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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tout le Monde NZ




~ Something for Everyone ~
Let's chat with Kristi from Tout le Monde NZ


About...
My name is Kristi and I am a work at home mum and ‘house executive’. In September, my husband and I will be celebrating 15 years of marriage and we have three awesome little girls – Keira (7), Maia (4) and Anika (18 months).
Before Keira was born, I was a primary school teacher at a local intermediate; a job, which I loved, and that I thought I would return quickly to. It wasn’t long before I realised that I loved being at home with her and I was lucky enough to stay at home with all of my girls.
I didn’t start teacher training until after I got married, so prior to that I worked in customer service and managerial roles.



Crochet Shoes



Starting Tout le Monde...
After the birth of our third daughter, I wanted to be able to contribute financially to my family again, and to give my brain a much needed workout, but I still wanted to be able to do something from home.
I wanted to find great products that I knew my three girls and/or their cousins and friends would enjoy. My mission is to provide great products for excellent prices, especially for babies and children.




Wall Decals


Naming...
Tout le Monde loosely translated means 'Something for Everyone' and that is what I am striving to achieve. In the beginning, I had a few ideas of items that I would like to sell, but I didn’t want to pigeonhole what we were, so that if we changed track, our business name would still make sense. The business name is also a nod to my mother who loves everything about France!




Stamp Sets


Daily...
I check my emails before the children wake up and then do the usual breakfast/lunch preparation. Do the school and kindy drop off and come home and play with bubs, do some housework, prepare and eat lunch with Anika and then pop her into bed for her nap. This usually gives me 2 hours to settle down and ‘work’, packaging up orders, returning emails and messages from customers, researching new products and networking with other businesses. Then it’s the school pick up and organised chaos until the girl’s bedtime! I usually spend another hour or so after they are in bed catching up on correspondence and then I try and spend some quality time with my husband.



Animal Crafts

Owning...
I love that the buck stops with me. If there are any issues, it is up to me to sort them out.
I feel incredibly lucky to be home with our children and to be able to work around the children’s needs.
It’s a great feeling to be able to connect with people throughout the country and make new contacts and friends with both other business owners and customers.
It’s fabulous to be able to give back to the community. I have been privileged to donate to and support a number of fundraising ventures for children in need. That has made me very happy.



Happy Hair Washing


Motivation...
Caffeine? No, seriously, when things are tough, my girls keep me motivated. Having been at home for them all of their lives, I also wanted them to see that I am more than just a mum and to demonstrate working habits to them, and I really wanted to be able to earn extra money so that we can afford more than just the necessities of life for them. You know, all of the extras, especially once they reach school age.



Wall Decals


Advice...
Follow your heart and believe in yourself. Ask for help if you need it, although I’m not great at following my own advice! I’m shocking at asking for help!



Ballet Shoes


Relaxing...
I try to make sure that the hubby and I have some quality time in the evening. That usually means relaxing on the couch watching television that we both enjoy. There are a few things that have taken a backseat which I am keen to start again soon, such as a structured daily exercise routine and a night out with girlfriends on a more regular basis than once in a blue moon!



Door Jambers


From here...
My goals for the near future are to take the plunge and develop a website for Tout le Monde NZ. This is my next immediate focus, so keep an eye out for a website from us in the coming months. I also want to continue to grow my customer base and to provide fantastic customer service. I really enjoy getting to know our future and current customers.



Baby Rattles


Connecting and buying...
Facebook ~ www.facebook.com/ToutleMondeNZ
Email ~ toutlemondenz@yahoo.co.nz
Trade Me ~ toutlemonde76
Thank you so much Kristi for a $20 voucher to giveaway! Please pop over to my Liked by Becky Facebook Page to find out how to enter.




Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Kid Lidz




Gorgeous & fun crochet accessories for kids!
It is lovely to introduce Rachel from Kid Lidz


Five fun facts about me...
1. I’m a stay at home mum to two beautiful boys Lyell (3.5 years) and Cooper (1.5 years).
2. I’ve been with my husband now for 8 years and we’ve been married for 4.5 years
3. I graduated from Otago University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science majoring in neuroscience
4. I want to go back to study when my kids aren’t preschoolers anymore, and I want to become a midwife
5. While I crochet for my biz, I can’t knit at all!!! But I’d love to learn, when I eventually have time again.
 

Owls


Starting...
Kid Lidz started when I was home with Lyell. He was about 8 months old and I started to need something else that seemed productive other than changing 100 dirty nappies and tidying things that were going to get dirty again. Crafting was that release and I started with quilting. Crochet was the next thing I tried and I love it!! I put my creations on Lyell and gifted a few to other friends all of whom said I should sell my creations. I was lucky enough to know a couple of lovely ladies who started Miracle Dunedin (a baby boutique) and they were more than happy to take a chance on Kid Lidz and it’s just grown from there.



Explorer


Naming...
I had a brain storming session with my family and my dad came up with it. I knew that I only really wanted to stick with hats, and he was thinking about all the slang names for them…skid lids for helmets and it turned into Kid Lidz.



Fox


Daily...
We don’t really have one, just go with the flow and what the kids want to do. We try to get out each day for a walk and I’ve just started running 3-4 times a week which has been really awesome. The boys also spend 8 hours a week in daycare which allows be some time to focus on Kid Lidz without being interrupted. I mostly crochet when they’re napping/playing quietly and after they’re in bed at night.



Houndstooth


Owning...
I love having the ability to work the hours that I want to, and the hours that work for me and my family. If the boys are sick or just want more attention, I can adjust my week to accommodate them. Also it’s so awesome to see how far it’s come in the last 3 years and know that it’s all because of my hard work.



Owl Hat


Designing and making...
I make all of my hats from 100% NZ wool. I have designed most of my ‘Creatures’ designs myself, but the others come from talented designers such as Liz from Playin’ Hooky. Most patterns come from America where their most popular yarn is thicker than ours so I have to adapt every pattern I buy...it’s time consuming but means that my hats are unique to my style.



Baby Owls


Motivation...
I enjoy the ability to say “look what I made today”. I’m a really motivated person so it’s fairly easy for me. I’m part of quite a few biz groups on facebook where I can share my ideas/have a moan about the latest things happening which help to get it out and stay motivated. It can become quite lonely working from home with only small people for company.



Boys Owls


Advice... 
Think about the time that you have, and make sure you’re doing something that you love as you’ll ultimately spend a lot of time agonising over if it’s all worth it. Talk to others in business for themselves…it’s not all beer and skittles but if you’re really keen it’s awesome!!! Also keep organised!!! I have a to do list for each week both for Kid Lidz and other aspects of my life. I find it easier to plan for the week rather than the day as things change very quickly in a day!

Relaxing...
Crochet (it’s handy for that reason), reading books or hanging out with the family or friends (usually with wine) help to keep me relaxed.



Offshore



From here...
Kid Lidz evolves with my family, the beauty of it is I can do as little or as much as I like. Ultimately I’d like to have it stocked in a few more boutiques, but as I don’t want to move away from the handmade in NZ feel of the biz, it’ll all depend on the time that I have.



Rachel Crocheting


Connecting and buying...
My website has my complete range www.kidlidz.co.nz and my Kid Lidz Facebook page is an awesome place to see sneak peeks of things I’ve been up to. Also my instagram feed @kidlidz is chocka of crochet and baby pics. You can email me anytime at kidlidz@gmail.com


++ Special offer ++
How exciting! Rachel has 8 custom spots available with 20% off and FREE shipping! Please email her kidlidz@gmail.com to order. Take advantage of this great offer and get your kids looking gorgeous and warm for winter. Thank you Rachel x

Stay on Track Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to ~ Kristi Spires & Angela Pickering ~ You have won a 6 month subscription to Stay on Track!



Saturday, 14 June 2014

EXCITED!



I am super excited here to find out that I have won the Best Business Service Award at The Baby View 2014 Awards!

Thank you so much to all of you who voted. It has been a fantastic year starting my blog and I hope to be able to support many many more businesses in the years to come.

Now TO CELEBRATE......






+ + Offer available until the end of June + +

For those of you who already have an advertising space, please feel free to take up this offer too!
To read more about my advertising rates please click here



Friday, 13 June 2014

HAZED Giveaway Winner


Congratulations to ~ Janelle Baine ~ You have WON an annual subscription to HAZED magazine! Thank you so much Hazel x



Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Stay on Track

Have a read about this amazing Mum who has set up a fantastic way of helping kids with Maths! I would love to introduce you to Sharlene from Stay on Track






About...
I am a passionate Mum of three,my children are Aslan(12), Katia(10) and Seth, my wee surprise baby (3).I am a woman who loves to laugh, read books, watch movies and see smiles on my children's faces.I live with endometriosis, which can be a bit of a battle at times, but has also taught me many things about myself.

I trained as a teacher at the Dunedin College of Education,doing all my practicums in Dunedin schools. As a family we then moved to Auckland where I have taught for several years. In my teaching I have always put a big emphasis on the relationship between home and school. I believe that if the parent is on board and they understand what is happening, then the child can excel in their work and feel fully supported while doing it- this is a strong premise for www.stayontrack.co.nz.

I have had a great relationship with my students parents but one thing that became clear to me is that parents who want to help their children, are often confused by the system and the teacher talk, so feel helpless as a result.

I feel very passionate about changing this and empowering parents, after all we are all in this together. This is why we offer a 5 day free trial and only ask for an email address. I want parents to know they have a choice, and that StayOnTrack is a great choice.


Starting Stay on Track...
My inspiration is my daughter Katia. I think that sometimes as busy parents it can take us a while to see what is happening on our own doorsteps,we expect that if anything is going wrong with our children that it will be brought to our attention. This is not always the case, one night I had managed to come home early and I was sitting with my daughter helping her with her maths. In a splash of terribly cold realisation, I could see that not only was she far behind in her mathematics but she was developing a "it's cause I'm stupid at maths" and a "maths sucks" attitude.

As a teacher and a mother, you could imagine I felt very guilty.

I knew that without the basic facts, Katia would never succeed in mathematics so I started creating fun, 15 minute worksheets. To get excellent at anything, including sports, you must practice everyday so that was the base line. I created worksheets at her level, that used the strategies of the New Zealand curriculum and had the sole focus of the foundation of all mathematics-basic facts.

I was impressed at how quickly she started to learn by practicing 15 minutes everyday and even more pleased at watching her enjoy what she was doing on the worksheets. I remember when she first came home with a big smile on her face to say she had done the best ever on a test at school! I may or may not have had a few private tears.

It dawned on me that I was lucky, I had the training to know where she needed to be and how to get her there, what happens to parents that want to help but have no idea where to start?

My husband really liked the worksheets and the ideas and motivation behind them, he is a home taught computer whizz and suggested I share these with other parents, ta-daa StayonTrack!!

I do suggest that every parent trial for free our worksheets, I have been stunned at how grateful parents are but not surprised that continual and sustained practice makes a massive difference. The great thing is you can pop these in front of your children while you are cooking tea, or driving to sports practice!





Naming...
At first we thought about having some crazy name, in the style of google but then we thought about what we were providing our parents- a way to help their children, straight forward and to the point and so we chose a name that was the same. It is important to our parents that their children stay on track in the course of their learning and so it is important to us. Hence StayOnTrack.


Daily...
I am still figuring that out! It tends to start with answering emails and working through a list my husband and I have decided needs to be done for the week. It is super hard to be structured but I try. Let's not forget that I also juggle three children as well so the worksheets have been just as useful for our family lifestyle as for anyone else lol.


Owning...
I get great satisfaction in the positive feedback I am getting from our parents. Next on the list will be blogs and videos to break down the teacher talk and to teach parents about the different levels and strategies. This should not be a mystery so if you pop onto www.stayontrack.co.nz, you can put in a topic that you want to know more about and we will address it, including questions to ask at parent/teacher interviews.

So many parents I have spoken to say they nod yes, yes, yes to the teacher and then leave wondering what that all meant and just clinging to the fact that maybe the teacher said their kid was doing well, I don't think this is good enough. When we buy an appliance we seek to know everything about it and how it can work for us, aren't our children so much more important than that?

An extra bonus is that I now get to spend three days a week at home with our son Seth. Any parent that works knows the struggle of putting your child into full time care,so finally being able to have this time is super precious.


Designing Stay on Track Resources...
Yes I do design them all myself, but I frequently bounce ideas off my husband and my teacher friends.

This can lead to some heated discussions but all ends in the production of quality resources and strategies being used in StayOntracks worksheets




Motivation... 
Everytime my children come home with another notice needing to pay for something at school, certainly helps!!:)

My prime motivation has been the distress of not only my daughter but also students I have had, when they know they are failing in mathematics.

I taught Year 8 students who barely knew their 3x tables let alone any division, this is unacceptable and sets our children up to fail in High School Maths.

Our children need to know their 1-12x tables and the division side of 1-12x tables so well they can answer within 3 seconds. At StayOnTrack we build that knowledge to allow for mathematical success in later years. It is all about practice, and our well-structured worksheets provide that. There is no age limit on this-I have 4 year olds signed up (they need more support of course) and I have 12-13 year olds signed up.

The great thing is the feedback tells me that they are all improving!


Advice...
Be passionate! Believe in what you are doing-self-doubt is your enemy!

Get help from a business mentor and join a local business network- I am currently seeking these out.


Relaxing... 
I lock myself in my room and read or watch a movie. It is super hard to turn off as I am very passionate about math, as a student I was doing very well in math until about Year 5 and then I fell away. I know how it feels to struggle with math.

As a training teacher I decided this was ridiculous-to be the best teacher I needed to overcome my fear of math (also diagnosed as math anxiety- check www.stayontrack.co.nz for this upcoming article), sign up for a free trial to receive our new and revamped emails! So I took a lot of math courses and that is when I knew that everyone is good at math, you just need to practice and you REALLY need to be good at your basic facts!! Hence www.stayontrack.co.nz!



From here... 
Parents and children are our main priority- we have a few afterschool care groups showing very positive interest and praise in StayOnTrack's worksheets and want to incorporate it into their programs, also parent support groups.

We are looking at schools- I have support from local schools and teachers that know this is an issue- they love my product and know it works..so watch this space and come on board!

We are building our StayOnTrack brand so tell your friends to sign up for a free trial!


Contacting & buying...
When you sign up for a free trial-takes about 3 seconds on the website- there are direct links to our Facebook, Twitter and Pin Interest Page so that is one easy-peasey way.

The website is www.stayontrack.co.nz-it is super important to us at StayOnTrack that our worksheets are affordable for all parents so it is only $6 a month (the price of a Happy Meal).

Go straight to our subscribe page and the details are there Or sign up for a free trial.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/stayontrack_ (Don't forget the underscore at the end :) )

Facebook: Stay on Track Worksheets

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/stayontrackws/

Or you can email me personally, which I love, at sharleneg@stayontrack.co.nz

Happy following!!

Thanks Sharlene!



Giveaway...
Sharlene has so kindly given me 2x 6 month subscriptions to her worksheets to giveaway! I have been doing some of these with my oldest son and he loves them. They are so great educationally and also FUN! I receive an email daily with a new sheet and it is great as we can work through them at our own pace and when it suits us.

To be in to win a subscription, please enter here ~ http://goo.gl/svLYpK

This giveaway closes at midnight on 16 June and the winners will be emailed on 17 June and announced here on my blog.

Zealous Design Giveaway Winner



Congratulations to ~ Justine Riwai ~ You have WON this gorgeous bag from Brenda at Zealous Design! A huge thank you Brenda for such a lovely giveaway x


Thursday, 5 June 2014

HAZED Annual Subscription Giveaway


With a huge thank you to Hazel from Hazel Loves Design, I have a HAZED annual subscription to giveaway!!! 

Please pop over to my Liked. by Becky facebook page to find out how to be in to win.


*Open to NZ and Australian residents only


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Zealous Design




Zealous Design is FULL of beautifully handmade items. I am so excited to introduce you to Brenda!




About...
Hi, I’m Brenda. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 18 years (you’re probably thinking, did I get married at 13 – not quite) and we have two kids Master six and Miss three.
We moved north from the city to have kids and enjoy the less busy pace of life up on the Kowhai Coast.
I have three jobs: mum, Zealous Design and part time computer techie.


Flutter Sleeve Dress

Starting...
Zealous Design has been evolving over the years but has always been based around something creative. It started with Graphic Design and then moved onto sewing and handmade products as my interests have evolved.
The inspiration for my sewing would be my children. I love making clothes, toys etc for them and love how proud they are of me when they explain to everyone that their mum made it.



Flutter Dress


Naming your business...
My husband first introduced me to the word ‘Zealous’ at school and I always knew that if I ever had a business, it would involve the word Zealous.
Definition: filled with or inspired by intense enthusiasm.




Black Mow Bib

Owning...
I get to make all the decisions and create what I want. I have no one but myself and my customers to please.
And because I get to make the decisions, I’ve decided to offer ‘FREE SHIPPING’ on purchases over $50 for June 2014 only. Mention ‘Facebook banner’ to receive the offer on FELT, email or Facebook.




Antique Fair Dress


Designing and making...
Yes I create all my products myself on my trusty 40 year old sewing machine. I put together the fabrics and the ideas but some of my clothes are based on patterns purchased from other talented people. But I always add my own spin to everything. Zealous Design is all about bright funky colours and designs.


Storm Trooper iPad Mini or Small Tablet Case


Motivation...
I think with being a mum to busy little kids I need a creative outlet so it doesn’t take much for me to be motivated. Every chance I can, I’m off to my sewing machine to create something new, try out a new idea etc…
The question I should probably ask other mums is: how do you stay motivated to do housework day after day, year after year? That one I have a problem with ;-)



Plunket Book Covers

Relaxing...
Hmmmm I probably don’t relax as much as I should, I’d much rather be sewing J I love to watch a good romantic movie or read a good book.



Paris Letter Pouch


Connecting and buying...
I sell direct from Facebook, at markets or in my FELT store:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/ZealousDesign
 
FELT: www.zealous.felt.co.nz

WEBSITE: www.zealousdesign.co.nz

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/zealousgirl



Paris Seaside Playsuit

Pop over and be sure to like Brenda's Zealous Design Facebook Page to keep up with all her beautiful new designs. AND be sure to enter this gorgeous giveaway...details below!


Giveaway...
Brenda has given me this GORGEOUS handmade bag to giveaway!

Description: Tess bag in Rosa Circa
ZEALOUS DESIGN stylish bag in funky designer floral. Tess features a button closure, an inner pocket plus a spacious main compartment for all your handbag needs. Tess's bottom is flat so she should sit upright for you.
Details: Outer fabric is designer cotton backed with strong interfacing for structure and stability. This bag is lined with cotton fabric. This bag strap is long enough to be a hip bag, or tie a knot in the strap for a shoulder bag.
Approx size: 30cm x 19cm x 10cm
Handcrafted for you with love and care in NZ.
RRP $58


The giveaway closes at midnight on 9 June and the winner will be emailed and announced here and on my FB page on 10 June.
*Open to NZ residents only
*Winner has 3 days to make contact otherwise a redraw will take place

TO ENTER please follow this link ~ http://goo.gl/NGkcjO

Thank you Brenda!





Struckla & Peach Giveaway Winner

  
Congratulations to ~ Julie McDonald ~ You have WON a kids mask from the awesome Struckla & Peach!
Thank you so much Cushla & Kelly x