Friday, March 29, 2013


This post has been sponsored by Giftsy, a web site that specialises in wedding, Christening and craft supplies. They have kindly offered me three $50 gift vouchers to give away on my blog. Since I'm divorced and NEVER HAVING ANY MORE CHILDREN EVER I thought immediately of you, my lovely readers. So I'm running a competition and also listing it on Win Free Stuff.

Wedding stuff...

Christening stuff...

Craft stuff...

Wedding stuff...

Cute stuff...

Christening stuff...


Yes that's what went through my brain as I cruised through Giftsy's website. 

To put this in perspective, I strained my left shoulder in bed this morning.

No, it wasn't doing anything fun.

I was just lying there, and I moved my arm. Stupid, stupid me.

So as I sit here typing away in a cloud of Fisiocreme fumes, I'm again reminded that I'm of an age when people injure themselves while barely moving, and break their ankles walking down the street. Oh, am I STILL the only one who does that? Rightyo then.

I'm at an age when I don't get invited to weddings or Christenings anymore.

Instead, people my age are having weddings for their kids, and becoming grandparents.

I do get invited to a Divorce Parties though. Those rock, mainly because ALCOHOL they allow people to get very drunk with other divorced people celebrate their freedom.

So I wasn't really sure if what Giftsy has to offer was really for me until I saw BLACK CUPCAKE WRAPPERS WITH SPIDER WEBS ON THEM:

ERMAGHERD. Halloween cupcakes anyone?
Buy them here.
The aging Goth in me rejoiced and did a little Goth-appropriate, no-smiling jig. Picture these with purple cupcakes nestled in them. O. M. G. 

Giftsy have all you'll need if you're getting married, or sorting out a wedding for your kid, or having a kid (DOG HELP YOU) or your kids are having kids (DOG HELP THEM).

They also have an amazing array of cupcake wrappers, gorgeous fabric gift bags, and lots of other very pretty stuff. 


Giftsy have given me $150 in gift vouchers to give away to my readers. So I'm giving away three worth $50 each. 

That would buy 156.25 BLACK CUPCAKE WRAPPERS WITH SPIDER WEBS ON THEM. I'm not sure what you'd do with a quarter of a cupcake wrapper but you're a creative bunch, I'm sure you'll work it out. 

To win one of these vouchers, comment below with your funniest/weirdest wedding, Christening or Divorce Party story. The funniest three (as judged by The Frog) will win a voucher.

So get commenting! Entries close 8pm AEST Friday 5 April 2013.


While we're on the subject, Giftsy, any chance you could broaden your product range to Divorce Party supplies? They're all the rage right now.

Hi everyone. The competition is now closed. Thanks everyone who commented - there were some crackers in there!

I'm happy to announce that the winners of the three vouchers (in no particular order) are:

  • Skyemberr
  • Oculus Mundi
  • Debyl1

Ladies, I'll be in touch shortly to organise your vouchers.

Congratulations and thanks again for playing along!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guest Post: Mount Waverley Follies

Today I have the inimitable Helen Patrice as my guest, sharing a suburban anecdote that will probably make you all wish you could do what this woman did... every now and then!


I go to yoga in Mount Waverley on Friday mornings.  Time out from the family, from life, to have 90 minutes of gentle contortions and watching my mind chatter, chatter, chatter.  Afterwards, I stroll the small shopping centre, visit the op shop, the bookshop(soon to be defunct, alas).

Couple of months ago, I bought myself an indulgent gluten-laden sausage and prepared to enjoy it thoroughly as I walked along.  It was less than delicious.  However I remembered pastry and sausage meat, this was not it. 

Disappointment.  I walked towards a bin.  Tossed it in, along with a drink carton, and an apple core.

Then it registered.  Not a bin.  A stack of grey and black pet beds.  My rubbish was sitting on the top pet bed.  The lady behind the counter of the El Cheapo Everything Store gave me a filthy look.

Sheepishly, I fished out my junk and edged along to the actual bin, four stores along.  Came back to wipe down the bed with a tissue(used, unfortunately).  I slunk away before the Dirty Look Lady came out and smacked me.

A little while later, my composure recovered, I strolled my loosened body back towards my car.  A car roared into a parking spot in front of the hairdresser’s.  

A woman leapt out, ripped open the boot of her car, hauled out a long extension lead.  

Dragging it into the hairdressers’, she made a lot of gesticulations and some begging motions.  Emerged a couple of minutes later with a salon-only, high-powered  hair dryer.  Her extension lead brought it out to the car.

She proceeded to melt all of her Sticker Family besides herself off the rear windshield of her car.  That done, she marched back into the salon and returned the dryer, rolled up her extension lead and tossed it back into her car. 

She then fetched out four new stickers and put them on her car.  


“My Family:  one woman, four pigs.”

She drove off with a hard, contented smiled on her face.

Guess she’d had a rough day on the home front.

Helen Patrice.
She's the one that's not high on eucalyptus leaves.
Most of the time.
Helen Patrice is a Melbourne poet, memoirist, and blogger. She lives with her husband, son, and a small crowd of animals. You can find her blog here, her Facebook page here, and her book of Poetry, "A Woman of Mars" in all good bookshops (or from the author herself).

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Conversations with my brain: And then my Basal Ganglia went on strike

Never. Ever.
Brain: Hi there.

Me: Hi Brain.

Brain: I heard you swear last night.

Me: I stubbed my toe. Too fucking right I swore. 

Basal Ganglia: Excuse me. I think that was my fault.

Amygdala: No actually it was really my fault.

Brain: I think it happens when my upper and lower functions conflict. You know, language and emotion. 

Me: Fuck me, how many of you guys are in there in my skull?!

(A lot of muttering).

Amygdala: You don't want to know. But we've taken a vote and we'd you to stop smacking your head on the keyboard. And wearing tight hairbands. 

Me: O... K...

Amygdala: It was my fault you swore when you stubbed your toe. I'm the part of your Limbic System that creates the fight or flight response.

Me: What the fuck is the Limbic System?

Basal Ganglia: Allow me, Amygdala. The Limbic System controls basic movement, memory and emotions. 

Amygdala: And the Basal Ganglia manages impulse control and motor function.

Me: Oh really? So it was your fault I stubbed my toe in the first place.

Amygdala: Well, maybe, but moving right along. I'm always on the alert for when you hurt yourself. 

Basal Ganglia: And then I step in and make you swear. I'm a bit of a hero, really.

Amygdala: I take that as the signal to throw you into your "fight" mode. We all gang up and flood your system with chemicals like adrenalin so you feel less pain.

Me: So swearing helps me feel less pain?

Basal Ganglia: Exactly. If you over-use swearing, though, the effects wear off. 

Me: I find swearing useful when I'm not in pain, too. 

Basal Ganglia: I know. We've been listening to you. 

Me: Don't judge me, or those hairbands are only gonna get tighter, pal. 

Basal Ganglia: You swear a lot. We get tired of having to work for you, you know. 

Me: If swearing kicks me into "fight" mode, maybe I like that feeling. So when I want to add some strength and force to what I'm expressing, swearing works for me. But you're always here controlling my impulse to over-swear, right?

Basal Ganglia: Well... not always... 

Me: Come on, without you guys I'm just so much pointless flesh and bone. You're the ones in charge, right?

Basal Ganglia: I think you're putting us under too much pressure. There's only so much we can take.

Me: I see everything clearly now. I wish you'd pay more attention to impulse control when I've swallowed most of a bottle of red but can still drive a keyboard and remember my credit card number.

Basal Ganglia: Do you seriously expect me to be controlling what you do 24 hours a day?

Me: Er... Yeah... isn't that what you're for? Isn't that your job?

Basal Ganglia: Listen, mate, don't oppress me. We brain regions have rights, you know. We do this work for you all the time and we don't even get paid. Not one cent. I'm going on strike if we don't get some time off!

Me: Well, tell me which one of you guys I can blame for insomnia and we can get that sorted out right now. 

Amygdala: Right, who's seen the Pineal Gland? Anyone? Hello?

(Crickets chirping). 

Me: Exactly. 

My Basal Ganglia disagrees.
It's absolutely necessary.

Did you know swearing serves a physiological purpose? 
How do you feel about swearing?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Roll Up! Roll up! Come see the March 2013 Digital Parents Blog Carnival!

Seriously creepy clown image from here.
Roll up! Roll up! 

It's time for the March Digital Parents Blog Carnival!

Come on in and see the Amazing Illustrated Lady and the World's Strongest Man!

See the fearless feats of our lion tamers!

Be amazed at our astonishing acrobats!

Gasp in awe at our fire eaters!

Be astonished at our list of brilliant blog posts from February!

Please take a tour around our fabulous Big Top and leave some comment love for our hard working performers...

Francesca performs over at "Francesca Writes Here".

What, 1993 was 20 years ago?:

This post is about how the passing of time can creep up on us!


Josefa Pete performs over at "always Josefa".


Questioning the reason why we blog, do you seek immortality through your words?


Jen performs over at "Semantically driven".

His schooling has turned a corner:

Schooling isn't always a one size fits all, but sometimes it does work even if it takes a few years to get there. A story about a boy, who after 6 years, is finally finding his groove at school.


Cassandra Wunsch performs over at "10% Inspired"

Shake it out:

A post about the feeling not of clinging to the past, but having it cling to you.



Tara Force performs over at "MUMmedia"

Media Monday – Noisy Children Banned From Shopping Malls – Who’s Really To Blame?:

Noisy children being banned from shopping centers. Are parents always to blame? 


Lara Cain Gray performs over at "This Charming Mum"

Top 5 rainy day games for kids of hungover parents: 

How do you keep the kids happy on a rainy day when the room spins if you move off the couch? Here are my tips!



Becci Sundberg performs over at "Becci's Domestic Bliss"

Tucker Tuesdays ~ Breakfast Smoothies:

My 4yo doesn't like to eat breakfast on kindy mornings. What better way to get a healthy meal into him that by making some breakfast smoothies!


Georgia performs over at "Parental Parody"

Ikea v McDonald's : A breakup and a new relationship:

I'm breaking up with Macca's because Ikea's moist (meat)balls and free supervised play area wooed me.



Dorothy performs over at "Singular Insanity"

If there was one thing you could change in the world…:

If you had the power to change just one thing in the world, what would it be?



Danya performs over at "Danya Banya"

S is for Space Satellite Saturn Sun Stars Solar System Fancy Dress ups:

OK, so your family has been invited to an "S" themed fancy dress party - what do you wear?  Space outfits of course! Satellite, Saturn, Sun, Stars - the whole Solar System really...


Tahlia performs over at "The Parenting Files"

I heart everyday moments:

This year I want to notice more, capture more and appreciate the everyday moments. And I want to inspire everyone to as well. So I have set up a whole new community to get the party started. 


Tegan performs over at "Musings of the Misguided"

The truth is better than any story:

Dispelling the myths around being in jail.

Bronnie performs over at "Maid In Australia"

Not just swimming, diving:

Bronnie Marquardt puts her hand up from the sinking sensation of depression and finds she's doing more than just swimming.

Angela May performs over at "Melting Moments"

B1 and B2′s Rainbow Themed 2nd Birthday Party:

My twins rainbow themed 2nd birthday party. A run down of the day, food, cake and decorations.

Peta performs over at "Peta-Jo".

Can I get your number? And other favourite things to be asked:

A woman's phone number doesn't lose its currency once she's married. Or so I've discovered!

Your RingMistress for this month is yours truly, The Frog. I was tempted to link to my dead possum post but thought the better of it at the last minute. 

Please do not poke my subconscious with a stick - the top 10 9 things that shit me:

What it says on the box.

Digital Parents Blog Carnival

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How I trained my brain to care less (except about gastro and serious garden tool injuries)

Fear is a funny thing. Not funny-ha-ha-side-splitting-hilarious.


Fear is nothing.

It doesn’t exist in its own right. It’s not a thing.

It’s something that we experience as a result of something else.

There are some fears that are very common.

Some of you will know from my constant Twitterly blatherings that in one of my other lives I’m a freelance trainer and facilitator. This means I make my living standing up in front of strangers  and talking. And falling over equipment. And spilling things. OK so they don’t pay me for those bits; I throw them in for free because I am a clumsy idiot like to be entertaining. Cough.

The comedian Jerry Seinfeld said (and I’m quoting very roughly here) that at a funeral, most of the audience would rather be in the coffin than up giving the eulogy, such is the general fear of public speaking.

I learned to not fear it many years ago. In fact, I revel in it.

I must be batshit crazy, right?*

Especially when you consider I also have bouts of Anxiety Disorder.

I must be nuts.

It’s true that being an extrovert helps me do my job.

I like the limelight, I’m an attention hog and I like to talk.**

When I was a kid I was cripplingly shy***. Sure I wanted to be out there performing but I was too terrified to do it. What if something went wrong? What would people think? WHAT IF?!

So I was a shy extrovert, desperate to be centre stage but unable to even get up there to cower behind the curtain.

I’m still that shy kid on the inside.

I still feel anxious.

I’m still extremely hung-up delicate obsessive sensitive about how other people receive me and my work.

I just don’t let that sensitivity stop me, because I know fear is nothing. It isn’t real.

I’ve taught myself to care less.

It takes practice.

Caring less requires small steps.

Of course, being the clumsy, accident-prone arsehat that I am helps. Nothing cures you of being precious about yourself like some of the dumber shit I’ve done.****

Now I can stand up in front of as many people as you can throw at me, and talk. Tell stories, joke, share, make myself vulnerable.

Because I care less.

I’m still that scared 14 year old on the inside. I’ve just developed MAD SKILLZ that allow me to put myself out there and not give a shit.

You know all those super-confident, socially-adept, amazingly successful people you admire?

They’re all scared 14 year olds on the inside too. They just hide theirs behind mad confident socially-adept skillz.

The journey from shy child to where I am now took a long time and I had to humiliate myself many times to get here. Here’s a snapshot of the things I tell my brain to help me care less:

In a week, will what happens today matter? In a month? A year? No? Then why care now? Stop giving so much of a shit.


Will anyone die if something goes wrong? No? Then why do you give a fuck? Relax and jump in.

The anticipation of an event is usually far worse than the event itself. Unless you’re talking about a bad bout of gastro, or chain sawing off your own foot, in which case YEAH BE SCARED AND WHY THE HELL ARE CUTTING OFF YOUR FOOT, DUDE?!


Sharing a little of your own vulnerability gives permission to other people to do the same and magic happens when people are open and vulnerable. Go on, take the risk. It'll be worth it.


Nobody can see that scared 14 year old inside you. Only you know how terrified you are. Sooner or later what you do you become so go do! 


Cup of concrete and a straw, baby. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't matter. The world will keep turning.

Don’t let fear rob you of your joy and hold you back. I trained my brain to care less, and you can too.

Are there things you’re scared to do?
What’s stopping you?

* OK no need to answer that.
** A common comment on my school reports. PRESCIENT TEACHERS, PEOPLE!
*** Being shy shouldn’t be confused with being introverted, although there may be a natural correlation. Introverts prefer to not be “out there” socially. Being shy or confident can apply to either style of social style.
**** Read a random sample of my blog if you need to see evidence.

Monday, March 4, 2013

While you weren't looking...

Frog is from here
Hello darling reader. Happy Monday!

I'm not here today.

While you weren't looking I crept away to a couple of other lily pads.

Please pop on over and read me at the Shake, talking about cats on the internet.

Or here where I'm baring my soul for Reservoir Dad in his interview series. Gah!

Or you could pop back in time to one of my favourite posts from the past here.

Be kind to yourself and remember the words of the immortal Erma Bombeck:

“Seize the moment.
Remember all those women on the 'Titanic'
who waved off the dessert cart.” 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The frog turns one

Imagine from here
Happy Blogaversary to me, 
Happy Blogaversary to me,
Happy Blogaversary to me-eee,
Happy Blogaversary to me.

Yes, the Lily Pad turns one today. I can't believe it either! 

I've been assaulting your eyedrums and earballs for a year today.

From the heart of my bottom, thank you all so much for being my readers.

Without you, I'd just be a grumpy frog swearing and throwing random facts out into the wilderness.

Big sloppy green mwahs to you all.

Now, please move along. Nothing more to see here. 

Happy Blogaversary to me, 
Happy Blogaversary to me,
Happy Blogaversary to me...