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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens: Tickets and Info

The biggest festival light display in Australia, Christmas Lights Spectacular, has just kicked off again.

And nothing says 'Christmas spirit' quite like seeing 1.5 million festive lights showcased in the one spectacular place!

Now in its eighth year, Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens is bigger and better than ever. This year the event welcomes five brand new displays, including themes from Alice In Wonderland, Winnie The Pooh and Candy Land.

And this year, TwinnieWorld is heading there and reporting back with a gazillion pics (see @josiegags on Instragram from next week!)

The extravaganza not only consists of a record number of lights, but also plays host to Santa until 24 December, and a firework display on the event’s opening night, New Year’s Eve and Australia Day. With so many attractions, this event is the ultimate way to kick-start your family’s festive season.

Kyle McKendry, General Manager of Hunter Valley Gardens says, “This spectacle grows each year and 2014 is set to be our most innovative yet! It’s fantastic to see the excitement on a child’s face when they see the lights and meet Santa for the first time.  With so much to explore, the Christmas Lights Spectacular is the perfect family tradition.”

This year, explore, eat, drink and be merry with a variety of food and beverage stalls. Experience Christmas carols until the 24 December, performances from Little Scallywagz, a big ferris wheel or get your heartbeat racing on the bungee (rides from 21 November 2014)! Christmas Lights Spectacular will be dazzling every night from Friday 7 November, 2014 until Monday 26 January, 2015 (excluding Christmas Day and night). Gates will open at 6.30pm and will close at 10.00pm. Roaming entertainment and performances will be open for the duration of the night.

Highlight for 2015 - Hunter Valley Gardens will also be home to an amazing new event, Mega Bugs! Starting from January 3, 2015, at no additional cost you can come and see giant creatures from the underworld in the gardens. Featuring Spider-saurus and a towering eight metre high Praying Mantis, plus many more creatures that move and make noises. Mega Bugs is a one of a kind showcase of giant creatures from 1 metre to 8 metres high that will be excite, thrill and amaze the whole family. Perfect for your next school holiday adventure.

Prices for the Hunter Valley Christmas Lights Spectacular: 
Adult $25.00                                             
Children (4-15 yrs) $20.00
Children 3 yrs and under FREE
Family (2 adults + 2 children) $77.00
Extra Child (with Family Pass) $17.00
Day + Night Adult $44.00
Day + Night Child $21.00

To find out more about the Christmas Lights Spectacular, call 02 4998 4000. In the event of wet weather, please visit the Hunter Valley Gardens Facebook or Twitter page or contact Hunter Valley Gardens to find out if the Christmas Lights Spectacular will be open.

For more info, go here:

To buy tickets, go here.

For more on the event and more spectacular pics, go here:

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dr Susan Cartwright, Colgate Scientific Affairs Manager and practising dentist: Q & A

Happy Halloween! Oh go on… join in, Australia!

At a time like Halloween when sugar consumption is at an all time highhhhh, and tooth decay and good oral health is perhaps even more important.

Fun stat: Aussie kids will consumer 22.3 million EXTRA sugary treats this Halloween (aaargh, that's a lotta sugar!), and it's sobering to add to this that tooth decay in children is five times more prevalent than asthma. It's also the most common chronic disease for children, with child oral health in Australia actually getting worse, according to the Australian Dental Association

The good news is that following a major breakthrough in dental technology, there is a new toothpaste that can reduce the early signs of tooth decay by half (after 6 months use) – the Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid Neutraliser. It's the first and only family toothpaste globally with unique Sugar Acid Neutraliser technology that directly fights sugar acids in plaque, the number one cause of cavities.

Dr Susan Cartwright, Colgate Scientific Affairs Manager and practising dentist for over 25 years answers questions from TwinnieWorld on kiddie brushing, tooth decay or sugar.

1. At what age should kids first visit a dentist?

It's good practice to take your child to the dentist with you when the first teeth have erupted so that they can get used to the environment and you can receive advice about how to care for their teeth.

2. What are some oral and dental hygiene tips for kids?
·     Make brushing a game – sing along, tell a story
·     Make brushing a part of the bath routine
·     Set the example – show children how you brush your own teeth
·     Use age appropriate brushes and paste
·     Always brush after the last food/drink has been consumed and at one other time in the day
·     Always assist children under the age of 8 yrs
3. How would you explain tooth decay and its correlation with excess sugar consumption to kids in simple terms?

Sugar helps bad bugs grow. Bad bugs make acid that dissolves your teeth.

I like this explanation. Nice and simple.

Here are some top tips to help children brush from Dr Susan Cartwright:
  • Start early with babies - as soon as the first tooth erupts
  • Make brushing a game - sing along, tell a story
  • Make brushing a part of the bath routine
  • Set the example – show children how you brush your own teeth
  • Use age appropriate brushes and paste
  • Always brush after the last food/drink has been consumed and at one other time in the day
  • Always assist children under the age of 8 yrs
    Colgate is committed to developing new technologies to directly combat the effects of sugar intake on children’s teeth.

    The result is a breakthrough toothpaste that reduces early decay by half1 – Colgate® Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid NeutraliserTM. This is the first and only family2 toothpaste globally with unique Sugar Acid NeutraliserTM technology that directly fights sugar acids in plaque, the number one cause of cavities.

    Colgate® Maximum Cavity Protection toothpaste plus Sugar Acid NeutraliserTM is available in all major supermarkets in two sizes and two variants from $3.49 RRP. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Robbie Williams: 'No Moms Were Harmed': VIDEO

I love this.

You saw the clips from Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field and the whole crazy-fun, delivery room experience, at the birth of their second child?

Here is what he wrote about it:

""No Moms Were Harmed in the making of these videos". Thank you for sharing the journey with us, we have been blessed with a beautiful baby boy. RW x"

And here is the now-viral clip (I love it. Robbie is a fun guy, she gets it. What a cool little family):

Thursday, October 16, 2014

'Small Plates': VIDEO - 'The New York Times' magazine

For 'The New York Times' magazine’s fall Food issue, they treated six second graders from P.S. 295 in Brooklyn to dinner at Daniel, where the seven-course tasting menu goes for $220 a person.

Read the full story here:

Subscribe to the Times Video newsletter for free and get a handpicked selection of the best videos from The New York Times every week:

Subscribe on YouTube:

Watch more videos at:

Friday, October 10, 2014

'Friends Without Kids': WhatsUpMoms - VIDEO

I was introduced to this funny page by Giselle Ugarte - who presents the Weekend Today show gossip reports for Australian TV… it's called 'What's Up Moms', run by three American   mothers named Elle, Meg and Brooke, and they upload very funny YouTube videos which clearly translate across the oceans for us Aussie mums.

Here is a video called: 'Friends Without Kids' - mothers, you will relate:

Elle is in this video, and she says of the video:

"An overdue explanation of why it's sometimes hard for me to hang out. Thanks to all who have shared this and confirmed I'm not the only one.

"Shot & edited by Elle in a semi sleep deprived state between feedings".

Want to see the rest of the channel? See more and subscribe here.

And you can follow WhatsUpMOMS on all the social media networks below:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wonka Chocolate Masterclass and Golden Ticket

In July, I took part in a fun day of experimental chocolate making with the master chocolate makers: Wonka!

Here are some fun pics from the day:

It was also the day the Mr Wonka announced that he had hidden five WONKA GOLDEN TICKETS in his chocolate inventions, and will open the doors to his Chocolate Factory and Inventing Room for one day only this October. The winners have been chosen and the five lucky winners get to go into Wonka's world this week!

Fun facts from Mr. Wonka’s 'Stupendous Study of Chocolate' were also revealed, such as: that for 90% of Australians chocolate is their preferred sweet treat of choice*

And, so excited at the prospect of seeing behind WONKA’s wondiferous doors are 47% of Australian parents, that they have said they would even give up their mobile phone for a day or their beloved coffee for a week for the chance to see and experience the Master’s Invention Room.

48% of the nation’s chocolate eaters said unwrapping and eating a block of chocolate is as exciting for them as waking up on Saturday morning and realising it’s the weekend. (Just quietly, the ability to sleep in all over again on a weekend would be fab… the twins let me; it's my now pre-programmed body clock that won't!)

The five finders of the tickets will experience once in a lifetime, privileged access to the wonder of the Chocolate Factory, as well as enjoy a top-secret invention session with Mr. Wonka’s CCO (Chief Combobulation Office) in his private Inventing Room. During this assembly, each winner will be asked to formulate the most wondiferous invention they can – something that inspires, delights, amuses, and that they can call their own; living proof that dreams can come true.

Scrumdiddlyumptiousness Advisor, Chris O’Donnell explains why now marks the perfect time for Mr. Wonka to announce such an exciting opportunity. “October, the luna month of chocolate for Oompa Loompas is the most fitting time for Mr. Wonka to share some of his secrets of ‘sweet success’ with five very lucky families. In a world-first, Mr. Wonka will also select one family’s WONKA Chocolate block invention for his Oompa Loompas to produce in 2015. Now, that’s a family legacy to leave behind!” says Chris.

The poignant childhood memories created by Mr. Wonka’s original 1971 feature film – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - live on in our nation’s psyche. Reminiscent of little Charlie Bucket’s experience, Wonka’s Stupendous Study of Chocolate found that Australia’s sweetest childhood memory was walking to the local corner shop to buy a special treat.

The study also found that:
·     Those that choose chocolate over other sweet foods are more creative and adventurous than their lolly or ice cream counterparts.
·     The nation’s chocolate eaters said unwrapping and eating chocolate is as exciting for them as:
o   Spending time with close friends (28%)
o   Receiving and unwrapping birthday presents (22%)
·     Aussies show slightly peculiar and particular ritualistic behaviours around chocolate. 
o   25% insist that the block of chocolate must be facing upwards so they can see the pattern on the top whilst eating it
o   1 in 10 Australians have to eat squares from a specific direction, so only from left to right or opposite
o   1 in 3 of us also prefer to suck their chocolate than chew it

WONKA Chocolate is available in Woolworths, IGA and selected independent grocers, petrol and convenience outlets, including the newest creations WONKA Cookie Creamery and WONKA Mudpuff Caramelstuff. (See pics below… don't drool now. Better still, get into some blocks… the Cookie Creamery is highly addictive).

The WONKA GOLDEN TICKET promotion is now over (the five winners have been chosen) and will run in Australia and New Zealand from 28 July 2014 until 8 September 2014.

'Momhead': Johanna Stein - "Ways In Which My 4-Year-Old Has Insulted Me (true story)" VIDEO

A whole new perspective on motherhood… this is brilliant.

From the author of "How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane and Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source" by Johanna Stein - available here is 
Johanna Stein, the writer/performer/editor in this going-viral video titled: "Ways In Which My 4-Year-Old Has Insulted Me (true story)."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sydney Children’s Festival: Seymour Centre - Kapow! Ticket Giveaway

Sydney Children’s Festival heads to the Seymour Centre in Chippendale (Sydney) this school holidays! 

From 23 – 28 September, there will be performances, workshops and free activities for kids aged 5-12. Visit for all the details and to book.

Here is a little preview; animation by Glenn Hatton:
Illustration by Greedy Hen
Music 'No Fun' by Bloods:

And, TwinnieWorld has tickets to go see the sensational Kapow! show - 3 x double passes to Kapow on Friday 26/9 @ 3pm.

We need winners' names 48 hours beforehand, and you will pick up tickets from the box office at the Seymour Centre. So, enter now!

For more about the show, go here.

Tickets will be available for collection from the box office one hour prior to the performance. It's recommended arriving at least 30 minutes before the performance start time to avoid delays.
To enter, here's all you need to do:

- 'Like' the Josie's Juice Facebook page
- Share this link on your Facebook wall
- Follow me on Instagram and Twitter if you are on those social media platforms
- Comment below, or email ( on why you'd like to win the tickets to see Kapow!
- Email me at with your email address so I know how to let you know if you are a winner

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kim Zolciak and Kroy Biermann drink placenta smoothie

Kim Zolciak and Kroy Biermann drank the pulverised placenta from Kim's body just after the birth of their twins, all mixed up in a smoothie.

I'll let that just sink in for a bit. I will not be held responsible if you feel queasy. I did. Vom.

Imagine if you'd seen the clip. I watched the scene when the show Kim and Kroy star in screened this week on Australian TV - it's a Foxtel show called 'Don't Be Tardy', which started this week exclusively on the Arena channel. It's now season three of the show, with the first season called 'Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding', documenting the couple as they prepared for their wedding and as well as the wedding day itself. More on the show below.

I actually could not watch abovementioned placenta smoothie scene. I covered my eyes and looked away but I did not mute it. I wanted to hear the exchange between husband and wife (who got married in series one of the show, and who already have two boys together, after joining Kim's daughters, Ariana age 12 and Brielle age 17, from her previous relationship).
Said Kim in the placenta smoothie episode:

“I’m nervous,” Zolciak says when the placenta encapsulation specialist arrives at her hospital room. “What do you do with the smoothie? Tell me about it.”

After revealing that she will take a piece of Zolciak’s placenta and put it in a smoothie, the expert describes it as “just like raw meat.”

“Dr. Hood has really scared the sh*t outta me with this whole postpartum depression, especially with twins because your levels are through the roof and my friend told me eating your placenta can help with that,” Zolciak says to camera. “I can do anything by my babies.

But Zolciak’s husband Kroy Biermann isn’t really on board at all when she tells him to drink a smoothie with her.

“I love my wife and I’ll do a lot for her, but you might as well pick your nose and throw a few boogers in. It’s been inside of you,” he says to Kim.

“Physically you’ve been inside me, right?” she says to Kroy.

“Yeah, my penis,” he says, “but that’s fine.”

Zolciak tells him, “Don’t f**ckin’ back out on me, I just pushed out two of your children and one of them breach and my p*ssy’s tore to hell because of it. You are drinking the f**king smoothie Kroy.”

"Afterbirth is what's for dinner", adds the placenta-smoothie woman Melanie Nasmyth (she's actually called a 'placenta encapsulation specialist), expertly blending what looks like chopped up meat in a bag.

So after blending and a mutual “cheers!” between the duo, they take their first sips.

“It tastes like a fruit smoothie,” says Kim. “Kroy, just drink it,” she tells her husband.

“Oh, there it is,” Kroy says after a cautious sip. “I got a three minute delay aftertaste.”

Kim isn’t the first celeb to eat their placenta after birth — Holly Madison talked about eating hers after giving birth, as well as January Jones and Alicia Silverstone.

Here are some photos for you to feast on. Yummy. And below… the entire first ep.

You can follow the social media convo with the hashtag #DontBeTardy.

'Don't Be Tardy' screens in Australia on Foxtel on Arena on Wednesdays at 9.30pm. Look at guides for repeats throughout the week.

Here is the entire first ep, including the placenta smoothie (at around 9min, 30sec):

After a successful season one, it was announced the series was to be renewed for a second season, with the series being renamed to its current title. Season 2 premiered in the US on April 16, 2013.

The second season shows  Zolciak as she moves on from 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' to take care of her family, building her dream home and living out of the townhouse with the couple's growing family.

Kroy met Kim in May 2010 while Zolciak was attending the 'Dancing Stars of Atlanta' charity event to support her 'Real Housewives' cast member Sheree Whitfield. Biermann and Zolciak started dating and just three months later, Zolciak was pregnant. On May 31, 2011, Zolciak gave birth to son Kroy Jagger Biermann Jr. with then-boyfriend Biermann. This was Biermann's first child and Kim's first son. The couple wed at their previous Atlanta home on November 11, 2011. On March 20, 2012 Kim announced via Twitter that she and Kroy were expecting their second child together. On August 15, 2012, they welcomed their second son Kash Kade Biermann. It was announced on June 5, 2013, that the couple is expecting their third child together and Zolciak's fifth. It was then announced on August 19, 2013, that the couple was expecting a set of twins, which is the couples' third and fourth child together and Zolciak's fifth and sixth. Zolciak announced that she gave birth to her twins on November 25, 2013. The girl is named Kaia Rose after "Psychic Rose" - who Kim is seen visiting throughout her time on The Real Housewives - while her boy, Kane Ren, includes Ren after Zolciak's Ob-Gyn who has delivered 5 out of her 6 children.

Bravo announced the third season renewal of 'Don't Be Tardy' in April 2014. Season 3 premiered on July 17, 2014. The third season features Kim and Kroy's two new twins (a boy and a girl), their first two children together (both boys) and their two teenagers (adopted by Kroy but from previous relationships of Kim's). The four younger children are all under the age of four. Kroy dealt with a football injury that temporarily suspended his football career. The family has moved into their completed 17,000 square-foot home and Kim has hired a team of staff to maintain the estate.

Here are some snap of the big, happy family (all photos Life & Style magazine - click here for more):