Latest Posts – 30th March, 2017

I don’t know how you finish your day job and then rush home to start your other, harder, more demanding job.

Dear Working Mom,

I don’t know how you do it.

We’ve all been tickled recently by the hilarious BBC interview that went so very wrong when a toddler and baby came running into the room while their dad was on Skype being interviewed about democracy in South Korea. It was my favourite YouTube moment of the year ― until a few days later, when a friend reposted this on Facebook, a spoof of what it would have been like if it had happened to a woman. A working mom. And the reason I laughed so hard is that it so absolutely could have been true.

But actually, it’s kind of not funny.

Because working mom, I don’t know how you do it.

I don’t know how you get up in the mornings and get not only your small people looking presentable, but yourself as well. Hair, make-up, clothes-that-do-not-fall-into-the-Activewear-category, grown-up shoes… but you do.

I don’t know how you make breakfasts and packed lunches, and get small people to sit down and eat said breakfasts, while simultaneously preparing yourself mentally for whatever tasks are waiting for you when you get to your desk… but you do.

I don’t know how you manage to do the school run, administering that all-important “one last kiss,” and then haul yourself across town (or sometimes even further) to wherever work is, and arrive on time… but you do.

I don’t know how you field meetings and pediatrician appointments (both of which could be moved at any given time), sick kids and conference calls, and the eye-rolls of those who don’t know better when you absolutely have to leave at 5 pm (I hear the voices only half-joking: “Oh, half day today?”)… but you do.

Read full article here >>>

Beyoudblue has launched a campaign for new dads, Dadvice.

Any parent will tell you that raising kids is one of the biggest, most rewarding challenges you’ll face in life.

They’ll probably also tell you that things feel hardest when it’s all new and you’re still figuring out how to dismantle the pram without losing a thumb.

That’s why we’ve been following a group of new dads on their journey into fatherhood for our four-part web series, Dadvice.

Support the campaign:





Join the conversation #dadvice

Discrimination leads to depression and anxiety in Indigenous Australians. No one should be made to feel like crap just for being who they are. You can change this.

Beyondblue’s new campaign The Invisible Discriminator highlights the impact of subtle discrimination on the mental health or social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This is the second phase of the original campaign run in 2014 in which the TV commercials depict five everyday experiences of subtle discrimination to illustrate the ongoing impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

People will be encouraged to take action to stop racial discrimination by going to the beyondblue website and finding out more across four key areas:

  • Educate yourself about racism
  • Create change at your school
  • Create change at work
  • Respond to racism

The campaign will run from Monday 1 August to Sunday 28 August 2016 across TV, radio, cinema, online and social media. It is expected to reach millions of people.

Why this campaign is important

Several studies have demonstrated a link between experiences of racism and poorer mental health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including a greater risk of developing depression and anxiety, substance use and attempted suicide.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are nearly three times more likely to be psychologically distressed than other Australians and twice as likely to die by suicide.

Almost all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people regularly experience racism. Research has shown that most people had experienced racism multiple times, with more than 70 per cent experiencing eight or more incidents a year. Fifty per cent of all research participants reported experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress.

You can change this

The research states that mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians can be improved if they are exposed to fewer incidents of interpersonal racism. You can help by sharing the campaign with your family and friends and calling-out instances of racism when you see them.

Support the campaign:




  • Head to and retweet one or more of beyondblue’stweets around the Invisible Discriminator campaign


Join the conversation #bethechange – 18th April, 2016

beyondblue campaign raises awareness of anxiety as one in five believe people with anxiety ‘put it on’ to avoid uncomfortable situations

New figures have revealed one in five Australians believe people experiencing anxiety ‘put it on’ to avoid difficult or uncomfortable situations and around half of Australians don’t know basic facts about the condition.

Today, beyondblue’s revamped Get To Know Anxiety campaign will launch on TV, radio and online featuring Australia’s own Aussie actor Guy Pearce, who provided the voice over for the campaign.

A snapshot survey of 1200 Australians by research agency TNS Australia revealed that most people were aware of anxiety as a mental health condition, but damaging attitudes and discrimination still remain, with almost half agreeing that people with anxiety are judged or discriminated against.

beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said she was encouraged to find that 80 per cent of the people surveyed acknowledged it was a real condition, 45 per cent understood it affected a significant proportion of the population and 62 per cent agreed anxiety could be cured.

“A quarter of us will experience anxiety at some point, so it is concerning that roughly half of us still have either misconceptions or are unaware of the condition, its symptoms and treatment,” she said.

“Anxiety is not just feeling stressed or worried, it is when these feelings don’t subside and are ongoing without any particular reason or cause. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings can’t be easily controlled.

Read full article here >>>


Get to know anxiety:

Guy Pearce 30 second TVC watch here >>>

Get to know anxiety personal stories:

Megan – Racing Heart
Ollie – Snowballing Worries

One in five Australians believes people with anxiety ‘put it on’

Read full article here >>>

We came across these interesting fact sheets addressing commonly held concerns regarding vaccinations, as mothers have you really looked into why we vaccinate, is it safe, what are the side effects if any and why certain ages for each shot/s?

Click on links to download each fact sheet.

How are vaccines shown to be safe?

How do vaccines a­ffect immunity?

What about autism?

What is in vaccines?

Why is the schedule the way it is?

SHUTi™ or Sleep Healthy Using the Internet, is an innovative, online program for adults with insomnia. Designed by researchers at the University of Virginia, SHUTi™ helps people with insomnia identify and change thoughts or behaviours that influence sleep patterns through engaging stories, quizzes and activities using a technique called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

We know that insomnia is closely associated with many mental illnesses, both as a symptom and a potential trigger. Recently Black Dog Institute researchers, in partnership with the Australian National University, University of Sydney and University of Virginia, have trialled SHUTi™ or Sleep Healthy Using the Internet, to see if it also stops people with some symptoms from developing depression. In this study, SHUTi™ was delivered online to over 500 Australians. A further 500 Australians were allocated to another online program containing information about general health. Our results from this study showed that the SHUTi™ treatment group experienced significantly reduced insomnia, anxiety and depression, with these improvements persisting for at least six months. This follows on from a series of other trials in which SHUTi was found to show positive improvements in insomnia severity, sleep efficiency, sleep onset latency, and wake after sleep onset, as well as improvements in depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

Although ehealth websites, such as SHUTi™, are run as commercial companies in the USA, through our research partnership with the University of Virginia, Black Dog Institute have negotiated a reduced rate to enable Australian’s access to this effective program through BeHealth Solutions. If you are interested in signing up to use SHUTi™, please follow the link at the page below. In addition to the reduction in costs for each Australian accessing the program though Black Dog Institute, BeHealth Solutions will also provide a small amount of funding back to Black Dog Institute to enable ongoing research and development into effective preventative programs for depression and anxiety.

Read full article here >>> – 18th January, 2016

The increasing public sentiment and media reports that logging off social media will solve mental health problems are not only completely unfounded but could actually be damaging.

Decades of research has shown very clearly that mental illness and suicide are extremely complex. Attempting to identify a single cause oversimplifies the nature of mental illness and is a very dangerous path to take.

Those experiencing poor mental health are usually in a vulnerable and sensitive state. The perpetuation of quick fixes may encourage individuals to think they can “snap out of it” and delay seeking clinical care. From here, it can be a slippery slope to feelings of shame, failure and worthlessness at not being “cured” by such simplistic advice.

From a research perspective, the internet and social media have been around long enough for us to examine some of the impacts they have had on the community. Let me say upfront that there is almost no quality scientific evidence showing a direct causal link between social media, suicide and mental illness. The general consensus among both researchers and clinicians globally is that online interactions can actually have a positive impact on those experiencing a mental health problem.

Why is this the case? The internet enables quick and anonymous access to quality information. Social media enables broad dissemination of that information. Reputable mental health organisations such as Black Dog Institute and Beyondblue have large Facebook and Twitter followings and they use these to regularly share helpful and relevant advice. Other organisations, including headspace and SANE, provide online forums where people can obtain more tailored support from clinically qualified moderators. These have been instrumental in increasing emotional support for those who are experiencing a mental illness or caring for another.

Read full article here >>>


Originally Featured on The Buzz Writer – 16th November, 2015

 I AM Mag 001I AM Magazine  … Established in 2011, and was created out of an obsession for magazines, digital media, design, writing and health and fitness – all things Editor Samantha Jane is truly passionate about.

Tell us about your business

I AM Magazine is a digital publication with a passion for health, fitness and inspirational stories. We find people who are stepping outside of their comfort zones to find where happiness truly lies in their lives. We write these stories in the hope that we can reach out and inspire others to do the same.

Why did you start your business?

I was at a cross roads in my life. After my 2nd child I realised that I really didn’t know who I was, and by not knowing who I was, I was missing my purpose. I believe everybody needs purpose to feel happy in life. When I say ‘purpose’ I mean in the passionate sense. Women especially are very quick to give to others and forget themselves which can lead to all sorts of horrible unhappy times. This was something i was experiencing – I didn’t know what my ‘I AM’ was… The ‘I AM’ that was just for me.

What do you love about your work?

Writing and just being creative. I am an artist by true nature. I paint, I draw, I write – I create. I love creating!

What do you want to be known for?

I want to be known for bringing joy to people’s lives. Helping people through tough times. I’ve been to some pretty dark places myself and I know how terrifying and lonely that can be. I want to help people out of those holes.

What are you aiming to achieve in the next 12 months?

The ability to work from home. I want to be with my children instead of running by a clock that says I need to be somewhere else.

What is the best piece of advice for someone who is thinking of starting their own business?

Don’t expect miracles. start your love job and accept it as the reward. Learn to pat yourself on the back and most importantly Never Give Up. Businesses fail only when people give up.

The best business advice I have ever received was from the Founder of Seafolly, Peter Halas. During an interview he told me the story of how he and his wife started the Seafolly brand. How it actually started as something completely different. It had a completely different name and they were trying to cover a broader area of the ‘resortwear’ market. It wasn’t going that great for them – so he did what all dedicated and truly passionate business folk do, he re-branded. He changed the name of his company and focused in on a niche market. He stopped trying to cover all bases, receiving mediocre business growth, and started focusing on a niche which brought him exceptional business growth. He said, “work out what nobody’s doing and go and do that!”

I AM_logo






Originally Featured on The Buzz Writer – 2nd November, 2015

Raw Edge Boutique_profileRaw Edge Boutique is a Women’s Retail Fashion Store offering a Fusion Of Luxe Bohemian Day Pieces and Classic Night Time Fashion.

Justine Blake and Alicen Lewis, inspired by a combined passion of fashion and retail, established Raw Edge Boutique

The boutique offers a fusion of wearable classic and luxe bohemian pieces, a reflection of their personal styles. Raw Edge showcases a variety of labels, affording every demographic access to casual day and nightwear.

Raw Edge aims to remain at the forefront of fashion, providing their customers with the latest trends and designers

The stand-alone boutique in Miranda intentionally avoids high traffic areas in favour of a more out of the way location. This ensures the Raw Edge concept is not compromised, creating a destination and shopping experience unto itself.

Tell us about your business

Raw Edge Boutique Is A Women’s Retail Fashion Store Offering a Fusion Of Luxe Bohemian Day Pieces and Classic Night Time Fashion.
Raw Edge Boutique is co-owned by Justine Blake & Alicen Lewis.

Why did you start your business?

We felt the Shire lacked a boutique shopping destination. Raw Edge is all about creating an environment that feels inviting while showcasing some of Australia’s newest labels.  A lot of our customers have loved discovering new labels and finding unique pieces to add to their wardrobes.

What do you love about your work?

Clothes, clothes and more clothes!!  The thrill of finding new labels and unique pieces and seeing how happy customers are when they leave. We have met so many amazing people. Also doing what you love, is a bonus!

What do you want to be known for?

The Shire’s number 1 shopping destination. Where luxe boho pieces can be mixed with classic wear to create a fusion of wearable day to night time pieces.

What are you aiming to achieve in the next 12 months?

To create a bigger presence in the Sutherland Shire and to direct a wider audience of fashion lovers to our web store:

What is the best piece of advice for someone who is thinking of starting their own business?

Do what you love so you always enjoy it.  Enjoy the successes, pick yourself up and keep moving on the down days. Try to network with people in the same industry its reassuring to know you are moving in the right direction and keep working towards the long term goals.

Raw Edge Boutique_Shop


Phone:     (02) 9531 0105


Address:    97-103 Miranda Road, Miranda NSW 2228


Open Hours: 10am-5pm Mon, Wed-Fri

                       11am-5pm Tuesday

                       10am-4pm Saturday

                       Closed Sunday

Facebook: –

Instagram: –


Originally featured on The Buzz Writer 19th October, 2015

Love by Five logo

Love By Five is a Children’s Lifestyle store located in the Sutherland Shire.

Brooke and Shannon are sisters born and bred in the Sutherland Shire with a passion for everything kids! Between them have five kiddies. So there came about the name ‘Love By Five

After having children of their own, they discovered a love for children’s fashion, bedding, toys, books – you name it.  They loved to spend hours trawling websites and social media to find the newest ‘thing’ for their kids. It was this love for the industry that led them to where they are today.

They opened Love By Five in Kirrawee, NSW in January of 2015, and they couldn’t have been more excited. Both being mums, they wanted to have a focus on the shop being ‘pram friendly’ so keeping a good amount of room to move around in the shop was important to them. They also loved the high ceilings, it gives such a beautiful feeling of big, open space.

Here, Brooke and Shannon share a little more around how and why they run Love By Five.

Tell us about your business

Love By Five is a Children’s Lifestyle store located in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney. We love to stock hard to find brands and unique items for kids not found elsewhere in the area.

Why did you start your business?

We are sisters who have always worked in retail, and have a passion for the Children’s fashion industry. It made sense for the two to merge, and we decided to take the leap and open our own business! We love dealing with customers in store and the social aspect of owning our own shop. We also love to shop, so buying for Love By Five is easy!

What do you love about your work?

We love dealing with customers in store and the social aspect of owning our own shop. We also love to shop, so buying for Love By Five is easy!

What do you want to be known for?

We want people to know they will find things at Love By Five that are new and unique to the area. We love the idea that customers will come to the shop for something different and out of the ordinary.

What are you aiming to achieve in the next 12 months?

With the recent launch of our online store we would love to expand on that and promote the website. We already have many orders coming in from overseas so would love to also push that side of the business. The shopfront is our main priority, so we will be concentrating on getting the best goodies in store for our lovely customers!

What is the best piece of advice for someone who is thinking of starting their own business?

Just do it! You only live once! If it’s something you love and have always wanted to do, you can’t die wondering! There’s no better reward than going to work everyday doing something you love.

ScreenHunter_104 Oct. 14 12.44


Phone:             02 9521 2147


Address:          12 Marshall Road, Kirrawee, NSW


Open Hours:   9.30-4pm Mon-Fri

                        8-2pm Saturday

                        Closed Sunday


Instagram:     @lovebyfive

Pinterest:       byfive