| Posted by My Super Nanny
This week we get 2 mums for the price of 1!!
Sammi Dobinson and Mandy Couzens are the duo behind the kids 'road testing' website Mamma Knows West.
They are smart, funny and definitely in the know for all things kid.
Enjoy the read.
Who are you a Super Mum to?
Mandy- Evie and Austin
Sammi – Super Tilly and Super Minnie!
Tell us a bit about Mamma Knows West…
Mamma Knows West is all about inspiring families to uncover amazing stuff nearby! We love to share all things West with our friends and both have a love of photography and writing. So we combined all of our skills and Mamma Knows West was born. We now also have Mamma Knows East and Mamma Erin is incredible and has given us lots of new motivation and inspiration. We also have a successful kids market in Williamstown and an annual book fest too. We just love our community and love being a a part of it.
How did you meet?
We met at the Altona Farmers Market. Then again at a play centre….and we thought HEY! Lets do this together! We haven't looked back really Peas and Carrots.
Best part about working with another Super Mum?
Mandy – The motivation! Sammi is always on the go, always excited about things, always happy and ALWAYS encouraging and supportive - and that in turn inspires me. I love how we both get excited, just like little kids, about new things we find and as this kind of work is great but RELENTLESS, its soooo important to keep finding the fun – and to keep smiling and laughing.
Sammi – Mandy is amazing. Her photography (not just the Mamma Knows West photos) but her flower and food shots she does on a professional basis are incredible pieces of art. I can’t believe I know her sometimes. She is so encouraging, inspiring and funny. We both have a love of 80’s and being a bit silly. Not taking things seriously and I like that she embraces the crazy!
What’s the best part about being a ‘road tester’ for a living?!
Mandy – That feeling of discovering something new and incredible, of getting out of the house and experiencing things...it’s fantastic. It’s amazing how good you feel when you have had a full fun day of adventure with the family.
Sammi – Oh we get to do some awesome stuff with the kids. I have always had a love of adventure and photography so this is the perfect platform for me. My hubby is the same, we love adventure and new things.
Best place you have road tested?
Mandy – Hmmm, I was definitely over excited at the Hellenic Republic Launch in Williamstown. I think I may have hyperventilated at one stage.
Sammi – Oooohhhh that is so tough. How about we say Footscray is one of my fave places to go for adventure. It is just so interesting, surprising, fun, diverse and delicious! Oh and Jack Rabbit winery is amazing. Stunning.
Sum up being a mum in 1 word
Mandy – Rollercoaster
Sammi – Incredible
Biggest curve ball parenthood has thrown you?
Mandy – How much worry motherhood can cause
Sammi – My Daughters! Both of them! Ha.
Fun / Funniest event you have been to as a part of Mamma Knows West?
Mandy –Yeah we have lots of fun at events but our every day conversations where we are literally gasping for air because we are laughing so hard, that’s the most fun.
Sammi – Our Halloween parties are always fun. Last year a kid dressed as a ghostbuster and was chasing ghosts around busting them all over commonwealth reserve….I dressed my hubby as a minion. He is a trooper and that was fun. To be honest there are many may fun and funny moments with the Mamma Team. Some of them are just tiny conversations we have….I love it.
What do your kids think about your job?
Mandy – I don’t think they see it as a job – apart from when I am on the computer at home. They definitely love having adventures and getting out and about.
Sammi – They get to do some cool stuff so I think they love it. We met Mister Maker! They absolutely love it.
When do you fit in work?
Mandy – Whenever I can. I need to get up earlier than everyone else just to do some work – or housework so that it doesn’t pile up too much. Then I race around like a mad person when they are at school/kinder. It literally comes down to minutes We are lucky that a lot of our work does involve hanging out with the kids and doing fun stuff.
Sammi – Gosh. In minutes mostly. Five minutes here. Five minutes there. Here a minute, there a minutes...anywhere a minute! I long for a longer stint on something uninterrupted …..but I am fairly instantly interruptible all of the time. I do computer work most Thursday nights and some other nights.
What are your pet peves?
Mandy – Slow internet. Technology not working how it should – Sammi has listened to many, many of my rants over the years. It’s a thing now.
Sammi –Ha – the fact my phone is constantly out of storage or going flat.
What’s something you couldn’t live without?
Mandy – Food…..and my camera….
Sammi – Caffeine.
What do you wish you knew before having kids?
Mandy – Nothing – I love surprises!
Sammi – I wish we knew that they would be so awesome and wished we had them earlier… then we could have had more.
Dream wish…where would you love to be invited?
Mandy – Werribee Zoo Slumber Safari.
Sammi –I’d love the Mamma team be invited to Werribee Mansion for a family pamper weekend, that’d be FUN.
Favourite curse word?
Mandy – Fuck, I’m so lucky the kids haven’t started repeating it yet. Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME? is said on too many occasions.
Sammi – Fuck. For sure. Fuck….it feels weird writing that….sorry. Fuck. I do tend to drop the fbomb a little bit.
For or against New Year’s Resolutions? If for, what was 2016’s.
Mandy – I make resolutions every few weeks or so and its ALWAYS about being more organized – with a balance of work, family and ME TIME. And to not sweat the small stuff. I need to constantly remind myself.
Sammi – For. I think they have the best intentions…2016 was getting a little more balance into the equation….did that happen…It is front of mind a little more and I do feel less out of control!
What is your perfect night out?
Mandy – I recently had an amazing night out. We went to Small French Bar for an incredible dinner with friends and then walked up to Littlefoot (in Footscray) for a night cap. Was just so easy, simple and fun. We are currently working on Mamma After Dark and it’s all about ideas on where to head out for a nice meal or a drink without the kids.
Sammi – Love heading to Yarraville actually…Dinner, movie at the Sun Theatre…drinks at Aqua e Vino. Some dancing…I do love some 80’s dancing.
Mums are certified ninjas…what’s your best mum skill?
Mandy – I can piff a sock into the laundry basket from about 6 metres
Sammi – Turning off the power at the switchboard and then its Candles, fairy bread for tea and early night! Using a ‘Power Outage’ as a way to shake things up in the house when the TV is getting tooooo much! Oh and I can free pour tomato sauce from the big bottle to the little bottle and NEVER spill a drop. Ever.
What’s coming up for Mamma Knows West?
Mandy – Lots – there are always lots of events and parties and new inspiration. Watch this space!
Sammi – We have our Mamma Knows West and Alys Books book Fest coming up on August 20 and our Mamma Knows West kids market on August 14! August is a busy one for us actually. Then next year…maybe Mamma Knows South and North?!
Thanks for the candid chat ladies, I think we would all love to work in your office!
Find Mamma Knows West socially here:
Instagram - @mammaknowswest