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Tuesday, 23 June 2020

WIN: Eat Box Now Korean BBQ delivery - THREE to win!

Eat Box Now is here and where has it been all my life!

Now you can enjoy the complete Korean dining experience - at home.

A clever Sydney chap named John Nguyen saw an opportunity to turn his job loss due to Covid into a burgeoning business.

The data scientist was sitting at home jobless, and decided to start his own business, Eat Box Now.


Hear all about his journey on BBC HERE.

In the first two weeks, he sold 1000 boxes. Now just watch this business rise and rise!

There are THREE box options you can order.

For two (or three if your diners have smaller appetites):

For four:

Or the largest box, which includes one kilo of wagyu beef, which feeds six (aka the 'ISO' box):

The boxes contains varying amounts / options of:

Angus beef bulgogi
Wagyu rib fingers
Pork boneless riblet
Chicken bulgogi
Chilli chicken
Chilli pork
Pork belly, and 
Marinated LA beef rib

Plus: a variety of five vegetables and sides from a selection of:

Kim chi
Fish cake salad
Seaweed strips
Spring onions
Japchae (Korean glass noodles)
Pickled radish
Korean jalapeno chilli/garlic
Korean perilla leaves

Plus, sesame oil and ssamjang dipping sauces - and rice, too!

They deliver fresh Korean BBQ to your door every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10am-8pm. Oh, and they include Korean booze too!

No BBQ? No worries!

BUY one from them to keep and use again! So clever. Go HERE for the barbie.

Ready to order? See the menu options HERE.

Or you can email orders to eatboxnow@gmail.com

And... Josie's Juice has THREE small boxes to give away!

Here is all you need to do to enter:

- Follow @josiesjuicejournalist on Instagram

- Follow Josie's Juice Blog on Facebook

- Follow @eatboxnow on Instagram

- Tag your friends: each tag = one entry

*Open to Sydney metro only (subject to Eat Box Now delivery areas)
*Prize on offer: three small boxes, one per winner
*All criteria must be followed
*This is not run by or endorsed by Instagram


Sunday, 24 May 2020

Alisa and Lysandra al.ive body range: INTERVIEW

Can you count how many seasons of 'The Block' have been broadcast so far on Australian TV?

We've lost count, but even as a dip in 'n' out kind reno show watcher, I do recall some standout, familiar faces from the reality TV show, and at the forefront are these familiar faces who have continued to be a total tour de force in the design and development industries...

Alisa and Lysandra (do they even need a surname? It's Fraser, BTW) are the twin sister duo you're likely to remember the most of all from the hit Channel 9 TV show, and these ladies have been busy bees, launching a product they could not have dreamt to be more apt in these times of the global pandemic... you know the one: coronavirus or Covid-19 ("rona" if you're an Aussie).

They chatted with Josie's Juice about their new al.ive body range and what it means to get this love project - with a huge side of generosity - off the ground.

We kick off the a good natured laugh about the timing of a soap product i
n the midst of a global spotlight on keeping hands clean.

"Why has it taken a pandemic to wash hands!" they laugh.

YES! Please tell me you are washing hands ANYWAY: when you get home from an outing, after going to the toilet, before you prepare food, after you sneeze... c'mon folks, I know I am a bit (a lot) OCD, but don't be a grub when it comes to hygiene. So glad I can legit now say this without being offensive...

The famous twins reveal how al.ive kicked off, and like any good prod launch story, they fulfilled a need they had for themselves.

"How it all came about was that we were styling our house after having done a development a few years ago in Albert Park (VIC), and we were finishing our redevelopment, and we needed to style our bathrooms. And I reckon we went out looking for a day... we wanted something that was unique and a little bit different and we just couldn't find it," says Alisa.

"And that's where the idea was born," adds Lysandra, who reveals the line was actually 18 months in development.

"We knew we wanted to be able to give back in some way. We've always had a love for nature, it's where our hearts are."

"And we thought what a better way to do that than to plant trees, especially with all that has happened with the emissions and green house gases, and obviously the bushfires as well... but this was planned well before the bushfires, and obviously reforestation and planing trees is even more important now," says Alisa.

"We came up with the name 'al.ive' as a play on our our initials (the 'A' in Alisa and the 'L' in Lysandra) to help keep the planet alive.

"The consciousness behind the brand was really important to us, and we launched a month ago, and so far we are up to 1900 trees (at the time of this interview)."

"We want to get to the point where we can plant an entire 'al.ive forest'," they reveal. HOW AWESOME IS THAT!

In fact, a key part of the al.ive body business model is that for every purchase made, one tree will be planted in Australia - they spent a lot of time researching organisations that align with their values, and proudly partnered with One Tree Planted.

One Tree Planted is an environmental charity whose mission is to create a healthier climate, protect biodiversity and help reforestation efforts around the world. Most importantly, in response to the recent bushfire crisis in Australia, they have initiated plans for enhanced projects in Australia to aid reforestation, which was ultimately the reason the sisters chose to align with them. 

"It was really important to us that it was done in Australia as well. Our focus was always Australia, especially given the bushfires," they add.

The sisters are based in Adelaide, and the range is formulated in Melbourne, so it's completely an Australian love project.

Both ladies have kids, and I ask what they think of what their mums are up to?

"They just wish that we weren't so busy!" they add with a laugh. "My son tells me: "Mum, I'm not saying you shouldn't work... but does this mean you will be less busy now?"

Both roar with laugh knowingly, completely aware that is far from the truth.

The line is ripe for brand extensions, I suggest. So, what are they cooking up right now?

"We are definitely working on more products," they reveal, which is a bit of a scoop seeing as plans are certainly in the works, but they're firmly focusing on phase one right now.

So far, stockists of the new al.ive body range are in bespoke style stores around Australia, and the duo couldn't be happier.

"Yes, we've been really blown away by that actually, having only just launched... we have over 40 stockists, and really good quality ones too."

See the stockists RIGHT HERE.

You can buy al.ive products online on their site, or at the stores stocking them, and some of their stockists also have their online stores, so it's super easy.

Alisa and Lysandra finished up on 'The Block' SEVEN years ago. The identical twins won 'The Block: Sky High' in 2013, then made a successful return on 'The Block: Fans vs Faves' in 2014.

I ask what has lit them up the most since leaving the show.

"We actually have not stopped since leaving the show," they laugh.

"We feel like we have been put in the washing machine, and... well, we have't been spat out yet", says Alisa.

"Yeah, I feel like we have definitely found our calling [with the new al.live line] and we just ran with it, and we didn't even know we had a flair for it. We took the leap!" adds Lysandra.

"I think the biggest thing is I think people might think you go on a result TV show and it all kind of of falls in your lap. But I think what a lot of people don't realise is all the hard work that goes in behind the scenes.

"So many people get the opportunity to go on a reality TV show, but it's what you do with that when the cameras stop rolling, that's when the hard work really begins, and I think that's probably the difference between success and not fulfilling what you set out to do," says Alisa.

"Yep... we haven't stopped. It's [the show] is a platform... that's what it is.

"Now have something that we didn't realise we really wanted," adds Lysandra.

Yeah sure... you can revert back to a bar of soap... but if you're a constant hand washer (hello! And now you should be anyway) it's just so much neater and kids don't make that mess with soap shavings around the sink, ugh.

"We didn't reinvent the wheel, we just did it better!" says Alisa. I LOVE THIS STATEMENT!

"Yes, who would've thought that soap could be as important as it suddenly is now!" adds Lysandra.

"It's perfect for kids too, and our kids are washing their hands even more!"

The range includes naturally derived hand and body wash and a hand and body lotion, in a choice of three luxe scents: kaffir lime and green tea; fig, apricot and sage; and coconut and wild orange.

It's proudly Australian-made and developed, using the finest ingredients including essential oils and native botanical extracts,  and are 100 per cent vegan, palm-oil free and are not tested on animals.

The brand name was also inspired by the sisters’ passion for environmental causes and keeping the planet ‘alive'.

The range, which features stylish bottles custom-designed by Alisa and Lysandra in three on-trend colours - the terracotta coloured range are now firmly in my bathroom.

al.ive body is therefore aimed at the style and sustainability conscious consumer who values design and seeks out high product integrity in a beautifully balanced way. In this era, purpose-led brands that help strengthen our sense of self and our contribution to the planet are in big demand," they say.

The al.ive body collection:

  • The Wash $38
  • The Lotion $42
  • The Duo with Tray (in gift box) $79

For more information visit www.alivebody.com.au

Monday, 27 April 2020

COVIDSafe app - "It's a hacker's paradise": Brad Spooner

The Australian government's COVIDSafe app: have you installed it on your phone?

More than a million Australians did, in the first four hours of its release last night. For real.

Should you or shouldn't you download and install this app on your smartphone?

According to this IT specialist Brad Spooner, from Spoontech IT, he says NO. You should not. And if you have: delete it immediately, he recommends. "It's a hacker's paradise", he says bluntly.

More about the app here is below, but first, here is what Brad thinks.

“Who developed this app?" Brad questions. "Not us in Australia, it was made in India."

He continues: "Where is the security report to say that it's not using your data unlawfully? And where is the proof it isn’t?

"Considering it is using bluetooth which is the most unsecure wireless protocol known to man, and the pairing passwords are 0000 and 1234 for most devices... like, really? And we are calling this safe?

"Bluetooth, once paired, can access everything on your phone and it doesn’t have co-ordinate capabilities like GPS, meaning they are connecting everyone via bluetooth and getting your info from the phone and using GPS to broadcast your position so they get anything you have from any phone and know where you are and how far you are away from the people you are with!

"Money making? Get ready for a fine in the mail without even realising it.

"You buy a new phone and bluetooth to your old phone and it connects to download ALL your files. Who is to say this app it not automatically pairing to each phone? What about the fact bluetooth is unstable and easily hackable.

"I can download apps to my phone that can connect to every discoverable bluetooth enabled phone (of which there are lots) and download anything I want. Also, the fact that for bluetooth to see each other the phone has to be made discoverable always. So when you pair a normal device the bluetooth is only active for two minutes or so. So for it to pickup people you walk past it has to be discoverable 24/7.

"This is a major security risk as I could use the two common passwords as per those mentioned above and connect to anyone's phone, anytime.

"Imagine if you had photos on there that you don’t want the world to see!

"One million people downloaded it in the first four hours because they want the lockdown to end early, and that's how the government have marketed it, but where did they give us enough information to assure us it's safe? They didn’t.

"This app is also going to be used for social distancing rules, so beware they are watching everything now. Watch your mailbox.

"Another point is if you remove the app who’s to say they have not still installed an underlying app to continue keep an eye on you anyway long term, like Google already do.

"Plus with bluetooth being on 24/7 and discoverable, it's going to drain battery life from people's phones.

"People are in a COVID-19 brain dead state due to lockdown and just want this over so they have all band-wagoned on this app, but really, they have just been sucked in by the whole “it will be over quicker” thing, which is bull. You know what, it's the government's way of keeping an eye on who is doing the right thing.

"I have been in IT for over 29 years and I have dabbled in the dark side of the web many times, and let's just say if you downloaded this app as much - as you thought you were doing the right thing - I would uninstall it ASAP and just stay home and stay safe in your own way."

The Australian government instead says:

Your information and privacy is strictly protected.
Read the COVIDSafe Privacy Policy for details on how personal information collected in the app is handled. 
A Privacy Impact Assessment was commissioned to ensure that privacy risks have been addressed. See the Privacy Impact Assessment Report and our Agency Response.
The Health Minister has issued a Determination under the Biosecurity Act to protect people’s privacy and restrict access to information from the app. State and territory health authorities can access the information for contact tracing only. The only other access will be by the COVIDSafe Administrator to ensure the proper functioning, integrity and security of COVIDSafe, including to delete your registration information at your request. It will be a criminal offence to use any app data in any other way. The COVIDSafe app cannot be used to enforce quarantine or isolation restrictions, or any other laws.

Source: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app

And, the site also states:

When you download the app you provide your name, mobile number, and postcode and select your age range (see Privacy). You will receive a confirmation SMS text message to complete installation. The system then creates a unique encrypted reference code just for you.
COVIDSafe recognises other devices with the COVIDSafe app installed and Bluetooth enabled. When the app recognises another user, it notes the date, time, distance and duration of the contact and the other user’s reference code. The COVIDSafe app does not collect your location.
To be effective, you should have the COVIDSafe app running as you go about your daily business and come into contact with people. Users will receive daily notifications to ensure the COVIDSafe app is running.
The information is encrypted and that encrypted identifier is stored securely on your phone. Not even you can access it. The contact information stored in people’s mobiles is deleted on a 21-day rolling cycle. This period takes into account the COVID-19 incubation period and the time it takes to get tested. For more, see Privacy.

When an app user tests positive for COVID-19

When someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, state and territory health officials will ask them or their parent/guardian who they have been in contact with. If they have the COVIDSafe app and provide their permission, the encrypted contact information from the app will be uploaded to a highly secure information storage system. State and territory health officials will then:
  • use the contacts captured by the app to support their usual contact tracing
  • call people to let them or their parent/guardian know they may have been exposed
  • offer advice on next steps, including:
    • what to look out for
    • when, how and where to get tested
    • what to do to protect friends and family from exposure
Health officials will not name the person who was infected.

After the pandemic

At the end of the Australian COVID-19 pandemic, users will be prompted to delete the COVIDSafe app from their phone. This will delete all app information on a person’s phone. The information contained in the information storage system will also be destroyed at the end of the pandemic.

Deleting the COVIDSafe app

You can delete the COVIDSafe app from your phone at any time. This will delete all COVIDSafe app information from your phone. The information in the secure information storage system will not be deleted immediately. It will be destroyed at the end of the pandemic. If you would like your information deleted from the storage system sooner, you can complete our request data deletion form.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, 20 April 2020

Nat's What I Reckon: INTERVIEW

There is a very good chance you have seen this guy Nat in amongst the recent increase in time on your phone, during this uncharted madness we call coronavirus lockdown... if you haven't, introducing: 'Nat's What I Reckon.'

Nat's simple approach to deconstructing the basics in the kitchen, and demystifying sauces you might be buying jar versions of ("fuck jar sauce" is a credo of his) has seen his star rise 'overnight' to the masses.

The thing is: Nat's been doing what he's doing for the past EIGHT years, and was mid way through a sold out tour around Australia with his particular brand of full on, expletive filled stand up comedy and vids on stage, when he started fucking around in the kitchen (he's been feeding people for eons, it's just that now he has started filming it) and BOOM: Nat's videos have gone completely, ballistic-ally VIRAL.

He has released a series of videos, starting with his 'Carbo-rona' sauce, a play on words with the classic Italian carbonara sauce and of course the 'rona (aka, coronavirus, aka Covid-19, the reason we are in this god forsaken pandemic which has fucked with our lives immensely).

One such videos is his Carbo-rona sauce, and he doesn't, well, mince words...

"What the fuck is that", he says as he holds up a jar of commercial, supermarket bought pasta sauce. 

"What's going on jailbirds - you're fucking locked up in your house and you're still buying jar fucking sauce. You know how I know you're still buying jar sauce, because I've been to the shops and I'd seen people fucking buying this shit.

"Carbonara my fucking arse!"

"If that's fucking carbonara pasta sauce, I'm the president of Australia.

"Fuck this shit, let's make some real sauce!"

And off he goes, telling you what every authentic Italian will agree with: DO NOT PUT CREAM IN A CARBONARA SAUCE. So, he's already a champion in my eyes...

Here is that video in full:

I interviewed Nat today about his sudden surge in subscribers and shares, and asked him how he feels about this explosion in people who may not have been fans NOW talking about him and sharing his videos and tagging their mates.

"I feel good about it I suppose," he tells Josie's Juice in his trademark laconic and laid-back style, though I can tell immediately he is immensely grateful.

"It’s not something I expected to go so well so quickly, and it’s something I am grateful for... seeing as I have been working fucking hard at this for so long," he adds matter of factly, and suddenly you want everything to go super well for this down to earth bloke, more than ever.

"I have been making these videos for eight years now, and I have been online making stuff, transitioning from YouTube to Facebook and kind of spreading myself a bit thin, and doing all sorts of things... I made short skit videos, then I started reviewing techno and trance festivals, and sort of started actively going to events I didn't want to go to," he tells me with a laugh (can relate Nat, can relate), adding he'd go to these events "with a microphone and take the piss out of them, which is why I got the channel going."

"Yeah I have always just tried to do my own thing, and not having any semblance of following a trend really, and it has been, as it is with all that kind of stuff, slow going until you get your crowd, but at the moment it’s been… fuck… I have spent so much time and money… it’s nice to see such a positive response."

At time of publication, Nat's Carbo-rona sauce video has reached over 6.2 million views on Facebook alone, going live three weeks ago, while his 'sin bin soup' video has amassed 5.7 million views having been posted only a week ago, his 'end of days bolognese' 4.5 million views since Thursday last week, his 'quarantine spirit risotto' (like, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', get it!) 6.5 million views, and his very first foray into the cooking vid madness 'how to make quarantine sauce' is now at over 6.5 million views just on Facebook. Here are this legend's videos so far:

Nat's latest video came out only four days ago and the video had already amassed four million views. Asked how he feels about this, he tells Josie's Juice:

"Yes, at the moment yes... these cooking videos have hit a real spot out there in the market," he agrees.

Have a look at the comments section of the videos on socials, and you'll see that the response to all Nat's video's are overwhelmingly positive. Many even thank Nat for teaching them how to cook.

I ask Nat what has been the most surprising feedback so far from his new cooking videos.

"I got a message from Dave Grohl yesterday which is pretty wild," he reveals, referring of course to the singer and drummer from Foo Fighters, and Nirvana before that.

Nat recounts: "One of his mates booked in for a cameo on my 'cameo service', and I ended up making him a video, not knowing who the Dave was he was referring to, giving him a bit of a rev up for being stuck in Hawaii, while all his mates are suffering in their jocks [during this pandemic and associated self isolation].

Dave has been sharing my videos, and, well... he is a bit of drumming icon of mine, as a drummer myself, and it’s incredible to get a message from him," says Nat. Talk about meeting a musical hero!

So how and why did Nat come up with this idea of cooking for dummies?

"You just have to go to the fucking shop and see what people are buying, it’s frightening," says Nat, referring to our collective pandemic food and toiletry stock up.

"I mean, I understand this quick fix shit, but it’s not like we don’t have time on our hands, so I thought there was a good gap to go: "Oi, you know that shit over there, you can actually make that shit."

Before this interview with Nat, I was pretty convinced that Nat had some kind of formal training as a chef, considering he has techniques and recipes down pat, but nope!

"I am not a professional cook, no," he says.

"It's just something I have been practicing and working at for years, I've always cooked for my friends, I've always lived in big share house, I have always cooked for big groups of people, I actually love it," he tells Josie's Juice.

"It's also a little bit of a mental health escape, a bit of meditation," he adds.

A few weeks ago, someone on social media took it upon themselves to send Nat a private message with this pearler:

Apart from publicly posting this punter's comment on his own page, captioning it with "Glad everyone is digging the cooking videos hahaha 😂 #quiche #getfucked" (with 'quiche' a cheeky nod to Chris Lilley's character 'Ja'mie Private School Girl' and 'her' use of the word quiche), just what did Nat think of the Jamie Oliver comment?

Nat lets out a raucous laugh: "Oh I love it!"

Yep, people can get precious about food, though I wonder if he's had any other scathing criticism which has made him laugh.

"That's gotta be up there, that one," says Nat.

"Cooking food is anyone's game really, you can put in anything and everything really, and that's the point of my videos... I don't think you should [put everything in]," he laughs, "It’s not a fucking garbage bin, it’s a dish, and that’s part of the shtick."

"To be honest, it has been so overwhelmingly positive, I mean I also get comments like, "You fucking grub, don’t put milk in that, and I just find it funny, I’m not sure you are getting the point of the video," he laughs, referring to milk being added to his recent bolognese sauce menu.

"It’s a performance, it’s a show, it’s a laugh."

Okay, so the milk thing intrigued me, but even as an Italo-Australian who is mostly a purist when it comes to classic Italian recipes, I am willing to give the 'latte' thing a go.

"That’s the thing with stuff like that. I became quite puritanical about things for a while with cooking, I'm like, what’s the true original way this dish is made, and I'd research that, and find the facts behind it, but that can end up being a little risky on the internet to see what exactly is true, but then I figure well this particular version is the way I like it, so...

"[Food] is often not that complicated, right, we just sometimes put all the 'shit' in it. Food doesn't have to be so complicated."

With all events around the country, and world, put on hold, Nat's first huge solo tour was also collateral damage after already selling out his tours around Australia.

"We just sold out Melbourne and Brisbane and Sydney, we just finished the Sydney leg and then we had to postpone the rest of the tour, this was all before all my cooking stuff, and all the videos.

"We kick back off again on September 30 [this year]. It was a bit of a kick in the guts at first... now it has kind of been a blessing," he tells us.

The Tattoo Expo he was to host "didn’t end up happening" ("that’s quite a populated and handsy event, so that was cancelled fairly quickly", he laughs), but, he adds, "You have to keep positive and keep your head up."

"You look around and everyone is going through it but it doesn’t mean it makes you feel heaps better."

Nat's 'book a shout out on Cameo' - find it on his website or follow the link on his Instagram - is a pretty cool addition to Nat's talents, which started before his now popular videos.

"It’s a shout out service. Often people will message me and ask to have me say happy birthday to a friend, or ask me to wind them up about how they cook something or whatever or just a say g'day to a friend, or sometimes people book it for themselves, and ask me to sing them a song or do a dance, and that is there to help monetise things so I can continue making videos," he says matter of factly.

His now famous viral videos are filmed with his partner: "We do this all together. I edit and kinda direct the video and write the script and stuff, although most of it is off the cuff really.

"She films them, and also designs all the logos and everything."

She's clearly a legend...

"Yeah she's a fucking legend."

Nat also reveals he "often tries to talk about elements of health care, and part of my journey with this stuff is managing my mental health as part of my expression in reaching out to people, in ways that are accessible."

"I am an ambassador for the big anxiety event, which was a mental health festival in Sydney last year. It's something that's important to me.

"This whole thing has a bit of an underpinning, of people looking after themselves and opening that conversation in subtle ways."

It may be a cliche, but it's true: blokes don’t really talk about their feelings. Historically, men need to work harder at getting their causes noticed.

"The patriarchy has men in a spot where they self perpetuate some pretty poor behaviours. Fellas might want to talk about their stuff, but feel ashamed. It’s of course true for women as well. But men traditionally don't talk and the whole strong silent type thing can be pretty dangerous." 

For now, Nat is "pretty happy doing my own thing," but stay tuned for some quirky collabs ahead of his return on stage. And many more of those food vids like the "bloody champion" he is.