successful women in business

I have shared previously on this blog how I have always wanted to own my own business and that I am a Bizness Babe graduate. Yes, I am officially a Babe. I even have the certificate to prove it! Jokes aside, I really admire successful women in business who balance home, family and work amongst all the chaos that running your own business can bring.

A couple of years ago I attended a Bizness Babes course here in Brisbane to give me business training. I found it so beneficial and confident boosting. I have raved about it to many of my friends and now I am excited to tell you that the lovely team from Bizness Babes have put out a book.

The Bizness Book is written by the talented Vicki Burkinshaw and covers everything that was in the course I attended. I know, I just finished reading it and I checked! Vicki is a successful business owner herself and has been able to accomplish the amazing task of fitting her business around her own needs and that of her cherubs. Inspiring!

Bizness Babes have been helping women and especially mothers by giving them business training across Australia for the past 5 years. It is an empowering and inspiring course. Every time a course runs they have to turn away hundred of women as places are limited and this book is a wonderful solution to help you still receive the training.

If you are interested in starting your own business, have an awesome idea for a business or already own one, I highly recommend you purchase this book. It contains so many questions you need to ask yourself and highlights aspects of business that you need to consider to help make your business successful. Successful financially but also successful in that your business fits around your life and not the other way around!

When I first attended this course I was scared about just the thought of starting a business but after completing it I now have confidence and knowledge behind me if I do decide to take that leap in the future. I even use a lot of the training I received from the course now whilst running my blog. You may have noticed I run my blog as a personal blog but also as a part time business blog. Bizness Babes gave me the confidence kick start to try that and I have been having an awesome time since doing may have shoes/boots/makeup/jewellery anyone?

The Bizness Book doesn’t promise to make you a millionaire. Instead it lets you define your own idea of success, whether your ambitions are modest or monumental. One aspect of the book that I totally love is that the proceeds of The Bizness Book go into further developing the Bizness Babes program. Meaning, when you purchase the book you in turn help another women learn how to become successful in business. Brilliant!

Here is what I love about the book:

* It is a small sized book and can easily fit in my handbag
* It is written by women for women, understanding our commitments to family and community
* It clearly defines what skills, knowledge and characteristics you need for business
* It is written boldly, honestly and also with humour
* It is full of successful examples of other women
* It covers marketing, finance, research, time management, position, price and taxes just to name a few
* There is a provided note section to jot down any ideas you have whilst reading
* It has a glossary of terms and helpful online resources
* It is just jam packed full of information that you can work you way through in your own time
* You can use it as a reference guide to return to when your business has started

The only down side to this book is that you miss out on all the awesome group discussion that happen with the Bizness Babes course but there is nothing to stop you from getting together with a few friends and working the way through the book together.

The Bizness Book can be purchased by clicking on the Buy Now buttons below.
For further information contact Vickie Burkinshaw:

                                                                   Australian Customers

                         Buy now - $24.95

                                                                   includes postage

                                                                  International Customers

                         Buy now - $34.95

                                                                   includes postage

Bizness Babes

Also, if you are one of 700,000 woman in business here in Australia you are invited to take part in a unique opportunity. To have your say in the nation’s first national research project especially designed for women. The Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI) has launched the research which will be available until December 2011.

Women business owners in urban, regional and rural Australia are wanted to take part in the survey. The poll will provide information about women business owners: their challenges, rewards and opportunities.

The poll can be accessed through the AWCCI website at and it takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and can be done anonymously. Participants also have the chance to enter the draw and win prizes to the total value or more than $8000 including:

1. A holiday thanks to Wild Bush Luxury, valued at $4,000 (several locations available)
2. Two business-coaching sessions with Avril Henry, valued at $3,000 (Avril is the author of Leadership Revelations: An Australian Perspective and leading management consultant).
3. Virtual office space for three months, thanks to ServCorp, valued at $1,100 (Office available at any Servcorp location in either NSW, VIC or QLD).

Terms and conditions apply; please see for further information.

Speaking of successful women in business, pop on over to say Hi to the lovely sponsors on my blog:

Donna from Itty Bitty Greenie who is having a flash sale every day until December 20th where you can save 40-70% of products. Norlin from Just Us Kids Online who has a special for Seven Cherubs readers only: spend $80 or more and receive $10 off your purchase! Available now until 15th December 2011. Also includes free postage and enter the word 'cherubs' to get your discount! Sarah from Mum's The Word Boutique who stocks a great range of Christmas products. Amy and Vanessa from Mamma's Market who next have a market on December 16th and 17th at Buderim Wall Memorial hall. Click here for details.

From what you know and who you know:
What tips or characteristics do think you need to be successful in business?

my jewellery storage for earrings

I am always on the lookout for great jewellery storage ideas that work and am finally happy with the earring jewellery storage I now have. It has taken me a while to source jewellery stands that I am happy with as I really love having my jewellery on display so I can easily see what I want to wear.

Some of you may know I have a small addiction to jewellery. Just a really, really small one....
If you follow me on Instagram you will know this to be true!

I found the first jewellery stand in Target for around $14 and the second one in Diva for $9. The one from Target is far more sturdy than the one from Diva. I have to put blue tac on the bottom of the Diva jewellery stand as it is so unstable but I love that on the other half of it you can also hang some necklaces...another small addiction that I have!

I have been working on organising my jewellery a little better and thought I would just share how I keep my earrings neat and organised. My girls have most of the other earrings I am currently not wearing and I am really happy with the collection I now have. A mix of colours and favourites.

How do you store your earrings??? 

how to make a rainbow cake and paint palette cake

It is official. We have our first teenager in the house. Chelsea turned 13 recently and as promised she still woke up the same girl on her birthday morning. Phew! Sigh of relief! To celebrate her birthday we had a massive cake and sleepover party. I created a combined rainbow cake and paint palette cake, muli-tasking here ladies, and today I thought I would share with you how I create it. Plus, a few lessons I learned along the way.

The Cake Wish:

First of all, Chelsea wanted a paint palette cake. Give me strength! Creating cakes is not one of my specialities but trying my best I went to the best source I know, Pinterest, to give me some ideas. I found some really awesome paint palette cakes and came up with an idea of what I could make the top of the cake look like - keeping it simple of course. Next, Chelsea wanted a rainbow theme for her birthday. Taking this into consideration I then created a rainbow cake.

How to make the cake:

To create the cake I simply took 2 butter cake mixes and combined them. When I had followed the instructions, I then divided the cake mixture up into four bowls. I added different food colouring colours to each of the batter mixes. I used green, pink, yellow and blue. I then took a really large cake tin and poured each of the batter mixes on top of each other. So pour in green, then pour pink on top of that, etc. I did not mix them up at all, I put the cake tin in the oven and let it cook. When we took the cake out of the oven we ended up with a rainbow mix of colours, it happened all by itself.

So all together I used 4 cake mixes to create this massive cake. Then Liberty helped me mix up a large amount of cream. Alright, a really large amount of cream and yes I was very heavy handed on the cream.  A word of advice, never make a cake when you are hungry! I then spread the cream on top of one of the cakes and then sat the other cake on top of the cream. The result: a massive cake.

How to make the icing: 

Now the challenging part, for me anyway, to ice the cake. To save me I went off to Woolies and purchased a pack of white icing. All prepared and ready for me to use. I spread out some icing sugar and then Liberty and I rolled out the icing. Way too easy! When we had a large circle of white icing we lifted it carefully of the bench and placed it over the top of the cake. Way too easy again!

How to decorate the top:

I then fixed the bottom of the cake and I am sure there is a good way to do this but I just used my fingers to press it down onto the plate. Then with the left over icing I had cut off the bottom of the cake, I made paint colours to decorate on top. Once again I am sure there is an good way to do this, but I simply added a few drops of food colouring to the icing and rubbed it in. I did this for each of the paint colours and then sat them on top of the cake. I recommend wearing gloves when you do this as your hands become very stained and it really is not nice greeting parents at the front door for a party with rainbow hands!

Then I added a small plastic paint brush to the top of the cake as there was no way I was going to try to make a paint brush out of icing! I have my limits here ladies!! For the bottom of the cake I found some rainbow sour straps and added them as decorations to cover up the really bad job I did of straightening the bottom of the cake. Haha! To stick them on I used some left over icing as if it was blue tac and I tell  you some one must have been watching over me because they actually stuck! I then found some left over icing roses in my cupboard and used them to cover the spots where the sour straps did not quite meet. 

How to be awesome:

Ta da! super, awesome, massive, rainbow cake.
Chelsea gave me a big hug when she saw it so all the drama was worthwhile.

When the girls came over for Chelsea's birthday there were extremely impressed and so were the parents. I of course said it was nothing and when they were not looking collapsed in the corner with relief that it came together so well. I have now added brilliant cake creating mother to my list of credentials. Woo hoo!

Here is what it looks like inside:

Kind of rainbow, kind of hippy, kind of psychedelic looking but the girls loved it and that is all that matters. I am sure there is a better way to create this cake but this is my way and it seemed to work. By the way it tasted great and everyone was happy! Phew!

This Christmas: Breathe and go slow

Copy + Paste + Take

colorific fun prize pack giveaway

I have mentioned several times on my blog before that my cherubs love to craft and create. I personally do as well and we were super excited when Colorific sent us a bunch of products to try out from the awesome range they have available. Talk about Christmas coming early in our house!

Check out what we crafted and created below:

This is really a fun activity to do with your kids. It involves creating a gorgeous money box and allows your cherubs to work with wood, paints and stickers. My girls loved working out how to put it together and planning how they were going to decorate it. Even Liberty was 'allowed' to participate with a little painting and the girls were really happy with the final product. It now holds a small stash of money and other special treasures, all under lock and key of course!
My boys are a little obsessed with cars and loved this pack. This was an awesome gift as previously at school my boys, along with Matt, have entered a few pine derby races and raced similar cars against other people. Normally for this they are only allowed to work on one car. So imagine the joy we have in our family now that there are now several other cars to add to the collection! Lots of fun to put together that involves creating with wood, paint and stickers. We actually have a Darth Vader sitting inside one of our cars and it looks really cool!

I have a cherub Sam, who loves to use his hands. He is just one of those kids that has to touch everything and know how it works. This was an excellent hands on gift for him for him to play with. He loves being able to screw the nuts and bolts together and even Liberty enjoyed playing with it. There was were only 2 wooden parts that we could not work out what to do with but the rest was a great beginner toolbox kit for cherubs to play with.

Now this one was probably the most difficult of all the packs for my cherubs to do. It involves a lot more concentration of colouring in and being careful with the colours and design. It is great in that all of the patterns are provided for you to trace and follow but I found my girls aged 8-10 really had to concentrate to make the pictures look good. It was probably the favourite for Liahona who loved the idea of colouring it all in to stick on the window. I would not let Liberty do it - she would make way too much mess! If she was a little bit older I would. My girls really enjoyed creating it though and we now have some cute designs on our window and fridge that they created.

Here are some snaps of the creating below:
A colourful result:

The lovely team at Colorific have given me all of the above packs to giveaway to a lucky Seven Cherubs reader. The winner will win all 4 packs. Awesome right? Perfect timing just before Christmas as well. 

To be in the running to win this prize pack here are the guidelines:

1. Giveaway open to Aussie residents only
2. Entries close December 8th, 2011
3. Most creative answer will be the winner
4. Leave a comment below and tell me:

As a cherub or an adult: what have you created out of wood???

You can find Colorific: Facebook / Website

Giveaway closed - congrats Kerry Santillo

Check out my new ebook here:
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Never let your kids....Parenting tips from Nathan

So Nathan and I were chatting about parenting the other night. 
We talked about what you should never let your kids do.
I asked him for some parenting tips and below is what he had to share:

1. Never let kids have chocolate before they go to bed - they go hypo.
2. Never leave kids alone - it is dangerous what they can get up to.
3. Never let kids go on the roof - once they have been they will want to go again, on their own!
4. Never let your kids have electronic devices during bedtime as they will stay up all night.
5. Never let kids sleep with pillows - they only have pillow fights.
6. Never let kids have bikes as it makes the backyard look messy.
7. Never let kids do the dishes - because the water is too disgusting.
8. Never let kids sleep in a different room as they wake up grumpy the next morning.
9. Never let kids fight because everyone gets hurt.
10. Never let kids do household jobs because your parents will hassle you 24/7.

I am so looking forward to seeing him as a parent in the future and sharing this awesome, wisdom filled list with him and killing myself laughing. Of course he has never heard ME say any of the above suggestions...

Do you have any other 'Never let your kids'....ideas to add to the list?

and Nathan.

Also you can purchase my ebook here:
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Pockets of Happiness Ebook

After many late nights, I am very excited to share with you my first ebook: 
Pockets of Happiness: Creating Meaningful Moments In Your Life. 

This ebook is an insight into how I have come to find more happiness in my life. I wrote this ebook to help those of you who struggle with finding time for you during your day. I get asked all the time how I manage to fit time in for myself with seven children, so I have shared a few of my secrets.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to help women and especially Mum's at home feel a little happier during their day. I know that it can be hard to find time for yourself when you are super busy chasing after the kids, keeping up with housework and running a household. I also know that as women we often put ourselves last on the priority list.

In this ebook I have shared how I find pockets of time just for me to make my day a little happier and also help my family to feel happier. It is text heavy and practical in focus. It has pages for you to fill in and ideas to help get your started on finding your own happiness.

It is not a long ebook - there are 28 pages, as I wanted to keep it short so that it can be printed and kept in a prominent place for you to refer to it often. Below is the contents page for you to have a look at:

The ebook is in a PDF format and you can download it for free below:

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VTech Storio with Dora the Explorer Review and Giveaway

Sponsored by Nuffnang
We love our technology in our house. We also love our books. We especially love it when technology and books combine to help us bring reading to life in a fun way for our children. The VTech Storio is a fully animated E-book reader for children and helps to bring stories to life in an interactive way that children will love and enjoy.
We were recently sent a VTech Storio to try that came with a Nickelodeon Dora The Explorer Storybook cartridge. Liberty was in heaven with her own computer (just like Mum and Dad) and a Dora story to enjoy and learn from. The VTech Storio is for children 3-7 years and as I found even for children who are a little older. Some of my older children are seriously jealous of Liberty's new computer and want one of their own!

Some key features that WE enjoyed from the VTech Storio are:

It is an animated storyteller - Children can listen to voices and enjoy graphics and music. Liberty is a big Dora fan and really enjoyed the Dora story. She loved seeing her favourite characters on her own computer.

It is a touch and read system - There are two options available for children, they can touch the screen either with the provided pen or finger or simply listen to the story. My children LOVE that is has a touch screen feature and after spending some time on it have easily become familiar with what to click on to take them to more fun features.

It teaches core reading skills - The VTech Storio helps to teach children comprehension, phonics and word building skills. They are also able to learn the meaning of key words through a child-friendly dictionary. For Liberty's age group (4) some of the reading features are a little past her age, such as understanding the rhyming of words, but for my older children they loved it and were easily able to complete the tasks.

It encourages art and writing skills - Extra features included are interactive writing and studio art programs. These programs help them to practice writing letters and become more familiar with colours and drawing. A favourite feature for my children is the playroom section where they love to spend time colouring and adding items to their own art studio.

It allows you to make it personal - The VTech Storio comes with the feature of including a SD card reader so that you can upload personal photo's, video's and art. Allowing your child to feel that it really is their own computer and contains their favourite pictures and drawings.

It has a progress log - You can connect your VTech Storio to your home computer and log into the Learning Lodge Navigator to keep track of the progress of your children as they play and explore the variety of educational games and lessons that come with the Cartridge Library games you own. One feature that I enjoyed was being able to see how Liberty has progressed and that I could even add extra children to the progress log.

It grows with your child - The interactive animated storybook cartridge library has a variety of choices available to choose from and you can purchase additional stories that are your children's favourite's. Some choices available are Disney Toy Story 3, Scooby Doo and Disney Rapunzel. As they grow older they can be involved in selecting what stories they would enjoy reading and learning more about.

Overall, my children are really happy with the VTech Storio. They love that it is just the right size to hold in their hands and fun to play with. Even though it is mainly targeted for 3-7 years old children, my 8 year old daughter is currently obsessed with it. I keep finding it hidden under her bed!

I love that it is sturdy and even the right size to fit in my handbag to take out to keep Liberty entertained when I need to. Teaching my children to read is a real priority to me as a mother and having a product that helps to promote literacy in our home is a wonderful addition to the other activities we participate in to encourage reading and learning. It would also make a great Christmas gift and would entertain them all of Christmas Day!

Now that you are up to date on how awesome the VTech Storio is, I am excited to announce that we have one VTech Storio available to giveaway to a lucky Seven Cherubs reader. Open to Aussie residents only and entries close November 30th. Check out the conditions of entry HERE. To enter to win leave a comment below and tell me:

What do you do to encourage your children to learn to read???

pinterest + free christmas printables

I love a free Christmas print and have been having a great time finding them on Pinterest.
Check out my collection I have found below:

Reindeer Food Tags

and the one I created yesterday if you missed it.

Linking up here.

Cherish Christmas Free Printable

A free printable for you this Christmas. 
Copy, paste and take it.

Or you can download it from HERE.

christmas memories on Seven Cherubs

As we are heading closer and closer to Christmas, at an alarming rate I might add, I thought I would share with you a few family Christmas memories. I have had some real fun with my cherubs over the years and have loved sharing those special moments on my blog.

Let's take a trip down memory lane shall we?

When we had six cherubs

Making a Christmas card tree 

This year I think I am going to have to dig deep to come up with a new tradition for Christmas.
Something fun, something crazy and something special for a new Christmas memory.

What is your favourite Christmas memory???


If you are a regular reader of my blog you will have noticed a lack of blog posts about happiness recently. The reason for this is that I have been saving them to put into an ebook for you. I wanted to give you some fresh writing and ideas and to not just take blog posts from my blog to make up an ebook.

I have been spending a lot of my time working on it to give you some tips and ideas on how to create meaningful moments in your life. I have written this ebook for women and especially for busy mothers to help you find a little more happiness in your life. I am really excited to show it to you very soon. I am now just tweaking a few little parts of the ebook, because I want it to be just right for you and hope you find it helpful and a great read. I am hoping to at least show you the front cover in the next couple of days. Woo hoo!

Thank you to all of my wonderful Seven Cherubs readers who have encouraged me to do this.
Eeek! I am really doing it! So stay tuned for my first ebook coming your way!

bloggers as kleptomaniacs

Kleptomaniac - a recurrent urge to steal

{They often steal items of trivial value. People with this disorder generally steal objects of little or no significant value. Some Kleptomaniacs may not even be aware that they have committed the theft} 

The longer I am a blogger the harder I find it is to come across original with my work. The more I read other blogs, the harder I find it is to stick to my own thoughts and to my own writing. I find myself often feeling like a Kleptomaniac with the blog posts that I write. They seem to be a combination of many other blogs post that I have seen around the blogosphere. This worries me.

This is why I have currently stopped reading a long list of blogs. A big change and a difficult choice. I now only read a small handful and mix it up every week. With so many blogs and so many writers I find it is a challenge to come up with original ideas for a blog post. As blogging is growing in leaps and bounds here in Australia it can often feel like just about every topic to do with motherhood, parenting or blogging has already been covered.

Now, I know we are all unique and have own on spin to put on topics and we each have our own voice but how often do you stop and think: 'That post reminds me of what .... just wrote.'

Let's say I decide to write a blog post about blogging. If I spend some time checking out some other blogs I will find that most of my thoughts are already covered. Some recent posts I found are:

Zoey wrote a post about Batch writing
Sarah wrote 9 effective habits for real girl bloggers
Kristin wrote about Is blogging becoming Un-fun?
Kevin wrote about Finding your niche

The temptation to take a small part of their thoughts and to expand on it for my own blog post, can in reality seem very small and insignificant in the scheme of things. However, I know that people are reading, people are watching and people are noticing that we may be very similar in our thoughts.

I don't mind if someone takes my thought or idea and expand's on it and links back to me. What I do mind is a straight copy and paste and a few changes of words to make it their own post. That is wrong!

I guess I am wondering: 

Do you notice if blog posts are similar?
Where do you decide to draw the line? 
How far is too far in copying a blog post?

school camp

School camp + Mum taking too many pictures because she will miss her daughter = Can we go now?

Linking up here.