Thriving, not just Surviving! With Daniela Minns

Thriving, not just Surviving! With Daniela Minns

We've curated a group of strong, thriving women in all areas in health and wellness - from fitness to beauty, to nutrition and coaching - to give you direct access to everything you need to thrive through these challenging times!

You might have heard the name Daniela Minns by way of a popular list floating around of things to do with the kids at home during COVID lockdowns - read on to get the list!

An artist from Lindfield, writer and Mum of 3, Daniela entertained her children a few years ago for days while stuck inside her holiday accommodation during a cyclone with no electricity, water or internet. Her list of activities became quite handy for the impending lockdowns of 2020 and now 2021, where this mega list of 130 (mostly!) screen free activities for entertaining the kids at home has become very popular nationwide.

Tell me a bit about yourself. Where and who do you live with?

I live in Sydney with my husband, three children (two girls and a boy- aged 13, 11 and 8) and our dog Ruby.

What made you come up with this incredible list of activities?

Like a lot of mums, I've pinned activities for my kids for years. I can't say I did all of them, but I was a very optimistic pinner for a long time! However, my saved ideas really came in handy a few years ago when I was stuck in a cyclone on holidays with my family and we had no water or power for 3 days. So when we had our first COVID lockdown looming in 2020, I remembered which activities worked well on that trip and started expanding on that list. I shared it initially with friends and then realised it was getting shared a lot, so I put everything in one place on my website. I was just trying to help friends and myself stay sane in lockdown with their children!

What is your favourite activity to do with your kids so far?

My kids love the tinted shaving cream painting the windows and then hosing it off because it's messy and fun! But we also love having family movie nights where we turn the lounge room into a cinema, doing scavenger hunts on bush walks, and my kids love having bake off challenges.

You mentioned you were an artist – how do you find time for yourself as well as juggling a big family?

Obviously home learning is currently making that challenging! I'm just trying to get out for a walk every day on my own. Listening to audiobooks and podcasts helps to zone out. I'm trying to get into the studio every day - but I've also moved some of my materials to the dining room table (where my kids are home learning) to try and keep creative when I can.

What inspires your work and where can we buy it?

I'm inspired by so many different things. We lived in Amsterdam for two years and I am still drawing on inspiration from all of our European travels from two years ago! I saw so much and feel like I haven't really exhausted those experiences, which is lucky because who knows when we'll next be able to travel! If you follow me on instagram @daniela.minns.makes you can see all of my work as it's made and available.

How are you finding this lockdown? What is different from last time?

I feel like there's less fear and anxiety this time, but more resignation and sadness that we're back here again. I think everyone is just fed up with COVID, lockdowns and the uncertainty. 

What was the last book you read and what is your go-to recommendation?

I really loved Honeybee by Craig Silvey, Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld and The Truth About Her by Jacqueline Maley.

What TV show are you binging right now?

Mare of Easttown with my husband and Below Deck Mediterranean with my teen (it's so terrible but so binge-y!).

Do you have any wellbeing rituals you swear by?

Just taking a bit of time each day to reset and be kind to myself. Getting exercise as often as possible is also becoming more important to me as I get older. A walk, a gym session (when they reopen!) or a good long stretch in child’s pose is always a good idea.

Best beauty advice you’ve been given and go-to product for winter skin?

I remember in my 20's an older woman said to me “Your face goes all the way down to your chest, don't stop the moisturiser at your chin” - great advice as I think your neck and chest actually show the signs of ageing faster than your face.
And go-to product would be a good moisturising serum. I’m currently loving Trese anti-ageing serum - it’s really nourishing for dry winter skin. My little brother just launched this hemp based serum! It’s @treseskincare on insta. It’s a great product!

And I love the mini pampering moment of an oil cleanser and a warm cloth at the end of the day. I only have time for mini pampering moments!

Do you take collagen and if so what are the main benefits you've noticed?

I recently started experimenting with collagen. It definitely seems to help boost skin elasticity and help with fine lines.

Now for the best bit, read below and take notes Beauty Foodies! 

130 (mostly!) screen free activities for entertaining the kids at home

Follow me @daniela.minns.makes for more ideas of things to do with kids and if you do some of the activities please tag with #130activitiesforkids I'd love to see what you get up to!

Suggestion: Print and cut these suggestions up onto strips, then lucky dip an activity. Doing this will also allow you to edit out any activities you don't want taking place in your home or don't have the supplies for :)

  1. Write a letter to your local nursing home. Do a drawing, send good wishes to those stuck in self-isolation, just generally aim to put a smile on someone's face on the receiving end :)
  2. Treasure hunt (with clues, hide a favourite toy somewhere in the house)
  3. Make a batch of play dough. I like this recipe
  4. Tint shaving cream with food colouring, paint the windows or glass doors (or the inside of the shower glass) then rinse it off
  5. Go through clothing from previous seasons, try on and cull things that are too small
  6. Play dress ups in mum and dad’s clothes- do a photoshoot
  7. Graffiti the garden fence with chalk
  8. Make a small bowl, plate, egg cup or statue from air dry clay
  9. Day spa- do a Mani/Pedi/foot soak/face mask
  10. Go through old photos and videos, and old craft and paintings

Read the full list of 130 (mostly!) screen free activities for entertaining the kids at home here: