Why I do what I do: Caroline Fenton, Avidiva

Caroline Fenton’s passion for natural baby products started after a traumatic experience when her own son was born. Here’s Caroline’s story of why she does what she does…

1. Tell us a bit about your job and how you got to where you are now?
I own and manage my online baby boutique at www.avidiva.com.au… 
It all started as a unique and personal collection of gifts and goodies for little ones. When my son was born early at 30 weeks, we spent 3 months in NICU before we were allowed to bring him home. The journey we went on was pretty epic, full of challenges and lots of unknown. No new mum journey is easy but this really was a way to be thrown in at the deep end! With lots of time spent researching and sourcing natural products, looking into what really is best for bub, I wanted to share this with other mummies. We now have a range of gift boxes, support local businesses as well as source globally to bring you a beautiful collection of all natural baby products and gifts.

2. What do you love most about your job?
The fact that I am my own boss! I source the products, chat with the brands, decide whether or not to take on new lines…I have learned so much about marketing. About social media. About web techy stuff. It’s amazing just how many hats you need to wear… but I really do love it all! It’s not easy, and it’s certainly been a challenge, but it’s a great one!

3. What’s your life mantra? 
Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle. Cliché maybe, but all too true! We are all full of this positive energy and natural want to succeed and be happy. But all too often we compare ourselves to others, or doubt our own abilities. Just keep on going, and keep believing, and don’t let anyone (including yourself!) tell you otherwise!!

4. What else would you be doing if you didn’t do what you do?
I would either be teaching English or working in Marketing somewhere. Or maybe completing by Masters in Psychology. See, I’m undecided! Who knows what I would be doing…

5. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
Oooh a toughie. Not all too exciting but a purse from my sister. A really lovely real leather wallet that was just what I needed, but I wouldn’t never have treated myself to!

6. What’s the best gift you’ve ever bought someone? 
Even tougher! Probably a set of garden mugs for my Mum! She is forever out in the garden, and they have this awesome little lid on to keep the flies away and then use for your biscuits too! Plus they had some lovely garden flower design on. Can you tell I was pretty chuffed?!

Check out Avidiva’s great range of products at www.avidiva.com.au and connect on Facebook and Instagram

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My Favourite Quote: Brian Martin, Seamfoam Media

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
-Jean Paul Sartre from the book Being and Nothingness (1943)

“I read this book when I was at a crossroads in my life, and this quote really resonated with me. Sartre essentially says that we are responsible for our actions. I was at a low point career-wise and reading Sartre gave me the realization that if I was unhappy with where I was in life, it was because of choices I made. Since I am “condemned to be free”, I have the responsibility to change my life and to take the steps to improve myself.”

Brian Martin is a SEO Specialist for Seamfoam Media in St. Louis, MO with a passion for philosophy and early 20th century writers.

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My Favourite Quote: Gillian Adams, www.colouringforhealth.co.uk

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

“I found this quote last year after I was made redundant from a stressful job. I’d started my career as a graphic designer, and though I’d moved into other areas, art was never far from my thoughts. Over the years I’ve used it to relax and escape work pressures, and this quote perfectly summed up what it has done for me. It also helps me to push through any blocks I have when designing now. Whether I develop an idea or put it aside, it’s an evolution that makes me stronger.”

Gillian Adams is a colouring book artist who wants to inspire people to colour for relaxation and its therapeutic benefits. You can find her work at www.colouringforhealth.co.uk

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Easter is my favourite time of the year: a four day break, and usually pretty reasonable weather that’s great for a mini-break or spending time at home in the garden. This year we stayed at home for Easter, and made the most of catching up on lots of jobs around the house that we never get round to on weekends.

We hope you’ve had a great Easter weekend too. If it’s been a busy one, then maybe a bit of quiet time doing a spot of online shopping with a hot drink is just what’s called for.

If you’ve got a few more birthday, wedding, anniversary, housewarming, and thank you gifts to buy this year we hope you can take advantage of these great ideas at great prices in our store-wide sale.

So go on, make a list and let us help you tick some things off your gift list today…

store-wide until midnight 30 April 2017. 
This is a VIP sale offer, only available to those ‘in the know’. To redeem your discount, enter coupon code STOCKTAKE in the ‘Discount Code’ field when you place your order. Please note that this offer can’t be used in conjunction with any other offers.

PS: You can forward this email onto family and friends so they can enjoy this discount too.

Best Wishes,
Courtney and the Mr Gift Team

Gadget Gifts on sale

Essential 15 piece Tool Set

Gentlemen's Hardware Bicycle Repair Kit

Precision 8 in 1 Screwdriver

Call Key Key Ring with LED torch

Burgon and Ball Folding Pruning Saw

Tweet Cone Bird Feeder

Burgon and Ball Gardening Gloves

The Little Veggie Patch Co Guide to Backyard Farming

Fred Have an Ice Day Ice Tray

Ceramic Measuring Jug

Man Law Meat Gauge with Glow in the Dark Dial

Weights and Measures Mug

The Game Slip Leather Wallet

Troika Card Saver card wallet

Fishing Reel Cufflinks

Wurkin Stiffs RFID Passport Wallet

Suck UK Floating Light

DIY Wall Clock

Kobo Seeds Candle Siam Poppy

Troika Fresh Breeze Paperclip Holder

e+m Wooden Maximo Pencil

Made By Humans Eco Stapler

Work Hard Play Hard Cufflinks

Cognac Gift Set

Corona glasses, pair

Brushtech Stemware Brush

Alife Design Washing Pouch

Guitar Multitool

Kreafunk aMove Speaker

Alife Design Travel Pouch

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Thai spiced pumpkin soup

Autumn means pumpkin time! If you have a large pumpkin that you want to use up, this recipe’s a delicious twist on the classic pumpkin soup. 

Serves 6

  • 1.5kg chopped pumpkin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cerlery stick, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup light coconut milk 

1. In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the spices over a low heat for 2 mins. 
2. Add the vegetables (pumpkin, onion and celery) and stir-fry for a couple of minutes to coat in the spices. 
3. Add stock and bring to the boil. Cover, then simmer until the pumpkin is tender. 
4. After the soup has cooled slightly, puree until smooth. 
5. Return the smooth soup to the pan and stir through coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. 
6. Serve with fresh finely chopped coriander and crusty bread, or cornbread. 

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My Favourite Quote: Sam Williamson, Betta Fish Tank Bank

“My work is always stronger when I get very selfish about it” 
– David Bowie

“I’ve always been a fan of Bowie, and respected his work ethos enormously. He only ever worked for himself, in the way that he wanted to. This is something that I’ve tried to replicate in my own life.”

Sam Williamson is the founder of Betta Fish Tank Bank, the home of the coolest and most unusual fish tank ornaments that the web has to offer: www.fishtankbank.com