Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mundanity, yo.

Hello all. How are youse guys going? Me, I'm tired, bra-less and wearing stained clothes, thanks for asking.

I'd like to extend a personal welcome to all my new followers! You have just taken your first big step towards happiness and personal fulfilment. Trust me! I am like the Anthony Robbins of the blogging world. No shit. I am unleashing some serious "power from within" right now. I kid you not.

But enough with the fart jokes, let's move onto more serious matters, like my previous post on the impromptu beauty pageant P was in at the cinema.

The cinema emailed me back and seemed very worried and concerned and thanked me for letting them know.  I'm thinking the manager had no idea what the fairy ladies had planned.  Hopefully they will pay more attention when organising this sort of thing in the future. Maybe I should go this Saturday as a sort of mystery shopper just to check up on them. Hmm.

Anyhoo, today was mundane, which was fine with me.  The weather is positively apocalyptic in SEQ at the mo.  Rain, rain and more rain.  Thinking of everyone in places like Gympie who are going under for like the fourth time this year. Bad juju.

As a result we were pottering round inside. Here's a rundown of the day in dot points, my favourite inclusion in a blog post. Apart from irony. I love that bitch sick.  Don't ever leave me.

  • Made wholemeal Vegemite and cheese scrolls, baked the shit out of them until they were as tough as old boots and essentially inedible, and then ate like a thousand of them anyway cos that's just how I roll. Or should I say, that's how I "Vegemite scroll".  Ahahahaha.
P declared them too "crunchy". She was right. Check out the one on the far left. Dry as a dead dingo's donger, as they say.

  • During lunch P got really tired and excused herself from the table, changed into her jarmies, snuggled down in her bed AND WENT TO SLEEP FOR LIKE 2 HOURS! I know. WTF. Another sign the apocalypse is nigh.  I got really freaking excited that maybe I would have both kids sleeping during the day for the first time in MONTHS AND MONTHS but naturally B, having had a good sleep in the morning, wouldn't oblige me, the little devil.  I rang Michael to tell him and he said "Maybe it's something you did in a past life that means you can't get the kids to sleep at the same time." I think he could sense my eyes narrowing through the telephone line.

  • Went next door for coffee in the afternoon and workshopped with my neighbour all the ways we could do more exercise and eat better, then came home and ate a whole lot of ice cream out of the tub while the kids were looking the other way.  Ugh.

In conclusion, I leave you with some Before and After photos of our recent backyard blitz.  Prepare to be amazed. Amazed I tell you.



I know what you are thinking but don't worry we mulched the herb garden after this photo.

Somebody call Gardening Australia, I think I can feel a visit from Costa coming on!

Any news, dudes? Spill it.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Destroying the joint - what not to do.

Baby B was somewhat better Saturday so I went ahead with a plan I'd made earlier in the week to take P out for a Mummy/Daughter day of fun.  I don't get much one on one time with the little mouse these days and I think she needs it.  My big idea was to leave M at home with Baby B, and to take her to swimming class and then straight off to see a movie.  I'd noticed they were doing classic Disney childrens movies on Saturday mornings at Robina so thought that sounded good.  This weekend it was Pocahontas, so I thought it would be perfect. G rated movies are a bit thin on the ground these days...

So after swimming we headed off.  When I had mentioned to a friend the day before that we were seeing Pocahontas, they remarked that they thought it was part of a sort of princess film special event, but I hadn't really given it much thought.

When we got there, a million tiny girls all wearing tizzy fairy princess costumes were milling round in the lobby.  I could see P, in her ordinary clothes, eyeing them off.  She said "Mummy why are they all wearing their princess dresses?". I made up some bland response but I don't think she was fooled.

Anyway I was a little bit blargh about that, but we bought our tickets and got given our Disney Princess Passports (ugh).  I was still more or less ok at that point, and the ticket person said afterwards there would be craft and face painting, so P and I thought that sounded pretty ok  and we bought our Malteasers and headed into the theatre.

When we found our seats, we were soon joined by throngs of little girls attending a couple of birthday parties, closely followed by two young women dressed up as fairies.  They went up the front and announced a few lucky door prizes. I was still all good with things at that stage generally speaking.

What happened next still makes me feel yucky.  The fairy ladies asked all the little girls to come up the front of the theatre.  I was a bit suss already about it and said to P "Oh we don't need to go up darling", but she looked so disappointed I changed my mind and went up with her.

Then the fairy ladies got the audience to vote on who was the best dressed by clapping their hands.  I am not joking.  They actually went down the line of little girls and held their arm over each of them, one by one, and the audience clapped and hooted if they liked her, or didn't clap and hoot if they didn't like her.

A mother standing next to us exchanged glances with me as they inched closer to our girls.

"I don't like this at all," she whispered.

"Me either. I didn't sign up for this," I answered.

I felt sick as they came closer to P. I looked at her waiting patiently in line, and I knew nobody would clap for her. The little girls with the parties had cheer squads and she wasn't wearing a princess dress.  When they reached her, I tried to cover up the lacklustre applause by clapping and woohooing loudly myself.

Thank goodness they moved quickly onto the next one, and P is just little enough that the whole thing was pretty much lost on her.  Any older and the shame of standing in front of strangers and being judged unworthy would have been unbearable.

The next event was a twirling competition (ugh!), but I managed to hustle her back to our seats before getting sucked into it.

I was so angry.  HOW DARE THEY force this veritable beauty pageant on these tiny girls.  The whole world has gone absolutely fucking apeshit crazy.  I wanted to yell "Fuck you Disney princess bullshit world and your dominant paradigm, fuck you and the horse you rode in on!!!!".

But I didn't of course.

I felt hot tears prickling my eyes.  I was so bloody strung out and exhausted, and felt so terrible about taking P to something where that would happen.  As the movie started, I remembered how tragic the whole Pocahontas story actually was, and as the first rat scuttled on board the ship bound for the New World the tears rolled down my face.

Oh God the TRAGEDY of it all was too much for me and it all got mixed up in my head as I wept silently in the dark - colonialism, smallpox, lost love, the degradation of Mother Earth, the oppression and princessification of all the tiny girls in the world by Disney, John Smith's bad English accent, the guy in front of us and his bad body odour.  The bloody shitting tragedy of everything.  I know. Just a bit over the top I guess.

I felt deadset sorry for the nice man and his two little girls sitting next to us as I clutched P close and sobbed quietly into her hair through the whole film, while she asked things like "But who is John Smith, Mummy?!" and "Who is Pocahontas?" and "Where is Pocahontas' daddy?" and so forth. I can only imagine how maniacal I looked in the reflected light of the big screen.

Frankly the whole thing left me feeling like I'd been through the wringer.

I trailed out after the movie ended and dutifully lined up with her to wait for the face painting. She must have absorbed my gloom because when it came to her turn, she sat silently and morosely staring at the face painter until it was all over.  The saddest face paintee in all of Christendom.

One of the fairies and P sitting as still as a statue.  

I had to ask the fairy not to press on P's black eye.  We must have looked quite a sight, my tear streaked face and her sad rainbow annointed, black eye sporting one.

I made myself feel better today by writing a letter of complaint and emailing it to the cinema.  I bloody hope they listen. I can take expensive popcorn, overflowing bins in the toilets and rowdy children in the theatre, but a surprise beauty contest for toddlers I will not stand for.
The #destroythejoint peeps would be disgusted.

Linking up with Jess for...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Giveaway winner announced!

OK everyone, here is the moment you have all been waiting for!!!!!

The winner of my giveaway is.......Amy xxoo!

Amy, email your address to me at and I'll post the mega prize pack of amazing specialness to you stat!

Here's my original and, let's face it,  fairly precocious opening paragraphs again for your delectation;

 A piercing shriek echoed through the dank corridors of the musty dungeon.  As the warden laughed evilly, he threw the lifeless form of Letitia Bouvier to the ground of the filthy, slime-ridden cell.  Her sodden dress clung to her body, drenched with her own blood.  The warden jangled the cell keys in his pocket, gave Letitia's still, pitiful body a last kick, and made his way to the door.
     "No!" An unrecognisable form threw himself against the bars of his cell.  The warden stopped in his tracks.  Turning round to stare coldly at the man, he sneered, "You'd better watch your step, Sir Gulliver.  The Baron can arrange special treatment for you too if you wish."  He threw back his head and laughed.
     Long after the warden had left, the evil laugh still echoed in Sir Gulliver's head.  As he stared at Letitia's pathetic body, he muttered under his breath, "Letitia will be avenged, I swear it on my brave father's grace."
     His tangled hair covered his distinctively aristocratic features, for he was a man of exquisite parentage, betrothed to the lovely Letitia....

And here's Amy's entry;

Sir Gulliver counted himself lucky that he had the fortune to find Letitia's long lost twin sister in that back woods, swamp bog of a village. Now here they were, at the altar, and he could live happily ever after with the living embodiment of his first true love.... And her ghost.The end.

Frankly I like the way Sir Gulliver just picked himself and got on with it, none of this pining away like a pathetic consumptive business. Seems a nice sensible chap really.  Just what I would do in his place.

Amy has a blog too, go and say hello!!

Thanks everyone who entered you are all totally high-larious. I'm sure you are all deadset devo that you didn't win but maybe, just maybe, I will come up with another equally covetous prize in the near future!

Or if anyone out there has some deadly freebies to shove my way let me know.

Bye byes!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The really, really, really Slapdash report.

This is an update from the front line.

I am reporting a really bloody sick baby, a toddler with a black eye, constant rain and an AWOL cleaning lady.  This has resulted in dangerously high levels of unwashed laundry, dangerously low levels of sleep and a correspondingly low level of engagement with the outside world, rendering the Slapdash Report even more inaccurate and dangerously  anecdotal than ever before.

Your trusty reporter snuggling said sick baby.

There's casualties left, right and centre, citizens.

For my previous reports go here.

Anyway. I promised to deliver every Friday so here it is. Nobody can say I'm unreliable.  The news waits for no stressed out mummy.

-  Australian swimming team have been taking Stillnox and exhibiting dodgy behaviour.  Drugs in sport, eh? How novel. Tut tut.

-  The Greens party have got the huff with the Labour government in a big way over the mining tax not bringing in as much dough as they promised. So the Greens won't sit with Labour at Little Lunch any more and are hanging out in the school library. Or something.

-  Gillard is cross with the states about how they spend their health budgets.  So she's threatening to cut off their pocket money.  But this is deadset NOT blame shifting.  Nope. Not at all.

-  Everyone watches My Kitchen Rules except me. So out of touch.

-  Something something blah blah leadership debate Labour party Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.

Can't be bothered thinking of anything else.

Today started off ok when I dragged the sick baby out with me to P's new dancing lessons but has progressively degenerated.  I woke up this morning and said "I'm thinking of going a month without sugar!", and by the end of the day I'd had a trip to the doctor, the pharmacist, watched the baby vomit up his whole dinner plus a whole tummy full of snotty mucus and then try and eat it again like a dog, and I'd eaten a whole packet of these little bastards.

Red frogs, for the uneducated amongst you.

Exhausting to the max.

I'm in the freaking trenches over here people and it ain't pretty.  It's like an episode of MASH but without the comic relief of Radar's teddy bear and Klinger's frocks. Just helicopters full of dead soldiers.

OK maybe not that bad. But still bad.

Over and out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

He is a tourist. She is a holidaymaker. I, am a TRAVELLER. Part 2.

Here's the second instalment in my cliffhanger series of travel tales.

The first one is back here.

His name was "Pierre".

As I may have alluded to before, when I was 20, my Dad and I embarked on an odyssey to the Old Country (ie. Ireland) for about 8 weeks at the end of the year 2000.

It was a wonderful trip, but I would be lying if I didn't say by the end of it, I was FAIRLY keen to get away from the old fellow for some ME TIME.  The plan was that on the way home, he and I would fly together to Frankfurt where we would then part ways, at which point he would go back to Oz and I would continue on to spend a week in Paris staying with my cousin D and his lovely wife I.

I know.  The excitement!

Paris at the turn of the new millennium was everything my youthful heart could have hoped for.

Paris just being all Parisian.  Look at the Parisian-ness of it all!  Skating, coats, ice rink, noice old building, etcetera.  
I more or less spent every day walking around the city by myself. I would whack on my Docs, kit up in my weird black coat and traipse around feeling like I was in a novel. Instead of lumping my backpack around everywhere, my cousin gave me a handbag to carry, so I didn't look so much like a tourist.  This convinced me that I looked EXACTLY like a Parisian person.

This is me on the left out at some bar getting my Paris on with my cousin and his wife I. I am pretending to be sophisticated and drinking some sort of cocktail arrangement. Yeah, I am so cool and relaxed with the whole being in Paris thing. I was just like Amelie, in that movie called, um, Amelie.  
It didn't take me long at all to start feeling like I could totally understand and speak French too!

I would nod and answer questions from shop assistants and train conductors by smiling and waving my hands around, repeating "Oui, oui! Camembert, cafe au lait, Pepe le Pew!!" or something similar until they left me alone, shaking their heads, leaving me smugly convinced I was a natural.

Once, a French person even stopped me and asked for directions! I TOTALLY BLENDED IN I WAS SO EFFING FRENCH!

One day I was walking back to the train station after having a successful day at the January sales.  I was swinging my Euro-tat filled shopping bags and practically skipping along the path outside the Louvre. I know, the Louvre! SO COOL!

Here's the ole pyramid thingoes outside the Louvre, with some GENUINE PARISIAN PEOPLE walking about.  SO COSMOPOLITAN!
Yeah so I was skipping along outside the Louvre feeling very French indeed when I saw a young guy across the road.  He looked like your typical French 1990s dude, deck shoes, pale Jerry Seinfeld jeans and an earnest expression.

I tried finding a picture of a similar young man in Paris but when I Googled "Young man in Paris" I only got these pictures...tee hee hee hee...

[Photo source]

[Photo source]

[Photo source]
He didn't look like that.

Anyway as I walked past, he caught my eye, and dashed across to me as I clumped along the cobblestones. I tried to ignore him.  I know, such good manners and sophistication! I was doing my antipodean family proud.

He waved, and fell in next to me, pointing to his watch and asking me a question in French.  Because of how we were in France, and all. Ha.

I guessed he was using the time honoured trick of asking a lady for the time of day in order to strike up a conversation. Probably so he could, like, steal my purse or something.  I was ONTO HIM!

 I shook my head and said the only French I knew - "I'm sorry. I don't speak French."  Well schooled by my over protective and cynical Aussie mother about the danger of Foreign Men in Strange Cities, I furrowed my brow at him discouragingly, and marched along the street, swinging my bag higher and more aggressively and clomping ever faster in my huge boots.

Just another picture of Paris.  Those crazy Parisians with their Arc de Triumph and their cars and their relaxed road rules.  
Not discouraged, he sped up and kept pace with me, this time speaking enthusiastically in English.  He asked me where I was from, and I grudgingly admitted "Australia".

"Aha!" he exclaimed. "But, mah gerrrrlfrrend, she hess jerst left to leev in Australie! She will be studying in Canberra."

Oh yeah, I thought to myself.  Right. What a coincidence. I'll bet she is.  Pfft.

I smiled wanly at him and strode on.

"My name, eet ees Pierre," he added.

OF COURSE it is, I scoffed internally, rolling my eyes.  What a cliche.  Who did he think I was, some LOSER TOURIST??  I was practically a local.

"Meh-bee you would like to hev a coffee wis me?", he asked eagerly, smiling into my scowling face.

HOLY SHIT! I thought, suddenly panicked.  If text lingo had been invented back then I would have been thinking OMG and WTF.

Why is he asking me this!? Oh crap he is totally going to KILL ME AND STEAL MY PASSPORT! What do I do?

He continued talking as we walked and questions ran through my head.

Surely it was wrong to have a coffee with a RANDOM STRANGE MAN who accosted me in the street outside the Louvre? 
Or was it?
 If I said no, would he, like, PUNCH ME IN THE FACE AND TAKE MY HANDBAG!?  
Why do all young men in Paris wear deck shoes?

I was in between a rock and a hard place.

Eventually I said, coolly, "Sure, OK. We can do that. Yep. No problem. Coffee. Excellent idea. Hehe. Yep. I'm down with that. Yes sirree. Coffee. Me and you. Uh huh. Let's go. Indeedy do."

He looked pleased, which freaked me out even more.  Still, I had committed myself, so we walked together to the cafe that he suggested.

We sat down at a table in the corner, and he looked eagerly into my eyes while I thought, Great, it's probably some bloody set up, he probably knows the owner and they are going to STEAL MY HANDBAG AND PASSPORT AND RAPE ME AND DUMP MY BODY IN THE SEINE, SO TYPICAL!!!! I AM NOT FALLING FOR THIS ONE BUDDY!

He ordered coffees and water.  The waiter brought them to the table and I sat nervously fiddling with the napkin until Pierre reached out suddenly and grabbed my hand.  He stroked it and said, "Meh-bee, while you are in Paris, Sarah, I can perheps be your French boyh-frahnd, oui?"

My eyes widened in horror and I snatched my hand away from his tender grasp.


"Um, no no, er, no, I don't think so.  No, thanks all the same, no, I don't think that's a good idea at all.  I'm terribly sorry.  Oh, is that the time? Oh no, I have to run, I have to meet my COUSIN at his HOUSE WHERE I AM STAYING and they are expecting me RIGHT NOW!"

I jumped to my feet, my arm connecting with the jug of water and sending it flying across the table, soaking my ill fated suitor's jacket.  He looked dismayed and a bit disgusted.

I stammered a hasty apology, grabbed my bag, and practically ran screaming from the cafe.

I ran all the way to the train station, and when I got back to the apartment I told my cousin and his wife the story of my near miss, between breathless tears.

My cousin's wife, Parisian born and bred, rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, French men! Pah! Zey are all the same...I cannot even eat mah lurnch in ze gardens wissout heving one try it on wis me.  Pah.  Why do you sink I married an Australian man?"

Blinking back my tears, I said "So, that was normal? He wasn't, you know, a sex pest?"

"Ah, no, zey are all ze same I tell you!" She threw her hands up in disgust.

I felt dejected.

He'd obviously seen something charming in my corduroy pants, multi-coloured boot laces and sleeveless turtleneck, and I had cruelly spurned him, panicked by my over developed sense of STRANGER DANGER and the constant burden of my hyper sensitive bullshit detector. The poor bastard.

Wonder what became of him.  I'm sure these days he's married to someone who looks like this:

[Photo source]

And they probably have children who look like this:

[Photo source]

And they presumably shop somewhere like this:

[Photo source]

He's bloody lucky he didn't become my "French boyh-frehnd" because I would have probably made him move to Queensland and shop at Aldi.

A near miss for him indeed.

Until next time my friends, au revoir!

And don't forget, never trust a man in a foreign country! Ever!  He might want to BUY YOU A COFFEE!?  The horror.

EDITED TO ADD: Linking up with Blogs and PR's Talk to me Thursday!

Blogs and PR

Monday, February 18, 2013

A dead giveaway.

Hello loyal fans.

If you are one of my dedicated Facebook groupies, you might have noticed that I have finally cracked the 100 fan mark!

I know!  FAMOUS!!!

Actually I think it is 105 likers.

I want to say THANK YOU so much to everyone who wastes time reading this blog.  Truly, my whole life I've thought how much I'd love to be a writer.  Even as a kid I used to write stuff.
Now apparently I have a captive audience and I couldn't be happier. I know it's only me writing silly crap but I'm loving it sick.

Good work internetz.

Now, something that blogging types do occasionally is indulge in a little giveaway madness! Or as I like to call it, buying friends!  I am not averse to a little bit of bribery so I thought I'd get involved.  I did say a while back that if I got to 100 likes, I'd "do something nice".
Well here it is! Slapdash Mama's very first giveaway.

So I guess the theory would usually be that if you had a really awesome prize and made it pretty easy to enter, new readers would hear of this exciting competition and would flock to your blog en masse! And you would have a million new fans!

Unfortunately I am rather a nobody in this business and am not exactly inundated with gifts and freebies, so I have put together my own rather meagre prize pack, and am correspondingly going to make it SUPER HARD AND COMPLEX to enter!  Because it is my blog and I can if I want to.

Feast your eyes on the generous prizes I have prepared for you!

I got these cool paper straws from Woolies.  If you win, I will send them to you.  You too can jazz up your kid's drink by shoving a straw in it.  Creates instant carnival atmosphere!!!!

You will also get ONE ONLY of these childrens books.  B was accidentally gifted with the same book twice for his birthday, so that makes you guys the WINNERS right there! I am generously going to send one to you if you win this giveaway.  Regifting for the win!  I have to add here that after reading this book, I don't rate it highly.  Still, what's free is cheap, right guys??

Last but not least, you will recieve this UNOPENED packet of cupcake papers from IKEA that I bought and didn't use at Christmas.  Because, you know, the whole cake theme I've got going on at the moment.  Or cake fail theme, if you will.

Another angle of the same aforementioned cupcake thingoes.

SOUNDS GOOD RIGHT!? Who wouldn't want to win! I might even autograph them. I'll think about it.

To enter, you must complete the following challenges.

1.  Like me on FB, or follow the blog with the Google blogger thingo on the sidebar, whichever you prefer.

2.  And now this is the hard part.  Speaking of my youthful writing projects, I recently discovered the first paragraph of an unfinished short story I started when I was maybe 14 or so.  It's like a kind of bodice ripper romance Mills and Boon mixed with a Gothic novel type thing. I have virtually no memory of writing it.  Anyway I never got around to penning more than this...

     A piercing shriek echoed through the dank corridors of the musty dungeon.  As the warden laughed evilly, he threw the lifeless form of Letitia Bouvier to the ground of the filthy, slime-ridden cell.  Her sodden dress clung to her body, drenched with her own blood.  The warden jangled the cell keys in his pocket, gave Letitia's still, pitiful body a last kick, and made his way to the door.
     "No!" An unrecognisable form threw himself against the bars of his cell.  The warden stopped in his tracks.  Turning round to stare coldly at the man, he sneered, "You'd better watch your step, Sir Gulliver.  The Baron can arrange special treatment for you too if you wish."  He threw back his head and laughed.
     Long after the warden had left, the evil laugh still echoed in Sir Gulliver's head.  As he stared at Letitia's pathetic body, he muttered under his breath, "Letitia will be avenged, I swear it on my brave father's grace."
     His tangled hair covered his distinctively aristocratic features, for he was a man of exquisite parentage, betrothed to the lovely Letitia....

Actually now that I read it again it seems almost like a precurser to the Game of Thrones books.  Also, how funny is it that I used the name Bouvier!?  Pretty funny.

No matter.

Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to tell me in 50 words or less, HOW DOES THIS STORY END?

I know it hasn't got a middle part either.  Just cut to the chase and give me the last few sentences.  Humour me.


I will post it to you and everything.

I will reveal the winner........probably on the weekend.

Get writing dudes!  I just know I will be inundated with entries.  Post them in the comments or email them to me at


Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to mend a broken heart.

Ok, I'm willing to admit that sometimes the whole 'slapdash' thing works against me.  Thank god there are some perfectionists out there or I would totes do something stupid like send my wedding invitations out with the wrong date on them,  and then have a hardcore Bridezilla meltdown in the shower (that may have involved screaming obscenities and/or crying) when I realised.

Oh wait, I DID DO THAT!  [Hangs head in shame].

Anyway, developing this theme a little more, today was Baby B's small family birthday partay.

In the name of keeping things square for the siblings, I decided to do the same kind of thing that we did for P's first bday, and that included, (you know what I'm going to say right!?) a HEART SHAPED BIRTHDAY CAKE!


In the interests of keeping things easy, I made everyone else bring a plate, and bought Woolies croissants to serve.  Simple!  All I had to do was make the cake.  Which I've done a bazillion times at least.

The heart tin I have is ENORMO.  So I do the same basic melt and mix butter cake recipe I use for everything, and make three times the normal recipe.

So this means when I make the heart cake I need 6 eggs.  When I opened the carton last night, I discovered I only had 5 eggs.  Mum was there, so I said "Oh SHIT A BRICK I've only got 5 eggs.  Mum, 5 eggs will be enough won't it? I'm supposed to have 6".

Mum said, "Yeah, she'll be right mate, no worries, she's apples, just shove the 5 eggs in it'll be right", and then I said "Yeah, I mean it's chocolate cake so there'll be cocoa in it which will make it a bit dry but she'll be right, 5 eggs will be HEAPS!  Who needs 6 eggs? Pah to you recipe" and other things along those lines.

So I merrily made it with 5 eggs.  Everything was going swimmingly and I was having another glass of red wine as the cake cooled on the stove top, and then I had to turn it out of the tin.

And this shit happened.

Insert NYPD blue music here - "Duht duhht!"
When it cracked I went through the seven stages of grieving, like you do when your heart is broken.

Shock - "What the FUCK is happening! I can't believe it, I have made this a million times! THIS IS NOT HAPPENING PEOPLE!"

Denial - "It's fine, it's just a small crack, no-one can see it, it's a perfect masterpiece flawless cake, yes, yes, yes it is....nice little cake, good cake..."

Anger - "Goddammn this thing it is RUINED and I am THROWING IT IN THE BIN AND BUYING ONE FROM WOOLIES, I am not kidding, I am losing it, it is going in the bin RIGHT NOW GAHHHHHHH!!!!"

Bargaining - "Come on little cakie wakie, I'm sorry I was so angry, I didn't mean it, we can make it work, please...!!""

Guilt - "Poor Baby B, I bought all the other shit for his party from crappy Woolies, I just wanted to make ONE PERFECT HOMEMADE THING FOR HIM AND NOW HIS WHOLE LIFE IS RUINED FOREVER AND HE WILL BE SCARRED FOR LIFE!!"

Depression - "I am such a crap mother, I can't cook to save myself, who am I, where am I, someone pour me a glass of woine, I'm having a moment..."

Acceptance and hope - "You know what! I think I can do it! Yes! It's working! Look everybody I AM KING OF ALL OF THE CAKES AND THE WHOLE WORLD AND EVERYTHING!!!!! SUCK THAT MARTHA STEWART!! BOOYAH!!"

Anyway, at some point during this whole rollercoaster of emotion I posted this pic on Instagram (yeah for social media!) and everyone said "Just glue that bitch together with icing, nobody will notice, ain't nobody got time for dat!" and so forth, so I didn't completely freak out til this morning when I realised we HAD NO ICING SUGAR.

"Duht duhht".

This slapdash gig sometimes comes at a price people.  My life is my art.

Anyway, before I had time to replicate my Bridezilla moment in the shower, Mum rushed off to the servo and came back with icing sugar out the whazoo, and I successfully glued the SHIT out of that broken heart until it looked like this.

Anyway after that I was exhausted and could have done with a lie down, but the show had to go on and actually we had a lovely time and Baby B was his usual chuckly self, so that's the main thing.

Ever had a cake fail? Ever saved a cake from the bin with mad icing skillz?  Had a broken heart?  Tell your old friend Slapsie...I won't judge.  Believe me.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentines Day. The Slapdash Report - Vol. 2

True to form, I'm exhausted, so I'll make this as brief as humanly possible.

Baby B, the birthday boy himself, has a horrible croupy type cold thing and is (uncharacteristically) causing us no end of sleeplessness.

Anyway, in case you hadn't heard it was Valentine Day yesterday.  Instagram was awash with champagne, red hearts, chocolate, and red roses out the whazoo.  Even I was getting a bit sick of it, and I am a veritable diehard fan of V Day.

I have however brought shame upon myself and my family (although maybe not, actually, seeing as how we are all pretty half arsed and lazy, see my mother's post for details).

I woke up this morning (after a hell of a night with the sick bub) to discover M had bought me a facial voucher from ye olde Ella Bache, along with a cute card with a heartfelt message of love inside it.  Adorbs.

M, however, woke up this morning (after a hell of a night with the sick bub) to discover that I had bought him....nothing.  I know, I totally suck.  I am usually awesome and excellent at making things festive.  I've lost my mojo briefly.  I blame my return to work.  It is taking up important ME TIME.  How very dare it!?

It's all particularly sad and/or amusing, depending on how one might view it, because when I went down to Ella Bache to get the ole eyebrows waxed on Saturday, I had forgotten that I was supposed to have my free facial as well.  Because I couldn't stay, I had to forfeit it.  This pained me greatly.  The ladies were sympathetic and said things like "Oh well, it's Valentines Day this week, you never know your luck!!!".  I scoffed and pooh poohed the idea that M would think to purchase such a treat.  When I got home, I lost no time telling him how the ladies and I had discussed the likelihood of his gifting me in this way and all concluded it was out of the question.

I was proven wrong to my eternal shame.

Luckily I ducked out, dragging the sprogs along, to our local discount alcohol dispensing barn and bought some fancy champers.  M is an understanding fellow.

So, on to the election recap, edition 2.

I've already lost energy re: the election campaign so I'm casting my small and be-holed net a little wider to encapsulate current affairs more generally. Cop out? Yes! Care factor? Nil!

Here's the latest dot points I've shoved together in my inimitable fashion.  You saw it here, um, LAST probably!

- Our leader Joolz and her posse have announced a sort of vague flexible working for parents policy.  I think they're trying to make it so that all parents have the right to request part time work and so forth.  I also have the general vibe that they're thinking of extending this to peeps getting towards retirement age too.

-  The other Joolz, Julie Bishop, noted progressive and radical thinker, responded to the flexible working whatnot by letting us all know ladies can't have it all.  This pissed off some ladies.  I can't imagine why. I totally agree.   I want a ferrari, champagne on tap and a man-slave, but nobody's coughing up.  Is that what's she's talking about? No?  Oh well then, my apologies...

- It's all come out that our sacred Gods of the footy field have been Lance Armstrong-ing it up, druggy growth hormone supplement style.  Whatever.  I couldn't care less but I suppose we have to THINK OF THE KIDS! Won't someone think of the KIDS!?!  Joolz told all the clubs to come forward and spill the beans.  Don't know if they have yet, Google it peeps if you care enough.  I think everyone should just take growth hormones, you know, to even out the playing field and create a race of SUPER HUMAN FOOTBALL MACHINES!  Why not?

They totally are. [Source]
And there ends the Slapdash Report for this week!  Think I missed something important? Probably!  Inaccurate and sloppy? Definitely!

Stay tuned for further updates next week!

Linking up for....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On the occasion of his first birthday.

WARNING: Slightly emo parenting blog post alert!!

Baby B turned one on Sunday, and frankly I'm in a glass case of emotion about it.

We're only having two babies, and every time I look at him I realise he is the last baby who will snuggle into me, babble at me, chuckle at me.  And now he's one, he's getting that bit closer to stopping all the baby stuff.

I didn't remember to write much down about P when she was a baby. I did find a Word document saved somewhere on the computer yesterday that contained lots of her words and phrases from 15 months onwards thank goodness, but nothing from when she was one.  Silly me.

But I can write some stuff down about B.

B can say "Mama", "Dada", and "nana" (like "banana").  Nana is his favourite thing so that he seems to call everything he wants "nana".

He can play "peekaboo" with us, clap hands, and babble long sentences that I feel I can almost decipher sometimes.

He can pull up to stand, and crawl as fast as any baby I've seen.

If I ask him "Kiss for mummy?" he sometimes plants one on my lips, but sometimes he frowns and shakes his head vigorously instead.  Cheeky.

He bops along to music like a maniac on the dancefloor.  His favourite is La Roux "Going in for the Kill" or whatever it's called.  How hip am I?

He sleeps like a log all through the night, alone in his room, with the door shut, in the pitch dark.  I know!  God bless second babies.

He laughs all the time, but nobody can get quite the belly laugh out of him that P does.  He adores her.  P has a special teddy called "Beanie".  It's a pink one of those weird Beanie Baby things (Google it).  She asked if we could buy B a blue Beanie for his birthday, so I took her to the shops and she chose one.  She called him "Jack Beanie", like Jack and the Beanstalk.  Naturally she is monopolising both Beanies but B doesn't mind.  Yet.

He is a dear, sweet, cuddly, loving and lovable baby boy and we adore him.

Happy birthday to our darling boy, and may he always find life as easy and full of joy as he does right now.

Me and P on her first birthday.

Me and B on his first birthday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Slapdash Inheritance - Guest Post!

Hello my homegirls and boys.

Do I have a treat for you!!!

You may have read my recent post about  the Slapdash Ideology. If not, why not?? Call yourselves fans.  Do yourselves a favour and read it NOW.  It was received well by the critics if I do say so myself.

Anyway, further to this dissertation, I thought I'd ask my mother, my mentor, to elaborate on the history of the Slapdash method.

So here she is, the woman herself, the very person from whose loins I sprang all those 21 (ahem) years ago.

Generations of corner cutting.

Take it away Slapdash Nanny...

As a parent, few things are more gratifying than realising that your beloved child has decided to embrace her heritage and follow in your footsteps. Young Hugo announces that he is going to join Daddy in the family law firm. Persephone wants to be first violin, just like Mummy. Little George W is going to be leader of the Free World.

So imagine my pride when my dear daughter began writing this blog and celebrating the family heritage of slapdashery. Oh, the warm inner glow.

The tradition of slapdashery in our family is a proud one. Certainly, my mum (Slapdash Great-Nana?) was a great exponent, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the trait dated right back to our bog-trotting Irish ancestors.

I first heard the term applied to Mum by her elder sister, Mary Magdalene. (I know! We thought it was silly too. So we called her Aunty Mamie.) Mum was a passionate amateur dressmaker and clothed female members of the family in stylish frocks for almost her whole life. She had a great eye for colour and design, she loved fashion and she had been honing her skills since she was about twelve. She was terrific. What she wasn’t, however, was pernickety. She never basted. She rarely pinned. Make fussy markings on the fabric with dressmakers’ chalk? Phooey! In fact, she epitomised the bull-at-a-gate approach to dressmaking. The end product would be fabulous but the journey could be extremely circuitous and fraught with wrong turns and stuff-ups. The little understanding I have of dressmaking I gained as quite a small girl, laboriously unpicking Mum’s mistakes.

Aunty Mamie, on the other hand, had been a professional dressmaker all her life. She was pernickety. She was also an Eldest Sister and I’m sure you know what that means. I was present at a conversation where Mamie informed her much younger sister that she could have been quite a good dressmaker, “if only you weren’t so slapdash”.

Ah-hah! Slapdash! That’s it! From that day I embraced Slapdash as my motto.

The thing is, some people seem to see the term slapdash as pejorative. Not me. Slapdash people get things done. Slapdashery means you know what’s important and what can be kicked under the rug. Slapdash works!

Like my daughter, I was a slapdash mother. Sarah has already revealed that I made her exactly the same pink heart-shaped birthday cake every year. This at a time when the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book ruled and serious birthday cake competition was rife – much like the present, in fact. I refused to participate. And the thing is, Sarah loved those cakes! All her friends loved the cakes. She would have been sad if I’d changed the cake.

So great was the success of the pink heart cakes that, for her brother C’s first few birthdays, I made him identical cakes, but (here’s the clever bit) blue! Later, though, it was suggested to me that a love-heart cake might make him the subject of mockery amongst his little macho mates so I changed to a round clown-face cake and then that was his staple for the rest of his childhood. Easy and effective. Slapdash and good.

I was also a slapdash housekeeper. In my youth, it was fashionable for young mothers to say righteously “I don’t care whether the house is tidy as long as it’s clean”. Were they kidding? Untidy shows! Untidy looks sad and unhomely. Dirty is so easy to hide! What right-thinking person will notice sticky patches on the floor or fingerprints on the walls if the toys have been hidden under the beds, the cushions plumped up and placed over the stains on the couch and there’s a bunch of flowers on the table?

I remember a conversation I had at this time. This woman was saying of a friend: “You know, I don’t think she ever cleans the tracks of her sliding doors!” I was dumbstruck. I had a houseful of sliding doors. People clean the tracks? How? How often? Why??? That was one acquaintance that never deepened into friendship.

I am a slapdash gardener: weeds show that you are a chemical-free friend of the earth who would never sully your hands with poisons. The same can be said for a lawn full of ant-hills. I am very, very slapdash in the kitchen. I read countless recipe books but almost never use one. When I do, you can bet there’ll be modification and substitution galore. All right, the results are occasionally less than optimal but mostly pretty darn good. Why stop in the middle of preparing a meal to rush out for balsamic vinegar when a slosh of soy sauce will probably do? Or a glug of plonk? At least I get it done, OK?

Mind you, I haven’t achieved these heights of slapdashery without help. In addition to my mother, I have had several slapdash gurus along the way. One has been my sister-in-law, Linda (Slapdash Great-Aunt?) A highly successful professional, community member, wife and mother, Linda makes slapdash glam. I remember once, in our youth, Linda suggested to me that a lick of paint would brighten up some of our dreary hand-me-down furniture. Linda’s house was always bright and cheery as the result of her paint-brush. I replied with a groan that I couldn’t be stuffed with all the sanding-and-undercoating drama.
“Oh, I never do that!” she replied.
“But you have to!” I gasped. 
“No, I never do, I never have and I never will,” my mentor stated firmly.
And do you know what? She was dead right. I also have now slapped more licks of paint and estapol around the house than you could believe and I never sand or undercoat. And it’s fine. Thank you, Linda!

So I say to the lovely Sarah, AKA Slapdash Mama, and to all her followers, embrace Slapdash! Do what gets the job done, what looks good, what makes you happy, and if you can cut some corners on the way, go for it!

Thanks Mum.  Your crone-like wisdom is sage and crone-like.  I actually didn't know about the whole not sanding or undercoating thing.  I'm not sure I'm ok with it.

Kidding!  As if I would care!?

See you round peeps.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Slapdash does suburbia.

I don't know about you lot, but I for one am passionate about supporting local providores, artisans and small businesses in my area, and I like to make a real effort to frequent the many creative and original restaurants, cafes, delicatessans and bars in my suburb.

It is just so important to encourage the eat local, buy local mentality!  Living this way helps reduce greenhouse gases, encourages a healthy lifestyle, and ensures people are kept gainfully employed.

I've decided to do a series dedicated to reviewing some of the diverse businesses and restaurants in my local area.  These are all places I can easily walk to from my house*.  I live in outer, outer suburbia, so just goes to show, you don't have to live in trendy hipsterville inner city suburbs to embrace the "buy local" philosophy!

What hidden gems will I discover!? Let's find out...

Slapdash does suburbia - First Edition

Now, although I usually cook our family meals from scratch using purely organic free-trade, BPA-free, low-GI, and low-fructose ingredients, sometimes we feel like a bit of a break! So every now and then, we order takeaway from one of our local eateries.  We are so LUCKY to have a wonderful choice. 

When we first built our architect-designed, passively heated, thatched cottage, beaten earth hobbit house (we got the idea from an episode of Grand Designs!), there were hardly ANY shops or eateries around.  How things have changed!

Recently an interesting little establishment has opened up just down the road from us.  It's got a really unusual name, I can't quite remember it - I think "Mac - something"? Anyway, I think it might be of Scottish origin but I couldn't be sure.  As you can imagine I was intrigued! With such a Scottish name, I was excited to think what sort of menu items they would serve up!  Perhaps they were a proponent of the school of "nose-to-tail" cooking? I'm not usually a fan of offal but I am willing to give it a go in the name of sustainability!  Perhaps it was more along the lines of ole Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage?  Whatever, I was simply DYING for a chance to pop in and check it out.

Coming home late-ish from work tonight M and I decided I would duck out and pick something up for dinner after we'd fed the kids, so my chance had arrived at last!

When I got there, I was pleasantly surprised by the decor.  A fresh, modern look, with plenty of happy young families enjoying a meal together. I looked around for the menu and the wine list (for next time, if we dined in) and then noticed it was helpfully illuminated above the counter!  What a great idea.  I scanned it hastily, hoping to see the offerings I had hoped for, sadly I couldn't see any tongue, tripe or even haggis anywhere.  For a restaurant purporting to be of the Scottish persuasion, I felt this was quite poor.  No wine list either, or even beer. It must be BYO.

Still, I am always keen to give small artisan type establishments a go in order to give them some encouragement, so I decided to overlook this false advertising and asked the somewhat surly maitre d' what she would recommend to a first-time customer?  I'm sorry to say she gazed quite vacantly and moodily at me.  Embarrassed, I quickly said "I'll have what they're having then please!", gesturing to a well built couple next to me.

"Large Big Mac Meal and Large Quarter Pounder Value Meal comin' up then," she said huffily, and flounced around getting my food ready while I waited.  Happily, despite the ominous start to the experience, the meal was ready in no time flat!  She handed it over to me in quite a cute retro paper bag arrangement.  I bid her good night and headed home with my spoils, eager to share them with M!

When I got home I quickly unpacked the food, and was pleasantly surprised at their contents.  I had a sort of warm club sandwich, with sliced dill pickles, lettuce, a slice of salty yellow and two pieces of as yet unidentified well-done meat (perhaps it was nose-to-tail after all, I might have judged too quickly!) spread with a sort of mixture of tangy jus and aioli.  I had some pommes frites on the side.  It was such an unusual combination! Despite the well-done meat (usually a foodie no-no!), it was actually delicious.  The frites were particularly well salted.  I was also pleased to see a cola beverage came with it.  No wonder it is called a "Value Meal!"

M had a similar meal, but his club sandwich was smaller and also had what I think was Dijon mustard added.

So there you have it!   Despite my initial disappointment at the lack of offal on the menu, I was then pleasantly surprised to see that our club sandwiches did indeed contained a mystery meat!

Wine list - 0/10
Service - 4/10
Food - 9/10

And I never give perfect marks!

So let's all hope this little local business gets up off the ground.  I think they have HEAPS of potential, even if their staff lack a little enthusiasm. Look they aren't perfect but they are GIVING IT A GO and by jove I want to get behind them and support them like crazy!

I hope you've all been inspired to try something in your own local area!  You never know what you might find.  Go on, do something different, you won't regret it!

Til next time.

Bon appetit!

Linking up with Jess for -

*If I lived somewhere that believed in footpaths. But walking is for losers. Apparently.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Slapdash Report: Election 2013 edition.


It's got bipartisan-ship and apolitical-ness-ism coming out the whazoo!!

SECOND DISCLAIMER: Some broad called Corinne Grant wrote this article in the Hoopla today, somewhat taking the wind out of my proverbial sails.  But I will carry on nobly, even though bitch stole my story.  I mean who is she anyway? Some nobody*.

Having this blog means that I can now live out my lifelong dream of becoming a famous and highly regarded election commentator and political analyst.  I've waited years to show up that cocky Antony Green character and now's my chance.  I don't know about you, but whenever he's on the telly, I have to fight back an overwhelming desire to shout things at him like "Would it KILL you to make a prediction Antony?! Take a risk!!!" and "Obviously the figures aren't in yet you dork!" and even "Damn your graphics to hell Antony why don't they EVER WORK!?!".

So move over dude, the Slapdash Report is here to tell it like it is.

I'm just going to apply my mad skillz at synopsis writing (as previously displayed here and here) to the cut and thrust of the political world, and make it accessible to the man on the street. Because there's a NICHE for this shizz, peeps, and I am exploiting it like there's no tomorrow. I'm taking my inspiration from everyone's favourite finance presenter Alan Kohler and his amusing graphs and chatty manner - he makes economics fun!  Oh clever me! No-one would ever have thought to write  and/or present an amusing synopsis of the week’s political events for the entertainment of others**. What a breath of fresh air I am.   That Walkley Award gets closer every day. 

So now for the weekly synopsis.

WARNING: This synopsis contains NOTHING MUCH.  Turns out I don't know anything about what the frig is going down policy wise. My bad. You'll just have to Google that shit this week.

  • Tony Abbott didn't get the memo that Aboriginal people lived in Australia for a teensy while before Europeans turned up.
  • Craig Thomson's faced court for a gazillion different fraud charges that all basically boil down to using the work credit card to pay for prossies and porn.  He denies it. Some peeps want him to resign from parliament.  He says hell no, he won't go.  To be continued...
  • Nicola Roxon and Chris Evans, old stalwarts from Joolz' cabinet, have resigned.  High spirited scamp and renowned humourist Chris Pyne reckons it's starting to look like the last days of Hitler's government .  Nic and Chris say it's just that they are fucking tired of never seeing their kids.  Whatever.
  • This has meant Joolz had to shuffle the cabinet around like a deck of cards (hey I bet nobody's used that analogy before!). 
  • The latest poll showed the ALP are doing way worse than the last poll.  But then someone pointed out hardly anyone voted in the poll 'cos they were all battling fires and floods and famine and pestilence.  Make of that what you will.
  • Federal Parliament had it's first sitting week of the year.  I know, how did you all miss that one!  I for one have been glued to the radio listening to Question Time like there's no tomorrow. I know how to enjoy myself.
  • Some chancy buggers put a whole lot of bets on that the election would be called for September.  Wish I'd thought of it.  Nothing ever works out for me. Sob.

Some other shizz undoubtedly went down but I'm running out of steam so -  there's my first edition of the Slapdash Report aka the SPEED BLOGGER'S GUIDE TO POLITICS all finished.

Disappointed?  Enraged?  Feel it was lacking in depth and policy analysis? Me too!  I'll try harder next time.


*OK, I'm kidding.   Corinne Grant is obviously a super funny lady with plenty of political nous and a lot of cred.  And I am not.  Carry on.  Read her story though it is good.
**Editor’s note: Please don’t tell Sarah about the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, The Chaser, even that “brilliant” example of political satire “Pineapple Politics” in the Courier Mail, or actual excellent current affairs inspired blog The Tunnel Presents (or any other of the million examples of this genre).  She will totally lose it. And I’m a bit scared of her. Last week she threw her mobile phone at me when I told her there was an American blog already called “Slap Dash Mom”, and then she burst into hysterical tears until I placated her by firing some interns.  Let’s just keep this to ourselves, for my sake, please?

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