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The Only Teacher’s Christmas Gift Guide You’ll Need. EVER.

November 26, 2013 Bel's Blog, Parenting

1 Comment

Christmas Gift Guide for Teachers

Do you have little ones [or big ones!] in school? Have you dropped them off at their class every day and wondered, with awe, how any sane person could choose to spend 6 hours a day with as many as 30 kids at a time?

As we get closer to the end of the school year many of us are thinking about how we can thank the teachers who taught our kids. How can we show our appreciation to those who took such good care of our children?

This is my 5th year of being a school mum and each year I am incredibly thankful for the investment the teachers made in my boys’ lives and education. Of course I know that it is their job to educate the students in their class and I also know they are paid to do so. I am very fortunate to say that every teacher I have come across has been fundamental to my sons enjoying their time at school. I feel that I owe them a debt of gratitude for and recognition of their insane brave choice to become a teacher.

The thing is, it’s hard to know what to get a teacher… because they’re not like normal people. You see them EVERY DAY and willingly leave your children with them and even discuss your kids behaviour and development but what do you KNOW about them? Do they even have a life outside of school? My kids nearly have a heart attack when they see one of their teachers out doing normal things like food shopping or something. “Oh my God Mum! It’s Mrs Teacher and she’s got COKE in her trolley!!!” Here is a significant person in your family’s daily life and you probably don’t even know if he/she’s got pets, has allergies, likes hip hop or pop, takes sugar in their coffee or lemon in their beer.

So from my own ‘extensive’ experience coupled with a survey of our online community and some input from some teachers I know, here’s the only Christmas Gift Guide you’ll need for teachers. EVER:

  1. A box of special tea or gourmet coffee. You will need to find out if your teacher is a tea or coffee drinker and then package something delicious up for them. You could even present it in a mug or tea-pot [though word on the street is they get A LOT of mugs!]
  2. A potted plant. Something that they can either keep on their desk, like a gorgeous succulent, or that they can plant in their garden at home like a rose bush or dwarf lemon tree.
  3. Gold Class tickets to the movies. This gift may be a bit pricey but if you’ve ever been, you’ll know it’s AWESOME! Could be a good idea for a class gift.
  4. Keepsake Christmas Decorations. Sometimes just a personal card and a unique Christmas decoration for the tree is a perfect thank-you gift. Country Road, House & Garden and speciality gift shops always have a great range of glass or metal ornaments.
  5. A gift card. Think of something generic like an itunes voucher or something indulgent like a spa or a manicure/pedicure. Just make sure that any massage voucher is from the ‘right’ kind of massage parlour… you don’t want to be known as ‘THAT mum’! Again, this could be a class gift if out of your price range.
  6. Wine/Beer/Gin. Who wouldn’t want to relax with an alcoholic beverage [or several] after a year of taking care of 25 school-aged kids?? A bit of non-weird stalking may be helpful here to find out what their tipple is [and if they even drink!]. A nice idea for male teachers who enjoy a drink is a six pack of boutique beers.
  7. A vase. It sounds simple but a vase is something that could be used at home or in the class room. Nothing too big, just enough to fit in the posies of hand-picked flowers I always see other mums bring in.
  8. Hand cream. Think something that they wouldn’t indulge in themselves like Crabtree and Evelyn or Jurlique.
  9. A magazine subscription. This is the gift that keeps on giving and a favourite choice of mine for many people. If it’s a bit pricey for your budget, it could be a great class gift or you could just get a collection of the latest in a genre [cooking, fashion, fishing, gardening]. Suitable for both male and female teachers.
  10. A foodie gift pack. Gourmet jams, sauces or spices is always a great idea particularly during the festive season and is suitable for male and female teachers.

Some other tips you should may like to consider are:

  1. Teachers get a lot of chocolate. LOTS. If you’re pressed for time and money, this seems like a great option, especially when Lindt balls are half price at Woolies but WARNING – they could get lost in the noise of all the other boxes or left in the staff room until next year!
  2. Your child is special… but that doesn’t mean their teacher wants a framed photo of them. Think about it. There are 2 dozen ‘special’ kids in their class and next year there’ll be another 2 dozen. What are they seriously going to do with a photo of your kid?
  3. A hand-crafted gift from a child is an incredibly thoughtful gift… but possibly not very practical. They have just spent ALL YEAR crafting with your child and sending that stuff home. A gorgeous, hand-made card may be just as thoughtful – and easier to store!
  4. Scented candles are an absolute fave of mine but proceed with caution… some scents can make the receiver gag or give them a headache so if you’re unsure, stay clear.

And finally, if you are not in a position to contribute to a class gift or buy one yourself, a simple heart-felt card of thanks would be genuinely appreciated.

I’ve even found the perfect quote for you…

An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child. (Carl Jung)


Being a mother is not the most important job in the world but…

November 21, 2013 Bel's Blog, Parenting


Let me start by saying I am NOT taking on Catherine Deveny.


And these are the reasons why.

1. Because I really like and respect her [as a writer and particularly after seeing her on the SBS program, Go Back to Where You Came From] and 2. Because there’s no way I could come out unscathed… so I pick my battles. VERY carefully.

But her recent article {here} made me feel uncomfortable. Just a bit, but uneasy nonetheless. To be fair, I agree with much of what she said and I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with her assertion that being a mother is NOT, by any means, the toughest job in the world. It does not compare to many, many other far harder/tougher jobs performed throughout the world – whether you’re a working mother OR a stay at home mother or a guardian or a father or a carer. She is right and most of the mothers I know would also concur.

However, if I was taking Catherine Deveny on [which I am not], I would argue that it is MORE than just a relationship. It is certainly a job to care for your children. I have a relationship with my sister but I’m not listed as her ‘In case of emergency’ person. The person most responsible for her is. Her mother is. And her father.

Do mothers actually say ‘being a mother is the most important job in the world’? Sadly, yes some do. Some sprout it at school coffee mornings and playgroup and on social media to justify their own decisions, yearnings, sacrifices and losses. However, most [that I know at least] do not.

In fact, the most common declarations I hear in my circle are:

“Being a mother is the most boring/relentless/exhausting/thankless/rewarding/mundane/gratifying/shitfully draining job I have ever done” And I would not be talking out of school to say that I have heard that all said over the period of one night with a group of mothers playing hookey with a bottle or 4 of sav blanc under their muffin tops.

I personally have said all of that. One trillion times. I have also said this. Being a mother is the most important job I HAVE EVER DONE. Because it is true. Because I have never had to run a country or be a judge or perform brain surgery or research a cure for cancer or counsel a child who has been abused. Because in my entire life, I have NEVER done anything more important than raising my kids. More stimulating? Sure. More respected? Probably. Critical to the bottom line of a business? Yep. Better paid? Abso-f*cking-lutely.

But more important? Not to me. Not to my husband. And not to my kids.

And this is where it all gets a bit grey for me. For… whilst I agree that being a mother [or carer or father etc, etc] is not the most important job in THE world, I believe that raising good people IS. Our children are the next generation of our world. They will grow into adults who will become the caretakers of our universe and our animals and our cultures and our history and the generation of children to follow. So with that in mind, ALL that are involved in this vital function of our future should also believe that it is, in fact, incredibly important. If there is a parent or carer or guardian [of any kind and regardless of how they came to be one] who has committed to taking their ‘job’ as the most important in their life,we should support them – NOT tease them.  Not try to ‘out’ them or ‘outdo’ them.

It is our job, our responsibility and our obligation to do our very best to raise our very best.

Is it not?


If you like this, check out these other great posts from Seventies Baby:

This post originally appeared at Seventies Baby – a gloves-off perspective of womanhood, parenting and modern family life in a world obsessed with being perfect and politically correct. It has been republished with full permission.

You can (and should!) follow the blog on Facebook here.



Apply to Roadtest Oricom’s Secure 610 Digital Baby Monitor


digital baby monitor

Review a Digital Baby Monitor!

We are looking for five families to review the Oricom Secure 610, Premium DECT Digital Baby Monitor, yours to keep for your efforts!  To apply, simple complete the entry form below and five lucky people will be contacted soon!

The Secure 610 offers crystal clear DECT monitoring with hi-definition sound, 8 true-tone lullabies, nursery room temperature sensor, a soothing night light, parent talk-back and a convenient in built torch.

Some of the key features include:
Starry Night Ceiling/Wall Projection
Nursery room temperature sensor
Play Soothing music through the monitor
19 True tone melodies
Soft comforting adjustable night light

Parent’s Unit:
Nursery room temperature monitoring with alarm function
Parent talk back
Privacy guaranteed with 120 auto-select channels
Clock with alarm function
3 year warranty

Oricom Monitor Review

Good Luck!!

PRODUCT RECALL – Target Multi-Purpose Locks

Multi-purpose locks

Product recall on Target multi-purpose locks to prevent babies and young children from opening cupboards.

Identifying features

Keycode 4552 6404

What are the defects?

It has been identified that the plastic cap on the lock can be removed by an infant.

What are the hazards?

If the plastic cap is removed, this may pose a potential ingestion/inhalation hazard to small children.

Dates available for sale

  • 1st January 2008 – 29th August 2013

Where the product was sold

  • Nationally

Traders who sold this product

Target Australia Pty Ltd and Target Country stores


Target Australia Pty Ltd

Supplier’s web site


What should consumers do?

Customers should immediately cease using the product and return it to any Target or Target Country store for a full refund.

HEALTH WARNING – Measles Outbreak

NSW Health Alert – Watch Out For Measles

NSW Health is today warning the public to be alert to the symptoms of measles after three young men were confirmed to have been in the community while infectious with measles in the last week.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director of Communicable Diseases at NSW Health said that measles is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised.

“Measles is highly infectious and is spread through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms can include fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes which usually last for several days before a red, blotchy rash appears. Complications can range from an ear infection and diarrhoea to pneumonia or swelling of the brain,” Dr Sheppeard said.

She advised that the three young men (aged 25 – 35 years) have recently spent time in Earlwood, Hurlstone Park, Alexandria and Waterloo, while potentially infectious with measles. The men also visited local medical centres in Rozelle, Croydon, Rockdale as well as the Royal Prince Alfred Emergency Department while infectious during the past week.

The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is typically around 10 days but can be as long as 21 days, so there may be other cases in the community now or people who will be developing symptoms over the next few weeks.

Dr Sheppeard advised parents of infants or other people who aren’t fully vaccinated against measles to be on the lookout for symptoms of measles.

“If symptoms develop please phone ahead when seeking medical attention to ensure you don’t share the waiting area with other patients,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“Measles is now a rare disease but it is important to emphasise it is currently circulating in the community and that people who have not had two doses of vaccine may be at risk.”

“We encourage anyone who has not previously been vaccinated to do so. Children should receive two doses of vaccine, one at 12 months and the second at 18 months. Children over 18 months who have not had their second dose of measles vaccine can be vaccinated now. Anyone born after 1966 should have two doses of vaccine (at least 4 weeks apart).”

“If you haven’t already been immunised, NSW Health offers free MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccine through GPs for people up to 47 years of age.”

Digital Thermometers – Essential for keeping cool under pressure

digital thermometers

It’s tough for the whole family when the little ones are sick, and arming yourself with the best knowledge and tools is one way of getting through the worst of it.

Luckily Oricom can help, their non-contact or non-probe digital thermometers offer fast, safe and accurate readings with minimal risk of virus transmission.

A fever is usually the body’s way of fighting an infection and will not harm your baby, however, in some cases, it may be more serious. If you are concerned always consult a doctor.

How to take your baby’s temperature:

For the most accurate results with non-contact and non-probe thermometer, take baby’s temperature at the temple or if there is sweat present, behind the ear.

Follow the instructions for your thermometer, remembering that temperature can be affected by the way in which the reading is taken as well as environmental factors.

Normal body temperature does vary, however, your baby is considered to have a fever if they are under three months and have a temperature of 38 degrees C or more or under six months and have a temperature of 39 degrees C or more.

To find out more about the Oricom Range of Thermometers, or for a list of retailers, simply head to:

PRODUCT RECALL – Saving for Aussie Canterbury Cot

Aussie Canterbury Cot

RECALL on NZ pine Canterbury sleigh baby 3 in 1 cot with drawer, teeth rail, and toddler bed in white or “espresso” colour

Identifying features

Item No.: 158-1. 158-2. 258-1. 258-2
Manufacture date: June 2013

What are the defects?

The baby cot doesn’t comply with the mandatory Australian Standard AS/NZS 2172:2003. There were multiple failures due to labelling errors and the depth of the cot was incorrect.

What are the hazards?

Due to non-compliance with the mandatory standard, there is a potential for finger or limb entrapment to occur near the cot drop side.

Dates available for sale

  • 1st June 2013 – 27th August 2013

Where the product was sold

  • Nationally

Traders who sold this product

Saving for Aussie


Saving for Aussie

Supplier’s web site

What should consumers do?

An email will be sent to affected consumers. Consumers should cease using the baby cot immediately and arrange for the replacement parts to be delivered free of charge or to request a full refund.

Other regulator reference numbers


PRODUCT RECALL OzPlaza.Living – Wooden Sleigh 3 in 1 Baby Cot

Wooden Sleigh Baby Cot

Product Recall on Nationally Sold Wooden Sleigh Baby Cot

Product description

Wooden sleigh 3 in 1 baby cot

Identifying features


What are the defects?

The cot does not comply with the mandatory Australian standard, AS/NZS 2172:2003 Cots for household use—safety requirements. There were multiple failures related to labelling and non-compliance with the requirements for drop sides of cots.

What are the hazards?

Due to the non-compliance with the mandatory standard, there is a potential for finger or limb entrapment to occur near the cot drop side.

Where the product was sold

  • Nationally

Traders who sold this product

Sold at


New Aim

What should consumers do?

An email will be sent to affected owners. Consumers should cease using the cots immediately and arrange for either replacement parts to be delivered free of charge or to opt for a full refund.

Consumers can contact OzPlaza.Living via email or by phoning (03) 9376 0841 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday except public holidays.

PRODUCT RECALL – Build-A-Bear Workshop Sulley Teddy Bear

Build a Bear

Sulley is a furry blue creature from the Monsters movies. The stuffed monster is about 17 inches high and 10.5 inches wide.

Identifying features

Item number 20241 on the sew in label. This can be located behind the care instructions label. In addition, a tracking label ending with 1687 can be found on a sewn in label on the backside of the leg of the stuffed monster.

What are the defects?

The stuffed animal’s eye can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.

What are the hazards?

If the defect occurs, the product poses a choking hazard to young children.

Dates available for sale

  • 7th June 2013 – 27th June 2013

Where the product was sold

  • Nationally

Traders who sold this product

Build-A-Bear Workshop stores nationally


Build-A-Bear Workshop Pty Ltd

Supplier’s web site

What should consumers do?

Cease using the plush toy immediately. Return the teddy bear to the place of purchase for a full refund or an exchange teddy bear.

If consumers are not able to make it back to their nearest store, please call the Penrith store to arrange for a postage paid bag.

For further information Build-A-Bear Workshop on 02 4722 5379 or

PRODUCT RECALL – Baby Jogger Carseat Adaptor for Strollers


Car seat adaptor for Baby Jogger Car Seat Adaptor for Single, Select, Versa, and Double strollers manufactured between April 2012 and September 20, 2012.

Identifying features

Model no: BJ90121, BJ90321, BJ90221

What are the defects?

The car seat adaptor support bars can fail, posing a fall hazard to children.

What are the hazards?

If the adaptor fails whilst in use the product poses a fall hazard to children.

Dates available for sale

  • 2nd June 2012 – 2nd June 2013

Where the product was sold

  • Nationally

Traders who sold this product

Baby Bunting and Mothercare nationally
Bubs and Pram Warehouse in Queensland and New South Wales
Baby Time Victoria and Baby Junction South Australia.


The Amazing Baby Company

Supplier’s web site

What should consumers do?

Cease using the product immediately and contact The Amazing Baby Company for a replacement part. For further information please contact the Amazing Baby Company on 1300 661 885 or email

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