Category Archives: Products I Love

To The Boy in Berlin – Fantastic resource for German students

Last week I travelled to Melbourne for a meeting of the Professional Development Facilitators for the Goethe-Institut and also to present at the Victorian German Teacher’s Conference. It was fantastic! In fact, I would go so far as to say that I came away completely inspired and fired up, ready to boost my numbers back up in German.

One of the fabulous workshops that I attended was by Tina Wilkinson on using ‘To The Boy in Berlin’ as a text in a middle school German classroom. It’s written by Elizabeth Honey and Heike Brandt and is centred around two main characters; Henni and Leo.

The blurb on says:

To the Boy in Berlin

A funny, suspenseful novel, bursting with character and ideas: a quirky detective story about righting the wrongs of the past and fighting injustice in the present; a touching story of friendship, football and the power of the Internet.

Henni lives in Melbourne, Leo lives in Berlin.

Different countries, different lives, so far apart;

but sometimes the person furthest away is just the one you need

A postcard from Leo Schmidt? I can’t believe it. I’m trying to solve the mystery of a boy called Leopold Schmidt who migrated to Australia years ago. Leopold is long dead, but this new Leo is very much alive and kicking.

Emails fly as they explore the world according to Henni and Leo. It’s friendly and funny, but deadly serious, too. Without Leo, Henni would never unravel the dark secrets from the past. Without Henni, Leo would have to save his friend Felix single-handed.

Amazon suggests that this book is suitable for students from ages 9 and up, but as I want to incorporate German language and an investigation into internment camps during World War 1 in Australia, I am going to have a go at running it with my current Year 9 class, and possibly also my Year 8 class later next term.

You can buy an eBook copy of the book from here – if you download their free Kindle for PC here, you can actually read it using a normal PC without the need for a Kindle device. The novel costs $9.99 and will be well worth the price in my opinion.

As I don’t have a class set of these books, it would be great if my students could buy the eBooks, so that they have their own copy of the book to refer back to.

Here’s a little teaser though that I downloaded from the Amazon site – they have it there as a free preview and is publicly accessible. NB – this is all copyrighted material.

To The Boy in Berlin teaser (Year 9 students, this is your homework: please read it and add any information you find out about either Henni or Leo to your brainstorms)


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Beautiful educational storybook about to be released

Where Has Polly Gone‘ is a story about Netta, a young ostrich who finds it very difficult to concentrate at school and who finds it very easy to get into trouble. Travelling the world in search of ‘Polly’ – the Summer homework her teacher has set her – Netta discovers that polygons are all around her.

Book CoverI am very fortunate to have gotten a sneak peak at this beautifully illustrated book before it’s released (later next month), as I’m the Marketing Assistant for author, Lisa Service.

This book accurately reflects the frustration that so many of my students who suffer from ADD/ADHD have felt in the classroom. Without attention and care to their learning needs, it is easy to understand how they might find themselves gazing off into the distance, taking their imaginations to more interesting places.

I love the fact that this book focuses on geography, especially the inclusion of different country flags and the shapes that have been used to symbolise their people. Considering that many Middle School students still can’t use maps effectively, this is fantastic!

The layering of shapes throughout this book is very well done – from the obvious to the subtle, it provides teachers and parents with the opportunity for explicit teaching, as well as student centered discovery.

The website includes a blog written by Lisa Service, as well as lesson plans linking directly to the book and Learning Outcomes from the US, with Australian Curriculum links to come. It will also include a platform from which to buy the book, as either an eBook or a hard cover book.

You can also find other great teaching resources shared on the Where Has Polly Gone? Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest page and Google+ page.


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Get a free canvas from the Canvas Factory

Get a free canvas from the Canvas Factory

If you’re anything like me, you have tons of photos on your computer, phone and tablet, just waiting to be printed out and displayed in your home. I have empty photo frames sitting on shelves, gathering dust;  I forgot to take out the sample image in a couple of them and had visitors ask which members of my family they were. That would be embarrassing enough, except that it happened 2 years ago and they’re still there…

The images that you capture of your family and friends are priceless. With help from The Canvas Factory, you can turn them into amazing pieces of art on canvas, acrylic glass or metal for you to treasure for years to come.

About The Canvas Factory


The Canvas Factory is an Australian business that prides itself on offering superior quality and service, resulting in customer satisfaction every time. With a fan base all over the world, their convenient ordering service is easy to use, making it the ideal solution for sprucing up your home decor.

Uploading is easy; simply import your photos either from your computer or device, or you also upload them directly from Facebook or Instagram. This gives you complete flexibility over which images you choose to use for your artwork and means that you can easily print out those candid shots, taken whilst on the go.

Alternatively, you can select from over 20 million images from Fotolia in The Canvas Factory Art Gallery, which is ideal for businesses such as restaurants and hair dressers, or for anyone wanting a beautiful and artistic image that leaves a lasting impression.

Giveaway Offer

The Canvas Factory is offering its fans on Facebook free 20 x 30cm Canvas, simply by liking their page! All you need to do is pay the $14.95 postage. Not only that, you’ll also get a massive 70% off any additional prints within the same order. Spend over $100 and your postage is free!

22_1364x1012 - Copy

To claim this offer, like their page and then click on the tab that says ‘Like Us & Get a Free Canvas’. Enter your email address and you’ll be emailed the code back. Once you receive the code, follow the steps below, under the heading ‘How to use the Canvas Factory Website’.

Like us to get a free canvas

Want more free canvases?

There are many blogs and Facebook pages partnering with The Canvas Factory at the moment, each offering their own giveaway or prize of either a 20 x 30cm canvas or a 40 x 50cm canvas. Here are some of them:

  1. Like my Facebook page – click here to get the code or (if you’re on an iPhone) email me – 🙂
  2. Head over to 2 Plus 1 for 3 chances to win!
  3. Perfect Party Pieces have a giveaway on Facebook.
  4. Mary is having a referral competition over at Being a Mom is a Job – the person with the most referrals, wins!
  5. The Simple Mummy is offering her readers a free 20 x 30cm canvas.
  6. If you like A Happy Teacher is the Best Teacher page and inbox Joe Ann, you’ll be sent a code to use at the checkout.
  7. Head to Organising the four of us for your free 20 x 30cm canvas.

How to use The Canvas Factory website

The Canvas Factory ordering system is very easy to use. Follow these step by step instructions and you’ll be on your way to fabulous new artwork for your home.

Step One

Screen 1

Step Two – Choose whether you want to print on canvas, metal or glass

Step 1 Choose Style

Step Three – Choose how you want the sides of your canvas to look

Step 2 Choose Wrap

Step Four – Upload your photo/s

Step 3 Upload Photo

Step Five – Choose the canvas size you want and edit how your image will look on the canvas

Step 4 Customise Canvas

Step Six – Use the different backgrounds to visualise how your new artwork will look

Canvas Preview 1

Step Seven – Click on Add to Cart and follow the prompts to enter your address details


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Feeling very blessed!

I am so incredibly lucky. I start each day not knowing exactly what will happen, what kind of work I’ll do or who I’ll be working for; that’s the beauty of freelancing.

As you know, I’ve been freelancing for a year now and I have been very fortunate to work with some amazing companies and people in that time. I have gone from purely undertaking administration roles, to voice overs, video tutorials, accounting and now social media marketing and PR.

I am currently actively promoting two books; one is a suspense thriller by Ken Boehs called The Tilted Truth and the other is a children’s book, details for which I’ll reveal soon. How exciting is that?!

I’m also working with some other fantastic companies:

  • The Canvas Factory – who print photos directly from Facebook and Instagram onto canvas. Awesome!
  • Perfect Party Pieces – a future party supplies company, although at the moment I’m providing fans with inspiration for cakes, decorations, party food and party games for different party themes.
  • Elance Australia – I help others use Elance to find work or hire contractors.
  • Paint My Place App – A fantastic iPhone app that allows you to paint your home with virtual paint colours. I’m no longer working with them, but it’s a wonderful idea!

It’s so nice to be able to be able to clock on and off around Hannah’s needs, and fulfill my own at the same time.

Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss how Elance or freelancing works 🙂


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Colour your life with Paint My Place

Colour your life with Paint My Place

I love DIY projects and watching shows like The Block, so I was stoked to find out about a new iPhone app coming out onto the market tomorrow. Better still, I have the absolute pleasure of assisting with the marketing campaign, which I got through Elance 😀

Paint My Place iPhone AppPaint My Place allows you to try out the world’s best paint brands and colour palettes, without lifting a paintbrush. You take a photo of your house then use the app to test out different shades; how awesome is that?! I honestly think it could redefine design. Have a look at the latest demo video:

To find out more info, head to and don’t forget to like and follow our social media pages:



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12WBT: Round 2 – Let’s Go!

So I’ve finally done it! I’ve signed up for the Michelle Bridge’s 12WBT program! Today’s the first day and I’ve already done my exercise, which is amazing… I really wasn’t sure how I’d go with Hannah (my 10 month old) and my motivation (haha).

I decided to do a few “before” shots so that I can see exactly how well I do. My goal is to be as transparent about this with you as possible – I don’t want to be able to hide anywhere. My starting weight is 80kg and my goal initially was to lose 15kg. I’m now wondering whether that was a little ambitious and perhaps should aim for 10kg instead? To be honest, I’d happy just to drop a dress size or two and get fitter before Hannah starts walking.

So, this is me now:

My sister and I on my first Mother's Day.

      My sister and I on my first Mother’s Day.

I have to admit that I wouldn’t be capable of running if I didn’t have a couple of important things:

1. My Panache Sports Bra – this has been a revelation for me (and my customers at Honeypot Lingerie)! I don’t mind sharing that I’m a 14G and to find a bra that actually prevents most of my bounce (83%) is AMAAAAAZING! In fact, a lot of my customers wear them as an everyday bra, although I couldn’t yet because after breastfeeding for 10 months, it feels rather firm!

You can see the difference in life and shape it makes in my photos above. Yesterday (Mother’s Day) I was wearing an older maternity bra.

Panache Sports Bra

2. I absolutely adore the Rexona Clinical Protection Ultra Dry – I’ve always had an issue and now I don’t, it’s that simple! It is more expensive (around $12-$14 each) but it lasts quite a while and has a nice fragrance. Plus I have very sensitive skin and it’s been no worries.

(NB – I have no affiliation with Rexona, this is purely my personal opinion)




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My little girl and the battle of the maternity bras

My little girl and the battle of the maternity bras

This was originally posted on my Honeypot Lingerie blog on 15th July 2012.

I’m so pleased to announce the arrival of ‘Hannah Victoria’ on Saturday 7th July 2012 at 1:12am. Thus begins the real task of buying, using and getting used to maternity bras!

I’ve posted previously about maternity bras and how much I love the brands I stock, however a good quality maternity bra is really more than simply looking nice and feeling comfy; that’s right, I’m talking about those darn clips!

I hadn’t even considered practising unfastening and refastening the hooks on my bras until my daughter was 2 days old. I thought it would be fairly straight forward; boy, was I wrong!

At the moment I only own 3 maternity bras: one Freya Dotty bra, one Freya Pollyanna and one Elomi Beatrice bra. I had been in total love with my Elomi bra but quickly discovered that the clips leave much to be desired! I simply can’t get them undone easily enough and certainly not quick enough for my daughter hehe Doing them back up is equally as difficult.

I’m unsure why this is so tricky, although they are made of very hard plastic, so perhaps they need to be worn in a bit?

Contrast this with the Dotty or Pollyanna bras, where there’s a quick release hook and life is much easier. No muss, no fuss.

I’ll have to take some photos of the clips and post them here. If there’s one thing a new mum doesn’t need it’s to be worried about undoing her maternity bra with a screaming baby!


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