this life learning is tiring

This is how I found Liberty. Resting her gorgeous head on a pile of blankets, sound asleep. 
It was not until I saw the book that she was reading did it really make me smile.

Life's little instruction booklet.

It sure is hard work learning all that life has to offer when you are a cute cherub.
Especially when you have six brothers and sisters to keep up with.

3 products that keep my life organised

Let me start by saying - this is NOT a sponsored post. I am often ask how I balance everything in my life with seven children so I thought you might like to see what I use to stay on top of everything. Not that I am very good at it and I am still learning how to balance everything as we grow as a family. So I thought I would share with you three products that keep my life organised. I have to say that I have been very blessed to have all of these products given to me at various times over the past year and even though they have been a gift - I have found all three of them to be invaluable in keeping my life organised.

1. The first product that I use to keep my home life organised is the Mum Organiser from Inner-B. I use it to keep up to date on what the kids are doing and with what I am doing in my personal life. I love that it comes in different colours and that mine matches my blog colour. Gorgeous.

I love the way that it is set out inside and I can easily view my monthly and weekly family activities. I am also very excited that it is very easy to order refills and I can just keep using it year after year. Nicole who is a reader on my blog has an Inner-B Mum Organiser and this is what she has to say about how she uses it:

I got the same InnerB diary a little over a month ago, I LOVE IT!!! I am using the main "Mum" area to jot down ideas for my blog and have managed to schedule posts in advance for most of this month and ticking them off as they are posted. I only have one child who is at primary school so I have used the extra squares for: hubby's roster, school info, listing my 365 Photos project prompts and as a meal planner.

On the notes page of each month I have listed that months bills and the amounts to be paid for that months pays. It is handy to have different coloured pens so as not to get too confused. I leave it open on my desk so its always accessible to glance at. All of the information at the back I have moved to the front with the calendars etc as I found it easier to access.

I know a few other readers have purchased a Mum Organiser and are really enjoying it as well.

2. The second product that keeps my blog organised is my Personalised Diary from Mooo. If you have been to a few blog events you will know that Mooo loves Bloggers and Ben has been very generous in helping us get organised. I had the wonderful opportunity to personalise and create my own Seven Cherubs Diary and I use it to plan out all of my blog posts, to jot down any blog project ideas, any blog post ideas and to keep track of giveaways that I am running.

I love the clear set up and that I have space each week to take notes and to keep all of my blog thoughts in one place. I now take it with me to any blog events or PR events and use it to keep my blog running smoothly. I love being able to write information down and it works better for me than using a spreadsheet.

Just as a side note Mooo also has a great range of free Fathers Day cards to print out. I love the designs they have put together. Pop on over and check them out.

3. The third product that I love is my homemade business card holder made by the lovely Zoe from A Boys Mumma. She is one clever lady and also an awesome photographer. She creates gorgeous owls and you can order them through her facebook page.

I love that it matches all of my other products...and it also matches my blog cards. Eeeek! I was so excited when I just happened to get that pattern and print at a blog event and I get so many comments on it when I pull it out to hand someone my Seven Cherubs blog card.

What do you use to stay organised?

Cherish your cherubs project: REMEMBER a special moment

If you are just dropping by my blog, every Monday for the next couple of weeks I am running a Cherish your Cherubs project here on my blog. A project to help us appreciate and adore our children a little more and a way to record and remember them in our lives.

I don't know about you but I totally loved all of the posts that were linked up last week. What gorgeous, wonderful and inspiring cherubs you all have. Your words were so heart felt and it was a pleasure to have a sneak peak into your lives and your hearts.

This week the theme and topic is REMEMBER. It is to spend some time remembering a special moment that relates to your cherubs. A time that touched your heart and helped you to feel closer to your children. It could be:

* your birth story
* a treasured memory of them when they were little
* a great achievement they made
* something you observed them doing
* a first achievement they reached
* a quiet moment you had together

So here is what I would love to share with you.

Nathan - One moment that always stands out in my mind was the day that Nathan decided that he was going to take 100,000 steps in one day. To say I was shocked was an understatement. He set himself this goal as part of the Global Children's Challenge and as a mother I was worried that he really would not make it. I kept preparing myself of what I would say to lift his spirits when he got to the end of the day and had not made it. Well, shame on me. He proved me wrong and you can read about it HERE. That boy can set his mind to anything he wants in life and has the determination and inner strength to achieve it. He. Blows. Me. Away.

When Nathan was born I was really surprised to have a son. I always thought in my mind that I would mainly have have 6 girls and then have a son or something. When I had a son born as my second child it kind of threw me. A boy! I was not ready or prepared to raise a boy! How wonderful it has been to have Nathan as my oldest son. He has always been kind, always been very motivated and just brilliant with what he can do with his mind. He has amazed, astounded me, and taken my breath away so many times on what he can achieve and with how intelligent and insightful he can be. He has helped me strap on my running shoes to keep up with him as he has blazed his own path in life and I have loved every moment of it.

Remembering this awesome meal he made for us!

Harmony - One moment that always stands out in my mind with Harmony was shortly after she was born. I had an Emergency Caesarian with Harmony and therefore was not able to immediately have her with me. As I was stitched up and made ready to go to my room she was taken away and cared for elsewhere. During this time she was not fed and so when they took me to my hospital room she was quickly brought into the room for me to feed. I remember really clearly laying down in the bed, opening up my gown to start to feed her, moving her close to me and being shocked that Harmony with speed and natural instinct, without any help or guidance, opened wide her mouth and latching onto to me and started drinking perfectly. She knew right away what she wanted, she knew what to do and went head on into it! At that moment I remember feeling that this is what her personality was going to be like and that we were in for a fun ride.

We love that every year we have a special day to help appreciate Harmony even more besides her birthday. Here in Australia when we celebrate Harmony Day, in the Ellis house, we also celebrate and appreciate our own Harmony. They day is about celebrating that Everyone Belongs, which means all Australians are a welcome part of our country, regardless of their background. It's also about community participation, inclusiveness and respect – celebrating the different cultures that make Australia a great place to live.

We use this day to celebrate our own personalities and differences as a large family. With Harmony being child number 4 - right in the middle with 3 children above her and 3 children below her it is great to have a day to remember that we are all unique, we are all special and we are all different. So often I feel that she can miss out on attention and this day helps us all remember how awesome she really is.

Celebrating Harmony Day at school.

Eli - One moment that stands out in my mind with Eli was the day I felt inspired to save him in our swimming pool. Kind of a weird moment to share but it is etched in my mind forever. As a family we swim in our pool for many months of the year. Our whole family had been in the pool having an awesome time and all the children were safe and well when I decided to get out of the pool to help Liberty.

I went inside to a room right next to the pool and helped her get changed. As I was finishing the task of putting on her nappy, I had a clear thought/impression in my mind to look outside at Eli in the pool. I thought to myself, he is alright, I will go out and check him when I finish putting Liberty's pants on. As I started to put her pants on, once again I had a clear thought/impression in my mind to look outside at Eli in the pool. This time I decided to listen.

I looked up and over at Eli in the pool, surrounded by all of the rest of our family, which is lots of people, to see him face down in the water. He was wearing a life jacket at the time I have to add, but he had somehow lost his balance and was fighting and struggling and could not lift his face out of the water. Lets just say that it was one of those times in my life where I actually moved like lightning and I ran and jumped in the pool and got him out of there as fast as I could. I had no idea how long he had been like that and was Oh! SO Thankful that after a little spluttering and coughing and crying that he was perfectly fine. I KNOW that those impressions where sent to me from a loving Heavenly Father and I am so grateful and thankful every day that I listened to that prompting and impression.

Eli is so loving and funny. He loves technology and together we have made our way through all of the Angry Birds levels. It has been our little thing that we have done together and so often I remember how we sat close together, we praised each other, we got frustrated, we kept trying and we made it to the end. He has an Angry Bird gift I tell you! Not the best gift to have in this life but he sure knows how to fling those birds.

Building his own Angry Birds game out of blocks.

Liahona - One thing I always love to remember about Liahona is her gift for dancing. As a young girl when people would come over she would dance for them and they would be amazed. She has an natural freestyle dance ability and just makes up awesome dances on the spot. I would simply play any song and she would just go for it. I remember one day playing the song Voodoo Child, which has a little more of a rock beat, and sitting back and watching her as a little girl dressed in a ballet tutu absolutely rock on hard to that song. I laughed my head off through the whole routine as she is one cool rock chick!

I remember when she was born I was shocked that she had a full head of black hair. With Chelsea being born with red hair and Nathan having very little hair blonde it was so great to have a massive head of dark hair to love and adore. It stuck up high in the hair and on many days she looked like she had an Elvis hair style. As a 5 week or 6 week old baby people would often ask me if I had styled her hair. Ummm....NO! It just naturally went that way.

Liahona loves to dress up, to perform and I so love it when she comes to me smiling to give me a hug. She is a delight to have as a daughter and so funny to observe when she gets in one of her drama moods around our house. We all just laugh and have a hard time holding our tongues on all the hilarious things we could tease her about. Alright...I have to admit I am not very good at holding my tongue!

Dressing up for me to take her picture. So gorgeous.

Chelsea - When remembering Chelsea I always, always remember the day she shaved her head for the World's Greatest Shave. I can still clearly hear the roar of the kids at school, the shy smile on her face and the shaking hands of her teacher as she shaved her head. I was emotional, I was teary and I was so proud of this incredible decision that she had made herself. You can check it out HERE.

I also remember how much of a great help to me she was when I was pregnant with all of our other children. I remember when she was 5 years and I was pregnant with my fourth child Harmony. I was very sick and spent most of my days in bed throwing up and my other three children had run of the house. It was very hard for me to walk into our kitchen as it would set me off into a long throwing up episode every time I went near it.

During this time Chelsea would go into the kitchen and get out the bread, the butter and the honey or vegemite and very happily make three sandwiches for everyone to eat for lunch or for a snack until I could get to a state where I could enter the room. She always did an awesome job and it was such a great help. She was also excellent at reporting to me at different times during the day. She would tell me such things as...Nathan is filling up the toilet with toilet paper or Liahona is putting things in the DVD player and I would pull myself out of bed and go sort out the situation.  I am so thankful for her kindness and caring towards the rest of our family and towards me.

Awesome big sister to all of our cherubs.

Liberty - This little bundle of spunk has provided me with many wonderful memories. She has been such a delight to have as my last child and we have an awesome time hanging out together whilst all the other kids are at school. With two big brothers above her she has pushed herself to keep up with them in just about everything that they do. She sees herself equal to them in all the activities that they do has even managed to learn to do somethings before they have.

One skill that she taught herself early on was to be able to swim. As I mentioned earlier we spend a lot of time in our pool as a family. As the youngest child she spends a great deal of time watching her older brothers and sisters learning how to do things. This allows her to observe and see how to do a skill and because everyone else is doing it she has no fear to give it a go. I have strict rules in our home with the pool. No one goes in the pool area unless they are wearing a life jacket or they know how to swim really well. I am always around when they enter the pool area to make sure everyone is safe. The kids hate waiting for me to be there but safety comes first in our house.

One day last year one of my older kids opened the pool gate before I gave my word that it was alright and all of my cherubs ran and jumped in the pool. Liberty stood up, followed them and jumped right into the pool before I had the chance to stop her. I had not yet put her life jacket on. Lets just say once again that this was another one of those times that I moved like lightening and rushed to the side of the pool to get her out. Imagine my surprise when I found her swimming all by herself as a two year old around our pool. I was so shocked and stunned. She did not need the life jacket after all. She had taught herself to swim before one of her brothers and I this is what she looks like swimming below:

Sam - This child. What can I say. He has given me so many heart attacks over his short life I just do not even know where to start. Sam is the sort of child who has to touch and taste everything. Amazingly he is still alive today and has no really bad scars to prove what trouble he has gotten himself into.

One delightful memory I have of Sam was when he told me he was going to learn to ride a bike. I told him to wait and that we would take him out on the weekend somewhere to practise and that Matt would help him out on what to do. Sam decided that this was too long to wait. He wanted to learn to ride a bike then and now. As I went about my daily activities during the rest of the week I would see Sam out in our backyard every night after school trying to learn to ride a bike.

Imagine my surprise when I walked through our kitchen and saw Liahona and Sam with his bike and Matt's toolbox spread all over our kitchen table as a work bench where they were busily taking Sam's training wheels off of his bike. I tell you, my kids don't wait for anything. Sigh!

So after that task was done they then headed out into the backyard once again where Liahona helped Sam get his balance right and very shortly afterwards learn to ride a bike with no training wheels. I was so impressed that he just went ahead and taught himself. That he roped in his sister to help him and felt that he had enough skill and ability to learn this task without the help of his parents. We never did take him out to teach him, Matt never had to spend hours coaching him...he just went ahead and did it. As much as I am proud of him I am also sad we were not there to help him. Sob!

That face and smile has saved his from so much trouble. Lucky he is cute.

Well, if you have made it this far down. I am impressed. Thanks so much for making it to the end of my remembering my cherubs. They are an awesome bunch of kids and I feel so blessed to be the mother of them all. Now to share with you what I would love for you to do for Week 3. Interview.

The reason why I would love you to interview your cherubs is to take the time to listen to them. To sit down, to give them all your attention (as much as it is possible as a parent and a mother!) and to chat to them, to ask them questions to listen to what there little minds or big minds are thinking on certain topics.

To try to find out how they are feeling. As a mother some days I get so busy trying to keep my house running that I forget to pay attention to how my children are feeling. I some times forget that they have feelings. I know how I always feel but I do not stop enough to see how they are feeling. So this task is to try to connect with them and to try to do more listening than talking. If you are like me...this is going to be a difficult task!

So when interviewing your cherubs you could ask them:

*What do they love?
*What makes them happy?
*What makes them feel sad?
*What makes them feel angry?
*What makes them scared?

If you are feeling really brave...ask them:

*How they think you are going as a parent or mother?
*Is there is anything they would like you to do better or more of?

It may surprise you what they have to say. I cannot wait to share with you what answers I received in my house. Always an eye opener when I ask my cherubs these type of questions and I love that they are honest with me.

Now for the fun part. Time to link up your Week 2. Remember moments you have to share. This can be a new blog post or an older blog post. Anything that helps us to learn a little more about your cherubs or family. I will leave the link open for the rest of the week incase you want to link up with us here. I hope that if you do decide to link up a post that you will take the time to read and comment on a few others to spread the blog love. If you are just finding out about this project you are most welcome to join in at any time. You do not have to start from week 1.

I am so looking forward to reading what you have to share and to seeing what is in your heart in relation to your cherubs. Thanks so much for joining in.

my dark side

I keep everything light and fresh on this blog.
I do have a darker side though.
I seem to be wearing a lot of black lately.

I heart necklaces, bracelets, rings, scarves and all jewellery.
I share my dark side and love for these over at Diva Mum.
The end.

Personalised Fathers Day Giveaway

I love to give away personalised products. It makes the gift far more special and I believe the receiver remembers it more and appreciates the time and effort you took to create something just for them. With Fathers Day just around the corner I am very excited to have this personalised giveaway on my blog, with thanks to Romantic Flair Original.

When Marthese contacted me about creating a personalised I gift I was extremely excited. You see, I am a seeker of happiness and have been looking around for a special keepsake to remind me of that every day. When I checked out her range of personalised mugs I knew right away what I wanted to create.

I took a large print that I have in my home, that I adore and took a picture of it. I did check first that it has no copyright issues on it and sent it off to Marthese to work her magic with. I also sent her what words I wanted included and eagerly awaited my prized gift.

Here is the result below:

It came packaged beautifully and I love the quality of her work. Eeekk! my own mug. Beautiful.

I now have my very own personalised mug, with my favourite image and the words, 'I am a seeker of happiness' printed on them to cheer me up each day. LOVE IT!

It sits on my desk with me when I write and is included in my collection of favourite things to uplift and inspire me.

Of course on special occasions, (I say special occasions because I am trying to eat healthy), I can bring it out, fill it with hot chocolate, marshmellows and loads of cream. Alright, I admit it, I went too far with the cream!!

This type of gift would be great for a Fathers Day gift. You could even let them design it themselves, or even order it for a memory keepsake of a family member. So many options are available.

Marthese is very generously giving away the opportunity for you to win a personalised product from her store. She has such lovely products in her range and here is what is up for winning:

A $30 voucher from any of Marthese's personalised products range.

Marthese will give you a voucher to put towards her products and you just take care of the difference if there is any left at all. Very easy and worth having a look at.

Here are the guidelines for the giveaway:

1. Add yourself as a follower on my blog
2. Open worldwide and winner chosen by the random number generator
3. Entries close 5th September, 2011
4. Leave a comment on this blog post HERE to enter.

**I would love to help Marthese get some more followers on her blog so if you can add yourself as a follower that would be awesome!

**I will also pop on over to Marthese's blog post to draw the winner and if you want to you can leave a comment on this post telling me you have left a comment for her. Good luck!

Giveaway now closed. Congrats to Karlee from the Mother Experiment you are the winner.

How to take children out to dinner and Michaels Oriental Restaurant Review

I thought I would have a little fun with this post and give you some tips on how to take a large family out to dinner. If you have a large family, listen up, if you don't have a large family then you can just sit in wonder and amazement at how we managed to carry it off!

We do not go out to dinner very often. And when I mean go out to dinner, I am not talking about fast food restaurants, I am talking about flashy, dress up and sit down for a nice meal restaurant type of dinner.

Tip 1. Budget: Taking a large family out to dinner is a very expensive exercise. It costs a lot of money. For us, we plan ahead to go out to dinner and budget it into our expenses. We like to try to go out to dinner for birthdays and special occasions and factor this in with our plans. If that does not work then I highly recommend starting a blog, writing lots of blog posts and waiting until you are contacted by an awesome PR company to be a Malaysian Kitchen Insider reviewer and your problem is solved!

Tip 2. Practise: When we go out to dinner as a large family a lot of people stare at us. This makes me feel a little uncomfortable as a mother so to help me feel more relaxed I practise with the kids at home. We have had some nights were we pretend we are having our own flash restaurant at home. We have had menu's, waiters, nice cutlery, candles and more to teach the children how to behave. Of course I want them to behave like this at every dinner but that never happens.

Tip 3. Choose a family friendly venue: There is nothing worse than going out to dinner at a restaurant that is not child friendly. If possible I like to check out a restaurant before hand. We often like to call ahead to talk about our family situation and to even discuss if they have a table big enough for us. Most restaurants are more than willing to accommodate a large family, after all it means a bigger bill.

One great family friendly restaurant we went to recently was Michael's Oriental Restaurant in Eight Mile Plains, here in Brisbane. They have a really good website and I highly recommend checking it out.
Michael was very lovely to meet and was happy to have our family come and eat at his restaurant as he is from a family of seven himself. He understood where we were coming from and he had plenty of room to fit our family in.
We loved that the tables were large and could cater to our family needs. So much space and we did not feel squashed in at all. Plenty of room for me to move around the tables and to assist the kids when I needed to.

Ellis family out to dinner ready for a feast and some awesome Malaysian food!

Tip 4. Order lots of food: One of the lessons we have learned from taking our kids out to dinner is how important it is to have lots of food available for them to try. It cuts out the whinging and the complaining if there is plenty for everyone. It keeps them busy eating and piling up their plates and we find we can relax more as parents if there is enough to go around. 
For an entree at Michael's Oriental Restaurant we decided to try out a bunch of different choices. We ordered Spring Rolls, Curry Puff's, Steamed Dim Sims, Satay Chicken and Lettuce Wrap (sauteed mince chicken with rice wine and topped with crushed peanuts).

They were a huge hit with my kids and I was lucky to one get one thing to eat. They totally scoffed the whole lot and the flavours were awesome.
For the mains part of the meal we decided to try a few new flavours for my kids and to teach them a little more about Malaysian food. We ordered:

Assam Prawns - Fresh King Prawns cooked with herbs of turmeric, cloves, garlic, shrimp paste, fresh tomato  and chilli.
Nyonya Beef - Made with spices, coconut milk and pineapple. The meat is cooked to produce a piquant zesty flavour and has a wonderful taste.
Lamb Rendang - Moist curry favourite with fresh herbs, hand ground spices with cumin, cinnamon, cardimon and chilli. Cooked with toasted coconut flakes.
Malacca Chicken - A mild curry delicately flavoured with herbs, coconut milk and toped with toasted coconut flakes.
Nasi Goreng - Malyasian spicy fried rice with chicke, egg and vegetables.
Malaysian Laksa - Thin vermicelli rice noodles with chicken, prawns, Tofu, bean sprout and coconut milk and of course a big pot of steamed rice.

All of the flavours were awesome and we had a massive taste testing frenzy. As soon as the food was delivered we were all so looking forward to digging into it and we were not disappointed at all.

The staff were lovely with helping us order food that had a Malaysian focus and the food arrived quickly and ready for devouring.

Tip 5. Order Dessert: One of the wonderful tricks that we have learnt is to talk about having a look at the dessert menu. Kids love dessert and if there is ever a moment during the meal where things look they are all going to fall apart we bring up dessert. If you want to have dessert you need to use your manners, you need to behave yourself and stay in your chair, for example.

On this special occasion we decided to order Deep Fried Ice cream Balls or Michael's Comet as they are called at Michael's Oriental Restaurant. Which is a coconut covered sphere of ice cream, deep friend and nestled on a caramel sauce. My kids have never had them before and check out their faces below:
Don't know if they are Malaysian but we were saying they were. Yummo!!!

Tip 6. Praise: At the end of every dinner out we have, on the way home we always praise our children and thank them for the great behaviour they showed. We so appreciate it when they eat nicely, share and help each other and we end up having a great night out together. It does not always work out this way but even if they are a little crazy we try to praise them on what they did well.

Now onto some praise for the restaurant. Michaels Oriental Restaurant is an award winning restaurant. In fact just recently they won an award at the Australian Culinary Federation- Modern Asian Cooking competition. Check out some of the pictures below of them receiving the awards and the winning food. Looks lovely:

If you ever have the chance to drop by and eat there, I highly recommend it. We so appreciate Malaysian Kitchen Insiders for allowing our family to have an excellent night out together. It was a lovely memory that we created with our cherubs.

Do you go out together as a family very often? 
What tips would you recommend??

I am a Mormon and Australian Mormon Blogs

Most of you who read my blog will know that I am a Mormon.
I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My faith is very important to me and has given me a great foundation for raising our family.

I love to read blogs by women of my faith. They inspire me and I feel a connection with them because I know we have the same beliefs and values. I love to see how they are raising their families and living the gospel in their homes. I also love and respect women from other faiths and so admire the good they are doing to uplift and edify so many others.

Here in Australia having a blog is becoming more and more popular. They are popping up everywhere. I have enjoyed finding so many wonderful blogs in my blogging journey and have been on the look out for some more Australian Mormon Blogs. So to help me find some more I thought I would just write a blog post about it and put out a call to see if anyone else knows some great blogs I should be reading.

I know a few popular Mormon blogs:

Toni Coward from Make it Perfect
Kate Conklin from Kate Conklin Designs
Amelia Sliedrich Stitch 'n' Bits
Kylie Ofiu from Kylie Ofiu
Felicity Ashton from Bits and Pieces

So my lovely readers...

What Australian Mormon Blogs do you know about?

P.S ~ You can check out  my

**I am also guest posting over at Ah! The Possibilities today on Mothers as Leaders if you want to check that out.

creating an inspiring home with heart

I love our home. It is a place I look forward to returning to after time away and I love the memories we have made here together as a family. It is a busy house full of noise and laughter but also a place of colour, beauty and organisation. There are a few changes I would personally like to make but generally my home is just how I like it. I love an inspiring home with heart.

I do love to change things around every so often and love to look in magazines to seek inspiration. I love to relax on the weekend or even during the week with a nice meal to help me unwind and to have a feast for my eyes as I have a sneak peak into homes of inspiring families.

Recently I was sent a copy of Inside Out Magazine to look over. I was looking forward to reading the articles they have shared as I love that the issue that I received was about how our homes are our havens. For me when it comes to decorating our home I have used colour and images and elements that relate to our family and our feelings. Items that connects to our heart and basically what we treasure and what we enjoy doing.

I really enjoy a sneak peak into other peoples homes and was delighted with the large colourful images and personal stories behind the creations featured in the magazine. I adore looking at simple designs and really enjoyed the different textures featured.

One of the reasons I love to relax and enjoy home life magazines is the beauty and peace that it helps to bring into my home. As a mother with many children our home in many ways feels as if it is bursting at the seams in relation to toys, school notes and other family items. When I sit down and look through these magazines, I want to declutter, to simplify and to showcase the treasured items that we hold dear in our home. It is hard to see them and appreciate them if our home is full of stuff.

Some delightful images I adored in the Inside Out Magazine are found below. I would so love to have a room like any of these and I love the unique beauty found in each room.

In reading the articles I felt that the designers featured are passionate about what they do. I love that they have so often brought their design work home and helped it to bring a feeling of heart to their own personal homes.

Some tips I discovered for creating a room with heart are:

*feature pieces that have a story behind them
*seek out objects that have enduring quality
*seek a creative balance
*do not be afraid to use colour
*have a clean light filled living space
*make your home functional
*be confident enough to add a unique touch to your home
*try not to be influenced by trends
*display objects you are attracted to

One of the ways that I love to bring a better atmosphere and a little more heart into my home is with Candles. I have a candle in all of our living areas that I light to bring some warmth, peace and a nicer smell to home. I recently was given some Yankee Candles (which is now available in Australia) to try out in our home. They have a large range of long lasting fragrances to choose from and a style and fragrance to suit any home.

I was sent some Tropical Fruit, Garden Hideaway, Sparkling Lemon and Fluffy Towels fragrances to try out. Talk about being in candle heaven. I cannot tell you how many times I have as a mother used a candle to calm me down. Often all I need to do is look at the flickering flame and it seems to bring a feeling of warmth and light to my life. The wonderful smells that candles bring is an added bonus that I love and I am still waiting for someone to bring out a fairy floss smelling candle for me to enjoy. It is after all my favourite food!

You can also check out Tina's review on Yankee Candles here. She was able to go to an event promoting the candles and I love how they make her a good housewife.

Now here at Seven Cherubs we are excited that we can help you have an inspiring home with heart as we have a 6 month subscription to Inside Out magazine to give away. To help you find some more inspiration, to help you have some time out by getting a gift delivered right to your door for half of the year and to help you feel a little more stylish yourself.

Here I am on a flight to Tassie trying to look stylish with my Inside Out Magazine:

I know...I need more than a magazine to carry it off. Haha!

Here are the guidelines for the giveaway:

1. Add yourself as a follower on my blog (if you are not already)
2. Open to Aussie residents only
3. Winner chosen by the random number generator
4. Entries close September 7th, 2011
5. Leave a comment below and tell me:

What is your favourite item in your home that inspires you?

You can also check out Inside Out Magazine here: BlogFacebook and Twitter
You can check out Yankee Candles here: Shop and Facebook

giveaway now closed.
congrats to Megan from Edenrose

Cherish your Cherubs Project: RECORD your childrens life

First of all, I have to say a BIG thank you to all of YOU wonderful Seven Cherubs readers who have given me such great support and feedback on the start of my Cherish Your Cherubs Project. I love that so many of you have emailed me and left comments to say that you are joining in.

Thanks for brightening my day with each message and for your encouragement!

Today is the first day of linking up for the project. The assignment for this week was to Record your cherubs life so far or even what they are like right now, this very moment and to cherish every little detail about them. To be more mindful, to be more appreciating of them and to simply adore them. If you have forgotten what Week 1. Record was about - you can check it out here. So here we go with a little taste of what I have been recording:

To start with I took some current family profile pictures. On Sunday morning before heading off to church I called every one individually into the hall way and took pictures of them as they were at that moment to capture what sort of mood they were in and to have an 'as is' shot. So here is what our family is looking like right now:
As you can see some family members were not in the mood to have their picture taken (Matt even looks a little shy which is so far from the truth in real life!!) and I included them just how they were anyway to remember it. Keeping it real around here is how I like it and how I want to remember each of them. As you can see we are a whole family of blondes and even though my kids look the same in many ways they really are very different.

Of course I think all my children are gorgeous, brilliant and delightful. They are angelic in so many ways and bring me so much happiness and joy. They make me smile, they make me laugh but they also make me mad and make me cry. I love that they are each growing up into little adults and I am treasuring the short time I have with them as children.

Here on my blog I have decided to share with you a little snapshot of what they look like and a little honesty in how they are currently expressing and developing in personality. I also decided to include Matt and I while we were at it (Chelsea put mine together just so you know!) for some fun and here is a little taste of what we are like:

What a mix we are as a family! We are very varied in our loves and characteristics. Which is just the way I like it. Now to share with you what I would love for you to do for Week 2. Remember.

This week I would love for you to spend some time remembering a special moment that relates to your cherubs. A time that touched your heart and helped you to feel closer to your children. It could be:

* your birth story
* a treasured memory of them when they were little
* a great achievement they made
* something you observed them doing
* a first achievement they reached
* a quiet moment you had together

Elisha shared on my facebook page that her cherubs love to hear about their birth and what they were like as babies or the age their siblings are now. They also love to watch home movies of themselves as little ones and when they do this as a family is always helps her to appreciate her cherubs a little more.

Natalie recommended looking back on old photos to remind yourself how quickly time passes. Then look at them now and realise how incredibly lucky you are to be sharing their life journey with them. A blessing indeed.

So this week I hope you will dig out your journals, your photo albums and home movies and will spend some time remembering how wonderful your cherubs or family members are. If you have already blogged or recorded a great remembering moment I would love for you to link it up with us next week.

Now onto the fun part. Time to link up your Week 1. Record moments you have to share. This can be a new blog post or an older blog post. Anything that helps us to learn a little more about your cherubs or family. I will leave the link open for the rest of the week incase you want to link up with us here. I hope that if you do decide to link up a post that you will take the time to read and comment on a few others to spread the blog love. I am so looking forward to reading what you have to share and to seeing what is in your heart in relation to your cherubs. Thanks so much for joining in.