Saturday, June 30, 2012

I couldn't vlog so I redesigned my blog instead

Oh well looky here. Bit of a nip, bit of a tuck. What do we think?

I've been looking in to blog redesign for a few months now. I asked around, got some recommendations, some prices and even flirted with the idea of moving to Wordpress for all of three minutes (before freaking out because everyone keeps getting hacked) then ran back to my precious Blogger platform to stroke it like a kitten. "It's OK baby, mama won't leave you. I love you."

After all that research, tonight I sat down, slightly despondent that The Weekend Whine had to be postponed for yet another week (because I'm not well and still don't have a voice) and with a "fuck it, I did the first one myself and it wasn't entirely terrible" attitude, created this.

I've said so long to my little stork. Farewell to the little baby. Auf wiedersehen to the light blue background with squiggly swirls. And goodbye to the baby spew tag line since, you know, there is no baby spew these days.
Bye bye, bloggy baby
Yes, there's still a lot of blue. I like blue. And green. My mother always said "blue and green should never be seen" and I'm going to go against that because, well, because I can.

But I gave you BLACK writing on a WHITE background so there will be no more grumbling that my blog isn't white enough mmkay?!

I gave myself a Facebook page makeover and new button too! You want one? It's over in my side bar, just waiting for you to take it home and make it yours. Just remember, a Glow Button isn't just for Christmas, it's for life. Or until you update your sidebar. Whichever comes first.

There's still a few bugs about the place - there is a weird floating invalid app thingy happening on the front page and a bizarre colour change thing going on that I can't fix and will need to pay someone to do for me. But hey, it's not too bad, it's still a work in progress and it only took me a few hours.

Thanks to those who threw words at me the other week when I asked what the first thing that popped in to your head when you thought of me or this blog. Because of you, words like 'eyebrows' and 'hairtastic' are now plastered all over the place for all to see. Just as they should be.

Whatcha reckon? Has my blog grown up?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This one time, I went to Sydney just to go to a party

It would appear that I'm making a little habit of whirlwind trips to other states. This weekend I threw off the confines of the SAHM title and partied like it was 1999. Well, actually, more like it was 2000 because I was 17 for all but two weeks of 1999 and sure as shit someone will send me an email saying I'm a terrible role model encouraging underage drinking if I don't spell out exactly what I mean.

My partner in crime (which is JUST A SAYING) was the inimitable Real Jive Turkey. The Jive and I had never traveled together before and I wasn't sure what to expect. It was suggested I vajazzle my vajayjay as one must be prepared for everything, including body cavity searches by airport officials, but I stopped short and just threw a handful of glitter at my crotch instead.

The red-eye flight over was uneventful, that is unless, of course, you consider inhaling other people's farts, singing along to our respective iPods and a dismal attempt to vlog at 35,000 feet to be a highlight.

We touched down in Sydney at 6am, having not slept, and decided, since we couldn't check in yet, to hit the ground running and do all the standard cliche touristy things like eat McDonalds for breakfast, take photos of a bridge and a building we'd both seen many times before and sit in Starbucks charging our phones like wankers.
Starbucks, nuts (!!!) and ironing RJT's shirt using a GHD - highlights in anyone's book

The delightful Mrs Woog offered to leave a key out at her house for us to go and crash but I became so overwhelmed with which room I would snoop through first I felt strange to visit someone's house for the first time when they weren't even home, so we declined. This was a huge mistake and the dark rings under my eyes grew two shades darker in protest. Though apparently if I say they grew fifty shades of grey darker all the mums reading this will spontaneously orgasm.

I hit the wall at about 11am, having been awake for 27 hours, and decided that a giant can of carbonated caffeine and paying someone to rub my body would be the only way forward. I sat in the massage chair at a place called Unwind in Erskine Street and had THE BEST massage of my life. I had to restrain myself from groaning in pleasure as she pummeled my muscles in to submission and when she was finished I felt like I should kneel down and worship her. I didn't because it would mean getting down and getting back up again and, really, who has time for that when free drinks are waiting for you?

We pressed on to Bungalow 8 for a fab, slightly liquid lunch with some Bloggy friends. The Jive's list of female blogger friends has just increased ten fold because despite the fact that the conversation veered towards vaginas for a while, he appreciates how dedicated we are at pretending we don't have kids and getting drunk partying.
Liz, Zoey, Kristie, Rah, Me, JJ, Fi, Salz, Alyce, Nicole, Denyse, The Jive, Lily & Cassie

We couldn't keep our eyes open any longer we headed to our "hotel" at the official check in time. I was in charge of booking the hotel and it's safe to say that that responsibility will never land in my lap again as it became glaringly obvious I had booked us in to a dingy backpackers with convent-like rooms. The shower screen was broken, the shower head was broken, the windows didn't close (and it was FREEZING) and the beds were actually lumps of concrete covered in a blanket so thin I've seen layers of dust that have been thicker. But it was clean, it was cheap and it was central.

I closed my eyes and laid there, in the cold, trying to will myself to sleep for two hours before I decided it was pointless and that Twitter would be much more interesting than the insides of my own eyelids. I was right. Y'all are very entertaining.

Fast forward through what seemed like hours of serious hair styling from The Jive and we rocked up at the party that we were in town for. StMurphy's 40th. The atmosphere was electric and it was so exciting to meet people I'd been chatting to on Twitter for ages (like McDimples!), a whole bunch of new people that I'm now actively stalking, catch up with my faves Mrs Woog and SawHole, and, of course, give the birthday boy a hug and an awesome (if I do say so myself) card.
Card created using

Mrs Woog started introducing me as one of Australia's best mummy bloggers to all her celeb friends who were there and despite me telling her she was full of shit, she continued. So I did what any self respecting new media junkie would do and let her carry on safe in the knowledge that the darkened room would be enough to camouflage my flushed cheeks and the massive headswell that was occuring.
Celebrity whoring it up (with a super bright nose removing iPhone flash) with StMurphy, Julie Goodwin,
Mrs Woog, Saw Hole, McDimples, Charlotte Dawson, The Jive, Natarsha Belling and Jo Thornley

I managed to embarrass myself by discussing the pros and cons of female urinals with Jo Thornley, complete with actions, and reverted to very similar miming tactics when my voice, which had been failing all day, completely gave up around 1:00am (after over 40 hours awake). A development that left me with the rather unenviable moniker of *ahem* "cock throat" for the rest of the weekend shenanigans.

A sleep in a concrete bed, a walk around The Rocks and a meet up at the pub with some new friends topped off an amazing weekend in Sydney and I was home by 11:00pm on Sunday night. And much like The Jive's luggage, my voice still hasn't returned. But it was so worth it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mega Giveaway Winners Announced!

Well you lot certainly like a giveaway!

I had all these plans about running the giveaway, drawing the winners the next day and having your details to the company to send your prize the day after.

In the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, big mistake, HUGE!

The entries started pouring in and by the end there were over 700 to go through! To make it as fair as I possibly could, they were judged without seeing the name of the entrant and I had no idea who was who until it was all picked!

I went through them all and the stories you told were amazing. So many of you went the extra mile and wrote little poems which I absolutely adored and there were so many brilliant memories of Women's Weekly cakes, and few hilairous stories to boot.

There were magicians that made you cry, hugely expensive cakes that tasted like crap, toddlers knocking over cakes, biting goats as presents, dancing in the rain and even parties that went ahead after being told no parties!

My absolute favourite entry was this funny poem from Kristie about her 12th birthday party:
When I turned twelve
I thought I was cool
had a party
invited friends from school
We played and squealed
and had so much fun
But I had to do better
showing off to everyone
I climbed the highest tree
in our small backyard
and squealed from the top
made everyone laugh
but then it happened
I lost my grip
and with the speed of light
I started to slip.
My thighs either side
of that great big tree
I slid down the trunk
and I let out a scream
I got to the bottom
my thighs red and rare
a great big bark rash
across my you-know-where
I was bleeding and sore
and could barely walk
but one thing was accomplished
around school they did talk
They whispered and giggled
behind the scenes
of the time I climbed a tree
in a skirt not jeans..
Ouch. I don't know about you, but I'm squeezing my legs together right now.

The other winners are:
Duplo pack - Melissa Puli
McCormick pack - Kristie Tatton
Bosisto's pack - Katie Lintner
Kellogg's & Be Natural pack - Fiona Charlton
Coles vouchers - Trish Taylor, Lela Brown, Lee Jenkins, Kellie Anderson
Smiggle packs - Kellie Blanden, Kez McGugan, Chantel BossyMummy
Tinyme vouchers - Alison Unwin, Kate Young, Melissa Okimoto
Rascal Rumps pack - Shelly Anne
Natural Transition pack - Alyson Bourne
Moonpig voucher - Katrina Hill
Eartopia earrings - Jen Whitehead, Vija Leitis, Heather Coutts
Rosylou Handmade voucher - Julie Nitz
Crafty Mummy pack - Ann Trebeck

You will all be notified in the next few days to obtain postal addresses, and those that already supplied them can keep an eye out on the post for your prize!

Thanks again for entering and for helping me share the competition through social media. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't pinch myself at how lucky I am to be part of this amazing community. And one more soppy thank you, this time for the fabulous birthday messages for Tricky - you all made it an awesome experience.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Health Insurance for the Single Income Family

Image Credit

This is an advertorial written by Choosi

I was asked to write what I know about choosing health insurance... I know absolutely nothing other than I've never been without it and will never be without it if I have anything to do with it. Mine has paid for itself over and over again, especially after a stay in hospital a few years back that would have cost me $35,000.

So since I know nothing, here's what Choosi have to say:
I have some friends who are the only wage-earner in their family who have a hard time understanding what to do for their healthinsurance. It can be hard to provide the right hospital cover and extras cover for themselves and their kids, as a lot of the laws relating to family health insurance are different compared to those where both parents are in employment.
Paying for your family’s health insurance can be tough, especially with the global economy being in its current state. However, it’s possible to try and save money on your policy. You could compare health insurance costs of different insurers to get the best deal possible without paying too much. Websites like Choosi canhelp with comparing different policies.
Single Parent Families
Something else you need to be aware of is the Medicare Levy and income thresholds. Any single parent family which has an annual income of over $168,000 has to pay a 1% Medicare Levy, with those earning more than $194,000 paying 1.25% and 1.5% for those on over $260,000. Thankfully, you save yourself the trouble of having to pay the Medicare Levy if you earn less than $168,000 providing that you have the right amount of health insurance.
As well as being exempt from paying the Medicare Levy if you’re privately insured, you might also be surprised to learn that single parents can receive other benefits from the government. You might be entitled to the Family Tax Benefit, which will make paying for insurance a little bit easier. Also, there’s the Baby Bonus, which you can get if you have a new child. Payments can exceed $5,000, which is handy when trying to save for a rainy day.
You might think that health insurance for parents, especially single ones can be too much to cope with. Thankfully, as some of my friends have found out, with all the benefits they receive and finding the best deals available, they can easily afford to cover themselves and their kids if they felt ill or had an accident. 
Single Income Families
There is help available for single income families as well; Family Tax Benefit Part B is available for families where the primary (or sole) earner has an adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less per year. An income test is used to work out how much Family Tax Benefit Part B you can get. The maximum rates of Family Tax Benefit Part B as from 1 July 2012 are:
Age of youngest child
Maximum rates of payment

Each fortnight
Each year
under 5

There is an online estimator tool available on the government’s Department of Human Services website which you can use to estimate or compare the Family Tax Benefit you may get, based on your current or proposed income.
The government is also bringing in a Single Income Family supplement which will be available from 1 July 2013 for families with one primary earner whose income is between $68 000 and $150 000. For more details Google the Department of Human Services.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kickin' it old school - toddler style

Tricky has been going to Jump 'n' Jive for half an hour most weeks for the last school term. It's the exact same thing as Laugh 'n' Learn, Romp 'n' Stomp, Wiggle 'n' Giggle and Dance 'n' Prance. In fact, in order to hold a successful toddler dance program it appears that all you need is alliteration, rhyming and a disproportionate number of apostrophes. Oh, and a Hi5 CD.

Every week I go along and every week I feel like the biggest dick in the world as I jump and/or jive along to the music pretending to be a rocket ship, a robot, a clown or whatever the hell it is this week.

As I fall over my own feet and almost crash in to people pretending to be pirates I look around the room and notice that all the other mums and grandmothers not only know all the dance moves, but all the bloody words to the songs, too. I mean it took me six whole weeks to realize the monster had six dirty ears not six thirty ears. I don't even know what six thirty ears means and yet I could swear that is what the song said.

If the class was split by skill level then then I'd be put in a group by myself. Maybe they'd put the nanna who has emphysema and can't shake her groove thing without knocking some kid out cold with her oxygen cylinder with me. You know, to bring down their liability insurance.

Now don't get me wrong, I can sing along to and do all the actions of the Flippy Floppy Scarecrow like nobody's business. Ditto for Miss Munchausens Miss Polly and the rest of the old school songs. But as soon as The Wiggles or Hi5 come on I'm lost and find myself muttering 'kids today' under my breath. I can't even have Hi5 on in the house without thinking that someone spiked the channel 9 water cooler with crack.

So Tricky and I prefer to kick it old school with our nursery rhymes. Plus some of our toys. Yes, I know, I know, it looks like I shoved a toaster on my kid's head but I promise you I didn't. He bloody loves his robot hat, and, just quietly, he does the best robot dance you've ever seen... along to a Hi5 song!

Are you old school with your kids? You know, when you put the iPad down?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Hunger Games: Toy Sale Style {Plus Giveaway}

Standing outside Target tonight, waiting for the doors to open for their toy sale was a little daunting. I surveyed the scene: women everywhere, a few men and a handful of children in PJs (really?) chomping at the bit, waiting for the doors to open. It was trolley vs trolley with every bargain hunter out for themselves. Kinda like the Hunger Games but for mothers who didn't want to pay full price for Fisher Price.

I've never been to a sale opening before because I've always been intimidated by them. I still am. It's pretty safe to say if I go to another one, I'll be taking Georgia from Parental Parody along with me for protection. The woman is fierce and has a black belt in shopping.

To stretch the analogy much further than is reasonable, she was my Katniss, effortlessly navigating her way around the store. By the time I had one item in the trolley for my one kid she had ticked off most of her list, picked up some impulse bargains along the way and had most of her shopping done for her three kids and a handful of nieces and nephews to boot.

I pushed our trolley, looking vague and wondering where the one item on my list was kept while wanting to shout to people "These aren't all for my one child! It's a combined trolley... I promise! DON'T JUDGE ME!" only to see that their trolleys were just as full as mine and, more importantly, that they really didn't give a shit what I was doing at all. Except for when I was taking photos... then they just stared at me wondering why I would be taking a photo of a grown woman on a skateboard. You know what, I don't really know either.

We accidentally destroyed Barbie displays, and tweeted it, played a quick round of Marco Polo (how else do you find someone in a crowded store?!), and tweeted it, and posed for pictures on motorbikes and next to dolls... and, you guessed it, tweeted it. We almost got #boganken trending but sadly, #malibuken won out. It must have been his shiny golden locks and lack of flanno shirt.

The whole event has led me to the conclusion that mummy bloggers should never be allowed to shop together at a sale, Georgia should never be let out of the house and I shouldn’t be allowed to make crappy Hunger Games analogies.

If you’d like a chance to win a $50 Target Gift Voucher then click here to enter through Facebook. This is only a quick giveaway and closes on Sunday so the winner can use the voucher at the sale!

A: Cannot take her anywhere without destroying things
B: Doll version of me with "Magic Hair"
C: Four hot chicks
D: Major lines at Lay-Buy within minutes
E: R2D2 lovin'
F: Tricky's Christmas presents - art easel, paints and crayons
G: The shopping trolley full of Georgia's toys
H: Employee of the whole freakin' year, Tim. This guy was so nice, let me take his pic for the blog
I: The longest receipt ever. A tree died just for that receipt.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for the post. Target sent me some vouchers to use
and invited me to the VIP opening with no obligation to blog

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Backseat bitch

Map Guy came home early from work the other day to visit the doctor. I decided to go with him because if driving to the local surgery with your husband isn't quality time I don't know what is.

I used the opportunity to update him on the state of the Blogosphere, seeing that he has just STARTED A BLOG! Normally any mention of blogging results in a smile, a nod and a few strategically placed "oh yeahs" while his eyes glaze over, so it's safe to say I was taking advantage of having a captive audience.

"I just use The Weekend Whine vlogs to have a bit of a bitch session" I sighed.

From the back seat, Tricky chimed in...

"Bitch, bitch, bitch."

Map Guy wasn't happy. "Did your son just swear?". Because he's my son when he's naughty and his son when he's awesome, obviously. I felt so ashamed.

"Ah FUCK!" OK, so that probably wasn't the best response. I expect my Mother of The Year nomination any day now.

I'd only just mentioned on here that he has a bit of a speech delay and he decides it's time to start parroting every. single. thing. I say and his words have exploded as if a switch has been flicked. Getting through a serve Alphaghetti now takes half an hour because he insists on naming all the letters before eating them!

To be honest, I swear so much that I'm surprised it has taken this long, speech delay or not. One of Tricky's first ever words (other than mum and dad) was duck when he was about ten months old. For half a second before we followed his line of sight to see a rubber duck, we were convinced he'd dropped the F bomb as his first proper word. Now I know I'm a bit bogan but I'm not that bogan that it's something I'd be proud of.

In the days following the backseat bitching he's also tried to say bastard after some idiot said it in front of him. OK so it was me again, shuddup. But because he didn't completely say it I'm not even going to count it - because if I can't change the rules to suit myself, what's the point?
I'm in a box, bitch
When did your child first swear? What did s/he say? Do you make up flowery words to cover your filthy mouth?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

10 Things to do during a blackout... when all your friends live inside your computer

The power went out for 19 hours the other day. For someone who spends so much time sitting at my laptop, it was crippling. I have spent longer periods of time offline, but I'd had a chance to prepare for those - empty the inbox, stalk some people on Facebook and charge my phone; all the important things. But this time? Well, this was thrust upon me unknowingly.

Friends were worried about how I'd cope - would I experience withdrawals? Would I have a break down? And, most importantly, how on earth would I keep my lap warm without my precious, albeit almost dead, laptop?

Here are the top ten things to do during a blackout, that *ahem* may or may not be exactly what I did during the #PerthBlackout. 

1. Play find the coffee table with your foot while hunting for candles. Extra points if you find it with your pinkie toe and bend it back far enough that you wonder if it requires medical attention
Jumping up and down in agony after stubbing my toe

2. Use your smart phone to try and find out when the power will come back on. Realize that the entire state is trying to find out at the same time and the site has crashed. Tweet about it, but don't reply to anyone because you're saving your battery.

3. Use the light on your phone to find your proper torch. Curse the day you let your child use said torch as a toy because the batteries are now flat. Hunt around the house for others; check that basket of junk in your laundry, stereos, portable speakers and *ahem* the "special mummy daddy draw".

4. Cook dinner by the light of the gas flame and a couple of candles. Because the rangehood won't work and it's too bloody cold to open any doors, it's likely you'll set the smoke alarm off. Because the house is so eerily silent, the alarm will sound at least 7000 times louder than usual. Tweet a picture.
Candle light dinner prep

5. Turn the light switch on every time you enter a room and feel like a tool. In an effort to cover your stupidity, shout out "I was just testing". Realize that nothing can ever, ever, ever cover how much of an idiot you are.

6. Turn your smart phone in to a wifi hotspot so your partner can check his email and Twitter. Watch your battery life drain before your eyes and shut it down, panicking that you now only have 10% left and no idea of when the power will be back.

7. Play with glow sticks. If you're a male, shove a glow stick bracelet around your tackle and sing "If ya like it then you shoulda put a cock ring on it". Threaten to Tweet a picture and watch him run away, screaming like a girl.
Not sure that's very hygienic

8. Drive a suburb over to an almost equally Twitter-dependent  friend's house so that you can both use your car charger. Cruise the streets checking out the fallen down trees and having a bit of a gossip while the phones charge. Stop to get chips to keep your energy levels up.

9. Go to your neighbour's house and ask if they want to play murder in the dark. Hear them scream and run away to call the police because you didn't introduce yourself first. Make a hasty retreat and be thankful that it was so dark they couldn't possibly give an accurate description.

10. Have a freezing cold shower then jump in to bed and warm your icy feet up on your husband's back while simultaneously warming your hands on his front. Hang on tight, he's likely to buck.

What do you do during a blackout? Does it involve inappropriate use of glow sticks?

Monday, June 11, 2012

How to make a fire engine birthday cake in 10 easy steps

So your kid is about to have a birthday and you want to impress him/her with a fire engine birthday cake but aren't quite sure how to do it? This post... um... well, it won't really be that helpful. Sorry about that. 

Step 1: Trawl the internet looking for inspiration. Get distracted by clips on YouTube of $10,000 wedding cakes and cakes the shape of Sydney Opera House

Step 2: Make a little fondant fireman that is so cute you hyperventilate at the thought of anyone eating him. Name him Freddy and update him on the progress of the cake as you go. Don't tell anyone you do this

Step 3: Make a fire hydrant that looks like the ones you see in movies. When anyone tells you that fire hydrants in Australia don't look like that, give them a death stare and tell them artistic license means you can create whatever damn fire hydrant you want

Step 4: Bake the cake, make the ganache. Cover the former with the latter and try really hard not to lick the knife. Fail miserably. 
Step 5: Create little pressure gauges, wheels, and number plates. Use gel colour, thinned down with vodka and watch everyone's eyes go wide when they come in and see you sitting there with a bottle of vodka and a shot glass on the bench

Step 6: Take a swig of the vodka, might as well, everyone thinks you already have

Step 7: Cover the cake with a shed load of bright red fondant and use edible glue to stick all the pieces on

Step 8: Take a bajillion photos and put them all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to show off - buy a new hat to disguise how much your head has swollen

Step 9: Melt in to a giant mushy puddle as you watch your kid's face light up when he sees it and feel like the best mum in the world. Immediately forget how many times the bloody rungs fell off the ladder and the handle came off the fire bucket

Step 10: Cry a little bit when it's time to cut the cake and all your hard work is completely destroyed. Get over it when you taste the cake and realize it tastes just as good as it looks. Start planning for next year because it has to be bigger and better

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I am

I am the woman who still feels like a girl

Who doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up

Who has no idea where the last two years went

Who cries too easily and loves too fiercely

Who believes the snooze button is one of the greatest inventions of all time

Who not only wears her heart on her sleeve but all over her freaking body

Who refuses to be a doormat and will not stand for passive aggressive bullshit

Who remembers the long, sleepless nights surrounding a newborn and yet yearns for another baby

Who finds bad boys attractive but not worth the trouble

Who knows her triggers and avoids them where possible

Who knows to take care of herself, her husband and her child above all others

Who cracks a joke, not to minimize, but in preference to laughing rather than crying

Who realizes baking can not only be an art but a form of therapy (plus there is food)

Who has a messy house because there are far more fun things to do than clean

Who frantically cleans before anyone comes over lest they think she is a pig

Who will actively seek out the truth when lies are being told

Who thinks commercial television is designed to sell you things and keep you afraid

Who is fiercely loyal, even to those who have scorned her

Who doesn't hold grudges but never, ever forgets

Who knows who she is and is aware that it's constantly changing

Who is happy with who she is, right in this moment, even if you're not

Who are you?

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Weekend Whine - Episode 4

Wanna link up your ranty post? Go for it! Stick this button on your post and come whine with me.
Where’s My Glow?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The OMG I Can't Believe He's TWO Mega Giveaway

Now just in case the title and the graphic wasn’t clear enough, Tricky turned TWO yesterday. TWO! Where did the time go?

To celebrate I decided to do one of those “It’s Tricky’s birthday but YOU get the presents” things.

I’ve called it a Mega Giveaway just because it’s the only time you can really get away with calling something mega without sounding like an eight year old boy jacked up on red cordial.

There are over $1000 in prizes up for grabs and to enter all you have to do is:
  1. Follow Where's My Glow through GFC or RSS
  2. Fill out the entry form below
  3. For a second entry leave a comment
  4. For a third entry share the competition URL on Facebook tagging Where's My Glow
  5. For a fourth entry share the competition URL on Twitter tagging @Glowless and using the #TrickysBirthdayGiveaway hashtag
Here are the amazing prizes!!! 

Duplo Pack - $150
We LOVE Duplo at Casa de Glow. Tricky loves it because he’s able to build giant structures and recreate our trip to the zoo, and I love it because he’s learning by sorting shapes and using his imagination. One lucky person will win the complete My First Duplo series including My First Zoo, My First Farm, My First Supermarket and My First Fire Station. 

For more info see

McCormicks and Peugeot Pack - $160
If you’re in to cooking then this is the prize for you! It includes a stunning set of Peugeot Tahiti Spring Duo Pepper and Salt Mills, a selection of delicious McCormick® Recipe Creations™, a limited edition tea towel and of course, McCormick® Rock Salt and Peppercorns to fill up your Peugeot mills with.
For more info see and
Bosisto’s Pack - $160
I’ve been a fan of Bosisto’s Eucalyptus spray since winning it in a blog giveaway. I spray it all the time to keep Tricky’s change table hygienic and smelling lovely.
One lucky winner will get their hands on this massive selection of natural products from the Bosisto’s range plus special limited-edition collector’s items, the new handy hints book, Eucalyptus Oil – Australia’s Natural Wonder, commemorative pen, magnets, a soft toy Parrot and much more!
For more info see

Be Natural & Kellogg’s Pack - $100
Since going to a Kellogg’s morning tea a few months back we’ve become big fans of a few of their products. I’m in love with Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and Just Right Barley and Berry variety, while Tricky can’t go a day without his Sultana Bran Buds as a healthy snack. Map Guy was becoming rather partial to the Be Natural bars but sadly we’ve had to take them off the shopping list after Tricky’s anaphylaxis.
One person will win a huge prize pack consisting of all the favourites such as a selection of Be Natural bars (Manuka Honey & Spice Clusters OMG!), a range of cereals including Crunchy Nut of course, All Bran Fibre Toppers (check out my recipes here) and some Special K bars. Your breakfasts and snack times will be sorted for about a year!
For more info see and
Image for illustration purposes only, actual prize is bigger.

Coles Online Vouchers – 4 x $40
I’ve just jumped on the online shopping bandwagon and I love it! Tricky and food shopping don’t always go together since he hates sitting in trolleys and can run so much faster than me. Now if only they will introduce the service where the delivery driver comes in and packs them away for you and whips up a quick dinner while you sip wine!
For more info see
Smiggle Bear Hugs Packs – 3 x $52
Stationary fiends, this one is for you! The fabulous people at Smiggle have just introduced the adorable Bear Hugs range and have generously supplied three packs including an exercise book, a canvas pencil case, ruler, keyring, drink bottle and heaps more!
For more info see
Image for illustration purposes only, actual prize is bigger

Tinyme Vouchers – 3 x $50
Did you know Mooo, the company that creates amazing personalized stationery, bags, puzzles, clothing, name labels, décor and more has changed it’s name to Tinyme? Same awesome products, just a new name! To celebrate Tricky’s birthday and the name change, there are three $50 vouchers up for grabs!
For more info see and

Natural Transition Pack - $30
It’s no secret that Natural Transition is one of my favourite companies for everything you could possibly need for birth, breastfeeding and childhood. The fabulous Julie has done it again, supplying a legwarmer and organic cotton tshirt crawler pack for your little one (or it would make a great babyshower gift!). Tricky had one of the packs when he was a bit littler, but managed to spill food all down himself before I was able to take a pic of the matching shirt!
For more info see
Rascal Rumps MCN Pack - $55
If you’ve read this blog before you’d know we’re big fans of cloth nappies here. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but MCNs are so much cheaper than disposables and look amazing too! There’s nothing cuter than seeing Tricky running around in just a funky cloth nappy. WA based Rascal Rumps has donated a cloth nappy and cloth wipe pack – perfect for those who are already using MCNs and great for a first timer to try out.
For more info see

Moonpig Voucher - $25
I have been in love with Moonpig since receiving my first card created on their website when Tricky was born. I’ve filed away all the other birth cards, but this one is so cool it still sits on our bookshelf. One winner will receive a $25 credit to create personalized cards or mugs. There are so many different styles to choose from but I couldn’t resist keeping the same style as his birth card just to see how different he looks now in comparison!

For more info see and
Eartopia Earrings – 3 x $18
The lovely Michaela makes gorgeous handmade beaded jewellery in her spare time and has kindly offered three original creations. If you’re a fan of statement pieces and like a little dangle in your life (oh, behave!) then this is the one for you!
For more info see
Rosylou Handmade Voucher - $20
If vintage inspired jewellery and décor is your thing then you will swoon over the gorgeous items available at Rosylou Handmade! A new venture from Cass from Cass Can Sew, the store boasts adorable bonnets, bunting and stunning vintage fabric necklaces.
For more info see
Crafty Mummy Pack - $15
I wish I was crafty. Instead I will live vicariously through Tonya at The Crafty Mummy. She’s donated a handmade pencil case and a quilted purse! If you don’t win it and you happen to be crafty like her, check out the tutorial here.
For more info see
~ This giveaway has now closed ~
Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Letter to Tricky - Two Years Old

Hey Trickster!

How on earth are you two years old already?! I swear it was only a few months ago that I was busy planning your first birthday party, and yet here we are.

Once again, you've put us through the emotional wringer, most recently with four trips to hospital in the past three and a half weeks. You got to have a ride in an ambulance, but once you were stabilized you were very sleepy from having to work so hard to breathe, so you missed most of it. I half wanted to prod you and point out that we were in a "nee naw".

You're doing so well at using your ventolin with your Super Space Man Mask and you take meds like a pro... well you do after initial attempts to turn your head or run away screaming. But once you have it, you drink it up and promptly ask for more... which is both hilarious and disconcerting at the same time.

You've been going to speech therapy because you have a mild language delay. You have so many words that we've lost count, but you just don't say them very often! When you do decide to speak, you'll often whisper a word until you feel more confident with it. Such a perfectionist! What you don't say, you sign, so you can definitely make it known what you're thinking.

One word you definitely don't have a problem with is no. Funny that. Your Perth Nana says "Do you wanna go to rehab?" and you sing "Nooo, nooo, no!". It's so wrong and yet so cute at the same time.

Everything about your physicality makes me smile. The fact that you don't walk any more, you strut (such 'tude!), the way you join in on the dancing at music time, the way you jump and do somersaults on the trampoline... and the way you have a really good sleep afterwards.

I tried to make you a birthday cake. After the success of last year, I realize that every cake from now on has to be bigger and better... so this year you got a Fire Engine Birthday Cake:

I know, I can't quite believe I made it, either.

Thank you for another amazing year, my boy, here's to another one.

Love Mama and Dad xxx

P.S. Here's your obligatory birthday montage:

Tomorrow, to celebrate Tricky's  birthday the OMG I Can't Believe He's Two Mega Giveaway will be launching with over $1000 of prizes, be sure to come have a look and enter!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Healthy Dairy Free Toddler Snacks

So we all know I'm kinda a bit of a food nazi when it comes to Tricky, right?

I figure that I have a really limited amount of time to set him up with good eating habits so I'm doing everything I can. He doesn't get junk food, he gets very little processed food, instead, I make most of his meals from scratch.

For a snack, I sometimes make pikelets - they're quick, easy, have very little sugar and best of all they don't drop crumbs bloody everywhere! One of the munchkins in my mothers' group has an allergy to dairy, so, in order to make some food that all the kids could enjoy I started experimenting and came up with these babies.

Dairy Free Fruit Pikelets

  • 1 cup flour 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/2 cup poached and pureed fruit - or, cheat a little bit and put in a pouch of baby food!
  • 1/2 cup water

  • Sift flour in to a medium sized mixing bowl
  • Add egg, fruit puree and water
  • Whisk until well combined
  • Place a spoonfulls of mixture in to a hot pan (greased lightly if you wish)
  • Flip over when small bubbles form or the top loses it's shine
  • Cook on the other side until golden brown

I serve these without any toppings because the mild fruit flavour is enough. We've experiemented with a lot of the baby food pouches because I got tired cooking up all the fruit. My favourite would have to be apple, pear and cinnamon!

They store really well in an airtight container for a few days, but I tend to make a huge batch and freeze some for the days I'm not in a cooking mood.


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