Miles & Tate

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The perfect decor, keepsake or gift for new parents does exist!

When someone tells me they are pregnant I usually meet that with excitement and a hug, followed by panic, I now have 7-8months to find the “perfect” gift. You know the one that says “I’m up with the kid trends, its sentimental and I actually put a lot of effort in” not my usual “oh shit dash to target on the way to visit the new baby.” ¬†Well let me introduce you to Miles & Tate. The very trendy, sentimental and most thoughtful gift you could give a new parent OR purchase for yourself like I did.

Miles & Tate create the most amazing personalised cushions and also have a great range of wall prints, head bands and blankets. So scratch your head no more and do yourself a favour and save this into your go to gift list. While I write this I’m also working on an apology letter to the lovely ladies who make all these cushions by hand, don’t hold me responsible for your hospital bill when your hands don’t work anymore. ūüėČ

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So who are the ladies behind Miles & Tate? Let me introduce you to Mel and Cindy. The creative sister duo whose products are showing up in bedrooms around the world. They started M&T in late 2013 as their creative outlet when they were both on maternity leave. What stared as a hobby making some extra money selling to family and friends grew from there. They have always enjoyed being creative together even as kids and would always feed off each others ideas. As they both have different strengths they use it to their advantage. Mel drives their marketing content via social media and basically all the hard work behind the scenes as this is her full time job and Cindy works part time at M&T as she is also an Art Teacher. Cindy also takes the lead on all things visual and also the more boring bits of the business as she’s the more “tech savvy” sister. They have also enlisted the help of their mum to join their little team as she crochets all of their beautiful blankets and headbands.

I really admire people who create something original and always wonder where their inspiration came from. Cindy and Mel found inspiration for their cushions from a variety of different sources. Their distinctive geometric patterns stem from their love of art. They blended inspirations from the traditional artworks of Piet Mondrian with art from contemporary graphic designers, like the colourful Reg Mombassa from Mambo to create something unique. They gathered inspiration for their Wall Prints from things around them such as the ocean or nature, their prints are all original and each season they release a new collection.

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I feel their is something extra special about buying a product from someone who has put so much effort and love into creating into it. The process that Cindy and Mel go through to create your beloved cushions is amazing. They draw every design by HAND! It is then coloured, sewn together, heat set, sewn again, stuffed with stuffing and then closed shut. This process roughly takes 1-2 hours per cushion from start to finish. They try and do the cushions in ‘lots’ and have a production line happening. Their stream of cushions is never ending as Mel lives in Northern NSW and Cindy lives in Melbourne’s West and they both have their own work spaces set up.

I have no idea how they manage to run a business and a household but Cindy and Mel have let me know its all about finding balance, they allocate time to work on M&T whilst their children are at daycare or when they are sleeping in the evening. They have a lot of early mornings and late night hustles and they save weekends for time with their families. They say working from home has its advantages (like staying in their pjs all day) but success doesn’t happen without hard work. They are outdoors people and going for a surf or walk everyday is essential to maintaining a healthy work/life balance to recharge the soul.
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So after receiving my personalised cushion I can let you know that I am incredibly happy and that I now have something to treasure and hold onto that has my little mans name on the front and birth details on the back. I also have some awesome new prints to brighten up Brock’s room. So if like me you usually struggle to find someone a thoughtful gift check out Miles & Tate because not only is it a trendy room accessory its a beautiful keepsake to remind a new parent of such a precious time.
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Life With Brock xx
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Norte

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If your like our family and love to adventure¬†outdoors then one thing you will agree with me on is that a great coat is a must. Finding a good quality, warm and durable coat for your little one was a little difficult…until now! Norte are the new brand on the block and have your child covered.

Norte was created by two very creative and smart sisters, Casey a mum of 4 very active youngsters and Amy a spirited Aunty who works in major events in Melbourne. Growing up they were lucky enough to spend countless hours at their family beach house swimming, hiking, surfing, snorkelling and riding their bikes until after dark when their parents would come to find them and call it a night. As kids they were always into surf clothes and as they got older turned their attention to art, design and music. They even have enough instruments between the two of them for an entire classroom (I might bring my recorder for a jam)

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¬†So how did it all begin? As they are a close family they spoke on the phone everyday and many of their conversations began with an excited “hey we should totally do…” and they would both discuss an array of creative ideas. Well one day Casey rang and mentioned how hard it was finding a good quality, trendy and practical jacket for the kids, who like their mum growing up, are often outdoors. Casey had spent countless hours browsing the web and searching through stores trying to find something and then decided that they should make them theirselves! So it started as a thought bubble and before they knew it they were knee deep in ideas and designs and they started work in creating Norte. An exciting time for both sisters to work on a project together and use their creative minds.

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The Norte Jacket designs started out with a sketch, they both pictured a “seriously cool and seriously comfy jacket” for the kids. They found inspiration in their childhood love of clothes that were perfect for beach and outdoor use. They had a clear concept in mind that was centred around some of their favourite colours. They then designed some great patterns for the linings which are a unique feature to their jackets and look very stylish with the sleeves rolled back. Apart from looking good they wanted the jacket to be functional, a jacket families could depend on. They are light, they have elasticated sleeves and hoods so they are designed to stay put while the kids play and this also makes it easy to roll the sleeves up. The jackets are made from a high quality, light weight polyester shell with a warm jersey lining. The insulation is a great quality poly insulation which makes the jackets warm without the need to use animal down, something they were both passionate about to avoid. Not only did they create a fantastic Jacket they also have a great range of beanies!

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So lately with the crazy weather we have had¬†Brock’s Norte Jacket has not been far from hand. It was easy and light enough to roll up and throw in the nappy bag and when we needed it Brock was snug as a bug and could move freely. The elasticised sleeves were also a massive hit! I hate wet or muddy sleeves and thankfully they stayed in place and didn’t get in the way of his mud patties! I would definitely recommend Norte to all parents out there. I’m also really impressed that such a functional jacket can also look so on trend. Don’t forget if your like us and live in Victoria its never to early or late to have a good coat as the weather down here makes up its own rules.

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Now for all my readers we have some exciting news to share! Norte are currently working on some new designs for next winter and even more exciting have a new range of spring and summer gear coming really soon! You can expect the same high quality, durable kids wear to get you through the warmer months. YAY!

So they were so kind enough to offer a sneaky preview for my readers of their new tee and cap design….So here they are!

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Image supplied by Norte
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Image supplied by Norte

Be sure to stay tuned to www.norte.com.au for more news coming soon! Also a big thank you to the Casey and Amy for sharing their story with me.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/norte_wear/

Life With Brock xx

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Photos by Life With Brock/Strattan Photography

Threads For Boys

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Like most mums of boys we often find ourselves walking into a kids store and are blinded by the amount of pink, floral prints and glitter. As we fight our way through cute accessories and tutus we see a glimpse of blue, hidden at the back of the store. The boys section, usually lacking in sizes and mostly out of date fashion. Well hunt the boys section no more…Threads For Boys is an online store with all you need to keep your little man looking his best.

The mum who decided to create a dedicated shop for boys is the lovely Daniella and her inspiration and sidekick is a strong willed 2.5yr old boy named Benjamin, soon to be joined by another gorgeous boy in September. Daniella quit her day job as a Myotherapist to focus on Threads For Boys and although she doesn’t have specific retail experience she has a background in e-commerce/marketing and a fantastic taste in trendy threads. Her journey so far has been self taught and she is loving every moment.

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Shoes from Bobux 

Threads For Boys has a wide range of incredible brands such as Kipp Kidds, Harlow Clothing, Jr Cooper, Little Lords, Paxton and Co and Huxbaby and for me finding them all in the one shop is highly convenient. Not only that I can also do my shopping once Brock’s in bed (the beauties of online.) They also have a great selection of shoes and hats. Daniella looks for brands that are unique and edgy whilst still being practical. She’s after clothing that lets boys express their individuality and stand out from the crowd. Most of the brands that are stocked are Australian owned but some are from New Zealand & America. Daniella understands what it’s like to run a business as a parent and most of the brands are also fellow mums and dads with small independent business’s she feels this adds to the uniqueness as she doesn’t want them mass produced and widely available.

So next time your considering tackling the shops to find your little man a very cool outfit, check out ‘Threads For Boys’ and save yourself the hassle. Or if your a brand looking for a stockist, have a chat to Daniella she is always on the hunt for new brands. Not only that she has told me that she is toying with the idea of designing her own range of clothing…definitely a lady to keep your eye on!

Website: www.threadsforboys.com.au

Instagram: www.instagram.com/threadsforboys_

Facebook: www.facebook.com/threadsforboys/

Life With Brock xx_

Baby Harrison Apparel

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Let me introduce you (if you haven’t already discovered) to this gorgeous little brand,
Baby Harrison Apparel.
I don’t think this brand could have your child looking any cuter! From their beautiful rompers, overalls, shorts, leggings, harem rompers, singlets and soft comfortable jumpers, your child will be the best dressed in the playground. Not only will your child be looking the part, these clothes are designed for comfort. They are non restrictive so your little one can keep walking, crawling or wriggling around.

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The amazing, creative and clever woman behind this brand is Chloe, and Baby Harrison Apparel was named after her 14month old son Harrison. It all started when Chloe had Harry, she went from working 12 hour days to being a stay at home mum and had no idea what to do. She was on her own, with no family around. She ended up suffering from post natal depression and spent the first six weeks of Harry’s life crying. She didn’t know who she was anymore and decided to change this and do something for herself.
Chloe has always been a creative person and during her primary school days she would make quilts and sew clothes for her dolls and bears. She also studied art during and after school. So when Harry napped she would sew, (lucky for her he napped a lot) she would be in her craft room doing what she loved and taking her mind off her post natal depression. Now when Harry started dribbling she made him bibs to match his outfits and from there other mums in her mums group started asking for bibs, cute nappy covers and so on. They would request and she would sew.
So from there Baby Harrison Apparel has grown and become the wonderful brand you see on your own kids or others. Chloe always sources out her own fabrics and looks for fun patterns and colours, she’s drawn to ones that make her feel happy. The designs she creates are also different from those you can buy at the shops. She also offers custom order spots, which is wonderful if you have something in mind and like me you can’t even sew your button back on your shirt.
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So if your browsing the internet trying to search for the perfect 1st Birthday outfit or something fun and happy for your child to wear look no further then Baby Harrison Apparel. Not only are you supporting another mum, your child will be looking the goods.
Life With Brock xx
Ps: If your reading this and you too are feeling overwhelmed by the journey of motherhood, remember you are not alone. Reach out to someone, see your doctor or find your happy place. The combination of fatigue, hormonal changes and the psychological adjustment to motherhood can be little too much at times.

Skittle & Mouse

So as I have mentioned I am on the hunt for brands that we would recommend to other parents and sorting through Instagram we have found Skittle and Mouse.

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They have managed to mix the right amount of practical with a whole lot of style. Knee pads are a brilliant idea. I first ordered a pair a few months back and its definitely my go to outfit. Especially when he was between crawling and learning to walk. I was sick of him wearing holes in his clothes or coming crashing to the ground with zero padding between his little knees. The Crawlsuits are also nappy change friendly with press studs around the legs. Big tick there!

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Brock is far from gentle on his clothes and his Crawlsuit is holding up fine! So if you are after a great outfit not only do they offer the Crawlsuit they have the cutest Crawl pants and Dribble bibs as well. Not just for boys they cater for your little princess too!

We highly recommend Skittle and Mouse and not only did we find a brand, we found a lovely Mum behind it all. Kat you are doing a brilliant job and your little ones are very lucky to have such easy access to great clothing pieces hehe.

Life With Brock xx

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