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Month: October 2015

The baby gear that saved our life…

The baby gear that saved our life…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my BC self. Before children. In particular, I’ve been thinking about all the things that I thought I had to have in order to be a ‘good’ parent, and survive Motherhood. The race to ensure that you have everything you ‘need’. So many questions, so many unanswered. What is the best nappy brand? Which pram do I get? Which bottles? Do I need a breast pump? Which size clothes do I buy? A vaporiser? Bumpers on the cot, or no bumpers? Swaddle or sleep suit? on, and on, and on the questions go……..

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Looking back at photos of myself in the early days of parenthood I know exactly what I was thinking. There is so much baby gear…where do you start?! As any new parent knows, you feel incredibly blessed to have been given so many wonderful presents, gifts and words of advice from those Mothers who have come with pearls of wisdom and years of experience. The thing is, that until you go through it yourself….you really will not realise just how much stuff there is out there, and most of it….you won’t use. I received so much advice that just went in one ear and out the other. I wish I had have listened to one thing, and that is….you really don’t need that much. They do actually grow really quickly, and you don’t need to get them an entire wardrobe before they are born. Sure, we are all different, but having had my second child come prematurely, we were thrown into the world of ‘quick, get some things together’, and this period showed me that you really only need a few things to get by, and thrive. Some of these things are indeed worth the investment, and some of these things are cheaper than a litre of milk.

In my world right now, there are lots of beautiful women I know who are about to embark on Motherhood for the first time. If I could step back in time and give my BC (before children) self some advice, it would be to make sure that you focus on fewer better quality things, than thinking that you need to fill your house with every type of product under the baby marketing sun. I remember stepping into Baby Bunting for the first time, and walking around looking at a million different types of dummies. Seriously, how many types of teats can you possible have? It’s good to be prepared, but far out, there is so much stuff out there that it is no wonder parents to be get overwhelmed, and that is before the baby even arrives. I recently read this great article by Zoe Blake. It’s real and true. It made me think about all of the stuff that I had, that I just didn’t need. It also made me think about the ridiculous money I spent on some things that was a waste of cash.

So with that, my advice to any expectant parent would be:

Worth the investment products….

  1. Buy the best pram you can afford. That sucker will get used more than your kettle. Well, maybe not quite. Yes, we invested in a Bugaboo chameleon, and then a donkey when we had two. However there are really a number a of great prams out there. I’d get yourself into a store and try one out yourself, or even better….ask you friends who’ve road tested them. I would simply have died without mine, and yes….I love my double pram. But that’s just me…

  2. Get a baby carrier. Whether it’s a Bjorn, a Ergo or another brand, they will save you arms from dropping off. I used mine a great deal more when I had two little kids, but they are well worth the investment, and your arms will thank you.

  3. Breast Pump. A good one. Trust me, you don’t want a cheap pump working in that area.

  4. The baby Bjorn portacot. A little $, but again…worth it in every way. It is only 5kg and folds down to a case, so when you travel it’s simply the best thing you could bring with you.

5. Boon Grass Drying rack. Sits on your bench and allows your bottles to drip dry in an ordered place, without clogging up your bench, Looks great too.

Its the small things….

  1. Terry Towing bath ramp: This is the shiz. Lay your little one in the bath on this ramp made of towelling. No more sore back, neck, arms. The towelling soaks up the water and so is nice and warm for little tushies to lean on. You can take the towell off and wash it to. I got ours from Target for about $15. Saved. My. Life

  2. Portable hose attachment: From Bunnings, or any hardware shop, this little hose connects to any tap and you can instantly fill your baby bath up from anywhere. Genius.

  3. BBox Sippy cup: for little ones, this cup will save your mind, and your toddler’s. The straw has a weight in the bottom, so if your child moves the bottle, the straw moves with it. No more getting confused about how to use this cup. Believe me. Worth it.

There are loads of other things that you will end up getting that you just don’t need. My only real advice on this is:

  • DON’T buy singles without press studs on the bottom. They simply ride up and get really annoying!
  • DON’T buy too many clothes in sizes 0000 and 000. They honestly fit into these for only a couple of weeks. Don’t waster your money!
  • DON’T buy wraps or bibs that are too small. Go for generous sizes as they will wear better, and help you to wrap your baby nice and snug.

mums-grapevine1So if you think that it is all too much, then you are totally in luck! New Mums, or Mums to Be can win your very own Goodie Bag worth $6000. You read that right! $6000! Mums Grapevine are currently giving one of their readers the chance to win some amazing goodies to help you get started. They are simply divine! To enter, simply head to http://mumsgrapevine.com.au/2015/09/win-elise-swallows-6000-baby-shower/. Now I know what you are thinking….that would be awesome! Entering this could just change your life…..or make someone else’s day!

kate

 

 

Ella Loves Local: Natalie and Verity from Nightie Night Lane

Ella Loves Local: Natalie and Verity from Nightie Night Lane

Christmas Morning. Squeals of delight, festive cheer, presents, carols, family fun. This was the inspiration behind Nightie Night Lane being created, to design and make beautiful nighties for girls, and pj’s for boys to wear on Christmas morning. To wake up and feel like Christmas in every way. When I heard about this I thought that it was the most beautiful basis to design night wear. There is something different and special about Christmas morning, and this sentiment is held in my heart as my own children move towards this special time of year in 2015. When I had the chance to give Ella one of their beautiful nighties, my heart melted. Made in Australia, their range is exquisite, beautiful and divine. Here is Ella in her own gorgeous ‘night time poem’ nightie…..you can’t wipe the smile off her face…

Ella Loves Local Nightie Night Lane Happy Ella After

Ella Loves Local Nightie Night Lane Happy Ella After

So let’s hear from the girls themselves….

1. What inspired you to start Nightie Night Lane?

Natalie:  I had been trying to find a white, pure cotton nightie for my daughter to wear on Christmas eve that would look beautiful on Christmas morning. I couldn’t find anything! I had been making pyjama pants for my kids and Verity had been making nighties, so together we pulled out the trusty sewing machines, sought advise from a clever friend and a mother-in-law and Nightie Night Lane was born!

2. How do you juggle business and family?

Verity: One must have stamina! You must be at the computer screen with all your tabs open at once. All the time. Forget quiet time and be mindful that the kids don’t know what’s going on in your head, so the amazing acorn they found at school today IS just as important as the expensive shipment of organic fabric, that took you three weeks to secure, in such small quantities seems to have gone missing in the post!

Natalie: You have to be really organised with your weekly routine if you want it to work! Every second needs to be used as productively as possible and plan every day. We have been getting our children involved in the business from the very first stages and they have been as excited as us to see it grow. They have put up with mummy’s testing every pattern style on them, coming to suppliers, sitting through phone meetings in the car and photo shoots in public places in their pyjamas! Grandma’s are very handy for posting deliveries. Oh, and a slow cooker! You really need a slow cooker!

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

Hearing feedback from customers about how much their children love their nightwear. We love it when customers send photos of our products from all around the world. It’s a lovely feeling to know that we are involved in such special times for families, adventurous holidays, birthday and Christmas mornings.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?

Verity: Fabric supply… arrrrgh!!!!

Natalie: No child is a standard size! Every pattern in every size has to be tested on every child we know for prefect fit and comfort before anything ever makes it to production.

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

Verity: If you can multi task (and I dare say all mum’s can) have a go. It is however all absorbing so expect to be stretched further than you ever thought you could be. What have you got to lose, except your sanity? Who needs that.

6. Three words that describe Nightie Night Lane?

Pure, classic, loved

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

Verity: For me it is elements of the product that have worked well. A certain trim, a fabric, the way a strap sits that will sit well on all sorts of little bodies which are so different and change rapidly.

Natalie: I love “milk before bed”. It is timeless and loved by big and little girls alike. We are changing this slightly this season, making it even more luxurious.

8. Pay it forward to another local business. Nightie Night Lane loves…

Graphic design from Little Blue House Creative
The lovely Kath designed our logo and can help you with the design of anything!
So if you want your children to have divine nightwear this coming summer, head to Nightie Night Lane today.
Our readers have a very special chance to purchase something with a special discount…simply enter the code ELLA in checkout for 15% off your order! Thanks girls!
kate
Ella Loves Local: Meg from Little Scooch

Ella Loves Local: Meg from Little Scooch

Two things I love right now….personalised products and cool tees. I recently shared the Mooluu love with you, and this week I’m adding to the list of awesomely cool customised kidswear. Another of my Insta faves, Little Scooch have taken cuteness to another level. A range of very clever designs that not only include your child’s name, but also add a cheeky flare with the image and catchphrase. Meg is the brainchild behind the business and lovingly hand screen prints each and every one from her own home. Each tee is unique and individual. Here are my cheeky monkeys rocking their own…

GO GO ELLA!

Little Scooch Happy Ella After Ella Loves Local

HUDSON MAN!

Little Scooch Happy Ella After Ella Loves Local Little Scooch Happy Ella After Ella Loves Local

There are lots of other cute designs too, but I think you’ll agree, these ones rock! It was great to meet Meg and hear her story about how Little Scooch came to be…

  1. What inspired you to start Little Scooch?

Pregnancy and pelvic instability rendered me a bit ‘hobbyless’ (previously I have been a very active person into hockey, hiking, running, camping, snowboarding, bad dancing etc). I went along to a screenprinting course with a friend, and a few people wanted one of my designs for their kids. I loved the feeling of creating something that made people happy, so it inspired me to dream up more. The new creative outlet came at a time when I was also feeling frustratingly stalled in my corporate career, through my own decision to prioritise being home with my kids. So Little Scooch is a new skill and challenge for me.

  1. How do you juggle business and family?

Sadly at the moment by lack of sleep. I am a mum of 2 littles, and I work part time in the corporate world, so – apart from the rare ninja-mum moments where I get both kids down for a nap at the same time – Little Scooch is a night time gig for me (as much as I love printing with the ‘help’ of a 3 year old and 1 year old during the day….). I am pretty sure I constantly look knackered and friends are just politely pretending not to notice the huge dark bags hanging off my face like a zombie. But I feel energised and motivated so that kind of offsets it all somehow .  My goal is to grow Little Scooch so I can pause my corporate career and be home with my kids more whilst they are little, and maybe I’ll still be a zombie anyway cos let’s be honest, little kids can do that.

  1. What has been your proudest moment so far?

As this is quite a new venture, it’s a bit of a daggy one, but the first time I printed my logo on the back of a teeshirt I got a real buzz out of it and was a bit like ‘woah shit just got real’.   Either that, or the first time a stranger placed an order. I was so excited that a person with absolutely no incentive to pump up my tyres wanted to part with their hard-earned for something that I created.

  1. What has been your biggest challenge?

Coming from a non-fashion, non-design, non-arts background, I don’t really know anyone in the design community and I would love to find a mentor to really challenge me, guide and inspire me. I have found having mentors invaluable in the corporate world and really believe in the power of collaboration for people to lift each other up and bring out the best in each other. At the moment I wouldn’t know where to start with reaching out without seeming like a creepy despo, but I’m doing a couple of markets over the next few months so hopefully getting involved in events and marketing with other talented children’s designers is a good start.

  1. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?
  • Fail fast. Have the balls to identify what’s not working, pause, regroup and re-set direction.
  • Remember that Behind Every Great Woman, is herself.
  1. Three words that describe Little Scooch?

Little scooch designs are like the crazy love child of 3 things:

  • street art,
  • a kinder picture and
  • a daggy dad joke. (no wonder only children are willing to wear them! (haha)

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

It’s hard to choose a favourite child but probably The Rockabye because it’s unisex, a little retro, looks rad on every colour and is such a sweet blessing to give a bub and their parents – who doesn’t want a soundly sleeping baby little having groovy dreams? It’s fair to say that everyone else loves the personalised Batman. I am doing SO many batman orders.

  1. Pay it forward to another local business.  Little Scooch loves…

Mr. Willo – this team are the real deal creating thoughtfully designed shirts in Kensington for little hipster misters . I was drooling over everything in their stall at Swagger Market last week.

So if you want your little ones to rock their own cool designs, head to Little Scooch and order your own. Or they would make a gorgeous present for someone little who is very special!

kate