Thanks for stopping by. Mummy Mayhem is no longer updated. I now have a new, albeit smaller blog over at www.jodieansted.blogspot.com.au.

Drop by anytime. :)


Friday, May 28, 2010

Hot or Not? Jake Gyllenhaal

Time for a bit of fun with Hot or Not?...

Last week Russell Crowe's attitude seemed to get in the way of his Hot-ness vote. However, there were still a few who set that aside (and, in fact, thought it kind of appealing) and voted in favour of the Oscar-winner.

This week's choice for Hot or Not kept flashing up on my tv screen this week in the trailer for the new film Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

It seems Jake Gyllenhaal has been hitting the gym as of late for this role, as well as growing his hair, and I think he is looking mighty fine! The Brokeback Mountain star, 29, stars in the film which is based on a video game. (Worked for Angelina Jolie!)

Here's the trailer for the film (Jake takes on an English accent for this one):

I'm not usually a fan of long hair on men, but I think it looks pretty good on Jake. 

But it's not my call. 'Tis up to you dear readers. Is Jake Gyllenhaal hot, or not?


*This weekly post was inspired by Insomniac Mummy's weekly Hot or Not. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ask Mummy Mayhem - These Flies!

Our first Ask Mummy Mayhem question comes from the lovely Katie of No Missed Opportunities.

Katie writes...

So I have this son. He's 6. He is an amazing child. Super friendly, polite, charismatic, funny, well behaved smart as a whip and cute as a bug. Basically the perfect kid. (Sounds like bragging I know, but all true. Pinkie promise).  
Anyway~ even though I shouldn't complain...he is afraid of just about everything. Stairs. Animals. Loud noises. Water (bath time is a trial), etc. The biggest thing though is FLIES. He is hard to get out of the house anytime except winter (no flies), and GOD FORBID there be a fly in the house. He doesn't want to be in the house but can't go outside either.
If one gets near him, he screams, cries, hollers and basically has a breakdown and the neighbors must think we are poking him with forks or something.
Flies are everywhere. What should I do?
Well, Katie. Believe it or not, my 8yr old son had this exact same problem when he was about 3. We'd try a nice little evening picnic on the lawn on a hot summer's eve, and within five minutes we were back inside because the 8yr old would start freaking out! Just one fly would buzz past his little face, and he'd run screaming for cover. 

We tried to make light of the flies. "Oh shoo you silly thing," we'd say to the fly in front of our son, then laugh to show the 8yr old it wasn't a big deal. We'd take him close up to look at a fly and say, "See? He doesn't want to hurt you, he's just a little pest, that's all."

In the end, it was persistence that paid off. I'm afraid I can't tell you it worked overnight, nor did it work over a period of 3 or 4 weeks. It took longer than that, but it was just being persistent about it, and trying not to make a huge deal out of it. I think it was at its worst for one summer, and then by the following summer, he was a little hesitant again, but was pretty good by the end of the warmer months. 

Kids are funny little things. I think some are just naturally more sensitive to their surroundings than others. With such sensitive skin, I think the feeling of the fly probably doesn't feel great to them. I think the key is to be as relaxed about it as you possibly can (even as frustrating as it is at the time)! Eventually, they'll relax about it too.

Can any readers offer any advice for Katie? Besides buying half a dozen fly swatters? I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Remember - if you have a problem you'd like to ask, just email me. See the homepage for details. 

Katie - I hope it has helped a little to know that your son isn't the only one who doesn't like flies!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ask Mummy Mayhem

So last night I had this idea for a new semi-regular post….

Sometimes there are little questions that crop up in life that we seek answers to. Anywhere from “Why won’t my friend talk to me anymore?” to “I want to get married, but he doesn’t. What do I do?” to “What colour shoes should I wear with my new floral frock?” to “The 3yr old keeps weeing in his Pull-up and I’m getting frustrated – what’s my next step?”

Ok admittedly, that last question’s actually mine.

But anyway, yesterday in particular (for reasons I won’t go in to) got me thinking about this lovely community of bloggers/tweeps/readers and I thought – we have all these clever people out there, all of whom have experienced their lives - some in the same way you and I have, some differently. Surely, if one of us has something bothering us, or we need an answer to a question, there’s gotta be someone out there that can help? Right?

Me thinks so.

So, I thought I’d run an Ask Mummy Mayhem kinda column. It's not a new idea, I'm sure. But I figured it might be fun as well as helpful. Of course, I will attempt to answer all questions asked, but I’m also going to throw it out to the community. After all, I’m no expert. ;)

The way I thought I’d do this is to have you email me your question. That way, if it’s a sensitive subject, and you want to remain anonymous, you can. All you need to do is sign your email the way you’d like for it to be published. Par exemple… 

Gosh. I wonder who wrote that? How sweet.

Anyway, let’s see how this goes. I’ll be waiting for your emails! Just click on the EMAIL button on my homepage (can’t miss it), or I've also set up a little Ask Mummy Mayhem piccie that will take you to my email address. (Clever, huh?)

Oh, and in answer to the question above? Just tell me. Or send money to show your appreciation. Whatever.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bloggy Love

I got me an award.

Thank you to Marika over at Pranayama Before Breakfast who has awarded me the Mind Blowing Blog Award!

I only 'met' Marika a short time ago when she joined in at Bloggers Without Makeup Day. I feel so lucky to have met all these new bloggers over the past couple of weeks!


Thanks Marika!

The rules of the award are to: 
- Display the award on your blog.
- Mention the person who gave you the award, and provide a link to their blog. 
- Name 5-10 people to pass it on to.
- Advise those people they've gotten an award!

Here are some people whose blogs blow my mind!!!

Thea at Do I Really Wanna Blog?
Nomie at Under The Yardarm
Megan at Writing Out Loud
Ami at Puff Pieces (although, she's still holidaying. I miss you, Ami!)
Seraphim at Ah, the possibilities!
Bern at So Now What?
Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim
Emily at Emlykd The Strange
Carly at She Dreams Big
Brenda at MummyTime

Thanks beautiful bloggers! xox


Friday, May 21, 2010

Hot or Not? Russell Crowe

It's time for a bit of Friday Fun with Hot or Not?

Of course, we skipped last week due to Bloggers Without Makeup Day, but we're back on track now.

Our last Hot or Not candidate was Robert Downey Jnr, and to be honest, I was quite surprised at how popular a choice he was! I don't think we've had such an enthusiastic response to a Hot or Not candidate since Hamish Blake.

This week's choice flashed before me when I was driving the other day. Like, literally. A bus moved in to my lane, cutting me off and...well, to cut a long story short, a poster for the new Robin Hood film starring Russell Crowe loomed large before me.

Good old Russ has quite the reputation as a fiery character, doesn't he? Harsh words, the odd telephone thrown at hotel staff...but no one can deny he has talent. But let's just say, he comes across as very...intense.

The list of film credits is long. His first Hollywood film was LA Confidential (also starring Aussies Guy Pearce and Simon Baker), and his career started to step up a notch from there. There was Gladiator (which he won an Oscar for), The Insider, A Beautiful Mind (all of which attracted many awards and nominations for awards), and many more.

I get the feeling you're either gonna love him or hate him.

Anyway, here's Russell in Robin Hood (Cate Blanchett also stars):

So what's your opinion? Is Russell Crowe hot, or not?


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Mummy, when are you going to die?"

One of the most difficult questions a parent will ever be asked.

When the 8yo first asked, “Mummy, when are you going to die?” I was taken aback. He was probably about 3 years of age at the time. From memory, we had just visited my sister’s grave and I had explained to him just that morning how his Aunty Valda had died. So really, it shouldn’t have come as a shock at all. But it did.

I can’t quite recall the exact conversation that followed that day, but I think I replied along the lines of, “Well, I don’t know - Aunty Valda was young, but many, many people live until they’re very old.”

To which he replied, “How old will you be when you die? Will you live to one hundred years old?”

“Well…” I began, and then said, “Oh look! There’s a playground. Do you want to go play?”

I know. Chicken. My fob off didn’t last long. He was quite persistent with his questions about death (including the one question you never want to hear or know the answer to: “When am I going to die?”) and I answered them as honestly and as thoughtfully as I could. Finally I had to say, “Let’s not talk about it anymore, honey. Let’s talk about something happy.”

Looking back, I don’t think I needed to get quite so deep and meaningful with the 8yr old at the time. It was probably too much for him to take in.

By the time the 6yr old started the same line of questioning, I had gotten good at saying, “Oh, I’ll probably live to 100, and you’ll be so sick of me by then!” I kept it as light-hearted as I could. The 6yr old went through a very difficult few months some time back, worrying about death. He worried about me dying. He worried about dying himself, and he would often get upset about it all. It’s a difficult time for them; coming to the realisation that their parents won’t be around forever. And that neither will they. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, as we were walking back from soccer, the 6yr old said, “I wish that you’d had [the 8yr old] when you were 20; and me when you were 21; and [the 3yr old] when you were 23.”

“Why?” I asked, although I instinctively knew where the conversation was going.

“Because then you wouldn’t die before I have a house of my own.”

I understand this thought process. When I was in primary school, a bunch of kids were talking one day in the playground about how old their mums were. Most were in their 30s. I kept quiet. I had already noticed my Mum was older than most mums. I went home and asked my Mum how old she actually was? When she told me she was 50-something, I gasped. “You’re not going to die are you?” I asked, horrified at the thought. My Mum just laughed and said, “No, honey. I’m not going anywhere yet!”

At the time, although I wasn’t 100% convinced that my Mum was right, I did feel some reassurance in her confident reply.

I assured the 6yr old that his Grandma was 10 years older than what I was when she had me, and that she’d seen me grow up, marry his Dad, have 3 boys and have my own house, and I finished with, “And Grandma’s still here!” He seemed quite pleased with that idea, and promptly dropped the subject. Phew.

It breaks my heart that my kids worry about me not being around (God knows, I worry about it myself sometimes)! I guess the best thing to do is to assure them as best I can, and not go in to too many details.

The 3yr old asked me about death recently, and I thought, ‘Here we go again.’ But at least this time, I’ve got my answers sorted. I still don’t like talking about it, but I’ve now accepted that it’s a subject that can’t be avoided.

How about you? Have you had your children, or someone else’s child ask you about death? How do you handle it? Any advice you can share?


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BWM 2010 Video...

The lovely Brenda at MummyTime worked her you-know-what off to put together this fab video for Bloggers Without Makeup Day!

Thanks, Brenda. You're, like, a LEGEND!! 



Monday, May 17, 2010

BWM Day 2010 Thanks

Wow - what an amazing day it was last Friday for Bloggers Without Makeup Day. 

After originally asking readers to join me for BWM Day earlier last week, it all started to come together on Thursday eve, with many bloggers and tweeps unable to contain their excitement. Avatars on Twitter were changed, and blog posts either posted or scheduled for first thing the next morning (including my own)!

I was excited too. I hardly slept a wink on Thursday night, and woke at 5am Friday morning. At 5.20am, I decided to get up and post BWM. (Hubby thought I had gone mad.) By 5.30am I had tweeted it for the first time, and no sooner had I gone back to my post, there were already entries on the Linky Tool.

And the list just got longer. And longer. And longer. I couldn't believe it. I could hardly keep up with all the tweets and links. The whole thing took me completely by surprise.

Adding to the excitement was this post on BlogHer by Melissa Ford. Later, I received a tweet from The Today Show in the US, advising me that BWM Day was mentioned on their "Today in 2 Minutes" (video here). The next day I awoke, expecting the excitement to have died down, only to find the Linky list had grown and to hear the news (via Twitter, of course) that BWM Day had taken off in the US and UK. Later that morning I spoke with the lovely Susan Whelan of Reading Upside Down who then published this piece on suite101.com. (Loved it, Susan!) And the lovely Kristin of Wanderlust wrote this piece on BlogHer about why she thought BWM Day was a success! (Thanks Kristin - great!) And look out on Twitter this week, as I'll be chatting with the very gorgeous Carol Duncan on 1233 ABC Newcastle at some stage, so I'll let you know when that will be on. I'm sure that afterwards, Carol will blog a little link which I'll also post on my homepage so you can take a listen at your leisure if you can't tune in on the day. 

I received so many well wishes from so many of you over those days, but as I wrote...somewhere...(I've left over 180 comments on blogs and links to pics these last few days - forgive me for not remembering!) the success of BWM Day was due to the contribution by all that took part. I simply put out a little idea (and believe me, I thought it just a little one at the time) and it just went from there. So many of you were busy encouraging others to join in; were re-tweeting posts; tweeting me with encouraging words, and I thank every one of you who did so. You made BWN Day what it was. I can't tell you how emotional it was for me at times, reading some of the blog posts. Women felt liberated by a simple act of posting their true self online - which was the point. That put a huge smile on my face.  

Yes - the whole thing was very exciting. But the most exciting part for me, was seeing all the encouragement and support that every woman gave to every other blogger/tweep. The comments that women left on blogs that took part was so very heartwarming. I know it sounds very cliche - but when women unite, we really can make a difference. 

In the end, we finished with 180 links to blogs or tweeps who had posted makeup free pics (with only a few that were not related to the day - view the full list here). There were a few more links in comments, so all up - a pretty impressive contribution.

Now I have a little surprise for you. I went to all the posts and took a copy of your pics to make this for you! Behold the beauty of those who took part in Bloggers Without Makeup Day 2010:  

It's like a sea of gorgeousness, isn't it?

I've tried to make sure I got everyone's pic. If I've missed any - please forgive me! It was quite the task getting them all. I wish I had also gotten those that had just changed profiles pics on Twitter etc for the day. 

Can I also just say a special thanks to Brenda of MummyTime, who hosts a Flog Yo Blog every Friday (you'll see the button on my homepage), which, last week, she incorporated in with BWM Day; and in the process, no doubt reached a number of people that my little bloggy would not have. (Thanks Brenda!)

I tried to make my own button (that I have above) for those who wanted it for their website, but I couldn't for the life of me work out how. So anyway, if you want, you can copy my button and insert it on your own blog as a picture, and if you want to, link it back to my site where all the links are (here's the link to copy: http://mummy-mayhem.blogspot.com/2010/05/bloggers-without-makeup-day.html), or link it to your own post if you want. I don't mind. Whatever works for you!

You know what? I think we might do it again in 2011. Make it an annual event. Each year we can celebrate our faces as they mature and remember that we really don't need to wear all that stuff if we don't want to. We can celebrate our true selves! Think you might join me?


Friday, May 14, 2010

Bloggers Without Makeup Day

Today is the day. Today we get to unite and show everyone our true selves!

Thank you to all of the bloggers and tweeps out there who took this idea on board and decided to join me in going makeup free for a day.

I can't tell you how liberating this has been for me. Cate Bolt left a comment on my post the other day about shaving her head and feeling the same sort of liberation. It feels right to do this, and I'm so glad there are so many who want to get involved. What a great example we will be to our kids, and also to young girls who think they have to look like a magazine cover all the time. (You DON'T ladies! You are gorgeous as you are!)

I have been overwhelmed with the response to this initiative. I figured a few might join in (maybe out of sympathy for me!)...but when I started turning on Twitter and reading my comments on my blog, I realised that this was something many of you wanted to do. And I've seen people then start to worry about going through with it, then put up their pic on Twitter (early - it started to feel like Christmas Eve last night on Twitter, with many unable to wait to open their pressies!) and become so excited at having had the chance to just let go and be themselves... Incredible. 

Ok, so firstly...if you're not a blogger - don't despair. You can still get involved. If you're on Twitter, you can change your profile pic for today, or tweet a link to Twitpic or something similar with your pic, and attach the trending topic to your tweet, #BloggersWithoutMakeup. Then everyone can click on the topic and see who else is doing the same! 

If you're not on Twitter, and not a blogger, you can actually attach a pic in the comments below. There's a little button thingy down there to help you do that. We'd love to see your pic!

If you're a blogger, then I've attached a lovely little Linky Tools list below. Just copy a link to your blog post (not just the homepage, the actual post) for Bloggers Without Makeup Day and add the link below. Don't forget to include your Blog Name and maybe your name! Whatever you like. That way, everyone can take a look at your makeup free shot. I'll be viewing and commenting on every single one. I can't wait!!!

Ok - GO FOR IT! And once again, thanks for getting involved. You're doing a really great thing here today. Every bit counts. 

You are all amazing. A-MA-ZING!


PS - Hot or Not won't be posted today as per usual. I figured today's post could be our Friday fun for this week! 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If The Shoe Fits (Or Doesn't)

What is it about kids and shoes? Or, is it just my children who have a problem with their footwear?

I was at the 3yr old’s sports lesson this morning, and there was a mother there arguing with her 4yr old son about his shoes. He didn’t like them. He didn’t want to wear them. “Ok!” she exclaimed in exasperation. “If you won’t wear your shoes, we have to leave. We’re going home. Now. Come on!” and she waltzed him towards the exit. Immediately, I understood what was going on. “Oh, bye, bye. Sorry you can’t stay,” I said to the little boy, waving sadly at him as I did so. It was then he turned around and bolted back through the door, screaming, “Nooooo! I don’t want to go home!” Battle fought. Battle won.

This time.

I understand the shoe thing. Shoes have always been an issue in our house on some level. Apart from the fact that it’s difficult at times to get the kids to even put them on or put them away or locate them, we also have other shoe related problems.

With the 8yr old, it always was (and still is, to some degree) the fit. If they’re even the slightest bit snug, he complains. In his first year of Kindy, every morning we would have an argument about his shoes (and his socks for that matter). “They’re too TIGHT!” he’d exclaim, throwing himself down on the floor dramatically. We’d have to undo them, redo them up over and over until it was... Just. Right.

He wears his sneakers so loosely, that it was no surprise to me, when running the school’s cross country race recently that he, well, lost one shoe en route. To his credit, he finished the race. However, I wouldn’t be surprised that in the moment his shoe fell off, he heard my or Hubby’s voice in his head saying, “See! I told you to tighten up your darn shoes!” and figured he should probably keep running.

The 6yr old would happily live in his red Crocs (one size too small) forevermore if you let him. “You need the larger size,” I pointed out months ago. “No. They’re TOO BIG. I want THESE ONES.” Even if it’s cold, he still wants to wear the one-size-too-small Crocs. “Put your sneakers on,” I say. “Your feet will freeze.” “No they WON’T,” he argues, and stomps off to locate his beloved Crocs.

And trying to get him to wear some nice (expensive, I might add) sandals in summer is like pulling teeth. “NO! I WANT MY CROCS ON.” Oh, for goodness sake.

With the 3yr old, it’s about slippers. He has an aversion to them. Won’t wear them. On one trip to Target last year, he convinced me to buy him a pair of gorgeous Bob The Builder slippers. Already having discovered his dislike of the house slipper, I said, “But you won’t wear them.” He shook his head and looked up at me, his big brown eyes innocent and wanting. “I will, Mummy. I will.” And so I bought them. He has never worn them. Ever. 

I’m a sucker.

Yes, Lady At My Son’s Sports Class – I understand. I empathize. I get it. My kids’ shoes are the bane of my life too.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bloggers Without Makeup

Sometimes, I just can't ignore a post when it's staring me right in the face. And this is one of those posts.

A few weeks ago, I was ironing (sorry...didn't mean to shock you like that. Occasionally, it happens) and anyway, I was watching an episode of Desperate Housewives (Season 5 on DVD). In the particular episode I was watching that day, Gabby's daughter was sent home from school because she had put on make up. Gabby was upset. "Why did you do that to yourself?" she asked. It was then she discovered her daughter had a copy of a magazine on which Gabby had graced the cover during her modelling days. It was then that it dawned on Gabby that her daughter was trying to look like her. 

Anyway, Carlos (Gabby's husband for the non-Desperate Housewives devotees) then has an idea to show his daughter that looks aren't that important. He suggests that Gabby attend an award ceremony without her make up. As you can imagine, this did not go down well with Gabby at all, and even though she complies and attends the evening - barefaced - when, ah, faced with being photographed for a newspaper on the night, she can't help but wrestle some poor woman in the ladies for her make up so she can look "half decent" for the shot. Of course, her daughter is present and is subsequently upset that Gabby hasn't followed through with her promise, and Gabby, in turn, feels guilty that she couldn't stick with the no-makeup plan. Obviously, she was too concerned about what people would think. 

Phew. Hope you got all that.

In any case, it's a no brainer that glamorous magazine covers can attract young girls, and young girls can feel that if they don't look as gorgeous as some model who has just had her hair and make up professionally done, and placed in front of some exotic background location, then they're obviously quite inferior by comparison. We know that it is not so, but an impressionable young girl is...well impressionable by nature, isn't she? 

And then, I was reading this post of Thea's over at Do I Really Wanna Blog? about seeing bloggers' photos on their blogs and Twitter, and getting an impression based on those photos. Thea also talked about what an impression some may have of her based on her pics, and this struck a cord with me. I realised that many of us feel insecure about showing our true selves. I admit it...when I post a pic of myself, I choose one with a good angle. I make sure I have a bit of lippy on. Some face powder, mascara. Flattering lighting. I might even switch it to black and white. I've retouched shiny spots on my face (true)!

Currently, I have a fairly glam shot of myself on my Twitter account. The same shot is also used on Aussie Mummy Bloggers and a few other of my accounts. It was taken at a friend's 40th birthday party, and to be honest, I'm not sure if my friend photo-shopped it, because normally, you're bound to see a few more wrinkles around my eyes, as well as a little puffiness, than you do in that shot. Let's just say, it's safe to say I do not look like that picture often.

Why did I choose it? Why not a picture cropped from a cuddle with one of my kids or Hubby at the beach? Or why not some other pic from my iPhoto collection? 

Well, because I want people to like the look of me. I want to present well. That's the easiest answer...but the deeper question that stems for that, is why do I feel the need to do this?

I'm always telling my boys to be themselves. "Be yourself," I say with conviction. "If people don't like you for who you are, that's their problem." And, "Don't worry about what people think. Who cares? Be your own man, and people will love you for it." I repeat these mantras over and over to my sons...even more than the one I constantly use when disciplining them: "Treat others how you want to be treated yourself." (And that's really saying something.)

So, am I setting an example for my boys? Am I "being myself" when I'm blogging and tweeting? I think I am when I write, but when I put up my pics, I fear that I am not. Not that I think that's all bad. We all want to "look nice", and there's nothing wrong with glamming it up on occasion. I mean, I'd rather look at celebs in all their garb then not. Doesn't mean I think they look less beautiful without the makeup - just that it's appealing and a bit of fun for viewing. 

But should I be SO concerned about trying to look good?

After Thea's post, I also noticed this post from The Real Sydney over at Get Real, in which she applauded Kate Walsh (Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice) for turning up with no make up to an official event. Once again, I got to thinking about the makeup thing. How often do I go out without it? Hardly ever, if the truth be told. Usually I wear just a little face powder and mascara - often, some lipstick. Why don't I just go out without it? What am I so worried about?

And then the final hammer down on my little head...this week's WHO Magazine - Stars Without Makeup. Ok, so celebrities are celebrities, and bloggers are bloggers (who are, sometimes, also celebrities - but you know what I mean)...but in any case, that was it. I knew what had to be done.

So, for better or worse, here's how I really look. This shot was taken on Mother's Day. I have not long got out of bed. I've yet to wash my face, brush my teeth, or get out of my pjs. I haven't even brushed my hair. This, dear readers, is the "real me":

I got to thinking about the person I'm portraying out there in Blogland and Twitterland, and thought that perhaps it was time you saw...me. 

And now, I wonder...does anyone else out there dare to bare? 

Here's what I propose. This Friday 14 May, I am going to proclaim it "Bloggers Without Makeup Day", but open to bloggers and tweeps. I'm going to use the above photo on my Twitter account ALL DAY on Friday. I'm going to put a trending topic attached to it, #BloggersWithoutMakeup, and I'm going to show all of you the real me and, in turn, perhaps practice a bit of what I preach. If you have a blog, you could also post a pic like mine on your blog (if you dare) and tweet it on Friday. 

I'm not going to quit the more glam shots all together. I just figured, why should we be afraid to show our true selves? 

Anyway, even if you don't want to join me - that's ok. I'm doing this for me, and for my kids. Of course, the impact may have been greater if I'd had a girl. My boys will probably look at it someday and say, "Whatever," but it's the thought that counts. ;)

Anyone wanna put the flattering black & white shots behind, replace the wedding photos and the pics taken with your hair freshly coiffed, and join me?