Friday, August 24, 2012

Emily's First Photo Shoot - and she's 2 years old!

Emily was up at 5am this morning and bounced into my room telling me to "get up!" and declared she was ready for shopping. I'd promised her last night we were going shopping today and she went straight off to sleep so the morning would come quicker. 

I thought I was brilliant of course. I'd solved the 'how to get Emily to stop wandering out of the bedroom and go the f*ck to sleep!" problem. In doing that I created the "how to get Emily to sleep past 6am" problem. I've made promises at bed time previously and although she's slept soundly all the way through, she's always up early the next morning and remembers exactly what I promised the night before. 

So up at 5am and by 7:30am this was my sookie little girl......

Of course I was in full housework mode by this time. Dishes were being done, washing was on, I was considering vacuuming the floor..... My little miss just wanted to go back to bed! 

Problem was we had a haircut booked for 9am and photo's booked for 10:30am. How the hell was I going to get her dressed and out the door by 8:30am? I know, I'll let her choose her own dress for the photo shoot! I held up a pink dress and a cream dress positive she'd choose the pink one as it's her favorite color at the moment. 

Of course she chose the cream dress.....the one that would show her spencer underneath and every bit of food and drink she consumed on the way. 

All ready to go complete with annoying bloody baby in pram and handbag over shoulder!

First up at the hairdressers and she would not let go of me. I had plans to cut her hair into a bob just above her shoulders. She refuses to let me do her hair most mornings and I'm sick of the battles so I was determined to chop it off and that way all I had to do was chase her around the house with a hair brush and not worry about tying it up. She wouldn't have a bar of it. She squirmed and cried and clung onto me like the lovely hairdresser was going to chop her head off. We couldn't even get the cape on her! I gave up and decided we would go to the cafe next door instead because mummy really needed a caffeine fix!

By this time it was 10am and she was already telling me she wanted her dummy and hippo, a clear sign she was tired. We raced to the shopping center for our free Pixie Photo's portrait sitting. 

Now I have never been a fan of Pixie Photo's I "won" this free portrait (along with a hundred other mums I suspect) and the woman on the phone convinced me to take advantage of the free offer and there was no obligation to buy. I've always thought of Pixie Photo's as the type with fairy dresses and babies sitting in terracotta pots holding sunflowers etc. Definitely not my style! I'm a plain jane, prefer the classic, hate cheesy kinda gal. 

You can still get the flower pot shots and props are still offered, however we went for the plain backgrounds and let Emily be the star. I was very impressed with the way the photographer and assistant managed to get Emily to dance and jump and lie down and look into a mirror. Now if only I could make her do things for me on command! 

A bit grainy but it is a photo of a photo. 

So while I was impressed with the photo's I wasn't surprised with the prices of their packages. Starting at $300 for 5 images, you need some serious dough for these guys! They were shooting through a family an hour so that's 8 potential photo packages a day! Even if everyone bought the base package, it's still $14,000 a week. I should have been a bloody photographer.......

Anyway, I chose my portrait (the picture above), said it was Emily's nap time and I would consider the packages and come back with my Mum next week (who'll totally buy half the images). I'm considering this gorgeous one for my bookshelf. 

Kinda glad we didn't cut the hair off now

What's a reasonable price to pay for a photo pack of your little angel/s? 
Are these pictures boring and should I get some outside pictures done when the summer comes? Should I chop her hair off or leave it alone? 

Reason, Season or Lifetime

I saw this today and it just seemed to make sense:

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Disruption to Routine is My Enemy

Today was slightly better than yesterday. I feel like I got a few things achieved finally. I still don't know how to use my new accounting system but I did get all but one of my winter 2013 orders completed.

The last order was for Fabrik, a label I love. Exquisite designs and gorgeous fabrics. It ticks all my boxes.....

"Fabrik marries that neat little girl with nanna’s handicrafts, warmth and care, a splash of colour, a dash of inspiration and wraps them all together in a unique and environmentally friendly package."

I'm thinking I might need some of their summer range too so tomorrow's job is to contact them/my agent and see if I can get some last minute stock. It's just too beautiful!
Just as I was about to walk out the door I got a call from one of my newest suppliers, Lullaby Linen. Helen, one of the owners, was absolutely lovely and so helpful.
How often do you see really great boys linen? I haven't seen a range as sophisticated and suitable for babies through to teens ever! I absolutely think this is an exceptional rage of linen and I'm so excited to be stocking it.
So finally I got out of there and loaded my car with some boxes of coat hangers to make some space in my overflowing storage room. I picked up Emily who had apparently been allowed to sleep from 1pm to 4:15pm!!! Any Mum of a 2 year old knows this is a disaster. Her bedtime was less than 3 hours away and there was no way I was going to get her off to sleep at that time now.
At 7:30pm we did the usual bedtime routine of bottle and story while she cuddled her hippo and laid quietly in bed. No sooner had I shut the door when I hear "Mummy!".....and so began my night of bedtime negotiating and re-settling. In the end I gave in and sat beside her holding her hand and patting her off to sleep. It was 9:30pm when I left her room. She was up at 5am this morning and she was beyond over-tired tonight.
It's times like this that I really struggle with loving having my own business and wanting to stay with my little girl. Routine is so important to her at the moment. When Daddy doesn't pick her up on the nights he's supposed to she's beside herself asking for him all night. When she doesn't sleep properly during the day or if I'm away working for a night she takes a couple of days to settle back into the routine. 3am wandering into Mummy's bed is not unusual for Emily.
But we'll work with it and struggle through for now. Just a couple more weeks and things can settle down and I can spend more time with her. At least that's the idea......


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Thin Line of Sanity

So apparently swapping from my current accounting and inventory system to my new one wasn't going to be so easy.......

One of the many hiccups this week as I go on the countdown to the opening of Petit Armoir.

Today I received the script for the radio ads I've booked and it was laughable. i really think I should be given a discount for all the times I've written the scripts for them. I'm not big noting myself here, a five year old could have done a better job. Cheesy and loud is not the way I want my boutique represented.

I have been doing a back and forth with my printer for three weeks now just trying to get a quote for business cards and stickers. How hard can it be? Apparently very hard because I get the same quote over and over again and my repeated calls to talk to the general manager who's sending me the quotes results in more incorrect quotes and emails. Today I finally snapped and emailed him that I would be using someone else. Actually it went more like "your gross incompetence" and "lack of customer service give me no choice but to take my business elsewhere" and that was me being reserved! I won't name them but lets just say there's no longer a 'darkhorse' in the running for my business!!

One of my major labels still hasn't advised if they can supply me by grand opening on September 8th. I've been chasing them for quite some time and I've had excuse after excuse. I email and call and no-one gets back to me. So I'm two weeks away from opening and I'm trying to decide if one, I tell them where to go, and two, who can I replace them with at such short notice since you would normally order 6 months in advance.

Telstra still haven't sorted my phone and broadband change over (surprise, surprise!) and my bank is giving me grief about the new merchant terminal I'm getting installed.

It's all happening at once and threatening to drive me insane!

The one thing that puts a smile on my face every single day is my little girl. I pick her up from childcare after a rotten day and as soon as she see's me she runs into my arms with an excited "Mummy!" and holds on tight until we get to the car. The whole way home she non-stop chatters about her day and who her friends are and what they did. She is totally oblivious to my worries and while I listen to her they temporarily fade away.

Emily is my blessing every day. She keeps me sane and keeps me moving forward. She makes me laugh and gives me the biggest, warmest cuddles.

Thank God I have this weekend off. I plan to make the most of our time together because the next couple of weeks are going to be so busy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Did Someone Say Salted Caramel?

On Saturday it was my birthday. It was my first birthday as a single Mum and I was in Melbourne away from my baby girl.

I'd celebrated with my bestie the night before at Mama Baba's and after visiting a few friends Saturday morning I thought I'd make one final stop before heading home to my girl. 

My stop was at Burch & Purchese.....just my all time favourite sweet studio in South Yarra! I almost didn't stop, the traffic on Chapel Street was so bad. Almost. Then a free car space appeared right in front of the shop and BAM! I was in there!

The place was crowded. Really crowded. I wouldn't even be able to see the salted caramel eclairs let alone get served. Where the hell did all these people come from?

And then I saw them.....

Hello boys!

She was so lovely and we chatted about Mama Baba and how she will be working for Adriano Zumbo in Sydney.

My stash....salted caramel chocolate, toasted macadamia caramelised white chocolate, a salted caramel eclair and a chocolate hazelnut tart. There's no such thing as too much caramel!

This is the chocolate hazelnut tart.....Yum!

After that it was the 3 hour drive home to Albury and I couldn't wait to see my little girl. I arrived to a home cooked birthday dinner at Mums and Emily had already been bathed and in her jammies. Those little arms around my neck was all I needed. 

Opening my birthday present from Emily. It was a photo frame with "Best Mummy" inscribed on it.

All up it was a great weekend. Emily and I spent Sunday together having lunch out with Mum and Dad and catching up on the mundane, housework and grocery shopping. I have managed to keep almost all of the Burch & Purchese stash hidden at the back of the fridge, although I did demolish the hazelnut tart and Dad enjoyed the eclair. If your ever in Melbourne it is definitely well worth the side trip. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seriously....More Shopping!

On Friday I took off to Melbourne for another big day of buying. This time it's to pick Winter 2013 stock. I've always found it fairly difficult to choose 6 months in advance but on one hand you at least know what customers wanted that you didn't have this winter. I also know what has sold out the quickest, so I know what to make sure I have loads of next time.

Next winter is going to be very different from this seasons colorways. There is loads of orange and purple, navy and green, florals and patchwork fabrics. I'm so excited about what I can bring to my little shop. Here's a sneak peak at what I'm looking at when I meet with my agents.....

Picking from the new range Fabrik was just delightful!

Baobab has some very funky designs

Mizzle basics

These gorgeous crotchet booties are part of the new Mizzle winter range and I just love them!

Four and a half hours of buying and I was exhausted. I'd hoped to get a bit of shopping in but since it was 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon and I knew I'd have to battle peak hour traffic back to the hotel in St Kilda, I decided to call it a day.

My bestie turned up at 7pm and we headed out to Mama Baba for dinner. I wasn't sure what to expect. I was ready to be disappointed since there was such a hype about George Calombaris's latest restaraunt venture and I'm not normally a fan of going to celebrity chef restaraunts.

I'm not foodie, I know nothing about wines and I couldn't care less who the chef is. But, I know what I like and don't like in a meal. There's no point in plating up a pretty dish if it's not going to fill me up and taste delicious.

Mama Baba is at the end of a little lane just off Chappel Street in South Yarra. You would never know it was there and it's totally unexpected in appearance.


The entrance.

We started at the bar and enjoyed a few drinks before we were seated at our table. If you don't like noise this is not the place for you. The music is loud and so are the customers. The seats are close together so expect to be able to hear all of your neighbouring tables conversations. Somehow this works well though and we had some great conversation with our neighbours.

Entree of beef carpaccio......oh yeah!

Scollop's and they were perfect

Tortellini Prawn saganaki, tomato & feta. It honestly tasted more like crab to me but it's definitely a dish I wouldn't normally order so maybe it just wasn't my taste.

Desert...... this was the Ferraro Roche and it tasted exactly like one! Oh this was heaven.

An Italian Mess. By this stage I was so over full I just couldn't fit it in. But my bestie demolished 3/4 of it!

All up I was definitely not disappointed by Mama Baba. Totally worth the 4 phone calls I made over two weeks trying to get a booking. And to Stacey on the reservations are so lovely to deal with.

So that was day one of my freakin' weekend. Part two tomorrow as I'm buggered and it's time for some sleep.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kids In Style 2012

So last Friday I headed off to Melbourne with my Mum for the Kids In Style Expo. I went to the Sydney expo back in February for the first time and it was mind boggling. Imagine every top kids fashion label, shoes and accessories and baby and kids products all under the one roof. They all want you to buy on the spot and you are bombarded with minimum spends, product information and the benefits of having their stuff in your shop.

This is why I took my Mum this time. I needed a seasoned shopper to help me make some important decisions about what kids clothing and products I was going to stock in my shop. Also it was Mum's birthday and since one of the things she loves most is shopping I thought this was a perfect way for her to spend the day.

So this is what we saw:

My favourite.... Gaia Organic Cotton.

I need these for Emily's next birthday party - cute little milk bottles from Lark

Owls Owls and more Owls!

The new Serentity Star from Aiden & Anais

Gorgeous & functional furniture from Gather Kids

Sandals from WALNUT Melbourne

Christmas rattles - I just love this as a display idea

Oshi-M - one of my new favourite suppliers for toddler gear

Lots of beautiful linen

Goo Collection

La De Dah Kids for classic toys

And then there were these..........

I understand why people take a week for these shows. They are huge and amazing and scary and wonderful. I had a ball and I can't wait till the next show in Sydney 2013!