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Month: October 2014

Ella Loves Local: Nikki from Trendy Little Bubba

Ella Loves Local: Nikki from Trendy Little Bubba

logoSometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Simple ideas that make a big difference to the lives of Mums. I was contacted recently by Nikki from Trendy Little Bubba and sent a few items to try from her new business. Nikki hand makes dummy clips, Sophie savers (no more Where is Sophie??), dribble bibs, head bands and security blankets. It must have been divine intervention, because the weeks leading up to Nikki’s contact had been hell in the car. My little man simple hates being in the car, and his only comfort has been his dummy. Reaching over to find the dummy from the front seat became a frequent, and very dangerous activity, as I was desperate to find the dummy to help soothe him. With her dummy clip, I actually stuck it to the strap of the car seat, and this made for easy finding and soothing Hudson once again. It has been a life saver.

Nikki is a Mum of a newborn baby, and like many talented Mums who start thier own business, wanted to use her talents to create practical and affordable products for Mums and Dads. Based in Canberra, her products are just that….very affordable (starting at $4) and very practical. Here are a few of the items that I think have hit the mark (each linked to the website store)!

Dummy Clips – $6

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Sophie Savers – $4

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Security Snuggle – $22

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Bandana Bibs – an amazing $5!!!

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Nikki has only just recently started her business, and it is with pleasure that I am able to support her and share her business with you! From one Mum to another, here is Nikki’s story so far…

1. What inspired you to start Trendy Little Bubba?

I really just wanted something I could do as a hobby and also to create a bit of extra pocket money now that we have a family. I noticed how popular handmade items are at the moment so thought I would jump on board and introduce a bit if my own taste and style.

2. How do you juggle business and family?

It’s tough at times, I also have a part time job which I return too soon from my break on maternity leave. Any time my daughter is napping or asleep at night I’m normally working away!

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

Launching my website, that was pretty exciting. I’m pretty proud of how hard I have been working to get to that point

4. What has been your biggest challenge?

Probably trying to get my business the exposure I believe it deserves. It’s hard to start your own business and get people to notice it.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?

If you have a passion for something or a great idea why not go for it? Just take that first step and believe in yourself

6. Three words that describe Trendy Little Bubba.. Stylish affordable accessories!

7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?

Ooo that’s a tough one. Probably our new dribble bibs, I use bamboo terry toweling backing so they are super soft! I do have some new exciting things coming but you will just have to wait to see those 😉
8. Pay it forward to another local business.  Trendy Little Bubba loves…

Twinklepots designs! She makes the most beautiful custom made tutus for babies and children (even adults!) my 6 month old daughter already owns two.

So if, like me, you need some simple, but really, really practical and affordable baby items, get over to Trendy Little Bubba, and she might just save your sanity!

Remember to SUPPORT LOCAL!

kate

Christmas at the new Myer Giftorium

Christmas at the new Myer Giftorium

Lgiftorium_headerast week we were lucky enough to be invited along to the launch of the new Myer Giftorium. A Giftorium you say? Isn’t Myer one big Giftorium? Well, they have taken shopping for Christmas one step further, and made a space dedicated to purchasing gifts for each loving member of your family. The Giftorium has been developed to bring back fun and theatre to Christmas shopping and to create a one stop destination for all festive giving.

They have included the 12 Themes of Christmas:

  • Dapper Dad
  • Miracle Mum
  • Glamour Gran
  • Trendy Young Things
  • Kids Cubby
  • Food Fanatic
  • Stocking Fillers
  • Tecnho Freak
  • Fashionista
  • Globe Trotter
  • Paws Corner
  • and Hope, Skip and Juice

It means that instead of walking around an entire store looking at various gifts for one person, you simply go to the area dedicated for your loved one and all of the inspiration is in one space. A fabulous idea indeed. Best of all, it will be available at ALL Myer stores.

They have also included in the space a host of various activities for the family, including the traditional chance to meet Santa.

If you are in Melbourne, you have got to ensure that you take the kids into the city to visit the amazing Myer Windows, launching on November 8.

A big thanks to Myer Melbourne, and to Kids Business for having us! Here is Ella having a ball of a time…

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The 2014 Myer Christmas Bear – Archie
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Ella enjoying the new parent room in the Myer Emporium, watching Frozen!
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Art & Craft activities for the kids!
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FREE Soda Stream! Bring back the 80’s
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Yummy Christmas Treats!
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Dancers and performers for the kiddies!
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Myer is a wonderful place at Christmas!

As someone who back in the day, used to work at Myer Melbourne during my Uni days, I can honestly say that it is a magical place at Christmas Time!

kate

 

WIN a Family Pass to Santa’s Magical Kingdom!

WIN a Family Pass to Santa’s Magical Kingdom!

SMK_TIC_609x285Unless you’ve been hiding underneath a rock somewhere, you would know that Santa’s Magical Kingdom is again coming to Melbourne this November. As a lover of all things Christmas, this experience is just simply wonderful, and brings all the things you love about Christmas to under one roof. Living in the Southern Hemisphere, we spend our Christmas in the peak of summer, and one of the best experiences is the chance for your kids to experience a winter wonderland, complete with falling snow. We were lucky enough to go last year, and even though Ella was only one, she just loved it. From the rides, to the gingerbread baking, falling snow and wonderful circus show, it was just a great day out for the family.

If you haven’t been along, here is a run down…

Santa’s Magical Kingdom, in collaboration with Santa Claus North Pole Co-operation have signed an exclusive deal to once again bring all the magic of Christmas to Melbourne in 2014, at a new home, Caulfield Racecourse. After a bringing a successful event in 2013, visited by over 120,000 people from around Australia, Santa’s Magical Kingdom will return in 2014, at a new location, Caulfield Racecourse. The new venue, will also allow Santa’sMagical Kingdom to be even bigger and better!

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Santa’s Magical Kingdom brings all the wonder and joy of a traditional Christmas. This interactive walk-through is an enchanting experience that includes everything that you love about Christmas. Get ready to be amazed as you see the magic of Christmas come to life! Santa’s Magical Kingdom was announced by the Australian Event Awards as Best New Event in Victoria 2013.

Open to the public from 15 November to 23 December, Santa’s Magical Kingdom will deliver a Christmas wonderland full of activities that will capture the imagination of children & parents everywhere. “We are extremely excited about bringing Santa’s Magical Kingdom again toMelbourne this Christmas. It’s even more exciting that we have been able to secure our new home, Caulfield Racecourse, allowing us to make the event bigger and better, as well as easily accessible to our consumers. Santa’s Magical Kingdom is a magical experience, and we can’t wait to share the magic in 2014”, commented Keith Brown, Production Director of Santa’s Magical Kingdom.

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The event will include:

• A magical Christmas walk-through wonderland

• Snow Castle and Activity Land

• Meet Santa and receive a free gift!

• A spectacular brand new Christmas themed circus show

• Roving Christmas characters

• A Christmas craft area where you can decorate your own gingerbread man and decorate your own Christmas decoration

• Interactive story reading with Mrs Claus

• Gingerbread land

• Amusement Rides and laughing clowns including a carousel, Santa’s Slay Ride, Ferris Wheel, Platform Ride and Australia’s Largest Supper

Slide.

• Plus so much more fun for the whole family

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So with all the fun, I’m lucky enough to be able to give away one lucky reader a family pass (2 adults, 2 children) worth $130. It will be for the opening weekend Nov 15 / 16. This giveaway is open to Australian Residents only. To enter, please follow the instructions below. The competition will close on Monday November 9 at 6pm AEDST. A winner will be chosen at random and shared via my blog. The winner will be sent the tickets on Tuesday November 10 via express post.

GOOD LUCK and feel free to share the love with anyone who you feel may love the experience!

For more information about Santa’s Magical Kindgom, visit here. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s the simple things like socks in pairs…

It’s the simple things like socks in pairs…

Alert, Alert. This post is going to sound a lot like it’s written by my Mum. Actually it could be anyone’s Mum. In actual fact, it is written by a Mum, come to think of it….me! This morning I’ve taken some time just to enjoy a couple of quiet moments to myself and write about something simple. I have been thinking a lot lately about how life has changed so very much in the seven years that Daniel and I have been together. In those seven years we have achieved a lot…. bought a house, engaged, married, children, renovation, promotions, starting a business and all a-whilst having a ball. That term ‘having a ball’ has also changed somewhat. It used to entail getting dressed up, going out on a Friday night, going away on a whim and generally spending money on ourselves… These days, my definition of having fun is very different. Sure I’d love to be able to go get dressed up and go out on the weekend, but I’ve realised that it is the simple things in life that really make me happy. It sounds all to smooshy and romantic I know, but when I actually think about the things that bring a smile to my face, some of them aren’t at all fancy. In fact they are pretty darn boring. But to a Mum, often the smallest things can feel amazing, and the most mundane tasks can bring about a sense of achievement. I’m not sure if that is good or bad, but if you are anything like me, then I think it’s better to see the good in the world…even if it is in the most mundane, boring parts of life like finding socks with pairs! Here’s my top ten…

 

1. Flowers that last longer than a week.  I love flowers, but I really hate it when your gorgeous blooms go limp after a few days. Nothing is nicer than flowers that go the distance! Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.27.49 2. Candles. Candles, candles, candles. Nothing boring about this. They look beautiful and make the house smell amazing. Enough said.

3. Puzzles with complete pieces.  This one is a major bug bear of mine. It makes me feel like I have OCD. Ella has so many puzzles and I love it when we find all the pieces to make a complete set. My boss gave her the most amazing alphabet puzzle when she was born, and I treasure each piece!!! Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.27.41 4. Cushions.  I don’t know if it is a girl thing, but I’m a fan of cushions. Lots of them. The kind that look amazing and almost cover the entire couch / bed. Can’t help it.

5. Clean floors.  Clean floors. Clean babies. Love it. Except the part when they get dirty 5 minutes after they are cleaned….

6. Freshly made bed. I heard recently that people who make their beds in the morning are more successful in life. I didn’t grow up this way, but have just recently become anal about making beds in the morning. There is something about a freshly made bed that makes you feel like you’ve achieved something! Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.37.39 7. A glass of champagne.  No explanation needed for this one.

8. Pairs of socks.  It never happens, but finding pairs of socks after a wash and not having any left over is like winning the lottery. Yesterday I threw out about twenty single socks that have not been re-acquainted with their pair. As a kid, my Mum used to sew a small colour into each sock so that she could tell whose were who. With four kids, it was a great idea. I struggle with two!!! Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.27.55 9. Photos. I take so many photos its crazy. I’m glad that I’ve taken the time to print a few and put them up in our home. There is something about walking past them each day and remembering the times they were taken. Artworks and prints are amazing, but there is nothing like photos to bring life to your home. Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.28.02 10. Smiles. I can’t really write a blog post about the simple things in life without finishing with the best of all. Smiles on my kids, smiles on my husband and family. Makes my heart melt. Nothing better. Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.27.28

What are your simple things??? What ever they are…I hope they bring you some happiness today!

kate

 

Ella Loves Local: Kate from YorkeLee Prints

Ella Loves Local: Kate from YorkeLee Prints

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I daily come across new brands and inspiring images. A few weeks ago YorkeLee Prints caught my eye. Kids’ prints are ‘so hot right now’ as parents everywhere share images of their child’s nursery adorned with cute images and words of wisdom. Everyone knows that I’m avid lover of Superheros and Kate’s ‘I’m small but quick’ print jumped off the screen and into my wishlist of things I (still) want for Hudson’s room. After contacting Kate is soon became clear that she is another example of a Mum who has trusted her instinct and gone with her passion talent. A gorgeous range of prints for girls, boys and unisex rooms that is ever growing. What sets her prints apart is the fact that they are so affordable, and come in a range of sizes.  Here is a selection of some of my favourites (note that each print is monogramed with her logo, but when purchased they are logo free)…

My favourite, and the one that caught my eye…’Bolt’

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‘Pack leader’

 

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‘Arrow Heart’

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‘Boss’

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‘Teepee’

 

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Gorgeous prints and a gorgeous Mum behind them…

1. What inspired you to start YorkeLee?

I started YorkeLee Kids Prints after trying to find creative, unique prints and decor for my two boys’ rooms, I found it surprisingly hard, particularly for boy’s decor, there is a lot of pretty decor for girl’s rooms but not a lot for boys. When I did find some, they were totally out of my price range, so I went on a mission to create unique, affordable prints for kids bedrooms.

2.How do your juggle business and family?

One of the big reasons that I decided to work from home was to have better work life balance, I wanted to be able to see my boy’s grow and I am lucky enough to be in an industry that allows me to work from home. At times, it is definitely not easy, I have learned that it is essential to separate my day’s into “work time” and “family time”, I allocate a specific amount of time each day to work, I have specific hours that I work, for example, I work most mornings until 12pm then in the afternoon I dedicate the time to playing with the boys, activities, going for a walk or to the park.

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

I don’t like to take anything for granted, so I feel proud of what I am achieving everyday. I don’t think there is a specific “proud” moment, but it is so humbling to have such amazing support from my family, friends, followers and buyers. I am very passionate about what I do and I feel very proud that people love my designs.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is time, I feel like I need an extra 24 hours in each day to get everything done! I also want to make sure I spend enough time with my boys and remember the reason I first started YorkeLee Kids Prints, it is so easy to get caught up with Social Media and loose sight of what’s important in life.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?

I just love Albert Einsteins quote – “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious” If you love what you do and have passion, you will find a way and make it work. I guess my advise is ‘just do it’.

  1. What are three words to describe YorkeLee?

Unique, Creative & Affordable

7. What is your favourite product in your line?

I have so many favourite prints at the moment, but i just LOVE ‘Pack Leader’!

8. Pay it forward…YorkeLee loves….

YorkeLee Kids Prints Loves Project T-Bear, handmade, customizable modern bits for modern babies! Love them xo

As said above, Kate’s prints are affordable, unique and creative. Starting at $10, you choose the size and it gets delivered to your door, ready to frame. Mix the prints, mix the sizes. Here is my favourite ‘bolt’ print in Hudson’s room…

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So to visit her range and purchase a gorgeous one of your own, visit YorkeLee prints here.

**STOP PRESS**

Later on today we will be kicking off a giveaway on Instagram where you could win a print off your choice! Visit Instagram and follow @happyellaafter for details! Also be sure to check out her gorgeous gallery, with tips on how to hang and style the prints in your child’s room.

Thanks Kate…for giving such joy to kids’ rooms everywhere! By the looks of this photo, you are pretty joyous yourself!

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kate

 

Mummy Tummy Time

Mummy Tummy Time

Mummy Time. Tummy Time. Mummy Tummy Time. Mummies will be very familiar with the term ‘Tummy Time’. Time for babies to lie on their stomachs to strengthen their necks and develop strong muscles so that they can roll over, learn to sit up and develop. Tummy time is very important for babies, and it has made me start to think about how much time I’m spending on my own body.

This week I’ve started to feel really tired, lethargic and generally out of sorts. I’ve hurt my left lower back from over straining, carrying Hudson’ on one side and general repetition that all Mothers know too well. Hudson has now moved exclusively to bottles, and my breast milk supply is down to the last bottles on the freezer. Last time round, breast feeding really helped me to get back into shape, and I felt the weight fall off. This time around, I’ve been forced to give breast feeding up earlier, and I fear that this will mean that the last few kilos will hang around, particularly around my tummy.

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Me and Hudson at five months old

Now don’t get me wrong. I know that I am lucky, and have not put on a great deal of weight over my two pregnancies. For both I put on 10kg, and being approx. 60kg, this was pretty good. I’m not, nor have ever been a diet person, and know that there are many, many women who struggle with greater weight issues than me. I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad, or to compare myself to anyone. I’m just writing this because like all Mums, there comes a time when you start to feel uncomfortable about a certain aspect of your body. Whether or not you struggle with weight, we are all in this together and can all relate to the feeling of not being able to put on your pre-pregnancy jeans, or favourite pants. Hudson is now five months old, and this recent weekend, I tried on a few maxi dresses and for the first time really felt self conscious of the area around my tummy. It’s not as flat as it used to be, and with good reason. I guess I’m just starting to feel the pressure, and with an impending family holiday to Fiji just around the corner…I want to do something about it.

I know that it takes nine months to grow a baby, so we should all give each other a break and not expect our bodies to return to to the way they were quickly. Heck, I don’t think I will ever get back to the way it used to be. Our bodies go through so much, it is quite incredible. I just know that right now, I feel out of sorts, and not my normal self.

So with that, it’s time for some Mummy Tummy Time. I’m not interested in loosing a great deal of weight, just a couple of kilos and toning my stomach. I’ve decided to get back into Pilates and thanks to the recommendation of some great friends, and local Mums, I’ve found a local studio with a time that I can actually attend. I know it will be a combination of eating well and exercising, but given the fact that my recent diet has consisted almost exclusively of tea and toast, I need to do something more.

I just want to feel a little better about myself, and hope that with some hard work, I can get closer to the pre Mummy tummy I remember.

Wish me luck!

kate

Ella Loves Local: Jenna from CJ Loveable

Ella Loves Local: Jenna from CJ Loveable

10705037_10152724271535730_1209177052_nLast year I posted about CJ Loveable, a gorgeous homemade business that creates personalised gifts for babies. Since then, CJ Loveable has expanded and how creates beautiful gifts not only for babies and children, but also for weddings, anniversaries and special birthdays. You can even hire props for your special wedding day. The ‘baby’ of Jenna, this clever local has responded to the demand of her loyal customers, and introduced new products to her range. My favourite has been her personalised blackboards that include your child’s name, favourite colour and chosen shape. Here are a few of my favourite boards from her range…

Hand crafted from wood and blackboard…

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Gorgeous shapes…

 

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Personalised…

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Colours that Pop!

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Jenna not only has chalkboards, but has also introduced keepsake boxes and scrabble word art. Her commitment to personalised detail is so impressive, as she works with her clients to make the perfect gift. Jenna’s business has been thriving in recent months, and I sat down with her to learn more about her business…

1. What inspired you to start CJL?
When we were looking to give gifts to our loved ones such as friends children or friends weddings we always wanted to give them something that was personal and something they could keep forever and we just couldn’t find anything out there to purchase for them at an affordable price so we started to create our own, it was that simple!

2. How do you juggle your business and family life?
We are very lucky to love what we do so we never find it too hard to make time for our friends and family as well as our business. We have lots of lovely people who help us when necessary and there is the occasional late night or early morning but we feel lucky to be doing what we do and treat it as a blessing every day.

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?
We haven’t had just one proud moment, we have them regularly because nothing makes us prouder then when a client purchases an item such as a children’s keepsake box for a 1st birthday and the person who received it then orders one for one of their friends or family. This is something we do not take for granted and we truly appreciate it and get a buzz every time this happens as it means our product is spreading into the market.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge like most small businesses was simply getting started in creating a business as we hadn’t ran one before and to work out which avenues and people were best to focus on. We take a lot of pride in the quality of our work, you could say we are perfectionists, and are often looking for ways to change our products if they aren’t spot on or introduce new products into our current product line which is always a challenge, but one we love!

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?
Try to think outside the square and do something that you love and are passionate about as it shows in your end results and customers appreciate that. You have to be patient and network every opportunity you get to share your product with others.

6. Three words that describe CJL…
Handmade, customised and keepsakes

7. What’s your current favourite product in your line up?

We have 2 favourite products that we just love to make which are our Keepsake Boxes and our Chalkboards. I think this is because the colours, shapes and themes are always changing and we love creating products with themes we haven’t focused on before which is always the case with these items.

8. Pay it forward to another local business. CJL loves….

A friend of mine has recently started a party planning business called Party Amore, we just cannot get enough of her party styling.

Be sure to check out Jenna’s line via her Facebook Page here. 

REMEMBER TO SUPPORT LOCAL!

kate