Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Buying in bulk

Buying grains, legumes and other dry products in bulk is not only great for cutting down on the packaging thrown out in your garbage, it is great fun for toddlers. Pouring, decanting and filling containers is good for their coordination and can teach them a lot about volume and mass.

Go for packaging you can easily re-use. Yesterday I saw a picnicking Blackheathen carrying kids' jumpers and snacks in an old basmati rice sack that already had handles sewn into it. Real mountains style! And very sensible of the rice company. It was Pakistani, by the way. Now we just need some Australian producers to think of this.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

avoiding just one more piece of plastic

This isn't going to save the globe, but if you're feeling preparations for a baby involve just TOO much plastic, one thing you can pass on buying is the plastic toddler-proof door-lock.

As you can easily forget to do these up when you open often-used cupboards, these aren't as safe as simply putting chemicals and knives up high (what are you doing with toxic chemicals in your kitchen or bathroom in the first place?)

Put precious breakables in cupboards with knob handles. Then you can simply and easily shut them with an elastic band (save the ones from bundles of spinach and asparagus at the market) stretched around both knobs.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

interview on Babble

Amber Robinson from the online parenting magazine Babble, posted an interview about the book
Amber writes, "You may have noticed that green is the new black when it comes to raising babies these days."
I have been a bit cut off from big city culture since moving up to the mountains, so I didn't quite realise that!
Certainly the few expecting parents-to-be I have spoken to this week about the book have mentioned that they are highly motivated by this very topic.
It's wonderful to hear!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

livening up old t-shirts

A Japanese friend of mine, Ayako in Hazelbrook, has a beautiful way of turning old t-shirts from op shops into attractive, one-of-a-kind items.

She simply appliques small circles or squares of Japanese-print cotton onto the t-shirt in eye-catching contrasts.

She originally used new t-shirts for her beautifully hand-crafted items, but wondered why they weren't selling at the local markets, although they had a lot of attention from passersby. I think we have pinpointed why - no one wants to spend too much money at the moment.

When she switched to using the old t-shirts, she started selling more.

I think the old ones are even lovelier! There's something about a new creation from old materials which appeals.

Here's me wearing one of Ayako's shirts in the garden:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Available from the following Australian bookstores...

Here's a non-exhaustive list of physical shops where you can find my book.
I went to check if it was at my local Gleebooks. It was, but I had to search! Someone had piled some different books on top of it!
I resolved to go in every day and make sure it was visible, but I lost my nerve today when it was the same assistant on duty - I didn't want to look suspicious!

Abbey's Bookstore
ABC Books
Angus & Robertson
Collins Books

Please comment on this post if you've found it anywhere else!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Book finally launched

I found out that a 'book launch' actually just means sitting around waiting for the phone to ring with requests for press interviews. Far from being a glitzy affair (friends have been asking if they should start waxing their legs yet), I could just as well have been sitting here in my PJs doing the interviews.

Actually, I was in my PJs this morning for a 5:15 am live radio interview on ABC's Overnights. I wonder if any one was interested in the topic at that hour of the morning. Andrew says plenty of new parents up at that hour...but as I remember listening to the radio was never high on the agenda in those days.

Press people have been very supportive of the book, and I had a lovely review by a great-grandmother in an e-magazine for seniors, Bonzer!

I did however have a 'stuck' moment when ABC Canberra did a live interview focusing on the nappy 'debate', and a caller rang in to say her children had had terrible nappy rash which had only been kept in check by disposable nappies.

I tried to get across the message - which I really hope comes across in the book - that the important thing is to start thinking about your and your family's consumption impact. Not what nappies you use!

But radio is a difficult medium. The person who gets the last word really gets the last word!