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Month: July 2013

Win a pair of Walnut kids shoes!

Win a pair of Walnut kids shoes!

If you have been reading my blog of late, you will know that I’m a huge fan of Walnut shoes. Designed in Melbourne, they sell super stylish, comfortable and practical shoes for kids. They even make gorgeous shoes for gorgeous Mums. What’s best about their kids shoes are the fact that they are sturdy and stay on!!! Walnut shoes was created to supply Aussie families with an alternative to the expensive European brands that grace our shelves. They are currently stocked at David Jones and other stylish stockists around Australia.

I recently braved the cold, and waited in a rather long line of equally ‘walnut obsessed’ Mummies to attend their warehouse sale in Melbourne. With kids shoes @ $10 a pop…you couldn’t go wrong! They normally retail for $29.95. I had to restrain myself to only purchasing four pairs, but there were loads of Mums who walked out with entire bags full! I even stocked up in bigger sizes for the future…

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Well after speaking with this fantastic team of women, and sharing my love of their shoes with you via this blog, the girls @ Walnut have generously offered one of our readers the chance to win your own pair of Walnut shoes for your little one! At Happy Ella After, we love supporting local businesses. As a fellow Melbournite, its great to be able to promote a company that creates great products for kids, and supports the local economy. You will have the chance to choose one pair of your favourite Walnut treads from the following styles (each image is linked to the Walnut website):

Canvas Charlie Cruise

Charlie cruise group

Ben Velcro (boys)

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Mary Jane (girls)

Mary Jane group

Tom tennis (unisex)

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What a fabulous giveaway! Ella has ten pairs of these fantastic shoes. You will love them so much and so will your little one!

This time, there are a few ways to enter this competition. All entrants must use the link below to enter. Entrants can earn points for each different type of entry they make via the link. This includes:

  • Liking the Happy Ella After Facebook Page
  • Liking the Walnut Melbourne Facebook Page
  • Making a comment underneath this post. All you need to do is tell us about your favourite Walnut style! If you choose to do this, you need to ensure that you both post your comment on this page, and then tick you have done this via the link below.
  • Tweet about the Giveaway by including: ‘Win a pair of Walnut Shoes with Happy Ella After’s Giveaway! My favourite pair is….’ and insert your favourite pair in the comment

You can choose one form of entry, or you can do all of them! The more you do, the more chances you have of winning! Once again, any existing ‘likers’ of either FB page can enter. You just need to follow the link.

This competition will be open from 12am on Monday 29th July and will close on Wednesday 7th August at 12am AEST. A winner will be announced on Wednesday 7th August. Please note that this competition is open to Australian Residents only.

To enter this comp, please visit the link below. All entrants agree to the T&C’s listed on the link.

WALNUT SHOE COMPETITION – ENTER HERE

Good Luck!!!

kate

We are so lucky to live where we do…

We are so lucky to live where we do…

logoWell it has been one bizarre week in the Korber household. With Ella recovering from a recent bout of croup and a double ear infection, we thought that things were looking up and our little girl was on the mend. Sleepless nights were becoming (a little) more manageable, and whilst she was still sleeping in our bed most nights, we were happy that our little girl was looking healthier. That was, until Thursday rolled around when we got quite a scare…

The day panned out like this. I dropped Ella off to Mums and headed to work like I normally do. At 10am I received a phone call from Mum to tell me that Ella had broken out in welts. She thought I should come home so we could take Ella to the doctor right away. You see, my Mum is a nurse and given the fact that we were never allowed to have a day off from school, I knew that if my Mum called me to come home, then something must not be right. What I was confronted with was nothing short of scary. Ella had broken out in what looked like an anaphylactic reaction…huge blotches and swelling all over her body. Mum said that she was going to send me a photo, but I’m sure glad she didn’t. As a Primary teachers, we are trained each year in treating students who have anaphylactic reactions. This instantly reminded me of this and all I could think about was getting Ella to the hospital as soon as we could. Lucky enough, Mum lives only ten minutes from the Royal Childrens’ Hospital in Melbourne. So we rushed into to be seen within a few minutes. The clerks, nurses and doctors can only be described as amazing. Their calmness and care for both Ella, myself and my Mum was truly sensational. Lucky for us, Ella’s reaction was not life threatening, and looked a lot worse than it actually was. After a thorough screening, we were sent home with medication and advice on managing her comfort. On the way out, Ella loved looking at the huge aquarium that now adorns the walls of the newly built hospital…a god send for both sick children and their worrying parents. Ella proceeded to get better throughout the day, with the swelling subsiding by night.

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The next morning was a different story.  If you can imagine a boxer after a long fight, then you can almost visualise what I was confronted with when I brought Ella out of my room. Her entire face had swollen to the point where her eyes had virtually closed over. My poor little girl became unrecognisable. We instantly raced back into the hospital where we were greeted with the same care and concern, helping Ella with her symptoms and easing her pain. Things were not made easier by the fact that by this stage both myself and Ella’s Dad had both come down with Gastro, so the explanation of a virus spreading through the Korber household seemed to make sense. It was just unbelievable that Ella’s little body could react in such an extreme way. Once again however, it was great to be reassured that it was not life threatening, and after a while we were sent home to rest. We are so lucky that this is just a virus and that she will be fine.

I write this blog to share moments in our life as we grow as a family, and I am aware that this has meant that as a blogger, you tend to ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’ so to speak. I feel that there is a fine line between what you share with the world and what you keep private. Whilst I want to share this story, I have purposely not posted any photos as I think that is respectful to Ella. The doctors did ask me if we took some snaps for ‘prosperity’ to show her in the future. We did indeed do this and will share them with her in the future. I’m sure that my explanations above have been sufficient enough to give you an idea of what we encountered over the past few days.

It was certainly a scary moment in time for both Ella’s Dad and myself, but we cannot explain how eternally grateful we are that we live in a city with access to such an amazing hospital and staff who are passionate about caring for sick children. I can only imagine the things that they are confronted with day in and day out. It takes a different kind of person to deal with sick kids and their scared parents. We are so lucky to have access to quick and expert care for our kids. I wish all families in the world lived in areas where they too could benefit from equal care and support to comfort them in equally scary times.

Each year on Good Friday, Victoria holds an appeal to raise money for the Royal Childrens’ Hospital. This hospital has been recently completely rebuilt and whilst it houses an aquarium, meer kat enclosure and film theatre, we also hope that it is a place that no family actually has to visit. Let’s just say that whilst our little trip to the RCH was thankfully fleeting, this thankful Mum will be digging a little deeper to ‘give that they may grow’ next year. We are truly so lucky that we live where we do…

kate

*The above images are taken from the Royal Childrens’ Hospital Melbourne Website.

Friday Finds: Cavalia

Friday Finds: Cavalia

CavaliaOn Wednesday I was fortunate enough to have been invited along to a media preview of Cavalia. It was an exciting morning to say the least, with a bustling crowd of media representatives and cameras, all waiting to catch a glimpse of this new spectacular show. I was buzzing with excitement as I sat in the front row, along with other ‘Mummy Bloggers’ from Melbourne. It was a great idea to invite us along, and there were many children who had been brought along to enjoy the show.

Cavalia is a fresh mix of equestrian and performing arts, multimedia and special effects. Conceived by Normand Latourelle and often labelled an equestrian ballet, Cavalia is a spectacular and moving tribute to the relationship between human and horses throughout history, a dream of freedom, cooperation and harmony. In a fairy tale setting filled with poetry and emotion, the show innovatively integrates acrobatics, dance, aerial stunts, live music and equestrian arts. Under the White Big Top, a 50-metre stage permits the horses to express themselves in all their splendour, nobility and strength, often completely free.

The Big Top under which Cavalia presents its marvellous procession accommodates up to 2,000 spectators. The impression is that of a majestic white cathedral or a fabulous castle, its four towers extending 99 feet high. On a 164 metre wide playground, which allows for and protects their freedom of movement, the horses express themselves with grace and power, while interacting playfully with the artists.

Cavalia features 48 horses hailing from Canada, Europe, Australia and the USA and 36 riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians from around the world. Under a 35-metre-tall tent, the two and four-legged performers share the colossal 50-metre-wide stage in front of a constantly changing 60-metre-wide digital screen, drawing spectators into a dream-like world.

Touted by TODAY`s Richard Wilkins as “the most brilliant production imaginable”, Cavalia wowed audiences and critics alike in Brisbane and Sydney. Starting July 24, the third Australian leg for the multi-disciplinary spectacular created by Normand Latourelle – one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil – will kick off under the White Big Top at The Docklands. Following Melbourne, the Canadian-based troupe will travel to South Australia and Western Australia, where opening night is scheduled for October 16 in Adelaide and for December 18 in Perth.

After seeing various ‘Circ du Soleil’ shows, including the spectacular and mesmerising ‘O’ in Las Vegas, I have to say that Cavalier is just beautiful. The horses, the performers, the music, the setting…it’s all so unique and captivating. A wonderful show to take the entire family…you will have a wonderful time together and will be talking about it for years to come. I cannot recommend it more highly.

Here are some beautiful moments from the show. Being in the front row, it felt almost as though I was in the show itself…

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The connection between the performers and the horses was amazing…

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Amazing precision…

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You can sense the utter love and respect for these creatures…

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Gorgeous…

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And finally, a glimpse of the show in video…

TICKETS – For its exclusive season in Melbourne, Cavalia will be presented under its signature White Big Top at The Docklands. Tickets are priced from $44.00 to $164.00 + applicable taxes and fees. For guests who desire an extraordinary outing, the show can be customized for an extended experience from $144.00 to $325.00, including a Horse Lovers Package that lets patrons tour Cavalia’s stables after the show, and the VIP Rendez-Vous Package that includes a post-show tour of the stables, a cocktail/dinner reception and much more. Special pricing is also available for children (2-12), juniors (13-17), senior citizens (65+) and for groups.  Tickets are on sale atwww.cavalia.com.au or by calling 1800-765-955.

kate

And the winner of our Casetagram Comp is…

And the winner of our Casetagram Comp is…

veronica

Congratulations to Veronica! We cannot wait to see the beautiful phone case that you design! We would like to thank Casetagram for their fantastic giveaway. We hope that many more of you create your own phone cases through their gorgeous phone app. Look at this gorgeous one that I created with some of my super cute Instagram pics…

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Stay tuned for another great Happy Ella After giveaway next week….

kate

# A Prince is born!

# A Prince is born!

its_a_boy_text_design_with_blue_crown_placemat-r6618d80256fd44809b6cfe398aedc2dc_2cfku_8byvr_324It was lovely and exciting to wake up this morning to the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka Wills & Kate have given birth to a boy, a little Prince. It’s been Royal Baby fever for 9 months, but can only be described as a circus in the last few days, with hashtags galore flying around Twitter and cyberspace. A ‘post’ about the Royal Baby’s impending birth was not complete without a ‘#royalbabywatch’, ‘#princeorprincess’ or even ‘#pushkatepush’ in the last few days!

What an amazingly different world this little boy has been born into. In some ways, he is born into great tradition and history. So many aspects to his life that have already been set in stone. Growing up ‘Royal Baby’ is not your average run of the mill upbringing! In other ways, however, his life is very different to those royals before him. The world of social media, as this blog owes its’ thanks, is a new frontier, and within seconds of his birth into the world, the entire world knew. Messages of congratulations, well wishes, images, cartoons and hashtags alike have instantly appeared on Facebook walls, Instagram and Twitter feeds, and online Imagenewspapers. It’s comforting for the world to receive such joyous news so instantly. It’s also comforting to see some traditions remain intact, as a simple scroll announcing the birth was placed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. A lovely touch in a world so consumed with mobile devices and instant gratification.

I wanted to post this today, to mark a historic world occasion in Ella’s life, and help her understand how her world was when she was young. It’s hard to imagine how information and news will change again by the time she grows up to read these posts. This little Prince will inevitably grow up along side Ella in a world where every moment can be instantly captured and shared with anyone, anywhere. Here’s hoping that this little Prince and his parents get some privacy, rest and TLC before their public life as a family begins.

#wishfulthinking #thataintgonnahappen #onecanonlyhope

A huge congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their son. We look forward to learning your name in the days to come.

kate

Friday Finds: Kmart Sleeptime Projector Buddy

Friday Finds: Kmart Sleeptime Projector Buddy

41859162-fIf you read my blog post yesterday, you would know that we haven’t been getting much sleep lately. When Ella was well, however, I invested in a product that changed our lives. I’d seen ‘sleeptime’ toys that light up as a way to help children self settle to sleep and in the middle of the night. A very wise friend of mine suggested that we try this toy as it helped her toddler when she had troubles at three years of age. We tried to give it some time so that we could ‘keep it up our sleeve’ if we ever needed it in the future. Needless to say, the future came faster than we thought. There were several products on the market, however good old Kmart had advertised their own ‘Sleep Time Projector Buddy‘ on the television, and with a $15 price tag….it was a sure thing we thought we’d try.

Well I wish I had purchased it sooner. This buddy comes in a variety of styles…we chose the pink owl for Ella (pink wins every time). With a simple push of a button, its tummy lights up the roof just like a night sky. It’s actually really powerful and bright, very impressive. With three colours and the option to play music (or if you are like us, not play music), this sleep time buddy really has brought us some peace, and helped Ella in the night. She seems to have developed a fear of the dark, so this toy has also helped with that.

A cheap, cute and very practical toy that I would highly recommend to all who are also having sleep issues in the night with toddlers. This video gives you a good insight into how it works:

Hoping that this Friday Find is helpful for you all!

kate

*Image courtesy of Kmart Australia

 

 

There were three in the bed…

There were three in the bed…

co-sleeping-with-kids-300x200We’ve tried so hard to help Ella have good sleep habits over the last year. Routine, self settling, controlled crying…you name it, we’ve done it. Ella really is a great sleeper, and for the first year and a half we thanked our lucky stars. However, with the dreaded winter has come sickness, and with that…all bets are off. I’ve always sympathised with my friends whose children come home from day care with cough after cold after rash. The cycle is endless, as is the resultant sleep problems. Ella has not been in day care until now, and has been with her beautiful Grandmothers. Like all things however, this is no guarantee, and with play group, birthday parties and play dates, germs inevitably spread.

It’s all part and parcel of kids and winter, but for the past two months, Ella has seemed to catch everything. Cold, ear infections, hand, foot and mouth and now croup. The poor little pumpkin has battled with feeling unwell for a while now. She is however, pretty happy during the day and still loves playing and watching her beloved Peppa Pig. However, nights have become a different story in the Korber household, and the good routine, and sleep habits have become a far distant memory. Kids who are sick just want to be close to you, and that means sleeping in your bed. Night after night, its been the same new ‘routine’ for us. Midnight rolls around, she coughs and coughs, cries and cries and she comes in with us. Not to say that this means anyone sleeps. As any parent would know…more bodies in a bed = less sleep for all. It would be so nice if she ‘slept like a baby’ when she came in with us. Because we are both working, invariably, we try to do the ‘thing’ that works the quickest. Normally we have used controlled crying quite successfully, however with her being so sick, it’s not recommended. That leaves little option, and so, we have now succumbed to having Ella sleep with us most nights. As the nursery rhyme goes….there were three in the bed, and the little one said….

A dear friend of mine Kris sent this image to me a little while ago. It made me laugh…its so true..1344565649802_6832509

After another trip to the doctor today, Ella is now on antibiotics. Hopefully this will help get get well, and  we will be able to get back into a better sleep routine some time soon. Here’s hoping that spring comes early, so all babies can get well, and their Mums and Dads can enjoy a little bit of shut eye. One can always dream…..

kate

*Images courtesy of www.mamamia.com.au and www.someecards.com