Saturday, December 22, 2012

See ya later, 2012!

Well it's been another huge year and kudos to y'all for surviving the apocalypse. I've put together a list of my fave posts from each month this year in the obligatory blog wrap up.

January - I had fun at the tennis without actually watching the tennis with special guest star Real Jive Turkey and *ahem* smuggled alcohol.

February - Went to a horrid holiday home that was infested with vermin and sucked my will to live.

March - I broke out the Cranky Pants and let you know what not to say to a parent (i.e. me).

April - Created a pictorial tutorial on how to handle a toddler tantrum. Surprise, surprise, it involved wine.

May - I stood up for my bloggy self because a sample of washing powder sure as shit doesn't pay my electricity bill (in response to the infamous Bandaid-Gate).

June - The Trickster turned two. Nawww, my little boy is growing up so fast!

July - I stood up for 50 Shades of Grey. Well, kinda. I KNOW, I KNOW!

August - Made a very naughty 50 Shades of teddies cake. The teacher's face was PRICELESS!

September - Got featured in CLEO magazine thanks to a douchecanoe troll.

October - Nuded up on the interwebs. Again.

November - Gave you some tips on what to do with your ben-wa balls when you're not using them.

December - Got shitty at a woman who tutted at Tricky when he was mid-meltdown and I was trying to calm him down.

And that's it!

I'll be taking a little bloggy break over Christmas and New Year but I'll see you back here mid January with news of my fan-freakin-tastic sponsorship to DPCON13! Ya huh, someone actually admires my head on Madonna's body photoshop skills! Who'd have thunk it?

Until then, be safe, take care of yourself, and each other, or whatever it is that Jerry Springer would have you do.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Of Boats, Booze and Barfs

Yesterday I went on a wine cruise that my mum had bought through one of those daily deals sites. We decided to make it a bit of a girls day, cruising up the Swan River on a gorgeous summer's day, wine glass in hand. Ahhh yeah.

I've been on a wine cruise before and figured it would be similar - cushy and air-conditioned with obligatory snack/wine bar and tourist commentary that you're too busy talking over to hear. Instead we were met with a dingey boat that had seen better days. It appeared that they were trying to hide the fact that the boat was ancient and could do with a really good scrub by covering it with lashings of bright turquoise paint on the inside and hear-it-coming-orange on the outside.

Kinda looked like this...
CC wdlindmeiers

About three minutes in to the cruise I was wondering why I even said yes because my stomach had already started doing flips. Not an issue, surely they'll turn on the aircon soon? Wrong. They didn't have any. On a boat where the windows didn't open and half of the roof was made of glass...

It was sweltering and despite it being a calm day I was starting to turn a lovely, and appropriately festive, shade of green. I asked Gopher Smith for a sexy spew bag. I thought he was taking the piss, the way most people mock me for intense sea sickness (I got sick on a cruise ship with 12 decks...) but no, they didn't have any. They don't stock them.

Are you fucking kidding me? What kind of public boat, particularly one that is on a WINE CRUISE serving a tonne of cheap goon to it's patrons, doesn't provide spew bags? Boats and booze, people! One of those is going to make at least one person yack.

Gopher, who looked like one of the Waugh brothers (the sexy one), gave me a shopping bag, complete with hole in the bottom. He might as well have handed me a paper cup and gone all Garth on me. "If you're gonna spew, spew in to this".

On disembarking, after having managed to not lose my lunch (if I'd had lunch - you had to pre-order food on the boat and we weren't told until we got there) I let the guys know they might want to invest in some vom pouches to which they replied "But people don't get sick on the Swan River". I'M PEOPLE, I GOT SICK! Fucker.

It got me thinking, what places have you been that have had the most obvious thing missing? Pub with no beer ala Slim Dusty? Hotel with no mini-bar bed? Tell Aunty Glow and she'll write them all strongly worded emails.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A serious case of the CBFs this Christmas

It’s nearly Christmas. I’m sure you already knew that though on account of every single shopping centre swarming with people lining up. Lining up to get in, lining up to buy things, lining up to get them wrapped, lining up to get their kid to sit on a strangers’ knee. Lots and lots of lines.

I have been in Christmas mode for a month now, part of my Operation Christmas Brainwash for the Trickster, and I’m well and truly over it. I don’t want to buy any more presents, I don’t want to go to the shops, I don’t even want to hear The Boob singing Holly Jolly Christmas any more and that is really saying something.

To put it bluntly, I have a serious case of the Can’t-Be-Fuckeds.

The advent calendar I made Tricks, with a different activity every day, is being neglected now that I have the all-important child-with-strange-old-man photo sitting pride of place on my TV cabinet (what people who aren’t rich have instead of display cases and mantles).

We have baked, sung, baked again, watched Christmas cartoons, got crafy, decorated trees, baked some more, went hunting for Christmas lights, and did I mention we baked?

I’m done. I’m over it. There will be no more bloody Christmas activities that involve doing anything more than sitting on my fat arse because I just can’t be fucked. Advent boxes are going unopened and we haven’t even gotten to the gingerbread yet. There will be no more trips to the shops to get something small for so-and-so on the off chance they buy us something because I'm not prepared for another tantrum and I just can’t be fucked. There will be no last minute buying of gorgeous decorations because I just can’t be fucked… and because I have nowhere to put them come January.

I’ve reached my Christmas saturation point and I’m calling it. No more Christmas things.

That is until it’s Christmas eve and I change my mind, get out the Reindeer food and letter to Santa and make some shortbread... ahh fuck it, who am I kidding? We all know I'll do it.

Are you over Christmas already? Got a serious case of the CBFs?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cheesy Christmas Stars

I've been cooking up a storm this month. Every second or third day Tricky's advent calendar activity is baking because he absolutely loves it - he even has his own apron now which serves the dual purpose of keeping his clothes clean and looking super adorable at the same time.

I've made cheesy biscuits about five times because they don't last long. And no, I don't mean they don't keep well, I mean they're eaten by the end of the day. Can you say moreish? They're based on a recipe I found recently that I've played with a bit (read: MOAR CHEESE, less salt). 

They do keep in an airtight container for a day or two, but are best eaten straight away. When slightly warm. Oooh yeah.

Cheesy Christmas Stars

Cheesy Christmas Stars

Ingredients (makes 50 stars... well depending on how big your star cutter is obviously)
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 75g room temperature butter
  • 80g grated cheese (the finer, the better - use pizza cheese for extra flavour)
  • Additional grated cheese for the top
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Apron FTW!
  • Sift the flour, whack in the salt, give it a bit of a stir
  • Rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs (or cheat and melt the butter - you might have to add a bit more flour but who cares when it's easier, right?)
  • Add in the grated cheese and stir it in (it's a bit thick, it's OK)
  • Crack the egg in a glass, add the milk and whisk it together with a fork
  • Tip almost all of the eggy milk in to the mix and stir, again, to form a dough. All this stirring burns calories, right?
  • Need the dough a tad on a floured board, then roll it out about 1cm thick
  • Cut out shapes. Stars taste better. I tried trees and gingerbread (or cheesebread) men and it just wasn't right.
  • Place the stars on a baking sheet, put a quick flick of eggy milk on the top with a pastry brush and cover them with a bit more cheese. Go the parmesan, you know you want to.
  • Bake them at 200C for ten minutes or until golden. Or, if your oven has a cold stop like mine *grumble*, turn then around half way through. GAH!
  • EAT THEM ALL!    

Cheesy Christmas Trees
Cheesy trees... not as good

Thursday, December 13, 2012

5 Reasons Twitter is like that shitty show Passions

Do you remember Passions? It was on Australian TV in the late 90s and the first half of the naughties when I was in late high school. I know, I didn't realize it had run for that long either.

With people having Princess Diana as a guardian angel, a bizarre never-fucking-ending love triangle, amnesia, witches, a weird doll that came alive, the live-in nurse that was an orangutan (WTF?! BamBam, who played 'Precious' was even nominated for an Emmy), some rich folk who meddled in other people's lives and numerous doubtful paternaties. And sometimes all of that in just one episode.

I watched about a dozen episodes. At one point in school it became cool to watch it just so you could take the piss out of it the next day. It was verging on being so bad it was good but didn't quite make it, landing squarely in the poke-eyes-out-rather-that-watch-this-shit basket. 

In my current I-don't-like-Twitter-anymore phase (which sure as shit will be over the next time I'm on a train and need rescuing from my boredom and hate for being alone), I've decided that Twitter and Passions have a bit in common:

5 Reasons Twitter is like Passions

1. You can go away for a month, come back and still see the same arguments being rehashed. FFS! How many times does that whiney little bitch have to go on about the boy not liking her, even after she is the one who cheated on him... right now I could be talking about EITHER. Substitute the topic for monetization or ethics in blogging (or being tired of Twitter) and lather, rinse, repeat.

2. There are lots of fucking weirdos. Twitter is full of them, hence why I am there. Harmony, the thankfully fictional town in Passions was also full of them. Don't just go straight to Tabitha the witch, the whole fucking town was loopy, there are too many to even mention. 

3. There are heaps of whiney bitches. That chick Theresa? OMG I wanted to slap her upside the head every time she spoke or did that lip quivery thing. Same goes with people who continuously whinge on Twitter like me. No, it's true, one of the things I hate most about Twitter is my own tweets - shut up already, woman!

4. There are a couple of hot and awesome people who don't know you even exist. Like that one hot awesome guy who never got cast again because OMG YOU'RE THE GUY FROM PASSIONS. I don't know what his name was, but his career has not gone from strength to strength. Twitter is the same - a few hot people that are getting their 15 minutes of fame who don't even know you exist. It's fucking depressing, why am I even there?

5. It sucks you in, even when it's shit. Like that one week I watched Passions to find out if Whiney McWhinerson would marry the hot brooding guy. It was a train wreck, I couldn't look away. A whole week I watched only to find out that a viewing week was a Passions minute and shit just draaaaags. That's a week I'll never get back. Twitter drags you in too - especially the shit fights and hilarious hashtags. One minutes it's all "I'll just have a quick look" and the next it's "I forgot to feed the dog and it's 1am".

For a serious "ummm WTF?" moment, check out this clip. Now I'm all for not being politically correct all the time but everyone in a psychiatric hospital playing with dolls? Yeah, nice.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with Twitter? Did you watch Passions?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Meddlesome Shopper

Toddler Tantrum
CC Rafa2010
 It's that time of year yet again,
The shops so full they'll burst.
I'm here lugging 'round a toddler,
This child I've loved and nursed.
But today the spawn is misbehaving,
He's at his all time worst,
He's screaming bloody murder,
Diving to the ground head freakin' first.

Instead of smiling or walking past,
You choose to stop and stare,
To make a bitchy comment,
Then tut at me and glare.
My child never acted up”
You say with mocking air,
But I don't believe your bullshit tales
Of your perfect little heir.

I'm sorry, lady, you've got it wrong,
You think your shit don't stink?
Yes my kid is acting up,
And I could do with a fucking drink.
Your words aren't helping anyone,
With this narrow way you think,
And now that I'm pulling you up on it,
Your cheeks are turning pink.

Sometimes this is how kids act,
When they're hungry and overtired,
Or maybe there is something more,
And the parents should be admired,
For not throwing in the towel,
And surviving what transpired,
Maybe they need a bit of support,
Or a wine could be required.

So don't judge me or my kid,
From the two minutes that you see,
Instead think for just one second,
“Tomorrow that might be me”.
Yes I'd like him to shut up,
On that we sure agree.
But berating us in public can't stop,
This one-toddler jamboree.

And if you've already had your go,
Maybe you're older and quite jaded?
But I guarantee your kid's done this,
And that your memory had faded.
You've forgotten all the times,
Days when you would have traded,
Your darling little shithead,
Who could not be persuaded,

To just be quiet and sit still,
And not be such a showoff.
While you scowled in their ears,
Promising lollies as a tradeoff.
So go on, go about your day,
And have your little scoff, 
But seriously woman, from all of us,
You can fuck right off!

Have you gotten stares or comments mid-toddler-tantrum? Did you want to fight back or did you wish the ground would swallow you up?  

Friday, December 7, 2012

How to stop your kids being scared of Santa

This post is sponsored by Gig Fizz
How to stop your kid being scared of Santa
Original pic by Brian Sawyer, title added under CC license
This time last year going to the shops was a complete fucking nightmare. The Trickster, on seeing anything at all Santa Grotto-esque (even a nativity scene!) would cry and scream then run like all buggery in the opposite direction a lot faster than I could. How do such little legs get such speed? 

This year I was determined that all Christmas related tantrums would be avoided by instigating a not-so-subtle brainwashing that Christmas is GOOD.

Here are my top tips for making your kid less scared of Santa:
  1. Set up the Christmas tree early and let them help. My inner anti-consumerist had a mild heart attack setting up the tree in November but I needed it to be done before every single shopping centre looked like Pinterest had thrown up on it. Rearrange the decorations when they’re asleep if you want, they’ll just pull it all off tomorrow again.
  2. Do Christmas craft projects. Get our your scissors, that manky glue stick from 1993, some coloured paper and go for it. Try recycling an old cardboard box and create a tree and decorations that your kid can paint. Fingers crossed letting them go for their lives redecorating that every day will stop them pulling the baubles off the real tree and hiding them in your bed.

  3. Go to Gig Fizz and view a free Santa video for your boy or girl (you can even send the video to Nan & Pop for prime pre-Christmas nawwww inudcing/wallet producing fun). A fabulous Santa straight from the Santa School in Canada (OMG THERE IS A SANTA SCHOOL!!) will speak to your kid and they’ll start to feel the magic of Christmas. If they’re still scared then you can upgrade to a personalized Santa video (or a fairy, or a Princess, or Elvis…) and Santa will say exactly what you ask him to… like “Geez, kid! Don’t be afraid of me, I bring you presents, duh!”.
  4. Now that your tot isn’t terrified, take them to as many Grottos as possible. Hang back and just let them watch the other kids to see how it’s done. Ask them if they want to go up and if they do, stay with them. If they don’t, mention that Santa normally gives out lollies try a wave and then leave. Forget about photos, this is not your goal. If you go too soon, this will happen:

    The Gig Fizz kids... hrm, I'm betting this is what started the Santa option
    (used with permission)
If all goes according to plan you'll now have a child that demands to sit on the lap of every single Santa and even random old guys with white beards and overweight people wearing red. Hrmm... maybe being scared one more year wouldn't be so bad...

Is your kid afraid of Santa?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How to make a cardboard Christmas Tree

Since mid November, everywhere I look on the interwebs all I see is Christmas craft. I've had the insatiable urge to whip out the glue gun ever since and the only thing stopping me is that the glue now comes out an awful baby poo brown, the result of one of my earlier forays in to sucking at craft and burning off finger appendages.

I do have a bit of the craft bug this festive season. In fact it would seem I've got an entire infestation! Hand made presents, salt dough decorations, home made advent calendar, the whole shebang. Yet no amount of activities and crafts has kept the Trickster from pulling the decorations off the real Christmas tree. After seeing a felt Christmas tree on Dear Baby G and having a little fuck-this-I-don't-touch-fabric moment, I decided to make him his own eco-friendly recycled cardboard Christmas tree! Huzzah, it'll be a green Christmas this year!

What you'll need:
  • A huge bloody box from that booster seat/bookcase/wardrobe you just bought 
  • Pencil & ruler (or live life on the edge and freehand it)
  • Cookie cutters
  • Scissors/scalpel
  • Paint & paintbrushes
  • Blu-tak

How to make your own cardboard Christmas tree
  • Grab your giant box, draw on a Christmas tree and cut it out
  • Give it to your toddler to paint, set aside (both tree & toddler) to dry
  • Clean up all the paint on the floor, walls and table top
  • Draw around the cookie cutters to create decorations and cut them out
  • Give them to your toddler to paint
  • Clean up all the paint on the floor, walls and table top.
  • Wonder why you ever let a two year old paint inside
  • Stick the tree to the wall
  • Put blu-tak on the back of each decoration and tell the kid to go for it
Short of unsheathing the wires for the twinkle lights, how do you stop your little ones pulling decorations off the tree??

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Giddyup, Glow!

I've always thought a horse ride would be rather romantic. You know, when the horse isn't shitting and your bum isn't starting to go numb. I had visions of Princess Buttercup and Wesley galloping through the hillside and pictured Map Guy and I doing just that. If you ignore the fact that neither of us wore fancy clothes, managed to go any faster than a quick trot, the fact that I look nothing like the delicious Robin Wright and replace the ROUS's with kangaroos, it was EXACTLY like The Princess Bride. Swoon.

Recently I took Map Guy on a special surprise date trail ride experience and gourmet picnic that was worlds away from our usual Sunday shenanigans (of hanging around in PJs til noon) yet barely ten minutes from our house.

Despite always wanting to go horse riding, until now my only experience consisted of being led around a park oval by a spotty teen about twenty two years ago at a fete. With that in mind our trail leader, Jenni, gave me the reigns to the gorgeous Chrissie who was perfect for a first time rider like me. Chrissie had absolutely no sense of personal space and just wanted to follow the horse in front as closely as possible, her nostrils practically up Estelle's backside. Don't worry, Estelle is a horse.

Map Guy, with even less experience on horseback than me having never even been on one at a fete (really? and you call yourself a country boy?), got the slightly stubborn and perpetually hungry Bertha and pulled up the rear spot in our trail ride trio. Bertha liked to stop for snacks quite a bit and really, I can't blame her. I like to stop for snacks too, particularly on days when I carry a grown man on my back. By half way through, Map Guy was a pro at keeping Bertha on track and with the group.

Trail Ride Experience Perth

We rode through the equestrian centre property out the back of Wanneroo, down the road and in to the state forest and the Gnangara Pines. Which shouldn't be confused with Gangnam Pines - the easy way to remember is that in Gnangara the horse riding is not imaginary and has far less call for shouting out "Oopa!".

As our confidence grew, Jenni asked if we'd like to try a trot and tentatively we agreed. A quick note to any women thinking of taking up this experience - wear a sports bra. TRUST ME. Three short trots later and the girls definitely couldn't handle any more.

It was so relaxing and I completely understood what Jenni meant when she said that this is her therapy. Out there with the bush and the 'roos, the world is just so quiet and peaceful.

After an hour and a half of riding we headed back to the stables for the second part of our romantic day date - the gourmet picnic! I was expecting a few nibblies on a rug but instead we were greeted by a cute table all set up and platters of quiche, cold meats, cheeses, dips, fruit, crackers, strawberries and chocolate. And to top it all off, champagne - possibly there to make sure we were too sozzled to notice each others' helmet hair. It was bliss and I can't wait to go again!

Gourmet Picnic Experience Perth

If you're after the ideal Christmas gift for someone who is hard to buy for check out RedBalloon and get $30 off when you spend $129 or more by entering RBXMAS12 at the checkout.

Do you like horseriding? Do you pretend you're Buttercup (with a sports bra) when you go?

Disclosure: Thanks to the team at Digital Parents Collective for inviting me to be a part of the RedBalloon Experience Program. I will be sharing my awesome experiences with you over the next few months. To read all of my experiences so far, click here. As always, all opinions are my own however the experiences are complimentary.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Unsolicited Lick (and other icecream crimes)

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang

There are a few sadly under-reported crimes that are threatening the moral fibre of our nation this summer. Ice cream related crimes are on the increase now that Australians collectively spend more than $12.5million on ice cream each week during the warmer months.

According to research commissioned by ice cream connoisseurs Baskin-Robbins, and wholeheartedly supported by yours truly, the biggest ice cream crime is the Unsolicited Lick. Dun dun duuuun!

I'm of the belief that sharing an icecream is akin to full on tongue pashing and therefore should only be attempted on the icecreams of people you're willing to share a toothbrush with and only with express permission. For the record, I'm unwilling to share a toothbrush or icecream with anyone. Not Map Guy, not Tricky, no one. This household is a strictly one person per icecream venue, thankyouverymuch.

If you'd like to be escorted off the premises at Casa de Glow, ask for a lick of my choc chip cookie dough in a waffle cone. Go the Unsolicited Lick and you'll also score yourself a lifetime ban.

Apparently I'm not alone in my deep no-icecream-sharing beliefs; one third of men and one in five women agree with me. To the two thirds of men and four fifths of women who don't... EWWWWWWWW!

Recently Map Guy, The Engineer, The Events Coordinator (aka my brother in law and his new fiancee) and I took Tricky to Baskin-Robbins in Fremantle. After surveying the store and declaring he wanted the "pink favour" we all sat down on the wharf and enjoyed our icecreams in the sunshine. AND DID NOT SHARE. Bliss.

For your chance to win one of 5 Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Birthday Packs consisting of an ice cream cake (in voucher form so it doesn’t melt!), balloons and candles tell me in 25 words or less what is your ultimate ice cream eating faux pas or if there is one celebrity you wouldn't mind a cheeky unsolicited lick from. Enter through the Facebook app here or leave a comment below.

If you miss out on the main prize don’t worry, an additional 15 lucky winners will receive $20 vouchers each for their family. 

What is your favourite Baskin-Robbins ice cream flavour?  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Have yourself a very LEGO Christmas

Whenever I think of Star Wars I don't think of the Imperial March, instead I think of the cool music playing when Luke, Obi Wan Kenobe and the shiny one with the metal ass that isn't Bender meet Han Solo for the first time. If it was possible, and auto play music was not inherently annoying, I'd have The Chalman's Cantina playing right now for this.

In these parts, Christmas just isn't Christmas without a hefty dose of LEGO (and the minor middle of the night foot injuries that go with it - when will I learn to turn on the light?). And I'm very happy to help make sure that there is a tonne of the good stuff under the tree at your place too. To be more specific, I have two amazing Jabba's Palace sets to give away valued at $199 each.

Wouldn't this look amazing under your Christmas tree?

You don't just get the palace, you get all the inhabitants too - Jabba, that green girl with the tentacle things on her head, Chewie, the ugly pink dude, Hans Solo AND Hans Solo in carbonite plus heaps more.

These sets are bypassing my house and being delivered straight to the winners because I know that Map Guy would hide them from me to keep them as his own.

For your chance to make this the best Christmas ever for your Star Wars Geek, click here and check out the Facebook app! If you don't have Facebook, feel free to leave a comment as your entry.

Are you/your kids LEGO fiends?

*This is NOT a sponsored post. I have received no compensation at all for this, but I truly love LEGO and wanted to share the LEGO love. 

This giveaway has now closed


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