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Friday Finds: Last Minute Gifts made by the Kids!

Friday Finds: Last Minute Gifts made by the Kids!

If you are anything like me, things have just gotten away from you this Christmas! I normally send cards out, bake treats and generally have things to give to others! This year, a combination of work, having a toddler and being pregnant has meant that I’ve had no time to do any of these things (sorry friends and family). Lucky though, Pinterest saves the day with loads of little last minute gifts that can be made by the kids! I love the idea of giving Christmas ornaments to family and friends, as they bring them out each year and remember how little and precious our kids once were!

Here are a few of my favourites…

Salt dough hand print ornaments! Capture those tiny hands. Click on the link for the recipe!


Decorations made from pipe cleaners, beads and other odds and sodds..


Button Christmas Trees – cute as a button 🙂


Hand print Snowmen –  in Australia we can only dream!


Scrabble ornaments just for Grandparents!


and my all time favourite…polystyrene sequined balls. This is something I made with my students each year. They take forever, but if you have kids old enough, you will appreciate this and relish the peace! (just make sure you have enough pins!)


With only 4 sleeps to go, hopefully some of these ideas will save the day for you!

For my Christmas inspiration, follow my Christmas Wonderland Pinterest Board here.


*Each image is linked to it’s original Pinterest source.

Friday Find: Christmas @ Cupcake Occasion

Friday Find: Christmas @ Cupcake Occasion

This week’s Friday Find is short and sweet. Very sweet. I was chatting with some great friends in my Mothers’ Group this week about what we were giving our kids’ daycare teachers for a Christmas Gift. With the benefit of being a teacher myself, I could tell them that we really do appreciate anything. It might sound cliché, but the thought really does make us smile. That said, Ella has quite a few teachers coming in and out of her room, and I wanted to make sure that we thanked them all. So I decided to this year, enlist the help of Jodie from Cupcake Occasion. Cupcake Occasion began as her passion and has now grown into a business that is high in demand. Cupcakes of every flavour that are decorated in any way you can imagine. Her Christmas range is just gorgeous and perfect for a group of people, or staff to share.

I’ve decided to give Ella’s Day Care teachers the ‘Joy’ box below. Gorgeous cupcakes that are almost too cute to eat! 25 mini cupcakes @ $65.

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I also love these gorgeous Santa cupcakes – 12 regular @ $65

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Or Chrissie Cookies may be your thing? 6 for $20 or 12 for $40

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or finally, you can’t go past this awesome Gingerbread House – $70

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You can contact Jodie @ Cupcake Occasion here. You can also follow her gorgeous creations on Facebook here. With Christmas around the corner…get in quick!


Oh Christmas Tree…

Oh Christmas Tree…

As we get closer and closer to Christmas, and the silly season starts to take real flight, there is nothing that makes me happier than filling our house with beautiful Christmas decorations. Ever since being a kid, I have loved bringing out the same decorations each year, finding the perfect tree and lighting up our home with Christmas cheer. Needless to say, there are some times during this process that the happiness is tested. Normally this comes in the form of Dan and myself yelling at the Christmas tree stand, as it fails to hold up our real tree. Each year, this seems to happen and we were not disappointed in 2013 when it took us over an hour to screw the bolts in tight enough so that the tree would not fall over. 6 days later, the tree is still standing, so I think (touch wood), we are safe.

Christmas is obviously made so much more special with little ones around, and this year Ella seems to have an idea that this time of year is special. Her efforts at calling everything “Chrisas” indicate that she has a clue. She makes this time so joyous and its even more special knowing that this time next year, she will have a little brother or sister to share it with.

I thought I’d share a few of my favourite decorations that make our house feel, smell and look so festive. It’s just the most wonderful time of the year….

Each year, it is a Sherlock tradition to get a real tree. Nothing beats the beautiful smell. We have a red and silver theme happening and I just love it!


Whilst in NYC on our honeymoon three years ago, I bought some special silver star and snowflake decorations from Macy’s and Bryant Park. It’s so lovely bringing them out each year and remembering that awesome trip!


To celebrate Ella’s first Christmas last year, I couldn’t go past this gorgeous personalised bauble…


For our wedding day, one of our guests clearly knew me well and gave us this beautiful Waterford Christmas bauble. It sparkles so much at night…


Probably my favourite would have to be our mantle piece, and the gorgeous Pottery Barn Kids stockings that I got last year. It’s my ode to a White Christmas, even though it is summer here in Australia!. Our dog Lloyd even has his own. Next year, there will be another one hanging on the ledge…


I was given this beautiful minature wooden tree a few years ago. Each tiny wooden figurine dangles in the sun. Ella loves to tap each one as it sits on our side table in the entrance…


And finally, when I first moved out of home eleven years ago, my little sister gave me this metal Santa Claus. I love his rustic feel and brings back so many memories of celebrating Christmas in all the places I’ve lived since moving out of home.


I would love to see how you decorate your own homes. Feel free to share your own special photos on our Happy Ella After Facebook page here.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!



A Christmas Giveaway / Pampering for Mums!

A Christmas Giveaway / Pampering for Mums!

1070071_427405380708504_1756099497_nChristmas is a crazy busy time for Mums and Dads. We are all thinking about spoiling our children and families, and don’t have much time to stop and think about taking care of ourselves! Bharti from Balancing Mind and Body is wanting to do just that, by offering one lucky Happy Ella After reader the chance to win their choice of:

One 60 minute treatment of:

  • Remedial & Deep Tissue Massage
  • Indian Head Massage
  • Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
  • Advanced Reflexology
  • Ear Candling to include Indian Head Massage
  • Reiki
  • Ayurvedic Face-Lift Massage
  • Fertility and Pregnancy Support
  • Hot Stones Massage

or alternatively, the fabulous

  •  90mins of Pregnancy Bliss Package:  Massage/Indian Head Massage/ Reflexology

This wonderful prize is just what many of you need at this time of year! If you read my Friday Find post last week, you will know that I was lucky enough to experience a Pregnancy Massage and Indian Head Massage. It was wonderful and relaxing. If you feel that this is something that you, a family member or friend would love then this is the competition for you!

Entrants need to enter via the link below. Terms and Conditions are available on this link. This competition is open to Australian Residents Only. It will open at 9am AEDST and close next Monday 16th December at 6pm AEDST. The winner will be announced on the blog the following day.

Enter the Balancing Mind and Body Giveaway HERE.

Best of luck!


Friday Finds: Ella & Kate’s Christmas wish list!

Friday Finds: Ella & Kate’s Christmas wish list!

This Friday Find is epic! I have trawled the internet for all of the beautiful things that I think Ella would want for Christmas (if she could tell me that is!). Needless to say, most of the items I have chosen for her are a little girly…so apologies in advance for the lack of masculinity! I’ve also decided that Mums need to ‘wish’ as well, and have put together my Christmas wish list of all of the beautiful things that I would love under the Christmas tree. Even one would be lovely (hint, hint Dan….).

In 2013, I have been lucky enough to have been sent some beautiful products to try and test for review. Many of these products are featured on our Christmas wish list. I’ve tried to stick to products that are affordable and fun and include toys, clothes and homewares. I’ve listed the items below and included links to all of the gorgeous products so that you can buy them easily if you so choose!

Let’s start with Ella….

Ella’s Christmas Wish List

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1. Top Left: Country Road Bow Detail Dress: $49.95. Purchase via their online store here.

2. Top Middle: Spot’s First Christmas. $7.95. Purchase via amazon here.

3. Top Right: Victorian Dolls House with 6 rooms of furniture. $119. Purchase via ebay here.

4. Middle left: Kapow Kids Royal ‘T’. $27.95. Purchase via their online shop here.

5. Middle: The Kidstore Christmas Dolls. $15 each. Purchase via their online shop here.

6. Middle Right. Explore & Learn Wooden Shape Threading. $15.50. 25% from Sunday 1st December for 1 week. Purchase via their online shop here.

7. Bottom Left. Cocoon Couture Bean Bags @ Cotton on Kids. $41.96. Purchase via their online shop here. 

8. Bottom Middle. Sapling Child Cross my heart dress. $34.95. Purchase via their online shop here. 

9. Bottom Right. Cotton on Kids summer range. A range of prices. Currently 30% off. Purchase via their online shop here.

Now for Mummy’s Turn…

Kate’s Christmas Wish List

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1. Top Left: Mor Candied Vanilla Almond Scented Candle. $39.95. Purchase via their online store here.

2. Top Middle. Jelly Beans ‘The Lionel’ Sandles. $34.95. Purchase via their online store here.

3. Top Right. Witchery Leopard Print T Shirt. $49.95. Purchase via their online store here.

4. Middle Left. Sunglass Hut. Prada Sunglasses. $395. Purchase via their online store here.

5. Middle. Mimco Lucid Baby Bag. $249. Purchase via their online store here. 

6. Middle Right. Country Road Dante Stacking Boxes. Set of 2. $69.95. Available @ Country Road Melbourne Central.

7. Bottom Left. Seed Heritage Fan Leaf Maxi. $129.95. Purchase via their online store here.

8. Bottom Middle. Chloe Tote Bag (designed by myself) via The Bag Department. $350. Design your own bag via their website here. 

9. Bottom Right. ‘La Beleine’ Print via Galerie Montmartre Vintage Posters. This item is a real wish at $2200, but given the fact that we are going to renovate soon, maybe it can be a gift over a few years??? I spotted this print at the Design Files Open house in Melbourne last weekend. Just gorgeous. You can purchase and view others via their online site here.

So there you have it. A whole lot of wishes, but really…all I care about is having a lovely Christmas with my family. Health and happiness for all.

Happy Shopping!


And the winner of our Explore & Learn Giveaway is….

And the winner of our Explore & Learn Giveaway is….

Congratulations to….

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Thanks to all for entering this fantastic giveaway! A huge thanks also to Janette from Explore & Learn. Beautiful toys at an affordable price this Christmas!

She also wanted to let Happy Ella After readers know that for a week from this Sunday 1st December, she is offering 25% off store wide, with reduced shipping rates! A fabulous way to save money this Christmas!


Check out


Friday Finds: Mathilda’s Christmas Market

Friday Finds: Mathilda’s Christmas Market

mm_logoLast year I blogged about the fabulous Mathilda’s Market! This Sunday, they are holding their annual Christmas Market at Caulfield Racecourse. For any parent who simply loves beautiful, stylish and affordable toys, nursery items, clothing and manchester, then this is the market for you. Over a hundred stalls of mostly handmade products, from bibs, to wooden instruments, framed prints and bamboo sheets, the range at this market will please any fussy parent. I have been over the past two years and each time, I have found precious new things to adorn Ella’s room.

This year, some of the items I will be looking out for are:

These beautiful wall stickers from ‘Beautiful Online Boutique



These gorgeous personalised aprons from ‘Marybelle’s Co


and finally, these unique letter ‘toy bins’ from Little Big Designs


With thousands more on show, be sure to get on down to the market this weekend!  Best of all you will be shopping local, and supporting families!


Happy Christmas Shopping!