Family Featured General Home and Garden

Top ten favourite Australian-based Christmas gift hampers

With Christmas just around the corner, many of us are already racking our brains for the best Christmas gift ideas. For those who are time poor or distanced from others due to quarantine, there’s no better gift to give to your loved ones, clients or staff this year than a Christmas hamper full of delicious treats. 

The perfect surprise for anyone, and easily ordered online and sent through the mail, a good Christmas gift hamper will include a smorgasbord of mouthwatering goodies, from wine and chocolate to Christmas pudding and shortbread. Hampers also offer a range of options for different budgets.

Here is a roundup of our top ten favourite Australian-based Christmas gift hampers and delivery services for 2020.

1. Gourmet Basket – Season of Hope Christmas Hamper $179

Season of Hope Christmas Hamper
Season of Hope Christmas Hamper (Source:

Gourmet Basket has been delivering quality hampers for over 20 years, and offers a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not a happy hamper! You’re truly spoilt for choice with Gourmet Basket’s selection of Christmas gift hampers, from luxury options with fine wines to festive yet budget-friendly choices that don’t skimp on the goods.

The Season of Hope Christmas Hamper is overflowing with drool-worthy, premium brand chocolates and quintessential Christmas fare like rum balls, brandy toffee sauce, Christmas pudding and quince paste, along with a bottle of d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz from McLaren Vale. It’s all wrapped up with ribbon in a stylish gift box, delivered to your intended recipient’s doorstep. We love the value of this Christmas hamper for all the gourmet treats that you get. 

2. Macarthur Baskets – Sweet Traditions Christmas Hamper $141

Sweet Traditions Christmas Hamper
Sweet Traditions Christmas Hamper (Source:

Macarthur Baskets has an excellent range of gift baskets to choose from. The Sweet Traditions Christmas Hamper is presented in a traditional wicker basket that can be reused long after the sweets have disappeared. 

It contains a selection of sweet and savoury treats, including a bottle of Hunter Valley Shiraz and a bottle of Hunter Valley Chardonnay, alone with brie cheese, Christmas toffees, chocolate covered macadamia nuts and a variety of cookies.

3. The Hamper Emporium – Moët & Gourmet Nibbles Hamper $149

Moët & Gourmet Nibbles Hamper
Moët & Gourmet Nibbles Hamper (Source:

With high quality brands and hampers that are immaculately presented, The Hamper Emporium delivers in spades. For those that can’t resist bubbles, the Moët & Gourmet Nibbles Hamper fits the bill. Not only does it include a bottle of Moët, there’s also artisan Kangaroo Island crackers and olives, a variety of nuts, tapenade, quince paste, honey popcorn and cold pressed olive oil packed in to keep the festivities alive. 

This hamper is presented in a black gift box with a gold ribbon and The Hamper Emporium offers free standard delivery across Australia, with track and trace for your peace of mind. 

4. Life’s A Hamper – Happy Holidays with Premium Wines Hamper $179

Happy Holidays with Premium Wines Hamper
Happy Holidays with Premium Wines Hamper (Source:

These Sydney based hamper specialists carefully source their products to curate the perfect gift for your chosen recipient. The Happy Holidays hamper comes with two bottles of wine – a Wynn’s Coonawarra Shiraz and a Sidewood Sauvignon Blanc –  and a variety of both sweet and savoury nibbles. Inside the hamper, you’ll find Ritz mince tarts, gourmet fudge, candy canes, crackers, olives and honey macadamia nougat. 

5. Ripe Cheese – Christmas Cheese Gift Hamper $95

Christmas Cheese Gift Hamper
Christmas Cheese Gift Hamper (Source:

If you know a turophile (lover of cheese), then impress them with this cheesy gift box that showcases cheeses from all over Australia. Inside the box, you’ll find a Bay of Fires Cheddar from Tasmania, a Woombye Ash Brie from Queensland, the Berrys Creek Riverine Blue from Victoria and a semi-hard goat milk cheese called the Barossa La Dame from South Australia. There’s also the obligatory quince paste and a packet of Falwassers crackers to seal the deal. Delivery is for within Metro Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

6. Byron Bay Gifts – Byron Christmas Beer Hamper $95

Byron Christmas Beer Hamper
Byron Christmas Beer Hamper (Source:

The Byron Bay Gifts hampers feature a range of products locally sourced as well as other gourmet bites from around the country. Most of their gift hampers are customisable, from the wines to the snacks, which means you can upgrade your wines or focus on picking the treats your special person will enjoy the most!

For the ale addict in your life, you can’t go past the Byron Christmas Beer Hamper. This box lets you taste your way through the Stone & Wood range of ales and lagers brewed in Byron Bay and is complemented by Brookfarm roasted macadamia nuts, sweet and salty peanuts, Teriyaki munchies, Puffcorn and candy canes… because, Christmas! 

7. Hampers with Bite – Burgundy Vegan Selection $80

Burgundy Vegan Selection
Burgundy Vegan Selection (Source:

Vegans shouldn’t miss out on all the Christmas cheer! Hampers with Bite ensure there’s something for everyone and have incorporated a variety of vegan hampers in their range. 

The Burgundy Vegan Selection is filled with vegan chocolate chip cookies, fennel and lemon black olives, chocolates, tea and more, which can all be washed down with a bottle of vegan wine.  

8. Bockers & Pony – Jingle Bells Christmas Hamper $129

Jingle Bells Christmas Hamper
Jingle Bells Christmas Hamper (Source:

Bockers & Pony are well known for their fine hampers that come with a touch of luxury. Perfect as corporate gifts, they offer a level of sophistication with their sleek black boxes and red ribbons. 

The Jingle Bells Christmas Hamper is intended for the sweet tooth and won’t disappoint. From white chocolate honeycomb thins and chocolate dipped oranges to gingerbread babies and razzle dazzles, the decadence is on order this Christmas. 

9. Edible blooms – Christmas Star Bouquet Deluxe $139

Edible blooms - Christmas Star Bouquet Deluxe

Who needs flowers when you can have edible blooms? A unique yuletide surprise, the Christmas Star Bouquet Deluxe is a pretty posy made up of 60 Belgian milk chocolate stars – enough for everyone to enjoy! Wrapped stylishly in Christmas colours, they include a personalised gift card. With Edible Blooms you also have the choice to “boost your bloom” with a bottle of bubbly, a plush toy or more chocolates. 

10. Snowgoose – Cheese & Hentley Farm Riesling Heaven from $169

Cheese & Hentley Farm Riesling Heaven
Image from:

Snowgoose sends fresh hampers of cherries, mangoes, cheeses and antipasto. This is a great idea for those who wish to send a corporate gift that can be appreciated by the whole team, but it’s also great for families. Nothing says Christmas like a platter brimming with cherries.

The Cheese & Hentley Farm Riesling Heaven hamper is packed with artisan goodies. With an array of plump and juicy seasonal fruits accompanied by a bottle of Eden Valley Riesling from Hentley Farm, and a selection of buttery cheeses and biscuits, this is fine living for the refined palate. 

Family Featured Law

Why Is It Important to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you get involved in an accident and suffer injury, the first and most crucial step is to seek medical attention. As you begin to recover, many other things may way you down. Your productivity may go down, your medical bills may pile up, and you may lose a lot of time in the hospital. 

In case you suffered injury because of someone else’s negligence, you may be compelled to follow up for compensation that’s proportionate to the damage you suffered. The process is never that smooth. You may have to go from one office to another, spend a lot of your time in the court corridors, and do a lot of thinking to bring forth a strong case. 

Unfortunately, the defendant is usually very busy looking for ways to bring down your case so as not to pay for the compensation. More often than not, their attorney or their representatives would give you a call to ask questions to gather evidence relating to the events leading to your injury. If you don’t guard your tongue and stand your ground, you may end up saying things that the opponent can use against you in a court of law.

It’s such realities that would make you consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. 

The following reasons you may want to consider hiring a lawyer for your injury case.

Protect Your Legal Rights

As soon as you file a case in a court of law, things might get messy if you don’t have a deep legal backing. If you take things in your hands, you may end up conceding your rights unknowingly. With the services of a personal injury lawyer Sunshine Coast, however, your rights will be protected. An experienced lawyer should make every effort to get to the root of the situation and provide the necessary advice. The lawyer will come up with a legal strategy that works perfectly for your unique needs.

Proof of Damage and Fault

Even if an accident has occurred and everyone knows about it, the interest of the court is nothing but evidence. However, gathering evidence might be a tall order, particularly if you’re attending to other things. Either way, you’ll have to convince the court that you didn’t suffer damage because of your mistake. When things get complicated, a lawyer becomes your go-to person. An experienced family lawyer, with personal injury background, is the right person to argue your case. The attorney-at-law will gather all the necessary evidence to demonstrate the level of damage you’ve sustained. By hiring a lawyer, it becomes the lawyer’s responsibility to ascertain whether the injury occurred because of the defendant’s fault and whether it’s that very fault that brought about your injury.

Lawyers Have Robust Resource Base

Narrating an incident is quite simple. However, proving that in a court of law is another thing altogether. The court needs admissible evidence. You’ll need to investigate the defendant and establish facts relating to ownership, liability, and insurance. Such information comes in handy in proving a personal injury and responsibility. That’s an uphill task if you don’t have a lawyer. Working with a decorated attorney, however, makes the whole investigative process effortless. Most law firms already have a network of investigators to gather evidence that proves your injury and the defendant’s responsibility. A lawyer also has the leeway to demand to be provided with specific information relating to the case.

Focus on Your Recovery

When a lawyer handling your case, you get the peace of mind to focus on your recovery. Your lawyer will notify you from time to time regarding the status of your case and how you can settle everything out of court. If you suffered a physical injury that rendered you unable to work well, your attorney will negotiate for you and give you a progress report regularly.

Saving on Time and Resources

Hiring a personal injury attorney costs money. It’s worth it, though. First, your attorney will help you save time by conducting many things, including investigation, court appearances, and negotiations as you focus on other things. Second, when the defendant realises that you have hired an experienced personal injury attorney, they’re likely to agree to an out of court settlement that’s friendly to you. In most cases, an out of court settlement will save you a lot of time among other resources.

When you think about it, hiring a personal injury attorney represent you in court makes sense. Once a case goes to court, things are likely to escalate, and you may need a lawyer to stand in court on your behalf.


Activities the whole family can enjoy

Most families go out for dinners, hikes, road trips and holidays to spend time together and bond. Such activities are fundamental to the development of strong family ties. A good family offers a strong foundation for culturing many good human values. Children enjoy healthy cognitive and psychological growth while in a loving, stable family. Moreover, the career of parents who have stable families often has exponential growth. Managerial research shows that individuals who run stable families have a higher output and are effective in their management. Therefore, anything that builds and develops a family is worth pursuing.
In the list of family building activities, you should try out, include boxing. Boxing is a fun sport that dates back centuries into human history. Its inception occurred when the first person raised a fist against another for fun. Fist fighting became an Olympic sport around 688 BC. The ancient Greeks believed fist fighting was among the games played by the gods on Olympus. Since its start, boxing has undergone many changes to make it safe. Currently, boxing is not only a competitive sport but a fun and safe pastime for families and friends. Your whole family can enjoy the different activities involved in boxing.
A healthy family is a happy family. Boxing is a fun way to keep fit and healthy. As families, we share a lot of meals and probably bad eating habits too. Central obesity is common in urban families due to the tendency to have takeout food. In young families, parents work the whole day and the time to prepare a healthy meal is not always there. More often than not, a box of pizza, a bucket of chicken and French fries are the most convenient option for dinner. Unfortunately, most of these foods are packed with unhealthy fat that accumulates in the body. High free fatty acids and LDL cholesterols in the body lead to obesity, a risk factor for numerous cardiovascular diseases.
Boxing training involves endurance training and cardio that burns unhealthy fat. By just putting on your gloves and taking up boxing training, you can lower the levels of free fatty acids and LDL cholesterol in your system and reduce the risk of developing obesity. Boxing requires a burst of energy that recruits fat from fat cells for cell metabolism. The energy requirements during boxing training force the utilisation of endogenous fat and after a few sessions, a reduction of total body fat is imminent.  Moreover, cardiac function is improved following the endurance training in boxing. You and your family can box your way to a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.
The boxing ring is a place to build trust and self-control. Putting your children in the ring is bound to improve their relationship. Children don’t engage in contact boxing, but they can still enjoy shadow sparring. This is a fun activity where your two children box without wearing any equipment. The premise is simple, but the catch is, there is no contact. The two practice their skills without launching any offensive contact. Instead, they practise good restraint and evasion. Shadow sparring improves self-control balance and footwork. These qualities enhance both physical and mental growth.
Nothing says, ‘I love you’ more than a blow to the head. Adults can engage in contact sparring where they utilise all the necessary equipment. This fun activity improves sibling relationships and offers couple therapy to young parents. Sparring not only relieves aggression but also improves willpower. Although it’s non-competitive, one always seeks to outperform the other. As a couple, sparring heightens trust and adds fun to the relationship. Working on the heavy bag provides a good opportunity to challenge and encourage each other. For children, it’s a fun activity that builds their core skills. Simply hold the bag for your children and challenge them to hit it as hard as they can.
Boxing increases eye-hand coordination. The training sessions require a lot of focus to execute efficient punches and movement. A good swing involves seeing your target, calculating the right distance and power, and finally executing the punch. With more training, this process becomes more efficient due to improved coordination and focus. Children introduced to boxing training at a tender age, have significantly better muscle coordination and mental focus than other children. Moreover, the sport instills discipline and builds the character of children. For mums and dads, boxing training keeps your motor coordination at an optimal level. Age causes a decline in eye-hand coordination but with boxing training, the process is significantly reduced. The risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders is also greatly reduced.
Therefore, the next time you walk into a boxing club, make sure your family is behind you. Boxing keeps will keep you fit, healthy and together. Don’t train alone, train with those you love.
Read Also:


Family Featured

9 Reasons Why You Should Improve Relationship with Your Family

Your family does not just include those who are biologically related to you. If you consider anyone as a family, then he/she too becomes a member of your family. Families that are not biologically related have .in so many cases displayed a bond much stronger than even those with blood relations. What then is the importance of improving a relationship with your family?

Stronger Family Bond

For a family to be healthy and strong, you need to develop an emotional closeness with other members of the family. Improving relationship with your family requires you to spend time with your family. Through undertaking many fun and essential activities together, you will get to develop an intense emotional connection. As a family, you will feel closer to each other and thus more open to communication.

Better Academic Performance

The building of a good Academic performance of your child is something that starts in Kindergarten, not high school. Strong family relations involve helping your children with homework and showing genuine interest in your child’s academic performance. From kindergarten, you get to let your child know that they get more attention and reward for good academic performance. A great foundation is what it takes for a child to reach academic heights even when in college.

Greater Self Confidence

Children who spend much more time with their parents tend to develop higher levels of self-esteem. A child who doesn’t spend much time with parents might blame it on himself with feelings of inadequacy. A parent can encourage a child of his potential, and it could be a massive boost to confidence that he/she will carry for the rest of his /her life. Many adults with confidence issues can trace it back to absent or abusive parents when they were kids.

Healthy Long Lasting Marriage

Improving relationship with your family involves spending more time with your partner. This will, in turn, help your marriage get back on track. You will now have what it takes to make the relationship long-lasting. Communication will ensure that you and your partner have a happy and healthy marriage.

Less Behavioural Problems

Behavioural problems have roots in poor family relationships. A child acts out since he/she can’t express his/her frustrations in any other way. Good family relationships create good communication channels where the child can express himself/herself freely. Teenagers with poor family relationships with their parents face a lot of difficulties and end up engaging in risky behavior. If your children learn how to talk about their problems, they will most likely carry on the habit into adulthood.


Human beings all need to feel needed and cared for. Kids are no different; they actually tend to need this more than adults. Meeting your child’s emotional needs is a critical factor in how they turn out as adults. By improving the relationship with your family, you will be much more capable of showing your children the love and appreciation they crave as well as deserve. Your children will develop a sense of belonging that will, in turn, make them much happier. As a family member, you need to be active in contributing to the family so it may function at its best.

Less Chance of Drug Abuse

When the emotional needs of a family member are not met, they tend to seek out other forms of satisfaction. It is easier for this family member to be pressured by peers to engage in risky behavior such as drug abuse. Recent studies have shown that children who spend more time with their families are much less likely to engage in drug abuse. Teenagers who can’t work through their problems are frustrated and will most likely seek artificial highs. The presence of an understanding parent will make a teen feel neither the urge nor the need for indulgence in drug abuse.

Pass on Good Parenting Skills

Children are psychologically mapped to follow what their parents do. What you do to your children is most likely what they will do to their children. Improving relationship with your family has a multiplier effect that can extend for generations. As adults, some actually have enough willpower to overthrow this psychological impact, but most find themselves somewhat unconsciously modeling their parents’ actions. If you teach your children to behave, they will even try to share this information with other members of the family. You will often hear a child repeating what their parents said to other children.

Increased Chances of Success

If you think that taking your child to a good school is enough to propel him to success, you should think again. The success of any member of your family is directly linked to the healthiness of family relationships. It is a healthy family relationship that can create a conducive environment for a family member to pursue and accomplish. When there is a positive atmosphere at home, each family member has a greater chance of reaching their potential and supporting other members to do the same. According to Zig Ziglar, good family relationships also have a significant role to play in your personal success.
The Huffington Post stated that 67% of people defined their success as excellent relationships with friends and family. The benefits of improving the relationship with your family are endless; this list, however, gives you an idea of what you are missing out if you have sick family relationships.
Read Also:
Getting The Kids Ready for A New Season of Winter Sport
8 Tips for Healthy and Strong Family Relationships

Family Featured

8 Tips for Healthy and Strong Family Relationships

Family always comes. First, this is a mantra sung by most people but is hardly ever in practice especially in the 21st century. With how busy our lives have become, it’s easy to lose touch with those we call family. Nuclear and extended families of people who are biologically related are what comes to the minds of most people when they think of the term family. However, the family doesn’t really have to include any biological relations. A family doesn’t have to be a blood relative, it can be defined as anyone a person may consider to be his/her family. Considering someone to be part of your family, is among the highest honors and affection someone can show you. How then can you improve the relationship with your family?

Take Care Of Yourself

While this could be a very broad term, its meaning is rather simple. If you can’t take care of yourself, how do you expect to take care of others? Other family members will have to take care of you if you can’t take care of your finances but for how long? If you don’t watch your diet and eat healthily, think of what it could do for your family. Couples have been reported to lose interest in each other when they stopped keeping their bodies fit and healthy. What about the expenses to be incurred if you are diagnosed with diabetes. To have strong and healthy family relationships, you need to ensure that you take care of yourself for your family and for your own good.

Be Mindful About Your Relationships

Take some time to reflect on the relationships you have in your life. Try and think of all the things that you love about every relationship. This will help you become more patient and forgiving in your relationships and create a stronger bond with the important people in your life. By meditating on the positives, you pay less attention to the negatives, and you are reminded to nurture and cater to your relationships.

Make Time for Them

You are bound to regret losing the important people in your life. If you don’t make time for them, this is what will happen. Just a few hours a week can tremendously help improve the relationship with your family. Regardless of the type of family relationship you need to be able to make time for them. No matter what we achieve in life, it’s hard to enjoy it, if we can’t share it with the people most important to us. It is recommended to spend at least five hours every week, doing something with your partner. Chores won’t count, you need to spend quality time with your partner without chores or children. Some couples use this time to go to a movie or perhaps a hike.

Nurture Fondness and Admiration with Your Partner

It is easy to be distracted by personality flaws and your partner’s annoying habits. It is a recommendation by experts that you nurture your fondness and admiration towards your partner to have a healthy long lasting relationship. Many good marriages deteriorate because of the lack of nurturing. You need to remind yourself why you love your partner, time and time again to ensure that your relationship stays strong.

Try and Have frequent Family Dinners

A recent study of 18000 teenagers showed that those who had regular family dinners were less likely to engage in substance abuse and delinquency. This proves that just spending a little more time with your children could have a huge and positive impact on their lives. The importance of family dinners is a concept that has gotten a lot of attention from the media and for a good reason. Its dinner, what do you have to lose?

Be Playful

You are never too old to play; you can utilize it as a means to improve the relationship with your family. A child’s primary form of learning, communication, and expression is through play. It does have its benefits to adults. It is a very effective form of bonding and stress relief for children as well as adults. Embracing the spirit of play is most times exactly what is missing in adult relationships.


While we all love surprises, it’s not always the case especially if it’s not an actual present. Children love routines they like it when they know what to expect. Adults too that’s why we have what we call time-tables and schedules. Making up a good routine will ensure you take proper care of your children’s needs. Kids, too, become less unruly if what is happening is routine. A night-time routine could involve a bath, stories, songs, and good night kisses.


Always find a way to show your partner how much you appreciate them. It doesn’t have to always have to be huge, just a simple token of appreciation will do. This will show your partner that he/she is valued. Don’t let the good deeds or achievements of your children go unrewarded, even if it is through a simple statement of recognition. Do it in front of the others for maximum impact.
These tips are not entirely exhaustive, but they do give you an idea of what you need to do to improve the relationship with your family. Following these tips could dramatically change your family relationships for the better. To get more information on the topic you can easily find books that can expand your knowledge.
Read Also:
9 Reasons Why You Should Improve Relationship with Your Family
Getting The Kids Ready for A New Season of Winter Sport


Getting The Kids Ready for A New Season of Winter Sport

Many Aussies are preparing to close their pools for the winter, and even our most avid surf buddies will reconsider chasing waves in the winter chill. That means your kids (and teens) will probably be seeking a new athletic activity, ideally something they can do in a heated indoor space.
Some sports require closer contact than others, but the list where mouth guards are recommended is longer than you’d think. If your (not so) little one will participate in ball sports like netball, football, netball, or basketball, their lips, gums, and teeth need protecting. You also need a mouth guard for ‘bat sports’ like softball, lacrosse, hockey, squash, cricket, or baseball. These are not strictly indoor sports, but they’re all winter alternatives to swimming.
Then there are unconventional play sports like skateboarding, rollerblading, bike riding, or trampoling.  In all these activities, a mouth guard could not only prevent a broken tooth, lacerated gums, or concussions, but they could also give you peace of mind. Not all mouth guards are equal though, so grabbing a last-minute piece from the chemist won’t cut it.

Customised dental care for sporty kids

The best type of mouth guard is one that’s a perfect fit. It prevents chafing, which causes discomfort and bruising that might encourage your child to take it out altogether. An ill-fitting mouth guard can also change the way they talk, giving them a lisp that makes then bully fodder. So if your child refuses to wear a mouth guard, it might just be the wrong one. Bring then to a dental clinic and they may be more willing to keep it in.
Mouth guards purchased at pharmacies may seem more convenient. You can grab it over the counter, it costs a lot less, and it comes in standardised sizes. However, the shape and size of your child’s jaw isn’t just a matter of their height and age. They may have a smaller face or a wider jaw, thanks to their delightful mix of genetic markers.
The structure of their cheeks and chin can also be different, depending on their internal make-up and any prior dental treatments they might have had. Missing or extracted teeth change a child’s dental formula, and previous sports injuries may also have altered the way their teeth sit in their mouth.

Spotting secret tooth conditions

Plus, while it’s easy to observe the changes in your child’s height or weight, the changes in their teeth are harder to spot. Kids are naturally self-conscious, especially in their teens, so they’re unlikely to show you a part of their bodies that they’re nervous about. Teeth fall into this category, because it makes an easy target for teasing. Also, unfortunately, kids start hiding their teeth about the time they start skipping that bedtime brush.
For this reason, your dentist is best placed to evaluate your kids’ teeth and see if there are any issues. In this context, your child may claim their mouth guard is ‘fine’ but it will take a dental inspection to see if they need to fit a new one. It’s generally advised to visit your dentist twice a year for general check-ups, so since we’ve hit the mid-year mark, it’s a good time to have a once-0ver and replace the mouth guard.
The primary aim of the visit is to prepare your child for the seasonal sport, but it’s a good opportunity to spot any other dental problems that may have come up. Here’s an unseen benefit of having a regular dentist. They’ll be familiar with your child’s teeth, so replacing the mouth guard will be a faster, more efficient process.

Better health overall

Even more importantly, your child will have developed a relationship of trust with their dentist, so they may confess things to the dentist that they won’t admit to you. Maybe your teenager’s sudden sullenness is hormonal, but maybe it arises from some mean kid’s comment on their crooked grin. And maybe your dentist can fix it with series of low-fuss treatments, restoring your child’s long lost smile.
In this way, your dental visit will have improved your child’s physical, psychological, and dental health while protecting them from potentially permanent damage in their chosen sport. Sounds like a win-win, yes? Prepare for at last two visits though, one for measuring and one for fitting and collection. A third visit may be needed in case of any adjustments – kids literally grow overnight and that includes their jaws and teeth.
Read Also:
9 Reasons Why You Should Improve Relationship with Your Family
8 Tips for Healthy and Strong Family Relationships


How to Make The Most Out of Your Backyard

Whether you own your home or rent it, your back yard is probably one of your favourite parts of the house. It’s a space for the kids and pets to play – if you have any. You can use the yard for yoga, exercise, barbequing, gardening … your options are endless. Here are a few suggestions you can consider when it comes to maximising your yard.

Install a pool

If you’re a home-owner and your space is big enough, then a pool is a good option. It forms a centre for family bonding, offers good exercise, and increases the value of your property. However, even if you’re a renter with less space, you can install a smaller above-ground pool. They don’t require excavation and can be easily moved or dismantled when you move house, so as long as your landlord and local council allows it, go ahead. It only takes a day.

Put up a playset

Depending on the age (and number) of your children, an outdoor playground module is another good option. It could be a small Billy Cart Rocker. This single-child unit needs less than 10m2 of yard space (3m x 3.3m) and is made of Australian timber that is rot-proof and termite-proof. If you have more space (and more children), you could for a larger playset that accommodates the varied interests and ages of your children. You could even buy an inclusive play module like the Town Layout, which has regular game spaces as well as specialised spots for differently-abled kids, all in the same playset.

Do some landscaping

You don’t need green thumbs to have a beautiful yard. Lots of landscaping services are available, and they can work within your budget. They also offer maintenance services, so they can come by once a month or so to keep everything green and gorgeous. You probably just need to water your yard, and they can set up an automated sprinkler system to handle that for you. Work with your landscaper to find out what works best for your yard. It could be as basic as healthy, quick-growing turf, or as complex as topiary and flowering plants.

Put in the right fence

Yes, your fence makes a difference to your back yard. If it’s unkempt and full of gaps, unwanted pests can sneak in, soiling your yard, spreading diseases, or potentially harming your kids. The wrong kind of fence can encourage burglars and make your yard look ugly. There are lots of options, ranging from glass balustrades and tubular fences to brick walls, PVC panels, and live hedges. Think about the amount of maintenance you can manage before you make your choice. PVC fences require the least fuss, while hedges need a paid gardener.

Consider building a shed

If you have a lot of room, a work shed, or garden shed makes a lovely addition to your back yard. It’s functional too. It can provide storage for your tools, double as a home gym for your weights, be used as a home office or entertainment spot. It can even be a hobby room for music practice, crafts, woodwork, metalwork, or painting. If you’re into traditional photography, a shed makes a great dark room. And you don’t have to build it from scratch. You can buy a flat-pack shed made of prefab components that can be assembled in a day.

Construct a pergola

If you don’t have enough space for a shed, you could put up a pergola. It’s not as functional as a shed, but it offers a shaded area where you can relax and entertain, and you can use it for some hobbies, like writing or painting. A pergola has vertical pillars and a partial roof. You can decorate the pillars with coiling vines, either with or without flowering plants. Put some outdoor furniture under the pergola to make a cosy nook.

Start a hanging garden

Most people focus on decorative landscaping, but you can create something functional as well. You know all those internet articles about starting a kitchen garden on your window sill or back ledge? You can start one in your yard too. You don’t need too much room, and you don’t even need the fuss of excavating your paving or grass. Just dig a pole into either end of the yard, stretch another pole or wire between them, and suspend some tins, tubs, or flower pots with seedlings. You can grow cherry tomatoes, spring onions, lettuce, strawberries, or herbs like oregano, chives, thyme, parsley, basil, or sage.


Solutions to An Expanding Family

The world’s population is approaching eight billion, but the distribution isn’t balanced out. China recently reversed their one-child policy an Denmark is promoting baby-making vacations, while many third world countries are actively pursuing birth-control initiatives. On a smaller scale, families expand every day through a variety of methods.
With the global economy still in a hole, adult kids are moving back in with their parents, sometimes bringing spouses and children with them. At the other end of the spectrum, elderly parents are moving closer to their kids, both for emotional support and practical assistance. Sometimes they move next door, other times they take the next bedroom.
Then of course there’s the regular expansion model – having a partner and making (or adopting) babies. Whatever the reason is for your family’s expansion, you need more living space, and if you can afford it, you have several viable options. They all involve money, and lots of it, plus a good deal of licensing and planning.

Renovate your home

If you’re a home-owner in a reasonable neighbourhood, you can expand your house. This depends on the size of your lot and any restrictions from your local government or housing association. You’d have to think about what new features you need. Is it a nursery for the new baby or an extra room for your older parents? It may even be a self-contained unit for your adult child or sibling and their family, or a guest wing for in-laws.
If you want a complete ‘home’, you could convert the garage, attic or basement, complete with its own bathroom and kitchenette. An en-suite nursery can be converted into a room for elderly parents. The adjoining door will be helpful if your new resident is ailing.
A childhood room can be expanded by splitting external walls and stretching the room’s square footage outwards. A section of your living room or dining room could also be closed off to create additional living space. Make sure you get all the required permissions from your regulatory authorities, and don’t forget to warn the neighbours.

Buy a bigger house

Plan B is to move house. You could sell your current home or rent it out for additional income, then buy a new place, if your finances allow it. Make a wish list of preferred neighbourhoods, access to work and schools, and price range. You should also include more practical concerns, like the number of bedrooms, a yard, or a pool.
There’s usually a trade-off between location and amenities. If you pick a suburb further from your CBD, you can get more square footage, both inside the house and in the surrounding yard. However, it may translate to a longer commute and more home maintenance in terms of hygiene and landscaping. You may also be limited by proximity to relatives.
If you’re not ready for suburban living, you might buy adjoining apartments. This can be helpful if part of the family requires partial independence and privacy. Siblings with families of their own may pool their limited resources and buy flats next to each other, though the stable family will take up the bulk of the cost. You could also rent out the house next door for your family members, until they get back on their feet.

Park a tiny house

An interesting alternative is to fix up your garden shed and turn it into a residential space, if your community allows this. It will require insulation, electricity, and running water, though these services can be shared with the main house. You can partition the shed into a sleeping area and an entertainment area, and put in relevant furniture
Do a complete audit and resolve any issues like leaks, gaps, rodents, lighting problems, and security issues. Alternatively, buy or construct a tiny house and park it in your yard. There are plenty of commercial designs available, and if they need to, your family members can simply drive it away when the time comes.
The advantage of a tiny house over a refurbished shed is the utilities are already structured. Tiny houses have their own lines of pint-sized electronics and accessories, including compost toilets, mini cookers and sinks, tiny fridges and washing machines, and convertible multi-purpose furniture. They can be constructed in 2 to 3 months by the average DIY enthusiast.

Install a granny flat

Wheeled homes aren’t for everyone, so you could go with a granny flat instead. In Australia, the regulations are quite specific. It has to be self-contained and can’t be more than 80 square metres. Fortunately, you can buy a pre-fab granny flat which can be assembled and erected in less than a day. It can be as big as two bedrooms, with a bathroom, and kitchenette, and even a porch. It’s perfect for grandparents, recent college graduates, or adult families that suddenly find themselves back home.