Product Review – Pop-in Nappies – Stephanie Hall

Stephanie Hall review Pop-In Nappies

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Tell us where you use this product… Everywhere – home, out, bedtime

Product name… Pop-In modern cloth nappies

What is generally used for: For full-time nappy use including overnight. We have been using these for 8 months so far.

What I loved… These nappies are fantastic! We were looking for an environmentally sensitive product which was also high quality, kind on baby’s skin and easy to use and it has met all of these. The outer cover is durable and holds everything in (more-so than when we used disposables) and the toweling lining has stayed soft and clean even with many washes – they still look as-new even after 8 months of use. We also adore the prints and colours available especially in summer where our little girl’s nappy can be seen under dresses. We couple the nappies with the bamboo biodegradable flushable liners which makes them so easy to wash. And there is no awful nappy smell after a whole night of wearing that you get with disposables.

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Was there anything that didn’t meet expectations? We use the one-size adjustable nappies however we thought they were a little big for our newborn so commenced using them at 8 weeks when they fit better. They have fit perfectly since.

Who would this work well for? Anyone! But especially those who are environmentally conscious and looking for a high quality alternative to disposables. And for those who never want to buy a disposable ever again!

In your words what do you think of your pop-in nappies, and would you recommend them to friends? We love the Pop-In nappies and will most certainly use them for the next child. I would highly recommend them.

Find our more about the gorgeous pop-in nappies here…

http://flowerchild.com.au/modern-cloth-nappies/nappies-covers/pop-in.html

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New Baby Checklist – A Mum’s Guide

It’s so easy to end up with loads of stuff you don’t actually need, or use, when you have a new baby.

So the flower child mummies got together and asked each other advice on what new mums  actually need.

We discovered that:

It’s helpful to put a gift registry/list together, even if your Aunt Gerty doesn’t like the idea. Registries mean you can keep track of how many of everything you need, and not end up with 20 of something and none of another.

Please don’t buy new parents a gazillion boxes of newborn disposable nappies, because

a) they might want reusables, and

b) they grow out of that stage so quickly, and who wants to be left trying to return a box of nappies to the supermarket (let alone where the heck do you PUT 10 boxes of disposable nappies???)

Don’t buy too may things for ‘when they get a bit older’. Everyone does that, meaning new parents have to rush out and get a dozen things in 0000-000.

Want a copy of our New Baby Must Haves?

Just click here and we’ll send a copy to your inbox!

 

Product Review – Squeez’Ems

The perfect product I found for yoghurt for my boys. I purchased large containers of yoghurt from Harris Farm and then would just refill these. So much cheaper!!

Product: Squeez”Ems

What is generally used for: Used for babies, toddlers and teens, fill with purees, smoothies, any beverage of your choice, use, wash and re-use!

When/how it was used:Perfect for when out and about as it has a screw top lid to stop leaking, and you can freeze them so they are great to take out to the park for the day!

What I loved:The benefits of these is the cost for me. It saved buying hundreds of small pouches of yoghurt which cost a fortune if you add it up over a year.

Was there anything that didn’t meet expectations?  My 8 yr old just wishes they were bigger when I fill them with frozen fruit juice!

Who would this work well for? These are perfect for anyone with children!

What other’s are saying about Squeez’Ems.. 

Squeez-alicious!  12/04/14
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Love my Squeez’Ems! My daughter went through a phase of wanting to eat only food from pouches – Using squeez’ems meant I was still able to feed her the nutritious food I had prepared without the cost or excessive waste of disposable food pouches. Now my eldest daughter also takes her squeez’ems to preschool with yoghurt in them.

 

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Personally I love my Squee’Ems and 2 years later they are still used every week, especially on the weekends when we are out and about.

Top ten uses for them are..

Our TOP TEN uses for Squeez’Ems (other than feeding that gorgeous baby of yours!)

  1. Freezing leftover smoothies for yummy, healthy ice block treats.
  2. Yoghurt to go – for Mum and Dad too.
  3. Freezing breast milk
  4. To transport salad dressings for lunch on the run.
  5. Storing unused egg whites in the freezer.
  6. Batch making fruit jellies, yoghurts and custards for kindy lunches.
  7. Keeping left over marinades and sauces fresh in the fridge.
  8. Taking condiments camping or on a picnic
  9. Messy painting with toddlers
  10. Freezing water in them as make great cold packs for injuries to little ones!

Find out more about them

http://flowerchild.com.au/catalogsearch/result/?q=squeez%27ems

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Toilet training – Jo-Anne Lloyds experience with her 3 boys.

Toilet Training

So my youngest will be 3 at the end of this month. And bless him he has been so easy to toilet train – just like my other 2 boys.

Owen (my youngest) just seemed ready. How did I know this?  I just asked him if he wanted to do wees on the toilet like his brothers and he was very keen! I just got him one of those over the seat toilet steps that they climb up onto and he loved it. We had one accident and the rest of the time he has done an amazing job.

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My middle one (Cooper) was about two and a half, I was pregnant with my 3rd boy and I decided it was a good time to toilet train him before the next one came along.

I have a friend (no names being mentioned – Lisa Collins) that said to me , once you decide to toilet train do not put a nappy back on your child as they get confused. So I didn’t (only at night), yet within a month that stopped as well. And Cooper caught on really well. And the reality is as well you save a tonne of money not having to buy nappies!

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With both of the boys I just continuously ask them about every half an hour whether they need to go or not. That continual reminder helps them realise  and remember that they need to go to the toilet.

I never used pull-ups either as I thought that defeated the purpose of toilet training and they were so expensive as well!!!!

With my eldest son Adyn I was new at this parenting thing! We used to take the potty everywhere with us, until he figured it out, and then I realized boys were pretty easy as they could go anywhere a lot easier than girls!!!

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So toilet training has not been a huge issue in our house. Thank goodness.

I think they key is not to start too early and wait until they understand exactly what you are asking them to do rather than forcing them as I think that is just a waste of time. It also results in a lot of accidents which can be frustrating for the child and the parents!

Good luck to those starting on the journey, relax and wait until everyone is on the same page.

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Jo

Inspirational Monday – Jo-Anne Lloyd

Meet    Jo-Anne Lloyd

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Mother of 3 gorgeous boy tells about us how she juggles it all and  how her 2 youngest are starting Kindy and Preschool on the same day!

Can you tell us a little about yourself before children…

Before having Adyn, who is now 21, I worked for the ANZ bank in foreign currency and was at University studying sociology. I loved going out with friends and seeing live bands. I loved going to watch football and cricket with my parents.

You were a single mother for a while with your first boy, can you tell us a little about how you managed and juggled life and working full time…

Once I had Adyn I deferred Uni. I became a single mum when Adyn was 16 months old. This was a particularly hard time as money was very tight. We were living in the Eastern Suburbs and rent was ridiculously high. But we managed to get by with loads of love. Adyn was my whole world. I was a single mum until I met my now husband and Adyn was 13. Being a single mum is a difficult job…its 24/7. You have to be all roles and you often lose a sense of your own self.

You now have 2 more boys, one starting pre-school and one starting Kindy! How are you adjusting to the thought of 2 big milestones both happening on the same day!???

What is your biggest fear for them? What are they most looking forward to doing on their first days?

I now have 2 extra little men. Cooper is 6 in May and Owen is about to turn 3. Being a parent is the hardest job I could imagine….its all day every day. Cooper is about to start school and he is sooooo ready, I’m not sure I am. Owen is starting preschool as well. To look at my little men frowning is exciting and scary. I just want them to be happy, kind and honourable little individuals. Cooper is excited about meeting his new friends and playing at lunch time….oh and going to the canteen!!!!

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You are also now back working… where do you work and what is your role?

I have recently gone back to work 1 day per week at a local retirement village. It is perfect….next door to preschool and across the road from primary school. My role there currently is reception and resident assistance.

How do you juggle working and a young family?

The juggle has been quite easy as I’m only doing 1 day. I do remember how hard it can be though. The school holidays were always so difficult. I was lucky to have great support from my mum who loved being with Adyn. His other grandparents were also absolutely amazing.

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? Why?

I think parenting in practical terms hasn’t changed, however I do believe the expectations we put in ourselves has….there are so many opinions that are accessible. Also we as mothers can be quite brutal on each other. I don’t ever remember my mum talking about other mothers the way modern mums do. That’s sad. We should support each other in the difficult job as mothers.

Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

My expectations as a mum haven’t changed. I want my kids to happy, healthy, kind and thoughtful.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but now do/did?

I don’t think u ever said i wouldn’t do something. With Adyn I was young and just sort of winged it…..with the little 2 I’m old and can’t be bothered worrying about what everyone else expects of me. I try to be a loving mum….each day is different. I probably yell to much!!!

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

A typical day for me is up at around 6am….I try and squeeze in a cup of tea in the quiet but my middle one is a very early riser. Beds made straight away, washing on and hung out. An absolute struggle to get middle child to eat anything that resembles breakfast. I aim to go to the park, bike ride, library, play centre or something they may enjoy but we will just see how the morning goes. If we stay at home it generally involves housework…..the afternoon arrives…fold washing, get children bathed, get family fed, consume wine and collapse at 9pm.

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

ABC 4 Kids has kept me sane…..don’t judge!!!!

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

How to keep it real…..your human, be human. Your kids are kids, let them be kids. And most importantly….whatever works for you!!

Inspirational Monday – Glynis Howard – Early Childhood Consultant – Baby of Mine

Meet       Glynis Howard

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From      Baby of Mine

An Early Childhood Consultant…. as well as….

Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery / Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Nursing and Child & Family Health / International Breastfeeding Lactation Consultant / Certified Infant Massage Consultant

Can you tell us a little about yourself… and your role in the community

I like to think I am a disciplined and highly self motivated person, I like adventures, doing something a bit different!

I have climbed to Everest Base camp in the Himalaya’s and also to the top of the highest mountain in Africa -Kilimanjaro!! More Nepal trips are on my bucket list. Have always been very interested in health/cooking and exercise.

I decided on studying nursing because my step Mum suggested it was a good idea, this was in South Africa, once I started I was driven to do my midwifery, not sure why?

I thought I would just help mothers with birthing for the rest of my life! However my adventurous spirit led me to leave South Africa for what I thought would be 6 months in Australia, that was over 30 years ago now !!!

Working in partnership with parents leads to the parents gaining confidence, so I that is my contribution to the community.

Being an Early Childhood consultant obviously covers a huge role.

What are some of things you cover with parents when they come to visit you?

When working with parents I cover a huge range of topics, mostly very personalised, to do caring for their baby and developing child. Managing expectations. I think we all have our own ideas about how we will manage the baby world until we walk in the front door with that new baby!

Breastfeeding is an art so supporting Mums through this is huge learning curve and takes up a fair bit of my time.

I guess we have expectations that our baby’s sleep like ‘baby’s.’ Not so!! Sleep settling concerns are the most common issues parents seem to have.

Home visits in that early period seem to set Mums and Dads onto the right path. Since I have a little centre Mums are free to check on their baby’s growth or do their Blue Book check with me. Typically lots of questions arise … Is my baby growing as she should? Should he be doing more by this age? When can I start solids? Why wont my baby take her solids? To name a few!!!

Best tip for new parents??

Best tip I can give new parents is to keep away from all the advice, everywhere family, well meaning friends, blogs, books. Spend time at home as much as possible in the first 4-6 weeks just getting to know YOUR baby. The books etc are written about the authors’ baby or the babies that specialist may have seen, and not your very unique baby in your unique family environment !!!

Believe in yourselves. This only comes when you do focus on your self and your new baby and use that valuable time communicating with your baby.

Can you describe your workplace to us..

My work space is a relaxed quiet environment. I have a scale to weigh babies and toddlers. Lots of toys for the little ones to explore and many resources I can share when needed! Close to the new kids park in Collaroy and of course the beach!! You can even pick up a few groceries from the local IGA when you have finished your appointment no queues!

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I am actually based next to Flowerchild in Collaroy

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How do you juggle working and a family? Juggling !!! I must admit I thought that by the time I had grandchildren I would not have to do much juggling .I was wrong there!!! Now I fit in my own meals shopping and cleaning etc and quite often the needs of my grandchildren. Helping two families with meals when needed!

I need to have my meals planned get up early so I can fit in my exercise at 5.15 most weekdays, juggle the shopping and meal planning ensure I am disciplined about working from home.

 Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?

I grew up in South Africa so parenting was different. I guess the neighbours were very involved with each other. My grandparents lived in different areas but the support came from the neighbours. Mothers stayed at home with their kids. Car seats were non-existent, but then so was public transport so staying at home was the only option. Free play for the younger kids without concerns for safety was the way we lived. No TV. Creative, play outside.

Since having my kids, I have realised all our children will present us with their own challenges no child is straight forward and so this will presents its own challenges to our parenting experience and rock our expectations.

What is one thing you swore would never do as a parent… but do?

I never thought we would play ‘Musical beds ‘ but most mornings we would wake up in different beds with one or another child in our bed.

Can you walk us through a typical day for you?

Mostly up by 5.30am going to gym, home by 6.45am have brekkie and maybe a coffee with my husband, at the local café overlooking Warriewood beach, before a leisurely drive about 10 mins from Warriewood to Collaroy. Alternately I may have home visits in remote suburbs so I will be seeing Mums nice and early to sort a breastfeeding concern, or sleeping issues. Usually finish up at my centre. I send a lot of texts to all my clients all day long, helping them to explore daily concerns with me, affirming their parenting skills.

On Tuesday mornings I run a beautiful infant massage classes with 6-8 Mums and babies, very relaxed and enjoyable morning, some nice cold teas and a chat with the Mums about all kinds of subjects! Usually get home by 4.30pm or go over to help with grandchildren bath times.

Just seeing my children developing their own beautiful personalities was the most rewarding part of parenting. There were expectations that were rocked and I had little support from family, my friends all seemed to go back to work early.

One tip for all of us on keeping it real,,,

The best thing you can do in my opinion, is enjoy lots of outdoor creative play, keeping the kids in a pretty strict routine seemed to work best for me.

Find out more about Glynis and her work at

http://www.babyofmine.com.au/

or on facebook at Baby of Mine

https://www.facebook.com/www.babyofmine.com.au

Inspirational Monday – Veronica Cristovao – Diamond Kids Boutique

Meet     Veronica

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From      Diamond Kids Boutique

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Can you tell our readers a little about yourself before children….

I have studied a few different courses majored in Management, marketing and computing then i joined the work force managing, marketing & customer service in the retail industry where i worked for around 15 years.

I enjoyed to learn and study new things so i also completed a real estate course and joined the sales department in real estate and really enjoyed it.  I have always been a people person and enjoyed working with people and in my spare time my hobby was to do charity work, modelling, promotional work and loved to travel.

Your new venture – Diamond Kids – how did it come about and why?

I have always wanted to own my own shop just didn’t know what to sell, then when I was organizing my daughters 5th birthday and had to find her costume all the way in the Eastern suburbs.  I thought to myself there is nothing around where we live (Chiswick).  Last year not knowing i was going to open a store i registered for a business name “Diamond Sister” for my girls thinking one day in the future something would eventuate and it sure did.  I will use “Diamond Sisters” as my label name now.   Having three children i thought it would be perfect to have a children’s Boutique in Drummoyne.

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With all my past experience and studies and the fact that i was a mother i was very positive and determined that i could open up a store. Being a mother is the most special thing you could experience and i feel very blessed but i have always tried to have a balance in life and the workforce has always been very important to me.

What product ranges do you stock and what are you finding the most sought after by parents?

Product ranges i stock are Bebe, Fox & Finch, Oobi, Sapling, Little Gems, Giggle me Pink, Top Model,

Pink Poppy, Not your average tutu, Britt Bear,Eeni meeni miini moh, Beatrix New York, Baby first, Riesling, Skeanie and all brand toys.

What parents are wanting would have to be designer clothes, costumes and accessories.

Describe your work place to us…

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How do you juggle working and a family?

It is  a difficult task and you have to be organized, try to follow a routine and work as a team to make it easy for the whole family.

Having a balance with work and family has also been handy.

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?

Not really as parenting in many ways is the same the way we were raised, as a lot of things i learnt and seen have been implement to my way of parenting.

I was raised by my mother (single parent) and she has always worked hard and also been there for me and tried really hard to have a balance with it all.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but do?

I swore i would never be so strict on the tidiness of the house but i am and I make sure everyone does their share including the children.

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

Make breakfast, lunch for my son and get ready.  Take my son to school, then go to work and clean shop before opening at 10am.  Receive new stock, rearrange shop, paperwork and emails during the day.  Serve customers in between my daily activities.

Clean up and pickup my son at .315pm, to take him home to have shower, homework and sometimes take him to sport.  Get back start dinner, then my husband gets home with the girls who we shower and get ready for dinner we eat around 5pm as he finishes work around 4pm.

After dinner we all sit together read books, play or watch a little tv and bed time is around 7pm,  we then separate to put one down at the time.

If we are lucky we should be done around 730pm-8pm to just relax and have some adult time together.  If too busy at the shop I sometimes attend to my emails depending on how the day goes.

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website?

It would definitely have to be my husband and mum who have kept be sane and they are my best friends.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real..

Having a balance in life and never forgetting to smile as it make you feel so good.

Find out more about Diamond Kids Boutiqe..

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Diamond-Kids-Boutique/1454769661455590

http://www.diamondkidsboutique.com.au/

Inspirational Monday – Natasha from KIDsize living Sydney’s Inner City

Meet      Natasha

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From     KIDsize living Sydney’s Inner City

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Can you tell us a little about yourself before children.

I grew up in quiet rural Ireland but I always had itchy feet. At 19 I moved to New York and worked there for 4 years. Next was London for another few years and then back to Ireland. I thought I had exhausted my travel cravings but when the economy in Ireland took a down turn, my fiancé and I decided to move to Australia. We have since married and really settled into life in Australia. I love the outdoor, active lifestyle here and before my little man came along I enjoyed doing my workouts or swimming outside before work in the morning. Looking back now I realise how much time I spent relaxing by the pool!

How did you become involved with KIDsize Living Sydneys Inner City?

I went back to work (4 days a week) when my son was 5 months old. I really wasn’t ready, nor did I feel my son was ready for day care. I struggled through the first month or so with my son picking up every cold and virus that was going. I had to take so many days off work and I was already finding it extremely difficult to cram 5 long days of work into 4 shorter days. My little fella wouldn’t look at me when I picked him up from daycare in the evenings which was the worst feeling ever!

I spent a lot of time hurting my brain trying to come up with an amazing business idea that would provide the work life balance I needed. One particularly stressful day, I remember thinking, ‘just stop and sit down on the sofa!!

So I did and started looking through my Facebook feed and noticed the post about KIDsize Living expanding. All of a sudden I got really excited and my heart was racing. Before I even looked into it I just got a really strong feeling that this was what I needed to do. I’m not exaggerating in any way, i just knew!

I had heard about KIDsize Living from another mum when I was pregnant and she raved about how much it helped her. When my bub was 6 weeks old we moved to Rosebery and with no family in Australia, and none of my friends having kids, it was a bit daunting. I found it very difficult to find information kid friendly places I could meet my friends nearby.  I spent so many hours trawling through websites,searching for local playgroups and activities, only to find the information sparse and out of date in a lot of cases. Once I armed myself with information I felt much more comfortable leaving the house with a newborn. I wanted to help other parents by having all the local information parents need to know in one spot and empower parents to take on Sydney with kids!

Fast forward 5 months and I now run KIDsize living Sydney’s Inner City! I work from home and my son goes to daycare a few days so I can get some work done. He’s just turned 1 and loves going to daycare now. I’m in a great position that I can drop everything and pick up my son if he’s not well without feeling guilty that I’m letting someone down. I love that I can pick him up early if I’m having one of those days where I miss him terribly. He’s my mini business partner and we travel all around Sydney checking out fun places with him. He’s a lucky kid!

There is an amazing group of parents running various KIDsizeLiving  websites (http://www.kidsizeliving.com.au) for different areas around Sydney. It’s a fantastic support network and Katherine and Eileen who founded the original KIDsize Living have a wealth of information about how to keep it local and relevant for parents.

Website: http://www.kidsizelivingsydneycity.com.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kidsizelivingsydneycity

or on Instagram: https://instagram.com/kidsizelivingsydneycity

KIDsize Living Sydney City Poster SMALL

What is your role?

KIDsize Living Sydney’s Inner City is a free local online guide for parents to keep up with everything fun, useful and exciting for kids in our gorgeous city and its close surrounds. We’re talking local kids activities, events, classes, playgrounds, kid friendly cafes, local businesses, local services, giveaways and much more! We also have a free weekly newsletter so our parents are the first to know about upcoming events and activities.

It’s just me behind the scenes so there is lots to do! Most of my time is spent investigating and researching all the exciting things to do for kids and parents in my area. My days are spent talking to organisers of events, meeting parents, lots of editing, website publishing and social media posting to keep parents in the know. We live in the area I cover so that makes it so much easier to know what’s happening.

My main man and  I (my husband wont like that!) visit and review activities, parks and kid friendly places to eat out so we can experience them first hand before I add them to the website. For example, it’s really important I know the vibe of a cafe and if it has a high chair, access for prams, a change table, a play area, kids menu and most importantly good coffee! I want to provide parents accurate and honest information. Little Lochlann does his part and tests out everything we visit; playgrounds, highchairs and exposes all possible escape routes now that he’s walking.

I do work hard in order to keep the website up to date and relevant for parents. There is just so much happening in Sydney’s Inner City that I have got to be on the ball! Honestly, though it doesn’t feel like hard work, I love it.

Out and about

What are the most common things that parents are looking for on your site?

Christmas Events http://www.kidsizelivingsydneycity.com.au/event/whats-on.html?category=christmasEvents

School Holidays Activities http://www.kidsizelivingsydneycity.com.au/event/school-holidays.html

Our Top 10 Playgrounds http://www.kidsizelivingsydneycity.com.au/content/parks-and-playgrounds.html?category=ourTop10Playgrounds

Enclosed Playgrounds http://kidsizelivingsydneycity.com.au/content/parks-and-playgrounds.html?category=playgrounds&subcategory=enclosedPlaygrounds

Eat Out with Kids  http://www.kidsizelivingsydneycity.com.au/content/eating-out.html

 

Popular Searches

Describe your work place to us…

Most of the time I work from my mac at our living room table. I don’t have much paperwork so my workspace can disappear very quickly for dinner and when we have visitors. Sometimes for a change of scenery I work from my local Black Gold Espresso at the end of my street. They have everything I need – wifi and great coffee. Our rooftop terrace is a great place for typing or planning, if its not too hot.

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How do you juggle working and a family?

This is definitely a work in progress. I get to spend more time with my family now that I am running KIDsize Living Sydney’s Inner City. Having said that, because it’s my business and I’m the only one responsible, I find it hard to stop working and relax. I have my son in daycare 3 days a week. I was planning on cutting it down to 2 days once I had established my website but I’m hesitating. My wee man loves people and the stimulation day care provides. I think days with me are a little boring for him in comparison! Like lots of parents, I really appreciate that I have daycare and my son enjoys it, so I’m afraid to drop a day and not be able to get it back if I need it later.

On Wednesdays and Fridays, when he is at home, I plan as if I’m not going to get any work done. In doing so I’m not constantly thinking what I should be doing, instead I’m enjoying my time with him and being present. Napping is not always a reliable event or one that sticks to any type of schedule. When it does happen, its an opportune time for a shower, laundry, food etc etc.

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? Why? 

Absolutely, and in so many ways! I grew up in rural Ireland and everything about parenting was passed down from previous generations. Problems weren’t really discussed and there wasn’t anywhere to turn for advice or help like there is now. Parents couldn’t use the internet to search for answers or support, they just got through it somehow.

The other major difference is that people from my neck of the woods had large families and got married and started having kids very early. My dad was one of 15 kids and he and my mum were only 20 when they had my older brother!

When we were kids we had chores from an early age and worked pretty hard on our farm. My first job outside our home was when I was 13 and I cycled about 5 miles to it.

Dads weren’t as hands on as they are now. I don’t think my dad ever changed a nappy and he had 4 kids. He still has old fashioned ideas about men and woman’s roles in life!

My older brother and I

Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

My priorities have totally changed. I’m now so driven to always do the best I can for my son and family as a whole, from making enough money, having enough time to making super healthy meals for him. Spending quality time with my son and husband and having a job that I enjoy that fits around this is what I aim for.

I have gained a whole new respect for what I can achieve after having my son and not having any family in the country. I have more courage and the confidence to try new things, take risks to achieve a better life for my family that I would have never normally taken.

Spending time eating (healthy), cleaning the house and exercising come much further down the list now, somewhere after feeding bub, consoling bub and watching with amazement when he figures out something new. I have become a lot better at dealing putting off the things I really want to do. I know this sounds terrible but I value those extra moments I spend with him more and it’s what gets me through the tough days. Having clothes, new shoes and planning daily outfits and earrings don’t get much of a look in these days!

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but now do/did?

Too funny! I always said I would never bring my kids to a restaurant until they were 10 (exaggerating a bit)! This was probably after witnessing kids in the restaurant having a tantrum and parents were looking very stressed. I just thought why would you stress yourself out because kids moods and behaviours are too unpredictable to bring them to a restaurant. Now all I do is bring my mini business partner to cafes and restaurants! Mostly to review them but sometimes just for some attempt at normality. Before having a baby I really had no idea! I didn’t think about parents who have no immediate family or support to just take the kids so they can go out for a bite to eat.  It would never have occurred to me that parents might be attempting to have a civilised family meal as a treat and were sick of cooking and eating in all the time.

I’m hoping my son will be so used eating out that he will have amazing restaurant etiquette (yeah right)! I’m also hoping because he has watched so many barista’s making me coffee that he’ll be a dab hand at it and can hook his mum up!

Lochlann in High chairs

Can you walk us through a typical day for you

Step one – coffee, haha joking (but not really!)

When Lochlan is at home, its a more relaxed schedule. We say hello to the trees and birds from our front door and say goodbye to Dad. I sort out breakfast, do a general tidy and put on some laundry. By 8am my son is ready to rock – to get outside, see the world, flirt with every lady he see’s (also, our washing machine is about to die and sounds like a jumbo jet so it’s a perfect excuse to leave). We head to the park via one of my favourite coffee spots (we have so many great ones!) for a take away. My sons’ just started walking and can finally enjoy the playground. We head home for nap (we are transitioning from 2 to 1 so there is no routine at the moment) and I get some work done when he sleeps. In the afternoon I try and go somewhere I can review for the website but this isn’t always possible. I have our car one day a week so we will venture a little further afield that day. Lochlann’s so mobile already, and doesn’t have a lot of patience for sitting in a car seat or pram, so I have to come up with different solutions all he time.

When my husband gets home I try and answer a few emails and once bub has had his bath,  dinner and is in bed I tidy up and get ready for the next day, eat and do some more work!

On a work day I walk bub to day care by 8am, fit in a quick workout at home (if I haven’t been up all night) and grab a coffee. I’m ready to rock n roll at 9am and I work like a Trojan until I realise its almost 3:15 and most of the cafes close by close at 3:30 so I leg it out to grab one. My husband usually collects bub about 4:30pm and then we spend a ridiculous amount of time laughing and playing until bed time. I usually squeeze in another couple of hours of planning and I’m done.

Weekends are swimming lessons, checking out kid friendly events and preparing all the new and exciting content for my newsletter the following week. We also spend a huge amount of time following my son up and down the stairs and walking around our local area looking for birds (both kinds) and dogs (his favourite thing after banana!).

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

My husband. He is an an amazing support, a brilliant dad and fills in for all the family we don’t have here. He totally gets the oxytocin, crazy hormones and breastfeeding roller coaster…but is not available for purchase!

I have to mention my baby carrier, our best buy yet! For a while (seemed like forever) it was the only place my son would sleep more than 20 mins during the day. It was a lifesaver on my trip to Ireland on my own with 3 month old bub, with my flights delayed twice and the whole trip taking over 3 days! I still use it and he’s 11kg and I still can’t believe my busy bub is totally chilled out in it.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real

You can eat a burger (plain, no patty, cooked yesterday) no problem while walking pushing a pram on the way to day care and it doesn’t matter who stares as I’ve probably been up since 5am and haven’t had food or a coffee. Survival 101!

Seriously though if I’m struggling with juggling everything, having doubts or feeling like there’s not enough time, thats when I find someone to call or meet for a coffee. I don’t necessarily tell them all of that otherwise they would stop answering the phone to me! I just know that doing this helps take my mind off everything. Also, if its a parent I’m talking to, i’ll soon realise that I’m not the only one who feels like this and I’ll snap out of it. They will probably have a very interesting poo story that will make me laugh.

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Inspirational Monday – Kate Inglish – Kate Inglish Designs

Meet            Kate Inglish

Kate Inglish Designs

From               Kate Inglish Designs

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How did Kate Inglish Designs come about and why?

Kate Inglish Designs came about 4 years ago when my eldest daughter celebrated her 1st Birthday. Being winter babies all my friends in my mother’s group all had their babies at the same time and I wanted to make something different for each of them. I was currently working in printing at the time and made up some personalised designs in my spare time and printed onto each shirt for their birthdays including the year they were born, name and an image of something they enjoyed at this time in their life. They were a huge hit and other friends and my husband’s work colleagues started to order some and then I began to make up some baby gift packs. I knew exactly the type of baby cases I wanted and then my search started to find suppliers. I then started a few local markets and a fb page and 4 years later it has grown into the business it is today. It all begun with an idea.

Can you tell our readers a little about your business and what your aims and goals are.

Kate Inglish Designs is an online and market based business run by me – Kate. I design and make up the personalised onesies and mini suitcase gift sets for babies. I also stock a wide range of quality and affordable wooden toys (which started from my daughters diagnosis with Epilepsy at 5 months) from Kaper Kids, Le Toy Van and many more, Little Bonbon baby blankets, Bunnykins range from Royal Doulton, mini retro suitcases, Children’s books, Maud ‘n’ Lil softies and much more. I started out with wanting a successful website and now that I have that my dream and future goals are to open affordable babies and children’s gift shop either on the NSW south coast or interstate.

What is your favourite newborn item gift?

My favourite new born baby gift is my range of personalised mini suitcase gift sets. If I had to pick one I would choose the deluxe sets for boys and girls. It has what any newborn baby needs and what parents like.

boys Each deluxe mini suitcase gift set includes an extra-large pink or blue mini suitcase, a 100% cotton blanket, cotton personalised onesie, a pair of handmade and exclusive Australian wool booties and beanie, wrapped in personalised ribbon, personalised greeting card with your own best wishes typed up for you, an Alimrose striped monkey rattle and hand squeaker, wrapped in tissue paper and babies name added to the front of the case with foam lettering. The best thing about the mini suitcase are that they can be used for safe keeping of all your babies hospital keepsakes.

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Describe your work place to us…

I have 3 areas for my work place.

  1. My office for printing, book work, website editing and mini photo shoots
  2. Down stairs room for all storage and packaging
  3. Market stalls – I am a frequent market stall holder each week.

market stall

My office upstairs over looks my garden, mountain and beautiful purple Jacarandas at the moment. I can hear the birds chirping and my chicken when it’s laying her egg. It’s bright and colourful with a white couch, pale green walls and white desk. I have pictures of my family above my computer and positive quotes as well as certificate of appreciations on the wall too. My market stall is  totally different – still bright but outdoors, big blue tent, tables with pink and white table cloths, bunting all around, big white stands to display everything on.

How do you juggle working and having a family?

It has its moments. My husband is very good with the kids and brings them up to my markets when he can so the kids can see me and I can see them, they love to help in my ‘shop’ by taking and giving change to the customers and passing on the bags of goodies. My eldest helps to unload when all the deliveries arrive and loves to check out new stock which is great for her so she learns what mummy’s business is. Both my  daughters are in day care 2 days a week which are my business days where invoicing, website, emails, banking and all that jazz gets done. I try and have one day at home with the kids where we stay in our pj’s and read books, cuddles, cooking, picnics and then they help with putting clothes away and any other things that didn’t get done on the weekend. I also try and get dinner ready early in the day so it’s one less thing to be doing at 5-6pm if we have all had a big day and it enables us to have family time before bed. We also don’t have the TV on during dinner so we can talk about our day.

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?

I think it has but in the way life is just a lot busier. Being a mum now it has made me realise how my mum and dad were feeling whilst I growing up with the pressures of family time, jobs, money, bills.

Life in general now is more expensive and far busier form when I was a kid (35 years ago). There are so many ‘rules’ now on how you need to run your life and raise your children and I think parents need to go with their gut feeling on what works for your family as it may not work for another family, everyone  is different.

Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

I have had to learn to have more patience. I do not like having to wait but with children you need to let go of this pretty quick!

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but do?

Only once I have done this but it’s playing the Wiggles cd in the car! It’s was my daughters 3rd Birthday and she got it for her present and she really wanted it in the car. I caved in.

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

A typical ‘work day’ involves getting up a 6am, getting kids dressed for day care, seeing them off with daddy, making a hot cup of tea and actually drinking  it whilst in my pj’s until 8.00 when the dishes get done, loads of clothes, walk the dog, vacuum, washing out, jump on the computer for emails, orders, then make some calls, package up orders, make lunch, have another cup of tea and still have it hot, jump back on the computer for website work, deliveries arrive, unpack, make dinner, maybe take photos of new stock, family arrive home, dinner, bath, bed, more computer work, switch off and then bed!

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

My mum has helped with lots, being a nurse she has a wealth of knowledge and seeing we live in different states she is always there to give me advice, listen and hear me have cry on a bad day. My mummy friends have also been a life saver, we still catch up every Friday for the last 5 years. Two books I have found helpful was Baby Love and Safe Our Sleep.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

Just be yourself and be a goose when your kids want you to, roll down that hill that they are having so much fun on and want you to do too, even when there are hundreds of people watching – it’s actually a lot of fun, and put the phone down, not everything has to have a photo or video taken, some magical things will just stick on our heads forever.

You can find out more about Kate Inglish Designs on facebook

https://www.facebook.com/KateInglishDesigns

or on her home page

http://kateinglishdesigns.com/

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Inspirational Monday – Melanie Warman from Inner West Mums !!

Meet          Melanie Warman

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Melanie is a mother and also involved in … Inner West Mums (facebook), Boobs on the Run,  Concord Mums Unite, Warman Fuzzy  and a Mycook distributor   – (seriously I don’t know how she manages it all!!!),

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warman and fuzzy

Hi Melanie, can you tell us a little about yourself before you had children..

I was a Programme Office Manager, working for myself on various different client sites. This had been my work life for the past 20 years and to be honest I loved it.

I am originally from Southampton in the UK, but moved here 4 years ago to be with my Australian husband.

You are involved in so many things as well as being a mother, an administrator for 2 face book pages, Boobs on the Run, Warman Fuzzy and an Ambassador for Ozcook!!

Can you tell us about how and why you became involved with so many things?

Being a Mum to Henry is the most important aspect to me of being a working mum. I have tried to keep a balance of looking after him and keeping the businesses moving forward (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!

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Inner West Mums came about as Anita (the co-founder) and I didn’t have any family support here in Australia. We were members of other Mums groups, but these were out of our area, so we decided to start our own. We thought we might get a couple of hundred people, but nearly 18 months on we have nearly 7500 members and it’s growing every day.

I became an admin for Concord Mums Unite once I moved to the area and to help out Raelene who started the group. It’s a fantastic little mums group as we are all locals and have catch-ups, nights out, a fruit and veg co-op and family days. Everyone seems to think Concord is so far away, but it’s only 15 mins in the car to Balmain!

Warman Fuzzy is my little cottage industry – my husband has designed some toys which are going off to be tested by Australian standards shortly. We also make scarves, cushions, bunting and blankets. We also do import some homewares, usually stuff I like….Our website launch is coming soon, but we have a facebook presence at the moment and you can usually see my stall at local fete’s and fund raising events in the Inner West.

www.facebook.com/WarmanFuzzy/

www.warmanfuzzy.com.au

Boobs on the Run – Aoiffe Gavin and I started this business as both of us love running and wanted to show ladies out there, that it is possible to Get Running and Stay Running (without having to continue to pay a gym fee!) all you need is a pair of running shoes. We also raise funds for various breast cancer charities.

www.facebook.com/boobsontherunsydney/

www.boobsontherun.com.au

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OzCook – A best friend of mine asked me to test the MyCook Premium for them as they were thinking of becoming the distributors for Australia. I have loved the machine since day 1, and since they decided to start the business, it was a great time to get on board. It’s the only competitor to the Thermomix in Australia, and is an induction cooking appliance. It’s going to be bigger than Ben Hur! No doubt about it.

www.facebook.com/MyCookAus/

www.ozcook.com.au

Can you describe to our readers where you manage to do all your work from …

My workplace is my kitchen bench. It’s the only place Henry cannot reach to get to the laptop! He is now up and walking, so my work time has been limited to his lunchtime sleep and evenings once my husband gets home from work.

I have a lot of light in the house and a great view out to the garden. We are in the process of building a library and study at the front of the house and hope these both to be finished at the end of January…I can then move to a proper desk and space.

How do you juggle working and a family? 

This has been a pretty tough battle. In the beginning I was trying to do everything at the same time and actually not getting anywhere.

Through Inner West Mums, I met Kate Savage Vickery from ElbowRoom. She is a career coach and offered me some sessions to see whether these could help my mind space. This was the best thing I have ever done. I have set times and days for the numerous projects I have and I actually achieve my targets (well, most of the time!)

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? Why? 

Yes and no.

No in that my Mum and Dad had a very strong work ethic. My Dad joined the British Army at 15 and eventually retired at 63. He rarely missed a day at work!  It also meant we moved regularly, and had to start at new schools and make new friends BUT on the plus side, we saw some amazing places.

My Mum was amazing. She tried every job she possibly could. She test drove cars for Fiat for a time, and even drove haulage trucks! She was the person who showed me you can achieve anything. You just need to believe it. I wish she was still here to impart her wisdom on my son, but unfortunately she died from cancer 7 years ago, so never met my husband or my son. We have started a “wall of fame” in our hallway, where there are photos of family and friends and we show him every day whom everyone is.

Yes in that a lot of us are having children later in life. My Mum had had my brother and I by the time she was 21. That was deemed old in her day! Some of us just take a little more time to find “the one”.

Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

Yes….I don’t really care if there is a sink full of dishes at the end of the night, or a huge pile of ironing…I will get to it when I can. I have certainly mellowed out about housework :)

I do however believe we are capable of anything if we put our minds to it.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but now do…!!??

My son is a very laid back soul, so we have had a pretty easy ride of it, he is however only 18 months old, so we have a few more years to make those mistakes!

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

My typical day starts at 7, where I rush into the shower after my husband, before Henry awakes…I love it when he sleeps in and I can have a hot cup of tea and cover off my email. Then onto milk and breakfast for my munchkin. We then usually head out to the park for an hour, a quick trip to the shops for supplies and back in time for lunch. Henry is loving books at the moment, and loves us reading to him, so we usually spend half an hour going over all the books he loves (which are many). I then spend 30 mins cleaning up (either from the night before and the morning). At 12 Henry goes down for his sleep. I am so lucky it’s never a drama…and I usually get at least 2.5 hours of work time in.

Each day of the week is allocated to a different business, so it depends on the day of the week what I am tackling. It’s always busy though apart from Friday afternoons where the time is mine to do what I want. Read a book, watch a film, whatever. I have found we often forget about ourselves in our aim to get everything done. I have had to turn off facebook during this time though as I often get requests from IWM for various things. We also get over 100 requests a day to join, so sometimes there is a backlog. If I finish my to do list for that day early, I tackle some ironing. I actually don’t mind ironing as long as there is something decent on the TV I can watch.

Once Henry is up, he has some milk and we usually put on shoes and head to a local park for some walking practice (he is still a bit wobbly) or we play outside in the sandpit.

I’m lucky in the fact my husband can get home at a reasonable hour most days, so he does bath time with Henry which he loves.

If it’s a Wednesday night I head out with with ladies from Boobs on the Run. Its my relaxation evening!

Then dinner, then either a movie or a little bit or sewing, or knitting, or crochet..

Then to bed…after first checking my fitbit to make sure I did my 10,000 steps! :)

Do you have any resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

I was absolutely terrified of giving birth at the beginning. I managed to persuade my husband to go along to a weekend called Calm Birth. It’s the best thing I did to change my perception of becoming parents and everything involved in the process. In the end I had a very quick birth at just over 3 hours, so it was intense, but quick. I also met one of my best friends on that course and we have remained close. Her son Jackson is the same age as Henry.

Inner West Mums, although time consuming and sometimes emotionally draining, has been my best resource. I love the diversity of the group and the differing points of view.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

Just be yourself and relax. It’s something I constantly have to remind myself of.