Child's Play - What Technology Cannot Replace

The other week my son asked me "Dad, when I'm older, maybe 10, can I have an iPad?" As a very active, passionate and spontaneous 4 1/2 year old boy I was a little taken back by how thoughtfully and respectfully he asked the question. My reply was "Yes. You will probably will need an iPad for school when you're 10." And that was the end of the conversation.

In that rare moment of silence one has with 3 children under five, my childhood flashed before my eyes, prompting the question "What educational values of toys has technology replaced?" What joys of climbing trees or playing with wooden toys has been traded for the swipe of an oleophobic glass screen.

As a parent of a soon to be five year old, a two year old and a 2month hold, my wife and I have been vigilant to minimize "screen time" for our kids. But as the years fly by the screen time has slowly crept up from 20mins a week to once or twice, or thrice on the weekends... and those tim…

Child's Play - Why It's Good to Play

When I ask my eldest child what he enjoyed most about his day he inevitably starts his sentence with "Playing with.." To him play is extremely important and he can't wait to do it. Little does he realise that play is also vital to the development of his language skills and gives him real-life situations to apply his new found skills by encouraging problem solving and creative thinking.

At birth babies have roughly 100 billion brain cells which they will carry into their adulthood. In the first three years of life, the baby's five senses will constantly send information to their brain about their relationships, experiences and surroundings. This information will spark an exponential number of connections and result in the baby's brain growing to 90% of an adult size brain. These connections map the pathways between nerve cells and will change as the brain learns new things and experiences the milestones and events of life.

Educators and researchers have found st…

Cosplay - Essential Tips For The Noob Attending Their First Convention

Whenever I see my kids rummage through the green toy box and pull out the Spider-man, Optimus Prime or dinosaur costumes I muse to myself that I should try my hand at cosplay. I've already got the oversized foam Incredible Hulk Hands, I've got black hair, my face looks naturally angry enough. I just need to get lots of green body paint and purple pants. Then I realise my abs are more suited to King Pin than Hulk... there's always someday. For those who have managed to retain their child-like pretend playfulness, here are some sage words from Jedi Master Yoda and experienced cosplayers (featured in L.A. Weekly People Issue ) for noobs making their convention debut:

Fear Is The Path To The Dark Side. Intimidated Be Not. If you search your favourite social media site (particularly Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram) you'll find cosplayers that have taken costumes to an art form. The attention to detail given to costumes, makeup, their pose and persona can overwhelm your ini…

What Is The Difference Between "Retro", "Vintage” and “Classic” Style Clothing?

"That's so retro!", "Love that classic dress!!" or "I just love vintage style clothing!!" Have ever said this only to have that little fashion-ista voice in your head pipe up with "Hey are sure?" Don't worry, we've all done it before. So let's lay it all out and discuss what defines "Retro", "Vintage" and "Classic" clothing.  We'll keep this just between you and me (and that voice in your head).

Many people use the terms "Retro" and "Vintage" interchangeably, so let's tackle these words first. It is important to understand that, like the idea of "fashion" itself, the concepts of Retro and Vintage are fluid. So with every decade new items and garments fall in to and out of these categories.

Women's Retro Sheath Dress from Vintage Style Redux

"Retro" (short for retrospective) refers to any clothing (or item) which is out-dated. In general this is clo…

Cosplay - How to Choose Your Costume: The Art of Choosing your Second Self

Are you the chosen one that has been prophesied about or should we expect another? What is your name? Where do you come from? …ummm is that a cape or your grand-ma-ma's tea towel? Most of this advice is for new cosplayers, but even for the veterans, choosing your costume can be a daunting decision. There is no set way to choose your next outfit but here are some things to help narrow down your next cosplay.
    1. What are you into right now or your all-time favourite series, book, comic, or movie?  For me that's a no brainer… all-time comic slash movie character is Batman. By choosing a character that you know, love and care about the character you are more readily able to switch in and out of it's persona. You will be familiar with their quirks, talents and flaws and most importantly their best lines. Always useful when you have to make a dramatic entrance or exit… hasta la vista BABY!

    2. Do you have what it takes to pull it off?  It is a great advantage to have so…

6 Must-Have 1950s Vintage Style Dresses You Need To Bring Back Glamorous Vintage Fashion

For fashion tragics like me living in a post-modern 21st century is great! Fashion-wise pretty much anything goes. So, if you still have your belted-cardigans and parachute pants, hold onto them, with a slither of luck even they (may) come back in fashion. But you and I know that just because something is popular or trending this doesn't, in '50s parlance,chrome-plateawet-rag. So while fashion trends can change at the speed of social media 'Likes' there will always be a timeless charm to the big, beautiful Rockabilly dresses of the 1950s. Here are my 6 must-have vintage style dresses inspired by the 1950s which will blast you back to 'Fat City' and a time that was far out. 1 - The iconic silhouette of the 1950's was theA-Line.Cinched waists, full dresses to capture the classic, hourglass figure. Add a pair of matching gloves and you werecookin’!
Classic cocktail dress from Vintage Style Redux
2 - The iconic style was theappliqué.This was a design or image sewn on…