Support Local Living

Are you fed up of large corporations taking over and everything looking the same? I know I am. This blog shares a year in the life of a local family, supporting local living and local businesses.

Do we really have time?

This week’s post comes from a mental space that I am sure most of you are familiar with, at some point in your life… being too busy.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been flat-out. Between 3 children, running 2 businesses and just day-to-day life, it is hard to find time in between to do the things I want to do, or even worse, the things I would like to do. (note: want and like can often be 2 very different things)

So it led me to think about how people often say that they don’t have enough time to support local businesses, and I must admit at times it can be hard, but it is something that I am passionate about so i have found a way to fit it all in and I wanted to share some of my key points with you. 

– Plan your route.
Often I have to stop on the way to somewhere or on the way home from somewhere (trust me it is often in a rush). I try to plan my route to and from places to make sure that I can pick up essentials like local produce on the way so that I don’t have to make a separate visit.

– Go as a family.
I make sure that i take the family with me when I go to the farmers markets on the weekend. This is a great opportunity to spend some time together, and it is a great time to get all of the kids out of the house and let them burn off some energy. Win – Win

– Rely on others
Most of us hate having to do this, relying on others, but sometimes it is needed. Ask family members, neighbours or friends to pick something up from a local supplier for you if they are heading there. Make sure that you are willing to return the favour as well.
This also helps you support local producers by buying in bulk. Have you ever looked into buying the fruit and veg boxes from the local farmers, but didn’t think you would use all of the produce? Why not go into it with a neighbour and share the box.

These are just some of the ways that I have found to make supporting local businesses fit in to my daily schedule.
Do you have any other suggestions? Why not share in the comments below.

Sam

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Busy, busy…

Sometimes we all get so caught up in our daily life that we forget to stop and smell the roses, or really take note of what is going on around us.

It is also all too easy to claim that we are “too busy” to make time to support local businesses, but it can be easy to make it part of your routine. (If you need reminding about why we should support local business, check out this blog)

I wanted to share with you some of the wonderful places that I visited over the last weekend:

Cleveland Markets:

Sunday morning we walked to the local markets, for an early morning breakfast at one of the local cafes, and to look at all of the wonderful local produce. The markets stock a large range of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and fish. The smell of freshly cooked breads, cakes and even pizza wafts between the stalls. Local artists come down and display their crafts, including wall hangings, paintings and jewelery. Where else would you want to be on a Sunday morning?

Bayside Antiques:

We made a stop in at Bayside Antiques on the walk home. I was truly amazed at the sheer size of the store and the range of antiques that they had. You could spend hours wandering in and out of all the little nooks and exploring each and every item.
You can find out more on their website or their facebook page.

 

So what did you get up to over the last weekend? Did you take the time to visit some of the local wonders in your area? We often have so much at our finger tips that we forget to take full advantage of.

Sam

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Rain, rain go away…

… come again another day.

  Well, we are coming to the end of the long weekend here in the Redlands, but I can honestly say that the weather hasn’t been very supportive.

I must admit, it’s the cold and rain combination that drives me inside, not just the rain.

So this long weekend was spent inside with the 3 kids. We had a clear out and sorted that “bits” cupboard (yes, I know that you all have one too, that cupboard full of bits and pieces that you might need one day and just can’t bring yourself to get rid of). We played board games and watched more movies than you can shake a stick at, but now I am beginning to get cabin fever.

I am looking forward to getting out and about again and letting the kids run off some steam.

So what did you get up to on this long rainy weekend? Did you hide inside like I did, or did you head out and brave the elements?

Sam

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Customer Service – 1950’s style

It seems that I often end up talk about customer service in local businesses, but it is a vital part of standing strong as part of a sustainable local community.

Time after time I am disappointed by the level of customer service in local businesses, especially those who promise great service. It led me to think the other day, if you are still doing customer service like you would have done in the 1950’s then you are doing it better than most.

Think back (or imagine, for those of us who aren’t old enough to think back – which would be most of us…) to the days when the staff to customer ratio was much higher. To when the tell behind the counter knew you by name, and often by order. Think back to a time when you had someones full attention, you didn’t have to fight other customers, the phone, the computer and countless other sources of distraction.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that times have changed and it is not possible to run a store just as it would have been back then, but there are some key aspects that can be taken away.

Last week I was standing by the counter, waiting to be served (I won’t say where…). The phone began to ring.

The team member came running to answer the phone without a second thought to me and the fact that I was waiting as well, nor was I even acknowledge with eye contact or a smile whilst they were on the phone.
Once they had finished they turned to me and asked if the could help, but it perfectly displays my point…

Real customers come first. The ones who took the time to walk in your front door and stand in front of your counter with a wallet in their hand deserve your full attention.

Well, that is enough of my little rant for now. Let’s hope that I can bring you happier news in the future.

Sam

P.S – I’m still sticking to my new years resolution to support local business and shop local for the year. It has led me to some interesting discoveries…

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Mothers Day

Well Mother’s day has been and gone.

It’s that one day of the year where Mothers can enjoy a sleep in and breakfast in bed (although I don’t think anyone told little Miss 2 that was the case).

The weather was beautiful across the weekend, and would have been perfect for outdoors Mother’s day. The Cleveland markets where thriving with people on Sunday morning, all taking mum out for breakfast, coffee and a walk around the markets.

Now I am fully into party prep mode, with little Mr 3 turning 4 this weekend, and Mr 9 turning 10 in a couple of weeks.

When did kids parties become such a big deal? Gone are the days of simple pass the parcel and a simple balloon tied to the mail box. These days it’s live reptile shows, themed decorations and large 3D cakes…

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Winter is coming…

I have definitely noticed that the days and nights are getting much cooler….

 Ok, so it’s not that cold, and it won’t get that cold here in sunny Queensland, but you can definitely feel the change of season.

Other than all of the standard coughs and colds that come with the change of weather, life still runs like normal. And that means finding ways to keep 3 children active and entertained.

Whilst it is still lovely weather to go to the park during the day, the late afternoons and evenings are cooling quite quickly.

What do you like to get up to in the cooler  months? Are there some activities or places to visit that are best done through the winter?

I would love your input,

Sam x

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What a weekend…

Well, what a weekend it has been here in the Redlands.

I have to start by mentioning the weather – anyone for a little rain? Relentless rain hit the Redlands for well over 24 hours from Friday afternoon. However I didn’t let it spoil my plans for what was a jam-packed weekend.

Friday Afternoon:
Hubby took the 3 children down to see the Dinosaur petting zoo,
at the Logan Entertainment Centre. Whilst Mr 3 spent half the show in tears,
petrified of the dinosaurs, he came home and couldn’t stop talking about them.
It was an interesting opportunity for the children to get up close and become a very
active part of the audience.
If you have young dinosaur fans, it is worth keeping an eye out of the next round of shows.

Friday Night: Date night
Hubby and I enjoyed a well deserved date night, whilst a wonderful friend of mine kept an eye on the children. We stopped at Hog’s Breath Cleveland for dinner and then down to the cinemas at Victoria Point. We watched American Pie 3, which I must admit, was hysterical. It’s definitely not going to win any awards for best drama, but as long as you go in with low expectations you will have a great time.
There were many points in the movie where the entire audience was in stitches and hubby came away saying there were several scenes where he was crying with laughter.

 

Saturday: Voting

If you hadn’t noticed (what? were you living under a rock?!) the council elections were held on Saturday. Things in the Redlands had started to get nasty, to the extent of newspapers being stolen from people’s driveways… (I don’t know how much truth there is to this one, but it was on Facebook therefore it must be true… right…)

A warm welcome to our new Mayor Karen, who has made some big promises on the way in. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of years. Also a sad goodbye to Melva, who was an incredible supporter of local community events and schools. Regardless of political view-point, I can honestly say you gave your all when it came to supporting local events.

Sunday: Party

Luckily the skies had cleared by Sunday morning and we  were off to a 4th birthday party at Cleveland Point. They have now finished upgrading the area and it is well worth a visit. There are brand new bbqs and tables, a new play area and a brand new toilet block. It will be interesting to see what they do with the large concrete circle, that is left over from the Narnia film, which is still sitting at the end of the point.

 

Well there you go, that is a brief wrap up of the weekend 🙂 What did you get up to on the weekend?

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Well, well, well

Well, Easter has come and gone “bye-bye Easter bunny”

Although I can honestly say it has left its mark, in the form of a kilogram sitting nicely on my thighs 😛

The kids are back in school today, which means it is the perfect time to reflect on the last couple of weeks. Over the Easter break I tried to stay purposely social media and internet free (ok, not free, but severely limited). It allowed me to spend much more time with the family and really enjoy what was going on around me.

Obviously I spend far too much time on there though, as a friend of mine sent me a message asking if everything was ok, she was worried about me because I had been very quiet on Facebook…. oh dear….

We had a lovely Easter as a family, not doing a lot, but sometimes I think that is best.

We did go out to the Easter Festival held at the Redlands show grounds on Easter Monday though. The event was provided for FREE by the local church groups, and I really to mean free. Free entry, free rides, free food and drink. As you can imagine the queues were a mile long (I do believe we queued for over an hour for the bouncy castle… I kid you not!!) but everyone was in good spirits.

I can only begin to think about the amount of organisation and the numbers of volunteers that would have been needed to make the festival run, so thank you to everyone involved.

What did you get up to over the Easter break?

Back to work for me now, off to train a wonderful group of students for the week. Have a great week!

Sam,

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It’s almost Christmas…!

Ok, so it’s not really, but it is half way through March. Is it just me, or is this year flying past incredibly fast. It feels like I’ve blinked and we are already a quarter of the way through 2012.

The thing is, we are all incredibly busy now, more so than ever before. Most are juggling jobs, businesses, families, pets, hobbies, chores and everything else on top and there is a lot of pressure to get it all just right.

Sometimes we have to sit back and admit that we can’t do it all. As much as I try, I just can’t be wonderwoman, and the pressure that we put on ourselves trying to do that is huge.

This week, make a commitment to take a step back, not for the whole week, but at least once. Do one thing for you! Maybe it’s read a book, go for a message, or even head down to a local coffee shop and just sit and watch the world go by.

I’d love to hear what you get up to. What is your commitment to yourself this week?

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– Without children – Part 2

Day 2 without children – it’s so quiet in my house when you wake up in the morning without 2 children squeezing into bed. I must admit,  I was still awake at 6:30am, but I woke naturally after a solid nights sleep and that isn’t something I can say often.

Hubby and I went out for our morning walk to get some fresh air before starting our day and then headed down towards Cleveland Markets.

It’s lovely to wander through the markets at a relaxed pace and browse the stores. There is an interesting range of fresh produce, meat, fish and some products.

We stopped off for morning tea for a refreshing drink and a bite to eat before we headed off for more adventures.

We drove up to Wellington Point and headed off towards King Island. King Island is a small sand island that a low tide is joint to mainland by a long sandbank. It was a beautiful walk along the sand (although it was decidedly warm and I did come back a lovely shade of pink).

What did you get up to this weekend? Did you enjoy any of the local sites in your area?

 

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