8 Years

eight years

I asked the huz the other day if he could remember his wedding vowels. Nope… couldn’t recall. And whoops… neither could I.

Apart from the bit that went “….. and be your best friend ever“.  I couldn’t for the life of me remember them.

Well, It has been 8 years! These days, I forget how old I’m turning at my next birthday. {tell me it’s not just me this happens to!} But wedding vowels are different. You’re not meant to forget them! I mean, it’s just a lifelong pledge to the person you choose above all others! No biggie!

But what we do remember are the people that made that day everything it was, and the precious little moments. Our sand ceremony. Dad walking me down the isle. The poem written just for us by my Maid of Honour, painted on canvas as our wedding gift. The scent of frangipani’s. Just making it through the ceremony and the heavens opening up. How tiny my niece and nephew were. The tight squeeze of my hand from C’s 100 year old Grandfather when he congratulated us. And the music. The music I definitely remember! {There’s a wedding ‘I heart music’ blog post coming soon}

Poem written by my Maid of Honour, Michelle Karutz and painted onto canvas as our wedding gift. So special!

Poem written by my Maid of Honour, Michelle Karutz and painted onto canvas as our wedding gift. So special!

It really was everything you dream your wedding day will be. I asked C what some of his favourite memories were from the day and he said:

  • Seeing me arrive
  • Our first dance
  • How he and his groomsmen had to madly race back home to get the umbrellas after seeing the storm front coming. {Thank god they did, the photo above with the umbrella is one of my faves}

So 8 years on… I’m still madly in love with this guy I’m proud to call my husband {even if he hasn’t shaved since that day!} And I’m in complete awe when I look at everything we’ve achieved and created together since we said those vows {whatever they were!} on that hot, humid stormy day back in March 2007. I’ll let the pics tell the rest of the story…

Pilu Entrance

The Venue: Pilu at Freshwater Beach

The flowers

The Flowers: Frangipani’s and My borrowed: Mum’s diamond earings

The dress

The dress: Silk georgette gown with swarovski beaded Indian sari braid by Culture Bridal Couture (unfortunately no longer operating)

Walking down the isle

Walking down the isle song: Happy Ever After in Your Eyes – By Ben Harper

sand ceremony

The sand unity ceremony. Such a precious moment. Our late friend, groomsman Ash, helping us combine sand from both our birth places to signify the joining of our lives

Dad Giving me away

The first glance after walking down the isle. Look at those storm clouds!

bridal party

The incredible bridal party.

family

Mumbala & Dad!

AA

With C’s 100 year old Grandfather.

First Dance

First Dance: The Blowers Daughter – Damien Rice

kissing

Sittin on top of the world!

The Cake: Us sitting on top of the world! By Sugar Princess. I suprised C and put him in a Manly Jersey.

Dance with Dad

I love this photo of me dancing with Dad and our bridal party in a bit of a circle of love behind us!

Lyrics to 'Happy Ever After In Your Eyes' - Ben Harper {my walking down the isle song}

This canvas with the lyrics to my walking down the isle song ‘Happy Ever After In Your Eyes’, by Ben Harper is on our bedroom wall

So happy anniversary handsome bearded one. Married life has been one blissful, challenging, fun ride. May the next 8 be just as amazing.

Shannon_Colour_Transparent

In case you missed it, you can read about The Proposal here.

Married? What’s your favourite memory from your wedding day?

Can you remember your wedding vowels? No cheating… Jot what you do remember of them in the comments below.

Photo credit: Erol Touman Photography
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A green dress in Rio, a ring and a question…

A green dress in Rio, a ring a question (1)

Green is not a colour I wear often. Its not that I don’t like it, I just don’t think it really suits me.

But this one time… in Rio, I wore a green dress and I won’t ever forget it!

Rio was the second stop on our epic South American adventure and gosh, we fell in love with her! On this particular day, we had been out and about, exploring the Ipanema markets, hanging out at the beach, lunching at THAT cafe {The Garota de Ipanema: Where “The Girl from Ipanema” was written} and getting to know the amazing city that is Rio DeJaneiro during Carnival. A dream come true.

THAT Cafe. The Garota de Ipanema: Where "The Girl from Ipanema" was written

THAT Cafe. The Garota de Ipanema: Where “The Girl from Ipanema” was written

After a fun filled day, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up before heading off to catch the sunset from the top of Sugar Loaf mountain {Pao de Acucar}, followed by dinner and a bloco – a street party held during Carnival. I was going to wash my hair, but time was of the essence if we wanted to see the sun set so I wacked it back into a messy updo, popped on the green dress and a slick of mascara and off we went.

We took two cable cars to get to the top, the doors opened and there were people everywhere! Seems we were not the only tourists wanting to see the sunset over one of the worlds most amazing cities!

I had started to walk in the direction of the sun set, but C took my hand and pulled me in the opposite direction saying “No, THIS way”… almost pulling my arm out of its socket.

We were standing next to a statue and next thing I knew, he grabbed both my hands and proceeded to say lots of words. All the words! I cant recall them exactly… but they were beautiful and I remember trying to take them all in, remembering to breathe whilst thinking… is he going to…. OMG! I then remember him getting down on one knee, pulling a ring box out of his pocket and saying…

WILL YOU MARRY ME?

Of course I said “YES!”, then cried!

He even had a ring, which I later found out he had hidden in our garage for months and had been carrying around in his backpack since we left Australia. It was a fakie… smart boy, he knew it wasn’t a good idea to travel through South America for months with a diamond ring and he wanted me to pick the real ring when we got home.

There were people surrounding us, smiling, pointing and some even with tears in their eyes. A lady who just happened to be from Sydney came straight over, congratulated us and asked for our camera. She then proceeded to direct us in a photo shoot re-enactment of our proposal. As it was only minutes later, she managed to capture that moment and the butterflies in our tummies. Lady from Sydney, whoever you are… we are forever thankful.

Yes!

P1010036 cropped

engaged

We then watched the sun set and took a bunch of photos. It was one of the most vivid sunsets I’ve ever seen!

Rio Sunset

Rio Sunset 2

Rio Sunset 3

Not wanting to leave our magical spot at the top of our mountain {yep, it was totally OUR mountain now}, we grabbed a celebratory drink from the bar. Unfortunately they didn’t have bubbles on offer, so we had a Heineken – the exact same hue as my green dress which is now forever known as “The Heineken Dress”.

Heineken

Engaged!

After sunset, we got the cable car back down, wondering if we’d ever come back to this magical spot again in our lifetime, joking that we would bring our un-born kids one day.

We then went to dinner at a restaurant in Copacabana where we had many a caipirinha {when in Brazil you must drink their national cocktail!} and then danced the night away at a Bloco. On our walk back to the hotel, the heavens opened up so we danced in the Summer rain with a bunch of strangers. Young, free, soaking wet from the rain & now engaged!

The perfect proposal with memories we will both never forget.

Shannon_Colour_Transparent

I’d love to hear your engagment story… share share in the comments below.

Here’s a selection of our pics from Rio and the glitz and glamour that is Carnival.

Carnivale

carnivale queen

Carnivale 2

Carnivale 3

carnivale 4

carnivale 5

carnivale 6

carnivale 8

carnivale 9

Christ Redeemer

christ redeemer

10 on 10 March 2015

photography circle

One of my goals this year is to get better at taking photos. I’m a pretty lazy photographer. Actually, I can’t even call myself that… I’m more of a photo taker. The point and shoot kind. The ‘simple mode’ kind. That’s if I can even be bothered getting the real camera out at all. Most of the time, I just use my phone. Because… convenience.

But goals are set to be achieved, or at least attempted, so with that in mind, I’ve joined a group of my delightful Clever Cookie School of Blog friends in a photography project called 10 on 10.

Here’s how it works:

  1. We pick a day and take 10 photos. Luckily this group are pretty flexible and the photos don’t have to be all from one day. They can be 10 favourite photos from the last month or 10 photos in 10 minutes. You get the drift.
  2. We then all share them in a blog post on the 10th of the month with a link to the next person in the circle who links to the next person and so on and so on.
  3. You then pop the kettle on, brew a pot of tea {T2 ‘Autumn’ is my absolute fave} and follow the links, winding around the whole circle until you get to the end.
  4. You’ll be inspired and may even discover some new blogs to add to your regular reading list.

So, here’s my very first 10 on 10. My favourite 10 photos from the last month…

Sydney @Twilight

Twilight at Taronga.

A few of my favourite things...

A few of my favourite things…

Walking to School

I’ve been loving the walk to school with this cherub

Port Macquarie

Our quick week end in Port Macquarie

Rock God Dave

If everything could ever feel this real forever… My Rock God Dave Grohl. Such an amazing gig!

Garden

My little garden friend. He’s been with me since my Bachelorette days.

Buddah

My other zen friend

A girl and her doggie

A girl and her doggie. Bff’s!

Nate Frog

So cheeky, so perfect!

The 4 Morrow's

The 4 of us!

Now be sure to check out the next 10 on 10 in the circle… The lovely Di from Lime & Soda and don’t forget to follow the circle until the end, leaving some comment love as you go.

Enjoy!

Shannon_White

11 Things To Do With Kids Art

 11 things to do with kids art

Are you forever surrounded by little people’s finger paintings, endless crayon drawings and paper plate craft?

Are you a sentimental hoarder like me? Then this post is for you! It was inspired by a link I shared last week and a conversation on a local facebook mummy group I belong to.

Seems I’m not the only one drowning in my little Picasso’s works of art. So here’s 11 things to do with kids art…

1. Turn them into 3D Toys

As I shared last week, I’m dying to give this one a go.
Blue-Bee

2. Turn them into Custom Mini-Masterpiece designs

custom_sq plain .jpg

3. Include a favourite piece on your photo wall

photo wall

4. Use as wrapping paper

art wrapping paper

5. Hang with string and pegs in the kids cubby house or playroom

kid-room-wall-art.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1280

5. Turn them into fabric, wrapping paper, cushions or even wall paper

spoonflower

6. Create a memory book

See post by Beth at Baby-Mac – how to make a photo book using iphoto.
Or use SnapfishKikki-k Albumworks, Momento Big W or many of the other photo book makers.

photo book of kids artSource

7. Store them in a Folio like this one from Officeworks

officeworks folio

8. Use an app like artkive

9. Laminate your favourites

10. Simply photograph, store on a hard drive them and dump them!

11. Or if it breaks your heart to throw them away, get Daddy to ‘take them to work’.

What do you do with your kids art?  I’d love to hear… share your ideas in the comments below.

Shannon xx pink

There she goes…

There she goes…

There she goes

Breaking our hearts into a million pieces and making them burst with pride all at the same time.

No wonder I was so drained today. It’s exhausting all the ‘heart breaking’ that occurs with every ‘first’.

The first immunisations, the first birthday, the first day care drop off, the first day back at work, the first day of pre school, first ballet concert, first lost tooth, and perhaps the most epic first yet… the first day of school. Today! The place where those big developments will happen right before our very eyes. Routines will change and her confidence will soar.

divider

The night before the big day, you were a bit anxious. You weren’t sure about this whole school thing. I had given you a Guatemalan worry doll and told you if you ever have any worries you just tell them to the worry doll, pop it under your pillow and by morning time all your worries will be gone.

You asked me, “do I tell it to her or just wish it in my head mummy”. I told you to tell it aloud and you held it up close to your face and said “I’m worried mummy will go away at school and not come back.” More heartbreak!

I explained that someone who loves you will always be there to pick you up everyday. You popped the worry doll in its little pouch under your pillow and when you woke this morning you came running out to us saying, “It worked mummy, the worry has gone away!”. And you were so excited. You couldn’t get that uniform on quick enough.

We took a truckload of photos and you insisted on having one with Rio your bestie. You’ve been showing her so much affection lately, more than normal. You talk to her like she’s a person and gosh it makes our hearts sing.

M & Rio

Then it was time. You climbed into the car and insisted on doing everything, all by yourself. Suddenly you’re a big girl with new found confidence.

M car

The P&C prepared ‘tea and tissues’ gift bags, inside – a packet of tissues, chocolate, a tea bag and this poem. I read the first line, welled up and couldn’t even look at the rest of it. Not sure how, but I held it together, for you. I looked around and I could tell that every mum was feeling the same, probably some of the dad’s too. Just holding it together.

poem

While we were waiting to find out who your teacher would be, you found your pre-school and ballet friends and it was then I knew you’d be ok. Smiling, giggling and skipping around.

shiny shoes

You were introduced to your big year 6 buddy and off we went to your classroom. You hung up your bag and your buddy gave you a beautiful handmade card. Then you met your teacher, put on your name tag and sat down next to your friend, our next door neighbour. Born days apart, what were the odds of the two of you being in the same class! You smiled and laughed with her and it was time to kiss you goodbye and leave.

Just like that the big build up was over. We left and that’s when the mumma tears started. And good ol dad laughed as he captured it on camera!

Suddenly I was taken back to my first day of school, remembering the girl I sat next to crossed legged on the classroom floor. We’re still bff’s today and she was maid of honour at our wedding. Your Auntie Shell Bell.

shell bell

Now it’s your turn to create those friendships and precious memories my little one.

So my girl… learn, play, read, listen, create, sing, laugh {always laugh} and continue to be who and how you are.

You can be whatever you want to be baby girl… Go ahead and paint the sky!

Shannon xx pink

The Stay-Cation

The Staycation

Remember when you were a kid and the most vivid summer memories were always about simple fun under the Australian sun with your best friends and your family? {With Fluro zinc cream on your nose}

I’m talking bright blue skies, hot hot days, ice blocks melting faster than you can eat them, slip n slide with detergent for extra speed, Bbq’s, the sound of neighbours kids playing, cicadas providing your summer soundtrack, sand castles, jumping over waves, and riding your new bike on Christmas morning.

Sun, sand, salt and surf. Friends, fun and family. These were the ingredients to our stay-cation and it was bliss. It was one of the best holidays we’ve had and we didn’t even need a suitcase or a passport.

Boogie board over one shoulder, towel over the other. Bucket and spade in one hand, child’s tiny hand in the other. A visit from Pa who lives interstate. We bought furniture and we de-cluttered. Room by room, cupboard by cupboard. I donated 6 bags of clothing! And another 4 bags of baby things.

Maybe this is why our stay-cation was so good. We got a holiday AND we got super organised ready for whatever 2015 will throw at us.

The Huz had a list of household handy jobs that could all be completed with a cordless drill, a phillips head screw driver, a lawn mower, an Ikea provided allen key, a can of Wd40 and a bottle of weed killer.

Side note… I don’t recommend visiting Ikea with two kids under five after four hours at the aquatic centre. It looks like this…

Ikea

After the events of last year {both on a personal and global scale} all we wanted to do was be close to home with those we love and our stay-cation was a reminder that it really is all about the simple things.

And you know you’ve had a good break when you are actually ok at the thought of going back to the rat race and getting back into some sort of routine. I think the key to this is the magic three weeks. Two weeks is just not quite enough. Three is just perfect. But of course I’d take more if I could!

So here’s our perfect Aussie summer in pictures.

Christmas went something like this…

Does it get much cuter than a kid in a dressing gown!?

Does it get much cuter than a kid in a dressing gown!?

Home made gifts for our besties & neighbours {thanks The Organised Housewife for the idea}

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Train

Jingle, our Elf on the shelf provided lots of cheeky laughs and I almost cried when the kids said goodbye to him Christmas Eve.

Jingle, our Elf on the shelf provided lots of cheeky laughs and I almost cried when the kids said goodbye to him Christmas Eve.

Thanks Santa!

Thanks Santa!

I actually have 3 kids!!

I actually have 3 kids!!

Our 2morrows were so into Chrissy this year and it was just magical.

Our 2morrows were so into Chrissy this year and it was just magical.

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo

Damn selfie stick!!

Damn selfie stick!!

Giraffes view of Sydney

Luckiest giraffes in the world. That view!

Taronga Seals

Master 3 was a bit scared of the Dinosaurs. Look how real they looked!

Master 3 was a bit scared of the Dinosaurs. Look how real they looked!

Taronga Dinosaurs

Home Stuff

We bought furniture, the kids got new beds and we finally did my picture wall which was months in the making. Thanks handy man Dad for hanging my Frames!

{Oh Happy Days foil print from Down That Little Lane. I just couldn’t part with the pineapple and watermelon Scatter Love Cards from Fat Mum Slim and Emma Kate Co. They were screaming to be framed!}

Picture Wall

Miss 5 lost her first tooth! Thankfully the tooth fairy was on her game!

Miss 5 lost her first tooth! Thankfully the tooth fairy was on her game!

Date Day!

We had an amazing date day. Yes, a whole Day! Hot stone massage for two, lunch at my current fave restaurant. Papi Chulo @ Manly, a big long romantic walk and frozen yoghurt whilst watching the waves roll in. Romance!

Papi Chulo

Meat Fest!

Meat Fest!

We swam. We beached. We did picnics. We slip n slided…

Freshwater Beach

This photo makes my heart sing!

This photo makes my heart sing!

Salt in the air sand in my hair

Slip N Slide

Freshwater Beach

The blimp seemed to follow us everywhere we went!

The blimp seemed to follow us everywhere we went!

Shelley Beach

Aquatic Centre

We spent 4 hours here!!

Manly To Spit Coastal Walk

I did the manly to spit walk with my fave gals on the most divine day ever, followed by a dip in the ocean! It was sooo good and we’ve vowed to do it more often.

Manly Wharf

Yay No kids!

Yay No kids!

Manly to spit

Shan & Jo Manly to Spit Walk

God's Country

God’s Country

Clontarf

Balgowlah

Love this city sydney

Yep, I really do love this city!

Sometimes the best vacation is a stay-cation. We will definitely be doing it again!

Have you even done a stay-cation? What was your favourite part?

Shannon xx pink

The Sleep Promise

Ahh New Years resolutions. Made many. Never really kept one.

I truly believe in all things moderation so when it comes to giving up something I’m all like, well why? A little bit of chocolate/sugar/wine/all of the above won’t hurt a gal!

BUT… I’m really going to try this time, because I’ve realised that I really really REALLY need more sleep. Quality shut eye. I’m talkin 8 big fat hours!

I’m not sure when it happened, maybe it was always there… I just can’t remember much pre kids. I know I’ve never been a morning person, but somehow, post babies I’ve become the biggest night owl. Staying up until midnight on a week night is not un-common for me these days.

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Me.. The night owl drinking tea Image source: Pinterest

By the time we get kids to bed, clean up after dinner, do a bit of work or some blog stuff, read, or watch The Bachelor… hello midnight! It doesn’t help that C is up late working on the laptop most nights.

Then before I know it, the alarms go off. Yes, Alarms! The boy version and the girl version. Usually one directly after the other, because let me tell you, there’s no such thing as the pitter patter of small feet. With floorboards it’s more like baby elephants stomping down the hallway at the crack of dawn. And when this happens, I curse myself for going to bed so damn late. And this happens every single morning!

I’m just so tired of waking up tired!

But thank god for holidays… and the opportunity to re-group, re-focus and make a fresh start, especially at New Years.

I’m never more inspired than when I’m on holidays. On holidays I always have these grand thoughts of all the ‘things’ I’m going to do when I get back into the usual routine. These ‘things’ are usually inspired by the holiday destination I’m in. Here’s some real life examples:

  • Intending to take Vietnamese cooking classes after purchasing all the necessary cooking utensils on our Vietnam honeymoon (which are still sitting in the back of my kitchen cupboard 7 years later).
  • Learning to surf after being inspired by the Aloha way of life in Hawaii.
  • Learning to speak Spanish after travelling through South America, vowing to return one day speaking fluently.
  • Doing a travel photography course so I can take better holiday photos.

And then there’s the general ‘other things’ holidays inspire, like:

  • Reading more books.
  • Intending to go to at least 3 yoga classes/gym visits per week.
  • Eating more fruit – usually inspired by a daily breakfast buffet.
  • And of course, vowing to get more sleep – inspired by the arvo holiday siesta.

But of course, as we all know, that holiday feeling fades fast and those grand ‘things’ are usually forgotten pretty quickly, unless we are reminded at some stage throughout the year.

This year my reminder came when I saw Arianna Huffington speak at a Business chicks breakfast (You can read about that here). Arianna famously fell asleep burning the midnight oil and woke in a pool of her own blood after collapsing from exhaustion. Since seeing her speak, I’ve read her book Thrive and so much of what she talks about really is just common sense. As she says… “Why can’t we learn from her health crisis? Why wait until it happens to us to realise?”

Arianna Huffington

So I figure it’s time. Time to go public with this resolution right here on the blog, because then I’ll be held accountable and only then will I have the motivation to at least give this a real crack.

So with that in mind, my New Years resolution, or my promise to myself as I’d prefer to call it, is to get more zzz’s. The Sleep Promise. I plan to start slow, and go to bed half an hour earlier, then build on that, exactly as Arianna recommends. And I’ll start on the 2nd of Jan {Because who starts a NY Resolution on the 1st of Jan?}

I know if I can just get more sleep, everything else will fall into place. I’ll be less snappy with my2morrows, will have more energy, a better memory and will generally be more productive. Maybe I’ll even be inspired to learn spanish or take up Vietnamese cooking classes or become a morning person and run 10 Km’s every morning!! Haha… Small steps Shannon!

So, as I sit and write this {at 11:21pm on a weeknight}, I shannon, promise to make more of an effort to get me some more zzz’s in 2015.

What’s your 2015 promise to yourself?

Finish this sentnce in the comments below, I’d LOVE to hear!

I …….. promise to………… In 2015.

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