The Smiling Bilby

A passion project complete. During the start of the pandemic I started writing a children’s ebook, and with the delightful illustrations from my friend @mathiasdraws it has come to life.

The Smiling Bilby is available on Apple Books. Also available on Kindle

Activities To Keep The Family Entertained At Home

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

— Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling

We have plenty of things to keep us entertained – there are streaming services like Netflix, video calling options such as Apple’s FaceTime, Zoom or Messenger to stay connected with loved ones, but if you are looking for other ways to have fun here are some online activities that will keep you and your family educated and entertained during your time at home.

Play your favourite music

Here is a public playlist I put together on Spotify (get a free account here) or a paid subscription through Apple Music (a free trial is available).

A playlist: Positive tunes for Self Isolation – Spotify or Apple Music 

Music can be a great equaliser. It can lift you up when you are feeling down, or in need of an energy boost. There are many streaming services available with curated playlists or you can pull out your favourite vinyl or CD.

Keeping the family entertained

Taronga Zoo has its own zoo channel with live feeds of its Seals and Tigers and other animals. Watch feeding times with the Zoo keepers – both educational and entertaining, like Big Brother for animals!

NASA has a range of free online activities including Making your own cloud in a bottle, building a model paper rocket, or online images from space.

Author of Harry Potter, JK Rowling, has launched ‘Harry Potter At Home‘, here you’ll find all the latest magical spells to keep you entertained – including magical craft videos (teach your friends how to draw a Niffler!), fun articles, puzzles and plenty more for new readers, as well as those already familiar with the wizarding world.

Cast a summoning charm on fun!

Australian National Theatre Live has a range of recorded performances that you can watch online – keep your cultural muscled flexed at

Sydney Olympic Park virtual tour of ARTEXPRESS

Start a Garden

Whether you have a balcony or backyard, you can buy some plants or seeds at your local Bunnings or hardware store and grow some herbs or vegetables. And won’t you feel good about yourself knowing that you are growing vegetables to stay healthy?

Keep moving and exercise

There are many online fitness classes you can use or you can simply grab some of the canned goods from the pantry, and use them to do some arm curls, use the lounge to do dips or do some squats.

If you are working from home, replace your travel with a walk or a run. You have more time up your sleeve so you can finally get started on that fitness regime!

Support local businesses

See if your local cafe does takeaway, or buy a voucher that you can use when things finally get back to normal.

Apple Education Activities

Apple has created a handy activity sheet for kids, got to love that!

Now get out there and get creating, learn something new or simply chill out on the lounge and be entertained!

5 things that should stop when you are in your thirties

When you are in your 30s (ahem, mid to late thirties in my case but I currently reside on the island of DE-NIAL) one thing becomes apparent. People you know like your friends and family tend to highlight the fact that this milestone means you will need to change in some way. You no longer have that ‘leave pass’ that you did in your twenties. Here are some of the things you will notice become a little less acceptable once you are a thirty-something.

Carrie in Sex and the city

1. Partying through the week.

In your twenties it becomes a lot easier to go out and drink more than once a week. School-night catch ups with friends over a cheeky wine or vodka is something you do Tuesday through to Friday and getting up for work the next morning is a breeze. Hangovers seem to disappear after a coffee, panadol and a few hours sleep. Now that I am well and truly in my thirties, going out on a Saturday night alone means an early night on Friday and a grooming/beauty schedule that starts Thursday night. And maybe a nap.

Turning 30

2. Using your phone, as a phone.

When I was at uni, a one hour phone call with friends was the norm. Now, I am so attached to the ‘smart’ bit of my ‘smart phone’, I do anything but talk on it. Goodbye voice calls – I don’t need to talk to people. Keeping in touch with friends means Whats App, FB chat and the odd SMS.

3. Eating whatever you want.

No more late night kebabs, happy meals or soft drink/chips combos. Hellooo to healthy smoothies and learning words like ‘LSA’ and ‘Quinoa’. If you want to indulge a couple of times a week though, go for it.

Getting older

4. Backpacking.

You could still carry your 14kg rucksack but you don’t need to. All the hotels you stay in have elevators right?

5. Ignoring your fitness. This whole fitness thing becomes more important.

Regular exercise turns from a bit of a hobby to being a fixture in your day. No longer can those midweek work and social events be an excuse to skip your morning run or gym session. The takeaway pizza can take a little longer to digest. Damn my no longer youthful digestive system. I love pizza. Scratch this – keep eating pizza, just run more.

Rookie at the gym