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Charlotte’s Tongue & Lip Tie Revisions

I started to worry that something was wrong when Charlotte was 3 months old. She was breastfeeding hourly during the day, and her night sleep was going backwards – she’d previously slept for 4-5 hour stretches, but was now starting to wake up every 1-2 hours. Breastfeeding still hurt and my nipples were cracked and bruised.

Family, friends and professionals all assured me that she was normal and/or her problems were my fault. They said she was just a bad sleeper, I was trying to get her to sleep too much during the day, she was just comfort feeding, I needed to teach her to self-soothe, it was normal for breastfeeding to hurt, my nipples would stop hurting if I’d stop letting her comfort feed, etc. etc…

I’d heard of tongue and lip ties before, but because she was breastfeeding and gaining weight steadily, I didn’t think it was possible for her to have them. Plus I thought if there was a problem surely one of the doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, midwives or osteopath I’d already seen would have picked up on it! So I listened to those around me, ignored my mummy instincts, and watched my happy, contented baby turn into a cranky, overtired unhappy little girl 🙁

By the time Charlotte was 4 months old, she was feeding hourly around the clock and only sleeping for 10-20 minutes at a time during the day. Someone in my mother’s group suggested she might have tongue and lip ties, so I did some research and realised that we had most of the symptoms. I took her to a IBCLC who was experienced with ties, and she confirmed that Charlotte had a lip tie and posterior tongue tie. She gave me a list of providers that could revise her ties and showed me some techniques that could help with breastfeeding in the interim.

Because of Charlotte’s ties, she was having to work really hard to breastfeed, so she was falling asleep or giving up before her belly was full, so she was feeding frequently to compensate. This was why she was still gaining weight, but she was exhausted, which was actually making it harder for her to sleep. She was getting worse as she got older, because as she got bigger she needed to consume larger amounts of milk.

We decided to have her ties revised, and chose a dentist that specialised in revising tongue & lip ties using laser (rather than scissors). Here’s a breakdown of the days following her revision:

Day 1

As instructed, I fed Charlotte 2 hours before our appointment, and gave her Panadol 1 hour beforehand. When we arrived at the dental surgery, a dental assistant greeted us and took us up the hall. There were meeting rooms with frosted glass up one side of the hall and treatment rooms with clear glass windows up the other side of the hall.

We were taken into a meeting room and the dental nurse asked us a number of questions about Charlotte and my experience breastfeeding. She then showed my husband and I the stretches we’d have to do following the revision (to prevent the ties from re-attaching). Then the dentist came in and had a chat with us about the information we’d given the dental nurse, examined Charlotte, and answered our questions. She was lovely and gave Charlotte a big cuddle and made her laugh.

Then it was time to actually do the revisions. She told me not to go anywhere and be ready to breastfeed because she would be back in 3 minutes! She took Charlotte across the hall to one of the treatment rooms and we stayed in the meeting room. She preferred that parents wait in the meeting room, but we had the option of going with her to the treatment room or watching through the window if we really wanted to. We heard Charlotte crying, which was heartbreaking, but she didn’t sound overly distressed and she only cried for about 30 seconds. After about 3-5 minutes the dentist came back with Charlotte. Charlotte looked a little upset but she wasn’t crying.

I fed Charlotte immediately and it was AMAZING! Her latch was perfect and it tickled instead of hurting! However, we were warned that Charlotte might slip back into her old feeding style out of habit if I wasn’t proactive about re-training her and she advised that I go back to my IBCLC for further help.

Once the dentist was satisfied that Charlotte was feeding correctly, she said goodbye and left us alone in the meeting room. After Charlotte finished feeding we put her in our Ergo and she was asleep a few minutes later (she’s usually never that easy to get to sleep!). We drove over to my husband’s work to drop him off and Charlotte kept sleeping in the car. She slept for about 1.5 hours, which was really impressive compared to her usual 10-20 minute naps. When she woke up and I gave her another feed which once again felt great. We then headed to her next appointment.

Our dentist recommended that we see a cranial chiropractor with experience in tongue & lip ties, to help loosen up the muscles that had previously been constricted due to the ties, so we made an appointment for later in the day. When we arrived Charlotte was still in a great mood and was smiling at everyone in the waiting room. The chiropractor was lovely and very gentle. There was absolutely no bone cracking and Charlotte appeared to enjoy the treatment.

On the way home Charlotte went to sleep almost immediately, but woke up 20 minutes later when we got home. She was pretty cranky, but I’m not sure if this was because she was in pain or because she was woken up from her nap. I gave her some more Panadol and some frozen breastmilk in a mesh feeder to suck on. She was very unsettled for the rest of the afternoon. At 5pm we had a warm bath and that helped to settle her. I got her ready for bed, gave her a feed and she was sound asleep by 6pm. Getting her to sleep was so much easier than usual, I took this as a sign that we were going to have a good night!

We went to sleep at 10pm and Charlotte was still sound asleep! We were so excited! Charlotte woke up at 11pm and I fed her back to sleep. She’d slept for 5 hours! She woke up again 4 hours later. This was an incredible improvement for a little girl that had previously been waking hourly!

Unfortunately it didn’t last. I gave her another feed but this time she wouldn’t go back to sleep. I was almost constantly feeding and patting her for the rest of the night, until she finally went back to sleep at some point in the early hours of the morning. I was so disappointed – the night had started out so well!

Day 2

Charlotte slept in until 7.30am (a big sleep-in for her), she had a feed and we played for about an hour before she wanted another feed. I was a bit concerned about her wanting to feed again after only an hour, but her latch was still good and she seemed to be getting more milk, although she did keep pulling back to get back to the shallow latch position that she was used to, so I had to keep re-latching her.

Charlotte had never taken a dummy before – we’d tried a few different types but she spat them all out. We assumed it was because she didn’t like them, but after researching ties, I realised she might not be able to hold them in her mouth. So I thought I would try having another go with a dummy and this time she took it, started sucking on it, and fell asleep! I felt like I had a whole new baby!

She was in a good mood for the rest of the day, and her naps lasted for 1-2 hours. I was so happy that we were already seeing so much improvement! I did the stretches every 4 hours and Charlotte clearly didn’t enjoy them, but she didn’t cry or seem overly bothered by them. She didn’t have any Panadol or other medication all day because I didn’t want to medicate her unless she was actually in pain.

In the evening she started to get really upset. I gave her some Panadol and some more frozen breastmilk to suck on and that calmed her down pretty quickly. She feel asleep after having another feed and slept for another 2 hours. So all up she slept for over 5 hours during the day! A huge achievement for her!

She went to sleep for the night at 8pm, but then she was waking every 1-2 hours and not wanting to go back to sleep.

Day 3

At 5am she was wide awake and screamed at our attempts to try to get her back to sleep. We gave her some Panadol which seemed to help. She had a half hour sleep in the morning, a 40 minute sleep at lunch time, and then a 2 hour sleep in the afternoon. For most of the day she was very unsettled and spent a lot time screaming and crying inconsolably. I gave her some more frozen breastmilk to suck on and this seemed to help a lot.

It took us over an hour to get her to sleep for the night, and then she was awake again after 40 minutes, and then again after 60 minutes, and it was a battle to get her asleep again. We were prepared for a bad night, but we actually ended up having the best night ever! We went to sleep at 10pm and then I woke up at 2am and Charlotte was still sound asleep! I did her stretches (which woke her up), gave her a feed, and she went straight back to sleep and didn’t wake up again until 5am!

Day 4

Once again Charlotte was up at 5am, but at least she woke up in a great mood.

Today we went to the IBCLC again to work on improving Charlotte’s latch. The IBCLC showed me the correct way to latch her now that her ties were fixed, and she also showed me some exercises to do with Charlotte to help strengthen and re-train the muscles in her mouth that had been restricted due to the ties. She explained that Charlotte was now using muscles that she’s never used before, so she’d still find it tiring to feed until she built strength in those muscles. It was like having a newborn again in a sense because she was having to learn to feed all over again. The IBCLC said it would take about a month for her to transition through all the stages of recovery following the revisions.

For the rest of the day Charlotte was in a pretty good mood and didn’t appear to be in any pain. She didn’t have any medication and barely cried the whole day. She had two 40 minute naps in the car, and a 2 hour nap in her bed in the afternoon! Overnight she woke every 2 hours but at least she went straight back to sleep after a feed every time.

Day 5

Today was probably the worst day of the week. Charlotte was very unsettled and spent a lot of the day crying. But she also cut a tooth, so I think she probably would have been miserable anyway. Getting her to sleep for the night was a 2 hour ordeal, and when she finally went to sleep in my husbands arms he was too scared to put her down!

End of first week

A week has passed since Charlotte had her ties revised and I have definitely seen a lot of improvement. She’s sleeping for 1-2 hours at a time during the day, sleeping for 3-4 hours overnight, going straight back to sleep after a feed at night, and her tummy problems have completely vanished! I can’t believe she’s already improved so much after just one week! Feeding is now pain-free if she latches correctly, but hurts if she pulls back to the shallow latch position that she is used to, so I have to keep re-latching her (which hurts too!)

After one month

We’re now at the one month mark and I’m feeling very disappointed and questioning why we did the procedure in the first place. Charlotte’s ties are now fully healed and hasn’t been nearly as much improvement has I had hoped for. Charlotte has gone back to feeding in her shallow latch position, and no amount of re-attaching will get her to feed correctly. DH thinks I should go back to the IBCLC, but I’m sick of spending money on the problem and getting no where!

Breastfeeding is now more painful than it had ever been and I I’ve decided to switch to bottle feeding when Charlotte turned 6 months. This is going to be a nightmare to do because Charlotte really loves her boobie and often it’s the only way I can calm her or get her to sleep, and I really wanted to let her self-wean. But my nipples are cracked and bleeding, hurting all the time, and I felt like bursting into tears every time she’s due for feed. I was so determined to breastfeed for as long as possible, but I’ve reached my breaking-point now.

Her sleep has gone backwards again too so she’s waking every 1-2 hours at night, and her sleep in inconsistent during the day.

After 6 weeks

It’s now been 7 weeks since Charlotte’s ties were revised and everything has changed!

After 6 weeks (which was a couple of weeks before Charlotte turned 6 months old) Charlotte started to latch correctly (all by herself!) and breastfeeding suddenly stopped hurting. My nipples recovered from the damage quickly and I was completely pain-free! I couldn’t believe it!

Charlotte’s sleep also started to improve again and she now sleeps for 4-5 hours at night (which I am happy to live with), and she has 2x 2 hour sleeps and a 45 minute sleep during the day.

After 6 months of drama, I finally find breastfeeding enjoyable and feel like I could keep going forever!

I did the maths and worked out that I’ve spent about the same amount of money (for consultation fees, etc.) to get the problem fixed as I would have spent on formula, so I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything (except for maybe my sanity for a while there!). I’ve also possibly avoided the expense of speech and dental problems down the track, so overall I’m happy to have spent the money, and I’m more than happy with the improvements that we have had.




92.168.o.1 – Malvertisement attack to home routers

DNSChanger is a malware that infected millions of computers across the world in 2012 which functions by changing DNS server entries in infected computers to point to malicious machines under the control of the attackers, rather than the DNS servers provided by ISP. You can change them using address with Router Admin page.

Therefore, every time a user attempts to start a website, the malicious DNS server respond with the address of (as an example) of the phishing site.

Researchers at Proofpoint can see a fresh widespread malvertising plan, in which a new type of DNSChanger spyware is being spread using a steganography method to be able to conceal malicious code in image data.

Once it hit one’s body, instead of infecting your personal Computer, it requires control of your unsecured modems. Proofpoint has discovered the DNSChanger manipulate system on over 166 router types: it targets routers that run unpatched firmware or are attached to weak admin accounts. Based on analysts, a number of the vulnerable routers include:

  • D-Link DSL 2740R
  • NetGear WNDR3400v3
  • Netgear R6200
  • COMTREND ADSL Router CT-5367 C01_R12
  • Pirelli ADSL2/2+ Wireless Router P.DGA4001N

To make your router secure, you have to set security protocols and key that allow users to access router admin page. Different routers have different login address. is default router address to access most of the routers.

What can be done via

The best part about is that it can be used as many times as you want. In fact, more than one user can use it, provided there are different networks. One device might be using 192.168.o.1 login  and other network devices can use the same IP address.

There’s a mitigation? Proofpoint says:

Unfortunately, there’s no easy method to drive back these problems. Implementing the latest switch changes stays the easiest way to prevent exploits. Changing the standard local IP range, within this specific case, might also provide some protection. Neither of the solutions, though, can be a common activity performed by common people of SOHO routers. Because of this, it’s also incumbent upon modem makers to produce mechanisms for simple, user-friendly revisions to their hardware.
Moreover, while we realize that promotion can be an important component of the web publishing ecosystem, in some cases, AdBlocking browser add-ons might stop such problems when they develop through malvertising.

However, there is no simple approach to protecting against these problems. Applying the newest switch updates remains the simplest way to prevent exploits. Changing the standard local IP range, in this specific situation, might also provide some protection. Neither of those answers, though, is a normal activity conducted by common consumers of SOHO routers. Consequently, it’s also incumbent upon router makers to produce mechanisms for simple, userfriendly revisions for their equipment.

Furthermore, while we recognize that promotion can be an important element of the Internet publishing environment, sometimes, ad-blocking browser add-ons might stop these kinds of problems when they develop through malvertising.

Best Ps4 Headset Under 100 in 2017 Reviews

Supervisor’s Note: This item has been expelled from our next to each other correlation since it has been supplanted by another item. You can at present read our unique survey underneath, yet Top Ten Reviews is at no time in the future refreshing this current item’s data.

One, two, three, four – recollect your dad’s dissatisfaction as he attempted and attempted to begin the gas yard cutter as sweat streamed down his brow on a hot, Saturday evening? This spring and summer season, sweat is out, and euphoric cutting is in. The Troy-Bilt TB230 makes it conceivable with a 190cc Briggs and Stratton 725ex Series L-Head motor, which accompanies this certification: “With the Briggs and Stratton Starting Promise, a motor furnished with ReadyStart will dependably begin on the first or second draw, or it will be settled for nothing.” That’s a remarkable guarantee and one that dear old father wishes he’d had.

This self-pushed yard trimmer has a 3-in-1 convertible cutting framework, which empowers you to choose exactly what to do with your grass clippings. The Troy-Bilt Best Ps4 Headset Under 100 is at first set up to be a mulcher, so on the off chance that you would rather release your grass clippings, you should introduce the side release chute. The Grassbag can hold 1.9 bushels of grass, and you can without much of a stretch confine it from the cutter to spread on your garden or add to your fertilizer heap.

The rotating cutter has a 21-inch deck outfitted with the TriAction cutting framework. This framework utilizes three stages to guarantee that your grass is cut uniformly at the level that you have picked. The deck has six tallness settings, running from 1.25 crawls to 3.75 inches. While 1.25 inches is, obviously, short, we do wish it could be balanced even lower.

Troy-Bilt has designed the TB230 self-impelled yard trimmer model with front-wheel capacities and 11-inch raise wheels. Regularly, front-wheel drive is better for level yards, but since of the extensive back wheels, this cutter will likewise move well over little slopes in your territory.

Since this is a self-impelled yard cutter, you are accountable for its speed. This yard cutter does not have voyage control, sadly, but rather it has a press hold control lever that causes you keep up a casual pace. To keep your comfort level comfortable, you can modify the tallness of the cutter’s handle to three positions.

A grass trimmer can be unsafe if appropriate wellbeing precautionary measures are not taken. In the event that you have to stop the trimmer whenever for any reason, discharge the cutting edge control, which you will discover connected to the upper handle. The motor will stop, alongside the sharp edges.

The Troy-Bilt TB230 TriAction 21 inch High Wheel Self-Propelled Mower enables you to tweak your speed, handle tallness and grass clippings transfer. The 3-in-1 TriAction framework and the movable deck and slicing stature empower you to cut your grass at your home your direction.

2014 Year in Review

Happy new year! Wow! What a big year 2014 was for me! Just a few of the major highlights of my year:

1. Got married!

On the 28th of June 2014 I married my best friend and partner of 4 years. It was literally the happiest day of my life. And I planned the 3-day wedding in just 4 months!

2. Honeymooned in Thailand & Cambodia

Got to enjoy a fabulous 3 week holiday with my favourite person, enjoying amazing food, fabulous beaches and some really swanky hotels.

3. Got pregnant!

Despite supposedly being infertile, I was over-the-moon excited to discover that I had fallen pregnant while on honeymoon! My husband and I are expecting a little girl on the 15th of April 2015.

4. Bought a house

This was a big a of saga in itself, and you can read all about it here. We’ll be moving into our new house a month before the baby is due!

5. Launched a new business

While I’m on maternity leave, I’ll be down-scaling my graphic design business, so I decided to launch another eCommerce store to provide some extra income while I’m on leave. I’m super excited about the new store, which is selling stickers, wall decals, posters and prints!

6. Wrote an eBook

I wrote an eBook titled “How to Start an Online Store“, which you can download for FREE.

7. Completed Certificate IV in Small Business Management

Even thought I’ve been a business owner for the last couple of years now, I thought it would be a good idea to do some formal training. The course taught me a lot about business and I’m really glad I did it.

So that’s just a few highlights from my 2014, and 2015 is looking like it’s going to be just as big! I can’t wait!


How the worst news on my honeymoon turned out to be the best news ever

It was the second last day of my honeymoon. I’d spent the past 3 weeks traveling through Thailand and Cambodia, swimming, eating, drinking, and relaxing with my new husband. I’d been having the time of my life and I was so happy. I was enjoying the breakfast buffet at the hotel where we were staying, and since there was no wifi in our room, I thought I’d quickly check my email.

The first email that came through was an email from our real estate agent. I opened and read (what at the time) felt like the worst news ever. Immediately I burst into tears in the middle of the breakfast buffet. The emailed informed me that we were going to have to find somewhere else to live in 3 months time when our lease ended.

I was upset because I loved our house and I didn’t want to have to leave it, especially after we’d only been living there for 9 months. I was upset because I didn’t want to have to invest time, energy and money in finding and then moving to a new house. I was upset with myself because I thought I must have done something wrong to make my landlord want us to leave. And I was upset because I’d received this news on my honeymoon.

And then I remembered the number one must valuable piece of advice I have ever received:

You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them.

So I switched to a positive mindset and started to put things into perspective. My husband and I had been planning to buy a house at some point, but because were really happy with our rental house, it hadn’t been much of a priority. Maybe this news was the push that we needed to start looking into buying something. And even if we ended up continuing to rent, maybe we’d find something even better. At the very least it would give me an incentive to clear out all the clutter in my office!

By the I had finished re-evaluating the situation, I was actually starting to feel really excited about the news.

After returning to Australia, we immediately made an appointment with a mortgage broker so we could discuss our options. I was a bit skeptical about whether we’d be able to get a home loan, since I’m self employed and we didn’t have that much money for a deposit, but the mortgage broker assured us that we would be fine. We discovered that we could get a 100% home loan so we wouldn’t need a deposit, and my tax returns were all that was needed to prove my income.

Once we had pre-approval we started house hunting. We started going to open houses and looking online. And looking, and looking, and looking… Every house we were interested in either sold within hours of being listed, or there was something wrong with it. Eventually we found a house that was perfect for us, but the asking price was much too high. The real estate agent assured us the owner was negotiable on price, so we put in our offer, but the owner refused to negotiate. What a complete waste of time! Dismayed, we kept looking.

Meanwhile, we had to move out of rental house. We were lucky enough to be able to move into a brand-new two bedroom apartment in an inner-city resort-style complex, which we absolutely loved. We also discovered that I was pregnant!

We kept house hunting but every house we liked was either already sold, or there was a problem. We kept looking for months. We were so sick of giving up our weekends and evenings to go to inspections and open houses! One Saturday morning, we decided to drag ourselves to just one open house. As soon as we walked in the door we were sold. The house was perfect. It was in a location that we never thought we’d be able to afford to buy in, but the owners had dropped down the price because they were desperate to sell. It was perfect!

After some negotiations, the owners accepted our offer and we arranged for a housing & pest inspection. But the report did not look good. The bathroom needed extensive repairs and we needed further inspections. We were devastated. My family was urging us to walk away from negotiations, while my partner’s family was urging us to stick it out. We didn’t know what to do!

But it all worked out in the end. The owners paid for further inspections that showed that the house was in perfect condition, and that the bathroom didn’t actually need any repairs, and then offered to take the cost of repairs off the sale price anyway!

Because the owners wanted a long settlement, we’ll be staying in our apartment for the next couple of months, and moving to our new place a month before the baby is expected to be born. Giving us just enough time to set up the nursery!


How to fire difficult clients

Yes, you can fire clients! If you’re self-employed you have the freedom to pick and choose the clients that you work with. Of course, if your finances are stretched or job prospects are few and far between, you might not be a in a position to fire clients at will, but if  I client become truly unbearable, it’s nice to know that you have the freedom to show them the door.

Of course, you have to keep in mind, that if they’ve paid you to do a project, you’ll either have to finish the project before you fire them, or give them a refund. And if you fire them while they still owe you money, well it might mean you have a difficult time recovering that money.

When should you fire a client?

  • They are rude/offensive/abusive/disrespectful
  • They don’t respect your boundaries (eg. they continue to call you at 11pm on a Friday after you’ve asked them to contact you during office hours)
  • They ask you to work for free, refuse to accept pricing increases or withhold payment
  • They ask you to break the law or engage in unethical/immoral behaviour
  • They otherwise breach terms of your contract

3 ways to fire a client

Increase their pricing

If you’d be prepared to tolerate a difficult client if they pay you more money, this can be a win win for both of you. You’ll be financially compensated for dealing with the difficult client, and they’ll get to keep using your services. Otherwise, increasing pricing is an easy way to get a difficult client to walk out the door without you having to ask them to.

Politely tell them you can no longer work with them and explain why (politely!)

Tell them the truth in the most professional and non-confrontational way possible. Something along the lines of “unfortunately I can no longer work with you as you have violated the terms of our contract by…”

Make up an excuse to explain why you can no longer work with them

You could tell them that you’ve changed your business model and are no longer able to provide the services that they require, you could tell them that you have to reduce your business hours for personal reasons and no longer have availability to work with them, or you could tell them that you have to take a temporary leave of absence but hope to work with them again in the future. I generally don’t condone telling clients lies, but this kind of softly-softly approach can be beneficial if you don’t have the courage to tell them the real reason you don’t want to work with them, or if you want to keep the door open in case you want or need to work with them in the future, or if you’re worried about the negative backlash that might arise if you’re truthful with them.

NEVER be rude when firing a client

While it might be tempting to lash out at your client and tell them what you really think of them, it’s never a good idea, because you never know what kind of negative consequences your outburst will have. Your client will likely tell his networks what happened (completely skewed so that they sounds completely innocent) and you might lose clients (or future clients) as a result. You might find yourself wanting to work with the company again in future (because for example the client has left the organisation) so you don’t want to burn your bridges.



The best reasons to be self-employed

1. You’re your own boss

When you’re self-employed, you’re your own boss. Yes, to some extent you still have to answer to your clients, but how you manage your business and your day-to-day work schedule is entirely up to you. There’s no higher-ups to give you a hard time, take credit for your work, or needlessly make your life difficult.

 2. You can earn more money

The only reason that an employer pays you is because you make them far more money than you actually cost them. The design agencies I used to work for charged my time out at $120-$180 per hour, while I was paid a mere fraction of that. Now, as a freelancer, I don’t charge the same high hourly rate that is charged by agencies, but I do charge a lot more than I was earning when I worked for an agency, which is a win for both myself and my clients. When you’re self-employed you can also claim a lot more expenses on your tax than if you’re working for an employer.

3. You have less expenses

Being self-employed can also save you money too. If you work from home you no longer need to be for fuel, parking or public transport costs to commute to work. Even if you work from an office, you have the freedom to choose the location, so you can work closer to home – saving you both fuel and time. You may be able to cut down or eliminate your expenditure on office clothing. You also have the potential to save money on coffee and take-away food, as it’s a lot easier to make lunches home when you have access to your (hopefully fully stocked) kitchen at lunch time, and it’s a lot easier to find the time to make dinner when you don’t have to commute for an hour to get home. If you’re able to juggle working and kid wrangling, you also have the potential to save on childcare costs.

4. You don’t have to deal with the usual office drama

When you’re self-employed more often than not the only person you have to work with is yourself. This means you no longer have to deal with office gossip, personality clashes, egos, tantrums, or spending your work days with people you just can’t stand.

6. You have the freedom to buy things that you need for your job

Your computer is so painfully slow it’s impairing your ability to do your job? If you work for a typical corporation, the process of obtaining a new computer could means days, weeks or even months of submitting request forms to various departments, only to have your request rejected. But if you work for yourself and you need a new computer, provided you have the finances to pay for it, there is no one to stop you from going out and buying a new one on the spot (and it’s a tax deduction!)

7. You can set your own schedule

Working for a corporation, you’re typically expected to be at your desk from 9-5 regardless of whether that suits you or your work schedule. But when you’re self-employed you have the flexibility to create a schedule that works for you and your clients. Want to work until midnight and spend the morning watching TV in your jammies? No worries!

8. You can choose your clients

Working as an employee, you’re forced to work with whichever clients are sent your way. And if a client is incredibly difficult, rude or offensive, there’s not much you can do about it. But when you’re self-employed, you have the freedom to pick and choose your clients. Sure, when you’re starting out or you’re having a quiet week you might have to take on less-than-ideal clients, but you have the peace of mind of knowing that if/when they become truly horrible, you have the freedom to (politely) fire them.


How to find work as a freelancer

1. Make sure you have a web presence, and work on your SEO

First and foremost, get yourself set up with a professional looking website that showcases your skills and enables people to easily contact you. You can do this yourself, or hire a web designer to do it for you. Make sure that you clearly state on your website that you are available to take on work. Include plenty of keyword-rich copy on your site and update it regularly. This will help to improve your SEO and make it easier for people to find you through Google and other search engines.

2. Register with freelancer websites

You can set-up a profile on websites such as eLance, O Desk and People Per Hour and gain exposure to clients from all over the world. Just be aware that these websites typically take a percentage of your earnings (usually around 10%) and you’re competing with thousands of other freelancers from all over the world, many of which are prepared to work for an extremely small hourly wage.

3. Call/email potential clients

Make a shortlist of businesses that you would like to work with, give them a call or do some searching online to find out the best person to contact, and then send them an email or call them and ask to set-up a meeting so that you can pitch your proposal to them. You’ll probably have to contact a lot of businesses before you find someone that is prepared to meet with you, but if you can get just one new client out of a week of cold calling it can be well worth it.

2. Network

Attending networking events and other functions is a great way to meet you new people and tell them about your business. Aim to make connections rather than sales. People will be put-off if you go in with the hard sell. For more tips on networking, you can read my article: How to Handle Networking Events Like a Pro.

1. Encourage referrals & word of mouth

I would argue that the best way to get work as a freelancer is through word of mouth. Of course, this is easier said than done, and is really only something that can happen over time as you build up your client base. When I was starting out, I got the ball rolling by doing free work for charities and community groups. Not only did this allow me to build up my skills and confidence, but it also generated paid work for me through word of mouth. You can also offer incentives to encourage your existing clients to spread the word. For example you could offer them a gift card for any new business that they send your way.



How to have a drama-free vegan wedding

First and foremost, discuss your wishes with your partner and anyone who is financially contributing to the wedding and come to an agreement that everyone is happy with. I was very fortunate because my partner is also vegan and our families were pretty supportive of our desire to have a vegan wedding, but not everyone is so lucky. If you partner doesn’t want to have a vegan wedding, you might be able to come to a compromise such as having 50% of the food vegan. And if your parents or anyone else is financially contributing to the wedding, then they get to have a say too.

To tell or not to tell?

It’s really up to you whether you mention to your guests that catering will be vegan or not. Details of the menu don’t usually go on the invitation, so don’t feel like you’re obligated to tell people. If they know that you’re vegan and they’re concerned that the wedding will be vegan, they will ask you about it. My husband and I chose not to mention it. Some of our friends who are devout carnivorous asked us about it were a bit worried when we told them everything would vegan, but they still came and they even told us how much they enjoyed the food.

If people refuse to come…

Honestly, if someone doesn’t care about you enough to want to celebrate your big day with you no matter what, then why would you even want them at your wedding? I suspect that one or two of my guest’s partners refused to come because of the vegan catering, but that really didn’t bother me in the slightest. If people complain about your decision to have a vegan wedding, perhaps you could polity tell that you’re paying for the wedding, and you don’t want to spend your money on things that compromise your values. Or you could politely tell them there is a McDonald’s nearby that they are welcome to head to before or after the reception. Or you could just tell them to stop being babies and suck it up for one night (or maybe not). Try not to take it personally if people get upset, some people just really don’t like to be taken out of their comfort zone.

If people bring non-vegan food…

I’ve heard all kinds of stories about people bringing KFC or other non-vegan food to vegan weddings, and although that kind of behavior is incredibly rude, unfortunately there’s not much you can do to stop it. If you friends and family are good people they will respect your wishes on your special day, but sadly this is not always the case. In situations like this, the best you can do is try to ignore it and not let it upset you or ruin your day. On my wedding day, my mum insisted on putting cows milk on the tea & coffee station. Instead of trying to argue with her, I just choose to ignore it and focused on enjoying my day. In a perfect world, everyone would respect your values, but as this is not the case, the best you can do is try not to let people’s behavior upset you.

Remember what the wedding is really about

At the end of the day, your wedding is about showing your friends and family how much you love your partner. It’s a celebration of your love first and foremost. But it can be easy to lose sight of that and get caught up in trying to have the most vegan wedding possible, while trying to keep all your guests happy. Dramas will inevitably arise, but if you can keep in mind what the wedding is really about, then things won’t seem so bad.


How I made my wedding vegan

My husband and I are both vegan, so when we tied the knot, it was important to us that we make our wedding as vegan as possible. At first we were a bit worried, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult or as controversial as we though it might be, and we ended up getting great feedback from our guests. Our vegan and vegetarian guests were delighted that they didn’t have to order a special meal, and even our most carnivorous guests told us how much the enjoyed the food!

How I made my wedding vegan:

The Reception Meal

I looked at several catering options and was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of catering companies were happy to create vegan menus or included vegan options are part of their standard packages. But I found most wedding caterers to be incredibly expensive with prices ranging from $60-$180 per head, and their vegan options weren’t particularly appealing. I’d heard stories from friends about having truly awful vegan meals at weddings, so I really wanted to find a caterer that would do good job.

I shortlisted two mobile caterers – the first offered wood fired pizza and was happy to do vegan pizzas provided we were able to supply the cheese, and the second offered paella (a Spanish rice dish) and was happy to make everything vegan. At just $20 per head each, both of these options were incredibly cheap.

I also looked at restaurants as another catering option and found that are large portion of restaurants were able to wedding catering. Overall I found restaurants to offer better prices, a larger menu, and more flexibility than caterers.

In the end, I hired a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant called Kuan Yin to do our catering. My husband and I chose them because it was the same restaurant that we went to on our very first date, and they also make very, very yummy food. We were able to choose from a huge menu and they were happy to make everything vegan. They brought in a team of chefs and cooked everything fresh on-site. We chose to do a buffet so that our guests could chose whatever they liked. We chose a variety of different dishes to suit all tastes, ranging from healthy raw vegan options, through to deep fried mock-meat dishes. They kept re-filling the buffet until everyone had finished eating, and there were plenty of leftovers that guests were able to take home.  At $40 per head, it was incredibly good value for money.

Beer, Wine & Other Drinks

For the cocktail hour and reception, we served beer and wine as well as non-alcoholic drinks. As some beer & wine contains animal products, we wanted to ensure our drinks were vegan also. We made our own beer at a micro-brewery called Brews Brothers because it was much cheaper than going to a bottle shop, it was also a lot of fun, and the beer tasted great. For wine, we severed a variety of Yalumba wines as it is a brand that offers a large variety of vegan options and at around $10 per bottle is fantastic value for money. For the toasts, we served champagne purchased from Goodwill Wines.

10347239_10152451914300865_1326752363671795280_nThe Cake

I looked at several cake suppliers and was pleasantly surprised to find that many offered vegan cakes as an option. But because they were so expensive (the type of cake that I wanted was going to cost over $1,000) my mum volunteered to make the cake instead. Every year she makes gorgeous looking Christmas cakes, so she felt confident that she could make a 3-tiered version. But she’d never made a wedding cake before, and she’d never made a vegan Christmas cake before. I purchased all the supplied that she needed for $60 (including bases, cake tins, smoother and fondant) and gave her a few different recipes as well as an instructional wedding cake making DVD. The cake ended up looking amazing and no one could believe that it was her first ever wedding cake.

The Candy Bar

I filled the candy bar with a mixture of home-made and shop bought vegan lollies including:

  • Fairy Floss (homemade)
  • Coconut Ice (homemade)
  • Sweet & Salty Popcorn (homemade)
  • Black & Gold brand milk bottles
  • Black & Gold musk sticks
  • Sweet William Chocolate
  • Lollypops

Hair & Makeup

My good friend and hairdresser did my hair for me, and I provided her with De Lorenzo styling products as it is my favourite brand of vegan hair products. For makeup, I hired Kristen Judge because I loved her portfolio, and although not vegan herself, she uses vegan makeup brand Arbonne.


When choosing my wedding dress I avoided anything that included silk, fur or pearls and ensured my shoes were leather-free. My husband chose a suit that was made of cotton instead of wool, avoided shirts and ties that were made of silk, and ensured his shoes were leather-free also. Our circle of compassion also extends to humans and environment, so we purchased second-hand where possible and chose reputable brands that don’t use slave or trade labor.