The Link List 4

The Link List

Hello Hello,

Its Fri-yay! I hope you have had a great week! How are those of you with kids on school holidays coping? Ready to send them back yet?!

I’ve had a pretty good week. Very excited as behind the scenes, Brooke from The Lover Lab has been giving my little blog a bit of a make over and it’s close to being complete. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Carly & Christina

I’m also super excited to be off to the Little Blog Big workshop tomorrow, run by the uber talented Carly from Smaggle and Christina from Hair Romance. (pictured left) Cant wait to meet them both, learn as much as I can and see some of my awesome Bloggy friends. (photo source)

In the meantime, here’s some gold I’ve stumbled upon this week…

If you love reading blogs as much as I do, Fleur from Our Urban Box wrote a cracker of a post on how to support your favourite bloggers. We really do love a bit of comment love!

Speaking of bloggers, two of the my faves, Emma Kate Co and Jacklyn from Blog Society have teamed up in a collective celebration of self care during April, offering a free printable each week. Come and join the celebration… frame them, pop them on your vision board and share on social media tagging #bloglovefest and don’t forget to take some time out for just YOU!

I shared these Shedquarters the other day on the facebook page, then I saw these She-Sheds  and she-sheds-12OMG!! I now want to turn the kids cubby house into a She-Shed. Surely they wouldn’t mind?! #3 is my fave (pictured). Which do you like?

You know how much I love an Ikea hack, check out these ones for nursery’s. I adore #8!

The lovely Arlene from Starrtrekking joined me on my2morrows with this guest post during Autism Awareness Week, sharing some honest tips on how best to support families affected by Autism. With 1 in 100 of our kids having Autism, chances are you know someone who would greatly appreciate a casserole and some wine!

And on the work/career front, this article about The Motherhood Penalty raises the question… how are we meant to ‘lean in’ anyway?

Enjoy the links and have a wonderful week end!

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As you head into the week end, how are you taking some time for you?

Has the Motherhood Penalty affected you?

How would you theme your She-Shed?

 

 

 

 

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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

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3. Include a favourite piece on your photo wall

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4. Use as wrapping paper

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

Dear Miss 5

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Dear Miss 5,

So you’re 5 and a bit now. Five. Snakes alive! Such a milestone age. I remember being five. I met my BFF, your Auntie Shell Bell at your age!

So I wanted to jot down some thoughts before I forget this magical age, just like I have forgotten bits and pieces from the previous years. “Mummy, you have a bad mem-em-ory” as you often tell me.

Actually the real reason I wanted to start blogging all those years ago was to do exactly this… write you letters. I was on maternity leave, had a bit of time in between your sleeps and feeds and had intended to just set it to private and start documenting your milestones and life as a new parent. But a few things got in the way of that happening, like having two babies in two years! Before we knew it your little brother came along and here we are, it’s 2014 and you are five. Blink. Of. An. Eye!

You start school orientation next week and it’s such a relief to your daddy and I to see you so excited. You are so so ready. If I could send you tomorrow I would. I think you’re getting a bit bored and it’s getting harder to keep you entertained these days. There’s only so much craft and Frozen watching this mumma can deal with!

Me? I’m equal parts excited and sad. Excited that you are going to learn so much so quickly. Excited to have some one-on-one time with your brother as I’ve never had that before. Excited to do the grocery shop with just one kid in tow. Excited that you will become that little bit more independent and excited that it’s one less meltdown we need to have in the mornings about what to wear. Hello school uniform!

But sad. Sad that it won’t be me teaching you all those new things. Sad that your newfound independence means you won’t need me as much. Sad that your brother won’t have his hero around to worship during the week. And sad that starting school really does signal the end of your early childhood years. Pass the tissues 😦

Gosh, I got teary doing the school tour and that was months ago! How am I going to handle big school?!  I’ll spend those first days/weeks wondering if you’ll be able to open your yoghurt by yourself, will you lose your new little glasses? Will you make friends, how will you deal with conflict? So much for a mamma to worry about. But it’s not about me, it’s all about you my big girl and I know you are ready.

You have been glued to my side the last five years, doing everything together. From the early days of mother’s group, play group and gymbaroo. To swimming lessons, sushi Tuesdays, playgrounds, shopping, craft, painting our nails, baking, reading, bouncing on the trampoline, sing-a-long disco’s and watching Frozen a gazillion times. I’m so grateful to have had this precious time with you.

I’m really going to miss it, as will your little brother. He will feel a little lost at first, he looks up to you and copies everything you say and do. Which is hilarious when you say things like “stupid poo poo head” and when he puts on your dresses and curtseys. On the other hand, I’m sure he will enjoy being able to watch Fireman Sam without being subjected to Disney princess everything!

You are showing so much interest in learning. Please, please always stay that way!

Image source: pinterest

Image source: pinterest

You are so different to how I was as a kid and it blows me away how independent you already are.

You are also:

  • Inquisitive – you are always ALWAYS asking questions.
  • Creative – you do craft for hours, coming up with original works of art. image
  • Brave – at 4 you wanted to go on the vertical slide at the Disney resort in Hawaii. Darkness all the way down. I was reluctant, but you wanted to so bad I thought ok, you’ll only do it once. Wrong mummy! You loved it and I screamed like a 4 year old. All. The. Way. Down!
  • Eager to learn – You give everything a go. Ballet, swimming and you are about to start nippers. Your confidence just keeps growing and seeing how happy you are when you accomplish something new makes us so proud.
  • Strong – You stand your ground and don’t give in easily AT ALL! You can thank your daddy for this! Great life skill to have, (wish I had a little more of it actually) but frustrating as hell on the home front!
  • Smart – You write birthday cards with little help. You enjoy number games and are starting to read and understand the clock and money.
  • Loyal – You play with everyone and you don’t exclude. You have your favourites but you don’t cling to them, you involve everyone. A skill your teachers tell me is a good one to have. I love that you’re not afraid of a bit of rough and tumble either. Handy when you have a brother!
  • Sweet – Just this week you said “Mummy, you are wonderful” out of nowhere and gave me a big kiss. And this one “Mummy, you are the loveliest person inside the whole world”. Ahh, I melt!
  • Exquisitely beautiful – and more so everyday. I just cant even…

You love to dance, mostly to Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’, the Frozen soundtrack or ‘Gangnam Style’ with some graceful ballet moves thrown in and you skip everywhere you go because as you say “It’s just my favourite thing Mummy”.

You crack us up with the things you say and how you pronounce things like:

  • Mem-em-ory (memory)
  • Mother Guffle (mother Gothel from Repunzel)
  • Its a husband!! (A huntsman spider)
  • At the top of the hill on the way to swimming you always say “Mummy I can see the whole world from up here”. Its a bunch of houses and trees but to you its the whole world.
  • The way you sing “Everybody dance now, pull your brothers pants down”
  • And so many more that I wish I’d jotted down!! (New parents… document everything!)

And just so my ‘mem-em-ory’ doesn’t fail me, here are a few of your favourite things, aged 5…

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So Miss 5, good luck with school orientation, I know you will love it.

Keep skipping everywhere, dancing to the beat… or not, and just keep being you!

And remember…

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