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Month: August 2013

Friday Finds: KaPow Kids

Friday Finds: KaPow Kids

photo 4-2For the last few months, I’ve been following a gorgeous brand of childrens’ wear on Instagram! KaPow Kids have created colourful, bright and vibrant designs for funky girls and boys. Their use of simple shapes, unique patterns and durable fabrics have caught my eye, and with each photo they post, it makes me want to make an order! I contacted KaPow Kids to ask them about their products, and invited them to share their story with Happy Ella After readers.

Andrea Goulding  started KaPow in June 2013 as a bit of a hobby after becoming a Mum working part time. A lot of her friends had little creative handmade businesses on the side and she wanted to be a part of it too. She loves fashion, and dressing her son up in cool outfits, so she thought it would be a fun way to make a little bit of extra money. She enjoys using social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook to showcase the KaPow products to fellow Mums. She does all the work in her home studio in Melbourne in between working as an architect. What a busy Mum!

In terms of the ‘KaPow’ name, she wanted something edgy that matched the style and branding of her products. Something fun and not too serious or cute. She loved comics and superheroes as a little girl (she was a tomboy). Hence KaPow! She says that people always smile when she tell them the name.

For the KaPow customised line – she begins with a few sketches and ideas of what the silhouette might look like. The drawing might be of something cool like a big bat, a cloud or a skull and crossbones. She then draws it in photoshop and prints out the stencil.  She chooses bright fun fabrics (in particular animal and geometric prints) and makes a prototype by appliqueing it onto a tshirt or leggings and chooses a coordinating embroidery thread to stitch it down. It takes some tweaking to get it right, and when she is happy, throws it into the wash to check it is durable. She then gets her 2 year old son, Flynn to wear it for a few days to see if its toddler proof!

Andrea says that she really likes the look of the embroidery thread (her mother in law gave me the idea – thanks Mary!), as it gives it a unique edge to other mass produced style applique tees and comes in such a beautiful range of bright colours. it is a long process but the final result looks beautiful. The fabric is pre-shrunk to avoid any issues when machine washing but as it is handmade, she always recommends customers handle their KaPow with care and use the gentle cool setting on their machine. She only make a few in each style so all the KaPow products are limited edition and have been selling out quite quickly.  This is something that I really love about KaPow. Your child will be wearing one (or two) of a kind!

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Andrea makes clothes that she would love to wear and that would like to see her son Flynn wear.  She has struggled to find clothes that are affordable, without labels plastered all over the front.  Girlswear is easier to find at a good price but she wanted to make clothes with a range of colours and patterns.  She loves bright funky geometric prints, so applies this same style to baby and childrens’ clothes. She often gets asked if she can make the clothes in mum sizes!

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I just love watching her range evolve, and seeing her creations each week. My favourite has to be the leggings with knee patches, and big heart on the bottom! That red jumper with the geometric heart, is also beautiful, and a great alternative to pinks and frills. KaPow is certainly a brand to look out for. Best of all, purchasing these products will mean that you are supporting a Mum who is trying to build a small business of her own!

To purchase clothes from the KaPow range, you can visit her Etsy shop here:

www.etsy.com/shop/kapowkids

You can also keep updated on Facebook: www.facebook.com/kapowclothing

And follow on Instagram by searching for @Kapowkids

kate

*Images are linked to the KaPow Kids Facebook Page!

18 Months. Where has that time gone?

18 Months. Where has that time gone?

On Monday, Ella turned 18 months old. As always, when Ella has reached a timely milestone, I sit for a while and scratch my head in disbelief. It only felt like yesterday that Daniel and I found out we were pregnant. That morning, we went for a walk in our local park and thought about all of the things that lay ahead. Would it be a boy or a girl? What would their name be? Would we really get no sleep? What would their personality be like? 18 months later, we have obviously found out all the answers to those questions (yes….we got no sleep. What a silly question!), and we have also asked a thousand more in that time. Best of all, we’ve experienced and been lucky enough to be the proud parents of the happiest, cheekiest and most gorgeous little girl in the world (sorry for the bias).

So lucky, and so grateful to have our Ella moo in our lives…

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Love Mum xx

kate

Friday Find: Down That Little Lane

Friday Find: Down That Little Lane

This week’s Friday Find comes from a gorgeous company that keeps popping up in my Instagram Feed. It’s amazing how visuals catch your eye, the  beautiful homewares and clothes that Down That Little Lane  have been posting recently has certainly caught my attention.

According to their website, Down that Little Lane (DTLL) was created after Tessa White gathered unusual gifts and home décor and her friends were always asking for recommendations. She had lots of mini fist pump moments when they then bought those suggested products or someone asked her where she got the present that she bought their child as they wanted to buy one for someone else. She realised there wasn’t a one-stop shop to guarantee finding delightful gifts or home wares. Using the treasured places she spent many years sourcing, she gathered them all in one place where you can shop from all sorts of different stores and checkout in one easy payment. After becoming a Mum, my love of online shopping has exploded, and it’s even better to know that there is a great shop where you can purchase gifts for yourself, or for another friend or child!

Here is a selection of gorgeous items that have caught my eye…

A gorgeous bedroom with pops of colour…

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Always got to love a pom pom rug…

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Funky wall art and matching mobile…

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Another bedroom, am obsessed with that pillow…

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And finally my favourite. Possibly the cutest girl’s dress I’ve ever seen!

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All of these items are available for purchase and delivery from their website. My only warning to you is to give yourself some time to look through their beautiful products. There are so many!

Stay connected with Down That Little Lane through:

Their website: http://blog.downthatlittlelane.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Down.that.Little.Lane

Twitter: https://twitter.com/downlittlelane

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/downlittlelane/

& Instagram: http://instagram.com/downthatlittlelaneshop

kate

*Unfortunately at the time of this post, some of the above items are unavailable. Items that are available have the photo linked to the site available for purchase.

Win a CJ Loveable personalised blackboard!

Win a CJ Loveable personalised blackboard!

If you read my post on Friday, you will know how much I love my recent discovery – CJ Loveable personalised blackboards. They are just gorgeous and are such a unique idea for a gift or a present for your own child. They are light weight and can be taken on road trips, grandparents houses, and used for many years. They can be completely personalised so they can have embellishments put on them, painted any colour and have any name (so long as it fits)!.

Jenna from CJ Loveable has partnered with Happy Ella After to give our readers their very own chance to win and create your own personalised blackboard for your child! There are many designs, colours and embellishments to choose from, with the personalised touch of placing your child’s name on the board. Blackboards are priced at $40 each, with embellishments ranging from $5-10.

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To enter the competition, entrants need to click on the link below. Entrants need to ‘like’ both the Happy Ella After and CJ Loveable Facebook pages via this link. Existing ‘likers’ of both pages are welcome to enter by following the link. Entrants can also gain bonus entry points by posting a comment about your favourite design underneath this blog post. All entrants agree to the terms and conditions as stated on the link, and this competition is open to Australian Residents only. Feel free to share with other Mums and Dads who think that this gorgeous product is something that they too would like for their child! To view other styles and ranges, please visit her Facebook page here.

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A huge thanks to CJ Loveable, and good luck to all!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE CJ LOVEABLE COMPETITION

kate

Friday Finds: CJ Loveable

Friday Finds: CJ Loveable

Each Friday I blog about fabulous finds from the mouths of Mothers! I especially love supporting local businesses, and in particular, Mums and Dads who have put their talents and creativities to good use. Recently, I came across CJ Loveable – a venture of Jenna Mizzi and her husband. Following her wedding last November, Jenna received positive feedback on all of the creative things that she made for her wedding day. An opportunity presented itself and she couldn’t pass up the chance to create some things of her own. Her range includes wedding items, birthday gifts, engagement items, christening items, baby keepsakes etc and they’ve been heading to a few local markets recently, with their products proving popular with the locals.

I have been particularly taken by her personalised blackboards and think that they are such a unique idea for kids. After speaking with Jenna about her range, she too shared an equal love of the black board range. They are light weight and can be taken on road trips, grandparents houses, and used for many years. They can be completely personalised so they can have embellishments put on them, painted any colour and have any name (so long as it fits)!

Jenna told me that they have been very busy with these items, so would like their customers to plan for a 6-8 week turnaround time. Jenna also works full time, and fits in CJ Loveable into her hectic schedule. Each black board is $40 each without an embellishment or we can arrange embellishments ranging from $5-$10 so they are very cost effective for families.

Here are some examples of her gorgeous work…

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Creative shapes and animals…

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personalised with your child’s name…

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also available in colour…

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and embellishments if you wish…

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Jenna can be contacted for orders via her facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/CJLoveable, her mobile on 040069400 or email – jenna_mizzi@hotmail.com. What’s even more exciting for Happy Ella After, is Jenna is partnering with me to give our readers the chance to win your own custom made, personalised blackboard for your little one. Or you may even want to give it as a gift to another precious child. Stay tuned for details this coming Monday.

I love, love sharing gorgeous ideas and products with my readers. It’s also great to support the local economy, and local families. I’m thrilled to feature CJ Loveable this week and hope you do to!

REMEMBER…LOOK OUT FOR OUR CJ LOVEABLE GIVEAWAY ON MONDAY!

kate

*All images are used with permission from CJ loveable.

Daycare Dilemmas

Daycare Dilemmas

So this week it has been my turn to go through the ups and downs of ‘daycare dilemmas’. By this, I mean ‘that’ feeling of unexplainable Mummy guilt, as you leave your child at daycare and drive away with the image of her crying in your head. You know deep down, that she will be fine, but for some reason, your heart invades the space where your brain is meant to be, and makes you feel as though you are the worst Mother in the world.

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For the past year, Ella has been cared for by her Grandmothers whilst Daniel and I have been at work. We have been incredibly blessed to have the support of our Mums who have wanted to help care for Ella, the first Grandchild on both sides of our family. As my workload has increased, and with the prospect of growing our family, we knew that Daycare was something that we should consider. This was our first dilemma – making the decision to enrol her in daycare. Where would she go? When would she get in? Could we find a centre where we would feel comfortable? Luckily, a great friend of mine had done some thorough research into local day care centres, and after being on the waiting list for a year, we were lucky enough to gain a place at the same centre as her child. I had initially only wanted one day, however apon being offered a place, I was informed that they had a two day minimum. This was our second dilemma – do we take the place, or keep waiting for one day at another centre? We decided to take the place.

The time then rolled around for us to start orientation. In my job as a Deputy Principal I am responsible for coordinating our Prep transition program. Over three days, we work with our children and prospective parents to support and educate them about the ins and outs of transitioning to Primary School. This includes helping the parents come to terms with their feelings, both positive and negative. I give endless advice to help ease their anxiety and comfort them. You would think that I could take my own advice when it came to the time for leaving Ella in daycare. This was my third dilemma – staying sane and rational when ‘those’ guilty thoughts crept in. I was so surprised how wound up I was after her first day in orientation. I found myself feeling so guilty that I cried and cried that night at home. I knew that my feelings were normal, however I couldn’t find that voice of reason to help me feel at ease and calm my own anxiety.

IMG_7584Needless to say, that these feelings grew fainter over the last week as she went to the centre a few times. The people who work there are just beautiful and seem to really love their work with the children. Ella struggles in the beginning when I leave, but calms down and enjoys her time throughout the day. I know that this will get better as she gets used to the new routine, gets to know the teachers and students at daycare.

As a teacher, it has brought a whole new perspective to the transition process. I can sympathise and empathise with parents as they hand their children over to people that they don’t know. I do know, however how much I love my job, and how much I try to help our parents understand that we will take care of their children like they are our own. I know that Ella’s teachers at daycare feel the same way, and just need to remind myself of this when I am handing over my own daughter to them.

I know in the end, everything will be fine. It will just take a little time.

kate