Monday, September 30, 2013

A Pretty, Bloggy Makeover.

Yikes. Poppies for Me has had a pretty makeover. And like an ol' fashion working bee, a team of amazing pretties have worked their little bumblebums off to create a whole lot of pretty.

And just like when you get a new hair over, I cant stop friggn' touching it. Ooo. Whats this button do? How do I turn that? Where does this take me?

Touch, touch, touch.

And can I just say... You were all very patient and kind to ignore the previous mess and chaos of Poppies for Me. 

So, hugely and honestly thank you! 

So... now that Poppies is looking a little fresher, brighter and happier, let me invite you in for a click and peek. 

Ill put the kettle on while you click away.

Oops, the kettles boiled. How did you go? Its pretty, right? Do you love it, like me...?

...On that note, a HUGE thank you must go to the brilliant and amazingly talented, graphic design genious Zoe from Love & Adore Stationary. She is responsible for that pretty new banner logo. That one up there... See it? 

I'd highly recommend Zoe for your every design need. If you have a party, or event coming up, Zoe is your custom design invitation gal. You can find her contact details here:

Here's a snapshot of her other pretties:

And also, the hugest of thanks goes to my bestest, bestest friend Elissah (soon to be) Hill. She pretty much rocks my world and is without doubt responsible for all this pretty blog magic. She is the best. I wish you could all meet her because I just know you would all love her just as much as I do. Maybe a photo would help, here she is:

And so again, a HUGE thank you to all for ignoring the previous mess. And thank you again to Zoe and Elissah. And my family. And my mum. And God and Buddah and the poppies and for the coffee. Thank you. 

Have I forgotten anyone?!? 

As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback. 

Love Jo xxx

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Meet our Beagle, Barkly.

We have a beagle named Barkly. 

We adopted him in between child 1 and child 2 when he was 4 months old from a couple who adored him but "couldn't quite keep up with him." Points for honesty. Why on earth I thought we could keep up with him still confuses me to this very day.

The discussion of getting a dog took place over many days and nights. It went on for months and months. Husband was for. I was against. And toddler was dog crazy. So, I gave in and we got a dog. On the proviso that we adopted a dog. A dog who needed us! 

It was close to a year ago when this all happened. His photo appeared on gumtree with the caption "looking for a loving family". I had found our dog. We opened our hearts and closed our ears to those with doggy wisdom:

"Beagles are terrors... Too smart for their own good... Stubborn... Diggers... Howlers... Chewers... Pack animals." 

"Don't get a beagle." 

"Do. Not. Get. A. Beagle."

"Ah, whatever." I said as I shrugged my shoulders. It's a dog. A dog has nothing on raising a newborn. I can do that. I can raise a dog. How naive I was.

So, I saw the add and literally less than 2 hours later, we had our beagle in the car. Licking my face. Ripping at the door. Slobbering on the window. Howling in the wind. Chewing at the seatbelt. Grabbing Noah's hands. Jumping on my legs. Destroying his first pair of tights. 

Ah. Love.

There are many stories that I can share with you about our beagle, Barkly. Like the time I felt the squish of his freshly laid midnight hallway poo squelch between my toes.


Or the time he ate the tv antenna cable. That was fun. No tv for a week. Smile.

Or the time he wrapped himself around a pole and then played dead. Or maybe the time I thought he was actually dead. Or the time I wanted him dead {anonymous noise complaint, anyone?}

And then there is his chewing. Not that I am keeping count or anything but he has destroyed with his chewing so many things that I actually wished I'd kept a visual diary of his chewed accomplishments, including;

-his own five star kennel with sliding Perspex window.
-two doggy heshian {and probably organic} dog floor cushions 
-5 gardening pots
-a broom and 2 buckets
-the trash, all sorts of trash
-my mums water fountain
-all things bike; a bike carrier, a bike seat, a bike bell, a bike pump and a pair of bike shoes. He likes bikes.
-someone elses workboots
-an endless supply of my knickers {both dirty and clean}
-his own ID collar {how? i do not know}
-and a maternity top. Being pregnant that chew made me cry. 

Oh, and I nearly forgot, the trampoline pads on Christmas morning. Merry Christmas Noah. 

Oh shit. This list is crazy. 

He has chewed alot. And so that's our dog, Barkly. He likes taking you for a walk, munching on soggy soiled nappies, digging in the garden, splashing at the beach, sniffing other dogs bums, howling by night, sleeping by day, playing dead and chewing everything but his very own posh dog toys. 

Just as everyone promised. 

Who on earth would want a beagle?

Us, that's who! Because besides all his flaws, he is pretty perfect in our eyes. A loyal canine mate who keeps us on our toes and grinning from ear to ear. 

Love Jo xxx

Do you have a dog? What has your dog chewed? Any tips for us to stop the chew?

Friday, September 27, 2013

We see, we do: feel the dino-ROAR at Watergardens Town Centre

To kick of the first delights in the city tab do is the Dinosaur Adventures exhibit at Watergardens Town Centre. Roar.

Dinosaur adventures is a fun and interactive exhibit, which takes keen palaeontologists on a journey of the prehistoric life through the Triassic period. Dinosaurs are popular in our house, so when we headed out to Watergardens Town Centre for the preview dinosaur adventures event we had one very excited little explorer on our hands.

The dinosaurs were nestled amongst the shoppers and were just waiting to be found. We set off on foot with our guide, treasure map and binoculars to discover the dinosaurs in the mall. First, we spotted a dinosaur car wreck, then we waved to a noisy triceratops. We found the almighty t-Rex but a tiny dimetrodon stole our hearts. Dinosaur cute-ness. Beyond the exhibit, the little explorers were led on a interactive fossil dig, a scrumptious dinosaur lunch and a photo opportunity in the dinosaur egg. 

All in all, Noah was totally captivated by the dinosaurs and mesmerised by their size. It was a fun exhibit and educational too as we discovered new Dino facts along the way. 

The show runs from 23rd September until 13th October. So, what are you waiting for? Go hear the roar at Watergardens Town Centre! Psst. Don't forget to grab your dinosaur treasure map from the Dino Branch as there is a chance to win a $100 dinosaur prize pack.

Love Jo xxx

Address: 399 Melton Highway, Taylors Lakes, Victoria, 3038


Cost: Dinosaur exhibit is free.
Fossil dig is $5. Photographic souvenirs are $12 each.

Thank you to Watergardens Town Center for our very special invitation!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Showtime Tuesday

I share with you our nighttime adventures at the Royal Melbourne Show because I think the show is prettiest by night. The lights, the sounds, the fireworks and carnival folk. Oh, and the smell of red bull in the air {okay, thats not so great}. 

The show at night is magical. 

Royal Melbourne Show. 

21st September - 2nd October 2013

Do you love the show by day or night best? 

Love Jo xxx

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Could we, should we move to the countryside?

I love the country. I love getting back to nature, breathing in the country fresh air, enjoying the quiet and watching our boy be a boy, a real boy. 

So, when our dearest friends invited us to their parents farm, we didn't need much convincing. We were there! Their farm grows Canola. Canola? It's all the yellow, I was told. Eep, city chick! And right now, Canola puts on a very pretty show. 

I was in love. 

And it didn't take long for me to start pondering; should we, could we move to the country?

There are so many things that attract me to moving to the country. The people, the wide open space and green grass, the idea of growing an organic veggie patch, the community spirit, the small schools, the farmers markets, the chance for the boys to run in the paddocks and the way your heart rate slows.

But is this what living in the country is?

Hay Day would have you believe it is. 

Swipe. Feed the chickens.
Flick. Harvest the crops.
Slide. Paint the house.
Swipe. Sell your goods at the market.
Tap. Empty the silo. 

A fully thriving farm. But, as fun as Hey Day is, of course, it is not reality. But I am left wondering what is it like to live in the countryside? What is this rural lifestyle? My country snapshots leave me longing for more but could we really do it? 

I spent the entire car trip back to the city quizzing myself: Could I commute to the city for work? What school could the kids go to? What is the nearest hospital? The closest shops? And would the locals like us and would we like them? 

Holy shit, my head is a busy place. 

was told, "there's nothing glamorous about living in the country." And I believe this to be true. But city living isn't always glamorous either. So, I ask you all. All you country folk, both present and past, who have lived, are living or are planning to live in the country, what is this country life? 

Tell me. 

Tell me all about fixing the fences, milking the cows, the horrid red dust and long drives. And then tell me about all the things you love too because for now, I'll be living this country dream through you. 

Unless, of course there is a sudden and urgent call for a genetic counsellor, a teacher and there 2 beautiful boys to come to the country.

*waiting, waiting, waiting.

Love Jo xxx

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Let your little ones imagination run wild with an afternoon at Crafternoon.

It's not everyday that you find a cafe that ticks every box so when I find one that does I simply must share. I am talking about Crafternoon in Carlton North. Crafternoon is simply genius. As well as providing a delish menu with little appetites in mind, the cafe provides its very own craft menu, which includes; painting, play dough, pasting, badges and other special daily craft projects, including  trinket boxes and crowns. 

As soon as we sat down we were welcomed by the friendly staff who promptly attended to my little mans every craft request. He opted for some painting and pasting. I opted for coffee and eggs. Delicious. As I sipped on my coffee, I watched him create his masterpieces. I provided the appropriate oohs and aahs (actually there was some good painting happening on this day) and then once we were all done the lovely crafternoon ladies cleaned up the crafty mess. Bless. This place is heaven and like I said it really does tick all the boxes with its yummy healthy treats, delicious coffee and crafty treats. 

High chair and change table available and prams are accommodated. It is a little cosy  in there so I would highly recommend calling beforehand to make a reservation. There is 1 hour free street parking. 

Address: 531 Nicholson Street, Carlton North

Love Jo xxx

I forgot about my maths exam... Again.

Do you have a reoccurring dream?

I do.

It's a dream where I turn up for my year 12 maths exam. I open the paper and realise I am completely unprepared. I haven't been to a single maths class all year, in fact I had completely forgotten I was enrolled in the subject. I am sitting at a wooden desk staring at complex equations. And I start to panic. The dream always ends with me handing in an empty paper. And when I wake, I feel horrible.

So, what does this all mean? I don't quite know. What I do know is that I disliked maths in high school. It was my most challenging subject and one that my parents pumped a lot of money into additional tutoring for me. It was never an easy subject. But one I had to sit down and work hard at, unlike many of my friends. At uni, I farewelled all subjects related to mathematics, except statistics, which was kind of important given my job as a genetic counsellor. I married a maths teacher. And to this day, maths exams are constantly piled high on our kitchen table.

Sigh. If only, my maths teacher could see me now with all this maths around me.

So, it leaves me with this question. What on earth does this dream mean? Why do I keep dreaming about this exam? And why the hell am I not taking the classes?

I was once told that this dream expresses a fear of failure. An expressed feeling of being unprepared for the challenges in waking life. 

Which, I admit might not be far from the truth. As this dream often appears at rather poignant life stressing times, like upcoming work commitments, assignment due dates, etc. But last night threw me somewhat. I wasn't aware of any looming life events. I thought I had everything under control. 

Until dah. *Lightbulb moment. 

I have been somewhat stressing about my upcoming return to work. Oh, who am I kidding I am totally flippn' out of my mind stressed about going back to work. Stressed about how I am going to manage two kids, turn up to work without a boob hanging out, do kinder drop offs and make kinder chit chat, run into day care with a backpack and a smile, fight off daycare vomit bugs, meet patient demands. Breast feed, exercise, dinner, dishes and everything in between. 

Could this be what my dream is telling me? Is my dream screaming "hey dude, your stressed out of your eye balls about this balancing act? Wake up." Is this my personal challenge that I am feeling unprepared for? And is it possible that my subconscious, dream state knows me better than me? 


So, tell me am I crazy to be worried about all this? I have 2 and a bit months to sort my shit out. Tell me, what's your hot tips and flashy tricks for succeeding at being a working mum of two. Do you have a reoccurring dream? 

Love Jo xxx

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Boobs at the beach.

Ah, Happy Monday everyone! 

How was your weekend? 

Ours was divine, minus the oh say, 16 hours of sleep we missed out on. 

Thanks Jude! Amen for coffee. 

Noah had his karate grading early Sunday morning. And he did very well despite my early morning fears that he would fall asleep mid machine gun kick. He impressed us and the judges too. He won most outstanding performance. Twice. 

Eep, mummy gloat.

To celebrate, we all went to the beach. And when I say beach, I'm talking about some gritty sand and dirty water by the bay. There are no waves. The sand does not squeek. The shells are all shattered. And in the distance you can see a giant cargo ship dumping all sorts of toxins in the water. 

Welcome to Melbourne. We have it all, except a beach. We do have latte sipping on the sand though. That's a Melbourne thing right? A coffee cart at the beach? Only Melbourne, right? 

Once upon a time, the beach was a place to relax. Read a book, catch a tan and eat hot chips whilst partaking in some people spotting. 

And then we had kids. And that all became a distant memory. Distant. Distant. Memory. 

Although, I did take my book. The five people you meet in heaven. Optimism right there. Who was I kidding?!? 

There was no reading. Instead, Ill tell you what did happen. 

We had a spot of lunch on the beach. Some overly packaged bakery delights plus a can of coca cola {pure class here boys and girls}. Whilst sipping from that cool cola, Jude face planted the sand. He cried and demanded boob. Previous experience had taught me breastfeeding on the beach is no fun. 

The sand, the boob exposure, the fiddly hats, the slippery sun screen, the twisted bather top and the bloody sun. Not my idea of fun. So, we struggled through it together and once the boob was tucked away again, Noah decided he wanted to go for a splash. So off the boys went into the water, whilst I took some happy snaps. 

After 5 minutes of splashing, Noah got ridiculoudly wet and decided he was too cold. Swimming was over and Jude cried. The boob came out again and I fed him some more. And then a huge gust of wind whipped along the shore. And you all know how much I hate wind. And with the wind went our overly packaged bakery scraps. 

Tumbling across the sand and into the sea. I could see people shaking their heads, my head was shaking too but I had my boob out. What was I to do? Brad was nowhere in sight. 

I had no choice but to run after the littered goods. I had brain images of dolphins choking on MY bakery pie and turtles tangled in MY cheesecake glad wrap and seals sipping on MY cola. And it was all going to be MY fault. Me, the litter bug. 

It was too much. 

I whipped the baby off the boob and made my dash. By this time, the litter was knee deep so I plunged into the seawater, denim jeans and all. I dived forward and retrieved the litter and made my way back up the beach. The beach spectators started to cheer. A lady congratulated me:

"Well done love."

Beach hero, is me. I sat back down feeling proud of MY efforts. How many sea animals had I just saved? And then I looked down. My boob was half hanging out of my top. And my baby tummy was out for all to see. What a sight it must have been. Me with my boob and tummy chasing MY litter...! 

Brad returned back from the toilets with Noah and I said its time to go. 

And that was our beach visit. 

Boob and all. 

Love Jo xxx

Do you love the beach? What tips do you have for surviving the beach with little ones? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Karate Ninja

It's Karate Week in our house. 

Lots of upper blocks, machine gun kicks and other general ninja moves being practiced in our house. It's grading week.

Therefore, its yellow belt time. 

And so for my first ever Wordless Wednesday, I have dedicated this blog to a whole lot of pics of our little ninjas karate journey this far. 

It began here: He looks so little.

And I was shocked here. Yup, that's head gear.

I liked this. A little more my style. 

And this was the one lesson I missed. Of course, he was awarded a trophy for performance on that day.

And this was a special black belt presentation to Noah by his absolute hero, Sensei. He is an amazing man! 

And here he is being his sensei.

My how much you have grown in such a short amount of time mister Noah. 

You amaze us everyday, so proud of you my little Ninja.

Love Mum xxx

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