Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's ok. Feed your baby.

So World Breastfeeding Week kicks off tomorrow - yay! Heidi and I have launched a campaign of sorts of our own based on the shocking results to the breastfeeding questions in our recent customer survey (by the way, you guys gave us super high praise so thanks for that!).

The image that's been used came about because we were having some shots done for a magazine article on Mums in Business (or Mumpreneurs as we call ourselves) and both our boys wanted to have a feed. Originally the shot was only ever going to be for our private albums but on compiling the survey results we just felt compelled to do something to reassure other Mums that it really is ok to feed your baby, whenever they need to be fed!

We firmly believe that it shouldn't be a big deal to see a woman breastfeeding, no matter how old her child is, and the more that it's seen in everyday life and in the media, the better.

Go forth and breast feed!!

Breast feeding

Heidi talks about breast feeding:
She has Mr Teen (13) and Master Squiddly (7 months) - although she's only breast feeding one of them ;)

First time around
it just didn’t click, I never asked for help and as a consequence I struggled; I was disappointed that something so natural was hard for me. I really thought everyone took to breast feeding with no worries at all. That I was only being taught to feed lying down limited my public breastfeeding experiences to say the least and looking back now I wish I had friends at that time that were breastfeeding.

Second time around
and 13 years later I am proud to have mastered the art of breastfeeding, hey I can do it sitting, standing and lying down so mastered it I have! I attribute it to a positive frame of mind before the birth, knowledge and fantastic support. I am proud that I have done it and because of that I am happy to feed Finn anywhere, anytime...................if anyone stares at least I know it’s not because I’m horizontal in the middle of the food court!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Merino Blanket Sale

It was minus 2 at our place this morning according to the temperature thingee and the word is that there's still a lot of cold weather still to come this winter!

Because we don't want your little one waking up cold we have slashed the prices of these stunning 100% Merino Little House Blankets.

These are just beautiful, a real heirloom item and a perfect single bed throw too.

Save almost 30% (so almost $60!) . Only three left!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Top 3 Tips for Birth

Every mother's experience of birth is different. Between Heidi and I we've experienced full-intervention (both of us), a natural birth and a c-section birth. Here are our top 3 tips for each of those scenarios and the days after:

Assisted birth (eg, epidural, forceps etc)
  1. If you've been in labour a long time, use the epidural relief to get some rest
  2. It's not necessarily the 'easy' way: After the birth of my first baby (induced, epidural, forceps) I felt like I'd gone 3 rounds with David Tua. I was bruised from where the IV has been inserted (like my whole hand was purple), the epidural entry throbbed not to mention the stitches!
  3. Your feet and ankles might swell up for the next week or so from all the IV fluids (noice)

  1. Consider a female support person (in addition to your partner/husband) and talk to them before the birth about what you think you will need most from them (gentle reminders of focus, calming words etc). Ideally they'll have given birth themselves (and therefore have awareness of the process) and will support your choice for a natural birth.
  2. Try to take the contractions one at a time rather than worry if they are getting worse. Easy to say when you're not having them but it helps to think of each one as one step closer to the end and meeting your brand new bubba!
  3. Be familiar with the signs of Transition: When it was all getting too much and I wanted to give up (which is itself one of the signs of transition), I vomited and I realised then that I was in transition and the next stage was close. This realisation was exciting and gave me the energy I needed.

  1. Get someone to stay with you that for day/night. You don't know which nurses will come and go throughout and some will be brilliant, some not so much. Having someone you trust on hand to help you can make the world of difference.
  2. Take your own pillows, hospital pillows suck.
  3. No visitors the first 2 days. As hard as it might be, be firm with visitors and tell them they are welcome to come and see you and baby in a couple of days.

Heidi and I moments after my son was born. Will see if I can find a shot of Heidi and Finn (that ought to get Heidi's attention- hehe )

Check out the Belly Beyond resources page for more on natural birth as well as tips on things to do before baby arrives and what to pack for labour

Thursday, July 23, 2009

From the Mummy files

As part of my life online, I'm on an internet messageboard with a group of Mums whom I've known going on 5 years. It's a great place to hang out and share each other lives and with the majority of members we've all formed friendships "in real life" too.

There were two moments on "the board" this week which made me chuckle so I thought I'd share them here.

Mummy file #1

A friend fell asleep during a night out at the movies. Rather than be upset at the waste of money for having missed the movie, she thought $15 was actually really good value for 2 hours uninterrupted sleep.

Mummy file #2

Another friend was discussing with Master 4 how babies find their way out of Mummies tummies. "How does the baby get out Mum? There's no door down there?"

Mum replies calmly "There is in a woman"

If you have a funny Mummy moment you'd like to share with the Mummy Files leave a comment below - we'd love to hear from you :)

Baby Sleeping Bags

If you haven't done so already, I thoroughly recommend you pick up the latest copy of OH Baby magazine.

It's a fantastic read and always contains something a bit different too.

This month they have put together a Baby Sleeping Bag Guide and what do you know, but two of Belly Beyond's fabulous NZ Made styles have featured.

There's the Sweet Cheeks 100% Merino Sleeping Bag and the Baby Caterpillar Standard Weight in Oatmeal Cream. We couldn't pick a favourite - they are both really well made, lovingly developed by the mums in business behind both brands (two teams of sisters as it happens)

See our range of merino sleeping bags and merino sleep suits here. Here is the inside of the OHBaby mag .

The Sweet Cheeks is 2nd in from the left and the Baby Caterpillar is 4th in.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Belly Beyond TV - Episode 3

It's a fantastic idea to work out your Elevator Pitch. We try to continuously work on ours but had two particularly memorable occasions recently; one at a business conference and another in a 140 Pitch for the very on-to-it Glenn Edley (via his posterous blog )

As this episode on Belly Beyond TV shows, we still need to work on ours!

And in a similar vein, also put together a 40 word bio on the company. Short, sharp and stating exactly what you do and perhaps some key product lines if you have room.

Do another one expanding out to 100 words or so. This is really handy to have not only for uploading to directories but also to be able to pass onto media if you get a chance. Make sure it contains an interesting angle, what makes you different from everyone else?

Spend a bit of time on this thinking about what YOU do as a business, what is your mission?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blokes wearing Babies AKA Babywearing Dads

I just thought I'd share these new images. Fantastic shots of the ERGObaby Sport Carrier don't you think? Nothing to do with the guys wearing them I promise.

We are finding a real trend in Dad getting involved in babywearing including researching carriers and this streamlined version of the Ergo seems to appeal to the lads. It's got a longer strap length capacity so it's ideal for larger people and its front, hip or back carry makes it a good choice of carrier from newborn right up to 3+

Here's Mr Belly Beyond getting in on the act.

Now someone send one to Brad and we'll be set!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Kind words from suppliers, customers and friends

We've been getting a bit of press lately from the Awards and also our brief Sunrise appearance. But still it was a lovely surprise to get a yummy bar of chocolate from one of our favourite suppliers as a gift to celebrate our recent Her Business Woman of the Year success.

I'll share a snippet of their note:

"Congratulations..., business is hard, long work and it's nice to be recognised for all your efforts & perseverance. Here's some sugar to celebrate!"

And some of the feedback from our customer survey (I'm still working my way through the huge pile of responses):

"I appreciated the email to advise that the items had been sent so I could then be on mailbox watch"

"Excellent phone help"

"We love Belly Beyond - would recommend it to anyone!"

"Love seeing new products I don't see anywhere else in NZ"

But there's nothing like your family to bring you back down to earth. When I told my mother that I was going to be on TV she instantly replied "slow news day is it?" No chance of it all going to our heads here then!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Woman(en) of the Month Nod & the first haircut

My little fella had his first haircut today. A far cry from the histrionics we experienced with his sister, he sat there calmly and took it all in. My little baby is growing up (insert violin music and sobbing here...)

and in other news...

Kirstie Gillon-Wood who runs 90 degree coaching has named Heidi and I in her Success Spotlight for the month.

Kirstie has a passion for helping women in business, particularly mums in business. Read all about what Kirstie does here

Monday, July 13, 2009

Press for the Waitakere Business Awards

Did a press release that made it to Scoop! (not sure that's a big deal or not??) . Read the full thing here

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Big Friday - From Awards to Auckland Tweet Up

Had an interesting Friday night. First off was the official Finalists Cocktail briefing for the Waitakere Business Awards. What a humbling experience that was when they read off the names of some of previous recipients - Alloy Yachts, Babich Wines, Douglas Pharmaceuticals. Talk about playing with the big boys!

We are a Finalist in two Categories - I will let the big screen do the talking!

Even the briefing was valuable as we made a lot contacts and I look forward to following those up this week.

Then from there, straight to the Auckland Tweet Up at the Brooklyn Lounge. After some fierce negotiations with the parking machines at the Aotea Centre, I finally sorted out the parking and headed over the road.

I will be honest, I was expecting 5 people sitting in a corner so imagine my surprise when I saw the Private Function sign and opened the door to what seemed like 40+ people! And not one of them had two heads.

The lovely @WendyWings recognised me and gave me wave so I headed in that direction. @corinh and I kept a watch on the goings on from our prime corner perch. The evening progressed and I although there were lots of people I didn't have a chance to chat (@texanoutofwater springs to mind) I did really enjoy meeting everyone - you are all so normal (well, mostly)

Special mentions also to @thewinevault, @rustycharm, @lewisbostock, @cateMowen, @velofille, @adagebusiness, @rgoodchild, @missannjane (great idea in the first palce!) @natebasso, @cheep_tweeter (who spent the night saying, not that sort of cheap!)

There were stacks of others I didn't get a chance to talk to properly so I am definitely keen for the next Tweet up.

p.s. Big thanks to my gorgeous husband who tucked the kids into bed which allowed me to go out and have some fun

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Belly Beyond has a soft SPOT for NZ wildlife

Had a brilliant day today. Firstly I must apologise to those customers who couldn't get hold of us, I will return your calls first thing in the morning!

Spent the day out at Heidi's place, relaxing and having a "day off". We generally work 7 days a week so it was a real treat to only do the basics in the morning and just chill out for the rest of the day.

We finally got the exclusive Stickytiki decals onto the Belly Beyond cars too - they look so cool and I definitely noticed the heads turn on the drive home (and I'm almost sre it wasn't just my driving).

Apart from looking amazing, there is a good reason behind our cars going dotty - which we will reveal on the site very shortly. But lets just say that the NZ Wildlife featured on the cars will be benefiting.

Monday, July 6, 2009

School Holiday Drama as Head Explodes

A bizarre story surfaced today, when a woman's head exploded at her home in Auckland.

It appears the woman , who has not yet been named, had just posted on Facebook that her head would explode if she had to say "leave your brother alone" one more time.

A four year old and two year old were found watching DVD's and eating milo straight out of the packet.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Belly Beyond TV - Episode No. 1

Heidi said right at the very start that we should do our own TV show. I don't know if this is quite what she had in mind but taking inspiration from the brilliant DIY approach from Jayson at Wine Vault TV, we've launched our own channel. I proudly present episode 1 - Belly Beyond TV.

See more on Stickytiki here

p.s. I haven't got the kids shut up somewhere (although sometimes I'd like to), Mr Belly Beyond is in charge in another room ;)

Look who makes No.1 on the TV3 News list!

Wahay! We are the number one story on the TV3 News website.

and on the Sunrise one too!

Ok Mum, you can stop clicking now. No, really Mum - stop it. :)


Heidi and I made our first appearance on the fantastic Sunrise NZ this morning where we talked with Oli and Carly about the ups and downs of running a business from home. The team at Sunrise are a great bunch and we heard lots of laughter emanating throughout the studio and production areas during our brief visit.

But don't get me wrong, these guys are professionals and it's clear from the first contact that they know their knitting. Was a pleasure to be on the show and thanks so much for having us!

Watch the full interview here (including Oli nicely dropping us in it. "Good Morning" awkward silence....) lol Watch the Sunrise interview

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Handy tip for expanding (or non-retracting) bellys

It's so annoying when you have a pair of perfectly good jeans that fit well except that doing the button up is either uncomfortable or simply a mission impossible.

Here's handy trick. I used this during the early stages of pregnancy when I didn't need maternity pants but my own were just a little to tight and then again after baby was born.

Belly Beyond Quick Tip
  • Get a plain elastic hair tie
  • thread it through the jeans button hole
  • loop both ends back over the dome
  • wear a top that covers your fly!
  • Voila - instant pants expansion
And you can get a surprising amount of extra room using this tip although you will need to replace the hair tie periodically as it stretches.

Let us know if you try it!

Have you ever tried to ride a snow ball?

Things are going so amazingly well here at Belly Beyond HQ and the momentum we are gathering seems to be taking on a life of its own.

With some cheeky PR from yours truly and on the back of the Her Business Woman of the Year Awards, we have a TV crew due here tomorrow, a photographer coming Friday for some Lifestyle shots, more awards announcements due Friday, TV appearance on Monday, 'nother one in the planning in August, full page magazine ad (for a fraction of full cost), a Mentor match, a Charity Partnership..... I could go on.

I think we are getting a feel for what it's like to ride a snow ball - and I have everything crossed we don't end up flattened by it! But unlike any other venture I've ever undertaken, everything we try to achieve seems to fall into place easily. That's not to say we don't face challenges. We do on a daily basis, but those challenges seem more like potholes or judder bars - things you get over fairly unscathed with a keener eye on the road ahead.

Well this is a rather deep post from me. So that said, back I go to the shallow end of Blogland.


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