Multiple Madness (learning you’re pregnant with TWINS)

When my sonographer announced that I was expecting twins, I was elated. I had visions of two little people holding hands and dancing in fields of daffodils. My first mistake.

Throughout my pregnancy, I remained equally as optimistic and doe-eyed, relishing in every painful kick or turn my babies shared with me. I didn’t mind that I was permanently uncomfortable or had bloated to the size of a small car, I was nurturing my babies and they would be ever-so grateful for what a marvellous job I had done in carrying them. My second mistake.

And when my beautiful bundles arrived and the midwives gave plentiful advice in between “ooh’s and ahhh’s”, like feed them together, wake the sleeping twin, rest when they rest etc etc, I ignored them. My babies and I would find our groove, we’d get in sync and it would all work out naturally …. right? My final, and most lethal mistake to date.

It didn’t take me long, once home alone with my girls, to realise that those beautiful women who tried in vain to help an unsuspecting first time mother were indeed, right all along. So here is my list of the best advice I received from those beautiful nurses, and from other multiple mums who helped me scramble my way through the madness that is raising twins.

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Feeding – Feed those babies together with whatever works for you. While breast is certainly best, you may very well need to top up with expressed milk or formula. No one will judge you for that. You have TWO babies. Don’t beat yourself up and learn to do whatever works.

Allow extra time – Even if you are just popping to shops for milk, allocate an hour. People will stop you and want to talk about their friends, Uncles’, neighbours’ twins. Trust me.

Asking for help – Yup. I’m going to be annoying and say it. ASK FOR HELP. If people offer, take them up on it. Let them bring you dinner, or peg out a load of beautiful onesies for you. I know its hard. I still struggle with it. But you will need the rest. So take it.

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Lower your expectations of yourself – This little gem of advice came from my paediatrician, when my girls were only a few weeks old. He proclaimed “If you have twins, and you get ONE job from your to do list done today, it has been a good day”. I still remind myself of this frequently.

Seek out support – Join a Mothers Group or your local Multiple Births Club. Not only are you encouraged to get out of the house with your bubs, you will get to meet a group of women who for the better part, understand exactly how you are feeling, and what militant style operations you are implementing just to get out of the door. You won’t regret it.

While having multiples is without a doubt a wonderful experience that one in eighty mothers are blessed with, I have come to learn that it is certainly no dance party in flower-filled meadows. The days can be manic and the nights can seem to run in to each other like one long winded crying session of tag-teaming infants, but by gosh, it is all so, so worth it.

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Keep up the good work my fellow twinny mummas, and remember, although your little bundles may bring you double the trouble (get used to hearing this), they’ll also bring you twice the love, twice the laughs and indeed, the twice the pride xx

Neeley

twin girls

Inspirational Monday – Donna from Kiss My Patootie

Meet the gorgeous             Donna

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From Kiss My Patootie

http://www.kissmypatootie.com.au/

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Can you share with us your background before children…

When I first left school, I started an apprenticeship to become a hairdresser. After 3 years of this I felt I needed to take a break and explore my surroundings a bit. So I moved to Nth Queensland and lived as a barefoot hippy for awhile. I did lots of different jobs like bar work, sales and kitchen hand work. I pretty much lived a life of freedom. A few years after I moved back to Brisbane I started working as a bar manager in a night club in Fortitude Valley. Through this, I did a lot of work with local and international bands. My life revolved around live music, staying out late having drinks after work and sleeping most of the day. So as you can imagine, having kids was a complete life changer for me. There was defiantly an adjustment period, but now, three kids later, I couldn’t be happier.

How did Kiss My Patootie come about and why?

Ever since I was a kid I have always been very creative, doing everything from painting, sculpting, crocheting, tie dying and candle making. A few years before I had my first child I taught myself how to sew. There were some complete disasters involving recycled curtains and doilies that I still wore with pride. When my first son was born (my sewing had drastically improved by then), I found it hard to find colourful and unique clothing. It was a sea of pastel. So I started to make kids clothes.

red polka dot girls pinafore dress

I nervously approached a shop in Brisbane called Gooble Warming to see if they would sell my clothes on consignment. Luckily for me they said yes. I went on selling in their shop for another 12 years. Over the years I have branched out and have sold in shops from Melbourne to Cairns, The Woodford Folk Festival, countless markets (I’m currently at the West End Davies Park market every 2nd week), and I also sell online through ebay, etsy and madeit.

At first it was just a hobby for me, but as my kids got older and I had to think about going back to work, I started to think about Kiss My Patootie as a business. Now over the last few years it has really taken off. It is the best feeling being so passionate about my work.

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I love the name – where did it come from?

This makes me laugh to think about it, but my husband was bouncing around the house being silly, wiggling his bum and saying ‘kiss my patootie’ . I guess it just stuck. I thought it would be a perfect name for my kids clothes since at the time my trademark was to put stars or hearts on the bums of the clothes I made. It has proven to be a success as it always gives people a giggle and they remember the name.

What are your most popular products ?

My most popular products have always been my boys shorts, girls pinafore dresses, monster purses and also my pencil rolls.

pink geometric print pencil roll

In the last few years I have started making ladies skirts and screen printed t-shirts as well which are starting to sell even better than my kids clothes.

ladies floral wrap around skirt

green ladies tshirt with screen print babushka dolls

All of these and more are available for sale in my online shops. For those of you who live in Brisbane, I sell my creations in Handmade Highstreet (Annerly), 5 Quirky Cherubs (Mitchelton) Cool Shirts (West End) and The Ipswich Art and Craft Cottage (Ipswich). I am also at the Davies Park market at West End every fortnight.

How do you juggle working and your family?

When my kids were young it was very difficult so I would do most of my work when they were asleep. Now they are all at school I have more time to sew. I treat it as any other job and spend the school hours sewing. After dinner when the kids are all occupied doing their own thing, I get in another hour or two of work. I pretty much grab every spare moment I have.

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

I don’t really know, as everyone has there own style of parenting. My parents were quite strict and I guess I am in some ways too. I think a big difference I’ve noticed is that when I was a kid, the adults were always referred to as Mr or Mrs, and now kids call adults by their first name. I think this closes the gap a bit and creates a different relationship between kids and adults. I like this because I notice that the ‘grown ups’ seem more approachable to kids when we are all on a first name basis.

Have your self expectations changed since having your family? For better or worse?

Before I had kids I had very definite ideas about how I would raise my them. I thought I would raise them in the same lifestyle that I was living (travel, music concerts etc). When they came into my life I realized that it’s very hard to plan for until you actually experience what parenting is like first hand. I can’t say if my self expectations have changed for better or worse, just different to what I had expected. I don’t think my eyes were fully open to parenting until got there myself.

Do you have a wonderful resource that you discovered once you became a mother? A book? A blog? Person?

When I was pregnant for the first time, my all time favourite book was ‘Up The Duff’ by Kaz Cooke. She answered all of my questions and made me laugh about all of the gory details about pregnancy. For a year after my first son was born, I did feel very much alone. My husband and I were completely new to this parenting stuff. Our families were very spread out so we didn’t have a lot of help on hand. When I met a friend who also had a son a bit older then mine, we hit it off instantly. She became my go to person when I needed parenting advice.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent – and now do!

(eek!) I swore I’d never yell at my kids. I used to look in judgement at the mums that would yell at their kids and think ‘I will never do that’. As I now understand, as awesome as being a mum can be, kids can really test your patience and bring out the best and worst in you.

Can you walk us through a typical day..

My day starts at 6.30. I do the usual mum things… make lunches, do a quick clean up of the house and kitchen (which usually looks like an explosion from dinner the night before), hassle the kids to hurry up and then sit through the traffic to both the primary and high school. After that, my day varies greatly. I am either sewing, cutting out fabric, screen printing, driving around to the shops I sell in to restock and change things around, computer work (bookwork and listing items in my online shops), taking photos of my new items and editing them or hairdressing. I’m also a qualified hairdresser and work from home doing this as well. In the afternoon, I pick up the kids and they do their homework. A couple of afternoons each week, we then head out to either swimming lessons for my daughter or kung fu for my boys, then home to cook dinner. After dinner, the kids retire to their rooms for TV or computer games and I have a beer in front of the TV. If I am feeling up to it, I might even cut out some fabric for the next day of sewing. I know it sound like a crazy busy day, but I love what I do and that helps a lot.

A tip for all of us on keeping it real….

Don’t be too hard on yourself, love what you do and live your life to the fullest

Where can we see more of your gorgeous creations and follow more of your journey?

website – www.kissmypatootie.com.au

facebook – www.facebook.com/kissmypatootie1

ebay – www.stores.ebay.com.au/kissmypatootie

madeit – www.madeit.com.au/kissmypatootie

etsy – www.etsy.com/au/shop/kissmypatootie

xx

Our first Business Workshop

We had a great session last night with the first flower child Business Workshop.

There was so much passion in one room!

Given that everyone was at start-up (or even just conception stage), we discussed lots of things that you need to do to put the foundations of a good business in place.

One of the things we talked about was differentiating yourself from everyone else. In the world of business, it’s called having a unique selling point. Why should I buy YOUR product/service, as compared to that one over there?

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Some of the comments on the night included: “this is real grass roots stuff”, “I have so much to think about” and “this week I’m going to look at my target markets”.

I was reading an article this morning about Honest Tea, an American Company whose BRAND is worth over $100m. That’s not their revenue, that’s what the BRAND has been valued at.

Wow!

But like most businesses, it was a hard slog. Really hard. But passion and determination to make a difference got them to where they are today.

I love this action point:

“Start with clarity on your bigger purpose and find a hole in the market where you can boldly proclaim radical differentiation”.

So if you’re in business, or thinking about it, I have 2 spaces left at the Glebe workshop on Tues 25 April 2014 @ 6.30pm. Get in touch and nab your spot.

Sal copy

Inspirational Monday – Play With Food

Meet              Simone Emery

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From             

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Can you tell us a little about your background before your children… 

I worked in the food manufacturing in quality assurance, health and safety roles with a large focus on learning and development. I travelled lots and developed a huge appreciation of seasonal and regional food.

How did Play with Food come about and why?

After I had my first daughter I couldn’t resume my old position. I thought hard about what I wanted to do and them I looked for companies offering fruit and vegetable experiences for parents and children to participate in.  I wanted to work somewhere doing something I was passionate about and that used my food technology as well as learning & development background.  However, I couldn’t find a business doing what I wanted to do.  So, I completed my child’s nutrition certificate and subsequently set-up Play with Food.

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What are the biggest hurdles you find with children and food…. any great tips?

This is very situational.  However, a couple of key things can make a big difference.  Thinking ahead and sticking to a mealtime schedule is a great habit parents can get into early.  Being organised like this sounds easier than it is to execute on most days.  I like to offer my parents easy ways to engage their children in fruits and vegetables (and other healthy foods for that matter).  It’s best to keep it simple.  It’s disheartening to put lots of effort and time into something that will be refused.  I give parents ways to refocus that energy into positive eating interactions.

Can you give our readers a description of what your classes involve…

The classes start with songs, stories and exercises to focus the children and deliver the context of the lesson.  We play a sensory game with selected seasonal produce and then move to the interaction activities with these focus fruits and vegetables.  It is important we explain and adopt an understanding for environmental cues to encourage healthy eating and have structure for a designated clean-up time at the end of the activities.  These routines are directly transferable to the home environment and hence why carer participation is wholeheartedly recommended. Each class has a fun theme (like safari, pirates or rainbows) and the games, songs and stories are well received by the children.

I run my classes in 8-week blocks during school terms.  I also do workshops in a variety of manners and locations. I tailor make programs to suit groups too.  I have different age groups for each class.  For example, my next round of classes will be a 4 week program for 18mth – 3yrs focusing on their cognitive development at that age and specifically food jagging and food aversions.  Classes go for 45 mins each week in a block program.

How do you juggle these classes and your family?

Ultimately, my family comes first.  I try not to bite off more than I can chew in terms of time commitments away from the family.  So, I work hard to set-up class programs at times and locations according to demand of potential customers and that fit in with my family.  This way when I run a lesson or workshop, I know I can give it 100% of my energy and when I am with my family I can give them 100%. I use social media as much as possible as it is a flexible way to deliver my messages and I find the majority of carers that contact me are working on a similar schedule.

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

I think the pace that information flows now is very fast compared to when we were being raised.  Hence, the amount of information that you process or are exposed to as a parent has increased.  It is a parent’s job now to be a filter for this information too which is a difficult job.  It’s hard to know what is the correct information stream to take seriously and what is not.  It is much easier to second, third and fourth guess every move you make now as a parent due to conflicting or excessive amounts of information you may see on any given topic.

Can you describe to our readers your work place.

I work on my phone, at the PC in my home study and I run classes/workshops at a variety of venues from hired venues, kids play lands, daycare centres, community halls, playgroups and soon I will be running my first classes in a supermarket.  My kitchen is licensed for my fruit and vegetable preparations.  I am a totally mobile service.  My colleagues are mostly virtual and span across different countries and different social media applications. I currently work alone but I will be interested in developing expansion ideas for when my children are older.

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

Absolutely!  I still like to do everything “perfectly” but I don’t need to please everyone else as much these days.  I choose what I can do and I do that well.  My priorities are making sure the children that come to my class get something out of my lessons and that my family don’t play second fiddle to my business.  If it means I take an extra day or two to write back to an email request or I don’t write-up that recipe I created for a blog straight away, that’s OK.  I have really learnt to prioritise what has to be done today, tomorrow, next week and (for very rare occasions) never – whereas before having a family, I liked to have it all done today.

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

Let my children watch TV.  My 2 year old watches TV each afternoon.  It is now part of our afternoon routine so that I have some time to make dinner preparations.  I love that I can still get in the kitchen and spend a few minutes chopping vegetables while singing along to the play school songs.

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

We get up relatively late in our house – 7:30am.  My two year old picks what we are having for breakfast & we prepare it together (as I also get my cuppa ready). We usually do an hour of chores or baking (both of which I try & get the toddler to help me with).  We then head out to the library / day care / shops / play date / music class / swimming class for the morning and then head home for lunch.  I run classes on Tuesdays, day care day, or on Saturdays.  If I have classes, I get up early to prepare the fruit and vegetables.  I usually get some time to work on the business during nap times.  The afternoon entails playing games, reading books & crafts followed by TV & dinner preparations.  After the girls are in bed by 8:30pm, I work on the business to do list a little bit more or the chores that didn’t get done earlier. I roll into bed at about 10:30pm and only get up about 2 – 4 times to feed my newborn or attend to a toddler who has lost her water bottle.

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 definitely the one that keeps me grounded, inspired and feeling loved.  He is amazingly compassionate and supportive.  I am a lucky girl!

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

There is always something to be grateful for!

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Inspirational Monday – Healthful Mums

Meet the gorgeous and highly inspirational..   Melissa Lichocik

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From         Healthful Mums

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Can you tell us a little about your background before your children…

Before kids I was a nurse at a major children’s hospital here in Perth. I have always been interested in health since I can remember and I loved my years spent nursing.

So how did Healthful Mums come about and why?

I was struggling with my own health journey and one day had my “ah-ha” moment that it wasn’t about weight loss, it was about getting healthy and becoming a positive role model for my children. From that moment I embarked on a mission to clean up my health. My friends and family saw what I was doing and the results I was having and so they wanted in on it to, so I created Healthful Mums as a community for mums to share their tips with each other and to encourage and motivate each other as well as passing that motivation onto their kids and families.

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What are some ideas you have on helping mothers look after themselves and learn to put their needs first…(sometimes!)

Set aside 30 minutes a day for yourself. Try and get in a quick workout, a walk or try and have a nice bubble bath. As mums we are always on the go so much that it is really important we take some time out to “debrief our brain and chillax” Sometimes all I get is a five minute cup of tea to myself, but it’s better than nothing!

Can you give our readers a description of what your aim is for Healthful Mums…

Healthful Mums is still new and I am in the early planning phases. I hope to have a website up and running soon which will be a one stop shop for mums to get information about fitness, nutrition, well-being, child health and recipes for the whole family. I am about to start studying nutrition at Deakin University so hopefully I will be a qualified nutritionist within a year. I can’t wait to be able to pass on my new found knowledge with other like minded mums who want to lead a healthier lifestyle.

How do you juggle working and a family?

I do most of my work in the evenings when the kids are in bed. They are still little so tend to be in bed fairly early which gives me a good couple of hours. I also have some wonderful family members who help out looking after my kids throughout the week and a fantastic husband who helps me out on the weekends.

melissa

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

As the oldest of five kids my mum stayed home with us while my dad worked. It wasn’t until we were older that she went back to study to become a paramedic. I think these days it is more the norm for parents to work and study while the kids are young. Universities and workplaces seem to be more parent friendly than they used to be.

Can you describe to our readers your work place..

At the moment my workplace is either my couch, my dining table, my desk out in the garage or my bed. Usually amongst a zoo of kids toys and lego. The joys of having a MacBook mean you can work anywhere.

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

Totally. I have learnt that to be a better mum to my kids that I need to take time out for me. This allows me to be more focused, more centred and less cranky. Exercise is my time out. I love to go for a run by myself of head off to my group fitness sessions which allows me to clear my head.

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

Let my kids sleep in my bed, now they always sneak in with us in the wee hours of the morning. But it’s nice…

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

It varies day to day. My son is at kindy a couple of days a week so generally if it is a kindy day I am up at 5.15am to go for a run before the kids wake up. Then it’s a quick shower, getting everyone ready to go, drop my son off at kindy and my daughter usually does gymnastics. We then head home for a few hours and I can usually get a bit of work done while she has a nap. Then off to do kindy pick up, home to organise dinner and then deal with the madness of the dinner and bedtime routine. Once the children are in bed I do a quick clean up, shower and do a couple of hours work before bed.

What is a resource that you have used since becoming a mother that you love? Book, website, blog?

I have a group of online mums which we have been in contact with for 2 and a half years. It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off, ask advice and support each other. Most of them I have never met in person but we “know” each other. It’s great to be able to live in an era where technology has bought a group of mums so close. Love my Febbie mums!

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

I like to tell new parents this piece of advice “as a parent you will get gastro, you will have someone else’s spew, poo and/or wee on you and it will be horrible! But if you can get through that then you can get through anything”.

Read more about Melissa’s amazing journey here

https://www.facebook.com/healthfulmums/info

http://healthfulmums.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

A Moment For Myself – A Recap

Well, February came, and I challenged myself to take a moment for myself (#AMFM) everyday.

How did I do?

For the most part, I was pretty good at making time for myself. I managed to get my hair cut, paint my toenails, have a few baths, bake some cookies and read a book. But there really were times when it was a challenge.

For two weeks, my little family and I were in California. Now you would think it would be well easy to get time for yourself when you’re on ‘holidays’, but nope. I can tell you now, it can be even HARDER!

On the first weekend I mixed business with pleasure and went to a trade fair – by myself. #AMFM – check.

Then, husband was gone for pretty much the following five days. That meant Lana and I, 24/7. Moments were hard to come by and were usually snaffled in the hotel room after she went to sleep (indulging in Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake for example!)

Heavenly Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake – so rich, it took three nights to eat!

There were days when my “moments” were just that. Stopping to admire beautiful architecture, reading a book whilst L was in the playground, watching with interest as the train took us to a new location for the day.

SF building

What I did learn, was taking a moment for yourself is hard. It really is. But by being CONSCIOUS of it, you will learn to focus inward, and that, is what is important. Also, when you give yourself a challenge, you are committed to making it happen. It was a great activity, and I’m trying to bring it into my everyday life, not just for the month.

Go on, give it a go, even if it’s just for a week!

 

MyChild Excellence Awards

You know that feeling when all the hard work you’ve put in over the years finally has some impact?
We’re all pretty chuffed that we’ve been nominated for Favourite Online Store and our amber teething necklaces for Favourite Teething Product.

We work hard to provide great products and service, and I’m always a little skeptical of ‘voting’ contests. Surely the bigger brands, would win?
Help us prove that small business is big business!

And because we’re not impartial to a little bit of bribery rewarding for those people who vote for us, we’ve put together a little extra incentive in the form of a $250 flower child prize pack.

We’d love it if you could vote for us, and you’ll also be in the running to win over $6400 worth of prizes on the MyChild Website!
Flower Child Mum Package!

New Gen V2 pop in nappies

Eva, from OzBaby Trends, the Australian distributor for the Close Parent Brand, shares with us her blog post, showing us “what’s a new Gen V2 pop in”.

Just over two years ago, we introduced long-awaited Pop-in nappies in PRINTS!

Now, the popular bright range of cute animal prints that we fell in love with are being placed back in the vault to make way for a whole new set of gorgeous prints.

New generation Pop-in nappy now available in Australia in a fresh new range of prints

But that’s not all that’s changed. Let’s have a closer look at the New Generation Version 2 Pop-in…
The addition of elastic in the front and back pocket flaps eliminates the risk of the flaps riding up when worn. Now, instead of having to hold the front pocket down to put the nappy on, the front pocket stays down automatically. Definitely a design improvement!

New Pop-in nappy features and changes

The new generation version 2 Pop-in has no elastic in the back of the bottom soaker. This reduces bulk at the back and affords a more comfortable fit. Now, instead of the snaps being in the soaker itself, they are attached by tabs into the shell of the nappy.

New Pop-in nappy features and changes

The addition of hidden washing tabs is a boon indeed! Although we never had issues with the previous laundering tabs rubbing against baby’s skin, this was expressed as a concern by some mothers. The new hip placement hides the laundering tabs completing from view when not in use.

New Pop-in nappy features and changes

The new generation Pop-in offers a perfect, totally flexible fit across the stages, from teeny tiny newborn through to toilet training. We’re sure you’ll love them as much as we do!

New Pop-in nappy features and changes

An Autumnal recipe

A few weeks ago, when we were on #TheBigTrip in California, I stumpled across something I’d never seen before.

But let me tell you how we first got there.

As we’ve done in the past, the night before heading to our next destination (in this case, Sacaramento), we’d log in to tripadvisor and find ourselves somewhere to stay (if you’ve never read/used tripadvisor – got on there now!).

So we booked our room in a chain hotel. Arriving at around 6pm, we were hungry, Lana was a bit tired, and I was fighting a cold by dosing up on Vitamin C.

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We got our bags out of the rental car and trundled into the hotel. Hubby was checking in whilst L and I wandered around the lobby. On the refreshments table were some cookies, coffee and……..

hot.

apple.

cider.

cider

First recipe to try – from A Beautiful Mess

woah! What is this, said lover of cider, I?

Fill cup, take a sip and.

Bliss.

Drank the whole lot down and my scratchy throat was singing Hallelujah.

I headed over to the counter to mention said bliss-in-a-paper-cup to hubby, only to find they could find our booking. I dug out my phone and showed helpful hotel lady the booking,

“oh”

that IS the same chain, but THAT hotel down the road a few miles.

*sigh* we trundled back to the car and drove to the new hotel, checked in, but I was disappointed to find THIS hotel didn’t have the hot apple cider.

So this weekend, some apples are calling my name. I’m going to juice them and try a few recipes.

The one above, from A Beautiful Mess, is first on my list, as it doesn’t have any added sugar.

However, this one, from A Sweet Pea Chef, has me intrigued, with the addition of orange juice.

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I’ll test them both out and get back to you with my findings.

Sal

Inspirational Monday – Cheeky Britches

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Meet the gorgeous Lucy Chan

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From Cheeky Britches – a Melbourne based natural and organic fibre baby label with an emphasis on internationally themed collections which is  the creative brain child of Lucy Chan and Giorgia Goddard.

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(Responses to interview questions are those of Lucy Chan)

Can you share with us your background before children…

Before having kids I ran a remedial massage therapy clinic in Melbourne. I have a Bachelor in Health Science in Natural Medicine and was a compulsive backpacker (I still travel a lot but have upgraded to resort style travel with my little bubbas).

How did Cheeky Britches come about and why?

Giorgia and I went to High school together and found ourselves starting our families in the same year. We used to catch up on a weekly basis to go out for dinner and chill out a bit. It was on one of our dinner dates that we started complaining about the lack original design in the market place for bright, fun and fresh baby wear that didn’t irritate baby skin. Giorgia is a design major at RMIT and I have run my own business before so it just felt natural to start our own label and see if we could fill this niche market. This was back in 2011 and we’re still around so things are going well.

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Where do your ideas come from for your gorgeous products? Why bamboo?

Firstly, we pick a country we want to represent for the next collection then seek inspiration for feature prints based on theme of that country. We like to use traditional prints if available but sometimes we create our own. We then try to create feature necklines and ways to incorporate the style of the culture. For example, with our Japanese collection, we used a kimono neckline which was just beautiful.

We chose to use bamboo because of its hypoallergenic properties and because it is so gentle on baby skin. It also breathes so well, keeping babies cool in Summer and warm in Winter. It’s silky smooth to touch and looks divine.

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How do you juggle working and your family?

This is an ongoing struggle and one that we are still trying to get the right balance with. We each dedicate two days a week to working on the business but I find myself trying to get ahead every night when the kids are asleep by getting a few hours of work done just to stay on top of everything.

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

Oh definitely! For one, the cost of living is so much more expensive and the size of average mortgages is astronomical. As a result, women are forced to return to work a lot sooner than they used to. As a result, kids are spending a lot more time in childcare which can be a good or bad thing, depending on the kids.

There’s so much more pressure out there for mums to manage everything and with our parents working well into their 60’s these days, it’s not always possible to have the support we need as parents so it’s a struggle.

On the plus side, fathers now play a much more hands-on role in their babies’ lives now. My father wasn’t very involved with us when I was little so I love seeing my husband play with our girls and spend some real quality time with them. I adore the new role of dads and their kids these days.

Have your self expectations changed since having your family? For better or worse?

They have definitely changed and it’s taken a long time to accept this. I used to be able to achieve anything I set my mind to. But now, there are so many more variables to consider which make things a lot harder to achieve. I had to make a huge adjustment to no longer being able to provide financial support to my family and had to change my lifestyle significantly in order to allow myself to stay home with my kids in the early stages.

To be honest, my hygiene standards have certainly changed!! I used to be a compulsive cleaner but in the end I just had to ask myself what was more important – A clean house where I was constantly picking up after my kids and stressing out every time they opened the toy box or letting my kids be free and enjoy their childhood with a relaxed mum? I chose the relaxed mum option.

Do you have a wonderful resource that you discovered once you became a mother? A book? A blog? Person?

The best resource I have are my friends and family. They provide the most support and help me when I need it. To be honest, I wouldn’t cope without them. Raising kids is just something you can’t do on your own.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent – and now do!!

This is actually quite funny to me. I used to look at families in restaurants where the parents were talking and the kids each had an iphone or ipad. I always said to my husband “I will never let me kids do that”. But now I have a crazy, boisterous little girl who can’t sit still in restaurants and loves to squeal while waiting for her food to arrive so now, I hate to admit it, but I have succumbed  to giving her my iphone while at restaurants.

 Can you walk us through a typical day..

Sure. Work days and home days ar quite different so I’ll walk you through a work day  My girls are late sleepers so they’d wake up at around 9. We’d have breakfast, get dressed, brush hair and teeth etc. Nana Di would arrive at the house and take the girls to the park or play with them while I head off to work with Giorgia. Giorgia works with our seamstress, Bex, to come up with new designs, sampling, testing colours and fabrics etc while I do the business side of the work – admin, responding to emails, packing orders, budgets, financing, sourcing and the rest. At around 5pm, we finish. I come home and prepare dinner. At 7, hubby gets home, we all eat together then it’s family time before the girls have their bath and story time before bed. Once they’re asleep, it’s time to tidy up the house, do the chores, do an aerobic session at home, then rest. At 10:30pm I usually do my Spanish class online. After that, I spend maybe 30 minutes reading or watching telly then I go to bed at around midnight. Yes, it’s a busy day!!

A tip for all of us on keeping it real….

Don’t be a hero – Ask for help when you need it. We can’t do everything on our own so it’s important to outsource or delegate jobs. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have people around you, even if it’s just for a bit of adult conversation. It’s vitally important so that you don’t lose your identity once you become a parent.

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