Family life

Now!vember – Never stop learning and experimenting

Today’s Now!vember topic – Never Stop Learning and Experimenting – makes me think of one person. My mother.

My mother is a teacher and this has always been her motto (among others!). Her dedication to her continuing education amazes and inspires me.

She has always been interested in art, so when she retired she started some fine arts subjects at TAFE. She is thoroughly enjoying the experience. So much so that she is just about to create her own dedicated studio space at home.

Image copyright Fay Cavenagh 2010

Last night was the opening night of her and her fellow students’ exhibition – Ripe.

She has also entered artworks in various art competitions, even getting them exhibited at times.

I’m so proud that my mother has found something else to enthuse, inspire and challenge her!

Family life

At my house…

Gluten free chocolate cakeAt my house this weekend my parents, sister and her husband came for afternoon tea.

My sister brought along a yummy gluten free chocolate cake. This is all that’s left!

Alisi’s Daddy worked all weekend, so Alisi and I went for walks and played in the park. I also spent quite a bit of time rescuing newspapers and books from Alisi. Some didn’t get rescued in time and now have bits missing – the victims of a baby who puts everything in her mouth.

I also planted out some baby mint plants. More on that here.

See what’s happening at other houses at Buttons by Lou Lou.

Family life

Minty babies

You may remember this previous post about my over-abundance of mint.

Sprouting mintWell, I left the minty arrangement on the kitchen bench so long that it made babies!

Yes… that was my plan all along. It had nothing to do with being too lazy to throw it out when it had lost its minty freshness.

Mint stems
Look! The one on the right has even sprouted roots!

I did momentarily consider starting up my own micro herbs business, but decided it would take up too much kitchen bench space.

Baby mint plants ready for potting

Instead I cut them into little plants…

Potted mint plants

…and potted them up in some biodegradable pots. I added some worm castings from my balcony worm farm to the potting mix – super stuff!

Hopefully this little experiment will work and I’ll soon have some little mint plants ready to give away to friends.


This Saturday I’m grateful for…jacarandas

Image courtesy of Flickr member Jared G licenced via
Creative Commons

This Saturday I’m grateful for:

Jacarandas – they’re all blooming beautifully in Sydney right now. I love their purple trumpets.

My grandmother – who celebrated her 91st birthday this week.

Our cleaners – an indulgence I know, but it’s oh so nice not to have to worry about the vacuuming and dusting.

Swimming lessons – Alisi had her first swimming lesson this week and had a ball. She also had a nice long nap afterwards!

  What are you grateful for? Join in at Maxabella loves…

Family life

Now!vember – Embrace Online Business

I’ve been reading and pondering Felicity at Gifts of Serendipity‘s Now!vember posts with some interest. Today’s topic – Embracing Online Business – is one that I feel qualified to talk about, being involved in the e-business world in my other life.

 So, a few tips on starting and operating an online business:

Image courtesy of Flickr member kodomut licenced via
Creative Commons

Start small (and cheap) – don’t spend thousands of dollars (and lots of energy) on having a website developed for you. If you’re selling goods online, open a shop on a site like Ebay, Etsy or Madeit. If you’re selling a service try promoting your service via a blog. These sites take care of alot of the technical stuff allowing you to concentrate on actually building your business.

It’s just another shop front – your online presence (website, blog, Etsy shop) is not your whole business. Don’t fall into the ‘build it and they will come’ trap. You will need to market your online business and provide excellent service to your customers.

Engaging and using web developers – if you do get to the point where you need to have your own website you come to the exciting world of engaging a web developer. All I can say is…write it all down (even if it’s for your neighbour’s brother-in-law who does it for you on the cheap). Provide very specific instructions, in writing, to your developer about the way you want your website to work and look. Otherwise you may end up with something you didn’t expect or want and having to pay for it to be re-done. If writing detailed instructions isn’t your cup of tea, pay someone (the web developer or someone else) to do it for you. Your wallet will thank you for it in the long run.

Market your site – develop a marketing plan for your business. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just enough to ensure you’re promoting your business regularly. Encourage people to visit your site using whatever means you have. In addition to the traditional marketing avenues, use your existing social networks (offline and online), blog, Twitter and Facebook about new products or promotions, and invite existing customers to sign up for a regular newsletter.

Customer service –  even though you don’t see your customers face to face, you can still provide excellent customer service. Keep your customers informed about the progress of their purchase and respond to queries quickly.

And if you don’t have an online business – embrace other online businesses. Get out there and support some local small businesses. Do your Christmas shopping online and find some unique gifts made locally rather than tackling the crowds at an overpriced, big corporate owned shopping centre.

Family life

At my house…

Image courtesy of Flickr member Ashley
licenced via Creative Commons.

At my house this weekend we sweltered. Apparently it was the hottest weekend since January.

We gave our new ceiling fans a work out.

Alisi and I went to a local permaculture meeting on Saturday. Alisi was fascinated by the beard of a very hirsute gentleman there.

I also spent some time Alisi-proofing the apartment. The stereo was moved up out of Alisi-reach. She thinks it’s a special toy just for her – it makes lots of exciting clicks and whirs and the volume knob can be conveniently removed for chewing. The poor speakers were also feeling a little naked – she kept taking off their covers.

I’m linking up to Felicity at Gifts of Serendipity as I’ve used her Word of the Week. What a great word ‘hirsute’ is! In my mind it’s always used in conjunction with ‘gentleman’.


This Saturday I’m grateful for…peanut butter

Image courtesy of Flickr member Ross Burton licenced via
Creative Commons

This Saturday I’m grateful for:

Peanut butter – gotta love it on hot buttered toast.

Good health – having just recovered from my first full-on cold as a Mummy I’ve come to the realisation that all new mothers come to…your kids don’t give you sick leave!

Massages – first massage in over 18 months…for an hour…and with no baby in earshot…aaaaaah

Alisi’s Daddy – who went and did all the grocery shopping for me while I was sick. And he managed to get most of it right.

Alisi – who makes me laugh every day.

What are you grateful for? Join in at Maxabella loves…