My Top Five New Years Resolutions

Sam Mackley tells us why her New Years resolutions are all about planning but more about enjoying what you have… Making new year’s resolutions has always felt like the perfect opportunity to let myself down – if I haven’t managed to achieve the thing in question thus far then what is going to magically work on Jan 1st at one minute past midnight….the champagne? Possibly….the hangover certainly won’t help though… Putting aside the idea of allowing alcohol to fuel all of my planning, I think there is room for some resolutions this year. We have had a very tough year and next year’s business plans are very structured and uncompromising. But the thing about being a mumpreneur is that at the heart of the business there is a mummy, and she may not always feel like responding to a structured and powerful business plan when life throws the other stuff at her…. I am going to use my New Year’s Resolutions to cushion the business plan with thoughts, feelings and reminders that will help me when the going gets tough next year…. In the absence of something more rigid to guide me, I think a resolution or two could help…: 1)      Look after my health Recently I managed to make time for some serious regular exercise – after saying all year long I needed to do it, I finally committed over November and December. It has been wonderful. I am energised, happier, more relaxed and far more efficient. Next year, when my motivation wanes and other things start to eat away at my time, I will read this paragraph...

My 2011 Gallery

Do you take regular pictures of you and your family? Leslieanne shares her year with us in a photo blog. On one hand, I can’t quite believe it’s almost Christmas again – on the other, looking at this photo-mosaic of our 2011, the arly shots feel like a lifetime ago! It’s been a busy year, but a really good one. My little man has gone from a one year old cherub to a two and a half year old mini-monster!  Two is definitely harder work than one – but it’s loads of fun too- everyday he learns something new and finds another way to make me smile. He’s such a happy little dude, and so funny, I wouldn’t change him for the world. We’ve had lots of fun at home together – baking, crafting, gardening and lots more – plus plenty of brilliant days out as a family too (I think our trip to London for in September for Postman Pat’s birthday party was Dylan’s highlight!) We’re already looking forward to Christmas – last weekend we went to pet some of Santa’s reindeer, so festive feelings are certainly high! 2011 has been a lot of fun – I can’t wait to see what adventures we’ll get up to in...

Freelance and Fancy Free? It’s not that easy….

Chelle McCann shares her year so far….her journey from working mum to freelancing around her family life. Chelle runs Social Media Mums a freelance social media and virtual assistant service where charges are tailored to parents running their own business. The service supports small business on a permanent or ad hoc basis without the pressure of a full time wage. This year has been so my so called whirlwind year. After starting with a small idea and one lady willing to test my ideas out I am not about to jump properly into the world of self employment. It’s a little bit scary but also very exciting at the same time. However I dont want you to think it is a really easy thing. I also want you to think about what you really really want and then encourage you to go for it. This year I’ve gone from a small idea to making a full time salary from that idea. It’s meant that I’ve worked like a crazy woman for thsalary 12 months and not without some family neglect to get this business off the ground. It’s easy to think that you have found something completely flexible – for me Skype meetings have to be a set time, stats have to be done once a month. It’s been difficult working around a part time job and most importantly my family. In fact I’ll got so far to admit I am becoming that parent who says ‘just two minutes darling’. So come 2012 I’ll be working on my business and be leaving my work place after 5 years. I’ll...

Relaxing Holidays…..?

Sam Mackley from Mummy Looks Fab pops in to share her holiday experience. Sam is also a bralady for Bras4Mums on the sunny south coast. Not so long ago my idea of the perfect relaxation holiday would have included some golden sand, some clear blue warm seas, a spa within spitting distance and the kind of restaurants that made you want to start planning your dinner just after you had eaten breakfast…..That was all it took, pre children, to guarantee I came back rested, refreshed and relaxed….. Now that I have a five year old and three year old to keep happy for the duration of any holiday we take, I have come to accept a few universal truths. Firstly, no matter where you go, IN THE WORLD, unless you can afford five-star-all-inclusive-and-full-time-childcare then your job as mum, for the duration of the holiday, will be just as challenging as it is at home, if not more so. Secondly, unless you can afford five-star-all-inclusive-and-full-time-childcare, there will be no “relaxing by the pool” or “popping off to the spa”, so there is no point in hoping for it. Finally, unless you can afford five-star-all-inclusive-and-full-time-childcare, there will be no swanky restaurants, ala carte menus and between-courses-wine-sorbets to clean your palate. Get used to it. At least, this is what myself and my husband thought before our most recent holiday to the Isle of Wight. We are both firmly of the opinion that part of the reason for going on holiday as a family is for us all to spend time together so until the children are a bit older and are...

Mums In Biz – And so the madness began…

Eve from Baba and Boo shares her madness around setting up and maintaining her business.   I struggle with using the word ‘organic’ – too Apprentice-like for me but that is how Baba+Boo has grown. I didn’t have a master-plan or a business plan at the beginning. It started out as me thinking of a way to earn a little bit of extra money for treats for the family, as money was quite tight. Whilst, I also wanted to try and make real nappies more mainstream, by placing them with other beautiful items in my little boutique. I hadn’t gone back to work after having my second child, Louisa as I quite liked the idea of staying at home with the children….still on the fence about whether I would recommend that to other mums yet!! It’s been a steep learning curve but I try and drive the business in the way I feel it’s naturally going. I never in a million years thought that Baba+Boo nappies would have taken off in the way they have done. I sometimes think I am really lucky to have a nice little business but I have worked my socks off for it and it’s been far from easy. I fear my family..husband especially bears the brunt of my tiredness and I’m especially grumpy on the days I am struggling to juggle everything. Thankfully, it just washes over him and he gets another beer out of the fridge! I love it though and get such satisfaction from customers giving me feedback about the nappies…particularly first time cloth-mums who have found that using my nappies...