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My Mrs Australia Experience…

That's me in the purple dress - a bit different to my usual attire of tracky dacks and ponytail...

1: I LOVE Melbourne – is Sydney giving up as the Victorian city lifts its game? Perhaps it’s because I’ve been living in my Northern Beaches bubble since the birth of Leo, but Melbourne has such a fabulous vibe. It’s exciting, fun and full of cool places to explore – none of us wanted to return home.

 

2: I can now officially “walk and block” and it’s a lot of fun. Basically strut around like you are ten feet tall and look like Jen Hawkins, give your hips a wiggle and pout  – think I’ll try it next time I do the school run?!

 

3: If you are prepared to step outside the square and challenge yourself in life, then it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you should be proud of yourself. I met some fabulous women during my Mrs Australia experience – and I’m hoping to stay in touch with them as they continue their path and support the Women In Need Foundation.

I was only gone five days, but because it was so totally different from my usual routine, I felt as if I’d been away for months. Last Thursday I booked into my hotel on Swanston Street and within a couple of hours I was “walking and blocking” across the Red Love bar with my fellow Mrs Australian finalists. Despite being in sub-Arctic conditions, it was great fun and I managed to ease nerves with two-for-one cocktails (and some Yogic breathing, of course!).

The other contestants included a mum-of-six, from Queensland, a 47-year-old Sydney artist and Nathan Bracken’s wife, Hayley. It was an interesting mix. Most were mums in their late 20s – 30s. My room-mate, Karen is a TV presenter and author who has filmed a documentary on domestic violence to help support the WIN cause. Everyone was friendly, warm and supportive. And I felt quite confident, hanging my frocks up in the wardrobe knowing that no-one would be sabotaging them!

That night none of us slept much and we all met bleary-eyed for breakfast – thank goodness for make-up artists! After a cooked breakfast (none of us cared too much about the swimsuit round at this point!). We walked down to swanky Federation Square where the event would be held.

Then we met our choreographers – The Glamazons! They taught us our routines – including a dance set to the Sex in the City 2 theme tune, so we strutted our stuff again (and again and again) till they were satisfied we wouldn’t fluff it up.

Hours went by as one-by-one, the 24 contestants were called into hair and make-up and for photography sessions. I don’t normally wear much make-up, so I felt like a man in drag by the time my false eyelashes, mascara and thick eyeshadow had been applied – I tried to scrub it off, but sadly smudged the lot and looked like I’d done three rounds with Danny Green.

Oh well, sadly while I was having my make-up applied I missed the swimsuit rehearsal (and of course, during the event I fluffed horribly!). Still I had so much make-up on I felt safe that no-one would recognise me.

Eventually night fell and it was time for us to appear on stage. I screwed my eyes up for most of it searching the crowd for Alec, my dad and the kids, all the time with a broad grin spread across my face – most unnerving.

After we appeared, we all had to change in super-quick time – breast pads and eyelashes were flying everywhere as we scrambled into our evening gowns and then gathered in the stairwell ready to saunter on to the stage. It’s given me a new found respect for models!

Then, the awards were presented and Nikki – a gorgeous Melbourne mum won the title and Holly – a lovely girl from WA clinched Mrs Philanthropy. And it was all over. My diversion from real life had me feeling like a princess – so I’ve decided to continue taking a bit of care of myself – as I continually tell other mums to do!

For the next few days, Alec, my dad, my friend Eva and the kids and I explored Melbourne.

We went to the Melbourne Museum and checked out the Titanic Exhibition – which was great, but be warned – book ahead! We did Abbaworld, where Lucas and I did a slightly off-key version of Mama Mia and then we took a train to Belgrave and hung out on the Puffing Billy. Too much fun! And it reminded me that as mums we really should step outside our bubble as it opens up our world.

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to step out of your routine…

One response to “My Mrs Australia Experience…”

  1. Rachel Dioth

    Hahahaha… ahh the memories!..your blog deffinately cathes the true behind the scenes..We had an absolute blast..lol, i was extreemly modest at first about my chicken fillets to plump up my dress…untill they were freely flying from other girls. Amazes me though…i still looked pre pubesent in photos even with 2 in each side..haha..oh well.Smiling…ahhh.. yes this was me ” smile, remember to smile…stand up straight…oh hey SMILE!…”lol..felt odd standing there feeling like your face was going to permenently stick in a smile that resembled barbies.
    I hope one day we can all meet up again and do a re run…just for fun…heels and false lashes not on the menu. xx

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