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Every time we venture somewhere new we learn so much and Belmont Lagoon told a story of many tales. From the history of Cold Tea Creek to the building remains on the spit, it was like peeling back an onion with so many layers. What remains today is a body of water, connected to Lake
After weeks of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian snow season is officially going ahead, in NSW at least. Confirmed in a press release by NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro: “I’m very pleased to share that this means we will have a ski season this year, however, holidaymakers should be aware that ski
When was the last time you headed down to the park at Croudace Bay? This park is a favourite for our family. We’ve used it for birthday parties, learning to ride a bike, practicing skateboarding and roller skating, hanging out with our mates or just going for a lovely walk. There are so many things
From the moment you begin this trail, you’ll see the work which has gone into the regeneration, preservation, and conservation of the area. A credit to Landcare, Lake Macquarie Council, and especially the work of community volunteers. We walked amongst the native ferns, along the bushland trail navigating our way along Galgabba Point Walk to
From Monday 1st June Beauty & Nail Services can open under strict guidelines Joining the easing of restrictions, the beauty industry welcomes news, they too can open their doors. Premier Berejiklian says: “Whilst this is positive news, the key is introducing practices to protect the safety of both customers and beauticians,” “It is vital staff and
My kids love Aussie animals and living in Lake Macquarie means we’re close to many places we can usually visit them. They love visiting the Australian Reptile Park, Hunter Valley Zoo, or Blackbutt Reserve. A trip up to Port Stephens to Oakvale Wildlife Park or Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters is always fun too. We
(10/5/20) Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that COVID restrictions for NSW will start to be eased from Friday 15th May in NSW.  She reminds us that whilst some restrictions are easing it is important that we continue to practice social distancing and hand hygiene. So, what do the changes mean to us in Lake Macquarie?
We love our little bundles of joy. As they slowly empty their wardrobe of the neatly folded clothes and throw them across the bedroom, it’s hard not to smile at their determination. Then you’ll find all the books removed from the bookshelf or the sticky handprints. I’ve even found play-doh stuck to the carpet! The
It’s estimated that 45% of Australians haven’t written a will. That means that almost one out of every two of you reading this haven’t expressed your wishes for what will happen to your estate after you die. We spend our lives working hard to support, provide for, and care for our families while we’re alive.
So many kids are missing the get-togethers they were used to having with grandparents, family, and friends. This is difficult for everyone involved. For those who have friends or relatives that live away, using apps to keep in contact may be something you’ve mastered. For many, getting used to this new norm is a work
We may be getting used to social distancing but when it’s your birthday you still want to feel the love from family and friends. While we’re not able to come together physically at the moment we’re finding ways to celebrate virtually. If you have a special occasion coming up have a look at our list
Do you remember the first time you saw a whale breach? I can remember looking out to the horizon and seeing a spurt of water rising. As I stared at it I saw the back of the whale breach the water and a tail rise up. I was sure it was my imagination but then
Are you planning to buy or sell a house, write a will, organise power of attorney, or appoint an enduring guardianship? With current social distancing rules in place, you may be wondering how. Traditionally, some legal documents require a person to sign in the presence of one or more witnesses. During COVID-19, this has become
The commemoration of ANZAC day is close to the heart of many Australians and New Zealanders. We remember those brave men and women who served and are serving our great country, many of them who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Remembering our ANZACS is marked annually on the anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign,
This morning the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian announced that schools will reopen (including Lake Macquarie schools). All children will attend one day a week from the beginning of Term 2 Week 3 on Monday 11th May. This came as a shock for many parents who had been expecting to homeschool their children 5 days a
Kids definitely don’t have to miss out on after-school activities. In fact, now’s the perfect time to explore options for ways you can use your Creative Kid’s Vouchers. We all know kids love to sing. In reality, you’d be hard up finding a child who doesn’t. Kristy James, the owner of Pitch Perfect Music Tuition,
Lately, we’ve had the time to think about all the things we’d love to do but never seem to have the time to get around to. In my cupboard, I have a camera passed down to me from my late father in law that I play around with when I get the time. I would
Succulents are really easy to work with so they make the perfect plant for kids. Most of the common succulents are relatively self-sufficient and you can easily take cuttings from existing ones you may have at home. They are small which is perfect for little fingers and they look amazing in just about any planter.
Are you still finding it difficult to buy toilet paper? I know I am. For the first time in about six weeks I finally got hold of 9 rolls during my shop yesterday. While we keep being told that there is plenty in production seeing it appearing on our supermarket shelves is another thing. The
Are you worried about your mortgage repayments?  You’re not alone. We know that many in our community are being affected financially by the current crisis.  Jobs lost or ‘put on hold’, hours reduced and uncertainty in so many sectors of our economy are worrying many. With no end in sight we needed an expert to
I’ll be honest, the first thing I did when I read about this concept was cry. We’re all feeling the pressure of COVID-19 as parents and as humans, but it’s the front line workers who are truly our hero’s right now. I saw a meme the other day of a firefighter handing a baton to
This gorgeous book is so beautifully written by local Lake Mac author Deborah Kelly. The underlying message in this story will warm your heart and gently connect you with the challenges faced by dugongs. Children will journey along with the young dugong calf and experience how our human life impacts theirs. This book is perfect
Anytime is a great time to grow your own food. I’ve been growing veggies and herbs for many years. My dad always grew veggies during my childhood and I remember snipping chives for my mum to add to her potato salad. Ever since I could I’ve had my own food garden. It’s the best way
I remember when I was a child, walking home from school I would pick up little things from nature I found along the way. From small pebbles to feathers, leaves or different coloured flowers. Mum would always have to check my pockets before washing. Nature has always fascinated me from the intricate design of a
I’m loving the billions of dollars that’s being thrown at our economy by the government. To be completely honest, while it’s very reassuring to hear, I am none the wiser about what’s in it for us. As duel small business owners, my husband and I and spinning in circles trying to get a handle on
From the moment you meet Kirby, her honest nature shines through. You know when you meet some people and you’re instantly relaxed and comfortable in their presence? This is how you feel with Kirby. She’s genuine about everything she delivers, including how she cares deeply about her ‘ladies’ as she calls them. Her business has
You’ve got to admit, as soon as the temperature drops, cooking is back on your mind. There’s nothing better than the smell of belly-warming goodness coming from the kitchen and soup is the perfect place to start. We love cooking soup at our house. It’s something the whole family can do together. So next on
I get it. It’s tough out there as a business owner in Lake Mac. In today’s reality, as business owners we’re scrambling to hold on to any type of operation so we can retain staff and bank something…anything. How can we possibly let our local community know we’re still here and we need their support?
Have you tried creating leaf art for kids to make at home? While you’re out getting some exercise, take a bag with you and the kids can collect leaves, bark and other natural materials. There are so many projects to do with leaves, but these 3 are our favourites. On your walk, you can talk
In Lake Macquarie, nestled in the heart of Caves Beach, is Finite Gallery. Owned by Leslie Duffin, the gallery has been operating since 2013. Leslie has a Certificate in Ceramics, an Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts and is a qualified Early Childhood Teacher. It’s no wonder that her art classes have become a favourite with
Why are we having to keep our distance from others and constantly wash our hands? It’s a bit extreme, right? Wrong. COVID-19 hangs around on surfaces for between 1 and 3 days. This depends on what the surface type is, and other conditions like temperature.1  So what does this mean for us when we go
We’re working with our Lake Mac businesses to support the greater community. Niccoli from Audir understands the pressures facing businesses across our city and would like to help with managing your people… In these tough times that just don’t feel real, I wanted to reach out and let you know that, amidst the constantly shifting
Trying to keep your kids interested and inspired while they homeschool? Finding yourself a bit out of your depth? We hear you and you’ll be happy to know we’ve compiled an awesome list of online resources that you can use. When your kids have had enough of worksheets or online teaching from school give some
Get the kids outside in the garden this week listening to the birds and watching them as they come and go. Discuss and record the types of birds that visit and identify all our native Australian birds. The kids will love making this birdseed ornaments recipe and then hanging them around your garden in the
This is a fun, inexpensive project to do with the kids at home. You’ll find that it covers a few different areas including art, gardening and nutrition. It’s a cheap project and environmentally-friendly because you’ll be recycling some materials. The kids can use their imagination to create their ‘egg people’ and give the faces all
As I sit here thinking about the challenges of homeschooling my kids are cleaning up at the end of their home school day. They’re moaning, arguing and asking questions. I find myself getting annoyed with them because I need to work. Now more than ever, I remember why homeschooling has never been an option I
When we discovered Sesames On The Lake, just a short walk from our front door, we couldn’t believe our luck. Sesames is owned by Tevy and Brad Cooper, local business owners in Belmont who have found themselves on the frontline of the devastating echo effect of the Coronavirus. After a record-breaking summer in the restaurant,
Want your child to do something other than watching YouTube or social media? How about encouraging them to listen to one of the best podcasts for kids? With so many great podcasts out there, they will enjoy the fun of learning without even realising it and still feel connected to the big world outside. Podcasts
The Australian government this week announced that job seekers payments will be doubled for the next six months to help those in our community who are being affected by job losses due to the Coronavirus. Payments are now up to a maximum of $1100 a fortnight. The extra allowance of $550 will be paid fortnightly
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a national plan that will take effect at midday today 23rd March 2020. These strict coronavirus lock-downs are part of stage 1, with further restrictions undecided at this point. UPDATED 25TH March: Stage 2 restrictions will take effect midnight on 25th March 2020. UPDATED 28th March: Stage 3 brings
I think every parent can appreciate finding activities for the whole family to enjoy can certainly be challenging. I’ve had my fair share of lego towers and racing car tracks to last a lifetime and let’s face it, they’re more for the kids than us. Gardening is an activity your entire family can enjoy. Have
From the surfboard flying fox to the wave-shaped climbing net, Webb Park Playground captures Redhead’s beach culture perfectly. You’ll love the unique design and thought which has gone into this playground. Redhead is one of our favourite local haunts because not only is the playground amazing we can also enjoy Owens walk and visiting the
Running parallel to the beach and weaving its way through the coastal landscape is Owens Walk at Redhead. There is so much to see from the viewing platforms to the shaded pathway leading you right to the local wetlands. These wetlands cross over through Belmont & Redhead. This walk is perfect to explore the local
Whilst the world is feeling like a very different place at the moment, here at Lake Mac family Life we will do our best to deliver valuable resources to take your mind off the craziness. Check out some of the things musical artists and authors around the world are delivering to keep all the family
You’ve created a wonderful product or service to bring to the market. The business name has been picked, and you’ve got the domain name and social media accounts done and dusted. Congratulations, but what about your brand identity? Check out my top 10 graphic design hacks. Visual identity is extremely important because it’s the first
Tucked away in the forever expanding family suburb of Cameron Park is the Pasterfield Sports Complex. Sprawled across 8 hectares of land, you’ll be blown away by the open space. This complex is so much more than the playground. You’ll find Lake Macquarie’s largest sports fields, practice nets and netball courts. But let’s get real.
Did you know that a $100 Creative Kids Voucher is available to all eligible children in NSW to help to pay for registration, participation and tuition costs? The voucher covers creative arts, speech, drama, dance, digital design, coding and music lessons and activities. To use your Creative Kids voucher, Lake Macquarie has more than enough
Have you applied for your NSW Active Kids voucher yet?  The NSW Active Kids Vouchers are for children aged between 4 1/2 years and 18 years who are enrolled in school (from Kindergarten through to Year 12, children who are home-schooled or attending secondary education at TAFE NSW).  Each child must be a NSW resident
In the beach culture of the suburb of Caves Beach, the main attraction has always been the sea caves. This unmistakable tourist attraction is almost a diversion from the real beauty of the area. As we swam peacefully at Spoon Rock Bay, you could see the masses of people who had flocked to Caves Beach.
Tucked away just past the sea caves at Caves Beach is a coastal walk which showcases the gorgeous cliffs and landscape of the area. You’ll stumble upon Spoon Rock Bay and the break wall that protects it. Discover scenic views right into Newcastle, and appreciate our unique Pinny Beach with it’s coarse, pebbly sand. The
When my husband and I realised how burnt out we were because of work, we had to do something about it. There’s no use working 24/7 only to find life passing you by. Our whole mindset had to change, and it’s not an easy thing to do when you’re both workaholics. Our kids are young,
Imagine you are standing in a beautiful garden, surrounded by flowers, trees and bees buzzing busily. There is a tiny sapling in amongst the beauty, just waiting to be nurtured and ready to grow and bloom. Your child is just like that sapling. They too need special care, attention and support to grow into the
Here’s some fantastic news for some of our Lake Macquarie residents!  The Regional Seniors Card is available to eligible seniors allowing you $250 towards the cost of your travel. This card is available to eligible seniors who live in rural, regional and remote areas and Lake Macquarie is included in this list. You can use
Once you’re heading along the windy road surrounded by bush as you travel into Catherine Hill Bay, you begin to get a flavour for the place. Catherine Hill Bay is the oldest continuous settlement in our Lake Macquarie area. You can still see original miners cottages and the site of the original pub when you
There’s nothing better than when you see or hear kids trying something new. Fishing in Lake Macquarie is definitely an awesome activity for kids to try, so I’ve put together a guide to get you started. You don’t need to own a boat to have fun fishing, in fact, it’s probably better to start on
Wasn’t the sun shining brightly on the western side when we visited a gorgeous hidden gem at Sunshine, Lake Macquarie. It was a little hard to find nestled among the trees past the boat ramp, but we got there in the end. If you were out in the boat it’s almost impossible to see from
Hidden at the back of the old Sanitarium factory is the Cooranbong swing bridge. The bridge is full of character and history. The swing bridge is well known to the locals on the western side of Lake Macquarie. However, it’s also a well-kept secret. At first, it’s a little tricky to find, especially if you’re
Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! Be prepared to witness a spectacle of sights and sounds that will blow your mind! Weber’s Circus is coming to Quinn Park at Swansea from Thursday 27th February to Sunday 8th March. Yet again, Weber’s will deliver a show that will astound every member of the audience. Webers Circus
You have to love and embrace the Mediterranean diet. Mostly plant-based, rich in fruit and vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes. Packed full of flavour with olive oil, herbs and spices and bursting with colour. This roasted capsicum, eggplant and red onion salad, is one of the many delicious salads you’ll often find on our table.
It was just a normal Friday.  Every week on a Friday evening Terry went to his local swimming pool with his group of friends.  They had been running a swim club for oldies there for years. Terry jumped into the water and started swimming freestyle laps while his wife, Pat sat at the side of
In the last few years, we’ve been blessed to have conversations with, guide and support our youth right here in Lake Macquarie. There’s a question we ask every single one of them: “Would you love more confidence?” Surprise or not, every single one says yes! We’ve asked them all to describe what confidence is, and so
I don’t know about your kids, but going back to school can be a love-hate relationship at our house. First, it’s the rushing around getting all the things you left until the last minute, then once that’s all done it’s the waiting game. Now that we have a tween in our house, the nervous energy
Would you believe, here in the Hunter Region alone during 2018, around 13.5% of pregnant women developed gestational diabetes? That’s one in 7.4 women, which is a huge number.1 I’ve been asked many times for my opinion on why this number is so high and I think a big factor is simply that people aren’t
The new year for many holds significance. Maybe it’s a time for a fresh start and a chance to do things differently? The changing of the decade and moving into the year 2020 seems particular so. For many of us, the concept of a new year, new career is a very common thought and for
Hand on heart, exercise helped ease my postnatal depression. It wasn’t until we moved interstate, away from our support network, that I found myself in a state of despair. After the birth of my third child my mother, who was visiting us at the time, sat me down for a chat. She knew something wasn’t
Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky we are to have these amazing places all around us, and only a short distance away. If you’ve ever wondered why it was named Caves Beach then you won’t any more. Discover and explore the inter-connecting sea caves at Caves Beach southern end. You’ll marvel at yet another one
We know we’re in a drought. We hear it whenever we click on our TV, read a newspaper or check our Facebook feed. There’re many places that have already run out of water in Australia. Hunter Water has advised us that our dams are less than 55% full and this will only get worse until
Not many days left now before public school goes back! We all know that whilst the days might feel long (Mum joke!!), those weeks will fly by in a blur. Then, like clockwork, the Monday before will be a mad panic of checking school uniforms, shoes and bags. That’s when you start to remember the
The transition from primary to high school can be an exciting but daunting time for both children and parents. These foundational years are so important, and the balance of parenting and independence can be difficult to navigate. Throw in hormones and erratic emotions, changing friendship groups, testing the waters of relationships and social media and
You know when you’re quietly confident you can pull something off? I consider myself a very competent human and nothing really rattles me in life. I rarely baulk at adding something new to my juggling act; in fact, I run on the adrenalin and the challenge of pulling it all off. So when I was
On any given day more and more women, and girls, of all ages and backgrounds, are out enjoying what was certainly once a male dominated activity. You’d have to agree that women today are far more involved in all arenas of sport, and fishing is no exception. Maybe there are more women fishers these days
Can you bring a salad? I’m guessing if you’re like me you’ve heard this many times before. I love enjoying the food and company of friends and family but how often can you turn up with your ‘special’ dish before it gets boring? Here’s three amazing summer salad to share recipes that the whole family
When I was a child, my dad used to take us down to explore the rock pools at Swansea Heads. It seems like only yesterday when he volunteered for the coast guard monitoring traffic in and out of the channel. The coast guard sits perched on the bluff of Swansea heads but beneath the headland
It’s that time of year where our social media is inundated with proud parents. Posts celebrating the big achievements of their offspring flood our feed. Photos filled with smiling kids holding trophies and certificates. I share in the happiness of my friends, congratulating those children who have worked hard to achieve their well-deserved public acclaim.
My children have grown up reading books by Deborah Kelly, a local Lake Macquarie children’s author. We definitely joined in the fun when we read ‘Dinosaur Disco’. Then we explored our families special relationships when we read ‘Me and You’. My girls have also loved the stories of ‘Ruby Wishfingers’ so much so that my
The first few years in business can feel like there’s a lot going in and not so much coming out the other end in the form of revenue. Building a business in Lake Mac is the same as anywhere else. You have to learn all the processes, technology, and day-to-day operations, which consumes a big
Often when rebranding is spoken about people are thinking about their business identity or visuals. It might be a change in the way you service your customers or you might be bringing new products to the market. Usually, there’s some kind of trigger that can spark a reason to change your identity or visual branding.
Research tells us that when babies and children get what they need, it has a lasting effect on their future. This is one of the many reasons parents start to look at childcare for their children. However, it’s a bit like opening Pandora’s Box and it can easily leave a parent very anxious about making a
Belmont pool (baths) For many years, Belmont pool (baths) was a popular bathing area, nestled on the shores of Lake Macquarie at Belmont. With a shoreline where you could erect a shade umbrella and a grassy area to put down a rug, this was a family hot spot for swimming on warm summer days. In
Even though the Watagans state forest is technically in Cessnock council area, you won’t get a better aerial view of Lake Macquarie.  Well, unless you jump out of a plane that is. Might be good for some of us, but I’m more of a nature lover than skydiver these days. I hadn’t been to the
‘Green Point’ as it’s referred to by the locals, connects the suburbs of Belmont and Valentine through Green Point Reserve. From Belmont, you can make your way along a flat path to the picturesque Green Point Foreshore at Cardiff Point. Entering via Valentine is a walk of discovery, as the natural stairs and trail wraps
In Lake Macquarie, we are completely spoilt living in and around our lake. However, Lake Mac has many more amazing places to explore and they’re all very accessible once you know where to find them. The Yuelarbah track along Glenrock Lagoon is definitely one of them. History of Glenrock As with many areas in this
We all know that children develop at different rates, but they all need support and nurturing to find their first smile, to take their first steps, and to utter their first words. And as they grow and develop, their needs grow too, some more than others. As parents, we want our children to be able to
Part 1 – Where it starts So many mums expect themselves to parent as if they don’t have a paid job. Then they expect to work in their paid job like they don’t have a parenting role. We’ve fought so hard to ‘have it all’ there’s a drive to constantly ‘prove’ yourself in both areas.
Fear creeps in when you think about just how unfit and completely uncoordinated you are. To make it worse, you haven’t exercised in a really long time! The feeling and thoughts we allow to impact us can outweigh and hinder us from even starting. So I’ve put together my 5 hacks to get back into
That blissful time being locked in the baby bubble is coming to an end. It’s time to get your head around returning to work after maternity leave but first, you need to brush up on your workplace rights. These rights are important because times have definitely changed for working women.   I’ve put together a
If you’re anything like us, we love heading to the markets on a weekend. It’s always a welcomed family outing and I love helping the kids form that link between our local growers and fresh food. We’ve put together a list of all the markets Lake Macquarie has to offer so you don’t have to
Are you on the hunt for the best list of kids eat free Lake Macquarie has to offer? We’ll be updating this list every month and checking the offers are still available. They can, however, change from time to time so to avoid disappointment always check with the restaurant before arriving.   If you have
So, you’ve had a new baby. Everything’s changed. You no longer hang out with work colleagues throughout the day. Your friends offer to go out to dinner and drinks frequently fall in the too hard basket. Your partner is at work. Whilst cooing at your baby is a wonderful pastime you crave adult conversation. Well,
So, you’ve survived the first few months. Your baby has put on weight, smiles when you look at her and doesn’t seem too traumatised after a bath. You’ve worked out which nappies work for you, how to manipulate her into her clothing and sleep…well, that’s a work in progress! You’re improving at this baby looking
Motivation, or the lack of it, is one reason why many of us start off with the best exercise intentions and then fail miserably. Most of us know that making the effort to get out of bed a little earlier to exercise, will improve our health and wellbeing, but that’s not always enough. I can
It’s so easy to get in the habit of doing the same things all the time. We all do it. Your favourite beach, the park your kid’s love, the usual cycle route, the fishing spot where you always get a bite. Sometimes it’s good to explore beyond our habitual routines and see what’s on offer.
Why is Facebook your social media shopfront? Should you even worry about Facebook? Is it even relevant to your business? Does your Facebook business page have crickets and no engagement, or you haven’t started a business page yet? You might be missing out on a big chunk of the market.   We talk about a
When your partner asks if you’ve chosen the paint you want for your interior, don’t just say white. You’ll be sure to get a response of, “which white?” It won’t be until you see the sheer volume of choices available in white that will have you scrambling for a white paint guide.    How do
Camping is a perfect excuse to get back to nature, forget about devices and to spend time with your family and friends. Once the tent’s go up, beds are made, chairs unfolded and you have a glass of wine in your hand the holiday begins. Lake Macquarie camping grounds are a must for you to