Blogger Recipe Challenge: Rethinking Papaya and Papaw for Every Table

Australian Papaya and Papaw growers were proud sponsors of this year’s Digital Parents Conference. During the conference we announced the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen with red Papaya and yellow Papaw for the chance to win a $250 grocery voucher.

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We’re pleased to announce that the blogger recipe challenge is now open to everyone within the Digital Parents community.

Low in GI, packed with vitamin C and are easy to digest, Papaya and Papaw are great for little tummies.

To encourage parents to introduce this delicious and versatile fruit to their family table, Australian Papaya is inviting bloggers from the Digital Parents community to participate in the recipe challenge.

How to get involved:

1.    Email Kasey Simpson at to register for your starter pack

2.    Be creative in the kitchen and develop a recipe using Papaya or Papaw in an everyday meal that you would share with the whole family

3.    Share your recipe on your blog

The most creative recipe will be selected by industry. Participants have the chance to win a $250 grocery voucher for either Woolworths or Coles.

There are many ways to enjoy Papaya and Papaw. The fruit has a sweet tropical flavour with the texture of a mango, so it’s an ideal ingredient in both savoury and sweet dishes.

Available all year round, red Papaya and yellow Papaw have their first flush in May with a second peak in September and October. As they grow best in warm humid climates, red Papaya and yellow Papaw are predominately grown in Northern Queensland including Innisfail, Mareeba, Proserpine, Yarwun, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast districts, as well as in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Good luck!

Go Global with International Blog Swap Day!


If you’re the type of blogger to get a thrill when you see a new reader has followed your blog (and who isn’t?!) then this is for you.

How do you fancy taking that feeling to the next level and introducing your blog to a whole new audience? An audience on the other side of the world, no less!

We at Digital Parents are excited to have teamed up with Tots100, UK’s most exciting network for Mum and Dad bloggers to create the first ever International Blog Swap Day – a fab opportunity for Digital Parents bloggers to step into the shoes of a UK blogger for a day – and host a UK blogger on your own blog.

It’s all happening on April 28th, but you need to register your interest NOW so we can find you a perfect overseas blog partner.

International Blog Swap Day is a chance to:

  • Get creative. What would you tell people about your life, your blog and your family if they’d never read your blog before?
  • Make new friends. We know one of the best things about blogging is meeting new people – this is a FAB opportunity to make new virtual friends from across the world!
  • Help a UK blogger by introducing them to your readers, on your blog.
  • Find new readers for your own blog!
  • And of course, it’s the perfect way to add loads of new, amazing new blogs to your reading list.


It’s very simple.

To take part in International Blog Swap Day, you just need to complete this simple sign-up form, letting us know a little bit more about your blog. We’ll then work with our friends over in the UK to match you up with a like-minded blogger on the other side of the world. Think of it as Blogging Blind Date, if you will.

Once been introduced to your blogging soul-mate, you’ll need to write a post that they can host over on their site. Your post should showcase the very best of what your blog is about. Perhaps it’s a heart-warming tale of a family day by the beach, maybe you’ve got a delicious child-friendly recipe to share, or a hilarious parenting #fail to share with the world.

The only rule is that it needs to be a brand new post, written especially for the occasion. Your UK blogging buddy will do the same for you and – hey presto! – you’re all set.

Now, what are you waiting for?! Sign up, write and take your blog global!

~ Sally (Tots100) and Brenda (Digital Parents)

DPCON14 – Getting to the heart of it

It’s been over a week since DPCON14. I am slowly recovering from the high of it. It’s hard to come back to reality after spending three glorious days with your most favourite people in blogland.


All good things must come to an end but the memories will remain with me for a very long time.

I think DPCON14 is my favourite conference. I love the fact that there were only 36 of us in that conference room. It was so intimate and everybody had the time to actually talk and really connect with like minded people.

There was no expo, no brands this year. Just us bloggers talking about all things blogging. It was freeing. And for the first time, I felt that this was how I’ve always wanted my conferences to be. I got lost for a little bit. But I think I’ve found my way again.

Thank you so much to each and everyone of you who made this experience for me such a joy.


How to use your blog as a platform for freelance writing

Editor’s note: We will be publishing a series of posts based on the topics discussed by our speakers at the recently held Digital Parents Conference. First up is Megan Blandford from Writing Out Loud. Enjoy!

Bloggers in the Freelancing WorldMy start to the world of freelance writing was slow. Painfully slow. That was for two reasons: firstly, because I didn’t have a plan, and secondly because I was filled with self-doubt. At the recent Digital Parents Conference onboard the Carnival Spirit cruise ship, I was lucky enough to talk with bloggers about using their skills to enter the world of freelance writing – and how to do it faster than I did.

In the act of blogging, writers build up a number of skills. A blog is essentially a steadily growing portfolio and a strong marketing tool, showcasing your talents and the discipline you have for your craft. And while many bloggers are stuck in the mindset of undervaluing themselves, the truth is the ability to create online content that readers relate to is an amazing skill. Having a conversation with online readers is a valuable tool in this age of social sharing and content marketing, and the importance of this skill and the doors it can open shouldn’t be underestimated.

There are opportunities available for bloggers in traditional media, digital publications, in the corporate blogging sphere, and social media community management. I also encourage you to get creative about the opportunities you want to seize or create – your imagination is the only limit.

While many talk about the idea of monetising a blog, freelancing is doing something slightly different: monetising the skills you have as a blogger. Using your blog as a platform from which to bounce to different channels is an income avenue that is well worth exploring.

There are four steps to making this happen:

1. Believe it. Self-doubt is a waste of time and is the biggest hindrance to creating a career that you love. (And I know from experience!) Instead of wondering if you’re good enough to do it, just get out there and find out.

2. Shout it out. Other people can refer business your way as they hear about available opportunities, but first you have to let them know what you do. Make it public knowledge (on your blog, in person, and on your social media channels) that you’re taking on freelance work and the fields you specialise in, so people around you can help make it happen. Besides, the next person you tell might just have work for you themselves.

3. Remove one fear. You might be scared of getting that first pitch out, or there might be a publication you’re dreaming of being in but you’re scared to contact them. Push through the fear and you’ll create a new level of self-assurance as a writer, and it might only take one email to do it. You can also help this along by doing some practical work to assist you in making it happen – for example, completing a short writing course or approaching someone to mentor you through it.

4. Keep writing. The freelancers who succeed are the ones who persist. Keep writing, keep pitching, and keep blogging. It’s a great marketing tool that will remain a platform for your work for years to come.

How about you? Any advice to those bloggers who would love to break into the freelance writing business?

DPCon14 Sponsor Spotlight: Michael Hawton

talk-less-listen-more-195x300 The 2014 Digital Parents Conference is proudly sponsored by Michael Hawton’s Talk Less Listen More - solutions for children’s difficult behaviour. The easy to use e-course helps parents successfully manage children’s difficult behaviour by teaching their kids self control.

Over 100,000 parents have benefited from parenting programs developed by Psychologist, parenting expert and father of 2, Michael Hawton, and now you can too: We will be giving away copies of Michael’s book during DPCon14, as well as offering attendees the chance to review the 15-lesson Talk Less Listen More e-course.

Talk Less Listen More is self paced, delivered over a series of bite sized video vignettes and ideal for visual learners. Using examples from real family life that parents can relate to, it offers an engaging and interactive experience to enhance parents learning capability.

The Talk Less Listen More e-course features:

  • Clearly established guidelines about how to establish systems for managing children’s behaviour at home and in public·
  • Downloadable worksheets to enhance parents success in applying the methods at home
  • A heads-up on how to do things and what will make the biggest difference to how your family cooperates (including how to implement new techniques and manage children’s resistance to change)

We looking forward to seeing you onboard!

Asthma & Allergy Media Awards Now Open

Asthma & Allergy Media Awards Have you blogged or written an online piece about asthma or allergies?

National Asthma Council Australia (NAC) is excited to announce that entries for the 2014 Excellence in Asthma & Allergy Reporting Awards are now open! The awards recognise excellence in asthma and allergy reporting by journalists, bloggers and health professionals.

This year ‘social media’ has been added as a category which includes all social media formats and can be a piece or series written by a journalist or blogger during the 2013/14 financial year.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner in Melbourne during National Asthma Week in September 2014. The overall winner will receive $3,000 plus a trophy. Category winners will be granted $1,000 plus attendance at the awards in Melbourne.

Interstate winners will also receive return economy flights plus one night’s accommodation in Melbourne to attend the Awards dinner (limit two contributors per winning entry).

Online applications are now open and can be downloaded from the NAC website.

Asthma & Allergy Media Awards

The judging criteria include:

  • Providing a balanced and accurate report of asthma issues, including triggers;
  • Demystifying the complexities of asthma including treatment, medications and devices; and
  • Portraying a realistic picture of what it is like to live with asthma.

Entries close June 30, 2014. Visit today for award details and entry.

Good luck!

Asthma & Allergy Media Awards


Ryvita Blogger Outreach Campaign

This week we’re helping Ryvita celebrate 50 years in Australia with a blogger outreach campaign featuring four of Australia’s top bloggers.

Kelly from Be a Fun Mum, Kate from Picklebums, Christie from Childhood 101 and Lee from Supercharged Food have road-tested the latest range of Ryvita crispbreads and are sharing their tips and favourite topping ideas with their readers.

The bloggers were also invited to share their creations in this week’s Woman’s Day magazine as part of Ryvita’s ‘Topped to Perfection’ campaign:


Check out some of the yummy Ryvita creations here:

As well as discovering some tasty meal alternatives, this week you also have the chance to win a year’s supply of Ryvita plus a year’s subscription to Woman’s Day on each of the four blogs involved.

childhood 101 giveaway

Good luck, and enjoy!

#DPCON14 Update: Meet our awesome speakers!

We’re so excited to introduce you to our speakers at this year’s conference. Only 72 days to go!

Katrina Chambers @katrina_tweets - The Media Maid
Katrina’s blog covers topics from interiors design, to DIY and includes pieces of her life. She’s been blogging since 2006 and won Kidspot’s Top Blogger 2012. She is a mum to three rascal boys and a wife to a hard-working bloke. She has a University Degree in Advertising and Marketing, a Real Estate Certificate and a hubby who owns a printing company. Her online blogging course named The Media Maid’s Blog Academy teaches bloggers everything they need to know about creating a successful blog.

Sharnee Mazarigle @sharnee - Suck my lolly
Sharnee started blogging 14 years ago and eventually found herself using Blogger in 2003. Not happy with any generic option, Sharnee constantly spent time working on blog designs for herself and this eventually evolved into creating designs for others. She is a self confessed Blogger nerd and estimates she’s designed over 250 Blogger templates and helped dozens more people with other blogging issues. Sharnee’s designs are whimsical and full of colour. When she is not juggling her three sons, she also runs, selling pre-made templates and doing custom blog work.

Melanie Perkins @canva - Canva
When she was 19 years old, Melanie co-founded her first company Fusion Books, now the largest school yearbook provider in Australia. Melanie’s vision for the future of design inspired her to launch Canva, an online platform that makes graphic design simple for everyone. In addition to being a passionate entrepreneur, she is an avid traveler and has backpacked around the world.


Megan Blandford @meganblandford - Writing Out Loud
Megan is a freelance writer and blogger who has written for Jetstar magazine, MyCareer, Practical Parenting, Kidspot, WellBeing and International Traveller, and has blogged for Woolworths, NRMA, Kleenex and Uncle Tobys. Megan has made a career out of writing her sometimes crazy adventures into great stories and sharing tips for travelling, camping, hiking and road-tripping with kids. She also shares her tips – via blog posts and e-books – for turning writing into a business.

Deborah Alter-Rasche @learn_with_play - Learn with Play at Home
Debs is a qualified primary school teacher and the author of popular parenting blog, Learn with Play at Home. She started her blog as a way to help other parents and carers keep their children entertained and learning at home. She has worked on building a solid social media presence, especially on Pinterest where her 25,000+ followers and pinning tactics drive large amounts of traffic to her blog. She is blog ambassador for Micador and Spielgaben and writes for Kidspot Village Voices. Debs is passionate about Early Childhood Education and in making learning fun!
Kelly Exeter @kellyexeter - A Life Less Frantic
Kelly is a writer, blogger, designer and business owner. She’s been designing websites for over 10 years and has worked with WordPress for more than five of those. Strangely she hasn’t lost her mind yet. She is thrilled at how professional the blogging scene is getting in Australia and loves helping fellow bloggers make a great first impression on readers and potential supporters. She’s passionate about WordPress as a platform and looks forward to sharing all its best bits with conference attendees.


Kylie Ofiu @kylieofiu - 365 Ways to Make Money
Kylie is an author, speaker, mentor, award winning blogger, freelance writer and single mum of two. Her site won Best International Personal Finance Blog in 2012 and 2013. She published her first book, 365 Ways To Make Money, with WrightBooks after being seen at the first DPCON. She loves to help others find ways to make and save money. Kylie is a survivor of domestic violence, rape, robbery, homelessness, and Borderline Personality Disorder. She shares her experiences and how she overcame her obstacles to continue to grow her business and herself.

Karen Andrews @miscmum - Miscellaneous Mum
Karen Andrews is an award-winning writer, author, poet, editor and publisher. She has been blogging at ‘Miscellaneous Mum‘ since August 2006. Her work has been published in journals and magazines throughout the country. She has been a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blog Competition and is a regular speaker, teacher and mentor on the subject. Her latest book is Crying in the Car: Reflections on Life and Motherhood.

Kelly Burstow @beafunmum - Be a Fun Mum
Kelly Burstow founded her blog Be A Fun Mum, in July 2009. By creating a strong concept, the blog grew over the years and now has 190,000 Facebook followers. The blog was voted in the Top 5 Parenting & Personal Blogs by Kidspot in 2013. Kelly co-founded Good Conversations, which supports small businesses in Brisbane. She talks about parenting on 96five and 612ABC Brisbane and has worked with World Vision Australia, Save the Children Australia in Laos and Beautiful Gate in Lesotho, Africa.

Katrina The Organised Housewife @Organised_House - The Organised Housewife
Katrina started The Organised Housewife blog in August 2010 because she wanted to share her recipes, printables, tips and ideas of how she keeps her home clean and organised. She aims to share the journey that she has taken in creating routines that helped her through tough times, find ideas that help make home life easier, and to help reduce clutter so you can enjoy your home, comforts and space. Today Katrina has thousands of followers on her blog and social network sites.

Johanna Baker-Dowdell @JohannaBD - Strawberry Communications
Johanna Baker-Dowdell has more than 18 years experience as a journalist and public relations consultant as a freelancer, consultant and in-house. This experience includes writing for newspapers, magazines and websites in Australia and the United Kingdom on a number of topics including business, parenting, news and IT. Johanna has a vast business knowledge – as an entrepreneur and her work experience – which she draws on to advise clients on the best methods to gain publicity and tell their story effectively.

Zoey Martin @realzoeymartin - Zoey Martin
Zoey is a blogger and social media strategist and her blog was named as a finalist in the Best Blogs Competition by the Australian Writers Centre. In 2013 she launched The Shake – an online magazine,became a partner at Operation Move and was an ambassador for the Sydney Running Festival. Zoey believes in taking photos, running and can be found being not at all serious on the internet.


Have you booked yet? We’re down to our last few tickets so better hurry and grab yours now!

#ExperienceHappy with RedBalloon Marketplace

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Just in time for Christmas RedBalloon has launched a subscription gift box offer, dubbed RedBalloon Marketplace.

RedBalloon MarketPlace was created with the aim to bring surprise and delight into the homes of people across Australia.

Each month the RedBalloon team curate a premium selection of gourmet food, wine and lifestyle boxes, filled with products that the team has discovered and loves.

Continuing our relationship with RedBalloon we put a team of bloggers together to review the new RedBalloon Marketplace range, with each blogger taking their pick from a range of 60 products across two major categories: Gourmet Food/Wine and Lifestyle (health, beauty, apparel and accessories).

The products available represent a number of high profile and desirable brands, including Maggie Beer, Simon Johnson, Ghermez Cupcakes, Max Brenner, Hank’s Jams, Emma & Toms, Gingerbread Folk, Bitton, Pukara, Toby’s Estate, Republica Coffee, Spotted Cow Cookies, Carman’s Muesli and Ecoya, as well as a huge range of wine and beer products. No wonder we had a HUGE response to this callout!

Interested in trying one of the truly tempting and gorgeously-packaged boxes for yourself? See more at

Don’t forget to quote REDBLOG14 at the checkout to receive $20 off when you spend $79 or more on any RedBalloon experience! Code can only be used once per person. All purchases are subject to RedBalloon T&Cs -
Expiry: 31/12/2014

Secure your seat now at #DPCON14 at the Early Bird price!

Have you booked your cabin yet? If not ring Carnival Cruise on 13 31 94 and quote our group code. Email us at for the code.

There are only a limited number of Interior staterooms available (the lowest priced option) and you can secure one today for just a $200.00 deposit*. Cabin cost per person is $585.00 normally $679.00 for the general public (twin share) or only $485 per person based on quad share.

The exclusive discounted #DPCON14 price includes full access to conference programming (workshops, keynotes and one on one sessions with experts), 3 nights accommodation, all meals, entertainment, childcare, WiFi, welcome cocktail reception at Shanghai Piano Bar, upgraded dinner at Nouveau Restaurant on one of the nights and refreshments for the conference.

See you there!

* $200.00 deposit is based on twin share. Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.