This Sunday evening I am so excited to have one of my absolute favourite women on Instagram giving us a little insight into how she makes it work. This woman is not only hilarious, but she is so supportive, kind and generous. Beautiful, real, raw at times – her social media helps me feel sane when I could otherwise be found crying in the bathroom. This lady is also a Sunday Times No. 1 Bestselling Author and currently pregnant with her third child. Introducing the lovely Sarah Turner – otherwise known as ‘The Unmumsy Mum’.
No. Well, not unless I have something fancy to go to and that’s very rare! I generally find I have a couple of pairs of jeans that are in favour at any one time, alongside several tops and a blazer of some description as if I’m off for a coffee or a meeting a blazer is an easy way to look like I have made an effort! On a normal home-working day, where I am writing between the school runs, my outfits are definitely on the casual side of smart/casual (and by ‘casual’ I mean I have been known to baby-wipe the toddler’s yoghurt off my trousers and Febreze yesterday’s jumper … not proud, but some days things are hectic!)
I do the school and/or the nursery run three days out of five so mornings are always a bit of a circus. I try to get up and shower before the boys wake up and after getting them fed and dressed (where do the bloody shoes go?!) I usually find myself with wet hair and half an outfit on just five minutes before it’s time to leave.
Anything refreshing I can spritz on my face to wake me up a bit is always a winner – the Body Shop’s Vitamin C face mist is a quick (and inexpensive) option. I don’t wear a lot of make-up, generally, and have never successfully managed to ‘contour’ anything but I am a fan of highlighters, such as Benefit’s High Beam, as I think a dewy glow helps to mask sad, tired skin.
Do you know there is one thing I swear by when it comes to my hair and that’s purple shampoo! As someone who has been getting highlights for about fifteen years, my hair has the tendency to go a brassy yellow colour and without exaggeration purple shampoo has changed my life! It definitely makes the colour more ashy and I find it looks so much brighter between washes – I couldn’t be without it. I also rely on dry shampoo and, for home-working days, I tend to opt for a messy bun because I am lazy and it does the job.
Even if I am running late, I refuse to leave the house without getting the eyebrow pencil out – my eyebrows have never recovered from being over-plucked in my teenage years and I feel completely naked if I head out sporting feeble patchy caterpillars. A quick sweep of tinted lip balm always makes me feel like I’ve got my shit together, too.
I do LOADS of work in the evenings. In fact, I wrote almost all my first book outside of daylight hours. I think I actually work better at night.
Netflix, Sky, iPads and Nintendos. I’m joking (well, sort of – TV is a saviour!) but my littlest, who’s three, actually likes ‘helping’ me to get ready. Though very cute, it can be quite stressful, particularly at the moment because he likes to point out all the growing areas of my pregnant body (“BIG boobies, Mummy! Wibbly wobbly bottom, Mummy!” Thanks buddy).
We don’t have a bath (sob) and this saddens me every day. In fact, we often have domestic disputes about it (I want to move to a house with a bath!). I do generally shower every day but sometimes life gets in the way (hello wet wipes and Febreze, again – I wish I was joking).
It depends on what day it is, but there’s always an element of teamwork before the first person leaves the house. We have childcare help from family when we’re both working but we don’t have any family living on the doorstep (they’re all about an hour’s drive away) so we’re on our own in the mornings.
For the nursery run, 07:45. For the school run, 08:40. We live in Devon, so if I’m heading out for a day of meetings – which are predominately London-based – I’m usually up and out before 7am.
Tinted moisturiser with an SPF is a great time-saver. And a decent coat! Even if I’m looking a bit ropey I find that a nice mac makes me feel brighter. Plus perfume and a smile. Fake it ‘til you make it, and all that.
I hope you can use Sarah’s life hacks – totally with her on the baby wipes. I’ll be checking out the Vitamin C face mist tomorrow – and second a good coat especially this time of year. Go full-length and who knows what you’re wearing underneath. Sometimes the mornings are just too hectic its all about making life easier.
Thank you so much Sarah – may you continue to inspire and keep women’s sanity intact for many more years to come.
The incredible thing about Instagram is getting a look into other peoples lives… people in other cities, countries, worlds apart from your own lives… whether they’re a doctor, stylist, blogger, architect, scientist, teacher, model… yet they’re going through the same life experiences, dealing with life changes as they become mothers, balancing their old life, work or no work, with motherhood. Like postcards sent from a distant pen-pal, little snippets of other peoples lives. And with that comes comparison of course. But comparison doesn’t have to be negative, it can be a powerful instigator, a motivator, a drive. When you look through that squared peep-hole at someone elses (edited) life – take inspiration, lessons, ideas, feelings and use them in your own life.
After having Margot I would spend a lot of time browsing through those little squares in the middle of the night whilst feeding. And I would find myself wondering how these other mums are managing to get out the door looking like they didn’t have a care in the world when I was struggling to brush my teeth before the nursey-school run.
So I thought well why not ask them…
And here it is, my new Edit series: The Successful Mother.
And I am incredibly proud to say that for my first Edit of the series I spoke with a mother I find immensely inspiring, kind, beautiful, open and honest as well as being a powerhouse of a business woman and mother.
Introducing Charlotte Groeneveld also known as ‘The Fashion Guitar’.
I live in my jeans and I have to force myself out of them these days – but when I do – a maxi skirt or dress is always there to comfort me – Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. So today I wanted to shine the spotlight on the maxi skirt and what an essential piece it is to have in your wardrobe. How best to style it. And where to buy one right now.
Five tips to style the maxi
The highstreet edit – and all the inspo below…
I get a lot of questions about my check blazer – its old, was pretty cheap from H&M, wool-blend, fully lined and I wear it all the time. A really good buy that sadly I can’t pass on – sorry!
BUT I can do my research and offer you up in one neat little blog post on the best checked blazers on the highstreet right now waiting for you to buy them and wear them with everything.
My only tip would be to size up – then you can wear with a hoodie or a big knit even when its really cold. You loose the feminine shape but you gain that androgynous cool look. Perfection!
Also worth mentioning the more expensive tend to be wool or wool blends so if you want to wear it as it gets colder if worth spending a little more. But if the budget it tight – then the cheaper ones would work well styled under a Winter coat too – layer layer layer.
And here’s a big dollop of style inspo for you…