@all_sweetness_and_life

It’s #MumBag and #MumBoss #Monday where we get the chance to peek into the minds and bags of some very talented and interesting women.

This week, we have got the multi-award winning dating blogger Katy Horwood.  She is the GO-TO girl for all things sex and relationships related and has even discussed ‘Dick Pics’ on Woman’s Hour on Radio 4.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 14.53.50

Aside from the blog she writes for The Huffington Post, Metro and Match.com and reports back on dating from the front line.  Plus – if you need your online dating profile written for you, she can even do that too.

She lives in London with her eight year old daughter.

Katy tells us how she’s got to this point:

What do you do in a nutshell?

I write an award winning blog focusing on sex, dating and relationships and for a number of other online sites including Metro.co.uk, The Huffington Post, TimeOut.com & Match.com, London X, The Urban Dater & Toyboy Warehouse.

I also speaks regularly on BBC radio on the subject, and am proud to be brand ambassador for LELO and Sexpo UK and a judge at the Euro and UK Dating Awards.

When did you start it and why at that time?

I started my blog over 8 years ago, after relaying many a bad date to friends – they always enjoyed my stories so I decided to start writing those stories down.  My blog began to gather quite a following and I adapted it from being a personal dating blog to one that was more industry focused – It is now considered one of the go-to ‘dating industry’ blogs in the UK and I have won a number of awards including best blogger/ blog UK dating awards and the UK blog awards.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Getting people to pay for my writing! Anyone who writes a blog will know how frustrating it is when people expect you to write for nothing – presuming you’ll do it because they’re recognised press, or it will ‘raise your profile’. Despite some bloggers having thousands of followers, I believe blogging is still an industry which struggles to be taken seriously – and it can be very frustrating.

What has been your proudest moment?

Piers Morgan re-tweeting my blog to 5 million followers! And the awards of course. To be honest, writing is endlessly rewarding – every time my readers interact or respond to a piece it really brings me a sense of pride.

What is your best mum hack for making it all work?

Wine. Lol

… and finding something you are passionate about, it’s a cliché but the saying is try, find something you love doing and you’ll never work another day in your life. Writing is a passion for me, I’d do it (and have done it!) without getting paid, so it never feels like a chore.  I think that is the key to the balancing act and making things work.

What encouragement would you give a mum thinking of starting her own thing?

Just start. And don’t let people put you off, recognition, for me, took a long time, but it’s worth pushing on through as nothing happens overnight. That and mastering social media.  It amazes me the amount of brands and small business who still don’t utilise social media, it’s basically free advertising and marketing – and these days one of the most immediate ways to reach out to people.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Have more confidence in yourself.

I’ve learnt, having been in the industry, that it’s not the best writers that have the most success (far from it!) it’s the ones who don’t take no for an answer. I think that applies for most businesses, a solid idea/product is important but a relentless drive is the thing that really gets you noticed.

You seem to have found your thing.  Would you agree and how did you come across it?

As I say, it all came about by accident really! I have always liked being ‘heard’ so blogging felt like the natural path – it took off from there and I’ve never looked back!

Will you show us your #MumBag?

Number of items in your bag: 9

Mark your #MumBag out of 10 for:

Entertainment: 2

Food: 0

Drugs: 0

Clothing: 0

Skank: 2

Actual nice things for you: 3

What is the most comedy item you have found?

Sorry my bag is pretty boring! Lol … I recently invested in a new smaller bag and it literally limits how much I can fit in it, so less ‘comedy’ and more essential!

I guess the funniest thing are my daughters playing cards and 2 business cards from guys I have no intention of ever calling (yes, I’m single!)

What is the oldest item in there?

The purse, I bought it 5 years ago in paris and it’s still going strong!

What is the item you’re most proud of?

The playing cards – my daughters, a bit more sentimental than a pen or a lip balm!

Describe your baggage-type:

I’d say pretty minimalist, which is funny because I am actually a real hoarder in real life! I love ‘bits’ and my house is full of nostalgic memorabilia from holidays etc so It’s funny my bag is so ordered – minus the loose change at the bottom of course!

img_1505.jpg

Thank you for reading x

Follow Mrs Yellow  on Instagram

Mrs Yellow supports PANDAS FOUNDATION who support mums with PND.

If you like what you’ve seen and want to help a good cause you can text PAND45 £3  (or £1, £2, £4, £5 or £10)to 70070. Text costs amount donated plus network charge. PANDAS Foundation receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission.

Advertisements

@minisettlondon

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.

When Jess Bahia’s  baby daughter started to sit up by herself, she realised that Mala could do with a comfy little chair of her own to sit safely in for her bottle/ book/ snuggly time without falling off.  We’ve all heard that awful thud, let’s face it.

unknown

After looking about for something suitable the only options she found were big, plastic, pink and covered in characters which was totally NOT what she was after.

Jess had an idea for a mini kids sofa, spotted a gap in the market and the idea of Mini Sett was born.

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-22-18-33

They launched in 2016 with 3 mini ‘flip’ sofas that are made in stylish neutral colours, screen-printed in the UK with line-drawn animal illustrations (Badger, Swan and Kingfisher) and are 100% washable premium cotton.  They have a pocket to fit a favourite book and handle so they can be pulled around with ease and are designed for children aged 6 months to 7 years.

I caught up with Jess to find out how she got to this point:

What does your business do in a nutshell?

At Mini Sett, we design and create contemporary home-wares for children that complement any stylish modern home. Our first product that we launched in 2016 was our kid’s mini flip sofa; perfect for reading, resting and watching their favourite film that sits perfectly in any stylish living room or children’s bedroom. In 2017, we’re launching a new, beautiful children’s bedding range, featuring our unique animal designs in grey and white and monochrome.

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-22-34-58

When did you start it and why at that time?

Summer 2016 was our initial launch at Dot to Dot London – but we started 9 months prior with extensive product development, testing and refinement. The timing seemed right, as my daughter was doing 3 full days of nursery, which finally gave me some uninterrupted time to think, plan, meet suppliers and work on my laptop – alone!

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Finding a screen printer in the UK who could deliver the print quality of our intricate hand-drawn Illustrations on soft cotton fabric that can be machine-washed, without losing the design detail.

What has been your proudest moment?

Featuring in Tatler magazine alongside other premium British brands.

You seemed to have found your ‘thing’ – how did you come across it?

I have worked in brand and product development for over 15 years for big branded companies and a few small ones and I love finding opportunities in the marketplace for new products, new consumers, new usages, and thought why not create my own products.

Why home-ware? I have also always loved home-wares (worked in home-ware retail for 5 years back in Australia when at University (20 years ago – yikes!), and have always loved beautiful products for the home.  Plus when I had my first child I felt that there was very little available in the way of modern, stylish home-wares for children.

What is your best mum hack for making it all work?

Work in small blocks of time – usually 2 hours. Allocate time for thinking and working on a key priority everyday. I tend to work best in the morning after the school drop off.

I also only check my emails first thing (before my daughter gets up, whilst in bed!), then again at lunchtime and before the school pick. I close down my email program otherwise I get too distracted and could just spend the day emailing  which is not very productive.

What encouragement would you give a mum thinking of starting her own thing?

Just go for it. Find something that you passionately believe in and are proud and enthused to tell people about everyday. You’ll never work as many hours and for as little money (at first) as you do your own business, so you have to love what you do.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Ask more questions. Find out more about how and why things are done when at work. When you’re young and inexperienced, you tend to think you know everything already (I know I did!) and that asking how or why, may seem stupid.

Be open to constantly learning and asking questions from your boss, more senior people around you and your parents. People love sharing their experience and imparting their knowledge with younger people. This is invaluable learning.

Will you show us your #MumBag?

Number of items in your bag: 20

Mark your #MumBag out of 10 for:

Entertainment: 10 – Usually just my phone.  My 4 year old daughter is obsessed with Snapchat, so that trumps any other form of entertainment

Food: 4 – muesli bar, fruit pouch, Mint polos, random sweets that have fallen out of their packet, bottle of water.

Drugs: 0 – I don’t have anything.

Clothing: 0 – I’ve never carried spare clothes – I’m an unrealistic optimist who is often cold or with a child with muddy clothes!

Skank: 3 – Always a dirty tissue or dried up used wipe, crushed biscuits or old raisins.

Actual nice things for you: 6 – concealer, red lipstick, hand cream, hairbrush, a small perfume

Work things: 7 – paper diary (I’m old school), felt-tip pen (I cannot write with a biro!), a notebook, business cards.

What is the most comedy item you have found?

Yesterday, I found the detachable mouse tail from my daughter’s One-sie, that she wears after swimming lessons – so random.

What is the oldest item in there?

My Mason & Pearson pink hairbrush that I was given by my mum, when I was 4!

What is the item you’re most proud of?

My notebook – it’s a little book of random ideas and creative inspiration.

Describe your baggage:

Unrealistic Optimist.

Let’s see it then:

FullSizeRender.jpg

Thank you for reading x

Follow Mrs Yellow  on Instagram

Mrs Yellow supports PANDAS FOUNDATIOwho support mums with PND.

If you like what you’ve seen and want to help a good cause you can text PAND45 £3  (or £1, £2, £4, £5 or £10)to 70070. Text costs amount donated plus network charge. PANDAS Foundation receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission.

@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.
 –
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.
 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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.
 –
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:

img_1496

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.

#Mumbag – Number 1

IMG_3535

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?