Ep. 21 2018 - Laura Ruston
In this episode I speak to Laura of Out & About Baby. We talk about how her business started, her military precision shopping and meal prep and the best advice she has received.
Tell me about yourself.
Mum to Harvey with is almost 3.
Wife to Dave. Been married for 5 years in July but together for 15 years total.
Started the business Out & About Baby about a year and a half ago. Think of it a bit like a trip advisor for parents. You can search hotels, cafes, restaurants, parks, shopping centres any where around the world, based on their facilities and parent reviews. Now have over 700 locations listed on the site and are adding more everyday. We also do events under the banner of the Out & About Baby Social Club with the mission of growth in Motherhood through friendship and learning. So we go out, meet other cool mums, eat food, and drink coffee, or wine, in some really cool places around Sydney.
Describe for us, a day in the life of you. Do you have any tips or life hacks?
I survive on schedules. If it’s not in my diary, it’s not happening. And that applies to work life and mum life. I have my son with me 3 days a week and on those days we always either have a playdate lined up or have somewhere to go and things to do. I can’t just sit at home. We both go crazy. Probably why I’ve built a business around going out. Haha.
On the days that he is in daycare, it’s head down bum up. I drop him at daycare, catch the bus straight to work, power through the day with meetings, and work with the team and then bus back to daycare for the pick up by 5pm. When we go home I go into full on dinner, bath, bed routine. And I’m not above TV time, especially when he is tired after daycare and I’m trying to cook dinner.
My husband usually puts our son to bed and by the time he is back downstairs he usually finds me on the couch with my laptop open, glass of wine in hand and tv on something mindless that I don’t care about so I can get a hour or so of work done. If possible though, the laptop is off by 8.45-ish.
What was the best advice you have received?
To look after your teeth. You can brighten someones day with a smile.
What books are you currently reading or do you have a fave Netflix or Stan show?
I love watching anything Marvel related – it’s a weird thing that my husband and I get really into. Either movies or TV and there seems to be no to that content at the moment.
In complete contrast to that I also just finished watching The Tudors on Stan starring Jonathan Rhys Myers. It’s so good and even though I know I should probably remember all the stuff from year 8 history, I was constantly googling during the show to check if some of the crazy stuff in it actually happened. Turns out it did!
If you cook, what recipes can you share or meal prep tips?
I do cook during the week but to be honest I just care about it being fast and easy. The less pots I have to wash up the better. If it’s in the Coles magazine I’ve probably tried it. Haha
On the weekend though my husband cooks and if it takes forever, makes heaps of mess and is really unhealthy, then that’s usually what’s on the menu.
What one area of your life would you like to improve?
I can be quite highly strung and I puit a lot of pressure on myself to get stuff done. So when something doesn’t go to plan, I would like to handle it a bit better. A good example is when I’m trying to manage the whole, work life/mum life scenario. I might want to get some work done but my son has other plans. He either doesn’t want to have a nap or just needs some extra attention. I get frustrated really easily and then he picks up on that and it turns into a vicious cycle of frustration and him acting out. I am so aware of what causes his naughty behaviour, and I know the triggers that get me worked up. I just need to get the balance between them right.
I did meditation for a while and that did help but then I fell off the wagon. So I really should get back into that.
Do you have a daily hack to make your smooth?
I’m a meal planner. On either a Sunday or Saturday I meticulously plan everything that we are going to eat for the week and then I map it out before we do a grocery shop. It eliminates waste but more importantly it removes the evening panic of “oh bugger what am I going to feed everyone tonight.”
What website have you signed up to that you actually find value in receiving their emails
I love interior design and fashion so I love the emails that I get from Arent & Pyke, Coco Kelley and GOOP. They just look so beautiful and that makes me happy.
What’s one piece of advice you would give your pre baby self
You are not busy. You might think you are… but you actually don’t really know the true meaning of being busy yet. And if you want something done quickly and efficiently, give it to a mum to do.
What’s the most useful / useless baby item you have?
Probably a backpack coz my son is a runner and I’m constantly chasing after him. Although the one I had just broke so I’m now using an insert from the Nappy Society for my state of escape bag so I don’t loose all my crap in the bottom of my bag. So that’s really useful too.
Also, I still use my pram a lot. It’s the bugaboo bee and is small enough to go anywhere without taking up too much space – perfect for tiny spaces in cafes. And it’s now basically like a stroller. It’s definitely seen some serious kms.
No idea. Try not to have anything that is useless around me. We just don’t have the space to keep it.
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