Monday, March 17, 2014

A Great Loss

Last week I came home to find 6 dead chooks.. Not just any chooks- but 3 of which I had incubated and raised and as tame as my pet dogs and cats.. It was a horrendous day and not one which I wish to ever repeat. Next doors dog had dug under the fence and gone on a a killing spree. I only found 6 bodies- the remaining 20+ were no where to be seen. As the hours passed, and many many tears, chooks and chicks started appearing. They had hidden under the house, in the garden around my yard, there were some in my neighbours yards on both sides. Some took a whole night and day to come home( awaiting the call of of its mother to say it was safe to return) 

I was lost. One chook that had been so savagely attacked yet survived I had to destroy it. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done. This one was a mum. She was a lovely chook. It seemed those which were attacked and killed were the tamest of the bunch. They didnt know to fear a dog. 
We have here 3 dogs, and 2 cats which none have ever showed any interest or desire to kill the chooks. The cats often sit by the fence or even in the yard with the chooks!

Luckily I have Great neighbours and friends who came to my rescue. The offending dog is no longer in the property next door. My husband rang the owner and told him to remove it asap. I am such an animal lover but that dog is lucky I didnt kill it. I was so angry, so in shock & disbelief. Next port of call would have been the ranger to have the dog destroyed. Should I see the dog again I will not hesitate to call him.

I have to write this as a matter of fact. I am still so shaken about it all. These chickens are my calm place.Some of you would have seen the chooks as babies- the many pictures I've posted. Some of you may know how badly this has affected me. I've been a very proud mumma of all my babies!They are not just a feathered bird to me. Like all my animals they are family members and very much loved.

Last night one last chook- Elvis died. She had also been attacked but after discussion with a vet it was decided she may have made a recovery. In spite of my efforts she passed away. So, that leaves me with about 15. Amazingly 5 babies came out of hiding, my rooster, 1 incubated chook survived and 9 others.
I do feel lucky that so many survived, especially when I think that had I not come home and caught the dog in the yard they all may have died. But still, it doesn't feel like any sort of consolation. Death is not pretty and this was a massacre.

This came after also losing my pet cockatiel this past month (from a respiratory infection) so I'm feeling very vulnerable.

I now feel the need the distance myself a little from the chooks. It's so bloody hard when something like this completely out of your control happens. There's nothing I can do about it. Death is final and obviously gets one thinking about all things. But, please keep your fingers crossed for me that this is the last of death I should have to see for quite a while. I need some positivity and all things good for now :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

FREE Kids Learning Program

So I don't recall how I come across it but I am so glad I did. I've finally found an educational app that helps my son learn. I wish I could be the one to teach him and make things click but since I'm not this will do.
What I'm talking about is ABCs learning program Reading eggs.
http://readingeggs.com.au/learn/ 
They even offer a 4 week trial for FREE. I thought, hey it's free why not, and Memphis just loves it!

Here it shows the different levels to pass

I have since found out that the local Primary school uses this program too for the school kids (and here I was thinking I'd discovered something new and wonderful) Once our free trail is over were happy to pay for him to continue using it. However that said you can check out their programs for free on the app section of your smart phone or download for ipad!

                                                 Here is one of the activities- Click on ''at''


The program is suitable for kids 3-13.
It is so much fun, Memphis doesnt even know that he's doing anything educational- we havent so much as mentioned the word learning! Before the program he had difficulty recognising alot of letters. Now not only can he recognise letters but he's grasping the sounds of letters too, and now knows how to use the mouse on the computer (we don't yet allow computer time for Memphis- this is a first)

Why you and your child will love
ABC Reading Eggs

  • ABC Reading Eggs is successful because it makes learning phonics and basic reading skills a truly enjoyable experience for children aged 3-13.
  • 91% of parents using ABC Reading Eggs report a noticeable improvement in their child's reading skills.
  • The program is built around recognised learning principles and scientific research proven to improve children's reading skills.
  • Lessons are matched to your child's reading level – so activities are never "boring" or too challenging.
  • Your child will earn rewards as they progress – so they'll feel proud of their achievements and excited to keep learning.
  • You’ll have access to detailed assessment reports to track your child's progress.
So yep I'm sold on this program. It's educational, its fun, and its something Memphis and I are doing together and I wish I'd found it sooner. Be sure to check it out and let us know if your kids have any successes with it too!

Monday, February 10, 2014

In love with Online x

It's a little late for Valentines day Crafts, but if you still have a spare afternoon with the kids try this handy and easy craft (Courtesy of Pinterest, click the picture to get instructions on how to)
http://smartschoolhouse.com/valentines-craft/valentine-craft-ideas/2 
This would be fun & easy to make with the kids. I'd do this but make some cute little heart chocolates with my boys to put in there instead of gum.


Not only do we get to celebrate Valentines Day this week, but Thursday the 13th of February marks my 4th wedding Anniversary to my hubby. We met on the 13th.
I love this pic best because we are in love. I wasn't one of those brides who had to have a zillion gorgeous shots of herself (I dont mind if you did :) but the day to me was about the two of us and the Amazing people we shared it with.  I still cant believe I am lucky enough to be married to someone this Awesome.. I dont deserve him some days.

As most married couple with kids we are too busy with work commitments and such to do anything really special. But I've bought a nice card, and we'll have gifts for each other.
What are YOU doing to celebrate Valentines day?

For those of you who don't know, we met online a dating service. Match.com to be precise. It is corny, but golly it was love at first sight. We emailed back and forth for only a week, then met halfway from our hometowns (mine was Ballarat and he Swan Hill ) and we spent the entire day together by the Big lake in Bendigo. We talked about everything from life long goals, to kids (and how many we wanted) In fact so serious were we right then and there we negotiated number of kids and I promised him to name our first born son Memphis.
We dated for 6 months before I packed up and moved to Swan Hill. It was a huge leap of faith but I never doubted for one moment that it wasn't right.I highly recommend online dating!
I would love to hear about how you met your partner. 

And so fast forward to today, we're still happily married, 2 Gorgeous boys, a renovated home, lots of different jobs for us both and a business.Needless to say I love Online, online dating, online shopping, online research (hello Google) online games, online everything!

I look forward to so many more adventures,  ups and downs, and maybe even some more kiddo's with my hubby. I hope you are as happy with your partner!
Happy Valentines to you all!xo

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ready, Set and GO!

I've just signed up for the 6 week Mumpreneur Program.
I applied for a full schoalship but wasnt lucky enough to get it.However Peace offered me a great deal and I couldnt say no!
I am so set to make 2014 a Great year for my little business. I am determined to make it work.. It's so darn hard but I am realising the biz needs so much more than just stock (and golly do I love buying new stock) I could have every item possible and still not make a dollar if no one knows about me. So this year that's what I plan on doing. Getting everyone to know about Baby For Life.

The Mumpreneur program starts tomorrow which will kick me off for my coaching session with Sal on Tuesday. I am so excited. I feel like it's really going to make a difference! I don't think I can fail with a whole team of experts behind me.

All week I've been thinking about Sal and the business moving forward. I call it the Sal effect. I have this little fire burning in me telling me to go go go, I can do it, and it's all achievable.Nothing is out of reach if I put my mind to it. (of course there's things that finances may put just out of reach, but there's ways around it) I'm so excited I'm telling all my work colleagues about it. My excitement is rubbing off on them. They're smiling. I love that feeling. Being that happy bubbly Bec that explodes with happiness and help to make others happy too! I like being this person. If only I could bottle it so on a bad day I'd just take a sip and Bam Happy Bec is back :) I think everyone needs a Sal. I needed Sal a long time ago, I try not to dwell on the what if's (where would the biz be now if only I found her sooner?)

I'm making real plans. I'm talking 12 months of Business plans of Social Media, Newsletters, Marketing! It's the first time in a long time I've planned for this far forward. Partly because I was very disorganized in the past, lacked belief in myself that I could actually make things work, also lacked vision and direction (that's where Sal comes in) and also at times was very non committal about the business staying open.

I'd love you all to join me on my journey, help support me- I'd love to offer encouragement to you too if you need it? Till next time Mmwwahhh xoxo Bec


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dinosaur Party


Dinosaur Party

My boys Memphis (now 5)  and Fox (now 2) had a joint Birthday Party. This Dinosaur Party was literally a year in the planning. I think it was maybe a week after his last party (The Pirate Party) that we begun thinking, and planning. Whilst I wasn't literally doing things for it the entire year, there were lots of small purchases made along the way, and crafty things made in advance.





This picture doesnt do this Dinosaur justice- this guy was huge, 6 feet tall! My wonderful hubby made him!
I googled diy wooden dinosaurs and found an Awesome app with step by step instructions. I had the template printed out on huge paper, then spent 2 days cutting it all out. I actually had temporary loss of feeling in my thumb for 2 weeks!
After all the pieces were cut out hubby spent many nights out in the shed with the jigsaw cutting out the wood pieces.


Then we had to have a Dinosaur Hunt- I made Fossilized Dinosaurs, and thought Binoculars would be a  great accessory. However I couldn't find any cheap enough so started saving months before all our empty toilet rolls. Above was the first one I made. Toilet rolls, coloured card, glue stick, sticky tape, electrical tape for the ends and some ribbon, Super easy, but if I never have to make another set of binoculars it would be too soon! Memphis was pretty stoked. After 23 of them I was soooo over it.I made half orange and the other half green.


The kids smashing their fossils to break out the Dinosaurs hidden inside!

  The Goodie Bags.
I printed and cut out about 30 of these Dino foot prints. 21 of them for the Party Favor bags, and the rest to place around the house.I had planned on using the scrap paper to make my own confetti to put into the pinata. As one might imagine it's an awful job to do and I was over that in 2 seconds flat.


I still cannot get over how expensive flat bottom brown paper bags are. I ended up getting these off ebay. I bought a pack of normal bags from woolies in case I had extra kids/siblings turn up. Luckily I was spot on for numbers.

Inside the bags I had the usual, some lollies, annoying blower thing, dinosaur tattoo, home made Dino Chocolates, A Hatching Dinosaur- see below, and a Dino paddle toy.

 You may remember my post a while back about the playdoh I made? well I put the recipe to good use and made some more. I thought they would be perfect favors
I had little stickers made on vistaprint that said "Roar, thanks for partying with us, Memphis & Fox 2014''
Also in the bags I made a tonne of little Dinosaur Chocolates. I had planned to make crayons using another mold the same but just ran out of time.
I bagged up 4 little Dino's in a clear little bag (from Safeway) and into the goodie bag they went.

Grow A Dino- I found the Dinosaurs on ebay but as for the bags and tag it was thanks to Pinterest. I copied something another pinner did.





 The Pinata- I was all set to make an actual Dinosaur shape Pinata. Ran out of time and effort factor. So not only did i cheat, but I covered up Tinkerbell in the process (the pinata was store bought and fitted the orange /green colour scheme perfectly)

 I didn't want any old jelly cups. And after much convincing that putting chocolate frogs in jelly would only result in soggy frogs Memphis agreed no frogs. So instead I surprised him with a 3 layer jelly cup! Of course it was more time consuming- ensuring each layer was completely set before adding the next, but hey- they look great right!



The boys t-shirts were $4 each from Target, and I found on Ebay yet again some Personalized iron on transfers.. Teamed up with Milky Slate Cargo Shorts  from Baby For Life
 




Hoorah a family pic!


Last year the cake was almost the thing that made me lose it.. This year, and last minute I put a call out on our local page on Facebook to find a cake maker. The lovely Alison Leguido from Cupcake Ally came to the rescue.  She had barely a week to come up with it and I was so stoked. The boys loved their cake!
 

Dinosaur Cookies- Looked easy on Pinterest, easy in theory reality was a whole lot different!
 
I agonized over these darn Dino cookies. I had  researched how to use royal icing and everything but I wasn't convinced on the cookie recipe to begin with, and then the icing seemed like alot of hard work that wasn't guaranteed to result in my desired affect. So the boys got to eat them after the party. I quit before I really even got started. I know my strengths and to date baking pretty cookies isn't one of them!


Managed to get a group shot of all the kids!-





This Red blow up Dinosaur copped a beating. I was surprised it lasted an hour. The kids dragged him around the yard, jumped on him punched him. They loved it. Best $24.95 I ever spent!
(just 3 weeks later he finally got a hole in him)

Overall it was a fab day. I was lucky enough to have a special gal Kayla who helped me out with games and supervision with the kids and so on. Couldn't have done it without her.
For food, we had Dinosaur Fairy bread, Fruit Kebabs, cheezels, small amount of lollies.
Lunch we served Dinosaur nuggets (of course)
Grownups had gourmet sandwiches, and nibblies like Kabana & cheese, biccies and dip etc.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pick me up

So I've just booked in a session with my Awesome coach Sal for next week. I always feel a tad weary, a bit apprehensive. Like Is she going to reprimand me for not doing x,y,& z right before a session. Not that she's any kid of task master- in fact she asked me when we were first begun how would I like her to coach me and I pretty much said to kick me up the bum! So I get exactly what I asked for! But I am a people pleaser, and having someone like Sal who will encourage and inspire and give that pat on the back is so Wonderful!

Sal is a pick me up, that pep talk a team gets right before the finals & end up winning the game . She's a breath of fresh air. She's straight forward and to the point. That's how I feel after a session- like I'm on cloud nine, like I can take on the world (even if it does mean a lot of hard work and patience)
I am so looking forward now to our session. 

Brain is suddenly into overdrive going, oh what can I do before we chat, anything that I know I should have been doing and perhaps neglected. I am not perfect, I think however I've been doing most things we've talked about previously. I've said it before, it's a tad lonely being one's own boss. Having Sal is like my boss, business partner, and guidance counselor all in one.

As usual, I get all inspired at the wrong moments- eg I'm off to my night job in 3 hours, and there's dinner to cook, kids to get ready for bed and all that so no brainstorming or planning tonight. First thing tomorrow I'm onto it. Motivation will be there no matter what...

oh, and first on my list is to finish my blog on my boys dinosaur party.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Stock Dilemma

It's 43 degrees here today, and whilst I have 2 other blog posts on the go I cant seem to finish them. So instead I'll chat about other things on my mind- New stock.

Unless its a no brainer item (Baby related and sensibly affordable to everyone)  I get scared (well that's not the right word, but definitely weary) when choosing new stock to buy for Baby For Life. It's a cash outlay upfront, with no data to tell you if it will sell or sit in plastic tubs in the shed losing me money. I falter, I hesitate & usually I don't end up buying and then miss out later on when I see other stores successfully selling said item.

First up is the Pixie rug- It's so very popular, it's Great Quality and it looks Fab. I love it, but not sure if it's a right fit for the store- Will my customers- you people love it like I do? Will you willingly fork out the $85 for it? It ''seems'' like alot of money- but a Picnic Rug, and one that looks like this is not something you will have to buy often. So here they are.

 My reasoning on adding this one- is lifestyle, out and about with kids and babies and something Mums can splash and buy for themselves. 


My next item- One I've been thinking bout since before Xmas is the Kids Teepee's

Oh they're so cute- and I'd happily have this set up in my house instead of the countless amounts of blankets thrown over my table & the kids table- but concern again is price? I am still gauging what price bracket you're all in. If you cant afford it well it wont matter how pretty it is . I think my boys would lose their mind if they had one of these. Though I'm sure I'd get frustrated as it got dragged from inside to outside the house on a constant basis.
Here is one I've been looking at from Nic-Nac





nic-nac teepees come in two sizes ... 5 foot (1.5m) and 7 foot (2.1m).  They are identical except for their size, and number of poles.  This is the page to purchase a FIVE foot (small) teepee - to order a SEVEN foot (large) - See more at: http://www.nic-nac.com.au/products/kids-play-tents-teepees-for-sale-online-in-australia-nic-nac/133/1#sthash.Wo5wjJBE.dpuf
nic-nac teepees come in two sizes ... 5 foot (1.5m) and 7 foot (2.1m).  They are identical except for their size, and number of poles.  This is the page to purchase a FIVE foot (small) teepee - to order a SEVEN foot (large) - See more at: http://www.nic-nac.com.au/products/kids-play-tents-teepees-for-sale-online-in-australia-nic-nac/133/1#sthash.Wo5wjJBE.dpuf
Nic-nac teepees come in two sizes ... 5 foot (1.5m)  $98.95 
and 7 foot (2.1m) $149.95

Each teepee (both sizes) comes with;
1x carry bag with strap for easy carting off to the beach or park

1x 100% cotton cover, machine washable, natural colour, light and breathable fabric, perfect for the Australian climate.  The cover has a tie at the top, to ensure teepee cover stays perfectly in place and can be adjusted.

6x wooden poles for the 7 foot (and 5 poles for the 5 foot)

Teepees are fantastic for use all year round, and both inside and out, in the bedroom, in the park, in the garden, at the beach, so many options for imaginative play ... and more importantly - these are the ideal gift for any age, from babies, through to toddlers, kids and tweens, and even as a reading (ipad?!) nook for teens - they're fantastic. -


nic-nac teepees come in two sizes ... 5 foot (1.5m) and 7 foot (2.1m).  They are identical except for their size, and number of poles.  This is the page to purchase a FIVE foot (small) teepee - to order a SEVEN foot (large) - See more at: http://www.nic-nac.com.au/products/kids-play-tents-teepees-for-sale-online-in-australia-nic-nac/133/1#sthash.Wo5wjJBE.dpuf
nic-nac teepees come in two sizes ... 5 foot (1.5m) and 7 foot (2.1m).  They are identical except for their size, and number of poles.  This is the page to purchase a FIVE foot (small) teepee - to order a SEVEN foot (large) - See more at: http://www.nic-nac.com.au/products/kids-play-tents-teepees-for-sale-online-in-australia-nic-nac/133/1#sthash.Wo5wjJBE.dpuf
I think I've sold myself on this Teepee :) I'd like to add this to the store because I think Imaginative play, and especially outdoor play is really important for kids. Whilst we bought our son Memphis (who has just turned 5) a leap pad tablet for xmas he is on limited usage per day as i want him to continue being active and doing all the wonderful things kids should do (no couch potatoes here thanks)
eepees ... the 7 foot version!
nic-nac teepees come in two sizes ... 5 foot (1.5m) and 7 foot (2.1m) This is the page to purchase a SEVEN foot (large) teepee - to order a FIVE foot (small) teepee, click here 
Each teepee (both sizes) comes with;
1x carry bag with strap for easy carting off to the beach or park
1x 100% cotton cover, machine washable, natural colour, light and breathable fabric, perfect for the Australian climate.  The cover has a tie at the top, to ensure teepee cover stays perfectly in place and can be adjusted.
6x wooden poles
6x wooden beads which slot between each pole at the top, to ensure perfect spacing
- See more at: http://www.nic-nac.com.au/products/nic-nac-wooden-pole-teepees-7-foot-lg/197/1#sthash.HDZ7I2R6.dpuf


Next on the list is the Beautiful range of Muslin Wraps, sleeping bags, toys, cuddlies & more from Aden + Anais. I love this range. I hesitate with the sleeping bags only because there are so many different designs to choose from then lots of sizes in each design. It's alot of stock to have on hand but if we were to stock this brand I'd happily take special Customer orders :)

                     Lovey $29.95                                           Easy Swaddle $34.95


This brand is definitely relevant to baby for life, and I think it would sell well. Perhaps I should just start with a small range and go from there.

So where to from here?? You all comment below or on facebook or via email info@babyforlfie.com.au and let me know your thoughts! I'd love your input- Baby For Life should be what you all want! 
Seriously Help! Please

 

Welcome!

Hello There! Yes you!
I am no expert, I'm a mum just like you doing her best to raise 2 active boys while maintaining a home, a part time job and running a business (all with the help of my wonderful & very patient husband)

This blog isn't about trying to sell you stuff
(though at times I just cant help but tell you about goodies I use at home myself) It's about my life, my challenges with both family life and business and how I attempt to make it all work!

I look forward to you sharing the journey- and would love you to share your journey along the way too! I hope to also share with you helpful blogs and businesses that I've found and love!