EMILY JADE: What I learnt one Friday night

Friday night. For the first time in forever, Gerard and I are home having a quiet dinner together. Millie is with us, but we have popped her in the lounge with the babysitter, the TV. I’d fed her an early tea in the hope we could have just one fuss free adult meal for the week. She was content watching the new Cinderella. I’d just purchased it, mainly for her, but a teeny tiny bit (read: whole lot) for me.

I wanted her to fall in love with this new movie; a movie with actual real life humans acting in it and not cartoons. My daughter watches the same movie 49 thousand times and insists I sit with her for company, I was desperate. However in my quest to find something we both could love, I hadn’t thought it through that because people that look like real people (and not colourful cartoons) in a movie, the idea seems more real in a little persons mind.

“Mama when you die, do I get a step mother like Cinderella?” a little voice yelled from the TV room half way through our peaceful meal.

Wait, what?! Oh that’s right, this movie is about death before it’s about love. #parentfail.  Wanting to put the horrible thought of a motherless life right out of her little head I answered, “Mummy’s not going to die honey, so don’t even worry about it. Cinderella is just a movie, it’s not real”.

Not good enough. She wasn’t falling for my bubble gum answer. She wanted TRUTH, so she pressed on barely looking away from Cate Blanchett on the TV. “But if you DID, would Daddy marry a stepmother?”.

This time I looked to her father to answer, after all, if I did die as she hypothesized, a possible stepmother wouldn’t be my choice because I’d be dead. What would he do? He put down his knife and fork, looked at me then looked back at her and said: “No Millie, I wouldn’t re-marry, it will just be you and me together forever kiddo, ok?!”


So happy to be well again and flying high with my crazy little family! @gerardmurtagh #swingsrock @swing


A photo posted by Emily Jade O’Keeffe (@emilyjadeokeeffe) on

In one swift sentence he made the two women in his life happy. Her because she wouldn’t have to deal with an evil fairy tale like stepmother, and me because it was a Friday night. He is a clever man taking a chance on a romantic notion on a night where I don’t have to get up at 4am in the morning. Thinking about him pining for me forever, not ever getting over me after my death- how could I not give him an extra special good night kiss later on when the kid was asleep.

Later as I searched for something less confronting for her to watch, I couldn’t find many options. What is it with most movies having a death in the first few scenes? And why is it always the good, kind, much-loved and adored mother, especially in Disney movies?

Don Hahn, executive producer of “Maleficent,” recently told Glamour: “One reason is because Disney films are about growing up. They’re about that day in your life when you have to accept responsibility. In shorthand, it’s much quicker to have characters grow up when you bump off their parents”.


While it’s noble to help children learn to grow up, what about us parents? All it has taught me is that the good mum’s die young while the bad ones live on. So I might as well aim low as a mother and live a long life. Lollies for dinner Millie?

Emily Jade is half of the Flan & Emily Jade Breakfast Show which can be heard week days from 5am-9am on 1029 Hot Tomato.

This piece originally ran in Bmag here:

Emily Jade reveals her ‘Sex and the City’ wardrobe

Emily Jade O'Keeffe, with daughter Millie, shows off her wardrobe. Picture: David Clark

Emily Jade O’Keeffe, with daughter Millie, shows off her wardrobe. Picture: David Clark

102.9 Breakfast show favourite Emily Jade has been named as one of the Top 50 Best Dressed Gold Coasters. What better excuse for us to show you these gorgeous photos from an interview she gave all about her fabulous wardrobe…

Tell us about your wardrobe?

We have just completed building our third and final home on the Gold Coast and as this is our forever home I went all out on the wardrobe.

I based it on the amazing wardrobe on Sex and the City, but downsized by about 1000 times.

I didn’t want to see my clothes hanging as I’m a bit OCD when it comes to a tidy home, so I put doors on the walk-in-robe.

My husband actually has about the same amount of clothes as me, so he has half the wardrobe.

I have a dedicated shoe cupboard which was a special treat, however, it might be revealing a bit much, but the cupboard smells like feet. It’s a bit gross.

What are your favourite pieces?

I have a vintage jacket I kept from a play I was once in around 14 years ago.

It’s maroon, with a fur collar and big black buttons in a lovely 1950s shape. The fur is getting a bit tired but I love it so much and can never wait for winter to get it out again, it’s classic and never dates.

My girlfriend Renae King is a fabulous dress maker (she made my wedding dress and other special dresses) so no matter if those gowns and cocktail dresses go out of fashion I will never throw them out as they were made with love.

The radio presenter’s wardrobe is inspired by Quentin Bryce.

The radio presenter’s wardrobe is inspired by Quentin Bryce.

What is your go-to outfit?

I do a breakfast radio shift and then head home to my daughter so my wardrobe I’m sad to say is very boring and dare I say it…..mumsy. Jeans, T-shirts and Converse sneakers are my daily uniform. I need to be comfortable but passable in the studio in the morning, and then able to run around the park in the afternoon.

Who are your fav designers?

I‘m a local lover, so it’s Maoicchi, Leina Broughton and Sacha Drake. Their dresses are on high rotation for me for weddings, special events and date night with the hubby. I’m also a sucker for Witchery and good old Kmart.

What’s your style?

I love the 50s silhouette on my figure. I give the Kardashians a run for their money in the booty department, so a 50s cinched-in waist hides my bottom.

Emily modelled her wardrobe on one from Sex and the City.

Emily modelled her wardrobe on one from Sex and the City.

Are you an impulse buyer?

No, not at all. I rarely go shopping. I don’t really have the time and it stresses me out as I’m never sure if I’m buying the right thing.

Who inspires your wardrobe?

I love former GG Quentin Bryce. She is so elegant.

A few weeks ago I saw a picture of her in a lovely suit and I have a Leina Broughton dress in the same fabric and I was a bit chuffed we co-ordinated. Princess Kate can do no wrong in my eyes as well.

She wore a Zimmerman dress in her last tour here that I had to track down and I was devastated when it had sold out in my size as I had planned a princess party for my daughter’s 3rd birthday and while Millie went as Elsa from Frozen I wanted to go as Kate.

Are you a bag freak?

Nope, I only own 4.

Shoe freak?

Not really.


Gold Coast radio presenter and marriage celebrant Emily Jade O’Keeffe, 38, lives at Ashmore with her husband Gerard Murtagh, 30, their daughter Millie Valentine, 3, and au pair Maemie DeLange, 19.

This piece originally ran in Courier Mail here. It then caught our eye on social media! Photography: David Clark

Emily Jade is half of the Flan & Emily Jade Breakfast Show which can be heard week days from 5am-9am on 1029 Hot Tomato.


EMILY JADE: Meet my angry alter ego

My friends joke that I have an angry alter ego-Geraldine. On the odd occasion when something gets my goat, Geraldine rears her cranky head. She is the reason why I would never be able to run for government. I lose my cool when things are down-right stupid and a politician who loses her cool is, well, not cool. If you work in politics you are surrounded by stupidity, mostly other politicians, so you would be voting for Geraldine and not me.

Last week Geraldine made a rare appearance when I saw on TV gift registries for children’s birthday parties. The footage showed a young girl in a store choosing the things she liked and zapping them with a scanner to assumedly marry up to a list that would be sent with the invites.

Maybe I’m behind the parenting curve, but I’d never heard of it, have certainly never needed it and if I was sent one I’m pretty sure I would boycott the party out of principal. I know it’s standard for wedding invites and now baby showers, and maybe this is a double standard, but I understand that as adults we don’t want two toasters, but kids, sorry, you get what you are given-deal with it. Just like the idea that the party game ‘Pass-the-Parcel’ must now have a gift in every layer to avoid disappointment, it seems now our birthday gifts must be exactly what the child has chosen for the same reason.

PHOTO: Shutterstock

PHOTO: Shutterstock

The stupidity of it all is that it screams disappointment.

They go along to a shop, go nuts picking every toy they want and don’t want, spend weeks imagining they will get the lot, only to open a few on their birthday because people have budgets, 10 parties a weekend, and not enough time to buy individual gifts for every kid in the class. Most parents I know make one stop at the toyshop to buy 10 of whatever item their own child loves or would love and pay’s it forward. If the receiver doesn’t love it A) TOO BAD and B) it goes into the original gift registry, the present cupboard in the hallway that emergency gifts emerge from when times are a little tougher than usual or you forget about the party until the morning of.

Whilst the idea of gift registries for kids makes me mad, it also makes me sad. Millie is just getting to the age where she understands the art of gift giving and has even started helping me chose gift’s for her little friend’s. The joy she has both choosing and then giving the gift is THE POINT OF GIFT GIVING. Millie loves it so much now that I only have to mention we are visiting someone and she goes to her room, selects something she already has and offers to wrap it and give it to them because she wants to see the joy that comes with opening a surprise. The surprise is often that it’s a rock, or a feather, or one of her favourites shoes, usually the left shoe, but it doesn’t matter, it’s true, it’s the gift that counts.

PHOTO: Emily Jade O'Keeffe / Instagram

PHOTO: Emily Jade O’Keeffe / Instagram

I don’t want to take that away from her just yet. Gift registries for kids say to me: ‘You can be my friend, come to my party but if you don’t give me what I want it’s not good enough’. Little friends are not Santa Claus; we shouldn’t force a list on them and if you do, you will find yourself on my naughty list for sure.

Emily Jade is half of the Flan & Emily Jade Breakfast Show which can be heard week days from 5am-9am on 1029 Hot Tomato.

This piece originally ran in Bmag here:

FLAN: Captain’s log

I keep driving over the Tweed River on the M1 and gawking at the intoxicating color of the water.

That light blue is the most delicious hue.  It’s so inviting I have to force myself to look back at the road


PHOTO: Tweed Heads Coast / VisitNSW.com

I kept imagining myself in a tinny cruising our inland bays and inlets that I would otherwise never see.

I started looking on gumtree for a tinny and trailer and I keep finding them listed for around the $2500 mark.

This week I have bored Emily Jade senseless with tinny talk. She keeps telling me to save my money and invest it in my house.   Bah humbug.

But let’s put this in some perspective. EJ steadfastly maintains I shouldn’t buy a giraffe so I’ve decided not to listen to her on this one.


I tell ya, EJ’s sensible, measured approach to life is starting to get my goat.

The idea of buying a tinny to tool around in and soak up a little of the “flipper lifestyle” the Gold Coast has to offer has become very appealing.

I say Flipper lifestyle because when I was a kid there was a TV show about a boy who was mates with a dolphin, uber-imaginatively named Flipper. That kid had a boat he was always taking off in. Thanks to flipper when I was a kid I thought everybody had a hovercraft.

Flipper was a slightly damper version of Skippy. The major discernible difference between them was they used live dolphins on flipper, not dead kangaroo paws on sticks.

Watching the news this week, there was a story about gumtree and they reckon pretty much everybody has about $3500 in their garage that could be sold and turned into cash.

When I heard that I got excited.

My next project is to turn the stuff I have lying around the house into a tinny that my kids and I want to call “The Butt.”

The sense of freedom I get when I imagine myself in a tinny reminds me of how I felt when I first got my driver’s licence.

Suddenly, the world was my oyster. Well the bits I could get to by road were anyway.

As weird luck would have it…I rang a mate the other day and he told me he’s just bought a share in an oyster farm at South Straddie.  I literally want to just turn up there one day and yell out “Hey Mick, can I get a dozen?”

There’s only one obstacle; I don’t have a boat licence or a boat or any skills on the water and I really want to learn how to skipper a tinny safely.

If you have any suggestions for courses I could attend on the goldie about how to operate a tinny safely I’d love to hear about them.


Captain Flan signing off.

Flan is half of the Flan & Emily Jade Breakfast Show which can be heard week days from 5am-9am on 1029 Hot Tomato.