Monday, January 30, 2012

a beautiful heartbreak


The journey of life is often never how we plan it to be. 
It can include a moment of a beautiful heartbreak.

Life is full of twists and turns, hills and valleys, seasons of abundance and times of famine, moments of laughter and moments of deep heartache. It can feel as if we are on a rollercoaster that never stops.

Often these times or seasons of heartache come at a great personal sacrifice or personal loss to us.

These moments cut right to our deepest fears. 
They touch our heart, mind and spirit and we feel that it is more than we can cope with. 

We are left exposed. We feel raw and open to the hurt and pain that fills our heart. 
We ache in a new way, a deep way.

We have all faced this at times and some of us carry it in our hearts daily. 
In our quiet heart is hidden deep sorrow that the eye cannot see.

Right now my heart is tender as I think about Lisa and her three cherubs
About the pain she is suffering.

I know right now she is feeling heartache or more heartbreak over the loss of her son and husband.
It is a shock and many of us are in disbelief of what she is having to deal with.

Even though it is a heartbreak, to me I believe it is a beautiful heartbreak.

If you have had the chance to stop by to visit Lisa and her blog you will know that the story and personal experiences she has shared with her son, Noah and husband, Aaron are beautiful. 

They are full of the great love she has for her son Noah and even though he fought hard and lost his battle, there was a beautiful heartbreak that occured. 

The words and pictures shared about her husband Aaron are filled with deep love, care and joy. Even though it was a shock to lose him, the love story and feelings they have for each other are beautiful to read.

I am sure Lisa had a plan all mapped out for her and her family. 
This plan would have involved happiness and peace.

Instead right now she is facing each day with sorrow and pain. We naturally hope that her days are  mingled with small moments of peace and happiness as she draws on memories and faces a new future. 

She is now taking a new journey and climbing a new mountain that I am sure she never pictured in her path.

As she climbs this mountain she will come to see a new view. 
This process will involve moments of sleepless nights, tears and sadness.

As Lisa reaches the top of this mountain I hope she finds a beautiful view. 

I hope that she can in her future look back on this journey and see that it has become a beautiful heartbreak as she has grown stronger in ways she never thought she could, that she is loved greater than she ever knew and that once again she has it confirmed to her over and over again that she has a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over her and blessing her. 

If you are able to, please consider donating to Lisa and her family.
You can read more about how to do this on the donations page HERE.

I love how Hilary Weeks describes it and every time I hear this song I am going to think of Lisa.



Friday, January 27, 2012

King Family Donations


I woke up this morning to discover that one of my blog friends, Lisa King (pictured above) had lost her husband, Aaron during the night. I was shocked and burst into tears immediately. You see, Lisa is one incredible woman and in the past several months has been through so much already that it was just heartbreaking to hear about.

In October late last year she lost her son, Noah. (You can read about Noah and his journey on her blog HERE.) After many years of battling with his health he passed away at 10 years of age. It was a great loss to the family. Over the past couple of months the family together has been trying to move on, to live without Noah and to adjust to the changes in family life and to heal their hearts. 

To now have the loss of her husband. I am speechless and at a real loss for words to even start to describe how she must feel. Lisa wrote a post about her sweet Aaron on her blog and here are Lisa's words: 

"I know that they say that you aren't given anymore than you can handle, but right now I think I'm at my limit. After losing Noah less than four months ago and now losing my best friend, soul mate and love of my life I'm so grateful for my three boys who I love so much, who give me strength to keep going and look ahead to the day when we will be together with Noah and Aaron again. All I can think of is them hugging and talking and running and even side stepping together. Oh how wonderful their reunion must've been. I love you Aaron and I wish you were here just for one more day, to let you know just how much."

After sharing her heartache on my facebook page several people have contacted me offering to donate to help the King family. As a blogger I have seen incredible love and kindness shown towards those who are in need and who are suffering great loss and heart ache. After pondering this I have decided to set up a separate bank account for the King Family and would appreciate any donation that you can contribute to them at this time.

I know the journey Lisa and her three boys have ahead of her is not going to be easy and that what we will be able to raise will be a small comfort to them, but I am hoping that it may ease the burden in some small way to bring some additional happiness to them in this time of heartache and trial.

What I would love to do is to help raise funds for them to get through the next month. To help pay for groceries and expenses to ease the burden Lisa will face of providing for her family as a single mum. Having only recently finished paying for Noah's funeral, I would love to help raise enough funds to pay for a headstone for Noah, (he currently does not have one) and to cover the cost of having to pay for her husband Aaron's funeral. These expenses will be a big burden on Lisa when she is dealing with the shock and loss of her wonderful family members.

I know that if we all can contribute we can make this possible. 
Even if you can contribute $5 it will make a big difference for Lisa and her family.

If you are able to contribute in any way possible the bank account details are:

Naomi Ellis
Suncorp Bank
BSB: 484799
Account Number: 204 067 630


If you would prefer to send something in the mail a PO Box has been set up to receive donations:

PO BOX 759 
 Launceston, TASMANIA, 7250 

Some people have requested using Paypal as an option.
I have tried setting up a donations tab but as I am not a registered charity I am unable to.

I have instead set up a fundraising page for donations that will pay directly into the bank account set up.
This way I can avoid paypal and the crazy fees.


You can donate HERE:

Thank you so much in advance for your kindness and generosity.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cool Gelmat, Rich Glen Olive Oils review and giveaway

This month I am finishing up a bunch of product reviews that I have been testing out lately and clearing my commitments to start February with a fresh start. I have been so blessed over the past couple of years to have some awesome companies contact me and send me products to experiment with in our home. Today I am featuring the Cool Gelmat and Rich Glen Olive Oils with a giveaway included.

Cool Gelmat

The Cool Gelmat provides relief from heat related conditions and has a unique heat absorbing gel that provides relief for up to 2 hours. It is a patented mat that you place on top of your mattress, or under your sheet, or inside your pillow and when you lie on it you enjoy a cooling effect. This is because the unique heat absorbing gel within the mat absorbs body heat, reducing your temperature and allowing you to enjoy a cool, relaxing and comfortable night’s rest.

I was sent the pillow size Cool Gelmat to review, RRP $79, and decided to review it as I thought it would be helpful with sunburn and heat stroke we sometimes face in our home. It is also helpful if you are hot during the night, have night sweats, migraines or if you suffer from hot flushes and are looking for a way to cool down. 

As a family we found it really helpful during the summer months in our home and Matt has spent several nights sleeping with it underneath him. It is easy to sleep on as it is thin and soft/flexible to mould to your body. I also found it very helpful and easy for children to lay on if they have a little sunburn to take some of the heat away from their body. You can actually feel the difference when you lay on it and it really does cool down your body for around 2 hours.

We do not suffer from migraines or hot flushes in our home but I do know that several other women have the Cool Gelmat and find it really helpful when they have a migraine. It is the first thing they reach for to help them. With over 1 million products sold it really is a popular item.

The Cool Gelmat is available at most chemists, comes in a variety of sizes and is also available to order online at the Cool Gelmat website: http://www.coolgelmat.com.au I have one Pillow Cool Gelmat to giveaway to a lucky Seven Cherubs reader.

Rich Glen Olive Oils


I love a good tasty, quality dressing. I also love my salads. When I was asked to review some of Rich Glen's Olive Oil range I just had to say Yes immediately! Now I know this is not normally what I review on my blog but when I read that they make a Zesty Lemon & Lime Olive Oil and Poppy’s Salad Dressing I was sold right away.

Also, add that they are made by Ros and Daimien Vodusek who have four children and manage to balance parenting whilst running the business, I knew it was a product I wanted to promote. The Vadusek family live at Rich Glen Estate and are a family owned and operated olive grove situated on the banks of the Murray River in Yarrawonga, Victoria. They have won themselves a bunch of awards for the top quality products that they are producing and I highly recommend checking them out. 

First of all, I decided to test out Poppy's Salad Dressing. Suitable for salads, seafood, meats, corned silverside and hot potatoes. You can also use this dressing as a marinade. I simply love the flavour.  It has a sweet mustardy flavour with a little tang to it and I may have eaten way too much of it with my left over ham from Christmas. My bottle only has a little tiny amount left in the bottom as I enjoyed it so much. 


Next I enjoyed trying out the Zesty Lemon and Lime Olive Oil. I absolutely love lemon and lime flavours and to have it in an Olive Oil is a treat for me. It is an aromatic and fruity oil suitable to be served with seafood, chicken, steamed vegetables, and salads. It can also be used in marinades and cakes! The ingredients are: 100% cold pressed virgin olive oil and fresh lemons and limes and that is it. I totally enjoyed it sprinkled over the top of my homemade bruschetta. So delicious!


On Rich Glen the website are mouth watering recipes, such as Zesty Lemon & Lime Poppyseed Syrup Cake, Lemon Lime Olive Oil Cake and Chicken and Cranberry Rice Salad. Today Rich Glen Olive Oils are giving me 2 packs of the above products to giveaway to Seven Cherubs readers. Awesome.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

P & O Cruises Australia Pacific Dawn

Recently, Matt and I went on a P & O Cruise on the Pacific Dawn up the coast of Queensland. It was a wonderful experience and it was lovely to have some time together, just the two of us to relax and enjoy exploring the beautiful coast line we have here in Australia. We found P & O Cruises a lovely company to cruise with and the staff we very friendly and total fun to be around.
We boarded the crusie ship and was immediately taken aback by the huge size of it and the many levels and variety of rooms to relax and socialise in. Our room offered plenty of room for us to stay in and we settled ourselves in and went up to the top deck to join the launch party.
Up on the top deck for the launch party was loud music, dancing, performers and many excited passengers ready to have an awesome cruise. We joined in the festivities and could not wait to get started with our holiday. 
As the cruise ship took off it was amazing to see how close it came to the top of the Gateway Bridge here in Brisbane. 
Just fits under!!
Everyone on board turned their heads upwards to watch the boat pass underneath. Totally cool to see and watch and it reminds you just how high the Pacific Dawn really is.
The boat has plenty of room for walking and who would not love the view. So gorgeous and I loved the days we were able to only see the sea every where we turned. I love the brilliant blue of the sea and the clouds. Oh! How I loved the clouds.
The top deck of the cruise ship has two pools, a stage, a bar and two spa's with many chairs for relaxing on. On one end of the top deck there is a buffet restaurant and on the other end is a massive entertainment area, like a nightclub for dancing and listening to bands and music in. One frustrating part of the cruise for many of us was that the pools seem to spend a lot of time closed. I have no idea why but some passengers were getting very upset about it and it was nice when they were open.
I could not get enough of the view. I totally adored it. I was happy to sit on the back of the cruise ship watching the line of water trailing behind us, every single day. A couple of other passengers shared the same love with me of course! Lucky there were three levels you could do this on the back of the cruise ship.
Actually, I may have spent a fair bit of my time on the cruise ship looking at my feet and staring at the water. Pondering life and all the wonderful blessings it brings. Bliss!
The weather was wonderful for most of the trip and we also enjoyed the stops that the cruise ship made at different ports. We took a few day trips and had a blast exploring the beauty the coast has to offer.
We took a trip to the Great Barrier Reef and spent a day snorkeling and swimming out in the middle of the ocean amongst the gorgeous, brilliant colours and coral. I was speechless with the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. We also stopped off at as many scenic spots as we could to take it all in.
We took a trip down river looking for Crocodiles. I was more interested in the scenery and the clouds.
We stopped at the Daintree Rainforest and Mossmon Gorge. It has just rained before we visited so the rainforest had such a lovely fresh feel to it and the gorge was flowing wonderfully with water. Many visitors were swimming and having a great time in the water, it was way too cold for me!
I spent a great deal of time on the top deck taking pictures of clouds in all sorts of weather. They take on a new appreciation when you are up so high in the sky on a large cruise ship and you can see them from a different perspective. Adored them.
We ate in style with amazing views, dressed up and went out each night to different shows and loved the theme dress up nights on board. Here we are dressed up to go to the Hawaiian night. So much fun! I was really shocked just how many activities are available to participate in on cruise ships, Matt and I were constantly trying to work out how we could attend all the activities and fit in an afternoon sleep! We did not want to miss out on them as they were just too good!
We really had awesome time on the P & O Cruise ship Pacific Dawn and are looking forward to hopefully taking another trip in the future. If you ever get the chance to take a trip I highly recommend it. Everything is taken care of for you, you make new friends, it is relaxing, it is also fun and it is like living a dream life.

Olay, Garnier and Gifterati review

I have been having some serious fun, as per usual, roadtesting some products...this time it is a real variety of products which include Olay, Garnier Fructis, Gifterati and a gift giving system that is too easy and total fun.

OLAY


Now that I am getting a little older and starting to look a little more mature, skin wise that is, I decided to try the Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex cream. As I am a big Olay fan I was more than happy to try this product and I think I have nearly worked my way through the whole range now. Olay heaven!

First of all, I love the way this product looks. Love the bright red lid and love that the top is a large pump to get your cream out. To use this cream is simple, you smooth it over your face and neck focusing on your personal areas of wrinkles. I of course put it all over my face and neck. I am not a light cream applier!

I currently do not use any other wrinkle cream to compare it to. I don't know if a more expensive item works better or not, but what I can tell you is that if you have a limited budget, like me, to spend on beauty products then I would recommend this product.

It is affordable, feels nice and smooth to apply, it smells nice but is not too overpowering. It is a little thicker than my normal moisturiser but I don't know if I could say it actually helps with wrinkles. I did feel as if my skin was a little tighter after applying it but my wrinkles around my eyes seemed to be the same after testing it out. Having said that I like the product and would think more about purchasing it in the next 5 years as my wrinkles start to need a little more attention. You can read more about the product on the Olay website.

GARNIER FRUCTIS

I also recently tested out some Garnier Fructis Instant Detangler products.

I was sent the new Nurti-Repair Double Care for dry, damaged hair and the new Color Last Double Care for coloured, highlighted hair which is a daily care product you can leave in your hair that will not weigh it down. It is enriched with fruit oils to help repair hair and give you a shiny, silky feel. I have very fine hair and was really happy with the product. I was able to spray it on my hair at different times during the day and not have it look flat or limp.

I like the shape of the product, tapered in towards the top and easy to hold in your hands. As I have short hair and it does not get tangled that much I decided to try it out on Harmony's hair. She has the longest hair in our house. I know this product is not aimed towards young children but wanted to try it just once to see the effect it would have on longer hair.

I was really happy with the result. I told Harmony that I was using a special detangler on her hair and her attitude was even better with letting my brush her hair. Total win I say! By the way, don't you just love her hair??? I want it! Check out more Garnier products on the Garnier website.

GIFTERATI


Do you love to give gifts? I do and I believe I have found an awesome way of sending a special treat to friends that is total fun and very unique in how they go about business. Let me introduce you to a site called Gifterati - Real Gifts Posted Instantly.

Founded by Jessica a mother of two cherubs, who was tired of seeing her friends and family exchange virtual gifts on Facebook, she created Gifterati who operates throughout Australia and has a huge variety of real gifts available from chocolates, homewares, flowers, jewellery and fruit to donations, adventures and magazine subscriptions.

Gifterati is a gifting website, with a twist as it is 100% compatible with social media and allows people to post gifts to their friends’ Facebook walls. For those of us who love social media this is a fun way to send a gift to a friend.  The way it works is you go to the website, choose a gift, log into facebook and select the friend or family member you want to send it to, pay by paypal and then immediately post the gift to your friends facebook wall or email them the surprise gift just for them. They then post the item to your friend of family member within 24 hours.

To test out this service I had a gift selected for me and then posted to my facebook wall. I clicked on the link provided, supplied the address I wanted the gift sent to and then received my lovely gift in the mail. Check out what I received below:

A Ferrero Rocher 30 Pack of chocolates

I found the service easy and fun. It was a lovely surprise to see what popped up on my facebook wall and speed of delivery was great. It is a great gift giving service I will be keeping in mind for gifts I want to give to others in the future. You can also join the Gifterati community on facebook here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

a birthday, a suit and turning twelve



My handsome son is now twelve.
He wanted a suit for his birthday to wear to church.

I of course was very happy to purchase one.
He looks so grown up and my heart bursts just looking at him.

Below is me telling him he looks handsome.
We just missed catching the eye rolling that took place!


He is catching me on the height aspect and I am so impressed with the young man he has grown into.

In keeping with tradition, here are my twelve things I love about Nathan:

1. He is sports crazy. I love his motivation and desire to be active.

2. He loves to read and we have a great time chatting about books together.

3. He is an awesome big brother and is teaching Sam and Eli wonderful sports skills. I am amazed at how patient he is with them and loves to play backyard cricket with them.

4. He has an amazing memory and I love it when he gets frustrated with me because I cannot remember facts like he does. It makes me smile because deep down I know he loves that he is smarter than me.

5. I love it when he sings. I know he is happy when he is singing.

6. He is a good spin bowler. I like to tease him and call him a chucker instead.

7. I love that he can speak from his heart. He can share how he is feeling, especially when he is hurt or upset and I feel touched when he shares these thoughts with me.

8. Nathan is funny. The older he gets the more delight I take in seeing his personality and sense of humour develop. He has a very dry sense of humour. I love it!

9. He is a good dancer. He has rhythm and knows how to bust a cool move around the house.

10. He is determined. He knows how to set a goal and to make it happen. Just about everything Nathan has put his mind to has come to pass and he does not let anything stand in his way.

11. I love that Nathan is helpful. Whenever I ask him to help me out he always responds with, 'Yes Mum' and comes to help me out. It makes a huge difference to my day and I appreciate his support in our family.

12. I love his gorgeous smile, handsome face and twinkle in his eye when he is being cheeky.

Happy Birthday my wonderful young man!




Monday, January 23, 2012

cruise ship


Matt and I recently went on a cruise.
Just the two of us...along with several thousand other people.

The cruise ship was awesome.
So much to do and so much to enjoy.

Lucky for us...our cruise ship stayed afloat and did not sink.
So weird seeing a sinking cruise ship when you are actually on one yourself!

If you have ever wondered if you should go on a cruise, I would say GO!
It is brilliant!

Now I am back to reality.
Catching up with cherubs, housework, emails and school.

So hard to say goodbye to the relaxing, the partying and the food.
Only way to get over it is to book another trip I think!



Thursday, January 19, 2012

school holidays underwater

Our school holidays so far have been spent in the pool, underwater.


Every single day.
I have water baby cherubs.