. Show your pride by wearing rainbow!

Grab it here for $34.86 4. Vagina Studs

No one will notice you’re wearing these studs anyway.

Grab it here for $7.44 5. Uterus Cookie Cutter

C’mon kids, let’s make womb biscuits!

Grab it here for $14.12 7. The Big Coloring Book of Vaginas

Definitely not a children’s book, this Big Coloring Book of Vaginas has unique and beautifully illustrated vagina fun puzzles and games every adult will love!

Grab it here for $16.67 8. A Vagina Neck Tie

Nothing says ‘classy’ like wearing a Vagina-Themed Neck Tie to your local dance.

Grab it here for $56.85

9. A Vulva-Printed Earthenware Mug

…and more vaginas in the morning!

Grab it here for $15.58 10. Vagina Slippers

Buy them for grandma, she will never know!

Grab it here for $48.82 11. Vagina Brooch

Wear this felted ‘curly vagina’ brooch proud and loud!

Grab it here for $46.03 12. A ‘Vaginament’ – A Vagina Christmas Tree Ornament

What to buy the person that has everything? A vaginament! Available in loads of different colours and styles, just like the real thing!

Grab it here for $30.69 13. A Crocheted Plush Uterus

A cute way to represent the reproductive health system complete with fallopian tubes and ovaries. I’m sure the kids will just LOVE their new plush toy!

Grab it here for $63.47 14. Felt Vagina Ring Holder

Your rings will always be in good vagina… err… hands.

Grab it here for $53.01 15. Vagina Lollies

Give some love to these handmade white chocolate vagina lollies!

Grab it here for $8.25 Do you fancy these vagina-themed products?

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Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t still go out and have a good time!

Does it feel like now that you are pregnant, your social schedule is suddenly jam-packed with delicious dinners, free-flowing bottles of wine, late night parties and social soirees that you have promised to attend? An active social life may have once excited you but now might be dragging you down, especially when you can’t fit into that teeny party dress anymore and you won’t be able to enjoy more than a glass of that expensive pinot. After all, you are now substituting water for wine, trading sexy dresses for flannel pyjamas and exchanging the title of ‘dancing queen’ to ‘sleeping beauty’.

But don’t retire to the couch just yet. There are ways to remain the life of the party (even for just a couple of hours) without harming the life growing inside you! Here are pregnancy tips for the social butterfly!

1. Squeeze Relaxation into the Pre-Party Pregnancy Ritual

Pre-party rituals can be one of the best ways to start an evening off right. Even if you feel worn out later in the night, there is always alcohol or coffee to keep you going well into the wee hours. That is, unless you’re pregnant. With only decaf coffee to rely on, pumping up the pre-party mix before the actual party can lead to complete exhaustion. So, for the time being, re-adjust your getting-ready ritual to include a short bath, a relaxing massage and a long nap. Then meet your friends at the event feeling refreshed and ready.

2. Go with Mocktails for all Occasions

It can be a little boring ordering orange juice after orange juice when you are out with friends. Enjoy the classic cocktail hour by opting for virgin cocktails, or mocktails. Virgin cocktails come with all the fun of cocktails, such as the flirty glass and the colourful concoctions, but without the alcohol. If you are going to a party that requires BYOB, stop by the shops and pick up six packs of alcohol-free coolers or cider. Or, bring your own ingredients to make delicious alcohol-free margaritas, mojitos and more.

3. Bring Your Own Pregnancy Party Treats 

Parties are always filled with delicious nibbles, many of which are on the no-no list for pregnant women, such as soft cheeses, undercooked meat and eggs. Instead of sulking in the corner about your pregnancy diet, you can bring your own party favours. Try avocado and turkey wraps, baked stuffed zucchini or apple crumble squares. By throwing together a quick plate of appetizers, you can not only indulge in an afternoon of treats but you will also be bringing another meaning to the phrase “yummy mummy-to-be”.

4. Party Maternity Wear – Dress for the Occasion

Choosing the right maternity wear can take some serious time and thought. During the first twenty weeks, you will probably want to stay looking as slim as possible. An all-black ensemble is the best way to do this as it can elongate the frame.

During the last twenty weeks, it can be fun to experiment with a long maxi dress, empire waists and bright prints. If you are looking for a truly daring look to show off your… ahem… biggest assets, go for party wear with a plunging neckline or opt for a strapless number.

The best part about being pregnant during party season is that, for once, you do not have to worry about those cringeworthy drunken moments or finding a late night cab home after too many drinks. You can enjoy a season of parties with class, dignity and style with no hangover in sight!

Have you found these pregnancy tips for the social butterfly helpful?

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If you haven’t picked a costume for your kids for the upcoming book week yet, we’re here to give you ideas!

The theme of the book week this 2019 is ‘Reading is my Secret Power’, which is quite the same as ‘Knowledge is Power’, so we did our best to find characters from books that hold meaningful values. Also, they’re great for boys and girls!

1. Dinosaur

Dinosaurs already disappeared in the world a long time ago but it’s still a known fact that they’re lethal and scary. Thanks to the kids, though. At least they make them so charming and cute!

via kmart.com.au

2. Fox in Socks (Dr Seuss)

The book is actually quite difficult to read because it has lots of tongue twisters and rhyming words. It will seem nonsense at first but read slowly and you’ll understand. If you’ve read the book, has your tongue become numb?

via halloweencostumes.com

3. Red Fish (Dr. Seuss)

Other than the red fish, there’s one fish, two fish, and blue fish so you can just choose among them if you want a different colour. One fish and two fish are yellow and green, respectively.

via amazon.ca

4. Shaun the Sheep

One thing that anyone can learn from Shaun the Sheep is the value of friendship. In the story, Shaun and his friends are very connected with each other. This will show you that it’s much happier if you do things with people you enjoy being with.

via heavencostumes.com.au

5. Safari

Being dressed as if you’re going to hunt is fun for kids, especially if there are a mustache and a gun! Just don’t make them want to do the real hunt. You know, everyone should take care of the animals!

via halloweencostumes.com

6. Thing 1 and Thing 2

Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes are perfect for kids who love to clean the mess! But then, do they even exist?

via partycity.com

7. Hedwig the Owl (Harry Potter)

It’s not only Hermione and Ron whom Harry treats as his best friends. Hedwig is very important to him too. From the very first day he set foot in Hogwarts, she has already been there beside him. It’s just so heartbreaking when she died.

8. The Sorting Hat (Harry Potter)

Among the 4 houses in Hogwarts, which one do you want to be in? Oh, well, don’t bother thinking. After all, if the sorting hat doesn’t approve and doesn’t see you as someone who has the characteristics of being, let’s say, a Hufflepuff, then you will never be one.

via ebay.com

9. The Rainbow Fish (The Rainbow Fish)

The Rainbow Fish is such a good read because it shows that in order for one to live happier and be able to connect with other people, he or she shouldn’t be selfish. It’s heartwarming how the fish transcended to becoming selfless.

via girlabout.co.uk

10. Blinky Bill

If there’s one book that I’d love to recommend for kids to read, it would be Blinky Bill. His story holds important life lessons, like knowing what’s right and what’s wrong, which can help them have a good sense of judgement and be a good person in general.

via snogthefrog.com.au

11. The Snail (The Snail and the Whale)

Just because you are small doesn’t mean your contribution to anything will also be small. Yep, that’s what the snail proved in the story.

via ohhappyday.com

12. Golden Ticket (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

Who says a mere ticket can’t be worn? The Golden Ticket has a huge role in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because it was the thing that brought the children to Willie Wonka’s factory. I just hope it really exists so I can experience the chocolate river, and perhaps see the Oompa Loompas too!

via heavencostumes.com.au

13. Paddington Bear

The Paddington Bear is nice, considerate, optimistic, and hardworking. He’s the kind that you’d admire.

via costumeslife.com

14. Winnie the Pooh

Everyone knows Winnie the Pooh so it’s just right for her to be in this list.

15. Brother Bear

The life lessons that we can get from the story of Brother Bear are mostly about the importance of our relation to others and how our actions can affect other people.

via horror-shop.com

16. One of the Little Pigs (Three Little Pigs)

Three Little Pigs is a great story to tell your kids if you want them to know the importance of hard work.

via ebay.co.uk

17. Caterpillar (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)

The caterpillar in the story of Alice in Wonderland has lots of wise words to say. He’s the insect you would want to befriend!

18. Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)

Yep, the Cheshire cat. You know, the creepy creature that keeps on popping and disappearing and popping and disappearing around Alice in Wonderland, and the one whose grin will give you goosebumps!

via discounthalloweencostumes.com

19. Pinocchio

Pinocchio might be a naughty boy but his story is powerful as it teaches us a very important lesson about life, which is the importance of honesty.

via aliexpress.com

20. Zazu (The Lion King)

Zazu is a self-righteous bird that does take everything seriously. He’s also demanding and has high expectations and he doesn’t seem to have the ability to handle conflicts and disappointments. He’s quite funny, though.

via theartfulness.com

21. Simba (The Lion King)

Simba is the main protagonist in the movie The Lion King. His story is a must-know because it shows that being a leader doesn’t mean being arrogant. A good leader doesn’t put anyone in harm.

via thecostumeshop.ie

22. Lightning McQueen (Cars)

Lightning McQueen’s story is another must-know. Just like Simba, he was also boastful and somewhat a narcissist before he learned how to be sympathetic and selfless.

via halloweencostumes.com

23. Mater (Cars)

Mater is the opposite of Lightning McQueen. He is nice, sensitive, soft, and full of good vibes. He will capture your heart!

via potterybarnkids.com

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There is one good reason why coffee is the best thing on the planet. The joy it brings begins at brewing time and continues even after the coffee grounds have been used.

via giphy.com

Aside from the known uses of coffee in the kitchen, there are other unique ways that coffee can be enjoyed. You would be surprised to know that besides reaping the benefits of drinking coffee, it can be used as an ingredient for homemade beauty products. The best thing about it is you get to save a lot of money, and you don’t have to step out of your home to enjoy a beauty treatment!

We give you, different ways to use coffee grounds other than in your morning cuppa! Coffee for Glossy Hair

The hair is often treated with chemicals and using a coffee hair mask is a natural, safe, convenient and a cost-effective way to keep the hair smooth. Simply brew an extra strong coffee and apply on dry, clean hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes then rinse off. You only have to do this once a week to notice changes in your hair.

via flickr.com

Skin Exfoliator

The coffee grounds make for a gentle and effective exfoliator that will not scratch the skin. It can be used everyday to replace your usual facial scrub. Don’t forget to mix olive oil and essential oils to add to the moisturising effect of the coffee scrub. Those coffee scrubs that come with a hefty price tag have basically the same ingredients.

via flickr.com

Eliminate Pet Odours

Coffee is one of the best known stink eliminators! With all the known harmful effects of cleaning agents and deodorisers, it would be great to keep some coffee grounds to absorb pet odours. It’s safe for the family and the pets and keeps the home chemical-free, too.

via wikipedia.org

Insect Repellent

Insects are difficult to control, and what most repellants can’t do, coffee can do perfectly. The acidity of coffee will help keep flies, mosquitoes, ants and other insects away. Sprinkle coffee grounds on your garden or place them in jars around the kitchen.

via wikipedia.org

Deal with Cellulite

Bummed about your cellulite? We found a great video that shows how coffee can be used to reduce cellulite on your body. It is so easy to make and use. Going to a salon to get the same treatment will cost you a lot of money. This one can be done in a few minutes and women who have tried it say they love how their skin feels smooth after using the home-made treatment.

Use Coffee Grounds to Reduce Cellulite - YouTube

Now you don’t have to spend lots of money to get beauty products — simply use your coffee!

And here’s another awesome reason why we love caffeine..

via memey.com

How have you been using your coffee stash?

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This Article Has Been Republished With Permission From The Conversation. What other countries can teach us about ditching disposable nappies

This year, the small Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu announced a plan to ban disposable nappies, as well as other throwaway items such as plastic bags. While some commentators praised the move, others worried about what the alternatives might be, and how this might affect household workloads, particularly for women.

While Vanuatu is the first nation to take such a bold step, it is not the first nation to recognise the environmental problems disposable nappies pose. Although most landfill waste in Australia and New Zealand consists of building waste, disposable nappies make up a significant percentage of household waste entering landfill – Australia uses an estimated 3.75 million of them every day.

Many urban parents find that a week’s worth of nappies barely fits into their kerbside bin, especially for families with two children in nappies. I’ve certainly met these parents stalking the streets on the evening before bin day, searching for half-empty bins to dump their surplus dirty nappies.

But this is not the only problem: nappies are a significant source of contamination in the waste stream. Infant faeces are a source of live vaccine, bacteria such as E. coli, and many other hazardous contaminants. The correct procedure is to scrape faeces into the toilet before disposing of the nappy. But let’s be honest – the whole attractiveness of disposable nappies is not having to do this, especially while out and about.

Lessons from a bygone age

So what is the alternative? Obviously, before disposable nappies, parents had to use cloth nappies. In Australia, the standard was the fluffy terry cloth folded into a triangle; in New Zealand, the flat flannelette folded differently for boys and girls.

Traditional cloth nappies were much less absorbent, and therefore had to be changed about 15 times per day, before being washed, dried, and folded for next time. It’s no coincidence that this practice dates to an era when households typically featured a stay-at-home mother.

In recent years, modern cloth nappies have emerged, with more absorbent designs that require less frequent changing. They use modern materials such as microfibre, microfleece, polyurethane laminate, and fabrics derived from bamboo. These nappies may be snug in design, pleasing to the eye, and less prone to leaks. They also require less water for laundry, because they can be put straight into a washing machine rather than being soaked as traditional nappies were.

Yet, as Ni-Vanuatu commentators have already pointed out, these designs are not necessarily suitable for tropical climates or warmer weather due to the use of non-breathable fabrics. These fabrics might also encourage nappy rash and other related problems for babies’ delicate skin.

Lessening the load

The search for alternatives does not need to be limited to Oceania, however. My research with families with young infants in northwestern China examined a practice known as ba niao, or “holding out to urinate”. This method of infant hygiene involves very limited use of nappies, meaning laundry can feasibly be done by hand.

Briefly, it involves learning the signals and timing of a baby’s patterns of poop and pee, then holding them out over a basin, toilet or potty for them to release, nappy-free. Caregivers look for signs such as squirming, pushing, fussing, stillness, and other forms of more direct communication that precede an “elimination”. As babies get older and begin to walk, they can be taught to urinate in Chinese-style squat toilets or other appropriate places, with the help of pants with a hole cut out of the crotch.

In colder parts of China, this is done by using several layers of pants, each with a hole, so babies do not have to be undressed. Caregivers tuck nappy-cloths made from old sheets or other soft rags up into the waistband of the pants, to be quickly and easily removed when a baby seems ready to “go”. If the caregiver misses the signal, the small, light cloth can be easily hand washed and dried on a balcony or radiator. If the caregiver is not near a toilet, the baby may even be held out over the ground or tiles, and urine cleaned up with a mop.

For faeces, babies are encouraged into a regular routine through a large morning feed of milk, and patient “holding out” until the morning elimination is done. If the baby’s bowel movements are less predictable, perhaps due to illness, some families use disposable nappy pads, tucked in the same way as the traditional nappies, but more as a backup for missing a signal rather than relying on it.

Households without indoor toilets also use this method, including families who live in their shop and rely on public showers and toilets for hygiene.

This method is used by rich and poor families alike. Research by disposable nappy producers Proctor & Gamble estimated that Chinese consumers of disposable nappies use only one per day – or more accurately, per night. Even those who can afford disposable nappies tend to eschew them in favour of ba niao during daylight hours. Besides a lot less laundry, the reported benefits include less nappy rash, earlier toilet independence, and less crying and fussing.

Is this a realistic practice for countries seeking to quit disposable nappies? It may seem far from westernised norms, but my research has also analysed the content of Australian and New Zealand-based web forums and Facebook groups, with collectively around 2,000 members. These caregivers, mostly mums, are trying to work out the best way to introduce a similar practice to everyday life here, too.

They are inspired by the fact that this is possible in other parts of the world, and may indeed be a key to reducing the laundry load. And if they’re not quite ready to quit disposable nappies altogether, they might at least give up the weekly raid on the neighbours’ rubbish bins.

Kelly Dombroski, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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