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 Mummy Mayhem is no longer updated.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. :)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

(Indefinite) Pause (Updated with a Thank You!)

I was watching the movie Julie & Julia the other night. 

It's the first time I've seen the film since I saw it in the cinema close to two years ago. The movie - about Julie Powell, an American government employee who starts a blog about cooking her way through Julia Child's book, Mastering The Art of French Cooking - was rather timely for me back then, as I'd just started Mummy Mayhem. I went with friends, and it was great for them to see how the world of blogging can give a person focus, confidence, support, opportunities, personal drive and allow that person to indulge in a love of writing. At the time, I couldn't stop writing posts in my head, and I was becoming more and more heavily tuned in to the world of blogging.

In the two years since I've started this blog, I've had some wonderful opportunities. For example, I would never have thought (nor expected) back then to be sent so many wonderful products, and have my opinion valued. Or to some day be paid to write. And I most certainly could never have dreamt of the day I would see my name attached as the writer of a magazine article. Nor did I bank on making some wonderful (and eventual real life) connections, and finding a community I felt I belonged to.

For the most part, the blogging world is a very supportive, positive and engaging community. However, in truth, it also has a not so pleasant side. Competitiveness, insecurity, jealousy, snobbery, exclusiveness and plain old nastiness rears it ugly head in this online world at times. Thankfully, this is the exception rather than the rule. But as much as it saddens me to admit it, I think this is because you can't get a bunch of women (mostly, in my blogging world anyway) together without a bit of this stuff to deal with on occasion - in any situation. There are days the blogosphere feels not unlike high school. It's just that the 'students' carry laptops rather than books, and the bullying appears in the form of a very under the radar type blog post or tweet or status update on Facebook. Rather than passing notes, bloggers email, or direct message each other on Twitter, or they bitch chat on Skype.

Same dog, different leg, as my father would say. ;)

However, even though I've become increasingly...disappointed, I guess, about this side of the blogging world - and, to be honest, it has probably (over time) partly contributed to my decision to a certain degree - it's not the only reason (not by far) that I have decided to shelve Mummy Mayhem indefinitely.

In fact, there are numerous reasons. All of which have floated around constantly in my head over the past month or so as I have contemplated this decision. I waited to do something until now, because I wanted to be sure.

So now I'm sure.

Julie & Julia made me realise how less enthusiastic I am about blogging these days. To be honest, I just haven't felt the need to blog like I used to in the past. I know those of you who have followed my blog for a while, and have seen me pop up on yours, have already noticed how less present I am in the online world these days. For at least the last few months or so, I've not spent much time on Twitter, and I'm not getting around to reading blog posts nearly as much as I used to. I guess life...that is, the one that exists in the real world...has been keeping me busy (as well as entertained), and more and more I'm drawn to it, rather than the world I've spent the last two years immersing myself in from the comfort of my laptop computer. It feels likes, in the beginning, I needed my blog, but now my blog needs me. I don't mean you need me. My blog does. It feels a little more like work than pleasure these days, and it was never supposed to feel like that.

And so, I'm hanging up my keyboard, so to speak, on my blog for a while...maybe forever...I'm not sure at all at this stage. Perhaps the need to write regularly here will suddenly take hold of me again, but for now, I'm happy to hopefully do a little freelance writing here and there, write in my journal (yes! I've picked one back up that I started a while ago) and to hang out with the four-year-old before he starts school, as well as the rest of my gorgeous family during other times. Perhaps - now hold on to your hats, people - I'll finally find the bottom of that ironing pile I'm always talking about? (I know. How crazy is that concept?)

My apologies to those companies who have contacted me in recent weeks about products and events etc and are still waiting for an answer. Life has been full. And I've been away on holidays. I guess I also knew in my mind this was coming, and didn't want to take anything on.

And to those who have read this blog, who are reading now, and who read right from the beginning (Nomie, Amy, MeganThea and my gorgeous friends, Jen and Mardi and Sister C especially)...thank you for your support. Thanks also to Brenda who has done so much for the Australian blogging community, including me.

I won't be gone completely. I think I'll hang around a little on my blog's Facebook page, and on Twitter occasionally to let you know what I'm up to and to say hi. At this stage, I'm planning to update my recipe blog on occasion (quite frankly, it's a handy thing to have access to when we're on holidays and I can't recall a recipe)! And I'll continue to read my fave blogs too so I can keep up with their news. (That is, when I can.)

Thanks for the good times, ya'll. All the best to all the bloggers out there! :)

UPDATE: (17 Nov) I just wanted to say a very sincere thank you to all that have commented here, contacted me via email, Facebook and Twitter to wish me well. It means a lot to me. A. Lot. Thank you so much. xxx

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

New York - Day 8 (The Final Instalment)

It has taken me almost a week to write this, because I've been busy, tired and, now, ill (the dreaded cold one often gets after flying with a bunch of strangers).

We woke early on our final day in New York, and enjoyed our last sunrise from our hotel room (pictured).

After breakfast, we packed our bags. Let me tell you, it was quite the challenge packing all the shoes we'd purchased! Hubby almost forgot two pairs that I discovered in one closet. (A sure sign he already had too many!)

After checking out of the hotel, we headed down Fifth Avenue in search of a place to have coffee, but we couldn't really find anything. Eventually, we found ourselves at Bloomingdales - a very famous department store that I'm sure you've heard of - with the main aim to see if we could find Hubby some business suits. With our New York City Pass in hand (a booklet you purchase which allows entry to some museums, Ellis Island etc - we bought ours online before we left, but you can also pick them up in New York), we used our 15% off voucher for the store - allowing us the discount for the whole day. We were pleased to find the suits of Hubby's choice were already 25% off, and the 15% was on top of that! In the end, Hubby got two suits for less that the price of one here in Sydney. (Woot!)

After that, we headed to Magnolia Bakery, conveniently located near the Men's department at Bloomingdales.

Lovin' all the Halloween decorations.

I'd heard a lot about this bakery, so was excited to find it and indulge in a cupcake.

Red Velvet for me, Chocolate of some sort for Hubby.

They were yummy, but to be honest, I wouldn't say they were any better than some of the cupcakes I've had in Australia. Still, I loved the way the store was decked out. I was very tempted to buy one of their cupcake books, but resisted knowing that I already had some art books that I'd purchased from The Frick Collection that would be weighing my suitcase down!

Right after ordering our cupcakes, I looked up at the pies on display and found PUMPKIN PIE!!! I'm kicking myself now, because at the time I thought it would be silly to also order a piece along with our cupcakes, but I should have just done it. Even if we'd only had a bite each, it was only $4 a slice. After the shopping we'd done, it was hardly going to break the bank!

Next time. Next. Time.

By the time we'd finished up, and bought Hubby some new sunglasses (yes - Hubby did well from our trip), it was time for Hubby to head back to the hotel to collect his bags (he was on a different flight to me). I walked down Lexington with him until I found a shop that sold bags, as I knew I'd need a bit of extra space if I bought anything else. Whilst there, I picked up New York t-shirts for the boys. The shopkeeper was nice enough to keep my purchases with him so I wouldn't have to lug it around the shops with me. I farewelled Hubby (*sniff*) and made my way back to Bloomingdales. On the way, I checked out a H&M store where I found a couple of nice (inexpensive) tops. At Bloomingdales I bought MAC eye shadows (for only $15 each!) and some nightwear and knickers (as you do). I tried to get myself some jeans, but for some reason, I just couldn't find the right ones for me in New York, so I gave up.

I headed back towards the Rockefeller Centre to take a look at the ice skaters. It seems much bigger in the movies!

Then I went in to the Lego store right next door and picked up some Lego products for each of the boys. (Much cheaper in New York. Was tempted to buy more for Christmas, but I just didn't have the space. Sorry boys....Mummy's clothes kinda came first!)

By then, I was hungry and a little over shopping. I returned to the hotel to drop off my purchases in my new bag (which I had picked up on the way to the Rockefeller Center), and wandered off in search of some food. I found a cafe around the corner from the hotel where I had a beef sandwich that had SO much beef in it, I had to remove half of it! (It was delicious, though.)

Then I re-packed my bags and headed to the airport. I tell you - I worry a lot about flying, but I figured if I could survive a taxi ride to the airport, I'd be okay. (Talk about a wild ride!) Fortunately (or perhaps, unfortunately - I can't quite decide), my Qantas flight wasn't affected by the industrial action, so I left on the right day and on time. (Hubby had booked me in a few more nights at the hotel just in case my flight was still cancelled, and I was quite excited about the prospect of a few extra days in New York! Ah, well. I was also ready to see my boys again, so it worked out okay in the end.)

When I finally returned home on Wednesday morning, the big boys were at school, and the four-year-old was at his sports class. When he got home, he walked straight in to my arms and just held me for a very long time. He didn't leave my side all day. (Gorgeous.)

I picked up the big boys from school that afternoon. They weren't quite as excited to see me (*sigh*), but were soon VERY interested in what I had for them on their return home. (Not surprisingly, the t-shirts and FDNY keyrings I bought them were hastily pushed aside in order to get to the Lego.)

The trip was amazing. Hubby and I are already talking about doing another one next year (and I simply must get back to New York - I never did get that bike ride in Central Park, and I have a long list of things I still want to do)!