In the Press, Photos, Press, Spotlight On..., the beta mum book

The Beta Mum Book Launch Party!

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Book Launch Party June 20th 2017. NHYM. Photos copyright NHYM and Walter C. 

If you measure the success of a book launch party by the number of people waiting to get their book signed by the author – my book launch was a huge success. I didn’t even have time to sign all the books that were sold that night!

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Balloon Sculpture hanging from the ceiling at the Notting Hill Bookshop by my incredibly talented friend Vanessa. NHYM 2017. 

The Notting Hill Bookshop, where the party was held, has been so incredibly supportive and it was the perfect place to host my book launch party. It is an iconic bookstore that literally everyone in the world knows and still photographs on a daily basis.

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My day started at the bookshop, where I found a beautiful window display of my books.

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Next came my hair appointment. RUSH Westbourne Grove offered to do my hair – how could I say no? And they did a wonderful job! Thank you RUSH for my hair!

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I was wearing this super cool leather jumpsuit designed by Patricia Gomez Gracia, a super talented designer, who dressed me that night. Here I am with her manager Zara Ward!

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Beautiful mum reading my book. 

The crowd was so supportive and wonderful, from all my beautiful yummy mummy friends to my writing class to Instagram stars, mummy bloggers and magazine founders, and fantastic film makers and writers.

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Wonderful Mummy friends who came out to support me! Thank you!!!

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I spent the night signing books – it was a shame that I didn’t even get a chance to sign everyone’s book.

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It was a wonderfully warm – literally and figuratively – evening, which included my writing class friends who came to support me. Champagne and Chika’s nuts – made famous by Dragon’s Den – were the drinks and nibbles of the night. Thank you Chika!

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Super mums! And super nice ones too… 😉

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Friends from all over the world came to support me – all the way from New York!

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I even got a new, little fan!

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Instagram star, The Smart Fashionistas, and my cousin graced us with their presence.

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Superstar film makers, writers, producers Vanessa and Andrew Porteus, and Melissa and David Koepp.

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Gorgeous Swedish friends/models who also happen to be just the nicest people ever… 🙂

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My very emotional speech!

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Fellow novelist Midge Blake and my editor Donna Hillyer.

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The crowd spilled onto the streets on a beautiful, warm night.

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My super talented friend Vanessa created this amazing balloon/cloud sculpture! Thank you!

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And thanks to Walter C., my amazing photographer, who is seriously brilliant. Amazing job! For all his photos of the night look here: http://www.bywalterc.com/the-beta-mum/

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But the work didn’t stop after the launch party when I had my first live TV interview with London Live News this past weekend…

 

And finally…my photo was also chosen as one of the ‘Pictures of The Week’ in The Bookseller Magazine, which is the biggest publishing magazine in the UK:

http://www.thebookseller.com/insight/pictures-week-573996

(Yes, me and Twiggy)

It has been quite an adventure, with its ups and downs, and I now can’t wait to go on holiday day next week for some well deserved down time!!

Have a great summer everyone! And don’t forget to get your summer read on Amazon!! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beta-Mum-Adventures-Alpha-Land/dp/1781326525

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

Instagram: Notting Hill Yummy Mummy

 

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Family resemblance…

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Social Commentary, Spotlight On...

Grenfell Tower Tragedy

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All Photos courtesy of NHYM 2017. 

On Wednesday morning, I woke up to this view from my house. It was an incredibly sad day for west London and North Kensington. I am best known for poking fun at myself and my life around Notting Hill, but on Wednesday, I only felt sadness and despair, alongside all my friends and neighbours in the area. That day, it wasn’t about being Labour or Tory, white or black, Christian or Muslim, Remainers or Brexiteers, rich or poor, that day was about being a human.

The Community 

I have never felt more proud to be a part of this community as I did when I went down to various relief centers to help out, where I saw everyone in the community coming to help, whether to volunteer or to donate clothes, bedding, toys and food. The incredible spirit of human kindness was apparent everywhere you looked, from the grandmother carrying a teddy bear to bring to a lost child, to the mother who piled her pram with nappies to bring to a baby in need, to the people who drove three hours from Kent to offer a helping hand. The response was incredible and overwhelming that no more physical donations are being accepted.  

The Rugby Portobello Trust has been a prominent leader from the start, offering shelter and food and accepting donations for the victims. Schools and neighbourhoods have all come together to donate, volunteer and raise funds. All the parents and teachers and community members have shown incredible and wonderful community spirit. Even though there is no silver lining in this tragedy, the solidarity exhibited by our community has gone over and beyond what one could have expected.

 

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The Heroes. Firefighters returning from Grenfell Tower. NHYM 2017. 

Volunteer Profile 

As I tried to do my small share of helping out, I met a lady from Eritrea, strong and enthusiastic, who had been volunteering all day before starting a shift at a nursing home that afternoon. In that moment, we found a common ground and goal bringing us together. She came to London over 30 years ago, escaping the war in Eritrea, when the UK opened its arms to her and welcomed her. ‘Here’, she said, ‘I have freedoms that I wouldn’t have in many other countries. This country has welcomed me, I love this country. Even though this was a tragedy, the UK had helped all these people in that tower.’ This event has been a constant reminder of what is important, of being grateful, and of being united.

The Aftermath

We will probably never know the identities of many who have lost their lives. What are now missing persons, will become the fatalities of the tragedy when they are not found. The process of recovery and identification in a fire like this will be lengthy, arduous and sometimes impossible. The building is not safe yet and who knows if it will ever be for the full identification and recovery process to happen.

But so far, more than £2M has been raised for the Grenfell Tower Tragedy and the number keeps rising. The tireless volunteers are still there helping out, day and night, and will be needed for days and months to come. And now, more than ever, I am proud to be a Notting Hiller and being a part of this community.

To donate to the Grenfell Tower Tragedy: https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/grenfellhttps://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/grenfell

For donations specifically for babies and children:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/strawberryfields-grenfell?utm_id=100&utm_term=Eqjy48x9x

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHYM

 

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In the Press, Photos, Social Commentary, Spotlight On...

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is available to Pre-Order on Amazon!

 

You can now pre-order my book, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land on Amazon!

Pre-Order On Amazon

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My Book Cover Revealed!

It is a strange thing to come up with a book cover, given that I am not the one who actually drew those pictures or designed that cover, yet it is the one thing that is supposed to sell my book. I did give the designers some ideas of what I thought the cover should look like, but they are the ones who came up with it.

The book, which is really like a baby to me, was conceived by me from the first word to the last (well, with some editorial help!), so when I received the book cover, it was hard to feel like it was mine. But I am now thrilled with it, and can’t wait to see the physical copy in a few weeks! The official publication date is June 20th 2017!

And here is the back cover blurb:

When Sophie Bennett moves from a quiet, sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy west London, she doesn’t know where she has landed: Venus or Mars. Her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms, the most exclusive nursery in London, where Sophie finds herself adrift in a sea of Alpha mums. These mothers are glamorous, gorgeous, competitive and super rich, especially Kelly, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep.

Struggling to fit in and feeling increasingly isolated, Sophie starts The Beta Mum, an anonymous blog describing her struggles with the Alpha mums. But when her blog goes viral, she risks ruining everything for herself and her daughter. How long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive one of her follower’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha mums?

You will soon be able to purchase The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land locally on June 20th from The Notting Hill Bookshop or you can get it straight to your door with the ever so reliable Amazon from June 20th!

You can also enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy on May 10th. The Goodreads Giveaway will run from May 10th to June 10th.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha-Land by Isabella Davidson

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha-Land

by Isabella Davidson

Giveaway ends June 10, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Let me know what you think!

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Social Commentary, Spotlight On...

Mindfulness on Mother’s Day!

Leslie Saglio

Leslie Saglio. Image copyright Leslie Saglio. NHYM 2017. 

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a time to reflect on our lives as mothers. Here, Leslie Saglio, an international coach, yoga teacher, author and speaker, ‘dedicated to guide others to move through this world with more grace, finding peace and infusing balance in a life they love,’ tells us how to be more mindful as mothers:

Whether full or part-time at home or at the office, all mothers are working mothers – full stop. Hands down, being a stay-at-home mum (SAHM) is hard-core and hard work – I know. Having been an entertainment executive to a real estate entrepreneur in Los Angeles to a SAHM to a mumpreneur in London and now Barcelona, being a parent never runs out of ways to stress you out.

Everyday is a constant juggle of checking off your to-do lists – everything from the school runs, after-school activities, homework, play dates, birthday parties, doctor/dentist appointments, to “what do I cook for dinner?” the list goes on and on – and that’s just for the kids.

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The Chettinad, Ibiza. Copyright The Chettinad. NHYM 2017. 

As a result, we can often find it difficult to be in the present moment. I admit sometimes I’m guilty of checking my messages while playing with my children. While I’d love to always be Zen by nature, that’s just not humanly possible, at least if you’re a parent caring for another small human being. I don’t know about you, but if there’s something that can help decrease my stress and help me be a better mum then I’m all up for trying.

Through a practice of mindfulness you can start to balance and experience more joy and peace throughout your day. Mindfulness can help you switch from a state of constantly ‘doing’ to being present and enjoying this wild ride of motherhood (or fatherhood). Because in truth, the moments of our undivided attention and being fully present are some of the greatest gifts we can give our loved ones and ourselves.

Mindfulness is purposefully being engaged and being deeply connected in the flow of moment-to-moment as it’s happening. It has the power to make you less reactive, and instead behave from increased awareness and conscious action. This includes practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, or just deep conscious breathing.

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The Chettinad, Ibiza. Copyright the Chettinad. NHYM 2017.

For nearly a decade, through my commitment to personal growth and mindfulness practices, I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my relationship with my children, my husband, and everyone I’ve come in contact with. More recently, having moved to Barcelona after ten beautiful years in London I’m definitely more aware of the benefits of s-l-o-w-i-n-g down. In slowing down you invite space; in your mind, body and spirit, to see that there is more to life than rushing from one thing to another.

As a mother, life coach and yoga teacher, I know first-hand through personal experience while witnessing with my students and clients, it’s just as important to live more mindfully as it is to nurture and mother yourself just as you would your own children. We cannot pour from an empty cup. We can only fully give from a nourished place.

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The Chettinad, Ibiza. Copyright The Chettinad. NHYM 2017.

Here are my top three tips on how you can start living more mindfully and enjoy this wild ride of motherhood:

  • Go Offline. So often our week is spent consuming content and communicating with others from afar. Concentrate on your family and friends near you by being fully present, in-person and full contact. Start your day in peace without looking at your emails and messages for at least one hour upon waking up. This sacred silence and calm has the power to overflow into the rest of your day. During your day, even if it’s just for a 30-minute activity, try putting your phone away on silent mode while you’re with your kids. As cliché as it sounds, they do grow up fast and there’ll come a time when they’d rather be with their friends instead of mummy/daddy.
  • Remember to breathe. If you feel yourself becoming stressed or anxious I invite you to try this simple acronym, these four ways, to help you become more present: Slow down. Take a deep breath. Observe what’s happening before you Proceed. Allow yourself to S-T-O-P, to shift, to go outside, to look at the sky, to be in nature and connect back to you. I encourage you to try it for one week and see if you feel any difference in your experience of life. Just as we exercise our body for better performance, the mind can be trained to better handle those sometimes chaotic, childhood moments.
  • Time out. Mums can burnout easily feeling exhausted, stressed and over-worked. We need to put as much energy in as we put energy out. So without any mum-guilt I highly encourage you to do something that will nourish your body, mind and soul. Without a doubt, the highest return on investment your can ever make is investing in yourself. Have a massage or mani/pedi, take a yoga class, have a girls night out or my all-time favourite, go on retreat. Give yourself full permission to take care of you first. Every time you return home you’ll have way more to give to your family, you work and your community.’

 

Thank you Leslie for those inspirational words! For those who are interested in learning more about mindfulness or who need a break from London’s fast pace living, Leslie is hosting a retreat in Ibiza this June at this amazing villa, The Chettinad, seen in the above pictures.

www.lesliesaglio.com/ibiza-summer-retreat

I hope you have a wonderful, restful, and mindful Mother’s Day!

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Leslie Saglio Copyright 2017. 

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Reviews, Spotlight On...

Spotlight On: Julia Von Werz Furniture & Fashion Pop Up Shop

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Julia Von Werz Furniture & Fashion Pop up Store Notting Hill. Photos courtesy of NHYM unless otherwise indicated. NHYM 2016.

I was recently invited to the launch party of Julia Von Werz’s Furniture & Fashion Pop up store in Notting Hill this past Wednesday. It runs from November 2nd to the 14th and is the collaboration of two friends, architect Julia Von Werz and fashion designer Min Min Peng.

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Launch Party 2/11/2016. NHYM 2016

Julia Von Werz, who invited me, is an architect and furniture designer who has been running her own practice for over 10 years. She studied architecture in Vienna and Berlin and began creating her own individual, bespoke furniture pieces for her own architectural projects.

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Julia Von Werz. Photos courtesy of Alexandra PR. NHYM 2016. 

Julia also happens to be a mother of two who lives in the area (Holland Park) and is inspirational for her creativity, humbleness and openess.

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Edgewood sofa. NHYM 2016. 

She designs sofas, tables and coffee tables, lamps, and beds. Her style runs from luxurious, velvety sofas, to angular, wooden, Danish-inspired tables.

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Millbrook lamp. NHYM 2016. 

Her Millbrook lamp is one of my favourite pieces there and showcases her taste of the geometrical and the textured.

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MinMin fashion. NHYM 2016. 

Her friend and collaborator Min Min also has beautiful clothes on display with poncho-style jackets, lots of sequins and sparkles.

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Feathers and Sequins. NHYM 2016. 

Her creations are meant to make a statement, whether with unique designs, sparkly sequins or feathery coats. They are definitely worth seeing if you are looking for a unique piece this winter.

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Napier Table. NHYM 2016. 

I really enjoyed both the furniture and the fashion at Julia’s Pop Up shop. Here, you can find unique pieces that you won’t find in the mass produced fashion and furniture industry. This is what they are attempting to do: create original pieces that you will fall in love with. So if you’re looking for a special new dress for the party season or for a new sofa for your house, I would highly recommend stopping by to check it out.

Julia Von Werz Pop Up Shop

2nd Nov to 14th November

1 Lonsdale Road

London W11 2BY

http://www.juliavonwerz.com/pop-up-store/

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Spotlight On...

Spotlight On: Annabel Karmel, MBE, Mumpreneur extraordinaire

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Annabel Karmel may not live in Notting Hill, but her books are probably sitting on every NHYMs kitchen’s counter top next to their Yotam Ottolenghi recipe books. She is one of the original ‘Mumpreneurs’ who literally started her business at her kitchen table and now has had over 40 books published and sold worldwide. Pretty impressive for a ‘mumpreneur.’ I recently email-interviewed Annabel Karmel, MBE, who has just come out with her latest book on being an entrepreneur, entitled ‘Mumpreneur.’ Here she tells me how she became a success and gives advice and tips for budding entrepreneurs:

  1. What’s your story? How did you become such a prolific entrepreneur?

It was the tragedy of losing my first child Natasha, who was born healthy but who died at 13 weeks old from a viral infection that led me to change direction into the field of nutrition – I was actually a talented harpist before.

It wasn’t a diet related illness but I was understandably cautious when it came to ensuring that my second child, Nicholas, was provided with foods that optimised his health. Feeling vulnerable when he became fussy I struggled to find enticing recipes to encourage him and so set about devising my own. I shared my recipes with other mums and, fuelled by the discovery that they were proving popular with others, set about compiling a book – The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner – which was rejected by over fifteen publishing houses.

Each rejection letter could have been enough for me to doubt the viability and worth of my idea but I continued to believe in my pitch. New to the publishing world, I wasn’t afraid to break the rules, so I kept approaching people and broadcasting my vision. Fortunately a friend mine introduced me to a small dynamic book packager, who created book ideas and sold them on to mainstream publishers. They understood what I was trying to achieve and worked with me to shape a mock-up which they took to the Frankfurt Book Fair, where it was sold to US publisher Simon & Schuster who ordered 25,000 copies.

This deal unlocked doors that had previously remained shut, and I’ve since gone on to write 40 books, selling more than four million copies worldwide. I’ve also turned my hand to pre-prepared meals, weaning equipment and recipe apps. I’ve also grown a vast online following of mums in need of advice and inspiration.

  1. Tell me about your new book ‘Mumpreneur: The Complete Guide to Starting and Running a Successful Business.’ What made you write it and how did you go about writing it? 

As childcare costs continue to rise, building a business with a family in tow has never been more attractive. In fact, research from our book partner Direct Line for Business sound that two thirds of mums would love to run a business from home.

Having children doesn’t mean a full stop at the end of your CV, and I’m regularly quizzed by mums as to how I set up and built my business. There are so many mums out there wanting to reach for their career dreams and become their own boss, so I decided to write a practical book to help them take the next step.

I set about interview some of Britain’s top business leaders and working mothers, including Chrissie Rucker MBE, founder of The White Company, Wahaca’s Thomasina Miers, and Nails Inc founder Thea Green to bring together a book filled with practical advice and inspiring stories to help you get started.

  1. What is the one piece of advice you would give to budding mumpreneurs/entrepreneurs?  

It takes real confidence to return to start-up a business after having children – and self-belief is absolutely vital in order to succeed. Confidence is just as important as competence – if not more so.

The more you believe in yourself and in your chances of succeeding, the more likely you are to do just that. Of course, we all have doubts from time to time – the danger is if those doubts spiral out of control, creating unnecessary anxiety and negative self-limiting beliefs which prevent us from doing something that we really want to do (and, deep down, know that we can do).

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  1. What was your biggest failure in business and how did you cope? What did it teach you? 

 I learnt a great deal from a range of fresh baby food which I developed because I was troubled that babies were consuming food that was older than they were, after all most baby food has a shelf life of one year.

I launched a range of fresh chilled baby food for Sainsbury’s but as there is no chiller in the baby aisle the food was situated in an area of the store that mums were not visiting.

The range was eventually scrapped because although sales were good wastage was high. I remained committed to the view that baby food should taste like real food and while some of the purees on the market weren’t too bad anything with vegetables, chicken, fish or meat tasted awful. I decided to see what would happen if I took my chilled baby food recipes and put them through a retort process to extend their life.

They tasted great but I would not have arrived at this point had the chilled range succeeded, this failure led to my range of baby food pouches being re-sold in Sainsbury’s, as well as Tesco, Waitrose, Lidl and the Co-operative Food.

The opposite of success isn’t failure, it is not trying. If you seldom fail there is a good chance you’re playing it too safe. Failure rarely feels fun at the time but the lessons it teaches may not take long to become apparent, and are likely to lead you on to greater successes in the end.

Persistence and focus, rather than regret, got me to a good place. If you want life to be magnificent, you can’t expect it to be easy.

  1. How do you balance it all: family & work?

The great thing about running your own business whilst raising a family is that you have the freedom to work to your own schedule.  Juggling the dual demands of work with family life is no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination; I remember completing my first recipe book in between the children’s naps, managing a busy toddler group and running a house. It’s difficult keeping all the balls in the air without dropping one occasionally!

But I loved being a self-employed mum. I did, and still do, feel empowered by being able to make my own decisions and follow a truly worthwhile passion.

My top tips would be to find your guilt threshold.  Of course everyone feels guilty about leaving their children to go to work but some mums wouldn’t be good mums unless they had a career as they would be miserable and frustrated so don’t be too hard on yourself.

It takes real confidence to return to the working world after having children – whether that’s as an employee or becoming your own boss.

  1. What is the best parenting advice you have?

Most children adore cooking and tasks like squeezing fresh orange juice or cracking eggs are well within the capabilities of a young child. It’s amazing how being involved in the planning and preparation of a meal can stimulate a child’s appetite. If your child refuses to eat anything other than junk food, don’t worry. They will soon find there’s not much point making a fuss if you don’t react.

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  1. What has been your favourite/most memorable holiday?

Family skiing holidays have always been hugely memorable. We once gave my daughter Lara, scoops of snow in a glass bowl instead of lemon sorbet and waited to see how long it took for her to realise.

  1. What are you currently reading? 

I love a good book and on a recent flight back from Dublin, I took the opportunity to read Late Fragments by Kate Gross. It’s our ‘Book of the Month’ for our Book Club which we run on annabelkarmel.com.

  1. What advice would you give to your younger self?

If you seldom fail there is a good chance you’re playing it too safe. Failure rarely feels fun at the time but the lessons it teaches may not take long to become apparent, and are likely to lead you on to greater successes in the end. During fleeting periods of failure remember that you are in good company; Marilyn Monroe’s first contract with Columbia Pictures expired because they told her she wasn’t pretty or talented enough to be an actress. She ended up becoming one of the most iconic actresses and sex symbols of all time.

  1. What was the proudest moment of your life? 

Back in 2006, I was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for my outstanding work in the field of child nutrition. I didn’t believe it until I saw my name in the newspaper. I’m passionate about making a difference to people’s lives, and this award made me realise that there was a lot more that I wanted to do.

One of my biggest business successes has also been turning my popular recipes from my books into quality supermarket food ranges. My aim has been to be there at every age, stage and occasion to support mums – and my Mumpreneur book is an exciting new step towards helping mums in their own lives as well as their child’s.

Mumpreneur (published by Vermillion and sponsored by Direct Line for Business) is out now.  Check out Annabel’s Mumpreneur resource hub at www.annabelkarmel.com, or connect on Twitter and Facebook.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Spotlight On...

Spotlight On: Leslie Saglio, Yoga guru, Reiki practitioner & Wellness coach

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All photos in this post courtesy of Leslie Saglio. NHYM 2015. 

Lately, I have been hearing all about the stress and anxiety of parents getting their kids into the ‘right school,’ passing the 7+ or the 11+. Normally calm and relaxed parents have become screaming messes and super-powered CEO mums and Magazine Editor mums have been put on anti-depressants, diazepam and other anxiolytics due to the stress of their children’s exams.

Isn’t it time for us to realise that this is really not the way to go? Shouldn’t we be kinder to ourselves? Here, I have interviewed Leslie Saglio, a local Yoga teacher who has started teaching at the brand new, beautiful West London Buddhist Centre on how to become more zen. She is also a Wellness Coach, a Reiki practitioner and a mother of 2 living in Notting Hill. She helped launch Serene Social in the UK last year, is a contributor to the US site MindBodyGreen and is a Brand Ambassador for the eco-friendly lifestyle apparel company Wellicious, based in Notting Hill.

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1. What’s your story? 

I am originally from Calabasas, just next to Malibu beach, in LA. I grew up a child of the sun and sea, enjoyingthe outdoor lifestyle.I have always been fascinated by other cultures and spent a lot of my youth travelling throughout the U.S. and Asia. I graduated from Business School at the University of Southern California and worked in the Entertainment industry, and then took a leap of faith and co-founded a real estate mortgage company. I moved to London with my French fiancé in 2006, we got married in 2007 and have two beautiful kids. I have lived in the Notting Hill area since then. So London is well and truly my home!

2. What made you decide to get involved in Wellness/yoga/serene?

While living In LA, I was feeling the strains of city life and this showed in my unhealthy lifestyle. I managed to break from this cycle when I moved to Europe, but my life changed more dramatically in 2010 when my loved ones became seriously ill. I regrouped to become stronger and it was then that I began my holistic and spiritual journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

I became a yoga teacher in 2013 and while students were coming to me for advice on the healing effects of yoga, it felt like a calling as I knew I wanted to help others. While exploring other disciplines such as Reiki and Feng Shui, I decided to become a certified Wellness Coach. During this time in 2013 while on a trip in New York City, I met Millana Snow, co-founder of SERENE Social, a women’s wellness and conscious networking community, originally based in New York. As I loved everything SERENE stood for, I helped them by becoming their London Lead and launched them last year. I feel blessed to be able to light the path for others to start their own journey towards a more purpose filled life.

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3. What is a Wellness Coach? And what exactly is Serene Social?

A wellness coach is someone who empowers others to lead a lifestyle beyond enhanced health. I’m a certified and dedicated Energy 4 Life© Wellness Coach, which means I take a progressive holistic approach founded by my teacher Caroline Shola Arewa. By taking a three-dimensional approach (body, mind and spirit) and focusing on disciplines such as yoga, complementary medicine and spirituality, I help clients reclaim wholeness and personal energy. It requires tremendous strength. But with time, it can repair the damage caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, negative thoughts and overall stress.

SERENE Social is a community that was set up to inspire a life of passion, power and purpose for women around the globe. SERENE provides a source of conscious content, connections and empowerment via yoga, networking sessions, meditation, online courses and more. For more info on how I helped launch SERENE London read here

4. You are now running Yoga lessons at the West London Buddhist Centre. Can you tell us a bit more about the centre and what you do there? 

The West London Buddhist Centre is a charity linked to a wider movement called Triratna Buddhist Community. It’s just one of the many businesses, retreat centres and other initiatives you’ll find worldwide. WLBC is based in a beautiful new Notting Hill building on Porchester Road and hosts a programme of classes and courses in mindfulness disciplines such as meditation, yoga and other bodywork.

I teach weekly Yin and Vinyasa classes, monthly yoga and coaching workshops as well as private coaching sessions. My ethos is to empower my students and clients to have their own unique experience. I do this by providing them with a space to begin healing themselves and find their full potential.

Although I’m not Buddhist, I fully embrace its philosophy to transform our responses to life experiences and it’s an ethos that crosses over many different cultures and religious beliefs. Mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga not only help train the body to a more healthy physical state, but also enable students to shift their emotional and mental states towards a more conscious and balanced life.

5. How do you stay positive when you are faced with difficulties and obstacles? 

To stay positive as an expat mum in the city, I do daily mindful practices such as yoga, meditation and gratitude and try following a healthy diet. I definitely feel the difference if I’m not keeping up and doing the work. I’ve learned that if you consistently do the work, it does get easier. As with my clients, I also practice techniques such as repeating daily positive affirmations to manifest my dreams, and have regular Reiki sessions to replenish my energy. But most of all, I remember to breathe!

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6. What advice would you give to all the stressed out mums (and dads) out there?

As parents, to really fully support the ones we love, we must remember to first take care of ourselves. We need to learn how to set boundaries with our own time and our energy. Sometimes it’s ok to say ‘no’ to going out and just be comfortable staying quiet at home. Equally, it helps to remember to take some time for yourself – whether that be a girls’/guys’ night out, a mani/pedi, going to the gym, or getting a babysitter so you can enjoy a date night.

7. Many mums I know would love to find something they can do that helps others while staying flexible around their family time. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to become a yoga instructor or wellness coach like you? 

  1. Do your research – There are so many part-time and online training/teaching options available out there that will compliment a parent’s lifestyle. Just make sure you choose a teacher/coach whose personality and style resonates with you.
  2. Seek support – Make sure you have a reliable and flexible nanny and friends. Schedule play dates and activities so your kids stay busy and connected while you’re out/away
  3. Get organised – Make regular lists and acknowledge what you have accomplished. It’s all about baby steps.
  4. Stay committed – Anything worthwhile will not come easy. Remember, a profession in wellness has the power to make you a better mum and better wife so don’t ever feel guilty for putting in the hours.

 8. You are a Yoga teacher, a Wellness Coach, a Reiki Healer and you led the London launch of Serene Social. How do you manage it all with being a mother (and a wife!)? 

It’s all about how you manage your personal energy and everything I do with my students and clients is simply that – shifting energy so they can become healthier in their entire wellbeing. The mind and body are truly inter-connected and when we start to live with that consciousness, we live from a more authentic and harmonious state. We begin to experience life more beautifully.

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 9. What are your favourite places in Notting Hill?

The Life Centre for their inspirational yoga teachers, Planet Organic for wholesome goods, Neal’s Yard Remedies for a relaxing massage, Granger & Co. for brunch with my girlfriends, and Taqueria for some yummy Mexican food and a taste of my hometown L.A.

10. What advice would you give to your younger self, now that you’ve had all these life experiences? 

Enjoy every moment, count your blessings, know that every experience you have is meant to make you a better person on the other side and lastly, just be yourself.

http://www.lesliesaglio.com

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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