Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So Much To Blog About, So Little Time. December in Review

This has been an insanely busy month. A month full of things to blog about, that never end up being blogged about. So at the end of the month, when everyone is writing resolution posts, you get a wrap up instead. It's gold, you better appreciate it.

Let me recap - the month in review:

Miss 12 had her 13th birthday party (despite not turning 13 for another month, long story). It was all kinds of fun, and I took my first stab at a two tier cake (yay me for success, lets not look too close).


Post Concert with favourite
teacher

We had her dancing concert as well - which on it's own equals 3/4 of the month what with rehearsals, costume fittings, photo shoots, normal classes, sewing costumes, more sewing costumes, and hey, lets not stop sewing costumes just because the concert has started. If you are a dance mum, I would love to see your tweets, Instagrams and Facebook posts next year marked with #dancemum. Lets make it a thing. Because we are a breed of our own.
 


The two littlies had their daycare end of year party. Maddy wasn't there with us because, surprise, surprise, she was at dancing.

Don't worry Tebastian, I'll protect you from Santa
We've baked. Turns out Lorelei is awesome fun in the kitchen if you don't mind sticky little fingers going into EVERYTHING. See that birthday cake far above? Lets just not think about her contribution.


There have been Christmas lights. Some seriously beautiful new entries into the locality this year. This one at Erskine Park with "Snow" was our favourite this year. The owners sit outside and had a friendly chat with us, it was just lovely how much effort they went to as a first timer on the lights scene. 


This year was our first effort as well and it pretty much constituted 1 string of 200 across the front of the house. I had grander idea's but the other 600 went out the back on the pool decking to make it pretty for Maddy's party.

With all these parties I had to boycott my own company end of year party - way too much going on and between cake baking and costume sewing something had to give. 10 years and this is the first big bash I have missed. Oh well.

I started a new job and got 4 days in before going on annual leave. Feeling a little surplus to requirements at work as my main job is finding it hard to slot me in on my return from maternity leave, but I've dodged the bullet for a few months with a secondment to IT. Since I can't tell my left mouse button from my right this is proving interesting. I'm sure the experienced techy people I am working with are wondering what the hell I'm doing on their team, but I can only improve....right? In the meantime it's good resume building experience (and actually kind of fun....yes...IT....fun)

I'm important enough to have x2 laptops. Now to figure out what to do with them.
Then of course there was Christmas, and the kids rakes in a million gifts. Lorelei and Seb started out slow, getting quite upset when they were expected to abandon the first AMAZING gift from Santa in favour of opening another anonymous gift. Once they got on a roll though.....Lorelei had to be watched like a hawk after that as she was more than happy to open every present for everyone after that. My sticker labelling system had mixed results. On the one hand Lorelei was quite clear over who's present it was, and very generous in handing it over to the recipient, but still couldn't quite see afterwards that the contents of the parcel belonged to the recipient.

Lolly plays with the toy....Seb plays
with the box
"Look Mum! My drink bottle comes
with a fertaliser!" FILTER love, filter.

Post Boxing Day brings us on a road trip to Melbourne to visit my sister and family and Sebastian really came into his own. At 16 months he has taken a small handful of steps back home, just the kind from Mummy to Dad, but hasn't made any real effort to walk. The minute his little toes hit the plush carpet of their living room he was off and running and hasn't stopped since. Turns out it was all the hard surfaces in his life that were holding him back. We have all floor boards in our new home, his grandparents have all tiles, preschool has hard surfaces, none of them good for a little guy needing a soft surface to give him confidence to fall and get up again.



Isn't he a clever boy! He grew another tooth this week too, finally getting one up the top. Maybe we can get past all the tantrums now when he can't quite deal with something super yummy.

HUGE, massive month, and I could have written alot more. I probably will. In January.

See you all in January peeps! Have a wonderful New Year, filled with fireworks and resolutions.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Christmas for Everyone

Christmas Day was a little surreal this year. It's the first time I can remember EVER not spending at least part of it with my own family.

One by one this year I found my family each dropping off the Christmas radar, someone's put out, someone made other plans at the last second, someone else isn't functioning too well, and another family is in another state altogether.

And yet the usual Christmas dinner that I host was still fun, but in a different way. Instead of my usual family, I had an eclectic group of peole that grew and grew from about midday Christmas Eve. I found found myself sitting down for dinner with Muslims, Catholics, & Jews in addition to my own Christian background. 

I don't normally think too much about our  various religious backgrounds but it made me smile to see us all come together for this holiday. 

Whatever your religious beliefs, I hope you are enjoying this break with people you care about. xx

Merry Christmas/Happy Hannukah/Eid Mubarak :) Whichever celebration works best for you.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and All That

Despite a month of very little blogging (there was too much to blog about and no time to do it!) today you get x2 posts. But I had to get up at stupid o'clock to make it possible.

So while everyone in my home is enjoying a sleep in, I want to take the time to wish you and yours, a very, Merry, Christmas.

Im not clutching her hair as it looks. I'm holding bribery in my hand.


Hoping that there is plenty of alcohol and a safe environment to drink it. Also hoping that the reason you are consuming large quantities of alcohol is not due to the company you are keeping these holidays.

Hoping that Santa was wonderful to the kids and that they don't abandon their new goodies on Boxing Day in favour of returning to their i-Devices with an appreciation only for the 1 unoriginal Aunt (me) that bought them iTunes vouchers instead of a thoughtful gift.

Hoping that your holiday break, whether 2 days or more, is relaxing, fun, and above all SAFE.

Hoping that if 2013 was a little sad that 2014 bring you new and better things.

Hoping above all, that you continue to read my blog in 2014 because I liked having you.

Merry Christmas. xx

Christmas Spirit for the Toddler

All that is from Santa. For 3 kids. Shake your head. Go on.
Maybe you have that much for 1 kid lol. Maybe you think
that is overboard.
When Lorelei was born we made the deliberate decision to NOT buy another Santa sack. Most people we know have a Santa sack per child, but we had learnt over the years that we were buying Maddy way too much in an effort to fill the sack and also have plenty of gifts from Mum and Dad under the tree. There was also the issue that as Maddy got older, the presents got smaller in size and looked alot less impressive in the sack.

Even when Seb came along I stuck to my guns and we still only have 1 Santa sack. I was concerned this year though that we may have a problem with Miss 2.5year old claiming all the gifts meant for 1.5 year old Seb or her AND Seb as her own, which pretty much seems the way of it in our home at the moment. The last thing I want is tears and tantrums on Christmas Day because Lolly is a pretty grabby toddler these days but Seb is learning to stake his claim.

Before you shake your head at me for not teaching my child manners and allowing this kind of behaviours - I don't - but as with all things, coaching out the grabby gene is a work in progress. She's a toddler, it is what it is, as far as she is concerned everything is "Mine".

So what I've done to help Lolly get into the Christmas fun of handing out gifts and understand ownership a little better is create some photo sticker labels. Instead of just writing their name (she can't read yet) I've put their photo on each tag. So far this seems to be a great idea, because she has spotted a few under the tree and I've heard announcements like "Tebastian's present Mummy!" or "present for Lolali?" in response to the correct photo.



How did we do it?

Easiest tags ever. First I purchased a pack of Avery branded sticker labels from the stationary aisle at the supermarket (proper stationary store would probably give you more options). Avery has the template already made at their website, so it was a quick matter of choosing a Christmas label and uploading our photo's in place of their suggested address template.


I liked that it let me print only as many labels as I wanted so I didn't have to use the whole page.


This year I've labelled all our presents this way, as Lolly is far too young to realise and be suspicious that Mummy and Santa have the same MO. But in later years this might be something just for Santa. Or maybe just for Mummy, maybe Santa will use different coloured wrap for each child. Not sure yet.

Do you have a system for helping your kids tell apart who's present is who's?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Best Nights Sleep Ever

This post was written in partnership with Sleepmaker, who are personally responsible for my comfortable nights sleep. I hold them fully acountable to it, and for the last 3 years they have been delivering.

Our bed is a favourite photo spot for us - our photographer
is Reflections by Louise - we love her work!
I was 19 when I had Maddy. I barely noticed the pregnancy and bounced blissfully through the 9 months going out dancing, to the gym and mostly wearing the same clothes as I had before I got pregnant. Truthfully, the pregnancy barely registered on my radar.

Fast forward 10 years to my pregnancy with Lorelei and it was a very different story. Besides the chronic 9 months worth of vomiting, I also had back pain. Horrible, keep me awake at night and give me no comfortable position to sleep in, back pain.

Work was awesome and gave me a special, extra comfortable, office chair to use. It made the long work days tolerable, but night times found me tossing and turning every night, suddenly feeling every last spring, lump and bump in our mattress.

The same mattress we had bought for $100 10 years earlier with my first skimpy tax return. $100 from some dodgy little factory on the side of the road that wasn't there the day before and was gone the day after. I don't even want to think about where my mattress came from but while it did the job for the first 10 years of our lives together, it was a nightmare once I became pregnant.

We mixed around the mattresses in our home a little and eventually I found a smidgen of relief sleeping on Maddy's newer, better quality, single bed mattress. So she slept on the foam one that came with her trundle, and I slept on her mattress on the floor next my queen size bed for a few months, but even that wasn't perfect. Not even a little bit impressed to find me sleeping on the floor and having to heave me up each morning Husband began a campaign to get me to agree to spend some money on a new mattress for the two of us. It wasn't easy, because with the prospect of unpaid maternity leave looming, I wasn't too keen to dip into the savings for a little comfort at night time, especially since I didn't think my mattress was that bad. Surely it was just the pregnancy, right? It was only a few more months, and then my back wouldn't ache so much. I could put up with lumps in the back when I wasn't pregnant, definitely.

Somehow or another, he dragged me into a bed shop one day and insisted on me having a lie down on a demo mattress.

Oh my god. All my protests went out the window, and suddenly I was more than happy to spend whatever it took to get one of these mattresses into my home. We spent a happy hour lying on mattresses, taking the various firmness's very seriously and generally enjoying ourselves in the store.

Who knew that mattresses came with a pillow top cushioning? Or that they could be soft, firm, or somewhere in between? Or that HEY, springs jutting out was not the way of things after all!

Eventually we settled on a plush, luxurious beast of a bed with a lovely soft pillowtop that was a previous years range and the last in stock, so was of course marked down significantly. Just the way I like it. I will say that our mattress purchase was over $1,000, although I can't remember exactly how much it was. I could never before have imagined spending that kind of money on myself for a mattress but it was the best money I ever spent.

Our Sleepmaker mattress came with a 10 year manufacturers warranty, which is exactly the kind of thing I love, but after a little chat with our sales rep we found out that in order to claim on the warranty at any time, we needed to have kept a mattress protector on it at all times in order to maintain a clean and hygienic bed. Fair enough, so a bamboo protector was thrown into the purchase for free as we paid cash overall.

Yet another photoshoot on our bed, why not? It's the most
comfortable place in the house!
That night was the best nights sleep I had in months. It took about 72 hours, but my back pain went away, only returning sometimes at the end of a long work day hunched over my desk. My only problem was that during my pregnancy, and for a few weeks of recovery after the c-section, I couldn't get out of the damn bed! It was so plush, soft, and high, that I was a bit like a turtle wriggling on its back trying to get up. Husband still had to pull me out for a little longer.

It's been almost 3 years since I bought that mattress. I am very fond of that mattress, and have not had an uncomfortable nights sleep since. I see no reason why we would ever claim on the warranty either, because each time I take off the protector to wash it, the mattress underneath looks perfect. I am never. EVER. Going back to a nasty roadside warehouse mattress again.

Sleepmaker helps provide you with the best mattress to suit you and your family’s needs. With a personalised mattress selector tool and a range of different mattress technologies available, Sleepmaker gives you the perfect night’s sleep.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Being An Individual

Miss 12 year old Maddy had a "Social" last week. We don't call them disco's anymore, "No Mum, it's a Social, get it straight."

Social I guess because our girls head over to the brother Catholic Boys school a few suburbs over to cluster in their lunch groups and stare at the opposite sex and giggle. A lot.

She only gets x2 of these a year which is GREAT. From my perspective anyway. Between spending all her free hours at dancing and an all girls school, the boy problem should hopefully be put off for a few years.

The days leading up to the event were painful a collaborative effort at finding just the right outfit. Her bedroom floor was littered with a million rejects, and she finally settled on a flashy pair of tights and her favourite blue top. No matter what, I thought she looked lovely, but I also thought she looked lovely in the dress, skirt and jeans she abandoned. My overall vote was for the dress. It's Summer and it's a Social. Seems like a good occasion for a dress to me.

When I picked Maddy up from the social I noticed most of the girls were wearing pretty dresses and skirts. But when I commented I got the worlds most dirty look and a voice dripping with disdain.

"Oh, I didn't WANT to look like everyone else Mum, I wanted to be an individual."

Well, I guess that's awesome. We love her being an individual. Being an individual means she has been wearing x2 different socks to dancing lessons everyday for the last year and doesn't care at all.

But then she followed with:

"ALL my friends wore tights, we didn't want to look like everyone else."

Wait, all your friends wore tights? So you actually mean you wanted to dress just like your friends, not actually be different? I mean, that's OK too, but it's not quite the same thing as being an individual.

She groaned at me. "You don't even know what it means to be an individual Mum. OK?"

I guess not. My daughter, the individual. Just like her friends.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rent V Buy: Tech for the Teen

This post has been written in partnership with Flexirent. As always, I jump at the opportunity to weave my life experiences into partnered posts.

Madeleine's school will be introducing an iPad digital textbook program in 2014. This means that Maddy won't have to carry heavy textbooks to and from school anymore, she won't even need to have them in her locker. She'll be able to carry them all around in the compact format of her iPad.  The cost of the textbooks in digital format is also significantly less (75%!) than buying them new, and works out about as well as buying them 2nd hand I thought (possibly better).

While at first I was a little sceptical,  imagining Maddy snapchatting and instagramming with friends instead of paying attention, the school has met my concerns by blocking social network sites and apps while the teenagers are logged onto the school network. With that concern out of the way, the only issue now is that the 16gb iPad we bought her for Christmas is actually too small for the school's requirements, and it would appear my 12 year old is going to be moving on to her 2nd iPad in as many years before I even get my first! We're thinking a household shuffle is in order, with an upgrade for Maddy and the smaller one can become a whole family item that the babies can play with, and I can use it for blogging as well as recipes.


While I purchased Maddy's iPad last year, a girlfriend of mine rented hers for her tween, a decision that I was fairly dismissive of at the time.

What was the point of renting technology when you could buy it instead?

With the prospect of another expensive purchase on the horizon, suddenly I am seeing the point. Whilst she would be able to simply upgrade her iPad to the one her teen needs next year, I am starting from scratch. With that in mind, I've explored the pro's and cons of renting, and wanted to share for those who will also be looking at significant tech purchases as their children enter high school.

Pro

Smaller manageable payment each month instead of a large upfront outlay. This can be a much more conveniant option than dipping into the emergency fund, or worse, putting it on the credit card.

Pro

iPad got dropped and the screen smashed? Before you kill your child, it can be returned for repairs and Flexirent will dispatch a replacement to you for up to 6 weeks while yours is repaired. Not such a big deal when the device is only a toy, a HUGE deal when its for school or work.

Pro

Teen outgrown the device and refuses to delete Minecraft needs more space for school apps? Or maybe you need a new model to cope with new software and apps. You are not stuck with an outdated device, although it's not an official benefit, Flexirent are very, well, flexible when it comes to renegotiating your needs. My girlfriend was able to return their x2 laptops they no longer needed, get a new iPad, and the new arrangement ended up being very favourable.

Pro

This doesn't apply so much to Miss almost 13, but if I were to bundle an iPad for ME to use at work, the monthly payment would be 100% tax deductible. I love legit tax deduction, so that caught my eye.

Con

At the end of the contract you don't own the device. I struggle a little with this, but I can see that while the kids are going through the interchangeable device years, this is probably actually a pro. There is the option to make an offer for the device if you are not wanting to enter a fresh agreement for a new device.

Con

I don't LOVE the idea of an ongoing monthly payment, even though Flexirent make it fairly convenient. I try to keep my monthly commitments down so that my disposable income is as high as possible.

While I'm sure there are many tween's who are very responsible with their tech, speaking as a mother who has just sold the remains of an iPod touch on eBay for $21 (sold for parts *sigh*), I'm suddenly seeing the benefits of unlimited repairs, the ability to renegotiate and upgrade when needed, and a small monthly payment instead of a large upfront winging its merry way into a cash register.

Flexirent provides technology for personal and business use. With a range of payment options available and a diverse selection of tools and gadgets, Flexirent can find an option to suit your needs.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ho Ho Help

After last years disaster, I was determined that we would have a smooth running Santa photo day this year. As usual, I might as well have not bothered to set out a roster and timeline of events for the day.

Once again I decided to forgo the $30+ shots available in the shopping centre and get a freebie from Harvey Norman instead. Husband point blank refused to go up an hour early and line up for me, ignoring my insistence that the lines would be huge. He was mortified last year to be the only person in a line of 1 and nothing I could say would get him up there this year.

I had everyone dressed and shiny clean at a good time, and locked Madeleine in Lorelei in a room together, making sure that there was no liquid or food of any kind to be found in the room. Madeleine was given instructions to keep her sister clean, and threats promises of all kinds were made to ensure this would occur. I seem to recall issuing this instruction last year and finding my toddler covered head to toe in bright green paint 10 minutes later.

5 minutes before Santa was due I marched my clean and happy family proudly into an almost empty Harvey Norman only to find out that Santa arrived at 11. Not at 10.

FFS.

Do you know how hard it is to occupy a toddler and a baby for an hour without them getting mucky in some way? I normally cope with outings and long periods of waiting by throwing food at them as though they were desperate toddlers.

We took off for a walk to other shops in the complex, heading back at 10:45 to finally wait in line. A line that was now 40 families deep.

FFS.

Husband was carefully avoiding eye contact and pointing out the positive opportunity to look around the store. I took off with the kids and talked a salesman into putting a cartoon on the 50 or so TV's so that my kids could have their choice of various top notch surround sound, 3D, or simply ginormous for the next hour until our turn was finally up.

Lorelei took one look at the fat guy and burst into tears, scrambling up me like a monkey trying to get to bananas in her effort to get as far away as possible. Sebastian promptly started yanking away on his beard, determined to spoil the dreams of the 50 or so children waiting behind us, and Madeleine did us proud by sitting patiently with a sweet smile.

Ho Ho...Hurry Up
Once again the salesman seemed a little incredulous that we only wanted the free package and no amount of prompting shames me into upgrading to the $10 package, cheap as it is. It might have had something to do with our turning up in formal wear for our freebie, who knows?

Have you got your Santa photo yet? Winner or disaster? Freebie or Fancy?


Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Story Of My Life These Days

I promised myself I was not going to regale the Internet with stories of toilet training. There is nothing worse than the oversharenting that happens on a blog when the bloggers life gets consumed by the bowel movement s of their toddlers (in my opinion anyway!)

But.

Here's the thing.

It is consuming my life, and there is so much hilarity to be had, that I'm going to share one of my recent days anyway. Despite not wanting to oversharent. But there will be no pictures. I draw the line at pictures.

Warning. There may be poop.

Until a few weeks ago we were a doors shut kind of household. If I didn't want a baby in the room, the door was shut. It kept the babies and non-baby appropriate items safe from one another. This most definitely included the toilet and bathroom. A whole lot of effort went into teaching the then 10 year old to start shutting doors.

These days with 2 year old Lolly toilet training, I have to leave the toilet door open. Even though I try to be on hand each time she makes use of the room a closed door can be the difference between success and a puddle on the floor in front of the door.

When I heard 1 year old Sebastian yelling for help a few days ago I ran. Straight to the bathroom, because the kid has an obsession with the shower. Not there. No, he was next door in the toilet room, bum and legs in the air, kicking, with his head face down in the toilet.

Fortunately his head wasn't submerged in the toilet, he was actually rocking (planking style) on the edge of the toilet seat, unable to get a grip with either his hands or his too short legs to leverage in either direction. The yells were loud and he was quite indignant when I rescued him only to remove him from the scene of the crime. It was one thing for me to save him from drowning, another thing to prevent him from playing with the water at the bottom of the loo.

Settling him in his high chair next to me I continued with the dishes. Lorelei was occupied in her bedroom, and didn't make her usual loud announcement that there was anything else happening. Until I saw a little face peeping around the hall.

"Mumma, tum quick, it's disgusting!" Oh god help me.

Running down the hallway found a lovely big dump waiting for me in front of the toilet. A squished one. With little, brown coloured footprints down the hall way and back again. Ignoring the urge to let it fester for several hours till Daddy got home, I donned my toilet glove and picked up our treasure. Only to find before I could pop it in the toilet that the toilet was filled with a handful of the tiny, hard, My Little Ponies.

Aaargh. And of course only 1 hand was gloved and that hand was holding a TURD so my options were.....? Right, the ungloved hand went into the toilet to excavate it of anything plastic before disposing of my treasure.

FFS.

My hand has been sterilised using everything in the house short of alcohol but the ponies went by way of the bin.

And don't talk to me about using a potty instead so the toilet door can remain shut. Having a receptacle around the house on the floor that at any moment could be filled with wee or poop and abandoned is not a good idea with a crawler/climber on the loose. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Something You Don't Know About Me

Teenage Elise
It may surprise you to know that as a young teenager I was homeless. Or maybe not so homeless, maybe just....voluntarily displaced.

I have spent nights under bridges. Sleeping on strangers couches or floors. Patrolling the streets of Sydney and Kings Cross, and dozing in dark corners or under tree's. That's only a very small part of it, the majority was spent in the safety of youth refuges, and even boarding with people who I came across in life in a newspaper or through people who know people.

I have held the foreheads of people who violently vomit the disgusting concoctions they have purchased. I have called an ambulance for others who weren't so lucky. I have snuck into nightclubs using a fake ID, and walked in, tacitly ignored, to other clubs that could care less. I have had job offers to strip, and other, even less innocent offers to earn money.

For me at least, there was an element of voluntary displacement. I could have turned up back on close family doorsteps and been assured of a roof over my head. If I had reached out to friends of the family or extended family I feel sure that many would have taken me in. But a big part of my displacement was a disconnection from the relationships. Many of them were damaged and broken. And I think I understood deep down that the relationships were not just damaged, they were damaging.

There were alot of people in my life during those years who made such a huge difference. People who shaped the person I am today. I function. I hold down a job. I don't have any major dysfunctions such as alcoholism, drug abuse, violence or emotional abuse attachments. I try to be the person I want my daughter to be and I am happily in a marriage that defied all odds.

Glenn Sargeant Plumpton HS
Besides the awesome social workers I came across in refuges or on the streets, my teachers were the key. I landed at Plumpton High School in my second attempt at year 9, hoping to have a better run at it this time around. My principal at the time was Glenn Sargeant, you may have seen him on the ABC show Plumpton Babies.

He undertook to be my token adult in life. The person to sign absent and excursion notes, even my drivers license application w
hen the time came to get my L's. I don't remember him even calling me to account for the decisions I was making, if he had I may have run from him like I did from anyone else that tried to control my life. He just gave gentle input and guidance, and I respected him all the more.

My vice principal filled in my first tax return for me. My drama teacher (and his wife) let me sleep at their home one night so that I could easily make it to an excursion that everyone had to make their own way to. Another teacher gave me the supreme trust of babysitting her children, giving me exposure to normal family life, and a chance to earn some pocket money to supplement my government allowance.

These are just small specific examples that stick in my mind, but really, many of my teachers showed compassion, understanding, and empowered me to make my own choices.

I finished year 12. I may not have finished brilliantly, definitely I came in well under my capabilities, but I finished. I was a prefect, I participated in school activities, I wore and accessorised my uniform with pride.

I still got caught in the cycle of a teenage pregnancy. At the age of 19 I gave birth to Maddy, barely a year out of school. But against all expectations, Husband and I made a go of it, and determined to build bigger and better lives for ourselves and her.

Many of the people in my life probably never realised what a difference they made. But for every teenager that crosses your path, you need to be someone and something worth aspiring to. As my daughter enters her teenager years, this is what I want to remember. Both for her sake and for her friends. I need to be someone worth aspiring to be.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Decorate Your Home On A Budget


We lived in our old home for almost 10 years, and after all that time we had furniture purchased to suit the room, and accessories to match my beautiful bright coloured walls.

It was a real wrench when we made the decision to move into a rental earlier this year, and much as I love my new home, one thing grates.

The walls. The horrible, painted solid but not chosen by me, coloured walls. 2 of the kids have a deep plum feature wall, 1 has a bright blue feature wall, and the master has a grungy poop colour.

The only person happy is the blue loving tween. The rest of us are tolerating the walls.

Blech. And even worse, the main living room, the showcase room of my home, the room I welcome all guest into, has a brown feature wall. Brown.

Since all my accessories and furniture were bought to go with my lovely yellow walls with teal and blue accessories, I had a little problem. So we've had to do a real piece of work overhauling the room, but of course we had a budget to work with!

But this is more or less what we came up with, our inspiration for completing the room.



Here are my tips for accessorising a living room:

1. Couch covers can make a world of difference. So much cheaper than buying a new couch, a good couch cover can change the whole look of your furniture and tie it in better to the colours you are working with. And best of all, it can camouflage an old couch in bad condition to buy it a few more years, or protect a new couch during the toddler demolition years! Win/win. We chose a tan colour to neutralise our deep blue couches.

2. A handful of new bright cushion covers bring some blush into the room. We went with a few aqua colours that had scatterings of chocolate brown through them. Now I'm not living in a chocolate factory but the colours work together.

3. A new rug serves to hide that nasty rental carpet, and just like the cushions can introduce additional colours to the room. Rugs go on sale often, watch out for discounts as high as 50% off. Besides hiding the rental carpet it also PROTECTS the rental carpet, minimising the need for expensive carpet cleaning when you move.

4. When it comes to frames on shelving, less is more. A handful of interesting memories are much more of a topic starter with visitors than a smooshed in series of professional or school portraits.

5. But when it comes to pictures on walls, MORE is more! One big statement piece in a focal wall in the room gets everyone talking! Pick your favourite family picture and have it put on canvas big as life. Our canvas is almost as wide as our couch, and it looks great.

6. One or two accessories in your alternate colour finish off the room. A lamp, a vase, maybe a ceramic animal or two and the room is done.

No need to replace all the furniture or repaint the room, it's possible to stamp yourself on a rental without breaking the bank.

This post was sponsored by Nick Scali. For those of you that love a good giveaway, head to their Facebook page where they run a fan of the week promotion EVERY WEEK for your chance to win a $100 voucher. The opinions are my own but as always I jump at the chance to write about something new and earn some money towards #DPCON14

Monday, November 25, 2013

Off and Running!

My wee little preemie hit another milestone this week. Out of the blue, he decided it was time to let go of the furniture he has been puttering around on, and take those first few gorgeous steps.


It's crept up on us. He's mostly let go in moments of distraction, and wavered a little before sitting on his bottom. But finally he has found the fun of tottering into Mum and Dad's arms, and now this is a game we play for hours, much to the dismay of the 2 year old, who chooses those moments to generally be as cute and loud as she can in an effort to divert the attention.

We are getting her to help encourage Seb to walk which is pretty cute in itself.

Seb is 15 months old, a little older than the girls were when they walked, but still well within a "normal" (what is normal?) time frame. For a 7 week early preemie I am so thrilled with normal. I could not ask for more. I don't want him leaping hurdles, I am just so thankful he is fine.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas Giveaway: 3D Deco Light


BREAK OUT OF THE BORING AND INTO THE LIGHT!

 Looking for something a little different in the night light range? Just want a piece of awesome for the man cave? New to Australia shores brings these fun and original 3D Light FX Deco Light lighting up the boring in our lives. Perfect for Christmas, the Deco Light is the ideal gift for young and old. Not only does it provide light for children who have outgrown a traditional night light, it’s also an entertaining and practical way to decorate a room.  


Deco Lights are available in a range of styles including superhero's, cars and even a butterfly!


All designs are cordless, battery operated and fitted with the highest quality energy-efficient LED lights so you’ll never have to change the bulb. The lights are cool to touch, making them completely safe to have around children. Easy to install with all fixtures included.

The crack sticker can be applied to any clean, smooth surface but can also be removed easily when the time comes to move kids from room to room or even to another house! The 3D Light FX website also comes with a video to support customers in safely removing the sticker and light without damaging the surface.

These lights are definitely a talking point, on or off, as your kids friends FREAK when they see a car breaking through the wall of your sons room or the Superhero smashing his way in.



To truly get the impact of just how awesome these lights look in the dark, you have to watch the video's available on the website. I umm'd and aah'd about this one until I pressed play, and then I was sold!

Whether it’s a spider man mask or a life size textured soccer ball with an explosive wall effect that catches your eye, this light trend will not implode your budget with prices ranging from $30 to $50

3DLightFX DECO LIGHTS are available from selected stores across Australia from November 2013. Stocked in EB Games, TARGET, Big W, DICK SMITH, Haris Scarf and Mr Toys for enquiries call 1300 366 320. For more information  visit 3D Light FX. 


Just in time for Christmas, Mummy Hearts Money has a Blue Classic Car Deco Light to giveaway to one MHM reader! The light can be personalised with all stickers included. If you would like to win a Classic Car, easy entry via rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Mummy Hearts Money was provided goods for giveaway. No further compensation was recieved.**

Save Some Money and Don't Commit!

I'm not a fan of paying full price. Ever. I'll make use of reward/affiliate sites, discounts and vouchers to bring a price down, and look under every rock before giving up on the item rather than paying full price. These days everyone knows to use Google to search for discount codes before buying, but I have a few other tricks up my sleeve for getting discounts.

Step #1. Become a full customer of a site, by either filling in profiles, starting a purchase and providing details, or joining a newsletter. Each site is different, but the key is to make sure they have your details and are tracking your site movements.

Step #2. Anytime there is something I am interested in on a website, I spend some time browsing before adding what I am interested in to my cart (and there might be quite a few things).

Step #3. Go through the checkout process all the way to point of commitment, and then stop. Just before you commit.

Exit your browser and give it 24 hours. Many websites are tracking your movements and now consider you a hot lead. Often I will receive an email from the site within a few hours offering a discount code, the items I am interested marked down specifically, or free shipping, anything to entice me to come back and commit.

OO is one that I use this trick successfully with, and Dealsdirect, and it never ceases to tickle me to have the discount code arrive. This works especially well when the item I am interested in is on sale, and landing free shipping makes the price even better!

Identity Direct is another I found had a similar tactic recently. After completing their cart process with some personalised books I was interested in, I tried to close my browser down only to have a pop up chat window appear offering me a free shipping code to complete the transaction. Annoyingly enough they only let you use one code at a time, however the free shipping code gave me a greater discount than the sale code I had been playing with beforehand.

Always try and use multiple codes before completing a purchase anywhere. You never know when the discounts can be used in tandem and the savings made even greater. The old don't commit trick is best used in the very first hours of a sale, to enable time for automatic discount offers to arrive before the sale ends.

Have you got any tricks for getting discounts for your online shopping?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mummy Hearts Money Goes 3D!

Our TV that is, not the website.  This is a bit of a long post (brace yourself!) to give you an idea of the process we go through before making a major purchase.

Husband and I have long wanted and lusted after a 3D Smart TV. We don't like to lead the pack when it comes to technology, because we have learnt the hard way that prices on electronics and devices drop very quickly and there is a lot of money to be saved if you don't mind not having the newest and best gadget out there. (I just had my free with contract iPhone 4S delivered last month, to the amusement of some of my colleagues who are sporting the latest 5 whatever model).

Last years model was someones awesome gift back then. It hasn't stopped being awesome just because something new came along.

We promised ourselves way back in January that this was our year to get our dream TV though, this technology is right up our alley as we love to watch movies in 3D at the cinema's with 12 year old Maddy, and we are already users of various media boxes that enable media and Internet browsing on the TV.

We loved watching Harry Potter on 3D source
We tend to buy our electronics and appliances through The Good Guys. They always beat the lowest price that I find, (both online and in store prices), and we love that they keep a record of our purchases that make claiming on warranties so much easier. You can even claim without your original receipt which is something we have made use of a few times. We've never had an issue claiming on warranty through The Good Guys either, everything is fixed fairly quickly and with good communication.

Extended warranties are your best friend. Protect your major purchase with an additional warranty that could save you big dollars in repairs down the track.

Once Christmas was out of the way last year I started purchasing a $50 Good Guys gift card each pay and putting it aside towards the TV fund. In doing it this way we have lost out on approximately $19 that we would have earnt in interest by banking the money, but this keeps our eye on the prize and we don't get distracted throughout the year by other financial wants that might arise (holidays being the most likely to distract!)

We headed in on Sunday to check out the final day of an advertised TV clearance, with enough vouchers stored up to cover the cost of a good TV. Husband originally had his heart set on a Samsung, and even though I don't specially mind either way he convinced me we really want LCD this time around and not plasma. Side by side I could see that LCD seems to be sharper somehow, although I'm not sure I could tell the difference if I just had an LCD TV on its own.

We had lots of questions for the sales staff and were in store almost 90 minutes researching but in the end made a decision that was within our budget that made us both happy. We watched some examples of normal TV converted to 3D in store and the results are a lot of fun. I've read some bad reviews of this aspect of 3D TV, with most professional reviewers predicting that 3D will die a slow death, but we thought it looked pretty cool. We love taking Maddy to see 3D versions of our favourite movies at IMAX, but with 2 little ones in the house these days it's not as easy to do. We're hoping this will give us back some of that fun together via Saturday night movie night at home. The 3D results of a converted program or movie are good, but of course the best results are had watching a movie that was made for 3D, as that's when things really jump out of the screen at you.

Don't rush the purchase. Ask your questions, and don't be embarrassed to ask for time to think about it. And then ask some more. Don't leave the store with any outstanding questions.

The sales guy told us we'll need to buy a blu ray player in order to watch made for 3D movies, but what he couldn't tell us was whether we could buy digital versions of 3D movies. We got rid of our DVDs a long time ago and we love the convenience of having all our movies on hard drive to scroll through on the TV. Hoping we can but we'll have to put some research into it once the TV is in use.

We were considering 3 TV's at one point, a Sony, an LG, and a Samsung but quickly knocked out the Sony when we found out that the 3D viewing glasses are battery operated. While I'm sure there are various viewing benefits, we didn't like the weight, and since we are pretty awful at keeping our Wii remotes charged, it's not likely we would be any better with the glasses. The Samsung and the LG use lighter weight plastic glasses, although not the daggy old red and green lensed things we used growing up! The glasses are much slicker and more comfortable.

That left us with the LG and the Samsung, only about $30 different in price and seemingly much of a muchness. Husband was quite keen on the Samsung, it's a brand he favours, but in the end we went with the LG for 4 reasons.


First reason being that we could buy universal glasses. Not all brands seem to be compatible with universal glasses, and since the TV (and most others we saw) only come with 4 glasses, we will need to buy more eventually to accommodate not only our own family but a few spares for visitors. This is the kind of gadget we are pretty good at sourcing from overseas electrical sites, so we can see some potential savings in additional and replacements there. Also loving the clip on 3D lenses we have found that I can attach to my regular prescription glasses!

Universal glasses seem to run as cheap as
$1.50 online

The second reason was that the LG TV comes with Magic Remote compatibility. It's not a standard inclusion with this model, but if we are interested (and we think we are) it's essentially a smart remote to go with a smart TV. It will act as a hand held computer mouse, is kind of the best way to describe it, and also has voice functionality. We haven't bought it, we want to research complimentary brands first, but it's definitely something we have our eye on.


The third reason is that the LG comes with a smart version of the Skylanders Battlegrounds pack. We will download the game straight to the TV with no need for a console, and the portal and playing figures (3) will be mailed to us. Although we have a Skylanders set already, we plan to keep the Wii in a different room to this TV, and since Skylanders is one of our favourite games this is a nice little bonus. We are also curious about whether we can sell off/giveaway our existing Skylanders game and portal and just use this new one when it arrives.


The fourth and final reason is the dual play gaming option. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but we can purchase additional gaming glasses, that when worn by 2 players simultaneously actually split the screen so that each player sees only his own gaming screen even though both will be shown on the screen playing against one another. So if you have a game that splits the screen in two while you play a competitor, it will enhance the playing. We're not a huge gaming family, although I suspect hubby would play a lot more if we weren't so busy and I saw his eyes light up at this feature. Like the magic remote, I think this is something we may explore down the track.


The model we have bought is 50LA6230. It's a 50", which is a leap up from our old TV which is 42". To be honest I always felt our old TV was huge, and more than big enough for us, but for the price range we were shopping in ($1100-$1300) the 50" TVs were much more cost effective than the 42". The price was already very good at $1289 but (and I kid you not), I pointed out to our sales rep that I had found it online for $1288. (Thank you iPhone for instantaneous cost comparisons). He did give me the hairy eyeball for a second to see if I was serious about the $1, but came to the party with $1270 instead. What we've found with The Good Guys is that when a price has been dropped ridiculously to price match as standard store pricing (which we understand The Good Guys do at least daily), the reps are not really in a position to do the "less for cash" thing. But if you can find it cheaper somewhere, they will drop to keep in line with the lowest price guarantee. So it ended up being an $18 saving, and since Bing Lee and JB Hifi are both offering the TV for well over $1300, we're pretty happy with that price.

Here's the biggest tip of all for buying your electricals and devices. Buy 4-5 weeks out from Christmas from The Good Guys, and then keep an eye on the sales that follow everywhere else.

The Good Guys offer a 30 day lowest price guarantee which we've taken advantage of before. If anywhere else has our TV at a lower price over the next 30 days, we can (and will!) go back to The Good Guys for a 120% refund of the difference. We did it last year when we bought Maddy's school/Christmas iPad. About 2 weeks after we bought it, Target had a 1 day unannounced sale that included a discount of about $50 on the iPad so back I went for the difference.

The TV is hidden away at the moment waiting for Christmas day. Although the babies won't get much use out of it for a few years, we think Maddy will be pretty happy to see, and we can't wait to have a play!

Do you negotiate on the price or just go with the flow? And would you go back for the difference if they price dropped elsewhere?



Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Third Person


Out of the blue this week, Lorelei started talking in the third person. It took me a few days to figure it out, because at the same time she started referring to herself in an unexpected way.

"Mummy, your baby wants a drink."

Really? 1 year old Sebastian wants a drink and you noticed?

"Your baby is cold. Pick up your baby and give a hug".

Huh? Seriously. Huh?

It took me days to catch on, because I kept thinking she was talking about Seb, and the things she was saying were a little weird.

We're not sure sure why she started calling herself my baby, although we've got a few theories. It's only to me that she refers to herself that way, with Husband she still talks in the first person, which sort of makes sense because I actually call her "my baby". As in "Come here, my baby", "bedtime, my baby", and "I love you, my baby". It's a term of endearment, although I realise at 2 it might sound a little strange to others.

It could also be a part and parcel of why she is taking so long to sleep at night right now. I spend easily 2 hours each night with her, settling her to sleep, and I have a feeling both the extended settling time and the new "your baby" 3rd person is her reaching out for a little more attention.

With a high maintenance 12 year old absorbing alot of negative attention right now, and a 1 year old who naturally sidetracks me because he still needs alot of hands on care, I'm not surprised she is looking for ways to get my focus on just her.

She can be my baby as long as she wants. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

FFS Friday: The No Sleep Edition


I'm ready to die. Or kill someone. Maybe both.

My toddler has the shittiest sleeping habits ever FFS. At night I spend easily 2 hours or more getting her to fall asleep, only to have her wake sometimes at stupid o'clock ready to start the day.

And because she is the most evil toddler God ever put on this earth, as long as she is awake, I am awake. I'd waken to find her cooking a playdoh pie in the oven, or cutting off her sisters hair otherwise FFS.

Each night we do the bath, book, massage, bed thing together and she is actually quite responsive. Snuggly, sleepy, relaxed. But once the lights go out, the kids revs up like a Chihuahua on steroids FFS.

She chatters, tosses, turns, kicks, plays with anything (body, pillow, drink bottle), and is generally wide awake FFS

And if you try to leave her to it to self settle she would still be going on at midnight FFS. Coming out of her room, playing out of bed, playing in the bathroom, climbing into 1 year old Sebastian's cot FFS

And so instead I stay with her each night as the only way of getting her to settle eventually. 2 hours each night, eaten up FFS

If I try to delegate the task to Husband occasionally he falls asleep almost straight away, leaving the toddler to her own nefarious devices FFS

It's not that I mind a little cuddle and one on one time with my littlest girl. But I am going to bed after midnight every night once the evenings wind down activities are out of the way FFS

And some nights the little psycho sweetie is awake again at 3, 4 o'clock FFS

Wide, functioning, awake. Chattering, playing, wanting breakfast awake FFS.

I sort of impose a lie down rule as I doze next to her, but the reality is we are both awake until the alarms go off at 5:30 FFS

Functioning on less than 3 hours sleep I get up to start the mornings routine, a routine that doesn't really allow for a toddler underfoot. If I want to get out the door on time when she is awake, I need to be getting up at 5am FFS

And because she is hyper and loud in the mornings, Sebastian usually wakes up demanding attention too FFS

To add insult to injury, once she is in the car on the way to daycare or Teta's for the day she falls back to a deep sleep, prepared to sleep now for 3-4 hours FFS

And of course she is distraught and tantrummy at being woken at the other end, unable to cope as you would expect from a 2 year old operating on 5 hours night sleep FFS

Got settling suggestions for me? Resettling suggestions? More than open to them. As I suck back my second cup of coffee for the morning already. Because I can see already this is going to be a 6 cup+ kind of day.


Dear Baby G

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

So Heres The Thing.....#DPCON14

Back in 2012 I had the fun of going to my first ever blogging conference only a few months after starting up my blog.

The good Lord only knows how I managed it, but I was actually sponsored to go by the killer peeps over at Lasoo, a website I use ALL THE TIME. I approached them completely randomly, and almost passed out when I got a phone call to say they would foot the bill. They didn't care that I was a teeny blog with only a few followers, and they didn't even stipulate any return gratification.

Even as a baby blogger with only 6 months under my belt I got so much out of the conference. This time around, more than 2 years later, I expect to come out as the Blogosphere Shakespeare, an expert in my field and the most fascinating writer of my day.

Or maybe not. Maybe I'll just come away with a better understanding of my readers, myself, and my industry. Regardless, we'll all see an improvement in my content.

So here's the thing. Now that I've worked with a few brands, done a few giveaways, attended a few events, I have a better idea of the value I have to offer. If you are a business interested in sponsoring Money Hearts Money to attend A CRUISE OMG MY FIRST CRUISE Digital Parents Conference, I can offer....well just about anything you want, including but not limited to:

-Tattooing your brand on my forehead
- An introduction post about your service/products
- 3 months side bar advertising
- Have your logo imprinted on the left breast of my bikini
- Ongoing byline in the disclosure of all posts about the lead up and execution of the event (I can promise a fair few!)
- My soul
- Series of topical posts sponsored by yourself in the byline
- Wear branded clothing or make use of branded stationary in conference events.

But wait! There's more! Mummy Hearts Money isn't selfish, there are sponsorship opportunities for more than one company! I don't just need a ticket, I can make real good use of the following too:

-Clothing. I actually have none, thanks to constant and ongoing weight changes. In 9 months I have dropped 5 dress sizes and fluctuated up and down between them thanks so some niggling health problems. Feel free to dress me and be confident that I will photobomb every blogger I come near so that your garments appear on dozens of Instagram and Facebook feeds. Just don't dress me till the last second because who knows what size I will be then.
-Technology. Seriously I actually have none. Mummy Hearts Money is written almost 100% on my home desktop PC, shared with Husband and the 12 year old. Last time I watched with envy as bloggers tapped idly away on tablets and used awesome camera's.
- Luggage. I have a rolly bag, with 1 wheel broken that I will happily use. But if there is a luggage company out there that thinks I should be really be rolling something a little more schmick......well I agree.
- Insurance. I don't do anything without insurance! Insuring the trip, insuring myself.....and seeing as how there will be hundreds of bloggers on this trip, don't you think it would be a good thing if someone like me was telling them how awesome your insurance product is?

Husband asked me to insert an additional request for home help for him for the 3 days I would be away. Don't panic potential sponsors, I told him to stop kidding himself. It's enough that there are plenty of you hoping to outfit, insure and gadget me up without looking after him too.

If you are dying to sponsor Mummy Hearts Money and would like to talk turkey about the nitty gritty of what I can do for you, please contact me at mummylovesmoney@gmail.com, and rest assured your email will be more important than my household chores, Big Bang Theory time, and Farmville. Unfortunately the kids have to take priority though. 

#DPCON14 #SPONSORME #WILLSINGFORTICKET

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tips for Dance Mums

Most adorable tapper ever.
Maddy age 5.
Madeleine is finishing up her 10th year of dancing and Lorelei will be starting next year. We've been on tour 3 times with our studio, sold hundreds of boxes of chocolate, worn through our first pair of pointe shoes, and laddered countless pairs of stockings.

Dancing can be expensive, it can be time consuming, it can be cliquey, and it can be exhausting. But it's also alot of fun and for the most part our main adult group of friends come from the wonderful families we have connected with through dancing. There is something about sewing sequins on tutu's at 2 in the morning that just bonds you with another mother, and I know Husband feels the same about the other fathers he is now friends with thanks to the numerous BBQ's he has manned.

My top tips for making the most out of your dancing experience and keeping costs down:

Husband can do the Gangnam Style with
the best of them. Father/Daughter dance.
-Participate. In every possible way. Backstage helper, fundraising organiser, doing a Mummy's or Daddy's class (did you know I can tap? Although not very well), anything that gets you involved helps to make your studio a community and makes you an integral part of it.
-Get out of the car and sit in the waiting area with other parents. Stay off the smart phone and talk to the other families. Through building our dancing network we found other mums at the same primary school who were willing to help out with some car pooling. Often we have arrangements in place for one mum to drive kids to class, and another to drop some home. These will be the people who have your back if you are running late to pick up your dancer, and will also be keeping an eye on them when class is not in session.
-Buy your shoes second hand. In Term 2 eBay is full of second hand sporting goods, from kids that gave it a whirl and don't want to continue. Tap and Jazz shoes tend to follow very predictable sizing, although you may still want to get your ballet shoes fitted
-Buy your dance gear over sea's. Dance gear is quite expensive in Australia, especially for stockings. We tend to pool together with other families to get a shipment of stocking from Hong Kong which end up being a 3rd of the price. Google is your best friend!
-Open a dedicated dancing bank account and transfer an amount to it each pay to accumulate for end of year costumes. It's easy enough to pay for one costume, but once your child is doing a range of dances the end of year bill can be a shock!
-Barter your services for discounts or tuition. Most studio's are in need of a lick of paint, someone to make collections calls, man the office, sew costumes, the needs are endless. And while many dance principals may not be able to afford to pay for these services, they are in a position to barter. What can you do that would be valuable to your studio?

Dancing is never going to win the #1 cheap after school activity slot. But there are ways to make it more affordable. What are your top tips for keeping the dancing costs down?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels The Musical OR Hot Tips For Driving In the City



I took Maddy along to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels last month. She was annoyed that she missed out on seeing Grease with me, so when tickets to DRS came up, I agreed to take her with me.

It was an adventure. I'm not a good city driver to start with. I usually cunningly find an excuse to car pool with someone else. I'll happily pay the tolls or the parking in exchange FOR NOT DRIVING IN THE CITY.

"Remember this, you're giving them what they want. Specifically what they want."

Husband is used to my hysterical phone calls, upset because I can't turn right BUT I NEED TO TURN RIGHT, or the street is one way BUT ITS THE WRONG WAY, or because the navigator is stupid and needs to SHUT UP BEFORE I THROW HER OUT THE WINDOW.

Driving in the city brings out the nasty adolescent in me. This was the 12 year olds first experience and much as I tried to stay calm and focused during a typically stressful drive.....it still resulted in her patting me on the back and promising me it would be OK.

Before I get to the actual review of the show, here are my top tips for getting there:

-CHECK your stupid navigator and make sure she hasn't translated 108 King Street SYDNEY into 108 King Street NEWTOWN without telling you. It will save you alot of grief driving up and down King St NEWTOWN looking for the non-existent theatre.
-PREBOOK your parking at the venue at Wilson Parking for $15. Save $10 on the gate price. I assumed we would have plenty of time to park at a much further parking lot that's cheap and stroll down so didn't bother. For the convenience of parking right beneath the theatre at a reasonable price for city parking its worth prebooking.

"You know, I'm starting to think someone put alcohol in that Champagne."

Moving on to the Theatre Royal, it's a beautiful venue and the staff were just lovely. Not only did they give me wonderful directions for getting there from King St Newtown, but they were looking out for us to arrive.
We were a tiny bit late for the show, and staff were handling us with kid gloves as we picked up our tickets and were shown to our seat. We were in fabulous moods by then, the stress of city driving behind me, and Miss 12 and I were giggly and excited to be at a show together. Staff members pulled me aside in the intermission specially to ask if the show was making up for the drive, and to compliment us on being so happy and excited in the face of missing part of the beginning. They were so lovely and chatty, I haven't had such personal attention before at a theatre.

I didn't know what to expect from the show having never see the movie, but within minutes of sitting down Miss 12 and I were laughing away at the story line and the comedic actors they have playing the male leads. Tony Sheldon as Lawrence and Matt Hetherington as Freddy were fabulous, their timing was spot on and their facial expressions added so much punch to their lines.

"Relax my friend. We both know my intimate relationship with Lady Luck."

For anyone else who hasn't seen the movie, the storyline follows 2 con men as they race to see who can get the money off their mark, an heiress, in the quickest time. The show takes a funny twist as the heiress Christina turns the tables unexpectedly and cons them instead. 

John Wood (remember the police chief in Blue Heelers many moons ago) is a great addition to the company, reeling out a terrible french accent for his part as Andre, cohort to one of our con men.

"Now I want you to sit quietly and observe while I play her like a piano"

There was the occasional humorous but raunchy little scene that I probably didn't want Maddy seeing. At 12 these things no longer go over her head, and I realised after looking around the audience that she was the only child there. While she found it very funny, I would suggest this is a show to take Husband to, not the tween!


All in all a show worth seeing. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels run from October 2013 at the Theatre Royal Sydney.

Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster and Showbiz. As always, crosscheck your days and seating against both as often the pricing is different. You can find out more about the show here.

I wasn't paid for the opinions or experience in this post, however the tickets for Miss 12 and I were gifted. You can read more in my diclosure statement here.