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;
Facebook
Website

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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 www.thebusinessbakery.com.au, 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.

ALEXX POSTER

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. http://alexxstuart.com/10-kitchen-shortcuts

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?
website
twitter / instagram @Alexx_Stuart
community facebook page

meet a mama – sue from style my child

As a busy mama and small business owner myself, I am a huge fan of anyone who can gather all the most fabulous stuff for kids and pop it all in one spot for me.  Sue does just that, all with fabulous flair, on Style My Child.  Oh, and she has four (count ’em) kids!  Meet Sue …

sue

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I’m Sue. I was born in North Yorkshire, England and came to Sydney with my Mum, Dad and younger brother when I was 5 years old. My parents went on to have three more little Australians making me the eldest of five kids. I wasn’t overly pleased with being part of such a large family at the time but now that I’m older, I absolutely love it!

After travelling and becoming a Horticulturist, I met my husband who I have now been married to for 13 years. Obviously the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as I now have my own large family consisting of me, my husband Scott, Blake (13), Sarah (10), Lachlan (7), Lucas (1), Leo the cat and Bonnie the Pug dog.

sue-and-scott

the-mundy-kids

I love new technology and have always had a keen interest in web design and development. When I discovered I was pregnant with Lucas, a few of my girlfriends convinced me it was time to combine the geek in me with my love of all things kids! This was how Style My Child came about. Eighteen months on, I’m a busy, generally disorganised stay-at-home Mum with a brood, a blog and no idea what will happen next! Life is pretty awesome.

our-home

Who inspires you?
Creative people and anyone with an ‘I can do this’ attitude always inspires me. My kids are also a constant source of inspiration (and laughter) too.

What can’t you live without?
My family, friends, pets, sushi, books, Ribena, cheese, my favourite sunnies and most of all, those toddler safety devices you stick on your cupboards!

bonnie-the-pug

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I’m an avid blog reader when I have time. A few of my favourites are Fat Mum Slim, Colour Me There, The Organised Housewife (I do try) and Woogsworld.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Hanging with friends and family, gardening, reading, shopping and rearranging the furniture.

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Ummm… nope, I’ve got nothing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Blake will probably be driving (yikes!) and Lucas will have started school so I’m hoping I’ll have more time to do the things I love. Style My Child will still excite me and I’m looking forward to watching it continue to grow. I also hope to have started saving towards a fabulous trip to Paris. Being mortgage free and 10 kilos lighter would also be pretty cool (although unlikely!).

What is your favourite quote?
I don’t really have a favourite quote but I do love the poem Desiderata by Max Ehrmann.

Where can we find you?
The local second hand book shop or…

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

leo-the-cat

meet a mama – martha from crave good food

Every month I meet with an amazing group of women at the Table of Fabulousness.  We are all women with our own businesses, most small, some not so small.  I’ve met some inspiring women along the way, women with get up and go and fabulous creative spirits.

One of them is Martha.  Martha is about to launch her new business so what better time and place to share her story (be sure to read right to the bottom and you just might win one of two fabulous prizes valued at $99 each – you can thank me later).

Before you meet Martha, here’s a bit about her biz …

Crave Good Food is an online destination for discovering delectable food produced by passionate independent food makers & producers from our local & regional communities.

Are you dreaming about that sweet vanilla fudge you tasted in Mudgee or the hand-made granola you had for breakfast in Bowral or craving for more of the artisan choc truffles you received from your Aunt in Tassie? 😉

Each month, Crave Good Food delivers to your door, a surprise Tasting Box of delicious full-sized products that reflect the passion & dedication of their food makers.  Guaranteed to satisfy!

Treat yourself to their tasty December box or better still, gift a Tasting Box experience to your foodie friends or employees for Christmas.

martha profile

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Hello – I’m Martha.  Seven years ago, I made a conscious decision to put the corporate career on hold to raise my two children – my cheeky Dean (71/2) & my little lady Stephanie (41/2).  I moved from Melbourne to Sydney to be with my hubby, Bill of 13 years.  We met on a Contiki tour, would you believe?  I’m a lapsed PR & Corporate Relations Pro who recently took a daring leap to start my online business.  The whole idea was to do something I’m super passionate about, that will add value to those I serve & keep me sane.  I also share my house with Ricky the English Staffie, Occy the blue Indian-ring neck & a tank full of pretty, fresh water fish.

martha kids

Who inspires you?
I get inspired by self-starters, motivational leaders & generally people that show compassion towards others.  But my true inspiration comes from the stories & experiences of my real friendships & great family.  It’s amazing what you learn when you connect & spend quality time with those that are dear to you – particularly those who are older & much wiser.  I have also benefited from the unconditional support & guidance of a mentor for over 20 years.  This priceless relationship has aided my career & self-development in so many ways that I feel it’s my duty to reach out & inspire others in return.

What can’t you live without?
I can’t live without my children’s hugs & ‘I love you’s’, family gatherings, deep sleep, Melbourne trips, tasty good food, my female friendships, lip gloss, my hubby’s sense of humour, faith & hope.  Oh, did I say mention good food 😉

martha crave food

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I love blogs that are both visually beautiful & provide good content.  Some include Mastin Kipp’s The Daily Love, Marie Forleo, Absolutely Beautiful Things, The Business Bakery, Gourmet Traveller, Interiors Addict, Spoonflower, A Beautiful Mess, to name a few.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Spare time?  Admittedly, I’m not great at ‘switching off’ & life is pretty full right now.  I’m content with little pleasures such as playing Scrabble on the iphone with friends, making time to actually listen & enjoy my kids’ company, girly dinner nights, quick cafe breaks between school runs, talking ‘foodie talk’ with my interstate sister-in-law, making my popular cheese triangles & web surfing blogs & articles. And sometimes, there’s no time for any of above too!

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Don’t stress the small stuff.
Remember, you are not alone.
Let your kids take more responsibility around the house; their future partners will thank you for it.
Note to myself: stop worrying about what the kids will or won’t eat at the dinner table.  If they get hungry enough, they’ll eat anything!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully, healthy & happy, settled in Melbourne, with a thriving small business that allows me to make a little difference to someone’s day through my love of good food.

What is your favourite quote?
I have far too many favourites!  However, being a perfectionist, I often have to remind myself, that to make progress in work & in life, ‘good enough IS good enough’ or similarly ‘done is better than perfect.’  Only this week, did my fab web designer Melanie, hint to me the same advice via an on line article titled: “F**k it, ship it.”  I love people who say it as it is.

Where can we find you?
Website (officially launching later this week but you can order now through facebook)
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter: @cravegoodfood

Martha is generously giving away 2 of her fabulous tasting boxes – one for you and one for a foodie buddy!  That’s over $99 worth of foodie loveliness.  Thanks Martha!

Just tell us what ‘surprise’ gourmet delight you’d love to find in your tasting box, and why you’d like your foodie friend to receive one.  Add comments below and we’ll draw a lucky winner this Sunday night (16th December) at 8pm EST.  Open to Australian residents only.

martha crave box

meet a mama – patricia from ‘hope for ollie’

If you love handmade stuff for your kids and are looking for a fab little outfit for Christmas, check Hope for Ollie.  You’ll get some gorgeous quality clothing and the extra feel good factor of knowing you are supporting a very worthy cause and a fellow hard working mama.  I just got a fab pair of shorts for one of my boys and I am desperately trying to think of an excuse to buy one of those cuuuu-uuute little girly skirts!

Meet Patricia … we think she’s a bit of a star.

patricia family

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
My name is Patricia and I live in Sydney. I’m married to my soul mate Tim, and have two children, Emily aged 5 and Ollie aged 2. We also have a dog named Humphrey who spends most of his time sleeping in the sun (half his luck)!

Who inspires you?
My children are my inspiration. I want to be a good role model for them and teach them to the look at the positives in every situation or challenge they face.

What can’t you live without?
Coffee and chocolate.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
There are so many to choose from. If I had to narrow it down I think bubcentral, kidspot and practical parenting would be my favourite blogs as they always have useful tips and information for us busy mums. I also enjoy blogs from sewjournal and mummycrafts as they are full of creative ideas.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
In my spare time I run HopeforOllie – I sew children’s clothing and accessories to raise money for The Institute of Neuroscience and Muscle Research at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

My little man Ollie was diagnosed with DMD at 10 weeks. It is a genetic condition which causes muscles to become weak and breakdown. It means Ollie’s life expectancy will be cut short as his heart function and breathing will deteriorate over time. He will need full time care and a wheel chair to get around unless a cure is found.

patricia ollie

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Load the washing machine the night before and then hit the start button as soon as you wake up (or better yet put it on a timer). Hopefully you’ll get a load on the line before school drop off!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Currently HopeforOllie has donated approximately $10,000 in 2 years. I think in 5 years time there will be more volunteers on board to help with fundraising as I spend more time caring and looking after Ollie’s needs.

What is your favourite quote?
If you snooze you lose.

Where can we find you?
At a fabric store or chained to the sewing machine!

Or …

Website
Facebook
Twitter: @HopeforOllie

patricia ollie clothes

patricia olli clothes 2

meet a mama – karen from glottogon

Karen is the founder of fab Sydney company Glottogon (Glo-tog-uh-nn (noun) from Greek meaning “tongue, language” and “generation”) who design and produce the most delightful range of puzzles books and activity cards you ever did see. (You can find them in our little store now!).  In the meantime, here’s Karen …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I am Karen; Scottish by birth – although I sound as if I have never left and I am certain the accent will be with me forever!

I have lived in Sydney since 2004, I’m married to Sam and we have a little girl and baby boy – Ollie 3 & Dims 9 months.

Life is hectic, fun and very (VERY!) noisy – which we think is wonderful and thankfully our neighbors are generally supportive.

Who inspires you?
On a day to day basis, the team of illustrators and designers who work on our Glottogon products.  They take all my garbled ideas, sketches and madness then turn it all into beautiful, unique collections – amazing!

For always and forever, my parents.  They taught me to dream and I hope I can pass that passion on to my children. Dreams are without boundaries, they grow as we do and we should all be helped to reach for them.

What can’t you live without?
Apart from Sam and the kids I think I would need to say my laptop.  I miss it when it’s not beside me.  When it’s in another room I start to get anxious in case I miss something!

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
Lots …however to list just 3

Bellamumma
Life In A Pink Fibro
Woogsworld

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Trying to find some!  When I can, I flip/read/scan through every magazine I can lay my hands on.  I LOVE glossy magazines, always have, ever since I was a teenager – I have been known to intently pore over junk mail pullouts if the pictures look good.  There is something quite addictive about hearing the pages turn, reading the featured stories, and then there are the fashion shoots.

Magazines are even better than my laptop, I think, which means I am showing my age. I can sound very last century sometimes!

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Online shopping – why push the supermarket trolley when it can be delivered to you?!?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My life has changed so much in the last 5 years I truly cannot imagine the next 5. Simply, I wish that our home is still full of happy, mayhem and that business is good enough that I can indulge in every magazine on this planet!

What is your favourite quote?
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them – Walt Disney

Where can we find you?
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest