Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Where is your Olympic Spirit?

If there is one thing that has struck me in the first few days of the London 2012 Olympics, it's the way the Australian media is crucifying athletes who don't "perform".

This snippet of a piece on James Magnussen being the favourite for his next race, by staff writers at News Limited, is just one example:
"But that is all under doubt now after he and his teammates bombed in the final of the 4 x 100m relay, finishing a disappointing fourth despite heading into the race as hot favourites."
Sorry, what? When did training hard for years, making the Australian team, qualifying through the heats to make the OLYMPIC FUCKING FINAL and coming fourth constitute bombing out?

These people are the best our country has to offer and yet we're being told they are not good enough. I'm not suggesting they all get participation medals like a school sports carnival where no one is allowed to lose lest our kiddies get upset, I'm suggesting a little credit where credit is due.

And now I'm going to pull the what-is-this-teaching-our-kids card because surely that's what a Mummy Blogger should do. What type of example is this to all the kids watching the Olympics? If you win at the highest level you will be held up as the golden girl/boy of Australia... and if you come second or heaven forbid don't even make the podium, you're "disappointing".

How is promoting the "If you're not first, you're last" and "Second place is the first loser" mentality ever a good thing? 

From these types of statements, which are all over the media right now and being made by the commentary team, am I meant to conclude that anyone who didn't make the final is a loser? That anyone who didn't make the Australian Olympic team is pathetic?

No wonder they're all breaking down this year! They're being told that unless they're perfect, breaking records, weighing the right amount and winning gold IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Give them a break already, last time I checked they were human.

And yet, only a few hours earlier though, the exact same media outlet slammed a US comedian for joking on Twitter that the female Australian swimmers had "amazing cocks". So it's not OK for a comedian to make a joke about our Olympians but it's just fine and dandy for a journalist to crucify them? Double standard, much?

What ever happened to the Olympic Spirit?

Do you find it "disappointing" when someone tries their hardest and doesn't win? Or are you just in awe at the amazing talent of these people?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I came, I saw, I got a swag box

Oh look another Blog event that I got drunk at! Well knock me down with a feather!

Apparently, I'm a small brown marsupial. Not following? Well, it's WOMBAT. Some people will have you believe it stands for Website and Online Media, Bloggers And Tweeps, but after meeting up I'm of the firm belief it actually stands for We Only Meet when Booze is On Tab. Because, well, it's true.

LOVED meeting Yvette and Karen
The Jive and I don't pass up an opportunity to go out, particularly when someone else is paying. For him it's  because he's a poor student and a night of not eating two minute noodles is quite glamourous. For me, it's because I'm a poor excuse for a once-was-party-er and a night of not changing nappies is as good as it gets these days.

Fabulous ladies: Georgia, Lani, Sarah, Catherine and Taryn

He headed to mine for the time honoured tradition of "getting ready together" which is really code for "I don't want to show up alone for fear of looking like a loser". It consisted of him standing in my bathroom drinking shoddy wine whilst watching me dry my hair and put on makeup.

Swag bags are sooo 2011, swag boxes are the next big thing
I applied a little extra oomph to the ensemble with false eyelashes in the hope that having sparkles around my eyes would leave people so entranced that they wouldn't notice my drunken shenanigans. Though as I've found out many a time, no matter how much effort you put in, after six glasses of champagne it's highly likely you'll turn in to a pumpkin with smudged makeup by midnight at a bar in Leederville trying really hard to figure out what the guy with the incredibly thick Irish accent is actually trying to say. Or *ahem* so I've heard.

It was awesome to catch up with old mates and I loved meeting the people I've been cyber-stalking following, and putting faces to names and Twitter handles. We ate, drank, got some freebies, met an incredibly drunk Ricky Gervais wannabe with an intense stare, drank a bit more, posed for shocking photos and left after being asked to go to Leederville with some lovely, random people that had become entranced by our swag boxes.

Artichoke love

I have two new Bloggy crushes in the form of Chantel from Bossy Mummy and Cie from Pathetic to Pin up (who rocks a cowgirl hat like nobody's business, let me tell you). I had fabulous conversations with them both, though they may think differently since they were of the cringe-worthy drunken confessional variety.

1. Screaming in Georgia's ear  2. Intense "Ricky" before he tried to steal a swag box
3. Gorgeous Cie  4. RJT, Chantel and I laughing it up
It was a fabulous night thanks to some fab organizing peeps and awesome sponsors Bubbler, DP and Nuffnang.

What did you get up to? Photos or it didn't happen.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Apple, sultana, cinnamon and oat muffins

My mother used to always bake when the weather was bad and as a result whenever it rains I always feel like having scones for afternoon tea and a roast for dinner.

Since the start of winter this has translated in to a constant hunger and lots of opportunities to play with recipes, modify them and sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly smug, create my own.

Sweet or savoury, it doesn't matter. I must bake and I must eat.

Apple, sultana, cinnamon and oat muffins

  • 1 3/4 cup of SR flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 115g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Really unattractive action shot
  • Combine flour, sugar, oats and cinnamon
  • Add in the fruit and stir it around to coat the pieces - this makes sure they don't sink to the bottom of the batter
  • Add in the butter, eggs and milk and stir until just combined
  • Spoon in to a muffin tray and bake at 180C for 20 minutes
If you want to be a little bit more indulgent, before you put them in the oven, sprinkle them with some extra brown sugar and a few extra oats - when it melts together it creates a great little caramel crunch!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I went walking, what did I see?

I live in a bit of a dodgy suburb. It ranks pretty high up there with the top areas for welfare benefits and crime.

With that in mind though, I've never been scared around here in general. Oh sure there was that time Map Guy came face to face with a would-be burglar through the glass door and the time the dog chased an intruder down the side of the house. Both of those times I shat myself, but other than that, I'm not one to just be afraid.

I feel safe walking the streets around here because I know a few of my neighbours and because I know the liklihood of being attacked by a stranger is minimal. Plus I normally have a big fuck-off dog with me.

It's a good thing, because when I do go walking, well, I find some pretty interesting things...

A spelling mistake that has been in the window for over 12 months.
Maybe they are sorry their accessories are shit?

An awesome ride on digger... out for bulk rubbish collection
(yes I checked before taking it)

An organ, dumped in the middle of the Open Space
perfect for impromptu dog recitals

The word "Tricky" drawn in to fresh cement...
What? I totally found it like that! *shifty eyes*

A burnt out car at the bottom of our street
There's been three in that exact spot

An unusual inscription on a painting
in a local office

I will spare you the used condom photo.

What weird stuff do you see in your neighbourhood?

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to use chalk to colour your hair

One of the annoying things about having a dark hair colour is that colouring the tips is major pain in the arse involving bleach, strange orange colours and normally, for me, ends up looking like I've just dipped the ends in a bucket of vomit.

But there is a way! Hair chalking!

I tried it out with some subtle pink (well, it's subtle next to my purple at least) and really liked it so decided to go contrasting blue too:

Ever heard of it? It's been big in the US for a while and is gaining popularity over here rapidly. So how do you do it? It's SO easy, just grab yourself some artist's chalks and go for it:

As you can see from the pic, I have heaps of vibrant colours in my chalk box and I can't wait to try them all out. You can also use eyeshadow pigments for this - I have some loose MAC colours from my days as a makeup artist so they'll be next on my list.

As soon as you've finished, clean the massive mess of chalk that has fallen around you or it might stain. It's also best not to wear your fave clothes or sleep on your expensive white pillowcase because the fallout is pretty bad.

It is really hard to style your hair afterwards because the chalked sections feel like they have half a can of hairspray in them... plus every time you touch it your hands will come away a little tainted. I ended up looking like I'd been inappropriately dealing with a Smurf.

Yet another downside to this is that if you do it more than a few times in a row it will seriously dry your hair out. Make sure you have a good conditioner on hand to repair! But for the price of a box of chalks ($10-15 at a local art store) it's a cheap way to get quick, vibrant, one-night colour.

Will you try chalking?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Weekend Whine - Episode 6

Basketballers, smuggling and vaginas. Because I'm all about the vag at the moment.

No linky this week. After being BEGGED to turn this in to one I did and then none of you bloody linked up and I looked like a dickhead.

Tell me, what should we call our vaginas on television? Funniest answer will win my endless love and devotion.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Talking about my boobs again

So guess who got another writing job?! Thanks blawg!

I am super excited to announce that I’ll be sharing a few of my breastfeeding stories at the how2breastfeed website in the coming months! I have a lot of feeding stories – when you feed for this long that’s what happens. I see this as a massive win/win situation - I can pass on the knowledge I’ve gained to those who might need a bit of a hand and I get another forum to talk about my boobs in! HOORAY!

I thought I’d prepared for breastfeeding as much as possible by researching everything while I was pregnant. I figured that in the sleepless few weeks of new parenthood I wouldn’t know my ass from my elbow so best get as much info as I could before that happened. 

The start of my breastfeeding journey (because you always have to use the word journey) was shaky. All the books I’ve read, all the midwives and all the lactation consultants I’ve ever had experience with told me “if he’s latched on properly, it won’t hurt”.

I have one word for you. Bullshit. That's not always the case.

My nipples obviously did not get that memo. You know why? Because I was busy being filled with conflicting information about how long I should leave Tricky to feed as a newborn. It seemed every book, and every specialist had a different set of "rules".

My midwife told me to leave Tricky to nurse an hour, which did turn out to be true for us ONCE MY MILK CAME IN. It was definitely not the way to go when all I had was colostrum. Her advice (based on the fact that she assumed Tricky was five days old rather than 12 hours old) led to some rather nasty damage and a truck load of pain despite the fact he had latched on well.

With a start like that I sometimes wonder how on earth we managed to come this far. Then I remember I’m stubborn and have been known to take on proving people’s assumptions of me wrong as a bit of a hobby.
Was he really ever this small?

But even with my arsenal of knowledge, I still felt like I needed someone to tell me I was doing OK, to answer my questions and assure me it would get easier. I would have loved to have the how2breastfeed DVD. I would have watched it at 2am when I was awake with a starving baby who was screaming the house down as I figured out how exactly I was meant to hold him.

Hold his neck not his head? What? Won't that hurt him?! GAH someone just tell me what to do!

To see real mums, watch them feed, hear their stories and know that it does get better, right in your own lounge room... worth it’s weight in gold.

Did you have a shaky start to breastfeeding?  Where did you get your support from?

This post is not a standard sponsored post, but is part of my ongoing work for how2breastfeed which is a paid position.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why do I only screw up dinner when we have guests?

This post is sponsored by McCormick
I never used to like cooking. The whole dishes thing that tends to happen afterwards put me off massively as did the buying of dozens of ingredients that the recipe would claim are “pantry staples”. Can someone tell me since when have Quinoa and Jaggery been pantry staples? I thought Jaggery was a way to describe someone dancing like Mick Jagger. No, I'm serious.

Then I had a kid. It was as though shooting a child out of my nether regions somehow switched on the gene that controls the desire to cook. Sadly, the desire to do the dishes gene remains completely switched off as does the "exercise-to-work-off-all-the-food-you're-eating" gene. But I digress.

I don’t really have the time to make everything from scratch, what with faffing about on Twitter, so I rely on recipe bases from all natural ingredients quite a bit. At least that way I can still feel kinda crunchy. I gave the McCormick Recipe Creations Beef Brew with Herb Dumplings a whirl the other week in an attempt to impress some friends because really, who couldn’t resist something with dumpling in the title?

I *ahem* had a few slight issues.

Firstly, I forgot to put the beer in. I slid my cast iron pot in to the oven with a bit of a smug “pfft that was so easy” grin only to turn around and see the bottle of ale sitting on the counter. Considering the recipe is called Beef BREW it was pretty appalling slip up on my part which could only be surpassed by forgetting the actual beef. It had only been cooking for about five minutes so I yanked it out the oven and added it in. Crisis over.

Secondly, as I started dishing it up I realized I’d been so busy putting Tricky to bed, talking to my dinner guests and trying to get the timing of the dumplings correct that I’d forgotten to put on the vegetables to serve with it. So my poor guests had the casserole on their plate, two dumplings and nothing else. My title of Hostess with the Mostess went down the drain immediately.

There was some slight redemption when I pulled the kick-arse white chocolate lava cakes out of the oven for dessert. Lava cakes make up for all manner of dinner party disasters.

Despite my failings, the results were awesome. I loved how the exact amount of herbs and spices needed were in the package ready to go - I may or may not have pretended to be a celebrity chef as I poured them in... interestingly the clock on the wall is in the exact position a camera would be in.

It was a little strong for my liking, but the others really enjoyed it. I put it down to the fact that I’m not a beer fan to start with and the others were, so I made it again leaving out the ale and put in the equivalent of stock and it was much more me. On a side note, if you buy just one bottle of ale because that’s all the recipe requires, your husband may look at you in disgust.

In an effort to redeem myself I made the Herb and Parmesan Crumbed Chicken a week later when more friends were coming for dinner. Unfortunately they had to cancel at the last minute, which of course guaranteed that the chicken came out perfectly because there was no one there to witness it. OF COURSE.

I’m gonna be putting this on my ‘serve to visitors because it looks and tastes fancy but actually takes two seconds to make’ list because all it requires is you to shake some chicken in a bag and bung it in the oven. If you make a double batch like I did, ZOMG the next day it tastes amazing in a salad. I know, I just said amazing and salad in the same sentence. There must be something wrong with me.

What’s for dinner tonight at your place? Ima have me some chicken.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This one time, I pissed myself laughing {with giveaway}

This post is about vaginas and balls. Hooray! I wasn't entirely sure if I should post it or not but after a discussion with my mothers' group about taking away stigma and making people feel less alone, I decided this was a community service thing. So here we go...

Childbirth isn't too kind to a gal's pelvic floor, ya know? Actually, even if your bub came out the escape hatch you're not immune because it's the act of carrying a watermelon for forty weeks that puts the most pressure on it.

Once you start showing a bit of baby bump it seems everyone wants to drill it in to you to do your pelvic floor exercises. From midwives to OBGYNs and passing motorists, they all seem to shout "Squeeeeeeeeeze! CLENCH!" the second you're within earshot. And now, it would seem, I'm getting in on the act, too.

If your pelvic floor is weakened it can mean light bladder leakage. LBL. Or, as it's known in my circles, PMSL. Now we don't want LBL or PMSL when we're on a night out in the CBD wearing our LBDs (with no VPLs!) while we drink UDLs. OMG, who drinks UDLs anymore? I mean, WTF?

So yes, for the record, if I've been coughing constantly or I'm a little *ahem* intoxicated and laughing with my girlfriends and I have a full bladder, then I have to clench like no one's business to prevent it happening.  Do you have three friends? Well one of you more than likely has LBL because 25% of women do - when coughing, laughing, sneezing, jumping or sometimes just because.

For the handful of men that may happen upon this, don't panic, when we tell you we might piss ourselves laughing it's not like we empty our entire bladders as soon as you say something bordering on witty. It's different for everyone but it might just be a drop or two which, after discussing with Map Guy, feels exactly the same as when you put it away "a shake short". Not the nicest.

20c piece for comparison

Anyway, back to the laydeez. This little Ben Wa-ish ball will help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to help with bladder control. It's called a Laselle Kegel Exerciser from Intimina and yes, it goes inside of you. There are different weights you can try (it's like resistance training for your vag!) and you can connect more than one together depending on if you've read 50 Shades of Grey how advanced you are... do you have an advanced vagina?
"Beneficial to all women, Kegel exercising is recommended to reduce the risk of incontinence, prepare for a healthy pregnancy, help regain pelvic strength after childbirth, and maintain vaginal tightness"
This little sucker makes it less likely you'll be avoiding jumping up and down since the exact same muscles are used to have a really great time in the boudoir it can have a positive effect there too... which is sorta just jumping up and down of a different nature, really. In short, it can make your sex life a-maaaay-zing. 

If you freak out every time you're going to sneeze, cough or laugh then you'll benefit from this. If you've always wanted to try one and have been too embarrassed to buy one, then now's your chance.

I have eight of these fab little things valued at $19.95 each to give away and no, I'm not going to make you comment publicly or share it on your Facebook wall in order to enter.

Complete the entry form below to go in to the running to win one of the beginner balls - your name will not appear anywhere. Then think about emailing this post to your mothers' group, your sisters, your mums and your friends... 25% of them will be effected.

This competition is now closed.
Thanks to the 1038 people who entered!

This is not a sponsored post. However an admin fee was charged. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

50 Shades of Torturous Writing

*let's play spot the typo - I'm leaving it in, it's too funny to mess with*

I read Fifty Shades of Grey. A friend was so insistent I read it that she went out and bought it for me (no, seriously).

I have to admit, I was happy to receive it because I was curious to find out if it really was as bad as I’d heard it was without having to wait forever on the library loan list, because sure as shit I wasn't spending any money on it. I had my fingers crossed that it was going to be one of the "so bad it's good" books... I was wrong. It’s pretty shit. Actually it’s quite painful to read. BUT… I’m going to defend it... well a bit.

A lot of people have written how the book encourages abusive relationships because Christian admits he likes to control everything Ana does and even says he likes to hurt her. Well, I have to admit, barely a few pages in and I wanted to seriously hurt her and her bloody inner goddess too.

But calling it the end of feminism is going a bit far. Hello, it's a Dominant Submissive relationship… control and pain is what BDSM is all about. Consenting adults are allowed to have sex however they want and yes, some have fantasies involving inflicting pain and others receiving pain. A huge chunk of Feminism is about women having the right to sexual freedom and if a woman chooses to enter in to a relationship with full knowledge that it’s gonna be full of kinky shit then power to her.

As far as full knowledge goes, a contract with negotiable limits clearly defined certainly checks that box. If she doesn't want to leave that relationship (as she is encouraged to do), despite not liking part of it because "she'll miss him" and believes she can change him, that's not proof it's anti-feminist, it's proof the female protagonist is a horny dickhead.

BDSM is nothing new and has graced (or disgraced, depending on how you feel about it) the pages of thousands of erotic novels and novellas, I don’t understand why all the fuss is being made now and never before, particularly when this one pales in comparison to some I've read. Perhaps because this one claims to have more of a storyline and is not just sex, sex, sex? From the reviews out there all I can guess is that a lot of people are having trouble differentiating between a Dominant and a misogynist prick. Christian happens to be both but they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Swathes of reviews mention that it's entirely unbelievable. Ummm, yeah, it started as Twilight fan fiction. You know, VAMPIRES. What did you expect? I don't see anyone banging on about that shit being unbelievable and yet the main characters are mythical creatures. That aside, this is no less believable than any of the shite “romance” novels out there. Girl falls for boy, he wants sex, she wants love, tries to change him, yaddah yaddah yaddah. The only difference is that there happens to be a couple of whips and chains thrown in.

If your problem is that the characters are insanely attractive then how about you show me a movie or TV show where they aren’t? No, really, show me. Don’t point out Shallow Hal because that movie used skinny, beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow in an attempt to make the point that skinny and beautiful aren’t important.

If your issue is that Ana goes from inexperienced virgin to insatiable, multiple orgasming, sex machine in a matter of pages you won't be alone. But show me a Hollywood sex scene that portrays sex, particularly fist time sex, realistically and you may have a point. 

So, should you read it? If you like good books with proper storylines and character development I’d steer clear. But if you can handle reading the thoughts of a chick who quite obviously needs to see a doctor about her serious vascular condition and has a penchant for rolling her eyes, biting her lip and "hitching" her breath on every. single. fucking. page, then go for it.

It might perk up your sex life, it might give you a laugh, or it might make you want to poke your eyes out with a swizzle stick. Or, like me, a bizarre combination of all three. It’s free from the library and only $10 from the shops. With the amount that have sold worldwide, maybe the author can pay for some writing lessons and a much needed fucking thesaurus. 

As I said, it’s incredibly painful to read… but since it’s about BDSM maybe that’s the point?

Have you read it? What did you think?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Not just a Mummy Blogger

This morning my MummyAlarm went off, I stretched and got out of my MummyBed while cursing the single digit temperature and wondering if I could somehow will the heater to turn on.

I made some MummyToast, sat on my MummyCouch and turned on my MummyTV.

After watching some MummyPrograms, I brushed my MummyTeeth and styled my MummyHair before getting in my MummyCar to go out to and do MummyThings.

You see, since reproducing, it would appear that all my stuff is now MummyStuff, all my thoughts are now MummyThoughts and all my work is now MummyWork, particularly since I went and got myself a MummyBlog.

But I've never actually had a problem with the term MummyBlogger and readily identify myself as one despite loathing the word mummy. This blog started when I was up the duff and I wrote almost soley about this new direction my life was about to take. I wrote about birth choices, delayed cord clamping, preparing the nursery - you know, all the boring shit that no one gives a fuck about.

As I moved on from the intense first months of parenthood where I spent most of my time figuring out how this tiny human worked to a stage where my boobs got to spend at least some of the day inside my top, I started talking about other things. Random things that had little to do with whether I had a mini-Map Guy running around or not.

Even though every single post wasn't about nappies and breastfeeding, I still identified as a MummyBlogger because I was a mum who blogged. I blog about life and a large part of my life right now is my kid. Though I draw the line at discussing his bowel motions. This blog is a poo free zone. Lots of boobs though.

Whether it's because I've grown a thicker skin with a few years of blogging under my belt or the fact that I've embraced the word from the get go, calling me a MummyBlogger is as much of an insult as calling me white, chubby or asthmatic. You can't offend me with a fact

Some really cool things have happened because of this little MummyBlog. I've watched this Glowing community grow and some amazing opportunities opened up to me because of it. I became a writer for The Daily Buzz, was the expo coordinator for DPCON12, spoke at the Media140 conference about the power of blogs, contributed to the Things They Didn't Tell You ebook to raise money for Foundation 18, will soon be speaking to PR students about working with blogs and just recently I've been taken on as a writer for another site (more on that soon).

But that pales in comparison to the successes of my fellow MummyBloggers. Some have turned their blogs in to businesses, some have gone on to write for major publications, become published authors, others have become professional speakers. The list goes on and on and on because they're a pretty amazing bunch. Where they find the time I have no freaking clue, but I'd hazard a guess they spend less time faffing about on Twitter than I do.

So my point, because after all the waffling I do actually have one, is that my issue is not when you call me (or the friends I've made from this gig) a MummyBlogger. My issue, is when you put the word 'just' in front of it.

Do you love or loathe the term?

EDIT: Turns out I used some similar phrases in this post as the amazing Bianca from Big Words did in her post about why she isn't a Mummy Blogger! Great mind think alike... and came to opposite conclusions on the term Mummy Blogger! And yes, I totally freaked out when this was pointed out to me and went "She'll think I copied her! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

Monday, July 9, 2012

Yellow Pages Capture The Cover Competition

This is a compensated post* 
I have all the apps ever created for taking photos, editing them, organizing them and sharing them. ALL of them. Sadly, the number of apps I have has absolutely no correlation to the level of talent I possess for photography. As a result, you lot are subjected to my "chuck a filter on it and it'll be fine" approach. Hey, it's working for me so far. The only problem is that when people meet for the first time they wonder why I don't have flawless skin and a permanent duck face expression.

But some of you lot are fantastic whether it's with your phones, a point and shoot, or with a fancy pants DSLRs. I don't even know what DSLR means, but I'm just going to assume it stands for Did Someone Let Rip? Amiright?

This year the Yellow Pages is running a Capture the Cover competition (say that three times fast) where you are invited to, well, capture the cover.

The covers of local issues will feature local images taken by local people. Local, local, local. If your picture ends up on the cover not only will your image be on the phone tables of thousands of households (or holding up computer monitors and acting as bookshelves in student accommodation) but you can win fabulous prizes including fancy pants cameras, iPads and cold hard cash. Ca-ching!

Tricky tried to get in on the action but had a little trouble... it seems when given a spunky blue toddler proof camera, he only takes photos of himself. He was all "What? My face is in my local area! Be more specific with your instructions, woman!" When I said it just wasn't gonna cut it, that he wasn't meant to show faces in his pics, he attempted to eat the camera in defiance.

I wonder where he gets that from?

First cab off the rank is Perth! Yay! So get snapping your local area now. Other cities are going to follow soon so you East Coasters can start prepping. 

To enter your pics and learn the Ts and Cs, head to the official website at CaptureTheCover.com. If you're a Twitter junkie, follow @YellowPages_au and keep an eye on the official hashtag #capturethecover and see how many places you can recognize. Alternatively, check out the Yellow Pages facebook page for more info. I'll be joining in on the fun but sadly, I dont' qualify for any of the prizes and with his stellar photography of his own face, neither does Tricky.

*I was not paid for this post. I received a toddler-proof camera from the Yellow Pages to help Capture The Cover

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Weekend Whine - Episode 5

Where’s My Glow?

So, do ya think I should start working as a phone sex girl?

Friday, July 6, 2012

How Not To Ruin Your Marriage: Lesson Three - Money


Welcome to lesson three of How Not To Ruin Your Marriage. Today we'll discuss the big kahuna... moolah!

The stuff that doesn't grow on trees, that can't buy love or happiness and definitely can't buy a sense of style or taste, can quite easily have you fretting, making stupid decisions and land you in the dog house with your spouse.

I've compiled a list of five tips and tricks, based on my own disastrous experiences, to help you navigate the world of money in relationships:
  • When going to buy some 'too good to be true bargain rims with new tyres' (so that you can get rid of the rims and have a new set of tyres), and the seller tells you "Oh no, it's just the rims"... DO NOT BUY THEM BECAUSE YOU FELT BAD FOR THE SELLER! They will just end up taking up valuable space in the shed because really, who the fuck wants a set of Kia rims? Your wife will hold this expensive and yet worthless purchase over you for a long, long time, so best not to do it.
  • Don't take the 'out of sight, out of mind' approach to parking tickets. If you settle them when you first get them it will ensure your husband doesn't have to urgently go all the way to the state court to clear it up for you and pay a penalty to stop you losing your license 
  • On booking a buck's night, obtain RSVPs before paying out almost $1000 in tickets and transport for the event. When you're left out of pocket by nearly $800 it's likely your wife will make earrings out of your testicles then sell them on Etsy in an effort to recoup the loss
  • Check your bank account before doing the grocery shopping lest you be sending frantic texts to your husband asking for a money transfer while the other shoppers gives you death stares for holding up the line right before school pick up time. This simple step not only helps you avoid the embarrassment of a rejected card but also stops you getting cranky at your husband for not getting the message and rescuing you because he was in a meeting earning money so you could buy said groceries
  • Try to refrain from sending a picture message to your wife of the car you just bought without any discussion, saying "This is our new car, hope you like green". If you'd like to buy something that large without telling her, put a huge mofo bow on it and voila, not only is it longer an issue, but you're the best husband ever
Can money ruin a relationship? Does anyone want to buy some mint condition Kia rims for $200?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Is that a spade or a short handled digging instrument?

I don't normally wade in to the murky waters that are online debates about mummy bloggers for a few reasons:
  • Getting my opinion across in 140 characters or a small comment box is bloody hard
  • I loathe conversations that go in circles
  • I'm happy to disagree with people and have them do their thing while I do mine
  • I don't really give enough of a shit to waste valuable time on it
But can someone, for the love of Google, please tell me how an opinion writer who has a column in a newspaper and writes about a comped weekend experience; a tech website owner who is paid to write about the features of the brand new iPhone she just got given; and a TV show reviewing games they have been sent, are any different to each other? Are any different to me? REALLY. Because I just don't get it.
They were paid for their time, their skill and their ability to draw readers/viewers with their opinions. How is that different, really, to what Bloggers who choose to walk the monetisation path do?

They all received product with the expectation it would be reviewed. They all received payment or compensation in one form or another. No one is jumping up and down saying they have been bought, that they've sold out, are immoral and unethical or that they are being untruthful in their review. You can call it sponsorship, a small fee from the parent company, an admin fee, hell, you can even call it Shazza's Shoe Fund. I'm gonna call it a fucking a spade. Money is changing hands for opinion, be it positive or negative, no matter what the platform.

You can argue to the cows come home that old media is governed by laws, and that I am not. The fact that I am abiding by those laws, because I feel it is the right thing to do, is seemingly dismissed because I'm new  media and my platform is mine alone and therefore anything I write must be intrinsically biased, unbalanced and easily bought. My words here are not influenced by whether or not my palm was lined with cash or a box of fucking washing powder came my way, and it even says so on my media kit so that companies who wish to engage with me know straight up that I can't be bought.

I get that there are some unethical bloggers out there willing to say anything for a buck, but they are in the minority here. Painting all mummy bloggers who monetise with the one "cash-for-comment" brush, and singling us out as the only writing niche who have some bad eggs amongst us is a narrow viewpoint indeed.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tinybeans Baby Journal Review and $100 Giftcard Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Tinybeans
I am obsessed with taking photos. It comes with the Bloggy territory that you document everything that inspires you to write. Even more so though, I’m obsessed with taking photos of Tricky. He’s my first born and it’s a rite of passage for him that in this digital age there will be thousands upon thousands of photos of him, ready and waiting to be collaged embarrassingly for his major milestone birthdays.

For the last month I’ve been using the free Tinybeans app to create a baby journal of sorts for Tricks. Well, a toddler journal, really. And I’m loving it. So when I was asked to write about it last week, I was all “I already know all about it! For sure!”

The app lets you keep a day by day photographic record of your kids so you can really see them growing, track their milestones and notice all the tiny changes you might not pick up on day to day. You can have a separate profile for each kid so even neglected third borns like me can get in on some of the photo lovin’. If it just did that, it would be pretty cool, but it does a lot more.
Easy to add new profiles and see all your photos for the month

There are in-app filters to turn your ordinary photos in to fancy pants ones and a notification centre to remind you to take a pic every day so that your baby journal doesn’t become something you use half a dozen times then forget about… like your gym membership. But you don’t even have to have an iPhone to play along, because you can control it all from the website too – so all the Android peeps and those poor, unfortunate souls who don’t have a smartphone can have a slice of the action, too!

Filters make everyone look better
I’ve been tweeting out some of my photos using the #tinybeanskids hashtag as part of the launch challenge because I’m a social media whore, but I know putting your kids online isn’t for everyone. So my favourite part of the whole app is that it is completely private and only shares your photos with who you choose. Which is great for all the photos you want captured and shared with family but not publicly – you know the ones I’m talking about… nudie runs!
Tinybeans in App and Website form

I have it set up to automatically email Map Guy to give him a little mid-afternoon pick-me-up, and Tricky’s paternal grandparents who live five hours drive away and don’t get to see him as often as they’d like. Plus if I send them pictures they’re less likely to go hunting on the blog for them and find out I’ve been off gallivanting in Sydney with a man who isn’t their son!
Easy to navigate, set reminders and share photos with family

To help celebrate the successful launch of Tinybeans, I have a $100 Westfield voucher up for grabs! To enter, click here - it will redirect you to the Facebook entry form.

To create your own baby record download the free Tinybeans app from the App Store or head to tinybeans.com.

Did you keep a baby journal?

Full terms and conditions can be found here

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Marriage is so gay

Image Credit
I never understood the concept of two people promising to love each other forever. I'm a realist who doesn't believe in the happily ever after of fairytales despite thinking that it would be awesome to have a knight in shining armour whisk me away to live in a castle with maids and talking mice and shit.

I think it would be more realistic if marriage vows stated "the person I am now will love the person you are now forever... but I really hope when we change we're still compatible" because people change. They're allowed to. It's healthy.

Then I met Map Guy. He was less knight in shining armour and more dude in a metallic green XR6, but nevertheless, I fell for him. Hard. When Map Guy and I decided to get married, we didn't do it in the "stereotypical" (i.e. what Hollywood would have you think is normal) way of man asks woman via elaborate Youtube flash mob dance routine, woman squeals and says yes, woman goes slightly insane immediately planning wedding, man hangs back and waits for it to be over.

In fact, when we met, we were both anti-marriage, though for very different reasons. In fact I was so anti-marriage that if I ever saw a bride on her way to her wedding I would have the insatiable urge to shout "GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!". 

We softened slightly and Map Guy proposed we be engaged in perpetuity because it wasn't quite as icky and formal as marriage but it was an outward statement of how much we meant to each other. Nawwww. I agreed, we had a party and, as an added bonus, I got some rockin' bling. That was meant to be the end of the story but then, after almost a year of being engaged, I asked if we could seal the deal. I asked him to marry me.

See? People change! Barely two years earlier and the thought of marriage would have me convulsing and here I was doing the asking.

But all through our changing of minds there was never a question of if we could get married. It's legal for us. And I firmly believe that any two consenting adults, regardless of their chromosomes should have that same right. Denying gay people the right to marriage because it makes some people uncomfortable is like banning gstrings or Meg Ryan movies because they make some people uncomfortable. You don't see me going around with placards demanding an end to miniature pieces of underwear and the burning of all copies of Sleepless in Seattle, do you?

That might seem like a really simplistic view, but in my mind, it IS that simple. If you don't like it, don't do it... but don't stop anyone else from fulfilling their dreams to marry the person they love or watching You've Got Mail.

People change. Let's see the law change too.
I'm getting a bit word cloud obsessed, aren't I?
I'm linking up at My Mummy Daze

Do you believe in marriage equality? Why? Why not? 


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