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e’re thrilled to bring you our latest 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 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 Diary of a Mumpreneur, Connect2Fun and Connect2Happiness to name a few. Our members say Connect2mums is one of the most welcoming editor’s image by www.carolynb.com.au 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 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
Win a copy of Amazing Mumpreneurs valued at $24.95! Amazing Mumpreneurs features tips and inspiration from Australias best and brightest Mums in business. www.connect2mums.com.au
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Life, motherhood and the gift of SLEEP
I slept through the night last night. All night. Eight hours of uninterrupted bliss. I know. I KNOW. Hi-5 to me.
me a tickertape parade every morning. Simply because I’d somehow made it through another dummy-plugging night.
I’m joking now of course but five years ago I wasn’t laughing. Mostly because I wasn’t, you know, sleeping. EVER. And Lord knows that when you’re sleep-deprived, your sense of humour is the first thing to go. Quickly followed by your tolerance for your partner’s annoying way of breathing.
And Lord help him if he dared mention feeling tired.
Five years ago the idea of sleeping for eight hours – hell, sleeping for four hours – uninterrupted was like a fantasy. You see my beautiful daughter Coco was five months old and waking up to eight times a night to have her dummy replugged. Good times! Even now those days, months, are a blur. I remember stumbling up and down the hallway in the dark every night and wanting – no, demanding -- that my husband throw
You see that’s the thing with sleep deprivation. It goes way beyond just being tired. It starts to pull at the threads of your family. Your ability to think clearly. To stay rational. It affects your relationships. Your work. Your partner’s work. And worst of all your ability to enjoy your children. Five years ago I felt like I was losing my mind. And that’s when I met Elizabeth Sloane. Elizabeth was recommended to me by a friend who said Elizabeth had this magic ability to teach babies from six months old how to sleep.
That’s all I needed to know. I was in. Sign me up!
to sleep through the night, self-settling every time they naturally wake.
Elizabeth came to my home and gave Coco what she called ‘the gift of sleep’ teaching her in 3-nights how to give up the dummy and instead self-settle. (I should point out that according to Elizabeth, Coco had the worst dummy addiction she’d ever seen. Fabulous.) Two years later Elizabeth came back to teach my son the same thing. They’ve both been sleeping through the night ever since.
So you can forget the hours of rocking, patting, singing, dummy-plugging and feeding. The drives in the car. The laps round the lounge room with the pram. The elaborate routines we’ve all done to get our children to sleep. The routines that inevitably wear you down and wear you out. “The Gift of Sleep” will change the life of every sleep-deprived parent and every exhausted baby who wakes throughout the night.
So now I want to share Elizabeth’s wisdom with exhausted mothers everywhere who might not be able to afford their own sleep whisperer but who are as sleep-deprived as I was. Our new eBook “The Gift of Sleep (the 3-day program that teaches your baby to sleep)” harnesses Elizabeth’s 20 years of experience and gently teaches your baby
And I should know. Because it changed mine. “The Gift of Sleep” by Elizabeth Sloane with Rebecca Sparrow and Mia Freedman. To download your copy of The Gift of Sleep now, go to www.thegiftofsleep.com.au
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Top 10 Motivational tips by Michelle Wright of Mishfit
1. Recognise your ANT’s:
ANT’s are your Automatic Negative Thoughts. They might be recognisable as “I wont be able to do this exercise” or “I will injure myself” or “it’s too hard” = these thoughts are automatic but we can re-program the mind to see them for exactly what they are (ANT’s) and just like ants let them march into your mind and let them march out again. They are not helpful to you and can often stop you from changing habits or keeping up with exercise.
have some Performance Enhancing Thoughts (PET’s) ready. These are to replace those pesky ANT’s and ensure you stay true to your goals of exercising. My personal favourite is “If I really don’t feel like doing it, I will come home after 10 minutes” I know once I am there and exercising, I start to enjoy it and never leave early!
3. Look at what you already do and enhance 2. Replace your ANT’s with it: PET’s: Often thinking of taking on a whole new Once you can recognise your ANT’s be sure to
exercise routine is just too daunting... you
are already busy right? So look at what you do and enhance it. For example - if you go for a walk, make sure you include a hill to get the heart pumping. If you have stairs in your house try to run up them each time you use them. Try standing on one leg while brushing your teeth - this last one is great for core strength!
4. Posture is our biggest endurance exercise:
Stand tall, walk tall and sit tall. What you do all day will count much more than a single hour of exercise.
5. Gym junkie is so yesterday, be an exercise slut!
There are lots of free trials to gyms, boot camps or exercise classes...everywhere. Make dates with your friends or partner to exercise - but try a whole range of things - horseriding, rollerblading or a paddling lesson - you never know what will be your next hobbie and you will be guaranteed to not only laugh at your attempt but be exercising at the same time. Variety often keeps us motivated towards our goals!
6. Writing your goals, confirms your focus:
Take a moment to write your exercise goals and place them somewhere you look regularly, like your bathroom mirror. As soon as you stop reading them, re-write them on a different coloured paper and re-post.
7. Go the app!
There are lots of phone apps to help you with your exercise goals. One of my personal favourites is RunKeeper. It can keep track of
how far and fast you walk, how many calories you burn and you can even share your results on facebook. My fitness pal is another excellent app to fine tune your eating.
8. Eat right:
Exercise often does not burn as many calories as we would like, so if weight loss is your goal try not to reward your good exercise deeds with calorie laden food. Make exercise your reboot to eating right! Remember the longer the shelf life on food the shorter yours!
9. You are only one workout from a good mood:
Even if you feel too “grumpy” or “tired” to work out, remember your work out will return all that you give…and more!
10. Be patient – the results are worth waiting for! It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice. Give it 12 weeks!
About mish Mish is the founder and CEO of mishfit. mishfit mothers is a specialised personal training program designed for pregnant and post-natal women, educating women on how to exercise safely and where their babies and children are welcome. mishfit is truly a family friendly small business and is now available as a franchise.
Meet the Mums finding success in business Tracey Lemon Tree Book Co www.LemonTreeBookCo.com I always loved making up bedtime stories for my daughter, but it took me a few years before I realised I wanted to write. My idea for The Lemon Tree Book Company began when I wrote my first children’s book, A Magical Day. We all know kids love to see their names in books, but with Lemon Tree they also get to be a part of making a book that’s all about them. The Lemon Tree Book Company publishes personalised children’s books - you make at home. Combining simple craft and basic internet skill, it starts as a fun activity and at the end you have a great book that kids love because they are the main character in the story. There’s even colouring and stickers too! www.lemontreebookco.com
Andrea Priceless Exchange www.PricelessExchange.com Andrea Pelikan is the Founder and Director of Priceless Exchange, an Au-Pair and Demi-pair Agency. She started the Company with the mission to give Parents quality Time for themselves, their children, Partners and Friends for their general wellbeing. In Exchange for full Board, a Demi-Pair will help the Host Family with Child Care and Housework for 20 hours per Week at no extra Cost for the Family. An Au-Pair will help more hours for a little bit of pocket money. For Demi-Pairs, the exchange not only exposes them to a new culture, it also offers a safe environment to spend time away from home, and is a very affordable way to learn English.
Nominations are now open for the
2012 AusMumpreneur Awards proudly presented by Connect2Mums & the AusMumpreneur Network
Judged Categories include: • • • • • •
AusMumpreneur of the Year Rising Star Mumpreneur of the Year Emerging Mumpreneur of the Year Service Business of the Year Retail Business of the Year Product Innovation Award
People’s Choice Awards categories: • • • • • •
Best Customer Service Award Favourite Blog Award Favourite Handmade Business Award Favourite Online Boutique Award Favourite Product Award Favourite Eco-friendly Business Award
To nominate your business or a business you admire email: firstname.lastname@example.org the business you would like to nominate 2. The business owner’s name and email address 3. The category you are nominating them for Nominations close 5pm Monday 18 June 2012 www.connect2mums.com.au
Mums around the world
Changing the lives of African children “I love my children so much because they have changed my story as much as I have changed theirs.” – Watoto Mother, Mamma Jane Nakiberu Watoto Child Care Ministries is a holistic care initiative established in 1994 as a response to the overwhelming number of orphaned children and vulnerable women in Africa. At Watoto, they know the importance of a mother’s love in a child’s development. This is why Watoto has developed a unique model for caring for orphaned and abandoned children. Watoto embraces otherwise disenfranchised women who are trained to serve as foster mothers in each Watoto home, which consists of up to eight children. Over 200 orphaned and abandoned babies under the age of two are cared for across the three Baby Watoto homes, where local women and volunteers from all over the world serve as nannies.
so bad. My mother has lovingly nursed me and now I have a smile on my face.” About her children Jane said, “I love my children so much because they have changed my story as much as I have changed theirs.”
Mamma Jane Nakiberu (43) is one of the 320 women currently serving at Watoto as mothers to over 2500 children. Jane was inspired to join Watoto during a Watoto Children’s Choir performance when one of the children shared a story similar to her past experience. “I realised that there was something I could do to impact a life and the best way I could help was by being a mother to these children,” she says.
In 2008, Watoto co-founder Marilyn Skinner launched the Living Hope project to respond to the needs of desperate and vulnerable women. Marilyn strongly believes that when women are empowered, they are the key to fighting poverty and ending hunger, as they are critical to both economic and community development. Thus began the journey where she started Living Hope to empower women and to keep mothers alive, so they can raise their own children and live to see their grandchildren. The result? Far less orphans in Africa.
Kasifa Namukasa a child in Mamma Jane’s house said, “I love my mother because she has changed the story of my life. When I came to Watoto, I was very sick and looking
Living Hope is currently transforming the lives of more than 2,100 women. Women like Lucy, who was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army when she was only 12
and forced to marry a man who infected her with HIV. She was left without the chance to even survive until she came into contact with Living Hope. Now Lucy is successfully running her own tailoring business and is able to support herself and her family. When asked how the Living Hope program has changed her life, Lucy responded â€œthe quality of my life has greatly improved. I am a leader among the women in my circles and life is really good.â€? It is not just women in Uganda who are being empowered though. Every year women from all over the world visit Uganda to volunteer at Watoto in various ways. These women set out to help others less fortunate than themselves and are finding that their own lives are personally changed and enriched as they join hands and hearts with their African sisters to help see them fulfil their purpose in life. You can partner with Watoto to help unlock Africaâ€™s potential one mother at a time through monthly sponsorship. E-mail email@example.com or sponsor on-line at www.watoto.com/sponsorship
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Townsville 16 June 2012 Melbourne 2 July 2012 Sydney 7 & 8 September 2012 The AusMumpreneur Conference is Australiaâ€™s leading event for Mums in business. Bringing together talented mums from all around Australia, who understand each otherâ€™s unique challenges and triumphs. AusMumpreneur Conferences are friendly and inviting and our participants say they feel a strong sense of belonging and community at our events. Babies under 6 months are also welcome at our conferences.
Turn your hobby into a business by Cannis Fong
There is no doubt that as a mum, juggling work and home life can be a real challenge. Starting up a business you can run from home and better yet something that can pay its own way and eventually start to make a profit, can be one way to achieve better work/life balance and job satisfaction in the long haul. If you have a hobby such as pottery, needlecraft, jewellery design, baking or creating hand-made soaps, you may already have the basis for building a great brand and there is nothing to hold you back from putting your passion and skills to good use.
Testing the waters
Before taking the leap, itâ€™s important to test the waters and find out if there is actually a demand for your product or services. Doing your homework and research is paramount and may begin with a simple Google search. By exploring similar products on the market and how others have established
themselves, it is possible to see how many operators are already out there and get some ideas on how to market your products effectively and create a competitive advantage. Taking on board feedback from friends and family before the products are received by the wider public is usually a wise idea.
Online or face-toface?
For instant feedback, craft and local markets are an ideal space to test the thoughts about your products. Many markets only operate once a month so this gives you time to build up your stock between markets and puts less strain on your budget! It’s a good idea to contact the market you’re interested in to find out the set-up costs as some will have restrictions on minimum length of time for booking your spot, equipment hire and the sorts of products that you can sell. If getting up at the crack of dawn on the weekend just isn’t for you, then setting up an online store, or taking advantage of existing online sales options may be something you would prefer to do. It no longer costs thousands of dollars to create an online store with many low cost options available such as a Wordpress blog site for instance, but this will involve some of your time and effort to set up and maintain. There are also existing online outlets which offer online shopping options and established online traffic which may be a suitable avenue to trial and get the word out about your products.
Creating a professional image
Whether you’re selling your products at the local weekend markets or you decide to set up your own website, you will enjoy much more success if you create a professional image right from the start. To avoid any legal issues, it’s a good idea to register a business name for your venture and talk to a local graphic designer to create a professional logo for your business and products. Using a local business owner to create your brand image will also ensure you don’t break the bank or take away precious time that could be spent with your family.
Being innovative and creative with your packaging and labelling can help you create a professional look and feel to your products and brand while keeping costs down. Printing your own labels is one way to avoid the costs of large print runs and give your packaging the extra special attention it needs to stand out in the market place. Whether it’s your packaging or your marketing material or the design of your website, it is important to remember that staying consistent helps to convey a feeling of trust with your existing and potential purchasers and will keep them coming back and encourage them to spread the word about your products. The most important thing to remember is to never lose passion for what you create.
About the Author
Cannis Fong is a Senior Product Manager at Avery Office and Consumer Products. She focuses on small business branding and marketing with the new Branding & Merchandising range as well as having an eye for creativity, craft and organisation in the home.
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What your clothes say about you article by Sally Mackinnon of Styled by Sally
Research shows that 65% of communication is non-verbal and based not on what you say but in a large part on how you look*. Rightly or wrongly, clothes often generate judgements about a person. Make sure you know what your clothes are saying about you. Like it or not, people do judge a book by its cover. While it may not seem fair that people develop an immediate impression of who you are simply by the clothes you wear, it’s still true that your clothes tell a story about your personality and how you are likely to be perceived by others. “Before you choose your outfit for the day, think about how you want other people to see you and interpret your personality. Your
clothes say far more than you think,” says Bridget Allen a senior level fashion industry expert. In some industries, customer contact and the image presented to the client is critical. In such workplaces, your attire will be judged more critically. If your clothes are wrinkled, stained or mismatched, others may take this to mean that in a figurative sense you are too. Sloppy clothing sends the message that you
don’t really care about your appearance, your job, your future or otherwise. When clothes are well ironed, clean and wellfitting then others will take this to mean you’re well organised, professional and serious about your work or your intent. What you wear should be appropriate to the situation. For example, an important meeting with the boss should bring out your smartest outfit. Visiting the employees on the factory floor may require losing the high heels. However, do not think you are compromising your personality or individuality by worrying about what your clothing says about you. Work to incorporate unique pieces into your wardrobe that will best reflect your individuality or interests. So what can you do to dress in a way that’s beneficial for you, your outlook and your attitude? • Wear clothing that’s flattering for your figure • Remember that clothing doesn’t need to be expensive to look good • Maintain the condition of your clothing. An old, well-ironed shirt will look better than an unironed new one. • Don’t be afraid to show your personality by using colour, unique clothing cuts or accessories • Dress suitably for the occasion (i.e. dress to impress a new client) • Only wear clothing that makes you feel good • Get rid of clothes that you associate negative things with (such as the dress bought for you by an ex or the trousers reserved for ‘fat days’) • Try putting on something special even when it’s not a ‘special’ day and take notice of the change in your attitude • Don’t worry about keeping up with trends, but do update your clothing regularly Remember, you want your clothes to portray you in the most positive light
possible, so select appropriate attire with your personal and professional goals in mind. Dressing for the job you want, not the job you have is critical when seeking to dress to impress your colleagues, employer or a potential employer. What image are you trying to project with the clothes you wear? *http://fashiontribes.typepad.com/
Sally Mackinnon www.styledbysally.com.au
Sally Mackinnon is a Personal Stylist and Wardrobe Consultant who specialises in reconnecting women with their innate style. Sally is a professional image consultant who has an expert eye for style and understands the right cuts to flatter all body shapes. Sally works with real women with real bodies, regular lifestyles and modest budgets. We can all be forgiven for getting confused by fashion, despondent about our body image and feeling too stressed and busy to give ourselves the style we deserve. It’s about working with what you’ve got and helping you to best dress to suit your shape. Sally believes that with a little guidance and support every woman can dress with style and success.
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Our pick of the best books to cosy up with this winter
Temptation Island Victoria Fox
Too good to be true Kristan Higgins
Savvy Rachael Bermingham
Big Sky Country Linda Lael Miller Barefoot Season Susan Mallery
Moonlight Cove Sherryl Woods
The good father Dianne Chamberlain
Dark Kiss Michelle Rowen
Jilted Rachael Johns
The girl with the clockwork collar Kady Cross
Lucky Bitch Denise Duffield-Thomas
Return to grace Karen Harper The King’s Concubine Anne O’Brien
A natural empowering Birth Katrina Zaslavsky
Whiskey Island Emilie Richards
How to Market your blog by Michael Griffiths
Marketing through blogs is a great way to introduce products and services in ways that make it appear interesting and enticing. Through blogs, you may describe products and their features, without much thought about how much it will cost â€“ unlike print advertisements and television commercials which are highly cost-dependent on length and reach. The first and most basic advice when marketing through blogs is of course, to choose a good writer. No matter how interesting or useful you product is, if you do not have a blog writer that can weave magic through the use of words, then your blog becomes inefficient and mediocre.
There are other tips that will help you produce a more effective blog. Here are some easy but very useful techniques to guide you.
Use interesting key phrases
Key phrases are the words that help guide a lost visitor right into your blogs. These are words which, when entered into a search field, give the user a short list of all blogs pertinent to the key word. To stand out from all the others which may be similar to your blog, use words that are unique and unlike what your competition is using. There are popular words that are often used by most people, therefore making them ineffective because yours only
gets lost in the mountains of other blogs that use them. The trick is to be more specific, maybe a long phrase which includes your blog post title and clues about the body of the blog. For example, if you’re writing about footwear, don’t use “shoes” – be more specific like “Colorful Summer Sandals Appropriate for the Beach.” These words help narrow down the search only to “Sandals… summer…then to… colorful …then to… appropriate… for the beach. Easy. You eliminate those visitors looking for winter shoes, for those who are not going to the beach, and for those who are not looking for any colorful shoes.
Branding your blog
Use the blog template that makes you stand out from the others. Make it your own, make it interesting. Use appropriate catchy colors and fonts, titles and content, borders and templates. Put in pictures – but make sure they are resized to minimize on loading time. Put in videos, but also, adjust them so that they load faster. Other design tips: never use automatic playing music, pop-up windows or worse – dead links that don’t take you anywhere. Best is to make your blog an extension of you as the writer. Oh this also means that if you know you can’t really write well, then either avoid blogging, or hire a ghost writer.
If you want a steady stream of followers, consistently post new entries, make sure you distance them equally – striving for a blend between steady posts and hopeful anticipation for the next one. In fact, if you want them following your every post, you can even make one post leading to another – sort of a “standby for the latest update on my next blog” sort of thing. It’s like producing movie sequels – you tease viewers, keep then
wanting more, yet not being un-updated for too long that your initially interested visitor decides to go look for some other blogger’s post who regularly updates his blog. A good pace is 2 or 3 a week. Don’t drown them by posting 10 blogs a day though. Too much is also a turnoff.
Respond to comments
Not responding to comments is like asking for a favour but never thanking someone after. Responding to blogs shows that you have a genuine interest in what your readers have to say. It gives the impression that you value their opinion, and welcome every bit of advice. Be ready for responses which may not be to your liking, though – not everyone shares the same opinion. Each person has his own point of view, and no amount of arrogant answering back will ever make them change their minds. Be insightful, yet not pushy. Be open, but don’t take rudeness sitting down. Blogging opens your private world to the public, therefore opening it up to public opinion. Just be civil and open-minded. Always respond in a friendly manner. The way you present your blog is important in establishing a lasting following. Mistakes can be made but keep them to a minimum, because these will surely be the death of your blog.
Michael is the CEO and Founder of My Small Business Marketing Guru which helps SME’s to generate more leads, sales and profits within their business. To get your free ‘Black Mask’ marketing tools and learn how to generate more leads tomorrow visit www.secretsofasupersmallbusiness.com
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