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The Resident, Michelle Key

By Kyrenia Blanshard

This month we have ventured a little further afield and have chatted to Michelle Key from Pymble. Michelle is the Founder and Director of North Shore Mums Smiles2U, a registered charity in NSW which aims to bring happiness and smiles to parents and children who find themselves in hospital unexpectedly.

She shares her local favourites with us, why she loves Pymble and how you can help bring a smile this Christmas to children in hospital.

So why did you choose Pymble?
Having grown up on the North Shore and enjoying the leafy green trees, it was my wish when we returned from living overseas to head straight back!. Pymble is a lovely suburb, it’s not too far out from the city, it’s close to good schools and we were able to get value for money when we purchased our property.

Best thing about the area?
It feels safe and super friendly. It’s a short walk to the local school from our place, not too far from the shops and everyone is really friendly when we go on our walks. We found this even more so during lockdown and the endless walks we did with the kids!

Best coffee in the area or close?
Its hands-down Jack and Co up on the highway in Pymble. We love their coffee! So much so that when we arrive in the mornings, they know what we want and have it ready before we have even paid for it 😉

What’s your favourite place to eat out on the Upper North Shore?
An Italian restaurant called The Sawmill in West Pymble. Everything on the menu is delicious.

Any local hidden gems you’d be kind enough to share with us?
Comme Chez Nous is this cute French Cafe in Pymble. They have the best Caramel Muffins. The owners are so welcoming too!

What’s your favourite room at home and why?
Our patio outside overlooks our backyard. We have a lovely big backyard, it’s so green. During lockdown we spent many hours gardening and now we’re seeing the rewards of our hard work.

What does your perfect weekend involve?
When there is no sport on… sitting by the fire pit, enjoying cheese and biscuits and a G&T (this was a favourite activity of ours during lockdown).

And can you tell us a bit more about Smiles2U and how we can all get involved this Christmas?
Smiles2U was started six years ago and we now support and work with 12 hospitals. We absolutely love what we do and we’re so proud of how far we have come. I honestly had no idea we would get this big! It’s very rewarding and the feedback we receive from recipients makes all the hard work we put in worthwhile.

We know how busy everyone is, so if you can’t get to the shops, donate directly to us and we can go and do the shopping on your behalf (donate here)

Or purchase a gift, wrap it and visit one of our drop-off locations across the Upper and Lower North Shore by Friday 10 December! From 11th December, we will be picking up all the presents, sorting them at my house and then hiring Santa’s sleigh to get round to all the hospitals by Christmas Eve!

If you would like to donate a gift, both Ray White Upper and Lower North Shore Group will be collecting presents for Smiles2U. Simply visit one of our offices to drop your gifts off by 10 December. We will provide gift tags to attach.

You can also donate online via the North Shore Mums Smiles2U website, visit

For further details and what kind of presents to purchase children in hospital, visit

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