Archive for September 2014


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Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

29 September 2014

I had the pleasure of being invited to a special event at Varga Girl, a boutique in Leederville.

This event launched the first capsule from the “ML Vintage Collection” featuring original, never-been-worn 1970s vintage Missoni, Versace and Courreges and Krizia clothing and accessories.

There is a pretty cool story behind this collection!

Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

Mary Lipshut was a fashion buyer and owned a fashion label. She worked for Myer Australia in the 1970s where she bought labels such as Pucci, Missoni and Courreges… plus made friends with fashion royalties such as Gianni Versace, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni and Anna Piaggi (fashion editor of Italian Vogue)!

However in the early 70s the French began nuclear testing in the Pacific, and the Australian government impounded all imported French products for 2 years as a protest. So by the time Mary was allowed to sell her shipment of garments, the fashion had changed and it was too far behind.

She decided to store her shipment and over the years she added other unique and vintage pieces by Versace, Pucci, Missoni, YSL and more. The extensive collection has over 4000 pieces of clothing and accessories!

25 years later she decided to open up and share her collection with the world, and began ML Vintage, selling to the public, and displaying her garments in museums and galleries.

Mary passed away from cancer early this year, and her family has worked with Philip Boon (celebrity stylist) to curate capsules to take around the world to exhibit and to sell, to tell Mary’s the story and celebrate her passion through photographs and charity events.

Philip’s first stop was Perth! At Varga Girl in Leederville!

Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

The collection was pretty amazing and rare. The pieces all looked like vintage, second hand clothes – but they were brand new! New vintage!

This printed skirt caught my eye and I quickly grabbed it try on.

Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

OMG I was in love! It was a 1980s Vintage Missoni silk wrap skirt with a loud flower print. It was way too big for me (like double my waist size?) so I had to pin it at the back.

It cost $495, which was a bit out of my price range. But I was happy to wear it for a few minutes and prance around the store!

Um, it was actually extremely embarrassing, because I was the only one trying on clothes, taking photos of myself in the big mirror and everyone was looking at me like I was modelling the clothes as part of the entertainment?! Ugh, a part of me wanted to crawl into a hole and die. But I knew I wanted some great photos of the clothes being worn, so I just swallowed my pride and my sheer embarrassment that I looked like a self-absorbed, self-loving, look-at-me fashion blawhger (cringe!).

Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

This is me and stylist Philip Boon, looking very loud, colourful and like a pair of happy peacocks.

Turns out that after I reluctantly put the skirt back on the rack, another lady tried it on and eventually bought it! I wanted to high five her!

Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

Speaking of peacocks… I looked like a tropical bird on heat in this 1980s Vintage Missoni Floral Silk Top ($525).

It even had the classic 1980s big boofy sleeves and front-tie. It was totes cray cray :P

Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

I also tried on this 1970s Vintage Missoni Rainbow skirt ($275) and I even hitched it up to turn it into a dress.

The colours were more subdue, but I still really liked it. I think the fact that it is such a rare piece, made it very desirable.

Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

Just to mix it up a bit, I tried on some NEW Missoni clothes (launched this season and also in stock at Varga Girl). My favourite piece was this amazing printed knit top. Looks like I threw a bunch of tropical birds, some butterflies and a leopard into a blender? Can I say that on a fashion blog?

Missoni is well known for their crazy colored knits featuring a zig zag pattern, but this blended bird and butterfly print still seemed to fit beautifully in the new collection.

It perfectly matched my colourful necklace too.

Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

This is the zig zag pattern I’m talking about. Missoni have recently collaborated with Converse to release special edition sneakers with the signature Missoni print! They are selling for $149 at Varga Girl.

Vintage Missoni at Varga Girl

And lastly, this is what I wore to the event. A white sleeveless shirt from ASOS, tulle skirt from Birdsnest, multi-colour jewel necklace from Colette Hayman, heels from YesStyle, bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs.

I was told that this collection is only Capsule 1 from ML Vintage. Philip Boon is off to launch other collections in LA and New York. Then he’ll be back to launch Capsule 2 in Perth, in November. So hey, if you’re in Perth, make sure you pop into Varga Girl to check out (and try on) these rare, never been worn, vintage pieces!

Varga Girl
148 Oxford Street
Leederville, Western Australia, Australia
(08) 9444 8990

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Haircuts are my thing!

26 September 2014

Hair by Curi Hair

I know lots of women who have a “grooming THING”. Some love their manicures, some can’t live without a facial, some go to a day spa for a full body massage. It’s their one thing that they have to do regularly.

In the past, I’ve never really had a THING.

I’m not really a high maintenance kind of girl (I like to think!) Sure I like to be pampered, but I really can’t be bothered most of the time. I’m busy with life, family, kids, fitness and my hobbies… and it just isn’t a big priority for me. Plus all that pampering and grooming stuff is so expensive and time consuming!

I don’t go out regularly to get manicures and pedicures, I don’t have regular facials, I don’t get foot spas, or massages, or body wraps, or spray tans, or waxing, or eye brow shaping or eye lash extensions. I just do some things myself. And if I don’t know how to do them, I watch a shit load of Youtube videos and LEARN how to do them.

But the only thing I CAN’T do for myself, and something I think is most important (for me)… is to have a good haircut and colour.

Yep, perhaps it’s my age, my hair history (so much chemical damage!), my lifestyle (sports = wash hair often) and the fact that all my kids go to full-time school and I can spare 2-3 hours every so often… I’ve decided that going to a hair salon is now MY THING.

So there you go!

I guess what has made it easy, is that I’ve been pretty lucky to find a hairdresser in Perth, Curi Hair in Subiaco, who specialises in my type of hair (thick, strong, Asian hair), and I’m so happy with them!

What’s your grooming thing?

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Geocaching – Real-Life Treasure Hunting

24 September 2014


We’ve slipped on our gumboots and armed ourselves with a map and compass! My kids and I have recently discovered Geocaching!

What is it you ask? Because it sounds like professional mining exploration and… plain hard work :P

Geocaching is a real life, on-going treasure hunt that is happening all around the world and in your local park right now. It’s so much fun!

Basically, you download an app, sign up, turn on your location service, then you look for geocaches that are hidden in your area (or where ever you are in the world).

We were delighted to discover that there were hundreds (maybe thousands?) of geocaches hidden around our city, and at least 1 hidden in every park we visit frequently. Many are linked together with a theme, or a puzzle to solve. It’s kind of cool to know that there is a whole active community out there, making and leaving little treasure hunts for others to find.

Once you find a geocache using the coordinates and clues, you’re supposed to open up the cache, sign a log sheet (to prove that you found it) then use the app to log that you’ve found it and leave a message. Sometimes the caches are a little plastic container, a small box, or even a mint tint. My boys like to leave a little toy/surprise for the next person, usually the tiny head from a Lego man, which is their “signature”.

What I love most about this kind of treasure hunting is… that while we’re in a park, I can just log on and find out whether there is a geocache in the area. Then I can get my kids to “run off and try to look for it”. It occupies them for ages. It also gives us a great reason to visit new parks. And we are all thrilled beyond belief when we find one.

(However, a word of warning, it can get a bit addictive and frustrating at times! See how the container in the picture above has been carefuly camouflaged with tree bark?!)

Happy Caching!



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That Bird Label – Blue Maxi Dress

22 September 2014

That Bird label by Birdsnest

The team at Birdsnest have launched their new Summer Collection for That Bird Label – a special collaboration between the shop and its customers. The team designs and develops styles based on ongoing feedback from their customer, who also get a final say about prints and colours.

Featuring lots of bright, bold prints, ladylike silhouettes, easy wraps and draping… the collection has some lovely pieces for real women.

Anyway, this dress was my pick of the whole collection!

That Bird Label by Birdsnest

It is the Bonnie Maxi Dress in a Blue Garden Maze pattern. There is a black and green version with a slightly different pattern too. I’m wearing a Size 8. The dress has adjustable straps so I was able to adjust it all the way up, and the bottom of the dress didn’t drag on the floor. It was a perfect length! For a shortie like me!

I don’t own many maxi dresses, so I was rather delighted to find one that fit me so well.

The flowing fabric and simple draping made it a really breezy maxi dress, great for surviving the summer heat. Yet at the same time the fabric was heavy thick enough, that it didn’t feel cheap and flimsy. It feels like a quality dress that I’d wear for many years to come!

I’m wearing the dress with a strapless bra, Ecco wedge sandals and Sportsgirl hat.

Have a wonderful week!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

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Mossy Landscapes

19 September 2014

Moss on a Plate

My 5 year old boy and I were doing some gardening the other day, when I asked him to pull out some weeds on the driveway.

He happily pulled all the weeds. Then he started to dig up some mossy strips growing between the paving bricks.

He was utterly fascinated with the moss, and I can see why!

We placed his collection on a plate and covered them with water. Now they sit like teeny tiny grassy islands on a dinner plate world. And if you look a little closer, the lush green fields roll back into the horizon, with a lumpy swamp-like terrain, covered with a smattering of trees and shrubs.

My son sat and stared at the plate for the longest time. Perfect fuel for the imagination.

I might pop them into a glass jar for him, so they keep a little longer. And place the jar by the window, just out of direct sun, and just out of direct sight.

I hope he’ll forget about them.

They are mossy landscapes are cute and all, but I don’t want to grow a garden of weeds in my house!

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The Other Mummy

15 September 2014

The Other Mummy

To celebrate Children’s Book Week here in Australia, my eldest decided to dress up as a mummy for his school’s parade.

Of course, I had to help him with his outfit. It was 20 minutes before we had to leave for school and I was frantically trying to wrap him up in toilet paper and sticky tape. It was the stupidest idea ever. The toilet paper didn’t work because it kept tearing and falling apart. I was getting desperate and quite close to tearing up my old white bedsheets, so I could get a good wrap around my son.

But then I had an idea… I used kitchen paper towels with staples instead! I wrapped him up in 5 minutes flat!

If only the ancient Egyptians knew about staplers! And paper towels!

Getting him to school was also quite tricky. He had to lay down (almost) horizontally in the front passenger seat of the car. And he had to be absolutely still and quiet the whole time, because if he talked, his breath would soften the paper towel over his mouth and it would just fall apart. It was hilarious! He was a very well behaved, silent mummy!

I should have wrapped up my other two kids too.

I would have had a wonderfully quite morning! :P


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From City To Surf To Hamburger… Then Bed

12 September 2014

My friends and I participated in the recent Perth City to Surf!

This year the running event celebrated it’s 40th year, but for me, this year was my first time running in it… so I was pretty excited!

However, two weeks before the event, I was down with the flu, fever and dizziness, and it threw my running training out of whack (ie. I didn’t do a training run for 10 days). And it was only the day before the event, that I felt 90% back to normal and I decided I would still run – BUT I had to promise myself to take it easy.

Perth City2Surf 2014

This is my friend Pippa and I, about to run the 12km distance, while our other friends ran the Half Marathon (21kms).

We were pumped up at the start!

Perth City2Surf 2014

Off we set. I took this photo (while running!) as the runners left the starting line and made their way up the first hill. There were 45,000 participants this year!

Have you been in a running event before? I’ve run in a few events. It’s pretty spectacular. There is a very cool and energetic atmosphere in the air. But it is really, REALLY crowded.

I won’t lie. I didn’t like the crowd. As a running experience, I didn’t find it relaxing or therapeutic. It was highly distracting! I spent the whole time looking at everyone’s gear / clothes / shoes / hats / hair / body shape / elbows / calves / backs / bums! I couldn’t help it! It was everywhere I looked!

I was also overwhelmed with a sense of frantic urgency, a feeling that I HAD TO HURRY UP! It felt as if everyone was rushing towards the Christmas city shopping sales and I had to follow the crowd or I would miss out! Or get RUN OVER! DON’T THINK JUST KEEP MOVING!

There were a lot of hills and I quickly found myself a bit breathless and wheezy and unable to sustain a good running pace. I was a bit grumpy that my health wasn’t up to it. I lost Pippa at the 5km mark… and I ended up walking A LOT after that.

Perth City2Surf 2014

I finished the 12km with my slowest time ever!

I pretty much WALKED the distance more than I ran. I was quite embarrassed! Look at me. I don’t even look like I’ve been running. I didn’t even break a sweat. Some of my friends were running a half marathon and I looked like I went for a Sunday stroll haha!

My average pace was 7:30mins/km and my overall time was 1hour 30seconds – which is pretty slow for me. That pace is like a brisk kind of jog, not a run. Ooooh well. I guess I stuck to my promise of taking it easy.

I looked at my running app and it told me that I had burned 724 calories in the 90 mins. Which was cool and all but…

Grilld Burger and Chips

…we headed off to an inner city pub for drinks and lunch.

I was STARVING. I DEVOURED this lamb burger (611 calories) and chips (252 calories) in 5 minutes flat.

724 calories OUT, and 863 calories IN? Er. I definitely didn’t think that one through very well. Oh well! It was freaking delicious.

When I got home, I had to take a nap. My husband let me take a 2 hour nap, bless him! I was so tired and sore. And for the next few days, I think my health dropped back down to 80%.

Soooo… looking back, I probably should have just stayed in bed, so I could recover that extra 10% in the first place!

But at least I did it.

And there is always next year.

And another hamburger.

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Building a Stylish Wardrobe – White Pants and Oxfords

11 September 2014

I was recently introduced to someone as a “fashion blogger” and she immediately asked me earnestly, ‘Ooh! I need a fashion tip! What should I buy?”

It’s a tricky answer. But it made me realise that most people – as well as me – just need a quick and specific suggestion to get them thinking about their next fashion purchase.

So here’s a tip!

If you need to refresh or update your wardrobe this season, I suggest you get some slim white pants and oxford shoes!

Mine have instantly multiplied my outfits, giving me endless combinations with my existing sweaters, printed tops, blazer, jackets, singlet tanks, cardigans…

Tropical + White

My top is a recent purchase too. I walked into Zara, looking for a printed top… and I was immediately struck with this one. It looked unique, it had a silky fabric and it had raw edges on its sleeves and hem.

The print, radiating a kind of preppy… tropical resort… grunge (whatever that means) totally captured my mood.

And yes, I paired it with my white pants and beige oxfords!

Top from Zara
White jeans by Fendi, from ebay
Shoes by Habbot Studios
Hat from Kmart
Bracelet stack by Samantha Wills, from Frockaholics

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

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Simple Cheese and Bacon Scones

8 September 2014

Simple Cheese and Bacon Scones

I woke up one morning and I was SO SICK OF MAKING SANDWICHES for my children’s lunch. So I found a new recipe and made some very simple cheese and bacon scones. They were so delicious, tasty and soft. I ate two for breakfast. They were just like what you’d get from a fancy cafe, I was soooo pleased.

They really are best eaten hot and fresh from the oven!

I modified the recipe of course, so here’s my version.

Cheese and Bacon Scones
400g of self raising flour
50g of regular butter (with salt), diced and left at room temperature
250ml of milk (I just used low fat, because that’s what I had in my fridge)

125g of tasty cheese, grated
75g of rindless bacon, chopped and fried until crispy

125g of smoked salmon
2 tablespoon of chopped dill

Method (Makes 12 scones)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Fry the chopped bacon and let it cool.

3. Put butter and half the flour into a large food processor. Process on low speed until butter and flour are combined and there are no lumps. Pour in the rest of the flour and process again. This took me 2-3 minutes. Or you could do this all by hand. Add the cheese, bacon, milk and mix on low speed until it turns into a dough. Don’t over mix or the scones will be tough and dry!

4. Plop the dough onto a floured bench top and flatten it with your hand to a thickness of 3cm. Cut the dough into squares (looks a bit more cafe style this way!) of 5 – 7 cms. Put the scones on a lined baking tray and brush the tops with a bit of milk.

5. Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes until golden!

Simple Cheese and  Bacon Scones

Ta da! I also added 1 tablespoon of chopped chives and about 100g of grated zucchini.

Simple Cheese and  Bacon Scones

Serve hot with a smear of butter.



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Cow Suits and Cow Puns in Cow Town

4 September 2014

On a sunny Saturday morning, out for a drive in the countryside, we drove into a little town called Cowaramup, hoping to find a quite cafe with a sleepy view of the main street and a yummy breakfast menu.

The town’s name originates from Cowara, the Australian Indigenous word for a bird, the Purple-crowned Lorikeet. The town was originally created around timber milling, but now it is best known for it’s wines, beef and DAIRY products (mainly cheeses and chocolates). A perfect combination if you ask me!

But of course, the amazing coincidence is that… the town’s name has the word “cow” in it, and it is in the middle of the diary industry.

So its nickname is COW TOWN.

Cow Town (Cowaramup)

As I said, we were looking for a small cafe with a relaxed vibe. But when we pulled up in the main street, we found something very odd instead.

The whole town was decorated with cow spots. There were life-sized statues of cows all over the streets, sidewalks and gardens. There were cow balloons, cow streamers, cow posters and cow banners everywhere!

Cow Town (Cowaramup)

There were PEOPLE dressed up as cows! They were everywhere! Hundreds of them.

Adults and their children were in cow onesies!? All walking along… acting like nothing was unusual at all.

My children were dumbfounded into silence. Their eyes twitched and the cogs in their brains slowly told them that something veeeeery strange was going on.

Cow Town (Cowaramup)

One of my sons said “Mum, this is like a weird movie, right?”

It turned out that we had arrived on the day of the town’s annual country fair, named “Deja Moo – an Udderly Legend-Dairy Cowntry Fair”. It was so cute and fun! There were food stalls, arts and crafts, bouncy castles, “moovellous milking demonstrations”, “cowabunga boot throwing contests”, “cow pat lotto”… and more cow puns I’ve ever seen in one place.

But why was everyone dressed up as cows?

We quickly found out from a cafe owner (who was serving me while wearing a cow suit) that only minutes before, the town smashed the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as cows, with a total 1,352 people in cow suits! Apparently the record was previously held by the town of Fairfax in Virginia, USA, where 470 people dressed as cows. They went to the trouble of having a unique number for each and every cow suit! This is pretty good going for a town with an official population of less that 1000 people. I guess they got help from the neighbours.

How cool! I love seeing small communities come alive and get involved in a project that brings everyone together! There was such a wonderful sense of celebration and happiness in the air! I was very moo-ved.

(Sorry, I couldn’t help it)

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Fabulous Dresses (with some fabulous workouts) from Frockaholics

2 September 2014

One of my favourite online shops Frockaholics have received a whole new shipment of hot dresses for the new season. They asked me to pick a few out to feature on my site, and it has come at a good time because recently I’ve been thinking… “Omg it’s the start of the new season, I have a couple of events to go to, what do I wear?? I think I need a new dress?!?”

Anyway, I’m so excited to share my picks with you.

Now I’m also going to do something a bit different… I’m trying to be a clever chicken here and combine my two passions (ie. obsessions): Fashion and Fitness.


First up – who would have thought that I’d look good in a… one-piece, peplum playsuit?!

I chose this Romper by Cameo because it was a bit risky. The halter neckline and the thin shoulder straps are a very trendy and current design at the moment. I would only recommend this style for women with small shoulders and a small chest/bust. It really focuses on the top half of your body, making your shoulders look extra broad.

The shorts of the playsuit were baggy and balloony like a skirt. The peplum made it extra bulky, like I was wearing a nappy?!

But it was actually awesome to wear. The peplum gave me a striking hourglass silhouette. The length of the skirt/shorts was short enough to make my legs look longer than they are. It was a very comfortable, fun, party dress and I had no fear that I was going to embarrass myself with the skirt flying up on a windy day.


Speaking about embarrassing myself.

OK I said I was going to TRY to combine some of my workouts in this post. I realised that doing a “lunge” in high heels is very, very tricky. And not at all advisable. It’s like trying to do it on tippy toes! Hello muscle strain!

The dress withstood the test just fine. Not that I’d go to the gym in a leopard print playsuit. But maybe it’s your kind of thing.


I love colourful dresses, especially floral inspired designs in psychedelic digital prints!

This Lilac Bloom dress by Talulah, with its high neckline and modest ruffled hemline is modest and cute from the front. But it has a statement, criss-cross back, which makes it standout, on-trend and a bit sexy.

Perfect to wear to a wedding, garden party, and cocktails with the girls.


I don’t even know what this yoga position is called. I just copy the girl in front of me in class and I can hardly hear what my instructor says because I’m concentrating on my pose. Your body is supposed to be horizontal and parallel with the ground? With one arm and one leg extended?

Again, close to impossible with high heels. Not to mention I’m trying to stay absolutely still to take a photo. Don’t try this at home!


Lastly, if you’re looking for a simple but striking, glam evening dress – you can’t go past gold sequins!

It has a sexy, low back with some criss-cross straps (you can’t wear a bra with it) so you have to rely on some adhesive bra pads.

The rest of the dress falls and sits like a simple shift dress, so you don’t feel constricted or suffocated. And the fabric is forgiving enough so it doesn’t show your tummy if say, you pig out on ice cream later in the evening. Which is what I always do after my workouts. Don’t you?

As for my workout position, it’s a deltoid/tricep stretch with a leg lift… but as you might be able to tell from my understretch, I’m not really into it anymore. Working out in high heels is only for trained stunt women. There goes my dream for a new fashion meets workout channel on YouTube. Just kidding people.

Hope you’re inspired to check out the new styles at Frockaholics!

Here’s a shortcut to the dress section, where you’re bound to find something for the new season.

(And if you were wondering… I didn’t get to keep these dresses.  I had to return these “product samples” to the marketing department where they will be professionally steam cleaned for other marketing uses… and I did not sweat in them at all! I swear!)



( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

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A Machine For Knocking Down Things

1 September 2014

Life has been going great for our family. I couldn’t be happier! We’ve all struck a wonderful balance of life, work, kids, school, fitness, friends, parties and creative projects.

But the most significant change to our routine is that we’ve amped up our involvement in our children’s learning and development, by extending what they learn in school. The only down side is that it’s really time consuming, but it’s fun and we think it’s worth it :)

My 11yo recently took up an extra-curricular unit in “engineering”. I say this loosely, because its unit outline had spun a tale about Minecraft (the computer game), mining, materials, building bridges, and engineering projects… so my son was sold on it.

The unit turned out to be great. The projects were interesting and broad enough to let imaginations run wild.

One of the projects was “Knock down a small statue (made out of paper boxes) by any means, as long as it involves a chemical reaction.”

Inspired by Mythbusters (the TV show), countless amounts of YouTube videos, and my husband’s help… my son came up with the idea of triggering a big, kicking leg with a small chemical reaction “trigger”.

The whole process took about 4 weeks of sketching ideas, testing, building, more testing, visits to the hardware store and lots of tweaking. We also had lots of exploding coke bottles!

A Machine For Knocking Down Things

Here are both my big boys testing the effectiveness of coke + mentos, coke + bicarb soda, coke + Alka-Seltzer (effervescent antacid). Then swapping the coke for vinegar. And then water.

They settled on brown vinegar and bicarb soda, because it had much more “grunt”.  I’m not sure if that is a proper engineering term, or something they picked up from my husband.

So then they had to work out how much brown vinegar and bicarb soda was needed to get a good “explosion”.

They made SUCH A HORRIBLE MESS. Bicarb soda was sprinkled everywhere. They got vinegar sprayed in their hair, clothes, roof of the patio and the outdoor furniture set. They just opened packets of this and bottles of that, and tossed it on the ground so my whole backyard looked like a dump!

I literally had to hide in the house, because 1) I wanted to give them some independence, 2) I didn’t want vinegar in my clothes.

So this is the final “Knocking Things Down Machine”.

A Machine For Knocking Down Things

My boy set up the box statue to knock over.

I love the star shaped sunglasses.

A Machine For Knocking Down Things

A small bottle was filled with brown vinegar. Bicarb soda was wrapped in a little paper capsule. The capsule was popped into the bottle. The paper wrapping slowed down the reaction to give my son time to get the lid screwed on.

A bit of garden reticulation piping with a tap was screwed onto the bottle. And a balloon was attached to the end of the pipe.

A Machine For Knocking Down Things

The balloon portion of the contraption was placed under a lever.

The tap was opened to let the gas (and froth) blow up the balloon.

(The balloon blew up very quickly!)

A Machine For Knocking Down Things
The growing balloon lifted up the lever.

Other side of the lever had a string attached to it.

The lever pulled the string.

A Machine For Knocking Down Things

The string changed direction through a pulley.

The string pulled out a little peg – made from a texta marker.

The peg held up a swinging pendulum “leg” (the horizontal bit of wood in the photo above), with a “foot” attached to it.

A Machine For Knocking Down Things

The peg came out, the “leg” swung and the “foot” kicked the statue over!

A Machine For Knocking Down Things

This was what the whole contraption looked like from a far. Actually I think this was an earlier version because there isn’t a foot attached to the swinging leg in this photo?

It wasn’t exactly a fine example of carpentry. My husband, who helped my son considerably, was appalled by how ugly, dodgy and wobbly it was.

The thing was so big that we thought we might have had to hire a trailer to take it to school. How embarrassing!! But we managed to borrow an SUV and fit it in the trunk, phew.

Anyway, it worked! It fitted the brief. It totally knocked the socks off his teacher and classmates! My son also seemed to like the feeling of hard work that led to achievement and going “over and beyond” expectations.

You know, my 11yo is great at school, but he hadn’t really found that “spark” that made him REALLY interested in ANY subject. He just cruised along, in middle gear, preferring to play football, computer games or read a book.

But I’m quite excited to know that we might have now planted a seed of some kind. Who knows what it might lead to.

You know how you hear from highly successful or highly driven people and how they often describe a “defining moment” in their life or career. Well my hope is that as parents, we manage to fill our children’s lives with MANY of those defining moments, however subtle or outstanding.