Blog thoughts from Mel the owner of Little Treasures n Trinkets. This page will display the thoughts (sometimes random) from me, the owner of Little Treasures n Trinkets. I work in the I.T industry and have two (2) small people – one girl Miss S (6 yrs) and Mr J (18 mths). I love my kids and being a mum and that was one of the reasons I decided to buy this online store and try to stock stuff that I would like to purchase for my children.
I’m also attempting to dabble in the blogging world by writing blog posts of things that I come across that may or may not be of interest to other mums. Please note that this is my personal blog and any views, opinions or statements are personal to me and don’t represent the views or the company or any people, institutions or organisations that the owner may or may not be associated with professionally or personally. Any views are not intended to be malicious in any way towards religion, ethnic groups, clubs, organisations, companies or individuals.
All content is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. I will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
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Going Green Eco-friendly. In the last six months I have decided to try to be a lot more eco-friendly and green. I’m finally taking notice of those slogans that say ‘what will be left for our children’. Well, firstly let me tell you:
It isn’t especially easy going green eco-friendly and the it does involve more effort and work.
It isn’t as cost effective as what you usually do.
But the main thing from our perspective is to try to make our household contribute to being greener.
What is it? I asked the same question. It is saturated fat that we eat because it is cheap and used to make a ton of stuff from dog food to laundry detergent.
Well apparently it is very bad and causes massive deforestation, something like around 300 football fields of forest is cut down every hour to make room for palm plantations.
As it would happen some of the decisions I have already made in our household also assist in not using palm oil.
Around the House
DIY Washing Detergent
I’ve searched through many, many recipes on the internet. I was looking for one for sensitive skin as my little ones tend to get a bit itchy and I ended up blending a couple of recipes to suite my needs. Here is what I added:
8 cups of baking Soda (from the baking aisle of the supermarket)
6 cups of Washing Soda (from the detergent aisle of the supermarket
2 bars of Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap (I use the Sandalwood & Jasmine cakes)
Grate the soap with your kitchen grater (make sure you give it a good wash afterwards). Mix it all together and put it in a container. Use 1/8 to ¼ of a cup depending on the load. If you want a good fabric softener you can also had ½ cup of vinegar where you would normally put your softener. No smell from the vinegar just a nice smell from the soap and soft clothes with no chemicals.
So a big reduction in the use of hard plastics is one thing that I am aiming towards so I have started with the
So there are still some components on these brushes that aren’t recyclable but it is a start. got mine on EBay but you can get them from any Eco store.
Again hard plastic. I have a few different ones. One from ecotoothbrush, then some pretty ones I got on EBay for my daughter. The ecotoothbrush has the added advantage of the bristles being made from bamboo charcoal which provides better cleaning. Whereas the EBay ones the Rainbow rainbow bristles are most likely plastic.
Wooden Scrubbing brushes
The main component is made from bamboo or wood. The bristles are made from bamboo or some other substances that are eco-friendly.
DIY Air Fresheners
In my house I love to have fresh smells happening. I burn incense and have a diffuser but I also like to have an automatic air freshener. Reading some articles lately I do worry about what is actually in the spray that is merrily spraying around our house 24/7 from the automatic air fresheners.
To that end I found a recipe based on baking soda and essential oil within a mason jar as room air fresheners, they are ok but aren’t very strong. Recipe here by SmashedPeasandCarrots
What I am still on the hunt for is a way to hack the automatic sprayers? I want to be able to spray from a container housing my own handmade air freshener. I will make it from a perfume like substance of witch hazel and essential oils. If you have a way or know a website please comment below.
Soft Plastics – This is a new concept for me but since starting it the amount of rubbish in our bin has reduced greatly. So basically any plastic that you can crunch in your hand can be recycled. You can find your closest location here at RedCycle, only drawback is you have to store them and take them to the supermarket but I normally do it once a week when I’m popping in to buy the odd thing.
Compost – We put all food scraps into our compost bin in the back yard. I always found it annoying that I had to put the scraps into a plastic bag and then take it to the compost bin and empty but found a way around that – biodegradable bags so easy and they just compost away with the scraps.
Recycling – So we all have a recycling bin but ours is normally overflowing every fortnight so having reduced my normal waste by using soft plastic recycling we have decided to try the Return and Earn program. Speaking to my in-laws they are using it and say it is great. I did a bit of research and you can even get paid straight into your PayPal account. See here to see how it works
We now have a bit tub on the back deck that we put all recyclables with a bar code into after rinsing. Will see how it works.
Freezer Bags – reduction of plastic is the name of the game so we have started to use glass containers to freeze our meat instead of freezer bags. Ikea have a great cost effective range. The only down side is that you need plastic between portions if you don’t want to use the whole amount in one meal.
Drinking Straws – Again reduction of plastic I purchased a great bundle of stainless steel straws with cleaning bush which the kids adore.
Obviously all the supermarkets are going bag less, normally I do online shopping and since the bags have been removed it is a HUGE pain as it all just comes in a big crate and you have to unpack it whilst the staff member is waiting. For online they want to charge you the 15c per bag every time but I figure I pay enough money for groceries without paying 15c per bag, never lone every time I shop.
For the times that I do go the supermarket I have string bags for my groceries and then reusable produce bags for my fruit and veg.
Menstrual Cup – To reduce waste in landfill I lot of friends have been using a menstrual cup for years but I have only recently started to use one and wish I had known about this from my mid-teens. So easy to use and better from the environment. There are a wide range on the market – take your pick but whatever you do you should definitely try it! You can read all about it here
Conditioner – Personally I haven’t washed my hair with shampoo in like 15 years or so I only ever use conditioner. I read somewhere it was much healthier for your hair as it doesn’t strip the natural oils. Anyway another way I’m trying to be more environmentally friendly is to use a conditioner bar as opposed to buying the conditioner in the hard plastic containers. There are many on the market but I purchased one from Lush you can also purchase separately a tin to keep your conditioner bar in. I must admit I haven’t been game enough to try it yet but it is on my list of things to try.
Clothing – For me I like materials that breath and I don’t tend to buy a lot of fabrics that are man made but lately I have made a concerted effort to buy 100% cotton.
Accessories – This summer I have even gone for a more natural material for my handbag. Yup I decided to get rid of the faux leather and plastic bags for this summer and go cotton and straw. Hot fashion tip – I’m hoping it will take off!
So there you have it the ways we are trying to be green and eco-friendly! Slowly, but surely, I am trying to find other ways to in which we can be kinder to our environment.
If you have any other ideas please feel free to drop a comment below!
Christmas Crafts back when we first moved into our house about six years ago we had our traditional family Christmas lunch at our house and even though at the time I had a 8 month old daughter and was working full time I decided it was a great idea to make our own Christmas bon bons just to prove to myself that I could be Susie House maker. Only thing is our family Christmas lunch at the time was for about 25. Needless to say it was VERY stressful but they did turn out ok. In case you are crazy enough to try this here is a nice step by step on how to make them.
So last year I decided that it would be a good idea to start a family tradition of making Christmas Crafts with the kids. At the time my daughter, Miss S, was 5 and my son, Mr J, was 11 months. So like any mum with a young baby I waited until Mr J was sleeping before Miss S and I embarked on the craft making sessions.
There were trials and tribulations but in the end I was so proud of our Christmas Craft. Miss S loves getting crafty plus it was a good mother-daughter bonding session. We incorporated the results as some gifts for grandparents as well as decorations for the Christmas tree.
The other thing I decided to try last year was handmade gifts but given my handmade talents I decided to go with stuff in a jar. I looked through all of the ones to purchase where you can make like lip gloss and body scrub and put in smaller containers and then put in a mason jar but I thought they were all a little complicated. I made the decision to make them myself but from small products I could purchase relatively inexpensively. The gunny sack had lots and this was my inspiration so here is what I did:
Found a mason jar with a clip lid.
Went to Kmart with the jar and looked at all the pamper type things they had. I decided on two themes (one for hair and one for feet).
For the hair ones I chose a hair mask to nourish the hair, a headband, some bobby pins, one of those small towels that you can dry your hair with.
For the foot ones I chose a foot soak, some nail clippers, a pumice stone, nail polish and moisturiser.
In the shop I made sure all of the ingredients fitted into the jar.
Bought some ribbon and a little card and tied it around the neck of the jar and voila my own pamper in a jar gift.
Fast forward to this year and I’ve been hunting around for some more ideas of easy things we can make. Now I stress the ‘easy things’ as I’m not really arty nor crafty I just endeavour to make things with my daughter because she loves it and seeing the joy on her face is worth the mess, drama and stress for me.
This year we are endeavouring to make the Tealight Snowmen for Miss S
and Hand and Foot Print Santa Sleighs for Mr J.
Other Christmas Craft Ideas
Whilst I was hunting around I came across some other great ideas to do with kids. Click on each picture to go to website with the instructions.
I also found this really neat webpage called Easy Peasy and Fun which is totally dedicated to Crafts for Kids, Coloring pages, How to Draw Tutorials but I personally loved these two:
Once we have had a chance to complete some of our art for this year I’ll upload some more photos. Share with us the Christmas craft you are doing with your kids this year or do one of the ones we have suggested and show us the photos. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment below.
So as a mum trying to run a small business and life and everything else it is great to work, network and have the support of other women doing the same things.
Whilst trawling through Facebook one day I was lucky enough to come across the Mums in Business Association Facebook group and decided I would join. From there I have learnt so much and have virtually met so many lovely, talented women working their own businesses. As I have a blog attached to my business page I put my hand up and have been lucky enough for them to do a guest blog post for me where I’ve been able to ask them some questions you will see in italics and their responses. Here we go.
Co-founders of Mums in Business Association Estelle Keeber and Leona Burton have brought together an amazing tribe of over 16.5k women from all over the World. Both Leona and myself realised being mums in business ourselves, that there seemed to be a lack of support online and in the real world for mums who have to juggle it all and so MIBA was created!
Leona is a mum to 5 children. Kian, Kye, Enna, Olana and baby Elis. Being a young mum motivated Leona into become a serial entrepreneur. Facing the difficulties of raising 5 children Leona has always had to think outside the box to ensure that she was able to be present in her home life whilst creating a stable financial income too! This has lead Leona into owning multiple businesses from a vocal coaching school right through to a MLM company.
Estelle is a single mum to sons Jed who is 9 and Obi who is 6. After suffering from PND after my second child, I embarked on a career change. After studying photography for 3 years I then went on to create a successful wedding photography business and was runner up in the Women in Business Award 2017.
How did you get started in your business?
We both knew the struggles of trying to run a business whilst also being a mum…. just one of the two is difficult…try doing both. Many of our conversations were focussed on what was lacking for MIB and what in a perfect world we would like to see available for women.
Knowing that there would be many other women feeling the same we created Mums in Business Association. The idea was to create a group when mums could come for support in being a mum and being in business. We offered advice on all aspects of business as well as being an open door for anyone who had an issue with their personal lives too. Giving these women a community to trust in would be just one of the things that made the group so appealing. Both Myself and Leona agree that the massive growth of the group is down to hard work, dedication and finding something that was needed by so many others.
Along with the online support of 16k other women, members also have weekly video trainings to watch on topics such as time management, finding your niche and taking control of your social media. Guest speakers have included Rosemary Conley ( author of best selling book with over 2 million copies ), Olympic medallist Ludi Wiggins and Actress Holly Matthews.
Leona and I have created a movement… we are showing women and mums all over the world that it’s ok to want the best of both worlds…. but not only that we are showing them the techniques and tools to allow them to go and get it as well. Affordable training, VIP membership and Intensive coaching are available for all members ensuring that there is something for everyone no matter what point of your journey you are at. The most important thing for the founders was that other women realised that anything is possible.
What is the most common thing you get asked?
The most common thing we get asked…How do you manage it all? We manage our time really well. Schedule in work time and family time…and dont forget me time! Our planner is a great way to break down your day and keep you on track.
What advice would you give mums wanting to start their own business?
Advice for MIB starting out…Run with those ideas…even if they sound crazy…if they feel good and right at the time go with it. Try not to plan to much…somethings can be planned and others you will need to be more flexible with. Just believe in yourself and magic will happen! How do you juggle motherhood and a business?
If you could ask advice from anyone in the world – who would it be?
Estelle…If I could ask advice of anyone in the world i think it would be Oprah…So many things i would want to ask….What an amazing inspiring women!
These lovely ladies have put out their 2nd book which is available NOW…and has just made it to #1 in Amazons Best Seller list!
To see their inspirational posts follow them on Instagram or join their group on Facebook
How good would it be to be business in the top and pyajamas on the bottom?
So you want to Work from Home? Me too. My weekday mornings consist of up in the morning to try to get two (2) kids ready and the door to care. Then I jump on the train to travel 40 minutes to try to start work at 8:00am.
How good would it be to get up later, leisurely get the kids sorted and delivered because your job was super flexible because you work from home? All business on the top half and then pyjamas on the bottom. Like you, I would love to work at home, but how do we go about it?
If you start with a Google search there seems to be so many options it makes me wonder “Why do people have jobs they go to at all?” But realistically it isn’t that easy. Also the majority of ones I came across were not paying enough that I could give up my job. Lets be idealistic – we all need money to have the lifestyles we want to.
Firstly, how do you decipher between what is real and what is a total scam just trying to get you to part with your money. There are so many options that seem to require a payment of some description it makes me think – How much money do you need to spend to start marking money?
Secondly, it is realistic to think that you probably are not going to earn the same salary working from home as you do in a full time 9-5 job currently.
So I have investigated some options and list them below. Here are just a few but there are many, many more.
Start your Own Business
Find something that you are good at. Are you crafty and make things? Can you offer a service like cleaning or life coaching? By focusing on what you are good at there may be more flexibility to work when you want to. Most importantly is read up, do the research. This is 2017 and new businesses are popping up left right and centre so research your competition. If you are thinking online store it is a VERY competitive market. Find your niche and what makes you stand out from the crowd and go with it.
Looking at an online shop but where do you get the stock? Purchase goods at wholesale and sell them but this requires money. Another option is to drop ship products. This basically means you don’t hold any stock yourself but you advertise it on behalf of other companies. Source companies online that offer this service. Then once a customer places an order with your company you pay for stock at the time from the supplier and they send it out directly to your customer for you. Obviously the cost of the drop shipping service is more than it would be if you were purchasing the goods wholesale but you are paying for the service.
Do not want to go to the hassle of starting one from scratch? There are websites dedicated to selling home businesses. The website is already set up. Research – look at the market and evaluate how much outlay versus potential return. Here is one example https://www.homebusinesswebsites.com.au/
Find a job that lets you work from home
Job websites like Seek, Indeed and Career One are just a few to mention who list positions that allow you to work from home. Go to the website and type in the search phrase “work from home”. With people’s lives becoming busier and busier there is definitely a move by companies to provide employees with more flexible work options. A lot of companies are starting to offer positions that do allow you to work from home either full time or a few days per week.
Just a note that you need to investigate the company and read the ad carefully to ensure it isn’t misleading. Some are a self-employment opportunity rather than you working for a company from home. Also check what requirements there are – do you need to provide your own computer, internet connection, make phone calls? What allowances are they providing?
Sign up for specific websites that provide opportunities to work from home.
Clickworker – this is a website for micro jobs they look for Internet users worldwide who can, for example, create or correct texts, participate in surveys or search and categorise data for them you get paid per job.
Become a Virtual Assistant – if you have an office administration background you could pick up odd jobs or even a full time job if you are lucky being someones virtual assistant.
Write a blog – like this one and get enough sponsors or people to click on it to make money or persuade a company to pay you to review their products.
Complete Surveys – there are many websites that will pay you to complete surveys or have an opinion on a product. Just Google ‘Paid Surveys”
Affiliate Sales and Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is where a company pays you a commission for referring business to them. The commission is only valid if the sale is completed.
Affiliate Sales is where you sign up to a company to sell their products. You earn a commission on what you sell. Think Avon, Nutrimetics or Intimo.
This does sound very dodgy but there are some legitimate ways to make money. One of the latest crazes is to delve into the world of Cryptocurrency and one of the hottest properties at the moment is Bitcoin training.
I have done some research and there are a lot of companies out there but one that I found that seems legitimate and transparent is USI-Tech.
I am still looking for the illusive work from home position that allows me to continue my lifestyle as well as be at home. Most stay at home mums that I have spoken to seem to have a number of the above things on the boil to supplement their income but keep in mind that only one of the options above actually may have a guaranteed income and that would be success in obtaining employment with a company that is happy for you to work from home.
Still hunting for the ultimate one, if you have any suggestions or experience in the above please leave a comment below.
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