Say hello! Love from Friday

I AM IN AWE OF THE MANY INCREDIBLE MUMS OUT THERE, DOING A FAB JOB OF RUNNING THEIR OWN SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES WHILST SIMULTANEOUSLY HOLDING DOWN THE FORT AT HOME. I’M FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE ‘MET’ MANY OF THESE LADIES ONLINE AND CAN’T WAIT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME NEW FACES AND THEIR AWESOME ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVOURS.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET INVOLVED AND HAVE YOUR BUSINESS FEATURED, PLEASE SAY HELLO!  MELISSA@THEBESTNEST.CO.NZ


I was thrilled when Jane, owner at Love From Friday got in touch with me, as I’ve actually shopped her gorgeous online store before and was so, so impressed with both the quality of the goods and the high level of customer service I received.  I’m sure you’ve all seen my felt ball wreath and the matching garland that hangs in Nixon’s room, little pops of fun colour that we enjoy every day.

Mum to Hannah and Max, Jane holds a Diploma of Interior Design and her innate style is evident in her beautifully curated online store.  By stocking products that adhere to her belief that children’s rooms should be fun and inspiring spaces, she has managed to capture a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree!  She both designs and makes her own kids linen range with stunning fabric she sources from throughout the world.  This Mama is definitely the Master of her Domain!

I’m in love with so many things from Jane’s extensive range, but have picked out some of my current faves;

From L-R; Lapin and Me Woodland Doll Money box $50, Black DIY Word Banner $28, Twister Poster in Soft Green $48, Triangle Cot Blanket $59, Circles of Fun King Single Duvet Set $225, Sketch Inc Nesting Dolls $40

In Jane’s own words;

Monochrome or colour?

I love both! My kids’ bedrooms are a great example of this. My daughter’s room is full of colour and pattern and my son’s room is monochrome with some touches of orange. 

But if I had to choose it would be colour. It makes me happy. In fact, my husband and I have just finished painting our kids’ bedroom doors in glossy paint: pink for my daughter and orange for my son. 

Fussy or functional?

Our house tends to get overwhelmed with mess and disarray on a regular basis (read: daily!) so we’re all about functional around here to minimise the clutter!

New or old?

We have got a mix of old and new furniture in our house and I love how they work together. Two of my most treasured items would be our oak sideboard that belonged to my grandparents and a pair of Don chairs that I purchased on Trade Me and got reupholstered. Old furniture has so much charm with its history and beautiful craftsmanship.

Coffee or tea?

Neither, I am a hot chocolate kind of gal 🙂

Run or walk?

Every now and then I get inspired and enter myself into a race and train for it but as a general rule I love to head out for a walk. My favourite walk is up to the Mt Vic lookout in Wellington first thing in the morning. Bliss. My current exercise of choice is yoga. I have just started out on my yoga journey and I am loving it. 6.30am hot yoga, such a fantastic start to the day. 

Which came first, the babes or the business?

While I was whipping up the babes 😉 I studied a Diploma in Interior Design & Decorating through the Open Polytechnic. Once I finished that I started thinking about a business idea and Love from Friday was launched when my youngest was 2. 

What are your favourite products in stock right now?

Love from Friday only stocks products that I LOVE so that is a tough one!

Our Dear Little Letterboxes and Dear Little Mailboxes have been very popular and are a fabulous gift idea. I really love the fact that they combine an educational element by inspiring kids to read and write while providing them with lots of fun. They came in a great range of colours too. 

Our cot duvet cover range provides a great mix of colours and patterns. We have just added two new covers to the range: The red and pink animals cover is bold and bright and fun and our mint leaves cot duvet cover is a more subtle and soothing option. 

We have also just started stocking ‘+’ and ‘x’ wall decals in a range of colours. These look so striking on the wall. I am about to cover a wall in my son’s bedroom in black crosses. 

What’s ahead for Love from Friday?

Right now we are in survival mode at LFF as I only have two days a week to run my business so I can spend the rest of the time being mum :). Its a busy two days (and lots of evenings once the kids are in bed) so its lucky that I love it! 🙂

Once my youngest starts school I will have more time to think about the big ‘where-to-from-here-question’ but at the moment I am continuing to build our product range and provide our customers with a range of fun and inspiring products for their children’s rooms.

Jane is gifting one lucky reader a $50 voucher to spend online at Love From Friday!  To enter, head over to Facebook and comment on the contest image.  Contest closes Sunday 24th May 2015.

Love From Friday Mum Blog New Zealand

 

Say hello! Qwerky Home + Giveaway

Yay another Monday and another awesome Mum to introduce you all to!  Mummy Blog New Zealand

I’ve only connected with Leigh-ann from Qwerky Home over the past 48 hours and to be honest it’s been a flurry of emails back and forth as we threw this feature together but…….gosh, if this woman isn’t as lovely, positive, excited and as fun in real life as she comes across via email I would be so surprised!  And let’s be honest, how difficult must it be to sound lovely, positive, excited and as fun when you have three kids and you’re probably typing one email in multiple shifts while standing up with a cereal bowl in one hand, dirty laundry under an arm and someone tugging at your leg?

In her own words;

I’m Leigh-ann, and I’m married to my wonderful husband and we have three children aged 4, 5 and 6. Life is pretty hectic! My husband is in the military which has meant a fair bit of moving and lots of time apart. It was really important to us that I stayed home with our children while they were preschoolers, and the older they got, the more I realised that I wanted to be able to work around their school hours to be available to help out at school, go to sports days and assemblies and to be home if they need me. With my husband’s job, I needed a career that fit around school hours and school holidays as I can’t rely on my husband to be around all the time. Having a business at home works perfectly with all of that, although sometimes it would be nice to go out to work and leave it all there at home time! I was a counsellor before we had children, so this is a big shift for me and I’m learning all the time. I love it though!

1.  Which came first the business or the babes?

Bebes! I had three children under three and a military husband. We got posted up to Ohakea and built a house and then I realised that I was bored – three children and two house builds in four years left me restless when I didn’t have a project on the go! I started to think about doing more training either in my previous profession as a counsellor, or in interior design when my first business (dorothy nada) popped up. Less than a year later, the opportunity to purchase Qwerky Home appeared and I grabbed it. Who needs sleep anyway? 😉

2.  Doing double-duty being your own boss and a Mum is hard! How do you manage your time so you’re not constantly working?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha *catches breath*, ha ha ha ha ha.

Ummm….yeah. I’m constantly working.

3.  Your site is full of bright, fun colours which I love, what’s your view on the scandi-monochrome trend we’re seeing in interiors?

I LOVE the whole scandi-monochrome thing. I think that if I wasn’t obsessed with colour I’d be totally into it. I have HUGE admiration for people who have children who can carry it off in their homes – my house is colourful, vibrant and LOUD! Sometimes I dream of a calm, subtle room to hide out in, but then I think that I’d end up throwing colour at it anyway. I love to look at the current trend, but I just can’t imagine living in it.

4.  What is your favourite item in store right now?

Glass Greenhouse Interior Mum Blog New ZealandI love the glass greenhouse. It’s a slightly off-beat take on the terraniums that are around at the moment. Just gorgeous!

 

5.  Does life even exist offline anymore?  What’s your take on incorporating social media into your business plan?

Social media pretty much IS my business plan! With 2 businesses and a blog, I feel like I’m always on facebook or instagram. It’s such a great way of getting immediate access to your customers (or potential customers) and building a real relationship with them. It’s a bit like an online version of your friendly local shopkeeper. I love that aspect of it! The only downside is that sometimes people expect you to be available 24/7, and with a young family (now aged 4, 5, and 6), that’s just not possible.

Because Leigh-ann is just so awesome this weeks Say hello! winner will be able to choose between two amaze prizes!

To enter, head over to the Qwerky Home website find the Moana Rd School Bag Handbags or the Wooden arrows sets and tell me on our Facebook post which product and which colour you will choose if you’re the super-lucky winner!  Competition closes next Sunday 17th May 10pm.  NZ residents only.

Moana Road Bag New Zealand Mummy Blogger Sunshine Wooden Arrows New Zealand Mum blog

Say hello! Twinkle Twinkle Little Star + Giveaway

I AM IN AWE OF THE MANY INCREDIBLE MUM’S OUT THERE, DOING A FAB JOB OF RUNNING THEIR OWN SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES WHILST SIMULTANEOUSLY HOLDING DOWN THE FORT AT HOME. I’M FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE ‘MET’ MANY OF THESE LADIES ONLINE AND CAN’T WAIT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME NEW FACES AND THEIR AWESOME ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVOURS.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET INVOLVED AND HAVE YOUR BUSINESS FEATURED, PLEASE SAY HELLO!  MELISSA@THEBESTNEST.CO.NZ

Kate from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is one of those brave souls you read about who knew they needed to make a change in their lives and just got on with it. That’s living with no regrets I reckon.Little Grippers Socks Mummy Blogger New ZealandKate is a mum to three kids all under 5 {!!!!} – Jacob 4, Lilly 2 and Scarlett 7 months, who were her main motivation to open her new store.  Opening a physical store as well as an online shop was a choice involving a fair amount of risk.  However, believing in the future of Papakura and wanting to invest in her town gives her a great base from which to run events and workshops to bring local businesses and shoppers together.  Kate hosts breastfeeding, car seat and baby wearing talks as well as book readings, Cloth Nappy Week Coffee Group and fun stuff like crochet classes.  She is also starting a cloth nappy library and baby wearing group to further give back to her community.

Busy, busy lady.  Did I mention she has three kids under 5?

Kate sent me some Little Grippers socks for the boys to try and we are huge fans!  At the speed Nixon races around the house I find sagging socks way too risky so he’s usually barefoot at the moment which is obviously not ideal in this cooler weather.  Little Grippers are available in baby socks, school socks and a new sports sock which all Stay On and Up all day long!  The secret is a very thin layer of 100% natural silicone on the cuffs which is entirely hypoallergenic ensuring no irritation.  This amazing band of silicone lasts the lifetime of the sock, can be washed as normal and won’t lose it’s effectiveness over time!  Ethan has also put the sports socks to the test and they passed with flying colours, doing time at rugby training and staying up is NOT to be sneezed at lol.

Shop the range online at www.ttls.co.nz, prices start from $7 for baby socks!

Little Grippers Socks Mummy Blogger New ZealandLittle Grippers Socks Mummy Blogger New ZealandLittle Grippers Socks Mummy Blogger New ZealandIf you would like to win your choice of any two pairs of Little Grippers head over to The Best Nest on Facebook and follow the competition instructions.
Open to NZ residents only, competition closes Sunday May 10, 10pm.

Say hello! Think.Play.Love + Giveaway!

I AM IN AWE OF THE MANY INCREDIBLE MUM’S OUT THERE, DOING A FAB JOB OF RUNNING THEIR OWN SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES WHILST SIMULTANEOUSLY HOLDING DOWN THE FORT AT HOME. I’M FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE ‘MET’ MANY OF THESE LADIES ONLINE AND CAN’T WAIT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME NEW FACES AND THEIR AWESOME ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVOURS.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET INVOLVED AND HAVE YOUR BUSINESS FEATURED, PLEASE SAY HELLO! MELISSA@THEBESTNEST.CO.NZ


 

Ok, so today we are Saying hello! to a business that gives me ALL of the mummy guilts.  When Ethan was a babe we did every activity on offer.  You name it we had a booking; Jumping Beans, swimming from 3 months old, baby art classes, Mainly Music, regular play dates………meanwhile, baby #2?  Nixon and I have been chilling for almost 2 years lol.  And there are reasons for that of course, but one thing I do remember from all of my excursions with Ethan was that sometimes, classes with young bubbas are just as beneficial for the Mums as they are educational and stimulating for the wee ones :  )

Let me introduce Sam and Think.Play.Love.  “Nurturing playful minds for kiwi kids” – how lovely does that sound?  Sam and Hannah from Think.Play.Love bring a uniquely kiwi element to music, movement and sensory classes for babies under 14 months and toddlers 14 months – 3 years.  These two qualified early childhood and primary teachers have crafted their fab, experiential classes to support the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, including learning and experiences in Te Reo.   Based in Auckland, classes are held in Browns Bay, Whenuapai, Takapuna, Pt Chevalier and Henderson.

For more information or to book a class please visit Think.Play.Love online or on Facebook.

Hello Sam!  Which came first, the baby or the business?

The baby, but the idea for the business was dreamt up long before Cooper came along! My business partner, Hannah, attended music classes for babies while working as a nanny in London so we often talked about setting up something similar ourselves but with a New Zealand flavour for our Kiwi kids. After Cooper turned one I wasn’t ready to return to my teaching job as I wanted more flexible hours to be at home with him so we decided to go for it and Think.Play.Love was born!

 What is your background and how does this influence your business ethos?

I worked as a Primary teacher for 10 years so I am extremely passionate about education and child development. Think.Play.Love has allowed me to build on my existing skills as a teacher but broaden my knowledge and experience by branching into the Early Childhood sector. I feel that learning through movement and sensory play is absolutely crucial for the developing minds of babies so this is always at the forefront of my mind when planning our classes.

How do you manage to balance your young family with life as a business owner?

It’s hard that’s for sure! My partner also has his own glazing business so there is a lot to fit in. I try to be really present when I am with Cooper rather than on my phone or the computer so most of my work is done while he is napping during the day or at night once he is in bed. I am so lucky to have such a strong support network, my family have been great! My mum and sister often look after Cooper so that I can run classes.

 Social media is changing the way businesses tell their stories and reach out to customers, how do you incorporate SM in your business plan and is it hard to keep your personal stories separate?

We have found Social Media to be the most effective way for us to get our name out there and generate a following for Think.Play.Love. I do share personal stories or photos of Cooper from time to time. I actually see it as a good thing as I want our followers to be able to relate to me and know that I am a mum just like them.

What’s ahead for Think Play Love?

We are really excited as we are in the process of adding toddler classes which will be available from Term 3. The classes will still include sensory learning experiences but we will add in a lot more movement activities to promote fine and gross motor skills and cross patterning through climbing type activities, all of which develop important brain pathways.


 

If you would like to win a double pass for you and a friend + your babies to try a Think.Play.Love class for yourself head over to The Best Nest on Facebook and follow the competition guidelines.
Think Play Love Baby Sensory Classes Auckland Mum Blogger Think Play Love Baby Sensory Classes Auckland Mum Blogger

 

Say hello! | Mud Mates + Giveaway

I am in awe of the many incredible Mum’s out there, doing a fab job of running their own successful businesses whilst simultaneously holding down the fort at home. I’m fortunate enough to have ‘met’ many of these ladies online and can’t wait to introduce you to some new faces and their awesome entrepreneurial endeavours.  If you would like to get involved and have your business featured, please say hello!melissa@thebestnest.co.nz

I kind of get the feeling that in years to come Mud Mates may be one of those companies that becomes a kiwi institution; one of those products that everyone will remember wearing as a child and then go on to purchase for their kids in the future.

Owner Alana, got in touch with me and I jumped at the chance to work with her because, um, NIXON!  Crazy baby is crazy, and he needs to be covered head to toe in plastic at all times.  Some don’t find that acceptable however, so instead, there is Mud Mates.  Thank goodness.

Alana is a Hawkes Bay mum of two, who developed her awesome products out of the frustration (desperation?) that I’m sure every Mum has felt as a result of the constant washing and often ruining of clothes that can result from letting your kids be kids and get dirty.

Mud Mates has been going strong for a couple of years now, continuing their awesome commitment to producing their products at home in New Zealand, Napier to be exact!  Reserach and design has seen the introduction of a new fabric to the range; coveralls, overpants and shoe covers are now made from water-resistant and water-repellent fabric.  This is a breathable, polyester, PVC-free fabric with a polyurethane (PU) coating on the inside and a 3M Scotchguard water-repellent coating on the outside. The fabric is soft and lightweight (yet durable and hard-wearing) which means the garments are comfortable and easy to wear without restricting your littlies movement.


I am a mother of two boys.

Two full on, balls to the wall, dirty, grubby, stained and scuffed boys.  I love it, and them.    An unfortunate side effect of having feral children and failing to rein in their dirt-ambitions is that I have allowed plenty of ‘nice’ clothes to be ruined.  I refuse to tell my kids they aren’t allowed to get dirty.  In fact I don’t think that particular phrase has ever left my mouth!  Needless to say, I had never really considered the need for some coveralls.  Never until I actually tried them out!

I may be down with dirt, but one thing I’m paranoid about is letting my kids get cold.    Easter weekend brought amaze weather, it was so, so hot up in Waipu at Mum’s but the mornings were very shivery and cold with heavy dews.  The end of Daylight Saving also added super early wake-ups to the holiday weekend {arghhh!} so we were up and at ’em before the sun had a chance to warm up the chilly autumn mornings.  Nixon was gifted a pair of Mud Mates Coveralls and lawd I was stoked I remembered to pack them!  They proved themselves as soon as the little guy settled on the water-logged sand-pit as his play location!  He was able to splash around in there, doing his roadworks, burying and excavating tractors and I didn’t worry a bit about him getting wet and cold – ain’t nobody got time for a sick toddler!

One important thing to note here; these are not lined, which I love.  Here’s why; last winter I purchased a pair of lined overalls with shoulder straps.  They were gorgeous and thick and warm, but they were so thick that when popped over clothes Nix could barely move in them.  Working around this meant that I had to strip Nix’s pants off before and after play time which was a little bit chilly at the beach mid-winter!  The shoulder straps fell down constantly and the plastic buckles didn’t hold their position, so again I found a workaround by tying knots in the straps-  again, less than ideal.   When I saw Nix was heading for the water, I busted out a deft intercept, zipped the coveralls over his clothes and he was good-to-go.  They pack down super-small as well so you can always squeeze then in your diaper bag and make the most of those random, muddy, FUN opportunities.  I absolutely love these coveralls! 

Mud Mates coveralls are so low-maintenance I’m thoroughly recommending that all babies and toddlers should wear them 100% of the time FOR EVER.  Just kidding.  Sort of.   Every Mum should be so lucky to have a pair of these in their arsenal, these would be the most useful and appreciated first birthday gift ever!

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

If you would like to win a pair of the amaze Mud Mates coveralls, head over to our Facebook page and follow the instructions on the competition image.  Competition closes Sunday 26th April 10pm.  If you just can’t wait, purchase a pair here 

Say hello! | And They Lived Green + Giveaway {CLOSED}

I am in awe of the many incredible Mum’s out there, doing a fab job of running their own successful businesses whilst simultaneously holding down the fort at home. I’m fortunate enough to have ‘met’ into many of these ladies online and can’t wait to introduce you to some new faces and their awesome entrepreneurial endeavours.  If you would like to get involved and have your business featured, please say hello! melissa@thebestnest.co.nz


Our very, very first Say hello! feature spotlights one of my favourite online stores – and they lived green.  Misha Yardley, mama of 3yo twin girls (!) lives with her husband in Auckland and manages to balance working on her carefully curated webstore between precious naptimes and enjoying her young family.  and they lived green ticks all the boxes for those who are passionate about ethical shopping.  Every item Misha stocks adheres to at least one of these values;

Organic | Fair Trade | Recycled | Ethically Made | Sustainable 

I discovered and they lived green on Instagram and immediately ordered a set of Re-Play plates.  I lOVE these recycled wonders!  Introducing a divided plate (made from BPA free recycled milk bottles!) has made mealtimes so much easier and allowed Nix to master using a fork and spoon without the frustration of pushing food all over his plate.  As you can see we now have quite a collection …………. moving on!

Re-Play Recycled Plates Mum Blog NZ

I can barely find the time to shower once a day but Misha is obviously much better at time management than myself and sat down recently to answer a few questions for me;

Which came first, the babes or the business?

I had the business idea a few years before I had the babies but it wasn’t until after we had the girls that the idea became fully formed and I started to strategise ways to make it happen.

You seem to have a really clear, strong vision of what your business stands for and regarding the brands you represent, does an ethical standpoint make it harder or easier to stay on track as a mumpreneur?

I do have a strong vision for the business and it can work both ways in terms of finding the right brands. In some ways it’s easier because I have set criteria and products either meet them or they don’t. But it can be difficult because there are a lot of amazing products out there which are so tempting! But also because some products ride the line between some of our values – they are great sustainable or organic products but don’t necessarily have a transparent manufacturing process. I tend to err on the side of caution when selecting products as I want people to be able to buy with confidence when shopping with us.

How on earth do you manage to balance young twins with life as a business owner?

That is probably the biggest challenge! I try to do most of my work while they nap, are at homecare or in the evenings. I’m conscious of being on my phone or the computer too much when I’m around them, so I try and break the day into ‘mum’ hours and ‘work’ hours. It’s a grand theory but it doesn’t always work!

Social media is changing the way businesses tell their stories and reach out to customers, how do you incorporate SM in your business plan and is it hard to keep your personal stories separate?

Social media plays a huge part in our marketing and it’s also our direct link to our customers. I love being able to engage with them and hear their feedback. It is definitely hard to keep personal stories separate. I wasn’t a huge user of social media before this so I have had to adjust a little. I like sharing parts of our lives as I feel like it creates a relationship between us and the customers, but also as a consumer myself I love seeing this from businesses and blogs that I follow. I try not to overshare, and I have some rules about what is ok to share regarding the girls. I still worry sometimes about sharing anything about them at all, but it’s pretty hard to share my life without them in it! They are my 24/7 job so most things revolve around them haha!

What are your favourite products in stock right now?

Oooh that’s a hard one! Something I use almost every day is the Little Bairn Sleepy Time Nursery Spray – it is divine! We use it as a nappy change spray, as a room deoderiser after a nappy change, and also as a room freshener especially in our bedrooms. It has organic lavender French oil so has a beautiful scent, and is like a gorgeous sleepy-dust spray come bedtime.

We of course use our Re-Play products everyday too. Their whole range is amazing, but I am obsessed with their spill proof cups because they are actually spill proof! I am always sceptical when something claims to be no-leak etc, but these are actually fantastic. They are the only drink bottles I will have in the nappy bag, car seats or bedroom! 

I am also REALLY excited about the new Huxbaby range which has just arrived – this season is so beautiful and I can’t wait to see our customers style it!  

What’s ahead for And They Lived Green?

We have a busy year of markets ahead of us at this point. You can find us at most Mary’s Markets, and we are really excited about the Hatch’d Boutique Baby Fair coming up in May. 

I’m always on the lookout for new and amazing products, and I have a few things in the works already so keep an eye out for those. Basically bigger and better is the goal this year!

Because and they lived green and Misha are totally amazing and generous, we are giving one reader a complete Re-Play Starter Set, RRP $39.95 (pictured below).  

Each set contains one divided plate, one bowl, one tumbler, one no-spill sippy cup, a fork and spoon and a single snack stack pod with lid. Everything your toddler could need at home or on the go!  Available in aqua, pink, yellow or purple.

Congratulations to Kate Hawken!  Please send me an email with your delivery address; melissa@thebestnest.co.nz.  Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

Re-Play Recycled Plates Mum Blog NZRe-Play Recycled Plates Mum Blog NZ