Here we chat to creative, mother of two, wife, PR and Comms expert and spreader of good vibes, Karrie-Anne Vieceli about how she's going during this time of social distancing/homeschooling/working from home, the importance of connection within families, her incredible Our Chatter Matters cards
and her creative small business, K With Heart.
Karrie-Anne, my family have been using your cards for some time now and it’s become a dinner time ritual for us, something we all look forward to at the end of our (usually!) busy days. It allows us to sit, connect and reflect on our days, what we’re grateful for, listen to our girls and understand how they are thinking and feeling. So special, particularly now during this time when we’re not feeling particularly grounded and there’s so much uncertainty around us.
Tell us about your little family, who lives in your home?
Our family consists of my high school sweetheart husband Brent and our babies, Seb, our loud, excitable, creative who is 6 years young, Myra - aka Queenie - our sass queen who is 4 years young, and our pint sized Jack Russell x Minie Foxie puppy named Angus Scratch.
We love nothing more than to head off on camping adventures, preferably in the bush, close to water with a camp fire and when we aren't doing that, we spend our time doing simple things like hanging at the beach or creek and having dinners under the stars with tunes on and dare I say it, with a few cold drinks for us adults!
When and why did you create the K With Heart, Our Chatter Matter cards?
I launched Our Chatter Matters cards back in February 2019, after having them in my mind and using my 'concepts' for almost a year before that! I am a big believer in the power of words, positivity, affirmations, dreaming big and thinking deeply and inquisitively about things. Before I created Our Chatter Matters, I used generic 'printable' conversation starters I found online, but none of them seemed to evoke conversations that mattered or ones that evoked feelings, memories and deeper connection. The printable ones would get lost and looked ugly, so I wanted to create something that could be displayed on a table and was always out and ready to be used at each dinner time.
You’re one of the most positive, uplifting people I have met, so blessed to know you and your sweet fam! How are you feeling during this crazy time of uncertainty?
Awww thank you. Likewise. It's funny how far we have all come through the wave of the changes, however after a few weeks into 'ISO" life, I must admit, I actually love many aspects of life as we know it at the moment. I just feel incredibly grateful to have our health, employment, a safe home, to live in paradise (Southern Gold Coast, Australia) and to have witnessed the most beautiful way the community has really come together.
I try and live by a few motto's but at the moment, being grateful for what we HAVE as opposed to what we HAVE NOT, keeps me in a good state of mind. I know that I will miss all of this extra time I now have with my kids as I am working from home, so I don't want to take any of it for granted.
You usually work full-time for the Government and you’ve now found yourself at home, working full-time in what I would say is quite a high pressure role, homeschooling two small humans AND you just bought a puppy! Aside from drinking all the wine and coffee, how are you managing everything so far?
Ha! I do those, that is for sure! Hmmm... I guess when you put it like that, I have a little bit going on - ha! I don't think I could offer much advice in this department, however I am juggling as best as I can. Some days I feel like I could high five myself, others not so much! I have however, started going for early morning beach walks and swims and I feel 10,000% better if I start the day doing this.
I feel that as Mums particularly being able to have some alone time to stop that mental load is super important. I also enjoy little rituals like having my coffee outside in the morning with my incense on before the demands of the day kick in. If I could offer anything to any mums or dads doing the juggle - just be kind to yourself.
Do you have any family favourites, when it comes to the Our Chatter Matters cards?
As expected, we have a few!
I love, 'Who were you kind to today?' I ask this question nightly because - Kindness is King! I also love 'What are you grateful for?', because gratitude changes everything!
My son loves, 'What is the best smell in the world and what is the worst', because this gets us all laughing! You can guess what a 6 year old thinks is the worse, first letter P, last O.
My daughter who loves animals always wants, 'If you could have a pet animal what would it be and what would you name it?', on the top of her list - a horse!
And hubby, hmm, I haven't asked him but he loves playing along!
You designed the cards yourself and I hear your handy husband made the wooden card holders too, small business indeed! Did the kids help with ideas also?
Yes, the bases are hand crafted by my husband Brent and yes, I sure did design them!
As we go camping a lot (we spent half a year in 2018 travelling around Australia) we have had many nights as a family sitting around a camp fire chatting away, so a lot of the questions were things we'd sit around chatting about.
When I was fine tuning the cards, my son had just started Prep (first year of school), so I designed them around the idea that the featured ('sight') word was in the centre of the card - that way if he couldn't read the entire sentence, he would know what it meant just by looking at the featured word. I can happily report this method worked!
I have some ideas for the next set of 'Our Chatter Matters', which will hopefully launch when we are on the other side of ISO and allowed to be out exploring and travelling with our families again!
So, where can people find the cards, do you have any stockists or is online the best way to get in touch?
Thanks so much for chatting with us KA! xx