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kids'Toys

8 Steps For Managing & Organising Your Kids’ Toys

Most families have too much stuff, and that includes kids’ toys. Most parents have had the slapstick comedy scene where you get up to check on something in the house, a noise perhaps, and tread on a squeaky toy or slide across the room and land on your bottom after stepping onto a skateboard or some such rolly thing. Then there’s the clutter that ends up driving you crazy if you have nowhere to store the mountain of toys the kids just had to have or that grandparents have bought over the years. If you have only one area in the house to relax, for the kids to play, toys can be a problem. If you get tired of telling the kids to pick up their toys, but the toybox is well and truly overflowing, maybe it’s time to get organised.

Kids' Toys

1. Keep an Eye Out For Ignored Toys

It seems counterintuitive but the fewer toys kids seem to have cluttering up the overfull toybox, the more they play what’s in there. Some boys will stick to their favourites such as the fire engines, plastic dinosaurs, and fast cars. Culling them would be an obvious mistake, but you could consider removing the small plastic rubbishy things such as Kinder surprises, and stuff they get for free at fast food outlets. If you leave the kids’ favourite toys around to play with, they won’t notice the cull.

2. Get Rid of Non-age Appropriate Toys

You could be the one reluctant to let go of your kids’ baby toys or toddler toys, even though nobody plays with them, and if so you’re not the only one. Some parents find it hard to do, maybe thinking they’ll have more kids and will need the toys. Giving them up might mean your baby days are over, and that can be sad, but you might find a mother in need somewhere who can’t afford toys for her baby, and that would be a panacea for your grief. And my kids will barely notice their baby toys gone, unless it’s a favourite cuddly toy they’ve had since birth. You would never part with that.

3. Don’t buy Happy Meals, Kinder Surprises etc

The simplest way of avoiding these nasty little beggars that cut into your bare feet if left lying around and you don’t see them scattered on the floor is to ditch them and don’t buy any more. They often come in party bags and other fun things but if the choice is yours, don’t use them. It will mean no more happy meals, but you’ll be healthier, have less pesky little bits cluttering your house and have more money. It’s cheaper to just get a plain burger and chips and to take your own water (in a glass bottle – think of the plastic cluttering up the oceans).

4. Convince the Kids to Donate

One good way to clear the clutter is to teach your kids’ the joy of giving their unwanted toys away to other children in need, or donating them to charity. However, it’s all in the way you approach the subject and how old they are. Mr five can perhaps begin to understand how much more he has than some other kids and might show some enthusiasm in helping others. If your kids are older, have a chat with them about giving away to other kids in need those toys they don’t play with anymore.  

5. Have a Special Play Area

If you don’t have a playroom it doesn’t matter. The specified play area doesn’t have to be a whole room but you will need a place where the toys reside, which could be one corner of the lounge room. Mind you, the toys will no doubt rarely stay there, but will be spread throughout the house. However, when it’s pick up toys time they have their own place to go. Your child will probably have learned the art of toy tidiness at preschool so make it a game.

colour, bedlinen, playtime, cubby house,

6. The Right Storage is a Good Investment

It’s more often the case that clutter is a problem because there’s nowhere to store the toys. If you have a small house you’ll need multipurpose storage, for instance, a toy box that serves as a bench. It will need a hard top that can go over the box if there’s a need for extra seating.

7. Gently Coach Grandparents About Gifts

Grandparents love to spoil their grandchildren with gifts and such and that’s a special joy for them and the kids. Without taking that away, you’ll need to talk to both sets of grandparents and gently explain how your house is too small for all those toys, or that you‘re teaching your kids to be mindful of waste.  A good idea is for the toys Gran or Pa buy be left at the grandparents’ house so there’s something the kids can play with when they visit.

8. Try Joining a Toy Library

Toy libraries are a great idea for anyone who wants to declutter and also give the kids a thrill by going to a special place where they can find toys they want to play with and take them home for a couple of weeks or a month, then go back and change them. If there’s a toy library in your area, the small fee is worth the joy for the whole family. Toy libraries are usually stocked with high-quality toys that still have the ‘new’ feel so kids play with them a lot. To find a toy library near you check out https://www.toylibraries.org.au.

 

Author’s Bio

Alex Morrison has been an avid digital marketer for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including toys, children’s products and services. As the owner of Integral Media he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.

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Do you sometimes feel that life gives you one big LEMON?

You know the old saying….

lemon, qoute, lemonade

 

Do you wonder what this lemon quote actually means and how this relates to your own life????

The truth is this pearler of a quote was mentioned to me the other day by a good friend pertaining to my own personal situation at present. I found myself thinking WTF??? Lemons? Lemonade? Before I could break it down she was off!

This is how I relate to this…

Lemons are equal to fuck wittery people, situations and events. So what you need to do is accept this and turn it into your gold…a positive…yea take a negative work with it and turn this into a positive. How does that sound to you? YES? In agreement! Good!

Recently I won an award. I received the silver Ausmumpreneur award for network excellence. Meaning I have strong ability to connect with others through Kat & Fox, sharing ideas, offering support and collaborating…are you clear? GOOD.

aus mumprneur

This was such a great experience I got to spend two whole days with extraordinary women/mums in business who all have a passion to make a dream come true and make a difference with what they are created. The strength I felt in those two days was indescribable, a world away from school runs, nits and tantrums. This was a chance for me to be me. SO life was great, Kat & Fox steaming ahead kicking goals and a clear future was evident for me. I made new connections and even discussed the opportunity for my next collection and book, found ways to add more meaning to the brand…my mind was buzzing I felt truly on fire.   UNTIL…

A massive bloody lemon was chucked my way the day after my win….

I left for the awards, a mother, a wife and business owner. I returned a mother and a business owner…BIG LEMON! So when curve balls or lemons are thrown your way you fall, you fall hard, well I did and now two weeks later I am starting to work on making the lemonade. I honestly believe even though my life has been turned upside down, and my brain is like the slime we make for our little ones I am free and I even see a glimmer on the horizon.

So now off I go to squeeze the fuck out of my bucket of lemons and make some damn fine lemonade!!!!

 


 

About the Kat & Fox founder

Kat is an Illustrator, entrepreneur, blogger,  interior/textile designer, visual arts teacher and above all mother to three crazies. In her whimsical humorous way, she explores all topics related to the many sides of motherhood and parenting little angels on her blog.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest news, freebies and content from Kat & Fox, be sure to sign up to our E Newsletter. Don’t stress we won’t bombard your inbox with a thousand and one emails but we will be sure to keep you informed!

Ps. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to be inspired every day.

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school, dress ps, mums

Mums vs School DRESS UP days

Aahhhhhhhhhh!!!!! ‘ SCHOOL DRESS UP DAYS  we all remember them fondly as kids but now as mothers those words strike panic and fear in our hearts.

Last term it was the school sports colours day. Achievable if your child is in Blue or Red house but a bloody nightmare if your little darling is in Yellow or Green house because the latter are just about never in fashion and deservedly so. You might find something from the 80’s at the op shop if you’re lucky. Then again you might be popping an adult’s size 18 tee on your 6-year-old and calling it a dress. That’ll do…get out the door we’re late!

mums, school, dressup, costume, wheres wally

My son Harrison in the final creation Wheres Wally style!!

This term however it’s the ‘Where’s Wally ‘ walk-a-thon day where you guessed it, the kids have to dress like Wally. There’s a reason he’s called Wally and it’s all to do with his horrid fashion sense! Needless to say, you aren’t going to just stroll into Kmart or Target and find a red and white striped long sleeve tee sitting there at the right price to be worn once by your darling child.

Dress ups, wheres wally, Wanda, costumes

The quickest mum off the mark shoots off to Vinnies the day the costume announcement is made. She finds something if not a little large but it fits woopie! Too bad if you’re one of the parents of the rest of the 800 kids at school all looking for a costume in the same country town.

Some are lucky and have Nannas who can knit up a beanie overnight, many don’t.

The experiences…

A good friend of mine experienced visiting seven….yes SEVEN Op shops and still coming out empty-handed. The most amazing thing is that she managed to do this with her winging 2-year-old in tow…OMG, I feel she deserves a fricken medal!!!

With regards myself, as sick as a dog, I sewed a beanie and painted red stripes on a white shirt during my lunch break after chugging some cough syrup to wash down my flu meds and multivitamins.

wheres wally, dress ups, costume, book week.In conclusion…

We can all tell you where Wally is…he’s at the bloody Nut-house visiting all the mothers that have been driven bonkers trying to dress their kids for ‘School dress up’ days.

Seriously schools, can we have Homer Simpson as a mascot please because we can all do a white tee and blue jeans and hey, no one is going to complain about the doughnut thing… everyone loves a good doughnut!

I will say that the schools have managed to get one ‘School dress up’ day right; PYJAMA DAY. No arguing with the kids to get dressed 500 times, no hunting for lost socks, no waiting for the dryer to finish of the uniforms you forgot to put in last night.  Just get them out of bed, shove their Uggs on and push them out the door with a piece of Vegemite toast. Done. Why heck, I’ll even get onboard and take them to school in my own PJs, why not?!

Ahhh, stress freeee……

Signing off ……

PINKY Wittingslow (Fellow Creative Mama)…Mama friend and colleague of Kat of Kat & Fox

Added comment by Kat

Love this blog post thank you Pinky!!! Another idea being is to befriend the mothers who have the natural passion and ability, unlike myself..  l’lI admit this is where I am at for dear old ‘SCHOOL DRESS UP DAYS ‘.  Here is the secret: the offer is given to take on creating the costume for your child as your child is the best friend of their child and their child will not dress up unless she matches my child!!!! Very grateful to my dear friend Amy for this!!!!

Little Miss Foxy and her BFF love being Wanda!!

Let us know your experiences of school dress up days in the comments below……


About the Guest Author

Pinky is a textile and graphic designer…She is currently setting up her own small creative business ‘Crafty Possums’ where she hand dyes her own yarns and screen prints fabric offering wondrous crafty activities and supplies for kids young and old….

About the Kat & Fox founder

Kat is an Illustrator, entrepreneur, blogger,  interior/textile designer, visual arts teacher and above all mother to three crazies. In her whimsical humorous way, she explores all topics related to the many sides of motherhood and parenting little angels on her blog.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest news, freebies and content from Kat & Fox, be sure to sign up to our E Newsletter. Don’t stress we won’t bombard your inbox with a thousand and one emails but we will be sure to keep you informed!

Ps. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to be inspired every day.

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What does your handbag and say about you?

Recently when I was in Melbourne I attended a networking event. Here we were attentively listening to Nic from The Mama Sorority when suddenly a high pitched siren was affecting the focus. I realised that it was, in fact, coming from the handbag on the floor in front of me. As the mama in charge of said bag sunk her hand in to locate the culprit, a light bulb went off in my head for my next blog post. With this idea set, I met so many wonderful working mums and they were more that willing to scatter the contents of their bags on the floor for me to examine.

We carry these bags as statement pieces and we stuff them with so much crap… How many of you have found yourself sinking your hand into the depths of your bag desperately trying to locate your car keys only to find, lollies, tissues, toy cars? TBH at times, I can be so impatient I literally tip it onto the pavement to the amazement of people passing by and I don’t give a S*#t…

With all this in mind I would like to introduce you to four such women, all Mama’s two who like me have their own child-focused brands, one nearly there and one taking a break from her fast-paced marketing career to focus on family.


Prue Henschke and her handbag

MAMA’s Me time

Well me I’m a mum of two super energetic boys – aged 3.5 years and 16 months. My day job is as a lawyer and I write/blog for fun. Through my blog, I’m hoping to inspire mums to prioritise taking care of themselves – a personal challenge of mine and it seems lots of mums.

Since having children, big handbags are a must for me! I always seem to be given rocks, sticks, pine cones or toys my eldest swears he’ll carry but are passed off to me as soon as we leave the car/house.

 

The super bag

The few toys I have in my handbag are for those times I’m out trying to play grown up at a cafe and the boys are bored of playing with napkins, teaspoons and menus.

I have used the same style of pocket calendar for years but rarely use it now. I have no social life!   The earphones are for talking on the phone (I worry sometimes about frying my brain) and listening to podcasts (one of my favourite forms of me-time).  The sunnies are new but I’ve opted for less expensive ones than I’ve had in the past because if I’m honest I take appalling care of them.

The Banjo Carob chocolate is for me – if I’m having one of those days.

What does this say about this working mama?

Pinky Wittingslow and her handbag

Pickled Tink

I work from home as a textile artist whilst juggling mumming of two cheeky cherubs. My handbag is simple with a strap long enough to sling over my head and wear crosswise for those 200mtr toddler-weight-lifting school bell dashes. The weathered brown leather matches my trusty well-loved utility boots great for the workshop, studio and playground.

A bag so well loved..

My two-year-old potters around the studio with me or enjoys trips to The Hardware Store (note bolts) to gather supplies for making whatever craft tool I’m building that day. We do stop by parks randomly for nature walks…note the acorn my son smuggled in there. He’s only just cleared his pebble collection out. Tiny toys mean we have little friends to play with wherever we go.

an assortment of fun…

Sam Baker and her handbag

Life is crazy busy as a mother of two and working as an online lecturer in marketing from home. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my handbag is a well-worn vintage Louis Vuitton. Stylish but has certainly seen better days….a bit like its owner.

An aged Loui V

The contents reflect my daily life and I like to cull to keep things to a minimum. My favourite perfume Aerin Lauder, my phone, purse and makeup bag. Just the essentials. The colourful heart is a note for Mother’s Day from my son.

Sassy Mama loves her perfume…

 

Leanne Scaffaro and her handbag

Whats In That Box

Who am I? A busy working Mama who co- run’s a buisness with my friend Katie where we seek out unique, on-trend Australian made/designed baby items to gift loved ones in beautiful branded gift boxes.

I was very fortunate to have been given this beautiful handbag from my brother, all the way from his holiday to Spain.  The style of my bag pretty much sums me up. I love a bit of style, but classy and sexy fashion.

Sexy Spanish bag…

Of late since starting our business I have learnt to carry around my phone charger and these days my phone goes flat so quickly from constantly working from it. I also have a protein snack in my bag and I am totally OBSESSED with the bounce ones.  Got to have my water bottle with me and the essentials and a meditation cd to help calm the mind every now and then ✌🏻

Try to make time for meditation…..

 

As sexy sassy modern mama’s our handbags become our lifelines…

I’d like to ask you if have any of you funny stories pertaining to your handbags?  Like carrying around smelly nappies for days as you feel embarrassed to deposit them in your friend’s bin or eating half an apple and using your beautiful Chanel as a bin and being so busy you forget, one week later finding a strange smell emerging from the bag? Sounds familiar?

We would love to see your pics and hear your stories pertaining to handbag nightmares so comment below!

 


About the Author

Kat is an Illustrator, entrepreneur, blogger,  interior/textile designer, visual arts teacher and above all mother to three crazies. In her whimsical humorous way, she explores all topics related to the many sides of motherhood and parenting little angels on her blog.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest news, freebies and content from Kat & Fox, be sure to sign up to our E Newsletter. Don’t stress we won’t bombard your inbox with a thousand and one emails but we will be sure to keep you informed!

Ps. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to be inspired every day.

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positive bedtime routine

Top 5 tips for making kids bedtime stress free..

I bloomin’ know how bedtime can be a stomach-churning experience. LBH if you are well planned and prepared it really can work. As long as you can be calm and be in the right mindset this will work (I PROMISE)

HERE I have created my top five tips on…“How to set the scene for making kids bedtime stress free”

TIP #1  TURN THE LIGHT’S DOWN

Bright light over stimulating their senses, so for bedtime stories, you’ll need enough light to read by low enough for the feeling of candlelight…preparing them for sleepy time. Bedside lamps 15W are perfect…Diffused light is better than some lampshades where the light is directed up and down…too bright. Torches can be fun too…especially when you read to them under the covers…

 

soft string lights add pops of colour and soft ambience at night

TIP #2  PREP THE BED

Use plump pillows and cushions that create a feel of a story nook for reading to them. Often getting them involved in decorating their rooms, or selecting the bed-linen can help them to feel positive about their own spaces.  They will want to go to bed.

Plump cushions add lots of colour.

TIP #3  TOO HOT, TOO COLD

Make sure that the room temperature is just right. The Bed linen you choose needs to be 100% cotton, this is breathable and your child will not overheat during the night. Some brands of children’s bed linen prefer to use Polyester/cotton blends, might be a cheaper option, but be careful do you really want your child to sleep under a plastic bag all night?

 

TIP #4  MAKE IT ENJOYABLE 

yes keep the mood calm remember kids love cubbies, picture books with bold colourful illustrations, feeling protected and safe. Sometimes I drape LMFC’s flat sheet, hook it to the top of the blind, and fashion a bed canopy over the top end of her bed. I encourage her to choose three of her cuddly friends to join us for story time, leaping into the world of her beautiful imagination and dreams.

Ava love’s making cubbies over her bed.

TIP #5  JOIN THEM

climb in under the covers snuggle in tight with two or three books and begin sharing that special moment. I urge you to giggle, chatter about the pictures and NEVER forget to end with cuddles, kisses and “Sleep tight my sweet, love you my darling”

Kids bedtime routines

Me sharing a special moment with Little Miss Foxy…

 

Please feel free to add in the comments your own tips to share…

 


About the Author

Kat is an Illustrator, entrepreneur, blogger,  interior/textile designer, visual arts teacher and above all mother to three crazies. In her whimsical humorous way, she explores all topics related to the many sides of motherhood and parenting little angels on her blog.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest news, freebies and content from Kat & Fox, be sure to sign up to our E Newsletter. Don’t stress we won’t bombard your inbox with a thousand and one emails but we will be sure to keep you informed!

Ps. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to be inspired every day.

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felt ball garlands, colour, clementine and thread

The story behind our new Felt Ball Garlands from Clementine & Thread…

I wanted to take the time to introduce you to one of our beautiful brands that we are showcasing in the Kat & Fox shop...Clementine & Thread. I met the beautiful and creative Jo Campbell at the Life in Style trade show in Melbourne 2016 and just fell in love with her quirky key rings and felt ball Kits. At Kat & Fox we are looking to work with other brands that complement our range and C & T did just that. We adore the colours and the make and do feel of her unique products. Below are some answers to questions I sent to Jo so that you can get to know and love her and her products like we do!


What is the Name of your business and why that name?

Clementine & Thread. Why? I’ve always loved the name Clementine, and this business is my baby, so it seemed fitting to name it one of my baby names, ha! The thread came about because I wanted to acknowledge the textiles and embroidery nature of the business.

I run Clementine & Thread from my home studio in a sunny beachside town in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand. We just moved back from Australia at the end of last year and we’ve spent most of the past decade being pretty nomadic, so we’re all looking forward to settling down!

 Tell us about your products?

I design, make and sell cleverly modern embroidery kits, fun felt garland and knitting kits, and delicious hand dyed luxe yarns – basically, my business is making gorgeous things so that my lovely customers can make gorgeous things, and get their craft on!

clementine and thread

Beautiful hand stitch embroidery Keyrings

Are you a mother? 

Yes! We (hubby Dave is part of the package!) have fantastic twins, Cole and Imogen, who are about to turn 11 in June. They are great fun, engaging, enthusiastic and awe-inspiring. I love their zest for life and cherish getting to take a front row seat as these amazing little humans encounter and shape their world. Parenting is such a wild ride…we are so fortunate to have a life filled with love and laughter and energy and kindness. And fart jokes and 10-year-old sarcasm.

family, colour, thread

Jo Campbell and her beautiful family

How do your products fit with the Kat & Fox range and which products are you selling through our shop?

Clementine & Thread is so excited to be offering fun wool felt ball garland kits through the shop, in exclusive colourways that have been designed specifically to play well with Kat & Fox linens. C&T is all about encouraging creativity and promoting the benefits of tactile activities, so it’s natural for us to team up with Kat & Fox who are also so clearly passionate about creativity and colour and fun!

clementine and thread

Hand rolled Felt ball Garlands

image5

Kat & Fox love colour…how do you feel about colour?

C&T is all about colour! I often think of colour as the visual equivalent of our sense of smell…everyone perceived colours slightly differently, but for each of us, colours are so evocative and multifaceted. The distinct green of the lush NZ bush during the wet season, the hydrangeas in Nan’s backyard, the red of the rocking horse when you were tiny…each memory you have is overlaid with colours that help keep that memory alive for you. I find this – and people’s reactions to colours – fascinating. My desire is that the colours I layer on my yarns, and the shades I choose to include in my kits will help build memories for others.

Felt ball Garlands

hand rolled Felt ball garlands add so much colour to any space…

What tip can you leave about combining Mumma duties and building your own business?

It’s hard work. It’s awesome work, don’t get me wrong, but there’s often an element of hard slog to it all too, because each aspect of your life is demanding, and there’s only one of you! And that’s why it’s so important to try and be kind to yourself – there’s an awful lot of pressure to get everything ‘just so’ and to be perfect at everything all the time…and that kind of pressure just never ends well. I’m a firm believer in the old adage that you can have everything, just not necessarily all at the same time! I mean, this commonsense knowledge doesn’t stop me from trying to give it a red hot go, but I find I am much more content within myself when I remember to just be kind to myself…and to just enjoy the ride!

“I just want you to imagine adding these beautiful felt garlands to your little one’s space tying in oh so well with our Kat & Fox linen and cushions..the addition of bright pops of colour to enliven their spaces plus a bonus activity to share with them…building on those special childhood memories.” Kat


About the Author

Kat is an Illustrator, entrepreneur, blogger,  interior/textile designer, visual arts teacher and above all mother to three crazies. In her whimsical humorous way, she explores all topics related to the many sides of motherhood and parenting little angels on her blog.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest news, freebies and content from Kat & Fox, be sure to sign up for our E Newsletter. Don’t stress we won’t bombard your inbox with a thousand and one emails but we will be sure to keep you informed!

Ps. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to be inspired every day.

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cot to bed

Transitioning your little one from a cot to a bed?

Little Miss Foxy Cub the last of my three babies was two when she transitioned from the cot to a single bed. Previous traumatic attempts with my boys had left a bad taste… Like me, Little Miss Foxy was a nervous but determined little girl in comparison to her bolshy older brothers!

Knowing this and with my super power of recounting incidents from my past, I had to be cautious. One million years ago I recall being terrified as I was dumped in a big bed for the first time, my parents engaged in a crude sink or swim method of transition.

This left little me afraid of the dark; gripping onto my parents for dear life and repeatedly escaping downstairs nightly…drove my poor parents batty!  I’ll be brutally honest I don’t have the patience for that bull crap adding to that I am very selfish and enjoy the ME time!! Kid FREE time.

 

SO now let me share what I chose to do with LMFC in five FOXERTASTIC tips:

TIP (1) IT’S IN THE TIMING

 So much newness in their little lives. Pick a time where nothing like the birth of a new baby, moving house, death in the family, divorce or illness is an occurrence. Two to three years old is when they are ready and starting to scramble out of their cot.

TIP (2) PREPARE THEM or suffer

Show them how their little buddies are now in big beds. This excites them making it an adventure to be had!

TIP (3) SET A ROUTINE or drive yourself to drink

I favour bath time, snuggles on the sofa, teeth clean, that all-important storybook, one butterfly kiss, three nose rubs and a huggle! “Sleep tight…see you in the morning when the dogs are yawning”

TIP (4) SLOWLY WINS THE RACE step it out…

  • Step (1) One side of cot is removed
  • Step (2) Transition into a toddler bed and for familiarity keep it in the same spot as the cot was.
  • Step (3) Toddler beds can extend to the size of a full single. Do retain the familiar cot sized quilt, as a single tends to slip off in the night as too big for little-sized bodies. (Based on experience)
  • Step (4) Finally introduce their long-term bed.

 

TIP (5) MAKE THE ROOM A SPACE THEY LOVE not a bland prison cell.

Ensure their room is engaging and kid focused. Surround them with everything they love. Select quality bed linen that will move with them from cot through to single bed. Create calming and cosy spaces to help them to calm enough to relax into that all important sleep time.

LMFC sleep tight baby girl xxxx

 

Please feel free to add in the comments your own tips to share…


About the Author

Kat is an Illustrator, entrepreneur, blogger,  interior/textile designer, visual arts teacher and above all mother to three crazies. In her whimsical humorous way, she explores all topics related to the many sides of motherhood and parenting little angels on her blog.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest news, freebies and content from Kat & Fox, be sure to sign up to our E Newsletter. Don’t stress we won’t bombard your inbox with a thousand and one emails but we will be sure to keep you informed!

Ps. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to be inspired every day.

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Feel better about your post-baby body…

LBH birthing humans takes its toll on your physical womanly form..resulting in post baby body insecurities…

You feel happy in your skin until that day you open the wardrobe.  It’s then you realise that your collections of skirts, dresses and your trusty capris’ have all shrunk.

Yes, this was I two weeks ago. It was as if during the indulgent hot summer months floating around in loose fitting and oh so forgiving BOHO dresses I was oblivious to the fact that my physical form had changed.

 

It was a DRESS that changed it all for me…

I felt ashamed…what had I become?

 

I had to take action…

In denial, I pulled, tugged, pinched and squeezed…the pain was unreasonable. It reminded me of shoving ill-fitting sleeping bags into their tiny compact outer casings. Finally, you are left with the ever maddening overspill or overhang.

I was a dwindling mess “FFS its now getting cooler I MUST HAVE my winter wardrobe…Why have you done this to me? WTF am I going to wear?”

I yearn to be like my Little Miss Foxy with pink PJ bums, Tutu, Micky-mouse T-shirt topping it off with fabulous yellow gumboots stepping out for the day not a care in the world.  Kids’ amaze me, they don’t care what people think, so why do I? OMG, I am so F #*ing sensitive regarding the opinions of others and it gets you nowhere!

It was time to make a pact with myself

” I NEVER want my little girl to experience what I have been through struggling with poor body image and self-sabotageI must lead by example!“ SO I took a deep breath sunk my hand into the snugly packed wardrobe final decision being whatever item I pulled out I would make it work.

There she was…as if a halo had appeared around her…THE (perfect) DRESS…

the perfect dress

It’s one of those seamless moments where everything bloody worked. The dress slipped over my head and clung to my body perfectly.  I’m not sure where this dress had originated from, but I have since ROCKED that dress four times over, (washing it in between) every time I feel beautiful, powerful, happy and my Little Miss foxy agree’s…Guess what? It’s not a loose fitting Moo Moo it’s a tailored wrap dress with bold patterns that define my womanly curves and makes my soul sing.

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About the Author

Kat is an Illustrator, entrepreneur, blogger,  interior/textile designer, visual arts teacher and above all mother to three crazies. In her whimsical humorous way, she explores all topics related to the many sides of motherhood and parenting little angels on her blog.

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Colouring book freebie

 

 

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Once upon a memory

Ok I’m a mum of three kids that span a decade…all their needs differing…I work, I serve, I nurture, I friend, I love….I bet you do too???… Its mental isn’t it?…I mean life is speeding past at the rate of knots. Come bedtime – after the craziest two hours spent delegating, feeding, instructing, bathing, reading and organising – I am exhausted ready to crash… Great lets relax let’s sleep! BUT NO the mind starts racing…it doesn’t stop…the inner voice begins  ” Have I turned off the iron? Has Emily cleaned her teeth in the last 3 days? OH MY GOD I didn’t sign the note for Joe’s excursion to the sewage plan TOMMOROW!!!!

This started to become a real pain in the #%&^ as I was averaging three hours sleep a night.  I searched for answers to solve this issue…I WANT TO SLEEP!

I tried mediative music, breathing, hot tea, cold tea, head wraps, different positions, taking the dog to bed with me, taking the youngest to bed with me…kicking the husband out of bed…nothing…nothing …NOTHING!!!!

AHA there was one thing left on my carefully researched and compiled list…Memory induced sleep…or MIS..(Please don’t Google it I just made it up)..

I had my usual nightly shower turned the lights off, plumped up my feather pillow, snuggled under my bed covers closed my eyes and began the MIS process…

I was 8 years old sitting at the kitchen table at my Aunty Jane’s house in Shrewsbury

 (It ok I grew up in England). I can smell the fresh sweet scent of baking filling the air; she made the best chocolate cake.  As I look around the table my cousins Dan and Emily all smile back. A bright yellow plastic cup sits in front of me with my favourite sugar filled drink, Orange Squash. I take a sip it tastes so good…so sweet.  We chatter away and giggle as we grab at the felt-tip pens and fight over the huge selections of colouring in books. I find a picture of Dumbo the elephants and start to scribble…I stare at the tip of the pen as it leaves its mark on the page….every stroke of colour getting me closer finishing. I am filled with such warmth, love and satisfaction….A truly happy memory.

The sound of the alarm wakes me with a start…8 hours…I actually slept 8 hours..

Have a go and let me know how you go in the comments below!!!!!

Colouring book freebie

 

 

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Planting the SEEDS….

So lets be honest I have not uploaded a blog for a while …WHY? Sometimes when the creative spark is firing you just have to run with it and that is what has been taking up my time of late. I am also taking some time to think through my use of social media so that you, dear reader, get quality, not just quantity. The blog is the perfect way for everyone to hear my voice…the voice behind Kat & Fox (And it’s a loud voice).

So now that that’s sorted out I s’pose I should begin. BTW I do like to think out loadcall it what you will eccentric, mad, creative or just an overall chatterbox., promise to not be too long and I’ll add lots of cool images!

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I going to start with.. WHO IS THE ’ I’…well my name is Kat Rattray, born Katharine Jane Fox, hence the brand name and yes ‘I’ started this brand. Now moving onto the basic beginnings. As the ‘My story’ states on the website I was a little girl who adored nothing more than to sit and scribble, draw, colour – you name it I tried it. When my parents discovered this they realised it was the only thing that would shut me the hell up and keep me still. Back in my day we were never diagnosed with certain behavioural conditions…I was just seen as a bloomin’ annoying kid with big round blue eyes and a cheeky grin. My Dad, Mr George Patrick Fox, loved the fact that I showed promise in this area and would rush down to our local stationery supply shop in Hampton court…EKA (Still running to this day) and delight in selecting me pens, pencils, sketch pads and even paints when he felt a little more adventurous! (Cool dad award!) Mum, Mrs Susan Mary Fox, contributed to this as a Band-Aid to make me feel better when I was home from school sick, so in came the colouring and felt tip pen sets. I would devour these.

Another influential moment in my story was way back in 1981. I was five years old and we had our white, block like, 1930’s deco house painted to a Marigold (so on trend) colour by a local profession painter David (Our house ended up being known as the slab of butter). I adored him as when ever he arrived to set up he always took the time to chat and ask to see what I drawn, painted or coloured. He even shared with me the fact that he loved to paint in watercolours – very talented! Whist he worked on the house I would set myself up on the lawn at the base of his ladder (great WHS) on the rare English hot dry summer days with felt-tip pens and paper at my disposal gaining direction from above as he tried to get on with his job. I don’t know why he was so nice to me, I mean I was a pain (A BIG PAIN). If I were he I would have found the nearest bin and thrown my five year old self in there. But the best thing happened on my 6th birthday. While still in my parent’s employment, David bought me first set of DERWENT colouring pencils. My blue eyes were pools of excitement. I felt super special. In fact that tin of pencils stayed by my side until I was fifteen when they turned into tiny stubs from so much usage.

There were many other wonderful people in my childhood that added more bricks to my yellow brick road. Uncle Tom and Aunty Bridget used to love nothing more than to drag Sandra (their little girl) and I to the Royal Academy in London amongst many other places. Looking up at a massive Da Vinci’s, Monet’s all stayed with me.

So if you have fallen asleep this is the part where in 3, 2,1 you are now WIDE AWAKE and feeling very refreshed and ready for more…

Planting the Seeds 1

Hopefully by telling my story through this blog I have helped you to see how essential planting initial seeds can be for a young person. If your child shows, from a young age, a glimmer of ability and love for making, drawing, and painting, YOU MUST go with it. Don’t stress about the mess, its cleanable. Show interest, provide them with resources, take them to galleries, and frame their work. This all became so important to me. All that support allowed me to follow my passion and turn it into a career I love. Remember it takes a community to raise a child so look to those around you for guidance too.

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How great is ‘Life in style’….

Kat & Fox has been a busy bee, just popped to ‘Life In Style’, Sydney, an expo for retailers of bespoke products.  Why??   In the quest of  magical inspiration, ingenious ideas, fabulous networks and finally to find out exactly what the hell we have to do to prepare for ‘Life in Style’ Melbourne in August 2016. AHHHHHHH!

The truth is it was like opening a Pandora’s box of opulent delights. We managed to connect with some wonderful and inspirational fellow creatives.  Our first point of call, after queuing for 20 minutes in the Sydney heat, and our main reason for going…’First in Style’.  This is an area set up for small start up business’s like Kat & Fox. Which in comparison to the larger spaces is a more economical option plus they provide stacks of advice, promotion and support.  However the  major down side is that space to exhibit is a table the size of a PEA, yes you heard it A PEA!…So we have come to the realisation that we need to be inventive when show casing OUR products…This is going to be interesting considering  as we have bulky bed linen and cushions…any ideas please comment below??? HELP!!!!!
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So utilising Kats gifted skills of being chatty, bothersome  and curious we met plenty of fabulous designers. One such designer that we stumbled upon was he lovely Eloise from ‘Millions of Monkeys’,  an illustrator and puzzle designer.  She was was part of  ‘First in Style’ and we loved her quirky colourful products.   like Kat & Fox,  she is an illustrator placing her stunning work onto marketable children’s products. We are sure you will agree that she she has a big future ahead of her.   SO  please, go grab a cuppa and watch the film clip as she opens up about how she arrived at where she is today with ‘Millions of Monkeys’

 

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Petite Collections / Tyde

It was one year ago that I walked into ‘Petite Collections’ in Cowes, Phillip Island, to browse the delightful products all designed within Australian shores.  The shop was a treasure trove of artwork, clothing, interior products, bags and jewelry…everything I ADORE….I found my head buzzing and poor Sophie Jones, the owner and the most friendliest beautiful lady in the land was thrown questions like: ‘who is the is designer? Where do they print their products? How do I work out a retail price verses Whole sale? She was more than happy to humour me.

This exchange was a turning point for me in channeling a creative passion and turning it into a real carrier possibility…my OWN business. Sophie was so inspiring; she spoke about her own struggles and even those of others. I kept her business card with me for a whole year as I worked through the process. This year on returning to good old Phillip Island you can imagine where I headed. It was wonderful to catch up about how her daughter had joined her business and that she had expanded into another shop.  What a beautiful family rich in creativity with an inspirational mother at the helm…I urge you to pop in to either ‘Petit Collections’ or ‘TYDE’ if you are visiting Cowes…I tell you I am more than happy with my new ELK wallet, Little miss Foxy cubs BAO BAO skirt and T shirt, and the cute birthday gift of a ring and bracelet for Kat & Fox team member Mandy!

 

It was fantastic to meet her daughter Ebony Maier and throw some more questions her way..I am looking forward to hearing more about this mother daughter team in the near future… and it is wonderful to meet another creative who adores inspiring others….

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Welcome

As part of the creative process for the Kat & Fox team and especially myself Kat CAFE culture plays a huge part. I frequent cafes for goss sessions, meetings, reading, sketching ideas…so much can be resolved over a good cuppa!

 

 

The irony for me is that in-fact I drink plastic coffee in the form of DE-CAFE as real coffee sends me into mad spasms. So recently wondering along the main street of Cowes, Phillip Island I stumbled upon my dream Cafe Island Whole foods…I am now converted over to Turmeric Macadamia Lates and raw food yummy sweet treats…yes even crazier…but fantastico…

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