Baby Wearing Part 1 – my story

My family and I after conquering our 'mountain'

My family and I after conquering our ‘mountain’

I know first hand that the ‘Baby Wearing’ world can be intimidating, confusing and a little bit scary (pictures of strongly opinionated, pram-haters come to mind)…. I’m giving my story and helpful (professional) tips across two posts. Part 1 being my blah blah blah of how I don’t really know much about Baby Wearing (thus giving me a great non-bias or pushy perspective) and Part 2 being the actual informative, helpful advice from interviewing  Jessie and Carley at Wear Your Baby.

As with many things parental, I tend to learn in hindsight. Little Evie is now one year old and even with an intense whirlwind International trip to the other side of the world for Christmas, we have barely touched our baby carrier in the last 12 months. If I’m honest, I never quite got the hang of it, Evie’s chunky thighs always got caught and it was a horrible strain on my neck and shoulders. Convinced I was doing it wrong, the carrier never received much love.

Only recently a friend lent me her carrier as a last minute saviour for some Sunday afternoon ‘hiking’ (don’t mistake me for anything resembling fit and active…. was an hour return trip up and down a hill sized mountain….. still enough to render me breathless and on my knees more times than I’d care to admit). Hubby carried Evie up the mountain (hill) and I carried her down… was enough to open my eyes to the world of a properly worn carrier! No neck and shoulder strain, super comfortable and Evie even had a little nap in it.

So started my foray into interpreting the Baby Wearing world. Each to their own, but I wasn’t keen on 24 hour attachment to my bub. One reason (for me) being that we do want a large-ish family and I feel like there’s probably a limit to how many babies/toddlers can be permanently strapped to me… But I have certainly learnt that in different seasons (teething, sickness etc) it’s ok to overdose your child with cuddles and affection, they generally need it in the crappy days. And lots of Baby Wearing contact would be soothing and comforting for bub while still giving mum two hands to fold laundry, bake Martha Stewart cakes and sew adorable baby outfits… OR make coffee and buy ridiculous amounts of things through Mummy Instagram shopping….

After my initial scoping, I had a bit more of an idea as to what we (Hubby and I) wanted.

  • Black – soooo easy to dress up or down 😉 …. and hide dirt and stains so I won’t need to wash as much. YES!
  • One with a forward facing option, because my one year old gets so bored facing my chest for too long that she actually tried to pull my collarbones off the other day. (educated note: the benefits of chatting to Baby Wearing professionals, forward facing is not the best ergonomically for babies, especially newborns, so should only be for limited amounts of time)
  • One with a hip/waist band – to limit strain on shoulders and neck

Feeling super in-the-know with what I wanted I wandered into a (nameless) Baby store…. after fumbling with the demonstration models, trying to interpret the backs of the boxes and looking ridiculously awkward for about half an hour, I left probably feeling a bit more overwhelmed than preferred.

Then most of my online searches for help tended to churn up mountains of strongly opinionated (and opposing) points and ‘rules’. My head started to hurt…

And then I hit gold! Perfect timing moment! Just when I needed clarification and help most, a beautiful friend from years back started an online Baby Wearing store!!! Beauty!… I barely gave her time to settle into the new business before pouncing with a request for an interview! Surely other mum’s have found the whole Baby Wearing deal a bit daunting and in my own (selfish) information seeking journey I could only hope that it’ll help others as well.

So I sat down with the wonderful Jessie and Carley from Wear Your Baby…. our multiple little ones scooting around our toes (and destroying their magazine collection)…. and picked their brains for how to simplify the different types of carriers, what suits what, the basic simple rules to remember…. and came out feeling so much more prepared.

And at the end of it all I’ve come away with a wonderful carrier that I love, have used multiple times this week already (so has Hubby), and a lot more confidence in being a Baby Wearing mum (albeit definitely part-time).

Part 2. including the wonderful advice and help I received from Jessie and Carley will be up on the blog within the week.

Let me know your thoughts ladies! (and men)….. how do you go baby wearing or not baby wearing? Would love to hear your tales 🙂

xxx

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Mexsii Bedheads – somewhere between beautiful art and bedheads…..

These beauties are popping up on all the radars lately…. I’m sure you’ve seen them. And no wonder! Oh good lordy they’re stunning!!! Mexsii Bedheads is the brain child of Merryn and Sarah, one half upholsterer/interior decoration; the other half marketing/business guru. They have truly created unique pieces of art for your bedroom!

And in the craziness of launching their Wanderlust Collection last month and popping up on The Block last week, these amazing women have taken the time to give us a behind the scenes look into the world of Mexsii…. read on…

Merryn & Sarah

Merryn & Sarah

How old is Mexsii Bedheads and how did this beautiful company begin?

Mexsii is coming up to 2 years from when the idea was first hatched but we have really only been trading since late last year. The idea is Merryn’s brainchild, as an upholsterer and interior decorator she was beginning to become uninspired with the lack of bed heads she was creating for clients. Like most good ideas the concept behind combining artwork and bedheads was spurred on by an inability to find something that Merryn wanted in her own room. After discussing her plans with friends and myself we thought it could be a viable business idea!

 

Violet Hill

Violet Hill

What (or who) inspires the artwork behind the bedheads?

The artwork used in our first collections Wanderlust and Mexsii Kids has been deeply inspired by personal travel adventures and nature. When working with our designer to create the art we had mood boards loaded up with images and trinkets from overseas adventures from East Africa, Morocco & South East Asia. As well as images & memories of landscapes from places we feel connected to like the ocean and outback.

 

Do you have a favourite Mexsii product from the ranges?

I love Coral Earth, the grounding colours in this remind me of my travels throughout Africa, however I must say if I had a child (that wasn’t my fur baby) I would be inclined to opt for Strawberry Fields, it’s just so bright and happy and is something I would have loved as a child! It reminds me of sunshine!

 

Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields

How do you find a balance in creating a unique product with so many competing trends?

We don’t pay a great deal of attention to trends, we simply do what we love and hope that people will like it. We are both very hands on in the design process and the colour palettes we have used have been influenced by personal experience as oppose to trends. At the end of the day people are either going to connect with our product and art or not, hopefully they do but if they don’t that’s OK too. Our products are quite out there so we don’t expect that it will be everyone’s cup of tea.

 

Is there a quote or motto that you love or live by?

Expect Less. Explore More. One of my yoga teachers said this to me and it just stuck. Starting a business is a roller coaster ride and I think when you put a lot of pressure on yourself to attain success (in whatever form that may look like) you may fall slightly short of that particular goal but in the bigger picture really you have achieved quite a lot. So I try to remind myself to have less expectations and just keep on exploring, have fun and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way!

 

Nomadic Heart

Nomadic Heart

How do you relax or unwind at the end of ‘one of those days’?

Take my dog to the park, watching her run around and have way too much fun, puts life into perspective. It never fails to make me smile!

 

When styling a room or space, what rules do you work by?

Start with the floor and the walls and work around that. Measure your space so that you know how much room you have to play with, nobody wants an oversized couch in a tiny room! If you buy things you love or decorate with items that have sentimental value you will be more inclined to keep them for longer and they will make you happy when you enter that space!

 

What exciting things can we expect from Mexsii in the next year?

Big Things!!! We are currently working on our next collection which is due for release early next year! Can’t say too much but it’s going to be ohh so amazing!!! So watch this space!

 

Icelandic Dream

Icelandic Dream

 

Thank you ladies so much for this snapshot into the world of Mexsii, can’t wait to see what’s coming next….. I’m now mapping out my dream home to justify having way more bed heads than necessary 🙂 xxx

www.mexsii.com

Instagram  @mexsiibedheads

Facebook   Mexsii Bedheads

Pinterest   Mexsii Bedheads

 

Business Feature – Incy Interiors

Kip Cot

Kip Cot

One way to tell that an interview has gone ‘well’ is how many notes you’ve actually made…. And how well the conversation stays on track…. I have never had a more fun, informative and off topic interview with anyone! Kristy Withers of Incy Interiors had every reason at this years Life Instyle/Kids Instyle exhibition to be time poor. Launching Incy’s ridiculously successful collaboration with Kip & Co and coping with the constant, excited enquiries and orders would put anyone out.

So naturally I was thrilled to secure a moment of her precious time to chat about this new range and everything Incy. It was honestly the greatest chat I had with anyone at the exhibition that weekend, we ‘yarned’ for over an hour, constantly rambling off topic, forgetting what the original question was…. and I was given a beautiful glimpse into the mind behind this amazing brand and now love it oh so so much more 🙂

Kristy Withers INCY Interiors

Kristy Withers INCY Interiors

At the end of the day I got in touch because of the recently launched, incredibly fun and refreshingly different Incy Interiors and Kip & Co collaboration. Featuring Kip Beds (one boy, one girl) and a unisex Kip Cot, these are bright, fun and a beautiful balance between stylish and ‘kiddy’. They can be the focal point in a pared back, clean lined room…. or the starting point to go absolutely crazy with colour and fun! My two opposing design sides are at war with each other right now. 🙂 Have a look, you decide, how would you style these beauties? And read on below for our yarn with Kristy (sorry the entire hour long chat remains in my mind.. I’m selfish like that)

 

Kristy, in four words how would you describe this new range?

Colourful! That’s it! Only one word needed!…. Maybe industrial colourful? This is our sixth time at Kids Instyle and has undoubtedly been our most successful. The range has been received so well! People’s ideas and changing and they are embracing new and different looks for kids’ interiors. Some of our oldest, most traditional stockists have even identified this, snapping up the new range.

Incy has really been on a design journey since starting, initially we leant towards being Australia’s answer to Pottery Barn… but now it’s really me! We’ve really started to come into our own. Starting off a new business is so overwhelming, but now I feel we have nothing to prove.

Kip Bed - Girl

Kip Bed – Girl

How old is Incy Interiors and did you ever imagine it becoming what it is today?

Never, ever imagined it becoming this! We started up three and a half years ago when searching for a ‘big boy bed’ for our boy Oscar. Once I have a goal, I become incredibly focused and obsessed with it. I searched everywhere in Australia for what I wanted, looked at importing from overseas, and the option of having it manufactured myself. I lacked the confidence needed to really start a business on my own, but I luckily have a business minded husband who gave me the push needed.

 

Do you have a favourite product?

The Oscar bed still holds a lot of sentimental value for us. He’s definitely due a bigger bed now but I’m clinging on! It’s really nice actually how attached they are to design and their own rooms. He recently chose the Kip & Co Pizza bedspread for his room, was his favourite! Of course it doesn’t match anything but he loves it. Oscar’s and Polly’s rooms are being redesigned… Bel from Petite Vintage Label and Jacinda from Hide & Sleep have both done design boards for them. The rooms needed a new look, they were all mismatched!

Oscar Bed

Oscar Bed

Tell us more about your collaboration with Kip & Co?

When Kip & Co launched, we had just released our coloured bed range. We noticed that everyone bought them together. Any images we saw of one product almost always featured the other. We also worked together a lot in shoots, using each others products and so on. We always got along well and had fun, and one day thought ‘we should do something together!’ This range was really a lot of fun, and we have another collaboration coming out in about four weeks. Completely different again!

 

Incy Interiors collaboration with Kip & Co was a huge hit at Melbourne's Life Instyle

Incy Interiors collaboration range with Kip & Co was a huge hit at Melbourne’s Life Instyle

What trends do you see emerging at this years Kids Instyle?

Colours, I suppose this is always popular with kids wear. Copper is continuing on, in general homewares as well as kids. And monochrome is having another peak… it kind of diminished but is returning again I think. I love monochrome and really wish I had the restrain to be able to pull it off. This is why the house is such a mismatch of styles, I get attached to too many styles and objects.

 

As a mum and business owner, what has been your biggest learning curve?

As a mum it is all about balance. I know everyone says that but it’s true. And just getting through each day.. I probably get it right maybe 50% of the time. The last few weeks I’ve been working evenings and weekends, usually after the kids are sleeping… which is stupid, because then I don’t sleep.

Regarding business I really believe in working hard and being nice to people! And be humble. It’s so hard to work with anyone who isn’t nice. It immediately drags you down.

Kip Bed - Boy

Kip Bed – Boy

Well you have certainly achieved both Kristy! You have worked crazy hard, deserve all the amazing success you’re having, and stay refreshingly humble and nice to the people around you. Thank you thank you thank you for your precious (and fun) time.

xxx

http://www.incyinteriors.com.au  you can find a local Incy stockist from the website

instagram icon @incy_interiors @theincystore

pinteres icon incy interiors

Business Feature – kupukupu kids

You have probably seen the recent craze for animal cushions… a somewhat cross between a plush animal and a cushion. Ridiculously adorable and popping up in perfectly styled kids’ rooms around the globe. Today’s feature business is ‘kupukupu kids’, run by the lovely (you may have noted that I only like to celebrate business people who stay humble and pleasant amongst the success) and wonderfully talented Laura. She takes incredible joy in each style, pattern and colour and solely uses organic cottons and eco-friendly inks for the beautiful characters below and lovely lines of kids apparel.

Laura

Laura – kupukupu kids

Perfect cushion characters

Read on for Laura’s insight into the kupukupu kids world….

1. How did kukupuku start?
I started kupukupu 3 years ago with my women and men’s casual
apparel shop. I actually haven’t studied sewing or pattern making, but have sewn clothes for my dolls growing up and then for me. In fact I studied Philosophy and then Communication and I was working in press departments for a long time. But one day I decided to quit my job and open my first shop on Etsy… I needed a change in my life… to spend more time with family and friends and do things that I really loved. After two and a half years with kupukupuapparel, I decided to open kupukupukids, with a totally different style. My adult collection is all smooth and neutral and with kupukupukids I love to play with colors and forms in the fabric patterns as much as I can. Ii is one of the parts of my job that I like most, to design the fabrics! After six months, I’m so happy to have opened this shop. I really enjoy it!

Confetti organic cotton Baby Blanket

Organic Cotton Duck plush pillow

2. What happens in a day behind the scenes of kupukupu?
As I work at home, I start my work day just after breakfast. The first thing that I do is check my shops, see my messages and renew my items. After that, I sew sold items and package them or take photos of new items, edit them and upload them to my shops. I like to dedicate the morning to do this, and to reserve the office and design tasks for the afternoons. My mind is more creative and communicative in afternoon and nights, ever since I was a child. Before lunch, I love to dedicate one hour to practice yoga. Stretch the body and relax my mind.

The afternoons is the best part: create, design, talk with my customers and attend the social networks, that is a big job, as well. I spend a big part of the day thinking about that. As a journalist I know is an essential part of my bussines and I try to take care of it as much as I can. After that I try to rest, stay with family and see friends, but I have to recognize that my mind is always in kupukupu. It’s like my little baby!

3. How do you stay motivated on a tough day?
I always try to have in mind what all of this means. I started this project with my boyfriend, Jordi. He is a great illustrator and has a shop on Etsy too, suPmön. We needed to be the owners of our time and dedicate our days to make things that we really love and also spend more time together. Now we both work from home and we share a great part of our job with each other. For instance, he’s the drawer of all of my plush collection and also the little duck of my logo. Now we are living the kind of life we want, even though we have had many difficulties and we’ve had some bad times. I’m not going to say this is not hard, because it is, but absolutely worth it.

Greatest First Moments Gift Pack

Dandelions organic cotton T-shirt

4. What is your favourite part of developing your own business and brand?
When you are developing your own business, you’re planting the seeds to your future and you can see how it grows day by day and that’s beautiful! It’s like your baby. All your efforts are directed to make sure it grows well, strong and healthy. And you are happy doing this because the benefits of all this work are yours and nobody else’s. When working for other companies sometimes people don’t feel a project is theirs and sometimes they feel disappointed and frustrated because they work hard and sacrifice so much of their life for this job, but never see all its benefits. I’m not just talking about economic benefits. The benefits of having your own business are more than the money, it’s the freedom to live your own way and freedom to create and make what you feel is better.

5. Who inspires you on Instagram/Pinterest/blogs etc?
I specially like the work of Susan Petersen, from Freshly-Picked. I think what she does in social media is amazing. I try to learn as much as I can from her. And I also admire the work of Mr. Wonderful, a catalan designer that founded a successful online store of optimism products, with their presence on social networks and their blog.

Growing Stripes organic cotton long sleeve onesie

6. What’s your top piece of advice for balancing life with your own business?
Well, it is really difficult to disconnect both things, because if you love your job it is part of your life. I’m spend all day working, but I don’t feel like I’m working, because I’m just making things that I love. I think it’s really important that you love your business a lot, because I think there’s no way to pull the blind down, especially if it’s a young business. Yoga does help though… Anyway, balancing life with your own business is easier than if you work in a company with a fixed schedule. If you work like me at home and sell online, you can adapt that with your other facets of your life perfectly. You just have to reserve some days in the week and hours in the day to turn off the computer and get away from the sewing machines, even your mind is with your job all the time.

7. What is your favourite kupukupu product?
I try to feel satisfied with every product that I made, but there’s no doubt that you always have some of them favorites. I think mine is this…

Mountain Yellow organic cotton hoodie

Thank you so much Laura for giving us a beautiful and open insight into your world! This gift wish list just keeps on growing……

http://www.kupukupu.cat

http://www.etsy.com/au/shop/kupukupukids

 

xx

A Winter One-derland – Evie’s First Birthday

I feel like this post needs to come with a disclaimer…. I know how many people feel about over-the-top, pretentious first birthdays….. but, I LOVE them! haha. I am all for fancy bashes, and considering I’m an Events Coordinator who hasn’t worked for 12 months, little Evie really didn’t stand a chance when it came to her first birthday.

I don’t like over spending though so keeping to a teeny tiny budget we had a really beautiful afternoon party with family and our closest friends.

The piñata

We hung strings of cotton wool (snow) from the cardboard cutout clouds.

Our little party girl (dress chosen by her adoring daddy)

The best little party favours for the kid guests

Snowman cups of popcorn

We borrowed everyone’s Christmas trees for a wintry forest… our QLD palm trees didn’t quite cut it

Hanging snowflakes

‘Dad of the Year’! Made a Frozen photo booth that all the kids loved

Kept the cake simple (I am no cake decorator and no matter what Pinterest tells me, I will not try)

All in all we had a lot of fun and I really loved pulling it all together.

There’s no need to spend thousands, but don’t let the haters stop you throwing a party! 🙂 If all else fails I’ll come along!!! 🙂

Business Feature | Sapling Child | Perfect pieces from a beautiful lady

It’s a very rare day that you find stunning, beautiful products that have an equally amazing company and founder behind them. In the mummy-small-business world I have had the pleasure of meeting and being inspired by so so many caring, hard-working and lovely women.. and Peta Stinson, the wonder that is Sapling Child, is the Pièce de résistance….

Peta Stinson – Sapling Child

She has worked ridiculously hard at this, smashing any small-mummy-business glass ceilings along the way! And after working alongside Hollywood A-listers and reaching enviable success, she has remained refreshingly down to earth, open and just plain lovely to chat to!

and the products… oh the products!!….. 😉

These perfect, soft and snuggling pieces are booming in popularity around the world (even Prince George’s nursery holds a plentiful supply), are made from 100% Organic Cotton, and are wonderfully affordable (yes!!)…. in fear of sounding like an advertisement, these are PERFECT for gifting a mummy-to-be (and for spoiling yourself….. and for midnight online shopping…)

Dusty Pink with Heart pants

Owl on Branch Unisex Romper

Rose Petal Snuggle Wrap

For a lovely glimpse into the Sapling Child world, read on…….

 

Peta, did you imagine Sapling Child growing into what it is today?

No! We always hoped it would, but didn’t focus too much on that as a goal. We try to take things one thing at a time. It is amazing though. We are super excited about everything that’s been happening, and to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing and inspiring group of people makes us so happy!

 

What was your biggest lesson learnt in the early days of Sapling Child?

We quickly had to learn how to turn the ‘No’s’ into ‘Yes’s’

Owl on Branch long sleeve bodysuit

 

How do you stay motivated in what can be an overwhelming industry?

It’s pretty easy, I don’t follow and keep up with big labels, because it distracts me. I try to keep my head focussed on what feels right to me (in terms of design), instead of always trying to follow a trend. I think that would be exhausting. I also have an amazing group of IG mumma’s, and coworkers who are always motivating me on so many levels.

 

Name your top inspiring people to follow on Instagram or Pinterest (we know you’re a Pinterest addict…. aren’t we all)

Gosh, I do love Pinterest! My Pinterest account (Peta Stinson) is more of a ‘me’ thing and not much of a ‘Sapling’ thing so a lot of my pins are pics of amazing clothes and interiors. I love following Lisa Brauer for interiors, and Courtney Amber and Sincerely Jules for fashion….amazing taste those ladies.

My favourite IG mummas would have to be @notsomumsy, as her feed is just as beautiful as she is. @theinstashopper, who always makes me laugh and who has the most gorgeous bubba. And @warnjai as she works the light in her pictures like noone else.

Seaweed Baby Snuggle Wrap

 

What exciting things are happening in the near future of Sapling Child?

Well we have a collaboration coming out with Jessica Alba and the Honest Co in October, along with our new range. Then we have Jaime Kings collection coming out in Feb….and it is AMAZING! So excited to debut it!

SisiliaPiring_000040169

 

What has been the most jaw dropping moment for you in the last year?

We haven’t told anyone this yet, but last month we decided and are now funding an orphanage in India. It’s a small orphanage, only 25 children, they are either orphans or their parents are unable to care for them. They are all provided an education as well, which was such an important thing for us. It’s amazing that we are at the point where we can do things like this. We look forward to opening/sponsoring many more orphanages around India.

 

After a ridiculous day, how do you recharge?

I go to the gym. I love to just work it all out. If it’s been particularly stressful, there’s nothing quite like boxing!

Owl on Branch Short Sleeve bodysuit

Flamingo Vine Lace bodysuit

 

What 3 things could you absolutely not live without?

My family, my bed, and my face moisturiser.

 

Do you have a quote or motto that never fails to pick you up (or just make you giggle)?

“Breathe it all in, love it all out” I don’t know where it came from, but it’s become my Mantra. When things are stressful or challenging, I think to myself breathe it all in and exhale out love. Seems to work for me!
You should try it!

 

Thank you so much Peta! SO good to hear from successful mum’s who not only work hard but keep grounded at the same time. XX

Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post, I just absolutely love this brand and this woman is AMAZING! 🙂

Keep up with Sapling Child and Peta….

instagram icon  @saplingchild

pinteres icon Peta Stinson (Sapling Child)

www.saplingchild.com

 

Thrifty Art

Thrifty options for 'art' in your home

Thrifty options for ‘art’ in your home

I framed all of the above this week for my little Evie’s room makeover (a slow but sure process of probably… hmm…. a year)

As a bargain addict I am constantly looking out for beautiful fabrics, cards, papers etc. that I can frame… everything above was a ridiculous success….  under $20 for the lot!!!

I already had all of the frames, just needed a lick of white paint (which was leftover from renovations). And each of the prints were either beautiful cards from a stunning local store here on the Sunshine Coast QLD ‘The Lovely Bird’ or Manila Folders from Typo… They always have an AH MA ZING selection of Manila Folders in those stores that I can’t bear to hide away in a filing cabinet! 🙂 Some of them were only 35c in the sale!!!!

So when I spend pennies on framing prints like these I can justify big ticket feature artworks in every room. Yayyyyy! 🙂

How do you stay stylish on a budget in your home? Share with me your wisdom 😉