Win a Mia Tui Amelie Bag Stuffed Full of Oriflame Summer Products


I know it may not feel like it.. but summer is here..!

Hopefully you all  have a summer holiday booked and you’re looking forward to a week or two in the sunshine. It will be a time for taking things easy, reading a book or two, enjoying a few glasses of wine, eating some good food and not thinking of the school runs, washing, ironing, cleaning or work..!

I have teamed up with Oriflame to bring you an amazing competition to win an Amelie Travel bag full of Oriflame products which will help get your feet ready for the summer and protect you and your family whilst playing in the sun.

So what do we have on offer..

The Mia Tui Amelie bag is the essential travel item for the summer and you can win one full of Oriflame products.

 

The Amelie bag is hefty enough to accommodate a laptop, e-reader, iPad or work files, the Amelie Travel Bag – features a multi-pocketed waterproof interior so that travel documents, pens, mobile phone, keys, water bottle and other essentials can be stowed in separate compartments and are easily accessible. The bag also doubles up as a great beach-bag when you’re on holiday as it is completely waterproof.

Two clear, removable zipped bags are also included which are ideal for carrying liquids, toiletries and make-up through airport security thanks to their airline compliant size.

In addition, the Amelie Travel Bag comes with a co-ordinating clutch bag so you can easily swap to a small bag when you only need to take essentials such as purse and keys with you.

You can get 10% off the entire range at www.miatui.com use the code MT2012

Orfliame is a Swedish cosmetics company and they have given me the following gorgeous products to include in the Amelie bag.

To get your Feet Ready for the Beach

Feet Up Exfoliating Foot Scrub
Feet Up Cracked Heel Repair
Feet Up foot Mask
4-in-1 Foot File

Now for the Legs

Feet Up Leg Mouse
Swedish Spa Anti Cellulite Cream

You’re now ready to hit the beach

Oriflame Beach Towel
Sol Family Spray Sun Lotion
Sol Kids Coloured Sun Spray
Sol Family After Sun

Time to head out for dinner

Aqua Rhythm Day cream

To WIN  this competition which is worth over £140, all you have to do is pop over and have a look at the Oriflame Facebook Page  and the Mia Tui Facebook Page  If you LIKE the pages it’s a great way to keep up to date with the latest offers and promotions.

Tweet:  I want to win an Amelie Bag full of Goodies with @miatuibags  and @oriflameUKltd  http://wp.me/p1jyRo-8D

Then comment below on why you love the summer.

Oriflame is a Swedish cosmetics company and have been operating in the UK for over 4o years, they are a direct selling company, operated through a net-work of agents who distribute catalogues within their local community. This is a great way of earning extra money each month and there is no financial outlay to start. Full support and training is given to help you on your way.

If you are looking to earn some extra money click here to see if becoming a Oriflame consultant is for you.

Entires close at 9pm on 1st July. Winner announced on Monday 2nd July.

 

I was kindly given the products free of charge from Oriflame, my opinions are honest and unbiased.


A Stylish Gym Bag


Following on from my post “Back at the Gym” and reading an article in The Daily Mail   which was titled “Is a designer gym kit the new ‘It’ bag? How trend-led sportswear is changing the way we dress to work out.

I thought I would keep to the fitness theme and show you how you can use the Amelie bag is a stylish gym or swimming bag.

In the few times I have actually made it to the gym this year, the one thing I have noticed is what bags people bring to the gym, this ranges from small wheelie suitcases (I kid you not) to carrying  2 bags or a large sports bag.

This got me thinking about the Amelie bag and how to use it as a gym or swimming bag.

It’s large enough to accommodate a pair of trainers, towel and workout clothes, features a multi-pocketed waterproof interior so that workout gear, mobile phone, snacks, water bottle, keys and other essentials can be stowed safely in separate compartments and are easily accessible.

Two clear, removable zipped bags which can be used for toiletries, make-up, transporting those damp gym clothes home in or storing jewellery.

In addition, the Amelie comes with a co-ordinating clutch bag which you can swap essentials such as purse and mobile into if you want to nip out and grab a wine  I mean coffee after your work out.

To watch a Video of the Amelie bag click the picture or on this link Amelie Gym Bag

To get yourself 10% off the range quote FitPro12 at www.miatui.com


Back at the Gym


 

So I made it to the Gym…

I made it to the gym this morning, I got my husband to drop the kids off at school and I was on the exercise bike by 8.15am and home at my desk by 9.20am, OK I have not showered, but as I work on my own I’m not offending anyone and just as long as I manage to get washed by pick up all is good..!

I joined the gym in December and I have probably been 8 times since, so it is proving quite expensive per visit at the moment., but I am looking to change that.

Exercise has been part of my life since I was about 13, I started running the day after a local marathon,  I was not the slimmest or fasted girl at school but some how I took to running, I would run about 3 miles every day. After about 6 months Dad took me to the local athletics club and I never looked back.

I ran at County and Southern England level at both Track and Cross- Country and travelled most weekends to compete, I loved it, being part of a club and training with your coach every day made you feel part of something.

I also trained to become an aerobics instructor when I was 18, this has probably been my single best qualification, I have only ever taught part-time, but when moving around the UK for my job I would always teach and this allowed me to make new friends.

Then when I started living abroad I set up classes where I lived or taught in clubs, most of my closest friends both in the UK, Hong Kong and Vietnam have been made through teaching and exercising.

So how come for the past 9 months have I only exercised maybe 10 times..?

Time is probably the main factor, starting a new business, looking after a 5 & 6-year-old, cleaning, washing, cooking, home work, (note I didn’t put ironing, that’s because I don’t iron, if you get the clothes out from the tumble dryer as it finishes and shake it’s not too bad!) oh how the list goes on.

The effect on me and not exercising is quite dramatic.. I haven’t really put on weight which is good, but the effect on my mental well-being is huge.

Both my kids are horrible sleepers, but exercise I am sure helped me cope with this lack of sleep, still at 5 & 6 they don’t sleep, I thought I had it crack but we are back to square one.

I now find I am short with the kids, my moods go from high to low- and this is something I have never experienced before.  I truly believe this has to do with exercise, so I am going to make the time, even if I have to get up early.

Do you manage to fit in any exercise.?

 

 

 

 

 

 


Guest Post on the Amelie Bag


Charlotte from @CandyBows road tested the Amelie bag, she has 3 children under the age of 6 and also works.. so this is what she thought of the Amelie bag.. .

Review of Bag

As a mum of 3 children 6 years and under I have over the years gone through numerous bags to try and find the right one that covers all the bases : it must be big enough to hold all the kids gear, it must have compartments so that my stuff is easy to find, it should have places to store makeup, keys, phone etc, it should be waterproof…oh yes and please can it be stylish and not resembling a large rucksack!  After many years we have gone through a lot of bags…. I have had handbags for me and baby bags for them (too much to carry) I have tried waterproof bags for all of us (not stylish) and I have used my lovely handbags to carry it all and have cried when Ribena has leaked all over the inside.  So I was delighted to try the new Amelie bag and give it a good test.

 

First of all I was so impressed with the colour ways – what a fabulous choice and something to suit everyone! I went with the pewter mainly because I thought this would suit all occasions – going out in the day, going to an exercise class but also I could use it for work too.  The fabric is great as is the waterproof, bright pink lining and the interior pockets are ideal for water bottles, keys phones etc.. no more rummaging around for lost items!  The handles are strong and sturdy which reassured me I could seriously load it up and they weren’t going to give way on me.

 

What have I used it for – well, it gets used everyday!  Today it has been mine and my twin girls swimming bag – plenty of space for 3 towels and clothes and the 2 clear bags have been great for shampoo etc in one and wet arm bands and goggles and swimming costumes in the other.  The clutch was perfect for my brush and make up and we looked stylish too!  I have used it for travelling with the kids – so easy to have just one bag with the Nintendos in and colouring books plus all my bits I want to get my hands on easily and I’ve used it for work – visiting clients with my lap top, brochures and samples.

 

It really has been a bag for all seasons! I have had wonderful feedback on it with lots of admiring glances and great comments and I can’t wait to use it all over the summer when we are out for the day and for the beach! It is perfect – well done!

Buy from www.miatui.com 20% off until 31st March use code MT102


The Perfect Travel Bag


When I designed the 1st Mia Tui bag it was for travel, having two kids and doing a lot of long haul flights I needed a bag that could fit everything, allow me to find everything quickly and easily, whilst negotiating a then 3 & 4 year old,  and zip up.

So the Amelie bag was born.

I thought with the summer holidays not too far away (really they are not that far away) I would tell you why I think this is the perfect travel bag and give you a little discount code if you wanted to purchase one. Code MT102 in the discount box will give you 20% off the Amelie range.

For some reason as soon as you step foot in an airport you kind of lose your mind, you always panic if you have your passports, where have you put your keys, have you got your foreign currency, then you have to contend with security and getting everything out of your bag – I think you get my picture.

So what I wanted with the Amelie bag is, that if used properly you will know exactly where everything is and you can breeze through check-in, security and board the plane looking cool and stylish.!

The bags that you get with the Amelie bag should be used as follows..

The Clutch – Your purse, passports, boarding passes (then when you are at your destination use as your evening bag)

The Carry-on Liquid PVC Bag – Well as the name suggests use this for your carry on-liquids or make-up. When you are at your destination this is great for your small electrical items around the pool as it is water-resistant.

The Large PVC Bag – This can be used if travelling with small kids for a change of clothes, nappies & wipes, or if you have older kids for their colouring pens and bits to keep them quiet and let them easily see what is in the bag, or for your camera/video & leads. When you have got to your destination use for your sun creams.

You have clips for your keys so you will never lose them, together with phone and pen holders, so if you have to fill in a immigration form you will know where your pen is, oh and your passport and boarding passes for your flight number because they are in your clutch bag. 🙂

The water bottle holder is great when you have  passed through security and need to grab a bottle of water, and you won’t have any accidents with spilt water in your bag.

The beauty of this bag is that it is water-proof inside and out so you can use it as your beach bag if you have gone somewhere hot.

The large pocket is big enough for a 13″ laptop and I am told the clutch bag can actually fit a Kindle..!

When you have everything you need to hand around the inside of the bag in the right bags, then there is a big space in the middle to dump the non-essential items.

I hope this give you a better understanding on how best to use the Amelie bag as a Travel Bag.

To get 20% off this bag quote MT102 on the website www.miatui.com postage is free.

 

 


We Won a Gold Medal..!


I got the news today that we won a Gold, Silver and Bronze in the Bizzie babys review.. Click the picture to read the Amelie review in which we won GOLD..!! Grace won Silver and Ava Bronze..

It is funny how awards make us feel good, it is recognition for all the hard work you have put in and also for me it makes me realise that we are on the right track and our bags are amazing..! well I think they are amazing 😉 but what it does do is help other people stop and look at our bags as they have a seal of approval.

I am so so please that the Amelie bag won Gold, this for me is the best bag you can have, use it for travelling, big days out or as a gym bag, you can fit so much in it, but the important thing is you know where everything is.

This bag can be miss-understood as people’s 1st impression is that it is too big, but once you actually use the bag you realise it is not and you only have to take one bag out with you. Now if you are under 5ft 2″ the bag may look a bit big on you 😉

It has been a long time since I last wrote on the blog, we have been so busy, January we were flat-out planning for 2012 and then sending out all the bags people were ordering on the website, as we had a fab promotion on.

February saw us showing the bags at the Spring Fair which is a massive Trade Show at the NEC. We had lots of interest and retailers really liked our bags.  We have to stop people to tell them about the Mia Tui bags, as from the outside they look like any other normal handbag.. So by the end of the 5 days I was exhausted, and just a little horse..!

A TV shopping channel looks like they are very interested, so fingers crossed when we speak to them this week we can thrash out a deal, and start explaining on TV why our bags are so different.

We did a photo shoot last week, I am focussing on the 4 main occasions you should use your Mia Tui bags, Work, Travel, Gym and Mums, so we took to the streets to get some great photos of the bags being used on these occasions. I couldn’t have chosen a colder day, but I think we got some great shots.

Next week sees us at The Baby Show in Excel London for 3 days.. I didn’t design the bags to be a baby changing bags, but they actually make great changing bags, so we do very well at Baby Shows, we give away a changing mat to match the inside colour of the bag and hey presto A Changing Bag..!

March takes us into the world of fitness.. where we will be selling the bags at two aerobic conventions, so I am looking forward to attacking a whole new market for Mia Tui.

I have nearly made it through my 1st winter in 7 years..!! I am really looking forward to spring, today was a glorious day, we went for a walk around the lake and the kids had a play in the play ground, Mia has bright rosy cheeks now. !

Take care

C x


Mia Tui – What next.?


Wow I can’t believe that we are at the end of 2011 and that I am now back in the UK, if you would have asked me to predict the past 8 months I would have been so far off of the mark.

It makes me believe that you should enjoy the moment, because you have no clue what is around the corner, and trust that things do happen for a reason.

I am glad that we are back home, the girls now get to see my parents all the time and they really enjoy seeing them and spending time with them, for me also it is nice knowing that they are up the road, and not 2 plane rides away.

I also love that I am seeing my cousin and Auntie again, you know that family member that just makes you laugh so hard, that is my cousin Claire.

I will make the time to stop a bit in 2012 and spend a bit more time with my Mum, having a coffee and a chat, it seems that I have not stopped since we landed in July.

Mia Tui …

Well probably not the best times to start a business.. in a recession, but at least I have not seen the “good days” and things can only get better..! 🙂

I have to keep reminding myself that we have only really been going since October when we did out 1st show in Solihull where I meet @MagentaSkyUK, who brought a bag (Purple Ava) and instantly tweeted about it..!

I have met some fantastic people along the way, and  who knew that blogging and tweeting can really generate interest and sales in the bags..  My Blog roll call of 2011 is the following, these people have gone above the call of duty for me and been some of my biggest supporters

www.mummyvswork.co.uk

www.TheBoyAndMe.co.uk

www.feistytapas.com

www.mummymanda.com

www.curlyandcandid.co.uk

www.iamtypecast.com

www.mummylion.co.uk

http://paper.li/ncooperabbs

So what is next for Mia Tui, well it is to build on what we have been doing in the past few months, spreading the word about the bags and how fab they are, and that they can be used for so many reasons.

The Amelie bag is the best travel bag or a stylish gym bag, but that is a whole other blog post..!

I ran my 1st Mia Tui at Home party just before christmas, this wonderful, vivacious girl stopped me at a shopping center where I was selling the bags and asked if it was something we did, as she was new to the area and thought it was a good way of inviting her new friends over for a party.

So thanks to the lovely Elyssa the 1st Mia Tui at Home party was a huge success, and has made me get off my backside and get the business model written up, it was always in the business plan, but you know how other things take over.

Elyssa will be the 1st agent for Mia Tui in the Milton Keynes area and she will be running a few parties in the new year, then networking amongst mums at school and nursery.

So one of the 1st things I will be doing in 2012 is launching Mia Tui at Home, I will be looking for agents who would like to have a business that fits in with family life and allows them to earn an extra income.  Mia Tui really works when you show people the bags, then you have them, hooked, it’s not a hard sell.. So if know anyone who would be interested send them my way.

The next thing is to get the bags in to shops, so we are attending a big Trade Fair in February at the NEC, hopefully the buyers will love the bags..

I will also been developing a leather range and adding a new style to the range., so watch this space.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me on my way this year,and a special mention to Vikki & Kate two great friends who have been such fantastic supporters. Vikki was the 1st person to buy from the website.

I also want to say a big thank you to two great girls who are behind the scenes, Rachel working on the website & anything technical and is there for any of my “HELP ME” messages and Helen who is working so hard promoting Mia Tui to all the magazines editors.

I am really looking forward to 2012, I can see the momentum growing and people seem to really love Mia Tui bags. I will strive for excellence in Customer Service, and if you have any feedback please pass it my way.

Wishing everyone a fantastic 2012.

Charlotte x


A Bag is for LIFE not just for Christmas – Win a bag or 50% off voucher


I first came up with the concept of Mia Tui just over a year ago, I would travel to and from Vietnam with the kids and use a big bag that was the perfect size, but I couldn’t find anything in it as

1. It was Black inside, – couldn’t bloody see.!

2. It had no pockets, everything would fall to the bottom.

So the Mia Tui concept was born, a bag that was Airline compliant size, and allowed you to know where everything was easily and quickly, but also allows you to carry all but the kitchen sink.

So what is different about Mia Tui bags, I have tried to keep things simple, pockets around the side of the bag, that come with their own bags, so you know where everything is, you have clips for your keys, mobile and pen pockets, and a bottle holder, or for your umbrella.

I use water-proof material inside and out, so you don’t have to be precious about your bag, but it is made with the best thread and hardware, equivalent to a designer bag.

The Amelie is our big bag, and for me the BEST bag for travelling , a weekend away or for the gym. You can travel and feel superior, there is no panic about where you have put your passports or boarding passes, keys are easily found on the clip and when you need to fill out a form you can get to your pen quickly. It zips close so no fear of anything falling out.!

You chose how you use your bag, whether it’s for Travelling, as a Gym bag or as a Baby Bag.

Ava is our Medium sized bag, great for Work, Travelling and it makes a fantastically stylish Baby Bag.

Then let’s not forget Grace, a handbag that can be worn across your body or under your arm, this is the perfect everyday bag for me, I can fit everything I need. This make a great travel bag when visiting cities, it zips close for security, and you can fit everything you would need for a day out or use as a stylish baby bag ,as your baby becomes a toddler you no longer need to take so much with you.

This Christmas  I am giving away 20 50% off vouchers and to one lucky winner a gorgeous Grace Bag

All I want you to do is follow Mia Tui on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/miatuibags and RT I want to win a Mia Tui bag or 50% off voucher http://wp.me/p1jyRo-7e .  To keep up-to-date with all Mia Tui offers have a look at our Facebook page www.facebook.com/miatui

Closes on Thursday 15th at 9PM – open to UK residents only.


Spirit of Christmas.. and a whole lot of moaning


We were at The Spirit of Christmas Fair in Bluewater last week.

This was a new show on the back of the long running Spirit of Christmas at Olympia. This event is usually a paid for event, and that is how they expected the Bluewater Fair to be, and people would pay £12 a ticket.

What they forgot was they this was in the new event halls within the BIGGEST shopping centre, where there is probably nothing you can’t find, so why would you pay to go and see more shops.

The 1st day of the show was awful and I only sold 11 bags! a meeting was called by the stall holders to sort the issues out.

The next day the doors were then open to the general public and they could walk in FREE.

This made a big difference to me and we got to talk to people about our bags and sales were good.

Many of the other stall holders were still not happy and instead of concentrating on selling and customer service they were huddled in corners working out how they can get money back from the organisers and are bringing the atmosphere of the event down.

I can’t tell you the amount of letters that came round from different stall holders moaning and trying to get some vigilante going, there was even someone trying to profit by acting on our behalf of a collective to try to get compensation for a 10% success fee!

Yes it wasn’t the event that everyone expected, and we all know it had been a tough year, but instead of working out ways to get more money back, maybe they should have been looking at ways to increase sales.

The organisers had already said that they will compensate after the event, so why not do the following…

  • Smile
  • Give some great offers to the customers to encourage them to buy
  • Talk to people
  • Smile

Most of these people have been in business a long time, they have seen the good times, but we are in the middle of a big recession, customers have to think about how they spend their money, and are looking for bargains.

As for Mia Tui, we have spoken to so many people about our bags and have had such fantastic feedback. I have even had people coming back a day later to buy more bags.

It’s about getting the brand out there, and letting people know why Mia Tui is unique. I even saw someone who had brought my bag from another show, she told me how much she loved it, I don’t think she realised how happy it made me feel.

We are heading to the end of the year, a year that had seen so many changes for me. I feel in a good place, I think we have a business that can work.

It was a long 6 days and I missed seeing my girls, it is hard on everyone, my Mum & Dad have been amazing and helped out when we are away. Mum is not well at the moment, and looking after a 5&6 year olds is not easy.

 


How long it take you to get your baby to sleep through the night..?


Me.. 5 very very long years..!!!

I can’t believe I am actually typing this, because I know that I will tempt fate and she will stop sleeping through once I hit the send button.!

The whole grail of motherhood is getting your baby to sleep all night, and you hear the stories from Mums saying that their baby slept through from 6 weeks.. god I hate them..!

So where did I go terribly wrong, god knows, having the girls only 14 months apart didn’t help me, (I have getting drunk at a BBQ to than for that one.!) Mia was a very sickly baby, lots of respiratory problems, and we found out at my amniocentesis that there was a chromosome problem, so maybe I was over-cautious with her.

But the main reason is that she is stubborn, (and actually she doesn’t need that much sleep) Mia would wake up each night and not want to go back to sleep, I would try to get her to sleep for 2 hours, all she would do is scream, and if I left her to cry she would vomit or throw herself out of the cot.

My 1st try with a sleep consultant got me into a routine and we had 3 whole glorious weeks of sleep, I remember going out for the night with friends and saying how wonderful life was now Mia was sleeping, only to find her up and in the babysitters arms when we got home.. I could have killed her..!

She was sick again, and I could not get her back into a routine.. we then moved to Vietnam, and that is where I tried with another sleep consultant, this one claimed not to do the controlled crying but had great techniques, so I paid my money and got mentoring over the phone.

I had to get Mia to sleep on her own, so I was not in the room when she fell asleep, after 3 weeks of 2 hours a night of trying to get her to stay in her room I gave up, she was just not giving in and would scream and cry until she passed out.

Then we went to the doctors (there has to be something medically wrong) he went through her medical history and recommended me sending her to Singapore for a sleep lab test, I showed her what this would entail from a YouTube clip and guess what she slept that night, that is when I realised there was nothing medically wrong with her.!

So what did I do? I  put a blow-up bed in my room and said if you want to come into my room you sleep on the blow up bed and not in my bed.

Finally I started to get some sleep, then we moved to the UK, and we had another period of upheaval, we stayed at my parents house for 8 weeks and I slept in the girls room, then the move into our house just 10 weeks ago.

But for some reason she is now sleeping all night and has done for about 2 weeks, I still have to sit with her as she goes to sleep, but I don’t mind as it is a nice quiet time of the night. She is even getting up in the morning and taking herself downstairs and getting her own drink, and the thing I love is that I hear the girls having a little chat when they wake up.

Sleep deprivation is the worst form of torture, I remember losing my mind, feeling depressed, not wanting to go out at night with friends because I knew I was going to be up for hours in the middle of the night.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I was very fortunate to be living in Asia where you have help, so I was able to take myself off and get some me time, and didn’t do any housework (OK its out there now!) and there would be  some nights where I would ask Elsa to put Mia to bed because I couldn’t face doing it.

If I was in the UK having to do everything myself, maybe working and dealing with Mia and the nights I think I would have need some form of medical help.

So why is she sleeping now, I really don’t know.. maybe she feels settled here in England, or that Philippe is around all the time (before he would be travelling for at least 2 weeks of the month) and we have the family close together, my Mum and Dad are down the road and my sister and her kids are only a walk away.

I still have the blow up bed beside mine, and I don’t know when I will stop putting it down each night, I think the night I don’t do it will be the night she wakes up..!