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Friday Find: Explore & Learn

Friday Find: Explore & Learn

I’m always on the look out for local businesses to feature on Friday Finds. In particular, I love to feature ideas and products created by clever Mums and Dads. Usually, they have found a gap in the market, and end up creating products that we all need, or have been searching for for ages! I’m always looking for good quality toys, particularly those that develop imagination and fine motor skills. Normally, these products cost an arm and a leg, and a hefty price is enough to turn anyone off even the most beautiful wooden set!

Cue Janette Colbert, who created her own WAHM (Work At Home Mum) business called “Explore and Learn Toddler.” Explore and Learn Toddler was born after her first son Cian (now 2) entered his toddler years (she also has a second son, Sam – aged 7 months). With a background as a primary school teacher, lots of friends would always ask her ‘what can I get for my toddler to help then learn?’. She wanted to show them that schools help children learn through play and hands-on real-life experiences. With this, the hunt begun for high quality toddler toys (she specialises in wooden toys) that support learning through play. Best of all, they come with a very, very reasonable price tag. Perfect for this time of year as Christmas approaches!

She also has a Facebook page that shares ‘Invitations to Explore and Learn’ – hands-on craft, fine motor and sensory play activities for families to try with their children at home.

Here are some of my favourites from her range:

The Peg & Stack Board – $15.50

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Wooden Shape Threading – $15.50

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Matching Expressions Game – $16Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.56.58 AM

Wooden Shape Threading – $21Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.57.14 AM

Wooden Chocolate Cake – Currently on sale for $18Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.57.46 AM

and finally… the Wooden Animal Magnets – $15. These magnets also come in other ranges, including transport!Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.58.14 AM

I just love her idea, and especially think that parents will love the quality and price. Janette has been so kind as to offer Happy Ella After Readers the chance to win their own Christmas gift from her range next week. Stay tuned on Monday to learn more.

In the mean time…you can visit her gorgeous range via Explore and Learn. Janette is also offering readers a special $5 discount off shipping rates. Simply use the code word ‘ELLA’ in the checkout!


Friday Find: Cocoon Couture @ Cotton on Kids

Friday Find: Cocoon Couture @ Cotton on Kids

Cotton on Kids is excited to announce that it is extending its accessories range by partnering up with the gorgeous Cocoon Couture. From November 1st (today!), they are launching a special bean bag range that will be available both online and in store!

Cocoon Couture is a unique collection of children’s’ bean bags and room accessories. Born in 1994 by two Mums, Ingrid and Melanie, they shared a passion for beautiful home wares and styling children’s rooms.

The Cotton On collection of bean bags will feature 100% cotton soft chord fabrics featuring fun vintage animal inspired appliqué.

Here are some of my favourite designs (note these are not all from the Cotton On range)…





Check out their beautiful range online and in store from today!

Kate xx

Friday Find: Randomly cool finds

Friday Find: Randomly cool finds

This week’s Friday Find is a real random one. It’s a few simple ideas, that I think are pretty cool. Just some cute finds that I have come across on Pinterest – from food, to DIY puff paint. Hopefully you will find something you like! Click on the images to be taken to the links!

Banana Ghosts and Mandarin Pumpkins. Who would have thought fruit could be so scary…


DIY Apple Scented Puff Paint…nothing cooler than puff paint!


Reinvent your baby wipe containers! Hours of fun for any toddler…


Peg Pets! Simple and cute. A great alternative to puppets!


Hopefully you have seen something you like! Lots of Finds on Pinterest each day! If you want to explore more, you can follow my boards on Pinterest here.  Happy Friday Everyone!


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:

You can also keep updated on Facebook:

And follow on Instagram by searching for @Kapowkids


*Images are linked to the KaPow Kids Facebook Page!

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…


and embellishments if you wish…


Jenna can be contacted for orders via her facebook page –, her mobile on 040069400 or email – 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!



*All images are used with permission from CJ loveable.

Friday Finds: RoxyOxy Creations

Friday Finds: RoxyOxy Creations

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 1.50.24 PMA couple of years ago, before Ella was born, I went to the fantastic Mathilda’s Market at Caulfield Racecourse. My friend and I were blown away by the beautiful, hand made creations that were on display. So many Mums and Dads had turned their ideas and talents into gorgeous creations to adorn beautiful babies and their nurseries. We stumbled upon RoxyOxy Creations, and were immediately drawn the the intricate artwork and exquisite designs she had on show.

A Mother herself, Jacinta started RoxyOxy creations after leading another life as a Dietician. With both kids now at school, and with her friends encouragement she has now realised her creative dream of creating her highly original and superbly executed pieces of art. With a strong interest in designing and creating for children, together with a love for fine papers and ribbons it was a natural outcome that both would come together creatively!

Each piece requires hours of precise and meticulous craftsmanship and creative evolution and when completed comes framed in a purposely crafted high quality wooden shadow boxed frame. Honestly, I designed Ella’s nursery around a few designs that I thought I would get for her. The only problem was, at the time I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl. Two spots were left on the wall, and I had every intention of going back to purchase two frames once the baby was born. Needless to say, time has passed and I’m still yet to talk to Jacinta about the ones that I would love for Ella….

Here are a few of my favourites….

‘Sending my love’


‘Bubble Love’


‘Love your journey’


‘Love is in the air’


The above artworks obviously have a ‘girly’ touch to them, but she has a huge variety of pieces for both boys and girls. You can visit her website album by clicking any of the images above, or by clicking the link here. With a range of sizes and prices, there is something for everyone. Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like these gorgeous pieces. They have an almost ‘Jeannie Baker‘  presence about them, and each artwork tells its own story.

Hopefully I’ll get around to ordering one soon!

You can find RoxyOxy creations online via or on Facebook here.

kate*All images above are linked to the RoxyOxy website


Friday Finds: Casetagram

Friday Finds: Casetagram

tumblr_ltmuvtM8Ce1r2k7tlo1_1280Last year, I was getting out of the car, baby in tow, hand bag and nappy bag lugged over my shoulder when my iPhone fell out of my pocket and smashed all over the ground. I was not a happy camper. I knew that I should have had a proper case for my phone, but had just put it to the bottom of my never ending ‘to do’ list. After upgrading my phone I invested in a case straight away, and it has proven to be a worthwhile investment by protecting my phone from a number of subsequent falls and general beating around by one small but very active baby. Whilst my phone has withstood a great deal of ‘general use’, it is time to get a new case. I’ve been looking around at various options and was recently showed this amazing new product that allows you to create your own personalised case. Cue ‘Casetagram’.

This fabulous product allows you to create almost any type of case you like. It includes a variety of themes and templates and draws upon photos from your own Instagram or Facebook library. By downloading their app, you can play till your heart’s content. Not only this, but you can create covers for your iphone or android device, and iPad! From $39.95, you can have your own family protect your precious phone!

These screen shots below show the fun I’ve had creating my own case….

Choose your device and case template…

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Add your photos…

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Put it all together…

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Save and share your design!!!

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I love, love this idea. Can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail. For more information about Casetagram, click here.