FEED ME FRIDAY

January 26, 2017

MUMBO JUMBO

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

When I was at high school, my rather elderly English Literature teacher (and Band Master) used to say “rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb” rather often. Whenever I see these bright pink stalks  in the supermarket I think of Mr Maughan, but I’ve never really researched the origins of his strange expression. It turns out that he was commenting on our inability to speak in a decipherable language! To use this expression means as the listener, you can only hear confused noise, plenty of mumbo jumbo. As a parent with school-aged children, I reckon I know what he was on about…

You may have never thought about it, but Rhubarb is actually a vegetable. It’s most unusual amongst vegetables as it’s treated like a fruit! Rhubarb is low in natural sugar contains some oxalic acid which makes it unpleasant to eat unless cooked. Even then, it tastes very bitter unless sugar is added. In this recipe from Donna Hay, we also add vanilla bean and orange for mumbo jumbo goodness.

RHUBARB300g rhubarb, trimmed and chopped

1 vanilla bean, split

1/2 cup (110g) super fine caster sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind

1/4 cup (60mls) orange juice

2.5 cups (375g) self-raising flour

1 cup (175g) brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup (125mls) buttermilk

1/2 cup (125mls) vegetable oil

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour

2 tablespoons Demerara sugar

40g unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the rhubarb, vanilla bean, sugar, orange rind and juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool slightly.

While the rhubarb is cooling, make the crumble topping.

Place the flour, sugar, cinnamon and ginger in a large bowl. Add the egg, vanilla extract, buttermilk and oil, and using a butter knife, mix until just combined. Spoon into 12 x 1/2 cup capacity well-greased muffin tins. Top each with the rhubarb and spoon over the crumble. Cook for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Set aside to cool for 2 minutes in the tins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12.

Enjoy ~ Fleur xo

 

Rhubarb Collage

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MUST HAVES AND MUST SEES

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Muffins rounded

We’ve just returned from a divine 5-day break in Bali and it’s straight back to school. Plus we’ve gone from balmy weather to cyclonic winds in Sydney. So, with plant pots smashed around me and our gates hanging dangerously off their hinges, I’m taking refuge in the kitchen.

We all need inspiration to get back on the wagon and I’m looking to nutritionist Lola Berry. I have both The 20/20 Diet Cookbook (she lost 20 kilos in 20 weeks!) and The Happy Cookbook, both of which represent a fun approach to good eating. Her dishes are all about eating real foods that are as close to their natural states as possible = feeling full for longer. Who doesn’t want that? I certainly can’t afford a pantry full of seemingly ‘healthy snacks’ (that are still fairly highly processed) so I try to make my own. These muffins have received a full 100% rating from my family, so please let me know how their fare in your household. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is “hippy” or “rabbit” food, we’re a pretty normal family who also enjoy lasagne and tacos!

300g (3 cups) almond meal

2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

4 eggs, lightly beaten

125ml (1/2 cup) coconut oil, melted

80ml (1/3 cup) almond milk

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 vanilla pod, split & scraped

80ml (1/3 cup) maple syrup

60g (1 cup) shredded coconut

300g (2 cups) blueberries, fresh or frozen

extra shredded coconut to garnish or granola (as I’ve done)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a 12-hole muffin tray (next time I’ll use baking paper squares as my oil spray didn’t quite work).

Combine the almond meal and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well. Add the eggs, coconut oil, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla seeds, maple syrup and mix thoroughly until lump free. (Work quickly so the coconut oil doesn’t solidify). Gently fold through the shredded coconut and blueberries.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray. Sprinkle with a few shards of coconut or granola and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool slightly and enjoy. Lola suggests cutting one in half while still warm and spreading with almond butter.

f you LOVE this plate as I do, it’s designed by Leah Jackson and available from High Swan Dive in Newcastle – a must-see if you’re visiting the Hunter. For more inspo, visit the Hunter Hunter blog.

Enjoy ~ Fleur xo

Posted in Feed Me Friday, NEW Season Snippets | Comments Off on Must haves and must sees

 

EASTER FARE

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Carrot

 f you live in Sydney as I do, today is a perfect day to bake…the weather is horrific. Sadly we have very dear friends visiting for a week from Perth and the northern beaches are not turning on their best. We’ll have to have plenty of fun indoors, instead, starting with this awesome cake. Now, the Gourmet Traveller have it pictured as a layer cake and it looks stunning. However, I made it into two separate cakes – one for us to sample and one for our friends. If you really want to impress I’d suggest the layer cake! There are NO claims to health benefits here, apart from the obvious small amount of fruit and veg, so just relax & indulge.

300g coarsely grated carrot (2-3 carrots)

200g plain flour (1.5 cups)

160g each of caster sugar and brown sugar

120g shredded coconut (not dessicated) or coconut flakes

100g oats blitzed in a food processor

2.5 tsp baking powder

2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground ginger

1 tsp finely grated fresh nutmeg

Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon

200g sour cream

100ml almond oil or any other vegetable oil

3 eggs

Roasted chopped hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, which ever nuts you enjoy

 

Frosting

30g butter

30g brown sugar

2 tsp golden syrup (I think I did 2 tablespoons!)

100g sour cream

450g pure icing sugar, sieved

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease two 22cm diameter springform cake tins and line with baking paper. Stir carrot, dry ingredients, rinds and 1/2 tsp sea salt in a large bowl to combine and make a well in the centre. Whisk sour cream, almond oil and eggs in a separate bowl until smooth, add to well and stir to combine. Divide among prepared tins, smooth tops and bake , swapping tins halfway through cooking time. Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean (45 mins approx). Cool in tins for 15 mins, then cool completely on a wire rack.

For salted butterscotch frosting, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, then stir in sugar and golden syrup until smooth and the sugar dissolves. Bring to the simmer and stir continuously with a whisk until slightly thickened (1-2 mins). Stir in the sour cream to combine, then remove from and stir in icing sugar until smooth. Stir in 1.5 tsp sea salt flakes and set aside to cool to spreading consistency (15-20 mins).

Spread half the frosting over the top of each cake, then stack on top of one another. Scatter with roasted nuts.

Keeps well at room temp under a cake dome for 2-3 days.

Here are some more graphics from the cutting room floor!

Enjoy ~ xo

 

Carrot 2

Alex&Ant

 

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CRACKLES FOR CRACKERS

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

My ocean-loving Zac turned 9 today and his nickname is ‘Crackers’.  He requested that I make chocolate crackles to take to school, “the way I do them”.  It suddenly occurred to me that some of you may not have tasted this recipe. Yep, there’s more than one way to crack a crackle! Once you make these, you’ll never go back to using copha. This recipe may come in handy for Easter too.

200g dark chocolate, chopped (I use 70% as the bitterness is countered by the golden syrup)

100g butter

1/3 cup (115g) golden syrup

4 cups (140g) puffed rice cereal

 

Place the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until melted and smooth. Place the cereal in a bowl with the chocolate mixture and mix well to combine.

Spoon into small paper cases. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Makes around 45.

 

Choc Crackles

 

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PERFECT PICK-ME-UP

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Balls fini.jpg

Yes, I’ve jumped on the wagon and bliss balls are my new thang! Not only that, but I’m enjoying a Paleo diet of sorts (I don’t do anything hard core). Pete Evans has released a book based on Paleo ‘Healthy Everyday‘ and Irena Macri’s ‘Eat Drink Paleo‘ is worthy of its sell-out status. If you need a very quick summary, a Paleo diet is eating nutrient-dense, whole, unprocessed ingredients including lots of protein and healthy fats. It excludes pro-inflammatory, nutrient-void foods such as grains, processed sugars and unhealthy vegetable and seed oils.  Reported and known benefits include improved metabolism and digestion, increased energy levels, sustained weight loss, improved sleep, mental clarity, clearer skin and an overall sense of wellbeing. In my personal experience, I’ve never been LESS hungry between meals. When you are peckish, my bliss ball will give you an injection of good, raw energy. There are loads of recipes out there so experiment with some additions such as spirulina and maca powder.

Ingredients

Balls intro.jpg10 organic Medjool dates, pips removed

handful of organic sultanas

handful of activated walnuts (or other nuts)

heaped tablespoon of cacao powder

1 teaspoon chia seeds

splash of vanilla extract

tiny splash of water, if necessary

organic shredded coconut for rolling

whizzed air-popped popcorn for rolling

 

Method

 

Put dates, sultanas, nuts, cacao powder, chia seeds and vanilla extract in a small hand blender, food-processor thing. If the mixture combines well and isn’t dry, you don’t need any water. Roll balls in coconut or popcorn (however I’ve discovered this loses its crunch) and refrigerate.

Enjoy 1-2 per day. They will be consumed long before the suggested use-by date of 7 days!

If you’re interested in this style of eating you may also really enjoy the blog, My Darling Lemon Thyme.

Fleur xo

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BERRY GOOD SLICE

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Quick, easy, delicious and comforting, this coconut berry slice is a winner.  My Mum used to make this for us, but this version is a Bill Granger recipe.  It’s ideal for the lunchbox but sophisticated enough for an afternoon tea!

Slice Collage.jpg

Ingredients:

BASE

125g unsalted butter

60g (1/4 cup) caster sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

185g (1.5 cups) plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

60ml (1/4 cup) milk

FILLING

175g (1/2 cup) yummy berry jam (I used Hanks)

250g (1 cup) raspberries or mixed berries – frozen or fresh

TOPPING

100g unsalted butter

5 tablespoons caster sugar

2 eggs

225g (2.5 cups) desiccated coconut

60 g (1/2 cup) plain flour

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

To make the base, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and stir in with the milk. Flour your hands and press the base evenly into a greased and lined 30 x 20cm tin. Spread the base evenly with jam and sprinkle with the frozen berries. *At this stage, I put the slice in the oven for 10mins so the base crisps up a little, Bill Granger doesn’t!

To make the topping, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Stir in the coconut and 1 tablespoon sifted flour, then stir in the remaining flour. Spread the topping evenly over the berries.

Bake the slice for 30 mins or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 1omins. Cut into rectangles.

Makes 20.

Enjoy ~

Fleur xo

 

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LUNCHBOX LOVE

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

slice Collage effects

Have you fallen back into a routine as yet? We’ve had a big start to 2014 with Olive starting kindy and Zac moving into the Junior school from infants. Now there are two schedules on the fridge and two lunch boxes to fill, not to mention that I’ve taken a full-time job for the 1st time in around 8 years! Fill. Full. Frazzled.

Thankfully there are certain recipes you discover that are a lifesaver. I’m not overly precious about what goes into my kids’ lunch boxes, but I feel better knowing that the sweet fix is homemade. This Chocolate & Coconut Slice is super easy and incredibly moreish.

1 cup self-raising flour

1 tbsp cocoa

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup dessicated or shredded coconut

125g unsalted butter

School polaroid

 

ICING

1/2 tsp butter

Approx 2 tbsp hot water

1 cup icing sugar

1 tbsp cocoa

2 tbsp dessicated coconut

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 16cm x 26cm slice tin. Sift flour and cocoa into a mixing bowl. Add brown sugar and coconut and mix well.

Melt butter and add to dry ingredients. Mix well with a fork. Press mixture firmly into the slice tin. Bake for 20-25 mins (exact time will depend on your oven). Remove from oven and ice while still hot.

For the icing, heat butter and hot water in a small saucepan until butter melts. Stir in icing sugar (sifted) and cocoa. Stir constantly over low heat until it takes on a pouring consistency. Pour over hot slice and sprinkle with extra coconut.

Yum!

 

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BAKED BLISS

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Panforte collage

This treat is so perfect as a gift or to serve with coffee when friends drop around. Keep one wrapped in cellophane or in a gorgeous tin in case you’re put on the spot for a gift!  My version is not too sweet, not too fruity and not too spicy, plus it keeps for up to 2 months in an airtight container. Even peeps who claim to dislike Panforte will LOVE this version, I promise. Make a few this weekend!

Chocolate Panforte –

100g dried figs, chopped, and select dried fruit – see 1st line of method.

75g glace ginger, chopped

200g hazelnuts, lightly roasted, skins removed

125g macadamias, lightly toasted

225g plain flour, sifted

35g cocoa, sifted, plus extra to dust

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup honey

200g caster sugar

125g dark chocolate, chopped

2 tbs Pedro Ximenez sherry, plus extra to soak.

I start this recipe by chopping the dried figs and glace ginger then soaking them in a slosh of Pedro Ximenez, for at least 1 day. On occasion, I’ve also added a pack of dried cranberries/plums I found at my local supermarket, but I wouldn’t go too crazy with your fruit selection. Don’t forget that glace ginger (there’s also a yummy crystallised version called, ‘Naked Ginger’) is an acquired taste and less is more with regards this pungent ingredient! Note that I’ve adapted this from another’s recipe – it’s in the current Delicious magazine if you need a more exacting approach.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Line a 20 x 30cm cake pan with baking paper or individual cake tins also work well (but you’ll need to adjust the baking time).

Combine the figs/dried fruit, ginger, nuts, flour, cocoa & cinnamon in a large bowl.

Place honey and caster sugar in a pan over low heat and bring to a simmer. Take off the heat and stir through the chocolate until it melts and creates a luscious, velvety treacle! Pour over the flour & fruit mixture and add the tablespoons of Pedro Ximenez. It’s also worked for me to substitute Maggie Beer’s Seville Vino Cotto which is an aromatic syrup from Seville oranges and complements the Pedro Ximenez (in which the fruit is soaked). It should be quite tough to mix everything together, Panforte does mean ‘strong bread’ so you don’t want it to be runny. Plop it into your pan (it won’t pour) and press in with your fingertips for a dense spread. It doesn’t rise, so fill the pan to the desired height.

Bake for 1 hour (less for smaller pans) or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan, then turn out and dust with cocoa. Cut into thin slices or little cubes to serve or wrap.

Enjoy ~

Fleur xo

 Posted in Feed Me Friday, Life in the Alex&Ant Family | Comments Off on Baked Bliss

 

YOU SAY TOMATO…

 Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

 Veggie Patch Effects

 A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.  Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.  ~P.J. O’Rourke.

I think this quote is hilarious, especially given the popularity of pineapples in recent homewares and fashion collections. They must be the royalty of the fruit world at the moment! Here at Alex&Ant, we’re celebrating a couple of other popular choices – apples and cherries. However, we’ve also had some fun with the humble tomato. I’m always drawn to market gardens and the great pursuit of ‘who can grow the largest …’ so I’ve created our very own royal show to present our Veggie Patch collection.

Of course, 1st place ribbon goes to our divine fruit & veg inspired prints celebrated in beautiful dresses and singlet & bloomer sets.  All Alex&Ant exclusives, the handle of the fabric is wonderfully soft and light.  Your tot will not only look a peach (combining my fruit) but she’ll be super comfortable in the Summer heat.  Growing at a stockist near you (or online) very soon!

Enjoy ~ Fleur xo

 

Fruit & Veg effects

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I LOVE A FARMER’S MARKET

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Farmers Collage

What a lovely morning I had with Olive, today, visiting the Beaches Farmer’s Market in Warriewood (NSW).  I think if it were a regular occurrence I could stock up on amazing bread, fruit, veg & free range meats as the highlight of my weekly shop. However, I always gravitate towards the boutique producers and end up with a random selection of goodies that do not constitute a meal!

Today we bought some honeycomb & nougat rocky road (no marshmallows) because the morsel we tried was amazing and the seller was very charismatic. I spent $4.50 on a wheat free biscuit which was delicious but a little expensive and to add another sweet treat to the mix, Olive ate a cinnamon scroll. Then I got a clue and thought about dinner, but by that stage our money was tight. A special of two bulging packets of free range beef sausages almost made me feel frugal – I knew I could throw together a yummy sausage pasta bake with what was already in the house. Here it is, in all of its simplicity…

Chop an onion and fry until transparent. Remove the casings and chop the sausage meat into small chunks and add to pan – I used approx 8 snags. Cook until lightly browned then mix through a couple of grated carrots and perhaps some diced celery.  Add a heaped tablespoon of tomato paste and cook for 3 mins, half a tall bottle (750mls) of passata and around 1 cup of vegetable stock, plus a good swig of balsamic vinegar. Another option is to add Dijon mustard to taste or curry powder and a dash of coconut milk to serve with rice. Who doesn’t love a mild curried sausage dish? Cook for 15 mins or until somewhat reduced. Boil your pasta shape of choice, drain and add to the base of a lasagne dish. Spoon the sausage mix over the top and sprinkle fresh thyme – you can add this during the cooking process also. Add another layer of pasta then cover with a basic béchamel and grated cheese. Bake in the over for around 20 mins or until browned on top. Improvise all you like…

Enjoy ~ xo

Farmer's 2 Collage

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Also in Archive

Resident Stylist

January 26, 2017

UP, UP AND AWAY…

Balloons. I’m amazed at how sophisticated they’ve become since I was a child.  I’m particularly in love with the confetti filled and tasseled ranges from Poppies For Grace https://poppiesforgrace.com/collections/balloons  They really have moved into the adult domain which is glorious given we often need a lift!  Do yourself a favour and check out their instagram page @poppiesforgrace, it will make you smile.

Balloons are the ultimate symbol of celebration, some significant and some just for the fun of it.  There are mass releases of balloons to mark the loss of loved ones and balloons to welcome babies to the world.  Most of us have gazed into the sky upon the release of one into the aether, pausing to wonder where it may travel and watching until it’s a tiny speck on the horizon.

The Alex & Ant balloon print is faded and ethereal to express that sense of drifting and playfulness.  The cotton voile fabric has a beautiful drape and we’ve created garment shapes that billow and fold in the breeze; think harem pants, layered skirts, tiered dresses, ruffled rompers and blousey tops.  These gorgeous garments are available in three colours – Sky Blue, Sunset and Moonshadow.  Enjoy some of the highlights of the photo shoot. 

ROOM REVEAL

We’ve all met a hairdresser with a questionable hairstyle, an architect who never finds the time to design their own home, etc… Well, I’m an interior designer who struggles to find the time and dollars to create a beautiful interior. It’s a very drawn-out process when you have other, more important clients. This year I want to focus on the bedrooms and I’ve kicked off with our own Master. 

Like everyone, I see random items that I fall in love with and must buy.  They’re not necessarily part of a bigger picture so when you’re revamping a room there are usually odd pieces to incorporate from all your years of living!  Don’t ever feel that everything must look new and styled like the pages of a magazine. I promise that there is always a way to celebrate the pre-loved. I have some mid-century Parker drawers that are pretty cool (and I can’t afford to replace as yet), plus a large mirror my husband expended major effort in transporting from Bali.  Our bedside tables and bed (a King) are oversized for the room as they were purchased for our much larger bedroom in Perth. And my treasured Harry Bertoia Diamond chair has never really found its rightful place in this beach house in Avalon, NSW. There are always challenges and compromises.

I’ve started the journey with a wall colour that I bought months ago, Dulux Rainmaker. The tin of paint has sat in our garage for many weeks until my husband was ready to get on the brushes. Meanwhile I’d purchased another beautiful print from Blacklist for our 10th wedding anniversary. The random purchase amongst it all was the Gorman bedlinen that went on sale and motivated me to hit “add to cart” late one night.  I knew that the palm fronds print and soft blue was a safe bet for our Modernist/Ocean inspired genre, but I’m not a huge fan of yellow (on the reverse of the doona cover & pillows). Now I’ve totally embraced the yellow and uncovered pieces from all sorts of different stores to pull the look together. I even found an amazing real bamboo wallpaper, but I decided that was taking it too far!

Of course, the process isn’t this looooooong if you employ a designer. A designer has the resource library and training to see what you may not see. If you like what you see and read here, please get in touch. Below are a couple of methods to present a mood board and a sneak peak of the work in progress! Stay tuned for the room reveal in the coming weeks.

mrsrobinson_stylist@icloud.com

0410 888 521

LUNAR LOVE

Lunar Collage

Well, isn’t it just a “marvellous night for a moondance”, it’s Lunar New Year! Happy Year of the Sheep (ram or goat). People born in the year of the Sheep are said to be creative, charming, intelligent and have a great sense of expression. They are extremely gentle and caring. That’s you if you were born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015.

Surely our Design Director was born in one of these years! Still more beautiful garments from our ‘Dancing with the Stars’ collection feature the magical moon (no sheep, but counting them is welcomed).  I thought the scrunched paper texture in the background resembled the crater surface…who’s with me? There’s really no need for special effects, the designs speak for themselves in their pureness of design, charm & colour. Calming and subtle, but always with a smattering of theatre, you’ll be over the moon for this collection.

Continue the planetary theme in your child’s bedroom with decor from Smurk (Astronaut duvet cover), Pop Factory (Ticket to the Moon artwork and pillowcase) and Donna Wilson (knit cushion).

Enjoy ~

F xoxo

Moon Collage

“The moon is a loyal companion.  It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.”

~ Tahereh Mafi

Continue Reading

Playing Favourites

January 26, 2017

POST-XMAS POST

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Happy New Year to all of our wonderful Alex & Ant fans, we trust 2013 will bring you great joy.  My beautiful friend, Joy, made this for Christmas (refer picture of baby Liam!) and I made this garland with my lovely Mum in the days leading up.  Congratulations to our Facebook competition winners who also crafted something special for Christmas, but nothing quite beats a bouncing baby boy, now does it?!

Liam (aka “Sox” as nicknamed by his older brother) is photographed here wearing some super cute Alex & Ant striped shorts.  He loves the camera and is just starting to smile, much to the delight of his parents. If I can interest you at all in the garland, the lovely jute ‘lace’ is available here.  The felt pom poms were purchased at Spotlight and the fabrics were from my own stash.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while you’ll know that Alex & Ant is lovingly and ethically manufactured in Bali.  Liam’s parents Joy and Marc also happen to design a fashion label in Bali, it goes by the name of Buddha Wear.  To celebrate this beautiful connection, head on over to Buddha Wear on Facebook and “like” to find out the details of a special offer exclusive to this ‘yummy mummy’ readership.  Make sure you mention that Alex&Ant sent you.

Enjoy ~ Fleur x

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FLIGHTS OF FANCY

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

The butterfly is a symbol of beauty: the beauty of symmetry, pattern, colour and shape.

The Greeks likened the butterfly’s constant flitting from flower to flower to the restlessness of the mind: constantly changing from subject to subject.  The Greek word for butterfly is “psyche” from which we derive “psychology” – the study of the mind.  Amazing, huh?

Of course, there is also the change from caterpillar to the chrysalis and emergence as a butterfly which has to be one of the most significant changes in the animal world.  Many believe that this symbolises change in the course of one’s life, personality or way of thinking….a resurrection, transformation, celebration.

At Alex&Ant, the Butterfly singlet has been a part of our collection since day one and will be for evermore.  It is pure, delicate (but still practical!) and timeless.  In these images my daughter flits from front yard to back, bike to trampoline to swing, sandwich to icy pole.  You won’t believe it, but at one stage there was a butterfly dancing around our garden with us.  Sadly, it was too difficult to capture with my camera.

Lo, the bright train their radiant wings unfold!

With silver fringed, and freckled o’er with gold:

On the gay bosom of some fragrant flower

They idly fluttering, live their little hour;

Their life all pleasure, and their task all play,

All spring their age, and sunshine all their day.

xox

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PLAYING FAVOURITES ~ BOYS TOYS

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

It’s always a stress…what to buy for a birthday gift. My son is about to turn 5 so I thought I’d share with you some of my all-time favourite stores to find that something special because there’s always a party invitation on the fridge! It’s all about boys as I know a lot of you have difficulty finding amazing stuff for the little men in your lives. I hope you enjoy this insight into the things I truly love to give.

Lark

There are so many wonderful bits & pieces on this site, I browse for the sheer joy of it. Now you may think it’s quite girly and I’d have to agree, BUT there are lots gorgeous things for your boyish boy if you spend some time looking.

Peanut Gallery

This store has a huge collection of all the best brands such as Plan Toys, Le Toy Van, Voila, Janod & Haba. I’m a sucker for a wooden toy or something to do with craft – Djeco designs the most incredibly creative art projects & stickers and their website is such fun. The stickers alone made a fabulous gift for an inexpensive gesture. Peanut Gallery stocks the most comprehensive range of Djeco I’ve ever seen on-line.

  1. Djeco Origami Paper Planes, $13.95 from Peanut Gallery
  2. Johnny Joe’s Colouring Postcards in gift box, $9.95 from Lark
  3. Retro Toy Caravan circa 1973 (the year I was born!), $25.00 from Lark
  4. Vintage Caravan greeting card, $5.95 from Lark
  5. Happy Camper melamine plate, $12.95 from Lark
  6. Djeco Wooden Robots Magnetic Puzzle, $34.95 from Peanut Gallery
  7. Happy Camper melamine cup, $9.50 from Lark
  8. Dumpling Dynasty Explorer Kit, $32.00 from Lark
  9. The Wild Bunch paper animals, $14.95 from Lark
  10. Kapok Creatures Card – Leroy the Lion, $5.00 from Lark
  11. Animalz Lion, $9.95 from Peanut Gallery
  12. Twiglet Sleepy Lion cushion, $49.00 from Lark

Got a super cool kid to buy for? Look no further than Kido Store online or instore at 159 Clovelly Road, Clovelly NSW. I’ve never seen so many covetable bits & pieces in the one place. Don’t forget I come from an interior design background so I love the classics & quirky pieces available here!

Love Mae

Finally, I couldn’t resist the new wall decals on offer from Love Mae . The pirate ship scene would have my son busy for hours and they really do peel easily off the wall to stick over and over again. I have a set of birds and they’ve survived a house move and several room changes.

Oh, and if you haven’t read any of Oliver Jeffers books, you MUST. The stories and illustrations will captivate both you and the recipient. A truly talented artist…

  1. Donna Wilson Fox, Blue cushion, $135.00 from Kido
  2. OCG Steamliner wall hook, $65.00 from Kido
  3. Miller Goodman PlayShapes, 74 wooden geometric shapes, $180.00 from Kido
  4. Donna Wilson Make Your Own Monster Kit, $35.00 from Kido
  5. The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers, $24.95 from Kido or good book stores
  6. The Usborne Book of Doodling & Colouring, $24.95 from Kido or good book stores
  7. Bobo Choses School Bag, Camera, $66.00 from Kido
  8. Little Nutty Helmet, Silver Fly, $99.00 from Kido
  9. Love Mae adhesive fabric stickers, Pirate Ship, $105.00 from Love Mae Etsy store
  10. Love Mae adhesive fabric stickers, Faraway Circus, $105.00 from Love Mae Etsy store

Enjoy!

Love Fleur x

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A LITTLE BREAK…

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

My close girlfriend from Perth and myself met up in Bali last week, for a little R&R before school starts. I love the textures, the food, the colours, the contrasts and the climate. It was the ultimate ‘Pamper Mom’ holiday and the highlight was a facial and massage overlooking the ocean from our cliff-hugging treatment room at the Karma Kandara. I think my photos speak for themselves…

If anyone wants some venue or villa recommendations, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Fleur X

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FAVOURITES~PARTY

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Welcome to a new post about things that inspire us here, at ALEX&ANT.  We thought you might like some insider knowledge as to our favourite things, to assist you in culling your list.  It may be that we’re planning a birthday party (Olive, #2 in 2 days) and we’ve found some fabulous online/bricks & mortar stores, party ideas blogs, books for recipes etc…that might be exactly what you’re looking out for too.  We’re also hoping that guest bloggers will share their snippets with us, so we can offer a very stylish, go-to resource for all the things Mums have to do in this life (and do as though we’ve had hired help).  It could mean that we turn a task from a headache into an absolute pleasure!

So about that party…

If you simply cannot do it yourself, I’d suggest the only reference you need is Paper.Scissors.Cake and you needn’t read on!  At my house I’m planning a simple ‘under/by the sea’ theme because we live very close to the beach.  Disney isn’t my style (The Little Mermaid) so I’m making it all about the colours & textures of the sea.

To start my research I googled the theme + “Donna Hay” to discover Donna Hay Kids featured a party to the same effect in the 2005 annual.  Yes, I had to have it, so it was onto ebay to source the issue.  Having won it, I was really pleased with the recipes and some of the styling ideas.  It is well worth trying to buy the series if you haven’t bought them each year.  Whilst trawling the internet I also discovered a few fabulous dedicated party blogs that you should bookmark for such an occasion:

Hip Hip Hooray

Sara’s Party Perfect

Amy Atlas Events

hello naomi

Joy & Me

Oh Happy Day

Full of inspiration but not rich in party funds, I decided my money was best spent on lovely food, fabulous take-home treat bags and DIY decorations.  I would usually contact Nathalie from Imprintables for her hand-made invitations – and there is a STUNNING ‘Under the Sea’ design, but I compromised this year and purchased a pad of invites.  Invite With Style and Style Me Gorgeous should also be on your list.

It’s easy to see why people spend a fortune on gorgeous paper lanterns and bunting etc…especially if you’re browsing on Etsy (the best store by far is Pretty Swell), however I’ve discovered it’s very easy to string a few ideas together yourself – excuse the pun.  Spotlight is the best starting point and my money was spent on twine, ribbons and good old-fashioned crepe paper.  My advice is to stick to a strict 2 or 3 colour theme to present the illusion of calm & control.  Spotlight have some very inexpensive rolls of ribbon (rather than shopping by the metre), but there isn’t much length to play with.  Here is some of my work in progress…feel free to borrow some ideas!

To start shopping for all of the trimmings such as paper plates, napkins, treats bags and treats (not necessarily lollies) etc..try these stores:

Lovely Little Parties

Details Details!

Lark Handmade

Complete Party Boxes

And well, you’ve have to wait until next week to see the fruits of my labour.  Perhaps I’ll get the birthday cake on Friday’s ‘Feed Me’ but please don’t hold me to it!

Love Fleur X

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Continue Reading

Now Showing At

January 26, 2017

FRECKLES IS ACE

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Freckles is a beautiful kids store located in Avalon on the northern beaches of NSW, where this blogger (me) happens to live.  I had nothing to do with the store picking up Alex & Ant as a label, so it was pretty exciting to see so much of the Summer range on display as I walked the kids to school one day!  Elyse and her team fill this store with quality labels and fantastic gift items, the stock is ever changing and the windows always look gorgeous.  The special Alex & Ant window featured our Megan Hess poster-size colouring-in design and a wonderful pegged clothes line of Summer pieces.  Inside the racks were full with our love-heart, ice-cream and watercolour prints, coloured pom poms and tassels, boys stripes and shark print and lots of baby onesies folded around the shelves.  There were a few baby dolls dressed up too!  The collection has raced out the doors, so this is why I’m writing in the past tense….

Stay up to date with the store at http://www.frecklesforkids.com/

Thank you Freckles For Kids, your support is heartwarming xoxo

Freckles

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NOW SHOWING AT ARMADA COLLECTIONS

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Welcome Olivia from online store Armada Collections, a wonderful supporter of local children’s fashion and Alex&Ant.  We’re so thrilled to introduce their store to our readership.

http://www.armadacollections.com.au

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

Crazy, Dreamers, Fun, Hard Working, Motivated

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

My sister in Law and I really wanted to start our own business, after about a year of dreaming up ideas we finally decided. So many Mums we had spoken to loved to dress their kids in something different than your usual retail stores. We wanted to be able to reach people in all areas especially those areas that don’t have much variety in kids clothing. Coming from our own personal experience when you have kids going to the store to find a perfect gift or just an outfit can be a big effort – now Mums can shop with us without leaving home. We decided an online boutique featuring Australian Designers and really focusing on the quality of clothing so parents would always trust our brands we stock. 

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

Making the right choice and decision on stock and trying to find something a little bit different that everyone will love. Also the hurdle with being online is trying to get people to trust what we say is gorgeous really is!!! They can’t touch and feel so we really need to build a trusted data base.

A&A: Tell us about the area in which you’re located and what’s special about it.

We are an online store, so we are everywhere, anytime you need us!!

A&A: What inspires you?  Books, Blogs, Websites, People, Movies, Family, etc…

Our  friends and family. Always staying on top of what is new by constant research online and of course our wonderful children!!

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill, personal and/or professional?

We want Armada to become a house hold name – we want people to remember our personal customer service that we give to everyone that shops with us. We want to keep growing our brands and make people more aware of the wonderful local fashion we have here in Australia. We would one day, like to branch overseas so we can introduce our brands to other parts of the world.

A&A: Tell us your favourite Alex&Ant item from your store and what response you’ve had to the label.

Our favourite winter piece is the Bow Silk Pants in Black, perfect for any winter wardrobe you can dress them up or down….everybody loves them!!

Enjoy ~

Fleur xo

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NOW SHOWING AT…LELLOW KIDS

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Welcome Loretta from valued Canberra stockist, Lellow Kids.  Here’s what she has to say about her gorgeous store and life in Braddon on the fringe of the city.

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

Mother, Driven, Busy, Passionate & Caring

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

I always knew I had the drive to run my own business – I just wasn’t sure what business that would be. Prior to having children I was a bookkeeper.  After becoming a parent I stumbled into retail, taking the reins of Lellow Kids (formerly Lellow) from friend Diana Derek in October 2011.  When I took over, I added things to the store that I knew parents would like whilst still driving the business from a smart bookkeeping point of view.  Stocking a range of clothes, shoes and toys catering for newborns to 12-year-olds, our store specialises in presenting quality products as cheaply as possible.  Items include clothing by Alex & Ant, Munster, Minti & gorgeous tutus by Tutu Du Monde,  a range of French-made toys from Moulin Roty plus a variety of shoes and boots.  I think the store is quite unique and has a real sense of style, so locals shouldn’t feel the need to go to Melbourne or Sydney.

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

Getting people to understand that their children need to be comfortable in what they wear.  Sometimes customers just like the cheapest option as kids grow so fast, but this means that the clothes are not always 100% cotton and 100% quality.  Educating people to invest in their children’s comfort and wellbeing can be challenging.

A&A: Tell us about the area in which you’re located and what’s special about it.

Braddon is fast becoming a trendy fringe area of Canberra city and in the last 6 months the area has dramatically changed with many apartment style buildings under construction.  There are big plans to build more inner-city housing, which is fantastic for us – to be situated in an area with loads of potential for growth.  Already there are other gorgeous little gift shops and homewares stores popping up.  Rather than shopping in the malls people like to come to Braddon for the charm of a strip-shopping experience.

A&A: What inspires you?  Books, Blogs, Websites, People, Movies, Family, etc…

The people that inspire me are my family, in particular my parents who have taught me that nothing comes for free and if you are passionate in what you do and work hard you will see the rewards.

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill, personal and/or professional?

Professionally I would love to see the store grow,  in fact we are moving the shop to larger premises in the same street so I’m hoping the bigger store will give us more presence.  We want to be THE go-to place to if you are looking for funky kids clothes or baby gifts etc..

A&A: Tell us your favourite Alex&Ant item from your store and what response you’ve had to the label.

I love the floral playsuits which flew out the door at Christmas, and the little booties.. My customers absolutely love the Alex & Ant label and we’ve been taking pre-orders for the winter booties.  The grandmas love the floral baby outfits and I had one lady come back three times for the same outfits for baby gifts!

Thanks so much for your time, Loretta.  We hope this blog sends some visitors your way :)

Enjoy ~ Fleur xo

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WE SHOULD BE SO LUCKY!

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Look!  Here we are featured on the latest mail-out from Baby’s Got Style, thank you BGS.  It’s always such a thrill to see how our valued wholesale accounts embrace our latest ranges.  Who would we be without their continued support?  To all of you who lovingly invest, unpack,  merchandise and promote ALEX&ANT in your beautiful stores, we send our gratitude and best wishes for the Winter season.

Enjoy ~

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NOW SHOWING AT~MOLLY AND JACK

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Oh, it’s the start of a new month so we must introduce you to another of our fantastic stockists!

Welcome to Kerri’s story, owner of the beautiful retail store Molly & Jack in Oatley, south of Sydney… Named after her 2 children Molly & Jack, this gorgeous store reflects Kerri’s love of beautiful things.

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

M&J: Hardworking, determined,  sensitive, creative and unorganised

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

M&J: I had been working for 22 years as either a receptionist or secretary and never really enjoyed what I did.  I always jumped at the opportunity to do anything a little bit creative at work like organising office functions or doing the office floral arrangements. I always felt like there was something out there I was meant to be doing and this was definately not it.

Three months after the birth of my second child I decided to change careers,  took a big leap and opened Molly & Jack.  The store is named after my 2 children.  It has been extremely hard work but I feel like I have finally reached a place where I am happy with the way I have built up my store and the loyal clientel I have.

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

M&J: Realising that you need to cater to your customers which means buying with your head rather than your heart.  Not everyones tastes are the same or life would be pretty boring and you really need to go with what works best for your store.  What works in one suburb may not necessarily work in another.

A&A: Tell us about the area in which you’re located and what’s special about it.

M&J: Oatley is in Southern Sydney 21km from the Sydney CBD.  It is surrounded by some great parks and most are situated on the water.  There is a great sense of community and a real old world feel to the shopping village.  There is a great pub, wonderful cafes, craft shops and deli’s.  Oatley has previously been called the Double Bay of the South.

A&A: What inspires you?  Books, Blogs, Websites, People, Movies, Family, etc…

M&J: My children inspire me definately.  They are what drives me everyday to make the best life possible for them.  I also love going to markets and looking at blogs where I am constantly inspired by things that are not only unique but beautiful.  I am amazed at the amount of creative people out there designing and making the most beautiful things.

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill, personal and/or professional?

M&J: My dream is to build my business up and take a small step back to enjoy what I have.  I wish for my family to be as happy and healthy as possible.  I also want to concentrate on being more organised in the future.

A&A: Tell us your favourite Alex&Ant item from your store and what response you’ve had to the label.

M&J: The bloomers and co-ordinating singlets.  The gorgeous white singlet with pink crochet flower and pom poms.  These just walked out the door.  The thing I love about Alex & Ant is the brand is constantly evolving while still keeping with its signature look.  All my customers love Alex & Ant.

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NOW SHOWING AT~SPOILT @ SUBI

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Thank you Jo for being part of our journey, it is an absolute privilege to be stocked in your beautiful store ~ Spoilt@Subi. You create so much love & happiness around you, and the wonderful feeling you get when you enter your store is a true testament of your talent, care & passion.

We love your enthusiasm towards ALEX&ANT and we are very excited about dressing your beautiful customers & your two divine little angels – Indiana & Lottie.

So here is Jo’s story – find out what inspires this successful & passionate gal!

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

Jo: Talkative, friendly, perfectionist, organised and optimistic.

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

Jo: It all started over seven years ago when I finished uni and decided that sitting in an office all week was not for me.  I needed something a lot more colourful, interactive and fun.  I’d always wanted to own my own gift shop and decided to take the risk.  Spoilt @ Subi opened its doors over six years ago now and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I love going to work and love the never ending retail therapy!

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

Jo: Mmmm… by far the biggest hurdle came after Indiana arrived which was balancing work with family.  24 hours in a day just never seemed enough.  Thank goodness for amazing staff!

A&A: Tell us about the area in which you’re located and what’s special about it.

Jo: Subiaco (Western Australia) is a really vibrant suburb.  The shop is located next to the Subiaco train station which is surrounded by a mix of retail, commercial and residential apartments.  It is constantly growing and evolving.  What’s special about it?  Without doubt the amazing customers we have that are our neighbours!

A&A: What inspires you?  Books, Blogs, Websites, People, Movies, Family, etc…

Jo: Definitely my husband Reid and my two beautiful girls, Indiana & Lottie!  Every day is full of laughs and smiles thanks to them.

Websites & blogs are definitely a weakness of mine.  I could quite possibly spend days looking at endless sites full of architecture, photography, furniture, clothing, and new products.  It’s so fascinating the products people create.  The ideas people come up with keep me continuously inspired and amazed.

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill, personal and/or professional?

Jo: Travel!  I can’t wait to take Indi and Lottie travelling!  By far one of the most memorable holidays I had growing up was visiting Disneyland.  I just thought that place was the bees knees and didn’t want that holiday to end.  I am definitely taking them there even if Mickey Mouse isn’t “in fashion”.

There are a few other ideas I have that I would love to achieve professionally, but sorry, it’s ‘secret squirrel’ business.

A&A: Tell us your favourite Alex&Ant item from your store and what response you’ve had to the label.

Jo: I LOVE the Alex & Ant girls singlets!  I just adore the white singlet with the big pink crochet flower and pom poms.  Oversized flowers, pom poms and lace trim are all a weakness of mine!

Alex & Ant is always a hit with customers.  Before the season even starts we have customers asking when new stock is arriving.  But seriously what isn’t there to like about the gorgeous label?!  I am totally addicted.

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NOW SHOWING AT~CHARBELLA BUBS

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Welcome into the world (long-awaited, I know) of another special ALEX&ANT stockist, Charbella in Cronulla NSW.  This time it was a VERY exciting journey to visit this stunning store and into an area of Sydney with which I’m unfamiliar, but Donna made me feel like an old friend.  Olive was as good as gold and we had a gorgeous time in the store, surrounded by so much more than beautiful children’s clothes.  Charbella is styled beautifully and you can really appreciate the wonderful artistic flair and clear vision that drives these siblings.  There is a wonderful feeling in the air of Charbella Bubs, and you can see that all the loyal customers feel it too. We were so happy we spent most of the day there, it was a long day for Olive, but it was certainly well worth it for the inspiration I took away.

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

CB: Truly unique, everchanging style and beauty

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

CB: My sister and I have always had unique style.  We both wanted to pour our creative energy into something that we both could connect with.  Our children were born, Charlie and Bella and then came Charbella Bubs.

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

CB: Toning down our creativity and not wanting to do that.  Having to please the masses.

A&A: What has kept you going and continues to inspire you?

CB: That we feel more people have dared to step outside the square. That “The Shire” is opening up to change.  Geographically it’s a beautiful small coastal town on the outskirts of Sydney.  It’s next to the oldest national Park in Australia and has access to the ocean as well as Port Hacking.  There are alot of birds around as well as great surf spots.  I grew up in old Bondi.  I watched Bondi grow and believe that this area will with time.

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill?

CB: I would love to live in Bali with my son for a few years.  I would love a coastal cottage with an outdoor shower and a vege patch,  I also would like to swim in the ocean with my son  for the rest of my life… Those are my dreams.

A&A: Tell us about your favourite Alex&Ant stock item from your store and what response you’ve had to the new collection.

CB: I love the blue peace dove body suit.  I like the fact that it is blue and works for all.  Customers love the range.  They keep buying the pieces because they are unique and a great price.  The little polka dot shoes are cute too.  They love these.

Our bottles feature prominently, but if you look closely you’ll see our hats & shirred Anglaise onesie/playsuit folded, a couple of Surf VW bodysuits in the window…oh, and Olive rummaging through the styles!  Unfortunately most of the ALEX&ANT pieces were yet to be unpacked at the time, so we’ll look forward to seeing them on our next visit.  Of course, if any of our readers visit now (at the time of this post), you’ll see the whole Collection (baby – 6yrs).  Please make sure you mention our blog so I know someone out there is reading it!?  Love Fleur x

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NOW SHOWING AT~MY MESSY ROOM

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

On Friday, Olive and I took a little trip to Summer Hill to visit one of our delightful Sydney stockists, ‘My Messy Room’.  What a gorgeous suburb and my thanks to Stav & Bec @ MMR for making us feel so welcome after our long drive (we did stop off at Belle Fleur chocolates to keep up our blood-sugar. You’ve GOT to try their new ‘Apple Strudel’ available only at their Rozelle & Petersham stores). We adored My Messy Room as is, but we know the store will look even lovelier when a huge delivery of Spring/Summer arrives ~ particularly when Stav merchandises our Alex&Ant collection with her trademark flair.  Any day now!

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

MMR: Optimistic, dedicated, family orientated, inspired and hardworking.

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached today?

MMR: I had been a Buyer for a women’s chain store and whilst on maternity leave I started to think about doing my own thing so that I could have a better balance with family and work.  I had loved my job but it was highly competitive, lots of travel, late nights and deadlines.  I enjoy working and knew I needed to do something, but wanted it to be on my terms.  I hadn’t ever thought about childrenswear until Hudson arrived and that world suddenly opened up to me!  I then realised that there was an opportunity to open a store near where I lived, featuring products that I loved and couldn’t get in the area, to utilise my buying and retail skills, be my own boss and work just as hard but for my own gains.

Within the first year of opening I became pregnant with Harvey (which was a surprise) so my plans for My Messy Room stalled a little whilst I became a mum for the 2nd time, adjusted to having two little babies in the the house as well as running the store, online business and being a wife!

Now that both boys are that little bit older (nearly 2 and 4), I feel very inspired and determined to grow my business again and have lost of plans for the summer!

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

MMR: You hear it often, but its time and not having enough of it!  It’s learning to prioritise and get systems in place to run your business as efficiently as possible in the time you have.  I found last year very challenging to say the least and I wasted so much time chasing my tail!  This year I am slowly making the changes to ensure the business side runs more smoothly so that it allows me to source different products and spend time with my customers.  These are the reasons why I opened the store.

A&A: What kept you going and continues to inspire you?

MMR: There is no doubt that it’s my family and the talented people around me that continually excite me about products, crafts, designs, textiles!

A&A: What dreams do you still want to fulfil?

MMR: Gosh, that’s a hard one and I have  a few!  Ultimately though it would be to have a better balance between my family, my own business and my husband’s business.  To travel with my kids every year and give them opportunities to explore and grow….

A&A: Tell us about your favourite Alex&Ant stock item from your store.

MMR: My favourite Alex&Ant items are the water bottles.  They are supercute, timeless, practical, inexpensive and best of all encourage healthy living!

If you can spot the Alex&Ant bottle design @ My Messy Room in the pics below, join us on facebook and tell us! Be the first to send us a facebook message quoting the name of this design and you will win it :)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/ALEXANT/216064142887

Love Fleur X

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NOW SHOWING AT – TEN LITTLE INDIANS

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Welcome to the second ‘Now Showing At’ blog, where we put one of our valued Alex&Ant stockists up in lights!  This month we chat with Emma from webstore TEN LITTLE INDIANS.

MIOW – GLAMOUR PUSS TEENEW SEASON WINTER DENIM SKIRT

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

TLI: Hardworking, persistent, mildly obsessive, practical & sleep deprived!

A&A: How did you come to start your business, in what year and where can we find it?

TLI: Tina and I met when we were both expecting our first child.  We both had a love for children’s clothing and were living in an area where we didn’t readily have access to the products we were looking for.  We were sure there were plenty of people out there in the same position hence Ten Little Indians was born.  That was over 3 years ago.  Our business has obviously grown immensely.  We stock over 70 brands, shipping hundreds of parcels each week throughout Australia & internationally.

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

TLI: Time is always the biggest hurdle – not enough of it! Sometimes people will say that it must be great having an online business that you can do from home not understanding that running our business is truly full-time.  Having a family and working is always a juggle.  We’ve been approached so many times by stay at home mums saying they want to do what we do.  Our advice is always that it is not as easy as it looks.  We try to be brutally honest so that they know what they are getting into.

A&A:What has kept you going and continues to inspire you?

TLI: Our children of course!  How can you not keep going with a family relying on you?

A&A: Please tell us about your favourite Alex&Ant stock item from your store.

TLI: My favourite Alex&Ant item is definitely the denim bird skirt, my youngest Hattie just loves this skirt because my eldest daughter Martha has one too!  It looks fabulous teamed with her Alex&Ant Glamour Puss long sleeve tee.

A&A: And finally, what dreams do you still want to fulfill?

There are oh so many….it’s only by reaching for the stars that we can inherit the universe!

A&A: Thank you for this insight into your busy life and successful business,  and also for this gorgeous photo of Hattie in her Alex&Ant ensemble. You too (our blog readership) can outfit your child with 20% off during the month of July.  That’s 20% off all Alex&Ant purchases through Emma & Tina @ Ten Little Indians.   Just enter “AA” in the coupon section of the checkout for the discount to apply during July only.

http://www.tenlittleindians.com.au/

And whilst you’re shopping you can read Emma’s blog, Even The Smallest Things Matter, written about Alex&Ant!

http://www.tenlittleindians.com.au/blog/

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NOW SHOWING AT – MY BABY ROCKS

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Welcome to our 1st “(Alex&Ant) Now Showing At…” post. I chose this title to put the names of our wonderful stockists ‘up in lights’!  They deserve it for all of the fantastic support they afford us.  Today we’re chatting with Mary from webstore MY BABY ROCKS and here’s what she has to offer us about life as a mother and store owner:

I have 2 kids, Joshua who is 5 and Chloe is 2, who keep me busy!  They are a huge part of My Baby Rocks, modeling clothes for me and testing out all of the lovely clothing, hair accessories & shoes.  My Baby Rocks is very much a family affair.  My lovely husband runs the website and has spent many many hours designing and putting it all together.  I have been running My Baby Rocks for 18 months now and love keeping up with all the latest trends and fashion.  It is wonderful to turn a hobby which I am passionate about into a business, whilst still being able to spend time at home with my family and of course, the kids look fabulous!

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

MBR: A Fun-loving perfectionist, very busy, even more tired but extremely happy!

A&A: How did you come to start your business, in what year and where can we find it?

MBR: My Baby Rocks began back in 2008 after the birth of my gorgeous daughter Chloe, unlike with my son there was a never ending supply of adorable outfits and accessories for girls…only trouble was I could not think of anything worse than shopping with an unwilling 3 year old boy and a tiny baby with severe colic!  Along with the colic came endless washing, soaking and scrubbing resulting in many out of shape, faded clothes complete with my worst enemy – lint!  So came about my mission to find quality clothing that looked new wash after wash.  Shopping online made life so much easier, but I just couldn’t find the bright, loud and quirky clothing I was looking for.  This is when the idea behind My Baby Rocks began, located in Madeley, Perth and we haven’t looked back since…

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

MBR: Definitely, not having enough time – no more lazy Sundays or movies.  Being an online store means plenty of phone calls and emails in the evenings/weekends and working from home…well it really never ends!  In order to keep my sanity, I have learnt to organise my time better and allocate hours to both work and home as well as trying to keep working into the early hours of the morning to a minimum.  And I’ve had to accept that there’s always tomorrow!

A&A:What has kept you going and continues to inspire you?

MBR: The support of my wonderful husband who is always willing to lend a hand and my mum, who without this would not have been possible.  My kids continue to inspire me day after day and I hope to one day have a business that they can play a role in, or at the very least some very well dressed grandchildren.

A&A: And finally, please tell us about your favourite Alex&Ant stock item from your store.

MBR: My favourite Alex and Ant item at the moment would have to be the raspberry cord elephant pinnie, Chloe just loves this dress and we get so many comments when she is wearing it.  The fabric is light and looks fabulous teamed up with a long sleeve tee, tights and maryjanes.  I am eagerly awaiting the next season of Alex & Ant, I can’t give away any secrets, but it is absolutely divine!

A&A: Just LOVE that pic of Chloe showing some toddler attitude!

Thank you so much, Mary, for your wonderful and honest insight into your life and business.  To thank our blog readership, that’s YOU, Mary will be popping a free Alex&Ant wrap in with any Alex&Ant purchase from MY BABY ROCKS. Or wraps are not only perfect for swaddling, they’re great as a pram cover, tummy-time rug or a for a general snuggle!  Just enter “BLOG” at the MY BABY ROCKS checkout before June 30.

http://www.mybabyrocks.com.au/cart/index.php

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