These picture books can be shared from birth onwards.

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Photo by Picsea on Unsplash

New baby? So awesome! Your little one getting into preschool soon? Amazing how they grow!

It’s never too soon to start thinking about fostering a love of reading and books in your child. From birth onwards, books should be an important part of your child’s life, and I’m not talking about ebooks. They’ll have their place later on down the track. But printed books with pages, words and pictures is what your baby, toddler and child needs. It teaches them physical interaction skills as well as pre-reading skills, and the benefits are enormous. …

Using Zoom, Teams, Skype or WebEx, our presentations have changed — and you need to catch up.

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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

The Good Old Days

G’day, fellow professionals in the presenting, speaking, and training worlds!

How’s COVID treating your business?

If you’re like me, your days of face to face presentations have morphed into online presentations. Your seminars have become webinars. Your highly interactive training sessions have turned into online training, with one person speaks, many people listen, shaky connections, forgotten mute buttons, and all.

Back in the day, if we wanted to get to know our students or audience, we chatted them up in the meeting room before or after the presentation. We got to know some of their stories so that we could look at them or refer to them at key moments during our presentation. When they started to fall asleep (did that ever happen to you??), we got them up, moving, talking, interacting, getting hands-on. Our seminars could last the whole day — even the whole week! …

Where’s the manual for these new words? What the hell do they MEAN??

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Photo by Michelle Tresemer on Unsplash

What’s the story? Who invents these words in the first place? And who the hell decides what they mean?

You know the words I’m talking about. Words like leverage. Remember that one? Boy, did that one appear out of nowhere and take up an overly-large portion of the couch. I was working in the corporate world back then, and suddenly people were leveraging all over the place.

I was left wondering who’d been spiking the coffee.

Why did everyone else seem to know what the heck this word meant? …

Customize with pulses and eggs for a protein-rich veggie feast!

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Photo by author

Go veg!

We’re all trying to eat a bit less meat these days. Some of us are going for broke — vegetarian or vegan — and in my view, it’s a fabulous development. Why? Because, when I was growing up, there was no such thing as a vegetarian dish. My brother still feels weak if he’s not presented with a large lump of cooked animal, regardless of what else is on the plate.

When I first heard about vegetarians as a teenager some 25 years ago, I thought to myself, how can they stand it? At the time, all I could picture was this plate of food: meat, maybe sausages or chops, with two or three boiled vegetables and potatoes. …

The case for humanities in a STEM-focused world

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Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

A new policy

In Australia, the government is about to more than double the cost to students for humanities subjects at university, while slashing fees for certain, so-called job-ready subjects, mostly in the sciences.

This despite the fact that almost all the government ministers who planned this policy change majored in humanities during their (long-ago) university years.

Also despite the fact that employers, business groups, universities and members of the arts and journalism communities have spoken eloquently and passionately about the vital importance of the skills that humanities subjects teach.

Skills like critical thinking and analysis, communication and debate, and building persuasive arguments.

SO Healthy and filling, a family favorite.

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Photo by author

I came up with this recipe several years ago when my sister and I first decided to wean ourselves off added sugars. This meant no more jars or cans of pre-made sauces to throw on our pastas and casseroles.

My sister doesn’t cook. So naturally, it was me who did the heavy lifting. Who am I kidding, I love experimenting with food!

One of our favorite meals was chicken, vegetables in a pre-made creamy sauce. We would have it with pasta or often just on its own. …

Delicious, super-healthy and everyone loves them.

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Photo by the author

Mm, nachos. I have to say, of all the many and varied cuisines I love to try out at home, Mexican is probably my number one comfort food choice. There’s something about the warm, but not too painful spices (okay, I know Mexican can be super-spicy, but not the way I do it!), the colorful veggies and the delicious blend of corn and cheese that really makes me feel at home.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite nacho sauce, which you can use on top of corn chips or in the filling of burritos or tacos. It’s pretty versatile and I’ll be honest: sometimes I just use some good old Old El Paso jar sauce instead of making my own salsa. It saves time! And it still gets a super veggie hit! …

The holy origins of common expressions

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Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

Today, we’re investigating the origins of two very common, throwaway phrases that I know you use all the time. But where do they come from? As so often in English, religion is involved.

Bless you


Bless you!

Why do we say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes?

It’s not a universal thing to do. If you go to China or Japan, they’ll look at you oddly if you bless them for sneezing.

But in Western societies, ‘bless you’ or something related is our automatic reaction. Some of us, being busy people with no time to spare, even reduce it down to just ‘bless’. …

…if you won the lottery? Money! Money… Money?

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Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Imagine you won the lottery. And not just enough to make back the cost of the ticket. I’m talking jackpot, division one, seriously big money, millions and millions.

All yours.

What would you do?

Buy things? Give to the poor? Fund an arts or science program? Buy things?

There’s a saying. ‘Money won’t buy you happiness.’ Do you believe it? I used to believe it. But nowadays I’m not so sure.

Money = Bad?

Is the love of money the root of all evil, as the Bible tells us? There is no question that people with money tend to be wasters. We waste objects and primary resources. We throw away things which could be recycled or repurposed. We get told by media and advertising to want more, more, more. As far as businesses are concerned, happiness grows in direct proportion to how many things you acquire, and companies are excellent at persuading us to buy into their philosophy. …

Sure. But what happens when editing is the hardest part?

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Photo by Richard Dykes on Unsplash

“Just get it down on paper. Get to the end. You can always go back and edit it later. But you’ll never be published if you don’t finish the book.”

Yes, we’ve all heard that old chestnut. And don’t get me wrong: it’s true — you DO have to finish the book/article/novella/whatever if you want to have a hope of it being read.

No, it’s more the second part of the advice that I take issue with. The throw-away line about how you can ‘always edit it later’.

Sounds easy, right? The hard work is done by then, is the implication. …


Emily Morgan

Top Writer in Parenting, Food and Cooking. Lover of language, history, travel, writing and life! Visit @EmilyMMorganMe or

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