Thursday, August 30, 2012

Putting your hand up can mean cleaning up.

Sometimes I am a hand-puter-up-erer.

In my head it goes like this "Cool, that should be fun, the kids will love that"

The reality is often a little different.
Last weekend I said, sure, we would love to have baby chickens for the weekend. What is not to love about baby chickens?

Let me tell you what is not to love about baby chickens.


Lots of baby chicken poo.

They poo all day and night, when sitting in your hands or when Immy drops them and they run behind the chair.

Even on your shoulder.

Poo gets stinky quick.

The baby chickens have returned to creche to be squished and cuddled by tiny hands and to poo themselves crazy away from my carpet.

Are you a hand-puter-up-erer or a poo clean-er-up-erer?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lipstick Art

I am in a nesting type of mood, but rest assured there is no baby on its way. The baby shop is out of business in the Huey household.

We're planning a bathroom makeover in the next few weeks so I decided if the current cabinet is hitting the tip it would be best to clean the poor thing out first.

I seem to have a collection of make up bags so I started with one and filled it with makeup that I no longer use, the other I filled with items I had forgotten I had but was thrilled to find.

I can't believe how many fashions I have been through in make up. I am not a high user of cosmetics at all which makes me wonder just what could be in other peoples cupboards. Or maybe, that's the point, I purchase, but don't use what I have. The colours and products still showed fashions that have been and gone. Glitter body sticks!

This is so bright, I can't believe I once wore it, excuse the un-manicured nails.

I told the girls that the make up in the first bag was their's to do with as they pleased and expected they would hit the cubby/club house/beauty parlour and get to work face painting.

Instead they spent a few good hours sharing the colours and getting crafty.

The new textures were fascinating for them, using brushes, sticks, eye shadow applicator thingos plus fingers!

Craft items can sometimes be expensive, look around the house and you will be surprised what your kids will really want to play with.

How much old make up do you have laying around at your place? 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Win a car or a holiday (not on my blog though)

This post is sponsored by Toyota

Marketers have long used the competition format, be it collecting bar codes (is there anything more dull?) or cereal boxes, they make you ‘lick a prize’ or ask for your funniest entry to help build momentum around a brand or product. They even use blogs!

It can be a fun way of people linking with a brand and if done properly just entering can be part of the fun. Toyota is currently running a competition and they seem to have ticked all the right boxes in making it worth your while.

1) The prize is worth it.

$10,000 to spend on a family holiday for three winners and a prize of a Toyota Kluger Grande for one super lucky duck family (I wonder if the winner would be interested in swapping for our old Tribute, it is accessorised with sultanas in the seat grooves?). There are also 90 chances to win some My Family Stickers, I know lots of people don’t like these, but I think they are pretty funny sometimes. Especially this one - who needs internet dating, this lady has a bumper sticker!

2) You won’t have to collect a single barcode or make a purchase to enter, nor will you have to lick ice cream off a car to find the one that says ‘instant winner’.

3) If you would like to you can have a laugh at your own expense by playing with the My Family Stickers and placing them in certain travel scenes, but really you should get writing about one of your favourite road trips as a family to win.

See, this is what I will look like at the beach, and Mr H already thinks he looks like this: 

Really there is nothing to lose and lots of chances to win. Get yourself over to My Family Kluger and enter. Some one has to win and if it isn’t me, then I reckon it should be you.

I can tell you nothing at all about this car, except that I would really like to win one.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Winning Weekend #2: Zoe and Beans

Currently I have two fines.

One at the local library and one at the school library.

This is pretty common, as we have kids books all over the house, we read a lot and often. I have them stashed in both cars, in bags I take to restaurants to entertain the girls or if we visit friends who are childless. Popps has them hidden down the side of her mattress in her bed and Immy has a collection of Pooh Bear books on her bed head.

I have mentioned Zoe and Beans before, and here they are again.

Simple, fun, funny. 

There is a particular thing I look for in a kids book, it isn't the message they want to send the child, in fact I am not really a fan of picture books whose main aim is to teach rather than entertain.

I look for a book that as a parent I can cope with reading about 42 million times.


I have two Zoe and Beans: Pants on the Moon to give away - hide them in your stash for Christmas for any child who enjoys a fun story.

Just leave me a comment telling me what you would leave on the moon if you landed there one day.

Comments open asap and close on Sunday 26 August at 8pm.

Fine Print:
Australian Residents Only
If email is not responded to within 48 hours I will redraw the prize
No arguing with the umpire
One comment per person allowed

Edited: 28 August
CLOSED - this giveaway is now closed:

Winners are Kim and Hannah, I will email you asap.

Monday, August 20, 2012

An actual real secret garden

Most secret gardens are not really so secret. They are more just forgotten, left unattended or new  owners are not blessed with a green thumb.

We have a real secret garden.

It is not always visible. 

You can't drive to it, you need to walk through the bush and climb fences. You need to know where you are going and at what time of year to go there.

The Bees were apparently noisy.

Once upon a time someone lived here. There are the last remains of the fire place, the 'house yard' boundary is marked out by rocks still half buried in the ground. Someone lived here and planted some bulbs and some trees. Someone who wanted flowers in an Australian bush setting.

One day they left.

The bulbs stayed and each year they jumped out of the bushland grass and bloomed their special yellow sunny faces.

Each year a few extra bulbs sprout and the daffodils keep on blooming on.

No one else ever moved in and the house disappeared or fell down so the bushland claimed back the space.

Not many people know where this is, the locals don't want the bulbs dug up, they enjoy this quiet and peaceful place, a secret garden that will remain and expand, where the screeching Cocky is the only one who will pick the flowers.

The scent in the air is amazing. 

Within a few months the bulbs will be gone, until next year when our secret garden will sprout again.

Have you planted some blubs this year, because you never know who might one day enjoy them?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Terrible Pants

On the weekend I was delighted to find myself a new pair of cargo style pants, the type you can roll up and wear in summer so I could wear them pretty much year round/

Colour, fabric, price, comfort all seemed perfect.

Yesterday after waiting around all day I threw them on, rolled down for winter, with a new black jumper I recently got. I was so comfortable, so warm and loved wearing my new outfit.

I was cooking tea when Popps came over and said, "Mum, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but those pants are really stupid. They are dumb. You should give them away. They are terrible."

I told her they were new, I liked them, I thought they were ok.

Popps has requested that I don't wear them to school pick up anymore, they are really bad pants and she thought I was looking weird.

At bed time she double checked with "you wont wear those pants again tomorrow will you?".

I was laughing to Mr H later on, saying can you believe that she has started to try and tell me what to wear?

He smirked an odd grin and simply said 'please don't wear them out of the house, go and buy something else, they are shockers.

Maybe I will try them again in the summer time.

This is them without the model and rolled down, what do you think...Keep or throw?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


This week I am doing a lot of waiting. A week that started off as routine as most quickly changed after a phone call from my Mum about my Dad's health.

The hours are going by slowly between phone calls and I am reminded that waiting has never been one of my strengths.

Even on the weekend at the back stage of a concert that Popps was performing in, there was a lot of waiting. I had her dressed and ready to go and was then told we had two hours before stage time. One lady had her knitting. Others relaxed and chatted. I looked at the clock on my phone.

Yesterday as I awaited phone calls about test results and diagnosis I was unable to focus on a task. I can't just read a book and wait. I could vacuum and fold clothes, things that can be done without thinking. I couldn't get any work done and I cancelled a meeting for today that I was meant to present at as I just couldn't focus on what I needed to do. I also don't like to be around people. A cocoon is my preferred place to wait.

Phone calls came with the response that we need to wait some more, a few days, not hours. Doctors are busy, they have lots of patients and are not at my beck and call. Tests take time, there is fasting to be done, waiting your turn. Waiting.

In an age of instant everything my waiting skills are rarely tested. They are certainly far from refined.

It is a good time for the girls to ask for something as I am pretty likely to say yes, have whatever you want.

I might need to take up macrame.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Being snapped in our natural habitat.

We had a photographer come to the house to take some images of us 'au natural'

Emma arrived with camera at the ready and we were to go about our usual Sunday morning while she took some shots.

I have seen other people's photo's like this and loved them, but most also seem pretty story book gorgeous, homes from Vogue magazine, windows clear as crystal where the cleaning fairies have been.

Designer clothes clad families.

Not really us.

I was worried that we are just too boring for a photographer to capture.

I tidied away junk and the stuff that litters the ends of benches and sits on book shelves knowing that I would hate for those itty bitty bits to be in photos forever.

I spent time looking through wardrobes trying to work out what fits perfectly, has no stains, loose threads and buttons missing and then the girls refused to wear those outfits and it was way too cold to wear what I would have liked.

At the start the girls were not even dressed.

I tried to get their hair to look neat and tidy and was successful half the time.

Professional photos of us in our natural environment is quite the task even for the most skilled snapper, Immy wants to be in every image, Popps just goes about quietly. 

I ensured the most important thing was done. My hair was coloured.

We went off to the park, taking the dog for a walk and grabbed a few more images. Peppa looks camera shy.

When we got the results I was thrilled, we are not all dressed up in clothes that we never wear. There is no fake setting and coloured generic background. The photos are just us. Just the way we are.

Disclaimer: Haven Lifestyle Photography provided these images to me on a CD, there was no obligation for me to blog about the photography session. I just really like the images and think other people might enjoy images that capture their family in a similar style.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Powerful Bricks.

Anxiety is something that comes and goes with me. It is a rare thing but annoying when it visits. I am lucky that I am able to acknowledge it at the time and attempt to reason with myself or at the very least remind myself that it wont last.

My anxiety usually comes when I am driving. There have been rare times I have had to pull over just to get myself back together again.

I don't expect anyone to understand this, I certainly didn't when it first started happening.

It started after Lochie died.

We lived on the North West corner of the city. The best, quickest way to get home was to drive past the Royal Children's Hospital. I realised that I just couldn't drive past anymore so I went a different way, every single day. Of course I never mentioned this to anyone else, thinking that would look at me oddly, seriously it is just a building.

A taxi drove me home one night, I was on my phone and before I knew it we were cruising past the hospital. I talked myself through the chest pain as we drove past.

Weeks later it happened again and then again. Anxiety visited but left quickly.

A year later I had to take Popps into the children's a number of times for check ups. I had no choice, I had to deal with the anxiety.

Here we are now, years down the track and I drive past the hospital so much that I never feel that anxious. I don't start to sweat and want to jump out of moving vehicles just to avoid driving past a building.

But I pulled over last week.

The Children's Hospital has been rebuilt and the old hospital is being pulled down. It will become a parkland beside the new hospital. A place for recreation, a green space in a big city.

I wasn't sure how I felt when I saw it. Was I glad to see the old bricks come down, was I sad? It certainly wasn't a building of beauty, it was an ugly 1960s yellow brick square and the inside was run down and like a rabbit warren of passageways and rooms.

A lot has occurred at the Royal Children's Hospital, lives lost and saved, families broken, lives changed.

It is now rubble and teams of people will work very hard to transform that area to be a place for others to enjoy.

It is only bricks.

It is only bricks, they are not doing anything. I used to repeat this over and over when anxiety started to visit when I drove past.

Are buildings more than just the materials that they were built with to you?

There is a wall on the new RCH page that people can add to, it isn't easy to use, so maybe contact them directly if you want to add your own message.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A joke.

This was sent to me in an email. It made me laugh til I cried.

Apologies to those with a more developed sense of humour then mine.

I have left all typos in, it's late, it is not my work, author unknown.

Veet for Men Hair Removal Gel Creme

After having been told my danglies looked like an elderly rastafarian I decided to take the plunge and buy some of this
as previous shaving attempts had only been mildly succesful and I nearly put my back out trying to reach the more difficult bits.

Being a bit of a romantic I thought I would do the deed on the missus's birthday as a bit of a treat.I ordered it well in
advance and working in the North sea I considerd myself a bit above some of the characters
writing the previous reviews and wrote them off as soft office types...oh my fellow sufferers how wrong I was.

I waited until the other half was tucked up in bed and after giving some vague hints about a special surprise
I went down to the bathroom. Initially all went well and I applied the gel and stood waiting for
something to happen. I didn't have long to wait.

At first there was a gentle warmth which in a matter of seconds was replaced by an intense burning and a feeling
I can only describe as like being given a barbed wire wedgie by two people intent on hitting the ceiling with my head.

Religion hadn't featured much in my life until that night but I suddenly became willing to convert to any religion
to stop the violent burning around the turd tunnel and what seemed like the destruction of the meat and two veg.

Stuggling to not bite through my bottom lip I tried to wash the gel of in the sink and only succeeded in blocking
the plughole with a mat of hair.Through the haze of tears I struggled out of the bathroom across the hall into the kitchen
by this time walking was not really possible and I crawled the final yard to the fridge in the hope of some form of cold relief.

I yanked the freezer drawer out and found a tub of ice cream, tore the lid of and positioned it under me.
The relief was fantastic but only temporary as it melted fairly quickly and the fiery stabbing soon returned.

Due to the shape of the ice cream tub I hadn't managed to give the starfish any treatment and I groped around
in the draw for something else as I was sure my vision was going to fail fairly soon. I grabbed a bag of what I later
found out was frozen sprouts and tore it open trying to be quiet as I did so. I took a handful of them and tried in
vain to clench some between the cheeks of my arse.

This was not doing the trick as some of the gel had found it's way up the chutney channel and it felt like the space shuttle
was running it's engines behind me.This was probably and hopefully the only time in my life I was going to wish there was
a gay snowman in the kitchen which should give you some idea of the depths I was willing to sink to in order to ease the pain.
The only solution my pain crazed mind could come up with was to gently ease one of the sprouts where no veg had gone before.

Unfortunately, alerted by the strange grunts coming from the kitchen the other half chose that moment to come and investigate
and was greeted by the sight of me, arse in the air, strawberry ice cream dripping from my bell end pushing a sprout up
my arse while muttering..." Ooooh that feels good "

Understandingly this was a shock to her and she let out a scream and as I hadn't heard her come in it caused an
involutary spasm of shock in myself which resulted in the sprout being ejected at quite some speed in her direction.

I can understand that having a sprout farted against your leg at 11 at night in the kitchen probably wasn't the
special surprise she was expecting and having to explain to the kids the next day what the strange hollow in the
ice cream was didn't improve my status....So to sum it up Veet removes hair, dignity and self respect....... :-

Weekend Wrap

We don't really know how to have a quiet weekend. We try, and sometimes it feels as though we don't have a lot on, but the reality is they are brief moments before we organise the next thing.
Remember that I told you about the 100 Beanies that were needed for the Brisbane Cancer patients who needed some woolly hats. I asked my Mum to knit one on my behalf, she did and then mentioned it to her friends.
So this is what I am sending off this week...

We went out for Japanese and as we were all so hungry we decided to go for the banquet option, not even stopping at the first option but moving to the extra courses on banquet B. That is B for big. B for Big Bum, B for better get moving today or you are going to Be enormous.  It was nine courses of yum.

Saturday night we had our first ever school fundraiser night. It confirmed our new elderly status as we complained that the Elvis impersonator was too loud for us to hear properly. There was a silent auction that I decided to win at the start of the night, a pedicure at a local day spa, I got it for a bargain as I know the costs of the local day spas, it pays to be aware of such things and to know how to score a bargain. The question is can I be patient enough to wait until the weather improves to actually show off the wonderful results of the pedicure? Probably not.

While my parents were here I got them to decide the winners of the Weekend Giveaway. I like running a fast giveaway over the weekend. I hope you liked it too (even if you didn't win). I have a few other things that could be given away too, if you have any feedback on how I run the giveaways please let me know.

Winners of the Milly and Jock PJs are:
Di from Max the Unicorn
Winners of the Wraps are:
Pauline Duddy
Winners of the Hinkler books (clearly there are lots of people wanting books so pop back in a fortnight as I have two more already lined up!)
Linda T
Kell (poems are always hard to beat!)

I have your emails and will send you a message asap for your details.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Winning Weekend

From time to time I have a few giveaways that I collect and I have been rather lax in sharing them with you all, so I am going to try and have some regular 'Winning Weekends'. I will list the post on Friday and you will have the weekend to pop by and check out the post, enter and I will announce the winners on the Sunday night. I always like a fast giveaway rather than those ones that take weeks to end.

So let's get started because to kick off this new idea of mine I have $220 in prizes to giveaway to SIX of you.

Milly and Jock pyjamas.

Popps is a fussy clothes wear-erer  (yep, that is a word) and pyjamas are no different. For years she has been wearing summer nighties and freezing her way though the night. For awhile I had her in the fleecey all in ones and she loved those too, she hates anything around her waist at any time, a major fan of the hipster jean style - but thankfully most jarmies are not low waisted.

Eve from Milly and Jock sent Popps a pair of her groovy pjs to check out and she has been wearing them heaps. I could just say they looked good, but for this pjs have been through the Clairey's dismal washing technique tests and come through really well. They have survived a bout of gastro, they have been washed and put through the dryer and even worn all day. If I had of remembered it was pj day at school then Popps would have been really comfortable wearing these, sadly I didn't so she was in her uniform.

These pjs are worth checking out, however they do run very small. Popps is 6 and in the size 7/8 there is no chance she would fit in a smaller pair. The tops are a more slimline fit, nice to sleep in but difficult for little arms to take off on their own.

Milly and Jock are owned by a family in NSW and Eve is running the business from home, pop over and take a look.

I have two pairs of pjs to give away valued at $39.95 each

Milly and Jock baby wraps

If you are a friend of mine and about to have a baby, please look away now, because this is your baby gift (no, Immy is not included)!

Milly and Jock also make wraps for babies and these are excellent. Finding a wrap that is functional and a decent size is difficult. Other than muslin wraps that are light weights I never found the perfect wrap for the girls, but check this out, excellent size, perfect weight in a blanky, goregous and super stretchy.

I have two wraps to giveaway valued at $24.95

Hinkler Kids Books - 2x $50 packs

While I love having a massive number of kids books lying around the house, I think they are a pretty expensive item. I tend to give books for lots of kids' birthday's and I love receiving them for my own girls.

We received a collection of books recently from Hinkler Books, but the one that was the best was the Splat! What's That? Book.

It has heaps of pages that encourage free drawing and writing and creative pursuits but with random objects placed on the page. It's a craft activity, and education sheet and pretty fun all in one.

Hinkler have so many great kids books that they will choose  $50 worth of books specific to your child, you can let them know the age and interests for the child who you want to receive a parcel for.

I have TWO $50 book packs to give away.

So that is six prizes and there will be six winners.

1) You are disqualified if I do not have your email address. As in, if you do not have it in your google profile, if you are not an email follower, if you don't leave it in the comment you email address, no win.
2) Australian Residents only
3) Only one prize per person
4) Only one entry per person
5) Have you read the above points
6) Winners judged by a random person, if we have visitors they will get to pick, otherwise it will be one of us.

To enter - simply leave a comment telling me which prize you would like to win and why.  Competition closes at 8pm Sunday 5 August!