Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Words of Wisdom: Dance with your fears

"My best advice for both personal and business success is: Don't run from your problems/fears dance with them. To dance well, learn effective negotiation and communication skills, this builds self esteem, relationships and success." - Jennifer McDonell, www.mentoronline.com.au

What fears and problems have you learned to 'dance' with in your life?

 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Words of Wisdom: Just go for it!

"I had a boss who always told me 'it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission' so basically just go do it!" - Suzanne Geraghty, www.revolutionaustralia.com

Have any of your bosses ever given you some great words of wisdom?

 






Sunday, 28 July 2013

Words of Wisdom: Add value to the world

"The true purpose of a goal is who you become as a person in pursuing the goal.
You can either have a job or add value to the world.
Your passion is like breathing - that's how easy it feels." - Rita Joyan, www.unboxyourgift.com

What's your passion?

How can you use your passion to add value to the world?
 



Saturday, 27 July 2013

Words of Wisdom: Do it with love


 
Image from www.bustedhalo.com
 
Throughout the course of life, there's a few pieces of advice that we collect along the way that stick with us. Words of Wisdom is our latest blog series that shares some of these 'pearls of wisdom' from a variety of contributors. We hope these gems will inspire and motivate you to be the very best you can and get the most out of your life journey...

"A business mentor said to me: "Whatever you do, do it with love". He meant that, even when I was feeling pretty frustrated with a client, I had to press reset and say to myself "do it with love" and then talk to the client.

If I think of that person as someone I "love" then I'm much nicer to them and they respond more positively. Try it on your most frustrating clients.

Recently, one of our (much loved) clients had made lots of changes, asked for extra things, contradicted themselves and then started again. We had a quick meeting to discuss how to resolve the issue.

Everyone was voicing their frustration and we said "do it with love". We then thought about WHY the client was behaving as they were. Answer: Our client lacks support in their role, they are given impossible deadlines, the person who manages them isn't always the most logical and they have pretty tight time-frames to find solutions themselves so they don't always pay attention to detail.

By thinking "lovingly" about our client, reflecting on their situation and trying to think about things from their perspective we were able to come up with a work around for the issue at hand and we all went away thinking sympathetically about our client." - Maureen Shelley, Chief Operating Officer, The Copy Collective,
www.thecopycollective.com

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

How has this advice influenced your life or career for the better?

 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Top Winter Gardening Tips

I had to do a double take when last night’s weather forecast predicted max temps of 7 and 6 degrees Celsius respectively for Canberra this weekend. This is certainly more Snuggie and Onesie weather than gardening weather! But there is something rewarding and refreshing about getting out in the garden on a brisk winter’s day. Whilst it doesn’t look like there’s much growing going on, there are still plenty of jobs we can do to keep our garden in tip-top shape for spring. Check out our top winter gardening tips below, plus some great gardening products to motivate you to swap the Onesie and slippers for a pair of gumboots and gloves:

1. Turn fallen leaves into mulch and fertiliser by composting them  

These Composting Leaf Sacks make it easy to gather all of your leaves together

2. Prune roses now to get more flowers in spring and summer
Good quality secateurs are essential for quick and effective pruning, without damaging your plants

3. Plant broad beans - they are easy and delicious

These grow bags are great for small gardens, balconies or renters who can’t set up a permanent garden

4. Visit your nursery to buy camellias, magnolias and much more in flower to add instant colour for winter.
This handy tool roll includes essential gardening hand tools such as a trowel, hand fork and weeder

What to plant this month:

(R) is for Risky if you’re willing to take a punt on getting a full winter harvest from these plants before spring:
Beetroot
Bok Choi
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts (R)
Cabbage (R)
Carrot
Cauliflower (R)
Celeriac
Celery
Coriander
Fennel
Herbs (all except Basil)
Kale
Kohl Rabi (R)
Leek
Lettuce (all)
Mustard Greens
Pak Choi
Parsnip
Peas
Radish
Rocket
Shallots
Silverbeet
Snow Peas
Spinach
Spring Onions
Strawberry
Turnip


Lawn care

Did you know:

1. Most lawns are comprised of warm-season grass varieties, such as soft leafed Buffalos, Kikuyu and Couches, which are used in many temperate and subtropical regions within Australia. “This means they make most of their growth from spring through to autumn,” says horticulturalist / gardening guru Adam Woodhams. John Keleher, award winning turf grower and president of Turf Australia also advises that there are some simple maintenance practices gardeners should follow (particularly in southern parts of Australia) to ensure their lawn survives winter.

2. Cooler weather + reduced daylight hours mean that lawns don’t grow the same way they do in the warmer months. “The onset of the cooler weather means that your lawn’s growth slows dramatically, and it has to tolerate not just the cold conditions, but reduced daylight hours and often increased overshadowing. Your lawn will use up its stored energy reserves as it struggles to make do with the limited sunlight and it will be in a weaker state, making it more susceptible to some diseases and weed invasion,” says Adam.

3. Weeds don’t take a break over winter. “Unfortunately many weeds are cool season annuals, so this means they take advantage of your lawn’s slower growth and weakened condition and can seem to pop up almost overnight! But don’t panic: you can still keep your lawn looking great, and winter care will see your lawn bounce back to life in spring faster than ever,” advises Adam.


Below are ten top tips for winter lawn care from Adam (on behalf of lawncare expert, Victa), as well as some sound advice from John Keleher, president of Turf Australia (what this man doesn’t know about turf isn’t worth knowing!):

1. Switch your mower from mulch to catch mode, as you need to get as much sunlight to the grass as possible.

2. Don’t drop your mower height in winter; if anything, increase it. Your lawn needs to be left with as much leaf surface as possible to catch those precious rays of sunlight, advises Adam. John says that longer leaf blades help protect the roots from frost damage and foot traffic. He also says that it’s wise to limit foot traffic on grass in shaded areas, as these parts of the lawn will struggle to recover because of limited light.

3. Rake your lawn regularly to remove any fallen leaves, as these can easily block out sunlight.

4. Don’t mow too often: in winter lawn growth typically decreases substantially. As a guide, your lawn should only need to be mown around once every three to four weeks.

5. Prune trees and shrubs to allow more light to reach your lawn.

6. Unless it’s very dry, avoid watering. Lawns that stay wet in winter are more likely to suffer from fungal problems that will result in dead patches when spring comes around. If you must water, do it in the morning.

7. If bindii has been a problem in summer, then treat your lawn in late autumn or early winter. You need to get bindii early before it flowers and sets seed so spring is far too late.

8. Keep your eyes open for fast growing annual weeds like winter grass – it stands out in the lawn, as it will be bright green against your lawn’s duller winter hue. Winter grass is easy to remove by hand, but do it before it seeds; alternatively you can use a selective herbicide, advises Adam. Slow lawn growth in winter can result in weeds getting the better of your lawn, warns John. It’s easier to treat weeds while their still small, so get on top of them now.

9. Apply a specialist winter fertiliser to your lawn at the recommended rates and intervals. These fertilisers contain extra iron to help keep your lawn green, so make sure you wash it off pavers and driveways promptly to avoid staining. John advises that whilst autumn is a great time to fertilise (to prepare your lawn for the winter months), it’s not the end of the world if you missed this window. Aim for a light fertilising in early winter with a balanced nutrient mix.

10. Apply a bio-fertiliser or seaweed tonic as winter starts and then reapply every month. This will improve your lawn’s all-round resistance to fungal problems and to cold, often helping to minimise frost damage too. You can also use a spray-on frost protection in very cold areas to help increase the lawn’s season, advises John. Also keep an eye on the colour of your lawn, says John. Whilst some discoloration is normal, white grass is usually a sign that your lawn is lacking moisture and/or nutrients. If you are unsure, seek advice from your local turf producer www.turfaustralia.com.au.

Other lawn tips:
  • Don’t forget to check and service your lawncare equipment before you start to use it regularly in the warmer months. Check that the mower blades are sharp and that all your equipment is serviced with fresh spark plugs, new oil, clean air filters and fresh fuel. Your mower will thank you for this TLC!

  • If your lawn just isn’t working, don’t be afraid to start again, says John. Winter can be a good time to consider a complete lawn replacement, so it’s established and thriving by spring. Consider climate, usage and budget if you are considering a lawn makeover, and don’t be afraid to seek help and get a professional consultation.

Thanks to our contributors:

VictaVicta is a renowned Australian brand with a history spanning 60 years. From humble beginnings in a Concord NSW backyard where it was created in 1952, Victa has expanded to become a global exporter of lawncare products. Today, Victa is owned by the Briggs & Stratton Corporation, a world leading small engine manufacturer and major supplier of engines to Victa. The vast majority of Victa mower products continue to be assembled in Australia at the Moorebank NSW head office. Victa garden and lawn care equipment is available from leading outdoor power equipment specialists. Call 1800 356 632 or visit www.victa.com.au to find your local stockist.

Turf Australia - Turf Australia is the representative body of the turf industry comprising over 200 levy paying turf producers and individual members Australia wide. Turf Australia’s aim is to develop and foster the advancement and profitability of a sustainable natural turf grass industry. Turf Australia is committed to the environmentally responsible production, installation and maintenance of turf glass through training, information and development programs. For more information on how to get the most out of your turf visit www.turfaustralia.com.au

Jennifer Stackhouse, Greenworld magazine - Jennifer is the editor of Greenworld magazine, the trade journal for the nursery and landscape industry in Australia. A horticulturist and garden writer, Jennifer is highly respected by gardeners around Australia and a popular speaker. Jennifer has written and edited many gardening books including Gardening for Dummies and My Gardening Year, both of which she wrote with her gardening mother, Shirley Stackhouse. She has also co-authored The Organic Guide to Edible Gardens and Planting Techniques with Gardening Australia colleague Debbie McDonald and published The Contented Chook for ABC Gardening Australia magazine. The Contented Chook has been extremely successful this year and was reprinted due to demand. Her new book, Garden from ABC Books, is to be published in September this year. Jennifer also blogs at www.gardendrum.com.


The Little Veggie Patch Co – Read more about the The Little Veggie Patch Co here, check out our range of The Little Veggie Patch Co products here or visit their website for more gardening tips and services: www.littleveggiepatchco.com.au

Monday, 1 July 2013

What's On in July 2013

29 June – 14 July: Kids in the Park, Sydney Olympic Park

School holidays are just around the corner, so if you’ve got one kidlet, or a whole tribe you need to keep entertained for a couple of weeks, check out the Kids in the Park school holiday program at Sydney Olympic Park. The program includes more than 50 activities (including 12 new activities), many of which are free, or reasonably priced. Key activities include:

-Lodge ‘Sailing the High Seas’ Holiday Camp – a school holiday alternative to day-care, with a Residential Camp option for children aged 8-12 years and a Day Camp for 5-12 years. Activities include treasure hunts, pirate crafts, colour wars, cooking, archery, games and more.

- Mega Circus – A new event including a two-hour Flying Trapeze and Circus Skills class. Kids aged 4-14 can learn how to fly through the air on the 10 metre high trapeze rig and make a ‘catch’, as well as walk the tightwire, juggle, hula-hoop, acrobalance and twirl.

- AusCycle’s ‘Get Riding’ Program – Cycling skills are something your kids will use for life. This is a fun new program spilt into two age groups: Bike Control for 5-9 year-olds and Road Safety for 10-12 years.

- Mangroves…More than Just Mud – Offers 5-12 year-olds the opportunity to explore Bicentennial Park with a Park Ranger. Kids will discover bird and marine life that they never knew existed in the wetlands, whilst monitoring the weather with a hygrometer and taking a water sample.

- Fizzics – Gross and Gory Science – Make fake snot and wounds, vomit bombs, exploding pimples, and more in this gross science workshop. Kids ages 7-13 years with learn about the human body whilst having fun grossing each other out! There’s also a Fizzics Education – Chemical Concoctions Workshop on the same day.

- Painting Unleashed in the Park – This fun painting session allows kids to express their inner creativity and have fun with paints on a large scale, outdoors. Materials and protective wear will be provided.

- Kids on Canvas – Christmas in July Workshop – 6-15 year olds will love the opportunity to draw and paint their own masterpiece canvas to hang up at home.

- Kids who love being active can look forward to Rugby League and AFL Clinics, Gymnastics, Badminton, Table Tennis, and more.

- Kids who love reading and writing will also love The Writing Workshops: Future Fiction and Poetry: Images and Forms.

There’s something for everyone, so check out the full program at www.kidsinthepark.com.au


 
6-7 July: Gold Coast Airport Marathon

I could think of worse places to run than the Gold Coast. This marathon offers the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and get a bit of winter sun. This event is now in its 11th year, and has grown from 11,063 competitors in 2003 to an expected 30,000-plus this year. If your training isn’t sufficient for a marathon, there are plenty of other events for all ages and abilities, including: 5.7km Dash, 10km, Half Marathon, Wheelchair Marathon, Wheelchair 15km and Junior Dash. The courses try to make the most of the Gold Coast’s gorgeous water views. Register at www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au



One marathon participant, Michael, intends to take his running experience to the next level. Michael will run from Sydney to Surfers Paradise over two weeks, covering 860km to raise money for neuroscience research into diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, as well as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, spinal cord and child injury, Motor Neurone Disease, stroke, falls, autism, sleep apnoea and chronic pain. Touched by these illnesses in his own family (Michael’s uncle had Parkinson’s disease and his grandmother has dementia), Michael is passionate about raising funds and awareness to help fight the battle against these diseases. Follow Michael’s journey at www.run2paradise.com.



13 July: 25th Anniversary of the Kookaburra Queen, Brisbane

Can you believe it’s been 25 years since World Expo ’88? It’s also the 25th anniversary of one of Brisbane’s iconic vessels, the Kookaburra River Queens. Folks of Brisbane, you can get involved in the celebrations by submitting photos (and videos) of your experiences with the Kookaburra River Queens. Photos could be from your wedding, formals, Christmas parties, birthdays, etc. on the Kookaburra Queen, or other images of vessels on the Brisbane River. Any other Kookaburra Queen related memorabilia or stories are also welcome. There will be a special lunchtime cruise on Saturday 13 July which members of the public are invited to join. Check out the website for more details: www.kookaburrariverqueens.com or connect on Facebook.

 
 

13 – 19 July: The Big Summer Juice Master Detox

If winter has left you feeling a bit sluggish, then maybe a good detox is in order. Jason Vale has developed a successful juicing program that promises to help you lose 7lbs (3.2kgs) in 7 days, whilst giving you better energy levels and clearer skin. Jason developed this program to combat his own health issues: he had no energy, smoked, drank too much alcohol, was overweight from eating too much junk food and had asthma, eczema, mild acne, bad hay fever, and very, very, severe Psoriasis. Jason no longer smokes, drinks or binges on junk food. “My Asthma has vanished, my eczema and acne have gone, my Psoriasis has cleared by over 90% and I am no longer overweight. In fact, on the health front I’m one happy camper! I am now also lucky to be able to help people who find themselves in a similar position to the one I was in," says Jason. The program consists of diet, exercise and inspiration to kick start the changes you need to make for a healthier lifestyle.

Find out more about The Big Summer Juice Master Detox at www.bigsummerjuicedetox.com and learn more about Jason’s The Juice Master Diet 7lbs in 7 Days here http://www.juicemaster.com/au/shop/books/7lbs-in-7-days-super-juice-diet.html




21 July: Run Melbourne

The countdown to Run Melbourne 2013 has begun! Whatever your goal – supporting a charity, beating a PB or trying out a new distance – the event has something for everyone with 5km, 10km and the Brooks half-marathon distances. “In six short years Run Melbourne has become one of Melbourne’s most loved and participated-in events. Having raised over $1.9 million last year for a variety of charities throughout Australia, we hope people will again rise to the challenge in 2013 and help us achieve our fundraising target of $2.5 million,” says Fairfax Media Marketing Director Briony Amey. I speak from personal experience when I say that Run Melbourne is a great way to enjoy the sights of Melbourne. And with an endless selection of cafes you can look forward to a delicious breakfast afterwards! www.runmelbourne.com.au

 

23 July: KneeDeep Keynote Presentation: Derrick McManus, Adelaide

This is an unmissable talk from an inspiring man who has overcome adversity to carry on with his life and work. On 3 May 1994, Snr. Constable Derrick McManus was shot 14 times and lay bleeding to death for three hours before he could be assisted in South Australia’s most renowned police siege. In this keynote presentation, Derrick reveals his journey to recovery – not just physically, but so he could also return to his work with the elite Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) Group. "Being shot 14 times with a high powered rifle isn't something I asked for but I now believe it to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. I now know that it's not what happens to us but how we deal with it that determines our future," says Derrick. This is a captivating presentation that will leave you feeling moved and motivated. Tickets can be purchased here for $55.

 
Derrick McManus, Keynote speaker at KneeDeep presentation on 23 July

KneeDeep is a training organisation and business consultancy that specialise in leadership, team development and project management.

 

27 July: Corporate Freedom Startup Bootcamp, Sydney

If you’re keen to start your own business, you’ll be in good hands (and company) at the Corporate Freedom Startup Bootcamp in Sydney at the end of July. Corporate Freedom is a startup inculbator program that “empowers corporate employees to start their dream business before quitting their day jobs, making the process of starting a business massively de-risked”. The Startup Bootcamp is an intensive day with seven of Australia’s top startup experts who will work with over 500 aspiring entrepreneurs.  They will be running a one-day Startup Bootcamp in Sydney on 27 July 2013, where seven of Australia's top startup experts will show over 500 aspiring entrepreneurs how to get started.

What will be covered?
  •  Workshops on solutions to the key obstacles faced when starting a business.
  • Speakers including: best-selling international author Brian Sher, Peter Davison (seed investor in Paypal with $1.5bn exit) and Sarah Riegelhuth (founder Wealth Enhancers, youngest ever board member to Association of Financial Advisors).
  • Who is this for? Startup Bootcamp is an essential stepping stone for anyone who is keen to do their own thing, but not sure where to start.
Corporate to Freedom also offer a 12 month enabler program, to guide budding entrepreneurs through the process of building their startup, step by step.

Tickets from $97. Visit www.corporatetofreedom.com for tickets and further details.

 

27 July: Mountain Design Adventure Race, Canberra, ACT

If you missed last month’s Mountain Design Adventure Race in VIC (or if you’re an

Adventure Race junkie), head to Canberra for another action-packed day of racing. It doesn’t matter if you’re not an expert with a map and compass because the series now includes a Magellan Explore course where participants can use a GPS.

What is Mountain Design Adventure Racing?
• A new concept in adventure racing that caters for individuals and teams, from beginner level through to experienced racers.
• A varied course that includes compulsory legs of mountain biking, trail running and trekking, then a choice of adventure legs which can include anything from kayaking, swimming, canoeing, rock climbing, canyoning, tubing, white water rafting, coasteering, abseiling or archery.
• Races include three levels of difficulty:

 1. HARDCORE: A longer race for more experienced participants
 2. RAW: A shorter event for beginners and those new to map reading
 3. MAGELLAN EXPLORE: An event for beginners with GPS navigation

Don’t worry if you miss this race - Mountain Design Adventure Races take place in most states, so check out www.adventureraceaustralia.com.au and www.magellangps.com.au for further details.



28 July: National Tree Day

This year Planet Ark and Toyota Australia (sponsor of National Tree Day) are working towards planting the 20-millionth seedling since National Tree Day began in 1996. There is also a Schools Tree Day on 26 July. The scale of National Tree Day is impressive – each year over 200,000 people participate in the event at 3000 locations around Australia.

How can you get involved? Site coordinators can select a public site such as a school, workplace, park, sporting field, nature reserve or Scout/Guide hall. This year, individuals can also organise a personal activity and invite friends and family to help work on smaller areas such as backyards or balconies, or even a nature strip. Or you can simply register to join a local group. Visit Planet Ark’s National Tree Day website for more info on how to set up a group or join a group in your local area. www.treeday.planetark.org