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Month: March 2017

Local Legend: Polly from Piccolo & Peony

Local Legend: Polly from Piccolo & Peony

Flowers. We all love to give them, and squeal with delight when we receive them. Finding a great florist is a little bit like trying to find a great hair dresser. You want great service, great products and great value. They are often hard to find, but when you do, you stick with them for life! If you haven’t already heard about this next little business that I’m sharing as part of my local legends series, then you had better make a cuppa and read on. Last year, I came across Piccolo & Peony as I scrolled through my Instagram feed. The concept was simple. A simple, but oh so beautiful piccolo (bouquet) of flowers created each day. By 9am, they  upload the day’s piccolo on their website as well as Instagram and Facebook page. Orders are taken until 12 noon Melbourne time, or until the piccolos have sold out and deliver them to their recipients in the early afternoon. For a very humble price, they were delivered to the door of your choosing. Delivery was, wait, included! Such a great idea, and one that has taken off! So it’s with great pleasure that today, we share the love and story behind this business as we meet it’s founder, Polly!

(p.s. stay tuned to the end and you can order your own piccolo for a great discount! Just for Happy Ella After readers!)

Here are some of my favourites from their past piccolo offerings!


  1. Tell us a bit about your business, your dream, your story

Piccolo & Peony came about for two very special reasons – the love of freshly cut flowers and the enjoyment I get from showing someone I care.

Piccolo & Peony is owned and operated by Polly, a mother of three and former primary school teacher who has in recent years discovered her love for flowers, interior design and all things pretty!

Piccolo & Peony is a small and unique flower business delivering simple bouquets (piccolos) to the inner suburbs of Melbourne for just $33.

Whatever the occasion – to say thank you, I love you, Happy Birthday, congratulations or just to brighten someone’s day (even if that someone is yourself) we are up early to source the best and freshest seasonal blooms available from wholesale markets and local growers in order to create your unique piccolo.

By 9am, we will upload the day’s piccolo on our website as well as our Instagram and Facebook page and email our newsletter subscribers.

We will take orders until 12 noon  Melbourne time, or until our piccolos have sold out and deliver them to their recipients in the early afternoon.

I dream of being able to share my love of flowers with others and bring joy to the recipients and a wonderful customer experience to the senders.

2. Magic: What is the most magical thing that has happened to you as a small business owner?

I think the most magical thing I have found when starting a small business if the community of other small businesses who support and celebrate your successes, even the really small ones. The encouragement and willingness to offer support has been a really lovely surprise and really validated my decision to start Piccolo & Peony.

Polly and her gorgeous family

 

3. Mayhem: What has been your greatest challenge, moment of mayhem?

As a Mum to three little ones I have at times found the juggle between family life and early morning market runs and the dining room table being full of flowers challenging. My family is extremely supportive and are my biggest cheer squad and I really could not do this without them.

 4. Milestone: What has been your greatest achievement, milestone?

My continued support and following on social media has been so encouraging, however I think the most rewarding thing about Piccolo & Peony is seeing repeat customers use my service to deliver beautiful blooms to their friends and loved ones.

5. Pay it Forward: Who do you love? What small business are you lusting over right now?

I am really loving Pure Home Body @purehomebody at the moment. They sell eco and health friendly home cleaning and body care products.

I also love @cinquecandles – they create my custom made candles – which smell AMAZING. Elisa is very professional and so good at what she does!

This is the incredible piccolo that was delivered to my home last week. So beautiful, and in it’s own vase! So if you’d love to order your own little piccolo today, then you are in luck! Each follower can get 30% off their first order with the code PICCOLOANDPEONY30. It can be used STORE WIDE! Head to www.piccoloandpeony.com.au/ to support this local gem!

Fast & Healthy Mid Week Meals

Fast & Healthy Mid Week Meals

 This post is sponsored by Weight Watchers but all thoughts and opinions including meal suggestions are my own.

I’ve always been someone who has been super busy. When school heads back each year I’m swamped not only with work demands, but extra-curricular activities for the kids, appointments, washing, cleaning…the list goes on. In recent times my husband and I have really tried to focus on cooking quick and healthy meals for our family. Like everyone I guess, we do our best to keep a balance, but sometimes it’s just so hard to cook after we get home from work. So when I was asked to try out the newly re-launched frozen meal range from Weight Watchers (www.wowfrozenmeals.com.au), I jumped at the chance!

Weight Watchers

I have to admit that I’ve never really needed to diet, but since turning 30, the need to ‘watch’ what I’m eating has really changed the way my body reacts to food. Since becoming a Mum, I have also really struggled to eat well during the day, as I’m so busy.

Dinner is usually my one main meal and so I want it to be quick, easy but also healthy if possible! So I was intrigued and interested to see what the Weight Watchers frozen meal range was really like.

Would the meals taste like they look? I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised.

Their new three tier range of meals (Light, Classic and Gourmet) are designed to include the perfect combination of wholesome and nutritious ingredients, flavour and balance as well as provide the option modern and traditional meals that are convenient and easy to eat.

Dan and I have talked about the need to ensure that our portions are right. No more piling food up on the plate! These meals are perfectly portioned to ensure that you are eating not just the right thing, but the right amount.

The three meals I chose to try are:

Honey Soy Noodles from the Light Menu range. Asian style food is my favourite and this meal is great for lunch or a light meal. A great alternative for working days!

Pumpkin and Ricotta Cannelloni from the Classic Menu. I adore pumpkin, but my hubby doesn’t, so this meal is perfect for days when I am cooking just for myself if he is out.

Weight Watchers

Moroccan Chicken and Pearl Couscous from the Gourmet Range. We have loved cooking couscous lately as an alternative to other carbohydrates. I love couscous, especially the pearl variety!

I have to say that the best thing about these meals was the flavour. At approximately $6.50 each, the price is fantastic too.

Weight Watchers

If you are after quick meals for yourself, but want to ensure that you watch your portion sizes then I can highly recommend the new Weight Watchers Frozen Meal range (www.wowfrozenmeals.com.au)

Available at supermarkets across Australia!

An awesome giveaway with The Gro Company Australia!

An awesome giveaway with The Gro Company Australia!

We loooorve everything from the Gro Company! From their famous sleeping bags, to their Gro Clock, their products literally save our lives!  To celebrate the launch of The Gro Company new Australian website (click here!) we have teamed up with this company to give one lucky follower the chance to win a hamper of their goodies valued at almost $500! It includes:

Insect Shield Grobag – 0.5tog – $59.95
Orla Kiely Grobag – 2.5tog – $84.95
Orla Kiely Swaddle Grobag – Owl Newborn, Light – $44.95
Grohush $49.95
Groegg $49.95
Groclock $59.95
Carrie Cat Breathable Grofriend $19.95
Gertie Guinea Pig Flat Comforter $16.95
Giraffe Teether Comforter – $19.95
Have a Giraffe Groswaddle $24.95
Be A Dazzler Grosuit – 6-9 months $27.95
Muslin 3 Pack – $44.95

Total Value $496.40

The perfect prize for a new Mum, or Mum to be!

To enter, it’s simple!

Head to @happyellaafter on Instagram here. 
1. Follow @happyellaafter & @thegrowcompanyaus
2. Like this pic
3. Tag two friends (no comp accounts please).

Open to Australian Residents only.

T’s & C’s & Stuff
Comp opens Monday 27th March @ 9pm AEDST and closes Wed 29th March @ 9pm AEST.
One entry per person (no comp accounts please)
To see the entire list of what is included, head over to my blog (link in profile).
This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Instagram. By entering you are confirming that your are 18+ years of age, and release Instagram of any and all responsibility and agree to their terms of use!

GOOD LUCK!

 

 

And then she was five.

And then she was five.

Somehow, a few weeks ago, our Ella turned five. Five years old. In some ways it seems like a small number. However in my eyes, five years feels like my who life. How did we ever ‘be’ before our Ella? Before this little princess was born into this world, into our life? As a parent, when your babies are new, people tell you over and over to enjoy the time as it goes too fast. At the time, in the midst of feeling through the fog, you nod and smile without really understanding the gravity of it all. Fast forward five years and our little baby has grown into a girl. A beautiful soul who we love and adore. Who has, just these past few weeks showed us a new, courageous side to her personality. One where shyness steps aside to reveal a confident and capable girl who will no doubt, take on the world.

The thing is, I remember turning five vividly. I remember feeling so excited about having a party to celebrate being five years old. It made me think about the fact that Ella will now remember these times as an adult. She will remember the feeling, the happiness, the joy of being a child. Of celebrating with family. Turning five is a big milestone.  These really are the times to cherish.

So we gathered a few close family and friends in our local Harleston Park to celebrate the occasion a few weeks back. Celebrating birthdays at local parks is something that I love doing. Enjoying being outside, playing. enjoying each others’ company. If you are lcuky enough to live in the Caulfield area in Melbourne, then you may or may not know about this gem of a park. It not only has a fabulous park, but a man made water creek where kids can dip their feet and play. I hired the rotunda and we brought some delicious treats made with love from local businesses including cookies by Frosted By Nicci and our cake by Nerida’s cakes. We also had facepainting again by the incredible, and oh so affordable Jenny from Little Sparks entertainment. Ella squealed with delight as she ran around in her gorgeously gold dress, brought home from Japan by her Dad on his recent trip. She smiled from ear to ear as she had her face painted with her kinder friends.

Here are some precious snaps of her celebration!

Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Waiting to wake up….
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Lucky Girl!
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
I’m FIVE!
Happy Ella After 5th Birthday Paw Patrol
The cake! By @Nerida’s Cakes
paw patrol cookies
THE most amazing cookies ever by @frostedbyNicci
Dog bone anyone? Created by my amazing friend Kelly!
Face Painting
Jenny from Little Sparks, adding a touch of sparkle to little one’s faces!
My best mate and I will adore watching our children grow up together!
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
My beautiful family
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Dancing Buddies: Big Ella & Little Ella
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Cray Cray
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Mates forever!
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Cuddles
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Korber Girls x
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Daddy’s Princess
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Aunty Monga!
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Our Birthday Girl
Happy Ella After 5th Bithday
Such a great day!

Ella darling, I hope you feel loved and full of joy. You are such a kind, generous and giving soul. You always want to help others and do the right thing. We hope that your continue to grow to love who your are, find your passions and know that you can do anything!

Love Mum