To Be Human Is To Be Musical- We Ponder With Allison Davies

words by Kate O’Donnell 

 

This month we pondered with the wonderful Allison Davies. 

 

Safe to say this interview left the heart full and the mind is buzzing with new information and some life-changing insights.

 

Allison Davies has this extraordinary ability to draw on her extensive knowledge of music, the brain and all of its mechanics, and present insights in such a way, that even the really big revelations of brains and behaviour is easy to digest and becomes common sense!

 

Professionally, Alli is known by many as a registered music therapist, her work with understanding brains and behaviours, neurodiversity, inclusion and her creation of the Brain Care Cafe. 

Growing up listening to Blues albums and Rock and Roll, Alli’s first words were out of a Fats Domino song. 

 

Music has always impacted her life, but it wasn’t until she was a neurologic music therapist that she truly understood the relationship between music and the brain.

 

It turns out, the information our brain gets from music, and the stimulation is far greater than you probably imagined. Relaxation music is not what you thought, and fast-paced music blaring on your road trip could encourage a lead foot and speedy driving—not joking! The mind boggles.

photo credit: ponderings magazine

So what is the essential aspect people NEED to understand about music and helping the brain?

 

According to Allison, it is critical to reclaim our musicality and to understand that to be human is to be musical. 

 

“Our brain is a musical organ.

We are all musical.

We are all driven by rhythm. 

All experience melody.

We all have voice and vibration.

 

We need to understand this. To feel and believe that we can use music in our homes, in our classrooms, and by ourselves strategically and therapeutically and in ways that will help us and support us.

 

Too often, we are led to believe that we aren’t musical. When it comes to music, there is no right or wrong. You can’t sing out of tune unless you’re singing someone else’s song. YES! Shower closet rock singers unite! There is hope for us all!”

photo credit: ponderings magazine

Now more than ever, anxiety is peaking, mental health, exhaustion, and dysregulation is on the rise in epic proportions. The struggle is real. 

Why?

 

“Our brains were not designed for a fast-paced, expectation dense, highly structured, modern, Western, rushed world. No humans, no brains have had this kind of environment in the last 100 years.”

 

Alli’s expert advice: We need to pull back. If we use ISO and the current COVID situation as an example.- although it’s been a stressful and angsty time, with a lot of survival mode for a lot of people, simultaneously- our brain has had a break. We’ve been rendered choiceless and forced to pull back. Pulling back from information, back from sensory overload, back from too much socialising- this is the stuff our brain health depends on.

There are a lot of things we could be doing more of for our brain to function at it’s best. 

 

Allison very successfully runs the Brain Care Cafe. More than a membership, the cafe is a library of brain care strategies and a community committed to making progress on their own brain care.

 

Allison defines brain care as “more of what helps the brain run and less of what shuts it down.”

 

In our daily lives, there are a lot of things we could be doing more of for our brain to function at its best. The Brain Care Cafe focuses on 12 pillar specifics that are really important for our brain. Each week Alli delivers a brain care strategy. There is an activity that will help the brain to regulate and function at its full potential. This Cafe is a library of brain care strategies. These are mostly musical based and all things we can be doing in our daily life, everyday anxiety management. 

 

photo credit: ponderings magazine
But it’s not just music therapy and a string of other titles and boxes that Allison fits into. Connection is key. From her picturesque sanctuary in Tasmania, Alli shares her thoughts and processes regularly on Instagram and Facebook. The landscape is intoxicating. Nestled amongst 40mt high gumtrees, you will find her bush bath. Complete with flowers, platter and a cheeky glass of wine this is the bath Mother’s Day dreams are made of! (swoon). When Ali shares a post, it feels like you are listening to a friend- and creates this beautiful space where you find yourself asking similar questions and parallel pondering!

It was no surprise when we asked our Ponderings question Treehouse or Cubby House that Alli chose Treehouse. Hands down.

https://www.instagram.com/allisondavies.com.au/
https://www.allisondavies.com.au/instagram/

Tasmania – #thebarn TAS

 

Quirk factor: an award-winning converted barn

Just minutes away from cultural and culinary attractions in the CBD, you will feel like you are spending a night on a luxury farm. The young super hosts that own the property are also the architects behind the renovation with 1820s sandstone detailing kept intact.

With all the essentials and basic necessities for cooking, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of the home.

Marie stayed pre-COVID-19 in March 2020 and commented on the personal nature of the space as well as the extra special finishing touches

“Beautiful property tucked away in the middle of the city. Set up to feel like our own personal, special space straight away, a bottle of champagne on arrival!”

#thebarn has received 463 reviews and a 4.91 rating.

So there is a clear common theme within our collection! We hope you and your so enjoy our list of the quirkiest and most likely the most unique Airbnb stays around Australia and would love to hear if you get to try any for yourself. Leave a reply below.

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Australia’s Top Food Recipe Bloggers

Written by Renae Failla

With a global pandemic spreading more than a little chaos across the globe, many Australians now have a newfound passion for cooking and baking following the strictly imposed 4 reasons to leave the house.

There is no reason to stick with boring recipes with this round-up of Australia’s Top Food Recipes Bloggers hailing from each state around the country. Sweets, breakfast, snacks and meals – they hit all the bases and live, breathe and think food every day of their lives.

VIC – Lisa Eats World

 

Having travelled the world, Lisa now calls Melbourne home. With roots spread from South Australia to Melbourne to London and then back to Melbourne again – it’s the Melbournian coffee and beaches that brought her back. Lisa’s blog is a mixture of her wandering reviews, recipes, travel and lifestyle. Lisa has been described as avid food lover since birth from her mum and her go-to’s are  “pretty sweet things”, brownies and cupcakes – which I have to say I am in agreeance on this one. This food blogger left her full-time role in marketing to pursue her creative passion and so came the blog Lisa Eats World.

 

Blog: https://lisaeatsworld.com/

Recipe: https://lisaeatsworld.com/2019/11/rosewater-and-pistachio-vanilla-buttercake/

NSW – Not Quite Nigella

 

Lorraine Elliot’s blog was born after her book ‘Not Quite Nigella’ was published by Penguin Books. Now the name of her blog, Not Quite Nigella features and range of multicultural recipes that are influenced by her home in Sydney. Lorraine has particularly taken a liking to Japanese, Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan food inspired by the places she travels, however, whether it be fine dining or street food – she has no preference!

 

Blog: https://www.notquitenigella.com/

 Recipe: https://www.notquitenigella.com/2020/07/08/mulligatawny-soup/

NT – Darwin Natropathics

 

Why naturopathy you may ask? Bonnie and Kate are the two talented ladies behind Darwin Natropathics – an all-encompassing hub for Naturopathic Services, Recipes and Webinars. They believe that “Naturopathy recognizes the important role that lifestyle, environment, nutrition and personal history plays in the health of all people,” which stresses the importance of a natural and holistic healing approach. Both ladies are qualified Naturopaths, but Bonnie is also a qualified pilates instructor while Kate has experience in fitness and weight loss training. Recipes featured on their page include breakfast, mains, drinks and more.

 

Blog: https://www.darwinnaturopathics.com/

Recipe: https://www.darwinnaturopathics.com/copy-of-acia-bowl

TAS –  Olive’s Kitchen

 

Olive’s Kitchen derived its name from Olive’s Cottage – a beautiful property which is available to rent in Tasmania. The main writer of the food blog is Robin, who discovered his love of food and cooking from watching his parents cook when he was younger. His parents had a vegetable garden on their property and were very big on fresh produce. Robin and his family will visit the cottage in Tasmania numerous times each year and host barbeques with around other couples where each is invited to bring a dish.

 

Blog: http://cicadabay.com/oliveskitchen

Recipe:

http://cicadabay.com/oliveskitchen/eggplant-baked-with-passata-pesto-served-with-lemon-flavoured-pasta/

 

WA – Sugar Salt Magic

Self-taught cook Marie is the lady behind the blog Sugar Salt Magic. Her favourite things to bake are sweets and she thrives on baking foods from scratch, however, when it comes to a savoury meal – comfort food that is easily shareable is her specialty. Marie takes a serious interest in knowing exactly what ingredients are going into the foods she is preparing for her friends and family. The ‘share meals’ on Sugar Salt Magic are ideal for entertaining.

Blog:https://www.sugarsaltmagic.com/

Recipe: https://www.sugarsaltmagic.com/smores-mug-cake-recipe/

SA – It’s Not Complicated

 

Alex is the creative mind behind It’s Not Complicated. She left her jobs in the real estate and the airline industry to become a full-time blogger and now spends her days writing about food and growing her collection of cookbooks! Family and friends had always asked Alex how she made the food she set on the table, she always found herself saying ‘It’s Not Complicated,’ so it was a no brainer that this would be the name of her little corner of the internet filled with her passion for food. Alex partook in cooking classes with her mum as a child and this tradition has continued into adulthood. The recipes Alex features not only are easy to make but also utilise foods which you will find at your local supermarket and don’t need to go to multiple stops for.

 

Blog: https://itsnotcomplicatedrecipes.com/

Recipe:https://itsnotcomplicatedrecipes.com/gluten-free-banana-blondies/

 

QLD – Create Bake Make

 

Lauren is the gal behind Create Bake Make and she is ‘Baking [her] way through motherhood’. Starting the blog whilst looking after her newborn and 16 month old, Lauren’s passion came to life, featuring recipes that can use the assistance of the little ones. Her recipes include easy dinners, slices, lunchbox ideas and an array of Thermomix recipes.

 

Blog: www.createbakemake.com

Recipe: https://createbakemake.com/party-food-homemade-sausage-rolls/.

 

Now I don’t know about you but I will be spending some time on my self-improvement to master these recipes for my next Dinner Party!

 

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The Great Australian Pottery Revival

An ancient necessity that has evolved into a Mastercraft; the art of pottery is a beautiful process and has recently enjoyed a revival in popularity. Ponderers welcome to some of our favourite Potters from around Australia. 

 

Victoria – Bendigo Pottery

 

Bendigo Pottery is considered Australia’s oldest working pottery, established in 1858 this particular pottery so unique! Why? The pottery still retains a collection of ceramic wood-fired kilns which are some of the only ones left in the world. The kilns are no longer in use but remain in a museum for customers to view. Techniques that are utilised in this pottery are hand throwing, slip casting, jolleying and pressing. You can test out your wheel throwing skills in a half-hour lesson at $18 per person.

 

www.bendigopottery.com.au

New South Wales – Pilliga Pottery

 

Pilliga Pottery in New South Wales is family-owned pottery, originating over 30 years ago. Johannes, the son of the original founders, is now the master potter.

Utilising local clays, Pilliga Pottery art can be recognised with designs such as the signature Blue Wren and Australian native flowers engraved on their pieces. Their pottery workshops start at $25 per person where you can take home your very own treasure dish.

www.barkalafarmstay.com.au/pottery/pilliga-pottery-studio/

Queensland – Colour my pot

 

This little pottery is a step ahead offering classes guaranteed to spark creativity with pieces ready to be picked, painted, fired, glazed and collected by you.

Pieces to paint start at $6 a piece with an additional $10 studio fee otherwise pottery classes are available for $85 per person for a 2.5 hour class. Especially handy during the COVID-19 restrictions are their take-home clay packs which can be purchased in-store for anyone who lives in Cleveland or delivered for an additional $5 within 40km of Cleaveland.

www.colourmypot.com

South Australia – Studio Potters

With a lengthy history, The ‘South Australian Studio Potters Club’ as it was formerly known, was established in 1954.

Now known as Studio Potters SA, the studio encourages the social and teaching aspect of pottery to help members advance and achieve their goals in all types of pottery.

Members pay for their usage of the club, and there is also a sales/exhibition area which faces onto Fourth Avenue. The store exhibits work by the artists from the club including platters, plates, mugs, bowls and pots.

The classes/workshops available here are for the more serious potters. Pricing and availability can be found upon enquiry.

 

www.studiopotters.com.au

 

 

Western Australia – Winterwares

 

Winterwares derived its name from the creative founder’s mother’s maiden name ‘Winter’, her love for the season and the notion that “meals are considered more in winter”. 

Founder Simone Habholz left her fast-paced day job, attempted a pottery class and fell in love with art where she later developed her own range. Winterwares focus on monochromatic designs and employ the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi to create a luxury range of plates, bowls, mugs and vases. 

Simone invites customers to ‘Give [themselves] permission to slow down” in her creative workshops with private 1.5-hour workshops starting at $139 to create your own mug. At home pottery kits are also on offer, starting at $95.

www.winterwares.com.au

Tasmania – Small Fires Studio

Small Fires Studio specialises in handmade ceramics for the table, kitchen and Botanics including bowls, espresso cups, mugs, jugs and teapots. Each piece is handcrafted with different washes, glazes and textures and stamped on the bottom with their signature ‘Small Fires Studio’ mark.

Muddle Ceramics Workshops are the linked workshops for the studio, offering adults and kids multiple workshops, plus special one-off play days that are only $50 each.

 

www.smallfiresstudio.com.au

Northern Territory – Tactile Arts

 

Tactile Arts is a studio that focuses on supporting local emerging artists and creatives through textile and print, ceramics and glass and jewellery classes. Established in 1973, it is considered Darwin’s longest-running arts organisation. 

The organisation holds a yearly schedule of events which includes exhibitions, workshops and a retail store at Parliament House. Workshops here include throwing on the wheel and creating with clay. If you are a more experienced potter, you can choose to hire the studio starting from $15 for a 4-hour slot.

www.tactilearts.org.au

For many of you living around Australia, now may be the perfect time to try your hand at a beginner pottery workshop to see what all the fuss is about and discover your inner ‘Molly’ (Demi Moore from Ghost) with some wheel throwing, however, for those of us remaining in Stage 3 Lockdowns in metro Melbourne for the next six weeks, a take-home kit might be a good place to start!

Written by Guest Ponderer

Renae Failla

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The Quirkiest Places For Couples to Stay around Australia Post Iso

Written by Renae Failla 

Scrolling through the endless pages on Airbnb can be tiresome, especially if you are looking for a unique stay! 

We have done the hard work for you with our round-up of key properties from each state that have that WOW factor guaranteed to impress your bae. From converted churches, barns and coastal getaways – we have them all and what’s better is most are affordable and have amazing guest ratings.

 

Victoria – The Fitzroy Converted Church House

Quirk factor: Staying in an old church

Located under a minute away from Smith Street, this house is an experience in itself. With one bedroom, a walk-in wardrobe and a large kitchen it has all the little comforts you need for a weekend or night away from reality.

Staying in what was once a place of worship, it’s interesting to note that the owners of the house are not religious. With 4.98 stars and 45 reviews, guests have thoroughly enjoyed their stay with Dayani commenting

“The converted church was an unbelievable experience. As a previous neighbour of this beautiful building, I had always wandered past marvelling at its beauty.”

New South Wales – The Enchanted Cave

Quirk factor: Staying in a clifftop cave built-in natural stone

What makes this Airbnb super unique is the fact that it is the only cave available for couples to stay in in the blue mountains.

Overlooking the world heritage area national park, it’s in the perfect position for bushwalks and river swims.

Entering through a rounded wooden door you will be reminded of The Lord of The Rings Hobbiton set. The Enchanted Cave has 4.89 stars with previous guests leaving comments like

“What an amazing place! The entrance is the stuff of fairytales…”

South Australia – Julie Fay Paddleboat

Quirk factor: Spend the night on your very own paddle boat

All aboard the PS Julie Fay vintage steam paddleboat. This Muthro paddleboat is considered the perfect honeymoon destination for many and is nestled on its own private landing so you don’t need to find the perfect spot to stop.

The hosts have complimentary kayaks ready to go for an early morning row, even in the thick of winter so you don’t need to venture far for an adventure!

With 4.99 stars and 82 reviews, guests have fallen in love with the scenic position of this houseboat with reviews like Marta’s from November last year

“A Paradise on the Murray! We absolutely LOVED staying on the PS Julie Fay. Ruth and Jim are fantastic hosts and we would recommend to anyone to stay on the river and have a break from the city.”

 

Western Australia – Balinese Princess Summer House

Quirk factor: Live like a princess 

Now you might want to bring your friends along for this one and make it a couples stay-cation with 4 large bedrooms and a 28-metre swimming pool down near Margaret River.

With the gradual easing of restrictions, this princess mansion could be the ideal celebration spot for birthdays and weddings accommodating up to 100 people.

Guests who have stayed here before appreciate the location with a total of 4.66 stars,

“Carl was a great host, very helpful & the accommodation is amazing! Already recommended highly to friends to stay down there, what a location.”

 

Queensland – Iglu by the sea

Quirk factor: It’s an igloo by the sea. 

Located in Trinity Beach, this property is just 15 minutes away from Cairns Airport. For just $93 a night and with 4 beds, it’s a no brainer!

You will have access to a swimming pool, the beach and professionally clean linen. Out of all 239 reviews, this Airbnb has gained 4.92 stars and the host Paulina is a super host.

Sophia stayed in one of the igloos December last year and commented:

“The Iglu by the sea was our dream accommodation located in an idyllic beach town that is the perfect distance between both Cairns and Port Douglas”.

Tasmania – #thebarn TAS

 

Quirk factor: an award-winning converted barn

Just minutes away from cultural and culinary attractions in the CBD, you will feel like you are spending a night on a luxury farm. The young super hosts that own the property are also the architects behind the renovation with 1820s sandstone detailing kept intact.

With all the essentials and basic necessities for cooking, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of the home.

Marie stayed pre-COVID-19 in March 2020 and commented on the personal nature of the space as well as the extra special finishing touches

“Beautiful property tucked away in the middle of the city. Set up to feel like our own personal, special space straight away, a bottle of champagne on arrival!”

#thebarn has received 463 reviews and a 4.91 rating.

So there is a clear common theme within our collection! We hope you and your so enjoy our list of the quirkiest and most likely the most unique Airbnb stays around Australia and would love to hear if you get to try any for yourself. Leave a reply below.

Renae Failla

Wordsmith

Renae Lauren’s writing flair and experience reads like an eclectic menu of finesse. The Marketing Coordinator and serial blogger has communications and media prowess with a love for fashion, travel and Italian fine food. 

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