Love Want Need 5

Wow. What a week!

I had my last work trip of the year and can now focus on getting into festive mode. The tree will be going up this week end, Michael Buble will be on high rotation and the Huz will be putting the finishing touches on the roof lights. Yay!

Amongst the chaos of this week I’ve managed to still spot some gorgeous bits and pieces for the Love Want Need list that are so awesome they just need to be shared, so here they are…

Love Want Need 5

1. Handcrafted reclaimed timber toddler chair from Down That Little Lane. $95.
This would be uber cute in the kids cubby house!

2. Scatter Love Post Cards from Emma Kate Co. and Fat Mum Slim $20.
Super excited to rekindle the old school way of sending love. I think I might frame the pineapples and watermelons! So much gorgeousness!

3. Christmas Homemade Gifts ebook $7.99.
The talented duo, Lucy from Bake Play Smile And Lauren from Create Bake Make have collaborated and released this amazing ebook with a collection of 16 classic Christmas Favourites. The perfect gift for friends, family and teachers and 100% of all November sales go to Ovarian cancer Australia and the Mater Little Miracles so get in quick!

Be sure to follow both their blogs and catch them on Facebook for more mouth watering deliciousness!

4. Olympus OM-D EM10
I first discovered this baby via Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim and entered to win one. We have been wanting to upgrade for ages and get a ‘real’ camera. I didn’t win unfortunately but I did get to play with Sammy’s from The Annoyed Thyroid at high tea a few weeks back and I fell in love. It had me at built in wifi. It’s on the Christmas list! Maybe a pressie for the whole family? Please Santa??!

5. Adore Tea Ballet of Flowers – Flower Ball “Hua Shang Ba Lie”. 4 pack $14.50. 
I picked these up on a quick visit to Canberra recently but you can also buy them online. Quite possibly the prettiest tea I’ve ever had. You watch as the hand rolled leaves unfurl to reveal an exquisite bouquet of jasmine flowers, pink globe amaranth and yellow chrysanthemum. Calm in a cup!

6. Tassel Pom Pom Necklaces from Archery Collections $46
Did you Spot these in Scatter Love postcards pic above? I LOVE tassels and pom-poms so I had to give these their own mention. Super cool and handmade! You know how much I love gorgeous handmade things!

So tell me… what are you loving, wanting, needing lately?

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I Heart Christmas Movies

Christmas time certainly changes once little people come along.

Gone are the days of waking up Christmas morning hungover as hell, rising to eat the most epic meal you will eat all year with relatives you haven’t seen all year.

It becomes something incredibly special. It brings back memories from your own childhood and it’s like you get to re-live it all over again, only through the eyes of those little people who mean the world to you. It really is magical {even if there are a few lies involved}

One of the things that I adored about my hubby when we first met was that he LOVED all things Christmas as much as I did. The lights, the carols, the decorations and of course the movies. Rare for a guy, {especially the carols}… and one of the reasons I knew he was a keeper 🙂

Early on we started a tradition of watching as many of our fave Christmas Movies as we could in the lead up to the Big day. We make date nights, and sit down with the tree lights sparkling, candles burning with a bottle of wine and watch everything from our favourite kiddy Christmas Movies, to the classics and everything in between. I know… Romance 😉

So as December approaches, we will be kicking off The Annual Morrow Christmas Movie Festival and I thought I’d share some of our favourites (in no particular order).

  • Love Actually
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • The Santa Claus – The Movie
  • Gremlins
  • Home Alone
  • The Santa Clause
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • The Grinch
  • The Holiday
  • National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
  • Bad Santa
  • The Polar Express
  • Die Hard
  • Elf

Did I miss any?

Don’t have time for Christmas Movies… watch this Ultimate Christmas Movie Supercut instead

What’s your favourite Christmas Movie?

Do you have any fun family Christmas Traditions?

Will you wake Christmas morning with a hangover?

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Miss 5’s Frozen Party

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Miss 5 chose to have a Frozen party to celebrate her 5th Birthday this year. It was right around the time the DVD was released and the whole wide world was in a complete Frozen Frenzy, with Frozen merchandise harder to find than gold.

Luckily we were able to buy a few things in Hawaii, but the one thing I couldn’t find was the Elsa Dress {the only thing she wanted for her birthday} so I had to buy on ebay where of course I paid through the roof. The things we do for our children huh!

Thankfully the cost per wear on said Elsa dress must now be close to zero, she has had that many Frozen parties this year. Seem’s no one’s letting it go just yet 😉

Elsa Frozen Dress Ups

Elsa and Anna came along thanks to the wonderful people at Fairy Crystal & Friends. Well… originally only Elsa was invited, however every single kid accepted the invitation, and with over 25 kids, we had to get an extra entertainer. {Note to self and new parents – 10% drop out rule when planning events does not apply to kids parties! Budget for 100% acceptance!} Can’t believe it has taken me 5 years to figure that out!

pic monkey editFood was kept pretty simple and thanks to Pinterest a few cute Frozen touches were added. My gosh, how on earth did our parents plan parties back in the day without Pinterest?

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Frozen Snowflake Cookies

Frozen Coloured Marshmellows

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As the cake is always my biggest stress, I outsourced… again. Luckily I have a very talented friend who has her own catering business, Sydney based {Something from Kate} and happens to specialise in creating amazing cakes. Once again, Kate did an incredible job.

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Frozen cake detail

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The usual party games were played, little faces were painted and the absolute highlights were a snowball fight with Elsa and Anna and one hell of an epic ‘Let It go’ sing-a-long with Queen Elsa which left one kindy mum saying “That one will go down in history”.

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Of course no party is complete without a cracking Kids Party Playlist. One can only put up with some much ‘Let it Go’ and ‘Do you Want To Build a Snowman’. You gotta throw in some ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘I like to move it move it’.

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Of course Master 3 had to be part of the Frozen Frenzy, because FOMO!

It was an amazing day and one Miss 5 wont ever forget.

She’s already planning her big 6 birthday. At this stage she wants a ‘craft party’, but I’m sure that will change 67 times in the next 7 months!

So how many Frozen parties have you been to this year?

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Digital Parents Blog Carnival

– See more at: http://digitalparents.com.au/page/blog-carnival#sthash.QVVx1Jcm.dpuf

Love Want Need 4

Well…it’s officially the silly season. The Swarovski Christmas tree is up in the QVB building in Sydney, I’ve ordered an Elf on the shelf and Michael Buble can be heard in all his Christmas good-ness in the department stores.

So many gorgeous things are catching my eye lately and my wish list is a little long… with some things managing to sneak off the wish list and into my life. Sshh, don’t tell hubby!

Here’s some of my faves lately. Love Want Need 4…

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1. Seduce Radar Dress. $239.95
I’ve been on the hunt for a new frock for a black tie work event but I keep getting blind-sided by gorgeous cocktail style dresses I have no place or occasion to wear. If this one was full length, I’d totally buy it!

2. Luna&Luxe Hello Sunshine Pineapple Candle in your choice of fragrance. Small $50. Large $65. The most divine hand poured candles made in Australia from sustainable soy bean wax, essential oils and natural fragrances. I bought this baby recently in coconut and lime and my house now smells like a Tahitian holiday (well, what I imagine a Tahitian holiday to smell like.)

You can find Luna&Luxe on Facebook and while you are there check out the High Tea and Vintage collection. OMG! Hold me back! They ship or courier Australia wide. Or if you happen to be in Adelaide, catch Lisa at the Wattle Steeet Markets Dec 6th.

3. Christmas Pom Pom Tutu Skirt from Pineapple Traders. $30-$35.
I have such an appreciation for clever people who hand-make things with love. And these Pom Pom Tutu’s are made by hand in Australia by Pineapple Traders. They carry a few in stock ($30) but also make custom colours/sizes to order ($35) from a size 0 up to a size 5. Bigger sizes also possible. Super cute!

4. ModelCo Daily Face Mattifying Sunscreen and Lipbalm SPF50+, $25.
I’ve been a longtime fan of ModelCo. I love their in innovative products and just discovered this gem of a sunscreen. It glides on with a tinted matte finish, no shiny sunscreen face and it has a mirror and lip balm in the lid. Genius!

5. Erin Condren Life Planner Platinum Edition in turquoise, $65.
Outlook is just not cutting it these days. With the kids now doing numerous extra curricular activities and having birthday parties what seems like every freakin weekend, I’ve decided to go old school and just purchased one of these babies! They had me at ‘foil stamped’.  I shall write down every damn THING!

6. Affirmats from Yogamona. $99
Those who know me well know how much I love my yoga. These Affirmats are Eco-friendly and come in a variety of affirmations to keep you inspired, like: Rise and Shine On, Breathe in Love and I am Wonderfully Made, to name just a few. So hard to choose! Namaste.

So what’s on your Christmas Wishlist? Let me know in the comments below.

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Guest Post – Meet Krissy from Pretty Wee Things Blog

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As I’ve mentioned a few times now… the thing I’m loving the most about this whole new bloggy world is the amazing networks and connections. So to celebrate these new connections, I’m super excited to welcome the gorgeous Krissy from Pretty Wee Things as my very first guest blogger @my2morrows.

I met Krissy recently during the Clever Cookie School of Blog course and absolutely love what she’s all about so wanted to introduce her to you.

Krissy is mummy to one busy little man, newlywed wife to one pretty cool guy, and lover of all things health, fashion and beauty. She’s completed Bachelor of Science with honours in Psychology, a few post-grad certificates, and a certificate in Makeup Artistry. How’s that for an interesting combination!

She’s into researching health, fitness and wellness and loves playing with her little man, being a wifey, shopping and drinking coffee. And she’s just tied the knot in stunning New Zealand. OMG, you must check out the stunning pics. Her dress is to die for!

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Krissy will be featured here regularly from time so let’s get to know her a little better…

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Inspiration behind your blog:  I write to share what being a fashion-loving, health and wellness conscious mum means to me, and to share how I (try to) make it all work, because I find it interesting and inspiring to have a peak into other people’s lives.  Oh, and also to stay sane…when covered in drool, sleep deprived and unable to leave the home due to this week’s child-related-illness.

Tea or Coffee: COFFFEEEE!  There is a definite coffee theme on my blog!

Heels or flats: Heels (The mum side says flats)

On your bedside table: Water bottle, Treasure Yourself and Empower Yourself by Miranda Kerr, Candles, Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, lip balm, and a baby monitor.

Every mum needs: Coffee, and a video baby monitor…those things are the best!

Fave perfume: Gucci Rush (the original red)

Fave song/album: Holding you by Stan Walker and Ginny Blackmore (my walking down isle song!!!)

Fave drink: Almond milk latte

Fave TV show: Keeping up with the Kardashians (sorry)

Fave Quote: “My life is too short not to do what I love” – Robert Holden

Describe your style: Feminine, polished, simple

Most treasured possession: If my son could be a possession, then him.  But probably my rings.  Each has their own special meanings.

Favourite shop: That’s a tricky one.  Probably Forever New.

Favourite Flower: I’m allergic!!!

Fave holiday destination: Bali (Seminyak)

Fave book: Anything by Marian Keyes

Can’t live without: My water bottle. That thing follows me everywhere!!!  Oh, and coffee (of course)

XOX Pretty Wee Things

Thanks Krissy for visiting! I can’t wait to share more from you soon!

Pop over and see Krissy at Pretty Wee Things and follower her on facebook  

 

The Circle Of Life: Part 2 – Maddi’s Daddy.

I’ve never been one to wish time away. I try to always live in the present moment, but I have to say… I’m actually looking forward to 2014 being over.

It started out ok and full of promise as most years do… Fireworks, sparklers… champas with dear friends… happy kids running around with glow sticks. But it will be forever marred by 2 heartbreaking losses and with that, a reminder about what’s most important in life.

Told in 2 parts, this is part 2. You can read about part 1 here.

The circle of life, part 2: Maddi’s Daddy

Maddi home

On our way home from Hawaii we stopped over in Fiji for the wedding of the year.

We arrived and met all our friends for sunset drinks. You know that feeling… You’re in a foreign country with your mates, no work, no mundane responsibilities of home where everyone is super happy and carefree. Yep. That!

The next day was the wedding. An idyllic intimate ceremony with Fijian singers followed by the reception in the sand. We made new friends, re connected with old friends, sang, ate, drank and danced.

Our mate Ash was a groomsman in the wedding and his wife Jayne (Jay) was almost 33 weeks pregnant with their first baby. They were as loved up as always, excited about becoming parents.

Their relationship wasn’t like others. Sure husbands and wives love each other but not like these two. They just adored one another. At the wedding Jay was telling us how proud she was of him and how lucky she was to be his wife. He was just one of those good guys… always looking out for everyone else. His students, friends and family meant the world to him. And he always had a smile on his face. ALWAYS! Even when competing in an ironman event only weeks earlier.

Ash ironman

We had a recovery swim the next day and said goodbye to our friends by the pool before we headed to the airport to fly home. We hugged and kissed them both, gave Jay’s belly a rub and told them that next time we see them they will have a little person and that their lives would change completely.

Little did we know what was to follow after that moment by the pool was a series of events no one could have ever predicted. Nor did we realise it would be the last time we would ever see Ash.

Only hours after we said our goodbyes, Jay went into labour and delivered baby Maddi in the back of a taxi en route to Nadi hospital, 7 weeks early. We woke the next morning at home in Sydney to a text from a very proud new daddy…

“ITS A GIRL!!! Gorgeous little Maddison Jayne Cazna Wren popped her head out in a taxi at front of Nadi hospital. Dad Ash cradling the head. Jay was amazing. V tired now. But both doing well under the circumstances. Here wiv my 2 angels”

He was so so proud. We were worried, as Maddi had arrived so early in a foreign country, but so thrilled that these two beautiful friends who had longed to be parents, finally were.

After 3 weeks of travelling to Nadi hospital every few hours for feeds, taking Maddi’s progress day by day, Ash and Jay finally flew their little bundle home with a paediatrician and oxygen tank and were transferred by ambulance to hospital in Sydney where Maddi was checked and observed, having all the normal tests newborn babies have when born on home soil.

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They finally spent their first night together as a family in hospital and were over the moon. Maddi was thriving and they were ready to be discharged, to start their new life as a family. I wish this is where I could end telling this story.

But sadly only days after arriving home with Maddi, Ashley had a heart attack and tragically passed away. He had spent just 27 days with his precious baby girl.

I was at the playground with my kids when I took the call from a frantic friend that sunny Friday morning in June. My first thought was that something had happened to Maddi so you can imagine the disbelief when I heard that Ash had died.

The next hour was a blur. Thank goodness the kids were busy playing. I was on the phone trying to get hold of my husband and calling our close friends to break the shocking news. I had lost all 4 of my grandparents, but this was different. This was a young fit, healthy 41 year old and he was our mate. How do you even deal with losing a close mate?

The crew gathered at our place Saturday night. We didn’t know what to do other than just be together. We drank Ash’s fave brand of beer and told stories. We laughed through tears and said cheers to our mate in the most appropriate way, with a drink on our heads. It was his party trick and not once did I ever see him drop one!

Ash collage

 

His funeral was attended by over 700 people including his former students. His favourite song ‘Change the world’ by Eric Clapton was played as a slideshow of his life in pictures played.

Jays sister sang Amazing Grace, the same song she sang at their wedding just shy of 4 years earlier. Hard to believe that just 4 years earlier these two love birds were planning the rest of their lives together. Now Ash was gone! Beyond un-fair!

Beautiful tributes and eulogies were read and he was carried out by his best mates wearing Manly scarfs whilst Eagle Rock played. There was not a dry eye in the place.

My hubby with Ash who was Manly's Biggest Fan

My hubby with Ash who was Manly’s Biggest Fan

Ash would describe himself as quite an ordinary guy but he was actually quite extraordinary and had a huge impact on so many people. From the kids he taught, to the homeless people he gave food to, he was just one of those great guys. Taken way too soon. A teacher, a mentor, a mate, a brother, a son, an uncle, an ironman, a husband and a very proud father.

he was such a proud daddy

The absolute light of our friendship group. How can his light not be shining anymore?

How can this person with the permanent sunny grin not be there anymore to smile and light up our days? Our daughter called him ‘Uncle Ash’. It just doesn’t seem right, fair or real, even 4 months later.

Maddi & Jayne Fundraising Event

The boys felt it was their duty to look after Ash’s girls, so a few of us got together and planned a fundraising event. With a new baby to look after while grieving the love of her life, Jay was in no position to return to work anytime soon. This was something we could do to help.

It was 8 weeks of intense organisation and the event was a sell out with 240 guests attending. Dan Ewing from home and Away fame gave a moving tribute to Ash (Ash had coached him in soccer as a youngster). Des Hassler (ex manly now bulldogs coach) Ash’s former teacher also shared a video tribute. And former Wallaby Phil Waugh and Australian Cricketer Mitchell Starc shared some light-hearted stories.

Jessica Watson OAM told her inspiring story of sailing around the world solo and John Maclean OAM (paratriathlete, rower and motivational speaker) came along to share his incredible story. He was a hero to Ash, inspiring his ironman training. Johns accident happened on the 27th June, Ash had died on 27th June. Goosebumps! Because of this, John felt compelled to come along to share his story. As he was introduced, he stood up out of his wheelchair and walked to the stage. It was incredible.

M&J fundraiser collage

Top Left: Phil Waugh, Mitchell Starc, Dan Ewing. Bottom Left: John Maclean. Top Right: Jessica Watson. Bottom Right: Maddison Wren

Ashley’s Legacy

After returning from Fiji, Jay and Ash had discussed their desire to give back to the Fijian people who looked after them so beautifully and helped Maddi survive and thrive in those first precious weeks.

Through Jay’s story appearing on the Today Show, she was contacted by Karen from Fiji-oz Foundation. A registered non profit organisation that supports schools, hospitals, orphanages and villages in Fiji.

As part of Ash’s legacy, Jay has since been busy channeling her grief by gathering donations and packing boxes bound for Fiji, working with Fiji-oz to get the word out to secure corporate support to help with logistics and shipping to Fiji.

She’s hoping to one day put together ‘Maddi’s Daddy’ packs with everything new parents need after giving birth in Nadi hospital. And she hopes to take Maddi back for her first birthday to thank her ‘Fijian family’ and show them how much Maddi has thrived. It was something her and Ash had discussed doing and she’s going to make it happen.

Donated items being presented to Nadi Hospital on behalf of Ashley, Jayne and Maddison Wren.

Donated items being presented to Nadi Hospital on behalf of Ashley, Jayne and Maddison Wren.

Out of sadness comes love and strength

Things have changed in our friendship circle. We’re all telling each other we love each other, even the blokes in their blokey ‘love ya man’ kinda way. We’ve had the biggest reminder about what’s important this year and we’ve seen that out of sadness comes love and strength.

Monday mornings don’t seem so bad anymore. Because I’m here. Here to live it and lucky to live it the way that I do. I’m a little more inspired to run or get through a grueling workout. You just have to think of him, his smile, his energy for life and he inspires us all.

Grief is a strange thing. For many of us, the routine of everyday life goes back to some kind of normal. But for Jay, things have changed forever. Not only is she adjusting to life as a new mum but she’s doing it without the love of her life by her side. And that precious teeny tiny piece of Ash is what gives her the strength to get through the sleepless nights, the weeks, the days, the hours. She’s an incredible mumma, somehow managing to smile through the tears and we are all so proud of her, and know Ash would be too.

Jay & Maddi

Maddi will always know how incredible her Daddy was.

She will know about his energy for life, his famous smile that could light up anyone’s day, and one day when she’s old enough… She will know about her daddy’s famous party trick.

With his favourite song in mind… Ash, whether he knew it or not, did change the world.

And he was the sunlight in our universe.

RIP Maddi’s Daddy xx

Ash Hawaii

Untitled design (1)See more of Jays story here and see the follow up Today Show story with Fiji-Oz Foundation

John Maclean recently completed the Nepean Triathlon, the event he was training for at the time of his accident. Find out more about John Maclean’s incredible story here.

Read more about Fiji-Oz here

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