“The Wild North East”, produced by SCOTLAND: The Big Picture on behalf of the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership, offers a refreshing view of this iconic landscape.

This innovative take on documentary, succeeds in broadening both the appeal and perspective of the film. Delighting viewers with hidden gems of the highlands brought vividly to life for all to discover.

SCOTLAND: The Big Picture produces compelling visual media that promotes the benefits of a wilder Scotland for people and wildlife. Our team of photographers, filmmakers, writers, designers and educators are all motivated by the need to rebuild healthy ecosystems across Scotland. We work as a Social Enterprise, on a non-profit basis, meaning that any financial surplus is ploughed back into projects that help promote the case for a wilder Scotland.

BE part of the Big Picture #ThinkLikeAMountain.

Self-confessed Herb Nerd, Reece Carter explores gut and brain health in his new book ‘The Happy Gut’. This recipe-rich reference is filled with tonics and elixirs from the garden along with the latest research into the gut-brain axis. Based on traditional naturopathic remedies, made using ingredients sourced from nature that anyone can make at home. Today’s lifestyle and nutrition choices can stress our digestive system, this book offers a holistic approach to restoring the essential foundation of good health… a happy gut!

About the Author: Herb Nerd Reece Carter holds a Bachelor degree in Health Science (Naturopathy) and has a lifelong passion for all things green. From the planter box to the pantry, Reece reveals how to turn leaves and petals into remedies through his web series ‘The Garden Apothecary’. His written work features in Bare Essentials Journal, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Women’s Fitness Magazine and GQ and numerous online blogs. He has appeared on The Morning Show and at a number of food and wine events. Reece has his own clinic and herbal product, Dose Vitality Tonic, and also works as a model with Chadwicks. Reece lives in Sydney.

Follow the Herb Nerd @ reececarter.com.au

The Happy Gut by Reece Carter (Harlequin Books, April 2018) ISBN: 978-1489254689

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Scotland’s southernmost distillery, Bladnoch, has launched a special Bicentennial Release as a celebration of its rich history and a toast to its new chapter of renaissance.

Offering the perfect balance between provenance and progression, Bladnoch is enjoying an exciting revival in its 200th year, having been bought by Australia’s own David Prior – a successful yoghurt magnate – who bought the distillery in 2015. Becoming the first Australian to invest in Scotland’s whisky industry. Changing fates and fortunes over the years resulted in the distillery switching hands several times, before it fell silent and ceased production. Inspired by its story and charm, Prior and his team have set about turning this important piece of Scotch whisky history into a modern day distilling operation with production recommencing last year.

Made from just two exceptional casks of whisky distilled in 1988, the release is limited to just 200 bottles. Initially matured in Oloroso Sherry, the special malt was finished for the last 18 months in Moscatel casks. Described by Master Distiller, Ian Macmillan, as “Chestnut gold in colour, our bicentennial release has lovely rich sherry and acacia aromas with notes of dark chocolate, sweet oak and citrus with a long and satisfying finish. This is a fantastic whisky to mark this incredible milestone and I’d say it is best enjoyed shared, and savoured, with friends and family.”

Bottled at cask strength 41.2% ABV, the new malt will be available in select international markets for an RRP of $8,800AUD per bottle. The release is presented in a luxurious gold and glass bottle with a heavy gold stopper, designed by David Prior.

Commenting on the Bladnoch journey so far, David Prior said: “In the last three years, we have significantly invested in Bladnoch to revive whisky production, as we strive to give Scotland’s most southerly distillery back its true title as the ‘Queen of the Lowlands’.

“We may be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the distillery, but Bladnoch’s renaissance chapter is only just beginning.”

Crafted using only the purest ingredients – pristine water from the River Bladnoch and Scottish barley – Bladnoch malts are non-chill filtered and naturally coloured. The range includes Samsara, Adela 15 Year Old and Talia 25 Year Old. Bladnoch’s sister expression, Pure Scot, offers a zesty and versatile blended Scotch whisky.

Experience The Taste of Scotland @ bladnoch.com

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Wildscreen is the world’s leading international festival celebrating and advancing storytelling about the natural world.

For over 30 years our prestigious biennial Festival has been convening and celebrating the world’s best natural world storytellers.

Through collaboration with our ever-growing community of filmmakers, photographers, broadcasters, technologists and conservation organisations we aim to transform the craft of natural world storytelling across platforms and across audiences, ensuring as many people as possible experience the natural world, feel part of it and want to help protect it.

FESTIVAL PASSES ON SALE NOW @ wildscreen.org

When a Great Philippine Eagle looks you in the eye, it’s breathtaking. When that crest flares up and those riveting blue eyes connect with yours, there is no question that this is a magnificent bird we must save from extinction.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has produced a stunning new film, Bird of Prey, which tells the dramatic story of the Great Philippine Eagle. Films about nature are evolving to present unique views in stunning detail, advances in equipment and techniques immerse viewers in the world of wildlife like never before. This beautifully rendered story removes the distance we often feel for nature and this empowers us to consider our role as guardians differently.

If you enjoyed this preview of Bird of Prey, please consider supporting the Lab’s multimedia initiatives and other critical work today!

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Human culture has always reflected a strong observation of ritual, today the definition has broadened from spiritual and community expressions to encompass practices of success and performance. In this behind the scenes series ‘RITUALS” by HANAH, a lifestyle supplement brand, we shadow world-renowned climber, mountaineer, skier, filmmaker and photographer, Jimmy Chin as he goes about his morning ‘ritual’.

HANAH maintains ancient medical traditions and adapts them into products for modern living. The company is committed to locating and harvesting the highest quality natural ingredients and manufacturing them in a way that preserves their maximum health benefits to deliver noticeable results.

Its first product, HANAH ONE, is an Ayurvedic superfood taken daily to help strengthen the immune system as well as improves focus and mental clarity. Based on 5,000 years of Ayurvedic tradition, ONE contains 30 wild-harvested herbs and botanicals in a base of honey, ghee, and sesame oil. HANAH ONE is an artisanal product that is free of gluten, caffeine, lactose, and GMOs, and is handcrafted in India to create and preserve local traditions, jobs, and the community.

Jimmy Chin leads breakthrough explorations around the globe, working with the best adventurers, climbers, snowboarders and skiers on their most challenging expeditions. As a filmmaker, his documentary “Meru” chronicled the first ascent of Shark’s Fin in the Garwhal Himalayas—winning the prestigious Audience Award at Sundance. He has climbed Everest twice and was one of the first Americans, alongside Kit and Rob Deslauriers, to ski from its summit. Whether on the road or at home, Jimmy incorporates HANAH into his daily routine.

Explore HANNA Life @ hanahlife.com

From the lofty heights of a sea plane one is privy to a different view—where natures colours bleed out in rich and varied hues, like roots of a tree.

The image above and those below are part of a dynamic exhibit by Tony Hewitt and Denis Glennon AO, entitled: Girt by Sea, launched today by Canon Australia.

The unique showcase comprises a stunning collection of 100 large-format aerial images of our coastline captured and reproduced in rich detail and displayed on a scale as bold as the voyage to capture them. Australian Foreign Minister Hon Julie Bishop MP will officially open the exhibition tomorrow at Paddington Town Hall, with the doors opening free of charge to the public from Saturday 16 June until Wednesday 27 June, 10am–6pm daily.

“Girt by Sea the latest in a series of major collaborations for Canon locally and we’re extremely proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together with some of the most creative minds in Australia,” says Canon Australia’s Director of Consumer Imaging, Jason McLean. “It’s great that Tony and Denis approached Canon with Tony’s vision because the scope and purpose of this audacious project was immediately appealing. We’re proud of our products, but ultimately we’re known for what people like Tony and Denis do with them – and I think we all agree that they’ve done something very special indeed.”

Tony Hewitt comments on the collaboration: “As Helen Keller famously said, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’. It had always been my dream to create a project on the scale of what we’re unveiling today and I am sincerely grateful to Canon Australia for their confidence in us and their support and sponsorship of the adventure.”

Fuelled by the spirit of curiosity, the gregarious duo of explorers took to the skies on an adventure to fulfil a childhood dream.

The Dream: Since his school days singing Advance Australia Fair in assembly, Tony Hewitt was fascinated by the curious expression ‘girt by sea’. Years later as an acclaimed photographer, ‘girt by sea’ became the metaphor for an epic Australian adventure: to circumnavigate Australia’s coastline by air in one 31-day trip, capture it in stunning detail and bring new meaning to those three words. Tony shared his dream with close friend and accomplished photographer Denis Glennon AO, and the pair decided to make the dream a reality.

“I knew that only a privileged few had explored Australia’s breathtaking coastline to any significant degree from the air. So, I got to wondering what an adventure it would be to experience all of it in one go; to capture and reveal its magical, ever-changing beauty,” says Tony Hewitt. “Girt by Sea started as an ambitious dream and now it’s a lived experience. More than that, the collection means that we can now hold the understanding of those three words in our hands.”

The journey of discovery: Commencing and finishing at Jandakot Airport, Western Australia, the voyage took an anticlockwise flight path allowing both photographers to shoot simultaneously through front and rear portside windows of the Cessna 210 light aircraft, which generally tracked just off the coast.

“This was never a documentary trip; it was a voyage of discovery akin to the explorers of old,” says Denis Glennon. “There’s lots of planning and preparation with a trip of this scale but ultimately it’s instinct and curiosity that led to us taking the images in our collection. We had an expectation of what we might see courtesy of Google Earth, but what we actually saw when we got there blew us out of our seats every time.”

The challenges: Following extensive research of historical weather patterns, especially for the more remote southern and northern regions, April was selected as the optimal time of the year to complete and aerial circumnavigation of the coastline in one go. The decision proved a good one and the pre-planned schedule was adhered to, despite challenging weather on several days.

“We had to complete the trip in 31 days so planning had to account for the journey and photography time and we had to provide the pilots with the way points ahead of each leg. We could delay take-off or get out early but we had to stick to time,” says Tony Hewitt. “Planning can get you so far but we had to constantly account for variables such as tides, weather conditions and just the unexpected marvels that we would find when we were faced with a location for the first time.”

The Collection: “The collection expresses what Girt by Sea means to us – it’s the emotional response to what we saw a point in time captured in beautiful, large-format images,” says Denis Glennon. “It’s the result of our daily decision to focus on what we actually find, not on what we expect to find – that’s the spirit of exploration!”

“I hope people share the same emotional response of ‘Wow – look at that!’ that we did when we encountered these places,” says Tony Hewitt. “It doesn’t really matter where it is. What is so striking is the texture, colour, and shape of our coastline. We have in our minds a hard line dividing land from sea, but it’s actually a much more fluid transition.

Images are available for purchase framed and unframed online and at the venue.

Experience ‘Girt by Sea’…

Location: Paddington Town Hall, 249 Oxford Street Paddington, NSW 2021
Exhibition dates: Saturday 16 June – Wednesday 27 June 10am-6pm
Entry: Free of Charge

On February 27, the Dining Room component of Gem opened in New York City with 19-year-old “prodigy” chef Flynn McGarry. The Living Room—Gem’s casual, café counterpart—opened on February 12, 2018. This exciting debut follows the world premiere of his namesake documentary “CHEF FLYNN” at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and is a culmination of nearly a decade of cooking at his supper club restaurant, EUREKA, which he operated as pop-ups and residencies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City, beginning at just 12-years-old.

Gem’s inviting space(s) reflect something sought by modern culture, an oasis of comfort to restore and revive the spirits in an environment of high-energy and polished veneer. Rooms at Gem bare titles which resonate the sanctuary of home, this invites diners to relax and enjoy the experience. We admire cultures who spend lazy lunches in good company, but the fierce pace of our modern cities is primed for fast food with little time to socialise. That’s why Gem and Chef Flynn are such a welcomed retreat in the big apple.

Q/A with Chef Flynn

What inspired you to reimagine cafe culture with a touch from home?

I wanted to have a place where people could come in during the daytime—a “living room” in the middle of New York City. It’s also a nice way for people to experience Gem even if they aren’t coming in for dinner. I wanted everyone who visits Gem to feel like guests in my home—they can relax, hang out all day, work…

What is your vision of an intimate space and how does Gem reflect this?

Gem is a small space, we can seat 18 on either side at any given time (the Living Room and the Dining Room). For me, it’s a perfect mix of clean and minimal but also comfortable. We have a vintage Persian rug in the Living Room…. in the Dining Room, we have an island-style open kitchen which is visible from every point in the room. It feels very intimate and like you’re in someone’s home—our guests can watch as we prepare the meal. Our tables are these custom walnut dining sets that have movable dividers, so you might be dining next to strangers but it still feels private and personal. We also have a lot of plants and greenery everywhere, and artwork from my friends and family. 

How have you transformed a familiar atmosphere with a taste of culture?

I think when people feel comfortable in a space, that this helps break down their barriers. The design of the space itself is influenced by many different cultural ideas of comfort—spanning from Japanese, Danish hygge, and even Belgian with our linens and fabrics.

Flynn’s Favourite Comfort Food Fix…

Sweet Potato Bread (Makes 1 Loaf)

2 large sweet potatoes
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 3/4 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Method

1. Roast sweet potatoes wrapped in foil for about an hour at 350F, or until soft.
2. Scoop sweet potatoes and blend with milk, eggs, oil, vanilla.
3. Mix all dry ingredients and whisk into potato mixture in three stages until smooth (careful not to overwork the gluten).
4. Bake at 325F for 60-75 minutes.

What to Expect from this Unique Eatery…

At Gem, there are two distinct dining experiences: the “Living Room” and the “Dining Room.” The Living Room, open daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm, is an all-day café offering a selection of micro-roaster coffees, rare teas, and seasonal specialty drinks curated by Director of Coffee Elliott Foos. Guests may also enjoy a rotating assortment of house made pastries and snacks like Semolina Apple Bundt Cake; Caramelized White Chocolate Blondies; and Blueberry Violet Muffins.

The adjoining Dining Room, open Tuesday through Saturday, offers a $155 per person (inclusive of gratuity) multi-course tasting menu, with seatings at 6:00pm and 9:00pm for up to 18 guests. Guests may also opt for a $100 per person beverage pairing. The interactive experience is a reflection of an intimate dinner party among friends: guests begin in the Living Room with a glass of champagne and snacks, then move into the Dining Room where they will be seated to enjoy the remainder of the menu—a mix of small plates, shared family-style dishes, and desserts.

A clear view of the kitchen allows guests to watch McGarry and his culinary team at work from every seat. Guests are also given the option to enjoy an after-dinner drink back in the Living Room. Upon opening, menu highlights include King Crab with leeks, grapefruit, and rose; New Potatoes cooked in yogurt with mussels and hazelnuts; Pumpkin Char Siu with koji and lime; and the “Lamb Feast,” a series of shared plates including Lamb Loin with vadouvan bagna cauda; Lamb Shank braised with warm spices and apple cider; Grilled Sunchokes with sunflower seed and chili salsa; and a simple, palate-cleansing Bitter Green Salad. Two of McGarry’s signature dishes—a peanut “Ritz” cracker-inspired snack with foie gras, as well as Aged Beet served with its greens and bordelaise—will be menu mainstays.
 
General Manager and Wine Director Quinn McCann, an alum of Eleven Madison Park and Betony, built a beverage program that predominantly features wines from France, Germany, Austria, and the United States, in addition to an ever-evolving collection of more unique bottles. Sake, East Coast beers, and ciders are also available.
 
The restaurant’s name, which is McGarry’s mother’s name “Meg” spelled backwards, also nods to it being a neighborhood gem of sorts. It is located on a modest street tucked between a local barber shop and a residential building – but inside the 1,000 square foot space, Gem boasts a welcoming, home-like atmosphere intended to evoke a similar setting to the original supper club dinners McGarry ran out of his childhood home in San Fernando Valley, California. The design was a collaboration between McGarry and friend and interior designer, Brett Robinson.

The Living Room features simple design elements including a vintage Persian rug, and an upholstered banquette with a row of asymmetrical steel tables (designed by Robinson) that pair with wooden chairs from Charles Eames. In the Dining Room, the island-style open kitchen anchors three different seating areas complete with Josef Hoffmann armchairs and custom walnut dining sets of banquettes, table tops, and dividers (all handmade by a local artisan in Philmont, New York). Overall, the spaces are set with warm and natural tones and are decorated throughout with potted plants and varied floral arrangements. Rotating artwork from friends and local artists hang on the walls.
 
Flynn McGarry’s instinctive talent, diverse experience, and unwavering ambition has gained him widespread notoriety and the support from inspirational chefs all over the world. At 13-years-old, he took an apprenticeship at Ray’s and Stark Bar at LACMA under chef Kris Morningstar, then later went on to stage at Michelin-starred restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and Alinea in the United States, as well as Maemo in Oslo, and Geranium in Copenhagen. He was the subject of a New Yorker “Talk of the Town” piece; featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine’s Food & Drink issue; became the youngest honoree on Zagat Los Angeles’ “30 Under 30” list; and was named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential Teens” by TIME magazine.
 
Where to Experience Gem…

Gem is located at 116 Forsyth Street, between Delancey and Broome Streets, in New York City.  The Living Room is open daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm, and the Dining Room is open Tuesday through Saturday, with seatings at 6:00pm and 9:00pm. Reservations are required and can be made via Tock. For more information, visit gem-nyc.com. Follow Flynn @diningwithflynn.

Choosing a school which nurtures the potential of your children, is important to all parents—but perhaps more challenging for those with special needs. Depending on the challenges impeding the learning of a child (be they physical: impaired mobility, vision, hearing, or neurological, as with autism and attention deficits) the search for schools with the capacity to cater for, and even specialise in overcoming educational hurdles, can become extremely stressful.

Emerging techniques and technology can help bridge this gap, and the more ubiquitous these tools become in the educational sphere, the more diverse our choices for learning are. This is the subject of a new book entitled: ‘Is My Child Ready for School?’ by Special Educator, mother and author, Karen Seinor. The narrative is primed for supporting parents in making an informed decision about their child education, with nuance for the expansive options in special needs learning. The pitfalls to avoid and the facilities and approaches which signify a school that is open to the potential of technology in optimising learning for all children (not just those with special needs).

Karen’s research and experience offers a glimpse at the future of learning, and an effective strategy for accessing your options right now. BE Journal asked Senior to paint a picture of what this might look like, and how it could be applied.

Technology has improved learning for students with special needs in many ways but recently technology has enabled the mainstream classroom and curriculum to be more inclusive and accessible. Students with special needs are better supported in a number of ways.

For example in the school that I teach at two children have a vision impairment, both study brail with the use of a braille keyboard and they regularly Skype with their braille teacher. In the past they wouldn’t have access to this in a mainstream classroom or they may have a specialist teacher visit once a week, now they are able to have personalised instruction in their classroom on a regular basis. Children with vision impairments are also better supported in a number of ways. Through the use of iPads, learning material can be accessed so the size may be increased so that are better able to read it, or they can use audio functions to listen to the material rather than read it. This also means they don’t require a teachers aide or specialist teacher to be attached to them all the time which is positive for developing their independence but also in a social sense as they don’t appear so different to the other students and equally as capable.

Children with hearing impairment are also benefiting from the increase technology in classrooms. Teachers simply wear a headset that transmits into there hearing aid so that the student is clearly able hear instructions and information. A simple device and modification enables hearing impaired students to operate in a mainstream classroom with virtually no extra support from teachers aids.

The increasing amount of apps or programs have also optimised potential for students with special needs. There are many apps/programs that assist students to record information and present their ideas in a way that may have not been possible in the past. For example a child that may be limited orally can now use an app to share their ideas, or design tutorials, animated stories, and presentations. The teacher can then mirror this to the Apple TV and this can be shared with the class. Tools such as these are particularly powerful when they are interactive and promote social exchanges with their peers and also when they highlight the capabilities of the students.

In my opinion the greatest change that technology has created is that it has supported teachers to explore new methodologies and philosophies about how children are taught. Teachers are moving away from the old industrial mode of teaching, where one size fits all or teaching to the middle. Educators are now realising that all students should have there learning individualised, the focus is not on what we teach but how we teach. When the interests, passions and abilities of our students
drive the learning only then learning is optimised for all students.

About the book: Is My Child Ready for School? (New Holland Books, 2018) is a guide for parents on all things school. Based on current research on brain development and insights from many years of teaching, it examines many aspects of development related to learning. Whilst based on theory, there are practical and simple suggestions to help parents make the important decision about when to start school and what skills and knowledge are required. It also provides tips on selecting a school, how to make a smooth and successful transition to school and, how to support your child in their first year of learning.

About the Author: Karen Seinor has been a passionate educator for over 17 years. She has worked as both a classroom teacher and an ESL teacher and whilst she has enjoyed her many roles as a teacher, her passion lies in Kindergarten, which she taught for many years. She has a focus on education in Australia as she examines key issues through the lens of both teacher and parent.

Creating an experience inspired by your mom, is a beautiful way to honour her spirit. This could be as simple as recreating a favourite moment you shared (like making a batch of blueberry pancakes) or crafting a box of essentials based on all the things which reflect her spirit…adventurous, stylish, creative!

Here are some ideas from one spirit who lives for adventure…

Australian mom and cancer survivor, Heather Hawkins loves a physical quest. For her, it symbolises the joy of second chances, courage, and survival.

I love Mother’s Day for so many reasons, every year it pops up in my calendar as a wonderful reminder for us to celebrate motherhood, giving us a chance to get together with family, and another opportunity to thank all those Mums who have had such a profound influence on our lives.

And even though the day brings with it a mix of emotions—my mum passed away 10 years ago and the tears still aren’t very far from the surface—my smile doesn’t fade because her memory lives on and I’m incredibly thankful for her love, her inspiration, and her sense of adventure. Everyday I’ll keep doing my very best to ‘share her qualities forward’ with my own children.

If I was to plan the ultimate Mother’s Day it would definitely involve a dash of adventure. In the past I would have said: a sleep-in, croissants and a cup of tea in bed. Today, I love the idea of getting out and sharing experiences with my family!

In 2016 I was fortunate enough to have a Mother’s Day with a difference—I was in Nepal with my adult children, and we were halfway through a five month trek along the Great Himalaya Trail, we were living out of backpacks, sleeping in tiny yellow tents, and trying to escape the heat and humidity of the oncoming monsoon by heading up into the snow covered mountains.

This year I’ll be at home, closer to the comforts of modern life and cafes, but keeping up a family tradition of running in the Mother’s Day Classic fun run to help raise funds for breast cancer research. We’ll follow this up with a hearty brunch and phone calls to family members who are away.

Mother’s Day also reminds me of how precious life is. Surviving Ovarian Cancer 11 years ago made me acutely aware of this, and I’m keener than ever to be the best mum I can be, to be fitter, more positive and encouraging, and taking time to invest in nurturing our adventurous spirits.

There are several things I’ve learned these past few years to help achieve this…

Keep a diary. Get in touch with what’s going on inside, because putting emotions into words is powerful and cathartic, and writing down dreams and goals is your first step forward into making them a reality.

Get yourself fit. It will flow over into every other part of your life. You’ll find you’ll have a whole lot more energy, motivation, and increased emotional and physical resilience to take on the every day.

Remember to lead by example. Your children are watching and learning from you. Be the best role model you can be.

Follow other people’s journeys and expeditions.* Be inspired, and see what is possible. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone and take on something new.

Plan an active adventure with your family. Big or small, maybe it will last an hour or perhaps weeks: trek, run, cycle, swim, climb. It’s about teaching our children to spend a whole lot more time in the real world as opposed to the virtual world, to get them out in nature, to experience what it’s like to reach their physical limits, to get tired, be amazed, and be happy.

Get busy making these memories… and then planning for the next one!

Give your mum a special hug, tell your family that you love them, and on the day, head out and have a really awesome adventure together.

* Heather’s autobiography ‘Adventurous Spirit’ is available from Murdoch Books, with 10% of all sales in May donated to Ovarian Cancer Australia-a great Mother’s Day initiative. Follow Heather’s Adventures @ adventurousspirit.com.au

Create a box with a few things to lift mom’s spirit, such as…

A box of ingredients with a handmade recipe card. Pancakes, muffins, maybe even the family curry… add a note or photo that captures the special memory and experience of cooking with mom.

Pamper hamper of beauty essentials. Busy moms will appreciate being able to recreate the spa experience at home… the Braun Silk-épil 9 SkinSpa is like the swiss army of spa tools, from self-massage to hair removal with a bevy of benefits including: no risk of burns from hot wax or lasers, no chemicals or harsh ingredients, no disposables (shaver heads, wax strips and pots) which cost mom and the environment. It is a pluck above the rest with MicroGrip tweezer technology that removes hair as small as a grain of sand. Speaking of sand, the Sonic Exfoliation Technology exfoliates skin with 3,000 micro-vibrations per minute, leading to 6 x** more effective exfoliation than a manual scrub. One tool, five spa treatments which work wet or dry to leave mom feeling thoroughly pampered, invigorated and renewed.

Fitness is my fix, energise me kit. There is something empowering about movement which all moms deserve to experience. Exercise creates energy and fortifies the spirit, it is a gift that communicates self-care and celebrates freedom. SKINS support movement of every kind, from downward dogs to dirt runs, bouldering to ballet. Engineered to give a natural advantage in sports, no drugs just smart design—SKINS have evolved their compression wear to express a vibrant DNAmic collection which captures the spirit of sport and an active lifestyle. K-Proprium Tights are their latest game-changer, combining the world’s best Dynamic Gradient Compression with strategically placed Proprioceptive Power Bands (PPB’s) to fight fatigue, reduce the risk of injury and improve performance by enhancing proprioception. Allowing adventurous moms like Heather to ‘Go the Distance’ no matter the marathon.

We use the calendar to remind us of important things, celebrating as an event what we could (dare I say, should) celebrate daily!

This post is timed to align with Earth Day however, the ideas can be embraced beyond 24 hours of gratitude once a year—expanding this small window of time to integrate a daily habit of celebrating earth.

Simple habits are the easiest to adopt and often grow into rituals which resonate lasting value.

1. It’s worth the early start. Photographers rise early to catch the first rays of dawn, and patiently wait for the golden hour at the end of a day. They do this to capture nature in all it’s glory: before the atmosphere clammers with noise and distractions, in a crisp state where subtle discoveries can be observed and the world is fresh with promise. Then, as dusk approaches life unwinds to a slower pace, glowing gently like a lullaby before bed.

You don’t need to be a photographer to make a habit of greeting and farewelling the day with reverence.

2. Food tastes better outside. Remember the salty crunch of hot chips by the beach? Biting into a fresh sourdough under the shade of sprawling canopy? Nature has a calming quality that allows one to fully digest their meals. Flavours seem richer, textures more palpable, aromas deliciously amplified. It is a small pleasure one should afford themselves daily—if not for good digestion, for the rapture of savouring the full pleasures of nature’s bounty.

3. Smell a rose and wish upon a star. These sayings are not just for love stories or fairytales, they are simple habits worth forming. Little actions which remind us of earth’s beauty and magic, triggering the senses and imagination like an artists muse.

4. Discovery is a process. Curiosity leads to insights and space is not the only frontier… explore your neighbourhood, streets and gardens, architecture and infrastructure, harbour nature too! Wildlife has become surprisingly inventive, creating micro-habitats in odd places—look closer and you might find a family of fungi growing under a rotted paling, perhaps sparrows have nested in the awnings?

5. What’s your Talisman? Ancient cultures and modern boy wizards are fond of a good luck charm—an object which represents mystery and magic, courage and wisdom, heritage and hope. Touchstones which anchor the mind to a deeper purpose or meaning, though it doesn’t necessarily need to be a stone, perhaps a leaf glistening with the trail of a wayward snail? Each day you can choose one delight of nature to either carry, capture (in photo or drawing), or create something with (pine cone scent holder).

6. Screen to scene, stroll don’t scroll. The ubiquity of screens is a part of our digital culture but, as vital as they have become to work and communication there is a caveat which nature can counter. Eye strain creeps up on us as we swipe or text, scroll or search with intense un-blinking focus at a beacon of bluelight. Why not make a habit of breaking from bluelight to survey the world around you, training the eye on a distant tree, following the flight of a acrobatic bird, or deciphering forms in billowing sky. This exercises the eyes and is good for vision. It also triggers creativity and innovation, boosts productivity and ironically focus!

7. Retreat for your feet. We are encouraged to stand at our desks and to work longer, but did anyone ask our feet what they think about this stagnant imposition on their soles? I doubt it! There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, it’s been shown working longer doesn’t improve productivity nor does standing on a solid surface, in one spot for too long do our feet any good. To remedy a fallen arch or stiff ankle, flex your bare foot instincts: grip your toes into sand or soil, stretch your heel down over a log or stone, test your balance on undulating terrain.