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e’re thrilled to launch our new Connect2mums magazine! Whether you’re a working mum, a stay at home mum or a mum in business you’ll find mums like you making new friends, building relationships and chatting about everything from babies to business, the bedroom and beyond at Connect2mums! Connect2mums is a place where you can read articles, join discussions, come along to our hilarious live chat parties and enter great competitions!
At Connect2mums we provide great support and information for mums with a range of regular weekly columns including the New Mum’s Diary, Connect2Travel, Connect2Fun and Connect2Relationships to name a few. Our members say Connect2mums is one of the most welcoming and friendliest sites they’ve experienced! It’s free to join and its a whole lot of fun! Connect2mums is also home of the AusMumpreneur Awards and Mumpreneurs Conference which celebrates mums in business and are held in August each year. We also publish a monthly online magazine filled with articles, interviews and inspiration. There’s something for every Mum! So come and join us, we’d love to see you there!
Peace & Katy
Peace Mitchell & Katy Garner Editors
connect2mums magazine Editorial Peace Mitchell & Katy Garner Online Features Editor Claudette Betterridge Contributors Tina Hart Cover Photography Maureen Haynes
Advertising enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org Win a Borne Naked baby Bag Bundle valued at $59.90 Mum’s must-haves in the small liner and baby’s in the large. Both liners in the baby bag and everything’s at hand. www.BorneNaked.com
Contact us email@example.com 0416 258 586 www.connect2mums.com.au
To enter simply join the free online community www.connect2mums.com.au and write ‘CONNECT2MUMS MAGAZINE’ in the ‘where did you hear about us’ section.
Meet mums like you at connect2mums
A winner will be drawn on Fri 1 July 2011
Join us at connect2mums www.connect2mums.com.au Find us at facebook - connect to aussie mums Follow us at twitter - @connect2mums www.connect2mums.com.au
Sydney 26 & 27 August 2011
2 Day Mumpreneurs Conference A Weekend of Business Workshops, Networking, Guest Speakers, Friendship & Fun!
INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS & YOURSELF Guest Speakers Lara Solomon, Julia BickerstaďŹ€, Rebecca Derrington, Susan Pearse, Paula Kuhnemann, Johanna Baker - Dowdell, Dannielle Michaels, Alycia Edgar, Helen Butler, Simone Outteridge & Karen Gunton Gain inspiration and motivation, new skills and tools to grow your business. Network with other mums running their own business and gain knowledge and advice from industry experts.
Book Now www.connect2mums.com.au 6
2011 Mumpreneurs Conference Program Friday 26 August 2011 “Get Wired for Business Success” - Susan Pearse Mind Gardener “Pricing For Profitability” - Julia Bickerstaff - Business Bakery AMN Experts Breakout Sessions - Choose the Conference thats right for you! “5 keys to building a successful business” Simone Outteridge Coaching “Use your brand to attract customers & sell your products” Karen Bulid A Little Biz “The world is your coffice” - Alycia Edgar Bookzkeeper “The Missing Pieces of the Mumpreneur Puzzle” Helen Butler “Be Your Own PR Agent”. - Johanna Baker-Dowdell Strawberry Communications “How NOT to get your social marketing wrong” Nick Bowditch The Bowditch Group Friday Night 7.30pm C2m Networking Drinks and Mumpreneurs Mini expo Saturday 27 August 2011 AMN Experts Breakout Sessions - Choose the Conference thats right for you! “Manufacturing Monique” Filer B.Box “Secrets to Standing out - Building Your Platform” Peace Michell Connect2mums “Paula Kuhnemann’e-Commerce Harmony”, . “How To Get The Media To Notice You” - Rebecca Derrington SourceBottle “Getting Social in Small Business” Lara Solomon Mumpreneur Panel - Bring your questions and get advice from our panel of “Women Who Have Made It!” Saturday Evening 2011 Bio-Oil AusMumpreneur Awards Gala Dinner Who will be this year’s AusMumpreneur? The Bio-Oil AusMumpreneur Awards recognise the best and brightest in the Mumpreneur industry, and celebrates business mums achieving success in business, product development, innovation and amazing service in business. Ticket Includes 2 Course Meal, Pre Dinner Canapés and 3 hour Drinks Package Download full program here EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE NOW :
Meet the Mums finding SUCCESS in business Amber Adore Maternity
Amber Kneipp is mum to 2 beautiful children, a wife and owner of online maternity store –Adore Maternity. Amber was a single mum for many years, working a rotating roster as a nurse. After meeting her husband she knew she needed a career change. “I wanted to have a happy job, where I could be available to my children whenever they needed. Opening Adore Maternity just seemed to fit with us.” “We’re aiming to be a one stop shop for women wanting to feel pretty but comfortable in maternity wear,” Amber says. The online store stocks designer Seraphine jeans and jeggings, worn by celebrities including Dannii Minogue and Jessica Alba. “We’ve got great gear for Autumn/Winter and stock a mix of Australian and overseas labels at various price points,” Amber says. “There’s definitely a huge market for fashionable maternity wear and we thought an online boutique was a great place to offer stylish alternatives to traditionally dumpy and unflattering maternity clothes.” www.adorematernity.com.au
Kylie La Bella
La Bella Creations specialises in tiny tot tug proof® jewellery designed specifically to be worn by mums around babies and toddlers. La Bella’s award winning rings, bangles and necklaces feature beautiful beads and stones, clever designs, unique clasps, and some can even be chewed and washed! Mum of two, with another on the way, Kylie came up with the idea after she was concerned about her children tugging and grabbing at her jewellery. She wanted to make sure that the jewellery would not only survive their tugs but be safe if they accidentally sucked on it. After making a range of beautiful tug proof® designs which sold out at play-group, music lessons and baby gym, she started selling it online and now has the concept registered as a trademark in Australia, New Zealand and the European Union. Along the way she’s picked up 3 local and 1 national award. Most of the creations are Australian made and they all feature a 100% money back guarantee! Available from selected stockists and at www.labellaonline.com
Nominations are now open for the 2011 Bio-Oil AusMumpreneur Awards, proudly presented by Connect2Mums Mercure Sydney Saturday 27 August 2011 Categories include: Peopleâ€™s Choice Awards categories: Best Customer Service Award Best Website Award Best Blog Award Handmade Business Award Best Online Boutique Award Best Product Award
AusMumpreneur of the Year Emerging Mumpreneur of the Year Service Business of the Year Eco Friendly Business of the Year Product Innovation Award Design Business Award Fashion Business Award Dadpreneur of the Year
To nominate your business or a business you admire email: firstname.lastname@example.org with 1. The business you would like to nominate 2. The business ownerâ€™s name and email address 3. The category you are nominating them for Nominations close 5pm Friday 17 June 2011
I’m Kirsty Mailer, I’m 32 & I’m a Mumpreneur! I live on the Gold Coast with my handsome hubby, our gorgeous 3 yr old son & a baby girl on the way. I market a Home Based Business Opportunity for people looking to generate an income working from home. I love what I do because I get to assist other people in creating fantastic results on a personal and financial level and through this business I’ve been able to learn how to be the best me that I can be – as a business owner, wife, mum, daughter, sister & friend. I love that I get to rock up to “work” in my slippers, be there for my family & the luxury travel is an added bonus. The best bit is showing other women (& some men too!) that you really can have it all, with balance & the right attitude. www.kevinandkirsty.com
Sarah Belles Familles
Sarah Olencewicz is Mum to Amelia and wife of Stefan, a shift worker. Trying to find a job that allowed flexibility was near impossible. ” ‘Regular’ isn’t a word we have in our week!” said Sarah jokingly. “Stef can be working or sleeping on any given day, I needed to find something with flexibility that met our needs as a family”. With a turn of events in 2006, including PND diagnosis, Sarah took the challenge and became the sole trader of this newly established online business. It must have been the right fertiliser as Belles Familles blossomed beyond anything Sarah could have imagined. You will find predominantly young family everyday essentials, keepsake and gift ideas which are practical, useful and just that little bit gorgeous. Everything from safety equipment to nappy bags, party invitations to stainless steel drink bottles. With an emphasis on beautiful, a focus on ethical production and a secure and friendly shopping environment, hop online and browse this fantastique online store today! Contact Sarah on 02 9975 4414 www.bellesfamilles.com.au
Liane & Kate Katy K Designs
We’re Liane and Kate founders of Katy K Designs. Katy K Designs was established in 2010 with a vision to create Quality, Stylish and Original Designed Kids Décor to enhance any living space. Having owned and operated a successful graphic design business, my daughter Kate and I found there was a need for quality original and affordable children’s artwork for kids rooms that was 100% Australian designed and produced. Being 100% Australian owned and operated means we have total control of quality, production and distribution. There is no outsourcing at any stage of our production. Our gorgeous range includes: * Revolutionary Self Adhesive Re-positionable FABRIC Wall Art. Perfect for rental properties and families who relocate. * Original Designed GROWTH CHARTS. * Custom Designed Canvas Prints including our original Birth Announcement Text Canvas, Photo Birth Canvas and our Destination Canvas, the latest trend in home décor. Come and take a look at www.katykdesigns.com.au
Narelle Food for Health
Narelle Plapp is a qualified Naturopath who has owned health food stores and clinics in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs. During this time, after treating many patients, Narelle drew on her knowledge of allergies, dietary requirements and natural ingredients to produce two functional mueslis. In 2006 Food for Health was born. Food for Health products are now ranged nationally throughout Australia in Coles, Woolworths, Costco and independent stores. In total, Food for Health products are ranged in approximately 2000 stockists. Food for Health also exports to 5 countries. Food for Health focuses on health, functionality and allergy friendly products, with a lean towards gluten free products. Our motto is: “without our health we have nothing, so it is important to use our food to heal and nourish our active bodies so we can get more out of life!” We apply this to all products that we create and are firm believers in a healthy happy life. Food for Health has grown in such a short time, with 4 mueslis, 2 muesli bars and the 2 NEW Food for Kids Snack Bars. * The Liver Cleansing Muesli * The Fibre Cleanse Muesli * The Gluten Free Muesli * The Fruit Free Clusters * The Gluten Free Bar with Cranberries * The Gluten Free Bar Fruit Free * Food for Kids Apple Filled Snack Bars * Food for Kids Banana Custard Filled Snack Bars Food for Health was the first company in Australia to launch a gluten free fructose free bar and breakfast cereal. With food allergies on the rise, Food for Health supports people with specific dietary requirements, hoping to make life that little bit easier for them. This is where Narelle’s and Food for Health’s passion lies!! Find out more about Food for Health at www.foodforhealth.com.au
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Holding your very own Eco-friendly party
people are also the better eco choice. As well as looking wonderful they come from a natural source and can be reused. For adult parties think sea shells, pebbles, flowers and potted herbs such as lavender, rosemary or sage. For evening parties pure beeswax candles are the most eco friendly as they purify the air and smell great. Beeswax tea light candles, petals, autumn leaves or origami floating in a glass bowl of water also make beautiful natural table centerpieces.
Hosting an eco party is fun, healthier for the planet and us, reduces land fill, looks great, is often far cheaper, inspires creativity, makes a wonderful theme and just feels great to do. So here are our top tips for throwing a fabulous eco party!
Invitations: First things first, you need to let people know about the party. Going electronic is the easiest, cheapest and greenest. Simply send an email invitation. If going electronic isnâ€™t your thing, then why not make or buy some eco invitations and envelopes using recycled paper. Tableware: Tableware is an important feature
of any party. The obvious eco choice is your own reusable china and glassware with washable linens and napkins. There are plates and bowls made from the naturally shed outer sheath of the areca palm tree and also sugarcane fibre and bamboo. Cutlery made from plantation birch wood and cornstarch and cups which use a corn based plastic lining rather than a petroleum based one. You can find eco tableware online at www.ecopartybox.com.au
Party Favors: Party favors are expected at the conclusion of every childâ€™s birthday party. Why not give out good second-hand books for the drive home or make your own treats such as biscuits. A natural idea is to give out small plant pots with seeds that the children can fill with dirt at the party and then are wrapped up with old cloth and taken home. If you prefer the traditional loot bags opt for cloth, felt or brown paper bags decorated by the birthday child which can be reused or recycled. Natural beeswax crayons, tumbled gemstones or crystals, wooden pencils, wooden toys and organic treats make great fillers. Article by Tina Hart of Eco Party Boxes For eco party boxes containing eco tableware, wrapping paper, invitations, cards, decorations, candles and other eco party ideas, check out www.ecopartybox.com.au
Decorations: A party isnâ€™t a party without
the decorations. Two great eco choices for decorations are paper lanterns and bunting. Bunting looks great and can be reused for many parties. Felt party hats or crowns for the little
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Allergy Riders is a fun and simple food labelling system, and for allergy sufferers itâ€™s bringing the life back into parties. Using brightly coloured cupcake baking cups and food flags, Allergy Riders takes the stress out negotiating a food buffet. Guests who have allergies can simply choose food with the appropriate coloured flag or ca cup, and enjoy! cake
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Where are they now? We talk to our 2010 AusMumpreneur Awards winners to find out how their lives have changed since winning!
Elizabeth Murphy La Toriana www.latoriana.com.au
Best Boutique 2010 1 How has your business grown in the last 12 months absolutely! We are now a main feature in the most prominent “Bath Lane” trendy part of bendigo. Our shop has been well received and growing. The website has been steady and with more growth from different areas. We have been featured on many different medias and thus grown because of it. We are finding now that we are working more “on” our business rather than slogging away “in” it 2 How has this impacted on your life. Life is a bit more balanced now after taking on the shop. I only need to be in there now and again, and so an freed up to be able to work on it and in different areas. Life balance and more time with the family is important, and now an set up so I can take a 5 week holiday overseas which is going to be brilliant 3 How did the AusMumpreneur Awards effect your business The exposure of being part of the awards initially was wonderful. Being a finalist really did make me “stand out” from the crowd more, and being asked for comments as an “expert” in my trade from a few journalists, and being featured in blogs and online businesses was all helped through the course of the awards. The national effect from winning the BEST BOUTIQUE last year www.connect2mums.com.au
has had a direct impact. The exposure from the TV interview, the publications and press releases all had a great positive impact with me being asked to talk to many professional women’s groups around. 4 What was the best thing about being invloved in the awards Def meeting other amazing, inspiring and empowering women who are passionate about their own businesses. The networking, friendships that have come from the awards will def be life long, and knowing that there are other women whom are doing great things all over Australia is wonderful 5 What advice would you give to other Mumpreneurs thinking about entering the awards Do it. I didn’t think I had a lot to offer, as I am still learning everyday. I was amazed how many people contacted me afterwards, who still do to say that I had given them a ray of hope in starting their own business, following their own dreams and that you don’t need to be alone, to reinvent the wheel, and that there are so much we can all learn from each other. The recognition through the awards is amazing and you get to meet so many and learn so much about aspects of business that you can utilize to your own business to grow.
Elizabeth’s New Shop 28
Johanna Harvey BabyJo www.babyjo.com.au
Eco Friendly Business 2010 1 How has your business grown in the last 12 months Babyjo has moved from strength to strength in the past 12 months – Our new range of Mine ladies bamboo pyjamas has proved to be highly successful (selling out within a few short months in one size ) a clear indication that we have been able to reach and maintain relations
with our current target market. The past 12 months have also seen Babyjo/Myself in varying publications (media wise) – a fabulous, cost effective (read: free) way to promote our brand: in addition to this, the gorgeous Lindy Klim (yep – Michael Klim’s stunning wife, an amazing business woman/entrepreneur and a real life Balinese princess!) was photographed in our new Mine Pyjamas and totally loved them! (Not to mention she looked fabulous!) Our stockist numbers have risen drastically and we have also signed on an exclusive distributer for all German Speaking countries (in addition to our current international stockists.) In addition to business growth and in line with my ‘goals’ for this www.connect2mums.com.au
year – my tummy has also seen some expansion, and in 5 short weeks we will be adding another little person to our family, so it has been growth all round! 2 How has this impacted on your life Life has been exceptionally busy as you may well imagine. Business has been so great, and sales very strong – the worst part about it is running out of stock – something that I am putting measures in place to prevent in the coming year J The impact of the above growth has prompted me to take a good look at our growth strategy for the coming 12 months and then beyond – something which is time consuming, yet exciting and a process which has shown that Babyjo is still going strong moving into it’s 4th year of operation. 3 How did the AusMumpreneur Awards effect your business The exposure for Babyjo through the AusMumpreneur Awards was fantastic – media opportunities were highly advantageous to the business and sales, along with providing a further dimension to promote our brand. Being an “award winner” or nominee gives credibility to what we do as well as providing customers with a sense of trust that our product is what we say it is. As a small business owner, it can be isolating working from home and for yourself, so for me, winning this Award provided me with a sense of achievement and validation – not to mention, I had a wonderful time catching up with everyone at the Awards night in Brisbane! 4 What was the best thing about being invloved in the awards I would suggest that the best thing our involvement in the awards is that Babyjo gained so much exposure from the process and also the recognition at the end. It was such a valuable process to go through (entering and filling in business details for the nomination we received) and one that really makes you look at your business from a different perspective – something I found to be highly valuable.
5 What advice would you give to other Mumpreneurs thinking about entering the awards Don’t hesitate – just do it! If you wait for things to be handed to you on a platter, they will pass you by – get out there and fight for it if you want it and don’t put off entering the awards due to self doubt. You have made it to where you are today (usually on your own!) and that is an effort/achievement in itself – you deserve to be nominated and the process (even if you do not end up a finalist or winning the award) will really make you look at your business and what you do. Good luck!
Daniel Gibney Em’s 4 Kids
2010 Dadpreneur Of the Year 1 How has your business grown in the last 12 months Business has been growing steadily and consistently, which is great. Shortly after the C2M awards last year we attended an expo in the U.S. and received a great response. We have now setup Em’s 4 Kids in the US and things are going well there. We also have a number of distributors in Europe that we’re working with. The Australian market has continued to grow also, with alot of 32
retailers coming on board to support us. 2 How has this impacted on your life It’s made my already busy life, busier! But thanks to some great support from family and friends, it’s made life better and more exciting (although somewhat stressful at times!:)) 3 How did the AusMumpreneur Awards effect your business The PR and advertising exposure we received was great and helped attract new customers to us, as well as make people aware of us and our products. More than that, it was great for me personally, to have people acknowledge our products and business. It gave me a boost in confidence and helped me think that I could start think a little bit bigger! 4 What was the best thing about being invloved in the awards I met some fantastic people who are doing some amazing things. It’s encouraging to know that, when I’m struggling with the usual small business issues, I’m not alone, and there’s a great network of people out there who are not only going through those same experiences, but they’re supporting one another to. 5 What advice would you give to other Mumpreneurs thinking about entering the awards Definitely give it a shot! Apart from giving you the chance to gain exposure, it also forces you to look at yourself and your business and really determine who you are and what you’re all about.
Julie Parker Beautiful You
Best Blog 2010 1 How has your business grown in the last 12 months? Beautiful You has grown considerably in the past year. Itâ€™s wonderful to be counselling and coaching so many deserving people and helping them achieve their life goals. I am also a very busy speaker and presenter which I passionately enjoy. 2 How has this impacted on your life? 34
It has impacted on my life in the best of ways because I am living my dream and doing what I want with my time, effort and energies. 3 How did the AusMumpreneur Awards effect your business? Winning the Best Blog award was such a lovely surprise and it has undoubtedly helped Beautiful You to grow in audience size as well as the standing it has amongst the blogging community. Both wonderful things! 4 What was the best thing about being involved in the awards? The best thing, apart from winning the Best Blog award, was all the lovely feedback and new connections being part of the awards bought to me. It was truly heartwarming. 5 What advice would you give to other Mumpreneurs thinking about entering the awards? Just do it! Donâ€™t be afraid to nominate yourself or someone else. You never know what incredible things it could unfold for them... or you.
Nominations are now open for the 2011 AusMumpreneur Awards enter at www. connect2mums.com.au
Lost among the gaudy, busy streets of Macau, Grace’s life is slowly unravelling. Her marriage to Pete, her Australian husband, is fraying and her dreams of having a family seem hopeless. With the heralding of a new year she resolves to do something bold. Something her impetuous Mama might do. In this pocket of China, filled with casinos and yum cha restaurants, she opens her own small cafe called Lillian’s. This sanctuary of macarons and tea becomes a place where the women of Macau come together, bridging cultural divides, to share in each other’s triumphs and pain. www.connect2mums.com.au 36
Books The Summer We Came To Life is a poignant rumination on life, love and best friends. Every summer, Samantha joins her childhood friends, Isabel, Kendra and Mina, on a vacation. Together with their mixed bag of parents, they’ve created a lifetime of memories. This year, they’ve booked a beach house in Honduras. But their group is no longer complete – Mina died six months ago ... Three women from Blossom Street, Seattle, are on the trip of a lifetime. Bethanne Hamlin is driving her daughter, Annie, and former mother-in-law, Ruth, to Ruth’s high school reunion. A long-time widow, Ruth would like to see her old boyfriend. Meanwhile, Annie believes she can live happily without a man, and Bethanne’s ex-husband wants her back now that his second marriage has failed. Claire had almost forgotten her country roots. She is a city girl with an adoring husband, a chic townhouse and a high-flying corporate career. But when the police knock on her door one night with tragic news, her world is thrown into turmoil and she heads back to her family’s farm. There, in the rugged beauty of the Adelaide Hills, Claire starts to rebuild her life with her friends, her father and his beloved racehorses, including a promising colt called Paycheque. But just as she starts to find happiness, and perhaps even love, she is faced with a life-changing decision … www.connect2mums.com.au
Marriage to Hollywood heartthrob Cole Steel secured Lana Falcon a glittering place on the red carpet. But by running from a wicked past she has trapped herself in a gilded cage. The price of freedom? Her soul. Kate diLaurentis’s career is fading as quickly as her looks. What could be worse than discovering her husband’s latest mistress is Hollywood’s hottest starlet? Her only option? The most shocking revenge... Chloe French’s innocent beauty has captured a million hearts, but no one warned her of the dangerous, dark temptation of rock star Nate Reid — will lust destroy her? Alice Bliss is fifteen. She’s smart, funny, and clever. Not afraid to stand up for the things she believes in. She also idolises her father and, when he leaves home to fight a war she doesn’t believe in, Alice is distraught. She and her mother negotiate his absence as best they can – waiting impatiently for his letters, throwing themselves into school and work respectively, bickering intermittently and, in Alice’s case, falling for the boy next door – but then they’re told that he’s missing in action and have to face up to the fact that he may never return. Single mum Heather Donovan moves to Chesapeake Shores to be closer to her son’s father, Connor O’Brien. But while Connor’s family is welcoming, Connor is not. His parents’ divorce and his career as a divorce attorney have left Connor jaded about marriage. But just when Heather has given up on her old dreams of love, family and especially of Driftwood Cottage – the home she loves – everything changes …
Guernsey, 1940. Vivienne waits nervously for the bombs to drop. But instead comes Nazi occupation. Nothing is safe anymore. Her husband is fighting on the frontline, and her new life is one where the enemy lives next door. But how can you hate your enemy when you know his name? And when he makes you feel alive as everything else is dying around you? Vivienne’s developing friendship with a Nazi captain doesn’t go unnoticed. Soon, she is threatened with an anonymous letter and her actions lead to terrifying consequences. After young Jacob Jankowski jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, swindlers and misfits in a second-rate circus struggling to survive. It is there that Jacob falls in love with Marlena, the beautiful equestrienne who is married to August, a charismatic but violently unpredictable animal trainer. Jacob also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems unmanageable until he discovers an unusual way to reach her. Water For Elephants is a story that has it all – warmth, humour, poignancy and passion.
Appealing to fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, Anne O’Brien dramatises the story of Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, who was married to French King Louis VII and English King Henry II. Eleanor seized fate and make it dance to her tune. She relentlessly pursued power, took forbidden lovers, and even dared to find a more compatible husband before severing her marriage to King Louis.
We chat with author of â€˜The colour of teaâ€™, Hannah Tunnicliffe, about writing, motherhood and life. Grace, I have tried to make brave choices that give me a challenging but rich life. I hope that if we met we would become friends who meet regularly for tea, chatting as the hours drift by! Grace moves from London to Macau, do you have a special attachment to these two places?
How are you and your lead character Grace similar? On the surface we are not very similar. But, like many women, Grace is searching for greater meaning and purpose in her life and that I can certainly relate to. She travels from place to place but cannot escape her past or her uncertainties about the future. I like to think that, like
I lived and worked in both London and Macau for several years and am very attached to them, almost like they are old friends. I get quite nostalgic thinking about my time in each place - the smells, the sounds and the people. They each have their own rhythm, their own colours and their own style. They are completely different places but both very dear to me. Food is a strong theme in this book, has cooking always been a part of your life? Eating has always been a part of my life! I love food; our home is littered with stacks of cookbooks. During research for The Colour of Tea I learnt to make macarons with respected pastry chef Anthony Poh;
I’m sure he’d be mortified to hear I have not made them since. Instead I have bought and eaten them (with great enthusiasm!) in Hong Kong, Paris, Sydney and Saltspring Island (British Columbia). I am a huge fan of Sydney based Adriano Zumbo’s innovation and daring. I am much better at putting ingredients together than actually cooking. My husband says I make a mean salad.... bless him!
with intense moments of self doubt! Like running your own business, being a parent or any other challenging, rewarding and meaningful activity it is equal measures of wonderful and difficult. Well, maybe slightly greater amounts of wonderful, because I keep doing it and it feels right.
Motherhood is another strong theme in this story, how has motherhood (or your relationship with your own mother) impacted your life? Oh wow, how has motherhood not impacted my life? I have a one year old daughter and being a Mum has turned my life upside down, shaken it out and put it back together in a whole new way. It looks and feels nothing like my old life and although I sometimes miss “the old me” I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being a Mum has given me a completely new perspective on the love, worry, joy and heartache my own mother went through. She deserves ten thousand sorries and a million thank yous! What do you love best about writing? In a nutshell? I feel like myself when I am writing. It’s not always easy and wonderful, as the popular myth expounds it shall be when you find “the right job”. A lot of the time it is gruelling, slow work, punctuated
Play is a good
beginning to a happy and healthy childhood The benefits of play to children are undisputed but for many parents they just don’t know how. Monique Perusco State Coordinator for Good Beginnings, a families charity explains some tactics to help. Children need time to explore their world and play in many varied ways. They need you to join in and value their interests and style of play and be their mentor and biggest fan. For babies and children, play is hard work. It is where they learn to master the world. It is very nourishing and influences every single aspect of a child’s development. In a world where children suffer through child abuse, neglect, domestic violence and economic disadvantage, childhood itself can be difficult to preserve and play is often seen as superfluous. In fact, play is one of the essential foundations of a healthy childhood. Sarah and Matilda One woman we worked with recently, Sarah, was a little perplexed when her Good Beginnings family worker asked her what games her baby Matilda liked to play. Sarah is a 25 year old mum, but her own experience of being parented was erratic. She had little attention from her parents and virtually no play with adults around her. While Sarah tends to Matilda’s nappy changing, feeding and sleeping very competently, the idea of playing with a baby was a complete revalation. Her own exposure to an adult being playful was so limited that this idea of play was a new experience for her. 42
Since that initial conversation, and with the help and support of her Good Beginnings family worker, Sarah and Matilda have been playing-a lot. It can definitely change your relationship with your baby. Here are just suggestions on how to get started and hopefully you’ll have some fun too. Games to play with your baby 0-3 months Copycat Your baby will love any chance to gaze into your eyes and watch your face and a game of copycat is great fun. When you have your baby’s full attention, slowly poke out your tongue. Do it every 20 seconds, it may take some time, but you will notice that your baby sticking her tongue right back out at you. She will enjoy the same Follow your Bay’s Lead game with smiling, or opening to a Your baby is the expert wide mouth on what is fun. Spin class for babies If your baby thinks you Make nappy change time a bit of sneezing is hilariously fun, by gently turning her legs in a funny-keep going. bike motion. Babies love to kick and Follow their lead and move their legs. Turn it into your they will let you know own baby spin class, smiling and what fun is fun and encouraging her as she strengthens when they are tired her legs to get ready for crawling, and ready to stop. walking and cycling When she is tired, she Tickle Songs will turn away and not ‘Round and round the Garden’ be able to hold your and ‘This little piggy” are perennial gaze. Now it’s time for favorites. Tried and tested and a break. When that will last into toddler stage. Repeat happens, put her over the song so that she giggles in your shoulder and anticipation give her a cuddle and Have a Chat a break from the hard Have a conversation with your work. baby. She will love attention from www.connect2mums.com.au
you. Follow her lead and respond to her coos, gurgles and grunts. She will get more animated and excited as you interact with her. As she says something copy her and enjoy her reaction. 6-12 months As your baby grows, they will help you to know the games they likes most. Follow their lead and play the games they are interested in. Bubble fun All Babies are fascinated by bubbles and this is a great distracter for a baby who needs some attention in the car. Watch how she will track them with her eyes as the float past her. She will pop them with her hand as they fly past. (Remember to wash her hands after, so as not to get soapy eyes) In and out Babies love emptying tissue boxes, bags, drawers. Fill a large plastic container with interesting things such as soft toys, rattles, measuring cups. Add your own commentary as baby explores the contents of the bowl. These experiences are the early mathematical lessons of big, small, empty and full Obstacle Course As your baby gets mobile they will be incredibly inquisitive, itâ€™s time to put away anything that is precious and turn the house into a safe infant zone. Use large cushions, soft objects and strategically placed toys to get your baby to climb and explore new muscles. You can join in by hiding your face behind pillows and playing peek-a-boo These simple games have helped Sarah and Matilda develop a close and loving relationship. It has given them a secure foundation on which to start this journey that they are on together and have given Matildaâ€™s brain development a super boost. Kick a ball Place a light weight ball in from of you and baby. Hold her firmly under the arms then swing her forward so that her legs make contact with the ball. This will help her build tummy and leg muscle and skills for when she plays football for real when she is older
12-18months As your baby starts to crawl and move, it brings many challenges. The up side is there is a whole new repertoire of games to play. Presents Everyone loves presents and the best part is the wrapping. Cover boxes in recycled wrapping paper and let baby start working on her fine motor skills. Role Play Your baby is very interested in the things you do and these will enhance her interest in kitchen utensils, phones and driving cars. Give her lots of opportunities to practice the skills that you have already mastered. Give her bowls and a wooden spoon to stir as you cook. Chat to her about what she is doing as she cooks. Dance the day away Put on some music, help your baby to her feet and break out some dance moves. She might need some help with the sofa or from you. As she gets tired you can scoop her up and dance around the room with her in your arms If you have any concerns about your developing baby, your GP or Early Childhood Nurse can help. Parents are doing one of the most vital jobs in the country â€“ bringing up the next generation of Australians. Good Beginnings is a national charity that provides practical, community-based parenting programs and support to ensure children get the best start in life. This Families Week, help other families in your community and donate at www. giveachildagoodbeginning.com.au. Just $22 will pay for one childâ€™s week at a Good Beginnings program.
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Published on Jun 7, 2011
Connect2mums Magazine Winter 2011. Featuring new season style for babies, children and mums. Articles on hosting your own eco friendly kids...