Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Melbourne Cup...


Waaaaay back in 1977, I was handed a Form Guide by my Dad and instructed on how to choose a horse. I was all of seven years of age.
I was to choose a horse I liked.
Dad was to place a bet on that horse.
If that horse placed, it was explained, I could win money.
It was Melbourne Cup Day and my first ever memory of the big event. (Fun for me, thinking of the lollies I could buy if my choice won).
And the reason I remember it so well? 
I DID choose the winner of the Cup that day. 
The problem was my Dad (exercising all his fatherly wisdom), did not place my bet. 
You see the horse I chose was almost scratched. It fell ill or for some hazy reason, was not deemed to be up to the task on the day. Odds were stacked against it and the betting returns were likewise huge.
In the hour before the race that stops the nation, my Dad secretly and foolishly decided to save his money.
I chose the horse after 'vibing' it in my childish way - I liked the name and it stood out to me.

That horse was Gold And Black. 

Gold And Black ran a freakish run. Rocketing from the rear of the pack to the finish line by a huge length, my legendary horse went on to win the world's most famous horse race in an equally legendary finish.

I would have been VERY wealthy indeed had my Father placed that bet!

Not surprisingly, Dad never forgave himself. And I never let him forget!
Every year since, my unorthodox knack for sussing a winner was tested again and again with anticipation. 
Sadly however, I have never again picked a winner...

But, who's to say we can't have a darn good time trying!
 
This year I am heading out to Flemington to be a part of this most spectacular event in Lady Melbourne's culture. (For Melbourne becomes a 'Lady' of refinement on the world stage on this day).

My favourite race day experiences:

The sea of roses, many of them in the form of extraordinary-looking women. 
Velveteen horses preened to perfection. 
Infectious enthusiasm and excitement blended with the scent of earth and flowers.
The musky odour of horses intermingled the perfumes of 1000's.
Crowd cheering - so much cheering.
Champagne, smiles, happiness...
My favourite memory of all: Standing at the rails as the horses gallop past and feeling the thunder! Whoosh!
 
I have just written myself into a frenzied state and now I am just so excited!

This week I have been busily planning my outfit. I have chosen to spend my day at the races in this elegant black lace frock. It is an Australian design by Smith And Miles. It features a double layer of French inspired lace and has capped sleeves and cream satin lining. I am in love with it. I was even more inspired after I saw a very recent picture of Kate Middleton donning a remarkably similar gown! (Got my finger on the pulse of fashion this girl)!

 
I am topping off my lovely gown with this stunning fascinator. It is currently on its way to me via express post from a milliner in Tasmania. It features netting and ribbon with a diamonte centre, feathers for height and a little contrasting spotted ribbon to add interest. I literally searched through 100's of these online to find the right one. It can be quite difficult to match the colours, fabrics and trims to the finer details of the gown. I am more than happy with my choice despite not having seen it in real life yet. The trim is fastened to a headband for maximum comfort. 

 
My shoes are thankfully already in my wardrobe. They are black Asian-inspired satin heels with matt silver ribbon trim and tiny flower features which will finish off the fussiness of the hairpiece. And the bag? Well, since I have far too many, the choice will be a real ordeal of which I cannot even begin to fathom! That would be another blog post all on its own!

 
Now I know you are just all dying to know my race day picks given my extraordinary past experiences. Hehe!
I will be heading here to learn all I need to know to pick myself a winner!
I am loving the sound of Voleuse De Coeurs and My Quest for Peace. (I can really identify with the latter)!
Tac De Boistron - is yet another name of interest. (Pretty, don't you think)?
I may have to choose all three...
 
They're all great horses in The Melbourne Cup, every single one of them.
 
Good luck choosing yours!
 
 
I will be a guest of Luxbet.com at this year's Melbourne Cup.
 
Are you going to the Melbourne Cup?
What strategies do you use to pick a winner?
 
 
 
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Monday, 28 October 2013

Observing My Own Life...Welcome To The Ball Park

Having recently been very ill with Pneumonia, I was forced to become an observer of my own life.
Being a Mom of six kids usually means I am so busy that I miss a lot of the goings-on that I really should witness. There's always so much to do and I must confess that I don't always stop to enjoy the everyday experiences. I'd love to have the pleasure to sit and watch or play more than I do. It's clearly something that I have to work on - this slowing down.
Pneumonia really took care of that. In an unlikely way, it has actually been a bit of a gift this illness. Believe me when I say it was truly horrid to experience it. It's been taking people off the planet since the dawn of time and having felt the weight of such a serious illness now, I can see why. I don't recall any illness making me so sick ever.
I spent 2 weeks barely able to walk. I have downed 4 rounds of antibiotics. Had one of two scheduled chest X-rays, blood tests and the threat of a 5 day stint in hospital failing improvement...


Week three was where my revelation occurred. I was able to relocate to the sofa from my bed. And so began the experience of watching my life: my family of little ones.
I hadn't realised how much ball games were featuring in my home. I am frequently yelling over the noise at one child in particular - Ruben. He is constantly bouncing balls on the floorboards: Boom! Boom! Boom! He's currently a seven year old aspiring basketballer and clearly in the throes of an obsession.
It seems his passion has spread to the others. Even baby is getting into the whole ball excitement thing.

'Keepings off'

Even baby is in on the action


Don't you just adore Celeste's maniacal expression!
 
All photos taken on my iPhone 4s from the sofa!
 
What do your kids get up to in your house?
Please leave a comment below.
 
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Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT
 
 
 
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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Introducing...The Scentsy Experience...





Rewind my life to pre-children, around 15 years ago. It's December and I am shopping...in New York!
One thing that immediately brings the memory to the fore, is the smell of apple and cinnamon. Seems like a strange association doesn't it? Yet I can so clearly remember both Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's stores were heavily scented with these fragrances. Decorated with stunning Christmas ornaments throughout, the air was tingling with the aroma. Countless times since my exciting shopping experiences in one of the most fabulous cities in the world, these same scents today, will bring back these wonderful memories as if it were yesterday.

Scents provide one of the most powerful links to our memories. There is scientific basis to this.
Having been a fully qualified aromatherapist prior to the arrival of my family, one thing I do miss these days is scent. Nice scents! Sadly I have been unable to burn my essential oils due to actual flames and the safety fears I have of these around my children.

Allow me to introduce the Scentsy experience:


Ceramic burner from the Scentsy Element Warmers range
in the Carrey style
 
 
 
Scentsy wax bars.
A massive range of beautiful aromas available
 
Scentsy is an American company that launched here in Australia on September 1st 2013. Scentsy began nine years ago in the United States. It has since become a huge success in America, Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico Guam and Canada.
 
So how does it work? A heated element ceramic burner warms a specially formulated wax. The wax is entirely safe with no flame, no soot and no smoke. Burning a Scensty burner in your home creates a beautiful atmosphere. There are a huge 65 scents to choose from in their range.
Let me just say, I have been in fragrance Heaven since I have been using mine!
 
I was sent a box load to try for review. There are extraordinary fragrances with names such as:
White Tea And Cactus, Luna, 'Jet, Set, Go,' Lime And Kiwi Cantaloupe and Black Raspberry And Vanilla to name a few from their extensive range. The fragrance 'bars' themselves come in small packs of eight wax squares which snap off. They can be melted individually as they are or blended together to create your own atmosphere in limitless possibilities.
To use, simply place a small cube in your ceramic burner, plug the burner into the wall and switch it on. That's it!
Within around 20 minutes my house began to smell sensational. What I loved most about the fragrances is that they smell natural. The aromas are like expensive fragranced candles but with definite advantages: There is no smoky smell (a downside of candles) and no nasty chemical smell (like home air sprays).
Best of all, there are no dangers whatsoever. The Scensty burners warm to release the fragrance but do not get hot. They are safe to touch. Even the wax cubes, which melt into liquid are only lukewarm to touch. The wax is non-toxic and food-grade so of no harm if ingested by curious kids. (Naturally, do supervise your children and still use caution wherever the burners are being used).
 
The Chevron burner (I am loving the look of this one)!
Image source: Scentsy catalogue
 The range of burners available are extremely attractive and there is a large selection to choose from. Every home d├ęcor has been considered. Everything from chevron designs to plain designs can be chosen from their extensive catalogue.
 
Scentsy offer more than just wax and burners. There is also a laundry range, children's range (featuring gorgeous soft toys which contain a safe, sealed scented sachet), Scentsy room sprays and a bath and body range. There is a Scentsy product to suit every individual or family.
I really am hooked on it now!
 
The range of scented children's soft toys
Image sourced from the Scentsy catalogue
 
Scentsy is sold on party plan. If you are interested in starting a home-based business that is very likely to be a hit, this is it! Everyone wants a fresh smelling home. I have been really impressed with the quality this product.
To find out more about Scentsy in Australia please visit here to see the full range available or join and become a consultant. Alternatively, you can email jenniferhudson0@gmail.com for further information.
 
Scentsy's safe food-grade waxes heat to a soft, warm wax. Safe if ingested
and never hot to touch. Perfect for use in families with curious kids.
Brilliant for disguising odours and creating a beautiful atmosphere in any home.
 

WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN!
Want to try Scentsy for yourself?
One lucky Six Little Hearts reader can win this fabulous Scentsy prize pack consisting of
an Element Warmer in Black Zebra and a selection of Scentsy fragranced waxes worth approx. $60!
 
 
 To enter, simply follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter App below.
Giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
Winner will be notified via email and given 48 hours to respond. If no contact is made, a new winner will be chosen.
Judge's decision is final.
Good luck!
xxx
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
For the purpose of this review I was gifted a Scentsy burner and selection of fragrant waxes to try.
All opinions are my own.
 
How do you make your home odour free?
Do you use scents to create atmosphere?
Please leave a comment below.
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Monday, 14 October 2013

Celebrating Halloween




Do you celebrate Halloween at your place?
Chances are if you've got kids, they're talking about this special occasion for months before its arrival.
My kids are keen Halloweeners! 
An event sandwiched between the frequent holidays scattered throughout the year and so close to Christmas, it's one I could quite happily ignore. My children would be very disappointed if I did however.
So, each year I make the effort to make it memorable for them.
I began initially by purchasing witches hats and lollies in the early years of my biggest kids. They would excitedly watch Halloween specials on TV and consume their bags of lollies wearing their hats. Over time, add more children and festivity and the holiday has begun to get a following at our place. We've gone on to full costumes, Halloween decorations, Halloween lollies, and Jack 'o' Lanterns carved from oranges! (We don't Trick Or Treat however as I draw the line there). 
Surprisingly, I have even started to enjoy the celebration of Halloween. It's so much fun to see the kids enjoy themselves. I especially love the excited nervousness of the littlies who have immense fun but are perhaps a tiny bit spooked by it all! Those faces make the most adorable of memories for me!



Five little kiddies set for some spooky fun!
 

It seems it has become easier to celebrate Halloween in Australia too with it being an event no longer designated to a small, dark space tucked away in stores. Halloween is blaring from shopfronts these days as advertisers realise the sales potential and the public demand here grows.
This year I am well prepared for the event. Thanks to the demand this growing popularity has fuelled, I am well stocked in spooky colouring books, decorations, cardboard skeletons and even this mammoth box of American candy!

I bought this massive box of lollies called The Scary Box
from USA Foods. All our Halloween needs are wrapped up!

Yes, the kids don't know yet about the full extent I am prepared to go this year. I am going to have some fun though!
My tips for some free spooky fun at your place:

Print off Halloween colouring pages. There are plenty of free downloadable images on the net. 
Make your own nifty Trick Or Treat lolly bags with your print offs: Purchase a pack of simple brown paper lunch bags from your supermarket and cut and paste your black and white images onto the bags. Kids love to colour them in and fill their creations with some lollies when they're done! 

Make a small Jack 'o' Lantern from an orange. Pumpkins are large, expensive and difficult to carve. Try an orange instead! They are inexpensive, small and you can have a great design done in around 10 minutes. (Thanks to Hubby for these brilliant examples)!


Oranges have the added bonus of a citrus scent when you place a tea light candle inside. They really look sensational on a windowsill or your front doorstep too. My kids love us to bring the Jack 'o' Lantern to their bedrooms for a visit when they are all tucked into bed and it's really dark - there's a lot of awe inspired and I know then we've carved more than just an orange into their little minds! It is actually my favourite thing to do this as it harbours a real moment of the Halloween festival - the night of the faded boundary between the living and the dead - spooky!
Go one better and carve several different expressions into enough oranges to place one on each step leading to your front door. A great look!

 
Bake a batch of cupcakes and whip up some horrible coloured icing to suit the occasion. Top off your cakes with some Halloween themed lolly decorations. Bound to be a hit! Cost - virtually nothing.

Finally, visit Pinterest for countless beautiful crafty ideas and decorating tips to support the event. It's pretty wow out there! (Makes me feel inadequate inspired)! 


WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! SPOOKY FUN!

USA Foods here in Melbourne have generously donated a juicy, big box of gorgeous genuine American Halloween Candies which are up for grabs for one lucky Six Little Hearts reader!
Perfect for all your Halloween food crafts and excited kiddies of all ages!
Entry is easy, just follow the prompts below. 

Entry is open to Australian residents only. 
Winner will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to respond. if no contact is made, another winner will be chosen.
Judge's decision is final.
Good Luck!

Do you celebrate Halloween at your house?
What do you do to make it special for your kids?
Please leave your comments below.
Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT



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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Oh The Things They Can Say...





Children can be brutally honest. Offensively so even. Sometimes I am not sure if honesty even plays a part - more just plain imaginative! Some days after slaving away endlessly making everyone else's journey as simple and pleasant as possible, I catch one of these doosies thrown my way and wonder why on earth I bothered.

Some top comments of late:

"Mum, you've got a big butt!"
I would be seriously offended but since I am a size 8 I am tending to ignore.
"Your butt wobbles!"
Thanks for that. They do tend to do that when the rest of your body also moves with it. Thanks for pointing it out nice and loud in public anyway!
"Mum, you're old!" 
"I know. You don't have to tell me!"
Sorry for attempting to impart some wisdom or advice or just have a conversation.
"Yuck! I am not eating that!"
Frequently spoken upon viewing a great dinner.
"You never..." (Insert your own response that's offensive or self-esteem blasting).

Some of the best but believe me the list is ever-growing along with the kids.

Whatever it is that drives us to procreate is beyond me. After six kids you would think I would have learned that adorable babies grow into smaller adults with opinions often offensively different to our own. They will challenge, offend, retaliate, dislike and oppose us just because they are having a bad day.
On top of the bad stuff, they expect rewards, treats and fun on tap just because they've been born.
They will spend all your cash.
Use all your physical energy like little leeches.
Throw tantrums when you say no to their demands and expectations.
But who can resist when they start their journey with you looking so gorgeous?
Yes, it's a slow disease this growing up.


What charming phrases have your children hit you with lately?
Please share them below and leave a comment!
 
WIN! WIN WIN!
Have you entered my giveaway yet? Please scroll below and enter to win a stunning Cristina Re stationery prizepack worth more than $150 and read about my beautiful high tea experience too!
 




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