meet a mama – belinda from nest design studio

I have ‘met’ Belinda through various avenues in my business and think she has terribly fabulous style.  So, of course, I had to share her with you guys … here you go!belinda portrait

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I’m Belinda from Nest Design Studio and I have a fabulous job designing nurseries and rooms for little ones throughout Australia (and internationally!).  I am married to a handsome man, Matt, and we have 2 handsome little boys; Hugh (4) and Charles (2).  We live in Bendigo in Victoria.

belinda Family Photo

Who inspires you?
I get inspiration from everywhere……I’m not sure there is 1 particular person or place.

What can’t you live without?
Obviously I should start with my family!  But there are lots of other things as well….fat coke, wine, my mothers group, my girlfriends (and the occasional girls night out!) and body balance.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I subscribe to way to many but I love reading The Design Hunter and The Lennoxx for design.  I also love Modern Parents, Messy Kids for great kids ideas.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
I haven’t had spare time for a long time, so I’m not sure!  When the boys aren’t around, I get stuck into designing rooms.  I have always loved reading books and I do enjoy going to the gym (when I can get there!).

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Online shopping is a godsend!  Be it the grocery, clothes or presents…….saves getting kids in and out of car seats and any arguments!

belinda kitchen

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully our family will be complete (I think I’ve got room for 1 more baby!) and really enjoying the kids!  We are fixing up a shack out at our farm for weekend visits so I imagine in 5 years we will be spending family time out there.

As far as my business goes, I hope it’s much of the same.  I’ve been lucky enough to have had wonderful exposure and press (both nationally and internationally) and would love to be able to devote more time to designing rooms.

What is your favourite quote?
If you were to ask my sons, it would be ‘calm down’!  Whilst it’s not a glamorous quote, I regularly say ‘suck it and see’… everything you want to achieve is worth having a go!

Where can we find you?
You mean when I’m not indulging in a fat coke or wine?



meet a mama – andrea from kawaii kids

I love to find quirky clothes and accessories for my little guys.  I have been shopping at Kawaii Kids for a couple of years now so thought it was high time I shared them with you.  Andrea, is the fabulous mama at the helm.  You can meet her here …


Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
My name is Andrea and I work at a fun little kids clothing shop called Kawaii Kids. We have retail shops in Horsham and Birchip, as well as a sweet little online shop. I live with my partner Dan and 3 kids Connor, Imogen and Anieka (6,5 and 2 years) in Birchip which is a small farming town (of a whole 800) located in the Mallee, Vic. Dan works on the farm and I work almost every day in our Birchip shop with my pretty awesome friend Fiona. I talk a lot, drink a lot of coffee and work is pretty much my life: if I am not working, I am talking or thinking about it. Around the kids of course …!


Who inspires you?
There are many people that inspire me on lots of levels however for my business, Cotton On was my inspiration when I started and in many ways, still is.


What can’t you live without?
Lip balm and coffee.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I honestly don’t have a lot of time to read blogs other than this (awesome!) one and {KID}independent so up for any suggestions you’d like to throw my way.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
I love to read, and read my Kindle most nights no matter how late I get to bed. Any spare time I have is usually spent with the kids and Dan, however I do love to go away for the odd weekend and shop.

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
A time saving item would be a dishwasher: we got one less than a year ago and I seriously don’t know why we waited so long! I am also rather organised and the house has to be in order before I go to bed and before I leave the house: every thing put away, beds made, dishes done and toys picked up (getting the kids to help every time). I find that this makes me feel better when I get up in the morning and home after work, so definitely sanity saving!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Work wise, running 5 retail shops along with a big online store and manufacturing much of my own lines. Personally, to have built a new house with the room to work from home once again and running around after the kids … I am not sure that this ever ends?!


What is your favourite quote?
Fiona is the queen of inspirational quotes however I probably say ‘one day it will be worth it’ at least every other day …

Where can we find you (website/facebook/twitter etc)?


meet a mama – sonia from life, love & hiccups

She’s a mama of 3 boys. She loves online shopping and vodka.  Her writing is interesting, honest and funny as a circus.  Meet Sonia…

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Hi I’m Sonia but I also respond to Son, Bon, Mum, Darling and hey you. I’m very flexible like that.

llh sonia

I blog over at Life Love and Hiccups and I’m an accidental blogger who writes about life, love and everything in between. Actually truth be told I blog about pretty much what ever tickles my fancy and that could be my latest parenting fail, a room makeover attempt or weak pelvic floor muscles.

How did I come to write a blog? Well …. I’d like to say it was because I had a strong desire to put my words out to universe, but the reality is somewhat different.

One night after entertaining friends and a few too many vodkas under the unbuttoned waist band, I was playing around on the interwebs and  reading a website (I Heart Organizing). I spied this little button up in the top right hand corner that said create blog. I had no idea what a blog was (clearly I was an internet novice) and the word ‘blog’ completely cracked me up., so I did what any curious little sticky beak would do… I clicked on it.

And so my blog was born.

llh desk

As for what I do, well apart from fall over my own feet a lot, constantly humiliate myself and spend way too much money shopping online, I’m a mum to 3 beautiful boys and wife to one very patient, understanding (and totally hot) husband. We live out our crazy life on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. As for work, I have been a National Business Development Manager for Huggies nappies for the past 13 years, but I have recently walked away from the responsibility of that role (and sadly the income too) in favour of getting back to basics and living a simpler life.

Who inspires you?
What’s funny about that question is that if you asked me a couple of months ago, my answer would have been very different to what it is today. I used to be inspired by the highflyers who were juggling it all, doing it all and achieving it all.

Now I look at the mums and dads who walk their kids into school in the morning, the parents who are actually playing with their kids at the park rather than sitting on a computer or a phone under a tree and occasionally waving, and the mums who take the time to sit on the edge of the bath with her feet dangling in the water and chatting to her kids as they wash – THEY are the people that inspire me.

I am also inspired by those who have made the leap from working for someone else to making their own dreams and ideas come true without spending the majority of their waking hours away from their loved ones.

What can’t you live without?
Vodka and lime, Glasshouse candles, a good diary and a fluffy hot water bottle. They are my four essentials.

Actually on second thoughts I really should be saying my kids and my husband shouldn’t I?  OK totally them too!

llh family

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I have many many favourite blogs and I find a new one to fall in love with every week.

I have a real weak spot for home décor blogs and blogs that share their creative projects.

Two of my current faves are Dreamy Whites and Oh Happy Day.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Oooo doing many things, too many things, and all at once.

I have a zillion and one projects on the go at any given time, but if I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted – I would be spending my days writing, crafting, shopping and lying next to my hubby by the pool sipping on caprioskas and pouring over home magazines while the kids happily play together.

llh rest

What? You didn’t say anywhere that it had to be a realistic way I like to spend my spare time.

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Keep all the paperwork and notes you need to fill out, along with your to do lists,  in your notebook or diary in your hand bag. That way if you ever find yourself with time to spare, like for example when you are waiting for over an hour for your appointment at the Drs, waiting in your car yet again for one of the kids to finish sports practice, OR if you are lucky enough to find yourself sitting alone in a coffee shop with 15 minutes to spare (oh come on it COULD happen), you can get things done and cross a couple of lines of your to do list.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully healthy and relaxed, spending my days enjoying time with my family and friends and realising my dream of writing for a living.

lhh beach

What is your favourite quote?
I have two actually “Make today and every day ridiculously amazing” and “life is too short to be anonymous”.

Where can we find you?
Hiding in the bath room with a vodka and lime and my iPad.

Ohhhhh sorry you mean on the computer? You can find me over on the blog or on my blog’s facebook page.

I’d love it if you dropped by and say hi  – I like to share a laugh and I tend to snort a lot, but if you can deal with that we will get on like a house on fire.

meet a mama – jen from pikelet workshop

I come across some terribly clever and creative mamas in my line of business.  Jen is one of them. Meet her here then check out her amazing creations at Pikelet Workshop – you are sure to be inspired.

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I was born in Perth, Western Australia and grew up dreaming of Shakespeare and being an actor. A combination of stagefright and bossiness quickly turned my passion to working behind the scenes and I eventually became a director.

Just when I was about to pursue this career with more intensity I met my future husband, and then we did the settling-down-and-starting-a-family thing.

jen poppet

With one kid in the bag (and deciding most definitely that one was enough for us!), we jumped upon the opportunity to live in Brazil for a year and discovered a love for expat life. Neither of us had been into travelling much before this point, but to actually live in a place and really immerse yourself in another culture is fascinating and invigorating. (Of course, it’s also incredibly challenging and frustrating and expensive!)

Shortly after our stint in Brazil we moved to Toronto and fell in love with the place. Unfortunately the GFC came along and the expats found themselves packed up and sent home immediately (one of the risks of this sort of life) so we resumed our ‘normal’ life in Perth instead. Our kid started school, and I found myself with enough time to start playing with the craft ideas I’d had in my head for years but had been unable to tease out or find the time to act upon. Pikelet Workshop was born, and I was incredibly lucky to find myself with a busy little craft business and a wonderful craft community to boot. But we were unable to get Toronto out of our hearts and minds and two years ago another opportunity presented itself.

So, here we are. Living in Toronto, enjoying four seasons and lapping up the culture that this city has to offer. We go to a lot of gigs (many late ones, to which the bags under my eyes can attest) and the film festivals, not to mention the myriad of fabulous and affordable restaurants. We walk everywhere, or catch the streetcar and subway and find ourselves happily living in a busy city and a quiet family neighbourhood simultaneously.

jen mural

We are also blessedly close to New York, another city we have become addicted to, and manage to spend at least one holiday there each year.

Our hope is to stay in Toronto for some time to come, but many influencing factors remain outside of our control so we are just making damn sure we enjoy it regardless. Poppet (the name I use for my daughter in public forums) is now in Grade 2 at the local school and if we are still here for Grade 4 she’ll do half of her school day in French. Pretty cool.

jen snow

I’ve finally begun the lengthy process of re-establishing my business, albeit in a new country which is going to take some time and an enormous amount of effort. Thankfully, I still have a wonderful customer base Down Under who continue to purchase from me. Thanks guys!

Who inspires you?
So many people, naturally. Most anyone on TedTalks. I am an enormous fan of David Attenborough and Stephen Fry both. There’s something incredibly reassuring in their intellect and demeanour, and I listen to their audiobooks often. I love children’s illustrators and find a lot of inspiration in their work. Axel Sheffler, Lydia Monks and Oliver Jeffers come to mind.

My daughter inspires me constantly. She has travelled and lived in a fairly wide part of the world by age 8, and has made friends easily and loved every minute of it. We wouldn’t do any of this expatting if she didn’t want to. Thank goodness she’s on board.

What can’t you live without?
Apart from the obvious friends and family thing, my Ipod is constantly being updated, listened to and recharged. It’s my best best friend.
Audiobooks and podcasts and music, oh my!

Do you have a favourite blog?
Hmmm. I subscribe to many. Probably my favourite is Meet Me at Mikes. Pip Lincolne should actually be up there in my list of inspirational people. She’s really turned her crafty passions into a career, worked relentlessly at it and stepped on nobody’s toes in the process. I love her quirky personality and her integrity. She keeps it real.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Galleries and museums, a walk in the park, going out for breakfast. And magazines. I am a magazine addict. Thank goodness so many are available digitally now, my house would be bursting at the seams otherwise.

Best time/sanity saving tips?
I’m a pretty good procrastinator where work is concerned but also incredibly organised when it comes to my house. I’m a neat freak and hate too much clutter. I tidy up every night before going to bed, in fact I’m probably in a constant state of tidying. I would really like to be more organised when it comes to meal planning but that seems to be up there with blog planning. A fabulous idea but not really my personality type to act on it. Work in progress…

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I honestly don’t look that far ahead. Other than seeing my family unit as tight as ever, after so much living abroad and moving about I have learned to live in the moment and find satisfaction in the here and now.

That’s been very good for me as I’m a control freak by nature. Hence the tidiness!
Obviously more travel would be great, and I’d love to still be living in Toronto. I’d like to still be working on my little business and making it more viable. But anything can happen between now and then. I’ll just take things as they come for now.

Favourite quote?
Tricky, I don’t really remember quotes. But Holly Hobby was on my sister’s wall when we were kids. “Start each day in a happy way” has stuck with me. Thanks Holly!

Where can we find you?
nstagram and twitter @pikeletjen

jen collage


meet a mama – georga from pure poppet

When my customers started asking for non-toxic make up for kids, free of the usual nasties, I did some searching and discovered this clever young mama and her beautiful brand that is just the perfect fit!  Meet Georga and her lovely little family.

georga profileTell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I am a mother to two daughters, a wife to a high school sweetheart and the business owner of Pure Poppet. After almost 15 years living in Sydney after finishing school, my husband and I moved back to our home town to bring up our children in the quieter (but still lots of fun) streets of Adelaide. It was here that I had the opportunity to start Pure Poppet which was inspired by my two girls. Now I juggle working on the business, ensuring I’m up to date with all those notes that come home from school, being loving to my husband, feeding the whole lot of us and every now and then walking our much loved hounds. A true juggler (as I suspect most mums are these days!). 

Georga dogs

Who inspires you?
Small business owners of the world. I love reading about other people’s successes and am amazed at how generous most of them are with helping out others in the same situation. I am part of some online groups for Mums in business and the knowledge and support that these women are willing to provide to each other without ever meeting in person is fantastic. 

What can’t you live without?
Weekends with my family, great friends and some yummy food (and often a glass or two of wine will be included in that!). This time away from the daily routines and work life is really important.

georga girl eyes

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I’m not really a blog reader but am totally addicted to Instagram – I could update it every 5 minutes if I was allowed. I love the small snippets of other people’s lives and thoughts. I follow Louise from Table Tonic who not only has amazing homewares to share but also shows her brilliant salads pretty much everyday and also Sarah Wilson with her successful “I Quit Sugar” campaign.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Pampering, pampering, pampering! (if only!) I do love a good massage or half an hour alone having my nails done and since having children these alone moments are so rare that I do try to appreciate them. But when alone time isn’t possible then spare time involves taking the girls to the park, the beach, for icecream or chilling out with friends. I’m also quite partial to a good dose of crappy reality TV – anything with “The Real Housewives of….” in the title usually sucks me in!

georga girls beach

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Prepare food in double batches that can be frozen. I love nothing better than to know that tonight’s dinner is something already prepared and I don’t have to think about it. As for sanity tips – see spare time answer – pampering, pampering, pampering – us mamas really don’t get half as much as we deserve!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully running a successful business that has employees so I don’t have to do everything! Showing our girls some of the world and in general continuing to enjoy what life has to offer.

Georga girl 1

What is your favourite quote?
Nothing specific really but totally believe in the idea that if you don’t give something a go you may regret it and life shouldn’t be about regrets but about taking interesting paths. Don’t be scared, just jump!

Where can we find you?
Instagram is @purepoppet if there are other addicts out there!

meet a mama – leanne from getaway guru (& juggler!)

This lovely mama will have you dreaming of France and Italy and other idyllic holiday destinations around the globe.  Her family album photos leave me positively green with envy.  So, for now, I am imagining I’m in Paris  … waiter!

Here is Leanne from Getaway Guru …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Hi, I’m Leanne. I should introduce myself as a juggler because when I started to write this, there were a lot of balls in the air. But I think there’s lot of mamas like that too!

last day picnic lunch in Paris under beautiful skies at the Eiffel Tower

I work in my own business (more about that later); work part time as a HR consultant; am mother to 2 boys with all the sport and homework accoutrements that brings and am married to a gorgeous man that I spent 3 ½ years travelling with, much of that in a campervan and then a panelvan so we knew if we could still get on after that, then marriage would be a cinch!

leanne a family in rome

I balance all this with travel…I love it.  Which is why anyone who knows me was not surprised when I launched my own business about 2 years ago. I am the founder and owner of Getaway Guru, a business specialising in Australian and New Zealand owned holiday rentals in France and Italy – a truly gorgeous business.

We currently live on the North Shore of Sydney but just in the midst of a ‘sea-change’ – moving closer to the beach! (so yes it’s pretty hectic at the moment)

Who inspires you?
My family – immediate and extended. I come from a large family  – my parents had 5 kids and my mum and dad each came from large families. So you can imagine – lots of Aunts and Uncles and lots of cousins and the great thing is we’re in touch and we’re close.

leanne a - boys

They inspire me because things are not always easy for everyone. But I see the love and determination and support that the family offers each other as people struggle and rise above the challenges that life throws at them.

I truly count my blessings with my family. My mother and father in particular offer love and support in so many ways – practical and otherwise and I couldn’t have done a lot of the things in my life without their support (and offers to look after my children which I know I am very lucky to have).

Business wise I am inspired by the woman of the Table of Fabulousness. I feel so lucky to have met and to be able to network with a group of business women who are each defining their own success and generously share their expertise and insights. I have learnt so much!

What can’t you live without?
Books – paper books or kindle books. I usually have a few on the go.

And a plan for my next holiday (usually begin planning soon after the last one!)

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
Styling You – I love this blog for 2 reasons – one, very practical, styling advice for busy mums and also because Nikki has won awards for her blog and I always learn so much from reading her blog and the different ways she has of connecting with her community.

Renovating Italy – the blog of Lisa and her family and their journey from Australia to life in Italy, where they are renovating not one but two properties!

Valerie Khoo – I love that Valerie turned her passion for writing into a hugely successful business with a global reach (Australian Writers Centre). I love the stories of entrepreneurs she shares weekly.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
I love the beach, reading, drinking coffee, eating out, drinking champagne, watching my children have fun together (not always the case!) and sometimes these can all come together in a perfect day!

leanne a champagne

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
We have a weekly calendar (on the fridge) which details each of the boys activities for the week so that they know, for example, which day they have activities like PE or after school cricket training on, so they can be prepared and make sure they have everything they need in their bags.

I don’t know about other mammas, but one of the arguments we most often have, is who’s turn it is! We have a roster on the fridge (yes, lots of stuff on our fridge) so that the boys can easily see who’s turn it is for shower 1st, or who has to unpack the dishwasher etc. Just means we can quickly put an end to any potential fights!

leanne a - vietnamWhere do you see yourself in 5 years?
Living near the beach, enjoying ocean swimming and running my fabulous business which will then be offering Australian and NZ owned properties world wide!

What is your favourite quote?
‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step’ Lao-tzu

It reminds me not to get overwhelmed at all that need to be done, just to take the first step!

Where can we find you?
Twitter @yourgetawayguru

meet a mama – tanya from additive free pantry

Here is a mama who is helping to change the world day by day by guiding the rest of us to make informed choices about what we feed our kids.  I recently purchased Tanya’s terribly handy “additive free lunch box ideas” and can highly recommend it.  Be sure to check out her site and facebook page after you read the interview.  They are well worth a visit.

Here is Tanya.

Tell us about you, fabulous you!
I am a mum to 3 children, Kelsea, Kade and Fletcher. I have been married to my husband, Jason for 12 years on Easter Sunday this year.

tanya & family b and w

Currently we live in Singleton in The Hunter Valley, NSW. My household is additive free therefore whomever eats within gets real food at every meal 🙂

I work from home to inspire mums and dads to make informed choices about what food we feed our children. My business, Additive Free Pantry was created to help parents understand what harmful food additive can do to our children. I love what I do and I love it more when I get emails from people who have made changes and seen the improvements within their children, whether that be health related or behaviour related.

tanya family

Who inspires you?
My mum, she is such a real, down to earth woman who tells it like it is, though she supports me 100%. Blessed I am! I also LOVE Louise Hay, my world is so much better, all because she has shared her knowledge and gratitude.

What can’t you live without?
Firstly, my contacts…a good cup of organic chai tea, Ellen (love her generosity, it makes my heart sing) and my family of course. My husband may say my phone…and he would probably be right!

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I like Wellness Warrior by Jess Ainscough and my good friend Collette’s blog Cut out the Crap. I must admit my time for blog reading is a little limited.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Love a good movie. I can do action, thriller, rom com and drama, though I’m not good on horror. I enjoy eating out at the very few Organic cafes in my area. Oh and shopping…

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Most Sundays I bake in large quantities on the weekend for the school week ahead. I freeze and pre pack ready for the week. I choose easy, fast and additive free. Also I have stopped trying to be able to do everything. We women need to stop feeling guilty about doing it all and having it all and that means to also stop judging other mums. Be you…you do it the best!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
On Oprah…I like to dream big 🙂

What is your favourite quote?
I love quotes. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  by Mahatma Gandhi would be my favourite. My mum gave that to me as a fridge magnet when I first started Additive Free Pantry.

be the change


Where can we find you?

tanya logo



meet a mama – deni from free range living

I first met Deni 5 years ago when she bounded up to me at a market and introduced herself as Mrs Chicken!  She is vibrant, bright and terribly creative.  Since that meeting I have watched her go on to launch a fabulous business Free Range Living – a concept I just love.  I happen to think you might just love it too…deni profile

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Hi, I am Deni Fowle, aka Mrs Chicken.  I have the most wonderful supportive husband Nathan, 2 scrumptious kids Amalia who is almost 7 and Tae who is 4.

We live in Kurnell, a unique seaside village on Sydney’s southern beaches, along from Cronulla, and the location of the first landing place of Captain James Cook and the Endeavour, back in 1770.

deni & family

I studied Psychology at uni, and after working in Juvenile Justice and Youth Mental Health for ten years, I opened my own private practice in 2011.

I am also very lucky to be able to work with my other passion – design and hand crafts, in my business Free Range Living.  FRL is a creative business that I run with my sister, Loren, who is also a mum of 2 year old twins, and an Interior Designer. At FRL we run a Creative Learning School, with casual sessions, skills workshops and parties in our CreativiTea Cafe, and we also have a retail emporium full of gorgeous Australian made gifts, fashion and home wares.
deni & partnerdeni businessWho inspires you?
People who create things themselves – from the design, drawings on paper, to generating technical drawings, hand crafting their designs themselves, and working with others face to face, to teach or develop their products.

I probably don’t say this often, but my husband inspires me, with what he has achieved throughout our house and landscaping our backyard.

I am very passionate about Australian Made – and we are very lucky to work closely in FRL, with many of our designers, who join us for our craft social group on Tuesdays, and run workshops with us, passing on their skills and knowledge.

What can’t you live without?
My craft – particularly my crochet – it’s my therapy

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I love Lisa’s blog The Red Thread, and I love Natalie Halyar’s Eat Read Love

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Spare time?? Well, I do try to get some crochet in of an evening when I am watching tv.  I also love to organise trips with the family when I am not in the shop. We have a family house in Ulladulla, on the South Coast, and I love spending time down there, going to the beach, and shopping in Milton.

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Using my Mindfullness Skills – literally focusing my attention on what I am doing in the present moment, what the priority task at hand is, and not allowing myself to get distracted by my mind wandering off in another direction.

For example, I am not a morning person, and quite often am running late to get my daughter to school and myself to the shop,

I realised that I was getting distracted in the shower, by thoughts on what the day held ahead of me, or financial problem solving, next thing 15-20 minutes has disappeared – so I practice my Mindfullness in the shower, to just get the shower done in a timely manner, and get on with the morning.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I like to dream big – I have a vision that we will open Free Range Living Centres in other key locations around Sydney, NSW and beyond.  I already have a couple of spots in mind 🙂

deni business 2What is your favourite quote?
Luceat Lux Vestra – was my school motto and means “Let Your Light Shine”

Where can we find you?
Free Range Living is currently located at Shop 1, 2-4 Prince Charles Parade, Kurnell, opposite the Kamay Botany Bay National Park.

You can also find us on;

meet a mama – julia from the business bakery

I am often asked how I find the motivation and time to do what I do.  Working alone from home is not always peachy so one of my little “tips” is to surround yourself, even remotely or virtually, with people who inspire and drive you.  Julia Bickerstaff is one of these people for me.  She is terribly smart and terribly funny – two of my favourite traits in a person! She has an amazing business designed to assist and inspire mamas in small business just like me (and maybe you?). I reckon you’re going to love her. 

Meet Julia (the other one);

julia b profile

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Work-wise I run The Business Bakery. It’s an online business helping women (with small businesses) make a healthy income doing work they love. Right now I’m writing our “Healthy Income Program” and “Healthy Income Cookbook”. I’m also the Finance Expert on Channel 7s Kochies Business Builders, am a regular on ABCNews24 and I write weekly columns for digital publications such as Smartcompany and Flying Solo. I’m a published author (“How to Bake a Business”) and I work privately with a number of well known businesses. Oh yes, and I do a fair amount of public speaking too.

julia b family

Away from work I’m Mum to four children: 3 boys aged 11, 9 and 7 and a little girl who’s just turned 2. Yes we took the gamble.  I also have a gorgeous and indispensable husband and a cute but quite unnecessary dog.

julia b girl

We live in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs but hail from England. I came here at the end of 1995 for a 2 year trip, met my English hubby and we just sort of stayed. Every so often we toy with the idea of going back ‘ome. But then we look at the weather and think again.

My kids are all soccer mad (including the little girl, sigh) so I spend every afternoon ferrying them to training. And I do mean every afternoon. Plus we have six matches on a Saturday and two on a Sunday. Even in the off season. Home life is so very unrelaxing. But I love it.

julia b kids

Marrying all this up, my philosophy was to design my work to fit around (and fund!) my family and make it flexible in case we wanted to upsticks and venture back to pom land. And then I realised it’s actually what a lot of other Mums wanted to do too. So I took my business background (ex Partner at Global Consulting firm Deloitte) and created stuff to help us all do it. The Business Bakery was born.

Who inspires you?
Gosh, lots of people.  Can’t possibly name them all so here are three favourites:

Martha Stewart. You might not know this but early in her business life she gave ‘housewives’ a channel through which to sell their home made food and craft. She did this by doing deals with shops to supply hampers etc of home made produce and she sourced it from women baking at home. This doesn’t sound like a big deal now but back in the ’60s and ’70s it was revolutionary. Since then of course she became the first person to build a billion dollar business out of ‘lifestyle’. I got to meet her a year ago and quite frankly she’s an amazing-looking-super-brain. Oh yes and she’s 70+ with oodles of energy. Can I have some?

Anna Wintour. She’s the editor of US Vogue and I really admire her no-shit attitude. Wish I had a little more of it. She also (like Martha) applied her business head to a ‘fluffy’ industry which I reckon is super-tough. My sister dated Anna’s step-son for years but I didn’t ‘discover’ her until after they had broken up. Doh!

Nigella Lawson. She inspired me to get into the kitchen. Enough said.

Other famous ones inspirations include Stephen Fry, Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry, Sara Blakely, and Helen Mirren. On the not-so, or maybe even not-yet, famous I’m totally inspired by the very many women who run small businesses. I include you there Julia Whitney (aaaaawe, thanks!), and the gorgeous Alexx Stuart, Cindy Luken, Sara Lucas, Suellen Hughes, and …..oh my,  there are just so many I’d like to mention. I’m also completely inspired by my kids. But I’ll stop there before this becomes an Oscar’s speech.

What can’t you live without?
Books. Paper books, Kindle books, e-books. I don’t care. I just LOVE books. Oh yes. And my kids, mascara (I look very odd without it) ice cream, and  – as i’ve lately realised – sleep.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
Yes! I love reading and learning and would be so much more productive if I didn’t have my head in a bloomin’ blog or book all the time.  My fave blogs are:

Seth Godin (makes me think)
Copyblogger (makes me write)
Mrs Woog (makes me laugh)
Martha Stewart (makes me wonder how she gets so much stuff done)
Nigella Lawson (makes me bake)
Sarah Wilson (makes me stop baking)

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Ideally: curled up with a book and a cup of tea.
Real life: laughing with my kids

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Right now my life saver is The Dinner Ladies and a couple of their home-cooked-delivered meals each week. My other little time-saver is that my boys (aged 7,9 and 11) now put their own washing away. They hate doing it. But  then again, so do I.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I asked my eldest son this question and he said we’d be living in England ‘cos he’d be playing football for Liverpool FC. Me? I’d settle for running a great little business, helping other little businesses, being a Mum.

What is your favourite quote?
Oh just one? That’s tough. I like ” The grass is greenest where you water it” because it reminds me to focus on watering my business and my family, rather than, um, Facebook.

Where can we find you?
Please pop over to, and chat with us on Facebook and twitter @juliabickerstaf

 julia b logo


meet a mama – alexx – real food. low tox living.

You may have noticed me talking more and more about ‘clean eating’ and trying to help give my kids the best, healthiest (and yummiest) start in life.  One of the great influences behind this shift in my thinking is this lovely lady … I seem to have her voice in my head whenever shop or cook these days!

Alexx has a great way of educating us about food and the choices we make, without judging us about past choices.  The last thing we all need is more mother guilt but I, for one, can always use more information and enlightenment!

I hope you enjoy meeting, and learning from, Alexx as much as I have.

alexx portrait

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I’m Alexx. I have a neat lil family of 3. We adore our little Mr 3 year old and live in Sydney’s east. My mum and dad moved us over from Europe / USA stints as Dad was an expat when I was little.

I was born in London to a French / Mauritian Mum and a British Dad.  7 generations ago, my ancestor Alexander Macleay was a British born Aussie too, a well known explorer and owner of most of Elizabeth Bay / Potts Point – Hard to imagine! Wish they’d kept a bit – even just Elizabeth Bay House. hehe.

I do lots of stuff – trying to narrow that down to finding that beautiful balance where passion and earning money might collide. I have an events business, a hospitality coaching business, social media comms consulting and my beloved personal blog where I write recipes, articles and share inspiration for living a low tox life filled with delicious real food.


Who inspires you?
So many people. Inspiration is everywhere if you’re looking. My son inspires me, my facebook community inspires me, my parents inspire me for picking it all up and trying a new country way back when. In terms of well known people, I find Jamie Oliver super inspiring, as someone trying to reach a wide target of people to inspire to create positive, delicious change. The way to attract new people to healthy eating isn’t by counting calories and scaring people with niche extreme changes. I truly believe it’s by getting people cooking in the kitchen with real food and admire the people who make the journey empowering and fun. It’s certainly what I try to do, as best I can. Michael Pollan is awesome too, Ita Buttrose goes without saying, Seth Godin the master shaker upperer, and of course lots of friends with their own businesses building beautiful little empires out of their passion and dreams.

What can’t you live without?
Enjoying really good food with good people. Laughs from little people. Creativity. Dreams. Good conversation. Ere Perez mascara. Chanson Chlorine shower filter from Nourished Life. Those last two changed my life. Itchy eyes ever since I can remember – must have been the coal tar. Funny that. Re shower, always had blotchy red patches after showers. Popped the shower filter on et voila – no more! Amazing.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I don’t have a favourite. I love to just read around depending on the subject I’m looking up. Favourite sites are Huff Post Living / Green, Food Matters, Healthy Child Healthy World, Food Revolution.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
I am a research geek. I read up to the minute medical books, nutrition stuff, papers, studies. I also love swimming in the ocean. The ocean wipes stress from the minute your head plunges under the water. There’s nothing that makes me feel as serene as that. Shame I find the winter too cold for swimming!

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Plan and batch – Never make only what you need for one meal. Always at least double one of the veg, the meat, the whole dish to use / rework the next day. If you make twice as much for dinner as you need, half the week, then you’ve cut your kitchen time overall by 25%. That’s mind blowing when you stop to think of that as an overall impact for a busy family.

Have a Sunday Chop fest so you can ‘pop it all in’ like the cooking shows when you actually need. I actually did a little post on it on my blog.

alexx chicken soup

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
As a writer and educator in the wellness space, continuing to use my sales skills to help ethical brands create better engagement and teams find a more captivating way to tell their story.

I want to let the woman buying Shapes and Yogo ‘treats’ for her kids, know that we were lied to. They’re not treats at all. I want to help her, and many others realise that by redefining deliciousness, broadening the vocab of what we know and cooking with our families, we can have more fun, better health and more empowerment than one could ever imagine from shopping the middle of a supermarket. It’s exciting. One at a time and whatever each person’s pace for change, I want to help. Can’t think about much else these days!

alexx sunshine salad

What is your favourite quote?
One favourite quote? My lordy that’s a toughy. I do love Henry Ford’s Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you’re right’ – So very true. Why don’t you let it be you!? I also love Oprah’s theory on choosing people to surround yourself with that will lift you up. If you’re doing all the lifting all the time, you eventually get dragged down too.

Where can we find you?
twitter / instagram @Alexx_Stuart
community facebook page