Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Family Fancy Dress up Night: Inside Out

These days if we get an invite to a party for a Saturday night well the answer is YES!

If the kids are invited and we don't need a baby sitter it's a giant fist pumping YES!

When the party is six days away and you find out that everyone is going in fancy dress and there is no theme to help you decide what you should wear, well, then it's a bit bloody stressful. Until your kids ask if we can all go as characters from their favourite movie, Inside Out.

This is such an easy way to get ready for a fancy dress party and I ended up having so much fun planning our outfits. All day Saturday the kids helped to get the outfits ready.

I went as Joy and found a long blue wig and just cut it short to be more like Joy. I also managed to find a short yellow dress and some great blue shoes. Yes, Joy wears flats, but I decided Joy also loves great shoes. Because Joy is a little orange skin toned I finished my outfit with a fake tan the day before, going for an orange glow!

Mr H went as Anger, which again is really easy to do. You just need a red tie, a red face, arms and hands and some red hair spray.

We found the red hair spray worked best for the face paint too, not soo wet and slimy.

Ms 10 went as Disgust - if you have a tween, Disgust is perfect for them. I had a green dress in my wardrobe so I dusted off the sewing machine and took it in at the seams, then just added a green wig and some easy accessories and you have all the attitude you need.

Miss 7 wanted to go as Riley, the little girl in the movie. Riley is a jeans and hoodie kid who carries around her backpack a lot. Mainly, she wears a yellow hoodie. Miss 7 got some new jeans a new hoodie and she was done.

Everyone brought along a plate of food to share at the party, and I have to admit I cheated by getting some help with the cake - but take a look at that Anger cake at the top, it looks fantastic.

We did fail to get decent photos before we left home, so if you do dress up, remember to get some photos before you hit the party and the disco ball lighting ruins your shots.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Gatsby Night Out.

On the weekend we got the gig as Professional Seat Fillers at a fundraising ball.

What a fun thing to do! Being a Professional Seat Filler is not for everyone, but for us, it's a great way to do something you just didn't have planned. You need to be happy to arrive at a function not really knowing who you're going to be sitting with and just enjoy the event.

Fundraising balls come with the addition of live auctions, silent auctions, raffles and requests for cash, but there isn't any pressure to mortgage your house to fund the charity.

The theme for our night out was "With a hint of Gatsby", with only 24 hours to pull our outfits together, organise babysitters, decide on transport and get our names on the table seating list we had to move fast. The key is to accept that you might not have the perfect outfit, but your attitude and enthusiasm to attend will take you the rest of the way.

Event organisers always want you to enjoy their function, they go to great lengths to try and make everything run smoothly, so with the right attitude you should really have a good time.

We met new people, were entertained by some fabulous performers, nearly won some wine in the silent auction, heard about some truly extraordinary research being done by medical types who just do the most superb work and had a really good laugh with the people on our table.

We quite enjoy the excitement of last minute plans, finding yourself at an event you never even knew existed, speaking with people at a table who you might not know at all. It's not for everyone, but it can be really good fun.

I am not sure if there is a career in filling seats for event organisers, but if there is...count me in!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Facts about making wishes

You should never stop making wishes. 

Wish making fairies may reside here.

As you grow up, you may not have as much hope that your wishes might come true, but you should still never waste a chance to make one. 

Not everyone is lucky enough to get the chance to make a wish so never take it for granted. Some people give up on wishing altogether, but wishing is good. Wishing is powerful. Wishing never hurt anybody. 

There are a few standard places and times that people know you should make a wish and a few things you might not know about making wishes. Here're a few tips on getting the best out of your wishes.

1) Blowing out the candles on your birthday cake: 
This is the most popular wish and it should be used yearly. It's your reminder to make a wish for the year ahead. Don't waste it by making wishes for someone else.

2) When throwing money in a wishing well
This is known as good karma wishing. If you throw your coins in a well, chances are high that those coins are going to be doing something that helps other people. Karma is what makes the world go round, so your wish is highly likely to come true. Unless you over wished. Over-wishing can be a good thing, but don't be greedy.

3) Seeing the first star in the sky. 
This one even has its own little rhyme. You get more power in your wish if you are looking out the windows in the car as you drive home from a night out. 
Star Light, Star Bright, 
First star I see tonight, 
Wish I may, wish I might, 
Have this wish I wish tonight...

As stars are magical twinkly giant balls of red-hot fire, they are very powerful. Make your biggest wishes, whisper them to the night sky, close your eyes and think about your life when that wish comes true.

4) Chicken Wishbones
Wishbone wishes are not very powerful. If you are not an only child you have to fight with people in the family to get to have a turn on the wishbone, then you have to fight to be able to pick the side you want and then you know that your sibling is going to cheat and make it hard for you. The wishbone wish is flawed because someone's wish doesn't come true, but what most people don't know is that the parents are making a wish as they watch their children wish on the wishbone and it's the parent's wish that usually comes true.  That wish is usually that their children would stop fighting and that someone will throw that wishbone in the bin before the dog chokes on it.

5) Double Yoke-r
If you crack an egg and it's a double yoker, it is your lucky yokey day. Making a wish before you eat them, you've got double the chance it might come true. 

6) Dandelions
Pick that precious little weed up as you walk along the street and blow those fairy seeds all over the place. Fairies live in dandelions and fairies are who help make dreams and wishes come true, the more of them released to fly around the atmosphere, the better. 

7) Find a penny
This is not a wish, do not get confused between good luck and wishes. Remember the saying, 'Find a penny, pick it up, all day long, you'll have good luck.' So if you see a coin laying on the ground, you might have a lucky day, but don't go getting greedy and having a good day AND expecting wishes to come true too. 

Vital information about wishes: 
Wishes can't hurt you. You can make as many as you like unless you have a genie who is only going to give you three wishes. You can make a wish every day. You can wish for things for other people, for things you hope for today or for things you want to happen in years to come. 

Remember, don't just rely on the universe, karma and fairies, keep trying to make your own wishes come true too.

isclaimer: This is not scientifically researched information. If you wish for it to be untrue, your wish might be granted. However, should you wish for it to all be true, you might be rewarded.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: A Beautiful Planet - 3D

This week we went to see A Beautiful Planet in 3D at IMAX Melbourne.

To kick off the show it was introduced by a real live Nasa Astronaut! After completing many space missions covering a total of 55 days in space Marsha Ivins, shared with us that the footage we were about to see was not animated, it was all exactly what an astronaut sees in space. At times I had to remind myself of this note as the images look like they could truly be that of someone's imagination.

A Beautiful Planet is only a 45 minute film, but it feels longer as you see so many brilliant images of earth. Cut between scenes are snippets of life for the astronauts living on the space station, how they exercise, sleep, and even grow lettuce. The moments with the astronaut walking OUTSIDE the space station made me hold my breath as I just imagined him falling off and floating off into space, never to be seen again.

It's a great film to see with your friends who might be climate change sceptics. Take them to see it, let them see Earth from far far away where the brown baron lands are extreme, where land has sunk in vast places from people taking underground water for just a few decades.

There is a section where you learn what it would be like on Mars, and with the 3D glasses in full effect, I actually felt a little like I was on a ride at the show. The effects are just extraordinary.

Outside the cinema there is a giant blackboard encouraging people to share the things that they think are beautiful on the planet.

This is very much a documentary, smaller kids might find it a little too documentary like but Miss 7 enjoyed the entire show. If I had any complaints about this film it would be the heavy focus on USA, it's clear that the people making this film are American, while other countries are shown, it is just a tiny glimpse of the top of Australia and not a great deal of Asia. But you do get to see things you could never imagine, like the difference between North and South Korea in perhaps the image that best describes two countries who are physically so close, but in every other way, so far away.

This is certainly a film worth seeing on the big screen and in 3D, no matter how good your TV is at home, it will never give you the feeling you get when watching it on an imax laser screen.

Add it to the list of things to check out these school holidays.

We were guests for the opening night of A Beautiful Planet in Melbourne, photographer Lisa Frieling was there to take photos, including both the images in this post. 

Monday, September 5, 2016


I have written 800 posts on this blog.

That's a lot of words and pictures and such a lovely way for me to go back and remember things.

I am actually pretty forgetful. I fill my head with too many books, too many articles, too many conversations and most of all too many ideas of things that can be done. It means I forget little things sometimes, or  they just sit at the back of my mind until I am reminded of them.

There were times I blogged every day for a month, or ten times a month for the year. I used to always have something to write about.

Then things changed. I started working more and my kids got busier attending activities that needed me to be the mum taxi. I started to find myself getting out and about more with my friends and having less and less time.

And pretty soon the blog ideas ran out, or I just stopped thinking about them so much.

This week at different times both the girls have asked me why I am not blogging anymore and asked if I could start again. Miss 10 even offered me suggestions of things I could write about.

My last blog post that I wrote I really enjoyed writing. It was just a week ago, but once I hit publish, I didn't tell anyone. I didn't share it on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or LinkedIn, I just wrote it and that was enough.

Just writing, for yourself, is just enough.

It might be a book review, or a movie review, or a funny joke or a great photo or thoughts in your head, but writing it down, documenting your times, it's fun, it's useful, and makes you think and use your brain, it makes you use your words in the best way you can...and to make them better.

I never regret making time for writing.

Image: Random photo of me drawn by people who know me best.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Radio Talk: Is the money spent on the Olympics worth it?

Oh I love a bit of talkback radio drama, especially when it's about stuff that's not abusive to anyone else. The Olympics discussion is the perfect kind.

The shockjocks all came out with the great big question of 'Is it worth the money?' instantly you get some people calling up saying, no, we should spend it on something else. But I expect they are the same people who don't like fireworks or art or museums.

Others think it's ok if the money spent is returned with medal winning (gold preferred) performances.

As for me, I love the Olympics. I watched the entire opening ceremony and my girls loved it too, it was the first one they have really seen, I have no idea where we were for London four years ago, but I don't remember watching it. We learnt stuff about Brazil that we wouldn't usually hear, watched the spectacular, and how great was it that they are going to grow an Olympic forest with 11,000 trees to represent each of the athletes.

Then we get to watch all the events. Kids don't always get to see top athletes compete, they don't get to think about what all those swimming lessons at school might actually lead to if they really really wanted it to.

An active life can be a hard sell to some kids and adults, but the Olympics is a reminder of the fun in moving, whatever you do.

There are great athletes who leave the games without medals, but wow, to be able to claim you are 6th in the world, or you made an Olympic final, that's got to be pretty fantastic. At times there are only hundredths of a second between first and 8th. Which is when you can chat about decimal places and timings in a way that isn't so difficult to understand with your kids. These teeny little details all group together to make the Olympics worth watching.

Is the money worth it for the Olympics? I don't know, but I can't think of any other time and place around the world where 207 countries (including the Refugee team) come together for a few weeks peacefully. To share customs, to meet other nations, to compete and shake hands at the end of it. You can count all the medals you like, but none of them will show the benefits of seeing the world work together, however briefly. The Olympics is that place where history is made by good people doing spectacular things, for some that means pushing their body to levels never seen before, but for others it means showing that humans are capable of extreme empathy, support, kindness and peace to whoever needs them. It can be when statements are made about wrongs occurring throughout the world or a light can be made very shinny in the face of evil.

There are also all those topics that can be discussed, like men's rowing outfits, the torso of flag bearers, the swimmer who towed a boat of refugees to Greece for three hours just to be alive, how does the cycling event even work?

Whatever we spend on the Olympics, it's probably not enough.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Old Eyeballs

Gah, it might not be medical fact, but then again it might be and I just haven't asked Dr Google yet, but according to my research, when you start to age, your eyeballs get weepy. This was the fact for 100% of my sample, (sample size may have been less than 5).

I am already prepared for the bad back, now carrying my red spiky ball with me everywhere I go, and a little rescue remedy can give you the faux courage you might need to get moving some days, and now I have the Fess spray added to my bag to help get me through the day in the life of a middle ager.

My eyes! They get weepy because they are too dry which doesn't even make sense anyway. At first, you can't figure out what's going on, you might think you have eye cancer and your eyes are cactus. But you'll be ok.

Get your eyes checked and they'll say, Oh, you have dry eyes, here, use these drops/sprays/ointments.

The weather will change and your eyes will be better again and you'll forget all about it.

Then you'll take a holiday and your eyes are crappy again, or the wattle blooms and what was once hayfever is now weepy eye fever.

There are solutions for Old Eyeballs disease. Firstly, a hot tropical climate is a fantastic cure. (Just use your eye spray on the plane on the way there). Sadly, if you can't live in such a place you'll just have to make your own - consider closing all the doors and turning the dryer on in the winter, or having a super hot shower and never turning the fan on.

Less extreme is to indulge in great sunglasses all year round, not just in summer, these act like a barrier for your eye balls but can be annoying in work meetings, dark movie cinema's, swimming pools...

It helps to use the car heater less and not have it set to 30 degrees, even when it's 4 degrees outside.

But when all else fails, you'll just accept that eye drops need to be carried in your handbag from now on. Just when you've finally got rid of carrying all those spare nappies and baby things, instead your hand bag starts to fill with old age apparatus. But make it easy for yourself. Get a spray one - believe me, it's much more cool to spritz your face then lay on the floor putting in eye drops while you're on the train!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

June Twenty Sixteen has now been.

June is my very favourite month of the year.

Even though it is winter and cold and my least favourite weather, in June we get fires and red wine and mid winters eve, which means the days are now getting longer.

Plus, my birthday.

Which is where I will start the June round up.

Getting: Presents that my girls pick for me all by themselves. This year, Lush products are on their favourite things list and Peter Alexander Pjs, so I scored myself some lovely things.

Making: Campfire Food. I went straight to Pinterest for some ideas and found this super basic thing: Ice cream cones -  fill with marshmallow, berries, choc chips, banana - however you like it best, wrap in foil and cook in the fire. YUMMMMMM. It all becomes a gooey melty mess in the cone and you can eat it all perfectly. Just don't put them right on the hot coals - charcoal cones were not a big hit.

Cooking: hot potaotes (it's the fire thing)

Drinking: Hot Apple Cider while at the ice skating at Fed Square

Reading:  First I read Girl Underground, a YA book then I read Britt-Marie was here by Fredrik Backman, he is my current favourite author. Hopefully he is busy writing his next book. 

Looking: at all the snow in the mountains from other people's holidays. I love pictures of the snow, but I have very little desire to go there and throw myself down a mountain or fall off a sky lift (again).

Playing:  Connect 4 - I am the house champion.

Wishing: I didn't feel guilty about working and having to miss my girls perform in a school concert, one they had been practicing for weeks and really wanted to win against the other houses. They did great, including using sign language for the chorus of the song. And they won. Lucky some of the other Mums sent me the video. Mums are good sorts. 

Loving:  The very last bit of this video - Oh, don't be such a wowser! 

Pondering: How we will spend the summer, how we will squeeze in as many family getaways and days as we can.

Considering: Who to vote for. I consider my vote very important, I always think that my vote could be the deciding factor in our whole countries future, so I really need to get it right. And it turns out that's pretty true, because many seats are very very close.

Buying: New boots - such a bargain. I was checking out the shoes in an online kids shoe sale when I saw a pair of all leather boots - lined in leather (my favourite) and they were $295.....but clearly no kids had big feet in adult size so the boots were down to $50. I didn't waste a moment and purchased those babies.

Watching: LOVE CHILD. I am a sucker for any show that is set in the past. Particularly around the 50s and 60s. Particularly if there are great female stories being told. So it's no surprise that LOVE CHILD is my current must watch.

Hoping:  For cures

Cringing: June was election campaign month, there were very few moments I was not cringing. 

Questioning: how when you live in one of the safest political seats in the country your community receives VERY little. If I could tell my local community something, it would be to think about how our area might improve if we were not so predictable. Our local high school has not been updated in 50 years. 50 Years. It's not likely to see much change anytime soon.

Smelling: Lush, so much Lush.

Wearing: Puffy jackets, leggings, boots. 

Knowing: That the last three phone chargers I have bought have been a good price, but none of them actually charge an apple device. Three bargains that do nothing. Should have paid for the pricey one in the first place.

Thinking: We went off to see a financial adviser so for a day or two I was thinking about how we really should be budgeting better. It was a bit embarrassing to realise how much we spend on food each week.  

Disliking: Fear mongering racists. 

Feeling:  In love with the holidays, even though I am working most of them.

Hearing: Rain on my roof.

Needing: Nothing more than I already have

That's all June. It's fantastic to be another year older, to have met more people, done more things, laughed, cried and shared so much with the best of people. 

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