@chloelovestoshop

It’s #MumBag and #MumBoss #Monday where some very talented and interesting women let us into their minds and their bags to see their inner workings.
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Today’s #MumBoss has probably got one of the best black books in the TV industry as she spent 17 years as an HR/Talent manager at Endemol, filling the production jobs on their iconic shows.
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A year ago she left the role to spend more time with her children (Now 11, 9 and 4) and started a blog and an Instagram account called @chloelovestoshop to give herself a reason to ‘keep making an effort’ in the mornings and to share her #OOTD and her amazing knack of finding high-end looking pieces on the high street.
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One year and TWENTY THOUSAND followers later and Chloe’s passion has turned into her job. She lets us in on how it’s all come about …

What do you do in a nutshell?

I am a mummy fashion blogger. I blog about fashion and lifestyle and collaborate with brands that I love to wear.  My plan is to design my own range of clothing one day.

When did you start it and why at that time?

I started it a year ago, when I decided that I needed to spend more time with the children at home. Three children and a full time office job was proving too difficult, and I wanted to find something that I could fit in around the children’s school hours and try something that would get my creative juices flowing. When you have done the same job for 17 years, it’s tricky to feel invigorated by what you do. I needed a change

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

I didn’t expect things to take off so quickly, so my biggest challenge has been trying to fit it all in. It’s turned into a fairly full time ‘job’ but I am also full time with the children, so I have to try and fit everything in while they are at school. When I worked in an office I switched off the minute I walked out of the door (most days) but when you live your life through social media, it never stops! (That’s not a complaint, I love it, it’s just tricky to find a balance sometimes)

What has been your proudest moment?

Hitting 20K followers on Instagram has been a very proud moment and being asked to collaborate with big brands that I love has also made me proud. But I am probably most proud that I have not missed a single assembly, concert, netball match or competition this year. I have found a career that means that I can be there for the children whenever they need me.

What is your best #MumHack for making it all work?

Getting up an hour earlier than everyone else! When I do this, it makes a huge difference to my day. That hour of thinking through what I need to do without anyone asking something of me is golden. However, there are plenty of days that I don’t do this and I am very often chasing my tail and dropping balls!

What encouragement would you give someone thinking of starting their own thing?

Don’t be afraid to give it a go. I always think it’s better to look back on life and say ‘I can’t believe I did that’ than to say ‘I wish I had done that’.

We have one shot at this thing called life, and you have to do things that make you happy. Sometimes, that means taking a few risks. But when you take risks you feel alive and if they don’t work out, at least you will know you gave it your best shot. Be prepared to work really, really hard. But when it’s your own thing, you have all the energy and passion that you need to keep going, so it doesn’t always feel like hard work.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Believe in yourself more. I am still full of self-doubt and it can hold you back sometimes.

 

Will you show us your #MumBag?

Number of items in your bag: about 25

Mark your #MumBag out of 10 for:

Entertainment: 8 (earphones and an iphone! Not pictured I was using it to take the photograph!)

Food:2 ( 2 polos!!)

Drugs:0

Clothing: 3 (1glove and a hat)

Skank: 6 (tons of old receipts)

Actual nice things for you: 6 (makeup and hand cream)

What is the most comedy item you have found?

A pair of pants that I had used to hold my hair up in the shower and realised just before I entered the school. I took them out and popped them in my bag and they stayed there for quite a few days…

What is the oldest item in there?

My nail clippers

What is the item you’re most proud of?

My Chloe purse. I treated myself to it with my (little) Christmas bonus at work a few years ago.

Describe your baggage-type:

Being a fashion blogger means that I change my bag most days. So every time I change it, I tend to clear it out so it is usually OCD. However, if I use the same bag for a few days I very very quickly become a hoarder.

Here it is:

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Thank you for reading x

Follow Mrs Yellow  on Instagram

Mrs Yellow supports http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk who support mums with PND.  If you like what you’ve seen and want to help a good cause you can text PAND45 £3 to 70070. Text costs £3 plus network charge. PANDAS Foundation receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission.

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Why I’m Asking You To Show Us Your #MUMBAG And Raise Funds For A Post Natal Depression Charity

Someone I really admire came out about their PND on Facebook the other day and it really threw me.  (And of course I have to mention the amazing Adele’s admission which has happened since writing this.)

Not because it’s still taboo (it is) or I think she should keep the darkness from the positive PR machine that is social media (I don’t) but because if you asked me who had it, she would be on the absolute bottom of my list.  She is a great character and is super hot and happy and funny on social media even with a small baby in tow. It just surprised me.

I admire her even more now.

So it made me think if she, a seemingly ok type, has it there must be loads of other mums squirrelled away suffering with PND on their own, putting on a brave face or not knowing what to do about it. Or even knowing they have it.

It is hard to out yourself.  It takes guts.  Because you feel that people might think less of you, that you are a bad mum, that your kids will be taken away, that you are a failure, or even a cross-the-road-from-her-she’s-not-very-well type.

A friend of mine had it with her first child and said:

“I just felt SO ashamed.

Ashamed at how I felt towards my baby and how badly I was coping.

I put on a facade to friends and family but my Mum knew.

I think it’s taboo because it feels like everyone else is coping.

Everyone else can do it, why can’t I?”

 

The fact is that 1 in 7 mums will suffer from a bout of Post Natal Depression.

Dad’s can suffer form Post Natal Mental Health Illness too.

The biggest cause of death for women with children between 6 weeks and one year old is suicide.

Read that last one again.

 

There is such a strong Mama presence online at the moment that now, more than ever, talking about PND should be easy and un-judged.

We have moved on from a time when gin ruined mothers. It’s now being celebrated. Hurrah!

It’s encouraged to admit your #parentfails.  The Tiger Mothers seem to have been put back into captivity and it’s not cool to be smug anymore.  We’re slummy and scummy all the way, waiting for wine-o-clock and dissing ourselves before anyone else does.  Been there, got the #GoodTee shirt.

 

Early motherhood chucked some PND at me too.

I never went to the doctor about it.   I didn’t know that feeling that bad wasn’t how it should be.

Its only now when I look at the symptoms of PND do I realise I could have ticked off 90% of the list for the first 16 months of my daughter’s life.  In fact that’s when I realised I’d had it, when it lifted.

I had nothing but love for my baby girl and tried SO hard to get everything right for her.  I remember feeling almost paralysed by it.   Hung up on the rules made by power crazy baby whisperers; I felt smaller somehow. I went from massively sociable to socially anxious. From fun-loving to not being able to see the joy.  And I was wound so tight yet could unravel so easily.

I had always defined myself by my exciting jobs in the media.  It had taken a while to get pregnant and I had fantasised about being a stay at home mum.  Now that I was, I was lost at sea.

I took this new ‘motherhood job’ very seriously.  I found it impossible to relinquish any control or accept help.  If Dom ever tried to offer me any advice or suggest something different I would get so defensive and would often use the analogy “I wouldn’t come to your work and tell you how to do your job.”

My sense of self had well and truly left the building, it took my confidence with it and they didn’t leave a forwarding address.

I had *just* enough in me to give to her but little else left for anyone else, especially not myself.  I thought this was just how Motherhood was.

Sharing my experience is not about pity, it’s about hope really.  I have been through it and come out the other side in a way I would never have expected.  I started a business off the back of it that has changed my path. From a dark, confidence-less place something managed to grow.

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I have also felt totally different after baby number 2, hi-lighting the difference even more in some ways but also showing that you don’t automatically get it twice.   Of course I have had my moments; like fantasising about having an accident (just a little leg break) so I could have a night in hospital and read magazines.  But that was dog-tiredness talking not Black Dog.

If you recognise any of the symptoms in yourself or in someone you know then please do seek out some help.

I wish I had known about PANDAS Foundation who offer support nationally to mums and dads.

Claire Nethersole, the fundraising manager at PANDAS, explains more:

“PANDAS Foundation provides support for people affected by pre or post-natal mental illnesses and their families.  We have a helpline, email support, support groups based in the community and also a closed Facebook group. All of our volunteers either have first-hand experience or have cared for someone who has.  Last year we supported 11,000 people and demand for our services grows every day.  We are funded by the kind generosity of people who donate and hold events for us and we are grateful for every penny we receive. ”

 

I started this blog to champion mums. I marvel how much people manage get done as well as raising small folk.  One of the things I do on the blog is a brazenly nosey peek inside people’s #MumBags. I am fascinated about what we lug about to sustain and facilitate the small people.

 

I asked a pal if I could see inside hers the other day and she said “Oh OK, I’ll share the shame with you.”

 

That was my lightbulb moment.

 

I thought, there is no shame in that bag.  That bag goes a long way to keep your babe alive. Fed, watered, entertained, clean, dry, in pennies for this and that, in Calpol and raisins.  Raise up that bag for it is a life-giving source.

And there is no shame in PND either. It’s not baggage. The shame needs to be lifted and replaced with it’s OK not to be OK.

So here’s my plan … With your help I’d like to go some way in raising money and awareness for this small yet brilliant charity.

How? By sharing the contents of YOUR #MumBag on social media and by texting a donation.

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Here’s what to do:

  1. Tip/ display the contents of your mumbag on the floor and take a pic from above
  2. Post it on Instagram and/or Facebook
  3. Make sure you include all of this blurb:

I’m sharing my #mumbag (or #dadbag) to help mums with Post Natal Depression

Text PANDAS £3 to 70660 to donate to Pandasfoundation.org.uk

INSERT MUMBAG PIC HERE

#showusyourmumbag too TAG MATES HERE

#PND #noshameinit #showusyourmumbag #showusyourdadbag

#PANDASfoundation #itsoknottobeok @pandas_uk @mrsyellowblog

Text costs £3 plus network charge. PANDAS Foundation receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission. Customer care 01691 664275 Charity No 1149485.   

  1. Remember to text a donation
  2. Encourage as many people as you can to do the same by tagging them in your post

 

Only by talking about this stuff can we normalise it, lift the shame and help people get the help they need.  We will keep you updated on how we get on.

Go on,

#Showusyourmumbag …

Thank you.

 

Follow @MrsYellowBlog on Instagram or find and follow her blog at http://www.mrsyellow.com

 

 

#Mumbag TopTrumps – Number 4

She sings, she dances, she covers the world in glitter.  But what’s in the bag? The most glamorous woman I know has let me have a sneaky peek …

Louisa 115 B&W

Name: Louisa

Age: 38

What do you do?  Singer with The Polka Dots, and Face Paint and Glitter Artist with The Glitterbox. 

Kids: Heidi, 9 and Marley, 7.

Mark your #Mumbag out of 10 for the following:

Entertainment: 2.  It would have been higher yesterday, as Marley’s Plop Trumps cards were in there.

Food: 3.   Special K bars are against my religion, but weirdly my kids love them, so I’m always armed for after school snack attacks. If you’d asked me to do this last Thursday it would have been a 9, as my handbag was crammed with deli meats. No lie.

Drugs: 2. But it is a school night.

Clothing:  Minus 10. I’m disgusted that there is one used stocking in my handbag ready for a wash after Saturday night’s gig at Henley regatta. I’m left to wonder where the other one is.

Skank:  10. See above.

Nice things for me: Well, there is a fair amount of vanity packed into this little space. So I rate it an 8. And I genuinely don’t always carry glitter in my bag. I promise. That really was just a fluke chucked in there instead of my work bag after a job yesterday.

Comedy item: Heidi and Marley’s  2 used ice cream spoons that somehow came home from Barcelona with us a week and a half ago. Again, if only the Plop Trumps were still in.

What are your proudest of? The business cards. I feel so flipping lucky to do the jobs I do.

Describe your bag: I wish it was showgirl-chic, but it’s more dirty-stocking-scuzz.

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Can I see inside your #Mumbag?

 

#Mumbag – Number 3

The City Slicker.

The more I look at this, the more I properly LOL… I think it’s because it is the TOTAL opposite of what I thought the owner might have inside her #Mumbag.

Imagine a glamorous redhead with red lipstick, immaculate clothes and a high-flying job in The City.

She has her gorgeous raven-haired babe in her pram and a Longchamp bag casually dangling from the handle.

And then this.

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Owner: Clair

Age: 39

From: London via Liverpool

Children: 18 month old boy

Fact about Clair: She is currently working to build a sustainable talent pipeline of women in technology addressing the fact that only 17% of the tech workforce are females. (Nice one.)

Number of items in bag: I lost count at 60

My top 5 items in her #MumBag:

Sachet of ketchup (You can take the girl out of Liverpool…)
A froggy maraca
A chopped up and expired debit card
3 dummies. Her son ditched them at 5 months. He’s 18 months now.
5 different snacks and a bag of chocolate coins. Definitely not taking any chances or is it the universal mother’s panic of NOT HAVING ENOUGH FOOD for her child?

Can I see inside your #MumBag?

#Mumbag – Number 2

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My friend volunteered a picture of the contents of her #MumBag and I jumped at the chance to look inside.  She is ridiculously organised so I was expecting very little.  I am pleased to report that her bag is jammed full and that she could double up as a Boots concession.

Owner: Lu

Age: 38

From: London

Children: 3 year old boy, 4 month old girl.

Fact about Lu: She loves to diarise in a real paper diary. She uses tippex (I know! It still exists – who knew?) and has been known to buy a new diary part way through the year if it gets too messy.

Number of items in her bag: 45

 

My top 5 items in her #MumBag:

  1. EIGHT pens. All pretty colours, probably some sort of code for diarising.
  2. THE diary. It’s a quite a big one this year.
  3. 2 x pairs of sunnies. Plus an over-sized pair of comedy yellow frames.
  4. 2 x balloons.  Always need a balloon.  Versatile entertainment.
  5. A tiny turtle. I can’t tell from the picture if it’s real or not.  Maybe that’s a new thing, a pet turtle in your bag. I hope so.

 

Can I see inside your #Mumbag?

 

 

 

#Mumbag – Number 1

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I have been reading Marie Kondo’s book Spark Joy which is about the art of tidying up. The crux is that you only ever have to tidy up using her method ONCE in your whole life. And from then on it’s just ‘putting away’ because everything has it’s place.

It is inspiring stuff for an indecisive sentimentalist like me and I like her (obsessive) thinking especially as we have always had a chair of doom in the bedroom and several corners of crap that multiply by the day. Poor, homeless items.

One of Kondo’s thoughts is that at the end of every day you should empty your handbag completely and thank it for all it’s hard work. Then put all the contents away in their correct places AND the bag itself for an overnight rest. She says this should take no more than 3 minutes.  You then put all the bits back in the bag in the morning.  I am pretty sure I would be locked out on the first day, phone-less and cash-less with an empty bag. But how rested that bag would be.

But it has made me think of the huge vessel I lug about daily and when it last had a rest. (No, I am not talking about my husband, though he wouldn’t turn down 40 winks.) 

Not since I bought it 9 months ago is the answer. 

It is a pineapple coated hold-all of gubbins; a lunchbox, medicine cabinet, shopping bag, nappy bag, fancy dress box, bin and bank and with all those jobs it should probably be asking for a raise or a part in Mary Poppins as her carpet bag’s body double.

So … To give it the respect it deserves and to see what is causing me to walk even more weirdly than usual, I have emptied it and photographed the evidence.

My 5 most surprising findings out of the 47 items in the bag (and my mother is my witness) are:

  1. A cone of magic reindeer food from early December 2015
  2. A piece of waffle – from lunch 2 days ago
  3. An antique book on childhood illnesses given to me by my stepmother with a post-it attached that says, “Never allow a blister of Spanish flies to be put on your child!”
  4. An Anna from Frozen Cloak
  5. A battery operated tea-light

 

As with all experiments, key learnings must be made:

  1. I am a disgusting creature
  2. My bag is tired
  3. I am tired of my bag
  4. I am tired
  5. I need a new home for all the things in my bag
  6. I need a new home

I think this maybe where Marie Kondo wants us to get to.

I am genuinely fascinated by this.  I want to see inside your Mum Bag. Can I?