Thursday, 26 November 2015

Business Mama Inspiration: Sara Keli from Kid Magazine

While I sit on the side line, waiting for internet connection in my quiet coastal town, I look for inspiration from different business Mamas to keep me on the path to being motivated to get back into my Business Mamas Diploma when that wi-fi is installed. I wanted to share a story with you today of a good friend and awesome business Mama; Sara Keli from Kid Magazine, she has a striking business mind, is a devoted Mum and an all round beautiful person. She definitely inspires me...

My background is in HR and I worked in financial services for around seven years in various roles.  Moving into Kid Magazine was a bit of a shift.  Kid Magazine was originally a blog, and it was up for sale on Gumtree, in 2011.  My husband, who was then my fiancĂ©, saw it for sale and we discussed it as an opportunity.  We both thought it was a low risk investment to try something different, and I really enjoyed writing.  At the time it was a fashion and beauty blog for mums and kids and I ran it as a blog for a while.  At the time when I bought the blog I was still working and I don’t think I really understood where it would go.  We didn’t have a family then and I didn’t really understand the benefits of what I was doing and of having my own business until my daughter arrived.  I was excited by it, but I didn’t really understand the full extent of the opportunity. But I’d always wanted to be my own boss and run my business.  


We got married about six months after I bought the blog and I was working full time, so I didn’t do much with it at that stage.  I met with the owner when I took over the business and she told me about her vision for Kid Magazine and what she wanted it to be and for some reason I got stuck with what she wanted.  I had all these ideas but felt they weren’t what Kid Magazine was all about.  I redesigned the blog but it took me a while to finally realise that Kid Magazine was whatever I wanted it to be.  It was a real turning point, and I gave myself permission to be the owner.


My husband suggested to me that as it was called Kid Magazine, rather than just keeping it as a blog I could launch it as an online magazine. He is a marketer and he has some graphic design experience, so he helped me with the design and I focused on the content.  We did that together as a team for around 12 months, with him gradually handing over the design to me.  When our daughter was born a year later, I took maternity leave and also took a redundancy package, and began running the magazine on my own.  

Olivia is now one, and she was a very easy baby.  She slept well and wasn't too fussy.  We obviously had our challenging periods but she’s a dream and has made it really easy for me to keep working and running my business.  Life has definitely changed though.  If I stay up working until 2am like I did before Olivia was born, there’s now a good chance I could be woken up at 2.30am, so it’s changed the way I work and shifted my priorities a lot.  She’s my number one priority so if she needs me the business has to come second and we have to shuffle things around.  It might mean that the following day I have to work my butt off, but on the day she needs me I have to be there for her.  After all that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing – so I can be there for her.  But I now realise that I need to work to feel human.  So it’s also for me.  I really love what I'm doing.  Even if it’s an hour a day I need to work.  I love using my brain and thinking, and there’s only some much Wiggles you can watch! Olivia now goes to day care one day per week and the rest of the time she is with me or being spoilt at her grandparents. I work around her sleep time  and often go to my parents if I need to do some work during the day. Or I get her to sleep in the pram and sit in a cafe and do some work.  Whatever gets me through!
Kid Magazine is now a bi-monthly digital magazine and blog.  I do six regular issues  a year and two special issues, ‘Back To School’ and ‘Mother’s Day’, and then I blog daily Monday to Friday.  It’s for mums who love style, pretty things and looking after themselves and their families. It’s a free magazine for anyone to read, and it became a money making enterprise through advertising.  I recently took on two sales people because I only have so many hours in a day.  It was a choice between doing sales and doing really well at that or taking care of the content, which is the avenue that I want to go down.  It’s definitely on the way to being successful financially, but I wish I had made the jump earlier.  I wasn’t doing the advertising side justice, and was just waiting for people to knock on my door – but that’s not how business works.  You have to go out there knocking on doors to let people know who you are and that there are opportunities for sale.  
At the moment Kid Magazine is in a really great place.  I am happy with how it’s working and I’ve got into a really good pattern.  I’m not a complete mess by the time each issue comes out, I just get it done and each issue gets better and better.  I really want to concentrate on getting more interesting and relevant content.   Hopefully in the next few months I’ll be able to bring on an editorial assistant so I can grow the content, and so it’s not just me blogging Monday to Friday.  We need variety.  The blog get 7,000 unique visitors per month and the magazine is published on issue.com which has a broader reach and it gets an average of 120,000 views per issue. It feels kind of bizarre to be reaching so many people.  Occasionally I’ll comment on post on Facebook and people will say they love Kid Magazine and it makes me feel so good.  Sometimes I feel like I’m  writing for myself and I wonder if anyone’s actually reading my content, but lately on Facebook I’ve been getting really good feedback from people.  And I see the same people commenting on my posts and I feel so happy that they want to keep coming back and reading what I’m writing.  It feels really great that what I’m putting out there is valued by people.


The best thing about having my own business is the flexibility.  I can take my laptop to my parents and work from their house, or I can get up at 6am and get things done.  If I’m at the park I can take a phone call.  I can have a day off if I want to.  If we go on holidays for two weeks I can still run my business, and it’s my call as to what direction Kid Magazine takes.  It is my future, and whilst I may personally have little relevance for Kid Magazine in 10 years time when Olivia is older, I definitely want to grow it as a business.  To other mums who have a business dream, just do it.  Not every business needs a large capital outlay to get started, you can start a blog for $400 or $500 to register business names and domain names, so just start.  You don’t have to have a large following.  Launch before you’re ready, just do it.
Sara began her business dream with a small budget and a sensible business plan.  Business Mamas can help you build your very own business dream too.
Copy: Melanie Quirk      Photography: SomedaySomehowStudios 
To find out how you can get get your business started and become the next Business Mama head to  www.businessmamas.com.au

RECIPE: Cauliflower fried 'rice' Sushi Rolls


This is a really fun recipe for all the paleo-tastic out there. I am a sucker for sushi and my kids LOVE it too so its nice to be able to make a version that is tasty but without the grains. Enjoy my friends. 

Cauliflower fried 'rice'  Sushi Rolls Recipe

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 head of Cauliflower, florets only
dash of fish sauce
dash of tamari sauce
1/4 cup peas
1 egg, whisked then fried, cut into squares
dried nori sheets

Method
Place cauliflower florets into a food processor and chop finely until in resembles rice grain size. In a hot pan, melt coconut oil.
Add cauliflower, fish sauce and tamari sauce. 
Cook for a couple of minutes and then add in the egg and peas. Stir through to heat evenly.
Take off heat and allow to cool completely.
Place nori sheet onto a clean chopping board, spoon some of the rice into the middle of the sheet to make a line across. 
With your hands, roll the nori sheet around the cauliflower rice gently but tightly.
Using a little water on your finger you can make a line on the end of the nori sheet to help stick in down to the roll. 
Repeat this until al the mixture has been used. Using a very sharp knife, slice sushi rolls into bite size pieces. 
Serve.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

WIN ByK KIDS BIKE FOR CHRISTMAS!!!


I could rave on about these bikes for days; they are the ultimate first bike for our little ones. ByK bikes have a brilliant range of bikes for every age. What is great about these bikes is that the wheels are so big which makes it so simple for little ones to get moving. Mix that with the ergonomic frames, long lasting parts and the fun bright colours and they are the perfect kids bike!

We have the E-350x2i geared kids bike for our big girl Princess P; this bike is pretty special as it has an internal 2-speed i-motion gear system which has been customised for this E-350x2i. There are no external moving parts so its super safe and amazingly easy to learn on. All byk bikes have lightweight alloy wheels and smooth fast rolling tires so that pedalling is easier and kids can keep moving for longer. Along with a whole heaps of other wonderful features, what is also very cool, is that byk bikes are 30% lighter than most kids bikes on the market; another reason they are easier to ride! Byk bikes are made for kids, designed by a dad and really are a fantastic bike for our children!

We were excited to introduce our little 2 year old Sunshine earlier this year to the Byk bike standard E-250; this bike is gold. It has all the features of any byK bike with the added bonus of a handle for all us mums to help give our littlest ones a push if they need to get going or keep them going if they get tired. Mr Sunshine loves his E-250, he wants to ride it everyday and mastered peddling after 2 days of riding at barely 2 years old, it was such a proud moment to see him in his element succeeding in such a short amount of time. 
_______________________________________________________________________


Heres some more of the nitty gritty details about BYK BIKES:

The ByK [prounounced 'bi-kay'] Bike was born from one father's desire to build a bike that was made specifically for children.  One that was suitable for a child's growing body and differing proportions to that of an adult.  Warren Key has owned bicycle stores his whole life and knows a thing or two about bike design.
He has a 12, 10 and 6 year old and realised early on that there were no well designed bikes on the market for children, anywhere in the world.  After a few years of research, design and prototypes, the ByK Bike is now available for Australian children to own.
With the ergonomic design, the bikes fit the rider better in all the right places for all the right reasons. Never before have children had a better chance to learn to ride and love to ride. - See more at: http://www.bykbikes.com/




So here's the fun part; the amazing people from ByK Bikes are giving all Live it, Do it readers the opportunity to win a ByK kids bike of their choice for their little rider this Christmas.
It's super easy to enter; all you have to do is answer the question and sign up to our newsletter through the rafflecopter app below. That's it... GO GO GO!!!

Terms & Conditions :
Winner can choose any model and colour, subject to availability. 
Winner must be able to pick up the bike from a ByK Stockist as listed on the ByK Bikes website (http://www.bykbikes.com/australian-byk-kids-bike-stockists.html). (We don't ship direct to customers in Australia)
Check out some of the Byk bikes below or head over to their website. 
ByK bikes for 4-6 year olds


a Rafflecopter giveaway

ByK kids balance bikes
ByK kids bikes for 5-8 year olds

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Rounding out and fitting in...



Prepare for a bit of an emotional post, well maybe I'm just the emotional one being emotional about silly things that I shouldn't even be worried about. What's great about pregnancy is that you get to share at least three different sides to yourself a day; an excited self, an exhausted self and a complete emotional wreck. So when I say that's great, I'm totally meaning the opposite, but you get the picture. The people closest to you get to see all the crazy sides of you before lunch time.

This week has been one of those funny weeks; I just feel so unsettled in our new place. I know people but it feels like I don't have a lot of friends. Memories of my teenage years in the area flow in and out; some good, some not so good. It doesn't matter where you go, you see a million people you know but you don't really know if they know you back, whether they even remember you or just have no interest in saying hello. So far, I haven't had time to make new friends or reconnect with many old ones; we've been up and back to Sydney a lot, I've done a bit of casual teaching (I'll fill you in on that story another day) and my husband is still in Sydney with work until the end of the year. 

I'm not complaining about the lifestyle change, I'm excited to see what's to come but it's just a really weird feeling being back here living as a family, instead of coming back on holiday as a crazy, single Uni student. Some people I know have kids, but not many. The problem is that when you have kids it's not easy catching up with people that don't. Life is all about preschool drop off, park play dates and whether a cafĂ© is child friendly or more importantly would my kids sit still while I chat to my friend I may not of seen for years? I think not.

Then comes the other whole part of pregnancy, the getting fat part. When you are seeing people for the first time in a long time, you kind of want to feel your best. You don't want to feel bloated, pimply and tired. It's totally something in your head that you need to snap out of but it's also easy to just stay closed up in your own little world. I mean I get that growing a human is an amazing thing and who really cares what happens to your body in the process as long as your baby is growing well, but I know you get what I'm saying. We are our own worst enemy, and having babies and being a mum can really suck the wind from under you sometimes at all angles.

You see, before we moved, I was busy, like really busy. Mornings were rushed to get out to preschool or ballet or a park play date, food was eaten on the run, and I was always telling my kids to hurry up to get to the next appointment. I didn't realise how much I was doing and how much pressure I was putting on myself to do it.

Now we have moved, it's a shock to the system, being quiet. There's just less to get done and more time to reflect and enjoy which is what our family really needs. As the weeks pass, I'm learning to accept the new pace, enjoy running into people and making new and old connections. I'm focusing on putting more energy into the quiet parts of our lives and I think I'll just enjoy my little people for a while without all the noise. Its all a huge transition and a process but I think we'll get there and when we do, we'll love it!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

RECIPE: Sweet & Salty popcorn




 
This is a really fun treat and it tastes delicious! It’s great for parties; the kids will love it.

RECIPE: sweet & salty popcorn

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
2 tbsp Natvia icing mixture
sea salt to taste
large bowl of homemade popcorn

Method
Place popcorn in a large bowl and set to the side. Melt butter in a small pot.

Pour butter mixture over the popcorn and stir through vigorously until all covered.

Stir through Natvia and Salt. Let cool and enjoy.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Pregnancy: The first Trimester - The bloat phase

I've been stuck somewhere in between Psycho Sally, sore boobs, happiness and a cyclone. Hormones; I'm full of them and like most women, my body doesn't react to them in the most pleasant way. You wake up feeling like you were on a bender the night before, every single day, and the seediness creeps in and out all day from a light wave of "I'm still here" to "Stop everything, know body talk or I may just spew on you"... 

There's lots of cravings, followed by eating followed by lots of wind. It's not attractive in any way and if someone comes up to you and says "your glowing" you want to shake them and say back; "Really? Do you think it's the hormonal big pimples or the fluid in my face from eating too much bread that's giving me that shining, glowing look?"

If you have grasped it by now, I'm not the pregnancy type; you know those gorgeous women that look so perfect with their perfectly round baby belly that pops out from their perfectly cellulite free bodies. They walk with grace, have perfect hair, perfect outfits and look like their lives are perfectly together... This woman is the opposite of me...I love the babies, I love the big kids, I love them teaching our family to love even more but the growing the baby inside me part is not my favourite part. I have no self control, I blow out and I become a cyclone. I don't think my husband really loves this part either. ;)

The bump and the kids at the beach. 



Here's a few things that have hit me throughout the first trimester:

The exhaustion: I've been pretty good in the mornings but by 1pm I'm done, I'd love it if everyone could leave me alone while I crawl up on the couch and sink out to an "adults" show, something that can never happen with 2 little people needing your undivided attention. 

The cravings: Fruit, citrus, fresh juices, dairy, fat, salt, sugar, chocolate, bread and more bread.

The mornings sickness: I eat because I feel sick but then I feel sick because I eat..  What's the worst evil? The morning sickness waves in and out of my day; a cross between being seen sick and the start of a stomach bug. I never get to the full fetched vomit even though sometimes I wish I did in the help it may make me feel better.

The bloat: For me, the first trimester brings all those terrible cravings as well as a stomach that's full of bloat and not much baby. It’s the in between phase of “has she just put on weight or is she pregnant?” You feel like you look 6 months pregnant but it's just the repercussions of carb overloading. And it just feels a bit yuck.

The looking after 2 little kids while brewing a baby: This is probably the hardest part. How you can grow a human and be constantly exhausted but still pick yourself up in the morning to feed, dress and entertain the little people that need you the most. It’s hard and the emotions that go with it that you feel like you can’t do it all is even more exhausting. Mother guilt; it hits you in the head straight on.

A half an hour after we told P she would be a big sister again. She wasn't happy. First into tears and then fell asleep in my arms. It's safe to say she's come around the the idea now, thank goodness! ;)



Well, thats the round up of the first 13 weeks of this pregnancy. I’m really excited to be in the second trimester; I'm looking forward to having way more energy, feeling good, people seeing me as actually pregnant, not just round and fat. time is flying and I'm 18 weeks already and getting on with the everyday life stuff without feeling like I need to pick myself up of the floor to do it. Bring on the next 22 weeks and this new babe being out into the world!

REAL MUM REVIEW: The Euro NXT convertible car seat from Maxi- Cosi


I'm excited to share with you all the latest convertible car seat from Maxi- Cosi; the Euro NXT. The Euro NXT combines top level safety standards, with comfort and style, to offer parents a beautiful way to transport their new bundle of joy and we have been road testing it for the past month and we have nothing but positive feedback to shout from the windows!

To share my guilt; I have always been one of those parents that uses a car seat that is a massive bargain on sale or has had it handed down. I have even been one of those mothers to pick a car seat up at a garage sale or from the side of the road when someone has thrown it out in council clean up. I haven't looked too much into the safety aspects as I was in the ignorant mind that any car seat is a good car seat. It's all about having one right? Thats all that matters, the rules of the road.

Oh how I have been so very wrong. When I first opened the box to the Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT I thought, maybe it looked a bit bulky as I'm so used to seats with worn out or not much padding. Once it was installed into the car, it automatically looked cosy, not bulky or over the top, but cushiony and cosy for my boy. The feeling of, you poor things missing out all these years, crossed my mind but more the fact that when I put him into the seat, he was in firm but comfortable and you could see the safety aspects just from a glance. I could tell it was a seat that is made with safety in mind first and foremost.  The Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT meets the latest AU regulations for child car seat safety and is everything and more that you would expect from a premium product. It's designed for children aged from birth to approx 4 years of age and offers rearward facing for children up to 30 months of age if you prefer that. The rearward facing setting gives parents the peace of mind should their child be involved in an accident.

In addition, the Euro NXT has a secure and easy to use ISOGO installation system, and the award winning GCELL technology which is the latest in crash absorbing technology.
We love the fact that the car seat is so simple to install, we are always swapping car seats around for grandparents and knowing that you can install this car seat within minutes and it be super safe really puts our minds at ease as parents. We really love it.

As well as all the safety features, the Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT looks good! It comes in 5 fashionable colours to suit any style so you can make sure it goes with your interior car colours. The Euro NXT comes with the famous 'cool baby' wicking fabric that draws moisture away from the baby's skin and leaves them cool and comfortable, this is great for our Sunny as he gets really hot, especially if he falls asleep driving around so its nice to know he is keeping cool and not being stuck to his seat fabric.

We could not rave on higher about this seat and can see it being a long time favourite, Sunny is super comfortable as we drive around getting jobs done throughout the day and also very cosy on our long trips up and back to Sydney. We know he is extremely safe and we can drive with ease and comfort ourselves as parents.

The Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT in action
Euro NXT at a glance:

  •  A new level of safety: Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT meets the latest AU regulation for child car seat safety;
  •  It’s about the ‘Safety you can see’ with the G CELL technology and easy installation with ISOGO;
  •  Keeps baby cool and comfortable with our “Cool Baby” wicking fabric;
  •  30mnths rearward facing, proven to reduce side impact forces by 75% when rearward facing, keeping your baby safer for longer;
  •  Suitable from birth to 4 years of age (or until your child reaches the upper height marker)
  • The Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT Convertible Car Seat is available for $649 RRP at all good independent retailers nationally.

The Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT The Euro NXT combines top level safety standards, with comfort and style, to offer parents a beautiful way to transport their new bundle of joy. Available for $649 RRP at all good independent retailers nationally. 
For stockists, or more info on The Maxi-Cosi Difference, contact Dorel Australia on 1300 809 526 or visit www.maxi-cosi.com.au I https://www.facebook.com/maxicosi.australia

Sunday, 1 November 2015

RECIPE: Coconut hummus & carrot crackers



RECIPE: Coconut hummus & carrot crackers

Ingredients
1 garlic clove
2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
200 mls coconut cream
3 tbsp tahini
pinch of salt and pepper to taste
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

Method
Place the chickpeas, coconut cream, tahini, salt and pepper into the processor and process until smooth. You may need a little less of more coconut cream to get it to your preferred consistency.
Serve with sliced carrot that you can use as your crackers.
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