Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sometimes the simple games are the best


It's funny how you can spend so much money on toys and craft... only to find it's the simplest, cheapest things kids spend the most time playing with!

A week ago, I came across this free Christmas Shadow Match printable at Busy Little Bugs and thought it was adorable!



I printed it out, cut it into squares and started playing it with Sophie.


Half an hour later she was still going all by herself!



And she's played with it almost every day since :)

What do your kids play with the most?


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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Card Colouring with Sophie


Soph helped me with our Christmas cards this year - we got some great colouring in ones through my friend Amy and they were a big hit with Sophie! Ok, I admit it - I loved colouring them too ;)

It was a nice way to personalise our Christmas cards this year, and a nice way for Soph and I to spend some time together while Georgia napped.

Here's how they turned out:




Lovely! 

I take no responsibility for the messages inside though - Sophie asked if she could decide what we would say, and I wrote them word for word, and added a warning message to the back of each envelope:




So Christmas cards are done for the year! 

What are you up to this week?


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Linking up with Jess for the first time!



Credits:

This post isn't sponsored, and all products were purchased by me. if you're keen to check out Amy's cards, you can see more on her Facebook page here :)


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Free "Mummy's Time Out" door hanger printable!


While I love being a mum, sometimes it's nice to have just a few minutes all to yourself.

Today all I want is 15 minutes to catch up on a bit of blog reading, but I just can't seem to find that 15 minutes yet! Maybe this would help ;)



Want one for your house? Head over here and subscribe for my blog updates and it's all yours, for free!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

What I wore: New scarf!




I got this gorgeous new scarf when I went to the Raid My Wardrobe event a few weeks ago.. it was only $5 and I love it :)

I've paired it with a pair of pull on jeans from Kmart ($9 I think) and a plain long black tank I've had for about 10 years.

A simple ponytail, and my usual wedding band and huggie earrings and I'm ready!

Join in! What are you wearing today?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New YouTube channel



I don't know why I decided to delete my original personal YouTube channel, but now that I have I really miss it!

While I LOVE doing my weekly videos over at Beautifully Organised, I need a space where I can chat about things that aren't to do with organising - family stuff, hair, make up, what I'm eating, what I'm reading, just every day stuff that doesn't really fit over at the organising blog :)

If you would like to watch my quick hello video on my new personal channel, click below!




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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cookbook review - Jamie's 15 minute meals




My lovely Mum gave me a copy of Jamie's 15 minute meals the other day!

We gave one of the chicken recipes a try over the weekend, and while it took longer (abut 45 mins), it was so good!

The recipe we tried was Golden Chicken, Braised Greens & Potato Gratin.

Here's Jamie's version:



Here's how it turned out at our house:



I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the greens were! Leek, spinach and peas together - who would have thought?!?

I'm taking the book to my gorgeous friend and dietitian Nicole Barber to get her opinion on the recipes health wise - Jamie mentions in the book that he had a nutrition team working with him, but it can't hurt to see for myself!

We're thinking of trying a recipe every week - if we do, would you like to know how they go?

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Credits:

All pics taken by me - I snapped pics of the book from my iPhone. Jamie, if you're reading this and want me to take the pics down, let me know :)

The links on this page are affiliate ones for Book Depository. I buy my books through them, and if you buy through my links I get a couple of dollars... which I tend to use for blogging, and to buy more books ;)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beautiful photos for your beautiful family

I love taking photos of my kids, even though I’m terrible at it ;)

Mine are always taken on my iPhone and more often than not they’re dark and shadowy, or my girls have those wooden smiles (“Cheeeese!”), which are adorable, but just don’t capture the moment the way I imagine it will when I take the picture.

I want photos that truly capture the essence of my girls’ personalities - Georgia’s cheeky grin and Sophie’s studious looks when they play together. I want to see the real life loveliness when I look at our family photos - where the pictures match the memory I have of that moment, rather than the usual ‘family poses’ I see in almost every one I take.

Photos that show how happy, and bubbly, and cheeky, and funny, and thoughtful, and playful our girls are!

Photos like this:






Gorgeous. These photos are from caraloren.com.au and they are exactly what I’m talking about - they capture those real life family moments and show the true beauty of them.

Cara’s website gallery is full of bright, happy photos of people in real places like parks, beaches, out & about, or at home. She goes beyond traditional portrait styles and weaves her session into the fun times you have together - your weekend away camping, Christmas craft making, a day with Nanna, or that moment when Dad comes home from a trip.. Beautiful.

Her blog is exactly the same - warm and inviting, with beautiful photos and stories of her own life mixed in. It’s a lovely spot to visit when you want to relax for a few minutes and look at something pretty. Look at this adorable day at Taronga Zoo :)

If you’re looking for photos like these for your family, check out Cara’s website here. She shoots Australia wide and her pricing is all inclusive - you get all of your images on disc so you can print as many you want, as often as you want, in any size. Cara even has a FAQ page that covers things I wouldn’t have thought of, like the best times for pregnancy photos or newborn photos and what to wear on the day of your session. Helpful things like that are what really make a difference to me.

Make sure you go over to Cara’s Facebook page and like it - you’ll love her updates :)


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Credits:

I’m so happy to have Cara on board as a sponsor of Marissa Writes A Blog. Her work fits perfectly with what I’m all about - embracing the beauty of everyday family life!


You’ll see me feature Cara’s logo on the sidebar of my blog for the next few months, so when you’re looking to book in photos for your family, just click on the logo button and it will take you straight to her website.

P.S. I think a set of gorgeous family pics will make for some beautiful Christmas presents!



Saturday, November 10, 2012

New hair!




Well, maybe not new hair, but freshly done hair :)

There's always that first few days of "Do I really like it? It feels too different.." but I think it's important to embrace and enjoy change.

Next time I think I'll ask for a bit more natural looking foils and some more light brown thrown in among the blonde, but for now I'm excited about playing with clothes and make up and feeling pretty & girly :)

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

I heart my body

weheartlife.com
There's a beautiful movement happening every year thanks to WeHeartLife.com called 
I HEART MY BODY
I've never seen so many wonderful, positive posts written by real women with real bodies and I LOVE that I'm joining in this year.

These are a few snaps of my body over the last five years.

In that time I had two babies so there have been some significant changes to my body.

Here's what I love about my body:

1.  I have great legs
2. I have beautiful long hair
3. I have a bright, happy face
4. I have pretty hands

Sometimes I forget the things I love about my body, so it's good to write them here. It will remind me to:

Stand tall & stop slouching
Walk & sit gracefully
Moisturise
Look after my hair
Get more sleep
Be proud of myself
Be a healthy role model to my girls

What do you heart about your body?



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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When you're not looking..


Look what happens when your back is turned!

Today I heard Sophie talking quietly in the bathroom while I was putting baby Georgia to bed.. not too worried as toilet training has generally been going really well.

 Then I saw this...

the poor tree..

I went to find Sophie and ask her about it, only to find her innocently doing yoga in the lounge room..

What? No, I was here all the time..

Looks like we'll be doing some sort of toilet paper craft tomorrow!

Luckily, I found some great ideas after searching on Pinterest - check them out here!

Has this ever happened to you? Tell me your worst kids-and-toilet-paper story :)


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Monday, October 8, 2012

How often do you say these things at your house?



So baby Georgia is getting more & more grown up every day!
She's gorgeous (of course!) but I'm finding myself using these phrases on a regular basis:

  • "No touching please, just watching.." (TV)
  • "That's not for eating, that's for playing.." (any toys)
  • "Chairs / beds / lounges are for bottoms, bellies or backs - NOT for standing on.." (furniture)
  • "Foot off the table please" (you guessed it..)
There's a reason we call her Cheeky! Or maybe she's cheeky because we call her that... chicken & egg?

x Marissa

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm going spooky this year..




This year I'm getting into Halloween at our house :)

That's right, Halloween - even though I live in Australia.

I know not everyone thinks we should embrace it, and it's not a tradition over here, blah, blah, blah ;)

I can't lie - I'm in it for the fun factor. The craft with my kids, the dress ups, and maybe, just maybe, a couple of spooky home made treats!

We won't be trick-or-treating though, mainly because my girls are a bit young, the neighbours aren't really into it, and I'd be too tempted to eat Sophie & Georgia's lollies anyway..

I'll be joining in on Dannie's Halloween Blog Hop every Wednesday, so if you want to get spooky with us, you are totally welcome xx

This week I've dressed up my profile pic thanks to Pickmonkey.com!

This is the standard pic I use on almost everything online, especially stuff for Beautifully Organised.

Here's the before:



And here's the after:



Love it!

So tell me, are you doing Halloween this year? Do you think we should in Australia?

x Marissa

Linking up with Dannie!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Thirty Things Challenge



My friend Dorothy at Singular Insanity is currently running The 30 Things Challenge - where we list 30 of our positive qualities.

I LOVE this idea, especially for mums - we spend so much time cramming as much as we can into our day to help out our family that sometimes we forget we are people too - wonderful, kind, beautiful people who should be focusing on ourselves a bit as well :)

So here's my entry - just off the top of my head while baby Georgia sleeps and Sophie is out at the library with her Nan & Pop..

The 30 things challenge: write down thirty of your positive qualities: things that you, or others, like about you.
  1. I'm a really positive, happy person
  2. I help busy mums
  3. I sing and dance with my kids and don't care how silly I look
  4. I'm a good cook
  5. I'm organised
  6. I LOVE my family & friends
  7. I have pretty hair
  8. I manage my time well
  9. I tell my girls (and husband) I love them everyday
  10. I play bad cop well when my girls are naughty
  11. I make amazing muffins
  12. I make making beds fun
  13. I support my local cinema by going to the movies many, many times
  14. I care about people
  15. I love a challenge
  16. I always have a good reason for doing things
  17. I make great tea and coffee
  18. I tell people when they look lovely
  19. I donate to at least 3 charities every year
  20. I'm getting better at saying no, but saying it nicely
  21. I find easier ways to do stuff
  22. I'm creative
  23. I love to read
  24. I make great kids tents out of blankets and chairs
  25. I share what I know and love
  26. I don't stress when my kids watch TV
  27. I'm always learning
  28. I take time for ME without feeling guilty
  29. I appreciate everything the Husband does for us and don't give him a hard time about playing golf ;)
  30. I dress to suit my figure but don't panic if I don't look perfect
What are the things you love about YOU?

Linking up with:
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Credits:

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Moments..




Moments like this make me so happy :)

I just can't believe they're both looking at the camera AND smiling at the same time!

And the bears... so many bears!

Do you have a favourite photo of your kids?


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Saturday, August 11, 2012

My 3 Favourite Movies of All Time

I LOVE movies.

I would happily watch one every day if I had a couple of extra hours available! As it is, I make sure I have time to watch at least one a week, at the movies or on TV / DVD.

My top 3 movies of all time are:

One Fine Day: with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. I must have seen this 7 or 8 times with my best friend when it first came out. Seriously, it's lovely. It made me love rainy days. And New York. And now I have it on DVD and my iPad and it's my fallback movie if I can't sleep..

Mr & Mrs Smith: With Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I love the story, the action, Angelina's hair.. everything. Except Vince Vaughan (sorry Vince).

Le Divorce: with Naomi Watts and Kate Hudson. This is a cute little movie about 2 american girls living in France - I think it's based on a book. Love the story and how pretty France is in it :) Plus this is one I saw with a dear friend who passed away unexpectedly a few years ago, so it will always be one that reminds me of her. Amazing how a movie can do that..

What are your 3 favourite movies of all time?


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P.S. I can't guarantee all names have been spelled correctly on this post and I'm in a bit too much of a hurry to Google them tonight as we're about to watch a movie. So, George, Michelle, Brad, Angelina, and everyone else - if you're reading this post, let me know if you need me to change anything  ;)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Real Life fashion: Easy, stylish and comfy outfit for busy Mums

Brown boots, black tights, long white singlet, extra long grey cardi, orange scarf

So you know I'm all about making life as easy as possible - especially with 2 kids under 4 to look after.

Soph's at an age where she'll help out around the house or play well by herself, but Georgia's just started to crawl and she's fast!

Here's what I look for in clothing at the moment:
  • Flattering
  • Easy to move in - can I sit on the floor in it and play with the kids, change nappies, etc?
  • Warm (it's winter here in Australia)
  • Goes with other things I have in my wardrobe
  • Multi purpose - can I wear it in different ways?
I'm loving these Proskinsright now - they're warm, stretchy & comfortable AND flattering - they're supportive as well. Check out my legs ;)



Black goes with everything in my wardrobe so that's easy but what I'm most impressed with is how  many different ways I've been able to wear them.

I love tights with long shirts and even longer cardis, (and of course cute boots and a scarf).

But just in case you are more of a 'leggings aren't pants' person, here are the other ways I wear them:
  • Under a denim skirt
  • Under a knitted dress
  • Under slouchy pants on really cold days when I'll be outside
  • As workout pants - really comfy and I feel a bit sexy in them too which helps a workout ;)
  • Under my pjs on a cold night
Actually, the 'under my pjs on a cold night' AND 'as workout pants' work really well together when I work out first thing in the morning!

If you're thinking about adding a good quality, flattering, versatile pair of leggings to your wardrobe, this is the brand I recommend.

The price point is higher than I would normally shop for but in terms of value for wear - so worth it. My $10 Kmart tights lost most of their stretch after the first wear and pilled & faded really quickly (sorry Kmart, I still love you but not your leggings) - I've had NO fading or pilling yet with these and I've had them for a couple of months now now, so to compare cost per wear:
  • Kmart tights - not as flattering, damaged after 1 wear = $10 per wear
  • Proskins - look better, feel better and no damage after at least 15 wears = $10 per wear. And they are still going strong - I'm expecting more than double that number of wears
You can find out more about Proskins here, check them out and tell me how you would wear them!


Credits: 

I received a pair of complimentary Proskins for this review I love them - even wore them today writing this blog post :)

Edit Jan 11, 2013: I've just become a Proskins affiliate today so I've adjusted the links to reflect my affiliate tracking. I still wear these heaps and they gone really well over time - no wear or damage to report so far!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Behind the scenes of a review at MWAB



So I've been addicted to Red Rock Deli Corn Chips lately! But the review post I had originally planned for them did NOT turn out how I thought it would!

Come behind the scenes with me..

I had a lovely blog post all thought out for you - my plan was to take a lovely pic of my little family all playing outside for the afternoon, snacking on our new corn chips with some good cheese, some salsa, etc and generally having a lovely relaxing time.

We were given 3 different flavours to try out:

  • Trio of cheeses
  • Sea Salt
  • Fire roasted red chilli & lime (oh boy, these were my favourite..so hot, and SO good!)

The weather was too cold the first day I planned our little picnic afternoon tea, so instead of styling up a photo opp outside I just opened a pack and we snacked on them inside - they didn't last long.

Oh well, we still have 2 packs left.

Then a couple of days later I noticed a second pack had disappeared... turns out the Husband has given them to his Mum and Dad to try after raving about them.

No problem, we have a pack left - I can still do my pretty picnic snacking photo on the weekend.

Then this happened on the Friday night:


Yes, that's the Husband with the last packet of corn chips. Opened. Eating them.

At least he was nice enough to share them with me (ok - I snatched the packet away from him and ate the rest)!

Man, I wish we still had some left now - it's so cold and rainy here today, a nice spicy snack would be perfect :)

Do you like spicy food?

xx Marissa



Credits:

I received complimentary packs of RRD Corn Chips for this review. My favourite is definitely the Fire Roasted Red Chilli & Lime, but Trio of Cheeses nearly won ;)





Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Baby Ear Piercing: What age would you do it?



Georgia turned 1 last Sunday!

We got Soph's ears pierced when she turned 1, so it was natural for me to book Georgia in at this age as well.

There's only place in our area that I could find to pierce ears as young as this, which I found really surprising..

I had my ears done when I was really little and I don't remember it at all. Then I had a second set done when I was around 15, and I hate the memory of it, and all the care I had to take to make sure my ears didn't get infected. Now I don't even wear the second set anymore!

So given my 2 experiences I had no hesitation getting the girls ears done at 1 year. We had 2 beauticians do Sophie's ears at the same time so there was only 1 moment of impact and it was over in a couple of minutes.

The girls went to do the same yesterday with Georgia but one pulled away at the last second as Georgia moved a little - fair enough too! So Georgia's took about 5 minutes altogether. She cried for a couple of minutes and by the time we left the shop she was happy and chatty again.

I think she looks adorable :)

What are your thoughts? Did you have your ears pierced when you were young? What about your kids? How do you feel about it?




Monday, May 28, 2012

A day at home

We're having a home day today!

Sophie and I made banana bread with honey instead of sugar, can't wait to taste it!



Then we spent ages just hanging out in the lounge room. We read books, watched Play School, pretended to be mermaids, and then played Princesses in Castles:



Lovely morning :) Back to work soon though in nap and movie time.

What have you been up to?

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