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Victorian Snow Reporting: Radio Script ( 15 seconds)

Some isolated snow showers and strong winds once again on the mountains today however winds are forecast to moderate with up 20cm of fresh snow forecast over the next few days. I’m reporting from Mt Baw Baw this afternoon where there’s a good snow cover for downhill and XC. 5 lifts ran with the toboggan run open.

Mt Buller you’ll find a very good to excellent cover throughout the resorts with 19 lifts turning.

While over at Falls Creek you’ll find very good to excellent skiing and board riding throughout with 55km of groomed XC trails.

Hotham 12 lifts are expected once again tomorrow with very good to excellent coverage for downhill and XC possible thru to Dinner Plain where their lift is running.

Stirling, Buffalo and St Gwinear all have some good XC, best on the upper elevations with toboggan runs open.

and Lake Mountain should open their trails again tomorrow after storm damage with some good XC on a soft snow cover for with some great snowplay and toboganning in the village.

Written by Operation KK, 2013 for July Radio Snow Report cross.

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Competition Teaser: Seeking Australian Barista’s for a London Coffee Chain!

UK Café, Brickwood Coffee & Bread are seeking talented Barista’s from Australia!

Do you want to work like an Australian, live like a Londerner?

Jayke Mangion, the Australian born owner and founder of the Brickwood Coffee & Bread Café phenomenon has become a pioneer in third-wave of coffee cafes in London, with a flare of Melbourne-style café culture mixed in.

The three locations, Clapham Common, Balham & Tooting are all a popular spots brimming with customers, and perpetually packed in the mornings and weekends. You will learn why after you’ve sipped their specially blended aromatic coffee.

Brickwood Café & Coffee is what you’d expect from any Australian café, except – they are based in London. In 2017, the café is launching not only more cafes but to reflect the growth, they are aiming to encourage Australian Barista’s apply to win a job at one of the cafes in 2017.

Australia, and namely Melbourne has caught the interest across the globe with their coffee culture. Mangion’s vision for the Brickwood cafes was to develop a café culture in London that drew on the Australia and New Zealand style cafés. And the staff employed is an integral component of this development.

“The UK seems to have developed a strong the American chain mentality – fast food and a cookie cutter, number system approach to cafes. Having grown up in Melbourne, I understand the importance of developing cafes that reflect the local community and more bespoke, personable, full-service offering. Our café style is aimed at creating a community – where there is a chilled atmosphere, they can eat well and enjoy the perfectly articulated coffee”

Mangion, moved to the UK in 2009. He opened the first Brickwood cafe in Clapham Common  – a buzzing young up and coming area. In past 4 years, this hospitality king has not only launched not 2 more Brickwood cafes, but has launched a wine bar WC Wine & Charcuterie & Joe Public Pizzeria in Clapham and Powder Keg Diplomacy Restaurant & Bar in Battersea. All have a touch of Australian entrepreneurship that has become synonymous with Jayke’s businesses.

A trip to Brickwood Coffee & Bread, will satisfy the coffee snob in you The vision behind Mangion’s cafes was to offer an unpretentious rustic-looking neighbourhood-style café to ensure affordably priced and delicious Australian-inspired breakfasts & lunch items. The café style is not to be mistaken when you see Anzac biscuits, Lamingtons and Tim Tams in the cafes: this is much more than another Aussie cliché.  The all day menu comprises of the smashed avocado, corn fritters and a must-have smashed avocado and poached egg. The famous banana bread is also something not to be missed. Try for a seat outside on a nice day. The beans are supplied by Caravan Roasters and remain the star of the show.

The Work Like an Australian, work like a Londoner campaign promises one lucky winner who impresses the judges with their Barista skills – yet Mangion hopes that the campaign will bring to light the opportunities for Australians to work in the UK to further develop the Australian-style café culture in London.

Mangion’s idea of offering local Australian Barista’s the chance to submit their skills to win not only a paid job, but also free accommodation & airfares to the lucky winner. “We are looking for the obvious great Barista skills, but most importantly, we are seeking personalities! The whole engaging experience that is formed in many cafes around Australia is not widely mirrored in the UK, and we want to remain at the forefront of that changing culture in the UK.

The cafes that have been opened by Australian’s and New Zealanders are fast getting reputations in London, which Mangion knows is set to grow in popularity. “As commuting around London becomes more expensive and population grows, we see an emergence of local communities wanting experiences in their own locality. To nurture that, we feel that attracting Australian’s who are eligible to work in the UK, is a great way to showcase the culture behind good coffee and cafes in the UK”.

Written by Operation KK, 2016.  Competition being launched in 2017.

Press Release: Neerim South Regional Arts Victoria Grant

Big Things Happen in Small Towns

Big things can happen in little towns. The story of Neerim South. The Monash Freeway (M1) is the link between Gippsland & Melbourne. Turning off the M1 at Warragul you enter a countryside that is unaffected by the bustling growth corridor, 19 km from the highway you’ll find the little known township of Neerim South with a population of just 600 residents. The countryside is speckled with quaint country cottages & lush green rolling hillsthat immediately give you a sense of peace and tranquillity. But then there’s something you may not expect to come across in a rural area. Just a month ago the entrance to Neerim South was one you might have missed with just a small wooden welcome sign and a view of the Tarago Valley. Today the view is framed with the very blue Neerim Bower Small Town Transformation sculpture – soaring 7 storeys high it provides a gateway to the township, Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort and the Great Dividing Range beyond. The significance of this sculpture is unsurpassed, due to the dedication of a group of residents who grasped an opportunity to transform Neerim South using Art.

Neerim South was a through-town with passers-by rarely stopping except to grab a few rations and petrol on their way. What was then, is now a thing of the past. TheNeerim District Progress Association Inc. (NDPA) applied for a $350,000 Small Town Transformations grant administered for the Victorian Government by Regional Arts Victoria and jumped at the opportunity to leverage off the local artists creative talent and extensive local construction expertise. Neerim South was one of five successful small towns to receive the grant in May 2013.

The past 16 months has seen this town transformed and confidently looking to the future. Some of the grant funding was used to create a substantial gateway at the southern entrance to the township symbolising the bower of the indigenous Satin Bower Bird. Incorporating the beautiful and unique natural aspects of the area and creating relevance of this to art is no mean feat, designed by local artists Christine Cochran, Keith Graham and Phil Henshall and constructed using local skills in local businesses. The past year has seen local artists funded to teach in local schools and subsidised Art workshops funding local artists to tutor over 80 people in various arts and crafts. The local community has provided incredible support. The Neerim District Community Bank sponsored the Neerim District Community Bank Art Prize – Neerim Bower Acquisition, that will see 20 sculptures displayed throughout the town from the 18th October to the 9th November and may purchase $10,000 worth of sculpture to be installed in the township. The NDPA has in 16 months, turned the $350,000 grant into over $650,000 of benefit to the local economy and community. This grant has not been the only achievement of the NDPA. The last 8 years has seen them work to obtain $850,000 for the (now completed) Neerim South Wetlands that are already showing social and health benefits and will drought proof local sports fields. So this past year has seen the NDPA gain over $1.5 Million in funding that has provided social & economic benefit to the district. The winners not only being local businesses and residents, but visitors who can now enjoy an interesting and rewarding break in this thriving district.

October is the time to visit to Neerim South. October marks the launch of the many hours of dedicated work of artists and residents, with the inaugural Neerim Arts Festival being held on Sunday 26th October as part of the Neerim Bower: Inspired by Birds Small Town Transformation launch event . A sculpture exhibition on the theme ‘Inspired by Birds’ will be on display within the township from October 18 – November 9. The sculptures are for sale and one or more pieces will be acquired to develop a collection of public art, for permanent installation in the township. The Serigraph Gallery will have an exhibition of works from abstract to the more traditional – local artists have created captivating interpretations of the ‘Inspired by Birds’ theme which will be on view at the gallery throughout the month of October. Local garden scheme, Gardivalia, is held on the weekends between the 5th & 25th of October and features open gardens, garden tours, workshops &demonstrations. The delicious array of local produce will also be showcased – with galleries,restaurants and wineriesto delight you with their fare. Visit Neerim South for the weekend but be sure to make it to the Neerim Bower Arts Festival – with art displays, food, wine, and music held on the 26th October, 2013 it’s sure to be a memorable trip.

Regional Arts Victoria presents Small Town Transformations on behalf of the Victorian Government. For details visit http://www.neerimbower.com.au

Written by Operation KK, published by  Regional Arts Victoria, 2013

Artist/ Designer Blogs: “Me too” furniture is so yesterday, go original & creative!

Functional furniture does not have a  “me too” approach.  The trend has been borne out of a need for individuality, clients are seeking bringing a bit more personality & lifestyle into homes & workplaces.

The artists at Zest are in fact designers, they have the knowledge and expertise to create which gives you an unparalleled opportunity to create bespoke items and collections. Their work embodies interesting themes and forms, while serving their functions masterfully.   Whether or not you are looking at  light, bright and playful, gothic, historic, or just plain quirky, it’s all about your individual taste and requirement.
Perhaps you want to add a difference to your flooring – maybe a 3D or mural application is the difference you’re looking for?

Creating furniture is an investment,  it holds far greater value as a piece than a mass produced piece – it will embody your home or business, to reflect exactly your personality, decor and taste.

Written by operation KK for Zest Events International, 2015. http://www.zestevents.com.au/blogs

Fitness Apparel Blog: Dear Gym Fashion Designers

Dear Gym Fashion designers,

As you know, I have designed my own range of gym wear. I saw a hole in the market. No one provided me with a solution to my skin rashes post workout, or my boobs being schmushed into a bra. Have you all got a manual that is still in draft format?

You may have had years of experience, but these are a few things I’ve learnt along the way, and no, I have not consulted any manual.

  1. I haven’t foregone fashion for being practical. I made sure that I didn‘t have to call in help and get my pants extracted from my butt after a session.
  2. White pants – NO! Just no! Dark colors to hide the sweat are the way to go (sweat always gathers in the crevices of our bodies – you know what I mean!). If you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s not by giving women outfits that show everything!
  3. Sports Bras – why, why, why do you design them so we have to contort our body post workout to get the damn things off? Why do you think that is normal?
  4. Use fit women, not fit models to measure up sizes. Fit women often have larger calves, larger arms (and this helps those who want to shed some kilos too)
  5. Boobs – respect is the key. Boobies also come in all shapes and sizes (and vary over the month), so the ‘ one size’ fits all simply does not work. Use bra technology and make it easy to get into. Front-fastening bra – get it?
  6. Design the clothes so they are actually comfortable to work out in. Don’t design tops that move during a workout – no one likes a surprise tummy pop through the top while lifting, stretching and bending. Longer tops are the way to go.
  7. Inspire women – clothing does that. They want to be a better version of themselves, not to be someone else entirely. Keep that in mind when designing.
  8. Flatter us. Don’t let body parts pop out or be unwittingly enhanced. Use fabrics that complement a workout, so it’s not a chore.

What I want is what most women want. We want to flaunt our best assets, while feeling a surprise pop tucked in to make sure we look AND feel great. I guess that’s why StaeFit is leading the way – as it’s designed by a woman, FOR women.

Written by Operation KK, Published for StaeFit, London, 2016 

Publicity: A breakup letter to Sports Bras

Dear Sports-bras,

I have appreciated all of your support while I exercise, but sometimes you can be a real (literal) pain. And I think I talk on behalf of all women out there. For women of all shapes and cup sizes and body types trying to get some exercise in; YOU, sports bra, your struggle is too real.

I’ve always had the constant battle between controlling the bounce and making sports bras comfortable and not having to deal with irritating skin rash post my workout.

Maybe call me un-traditional. Traditional sports-bras, I have to be honest with you – you seem to squash the breasts tightly against the body, and that makes it hard to breathe, let alone makes one feel restricted. Plus, you add discomfort to discomfort and also lead to moisture trapping under the bra, hence against the boobies, which cause a lot of women irritating rashes.

Quoting some research I’ve read, that breast discomfort is a leading reason women stop participating in sports. How is that helping women? I am an advocate of just Pressing Playing and Moving – that’s all one’s got to do to get up and start feeling great, but it also helps that the gear we wear helps us feel like participating as well!

For years I was looking for something very specific in a sports bra: something that fits comfortably without chafing, provides adequate support, and dries quickly.  And for most ladies, we need to find something that reduces that dreaded ‘ back fat bulge’! For me, exercise was excrutiating, and I exercise everyday, so I had to push through the pain – barrier – the ‘ no pain, no gain’ mantra, is not by any means meant to refer to the sports-bra!

So, Traditional Sports-bra, I decided to take things into my own hands. So yes, this is a break-up. I have felt too constricted for too long, so I decided to design myself out of breast jail and break free from your restrictions and making me feel irritated!

Traditional Sports-bra, I’d like to introduce you to the modern you, I think you deserve an explanation to why I cannot wear you anymore. Meet: StaeFit. I travelled the globe to find exactly what would help me & other women to free ourselves from your “boobie-schmushing” dictatorship.

And here’s how StaeFit, the new model of you has become the better you:

  • The front zip, front-clasp in-built bra, releases your girls from boob prison, feeling supported and safe from the dreaded bounce
  • The fast-fastening bra does not require vigilance when trying to get it over your head.
  • The whole bra thing has been ridiculous – of course we’ve mastered doing the bra up from the back, and over our head, but why not from the front? I say, do it from the front. I say, break tradition!
  • The underwire – it’s a nasty little thing – I think it actually tries to murder you. StaeFit has no underwire, there’s no prodding and poking, just a smooth bit of material that keeps you in the top. This bra top does not need an under-wire, no matter how big your boobies.
  • To reduce the grit and fortitude when trying to remove a sweaty sports bra…we were not all born contortionists.
  • Realising the reality – can’t live with a sports-bra, can’t live without a sports-bra. So let’s get the relationship right – work together, to maintain a harmonious relationship – and everyone benefits and is happy (this is what we all strive for yes?). You see, I’ve killed two birds with one stone here. One top, one purpose. Harmony while working out.

Basically, what I’m saying is- traditional sports bra, this is a break-up, and I am encouraging all women to do the same. We say no more restrictions or squashing our boobies.

Repeat after me – StaeFit, StaeHappy, StaeProtected, StaeHealthy.

And that’s why I did this. We’ll be better off without each other, and I know I’m happier, healthier and my boobies & skin are thanking me.

Written by operation KK, used as Press Release and lifestyle piece in London for the fitness brand, StaeFit, 2016

Health Blog: Healthier Choices when eating out

EATING OUT DOESN’T MEAN LETTING GO OF YOUR HEALTH

You’ll get sick of me talking about routine/ consistency, but it really is the key to keeping a healthy lifestyle. So often, I see people looking after their food intake at home, only to splurge when out for dinner. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a treat, but if you are watching your weight, there are some really easy steps to follow to ensure you enjoy a night out, and don’t blow your calorie intake for the day!

It’s as easy as looking for healthier options on the menu, and watching that portion control!  Many restaurants seem to adopt the ‘ more is more’ approach to filling up the plates, but in reality, it’s forcing you to eat far more than you should!

Here are some dining tips you may find handy…

  • Try to stick to one course – even if everyone else wants to order another course, there is no harm in trying to keep up.  If you want something light, you can ask for a nice refreshing side salad as entrée and look out for some fruit if others are having dessert.

  • Chew your food, take it slowly and savour the tastes – this will ensure you fill up slowly and aren’t tempted to go for another serving of food.  You’ll find yourself feeling fuller the slower you eat. Try putting your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. Not only will you feel full in less time you will also find yourself savouring your food more. You should be enjoying food, not inhaling it

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications. YOU are the customer and have the right to change it up if you need to. So if you want your fish steamed instead of fried or your salad dressing or condiments on the side (which you do), just ask your waiter

  • You don’t have to consume everything that you are served. Restaurant servings can be massive. If there are leftovers on your plate or on the share plates, you don’t have to eat them.

Eating healthy should not be boring, even when dining out, and by choosing the healthier options, you’re body will thank you for it!  

 

Written by operation KK, published on staefit.com, 23rd March, 2016

Celebrity Blog: Stacey Jackson

In My Shoes.

OK, I’m guilty…guilty of loving shoes (yes, I’m such a girlie girl!)  I recently did a clean out of my shoe cupboard and not only was it a cathartic experience but a great trip down memory lane!

My glitz & glitter days of when I went out on my first tour as a pop singer were highlighted in the HUGE heels and sparkly shoes. Some heels were soooo high, I’m not even sure how I ever danced in them – let alone walked! But to get height (as I’m really vertically challenged!), they’ve been my best friends all these years!

From the time I was a little girl (I’m sure Cinderella had something to do with it) – the romance, the sexiness & positive feeling one gets from a shoe is something I get a buzz from. And they are filled with memories! I know I had FABULOUS shoes on when on my first date with my husband (sling back pumps from Aldo) that just added to the most amazing day of my life. (My prince charming  :))

Here is what some of my shoes reminded me of:

The night I did my first gig – my sparkling stiletto heels that made me feel so rock star!

My first Asics– my go-to fitness shoe that felt so good to work out in! (The right gear is part of the recipe to exercising)

My Airplane shoes – Running from gate to gate but I still need to look & feel fab which I where my Hogan sneakers have become my go-to shoes.

My Red Carpet shoes… my favourite Louboutin that of course makes me feel simply faaabulous while smiling for those cameras!

The best part I found was rediscovering all the stuff I already have – it was like going shopping in my own cupboard! There is nothing like a good “Spring clean”, and, of course shoes.

Stae x

Written by Operation KK. Published on staceyjackson.com, 6th June, 2016

Tourism: Oyster Farm Tours

Coffin Bay boasts the freshest Oysters in Australia, the clear, unpolluted waters of the South are unchallenged anywhere in Australia, but overall, Australia is home to amazing seafood, and of course our Oyster.  Here are some tips on ensuring you buy the best every-time!

NUMBER ONE Rule is: When out shopping – always buy your seafood last!

Live Oysters:

  • They should close tightly when tapped
  • Keep it cold during the trip home ( your local seafood market should supply then on ice)
  • Discard any oysters that don’t close; this is an indication that the shellfish are dead.
  • They should have a mild odour, similar to the ocean.
  • Live oysters should be free of cracks

Live Oysters will remain alive for up to seven days in the refrigerator when stored at a constant 5 degrees in a container with the lid slightly open and drain excess liquid daily

Shucked Oysters: 


  • Oysters have a fresh odour when freshly shucked.
  • A clear, slightly milky or grey liquid should surround freshly shucked oysters.

Shucked oysters can last up to  up to five days, but they are better when fresh!

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR OYSTERS:

  • Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to prevent bacterial cross-contamination.
  • After handling raw seafood thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges and your hands with hot soapy water.
  • Always marinate seafood in the refrigerator.
  • Discard marinade; it contains raw juices which may harbour bacteria.
  • When marinade is needed for basting reserve a portion before adding raw seafood.

COOKING OYSTERS:

  • Wash live oysters thoroughly under cold running water prior to cooking.
  • Steamed or grilled: cook until shell opens.
  • Shucked oysters: bread and fry in oil for 3 to 4 minutes at 190 C
  • Shucked oysters: bake for 10 minutes at 220 c

Source: Oyster Farm Tours published 25th March, 2016

Tourism: Oyster Farm Tours

The Art of Shucking Oysters

We may be biased, but who loves the idea of seafood (aka Oysters)  & lovesthe eating of seafood, MUST become a faniciado of Oyster Shucking.

There are three basic approaches to opening oysters and the fastest, until it is mastered, is the most dangerous, offering the greatest chance for a knife stab in the hand.  But never fear, we have some tips to save your hands from punctures.

First things first to understand: An oyster has a mouth like you and me. Go in through the mouth.

Firstly, hold the Oyster in your left hand, insert the knife at the front end – the ”mouth” (the end opposite the hinge)

Our goal is  to get the single adductor muscle that opens and closes the shells. With the hinge end away from the shucker and the oyster held or placed convex side down – which is the way it should be positioned for all opening techniques – that muscle is situated about a third of the way back from the front on the left-hand side.

The trick is to start out with only a little of the blade protruding beyond one’s thumb. This gives the shucker greater control and minimizes the chances of stabbing oneself.

Whatever method one uses to get the knife inside the oyster, one cuts off the muscle flush with one shell or the other, flips the shell that was cut free from the other with the blade of the knife and then slices the muscle from the remaining shell.

The basic oyster knife design is a narrow but rather thick blade tapering in both width and thickness toward a rounded point. For hinge-popping, the bottle cap end of a metal beer can opener is good.

Sound too complex?  That’s why you need to come on a tour and we’ll show you how to perfect the art of Oyster Shucking!

 

Source: Oyster Farm Tours, Published 25th March, 2016