WIn Stuff

This Mother’s Day giveaway happily brought to you by David Jones online store.

Mother’s Day in Australia is the second Sunday in May. It’s somewhat of a dividing issue, amongst the mums (and dads) that I know… how do you choose to spend your Mothers Day? Would you rather spend it with your kids; or take a day just for you and have some time out?

The thing about Mother’s Day when you have really little kids– and especially if you’re a single parent– is that you actually do most of the Mothers Day organizing for yourself. If you want a present, you buy your own. If you want breakfast in bed you may have to make it yourself; either way it’s unlikely to peaceful and you’ll find yourself sharing your sheets with toast crumbs, and your lukewarm cup of tea with your toddler.

Mothers Day is not a huge deal in our house. Mostly because it would require far too much effort from me to make it so. Although, with the Chop at school this year, I’m anticipating plenty of handmade cards and perhaps something extremely tasteful from the school Mother’s Day stall (if they still do that– do primary schools still do that? Anyone?)

In the Before, Mothers Day was a big deal, and I remember arguing with Tony over it– was going out to dinner with the extended family actually necessary, when all I really wanted was a few hours alone in my own house, with no urgent tasks that needed my attention to annoy me?

AnImage for Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm 75ml from StoreNameyway. When I was offered this post, I thought it would be a good chance to treat some of my readers who may not receive expensive dinners out, nor lavish breakfasts in bed. Because, while macaroni necklaces and cards painted with cut potato stencils are altogether lovely, all mums deserve something from the slightly more glamorous end of the Mothers Day gift range– some Aesop hand cream, perhaps. And a new manicure set to go with it (For all that free time you have to do your nails).

Image for Manicure Pedicure Set from StoreName

Whatever. If you’d like to win one of two $50 gift vouchers for David Jones online store, fill in the form below and tell me… What would you really like to do for yourself for Mothers Day, if the choice was all yours?

Competition closes midnight AEST Thursday 2nd May, 2013. Winners will be contacted by email soon after and have 48 hours to respond before their prize is redrawn. Australian residents only, sorry. Winning answers will be whichever ones I happen to be fondest of at the time of judging. My decision is final and no correspondence nor circle-jerking shall be entered into.

*In line with the new giveaway policy (ie– only doing giveaways if they’re awesome), I declare $50 DJ’s gift vouchers decidedly awesome. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

No form? Click here.


Tastes Like Teen Spirit.

by Lori Dwyer on April 3, 2013 · 0 comments

When I said I was only doing cool giveaways from now on… this is one of those. Because, as we know- I love music. Music-ness brings happiness. Or something. And concerts are good for everything that ails you.

And sometimes awesome stuff shows up on my doorstep. Like this…



Why yes, those are bottles of juice that have been grown to the strains of different types of music. Check it out. We’ve got…

Blue Suede Juice– made with Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and all those groovers.

Baby I Was Grown This Way– serenaded by Lady Gaga, Madonna, Katy Perry and various other popettes.

And, my personal favoriteTastes Like Teen Spirit. Influenced by the Seattle sounds– Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Pixies and so on.

Why, you ask…? Well. They’re all Made By MOG, Telstra’s new music streaming service. There’s this theory that plants who are played music make better, tastier fruit, and therefore better, tastier juice.

I’m a big believer in all that hippy stuff, as we know. Music and moods make the world go round. Little thoughts can have big effects. There’s a whole school of thought and experimentation called ‘ecosonics’- music for your plants. Which ties in beautifully with the concept of ‘Noetics’ based on research that suggests that the collective thoughts of people actually produce enough physical energy to cause identifiable effects on their environment. They have online experiments you can participate in– its one of those things on my “I’m gonna do this, eventually” list.

The jury’s still out as to whether or not playing MOG music has had any effect on the taste of the juice itself. And I’ve even got control samples for this experiment– Cedar Creek Orchard, where the apples were serenaded, is an institution in TinyTrainTown. It’s just up the road. So close, in fact, I even got you a photo to prove it.




Anyway. Taste aside, the juice certainly looks happy. And that’s what counts. Although, having said that, free juice– and a $100 admin fee to write this post– certainly contributes to both musicality and happiness. Or… something.

In honour of music being awesome, I’ve got the following stuff to be won, just for you, my jellybeans…

Ten x 1 month MOG subscriptions.

One x $100 TicketMaster voucher.

To win, I want to know– if you could flavour a beverage with music, what music would you choose? What song, do you think, would taste good?

Go in the draw to win by filling in the form below- if you can’t see the form, click here. Answers that particularly tickle my pickle at the time of drawing the prizes win. Entries close midnight AEST on the 10th April, 2013. Winners will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before their prize is redrawn. My decision is final and no bitching, whinging or circle-jerking shall be entered into.


Gastronomical Subterfuge‏

by Lori Dwyer on March 8, 2013 · 5 comments

My children are fussy, finicky eaters. The Chop especially. He takes after me. The Bump has inherited her father’s appetite (”Can’t talk, eating…”), but has still been sadly influenced by me. Both my kids will pick and pull at food. They often demand nothing but garlic bread for dinner. On the rare occasion I do get them to the something new, they gag to the– point I’m almost positive it’s involuntary.

The anti–food phenomenon is absolutely my fault; and the requisite parental guilt is gutting and hollow and flagellating. I’d always naively assumed that the process of teaching my kids to eat healthy would be one of those things that just ’happened’, as if by some kind of magical intervention. I think things like that a lot. My own mother made parenting look so easy.

Actually, to be completely honest, I’d always assumed that The Chop and The Bump would pick up their dad’s relatively healthy taste for all manner of different foods. Had he stuck around for long enough, they might have.

But it didn’t quite work out that way and, after the sky fell in, so did my attempts at cooking. My little darlings have developed the eating habits of their mother. Very, very bad ones. Or, as I like to say, we are ’simple eaters with limited tastes’. Because that makes it sound so much better.

Like most kids, mine would both eat nothing but junk food, given half the chance (and let’s face it, so would I). In order to maintain some control over what we munch on, I’ve taken to trying not to fill the kitchen cupboards with junk food. If all they will snack on is yoghurt, fruit, sultanas, cheese and biscuits…. then that is all I will buy.

In theory, that works wonderfully.

In reality, it’s never that easy. Some days it feels as though the array of foods my children consider ’acceptable for digestion’ is shrinking and waning– they eat less and less. Each week they strike another foodstuff off the list with declarations of “I don’t like that!” and “Neither do I!!”

I get the feeling God is laughing me and my foolish best–of-plans intentions. Home made baby food. Carefully prepared toddler snacks. And two kids who, some days, seem to get all the nourishment they need from a packet of popcorn, an orange and a tub of yoghurt.

Somewhere along the line– a year or so ago, I do believe– I gave up on the dream and illusion that was raw, unprocessed foods, and started buying anything that looked even reasonably healthy and appealing, in order to get the little darlings to eat something– anything– other than milk arrowroot biscuits

Most attempts have been utter failures.

The Bump and I spent an inordinate amount of time playing with these. They look just like they're having a conversation, do they not?!

The Bump and I spent an inordinate amount of time playing with these. They look just like they’re having a conversation, do they not?!

And I actually thought that the SPC Fruit Crush–Ups thingies I had been sent to review would end up the same as most everything else I’ve tried– that is, relegated to the occasional parcels of untouched food that I pass on to friends whose children are less fussy than mine.

Initial trials showed the Fruit Crush–Ups to be unsuccessful, led in opinion by the Chop (the Bump, in general, defers to his decisions. As little sisters do). I’m not sure how this conclusion was reached. The packets are pretty. It’s one handed, which is important for busy kidlets. and there are six– six– different flavours to choose from. No child can be that fussy.

Except mine.

Numerous attempts to beg, bribe and coerce the children into just trying the bleeping things, please, resulted in… Failure. I froze them. I chilled them. I decanted them into glasses with straws and bowls with spoons. (All of that refer to the SPC’s, obviously, not the kids). I even put the strawberry over ice cream, for pity’s sake.

Fruit Crush-Ups over ice cream. Like au naturel strawberry topping!

Fruit Crush-Ups over ice cream. Like au naturel strawberry topping!

No, nay, nuh–uh, no way. Ugh.

“Please? Try it? Just once?” I beg the Chop, “it’s for my blog.”

That results in a wary, slightly worried look. He knows that ’mum’s blog’ is where lots of cool things– like PS3′s, road trips and Skylanders eventuate from. “You will still have your blog but, if I don’t try it, right Mummy?”

“Yes.” I sigh, “of course. But really, you should try them. They’re yummy. They’ve been named Product of the Year!” I am clutching at straws here and he knows it.

“No. Thanks.” At least he’s polite.

Eventually, I resort to total subterfuge and stealthily pack the Fruit Crush–Ups into lunch bags, for big school and daycare, hoping to sneak them into my kids subconscious via peer pressure and distraction. Unfortunately, the Chop is far too old for this kind of disillusionment, and the Crush–Up returned untouched.

But the Bump… she’s still just a baby, bless her, and it’s far too easy to play with her mind sometimes. At the daycare teachers insistence that the Fruit Crush-Ups were, in fact, ’way cool!’, the Bump not only tried it, but loved it. And has polished off half a box of them since then.

Total success.


If you’d like to broaden your kids foodstuff intake and add an extra half piece of fruit to their day in a stealthy squeezie pack that can be frozen as an ice pack for lunchboxes (killing both the snack and potential food poisoning birds with one frozen stone!); I’ve got a whole terms worth of SPC Fruit Crush–Ups to give away– that’s eight of each six flavours, RRP $1.29 each, all to the one lucky winner. To be that winner, tell me in 25 words or less–ish; what is the ultimate subterfuge you have pulled on your kids, to get them to eat what they don’t want to?

This comp is open to Aussie residents only. It opens now and closes midnight 22nd March. The winning answer will be whatever tickles my pickle and makes me smile at the time of drawing. Winners must have a valid email address, and will be contacted soon after the competition closes. Winners have 48 hours to respond to the winning email or the comp may be redrawn. My desicion is final and no bitching, whinging or discussion will be entered into.

This post has been sponsored by the awesome people at SPC.

Can’t see a form? Click here…