Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Giveaway: See Aladdin on stage in Sydney!

This is a sponsored post.

This Friday, 3rd July the stage show Aladdin and his Wondrous Lamp begins at the State Theatre in Sydney. When I received the media release I had to read and then re read the cast! What a show it looks set to be with The Footy Show's Beau Ryan as the genie of the lamp, Jessica Rowe as the Empress and Ian 'Dicko' Dickson playing one of the women who hangs from the window singing! I love it!

Would you like to go? I'd love to send you! Keep reading for your chance to win 4 tickets to the Opening Night of Aladdin and his Wondrous Lamp!

Let me tell you a little about more the show and it's director taken from the media release for this fabulous family friendly show: 

"Well known for her creativity and involvement in global television hits “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,”” Bonnie Lythgoe is dedicated to bringing affordable theatre to families across Australia through fun, musical theatre the whole family can enjoy. 
Lythgoe will take the familiar traditional tale and inject contemporary chart topping songs as well as presenting a star studded cast including Footy Show larrikin, Beau Ryan who will be the final piece to complete the Aladdin casting puzzle. Lythgoe says of her chosen genie, what a talented man he is and now I cannot wait to take him on a “Magical Journey” where wishes come true and “Goodness” wins through in the end.”

________________________________________  GIVEAWAY  _______________________________________

I have one prize (4 tickets) to giveaway to the Opening Night performance. If you'd like to see Aladdin and His Wondrous Lamp in Sydney this Friday, 3 July, entry is simple, this is a game of skill and entries will be judged on creativity and originalityTo enter, leave a comment on this post in response to the question below:

If you were given three wishes from a magical genie, what would they be?!

Terms & Conditions: giveaway open to Australian residents only. Must be able to attend the Opening Night on Friday 3 July from 7pm. Tickets cannot be transferred to another show. Good luck!
*Entries close at midnight Wednesday 1 July and the winner will be announced on Thursday 2 July. 

For further ticket information and bookings for Aladdin and his Wondrous Lamp visit ticketmaster.com.au/Aladdin

Monday, June 22, 2015

Saying it out loud - Our family might just be complete

Sponsored post for Gaviscon

I wrote and rewrote that title... and although I think it should, I just could not make it say 'I am not having any more children' or 'our family is complete'. And it should say 'we' in any case. Alas, this is a decision that, as we approach the first birthday of our little man, we find ourselves discussing. I must say there has been no definitive answer yet... but it's all leaning toward our family being complete!

Here's a few reasons why 3 is the finish line for our family:

1. Our house is full... practically speaking we are pretty much full up here! I remember telling hubby when we were first married that I'd love 5 children... he went over to the rickety wardrobe we had at the time and started pulling out drawers and opening cupboard tops and said, "And one will sleep here, and another here" and perhaps they could for a month or so.. but they do require a little more space as they grow!

Cartoon: There Was An Old Woman.... (medium) by Kerina Strevens tagged ink,drawing,boot,footwear,shoe,girls,boys,play,woman,old,kindergarten,rhyme,nursery,child,children

2. Morning sickness... I didn't experience this anywhere near as badly as other women I know. But I did find those early and final weeks exhausting the more children I had to look after during the pregnancy! And that nauseating feeling in those early weeks that just can't be shaken is just plain yucky! So this is one thing that I will not miss.

3. Pregnancy symptoms like indigestion and heartburn... I still have a jumbo pack of antacids in our medicine kit from those pregnancy days where heartburn causes had no rhyme or reason. They just plagued me and added to the uncomfortable state I was in! Even my beloved eucalyptus lollies turned on me in my last pregnancy - probably saved my teeth a little but that darn craving just wanted so badly to be filled. And there are so many other pregnancy quirks too!

4. Financial reasons always have to play a part in big decisions as grown ups. We are indeed practical people who budget, plan and spend our money wisely (well, we think we do!) But adding more children changes plans for housing, vehicles, education and so much more. So it's definitely a hot topic when it comes to family decisions.

5. Mama would go crazy if there were any other small people joining our crew at this point in time! We've gone with the one child every 2 years (approx) gap and although it's wonderful - it's also been hard work! So I can't particularly imagine being pregnant again in the next half of the year and having another 2 year gap... and I'm not sure we're up for a large gap either. Here's what I think we look like vs what we probably really look like most of the time! Bring on the teenage years! (Or not!) So parental sanity may play a part here too!


6. Our hospital of choice is getting further away. Well, that's not true, it hasn't moved and neither have we but it is an hour away and my labours keep getting quicker...  We did the hour trip in labour with Li'l Peppa and she was born 1 hour after reaching the hospital... with our little Lion Cub he was born 1 hour after my first contraction... and I don't much fancy having a baby on the side of the road... unless someone can get me a birthing pool roadside, stat!

7. We're completely and utterly content and feel blessed with the 3 amazing children we've been entrusted with on this earth! This feeling of contentment and being okay with not having another pregancy, another birth and another child is still a growing feeling for me (I think it came instantly for hubby). I'm so happy that I approached my last pregnancy and birth with the idea that it would be my last. Although then it was still a 'just in case' type of afterthought I am glad that moments in that pregnancy were secured even tighter as memories, knowing they may well be the last.

So there's some of my reasons, both serious and not, on why our family might just be complete, but most of all I am truly grateful for the blessing of our three amazing children. I am ever so privileged to be their mummy and to have their daddy by my side for this incredible journey of parenthood.

I am thankful that we fell pregnant quickly with each of them, that those pregnancies and births were straightforward and that we have three beautiful healthy children. By no means is that to be forgotten or overlooked... but I feel like in a way the positivity and absolute wonder attached to pregnancy, birth and motherhood for me is one of the things that makes it even harder for me to fully accept that I am in the season of not only first times but of last times as well.

Tell me, how did you feel when you realised that your youngest was your last? 

This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Sweetness that is Snail Mail - 10 reasons you should send a letter today!

Lately I have found that my creative pursuits are harder and harder to, well, pursue! Time is taken by 3 delightful cherubs, a house to run and way too many other commitments to keep!

So, I decided to take on a new hobby! Yes, I know it sounds counterproductive but it kind of incorporates all my other crafty pursuits in a more low key version! And it's super pretty and super fun! Making new friends is an added bonus along the way!

What is it? Well, I've fallen in love with SNAIL MAIL! Or perhaps back in love is more appropriate as I've always dabbled in arty envelopes, penpals and thank you notes! Much of this is thanks to the amazing inspiration from my Aunt who has graced me every birthday, anniversary, birth of child and other special occasions with amazingly hand stamped envelopes, wonderful penmanship and usually a sprinkling of sparkles to ensure it's opened with an extra dose of happy! (My girls are holding recent envelopes from my Aunt in this image below!)

Do you Snail Mail? Would you like to? 

Here's 10 things that will leave you inspired and 
ready to send a letter today!

1. Snail Mail can be big or small. This image is from a cute blog called Tiny Things but truly there is no rule of size, weight, contents when it comes to snail mail. There are definitely groups where people have common interests or like to post certain things but it's wonderful to send your first snail mail to people who are already in your life who you know would love to open a colourful envelope or even just to find something in the mailbox with their name on it that is not a bill! We began with my girls posting to their Great Nanna's, something I had done to my own Great Nanna in England when I was around 10 years old. From there I decided I wanted to snail mail again for myself!
I'd love to receive these letters in the mail!

2. A pretty envelope brings a big smile. There are so many amazing snail mailer's out there designing the most beautiful envelopes! This video is a fabulous example of some tips to make something as stunning as this without too much fuss!

3. Stamps can be used over and over again. More environmentally friendly and resourceful than lots of stickers or tapes. Why not try carving some of your own like these ones? My sister in law made me an awesome stamp set by carving them from erasers! She's a bit too clever sometimes! Check out my growing Pinterest board of DIY stamps here

4. In saying that, Washi tape is always a winner. I came across these cute washi tape pencils adorning this envelope on Pinterest and know I have to do this soon! And with places like the dollar store, Kmart and Target now selling decorative washi tapes they're so easy to become addicted to! Speaking of addicted - check out this keyboard!

cute pencil envelopes ༺✿Teresa Restegui http://www.pinterest.com/teretegui/✿༻

5. Origami can make a letter memorable. Or perhaps bring back a high school memory! Try folding your letters like these ones here and you'll be taken back to the days in the classroom passing notes in no time! Why not pick one of your high school girlfriends and send her one of these!

how to fold origami notes for valentines day like you did in junior high and middle school

6. Typography is your friend when it comes to snail mail. It can brighten up a letter so easily and make such a difference to your letter/package! Here's some fabulous ways to address an envelope!
Addressing an Envelope the Fun Way!

7. Cute additions are popular with snail mailers. Think washi tape samplers, restaurant cards/coasters, post it notes and stickers. And so many more things too! Often just a small, simple treasure that demonstrates a little about who you are or where you're from can become a treasured keepsake for your penpal.

8. Ask questions. You want to keep the conversation going, so ask your penpal some questions about themselves, their family, town, country or passions. Here's some fun questions that could be added into your next snail mail letter.

9. Paint it if you can. The wonderful Naomi from Naomi Loves is an avid snail mailer and sends the most delightful packages. I should know - we've been thrilled to receive a couple now and my girls were particularly chuffed to get their own hand painted envelopes this time too! Start simple but using paints on envelopes brings some added uniqueness to your recipients mail box!

10. Enjoy it! The feeling of receiving a parcel, letter or postcard is truly second to none! My girls are constantly quizzing me over the contents of our mailbox each time I collect the mail. Hoping for something exciting, yet they're also distinctly aware that snail mail is a little give and a little get. And they're super willing to participate and now have a few pen friends across the globe!

I'd love to know what your best snail mail memory is? I'm hoping we've all got one!

And if you would like to receive something from myself and my girls in the post please send me a quick email to justfordaisy11(at)gmail(dot)com and I would LOVE to send you something to make you open your mailbox and SMILE!!! Perhaps it will kick start your own snail mail journey - or reignite an old flame!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Do you wanna build a snowman?

We had a lovely time at a birthday party for one of Miss Daisy's school friends this weekend. It was a Frozen themed party so the guests were invited to dress up!

The girls were easily dressed with their Elsa and Anna dresses, well worn from a years worth of love! I figured we may as well dress our little lion cub up too - so made a cute little Olaf outfit the morning of the party!

The outfit consisted of:
- a bonds white wonder suit 
- a short sleeved body suit with 3 felt circles sewn on
- a cute white beanie hat with felt 'sticks' out the top. I made the beanie using this pattern but without the knot part :)

Simple but it certainly had everyone oooing and ahhing over such a cute little snowman!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

You Have Cancer...

Three words. Three life changing, jaw dropping, pain inducing words. You. Have. Cancer.
But who delivers those words to a one year old?

My beautiful blogging friend Katey heard those words in February this year. Not about herself but for her little boy Finlay. And from there her world and that of her family was turned upside down.
Finlay was diagnosed with stage 4 hepatoblastoma. A rare form of childhood cancer.

Here's a little information about it from The Kids' Cancer Project.

Today Finlay is in a surgery that is expected to take 8 hours... And take most of his liver and diaphragm.
I know Katey is strong. But I find it hard to imagine how those 8 hours would feel.

Katey and I are part of a wonderful group of Aussie Bloggers who have become like a little family. And earlier in the year we came together and gave what we could to contribute to Finlay's Go Fund Me to support Finlay and his family financially through this difficult time.

Now as he continues with his treatment and surgery we decided to jump on board with something Ellen Degeneres started with the hashtag #justkeepdancing and we are dancing for Finlay! In support of him. To acknowledge his courage. To show we care. And to ask you to join us!

Kid's Cancer research plays a vital role in getting the right treatments for children. I was amazed to speak with The Kids' Cancer Project and realise just how much Australia is lacking when it comes to children's cancer treatment and research. Funds are needed to continue this research and to fight for chlidren like Finlay who deserve to have the treatments they need.

So without further ado... here is our little dance for Finlay! :) Keep fighting little fair haired hero!

Note: (I prewrote this post and hoped to insert a video of my girls upon editing it this morning. For a whole number of reasons that wasn't possible. So here's the baby and I dancing instead!)

See some of my fabulous blogging friends dancing for Finlay by clicking through to:

- The superheros at Living Loving Laughing
- Ribbon Wands at The Craft Train
- Dancing and shaking with Octavia and Vicky
- Paging Fun Mums share some insight into childhood cancer
- Picklebums shares 10 kid friendly songs to get you grooving!
- From the heart with Kate from Mee Too
- Just keep dancing with Childhood 101
- 10 Dancing Picture Books from My Little Bookcase

Saturday, June 6, 2015

My child, my teacher

This girl is determined, patient, levelheaded and kind. She does not get phased by her baby brother crying. She soothes him, entertains him and tends to his needs. 

She is not usually troubled by her little sister joining in on her fun. She makes room, she giggles and she shares her treasures with the one who looks up to her as though she has all the knowledge and wisdom in the world. 

This girl has a heart for others that surpasses most 'older' people I know. She is empathetic to others needs and feelings and meets those needs where she can. 

She schools me. She gently rebukes me. And she doesn't have to say a word. 

I love watching her grow. I love seeing her personality develop. Most of all I love that even in all my imperfections I have not ruined her yet!! She is my sidekick, my helper and my anchor in the day. 

She is a safe place for her siblings to rest if mummy is busy. She will watch over them and fill needs as she sees them.

My heart aches as I dream upon her future. As I hope above hopes that friendships, relationships, health and life's progressions do not take away this amazing countenance that she possesses at such a tender age. 

I have hope for her future. 
I have confidence for her future. 
I am insanely proud of her. 
I am fiercely protective of her. 
And I am humbled to be her mother.