Thursday, October 24, 2013

4 year old parties gone wild.

I am so sorry, I have totally gone MIA the last week. But, rest assured I am still here. I am just in the midst of throwing the biggest partay of my life for my sweet, beloved boy. 

Yes, Noah's turning 4! 

And my god, as if being a parent wasn't stressful enough, nowadays you also have to throw the party of the year. 

Magicians, animal farms, face painting, cupcake decorating, cakes that put my wedding cake to shame and food to tantalise every child, adult and sibling! 

Is it not enough that I had to push this now 4 year old out of my you know what? And that I have yards and yards of stretch marks from this event? Can we not just celebrate that he is relatively scar-free and well, alive? 


We must throw him a party. A party he won't forget {but probably will}. Hey 18 year old Noah, remember your 4th birthday party? You know the Knights and Princess party. One for the boys and one for the girls, you informed us. 

Nope? Thought so. 

Oh well, the party planning must go on. Of course, there will be a princess at your party and maybe a knight. My beautiful cousin will be coming as a more wondeful version of her self. A princess. When she asked what I would like her to do as guest Princess, I replied in text, " I don't know.... Just make the kids pee their pants with excitements and make us look like amazeball parents."

Yes. It has come to this. But really, if Jeff had never dressed up as a magician at his daughters party earlier in the year then this wouldn't be happening... Thanks Jeff. The bar has been set much too high.

And I don't like it.

But for now, I must get back to the party preparations. Too much to do and well, I kinda suck as baking so its going to be a long weekend. Everyone get out of the kitchen space... NOW.

Love Jo xxx

Oh, but before I go what's your thoughts on feeding parents at kids party's? 

Knight Noah's costume attire

Party bag... With lollies because that's what party bags are for... Lollies.

Prize bucket. 

The dragon PiƱata. So much effort but I kind of love him a lot. 

Cake preps. Wish me luck. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Santas Magical Kingdom: ticket giveaway

61 sleeps until Santa Claus comes a knocking at ya door... {Or your chimney}. 

Do you have a chimney? 

And to celebrate this magical time of year, we were fortunate enough to craft and dine with the fabulous Mrs Claus. 

She told us the big man in red is just way too busy for any meet and greets at this time of the year. But, we had just such a fabulous time with Mrs Claus. She was fabulous. Check her out... 

And we did some Christmas craft too.

Mrs Claus promised us that Santa will well and truly ready for Santa's Magical Kingdom, which opens on 15th November in Melbourne

Santa’s Magical Kingdom is an interactive walk-through adventure land including everything that you love about Christmas, plus a spectacular Christmas themed circus show that will amaze. 

Santa’s Magical Kingdom is for every child and the ‘inner-child’ in all of us. 

But, SMK sold out in 2012 and tickets for 2013 are already selling fast... Some sessions have been exhausted.

But guess what we have up for grabs...

A family pass for Santa's Magical Kingdom: The pass is valid for Sunday 17th November for the 11am session.

All you have to do to be in the running to win the family pass is like poppiesforme on Facebook and/or Instagram and leave a comment below describing a Christmas memory. It can be good, bad, funny or a tad but crazy...just share.

Entries close Friday 1st November. 

So, tell me what's your Christmas memory?

Love Jo xxx

To check out SMK, or to buy tickets click on the link below:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I heart One Colour {and a giveaway}

Today, I am sharing someone elses story. I haven't run out of my own stories, I promise. But I feel its time I start to share the poppies love and the loves of poppies with you all. 

And there is a giveaway. 


The something I love and love to share is the story of One Colour. One Colour is an Australian company that is creating sustainable employment and economic empowerent for African women through the ethical trade of beautiful, versatile fashion, jewellery and Kenana Knitters.

The Kenana Knitter toys, as pictured above are CUTE and are ethically produced in the Rift Valley region of Kenya, Africa, using local homespun wool and organic cotton yarn from Tanzania. Kenana Knitter employs and pays fair wages for 30 full time women. With on-going employment, access to healthcare and training, the women can make plans for tomorrow rather than just having enough to live for today, transforming not only their lives but the lives of their families, and their communities. 

Hello Christmas, hashtag perfect stocking filler. Who's with me? One for neighbour Johnny, nephew Harry and bosses daughter, Amy. At least, you can rest assured that your partaking in compassionate, thoughtful purchasing not mindless, last minute Christmas gift grabbing. 

Go on. Admit it. We all do it.

Oh, but wait. Just when you thought One Colour couldn't be any nicer... They have gone and gifted us one Kenana Knitter to give away to YOU!!!


For your chance to win all you have to do is like One Colour and Poppies for Me on Facebook and follow both One Colour and Poppies for Me on Instagram and then leave us a comment below telling us which Kenana knitter you would like to snuggle; the elephant or the giraffe. 

Elephant, elephant, elephant. Just in case your wondering Santa Claus. 

In addition, to celebrate the launch of One Colours new clothing range; Detour. One Colour are also throwing in a $20 gift voucher for you to spend on one of their Detour pieces. 

All pieces are simply gorgeous, versatile, timeless and classic in style and come with the promise that they have been produced in an environmentally sound way with a positive social story. 

Can fashion get any better? 

Yup, just take a peek for yourself. Detours black dresses, patterned skirts, jackets and basic separates are perfect for both work-wear and a more smart-casual look at the weekend. These little numbers are my love picks. Work and fun! 

So, hit the likes and the follows, leave a comment below {elephant or giraffe} and be in the running to win one of the Kenana Knitters and a $20 gift voucher to go towards your very own ethically produced Detour piece. 

Entries close Friday 25th October. 

Winner drawn at random, probably by Noah.

Thank you One Colour for being simply fabulous and for creating positive change through fashion.

Love Jo xxx
To suss out how you'll spend your winning voucher or to make your own very own Christmas wish list, check out: 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bad Mother in a Taxi.

All good nights end with a ride home in a cab and as I hailed for a cab on Saturday night, I knew my night was coming to an end. We had had a beautiful day for a beautiful future bride; sun, pretty ladies in pretty frocks, happy faces, bowls on the green, dancing in the doorway, a whole lot of laughs and a fake leg. Just how a Hens Day should be... Perfect Bliss.

The Bride & her brunette maids.
Lawn bowls.
Where's ya tractor? Bride.
Smiley faces.
Happy baby.

So when I farewelled the dance floor at 11 sharp and hailed for my cab on Brunswick Street, its fair to say I was a little sad. It had been a fabulous day! But it was over for me, which was okay. But, a little sad.

I left with a dramatic exit, as most of my exits are. Frantic hand waving out the cab window, air kisses, lip kisses, boob grabbing, hootering and hollering. You get the scene. So, once this was all done and the light turned green, Mr Yellow Cabs asked; "Where you off to...?" to which I replied with my address. To which he replied; "which way do you want to go...?" To which I replied, "Well, I don't know. Whichever way is quickest I have a hungry baby at home..!"

Mr Yellow Cabs was not expecting this response, nor was I expecting his, which went something like this;

"... You have a baby? You should be at home with your baby. You should not be out on the town drinking... ! Why are you out? Who is with your baby? It is not your place..." And then his phone rang so his rant came to an abrupt end. 

As I sat in the cab feeling horribly judged, I felt the need to justify my night out to myself. Mr Yellow Cabs  was too busy talking on his phone so his questions were left unanswered so I didn't get to tell him all of these things... 

I didn't get to tell him that I was out celebrating my best friends upcoming marriage. I didn't get to tell him that I had been looking forward to this day for over a year and that it was my first night out in 15 months, maybe more. Nor did I get to tell him I could count my alcohol comsumption on one hand. I didn't get to tell him that my husband was an adorable and capable dad that had not gone to the bucks day so he could drive my baby to me throughout the day for feeds, nor did I get to tell him that I had held my phone in my hand all day waiting for an SOS call. I also didn't get to say that I had been expressing milk from myself like a cow all week so that my baby could have breast milk because god forbid he have formula, whilst all along knowing he wont take a bottle. And I didn't get to say that I had pureed my whole vegetable supply just in case he got a sudden urge to try something new. Oh, and I didnt get to tell him that my boobs felt like solid rocks and were threatening to explode all over his cab.

Nope. I didn't tell him all this. 

Instead, I sat there feeling like a bad mother. 

Bad, bad mother. 

Well, Mr Yellow Cabs, you can go stick it because I am not a bad mother. Nope, I am not. And I am darn right sick of people judging mothers. Really and completely honestly over it. We are all doing our best. Yes, we might forget to put a hat on our child's head on a slightly sunny day and yes, our child's shorts might be on back the front.  And, yes it appears I am crazy and loose, but reserve your judgement because you are only seeing a snippet of my day. You are not seeing the before and afters, the creative planning and the juggling act. 

Mr Yellow Cabs you should be kind to all mothers. Hear, what I say?!? Everyone should be kind to mothers. 

And you know what else... Don't ask me for flippn' directions. I don't bloody know. I am not the driver. YOU ARE.

And no, there is no tip. 

Love Jo xxx

Have you felt like a bad mother? Have you been judged by a cab driver? Why would you have said to him?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Face your fear: my fear of needles.

Yesterday, I took myself off to my local doctor for a routine health check. I like my doctor. Hanan Alal is her name and she is a goodn'. I trust her implicitly and we often get lost in a good conversation. 

But, yesterday she made me question our relationship when she suggested I take a dreaded blood test:

"Just here, now. Ill do it quick. No problem." 

I hate the things so naturally, I backed into the corner (no, really I did) and pleaded with her that we do it next week.

Those pleas fell onto deaf ears. I was jabbed. And I didn't like it. Everyone has a friend or family member that is terrified of needles. And thats me. Yup, here I am. Loud and proud. Terrified of needles.

The thought of rolling up your sleeve, them tapping on your arm while tightening the band, the actual needle inside your body, the horrible clicking of the tubes and then the cotton wool at the end to catch the overflow. 

Oh, god. It's all too much. 

It has always been an issue. Always. As a child, as a teen, as an adult and as a mum. And let's just say that being pregnant is no fun for a needle phobic. 

Pregnancy is the ultimate stab fest. 

Some people are considerate and kind when it comes to accommodating those with needle issues. Some offer for you to take the test lying down, others go a little slower, offer you water or hide the needles. But the best ones, offer you Angelcream. Yes, numbing cream. 

I discovered Angelcream last year when I was pregnant with Jude. 6 weeks pregnant and feeling pretty pregnancy horrible I knew the routine antenatal checks were looming. As I sat staring at the dreaded pathology slip, pondering what lie ahead, I spotted a collection site at the childrens hospital. A place for kids to have needles. That sounds like me. 

Pathetic, right? 

But in my head, I figured those who do needles on kids would need to be kind, considerate and well... tolerant of crying. And that they were. I discovered the numbing cream there. I had my needle and left with a Disney bandaid. They had run out of lollipops. It was the most pleasant needle experience to date. But, it certainly didn't make up for the other 40, or so unpleasant needle experiences.

I wish I didn't have this fear. I wish I could "toughen up Princess" {yes, this has been said to me amidst needle tears}. But its not a simple case of toughening up according to Dr. James G. Hamilton. You can read his thoughts on evolution and needle fears here.

So, that's me. I am afraid of needles. They make me squirm. They make me shake. And feel horrible inside. But, yesterday, Hanan Alal, she got her blood. As it slowly dripped from my arm, it threatened to stop. But Hanan said that's   enough and we were done. 

Click. Another needle down. 

Do you have a needle fear? Or any other fears for that matter? 

Love Jo xxx

Monday, October 7, 2013

I don't do compliments. How about you?

I had a few wonderful stories to share with you today but then something happened. This thing that happened has been a bit of an issue with me for a very long time and I am hoping by sharing it I might commit myself to overcome it.

So here it is:


I don't do compliments.

Crazy, right? But, compliments, all compliments they make me squirm in my pants. 

Someone compliments me on my outfit. "Well, this old thing I just got it at the op shop." Someone says I write well. And I say its just words. Someone compliements my hair? "Well, I just brushed it for a change." No drugs in childbirth. It was nothing, he was small. Anyone could have done it.

And see this photo:

... My friend commented on IG "you look pretty" and I replied "I look tired..."

Always making an excuse.

So when Frankie, my lovely neighbour today said, "Jo your looking great. Nice and fit and fabulous. Good on you." I actually feel vain writing this. I went into compliment slasher mode and did what I always do. I blushed, looked away and began mindless rambling about housework and being knee deep in soap suds for the last 4 hours {true!}.

I didn't say thank you. And I didn't enjoy the compliment. And quite frankly this annoys me. Because when I compliment a friend, family member, collegaue or acquaintance, I genuinely mean what I am saying. I don't want her to brush it off and make excuses. So, I feel the time has come for this to stop. 

Yes, stop. 

So, now when I receive a compliment I am going to try my hardest to say thank you. I think it will take some serious practice. And perhaps, some biting of ones tongue. But I will get there. I don't expect you all to stand up and applaud. But, I hope I can make this happen.

I am positive I am not alone on this. Am I ladies?

There are way too many of us compliment slashers out there and it is not okay. It's time we celebrate our awesomeness {hear my female roar, roooooaaarrr} and stop this putting down of ones self. So who's with me? Do you take a compliment well? Or are you a compliment slasher, like me? 

I dare you to come on this journey with me as together we learn to embrace & love compliments. 

Love Jo xxx

Ps. Your looking great, by the way. Why, thank you. Practice, practice.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Don't judge me but I can't read a map.

I have a problem. And this problem of mine causes serious {yet, predictable} issues every time we jump in the car and take off on a little family drive adventure.

Problem is I cant read maps or give any helpful directional advice. Nope, I really can't. They confuse the bleepn' hell out of me. I have on several lone driving excursions got very lost. 

And I won't even mention the time that a girlfriend and I got so ridiculously confused by a map that we ended up backtracking all the way back to Wodonga through bushfire scrubbery in the soaring heat. As a result we missed our bestest lady friends wedding rehersal. Bad bridesmaids. Sorry Simone.

Here we are, lost. It was so hot and I was so pregnant. At least we were still smiling. 

Hooray we arrived. Note the time. 5.17. Very. Very. Late.

So frazzled and hungered by our drive, we ate dinner at the local RSL where the local dinner dance was being held.

Thankfully, she was a blissfully chilled bride and didnt mind a bit. Rocking 36 weeks preg here at Gapstead winery. 

You see, the problem has only got worse since I met my husband. He is the map reader and I rely on this. I pack the nappy bag, the lunch boxes and fill the water bottles and he knows where to drive. 


Except when he asks me to provide the directions, which is what happened on Tuesday on our way to the tulip farm.

We were so excited to get going that we jumped in the car and less than 5 minutes later he asks me "what road do I take Jo?"

I reply, "I don't know... Out that way on that big road." *Waving hand.
H: "Which big road? The Eastern?"
Me: "Yeah, maybe. I don't know. Lilydale?"

Silence. Driving.

H: " you want to look it up?"
Me: *groans. "Not really."
H: "Well, you need to. I'm driving"

So I begin searching google maps on my iPhone for directions and naturally I get distracted by a random Facebook comment, a very funny email and a friend sunning it up on Instagram. 

5 minutes pass.

H: "You got it, yet?"
Me: "Yeah it's here, see?"

I shove the phone in the husbands direction and point at a big road. 

H: "Jo, I can't look at the phone. Tell me where I need to go. This road or that road? Read the map!"

He is not impressed.

Me: "I can't read maps. You know that."
H: "its not hard, look at the numbers."

I turn the iphone upside down on its head looking for numbers. Irritating husband further. All I can see is green, which I think is grass. I stare blankly at a strectch of road. That must be it. I point to road. 

Me: "Here, maybe?"
H: "Where the heck is here?"
Me: all huffy now* "I dont know, I dont know. You know I can't read a map. You married me with this knowledge. You know I don't have the map reading gene. Blame my genetics" as I throw my phone on the car dashboard.

Husband pulls over to look at map. 

Silence. Makes a u-turn and takes off down road.

Me: "We all good now?"

H: "Yes, Jo."

And that's a typical family adventure drive. Map reader, I am not. Don't judge.

Love Jo xxx

Ps. The Tesselaar tulip festival is amazing. And if you are heading out there, here's a map. You can thank me later. 

Are you a map reader? Can you teach me a thing or two about maps?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Tulip Tuesday

On this wordless Wednesday it is my absolute privilege to share with you our {muddy} toddler and baby adventure to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival. I think you will agree that the brilliant colour of the tulips speak louder than any words. 

Family road trip to Tesselaar Tulip Farm.

First stop: nappy change. Even the baby change and mothers room has tulips. 

Rows and rows of beautiful tulips. What's your favourite colour? I liked the pink. 

Yellow tulips make me happy, says Noah.

Muddy puddles and tulips. Lets jump.

Baby eats tulip.

Wild wind tulip mess. 

Very muddy boots. Don't forget your boots, if you plan on heading out to the festival. 

No filter. Just Noah and some tulips.

Paul Jamieson, the Music Man had the kids up and dancing. 

Fairy Monica story sharing in the garden. Look at that boy in the blue. Adorably excited. He is being the huffy puffy woof.

Cute, beyond words. Come home with us little gnome, please.

5 year old Saltwater Croc who would bite your fingers off if not for that tape around his snout, eep. Stand back Noah. Pretty cool Black Rock snake reptile zoo.

Sand Wizard magic. Love the colours. 

Noah took this shot. Pretty good shot little man.

He had fun {don't mind the runny nose}.

And this little gnome came home with us. Best gift shop picking by Noah xx

The Tesselaar tulip Festival runs until the 6th October 2013. The children's events finish this Thursday, 3rd October. 

Thank you to Little Melbourne for our tulip passes. As you can see, we had a fabulous day and we will be back again next year. 

Love Jo xxx

For more information, see: